‘ISLA:M AN INTRODUCTION DEFINITION OF ISLAM: LITERAL MEANING: Islam is derived from the Arabic root "Salama": peace, submission and obedience. In the religious sense, Islam means submission to the will of God and obedience to His law. Everything and every phenomenon in the world other than man is administered totally by God-made laws, i.e. They are obedient to God and submissive to his laws, they are in the State of Islam. Submission to the good will of God, together with obedience to His beneficial Law, i.e., becoming a Muslim, is the best safeguard for man's peace and harmony. The other literal meaning of the word "Islam" is "peace." This signifies that one can achieve real peace of body and of mind only through submission and obedience to Allah. Such a life of obedience brings peace of the heart and establishes real peace in society at large. Distinguishing Qualities of Islam SPECIALITIES  UNITY IN INJUNCTIONS: There are explicit texts in the Qur'an as well as the Hadeeths of the Prophet (r) which indicate that all religions called to the same basic principle, to worship Allah alone in exclusion to all others. Allah sent prophets to mankind, and each one’s message abrogated the one prior to it, from the prophet hood of Noah (u) until the commissioning of Muhammad (p.b.u.h). The Messenger of Allah (p.b.u.h) said: “Indeed I am to the other prophets as is a man who built a house beautifully and perfectly, except one brick which was not placed in its corner. People circle and admire it, but say, HUM110
‘If only a brick was put in this place!’ I am that brick, and I am the last of all prophets.” [al-Bukhari] No prophet or messenger of Allah will appear after Muhammad (r). The only exception to this is Jesus (u). When the Final Hour draws near, he will descend to the earth and fill it with justice and equity as it was filled with oppression and tyranny. He will not convey a new religion, but rather he will rule with Islam. SO Islam is not a new religion. It is a continuation of Divine revelations. According to Islam, religions are not to compete with one another because all religions came from Allah for the purpose of guiding. Islam is both a religion and a complete way of life.  EVERLASTING RELIGION: Islam has abrogated all previous religions, and it is the last religion which Allah chose for humanity. Allah will not accept anything else from His slaves. Allah (I) says: (And We have sent down to you (O Muhammad (p.b.u.h) the Book (this Qur'an) in truth, confirming the Scriptures that came before it and a witness over them.) [5:48] Because it is the last religion, Allah has promised to preserve and guard it from all distortions until the Day of Judgment, contrary to previous religions which were sent at specific times to specific people. Allah (I) says: (Indeed it is We who have sent down the Reminder (i.e the Qurán and Sunnah ) and indeed it is We who will guard and protect it.) [15:9] COMPREHENSIVE AND COMPLETE RELIGION: The religion of Islam completed and perfected the legislations which came before it. As these religions were meant only for a specific nation and time, they are not suited for the present world and times. Islam, a universal and eternal religion perfected and completed those aspects which were limited to past peoples and HUM110
times, affirming those aspects suitable for all times and peoples. Allah (I) says: (This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.) [5:3] For this reason it is the best religion. Allah (I) says: (You [Muslims] are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind; you enjoin all that Islam has ordained and forbid all that Islam has forbidden, and you believe in Allah. And had the People of the Scripture [Jews and Christians] believed it would have been better for them; among them are some who have faith, but most of them are disobedient and rebellious.) [3:110] Islam is A complete religion not only from spiritual aspect, but also a religion of physical and social life. In other words, Islam does not separate the spiritual life from the materialistic life. Man in Islam is soul and body the soul has its needs and the body has its needs, and all needs should be organized and satisfied.  UNIVERSAL RELIGION Islam is a global religion that addresses all of humanity. It was not revealed for a specific race or class, but rather one in which all people are regarded as equal. There is no segregation based upon color, language, location, and lineage; rather, it is based upon specific beliefs which all people share, keeping them united. Whoever believes in Allah as the One and only true Lord, that Islam is the correct religion and that Muhammad (r) is the last messenger, he is regarded as a Muslim, irrespective of race, color or ethnicity. Allah (I) says: (And We have not sent you (O Muhammad (r)) except as a giver of glad tidings and a Warner to all humanity.) [34:28]
As for the previous messengers, they were sent to their specific nations.  PERFECT RELIGION The legislations and teachings of Islam are from Allah; thus they are unchangeable. They are unlike human legislations which contain mistakes, shortcomings and are continuously influenced by exterior factors, of which are surroundings, culture, tradition and society. This is something which can be clearly witnessed at present. Man-made legislations and systems are unstable, often needing revision and change. What suits one society may not suit another, and what suits one time period may not suit another. The legislations and systems of a capitalist society, for example, are not suitable in a communist society. Anyone who tries to introduce legislations and systems into a particular society must take their particular goals and views into consideration. As for the legislation of Islam, it is, as we described, of a divine origin. The one who legislated it is the Creator of all things, the One who knows what best suits their particular conditions and what rectifies their affairs. No one, no matter what status and station he may achieve, has the right to oppose, change, add, or omit from this legislation. Allah (I) says: (Is it the judgment of (the Days of) Ignorance that they seek? And who is better in judgment than Allah for a people who have firm belief.) [5:50]  AN APLICABLE RELIGION TILL THE DAY OF JUDGEMENT The religion of Islam is a religion whose texts are general, making it suitable for all times and places. It has introduced general principles and teachings which are unalterable; they are not influenced by the passage of time or change of locality, whether they be principles dealing with belief, such as the belief in Allah, His Angels, Books, Messengers, the Last Day, and Predestination; HUM110
or principles of worship, such as the specific actions of prayer and their timings, the amount to be given in Zakaah (obligatory charity) and to whom it is to be given to, the time of the obligatory Fast, and the characteristics, time and regulations of Hajj. Every new matter which should appear in the world must be made in light of the Qur'an and authentic Sunnah of the Prophet (r) in order that it be given a ruling. If a clear ruling cannot be taken from the Qur'an and Sunnah of the Prophet (r) regarding the issue, the pious, god-fearing scholars should exert their effort to derive a textual-based ruling, keeping the Muslim's interest in mind, and to consider the conditions of his age and society.  A RELIGION OF EQUALITY There are no prejudices in the religion of Islam. Every item of its legislation applies to everyone; there is no difference between the rich and poor, noble and commoner, ruler and subject or white and black. Everyone is equal in relation to the implementation of Shari'ah law. During the time of the Prophet (r) a woman from the clan of Makhzoom from the tribe of the Quraish (the most noble clan of the most noble tribe) committed theft. Some of those around him said, “Who will intercede with the Messenger of Allah (r) on her behalf?” Others said, “Who can be so bold other that Usaamah bin Zaid, the beloved of the Messenger of Allah (r).” Usaamah tried to intercede, but the Prophet (r) replied, “Do you trying to intercede in one of the set punishments of Allah?” He then stood and addressed them, saying: “O People, the thing which destroyed those before you was that if one of their noble committed a theft, they did not punish him, but if one of their common folk stole, they established Allah’s fixed punishment upon him. By Allah, if
Fatimah, the daughter of Muhammad, committed a theft, I would cut her hand off. â€? [Muslim] UNCHANGEABLE RELIGION The textual sources of the religion of Islam are still present today in their original forms, free from any omission, addition, or substitution. The main sources of the religion of Islam are the Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Messenger (p.b.u.h). The Qur'an at present is still in its original form, as it was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (r), with the same letters, verses, and chapters. It has not been altered in the least. Difference between religion and deen The Holy Quran has described Islam as ad-deen which is generally translated in English as religion. In the light of what has been stated above, it should be clear that this supposed English equivalent is not only incorrect but distorts and vitiates the true significance of deen. According to the Quran, Islam is deen which means a code of life, a social system, a polity (3/18, 5/3). This is the deen which Prphet Muhammad brought (9/33) and which would ultimately triumph over all other ways of life. The word mazhab has not been used anywhere in the Quran. It is, therefore, not proper to term Islam as a religion or mazhab. Mazhab, in the literal sense, means a passage or path made by man, and deen is that code, law or system which one gets from Allah. TAWHEED: FAITH IN THE UNITY OF GOD
IMPORTANCE: The most fundamental and the most important teaching of Islam is faith in unity of God. This is expressed in the primary kalima of
Islam as La ilaha illallah "There is no deity but Allah". This beautiful phrase in the bedrock of Islam, its foundation and its essence. It is the expression of this belief which differentiates a true Muslim from a kafir (unbeliever), a Mushrik (one who associates others with God in His divinity), or a Dahriya (atheist). The acceptance or denial of this phrase produces a world of difference between man and man. The believers in it become one single community and those who do not believe in it form the opposite group. But the difference which occurs between the believers and the unbelievers is not the result of mere chanting of a few words. Evidently the mere utterance of a phrase or two cannot bring about such a mighty difference. The real force lies in the conscious acceptance of this doctrine and its stipulations and complete adherence to it in practical life. Unless you know the real meaning of the phrase "there is no deity but Allah" and the bearing of its acceptance on human life, you cannot realize the real importance of this doctrine. It would never become effective unless these essentials are achieved. Mere repeating of the word ‘food’ cannot dull the edge of hunger; mere chanting of a medical prescription cannot heal the disease. In the same way if the Kalima is repeated without any understanding of its meanings and dictates, it cannot work the revolution which its meanings and dictates, it cannot work the revolution which it is meant to bring about. The revolution in thought and life can occur only if a person grasps the full meaning of the doctrine, realizes its significance, reposes true belief in it, and accepts and follows it in letter and spirit. Unless this grasp of the Kalima is developed it cannot become fully effective. The Meaning of the ‘Kalima’ In the Arabic language the word ilah means ‘one who is worshipped’, i.e. a being which on account of its greatness and HUM110
power be considered worthy to be worshipped, to be bowed to in humility and submission The conception of ilah also includes the possession of infinite powers. It also conveys the sense that others are dependent upon ilah and that he is not dependent upon anyone else. The word ilah also carries a sense of concealment and mystery, that is, ilah would be a being unseen and imperceptible. The word khuda in Persian, deva in Hindi, and god in English bear, more or less, similar signification. Other languages of the world also contain words with a like sense. The word Allah, on the other hand, is the essential personal name of God. La ilaha illallah would literally mean "There is no ilah other than the One Great being known by the name "Allah". It means that in the whole of the universe, there is absolutely no being worthy to be worshipped other than Allah, that it is only to Him that heads should bow in submission and adoration, that He is the only Being possessing all powers, that all powers, that all are in need of His favor, and that all are obliged to solicit His help. He is concealed from our senses, and our intellect fails to perceive what He is. From the most ancient known history of man as well as from the oldest relics of antiquity that we have been able to obtain, it appears that in every age man had recognized some deity or deities and had worshipped them. Even in the present age every nation on the face of the earth, from the most primitive to the most civilized, dose believe in and worship some deity. It shows that the idea of having a deity and of worshipping him is ingrained in human nature. But the question is: What that thing is and why man feels impelled to do so?The answer is that human being is not omnipotent. Neither he is self-sufficient and self-existing nor are his powers without limitations. In fact, he is weak, frail, needy, and destitute. He is dependent upon a multitude of forces and without their HUM110
assistance he cannot make headway. There are countless things necessary to maintain his existence, but all of them are not essentially and totally within his powers. Sometimes they come to his possession in a simple and natural way, and at times he finds himself deprived of them. There are many important and valuable things which he endeavors to get, but sometimes he succeeds in getting them, while sometimes he does not, for it is not completely in his own power to obtain them. There are many important and valuable things which he endeavors to get, but sometimes he succeeds in getting them, while sometimes he dose not, for it is not completely in his won power to obtain them. There are many things injurious to him; chances bring his hops to a sudden end; disease, worries, and calamities, always threaten him and mar his way to happiness. He attempts to get rid of them, and success and failure both visit him in this quest In the most primitive stage of ignorance, man thinks that the great objects of nature whose grandeur and glory are visible, and which appear to be injurious or beneficent to him, hold in themselves the real power and authority, and therefore, they are diving. Thus he worship trees, and numerous other objects. This is the worst form of ignorance. Tawheed is the highest conception of godhead, the knowledge of which God has sent to mankind in all ages through His prophets. It was this knowledge with which, in the beginning, Adam had been revealed to Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus (Godâ€™s blessings be upon them all). It was this very knowledge which Muhammad (Godâ€™s blessings be upon him) brought to mankind. It is The Knowledge, pure and absolute, without the least shade of ignorance It is essential that all these divine attributes and powers must vest in one being-it is virtually impossible for two or more personalities having all the powers and attributes equally to co-exist. They are HUM110
bound to collide. Therefore there must be one and only one Supreme Being having control over all others. You cannot think of two governors for the same province or two supreme commanders of the same army! Similarly, the distribution of these powers among different deities, for instance, that one of them is all knowledge, the other all providence and still another life-giver-and each having independent domain in his own field-is unthinkable. The universe is an indivisible whole and each one of such deities will be dependent upon others in bound to occur. And if this happens, the world is destined to go to pieces. These attributes are also untransferable. It is not possible that a certain attribute might be present in a certain deity at one time and at another time it be found in another deity. A divine being who is incapable of remaining alive himself cannot give life to others. The one who cannot protect his own divine power is definitely unsuited to govern the vast limitless universe. Thus the greater you reflect upon the problem, the firmer would be your conviction that all these divine powers and attributes must exist in one end the same Being alone. Thus polytheism is a form of ignorance and cannot stand rational scrutiny. It is a practical impossibility. The facts of life and nature do not fit into that explanation. They automatically bring man to Reality, i.e. Tawheed (the Unity of God). Now keeping in view this correct and perfect conception of God, cast a searching glance at this vast universe. imagine- using all your knowledge can comprehend-anyone possessing these attributes. The sun, the moon, the stars, animals, birds or fishes, matter, any man or a group of men-does any of them possess these attributes? Certainly none! For everything in the universe is created, is controlled and regulated, is dependent on others, is mortal and transitory, is not self-acting and self-propelling-its slightest movements are controlled by an inexorable law and it cannot deviate from that law.This is the meaning of â€˜La ilaha,â€™ i.e. there is no god ; no human and material object possesses the divine power and authority deserving worship and obedience. HUM110
The Creator of this grand universe, the Controller of its superb Law, the Governor of its serene rhythm, the Administrator of all its working: He is Allah, the Lord of Universe and has none as associate in His Divinity. This is what "illallah" (but Allah) means. This knowledge is superior to all other kinds of know ledge and the greater You exert, the deeper will be your conviction that this is the starting-point of all knowledge. In every filed of inquiry-may it be that of physics chemistry, astronomy, geology, biology, zoology, economics, politics, sociology, or humanities, you will find that the deeper you probe, the clearer become the indications of the truth of La ilaha illallah, in every field of knowledge and inquiry. It is this concept which opens up the doors of knowledge with the light of reality. And if you deny or disregard this reality, you will find that at every step you meet disillusionment, for the denial of this primary truth robs everything in the universe of its real meaning and true significance. The universe becomes meaningless and the vistas of progress get blurred and confused.
The Three Types of Tawheed Tauhid-ar-Rububiyya A confession with your heart that the Creator (of everything) is Allah, subhana watala, it is that you have to say: "I testify that the Creator of all the universe, including the stars, the planets, the sun, the moon, the heavens, the earth with all its known and unknown forms of life, is Allah. He is the Organizer and Planner of all its affairs. It is He Who gives life and death, and He (i.e. Allah Alone) is the Sustainer, and the Giver of Security, etc." And this is called your confession for the "Oneness of the Lordship of Allah," Tauhid-ar-Rububiyya. Tauhid-al-Uluhiyya
A confession with your heart that you have to say: "I testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah Alone." The word "Worship" (i.e. Ibadah) carries a great number of meanings in the Arabic language: It conveys that all kinds of worship are meant for Allah (and none else, whether it be an angel, Messenger, Prophet Jesus - son of Mary, Ezra, Muhammad, saint, idol, the sun, the moon and all other kinds of false deities). So pray to none but Allah, invoke none but Allah, ask for help from none (unseen) but Allah, swear by none but Allah, offer an animal as sacrifice to none but Allah, …etc. and that means, -- all that Allah and Allah’s Messenger, saaws, order you to do (in Qur’an and in As-Sunna [legal ways of Prophet Muhammad ]) you must do, and all that Allah, s.w.t, Allah’s Messenger forbid you, you must not do. And this is called (your confession for the) "Oneness of the worship of Allah", Tauhid-al-Uluhiyya. And that you (mankind) worship none but Allah, subhana watala. Those whom they invoke besides Allâh have not created anything, but are themselves created. [The Noble Qur'an 16:20] Tauhid-al-Asma was-Sifat A confession with your heart that you have to say: "O Allah! I testify that all the best of names and the most perfect qualities with which You have named or qualified Yourself in Your Book (i.e. the Qur’an) or as Your Prophet Muhammad (saaws) has named or qualified You, with his statement, I confirm that all those (names and qualifications) are for You without changing their meanings or neglecting them HUM110
completely or giving resemblance to others." As Allah, swt, said: "There is nothing like unto Him and He is the AllHearer, the All-Seer." (v.42:11) This holy Ayat (verse) confirms the quality of hearing and the quality of sight for Allah, subhana watala without resemblance to others, and likewise. Allah, subhana watala, also said: "To one whom I have created with Both My Hands," (v.38:75) And Allah also said: "The Hand of Allah is over their hands." (v. 48:10) This confirms two Hands for Allah, swt, but there is no similarity for them. Similarly Allah, swt, said: "The Most Beneficent (Allah) Istawa (rose over) the Throne.â€?
The Effects of Tawheed on Human Life Now let us study effects which the belief in La ilaha illallah brings forth upon the life of a man and see why he should always be a success in life, here and in the hereafter. a. A believer in this Kalima can never be narrow-minded in outlook. He believes in a God who is Creator of the heavens and the earth, the Master of the East and the West and Sustainer of the entire universe. After this belief he does not regard anything in the world as a stranger to himself. He HUM110
looks upon everything in the universe as belonging to the same Lord whom he himself belongs to. He is not partisan in his thinking and behavior. His sympathy, love, and service do not remain confined to any particular sphere or group. This belief produces in man the highest degree of self-respect and self-esteem. The believer knows that Allah alone is the possessor of all power, and that none besides Him can benefit or harm a person, or provide for his need, or give and take away life, or wield authority or influence. This conviction makes him indifferent to, and independent and fearless of, all powers other than those of God. He never bows his head in homage to any of Godâ€™s creatures, nor does he stretch his hand before anyone else. Along with self-respect this belief also generates in man a sense of modesty and humbleness. It makes him unostentatious and unpretending. A believer never becomes proud, haughty or arrogant. The boisterous pride of power, wealth and worth can have no room in his heart, because he knows that whatever he possesses has been given to him by God, and can take away just as He can give. This belief makes man virtuous and upright. He has the conviction that their is no other means of success and salvation for him except purity of soul and righteousness of behavior. He has perfect faith in God who is above all need, is related to none, is absolutely just, and none has any hand or influence in the exercise of His divine powers. This belief creates in him the consciousness that, unless he lives rightly and acts justly, he cannot succeed. No influence or underhand activity can save him from ruin. As against this, the kafirs and the mushriks always live on false hopes. The believer does not become despondent and brokenhearted under any circumstances. He has firm faith in God who is the Master of all the treasures of the earth and the heavens, whose grace and bounty have no limit and whose
powers are infinite. This faith imparts to his heart extraordinary consolation, fills it with satisfaction and keeps it filled with hope. In this world he might meet with rejection from all doors, nothing herein might serve his ends,. All means might, one after another, desert him; but faith in and dependence on God never leave him; and upon their strength he goes on struggling. Such a profound confidence can result from no other belief than belief in one God. Mushirks, kafirs, and atheists have small hearts; they depends upon limited powers; therefore in hours of trouble they are soon overwhelmed by despair and, frequently, they commit suicide. f. This belief produces in man a very strong degree of determination, patient perseverance, and trust in God. When he makes up his mind and devotes his resources to fulfill the Divine Commands in order to secure Godâ€™s pleasure, he is sure he has the support and backing of the Lord of the universe, this certainty makes him firm and strong like a mountain, and no amount of difficulties, impediments, and hostile opposition can make him give up his resolution. Shirk, Kufr, and atheism have no such effect. Belief in God's Angels This is the second article of Islamic faith and is very important, because it absolves the concept of Tawhid from all impurities and frees it from the danger of every conceivable shadow of shirk (polytheism). The polytheists have associated two kind of creatures with God: (a) Those which have material existence and are perceptible to the human eye, such as the sun, moon, stars, fire, water, animals, great men. (b) Those who have no material existence and are not perceptible to the human eye: the unseen beings who are believed to be engaged in the administration of the universe; for instance, HUM110
one controls the air, another imparts light, another brings rains, and so on and so forth. Muhammad p b u h has informed us that these imperceptible spiritual beings, whom people believe to be deities of gods or God's children, are really His angels. They have no share in God's divinity; they cannot deviate from His commands even by the slightest fraction of an inch. God employs them to administer His Kingdom, and they carry out His orders exactly and accurately. They have no authority to do anything of their own accord; they cannot present to God any scheme conceived by themselves, they are not even authorized to intercede with God for any man. Muhammad p b u h forbade us to worship angels, and to associate them with God in His divinity. He also informed us that they were the chosen creatures of God, free from sin, from their very nature unable to disobey God, and ever engaged in carrying out His orders. Moreover, he informed us that these angels of God surround us from all sides, are attached to us, and are always in our company. They observe and note all our actions, good or bad. They preserve a complete record of every man's life. After death, when we shall be brought before God, they will present a full report of our life's work on earth, wherein we shall find everything correctly recorded, not a single movement left out, however insignificant and however carefully concealed it may be. We have not been informed of the intrinsic nature of the angels. Only some of their virtues or attributes have been mentioned to us, and we have been asked to believe in their existence. We have no other means of knowing their nature, their attributes and their qualities. It would therefore, be sheer folly on our part to attribute any form or quality to them of our own accord. We must believe in them exactly as we have been asked to do. To deny their existence is kufr for, first, we have no reason for such a denial, and, second, our denial of them would be tantamount to attributing untruth to HUM110
Muhammad p b u h . We believe in their existence only because God's true Messenger has informed us of it. They are not divine or semi-divine, and they are not God’s associates running different districts of the universe. Also, they are not objects to be worshipped or prayed to, as they do not deliver our prayers to God. They all submit to God and carry out His commands. In the Islamic worldview, there are no fallen angels: they are not divided into ‘good’ and ‘evil’ angels. Human beings do not become angels after death. Satan is not a fallen angel, but is one of the jinn, a creation of God parallel to human beings and angels. Angels were created from light before human beings were created, and thus their graphic or symbolic representation in Islamic art is rare. Nevertheless, they are generally beautiful beings with wings as described in Muslim scripture. The greatest of them is Gabriel. The Prophet of Islam actually saw him in his original form. Also, the attendants of God’s Throne are among the greatest angels. They love the believers and beseech God to forgive them their sins. They carry the Throne of God, about whom the Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, said: “I have been given permission to speak about one of the angels of God who carry the Throne. The distance between his earlobes and his shoulders is equivalent to a seven-hundred-year journey.” (Abu Daud) They do not eat or drink. The angels do not get bored or tired of worshipping God. The Number of Angels How many angels there are? Only God knows. The MuchFrequented House is a sacred heavenly sanctuary above the Kaaba, the black cube in the city of Mecca. Every day seventy thousand HUM110
angels visit it and leave, never returning to it again, followed by another group. The Names of Angels Muslims believe in specific angels mentioned in the Islamic sources like Jibreel (Gabriel), Mika'eel (Michael), Israfeel, Malik the guard over Hell, and others. Of these, only Gabriel and Michael are mentioned in the Bible. Angelic Abilities The angels possess great powers given to them by God. They can take on different forms. The Muslim scripture describes how at the moment of Jesus’ conception, God sent Gabriel to Mary in the form of a man: “…Then We sent to her Our angel, and he appeared before her as a man in all respects.” (Quran 19:17) Angels also visited Abraham in human form. Similarly, angels came to Lot to deliver him from danger in the form of handsome, young men. Gabriel used to visit Prophet Muhammad in different forms. Sometimes, he would appear in the form of one of his handsome disciples, and sometimes in the form of a desert Bedouin. Angels have the ability to take human forms in some circumstances involving common people. Gabriel is God’s heavenly messenger to mankind. He would convey the revelation from God to His human messengers. God says: “Say: whoever is an enemy to Gabriel - for he brings down the (revelation) to your heart by God’s will...” (Quran 2:97)
Tasks of the Angels Some angels are put in charge of executing God’s law in the physical world. Michael is responsible for rain, directing it wherever God wishes. He has helpers who assist him by the command of his Lord; they direct the winds and clouds, as God wills. Another is responsible for blowing the Horn, which will be blown by Israafeel at the onset of the Day of Judgment. Others are responsible for taking souls out of the bodies at the time of death: the Angel of Death and his assistants. God says: “Say: the Angel of Death, put in charge of you, will (duly) take your souls, then shall you be brought back to your Lord.” (Quran 32:11) Then there are guardian angels responsible for protecting the believer throughout his life, at home or traveling, asleep or awake. Others are responsible for recording the deeds of man, good and bad. These are known as the “honorable scribes.” Two angels, Munkar and Nakeer, are responsible for testing people in the grave. Among them are keepers of Paradise and the nineteen ‘guards’ of Hell whose leader is named ‘Malik.’ There are also angels responsible for breathing the soul into the fetus and writing down its provisions, life-span, actions, and whether it will be wretched or happy. Some angels are roamers, traveling around the world in search of gatherings where God is remembered. There are also angels constituting God’s heavenly army, standing in rows, they never get tired or sit down, and others who bow or prostrate, and never raise their heads, always worshipping God. As we learn from above, the angels are a grandiose creation of God, varying in numbers, roles, and abilities. God is in no need of these creatures, but having knowledge and belief in them adds to HUM110
the awe that one feels towards God, in that He is able to create as He wishes, for indeed the magnificence of His creation is a proof of the magnificence of the Creator. Faith in the Books of God The third article of faith is faith in the Books of God; Books which He has sent down to mankind through His Prophets. God had revealed His Books to His Prophets before Muhammad and these books were sent down in the same way as He sent down the Qur'an to Muhammad p.b.u.h. We have been informed of the names of some of these books: Books of Abraham, the Torah of Moses, Zabur (Psalms) of David, and the Injil (Gospel) of Jesus Christ. We have not been informed of the names of Books which were given to other Prophets. (1) Therefore, with regard to other existing religious books, we are not in a position to say with certainty whether they were originally revealed books or not. (2)But we tacitly believe that whatever Books were sent down by God is all true. (3)Of the Books we have been told, the Books of Abraham are extinct and not traceable in existing world literature. David's Zabur, the Torah and the Injil exist with the Jews and the Christians, but the Qur'an informs us that people have changed and added to these books, and God's words have mixed up with texts of their own making. This corruption and pollution of the Books has been so large and so evident that even the Jews and the Christians they admit that they do not possess their original texts, and have only their translations, which have been altered over many centuries and are still being changed
We have been commanded to believe in previously revealed Books only in the sense of admitting that, before the Qur'an, God had also sent down books through His Prophets, that they were all from one and the same God, the same God Who sent the Qur'an and that the sending of the Qur'an as a Divine Book is not a new and strange event, but only confirms, restates and completes those divine instructions which people had mutilated or lost in antiquity. (4) Even a cursory study of the first books of the Old Testament and the four Gospels of the New Testament reveals that they are the productions of men and in these writings some parts of the original Psalms of David and the Gospels of Christ have been incorporated. (5)The Qur'an is the last of the Divine Books sent down by God and there are some very pertinent differences between it and the previous Books. These differences may briefly be stated as follows: 1. The original texts of most of the former Divine Books were lost altogether, and only translations exist today. The Quran, on the other hand, exists exactly as it was revealed to the Prophet; not a word , not a syllable of it -- has been changed. It is available in its original text and the word of God has been preserved for all time. 2. In the former Divine Books man mixed his words with God's, but in the Quran we find only the words of God -- and in their pristine purity. This is admitted even by the opponents of Islam. 3. In respect of no other sacred Book possessed by different peoples can it be said on the basis of authentic historical evidence that it really belongs to the same Prophet to whom it is attributed. In the case of some of them it is not even known in what age and to which Prophet they were revealed. As for the Quran, the evidence that it was revealed to Muhammad is so voluminous, so convincing, so strong and so compelling that even the fiercest critics of Islam cannot cast doubt on it. HUM110
4. The former Divine Books were sent down in languages which died long ago. No nation or community now speaks those languages and there are only a few people who claim to understand them. Thus, even if the Books existed today in their original and unadulterated form, it would be virtually impossible in our age to correctly understand and interpret their injunctions and put them into practice in their required form. The language of the Quran, on the other hand, is a living language; millions of people speak it. 5. Each one of the existing sacred Books found among different nations of the world has been addressed to a particular people. Each one contains a number of commands which seem to have been meant for a particular period of history and which meet the needs of that age only. They are neither needed today, nor can they now be smoothly and properly put into practice. It is evident from this that these Books were particularly meant for that particular people and not for the world. Furthermore, they were not sent to be followed permanently by even the people they were intended for; they were meant to be acted upon only for a certain period. In contrast to this, the Quran is addressed to all mankind; not a single injunction of it can be suspected as having been addressed to a particular people. In the same manner, all the commands and injunctions in the Quran can be acted upon at any place and in any age. This proves that the Quran is meant for the whole world, and is an eternal code for human life. 6. There is no denying the fact that the previous divine Books also enshrined good and virtue; they also taught the principles of morality and truthfulness and presented the mode of living which was to God's pleasure. But none of them was comprehensive enough to embrace all that is necessary for a virtuous human life. Some of them excelled in one respect, others in some other. It is the Qur'an and the Qur'an alone which enshrined not only all that was good in the former Books but also perfects the way of Allah
and presents it in its entirety and outlines that code of life which comprehends all that is necessary for man on this earth. FAITH IN GOD'S PROPHETS Q: What's the difference between a Nabi and a Rasool? A: Imam Fakhruddeen Raazi has explained the differences between a Rasool (prophet) and a Nabi (messenger). A Rasool is one who has performed miracles and has received a new Divine book. He establishes a new code of law (Shar'iah) and abrogates the previous code of law and book. He has also visibly seen the angel that comes with the Divine message, and the Rasool is commanded to invite the people towards the Deen. A Nabi is one who is not given a new book, but rather establishes the book which was revealed to the Rasool before him. He does not abrogate the book and the code of law which was in vogue before him. He sees the angel in a dream or the Rasool of the time informs him that he has been chosen as a Nabi. (Tafseer Raazi V1 p3212, Mafaateehul Ghayb V23 p43) All the Messengers of God belong to the same category and on a par with each other. If a man confirms and believes in one of them, he must and ought to confirm all. The reason is quite simple. Suppose ten men make one and the same statement; if you admit one of them to be true, you admit the remaining nine of them as true, and if you belie anyone of them, by implication you belie all of them. It is for this reason that in Islam it is necessary to have implicit in anyone of the prophet would be a Kafir, though he might profess faith in all the other Prophets.
It occurs in traditions that the total number of all the prophets sent to different peoples at different times is 124,000. We have to believe positively in those of the prophets whose names have been mentioned in the Qur'an Regarding the rest we are instructed to believe that all Prophets sent by God for the guidance of mankind were true. Thus we believe in all the prophets raised in India, China, Iran, Egypt, Africa, Europe, and other countries of the world, but we are not in a position to be definite about a particular person outside the list of prophets named in the Qur'an, whether or not he was a Prophet, for we have not been told anything definite about him. Nor are we permitted to say anything against the holy men of other religions. It is quite possible that some of them might have been God's Prophets that some of them might have been God's Prophets, and their followers corrupted their teachings after their demise, just as the followers of Moses and Jesus (God's blessings be upon them) have done. Therefore, whenever we express any opinion about them, it would be about the tenets and rituals of their religions; as for the founders of those religions, we will remain silent, lest we should become guilty of irreverence towards a Prophet. As for the fact of being Prophets of God and having been deputed by Him for teaching the same straight path of 'Islam,' there is no difference between Muhammad and other Prophets (God's blessings be upon them all), we have been ordered to believe in all of them alike. But in spite of their equality in this respect, there are the following three differences between Muhammad and other Prophets (God's blessings be upon them all): 1. The Prophets of the past had come to certain people for certain periods of time, while Muhammad (God's blessings be upon him) has been sent for the whole world and for all times to come. 2. The teachings of those Prophets have either disappeared altogether from the world, or whatever of them remains is not pure, HUM110
and is found intermingled with many erroneous and fictitious statements. For this reason even if anyone wishes to follow their teachings, he cannot do so. In contrast to this, the teachings of Muhammad (God's blessings be upon him), his biography, his discoursed, his ways of living, his morals, habits, and virtues, in short, all the details of his life and work, are preserved. Muhammad (God's blessings be upon him), therefore, is the only one of the whole line of Prophets who is a living personality, and in whose footsteps it is possible. To follow correctly and confidently. 3. The guidance imparted through the Prophets of the past was not complete and all- embracing. Every Prophet was followed by another who effected alterations and additions in the teachings and injunctions of his predecessors and, in this way, the chain of reforms and progress continued. That is why the teachings of the earlier Prophets, after the lapse of a certain period of time, were lost in oblivion. Obviously there was no need of preserving former teachings when amended and improved guidance had taken their place. At last the most perfect code of guidance was imparted to mankind through Muhammad (God's blessings be upon him) and all previous codes were automatically abrogated, for it is futile and imprudent to follow an incomplete code while the complete code exists. He who follows Muhammad (God's blessings be upon him) follows all the Prophet, for whatever was good and eternally workable in their teaching has been embodied in his teachings. Whoever, therefore, rejects and refuses to follow Muhammad's teachings and chooses to follow some other Prophet, only deprives himself of that vast amount of useful and valuable instruction and guidance in Muhammad's teachings, which never existed in the books of the earlier Prophets and which was revealed only through the Last of the Prophets. That is why it is now incumbent upon each and every human being to have faith in Muhammad (peace be upon him) and follow him HUM110
alone. To become a true Muslim (a follower of the Prophet's way of life) it is necessary to have complete faith in Muhammad (peace be upon him) and to affirm that: a. He is a true Prophet of God; b. His teachings are absolutely perfect, free from any defect or error; c. He is the Last Prophet of God. After him no Prophet will appear among any people till the Day of Judgment, nor is any such personage going to appear in whom it would be essential for a Muslim to believe . The Finality of Prophethood This brings us to the question of the finality of the Prophethood of Muhammad (blessings of Allah and peace be upon him). We have already discussed the nature of Prophethood and this discussion makes it clear that the advent of a prophet is not an everyday occurrence. Nor is the presence in person of the Prophet essential for every land, people and period. The life and teachings of the Prophet is the beacon to guide a people to the right path, and as long as his teachings and his guidance are alive he is, as it were, himself alive. The real death of a Prophet consists not in his physical demise but in the ending of the influence of his teachings. The earlier Prophets have died because their followers have adulterated their teachings, distorted their instructions, and besmirched their life examples by attaching fictitious events to them. Not one of the earlier books â€” Torah, Zabur (Psalms of David), Injl (Gospel of Jesus), for exampleâ€”exists today in its original text and even the adherents of these books confess that they do not possess the original books. The life histories of the earlier Prophets have been so mixed up with fiction that an accurate and authentic account of their lives has become
impossible. Their lives have become tales and legends and no trustworthy record is available anywhere. It cannot even be said with certainty when and where a certain Prophet was born, how he lived and what code of morality he gave to mankind. Thus, the real death of a Prophet consists in the death of his teachings. By this criterion no one can deny that Muhammad (blessings of Allah and peace be upon him) and his teachings are alive. His teachings stand uncorrupted and are incorruptible. The Qur'an — the book he gave to mankind — exists in its original text, without a word, syllable or even letter having been changed. The entire account of his life — his sayings, instructions and actions — is preserved with complete accuracy. It is as though it all happened yesterday rather than thirteen centuries ago. The biography of no other human being is so detailed as that of Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam (blessings of Allah and peace be upon him). In everything affecting our lives we can seek the guidance of Muhammad (blessings of Allah and peace be upon him) and the example of his life. That is why there is no need of any other Prophet after Muhammad, the last Prophet (blessings of Allah and peace be upon him). Furthermore, there are three conditions, which necessitate the advent of a new Prophet over and above the need to replace a deceased Prophet. These may be summed up as follows: 1.That the teachings of the earlier Prophets have been distorted or corrupted or they have died and their revival is needed. 2.That the teachings of the Prophet who has passed away were incomplete and it is necessary to amend them, improve on them or add something to them. 3."That the earlier Prophet was raised for a particular nation or territory and a Prophet for another nation, people or country is required, None of these conditions exist today. The teachings of the last Prophet Muhammad (blessings of Allah and peace be upon him) are alive, have been fully preserved and made immortal. The guidance he has shown unto mankind is
complete and flawless, and is enshrined in the Holy Qur'an. All the sources of Islam are fully intact and each and every instruction or action of the Holy Prophet can be ascertained without the least shadow of doubt. Secondly, God has completed His revealed guidance through the Prophet Muhammad (blessings of Allah and peace be upon him) and Islam is a complete religion for mankind. God has said that, "Today I have perfected your Faith - religion â€” for you, and have completed my bounty upon you," and a thorough study of Islam as a complete way of life proves the truth of these Qurâ€™an words. Islam gives guidance for life in this world and in the hereafter and nothing essential for human guidance has been left out. There is no ground for new Prophethood on the plea of imperfection13. (13. Some people say that the passage of time itself is a sufficient ground for the need of new guidance, and a religion, which was revealed some thirteen centuries ago, must necessarily grow obsolete and become a thing of the past. The objection is totally unfounded. The reasons may be briefly stated as follows: (a) Islam's teachings are eternal, because they have been revealed by Allah Who knows all the past, present and future and Who Himself is eternal. It is the human knowledge that is limited. It is the human eve, which cannot see into the dim vista of the future, not God Whose knowledge is above all the limitations of time and space. (b) Islam is based on human nature, and the nature of man has remained the same in all times and epochs. All men are cast in the moulds of the earliest men and fundamental human nature remains unchanged. (c) In human life there is a beautiful balance between permanence and change. Neither is everything permanent, nor is everything changeable. The fundamental principles, the basic values, do not invite change. It is the outward forms which change with the passage of time and which are changed while keeping in view certain principles, which are to be observed. And Islam has catered
for the needs of both permanence and change. The Qur'an and the Sunnah propounded (he eternal principles of Islam, while through ljtihad they are applied to every age according to its own needs. Islam is the only religion, which has established machinery for the perennial evolution of human society in accordance with the fundamental principles and permanent values of life. (d) Scientifically, the human race is living in the age, which was inaugurated by the advent of man on earth, and no fundamental evolutionary change has occurred in this phase of existence. Civilisations have arisen and died, cultures have grown and withered, empires have emerged and disintegrated. But the age in the great chain of cosmic evolution remains the same. Therefore the view that guidance given some centuries back automatically becomes obsolete with the passage of time is unfounded and superficial. Lastly, the Message of Muhammad (blessings of Allah and peace be upon him) was not meant for any particular people, place or period. He was raised as the World Prophet â€” the messenger of truth for the whole of mankind. The Qur'an has commanded Muhammad (blessings of Allah and peace be upon him) to declare: "0 mankind. I am God's Messenger to all of you." He has been described as "a blessing for all (the people of) the world" and his approach has been universal and human. That is why after him there remains no need for new Prophethood and he, has been described by the Qur'an as Khatam-an-Nabiyyin (the last of the chain of the true prophets14.) (14. The Qur'an and the Hadith are very explicit on this point. The Qur'an says: "Muhammad is the Messenger of God and the last of the Prophets" (xxxiii. 40). The Holy Prophet himself has said: "There will be no prophet after me. "On another occasion he said: â€œMy relation to the (long chain of the) Prophets can be understood by the parable of a palace: the palace was most beautifully built. Everything was complete therein except the place for one brick. I have filled in that place and now the castle has been completed" (ride Bukhari and Muslim).
The only source, therefore, for the knowledge of God and His Way is Muhammad (blessings of Allah and peace be upon him). We can know of Islam only through his teachings, which are so complete and so comprehensive that they can guide men through all ages to come. The world does not need a new prophet; it needs only such people as have full faith in Muhammad (blessings of Allah and peace be upon him), to become the standard-bearers of his message, propagate it throughout the world, and endeavour to establish the culture which Muhammad (blessings of Allah and peace be upon him) gave to man. The world needs such men of character as can translate his teachings into practice and establish a society which is governed by Divine Law, whose supremacy Muhammad (blessings of Allah and peace be upon him) came to establish. This is the mission of Muhammad (blessings of Allah and peace be upon him) and on its success hinges the success of Man.
BELIEF IN LIFE AFTER DEATH The fifth article of Islamic Faith is belief in life after death. Prophet Muhammad (peace is upon him) has directed us to believe in resurrection after death and in the Day of Judgment. (1) The essential ingredients of this belief, as the life of this world and of all that is in it will come to an end on an appointed day. Everything will be annihilated. That day is called Qayamah, i.e. the Last Day. (2) That all the human beings who had lived in the world since its inception will then restored to life and will be presented before God who will sit in court on that day. This is called Hashr: Resurrection
(3) . That the entire record of every human being of all their doings and misdoings-will be presented before God for final judgment. (4) .That God shall finally adjudge the reward of every person. He shall weigh everyone's good and bad deeds. One who excels in goodness will be rewarded a goodly reward; one whose evils and wrongs overweigh his good deeds, will be punished. That the reward and punishment will be administered justly. Those who emerge successful in this judgment will go to paradise and the doors of eternal bliss will be opened upon them; those who are condemned and deserve punishment will be sent to Hell-the abode of fire and torture. The Need of this Belief Belief in the life after death has always been a part and parcel of the teachings of the Prophets. Every Prophet asked his followers to believe in it, in the same way as the last of the Prophets, Muhammad (peace be upon him ), has asked us to do. This has always been an essential condition of being a Muslim. All Prophets have categorically declared that one who disbelieves in it, or casts doubts on it, is a Kafir. This is so, because denial of life after death makes all other beliefs meaningless. In your everyday life, whenever you are asked to do anything, you immediately think: what is the utility of doing it and what harm is involved in doing it? This is the very nature of man. He instinctively regards a useless action as totally unnecessary. You will never be willing to waste your time and energy in useless, wasteful, and unproductive jobs. Similarly, you won't be very eager to avoid a thing that is harmless. And the general rule is that the deeper your conviction about the utility of a thing, the firmer would be your response to it.
That is not all. If you reflect still deeper, you will come to the conclusion that belief in life after death is the greatest deciding factor in the life of a man. Its acceptance or rejection determines the very course of his life and behavior. But a man who believes in the next world as well and has a firm conviction of the final consequences of his acts would look upon things in their wider perspective and will always keep the everlasting benefit or harm in view. He will do the good, however costly it may be or however costly it may be to him or however injurious it may be and he will avoid the wrong, however charming it may look.. Thus it is the belief or disbelief in life after death which makes man adopt different courses in life. For one who does not believe in the Day of Judgment it is absolutely impossible to fashion his life as suggested by Islam. Islam says: "In the way of God give zakat (charity) to the poor." His answer is: "No, zakat will diminish my wealth ; I will, instead, take interest on my money." And in its collection he would not hesitate to get attached each and everything belonging to the debtors, though they are poor or hunger-stricken. Islam says: "Always speak the truth and shun lying, though you may gain ever so much by lying and lose ever so much by speaking the truth." But his reply would be: " Well, what shall I do with a truth which is of no use to me here, and which instead brings loss to me ; and why should I avoid lying where it can bring benefit to me without any risk, even that of a bad name?" Life after Death: A Rational Vindication Infact the constituents of the belief are rationally understandable. The fact is that whatever Muhammad (peace be upon him) has told us about lift after death is clearly borne out by reason. Although our belief in the that Day is based upon our implicit in the Messenger of God, rational reflection not only confirms this belief
but also reveals that Muhammad's (peace be upon him) teachings in this respect are much more reasonable and understandable than all other the following viewpoints are found in the world. 1. A section of the people says that there is nothing left of man after death, and that after this life-ending event, there is no other life. According to these people, this belief has no reality. They say that there is no possibility of it and such a belief is quite unscientific. This is the approach and bring in western science in their support. 2. Another section of the people maintains that man, in order to bear the consequences of his deeds, is repeatedly regenerated in this very world. If he lives a bad life, in the next generation he will assume the shape of an animal, like a dog or a cat, etc, or some tree or some lower kind of man. If his acts have been good, he will be reborn as a man into a higher class. This view point is found in some Eastern religions. 3. There is a third viewpoint which calls for belief in the Day of Judgment, the Resurrection, man's presence in the Divine Court, and the administration of reward and punishment. This is the common belief of all the Prophets. Now let us consider these viewpoints one by one. The first section, which arrogates to itself the authority and support of science, alleges that there is no reality in life after death. They say that they have never seen anybody coming back after his death. There is not a single case of revival. We see that after death a man is reduced to dust. Therefore death is the end of life and there is no life after death: But just think over this reasoning: is this really a scientific argument? Is the claim really founded on reason? If they have not seen any case of revival after death, they can only say that they do not know what will happen after death. But, instead of remaining within this limit, they declare that nothing will happen after death
at the same time alleging that they speak out of knowledge! In fact they merely generalize on ignorance. Science tells us noting negative or positive in this respect and their assertion that life after death has no existence is totally unfounded. Their claim is not dissimilar to the claim of an ignoramus who has not seen an airplane and on that "knowledge" proclaims that aeroplanes have no existence at all! If anybody has not seen a thing, it does not mean that that thing has no existence. No man, not even the entire humanity, if it has not seen a thing, can claim that such a thing does not, or cannot, exist. This claim is illusionary and is out and out unscientific. No reasonable man can give it any weight. Now look to belief of the second group. According to them, a human being is a human being because in his previous animal form he had done good deeds; and an animal is an animal because previously as a human being he had behaved badly. In other worlds to be a man or animal is the consequence of one's deed's in one's former form. One may well ask: "Which of them existed first, man or animal?" If they say man preceded animal, then they will have to accept that he must have been an animal before that, and given a human form for its good deeds. If they say it was animal they will have to concede that must have been a man before that who transformed into an animal for his bad deeds. This puts us into a vicious circle and the advocates of this belief cannot settle any form for the first creature, for every generation implies a preceding generation so that the succeeding generation may be considered as the consequence of the former. This is simply absurd. Now consider the third viewpoint. Its first proposition is: "This world will one day come to an end. God will destroy and annihilate the universe, and in its place will evolve another higher and far superior cosmos."
This statement is undeniably true. No doubt can be cast upon its veracity. The more we reflect on the nature of the cosmos, the more clearly it is proved that the existing system is not permanent and everlasting, for all the forces working in it are limited in their nature, and it becomes a certainty that one day they will be completely exhausted. That is why the scientists agree that one day the sun will become cold and will give up all its energy, the stars will collide with one another, and the whole system of the universe will be upset and destroyed. Moreover, if evolution is true in the case of the constituents of this universe, why it may not be true for the whole of it? To think of the universe becoming totally nonexistent is more improbable than that it will pass into another evolutionary stage and another order of things will emerge in a much more improved and ideal order. The second proposition of this belief is that "man will again be given life". Is it impossible? If so, how did the present life of man become possible? It is evident that God Who created man in this world can do so in the next. Not only is it a possibility, it is also a possibility, it is also a positive necessity, as will be show later. The third proposition is that "the record of all the actions of man in this world is preserved and be presented on the Day of Resurrection". The proof of the truth of this proposition is provided here in these days by science itself. It was first understood that the sounds which we make produce slight waves in the air and die out. Now, it has been discovered that the sound leaves its impression on its surrounding objects and can be reproduced. Gramophone records are made on the same principle. From this it can be understood that the record of every movement of man is being impressed on all things which come into contact with the waves produced by the movements. This shows that the record of our entire deed is completely preserved and can be reproduced.
After considering all these questions no reasonable person can escape the conclusion that the belief in life after death is the most acceptable to reason and common sense, and that there is nothing in it which can be said to be unreasonable or impossible. Moreover, when a true Prophet like Muhammad (peace be upon him) has stated this to be a fact and it involves nothing but what is good for us wisdom lies in believing it implicitly and not in rejecting it without any sound reasons.
Al-Qada’ wa’l-Qadar (Divine Will)
Belief in al-qadar is the sixth pillar of faith, and no one’s faith is complete without it. One must believe that Allah knew everything before it came into being, and what will happen to it afterwards. He then brought them into existence, all in accordance to His Knowledge and Measure. Allah says: "Verily, we have created all things with Qadar." (54:49) Everything which occurred in the past that is occurring in the present and what will occur in the future is known to Allah before it came into existence. Allah then brought it into being, all in accordance to His Will and Measure. The Messenger of Allah said: “A person is not a Muslim until he believes in Qadar, its good and its evil consequences – until he knows that whatever happened to him would have never missed him, and what missed him would never have occurred.” (Tirmidthi #2144) The belief in Qadar means to believe in four things:
1. To believe that Allah is well acquainted with everything taking place and His knowledge encompasses everything. 2. To believe that Allah has pre-assigned the portions of everything in the ‘Preserved Tablet’ (Al-Lawh-ul-Mahfoodh). The Prophet said: “The first thing which Allah created was the Pen, and He said to it, ‘Write.’ It responded, ‘What should I write?’ He said, ‘Write everything that will occur until the Day of Resurrection.’ (Abu Dawood 4700 & Timidhi #3319) 3. Nothing takes place in the heavens or on the earth without the will of Allah and His wish; whatever Allah wills, takes place, and whatever He does not, will not take place. 4. Allah, the Exalted, is the Creator of all things. There is no other creator besides Him, nor is there a Lord other than Him… This belief does not contradict the fact that one must strive to attain things. To clarify this, if a person wants to become a business man there are certain things to achieve this goal; such as to study and work hard. After he does all that is in his power, he may be granted what he wishes or not. The reason for this is that a person would realize that what he does to achieve his goal is not in fact the true cause behind it; rather it is the Will of Allah. These ‘means’ to fulfill our goals are also considered from the Qadar of Allah. The Prophet was asked: ‘O Messenger of Allah, do the verses and supplications we recite and the medicine we take to cure ourselves waive the Qadar of Allah?’ [He replied,] ‘They are from the Qadar of Allah.’ (Mustadrak al-Haakim, but with a weak chain).
The Merits of Belief in Qadaa´ and Qadar 1. One strengthens his dependence upon Allah [in achieving results] after fulfilling their means. 2. One becomes pleased with whatever results, which in turn produces peace of heart and spiritual comfort. Allah says: "No evil befalls on the earth nor in your own souls, but it is in a book before We bring it into existence; surely that is easy to Allah: So that you may not grieve for what has escaped you, nor be exultant at what He has given you; and Allah does not love any arrogant boaster." (57:22-23) 3. It eases the effects of calamities. The Prophet said: “The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than a weak believer, and in each one there is good. Be keen to do what benefits you and seek Allah's help, and do not be neglectful in doing so. And if any mishap befalls you, do not say, ‘If only I had only done such and such,’ but rather say, ‘This is the Qadar of Allah, and whatever He Wills He does (Qadarullaah wa maa shaa fa‘al),’ for indeed, ‘if,’ opens the door for Shaytaan’s works.” (Muslim #2664) 4. It increases one’s reward and effaces his sins. The Prophet said: “No Muslims is fatigued, is stricken with illness, feels stress, worry, sadness, or harm, not even a thorn which pricks him, except that Allah forgives sins through it.” (Bukhari #5318) Belief in Qadar is not, as some mistakenly think, a call to put one's trust in Allah without striving or fulfilling the means, for the Messenger of Allah replied to a person who asked him:
‘Should I leave my camel untied and trust in Allah?’ He said, ‘Tie it and trust in Allah.” (Tirmidhi #2517) Four Components of Qadr Al-'Ilm (Knowledge) - The belief that Allah (SWT) knows all things, in general and in detail, from eternity to eternity, whether that has to do with His actions or the actions of His slaves. Allah (SWT) says (interpretation of the meaning): "Truly, nothing is hidden from God, in the earth or in the heavens" [3:5]. Kitab (Writing) - The belief that Allah (SWT) has written everything, which will happen until the day of judgement due to His knowledge, in al-Lawh alMahfooz (Book of Decrees, preserved in heaven). Allah (SWT) says (interpretation of the meaning): "Know you not that Allaah knows all that is in the heaven and on the earth? Verily, it is (all) in the Book (al-Lawh al-Mahfooz). Verily, that is easy for Allaah" [22:70]. Mash'eeah (Will) - The beliefe that nothing happens or does not happen without the will of Allah (SWT). Allah (SWT) says (interpretation of the meaning): "He it is Who shapes you in the wombs as He wills" [3:5] and "and Allaah does what He wills" [14:27] and "And your Lord creates whatsoever He wills and chooses" [28:68] Al-Khalq (Creation) - The beliefe that Allah (SWT) created everything. Allah (SWT) says HUM110
(interpretation of the meaning): "He has created everything, and has measured it exactly according to its due measurements" [25:2] and "Allaah is the Creator of all things, and He is the Wakeel (Trustee, Disposer of affairs, Guardian) over all things" [39:62]. Do we have free will? Again, the belief in qadr as it has been described above does not contradict the idea of free will. We can do what we want to do and reject what we do not want to do. However, we should have the correct understanding regarding the usage of the words "free will". Will must be understood in the context that if you wish something to happen, it happens and without any external force or a thing interfering. For example, the will of Allah (SWT); He says "be and it is". On the contrary, we humans do not have such abilities. Our choices are always influenced by many things and many times things not always work the way we want. Therefore, it is only logical to conclude that we only have the freedom of making free choices and we do not have free will. However, we could not have had such ability without the will of Allah (SWT). Thus, our freedom of making choices is exercised within the absolute will of Allah (SWT), which has determined and permitted humans to make free choices of their own and it is the manifestation of Allahâ€™s (SWT) absolute Will. Some atheists and philosophers argue that if Allah (SWT) knows exactly what will happen, right down to every choice, then it constrains one's freedom of making
choices. However, their conclusions are hasty and this problem can be solved with a simple analogy. For example, if a teacher knows that one of his students is going to fail the final exam, due to his performance during whole year/term, it does not mean that teacher is forcing the student to fail or making him fail. Having knowledge about something does not mean that you are forcing it onto the other person or constraining him.
System of worship in Islam 1: Meaning of worship in Islam. 1: A worship of all the creatures 2: Purpose of Salaat. 1. It strengthens the belief in the Existence of God and transmits this belief into the innermost recesses of manâ€™s heart. 2. It helps man to realize his natural and instinctive aspirations to greatness and high morality, to excellence and virtuous growth. 3. It purifies the heart and develops the mind, cultivates the conscience and comforts the soul. 4. It fosters the good and decent elements in man and suppresses the evil and indecent inclinations. HUM110
The Islamic prayer its unique nature and its study reveal to us that it is not merely a physical motion or a void recital of the Holy Book. It is a matchless formula of intellectual meditation and spiritual devotion, of moral elevation and physical exercise, all combined. It is an exclusively Islamic experience where every muscle of the body joins the soul and the mind in the worship and glory of God. It is difficult for anyone to impart in words the full meaning of the Islamic prayer yet it can be said that it is :1.
A lesson in discipline and willpower;
A practice in devotion to God and all worthy objectives;
3. A vigilant reminder of God and constant revelation of His Goodness; 4.
A seed of spiritual cultivation and moral soundness;
A guide to the most upright way of life;
6. A safeguard against indecency and evil, against wrong deviation and stray; 7. A demonstration of true equality, solid unity, and brotherhood; 8. An expression of thankfulness to God and appreciation of Him; 9.
A course of inner peace and stability;
10. An abundant source of patience and courage, of hope and confidence. 3: The Kinds of Prayer The following are the various kinds of prayer:
1. Obligatory (Fard), which includes the five daily prayers and the Friday’s noon congregational prayer. Failure to observe these prayers on time is a serious and punishable sin. However, funeral prayer which is known as “Farad Kifayah” in Arabic, which is a collective duty, is also obligatory in the sense that if no one comes out to perform the prayer on a deceased Muslim in a given community, the community as a whole is deemed sinful in the sight of Allah, but if it is performed by some of the people, then, the rest of the community are absolved of the sin. 2. Supererogatory (Wajib and Sunnah), which includes the prayers accompanying the obligatory services, and the congregations of the two great festivals (Eeds). Failure to observe these is a harmful negligence and a reproachable conduct. 3. Optional prayer which includes all voluntary prayers at any time of the day or the night. Two periods have a special preference: the later part of the night until just before the breaking of the dawn and the mid-morning period. 4: The Ablution (Wudu’) Before offering the prayer one must be in good shape and pure condition. It is necessary to wash the parts of the body which are generally exposed to dirt or dust or smog. This performance is called Ablution (Wudu’) and is preferably carried out as follows: 1.
Make the intention by heart.
Wash the hands up to the wrists, three times.
3. Rinse out the mouth with water, three times, preferably with a misvak whenever it is possible. 4. Cleanse the nostrils of nose by sniffing water into them, three times.
5. Wash the whole face three times with both hands, if possible, from the top of the forehead to the bottom of the chin and from ear to ear. 6. Wash the right arm three times up to the far end of the elbow, and then do the same with the left arm. 7. Wipe the whole head or any part of it with a wet hand, once. 8. Wipe the inner sides of the ears with the forefingers and their outer sides with the thumbs. This should be done with wet fingers. 9. Wash the two feet up to the ankles, three times, beginning with the right foot. At this stage the ablution is completed, and the person who has performed it is ready to start his prayer. When the ablution is valid a person may keep it as long as he can, and may use it for as many prayers as he wishes. But it is preferable to renew it as often as possible. It is also preferable to do it in the said order, although it will be accepted from those who fail to keep this order. Ablution in the said way is sufficient for prayer unless it is nullified by any reason.
FASTING IN QURAN. Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur'an, as a guide to mankind, also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (Between right and wrong). So every one of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting, but if any one is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period (Should be made up) by days later. God intends every facility for you; He does not want to put you to difficulties. (He wants you) to complete the
prescribed period, and to glorify Him in that He has guided you; and perchance YOU shall be grateful. [al-Baqarah 2:185] Meaning of fasting: Fasting is another unique moral and spiritual characteristic of Islam. Literally defined, fasting means to abstain "completely" from foods, drinks, some human desires and smoking, before the break of the dawn till sunset, during the entire month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic year. When Islam introduced this matchless institution, it planted an ever-growing tree of infinite virtue and invaluable products. Here is an explanation of the spiritual meaning of the Islamic Fasting: 1. It teaches man the principle of sincere Love: because when he observes Fasting he does it out of deep love for God. And the man who loves God truly is a man who really knows what love is. 2. It equips man with a creative sense of hope and an optimistic outlook on life; because when he fasts he is hoping to please God and is seeking His Grace. 3. It imbues in man the genuine virtue of effective devotion, honest dedication and closeness to God; because when he fasts he does so for God and for His sake alone. 4. It cultivates in man a vigilant and sound conscience; because the fasting person keeps his fast in secret as well as in public. In fasting, especially, there is no authority to check man's behavior or compel him to observe fasting. He keeps it to please God and satisfy his own conscience by being faithful in secret and in public. There is no better way to cultivate a sound conscience in man. 5. It indoctrinates man in patience and selflessness, as through fasting, he feels the pains of deprivation but he endures them patiently.
6. It is an effective lesson in applied moderation and willpower. 7. Fasting also provides man with a transparent soul, a clear mind and a light body. 8. It enables man to master the art of Mature Adaptability. We can easily understand the point once we realize that fasting makes man change the entire course of his daily life. 9. It grounds man in discipline and healthy survival. 10. It originates in man the real spirit of social belonging, unity and brotherhood, of equality before God as well as before the law. 11. It is a Godly prescription for self-reassurance and selfcontrol. Fasting Ramadan is obligatory on every responsible and fit Muslim. But there are other times when it is recommended to make voluntary fasting, after the Traditions of Prophet Muhammad. Among these times are Mondays and Thursdays of every week, a few days of each month in the two months the coming of Ramadan, i.e., Rajab and Sha'ban, six days after Ramadan following the 'Eid-ul-Fitr Day. Besides, it is always compensating to fast any day of any month of the year, except the 'Eid Days and Fridays when no Muslim should fast. However, we may repeat that the only obligatory fasting is that of Ramadan - which may be 29 or 30 days, depending on the moon's positions. This is a pillar of Islam, and any failure to observe it without reasonable excuses is a grave sin in the sight of God. Who Must Fast? Fasting Ramadan is compulsory upon every Muslim, male or female, who has these qualifications: 1. To be mentally and physically fit, this means to be sane and able.
2. To be of full age, the age of puberty and discretion, this is normally about fourteen. Children under this age should be encouraged to start this good practice on easy levels, so when they reach the age of puberty they will be mentally and physically prepared to observe fasting. 3. To be present at one's permanent settlement, your home town, one's farm, and one's business premises, etc. This means not to be on a journey of about fifty miles or more. 4. To be fairly certain that fasting is unlikely to cause you any harm, physical or mental, other than the normal reactions to hunger, thirst, etc. Exemption From Fasting: These said qualifications exclude the following categories: 1. Children under the age of puberty . 2. Insane people who are unaccountable for their deeds. People of these two categories are exempted from the duty of fast, and no compensation or any other substitute is enjoined on them. 3. Men and women who are too old and feeble to undertake the obligation of fast and bear its hardships. Such people are exempted from this duty, but they must offer, at least, one needy poor Muslim an average full meal or its value per person per day. 4. Sick people whose health is likely to be severely affected by the observance of fast. They may postpone the fast, as long as they are sick, to a later date and make up for it, a day for a day. 5. Travelers may break the fast temporarily during their travel only and make up for it in later days, a day for a day 6. Pregnant and women feeding their children may also break the fast, if its observance is likely to endanger their own health or that of their infants. But they must make up for the fast at a delayed time, a day for a d
It should be understood that here, like in all other Islamic undertakings, the intention must be made clear that this action is undertaken in obedience to God, in response to His command and out of love of Him. The fast of any day of Ramadan becomes void by intentional eating or drinking or smoking , and by allowing anything to enter through the mouth into the interior parts of the body. And if this is done deliberately without any lawful reason, this is a major sin which only renewed repentance can expiate. If anyone, through forgetfulness, does something that would ordinarily break the fast, observance is not nullified, and his fast stands valid, provided he stops doing that thing the moment he realizes what he is doing. On completion of the fast of Ramadan, the special charity known as Sadagat-ul-Fitr (charity of ' Fast-breaking) must be distributed before 'Eid-ul-Fitr (approximately). General Recommendations: It is strongly recommended by Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h to observe these practices especially during Ramadan: 1. To have a light meal before the break of the dawn, known as Suhoor. 2. To eat a few dates or start breaking the fast by plain water right after sunset, saying this prayer Allah humma laka sumna, wa 'ala rizqika aftarna. (O God! for Your sake have we fasted and now we break the fast with the food You have given us). 3. To make your meals as light as possible because, as the Prophet put it, the worst thing man can fill is his stomach. 4. To observe the supererogatory prayer known as Taraweeh. 5. To exchange social visits and intensify humanitarian services. 6. To increase the study and recitation of the Qur'an.
7. To exert the utmost in patience and humbleness. 8. To be extraordinarily cautious in using one's senses, one's mind and, especially, the tongue; to abstain from careless gossip and avoid all suspicious motions.
Zakat in Islam.
Meaning of Zakat:
Linguistically, ZAKAT has two meanings: purification and growth. Technically, it means to purify one's possession of wealth by distributing a prescribed amount to the poor, the indigent, the slaves or captives, and the wayfarer. Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam. It has been mentioned, along with daily Prayers (Salaat / Namaz), over seventy times in the Quran. Allah's word commanding ".....and establish regular Salaat and GIVE regular Zakat....." are referred to in many parts of the Quran. From this we can conclude that after Salaat, Zakat is the most important act in Islam. Just as Salaat is the most important act of worship which has to be performed bodily, so is Zakat the main act of worship which has to be performed monetarily. Those who fulfill this duty have been promised abundant reward in this world and hereafter. Whoever evades Zakat has been warned in the Qur'an and Hadith of the consequences. There are many major
benefits of giving Zakat: ď‚ˇ
It reminds Muslims of the fact that whatever wealth they may possess is due to the blessings of Allah and as such it is to be spent according to the His commands. Zakat functions as a social security for all. Those who have enough money today pay for what they have. If they need money tomorrow they will get what is necessary to help them live decently.
Zakat payer pays his dues to Allah as an act of worship, a token of submission and an acknowledgment of gratitude. The receiver of Zakat receives it as a grant from Allah out of His bounty, a favor for which he is thankful to Allah. Economically, Zakat is the best check against hoarding. Those who do not invest their wealth but prefer to save or hoard it would see their wealth dwindling year after year at the rate of the payable Zakat. This helps increase production and stimulates supply because it is a redistribution of income that enhances the demand by putting more real purchasing power in the hands of poor.
Zakat is obligatory upon a person if:
He or she is an adult, sane, free and Muslim. He/she must possess wealth in excess of specified minimum (Nisaab) excluding his or her personal needs (clothing, household furniture, utensils, cars etc. are termed article of personal needs). It should be possessed for a complete lunar year. It should be of productive nature from which one can derive profit or benefit such as merchandise for business, gold, silver, livestock etc.
The amount of wealth which makes one liable for Zakat is called Nisaab. The Nisaab as fixed by Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) is as follows Gold 87.48 Gram 7.50Tolas 1350 Grains . Silver 612.36Gram 52.50Tolas 9450 Grains. Nisaab of cash, stock or bonds, other cash assets is the equivalent amount of Gold or Silver. Nisaab is calculated by adding up the cash value of all the assets such as gold, silver, currency etc. and if it is equal TO or in excess of the minimum Nisaab as specified in HUM110
the above table, the Zakat is due at the rate of 2.5%. The payment of Zakat is compulsory on the excess wealth or effects which is equal to or exceeds the value of Nisaab, and which is possessed for a full Islamic year. If such wealth decreases during the course of the year and increases again to the value of Nisaab before the end of the year, the Zakat then must be calculated on the full amount that is possessed at the end of the year. TYPES OF WEALTH ON WHICH ZAKAT IS IMPOSED: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Gold and silver, in any form. Cash, bank notes, stocks, bonds etc. Merchandise for business, equal to the value of Nisaab. Live stock. On income derived from rental business.
DISTRIBUTION OF ZAKAT: 1. Zakat should be given as soon as possible after it becomes due. 2. All of the Zakat can be given to one person or to several persons. 3. A poor man cannot be paid for his work from Zakat nor can Zakat be given in payment of services, except to the people appointed by the Islamic government to collect Zakat. 4. Zakat will only be valid if the recipient is made the owner of that amount. If, for example, a few needy persons are fed a meal from Zakat money, then Zakat will not be fulfilled as they were not made owners of the food. 5. Zakat cannot be given for the construction of Masjid, Madrasah, Hospital, a well, a bridge or any other public amenity. 6. Zakat can be paid in kind from the same merchandise on which it is due, or alternatively, it could be paid in cash.
TYPES OF WEALTH ON WHICH ZAKAT IS NOT IMPOSED: 1. On any metals other than gold or silver. 2. Fixtures and fittings of a shop, car, trucks or any delivery vehicle etc., which is used in running business. 3. Diamonds, pearls, other precious or semi precious stones which are for personal use. 4. There is no Zakat on personal residence, household furniture, pots and pan, personal clothing, whether they are in use or not. 5. There is no Zakat on a person, whose liabilities exceed or equal his assets. (Home Mortgage in this country is not to be counted as personal liability for the Zakat purpose). RECIPIENTS OF ZAKAT: The recipients of Zakat, according to Quran are as follows: "Alms are for the poor and the needy, and those employed to administer (the funds); for those whose hearts have been (recently) reconciled (to truth); for those in bondage and in debt; and for the wayfarer: (Thus is it) ordained by Allah, and Allah is full of Knowledge and Wisdom." (Quran 9:60) 1. FUQARA: people who are poor and who possess more than their basic needs but do not possess wealth equal to Nisaab. 2. MASAKEEN: people who are destitute and extremely needy to the extent they are forced to beg for their daily food rations. 3. AL-AMILEEN: people appointed by an Islamic Government to collect Zakat. 4. MU-ALLAFATUL-QULUB: persons who have recently accepted Islam and are in need of basic necessities who would benefit from encouragement by Muslims which would help strengthen their faith.
5. AR-RIQAAB: slaves who are permitted to work for remuneration and have an agreement from their masters to purchase their freedom on payment of fixed amounts. 6. AL-GHAARIMEEN: persons who have a debt and do not possess any other wealth or goods with which they could repay that which they owe. It is conditional that this debt was not created for any un-Islamic purpose. 7. FI-SABILILLAH: persons who have to carry out an obligatory deed which has become obligatory on them and subsequently (due to loss of wealth) are unable to complete that obligation. 8. IBN-US-SABEEL: persons who are travelers and during the course of their journey do not possess basic necessities, though they are well to do at home. They could be given Zakat in order to fulfill travel needs to return home. PERSONS WHO CANNOT BE GIVEN ZAKAT: 1. Zakat cannot be given to the descendants of Muhammad (P.B.U.H); 2. Zakat cannot be given to parents and grandparents. In the same manner one's children and grandchildren cannot be given Zakat. A husband and wife cannot give Zakat to each other. VIRTUES OF ZAKAT: Allah says in the Quran: "The parable of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is that of a grain of corn. It grows seven ears and each ear has hundred grains. Allah increases manifold to whom He pleases." (Quran 2:261) It is stated in the Hadith that by giving Zakat the following benefits are derived: 1. Gain the pleasure of Allah. 2. Increase in wealth and protection from losses. 3. Allah's forgiveness and blessings. 4. Protection from the wrath of Allah and from a bad death. HUM110
5. A shelter on the Day of Judgment; 6. Security from seventy misfortunes. THE PUNISHMENT FOR NOT GIVING ZAKAT: Allah says in the Quran: "And there are those who hoard gold and silver and do not spend it in the way of Allah, announce to them a most grievous penalty (when) on the Day of Judgment heat will be produced out of that wealth in the fire of Hell. Then with it they will be branded on their forehead and their flanks and backs. (It will be said to them) This is the treasure which you hoarded for yourselves, taste then the treasure that you have been hoarding." (Al-Quran 9:34-35)
Ihram: Ihram is the intention of the person willing to perform all rites of 'Umrah or Hajj . Each direction coming into Makkah has its own Miqat. It is recommended that the one who intends to perform Hajj makes Ghusl (a shower with the intention to purify one's self), perfumes his body, but not his garments, and puts on a two piece garment with no headgear. One piece to cover the upper part of the body, and the second to cover the lower part. For a woman the Ihram is the same except that she should not use perfumes at all and her dress should cover the whole body decently, leaving the hands and the face uncovered. Talbeyah: It is recommended to repeat the well known supplication of Hajj, called Talbeyah, as frequently as possible from the time of Ihram till the time of the first stoning of Jamrat Al-Aqabah in Mina. Men are recommended to utter the Talbeyah aloud while women are to say it quietly. Talbeyah is : "Labbayka Allahumma Labbayk. Labbayka La Shareeka Laka Labbayk. Inna-alhamda Wan-ntimata Laka Walmulk. La Shareek Lak." (Here I am at your service. O my Lord, here I am. Here I am. No partner do You have. Here I am. Truly, the praise and the provisions are Yours, and so is the dominion. No partner do You have.) Tawaf: When a Muslim arrives to Makkah, he should make Tawaf around the Ka'bah, as a gesture of greeting Masjid Al-Haraam. This is done by circling the Ka'bah seven times in the counterclockwise direction, starting from the black stone with Takbeer and ending each circle at the Black Stone with Takbeer, keeping the Ka'bah to one's left. Then the pilgrim goes to Maqam Ibrahim (Ibrahim's HUM110
Station), and performs two rak'ah behind it, close to it if possible, but away from the path of the people making Tawaf. In all cases one should be facing the Ka'bah when praying behind Maqam Ibrahim. Sa'i: Sai is a walk between the mountains of SAFA and MARVA .Its obligatory in hajj and if some one has the intention of Umrah his umrah is completed with this obligation. Stay at Arafat : On the 9th day of Thul-Hijjah, the Day of Arafat, the pilgrims stay in Arafat until sunset. The pilgrims pray Dhuhr and Asr at Arafat, shortened and combined during the time of Dhuhr to save the rest of the day for glorifying Allah and for supplication asking forgiveness. A pilgrim should make sure that he is within the boundaries of Arafat, not necessarily standing on the mountain of Arafat. Stoning Jamrat Al-Aqabah : When the pilgrims arrive at Mina, they go to Jamrat Al-Aqabah where they stone with seven pebbles glorifying Allah "Allah-u Akbar" at each throw and calling on Him to accept their Hajj. Sacrifice : After stoning Jamrat Al-Aqabah, the pilgrim goes to slaughter his sacrifice either personally or through the appointment of somebody else to do it on his behalf. A pilgrim should slaughter either a sheep, or share a cow or a camel with six others.
Shaving the head or trimming the hair The final rite on the tenth day after offering his sacrifice is to shave one's head or to cut some of the hair. Shaving the head is, however, preferable for it was reported that the Prophet p b u h prayed three times for those who shaved their heads, when he said: "May Allah's Mercy be upon those who shaved their heads." Bukhari and Muslim. For women, the length of hair to be cut is that of a finger tip. Farewell Tawaf : Farewell Tawaf is the final rite of Haj. It is to make another Tawaf around the Ka'bah. Types of Hajj: 1. Hajj Mufrad:All conditions of the Hajj Mufrad are same as described above. One enters into the state of Ihram for Hajj only and no Umra is performed before Hajj. 2. Hajj Tamattu :This is Hajj when Umra is performed before the Hajj. The pilgrim removes Ihram for Umra on the 8th of Dul Hajj and re-enters into the state of Ihram again for Hajj. 3. Hajj Qiran: In this Hajj, the pilgrim enters into the state of Ihram for both Umra and the Hajj at one time.
DEEN Allah (swt) says: (The “deen” (religion) before Allah (accepted by Allah) is Islam.) [Qur’an 3:19] The word “deen” and the word Islam were mentioned many times in the Qur’an, The word “deen” is used in the Arabic language to give different meanings, most importantly are: 1-Subjugation, authority, and ruling a. Allah (swt) subjugated people to obey him. Subjugated here is a literal translation of the word “deen”. b. Allah (swt) has authority over people. “Authority” here is another literal translation of the word “deen.” 2-Obedience and submission due to subjugation. 3-The method and the habit. 4-Punishment, reward and judgment. These four linguistic meanings constitute the concept of the word “deen” in the Qur’an. Therefore, “deen” implies a comprehensive system of life that is composed of four parts: 1-The ruler ship and the authority belong to Allah (swt) only. 2-The obedience and submission are to Allah (swt). 3-The comprehensive system (intellectual and practical) is HUM110
established by this authority (Allah). 4-The reward given by this authority (Allah) to those who followed the system and submitted to him and the punishment inflicted upon those who rebel against it and disobey it. Based on this definition of “deen”, we can conclude that it is a submission, and worship by man for the creator, the ruler, the subjugator in a comprehensive system of life with all its belief, intellectual, moral and practical aspects. After understanding this definition of the Arabic word “deen”, we realize that it is not correct to translate it into English using the word “religion". Definition of Shariah: Definition of scholars. Shariah is 1:scholarly opinions based on Quran and Sunnah. 2:Khurram Murad suggests that Deen and Shariah are synonymous. However, it is also equivalent to "Islamic Law" 3: by Khurram Murad suggests that Shariah is "eternal". Also, "equally valid for all circumstances. 4: Qutb suggests that Shariah includes EVERY aspect of our lives. 5: Qaradawi suggests Shariah is comprehensive; uses law interchangeably with Shariah; considers "eternal" 6: by various sources suggest an equivalence between Shariah and Islamic Law.) HUM110
Basic sources of sharia The meaning of Shariah ; In literal meaning Shariah signifies: “Wide, Lightened and Straight Path”, In technical term it embodies the laws and orders ordained by Allah Almighty, through his Prophets. All Prophets came with one Deen but different Shariahs. Islamic shariah is the last and for all times to come. “And unto thee have We revealed the scripture with the truth confirming whatever scripture was before it and a watcher over it so judge between them by that which Allah hath revealed and follow not their desire away from the truth which hath come unto thee” (Almaida 48) The Function of Shariah: Shariah is 1. To promote “ma-arofat”; Wajbat, Matlobat, Mubah 2. To prohibit from Munkrat ;Haram, Makroh. 1. Primary sources of Islamic law Ø Quran Ø Sunnah 2. Dependent sources of Islamic Law Ø Ijma Ø Qyas Ø Ijtahad. 1:Quran: Introduction: It is the book lying down the basic framework and out lines related to all kind of laws. The regulations HUM110
and legal orders and Laws are mainly referred to in Sura Al-Baqra, Alnisa, Al’e Imran,Al-Maida,AlTalaq,and Bani Israil but it is not restricted to any specific part or Surahh. Important Characteristics of Quran as main source of law ; Ø Quran is the Constitution It has same supremacy over general laws and other sources which a constitution has over general laws. Ø Flexibility Ø Unalterable Nature of Quran. THE QURAN AS SOURCE OF SHARIAH: The Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet (pbuh) gradually, over 23 years. The essence of its message is to establish the oneness of God and the spiritual and moral need of man for God. This need is fulfilled through worship and submission, and has ultimate consequences in the Hereafter. The Qur’an is the word of God. Because of its inimitable style and eloquence, and, above all, the guidance and legal provisions it came with, it ensures the worldly and next-worldly welfare of humanity. God Most High said, “Verily, this Qur’an guides to that which is best, and gives glad tidings to the believers who do good that theirs will be a great reward.” (Qur’an, 17: 9) And, “There has come unto HUM110
you light from God and a clear Book, whereby God guides those who seek His good pleasure unto paths of peace. He brings them out of darkness unto light by His decree, and guides them unto a straight path.â€? (Qurâ€™an, 5: 15) 2: Sunnah Meaning: literal; way path, Road Term; practices and words of the Holly Prophet (PBUH) 24. SUNNAH AS A SOURCE: The Sunnah is the second source of Islamic law. Sunnah is an Arabic word which means "Method". It was applied by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as a legal term to represent what he said, did and agreed to. Its authority is derived from the text of the Quran. The Quran says, "For you the life of the Prophet is a model of behaviour" (33:21). Many books of traditions were compiled by the companions of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.). These were later on incorporated in the great collections of Hadith (i.e. traditions) Books of Bukhari, Muslim etc. The collectors of traditions adopted a very scientific system in collecting the Traditions. They did not record any tradition except with the chain of narrators. Every tradition gives the name of the last HUM110
narrator of the tradition from whom he learnt the tradition and so on back to the Prophet or Companion of the Prophet. The Sunnah, which is established through reliable narrators, is fully dependable as legal element. The Quran and the Sunnah are complimentary. The meaning of the Quran is general in nature, the Sunnah makes it specific and particular. The Sunnah explains the instructions of the Quran. The Quranic injunction is sometimes implicit, the Sunnah makes it explicit by providing essential ingredients and details. The Quran and the Sunnah are the primary sources of Islamic law. Ijma (that is consensus of opinion of scholars) and Qiyas (that is laws derived through analogical deduction) are the secondary or dependent sources of Islamic law or Shariah. 3: IJMA (CONSENSUS) Ijma or the consensus of scholars signifies the importance of delegated legislation to the Muslim community. The Muslim society requires such a rule making power to meet the practical problems for implementation of Islamic Shariah (Islamic Law). Ijma has been technically defined as the consensus of the jurists of a certain period over a religious matter. Ijma is considered a sufficient evidence for action because the Prophet of Islam said, "Muslim (majority or main body) will never agree on a wrong mailer". As such the agreement of the scholars of HUM110
Islam on any religious matter is a source of law in Islam (Ref: Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence by M. Hashim Kamali). 4:QIYAS Qiyas is the fourth important source of Islamic law. Qiyas means analogy. Qiyas or analogy is resorted to in respect of problems about which there is no specific provision in the Quran or the Sunnah of the Prophet. In such issues the scholars have derived law through analogical deduction on the basis of the provisions of the Quran and the Sunnah on some similar situation. The scholars have developed detailed principles of analogical deductions or Qiyas in the books of Islamic jurisprudence. 5:IJTIHAD. Qiyas is a kind of Ijtihad. The Prophet has permitted Ijtihad that literally means 'to exert'. Technically it means to exert with a view to form an independent judgement on a legal issue. ljtihad is the Islamic method of facing the new situations and problems in the light of the general principles of the book of Allah (SWT), the Quran and the traditions of the Prophet or the Sunnah. Apart from Qiyas, there are other methods of Ijtihad such as Istihsan (that is juristic preference from different interpretations) and Masalaha (that is moral consideration).
In addition to the above sources, the practices of the Khulafa-e-Rashidun (first four rulers of Islam), the decisions of the judges and the customs of the people are also considered sources of Islamic law in matters which are not spelled out in the Quran and the Sunnah. The Nature of Islamic Law Islamic law, known as the shari 'ah, is the framework of ultimate reality and the ethical guidance that Muslim scholars have derived from the direct Revelation of Allah to man. Although Allah reveals the pattern of ultimate truth indirectly through the workings of the physical universe and in the observable nature of man, the ultimate source of knowledge about both physical and metaphysical reality and therefore the ultimate source of the shari'ah - is the Qur'an. This divine text was revealed directly in human language to the Prophet Muhammad (saws), and is exemplified in the sunnah, which reports the Prophet's understanding of this Final Revelation as shown through his words and deeds. All Revelation to the Jewish Prophets (saws) and to Jesus (saws) is binding on Muslims unless specifically abrogated in the Qur'an. The shari'ah is a specific form of the sharh' or path to God which the Qur'an states was revealed to all the prophets of the Abrahamic succession. Since the major purpose of Islamic law is to guide man's search for truth, shari'ah touches on both transcendent and material experience. All aspects of every person's spiritual understandings and undertakings, which come under the rubric of purification, or tazki 'yah, should be consciously subject to the reality-check of Islamic law. This deeply spiritual nature of the shari' ah provides the perspective for understanding and acting in accordance with the ethical or moral standards that the creator has provided to guide HUM110
every person's and cornmunity's relations with other humans and with the rest of Creation. The shari'ah therefore provides the ultimate criteria for judgment on every aspect of one's individual and social life. Ethics and Morality in Islam: The Definition of Morality: The term “morality” can be used either 1. Descriptively to refer to a code of conduct put forward by a society or some other group, such as a religion, or accepted by an individual for his own behavior. 2. Normatively to refer to a code of conduct that, given specified conditions, would be put forward by all rational persons. The Holy Qur’ân has repeatedly drawn our attention to Divine laws of nature because the source and origin of these laws are the Divine attributes which are a prerequisite for making a human being into a moral being, so that he should, as far as his human limitations allow, make the Divine Character, The whole of the Holy Qur’ân is full with moral teachings, and the entire canvas of the Divine plan of human existence on earth is under its perview. If we analyze its moral code we would find in it a world of personal ethics, family morals, social morals, business, political ethics, and literary ethics (e.g. 2:177-209; 2:215-242). In short there is not an aspect of human actions, psychological conditions, circumstances, rights, excellence and etiquette which has been left out of the Qur'ânic moral teachings. Importance of morality: HUM110
One of the most important aspects of a Muslim's life is for him to have a high standard of morals. Since the beginning of Islam, Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) was mainly concerned with teaching and disciplining Muslims to have the best manners and the best personal characteristics. His personal life and behavior were reflective of his teachings, which were revealed to him by Allah (S.W.T.). In the Noble Qur'an , in surat Al-Qalam, Allah (S.W.T.) describes prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) saying: “And verily, you (O Muhammad) are on an exalted standard of character.” (Verse 4) The prophet's (S.A.W.) high standard of manners made him a model for all Muslims to follow. The prophet (S.A.W.) used to emphasize how important good manners are for Muslims. For example, Imams Bukhari and Muslim reported that the prophet mentioned the following:
“The best of you is the best among you in conduct.” In another authentic narration, the prophet (S.A.W.) mentioned that: “The heaviest thing to be placed in the balance of a believing slave on the Day of Judgment will be good behavior. And Allah hates the one who uses bad language.”
Someone once asked the prophet (S.A.W.) what deed would lead a man to paradise, and he answered: “Taqwa of Allah (piety) and good conduct.” In other hadiths the prophet (S.A.W.) made distinctions among Muslims based on their behaviors; the prophet (S.A.W.) said:
“The most perfect man in his faith, among the believers, is the one whose behavior is the most excellent; and the best of you are those who are the best to their wives.”
He even clarified that people will be on different levels in Paradise based on their good manners saying: “The dearest and nearest among you to me on the Day of Resurrection will be the one who is the best in conduct…” Ethical system of Islam is different from other ethical systems today. Unlike other systems, the ethical system in Islam derives from a divine source. This divine source is the revelation from Allah (S.W.T). Therefore, this system cannot be changed, or manipulated to fit our desires. It applies no matter what the time or place. This system has not been changed for thousands of years, it cannot be changed today, and it will never change until the Day of Judgment. No one, no matter who has the authority to change or alter this system, even if the whole world wants to change it. What was considered good morals in the past will remain as good moral throughout time. What was considered, as bad moral in the past will remain as bad morals forever, even if society accepts it as a norm. The system of ethics is not affected by cultural norms, because Allah (S.W.T) is the One who determined what is acceptable and not acceptable. The Noble Qur'an is very detailed and clearly mentions the significance of good manners, just like it mentions the importance of belief, the importance of worship, and all our daily affairs. The Noble Qur'an mentions several good acts of morality repeatedly, for example:
Dealing with your parents in the best manner Being nice to your relatives and neighbors Taking care of orphans and the poor Telling the truth and being honest Being sincere in all of your intentions
Fulfilling your promises Treating all people fairly
The Noble Quran goes as far as to teach us the way that we should walk. Allah (S.W.T.) says, in surat Luqman “And, be moderate in your walking.” (Verse 19), and in surat Al-Furqan, Allah (S.W.T.) says “ And the servants of the most Beneficent (Allah) are those who walk on the earth in modesty.” (Verse 63), and also, in surat Al-Isra', Allah (S.W.T.) “And walk not on earth with conceit and arrogance. Verily, you can neither slit nor penetrate the earth, nor can you attain a stature like the mountains in height.” (Verse 37) The Noble Qur'an also teaches us the way we should behave in a gathering, Allah (S.W.T.) says, in surat Al-Mujadilah“O you who believe! When you are told to make room in assemblies do so, Allah will provide enough room for you.” (Verse 11) And unlike other ethical systems, Islam's moral system is a very detailed and complete package. Islam addresses every aspect of human life, no matter how minor. It is a complete package—it does not lack anything that needs to be completed nor does it have any defects that need to be amended. It even guides us on the treatment of animals. The prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said:
“Fear Allah when you treat the animals, take care of them, keep them in good health no matter whether you ride on them or are raising them for their meat.” In another hadith, the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said: “… when you slaughter an animal, make your slaughter in the best manner. Let one of you sharpen his knife and give ease to the animal (in order to reduce the pain).”
In short, forbearance, honesty, truthfulness, steadfastness, contentment, self-control, bravery, chastity, all these are moral qualities of high values, yet these become a part of the list of good moral qualities only if they are free of all ill-intentions. First moral duty: Honesty: Islam orders the Muslim to be honest to him self and others. This order repeatedly comes in the Noble Qur'an and the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (SAWS). Islam orders the Muslim to tell the truth even if it is against the teller's interest. Orders him not to cheat or deceive other people. A Muslim is ordered by Allah to be honest in his words and deeds, privately and publicly alike. Implication of Honesty : Honesty in words implies telling the truth in all cases and under all conditions. Honesty also implies fulfilling the promise, whether written or given orally, in text and spirit. Honesty also implies giving the right advice to the one who asks for it. Honesty also implies doing one's work as sincerely and as perfectly as possible. Honesty also implies carrying out duties as fully as possible whether the person is supervised or not. Honesty means giving every person his due rights without his asking for these rights. Honesty means doing the right thing in the right way at the right time. Honesty means objectivity in judgment, objectivity in evaluation, and objectivity in decisions of all types. Honesty implies the right selection of personnel and the right promotion of personnel, i.e., selection by merit and promotion by merit, not by temper or favouritism or personal relations. HUM110
Honesty is a blanket term that covers a wide range of traits. It covers telling the truth, sincerity in work, carrying out duties, fulfilling one's word, objective judgments, and objective decisions. Honesty is the opposite of lying, the opposite of bluffing, the opposite of hypocrisy, the opposite of favoritism, and the opposite of deceit. External and Internal Honesty: By external honesty means honesty, which is judged by other people and internal honesty means honesty which is judged by the person himself alone. The reward of external honesty comes from Allah, from people, and from the psychological satisfaction the honest person feels. When you are honest, you are liked by God and people whom you deal with. Your honesty gives you the social approval you need and here comes the social value of honesty. Further, when everybody is honest, a great deal of human problems disappears including lying, cheating, bluffing, stealing, forgery, and many other social diseases. In other words, honesty is something you give and something you take: others enjoy your honesty and you enjoy their honesty. In the absence of honesty, many social diseases appear. If a person is dishonest, he is ready to tell lies, to bribe, to be bribed, to distort the truth, to cheat, to forge, to deceive others, and to break his promises. A dishonest person is a totality of diseases. He is ready to misbehave at any time. Each time he misbehaves, he causes a great disturbance or harm to one person or to a group of persons or to the whole nation, in some cases. Internal Honesty: Thus honesty is a factor in the psychological health of the honest person himself and the health of other persons whom he deals with. However, Islam emphasises internal honesty, HUM110
i.e., honesty which is judged by the person himself and cannot be seen by other people. It often happens that a person acts privately. Sometimes we act with nobody seeing us. A believer in Allah feels that although no person is watching him, Allah is watching. This continuous watch of Allah develops the concept of internal honesty or conscience in the believer. This means that internal honesty becomes an overall strategy of the believer. The Muslim is to be honest, internally and externally, privately and publicly, whether observed by other people or not, whether he acts or speaks. This overall honesty makes the Muslim confident of himself, of his behaviour, and of his words and deeds. Honesty makes the person feel that he trusts others and is trusted by others. This mutual confidence makes the believer feel self-satisfied and socially secure. Honesty implies unity of behaviour, unity of standards, and integrity of personality. Honesty implies being away from internal conflicts, social conflicts and self-contradiction. Building Honesty : The important question, however, is this: how does Islam build honesty in the Muslim? Islam builds ethical qualities in general and honesty in particular in several ways: 1. Instructions. Allah orders the Muslim to be honest in all cases, in all deeds and words, to himself and others. 2. Reason. Allah shows the Muslim rationally that honesty is the best policy, even on utilitarian bases. 3. Reward. Allah promises the honest person generous rewards in the first life and in the second life. HUM110
4. Punishment. Allah threatens the dishonest person with severe punishment for his dishonest behaviour. 5. Practice. Allah develops the habit of honesty in the Muslim through actual practice, i.e., through fasting and prayer. Thus Islam builds the habit of honesty in the Muslim through direct instructions, through rational arguments, through the reward and punishment principles, and through practice.
“And indeed you are of a great moral character” (Surah Al-Qalam68: 4). Truthfulness comes at the top of the list of morals and Allah considered it to be the foundation for all principles. Truthfulness, besides being an honorable trait, is a necessity in all our public lives and perhaps it is the greatest gate to happiness of individuals as well as their entire communities. For example, when one wishes to make a purchase, they will look for a salesperson that is known for their honesty. The most just and accurate scale of measuring a nation’s advancement is in the truthfulness of its people, whether in words or deeds. It is a major crisis when trust is lost and this occurs when people are dishonest in their dealings with one another. When this happens, lying spreads among the people – lying in words, deeds and intentions. It is no surprise that Islamic law opposes and prohibits lying and exalts truthfulness; it frequently mentions truthfulness as a pre-condition for piety. Allah has decreed that truthfulness leads to piety, so whoever loses their truthfulness will in turn lose their piety. Allah says: “O’you who have believed, fear Allah and be with those who are true.” (Surah At-Tawbah9: 119). Allah praised Rasulullah (SAW) when Allah says: ق ععظظميمم عوإظنن ع ك لعععلعىى لخلل م “And indeed you are of a great moral character” (Surah AlQalam68: 4). It is an indication of the importance of having honorable morals, as well a confirmation of their lofty rank in the great Islamic structure. High morals are the protecting fortress which Muslims seek security in and Rasulullah (SAW) pointed to its importance when he said: “I was sent to perfect honorable morals.” Truthfulness comes at the top of the list of morals and Allah considered it to be the foundation for all principles. Truthfulness, besides being an honorable trait, is a necessity in all HUM110
our public lives and perhaps it is the greatest gate to happiness of individuals as well as their entire communities Islam considers truthfulness as the key to righteousness and lying as the key to evil, as Rasulullah (SAW) said: “Truthfulness leads to righteousness and righteousness leads to Paradise. Lying leads to evil and evil leads to the Hellfire” Lying is an evil deception as Rasulullah (SAW) said: “The greatest deception is to intentionally make your brother (in faith) believe something which you know to be false.” In fact, lying is one of the major signs of hypocrisy. Rasulullah (SAW) said: “The signs of a hypocrite are three: When he speaks he lies, when he promises he is unfaithful and when he is entrusted he betrays”. Lying cannot be a characteristic that a Muslim possesses Rasulullah (SAW) said: “A Muslim can have any characteristic except lying and betrayal” and when Rasulullah (SAW) was asked whether a believer can lie or not he answered, “No”. This answer should terrify those who care for their religion and dignity provided that they have any faith and manhood in them in the first place. Lying is cowardliness, degradation and a transgression of the boundaries of Allah. The one who practices this evil act is deserving of the curse of Allah and deprivation of His mercy. Fulfilment of promise in islam: One of the virtues talked about in the Holy Quran is Keeping of the Promise or Covenant. It has been mentioned as one of the special and distinct features of the faithful Mo-mineen. Breaking of promise or breach of a covenant has been called therein as one of the habits of the polytheist Mushrikeen and hypocrite Munafeqeen. It is important to know that not keeping the word or breaking of promise or trust is one of the offences that break the HUM110
relation of confidence and trust in the society and thus its foundation. Fulfilling a promise, besides being an Islamic right, is also a human right. The Fulfillment of Promises in Quran: Allah says: “And fulfill (every) covenant. Verily! The covenant will be questioned about.” (Surah Isrâ 17:34) “And fulfill the Covenant of Allah (Bai`ah: pledge for Islam) when you have covenanted.”(Surah Nahl 16:91) “O you who believe! Fulfill (your) obligations.” (Surah Maeda 5:1) “O you who believe! Why do you say that which you do not do? Most hateful it is with Allah that you say that which you do not do.” (Surah Saff 61:2, 3)
Accodring to Hadith: Abu Hurairah (RA) reported: Rasulullah (SAW) said “Three are the signs of a hypocrite: When he speaks, he lies; when he makes a promise, he breaks it; and when he is trusted, he betrays his trust.” (Al-Bukhari) Another narration adds the words: “Even if he observes Saum (fasts), performs Salaat (prayer) and claims to be a Muslim.” Its repetition here is meant to stress the point that a hypocrite is recognized by breaking his promise `Abdullah bin `Amr bin Al-`as (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "Four are the qualities which, when found in a person, make him a sheer hypocrite, and one who possesses one of them, possesses one characteristic of hypocrisy until he abandons it. These are: When he is entrusted with something, he betrays trust; when he speaks, HUM110
he lies; when he promises, he acts treacherously; and when he argues, he behaves in a very imprudent, insulting manner.'' [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]. Theologically speaking, a disagreement between heart and tongue - or word and deed - about the declaration of faith in Islam is defined as hypocrisy. In the lifetime of the Prophet (PBUH) there existed a group of hypocrites whose traits of characters have been outlined in Ahadith. Humanly it is not possible to perceive malice hidden in one's heart. Even Messenger of Allah (PBUH) hardly knew what lay in the hearts of people because, despite having the exalted status of Prophet Hood, he was fundamentally a human. Allah, however, had revealed hearts to him. But today, we have no error-free source to pick hypocrites from the ranks of believers. Quite naturally, we fall back on the Hadith which provides us definite symptoms of the character and manners of hypocrites so as to distinguish them from sincere Muslims.
Fundamental Human ;Rights in Islam The first thing that we find in Islam in this connection is that it lays down some rights for man as a human being. In other words it means that every man whether he belongs to this country or that, whether he is a believer or unbeliever, whether he lives in some forest or is found in some desert, whatever be the case, he has some basic human rights simply because he is a human being, which should be recognized by every Muslim. In fact it will be his duty to fulfill these obligations.
1. The Right to Life The first and the foremost basic right is the right to live and respect human life. The Holy Quran lays down: Whosoever kills a human being without (any reason like) man slaughter, or corruption on earth, it is as though he had killed all mankind ... (5:32) As far as the question of taking life in retaliation for murder or the question of punishment for spreading corruption on this earth is concerned, it can be decided only by a proper and competent court of law. If there is any war with any nation or country, it can be decided only by a properly established government. In any case, no human being has any right by himself to take human life in retaliation or for causing mischief on this earth. Therefore it is HUM110
incumbent on every human being that under no circumstances should he be guilty of taking a human life. If anyone has murdered a human being, it is as if he has slain the entire human race. These instructions have been repeated in the Holy Quran. 2. The Right to the Safety of Life: Immediately after the verse of the Holy Quran which has been mentioned in connection with the right to life, God has said: "And whoever saves a life it is as though he had saved the lives of all mankind" (5:32). There can be several forms of saving man from death. A man may be ill or wounded, irrespective of his nationality, race or color. If you know that he is in need of your help, then it is your duty that you should arrange for his treatment for disease or wound. If he is dying of starvation, then it is your duty to feed him so that he can ward off death. If he is drowning or his life is at stake, then it is your duty to save him. 3. The Right to a Basic Standard of Life: Speaking about the economic rights the Holy Quran enjoins upon its followers: And in their wealth there is acknowledged right for the needy and destitute. (51:19) The words of this injunction show that it is a categorical and un- qualified order. Furthermore this injunction was given in Makkah where there was no Muslim society in existence and where generally the Muslims had to come in contact with the population HUM110
of the disbelievers. Therefore the clear meaning of this verse is that anyone who asks for help and anyone who is suffering from deprivation has a right in the property and wealth of the Muslims; irrespective of the fact whether he belongs to this nation or to that nation, to this country or to that country, to this race or to that race. If you are in a position to help and a needy person asks you for help or if you come to know that he is in need, then it is your duty to help him. God has established his right over you, which you have to honor as a Muslim.
4. Individual's Right to Freedom: Islam has clearly and categorically forbidden the primitive practice of capturing a free man, to make him a slave or to sell him into slavery. On this point the clear and unequivocal words of the Prophet (S) are as follows: â€œThere are three categories of people against whom I shall myself be a plaintiff on the Day of Judgment. Of these three, one is he who enslaves a free man, then sells him and eats this moneyâ€? (alBukhari and Ibn Majjah). The words of this Tradition of the Prophet are also general, they have not been qualified or made applicable to a particular nation, race, country or followers of a particular religion. 5. The Right to Justice: This is a very important and valuable right which Islam has given to man as a human being. The Holy Quran has laid down: "Do not let your hatred of a
people incite you to aggression" (5:2). "And do not let ill-will towards any folk incite you so that you swerve from dealing justly. Be just; that is nearest to heedfulness" (5:8). Stressing this point the Quran again says: "You who believe stand steadfast before God as witness for (truth and) fairplay" (4:135). This makes the point clear that Muslims have to be just not only with ordinary human beings but even with their enemies. In other words, the justice to which Islam invites his followers is not limited only to the citizens of their own country, or the people of their own tribe, nation or race, or the Muslim community as a whole, but it is meant for all the human beings of the world. Muslims therefore, cannot be unjust to anyone. Their permanent habit and character should be such that no man should ever fear injustice at their hands, and they should treat every human being everywhere with justice and fairness. 6. Equality of Human Beings: Islam not only recognizes absolute equality between men irrespective of any distinction of color, race or nationality, but makes it an important and significant principle, a reality. The Almighty God has laid down in the Holy Quran: "O mankind, we have created you from a male and female." In other words all human beings are brothers to one another. They all are the descendants from one father and one mother. "And we set you up as nations and tribes so that you may be able to recognize each other" (49:13). This means that the division of human beings into
nations, races, groups and tribes is for the sake of distinction, so that people of one race or tribe may meet and be acquainted with the people belonging to another race or tribe and cooperate with one another. This division of the human race is neither meant for one nation to take pride in its superiority over others nor is it meant for one nation to treat another with contempt or disgrace, or regard them as a mean and degraded race and usurp their rights. "Indeed, the noblest among you before God are the most heedful of you" (49:13 This has been exemplified by the Prophet in one of his sayings thus: "No Arab has any superiority over a non-Arab, nor does a non-Arab have any superiority over an Arab. Nor does a white man have any superiority over a black man, or the black man any superiority over the white man. You are all the children of Adam, and Adam was created from clay" (al-Bayhaqi and al-Bazzaz). In this manner Islam established equality for the entire human race and struck at the very root of all distinctions based on colour, race, language or nationality.
Equality of Men and Woman in Islam, and their complementary nature to one another. In one sense, equality between men and women is possible and reasonable because they are both human, with similar souls, brains, hearts, lungs, limbs, etc. In another sense, equality between men and women is impossible HUM110
and an absurdity due to their natural differences in physical, mental, emotional and psychological qualities, inclinations and abilities. Between these two we must tread to illuminate how they are equal, and how they are complimentary. If total equality between all members of the same gender is impossible due to natural differences in strengths and other qualities, regardless of whether the gender is masculine or feminine, then it is definitely impossible between the two genders. Allah, the Exalted and Almighty, says in the Glorious Qur'an: (And of everything We have created pairs, that you may remember (the Grace of Allah).[51:49] Even atoms exhibit this dual quality with interrelated and complementary roles played by the positive and negative particles and ions, yet each is an integral part of the whole system of the so called binary basis of all life. The science of biology teaches us, all mammals have similar traits in their molecular and glandular structures that determine differences in gender. These basic physical, psychological and sexual traits have their definite effects on other spheres of life. It is natural for a man to need and find fulfillment with a woman and for a woman with a man, since they are created one from the other and for one another. They both are inseparably bound to each other. Neither can HUM110
they find fulfillment except when in the company of the other as legal and honorable mate and spouse, as Allah (The Almighty) says in His Majestic Book, the Qur'an, mentioned in the two verses cited in the preface: (O Mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honorable of you in the Sight of Allah is the believer who has Taqwa (piety and righteousness). Verily, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware.)[49:13] In many instances Islam treats women as equals to men. Some of them are given below. In the coming sections we will expand on these themes in various contexts throughout the book. 1) Eqaulity in Basic Humanity Both the male and the female are equal in terms of their humanity. Islam does not categorize women, for instance, as the source of evil in the world for some & original sin that caused Adam (Peace be Upon Him) to be dismissed from Paradise, or to be the cause of evil in the world by setting loose a Pandora's box of vices, as some other religious doctrines and fables teach. Allah, the Exalted and Almighty, states in the Glorious Qur'an: (O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him
(Adam) He created his wife (Eve), and from them both He created many men and women...) [75:36-40] Allah illustrated in the verses that He created both sexes from one single source. There is no difference between the two gender in terms of qualifications in humanity, and each complements the other as the two genders of the species. Islam has abolished and abrogated all the previous unjust laws that demoted women as inferior in quality and nature. The Prophet of Allah (Peace be Upon Him) said: Verily, women are the twin halves of men. [Abu Dawood #234 , Tirmidhi #113 & others] 2) Equality in Religious Obligations Equal religious duties and rituals are required from both women and men. Testimony of Faith (Shahaadah), Prayer (Salah), Obligatory Charity (Zakah), Fasting (Saum), and Pilgrimage (Hajj) are equally required of both genders. In some cases the requirements are a bit easier on women to alleviate their special cases of hardship. 3) Equality Punishments
Both males and females have similar rewards for obedience and penalties for disobedience in
this world and the Hereafter. As stated by Allah in the Glorious Qur'an: (Whoever does righteous acts, whether male or female, while he is a believer, verily, to him We will give a good life, and We shall pay them certainly a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do.)[16:97] 4) Equality in Preservation of Honor and Nobility Women have the same moral obligations and are entitled to the same general rights as men in guarding chastity, integrity and personal honor and respect, etc. No double standards are allowed. For instance, those who falsely accuse a chaste woman of adultery or fornication are publicly punished, just as if a man is slandered. Allah, the Exalted, states in the Glorious Qur'an: (And those who accuse chaste women, and produce not four witnesses, flog them with eighty lashes, and reject their testimony forever. Indeed, they are those who are disobedient to Allah.)[24:4] 5) Equality in Financial Property Ownership
Women are equally qualified and allowed to engage in financial dealings and property ownership. According to Islamic law women can own, buy, sell and undertake any financial transaction without the need for guardianship, and without any restrictions or limitations - a situation unheard of in many societies until modern times. HUM110
6) Equality Cultivation
Islam entitles women to the same rights as men in terms of education and cultivation. The Prophet of Allah (Peace be Upon Him) said, as reported and authenticated by the scholars of prophetic traditions: Seeking knowledge is compulsory for each and every Muslim (i.e. both male and female). [Ibn Majah #224 al-Baihaqi and verified] Muslim scholars collectively agreed that the word Muslim when used in revealed scriptures includes both male and female, as we indicated in parenthesis. Thus, Islam entitles women to the same right of education in order to understand the religious and social obligations, and obligated them both to raise their children in the best manner, in accordance with the right Islamic guidance. Of course women have certain obligations in bringing up their children that are commensurate to their abilities and men have complementary obligations to finance, protect and maintain according to their added responsibilities in the family unit. The Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) said: Whoever takes care of two girls until they reach puberty, he and I will come on the Day of Resurrection like this.â€? The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) then joined his fingers to illustrate this. [Muslim #2631] HUM110
About female slave girls, the Prophet of Allah (Peace be Upon Him) said: Whoever has a female child with him (under his guardianship from slavery), and trains her in the best behavior, and teaches her well, and then frees and marries her, will have a double reward. [Bukhari #97 & Muslim #154 ]
The Status of Woman in Islam from "Islam in focus" By Hammuda Abdul-Ati, PH.D.
The status of woman in Islam constitutes no problem. The attitude of the Qur'an and the early Muslims bear witness to the fact that woman is, at least, as vital to life as man himself, and that she is not inferior to him nor is she one of the lower species. Had it not been for the impact of foreign cultures and alien influences, this question would have never arisen among the Muslims. The status of woman was taken for granted to be equal to that of man. It was a matter of course, a matter of fact, and no one, then, considered it as a problem at all. In order to understand what Islam has established for woman, there is no need to deplore her plight in the pre-Islamic era or in the modern world of today. Islam has given woman rights and privileges which she has never enjoyed under other religious or constitutional systems. This can be understood HUM110
when the matter is studied as a whole in a comparative manner, rather than partially. The rights and responsibilities of a woman are equal to those of a man but they are not necessarily identical with them. Equality and sameness are two quite different things. This difference is understandable because man and woman are not identical but they are created equals. With this distinction in mind, there is no problem. It is almost impossible to find even two identical men or women. This distinction between equality and sameness is of paramount importance. Equality is desirable, just, fair; but sameness is not. People are not created identical but they are created equals. With this distinction in mind, there is no room to imagine that woman is inferior to man. There is no ground to assume that she is less important than he just because her rights are not identically the same as his. Had her status been identical with his, she would have been simply a duplicate of him, which she is not. The fact that Islam gives her equal rights - but not identical - shows that it takes her into due consideration, acknowledges her, and recognizes her independent personality. It is not the tone of Islam that brands woman as the product of the devil or the seed of evil. Nor does the Qur'an place man as the dominant lord of woman who has no choice but to surrender to his dominance. Nor was it Islam that introduced the question of whether or not woman has any soul in her. Never in the history of Islam has any Muslim doubted the human status of woman or her possession of soul and other fine spiritual qualities. Unlike other popular beliefs, Islam does not blame Eve alone for the First Sin. The Qur'an makes it very clear that both Adam and Eve were tempted; that they both sinned; that God's pardon was granted to both after their repentance; and that God addressed them jointly. (2:35-36); HUM110
7:19, 27; 20:117-123). In fact the Qur'an gives the impression that Adam was more to blame for that First Sin from which emerged prejudice against woman and suspicion of her deeds. But Islam does not justify such prejudice or suspicion because both Adam and Eve were equally in error, and if we are to blame Eve we should blame Adam as much or even more. The status of woman in Islam is something unique, something novel, and something that has no similarity in any other system. If we look to the Eastern Communist world or to the democratic nations, we find that woman is not really in a happy position. Her status is not enviable. She has to work so hard to live, and sometimes she may be doing the same job that a man does but her wage is less than his. She enjoys a kind of liberty which in some cases amounts to libertinism. To get to where she is nowadays, woman struggled hard for decades and centuries. To gain the right of learning and the freedom of work and earning, she had to offer painful sacrifices and give up many of her natural rights. To establish her status as a human being possessing a soul, she paid heavily. Yet in spite of all these costly sacrifices and painful struggles, she has not acquired what Islam has established by a Divine decree for the Muslim woman. The rights of woman of modern times were not granted voluntarily or out of kindness to the female. Modern woman reached her present position by force, and not through natural processes or mutual consent or Divine teachings. She had to force her way, and various circumstances came to her aid. Shortage of manpower during wars, pressure of economic needs and requirements of industrial developments forced woman to get out of her home - to work, to learn, to struggle for her livelihood, to appear as an equal to man, to run her race in the course of life side by side with him. She was HUM110
forced by circumstances and in turn she forced herself through and acquired her new status. Whether all women were pleased with these circumstances being on their side, and whether they are happy and satisfied with the results of this course is a different matter. But the fact remains that whatever rights modern woman enjoys fall short of those of her Muslim counterpart. What Islam has established for woman is that which suits her nature, gives her full security and protects her against disgraceful circumstances and uncertain channels of life. We do not need here to elaborate on the status of modern woman and the risks she runs to make her living or establish herself. We do not even need to explore the miseries and setbacks that encircle her as a result of the so-called rights of woman. Nor do we intend to manipulate the situation of many unhappy homes which break because of the very "freedom" and "rights" of which modern woman is proud. Most women today exercise the right of freedom to go out independently, to work and earn, to pretend to be equal to man, but this, sadly enough, is at the expense of their families. This all known and obvious. What is not known is the status of woman in Islam. An attempt will be made in the following passages to sum up the attitude of Islam with regard to woman.
1. Woman is recognized by Islam as a full and equal partner of man in the procreation of humankind. He is the father; she is the mother, and both are essential for life. Her role is not less vital than his. By this partnership she has an equal share in every aspect; she is entitled to equal rights; she undertakes equal responsibilities, and in her there are as many qualities and as much humanity as there are in her partner. To
this equal partner- ship in the reproduction of human kind God says: O mankind! Verily We have created your from a single (pair) of a male and a female,m and made you into nations and tribes that you may know each other... (Qur'an, 49:13; cf. 4:1). 2. She is equal to man in bearing personal and common responsibilities and in receiving rewards for her deeds. She is acknowledged as an independent personality, in possession of human qualities and worthy of spiritual aspirations. Her human nature is neither inferior to nor deviant from that of man. Both are members of one another. God says: And their Lord has accepted (their prayers) and answered them (saying): 'Never will I cause to be lost the work of any of you, be he male or female; you are members, one of another... (3:195; cf 9:71;33:3536;66:19-21). 3. She is equal to man in the pursuit of education and knowledge. When Islam enjoins the seeking of knowledge upon Muslims, it makes no distinction between man and woman. Almost fourteen centuries ago, Muhammad declared that the pursuit of knowledge is incumbent on every Muslim male and female. This declaration was very clear and was implemented by Muslims throughout history. 4. She is entitled to freedom of expression as much as man is. Her sound opinions are taken into consideration and cannot be disregarded just because she happen to belong to the female. It is reported in the Qur'an and history that woman not only expressed her opinion
freely but also argued and participated in serious discussions with the Prophet himself as well as with other Muslim leaders (Qur'an, 58:1-4; 60:10-12). Besides there were occasions when Muslim women expressed their views on legislative matters of public interest, and stood in opposition to the Caliphs, who then accepted the sound arguments of these women. A specific example took place during the Califate of Umar Ibn al-Khattab. Historical records show that women participated in public life with the early Muslims, especially in times of emergencies. Women used to accompany the Muslim armies engaged in battles to nurse the wounded, prepare supplies, serve the warriors, and so on. They were not shut behind iron bars or considered worthless creatures and deprived of souls. Islam grants woman equal rights to contract, to enterprise, to earn and possess independently. Her life, her property, her honor are as sacred as those of man. If she commits any offense, her penalty is no less or more than of man's in a similar case. If she is wronged or harmed, she gets due compensations equal to what a man in her position would get (2:178;4:45, 92-93). Islam does not state these rights in a statistical form and then relax. It has taken all measures to safeguard them and put them into practice as integral articles of Faith. It never tolerates those who are inclined to prejudice against woman or discrimination between man and woman. Time and again, the Qur'an reproaches those who used to believe woman to be inferior to man (16:57-59, 62; 42:47-59; 43:15-19; 53:21-23). Apart from recognition of woman as an independent human being acknowledged as equally essential for the survival of humanity, Islam has given her a share of
inheritance. Before Islam, she was not only deprived of that share but was herself considered as property to be inherited by man. Out of that transferable property Islam made an heir, acknowledging the inherent human qualifies in woman. Whether she is a wife or mother, a sister or daughter, she receives a certain share of the deceased kin's property, a share which depends on her degree of relationship to the deceased and the number of heirs. This share is hers, and no one can take it away or disinherit her. Even if the deceased wishes to deprive her by making a will to other relations or in favor of any other cause, the Law will not allow him to do so. Any proprietor is permitted to make his will within the limit of one-third of his property, so he may not affect the rights of his heirs, men and women. In the case of inheritance, the question of quality and sameness is fully applicable. In principle, both man and woman are equally entitled to inherit the property of the deceased relations but the portions they get may vary. In some instances man receives two shares whereas woman gets one only. This no sign of giving preference or supremacy to man over woman.The reasons why man gets more in these particular instances may be classified as follows: First man, is the person solely responsible for the complete maintenance of his wife, his family and any other needy relations. It is his duty by Law to assume all financial responsibilities and maintain his dependents adequately. It is also his duty to contribute financially to all good causes in his society. All financial burdens are borne by him alone. Secondly, in contrast, woman has no financial responsibilities whatsoever except very little of her HUM110
personal expenses, the high luxurious things that she likes to have. She is financially secure and provided for. If she is a wife, her husband is the provider; if she is a mother, it is the son; if she is a daughter, it is the father; if she is a sister; it is the brother, and so on. If she has no relations on whom she can depend, then there is no question of inheritance because there is nothing to inherit and there is no one to bequeath anything to her. However, she will not be left to starve, maintenance of such a woman is the responsibility of the society as a whole, the state. She may be given aid or a job to earn her living, and whatever money she makes will be hers. She is not responsible for the maintenance of anybody else besides herself. If there is a man in her position, he would still be responsible for his family and possibly any of his relations who need his help. So, in the hardest situation her financial responsibility is limited, while his is unlimited. Thirdly, when a woman gets less than a man does, she is not actually deprived of anything that she has worked for. The property inherited is not the result of her earning or her endeavors. It is something coming to them from a neutral source, something additional or extra. It is something that neither man or woman struggled for. It is a sort of aid, and any aid has to be distributed according to the urgent needs and responsibilities especially when the distribution is regulated by the Law of God. Now, we have a male heir, on one side, burdened with all kinds of financial responsibilities and liabilities. We have, on the other side, a female heir with no financial responsibilities at all or at most with very little of it. In between we have some property and aid to redistribute HUM110
by way of inheritance. If we deprive the female completely, it would be unjust to her because she is related to the deceased. Likewise, if we always give her a share equal to the man's, it would be unjust to him. So, instead of doing injustice to either side, Islam gives the man a larger portion of the inherited property to help him to meet his family needs and social responsibilities. At the same time, Islam has not forgotten her altogether, but has given her a portion to satisfy her very personal needs. In fact, Islam in this respect is being more kind to her than to him. Here we can say that when taken as a whole the rights of woman are equal to those of man although not necessarily identical (see Qur'an, 4:11-14, 176). 9. In some instances of bearing witness to certain civil contracts, two men are required or one man and two women. Again, this is no indication of the woman being inferior to man. It is a measure of securing the rights of the contracting parties, because woman as a rule, is not so experienced in practical life as man. This lack of experience may cause a loss to any party in a given contract. So the Law requires that at least two women should bear witness with one man. if a woman of the witness forgets something, the other one would remind her. Or if she makes an error, due to lack of experience, the other would help to correct her. This is a precautionary measure to guarantee honest transactions and proper dealings between people. In fact, it gives woman a role to play in civil life and helps to establish justice. At any rate, lack of experience in civil life does not necessarily mean that women is inferior to man in her status. Every human being lacks one thing or another, yet no one questions their human status (2:282). HUM110
10. Woman enjoys certain privileges of which man is deprived. She is exempt from some religious duties, i.e., prayers and fasting, in her regular periods and at times of confinement. She is exempt from all financial liabilities. As a mother, she enjoys more recognition and higher honor in the sight of God (31:14-15;46:15). The Prophet acknowledged this honor when he declared that Paradise is under the feet of the mothers. She is entitled to three-fourths of the son's love and kindness with onefourth left for their father. As a wife she is entitled to demand of her prospective husband a suitable dowry that will be her own. She is entitled to complete provision and total maintenance by the husband. She does not have to work or share with her husband the family expenses. She is free to retain, after marriage, whatever she possessed before it, and the husband has no right whatsoever to any of her belongings. As a daughter or sister she is entitled to security and provision by the father and brother respectively. That is her privilege. If she wishes to work or be selfsupporting and participate in handling the family responsibilities, she is quite free to do so, provided her integrity and honor are safeguarded. 11. The standing of woman in prayers behind man does not indicate in any sense that she is inferior to him. Woman, as already mentioned, is exempt from attending congregational prayers which are obligatory on man. But if she does attend she stands in separate lines made up of women exclusively . This is a regulation of discipline in prayers, and not a classification of importance. In men's rows the head of state stands shoulder to shoulder to the pauper. Men of the highest ranks in society stand in prayer side by side with other men of the lowest ranks. The order of lines
in prayers is introduced to help every one to concentrate in his meditation. It is very important because Muslim prayers are not simply chanting or the sing-a-song type. They involve actions, motions, standing, bowing, prostration, etc. So if men mix with women in the same lines, it is possible that something disturbing or distracting may happen. The mind will become occupied by something alien to prayer and derailed from the clear path of mediation. The result will be a loss of the purpose of prayers, besides an offense of adultery committed by the eye, because the eye-by looking at forbidden things - can be guilty of adultery as much as the heart itself. Moreover, no Muslim man or woman is allowed during prayers to touch the body of another person of the opposite sex. If men and women stand side by side in prayer they cannot avoid touching each other. Furthermore, when a woman is praying in front of a man or beside him, it is very likely that any part of her dressed body may become uncovered after a certain motion of bowing or prostrating. The man's eye may happen to be looking at the uncovered part, with the result that she will be embarrassed and he will be exposed to distraction or possibly evil thoughts. So, to avoid any embarrassment and distraction to help concentrate on mediation and pure thoughts, to maintain harmony and order among worshippers, to fulfill the true purposes of prayers, Islam has ordained the organization of rows, whereby men stand in front lines, and women behind the children.Anyone with some knowledge of the nature and purpose of Muslim prayerscan readily understand the wisdom of organizing the lines of worshippers in this manner.
12. The Muslim woman is always associated with an old tradition known as the "veil". It is Islamic that the woman should beautify herself with the veil of honor, dignity, chastity, purity and integrity. She should refrain from all deeds and gestures that might stir the passions of people other than her legitimate husband or cause evil suspicion of her morality. She is warned not to display her charms or expose her physical attractions before strangers. The veil which she must put on is one that can save her soul from weakness, her mind from indulgence, her eyes from lustful looks, and her personality from demoralization. Islam is most concerned with the integrity of woman, with the safeguarding of her morals and morale and with the protection of her character and personality (cf. Qur'an, 24:30-31). 13. By now it is clear that the status of woman in Islam is unprecedentedly high and realistically suitable to her nature. Her rights and duties are equal to those of man but not necessarily or absolutely identical with them. If she is deprived of one thing in some aspect, she is fully compensated for it with more things in many other aspects. The fact that she belongs to the female sex has no bearing on her human status or independent personality, and it is no basis for justification of prejudice against her or injustice to her person. Islam gives her as much as is required of her. Her rights match beautifully with her duties. The balance between rights and duties is maintained, and no side overweighs the other. The whole status of woman is given clearly in the Qur'anic verse which may be translated as follows: And women shall have rights similar to the rights against them, according to what is equitable; but man
have a degree (of advantage as in some cases of inheritance) over them (2:228). This degree is not a title of supremacy or an authorization of dominance over her. It is to correspond with the extra responsibilities of man and give him some compensation for his unlimited liabilities. The above mentioned verse is always interpreted in the light of another (4:34). It is these extra responsibilities that give man a degree over woman in some economic aspects. It is not a higher degree in humanity or in character. Nor is it a dominance of one over the other or suppression of one by the other. It is a distribution of God's abundance according to the needs of the nature of which God is the Maker. And He knows best what is good for woman and what is good for man. God is absolutely true when He declares: O mankind! reverence your GuardianLord, Who created you from a single person, and created of like nature his mate, and from them twain scattered (like seeds) countless men and women (4:1). Arabia the Cradle of Islam The Arabian peninsula is the cradle of Islam. Islam was "born" in it, and "grew up" in it, and was already "full-grown" when it came out of it. It was in the Arabian cities of Makkah and Medina that the classic Islamic identity was evolved, and Islam actually HUM110
"jelled." A grasp of the geography of Arabia, therefore, is necessary for the understanding of the drift of its history. Following is a synopsis of the geography of the Arabian peninsula: Arabia, like any other region, has the kind of terrain that molds and modifies those who live in it and move through it. It's a stern, grim and a hospitable land, and is or was, until the obtrusion of oil, a constant challenge for survival to the wits of man. His survival in it depended upon his ability to come to terms with it. Contrary to popular notions, Arabia is not all a wilderness of sand. It has considerable variety in the configuration of its surface, the salient features of which are broiling sand, mauve mountains, jagged gulches, grotesque peaks spiking a copper sky, friable rocks, flinty plains, startling geometrical and conical shapes of crags, constantly shifting sand dunes and oases, and mirages of lakes, streams and gardens. Arabia is the world's largest peninsula but the Arabs themselves call it Jazirat-ul-Arab (the Island of Arabia), which in a sense it is. Bounded on the east by the Persian Gulf, on the south by the Arabian Sea, and on the west by the Red Sea, it is bounded on the north by the great "sand sea" of the Syrian desert. In configuration, Arabia is a vast plateau rising gently from east to west. Except for Yemen and the valleys interspersed in the western mountain ranges, the whole country is sandy or rocky, and dry and barren. Following are the political divisions of the Arabian peninsula (1992): 1. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 2. The Republic of Yemen
3. The Sultanate of Oman 4. The United Arab Emirates 5. The State of Qatar 6. The State of Bahrain 7. The State of Kuwait Vegetation : Vegetation is generally very sparse due to lack of rain and due to the high salt content of the soil. True trees are rare, and shrubs are common. All plants have had to adapt themselves to the conditions of desert existence. The date-palm grows wherever there is water. It is the most important cultivated tree in the whole peninsula. Date fruit is the staple of many Arabs, and the tree supplies valuable wood and other by-products. The principal cereals of Arabia are wheat, barley, oats, maize and millet. Coffee grows in Yemen; and cotton grows, in varying quantities, in Yemen and in Oman. The mango fruit has been successfully cultivated in the oases of Al-Hasa province of Saudi Arabia, and the coconut palm grows in Oman. Such "forests" as Arabia has, are a few clusters of junipers in the highlands of Yemen. The Ecology of Arabia The most important component of the ecology of the Arabian peninsula is water. Its presence or absence has shaped its history to a great extent. Settlers were attracted to the site of Makkah in Hijaz by the presence of the spring as Zamzam. Assured by the availability of its tart waters in all seasons, they built the city of Makkah around it.
The hydrosphere of the region consists of wells, torrents and flashfloods. The whole area is devoid of rivers and streams with the exception of the sixty-mile long Hajar in the Republic of Yemen. But even this is not a perennial stream; it becomes a stream only when torrential rains fall in its basin. A new and complex factor of tremendous geopolitical significance is the presence of vast reservoirs of oil in the Arabian peninsula. In 1900 the whole peninsula was thinly populated, and was desolate, poverty-stricken and isolated. It was one of the few regions in the world almost untouched by western influence. Then came oil and everything changed.Life in Saudi Arabia and in the other oil producing sheikdoms in the Persian Gulf was transformed by the effects of the new wealth â€“ spectacular fortunes, rapid economic development, the arrival of foreign labor, international clout â€“ perhaps more radically than life has been transformed anywhere else at any time in human experience. The most important animal in Arabia was the camel. The Arabian camel is the single-humped variety, or dromedary, as against the two-humped camel of Central Asia, the Bactrian. The dromedary has flat, broad, thick-soled cloven hoofs that do not sink into the sand, and it can travel long distances in the desert. The milk of the camel formed an important part of the diet of the desert Arabs, and camel hair was used by them to make their tents. The camel, therefore, was indispensable for survival in the desert. Political Conditions in Arabia before Islam: The most remarkable feature of the political life of Arabia before Islam was the total absence of political organization in any form. With the exception of Yemen in the south-west, no part of the Arabian peninsula had any government at any time, and the Arabs never acknowledged any authority other than the authority of the chiefs of their tribes. The authority of the tribal chiefs, however,
rested, in most cases, on their character and personality, and was moral rather than political. The Arabs lived, generation after generation, century after century, without a government of any kind. Since there was no government, there was no law and no order. The only law of the land was lawlessness. In the event a crime was committed, the injured party took law in its own hands, and tried to administer "justice" to the offender. This system led very frequently to acts of horrendous cruelty. If the Arab ever exercised any modicum of restraint, it was not because of any susceptibility he had to questions of right or wrong but because of the fear of provoking reprisals and vendetta. Vendetta consumed whole generations of Arabs. Since there were no such things as police, courts or judges, the only protection a man could find from his enemies, was in his own tribe. The tribe had an obligation to protect its members even if they had committed crimes. Tribalism or â€˜asabiyya (the clan spirit) took precedence over ethics. A tribe that failed to protect its members from their enemies, exposed itself to ridicule . Ethics, of course, did not enter the picture anywhere. Since Arabia did not have a government, and since the Arabs were anarchists by instinct, they were locked up in ceaseless warfare. War was a permanent institution of the Arabian society. The desert could support only a limited number of people, and the state of inter-tribal war maintained a rigid control over the growth of population. But the Arabs themselves did not see war in this light. To them, war was a pastime or rather a dangerous sport or a species of tribal drama, waged by professionals, according to old and gallant codes, while the "audience" cheered. Eternal peace held no appeal for them, and war provided an escape from drudgery and from the monotony of life in the desert. They, therefore, courted the excitement of the clash of arms. War gave them an opportunity HUM110
to display their skills at archery, fencing and horsemanship, and also, in war, they could distinguish themselves by their heroism and at the same time win glory and honor for their tribes. In many cases, the Arabs fought for the sake of fighting, whether or not there was a cause belli. Economic Conditions : Economically, the Jews were the leaders of Arabia. They were the owners of the best arable lands in Hijaz, and they were the best farmers in the country. They were also the entrepreneurs of such industries as existed in Arabia in those days, and they enjoyed a monopoly of the armaments industry. Slavery was an economic institution of the Arabs. Male and female slaves were sold and bought like animals, and they formed the most depressed class of the Arabian society. The most powerful class of the Arabs was made up by the capitalists and money-lenders. The rates of interest which they charged on loans were exorbitant, and were especially designed to make them richer and richer, and the borrowers poorer and poorer. The most important urban centers of Arabia were Makkah and Yathrib, both in Hijaz. The citizens of Makkah were mostly merchants, traders and money-lenders. Their caravans traveled in summer to Syria and in winter to Yemen. They also traveled to Bahrain in the east and to Iraq in the northeast. The caravan trade was basic to the economy of Makkah, and its organization called for considerable skill, experience and ability. Social Conditions : Arabia was a male-dominated society. Women had no status of any kind .The number of women a man could marry was not fixed. When a man died, his son "inherited" all his wives except his own HUM110
mother. A savage custom of the Arabs was to bury their female infants alive. Even if an Arab did not wish to bury his daughter alive, he still had to uphold this "honorable" tradition, being unable to resist social pressures. Drunkenness was a common vice of the Arabs. With drunkenness went their gambling. They were compulsive drinkers and compulsive gamblers. The State of Religion in Pre-Islamic Arabia The period in the Arabian history which preceded the birth of Islam is known as the Times of Ignorance. Judging by the beliefs and the practices of the pagan Arabs, it appears that it was a most appropriate name. The Arabs were the devotees of a variety of "religions" which can be classified into the following categories. 1. Idol-worshippers or polytheists. Most of the Arabs were idolaters. They worshipped numerous idols and each tribe had its own idol or idols and fetishes. They had turned the Kaaba in Makkah, which according to tradition, had been built by the Prophet Abraham and his son, Ismael, and was dedicated by them to the service of One God, into a heathen pantheon housing 360 idols of stone and wood. 2. Atheists This group was composed of the materialists and believed that the world was eternal. 3. Zindiqs They were influenced by the Persian doctrine of dualism in nature. They believed that there were two gods representing the twin forces of good and evil or light and darkness, and both were locked up in an unending struggle for supremacy. 4. Sabines. They worshipped the stars.
5. Jews When the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in A.D. 70, and drove the Jews out of Palestine and Syria, many of them found new homes in Hijaz in Arabia. Under their influence, many Arabs also became converts to Judaism. Their strong centers were the towns of Yathrib, Khayber, Fadak and Umm-ul-Qura. 6. Christians. The Romans had converted the north Arabian tribe of Ghassan to Christianity. Some clans of Ghassan had migrated to and had settled in Hijaz. In the south, there were many Christians in Yemen where the creed was originally brought by the Ethiopian invaders. Their strong center was the town of Najran. 7. Monotheists There was a small group of monotheists present in Arabia on the eve of the rise of Islam. Its members did not worship idols, and they were the followers of the Prophet Abraham. The members of the families of Muhammad p.b.u.h, the future prophet, and Ali ibn Abi Talib, the future caliph, and most members of their clan â€“ the Banu Hashim â€“ belonged to this group. Education among the Arabs before Islam Among the Arabs there were extremely few individuals who could read and write. Most of them were not very eager to learn these arts. Some historians are of the opinion that the culture of the period was almost entirely oral. The Jews and the Christians were the custodians of such knowledge as Arabia had. The greatest intellectual accomplishment of the pagan Arabs was their poetry. They claimed that God had bestowed the most remarkable qualities of the head upon the Greeks (its proof is their science and philosophy); of hand upon the Chinese (its proof is their craftsmanship); and of the tongue upon the Arabs (its proof is their eloquence). Their greatest pride, both before and after Islam, was their eloquence and poetry. The importance of poetry to them can be gauged by the following testimony:
In nomad Arabia, the poets were part of the war equipment of the tribe; they defended their own, and damaged hostile tribes by the employment of a force which was supposed indeed to work mysteriously, but which in fact consisted in composing dexterous phrases of a sort that would attract notice, and would consequently be diffused and remembered widely. (Mohammed and the Rise of Islam, 1931) Muhammad P.B.U.H to Adnan According to Islamic prophetic tradition, Muhammad was descended from Adnan. Tradition records the genealogy from Adnan to Muhammad comprises 21 generations. "The following is the list of chiefs who are said to have ruled the Hejaz and to have been the patrilineal ancestors of Muhammad."
570 AD – Muhammad ()محمد 538 AD – `Abd Allah ()عبد ا 505 AD – Abd al-Muttalib ()عبد المطلب 472 AD – Hashim ()هاشم 439 AD – `Abd Manaf ()عبد مناف 406 AD – Qusai ()قصي 373 AD – Kilab ()كل(ب 340 AD – Murrah ()مرة 307 AD – Ka'ab ()كعب 274 AD – Lu'ayy ()لؤي 241 AD – Ghalib ()غالب 208 AD – Fihr ()فهر 175 AD – Malik ()مالك 142 AD – an-Nadr ()النضر 109 AD – Kinanah ()كنانة 76 AD – Khuzaimah ()خزيمة 43 AD – Mudrikah ()مدركة 10 AD – Elias ()إلمياس 23 BC – Mudar ()مضر
56 BC – Nizar ()نزار 89 BC – Ma'ad ()معد 122 BC – Adnan ()عدنان
BIOGRAPHY OF PROPHET MUHAMMAD (pbuh) Dr. A. Zahoor and Dr. Z. Haq (Copyright 1990, 1997, 1998 All Rights Reserved)
Prophet Muhammad (s) was born in 570 CE in Makkah (Bakka, Baca, Mecca). His father, Abdullah, died several weeks before his birth in Yathrib (Medinah) where he went to visit his father's maternal relatives. His mother died while on the return journey from Medinah at a place called ‘Abwa’ when he was six years old. He was raised by his paternal grandfather 'Abd al Muttalib (Shaybah) until the age of eight, and after his grandfather’s death by Abu Talib, his paternal uncle. 'Abd al Muttalib's mother, Salma, was a native of Medinah and he was born and raised as a young boy in Medinah before his uncle Muttalib brought him to Makkah to succeed him. Many years before Muhammad's birth, 'Abd al Muttalib had established himself as an influential leader of the Arab tribe ‘Quraish’ in Makkah and took care of the Holy sanctuary ‘Ka’bah’. Makkah was a city state well connected to the caravan routes to Syria and Egypt in the north and northwest and Yemen in the south. Muhammad was a descendant of Prophet Ismail through the lineage of his second son Kedar. Ka'bah is the first house of worship built on earth for the worship of Allah, the One True God. It was re-built (raised from the existing foundation) by Prophets Ibrahim (Abraham) and HUM110
Ismail (Ishmael). Allah is the proper name of the One True God, creator and sustainer of the universe, who does not have a partner or associate, and He did not beget nor was He begotten. Unlike the word god, the word Allah does not have a plural or gender. Under the guardianship of Abu Talib, Muhammad (s) began to earn a living as a businessman and a trader. At the age of twelve, he accompanied Abu Talib with a merchant caravan as far as Bostra in Syria. Muhammad was popularly known as ‘al-Ameen’ for his unimpeachable character by the Makkans and visitors alike. The title Al-Ameen means the Honest, the Reliable and the Trustworthy, and it signified the highest standard of moral and public life. Upon hearing of Muhammad’s impressive credentials, Khadijah, a rich merchant widow, asked Muhammad (s) to take some merchandise for trade to Syria. Soon after this trip when he was twenty-five, Khadijah proposed marriage to Muhammad through a relative. Muhammad accepted the proposal. At that time, Khadijah was twice widowed and forty years old. Khadijah (ra) and Muhammad (s) were the parents of six children - four daughters and two sons. His first son Qasim died at the age of two. He was nicknamed Abul Qasim, meaning the father of Qasim. His second son Abdullah died in infancy. Abdullah was also called affectionately as ‘Tayyab’ and ‘Tahir’ because he was born after Muhammad’s prophethood. The four daughters were: Zainab, Ruqayyah, Umm Kulthum, and Fatimah (ra). The Holy sanctuary Ka’bah was now filled with three hundred sixty idols. The original, pristine message of Prophet Ibrahim was lost, and it was mixed with superstitions and traditions of pilgrims and visitors from distant places, who were used to idol worship and myths. In every generation, a small group of men and women detested the pollution of Ka’bah and kept pure their practice of the religion taught by Prophets Ibrahim and Ismail. They used to spend HUM110
some of their time away from this polluted environment in retreats to nearby hills. Muhammad (s) was forty when, during his one of many retreats to Mount Hira for meditation during the month of Ramadan, he received the first revelation from the Archangel Jibril (Gabriel). On this first appearance, Gabriel (as) said to Muhammad: "Iqraa," meaning Read or Recite. Muhammad replied, "I cannot read," as he had not received any formal education and did not know how to read or write. The Angel Gabriel then embraced him until he reached the limit of his endurance and after releasing said: "Iqraa." Muhammad’s answer was the same as before. Gabriel repeated the embrace for the third time, asked him to repeat after him and said: "Recite in the name of your Lord who created! He created man from that which clings. Recite; and thy Lord is most Bountiful, He who has taught by the pen, taught man what he knew not." These revelations are the first five verses of Surah (chapter) 96 of the Qur’an. Thus it was in the year 610 CE the revelation began. Muhammad (s) was terrified by the whole experience of the revelation and fled the cave of Mt. Hira [Qur'an 81:19-29]. When he reached his home, tired and frightened, he asked his wife: ‘cover me, cover me,’ in a blanket. After his awe had somewhat abated, his wife Khadijah asked him about the reason of his great anxiety and fear. She then assured him by saying: "Allah (The One God) will not let you down because you are kind to relatives, you speak only the truth, you help the poor, the orphan and the needy, and you are an honest man. Khadijah then consulted with her cousin Waraqa who was an old, saintly man possessing knowledge of previous revelations and scriptures. Waraqa confirmed to her that the visitor was none other than the Angel Gabriel who had come to Moses. He then added that Muhammad is the expected Prophet. Khadijah accepted the revelation as truth and was the
first person to accept Islam. She supported her husband in every hardship, most notably during the three-year ‘boycott’ of the Prophet’s clan by the pagan Quraish. She died at the age of sixtyfive in the month of Ramadan soon after the lifting of the boycott in 620 CE. Gabriel (as) visited the Prophet as commanded by Allah revealing Ayat (meaning signs, loosely referred to as verses) in Arabic over a period of twenty-three years. The revelations that he received were sometimes a few verses, a part of a chapter or the whole chapter. Some revelations came down in response to an inquiry by the nonbelievers. The revealed verses were recorded on a variety of available materials (leather, palm leaves, bark, shoulder bones of animals), memorized as soon as they were revealed, and were recited in daily prayers by Muslims [Qur'an 80:13-16]. Angel Gabriel taught the order and arrangement of verses, and the Prophet instructed his several scribes to record verses in that order [Qur'an 75:16-19 and 41:41-42]. Once a year, the Prophet used to recite all the verses revealed to him up to that time to Gabriel to authenticate the accuracy of recitation and the order of verses [Qur'an 17:106]. All the revealed verses (over a period of 23 years and ending in 632 CE) were compiled in the book known as Qur’an. The name Qur’an appears in the revealed verses. The Qur’an does not contain even a word from the Prophet. The Qur'an speaks in the first person, i.e., Allah's commandments to His creation. Gabriel also visited the Prophet throughout his mission informing and teaching him of events and strategy as needed to help in the completion of the prophetic mission. The Prophet’s sayings, actions, and approvals are recorded separately in collections known as Hadith. The mission of Prophet Muhammad (s) was to restore the worship of the One True God, the creator and sustainer of the universe, as taught by Prophet Ibrahim and all Prophets of God, and to demonstrate and complete the laws of moral, ethical, legal, and HUM110
social conduct and all other matters of significance for the humanity at large. The first few people who followed this message were: his cousin Ali, his servant Zayd ibn Harithah, his friend Abu Bakr and his wife and daughters. They accepted Islam by testifying that: "There is no Deity (worthy of worship) except Allah (The One True God) and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah." Islam means peace by submission and obedience to the Will and Commandments of God and those who accept Islam are called Muslims, meaning those who have accepted the message of peace by submission to God. In the first three years of his mission forty people (men and women) accepted Islam. This small group comprised of youth as well as older people from a wide range of economic and social background. The Prophet was directed by a recent revelation to start preaching Islam to everyone. He then began to recite revelations to people in public and invite them to Islam. The Quraish, leaders of Makkah, took his preaching with hostility. The most hostile and closest to the prophet was his uncle Abu Lahab and his wife. Initially, they and other leaders of Quraish tried to bribe him with money and power including an offer to make him king if he were to abandon his message. When this did not work, they tried to convince his uncle Abu Talib to accept the best young man of Makkah in place of Muhammad and to allow them to kill Muhammad. His uncle tried to persuade the Prophet to stop preaching but the Prophet said: "O uncle, if they were to put the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left hand to stop me from preaching Islam, I would never stop. I will keep preaching until Allah makes Islam prevail or I die." The Quraish began to persecute Muslims by beating, torture and boycott of their businesses. Those who were weak, poor or slaves HUM110
were publicly tortured. The first person to die by this means was a Muslim women by the name Umm Ammar (the mother of Ammar Ibn Yasir). The Muslims from well-to-do families were physically restrained in their homes with the condition that if they recant they will be allowed freedom of movement. The Prophet was publicly ridiculed and humiliated including frequent throwing of filth on him in the street and while he prayed in the Ka’bah. In spite of great hardships and no apparent support, the message of Islam kept all Muslims firm in their belief. The Prophet was asked by God to be patient and to preach the message of Qur’an. He advised Muslims to remain patient because he did not receive any revelation yet to retaliate against their persecutors. [Persecution] When the persecution became unbearable for most Muslims, the Prophet advised them in the fifth year of his mission (615 CE) to emigrate to Abyssinia (modern Ethiopia) where Ashamah (Negus, a Christian) was the ruler. Eighty people, not counting the small children, emigrated in small groups to avoid detection. No sooner had they left the Arabian coastline, the leaders of Quraish discovered their flight. They decided to not leave these Muslims in peace, and immediately sent two of their envoys to Negus to bring all of them back. However, Negus allowed them to stay under his protection after he investigated Muslim belief and heard the revelations about Jesus and Mary (peace be upon them both), which appears in Chapter 19, entitled Mary, of the Qur’an. The emigrants were allowed freedom of worship in Abyssinia. The Quraish then made life even more difficult for the Prophet by implementing total ban on contact with the Prophet’s family (Bani Hashim and Muttalib). The ban lasted for three years without the desired effect. Just before the ban was lifted, the Prophet was contacted by the leaders of Quraish to agree to a compromise under which they should all practice both religions (i.e., Islam and Idolatry). Upon hearing this, the Prophet recited a revelation (Chapter 109) he had just received and which ends with the words: HUM110
"... For you your religion and for me mine." The ban was lifted when leaders of Quraish discovered that their secret document on the terms of ban, which they had stored in Ka’bah, was eaten by worms and all that was left were the opening words ‘In Your name, O Allah.’ The effects of the three-year boycott left the Prophet with more personal sorrow when he lost his beloved wife Khadijah (ra) and uncle Abu Talib soon after the ban was lifted. After Khadijah's death in 620 CE, the Prophet married a widowed Muslim woman, Sawdah (ra) who was fifty years old. She and her husband had emigrated to Abyssinia in the early years of persecution. After her husband died, she came back to Makkah and sought Prophet’s shelter. The Prophet, recognizing her sacrifices for Islam, extended his shelter by marrying her. Later in the same year, the Prophet upon receiving the divine command in a dream, after approval of Sawdah, contracted marriage to A’ishah, the daughter of his dear companion Abu Bakr. She joined the Prophet in Medinah, completing the marriage contract. Sawdah and A’ishah (ra) were the only wives until he was fifty-six years old. After the death of his uncle Abu Talib, the Prophet went to Taif (about 50 miles east, southeast of Makkah) to seek their protection. They flatly refused and mocked at him, and severely injured him by inciting their children to throw stones at him. Gabriel (as) visited the Prophet here suggesting that the angels were ready to destroy the town if he were to ask Allah for the punishment. Nevertheless, the Prophet declined and prayed for future generations of Taif to accept Islam [Taif]. It was on the return journey from Taif that the verses from Surah Al Jinn (Chapter 72) were revealed. It indicated that the Qur’an is a book of guidance to both the Jinns and Humankind. Soon after the terrible disappointment at Ta’if, the prophet experienced the events of al-Israa and al-Miraaj (621 CE). In the HUM110
Al-Israa, Gabriel (as) took the Prophet from the sacred Mosque near Ka’bah to the furthest (al-Aqsa) mosque in Jerusalem in a very short time in the latter part of a night. Here, Prophet Muhammad met with previous Prophets (Abraham, Moses, Jesus and others) and he led them in prayer. After this, in Al-Miraj, the Prophet was taken up to heavens to show the signs of God [More... The Dome of the Rock]. It was on this journey that five daily prayers were prescribed. He was then taken back to Ka’bah, the whole experience lasting a few hours of a night. Upon hearing this, the people of Makkah mocked at him. However, when his specific description of Jerusalem, other things on the way, and the caravan that he saw on this journey including its expected arrival in Makkah turned out to be true, the ridicule of the nonbelievers stopped. The event of Israa and Miraaj is mentioned in the Qur’an - the first verse of Chapter 17 entitled ‘The Children of Israel.’ In 622 CE, the leaders of the Quraish decided to kill the Prophet and they developed a plan in which one man was chosen from each of the Quraish tribes and they were to attack the Prophet simultaneously. Gabriel informed the Prophet of the plan and instructed him to leave Makkah immediately. The Prophet, after making arrangements to return the properties entrusted to him by several nonbelievers, left with Abu Bakr in the night he was to be assassinated. They went south of Makkah to a mountain cave of Thawr [see Qur'an 9:40], and after staying three nights they traveled north to Yathrib (Medinah) about two hundred fifty miles from Makkah. Upon discovery of his escape, the leaders of Quraish put up a reward of one hundred camels on him, dead or alive. In spite of all their best scouts and search parties, Allah protected the Prophet and he arrived safely in Quba, a suburb of Medinah [Qur'an 28:85]. This event is known as the ‘Hijra’ (migration) and the Islamic calendar begins with this event. The people of Aws and Khazraj in Medinah greeted him with great enthusiasm in accordance with their pledge made at Aqaba less than a year ago during the annual pilgrimage. One by one those HUM110
Muslims (men and women) of Makkah who were not physically restrained, and who could make a secret exit, left for Medinah leaving behind their properties and homes. To insure the peace and tranquility, the Prophet proposed a treaty defining terms of conduct for all inhabitants of Medinah. It was ratified by all - Muslims, non-Muslim Arabs and Jews. After his emigration to Medinah, the enemies of Islam increased their assault from all sides. The Battles of Badr, Uhud and Allies (Trench) were fought near or around Medinah. In these battles until the year 627 CE, the nonbelievers with encouragement from Jews and other Arabian tribes attacked the Prophet and Muslim community. The Muslims while defending their city and religion lost many men, which resulted in many widowed Muslim women and numerous orphaned children. In these circumstances, Prophet Muhammad (s) married several women during fifty-sixth year up to the sixtieth year of his life. He did not contract any marriage in the last three years of his life, following the revelation limiting the number of wives up to a maximum of four. This is the first time in the history of revealed scriptures that a limit on the number of wives was imposed and the terms of conduct were specified. The Prophet was instructed not to divorce any of his wives after this revelation [Qur'an 33:52]. All of the ladies he took as wives were either widowed or divorced, except Aâ€™ishah. The Prophet married Umm Salamah (ra) in 626 CE. Her husband had died of wounds inflicted in the Battle of Uhud (625 CE). When the Prophet asked her for marriage, she replied: "O Messenger of God, I suffer from three shortcomings. I am a very jealous woman, and I am afraid this might cause me to do things that you dislike. Secondly, I am an old woman. Finally, I have many children." The Prophet answered: "Regarding your jealousy, I pray to God to remove it from you. As for your age, we are similar in age. As for the children, your children are mine." Thus it was that she agreed to marry the Prophet. The Prophetâ€™s marriage contract with Umm HUM110
Habibah (ra) was solemnized, by proxy, by Negus, King of Abyssinia, in 628 CE. Two of his wives, Juwayriah and Safiyah, were prisoners of war. Both belonged to the family of the chief of their tribes and were set free by the Prophet; they then gladly accepted Islam and were pleased to become the Prophet’s wives. The Prophet’s marriages provided security to women who would have otherwise remained unmarried, unprotected, or felt humiliated. His marriages were also a means of transmitting important teachings of Islam. The Prophet's wives, called the "Mothers of the Believers,"[Qur'an Surah 33, Verse 6 and the last part of Verse 53] showed themselves as examples of proper Muslim womanhood. All his wives, especially 'Aishah, transmitted many ahadith (sayings, deeds, and actions) from Prophet Muhammad (s). A year after the Battle of Allies (Trench), the Prophet and fifteen hundred of his companions left for Makkah to perform the annual pilgrimage (628 CE). They were barred from approaching the city at Hudaybiyah, where after some negotiations a treaty was signed allowing for them to come next year. This treaty facilitated exchange of ideas among the people of the whole region without interference. Many delegations from all regions of Arabia came to the Prophet to investigate the teachings of Islam, and a large number of people accepted Islam within a couple of years. The Prophet sent many of his companions (who memorized the Qur'an by heart) to new communities to instruct them about the practice of Islam. More than fifty of them were murdered by non-believers. A few weeks after Hudaybiyah the Prophet sent letters to several kings and rulers (including the two superpowers - Byzantines and Persians) inviting them to Islam. Negus, the king of Abyssinia, and the Ruler of Bahrain accepted Islam, and Emperor Heraclius acknowledged Muhammad’s Prophethood. Among rulers who accepted Islam but without any initiative from the HUM110
Prophet was Chakrawati Farmas, a Hindu King of Malabar (located on the southwest coast of India). About two years later at the end of 629 CE, the Quraish violated the terms of the Treaty of Hudaybiyah by helping Banu Bakr in the surprise attack on Bani Khuza’ah who were allied with the Prophet. Some of Bani Khuzah’s men escaped and took shelter in Makkah and they sought redress. However, the leaders of Quraish did nothing. They then sent a message to the Prophet for help. The Prophet, after confirming all the reports of the attack and subsequent events, marched to Makkah with an army consisting of three thousand Muslims of Medinah and Muslims from other Arab communities that joined him on the way totaling ten thousand Muslims. Before entering the city he sent word to citizens of Makkah that anyone who remained in his home, or in Abu Sufyan’s home, or in the Ka’bah would be safe. The army entered Makkah without fighting and the Prophet went directly to the Ka’bah. He magnified Allah for the triumphant entry in the Holy city. The Prophet pointed at each idol with a stick he had in his hand and said, "Truth has come and Falsehood will neither start nor will it reappear" [Qur'an 17:81]. And one by one the idols fell down. The Ka’bah was then cleansed by the removal of all three hundred sixty idols, and it was restored to its pristine status for the worship of One True God (as built by Prophets Ibrahim and Ismail). The people of the city expected general slaughter in view of their persecution and torture of Muslims for the past twenty years. While standing by the Ka'bah, the Prophet (s) promised clemency for the Makkans, stating: "O Quraish, what do you think that I am about to do with you?" They replied, "Good. You are a noble brother, son of a noble brother." The Prophet forgave them all saying:
"I will treat you as Prophet Yousuf (Joseph) treated his brothers. There is no reproach against you. Go to your homes, and you are all free." The Prophet also declared: Allah made Makkah holy the day He created heavens and earth, and it is the holy of holies until the Resurrection Day. It is not lawful for anyone who believes in Allah and the last day to shed blood therein, nor to cut down trees therein. It was not lawful to anyone before me and it will not be lawful to anyone after me. The people of Makkah then accepted Islam including the staunch enemies of the Prophet. A few of the staunchest enemies and military commanders had fled Makkah after his entry. However, when they received the Prophet’s assurance of no retaliation and no compulsion in religion, they came back and gradually the message of Islam won their hearts. Within a year (630 CE), almost all Arabia accepted Islam. Among the Prophet’s close companions were Muslims from such diverse background as Persia, Abyssinia, Syria and Rome. Several prominent Jewish Rabbis, Christian bishop and clergymen accepted Islam after discussions with the Prophet. One night in March 630 CE, Angel Gabriel visited the Prophet and addressed him as: "O father of Ibrahim." A few hours later, the Prophet received the news of the birth of his son from his wife Mariah, and the Prophet named him Ibrahim. He was the only child born after the six children from Prophet’s first wife Khadijah. Ibrahim died when he was ten months old. On the day of Ibrahim's death, there was an eclipse of the sun. When some people began to attribute it to the Prophet's bereavement, he said: "The sun and the moon are two signs of the signs of God. Their light is not dimmed
for any man's death. If you see them eclipsed, you should pray until they be clear." The great change in Arabia alarmed the two superpowers, Byzantines and Persians. Their Governors, particularly the Byzantines, reacted with threats to attack Medinah. Instead of waiting, the prophet sent a small army to defend the northmost border of Arabia. In the remaining life of the Prophet, all of the major battles were fought on the northern front. The Prophet did not have a standing army. Whenever he received a threat, he called the Muslims and discussed with them the situation and gathered volunteers to fight any aggression. The Prophet performed his first and last pilgrimage in 632 CE. One hundred twenty-thousand men and women performed pilgrimage that year with him. The Prophet received the last revelation during this pilgrimage. Two months later, Prophet Muhammad (s) fell ill and after several days died on Monday, 12 Rabi al-Awwal, the eleventh year after Hijra (June 8, 632 CE) in Medinah. He is buried in the same place where he died. Prophet Muhammad lived a most simple, austere and modest life. He and his family used to go without cooked meal several days at a time, relying only on dates, dried bread and water. During the day he was the busiest man, as he performed his duties in many roles all at once as head of state, chief justice, commander-in-chief, arbitrator, instructor and family man. He was the most devoted man at night. He used to spend one- to two-thirds of every night in prayer and meditation. The Prophet's possession consisted of mats, blankets, jugs and other simple things even when he was the virtual ruler of Arabia. He left nothing to be inherited except a white mule (a gift from Muqawqis), few ammunition and a piece of land that he had made a gift during his life time. Among his last words were: "We the community of Prophets are not inherited. Whatever we leave is for charity." HUM110
The Last Sermon of Prophet Muhammad (Farewell Sermon) Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) delivered his last sermon (Khutbah) on the ninth of Dhul Hijjah (12th and last month of the Islamic year), 10 years after Hijrah (migration from Makkah to Madinah) in the Uranah Valley of mount Arafat. His words were quite clear and concise and were directed to the entire humanity. After praising, and thanking Allah he said: "O People, lend me an attentive ear, for I know not whether after this year, I shall ever be amongst you again. Therefore listen to what I am saying to you very carefully and TAKE THESE WORDS TO THOSE WHO COULD NOT BE PRESENT HERE TODAY. O People, just as you regard this month, this day, this city as Sacred, so regard the life and property of every Muslim as a sacred trust. Return the goods entrusted to you to their rightful owners. Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you. Remember that you will indeed meet your LORD, and that HE will indeed reckon your deeds. ALLAH has forbidden you to take usury (interest), therefore all interest obligation shall henceforth be waived. Your capital, however, is yours to keep. You will neither inflict nor suffer any inequity. Allah has Judged that there shall be no interest and that all the interest due to Abbas ibn ‘Abd’al Muttalib (Prophet’s uncle) shall henceforth be waived… Beware of Satan, for the safety of your religion. He has lost all hope that he will ever be able to lead you astray in big things, so beware of following him in small things. O People, it is true that you have certain rights with regard to your women, but they also have rights over you. Remember HUM110
that you have taken them as your wives only under Allahâ€™s trust and with His permission. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Do treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers. And it is your right that they do not make friends with any one of whom you do not approve, as well as never to be unchaste. O People, listen to me in earnest, worship ALLAH, say your five daily prayers (Salah), fast during the month of Ramadan, and give your wealth in Zakat. Perform Hajj if you can afford to. All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not, therefore, do injustice to yourselves. Remember, one day you will appear before ALLAH and answer your deeds. So beware, do not stray from the path of righteousness after I am gone. O People, NO PROPHET OR APOSTLE WILL COME AFTER ME AND NO NEW FAITH WILL BE BORN. Reason well, therefore, O People, and understand words which I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, the QURAN and my example, the SUNNAH and if you follow these you will never go astray. All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my HUM110
words better than those who listen to me directly. Be my witness, O ALLAH, that I have conveyed your message to your people". (Reference: See Al-Bukhari, Hadith 1623, 1626, 6361) Sahih of Imam Muslim also refers to this sermon in Hadith number 98. Imam al-Tirmidhi has mentioned this sermon in Hadith nos. 1628, 2046, 2085. Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal has given us the longest and perhaps the most complete version of this sermon in his Masnud, Hadith no. 19774.… One can heed words of wisdom and guidelines from the last sermon (khutbah) of the prophet (SAWS). His sermons emphasized on the following:
Sacredness of a Muslim’s life and property The importance of propagating this message to all others (A Muslim’s responsibility thus does not end by following the religion) A reminder that everyone is fully accountable for their deeds and Allah (God) will take every person into account. If everyone heeded to this fact alone, the world would be a much better place today. “Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you.” These words of the prophet are self explanatory. The prohibition of dealing with interest (Numerous accounts in Quran and Hadith prohibit taking, giving or being a part of any transaction dealing with interest). “You will neither inflict nor suffer any inequity.” These words of the prophet are self explanatory. The awareness of satan and how satan can work to deviate us from the right path and doing evil things. Rights of women over men and rights of men over women. Treatment of women with kindness. Modesty and chastity in women.
The importance of worshiping Allah (saying your five daily prayers (Salah), fasting during the month of Ramadan, giving charity (Zakat) and performing pilgrimage (Hajj). Equality amongst all (blacks, white, Arabs, non-Arabs, etc.) The need to establish justice. Islam is the final divine religion (Last prophet and Last Book).
Influence of Islamic Civilization on Subcontinent Muhammad Bin Qasim, the great Muslim hero and commander, entered India as a conqueror and lived there for three years. He introduced Islamic system and left an indelible impact of his character and generosity. Islam, as a faith and system of life, won many followers in India because of its simple and humanitarian principles. 1. IMPACT ON RELIGION Before the coming of Islam to India, the people were divided in several religious factions and a deep struggle was going on between Hinduism and other religions. Conditions, which extremely perturbed the people, prevailed in the society. The prevailing conditions were ripe for the introduction of a new religious faith and system which would negate the existing religious philosophies based on inhuman trends and customs. When Islam was introduced to the people of the sub-continent, it attracted many followers because of its simple and easily understandable principles. The introduction of Islam completely transformed the Indian society into a well-knit social fraternal. Islam and Hinduism basically differ in their attitude towards life. Islam strongly believes in the concept of ‘Tauheed’ and insists on HUM110
the equality of mankind before law. It does not entertain any distinction among the people on the basis of such inhuman principles as caste, creed and social status. Hinduism, on the other hand believes in the multiplicity of gods and is based on the unethical caste system which has divided society into privileged and underprivileged classes. Islam came as a blessing for the oppressed sections of India whose life had become miserable because of the deep-rooted caste system. Islam brought a new way of life for them which they had never seen before in the Hindu society. The respectable way of life, shown to them by Islam, gave them a feeling of being human beings. Islam infused a different thinking and sentiments among the people of the sub-continent. The spread of Islam in the sub-continent, owes much to the selfless and dedicated services of eminent sufis, mystics and religious leaders such as Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh. Khawaja Mueen-ud-Din Chishty, Sheikh Baha-ud-Din Zakria, Khawaja Bakhtyar Kaki, Baba Fareed-ud-din Shakarganj, Nizam-ud-Din Olia. Mujadid Alf Sani, Shah Wali Ullah and many others of those times. Islam also made its impact on the Hindu temples and their architecture began reflecting the Islamic way of construction. The religious leaders of Hindus, also influenced by the Islamic principles, reshaped their religious philosophies in the light of Islamic values and principles. They started advocating the Islamic principles of equality, love, brotherhood and oneness of God in their teachings and impressed upon the people to abandon idol worship. The main leaders of Hinduism, influenced by the teachings of Islam, were Chatnia who introduced the Bhagti movement and Baha Ciuru Nanak. the founder of Sikh religion. 2. IMPACT ON ART AND LITERATURE HUM110
Islam left its impact on Indian art and literature. People rejected the out-dated and absurd customs of Hindu society and began adopting new trends of life as preached by Islam. Native art and paintings were influenced by Muslim thought and trend. The old languages Sanskrit had a tinge of Arabic, Persian and laler on Turkish language By the interaction of these languages new languages like Urdu and Hindi emerged. Urdu later on became the language of Muslims and left its impact on many other languages of India. 3. IMPACT ON ARCHITECTURE The Muslim conquests of India left a considerable impact on the Indian architecture and there was a unique development in art during the Muslim rule. Muslim architecture frequently mingled with the Hindu style of buildings The Hindu temples, their pillars and domes reflected some glimpses of Muslim architecture. In the new buildings red stone and marble was used which was a significant characteristic of the Muslim way of construction. 4. IMPACT ON HISTORY The arrival of Muslims in the sub-continent marks a new development in the art of recording historical events. Historical literature which existed before the arrival of the Muslims was mostly legendary and not authentic. In a series of geographical works the Arabs explained topography and political and cultural geography of sub-continent entitled “The Tarikh-ul-Hind wa al Sindh”, which is regarded as the first reliable historical record of the sub-continent. It was translated from Arabic to Persian . Various branches of historiography developed during the sultanate period which included World History and Dynastic History- The “Tabqat-e Nasiry” and the Tarikh-e-Feroz ” are excellent examples of historiography developed during this period. Besides the above-mentioned areas Islam made its impact on every other aspect of Indian society. A sense of homogeneity and oneness HUM110
developed in the social set-up after the arrival of the Muslims in India. Indian society was now a well-knit and a sense of centralism had evolved amongst the various sections of society. With the arrival of the Muslims. India established relations with other countries of the world. Diplomatic: and trade links were established. This had a happy effect on the economy of India. During the reign of Sher Shah Suri the public welfare sector was given special attention. Roads and means of communication were improved. New roads, hospitals, inns and post offices were constructed for the convenience of the people. The first census was held in the time of Muhammad Tughlak. Ala-ud-Din Khilji introduced trade and agricultural reforms. Great Muslim Scientists and Their Contributions to the Fields Of Science AL-RAZI (RHAZES) (864-930 C.E.) Abu Bakr Muhammad Ibn Zakariya al-Razi (864-930 C.E.) was born at Ray, Iran. Initially he was interested in music but later on he learnt Medicine, Mathematics, Astronomy, Chemistry and Philosophy. In medicine his contribution was so significant that it can only be compared to that of Ibn Sina. Some of his works in Medicine e.g. Kitab al-Mansoori, Al-Hawi, Kitab al-Mulooki, and Kitab al-Judari everlasting fame. Kitab al-Mansoori which was translated into Latin in the 15th century, comprised ten volumes and dealt exhaustively with Greco-Arab medicine. He became the first to draw clear comparison between smallpox and chicken-pox. AlHawi was the largest medical encyclopedia composed by then. He greatly favored cure through correct and regulated food and psychological treatment. He was also an expert surgeon and was the first to use opium for anesthesia. HUM110
He compounded medicines and designed several instruments used in chemical investigations. One of his books called Kitab al-Asrar deals with the preparation of chemical materials and their utilization. He paved way for organic and inorganic Chemistry. He was the first to produce sulphuric acid and prepared alcohol by fermenting sweet products. His contribution as a philosopher is also well known. He has more than 200 outstanding scientific contributions to his credit, out of which about half deal with Medicine and 21 concern alchemy. ABU'L WALEED MUHAMMAD IBN RUSHD (AVERROES) (1128-1198 C.E.) Abu'l Waleed Muhammad Ibn Rushd, known as Averroes in the West, was born in 1128 C.E. in Cordova. Ibn Rushd made remarkable contributions in Philosophy, Logic, Medicine, and Jurisprudence. In Medicine his well known book Kitab al-Kulyat fi al-Tibb was written before 1162 C.E. Its Latin translation was known as 'Colliget'. In it, Ibn Rushd had thrown light on various aspects of Medicine including the diagnoses, cure and prevention of diseases. In Philosophy Tuhafut al-Tuhafut was written in response to Ghazali's work. In Astronomy he wrote a treatise on the motion of the sphere, Kitab fi-Harakat al-Falak. Ibn Rushd's writings spread over 20,000 pages, the most famous of which deal with Philosophy, Medicine and Jurisprudence. On Medicine alone he wrote 20 books. Regarding Jurisprudence, his book Hidayat-al-Mujtahid wa-Nihayat-al-Muqtasid has been held by Ibn Jafar Thahabi as possibly the best book on the Maliki School of Fiqah. Ibn Rushd's writings were translated into various languages. Aristotle was recognized in Europe because of Ibn Rushd's deliberations on his work. How ever â€˜Ibn â€˜Ar Rushd was a Heretic and believed in the Eternity of the World. As a person of religious views he is not authentic. HUM110
ABU ALI HASAN IBN AL-HAITHAM (ALHAZEN) (965-1040 C.E.) The father of modern optics, Abu Ali Hasan Ibn al-Haitham was one of the most eminent physicists, whose contributions to optics and the scientific methods are outstanding. His scientific pursuits, included Optics, Mathematics, Physics, Medicine and development of scientific methods on each of which he has several outstanding books. He discovered the laws of refraction and carried out the first experiments on the dispersion of light into its constituent colors. His book Kitab al-Manazir was translated into Latin in the middle Ages. In this work, he rejected the popular idea that eyes give out light rays. Instead, he correctly deduced that eyes work when light rays enter the eye from outside. He dealt at length with the theory of various physical phenomenons like shadows, eclipses, and the rainbow and speculated on the physical nature of light. He is the first to describe accurately the various parts of the eye and give the scientific explanation of the process of vision. He also attempted to explain binocular vision and gave the correct explanation of apparent increase in the size of sun and moon when near the horizon. He is known for the earliest use of camera obscure. His research on catoptrics centered on spherical and parabolic mirrors and spherical aberration. He made the important observation that the ratio between the angle of incidence and refraction does not remain constant and investigated the magnifying power of a lens. In his book Mizan al-Hikmah, Ibn al-Haitham has discussed the density of the atmosphere and studied atmospheric refraction. He discovered the twilight only ceases and begins when the sun is 19Â° below the horizon. In Mathematics, he developed analytical geometry by establishing linkage between algebra and geometry. The list of his books runs to 200 or so.
ABU RAIHAN AL-BIRUNI (973-1048 C.E.) Al-Biruni was a versatile scholar and scientist who had equal facility in Physics, Metaphysics, Mathematics, Geography, Sociology, Astrology, Archeology and History. His well known book Kitab al-Hind gives a graphic account of the historical and social conditions of the sub-continent. His famous book Qanoon-i Masoodi discusses several theories of Astronomy, Trigonometry, solar, lunar and planetary motions and relative topics. In al-Athar al-Baqia, he has attempted a connected account of ancient history of nations and the related geographical knowledge, discussed the rotation of the earth and has given correct values of longitudes and latitudes of various places. His Kitab al-Saidana, combines the Arabic and Indian knowledge on Medicine. Kitab al-Jawahar deals with the properties of various stones. The formula attributed to Newton was actually discovered by him seven centuries before. He developed a new mathematical formula to add geometrical progressions. He was the first to take experiments related to astronomical phenomenon. He ascertained that as compared with the speed of sound, the speed of light is immense. He was authentic astrologer. IBN CINA (AVECENNA) (980-1037 C.E.) Abu Ali al-Hussain Ibn Abdullah Ibn Sina was born in 980 C.E. at Afshana, near Bukhara. He was the most famous physician, philosopher, encyclopedist, mathematician and astronomer of his time. His major contribution to medical science was his famous book Al-Qanoon, known as the â€œCanonâ€? in the West. The Qanun fi al-Tibb is an immense encyclopedia of Medicine extending over a million words. His important original contribution includes such advances as recognition of the contagious nature of phthisis and tuberculosis; distribution of diseases by water and soil and interaction between psychology and health. In addition to describing pharmacological HUM110
methods the book described 760 drugs and became the most authentic materia medica of the era. He was also the first to describe meningitis and made rich contributions to Anatomy, Gynecology and child health. His philosophical encyclopedia Kitab al-Shifa was a monumental work, embodying a vast field of knowledge from philosophy to science. Ibn Sina also contributed to Mathematics, Physics and other fields. In Physics his contribution comprised the study of different forms of energy, heat, light and mechanical and such concepts as force, vacuum and infinity, specific gravity and use of air thermo-meter. JABIR IBN HAIYAN (JEBBER) (BORN 1190 A.D.) Jaber Ibn Haiyan, the alchemist Jebber of the middle Ages, is generally known as the father of chemistry. Abu Musa Jabir Ibn Haiyan, sometimes caled al-Harrani and al-Sufi, was the son of a druggist (Attar). The precise date of his birth is the subject of some discussion, but it is established that he practiced Medicine and Alchemy in Kufa around 776 C.E. He is reported to have studied under Imam Jaâ€™far Sadiq and the Ummayed prince Khalid Ibn Yazid. In his early days, he practiced Medicine and was under the patronage of the Barmaki Vizir during the Abbasid Caliphate of Haroon al-Rashid. He shared some of the effects of the downfall of the Barmakis and was placed under house arrest in Kufa, where he died in 803 C.E. IBN ABBAS ZAHRAWI (936-1013 C.E.) Abul Qasim Khalaf ibn al-Abbas al-Zahrawi was born in 936 C.E. in Zahra in the neighborhood of Cordova. He became one of the most renowned surgeons and physicians of the Muslim era. He is best known for his early and original breakthroughs in surgery as well as for his famous medical encyclopedia called AlTasrif, which is composed of thirty volumes. Three volumes on
surgery specially focus on cauterization, removal of stone from the bladder, dissection of animals, midwifery, styptics and surgery of eye, ear and throat. He perfected several delicate operations, including the removal of dead fetus and amputation. Al Zahrawi was the inventor of several surgical instruments and specialized in curing disease by cauterization. Al Zahrawi was also an expert in dentistry, and his book contains sketches of various instruments used thereof. He discussed the problem of deformed teeth and developed the technique of preparing artificial teeth and of replacement of defective teeth by these. In Medicine, he was the first to describe in detail the unusual disease, hemophilia. ABU AL-NASR AL-FARABI (870-950 C.E.) Abu Nasr Muhammad Ibn al-Farakh al-Farabi was born in a small village Wasij, near Farab in Turkistan in 259 A.H.(870 C.E.). As a philosopher and scientist, he acquired great proficiency in various branches of learning and is reported to have been expert in different languages. Farabi contributed considerably to Science, Philosophy, Logic, Sociology, Psychology, Medicine, Mathematics and Music. He was also an encyclopedist. Author of large number of books on several subjects embodying his original contribution; he came to be known as the â€œSecont Teacherâ€? (al-Muallam al-Sani) Aristotle being the first. One of the important contributions of the Farabi was to make the study of logic easier by dividing it into two categories viz., Takhayyul (idea) and Sabut (proof). In Sociology he wrote several books out of which Ara Ahl alMadina al-Fadila became famous. IBN AL-BAITAR (DIED 1248 A.D.) Abu Muhammad Abdullah Ibn Ahmad Ibn al-Baitar Dhiya al-Din HUM110
al-Malaqi was one of the greatest scientists of Muslim Spain and was the greatest botanist and pharmacist of the Middle Ages. He learned Botany from Abu al-Abbas al-Nabati,with whom he started collecting plants in and around Spain on a plant collecting expedition and traveled along the northern coast of Africa as far as Asia Minor. The major stations he visited include Bugia, Constantinople, Tunis, Tripoli, Barqa, Adalia and Syria. Ibn Baitarâ€™s major contribution, Kitab al-Jami fi al-Adwiya alMufrada, is one of the greatest botanical compilations dealing with medicinal plants in Arabic. The encyclopedia comprises some 1,400 different items, largely medicinal plants and vegetables, of which about 200 plants were not known earlier. His second monumental treatise Kitab al-Mughni fi al-Adwiya alMufrada is an encyclopedia of Medicine. The drugs are listed in accordance with their therapeutical value. Thus, its twenty different chapters deal with the plants bearing significance to disease of head, ear, eye etc. ALI IBN RABBAN AL-TABARI (838-870 A.D.) Abu al-Hasan Ali Ibn Sahl Rabban al-Tabari was born in 838 A.D. Professionally; Sahl was an extremely successful physician. He had command over Calligraphy, Astronomy, Philosophy, Mathematics, Literature and Syriac and Greek languages. The main cause behind his exaltation lies in his world-renowned treatise Firdous-al-Hikmat. Spread over seven parts, Firdous alHikmat is the first ever medical encyclopedia which incorporates all the branches of medical science in its folds. Part One: Kulliyat-e-Tibb. This part throws light on contemporary ideology of medical science in that era. Part Two: Elucidation of the organs of the human body, rules for keeping good health and comprehensive account of certain muscular diseases. Part Three: Description of diet to be taken in conditions of health HUM110
and disease. Part Four: All diseases from head to toe. Part Five: Description of flavor, taste and color. Part Six: Drugs and poison. Part Seven: Deals with diverse topics. Discusses climate and astronomy. Also contains a brief mention of Indian medicine. He has two more compilations to his credit namely Deen-o-Doulat Hifz-al-Sehat. NASEER AL-DIN AL-TUSI (1201-1274 A.D.) Abu Jafar Muhammad Ibn Muhammad Ibn al-Hasan Naseer al-Din al-Tusi was born in Tus (Khurasan) in 1201 A.D. Naseer al-Din was one of the greatest scientists, philosophers, mathematicians, astronomers, theologians and physicians of the time and was a prolific writer. He made significant contributions to a large number of subjects. He wrote several treatises on different sciences and subjects including Geometry, Algebra, Arithmetic, Trigonometry, Medicine, Metaphysics, Logic, Ethics and Theology. In addition he wrote poetry in Persian. In Mathematics, his major contribution would seem to be in trigonometry, which was compiled by him as a new subject in its own right for the first time. Also he developed the subject of spherical trigonometry, including six fundamental formulas for the solution of spherical right-angled triangles. As the chief scientist of the observatory established under his supervision at Maragh a, he made significant contributions to Astronomy. The observatory was equipped with the best possible instruments. He himself invented an instrument â€œturquetâ€? that contained two planes. His book Akhlaq e Nasr became the most important work on ethics. And Tajrid al-Aqaid was well known contribution on Islamic scholastic Philosophy.
Major World Religions: Hinduism - 4000 to 2500 BCE* The origins of Hinduism can be traced to the Indus Valley civilization sometime between 4000 and 2500 BC. Though believed by many to be a polytheistic religion, the basis of Hinduism is the belief in the unity of everything. This totality is called Brahman. The purpose of life is to realize that we are part of God and by doing so we can leave this plane of existence and rejoin with God. This enlightenment can only be achieved by going through cycles of birth, life and death known as samsara. One's progress towards enlightenment is measured by his karma. This is the accumulation of all one's good and bad deeds and this determines the person's next reincarnation. Selfless acts and thoughts as well as devotion to God help one to be reborn at a higher level. Bad acts and thoughts will cause one to be born at a lower level, as a person or even an animal. Hindus follow a strict caste system which determines the standing of each person. The caste one is born into is the result of the karma from their previous life. Only members of the highest caste, the brahmins, may perform the Hindu religious rituals and hold positions of authority within the temples. Judaism - 2000 BCE Judaism, Christianity and Islam all originated with a divine covenant between the God of the ancient Israelites and Abraham around 2000 BCE. The next leader of the Israelites, Moses, led his people out of captivity in Egypt and received the Law from God. Joshua later led them into the Promised Land where Samuel
established the Israelite kingdom with Saul as its first king. King David established Jerusalem and King Solomon built the first temple there. In 70 CE the temple was destroyed and the Jews were scattered throughout the world until 1948 when the state of Israel was formed. Jews believe in one creator who alone is to be worshipped as absolute ruler of the universe. He monitors peopleâ€™s activities and rewards good deeds and punishes evil. The Torah was revealed to Moses by God and can not be changed though God does communicate with the Jewish people through prophets. Jews believe in the inherent goodness of the world and its inhabitants as creations of God and do not require a savior to save them from original sin. They believe they are God's chosen people and that the Messiah will arrive in the future, gather them into Israel, there will be a general resurrection of the dead, and the Jerusalem Temple destroyed in 70 CE will be rebuilt. Buddhism - 560 to 490 BCE Buddhism developed out of the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama who, in 535 BCE, reached enlightenment and assumed the title Buddha. He promoted 'The Middle Way' as the path to enlightenment rather than the extremes of mortification of the flesh or hedonism. Long after his death the Buddha's teachings were written down. This collection is called the Tripitaka. Buddhists believe in reincarnation and that one must go through cycles of birth, life, and death. After many such cycles, if a person releases their attachment to desire and the self, they can attain Nirvana. In general, Buddhists do not believe in any type of God, the need for a savior, prayer, or eternal life after death. However, since the time of the Buddha, Buddhism has integrated many regional religious rituals, beliefs and customs into it as it has spread throughout Asia, so that this generalization is no longer true for all Buddhists. This has occurred with little conflict due to the philosophical nature of Buddhism.
Confucianism - 500 BCE
K'ung Fu Tzu (Confucius) was born in 551 BCE in the state of Lu in China. He traveled throughout China giving advice to its rulers and teaching. His teachings and writings dealt with individual morality and ethics, and the proper exercise of political power. He stressed the following values:
Li: ritual, propriety, etiquette, etc. Hsiao: love among family members Yi: righteousness Xin: honesty and trustworthiness Jen: benevolence towards others; the highest Confucian virtue Chung: loyalty to the state, etc.
Unlike most religions, Confucianism is primarily an ethical system with rituals at important times during one's lifetime. The most important periods recognized in the Confucian tradition are birth, reaching maturity, marriage, and death.
Jainism - 420 BCE The founder of the Jain community was Vardhamana, the last Jina in a series of 24 who lived in East India. He attained enlightenment after 13 years of deprivation and committed the act of salekhana, fasting to death, in 420 BCE. Jainism has many similarities to Hinduism and Buddhism which developed in the same part of the world. They believe in karma and reincarnation as do Hindus but they believe that enlightenment and liberation from this cycle can only be achieved through asceticism. Jains follow fruititarianism. This is the practice of only eating that which will not kill the plant or animal from which it is taken. They also practice ahimsa, non-violence, because any act of violence against a living thing creates negative karma which will adversely affect one's next life.
Taoism - 440 CE Taoism was founded by Lao-Tse, a contemporary of Confucius in China. Taoism began as a combination of psychology and philosophy which Lao-Tse hoped would help end the constant feudal warfare and other conflicts of his time. His writings, the HUM110
Tao-te-Ching, describe the nature of life, the way to peace and how a ruler should lead his life. Taoism became a religion in 440 CE when it was adopted as a state religion. Tao, roughly translated as path, is a force which flows through all life and is the first cause of everything. The goal of everyone is to become one with the Tao. Tai Chi, a technique of exercise using slow deliberate movements, is used to balance the flow of energy or "chi" within the body. People should develop virtue and seek compassion, moderation and humility. One should plan any action in advance and achieve it through minimal action. Yin (dark side) and Yang (light side) symbolize pairs of opposites which are seen through the universe, such as good and evil, light and dark, male and female. The impact of human civilization upsets the balance of Yin and Yang. Taoists believe that people are by nature, good, and that one should be kind to others simply because such treatment will probably be reciprocated.
Christianity - 30+ CE Christianity started out as a breakaway sect of Judaism nearly 2000 years ago. Jesus, the son of the Virgin Mary and her husband Joseph, but conceived through the Holy Spirit, was bothered by some of the practices within his native Jewish faith and began preaching a different message of God and religion. During his travels he was joined by twelve disciples who followed him in his journeys and learned from him. He performed many miracles during this time and related many of his teachings in the form of parables. Among his best known sayings are to "love thy neighbor" and "turn the other cheek." At one point he revealed that he was the Son of God sent to Earth to save humanity from our sins. This he did by being crucified on the cross for his teachings. He then rose from the dead and appeared to his disciples and told them to go forth and spread his message. Since Christianity and Judaism share the same history up to the time of Jesus Christ, they are very similar in many of their core beliefs. There are two primary differences. One is that Christians believe in original sin and that Jesus died in our place to save us from that sin. The other is that Jesus was fully human and fully HUM110
God and as the Son of God is part of the Holy Trinity: God the Father, His Son, and the Holy Spirit. All Christians believe in heaven and that those who sincerely repent their sins before God will be saved and join Him in heaven. Belief in hell and satan varies among groups and individuals. There are a multitude of forms of Christianity which have developed either because of disagreements on dogma, adaptation to different cultures, or simply personal taste. For this reason there can be a great difference between the various forms of Christianity they may seem like different religions to some people. Sikhism - 1500 CE The Sikh faith was founded by Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji in the Punjab area, now Pakistan. He began preaching the way to enlightenment and God after receiving a vision. After his death a series of nine Gurus (regarded as reincarnations of Guru Nanak) led the movement until 1708. At this time these functions passed to the Panth and the holy text. This text, the Shri Guru Granth Sahib, was compiled by the tenth Guru, Gobind Singh. It consists of hymns and writings of the first 10 Gurus, along with texts from different Muslim and Hindu saints. The holy text is considered the 11th and final Guru. Sikhs believe in a single formless God with many names, who can be known through meditation. Sikhs pray many times each day and are prohibited from worshipping idols or icons. They believe in samsara, karma, and reincarnation as Hindus do but reject the caste system. They believe that everyone has equal status in the eyes of God. During the 18th century, there were a number of attempts to prepare an accurate portrayal of Sikh customs. Sikh scholars and theologians started in 1931 to prepare the Reht Maryada -- the Sikh code of conduct and conventions. This has successfully achieved a HUM110
high level of uniformity in the religious and social practices of Sikhism throughout the world. It contains 27 articles. Article 1 defines who is a Sikh: "Any human being who faithfully believes in:
One Immortal Being, Ten Gurus, from Guru Nanak Dev to Guru Gobind Singh, The Guru Granth Sahib, The utterances and teachings of the ten Gurus and the baptism bequeathed by the tenth Guru, and who does not owe allegiance to any other religion, is a Sikh."
Islam - 622 CE Islam was founded in 622 CE by Muhammad the Prophet, in Makkah (also spelled Mecca). Though it is the youngest of the world's great religions, Muslims do not view it as a new religion. They belief that it is the same faith taught by the prophets, Abraham, David, Moses and Jesus. The role of Muhammad as the last prophet was to formalize and clarify the faith and purify it by removing ideas which were added in error. The two sacred texts of Islam are the Qur'an, which are the words of Allah 'the One True God' as given to Muhammad, and the Hadith, which is a collection of Muhammad's sayings. The duties of all Muslims are known as the Five Pillars of Islam and are: 1. Recite the shahadah at least once.
2. Perform the salat (prayer) 5 times a day while facing the Kaaba in Makkah. 3. Donate regularly to charity via the zakat, a 2.5% charity tax, and through additional donations to the needy. 4. Fast during the month of Ramadan, the month that Muhammad received the Qur'an from Allah. 5. Make pilgrimage to Makkah at least once in life, if economically and physically possible. Muslims follow a strict monotheism with one creator who is just, omnipotent and merciful. They also believe in Satan who drives/Motivates people to sin and to transgress, and that all unbelievers and sinners will spend eternity in Hell. Muslims who sincerely repent and submit to God will return to a state of sinlessness and go to Heavenly Paradise after death. Alcohol, drugs, and gambling should be avoided and they reject racism. They respect the earlier prophets, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus/Iesous, but regard the concept of the divinity of Jesus as blasphemous and do not believe that he was executed on the cross/ stake etc.