Radiant Reality

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Regd. No.: JKENG/2000/4174
Published From  Srinagar.

Editor, Printer & Publisher: Mawlana Hamidullah Lone.

Feb. 2007.  VOL.8, No: 02

1. Editorial - Right or Wrong
2. Questions & Answers

3. Lesson from Al-Quran

4. Lesson from Bukhari Sharief

5. Our enemies they are not

6. The Issue of Inheritance

7. Why should I wear Hijaab

8. Belonging also to paradise, belonging also to hell.

9. Islamic Finance

10. Conception of Islamic mysticism

11. Saviours of the Islamic Spirit


Giving Thanks to Allah

Being grateful is to render one's thanks to someone who has shown favour, to express gratitude and to appreciate. The concept of being grateful to Allh, on the other hand, is to grasp and express that every kind of grace and favour is granted exclusively by Allh. In the Qurn, the opposite of being grateful is defined by the term "disbelief," which is synonymous to being ungrateful. Only this definition indicates the importance attached to being grateful as a worship and the detrimental consequences it may have for a believer.

Gratefulness to Allh is one of the concepts mostly emphasised in the Qurn. In almost 70 verses, the importance of rendering thanks to Allh is stated, the examples of those who are grateful and ungrateful are given and the result they face is related. The reason why so much importance is given to this concept is simply because it is a mere indication of one's faith and affirmation of the unity of Allh. In one of the verses being grateful is described as akin to worshipping Allh alone: "O you who believe! Eat of the good things that We have provided for you, and be grateful to Allh, if it is Him you worship." (Al-Baqara, 172)

The statement of the evil Satan emphasises the importance of giving thanks to Allh: "He said: Because you have thrown me out of the way, lo! I will lie in wait for them on your straight way: Then will I assault them from before them and behind them, from their right and their left: Nor will you find, in most of them, gratitude (for your mercies)." (Al-Araf, 17)

As stated in the verse above, Satan devoted his life to mislead people due to his envy. His ultimate aim is to make people ungrateful to their Creator. When this ultimate purpose of the Satan is considered, it becomes more comprehensible how a man goes astray when he does not render thanks to Allh.


Gratefulness is a part of the test by Allh. Man is surely endowed with favour from Him and is informed about how he should benefit from this favour. In return, man is expected to assume a submissive attitude towards his Creator. However, it is again only man himself who chooses to be grateful or ungrateful to Allh: "We created Man from a drop of mingled sperm, in order to try him: So We gave him (the gifts), of Hearing and Sight. We showed him the Way: whether he be grateful or ungrateful (rests on his will)." (Al-Insan, 2-3) As the verses suggest, the choice of a person in this world, namely being grateful or ungrateful, is explicitly a clear sign of his faith or disbelief.

Gratefulness is also closely related to the punishment in the Hereafter. No punishment shall befall those who have faith and are grateful: "What can Allh gain by your punishment, if you are grateful and you believe? Nay, it is Allh that recognise (all good), and know all things." (An-Nisa, 147) This verse, together with many others give the good tidings that Allh reward those who remain grateful to their Creator: "And remember! Your Lord caused to be declared (publicly): "If you are grateful, I will add more (favours) unto you; But if you show ingratitude, truly My punishment is terrible indeed." (Abraham, 7)

"That is (the Bounty) whereof Allh gives Glad Tidings to His Servants who believe and do righteous deeds. Say: "No reward do I ask of you for this except the love of those near of kin." And if any one earns any good, We shall give him an increase of good in respect thereof: for Allh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Ready to appreciate (service)." (Ash-Shura, 23)

"The people of Lt rejected (his) warning. We sent against them a violent tornado with showers of stones, (which destroyed them), except Lut's household: them We delivered by early Dawn,- As a Grace from Us: thus do We reward those who give thanks." (Al-Qamar, 33-35) "If you would count up the favours of Allh, never would you be able to number them: for Allh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." (Al-Nahl, 18) As this verse suggests, let alone counting up the favours of Allh, it not conceivable to categorise them. Since there is no limit to the favours of Allh, a believer should unceasingly keep himself occupied with the remembrance of Allh and express his gratefulness to Him.

In expectation of some grand favour, some people wait for special occasions to render their thanks to Allh. Settlement of a major problem, or recovering from a serious sickness are the proper times to express one's inner gratefulness to Allh, so they assume. However, if one reflects only for a moment, he would instantly comprehend that he is always surrounded with infinite favours. At every moment, every minute, there is an uninterrupted flow of favours reaching him: his life, good health, intelligence, consciousness, his five senses, the air that he breaths; in brief, everything that makes life possible is given to man as a favour. In return for all these, a person is expected to serve Allh in gratitude. Those who are heedless of these favours and accordingly neglect to turn to Allh for expressing their gratefulness, only acknowledge the importance of these favours when they are deprived of them. This is indeed a punishment for their ingratitude.

A person can never say: "I fulfil my regular prayers and engage in righteous deeds but do not give thanks to Allh." A person who is not grateful to Allh is someone who does not occupy himself with the remembrance of Allh, and hence is heedless of Him. An act of worship performed in a heedless mood surely has no value in the presence of Allh. A person who consumes everything given to Him like animals without pondering over the reason why it is granted and the One who grants them, surely needs to change this attitude.

In many verses, Allh advises His Messengers to be grateful and Prophet Musa (A.S.) is one of them: "(Allh) said: "O Moses! I have chosen you above (other) men, by the mission I (have given you) and the words I (have spoken to you): take then the (revelation) which I give you, and be of those who give thanks." (Al-Araf, 144)


Question Answer

Question: I had gone to Riyadh where I saw in a Masjid that people were using Miswaak while in Saffah (rows). When the Mukabbir started reciting Iqaamah, the people first used Miswaak and then stood up to offer Salaah. After Salaah, I asked the Imaam whether it is permitted to do this act. The Imaam told me that it is related in a Hadith that one should use Miswaak before Salaah and before Wudhu. I think that to use Miswaak before the Salaah means that the people who have remained with Wudhu between Asr and Magrib Salaah and ate or drank something in between, it is for these people to use Miswaak and rinse their mouth before offering Salaah?

Answer: The Hadith that has been referred to by the Imaam is:

If I had no apprehension that it would drive my Ummah into difficulty, I would have ordered them to use Miswaak before every Salaah.

There is disagreement between the narrators of this Hadith regarding its words. Some of them narrate the word while some other narrate (Sahih Bukhari)which means that at the time of every Wudhu Miswaak should be used.

While keeping in view both types of words Imam Abu Haniefah (RA) has derived the following meaning:

That before Salaah one should do Wudhu and before every Wudhu one should use Miswaak. The purpose of the direction that one should use Miswaak before every Salaah is that before every Wudhu of any Salaah one should use Miswaak. It doesn't mean that precisely before standing for Salaah one should first use Miswaak. In doing so there is apprehension that blood may ooze out of ones teeth that will result in nullification of Wudhu. And when there is no Wudhu, no Salaah can be offered. So according to Imam Abu Haniefah (RA), it is Sunnah to use Miswaak before every Wudhu.

Moreover, the purpose of using Miswaak is to cleanse one mouth and this purpose can be achieved only when after using Miswaak a person also rinses his mouth with water. It is not possible for one to cleanse his mouth without rinsing his mouth with water after using Miswaak, which is the real purpose of Miswaak.

Since the people of Saudi follow the Imam Ahmad bin Hambal (RA) and according to him if blood oozes out, it does not nullify ones Wudhu. That is why they use Miswaak before offering Salaah and take the meaning of Hadith this way.

Question: Due to compulsion a person uses a wig. Is it necessary for him to remove his wig while doing Masah on his head or he can do it while having his wig on?

Answer: To use artificial hair is not permitted in Islam. There is no compulsion to do such an act as stated by you. Masah should be done after removing the wig; the Wudhu will not be valid if Masah is done over the wig.

Question: Is it good to perform Wudhu at night before going to bed?

Answer: Yes, it is good to peform Wudhu before going to bed.



Lesson From The Quran

Commentary: Mawln Mufti Mohammad Shafi Sahib (RA)

Verses 72 73

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And when you killed a man, and began to push and pull each other for it; while Allah was to bring forth what you were holding back. So, We said, "Strike him with a part of it." Similar to that, Allah revives the dead. And He shows you His signs, so that you may understand.

The murderer had his supporters who wanted to hide his crime, and hence began accusing different people. But Allah willed that the criminal should be brought to book, and appointed a miraculous way of identifying him - that is, the dead body of the murdered man should be touched with a part of the flesh of the sacrificial cow. When this was done, the dead man came back to life, announced the name of his murderer, and died again.

This miraculous event is a manifestation of the omnipotence of Allah, and Holy Qur'an presents it as an argument against those who deny the Resurrection of the dead for the Last Judgment. Verse 73 says that this precedent should induce people to make use of their reason, and see that what has happened in a past instance can as easily happen in a future instance.

With regard to this event one may ask as to why Allah made the resurrection of the dead man depend upon his being touched with a part of flesh when he had the power to bring the man back to life without the intervention of any such device; or, one may ask as to why the dead man should have been brought back to life when the name of the murderer could have been revealed even otherwise. In answer to this, we shall say that Allah is omnipotent, and does not act under any kind of compulsion, but that all His actions proceed from His all-embracing wisdom. Moreover, it is He alone who knows, and can know, the raison d'etre of what He does. The Shari'ah does not oblige us to discover the raison d'etre of each and every divine act, nor is it necessary or possible that we should be able to comprehend the raison d'etre in each case. The best way in such a case is to accept-what Allah or the Holy Prophet (S) has said, and to keep quiet.

Let us say a word about the arrangement and sequence of the events. Verse 72 relates how a man was murdered, and how people started accusing each other. This is the beginning of the story which has been related earlier in Verses 67-71. This chronological order has

not been preserved in the narration, but inverted, and this re-arrangement has a subtle significance. This long section of the Surah (Chapter) has been dealing with the transgressions of the Israelites, and this is just what the Holy Qur'an intends to bring out in narrating different stories, the narrating of stories not being an object in itself here. The present story is meant to show two misdeeds -firstly, committing a murder and then trying to hide it; secondly, raising uncalled-for objections to divine commandments. If the chronological order had been kept up, the readers would have supposed that it was only the first of these that was really intended, while the second was added only by way of completing the story. The present arrangement clearly shows that both the misdeeds have been equally emphasized.

Injunctions and related consideration

In this incident the statement of the murdered man was considered evidence for condemning the murderer, because Allah had informed Sayyidna Musa (AS) through revelation that the man would, on coming back to life, speak the truth. Otherwise, one cannot be declared as being guilty of murder without proper evidence, the rules of which have been laid down by the Shari'ah.

Verse 74


When, even after that your hearts were hardened, as if they were like the rocks, or still worse in hardness. For surely among the rocks there are some from which rivers gush forth, and there are others which burst out and water flows from them, and there are still others which fall down in fear of Allah. And Allah is not unaware of what you do.

The Surah has been relating a number of incidents which show that the Israelites were always prone to disobedience and rebellion and had to undergo punishment again and again. Such an experience should have taught them humility and obedience. On the contrary, their hearts became all the more hardened against divine guidance. This insensibility led them into further misdeeds and transgressions. The present verse describes their degeneracy, and warns them that Allah knows everything they have been doing, and will punish them for their evil deeds.

In contrasting the hearts of the Israelites with stones, the verse refers to three states of the latter: (1) Some stones give forth a great amount of water. (2) Others give forth only a small quantity. (3) Still others do not give forth water, but fall down from their place for fear of Allah.

The first two of these states are a matter of everyday observation, but the third may be subject to doubt, for the ability to feel fear requires reason and sensibility, and the stones, as one supposes, do not possess these faculties. But reason is not always a necessary requisite for the ability to feel fear - after all, animals do feel fear, even though they do not possess reason. Sensibility is, of course, necessary. But there is no rational argument which should deny sensibility to minerals. For sensibility depends on life, and the minerals may possibly possess a kind of subtle life which man may not be aware of. In fact, scientists have recently discovered the signs of life and sensibility in minerals too. Anyhow, an explicit statement in the Holy Qur'an carries a validity and an authority which no physical science or rational argument can dispute.

Then, we do not claim that fear of Allah is always the only cause which makes a stone fall down. For, the Holy Qur'an itself says that this cause operates only in the case of some stones. So, there may be different causes which make stones fall down; some of these causes may be purely physical, while one of them may be the fear of Allah.

The order in which the three kinds of stones have been mentioned is very subtle, and, in view of the meaning and purpose intended, extremely expressive and significant. The verse places in the highest degree those stones whose affectivity is so strong that rivers gush forth from them, and provide sustenance to beasts and men. In contrast to them, it has been suggested, the hearts of the Jews are so hard that they are incapable of feeling any sympathy for their fellow-men even in suffering and pain, and hence incapable of wishing to do them good. In the second degree come the stones which do serve the creatures of Allah, but to a lesser extent. But the hearts of Jews are harder than even these. To the lowest degree of affectivity belong those stones which do not benefit anyone, but can at least 'feel' the fear of Allah. But the Jews are devoid of even this minimum degree of sensitivity.

Verse 75


Do you still fancy that they will believe you, although a group of them used to hear the word of Allah, and then, after having understood it, used to distort it knowingly?

The Muslims used to take great pains in trying to make the Jews accept Islam. Having recounted so many stories of the perversity of the Jews, the Holy Qur'an points out to the Muslims that they cannot expect such a people to be sensible, and asks them not to worry much about them. For, some of the Jews have been committing an even more heinous sin - they used to change and distort the Word of Allah in spite of knowing the ignominy of such a deed. So, the Holy Qur'an wants the Muslims to realize that men who are so enslaved to their desires and so shameless in their pursuit of evil, cannot be expected to listen to anyone.

The "Word of Allah" mentioned in the verse refers to the Torah which the Jews had "heard" from the prophets, and the distortion pertains to the changes made in the words themselves or in the sense or in both; or it refers to the words of Allah which the seventy men had heard directly on the Mount Tur (Sinai) where they had gone to seek divine confirmation of what Sayyidna Musa (AS) (Moses) had been telling and the distortion pertains to their declaration before their people that Allah had promised to forgive them if they could not act upon certain commandments.

The Jews who were the contemporaries of the Holy Prophet (S) may not have themselves been involved in some of these transgressions, but since they did not abhor the misdeeds of their forefathers, they are to be considered as their counterparts.

Verse 76


And when they meet those who believe, they say, "We believe." But when some of them meet others in private, they say, "Do you tell them what Allah has disclosed to you so that they may thereby argue against you before your Lord? Have you, then, no sense?"

Some of the Jews, seeing the growing power of the Muslims in Madinah and around it, pretended to have accepted Islam. In order to assure the Muslims of their sincerity and to win their favour, these hypocrites would now and then disclose to them that the Torah itself had given out the good tidings of the coming of the Holy Prophet (S) and mentioned the Holy Qur'an. But when they met other Jews who openly declared their adherence to Judaism, they would admit that they were only trying to deceive the Muslims, and were otherwise quite loyal to their own faith. On such occasions, those of the other group used to reprimand them for revealing to the Muslims what they themselves were trying to keep concealed, for a knowledge of the relevant verses of the Torah could be very useful for the Muslims in order to defeat the Jews in their argument.

Verses 77-79

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Are they not aware that Allah knows what they conceal and what they manifest? And some among them are illiterate who have no knowledge of the Book, but have some fancies, and they do nothing but make conjectures. So, woe to those who write the Book with their hands and then say, "This is from Allah", so that they may gain a small price out of it. Then, woe to them for what their hands have written, and woe to them for what they earn.

Allah reminds the Jews that He is omniscient, and knows what they try to keep concealed as well as what they say or do openly. So, it would make no difference at all, if the hypocrites tried to conceal their infidelity from the Muslims, or the other group, not to disclose the verses of the Torah which speak of the Holy Prophet (S). For, Allah Himself has, on different occasions, informed the Muslims in the Holy Qur'an as to the hypocrisy of certain Jews and as to the testimony of the Torah also.

Verse 77 deals with the educated ones among the Jews, while Verse 78 speaks of those who were unlettered. These men had no knowledge of the Torah, and were even deficient in their understanding. Then, the Jewish scholars did not give them correct or proper information about their religion. No wonder, their minds were stuffed only with baseless superstitions which they found very pleasant and flattering.

Since the dishonesty of their scholars was the real cause of their superstitiousness, the crime of the former was greater than that of the latter. So, Verse 79 turns to the Jewish scholars. They were greedy and self-seeking, and in order to please the people for receiving money and respect from them, they used to misrepresent divine injunctions, going so far as to change the words of the Torah or distort the sense, pretending all the while that this was just what Allah had said or meant. The Verse 79 announces a grievous punishment for these two sins - distorting the Word of Allah and earning money by doing so.

A doctrinal point

Verse 78 says that the illiterate Jews follow their Zann, that is to say, their fancies or conjectures. Some people do not pay any attention to the context in which the word has been used here, and come to the erroneous conclusion that it is not legitimate to accept or follow any view or injunction based on Zann, which they always translate as "a fanciful supposition." This, no doubt, is one of the lexical meanings of the word, but only one. Let us explain that the Holy Qur'an uses the word Zann in three ways:-

(1) To signify perfect certitude -"Those who are certain that they are going to meet their Lord" (2:46). (2) To signify the greatest likelihood - "And he said to him whom he thought was the more likely of the two to be released from the prison" (12:42). (3) To signify a mere fanciful supposition - as in the present verse. The Zann which the Holy Qur'an prohibits us to follow is that of the third kind. This verse condemns the Jews for having followed this kind of Zann which consists in a fanciful opinion that is not supported by a respectable argument or goes against a valid one. On the contrary, it is necessary to follow the Zann of the first two kinds. When certain ahadith or certain arguments and conclusions in the Shari'ah are described as resting on Zann, it is done according to the second signification of the word. One cannot avoid this kind of Zann in any sphere of life, and the Shari'ah requires us to accept and follow it. Certain verses of the Holy Qur'an, of course, condemn those who follow their Zann, but to apply this condemnation to all the possible cases, and to use such verses for rejecting all the legitimate arguments and injunctions of the Shari'ah based on Zann is to betray one's ignorance of the Holy Qur'an.



Lesson From The Bukhari Sharief

Dr. Rafiq Ahmad

Deedr () of Allh Tal

The greatest blessing in Jannah will be the Deedr of Allh Tal. ( i.e. the dwellers of Jannah will be able to see (Allh Tal).

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That day will faces be resplendent. Looking towards their Allh. (75:22-23)

Hadhrat Suhaib (RA) narrates that he heard Rasulullah (Sallallhu Alaihi Wasallam) saying, when the people of Jannah will arrive there, Allh will enquire from them Do you wish that We may grant one more favour to you (i.e. bestow upon you a blessing in addition to what you have already received)? They will answer You have bestowed so many favours on us and you saved us from Jahannam and granted us Jannah. What more can we ask for ? The veil will then be lifted and they will be able to see Allh Tal. This blessing will surpass all other favours that had been conferred on them.

Rasulullah (Sallallhu Alaihi Wasallam) thereafter recited the following verse of the Qurn:

Or those who do good is the best place and more there to. (10:26)

Rasulullah (Sallallhu Alaihi Wasallam) is reported to have said:

You will see your Allh Tal clearly.

(Bukhari and Muslim)

Hadhrat Jareer Ibn Abdullah (RA) narrated that one night we were sitting with Rasulullah (Sallallhu Alaihi Wasallam), and he looked at the moon. It was the fourteenth night of the month, and the full moon was shining in the sky. Rasulullah (Sallallhu Alaihi Wasallam) then turned towards us and said:

"Surely you will see Allh Tal as you are seeing the moon. You will have to make no special effort to see Him, nor will there be any other difficulty. (Bukhari and Muslim)

This Hadith has been narrated by twenty one Sahbah (RA).

Nay, but surely on that Day they will be covered from their Allh Tal (and prevented from seeing Him) (pertaining to the non-believers). (83:15)

It is impossible to see Allh Tal

In this world in a state of wakefulness, it is not possible to see Allh Tal with the naked eye.

First proof:

The eyes cannot comprehend Him but He comprehends everything. (6:103)

This means that in this world the creation is unable to see Allh Tal with the naked eye. However Allh comprehends everything.

Second proof:

It is reported that Hadhrat Abdullah Bin Shaqeeq (RA) said to Hadhrat Abu Zar Gafari (RA), If I had met Rasulullah (Sallallhu Alaihi Wasallam), I would have certainly asked him a question. Hadhrat Abu Zar (RA) asked: What is it that you wished to ask? He replied: I would have asked, did you (i.e., Rasulullah (Sallallhu Alaihi Wasallam)) see your Allh? Hadhrat Abu Zar (RA) said: I asked Rasulullah (Sallallhu Alaihi Wasallam) this question and he replied: Allh is Nur, how could I have seen him. (Tirmidhi)

To have seen Allh Tal by Rasulullah (Sallallhu Alaihi Wasallam) on the night of Meraj is not contradictory to this Hadith, since Rasulullah (Sallallhu Alaihi Wasallam) saw Allh in Jannah and not in this world. This proves that Rasulullah (Sallallhu Alaihi Wasallam) did not see Allh Tal in this world.

However pious people are sometimes most privileged to see Allh Tal in their dreams. It is reported that Imm Abu Haniefah (RA) and Imm Ahmed bin Hambal (RA) saw Allh Tal in their dream.

Punishment and reward in the Hereafter

Punishment and reward in the Hereafter is dependent on the condition of man at the time of his death.

First proof:

Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Masood (RA) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallhu Alaihi Wasallam) said: You may do good deeds which take you towards Jannah, you will only be a foot away from Jannah and you may do evil that ultimately leads you into Jahannam.

Second proof:

Rasulullah (Sallallhu Alaihi Wasallam) has said in a Hadith:

Your deeds are judged by your condition at the time of your death.

Allh Tal accepts his repentance

Whenever a person repents sincerely, Allh Tal accepts his repentance and forgives him. However at the time of death, when he becomes able to see the angels of death and punishment, his repentance and Imn is not accepted.

First proof:

Of no effect is the repentance of those who continue to do evil, until death faces them and he says now have I repented indeed. (4-8)

Second proof:

Say! O my servants who have transgressed against their souls- Despair not of the mercy of Allh; for Allh forgives all sins, for He is All Forgiving Most Merciful. (39-53)

Third proof:

Allh accepts the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and repent soon afterwards, to them will Allh turn in mercy, for Allh is full of knowledge and wisdom. (4:17)



Chapter (Bb) 39 : Without Tarjamatul Bb.

Purpose of Tarjamatul Bb

Imm Bukhari has not established any title (Tarjamatul Bb) for this chapter. In some copies of Bukhari Sharief even the word "Bb" is not there which can imply that this Hadith will be included in the previous chapter. In previous chapter Imm Bukhari said that Imn, Islm and Ahsn are all Deen, Here tries to convey that Deen has different grades as in the Hadith quoted here, the Heraclius uses the word "Deen" when he asks Ibn Sufyn, "Does any body leave this Deen after entering into it? Abu Sufyn answers in negative. In response to the answer of Abu Sufyn, Heraclius says, "That is Imn when a small bit of it enters into the hearts, no one hates it" What Heraclius called as "Deen" in his question, he called the same as "Imn" in his answer, thereby meaning that both are same.

Sheikh-ul-Hind says: In this chapter Imm Bukhari is compensating the thing which he said in the chapter titled "Fear of a believer that his deeds may be nullified". In that chapter Imm Bukhari said that a believer should live in a constant fear of losing his Imn. In this Hadith, he is saying that once Imn gets incorporated in heart then it never leaves.

Hadith No. 49

( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )

Narrated by Abdullah bin Abbas (RA)

I was informed by Abu Sufyn that Heraclius said to him, "I asked you whether they (followers of Muhammad) were increasing or decreasing. You replied that they were increasing. And in fact, this is the way of true Faith till it is complete in all respects. I further asked you whether there was anybody, who, after embracing his (the Prophets) religion (Islm) became displeased and discarded it. You replied in the negative, and in fact, this is (a sign of) true faith. When its delight enters the heart and mixes with them completely, nobody can be displeased with it."


Chapter (Bb) 40 : "The superiority of that person who leaves all doubtful things for the sake of his religion.

Purpose of Tarjamatul Bb

Here Imm Bukhari wants to say that not only Imn has grades, but "Taqw" also has grades. Taqw means to refrain from sins because of fear of Allh. Its first grade is to refrain from Kufr and Shirk, second grade is to refrain from major sins, third grade is to refrain from minor sins and fourth grade is to refrain from doubtful things.



Our Enemies They Are Not

Mark Glenn

When the scouts returned, reporting that Edward the Longshanks had hired Irish mercenaries in his attempt to defeat Scottish rebels fighting for their independence, Hamish, William Wallaces right hand man asked in a puzzled way Irish? Whatre they duin faytin wit the English? Stephen, the Irishman who had long before joined in the cause of Scottish liberation and knowing something about the Irish mindset replied confidently Dont worry about the Irish! His prediction was right, for that day, as the Scottish and the Irish charged at each other, spears and swords drawn in what was expected to be a hideous battle of the oppressed fighting the oppressed, instead, halted their mad dash 100 feet short of clashing into one other, and after recognizing that they were all brothers thirsting for the same freedom and justice, thus began embracing each other on a battlefield which was planned by the English to have been the very place wherein they would have hacked each other to pieces.

Such were the events famously presented in Mel Gibsons movie Braveheart. How much of this particular scene was historically accurate is not important here, but rather the point which was made, namely a moving-picture adaptation of an old saying which still reverberates in many Middle Eastern societies which is the enemy of my enemy is my friend. We in America would do well to consider this phrase for ourselves, for we are in a situation very similar to the above described scene in the movie, although most are unaware of it, in that we are like the Irish mercenaries in Braveheart who have been hired to slaughter a people for the benefit of someone else more powerful and more devious than we imagine.

We are told and have been on a daily basis since September 11 that the peoples of the Middle East are our enemies, that they are terrorists with no regard for human life, and that they hate us for our freedom and for our Christian values. The fact that this fiction has gained such wide acceptance by the American public is puzzling, given the fact that in recent years a good portion of the population had developed a healthy sense of skepticism with regards to a government and media which they knew couldnt be trusted. Adding to this puzzling situation is the fact that these same skeptics came to understandwith equal clarity that the real threat posed to America came not from without, but rather from within.

The truth is that we in America are now subjected to a propaganda extravaganza that is rivaled in its intensity by only a few events which have infamously occurred throughout human history, from Romes obsessionist desire for the destruction of Carthage to Adolph Hitlers attempted destruction of his own enemies, and in points which parallel the above mentioned cases, the new Rome, America, has embarked upon a program of wiping out not just a country, (as in the case of Carthage) but an entire civilization and culture, as was attempted by Hitler.

There are, of course, those who will cheer such a program in much the same way that they cheer during a pro-wrestling match. It seems to escape their consideration that the entire affair may be just a charade created for their amusement and distraction, as well as for the obvious intention of separating them from their money while simultaneously separating them from their ability to reason. Such is the reality of every culture, from the mob who came to Rome to watch the daily fights between the gladiators to those individuals who today have reduced themselves into a frothing, maniacal group of patriotic spectators who have come to enjoy the bestial aspects of blood sport, whether it is in the ring or on the battlefield.

But despite what our government/media complex tells us, the enemy of America is not to be found in the caves of Afghanistan or in the sands of Iraq. We do not need to fear that any true harm will come to us by such a group of people thousands of miles away. As President Abraham Lincoln once noted, America as a nation was impregnable to invasion and defeat by an outside foe, and were she ever to fall it would be due to the destruction caused to her from within. No, rather the real enemy is to be found right here, in those individuals who wield power and influence and who work tirelessly against us in the executive offices and meeting rooms located in New York and Washington DC. Our enemy doesnt speak with a funny accent or wear funny clothes, but rather the expensive suits worn by gangsters who disguise themselves as media executives and as politicians. But there is one thing the media/government complex did accurately portray, which is the fact that our enemy hates us for our Christian values, and that he has no regard for human life.

For who is our real enemy? Someone who flies planes into buildings? Someone who poisons our mail system with tainted letters? Assuming that these crimes were committed by Middle Easterners (all evidence to the contrary not withstanding) they fall way short of the crimes that are committed against us not every two or three years, but rather every minute of everyday. Do these terrorists from the Middle East rob us of half our livelihood, or steal our property and liberty if we dont give it over to them willingly? Do they come into our homes in the middle of the night, dressed in black, sticking guns in the faces of our wives and children while they haul us away for speaking out against them? Do they take our children from us when we refuse to enroll them in a public school system which is not only dangerous to them physically but morally as well?

And while we should remember with agony the day on which all our countrymen died in the inferno that engulfed the Twin Towers, in similar fashion we should remember all our countrymen who have perished in similar circumstances deliberately brought about by the same government which now seeks to demonize those in the Middle East, circumstances no less terroristic in their methods or approach as those highlighted for us on the news everyday. Lest we forget, it was our own home-grown terrorists who one day in North Idaho shot a 10 year old boy in the back, and then blew the head off of that boys mother as she stood in her doorway holding a nine month old baby.

A year or so later, these same men burned and gassed to death almost 100 men, women, and children in Texas, and in reward for both of these atrocities, received medals of honor for their bravery. No one went to jail for these acts of terror committed against Americans on their own soil. And, in the interest of keeping things in even better perspective, we should remember that the terrorists of the Middle East who are credited with exterminating 3,000 Americans on September 11 accomplished the same kind of mass murder which is done everyday in this country through the butchery of infanticide, also a gift from a government whom we pay to protect us.

The truth of the matter is, it can arguably be said that we do not have a good handle on who the real terrorists are.

When we speak of we and us here, we should be more precise in our language of just about whom we are speaking. As is to be expected, there are and forever will be those individuals in our society who are just along for the ride and do not care, individuals who will inaccurately gauge Americas greatness with the amount of wealth and comfort they possess. Rather, I am referring to those other individuals who recognize that Americas greatness can only exist while virtue is maintained, and that the real danger which threatens our existence is to be found in the destruction of our morals and decency, which, if destroyed, will inevitably bring about the loss of all order, and by default, the loss of all liberty.

Although often ridiculed by the free-thinkers and secularists among us, this abandonment of the laws which govern moral behavior nevertheless poses as serious a threat to our existence as does any deadly virus which has penetrated the bodys defenses. It works its destruction slowly but surely, and oftentimes leaves the body in such a state which is impossible to repair. We need look no further for proof of this than in history, in that the destruction of some of the worlds greatest civilizations has come about as a result of implementation of the exact same processes.

Over the last decade, there was reason for optimism in this nation due to the fact that a great movement of public opinion had taken place in coming to terms with Americas descent into moral oblivion, mainly due to the fact that the rising tide of decadence became so comfortable in its exposure to the light of day. And in the spirit of that public awareness to this problem, there were those who, after becoming understandably alarmed by the approaching storm, took up arms against the leviathan that is the media/government complex and began to see the perfectly logical association between a societys loss of moral values and its loss of liberty. During the 90s, when the horrors of Partial-Birth Abortion were made known to all, and the explosion of hard-core pornography on the internet and soft core pornography on primetime tv signaled that the head of the Beast had proudly reared itself up for all to see, many Americans began to focus on the sinking ship known as American morality and sought ways to either plug up the holes or evacuate.

But all of that seemed to have changed on September 11.

Now, the clarity with which concerned Americans recognized the danger posed to their nation and to their way of life by a degenerate set of social values (values which have never and will never remain dormant) suddenly became cloudy in the aftermath of that day. In one horrible and fantastic instant, the enemy changed from someone domestic to someone foreign, to a group of people who live in far away caves and who wear funny clothes and speak with a foreign accent and who hate us for our freedom and our values. What these concerned Americans did not and do not realize even now was that on that day a great bait & switch tactic had taken place right before their eyes, one which was done so quickly and cleverly as to escape their notice.

No, America. The Middle East is not where our enemies lie. At least, it wasnt. It was where our friends were, for in becoming the enemy of our enemy, they became our friends.

When we come to the realization that our real enemies are those individuals who are responsible for the destruction of all the laws governing the morals of our society, laws which are necessary for any society of people that considers itself to be civil, we then can better appreciate why there is so much mistrust and animosity towards America in that region of the world. After all, in our analysis of the source of anti-Americanism in that region, we must note that these countries which are deemed to be our enemies have not yet enshrined the likes of Pamela Anderson, Brittany Spears, or Christine Aguilera into the halls of sainthood as have we here in the West.

To their own credit, theirs is a society which does not allow their unborn citizens to be murdered in the millions per year, nor does it allow their women to be abused and exploited by the pornography industry which enslaves not only those being filmed, but as well those who are its purveyors. When we consider the fact that they do not allow the status of the nuclear family to be denigrated by the inclusion and acceptance of institutionalized sodomy or same-sex marriage, as well as the refusal to have their children scandalized by the pornographic education that children here in America receive, suddenly this mystery of Middle East antagonism for the West becomes less and less of a riddle. In all the charges which are leveled against these people, it is forgotten that they have been champions in opposing these things in their societies, as well as rejecting the wholesale assault on religion that we have come to accept and tolerate here in the West. There are no art exhibits to be found among the enemies of Christianity in the Middle East which depict a crucifix being immersed into a jar of urine, nor films depicting Christ as a homosexual whose mother works in an abortion clinic. They do not have public parades wherein men and women march in the nude down through the center of the city and perform sexual acts for all to see under the sanction of a government which is supposed to enforce existing laws concerning decency. Their courts do not take extra-legal measures in striking down laws which prohibit the same cancers which have grabbed the West by the throat from entering their societies, measures that are constantly justified by their perpetrators here in the West with complicated legal theories which in essence do not exist. And in our weighing of these facts, we should, rather than hold the peoples of the Middle East in suspicion and derision, instead look upon them with with admiration and respect for having refused to allow these practices into their communities.

In our acknowledgment of all those who would scoff at the arguments listed here as to why the societies in the Middle East should be viewed in such favorable terms, it should as well be noted and remembered that scoffing individuals such as these do not view Americas slide into moral oblivion to be anything noteworthy or worrisome. In fact, more often than not, they openly embrace such decadence and haughtiness against the laws of nature and of natures God, and in this light, their thoughts should not be weighed with any undue consideration.

The reality of the matter is that we here in the West are members of a dying civilization, despite all of the assurances to the contrary which we are given by pundits who refuse to acknowledge thin unavoidable truth. Our death is a degenerative condition which is the result of our willingness to engage in suicidal tendencies, and which will not be cured by any measure of technology, industry, or craftiness that we may possess. The social ills that at one time were but small sores which erupted every great while have now consumed the body, so weakened have its defenses become, and those individuals responsible for this death and decay are now attempting in like manner to infect other societies not yet sickened as such. For this reason, they (all the while disguising their designs in the language of noble ideas such as freedom and prosperity) are striving for the annihilation of a culture which has resisted such attacks on their morals, a culture which has openly refused to sink into the abyss of moral oblivion that afflicts us here in the West, a culture that in many ways has surpassed the West in its quality, despite Rush Limbaughs assertion that they are a backwards people for having never developed a car of their own.

To what other conclusion are we supposed to arrive besides this? For those of us who understand the concept that Americas loss of morals and decency ranks at the top of the list of dangers which threatens her existence, how then can we not say that in comparison to the culture of those living in the Middle East that theirs is not the superior? They have stable families. They have stable social order. They do not murder their children at the rate of millions per year. They do not have divorce rates over 50%. Theirs is not a society flooded with pornography and all the ills that inevitably tag along for the ride. For those who blindly allow themselves to be swelled up with pride over Americas greatness, (a greatness which in reality is shallow and perceived to be so by mere illusion) they should recognize that indeed the spirit of the American Revolution is alive and well, but not here in the West where it began. Rather, it is to be found in the Middle East, whose peoples would not shrink away from their duty in rising up and overthrowing any government which attempted to impose such outrages upon them. And as for those who call themselves Christians, individuals who will maintain that these tendencies which are rooted in the healthy and justifiable interest of self-preservation are only superficial qualities, given the fact that the religion of Islam is the predominant faith in those regions, we would have to respond with one big so what? Results are what matter, or to borrow a phrase from that very same Book which they use to denigrate such peoples, a good tree produces good fruit. With this in mind, these individuals must be intellectually honest enough to admit that having produced good fruit indicates that the societies of the Middle East must therefore be good trees.

When we come to understand wherein lies the real battle for the survival of our nation and our way of life, we will then understand how to read between the lines of the propaganda that we are fed everyday. The architects of our enslavement and destruction are desperate in their desire to prevent at all costs any friendship from developing between those of us here in the West who recognize where our real danger lies and those in the Middle East who are fellow travelers, and as such we will be told incessantly, as we have, that these people are our enemies.

But our enemies they are not. With regards to Americas real enemies, namely those parasites within our society who have seduced America and the West into accepting the slow-dash death of national and cultural suicide, those in the Middle East are the best friends we could ask for, and we would do well to learn from what they know and apply it to our own situation. After all, they must know something, given the fact that theirs is a culture which has remained intact for thousands of years.

And in like manner, as the Scots and the Irish prepared to slaughter each other under the gaze of those directors who stood comfortably away from all danger on a far away hilltop, watching and waiting for the events to take place which they put in motion for the furtherance of their own greedy and lustful desires, we should take pause as did the warriors that day at the battle of Falkirk and recognize in like fashion that those people living in the land where Western Civilization began are fighting for the same things as are we, namely the right to live and to live in decency, and in consideration of this fact, we should come to terms with the reality that our enemies they are not, but rather brothers and sisters who deserve our friendship and our alliance, an alliance which, if some of the prophecies prove to be correct, may actually turn the tide for mankinds existence.



The Issue of Inheritance

Compiled by:- Majlisul Ulema, South Africa

THE WASI (Executor)

The executor or administrator whom the mayyit had appointed to attend to his estate is called the Wasi.

A person becomes a wasi by his acceptance or by acting in a way implying acceptance. Once he has accepted, the post becomes incumbent on him.

As long as the appointer of the wasi, namely, the Musi is alive, the Wasi is entitled to resign.

If two wasis (Executors) were appointed, any one of them cannot act unilaterally. Besides the funeral arrangements and the necessary expenses for the mayyit's dependents, all other acts and decisions regarding the mayyit's estate must be affected jointly by the two appointed executors.

It is not permissible to appoint a kafir or a fasiq to be one's wasi.


There are four factors which deprive a person from inheriting. These are:

1. Killing the Murith

Difference of religion


Difference of country of domicile.


When a person kills his Murith (the one in whose estate one inherits), the heir is deprived of inheriting in his estate. Whether he had killed by design or by mistake, he is deprived of his inheritance.

An insane person and a minor will not be deprived of their inheritance if they had killed their Murith.

If the heir killed the Murith in self defense, e.g. the Murith attacked and the heir defended himself, then he will not be deprived of his inheritance.

If the heir is the executioner in an Islamic state and is ordered to execute his Murith who has been justly sentenced to death by a properly constituted Islamic court, then this executioner will not be deprived of his inheritance for having killed his Murith. Islamic state refers to a state which is governed according to the Shariah. Since there are no longer any such Islamic States, the rule explained here will not apply to state executioners. In the present times if a state executioner executes his Murith, he will be deprived of inheritance in the estate of his. Murith.

If a man kills his wife whom he caught in the act of committing zina (adultery), he will not be deprived from inheriting in her estate provided that the crime of the woman is evidenced by witnesses.

Although it is not permissible for a man to kill his wife whom he apprehends in the act of zina, nevertheless, the extreme provocation and infidelity of the wife mitigate in his favour, hence the Shariah does not deprive him of his inheritance.


There are no ties of inheritance between Muslims and non-Muslims.

If a Muslim has no Muslim survivors and he has not made a Wasiyyat for the disposal of his estate, all his assets will go to the Baitul Mai (Islamic State Treasury). Where there is no such Baitul Mai, the Muslim community should distribute his wealth to Islamic Charity.

That portion of a murtad's estate which he had acquired while he was a Muslim, will be inherited by his heirs and the portion which he acquired during his state of irtidad will be handed to the Baitul Mai.

A person who renounces Islam after having been a Muslim is termed murtad. His condition of Kufr after having reneged from Islam is called irtidad.

If a female becomes a renegade(murtaddahj, her entire estate will be inherited by her Muslim heirs whether she had acquired the assets/wealth during her state of Islam or state of irtidad.

The estates of the murtad and murtaddah will be distributed as mentioned above when any of the following occurs:

a. He/she links up with the Kuffar.

b. He/she dies or is put to death.


Since a slave cannot own anything, he can neither be a murith nor a warith (heir).


This factor applies to only non-Muslims. We shall, therefore, not present any discussion on this issue. As far as Muslims are concerned, domicile in different countries does not deprive them of inheritance. Even if the Murith lives and dies in the east and the heirs are in the west, they will inherit in his/her estate.


When people (in this context close relatives) die in a common tragedy, e.g. plane-crash, ship-wreck, fire, etc; and there is no way of establishing who had died first, it will be decreed that the deaths were simultaneous. The one will not inherit in the estate of the other in view of the moments of their respective deaths being unknown. Their estates will be inherited by those heirs who are alive.


Zaid (Father) and Abdullah (Son) were both killed in an accident. It could not be ascertained who had died first, hence it will be said that both had died at the same time. The question of inheritance between the father and son thus does not arise.

On the other hand if it was established that the father, Zaid had died even a minute before his son, Abdullah, then the latter inherits in his father's estate. Since he too has died, his share of inheritance will be transferred to his (Abdullah's) heirs.


Nubuwwat also deprives heirs of inheritance. Neither could a Nabi inherit nor could his heirs inherit in his estate.

(This is mentioned only by way of interest. Since Nubuwwat has ended, this factor of deprivation no longer exists in practice).


In some places a widow is deprived of her inheritance in her husband's estate if she marries again. This is a callous misdeed which is" an exhibition of flagrant displeasure for Allah's decree. A widow is free to marry and the family has absolutely no right of preventing her from marriage or of depriving her of her inheritance in her husband's estate.


Disobedience of children does not disqualify them from their inheritance. If one son was disobedient to his father his entire life while another son was obedient and serving his parents, both will inherit equally in their father's estate. The disobedient son cannot be deprived of his inheritance on account of his disobedience,

If there is a valid reason for the desire to deprive an heir, it will be proper to distribute the assets of one's estate during one's lifetime, leaving nothing for distribution after one's death. However, when distributing the assets during one's lifetime, such distribution will be by way of gift, not by way of inheritance, hence it will be necessary to make equal gifts to both sons and daughters. It is not permissible to discriminate between sons and daughters when making gifts.

When distributing one's assets during one's lifetime, the intention should not be to deprive any heirs for no valid reason. A valid reason would be the gross disobedience of a child who has taken to evil ways, dissociating himself/herself from his/her parents.

A person who deprives any heir for no valid Shar'i reason, will find himself deprived of Jannat according to the Hadith of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).

It should be well understood that an act of depriving any heir, even a grossly disobedient son or a flagrant transgressor, cannot be affected after one's death. Thus, a will containing any clauses of deprivation is not valid in the Shariah.


Infancy does not deprive the child of its inheritance. The infant will inherit in exactly the same way as adults. Even the unborn child in its mothers womb will inherit. This will be explained later, Insha Allah.


Heirs are sometimes deprived of inheritance, not because of any defect or impediment in themselves, but on account of the presence of others who may be heirs inheriting or non-inheriting heirs. This deprivation as the result of the presence of others is termed Hujub.

There are two types of Hujub - Hujub Nuqsan and Hujub Hirman.

Hujub Nuqsan

In this type, the heirs are partially deprived. On account of the presence of certain relatives, the shares of heirs decrease. The following are the heirs who suffer Hujub Nuqsan.


The mother's share is reduced from one third to one sixth if the mayyit is survived by also sons, daughters, or grandchildren. Grandchildren in this context refer to son's children.

The mother's share is likewise reduced to one sixth if there happens to be more than one brother or sister of the mayyit, even if in certain circumstances the brothers and sisters do not inherit.

The mother's share is also reduced if the mayyit is survived by his father and wife or by her father and husband. In this case there are no children. Instead of obtaining one third of the estate, she will receive one third of the balance remaining after subtracting the husband's/wife's share. This will be further explained, Insha'Allah.


In the presence of the wife's children or grandchildren (i.e. son's children), the husband's share decreases from one half to one quarter.


In the presence of the husband's children or grandchildren (i.e. son's children), the wife's share decreases from one quarter to one eighth.

Grand-daughter (Son's Daughter):

If the mayyit has one daughter and one grand-daughter, the latter's share decreases from one half to one sixth because of the presence of the daughter.

Al-lati Sister: In the presence of a true sister, an Al-lati sister's share decreases from one half to one sixth.


There are three types of brothers and sisters. These are known as Haqeeqi, Al-lati and Akhyafi. Haqeeqi are true or full brothers and sisters, i.e. children of the same mother and father. Al-lati are children of one father and different mothers. Akhyafi are children of one mother and different fathers. Such brothers and sisters are termed Akhyafi.


She is deprived if the mayyit leaves two Haqeeqi sisters or one Haqeeqi brother on condition she is not an Asbah (this will be explained in the section dealing with Al-lati sisters, Insha'AIlah).


He is deprived in the presence of the mayyit's father.


They are deprived in the presence of the mayyit's father or brother or son or grandson (son's son).


He is deprived in the presence of the mayyit's father or grandfather or great grandfather or son or grandson or brother or brother's son.



Why Should I Wear Hijaab?

Hijaab Wearing Is an OBLIGATION and its not when you want to wear it...

It is Allah Command.. You don't fear Allah?? So don't wait...


There's a lot of benefit in it my friend..

This is a good question and there is a beautiful answer! Allah has commanded us with every action that is good for us and prohibited us from performing every action that is bad for us. Allah orders the Muslim woman to wear the hijaab when she steps out of the security of her home or when in the presence of strange men. So to wear the hijaab is a source of great good for you the Muslim woman - for many reasons. Among them:

You please Allah. You are obeying the commands of your Lord when you wear the hijaab and you can expect great rewards in return.

It is Allah's protection of your natural beauty. You are too precious to be "on display" for each man to see.

It is Allah's preservation of your chastity. Allah purifies your heart and mind through the hijaab. Allah beautifies your inner and outer countenance with hijaab. Outwardly your hijaab reflects innocence, purity, modesty, shyness, serenity, contentment and obedience to your Lord. Inwardly you cultivate the same.

Allah defines your femininity through the hijaab. You are a woman who respects her womanhood. Allah wants you to be respected by others, and for you to respect yourself.

Allah raises your dignity through the hijaab. When a strange man looks at you, he respects you because he sees that you respect yourself.

Allah protects your honour 100% through your hijaab. Men do not gaze at you in a sensual way, they do not approach you in a sensual way, and neither do they speak to you in a sensual way. Rather, a man holds you in high esteem and that is just by one glance at you!

Allah gives you nobility through the hijaab. You are noble not degraded because you covered not naked.

Allah demonstrates your equality as a Muslim woman through the hijaab. Your Lord bestows upon you equal worth as your male counterpart, and gives you a host of beautiful rights and liberties. You express your acceptance of these unique rights by putting on the hijaab.

Allah defines your role as a Muslim woman through the hijaab. You are a someone with important duties. You are a reflection of a woman of action not idle pursuits. You display your sense of direction and purpose through your hijaab. You are someone that people take seriously.

Allah expresses your independence through the hijaab. You are stating clearly that you are an obedient servant of the Greatest Master. You will obey no one else and follow no other way. You are not a slave to any man, nor a slave to any nation. You are free and independent from all man-made systems.

Allah gives you the freedom of movement and expression through the hijaab. You are able to move about and communicate without fear of harassment. Your hijaab gives you a unique confidence.

Allah wants others to treat you a Muslim woman - with kindness. And the hijaab brings about the best treatment of men towards you.

Allah wants your beauty to be preserved and saved for just one man to enjoy your husband.

Allah helps you to enjoy a successful marriage through wearing hijaab, Because you reserve your beauty for one man alone, your husband's love for you increases, he cherishes you more, he respects you more and he honours you more. So your hijaab contributes to a successful and lasting marriage relationship.

Allah brings about peace and stability in the society through the hijaab!

Yes this is true! Men do not cause corruption by forming illegal relationships because you - the Muslim woman - calm their passions. When a man looks at you, he feels at ease, not tempted to fornicate

So a Muslim woman in hijaab is dignified, not dishonoured, noble, not degraded, liberated, not subjugated, purified, not sullied, independent, not a slave, protected, not exposed, respected, not laughed at, confident, not insecure, obedient, not a sinner, a guarded pearl, not a prostitute

Dear Muslim sister! Come towards the gates of Paradise with us! Fulfill your duties towards Allah, put on your adornment - put on your hijaab, and race towards Jannah (Paradise) by doing all good actions. You should agree by now that wearing hijaab is extremely beneficial it must be - because Allah only commands what is goodand believe me dear sister, it is good to obey the commands of your Lord

"Their reward is with their Lord: Gardens of Eden underneath which rivers flow wherein they will dwell for ever; Allah is pleased with them, and they are pleased with Him; this is (in store) for whoever fears his Lord." [Sooratul-Bayyinah 98:8]

Friendly yours,
BSc (Hons) Information Technology




Belonging Also to Paradise, Belonging Also to Hell

Imam Ghazali (RA)


First Target-Reform of Self

Like other divine religions Islam also keeps the reform of man's self as the first item in its programme of reforms.

It makes the human self as the first target of its efforts and sows the seeds of the Islamic teachings in its depths, so that self and training become inseparable.

The teachings of the Prophets lasted till the Doomsday and around them gathered the group of faithful people. Its secret was this that the self of man was the objective of all its work and it was the axis of all its activities. Their teachings were not like something externally pasted that they could be separated from men in the movements of their daily life.

These were not like the paint or varnish that could be worn out by the passage of time. They had imbibed their principles and teachings into the depths of man's hearts, which had turned into a very strong power that could keep it safe from the wickedness of men's nature and could rule over their decisions. Many times some divine religions raised objections against the society and its structure, and governments and its nature, and also presented remedies for the ills which had appeared in these quarters.

Inspite of this, the nature of all the divine religious has been this that they kept righteous self as the basis of an their programmes of reform, and considered firm and strong moral character as a permanent guarantee for the establishment and upkeep of every civilization.

But this does not mean that the importance of those who are striving for the construction of a better government and society is being reduced, or that their efforts are considered to be less important.. No. Not at all. Here an attempt is being made to make the people realize the value of the reform of man's self for the safety of life and for the security of healthy and virtuous living..

The self that has become wicked can only spread disruption and disorder in the system of government, and can make use of the enforcement of the laws of that system for meeting its mean and wicked objectives. But a purified and noble self will perform the responsible task of stitching the tears in the garment of the environment and repairing it. It will try to enhance society's greatness and decency. It will consider it its responsibility to bring in regularity in the use of power, and to remove all kinds of defects from the government.

It is like a judge. If he is well trained and decent, he can reform the defects of the law by his selfless decisions and just orders. But a cruel and unkind judge can show indifference to the correct commands and authorities. Same is the condition of the self, when it is confronted with the ideas and views of the world, and personal likes and interests.

That is why the reform of the self is the first foundation pillar of the supremacy of virtue in this life.

If no attention is paid to the reform of the individuals (selves), this world becomes the dominion of the dark forces, men's present and future will be ruled by corruption. That is why Allah says:

"Verify, Allah mil never change the condition of a people until they change it themselves. But when Allah wills a

people's punishment, there can be no turning it back, nor will they find, beside Him any to protect." (Ra'ad.. 11)

Stating the cause of the corrupt communities, Allah says:

"Like (the deeds of) the people of Pharaoh and of those before them; they rejected the signs of Allah and Allah punished them for their crimes; for Allah is Strong and Strict in punishment " because Allah will never change the Grace which He has bestowed on a people until they change what is in their (own) souls," (Anfal ..52-53)

From the viewpoint of reform and training, Islam considers this matter in its two aspects:

The first aspect is this: Every self has a decent and pure nature in itself which rushes towards righteousness and good, and feels happy on getting it. It hates wickedness and evil. It becomes sad and sorry on committing it. It sees the extension and development of its existence and the health of its life in truth and justice.

With this there is its second aspect also. Every self has in it exciting emotions and Satanic inclinations, which turn it away from the right path. They present harmful acts in a glamorous way and throw it into the pit of meanness and lowliness. We are not interested in talking a survey of the principles and elementary of these harmful inclination from a historical point of view so that it may be ascertained whether these emotions or desires enter the human nature from outside or whether they are ingrained in the nature itself. We are concerned with the fact that both these conditions are found in men, which are locked in mutual struggle for attaining leadership for guiding man's life. And whatever kind of leadership man accepts decides his final destination. Allah says:

"By the soul, and the proportion and the order given to it; and its enlightenment as to its wrong and its right; truly he succeeds who purifies it, and he fails who corrupts it"

(Shams: 7-10)

The achievement of Islam is this that it helps man fully, so that he may be able to make his nature strong and firm, he may make its rays more bright and more illuminating, and in its guidance and leadership may successfully complete his long journey of life.

Similarly it also prepares man to be free from the ways of wickedness and the inciting of the devil, because these try to mislead him and turn him away from the right path, and finally cause him to fall from his high rank.

Islam is Religion of Nature

Islam has called itself a 'Natural Religion' which is free from all these impurities :

"So (O Prophet) set your face steadily and truly to the faith. (Establish) Allah's nature on which He has framed mankind. There is no change in what Allah has created; that is the standard religion; but most among mankind do not understand." (Rum: 30)

The function of the eye is to see until there is some disturbance in it. The ear hears the sound till it becomes deaf. The function of the nature is to follow the right path, and to rush towards it with such alacrity as the water rushes down from a height, unless it is overcome by corruption and wickedness, which may take its reins in hands and turn it away from the path of righteousness and blessings.

The disturbing things, which corrupt nature are sometimes the result of the past centuries or sometimes they are the creation of the lowly environment and ha bits and customs, or both these things together are responsible for the disturbances. These things are a great danger for the nature of man. They cause a variety of diseases in it. The real jihad of a reformer is to fight these inhibitions and customs and to weaken their strength. He tries to relieve Nature of these dangers in order that its original purity may be regained and it may be able to fulfil its real responsibility. Islam has given a full clarification of this method.

After explaining the natural religion in the above quoted verses, the holy Quran says immediately thereafter :

"Turn back in repentance to Him, and fear Him; Establish regular prayers, and be not you among those who join gods with Allah, those who split up and become sects, each party rejoicing in that which is with itself:" (Rum: 31-32)

To encourage faith in place of disbelief, righteousness in place of wickedness, to adopt the policy of fearing God, in place of disturbed thoughts in respect of Allah the righteous people's unity of thought and action-these are the manifestations that show that man has remained on the righteous nature. This has been clarified in the following verse of the Quran:

"We indeed created man in the best of moulds, then we have abased him to be the lowest of the low, except such as believe and do righteous deeds." (At-Teen: 4-6)

What is the best mould or form of man? The understanding of Truth and adopting it, fulfilment of its requirements and meeting of its demands. This is called the attachment to virtuousness and decency, and consideration of these two good qualities in man's individual and collective life is the real achievement. And attempts to make them operative in all the departments of life is the real mould and form.

But there is a very large number of people who do not reach this high level. They remain attached to the earth only. They follow their own desires, and express disobedience of God's commands. In this way they fall to the lowest level Quran has called this " Asfala safileen" (lowest of the low), to which Allah has thrown such people. To throw the men of such nature to the lowest level is according to the divine law regarding guidance and transgression. And these laws are true and based on justice. The holy Quran mentions them as under:

"And Allah will not mislead a people after He has guided them, in order that He may make clear to them what to fear (and avoid)-for Allah has knowledge of all things." (Tauba: 115).

In Surah A'raf this law of guidance and transgression has been mentioned thus:

"Those who behave arrogantly on the earth in defiance ofright-them I will turn away from My signs; even if they see all the signs, they will not believe in them; And if they see the way of right conduct, they will not adopt it as the way of error is the way they will adopt; for they rejected Our signs, and failed to take warning from them." (A'raf: 146)

Who is it then that remains on the 'best mould' and keeps himself away from the indignities of the world? In the verses of the Surah At-Teen occurring immediately after those quoted above the answer is given: "Except such as believe and do the righteous deeds." (At-Teen)

In the foregoing pages we have seen that the outcome of Faith and the Righteous Deeds is the excellence of moral character.

There is a Counter to the Wicked Nature

Islam's stand ,vis-a-vis man's pure nature and its strength and firmness has been discussed. As regards its dealings with the devil-like natures, that has also been made clear. Islam warns mischievous-natured people. It entrusts its reins in the hands of the healthy intellect; it encourages it to bow down to the pure nature and to surrender itself to Allah. The prophet has hinted at some of these kinds of natures :

"The son of Adam reaches the old age and two of his habits do not leave him. One is greed and the second is the unending succession of hopes."(Muslim)

"The worst evil found in man is the frightening cowardice and the un-dignifying miserliness."(Abu Daud )

"If the son of Adam is given a valley of gold, he will desire to have another one. And if the other is also given, he will be greedy to have the third one. The hunger of Adam's son will not be satisfied except when his remains are mixed with the dust. And the one who turns to Allah, Allah accepts his repentance." (Bukhari)

The holy Quran has mentioned some of the habits in the Surah Ale Imran :

"Fair in the eyes of men is the love of things they covet, women and sons; heaped up hoards of gold and silver; horses branded (for blood and excellence) ; and (wealth of) cattle and well-tilled land. Such are the possessions of this world's life; but in the nearness to Allah is the best of the goals (to return to)."(Ale-Imran: 14)

The first thing Islam wants man to pay attention to is this that to run after the carnal desires of the self and to follow its unending demands will never satisfy self and make it contented. Truth and right path will not be acceptable to it. The condition of the self is that when its one desire is satisfied, it immediately demands to have some other desire satisfied. It is always busy in eating, drinking, and having a good time, and greedy with desire to have more and more of everything. It has no hesitation in committing sin and acts of aggression and cruelty. Therefore, Quran has forbidden men to follow the desires that have been considered haram :

"Nor follow you the lusts (ofyour heart), for they will mislead you from the path of Allah; for those who wander astray from the path of Allah, is a penalty grievous, for that they forget the Day of Account." (Saad: 26)

The policy of the infidels and the necessity of opposing it and its importance have been mentioned in these words: "If the Truth had been in accord with their desires, truly the heavens and the earth and all beings therein would have been in confusion and corruption ! Nay, We have sent them their admonition, but they turn away from their admonition." (Muminun.. 71)

It is necessary that a distinction be made between the forbidden desires of the self and the lawful desires, because some so-called religious people have mixed up these two very dangerously.

If man wants to enjoy the goods of the world, then there is nothing wrong in it, but it is a very serious error that this kind of lawful demands and desires has also been included in the list of forbidden, wicked acts. Its consequence is this that man satisfies his lawful and respectable desires, but his conscience becomes like the conscience of those people who accept crimes as lawful and adopt them willingly. In this way their conscience

When he realises that he has committed a mistake, and that sin is an inevitable part of his life, then he commits more serious sins and indulges in the strictly forbidden acts. In other words this time he becomes a criminal and a sinner in the real sense of the word.

The holy Quran has paid special attention to this aspect and has very clearly declared the pure desires of the self and the lawful wishes as proper and lawful, and provided it with a chance to use halal and clean things. It declared any interference of narrowness and inhibition in this respectable and lawful sphere by way of any checks on the self as bad and obscene, because it opens the gate for obscene acts and sinning.

"O you people I Eat on earth what is lawful (hala) and clean (tayyib) and do not follow the footsteps of Satan Indeed, he is an open enemy for you. He will command you (to do) what is evil and indecent and induce you

to say about Allah that which you do not know." (AI-Baqarh : 168-169)

It is a fact that to put restrictions on the consumptions of what is lawful (hala) and clean (tayyib) is nothing but levelling false charges against Allah, and this thing amounts to evil and indecency which Satan commands men to do. Islam does not like to repress such natures and inclinations with force and punishment, nor does it want to placate or Batter them, but Islam follows a balanced method which is free of any kind of excess.

Morality holds the Reins

As the rules and regulations of the healthy nature are secure in faith and reform and they have no connection with heresy and agnosticism, similar is the case of the rebellious natures and habits.

In both the cases only a strong and firm moral character can control it. Where the holy Quran has mentioned man's weakness, his anxiety, his richness and indifference, there it has also made it clear that the remedy of these indignities lies in following the path of religion.

"Truly man was created very impatient; fretful when evil touches him; and niggardly when good reaches him ; not so those devoted to prayer, those who remain steadfast to their prayer; and those in whose wealth is recognised right for (the needy) who asks and him who is prevented (for some reason from asking) ; and those who hold to the Truth of the Day of Judgment; and those who fear the displeasure of their Lordjor the Lord's displeasure is the opposite of peace and tranquillity; and those who guard their chastity." (.41-Ma'arij.. 19-29)

It is common knowledge that good moral character does not develop suddenly. Nor does it become strong and firm in the beginning. It requires consistency and gradualness. And in strengthening it there come many stages.

That is the reason why in its nourishment and growth it is required to perform such acts that have to be repeated. The quality that is developed should have consistency, e.g. prayer, fasting, Hajj, Zakat, and the performance of other forms of worship, confirmation of the Day of the Judgment, and to be fearful of its punishments, etc.

When the rebellious natures insist on their acts and are steadfast on their wrong stance, and continue to attempt to traverse the wrong path from time to time, then to check and prevent it no fixed and temporary remedy can be found.

Their transgression and intensity can be brought to the normal level only by such an activist who is more strong and powerful than them and who may be able to bring them to a balanced level.

The long and short of the discussion is that Islam respects the human nature and considers its teachings as the voice of that nature. It warns the rebellious natures and reforms their point of view. Those forms of worship which have been made compulsory in Islam are such as strengthen the human nature and turn the wind of desires to the right direction.

And these forms of worship do not perform their duties satisfactorily and the desired objective cannot be obtained from them unless they generate the excellent moral character and the tendency to exemplary treatment of others.

When he realises that he has committed a mistake, and that sin is an inevitable part of his life, then he commits more serious sins and indulges in the strictly forbidden acts. In other words this time he becomes a criminal and a sinner in the real sense of the word.

The holy Quran has paid special attention to this aspect and has very clearly declared the pure desires of the self and the lawful wishes as proper and lawful, and provided it with a chance to use halal and clean things. It declared any interference of narrowness and inhibition in this respectable and lawful sphere by way of any checks on the self as bad and obscene, because it opens the gate for obscene acts and sinning.

"O you people! Eat on earth what is lawful (halal) and clean (tayyib) and do not follow the footsteps of Satan, Indeed, he is an open enemy for you. He will command you (to do) what is evil and indecent and induce you to say about Allah that which you do not know." (AI-Baqarh : 168-169)

It is a fact that to put restrictions on the consumptions of what is lawful (hala) and clean (tayyib) is nothing but levelling false charges against Allah, and this thing amounts to evil and indecency which Satan commands men to do. Islam does not like to repress such natures and inclinations with force and punishment, nor does it want to placate or Batter them, but Islam follows a balanced method which is free of any kind of excess.

Morality holds the Reins

As the rules and regulations of the healthy nature are secure in faith and reform and they have no connection with heresy and agnosticism, similar is the case of the rebellious natures and habits.

In both the cases only a strong and firm moral character can control it. Where the holy Quran has mentioned man's weakness, his anxiety, his richness and indifference, there it has also made it clear that the remedy of these indignities lies in following the path of religion.

"Truly man was created very impatient; fretful when evil touches him; and niggardly when good reaches him ; not so those devoted to prayer, those who remain steadfast to their prayer; and those in whose wealth is recognised right for (the needy) who asks and him who is prevented (for some reason from asking) ; and those who hold to the Truth of the Day of Judgment; and those who fear the displeasure of their Lordjor the Lord's displeasure is the opposite of peace and tranquillity; and those who guard their chastity."

(Ma'arij.. 19-29)

It is common knowledge that good moral character does not develop suddenly. Nor does it become strong and firm in the beginning. It requires consistency and gradualness. And in strengthening it there come many stages.

That is the reason why in its nourishment and growth it is required to perform such acts that have to be repeated. The quality that is developed should have consistency, e.g. prayer, fasting, Hajj, Zakat, and the performance of other forms of worship, confirmation of the Day of the Judgment, and to be fearful of its punishments, etc.

When the rebellious natures insist on their acts and are steadfast on their wrong stance, and continue to attempt to traverse the wrong path from time to time, then to check and prevent it no fixed and temporary remedy can be found.

Their transgression and intensity can be brought to the normal level only by such an activist who is more strong and powerful than them and who may be able to bring them to a balanced level.

The long and short of the discussion is that Islam respects the human nature and considers its teachings as the voice of that nature. It warns the rebellious natures and reforms their point of view. Those forms of worship which have been made compulsory in Islam are such as strengthen the human nature and turn the wind of desires to the right direction.

And these forms of worship do not perform their duties satisfactorily and the desired objective cannot be obtained from them unless they generate the excellent moral character and the tendency to exemplary treatment of others.



Islamic Finance

Justice Mawlana Taqi Usmani (DB)

Variable Rentals in Long Term Leases

In the long term lease agreements it is mostly not in the benefit of the lessor to fix one amount of rent for the whole period of lease, because the market conditions change from time to time.

In this case the lessor has two options:

(a) He can contract lease with a condition that the rent shall be increased according to a specified proportion (e.g. 5%) after a specified period (like one year).

(b) He can contract lease for a shorter period after which the parties can renew the lease at new terms and by mutual consent, with full liberty to each one of them to refuse the renewal, in which case the lessee is bound to vacate the leased property and return it back to the lessor.

These two options are available to the lessor according to the classical rules of Islamic Fiqh. However, some contemporary scholars have allowed, in long-term leases, to tie up the rental amount with a variable benchmark which is so well-known and well-defined that it does not leave room for any dispute. For example, it is permissible according to them to provide in the lease contract that in case of any increase in the taxes imposed by the government on the lessor, the rent will be increased to the extent of same amount. Similarly it is allowed by them that the annual increase in the rent is tied up with the rate of inflation. Therefore if there is an increase of 5% in the rate of inflation, it will result in an increase of 5% in the rent as well. Based on the same principle, some Islamic banks use the rate of interest as a benchmark to determine the rental amounts. They want to earn the same profit through leasing as is earned by the conventional banks through advancing loans on the basis of interest. Therefore, they want to tie up the rentals with the rate of interest and instead of fixing a definite amount of rental, they calculate the cost of purchasing the lease assets and want to earn through rentals an amount equal to the rate of interest. Therefore, the agreement provides that the rental will be equal to the rate of interest or to the rate of interest plus something. Since the rate of interest is variable, it cannot be determined for the whole lease period. Therefore, these contracts use the interest rate of a particular country (like LIBOR) as a benchmark for determining the periodical increase in the rent.

This arrangement has been criticized on two grounds:

The first objection raised against it is that, by subjecting the rental payments to the rate of interest, the transaction is rendered akin to an interest based financing. This objection can be overcome by saying that, as fully discussed in the case of murabahah, the rate of interest is used as a benchmark only. So far as other requirements of Shariah for a valid lease are properly fulfilled, the contract may use any benchmark for determining the amount of rental. The basic difference between an interest - based financing and a valid lease does not lie in the amount to be paid to the financier or the lessor. The basic difference is that in the case of lease, the lessor assumes the full risk of the corpus of the leased asset. If the asset is destroyed during the lease period, the lessor will suffer the loss. Similarly, if the leased asset looses its usufruct without any misuse or negligence on the part of the lessee, the lessor cannot claim the rent, while in the case of an interest-based financing, the financier is entitled to receive interest, even if the debtor did not at all benefit from the money borrowed. So far as this basic difference is maintained, (i.e. the lessor assumes the risk of the leased asset) the transaction cannot be categorised as an interest-bearing transaction, even though the amount of rent claimed from the lessee is equal to the rate of interest.

It is thus clear that the use of the rate of interest merely as a benchmark does not render the contract invalid as an interest - based transaction. It is, however, advisable at all times to avoid using interest even as a benchmark, so that an Islamic transaction is totally distinguished from an un-Islamic one, having no resemblance of interest whatsoever.

The second objection to this arrangement is that the variations of the rate of interest being unknown, the rental tied up with the rate of interest will imply Jahalah and Gharar which is not permissible in Shariah. It is one of the basic requirements of Shariah that the consideration in every contract must be known to the parties when they enter into it. The consideration in a transaction of lease is the rent charged from the lessee, and therefore it must be known to each party right at the beginning of the contract of lease. If we tie up the rental with the future rate of interest, which is unknown, the amount of rent will remain unknown as well. This is the Jahalah or Gharar which renders the transaction invalid.

Responding to this objection, one may say that the Jahalah has been prohibited for two reasons: One reason is that it may lead to dispute between the parties. This reason is not applicable here, because both parties have agreed with mutual consent upon a well defined benchmark that will serve as a criterion for determining the rent, and whatever amount is determined, based on this benchmark, will be acceptable to both parties. Therefore, there is no question of any dispute between them.

The Second reason for the prohibition of Jahalah is that it renders the parties susceptible to an unforeseen loss. It is possible that the rate of interest, in a particular period, zooms up to an unexpected level in which case the lessee will suffer. It is equally possible that the rate of interest zooms down to an unexpected level, in which case the lessor may suffer. In order to meet the risks involved in such possibilities, it is suggested by some contemporary scholars that the relation between rent and the rate of interest is subjected to a limit or ceiling. For example, it may be provided in the base contract that the rental amount after a given period, will be changed according to the change in the rate of interest, but it will in no case be higher than 15% or lower than 5% of the previous monthly rent. It will mean that if the increase in the rate of interest is more than 15% the rent will be increased only up to 15%. Conversely, if the decrease in the rate of interest is more than 5% the rent will not be decreased to more than 5%. In our opinion, this is the moderate view which takes care of all the aspects involved in the issue.

Penalty for Late Payment of Rent

In some agreements of financial leases, a penalty is imposed on the lessee in case he delays the payment of rent after the due date. This penalty, if meant to add to the income of the lessor, is not warranted by the Shariah. The reason is that the rent after it becomes due, is a debt payable by the lessee, and is subject to all the rules prescribed for a debt. A monetary charge from a debtor for his late payment is exactly the riba prohibited by the Holy Quran. Therefore, the lessor cannot charge an additional amount in case the lessee delays payment of the rent.

However, in order to avoid the adverse consequences resulting from the misuse of this prohibition, another alternative may be resorted to. The lessee may be asked to undertake that, if he fails to pay rent on its due date, he will pay certain amount to a charity. For this purpose the financier / lessor may maintain a charity fund where such amounts may be credited and disbursed for charitable purposes, including advancing interest-free loans to the needy persons. The amount payable for charitable purposes by the lessee may vary according to the period of default and may be calculated at per cent, per annum basis . The agreement of the lease may contain the following clause for this purpose:

"The Lessee hereby undertakes that, if he fails to pay rent at its due date, he shall pay an amount calculated at ....% p.a. to the charity Fund maintained by the Lessor which will be used by the Lessor exclusively for charitable purposes approved by the Shariah and shall in no case form part of the income of the Lessor."

This arrangement, though does not compensate the lessor for his opportunity cost of the period of default, yet it may serve as a strong deterrent for the lessee to pay the rent promptly.

The justification for such undertaking of the lessee, and inability of any penalty or compensation claimed by the lessor for his own benefit is discussed in full in the chapter of 'Murabahah' in the present book which may be consulted for details.

Termination of lease

If the lessee contravenes any term of the agreement, the lessor has a right to terminate the lease contract unilaterally. However, if there is no contravention on the part of the lessee, the lease cannot be terminated without mutual consent. In some agreements of the 'financial lease' it has been noticed that the lessor has been given an unrestricted power to terminate the lease unilaterally whenever he wishes, according to his sole judgment. This is again contrary to the principles of Shariah.

In some agreements of the 'financial lease' a condition has been found to the effect that in case of the termination of lease, even at the option of the lessor, the rent of the remaining lease period shall be paid by the lessee. This condition is obviously against Shariah and the principles of equity and justice. The basic reason for inserting such conditions in the agreement of lease is that the main concept behind the agreement is to give an interest-bearing loan under the ostensible cover of lease. That is why every effort is made to avoid the logical consequences of the lease contract.

Naturally, such a condition cannot be acceptable to Shariah. The logical consequence of the termination of lease is that the asset should be taken back by the lessor. The lessee should be asked to pay the rent as due up to the date of termination. If the termination has been effected due to the misuse or negligence on the part of the lessee, he can also be asked to compensate the lessor for the loss caused by such misuse or negligence. But he cannot be compelled to pay the rent of the remaining period.

Insurance of the assets

If the leased property is insured under the Islamic mode of takaful, it should be at the expense of the lessor and not at the expense of the lessee, as is generally provided in the agreements of the current 'financial leases'.

The residual value of the leased asset

Another important feature of the modern 'financial leases' is that after the expiry of the lease period, the corpus of the leased asset is normally transferred to the lessee. As the lessor already recovers his cost along with an additional profit thereon, which is normally equal to the amount of interest which could have been earned on a loan of that amount advanced for that period, the lessor has no further interest in the leased asset. On the other hand, the lessee wants to retain the asset after the expiry of the leased period.

For these reasons, the leased asset is generally transferred to the lessee at the end of the lease, either free of any charge or at a nominal token price. In order to ensure that the asset will be transferred to the lessee, sometimes the lease contract has an express clause to this effect. Sometimes this condition is not mentioned in the contract expressly; however, it is understood between the parties that the title of the asset will be passed on to the lessee at the end of the lease term.

This condition, whether it is express or implied, is not in accordance with the principles of Shariah. It is a well settled rule of Islamic jurisprudence that one transaction cannot be tied up with another transaction so as to make the former a pre-condition for the other. Here the transfer of the asset at the end has been made a necessary condition for the transaction of lease which is not allowed in Shariah.

The original position in Shariah is that the asset shall be the sole property of the lessor, and after the expiry of the lease period, the lessor shall be at liberty to take the asset back, or to renew the lease or to lease it out to another party, or sell it to the lessee or to any other person. The lessee cannot force him to sell it to him at a nominal price, nor can such a condition be imposed on the lessor in the lease agreement.

But after the lease period expires, and the lessor wants to give the asset to the lessee as a gift or to sell it to him, he can do so by his free will. However, some contemporary scholars, keeping in view the needs of the Islamic financial institutions have come up with an alternative. They say that the agreement of Ijarah itself should not contain a condition of gift or sale at the end of the lease period. However, the lessor may enter into a unilateral promise to sell the leased asset to the lessee at the end of the lease period. This promise will be binding on the lessor only. The principle, according to them, is that a unilateral promise to enter into a contract at a future date is allowed whereby the promisor is bound to fulfil the promise, but the promisee is not bound to enter into that contract . It means that he has an option to purchase which he may or may not exercise. However, if he wants to exercise his option to purchase, the promisor cannot refuse it because he is bound by his promise. Therefore, these scholars suggest that the lessor, after entering into the lease agreement, can sign a separate unilateral promise whereby he undertakes that if the lessee has paid all the amounts of rentals and wants to purchase the asset at a specified mutually acceptable price, he will sell the leased asset to him for that price.

Once this promise is signed by the lessor, he is bound to fulfil it and the lessee may exercise his option to purchase at the end of the period, if he has fully paid the amounts of rent according to the agreement of lease. Similarly, it is also allowed by these scholars that, instead of sale, the lessor signs a separate promise to gift the leased asset to the lessee at the end of the lease period, subject to his payment of all amounts of rent. This arrangement is called 'Ijarah wa iqtina. It has been allowed by a large number of contemporary scholars and is widely acted upon by the Islamic banks and financial institutions. The validity of this arrangement is subject to two basic conditions:

Firstly, the agreement of Ijarah itself should not be subjected to signing this promise of sale or gift but the promise should he recorded in a separate document.

Secondly, the promise should be unilateral and binding on the promisor only. It should not be a bilateral promise binding on both parties because in this case it will be a full contract effected to a future date which is not allowed in the case of sale or gift.



Hakim al-Ummat Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanawis Conception of Islamic Mysticism

By Ali Altaf Mian

The Friend is your refuge and support on the Way.

If you look, youll see the Friend is the Way.

Mawlana Jalal al-Din Rūmi

[Mathnawi VI, 1592]

The Reality of Tasawwuf (Islamic Spirituality/Mysticism)

A master of Islamic spirituality, Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanawi (1863-1943) was widely considered the preeminent Sufi of modern India. He strove for a tasawwuf that would be in complete harmony with the Quran and hadith. His remarkable contribution in this field, as Marcia K. Hermansen has pointed out, is his attempt to rework Sufism into a more acceptable expression consistent with Islamic legalism. This summary of his tasawwuf is evident throughout his works. For example, his biographer, Aziz al-Hasan Ghawri, quotes him as saying, I do not know how to pose myself as a ritualistic pir. I am nothing but a religious student; so inquire from me only matters pertaining to the Quran and hadith. Straightforwardly, I know only the Quran and hadith, and this is real tasawwuf. Hakim al-Ummat explains the true meaning of esoteric reformation or Sufism in the introduction of Haqiqat al-tariqa min sunnat al-aniqa:

After rectification of beliefs and external acts, it is compulsory (fard) upon every Muslim to rectify his esoteric acts. Numerous Quranic verses and an untold number of hadiths explicitly indicate the obligation (fardiyya) of this. However, most people of superficial understanding are heedless of it because of their subservience to base desires. Who is not aware that the Quran and hadiths are explicit regarding the significance of abstinence (zuhd), contentment (qanaa), modesty (tawadu), sincerity (ikhlas), patience (sabr), gratitude (shukr), love of Allah (hubb al-Ilah), contentment with the Decree (rida bil-qada), trust (tawakkul), submission (taslim), and so on, while they emphasize the attainment of these noble attributes? And who is not aware that the Quran and hadiths condemn the opposite of these noble qualities: love for the world (hubb al-dunya), covetousness (hirs), arrogance (takabbur), ostentation (riya), lust (shahwa), anger (ghadab), envy (hasad), and so on, and warn against them? Is there any doubt that the noble qualities have been commanded, and the base traits forbidden? This is the actual meaning of reforming the esoteric acts, and the primary purpose of the spiritual path. That it is obligatory (fard) is without doubt an established fact. Along with this, experience tells us that reformation is contingent upon the companionship, service, and following of those who have already reformed themselves.

Further expounding how tasawwuf of the Quran and hadith is an essential part of Islam, Mawlana Thanawi says in his famous lecture Tariq al-Qalandar:

All the authentic principles of tasawwuf are found in the Quran and hadiths. The notion that tasawwuf is not in the Quran is erroneous; wayward Sufis as well as superficial scholars entertain this notion. Both groups have misunderstood the Quran and hadiths. The superficial scholars claim that tasawwuf is baseless since they believe that the Quran and hadiths are devoid of it, while the errant and extreme (ghali) Sufis assert that the Quran and hadiths contain but exoteric (zahiri) laws. Tasawwuf, they say, is the knowledge of esoteric (batin) and there is no need for the Quran or hadiths (we seek refuge in Allah). In short, both groups consider the Quran and hadiths to be devoid of tasawwuf. Thus one group has shunned tasawwuf and the other group has shunned the Quran and hadiths altogether.

The philosopher-mystic Mawlana Abd al-Bari Nadwi, a spiritual successor (khalifa) of Mawlana Thanawi, points out that tasawwuf has been perceived in two ways throughout Islamic history. First, there is the tasawwuf of the Quran and hadith, which was practiced by the pious predecessors of Islam and their true followers. Then, there is the pseudo-tasawwuf, an imprudent syncretism of Islam and other religious and spiritual systems of the world. Mawlana Abd al-Bari Nadwi explains that the reason why genuine tasawwuf is prone to misrepresentation is because the degree of misguidance and mistakes caused by a subject are proportionate to the degree of depth, subtlety, and intricacy found in that subject. Tasawwuf is the most subtle and intricate, and in many ways enigmatic, of the Islamic sciences, because it not only reforms the exoteric self, but it lays greater stress on purifying the esoteric self, which encompasses spiritual dimensions unseen by the physical eye.

Although tasawwuf entails a complex system of thought, however, a great reformer embraces people of all backgrounds and simplifies even the most complex religious and spiritual themes for them, so that the greatest number of people may benefit. The Messenger of Allah says, Give glad tidings [to the people] and do not frighten them away, and create ease and do not create difficulty. A salient feature of Mawlana Thanawis approach to tasawwuf was this simplification, ease, and flexibility. According to Mawlana Thanawi, the summary of Islamic mysticism is that actions are of two types: voluntary (ikhtiyari) and involuntary (ghayr ikhtiyari). Adhere to the voluntary [good] actions and do not concern yourselves with the involuntary. Hakim al-Ummat provides rescuing consolation and comfort for the sick-souls of our time. His simplification of tasawwuf allowed for a more effective approach, which dispelled the notion of an arduous tasawwuf. The following words of Mawlana Jalal al-Din Rūmi summarize this important part of Sufi methodology:

A disciple is like a new moon,
In reality no different than the full moon:
Its apparent imperfection is a sign of grateful increase. Night by night the newmoon gives a lesson in gradualness:
With deliberation it says, O hasty one,
Only step by step can one ascend to the roof.

A skillful cook lets the pot boil slowly;
The stew boiled in a mad hurry is of no use.

[Mathnawi VI, 1208-1212]

Hakim al-Ummat, highlighting a key principle of tasawwuf, says, The potential of this path and the aims of tasawwuf are found in every Muslim, because the essence of tasawwuf is to voluntarily perform Islamic injunctions, and everyone is able to perform these voluntary actions. He teaches that Sufism was not a new system, but that tasawwuf is the same prayer (salah) and fasting (sawm), which are the desired injunctions of sharia. Struggle [in tasawwuf] is needed to complete our incomplete prayers and fasting. The summary of tasawwuf is knowledge followed by action.

According to Hakim al-Ummat, Unveilings (kashf) and miracles (karamat) are not necessary in this path. Tasawwuf, as he understood it, is not an avenue to display exquisite and supernatural experiences. The objective is not to gain fame by displaying supernatural incidents, but to please Allah by following the path of His Messenger. By taking the pledge (baya) from a shaykh, seekers should not think that Paradise is granted to them. Mawlana Thanawi stresses that this Path proves its usefulness to those treading upon it without any exterior motives. He teaches that people taking pledge from a shaykh in order to win a dispute, to ward off a disease, to seek blessings in ones business, etc., as was the case of some during his times, are all wrong motives. Pleasure of Allah through inculcating traits that the Almighty desires and eliminating traits despicable in His sight should be the only motive for the seeker. Hakim al-Ummat also taught his disciples not to expect instant reformation, and that their reformation is contingent upon their exertion and struggle. Some people thought that after they visited the Khanqah-e Imdadiyya and saw Hakim al-Ummat, the thought of sin would disappear forever. He discouraged such thinking and proved it to be baseless. The shaykh is not there to make his disciples angels, but rather a mirror through which his disciples can take account of their unbiased reflection. Mirrors reveal physical appearance, while the shaykhs mirror exposes internal conditions.

Shedding light on the purpose of participating in spiritual activities, Mawlana Thanawi says, The only purpose of tasawwuf is Allahs pleasure, which is acquired from the complete obedience to the injunctions of the sharia. Some of these injunctions pertain to the exoteric self, such as prayer (salah), fasting (sawm), pilgrimage (hajj), and alms (zakah). Injunctions pertaining to ones transactions (such as loans), relations (such as marriage), and rights (such as the rights of the wife) constitute the exoteric part of Islamic law. All of this is the science of jurisprudence (ilm al-fiqh). Mawlana Thanawi further says:

And some injunctions pertain to the esoteric self, such as the love and fear of Allah, His remembrance, reducing the love of the world, contentment with divine actions and decisions, generosity, attentiveness of the heart during worship, performing the acts of religion with sincerity, not considering anyone inferior to yourself, not being boastful about your self, and controlling anger. Adhering to these injunctions constitutes the path (al-sulūk). They are obligatory like the injunctions pertaining to the exoteric self.

Science of tasawwuf (ilm al-tasawwuf) treats the esoteric nature of religion. Thus, Islam is a composite of these two sciences: ilm al-fiqh and ilm al-tasawwuf.

Hakim al-Ummats Methodology

According to Mawlana Muhammad Isa of Allahabad, Hakim al-Ummat did not pay any attention to dreams; he disliked the display of [spiritual] powers (tasarruf), and did not anticipate special conditions, such as ecstatic rapture, absorption, etc., but always focused on performing the exoteric and esoteric injunctions of Islam. His unique taste in tasawwuf allowed his teachings to serve as a bridge between fiqh and tasawwuf. He disliked formalities, preferred seriousness, encouraged the discontinuation of rituals, and never concerned himself with the impertinent. He deemed that true struggle entails not leaving the permissible but abandonment of sin and lessening of the permissible. He could not tolerate anything that pressured the heart more than necessary. He preferred solitude to social interaction; however, he maintained social activity so that people could benefit from him. He was meticulous in time management. He disliked visiting the rich and government officials. These traits describe some aspects of his unique predilection. Mawlana Thanawi teaches tasawwuf in a pragmatic, yet profound way, so it is easy for the layman to practice, yet deep enough for the seeker to quench his thirst. Tasawwuf is a practical methodology of reform that is associated with understanding the present human condition and then curing blameworthy character traits with divine guidance and prophetic advices, and augmenting praiseworthy character traits by establishing consistency and sincerity.

The Role of a Shaykh

Explaining how divine guidance reaches humans, Ibn Arabi (1165-1240) states, God, the Ultimate Truth, guides us to Truth and shows us the Truth through the wisdom bestowed upon us by the ones who trod this path before us and who have entered this realm and understood what they saw. The shaykh will guide the disciple to inculcate virtues and overcome vices. Hakim al-Ummat taught his followers to concern themselves with the attainment of virtues and not to overexert themselves in the eradication of vices. Moreover, they should not become discouraged because of their blameworthy traits. Once they solely focus on the good, the evil will vanish due to being deprived of their attention. He offered his disciples rational and pragmatic solutions, provided them with clear instructions, and prayed for them at every step of the Way. He nurtured their souls with wisdom and light, encouraging them to polish their spirits. Warning them from the treachery of the nafs, Hakim al-Ummat says, The nafs is a subtle entity. It is an inviter to evil (dai ila al-shar) and remains in the state of contentment (mutmaina) for only a temporary time. It continues to remain suppressed due to ones exertion and struggle (in the performance of good deeds). Mawlana Thanawi explains that some seekers are discouraged after observing their vices while suppressing their nafs. Consequently, they end up in despair, and this hopelessness deteriorates their spiritual progress. To ward off the desolation of his disciples, he shared with them a secret of the human condition: people attain a state of contentment only for some time, which is proportionate to their exertion and effort, but after this, the nafs returns to its nature. He relieved his disciples by showing them that the reappearance of the nafs was a natural phenomenon, and if this was not the case, then they could no longer maintain a continuous struggle. Without continuous struggle, they could not attain higher states of spirituality, since these are contingent upon continuous struggle. In this way, he consoled his disciples and turned their despair into optimism. Allah Most Exalted says, As for those who strive hard for Us (Our Cause), We will surely guide them to Our Paths. And verily, Allah is with the muh&sinun (those who excel) (Quran 29:69).

Hakim al-Ummat believed that unnecessary remorse and guilt does no good in the spiritual path. Tasawwuf is only arduous for those lacking its proper understanding. Mawlana Thanawi and William James would both agree on the following point stated by the latter in The Varieties of Religious Experience, Evil is a disease; and worry over disease is itself an additional form of disease, which only adds to the original complaint. We usually think that worrying about our evils is necessary in tasawwuf, in order to create the urge to reform our selves. However, the subtle noteworthy point here is that this worry should not become a discouraging factor leading to despair. Hakim al-Ummat and William James are basically stating that instead of focusing ones attention on the evil within, one should keep busy in good works and in developing virtues, which will eventually replace the vices.

Mawlana Thanawis cautious method of reformation not only diagnosed his disciples vices, but also replaced them with virtues. He did not specifically make efforts to search for the spiritual diseases of his disciples, but if by chance he observed some vices, then he would bring these negative points to their attention. He says, [A shaykh] should not try to find out the shortcomings of the disciple. However, if he observes them, then he should inform the disciple. Company of a pious shaykh is instrumental in the process of spiritual purification and personal reformation. As stated earlier, this process involves not only eliminating vices but also replacing them with virtues. David L. Watson and Roland G. Tharp assert a key psychological principle: Simply eliminating some undesired habit has been likened to creating a behavioral vacuum. If something is not inserted in its place, the old behavior will quickly rush back in to fill the void. Hence, eliminating evils is not sufficient, but virtues have to replace evils. This process can easily be carried out in the company of a pious shaykh, who not only diagnoses the spiritual diseases of the heart, but also replaces them with virtues appropriate to the seeker.

Take the example of courage and mercy. Mawlana Thanawi says, A courageous person is also a merciful person, whereas a coward is also hardhearted. He also said, No task is arduous with courage, which comes through the company of a pious shaykh. Cardinal virtues are interrelated and the inculcation of one gives rise to another. Here Hakim al-Ummat points to the co-existing relationship between courage and mercy. Courage is not being audacious and foolhardy in all that one desires, but refers to a praiseworthy trait in warding off the blameworthy character traits and replacing them with the praiseworthy character traits. Courage is the ability to stand for the truth, and unconditionally comply with the edicts of the sharia. Such courage is attained through the company of a pious shaykh, for humans affect each other in unique ways.

Hakim al-Ummat taught that true respect (adab) consists of providing peace and comfort to others. Activities causing trouble to others do not constitute respect. His approach arranged for the greatest amount of peace and inner comfort for the disciple and the shaykh. Once a disciple from Rangoon wrote to him that he wished to bring some gifts for him, and required his permission before purchasing them. Mawlana Thanawi replied, How much do you want to spend on these gifts and what things are available there? After knowing this, I can decide. Pointing to the wisdom in this answer, Hakim al-Ummat said, This way, the task of choosing certain gifts remains with him, while I will only be choosing from what he selects. The second reason [for this reply] is that I did not know what he would bring and whether it would be of any use to me or not. The reason I asked about his budget is that I will only choose the appropriate things. In short, this method assures the comfort of both. Thus, the reformatory efforts of the shaykh facilitate peace and comfort for all parties involved. What we have discussed so far only touches the surface of his teachings, a detailed study of Hakim al-Ummats aphorisms (malfuzat) and lectures (khutbat) would surely provide a greater understanding of his methodology in tasawwuf. Such a study will also reveal that he develops an entire program or system of self-reformation, introducing many progressive steps and assigning these new alternatives his own, new and unique, Sufi terminology.

May Allah Most Praiseworthy give us all the ability (tawfiq) to please Him, to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon his noble person), and their true followers. Amin.



Saviours of Islamic Spirit

S. Abul Hasan Ali Nadvi (RA)


Nur ud-Din Zangi (RA)

The Crusaders :

The commonwealth of Islam was devoting its attention to the educational and intellectual pursuits, on the one hand, while Christendom was consolidating its might to wipe off the entire Islamic world, on the other. Europe had been nourishing an intense hatred for Islam ever since the Arabs had taken their arms to the eastern possessions of the Byzantine empire. All the holy places of Christendom including the birth-place of Jesus Christ were under the Muslims. This afforded, by itself, a sufficient cause to Europe for breathing vengeance on Islam but the existence of powerful Islamic States and their continued inroads into the Christian countries did not give them the heart to covet the Muslim territories. However, the downfall of the Seljukid empire and the unsettled conditions in Asia Minor and Syria towards the end of the fifth century a.h. were in many respects calculated to favour the success of Europe. At the same time, the Christendom got a wandering preacher in the person of Peter the Hermit who distinguished himself by his fiery zeal and ability to carry away by his eloquence thousands of the poor Christians from one corner of Europe to another. Apart from these, numerous other factors, social and economic, contributed to surround the religious venture of the Crusaders with a hallow of romance tainted with avarice, ambition and lust.

The first eastward march of the Crusaders towards Syria commenced in 490 a.h. ; within two years the great cities of Edessa and Antioch and many fortresses were captured and by 492 a.h. the Christians had regained possession of Jerusalem itself. Within a few years the greater part of Palestine and the coast of Syria, Tortosa, Acre, Tripolis and Sidon fell into the hands of the Crusaders. "The Crusaders penetrated like a wedge between the old wood and the new", says Stanley Lane-Poole, "and for a while seemed to cleave the trunk of Mohammedan empire into splinters. The capture of Jerusalem threw the fanatical horde of Crusaders into a frenzy which gave rein to their wildest passions: a savagery which their own writers are ashamed to confess, and unable to deny. Here is a graphic account of the massacre of Muslims after the fall of Jerusalem:

"So terrible, it is said, was the carnage which followed that the horses of the crusaders who rode up to the mosque of Omar were knee-deep in the stream of blood. Infants were seized by their feet and dashed against the walls or whirled over the battlements, while the Jews were all burnt alive in the synagogue."

"On the next day the horrors of that which had preceded it were deliberately repeated on a larger scale. Tancred had given a guarantee of safety to 300 captives. In spite of his indignant protest these were all brought out and killed; and a massacre followed in which the bodies of men, women and children were hacked and hewn until their fragments lay tossed together in heaps. The work of slaughter ended, the streets of the city were washed by Saracen prisoners."

The fall of Jerusalem marks the beginning of the decline of Islamic power and the increasing strength of the Christian West which was successful in due course in establishing four Latin Kingdoms of Jerusalem, Edessa, Antioch and Tripoli in the territory bordering the eastern end of the Mediterranean from the Euphrates to Egypt, exposing the entire world of Islam to the danger of annihilation. The ambition of the warriors of the Cross ran so high that Reginald of Chatillon once expressed the desire to cross over to Arabia with the fell design of sacking Mecca and Madina and taking the corpse of the blessed Prophet out of his grave!' Never after the rising of the Apostates following the death of the Prophet had Islam been exposed to such a grave danger. The existence of Islam being at stake for the second time in its history, it had to take the field for a decisive battle with the Latin West.

The opening decades of the sixth century a. h. marked the dissension of the Islamic East. After the death of Malik Shah, the last great Seljukid ruler, civil war broke out among his successors and the empire split into many separate principalities. There was then no ruler who had the capacity to unify the forces of Islam in order to stand on the defensive against the increasing pressure from the north-west. Stanley Laue-Poole has rightly said that:

"It was a time of uncertainty and hesitationof amazed attendance upon the dying struggles of a mighty empire; an interregnum of chaos until the new forces should have gathered their strength; in short, it was the precise moment when a successful invasion from Europe was possible."

Atabek lmad ud-din Zangi :

At this critical moment, when the despair of the Muslims was at its height, a lucky star rose in the eastern horizon. As it had happened earlier, Islam got a champion for its cause from an unexpected quarter, who appeared on the scene to save the situation. Lane-Poole writes:

"It was but necessary to preach the Jihadthe Holy Warand to show them a commander whose courage and military genius all must respect, and the Turkman chiefs and vassals would at once become a Church Militant with whom the Crusaders would have very seriously to reckon. The leader was found in Imad-ed-dln Zengy."

lmad ud-din Zangi was the son of one of the court chamberlains of Malik Shah. Sultan Mahmud conferred on him the government of Mosul along with the title of Atabek, the Tutor of the Princes. After consolidating his power in Syria and Iraq, lmad ud-din advanced against Edessa (Roha) which was one of the strongest,, fortresses held by the Crusaders, and formed the centre of their aggressive inroads into the neighbouring territories held by the Muslims. lmad ud-dln captured Edessa on the 6th of Jamadi ul-Akhir, 539 a. h. According to Arab historians it was the "conquest of conquests" for Edessa was regarded by the Christians as the "stoutest prop of the Latin Kingdom." The valley of the Euphratus was thus finally saved from the marauding excursions of the Crusaders. Shortly after achieving this brilliant victory, lmad ud-din was assassinated by a slave on the 5th of Rabi ut-Thani, 541 a. h. Thus perished one of the greatest heroes of Islam who had opened the way for a counter-attack on behalf of Islam against the Crusaders. However, the task left incomplete by the great Atabek was taken far ahead by his illustrious son, al-Maiik al-Adil Nur ud-din Zangi.

Al-Malik al-Adil Nur ud-din Zangi :

Nur ud-din Mahmud was now the Sultan of Aleppo on whom devolved the responsibility of the championship of Islam. The constant aim of his efforts was the expulsion of the Latin Christians from Syria and Palestine and to this object he remained faithful throughout his life. For him Jihad with the Crusaders was the greatest act of piety crowned with the Divine blessing. In 559 a. h. Nur ud-din Zangi captured Harim, a stronghold of the Crusaders in the north, after defeating the united armies of the Franks and the Greeks. It is related that ten thousand Christians were slain in this battle and innumerable Crusaders were taken prisoners along with the most of their chieftains, such as Bohemond, Prince of Antioch, Raymond of the court of Tripoli, Joscelin III, and the Greek general, Duke of Calamar. Soon after it the fortress of Banias (Caesarea Philippi) at the foot of Mount Hermon, felt before the arms of Nur ud-din, encircling the Crusaders from two sides. The significance of this political change has been described thus by Lane-Poole :

"The possession of the Nile by Nur-ed-din's general (Salah ud-dln) placed the Kingdom of Jerusalem as it were in a cleft stick, squeezed on both sides by armies controlled by the same power. The harbours of Demietta and Alexandria gave the Moslems the command of a fleet, and enabled them to cut off the communications of the Crusaders with Europe, stop the annual pilgrim ships and sieze their supplies."

Nur ud-dln had thus practically outmanoeuvered the Crusaders in Palestine but his greatest ambition was to drive them out of Jerusalem. This was, however, to be accomplished by Sala'h ud-dln but its foundation, was laid by the departing sovereign, Nur ud-din, who died in 569 a. h., in his fifty-sixth year, of a disease of quinsy. The news of the death of Nur ud-din, writes Lane-Poole, "fell like a thunderbolt among the Saracens."

Character of Nur ud-din :

Muslim historians describe Nur ud-din as a chivalrous, just and generous ruler, most tender-hearted, pious and high-minded, and a fearless warrior ready to expose himself in the front of every battle. True to his name 'Mahmud' he was acclaimed as one of the best of the kings; as the historians tell us, he was more capable and enlightened than his predecessors.

Ibn al-Jawzi who was a contemporary of Nur ud-din, writes of him in al-Muntaz.am:

"Nur ud-dln marched upon the enemy at the frontiers of his realm and succeeded in regaining more than 50 towns from the infidels. He led a life better than most of the kings and sultans. Peace and tranquillity reigned in his kingdom. There is, in fact, a lot to be said in his praise. He always considered himself as a subordinate of the Caliph at Baghdad. Before he died he abolished all oppressive and illegal imposts within his territories. He was extremely simple in his habits and loved the pious and scholars."

Another historian, Ibn Khallikan, who is known for his objective assessment of the characters and events says:

"He was a just and pious king, always eager to follow the observances prescribed by the Shariah and a generous patron of scholars in whom he took great interest. He was distinguished for his keen desire to take part in the Jehad; he spent his income on the pious foundations and welfare of the poor; and had set up educational institutions in all the principal cities of Syria. It is difficult to enumerate all of his qualities or the monuments by way of public works left by him."

Ibn al-Athir, the reputed historian and author of the Tarikh al-kamil) writes:

"I have studied the careers of the rulers of the past but excepting the first four Caliphs and Umar ibn Abdul Az!z there has been no prince so liberal and pious, law-abiding and just (as Nur ud-din)."

Ibn al-Athlr's testimony carries a special weight because he was in his fourteenth year when Nur ud-din died. He writes about the character and disposition of Nur ud-din as follows:

"He met his personal expenses from the property he had acquired out of the proceeds of his own share in the booty taken in war. He had set apart three shops situated in Hams which fetched an annual rent of 20 Dinars for meeting his household expenses. Once, when his wife complained to him that the income from the shops was insufficient, he dryly replied : 'I have nothing more to give you. Whatever else you see, I hold in sacred trust for the Muslims and I am no more than their trustee. I would not like to be consigned to Hell for your sake by spending anything on ourselves out of the public funds.'

He used to devote a greater part of his time after the nightfall in prayers. Belonging to the Hanafite school, he had studied jurisprudence and the Traditions but the narrow dogmatism was entirely foreign to his character.

"He was distinguished for his remarkable love for justice which could be seen, for example, in the fact that he had abolished all customs, dues and tithes throughout his vast kingdom comprising Egypt, Syria and Mosul. He was always eager to observe, in exact details, the disciplines and injunctions of the Shariah. Once he was summoned to appear before a court. He sent the word to the Cadi that no preferential treatment should be accorded to him when he appeared before the court as a defendant. Although he won the case against the plaintiff, he gave up his claim in favour of his opponent saying: 'I had already decided to do so, but I thought that perhaps my vanity wanted me to avoid attending the court of law. I, therefore, decided to appear before the court and now I give up what has now been decided in my favour.' He had set up a special tribunal known as Dar-ul-Adl (House of Justice) where he along with a Cadi, personally heard the cases to check arbitrariness on the part of high officials, princes, etc.

"On the battle-field he earned the admiration of everyone by his personal bravery. He always took two bows and quivers to the battle-field. Once somebody said to him: 'For God's sake, don't expose to danger your own self as well as Islam.' 'Who is Mahmud', retorted Nur ud-dln, 'that you speak thus of him? Who defended the country and Islam before me? Verily, there is no defender save Allah.'

"He held the scholars in high esteem and always stood up to receive them. He took keen interest in their affairs and patronised them with generous gifts but despite his humility and simplicity, he had such a commanding personality that the people were seized with fright in his presence. The fact is that it is not possible to relate all his qualities in the limited compass of this book."

Unflinching Faith:

Nur ud-dln had set his heart on the expulsion of the Crusaders from the holy land. He had also an unflinching faith in his mission and a firm conviction that he would ultimately succeed in his endeavour.

Nur ud-dln had to suffer a defeat at Hisn al-Akrad in 558 a. h., when he was taken unawares by the Christians. Soon thereafter he was making camp near Hams, a few miles from the enemy encampment. Some of his well-wishers counselled Nur ud-dln that it was not advisable to remain so near the enemy after suffering a defeat. Nur ud-dln, however, bade them to keep quiet and said : "I won't care for the enemy if I had only a thousand horses with me. By God, I would not go under a roof till I have taken revenge from the enemy." Even after the defeat Nur ud-dln continued with his generous grants to the learned, the poor and godly persons. When it was suggested to him that the amount earmarked for charitable purposes might be diverted for strengthening the forces at that critical juncture, Nur ud-dln replied angrily: But I hope the succour of God only on account of their benedictions and prayers. The Holy Prophet has said that Allah causes sustenance and His help to come down on earth only for the sake of the poor and the oppressed, How can I desist from helping those who fight for me when I am fast asleep. And lo! they never miss their targets; yet, you want me to help those who fight only when they see me in their midst on the battle-field, and they often succeed or fail in their endeavours. The poor have a right to derive benefit from the public revenues and so how can I ask them to forgo what is due to them ?'"

Nur ud-din made preparations to avenge his defeat: he distributed large sums to his followers; sent letters to all the chiefs and governors for sending fresh levies; and, at the same time, requested the pious and devoted to pray for his success. His efforts created a new upsurge throughout his vast dominion to fight the Crusaders for the defence of Islam. Nur ud-din met the united armies of the Franks and the Greeks, and in one of the severest battles which took place under the walls of Harim, he achieved a splendid victory over his foes which gave him control over Harim and a few other fortresses.'

The unflinching faith of Nur ud-din can well be imagined by an incident reported by the historians. While he was laying a seige to Banias (Caesarea Philippi), his brother, Nusrat ud-din lost an eye. Nur ud-din, on meeting his brother, said : "If you only knew the divine reward for losing your eye, you would ardently desire to lose the other one too."