Radiant Reality

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

Editor, Printer & Publisher: Mawlana Hamidullah Lone.

May 2006.  VOL.7, No: 5.


1. Editorial - Hearken ye the enlightened clan
2. Questions & Answers

3. Lesson from Al-Qur'an

4. Lesson from Bukhari Sharief

5. Islamic beliefs

6. Importance and benefits of Durood Shareef

7. Islamic finance

8. The role of Islam in the global village

9. Advice of Hadhrat Sheikh

10. Islam and concept of equality
11. Saviours of Islamic Spirit

12. News Around the World

13. There is another anti-Islamic site


1. EDITORIAL
Hearken ye the enlightened clan

          The most invaluable wealth bestowed upon us by the Al-Mighty is Islam, the bounties of which are available to us in this and in the life hereafter. As is the case with mundane wealth, this the most precious of all, can also be stolen from us, and hence requires as much, even greater, care and attention.

             A tradition of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is explicit on this subject "Each human is born in accordance with a set natural pattern; it is the subsequent upbringing that makes for a Judaist, Jesuit or Zoroastrian." It is upto the parents or guardians to see that a child develops and grows up to be a Muslim with noble, pure character. Any laxity is likely to lead the child astray whereas; with due care and proper guidance the resultant shall be a true Muslim with noble traits.

Hadeeth (traditions) is explicitly eloquent on the subject of the onus for preserving the basic pattern created by Allah rests upon the parents. The period a child spends in the sole care of the parents is vital in laying the foundation upon which would rise the edifice of personality. The matter does not end here but is followed by formal education, dovetailed with preceding parental upbringing of course. Education normally comprises primary, secondary and higher levels and each stage needs a purveyor to be totally focussed. it needs hardly any insight to realize that life can be made purposeful, in deed and word, only by acquiring education, to which end educational institutions with properly designed, systematic syllabi are established. It is the duty of all and sundry to avail of the benefits of prevailing systems. However, to any level, importance of moral education can hardly be overemphasized. Montessori system is one such which keeps this aspect in focus, especially as in formative years the child is influenced by all that, he or she, sees and hears, to lasting effect.

Poet Akbar Allahabadi who besides being a high ranking civil servant and well educated in contemporary social sciences, was fully seized of the paramountey of religion and influence of contemporary (British system) education upon nascent and developing minds. aimed a

 Yoon qatl se bachhon ke woh badnam na hota

Afsos ki Firaun ko college kee na soojhi

(Pharoah would not earn the ill repute of being a murderer of children had he just re-oriented the education to his liking)

The British, upon assumption of power in India, achieved great success in mounding the brains of Indians to their pattern, alienating them almost, from their pristine culture, by establishing the supremacy system of education.

A person or a clan inhabiting a land with an environment not averse to indulgence in nefarious activities and unbridled indulgence, is open to attraction to glitter and glamour, and tends to develop an aversion to pious ways of Islam. This tendency needs to be thwarted to pious ways of Islam. This tendency needs to be thwarted by careful steadfastness in all spheres and at every level. Even if there were no guarantee under a secular system for each one to pursue his own religion, Islam is a religion based upon the promise by the Almighty that the fruits of a noble life are not confined to this world but extend externally in the after-life.

The hazards of living in a polluted environment and the steps required bulwark against them are best exemplified by the following events: As great a person like Prophet Yaqub (AS) did not feel comfortable during the last moments of his life till he ensured that his sons (and those to follow) would adhere to the righteous path and not relinquish their true religion on any account. Hazrat Yaqub was aware of the fact that his "progeny had to inhabit Egypt for ages to come and what with delinquent ways of people around, shall be open to the hazard of going astray.

And it so turned out that Israilites (descendants of hazrat Yaqub), did continue in Egypt for several centuries. When, at last, they were led out by another great Prophet Hazrat Moosa (Moses) on their way, chanced upon a celebration of idolatory and taken in by the pomp and hilarity, requested their Prophet (rah) for holding a similar feast. This desire was obviously a legacy of their exposure to similar festivities in Egypt. Moosa (rah) was obviously furious and admonished them to the effect that being believers in one and only God, such indulgence did not become of them. Ultimately, better sense prevailed and Israelites repented, begged for mercy from Allah.

The above two instances should forever be kept in view this day as the atmosphere in which we live is akin to the days of Israelites in Egypt, in several aspects. Specially those undergoing institutional education, while deriving full advantages, need to be appraised continuously of the basic fact that Muslims, being the chosen lot (khair-i-ummat), owe it to themselves not to fall out of the prescribed way of life. And they, in fact owe it to the entire humanity by presenting an example. The action to inculcate and ingrain such characteristics is to be performed in every home, family and at all levels, so that success comes our way on the Day of Judgment, for there is no pleasure greater than that of Allah and his holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).

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2. Question and Answer

Question:

             How can we develop love of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) in the hearts of our children? I have a young daughter what can I do with her to achieve this?

Answer :

Praise be to Allaah.

             There are a number of ways to instill love of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) in the hearts of our children, such as:

The parents can tell them the stories that have been narrated of the children of the Sahaabah at the time of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), how they fought those who tried to harm him, how quickly they responded to his call and obeyed his commands, and how they loved that which he loved, and how they memorized the hadeeth of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).

The parents should help them to memorize as much hadeeth as they can of ahaadeeth, and reward them for that One of the things that was narrated concerning that was the words of al-Zubayri: Maalik ibn Anas had a daughter who memorized his knowledge i.e. al-Muwatta. She used to stand behind the door and if a student made a mistake she would knock on the door, and Maalik would be alerted and would correct him. And it was narrated that al-Nadar ibn al-Haarith said: I heard Ibraaheem ibn Adham say: My father said to me, O my son, seek hadeeth, and every time you hear a hadeeth and memorize it, I will give you a dirham, so I learnt hadeeth in that way.

They should teach them according to their level of understanding about the life of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and his military campaigns, and the lives of the Sahaabah, both men and women may Allaah be pleased with them, so that they will grow up loving these noble people, and be influenced by their behaviour, and will be keen to strive and sincere in correcting themselves and supporting their religion.

The Sahaabah and the salaf (early generations) were keen to teach their children about the life of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), and they would teach it alongside teaching the Quraan, because his seerah is the interpretation of the the meanings of the Quraan, as well as stirring up emotions and demonstrating true Islam and having a wondrous effect on the soul. It also carries the meanings of love and jihad to save mankind from misguidance and bring them to guidance, from falsehood to truth, from the darkness of jaahiliyyah to the light of Islam.

When telling their children about the life of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and the lives of the male and female Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them), the father and mother must tell them about things that they can relate to, such as the childhood of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), some stories about his life with (his wet-nurse) Haleemah al-Sadiyyah, and how Allaah bestowed goodness and blessings upon Haleemah and her family because of him, the night of the Hijrah and how Allaah covered the eyes of the mushrikeen, and other stories which demonstrate how Allaah helped him. Thus their hearts will be filled with love for Allaah and love for His Messenger (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). It was narrated from Ali (RA) that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: Train your children to acquire three characteristics: love of your Prophet, love of his family and reading the Quraan, for the bearers of the Quraan will be in the shade of Allaah on the Day when there will be no shade except His, with His Prophets and His chosen ones. (Narrated by al-Suyooti in al-Jaami al-Sagheer, p. 25; classed as daeef by al-Albaani in Daeef al-Jaami al-Sagheer, p. 36, no. 251). It would be a good idea if the parents devote a suitable time for teaching the life of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) during the daily family lesson, when the children can read about seerah in simplified books, or the father or mother can tell them these stories in a manner that is appropriate to the childs age. 

Question :

My husband and I embraced Islam about four years ago. In that time I have be learning all I can about Islam. My husband on the other hand has give up on trying to learn anything about Islam. I would like to know what can I do to get him interested in Islam. He is making it very difficult for me to practice and our children will not practice at all because of him. Please advise me as to want I should do.

Answer :

Praise be to Allaah.

Islam means that a person believes in his Lord and worships Allaah in the manner that He has prescribed. Therefore whoever enters this religion needs to make the effort to learn its rulings. The Muslim cannot know what is halaal and what is haraam, or how to do the acts of worship and what rulings apply to them, and what makes them valid or invalid, without studying. If he neglects to learn about Islam, he will fall into haraam and do things in his acts of worship that make them invalid.

Among the specific means that could help your husband to learn about Islam are the following:

 Putting him in touch with a nearby Islamic centre.

 Bringing home some suitable books and tapes

 Using Islamic sites on the Internet; you could copy some material so that it will be on hand.

 Question :

Are tapes regarded as one of the ways to gain knowledge? What is the best way to benefit from them?

Answer :

Praise be to Allaah.

No one doubts that these tapes are one of the means of acquiring knowledge. We do not deny that Allaah has blessed us through these tapes from which we have gained a great deal of knowledge, because they have brought us the words of the scholars no matter where they may be.

Here in our homes, there is a huge distance between us and this scholar, but it is easy for us to hear his words via this tape. This is one of the blessings that Allaah has bestowed upon us. Indeed it is proof both for us and against us, for knowledge has spread widely through these tapes.

With regard to how we may benefit from them:

This depends on the situation of the person himself. Some people may benefit from them whilst driving, others may listen to them whilst eating lunch or dinner, or drinking coffee.

The point is that the way in which benefit is derived from them depends on the individual himself; we cannot lay down any general rules.

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3. Lesson from the Qur'an
Hadhrat Mawlana Mohammad Shaifi Sahib (RA)

( ) ( )

Then Adam learnt certain words (to pray with) from his Lord; so, Allah accepted his repentance. No doubt He is the Most-Relenting, the Very-Merciful. We said, Go down from here, all of you. Then, sould some guidance come to you from Me, those who follow My guidance shall have no fear, nor shall they grieve. As for those who disbelieve, and deny Our signs, they are the people of the Firethey shall be there forever. (verses 37-39)   

Adams prayer to Allah

             The earlier verses have related how Adam (AS) came to commit an error through the seduction of Satan, and how he was commanded to leave Paradise and to go down to the earth. He had never experienced the displeasure of Allah before, nor heard such words of reproach. He could not bear it, and in the tumult of remorse at once wanted to beg humbly for pardon. But he was also afraid that by being importunate he might draw on himself more displeasure. Then, being a prophet, he knew Divine Majesty as ordinary men cannot. So, the fear and the awe dumbfounded him, and he could not utter a word. Bur Allah knows what passes through mens hearts, and He is also the Most-Merciful and the Most-Generous. Seeing the agony of remorse in Adam (AS), Allah accepted his repentance, and his grace taught him the words of a prayer so that he could beg for pardon.

Thus pardon was granted to Adam (AS), but Divine wisdom had all the same its own plans in sending him down to the earthfor example, starting through his progeny a new species, man, to be placed between the angels and the jinns; submitting men to the injunctions of the Shariah by giving them the power of choice, however limited; instituting divine vice regency among them, and promulgating among them the prohibitions and the commandments of the Shariah, so that this new creature may be capable of making a spiritual progress and of attaining a station denied even to the angels. Allah had announced these purposes even before creating Adam (AS) when He said to the angels: I am going to create a deputy on the earth." (2:30)  

Descension of Adam was not a punishment

That is why the command for Adam  (AS) to go down to the earth was not withdrawn even when he had been pardoned: only the mode was now altered. Earlier the command had been given in the mode of authority, and the sending down to the earth intended as a punishment: hence the reference to the enmity among men. Now, it was in the mode of wisdom, and the sending down to the earth, an honour -the honour of viceregency, Hence the reference to things vice regency involves. In commanding Adam and Hawwa (AS) and their progeny to live on the earth, Allah told them that He would be sending down to men His guidancethat is, the injunctions of the Shariahthrough revelation, and that those who follow it faithfully shall be free from sorrow and anxietyin other words, they shall not have to grieve about any loss in the past, nor to worry about some misfortune in the future.

In speaking of how Allah taught Adam (AS) the words of a prayer so that he could offer his repentance properly, the Holy Qur'an uses the word Talaqqa, which means accepting and welcoming a person or thing eagerly', and thus indicates his attitude in receiving the phrases. (See Kashshaaf and Ruh al Maani)

As to what these phrases were, different things have been reported from different companions, may Allah be pleased with them, but the generally accepted report is that of the blessed Companion  Ibn Abbas (RA) according to which these phrases are just the ones which the Holy Qur'an cites in a different places "Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves, and if You do not forgive us and have mercy upon us, we will surely be among the losers." (7:23)

The Arabic word for repentance is taubah which means 'a return'. So taubah is not merely an emotional attitude as the English word, repentance' seems to suggest. The word taubah is used with reference to Allah as much to men. When the word taubah is employed in case of a man, it signifies a necessary combination of three things:

(a) Acknowledging one's sin as a sin, being ashamed of it and feeling remorseful.

(b) Giving up the sin altogether.

(c) Making up one's mind firmly never to indulge in it again.

If anyone of these three elements is missing, the taubah is not genuine. Thus, it is not enough for one's salvation merely to utter the words of repentance, unless the words are supported by remorse for the sins committed in the past, abstinence from them in the present and determination of not giving way to them in the future. So much for the use of the word taubah with reference to man.

In the present passage, the Holy Qur'an uses the word with reference to Allah, and the phrase concerned literally signifies 'Allah returned to Adam'. It means that Allah again turned to him with His mercy and grace, and accepted his taubah.  

Injunctions and related considerations :

(1) Asked as to what a man should do if he happens to have committed a sin, several great scholars and Sufis have been saying that he should do exactly what his first parents, Adam and Hawwa  (AS) didthat is, he should be sincerely ashamed of his deed, make up his mind never to indulge in it again, and pray to Allah for His pardon as they had: "Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves, and if You do not forgive us and have mercy upon us, we will surely be among the losers." (7:23). The prayer of Musa (Moses) was of the same nature: Lord, I have wronged myself. Forgive me." (28:16) And when Yunus (Jonah) made a mistake, he too prayed: "There is rio God but You. Pure are you. I have certainly become one of the unjust." (21:87) (See Qurt;ubi)

(2) As we have seen in the previous verses, the Holy Qur'an attributes the error of judgment to Adam and Hawwa (AS) both by using the verb azallahuma which indicates the dual number and thus means that Satan 'caused both of them to slip.' In recounting how Allah commanded them 'to go down' to the earth, the Holy Qur'an again uses the verb for the plural number, thus including Hawwa (AS) in the command, On the contrary, in speaking of the taubah (repentance) of Adam (AS) and the acceptance of his taubah by Allah, verse 37 mentions him alone, and, employing the verb for the singular, leaves out Hawwa (AS) .Even in other places, the Holy Qur'an attributes the error to Adam (AS) alonefor example

'Adam disobeyed his Lord.' (20:121)

A possible explanation for the omission of Hawwa (AS) in such a context is that Allah wants woman to be kept hidden from prying eyes, and, in order to provide a cover for her, has not referred to her explicitly while speaking of sin and divine wrath. But when it comes to the question of taubah, the prayer which Allah taught to Adam (AS) employs a verb in the plural number "Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves", and thus the Holy Qur'an leaves no room for the supposition that the error of Hawwa (AS) was not pardoned, or that she did not offer repentance. Moreover, woman being inclusive to man in most situations, it was not necessary to mention her specifically every time the story was told. (Qurtubi)

(3) The Arabic word Taubah signifies much more than the English word 'repentance'; similarly, the words Ta'ib and Tawwab mean much more than simply 'one who repents.' Imam Al-Qurtubi says that the word Tawwab is used with reference to Allah as well as to man. For example, the Holy Qur'an applies the word to man in the phrase: "Surely Allah loves those who repent" (2:222) -and in , at-Tawwabin, 'those who return to Allah'; on the other hand, it speaks of Allah too as al-Tawwab "He is the Most-Relenting, the Most-Merciful." (2:37) So, with reference to man, the word signifies one who turns away from disobedience and sin, and returns to obedience', while with reference to Allah it signifies 'one who accepts repentance, and turns to man with mercy and grace'. There is another word, Taib which also means 'one who returns', but it is not permissible to use this word with reference to Allah. For, in the case of Allah, only those nouns, adjectives and epithets are permissible which have been used in the Holy Qur'an and the Hadithall other words are disallowed, no matter what their lexical meanings are.

(4) Verse 37 shows that Allah alone has the authority to accept a man's repentance and to forgive his sins. By disregarding this principle, Jews and Christians fell into a great error, for they came to believe that if a priest or a saint forgave their sins, Allah too did the same. Even some ignorant Muslims behave as if they too entertain such a belief. But all such notions are doctrinally false. No religious scholar or saint, 'alim or murshid, has the authority to forgive sins; all he can do is to pray for the sinner, and seek Allah's pardon.  

The obedient are freed of worries

(5) Verse 38 promises two great rewards to those who follow divine guidance -they will have no fear, and they will not grieve'. Fear is the anxiety one feels in apprehending some trouble or pain in the future. Grief is the sorrow arising from the loss of something valuable from one's failure in attaining a desired object. One can see that these two rewards comprehend all the possible forms of comfort and peace. Then, the text of the Holy Qur'an makes a subtle distinction between the two. In saying that those who follow divine guidance will have no fear, it. speaks in general terms and uses a noun -the Arabic phrase: is to be translated literally as 'no fear upon them'. But in the next phrase , the Holy Qur'an employs a verb, placing before it a pronoun as the subject. The literal translation of the phrase is: 'they shall not grieve'. The implication here is that being totally free from all sense of loss is possible only to Men of Allah or the saints who follow divine guidance in all its details; as for the others, no man whether an emperor or a billionaire, can help being grieved at the loss of a valued object or the frustration of a desire, all of which is but a necessary part of the scheme of things. The 'friends of Allah' do not have to grieve, because they annihilated their own desires and their very will in submitting themselves totally to the will of Allah. The Holy Qur'an also tells us that those who go to Paradise will thank Allah for having removed from them all regret and sorrow: "All praise belongs to Allah who has put away all sorrow from us" (35:34). It means that some degree of sorrow is inevitable for every human being except those who have perfected and made fast their relationship with Allah.

Let us make it clear that the verse does negate all grief and sorrow in the case of the 'friends of Allah', but the negation applies only to the loss of worldly things and the frustration of worldly desires. As for the anxiety about the other world and the fear of Allah and the deep sense of awe before His Glory, the 'friends of Allah' are far ahead of other men in these. It has been reported that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) often appeared to be worried and in deep thoughtthis was not for fear of any trouble or loss in the worldly sense, but on account of his anxiety for his Ummah, and of his awe before Divine Glory.

Nor does this verse imply that prophets and saints should not feel the instinctive and all too human fear when confronted by things which are generally known to inspire dread. The Holy Qur'an itself relates how the prophet Musa (Moses) (AS) was struck with fear when his stick turned into a dragon: "Musa felt a fear in himself." (20:67)

But it was only an instinctive and physical fear, and the incident anyhow belongs to the early days of his prophethood, for when Allah said  Do no be afraid, the fear disappeared altogether. We may explain the incident in another way also. His fear did not arise as it does in the case of ordinary men, from the likelihood that the extraordinary event might lead the Israelites into misguidance. So, this fear was not worldly, but other-worldly.  

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4. Lesson from Bukhari Sharief
Dr. Rafiq Ahmad

Hadith 39   

Narrated by Al Bara (bin Azib)

( ) ( ) ( ) ( )      

When Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) came to Medina, he stayed first with his grandfathers or maternal uncles from Ansar. He offered his prayers facing Baitul-Maqdis (Jerusalem) for sixteen or seventeen months, but he wished that he could pray facing the Ka'ba (at Makkah). The first prayer which he offered facing the Ka'ba was the 'Asr prayer in the company of some people. Then one of those who had offered that prayer with him came  across some people in a mosque who were bowing down during their prayers (facing Jerusalem). He said addressing them, "By Allah, I testify that I have prayed with Allah's Apostle while facing Ka'ba (Makkah).' Hearing this, they changed their direction towards the Ka'ba immediately. Jews and the people of other scriptures used to get pleased to see the Prophet facing Jerusalem in prayers but when he changed his direction towards the Ka'ba, during the prayers, they disapproved of it.

Al-Bara' added, "Before we changed our direction towards the Ka'ba (Makkah) in prayers, some Muslims had died or had been killed and we did not know what to say about them (regarding their prayers.) Allah then revealed: And Allah would never make your faith (prayers) to be lost (i.e. the prayers of those Muslims were valid).' " (2.143).

 Narrator: Al Bara (bin Azib)

He is a famous Sahabi who participated in all Gazwas except Badr as that time he was too young. As per Abu Umru Shaibani, he was the conqueror of Ray. There are three hundred and five Ahaadith narrated on his authority. He died in 71 or 72 Hijra, peace be upon his soul.

Comments

When the Prophet came to Medina, he stayed first with his grandfathers or maternal uncles from Ansar.

Madina was the Nanihal (maternal home) for Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). It was actually the maternal home of his grandfatherAbdul Mutallib, whose mother namely Salma Bint Umru was from Madinah from the clan of Banu Adi bin Najar. The mother of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was from Qarshi clan. Abdul Mutallib's father Hashim bin Abd Manaf came to Madinah and married this lady and she gave birth to a baby boy whose actual name was Sheebat ul Hamd. His father Hashim died in his journey of Syria and then his uncle, Mutallib bin Manaf, got his nephew, Sheebat ul Hamd, to Makkah where this boy got known by the name of Abdul Mutallib when his actually he was nephew of Mutallib and not the son. (Kashful Bari)

He offered his prayers facing Baitul-Maqdis (Jerusalem) for sixteen or seventeen months.

There are different narrations regarding the time period during which Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) offered Salah towards Baitul Maqdas. Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim mention with uncertainty sixteen or seventeen months whereas in some narrations sixteen and in some seventeen is mentioned with certainty. 

The Mosque where change of Qibla took place?

There are various opinions about it, Ibne Hajar says that this change of Qibla from Baitul Maqdis towards Ka'ba was ordered by Allah Ta'ala to Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) while offering the Zuhr Salah in Masjid Banu Salma, commonly now known as Masjid Zu-Qiblatain ( ). Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) while offering Salah turned from Baitul Maqdis towards Ka'ba. He offered first two Raka'ts towards Baitul Maqdis and the remaining two towards Ka'ba. Then the first Salah which was offered towards Ka'ba in Masjid Nabawi was the Asr Salah. One of the persons, Ubaad bin Bisher, who offered Asr Salah after Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) in Masjid Nabawi facing Ka'ba, passed by the Masjid Banu Haarisa where people were offering Asr Salah towards Baitul Maqdis, He said addressing them, "By Allah, I testify that I have prayed with Allah's Apostle facing Makkah (Ka'ba).' Hearing this, they changed their direction towards the Ka'ba immediately. People of Quba came to know about the change of Qibla in next Fajr Salah as Quba is at some distance from Madinah. (see Tabqaat Ibne Sa'd, Fathul Bari , Kasdhful Bari). 

Chapter 32:

Beauty of Islam of a person.

Purpose of Tarjamatul Baab and its relation with previous Baab:

Allama Aini says in Umdatul Qari that in previous chapter Imam Bukhari mentioned that Salah is from faith and that as we know that beauty of Islam is because of Salah, so, after Salah he got the chapter on the beauty of Islam. The purpose here again is the same that is to prove that Iman has grades. Here he says that beauty is part of Islam, as we know that beauty has grades, so naturally Iman will also have different grades. 

Hadith  40

Narrated Abu Sa'eed al Khudri

( ) ( ) ( )

Allah's Apostle (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam)  said ,"If a person embraces Islam and beautifies his Islam (by following it sincerely), then Allah will expiate all his past sins, and after that starts the sanction. The good deeds will be rewarded ten times to seven hundred times of it overlooks and an evil deed will be recorded as it is unless Allah forgives it." 

Hadith  41

Narrated  by Abu Huraira

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

Allah's Apostle said, "If any one of you improve (follows strictly) his Islamic religion then his good deeds will be rewarded ten times to seven hundred times for each good deed and a bad deed will be recorded as it is."

Comments:

In this Hadith Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) says that whosoever embraces Islam with absolute sincerity, all his previous sins will be expiated. Another Hadith says,

"Islam waves off (raises to ground) all the past sins". (Muslim)

After entering into the fold of Islam the deeds will be treated as per their merit which has been labelled as "Qisas" in this Hadith.A good deed will be rewarded ten times and the reward can go upto seven hundred times and even more if Allah wishes, whereas the bad deed will be recorded as it is. 

What about the past good deeds of one who embraces Islam?

whosoever embraces Islam with absolute sincerity, all his previous sins will be expiated. Will he be rewarded for his good deeds or not? There is difference of opinion amongst the Ulema on this. As per Imam Nawwawi, he will be rewarded for his good deeds (Umdatul Qari, Sharah Nawwawi on sahih Muslim), but Imam Bukhari seems to differ on this point that is probably why he has omitted the other part of this Hadith, which has been quoted by Imam Dhar-i-Qutni from Imam Maalik, which says that the his past good deeds are recorded (Nawwawi). But the question is that what will happen to good deeds of that person who does not embrace Islam? Allama Kashmiri says that good deeds of non believer will be of two types, Ibaadaat and Qurbaat. For Ibaadaat, Niyyat or intention is necessary and for Niyyat Islam is a precondition, so, there is no question of these deeds becoming Ibaadat. But these good deeds of a non believer will definitely help him in this world and there is every possibility that these will lead to the reduction in the severity of punishment in the Hereafter, i.e, a non believer with bad deeds will get more chastisement than one with good deeds. 

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 5. Islamic Beliefs
Hadhrat Sheikh-ut-Tafseer Mawlana Idris Kandhlawi (RA)

THE PROOFS FOR RESURRECTION AFTER DEATH

The Qur'aan Majeed is full of proofs regarding the resurrection. In the Qur'aan it is stated:

1. "Do they not see that Allaah, Who created the heavens and the earth, and was not wearied by their creation, is able to give life to the dead? Yes, He surely is able to do all things."

2. "He (kaafir) says: Who will give life to these bones when they have rotted away and become dust?" Say (O Muhammad-Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam)! 'He will give life to them Who created them for the first time! And He is the All-Knower of every creation."

3. "O People! Are you in doubt regarding the Resurrection? Indeed, We have created you (the first time) from sand and then from a clot."

4. In one place in the Qur'aan it is mentioned regarding Hadhrat Ebrahim (alaihi salaam), when he asked Allaah Ta'ala "My Rabb, show me how You bring the dead to life". Allaah Ta 'ala told him to take four birds and mince them up, then he was to place their mixed pieces above four mountains and call them. The four birds came back to him as they were before. In the same way on the Day of Qiyaamah, all the different mixed portions of bodies will be brought back in one piece before Allaah Ta'ala.

5. In another place in the Qur'aan Kareem there is the incident of Hadhrat Uzair (alaihi salaam) or some other Nabi. He also had this desire to see how Allaah Ta'ala will raise the dead. Allaah Ta'ala made him die for a period of 100 years, and kept his body intact. With the Power of Allaah Ta' ala there was no change in his body. However, his mount (a donkey) disintegrated and rotted away. Allaah Ta'ala thereafter brought his donkey back to life before his (this Nabi's) very eyes. This was a real-life example given by Allaah Ta' ala to show the creation that He has the full control and Power over life and death.

6. In the same way is the example of the people of the Bani Israeel who fled their city for fear of their lives. They were brought to life through the du'aa of Hadhrat Hazqeel (alaihi salaam).

7. In the same way is the example of the 'People of the Cave', who were made to sleep in the cave for a period of over 300 years. Allaah Ta'ala proved that His Promise to resurrect the dead is a True One, and that the Promise of Qiyaamah is certain. "And in this way We resurrected them, so that the people may know that the Promise of Allaah is True and that The (Final) Hour is coming. There is no doubt in it."

During that era there was a difference of opinion between the people regarding resurrection. Some accepted it and others rejected it. Allaah Ta'ala used the example of these youth to prove that if He has the Power to raise the youth after more than 300 years, then indeed He has the Power to raise the dead after many centuries. In order to prove the resurrection to the rejecters thereof, Allaah Ta'ala has extolled many examples and proofs in the Qur'aan for them. 

REFUTATION OF THE BELIEF OF REINCARNATION

Just like the Philosophers and the atheists, the Brahmans and Hindu also refute the concept of resurrection. However, the Brahmans and Hindus have another strange belief. They say that there is no such thing as Qiyaamah, but they aver that after death the souls change into different forms. They say that the souls of good people are transformed into good bodies and the souls of evil characters are transformed into bad bodies, like dogs, cats, scorpions, etc., etc. This changing of bodies by the souls is known as reincarnation.

Ahle-Islaam say that this belief of reincarnation is spurious and illogical. The reason being that it is necessary for reward or punishment that the soul be made aware of the transgression that it had committed. When a soul knows the transgression it had made then it can in future abstain therefrom or at least others will be forewarned thereof. By reincarnation, the soul is none the wiser regarding its sin. It is common knowledge that if a person lived in a certain village for many years, then after moving to another village, he will have memories of his previous village, in that he will relate to others regarding it. So now the Pundit (Hindu priest), who according to his own philosophy has lived a previous (good!) life is now in the form of his present body, but he cannot relate any part of his past life He says nothing, nor does his queen. It is very possible that in the previous life his present wife was his mother, sister or even daughter! Or maybe Mahatma or Pundit saheb was in the previous life the father of this girl (present wife) and now he comes as the husband! A person does not even forget a dream as much as the Pundit saheb forgot of his 70 odd years of (previous) life. It is obvious that he was not here in a previous life. This sojourn of his life is the first on earth and after death he will be buried (or cremated) only to be brought in to the second stage of existence (Barzakh), and then before Allaah Ta'ala.

Even the philosophers regard the concept of reincarnation as being stupid and illogical.

THE CONDITION OF RAISING AFTER DEATH

There is a difference of opinion amongst the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat regarding the condition of the rising after death, and to the meaning of the Shariah's concept of 'Hashr Nashr'. According to some the meaning of 'I'aada' and 'Ba'ath' is for the universe to be brought into existence after it has been rendered utterly destroyed and nonexistent. To re-create after total destruction is within the Power of Allaah Ta'ala. As Allaah Ta'ala says: "He (kaafír) says; Who will give life to these bones when they have rotted away and become dust?" Say (O Muhammad-sallAllaahu alaíhí wasallam)! 'He will give life to them Who created them for the first time!" This Aayat proves that the second creation will be like the first.

Allaah Ta'ala says: "Like We initiated the first creation, We will repeat it." The first creation was created from non-existence by the word "BE!" and in this way the second time also.

Some Ulama say that after death, the parts of the bodies will be scattered and separated, but they will not be totally destroyed. On the Day of Qíyaamah, Allaah Ta'ala will bring together all the parts and organs of the bodies and bring them all to life. This phenomenon was demonstrated in the stories of Hadhrat Uzair and Ebrahím (alaihima salaam) in the Qur' aan Majeed. - When Hadhrat Ebrahim (afaihi salaam) asked Allaah Ta 'ala "My Rabb, show me how You bring the dead to life". Allaah Ta'ala told him to take four birds and mince them up, then he was to place their mixed pieces above four mountains and call them. The four birds came back to him as they were before. In the same way on the Day of Qiyaamah, all the different mixed portions of bodies will be brought back in one piece before Allaah Ta'ala. The incident of Hadhrat Uzair (alaìhì salaam) or some other Nabi states that he also had this desire to see how Allaah Ta'ala will raise the dead. Allaah Ta' ala made him die for a period of 100 years, and kept his body intact. With the Power of Allaah Ta'ala there was no change in his body. However, his mount (a donkey) disintegrated and rotted away. Allaah Ta'ala thereafter brought his donkey back to life before his (this Nabi's) very eyes. This was a real life example given by Allaah Ta'ala to show the creation that He has the full control and Power over life and death. In these two incidences Allaah Ta'ala made these Nabis witness the process of re-creation.

The Muhaqqiqeen's mazhab is that the concept of 'Hashr Nashr' is certain and decisive. It is waajib to believe in it. The Shariah has not specified any specific way of this concept. The specification of this process is based on conjecture. 

AN OBJECTION OF THE REJECTERS OF HASHR AND THE ANSWER

The objectors to the concept of Hashr (resurrection) say that when two bodies become one, where the one becomes the food and sustenance of the other (probably where one eats the other). Then, how will it be possible for two souls to come together into one body when the resurrection occurs?

ANSWER
Allaah Ta'ala has given us the information regarding "Hashr Nashr", but He has not informed us regarding its condition (how it will occur), hence we will leave to Him the full details thereof. For the understanding and appeasement of our own minds we will suffice on this that the human body has two parts to it. The first being the original parts that exists from the time of birth until the end of his life. The second being those parts which keep on growing and getting bigger. The first mentioned parts that remain the same is called the original parts and the second mentioned parts that keep on growing is referred to as the secondary (extra) parts. At the time of death all the parts of the human body disintegrates and separates, but none ever disappears from the Knowledge of Allaah Ta' ala. Regardless of how far separated the body becomes, it never leaves the Knowledge of Allaah Ta 'ala, which is All-Encompassing.

The original human with his original parts from birth until death, in which Allaah Ta'ala placed the soul, is the same one in which Allaah Ta'ala has the Power to return the soul on Qiyaamah. Whatever extra parts that increased thereupon, Allaah Ta'ala has the Power to put that also back and the body will receive whatever reward or punishment is due to it.

Zaid, who at the time of birth was called Zaid is still Zaíd at the age of 70 years, yet his body has undergone a multitude of changes and alterations.

In conclusion, we see that even if one body becomes into another, then on the Day of Qiyaamah, Allaah Ta'ala will return the soul into the original body, since every body started at an original stage. No one body was the same as the other at the stage of inception. 

THE ERA OF "ALASTOO"

In the Qur'aan Majeed mention is made of the era of "Alastoo". "And (remember) when your Rabb brought forth from the children of Aadam, from their loins, their seed, and made them testify as to themselves (saying): 'Am I not your Rabb?" They said: 'Yes! We testify"'

The Mufassireen have stated that Alaah Ta'ala took out all the children of Hadhrat Aadam (alaihi salaam) until the Day of Qiyaamah from his spine, as small atoms (i.e. they were all small in size). These atoms were the original human beings form. Notwithstanding their small sizes Allaah Ta'ala gave them the power of life, intelligence and testimony, so that they may answer the question of Allaah Ta'ala. It appears that these `atoms` were in the form of humans, hence Allaah Ta'ala uses the term 'Zurrìyaat' (children). Allaah Ta'ala took from them the oath of His being their Rabb. Then He returned them into the back of Hadhrat Aadam (afaihi salaam), indeed He has the Power to do anything. Since the time of this oath, the human soul has undergone a multitude of changes and a very large space of time had passed, hence at the stage of life (after 9 months in the mother's womb, birth, etc.), naturally he has forgotten this era of "Alastoo". The Nabis were assigned the task of reminding mankind about this oath of theirs. "And remind (one another)! As indeed, a reminder is beneficial for the believer." 

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 6. Importance and benefits of Durood Shareef
Mawlana Hamidullah Lone Sahib            

            Allah Ta ' ala says in Qur 'an:

"Allah and His Angels, send blessings on the Prophet, O ye that believe! send ye blessings on him, and salute himwith all respect." (33:56)

             In this verse, Allah Taala before passing the order for offering durood, emphasizes its importance and greatness by saying: Verily Allah Taala and his angels bestow kindness on Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), so O faithful, you too should join this great act and pray for bestowing kindness and security on the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) (by offering durood).

It has been narrated in a hadith: Whosoever forgets to offer durood on listening my name, is removed from the path of Jannat.

Ibn Masood (RA) narrates, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: Certainly angels keep on moving in the world and convey to me the durood and salam offered by my followers. (Nasai/Darmi)

A hadith in Nasai says, Whosoever offers durood for me once, Allah Taala bestows ten types of kindness on him and forgives ten of his misdeeds and his status is elevated.

Hadhrat Umar (RA) narrates, the prayer (dua) gets stopped midway between earth and skies and cannot ascend, unless it is accompanied by durood. The contents of this hadith have been verified as correct.

Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (RA) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, A gathering in which neither Allah is remembered nor durood is offered for Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), will be a source of dismay on the day of Qiyamah and Allah Taala may either forgive them or punish them. (Jamia Tirmidhi)

It is narrated, Real miser person is one who on listening my name does not offer durood for me. (Tirmidhi) 

Signs of acceptance of durood

The person who offers durood feels attracted day by day towards Allah and his Rasool (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). The heart of divine love and desire of following the light path keeps on increasing in his heart. He will enjoy and relish to follow the direction of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). He will make a constant and determined effort to mould his life and behaviour according to the example shown by the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) himself All these things are possible to achieve provided one gives up sinful acts and adverse beliefs and offers durood for Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) according to the principles of Shari'at with true devotion, dedication and decency.

Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has in many ways obliged the humility in general and the faithful (Momineen) in particular which this Ummat can never repay. We should thank Allah Ta 'ala for giving us a way out in the form of offering durood by which we can to some extent acknowledge the kindness offered on us.

By offering durood and salam the already great status of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) touches new heights. Though it is a fact, that this status of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) keeps on rising higher and higher every moment by virtue of the Sadqat-i-Jariah started by Allah Ta'ala's Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and apparently the need to further enhance this ascent doesn't seem to arise, but it should be clear that closeness to Allah Ta'ala (Qurb) is unlimited so there will always be a need for good deeds even for Raslllullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) who is the greatest of human beings and the jewel of the universe. (May Allah Ta'ala bestow His kindness to Him ).

By virtue of steadfastness of durood, salam and obedience of Rasool (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), one obtains the ziarat (seeing) of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) in dreams, and also depending on the Iman, the Noor-i-Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) also dawns upon him.

Durood and salam also saves a person from Shrik as it becomes evident that the real source for all types of kindness and virtues is Allah Ta'ala. This helps in differentiating the rightful status and order of Nabuvat, Risalat and Uloohiyat which in turn is essential for preserving the correct concepts of Tawheed (Oneness of Allah Ta'ala) and Risalat in the minds of the believers.

Another purpose of durood and salam is raising of esteem (Rafa Zikr) which is promised in Qur'an, "and raised high the esteem (in which) thou (art held)." (94:4)

Since Allah Ta' ala and His angels are constantly showering kindness on Rasool (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), It is an indication of the status of the loved one, enjoyed by the Prophet (Sallallahu Alalu Wasallam) before Allah. It is therefore, a great honour for Momineen as well, that they have been involved in this virtuous act. With this the status of the Momineen themselves also gets elevated due to this act.

It is narrated in a Hadith that durood and salam is acknowledged by the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) whenever any body from the Ummat offers it. Durood, therefore, is a special means to gain spiritual intimacy and special favours from the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).

Durood and Salam undoubtedly help increase the love, understanding and obedience of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).

A constant thought of Rasool (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) by durood and salam, enables a Momin to follow the example of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) in every act of otherwise busy life. To follow the example of the prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) upto possible maximum extent in every overt and convert act is obligatory on Muslims.

May Allah Ta 'ala with His grace grant us complete and total obedience of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). Aamin 

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7. Islamic Finance
Justice Mawlan Mufti Taqi Usmani (DB)

Murabahah

             1. Murabahah is a particular kind of sale where the seller expressly mentions the cost of the sold commodity he has incurred, and sells it to another person by adding some profit or mark-up thereon.

       2. The profit in Murabahah can be determined by mutual consent, either in lump sum or through an agreed ratio of profit to be charged over the cost.

3. All the expenses incurred by the seller in acquiring the commodity like freight, custom duty etc. shall be included in the cost price and the mark-up can be applied on the aggregate cost. However, recurring expenses of the business like salaries of the staff, the rent of the premises etc. cannot be included in the cost of an individual transaction. In fact, the profit claimed over the cost takes care of these expenses.

4. Murabahah is valid only where the exact  cost of a commodity can be ascertained. If the exact cost cannot be ascertained, the commodity cannot be sold on murabahah basis. In this case the commodity must be sold on musawamah (bargaining) basis i.e. without any reference to the cost or to the ratio of profit / mark-up. The price of the commodity in such cases shall be determined in lump sum by mutual consent.

               Example (1) A purchased a pair of shoes for Rs. 100/ -. He wants to sell it on murabahah with 10% mark-up. The exact cost is known. The murabahah sale is valid.

                Example (2) "A purchased a ready-made suit with a pair of shoes in a single transaction, for a lump sum price of Rs. 500/-. A can sell the suit including shoes on murabahah. But he cannot sell the shoes separately on Murabahah, because the individual cost of the shoes is unknown. If he wants to sell the shoes separately, he must sell it at a lump sum price without reference to the cost or to the mark-up. 

Murabahah as a mode of financing

Originally, murabahah is a particular type of sale and not a mode of financing. The ideal mode of financing according to Shariah is mudarabah or musharakah which have been discussed in the first chapter. However, in the perspective of the current economic set up, there are certain practical difficulties in using mudarabah and musharakah instruments in some areas of financing. Therefore, the contemporary Shariah experts have allowed, subject to certain conditions, the use of the murabahah on deferred payment basis as a mode of financing. But there are two essential points which must be fully understood in this respect:

1. It should never be overlooked that, originally, murabahah is not a mode of financing. It is only a device to escape from "interest" and not an ideal instrument for carrying out the real economic objectives of Islam.

Therefore, this instrument should be used as a transitory step taken in the process of the Islamization of the economy, and its use should be restricted only to those cases where mudarabah or musharakah are not practicable.

2. The second important point is that the murabahah transaction does not come into existence by merely replacing the word of "interest" by the words of "profit" or "mark-up". Actually, murabahah as a mode of finance, has been allowed by the Shariah scholars with some conditions. Unless these conditions are fully observed, murabahah is not permissible. In fact, it is the observance of these conditions which can draw a clear line of distinction between an interest-bearing loan and a transaction .of murabahah. If these conditions are neglected, the transaction becomes invalid according to Shariah. 

Basic features of Murabahah Financing

1. Murabahah is not a loan given on interest. It is the sale of a commodity for a deferred price which includes an agreed profit added to the cost.

2. Being a sale, and not a loan, the murabahah should fulfil all the conditions necessary for a valid sale, especially those enumerated earlier in this chapter.

3. Murabahah cannot be used as a mode of financing except where the client needs funds to actually purchase some commodities. For example, if he wants funds to purchase cotton as a raw material for his ginning factory, the Bank can sell him the cotton on the basis of murabahah. But where the funds are required for some other purposes, like paying the price of commodities already purchased by him, or the bills of electricity or other utilities or for paying the salaries of his staff, murabahah cannot be effected, because murabahah requires a real sale of some commodities, and not merely advancing a loan.

4. The financier must have owned the commodity before he sells it to his client.

5. The commodity must come into the possession of the financier, whether physical or constructive, in the sense that the commodity must be in his risk, though for a short period.

6. The best way for murabahah, according to Shariah, is that the financier himself purchases the commodity and keeps it in his own possession, or purchases the commodity through a third person appointed by him as agent, before he sells it to the customer. However, in exceptional cases, where direct purchase from the supplier is not practicable for some reason, it is also allowed that he makes the customer himself his agent to buy the commodity on his behalf. In this case the client first purchases the commodity on behalf of his financier and takes its possession as such. Thereafter, he purchases the commodity from the financier for a deferred price. His possession over the commodity in the first instance is in the capacity of an agent of his financier. In this capacity he is only a trustee, while the ownership vests in the financier and the risk of the commodity is also borne by him as a logical consequence of the ownership. But when the client purchases the commodity from his financier, the ownership, as well as the risk, is transferred to the client.

7. As mentioned earlier, the sale cannot take place unless the commodity comes into the possession of the seller, but the seller can promise to sell even when the commodity is not in his possession. The same rule is applicable to Murabahah. .

8. In the light of the aforementioned principles, a financial institution can use the Murabahah as a mode of finance by adopting the following procedure:

Firstly: The client and the institution sign an overall agreement whereby the institution promises to sell and the client promises to buy the commodities from time -to time on an agreed ratio of profit added to the cost. This agreement may specify the limit up to which the facility may be availed.

Secondly: When a specific commodity is required by the customer, the institution appoints the client as his agent for purchasing the commodity on its behalf, and an agreement of agency is signed by both the parties.

Thirdly: The client purchases the commodity on behalf of the institution and takes its possession as an agent of the institution.

Fourthly: The client informs the institute ion that he has purchased the commodity on his behalf, and at the same time, makes an offer to purchase it from the institution.

Fifthly: The institution accepts the offer and the sale is concluded whereby the ownership as well as the risk of the commodity is transferred to the client.

All these five stages are necessary to effect a valid murabahah. If the institution purchases the commodity directly from the supplier (which is preferable) it does not need any agency agreement. In this case, the second phase will be dropped and at the third stage the institution itself will purchase the commodity from the supplier, and the fourth phase will be restricted to making an offer by the client.

THE MOST ESSENTIAL ELEMENT OF THE TRANSACTION IS THAT THE COMMODITY MUST REMAIN IN THE RISK OF THE INSTITUTION DURING THE PERIOD BETWEEN THE THIRD AND THE FIFTH STAGE.

This is the only feature of murabahah which can distinguish it from an interest-based transaction. Therefore, it must be observed with due diligence at all costs, otherwise the murabahah transaction becomes invalid according to Shariah.

9. It is also a necessary condition for the validity of murabahah that the commodity is purchased from a third party. The purchase of the commodity from the client himself on 'buy back' agreement is not allowed in Shariah. Thus murabahah based on 'buy back' agreement is nothing more than an interest based transaction.

10. The above mentioned procedure of the murabahah financing is a complex transaction where the parties involved have different capacities at different stages.

(a) At the first stage, the institution and the client promise to sell and purchase a commodity in future. This is not an actual sale. It is just a promise to effect a sale in future on murabahah basis. Thus at this stage the relation between the institution and the client is that of a promisor and a promisee.

(b) At the second stage, the relation between the parties is that of a principal and an agent.

(c) At the third stage, the relation between the institution and the supplier is that of a buyer and seller.

(d) At the fourth and fifth stage, the relation of buyer and seller comes into operation between the institution and the client, and since the sale is effected on deferred payment basis, the relation of a debtor and creditor also emerges between them simultaneously.

All these capacities must be kept in mind and must come into operation with all their consequential effects, each at its relevant stage, and these different capacities should never be mixed up or confused with each other.

11. The institution may ask the client to furnish a security to its satisfaction for the prompt payment of the deferred price. He may also ask him to sign a promissory note or a bill of exchange, but it must be after the actual sale takes place, i.e. at the fifth stage mentioned above. The reason is that the promissory note is signed by a debtor in favour of his creditor, but the relation of debtor and creditor between the institution and the client begins only at the fifth stage, whereupon the actual sale takes place between them.

12. In the case of default by the buyer in the payment of price at the due date, the price cannot be increased. However, if he has undertaken, in the agreement to pay an amount for a charitable purpose, as mentioned in para 7 of the rules of Bai' Mu'ajjal, he shall be liable to pay the amount 4ndertakenby him. But the amount so recovered from the buyer shall not form part of the income of the seller / the financier. He is bound to spend it for a charitable purpose on behalf of the buyer. 

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 8. The Role of Islam in global village              

             "O mankind! We create you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that Ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other), verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. AI{ah has full knowledge and is well ac- quainted (with all things). " (49: 13)

             From times immemorial, man has sought ways and means of communicating ideas to fellow being. Among the first means of expression was speech, Signals or gestures. Still, man, with a desire to overcome the tyranny of distance, continued to devise other modes of sending messages to far of places. Smoke signals, letter pigeon, dogs, etc were some of the methods deployed. Today, he has achieved significant headway in the field of communication to an extent that news from as Tokyo, New York, Sydney, etc, can be transmitted within seconds, TV sets, facsimile transmissions, e-mail, cell-phones, etc, are signs of the times.

The effect of the aforesaid is such that societies which used to be far apart intellectually and culturally have now become in contact in cyberspace (Internet) or along the information superhighway.

With the worlds technological arena and human societies getting more and more sophisticated by the day, what role can Islam play in this Global Village? To begin with, many people often question the relevance of religion in the Modem world. These people, who are predominantly secularist, treat religion just another area which has to be separated from business life. They have relegated religion to the status of personal or private affairs. This is an unfortunate development which is a pure regression to the jahilia (ignorance) era when people did not know about Islam. When you turn on your TV sets, often you will see scenes of violence, reports of increasing crime in the world's metropolitan districts and many other social ills such as broken homes, etc.

A mere analysis of these hard facts shows that there is a spiritual vacuum which has got to be filled. This vacuum cannot be filled by an ideology which will offer just temporary partial solutions to existing problems. It is a vacuum which needs to be filled by a comprehensive system of life which has something to say on an facets of human endeavour and more. Allah did provide such a system whose message is complete in the form of the Holy Qur'an. In one of the verses of the Holy Qur'an. Allah says:

"We have sent thee not, but as mercy for creatures. (21:107)

Some religions are named after their founders and other are tribal or geographical by nature. With this in mind, we can appreciate that it is only Islam which has the ingredients of becoming a "Universal World Order" which sees no colour, race or tribe. By virtue of the quoted verse of the Holy Qur'an, one can see how inclusive and all-embracing Islam is. By taking into account the existence of all the creatures on earth, namely flora and fauna besides humankind, Islam is just that system the non-Muslim world is grouping for in order to find lasting peace even if there are many forces against it. Islam has the remedies for all the problems the world is suffering from in such areas the environment, economics, politics, etc.

It is from this premise that we should take it our responsibility to bring this mercy to the Global village where brothers are fighting, materialism is the order of the day, corruption is taking root and the rich are getting richer while poor are becoming poorer. Tyrants living in partial mansions are serving interests of the imperialists while the populace continue to live below the poverty line.

Observing the trend of world events since the collapse of communism in the former USSR and Eastern Europe, the age long political obsession of the western world, it is easy to notice how the west is campaigning against Islam as the new stumbling block in the way to the establishment of "The new World Order" which was much preached by George Bush I, the former president of U.S. In actual fact this new world order is simply "Pan Americana": the American way of controlling the world. In their package they are exporting western version of democracy to unsuspecting nations of the so called "Third world" with the words "good governance, 'restructuring" and "human rights". While this may sound attractive, it is devoid of the adaptability of a system which has the welfare of the less-privileged at heart as this set-up is built around the materialistic value system of capitalism.

Again this background, let us now examine the "Islamic Alterative" to prove that it is the system which has built-in principles that can govern the affairs of humanity in the Global Village.

 

Economics and Business

Islam forbids usury in every forms of it at what-ever percentage it may be fixed and whatever name, it may give such e.g. interest. This system which is the pillar of capitalism makes the poor poorer and the rich richer. Productivity is also affected as those who are endowed with resources simply let them for interest without exerting any efforts. In an Islamic society, there is a system which caters for the poor so that there is harmony between them, an atmosphere which is lacking in the Global Village as the poor feel deprived thereby breeding suspicion. The following verse may summarize the discussion on this issue:

"Allah will deprive usury of all blessing, but will give increase for deeds of charity; for He loveth not ungrateful Sinners. (2:276)

Islam also forbids the hoarding of goods for creating scarcity with the intention of taking advantage of a wider profit margin by later sales under increasing commodity price situation. It demands honesty from merchants so that they do not sell defective merchandise.

Family and social security

Islam has laid down rules in support of the institution of the family whereby the elderly, weak, disable, orphans, widows and the sick find their life secured through love support, encouragement and a feeling of equality. Zakaat, Sadaqah and the other forms of charity play pivotal role in supporting those within a family and outside. The elderly should not have to put in an "Old Age Home" as they are integrated in the community, and continue to enjoy life within their homes, with their children or grand-children who offer them the comfort they need and in turn the children learn from the experiences of the elderly.

Within the family, responsibilities of all the members namely husband, wife, son, daughter, etc. are clearly laid out. For example, the father, as the head of the family, has got to see to it that all the members of the family are getting their basic needs. The role these members play, take into account the physiological differences which exist between a man and a woman. As such, a wife has a right over the husband when it comes to up-keep. On the other hand, the role of a woman is such that her dignity is also safeguarded at all times. This does not suggest any differences in status but that man and woman are complementary to each other.  

Kindness to creatures

Islam does not only prescribed how people should deal with one another but also how to treat other living things around us. As a vicegerent of Allah on earth, man should be responsible for all that is around him as all these things are held in trust. It was reported by Bukhari and Muslim on the authority of Abdullah (RA), who said: The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) says:

"A woman was tormented because of a cat which she had confined and starved until it died. She did not allow it to eat or drink while it was confined, nor did she free it so that it might eat the insects of the earth. As a result of her evilness, she was condemned to Hell. 

Government and Administration

In Islam, the legitimacy of a government depends on how the leaders stick to the Shari'at. All power and authority belongs to Allah, and with man, there is only delegation power which becomes a trust. Abu Bakr Siddique (RA) once he became Amir-Mu'minun said:

"Cooperate with me when I am right but correct me when I commit error, obey me as long as I obey commandments of Allah and His Prophet (Sallallahu Alaih Wasallam), but turn away from me if I deviate."

Not even a ruler of an Islamic state is above the law as it mav be shown by the following story:

A woman belonging to a high noble family was arrested in connection with theft. The case was brought to the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), and it was recommended that she might be spared the punishment of the theft. The prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) replied:

"The nations that lived before you were destroyed by Allah because they punished the common-man for their offences and let their dignitaries go unpunished for their crimes, I swear by Him Who holds my life in His hand that even if Fatima (RA), the daughter of Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), had committed this crime, I would have amputated her hand.

There is also no such a thing as "Majority should rule" as even the majority may go wrong. Sometimes a majority may have motives which are contrary to the Shari'at. As such, consensus within the confines of the Shari'at is sought from the franchise. This is done in the process of Shura (consultation). 

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9.  Advice of Hadhrat Sheikh

On expansion and constriction

 Hadhrat Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jeelani (RA)

Question: When does expansion [bast] give way to constriction [qabd], and having fun to being serious?

             As long as He is going easy on you [basataka], you can take it easy [inbasatta]. Then your license to enjoy concessions [rukhsa] will be converted into strict attention to duty ['azima], and then your strict performance will become a pleasure, until eventually, when the whole of you has become strictly devoted to duty, He will cause you to enter the abode of gracious favor [fadl] and intimate friendship [uns]. All that is left for you then will be action pure and simple [fi'l mujarrad], with no question of either concession or strictness. Your situation will be comparable to that of a person who has in front of him a dish containing a bit of food, and who is then told: "Go into a different house. Everything over there is for you." Concessions are for those who have made little progress, while strict requirements are for those who are fully developed [kamil], and the Kingdom is for those who have transcended this worldly existence [fanun].

Previously, I always dwelt here on earth in private seclusion, but now the situation is the very opposite of that. In general, I am a person who is not embarrassed by being talked about, because I take no notice of anyone's opinion.

Proper behavior [husn al-adab] is called for in two instances: in the renunciation of this world and in the acceptance of it. You must not go into seclusion with ignorance for company. Do not make a practice of it before you are adequately prepared. "Complete your studies, then retire [tafaqqah thumma' 'tazil]." How often do you attend these sessions [majalis] without putting one word you hear into practice? How many of you have seen a single saint [wali], asked him for a piece of good advice, received such advice from him and then put it into practice, taking it as provision for your journey?

As for you there, you pore over the annals [akhbar], you peer into the traditions [athar], you attend the sessions of divine remembrance [majalis al-adhkar], yet you make no progress at all. If only you could hold your footing at the point you have already reached, but no, whenever you come forward you go into reverse.

If there is no difference for a person between one day and the next, he must be a dimwit. Come to your senses! May Allah have mercy upon you! This world can offer only momentary satisfaction, so do not rely on it.

There are some people who have been rendered weak by awe and dread, whose limbs have been rendered immobile and whose hearts have been overwhelmed by bewilderment at the creation, so that they have come to be a state of paralysis and inactivity. When the time comes for them to receive their full quota of allotted shares, Allah sends someone to feed them bit by bit.

No one past or present has anything to hold against this servant (meaning himself). Preserve the most important part of your religion [din], or else you must sever your connection with me and my path. Do not be an ignorant fool, sitting at home and indulging in your fantasies. Here we have medicines that we have drunk and found beneficial. Here we have something tried and tested, to which we can show you the way.

Beware of a day when neither wealth nor sons will be of any avail! What is wealth? Wealth is something you have accumulated from what has fallen due to you and what you have managed to acquire, and you have acquired it by any means. You claim that tomorrow [at the Resurrection] it will stand you in good stead, along with all the sons you have, just as the Arabs in the old days used to claim.

But Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) has said: The day when neither wealth nor sons will avail [any man], except one who comes to Allah with a whole heart. (26:88, 89)

Such a person will not have paid too much attention with his heart to his worldly goods and his sons. Rather than letting his heart rely on them, he will have recognized that he was entrusted with their care. He will have looked after them in order to comply with the wishes of his Lord. Thus his heart would be safe from the perils that come with having wealth and children.

Consider the case of a man who is informed that the king wishes to marry him to a slave girl, and that he intends to have him killed by her hand. The man says to himself: "If I try to run away, the king will catch me with his soldiers. If I refuse to obey him, he has the power to destroy me, but if I comply with his wishes, he will destroy me anyway, by means of his slave girl." The king does in fact command him to marry one of his slave girls, and he orders her to poison him or to slit his throat when he has fallen asleep.-- Oh, how much is being missed by those who have stayed away from me today! Oh, how much they are missing! --But the best thing he can do is to behave politely and show himself ready to comply with the royal command, while keeping his heart on the alert. "To hear is to obey," says he, and in he goes to accept the marriage and the gift [hadiyya]. The wedding night [zifaf] has arrived. He dons the armor of caution. He anoints the eyes of his heart with the ointment of wakefulness, to make sure that he will notice her every movement, pause and action. She turns out to be his joy and delight, and the attendants and servants all think he must have found himself in an enviable situation. When the new day dawns, she has not murdered him with her poison! ...except one who comes to Allah with a whole heart [bi-qalbin salim]. (26:89)

This world is the wife in whose company he has not fallen asleep, and with whom he has never in his life been alone in private. He has reached the hereafter, and she has neither robbed him of his dutiful devotion [taqwa] nor altered his religion. That is keeping safe and whole [salama]! It is like this for one who really knows ['arif] Allah, who abstains from this world and yearns for the hereafter. The messenger of knowledge [rasul al-'ilm] comes into the pure serenity of his innermost being [sirr] with this information: "Allah wishes to assign to you a group of people from this world, so that there may be life for the hearts of the champions of truth [siddiqun]. This is a kind of task, one that requires labor and trouble and attention. Be careful how you perform it. Your heart and your innermost being [sirr] must be sound and whole, so the innermost being must be fully conscious of this." The innermost being and the heart are escorted together to the King's door. They ask: "What do You propose to do with us? Do You intend to exclude us from Your presence, to banish us from your door, to make life painful for us? We shall not leave without the proper assurances [mawathiq] and covenants ['uhud]." They will not leave until He says to them: Fear not, for I am with you both. I hear and I see. (20:46). Then they will return together to this world, accompanied by escorts and guards. ...except one who comes to Allah with a whole heart. (26:89)

[Such a heart is sound and free] from harmful influences, from pretense and hypocrisy and the desire to impress mere creatures.

O seeker far from home, O wanderer lost in the trackless wilderness of destiny [qadar]! You need to tidy up your private room. Leave in it neither dirham [silver coin] nor dinar [gold coin], and as for jewelry you have enough with the key in your pocket. You need to empty your heart of this world, of carnal appetites and pleasures and trivial concerns of every kind. You must let it contain only remembrance [dhikr] and contemplation [fikr], the remembrance of death and the remembrance of what lies beyond death. In it you must practice the alchemy [kimiya'] of curtailing expectation. You must say: "I am already dead," because actions become pure through the curtailment of expectation [qasr al-amal].

If you exaggerate your expectation, on the other hand, you will be seeking to make an impression on this person here, and behaving hypocritically toward that person there. Someone who has mastered the curtailment of expectation is separated from everything, disconnected from everything. He wears the garb of abstinence [zuhd], then the garb of annihilation [fana'], then the garb of real experience [ma'rifa].

Allah's Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) has said: Guarantee me six things and I will guarantee you the Garden [of Paradise]: When one of you talks, he must not tell lies; when he is trusted, he must not cheat; when he makes a promise, he must not break it; you must restrain your hands [from evil deeds]; you must not look for trouble; and you must keep your genitals safe.

When your innermost being [sirr] has become pure and unified, you will hear the call of your Lord directly, without any intermediary. When your fear and your hope have been united, the speech of your Lord [Rabb] and Master [Mawla] will address you.

O my dear son, cast yourself down in front of the hoofs of the horse of His destiny [qadar]; it will either trample you or leap over you. "If someone suffers destruction [talaf] because of Allah, his compensation [khalaf] is Allah's responsibility." If it does leap over you, catch hold of it and cling on, exposing yourself to the arrows of His destiny. When you become a target for the arrows of His destiny, their impact will only cause a scratch, not a fatal wound.

O you who are destitute of all this, you must improve, make progress and set to work. Get to grips with it all. Give up your bad habit of sitting at home while I am sitting down to give a talk. Here are the qualities of saintship [wilayat]. Here are the degrees [darajat].

O you who are afflicted with the burden of having dependants to provide for, let your earning be devoted to your dependants and your heart to the gracious favor of your Lord. For one group of people, their lawful goods [halal] are acquired though what they earn. There are people whose lawful goods are what they obtain in answer to their supplication [du'a']. There are people whose lawful goods are what they receive from others without having to ask, and then there are people whose lawful goods are what they get by begging. This is the state of affairs during training [riyada], which cannot go on indefinitely.

The first case, namely earning, is in accordance with the Sunna. The second, namely asking [in prayers of supplication], is of weak validity. The third, [accepting what comes without asking], is the approach that is strictly correct ['azima].

As for begging, this is allowed as a special concession [rukhsa]. It may happen that someone goes begging when he is not in need, in which case he represents a trial and a tribulation for the person asked to give. The request made by this servant [of the Lord] is like the request that comes in the night.

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) has said: Do not reject the request that comes in the night, for someone who is neither a jinni nor a human being may come to you, in order to see how you are handling the blessings that Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) has bestowed upon you.

In just the same way, this servant is commanded to ask, so that the Lord of Truth may see how you are handling the blessings that He has bestowed upon you.

Make a frequent practice of attending the sessions [majalis] of the scholars and of visiting the tombs and the righteous [salihun], then perhaps your heart will be brought to life.

Once they [the people of the Lord] have become thoroughly proficient in carrying out the commandments and observing the prohibitions [of the sacred law], the decrees of destiny [aqdar] come to their aid. 'Abdullah ibn az-Zubair used to eat one meal a week. Your spiritual state [hal] will not be correct until you are like a cracked pot in which no liquid can remain. Consider the example of the ship belonging to some poor folk, which was boarded by al-Khidr, who damaged it and then passed on to another situation. There is one state of being that features integration [jam'] and there is another that features differentiation [tafriqa], as there is one state that features paucity [qilla] and another that features multiplicity [kathra].

If someone goes out of my presence in the direction of the Fire [of Hell], may Allah have no mercy on him!

O Allah, pardon! O Allah, protection! O Allah, steadfastness! O Allah, contentment!

When you attain to the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He), He will be satisfied with you as long as you perform the fara'id [obligatory religious duties, as distinguished from those that are merely commendable or supererogatory].

The King's cook is now an old man. No longer can he think, see, hear and give instructions [as he did in his prime]. He must now have done for him what he could do himself in his active condition.

Let Allah be your witness, O seeker, if you are speaking the truth about the claims you make. When have you ever used your strength for your neighbor's benefit rather than your own? When have you offered him your shirt, your turban and your prayer-mat [musalla] before using them yourself? When have you put your wealth at his disposal first of all?

These people [of the Lord] have dissolved their lower selves [nufus], their natural impulses [tiba'], their passions [ahwiya] and their tastes [sharab], to the point where they have died in the spiritual sense [ma'nan], where they have become extinct [fanu] in the spiritual sense. The hand of [divine] power [qudra] has taken control of them. The mortician [ghasil] of destiny [qadar] rolls them over to right and to left, while their dog is stretching out its paws on the threshold. (18:18)

The remnants of the lower self are stretched out beneath the threshold of destiny.

The medication prescribed for the limbs and organs of the physical body is to refrain from sins [ma'athim]; that is to say, from perpetrating atrocious misdeeds and offenses. Your hand must refrain from stealing and striking, while the foot must refrain from walking into sinful disobedience, and from walking toward the worldly ruler [sultan] or indeed any of the children of Adam. This eye of yours must be restrained from looking at pretty women.

The lower self [nafs] has become calm and quiet in the presence of the law [hukm]. The heart has flown off into the company of the Beloved [mahbub].

If the friend [wali] of Allah (Exalted is He) behaves correctly, he will acquire the attributes [sifat] of Prophethood [nubuwwa].

The law [hukm] fluctuates between nature [tab'] and knowledge ['ilm], sometimes rejecting nature and sometimes rejecting knowledge. Whatever the Messenger gives you, take it. (59:7)

The law says to the heart: "What will supply your needs? I am standing at the ready, like a servant at your disposal, a guardian to look after you, while you are in the company of the King."

The night is their royal throne. The private retreat is their bridal chamber. The day excites their interest in certain material means [asbab].

Afflictions ought to be kept secret:

O my dear son, do not narrate your vision to your brothers. (12:5)

You must be strong in dealing with them. Protect one another and support one another until the book [of destiny] reaches its appointed conclusion.

Ask Munkar and Nakir about me when they come to visit you in your grave, for they will tell you all you need to know about me. Your present name is Mudhnib [sinner]. Tomorrow [at the Resurrection] your name will be Muhasab [called to account] and Munaqash [subject to interrogation]. In the grave you must suffer having all your faults exposed. You do not know whether you will be included among the people of the Fire [of Hell] or among the people of the Garden [of Paradise]. Your ultimate destination is uncertain, so do not overestimate the purity of your spiritual state [hal]. You do not know what your name is going to be tomorrow.

O my dear son, if you are still alive in the morning, do not take the evening for granted, and if you are here when evening comes, do not take the next morning for granted. Yesterday is past and gone with everything it contained, to be a witness for you and against you [when the Resurrection comes]. As for tomorrow, you do not know whether you will survive till then or not. You are simply the son of your today. How stupidly careless you are! The symptom of your heedlessness is your addiction to foolish company.

O stupid fool, why do you associate with those on whom the mark of the Truth [Haqq] is not apparent? Why do you seek the company of someone whose foundation is unstable, whose outer [zahir] is all lower self [nafs], and whose inner [batin] is all stubbornness and insolence toward the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He)? This [business of ours] is not something that comes about through rubbing shoulders, nor through anointing the eyes with cosmetics [kuhl] but not with sleepless vigil.

The entire creation is of no consequence. All nonessential effort [takalluf] is of no consequence. O stupid fool, you go around begging from door to door, in order to accumulate a mass of worldly stuff. How can you have any hope of real success [falah]? Why not stand at the King's door like the chamberlain [hajib], informing the King of new arrivals, listening to their stories and making them feel less lonely? Why not treat your fellow creatures as your dependants, instead of depending on them? Why not work at your craft or profession in your own home, so that when they come to your door they will discover that you have something useful to offer them? Your home is your private retreat, your home is your heart, your home is your secret soul [sirr], your home is your inner being [batin].

To deserve the company of your Lord, you must carry out His commandments, observe His prohibitions and comply with His wishes by accepting whatever has been decreed [maqdur] by Him.

The blessings bestowed on your fellow creatures are in proportion to your prayer of supplication [du'a'] and your spiritual aspiration [himma], in the ratio of a thousand to one. When you honor the virtuous noble ones in your private retreat, you are obeying your Master [Mawla] and not offending against Him. If you honor the people [of the Lord] and do not disgrace yourself in their sight, you deserve to be called noble [karim]. Then, once you have come to be noble, a thousand individuals will be honored for your sake. Misfortune will be averted from your family, your neighbor and the people of your town.

You are always begging. You are always going to people's doors. How long will it be before others can beg from you? How long before others can expect a meal from you? How long before they can come to your door? When will you be finished with your business? When will a tent be pitched around you? When will you celebrate your wedding in the close presence of the King? When will you demonstrate your excellence, your worthiness and your fitness for the proximity of the King? When will your titles [alqab] be made known and your magnificence be revealed? When will you be the noblest of the noblest of the descendants of Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace), so that his blessed grace [baraka] may be conferred upon you?

[As the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) has said:] The learned scholars ['ulama'] are the heirs of the Prophets [anbiya'].

[They are their heirs] in speech and in action, in spiritual state [hal] and in teaching [maqal], not in name and title. Prophethood [nubuwwa] is a name [ism], while Messengership [risala] is a title [laqab]. O ignorant one, although Prophethood and Messengership have passed you by, it is not yet too late for you to experience Saintship [wilaya] and attain to the stations of Ghawth [ghawthiyya] and Badal [badaliyya] .

[In the words of Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He):] Are you content with the life of this world, rather than the hereafter? (9:38)

The life of this world [hayat ad-dunya] is your lower self [nafs], your passions [hawa] and your natural inclinations [tab']. This is what is meant by this world-not carnal appetites [shahawat] of brief duration, for they are portions allotted to you by destiny [aqsam]. This world is what you take hold of with your own mental and physical powers [bi-himmatika wa-jawarihika]. What the King imposes upon you does not count as belonging to this world. Vital necessities do not count as belonging to this world, for you cannot do without a house to provide you with shelter, clothes to cover and protect you, bread to satisfy your hunger and a wife to make you feel at home. Living the life of this world means devoting one's attention to creatures and turning one's back on the Lord of Truth.

Passion [hawa] is at odds with rational contemplation [fikr]. Passion is at odds with worshipful service ['ibada]. The material means [sabab] is at odds with the Originator [Musabbib]. The outer [zahir] is at odds with the inner [batin]. Once you have mastered the outer, you will be commanded to master the inner. Once you have mastered the law [hukm] by putting it into practice, you will be His servant, you will be His follower, you will be His companion [sahib]. You will be constitutionally extinct to your natural inclinations. Knowledge ['ilm] will hold your reins, to keep you tightly in control. You will be like a husband between two spouses. You will be like the chamberlain [hajib] between the king and his chief minister [wazir]. You will be the beloved of this world and of the hereafter, of creatures and of the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He) and the angels [mala'ika], a joy to all hearts.

We experience a state of being that is beyond your present awareness.

David said to his son Solomon (peace be upon them both, and upon all the Prophets [anbiya'], the Messengers [mursalun], the angels drawn near [to the Lord], the saints [awliya'] and the righteous [salihun] ): "O my dear son, how vile is sinful error after humble submission [maskana], and how much worse than that is a man who used to be a worshipper ['abid], but who then abandoned the worshipful service ['ibada] of his Lord."

Are you content with the life of this world, rather than the hereafter? (9:38)

The life of this world is your personal existence [wujud], while the hereafter is your nonexistence [fana'].

Our aspirations [himam] have a way of undergoing change, and our innermost beings [asrar] also have their way of experiencing transformation. The common people ['awamm] have a way of going through changes, and the special few [khawass] also have their way of experiencing transformation.

This world is what you can see, while the hereafter is that which is revealed [yuftahu] to you. You are presented with something you cannot comprehend, so you feel bewildered, but then all is made clear to you. When something presents itself to you as a matter of common sense ['aql mushtarak], it is of this world, but if something comes to you in terms peculiar to the intellect which is the intellect of intellects ['aql al-'uqul], then it is of the hereafter. Your innermost being [sirr] is otherworldly, while your outer [zahir] is this-worldly. The involvements of this world are with everything apart from the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He), whereas the hereafter is attachment to the Master [Mawla], and indifference to tittle-tattle [qil wa-qal], to praise and approval as well as to blame, and to the pursuit of self-interest. "Your interest is what is important to you [hammuka ma hammaka]."

If you are sincere about your purpose, the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He) will take you by your hand. He will cause you to walk in the company of His destiny [qadar], and the strides you make will be longer than the strides of Adam (blessing and peace be upon him), because of the sincerity [sidq] of your purpose [irada], the excellence of your behavior, and the way you turn a deaf ear to whatever your neighbors may have to say.

Let perdition befall you, O ignorant one, ignorant of the Lord of Truth, of the fact that His gracious favor is all around you, of the presence of His servants who have heard and obeyed!

The servant [of the Lord] sees his own allotted shares on the Preserved Tablet [al-lawh al-mahfuz], then he moves on to see the shares allotted to his wife and his children. Eventually, when he is lost in amazement, he hears a voice calling from his inner being [batin]: He is only a servant on whom We bestowed favor. (43:59). And surely in Our sight they are among the chosen, the excellent. (38:47)

This is something that comes about through preordainment [sabiqa]; it can then be purified by following in the footsteps of the Shaikhs. 

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10. Islam and concept and equality                       

             One of the philanthropy of our imperishable civilization is that it strengthened the bases of real equality irrespective of colour and race. So after the proclamation of the Quran, "Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of God is (he who is) the most righteous of you, (XLIX-13), the Prophet said in his last harangue on the occasion of Hajj before his departure from this world: "All men have sprung up from Adam, and Adam was fashioned out of Clay. No Arab has any superiority over the non-Arab, nor a white-skinned person over a black-skinned one, save for Taqwa (fear of the displeasure of God)."  

Not Mere Words

This equality was not one which would have been proclaimed on a few formal occasions, as is customary with the sons of the western civilization. Rather, it was real equality applicable to various situations in life, which was at work like the routine of life which neither amazed anyone nor any affectation or show found any place in it. So this equality stepped into the mosque where people came for a devotional act and to humble themselves in the extreme before their Lord, Most High. Those who attended the mosques was a medley of men of every colour and race and stood shoulder to shoulder on the same floor in an attitude of extreme humility and devotion. And never a white- skinned person was afflicted in mind that a black-skinned nigger was standing by him. Similarly, this equality got infused in Hajj ceremonial also, where different classes of men, white a black gather there around the sanctum sanctorum of Ka'bah. They perform the ceremonials together, in the same dress (a white shroud), without any distinction between the white and the black or any superiority of the white over the black. And history has witnessed and recorded the scene of the height of equality when on the occasion of the conquest of Makkah, the Prophet ordered Bilal of Abyssinia to mount the roof of Ka'bah to proclaim the Truth and call the faithful to prayer. We can well imagine, that Kabah which is called the Abode of God, which was a sanctum even during the days of Jahiliyah and has the most privileged position of being the Qiblah of the believers, a negro slave has the same sanctum under his feet. This is an instance which is unimaginable even in this (so called) age of enlightenment and the civilized world. For example in America (where the blacks have segregated colonies and schools, churches and hotels, and the whites and blacks do not mix at all). But Islam, not today, but fourteen hundred years earlier, had demonstrated it practically. Bilal's mounting the roof of Ka'bah was really the general proclamation of the fact that man has superiority over every thing in the universe. And man becomes deserving of this honour and dignity on the basis of his belief, his knowledge, his morality and his intellect and not on that of his flesh, bones or race and colour. Therefore the colour of the skin of a person cannot advance him if his record of deeds has thrown him back. Nor can anyone's black skin push him backwards if his intellect, discernment and power of interpretation and decision have advanced him forward.

That is why Abu Zarr Ghifari notwithstanding his position as a high ranking companion of the Prophet, when, once in a rage called Bilal 'O son of a Negress', the Prophet did not tolerate this much of intemperance on his part, admonished him and said, "You still smack of the evil traits of Jahiliyah, (that you tried to disgrace him by lowering the dignity of his mother on the basis of colour)".

This is the point which marks the line of demarcation between knowledge and ignorance. In other words it demarcates the real human civilization and the civilization of the Jahiliyah (un-Islam).  

Who can accomplish this Feat?

Only a far-sighted man of superb nature can establish and develop such a civilization, in which no one race has any superiority over another race. And only this civilization can become a cradle of good fortune for the honourable and dignified humanity. And the civilization in which the whites have superiority and the blacks are despised and wretched, the whites are deemed fit for all the comforts and luxuries of life and the blacks are distressed and helpless, is a Civilization of the Jahiliyah, which pushes man thousands of year back, into the dark ages This is a blind, ignorant, arrogant civilization steeped in stupidity. Although the Prophet said to Abu Zarr you (still) smack of (the evil traits of) Jahiliyah, but what this sentence really signifies is that conscience which goes into the making of every civilization of Jahiliyah that discriminates between man and man on the basis of the land of birth, blood, tongue and colour. It was such civilizations that the Islamic civilization confronted in every walk of life, in the mosque, in the courts, in the field of leadership, and has treated the friends and foes alike in this matter.  

An Illustration

When the Muslims invaded Egypt and advanced far into the country until they reached the fort of Babylon, Maquqas, the ruler of Egypt sent a delegation to talk to the Muslims and find out what they wanted. He also expressed a desire to receive a delegation from the Muslims. Therefore, 'Umro bin-al-Aas sent a delegation comprising ten persons. This delegation was led by 'Ubadah bin-e-Samit and he alone was authorized to talk to Maquqas. 'Ubadah was extremely swarthy and he was of a very tall stature. When this delegation approached Maquqas to talk to him, he was over-awed by his appearance alone, and he said to the members of the delegation, "Keep this black person away from me, and bring forward some-body else to talk to me." The members of the delegation with one voice said to him, "He is superior to us in intellect, opinion and insight and in every other way. He is our leader. We all turn to him for his opinion and advice. Moreover, our Amir has given him some particular instructions, and has ordered us not to go against him in any matter whatsoever." At this Maquqas said to the delegation, "How could you agree to make him your leader and superior, whereas he ought to have been your subordinate?" To this the delegation replied, "How is it possible when he is superior to us in knowledge and nobility, as well as in opinion and insight? As for his swarthiness, we do not mind it, and as such it is no disqualification for leadership." Maquqas was confuted and said to 'Ubadah, "Come forward, you swarthy one, but talk to me in a gentle tone. Your mere sight sends a shiver down my spine, and if you were to talk to me in a harsh tone, my distress shall be all the greater." 'Ubadah noticing this much fear of himself said to him, My brother! There are a thousand persons in our army swarthier than I. 

No Isolated Example

Just think over, how bright is this aspect of the Islamic civilization, and how lofty is the position of man in it. People, one and all, regarded swarthiness a defect (and the so-called civilized men of today regard it a blemish even in this age of enlightenment and intellectualism), and behaved in a manner as if the black-skinned men were not human beings, and advancing them and conferring on them a high position in knowledge and opinion was simply unimaginable to them. But when our civilization came up, it put an end to all such false notions and norms. False ideas were looked upon with derision, and if his knowledge, sound opinion and daring could advance a person of swarthy skin, the Islamic society was not found niggardly in advancing him. 'Ubadah bin-e-Samit was no isolated example, whom the Islamic civilization exalted to the position of the leader, but hundreds of such examples can be cited.  

Second Illustration

Abdul Malik bin-Marwan used to have it proclaimed during the Hajj season that no other but Ata' bin-e-Abi Ribah who was the religious reader, learned man and legist of the Mekkans, should pass religious verdicts. Shall we tell you what Ata' looked like? A black skinned, squint-eyed, lame and flat-nosed and curly-haired person (like the negroes), whose sight even for a short time may be disagreeable. And when he stood among his students it appeared as if a crow was sitting in a field of cotton. But it was this black, squint-eyed and flat-nosed person whom our civilization made a religious leader (Imam), and people turned to him for his religious verdicts. He was in his own person a school of thought from whom benefited myriads of bright faced learned men. And to these disciples of his, he was honourable, lofty and lovable.  

--- Par Excellence!

In our civilization and society there have been several such experts of superb excellence who racially belonged to the Negroid group and were black-skinned. But their black skin did not prevent them from making headway in the field of learning and literature and became such literati who became the courtiers or associates of the extremely fine tastes, or from becoming legists and writing such books to which may turn all those working in the fields of Islamic learning and literature--for example' Uthman bin-e-Ali Zela'i who wrote a commentary on Kanz-al-Daqa'iq, of the Hanafi school of jurisprudence. Or Jamaluddin Muhammad bin-e-Abdullah bin-e- Yusuf Zela'i, (D. 762 A.H) who wrote an authentic and famous book like Nasib-al-Rayah. Both these men hailed from "Zela, in Abyssinia. Again Kafur Akhshidi is also a well known person. He was a black-skinned slave who ruled Egypt in the fourth century A.H., and whose name has been immortalised by the famous poet Mutanabbi through his satire and eulogy.  

Blackness and Whiteness or the Acts and Not or the Face

In short, our civilization never discriminated between the blacks and the whites placing them in different classes or in conferring distinction otherwise. Nor was there any colony established for the blacks totally segregated from those of the whites, nor the rights of the blacks were so curtailed which could give the whites the upper hand, and they might be compelled to put up with the violence and excesses of the whites. Rather, ours is such a real human civilization which values humanity. It looks upon all men under the norm of the truth and good, and in its sight the blackness and whiteness of their acts counts and not that of their skins. The Quran has said: Then shall anyone who has done an atom's weight of good, see it I And anyone who has done an atom's weight of evil, shall see it. (AI Quran XCIX: 7-8)  

The Advanced Jahiliyah too Needs this Lesson

Correct, that after the period of the past fifty years the fact that discrimination between man and man on the basis of the colour of their skins is foolishness and no developed civilization can tolerate it in its society. And our society, in particular, well-known for its love and equality among the civilizations of the world, can never tolerate it. So our dilating on this peculiarity of our civilization appears rather odd. But it is a tragedy that in this era of progress, and in spite of formation of the United Nations Organization and proclamation of the Charter of Human Rights we are constrained to write on such problems, since the curse of the racial discrimination (apartheid) in South Africa is before us and we keep hearing vexatious things about it day in and day out. The fearful tyrannies of colonialism in Kenya are before the world. The sad plight of Negroes in America is no secret, and still more amazing is the fact that not a single individual of those upholding apartheid in South Africa, those perpetrating economic crimes on the blacks of Kenya and those severely tormenting the Negroes in America, belongs to the East who could be taunted for conservatism, backwardness and foolishness. They are all the sons of the self-styled cultured and developed nations of Europe and are regarded the outstanding members of the United Nations Organization. These so called sons of the civilization of Europe are never tired of ridiculing the men of the East for backwardness, conservatism and prejudice. But what they themselves are doing is not hidden from the public view. The governments guilty of these crimes are those that are regarded the important observers of the United Nations. America controls the entire institution of U.N.O. Britain is that big and important (it is neither big nor important now and is unable to solve its own problems both political and economic Tr.) power in Europe that is proud of its democracy (and oldest democratic institutions. Tr.). South Africa is their African outpost that is acting as the agent of the colonialism of white Europe in that part of the world. And it is the Britishers that are ruling over it (South Africa). This too is counted among the civilized nations of the world. South Africa is also an important member of the U.N.O., and among the middle class member governments of this body it has a say. As the standard-bearers of civilization, these are some of those governments that are perpetrating the worst crime of the history of mankind right in the twentieth century, which is nowhere traceable in man's history the crime of man oppressing man, his own brother, not .because he is infirm and ignorant but only because he is black.  

Look at Your Own Face in a Mirror if You Dear

The government of South Africa has adopted the policy of apartheid, and has apportioned separate rights and obligations for the black and white nations, and notwithstanding  the constant protest and strong opposition of the Afro-Asian group of the UNO insists on that policy. Britain is crushing the patriotic and freedom-loving movement, Mao Mao, in Kenya and resorting to their massacre. There it is insisting on the Land Reforms Act of 1915, according to which only twenty nine thousand white men have been made the owners of more land than four million and fifty five thousand Africans. And these Africans are attached in their homes, while at work in their fields, when it is they who are the real owners of that country and rightly deserve to have all the wealth and the government in their hands. Mr. Seer Eliot, the first and independent delegate, appointed in 1955, explains the policy of the government of Kenya, in a statement of his, like this: The existing condition in Kenya under mandatory rule is this that all land there belongs to the white men. And it will be hypocritic on our part not to say in plain language that the whites have perfect domination in Kenya. The politics, policies and legislation in Kenya clearly show that a white colony is being established there. Even today the Western rulers of Kenya are pursuing a policy whereby all lands may go to the whitemen, and they may utilize their produce and the rest of the bounties as they please.

One of the queer laws of land of that country is also this that if the area of the land does not exceed five thousand acres, the rulers have the powers to allot that piece of land on 999 ears lease for a mere pittance. And this has resulted in every European having on an average five hundred acres per head. But as compared with it the real citizens of Kenya have only 8 acres per head when they are the real owners of all land in that country. Moreover to keep the blacks and the whites segregated, totally separate residential areas have been allotted to the black population and they can never visit the colonies of white men. And when the latter stand in dire need of the bonded or very cheap labour they take work from them but drive them away from their lands as soon as the work is over. They would not have put up with even this much of contact with the blanks if they could do without this cheap, almost bonded labour.

(Things have entirely changed long since this was written)

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11. Saviours of Islamic Spirit

 Al-Ghazali (RA)

S. Abul Hasan Ali Nadvi (RA)

Critique of the Self:

             The most effective part of the Ihya is where al-Ghazali expounds the significance of purifying one's own soul and reforming the morals for achieving blessedness. His exposition covers the fleeting nature of the terrestrial world, eternity of the world to come, significance of the faith and righteous action, cleansing of the spirit and eradication of the vices of heart which he deems to be the inner bases of all grossness in human conduct. The graphic description of the vices and virtues by al-Ghazali and his exhortation for adoption of the course leading to salvation bear

the mark of an eloquent speaker, a prudent mentor and. a philosopher with an incisiveness of intellect and a penetrating insight into the inner recesses of human soul, mind and spirit. He is fully aware of the different types of human weaknesses and delineates each of these, sets forth their causes and traces their origin, and thereafter proceeds to suggest measures for subjugation of the earthly appetites and impulses out of which these vices are born. The treatment of the ethical issues by al-Ghazali does not produce a mere religious discourse. His essays are inspiring, employing a rich and expressive language which has since cast its spell over hundreds and thousands of people and .reformed their lives. The fourth section of the book deals explicitly with the critique of the Self and the method of self-examination. He tells us how one should make an assessment of one's own vices and inclinations towards it, and prepare oneself for the life-to-come. Under the caption "Self-criticism" al-Ghazali writes:

"O' Nafs (Self), is it the right course that when a Jew tells thee that a certain thing 'is injurious for thy health, thou dost not take' it and preferest to curb thy desire, but, thou completely disregardest the commands of Divine revelation and the directives of the Prophet whose truthfulness is established by miracles? Is it not surprising that thou attachest more weight to the opinion of that Jew although he is liable to form an erroneous opinion on account of his limited knowledge or wisdom? Thou throwest away thy garment without the slightest hesitation, if even a child informs thee that a scorpion has got into thy clothes. Is it that the tidings of the prophets, scholars, saints and the mentors about the life-to-come, the Hell and its blazing fire, its torments, its bitter thorn, its scorpions and reptiles do no t deserve even as much credence as the information given by a child? Or, is it that the reptiles of the Hell shall cause thee lesser pain than the sting of an earthly scorpion which gives thee trouble for a day or even for a shorter period? This is certainly not the way dictated by prudence. If the beasts were to know of thy foolishness, they would laugh at thee.

"O' Nafs, thou knowest what is to happen after death and hast also a faith in the life-to-come, but thou still dost not want to act righteously and desirest to ignore the Hereafter. Death is marking time to come upon thee and impound thy soul without any warning. Even if a hundred years were given, one shall never reach the destination, if one discontinues the journey to bask in the sunshine. And, whatdost thou think of a man who goes abroad for acquiring knowledge but continues to postpone his studies in the hope that he would learn everything within the last few months before returning home? Thou wouldst, undoubtedly, laugh at this man since he hopes to acquire all knowledge and wisdom in such a short time, as also on a man who cherishes a desire to be appointed as a jurist without studying law. If thou hast presumed that the endeavours made during the old age are more fruitful, then, how dost thou think that this is not the last day of thy life? Why dost thou not then address thyself to the task just now? Has God told thee that He would allow thee some more time to make preparl1tions for thy salvation? If not, then what is it that is preventing thee from making haste and prompting thee to postpone thy decision indefinitely? There is no other reason save that thou art finding it difficult to subjugate thy impulses and earthly desires, for that would involve an effort on thy part. Dost thou, then, wait for that day when it would be made easier for every man to conquer his desires? Verily, such a day shall never come since God has not created it at all. The Paradise being surrounded by things unpleasant and unwelcome, shall never be agreeable to the indolent self which always wants to postpone the day's work to the next day. Dost thou know how many tomorrows have been turned into yesterdays: would it not be even harder to accomplish tomorrow what cannot be done today? Take the instance of the passion for sex. If it is not curbed today, it cannot be rooted out tomorrow, or else, it is like a tree which a man wants to uproot but being unsuccessful in his attempt, postpones the task for the future. This man knows it well that with the passage of time, the tree will take root more firmly while he will become older and grow weaker. Obviously, this man would not be able to accomplish in his old age what he could not do in the prime of his youth. To put a bridle on the passions is really as difficult and troublesome as to train a wolf.

"O' Nafs, thou appearest not to know these facts of common experience but claimest to be wise and prudent! Verily, there appears to be none more foolish than thee! Thy passions, thou mightest plead, do not allow thee to be steadfast in virtue while the troubles and afflictions make thee abandon the path of patience. If this is correct, why dost thou not seek the pleasure that is everlasting, pure and sublime, and which can be had in the celestial Abode of Bliss alone. If thou art a slave of thy desires and mad after pleasure, it is even more desirable for thee to curb thy fleeting predilections, for sometimes one morsel taken by a man prevents him from taking his food for days together. Suppose a patient has been directed by his physician not to take cold water for three days so that he might recover from illness. Now, tell me, what does thy intellect dictate? Should this man abstain from cold drink for three days to regain his health or, should he, disregarding the result, satisfy his craving for cold water? Dost thou not know that the pitifully short duration of life vouchsafed to thee in this transient world is relatively even more short-lived, when compared to the eternal life in the Hereafter, than the three days of that patient as compared with the rest of his life? Is it that the endurance required for controlling the earthly passions is more agonising than the torments of indefinite duration in different portals of the Hell? How wouldst thou be able to put up with that everlasting torture when thou findest it so distasteful to bear this temporary unpleasantness?

"I find that thou art unable to restrain thyself just for two reasons. The first of these is a sort of concealed infidelity while the other is nothing but stupidity. Thy concealed infidelity comprises lack of conviction about the Day of Requital and recompense of thy deeds in the world to come. Thy stupidity, on the other hand, makes thee oblivious of the designs of God and asks thee to depend upon His mercy disregardful of the fact that the benefits conferred on the obstinate sinners are really snares to trap them. Still, thou wouldst not trust His beneficence for a piece of bread or a handful of grains nor follow even the express commands enjoined by Him! The Prophet has said: Prudent is he who resorts to self-criticism and endeavours to prepare for the life after death while stupid is he who allows his self to take after the ways of flesh and still remain hopeful of divine favour. Alas, thou shouldst have been aware of the snare of thy passions and shouldst not have allowed thyself to be duped by the Satan. Thou hast been asked to take care of thyself and be charitable unto thee. Thou shouldst not waste the sojourn of thy life in this transient world. If thou losest a moment of this life, thou wilt lose a substantial portion of thy fortune in the Hereafter, which can never be regained.. Therefore, take advantage of thy health before thou falIest ill; of the recess before thou art pre-occupied; of the riches before thy indigence; of the youthful zest before old age saps thy strength and of thy life before death overtakes thee in order to make preparations for the Hereafter.

"Thy endeavour shouldst be commensurate with the everlasting life to come. Dost thou not, O' Nafs, make preparations for the winter season? Dost thou not collect necessary provisions for it or remain unmindful in the vain hope of somehow getting through the winter season? Or, dost thou think that the immense cold of the Hell would be less painful than the wintry cold of this world? Dost thou hope to attain salvation without making any effort for it ? Thou ought to know that thou canst not save thyself from the blazing fire of Hell without the protection of faith and submission to the commandments of God, exactly in the same way as thou requirest warm clothing and heat for protection against the wintry cold. It is simply a blessing and mercy from thy Lord that He has informed thee how to save thyself from the torments of Hell and also provided thee with the means for it. It is a divine dispensation that if He creates winter, He also provides heat for thee and lets thee know how to produce it from the flint so that thou mayst be able to protect thyself from the cold. The Lord needs thy prayers and supplications as much as He stands in need of thy producing fire or weaving the woollen cloth. It is really thou who needest these rather than God Almighty; for, thou hast to submit to the will of God for thy own salvation. The decision of God is manifest: Whoso doeth right, it is for his soul, and whoso doeth wrong, it is against it. And afterward unto your Lord ye will be brought back.'

"Woe be to thee, O' my Nafs! Come out of the shroud of thy own ignorance and know that thy recompense shall be exactly what thou earneht in this world; for, God Almighty has already ordained:

Your creation and your raising (from the dead) are only as (the creation and the raising of) a single soul. Lo! Allah is Hearer, Knower.

As We began the first creation, We shall repeat it.

As He brought you into being, so return ye (unto Him).

 Critics or the Ihya

Ibn Taymiyah's verdict on the Ihya) is that on the whole it is a well-written book employing an elegantstyle.5 At the same time, Ibn Taymiyah criticises it for four reasons. The first of these is that al-Ghazali's thought shows definite traces of Greek philosophy. In delineating the Unity of God, prophethood and the final recompense al-Ghazali has, maintains Ibn Taymiyah, introduced numerous concepts which were held by the then philosophers. :Even if al-Ghazali opposed the philosophers, he gave scholasticism a philosophical foundation. Ibn Taymiyah being emphatically opposed to philosophy found some of the writings of al-Ghazali unplausible from a purely religious view-point.

The second ground for criticism of the Ihya is that al-Ghazali employs a syllogism which is not fully in keeping with the spirit of the Quran and the Sunnah. The third reason given by Ibn Taymiyah is that the book contains many concepts and teachings of those treading the path of mysticism and their claims in regard to gaining insight into the divine truth. Ibn Taymiyah disagrees with al-Ghazali in regard to the latter's views on mysticism. The fourth reason for disagreement of Ibn Taymiy h is that the Ihya contains many Traditions of doubtful authenticity. Despite these shortcomings pointed out by him, Ibn Taymiyah writes about the Ihya: "Notwithstanding these defects, the Ihya contains the teachings of numerous illuminated mentors and mystics, and their experiences in regard to the purification of self and the intuitive knowledge, which are identical with the canons of the Quran and the Sunnah and can thus be acceptable from a theological point of view. It is because of this reason that the scholars hold different opinions about the Ihya and all of them are not opposed to it."!

Ibn al- Jawzi has also criticised al- Ghazali for making use of unauthentic and weak Traditions. He is of the opinion that this was because al-Ghazali was not a traditionist. Hafiz Zain ud-dln al-Iraqi later collected all the Traditions mentioned in the Ihya and classified these according to the accepted norms and examined the authenticity or otherwise of each Tradition. Ibn al-Jawzi has also pointed out certain mistakes made by al-Ghazali in regard to the historical events mentioned by him in the Ihya. AI-Ghazali was, however, not a scholar of history or Traditions.

Ibn al- Jawzi maintains that al-Ghazali has mentioned several examples of mystics or the methods resorted to by them for penance and self-purification which cannot be held permissible under the Shariah, much less to be recommended for being followed by the people Ibn al-Jawzi, however, acknowledges the effectiveness of the Ihya and the valuable contribution it has made to the subsequent Islamic thought. He has also summarised the Ihya in a book entitled Minhaj ul-Qasidin (Path of the Truthseekers) in which he has deleted the portions objectionable from his point of view. This work of Ibn al-Jawzi, however, lacks the inspiration and effectiveness so characteristic of the Ihya. 

AI-Ghazali and Dialectics

A man of al-Ghazali's outstanding intellectual gifts could not continue to tread the beaten path of earlier dialecticians nor could he be content with the position of a mere commentator. Unfortunately, the science of dialectics, which had been evolved for the defence of religion and which had to keep itself abreast with the current developments in other branches of learning, had lost its vigour by the end of the fourth century. The Asharites of the time had taken to the path of rigid dogmatism insisting on the acceptance of not simply their tenets and beliefs but also the canons devised by al-Ashari and Abu-Bakr Baqilani without the slightest modification or improvement. They considered it heretical to employ a logical syllogism not used by the earlier teachers of their school for .the defence of religion. AI-Ghazali pressed his knowledge of philosophy for upholding the religious beliefs and dogmas and, indeed, devised entirely new canons for rational exposition of these matters which were more effective than the arguments of  he Asharites. In regard to the matters like divine attributes, prophethood, miracles, religious practices, punishments and rewards in the Hereafter, and the Day of Requital, he brought forth entirely new arguments, more convincing to a  rational mind, than those employed by his predecessors. He did, in fact, lay the foundations of a scientific scholastic system, thus infusing a new blood in the old Asharite school. The modified doctrines of the Asharite school eventually became, thanks to al-Ghazali, the most popular system of scholasticism in the entire Islamic world, but, since al-Ghazali held divergent views from al-Ashari and other eminent scholars of that school on several issues, many ardent followers of the Asharite school looked down upon al-Ghazali's thought with misgivings and disfavour. Some of the Asharite zealots even accused al-Ghazali of breaking away from the orthodox faith and adopting heretical tenets. After the compilation of the Ihya, the Asharite scholars became so critical of al-Ghazali that one of his friends wrote a letter to invite his attention towards the matter. Al-Ghazali explained the position in some detail in a booklet with the title Faisal at-Tafarraqa Bain al-Islam wal-Zandaqa.  

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12. News: Around The Globe

 Danish Muslims Get First Cemetery

COPENHAGEN, April 8, 2006, Danish Muslims will be able, for the first time, to burry their dead in an Islamic cemetery after a government decision, some linked to the recent furore over caricatures mocking Prophet Muhammad (S).

             "We are pleased, happy," Kasem Said Ahmad, chairman of the Danish Islamic Burial Foundation, told Reuters Saturday, April 8.

The Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs has approved the construction of the burial site on 50,000 square meters of land bought by the foundation in southern Copenhagen several years ago.

The decision closes a legal struggle that lasted for more than seven years.

"It is an expression that Islam and Muslims are a part of Danish society," said Ahmed.

Muslims make up around three percent of Denmarks 5.3 population, making Islam the second largest religion after the Lutheran Protestant Church. 

Indonesian Film Stirs Polygamy Debate

JAKARTA, April 8, 2006, A new Indonesian film is stirring heated debate about polygamy, which some say is widespread in the world's most Muslim populous country.

"I want my audience to think," director Nia Dinata told Agence France-Presse (AFP) on Saturday, April 8.

"It is a satirical drama," she explained. "I show in my own way that these women are not happy. My film is about choice."

"Berbagi Suami", or literally Share Your Husband, presents three men from very different social circles who choose to take a second, third or fourth wife.

The film has been hailed by critics here for prying open the hushed topic.

"Polygamy, although commonly practiced within Indonesian society, is not frequently discussed or even openly acknowledged in most circles," wrote a critic in the English-language Jakarta Post.

"For that reason alone, Berbagi Suami, which breaks ground socially, is one of the most significant as well as finely crafted films to emerge in recent years."

Indonesia has a population of 220 million, of which Muslims make up 87 percent.

Long-lived

The film director estimates that some 10 percent of Indonesian families are affected by polygamy.

She maintains that the practice has been very common in the country for centuries.

"Way before the Dutch (colonialists) came here, we had Buddhist or Hindu empires where the men used to have concubines," recalled Dinata. "It's there in our history."

Prominent feminist Musdah Mulia said polygamy is accepted by a majority of Indonesians despite its difficulties.

"My research has proved that polygamy has increased domestic violence and abuse against children and has increased unregistered marriages", she told AFP.

Without marriages being registered, she says, women and children are not protected by the law.

Mulia is campaigning for a reform of the family code in the mould of Tunisia, which has abolished polygamy.

Polygamy shifted largely underground during the rule of former president Suharto.

Under pressure from his wife Siti Hartinah, he adopted a 1970s law forbidding civil servants to marry a second time without the assent of his first wife and his superior. The law remains in force.

Happy

Puspo Wardoyo, a restaurateur who owns a chain of more than 30 outlets, insists that he leads a happy life with his four wives.

He believes polygamy is necessary to compensate for a demographic imbalance in favor of women, and that it dissuades men from having secret affairs.

Puspo appears frequently in the media surrounded by his big family and his four wives insist they are happy.

Islam sees polygamy as a realistic answer to some social woes like adulterous affairs and lamentable living conditions of a widow or a divorced woman.

A Muslim man who seeks a second or a third wife should, however, make sure that he would treat them all on an equal footing, even in terms of compassion.

The Noble Qur'an says that though polygamy is lawful it is very hard for a man to guarantee such fairness. 

EU Imams urge effective integration, acceptance

VIENNA, April 9, 2006 European imams exhorted Muslim minorities across the continent on Sunday, April 9, to better integration and effectively participate in all aspects of society, urging European countries to give their Muslims the opportunity to become part of society.

"Integration is no one-way street, but should be seen as a mutual process," said the final declaration of the second Conference of European Imams, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Integration, education, politics and women's rights featured on the agenda of the meeting, which brought together 300 Muslim leaders, imams and female preachers from about 40 European countries.

The three-day conference was a follow up on a meeting held in the Austrian city of Graz in 2003.

Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso led prominent European figures who attended the opening session.

The conference was co-sponsored by Austria, which hold the current rotating presidency of the EU.

Positive Role

The imams called on European Muslims of all ages to learn the language, the "instrument of communication," of their host country.

"Investing in early language acquisition... as well as mutual inter-cultural skills" should be encouraged, the declaration said.

The participants also urged effective participation by Muslims in political, economical, cultural, social and academic life.

"It is the principle of Islam that the Muslim in Europe be active and participate in all aspects of life," said Ahmed Al-Rawi, president of the British-based Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe.

Imam Abduljalil Sajid, president of Britain's Muslim Council for Religious and Racial Harmony, agreed.

He said imams should play a stronger role in helping their communities integrate into society.

"Imams, as teachers and preachers, have a duty to emphasize to their congregations to play a positive role ... in addressing the plagues of Europe -- hate, bigotry, racism, extremism and terrorism."

Talk to Muslims

The European imams, meanwhile, urged authorities across the continent to give their Muslims the chance to become part of society.

European authorities should be "talking with and not about Muslims," the imams concluded.

A representative from France had said Muslims in her country had adopted the language and citizenship but were still discriminated against when applying for a job.

A Sorbonne research released last year by the French Observatory Against Racism found that Arab names and dark complexion represent an obstacle to jobseekers.

The "Discrimination at Workplace" research said that the organization sent 325 CVs of competitive applicants, who only differ in names and origin, to find later that the opportunity for North African applicants to get a job is five times less than natives. 

Danes Get More Know Islam Events

CAIRO, April 10, 2006 (IslamOnline.net) After its successful "The Fog is Lifting" presentation about Islam in the Danish capital Copenhagen last month, Bridges Foundation is planning a new series starting late May.

"We are going to make presentations about Islam in Copenhagen, Odense and Arhus to explain to the Danes the true values of Islam," Bridges Director Fadel Soliman told IslamOnline.net Monday, April 10.

He said the drive comes as a response to the recommendations of Danes who attended the Dialogue in a Friendly Atmosphere event, held at Copenhagen Marriott Hotel on March 27.

The event brought together more than 176 Danes, the majority of whom were journalists from every media outlet in Denmark, said Egyptian-born Soliman.

"In a survey after attending the Fog is Lifting presentation about Islam and Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), 55 percent of the attendees said that their respect for the Prophet has increased," he recalled.

"Seventy-six percent said they would accept to attend more presentations about Islam if invited, while 97 percent agreed that the Danish people need this type of presentation to have more understanding about the Muslim faith."

Soliman said another presentation on Knud Holmboe, a Danish Muslim journalist killed by the fascists in 1931 after filming atrocities of Italian occupation troops in Libya at the time, has appealed to the gathering. 

13. Caution: There is another anti-Islamic site

             Why issuing an alert letter is precisely the wrong thing to do "The most anti-Islamic site will die if it faces a frozen counter. That would happen if you just leave it alone. But if you are out there telling everyone about it and asking them to do the same, you are in effect volunteering as their publicity department."

The alert letters keep coming. Beware here is the latest anti-Islamic site. Then a URL so you can verify that it is indeed as described. Then a passionate request to tell all the Muslims in the world about it.

Sincere. Misguided. Counter-productive.

Little do the senders realize that they are actually helping the very sites they are trying to fight.

The failure is in realizing that the Internet is a very different medium and the rules that applied to the previous media do not always apply here. If there is a bad magazine or book out there, you can tell others about it. We can be sure that nobody will rush to the closest bookseller to buy it. The warning may be useful, if there was a chance that some people could have bought the book out of ignorance.

In the click-click world of the Internet, the first thing most people will do is to click on the URL, thereby increasing the hit counts and boasting the morale of the site owners. Second, it will help it with search engine placement, as some of them will use the increased curiosity traffic as a sign of popularity. You just helped create the monster you wanted to fight!

It is common sense. If you don't want people to visit a site, just don't tell them about it.

It is very easy to setup a page on the Internet. It is very difficult to draw traffic to it. The most anti-Islamic site will die if it faces a frozen counter. That would happen if you just leave it alone. But if you are out there telling everyone about it and asking them to do the same, you are in effect volunteering as their publicity department. That is exactly what they need.

If there is a well-established site (like CNN) it makes sense to launch a protest campaign. But for most of the sites the prudent course is just the opposite. Leave it alone. Let it die of neglect. A natural death. The greater the lack of attention, the faster will be the death of this would be monster.

So the next time you receive an alert letter about an anti-Islamic site, just delete it. If you respond to the sender, do not include the original text of his alert email, because even that may help some search engine ranking.

There were dozens of anti-Islamic sites that sprang up recently but died soon after because, luckily, our enthusiasts had not noticed them and had not publicized them through their alert letters. The ones that receive the alert letter mention will, unfortunately, survive and may thrive.

On the Internet, the best use of your energies is to promote the good Islamic sites. Let the good drive out the evil.

Now, may we request that you send this article to all your friends?

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DARUL ULOOM ILAHIYAH
INSTITUTE OF ISLAMIC RESEARCH
ILAHI BAGH, BUCHPORA, SRINAGAR, 190011, KASHMIR, INDIA