ISLAMIC CIVILIZATION AND THE WESTERN ORIENTALISTS

 

ISLAMIC CIVILIZATION AND THE WESTERN ORIENTALISTS

Taken from "The Life of Muhammad"  by Muhammad Husayn Haykal,
translated by Dr. Ismail Ragi A. al Faruqi

 

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Love for the Poor


Love for the poor

The Prophet (s.a.a.w.) enjoined upon Muslims to treat the poor kindly and to help them with alms, Zakat, and in other ways. He said: "He is not a perfect Muslim who eats his fill and lets his neighbor go hungry."

He asked, "Do you love your Creator? Then love your fellow beings first."

Monopoly is unlawful in Islam and he preached that "It is difficult for a man laden with riches to climb the steep path that leads to bliss."

He did not prohibit or discourage the acquisition of wealth but insisted that it be lawfully acquired by honest means and that a portion of it would go to the poor. He advised his followers

"To give the laborer his wages before his perspiration dried up."

He did not encourage beggary either and stated that

"Allah is gracious to him who earns his living by his own labour, and that if a man begs to increase his property, Allah will diminish it and whoever has food for the day, it is prohibited for him to beg."

To his wife he said, "O A'isha, love the poor and let them come to you and Allah will draw you near to Himself."  [Sahih Bukhari]

One or two instances of the Prophet's (s.a.a.w.) concern for the poor may be given here. A Madinan, Ibad Bin Sharjil, was once starving. He entered an orchard and picked some fruit. The owner of the orchard gave him a sound beating and stripped off his clothes. The poor man appealed to the Prophet (s.a.a.w.) who remonstrated the owner thus:

"This man was ignorant, you should have dispelled his ignorance; he was hungry, you should have fed him."

His clothes were restored to the Madinan and, in addition, some grain was given to him [Abu Dawood]

A debtor, Jabir Bin Abdullah, was being harassed by his creditor as he could not clear his debt owing to the failure of his date crop. The Prophet (s.a.a.w.) went with Jabir to the house of the creditor and pleaded with him to give Jabir some more time but the creditor was not prepared to oblige. The Prophet (s.a.a.w.) then went to the oasis and having seen for himself that the crop was really poor, he again approached the creditor with no better result. He then rested for some time and approached the creditor for a third time but the latter was adamant. The Prophet (s.a.a.w.) went again to the orchard and asked Jabir to pluck the dates. As Allah would have it, the collection not only sufficed to clear the dues but left something to spare. [Sahih Bukhari]

His love for the poor was so deep that he used to pray: "O Allah, keep me poor in my life and at my death and raise me at resurrection among those who are poor." [Nasai]

Prophet Muhammad (s.a.a.w.) Today

by Khurram Murad

Part One: Prophet Muhammad (s.a.a.w.) Today 

One in every five persons on this earth firmly believes that the Prophet Muhammad is the last Messenger of God. He was a Muslim and there are more than 1.3 billion such Muslims today. 

Not only individuals but entire countries take pride in declaring their allegiance to him. There are 54 such Muslim states today, ranging from those as large as Indonesia and Bangladesh, with populations of 200 and 125 million respectively, to those as tiny as the Maldives or Brunei with populations of 230,000 and 260,000. Even in non-Muslim countries, large Muslim populations constitute significant minorities; as much as 120 million in India and 20 million in China. Indeed, within the last half century, Islam, the religion brought by the Prophet Muhammad, has become the second largest religion in most European countries, as also in America and Canada. 

Black and white, red and yellow, followers of the Prophet Muhammad come from all human races. Whether in Asia or Europe, Africa or America, in every nook and cranny of this globe, you are sure to find Muslims. They live in the most advanced, sprawling megalopolis as well as in the most primitive nomadic tent, village, hamlet, and even in the bush.

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Don't be a "Saghir"


صَاغِرِ

 

Allah T'ala says in the Holy Quran:

وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَاكُمْ ثُمَّ صَوَّرْنَاكُمْ ثُمَّ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلآئِكَةِ اسْجُدُواْ لآدَمَ فَسَجَدُواْ إِلاَّ إِبْلِيسَ لَمْ يَكُن مِّنَ السَّاجِدِينَ

قَالَ مَا مَنَعَكَ أَلاَّ تَسْجُدَ إِذْ أَمَرْتُكَ قَالَ أَنَاْ خَيْرٌ مِّنْهُ خَلَقْتَنِي مِن نَّارٍ وَخَلَقْتَهُ مِن طِينٍ

قَالَ فَاهْبِطْ مِنْهَا فَمَا يَكُونُ لَكَ أَن تَتَكَبَّرَ فِيهَا فَاخْرُجْ إِنَّكَ مِنَ الصَّاغِرِينَ

 

(7:11) We initiated your creation, then We gave you each a shape, and then We said to the angels: 'Prostrate before Adam.' They all prostrated except Iblis: he was not one of those who fell Prostrate.
(7:12) Allah said: 'What prevented you from prostrating, when I commanded you to do so?' He said: 'I am better than he. You created me from fire, and him You created from clay.'
(7:13) Allah said: 'Then get you down from here. It does not behove you to be arrogant here. So be gone. You will be among the humiliated.' 
Implicit in the Qur'anic expression (sagharin) is the idea of contentment with one's disgrace and indignity, for saghir is he who invites disgrace and indignity, upon himself. Now, Satan was a victim of vanity and pride, and for that very reason defied God's command to prostrate himself before Adam. Satan was therefore, guilty of self-inflicted degradation. False pride, baseless notions of glory, ill-founded illusions of greatness failed to confer any greatness upon him. They could only bring upon him disgrace and indignity. Satan could blame none but himself for this sordid end.
Watch out for vanity and pride. Do not invite disgrace and indignity upon yourself! Don't be a saghir!

Ahad - The One and Only

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 أَحَد

The One and Only.

Fourteen hundred years ago, the polytheists and Jews in Arabia asked Prophet Muhammad (s.a.a.w.) questions about God. Some of these questions were:

Tell us of your Lord's ancestery.
O Muhammad, tell us attributes of your Lord, who has sent you as prophet.
What is your Lord made of?
Is He made of gold, silver, iron or what?
Does He belong to a race of Gods?
Does He have parents or children?
Who will inherit the earth after Him?

The answer came in the following verse of the Holy Quran:

قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ

Say: "He is Allah, the One and Only.” (The Holy Quran, Surah Al-Ikhlas, Ayah 1, 112:1)

Let us first analyze the sentence, “ Huwa-Allahu Ahad”,  هُوَ ٱللَّهُ أَحَدٌ   lexically.

In this sentence,  Huwa is the subject (mubtada) and Allahu its predicate (its khabar), and Ahad-un its second predicate (second khabar). According to this parsing the sentence means: "He (about Whom you are questioning me) is Allah, the One and Only.”  Another meaning according to the language rules can be, "He is AIIah, the One."

 

Here, the first thing to understand is the unusual use of AHAD in the sentence.

Generally, the word is either used in the possessive cases (mudhaf, mudhaf elaih) like yaum ul-ahad (first day of the week), fab’atho ahada kum (send one of your men)  or to indicate total negative (nafi ‘aam) as Ma jaa a-ni ahad-un (No one has come to me), or in common questions like Hal `indika ahad-un (Is there anyone with you?), or in conditional clauses like In ja'a-ka ahad-un (If someone comes to you), or in counting as ahad, ithnan, ahad ashar (one, two, eleven). Apart from these uses, there is no precedent in the pre-Qur'anic Arabic that the mere word ahad might have been used as an adjective for a person or thing. After the revelation of the Holy Qur'an, this word has been used only for the Being of Allah, and for no one else. This extraordinary use by itself shows that being single, unique and matchless is a fundamental attribute of Allah; no one else in the world is qualified with this quality: He is One, He has no equal.


Then, keeping in view the questions that the polytheists and the followers of earlier scriptures asked the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) about his Lord, let us see how they were answered with ahad-un after Huwa-Allah

First, it means: "He alone is the Sustainer: no one else has any share or part in providence. And since He alone can be the Ilah (Deity) Who is Master and Sustainer, therefore, no one else is His associate in Divinity either." 

Secondly, it also means "He alone is the Creator of the universe: no one else is His associate in this work of creation. He alone is the Master of the universe, the Disposer and Administrator of its system, the Sustainer , of His creatures, Helper and Rescuer in times of hardship; no one else has any share or plan whatever in the works of Godhead, which as the polytheists of Makkah acknowledged, are works of Allah.

Thirdly since they had also asked the questions: of what is your Lord made? what is His ancestry? What is his gender? From whom has He inherited the world and who will inherit it after Him? -all these questions have been answered with one word ahad for AIIah. It means:

  1. He alone has been, and will be, God for ever; neither was there a God before Him, nor will there be any after Him;
  2. there is no race of gods to which He may belong as a member: He is God, one and single, and none is homogeneous with Him;
  3. His being is not merely One ( wahid ) but is Ahad, in which there is no tinge of plurality in any way: He is not a compound being, which may be analyzable or divisible. which may have a form and shape, which may be residing somewhere, or may contain or include something, which may have a color, which may have some limbs, which may have a direction, and which may be variable or changeable in any way. Free from every kind of plurality He alone is a Being Who is Ahad in every aspect.
  4. Here, one should fully understand that the word wahid (not AHAD) is used in Arabic just like the word "one" in English. A collection consisting of great pluralities is collectively called wahid or one, as one man, one nation, one country, one world, even one universe, and every separate part of a collection is also called one. But the word Ahad is not used for anyone except Allah. That is why wherever in the Qur'an the word wahid has been used for Allah, He has been called Ilah wahid (one Deity), or Allah-ulWahid-ul-Qahhar. (One Allah Who is Omnipotent), and nowhere just wahid, for wahid  is also used for the things which contain pluralities of different kinds in their being. On the contrary, for Allah and only for Allah the word Ahad has been used absolutely, for He alone is the Being Who exists without any plurality in any way, Whose Oneness is perfect in every way. (Tafheemul-Quran)

 

Compiled by Dr. Ishaq Zahid
Aug. 5, 2007

Article in mp3 audio

Short Quotes

Mercy

"And We have not sent you (O Muhammad) except as a mercy to mankind" (The Holy Quran, Al-Anbiyah, The Prophets 21:107)