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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Prophet's Appearance and Dress

Appearance

Muhammad (s.a.a.w.) was of a height a little above the average. He was of sturdy build with long muscular limbs and tapering fingers. The hair of his head was long and thick with some waves in them. His forehead was large and prominent, his eyelashes were long and thick, his nose was sloping, his mouth was somewhat large and his teeth were well set. His cheeks were spare and he had a pleasant smile. His eyes were large and black with a touch of brown. His beard was thick and at the time of his death, he had seventeen grey hairs in it. He had a thin line of fine hair over his neck and chest. He was fair of complexion and altogether was so handsome that Abu Bakr composed this couplet about him:

"As there is no darkness in the moonlit night so is Mustafa, the well-wisher, bright."

His gait was firm and he walked so fast that others found it difficult to keep pace with him. His face was genial but at times, when he was deep in thought, there there were long periods of silence, yet he always kept himself busy with something. He did not speak unnecessarily and what he said was always to the point and without any padding. At times he would make his meaning clear by slowly repeating what he had said. His laugh was mostly a smile. He kept his feelings under firm control - when annoyed, he would turn aside or keep silent, when pleased he would lower his eyes [Tirmidhi].

Dress

His dress generally consisted of a shirt, tamad (trousers), a sheet thrown round the shoulders and a turban. On rare occasions, he would put on costly robes presented to him by foreign emissaries in the later part of his life. [Ahmed, Musnad, Hafiz Bin Qayyim]

His blanket had several patches. [Tirmidhi] He had very few spare clothes, but he kept them spotlessly clean. [Bukhari] He wanted others also to put on simple but clean clothes. Once he saw a person putting on dirty clothes and remarked,

"Why can't this man wash them." [Abu Dawood]

On another occasion he enquired of a person in dirty clothes whether he had any income. Upon getting a reply in the affirmative, he observed,

"When Allah has blessed you with His bounty, your appearance should reflect it." [Abu Dawood]

He used to observe:

"Cleanliness is piety."

 

Reference url: http://muslim-canada.org/muhammadatharhusain.html

Routine Household Tasks


Aisha, the wife of Muhammad (s.a.a.w.) said:

"Allah's Messenger (s.a.a.w.) used to patch his sandals, sew his garment and conduct himself at home as anyone of you does in his house. He was a human being, searching his garment for lice, milking his sheep, and doing his own chores." (Narrated by al-Tirmathi).

She also said:

"He would patch his garments and sole his sandals" She was once asked: "How was he with his family?", she responded: "He was in the service of his family until it was time for prayer, at which time he would go and pray."

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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ISLAMIC CIVILIZATION AS DEPICTED IN THE QUR'AN

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Socialism Is Brotherhood

From this basic discussion, the reader will realize that the socialism of Islam is not a socialism of capital and distribution but one founded upon. fraternity in the spiritual, moral, and economic spheres of life. If a person's iman is not regarded as complete until that person has wished .for his fellow that which he wishes for himself, it can be deduced safely that no iman is complete unless its subject has urged the feeding of the hungry and has spent privately and publicly of what God has provided, with a view to serving the commonweal. The more altruistic a person becomes, the closer he comes to realizing internal peace and happiness. If God has so constituted men that some stand above others in capacities and achievements, and if God has given of his bounty differently to whomsoever He chooses, it is certain that there will be no end to evil in this world until the young respects the older, the older shows mercy to the younger, the richer gives to the poorer, and all have done so purely for the sake of God and in praise of Him as well as of His bounty.

It is not necessary in this connection to give the details of the laws of inheritance, of wills, of contracts, trade, and other areas of the Qur'anic economic system. Even the briefest reference to any one of these topics, whether social or jurisprudential, would require many more chapters. It is sufficient to note that the contribution of Islam in any one of these fields is still unsurpassed by any other kind of legislation. Indeed, one can only react with surprise when he considers some of the details of this Islamic contribution-e.g., the command always to write down one's contracts unless it be a case of irreversible trade; the arbitration of disputes between husband and wife by representatives of either party in order to avoid dissolution of the marriage; the commandment to reconcile any two disputing factions within the state and to all the Muslims to fight that faction which resists the efforts, judgment or instrument of reconciliation. One is surprised at the novelty of such provisions of Islamic law. And when compared with the provisions of other bodies of law, one invariably reaches the conclusion that that legislation is indeed the highest which has sought to fulfill the Qur'anic principles. It should, however, surprise no one-considering that the foregoing principles regarding interest and Islamic socialism are the bases of the Qur'anic economic system and that this legislation is the highest that has ever been reached by man in any period-that Islamic civilization is not only truly worthy of mankind but is also the only one that can guarantee man's happiness.

 

Probable Western Objections

After reading our presentation of the bases and structure of Qur'anic civilization, some western writers may deem them too utopian to be fulfilled by man and, hence, not destined to endure even when :successfully realized. Such thinkers hold man to be motivated by fear and hope, prejudice and pressure, just like any other animal except that mail adds to his equipment the faculty of speech. To expect humanity to follow a system such as that provided by Islam for civilization is either impossible or extremely difficult. The utmost that we may expect in ordering the life of human society is the regulation of human passion and greed and the orientation of human fear and hope from the economic aspect alone. What is beyond these desiderata is beyond the capacity of human society. The Islamic system, formulated by the Qur'an and described in this chapter, did not survive in Islamic history beyond the days of the Prophet and his immediate successors. This phenomenon constitutes for these thinkers further proof of the utopian nature of that system and its not having enveloped the world. They cite this failure to survive and to spread itself over the world as proof of its unfitness.

Short Quotes

Cleanliness is ...

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: 'Cleanliness is half of faith, and [saying] 'Praise be to God' fills the scale, and [saying] 'Glory be to God' and 'Praise be to God' fill up what is between the heavens and the earth, and prayer is a light, and charity is proof [of one's faith], and patience is a brightness, and the Qur'an is a proof for or against you. All men go out early in the morning and sell themselves, some setting themselves free and others destroying themselves.'(Narrated by Muslim)