Abdullah ibn Amr narrated:
"Allah's Messenger (s.a.a.w.) neither spoke in an insulting manner nor did he ever speak evil intentionally. He used to say, 'The most beloved to me among you is the one who has the best character and manners.'" (Narrated by Al-Bukhari)
AbuHurayrah narrated that the Prophet (s.a.a.w.) said:
"The most Perfect believer in respect of faith is he who is best of them in manners." (Narrated by Abu-Dawood)
Qatadah ibn Malik narrated that Zayd ibn Ilaqah related on the authority of his uncle, Qatadah ibn Malik, that the Prophet (s.a.a.w.) would supplicate:
"O Allah, I seek Your protection against undesirable manners, acts, and desires." (Transmitted by Al-Tirmithi.)
Anas ibn Malik narrated:
"I was walking with the messenger of Allah (s.a.a.w.) and he was wearing a mantle of Najran with a thick border. A Bedouin met him and pulled the mantle so violently that I saw this violent pulling had left marks from its border on the skin of the neck of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.a.w.). And he (the Bedouin) said: Muhammad!, command that I should be given out of the wealth of Allah which is at your disposal. The Messenger of Allah (s.a.a.w.) turned to him and smiled, and then he ordered for him a provision."
He also narrated:
"Eighty men from the men of Makkah descended upon the Messenger of Allah (s.a.a.w.) from the mountain of Al-Taneem, in [full] armor, with the intent of doing battle with him. He (Muhammad, s.a.a.w.) captured them peaceably and then did not kill them" (Narrated by Muslim)
Muhammad (PBUH) (Blessings and Peace be upon him) was born in Makkah, Arabia, on Monday, 12 Rabi' Al-Awwal (2 August C.E). His mother, Aminah was the daughter of Wahb bin Abd Al-Manaf of the Zahrah family. His father, Abdullah, was the son of Abd Al-Muttalib. His genealogy has been traced to the noble house of Isma'il, the son of Ibrahim (Abraham) (PBUH) (May Peace be upon him) in about the fortieth descent. Muhammad's father had died before his birth and his mother died when he was about six years old making him an orphan. In accordance with the tradition of noble families of Makkah, he was taken by a foster mother, Halimah, to her village where he lived for a few years. During these years he was taken to Makkah several times to visit his mother. After the death of his mother, he was placed under the custody of his grandfather, Abd Al-Muttalib. When the grandfather died, he was under the care of his uncle, Abu Talib. By this time he used to look after sheep around Makkah and used to accompany his uncle on trade journeys to Syria.
In his youth he believed firmly in the Oneness of Allah (God)(SWT). He lived a very simple life and hated vanity and pride. He was compassionate to the poor, widows and orphans and shared their sufferings by helping them. He avoided all vices, which were commonly practiced among young people such as gambling, drinking wine, vulgarity and others. He was well-known as As-Sadiq(the truthful) and Al-Amin (the trustworthy). He was always trusted as a mediator between two conflicting parties in his homeland, Makkah.
The Ship and the Lifeboats
Although the pen and the sword are arrayed against it, Islam is spreading. But there are also problems within the Muslim reawakening.
Posted: 14 Zul-Hijjah 1423, 16 February 2003
We are living at a time when the daily news about the world, especially about the Muslim world is quite depressing. In Palestine, Kashmir, Afghanistan, Iraq, and many other places Muslim life, property, and honor have been declared fair game by those who wield worldly power. It is not just armies waging this war. A whole gamut of institutions, from sophisticated research centers to slick media, is dedicated to the campaign to sow doubts, to spreads confusion, and to denigrate Islam. In hot spot after hot spot around the world, the sword is busy prosecuting a war on Islam. The pen is busy in both conducting a war on Islam and in trying to foment a war within Islam. While the unprecedented and unexpected momentum gained by the anti-war movement in the middle of February has given some hope that the mad rush to slaughter may be deflected, overall picture remains grim.
And yet these are also the times when people all over the world are coming to Islam in unprecedented numbers. At a time when Muslims have lost control of the sword and the pen, Islam is finding new followers everywhere everyday. (It is quite revealing that even as Islam continues to spread despite the sword, some people should continue to insist that it spread by the sword. As Qur'an repeatedly reminds us, the opponents of Islam are a very closed-minded lot).
Within the Muslim world also there are signs of awakening. Muslims are coming back to Islam after having toyed with one false ideology after another. Colonialism had hit them hard. It subjugated them physically, politically, economically, culturally, and mentally. An education system that they embraced as a ticket out of their miseries during that period of oppression compounded their problems by producing self-doubt and self-hate. It produced generations of perfect strangers within the house of Islam, who were then --- for this 'achievement' --- given leadership roles in all areas of Muslim societies. They hated their languages, their culture, and their religion. It is such people who rule the Muslim world today.
Yet, the scene is changing. More women are choosing hijab and are becoming more assertive about it as a symbol of their Islamic identity. There is a greater interest in Islamic knowledge. Qur'an lectures are attracting crowds that were not seen in the past. The nature of the questions people ask about Islam is also changing. There are more 'how to' and 'what to' questions than 'why' questions coming from the secular educated groups. The last Biswa Ijtima (annual gathering of Tablighi Jamaat in Bangladesh) attracted some two million attendees. What is more, they came from widely varying segments of society. A parallel growth can be seen in Islamic activism. Politics, media, relief and charity, education, and community service are all attracting new workers and new organizations. There is a new enthusiasm, new energy, and new awareness.
Our renewed interest in our religion is great but it is good to remember that Islamic revival will not take place through the blind leading the blind.
But there are also problems within this awakening. The period of colonialism was a big crash in which our ship was destroyed. In the immediate aftermath, survival was the main goal, and people came with whatever lifeboats they could. Now is the time to pick up the pieces and build the ship again. The problem is we have been living in the lifeboats for so long, we are confusing them with the ship. The schools for secular education were one such lifeboat. They imparted some skills necessary for survival in a changed world, although they impoverished Muslim education and society tremendously in so many ways. But today so many well-meaning people who get excited about spreading education in the Muslim world think of nothing more than establishing more of these same schools. Campaigns for 'democracy', whatever it means, were another such lifeboat, aimed at returning control of Muslim affairs to them thereby seeking liberation. Today, democracy or no democracy, nowhere do Muslims have any control over their affairs, but this lifeboat has become a ship and Khilafah, the Islamic system of governance, remains a strange entity. Islamic organizations were such a lifeboat, aimed at gathering like minded people so they could focus their resources and energies on some of the important things. Yet each of them is considered to be the ship by its occupants and captains, thereby creating new lines of cleavage within the Ummah.
There is another issue. Most of our new activism thrives on sincerity, concern and drive but not on knowledge or guidance. There are Islamic relief organizations providing much needed support for the destitute millions. But many do not show a sensitivity to check whether their fund raising methods are Islamic; whether they are distributing the zakat according to Shariah; whether their operation meets the Islamic guidelines. There are organizations focused on media and political activism --- certainly very important fields --- that sometime say things that the media or political establishment they are talking to would like to hear, even if they are totally wrong and un-Islamic. They seem to be doing as much damage as good through ignorance and carelessness.
The same observation can be made about our efforts at spreading Islamic knowledge. It is embarrassing how many of those giving lectures, issuing 'fatwas' (not necessarily calling them so but issuing legal opinions nonetheless), and conducting Qur'an lessons have no qualifications for the job. Yet they find a ready audience among those who confuse eloquence with scholarship.
Our renewed interest in our religion is great but it is good to remember that Islamic revival will not take place through the blind leading the blind. All Islamic work --- whether Dawah, or Jihad, or relief work or political or media activism --- requires guidance from the Shariah, which in turn requires knowledge and understanding. Recognizing the need for such guidance from true scholars is the first step in getting it. The questions we need to ask may not have ready-made answers but that does not justify not asking them or accepting answers from unqualified sources. There is a very good example in the work done in the field of Islamic finance during the last decades. It was the collaboration of religious scholars with experts in economics and finance that produced the body of knowledge today that did not exist before. A similar effort is needed in other fields. Muslim journalists working with scholars can help evolve an Islamic protocol for Journalism. Muslim activists working with scholars can help evolve Islamic protocol for media and political activism. Relief organizations can establish Shariah advisory boards to ensure their operations are within the bounds of Shariah.
Bringing our own house in order is the only response we can and must have to the threats, challenges, and fears we face today.
by Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
Biographies of the Prophet usually treat their subject as if he were a person endowed with great magical powers, one who by mysterious means brought the whole of Arabia under his wing. These books read like fairy tales; even events, which have no miraculous content, have been given a fanciful, miraculous interpretation. Take the case of Suhaib Ibn Senan’s migration from Mecca to Medina. When some Quraysh youths blocked his path, Suhaib pleaded with them: “If I let you have all my property, will you let me go?” They said that they would. Suhaib had a few ounces of silver with him. He gave it all to them and carried on to Medina. According to a tradition in Baihaqi, Suhaib said that when the Prophet saw him in Medina he told Suhaib that his trading, that is, his handing over of his property to the Quraysh, had been very profitable. Suhaib, according to the tradition, was astounded, for no one had arrived in Medina before him who could have brought the news. “It must have been Gabriel who told you,” he said to the Prophet.Read more...
Beneficial lessons derived from the Hijrah
a khutbah by ‘Ali Al-Hudhayfi
1) Mankinds desperate need for the message of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam.
2) The predicament of the people when the message of Islaam was revealed.
3) The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam called to Islamic monotheism, justice and good conduct.
4) The different types of opposition to the message.
5) His journey to Madeenah.
6) His encountering of attempted assassination plots.
7) What he did upon arrival in Madeenah.
8) The abandonment of sins and immorality.
9) Taking admonition from the alternation of day and night.
10) Recommended actions, derived from the Hijrah, for the rectification of the Muslim nation.
All praise is due to Allaah, the Subduer. I testify that there is nothing worthy of worship except Allaah and I testify that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.
Fellow Muslims! Fear Allaah as He should be feared so that you will prosper in this world and the Hereafter.
Fellow Muslims! The aspiration of lofty goals and the fulfilment of one's religious obligations require a great deal of time, effort and wealth. One’s very life may even be at stake during the course of fulfilling these great objectives in addition to the loss of friends, the gaining of enemies, the exposition of oneself to ridicule and the vulnerability of having few helpers and protectors. This in fact was exactly the situation of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam during his propagation of Islam.
Allaah sent Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam to mankind at the time when they were most in need of his message. The People of the Book (i.e. the Jews and Christians) had by then altered their books and the whole world was in the total darkness of polytheism and ignorance. It was at this time that Allaah chose to send His slave Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam to mankind.
The Almighty says that which translates as: "Say [O Muhammad], ‘O Mankind, indeed I am the Messenger of Allaah to you all, [from Him] to whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. There is no deity except Him; He gives life and causes death.’” (Al-A'raaf: 158).
The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam was sent at a time when people were worshipping unworthy objects such as trees, stones, the moon, angels, Jinns, the prophet 'Iesaa (or Jesus, peace be upon him) etc. He sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam found them supplicating to these deities, seeking assistance and refuge with them, beseeching them for benefits, slaughtering for them, vowing to them, and taking them as intermediaries to Allaah. He sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam also found them consulting fortune-tellers and sorcerers, spreading immorality, mistreating neighbours, severing bonds of kinship, earning money from dubious means, practicing interest-based transactions and usurping other people's properties. This was in addition to all the other well-known evils that were prevalent in that society. Their religion, customs and traditions were purely based on personal interests and material considerations.
It was at this very time that Allaah sent His Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam to mankind, calling people to testify that there is nothing worthy of worship except Allaah alone and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah. He sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam called to all that this statement entailed such as devoting all acts of worship like Du’aa’, or supplication, slaughtering, vowing, and seeking help and refuge, making Tawaaf, or circumambulation of the Ka’bah, etc. to Allaah alone. Allaah says that which translates as: “Say, ‘Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited to you. [He commands] that you not associate anything with Him…'" (Al-An'aam: 151).
He sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam also called on mankind to take himself as the only example for guidance. Allaah says that which translates as: "…And whatever the Messenger has given you – take; and what he has forbidden you – refrain from." (Al-Hashr: 7).
The Prophet of mercy sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam came to enjoin on people chastity, noble manners and characteristics, firmness in faith, kindness to kith and kin, good neighbourliness and abstention from injustice and oppression. He sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam enjoined them to consult the Book of Allaah in all their affairs and forbade them from visiting soothsayers. He sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam enjoined earning from lawful means and spending in virtuous ways and made everybody equal with respect to the law of Allaah. Allaah says that which translates as: "Say, ‘My Lord has only forbidden immoralities – what is apparent of them and what is concealed – and sin, and oppression without right, and that you associate with Allaah that for which He has not sent down authority, and that you say about Allaah that which you do not know.’" (Al-A'raaf: 33).
He also says that which translates as: “Indeed, Allaah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives…" (An-Nahl: 90).
Ibn Jareer, who was one of the great early Qur’aanic commentators, related from Ibn 'Abbaas, may Allaah be pleased with him, that he said: “When Abu Taalib, the uncle of the messenger of Allah sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam fell sick, the elders of Quraysh, including Abu Jahl, visited him and said: 'Your nephew insults our gods. Do justice to us and stop him from insulting them. If he does so then we will leave him and his God alone in return’. Abu Taalib then addressed the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, who was among them, and said: 'O nephew! Why do your people complain that you insult their gods?' The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam replied: 'O uncle! I only want them to utter a statement through which all the Arabs will be indebted to them (i.e. the Quraysh) and due to which the non-Arabs will have to pay them Jizyah (poll-tax).' Abu Jahl remarked, 'If this is the case, then we will even say it ten times if need be.' Then the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: 'Then say: Laa Ilaaha Ill-Allaah.' [i.e., the Kalimah: there is nothing worthy of worship except Allaah]. The Quraysh elders were disgusted when they heard this and turned their backs dusting their garments (this is an expression of utter rejection) saying: 'Does he want that we give up all our gods and only worship his One God? This is really an amazing thing!' These elders fully appreciated the ramifications of uttering this statement; that it would transform man totally in his worship, social interactions and whole way of life; as Allaah says that which translates as: "Say, ‘Indeed, my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allaah, Lord of the worlds. No partner has He. And this I have been commanded, and I am the first [among you] of the Muslims." (Al-An'aam: 162-163).
This is the true meaning of the Kalimah from which the Quraysh idolaters fled. The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam called all of mankind to this concept; to a religion that elevates man to highest ranks and which can make him achieve eternal happiness.
Only a few weak people responded to his call and they were severely persecuted by the disbelievers. The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam was opposed by three sets of people: the envious, the arrogant who knew the truth yet denied it; and the misled ignorant ones. These people exerted all their efforts to stop the spread of Islam.
"They want to extinguish the light of Allaah with their mouths, but Allaah will perfect His light, although the disbelievers dislike it." (As-Saff: 8).
When the torment became severe in Makkah and the idolaters wanted to assassinate the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, the angel Jibreel, peace be upon him, came to him and said: "Allaah has given you permission to migrate to Al-Madeenah; therefore, do not spend tonight in your house; giving them (the idolaters) the chance to get to you." While the idolaters were lying in wait outside the house of the messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam for him to come out - so that they could all strike him at the same time, he sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam emerged, reciting the opening verses of Soorat Yaaseen and throwing sand in their faces. Allaah prevented the idolaters from seeing him and made slumber overtake them. The Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam and his companion, Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, hid in the cave of Thawr for three days until the search for them subsided. Quraysh searched for him in every nook and cranny and followed his tracks until they were at the very entrance of the cave that they were hiding in. Abu Bakr then said, ‘If any of them looks down at their feet, they will see us.’ The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam replied, assuring him: "What do you think about two companions, of whom Allaah is the third? (i.e. in terms of assistance)". After three days, the two companions found a guide and proceeded to Madeenah. This is the story of how Hijrah took place and it represented a manifest victory for Islaam and the Muslims in that Allaah rendered the disbelievers' plots fruitless.
Allaah says that which translates as: "If you do not aid him (i.e. the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) – Allaah has already aided him when those who disbelieved had driven him out [of Makkah] as one of the two, when they [i.e. Muhammad and Abu Bakr] were in the cave and he [i.e. Muhammad] said to his companion. ‘Do not grieve; indeed Allaah is with us.’ And Allaah sent down His tranquillity, upon him and supported him with soldiers [i.e. angels] you did not see and made the word of those who disbelieved the lowest, while the word of Allaah – that is the highest. And Allaah is Exalted in Might and Wise." (At-Tawbah: 40).
The Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam was exposed to several assassination attempts, both before and after his migration. In Makkah, Abu Jahl had attempted to kill him before Allaah sent the angel Jibreel, peace be upon him, to prevent him from carrying out this devilish act. At the battle of Tabook, an attempt was made on his life by some of the hypocrites. Even in his own mosque in Madeenah, an attempt was made to kill him by poisoning, but Allaah saved him from all these attempts. This was due to him actualising all forms of worship totally for the sake of Allaah and for his sincere dependence on Him. Allaah says that which translates as: "...And whoever relies upon Allaah – the He is sufficient for him." (Talaaq: 3).
While the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam was on his way to Madeenah during his migration, Suraaqah bin Maalik, may Allaah be pleased with him, who had not yet embraced Islaam at that time, pursued the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam in order to capture or kill him and win the prize money that Quraysh had offered for doing so. However, Allah intended that Suraaqah, may Allaah be pleased with him, would change his mind and ask the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam to forgive him instead.
The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam and his companion Abu Bakr, may Allaah be pleased with him, entered Madeenah gloriously and honourably. He sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam then moved into a house, built his mosque with quarters for his wives and started a new era full of blessings and victories based on divine support. After this, Hijrah from Makkah to Madeenah became compulsory on every Muslim, until the conquest of Makkah by the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. Also, Hijrah is compulsory upon all Muslims from all places at all times from where they are unable to practice their religion. The Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: "Embracing Islaam wipes out all sins which were committed before it and making Hijrah also erases all the sins that were committed before it." He sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam also said: "Hijrah will not cease until there is no more repentance and repentance will not cease until the sun rises from the west.”
The issue of Hijrah to Madeenah was a miracle in itself, for the city at that time was very meagre in terms of commerce, infrastructure and agricultural resources. In fact, living in the city was financially-restrictive even for its inhabitants. By any human estimation, emigration to such a city, with all its deficiencies, would cause immense economic and social difficulties, but as Allaah would have it, the reverse was the case for the Hijrah to Madeenah. This Hijrah was the cause the town accomplishing an immense amount of benefit. People now had the opportunity of meeting the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, learning their religion from him, emulating his noble character, preserving his Sunnah, knowing much of his public and private life and everything else about the religion of Islaam. Hijrah had a great impact on Islaam and the Muslims, for Allaah bestowed a lot of His blessings on Muslims through this.
Although the Muslims faced some difficulties during the first days of their emigration to Madeenah, they were able to overcome these difficulties through their strong belief, patience and perseverance. The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam was full of love and compassion for the people in general and their children in particular. After the initial period of hardships, Allaah bestowed good things in abundance upon Madeenah in all areas of life.
Dear Muslims! We have all missed out on the reward of making Hijrah to Allaah and His Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam during the prophetic era, but there is another type of Hijrah which we can make and which will earn us immense rewards: We must emigrate from disobedience to obedience of Allaah; shun negligence in religious matters and migrate to adherence; emigrate from sins to submission to Allaah; emigrate from laziness and false hopes to diligence, seriousness and striving in what pleases Allaah; and emigration of our hearts from affinity to this mundane life to the love of the hereafter. The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: "The Muslim is one who does not harm other Muslims with his hands or tongue and the Muhajir (or emigrant) is the one who shuns all that Allaah has forbidden." He sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam also said: "An act of worship performed during the time of Fitnah (trials) is equal to an act of emigration to me in reward." Allaah says that which translates as: "Indeed, those who have believed and those who have emigrated and fought in the cause of Allaah – those expect the mercy of Allaah. And Allaah is Forgiving and Merciful." (Al-Baqarah: 218).
Brothers in faith! Fear Allaah as he should be feared and do not die except as Muslims. Fellow Muslims! The All-Mighty says that which translates as: "And it is He who has made the night and day in succession for whoever desires to remember or desires gratitude." (Al-Furqaan: 62).
Indeed, the succession of day and night is one of the great signs of Allaah and a great mercy from Him. It allows a person who has missed out on the performance of a righteous deed in the night to make it up during the next day and vice versa.
Brothers in Islaam! There are in the in the Prophet's Hijrah admonitions and lessons for every Muslim, especially of patience and perseverance. Also, another of its lessons is that it was the will of Allaah to make His Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam perform the Hijrah with means that human beings are well accustomed to, such as riding on a camel and hiring a guide. If He had wished, He could have willed that his Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam did the Hijrah on Al-Buraaq (an extraordinary animal that moved at great speed), but the will of Allaah was that He wanted the Muslims to emulate their Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam and to aid and assist their religion with whatever means that Allaah He has facilitated for them. The greatest obligation upon you all then, dear brothers, is to aid and assist the religion of Allaah by practicing it and calling to it in your community and being patient upon that.
Indeed, the current predicament of the Muslims throughout the world necessitates that we benefit from the lessons derived from the Hijrah. We must realise that the situation of this generation of Muslims cannot improve except by that which improved the condition of our righteous predecessors, namely; Sincere and correct belief, an real actualisation of Tawheed, or the unity of Allaah in terms of worship, noble manners and characters, absolute trust in Allaah, patience and perfection of acts of worship in accordance with the sunnah. The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: "Fear Allaah wherever you are, follow up an evil deed with a good one; for it will erase it - and be well mannered in your dealings with people."