Monthly Archives: August 2008

‘Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak: His Father’s Story

It is reported in the history of al-‘Amiri that his father was scrupulous. He used to work in a garden belonging to his master where he remained for a long time. Then one day his master came and told him, “I want a pomegranate. ” So he went to one of the trees and brought him a pomegranate. He opened it and found that it was bitter. He asked him, “Do you not know the sweet from the bitter?” “No,” he answered. He said “How is that?” He said, “I have not eaten any of them, so that I would know it.” He asked, “Why have you not eaten?” He said, “Because you did not give me permission.” He investigated that and found that what he said was true and he became great in his eyes and brought him close to him. He had a daughter who had received a marriage proposal. He said to him, “Mubarak, what do you think about marrying this girl?” He told him, “Sir, people disagree about desires. The people of the Jahiliyyah married for lineage. The Jews marry for wealth and the Christians marry for beauty. This community marries for din.” When he heard him say that, his intelligence pleased him and he told her mother, “She will have no other husband.” So he married her to him. She brought him this pearl [i.e. `Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak] and the blessing of his father prospered over him.

(The Garden of the Hadith Scholars, Imam ‘Abd al-‘Aziz ad-Dihlawi)



Filed under Character, Islam, Marriage, Nikah, Religion, Seeking knowledge, Tasawwuf

On Learning languages

The more languages you know the more useful you are.
Languages help in relieving misfortune.
Be keen on learning other languages.
Each language you know is a human being.

An Arab poet

[Islam Online]

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Filed under Arabic, Fiqh, Islam, Jihad, Poems/Quotes, Religion, Seeking knowledge

Modernist Islam

Nothing explains Islamic modernism, the whole rush to Islamic banks, the Islamic state and Islamic democracy, etc., more clearly than this passage by Ibn Khaldun. :

22. The vanquished always want to imitate the victor in his distinctive mark(s), his dress, his occupation, and all his other conditions and customs.
The reason for this is that the soul always sees perfection in the person who is superior to it and to whom it is subservient. It considers him perfect, either because the respect it has for him impresses it, or because it erroneously assumes that its own subservience to him is not due to the nature of defeat but to the perfection of the victor. If that erroneous assumption fixes itself in the soul, it becomes a firm belief. The soul, then, adopts all the manners of the victor and assimilates itself to him. This, then, is imitation.
Or, the soul may possibly think that the superiority of the victor is not the result of his group feeling or great fortitude, but of his customs and manners. This also would be an erroneous concept of superiority, and (the consequence) would be the same as in the former case.
Therefore, the vanquished can always be observed to assimilate themselves to the victor in the use and style of dress, mounts, and weapons, indeed, in everything.
In this connection, one may compare how children constantly imitate their fathers. They do that only because they see perfection in them. One may also compare how almost everywhere people are dominated (in the matter of fashion) by the dress of the militia and the government forces, because they are ruled by them.
This goes so far that a nation dominated by another, neighboring nation will show a great deal of assimilation and imitation.

From: Abdassamad Clarke

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Filed under Aqidah/Belief, History, Islam, Religion

Gradual Decline of the Ulema

The fifth point worth considering is the fact that the effects of the changes of the times is upon everything. How can the Ulema escape these same effects? The further we proceed from the era of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) the more will mischief and evil be on the increase. Now, while we are prepared to admit every kind of weakness and decline within ourselves, we expect that the Ulema should still be faithful to the same old scene of the calibre of the Ulema of long ago. For them that is still the yard stick. When the discussion is on physical strength and endurance, everyone cries: “Alas, where are those erstwhile physical powers to be found today?” But when the spiritual faculties and yeomen struggles for knowledge come under discussion, everyone expects and desires to see the attributes and qualities of Junayd, Shibli, Gazzali and Bukhari. We should at least remember that this decline in knowledge has been prophecised by Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).

“No year or day will dawn upon you except that which follows will be worse for you until you shall meet your Lord.”


The sixth point that is worth consideration is that the Ulema are men born from among us. They are not some creatures born and bred elsewhere. Hence the people among whom they are born and the enviromnent will have its influence on them. As the iron, so the sword. As the clay, so the utensil. As the copper so will be its gilt.

[Al E’tidaal Fi Maraatibur-Rijaal,

Shaykhul Hadith Mawlana Zakariyya (rh), p 138-139 ]

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Filed under Character, Fiqh, Islam, Poems/Quotes, Religion, Seeking knowledge