Category Archives: Seerah

Islam Teaches Us to be Forgiving and Pardoning

Part of our being human is also that we make mistakes. Sometime, we make mistakes without deliberation and intention. But sometime we knowingly and deliberately sin and do wrong to others. It is said, “to err is human and to forgive is divine.” Both parts of this statement are very true. As human beings we are responsible, but we do also make mistakes and we are constantly in need of forgiveness. Islam speaks about two aspects of forgiveness: a) Allah’s forgiveness; b) Human forgiveness. We need both, because we do wrong in our relations to Allah as well as in our relations to each other.

A. Allah’s Forgiveness:

Allah Almighty is the Oft-Forgiving. There are many Names of Allah given in the Qur’an. Some of these Names are related to His mercy and forgiveness. Let me mention some of these names:

1-Al-Ghafoor (The Oft-Forgiving): This name occurs in the Qur’an more than seventy times. There are other names from the same root, such as Ghafir and Ghaffar. The meaning of the Arabic word “ghafara” is to cover, to hide and from it comes the meaning “to excuse”, “to pardon”, “to remit” and “to forgive”. Allah Almighty does all these things. In the Qur’an, it is mentioned that Allah does not forgive the Shirk (without repentance) but He may forgive every other sin for whomsoever He wills. (al-Nisa’ 4:116) We must turn to Allah to seek His forgiveness.

2-Al-`Afuw (The Pardoning): This has another aspect of forgiveness. This Name occurs in the Qur’an five times. Literally the Arabic word `Afw means “to release”, “to heal”, “to restore”, “to remit”. Thus in relation to Allah it means “to release us from the burden of punishment due to our sins and mistakes”, “to restore our honor after we have dishonored ourselves by committing sins and making mistakes.” Sometimes in the Qur’an both names: `Afuw and Ghafoor come together.

3-Al-Tawwab (The Acceptor of repentance): This Name of Allah is mentioned in the Qur’an about 11 times. Allah accepts the repentance of those who sincerely repent and turn to him. The Arabic word “tawwab” gives the sense of “oft-returning” which means that Allah again and again accepts the repentance. We make sins and mistakes then we repent, He accepts our repentance. Then again we commit sins and make mistakes and when we repent, He again very kindly accepts us and gives us another chance.

4-Al-Haleem (The Clement): This Name is mentioned fifteen times in the Qur’an, and it means that Allah Almighty is not quick to judgment. He gives time. He forebears and is patient to see His servant returning to Him.

5-Ar-Rahman and ar-Raheem (Most Gracious and Most Merciful). These Names are the most frequent in the Qur’an. Ar-Rahman is mentioned 57 times and ar-Raheem is mentioned 115 times. Ar-Rahman indicates that Allah’s grace is abundant and plenty and al-Raheem indicates that this is always the case with Allah. He is full of love and mercy and He is ever Merciful.

The Qur’an teaches that Allah is a Judge and He also punishes, but Allah is not bound to punish. The justice of Allah, according to Qur’an is that Allah does not and will not inflict undue punishment on any person. He will not ignore the good of any person. But if He wishes to forgive any sinner, He has full freedom to do that. His mercy is unlimited and His love is infinite.

There are many verses in the Qur’an and Hadiths of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, on the love, mercy and forgiveness of Allah. In one of the prayers that the Prophet taught, he said, “O Allah, You are Most Forgiving One, You love to forgive, so forgive me.” (reported by at-Trimidhi and Ibn Majah). We need Allah’s mercy and forgiveness all the time. It is wrong to assume at any time that one will find eternal salvation without the forgiveness of Allah.

B. Human Forgiveness in Islam:

Just as it is important to believe in the mercy and forgiveness of Allah, it is also necessary to base human relations on forgiveness. We cannot expect Allah’s forgiveness unless we also forgive those who do wrong to us. Forgiving each other, even forgiving one’s enemies is one of the most important Islamic teachings. In the Qur’an Allah has described the Believers as “those who avoid major sins and acts of indecencies and when they are angry they forgive.” (ash-Shura 42: 37) Later in the same Surah Allah says, “The reward of the evil is the evil thereof, but whosoever forgives and makes amends, his reward is upon Allah.” (al-Shura 42: 40) In another place the Qur’an says, “If you punish, then punish with the like of that wherewith you were afflicted. But if you endure patiently, indeed it is better for the patient. Endure you patiently. Your patience is not except through the help of Allah.” (an-Nahl:126-127)

In one Hadith, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said that Allah has commanded him about nine things; one of them he mentioned was “that I forgive those who do wrong to me.”

The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, was the most forgiving person. He was ever ready to forgive his enemies. When he went to Ta’if to call the people to Islam, its people mistreated him. They abused him and hit him with stones.

He left the city humiliated and wounded. When he took shelter under a tree, the angel of Allah visited him and told him that Allah sent him to destroy the people of Ta’if because of their sin of mistreating their Prophet. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, prayed to Allah to save the people of Taif, because what they did was out of their ignorance. He said, “O Allah, guide these people, because they did not know what they were doing.”

When he entered the city of Makkah after the victory, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, had in front of him some of his staunchest enemies. Those who fought him for many years, persecuted his followers and killed many of them. Now he had full power to do whatever he wanted to punish them for their crimes. It is reported that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, asked them, “What do you think I shall do to you now?” They pleaded for mercy. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Today I shall say to you what Joseph…” (referring to Prophet Yusuf, peace be upon him, as mentioned in the Qur’an, Yusuf 12:92) “…said to his brothers, ‘No blame on you today. Go, you are all free.” Soon they all came and accepted Islam at his hands. He forgave even Hind who had caused the murder of his uncle Hamza, may Allah be pleased with him. After killing him she had his body mutilated and chewed his liver. When she accepted Islam, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, even forgave her.

A very striking example of forgiveness we find in the Qur’an in reference to the most unfortunate event of “Slander of Sayyidah A’isha’”. Some hypocrites of Madinah accused her. They tried to put dirt on her noble character. One of the slanderers turned out to be Mistah, the cousin of ‘Aisha’s father, Abu Bakr. Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, used to give financial help to this young man. After he slandered his daughter, Abu Bakr vowed not to help him any more. But Allah reminded Abu Bakr and through him all the Believers, “Let not those among you who are endued with grace and amplitude of means resolve by oath against helping their kinsmen, those in want and those who migrated in the path of Allah. Let them forgive and overlook. Do you not wish that Allah should forgive you? Indeed Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Al-Nur 24:22) Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, came out of his home and said, “Yes, indeed, I want Allah’s forgiveness.” He not only continued to help him but he gave him more.

Islam emphasizes justice and punishment of the wrong doers, but it equally strongly emphasizes mercy, kindness and love. Justice, law and order are necessary for the maintenance of a social order, but there is also a need for forgiveness to heal the wounds and to restore good relations between the people. We must keep in mind that as much as we need Allah’s forgiveness for our own sins and mistakes, we must also practice forgiveness towards those who do wrong to us.”


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Shaykh Abu Yusuf: Compassion Dispite Disagreement

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From Shama’il Tirmidhi: Chapter on the Sword of RasuluLlah, SallaLlahu `alayhi wa sallam

باب ما جاء في صفة سيف رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم

99– (1)   حدثنا محمد بن بشار أخبرنا وهب بن جرير أخبرنا أبي قتادة عن أنس قال : كانت قبيعة سيف رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم من فضة

100– (2)   حدثنا محمد بن بشار أخبرنا معاذ بن هشام حدثني أبي عن قتادة عن سعيد بن أبي الحسن قال : كانت قبيعة سيف رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم من فضة

101– (3)  حدثنا أبو جعفر محمد بن صدران البصري أخبرنا طالب بن حجير عن هود و هو ابن عبد الله بن سعيد [ أي العبدي ] عن جده العصري قال : دخل رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم مكة يوم الفتح و على سيفه ذهب و فضة قال طالب : فسألته عن الفضة ؟ فقال : كانت في قبيعة السيف فضة

102– (4)    حدثنا محمد بن شجاح البغدادي أخبرنا أبو عبيدة الحداد عن عثمان بن سعد عن ابن سيرين قال صنعت سيفي على سيف سمرة بن جندب و زعم سمرة أنه صنع سيفه على سيف رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم و كان حنفيا

حدثنا عقبة بن مكرم البصري قال حدثنا محمد بن بكر عن عثمان بن سعد بهذا الإسناد نحوه

The Ulama have stated that the reason for writing this chapter after the chapter of the ring is because of a special system, which also points towards a governmental rule. First letters inviting the kings to Islam are to be sent. If they accept Islam they will benefit in this world and the hereafter, otherwise they should decide between themselves and the sword. The Prophet of Allah sallallahu alaihe wasallam had several swords, each of which had a special name. For example the first sword was named ‘Ma-thur’ which was inherited from his father. The name of another sword was ‘Qadib’, one was ‘Qil-ee’, one was ‘Tabaar’ and one was ‘Dhulfiqaar’ etc. Imam Tirmizi has quoted four ahaadith in this chapter.

(99) Hadith 1
Hazrat Anas radiyallahu anhu reports that the handle of the sword of the Prophet of Allah sallallahu alaihe wasallam was made of silver.

Allamah Bayjuri writes, about the sword named ‘Dhulfiqaar’, “At the time of conquering Makkah, the Prophet of Allah sallallahu alaihe wasallam had this sword.”

(100)  Hadith 2
Hazrat Saeed bin Abil Hasan Basri radiyallahu anhu has related the same hadith that the handle grip of the sword of the Prophet of Allah sallallahu alaihe wasallam was made of silver.

(101)  Hadith 3
Hazrat Mazeedah bin Malik, the (maternal) grandfather of Hud says that when the Prophet of Allah sallallahu alaihe wasallam entered Makkah on the day it was conquered, his sword had gold and silver on it.
Talib who is one of the narrators of this hadith says that  he asked the ustaadh, “On which part of the sword was the silver?”
He replied, “The cap of the grip handle was made of silver.”

According to the majority of the Ulama it is not permissible to use gold on a sword. This hadith cannot be used as proof, as it has been declared to be weak. Allamah Turpishti says, “This hadith cannot be used as an argument because its sanad (chain of narrators) cannot be relied upon. The use of silver for the handle etc. is permissible according to the previous hadith.”
It is said that since it is not permissible to use gold, the narrator did not care to investigate which portion of the sword  was made of gold. He only investigated those portions that were made of silver.

(102)  Hadith 4

Ibn Seereen says, “I made my sword like the sword of Samurah bin Jundub radiyallahu anhu. He said that he had his sword made in the same manner as the one the Prophet of Allah sallallahu alaihe wasallam had. The sword was the type used by the tribe of Banu Hanifah.”

Banu Hanifah was a tribe in Arabia who were famous for manufacturing good quality swords. These people, one after another, in imitating the Prophet of Allah sallallahu alaihe wasallam, made a replica of his sword.

(From the commentary on Imam Abi `Esa Muhammad ibn Sorah at-Tirmidhi’s,  Shama’il Tirmidhi (ash-Shama’il al-Muhammadiyyah sallaLlahu `alayhi wa sallam, khasa’is nabawiy Sharh Shama’il Tirmidhi) by Shaykh al-Hadith Maulana Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhelawi.)

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Marriage and things connected with it

The second category of necessities daily life is praised and boasted of when it is abundant and includes such things as marriage and rank. The necessity for marriage is agreed upon in the Shari`ah and in custom. It is a proof of perfection and sound masculinity. It has always been customary to boast of and praise a lot of it and, as far as the Shari`ah is concerned, it is a transmitted sunna.

Ibn `Abbas said, “The best of this community is the one with the most wives,” indicating the Prophet. [1] The Prophet said, “Marry and procreate. I want to increase communities by you.” [2]

He forbade celibacy. This is because marriage brings with it restraint of the appetites and lowering the eye as the Prophet pointed out. He said, “Whoever has the capacity should marry. It lowers the eyes and protects the private parts.” [3]

For this reason the `ulema’ do not consider it something that detracts from the virtue of abstinence. Sahl at-Tustari said, “Women were loved by the Master of the Messengers,  so how could we abstain from them?” Ibn `Uyayna says something to the same effect.

The most ascetic of the Companions had a lot of wives and slave-girls and had much sexual intercourse with them. More than one of them disliked the idea of meeting Allah unmarried.

It might be asked, “How can it be that marriage has so many virtues when Allah praised Yahya, son of Zakariyya, for being chaste? How could Allah praise him for not  doing something considered to be a virtue? Furthermore, `Isa ibn Maryam remained celibate. If things were as you claim, would he not have married?”

The answer is this. It is clear that Allah did praise Yahya for being chaste. It was not as someone has said, that he was timid or without masculinity. Astute commentators and critical scholars reject this assertion, saying that it would imply an imperfection and a fault that is not fitting for one of the prophets. It means that he was protected from wrong actions, i.e. it was as if he were kept from them. Some say that he was from all his bodily appetites, and some say he did not have any desire for women.

It is clear from this that the lack of the ability to marry is an imperfection. Virtue lies in its taking place. Therefore the absence of it can only be through the existence of a counter virtue, either striving as in the case of `Isa, or by having sufficiency from Allah as Yahya did, since marriage frequently distracts from Allah and brings a person down into this world.

Someone able to marry and carry out the obligations incurred by marriage without being distracted from his Lord has a lofty degree. Such is the degree of our Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. Having many wives did not distract him from worshipping his Lord. Indeed, it increased him in worship in that he protected his wives, gave them their rights, earned for them and guided them. He clearly stated that such things were not part of the portion of his earthly life but that they are the part of the portion the the earthly life of others.

He said, “He made me love in this world of yours, women and scent, and the coolness of my eye (i.e. my delight) is in the prayer,” [4] and then he indicated that his love for women and scent are worldly things for other people whereas his occupation with them was not for his worldly life, but for the life of the Next World because of otherworldly benefits of marriage already mentioned and his desire to come out to the angels wearing scent. Scent also encourages intercourse, assists it and stimulates it. He loved these two qualities for the sake of others and for the restraint of his appetite. His true love, particular to him, lay in witnessing the Jabarut of his Lord and intimate conversation with Him. That is why he made a distinction between the two loves and separated the two conditions, saying: “and the delight of my eye is in the prayer.”

Yahya and `Isa were on the same level regarding the trial of women. However, there is an extra virtue in satisfying women’s needs. The Prophet was among those who have been given the ability to do so and he was given it in abundance. This is why he was allowed a greater number of wives than anyone else.

It is related from Anas, “The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to visit his wives in one hour of the day or night, and there were eleven of them.” [5]

Anas said, “We used to say that he had been given the power of thirty men.” [6] Something similar was related from Abu Rafi`. Tawus said, “The Prophet was given the power of forty men in intercourse.” A similar statement came from Safwan ibn Sulaym.

Salama, the female client of the Prophet, said, “The Prophet would go around in the night to nine of his wives and then purify himself from each of them before going to the next. He said, ‘This is better and purer.'” [7]

The Prophet Sulayman said, [8] “I went around in the night to a hundred or ninety-nine women.” So he had that capacity as well. Ibn `Abbas said, “There was the semen of a hundred men in the loins of Sulayman, and he had three hundred wives and three hundred slave-girls.” An-Naqqash and others related that he had seven hundred wives and three hundred slave-girls.

While the Prophet Da’ud was being ascetic and eating from the work of his own hands, he had ninety-nine wives and he completed the hundred by marrying Uriya’. Allah mentions that in His Mighty Book when He says, “This brother of ours had ninety-nine ewes.” (38:23)

In the hadith of Anas, the Prophet said, “I have been preferred over people in four things: generosity, courage, much intercourse and great power.” [9]

As for rank, it is normally praised by intelligent men. There is esteem in the hearts according to rank. When He described `Isa, Allah said, “He is noble in this world and the Next.” (2:45)

However, it is also the cause of much misfortune and is harmful for some people in relation to the Next World. That is why people have censured it and praised its opposite. The Shari`ah also praises obscurity and censures exaltedness in the earth.

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, possessed modesty, position in the hearts of men and their esteem both before his prophethood, during the Jahiliyya, and after it. Then they rejected him, injured him, injured his Companions and tried to harm him secretly. But whenever he encountered them face to face, they showed him respect and gave him what he needed. The traditions about this are well-known and we will give some of them.

Anyone who had not seen the Prophet before would become perplexed and terrified when he saw him. This was related about Qayla. When she saw the Prophet she trembled with terror. He said, “Poor girl, you must be calm.” [10]

In the hadith of Abu Mas`ud, it tells of a man who stood before the Prophet and trembled. He said to him, “Relax, I am not a king.” [11]

As for his inestimable worth by reason of his being a Prophet, the honour of his position by being a Messenger, his exalted rank being chosen by Allah and his honour in this world. It is as great as it is possible to be. And in the Next World, he will be the master of the Children of Adam. [12] The implication to be drawn from this section forms the basis of this entire chapter.


[1] al-Bukhari.

[2] Ibn Mardawayh in his Tafsir from ibn `Umar, marfu` with a weak isnad. at-Tabarani also has something similar in al-Awsat.

[3] at-Tabarani, and Muslim and al-Bukhari.

[4] al-Hakim and an-Nasa’i.

[5] al-Bukhari and an-Nasa’i

[6] an-Nasa’i related that. It is also in al-Bukhari.

[7] Sound hadith related by Abu Dawud.

[8] Ibid.

[9] at-Tabarani.

[10] In ash-Shama’il of at-Tirmidhi and the Sunan of Abu Dawud. Ibn Sa`d transmitted it.

[11] Mursal hadith from Qays in al-Bayhaqi. al-Hakim has it and says it is sound.

[12] As in the hadith of al-Bukhari.

(Qadi `Iyad ibn Musa al-Yahusubi, Kitab ash-Shifa’ bi-ta`rif huquq Mustafa , translated by Aisha Abdarrahman Bewley and published by Madinah Press, as Muhammad Messenger of Allah, Ash-Shifa of Qadi `Iyad. p.46-49)

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Islam and Modernity: An Essay by Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani

Search for “Modernity” by itself is a commendable desire and a natural urge of humankind. If this urge was not there, man would not have reached from stone-age to atomic era, could not have gained access to aeroplanes and spacecrafts from camels and bullock carts, nor would have progressed to electric bulbs and search lights from wax candles and earthen lamps. All these material advancements and scientific achievements, which have put nooses on the planets and conducted their buckets to the bottom of sea, are in fact an importunate effect of man’s inherent trait that he is a “modernist” and avaricious of “better to best” achievements.

Hence Islam, being a natural religion, is not opposed to modernism as far as it implies to be modem in simple sense of the word. Very often it has been appreciated and given due encouragement. Particularly the use of latest and newer methods in industry and craft and war technologies is proved from prophetic traditions. On the occasion of battle of Ahz’ ab when the tribes of Arabia joined together and raided Madinah, a renowned companion Salman F’arsi suggested a new technique for its defence which was never practised in Arabia before. He suggested digging of a trench around the city. This was hailed by the Prophet (PBUH) and he himself took part in digging the trench (Al-bidayah wan-Nih’ayah 4:95)

On the advice of Salman F’arsi the Prophet used two new weapons in the battle of Ta’if which, according to some narration, were constructed by Salman himself. One of them was catapult which served as cannon of the time;

the second was “Dababah” the Tank of the time (Al-bidayal wan-Nib’ayahy 4:95). Not only this, but Ibn-e-Kathir has reported that the Prophet (PBUH) had sent two of his companions, namely ‘Urwah Ibn Mas’ud and Ghitan Ibn Salmah to the city of Jarash in Syria to learn the techniques of manufacturing Dababas, Maujaniq (catapult) and Dhabur. Jarash was the famous industrial town of Syria and Dhabur was a weapon similar to Dababa which was used by Romans in their wars. These two companions could not take part in the battle of Hunayn and Ta’if because they were in Syria learning this technology (Tabqat-e-Ibn-e-Sa’ad vol 2, p. 221, Tarikh Tabri p. 353 vol. 2., Al-bidayah wan-Nih’ay ah p. 345 vol 4).

Ibn-e-Jarir has reported that the Prophet (PBUH) had asked the people of Madinah to promote agriculture by increased cultivation and use of camel skulls in their fields for increased production (Kinzul-‘Ammal p. 199 vol: 2).

According to one narration the Prophet advised people to promote their business by increasing trade in clothes because a cloth-merchant always wishes that the people remain prosperous and free from worries (Kanz-ul ‘Animal p. 199, vol. 2).

Also he persuaded many people to go to ‘Omman and Egypt for trade (Kanz-ul-‘Ammal p. 197, vol. 2)

To get the benefits of agriculture and minerals he said:

(Seek your living in the hidden wealth of the Earth) (Kanz-ul ‘Ammal p. 197, vol. 2).

The people of Arabia were ignorant of naval fleet, but the Prophet (PBUH) had joyously predicted that some of his people will travel through the sea for Jeh’ad in the way of Allah as if they are kings on a throne (Sahih Bukhari, kitab-ul-Jeh ad). He described several virtues of the first naval fleet of the Muslims. Consequently Hadhrat Mu’awiyah (RA) prepared the first naval fleet during the caliphate of Hadhrat Usman Ghani (RA). This enabled the access of Muslims to Cyprus, Rhodes, Crates and Scicily and then the entire Mediterranean Sea came under their command.

Hadhrat ‘Amr bin ‘Aas (RA) in the year 8 AH used the method of “Blackout” during the war ofZat-us-salasil against Lakbrn and Juzam, and ordered his troops that there should be no lights nor any fire kindled for three nights in the battlefield. When the troops reached Madinah and the Prophet (PBUH) came to know of it he inquired the reasons for this action. ‘Amr bin ‘Aas replied “0 Messenger of Allah, my troops were less in number than the enemy troops, hence I ordered to keep all lights off at night lest the enemy may boost its morale by finding the low count of our troops”. The Prophet was pleased with this tactics and offered his thanks to Almighty Allah (Jam’a -ul-Fawa’id p. 27, vol.2).

These were the few examples of the Prophetic era which have been casually mentioned. The aim of this description was to emphasize that Islam has not objected to any modern advancement just because it is recent and modem. Rather it has encouraged modernity for rightful purposes and within rightful limits.

However, in its own sphere it remains a reality that whereas modernity has elevated man’s material status to great heights, given him newer inventions and provided him with better means of comfort and ease in life, it has, at the same time, caused man to suffer from many depravities and led him to many disastrous ends. It is due to the same modernity that human history is full of Pharaohs and Shiddads who were not contented with any limit of power and authority. Their lust for authority took them to the extent of claiming deification to them. The same modernity gave birth to Hitler and Massolini whose ever increasing urge for expanding territorial boundaries demanded a new piece of land every day. It is the same modernity that has engulfed the whole world in the tornado of nudity and obscenity, and has provided an excuse for fornication, and more so it has led, under thunder claps to the passage of a bill in the British House of Commons to legalise homo­sexuality. It is in the shadow of the same modernity that Western women are openly displaying banners on the streets demanding legalisation of abortion. And it is the same modernity which is providing argument for justifying marriage with true sisters, daughters and other blood relations.

It proves that “Modernity” is a double-edged sword which can be used for the benefit of mankind and to cut its own throat. Hence any new thing is neither acceptable just for being new nor refutable just because it is new. That Much is clear and obvious. But the most important question is, “what is the criterion to decide which invention is useful and acceptable and which is harmful and not acceptable.

One way to determine this standard is to follow the dictates of reason alone. Hence, in secular societies this decision rests with logic and reasoning. But the difficulty in it is that those people who robbed humanity of all the attributes of morality and character in the name of ‘Modernity’ and put it on the road to barbarism and brutality were all men of reason and philosophy, and there was none of them who had not made pure intellect as their guide. The reason is that once free of the divine guidance of Wahy ‘intellect’ becomes like a beloved of every Tom, Dick and Harry, so that each of different kinds of contradictory elements considers it to be its exclusive property while in fact it belongs to none of them. In such an “Intellect” one can find glamorous justifications for every evil concept and filthiest of action. For example, the names of Hiroshima and Nagasaki cause the humanity sweat with shame, but the scholarly and world-fame book “Encyclopedia Britannica” has mentioned the disasters caused by Atom Bomb in these cities after the introductory sentence as follows:

“Former Prime Minister Winston Churchill estimated that by shortening the war the Atomic Bomb had saved the lives of 10,000,00 US soldiers and 250,000 British soldiers”. (Britannica vol.2, p. 647, 1950).

Several examples of similar rational interpretations can be presented. With due apologies to modesty I would like to present another example in the light of which correct position of pure intellect would become clear. In the history of Islam there has passed a sect known as Bati-niyah. A renowned leader of this sect Ubayd-ullah al-Qirwani has written:

“What can be more surprising that a person having claim to wisdom acts so stupidly that he has with him beautiful sister or daughter. His wife is not so pretty, he marries her daughter or sister to a stranger. If these ignorant ones had any trace of wisdom they would have known that they themselves had a greater right on their sisters and daughters than a stranger. The main reason of this stupidity is that their Master has forbidden good things on them.”

No matter how you react to this disgusting and repulsive statement, it is an obvious example of what havoc is caused to human reason when it is not guided by divine guidance. What argument is there with reason to reject this hideous suggestion of marrying with real daughter and sister? Hence we see that the dream of ‘Ubayd-ulla Qirwani is coming true centuries afterwards, and voices are being raised in some Western countries to legalise marriages with real sisters.

In short, carried by the wave of Modernity, if the decision for good and bad is left on reason alone the result will be that no value of life will remain intact. Besides, man will be lost in the labyrinth of contradictory opinions and concepts from which no way out could be traced. The intellectual level of every person is different from the other. The reason is that independent of divine guidance ofWahy is regarded by man as free but in fact it becomes the slave of his beastly passions and sensual desires. This is the worst form of servility. In the Qur’anic phraseology it is termed as Haw-a that is passion, and it is about this that the Qur’an declared:

(If Truth becomes subjected to their passions great tuMult will occur between the earth and skies and the creations therein).

A group of philosophers has been mentioned in the discussions of Legal Theory. Their concept of morality is called the Cognivist Theory. The famous legal expert Dr. Friedman has summerised this view in his book “Legal Theory” in these words:

“Reason is and ought only to be the slave of the passions and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them (p.36).

The end result to be derived from this view, in the words of Dr. Friedman, is:

“Every thing else but also words like ‘good’ ‘bad’ ‘ought’ ‘worthy’ are purely emotive, and there cannot be such thing as ethical or moral science (pp.36,37).

However bad or wrong this view may be to form the basis of moral conceptions, it provides a true and realistic interpretation of secular reasoning. Factually, there can be no other outcome of submission to secular reason that no such thing as “Morality” should exist in the world, and nothing but passions should govern the words and deeds of man. In fact secular reasoning and ‘morality’ can never go together because a stage is arrived in the pursuit of ‘modernity’ when a man’s conscience regards an action as bad yet he feels bound to adopt it because ‘modernity’ and secular reasoning offer no argument to reject it. The western thinkers of today are helplessly facing the same predicament. A large number of British thinkers do not like the legalisation of homosexuality adopted by the Parliament a few years ago but they were obliged to accept it because in the doctrine of purely intellectual “modernity” there remains no option but to legalise every evil that has prevailed in the society. How admonishing are words of Wolfender Committee which was appointed to consider this issue:

“Unless a deliberate attempt is made by society acting through the agency of the law to equate this fear of crime with that of sin, there Must remain a realm of private morality and immorality which in brief and crude terms is not the law’s business.” (The Legal Theory).

In fact, once reason alone is made a judge to decide what is good and bad man will be deprived of every standard that may be used as a basis to stop a new practice harmful to society. Reason has to be made to follow divine standard of good and bad.

The law-makers are extremely worried that in the presence of general trend of modernity what method can be adopted through which at least some exalted human values might be preserved. An American judge Carduzo has written that the most important legal need of today is that a philosophy of law should be organised which could create a harmony between the contradictory and antagonistic demands of stationary and revolutionary values. But the fact is that this job cannot be done through reason and philosophy. The entire disruption has started because the function of Wahy (Divine Revelations) has been imposed on the intellect of man and in this way a burden has been placed on its shoulders which it cannot bear. It is only on the basis of some valid arguments that a law can be called perpetual and free of changes, but the human intellect is incapable of producing any such argument. Today some people may regard a law as unalterable on the basis of their reasons but tomorrow others may realise that it is not fit to be a perpetual law and they would declare it alterable. The only solution to the problem is that instead of making his self to be a slave of his passions he should submit it to the Being who created him and the entire universe. Since that Being is fully aware of all the changes that would occur, no body else can determine which principles of law are unalterable.

The famous author of jurisprudence, George Paton, has written:

“What interests should the real legal system protect? This is a question of values in which legal philosophy plays its part….But however Much we desire the help of philosophy, it is difficult to obtain. No agreed scale of values has ever been reached indeed. It is only in religion that we can find a basis, and the truth of religion Must be accepted by faith or invitation and not purely on the result of logical argument. (Portion: Jurisprudences p.121).

In short secular intellect has totally failed to define the good and bad. Hence there is no solution to the problem except that the man should seek guidance from God and follow the revealed doctrines. There is no other way of salvation for humanity. The Qur’an said:

“Is he who has a clear proof from his Lord like those to whom their evil deeds are made alluring and they follow their caprices?” (Muhammad : 14)

Hence the only solution to the problem is that every new trend or custom and convention should be judged, not on its apparent shine and glitter but on the basis of standards laid down by Allah, the Lord of the Universe? Once one finds any injunctions of Allah and His Messenger concerning it, then it Must be followed without the least hesitation. The Qur’an says :

“And it is not for a believing man or a believing woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter to have choice in their matter” (Q: 33:35)

Another verse of the Holy Qur’an speaks:

“But no, by your Lord, They will not believe until they make you (0 Prophet) the judge of what is in dispute between them, then find no vexation in their hearts over what you decide and submit with full submission” (Q:4:65)

Whatever injunctions Allah has revealed in His Book or through His Messenger (PBUH) pertain to such matters that if they are let to be decided by reason they have led to aberrance; and since Allah is well aware of all the past and future happenings only His commands can be obeyed in every time. Hence it is stated:

“Allah makes clear (His commandments) to you, lest you go astray. And Allah is Knower of every thing.” (Q: 4:176)

This makes another thing about “Modernity” very clear that the need for divine revelations (Wahy) and commandments of Allah was felt because it was difficult to achieve true guidance in this matter through intellect alone. It is, therefore, essential that the divine injunctions be followed exactly as they are. It is a wrong practice that any prevalent custom of time be first taken as correct on the basis of self-reasoning, and then attempts be made to fit the Qur’an and Traditions to it by making distant interpretations. Such a method cannot be called submission to the will of Allah. Rather it amounts to alteration and amendments for which no man is authorised, because that would annul the very purpose of sending divine guidance. True submission means that the commandments of Allah should never be allowed to be altered or modified even if the entire mankind collectively so desire. Allah says:

“And perfect are the words of your Lord in truthfulness and justice; there is none who can change His words; and He is the Hearer, the Knower. And if you (0 Prophet) obey most of those on earth they would lead you astray from Allah’s way. They follow nothing but surmise, and they do but guess. Surely your Lord knows best who astrays from His way. And He knows best who are rightly guided.” (Q: 6:115-117)

(And when Our clear revelations are recited to them) those who hope not for the meeting with Us say, “Bring a Qur’an other than this or alter it. Say (O Prophet) “It is not for me to alter it of my own accord, I follow nothing, except what is revealed to me (Q: 10: 15).

This kind of true obedience may bring opposition of the people and one may face difficulties but those who stand this test of the time, are rightly guided in this world and the Hereafter. Allah says:

“And those whos strive in Our way, We shall certainly guide them in Our ways. Indeed Allah is with the good-doers.” (Q: 29:69)

It is not the way of a true Muslim that he accepts what he finds to fulfil his material desires and rejects what calls for some material loss or puts him through some trials. This attitude, in Qur’anic terms, leads one to lose both in this world and in the Hereafter.

“And among mankind is he who worships Allah upon the very edge—so that if good befalls him he is contented with it, but if a trial befalls him he turns round on his face. He loses this world andr the Hereafter. That is indeed a manifest loss.” (Q: 22:11)

The only way to judge between desirable and undesirable modernism is to examine it in the light of Qur’anic injunctions. If it is not in opposition to Allah’s Commandments it may be accepted otherwise it Must be rejected without misinterpreting and distorting it even though it may be against the common trend of time. Reproaches and mockery coming from the people should not be allowed to change his firm belief. A true Muslim has a clear answer to such negative remarks provided by the Qur’an:

“Allah mocks at them and lets them loose in their impertinence in which they keep wandering.”

This attitude is meant for such affairs of life as have been ordained to be Obligatory, Incumbent, Traditional, Desirable or Forbidden and Detestable. Hence these injunctions are unalterable in every period. However, for things that fall under the category of being “permissible” man has been authorised to adopt or to abandon them according to the needs and demands of time. In fact, there are very few matters which Islamic Law has explicitly defined as Obligatory, Incumbent, Traditional, Desirable, Forbidden and Detestable, and are unalterable. On the contrary, most of the affairs of life fall under the category of “permissible” and decisions about their adoption or rejection can be made according to requirements.

We can see that the field of activity with regard to modernism as provided by Islam is very vast in which one can live a modern life without deviating from the way of Allah in the least. In them the man may apply his intellectual abilities and may achieve enormous heights of knowledge and discoveries as well as Science and Technology, and make them more and more useful for mankind.

The greatest challenge for the Islamic world today is to recognise these limits of “Modernity”, without interfering the confined limits of unalterable injunctions of Islam. Unfortunately the present attitude of Islamic world is in clear contrast to it. Our scholars have been markedly slow in the spheres which demanded their active efforts, while they are actively busy modernizing the unalterable Commandments of Allah with the consequence that Muslims are deprived of the amenities and comforts that modern time has provided to humanity and the evils of modernism are at liberty to prevail in our society with no check from our side. May Almighty Allah give us the ability and courage to fulfil our obligations to modern times while safeguarding our ideological heritage.

From: at-Talib

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Filed under Aqidah/Belief, Fiqh, Islam, Quran, Religion, Seeking knowledge, Seerah, Sunnah

Wilful Denial of the Hijra and its Lessons

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Wilful Denial of the Hijra and its Lessons
Shaykh Dr. Muhammad Sa‘īd Ramadān al-Būtī

All praise belongs to Allah, all praise belongs to Allah; all praise belongs to Allah who guided us to this, and we would not have been guided had Allah not guided us. All praise belongs to Allah for His showering of bounties; all praise belongs to Allah in all states. We seek refuge with Allah from the state of Hell’s inhabitants. All praise belongs to Allah on account of Him placing us in the Umma of Muhammad sallallahu `alayhi wa-sallam – the best of creation. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah – He is alone without any partners – and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger; His choice-elect and intimate friend; the best Prophet sent forth. Allah sent him to the world entire as a bringer of glad-tidings and a warner. O Allah! Send Your abundant prayers, peace, and blessings upon our liege lord Muhammad, and upon the family of our liege lord Muhammad: lasting and inseparable peace and prayers until the Last Day. I advise you, o Muslims, and my sinful self, to have fear of Allah, the Exalted. O servants of Allah!

We were expecting the Islamic world to greet the new Hijra year with a renewed covenant with Allah, the Glorified and Exalted, and an increase in applying the lessons of the Hijra and its counsels that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu `alayhi wa-sallam left with us. How unfortunate it is that we have been taken aback by the exact opposite. We have been taken aback by seeing that most of the leaders of the Arab and Islamic world are in wilful denial of the meanings and lessons of the Hijra. They have turned away from it in belittlement. Through his Hijra from Mecca to Medina, the Messenger of Allah sallallahu `alayhi wa-sallam advised us and taught us to sacrifice the world entire: the outward trappings of leadership in it as well as all types of desirable things and passions that stand in the way of human values and fundamentals that Allah, the Glorified and Exalted, honoured us with.

We see that most of the rulers are doing the exact opposite of what the Messenger of Allah sallallahu `alayhi wa-sallam advised: they are sacrificing humane principles and lofty and firm values for the sake of base desires and passions, and for the sake of cementing their thrones and seats of power. Through his migration from Mecca to Medina, his declaration regarding Islamic brotherhood, his effort in strengthening its roots in the first Islamic state, the Messenger of Allah sallallahu `alayhi wa-sallam ordered us to be guardians over this brotherhood and to fulfil its rights. When we look, we see that most of the rulers in the Arab and Islamic world are in wilful denial of this brotherhood and command of Allah’s Messenger sallallahu `alayhi wa-sallam. They sacrifice the brotherhood of Islam for the sake of cementing their thrones and for the sake of gaining more fanciful and ephemeral desires, vain passions, and wealth.

The words of Allah, the Exalted and Sublime: (The believers are nothing but brothers; so make peace between your brothers.) are simply forgotten; they are recited yet the opposite is done; and they are heard, yet they are belittled. Servants of Allah! The current killing that engulfs women, children, the elderly, and every innocent – killing that has become a bloody-wound that refuses to heal – is not because of a particular piece of land. The targets of this operation – an operation planned in advance, as is not hidden to anyone – are not just the people of Gaza, but also the entire Islamic world. The people of Gaza are simply the sacred symbol of the Islamic world entire. The Mosques that were destroyed and the Qur’āns that were torn to bits in Gaza were not for a particular piece of land. It is symptomatic of [their desire] to put an end to the religion of Islam wherever it is found and wherever its sun has spread and wherever its light has shined. In this operation, the people of Gaza are simply the sacred symbol of the Islamic world entire!

The forces of evil and the perfidious beasts that lurk and lie in wait for the innocent are not restricted to a lowly group of people. Nay, they are found in all sorts of groups the world over, who have all united in their enmity towards Islam and come together in their efforts, motivated by their intense hatred and desire to put an end this radiant light [Islam] that has spread across the world. Israel and its cowardly cohorts are nothing more than the lowliest symbol of this force doing its dastardly work today.

There are two symbols. The first symbol is that of Gaza, the sacred symbol of the Islamic world whose destruction is sought; the sacred symbol of Islam, the light of which some seek to extinguish. The second symbol is that of Israel and its cowardly cohorts. Israel is the symbol for the forces of evil that collude together across the world. These forces have agreed and decided that Islam and its supposed danger is to be dealt with wherever it is found. They have decided that they will rid themselves of the instability they suffer from that is a result of the dangerous spread of Islam here and there.

Servants of Allah! In the dawn of this new Hijrī year when the Islamic Umma remembers the migration of Allah’s Messenger sallallahu `alayhi wa-sallam and the first peaceful Islamic state established by him, we look and what do we see? We see the counterfeit mask of Islam dropping from the faces of those who openly professed – and perhaps continue to profess – Islam. Today, those counterfeit masks are dropping on account of this Divine test: the test of invitation to and assistance of Islam, moral values, and peace that our Lord called us to by sending the Messengers and Prophets.

Islam calls upon us to aid our oppressed brothers who are murdered and whose blood is shed day and night. When we look, we see those with the counterfeit masks joining the ranks of the enemy. When we look, we see the masks of Islam dropping from their faces – masks that have for so long fooled us time and time again!  It is as if they are saying – with either their tongue of statement or tongue of mute-statement – to those who urge them to fulfil the covenant and duty placed on their shoulders: “And who told you that we represent this Umma over whose chest we have erected our throne? Nay, we represent the forces of evil; we represent Israel – the lowliest and vilest symbol of evil the world over!”

Servants of Allah! This test has both an inner and outer aspect; it has a manifest aspect and a hidden aspect. Its manifest aspect is in the suffering that breaks our hearts. I don’t think that our Islamic history has ever recorded a test like this one. The Islamic world has faced many a plot, be it in the east or the west, however never has a plot reached this extent. That is the outward and manifest aspect of this test. The inner aspect of this test is a bounty from Allah, the Exalted and Sublime, in order to make clear and distinguish the truthful person from the liar, and in order to rent asunder the masks of hypocrisy.

With regards to Gaza and its people, from this position of mine I am unable to send them anything but one condolence that is represented in two verses from the Book of Allah, the Exalted and Sublime. It is my hope that both of these verses reach the ears of our brothers there who are observing steadfastness and patience. The first verse is Allah’s words: (If a wound should touch you, a similar wound has already touched the [opposing] people. And these days [of changing conditions] We alternate between the people so that Allah may make evident those who believe and may take to Himself from among you martyrs. And Allah does not like the wrongdoers. And that Allah may purify the believers and destroy the disbelievers.) The second verse is Allah’s words (and it is as if it was revealed today addressing them in order to cool the fire of their hearts): (If you do not aid him, Allah has already aided him when those who disbelieve drove him out as one of two when they [the Prophet sallallahu `alayhi wa-sallam and Abū Bakr d ] were in the cave and he said to his companion: “Do not grieve, indeed Allah is with us.” And Allah sent down His tranquility upon him and supported him with soldiers (Angels) you did not see, and made the word of those who disbelieved the lowest. And the word of Allah – that is the highest. And Allah is Exalted in Might and All-Wise.)

Dear brothers! Take notice of the difference between the two sentences here, you will realize the vast difference in meaning between the two of them. He, the Exalted, said: (…and made the word of those who disbelieved the lowest…). He did not say “And made the word of those who disbelieved the lowest and [made] the word of Allah the highest”. In reference to His word, He did not use the verb “made” [ja‘al], which is based on a particular time. Rather, He revealed it as an independent sentence: (And the word of Allah – that is the highest.) This means that His word is the highest in every era and at all times – those who know this know it and those who are ignorant of this are ignorant of it.

As for the rulers of the Arab and Islamic world, I say to them (and it is not me who is saying this, rather it is Islam and Allah’s warning and glad tidings that say this – and everyone is free to chose the path he will follow): the life span of this world is short, so consider the life span of man. It is quite possible that one of the rulers has death knocking on his door; perhaps he will wake up and not live till the evening. What treasures will he be able to take with him when he meets Allah? To where shall he carry his throne when he goes to Allah, the Exalted and Sublime, and is in his grave and then in the position in which he shall stand before our Master, the Lord of the worlds? Who among them thinks he will be brought before Allah and shall sit on his throne outstretched? You will only go to Allah naked and bereft of all of that, as Allah, the Exalted and Glorified, said. You will only go to Allah in a state of abject poverty, having lost all of that. Woe unto you! Take advantage of the few remaining hours of your life before you go to Allah and face wretchedness without end!

Regarding your brothers who seek your help and who ask Allah, the Exalted and Sublime, for victory through you, you must know that victory is only from Allah, however it is a test by which Allah examines some of His servants through others, in order to reward the former by means of the latter, or to punish the former because of their crimes against the latter. How strange is the state of man! He shuts his eyes to this clear reality! Take money, but don’t worship it. Sit in the chair in which Allah has placed you but don’t worship your chair day and night. You shall depart from this world: (There is no one in the heavens and earth but that he comes to the Most-Merciful as a servant. He has enumerated them and counted them with a full counting. And all of them are coming to Him on the Day of Resurrection alone.)

You shall return to Allah with one thing and one thing alone: your righteous actions; the services you offered to your brothers; your fulfilment and acting in accordance to your Master’s words: (The believers are nothing but brothers; so make peace between your brothers.)

He said: (…make peace…) How astounding is the state of the person who hears Allah’s words when they strike his ears, yet he chooses to corrupt that which is between him and his brothers. Their brothers in Allah adjure them to open up the paths in front of them; for their good-pleasure; for their injured; for those in dire straits among them; in order for brothers to embrace each other and help each other; yet these rulers respond with nothing but closed ears and closed paths. However, as for Israel, it need only command and they obey; its need only deliver its judgment and their heads will bow down in humiliating submission.

I ask Allah, the Exalted and Sublime, to make this test serve as a lesson. I ask that He grants us the ability to derive its lesson. As for this Levant [Syria] of ours, I ask Allah, the Glorified and Exalted, to increase it in patience. I ask Allah, the Glorified and Exalted, to increase it in success and to outstretch all bridges to cooperation that can possibly be outstretched: the bridges of victory and the bridges of brotherhood that Allah, the Exalted and Sublime, ordered us with. I ask Allah, the Exalted and Sublime, to make all of our motivations for the sake of His Good pleasure. I say these words of mine and I seek the forgiveness of Allah, the Tremendous; seek His forgiveness, He shall forgive you. All praise belongs to Allah. I praise Him abundantly as He commanded. And I bear witness that there is no god but Allah – testifying to His Godhood and enraging those who deny Him and disbelieve in Him. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger; His choice-elect and intimate friend; and the best Prophet sent forth. Allah sent him to the world entire as a bringer of glad-tidings and a warner. Servants of Allah! Fear Allah concerning that which He commands, and abstain from that which He forbids and rebukes. Expel the love of the world from your hearts, for when it overcomes a heart it imprisons it. Dear brothers! I am most certain that your hearts have all welled up with painful feelings. And I am most certain that these painful feelings are waiting for you to express them in ways that shall bring coolness to your breasts and lighten the scorching of your hearts. You have listened attentively to the words I have spoken, and now the time has come for you to express your feelings that, if anything, indicate an increase in faith in Allah and an increased attachment to brotherhood for Allah’s sake.

After we are finished with the Friday Prayer, you are all more than able to gather in this Mosque in order to raise your voices and express your feelings and release your moans unto the heavens, as humble supplications to Allah, the Exalted and Sublime, asking Him to respond. Cries that you can release and spread through the horizon – perchance they will reach the ears of the rulers, and perchance one of those cries will wake up the slumbering rulers and bring them to attention before they die.       After the completion of the Friday Prayer, go out to the courtyard of this Mosque to express it as a shout among shouts and an expression among expressions; one brotherhood expressing it as one and teaching it to those who are wont to go their own way and separate. I ask Allah, the Exalted and Sublime, to place among us one who will supplicate and whose supplication will be answered.

There is something further I wish to mention here, namely, a Sunna of old that was taught to us by the Messenger of Allah sallallahu `alayhi wa-sallam for use in these situations and difficulties. It is that we should supplicate with the nāzila supplication [during times of tribulation] after making [our backs] erect after coming up [from the bowing position] of the final unit of prayer: in this case, after coming up from the second unit of the Friday Prayer to be prayed now. It is the nāzila supplication in which we respond to Allah’s command, Exalted is He. All of you are believers, and without doubt there is among you someone whose supplication, Allah, the Exalted and Sublime, will answer.

O Allah! Send Your prayers upon Muhammad and upon the family of Muhammad, just as You sent Your prayers upon Ibrāhīm and the family of Ibrāhīm – and bless Muhammad and the family of Muhammad, just as You have blessed Ibrāhīm and the family of Ibrāhīm in the worlds, indeed, You are Glorious, worthy of all praise. May Allah be pleased with the rightly guided Caliphs and those who follow them in goodness until the Day of Judgment.

O Allah! Forgive the Muslims; men and women alike; and forgive the believing men and women; the living from them as well as the dead. Unite their hearts, o Possessor of might and nobility! O Allah! You are our Companion in times of loneliness and You are our hope in times of despair. You are what we have in the face of every affliction. O my Lord! Do not cause us in this hour to be distant from Your Mercy! Cause us to taste the coolness of Your kindness and gentleness, o Possessor of might and nobility!

O Allah! Answer our prayers. Grant us – o Allah – our hopes. O Allah! We seek a means of approach to You by virtue of our faith in You and our good thoughts concerning You. We seek a means of approach to You by virtue of Your statement in Your Clear Exposition (the Qur’ān): (Is He [not best] who responds to the desperate one when he calls Him and removes evil?). We seek a means of approach to You by virtue of Your love for Your Prophet Muhammad sallallahu `alayhi wa-sallam: that You answer our prayers. O Allah! Remove the afflictions from our brothers, the people of Gaza, and from all of the oppressed Muslims in the east and the west. O Allah! Repel from them the plot of the plotters.

O Allah! We place You upon their necks and seek refuge in You from their evil, o Possessor of might and nobility! O Allah! We ask You by virtue of the tears of the bereaved mothers and we ask You by virtue of the pure blood that has been spilt and that remains moist in the land of Gaza – we ask You, o Possessor of might and nobility on behalf of the elderly and the suckling babies; we ask You by virtue of the humility of our slavehood unto You and by virtue of our immense poverty unto You that You answer our prayers.

We are Your desperate slaves, so remove harm from us. We are Your servants who seek refuge at Your door; do not shut us off from Your door, o Possessor of might and nobility! You are the One who forgives our odious deeds. You are the Loving; pardon us with Your beautiful pardon, o Possessor of might and nobility. Do not destroy us – o Most Merciful of those who are merciful – on account of our sins, and do not destroy us on account of the sins of others, o Lord of the worlds! Do not destroy us on account of the transgressions of the rulers who have shown preference to their worldly life over Your command – those who prefer their seats of power and thrones over the honour of slavehood to You, o Possessor of might and nobility!

Give victory to Your Muslims servants in Gaza, o Possessor of might and nobility! I repeat Your statement in Your Clear Exposition (the Qur’ān): ( If you do not aid him, Allah has already aided him…)

O Allah! This is a promise that is not restricted to a specific time period; You are the Constant Victor and Helper; You are the Constant source of refuge: ( If you do not aid him, Allah has already aided him…) Give victory – o Allah – to Your believing servants. They are believers in You, o Lord of the worlds! They seek refuge in You, o Possessor of might and nobility.

O Allah! All of the thrones of the world – all of the tyrants [tughāt] of the world are unable to do anything in the face of Your victorious help by which you give victory to Your believing servants, o Lord of the worlds! Grant the victory You gave to Your Messenger yesterday, to Your Muslim servants today, o Possessor of might and nobility.

O Lord of the worlds! Forgive us our sins and pardon us with Your beautiful pardon, o Most-Merciful of who is asked and Most-Generous of who gives and answers – o Lord of the worlds! It is You who says: (It is by a mercy from Allah that you dealt softly with them.) You placed within the heart of Your Prophet Muhammad, mercy for Your penitent slaves: have mercy upon us if we swerve from Your Straight Path, o Possessor of might and nobility.

We are Your slaves and we believe in You and hold fast to Your guidance, o Most Merciful of those who show mercy! We are Your servants who are honoured by Your [gift] of Islam and Your Sacred Law. O Allah! O Allah! Respond to our supplications: o You who sees our station and who hears our words at this moment and who knows our secrets and outward selves!

From: Scholars on Gaza

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The Boycott of Bani Hashim

The spread of Islam among the tribes further aggravated the resentment of the Quraysh. They came together and decided to draw up a decree ostracizing Bani Hashim and Bani ‘Abdul Muttalib. It was decided that nobody should marry the women of these two clans nor give their women to them in marriage; neither should they buy from nor sell to them. Having solemnly agreed to these points, the agreement was put into writing and the parchment was hung in the K’aba in order to give it a religious sanction thereby making it mandatory for all.


Bani Hashim and Bani Abdul Muttalib joined Abu Talib after the boycott was enforced and withdrew to a narrow glen or wadi known as Sh’eb Abi Talib. It was the seventh year of the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) mission. Abu Lahab Ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib, however, decided to join with the Quraysh, leaving his kith and kin covered by the ban.

Weeks and months had passed, and the people of Hashim lived in misery and hunger. The ban was so rigorously enforced that the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) clan was reduced to eating acacia leaves and the cries of hungry children reverberated all over the valley. The caravans passed peacefully through the streets of Makkah but the Quraysh told the merchants not to buy from or sell anything to the two forsaken clans. This resulted to the prices being pegged so high that it was extremely impossible for the beleaguered people to purchase even their basic necessities.

The decree of proscription lasted for three years and for the same number of years Bani Hashim and Bani ‘Abdul Muttalib lived in exile and endured the hardships of a blockade. But not all Quraysh people were utterly humiliated and deprived. Those of them who were good-natured and kindhearted occasionally supplied food secretly to those who are in exile. However, the Prophet (peace be upon him) never ceased preaching the message he had brought to his own people and even towards others, whenever he got the opportunity. Bani Hashim on their part, endured every trouble with exemplary patience and fortitude.


The pitiable condition of the exiles gave rise to a feeling of resentment against the ban confronting the gracious and genial sons of the desert. Hisham Ibn ‘Amr Ibn Rabi’a took the initiative to end the boycott. He was amiable and kindhearted, as well as highly esteemed by the Quraysh. He approached some other considerate and well-disposed persons and put them to shame for allowing tyranny to linger on. At last, Hisham, supported by four other persons agreed to stand together till the decree of boycott was cancelled. Then, when the Quraysh had assembled in the sanctuary, Zuhayr whose mother ‘Atika was daughter of ‘Abdul Muttalib, cried out to the people, “O ye people of Makkah, shall we eat and drink while Bani Hashim should die of hunger, unable even to buy or sell? By God I will not take rest until this cruel and unjust decree is torn into pieces.”

Abu Jahl tried to intervene but found everybody against him. Mut’im Ibn ‘Adiy then went up to tear the document into pieces but discovered that with the exception of the words “In Your Name, O Allah” the rest of the document had already been eaten up by white ants. The Prophet (peace be upon him) had already told his uncle, Abu Talib, that God has given the white ants power over the document.

The blighted document was, however, taken out and thrown away and thus ended the boycott and everything that was written on it. (Ibn Hisham, Vol. I, pp. 350-51)

Lessons to be Learned from this Period of History:

Muhammed was neither seeking Prophethood nor was he dreaming about it. Allah used to inspire his heart to seek seclusion in order to worship and purify his soul, and to prepare his spirit to carry out the duties of the message. If Allah’s Messenger was seeking for it, he would not have been frightened when it came to him. When Muhammed came from the mountain in order to ask Khadijah (May Allah be pleased with her) about the incident, which took place in the cave, he was not assured that he was a Messenger until he saw Gabriel and heard him say, “O Muhammed, you are Allah’s Messenger and I am Gabriel.” Waraqah ibn Naufal and Khadijah (May Allah be pleased with her) assured him that what he saw in the cave was the same revelation as that which came to Moses .

Allah’s Messenger surprised the Arabs with something unfamiliar, thus they objected to it vehemently. Their primary concern was to put an end to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his companions. This is a historical refutation to those who claim that Muhammed was a preacher of nationalism and that he represented the hopes and aspirations of the Arabs at that time. This is a ridiculous claim because the historical events belie this notion, as we have witnessed. Those who made such remarks were simply biased in their nationalistic views and this led them to claim that Islam was a matter that originated from the Arabs and their thought. This is a clear denial of the prophecy of the Messenger and an insult to the message of Islam.

The phrase, which the Prophet (peace be upon him) uttered to his uncle and his rejection of the offer of the Quraysh, is evidence that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was truthful in his proclamation of Allah’s message and his desire to guide the people to the straight path. In the same way, the caller must be persistent and determined with their call no matter how gravely the wrongdoers oppose them. They must turn away from their temptations of honor and positions because the adversities disputing the path of truth should bring comfort to their consciences and hearts. Furthermore, Allah’s pleasure and His Paradise should be more valuable to them than the entire honor, positions, and wealth combined in this world.

The order of the Messenger (peace be upon him) to his companions (May Allah be pleased with them) concerning the first and second emigrations to Christian Abyssinia is an indication that the ties among religious people, even if their religions are different, are stronger and more reliable than their attachment those bereft of religious sensibilities. The revealed religions, in their authentic and agreed upon sources and principles, adhere to the greater social objectives in the same way that they are in agreement concerning belief in Allah, His Messengers and the Last Day. This makes the relation between them stronger than any bond based on family ties, blood or country with those who have no God-consiousness.


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