Friday, October 30, 2009

Hijab, islamic Hijab, what is Hijab

Women in Islam: Hijab

"In many Muslim societies, for example in traditional South East Asia, or in Bedouin lands a face veil for women is either rare or non-existent; paradoxically, modern fundamentalism is introducing it", writes Ibrahim B. Syed, Ph.D.

In the name of Allah the most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

Literally, Hijab means "a veil", "curtain", "partition" or "separation." In a meta- physical sense, Hijab means illusion or refers to the illusory aspect of creation. Another, and most popular and common meaning of Hijab today, is the veil in dressing for women. It refers to a certain standard of modest dress for women. "The usual definition of modest dress according to the legal systems does not actually require covering everything except the face and hands in public; this, at least, is the practice which originated in the Middle East." 1

While Hijab means "cover", "drape", or "partition"; the word KHIMAR means veil covering the head and the word LITHAM or NIQAB means veil covering lower face up to the eyes. The general term hijab in the present day world refers to the covering of the face by women. In the Indian sub-continent it is called purdah and in Iran it called chador for the tent like black cloak and veil worn by many women in Iran and other Middle Eastern countries. By socioeconomic necessity, the obligation to observe the hijab now often applies more to female "garments" (worn outside the house) than it does to the ancient paradigmatic feature of women's domestic "seclusion." In the contemporary normative Islamic language of Egypt and elsewhere, the hijab now denotes more a "way of dressing" than a "way of life," a (portable) "veil" rather than a fixed "domestic screen/seclusion." In Egypt and America hijab presently denotes the basic head covering ("veil") worn by fundamentalist/Islamist women as part of Islamic dress (zayy islami, or zayy shar'i); this hijab-head covering conceals hair and neck of the wearer.

The Qur'an advises the wives of the Prophet (SAS) to go veiled (33: 59).

In Surah 24: 31(Ayah), the Qur'an advises women to cover their "adornments" from strangers outside the family. In the traditional and modern Arab societies women at home dress quite differently compared to what they wear in the streets. In this verse of the Qur'an, it refers to the institution of a new public modesty rather than veiling the face.

...When the pre-Islamic Arabs went to battle, Arab women seeing the men off to war would bare their breasts to encourage them to fight; or they would do so at the battle itself, as in the case of the Meccan women led by Hind at the Battle of Uhud. This changed with Islam, but the general use of the veil to cover the face did not appear until 'Abbasid times. Nor was it entirely unknown in Europe, for the veil permitted women the freedom of anonymity. None of the legal systems actually prescribe that women must wear a veil, although they do prescribe covering the body in public, up to the neck, the ankles, and below the elbow. In many Muslim societies, for example in traditional South East Asia, or in Bedouin lands a face veil for women is either rare or non-existent; paradoxically, modern fundamentalism is introducing it. In others, the veil may be used at one time and European dress another. While modesty is a religious prescription, the wearing of a veil is not a religious requirement of Islam, but a matter of cultural milieu.2

"The Middle Eastern norm for relationships between the sexes is by no means the only one possible for Islamic societies everywhere, nor is it appropriate for all cultures. It does not exhaust the possibilities allowed within the framework of the Qur'an and Sunnah, and is neither feasible nor desirable as a model for Europe or North America. European societies possess perfectly adequate models for marriage, the family, and relations between the sexes which are by no means out of harmony with the Qur'an and the Sunnah. This is borne out by the fact that within certain broad limits Islamic societies themselves differ enormously in this respect." 3

The Qur'an lays down the principle of the law of modesty. In Surah 24: An-Nur: 30 and 31, modesty is enjoined both upon Muslim men and Muslim women 4:

Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for Greater purity for them: And God is Well-acquainted with all that they do. And say to the believing women That they should lower their gaze And guard their modesty: and they should not display beauty and ornaments expect what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that They must draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband's fathers, their sons, their husband's sons, or their women, or their slaves whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their ornaments.

The following conclusions may be made on the basis of the above-cited verses5:

1. The Qur'anic injunctions enjoining the believers to lower their gaze and behave modestly applies to both Muslim men and women and not Muslim women alone.

2. Muslim women are enjoined to "draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty" except in the presence of their husbands, other women, children, eunuchs and those men who are so closely related to them that they are not allowed to marry them. Although a self-conscious exhibition of one's "zeenat" (which means "that which appears to be beautiful" or "that which is used for embellishment or adornment") is forbidden, the Qur'an makes it clear that what a woman wears ordinarily is permissible. Another interpretation of this part of the passage is that if the display of "zeenat" is unintentional or accidental, it does not violate the law of modesty.

3. Although Muslim women may wear ornaments they should not walk in a manner intended to cause their ornaments to jingle and thus attract the attention of others.

The respected scholar, Muhammad Asad6, commenting on Qur'an 24:31 says " The noun khimar (of which khumur is plural) denotes the head-covering customarily used by Arabian women before and after the advent of Islam. According to most of the classical commentators, it was worn in pre-Islamic times more or less as an ornament and was let down loosely over the wearer's back; and since, in accordance with the fashion prevalent at the time, the upper part of a woman's tunic had a wide opening in the front, her breasts were left bare. Hence, the injunction to cover the bosom by means of a khimar (a term so familiar to the contemporaries of the Prophet) does not necessarily relate to the use of a khimar as such but is, rather, meant to make it clear that a woman's breasts are not included in the concept of "what may decently be apparent" of her body and should not, therefore, be displayed.

The Qur'anic view of the ideal society is that the social and moral values have to be upheld by both Muslim men and women and there is justice for all, i.e. between man and man and between man and woman. The Qur'anic legislation regarding women is to protect them from inequities and vicious practices (such as female infanticide, unlimited polygamy or concubinage, etc.) which prevailed in the pre-Islamic Arabia. However the main purpose is to establish to equality of man and woman in the sight of God who created them both in like manner, from like substance, and gave to both the equal right to develop their own potentialities. To become a free, rational person is then the goal set for all human beings. Thus the Qur'an liberated the women from the indignity of being sex-objects into persons. In turn the Qur'an asks the women that they should behave with dignity and decorum befitting a secure, Self-respecting and self-aware human being rather than an insecure female who felt that her survival depends on her ability to attract or cajole those men who were interested not in her personality but only in her sexuality.

One of the verses in the Qur'an protects a woman's fundamental rights. Aya 59 from Sura al-Ahzab reads:

O Prophet! Tell Thy wives And daughters, and the Believing women, that They should cast their Outer garments over Their Persons (when outside): That they should be known (As such) and not Molested.

Although this verse is directed in the first place to the Prophet's "wives and daughters", there is a reference also to "the believing women" hence it is generally understood by Muslim societies as applying to all Muslim women. According to the Qur'an the reason why Muslim women should wear an outer garment when going out of their houses is so that they may be recognized as "believing" Muslim women and differentiated from street-walkers for whom sexual harassment is an occupational hazard. The purpose of this verse was not to confine women to their houses but to make it safe for them to go about their daily business without attracting unwholesome attention. By wearing the outer garment a "believing" Muslim woman could be distinguished from the others. In societies where there is no danger of "believing" Muslim being confused with the others or in which "the outer garment" is unable to function as a mark of identification for "believing" Muslim women, the mere wearing of "the outer garment" would not fulfill the true objective of the Qur'anic decree. For example that older Muslim women who are "past the prospect of marriage" are not required to wear "the outer garment". Surah 24: An-Nur, Aya 60 reads:

Such elderly women are past the prospect of marriage,-- There is no blame on them, if they lay aside their (outer) garments, provided they make not wanton display of their beauty; but it is best for them to be modest: and Allah is One who sees and knows all things.

Women who on account of their advanced age are not likely to be regarded as sex-objects are allowed to discard "the outer garment" but there is no relaxation as far as the essential Qur'anic principle of modest behavior is concerned. Reflection on the above-cited verse shows that "the outer garment" is not required by the Qur'an as a necessary statement of modesty since it recognizes the possibility women may continue to be modest even when they have discarded "the outer garment."

The Qur'an itself does not suggest either that women should be veiled or they should be kept apart from the world of men. On the contrary, the Qur'an is insistent on the full participation of women in society and in the religious practices prescribed for men.

Nazira Zin al-Din stipulates that the morality of the self and the cleanness of the conscience are far better than the morality of the chador. No goodness is to be hoped from pretence, all goodness is in the essence of the self. Zin al-Din also argues that imposing the veil on women is the ultimate proof that men suspect their mothers, daughters, wives and sisters of being potential traitors to them. This means that men suspect 'the women closest and dearest to them.' How can society trust women with the most consequential job of bringing up children when it does not trust them with their faces and bodies? How can Muslim men meet rural and European women who are not veiled and treat them respectfully but not treat urban Muslim women in the same way? 7 She concludes this part of the book, al-Sufur Wa'l-hijab 8 by stating that it is not an Islamic duty on Muslim women to wear hijab. If Muslim legislators have decided that it is, their opinions are wrong. If hijab is based on women's lack of intellect or piety, can it be said that all men are more perfect in piety and intellect than all women? 9 The spirit of a nation and its civilization is a reflection of the spirit of the mother. How can any mother bring up distinguished children if she herself is deprived of her personal freedom? She concludes that in enforcing hijab, society becomes a prisoner of its customs and traditions rather than Islam.

There are two ayahs which are specifically addressed to the wives of the Prophet Muhammad (S) and not to other Muslim women.

These are ayahs 32 and 53 of Sura al-Ahzab. ".. And stay quietly in your houses," did not mean confinement of the wives of the Prophet (S) or other Muslim women and make them inactive. Muslim women remained in mixed company with men until the late sixth century (A.H.) or eleventh century (CE). They received guests, held meetings and went to wars helping their brothers and husbands, defend their castles and bastions.10

Zin al-Din reviewed the interpretations of Aya 30 from Sura al-Nur and Aya 59 from sura al-Ahzab which were cited above by al-Khazin, al-Nafasi, Ibn Masud, Ibn Abbas and al-Tabari and found them full of contradictions. Yet, almost all interpreters agreed that women should not veil their faces and their hands and anyone who advocated that women should cover all their bodies including their faces could not face his argument on any religious text. If women were to be totally covered, there would have been no need for the ayahs addressed to Muslim men: 'Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty.' (Sura al-Nur, Aya 30). She supports her views by referring to the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (S), always taking into account what the Prophet himself said 'I did not say a thing that is not in harmony with God's book.'11 God says: 'O consorts of the Prophet! ye are not like any of the (other) women' (Ahzab, 53). Thus it is very clear that God did not want women to measure themselves against the wives of the Prophet and wear hijab like them and there is no ambiguity whatsoever regarding this aya. Therefore, those who imitate the wives of the Prophet and wear hijab are disobeying God's will.12

In Islam ruh al-madaniyya (Islam: The Spirit of Civilization) Shaykh Mustafa Ghalayini reminds his readers that veiling pre-dated Islam and that Muslims learned from other peoples with whom they mixed. He adds that hijab as it is known today is prohibited by the Islamic shari'a. Any one who looks at hijab as it is worn by some women would find that it makes them more desirable than if they went out without hijab13. Zin al-Din points out that veiling was a custom of rich families as a symbol of status. She quotes Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Maghribi who also saw in hijab an aristocratic habit to distinguish the women of rich and prestigious families from other women. She concludes that hijab as it is known today is prohibited by the Islamic shari'a.14

Shaykh Muhammad al-Ghazali in his book Sunna Between Fiqh and Hadith 15 declares that those who claim that women's reform is conditioned by wearing the veil are lying to God and his Prophet. He expresses the opinion that the contemptuous view of women has been passed on from the first jahiliya (the Pre-Islamic period) to the Islamic society. Al-Ghazali's argument is that Islam has made it compulsory on women not to cover their faces during haj and salat (prayer) the two important pillars of Islam. How then could Islam ask women to cover their faces at ordinary times?16 Al-Ghazali is a believer and is confident that all traditions that function to keep women ignorant and prevent them from functioning in public are the remnants of jahiliya and that following them is contrary to the spirit of Islam.

Al-Ghazali says that during the time of the Prophet women were equals at home, in the mosques and on the battlefield. Today true Islam is being destroyed in the name of Islam.

Another Muslim scholar, Abd al-Halim Abu Shiqa wrote a scholarly study of women in Islam entitled Tahrir al-mara'a fi 'asr al-risalah: (The Emancipation of Women during the Time of the Prophet)17 agrees with Zin al-Din and al-Ghazali about the discrepancy between the status of women during the time of the Prophet Muhammad and the status of women today. He says that Islamists have made up sayings which they attributed to the Prophet such as 'women are lacking both intellect and religion' and in many cases they brought sayings which are not reliable at all and promoted them among Muslims until they became part of the Islamic culture.

Like Zin al-Din and al-Ghazali, Abu Shiqa finds that in many countries very weak and unreliable sayings of the Prophet are invented to support customs and traditions which are then considered to be part of the shari'a. He argues that it is the Islamic duty of women to participate in public life and in spreading good (Sura Tauba, Aya 71). He also agrees with Zin al-Din and Ghazali that hijab was for the wives of the Prophet and that it was against Islam for women to imitate the wives of the Prophet. If women were to be totally covered, why did God ask both men and women to lower their gaze? (Sura al-Nur, Ayath 30-31).

The actual practice of veiling most likely came from areas captured in the initial spread of Islam such as Syria, Iraq, and Persia and was adopted by upper-class urban women. Village and rural women traditionally have not worn the veil, partly because it would be an encumbrance in their work. It is certainly true that segregation of women in the domestic sphere took place increasingly as the Islamic centuries unfolded, with some very unfortunate consequences. Some women are again putting on clothing that identifies them as Muslim women. This phenomenon, which began only a few years ago, has manifested itself in a number of countries.

It is part of the growing feeling on the part of Muslim men and women that they no longer wish to identify with the West, and that reaffirmation of their identity as Muslims requires the kind of visible sign that adoption of conservative clothing implies. For these women the issue is not that they have to dress conservatively but that they choose to. In Iran Imam Khomeini first insisted that women must wear the veil and chador and in response to large demonstrations by women, he modified his position and agreed that while the chador is not obligatory, modest dress is, including loose clothing and non-transparent stockings and scarves.18

With Islam's expansion into areas formerly part of the Byzantine and Sasanian empires, the scripture-legislated social paradigm that had evolved in the early Medinan community came face to face with alien social structures and traditions deeply rooted in the conquered populations. Among the many cultural traditions assimilated and continued by Islam were the veiling and seclusion of women, at least among the urban upper and upper-middle classes. With these traditions' assumption into "the Islamic way of life," they of need helped to shape the normative interpretations of Qur'anic gender laws as formulated by the medireview (urbanized and acculturated) lawyer-theologians. In the latter's consensus-based prescriptive systems, the Prophet's wives were recognized as models for emulation (sources of Sunna). Thus, while the scholars provided information on the Prophet's wives in terms of, as well as for, an ideal of Muslim female morality, the Qur'anic directives addressed to the Prophet's consorts were naturally seen as applicable to all Muslim women.19

Semantically and legally, that is, regarding both the terms and also the parameters of its application, Islamic interpretation extended the concept of hijab. In scripturalist method, this was achieved in several ways. Firstly, the hijab was associated with two of the Qur'an's "clothing laws" imposed upon all Muslim females: the "mantle" verse of 33:59 and the "modesty" verse of 24:31. On the one hand, the semantic association of domestic segregation (hijab) with garments to be worn in public (jilbab, khimar) resulted in the use of the term hijab for concealing garments that women wore outside of their houses. This language use is fully documented in the medireview Hadith. However, unlike female garments such as jilbab, lihaf, milhafa, izar, dir' (traditional garments for the body), khimar, niqab, burqu', qina', miqna'a (traditional garments for the head and neck) and also a large number of other articles of clothing, the medireview meaning of hijab remained conceptual and generic. In their debates on which parts of the woman's body, if any, are not "awra" (literally, "genital," "pudendum") and many therefore be legally exposed to nonrelatives, the medireview scholars often contrastively paired woman's' awra with this generic hijab. This permitted the debate to remain conceptual rather than get bogged down in the specifics of articles of clothing whose meaning, in any case, was prone to changes both geographic/regional and also chronological. At present we know very little about the precise stages of the process by which the hijab in its multiple meanings was made obligatory for Muslim women at large, except to say that these occurred during the first centuries after the expansion of Islam beyond the borders of Arabia, and then mainly in the Islamicized societies still ruled by preexisting (Sasanian and Byzantine) social traditions.

With the rise of the Iraq-based Abbasid state in the mid-eighth century of the Western calendar, the lawyer-theologians of Islam grew into a religious establishment entrusted with the formulation of Islamic law and morality, and it was they who interpreted the Qur'anic rules on women's dress and space in increasingly absolute and categorical fashion, reflecting the real practices and cultural assumptions of their place and age. Classical legal compendia, medireview Hadith collections and Qur'anic exegesis are here mainly formulations of the system "as established" and not of its developmental stages, even though differences of opinion on the legal limits of the hijab garments survived, including among the doctrinal teachings of the four orthodox schools of law (madhahib). 20

Attacked by foreigners and indigenous secularists alike and defended by the many voices of conservatism, hijab has come to signify the sum total of traditional institutions governing women's role in Islamic society. Thus, in the ideological struggles surrounding the definition of Islam's nature and role in the modern world, the hijab has acquired the status of "cultural symbol."

Qasim Amin, the French-educated, pro-Western Egyptian journalist, lawyer, and politician in the last century wanted to bring Egyptian society from a state of "backwardness" into a state of "civilization" and modernity. To do so, he lashed out against the hijab, in its expanded sense, as the true reason for the ignorance, superstition, obesity, anemia, and premature aging of the Muslim woman of his time. He wanted the Muslim women to raise from the "backward" hijab into the desirable modernist ideal of women's right to an elementary education, supplemented by their ongoing contact with life outside of the home to provide experience of the "real world" and combat superstition. He understood the hijab as an amalgam of institutionalized restrictions on women that consisted of sexual segregation, domestic seclusion, and the face veil. He insisted as much on the woman's right to mobility outside the home as he did on the adaptation of shar'i Islamic garb, which would leave a woman's face and hands uncovered. Women's domestic seclusion and the face veil, then, were primary points in Amin's attack on what was wrong with the Egyptian social system of his time.21 Muhammad Abdu tried to restore the dignity to Muslim woman by way of educational and some legal reforms, the modernist blueprint of women's Islamic rights eventually also included the right to work, vote, and stand for election-that is, full participation in public life. He separated the forever-valid-as-stipulated laws of 'ibadat (religious observances) from the more time-specific mu'amalat (social transactions) in Qur'an and shari'a, which latter included the Hadith as one of its sources. Because modern Islamic societies differ from the seventh-century umma, time-specific laws are thus no longer literally applicable but need a fresh legal interpretation (ijtihad). What matters is to safeguard "the public good" (al-maslah al'-amma) in terms of Muslim communal morality and spirituality. 22

In The Veil and the Male Elite: A Feminist Interpretation of Women's Rights in Islam, the Moroccan sociologist Fatima Mernissi attacks the age-old conservative focus on women's segregation as mere institutionalization of authoritarianism, achieved by way of manipulation of sacred texts, "a structural characteristic of the practice of power in Muslim societies." In describing the feminist model of the Prophet's wives' rights and roles both domestic and also communal, Mernissi uses the methodology of "literal" interpretation of Qur'an and Hadith. In the selection and interpretations of traditions, she discredits some of textual items as unauthentic by the criteria of classical Hadith criticism. In Mernissi's reading of Qur'an and Hadith, Muhammad's wives were dynamic, influential, and enterprising members of the community, and fully involved in Muslim public affairs. He listened to their advice. In the city, they were leaders of women's protest movements, first for equal status as believers and thereafter regarding economic and sociopolitical rights, mainly in the areas of inheritance, participation in warfare and booty, and personal (marital) relations. Muhammad's vision of Islamic society was egalitarian, and he lived this ideal in his own household. Later the Prophet had to sacrifice his egalitarian vision for the sake of communal cohesiveness and the survival of the Islamic cause. To Mernissi, the seclusion of Muhammad's wives from public life (the hijab, Qur'an 33.53) is a symbol of Islam's retreat from the early principle of gender equality, as is the "mantel" (jilbab) verse of 33:59 which relinquished the principle of social responsibility, the individual sovereign will that internalizes control rather than place it within external barriers. Concerning A'isha's involvement in political affairs (the Battle of the Camel), Mernissi engages in classical Hadith criticism to prove the inauthenticity of the (presumably Prophetic) traditions "a people who entrust their command [or, affair, amr] to a woman will not thrive" because of historical problems relating to the date of its first transmission and also self-serving motives and a number of moral deficiencies recorded about its first transmitter, the Prophet's freedman Abu Bakra. Modernists in general disregard hadith items rather than question their authenticity by scrutinizing the transmitters' reliability.23 After describing the active participation of Muslim women in the battlefields as warriors and nurses to the wounded, Maulana Maudoodi24 says " This shows that the Islamic purdah is not a custom of ignorance which cannot be relaxed under any circumstances, on the other hand, it is a custom which can be relaxed as and when required in a moment of urgency. Not only is a woman allowed to uncover a part of her satr (coveredness) under necessity, there is no harm."

In the matter of hijab, the conscience of an honest, sincere Believer alone can be the true judge, as has been said by the Noble Prophet: "Ask for the verdict of your conscience and discard what pricks it."

Islam cannot be properly followed without knowledge. It is a rational law and to follow it rightly one needs to exercise reason and understanding at every step.25

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What is jihad and islamic views about jihad

What is jihad

First, we would like to start with stating that Islam does not call for violence; rather it abhors all forms of violence and terrorism, whether against Muslims or non-Muslims. Islam, moreover, calls for peace, cooperation, and maintaining justice, and provides for the happiness and welfare of humanity as a whole. This fact is declared in the Qur'an when Allah says: (Allah commands justice, the doing of good, and liberality to kith and kin, and He forbids all shameful deeds, and injustice and rebellion: He instructs you, that ye may receive admonition.) (An-Nahl 16: 90)

Islam makes it obligatory upon Muslims to stand by the oppressed regardless of their race, color, religion or affiliation and say NO to the oppressor and ask him to respond to the voice of reason and justice.

As regards the question you posed, we would like to cite for you the fatwa issued by the eminent Muslim scholar, Sheikh `Atiyyah Saqr, former Head of Al-Azhar Fatwa Committee, that reads:
Jihad is one of the words that have been misused due to misunderstanding its true meaning. The word “Jihad” is derived from the Arabic word “Jahd” which means fatigue or the word “Juhd” which means effort. A Mujahid is he who strives in the Cause of Allah and exerts efforts which makes him feel fatigued. The word “Jihad” means exerting effort to achieve a desired thing or prevent an undesired one. In other words, it is an effort that aims at bringing about benefit or preventing harm.

Jihad can be observed through any means and in any field whether material or moral. Among the types of Jihad are struggling against one’s desires, the accursed Satan, poverty, illiteracy, disease, and fighting all evil forces in the world.

There are many religious texts that refer to these types of Jihad. Among the forms of Jihad is defending life, property or honor. Those who die while engaging in Jihad are considered to be martyrs, as confirmed by Hadith. Jihad is also done to avert aggression on home countries and on all that is held sacred, or in order to face those who try to hinder the march of the call of truth.

In Islamic Shari`ah, Jihad in the Cause of Allah means fighting in order to make the Word of Allah most high, and the means for doing so is taking up arms in addition to preparation, financing and planning strategies. A large number of people are supposed to take part in Jihad including farmers, craftsmen, traders, doctors, engineers, workers, security men, preachers, writers and all those who directly or indirectly participate in the battle.

This type of Jihad was a major concern of Muslims in the beginning of the formation of the Islamic community, and a lot of verses of the Glorious Qur’an and the Hadith advocated and encouraged it. Almighty Allah says: (March forth, whether you are light (being healthy, young and wealthy) or heavy (being ill, old and poor) and strive with your wealth and your lives in the Cause of Allah.) (At-Tawbah 9: 41) Jihad is considered an individual duty (Fard `Ein), on all Muslims who are capable and fit to fight, in the event of being invaded by the enemy, and is considered a collective duty (Fard Kifayah) in the event of not being invaded. However, if the Imam (leader) calls to Jihad, people must respond to his call. This is evident from Allah’s Saying, (O you who believe! What is the matter with you, that when you are asked to march forth in the Cause of Allah (i.e. Jihad) you cling heavily on the earth?) (At-Tawbah 9: 38), and the Hadith narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim, "When you are called to Jihad, then go forth."

A question arises: is taking up arms the only means to spread Islam? Fighting originally had two main objectives: the first one was to ward off an actual or an anticipated aggression, and the second one was to clear the hurdles in the path of Da`wah (call for Islam). The battles of Badr, Uhud, Al-Khandaq and others are examples of staving off actual aggression and some of them were fought in order to aid the oppressed. Almighty Allah says: (But if they seek your help in religion, it is your duty to help them…) (Al-Anfal 8: 72). The conquest of Makkah was undertaken for the purpose of staving off an expected aggression after the Quraish had violated its covenant with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in Al-Hudaybyah; this was also the case of the expedition of Tabuk and other expeditions. It also cleared the obstacles placed in the path of Islam by enabling the Muslims to leave Madinah and spread the call to Islam all over the world because Islam is a universal message. Since Jihad was legalized in Islam and the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said that he was sent by Allah to wage war against disbelief and that his sustenance was “tied” to his spear, as related by Ahmad on the authority of Ibn `Umar, then we have to understand that Islam advocated acquiring the highest degree of power, and the reason for this is that Islam, at that time, was a newly rising power and was expected to be “attacked” by the already existing powers to prevent it from competing with them over power – a conflict that is common to all ages.

Therefore, the new entity had to be defended in order to prove its strength and deliver its message. If Islam were a local temporary call, taking up arms would be just for the purpose of defense, but Islam is a universal call that had to reach the whole world. However, the only means at that time was traveling, which was, and still is fraught with dangers; so taking up arms was necessary to prevent the enemies from standing in the path of the Islamic call.

While arms were necessary to remove the hurdles in the past, their sole mission now is to defend Islam against those who want to harm it and harm those who embrace it. As for spreading Islam, there are several means that spare people the trouble of traveling, such as newspapers, books, the Internet and other means that have known no boarders, although they may be controlled to some extent. However, radio stations have become of such power and prevalence that they can reach people while being at home or even in bed, and they can neither be prevented by any authority, nor held back by any door or border.

The superficial understanding of the legality of fighting contained in the verses of the Glorious Qur’an and the Prophet’s hadiths may give the impression that Islam has been spread by force and that if it had not been for force, Islam would not have existed or become predominant in many countries or embraced by such a large number of people. But how could this be said about Islam which is the religion of mercy? Allah Almighty says: (But if the enemy inclines towards peace, do thou also incline towards peace and trust in Allah.) (Al-Anfal 8: 61) .The Prophet also says: "O people! Do not wish to face the enemy (in a battle) and ask Allah to save you (from calamities) but if you should face the enemy, then be patient and let it be known to you that Paradise is under the shades of swords.”

The call to Islam is not meant to be imposed on anyone, people are completely free to make their choice. In fact, creeds can never propagated by a dagger. Allah Almighty says to Noah: (Shall We compel you to accept it when you are averse to it?) (Hud 11: 28). Allah says to Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him): (Wilt thou compel mankind against their will to believe!) (Yunus 10: 99); many other verses convey the same meaning.

While there are texts that explicitly indicate the absolute order to fight, there are others that restrict it to whether it is for the purpose of staving off an aggression, preventing an expected aggression or making it a punishment for violating a covenant. Allah Almighty says: (Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits.) (Al-Baqarah 2: 190). And says: (But if they violate their oaths after their covenant and taunt you for your faith, fight thee the chiefs of unfaith.) (At-Tawbah 9:12). In fact, the previous verse specifies the meaning of the verses: (And fight the pagans all together as they fight you all together.) (At-Tawbah 9: 36), And: (And slay them wherever ye catch them.”

As for those who call for taking up arms to change the current state of the Islamic communities, we have previously said that any means of reform based on violence will not achieve its goals. In addition to this, exercising power requires extensive preparation and planning including a careful study of all existing circumstances before taking such a step, i.e. calling arms. However, this should not be understood as undermining the importance of Jihad in its general sense. Jihad will continue till the end of days in all its forms and through all its means. This is evident from the Hadith narrated by Abu Dawud: “Jihad will continue from the day I was sent by Allah till the last people of my nation fight against the Antichrist (Dajjal), it will neither be stopped by oppression nor abstention”. This Hadith denotes the continuance of Jihad in all fields including armed Jihad, is an integral element; this fact is evident from referring to fighting against the Antichrist.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Seerah of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

Seerah of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)


Literal meaning:

Seerah is a word of Arabic language whose plural is seer. Actually this word is taken from saar, seren or mseerahn which are used in the meaning of walking. may be this is the reason that good repute is also referred to as hasan-alseerah

The word seerah is also used in the meaning of distance, as the meaning of alsiyara is voyage.

Again the word seerah is also used to tell the doings of earlier people.

According to another Arabic dictionary Taj-ul-uroos al-seerah means way to doing something.

Two other Arabic dictionaries Almuajam Alazam and Msbah-ul-Lughat give these meanings of the word seerah:

1. To leave - to depart

2. Way to doing something

3. Appearance

4. Sunnah

5. Way of living

6. Habit

7. Story - tales of earlier people

According to Dr. Sayad Abdullah the meaning of word seerah is not only limited to sunnah, way of living or appearance but it also includes the internal personality, important achievements and life histories of big personalities.

Professor Usman Yourish presents this aaya of Quran to describe the meaning of seerah:

“O prophet, tell the people to stroll on the earth to see what is the end of people who denied”.

And he says that the word seer means to look for solid and positive realities with complete focus, to think profoundly and to build ones personality with good conduct and deeds. So the seerah is a collection of rules and actions of a chaste and virtuous person.

Figurative meaning:

We have described the literal meaning of seerah but the actual use of this word is to describe the life history, behavior and habits of the prophet Muhammad SAW. The earlier books of seerah were called maghazi so in the meaning of seerah included the description of prophet Muhammad’s maghazi and afterwards his life histories description also included. Maghazi are those wars in which prophet Muhammad participated himself, and accordingly maghazi not only encircled the ghazwat but it also covered the whole life of prophet and all the incidents of the age of prophet.

Difference between Seerah and Biography

Biography is another word that is usually thought to be the synonym of seerah, but in fact there is a minute difference between these two. There are many definitions of biography, for example, dictionary of world literature by Joseph T. Shelly says that biography is a description of the ideas and doings of a person from his birth till his death, i.e. it is a picture of a person’s personality, a tale of his external attitude and internal feelings. And biography is that type of history that is not about human groups or casts but about a single person.

In contrast to this, seerah is an ideal picture of a person life story, which is free of all types of misdeeds and wrongdoing. The prophet of Islam SAW is at the height of human goodness, and although his seerah is composition of accounts of his life yet this seerah is superior and attractive from all aspects. This is why it is wrong to think seerah as a biography.

Seerah and History

In Islamic disciplines seerah is said to be a semi-historical and semi-biographical subject, and there is no doubt that Muslim’s historical art has impressions from the art of seerah writing. The evolution of art of history writing and the art of seerah writing of Arabs took place along with one another. The art of seerah writing gave very solid grounds for the development of the art of history writing. But we should not ignore the fact that there is some difference between history and seerah writing. The topics of history normally include empire, nations or era, and accordingly personalities can also be discussed. On the other hand the seerah writer selects the person as a topic and secondarily he discusses the empire or era.

Seerah and Hadith

The literal meaning of hadith is to copy a news or information. And in its figurative meaning its that sentence that is said by the prophet Muhammad SAW.

Difference between hadith and seerah is that while writing seerah special attention is given to the timings of the events, while in hadith there are some parts of the events of prophet Muhammad’s life but these are without any order or organization. Anyhow there is no doubt that the most authentic material about seerah is found in the books of hadith. Although in some places seerah writers did not took care of the sequence of rawayat as done by hadith writers, and this is why in the eyes of most people hadith is authentic rather then seerah.


The important sources of seerah of Prophet Muhammad SAW are:

1. The Holy Quran

2. Books of Hadith

3. Books of maghazi

4. Books of history

5. Books of tafseer

6. Books of asma’a alrijal

7. Books of shuma’l

8. Books of Dala’l

9. Books of aasaar and akhbar

10. Ma’asrana poetry

1. The Holy Quran

The holy Quran is the basic source of the seerah. In this divine book the important parts of the Prophet Muhammad’s seerah are present. His early life, the orphaned times, poverty, financial relaxation in youth, search of the Truth, selection for being a prophet, revelation, his call towards Islam, opposition of kuffar, spread of Islam, meraj, migration to Habsha, migration to madina, important ghazwat, his family life and his behavior and habits – all these can be found in Quran. Sir William Muir has said “there is no exaggeration in the statement that Quran contains all the basic facts required to know the seerah or the earlier times of Islam, and all the researchable parts of Muhammad SAW life can be judged by this book. So we can find facts about all the religious belief of Prophet Muhammad, his personal life and his public affairs in this book with authentication. Quran is a mirror that reflects the seerah and the character of Muhammad SAW. This is why this was popular like a phrase that the seerah of prophet Muhammad SAW was Quran”.

Professor Sayad Nawab Ali writes that “This (Quran) first source of maghazi and seerah was saved by writing and learning by heart, in the early life 23 years of prophet’s life. And after one year of his death Abu Bakar RA compiled the complete Quran as one book. And Usman RA sent its 6 copies to balad-e-islamiya in 25 A.H. This was the Quran that was studied by the muslims who did saw the Prophet Muhammad SAW with their own eyes.

The Quran on one hand describes some important aspects of prophet Muhammad’s life and on the other hand it also discusses some events of his life. It also counts some features of his character. All this is not as arranged as it is in the books of seerah and history, but its simple and beautiful, and is always conveying some ethical lesson. The prophet was sent to a specific county, in a specific time and in a specific society, but the message that was given to you in the form of Quran was for the whole world, for all times and for all societies. The teaching of Quran is for the whole mankind and the prophet who was given Quran represents the best way of acting upon these teachings. Allah the almighty says that the seerah of the prophet Muhammad SAW is the best that can be followed by all believers.

The first image that Quran gives about the prophet Muhammad SAW is the image of a great messenger a messenger whose news was given through divine messages in earlier times. Quran has given him different names like Muhammad, Ahmad, Muzamil, Mudassir, Nabi-e-ummi, Hadi, Shahid, Mubashir, Noor, Rehmatul-almeen, Rasool-e-sadiq, beloved of Allah and appreciated by angels. But his most favorite attribute in the light of Quran is his being human and being the prophet of Allah. And this proves that his actual position was of a human being who was given the designation of the prophet.

The Quran gives clear reflections of prophet Muhammad’s life in Makka and in Madina. Here is a list that shows that where in Quran what events are talked about.


Surah : Ayah
Financial relaxation in youth

93 : 6-8

Caste life before he was given prophethood


His search for reality






Call towards Islam in Makka


Opposition of Quraish and their torture


Problems in the way of Islam


The event of Meraj


Migration of muslims towards habsha


The plan of murder of prophet


Migration to Madina


Construction of masjid-e-quba













The agreement of Hudabiya





And this is not all. Quran also contains some glimpses about his married life, his social contacts, his character and his habits.

Married life


Social contacts

Several aaya of Al-Imran and Al-Ahzab


Several aaya of Tooba, Al-Imran and Al-Ahzab

Behavior and conduct

Several aaya of Tooba, Al-Imran and Al-Ahzab

The special position of wives of prophet


The event of Tehreem


Nikah of Zainab RA with Zaid RA, divorce and marriage to the prophet.


Prophet’s more attention to the leaders of Makka and ignorance from the blind companion


Quran also takes a momentary view of the prophets heartiest friends and his wickedest enemies. Its talks about Abu Baker RA as the companion of Soor without mentioning his name and also talk about Lahab and his wife. A complete soorah is given the name after him, who did his best to give the Allah’s messenger pain and distress. The Quran gives both of these the news of there bad consequences. (Al-Lahab 111:1 - 5)

Similarly Quran also talks about the father of Khalid bin Walid whose name was Walid bin Gughaira. He was wealthy, greedy, power loving and proud person. He denied the divine book and used to call it a result of magic. He spent his days and nights in the opposition of the prophet SAW. Quran do not mention his name but he is given the news of hell.

So the conclusion is that there is no aspect of the prophet’s life which Quran ignores. Moulana Abul Kalam Azad writes “if all the books about history of Islam are lost and only Quran lives, even then the character of the prophet could be known. Quran will the the world that who was the prophet who was given this Quran, where was he born, what was the condition of his nation, what life did he spend, what did he did with the world and what the world did with him. How was his social life and how was his personal life. How was his days spent and how did he used to spend his nights. How much life did he got. What important events occurred in his life. And when the time came that he left the world, what was the condition of this world”.

Almost the same opinion is given by Sayad Abul Al’a Mududi. He writes “if all the collection of books about seerah is lost that is compiled by the Islamic scholars, not only a single page is left which could tell about the prophet Muhammad and only the Book of Allah is left, then it could answer all the questions about the person who brought Quran, that could arise in the mind of a student.

2. Books of Hadith

After Quran the major source of seerah of the prophet Muhammad SAW are hadith, whose number of narrators reach more then one lakh. Hadith writers compiled these books after much effors, struggle and endeavor, and hence provided such a remarkable sources for seerah whose example cant be found.

The prophet Muhammad SAW himself wanted that his sayings should reach ummah in their right form. It is said that when he used to talk, he used to utter words slowly and clearly, so that the listeners could understand completely your point of view, and could also remember your sayings. He used to repeate important points three times, so that those stay in the minds of the listeners. He also urged the that his sayings should be told to those who dint listened. There are some hadith in this respect like:

“Those who are present should take these to those who are not”.

“You listen from me, others will listen from you, and rest will listen form them”.

“Allah will make his face fresh, who listened to my words, and remembered those, and even told those who did not heard”.

He also instructed that the hadith should always be verified.

“The person who will relate any false words with me, he should keep in mind that his place is in hell”.

Sayad Suleman Nadwi writes “the people who used to take the responsibility of writing the riwayat about prophet’s sayings, doings, and daily routine are called Rawiyan-e-Hadith, or muhaditheen or Arbab-e-Seer. These include companion’s of prophet Muhammad, Tabiyeen, Taba-Tabiyeen, and some people from the 4th century A.H. When all the details about the prophet’s sayings and doings were recorded, then all the details i.e. history of life, character etc about these narrators was also recorded. The number of such people reach about one 100,000. The details about these is collected in Asma-Arijaal.

Editing of books of Hadith

The formal editing of the books of hadith started in the rein of Umer bin Abdul Aziz (died 101 .H). but this fact is proved that some companions started collecting the prophet’s saying personally. In the beginning the prophet was worried that the hadith may mix with the Quran so he allowed only the writing of Quran. But afterwards when a big portion of Quran was revealed and many companions learned it by heart, then he permitted the writing of hadith.

The booklets of hadith that were formulated in the life of prophet are not now present in the same form, but they became the part of some later books. For example Imam Tarimzi narrates from Saad bin Abada Ansari RA that he had collected some hadith in a booklet. It is said his son uses to narrate hadith from this booklet. Ammam Bukhari says that this booklet was copied from the book of Abdullah bin Abi Aoffa who wrote it with his own hands. Jabbir bin Abdullah also contained a booklet of hadith.

Here I give a list and a brief description of the booklets and the books of Hadith.


This was the most popular booklet of the times of prophet that was compiled by Abdullah bin Umro bin Alaas.

Saheefa-e-Hammam bin Munabba

Abbu Huraira RA also compiled many booklets of hadith but most of them were lost. Just one was left that is narrated by one of the students of Abbu Huraira RA, whose name was Hamman bin Munabba. This booklet is known by his name.


Ammam abu Hanifa was a great faqeeh, but he also contributed his services for the compilation of hadith. His reference work is said to be Kitab-ul-Asaar.


After Kitab-ul-Asaar, the most important collection of hadith is Mo’ta’, compiled by Imam Malik bin Ans (93A.H – 179A.H.). Meaning of Mo’ta’ is decorated. Thus this book is a collection of butiful ahadith of prophet Muhammad.

Masnad Ahmad Bin Jumbal

This is the biggest collection of hadith. It contains about 40,000 Ahadith.

Sahah Sitta

These are the six books that are said to be the best collection of hadith. These books that are popular with the name of there compilers

1. Bukhari

2. Muslim

3. Abu Daood

4. Nisaai

5. Tarimzi

6. Ibn majja

The previous collections were compiled with only one objective. i.e. to save the ahadith. They were not arranged and also contained hadith whose validity was doubtful. These books arranged the ahadith with specific topics and removed the hadith whose validity was unproven.

Different Collections

Some scholars selected some of hadith from other books and arranged them in new collections. Some of these are as under.

1. Msabeeh-al-sunnah

2. Mashkah almsabeeh

3. Jama almsaneed wa alqaab

4. Beher almsaneed

3. Books of Maghazi

Another important source of seerah of prophet Muhammad is those books that were formulated by the people of earlier times. Magazi’s actual meaning is wars but its figurative meaning is those wars in which the propher Muhammad SAW participated himself. Magahzi should have contained only the description of the wars in which the prophet participated but afterwards this word also covered the whole life of prophet. This is why the books about prophet’s life are called maghazi as well as seerah.

Similar to the books of ahadith the books of seerah and maghazi were also started formulating in the times of Umer bin Abdulaziz but its earlier traces are also found in the previous times. Prior to the foremost writers of seerah for example Ibn-Ishaq we find some scholars form tabiyeen and taba-tabiyeen who compiled some books of seerah and maghazi. Although those books are lost with the passage of time but their refferences can be found in the books of later times. These are

q Abban bin Usman

q Urwah bin Alzubair

q Sharjeel bin Saad

q Wahab bin Munaba

q Abdullah bin Abbi Bakar

q Asim bin Umer Katada

q Ibn-e-Shahab Zahry

q Abu-ul-Aswad Muhammad bin Abdul Rehman

q Muammar Suleman bin Sulman

q Muamir bin Rashid

q Abu Masher bin Alsindi

q Moosa bin uqba.

Aban Bin Usman

The first to formulate books on maghazi and seerah was Aban bin Usman who was the son of the third Caliph Usman bin Afaan. He was popular as the scholar of hadith, fiqh, and maghazi. Being the son of Usman RA he had the facility to know about he prophet’s life with authentication. So it is told that he composed the first book of maghazi, which was narrated by Mughaira bin Abdul Rehman.

Urwah bin Alzubair

Urwah bin Alzubair bin Aluloom (23-97A.H) was also a major scholar of maghazi and hadith. No part of the book of Abaan bin Usman’s maghazi reached us but some segments of the maghazi written by Urwah bin Alzubair can be found in the books of seerah. His own book “Almaghazi” can not be found anymore. Muhammad Ibn Ishaq, Waqadi, Tibri and Ibn Sayad Alnaar copied contents from the maghazi written by Urwah bin Alzubair in there own books. These are the narration that has reached us about the prophet Muhammad SAW. Urwah bin Zubair has also included some improtant events of prophet’s life along with the details of ghazwat, e.g. the situation at the time of revelation and migration to habsha.

Urwah had close relations with the family of prophet. His father Zubair bin Alowam was one of the ashra mubashra. Asma bin Abu Bakar was your mother and Aisha RA was his auntie. So he used to ask questions from his father, mother and auntie and collected information about the prophet SAW. This is the reason that the valuable information is found in his book which was not accessed by other tabiyeen.

Wahab bin Munaba

Another important writer of maghazi is Wahab bin Munaba, who was the native of southern Arabia but was Iranian . He had great interest in the religious books and narration of Judaism and Christianity. His brother Hamaam bin Munaba’s writings are referred in the books of hadith. Wahab bin Munaba narrates his writings from Abdullah Ibn Abbas, Abu Huraira RA, and Jabir RA but the hadith writers has taken his narration very less often. For example bukhari has taken only one hadith form him.

Asim bin Umer

Asim bin Umer bin Qatada Al-Ansari (dead 120 AH) was also a popular tabiyee. According to Ibn-e-Saad he was ordered by Umer bin Abdul Aziz to stay in the mosque of Damascus and to teach people about the maghazi. So he obeyed this order. It is said that if after some time he came back to his home in Madina and continued teaching maghazi.

Muhammad bin Ishaq met Asim bin Umer in Madina and until he stayed there he continuously attended the lessons of Asim bin Umer. This is why he has copied some parts from the maghazi of Asim bin Umer in his book. Other then Ibn Ishaq, alwaqadi has also copied many narrations form Asim bin Umer. His most narrations are about the prophet’s life in Makka, and the earlier days of Islam.

Sharjeel bin Saad

Sharjeel bin Saad (died 123 AH) was a freed slave, and belonged to the southern Arabia but his most of the time was spend in Madina. It is said that he had a life of more then hundred years. Those companions of prophet form which he has taken the narrations include Zaid bin Harris, Abu Huraira, and abu Saeed Alhazry. Like Asim bin Umair he also had great interest in seerah and maghazi. There is also a chance that he had taken the material for maghazi from Urwah bin Alzubair.

Ibn-e-Shahab Zahry

Muhammad bin Ubaid bin Shahab Alzahry (51 – 124 AH) was a great tabyiee. He was specially popular for writing and editing hadith, tafseer, fiqh, history and maghazi. He spend his earlier times in Madina and took the benefit from the company of Aban bin Usman, Urwah bin Zubair, Saeed bin Almseeb, Ali bin Husain etc.

Ammam Zahri was requested to write a book on seerah by Khalid bin Abdullah Alqusra. Zahri fulfilled this request heartily. That book is now not present but its references are found in the later books of seerah.

Muhammad bin Ishaq

Muhammad bin Ishaq bin Ysaar bin Kayar (85 – 151AH) was the first seerah writer whose book “Kitab Almaghazi” has reached us with most of its part in its original form. It is his popularity that dint let the attention go to people prior to him. His book is popular with the names like “Kitab Almaghazi wa alseer” and “ Kitaab alseerah wa almubtada wal maghazi”. Most part of this book is saved by Abn Hashaam in his book “Seeraht-e-Rasool”.

Muhammad bin Ishaq was also born in Mwali family. His father Ishaq bin Yassar and his uncle Moosa bin Yassar also had very deep interest in hadith. Ishaq was the student of Urwah bin zubair. So he had the facility to extract seerah from hadith. Muhammad bin Ishaq kept contact with Madina’s popular tabiyeen, Asim bin Umer, Abdullh bin Abi Bakkar and Ibn Shahaab Zahri. So most of the hadith in his book was from these three. He took benefit from 114 teacher amongst which more then hundred were form Madina. Similarly the number of his students were also very huge, amongst which fifteen students narrated his book. The most authentic narration is by salma bin alafzal.

Ibn Hashaam

Abu Muhammad Abdul Malik bin Hashaam bin Ayoob Al hamery (died 213 or 218 AH) will live forever due to his remarkable book “Seeraht-e-Rasool Allah”, because this book had the pride to reach us completely in its original form. This book is in fact a better version of the book by Ibn Ishaq.


Waqadi enjoyed the company of popular hadith writers like Malik bin Anas, Muammar bin Rashid, Abu Muashar Alsindi, and Abi Jahreeh. He was also interested in fiqh, hadith, maghazi and history.

These are the four books of Waqadi that are about seerah

1. Tareekh al Maghazi wal Mabas

2. Azwaj Alnabi

3. Wafat Alnabi

4. Alseerah.

There are some other books by Waqadi that are basically about history but contains many imortant seerah topics.

Other writers:

There are countless other writers who contributed in the seerah writing. Names of some are given here:

q Abu Maasher Alsindi

q Mutamar Suleman bin Tarkhan

q Muhammad bin Saad

Some important books:

q Sharaf Almustafa by Hafiz Abu Saeed Abdulmalik

q Seerah Ibn Abdulber by Ammam Abu Umer Yousaf bin Abdulbar

q Alrwooz Alanaf by Qasim Abdulrehman

q Sharaf Almustafa by Hafiz Abdulrehman ibn Jozi

q Seerah ibn Abi Tay by Yahya bin Hameeda

q Seerah Gazroni by Sheikh Zaheer-ud-din Ali

q Khalish Alseer by Muhib al deen Ahmad

q Seerah Damyaty by Hafiz Abdul Momen Aldmiyaty

q Seerah Khalati by Alauldeen Bin Muhammad Alkhallati

q Ayoon Alasar by Abu Fattah bin Muhammad

4. Books of history

Another important source of seerah is the books of Islamic history. Basically these are not the books of seerah but these are the description of happenings and events about Islamic world’s leaders, important personalities and Muslim countries. But while describing all this they also talk about the founder of Islam, his life, his achievements and his deeds. In these books of history the biography of Prophet Muhammad is described, somewhere briefly and somewhere in detail. In the old books of history some narrations are those that are similar to those that are found in books of maghazi. But some are those that are found explicitly in the books of history only. This is why these books are considered as an important source of seerah. There are many books written about Islamic history but regarding seerah of the prophet Muhammad SAW most important are those which describe a lot about prophet’s personality. Some description of such books follows.

The earliest people who wrote books about Islamic history are Abu Maasher Alsindhee (died 170 AH), Waqadi (died 207 AH) and Madayeene (died 225AH). Abu Maasher had great interest in history along with seerah and maghazi, but unfortunately we lost his book about history along with his other books. Some parts of his books were saved in the books of Tibree.

Ibn Nadeem has talked bout twenty seven books that are written by Waqadi. These books are about different aspects of Islamic history, but one book “Kitab Alkabeer” is most important. This book contains events that occurred till 179 AH. This book is also not found any more but some parts of it are copied in the book of Tibree. Other then this there is another book of Waqadi named “Kitab Altabqaat” which contains seerah of the prophet and some history about prophet’s companions and Tabeyeen. A large portion of this book is saved by Ibn saad in his book “Tabqaat ul kabeer”.

Madayeene is another popular historian, who wrote seerah and maghazi. He also wrote about the history of Abaasies. Ibn Nadeem says that the number of books by Madayeene is about 245.

Some other books and names of their writers are as under:

q Tabqat al kabeer by Muhammad Ibn Saar (died 230 AH)

q Tareekh Sagheer-o-Kabeer by Amman Bukhari (died 256 AH)

q Kitab Al Maarraf by Abu Muhammad Abdullah bin Muslim (213 – 270 AH)

q Tareekh-e-Yaqoobi by Ahmen bin abi Yaqoob (died 284 AH)

q Tareekh-e-Tibree by Abu Jaffer Muhammad bin Jareer Al Tibree (235 – 310 AH)

q Tareekh Ibn Abe Kazeema by Ahmad bin Abi Kazeema (205 – 299 AH)

q Tambeeh wa Ashraf by Abu Alhassan bin Alhusain bin Ali Almasoodi (died 345 AH)

q Almuntzim by Abu Alfarah Abdulrehman ibn Jozi (510 – 597 AH)

q Tareekh Al kamil by Az Aldeen Ali bin Muhammad Aljazree(555 – 630AH)

q Tareekh Abu Alfida by Amad-udeen Abu Alfida Ismaeel bin Ali (672 – 732 AH)

q Tareekh Alislam by Shams-addeen Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Ahmad Almaroof beh allama Zehby (673 – 748 AH)

q Al badaiya and Alnhaya by Ibn Kaseer (710 – 774 AH)

q Tareekh Ibn Khaldoon by Abu Zaid Abdul Rehman bin Muhammad bin Khaldoon Almaghrabi (732 – 808 AH)

q Amraaa Alasmaa by Ahmen bin Ali Taqi Aldeen Almaqrezi (776 – 845 AH)

5. Books of Tafseer

Another important source of seerah is books of tafseer, written for the clarification of Quran. The Quran is the best source to know about prophet’s seerah. When those parts of Quran are described in detail that refers to life of Prophet Muhammad, many aspects of seerah are also discussed. These tafaseer also prove to be very informative when we want to know that what were the times, reasons and places when these ayaah of Quran were reavealed. This is why the books of tafaseer are said to be a precious fountain for the knowledge of seerah

The tafseer writing started in the times of companions of prophet Muhammad SAW. The companions, who were mufasireen, were not many in number but there narrations are important because whatever they said was what they heard from the prophet directly or indirectly.

Amman Jallal Adeen Syoty writes that among the companions of prophet ten were popular as muffasirs which are

q Abu Bakar RA

q Umer RA

q Usman RA

q Ali RA (the four caliphs)

q Abdullah bin Masood RA

q Abdullah bin Abbas RA

q Abye bin Kaab RA

q Zaid bin Sabit RA

q Abu Mosa Ashery RA

q Abdullah bin Zubair RA

Other then these some other companions are also known for the tafseer of Quran although their number is comparatively less. The following names are very important in this respect:

q Anas bin Malik RA

q Abu Huraira RA

q Abdullah bin Umer RA

q Jabbir bin Abdullah RA

q Abdullah bin Umro Alaas

q Ayisha Sadeeqa RA

Tafaseer of times of Sahaba

The most populer of the tafseer of times of sahaba is “Tafseer Ibn Abaas” by Abdullah bin Abaas (died 76 AH)

The second important tafseer is by Abye bin Kab Ansari (died 19 AH)

No one wrote any complete tafseer of Quran in the times of sahaba. The proper work on writing tafaseer was started in the second century AH.

Tafaseer in the times of Tabaeen and afterwards:

Tabiaeen were the people who learned form sahaba. And taba tabyeen were those who learned for the tabeyeen. Much work on writing tafseer was done in there times.

6. Books of Asma-Alrajaal

Another source of seerah is the books that are present in numbers of hundreds and thousands, which are developed by the historian with a great effort and struggle. The life history of the prophet is describe by the Sahaba and these narrations were heard and noted by tabiyeen, so it was important to collect information about these sahaba and tabiyeen. According to Mulana Shiblee Naumani “It was important to find out that the person who came in silsila-e-riwayatt, who were thay, what did they used to do?, what were there daily routines? How was there repute? How was there memory? Were they educated? - hundreds of hadith writters spend their lives for this task. They went to each cities, met the narraters, lived with then and find out each detail about them. Those who were not present in that time, the information about those was asked from the people who used to live with them. As a result an art was born with the help of which now we can know the life histories of about more then 100,000 people”.

The books in which these life histories were collected were said to be Alasma Alrijaal. It is said that the one who begin this art was Shaba bin Hajaaj and the one who first ever wrote a book like these was Yahya bin saeed.

A brief list of these book follows:

q Tabqat Alkubra by AlIbn Saad

q Tawareekh by Ammam Bukhari

q Kitaab Al jarah wal Tadeel by Allama Ahmad bin Abdullah Alajly

q Astiyab fe Maarfa Al ashaab by Hafiz Abu Umro Yosab bin Abdulber

q Alkamal fe Maarfa Al rijaal by Hafiz Abdul Ghani bin Abdul Wahid

q Asad Alghaba Fe Maarata Alashaab by Allama Ibn Aseer

q Tehzeeb Alkamaal Fe Maarfa Alrijaal by Hafiz Jamal Ad-deen

q Mezaan Alaatadal fe Naqad Alrijaal by Ammam Zehbi

q Tehzeeb Altehzeeb by Ibn-e-hajar Asqalani

7. Books of Shuma’l

Another source of seerah are the books that are written by the appearance of prophet Muhammad, his habits, his daily routine and his lifestyle. All these topics are also discussed in some books of hadith but in some books only such topics are chosen to be discussed.

Kitab Al-Shuma’l by Ammam Tarimzi is the first book on this topic. Similarly “Kitab-ul Shiffa” by Qazi Ayaaz Undlisi is said to be the biggest book of Shuma’l.

8. Books of Dala’l

These are the books about the miracles and the spiritual achievements of prophet. Sayed Sulaman Nadwi has written about numerous such books which are about some specific aspect of the prophet’s life. For example

q Dla’l Alnaboowa by Ibn – Qattada

q Dla’l Alnaboowa by Abu Ishaq Harbi

q Dla’l Alnaboowa by Ammam Abo Bakkar Baqeeha

q Dla’l Alnaboowa by Abo Inam Isfahani

q Dla’l Alnaboowa by Ammam Mastaghfari

q Dla’l Alnaboowa by Abu Qasim Ismail Isfahani


q Khasaes Alkubra by Amam Sayooti which is the most authentic book on this topic.

Some people have made miracles of Prophet Muhammad SAW as the topic of there book. In this respect the best book ever written was by Allama Jallal-ud-Deen Balqeeni who was teacher of Ammam Sayooti. The name of the book was “Mujazaat – Alnabi SAW”.

9. Books of Asaar and Akhbaar

Another sources of seerah are those books that are written about the circumstances of Madia and Makka. In these book, along with the state of affairs of these cities, many details about the prophet’s life, and the sacred location related to prophet was also included. These book act as are preview of situations that occurred in the life of prophet. Their writers are appreciable because they have done a lengthy research for collection of data about the ancient cities, the tribes that were living there and their way of life.

The oldest book written in this respect is “Akhbar-e-Madina” by Allama Azraqi. This book is said to be very authenticated source for information about the cities. Sayed Suleman Nadwi has mentioned some names of books which are

q Akbar-e-Madina by Ummer bin Shabba

q Akbar-e-Makka by Fakahee

q Akbar-e-Madina by Ibn-eZabala.

10. Ma’asrana poetry

Another source of information about prophet’s life is the poetry that was done for admiration of the prophet’s personality. The popular poets who wrote about prophet at that time were:

q Abu Talib

q Aasha

q Kaab bin Zaheer

q Ahsaan bin Sabit

q Abdullah bin rooha

q Abdullah bin Zubraa

q Kaab bin Malik

q Fazala Laishi

q Abaas bin Mardaas

It is said that there is no poet who dint wrote any stanza about the prophet Muhammad SAW. This is confirmed when we look at the poetry done by the 4 caliphs, and prophet’s other close relatives. But the poetry that is helpful in knowing seerah is done by the people whose names are mentioned above.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

what is religion learn quran online, learn quran, tajweed online


Religion itself is derived from the word 'religio' which means to bind. It is that which binds man to the truth. As such every religion possesses ultimately two essential elements which are its basis and foundation: a doctrine and a method.

These two elements, the doctrine and the method, the means of distinguishing between what is Real and what appears to be real, exist in every orthodox and integral religion and are in fact the essence of every religion. No religion, whether it be Islam or Christianity, Hinduism or Buddhism, can be without a doctrine as to what is absolute and what is relative. Only the doctrinal language differs from one tradition to another. Nor can any religion be without a method of concentrating on the Real and living according to It although the means again differ in different traditional climates.

Every religion believes in a transcendent Reality that stands above the world of change and becoming. The doctrine is thus a discrimination between the Absolute and the relative, between grades of reality, degrees of universal existence. And the method is precisely the means of attaching the relatively real to the absolutely real once one realizes that the reality of the soul and the world that surrounds it is not absolute but relative, that both the soul and the world derive their sustenance from a Reality that transcends both the soul and the world.

This relation between man and God, or the relative and the Absolute is central in every religion.

The Islamic perspective is based upon the consideration of the Divine Being as He is in Himself not as He is incarnated in history.

There are certain religions which emphasize a particular incarnation of the Divinity or various manifestations of the Absolute.

Islam is a religion based not on the personality of the founder but on Allah Himself.

Islam legislates for man according to his real nature as he is with all the possibilities inherent in the human state as such. But what does 'man as he is' mean? Seen in his ordinary condition man is a weak and negligent being. He is usually subservient to his surroundings and a prisoner of his own lust and animal passions. He does not know what it really means to be man and does not live to the full potentialities of his human condition.

The Islamic revelation conceives of man as this theomorphic being and addresses itself to that something in man which is in the form of the 'Divine'. That something is

An intelligence that can discern between the true and the false or the real and illusory and is naturally led to Unity or tawhid. Islam asks what is intelligence and what is its real nature. The real nature of intelligence is ultimately to come to realize that La ilaha ill'Allah, that is to come to know that in the end there is only one Absolute Reality. It is to realize the absolute nature of Allah and the relativity of all else that is other than He. The Qur'an calls those who have gone astray from religion as those who cannot intellect, 'la ya'quilun', those who cannot use their intelligence correctly. It is very significant that the loss of faith is equated in Qur'anic language not with the corruption of the will but with the improper functioning of intelligence.

A will to choose freely between the true and the false. What is the nature of the will? It is to be able to choose, to choose freely between two alternatives, between the real and the unreal, between the true and the false, between the Absolute and the relative. Were man not to be free religion would have no real meaning. Free will is necessary to the religious conception of man and this is as much true of Islam as of any other religion.

The power of speech, of the word to be able to express the relationship between the Divinity and man. Speech is the most direct manifestation of what we are, of our innermost being. We cannot express our being in any way more directly than speech. Speech is in a sense the external form of what we are inwardly.

Christianity is essentially a mystery which veils the Divine from man. In Islam, it is man who is veiled from God. The Divine Being is not veiled from us, we are veiled from Him and it is for us to try to rend this veil asunder, to try to know God.

Islam is essentially a way of knowledge; it is a way of gnosis [ma'rifah]. Islam leads to that essential knowledge which integrates our being, which makes us know what we are and be what we know. In other words, Islam integrates knowledge and being in the ultimate unitive vision of Reality.

Man needs revelation because although a theomorphic being, he is by nature negligent and forgetful; he is by nature imperfect.

Man cannot alone uplift himself spiritually. He must be awakened from the dream of negligence by one who is already awake. Man is thus in need of a message from heaven and must follow a revelation in order to realize the full potentiality of his being and have the obstacles which bar the correct functioning of his intelligence removed.

The most profound reason for the need of revelation is the presence of obstacles before the intelligence which prevent its correct functioning. More directly, the fact that although man is made in the 'image of God' and has a theomorphic being he is always in the process of forgetting it. He has in himself the possibility of God-like but he is always in the state of neglecting this possibility. That is why the cardinal sin in Islam is forgetfulness. It is negligence [ghaflah] of what we really are. It is a going to sleep and creating a dream world around us which makes us forget who we really are and what we should be doing in this world. Revelation is there to awaken man from the dream and remind him what is really means to be man.

Man's central position in the world is not due to his cleverness or inventive genius but because of the possibility of attaining sanctity and becoming a channel of grace for the world about him.

The Islamic conception of man is that man participates fully in the human state, not through the many activities with which he usually identifies himself but by remembering his theomorphic nature. And because he is always in the process of forgetting this nature he is always in need of revelation.

There is no single act which has warped and distorted human will. Rather, many by being man is imperfect, only God being perfection as such. Being imperfect man has the tendency to forget and so is in constant need of being reminded through revelation of his real nature.

Man is in absolute need of religion without which he is only accidentally human. It is only through participation in a tradition, that is, a divinely revealed way of living, thinking and being, that man really becomes man and is able to find meaning in life. It is only tradition in this sense that gives meaning to human existence.

The privilege of participating in the human state, in a state which contains the opportunity and possibility of becoming God-like, of transcending the world of nature, and of possessing an immortal soul whose entelechy lies beyond the physical world, carries with it also a grave responsibility.

The very grandeur of the human condition is precisely in that he has both the possibility of reaching a state 'higher than the angels' and at the same time of denying God.

Being given the possibility of being God-like through the acceptance of the 'trust of faith', man can also play the role of a little deity and deny God as such. Therein lies both the grandeur and seriousness of the human condition.

Each being in the Universe is what it is. It is situated on a particular level of existence. Only man can stop being man. He can ascend above all degrees of universal existence and by the same token fall below the level of the basest of creatures. The alternatives of heaven and hell placed before man are themselves an indication of the seriousness of the human condition.

Man is presented with a unique opportunity by being born in the human state and it is a tragedy for him to fret away and waste his life in pursuits which distract him from the essential goal of his life which is to save his immortal soul.

There is in Mecca in the house of God a black stone which is in fact a meteor. In the Islamic tradition, this stone which fell from heaven, symbolizes the original covenant [al-mithaq] made between man and God. God taught man the name of all the creatures as we are told in the Qur'an ass well as in the Old Testament. This means that God gave man the possibility of dominating over all things, for to possess the 'name' of a thing means to exercise power over it.

It is a miracle that human existence is given the possibility of denying its own source. But man is given all this and much more in return for something which God wants of him and the black stone is the symbol of this covenant made between man and God.

By accepting the covenant man has in turn certain duties to perform:

* make his intelligence conform to the Truth which comes from the Absolute
* make his will conform to the Will of the Absolute and his speech to what God wants of man

In return for all the blessings and gifts that God has given man, man must in turn remember his real nature and always keep before him the real goal of his terrestrial journey. He must know who he is and where he is going. This he can do only by conforming his intelligence to the Truth and his will to the Divine Law.

To accept the Divine covenant brings up the question of living according to the Divine Will. The very idea of Islam is that through the use of intelligence which discerns between the Absolute and the relative one should come to surrender to the Will of the Absolute.

This is the meaning of Muslim: one who has accepted through free choice to conform his will to the Divine Will.

Islam is actually like a several storied mountain and everything in it has different degrees and levels of meaning, including the concept of Muslim itself.

Firstly, anyone who accepts a Divine revelation is a 'Muslim' in its universal sense, be he a Muslim, Christian, Jew or Zoroastrian. In its first meaning, Muslim refers to that human being who through the use of his intelligence and free will accepts a divinely revealed law.

Secondly, 'muslim' refers to all creatures of the Universe who accept Divine law in the sense that they conform to the unbreakable laws which the Western world calls 'laws of Nature.'

It is the Will of the Creator that expresses itself in what is called 'laws of nature' in Western thought, and everything in the Universe is in a profound sense Muslim except for man who, because of this free choice given to him as a trust to bear, can refuse to submit to His Will.

It is only man who can stop being Muslim in this second meaning of the term 'muslim', whereas all other beings are 'muslim' in this sense by virtue of their complete submission to the Divine Will which manifests itself as 'laws of nature'.

Finally, there is the highest meaning of Muslim which applies to the saint. The saint is like nature in that every moment of his life is lived in conformity with the Divine Will, but his participation in the Divine Will is conscious and active whereas that of nature is passive

In summary,

* The first meaning of Muslim pertains to nature;
* The second meaning of Muslim pertains to man who has accepted a revelation;
* The third meaning of Muslim pertains to the saint who not only has accepted revelation, but lives fully in conformity with the Divine Will.


Islam is a universal concept that comprehends man and the Universe about him and lies in the nature of things. In a more particular sense, as a religion which was revealed nearly fourteen hundred years ago, it continues to base itself on what is in the nature of things, concentrating particularly on the Divine nature itself. For this reason Islam is based from beginning to end on the idea of Unity [tawhid], for God is One.

Unity is the alpha and omega of Islam.

In addition to being a metaphysical assertion about the nature of the Absolute, Unity is a method of integration, a means of becoming whole and realizing the profound oneness of all existence.

Every aspect of Islam rotates about the doctrine of Unity which Islam seeks to realize first of all in the human being in his inner and outward life. Every manifestation of human existence should be organically related to the Shahadah, La ilaha ill'Allah, which is the most universal way of expressing Unity. This means that man should not be compartmentalized either in his thoughts or actions. Every action, even the manner of walking and eating, should manifest a spiritual norm which exists in his mind and heart.

Unity expresses itself socially in the integration of human society which Islam has achieved to a remarkable degree.

Unity manifests itself politically in Islam's refusal to accept as the ultimate unit of the body politic anything less than the totality of the Islamic community, or the ummah.There is only one Muslim people, no matter how scattered and far removed its members may be.

In the realm of arts and sciences, Islam has always sought to unify all domains of knowledge, and its function is to integrate. The history of Islam has demonstrated this aspect in both philosophy and science as well as in art, in which forms were elucidated and elaborated to display Unity.

Being based on Unity, Islam has envisaged a total way of life which excludes nothing. Its legislation is quite realistic in conformity with its perspective, which is based on the real nature of things. Islam envisages not only the saint but also the usual man with all his strengths and weaknesses. For this very reason it has been falsely accused by many Christians as being worldly or being the religion of the sword.

It is true that Islam has legislation for even war whereas Christianity orders man to turn the other cheek, and is mild and gentle in its teachings. But what is forgotten is that

* either a religion is made for saints, as Christ said, 'My Life is not of this world' in which case it leaves aside political, social and economic questions and envisages all of its followers as potential saints and, in fact, can only function in a society of saints;
* or a religion tries to encompass the whole of man's life, in which case it must take into account the whole of man's nature with all the weaknesses and shortcomings it has, and legislate for the political and economic life of man as well as the purely religious aspect of his existence.

The criticism against Islam as a religion of the sword is thus not a valid one. Islam, by legislating war, limited it whereas Christianity left it outside of its consideration. It is not accidental that the most devastating wars of this century have begun in the West where Christianity has been the dominating religious influence.

War, in a limited sense at least, is actually in the nature of things and Islam, rather than leaving it aside as if it did not exist, limited it by accepting it and providing religious legislation for it. One can at least say that the terrible wars of this century have not come out of the Muslim world, but out of what some people have called the 'post-Christian' West.

A religion which seeks to encompass the whole of life must consider all of its realities.

* Christianity, concentrating on man's spiritual life, did not consider his political and social needs;
* Islam, basing itself on Unity, had to integrate all of human life and could not overlook any aspect of it.


The character of Islam is directly connected with the fact that it is both the 'primordial religion' and the last religion in the present life of humanity. Islam considers itself as the primordial religion [al-din al-hanif] because it is based on the doctrine of Unity which has always existed and which lies in the nature of things. It sought to accomplish this by its uncompromising emphasis on Divine Unity and by seeking to return man to his original nature [fitrah] which is veiled from him because of his dream of negligence.

According to the Islamic perspective, God did not send different truths through His many prophets but different expressions and forms of the same fundamental truth of Unity, using as a basis the three elements of intelligence, will and speech which makes the realization of Unity possible.

Mankind did not evolve gradually from polytheism to monotheism. Man was originally a monotheist who fell gradually into polytheism, and has to be reminded periodically of the original doctrine of Unity.

History consists of a series of cycles of decay and rejuvenation. The Islamic conception of history is one of a series of cycles of prophecy, each cycle followed by a gradual decay leading to a new cycle or phase.

Islam believes itself to be the third great manifestation of the Abrahamic tradition, after Judaism and Christianity. Now, as Christians know so well, trinity is a reflection of unity so that this third manifestation of the Abrahamic tradition is in a sense a return to the original Unity, to the 'religion of Abraham'. As Judaism represents the law or the exoteric aspect of this tradition and Christianity the way or the esoteric aspect of it, so does Islam integrate the tradition in its original unity by containing both a law [shari'ah] and a way [tariqah]. It can be said that essentially

* Judaism is based on the fear of God;
* Christianity is based on the love of God;
* Islam is based on the knowledge of God.

If Islam is the 'primordial religion' it is also the 'last religion' and in fact it is through this particularity that it becomes not just religion as such but a particular religion to be accepted and followed.

By re-affirming what all the prophets have asserted over the ages, Islam emphasized its universal character as the primordial religion and by considering itself as the last religion [a claim no other orthodox religion before Islam ever made], Islam attained its particularity which distinguishes it and gives it its specific form as a religion.

No religion can in fact be the universal religion as such. It is so inwardly, but outwardly it must be a particular religion which induces men to accept and follow it through specific forms and rites. Man, living in the world of the particular, must begin from the particular in order to reach the universal. The beauty of revealed religion is precisely that although externally it is a form, it is not a closed form but one which opens inwardly towards the Infinite.

Islam also had to have a particular form and that came from its character as the last religion. With the Prophet the prophetic cycle came to an end. The Prophet who was the 'Seal of Prophecy' [khatam al anbiya'] announced that there would be no prophets after him and history has gone to prove his claim.

Islam does not envisage an indefinitely prolonged march of history for eons on end. It believes that the history of the present humanity has a beginning and an end, marked by the eschatological events described in the Qur'an and Hadith. It is until the occurrence of these events that no new prophet shall come. At the end of the cycle Islam believes, like Christianity, not in the coming of a new prophet but in the second coming of Christ. Until such a happening Islam is the last religion and the Prophet the last prophet, not to be followed by another revelation from heaven.

This particularity of Islam as the last religion in the prophetic cycle gives it the power of synthesis so characteristic of this tradition. Being the final message of revelation, Islam was given providentially the power to synthesize, to integrate and absorb whatever was in conformity with its perspective from previous civilizations. Islam integrated in its world-view what was ultimately in conformity with the Shahada, La ilaha ill'Allah, which is the final criterion of orthodoxy in Islam. Coming at the end of the prophetic cycle, Islam has considered all the wisdom of traditions before it as in a sense its own and has never been shy of borrowing from them and transforming them into elements of its own world view.

In Islam, as in every orthodox tradition, originality means to express the universal truths that are perennial in manner that is fresh and bears the fragrance of spirituality, indicating that the expression comes not from outward imitation but from the source of the Truth itself.

Spiritual vitality, like organic, comes not in creation from nothing but in transformation and integration into a pattern which comes in essence from heaven.

Islam is based on the universal relation between God and man, God in His Absoluteness and man in his profound theomorphic nature.

Islam bases the realization of this central relationship on intelligence, will and speech and consequently on equilibrium and certitude..

Islam has sought to establish equilibrium in life by channeling all of man's natural needs and inclinations, all those natural desires and needs such as that for food, shelter, procreation, etc. given by God and necessary in human life, through the Divine Law [Shariah].

Upon the firm foundation of this equilibrium Islam has enabled man to build a spiritual castle based on contemplation and the certainty that there is no divinity other than the Absolute.

Islam is a Divine revelation which was placed as a seed in the heart of man who was the receptacle of this Divine message.

Man is the container. He cannot break this container; he can only purify it and empty it of the pungent substance that fills it so that it can become worthy of receiving the Divine nectar.

The seed of Islam was placed in the heart of man through the Qur'an and the instrument of its propagation among men, the Prophet. From this seed there grew that spiritual tree which has created one of the greatest civilizations in history, a tree under whose shade a sizeable segment of the human race live and die today and find meaning and fulfillment in life. learn quran online, learn quran, tajweed online