Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Lessons from an Indian Muslim Diaspora

A lot of the Pakistanis living outside the country who identify from being from Karachi are descendants of a diverse set of Indian Muslim migrants who settled in urban areas of Pakistan with a large concentration being in Sind and Punjab. They make up around 10% of Pakistan’s population. As a minority with no roots in the country they have had to struggle extra hard for survival forcing them to hone their talents, skills and education rather than depend on community or institutional support. From urban Pakistan they have further dispersed and there is a large diaspora of these people living all over the world.

Their unique situation and historical experience has caused them to learn several lessons and receive special blessings that other Pakistanis and the Muslim Ummah as a whole may benefit from. This may be surprising to many who only tend to complain about the deprivation that they suffer from.
Historically, the ancestors of these people were those who believed in the concept of a Muslim homeland or were those who felt persecuted in India and fled to Pakistan upon its creation. As such they were thankful for the blessing of a place on the earth where they were free to worship and be Muslims. Their appreciation of Pakistan was deep, as their dependence on it for their existence was complete. They had a deep love for Islam, even if they did not have deep understanding of its principles and had mixed it up with centuries of decadent Indian Muslim culture and nationalism. This led this group to study their religion further making them those who practice and study their faith the most in Pakistan perhaps after the Pathans.

Most institution of learning in the Subcontinent existed in India rather than in Pakistan upon independence and thus their ancestors brought with them skills, experience and education which was severely lacking in a nascent Pakistan. Thus from the start they valued and strived for education for their survival something that is still missing in mostly agrarian Pakistan. They are directly dependent on Allah (SWT) to provide for them rather than some social privilege. Their educational experience and international diaspora made them understand the global context of their existence in the modern world. As those in the forefront of educational experiences, they have come full cycle to realize both the harms as well as the benefits that the modern world exposes to practicing Muslims. They have the discriminatory powers to separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to espousing Globalization.
Their minority status had ignited in their conscience a love and appreciation for good values such justice and civil rights which a majority seldom has the need to contemplate about. Thus they are a force for social reform in Pakistan and in the world.

Their experience in the political realm in Pakistan has shown them the futility of the Parliamentary system for improving the condition of Muslims. They have been disillusioned first by the religious parties and then by ethnic nationalism. They have learnt that adopting both the mainstream political setup as well as terrorism leads to failure. Leader after leader has disillusioned them. Rather than waiting for empty promises for jobs like other groups, they have taken the initiative by themselves to improve their own lot through innovative personal initiatives in education and social work.
Their disconnection from their source of culture has resulted in them filtering what they inherited from their ancestors. They have the chance to discard values of a decadent civilization which had deviated from the Islamic ideals. Instead they can pick up whatever good they find, in accordance with their religion, wherever they happen to be.

Many from the current generation have returned to the inspiration from Islam to change their condition. They are applying their intellectual abilities, skills and education to study and implement Islam properly from its sources with the help of accomplished scholars. Their methodology is based on the imparting tarbiyya and education patterned on that of Prophet Muhammad (SWAS) and his companions. Their outlook is holistic and inclusive. Their understanding is based on orthodox principles of Islam, eschewing terrorism which they view as a deviation. They believe in changing themselves to improve their condition based on the ideals of the Quran. Their community includes whoever shares this methodology, from whatever background and in whatever country. Their work is non-political and non-violent.
This change has been due to many factors, including their historic connection and love for Islam, their reliance on their intellectual abilities, their understanding of modernity, the world and the changes in it, their need for self-help, their inclination for social justice and reform, their disenchantment with the modern political system and their politicians, their lack of connection with their source culture, etc. Although Muslims all over Pakistan and elsewhere are flocking to re-learn their deen, the unique experiences of that these people provide valuable lessons for all.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Rules for Seeking Rizq

1. Do everything from the fear and love of Allah (SWT)
2. Be aakhirah driven
3. Always do the right thing – don’t compromise on your religion
4. Be humble – even the tea boy can teach you many things
5. Keep learning by doing new things
6. Be cheerful and positive – don’t complain...
7. Respect and sincerely care about others
8. Don’t get entangled in office politics – it’s not worth it
9. Don’t seek leadership positions – but accept challenges if offered
10. Don’t snatch work or credit for work from others
11. Be with the Believers – pray in congregation
12. Develop a vision – keep improving it
13. Innovate
14. Don’t let unfair practices stop you from producing good work
15. Keep in touch with people
16. Keep good relations with everyone – not just your countrymen
17. Don’t blow your own trumpet – let your work and character speak for itself
18. Speak the truth – even if it hurts you
19. Have tawakkul on Allah not your abilities and circumstances
20. Strive to live a Sunnah lifestyle – you will be harnessing the power of nature to propel you
21. Learn aspects of your work that complement your speciality
22. Keep track of new trends in your field – attend conferences, workshops, seminars
23. Look out for opportunities to do good work – volunteer and give good advice
24. Take regular time out to contemplate on how you can improve
25. Ask feedback and consult with others
26. Keep a work-life balance
27. Exceed expectations of others in terms of the quality and timing of your deliverables
28. Don’t hide information and resources from others
29. Learn to work with different type of people
30. Make your work be part of the higher goals and vision Allah has for you

Friday, May 16, 2014

What the West Has to Offer the Muslim Migrant

Today many Muslims are beset with a host of anxieties. Those in the Islamic world are eager to migrate to the West mainly for economic and security reasons and those practicing Muslims in the West who have realized the danger to the faith they face there are eager to go to the Muslim lands. No one seems to be satisfied where they are. It is important to realize that no place on this earth is perfect – in fact this earth is not a place to take as our permanent abode. It was not created to be such a place. The wise policy for Muslims to adopt is to have high altruistic goals for the aakhirah while taking maximum advantage of the opportunities they get from wherever there are currently at. If they move, they should change their script to what best advantages the new land has to offer and strive for those set of objectives, so that they constantly build their characters, personalities, skills, values, perspective and experience set from what is not available in just one place. So what commendable opportunities does the West offer Muslims?

It is no secret that the leadership of the world is currently with Western nations. It is their espousal and practice of praiseworthy values that has caused Allah (SWT) to give them that status. Thus an average Muslim has a lot to learn from his stay in the West. These good aspects are part of our deen and thus it is incumbent upon us to adopt them. Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah (SWAS) said, “Wisdom is the lost property of the believer, so wherever he finds it then he has a right to it.” (Sunan At-Tirmidhi). These values include honesty, love of life-long learning, truthfulness, fair dealing, protecting the rights of people, justice, work ethic, frankness, humility, rule of law, tolerance for diversity/opinion, innovation, value for time, taking advantage of opportunities, etc. These are the values that have given these countries the status that they have today.  Care must be taken to distinguish the love and respect of these values and the blind imitation and adoption of mainstream Western lifestyle – many aspects of which can be criticized. Unfortunately most Muslims have inferiority complexes, are enchanted with the latter and end up adopting crass habits while forgoing the commendable wealth of values that the West offers them. In the process they end up losing all the essential good aspects that their own civilization has provided them.

The type of education, professional training and experience opportunities that the West offers may be better than that offered anywhere else. Having said that, it is important to emphasize that one should not use the education and opportunities for the material race as so many people end up doing. It is often the pressure of paying off the riba-based mortgages for their properties, that propels Muslim migrants to strive for only the dunya.  Rather, the emphasis should be on providing a service to one’s profession, to the Muslim community and to the society at large. If one commits to this, the dunya will come to the believer and will be sufficient for him rather than someone chasing the ever elusive goal of having enough wealth.

Hakeem ibn Hizam narrated: "I asked the Prophet (SWAS) (for some money) and he gave to me; then I again asked him and he gave to me; then again I asked him and he gave to me. Then he said: This wealth is (like) green and sweet (fruit). Allah will bless it for the one who takes it without greed; but Allah will not bless it for the one who takes it with greed; he will be like the one who eats but is never satisfied. And the upper (giving) hand is better than the lower (taking) hand." (Bukhari).

Also being overwhelmed by succeeding at one’s career at the expense of other essential responsibilities is very dangerous for one’s balance in life and faith, specially in the West.

The other aspects of service to the community and society are critically important. This service should be non-monetary as a Muslim is not just a money making machine who contributes to good causes – although that is commendable too. Everyone has unique skills and abilities that they need to develop to provide a service to society. Perhaps someone is a good orator, writer, organizer, leader, teacher, reformer, strategist, etc. The rough skills that they have need to be polished and perfected by community service. Islamic volunteerism is not as promoted in the Islamic world, where there are many restrictions due to many reasons, unlike in the West. One of the foremost aims of Muslims in the West should be to use their abilities and skills to build Islamic institutions there and to spread the message of Islam. Their reason d’etre should be this. If it is not, something is seriously wrong with them that needs to be corrected. By doing so Muslims would learn to work with each other and appreciate the diversity of the Ummah that exists in the West – something not always possible in Islamic countries. The resulting expansion of perspective, development of skills, abilities and character that these activities entail, will help the Muslim progress in their professions as well.

By providing services to the society at large, Muslims will be learning the context of their existence in the West. They will learn about Western civilization, its history, its development, social problems there and their solutions from Islamic perspective. Muslims cannot live in isolation. They must understand, care and solve the problems of the larger community from the treasures of wisdom that their religion provides. The migrant will understand the complexities of the larger society he is part of first hand. Not understanding it is a major reason for their anxieties which causes them to overly focus selfishly on their own struggle for survival.

Another set of advantages that life in the West provides has to do with the education of the next generation. Most Muslims migrating for this reason want their children to be professionals in the medical sciences, engineering and technology as most high paying jobs are in these fields. This had been the easy formula for success in their countries where economic survival and achieving high social status was the main issue. Migrant parents should realize that they and their children are in a different environment. The times they will live and the challenges they will face will be different from their own. The average Westerner does not really care about your social status as much as an average Pakistani does. Their main challenge in the West will not be economic survival, in sha Allah; it will be the preservation of their faith and their children’s faith. The wise course of actions is for parents to make their children preservers of the deen in the West by encouraging them into Islamic social sciences. They will understand the West as well as their deen and will provide unique solutions to the problems of Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Due to many reasons, Islamic education is not as fashionable in the Islamic world as professional education. The resources and opportunities in these fields are not catered to as they should. Also many institutions lack a global vision for change and are functioning in a mediocre manner. This is not true in the West, where preserving and establishing the deen is priority number one for the Muslim community. Thus the opportunity for balanced world class Islamic education in the West is there. For further specialization students can travel to the Islamic world, where many scholarships are on offer for Muslims from Muslim minority countries. To think that you and your children will one day return to the Islamic world is deluding yourselves. Whether you like it or not, your kids are Westerners and they will normally not like moving to the East

Most Muslim migrants adopt a variation of two main approaches – either they are fascinated by the West and swallow all the good and bad it has to offer them and end up losing the faith or they cling on to their home culture and goals blindly unaware of the new challenges and opportunities that their existence in the West provides. Both approaches are wrong. The wise Muslim family will accept what Allah (SWT) has decreed for it and take advantage of all the opportunities their situation presents to work for Allah (SWT)’s divine plan. By doing so they are promised success in this world and the next.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Autobiography (Arabic)


My Profession (Arabic)


The Cultural Capital (Arabic)


A Trip to Al Ain (Arabic)


Daily Routine of a Muslim Youth (Translation)

Translated from Arabic to English by Abu Abdullah

When dawn of a new day appeared in the life of a Muslim youth, he prays after waking up with the famous prayer “The praise to Allah who gave us life after causing us to die and to Him is the resurrection”. When he enters the place of need (restroom), he enters with the left foot and prays before entering, so he says: “O Allah, I seek refuge from the female and male devils”. When he leaves, he leaves with the right foot and says: “Forgive me”. He does not face the direction of Makkah (qibla) and does not turn his back towards the direction of Makkah while relieving himself in the restroom. The Messenger (PBUH) said “When you are in the toilet, don’t face or turn your back to the qibla, but face East or West”. People are wary of contamination by filth, so that their clothes and their bodies are not affected. The Prophet (PBUH) said “Be wary of urine; verily the general torment of the grave is due to urine”. Then the youth does abolution and says on its completion, “I bear witness that there is no god but Allah. He is One. There are no partners to Him, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and His Messenger. O Allah, make me from those who repent and make me from those who purify”

When he wakes up before dawn he prays a few cycles (of prayer) and he hold night vigil and prays the odd (witr) prayer. When the dawn appears, he prays two cycles of the sunnah of dawn prayers, followed by the dawn prayer. He is vigilant in offering it in a congregation in the neighborhood masjid, as it is most beloved to Allah, Most High. The Messenger (PBUH) said: “The congregation prayer is better than individual by twenty seven times”. He says after the dawn prayers: “There is no god but Allah. He is One. He has no partners. To Him belongs the Kingdom. To Him belongs the praise and He has power over all things” ten times. He also says: “O Allah, save me from the Hell fire” seven times. He praises Allah after every prayer thirty three times, he give thanks to Allah thirty three times and he mentions Allah’s greatness thirty three times. He says: “There is no god but Allah” to complete the hundred. He reads the Verse of the Throne and the (Chapter of) Purity and the (two Chapters of) Seeking Protection.

After this he begins his day with what is easy (to read) from the Quran. The Messenger (PBUH) said “The best of you is who teach and learn the Quran”. And he said: “Read the Quran, so verily it will come on the Day of Judgment interceding for its people (readers)”

Then if he has enough time he does some light physical exercise to strengthen his body as the Prophet (PBUH) said: “The strong believer is better and more loved by Allah than a weak believer”.

When the youth leaves his house, he says: “With the name of Allah, I put my trust in Allah. There is no power or strength except with Allah. O Allah, I seek refuge from misleading or being mislead, disgracing or being disgraced, oppressing or being oppressed, causing ignorance or being made ignorant”. During the way to his work or his school he adheres to the manners of the way: spreads the greeting (peace), speaks nicely to people, enjoins good, forbids evil, and lowers the gaze, and so on.

In his school or his work he is mindful (fearful) of Allah, The Most High. His friends are carefully chosen. He is diligent in the work or his studies. He careful in his prayers. He controls himself when he is angry. He is truthful and sincere in his dealings with his colleagues and other people. He fulfills their needs. He is respectful and values elders. He is merciful to youth and helps them.

Then when he returns home he is careful in performing his congregational prayers and says while on the way to pray “O Allah, make light in my heart, and light in my sight, and light in my hearing, and light on my right, and light on my left and light above me, and light below me, and light in front of me and light behind me and make me light”. He enters the masjid with his right foot saying: “In the name of Allah. And prayers and greetings to the Messenger of Allah. O Allah, open for me doors of your mercy”. He leaves with his left foot saying: “O Allah, I seek your bounty”

The youth performs his daily duties (homework) at proper time in the best and complete manner, under the supervision of those who are older than him and have more expertise in the knowledge of homework subjects. Hence, the youth provides a true picture of a diligent Muslim who excels in his work to his colleagues. The Prophet (PBUH) said “Verily, Allah loves when one of you does a work with excellence”

The youth guards against staying awake too long, because it is harmful to health, and wastes blessings that the Muslim perceives in the next morning in the dawn prayer and what follows it of the prayers and remembrance. So when the youth goes to his bed, he sleeps on his right side, and recites the Verse of the Throne, then the Chapter of Purity and then (the two Chapters of) Seeking Protection then he prays: “O my Lord, with you I put my side and with you I raise it. If you seize my soul, have mercy on it and if you sent it (back) protect it like you protect your righteous slaves”.

And thus the youth spend a day, days filled with prophetic guidance and filled with good and piety and with happiness on him and all the people.

An Islamic Play: "The Strong and the Trustworthy" (Translation)

Translated from Arabic to English by Abu Abdullah

SCENE 1
The room of Abu Bakr. In it there is a bed, which is not raised too high above the ground. There is a ****** looking down on the Prophet’s masjid. The curtain lifts up on Abu Bakr lying down on his bed and with him is his wife, Asmaa Bint Umais.

(The child, Muhammad Bin Abu Bakr enters and he is crying)

The child: O my mother, where is my toy, O my mother?

Asmaa: (with a low voice) … Keep quite O boy. Don’t bother your father.

The child: Where did you put my toy?

Asmaa: I hid it

The child: Is it because my father is sick, you prevent me from playing?

Asmaa: Yes

The child: I will not play in the house… I will play outside.

Asmaa: Keep quiet… Not in the house, and not outside.

Abu Bakr: (moves in his bed and opens his eyes) did Umar come?

Asmaa: No, O khalifa of the Messenger of Allah, he did not come.

Abu Bakr: Muhammad, come. Listen to me, O my son. (The child came close to him so he kissed him) Why do I see you crying?

The child: My mother, O my father, she took my toy.

Abu Bakr: Do you wish to play now?

The child: Yes, O my father…outside.

Abu Bakr: O Asmaa, give him his toy.

Asmaa: I hear and I obey O Khalifa of the Messenger of Allah (she exited with the child and the returned)

Asmaa: How do you find yourself, now?

Abu Bakr: Praise be to Allah

A voice: O people of Abu Bakr! O people of Abu Bakr!

Asmaa: This is the voice of Umar Bin Khattab

Abu Bakr: Make me sit down. (Asmaa assists him in sitting and places a pillow behind his back) Tell him to enter and let not anyone enter until Umar is done.

(Asmaa exits then Umar enters)

Umar: Peace be upon you, O Khalifa of the Messenger of Allah.

Abu Bakr: And to you be peach and mercy of Allah. Where were you O son of Khattab? I was searching for you since yesterday.

Umar: Indeed Allah does not shy away from the truth. Some business came from Yemen so it made me busy, away from you.

Abu Bakr: So are you done from it for today?

Umar: Yes I bought from it and profited. How are you today, O Abu Bakr?

Abu Bakr: (Displaying patience as he was suffering from his sickness) Praise be to Allah. I find myself free, O son of Khattab.

Umar: Praise be to Allah… I think that you are a little unwell and it will dissipate.

Abu Bakr: So do not appear to be absent from me, father of Hafsa.

Umar: I will not be absent from you, when you have need for me.

Abu Bakr: I need you all the time. I thought about a matter this morning and paused to work on it as I did not know its place with Allah, so will you inform me of it, O Umar?

Umar: Lovingly and gratefully, O Abu Bakr.

Abu Bakr: The booty which I was dividing among the Muslims equally, not differentiating one of them from another, so what is your opinion concerning it?

Umar: My opinion today is as it was yesterday… Do not treat the newcomers and the old Muslims alike. By Allah, do not favor those who fought the Messenger of Allah by those who fought with him.

Abu Bakr: O son of Khattab, the early Muslims, they submitted to Allah and they have their reward. He will do justice to them on the Day of Judgment, and certainly this world is a proclamation.

Umar: O Abu Bakr, you asked me my opinion, so this is my opinion.

Abu Bakr: You said the truth. What is your opinion concerning Khalid Ibn Al Walid?

Umar: Verily you know my opinion regarding this.

Abu Bakr: ******************************************************

Umar: O Khalifa of the Messenger of Allah, verily Ibn Al Waleed is a sword from among the swords of Allah, like the Messenger (PBUH) of Allah described him, but it is not befitting to make him a leader of Muslims while the likes of Ubaidah is with them.

Abu Bakr: Examine yourself O father of Hafsa. This is with respect of me from you.

Umar: What do you mean?

Abu Bakr: You have passed your exam O son of Khattab. I found you like I directly pledged for you. You do not cheat.

Umar: And what did you intend by this, O Abu Bakr?

Abu Bakr: I intended by this to choose you as khalifa, O Umar.

Umar: Don’t do it O Abu Bakr… I have no need for it.

Abu Bakr: But there is a need for you O Umar.

Umar: So choose someone else other than me O Abu Bakr.

Abu Bakr: Who shall I choose?

Umar: Choose Abu Ubaida, as he is trustworthy of this nation.

Abu Bakr: I already thought of it O son of Khattab, but I did not find in him strength like you have. He is trustworthy, but I want strength and trustworthiness.

Umar: O khalifa of the Messenger of Allah, how did you choose me, and you know that I dispute with you in the division of the booty, concerning Khalid Ibn Al Waleed, in the Battle of the Apostates after they turned away from Islam and in other many matters?

Abu Bakr: **** O Umar. Verily this caused me to choose you even more.  I want a man, if he said yes, he will stick to it, and if he said no, he will stick to it; and you are that man, O Umar.

Umar: ****** O Abu Bakr. I am afraid for myself and for my religion and my afterlife.

Abu Bakr: This matter deals with two things, O Umar: a man seeking the Chalifate, and he knows that there is someone else more deserving of it, and a man who refuses it, and he knows that he is the best person for it, fearing to take the responsibility. He thinks of the responsibility it is appropriate to sacrifice for the service of people.

Umar: O Abu Bakr. I request you to have mercy on me from a difficult recokning on Judgment Day.

Abu Bakr: ***** O Umar. Verily the just ruler will be from among the seven who will be given shade by Allah in His shade, on the day there will be no shade except His.

Umar: (Crying) who am I to have this position? Who am I for this? Who am I for this?

Abu Bakr: Allah gave you this O Umar. Allah gave you this … Allah gave you this!

Umar: O Abu Bakr, verily tomorrow you will not gain regarding me from Allah anything.

Abu Bakr: I implore you by Allah who knows what is in your soul O Umar. Do you know anyone better for it among the Muslims?

Umar: Among Muslims there are people better than me, O Abu Bakr.

Abu Bakr: But I consider you better than them O father of Hafsa.

Umar: Have you consulted with the Muslims about this first O Abu Bakr?

Abu Bakr: I will do it O father of Hafsa. It will be the last important thing, and everything after that will become easy, with Allah’s permission.
 
 
SCENE 2

The room of Abu Bakr, the following day.
Abu Bakr is lying on his bed and with him is Uthman Ibn Affan, Ali Ibn Abi Talib, Abdulrahman Ibn Awf, Saeed Ibn Zayd, Usayd Ibn Hudayr and Talha Ibn Abdallah.
 
 
Ibn Awf: Were you searching for us O Khalifa of the Messenger of Allah?
 
 
Abu Bakr: Yes, like I was searching for other than you from among the Migrants and the Helpers, so that I be guided by their opinion. I am as you see me, I am sick. I desire to appoint a man who is strong and trustworthy as Khalifa for you. I think Umar Ibn Khattab is such a man. What is your opinion? What do you think, O Abdulrahman about Umar?
 
 
Ibn Awf: Do not ask me about this matter, as you know it as I do
 
 
Abu Bakr: And if I do
 
 
Ibn Awf: By Allah, I prefer him more than your opinion of him

Abu Bakr: And you O Uthman. Tell me about Umar Ibn Khattab

Uthman: You informed us of it O Abu Bakr

Abu Bakr: About this O Father of Abdullah. I want to listen to your opinion

Uthman: I think your choice is good and there is no other like him

Usayd: I know him to be the best after you, *************, and those who do good secretly from those who announce it and no one stronger will follow this matter****

Abu Bakr: May Allah reward you with what is better O Brother Helper. And you Ali Ibn Abi Talib, O Son of the Uncle of the Messenger of Allah. What do you say of Umar?

Ali: O Khalifa of the Messenger of Allah, what can I say about a man who strengthen Islam by converting to it, no one strengthened it as he did  and I heard the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) saying about it: Verily Allah made the Truth on his tongue and in his heart.

Abu Bakr: Bless you O Son of the Uncle of the Messenger of Allah; so what *** to the people who say to me: **** fear Allah in making Umar a leader of the Muslims.

Talha: So trust in Allah and make him Khalifa. By Allah, there is none among us who is stronger in the matter than him.

Abu Bakr: Praise be to Allah, my heart is at peace after consulting with you, may Allah reward you with better. Disperse with thanks if you will and leave Uthman Ibn Affan with me.
(The people left one by one, after greeting Abu Bakr and praying for him)

Uthman: (he saw Abu Bakr in pain) I see you in pain O Abu Bakr, so shall I call for you your people (family)?

Abu Bakr: No O Uthman. Don’t do it. But bring your paper and pen for dictating to you the written agreement.

Uthman: At this time, O Khalifa of the Messenger of Allah?

Abu Bakr: At this time O Uthman before passing away.
(He hears the voice of the caller calling for Asr prayer)

Abu Bakr: Wait for me a little while O Uthman, until I offer the Asr prayer (he starts prayer while he is sitting, then he feels weak and he shakes, until he completes the prayer while shaking) Come on O Uthman!

Uthman: (He came close to him, he took out his paper and his pen and his inkpot) Dictate O Khalifa of the Messenger of Allah.

Abu Bakr: (he dictates while Uthman writes) Write O Uthman… In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful. This is what Abu Bakr Ibn Abi Kuhafa takes oath in his last oath in the world before leaving it, and the first oath in the Hereafter as he enters it, even though the disbeliever believes, the immoral rectifies, the liar speaks the truth, I appoint on them after me (Abu Bakr loses consciousness)

Uthman: I appoint on them after me … Dictate O Abu Bakr ..***! He has gone with it! There is no might or power except with Allah (he calls out) O people of the house! ************

Abu Bakr: You were afraid I lost myself in that unconsciousness without appointing a Khalifa?

Uthman: Yes

Abu Bakr: So read what you have written.

Uthman: I appoint on them after me Umar Ibn Khattab, so I named him and I obey. *********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

Abu Bakr: Well done O Uthman, take the seal and seal it.

Uthman: I took the seal and sealed it  O Abu Bakr (he returns the seal to him)

Abu Bakr: May Allah reward you with good concerning Islam and family. Exit O Uthman and call (congregational prayer), as I wish to speak to them from this ************ than bring me Umar.
(Uthman leaves and Asmaa enters)

Asmaa: This is Ayesha, the Mother of Believers O Abu Bakr

Abu Bakr: Welcome to Ayesha, welcome to the Mother of Believers, welcome to the beloved of the Messenger of Allah

Ayesha: (She kisses the head of her father) How are you today O father?

Abu Bakr: With the praise of Allah O Ayesha.

Ayesha: I sent my girl to you, she told me you were hosting some men.

Asmaa: Yes, men were here all day

Ayesha: **********************

Abu Bakr: O Mother of Believers, how can I console myself ******* the matter of this nation? ******* me O Asmaa until I am honored with this ********* on the people of the masjid.
(Asmaa takes him with his hand and Ayesha and Umm Farwa support him from behind his back. He took his head out from the window)

Abu Bakr: O people, O Muslim society, pay attention to me as perhaps you will not hear my voice after today. I have made a contract, and I did not neglect to consult, and I did not appoint someone closely related to me. Do you be satisfied with who I appoint to be your Khalifa?

The group: We accept O Khalifa of the Messenger of Allah. Whoever you choose we are satisfied with him.

Abu Bakr: I have appointed Umar Ibn Khattab as your Khalifa so listen to him and obey.

The group: We hear and we obey Khalifa of the Messenger of Allah.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Muhammad (SWAS) (Translation)

Translated from Arabic to English by Abu Abdullah

His Genealogy
Muhammad son of Abdullah son of Abdul Mutalib, from Bani Ismaeel son of Ibraheem (AS) and his maternal relatives were from Bani Zahra, such that his mother Aaminah daughter of Wahab was from them and his (PBUH) genealogy meets them with respect to her being from Kilaab son of Murrah son of Fahr. That is the prophet of Allah and the last of His Messengers and Prophets to the worlds.

His Birth
Muhammad (PBUH) was born in Makkah as an orphan with respect to his father, in Rabii Al Awwal in the year of the elephant and his father, Abdullah, died while his mother was 2 months pregnant with him. When he was born, his grandfather Abdul Mutalib became responsible for him. His mother died when he reached six years of age and his grandfather, Abdul Mutalib, died when he reached eight years of age, hence his uncle Abu Talib became responsible for him and he remained protecting him until his death. He was suckled by Halima As Sadiya.

His Travel to Syria and His Marriage to Khadijah
When he reached the age of twelve years, he (PBUH) traveled with his uncle, Abu Talib, for trading to Syria. During this trip he met monk Bahira in Bosrah city and the monk recognized him by his attributes which were known in the books of the People of the Book. What he said about him: “This is the Messenger of the Lord of the Worlds, Allah sent him as a blessing to the worlds”. It was said to him: and how do you know this? He said: Before I met you, I noticed from above, that every tree and stone prostrated itself, and they do not prostrate except to a prophet and I knew him by the seal of the prophet hood below the cartilage of his shoulders. And he warned his uncle not to go with him to the Roman lands as he is afraid for him from them, so his uncle returned him to Makkah. Then he went out for a second time to Syria for trade representing Khadijah daughter of Khuwaylid with her slave, Maysarah. Maysarah saw his glitter form his dealings, so he informed his lady what he saw, so she became inclined to marry him. He married her when he was 25 years old and she was 40 years old. She had been married 2 men before she married him. To one she gave birth to a son and a daughter and to the second, two daughters.

His Mission
Gabriel came with the first chapter from the Quran (Chapter: The Blood Clot) in the month of Ramadan in his 40th year of life, while he was worshiping in the cave of Hiraa. He aborted his seclusion, and returned fearfully to his wife, Khadijah. She reassured him and gave him glad tidings and took him to her Christian relative, Waraqah Ibn Nawfal who gave them good news that Muhammad will become a prophet of this nation. He wished that he was strong youth so that he could help him during his prominence. The revelation discontinued for a while then Allah revealed to him Chapter Mudathir. In it, Allah (SWT) commanded him to invite his people to Islam, and then the revelations continued until his death. The first to respond positively to his call from men was his companion Abu Bakr and from women his wife, Khadijah and from youth his paternal uncle’s son, Ali and from slaves, his slave, Zayd Ibn Haritha. A group accepted Islam through Abu Bakr. Among them were Uthman Ibn Affan, Talha Ibn Obaidullah, Saad Ibn Abi Waqqas, Abdulrahman Ibn Awf, Uthman Ibn Mazaun, Abu Salama Ibn Abdalasad and Arqam Ibn Abi Arqam. The Prophet (PBUH) used to meet secretly his companions in the home of Al Arqam Ibn Abi Arqam and they used to invite (to Islam) secretly. This continued for three years. Then his call (to Islam) became open due to the command of Allah (SWT): “So call openly with what you have been commanded and confront the idolaters”[Chapter: Al Hijr; Verse: 94]

Torture by Quraish and Hijrah to Habasha
He (PBUH) continued to openly invite (to Islam) in Makkah for ten years and Quraish oppressed him and his companions severely and accused him with many accusations. They said that he was a magician, soothsayer and madman. They threw obstructions and thorns in his path and hurt him while he prayed. They oppressed whoever accepted Islam with him from the slaves like Bilal Ibn Rabbah, Khabbab Ibn Al Arti, Ammar Ibn Yassir and his son Yassir, and his mother Sumayya. Some of them (RA) died from the torture.

When the oppression became severe, the Messenger (PBUH) allowed them to migrate to Habasha, to the just king, Najashi. So about hundred migrated and Najashi honored them. The Messenger (PBUH) went to Taif, to practically spread the call (to Islam) to find others who might help him, but they belied and tortured him.

The Night Journey and the Ascension
This miracle happened to honor and support Muhammad (PBUH) after the death of his uncle who had been protecting him and the passing away of his wife who used to console him and after he experienced oppression from the idolaters in Taif and Makkah. The miracle here consisted of the Prophet’s (PBUH) going to the Holy Abode in body and spirit (the night journey) then his ascending to the heavens (the ascension). All this happened in a fraction of a night.

The Two Pledges of Aqabah and The Spreading of The Call (to Islam)
It was the Hajj season and the Arab markets were very relevant. The Messenger (PBUH) met people there, ************** with the affairs with them, and he asked them to shelter him to preach the message of his Lord. There were some who responded to him, in the eleventh year of his mission. Six people from the Khawarij (from the tribe in Madinah). In the following year twelve men from Madinah, known as Helpers, pledged allegiance to him in Aqabah. This pledge of theirs was known as the first Pledge of Aqabah. Seventy three men and two women pledged to support and help him, in the thirteenth year also in Aqabah. This is known as the second Pledge of Aqabah. These pledges represented the basis of the migration of the Prophet (PBUH) with his companions to Madinah, to establish the Islamic state. The Prophet (PBUH) stayed in Makkah thirteen years.

The Migration to Madinah
The Prophet (PBUH) commanded his Companions to migrate to Madinah. Thus they continued to do so secretly, singly and in groups and some stayed behind due to excuses. The Prophet (PBUH) took great precautions in his escape from the disbelievers who had decided to kill him. Hence he proceeded with Abu Bakr to the South in order to spend three days in Cave Thwr until his search and the desire to find him dissipated. Asma bint Abu Bakr used to carry food to them. Abdullah Bin Abu Bakr used to listen what was said in Makkah, then he used to go to them to inform them. With him was Aamir Bin Fuhair (slave of Abu Bakr), who used to bring goats to erase their footsteps and to provide them milk to drink. The disbelievers followed their footprints to the entrance of the cave but Allah protected them. Quraish made a hundred camels as reward for anyone who catches them, but Allah protected His Prophet from all evil like He protected him on the way from Suraqah Ibn Malik, as the feet of his horse sank in the earth and he requested mercy.

The Prophet in Madinah
The Prophet (PBUH) arrived at Quba and spent three days there. He built Masjid Quba there which is the first masjid built on piety. Then he proceeded to Madinah, where he was received by the Helpers, who were happy at his arrival and his welcomers happily sung:

The full moon has arisen                     From Thaniyat Al Wadah

Thanks is enjoined on us                     On what Allah has given us

The Prophet (PBUH) disembarked on the house of Abu Ayyub The Helper (RA). The people of Madinah were called the Helpers and the people who migrated from Makkah were called the Migrants. The most important thing that was done in Madinah was the building of the masjid, sharing in the building, the peace between the two tribes, Aws and Khazraj, the brotherhood between the Migrants and the Helpers to reinforce one another with each other’s support, and writing up of the agreement between them and the Jews.

His Military Campaigns
Allah allowed the Messenger to fight battles and made this a means to protect the Muslim lands, and a means to propagate Allah’s religion. There occurred a number of skirmishes and battles between the Muslims and the disbelievers. Among the most famous were:

The Great Battle of Badr
It took place in the second year of the Hijrah. In it the Muslims won and the idolaters lost. Seventy of them died and seventy were taken prisoners.

The Battle of Uhud
It took place in the third year of the Hijrah close to Madinah at Mount Uhud. In it, the Muslim won at first, but the archers disobeyed the Messenger’s (PBUH) command and descended from the mountain. Thus the idolaters returned, led by Khalid Ibn Walid, from the direction of the mountain, and so the balance of the war led to a stalemate.

The Battle of the Tribes
In the fifth year of the Hijrah, Quraish plotted with some tribes to lay siege to Madinah. The Muslims dug trenches to protect them from the tribes who made alliance with the Jews of Madinah (Banu Quraizah) who broke their treaty with the Muslims. Allah sent strong winds so the idolaters dispersed and Allah protected the Muslims from slaughter.

The Battle of Banu Quraizah
Immediately after the Battle of the Tribes, the Muslims diverted attention to the Jews of Banu Quraizah who broke their treaty with the Muslims and laid siege on them. Saad Ibn Muaaz decided regarding their case and ended their mischief.

The Treaty of Hudaibiya
The Messenger (PBUH) and the Muslims left (Madinah) in the sixth year to Makkah for Umrah. They did not seek to fight, but sought only to perform Umrah. The idolaters met them and stopped them from the House (of Allah). The two parties consolidated a treaty, known as the Treaty of Hudaibiya. The terms of the treaty were to stop fighting between them for ten years, and that the Muslims should return that year without performing Umrah, and that they should perform Umrah the next year.

Conquest of Makkah
In the eight year of Hijrah, the Messenger (PBUH) left (Madinah) to conquer Makkah after the idolaters broke the treaty. He conquered Makkah, broke the idols and removed the signs of idolatry from it. After the victory, Islam started to spread in the Arabian Peninsula and the Arab delegations started to arrive in Madinah to announce their entry into Islam.

His Death
The Messenger (PBUH) passed away at sixty three years of age during the day, on Monday, on the twelfth day of Rabii Al Awwal. He was buried in the same place where he died, in Ayesha’s room. The Muslims send greetings on him.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Everlasting Miracle (Translation)

Translated from Arabic to English by Abu Abdullah

The Quran: A Miracle
The Quran is a miracle of the Messenger (PBUH); Allah (SWT) sent it down on him in stages with respect to the events. The wisdom behind this was to strengthen (belief) in the heart of the Messenger (PBUH) and in the hearts of the Believers and to make its memorization easy for them. The Most High said: “And the disbelievers say why does the Quran not be sent down all at once; this is so as to strengthen with it your heart; and so that it is recited with a good recitation” [Chapter: The Criterion; Verse: 32]

Other Miracles
There were other miracles associated with the Messenger (PBUH) including the splitting of the moon and gushing forth of water from between his fingers. Likewise, there were miracles associated with messengers before him, like the staff which was a miracle of Musa (AS) and the female camel which was a miracle of Saleh (AS). These miracles ceased to exist with those associated with them and what remained were their narrations for lessons of warning (to future generations). As for the everlasting miracle of the Messenger (PBUH), it is the Glorious Quran and it will remain intact till the Day of Judgment. The Most High said: “Certainly We sent down the Reminder and certainly We are protecting it”[Chapter: Al Hijr; Verse: 9].  The Quran challenged mankind and jinn to bring something similar to it, but they could not. The Most High said: “Say if Mankind and Jinn combine to bring something similar to this Quran they cannot produce something similar even if they help each other”[Chapter: The Night Journey; Verse: 88]

The Miracles of the Quran
The Quran is miraculous in its methodology, its words and its meanings. There are many matters that signify the miracles of the Quran. Whatever modern science presents as new knowledge, it confirms these miracles. Some of these miracles: that the Quran brought forth a lot of the history of previous nations. Likewise, it included a large degree of information and knowledge that was never known to Mankind from before.  In addition, Quran came with knowledge that corrected beliefs of people, their worship, their social, political and economic lives. The Most High said: “And We sent down on you the book which is an explanation of everything” [Chapter: The Bee; Verse: 89]

Descent of the Quran
The Quran was sent down in stages on the Messenger (PBUH) with Gabriel (AS) as an intermediary. The Most High said: “He sent down with it the Trustworthy Spirit. On your heart so as you become a Warner.  In clear Arabic tongue”. [Chapter: The Poets; Verses: 193-195]

The Makkan and Madani Quran
Quran is categorized as Makkan and Madani. The Makkan Quran is that which was sent down before the Migration (Hijrah), even if it was sent down outside Makkah. As for the Madani Quran; it is what was sent down after the Migration (Hijrah), even if it was sent down inside Makkah. The Makkan chapters came down mostly short so as to make their the propagation of Islam, the Day of Judgment, the stories of the Prophets and previous Messengers (AS) and so on. The Makkan Quran comprises of about two thirds of the Quran. As for the Madani Quran, it came with mostly long chapters and verses, and covered new subjects such as the obligations, the law, the social rights and holy war, etc.

Collecting and Recording the Quran
It took 23 years for the Quran to come down and the Messenger (PBUH) had writers who wrote it down. Whenever there descended on him a verse or verses he commanded them to write it and he said to them put these verse or verses in chapter so and so. The Quran was not collected in a single collection during the life of the Messenger (PBUH). The first time the Quran was collected in a single book was during the time of the first khalifa, Abu Bakr As Siddique (RA) in the 12th year of the Hijrah, after the Battle of Yamama against the apostates, in which 70 companions were killed who were recitors and scholars. This collection remained with Abu Bakr (RA) during his lifetime then it was transferred to Khalifa Umar Bin Khattab (RA) and when he died, it was protected by his daughter, Hafsa (RA) who presented it to Khalifa Uthman Bin Affan (RA) when he requested it from her. Then the Quran was copied during the reign of Uthman (RA) who ordered the collection of the Quran in one book, fearing the loss of it due to the differences of what was in the hands of the people from its versions after almost a tribulation happened between the Muslims in the battles. He ordered making copies from it and sent them to all the countries and kept a copy with himself which is called the Mushaf Al Imam.