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The tragedy of Karbala that occurred 
on the 10th of Muharram, 61 AH on the 
bank of river Euphrate teaches many 
lessons. It Impresses upon us that no 
sacrifice Is too great for the sake of truth 
and justice and laying down one's life for 
such a noble cause Is no death but 
martyrdom which Is the eternal life. As the 
Holy Qur'an says "martyres are not dead 
but they are alive In the real sense of the 
word getting sustenance from Allah". The 
tragedy of Karbala also embodies the 
message that compromise on matters of 
principle for a temporary worldly gain Is 
the most disgraceful course to follow as 
leads to perpetual damnation. 

The great Imam Hussain son of Hazrat 
All (RDA) was sure of the dire 
consequence of his determined stand 
against the rule of the wicked and tyrant 
Yazeed, for his little band of kith and kin 
and a few companions, saw what was 
written large on the walls. He fully realised 
that he and his seventy two companions 
were no match to a 4000 strong force 
under the command of Ibne Sa'ad. But 
this demonstration of force could not 
subdue him In the least. He clung to his 
position by persistently refusing to 
acknowledge the wicked Yazeed as the 
ruler of the nascent Islamic state. 
Sorrounded on an small spot with river 
flowing closeby, they were deprived of 
water for three consecutive days. Every 
one of them with his and her unshakeable 
faith In Allah and their great leader bore 

their harrowing plight. On the third day 
which was the 10th of Muharram all the 
near and dear ones of the great Imam ana 
himself embraced martyrdom, fighting with 
unparalleled gallantry. 

Thus Hazrat Imam Hussain (RDA) 
and his companions wrote the history o) 
Islam with their blood as Is evident from 
the events of the ensuing centuries. An 
ailing son of Hazrat Imam Hussain (RDA) 
named All who later received the 
designation of Zayn-ul-AbldIn was the 
solitary exception who was spared. Imam 
Hussaln's struggle and martyrdom has left 
an Indelible mark In the Islamic history. 
His name has come down to us as a 
symbol of good and supreme sacrifice. 

The defiant spirit shown at Karbala by 
Hazrat Imam Hussain was not a mere 
ephemeral phenomenon. It runs In the 
blood of the Muslims and manifested Itsell 
again and again against all forms o) 

The spirit of Karbala Is universal. It Is 
like the sun which sets at one place to rise 
again at another It has remained a source 
of Inspiration to the Muslims all over the 
world since the Hussalnl spirit has been 
at work behind every freedom movement 
In the Muslim history. The very existence 
of Pakistan owes Itself to the same spirit. 
It appeared on the map of the world as 
the result of a dauntless struggle agalnsl 
forces opposed to Islam FARID 

,Ji J/ '^0 ±^ 


"O Almighty Allah: I know the consequences (of this battle) but despite my repeated requests my followers do 
not leave me alone. My brother, sister, children may all be sacrificed for Thee. O Emperor of emperors accept my 
humble sacrifice, I pray to Thee that the love of children may not stand in the way of my Sacrifice (which is purely for 
Thee). Pray uphold my bravery. Grant me 'taufique' (moral courage) so that I may offer my head for Thy Cause 
like a brave man (who fears none except Thee), and bury my kins without uttering any words of anguish which you 
have forbidden to utter, except those of gratefulness, patience and perseverance as ordered by Thee". 


January 2009 


Dr. Maulana Muhammad Fazl-ur-Rahman 
Al-Ansari Al-Qaderi (R.A.) 


(1) Duties towards all non-Muslims 
rrespective of their being friendly or 

(2) Particular attitude towards those non- 
Vluslims who are either friendly or neutral. 

(3) Particular attitude towards those non- 
Muslims who are active enemies of Islam 
and Muslims. 


(a) Duties of Omission: 


Preservation of Islam and Muslims. 

(i) Befriending active enemies, wlio 
are devoted to the destruction of Islam 
and Muslims, and establishing with them 
intimate relations, even though they are 
near relatives, prohibited: 

There are several verses in the Holy 
Qur'an which bear reference to this 
Droblem. We quote all the important ones 
lerein below: Every such verse relates, 
without exception, only to those non- 
Vluslims of the days of Qur'anic 
Revelation — Pagans, Jews and 
Christians — who were sworn enemies of 

Islam and whose active hostility towards 
Muslims had reached the highest limits 
They had it as their permanent mission to 
do all in their power for destroying anc 
annihilating Islam and Muslims. It was 
thus, for protecting Islam and Muslims 
against their enemies and not out of spite 
for non-Muslims as such, that the following 
verses were revealed, and they hold good 
wherever and whenever similar situation 
arises. The rationality and justice of laying 
down this duty is obvious and must be 
accepted by every reasonable human 

The Holy Qur'an says: 

"Let not the Believers take for friends 
or helpers infidels rather than believers: if 
ye do that, in nothing will there be help 
from Allah: except (entering into some no- 
war pact with them) by way of precaution 
that ye may guard yourselves from them...' 

"Oh ye who believe! take not into your 
intimacy those outside your ranks: they 
will not fail to corrupt you. They only desire 
your ruin: Rank hatred has already 
appeared from their mouths: Something 
far worse is hidden in their hearts. We 
have made plain to you the Signs, if ye 
have wisdom. Ah! ye are those who love 
them, but they love you not, — though ye 
believe in the whole of the Book. When 
they meet you, they say, 'We believe'; but 


January 2009 

when they are alone, they bite of the very 
tips of their fingers at you in their rage. 
Say: 'Perish in your rage; Allah knoweth 
well all the secrets of the heart'. If aught 
that is good befalls you, it grieves them; 
out if some misfortune overtakes you, they 
rejoice at it. But if ye are constant and do 
right, not the least harm will their cunning 
do to you; for Allah compasseth round 
about all that they do." (Ill : 118-120). 

"They but wish that ye should reject 
Faith, as they do, and be on the same 
footing (as they); but take not friends from 
their ranks until they flee in the Way of 
Allah (from what is forbidden). But if they 
turn renegades seize them and slay them; 
and (in any case) take no friends or helpers 
from their ranks:. . . ." (IV: 89). 

"Already have We sent you word in 
the Book, that when ye hear the Signs of 
Allah held in fefiance and ridicule, ye are 
not to sit with them unless they turn to a 
different theme; if ye did, ye would be like 
them. For Allah will collect the Hypocrites 
and those who defy Faith — all in Hell;...." 
(IV: 140). 

"Oh ye who believe! take not the Jews 
and the Christians for your friends and 
orotectors: They are but friends and 
orotectors to each other. And he amongst 
you that turn to them (for friendship) is of 
them. Verily Allah guideth not a people 
unjust." (V: 54). 

"Oh ye who believe! take not for friends 
and protectors those who take your religion 
for a mockery or sport, — whether among 
those who received the Scripture before 
you, or among those who reject Faith; But 
fear ye Allah, if ye have Faith (indeed)." 

(V: 60). 

"When thou seest men engaged in 
vain discourse about Our Signs, turn away 
from them unless they turn to a different 
them. If Satan ever makes thee forget, 
then after recollection, sit not thou in the 
company of the ungodly." (VI: 68). 

"But when the forbidden months are 
past, then fight and slay the Pagans 
wherever ye find them, or seize them, 
beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them 
in every stratagem (of war); but if they 
repent, and establish regular prayers anc 
practise regular charity, then open the way 
for them; for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most 
Merciful." (IX : 5). 

"Oh ye who believe! Take not for 
Protectors your fathers and your brothers 
if they love infidelity above faith: If any o' 
you do so, they do wrong." (IX : 23) 

"Oh Prophet! Strive hard against the 
Rejecters and the Hypocrites (to combat 
the evils of their hostility). And be firm 
against them. Their abode is Hell, — an evi 
refuge indeed." (IX : 73). 

"They (i.e., the Hypocrites) swear by 
Allah that they said nothing (evil), but 
indeed they uttered blasphemy, and they 
did it after accepting Islam; and they 
meditated a plot which they were unable 
to carry out: this revenge of theirs was 
(their) only return for the bounty with which 
Allah and His Messenger had enrichec 
them! If they repent, it will be best for them 
But if they turn back (to their evil ways), 
Allah will punish them with a grievous 
penalty in this life and in the Hereafter 
they shall have none on earth to protect 


January 2009 

or help them." (IX : 74). 

"O ye who believe! Fight the (hostile) 
nfidels who gird you about, and let them 
find firmness in you: and know that Allah 
s with those who fear Him". (IX : 123). 

"Thou wilt not find any people who 
oelieve in Allah and the Last Day, 
befriending those who oppose Allah and 
His Messenger, even though they were 
their fathers or their sons, or their brothers, 
or their kindred..." (LVIII : 22). 

"O ye who believe! take not My 
enemies and yours as friends (or 
orotectors), — offering them (your) love, 
even though they have rejected the Truth 
that has come to you, and have driven out 
the Prophet and yourselves (from your 
homes), (simply) because ye believe in 
Allah your Lord! If ye have come out to 
strive in My Way and to seek My Good 
Pleasure (take them not as friends), holding 
secret converse of love (and friendship) 
with them: for I know full well all that ye 
reveal. And any of you that does this has 
strayed from the Straight Path. If they were 
to get the better of you, they would behave 
to you as enemies, and stretch forth their 
hands and their tongues against you for 
evil; and they desire that ye should reject 
the Truth. Of no profit to you will be your 
relatives and your children on the Day of 
Judgment: He will judge between you: For 
Allah sees well all that ye do." (LX : 1-3). 

"Allah only forbids you with regard to 
those who fight you for (your) faith, and 
drive you out of your homes, and support 
(others) in driving you out, from turning to 
them (for friendship and protection). It is 
such as turn to them (in the circumstances). 

that do wrong." (IX : 9). 

(ii) Firmness against the enemies of Islarr 

"Muhammad is the Messenger of 
Allah; and those who are with him are 
strong against (the evils of) the Rejectors..' 
(XLVIII : 29). 

(Hi) Mightiness against the enemies o) 
Islam enjoined: 

". . . (The quality of true Muslims shoulc 
be that they should be) mighty against the 
(hostile) Rejectors. . ." (V : 57) 

(iv) Building up military strength in the 
highest possible measure, as a safeguaro 
against dangers from the side of the 
enemies of Islam, enjoined: 

"Against them (i.e., your enemies) 
make ready your Power to the utmost of 
your strength, including steeds of war, to 
strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies 
of Allah and your enemies, and other 
besides, whom ye know not, but whom 
Allah doth know. Whatever ye shall spenc 
in the Cause of Allah, shall be repaid unto 
you, and ye shall not be treated unjustly.' 
(VIII :60). 

(v) Fighting against the enemies with the 
fullest enthusiasm and to the finish, ir 
order to defend Islam and Muslims ana 
make them safe, in case the non-Muslims 
create a state of war, enjoined 

"Oh Messenger! rouse the Believers 
to the fight. If there are twenty amongs' 
you, patient and persevering, they wil 
conquer two hundred: if a hundred, they 


January 2009 

will conquer a thousand of the Rejectors: 
for these are a people without 
understanding." (VIM: 65). 

"To those against whom war is made, 
permission is given (to fight), because they 
are wronged; — and verily Allah if Most 
Powerful for their aid; — (they are) those 
who have been expelled from their homes 
in defiance of right, — (for no cause) except 
that they say, "Our Lord is Allah', Did not 
Allah check one set of people by means 
of another, there would surely have been 
oulled down monasteries, churches, 
synagogues, and mosques, in which the 
name of Allah is commemorate in abundant 
isure " (XXII : 39, 40). 

(b) Duties of Commission: 

Promotion of Peace, Justice and 
Goodwill among mankind. 

(i) Maintaining the attitude of readiness 
for making peace with the enemies of 
Islam in the interest of human welfare, 

"But if the enemy incline towards 
oeace, do thou (also) incline towards 
oeace. and trust in Allah: for He is the One 
who heareth and knoweth (all things). 

Should they intend to deceive thee, — verily 
Allah sufficeth thee. . ." (VIII : 61, 62) 

(ii) Finally, observing absolute justice ir 
all respects and in all dealings with the 
enemies of Islam enjoined as bounder 

"Oh ye who believe! be maintainers 
of your pact with Allah (i.e., stand out firmly 
for Allah) as witnesses to fair dealing, anc 
let not the hatred of others to you make 
you swerve to wrong and depart from 
justice. Be just: that is nearer to Duty: anc 
fear Allah. For Allah is well acquainted with 
all that ye do." (V: 9). 

(Hi) In the case of non-Muslim parents, 
continued service to them enjoined, ever 
when they exert to turn a Muslim away 
from Islam: 

"But if they (i.e., the non-Musim 
parents) strive to make thee join in worship 
with Me things of which thou hast no 
knowledge, obey them not; yet bear them 
company in this life with justice (anc 
consideration) and follow the way of those 
who turn to Me (in love). In the end the 
return of you all is to Me, and I will tell yoL 
the truth (and meaning) of all that ye did.' 
(XXXI :15). 

The essence of Islam is to serve God and do good to 
our fellow creatures. 

January 2009 

In the name of Allah, the All-Compassionate, the Most-Merciful 





In Islam, Martyrdom and Jihad (inward 
and outward) struggle for glorification of 
-aith) are inter-linked. The word for "Martyr" 
n Qur'an and in Muslim theology is 
Shaheed, the literal meaning of which is 
'present as a witness". It implies all that 
s understood by the Greek paprus, and 
the English Meryre;but it is a much more 
omprehensive term; for, according to 
Vluslim law, not only those who die in 
witness of, or in defence of the Faith are 
martyrs, but also all those who die such a 
Jeath as excites the compassion and pity 
Df their fellow-men on account of their just 

A true martyr is one who has been 
;lain in a religious campaign for the cause 
Df Allah. According to Muslim law, all 
Dersons who die fighting on a battle field 
n defence of the faith, are exempt from 
the Rituals of Muslim burial (Bath and 
offin cloth), as are necessary in the case 
Df other Muslims who die a natural death; 
:he honour of martyrdom being such as 
:o render their remains ritually clean. 

Holy Qur'an describing the Bliss of 
Vlartyrs says that they are not dead; they 
are alive, — in a far higher and deeper 
sense than the life they have departed 
rom. Through the gateway of death, they 
lave entered the domain of ever-lasting 
ife sustained by the ineffable presence of 
nearness of Allah: 

"And do not think that those who were 
<illed in the way of Allah are dead. No they 
Fire alive with their Rahh (Creator and 

Sustainer) and are well-provided (by Him). 
They rejoice in what Allah has given them 
by His Grace, and are glad for those left 
behind who have not yet joined them, 
because neither they shall have fear nor 
they shall grieve. They are rejoicing in 
Allah's bounty and grace, and in that Allah 
does not waste the reward of the faithful.' 

As for patient perseverance and 
prayer, enjoined in Qur'an, it is not mere 
passivity. It is also an earnest striving in 
the way of Truth, the way of Allah. Such 
inward striving is exerting one's self in 
God's way, one's own life or the lives of 
those who are nearest and dearest to one. 

Those who meet their death in such 
a manner as to excite sympathey and pity 
of the people, such as by sudden calamity, 
that is, in an accident or from some 
malignant epidemic, disease, or in child 
birth, or in the pursuit of knowledge, or as 
a stranger in a foreign country, as stated 
already, are also martyrs, but they are not 
exempt from the rituals preceding the 

Jihad literally means "an effort, or a 
striving", and figuratively it stands for 
fighting in defence of the faith of Islam. It 
is an incumbent religious duty, enjoined 
in Qur'an and in Hadith for the purpose of 
defence of Islam and or the Muslims by 
repelling the evil which may be threatening 

Long chapters in the honks of Hadith 


January 2009 

[Bukhari, Muslim, etc.) are devoted to the 
subject of Jihad. The following are some 
Df the quotations on the subject from the 
sayings of the Holy Prophet (#):- 

"God is sponsor for him who goes 
forth to fight in the way of God. If he be 
lot killed, he shall return to his house with 
■eward and booty but if he be slain, he 
shall be taken to paradise." 

"Guarding the frontiers of Islam for 
9ven one day is worth more than the whole 
world and all that is in it. 

"The fire of Hell shall not touch the 
egs of him who shall be covered with the 
dust of battle in the way of God." 

In the year 60 A.H, Ameer Mu'awiyah's 
son, Yazid ascended the throne. He tried 
to secure allegiance of Imam Hussain 
(RDA) but the latter refused to take the 
Dath of allegiance on account of certain 
differences. Mu'awiyah tried to secure the 
succession of Yazid during his own lifetime. 

Just at the time the people of Kufah 
among whom there were many adherents 
Df Imam Hussain's illustrious father Hazrat 
Mi (RDA) invited Imam Husain to make 
<ufah (Iraq) his home. The Imam then 
Drepared to leave for Kufah. The surviving 
companions of the Holy Prophet (#) on 
earning of his intention, came to him and 
tried to dissuade him from proceeding 
towards Kufah on the ground that the 
Deople of that place were not known to be 
rustworthy. The Imam, however, stuck to 
lis decision and left for Kufah. He 
encamped at a deserted place called 
<arbala near the western bank of the 
zuphrates.: "no event," says Syed Amir 
Mi "in history surpasses the pathose the 
scenes enacted on this spot. Hussain's 
apprehensions of betrayal proved to be 
pnly too true. He was overtaken by the 

Yazid army under the brutal and ferocious 
Obaidullah ibn-Ziyad. For days their tents 
were sorrounded; and as the cowardly 
hounds dared not come within the reach 
of the sword of All's son they cut the victims 
off from the water of Euphrates. The 
sufferings of the poor band of martyrs were 
terrible. In a conference with the chief of 
the enemy, Hussain (RDA) proposed the 
option of three honourable conditions: (a) 
that he should be allowed to return to 
Madina, (b) be stationed in a frontier 
garrision against the Turks, or (c) be safely 
conducted to the presence of Yazid. But 
the commands of the Ommeyyade tyrants 
were stern and inexorable that no mercy 
should be shown to Hussain or his party, 
and that they must be brought as criminals 
before the "Caliph" to be dealt with 
according to the Ommeyyade sense of 
justice. As a last resource, Hussain 
besought these monsters not to war upon 
the helpless women and children, but to 
kill him and be done with it. But they knew 
no pity. He pressed his friends to consult 
their safety by a timely flight; they 
unanimously refused to desert or survive 
their beloved master. One of the enemy's 
chief, struck with horror at the sacrilege 
of warring against the grandson of the 
Prophet, deserted with thirty followers "to 
claim the partnership of inevitable death". 
In every single combat and close fight the 
valour of the Fatimides was invincible, but 
the enemy's archers picked them off from 
a safe distance. One by one the defenders 
fell, until at last there remained but the 
grandson of the Prophet. Wounded and 
dying he dragged himself to the river-side 
for a last drink; they turned him off with 
arrows from there. And as he re-entered 
his tent he took his infant child in his arms; 
they transfixed him with a dart. The striken 
father bowed his head to heaven. Able no 
more to stand up against his pitiless foes, 
stone and weary, he seated himself at the 
door of his tent. One of the women handed 


January 2009 

iim a cup ot water to assuage his burning 
thirst; as he raised it to his lips he was 
Dierced in the mouth with a dart; and his 
son and nephew were killed in his arms. 
He lifted his hands to heaven, they were 
full of blood, and he uttered a funeral 
Drayerforthe living and the dead. Raising 
limself for one desperate charge, he threw 
limself among the Omeyyades, who fell 
Dack on every side. But faint with loss of 
Diood he soon sank to the ground, and 
then the murderous crew rushed upon the 
dying hero. They cut off his head, trampled 
Dn his body, and subjected it to every 
gnominy in the old spirit of Hind. They 
carried the martyr's head to the castle of 
<ufa, and the inhuman Obaidullah struck 
he mouth with a cane: (Spirit of Islam, - 

The tragedy of Karbala cannot fail to 
mpress upon the minds of the readers the 
many lessons that it contains: 

Firstly, the Imam wrote down in his 
Dwn blood and that of his near and dear 
Dnes the basic principles of Islam, that is 
jnquestioned and un-reserved submission 
and reconcilation to the will of Allah; and 
the teachings of the Holy Prophet (#), 
namely, peity with dignity and decorum 
against all odds. In other words the Imam 
llustrated to the Muslims in the most 
ndelible manner that Islam, that is, their 
Delief and faith in Allah and His Apostle is 
Tiore than their life's worth. The painful 
and heart-piercing details of the atrocities 
suffered by him, his family and his 
companions further clarify the Imam's 
message: there can be no circumstances 
and no situations to justify a compromise 
Dn principles. This is the most courageous 
VIessage that the Imam has given to the 
Vluslims and it will continue to inspire and 
stregthen the countless generations of 
Vluslims that are to follow. 

Secondly, the Imam showed to the 
Vluslims, and for that matter to all the 

humanity, that righteousness demands 
firmness of purpose, indomitable courage, 
the inexhaustible patience and boundless 
love. Righteousness is not compatible with 
pride or vanity, coersion or dictation. 

Thirdly, that Faith consists of complete 
reliance on Allah, come what may, the 
consequences are besides the point. A 
believer has to act and not to watch or 
wait once his course of action is clear to 
him in the light of Divine teachings. A 
believer has also not to look for results, 
get excited over success or feel 
disheartened over defeat so long as he 
conscientiously follows the right path. Final 
reckoning rests with Allah and Karbala 
makes this all too clear for Muslims. 

Fourthly, that sacrifice in the name of 
Allah and all the sufferings that one may 
be called upon to endure for the sake of 
his belief must be free from personal 
sentiments. They are not to be spoilt with 
protests and complaints. They have to be 
offered ungrudgingly and without demur. 

These are some of the lessons to be 
drawn from the supreme sacrifice so 
readily offered by Sayyidina Hazrat Imam 
Hussain (RDA) at Karbala. 

We somehow think in our folly that the 
annual ritual of wailing, chest beating, 
recitation of elegies and crying with profuse 
tears in our eyes, is enough. What we 
really need is to follow the spirit of Karbala 
to hold fast to Justice and Truth at all cost. 

May Almighty Allah shower his 
choicest blessings on the Martyrs of 
Karbala and raise among us many a 
Hussain who could demonstrate how to 
live for, strive for, and even die for Islamic 
principles, in order to save God's good 
earth from usurpation by those whose 
lustful hunger for land and power remains 
ever unsatisfied. Ameen. (Courtesy: 
Yaqeen International) June, 1994. 


January 2009 

Belief in the 'Hereafter' 

Belief in God and in tine Day of 
Judgment and noble deeds are the three 
prerequisites of reward from the Lord— 
mmunity from any kind of fear and all 
<inds of sorrow (2:62 5:69). Thus, belief 
n the Hereafter is second to belief in God. 

According to Muslim theologians, belief 
n the life hereafter rests on five articles of 
faith: (1) human beings are a responsible 
species and, thus, accountable to the 
Creator for all actions --good, bad and 
ndifferent; (2) the present world is 
smphemeral, destined to end with a few 
Dangs on the last day known only to the 
Creator; (3) another universe will come 
nto being in place of the present one and 
he entire race of mankind that had once 
ived on the earth from the inception of 
luman life till its end will be recreated and 
assembled at one place for accountability 
Df every individual soul, in a transparent, 
airest and most judicious manner. (4) 
Those adjudged as good will be ushered 
n a delightful, pleasurable and permanent 
■esort called Heaven and those adjudged 
as bad will find themselves in a place of 
orment, called Hell, (5) acquisition of 
uxuries or inability to acquire them in 
sarthly life is, in the final analysis, not the 
criterion of real success or failure. 

Belief in resurrection and accountability 
Dredates the Abrahamic faiths that 
Driginated in the land of Syriac Semites, 
he land known as the 'cradle of civilization'. 
The ancient Egyptians, having no 
association with the Semitic people, buried 
heir dead monarchs in huge pyramids 
with all their precious jewels and other 
Delongings to be used by them after 

The ancient Greeks believed in an 
underworld called Hades, the abode of 
the dead as well as a dark purgatory. The 
Zoroastrians of Persia who were of Aryan 
stock held similar beliefs of reward and 
retribution as the Semitic people had. The 
Hindus believed in transmigration of 
soul,an unending chain of birth and rebirth 
till attainment of Salvation or Mukti. 

Coming to Abrahamic faiths-Judaism, 
Christianity and Islam - the Jews believed 
in Heaven and Hell with the stipulation 
that, being God's chosen people, they will 
suffer the torment of Hell for a limited 
period ranging from three days to a few 
months. Christianity's Book of Revelations, 
included in its New Testament, contains a 
graphic description, in symbolic language, 
how six angels will blow the trumpet, one 
after another, signalling the destruction of 
the universe and finally the seventh angel's 
trumpet heralding the completion of "God's 
secret plan" and proclamation of power 
being dedicated to the Messiah, and so 

The way the Qur'an presents the idea 
of the Hereafter is entirely different from 
the mythological approach of other faiths. 
It argues the main points that arise in one's 
mind as to why the life hereafter is 
necessary, who the sceptive are, who are 
inclined to disbelieve resurrection for 
reckoning and accountability and on what 
grounds they reject this idea. 

The Qur'an offers three cogent 
reasons for life hereafter: (1) Those who 
realize, after pondering over the creation 
of galaxies after galaxies, all studded with 
planets and stars gliding safely on their 


January 2009 

defined orbits witinout deviation, tinat tinis 
:omplex universe was not created in vain 
DUt witii a purpose -- (3:191). (2) Sucin 
■ational iiuman beings also inave no doubt 
hat tine Being tinat produced tine existing 
:reation can re-produce it for satisfying 
he purpose of creation, i.e., judging the 
Derformance of the best of His creation 
- the human kind — (10:4); (3) life 
lereafter is necessary "to explain to 
nankind as to wherein they differed among 
hemselves and to show to the unbelievers 
hat they were liars"— (16:39) 

Similarly the Book categorises the 
main objectors of Hereafter. One is the 
group of those who opine, without sound 
knowledge and on mere guess work" that 
'there is nothing beyond our life of this 
world — we die and we live and nothing 
destroys us except Time" (45:24). The 
second group comprise those who 
:onsider resurrection of the dead as a 
scientific impossibility, saying "who will 
"evive those bones when they have rotted 
away?" (36:78). 

The answer to both the groups of 
intellectuals' who are inclined towards 
ncredulity is provided in words meaning 
hat such persons do not ponder over their 
Dwn creation or have forgotten the fact of 
heir own creation "from a drop of seed" 
and yet graduating into "open opponents" 
Df the Creator. As to who will resusciate 
he rotted bones, the doubter should be 
old that "He will revive them (the bones) 
who produced them in the first instance" 
;36:77-79). There is no effort to dictate 
from a high pedestal but to furnish 
argument against a wrong notion and 
flawed impression. 

Muslim mystics (Sufis) and those who 
are disposed to be swayed by their 
■easoning, mostly based on their 
Muraqiba' or contemplation in search of 

hidden truth, visualize three abodes, not 
two — the present world and the world 
hereafter. They interpose an abode called 
Barzakh (which begins from the grave till 
doomsday) between the present world 
and the Hereafter. They base their 
judgment on two verses of the Qur'an: 
One is in regard to the last wish of 
repentant agnostics in the throes of death 
to be given a respite and sent back to 
abode so that they could then do right kind 
of deeds. God's answer to their last 
moment prayer is, "Nay behind them is a 
barrier (barzakh) until the day when they 
are raised". (23:99-10) 

So, there is a buffer zone between 
earthly life and eternal life after resurrection. 
The second verse from which the mystics 
derive support is God's words: "We know 
them (the hypocrites and abostics) and 
we will chastise them twice thereafter they 
will be relegated to the painful doom" 
(9:1 01 ). This two time chastisement before 
'painful doom's meaning torment in Hell 
after the Day of Judgment, suggests 
chastisement in the earthly life and in the 
buffer zone after death and before 

They further suggest that in this world 
physical body is prominent while the soul 
is hidden and whatever pleasure or pain 
affects the soul is through the medium of 
the body. In the second abode (Barzakh) 
the pleasure and pain will be experienced 
by the soul directly, the body being non- 

In the third and final abode, the world 
after the Day of Judgment, both the oul 
and the body will become prominent, but 
the body will be quite different from this 
world's physical mould; they will be in 
accordance with the nature of deeds 
performed by every soul during life on 


January 2009 

How Muslim Inventors Changed 
The World 

Paul Vallely 

Form coffee to cheques and the 
threecoures meal the Muslim world has 
given us many innovations that we in the 
West take for granted. Here are 20 of their 
most influential innovations: 

(1) The story goes that an Arab named 
Khalid was tending his goats in the Kaffa 
'egion of southern Ethiopia, when he 
noticed his animals became livelier after 
eating a certain berry. 

He boiled the berries to make the first 
;offee. Certainly the first record of the 
drink is of beans exported from Ethiopia 
to Yeman where Sufis drank it to stay 
awake all night to pray on special 
occasions. By the late 15th century it had 
arrived in Makkah and Turkey from where 
t made its way to Venice in 1645. 

It was brought to England in 1650 by 
a Turk named Pasqua Rosee who opened 
the first coffee house in Lombard Street 
n the City of London. The Arabic "qahwa" 
Decame the Turkish "kahve" then the Italian 
caffe" and then English "coffee 

(2) The ancient Greeks thought our eyes 
emitted rays like a laser, which enabled 
us to see. The first person to realise that 
ight enters the eyes, rather than leaving 
t, was the 10th century Muslim 
mathematician, astronomer and physicist 
Ibn al Haitham. 

He invented the first pin-hole camera 
after noticing the way light came through 

a hole in window shutters. The smaller the 
hole, the better the picture, he worked out, 
and set up the first camera Obscura (from 
the Arab word "qamara" for a dark or 
private room). 

He is also credited with being the first 
man to shift physics from a philosophical 
activity to an experimental one. 

(3) A form of chess was played in ancient 
India but the game was developed into 
the form we know it today in Persia. From 
there it spread westward to Europe 
where it was introduced by the Moors in 
Spain in the 10th century and eastward 
as far as Japan. The word "rook" comes 
from the Persian "rukh", which means 

(4) A thousand years before the Wright 
brothers, a Muslim poet, astronomer, 
musician an engineer named Abbas ibn 
Firnas made several attempts to construct 
a flying machine. In 852 he jumped from 
the minaret of the Grand Mosque in 
Cordoba using a loose cloak stiffened with 
wooden struts. 

He hoped to glide like a bird. He didn't. 
But the cloak slowed his fall, creating what 
is thought to be the first parachute, and 
leaving him with only minor injuries 

In 875, aged 70, having perfected a 
machine of silk and eagle's feathers he 
tried again, jumping from a mountain. He 
flew to a significant height and stayed aloft 

January, 2009 

for 10 minutes but crashed on landing 
concluding, correctly, that it was because 
ie had not given his device a tail so it 
would stall on landing. Baghdad 
nternational airport and a crater on the 
moon are named after him. 

(5) Washing and bathing are religious 
requirements for Muslims, which is perhaps 
why they perfected the recipe for soap 
which we still use today. The ancient 
Egyptians had soap of a kind, as did the 
Romans who used it more as a pomade. 

But it was the Arabs who combined 
^/egetable oils with sodium hydroxide and 
aromatics such as thyme oil. One of the 
Crusaders most striking characteristics, 
to Arab nostrils, was that they did not wash. 

Shampoo was introduced to England 
by a Muslim who opened Mahmoed's 
Indian Vapor Baths on Brighton seafront 
in 1759 and was appointed Shampooing 
Surgeon to Kings George IV and William 

(6) Distillation, the means of separating 
iquids through differences in their boiling 
Doints, was invented around the year 800 
oy Islam's foremost scientist, Jabir ibn 
Hayyan, who transformed alchemy into 
chemistry, inventing many of the basic 
Drocesses and apparatus still in use today 
— liquefaction, crystallisation, distillation, 
purification, oxidation, evaporation and 

As well as discovering sulphuric and 
nitric acid, he invented the alembic still, 
giving the world intense rosewater and 
other perfumes and alchoholic spirits (Al 
though drinking them is forbidden, in 
Islam). Ibn Hayyan emphasised systematic 
experimentation and was the founder of 

modern chemistry. 

(7) The crank-shaft is a device which 
translates rotary into linear motion and is 
central to much of the machinary in the 
modern world, not least the internal 
combustion engine. One of the most 
important mechanical inventions in the 
history of humankind, it was created by 
an ingenious muslim engineer called 
alJazari to raise water for irrigation. 

His "Book of Knowledge of Ingenious 
Mechanical Devices" (1206) shows he 
also invented or refined the use of falves 
and pistons, devised some of the first 
mechanical clocks driven by water and 
weights, and was the father of robotics. 
Among his 50 other inventions was the 
combination lock. 

(8) Ouilting is a method of sewing or typing 
two layers of cloth with a layer of insulating 
material in between. It is not clear whether 
it was invented in the Muslim world or 
whether it was imported there from India 
or China. 

However, it certainly came to the West 
via the Crusaders. They saw it used by 
Saracen warriors, who wore strawfilled 
quilted canvas shirts instead of armour. 
As well as a form of protection, it proved 
an effective guard against the chafing of 
the Crusader's metal armour and was an 
effective form of insulation — so much so 
that it became a cottage industry back 
home in colder climates such as Britain 
and Holland. 

(9) The pointed arch so characteristic of 
Europe's Gothic cathedrals was an 
invention borrowed from Islamic 
architecture. It was much stronger than 
the rounded arch use by the Romans and 


January, 2009 

Slormans, thus allowing the building of 
Digger, higher, more complex and grander 

Other borrowings from Muslim genious 
ncluded ribbed vaulting, rose windows 
and dome-building techniques. Europ's 
castle were also adapted to copy the 
Islamic world's - with arrow slits 
battlements, a barbican and parapits. 
Square towers and keeps gave way to 
Tiore easily defended round ones. The 
architect of Henry V's castle was a Muslim. 

(1 0) Many modern surgical instruments 
are of exactly the same design as those 
devised in the 10th century by a Muslim 
surgeon called al-Zahrawi. His scalpels, 
3one saws, forceps, fine scissors for eye 
surgery and many of the 200 instruments 
-\e devised are recognisable to a modern 

It was he who discovered that catgut 
used for internal stitches dissolves away 
naturally (a discovery he made when his 
Tionkey ate his lute strings) and that it can 
De also used to make medicines capsules. 

In the 13th century, another Muslim 
Tiedic named Ibn-e-Nafis described the 
circulation of the blood, 300 years before 
William Harvey discovered it. Muslim 
doctors also invented anaesthetics of 
opium and alchhol mixes and developed 
nollow needles to suck cataracts from eyes 
n a technique still used today. 

(11) The windmill was invented in 634 
for a Persian caliph and was used to grind 
corn and draw up water for irrigation. In 
the vast desert of Arabia, when the 
seasonal streams ran dry, the only source 
of power was wind which blew steadily 

from one direction for months. Mills had 
six or 12 sails covered in fabric or palm 
leaves. It was 500 years before the first 
windmill was seen in Europe. 

(12) The technique of inoculation was 
not invented by Jenner and Pasteur but 
was devised in the Muslim world and 
brought to Europe from Turkey by the wife 
of the English ambassador to Istanbul in 
1724. Children in Turkey were vaccinated 
with cowpox to fight the deadly smallpox 
at least fifty years before the West 
discovered it. 

(1 3) The fountain pen was invented for 
the Sultan of Egypt in 953 after he 
demanded a pen which would not stain 
his hands or clothes. It held ink in a 
reservoir and, as with modern pens, fed 
ink to the nib by a combination of gravity 
and capillary action. 

(14) The system of numbering in use 
all round the world is probably Indian in 
origin but the style of the numerals is Arabic 
and first appears in print in the work of the 
Muslim mathematicians al-Khwarizmi and 
al-Kindi around 825. 

Algebra was named after al- 
Khwarizmi's book, Al-Jabr wa-al- 
Muqabilah, much of whose contents are 
still in use. The work of Muslim maths 
scholars was imported into Europe 300 
years later by the Italian mathematician 

Logarithms and much of the theory of 
trigonometry came from the Muslim world. 
And Al-Kindi's discovery of frequency 
analysis rendered all the codes of the 
ancient world soluble and created the basis 
of modern cryptology. 



January, 2009 

(15) AN Ibn-e-Nafi, known by his 
nickname of Ziryab (Blackbird) came from 
Iraq to Cordoba in the 9th century and 
Drought with him the concept of the three- 
course meal — soup, followed by fish or 
meat, then fruit and nuts. He also 
ntroduced crystal glasses (which had been 
nvented after experiments with rock crystal 
oy Abbas ibn Firnas) 

(16) Carpets were regarded as part of 
Daradise by mediaeval Muslims, thanks 
to their advanced weaving techniques, 
new tinctures from Islamic chemistry and 
Highly developed sense of pattern and 
arabesque which were the basis of Islam's 
non-representational art. 

In contrast, Europe's floors were 
distinctly earthly not to say earthy, until 
Arabian and Persian carpets were 
ntroduced. In England, as Erasmus 
recorded, floors were "covered in rushes 
occasionally renewed, but so imperfectly 
that the bottom layer is left undisturbed, 
sometimes for 20 years, harbouring 
expectoration, vomiting, the leakage of 
dogs and men, ale droppings, scraps of 
fish and other abominations not fit to be 
mentioned". Carpets, unsurprisingly, 
caught on quickly. 

(17) The modern cheque comes from 
the Arabic "Saqq", a written vow to pay for 
goods when they were delivered, to avoid 
money having to be transported across 
dangerous terrain. In the 9th century, a 
Muslim businessman could cash a cheque 
n China drawn on his bank in Baghdad. 

(18) By the 9th century, many Muslim 

scholars took it for granted that the earth 
was a sphere. The proof, said astronomer 
Ibn-e-Hazm, "is the Sun is always vertica 
to a particular spot on Earth". It was 500 
years before that realization dawned on 

The calculations of Muslim 
astronomers were so accurate that in the 
9th century they reckoned the Earth's 
circumference to be 40, 253.4 Km — less 
than 200 Km out. Al-ldrisi took a globe 
depicting the world to the court of King 
Roger of Sicily in 1139. 

(19) Though the Chinese inventec 
saltpetre gunpowder, and used it in their 
fireworks, it was the Arabs who workec 
out that it could be purified using potassium 
nitrated for military use. Muslim incendiary 
devices terrified the Crusaders. 

By the 15th century they had inventec 
both a rocket, which they called a "self- 
moving and combusting egg", and a 
torpedo — a self-propelled pear-shaped 
bomb with a spear at the front which 
impaled itself in enemy ships and then 
blew up. 

(20) Mediaeval Europe had kitchens anc 
herbgardens, but it was the Arabs who 
developed the idea of the garden as a 
place of beauty and meditation. The first 
royal pleasure gardens in Europe were 
opened in lithe century Muslim Spain. 
Flowers which originated in Muslim 
gardens include the carnation and the 
tulip. (Courtesy : DAWN) 


January, 2009 


Capitalism did not originate in tine 
Islamic world as it came into being only 
after the invention of the machine - which 
took place by chance in Europe. 

Capitalism was imported into the 
Islamic world at a time when it was under 
European domination. Together with the 
wave of development, it spread into the 
Islamic world which suffered from poverty, 
gnorance, illness and backwardness. This 
made some people think that Islam 
approves of capitalism, with both its evils 
and merits. They also claim that there are 
no provisions in the Islamic law or 
-egulations such as might be in conflict 
with capitalism. They argue that as Islam 
Dermitted individual ownership it must 
ikewise permit capitalism. 

In answer to this accusation it might 
suffice to point out that capitalism cannot 
Drosper or grow without usury and 
monopoly both of which were prohibited 
Dy Islam about one thousand years before 
the existence of capitalism. 

But let us tackle the question at some 
greater length. If the invention of the 
machine had taken place in the Islamic 
world, how would Islam have faced the 
economic development resulting from such 
nvention? How would Islamic legislations 
and laws have organised work and 

There is concensus of opinion among 
economists - including those who are 
opposed to capitalism i.e. Karl Marx - that 
capitalism at the start brought about great 

progress and rendered considerable 
services to humanity. Production was 
increased, means of communications were 
improved and national resources were 
exploited at a larger scale. The standarc 
of living among the working classes 
became higher than when they were 
mostly or completely dependent on 

But such a glorious picture did not last 
long because the natural development of 
capitalism, as they say led to the amassing 
of wealth in the hands of capitalist owners 
and to a relative diminution of the 
properties owned by the working classes. 
This enabled the capitalist owners to use 
workmen - the real producers in 
communist eyes - the real producers in 
communist eyes - in considerably stepping 
up the production of various commodities 
but the wages paid to workmen were too 
low to ensure decent life, because the 
employers took all the profits and spent 
them leading a life of luxury and corruption 

Besides this the scanty wages paid to 
workmen did not enable them to consume 
all the production, of capitalist countries. 
This led to the accumulation of surplus 
production As a result of this the capitalist 
countries began to look for new markets 
for their surplus production, which in turn 
gave rise to colonialism with all its 
incessant conflicts among different nations 
over markets and raw material resources. 
Destructive wars were the inevitable 
outcome of all this. 

Moreover the capitalist system is 


January 2009 

always exposed to periodic crises resulting 
from depression caused by low wages 
and the scantiness of world consumption 
n relation to increasing production. 

Some propagandists of materialism 
•efer all the problems of the capitalist 
system to the nature of capital itself rather 
than to any ill-will or desire for exploitation 
Dn the part of the capitalists. Such naive 
and strange reasoning means that man 
with all his emotions and thoughts is but 
a helpless creature in the face of the power 
Df economy. 

There is no doubt that Islam would 
lave encouraged the good and 
Drogressive achievements that were 
Drought about by capitalism in its early 
stage. But Islam would not have left 
capitalism without a legislation to organise 
t and to preclude any exploitation which 
night result from ill-will on the part of the 
employers or from the very nature of 
capital. The Islamic principle which was 
aid in this respect entitles the workmen 
to share the profit with their employers. 
Some Maliki jurisprudents went so far as 
to give to the employee an equal share in 
the profit. The employer provides all capital 
and the workman does the work; the two 
efforts are equal and accordingly they are 
entitled to an equal share in the profit. 

The above mentioned principle 
llustrates Islam's great concern with the 
sstablishment of justice. Such concern for 
the establishment of justice was voluntarily 
ntroduced by Islam. It was not forced 
thereon by any economic exigency nor was 
t the result of the struggle among classes 
which is regarded by the propagandists of 
certain economic doctrines as the sole 

effective factor in the development o1 
economic doctrines relations. 

In the beginning industry consisted of 
simple manual work involving a small 
number of workmen who worked in simple 
workshops. The above mentioned principle 
would have organised the relation between 
work and capital on an equitable basis such 
as Europe had never had. 

Economists say that the development 
of capitalism from its early benevolent 
phase to its present morbidly evil phase 
was accompanied by its increasing 
dependence on national loans. This led 
to the creation of banks which carried on 
financial operations, and advanced loans 
in return for some interest. Without that 
such loans as well as the majority of 
banking operations are based on usury 
which is expressly prohibited by Islam. 

On the other hand, tough competition 
which is another feature of capitalism leads 
to the destruction of minor companies or 
to their merger into major ones. This 
encourages monopoly which is also 
prohibited by Islam, as is borne out by 
some sayings of the Prophet. He said: "He 
that monopolises is a wrong doer.' 
Because Islam prohibited usury and 
monopoly it would have been impossible 
for capitalism to develop under Islam into 
its present evil stage which involves 
exploitation, colonialism and war. 

What would have been the fate of 
industry if it had originated under 
Islamic rule? 

Surely Islam would not have restricted 
industry to minor workshops whose profit 


January 2009 

s shared by the employer and the 
workman. Production would have rather 
grown but the relationship between the 
employer and workmen would have 
developed on different lines from those 
Dutlining the development of the employer- 
employee relations in Europe in the 
nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It would 
lave developed in accordance with the 
Dasic principles of Islam such as the above 
Tientioned principle which provides for an 
equal division of profit between the 
workmen and their employer. 

By so doing Islam would have avoided 
■esorting to usury or monopoly and would 
lave precluded the injustice to which 
workmen are subjected under capitalism 
iwhen they are exploited and left to suffer 
Doverty and humiliation. 

It would be foolish to suggest that 
slam could not have established such 
ustice without first passing through hard 
Drdeals, class conflicts and economic 
Dressures which would ultimately lead to 
he amendment of its legislations. It is 
Droved beyond all doubt that Islam had 
Deen ahead of all nations in dealing with 
the questions of slavery, feudalism and 
early capitalism. In so doing Islam was not 
acting under any outside pressure 
whatsoever. It was rather acting voluntarily 
and in accordance with its own conception 
Df eternal equity and justice scoffed at by 
the communist writers. On the other hand 
t is a fact that Russia, a model communist 
state, itself passed directly from feudalism 
to communism without passing through 
the intermediary stage of capitalism. In 
this way Russia - which adopted the 
doctrine of Karl Marx - practically puts to 
the lie Marx's theory regarding the phases 

of development which, he says, every state 
has to experience. 

As to colonialism, wars and 
exploitation of peoples it should be pointed 
out that Islam is firmly opposed to all these 
as well as to all the other universal evils 
engendered by capitalism. It is not one of 
the principles of Islam to colonise other 
peoples or to wage any war against others 
for the purposes of exploitation. The only 
war approved by Islam is that which is 
waged against aggression or is meant to 
spread the word of God where its peaceful 
dissemination is rendered impossible by 
the force of arms. 

The communists and their like allege 
that colonialism is an inevitable phase in 
human development. They add that 
colonialism could not have been averted 
by any doctrines or moral principles since 
it was essential an economic phenomenon 
resulting from a surplus in the production 
of industrialised countries and the need 
for foreign outlets for marketing such 

Needless to say, Islam does not 
recognize such nonsense about the 
inevitability of colonialism. Besides, the 
communists themselves say or porfess 
that Russia will solve the problem of 
surplus production by reducing both 
working hours and workmen's role in 
production. The solution which communism 
professes to have found may be used by 
other systems as well. 

History bears witness that colonialism 
has been an ancient human propensity. II 
did not originate with capitalism; although 
capitalism with its modern weapons of 


January 2009 

destruction rendered it more ferocious. As 
to the exploitation of the vanquished, 
^oman colonialists were more ruthless 
and monstrous than their modern 

History furnishes us with best evidence 
to the effect that Islam has been the 
cleanest of all systems as far as war is 
concerned. Islamic wars have always been 
free from exploitation as well as subjection 
Df others. Therefore, if the industrial 
■evolution had taken place in Islamic 
countries, Islam would have solved the 
Droblem of surplus production without 
■esorting to war or colonisation. Besides, 
t may be said that the problem of surplus 
Droduction is an outcome of the capitalist 
system in its present form only. In other 
words if the basic principles of capitalism 
are changed, the problem would not exist. 

As against this the ruler in the Islamic 
state shall not remain helplessly indifferent 
towards the problem of the accumulation 
Df wealth in the hands of a few people 
while the majority are suffering from poverty 
and deprivation. Such amassing of wealth 
s contrary to the principles of Islam which 
expressly prescribed that wealth should 
De fairly distributed among all people lest 
t should be confined to the rich only. The 
'uler in Islam is charged with the 
enforcement of Sharia (Islamic law) by all 
means at his command without any 
njustice or harm to anyone. In this respect, 
the ruler is invested with full and unlimited 
Dowers within the bounds set by God's 
aw - the law that precludes the 
accumulation of wealth. We might refer in 
this respect to the law of inheritance which 
snsures that the wealth left by each 
generation is properly distributed. 

Reference should also be made to Al- 
zakat which prescribes that 2y2% of the 
capital and profit shoud be annually 
earmarked for the poor. In addition, Islam 
explicitly prohibits the hoarding up of 
wealth. It likewise prohibits usury which is 
the basic factor in the accumulation of 
capital. Moreover the relationships among 
the members of Islamic society are based 
on reciprocal responsibility rather than 

It should also be added that the Holy 
Prophet (#) ensured for officials of the 
state certain rights including the basic 
necessities of life: "If a person who is 
charged with work for us (i.e. the state) 
has no wife, he shall have one; if he has 
no dwelling place, he shall have one, if he 
has no servant, he shall have one, if he 
has no animal, he shall have one.' 

Such guarantees are not to be 
confined to officials of the state only. They 
are the basic necessities required by every 
person. They can be obtained in return for 
work done in the service of the state or 
through any profession or occupation from 
which society may benefit. If the state 
ensures the basic necessities for its officials 
it must also ensure the same for every 
working individual in the state. This is 
evident from the fact that the public 
Treasury is responsible for supporting 
those who are unable to work owing to 
the insufficiency of their means. 

All the above mentioned facts 
emphasize the responsibility of the state 
to ensure by all means the basic 
necessities for workers. It is of no great 
importance as to by what means it is that 
such necessities are provided to the 


January 2009 

workers; what really matters is the principle 
which guarantees that profit and loss shall 
DO equally shared by all members of the 
nation. By providing such necessities for 
workers Islam protects them against 
9xploitation besides ensuring a decent life 
for all. 

Islam would not have allowed 
[capitalism to grown into the monstrous 
•orms which are presently prevalent in the 
'civilised" West. The Islamic legislations 
- whether originally precribed by Sharia 
Dr newly adopted to face new 
developments within the framework of 
Sharia - would not have allowed the 
capitalists to exploit the working people or 
suck their blood. Islam would have 
Drecluded all the evils of capitalism 
ncluding colonisation, war and the 
snslaving of people. 

Islam, as usual, is not content with the 
mere enactment of economic rules and 
aws. In addition to law, Islam also makes 
jse of moral and spiritual incentives which 
are satirised by the communists because 
they see that such values have no practical 
significance in Europe. But in Islam moral 
and spiritual values are not separated from 
Dractical considerations. Islam has a 
jnique manner of combining and 
larmonising both the purification of the 
spirit and the organisation of the 
community. The individual is never left to 
wonder how to reconcile the ideal and the 
Dractical. Islam formulates its legislations 
Dn a moral basis so that the moral values 
are always in harmony with the legislation, 
n this way, each side supplements the 
Dther without any fear of conflict or 

Islamic morality prohibits and 
discourages all forms of luxury and 
sensuality which are inevitable results of 

the amassing of wealth in the hands of a 
few people. Along with this, Islam also 
prohibits being unjust to employees or 
underpaying them. As the amassing of 
wealth is an outcome of injustice to 
employees it invariably means that it must 
also be discouraged. Islam calls on people 
to spend their money in the way of God - 
even if that should lead to disposing of al 
one's property. It is because the rich people 
spend their money on themselves rather 
than in the way of God that the majority 
of the people live in poverty and 

The spiritual elevation of men brought 
about by Islam brings them closer to God 
and makes them renounce all worldly 
pleasures and profits in striving to attain 
God's pleasure and in expectation of His 
recompense in the other world. THere is 
no doubt that a man who keeps his peace 
with God and has faith in the other world, 
in heaven and hell, will not rush madly for 
the amassing of wealth or resort to 
exploitation or injustice for the realization 
of his selfish ends. 

In this way the moral and spiritural 
edification will pave the way for economic 
legislations which aim at curbing the evils 
of capitalism. Consequently, when such 
legislations are made they are sure to be 
complied with not because of fear of 
punishment but rather because people 
would be acting according to the dictates 
of their conscience. 

In conclusion, it should be made clear 
that the monstrous capitalism which is 
currently prevalent in Islamic world is not 
a part of Islam and consequently Islam 
cannot be held responsible for its evils. 
(Courtesy: Hadyul Islam, Volume 28 No. 
5, 1404 H). 


January 2009 



The patronymic name of Hazrat Hasan 
s Abu Muhammad. He was born at 
Vladinah in the third year of Hijra in the 
Tiiddle of the month of Ramadhan. The 
^rophet of Allah (#) himself performed 
the sacred ceremony of reciting the Azan 
the call to prayer) in his ears and named 
lim Hasan. According to authentic reports 
which have come down to us, the upper 
Dortion of his body, from the face to chest 
■esembled that of the Prophet. It has been 
■eported that Hazrat Siddiq Akbar took him 
Dn his shoulder and said, "By Allah; He 
esembles the Prophet, and has no 
esemblance with AN. Hazrat AN (RDA) 
who was standing by his side was smiling 
and his face shone with great happiness. 

Hazrat Hasan (RDA) was very kind 
and benevolent. He possessed a vast 
treasure of knowledge and was very 
ighteous. After the martyrdom of Hazrat 
Mi (RDA) he took over the Caliphate for 
a period of seven months. Thereafter truce 
was concluded with Hazrat Muawiya (RDA) 
and he left the office of Caliphate in his 

Once Hazrat Hasan heard a person 
nvoking Allah to grant him ten thousand 
Dirham. He came home and sent the 
amount to him. He has often been heard 
laying, "It fills me with great humiliation 
to the house of Allah on some ride and 
lot on foot. It has been reported that Hazrat 
Hasan performed the Hajj twenty times on 
foot in his life. Every time during his journey 
lamels were available for him if he desired 
have some ride, but he never rode the 

camels, he went on foot all the way. Twice 
he gave all his belongings in the way of 
Allah and kept nothing with him, and 
distributed everything he had among the 
poor people. 

Hazrat Hasan (RDA) was so very 
famous for his generosity and kindness 
and spent money generously for the benefit 
of the poor persons. It happend many 
times that he purchased gardens having 
defensive walls. But as he came to know 
that the persons from whom he had 
purchased had gone poor, returned the 
gardens to them without asking for the 
return of the amount he had paid. Over 
and above this, it is said that he had never 
said "No" to any person that came to him 
with a request for some favour or help. 

It is reported that Hazrat Hasan (RDA) 
was once travelling with one of the family 
members of Hazrat Zubair. They passed 
the night under the dried up palm tree. 
The other person said. I wish if there were 
dates with the palm-tree. Hazrat Hasan 
said, "Do you wish to have dates?" He 
replied in affermative. Hazrat Hasan raised 
his hands and offered his supplication. In 
no time the plam tree grew green with its 
fruit of dates. The camel driver who was 
accompanying them exclaimed with 
amazement, "Ah-ha what a singular 
sorcery it is? Hazrat Hasan said. "It is not 
sorcery but the acceptance, by Allah, of 
the supplication offered by the progeny of 
Prophet". His companion climbed up the 
tree and plucked the dates that were 
enough for all of them. 


January 2009 

Hazrat Hasan (RDA) died of poison 
[fiat was given to inim by some person. It 
s stated tinat he was given poison six times 
earlier. And at this time he said, "This is a 
deadly poison". His liver was torn to pieces 
with the effect of the fatal poison. Hazrat 
Hussain (RDA) came home weeping and 
enquired of his brother about the person 
who poisoned him. He replied, "Why?" "I 
shall kill him", said Hussain. Again he said, 
' the person who has poisoned me is the 
same about whom I have hardly any doubt. 
Mlah will inflict grievous punishment on 
lim, and Allah is He Who would never let 
go such a treacherous person unpunished. 
If it is not he but some other person who 
las poisoned me, I do not like a sinless 
Derson to be murdered for nothing. 

The writer of the KhazinatuI Asfia has 
further said in continuation of Hazrat 

Hasan's words that, "By Allah in whose 
grip is my life, if I were be given the option 
to take revenge from the person, I woulc 
not enter paradise till that person too was 
admitted into Paradise. 

Hazrat HASAN did not disclose the 
name of the person who poisoned him. it 
is said that it was his wife Ja'ada binte 
Ash'as with whom Yazid bin Muawiyya 
had conspired to poison him, because 
Hazrat Hasan's existence was a great 
hindrance in the way of Yazid to be 
declared as the genuine heir aparent to 
his father to be raised to the office of 
Caliphate. There was a clear clause in the 
treaty which was concluded between 
Hazrat Hasan and Hazrat Muawiyya that 
Hazrat Hasan would be the next Caliph 
(Allah knows best). (Courtesy: Yaqeen 







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January 2009 


Muslims, Christians vow to jointly 
combat terror 

Catholic and Muslim religious leaders 
at unprecedented Vatican meetings vowed 
Dn to work together to combat violence 
and terrorism, especially when carried out 
n God's name. 

At the end of three days of meetings, 
the 58 scholars and leaders — 29 from 
each side — issued a 15-point joint 
declaration which also included an appeal 
for the defence of minority religions. 

The meetings came two years after 
the pope gave a speech alleging Islam 
was violent and irrational, sparking angry 
Drotests in the Middle East. The Muslims 
ormed their group to refute that speech 
and seek better mutual understanding. 

"We profess that Catholics and 
Vluslims are called to be instruments of 
ove and harmony among believers, and 
for humanity as a whole, renouncing any 
oppression, aggressive violence and 
terrorism, especially that committed in the 
name of religion, and upholding the 
Drinciple of justice for all," the declaration 

It also called for respect for religious 
■ninorities, adding that they should be 
'entitled to their own places of worship, 
and their founding figures and symbols 
they consider sacred should not be 
subjected to any form of mockery or 

The declaration's words about avoiding steps". 

mockery or ridicule appeared to be a 
reference to events in 2006, when a Danish 
newspaper printed cartoons of the Holy 
Prophet (#), sparking violent protests in 
the Islamic world. 

Earlier in the day. Pope Benedict said 
Muslims and Christians shared moral 
values and should defend them together. 

"There is a great and vast field in which 
we can act together in defending and 
promoting the moral values which are part 
of our common heritage," the German- 
born pope said. 

"We should thus work together in 
promoting genuine respect for the dignity 
of the human person and fundamental 
human rights, even though our 
anthropological visions and our theologies 
justify this in different ways." 

The Vatican has also participated in 
inter-faith talks launched this year by Saudi 
Arabian King Abdullah, who will meet other 
heads of state in New York to promote his 

These and other dialogues reflect a 
new urgency Muslim leaders have felt after 
the Sept 11 attacks, the "clash of 
civilisations" theory and the pope's 2006 
speech in Regensburg showed a widening 
gap between the world's two largest faiths. 

Pope Benedict said the Catholic- 
Muslim Forum, the official name for this 
dialogue now set to take place every two 
years, was "now confidently taking its first 



January 2009 

ope decries Godless nature of 

Pope Benedict XVI warned that 
Tiodern culture is pushing God out of 
3eople's lives, causing nations once rich 
n religious faith to lose their identities. 

Benedict celebrated a Mass in the 

Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls to 

open a worldwide meeting of bishops on 

the relevance of the Bible for contemporary 


Today, nations once rich in faith and 
^/ocations are losing their own identity, 
under the harmful and destructive influence 
of a certain modern culture," said Benedict, 
who has been pushing for religion to be 
given more room in society. 

The Vatican said despite Benedict's 
ifforts to improve relations with Communist 
/hina, no bishops have come from the 
Tiainland, although there are prelates from 
Vlacau and Hong Kong. 

Surely they tried, I mean the Holy See 
tried but obviously they could not make 
agreement," Hong Kong Cardinal Joseph 
Zen told AP Television News as he entered 
the basilica. 

May be the Holy See welcomes 
someone that they (the Chinese) would 
not allow," he said, adding that China might 
try to send a bishop who is not acceptable 
to the Holy See. 

Chinese bishops have not been 
allowed to travel to similar meetings in the 

Ties between the Vatican and China's 

communist government have long been 
strained. Beijing objects to the Vatican's 
tradition of having the pope name his own 
bishops, calling it interference in China. 

China appoints bishops for the state 
sanctioned Catholic church. In recent 
years, some of those bishops have 
received the Vatican's tacit approval, 

Still, many of the country's estimated 
12 million Catholics worship in 
congregations outside the state-approved 
church with bishops loyal to the pope. 

A document prepared for the meeting 
rejects a fundamentalist approach to the 
Bible and said a key challenge was to 
clarify for the faithful the relationship of 
scripture to science. 

A rabbi will address the conference 
what is believed to be the first time a Jew 
has participated in such a meeting. 

Responsibility rests on world leaders 

THE UN's Culture for Peace 
conference that was convened at the 
initiative of Saudi King Abdullah anc 
attended by leaders from across the 
world... adopted a resolution presented 
by the Saudi monarch that religion cannot 
be used to justify terrorism or promote 
intolerance and bigotry. 

This conference was held at a time 
when a general belief prevails that religion 
is the root cause of conflicts among 
countries and that there is a clash between 
civilisations. Today a war is going on in 
the Middle East, while the fire of conflict 
has encircled Central Asia, Pakistan and 
Afghanistan. Apparently, it appears that 


January 2009 

[his is a war between tine West and tine 
Islamic world. A section of the media and 
ntellectuals in the Islamic world as well 
as some conservatives and the media in 
the West have been engaged in 
strengthening the idea that it is a war 
Detween Islam and Christianity. This has 
Decome clearer after 9/11 . 

Although the war started by the US is 
inked to strategic interests it has been 
[ermed as a was against terror and now 
s being promoted as a war against Islamic 
terrorism. It cannot be ruled out that the 
war started by the US gave rise to such 
'ealities which are no more an idea. In 
some countries, militants are fighting this 
war as a sacred one. This idea is gaining 
ground which is a very dangerous sign. 

An in-depth study reveals that some 
mportant countries introduced religious 
ntolerance in international relations. But 
[he world community does not dare to 
Diame them for this offence. The US did 
not attack Iraq on religious grounds nor 
did the Al Qaeda exist there. When Iraq 
was turned into a graveyard and no 
weapons of mass destruction were found, 
the bogey of Al Qaeda was created to 
ustify this attack. Later, within a short 
span, a war that started for altogether 
different purposes was turned into a 
-eligious war. For this act all those leaders 

were responsible who were sitting at this 

The US president told the conference 
that he was directed by God to restore 
peace and would not tolerate those who 
were spreading religious violence. He is 
the same man who while attacking 
Afghanistan and Iraq had said that with 
these attacks God would be happy. It is 
really strange that in the 21 century, the 
president of the US which was a secular 
state should be saying such things.. 

A few years ago, the US thought that 
it could easily conquer Afghanistan anc 
Iraq and it found a directive from God to 
do so. Today when defeat in the war 
against terror is clear [the president] has 
been directed to restore peace 

Keeing in mind the subject and the 
times no doubt this conference was very 
important. But world leaders will have to 
do more. It is not a matter of war between 
Muslims and Christians and Jews. The 
mother of all ills... and the think-tanks anc 
world leaders whose wrong policies lee 
the world to this situation. Today, if woric 
leaders really want to restore peace anc 
introduce a culture of peace, they will have 
to implement this resolution in letter anc 
spirit. — 


January 2009 

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MINARET 31 January 2009 

MINARET 32 January 2009