Islaam and the Current Challenges(from Mecca)!!

Khutbah No.
Islaam and the Current Challenges
Khutbah Title
Islaam and the Current Challenges(from Mecca)!!

Saalih Ibn Humayd

Edited By
Nasim Chowdhury

Translated By

1) A call to reflect on current events and how situations change
2) The benefits of trials and hardships
3) Major adversities are affecting the whole world
4) The corruption and misguidance that has resulted from current principles and ideologies
5) A criticism of western educational curricula and systems
6) The evil outcome of wars and the devastation they cause
7) The western system is a materialistic one, devoid of a spiritual component
8) The dire need for justice, mercy and noble conduct
9) The ability of oppressed nations to struggle and resist
10) The effect of trials on the Islaamic culture
11) Trials are a means of awakening the Muslim nation
12) Islaamic principles are a protection against trials
13) Islaam benefits all mankind
First Khutbah

Brethren in faith! Fear Allaah as He should be feared, for whoever fears Him will receive His protection; whoever turns to Him in repentance will receive His guidance and pleasure; whoever humbles himself in His worship will be honoured by Him and whoever transacts honourably with Him will prosper.

Fellow Muslims! Trials and afflictions are sent to awaken the affected nation to a serious and sincere review of its culture and civilisation, as well as a transparent assessment of its actions. This is because it is civilisation and culture that influence people’s behaviour and concerns. Indeed, there is a dire need for this self-examination in order to identify causes of weakness and defect. Monumental challenges and crises awaken nations and constitute major turning points in their history; they rouse them to strive hard for their progress and development.

Indeed, past failures do not in any way kill the future of an afflicted nation; rather, they draw its attention to its potential and capability. Allaah says regarding the tribulation of the Battle of Badr that which means: “If a wound should touch you – there has already touched the [opposing] people a wound similar to it. And these days [of varying conditions] We alternate among the people so that Allaah may make evident those who believe and [may] take to Himself from among you martyrs – and Allaah does not like the wrongdoers – And that Allaah may purify the believers [through trials] and destroy the disbelievers.” (Aal ‘Imraan: 140-141).

When major incidents take place, they do not affect a nation alone but affect most nations of the world, for they generate numerous religious, economic, social and political reactions. What is therefore expected of the intelligentsia of the affected nation is a fundamental review of its policies and systems as well as the effects of these on individuals and nations. Moreover, all contemporary principles, systems and policies of this age require scrutiny and re-examination.

There are indeed some current systems that are beneficial materially, technologically, medically, economically and educationally, but what effect have these useful systems had on those who propagate them? It seems as if the very propagators of these systems are themselves devoid of any compassion or mercy; they proclaim systems whose implementation is biased; they speak of freedom, democracy and human rights but their actions contradict their statements. Contemporary history is full of arrogance, ostentation, dictatorship, humiliation, oppression of weak nations and usurpation of their wealth. Justice and ration therefore demand that the afflicted nation should deal with other nations honestly, wish them well and review its policies towards them as well as to seriously reflect upon the basic factors that have caused people’s hatred towards it.

What benefits are there of principles and systems that generate hatred and allow the humiliation of others? Of what use are policies that facilitate arrogance and haughtiness? Sincere reflection must be made upon the waves of violence that take place all over the world.

Let it be known that if violence is allowed to prevail instead of dialogue and mutual understanding, the voice of the weak will not be heard and justice will have no chance; and even worse than these is that aggression and violence will be legalised. It is therefore a must that all types of aggression, hostility, hatred and racism, be brought to an end.

Among the issues that need urgent review are the wars that have characterised this generation, in which many innocent lives have been lost and in which destructive weapons that not only kill but also cause impairment and chronic diseases to the living are wantonly used. What then is the benefit of a system which has as its product, aggressive and unjust wars that know no law or norms? Compare this to the injunction of the Qur’aan about the purpose of fighting a war which says that which means: “Fight in the way of Allaah those who fight you, but do not commit aggression. Indeed, Allaah does not like aggressors.” (Al-Baqarah: 190) Statistics speak of millions of casualties of these senseless wars all over the world. Therefore, a careful and sincere review of these policies and systems in the light of their effects will go a long way in solving the problems at hand.

Brethren in Faith! The contemporary civilisation and philosophy are built on materialism. Faith has been restricted to things that are only perceptible to the senses to the exclusion of the all matters that are unseen; the concern is only for this world and its pleasures and all scientific discoveries are for the purpose of this mundane life alone. This pathetic situation is accurately described by Allaah when He says that which means: “They know what is apparent of the worldly life, but they, of the Hereafter, are unaware.” (Ar-Room: 7).

Therefore, no attention is paid to spiritual development. This clearly manifests itself in the excessive attention that is being given to sports, music, dancing, drama, etc. Religion has no impact on people’s behaviour or on politics and systems of life. Religion has become a mere ritual according to this contemporary civilisation and war has been set up between it and science, and between body and soul. In these ideologies, there is no place for Allaah – the only recognised deities are statues and images. When any of these people carry out religious rites, it is to follow prevalent customs and traditions and nothing more. It is in view of this that brutality and violence have become the order of the day because many people no longer have any respect for Allaah and have become heedless of the Hereafter.

Brethren in Islaam! It is incumbent upon us to have a sincere and serious review of our own actions so that justice and truth will reign and falsehood be annihilated. The world is in need of a merciful system and policies that will promote justice and eradicate all weapons of mass destruction. It is in need of a structure that will have real respect for human rights and will guarantee for all people the right of self-determination, freedom and tranquillity. It is in need of a system that will put an end to colonisation and all types of hegemony and subjugation. It is in need of a system that will restore the rights of the oppressed and punish the oppressor appropriately, for fairness cannot be achieved through injustice nor can security be achieved through fear. The sense of revenge must give way to dialogue and mutual understanding. The countries of the world are in dire need of cooperation and unity in order to reside in peace and this is what the wise and sincere, who want the best for humanity, should call unto. If they fail to do so, then the weak will only continue to weaken further.

Nevertheless, history has shown us examples of civilisations and nations that have risen and fallen as well as that of communities that have persevered, resisted the aggression of devilish nations and therefore survived and flourished, for all affairs belong to Allaah. He says that which means: “… And those who have wronged are going to know to what [kind of] return they will be returned.” (Ash-Shu’araa: 227) and also: “And We had certainly established them in such as We have not established you, and We made for them hearing and vision and hearts [i.e., intellect]. But their hearing and vision and hearts availed them not from anything [of the punishment] when they were [continually] rejecting the signs of Allaah; and they were enveloped by what they used to ridicule.” (Al-Ahqaaf: 26)

When one reflects over the crises that Islaam has undergone throughout its long history, it will be clear that despite the civilisation, light, justice and fairness that nations and communities enjoyed under the rule of Islaam, these crises significantly weakened the Islaamic civilisation in a way that has been a cause of joy for its enemies. However, these crises do have positive aspects; they have re-awakened the Muslims, afforded them the opportunity to examine themselves and created in them stronger determination and hope. Therefore, the multitudes of persecutions that afflict the Muslims today are but harbingers of a bright future for them. An example of this was what happened to the Muslims in the Battle of Uhud. It is in this regard that Allaah says that which means: “Those [believers] who responded to Allaah and the Messenger after injury had struck them. For those who did good among them and feared Allaah is a great reward – Those to whom people [i.e., hypocrites] said: ‘Indeed, the people have gathered against you, so fear them.’ But it [merely] increased them in faith, and they said: ‘Sufficient for us is Allaah, and [He is] the best Disposer of affairs.’ So they returned with favour from Allaah and bounty, no harm having touched them. And they pursued the pleasure of Allaah, and Allaah is the possessor of great bounty. That is only Satan who frightens [you] of his supporters. So fear them not, but fear Me, if you are [indeed] believers.” (Aal ‘Imraan: 172-175)

Having established that whatever evil has afflicted the Muslims is the result of their own deeds, there is certainty that they possess strong spiritual values that are embodied in the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in which they believe and upon which they stand. These two measures are the criteria for identifying all points of deviation and it is by them that the Muslim nation will be able to rectify its situation and rise again against all the odds – by the will of Allaah.

The Islamic Law is the Muslim’s source of strength and immunity during ideological crises. Despite the fact that invading modern trends have achieved great success worldwide, the Islaamic world and its societies, regardless of all their sufferings, are by the will of Allaah united in resisting this invasion. Islaam is the religion of truth and is firmly rooted among the Muslim societies.

Although, the Muslims do not reject anything new which is beneficial, they refuse to subscribe to the notion that these invading trends are the only ideal way of life that must be universally adhered to. Muslims are open-minded people who welcome any progress that brings benefit for mankind; they are not enemies of science, technology or beneficial civilization. However, Islaam will never accept being subordinate to or melt into any other cultures or civilizations as many other religions and cultures have done, for Islaam is the protected and everlasting religion of Allaah.

Moreover, it is a source of honour and pride that Islaam, through its creed, law and culture, has provided for mankind that which other civilizations have failed to. Muslims are therefore capable of overcoming their problems and settling their differences with the help of Allaah. They should therefore strive to understand the reality of their religion and the nature of their message so as to be able to fulfil their responsibility towards themselves and humanity in general, bearing in mind the saying of Allaah which means: “…Indeed, Allaah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves…” (Ar-Ra’d: 11)

Islam: A World Civilization!!

Islam: A World Civilization

“Thus We have appointed you a middle nation, that you may be witnesses upon mankind.” (Quran, Surah 2: Verse 143)
General Characteristics of Islamic Civilization
Islam was destined to become a world religion and to create a civilization which stretched from one end of the globe to the other. Already during the early Muslim caliphates, first the Arabs, then the Persians and later the Turks set about to create classical Islamic civilization. Later, in the 13th century, both Africa and India became great centers of Islamic civilization and soon thereafter Muslim kingdoms were established in the Malay-Indonesian world while Chinese Muslims flourished throughout China.
Global religion
Islam is a religion for all people from whatever race or background they might be. That is why Islamic civilization is based on a unity which stands completely against any racial or ethnic discrimination. Such major racial and ethnic groups as the Arabs, Persians, Turks, Africans, Indians, Chinese and Malays in addition to numerous smaller units embraced Islam and contributed to the building of Islamic civilization.
Moreover, Islam was not opposed to learning from the earlier civilizations and incorporating their science, learning, and culture into its own world view, as long as they did not oppose the principles of Islam. Each ethnic and racial group which embraced Islam made its contribution to the one Islamic civilization to which everyone belonged. The sense of brotherhood and sisterhood was so much emphasized that it overcame all local attachments to a particular tribe, race, or language–all of which became subservient to the universal brotherhood and sisterhood of Islam. The global civilization thus created by Islam permitted people of diverse ethnic backgrounds to work together in cultivating various arts and sciences.
Although the civilization was profoundly Islamic, even non-Muslim “people of the book” participated in the intellectual activity whose fruits belonged to everyone. The scientific climate was reminiscent of the present situation in America where scientists and men and women of learning from all over the world are active in the advancement of knowledge which belongs to everyone. The global civilization created by Islam also succeeded in activating the mind and thought of the people who entered its fold.
As a result of Islam, the nomadic Arabs became torch-bearers of science and learning. The Persians who had created a great civilization before the rise of Islam nevertheless produced much more science and learning in the Islamic period than before. The same can be said of the Turks and other peoples who embraced Islam.
The religion of Islam was itself responsible not only for the creation of a world civilization in which people of many different ethnic backgrounds participated, but it played a central role in developing intellectual and cultural life on a scale not seen before. For some eight hundred years Arabic remained the major intellectual and scientific language of the world. During the centuries following the rise of Islam, Muslim dynasties ruling in various parts of the Islamic world bore witness to the flowering of Islamic culture and thought.
In fact this tradition of intellectual activity was eclipsed only at the beginning of modern times as a result of the weakening of faith among Muslims combined with external domination. And today this activity has begun anew in many parts of the Islamic world now that the Muslims have regained their political independence.
A Brief History of Islam, The Rightly Guided Caliphs
Upon the death of the Prophet (PBUH), Abu Bakr, the friend of the Prophet and the first adult male to embrace Islam, became caliph. Abu Bakr ruled for two years to be succeeded by ‘Umar who was caliph for a decade and during whose rule Islam spread extensively east and west conquering the Persian empire, Syria and Egypt. It was ‘Umar who marched on foot at the end of the Muslim army into Jerusalem and ordered the protection of Christian sites. ‘Umar also established the first public treasury and a sophisticated financial administration. He established many of the basic practices of Islamic government. ‘Umar was succeeded by ‘Uthman who ruled for some twelve years during which time the Islamic expansion continued. He is also known as the caliph who had the definitive text of the Noble Quran copied and sent to the four corners of the Islamic world. He was in turn succeeded by ‘Ali who is known to this day for his eloquent sermons and letters, and also for his bravery. With his death the rule of the “rightly guided” caliphs, who hold a special place of respect in the hearts of Muslims, came to an end. The Caliphates
The Umayyad caliphate established in 661 was to last for about a century. During this time Damascus became the capital of an Islamic world which stretched from the western borders of China to southern France. Not only did the Islamic conquests continue during this period through North Africa to Spain and France in the West and to Sind, Central Asia and Transoxiana in the East, but the basic social and legal institutions of the newly founded Islamic world were established.
The Abbasids, who succeeded the Umayyads, shifted the capital to Baghdad which soon developed into an incomparable center of learning and culture as well as the administrative and political heart of a vast world. They ruled for over 500 years but gradually their power waned and they remained only symbolic rulers bestowing legitimacy upon various sultans and princes who wielded actual military power.
The Abbasid caliphate was finally abolished when Hulagu, the Mongol ruler, captured Baghdad in 1258 AD, destroying much of the city including its incomparable libraries. While the Abbasids ruled in Baghdad, a number of powerful dynasties such as the Fatimids, Ayyubids and Mamluks held power in Egypt, Syria and Palestine.
The most important event in this area as far as the relation between Islam and the Western world was concerned was the series of Crusades declared by the Pope and espoused by various European kings. The purpose, although political, was outwardly to recapture the Holy Land and especially Jerusalem for Christianity. Although there was at the beginning some success and local European rule was set up in parts of Syria and Palestine, Muslims finally prevailed and in 1187 AD, Saladin, the great Muslim leader, recaptured Jerusalem and defeated the Crusaders.
North Africa and Spain
When the Abbasids captured Damascus, one of the Umayyad princes escaped and made the long journey from there to Spain to found Umayyad rule there, thus beginning the golden age of Islam in Spain. Cordoba was established as the capital and soon became Europe’s greatest city not only in population but from the point of view of its cultural and intellectual life. The Umayyads ruled over two centuries until they weakened and were replaced by local rulers.
Meanwhile in North Africa, various local dynasties held sway until two powerful Berber dynasties succeeded in uniting much of North Africa and also Spain in the 12th and 13th centuries. After them this area was ruled once again by local dynasties such as the Sharifids of Morocco who still rule in that country. As for Spain itself, Muslim power continued to wane until the last Muslim dynasty was defeated in Granada in 1492 AD thus bringing nearly eight hundred years of Muslim rule in Spain to an end.
Islamic History after the Mongol Invasion
The Mongols devastated the eastern lands of Islam and ruled from the Sinai Desert to India for a century. But they soon converted to Islam and became known as the Il-Khanids. They were in turn succeeded by Timur and his descendents who made Samarqand their capital and ruled from 1369 to 1500. The sudden rise of Timur delayed the formation and expansion of the Ottoman empire but soon the Ottomans became the dominant power in the Islamic world.
Ottoman Empire
From humble origins the Turks rose to dominate over the whole of Anatolia and even parts of Europe. In 1453 Mehmet the Conqueror captured Constantinople and put an end to the Byzantine empire. The Ottomans conquered much of eastem Europe and nearly the whole of the Arab world, only Morocco and Mauritania in the West and Yemen, Hadramaut and parts of the Arabian peninsula remaining beyond their control.
They reached their zenith of power with Suleyman the Magnificent whose armies reached Hungary and Austria. From the 17th century onward with the rise of Westem European powers and later Russia, the power of the Ottomans began to wane. But they nevertheless remained a force to be reckoned with until the First World War when they were defeated by the Westem nations. Soon thereafter Kamal Ataturk gained power in Turkey and abolished the six centuries of rule of the Ottomans in 1924.
While the Ottomans were concerned mostly with the westem front of their empire, to the east in Persia a new dynasty called the Safavids came to power in 1502. The Safavids established a powerful state of their own which flourished for over two centuries and became known for the flowering of the arts. Their capital, Isfahan, became one of the most beautiful cities with its blue tiled mosques and exquisite houses.
The Afghan invasion of 1736 put an end to Safavid rule and prepared the independence of Afghanistan which occured formally in the 19th century. Persia itself fell into turmoil until Nader Shah, the last Oriental conqueror, reunited the country and even conquered India. But the rule of the dynasty established by him was short-lived. The Zand dynasty soon took over to be overthrown by the Qajars in 1779 who made Tehran their capital and ruled until 1921 when they were in turn replaced by the Pahlavis.
As for India, Islam entered into the land east of the Indus River peacefully. Gradually Muslims gained political power beginning in the early 13th century. But this period which marked the expansion of both Islam and Islamic culture came to an end with the conquest of much of India in 1526 by Babur, one of the Timurid princes. He established the powerful Mogul empire which produced such famous rulers as Akbar, Jahangir, and Shah Jahan and which lasted, despite the gradual rise of British power in India, until 1857 when it was officially abolished.
Malaysia and Indonesia
Farther east in the Malay world, Islam began to spread in the 12th century in northern Sumatra and soon Muslim kingdoms were establishd in Java, Sumatra and mainland Malaysia. Despite the colonization of the Malay world, Islam spread in that area covering present day Indonesia, Malaysia, the southern Phililppines and southern Thailand, and is still continuing in islands farther east.
As far as Africa is concerned, Islam entered into East Africa at the very beginning of the Islamic period but remained confined to the coast for some time, only the Sudan and Somaliland becoming gradually both Arabized and Islamized. West Africa felt the presence of Islam through North African traders who travelled with their camel caravans south of the Sahara.
By the 14th century there were already Muslim sultanates in such areas as Mali, and Timbuctu in West Africa and Harar in East Africa had become seats of Islamic learning. Gradually Islam penetrated both inland and southward. There also appeared major charismatic figures who inspired intense resistance against European domination.
The process of the Islamization of Africa did not cease during the colonial period and continues even today with the result that most Africans are now Muslims carrying on a tradition which has had practically as long a history in certain areas of sub-Saharan Africa as Islam itself.

Article Contributed by: itsIslam Staff

The Islamic Revolution

The Islamic Revolution

Ibrahim B. Syed, Ph. D.

PresidentIslamic Research Foundation International, Inc.7102 W. Shefford LaneLouisville, KY 40242-6462, USA
E-mail: IRFI@INAME.COMWebsite: http://WWW.IRFI.ORG

The Tawheed, which Muhammad (s) propagated, was distinct from all other ideas because it was based on two principles:
Tawheed Rububiyyah, which means that Allah, is One, without any partners or associates.
Tawheed ‘Ulluhiyyah, which means that Allah must be worshipped alone in everything, and total slavery must be to Allah alone in everything ranging from the spiritual to the political.
It was this call for Tawheed, which provoked the anger of the Makkan political authority because they realized that Muhammad (s) posed a threat to their societal setup with this call. The response of Ja’afar ibn Abi Talib (r) also illustrates this understanding which the Makkan authorities feared:
“He summoned us to worship the One True God and to reject the stones and idols we and our fathers had been worshipping in addition to Allah. He ordered us to be trustful in speech, to fulfill all the duties that were entrusted to us, to care for our relatives, to be kind to our neighbors, to refrain from unlawful food and consumption of blood. He forbade us to engage in lewdness and lying, the devouring of the money of the orphan and the defamation of married women. He commanded us to worship the One God and to assign no partners unto Him, to pray, to pay the purifying tax and to fast. We deemed him truthful and we believed him, and we accepted the Message he brought from Allah.”
This understanding of the spiritual-political nature of the Message of Islam can also be found in many verses of the Qur’an.
Neil Armstrong walked on the surface of the moon on July 20, 1969. Why did it take thousands of years for man to land on the moon?
Non-Muslims ask, “If Islam had never come into existence, would there have been anything seriously lacking in world history?” The answer is yes.
Polytheism and superstition looked upon things and creatures as deities, and encouraged their worship. Before the advent of Islam, polytheism dominated the entire world. Man considered the moon, the sun other planets, wind, river, snake, cow, fire, mountain, etc. as deities. These natural objects inspired man to bow before it rather than try to conquer it. Holding the moon to be sacred was a major obstacle to even thinking of conquering it. The supremacy of polytheism was brought to an end by the Islamic revolution, which replaced it with monotheism, making it the dominant creed of the times. What is revolution?
Revolution is defined as a sudden, radical or complete change; especially the overthrow or renunciation of one ruler or government and substitution of another by the governed. To change fundamentally or completely. To turn over in the mind: reflect upon: ponder.
In the Muslim world this revolution was brought about through the influence of religion. The western world began its revolution by separating the secular sciences from religion culminating in the landing of man on the moon. Modern science is a part of the Islamic revolution. Because of the polytheistic view natural sciences had become forbidden territory and natural phenomena were given sanctity. The Islamic revolution of monotheism opened the doors of research and investigation by displacing nature from its sacred pedestal. Modern science is wholly the gift of the Islamic revolution-directly in its initial stages, and indirectly in its later stages. Modern scientific revolution was set in motion by Islam, which was sent by the Almighty for the guidance of all mankind for all eternity. Henri Pirenne author of “History of Western Europe” says, “Islam changed the face of the globe. The traditional order of history was overthrown.” Islam is complete truth. All-pervasiveness of superstition served as a hurdle to all kinds of human development. The kings or rulers exploited the masses through polytheism and superstition. The kings represented God on earth. Some kings like Nimrod, Pharaoh claimed as gods.
Dr. George Sarton, a former Professor of History of Science at Harvard University, stated in his book, “The Life of Science” that the foundations of science were laid for us by the Mesopotamian civilization (present day Iraq) whose scholars and scientists were their priests. The second development of science came through the Greeks. The Third Stage of development, however, is to be credited to the meteoric rise of Islam. For nearly four hundred years Islam led the scientific world as from one end of Islam to the other, from Spain to India, the great body of past knowledge was exchanged between her scholars and the torch carried forward with the new discoveries. Scholars of Christendom from about the eleventh century were mainly occupied for over two hundred years in translating from Arabic into Latin. Thus Islam paved the way for the Renaissance, which in turn led to science’s fourth great development in the modern world.
It was God’s decree that Prophet Muhammad (s) to be a da’i (missionary) as well as a mahi (eradicator).
The Qur’an says:
“We have revealed to you this book so that, by the will of their Lord, you may lead men from darkness to light.
(Quran, 14: 1)
The Nile Goddess
In Egypt, it was an ancient and pagan custom that sometime in July a virgin decorated with bridal clothes was thrown in the Nile river as an offering to propitiate (or to do something to get favors) the Goddess of the river Nile. After the advent of Christianity, the Egyptians became Christians, however they continued to follow the ancient custom of sacrificing a virgin to the Goddess of river Nile.
During the time Hadrat Omar (r), Egypt came under the Muslim rule and Amar bin Al-Aas was appointed Governor of Egypt. The Egyptian elders waited on the Governor in July, and wanted his permission for continuing the old custom of throwing a virgin in the river to seek the pleasure and favors of the Nile Goddess.
The Governor said that such a practice was offensive and revolting to Islam and hence he disallowed such practice in an Islamic State. He further argued that Islam knew of no Goddess of the Nile and the question of any expiation did not arise. Islam knew of only One God-Allah and Allah did not stand in need of any propitiation.
After listening to this argument the Egyptian elders were not satisfied. They warned the Governor Amr bin Al-Aas that unless the sacrifice was made, the Nile River would not rise in flood and the entire countryside would get dry. Governor Amr was however, unyielding and inflexible that floods or no floods human sacrifice could not be permitted. The Egyptian leaders returned home in a gloomily mood.
The month of July came and passed away. No sacrifice was offered, and there was also no rise in the level of the river Nile. The month of August came and still the river did not rise. The Egyptians were trembling at what would happen if the river did not rise. The month of August passed away and still there was no flood in the river. The Egyptian leaders grieved and said, ” That is all due to Islam. The Muslims have brought this fate on us.”
The month of August was gone and September came, and still there was no sign of any rise in the level of the river Nile. The Egyptians lost hope and most of them were thinking of migrating elsewhere. That made Amar bin al-Aas worried. He reported the facts of the case to Hadrat Umar (ra) and wanted his instructions. Hadrat Umar approved of the action of Amr in not permitting the human sacrifice. Along with the letter, Hadrat Umar (ra) sent a card on which it was written:
“In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. From the slave of Allah, Umar the Commander of the faithful to the Nile of Egypt.
“Everything in the Universe is subject to the will of Allah. The rise in your level is subject to the will of Allah, and we pray to Allah (SWT) to command you to rise in level.”
Hadrat Umar asked Amr that the card should be thrown in the middle of the river. On the eve of the Feast of the Christian Day of the Cross, Amr had the Christians assemble on the river bank and after reciting some verses from the Noble Qur’an and taking the name of Allah, he threw the card of Hadrat Umar in the middle of the river. Then the Muslims assembled on the riverbank lifted their hands in prayers seeking the blessings of Allah, in making the river rise in level. The card of Hadrat Umar floated on the surface of the Nile for some distance and then it disappeared.
The next morning the river rose to its full flood height. Verily Allah had commanded the river to flow, and that was the end of the evil custom of sacrificing a virgin to secure a rise in the level of the river. That was the vindication of Islam. Many Egyptians now came to believe that Islam was a blessing and a true religion. They hastened to the Muslim camp and were converted to Islam.
Islamic Revolution
Before the time of the Prophet of Islam, the ancient civilizations such as Greek, Egyptian, Roman and Persian- all were polytheistic (shirk) in their beliefs. That is they worshipped natural phenomena such as the earth (Goddess Gaiga now in the west), rivers, mountains, sun, moon or stars. Only Islam was able to displace them from the pedestal of worship and created the intellectual frame of mind, which is known as the scientific revolution.
The polytheists believed the river to possess divine attributes. They believed the goddess of river caused the water to move and made it useful or harmful. In Islam the river is a creation of Allah and not a creator and it was a servant of Allah and not the Lord. Thus the Muslims found ways and means to exploit the rivers on a large scale. The history books tell us that there is no precedent in any nation to the large-scale irrigation system developed by the Spanish Muslims. The Spanish Muslims developed agriculture and created Departments of agriculture science and irrigation in the universities. They studied trees and carried out research on the properties of soil. The infertile lands were converted into orchards and lush green fields, in today’s terms -a green revolution. Before this people treated rivers, springs and sea as gods. But the Muslims brought the green revolution because of their monotheistic thinking.
Polytheism (shirk) was prevalent until the 7th century. It was replaced with monotheism (Tawhid) by the Islamic Revolution. This in turn opened the doors of research and investigation by abolishing the practice of worshipping the natural phenomena. Modern industrial progress owes its existence to the Arab Muslims due to their creed of monotheism, which instilled them a mental and practical revolution. Islam changed the thinking of the Muslims and contributed to the modern scientific revolution. Historians acknowledge that Islam changed the face of the globe. Polytheism and superstition blocked the progress and advancement of human development. Islam encouraged the investigation of nature and destroyed the sanctity of nature.
Islam also destroyed the concept of intermediaries between God and man, such as the Kings and priests who claimed as God’s representatives on earth or even the incarnations of God on earth. Polytheism (shirk) curbed freedom of thought. Polytheism and superstition were the major obstacles to all kinds of progress. Superstitious beliefs were an obstruction in the pat of free enquiry. The search for new truths and discovery of nature’s secrets remained forbidden areas for them for centuries. Before the Islamic revolution, the world had been swept by superstitious beliefs and idolatry. The revolution based on monotheism of Islam put an almost complete end to polytheism (shirk) The Greeks excelled in the fields of art and philosophy. Their contribution to the field of science (except Archimedes’ hydrostatics) was actually quite negligible. Plato’s teacher, Socrates (may be construed as a Haneef) never worshipped the pagan gods which were worshipped by the Athenians in Greece and instilled free enquiry among the youth of Athens and for that he was forced to drink hemlock as a punishment in 399 BC. Archimedes was killed by a Roman soldier in 212 BC failing to recognize him. The atmosphere for scientific progress did not exist in ancient Greece. Similarly, the mighty Roman Empire never produced a single scientist.
In Islam with its foundation of monotheism created an atmosphere and environment which stimulated scientific research that lead to the conquest of natural phenomena. The modern age which is the age of science and industry, of freedom and equality is the direct consequence of the Islamic revolution rooted in the Qur’an.
From the sixth century to the 10th century Europe was in dark ages while the Islamic civilization attained the pinnacles of science and technology. After the crusades the Europeans came in contact with the Islamic civilization. They went to Muslim universities in Spain, Sicily, Cairo, and Baghdad. They translated the Arabic works into Latin for over two hundred years. The European Renaissance started in the 15th century and culminated in the emergence of the modern industrial civilization. Islamic revolution is responsible for the emancipation of the human thought.
During the Abbasid era, paper was being manufactured on a large scale and so books could be produced without the dearth of paper. There were more than 400,000 books in the library of Cordova (Spain) in the tenth century, whereas in Europe at that time, the library of Canterbury- the top of the list of the Christian libraries- contained only 1800 books in the 13 the century.
In many countries scholars were born with creative minds who could think independently of the their fellow citizens. But due to the unfavorable atmosphere and hostile environment of times, their efforts could be brought to fruition. Their knowledge withered away before they could flower. On the other hand Islamic revolution produced favorable atmosphere, it unleashed a mighty flood of knowledge which had been kept pent up for thousands of years by the dam of polytheism (shirk) and superstition. For progress of Science and Technology an atmosphere of free investigation is essential. One may be surprised to know that even today there are some people and societies who believe that the earth is flat. Even today the Hindus with MD and Ph.D. degrees worship the Sun as god and believe that the lunar and solar eclipses are caused when the snakes Rahu and Ketu swallow them. One thousand years ago Abu Rayhan Al-Biruni explained how the solar and lunar eclipses are caused by the shadows of moon and earth falling on the sun and moon respectively. The Hindus believe in 320 million gods and goddesses. Even if one spends one minute in reciting the name of a god, the whole life is not enough to recite the names of 320 million gods and goddesses.
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