Islam The Religion You can no Longer Ignor


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Islam The Religion You can no Longer Ignor

  2. 2. A Brief lntroductionTo A Brief Introduction To ISLAIVI ISLAM (Book- 1) (Book -1) by SyedlqbalZaheer Syed Iqbal zaheer
  3. 3. Copyright © 2000 by AI-Attique Publis~~r~ Inc. Copyright@2000 by Al-Attique PublisersInc. All rightsreserved. part of this book All rights reserved. No part of this book No may be reproducedor transmittedin any may be reproduced or transmitted in any forrn or by any meanswithout written form 0r by any means without written permissionfrom the Publishers. permission from the Publishers. Al-Attique PublishersInc. AI-Attique Publishers 65-TrevertonDr, Toronto,OnMIK 3S5Canada 65-Treverton Toronto,On MIK 385 Canada (416) 615-1222 Fax: (416)615-0375 Tel: (416)615-1222Faxl (416) 615-0375 E-mail: E-mail: Titte: Islam: The Religion You canno Longer Title: Islam: The Religion can no Longer Ignore Ignore Copyright: Copyright: All rightsreserved All rights reserved Printed: Printed: Ma.'2000 Mzo.y 2000 Printing supervised: Printing supervised: M.R.Attique M.R.Attique ISBN l-894264-34'7 ISBN:: 1-894264-34-7 First Edition: Mav 2000 First Edition: May 2000 Distributedin SaudiArabia bY Distributed in Saudi Arabia by Dar Al-HadyanPublishers Distributors & Dar AI-Hadyan Publishers & Distributors P/OBox 15031, Al-RiYadh 11444 P/O Box 15031, AI-Riyadh 11444 Tel+Fa:<: I -463- 1685 Tel+Fax: 966-1-463-1685 966- Distributedin USA bY Distributed in USA by IslamicEducation Media & Islamic Education & Media 730 East 10th Street, C.F.Brooklyn, NY 11230 730 Eastl0'h Street, C.F.Brooklyn, 11230 NY T+F (718) 42r-s428 T+F (718) 421-5428
  4. 4. ln the name of Allah, the Knd theBeneficent In the name Allah, Kind the Benefrcent the Coilentt Pageno. Page no. Introduction I PreCace Preface iii I. Allah I Who Is Allah? Who Is Allah? 1 What Does Want Of Us? What Does Allah Want Of Us? 2 II Prophets II Prophets 4 Who The Prophets? Who Are The Prophets? 4 4 Muhammad,the Seal the Prophethood Muhammad, the Seal of the Prophethood 4 4 Muhammad'sPersonaliw? Muhammad's Personality? 8 I III Revelations III Revelations 100 1 What Is Revelation? What Is Revelation? l0 10 What Occasioned New Revelation? What Occasioned A New Revelation? l0 10 IV The Qur'an14 The Qur'an14 l5 15 What Is The Qur'an? What Is The Qur'an? 155 1 The Challenge the Qur'an The Challenge of the Qur'an t7 17 Predictions Of The Qur'an Predictions The Qur'an t9 19 Miracles ScientificNature Miracles Of Scientific Nature 25 25
  5. 5. pag€no. page no. 29 29 V V Islam 29 29 What Islam? What Is Islam? 30 30 The Pillars Of Islam The PillarsOf Islam 34 34 The Rest Of Islam The RestOf Islam 36 36 Mu'amalat Mu'amalat 38 38 Jihad Jihad 40 40 Ihsan Ihsan 41l 4 VI Crime and Punishment VI and Punishment 43 43 Death Penalty Death Penalty 44 44 Amputation the Hand Amputation of the Hand 46 46 VII The Hereafter VII Hereafter 46 46 Death Death 47 47 Resurrection Resunection 47 47 Reckoning and Judgement Reckoningand Judgement 49 49 Glossary of Terms Glossary Terms 53 53 Suggested Reading Material Suggested Reading 555 5 Addresses Of Islamic Centres Addresses Islamic Centres
  6. 6. INTRODUCTION INTRODUCTION The needfor a publicationthat can introduceIslam briefly, The need for a publication that can introduce Islam briefly, and at the same time giveanoverviewof this religionhaslong andat the same time give an overview ofthis religion has long beenfelt. This is an effort to meetwith the need.However, been felt. This is an effort to meet with the n~ed. However, this is far easilysaidthandone,because Islam is not simplya this is far easily said than done, because Islam is not simply a setof creeds, customs and rituals, but a complete way of life set creeds, customs rituals,but a complete and way life that guidesman in everyfield thoughtandactionand pre- that guides man in every field of thought and action and pre- pareshim for a swift transition the Hereafter. to pares him for a swift transition to the Hereafter. Accordingly, Accordingly, it neither neglects the needs, hopes and aspirations of this neither neglectsthe needs,hopesand aspirations this earthly existence, does abandon nor man to the mundane earthly existence, nor does it abandon man to the mundane world a soul yearningfor peace andtranquility.There- world with a soul yearning for peace and tranquility. There- fore,to present Islam in a briefform, even ifit be an overview, fore, present Islamin a brief form,evenif it beanoverview, is just out of question. I endeavor to do it in three volumes, is just out question. endeavor do in threevolumes, to andthis is the first the series. and this is the first of the series. This volumetriesto answer very basic questions one the This volume tries to answer the very basicquestions that one that unexposed Islam would like to ask. Such answers had to be, unexposed to Islamwouldlike to ask.Such answers to be, had of necessity, very brief. The readeris advised, of necessity, very brief. The reader is advised, therefore, to therefore, consultotherworks,someof which arelistedat the endof this consult other works, some ofwhich are listed at the end ofthis book. He may also contactone of the Islamiccenters, book. He may also contact one the Islamic centers, also also listedat the end,for furtherguidance. listed at the end, further guidance. Syed lqbal Zaheer Syed Iqbal
  7. 7. God's Right GodnsRight Mu'adh ibn Jabal(ra) reports:"Once happened be Mu'adh ibn Jabal (ra) reports: "Once I happened to be rider on a camel behindthe Prophet,(on the pillion rider on a camel behind the Prophet, (on the 'O whom be peaceand blessings God). He said whom be peace and blessings of God). He said '0 'Here am, O Mes- Mu'adh ibn Jabal!' responded: Mu'adh ibn Jabal!' I responded: 'Here I am, 0 Mes- senger God. Blessed thou.' The Prophet be contin- senger of God. Blessed be thou.' The Prophet contin- ued ride) a (without speaking)and then ued (to ride) for a while (without speaking) and then 'Here am,O Mes- said:'O Mu'adh ibn Jabal!' said: said: '0 Mu'adh ibn Jabal!' I said: 'Here I am, 0 Mes- senger Allah. Blessed thou.' be senger of Allah. Blessed be thou.' (BuQhecontinued ride) sometime beforespeak- (But) he continued (to ride) for some time before speak- ing. Then he said:'O Mu'adh ibn Jabal!' repeated: ing. Then he said: '0 Mu'adh ibn Jabal!' I repeated: 'Here am,O Messenger God. Blessed thou.' He 'Here I am, 0 Messenger ofGod. Blessed be thou.' He of be 'Do you know what is God's right upon the peo- said: 'Do you know what is God's right uponthe peo- said: ple?' said:'God andHis Messenger know best.'He ple?' I said: 'God and His Messenger know best.' He 'Verily, it is His right upon the people that they said: 'Verily, is His right uponthe peoplethat they said: (Alone) and associate aught with not worship Him (Alone) and associate not aught with worship Him.' Him.' (to Then he continued (to ride) for some more time before Thenhe continued ride) somemoretime before saying: '0 Mu'adh ibn Jabal!' said:'Here am O saying: 'O Mu'adh ibn Jabal!' I said: 'Here I am 0 Messenger Cod. Blessed thou.' He said:'Do you Messenger of God. Blessed be thou.' He said: 'Do you be know whatis theright of people know what is the right ofpeople upon their Lord, ifthey upontheirLord, 'God and His Messenger know best.' do that?' I said: 'God and His Messenger do that?' said: know best.' He said: 'It is their right upon He said: 'It is their right upon Him that He shouldn't that He shouldn't punishthem."' punish them.'" iii i
  8. 8. PREFACE PREFACE Man cannot peacefully thisworld withoutknowingwho cannot live peacefully in this without knowing who he is. Who has created him andsenthim to this life? What is he is. Who hascreated and sent this life? What his role in it? How can he fulfil that role to the best of his his role it? can he that role the best of his ability?And what is therefor him afterthis life? ability? what there him after this life? Thesebasic questionscannotbe answered the human in- These basic questions cannot be answered by the human tellect alone- manneeds tellectalone man needs Divine guidance findingtheright Divine guidance for finding the right answers suchbasic questions. answers to such basicquestions. SuchDivine guidance been implanted the innernature Such Divine guidance has beenimplanted in the inner nature has of man,hasbeen taught Adam andEve(pbuDat the moment ofman, has beentaught to Adam and Eve (pbut) at the moment their creation,has beenrevealed througha long chain of their creation, has been revealed through a long chain of from Allah, and,hasbeenfinally integrated the in messengers from Allah, and, has been finally integrated in the messengers (pbuh),the seal prophethood. message of Muhammad (pbuh), the seal of prophethood. message Muhammad was This Divine guidance invariably called"Islam"which is This Divine guidance was invariably called "Islam" which is a word derivedfrom two Arabic roots:"Salam"which means a word derived from two Arabic roots: "Salam" which means "peace"and "Tasleem"which means"submission." "peace" and "Tasleem" which means "submission." Conse-Conse- quently,Islammeans peaceful submission the of Allah quently, Islam means peaceful submission to the will ofAllah to and His complete obedience.. Hence, the long chain of mes- and His complete obedience Hence,the long chain mes- sengers from Adam to Muhammad (pbuh)wereall Muslims sengers from Adam to Muhammad (pbuh) were all Muslims was invariablyIslam. That list includes and their message was invariably Islam. That list includes and their message (amongmany others):Adam, Enoch,Noah, Hude, Saleh, (among many others): Adam, Enoch, Noah, Hude, Saleh, Abraham,Ishmael, Isaac, Lute,Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Lute, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, iiit u
  9. 9. Dhulkifl, David, Solomon, Job, Ilyas, El-Yasha', Jonah, Dhulkifl, David, Solomon, Job, Ilyas, EI- Yasha', Jonah, Zachariah, John,Jesus ChristandMuhammad (pbut).And any Zachariah, John, Jesus Christ and Muhammad (pbut). And any humanbeingat anyplaceor time who would receivesomeone human being at any place or time who would receive someone claimingto be a messenger from Allah, (someone claiming to be a messenger from Allah, (someone with ample with ample evidenceto supporthis claim), and accepts message a evidence to support his claim), and accepts his message is a his is Muslim. Muslim. HenceIslam is not just a is the religion,and the Hence Islam is not just a religion. It is the religion, and the only religion acceptable Allah (swt).This is not a claim by to only religion acceptable to Allah (swt). This is not a claim by Muslims,but a Divine statement in the Glorious Qur'an that Muslims, but a Divine statement the Gloriouseur'an that in was revealedfrom abovesevenheavens was revealed from above seven heavens more than 14 centu- morethan 14 centu- ries ago. ries ago. The four basicfoundations Islam are:Faith (creed),Acts of of The four basic foundations ofIslam are: Faith (creed), Acts of worship, code anda code Transactions others. Worship, Moral Code and a Code for Transactions with others. Thesefour basic areas are beyond the capacity ofman to tailor, These basicareas beyond capacityof man tailor, are the and henceall human efforts in thesedirections have failed and hence human efforts these directionshave failed miserably,ffid have led peopleastray. miserably, and have led people astray. It follows from the discussion It follows from the discussion abovethat man cannot live above that man cannot peacefully successfully peacefully and successfully withoutreligion,andreligioncan- and without religion, and religion can- not be man-made, hasto be absolutely man-made, but has be absolutely Divine, without the slightesthuman alteration.Ifsuch factsareaccepted, fol lows slightest humanalteration. If suchfacts are accepted, it follows it that the only criteriathat can be usedfor discriminationbe- that the criteria can be used discrimination be- tween the true religion and a false one would be the authen- tween the true religion and a false one would be the authen- ticity of the revelationthat was sentdown with the religion. ticity of the revelation that was sent down with the religion. The only revealedbook in the handsof man today that has The only revealed book in the hands of man today that has iv iv
  10. 10. beenkept intact exactlythe samelanguage exactlythe and been kept intact in exactly the same language and exactly the samewords in which wasrevealed the GloriousQur'an; is same words in which it was revealed is the Glorious Qur' an; the previousrevelations were either lost suffered all the previous revelations were either totally lost or suffered endless humanmodifications that madethemuseless hu- endless human modifications that made them useless for hu- man guidance. man guidance. Consequently, the solution humanproblemsthat are Consequently, the only solution to human problems that are piling up today is Islam, as integrated in the final message of up today is Islam,as integrated the final message in Muhammad(pbuh) which is the guidance the Muhammad (pbuh) which is the only Divine guidance in the hands today.Hence, heart-feltwelcome book hands ofman today. Hence, my heart-felt welcome ofthis book "Islam: TheReligion YouCan No Longer lgnore" "Islam: The Religion You Can No Longer Ignore" by brother brother SyedIqbal Zaheer, which hasbeenwriffen a very concise, Syed Iqbal Zaheer, which has been written in a very concise, very clear form. pray the make a but very clear form. I pray to the Almighty Allah to make it a source ofguidancetomany fellow human beingsand reward source ofguidance to many fellow human beings and to reward the authoramply his appreciated effort. the author amply for his appreciated effort. Ilr. Zeghtul El-Naggar Dr. Zeghlul R. EI-Naggar Professor of Geology, ProCessor oC Geology, KFUPM, Dhahran KFIIPM,Ilhahran Saudi Arabia Saudi v
  11. 11. tn the name of Allah, the Knd, the Compassionafe In the name of Allah,the Kind, Compassionate I ALLAH ALLAH Who is Allah? Attaft is the propernoun in Arabicappliedto the &lIah is the proper noun in Arabic applied the exists necessarily, Himself, Only True Cod Who exists True God necessarily, by Himself, encompassing all the excellent all Divine Attributes of encompassing the excellent Divine Attributes perfection. perfection. AllahisOne andUnique;He has partner, equal. Allah is One and Unique; He has no partner, no equal. He does not beget,nor was He begoften. He does He does not beget, nor was He begotten. He· does nothinginheres Him. He in not inhere in anything, nothing inheres in Him. He not inherein anything, and Sustainer all thatexists.He is the sale Creator and Sustainer of all that exists. He is the soleCreator whom thereis no othergod. is the One God, besides whom there is no other god. is the One Cod, besides worthy of worshipsaveHim' And there is none worthy of worship save Him. And there is none He has no wife, no son, and no father. He has no He has no wife, no son, and no father. He has no substance. doesnot sleepnor He form or no material substance. He does not sleep nor form or no material He takerest. He is the First, with no beginning, does He take rest. He is the First, with no beginning, does with no end. He istheAll-Knowing and the Last, with no end. He is the All-Knowing who andthe Last, who knowswhat passes througha man'sheart. He is the knows what passes through a man's heart. He is the who has freewi ll thatisnotrestrained the Omnipotent who has the free wi II that is not restrained Omnipotent by any power. When He desires thing to be, He a by any power. When He desires a thing to be, He "8e," and it is. He is also the Beneficent, says, "Be, and it is. He is also the Beneficent, the says, II the
  12. 12. Kind and the Mercifulwhoselove for man is seventy Kind and the Merciful whose love for man is seventy timesgreater than that of a motherfor her child. times greater than that of a mother for her child. And the Cod of lslam is neitherremotenor abstract. And the God of Islam is neither remote nor abstract. He is the RealLordof the universe whoselove swells He is the Real Lord of the universe whose love swells the heartand intoxicates soul. Thosewho seek the the heart and intoxicates the soul. Those who seek Him do not haveto dependon the vicarious Him do not have to depend on the vicarious convic-convic- tion a priest, tion of a priest, orthe arguments in the books, to assure orthe arguments the books, assure in to them that He exists. They can feel His existence them that He exists. They can feel His existence in in themselves, well as in boththe animate as themselves, as well as in both the animate and inani- and inani- mateobjectsaroundthem. mate objects around them. And this is not the prerogative the "spiritualists." And this is not the prerogative of the "spiritualists.It Any layman, who followsHisguidance seeks Any layman, who follows His guidance and seeks His and His Presence, find Him closeto himself. will Presence, will find Him close to himself. This is the reason why people ofall sorts - intellectuals, Thisisthe reason people all sorts intellectuals, of scientists, priests, well as peoplefrom all walks scientists, priests, as well as people from all walksof as life - enter into the fold life - enter into the fold of Islam every day. In Islam lslameveryday. In lslam they find a Cod who responds theircall. they find God responds to their call. What Does Allah Want of Us? of SinceAllah is One and Unique,endowedwith the Since Allah is One and Unique, endowed with the qualities perfection qualities of perfection that no one shares that one shares with Him, with Him, and sinceHe is the soleCreator, and since is the sale Creator, Sustainer Nour- Sustainer and Nour- and 2
  13. 13. isher of all that exists, He demands that man should isherof all that exists,He demands that man should worship Him alone, not associate anyone with Him, worshipHim alone,not associate anyone with Him, and obey Him by following the guidancehe has re- and obey Him by following the guidance he has re- ceivedfrom Him throughHis Prophets. ceived from Him through His Prophets. It may be pointedout at this juncturethat by nature It may be pointed out at this juncture that by nature man is follower and worshipper. lf he is not man is a follower and a worshipper. If he is not devotedto Allah, he devoted to Allah, he will devote himself to others: devote himself others: deities,saints, philosophers, nationalhe- deities, saints, thinkers, philosophers, or national he- thinkers, roes: followingthem in thoughtandaction.And they, roes: following them in thought and action. And they, being human like himself (or worse - in the case of being human like himself(or worse in the case deities), will lead him nowhere. In fact,they need deities), will lead him nowhere. In fact, they need guidance themselves, although they aretoo proud gu idance themselves, although they are too proud to admit it. Aren't they havebroughtthe world admit it. Aren't they who have brought the world to this pass?The Qur'an asks:"S^y,'Of your partners this pass? The Qur'an asks: "Say, 'Of your partners (that you associate with Allah),is there anyone (that you associate with Allah), is there anyone who can guide Truth?'Tell them, 'lt is Allah guides can guide to Truth?' Tell them, 'It is Allah who guides Truth. ls He then to Truth. Is He then who can guide to Truth more can guide Truth more worthy of following than he who cannot guide until worthy following than he cannot guide until he himself guided?'Sowhat'swrongwith he himselfis guided?' So what's wrong with you?How is you? do you judge?'(Ch.l 0, verse 35). do you judge?" (Ch.10, verse35). 3
  14. 14. II PROPHETS II PROPHETS Who Are The Prophets? Prophets? Frophets are Allah's chosenmen sentfrom time to [Prophets are Allah's chosen men sent from time to time with revealedmessages contain guidance that time with revealed messages that contain guidance for man. There have been series Prophets for man. There have been a series of Prophets throughout history.The series startedwith Adamand throughout history. The series started with Adam and endedwith Muhammad.Nuh (Noah), lbrahim ended with Muhammad. Nuh (Noah), Ibrahim (Abra-(Abra- ham),Musa ham), Musa (Moses), and and 'lsa (Jesus, son Mary) (Moses), 'Isa Oesus, the son of Mary) the were few prominent ones among them, Allah's were a few prominent ones among them, Allah's peaceand blessing uponthem all. These be peace and blessing be upon them all. These Prophets Prophets were humans. They ate and slept, had wives and were humans. They ate and slept, had wives and children(except marryat his second children (except Jesus, who will marry at his second Jesus, coming) and earned their living with their hands. coming) and earned their living with their hands. They were neithergods,demigods, They were neither gods, demigods, sons of God, an- sons Cod, an- gels,nor were they endowed with any Divine quality. gels, nor werethey endowed with any Divinequality. Theywere absolutely humanexceptthatAllah chose They were absolutely human except that Allah chose address them throughthe medium angels. to address them through the medium of angels. Muhammad, the Seal of Prophethood Seal of Muhammadwas the final Prophet Muhammad was the final Prophet sentby God. Born sent God. Born in Makkah570 yearsafterhis predecessor'lsa Makkah 570 years after his predecessor 'Isa flesus), Oesus), he was up until the ageof 40 indistinguishable he was until the age indistinguishable from from 4
  15. 15. any other man except that his extremehonestyhad any other man except that his extreme honesty had earned him the appellation "the Trustworthy." The earnedhim the appellation"the Trustworthy." The Encyclopaedia Britannica says abouthim: "...amass Encyclopaedia Britannica says about him: "...a mass of detail in the early sources shows that he was an detail in the early sources showsthat he was an honestand uprightman had gainedthe respect honest and upright man who had gained the respect and loyalty others were like.wisehonestand and loyalty of others who were like-wise honest and uprightmen." (Vol. 12, p.609) He was unlettered. upright men." (Vol. 12, p. 609) He was unlettered. At forty he was addressed Allah,throughthe angel by At forty he was addressed by Allah, through the angel (Cabriel), commissioned preach isOne- and H Jibril (Gabriel), and commissioned to preach His One- Jibril ness and warn the people against the worship of false ness and warn the peopleagainst worship false the gods. What he preached can be summedup in the gods. What he preached can be summed up in the words of one of his followers who, along with some words one of his followers who, alongwith some when his people began others, fled to Abyssinia when his people began to others,fled to Abyssinia persecute themfor embracing lslam. Aftertheirflight persecute them for embracing Islam. After their flight the Makkan heathens the Makkan heathens sent an emissary to Abyssinia sentan emissary Abyssinia to persuade Kingto returntheserefugees them. to persuade the King to return these refugees to them. the When Negus King,asked Muslims explain the the When Negus the King, asked the Muslims to explain their presence his country,one them,Ja'far in their presence in his country, one of them, Ja'far b.b. Abi Talib, cousin the Prophet, Abi Talib, a cousin of the Prophet, spoke in the fol- spokein the fol- lowing manner: lowing manner: "O King, werean uncivilised we people, worshipping "0 King, we were an uncivilised people, worshipping idols, eating carrion, committingabominations, idols, eating carrion, committing abominations, breaking natural ties,treating guests badly, andour breaking natural ties, treating guests badly, and our strongdevouring weak. Thuswe wereuntilGod the strong devouring the weak. Thus we were until God sentus an apostle whoselineage, truth,trustworthi- sent us an apostle whose lineage, truth, trustworthi- 5
  16. 16. ness,and clemency know. He summoned to we ness, and clemency we know. He summoned us to us acknowledge God's unityand to worshipHim and acknowledge God's unity and to worship Him and to renounce stonesand images, the whichwe and to renounce the stones and images, which we and our fathersformerlyworshipped.He commanded our fathers formerly worshipped. He commanded usto speakthe truth, befaithfulto us to speak the truth, be faithful to our engagements, ourengagements, mindfulof tiesof kinship kindhospitality, the and mindful of the ties of kinship and kind hospitality, andand to refrain from crimes and bloodshed. He forbade to refrainfrom crimesand bloodshed.He forbade us to commitabominations to speaklies,and and us to commit abominations and to speak lies, and to devourthe property orphans, vilifychaste of to devour the property of orphans, to vilify chaste to women. He commanded to worshipGod alone us women. He commanded us to worship God alone and notto associate anything withHim,and he gave and not to associate anything with Him, and he gave us orders about prayer,almsgiving, us orders about prayer, almsgiving, and fastingand fasting (enumerating commands lslam). We con- the of (enumerating the commands of Islam). We con- fessedhistruthandbelieved him,andwe followed in fessed his truth and believed in him, and we followed him in what he had brought fromGod,and we wor- him in what he had brought from God, and we wor- shippedGod alonewithoutassociating shipped God alone without associating aught with aughtwith Him. We treated as forbidden whathe forbade, Him. We treated forbidden as what he forbade, and and as lawfulwhat he declared as lawful what he declared lawful. Thereupon lawful. Thereupon ourour peopleattacked us,treated harshly seduced people attacked treated us harshly andseduced us, us and us from our faith to try to make us go back to the us from our faith try to make us go back the worshipof idolsinstead the worship God,and worship idols instead of the worship of God, and to regardas lawfulthe evildeedswe oncecommit- regard lawful the evil deeds once commit- ted. So whenthey got the betterof us, treatedus ted. So when they got the better us, treated us unjustlyand circumscribed lives,and camebe- unjustly and circumscribed our lives, and came be- our tweenus andour religion, cameto yourcountry, tween and religion, we came to your country, we havingchosenyou aboveall others. Herewe have having chosen you above all others. Here we have beenhappyin yourprotection, we hopethatwe been happy in your protection, and we hope that we and 6
  17. 17. shallnot be treatedunjustly whilewe are with you, shall not be treated unjustly while we are with you, o King. 1I (The life of Muhammad, P., 151 -152, Tr., O King."(TheLifeof Muhammad, 151- 152,Tr., P., AlfredGuillaume). Alfred Guillaume). InitiallytheProphet was ableto somefollowers. Initially.the Prophet was able to win some followers. But the new religiondid not servethe interests the But the new religion did not serve the interests of the classes that held power and influence. lt anguished classes that held power and influence. It anguished them deeply seethat their religionand the entire them deeply to see that their religion and the entire system hegemonythey had built for themselves system of hegemony they had bu iIt for themselves aroundit, was beingquestioned. They had doubt around it, was being questioned. They had no doubt that allowedto flourish,lslamwould destroy their that if allowed to flourish, Islam would destroy their privileges and bring them down the level the privileges and bring them down to the level of the commoners. Thiswas unacceptable them. There- commoners. This was unacceptable to them. There- fore, they began oppose lslam and persecute fore, they began to oppose Islam and persecute the the Muslims.Theweakamong them,theslaves those and Muslims. The weak among them, the slaves and those in the lower strata the society,becameeasytargets. in the lower strata of the society, became easy targets. They were abused, beatenup, and tortured They were abused, beaten up, and tortured with suchsuch vengeance that ultimatelythe Prophethad allow vengeance that ultimately the Prophet had to allow them migrate otherplaces to suchasAbyssinia and them to migrate to other places such as Abyssinia and laterMadinah. Finally, with hopes of the Makkan later Madinah. Finally,with hopes the Makkan heathens everaccepting call receding zero, he his heathens ever accepting his call receding to zero, he was himselforderedby Allah to move Madinah was himself ordered by Allah to move to Madinah whose people had shown interest lslamand had in whose people had shown interest in Islam and had invitedhim there,promising protecthim. But as invited him there, promising to protect him. But as soon as he stepped the soil Madinah,the sur- on soon as he stepped on the soil of Madinah, the sur- roundingJewsbegan conspirewith the Makkans rounding Jews began to conspire with the Makkans destroyhim and his call. This led the outbreak to destroy him and his call. This led to the outbreak 7
  18. 18. of hostilities between two: the Muslimson the one the of hostilities between the two: the Muslims on the one side,and the restof the Arabsspearheaded their side, and the rest of the Arabs spearheaded by thei r by mostpowerfuland leading tribe,the Quraysh, the most powerful and leading tribe, the Quraysh, on the on other. The battlesthat ensued saw the Muslims other. The battles that ensued saw the Muslims emergevictorioussometimes, while at othersit was emerge victorious sometimes, while at others it was theirenemies who triumphed. Finally a peace deal their enemies who triumphed. Finallya peacedeal was struckin the sixth year aftermigration. This al- was struck in the sixth year after migration. This al- lowedfreeand easyintermixing Muslims lowed free and easy intermixing of Muslims with the with the non-Muslims givingthe latterfreeaccess the mes- non-Muslims giving the latter free access to the mes- to sage lslam. During the two yearsthat followed sage of Islam. During the two years that followed more peoplehad succumbed the call lslamthan more people had succumbed to the call of Islam than they had in the pastnineteen years they had in the past nineteen years since its birth. But sinceitsbirth. But short later,the peacetreatywas breached a short while later, the peace treaty was breached by the Makkans.The Prophet marched themwith ten the Makkans. The Prophet marched on them with ten on thousand followers andMakkahwassubdued thousand followers and Makkah was subdued without without resistance. The rest the Arabs,waitingfor the out- resistance. The rest of the Arabs, waiting for the out- come the strugglebetweenthe Prophetand the come of the struggle between the Prophet and the paganleaders, beganto embracelslam in hundreds pagan leaders, began to embrace Islam in hundreds and thousands.The Prophet died two yearslater. and thousands. The Prophet died two years later. Muhammad's Personality The personality Prophet The personality of Prophet Muhammad, on whom be Muhammad, whom be on peace,is one of the mostfascinating history. No peace, is one the most fascinating in history. in reformer beentested reformer hasbeen tested with harsher has harsher conditions cond itions than than he. Appearing Arabiawhen it was passing he. Appearing in Arabia when was passing through in through its darkestperiod, he was given a peoplethat were its darkest period, he was given people that were I 8
  19. 19. considered lowest the in thosetimes. They considered the lowest of the low in those times. They the were held in such esteem that the neighbouring were held in such low esteem that the neighbouring Romans Persians, thoughtthem incorrigible, Romans and Persians, who thought them incorrigible, and did not wish expandtheir rule over them. Also, did not wish to expand their rule over them. Also, the Prophet not enjoy the help and support his did the Prophet did not enjoy the help and support of his people. On the contrary, they opposed him own people. the contrary, they opposed him tooth and nail. Nor did he havethe nobilityon his tooth and nail. Nor did he have the nobility on his side. In fact,one the complaints the prominent side. In fact, one of the complaints of the prominent was that the Prophet was all the time sur- chieftains was that the Prophet was all the time sur- chieftains roundedby, what they considered lowly people as, rounded by, what they considered as, lowly people whose companythey detested.Finally,he was op- whose company they detested. Finally, he was op- posed even the Jewsand Christians, posed even by the Jews and Christians, to whom a from Cod was not new phenomenon. Messenger from God was not a new phenomenon. Messenger the Yet, overcoming universal opposition his mis- Yet, overcoming the universal opposition to his mis- sion,hewas able transform unrulydesert-dwell- the sion, he was able to transform the unruly desert-dwell- ers into the mostcivilisedand dynamicpeopleany ers into the most civilised and dynamic people any age has produced. Shortlyafter him the Muslims age has produced. Shortly after him the Muslims defeatedthe centuries-oldRoman and Persianem- defeated the centuries-old Roman and Persian em- pires,and subduingthe bestpart the then known pires, and subduing the best part of the then known world, established their own rule, religion,culture, world, established their own rule, religion, culture, and language that have lasted this day. and language that have lasted to this day. No man man has achievedthis in history. doubt, his own has achieved this in history. No doubt, his own charming andverypowerfulpersonality played very charming and very powerful personality played a very important role in this transformation. lt deserves, important role in this transformation. It deserves, therefore, closerexamination. therefore, closer examination. 9
  20. 20. III REVELATIONS III REVELAliONS What ls Revelation? What Is Revelation? Eiuin" revelations messages cod to mankind are @ivine revelations are messages of God to mankind of sentdown through Prophets.Revelations sent down through Prophets. Revelations give a de- give a de- taileddescription thequalities attributes cod of tailed description ofthe qualities and attributes of God and of in whom man is required believeand whom he is in whom man is required to believe and whom he is to requiredto serveand worship. In addition, Divine required to serve and worship. In addition, Divine revelations also contain the code revelations also contain the code of life on which life on which depends people's well-beingin this life and salvation depends people's well-being in this life and salvation in the Hereafter. some the existingreveared in the Hereafter. Some of the existing revealed Books Books are the Torah (the Pentateuch, the first five Books are the Torah (the Pentateuch, or the first five Books of the Old Testament) which was revealed to Musa the old Testament) which was revealed Musa (Moses),Zabur (Psalms) revealed to Da'ud (David), (Moses), Zabur (Psalms) revealed Da,ud (David), /njiJ (the Testament) revealed ,lsaflesus), /niil (the New Testament) revealed to 'Isa (Jesus), and and finafly, the Qur'an, revealed Muhammad,(peace finally, the Qur'an, revealed to Muhammad, (peace be upon him and on all prophets). upon and Prophets). What Occasioned A New Revelation? What Occasioned A New The Qur'an tellsusthat its revelation The Qur'an tells us that its revelation wasoccasioned was occasioned by the corruption'sthat previousmessages Cod by the corruption's that previous messages of God of sufferedat the handsof their foffowers.The Torahfor suffered at the hands of their followers. The Torah for instancehas been re.written entirely from memory instance has been re-written entirely from memory l10 0
  21. 21. after it was lostfor a long period. lt containsstories after it was lost for a long period. It contains stories of Prophets getting drunk (Cenesis, 9:20),othershav- of Prophets getting drunk (Genesis, 9:20), others hav- ing sexualintercourse with noneotherthantheir own ing sexual intercourse with none other than their own daughters (Cen.,20:30-38), and yet othersworship- daughters (Gen., 20:30-38), and yet others worship- ping idols(1 Kings, 1 1-8). Eventhe concept the 1 ping idols (1 Kings, 11::1-8).Even the concept of the of One Universal Cod had been replaced by that One Universal God had been replaced by that of Yahweh, national Yahweh, the national God ofthe jews. Max I. Di mont the Cod of theJews.Max l. Dimont the well known Jewish scholar writesin his famous the well known jewish scholar writes in his famous work "Jews, Cod and History': "The final fusion work "Jews, God and History": "The final fusion of the five books Moses,calledthe Pentateuch, the five books of Moses, called the Pentateuch, (the (the Testament) occurredaround450 B.C.- in other Old Testament) occurred around 450 B.C. - in other words, eight sixteenhundredyearsafter some words, eight to sixteen hundred years after some of the events narrated themtook place."Thistime lag in the events narrated in them took place." This time lag obviouslyledto manyerrors and interpolations obviously led to many errors and interpolations creep- creep- ing intothe text,which led to innovations religious ing into the text, which led to innovations in religious in practices, warranting raise the new Prophet practices, warranting the raise of a new Prophet with with new revelation. a new revelation. It was Jesus Christ,peacebe upon him, It wasjesus Christ, peace be upon him, who was sent was sent reformjudaism, reinstall the rule of Divine Law as to reform Judaism, reinstall rule DivineLaw as the statedin the Torah,and sweepaway all innovations stated in the Torah, and sweep away all innovations introducedafter Moses. But he was rejected the introduced after Moses. But he was rejected by the majority who tried to get him crucified. But Allah majority tried get him crucified. But Allah Most High raisedhim the heavens Most High raised him to the heavens alive. He de- alive. He de- partedsaying:"Nevertheless, I tell you the truth; it is parted saying: "Neverthe/ess, you the truth; is expedientfor you that I go away; for if I go not away, expedient for that away; if not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, the Comforterwill not come unto you; but if depart, l11 l
  22. 22. will send him unto you." (John,16:h. F-|e was of II will send him unto you." (John, 16:7). He was of course referring to Muhammad,may Allah's peace course referring Muhammad, may Allah's peace to and blessings upon him. be and blessings be upon him. The message revealed Jesus to was alsodistortedby The message revealed to jesus was also distorted by his followers.This happened primarilybecause his followers. This happened primarily because the the message revealed him did not survive itsoriginal to in message revealed to him did not survive in its original form. What are known as the Cospels Matthew, form. What are known as the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, LukeandJohn(theNew Testament) not the are Mark, Luke and john (the New Testament) are not the writings either Christ, or Christ's Apostles. They writings either of Christ, or of Christ's Apostles. They areworks laterand obscure authors and the earliest are works of later and obscure authors and the earliest them was probablycommittedto writing at least of them was probably committed to writing at least half centuryafterJesus Christ, not later. Eventhe half a century after Jesus Christ, if not later. Even the originals theseCospelshave not survived. The originals of these Gospels have not survived. The oldest manuscript (whichdates around135 years oldest manuscript (which dates around 135 years afterafter is f esus) in ancient Creek, whichwasnotthe language jesus) is in ancient Greek, which was not the language either Christ his Apostles. Therefore, cannot of either Christ or his Apostles. Therefore, it cannot be saidaboutany portionofthe Gospels with certainty be said about any portion of theCospels with certainty that is the word God. that it is the word of God. Thefollowingis a statement Thefollowing is statement from "Thejerome Biblical from "TheJerome Biblical Commentary," voluminous work which has been Commentary," a voluminous work which has been prepared leading prepared by leading Catholic Catholic and Protestant scholars: and Protestant scholars: "The term "divine inspiration of Scripture" "The term "divine inspiration Scripture" denotesdenotes the special the special influence God uponthe humanwriters influence of God upon the human writers of the Bible,an influence sucha naturethat Cod the Bible, an influence of such nature that God is said be the author of the biblical books" (p.,500). is saidto be the author thebiblicalbooks"(p., 500). t2 12
  23. 23. This is say that they admit that theseare not the This is to say that they admit that these are not the words Cod but onlywrittenunder divinethe actual words of God but only written under the divine actual guidance. The samework states further:"Although guidance. The same work states further: "Although Cod is the author Sacred Scripture, is also true it God is the author of Sacred Scripture, it is also true that humanbeings madetheirown genuine contribu- that human beings made their own genuine contribu- tion the production the sacredbooks- point tion to the production of the sacred books - a point firmly statedby (Pope)Pius Xll in Divino Afflante firmly stated by (Pope) Pius XII in Divino Afflante (p., Spiritu" 503). Spiritu" (p., 503). Thus,the loss the originalrevelation, and the fact Thus, the loss of the original revelation, and the fact thatJesus Christ in placeof the One that Jesus Christ was worshipped in place the One was worshipped Cod, necessitatedfreshrevelation. wassentdown lt God, necessitated a fresh revelation. It was sent down about 600 yearsafterJesus and is in our handstoday about 600 years after Jesus and is in our hands today in the form the Qur'an. As against previously the in the form of the Qur'an. As against the previously revealed books,the Qur'an hasbeenpreserved its in revealed books, the Qur'an has been preserved in its originalform. well known Arabist, Arthur J. Ar- original form. A well known Arabist, Arthur J. Ar- berry,writes in the forewordto his work "The Koran berry, writes in the foreword to his work "The Koran Interpreted": "Apart from certain orthographical Interpreted": "Apart from certain orthographical modifications the originally of somewhat primitive modifications of the originally somewhat primitive method writing,intended renderunambiguous to method of writing, intended to render unambiguous and easythe task reading and recitation, Koran the and easy the task of reading and recitation, the Koran as printedin the twentieth centuryis identical with as printed in the twentieth century is identical with the Koranasauthorised Uthmanmorethan 1, 400 the Koran as authorised by Uthman more than 1, 400 by yearsago." years ago." Uthman (ra),it may be noted,was the third caliph Uthman (ra), it may be noted, was the third caliph afterMuhammad, peace uponh im, be gotcopies after Muhammad, peace be upon him, who got copies l3 13
  24. 24. of the originalcompilation of the original compilation circulated widely in the circulated widely in the world lslam. world of Islam. t4 14
  25. 25. IV THE QUR'AN IV THE QUR'AN What ls The Glur'an? What Is The Qur'an? m. Ll he Qur'an is the final Revelationof Cod to man. lt lrhe Qur'an is the final Revelation of God to man. It was revealedto the final Prophet,Muhammad,on was revealed to the final Prophet, Muhammad, on whom be peace. lts main topicsare:the Existence whom be peace. Its main topics are: the Existence of of Cod, the Unityof His Being; eualitiesandAttrib- God, the Unity of His Being; His Qualities and Attrib- His utes, episodes from the lives the prophets were utes, episodes from the lives of the Prophets that were that sentto variousnations with the special sent to various nations with the special emphasis on emphasis on the account the struggle betweenthem and those the account of the struggle between them and those who rejected them, the ultimate outcome of the re- rejectedthem, the uftimateoutcome the re- jectionof God's message; the principles of a good and jection God'srnessage; principles goodand the virtuouslife; the frame-work of rules and regulations virtuous life; the frame-work rulesand regulations for organising personal, family,and communitylife, for organising personal, family, and community life, the return to God, the setting of the scaleand the the return cod, the setting up the Scale and the judgementof eachman'sfaithand deedson the Day judgement each man's faith and deeds the Day of Resurrection Reckoning Resurrection and Reckoning followed by entryinto and followed entry into everlasting everlasting Heavenor Hell. The eur,an also men- Heaven Hell. The Qur'an also men- tions in passing tions passing somehistorical some historical truths,scientific facts, truths, scientific facts, makes observationson natural phenomena and makes observations natural phenomena and prophesizes prophesizes certainevents. certain events. Herearesomeexamples eur'anic revelations. Here are some examples of Qur'anic revelations. The of The first chaptersays: first chapter says: l15 5
  26. 26. "ln thenameof Atlah, Compassionate, Merciful' "In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful. the the flffpraise6etoAffafr,tlie Lor[of Worffs. ;4.[[praise 6e to ;4.ffali, tfreLordofWorCdS. rITuCompassionate, tficfrlercifu[ fJ1ie Cotnpassiorute, :Merciful tlie Lord of tlie Da1 ofJudgement. Lor[ of tfic,ClJay of Tu[gemcnt- . lJ1iee atorcf,oweworsfitp, Itfiee andlJ1iy atonrdo weseefr alone do we worsliip, arrtlfrl liefp alone [o we seeR.:. hefp guide tu to tfrestraiglit Patfr. Suilt us tlie straigfrt patli. lJ1ie patfroftliose tftou liasfavoure[' Itfrepatli of tfrose fras lJ1iou favoured. Notoftliose tfint eamedrzTiy aryer,nor of tfrose fosttfre :Not of tfiose earnedllfry tliat anger, norofthose tfrntCost tlie tliat Way." eloyJ' chapter the Qur'an says: One of the shortest chapter of the Qur'an says: One the shortest tfte thefulercifu[ "In tlie name ofjtffali, the Compassionate, the :Merciful of "In tfrenrtmr Attafr, ComPf,ssiotute, rI swear) (By tlie rrime. '(I swear) tfrefiffia. $y Verify :Man is in peril IltritJ fuIan in Peri[ is tftose 6e[iwed fr[ gooffeeds. (Ani saae) Save tliose who 6e[ievedanddidgooddeeds. (JIntf save) those Saae wfro anl tftose tfut enj I tfrellrutfi an"dryiircdpers er4nc " e o w e' (C tet frnp qJUzt enjoinedtlie rr'rutli andenjoinedperseverance. " (Cliapter: oin^e 103) 103) Thefollowingpieceisthef irstpartof a chapter entitled The following piece is the first part of a chapter entitled "The Sun": "TheSun": 16 l6
  27. 27. ''In tfie mzme ofAlCali, tfie CompassioTUlte, tlie :MercifuL "In tficnnme ofAtkt tficgompassionnte,fuIercifuf tfie '81 tficsunantritsmoming firigfttness ItBy tlie sun antiits momino 6riglitness and 6y tlie moon wfien sfiefo«OWs it, on[ 6Jtftemoonwfi.en sfrcfo[Iaws it, q tfiedaywfrpn dispfuys and 6y tfie tfay wfien it d'ispCays it arr[ and 6y tlie nifjlit when it enshrouds it! n r[ b tfrcnigfitwfren ensfrrouf,s it! <By tlie freaven antrI{im wfroSuitt {fi tfu fieaven antiHim who 6ui{t it and 6y tlie earth and' 6y Jfim who eJ(J:end'ed'it! n t[ fu tfrceartftarr[ 6JI{im wftoe4enfef it! cBy sout, <By tfie sou£, andJfim who perfecte[it tfrc an^[t{imwfro perfected'it antrhupire[ jt.(witfr conscicnce wfratis wrongfor an[ ofl and'inspired'it (witli conscience of) wliat is wrono for it atuf (what zs) right! (wtut ts)rwttt! Prosperous is he who punfics it, Wosperous fiewfio purifies it, is and'fai£ed' is frcwho seduces it. anf,faitefis fie wfio sef,uces it." /I The Challenge of the Qur'an. Ghallenge Qur'an. Many questions can be raisedabout the Qur'an. Many questions can be raised about the Qur/an. What is the proof that is the revelation Cod? What is the proof that it is the revelation of God? MaybeMuhammadmade it up himself.Also, the Maybe Muhammad made it up himself. Also, if the previous revelations havebeentampered, what is the previous revelations have been tampered, what is the proof that the Qur'an has been preserved as was proof that the Qur'an has been preserved as it was revealed? revealed? The answer the firstquestion counter-question. is The answer to the first question is a counter-question. ls there anotherexamplein history an unlettered Is there another example in history of an unlettered man producing literary masterpiece? greatrelig- lts man producing a literary masterpiece? Its great relig- l7 17
  28. 28. ious merit apart,the Qur'an hasbeenacknowledged ious merit apart, the Qur'an has been acknowledged piece Arabic literature. as an unparalleled piece of Arabic literature. How as an unparalleled received education, could Muhammad, who received no education, who could Muhammad, could not even read and write, and produced could not even read and write, and who produced nothingtill the age 40, suddenly come up with an nothing till the age of 40, suddenly come up with an all-timemasterpiece, at one stroke? and all-time masterpiece, and at one stroke? Thereisevidence galore provethatneither to Muham- There is evidence galore to prove that neither Muham- mad nor any other human could haveauthoredthis mad nor any other human could have authored this Book. Before discussing any it, let us look into the Book. Before discussing any of it, let us look into the itself find out clears thesedoubts. Qur'an itself to find out how it clears these doubts. Qur'an find thatthe Qur'an repeatedly asserts that is no We find that the Qur'an repeatedly asserts that it is no man'swriting but directrevelation Cod. lt also man's writing but a direct revelation of God. It also tellsus that Allah Himselfhasundertaken preserve tells us that Allah Himself has undertaken to preserve in itsoriginal form. To further claimit challenges its it in its original form. To further its claim it challenges itsreaders that theyarein anydoubtaboutitsDivine its readers that if they are in any doubt about its 0 ivi ne origin,then they may produce another writingequal origin, then they may produce another writing equal to in merit. The logicbehindthischallenge should to it in merit. The logic behind this challenge should be obvious. lf this Book is not Cod's revelation be obvious. If this Book is not God's revelation but but a product humanmind, then,what is possible productof human mind, then, what is possible for for one man is possible another. lf the challenge for one man is possible for another. If the challenge cannot be answered one set people can be cannot be answered by one set of people it can be answeredby anotherset people. lf is not an- answered by another set of people. If it is not an- sweredin one age, be answeredin another. swered in one age, it will be answered in another. And the challenge simply produce is threeverses, And the challenge is simply to produce three verses, singlechapter equalmerit. But could not or a single chapter of equal merit. But if it could not 188 1
  29. 29. be done in 14 hundred years -- and it has not been be done in 14 hundredyears and it has not been done -- then it must be admitted that it is of Divine done then it must be admittedthat it is of Divine origin. The challenge courseremains of origin. The challenge of course remains open to this open to this day. day. Nonetheless, otherthanthe challenge, which we can- Nonetheless, other than the challenge, which we can- not ignore,we present someother reasons demon- not ignore, we present some other reasons to demon- to stratewhy Qur'an could not have been written by strate why Qur'an could not have been written by Muhammad,or, by any other human. Muhammad, or, by any other human. PREDIGTIONS THE QUR'AN OF PREDICTIONS OF THE QUR'AN About Arabs and Islam About lslam Dur,ingits revelation, which took 23 years com- During its revelation, which took 23 years to com- plete, the Qur'an made several predictions of the plete, the Qur'an made several predictions the ultimatedestruction of those ultimate destruction thosewho opposedits mes- opposed its mes- sage. When revealed, the predictions sounded a sage. When revealed,the predictionssounded wishfulthinkingasthe response the Prophet's wishful thinking as the response to the Prophet's mes- mes- sagehad beenfar from encouraging. sage had been far from encouraging. Duringthe first During the first 2O of the 23 yearsof his Apostolicmissionhe could 20 the years his Apostolic mission could win very few peopleto his side. However,one pre- people his side. However, pre- diction was so clearand specificthat it can be given diction was so clear and specific that can given no otherexplanation other explanation exceptDivine. except Divine. l19 9
  30. 30. In the sixth year aftermigrationfrom Makkah Mad- In the sixth year after migration from Makkah to Mad- inah, the Prophetset out with about sevenhundred inah, the Prophet set out with about seven hundred followers Makkah the intention perform followers for Makkah with the intention to perform pilgrimage 'Umrah. He the lesser knownin Arabicas the lesser pilgrimage known in Arabic as 'Umrah. He was stopped the Quraysh outside Makkah at was stopped by the Quraysh outside Makkah at a place called Hudaibiyyahand refusedentry to the place called Hudaibiyyah and refused entry to the holy city. This was against prevalent all rules. Nev- holy city. This was against all prevalent rules. Nev- the Prophetapplied peace. lt was ac- ertheless the Prophet appl ied for peace. It was ac- ertheless cepted. But the conditionsset the Qurayshwere cepted. But the conditions set by the Quraysh were so humiliatingthat some senior Companions so humiliating that some senior Companions ex- ex- pressed their strongdispleasure. One the condi- pressed their strong displeasure. One of the condi- tionswas that the Muslimswould returnfrom where tions was that the Muslims would return from where theycamewithoutperforming pilgrimage. that the For they came without performing the pi Igrimage. For that they have come the next year. they would have to come the next year. But truly speaking Muslimshad no choice. They the But truly speaking the Muslims had no choice. They were too weakagainst pagan the Arabs.Duringthose were too weak against the pagan Arabs. During those daysthe Prophet saw in dreamthat he would enter days the Prophet saw in a dream that he would enter Makkah triumphantlyand also receivedrevelation Makkah triumphantly and also received revelation confirming said:"TrulyhasAllahfulfilled his confirming his vision. It said: "Truly has Allah fulfilled the vision He showed His Messenger. You shall the vision He showed to His Messenger. You shall surelyenterthe Holy Mosque, with Allah'sWill, in surely enter the Holy Mosque, with Allah's Will, in security,(some you) shavingyour heads,(others) security, (some of you) shaving your heads, (others) cutting (their hair) short,not fearing(anyone)" cutting (their hair) short, not fearing (anyone)" [The ffhe - 48: 271. The prophecy,however,seemed Qur'an - 48: 27]. The prophecy, however, seemed Qur'an impossible fulfilment.The Prophet then hadwith impossible of fulfilment. The Prophet then had with him sevenhundredmen and perhaps tw'iceas many him seven hundred men and perhaps twice as many 20 ?0
  31. 31. able bodied men at Madinah. As againstthis the able bodied men at Madinah. As against this the Christians Najranalonewere capable raisingof Christians of Najran alone were capable of raising an an army of a hundredthousand soldiers shortnotice. at army of a hundred thousand soldiers at short notice. And the Christians were not the mostnumerous And the Christians were not the most numerous peo-peo- ple in Arabia, nor were they the most powerful. ple in Arabia, nor were they the most powerful. A singletribe,the BanuHawazin,devoid the help single tribe, the Banu Hawazin, devoid of the help of Quraysh,was able raise22,OOA peopleagainst Quraysh, was able to raise 22,000 people against the the Prophet two yearslater.TheMakkans Prophet two years later. The Makkans themselves had themselves had casually collected army 20,000to raidMadinah an casually collected an army of 20,000 to raid Madinah an year earlier. Had the Makkans, an year earlier. Had the Makkans, Jews and other Jewsand other tribeswanted,they could havejointly raised army tribes wanted, they could have jointly raised an army an quartermillion against Muslims,although, the of a quarter million against the Muslims, although, just 10,000would havebeensufficient wipe Mad- just 10,000 would have been sufficient to wipe Mad- to inah off the map. With suchan imbalance power, inah off the map. With such an imbalance of power, what chancedid the ageingProphet, what chance did the ageing Prophet, then 59, have of then 59, have entering Makkahtriumphant? But,trueto the predic- entering Makkah triumphant? But, true to the predic- tion, it did happen. ln just two yearsMakkahwas tion, it did happen. In just two years Makkah was subdued without resistance. humancould have subdued without resistance. No human could have foreseen turn events. this foreseen this turn of events. About The Romans About The abovewas a prophecy in the Qur'an concerning The above was prophecyin the Qur'an concerning an event in Arabia. But Arabiawas a remote corner an event Arabia. But Arabia was remotecorner of the then known world, known to the outsiders the then known world, known the outsiders for for its hungry,ferocious, its hungry, ferocious, untameddesertdwellers.The untamed desert-dwellers. The civilisedworld was divided into two major powers. civilised world was divided into major powers. 21 2l
  32. 32. Both vast, powerful, and severalcenturiesold: the Both vast, powerful, and several centuries old: the Romanand the Persian.The Romans (known by the Roman and the Persian. The Romans (known by the laterhistorians the Byzantine) ruledoversomeparts later historians as the Byzantine) ruled over some parts as Europe,the whole Syria,Pafestine, Egypt,and of Europe, the whole of Syria, Palestine, Egypt, and North Africa. The PersianEmpirehad its roots in North Africa. The Persian Empire had its roots in Persia. The two superpowersof the time had long Persia. The two super powers of the time had long been warring with each other in an effort to expand been warring with each other in an effort to expand territories.Lately, Persians the were particularly territories. Lately, the Persians were particularly suc- suc- cessfulunderthe greatest their emperors cessful under the greatest of their emperors Chosroes Chosroes ll who had begunhis campaigns against Romans II who had begun his campaigns against the Romans the early in the seventh century the Christian (Mu- early in the seventh century of the Christian era (Mu- era hammadwas then about 30 yearsold and not yet hammad was then about 30 years old and not yet a Prophet).Chosroes throughthe Romandefences tore Prophet). Chosroes tore through the Roman defences and within 30 yearsreduced illustrious and within 30 years reduced the illustrious empire to the empireto shambles havingwrestedaway the bestpart Syria, shambles having wrested away the best part of Syria, Palestine, Egypt and all the areas Palesti ne, Egypt and all the areas below the Capital of below the Capital the empire,Constantinople (today'slstanbul). the empire, Constantinople (today's Istanbul). Twelve the thirty years victory-filled Twelve of the thirty years of victory-filled campaigns campaigns Chosroes were conducted of Chosroes were conducted during the reign of the during the reign the RomanemperorHeraclius, Roman emperor Heraclius, who, being more a man who, being more man the pleasantries the palacethan the battlefields, of the pleasantries of the palace than the battlefields, watchedwith completehelplessness the destruction watched complete helplessness destruction the of his empire. The greatest his empire. The greatest blow came when the came when the Persians Persians wrested wrested from hishands from his hands Jerusalem carried Jerusalem andcarried and away the relicsof the holy city to Persia, away the relics the holy city Persia, including including the "Holy Cross," which Christwas supposed the Cross,lI on which Christ was supposed to 72 22
  33. 33. have been crucified. lt was at this juncturethat the have been crucified. It was at this juncture that the Prophet,then in his 4th or 5th year of Apostleship, Prophet, then in his 4th or 5th year of Apostleship, received followirigastonishing the prediction: "AIif. received the following astonishing prediction: "Alif. Lam. Mim.Ihe Romanshavebeen defeated, (the Lam. M7m. The Romans have been defeated, in (the in Iand)/oweston earth. But after(this) defeat theirs af land) lowest on earth. But after (this) defeat of theirs they soonbe victorious. Within a few years.With they will soon be victorious. Within a few years. With Allah is the decision in the past and in the future. Allah is the decision,, in the past and in the future. that day shall the faithful reioice"(Ch. AI-Rum: On that day shall the faithful rejoice" (Ch. AI-Rum: 1-4). 1-4). Referring this prediction famousEnglish to the Referring to this prediction the famous English histo- histo- rianEdward Cibbon(1737-17941wrote following rian Edward Gibbon (1737-1794) wrote the following the lines in the great historicalwork lines in the great historical work of the eighteenth the eighteenth century, "The Decline And Fall The Roman Em- century, "The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Em- pire" (vol. P.,79, London, '1911): pire" (vol. 5 P., 79, London, 1911): 'At the timewhenthe prediction saidto havebeen is "At the time when the prediction is said to have been delivered, prophecy no couldbe moredistantfrom delivered, no prophecy could be more distant from its accomplishment, sincethe first twelveyears its accomplishment, since the first twelve years of Heraclius announced approaching the dissolution Heraclius announced the approaching dissolution of the empire." the empire." But then something happened. Heraclius changed. But then something happened.Heraclius changed. Assuming the role Assuming the role of a hero, and borrowing all the hero,and borrowingall the gold that the churches gold that the churches could lend him, he set sail could lend him, he set sail quietlyinto the Mediterranean with a smallband quietly into the Mediterranean Seawith small band Sea of soldiers. He landed at the shoresof Svria and soldiers. landed at the shores Syria and 23
  34. 34. defeated Persian army sent intercept him. He defeated the Persian army sentto intercept the him. marched on carrying in the processhis victorious marched carrying the process his victorious armies as far as the royal cities Casbin and lspahan, armiesas far asthe royalcitiesof Casbin and Ispahan, which had never been approached a Romanem- had never been approached by Roman em- peror before. There he facedthe largest peror before. There he faced largest ever-Persian ever-Persian army, so fearful that his bravestveteranswere left army, so fearful that his bravest veterans were left speechless with awe. Althoughhe knew nothingof speechless awe. Although he knew nothing the prophecy the Qur'an, Heraclius addressed his the prophecy of the Qur'an, Heraclius addressed his commanders in prophetic words: "Be not terrifiedby commanders in prophetic words: "Be not terrified the multitude of your foes. With the aid of Heaven, the multitude your foes. the aid Heaven, one Roman may triumphovera thousand one Roman barbarians." maytriumph over thousand barbarians." The victory was his. The decisive battle was at The victory was his. The decisive battle was at Ninevah. And little later he recovered the Ninevah. And a little later he recovered the "Holy Cross." sevenyearsHeraclius In had liberated the all Cross." In seven years Heraclius had liberated all the provincesthat had been lost in thirty years. The pre- provinces that had been lost in thirty years. The pre- the Qur'an had come true. And diction of the Qur'an had come true. diction And again,Heraclius went backto the same astonishingly again, Heraclius went back to the same astonishingly old life pleasure and ease, forcingCibbon state: old life of pleasure and ease, forcing Gibbon to state: conspicuous history,that of in "Of the characters conspicuous in history, that of "Of the characters Heraclius one of the most extraordinary in- is and Heraclius is one of the most extraordinary and in- consistent. In the "first and last years"of a long consistent. In the "first and last years" of a long reign,the emperor appears be the slaveof sloth, to reign, the emperor appears to be the slave of sloth, of pleasure, and of superstition, carelessand the of pleasure, and of superstition, the careless and impotent spectator publiccalamities." impotent spectator of public calamities." of 24 24
  35. 35. It was as Heracliushad woken up from his sloth It was as if Heraclius had woken up from his sloth only fulfil the prophecy the Qur'an. only to fulfil the prophecy of the Qur'an. Miracles of Scientific Nature The Qur'an is Book guidanceand not treatise The Qur'an is a Book of guidance and not a treatise on science. But does make passing references on science. But it does make passing references to scientificand naturalphenomena. scientific and natural phenomena. How do thesethese statements sound,after thousand and four hundred statements sound, after a thousand and four hundred years? Theyshouldseemoutdated.Butthat'snot the years? They should seem outdated. But that's not the case. case. Embryology: Muslimscholar, Sheikh AbdulMajeed Embryology: A Musl im scholar, Sheikh Abdul Majeed Zindani,sayshe gathered together thoseverses the Zindani, says he gathered together those verses of the that speak the process human concep- Qur'an that speak of the process of human concep- Qur'an tion, development and birth, put them in order,and tion, development and birth, put them in order, and showedthe collectionto world-knownProfessor showed the collection to a world-known Professor of embryology,seeking opinion. The scientist his embryology, seeking his opinion. The scientist told told him that Sheikh Zindaniwrotean article embry- on him that if Sheikh Zindani wrote an article on embry- ology, basingit entirelyon the materialhe had on ology, basing it entirely on the material he had on hand,no one would believe that it is from book 14 hand, no one would believe that it is from a book 14 centuries old! centuries old! 25 25
  36. 36. Barriers the Sea:In several in places Qur'anstates the Barriers in the Sea: In several places the Qur'an states that Allah hasplaceda barrierbetween seas.Forthe that Allah has placed a barrier between the seas. For instance: "He has set free the two seasso that they instance: "He has set free the two seas so that they might meet;yet betweenthem is a barrierwhich they might meet; yet between them is a barrier which they (ch. may not transgress" 55, verses 19&20).Similar may not transgress" (ch. 55, verses 19&20). Similar statements appearin verse61 Chailter27. statements appear inverse 61 of Chapter 27. Now verses this kind had remained enigmatic until the verses of this kind had remained enigmatic until the very moderntimeswhen it wasdiscovered when that very modern times when it was discovered that when straitseparates seas, the Redseais separated as a strait separates two seas, as the Red sea is separated fromthe IndianOceanby the Strait BabAl-Mandab, from the Indian Ocean by the Strait of Bab AI-Mandab, the seas distinctlyseparated are from eachother the two seas are distinctly separated from each other so that both the physicaland chemicalproperties so that both the physical and chemical properties of the waters,as well as the maritimelife in both the two waters, as well as the maritime life in both is the seas distinctly different fromthe other.Thestrait the seas is distinctly different from the other. The strait actsas wall clearlyseparating two into different the acts as a wall clearly separating the two into different maritime worlds. mariti me worlds. Some scholars who havestudied Qur'anandcom- the Some scholars who have studied the Qur'an and com- pared its statements scientificmatters on with those pared its statements on scientific matters with those in other revealed literatures, suchas Dr. MauriceBu- in other revealed literatures, such as Dr. Maurice Bu- caille is Frenchsurgeon, have reachedinter- caille who is a French surgeon, have reached inter- esting conclusions concerning Divine the origin the esting conclusions concerning the Divine origin of the holy Qur'an and the interpolations the previous holy Qur'an and the interpolations of the previous revelations. Bucaille published findings Dr. has the revelations. Dr. Bucaille has published the findings hisstudies bookcalled: in "The Bible, Qur'an, the of his studies in a book called: "The Bible, the Qur'an, and Science" ("LaBible,le Coran /e Science" and Science" ("La Bible, Ie Coran et Ie Science" first first 26 26
  37. 37. publishedin Frenchin May 1976). He states his published in French in May 1976). He states his in conclusions the following words: conclusions in the following words: 'What initially strikesthe readerconfronted the for 'What initially strikes the reader confronted for the first time with text of this kind is the sheerabun- first time with a text of this kind is the sheer abun- danceof subjects the discussed: Creation, astron- dance of subjects discussed: the Creation, astron- omy,the explanation certainmatters of concerning omy, the explanation of certain matters concerning the earth,the animaland vegetable kingdoms, the earth, the animal and vegetable kingdoms, hu- hu- man reproduction, Whereas etc. monumental man reproduction, etc. Whereas monumental er- er- rors are to be found in the Bible, couldnot find rors are to be found in the Bible, I could not find a singleerror in the Qur'an. had to stop and ask single error in the Qur'an. I had to stop and ask if myself: manwas the author the Qur'an, of myself: if a man was the author of the Qur'an, howhow could he havewrittenfacts in the seventhcentury could he have written facts in the seventh century A.D. that today are shownto be in keeping A.D. that today are shown to be in keeping with with modern scientific (p., knowledge" 120,English modern scientific knowledge" (p., 120, English edi-edi- tion,American TrustPublication, 1979). tion, American Trust Publication, 1979). Here is further evidencefrom anotherauthority in Here is further evidence from another authority in science. This is from Keith L. Moore, Professor science. This is from Keith L. Moore, Professor of Anatomyand Associate Dean,BasicSciences, Uni- Anatomy and Associate Dean, Basic Sciences, Uni- versity Toronto,Canada. He writes in his book: versity of Toronto, Canada. He writes in his book: "The Developing Human"(Saunders, "The Developing Human" (Saunders, 1982): 1982): "lt is cited in the Koran...that humanbeingsare "It is cited in the Koran ...that human beings are produced produced froma mixture of secretion fromthe male from mixture secretion from the male and the female.Several references are made to the andthe female. Several references madeto the are creation humanbeingfrom sperm-drop it creation of a human being froma sperm-drop and it and 27 27
  38. 38. is alsosuggested the resulting that organism settles is also suggested that the resulting organism settles in the woman like seed,six days afterits begin- in the woman like a seed, six days after its begin- ning." (The Human blastocyst beginsto implant ning:' (The Human blastocyst begins to implant aboutsix days afterfertilisation). The Koran,(and about six days after fertilisation). The Koran, (and the Prophet's sayings) statethatthesperm also drop the Prophet's sayings) also state that the sperm drop developsinto "clot congealed blood"(an im- develops into a "clot of congealed blood" (an im- planted blastocyst spontaneously or aborted con- planted blastocyst or a spontaneously aborted con- ceptuswouldresemble bloodclot). Reference ceptus would resemble a blood clot). Reference is is also madeto the leech-like appearance the em- also made to the leech-like appearance of the em- bryo..." bryo..." Thesearejust few the instances from the Qur'an These are just a few of the instances from the Qur'an which demonstrate that encounter very seri- which demonstrate that we will encounter very seri- ousproblems explaining contents the Qur'an in the ous problems in explaining the contents of the Qur'an assume that Muhammadis its author. if we assume that Muhammad is its author. 28 28
  39. 39. ISLAM V ISLAM What Islam? What is lslam? TIn this simplest term: "Islam is submission with love [n this simplest term: "lslamis submission love to the Wi II of Allah. lt canalsobe defined the sum the ll Allah." It can also be defined asthe sum " as thosetruths which Cod's Messengers have in- of those truths to which God's Messengers have in- vited mankind since timesimmemorial. In practical vited mankindsincetimes immemorial.In practical terms and in the words of an ancientscholar,lmam termsand in the words an ancient scholar, Imam Shatibi: "Islam is the systemby which a man is per- Shatibi:"lslam is the system which man is per- submit Allah, in thatarea hisexistence suaded to submit to Allah, in that area of his existence suaded in which he enjoys free will, just as he is already in which he enjoysfree will, just as he is already submitted in the area in which he has no choicebut submitted the areain which he has choice but in to live by his instincts." word lslamalsosignifies The to live by his instincts." The word Islam also signifies peace. And so it can also be defined as a system of peace. And so can also be defined as system life and code practice that putsman at peace Iife and a code of practice that puts man at peace with Allahandwith Hiscreation. Prophet Muhammad, Allah and with His creation. Prophet Muhammad, on on whom be peacehasdefined"theMuslim asone from whom be peace has defined "the Musl im as one from andtongueotherMuslimsareat peace. whose hands and tongue other Musl ims are at peace." whosehands " look at some the practicalaspects Let us now look at some of the practical aspects of Let us lslam. Islam. 29 29
  40. 40. The Pillars of lslam The Pillars of Islam Apartfrom beinga faith,lslamis alsoa system life, Apart from being a faith, Islam is also a system of life, of followingwhich the individual following which the individual and the community and the community are requiredto organise their lives. Therefore, are required to organise their lives. Therefore, there there are many things in lslam that are obligatory:those are many things in Islam that are obligatory: those without which neitherthe faith is complete, the without which neither the faith is complete, nor the nor responsibility being a Muslim can be shouldered. of responsibility of being a Muslim can be shouldered. Of theseobligations, five are of utmostimportance. Of these obligations, five are of utmost importance. They are traditionallyknown as the five pillars of They are traditionally known as the five pillars of lslam,i.e.,thoseon and aroundwhich the edificeof Islam, i.e., those on and around which the edifice of fsfam is built. They are 1.. Faith, 2. Salah (the five daily Islam is built. Theyare1 Faith, Salah fivedaily 2. (the Prayers), Zakah (or the welfaredue),4. Fasts 3. Prayers), 3. Zakah (or the welfare due), 4. Fasts and, and, 5. Hajj. 5. Haii. Faith:lt is the declaration, (shahadah Arabic)that Faith: It is the declaration, (shahadah in Arabic) that in "Thereis god saveAllah (theOne Cod),and (that) "There is no god save Allah (the One God), and (that) Muhammadis His Messenger." Muhammad is His Messenger." Salah (Prayers): Salah(Prayers): Everybelieverin lslamis requiredto Every believer Islam is required pray five timeseveryday: beforedawn, at noon, mid- pray times every day: before dawn, noon, afternoon,sunset,and at nightfall. Although it is afternoon, sunset, and nightfall. Although is obligatoryfor men to offerthe prayersin the mosque obligatory men offer Prayers mosque in congregation, Prayers be offeredanywhere. congregation, the Prayers can offered anywhere. can Zakah (Ihe Weffareduel: Zakah is the welfar+.due Zakah (The Welfare-due): Zakah the welfare-due offeredin the way of Allah to secure pleasure offered in the way of Allah to secure His pleasure and and 30 30
  41. 41. to purify one'swealthand soul. Thereare two kinds purify one's wealth and soul. There are kinds of zakah: the voluntaryand the obligatory. The vol- zakah:the voluntary and the obligatory. The untaryzakah (knownassadaqah Arabic)shouldbe untary zakah(known as sadaqah in Arabic) should practised a Muslim as frequently possible, practised by Muslim as frequently as possible, and as and althoughits literalmeaning charity, can also in- is although its literal meaning is charity, it can also in- clude anythingthat can be done promotegeneral clude anything that can be done to promote general happiness. Prophet Muhammad, whom be peace, happiness. Prophet Muhammad, on whom be peace, on has said: "Your smile in the face of your brother is has said: "Your smile in the face your brother is your (effortsto) promote virtue and stamp sadaqah; your (efforts to) promote virtue and stamp sadaqah; out the evil is sadaqah; guide ma has lost out the evil is sadaqah; to guide a ma who has lost has lost his his way is sadaqah; to help a man who has lost his his way is sadaqah; help man sight is sadaqah, remove the stones,thorns, and sight is sadaqah, to remove the stones, thorns, and bonesfrom the path the peopleis sadaqah, the and bones from the path of the people is sadaqah, and the emptying of your pail into another man's pail (atthe emptying your pail into another man's pail (at the well) is sadaqah." well) is sadaqah." The obligatory zakah is due once every year from The obligatory zakah is due once every year from holdsaboutB0 grams gold,silver everyone who holds about 80 grams of gold, si Iver of everyone equalprice,or equalamount moneyin possession equal price, or equal amount of money in possession for year and above.The calculation and spending for a year and above. The calculation and spending the zakah-sums the individual's responsibility. of the zakah-sums are the individual's responsibility. are The amountdue is two and halfpercent the gold, The amount due is two and a half percent of the gold, silveror cashin possession. silver or cash in possession. One month, every year,during the month Fasts: One month, every year, during the month of Fasts: Ramadhan, Muslim is required fastfrom dawn to to Ramadhan, a Muslim is required to fast from dawn to 311 3