A Poem on Prophet Muhammad (s.a.a.w.) by Allama Iqbal
He slept on a mat of rushes,
But the crown of Chosroes lay beneath the feet of his followers;
He chose the nightly solitude of Mount Hira,
And founded a nation, law and government;
He passed his nights with sleepless eyes,
That his Millet might sleep on Chosroes throne
In the hour of battle, iron was melted by the flash of his sword.
At prayer time, tears fell like drops of rain from his eyes.
In his prayer for Divine help, his Amen' was a sword,
Which extirpated the lineage of kings.
He inaugurated a new Order in the world,
He brought the empires old to an end:
In his sight the high and the low were one,
He sat with the slave at table one;
He burnt clear the distinctions of birth and clan.
His fire consumed all this trash and bran.
Muhammad (s.a.a.w.) asked people to shun notions of racial, family or any other form of superiority based on mundane things and said that righteousness alone was the criterion of one's superiority over another. It has already been shown how he mixed with everyone on equal terms, how he ate with slaves, servants and the poorest on the same sheet (a practice that is still followed in Arabia), how he refused all privileges and worked like any ordinary labourer. Two instances may, however, be quoted here:
Once the Prophet (s.a.a.w.) visited Saad Bin Abadah. While returning Saad sent his son Quais with him. The Prophet (s.a.a.w.) asked Quais to mount his camel with him. Quais hesitated out of respect but the Prophet (s.a.a.w.) insisted: "Either mount the camel or go back." Quais decided to go back. [Abu Dawood]
On another occasion he was travelling on his camel over hilly terrain with a disciple, Uqba Bin Aamir. After going some distance, he asked Uqba to ride the camel, but Uqba thought this would be showing disrespect to the Prophet (s.a.a.w.). But the Prophet (s.a.a.w.) insisted and he had to comply. The Prophet (s.a.a.w.) himself walked on foot as he did not want to put too much load on the animal. [Nasai]
The prisoners of war of Badr included Abbas, the uncle of the Prophet (s.a.a.w.). Some people were prepared to forgo their shares and remit the Prophet's (s.a.a.w.) ransom but he declined saying that he could make no distinctions. [Sahih Bukhari]
During a halt on a journey, the companions apportioned work among themselves for preparing food. The Prophet (s.a.a.w.) took upon himself the task of collecting firewood. His companions pleaded that they would do it and that he need not take the trouble, but he replied,
"It is true, but I do not like to attribute any distinction to myself. Allah does not like the man who considers himself superior to his companions." [Zarqani, Vol. 4 pg. 306)]
by Athar Husain
An excerpt from the book entitled "The Message of Mohammad," by Athar Husain.
Aisha, the wife of Muhammad (s.a.a.w.) said:
"Allah's Messenger (s.a.a.w.) used to patch his sandals, sew his garment and conduct himself at home as anyone of you does in his house. He was a human being, searching his garment for lice, milking his sheep, and doing his own chores." (Narrated by al-Tirmathi).
She also said:
"He would patch his garments and sole his sandals. " She was once asked: "How was he with his family?", she responded: "He was in the service of his family until it was time for prayer, at which time he would go and pray."
Ibne Malik narrated:
"I never saw anyone more merciful with children than the Messenger of Allah (s.a.a.w.)" (Narrated by Muslim)
Abu Hurairah narrated that:
"The Messenger of Allah never denigrated any type of food; if he liked it he ate it, and if he disliked it he left it alone" (Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim)
American economist Robert Samuelson recently made an interesting observation about the American society in his Newsweek column: "America's glories and evils are tightly fused together." Quoting sociologist Seymour Lipset, he asserts that America's economic vitality and progress come from the same source as do crime, family breakdown, inequality, and vulgarity. Freedom and individualism have fired economic advance, yet have also inhibited social control. But why the qualities that bring the best in a nation also should bring the worst in it? Is humanity doomed by having its vices and virtues so intricately mixed?
Samuelson does not probe the issue. Instead he seems to be happily resigned to it. "We are burdened as well as blessed by our beliefs," he says. Economics, we may be reminded, is the dismal science.
Actually the world is not doomed by design. Samuelson comes very close to the truth but he confuses approaches or tools with attributes. A tool that works great in one area is also being used in another for which it was never designed. The problem lies with the user who keeps on insisting on its use in the second area citing its success in the first. To put matters simply, it's the free use of reason and intellect that is behind most of America's (and West's in general) phenomenal scientific and material progress. It's the use of the same tool in moral, and religious life that has caused its equally phenomenal moral degeneration!
Every tool has a designated area of application. Outside, it will fail to work. A 4 bit computer is good for some elementary math involving whole numbers. It may multiply 2 by 20 and give the correct answer instantly. But burdened with complex calculations involving several decimal digits, it will give the WRONG answers. A weighing scale meant for gold will not work for iron and vice versa. Their resolution and capacity are inappropriate for those applications.
Same with the tools we use for learning about the world. Our senses and intellect are wonderful things. Science and technology are all about their use. Certainly it was free inquiry driven by reason that led to so many of the discoveries of science. It happened at an accelerated pace during the past four centuries and the results are everywhere around us to be seen.
But a tool that is so great in one area may be totally useless, even dangerous, in another. Pure Reason, uninformed by Divine Guidance, is a defective tool for deciding purpose of life or suggesting its values. What is Right and what is Wrong? These questions require knowledge beyond what we can acquire by using our senses and reasoned analysis. As a direct result, everyone's reasoning is different. That is why philosophers have never been able to agree upon what should be the goal of life. Happiness? Survival? Pleasure? Love? Self-fulfillment? You name it. In addition, it is impossible for us to separate our reasoning in these matters from our feelings. Pure or uninformed reason becomes just a tool to justify what we desire.
Today West's problem is that it has accepted the wrong tool for developing its moral compass. Probably the majority of its people abhor homosexuality. They may know that it is an abomination and evil. Yet today same-sex marriages are getting legal sanction in the West. And they are helpless in trying to stop its advances. Why? Because they cannot argue that it is wrong based on pure reason. It is easier to make a case against smoking in public places, then against the worst forms of immorality. Such is the result when pure reason becomes the accepted arbiter of right and wrong.
There is nothing modern about this either. Several centuries ago, Obaidullah Hasan Qirwani, a leader of the renegade batani cult declared it foolish for a brother to marry his beautiful sister to a total stranger, while trying to be content with a less qualified wife -- another stranger. She would be much more suited to be wife of her own brother, with whom she may be a lot more compatible, he argued. His argument is, no doubt, sickening. But is there a counter argument based on pure reason?
Certainly mankind needs a superior tool for determining the values and purpose of life. A source of guidance that is based on certain knowledge, not conjecture. One that can inform our desires rather than being subservient to them. This is what Prophets, Alayhim assalam, came with. They claimed to have access to the higher source of knowledge, the Divine Revelation. Those who accepted them used reason and observation to verify their authenticity and character. But they accepted Divine Revelation as a SUPERIOR source of knowledge! That is why a son can tell his father:
"O my father! To me has come knowledge that had not reached you. So follow me. I will guide you to a Way that is even and straight." (Maryam, 19:43).
All this is obvious, except in implications. We accept this is Right and that is Wrong because the Revelation TOLD us, not because it PROVED it to us. What is wrong with riba? Gambling? Pork? Alcohol? Revelation told us that they were wrong. Why is hijab necessary? Allah and His Prophet, Salla-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, ordered that. What are the rights of men and women? Those given to them by Allah and His Prophet, Salla-Allahu alayhi wa sallam. The attribute of the Muslims is that they "listened and followed" (Al-Baqarah, 2:285). It is not that they listened and questioned, and argued, and investigated and then if they felt like it, they followed. That is also THE message of Prophet Ibrahim, alayhi assalm's, sacrifice, a defining event for Islam. For the Qur'an describes the moment when the father and son were ready for the ultimate sacrifice by saying: "When they surrendered" (Al-Saffat, 37:103). Literally it can also be translated: "When they accepted Islam." For pure reason could have raised a million questions about the command for that sacrifice.
Normally it is difficult for us to say "I don't know." It is even more difficult for nations to admit a weakness in their celebrated tools of inquiry. That is the dilemma of the modern world, which sees so much wrong with itself but cannot bring itself to admitting the problem with its basic approach. But a Muslim is the person who has both the wisdom and the courage to surrender before the higher source of knowledge and guidance. For him Revelation informs his reason and his reason controls his emotions. Such is the person who is blessed, but not burdened, by his beliefs.
Reference url: http://www.albalagh.net/food_for_thought/reason.shtml
Allah, the Exalted, says:
"Verily! Allah commands that you should render back the trusts to those to whom they are due.'' (4:58)
"Truly, We did offer Al-Amanah (the trust or moral responsibility or honesty and all the duties which Allah has ordained) to the heavens and the earth, and the mountains, but they declined to bear it and were afraid of it (i.e., afraid of Allah's torment). But man bore it. Verily, he was unjust (to himself) and ignorant (of its results)". (33:72)
199. Abu Hurairah (May Allah bepleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "There are three signs of a hypocrite: When he speaks, he lies; when he makes a promise, he breaks it; and when he is trusted, he betrays his trust."
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Another narration adds the words: 'Even if he observes fasts, performs Salat and asserts that he is a Muslim".
Commentary: A hypocrite is the one who professes Islam before the Muslims but conceals hatred and animosity against them. This double-dealing is worse than Kufr. This is the reason the Noble Qur'an has declared about them that they will be in the lowest depths of the Hell. The hypocrites referred to here lived at the time of the Prophet (PBUH) and he was informed about them through Wahy (Revelation). It is very difficult to identify the class of hypocrites in this age. It is almost impossible to know the hypocrisy of Faith. The practical hypocrisy is, however, now very common among the Muslims. It can be identified on the strength of the traits which have been stated in the Ahadith about them. These traits are very common among many of the present-day Muslims. Their conduct bears the marks of hypocrisy. This practical hypocrisy is, however, not Kufr as is the case with the hypocrisy of Faith.
200. Hudhaifah bin Al-Yaman (May Allah bepleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) foretold to us two Ahadith. I have seen one (being fulfilled), and I am waiting for the other. He (PBUH) told us, "Amanah (the trust) descended in the innermost (root) of the hearts of men (that is, it was in their heart innately, by Fitrah, or pure human nature). Then the Qur'an was revealed and they learnt from the Quran and they learned from the Sunnah.'' Then the (Prophet (PBUH)) told us about the removal of Amanah. He said, "The man would have some sleep, and Amanah would be taken away from his heart leaving the impression of a faint mark. He would again sleep, and Amanah would be taken away from his heart leaving an impression of a blister, as if you rolled down an ember on your foot and it was vesicled. He would see a swelling having nothing in it.'' He (the Prophet (PBUH)) then took up a pebble and rolled it over his foot and said, "The people would enter into transactions with one another and hardly a person would be left who would return (things) entrusted to him (and there would look like an honest person) till it would be said: `In such and such tribe there is a trustworthy man.' And they would also say about a person: `How prudent he is! How handsome he is and how intelligent he is!' whereas in his heart there would be no grain of Faith.'' Hudhaifah bin Al-Yaman (May Allah bepleased with him) added: I had a time when I did not care with whom amongst you I did business, I entered into a transaction, for if he were a Muslim, his Faith would compel him to discharge his obligation to me; and if he were a Christian or a Jew, his guardian (surety) would compel him to discharge his obligation to me. But today I would not enter into a transaction except with so-and-so.
[Al-Bukh ri and Muslim].
Commentary: The word `Amanah' (trust) is a very comprehensive term which includes everything like adherence to Islamic injunctions, fairness in dealing, giving everybody his due, etc. According to this Hadith, with decline in moral values the true sense of Amanah will gradually go on diminishing and eventually a stage will come which has been elucidated in the text of this Hadith.
201. Hudhaifah and Abu Hurairah (May Allah bepleased with them) reported that they heard Messenger of Allah (PBUH) saying, "Allah will assemble mankind, and the believers will stand till Jannah will be brought near them. They will then go to Adam (PBUH) and say, `O our father, ask (Allah (SWT), that Jannah may be opened for us, but he will reply: `There was nothing that put you out of Jannah except your father's sin. I am not the one to do that, go to my son Ibrahim (Abraham), the beloved man of Allah.' Then Ibrahim (PBUH) when approached, will say: `I am not the one to do that, for I was only a friend; and that is not a lofty status but ask Musa (Moses) to whom Allah spoke.' They will then go to Musa (PBUH) but he will say: `I am not the one to do that; go to `Isa (Jesus), Allah's Word and spirit.' `Isa (PBUH) will say: `I am not the one to do that.' So they will come to me; and I will stand and be given permission. Amanah and ties of relationship will be sent forth and will stand on the sides of the Sirat (that is, the Bridge set over Hell-fire) right and left, and the first of you will pass like lightning.'' I said (that is Abu Hurairah (May Allah bepleased with him)" :I ransom you with my father and mother, what is like the movement of lightning?'' The Messenger of Allah replied, "Have you not seen how the lightning goes and returns in the twinkling of an eye? Next (group will pass) like the passing of the breeze, next like the passing of a bird, and the next with the speed of a running man, according to the quality of their deeds. (During all this time) your Prophet (PBUH) will remain standing on the Bridge saying: `O my Rubb, keep (them) safe, keep (them) safe,' till men's deeds are so weak that a man comes who will be able only to crawl. On both sides of the Bridge pronged flesh hooks, placed under command will be hung and will seize those about whom they receive command, some people being lacerated and escaping and others being thrown violently into Hell.'' Abu Hurairah added: By Him in Whose Hand Abu Hurairah's soul is, the pit of Jahannam (Hell) is seventy years in depth.
Commentary: This Hadith mentions the horrors of the Day of Resurrection which are evident from the fact that even Prophets will be fearful of Allah and making supplication to Him. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) alone will be requesting Allah for bestowing His Mercy on humans. This Hadith also describes the grace of the Prophet (PBUH) who will then intercede for all.
202. Abu Khubaib `Abdullah bin Az-Zubair (May Allah bepleased with them) reported: When Az-Zubair, got ready to fight in the battle of Al-Jamal, he called me and said: "My son, whoever is killed today will be either a wrongdoer or a wronged one. I expect that I shall be the the wronged one today. I am much worried about my debt. Do you think that anything will be left over from our property after the payment of my debt? My son, sell our property and pay off my debt.'' Az-Zubair then willed one-third of that portion to his sons; namely `Abdullah's sons. He said, "One-third of the one-third. If any property is left after the payment of debts, one-third (of the one-third of what is left is to be given to your sons.'' (Hisham, a subnarrator added: "Some of the sons of `Abdullah were equal in age to the sons of Az-Zubair, e.g., Khubaib and Abbad. `Abdullah had nine sons and nine daughters at that time)". (The narrator `Abdullah added:) He kept on instructing me about his debts and then said: "My son, should you find yourself unable to pay any portion of my debt then beseech my Master for His help.'' By Allah, I did not understand what he meant and asked: "Father, who is your Master?'' He said: "Allah.'' By Allah! Whenever I faced a difficulty in discharging any portion of his debt; I would pray: "O Master of Zubair, discharge his debt,'' and He discharged it. Zubair was martyred. He left no money, but he left certain lands, one of them in Al-Ghabah, eleven houses in Al-Madinah, two in Basrah, one in Kufah and one in Egypt. The cause of his indebtedness was that a person would come to him asking him to keep some money of his in trust for him. Zubair would refuse to accept it as a trust, fearing it might be lost, but would take it as a loan. He never accepted a governorship, or revenue office, or any public office. He fought along with Messenger of Allah (PBUH) and Abu Bakr, `Umar and `Uthman (May Allah be pleased with them).
`Abdullah added: I prepared a statement of his debts and they amounted to two million and two hundred thousand! Hakim bin Hizam met me and asked me: "Nephew, how much is due from my brother as debt?'' I kept it as secret and said: "A hundred thousand.'' Hakim said: "By Allah! I do not think your assets are sufficient for the payment of these debts.'' I said: "What would you think if the amount were two million and two hundred thousand?'' He said: "I do not think that you would be able to clear off the debts. If you find it difficult let me know.''
Az-Zubair (May Allah bepleased with him) had purchased the land in Al-Ghabah for a hundred and seventy thousand. `Abdullah sold it for a million and six hundred thousand, and declared that whosoever had a claim against Az-Zubair (May Allah bepleased with him) should see him in Al-Ghabah. `Abdullah bin Ja`far (May Allah bepleased with him) came to him and said: "Az-Zubair (May Allah bepleased with him) owed me four hundred thousand, but I would remit the debt if you wish.'' `Abdullah (May Allah bepleased with him) said: "No.'' Ibn Ja`far said: ``If you would desire for postponement I would postpone the recovery of it.'' `Abdullah said: "No.'' Ibn Ja`far then said: "In that case, measure out a plot for me.'' `Abdullah marked out a plot. Thus he sold the land and discharged his father's debt. There remained out of the land four and a half shares. He then visited Mu`awiyah who had with him at the time `Amr bin `Uthman, Al-Mundhir bin Az-Zubair and Ibn Zam`ah (May Allah bepleased with them). Mu`awiyah (May Allah bepleased with him) said: "What price did you put on the land in Al-Ghabah?'' He said: "One hundred thousand for a each share. Mu`awiyah inquired: "How much of it is left?'' `Abdullah said: "Four and a half shares.'' Al-Mundhir bin Az-Zubair said: "I will buy one share for a hundred thousand". `Amr bin `Uthman said: "I will buy one share for a hundred thousand". Ibn Zam`ah said: "I will buy one share for a hundred thousand.'' Then Mu`awiyah asked: "How much of it is now left?'' `Abdullah said: "One and a half share. Mu`awiyah said: "I will take it for one hundred and fifty thousand.'' Later `Abdullah bin Ja`far sold his share to Mu`awiyah for six hundred thousand.
When `Abdullah bin Az-Zubair (May Allah bepleased with him) finished the debts, the heirs of Az-Zubair (May Allah bepleased with him) asked him to distribute the inheritance among them. He said: "I will not do that until I announce during four successive Hajj seasons: `Let he who has a claim against Az-Zubair come forward and we shall discharge it.''' He made this declaration on four Hajj seasons and then distributed the inheritance among the heirs of Az-Zubair (May Allah bepleased with him) according to his will. Az-Zubair (May Allah bepleased with him) had four wives. Each of them received a million and two hundred thousand. Thus Az-Zubair's total property was amounted to fifty million and two hundred thousand.