Analysis: More than Bad Rulers and Corrupt Societies
Posted: 18 Safar 1424, 20 April 2003
In the past centuries the Muslim world was much more integrated than we realize. It was one social, cultural, religious and economic domain. Its language, system of education, currency, and laws were the same.
When British journalist Robert Fisk said that in the face of disaster Arabs act like mice, he was being polite. He could have said that the Muslims act like mice. The question is why?
It is easy and customary to blame the current Muslim rulers for this sorry situation. No doubt the Iraq invasion would not have been possible without their acquiescence and support. If they refused to open their lands, waterways, and airspace to the invasion, it could not have taken place. Neither would the slaughters in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosova, Kashmir, Chechnya, and Palestine have been possible if the Muslim rulers had their act together. But was it only because the Muslim rulers happened to be immoral, coward, and unscrupulous characters? Is the 1.2 billion strong Ummah suffering only because there are fifty-four corrupt persons who are ruling it?Read more...
Islamic Civilization as depicted in the Quran
Taken from "The Life of Muhammad" by Muhammad Husayn Haykal,
translated by Dr. Ismail Ragi A. al Faruqi
Islamic and Western Civilizations
Muhammad left a great spiritual legacy which enveloped the world in its light and guided man's civilization throughout many centuries, a legacy which will envelop the world again and guide man's civilization once more until the light of God has filled the universe. The legacy of Muhammad had such great effect in the past and will have great or greater effect in the future precisely because Muhammad established the religion of truth and laid the foundation of the only civilization which guarantees the happiness and felicity of man. The religion which Muhammad conveyed and the civilization which he established at his Lord's command for the benefit of mankind are inseparable from each other. Islamic civilization has been raised on a foundation of science and rationalism, and that is the same foundation on which western civilization of today is based. Moreover, Islam as a religion has based itself on personalist thinking and intentional logic. The relation between religion and its propositions on the one hand, and civilization and its foundation on the other, is binding and firm. Islam links metaphysical thought and personal feelings with the rules of logic and the precepts of science, with a bond that all Muslims must discover and grasp if they are to remain Muslims. From this aspect, the civilization of Islam is radically different from that of western civilization which dominates the world today. The two are different in their description of life as well as the foundation on which they base such description. The difference between the two civilizations is so essential that they have developed in ways which are radically contradictory to each other.
The West and the Struggle between Church and State
The difference is due to a number of historical causes to which we have alluded in the prefaces to the first and second editions of this work. In western Christendom, the continuing struggle between the religious and secular powers, or-to use the contemporary idiom-between church and state, led to their separation and to the establishment of the state upon the denial of the power of the church. The struggle to which this will to power led has left deep effects upon the whole of western thought. The first of these effects was the separation of human feeling and reasoning from the logic of absolute reason and the findings of positive science based on sensory observation and evidence.Read more...
1638. Ibn `Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) forbade shaving a part of the head.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
1639. Ibn `Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) saw a boy, some portion of whose head was shaved and some of it was left out. He prohibited them from that and said, "Shave the whole of it or leave the whole of it.''
Commentary: This order of Prophet (PBUH) was based on the reason that that hair-style was then in vogue among the Jews and Christian priests and ascetics. This style was also popular with the group which was given to mischief and disobedience. This is, however, permissible in exceptional circumstances. In any case, either one should shave the hair completely or keep them in such a style that there is no resemblance with women.
1640. `Abdullah bin Ja`far (May Allah be pleased with them) said: The Prophet (PBUH) gave respite for three days to the family of Ja`far (after his martydom). Then he came and said, "Don't weep for my brother after this day.'' He said, "Bring all of my nephews to me.'' We were accordingly brought as if we were chickens. Then he said, "Call for me a barber.'' He directed him to shave our heads which he did.
Commentary: Ja`far was the cousin of the Prophet (PBUH) and he was martyred in the battle of Mu'tah. Although martyrdom is an honour but even then the bereaved family does feel the shock of the loss. For this reason, the Prophet (PBUH) permitted them to give vent to their grief for three days. It should not, however, be taken to mean that he allowed them to lament and wail, because that is prohibited. What he actually allowed them was the natural weeping which does occur when people come for condolence and speak of the deceased. Such expression of grief is permissible after a period of three days also.
Therefore, what the Prophet (PBUH) had advised them was not in the nature of unlawful but natural. The children of the deceased called themselves "chickens'' as they were greatly enervated by the tragedy. This Hadith has been mentioned here to confirm the validity of shaving the hair of the head, especially of children, although keeping bobbed hair is more meritorious because the Prophet (PBUH) himself did so. Bobbed hair are cut short and allowed to hang loosely.
1641. `Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) prohibited a woman from shaving her head.
Commentary: This Hadith is also included in At-Tirmidhi but Sheikh Al-Albani has regarded it "Da`if'' (weak). Please see Ahadith Ad-Da`ifah. However, in order to avoid resemblance with men, this prohibition for women will stand. If it is required on medical ground then it will be permissible.