The Light of the Prophet by Dr. Badawi

 

"Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth . . . "[1. Qur'an (24:35).]

The Light is one of the ninety-nine Beautiful Names of Allah. Light is that by which things become known. Things may exist in the dark, but they cannot be seen. Light may be physical, such as the light of the sun or the moon, or intelligible, like the light of the intellect. The latter is that which illuminates the darkness of ignorance with the light of knowledge. Total darkness is non-existence, thus light is that which brings created beings out of non-existence into existence. It is the creative act of Allah and this is one of the meanings of "Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth . . . " The other meaning is that every light in the universe is but a reflection of His mercy, every knowledge a reflection of His knowledge and so on. "Allah created His creation in darkness," said the Prophet, may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him, "then He sprayed them with His light. Those whom this light reached became rightly guided, while those it did not went astray."[2. Tirmidhi.] And he also said, as recorded by Muslim, "Allah, August and Majestic is He, wrote the destinies of creation fifty thousand years before He created the Heavens and the earth. His throne was on the water. Among what He wrote in the Remembrance, which is the Mother of the Book, was: Muhammad is the Seal of the Prophets."

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ISLAMIC CIVILIZATION AS DEPICTED IN THE QUR'AN

 

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

 

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What They Say - Part I

What is said about the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

In the Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful

During the centuries of the crusades, all sorts of slanders were invented against Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). But with the birth of the modern age, marked with religious tolerance and freedom of thought, there has been a great change in the approach of Western authors in their delineation of his life and character. The views of some non-Muslim scholars regarding Prophet Muhammad, given at the end, justify this opinion.

But the West has still to go a step forward to discover the greatest reality about Muhammad and that is his being the true and the last Prophet of God for the whole humanity. In spite of all its objectivity and enlightenment there has been no sincere and objective attempt by the West to understand the Prophethood of Muhammad (pbuh). It is so strange that very glowing tributes are paid to him for his integrity and achievement but his claim of being the Prophet of God has been rejected explicitly or implicitly. It is here that a searching of the heart is required, and a review of the so-called objectivity is needed. The following glaring facts from the life of Muhammad (pbuh) have been furnished to facilitate an unbiased, logical and objective decision regarding his Prophethood.

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Valentine Day, Birthdays, and Other Daze

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What commercial and cultural propaganda presents as beautiful is rooted in ugly paganism but most blind followers do not know.

By Khalid Baig

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Consider Valentine's Day, a day that after dying out a well deserved death in most of Europe (but surviving in Britain and United States) has suddenly started to emerge across a good swath of Muslim countries. Who was Valentine? Why is this day observed? Legends abound, as they do in all such cases, but this much is clear: Valentine's Day began as a pagan ritual started by Romans in the 4th century BCE to honor the god Lupercus. The main attraction of this ritual was a lottery held to distribute young women to young men for "entertainment and pleasure"--until the next year's lottery. Among other equally despicable practices associated with this day was the lashing of young women by two young men, clad only in a bit of goatskin and wielding goatskin thongs, who had been smeared with blood of sacrificial goats and dogs. A lash of the "sacred" thongs by these "holy men" was believed to make them better able to bear children.

As usual, Christianity tried, without success, to stop the evil celebration of Lupercalia. It first replaced the lottery of the names of women with a lottery of the names of the saints. The idea was that during the following year the young men would emulate the life of the saint whose name they had drawn. (The idea that you can preserve the appearance of a popular evil and yet somehow turn it to serve the purpose of virtue, has survived. Look at all those people who are still trying, helplessly, to use the formats of popular television entertainments to promote good. They might learn something from this bit of history. It failed miserably) Christianity ended up doing in Rome, and elsewhere, as the Romans did.

The only success it had was in changing the name from Lupercalia to St. Valentine's Day. It was done in CE 496 by Pope Gelasius, in honor of some Saint Valentine. There are as many as 50 different Valentines in Christian legends. Two of them are more famous, although their lives and characters are also shrouded in mystery. According to one legend, and the one more in line with the true nature of this celebration, St. Valentine was a "lovers'" saint, who had himself fallen in love with his jailer's daughter.

Due to serious troubles that accompanied such lottery, French government banned the practice in 1776. In Italy, Austria, Hungry, and Germany also the ritual vanished over the years. Earlier, it had been banned in England during the 17th century when the Puritans were strong. However in 1660 Charles II revived it. From there it also reached the New World, where enterprising Yankees spotted a good means of making money. Esther A. Howland, who produced one of the first commercial American Valentine's Day cards called--- what else--- valentines, in the 1840s, sold $5,000 worth--when $5,000 was a lot of money--the first year. The valentine industry has been booming ever since.

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It is the same story with Halloween, which has otherwise normal human beings dressing like ghosts and goblins in a reenactment of an ancient pagan ritual of demon worship. Five star hotels in Muslim countries arrange Halloween parties so the rich can celebrate the superstitions of a distant period of ignorance that at one time even included the shameful practice of human sacrifice. The pagan name for that event was Samhain (pronounced sow-en). Just as in case of Valentine's Day, Christianity changed its name, but not the pagan moorings.

Christmas is another story. Today Muslim shopkeepers sell and shoppers buy Christmas symbols in Islamabad or Dubai or Cairo. To engage in a known religious celebration of another religion is bad enough. What is worse is the fact that here is another pagan celebration (Saturnalia) that has been changed in name ---and in little else--- by Christianity.

The Forty-fourth Discourse by Shaihk Jelani

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Advice of Hadhrat Sheikh

The Forty-fourth Discourse (From Jala' al-Khawatir

[The Removal of Cares])

 Hadhrat Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jeelani (RA)

              A certain righteous man is reported as having said: "The hypocrite [munafiq] remains in one and the same spiritual condition for forty years at a stretch, while the champion of truth [siddiq] experiences transformation forty times every single day."

              The hypocrite is totally involved with his lower self [nafs], his passions [hawa], his natural inclinations [tab'], his devil [shaitan] and his interest in the things of this world [dunya]. He is committed to their service, from which he never takes a break. He is never known to disagree with their point of view, and he will never say a word to contradict them. His only interests are food and drink, clothes, sexual intercourse and the accumulation of wordly goods, and he does not care how he comes by them. He cultivates his physical body and his worldly affairs, but he lets his heart and his religion [din] go to waste. He tries to please his fellow creatures [khalq], but he gives offense to the Creator [Khaliq]. The longer his hypocrisy [nifaq] continues, the harder and darker his heart becomes, so he is quite unmoved and unaffected by any spiritual counsel [maw'iza], takes no notice of any admonition ['iza], and pays no attention to any reminder. Thus it is undoubtedly a fact that he remains in one and the same spiritual condition for forty years at a stretch.

The champion of truth [siddiq] cannot possibly remain in such a static condition, because he is entirely at the disposal of the Transformer of hearts [Muqallib al-qulub], immersed in the ocean of His power, so that one wave raises him up and another sends him down. He is moved this way and that by the operations [tasarif] and transformations [taqalib] of the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He), like a feather in a windswept desert, like a fresh stalk [khama] in the farmer's field, like the corpse in the hands of the ritual washer of the dead [ghasil], like the baby in the hands of the wet nurse [zi'r] or the midwife, like the ball on the receiving end of the polo player's mallet. He has surrendered both his outer [zahir] and his inner being [batin] to Him, and he is completely satisfied with His management. Far from taking any interest in his eating, his sleeping and his carnal appetites, he is interested only in the service of his Lord (Almighty and Glorious is He) and in earning His good pleasure. This is why a certain righteous man once said: "As for the people [of the Lord], their approach to eating is that of the sick, their form of sleep is the sleep of the drowned, and if they speak it is only out of sheer necessity." How could they not be like this? In their hearts there is something that is quite invisible to others. They have ceased to be aware of anything apart from their Lord. They have absented themselves from this world, the hereafter, and everything else apart from Him. They have settled humbly at His door. They have rested their heads on the threshold of His doorway, in readiness to comply with His orders. They have become accustomed to being contented, to needing nothing. Fate and destiny [al-qada' wa 'l-qadar] are now their servants, and these two approach them in visible form and then carry them on their heads.

If you are not one of the people [of the Lord], they are the people you must serve. You must befriend them, sit in their company and draw close to them. Put your material goods at their disposal. Follow them by emulating their actions, not by repeating their words and saying how excellent and wonderful they are. Carry your righteousness [salah] in your heart; do not wear it as part of your outer clothing. Dress as ordinary people dress, but do not behave as they behave. We Muslims do not recognize monasticism where food, clothing and marriage are concerned. As Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) has said: But monasticism they invented; We did not prescribe it for them. (57:27)

In the words of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam):  There is no such thing as monasticism in Islam.

Those who are sincere in their devotion [mukhlisun] have their hermitages [sawami'] inside their hearts, while their harsh austerity is imposed on their lower selves [anfus], their passionate desires [ahwiya] and their natural inclinations [taba'i']. When they are alone in their private quarters, they experience the intimate friendship [uns] of their Lord (Almighty and Glorious is He) in confidential converse [munajat] with Him.

Since the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He) is using my tongue to inform you about the spiritual state of the righteous [salihun], one of you may be used as a channel to convey such information to another. You must pay attention and take notice. It is He who is calling you through that person's mouth, so you must respond to the one who is transmitting His invitation. He is inviting you to pure serenity [safa']. He is urging you to abstain from His creation and to be satisfied with Him. He is urging you to be among those who remember Him, so that you may come to be among those who are remembered in His presence. In the quest for his Master [Mawla], the honest servant must remember Him constantly, both outwardly [zahiran] and inwardly [batinan], both privately and publicly, by night and by day, in hardship and in ease, in bliss and in agony, until he comes to be one who is remembered by Him. That servant must remember Him audibly, by pronouncing His name aloud, and silently within his heart.

You are too sound asleep to realize that you are letting the bliss of the people [of the Lord] slip by you. O you who are so heedless of that bliss, will you not come to your senses? You are out of touch with that which should really concern you. You are very clever at dealing with the affairs of this world, but when it comes to the affairs of the hereafter you are sheer ignoramuses. You are bogged down in mud, so that with every move you make you sink deeper and deeper. Stretch out your hands toward Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) with an honest plea for salvation, offering repentance and an apology, so that He may deliver you from the mess you are in.

Here I am, calling upon you to resist the demands of your lower selves [nufus], your passionate desires [ahwiya], your natural inclinations [taba'i'] and your carnal appetites [shahawat], and to bear with patience the disappointments you suffer. Respond to my call, for you will see the benefit of doing so, sooner or later.

Here I am, summoning you to violent death [al-mawt al-ahmar] in the Name of Allah. Who will dare to respond? Who will step forward to meet the challenge? Who will show that he has the courage for it? Who will be prepared to take the risk? This means death, but then life everlasting. Do not run away! Endure with patience, and then with still more patience. Courage [shaja'a] is an hour's patience. You must be patient in your compliance with your Lord (Almighty and Glorious is He). If there is one among you who can bear the burden of readiness to accept the divine decree [qada'], Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) will relieve him of it, and He will inscribe him in the register of the brave [diwan ash-shuj'an]. When someone is ready to sacrifice himself, he acquires a sense of certainty [yaqin]. When someone knows what he is looking for, he attaches little importance to what he must spend in order to attain his goal.

Be sure of where you stand, and then make haste. Come here on the footing of sincerity [sidq], so that you may knock at the door of the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He). You must stay there as long as it takes, until the door is opened for you and the angelic escorts [mawakib] come forth to welcome you. You may as well be importunate in asking Him for the things you need, since this will do you more good than your importunity [tawaquh] toward your kings and potentates and wealthy patrons.

Follow the example set by your predecessors in their quest for their Lord (Almighty and Glorious is He) and their total absorption [fana'] in Him.

O Allah, You are our Lord [Rabb] and their Lord, our Creator [Khaliq] and their Creator, our Provider [Raziq] and their Provider, so deal with us as You dealt with them! Bring us out of us, away from us, toward You! Cause us to forget the kings and their slaves, the sultans and their subjects, the rich and the poor, the elite and the masses, the rise and fall of market prices, affluence and scarcity. Remind us to remember You. Treat us gently in Your workings. Bring us close to Your nearness, and let our hearts enjoy Your intimate friendship [uns]. Keep us safe from the evil of Your cities and Your servants, and from the evil of every crawling creature that You grasp by the forelock and seize by the tail. Keep us safe from the evil of the evildoers [sharr al-ashrar], and from the cunning deceptions of the morally corrupt [kaid al-fujjar]. Let us be members of Your party [hizb], guiding others to You while abasing ourselves before You, summoning others to You while humbling ourselves before You, but standing tall against those who behave with arrogance toward You and toward the true believers among Your creatures. Amin.

Short Quotes

Some commandments to Israelites

وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِيثَاقَ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ لاَ تَعْبُدُونَ إِلاَّ اللّهَ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَاناً وَذِي الْقُرْبَى وَالْيَتَامَى وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَقُولُواْ لِلنَّاسِ حُسْناً وَأَقِيمُواْ الصَّلاَةَ وَآتُواْ الزَّكَاةَ ثُمَّ تَوَلَّيْتُمْ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً مِّنكُمْ وَأَنتُم مِّعْرِضُونَ

(2:83) Remember that We made a solemn covenant with the children of Israel to this effect: worship none save Allah: be good to your parents, to your relatives, to the orphans and to the helpless; speak aright with the people: establish the Salat and pay the Zakat. But with the exception of a few, you all slid back from it and are paying no heed to it even now.