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In The name of Allah,The Most Merciful,The Most gracious

Violence in Islam?

Written by M. Amir Ali, Ph.D.

“Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! Allah loves not aggressors.” [Noble Quran 2:190]

“And those who, when great wrong is done to them, defend themselves.” [Noble Quran 42:39]

Violence is the use of force to subdue others that may include killing. Violence may be morally legitimate in the eyes of a majority of people when killing animals and birds for self-protection or for food. However, in the religions of Jainism and some sects of Buddhism and Hinduism even killing of animals and insects is not legitimate.

At the human level, violence may be divided into three major types:

(1) Violence committed by an army against another army; in this case it is called a battle or war,
(2) Violence organized by the civilians against tyranny and oppression or to replace one political system with another; in this case the conflict may be called terrorism, civil war or a war of liberation or freedom, depending who is talking, and
(3) Violence committed by individuals or a small group of people for personal gain or revenge; in this case it is called murder, robbery or vendetta, respectively.

Commonly, the meaning of the term Islam is given as peace and also submission. “Violence in Islam” is an oxymoron; a meaningless phrase. The contemporary Muslim world situation appears to make the question, “violence in Islam?”, a relevant one. Anti-Islam forces, such as, Christian Fundamentalists, Zionists of all colors and shades, Russians, Serbs, Hindu Fundamentalists and others love to refer to the cherry-picked Quran verses to point out that Islam means terrorism and violence, not peace. Unfortunately, the ignorant masses of the West have been raised since their school days in believing that Islam is terrorism and violence. In addition, the pro-Zionist media loves to please the masses through reinforcing this belief and for keeping Islam unpopular in the West in order to prevent its propagation. As the Zionists see that an increasing Muslim voting population in the West as a threat to the existence of the Israeli entity, they would rather eliminate the presence of Islam in the West, particularly, the U.S.

Since the 9-11 terror in New York, the most cited Quran verse is 9:5 in support of false allegation of murder of non-Muslims and forcing them to convert to Islam when they refuse. The meaning of this one verse may best be understood and appreciated when the reader has full background of the context of revelation and what the message was given as a whole. Surah (chapter) 9 has two names, At-Tawbah and Bara’ah, meaning the repentance and freedom from obligation (disavowal), respectively. Verses 1-37 of Surah 9 were revealed as a block and verses 1 to 16 make up the context of the verse 5. Let me quote the translation of all 16 verses from Zafar Ishaq Ansari’s Towards Understanding the Quran, Vol. 3, pp 187-195.

“[1] This is a declaration of disavowal by Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad) to those who associate others with Allah in His divinity (Mushrikin) and with whom you have made treaties. 

[2] You may go about freely in the land, for four months, but know well that you will not be able to frustrate Allah, and that Allah will bring disgrace upon those who deny the truth (Kafirin). 

[3] This is a public proclamation by Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad) to all men on the day of the Great Pilgrimage (Al-Hajj Al-Akbar): Allah is free from all obligations to those who associate others with Allah in His divinity (Mushrikin); and so is His Messenger. If you repent, it shall be for your own good; but if you turn away, then know well that you will not be able to frustrate Allah. So give glad tidings of a painful chastisement to those who disbelieve (those who reject this call). 

[4] In exception to those who associate others with Allah in His divinity (Mushrikin) are those with whom you have made treaties and who have not violated their treaties nor have backed up anyone against you. Fulfill your treaties with them till the end of their term. Surely Allah loves the pious (Muttaqin). 

[5] But when the sacred months (Al-Ashhur ul-Hurum) expire, slay those who associate others with Allah in His divinity (Mushrikin) wherever you find them; seize them, and besiege them, and lie in wait for them. But if they repent and establish the Prayer (As-Salat) and pay Zakah, leave them alone. Surely Allah is All-Forgiving, Ever Merciful. 

[6] And if any of those who associate others with Allah in His divinity (Mushrikin) seeks asylum, grant him asylum that he may hear the Word of Allah, and then escort him to safety for they are people bereft of all understanding. 

[7] How can there be a covenant with those who associate others with Allah in His divinity (Mushrikin) on the part of Allah and His Messenger except those with whom you made a covenant near the Sacred Mosque (Al-Masjid Al-Haram)? Behave straight with them so long as they behave straight with you for Allah loves the God-fearing (Muttaqin). 

[8] How can there be any covenant with the rest who associate others with Allah in His divinity (Mushrikin) for were they to prevail against you, they will respect neither kinship nor agreement. They seek to please you with their tongues while their hearts are averse to you, and most of them are wicked (Fasiqun). [9] They have sold the revelations of Allah for a paltry price and have firmly hindered people from His path. Evil indeed is what they have done. 

[10]They neither have any respect for kinship nor for agreement in respect of the believers. Such are indeed transgressors (Mu’tadun). 

[11] But if they repent and establish Prayer (Salat) and give Zakah they are your brothers in faith. Thus do We expound our revelations to those who know (Ya’lamun).

 [12] But if they break their pledges after making them and attack your faith, make war on the leaders of unbelief (A’immatul Kufr) that they may desist, for they have no regard for their pledged words. 

[13] Will you not fight against those who broke their pledges and did all they could to drive the Messenger away and initiated hostilities against you? Do you fear them? Surely Allah has greater right that you should fear Him, if you are true believers. 

[14] Make war on them, Allah will chastise them through you and will humiliate them. He will grant you victory over them, and will soothe the bosoms of those who believe;

[15] and will remove rage from their hearts, and will enable whomsoever He wills to repent. Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise. 

[16] Do you imagine that you will be spared without being subjected to any test? Know well that Allah has not yet determined who strove hard (in His cause), and has not taken any others besides His Messenger and the believers as His trusted allies? Allah is well aware of all that you do.” [Noble Quran 9:1-16]

No Compulsion or Coercion 2:256.

The Quran verses are clear in commanding the believers that there is no coercion or compulsion in Islam to convert. The history of 14 centuries is the proof that Muslims had no systematic compulsion to convert people to Islam. One verse translation is given below:

“There is no coercion or compulsion in the Deen (religion, way of life). The right way now stands clearly distinguished from the wrong. Hence he who rejects the evil ones and believes in Allah has indeed taken hold of the firm, unbreakable handle, and Allah (Whom he has held for support) is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.”[Noble Quran 2:256]

Muslims have honored this commandment and they have been careful in not forcing people to convert to Islam. The best examples are Spain, India, East Europe where Muslims entered with armies and conquered them yet these countries remained non-Muslim majority. On the other hand, in Sub-Sahara Africa, Indonesia and Malaysia where Islamic armies never entered, these countries became Muslim majority countries. In our time in the 21st century, no Muslim army has entered in North America or Europe yet millions of people are converting to Islam by their own will.

One of the principles of understanding the Quran is that a verse (ayah) should be read (a) in the context of the surrounding verses, not in isolation, (b) in the context of its revelation, which may be found in the Hadith collections, and (c) in the context of the whole Quran. A fourth requirement frequently presented is to see the words, terms and phrases used and as understood by the companions of the Prophet and following two generations (Salaf). It simply means reading various commentaries of the Quran of the classical period and finding how they understood and explained a given verse or a passage. Not knowing Arabic is not an excuse because in the 20th century a few commentaries of the Quran in English language have appeared and these writers have summed up the earlier commentators; some of them are Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Towards Understanding the Quran referred to above, Muhammad Asad and Abdullah Yusuf Ali. There are two translations and commentaries in the works, one by Dr. Irfan Ahmad Khan to be published from India and the other by Dr. Ahmad Zaki Hammad to be published from Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt. Some parts of the both works have been published.

Another aspect of understanding the Quran verses is the time frame for application of their meaning. A verse or a passage may have special meaning for a particular time of the revelation and it does not apply after the time has passed. Or a verse or a passage may also have a generalized meaning for all times to come since its revelation.

Definitions:

Those who quote Quran verses with the objective of criticizing it and Islam do not meet any of the above given requirements yet they interpret verses according to their whims and fancy. These people have no objectivity but malice and prejudice. Before I explain the above verses I would like to give a few definitions of some Quranic terms. The spellings of the following terms may vary from one writer to another when transliterated in a European language.

MUSLIMS: Those who believe in a Messenger / Prophet of Allah and follow his teachings; accordingly, followers of all prophets since the time of Abraham were Muslims, followers of Muhammad included.

MUNAFIQ: (sing.) Technically a Munafiq is a Muslim but due to the absence of real faith in Islam, Allah considers him to be a hypocrite. Quran has hundreds of verses about Munafiqun or Munafiqin (case based plu.) because they are the cause of most danger to Islam and Muslims, much more than the worst non-Muslim enemies of Islam. This is true in our time also. All those “Muslims” who are helping the enemies of Islam for waging war on Islam and Muslim societies are certainly hypocrites.

BANI ISRAEL (YAHUD): All people who followed the Prophets from Moses to the last Prophet before Jesus.

NASARA: This term is used for Christians only. Some scholars think that the term is derived from Nazareth but others think that it is derived from the Arabic word for helper.

AHL AL-KITAB: this means people of the Book, Christians and Jews both or depending upon the context, Jews only or Christians only.

MUSHRIK: (sing.) Mushrikun or Mushrikin (case based plural) This applies particularly to the idol worshippers of Arabia who lived at the time of the Prophet. Most of them converted to Islam but a few converted to Christianity; no more Mushrikun are living in the Arabian Peninsula. In our time Hindu, Buddhists and any other people who worship an idol god would fall under this category.

KAFIR: (sing.) Kafirun or Kafirin (plu.) These are non-Muslims who rejected Islam after knowing Islam from authentic sources. See Quran verses 2:6-7 about them. I would like to translate the term as “Islam-rejecters” but the ignorant translate it as “infidels”. Unfortunately, ignorant translators use the term infidel for Mushrikas well as Kafir whereas these are very different terms.

JAHIL: (sing.) Juhala’ or Jahilun or Jahilin (plu.): Literally it means an ignorant person but as a Quranic term it means those ignorant people who are unaware of Islamic teachings and they didn’t have a chance to accept or reject Islam. Once a person rejects Islam after knowing its teachings from authentic sources, this person would be a Kafir.

JIHAD: This term is frequently mistranslated as “holy war”. In Islam there is no such thing as holy war because all wars are filthy, however, some wars are unavoidable. The Christian term, “justifiable war” is also applied in Islam. Literally, Jihad means to strive or to struggle. For a better treatment of the topic see my article JIHAD EXPLAINED.

QITAL (HARB): Qital means a battle and Harb means war, which are the terms to be used for real war and these two terms means battle and war.

WALI: (sing.) Awlia’ (plu.) Commonly the term Wali is translated as “friend” that gives rise to misunderstanding about the message of the Quran. Depending upon the context it may mean a friend but more often it means a protector or protecting friend or an ally, which is a lot more than a simple friend

In the above quoted passage of 9:1-16 in the verses 1,2,3,4,5,6 and 7 the term used is Mushrikin meaning this is not about any other people than the idolaters (Mushrikin) of Makkah. Another point to note is that the address is towards those who violated the peace treaty with the Prophet Muhammad. This theme repeats in all the verses up to 9:16. Naturally, Allah, in the Quran, is instructing the Prophet Muhammad to free himself from the peace treaty obligation, known as the Treaty of Hudaybiah; he made in the year 6 AH for a ten-year period. But the idolaters of Quraysh violated the treaty in the second year and raided a tribe who was an ally of the Prophet. The verse gives specific instruction to fight those who violated the treaty and killed allies of the Prophet. The meaning of the verse does not extend to other non-Muslims except under the exact similar conditions. Those who have never been allies of the Muslims have no treaty to violate. Islam prohibits aggression against those who have not attacked the Muslims. This point takes us to the verses 2:190-194.

In the verse 9:5 there is a mention of “Al-Ashhur ul-Hurum” meaning the months of prohibition, sometimes translated as sacred months, which are Rajab, Dhul Qi’dah, Dhul Hijjah and Muharram, the 7th, 11th, 12th and 1st months of the Arabic lunar calendar. The month of Rajab was reserved for Umrah or lesser Hajj and the other three months were considered the months for Hajj the greater pilgrimage to Makkah. During these months Arabs used to celebrate peace for the safety of the return travel to Makkah and any war or looting was considered prohibited. However, they found a back door to violate these months of safety and invented the custom of Nasi. Under this invention they could exchange a real prohibited month with another non-prohibited month and could go on looting and war and surprise the weaker travelers. Islam kept the custom of prohibited months but abrogated the custom of Nasi.

Quran verses 2:190-194. The translation of these verses is given below;

“Fight (Qatilu) against those who fight against you in the way of Allah, but do not transgress, for Allah does not love transgressors (Mu’tadin). (191) Kill them whenever you confront them and drive them out from where they drove you out. (For though killing is sinful) wrongful persecution is even worse than killing. Do not fight against them near the Masjid Al-Haram (in Makkah) unless they fight against you; but if they fight against you kill them, for that is the reward of such disbelievers (Kafirin). (192) Then if they desist, know well that Allah is Forgiving, Most Merciful. (193) Keep on fighting against them until mischief ends and the way prescribed by Allah prevails. But if they desist, then know that hostility is only against the transgressors (Adh-Dhalimin). (194) The sacred month for the sacred month; sanctities should be respected alike (by all concerned). Thus, if someone has attacked you, attack him just as he attacked you, and fear Allah and remain conscious that Allah is with those who guard against violating the bounds set by Him.” [Noble Quran 2:190-194.]

In the verses 190-191 given above it is obvious that Allah is commanding the Muslims, in the Quran, to fight against those who began the fight but do not do anything more than necessary to repel the attack because Allah does not like transgression, that is, going beyond one’s limits. The verse 192 puts further emphasis on driving the invaders out of your homes, your property and maybe out of your country to remove their occupation.

Verse 193 emphasizes that mischief and persecution is worse than killing, therefore, it is the responsibility of the Muslims to remove mischief and persecution and work to bring justice and equity according to the rules of Islam.

Verse 194 refers to the sacred or the months of prohibitions of war; the command is to honor the months but if the adversaries violate them the Muslims are allowed to respond in kind. Similarly, if the opponents attack, the Muslims are allowed to respond in kind but not to violate the limits or the use of excessive force. The use of excessive force is a pagan concept as the U.S. is doing in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Quran 5:33-34. Another verse that is frequently quoted for attacking the Quran is 5:33 but it should be read with 5:34. The translation is given below:

“(33) Those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and go about the earth spreading mischief ? indeed their recompense is that they either be put to death, or be crucified, or have their hands and feet cut off from the opposite sides or be banished from the land (or imprisonment). Such shall be their degradation in this world; and a mighty chastisement lies in store for them in the World to Come (34) except for those who repent before you have overpowered them. Know well that Allah is All-Forgiving, All-Compassionate.” [Noble Quran 5:33-34]

These two verses were revealed in response to the treatment of one or more “Muslims” who reverted back to his/their previous religion and became terrorists and highway robbers looting trade caravans. In addition they began encouraging the enemies of the Prophet Muhammad and Muslims to attack and destroy the city-state of Madinah. Allah’s order came to fight them and subdue them followed by killing or crucifying them or cutting hands and feet from opposite sides or imprisoning them. If they submit themselves before being subdued forcefully and ask for forgiveness then forgive them. Their asking forgiveness includes their voluntary returning to Islam. Obviously, these verses are not about non-Muslims or forcing them to convert to Islam.

Such a treatment will be meted out to all apostates who combine treason with apostasy. Also, the same fate is due to highway robbers and terrorists who commit heinous crimes after peace, justice and equity has been established under Islamic rule. In the absence of Islamic rule neither peace is possible nor justice and equity but a tyranny of one kind or the other. In the contemporary Muslim world (2004 CE) there is not a single “Islamic” country having Islamic rule but there are over fifty Muslim majority countries having tyrannical rules and most of them are puppets of either the European or American powers. Naturally, there is no peace, no justice and no equity but chaos, murder, persecution, exploitation, looting of the people’s money and tyranny. These countries are ruled by the criminals supported and protected by the enemies of Islam who are rulers in Europe and America.

Quran 4:74-76. These verses are part of the section 4:71-76 but I will skip first three verses, as they are simple to understand. The translation is given below:

(74) Let those who seek the life of the Next World in exchange for the life of this world fight (Yuqatil) in the way of Allah. We shall grant a mighty reward to whoever fights in the way of Allah, whether he is slain or comes out victorious. (75) How is it that you do not fight (La Tuqatiluna) in the way of Allah and in support of the helpless ? men, women and children ? who pray: “Our Rabb (Cherisher, Provider), bring us out of this land and whose people are oppressors and appoint for us from Yourself a helper.” (76) Those who have faith fight (Yuqatiluna) in the way of Allah, while those who disbelieve (Kafaru, reject Islam) fight in the way of Taghut (Satan, any non-God). Fight, then, against the followers of Satan (Shaytan). Surely, Satan’s strategy is weak. [Noble Quran 4:74-76]

[Note that the word Jihad or its derivatives have not been used in these verses. The words for fight are derived from the root Qatala.]

The background of these verses is the Battle of Uhud that took place in the year 3 AH in the vicinity of Madinah. One year before the Battle of Uhud, the Makkan pagans had brought a well-equipped army of 1,000 in the with the plan of annihilating the Prophet and his followers. But the Prophet intercepted them 60 miles south of Madinah in the company of 313 companions; this was a very poorly equipped band of Muslims. The Prophet and his companions were victorious and all major leaders of the pagan Quraysh were killed and they lost 70 soldiers. The Makkans returned defeated but swore to come back to destroy the Prophet, his mission and his city-state of Madinah. In the following year, in 3 AH Makkans came back with a better equipped army of 3,000 and the Prophet was able to gather a band of only 700 and the battle took place near Madinah at the foot of Mt. Uhud. Both sides suffered heavy losses and there was no clear victory for either side. Makkans returned to Makkah without achieving their goal of annihilation of the Prophet and his mission, yet this emboldened the Makkans. This followed two years of hard persecution and torture of Muslims living outside of Madinah, whether in Makkah or in other villages where pagans ruled. Prophet Muhammad had to send intelligence and guard missions all around to find who was conspiring and who was planning another aggression against Madinah and the Muslims.

The verse 4:71-76 were revealed in the above given background and they should be understood within this context. The verse 4:71 instructs the Muslims to stay ready for defense because they may not know who and when will attack small city-state of Madinah. The verse 4:72-73 talks about the condition of hypocrites who do not want to fight because they love this worldly life more than the life of hereafter, however, they do want the war booty when victory comes. The verse 4:74 assures sincere Muslims that if they die in the battle they will surely enter paradise but if they come back victorious, that would be good for them, too. Either way whether they survive the war or die in the war, they are assured of great reward from Allah. The verse 4:75 motivates the Muslims to stand up to defeat the oppressors and tyrants who have no conscience but the greed of this world and power. The oppressed people cry for Allah’s help and it comes in the form of sincere Muslims who stand up in support of these people.

The verse 4:76 declares that sincere Muslims fight to make Allah’s rule supreme and to establish peace, justice and equity, whereas, those who fight for land, country, nationalism, patriotism, loot, murder, revenge, wealth and other worldly motives, fight for the Taghut, anyone other than Allah, that is, for the sake of the Satan. Those who fight for the sake of Satan, sometimes may appear to be winning in achieving their worldly goals but they are losers in the long term and certainly, in the life hereafter they will end up in the hell-fire.

It is obvious that Allah condemns aggression totally and condemns any war in pursuit of worldly reasons. Whereas Allah approves and motivates a war of defense and to protect the weak who are persecuted and oppressed. In this early 21st century there are hundreds of millions of Muslims who are oppressed and persecuted by the West and its agents as rulers of the Third World countries.

Quran 22:39-40. During the Prophet’s life in Makkah he was forbidden to respond to violent offenses against him or his followers. The command of Allah was to tie down their hands; it was total pacifism. The only thing his followers were allowed to do was to leave the town and take refuge in Habashah (Ethiopia). This restriction was lifted in Madinah when an Islamic city-state was established with its own free government under the Prophet, its own economy and volunteer defense forces. Order came in the following words in translation:

“(39) Permission [to fight] is given to those against whom war is being wrongfully waged ? and, verily Allah indeed has the power to help them; (40) those who have been driven from their homes unjustly only because they said: Our Rabb (Sustainer, Cherisher) is Allah. For had it not been for Allah repelling some men by means of others, monasteries, churches, synagogues and mosques, wherein the name of Allah is oft mentioned, would assuredly been destroyed. Surely, Allah helps him who helps Allah. Lo! Allah is Strong, Almighty.” [Noble Quran 22:39-40]

The meanings of these two verses are simple enough not requiring any explanation.

47:4-6. These verses were revealed shortly after the verses 22:39-40 given above lifting the ban on armed resistance against the invaders and aggressors.

(4) “Therefore, when you meet those who disbelieved (Kafaru) (in the battle) smite their necks and, when you have thoroughly subdued them, then take prisoners of war and bind them firmly. After the war lays down her burdens, then you have the choice whether you show them favor or accept ransom. Thus are you commanded. If Allah wanted, He Himself could have punished them; but He adopted this way so that He may test some of you by means of others. As for those who are slain in the cause of Allah, He will never let their deeds be lost. (5) Soon He will guide them, improve their condition (6) and admit them to the paradise which He has made known to them.” [Noble Quran 47: 4-6]

Aggression against the Muslim society of Madinah was already in progress, therefore, further instructions were given regarding defensive strategy. Allah instructed the Muslims to stand firm and fight hard taking prisoners only when necessary. These prisoners may be forgiven and released or accept ransom and release them. Allah promised Paradise for those who defend their faith.

Friendship or protection?

Another Quran verse that is used for attack on Islam is 5:51, which may be translated as:

“O you who (claim to) believe! Do not take the Jews and the Christians for your allies (or as your protectors, Awlia’). They are the allies (protectors, Awlia’) of each other. And among you he who takes them for allies (protectors), shall be regarded as one of them. Allah does not guide the transgressors.” [Noble Quran 5:51]

Frequently, the term Wali is translated as “friend” and the meaning of the verse changes completely. When Wali is translated to mean “friend” the verse appears to convey the message that Islam prohibits making friends from the Christians and the Jews. This belies the history of 13 centuries of Islam. From 638 to 1917 Muslims and Jews have been each others friends and sometimes protectors. During the period of the Inquisition in Spain, Muslims and Jews suffered together and protected each other. Whenever there were pogroms of the Jews in Europe, they fled to North African Muslim ruled countries or to the East where the Turks ruled and they found sympathy, friendship, welcome and rehabilitation. Similarly, Christians and Muslims have been living together in peace all over the Arab world, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan and other countries. One example of the Christian-Muslim harmony is that the Orthodox Church had its headquarter in Constantinople before 1453 when Muhammad II conquered it for the Ottoman Empire. Constantinople was the seat of the Orthodox Church and it remained throughout the Turkish rule and it continues to be the seat of the Orthodox Church. However, I consider the verse 5:51 a prophecy and a warning to the Muslims of the 20th century onward. European powers when they left the colonies they always gave upper hand to the non-Muslim minorities leaving Muslims weak; this was the situation in India, North Africa, Sub-Sahara Africa and other parts of the world. Arabs trusted the British that after defeat of the Turks, they will become independent but they were betrayed. Instead of independence of the Arabs, puppet monarchies and Israel were established on their lands. Betrayal and more betrayal, all around. Pakistan signed the Baghdad Pact (which was renamed as CENTO after the exit of Iraq from the treaty) and joined SEATO in the 1950s in support of the U.S. efforts against communism, allowed American bases on its land and became a nuclear target of the Soviet Union. On the contrary, the U.S. conspired with India against Pakistan. When India attacked Pakistan in 1965 and again in 1971, the U.S. betrayed and helped India for the breaking up of Pakistan. Secularism is paganism, when one trusts the secularists they experience betrayal just the way the Prophet faced betrayal of the pagans of Arabia 14 centuries ago.

The other side of the coin is with whom among non-Muslims are worthy of friendship? See the Quran verses 60:8-9:

“Allah forbids you not those who warred not against you on account of religion (Al-Deen) and drove you not out from your homes, that you should show them kindness and deal justly with them. Lo! Allah loves the just dealers.” (9) Allah forbids you only those who warred against you on account of religion (Al-Deen) and have driven you out from your homes and helped to drive you out, that you make friends of them. Whosoever makes friends of them such are wrong-doers.”[Noble Quran 60:8-9]

The verses 60:8-9 were revealed in the background of the pagans of Makkah who had driven the Prophet and his companions out and they took refuge in Madinah. Similar things were happening to many new Muslims who were being evicted by their own people on account of their new faith.

Should the Muslims trust pagans of the West? I think NOT! Pay heed to the Quran’s warning. Personally, I have no problem making friends, sympathizing with my neighbors and colleagues, having dinner with them, going on a picnic or camping with them. I have met a lot of very decent Christians and Jews and they are worthy of friendship and trust. The verse of the Quran 5:51 is not talking about friendship at a personal level but signing pacts at the national level. The experience of the Muslim countries during the last 90 years shows that the pagan secular nations of Jewish and Christian background are not worthy of trust. These nations will not miss any opportunity of betrayal for destroying Islam and Muslims.

The Toilet Paper of the West

All Muslim puppet rulers of the West in the Muslim majority countries are actually traitors to their own people. These traitors work like toilet paper rolls or tissue paper well kept before use. Once toilet paper has been used for wiping the bottoms, it is flushed down the toilet. I have seen in Pakistan many such traitors have been flushed down the toilet; a few names are: Liaqat Ali Khan, Iskander Mirza, Gen. Ayyub Khan, Gen. Yahya Khan, Gen. Ziaul Hal, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto, Nawaz Sharif, Mujibur Rahman and the next to be flushed is Gen. Pervez Musharraf. In other countries we find Shah of Iran, Saddam Hussein, Ahmad Chalabi; now waiting to be flushed down the toilet are Hamid Karzai, Iad Allawi, Ghazi Al-Yawar and a number of other puppets, dictators in the Muslim majority countries.

Conclusion

War in Islam was permitted to the Prophet Muhammad only after fifteen years of trying to live in peace against all aggression. Only when anti-Islam forces decided to totally annihilate Islam, were the Muslims permitted to fight back. The situation remains the same even in our time at the beginning of the 21st century CE. Over 50 years ago Muslims have been living as colonial subjects of the West for over two centuries. As they are coming out of the submissive posture of colonial days and desire to live according to Islamic principles, the West, led by the U.S., is trying to re-impose its hegemony over the Muslim world. The Muslims are left with no choice but fight back. The West must learn to let the Muslim world resolve her problems her own way rather than imposing her hegemony over the Muslims through puppets like Pervez Musharraf, Husni Mubarak, Abdullah II of Jordan, Qaddafi and others.

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In The name of Allah,The Most Merciful,The Most gracious

Ruling on jihad and kinds of jihad

Firstly: 

Jihaad is of various kinds, some of which are obligatory upon everyone who is accountable, and some are obligatory upon the community as a whole – if some people undertake them then the rest are relieved of the obligation. And some kinds of jihad are mustahabb. 

Jihad al-nafs (jihad against one’s self) and jihad al-Shaytaan (jihad against the Shaytaan) are obligatory upon everyone who is accountable. Jihad against the munaafiqeen (hypocrites), kaafirs (disbelievers) and leaders of oppression and innovation is obligatory upon the community as a whole. Physical jihad (i.e. fighting) against the kaafirs may become an individual obligation upon everyone who is able to do it in certain circumstances, which will be described below. 

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

Once this is understood, then jihad is of four kinds: Jihad al-nafs (jihad against one’s self), jihad al-Shaytaan (jihad against the Shaytaan), jihad against the kaafirs and jihad against the hypocrites. 

Jihad al-nafs (jihad against one’s self) is of four kinds: 

1 – Striving to learn the teachings of Islam without which one cannot attain success and happiness in this world or in the Hereafter; if this is missing then one is doomed to misery in this world and in the Hereafter. 

2 – Striving to make oneself act in accordance with what one has learned. Simply knowing without acting, even though it may not cause any harm, is not going to bring any benefit. 

3 – Striving to call others to Islam, teaching those who do not know about it. Otherwise one will be one of those who conceal that which Allaah has revealed of guidance and teaching, and it will not benefit him or save him from the punishment of Allaah. 

4 – Striving to bear patiently the difficulties involved in calling people to Allaah and the insults of people; bearing all that for the sake of Allaah. 

If a person achieves all these four levels, then he will be one of the rabbaaniyyeen (learned men of religion who practise what they know and also preach to others. Cf. Aal ‘Imraan 3:79). The salaf were agreed that the scholar does not deserve to be called a rabbaani unless he knows the truth, acts in accordance with it and teaches it to others. Whoever teaches, acts in accordance with his knowledge and has knowledge, he will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 

Jihad against the Shaytaan is of two types: 

1 – Warding off the doubts that he stirs up to undermine faith. 

2 – Striving against him to ward off the corrupt desires that he provokes. 

The first jihad is followed by certainty of faith, and the second is followed by patience. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And We made from among them (Children of Israel), leaders, giving guidance under Our Command, when they were patient and used to believe with certainty in Our Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.)”

[al-Sajdah 32:24] 

Allaah tells us that leadership in religion is attained through patience and certainty of faith. Patience wards off desires and certainty wards off doubts. 

Jihad against the kaafirs and hypocrites is of four kinds: with the heart, the tongue, one’s wealth and oneself. Jihad against the kaafirs is more along the lines of physical fighting whereas jihad against the hypocrites is more along the lines of using words and ideas. 

Jihad against the leaders of oppression and innovation is of three kinds: 

1 – Jihad with one’s hand (i.e., physical jihad, fighting) if one is able. If that is not possible then it should be with one’s tongue (i.e., by speaking out). If that is not possible then it should be with one’s heart (i.e., by hating the evil and feeling that it is wrong). 

These are the thirteen types of jihad, and “Whoever dies without having fought or having resolved to fight has died following one of the branches of hypocrisy.” (Narrated by Muslim, 1910). 

Zaad al-Ma’aad, 3/9-11) 

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

“Jihad is of various kinds, with one’s self, one’s wealth, by making du’aa’, by teaching and guiding, by helping to do good in any way. The greatest form of jihad is jihad with one’s self (i.e., going oneself and fighting), followed by jihad with one’s wealth, jihad by speaking out and guiding others. Da’wah is also part of jihad.  But going out oneself to fight in jihad is the highest form. 

(Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 7/334, 335) 

Secondly: 

The idea of waging physical jihad against the kaafirs went through a number of stages, depending on the state in which the Muslim ummah was. Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

“The first thing which his Lord revealed to him was to read in the name of his Lord who had created. That was the beginning of his Prophethood, where Allaah commanded him to recite to himself but He did not yet command him to convey that. Then He revealed the words (interpretation of the meaning: 

‘O you (Muhammad) enveloped in garments!

Arise and warn!’

[al-Muddaththir 74:1-2] 

So he became a Prophet with the word ‘Iqra (Read!) and he became a Messenger with the words, ‘O you (Muhammad) enveloped in garments…’ Then Allaah commanded him to warn his closest kinsmen, then to warn his people, then to warn the Arabs around them, then to warn all the Arabs, then to warn all of mankind. He continued to call them for over ten years from the beginning of his Prophethood, without fighting or imposing the jizyah; he was commanded to refrain, to be patient and to be forbearing. 

Then permission was given to him to migrate, and permission was given to him to fight. 

Then he was commanded to fight those who fought him, and to refrain from fighting those who left him alone and did not fight him. 

Then Allaah commanded him to fight the mushrikeen so that the religion would all be for Allaah. 

After jihad was enjoined upon him, the kaafirs then fell into three categories: those with whom there was a truce or peace treaty; those with whom he was at war; and those who lived under the rule and protection of the Islamic state.” 

(Zaad al-Ma’aad, 3/159) 

Thirdly: 

The ruling on physical jihad against the kaafirs is that this is an obligation on the community as a whole (fard kafaayah). 

Ibn Qudaamah said: 

“Jihaad is an obligation upon the community; if some people undertake it, the rest are relieved of the obligation.” 

What fard kafaayah means is that if it is not undertaken by enough people, then all the people are guilty of sin, but if enough people undertakes it, the rest will be relieved of blame. Initially the command is addressed to all of them, as in the case of an individual obligation (fard ‘ayn), but then in the case of fard kafaayah the obligation is dropped if enough of the people undertake to do it, unlike the case with fard ‘ayn where the obligation is not dropped if someone else does it. Jihad is a fard kafaayah, according to the majority of scholars.” 

(al-Mughni, 9/163) 

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz said:  

“We have previously explained on more than one occasion that jihad is fard kafaayah, not fard ‘ayn. All Muslims are enjoined to support their brothers with their selves (i.e., physically, by joining them), or with money, weapons, da’wah and advice. If enough of them go out (to fight), the rest are freed from sin, but if none of them do that then all of them are sinners. 

The Muslims in Saudi Arabia, Africa, North Africa and elsewhere are obliged to do their utmost, and if there is a jihad in one country, the surrounding countries should hasten to help them, the closest then the next closest.  If one or two states, or three or more, manage to fulfil the obligation, then the rest are freed of responsibility. They deserve to be supported, and it is obligatory to help them against their enemies, because they are oppressed. Allaah has enjoined jihad upon all Muslims, and they must fight against the enemies of Allaah until their brothers are victorious. If they fail to do that then they are sinners, but if sufficient people undertake to do that, then the rest are absolved of sin.” 

(Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 7/335) 

Fourthly: 

Physical jihad against the kaafirs becomes obligatory in four cases, which are: 

1 – When the Muslim is present in a jihad situation.

2 – When the enemy has come and attacked a Muslim land

3 – When the ruler mobilizes the people, they must respond.

4 – When a person is needed and no one else can do the task except him. 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said: 

Jihad is obligatory and becomes fard ‘ayn if a person is present where fighting is going on. This is the first of the situations in which jihad becomes an individual obligation, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“O you who believe! When you meet those who disbelieve, in a battlefield, never turn your backs to them.

And whoever turns his back to them on such a day — unless it be a stratagem of war, or to retreat to a troop (of his own), — he indeed has drawn upon himself wrath from Allaah. And his abode is Hell, and worst indeed is that destination!”

[al-Anfaal 8:16] 

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said that running away on the day when the army is advancing is one of the sins that doom a person to Hell. He said: “Avoid the seven sins that doom a person to Hell…” among which he mentioned running away on the day when the army is advancing (agreed upon). But Allaah has made exceptions in two cases: 

1-     When it is a military manoeuvre, in the sense that he is leaving to bring reinforcements.

2-     When he is going to join another group, when he has been told that there is a group of Muslims elsewhere who are about to be defeated, so he goes to join them in order to strengthen their numbers. This is subject to the condition that there is no risk to the group he is in; if there is a risk to the group that he is in, then it is not permissible for him to go to the other group. In this case (jihad) is an individual obligation upon him (fard ‘ayn) and it is not permissible for him to leave.  

The second situation (in which jihad becomes an individual obligation) is when a city is besieged by the enemy. Then he has to fight in defence of the city, because when the city is besieged there is no alternative but to defend it, for if the enemy is going to prevent people from leaving the city or entering it, and prevent provisions from reaching it, and other things which are well known, then in this case the people of the city are obliged to fight in order to defend their city. 

The third situation is when the leader tells the people to mobilize; the leader (imam) is the highest authority in the state, but he need not necessarily be the leader of all the Muslims, because there has been no leader of all the Muslims (khaleefah) for a long time. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Listen and obey, even if you are ruled by an Abyssinian slave.” So if a man becomes a leader, then his word is to be heeded and his commands are to obeyed. 

(al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 8/10-12).

Islam Q&A 
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

What Is Jihad ?? Holy War ?? 

Is Suicide Bombing Too Jihad ?? 

Fatwa Against Terrorism

Quran Book of Peace or WAR??

Muslims ARE terrorist ?

Muslims Fundamentalism and Terrorism :: remove Misconception

Islamic Extremism

Islam Promotes VIOLENCE :: Quran Surah Ta’ubah

Hidden Truths :: Must Read

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Suicide Bombing

Al-Nisa (The Women) Sura 4: Verse 29 (Partial)

“… And kill yourselves not, for God is truly Merciful to you.”

People who are driven to despair are thus reminded to have faith in God’s mercy in the hope that they may be relieved of their suffering. Since suicide is prohibited, anyone who tries to facilitate it, or acts as an accomplice, is also liable to a deterrent punishment that may be quantified by the court while taking into consideration the material circumstances of the case. Commentators have, moreover, drawn a five-point conclusion from this verse as follows:

1. the obvious meaning is that suicide is forbidden;

2. the text also stipulates that ‘you may not kill one another’ nor facilitate suicide;

3. one may not undertake a task which is likely to cause his own death, even if it be in lieu of a religious obligation;

4. no one should deprive himself of the necessities of life to the point of self-destruction; and

5. the text covers cases of self-destruction regardless of the manner in which it is done.

The manuals of Islamic law are silent on the issue of suicide bombing, a disturbing phenomenon of our time that became frequent in connection with Israeli-Palestinian conflict, especially when Israel unleashed a new wave of aggression on the street processions of unarmed Palestinian youth in 2000-1. The aftermath of 11 September 2001 and more recently the horrendous violence in Iraq and Afghanistan, added new dimensions to the incidence of suicide bombing among Muslims.

Suicide bombing in the name of Islam is a ‘sociopolitical phenomenon, not a theological one’. And any long-term solution to the problem must also address the causes that have brought so much pain and hopelessness to many Muslim societies.

It would be simplistic to lump the Palestinian suicide bombing with Al-Qaedah terrorist activities. One can hardly deny the genuine suffering of the Palestinian people and legitimacy of their struggle against sustained Israeli brutalities. It would appear equally simplistic, however, to equate suicide bombing with martyrdom and jihad. This is because suicide bombing contravenes two fundamental principles of Islam: prohibition against suicide, and deliberate killing of non-combatants. The argument that proceeds over reciprocity and retaliation is also flawed by the involvement of innocent non-combatants in suicide bombing.

Those who have raised the issue of ‘collateral damage’ in this context have also exaggerated their case, simply because non-combatants are chosen as the direct target of suicide bombing. They are, as such, neither collateral nor incidental.

The Muslim fighter who is motivated by the spirit of jihad enters the battle, not with the intention of dying, but with the conviction that if he should die, it would be for reasons beyond his control. Martyrdom in Islam does not begin with suicidal intention, let alone the linkage of that intention with the killing of non-combatants.

To justify suicide bombing under the banner of retaliation, or as a form of jihad, is therefore questionable, simply because it begins on an erroneous note, which goes against the essence both of just retaliation and justified jihad.

Compiled From:
“Shariah Law – An Introduction” – Mohammad Hashim Kamali, pp. 283-288

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The Best Days of this World

The Virtues of the first 10 days of Dhul Hijja:

1. Ahadith of the Prophet (s):

قال النبي –صلى الله عليه وسلم-( مامن أيام العمل الصالح فيها أحب إلى الله من هذه الأيام قالوا يا رسول الله : ولا الجهاد في سبيل الله قال ولا الجهاد في سبيل الله إلا رجل خرج بنفسه وماله فلم يرجع من ذلك بشئ) رواه البخاري

The Prophet (s) said: “There are no days in which good deeds are more beloved to Allah than during these days. The Sahaba said: Oh Rasul Allah, not even jihad in the path of Allah? He (s) said: Not even jihad in the path of Allah except for the man who goes out in the path of Allah with his life and his wealth and returns with neither of them.”

وقال ( أفضل أيام الدنيا أيام العشر) رواه البزار وصححه الالبانى.

And he (s) said: “The best days of this world are these ten.”

2. Allah swears by these 10 days in the Qur’an:

قول الله تعالى: ((وَالْفَجْرِ، وَلَيَالٍ عَشْرٍ)) سورة الفجر (1-2)، قال ابن كثير رحمه الله: المراد بها عشر ذي الحجة

Allah says: “By the dawn, and by the 10 nights” [Qur’an, 89:1-2]. Ibn ‘Abbas, Ibn al-Zubayr, Mujahid and others of the earlier and later generations said that this refers to the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah. Ibn Katheer said: “This is the correct opinion.”

قال تعالى: ((وَيَذْكُرُوا اسْمَ اللَّهِ فِي أَيَّامٍ مَّعْلُومَاتٍ)) سورة الحج(28)، قال ابن عباس: أيام العشر

Allah says: “…and mention the name of Allah on appointed days…” [Qur’an, 22:28] Ibn ‘Abbas said these are the ten days.

3. These ten days are better than Ramadan:


قال المحققون من أهل العلم: أيام عشر ذي الحجة أفضل الأيام، وليالي العشر الأواخر من رمضان أفضل الليالي.

Most scholars adopt the opinion that these days are better than the last ten days of Ramadan. However, what holds the last ten days of Ramadan at a higher status is the Night of Power (Laylat ul-Qadr) which is equivalent to one thousand months (83.33 years).

تضاعف فيها الحسنات قال ابن عباس”: العمل فيهن بسبعمائة ضعف”

The rewards are multiplied in these days. Ibn ‘Abbas said: “(The reward for good) deeds are multiplied seven hundred times in these days.”

قال الاوزاعى: “بلغني أن العمل في أيام العشر كقدر غزوة في سبيل الله يصام نهارها ويحرس ليلها إلا أن يختص امرء بشهادة”

Al Awzaa’i said: I was informed that good deeds during the ten days are the equivalent (in reward) to a battle in the path of Allah, in which the day is spent in fasting and the night in safeguarding, except if one is bestowed with martyrdom.”

In Ramadan doing good deeds and struggling in worship, especially during the last ten nights, is easier than during these days for a few reasons. Firstly, the atmosphere of the month of Ramadan, whether culturally, spiritually, or traditionally, makes it easier to focus and strive. Secondly, the shayateen are chained. So, to get that drive and direction we had in Ramadan, is much harder when we have most likely fallen out of “Ramadan mode.” However, since the `ibada is more difficult, the reward is greater. So let’s keep this in mind and get ready to really work hard.

The Plan of Action for these 10 days:

1. Really feel this blessing and realize that it is an opportunity of a lifetime, because none of us know if we will witness these 10 days again.

كان خالد بن معدان يقول( إذا فتح لأحدكم باب للخير فليسرع فاءنه لا يدرى متى يغلق عنه

Khalid bin Mi’dan used to say: “If the door for good is opened for one of you, then rush (to take advantage) because you don’t know when it will close.”

2. Have high aspirations in your worship and use the examples of the ijtihad of the saliheen as motivation.

3. Take advantage of the opportunities to get the reward of hajj while being elsewhere.

قال-صلى الله عليه وسلم-( من صلى الفجر في جماعة ثم قعد يذكر الله حتى تطلع الشمس ثم صلى ركعتين كانت له كأجر حجة وعمرة تامة تامة تامة

The Prophet (s) said: “Whoever prays fajr in congregation and then sits in remembrance of Allah until the sun rises, then prays two rak’aat, he has the full reward of hajj and `umrah.”

4. Perfecting the fara`idh (obligatory actions):

Often times we become busy trying to do extra deeds, but neglect the fact that perhaps maybe what is obligatory upon us is not at the level it should be. There is no way for a person to become close to Allah other than through the obligatory actions, as is apparent in the famous hadith qudsi in which Allah says: “My servant does not become closer to me by anything more beloved to me than what I have obligated upon him.”

Reasonable Goals:

1. Khatm of Qur’an: equivalent to more than half a million hasanaat during these days. Let’s try to complete the recitation of the Qur’an during these days, ending by ‘Asr time on the day of ‘Arafah and spending from ‘Asr to Magrhib in du’aa.

2. Qiyam al-Layl:

Rasulallah (s) said: “Whoever stands in prayer, reciting 1,000 verses is written among the muqantareen.” A qintar is equal to 70,000 dinar. The recitation of the last two ajzaa` of the Qur’an is equivalent to 1,000 verses.

3. Extra Salah during the day: The Prophet (s) said: “There is not a Muslim who prays twelve raka’at per day, other than the obligatory prayers, except that a palace is built for him in paradise.”

4. Dhikr: The best form of worship to do in these ten days as apparent in the hadith:

Ibn `Umar said that the Messenger of Allah (s) said, “There is no day more honorable in Allah ’s sight and no acts more beloved therein to Allah than those in these ten days. So say tahlil (There is no deity worthy of worship but Allah: La ilaha illAllah), takbir (Allah is the greatest: Allahu akbar) and tahmid (All praise is due to Allah: alhumdulillah) a lot.” [Ahmad, 7/224]

The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “The best du`a’ is du`a’ on the day of `Arafah, and the best thing that I or the Prophets before me have said is ‘There is no god but Allah, alone, without any partner’ (La ilaha illa’llah, wahdahu la sharika lah)” [Muwatta, Malik].

7. Reviving the Sunnah of Takbir:

Ibn `Umar and Abu Hurairah (ra) used to go out in the marketplace during the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, reciting takbeer, and the people would recite takbeer when they heard them.

8. Fasting:

The reward of fasting is great, so imagine how much that reward would be multiplied in these days. If one can’t fast all of the 9 days, then at least on the day of `Arafah as it is the greatest day.

Abu Qatadah reported that the Messenger of Allah (s) said, “Fasting on the day of ‘Arafah is an expiation for two years, the year preceding it and the year following it. Fasting the day of `Ashura is an expiation for the year preceding it.” [This is related by “the group,” except for al-Bukhari and at-Tirmidhi]

The Prophet (s) said “There is no day that Allah will free people more than the day of `Arafah.”

`Ali (ra) used to advise people to say “Oh Allah free my neck from the fire” on the day of `Arafah.

9. Du`a’:

Especially on the day of `Arafah, but also at anytime. Keep in mind the times where du’aa is more likely to be accepted and ask during those times.

* The last third of the night
* Between the adhaan and iqaamah
* During the rain
* In sujood
* Friday
* While fasting

10. Sadaqa (charity):

Give sadaqa during these days, since the reward is multiplied tremendously.

11. Tawba (asking for forgiveness):

Continually renew repentance.

12. Establish ikhlas in `ibada.

13. Check and renew intentions at all times

The Day of `Eid

On the greatest day, remained focused as it is still part of the first 10 days which are the best days of the year! Try not to get too caught up in celebrating that you stop doing the worship that you were doing the first 9 days.

The day of ‘Eid: a day for visiting family and performing the sacrifice for one who is able.

By Zahra

 

 

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The Prophet Sallallaahu alaihi wasallam has said, “Whoever is the first to give another person the news about the month of Rabi-ul-Awwal, the fire of hell is Haraam for them”. Is this Hadeeth authentic? If it is not, could you explain the warning for those who circulate fabricated Ahadeeth?

We have not come across a Hadeeth in which it is mentioned that the fire of Hell is Haraam upon the first person who gives the news about Rabi’ul Awwal.

If this Hadeeth is fabricated and was not mentioned by Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam, the person who fabricated the Hadith as well as all those who convey the Hadeeth are deserving of the severe warning of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam. Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam said, “To fabricate my words is not like fabricating any other person’s words. The person who fabricates my words should prepare an abode for himself in the fire of hell.” (Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith #: 1291).

Unfortunately, due to wide spread ignorance, e-mails containing false information and fabricated Ahadeeth are widely circulated. The creators of such e-mails as well as those who forward them to others should take heed of the severe warning of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam. It is therefore imperative that one exercises caution when one receives e-mails of such a nature wherein there is no authentic reference mentioned. Such e-mails or pieces of information should be referred to reliable and learned scholars for verification.

And Allah Ta’ala Knows Best.

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In The name of Allah,The Most Merciful,The Most gracious

AISHA bint Abu Bakr

Gradually the Muslims who remained in Mecca left the city and traveled to Medina to join their beloved Prophet, and amongst them was a little girl called ‘A’isha, the daughter of Abu Bakr.

Soon after arriving in Medina, ‘A’isha, who was now nine years old, as married to the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), who was now fifty-four years old. It was at this point that she left her family’s household and joined that the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

‘A’isha later reported that the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had told her that Jibril came to him and showed him a picture of her on a piece of green silk and said, “She is your wife in this world and in the next world.”

About her wedding,

she related that shortly before she was to leave her parents’ house, she slipped out into the courtyard to play with a friend. “I was playing on a seesaw and my long streaming hair became disheveled,” she said. “They came and took me from my play and made me ready.” They dressed her in a wedding dress made from fine red striped cloth from Bahrain and then her mother took her to the newly built house where some women of the Ansar were waiting outside the door.

They greeted her with the words, “For good and for happiness, may all be well.” Then, in the presence of the smiling Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) a bowl of milk was brought. The Prophet drank from it himself and then offered it to ‘A’isha.

She shyly declined it, but when he insisted she drink as well and then offered the bowl to her sister Asma’ who was sitting beside her. The others who were present also drank from it, and that was all there was to the simple and solemn occasion of their wedding.

Her marriage to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did not change ‘A’isha’s playful ways, and her young friends continued to regularly come to visit her in her own room.

I would be playing with my dolls,” she once said, ‘with the girls who were my friends, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) would come in and they would slip out of the house and he would go out after them and bring them back, for he was pleased for my sake to have them there.

Sometimes he would say, “Stay, where you are,” before they had time to leave, and would also join in their games.

“One day,” ‘A’isha said, “the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) came in when I was playing with my dolls and said, “‘A’isha, whatever game is this?’ ‘It is Solomon’s horses,’ I replied, and he laughed.”

On another occasion, during the days of the Id al Adha, two young girls were with ‘A’isha in her room, singing a song about the famous battle of Bu’ath and beating a tambourine in time.

“The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) came in,” said ‘A’isha, ‘and lay down with his face turned away.

Then Abu Bakr came, and scolded me, saying, ‘What is this musical instrument of Shaytan doing in the house of the Messenger of Allah?’ The Messenger of Allah turned towards him and said, ‘Leave them alone, for these are the days of the ‘Id.’”

After a while, ‘A’isha asked the girls to leave, and the Prophet asked ‘A’isha whether she would like to watch the Abyssinians who were giving a fighting display with their weapons in the mosque and she said yes. “By Allah,”

said ‘A’isha, “I remember the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) standing at the door of my room, screening me with his cloak, so that I could see the sport of the Abyssinians as they played with their spears in the mosque of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). He kept standing for my sake until I had enough and then I went back in, so you can well imagine how a young girl enjoyed watching this display.”

Some might have viewed the marriage of Muhammad and ‘A’isha as an exceptional marriage, but then the two partners were exceptional people.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was the last of the Prophets and the best of creation; and ‘A’isha was a very intelligent and observant young girl with a very good memory.

‘A’isha (may Allah be pleased with her) spent the next nine years of her life with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and she grew into womanhood, she remembered all that she saw and heard with great clarity, for to be the wife of the Prophet was even more than extraordinary. So much happened around him – the Quran continued to be revealed, ayat by ayat, and people’s hearts were constantly being turned over and transformed, including hers and she was a witness of so much of all that took place.

It is not surprising, therefore, that a great deal of the knowledge that we still have today, about how our beloved Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) lived and behaved, was first remembered and then taught to others by ‘A’isha.

It is thanks to this exceptional marriage, between a man nearing the end of his life and a woman still near the beginning of hers, that we know so much about the both of them, and this is what makes it so much easier for those who wish to follow in their footsteps to try and follow their example.

Whereas Khadijah was already a wise and mature woman when she married the Prophet Muhammad, ‘A’isha was a spirited young girl who still had a great deal to learn when she married the Prophet, (may Allah be pleased with her, and peace be upon him) she was very quick to learn, however, for she had a clear heart, and a quick mind and an accurate memory.

She was not afraid to talk back in order to find out the truth or make it known, and whenever she beat someone else in argument, the Prophet would smile and say,

“She is the daughter of Abu Bakr!”

Musa ibn Talha once said, “I have not seen anyone more eloquent than ‘A’isha.” ‘A’isha (may Allah be pleased with her) became so wise that one of her contemporaries used to say that if the knowledge of ‘A’isha were placed on one side of the scales that of all other women on the other, ‘A’isha ’s side would outweigh the other.

She used to sit with the other women and pass on the knowledge that she had received from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and long after he had died, and as long as she lived, she was a source of knowledge and wisdom for both women and men. Abu Musa once said, “Whenever a report appeared doubtful to us, the Companions of the Prophet, and we asked ‘A’isha about it, we always learned something from her about it.

On one occasion, the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to her, “O ‘A’isha, here is Jibril giving you greetings of peace.” “And on him be peace.” She said, ‘and the mercy of Allah.” When she was telling Abu Salama about this, she added, “He (meaning the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) ) sees what I do not see.”

As well as being extremely intelligent, ‘A’isha became a very graceful young woman. When she first came to live in the Prophet’s household as a young girl, a strong and lasting friendship grew up between her and Sawda, and Sawda took care of her along with the rest of the household.

When ‘A’isha grew up, Sawda, who was by then an old woman, gave up her share of the Prophet’s time in favor of ‘A’isha and was content to manage his household and be Umm al Mumineen – ‘The Mother of the Believers’ – a title of respect that was given to all of the wives of the Prophet, (may Allah be pleased with them), which confirmed what the Quran clearly states that no man could marry any of them after they had been married to the Prophet for:

The Prophet is closer to the believers than their ownselves, and his wives are as their mothers. (Qur’an: 33:6)

O you wives of the Prophet, if any of you is openly indecent, the punishment for her will be doubled – and that is easy for Allah. And whoever of you submits to Allah and His Messenger has right action, We shall give her a reward twice over and We have prepared a generous provision for her. O you wives of the Prophet, you are not like any other women. If you are fearful of Allah then do not be soft in yspeech, lest someone whose heart is sick is attracted to you, but speak words that are wise. And stay quietly in your houses, do not make a dazzling display like that of the time of ignorance before and establish prayer and pay the Zakat and obey Allah and His Messenger. Surely Allah wishes to remove impurity far from you, O People of the House, and to purify you completely. And remember that ayahs of Allah that are recited in your houses and the wisdom. Surely Allah is Alpervading, All Aware. (Quran 33:30-34)

It is sometimes difficult to picture what life must have been like for the wives and the Companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) because the light that emanated from him and through them was so unique.

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had no shadow because he was light and this light illuminated the hearts and minds and understanding of his followers, giving them insight without blinding them.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was truly a mercy to all the worlds, and no one with a clean heart could possibly forget this, least of all the Prophet himself.

O Prophet, surely We have sent you as a witness and as a bringer of good news and a warner; and one who calls the people to Allah by His permission, and as a shining light. (Quran 33:45-46)

It is said that people were awed by the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) when they were in his presence, and that they sat and listened to his words with their eyes lowered, as if they had birds perched on their heads, and that they would do anything for him, so great was their love for him. It was because of the perfection of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) that everyone was commanded to ask blessings on him:

Allah and His angels pray blessings on the Prophet; O you who believe! Pray blessings of him and ask for peace for him. (Quran 33:56)

It was because of the Prophet Muhammad’s unique station with Allah that his wives and his Companions were expected by Allah to behave with such respect and courtesy towards the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him); and that his wives could not possibly marry anyone else after having been married to him:

When you ask his wives for something, ask them from behind a screen. That is purer for your hearts and for their hearts. It is not for you to cause injury to the Messenger of Allah, or ever marry his wives after him. To do that would be something dreadful in the sight of Allah. (Quran 33:53)

During the nine years that ‘A’isha was married to the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) she witnessed many of the great events that shaped the destiny of the first Muslim community of Madina al Munawarra: It was during the course of their marriage that she direction of the qibla was changed from Jerusalem to Mecca, thereby more clearly distinguishing the Muslims from the Jews and the Christians, and it was during the course of their marriage that she must have listened to many of the Jews and the Christians an the idol worshippers who came not to listen to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) but to argue with him, in the hope that they could find a plausible excuse to justify their rejection of him. It was through exchange such as these that ‘A’isha learned to distinguish what was true from what was false. As the prophetic guidance continued to be revealed through the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), ‘A’isha’s way of life – along with that of all the Muslims – was gradually reshaped and refined: It was during the course of their marriage that drinking alcohol was finally forbidden, that it was made clear what food was halal and what food was haram, that it became necessary for women to wear the hijab in public and when praying, that the guidance as to how to fast was revealed, that paying the Zakat became obligatory on all Muslims, and that all rites of the hajj were purified and clarified.

In fact every aspect of life, from birth to death and everything that happens in between, was illuminated by the way in which the Prophet behaved – and it was this way of behavior, the Sunna, that ‘A’isha helped to preserve and protect, not only by embodying it herself, but also by teaching it to others. ‘A’isha was once asked to describe the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and she replied that he was ‘the Quran walking’, meaning that his behavior was the Quran translated into action. She did all that she could to do likewise. Thus she not only knew and embodied the Sunna, but also she memorized the Quran by heart and understood it. It was during the course of their marriage that, amongst others, the battles of Badr, and Uhud, and Al-Khandaq (the Ditch) were fought. These were the three major battles against the Quraish, that shifted the balance of power out of the hands of the kafirun and into the hands of the Muslims. Although she was still very young, ‘A’isha participated in them all, bringing water for the Muslims warriors, and helping to look after the wounded. She witnessed life, and she witnessed death – both in the way of Allah and in the way of the kafirun – and she understood both. Indeed one of the meanings of her name, ‘A’isha’, is ‘life’.

It was during the course of their marriage that the Jews plotted and tried to kill the Prophet on more than one occasion, without success, and were punished for this. First the Banu Qayunqa and then the Banu Nadir were expelled from Medina; and then Banu Qurayza – who had broken their agreement with the Muslims during the battle of al-Khandaq and conspired to exterminate all of them – were subjected to the punishment that was decided by the man whom they themselves had chosen to judge their actions, Sa’id ibn Mu’adh. In accordance with the commands contained in their own book, the Torah, all the men were killed – with the exception of four who accepted Islam and all the women and children were taken as slaves. It was after this event that another tribe, the Banu al Mustaliq began to prepare to fight the Muslims, and accordingly the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) led an army against them. Often when the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) went to war, he took one of his wives with him. He did not choose anyone in particular, but simply drew lots and took the wife whose name came out. When he went to fight the Banu al-Mustaliq, the lot fell to ‘A’isha, and she it was who traveled with him.

‘A’isha who was now thirteen years old, was small, slim, and graceful, so that it was difficult for the men who carried her litter to know for certain whether or not she was actually inside it when they lifted it up. On the way back to Medina, after the Banu al Mustaliq had been subdued, the Muslim army stopped for a rest, but then the Prophet unexpectedly ordered the army to continue the march back. Unknown to everyone else, ‘A’isha had stepped out of her litter for a few minutes and had left the camp, seeking some privacy. On her way back she had noticed that her onyx necklace was missing and so she retraced her steps to try and find it. When she had at last found it finally returned to the camp, it was to find that everyone had gone. The men who had been carrying her litter had thought she was still in it, and had picked it up, strapped it to the camel and marched on. ‘A’isha, who trusted completely in Allah, sat down, and waited, hoping that someone would notice her absence and come back for her. Fortunately she did not have long to wait, for a young Muslim man named Safwan ibn al-Mu’attal, who had fallen behind the army after taking a rest, reached the camp during the night and found her lying fast asleep. Safwan immediately recognizing her, because he had seen her in the early days before Allah had commanded Muslim women to wear the hijab.

Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un!” – “Surely we come from Allah and surely to Him we return!” he exclaimed in surprise, waking ‘A’isha up with the loudness of his voice. He did not say anything else, and a’A’isha put the scarf that had fallen off her head while she was asleep back on, Safwan made his camel kneel down close to her so that she could climb up on to it; and then, leading the camel with his hand, he set off on foot after the army, hoping that they would soon catch up with it which they eventually did later the next morning, since the army had halted for a rest during the hottest part of the day.

Unfortunately, some hypocrites who had seen Safwan and ‘A’isha arrive alone together began to gossip and spread slanderous lies about them. Eventually the story reached the Prophet himself (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and by then the whole community was talking about what might or might now have happened before the two young Muslims. Naturally the muminun were certain that noting bad had happened, but the munafiqun thought otherwise and were not afraid to insinuate that was the case.

As a result of all this gossip, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and his household came under a great strain, and in fact ‘A’isha herself fell ill, not because she was aware of what the hypocrites were saying about her, but because the Prophet did not seem to care for her as much as he had done before the campaign against the Banu al Mustaliq. Finally, someone told her what some people were saying. This made ‘A’isha even more ill, so with the Prophet’s permission, she went to stay at the house of her parents. When she arrived, she said to her mother, Umm Ruman, “Mother! What are the people saying?” She replied “O my daughter! Do not make too much of the business. By Allah, seldom has there been a woman of beauty with a husband who loves her and who has co wives but that people say a lot against her.” A’isha said, “Glory be to Allah! The people have really been saying this?” ‘A’isha said, “I have spent the entire night until morning unable to stop weeping and could not sleep at all. Morning found me still weeping.” In the meantime, when Safwan was confronted with the allegations that had been made, he replied, “Glory be to Allah! By Allah, I have never removed the veil of any woman!” Since there had been no revelation to clarify the matter, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) asked Barira, who was ‘A’isha ’s maid servant, if she had seen anything in ‘A’isha’ s behavior that was at all doubtful. “By Him who sent you with the truth,” she replied, “I have not seen nothing wrong with her, other than that she is a young girl and sometimes she falls asleep while she is kneading the dough and a lamb comes along and eats it!” Some of the companions who were present scolded Barira and told her to come to the point. “Glory be to Allah!” she replied. “I know as much about her as a jeweler knows about a piece of pure gold!”

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) also asked Zaynab bint Jahsh for her opinion, since he valued it highly. Although she and A’isha were frequently at odds with one another and Zaynab’s sister Hamna, was the one of those who were actively gossiping and spreading the rumor, she replied without hesitation, “O Messenger of Allah,” she said, “I will not repeat anything that I have not heard with my own ears and seen with my own eyes. By Allah, I find nothing in her but goodness.”

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) then tried to vindicate A’isha’s honor by calling everyone to the mosque and publicly defending her reputation, but the hypocrites who had started the trouble in the first place only made matter worse, so that arguments broke out all over the mosque, and people had almost come to blows over the matter before the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) calmed them down and silenced them.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) then came to Abu Bakr’s house, where A’isha had been crying her heart out, and in the presence of her parents said the shahada, and then continued,

“If you are innocent, then Allah Himself will protect your honor, and if by accident there has been a lapse on your part, then seek the forgiveness of Allah and He will pardon you, for when a slave admits a fault and turns to Him in repentance, then Allah also turns and accepts that repentance.”

A’isha said, “When the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) finished what he was saying, my tears stopped so that I was not aware of a single tear. I said to my father, ‘Answer the Messenger of Allah for me regarding what he has said.’ He said, ‘By Allah, I do not know what to say to the Messenger of Allah,’ I said to my mother, ‘Answer the Messenger of Allah for me regarding what he has said.’ She said, ‘By Allah, I do not know what to say to the Messenger of Allah.’

A’isha said, “I am a young girl who does not yet recite much of the Qur’an. By Allah, I know that you have heard this story that people are saying and it has become fixed in yourself and you have believed it. If I were to say to you that I am innocent, you would not believe me. If I were to confess to something to you and Allah knows that I am innocent you would believe me. By Allah, I can only say what the father of Yusuf said, Patience is beautiful, and Allah is my protection against what you describe. (Quran 12:18)

Then I turned over on my bed, Allah knowing that I was innocent and hoping that Allah would proclaim me innocent. However, by Allah, I did not think that any relation would be sent down regarding me. I thought too little of myself that something would be said in the Qur’an regarding me, however I hoped that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) would have a dream in which Allah would exonerate me. She had hardly finished speaking when the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) received a direct revelation of some more ayahs of the Qur’an, and when it was over, he smiled and said, “Do not worry, ‘A’isha, for Allah has revealed proof of your innocence.”

A’isha’s mother, who had been standing next to her, said, “Get up and thank him.”

“By Allah,” exclaimed A’isha, whose title, ‘Siddiqa’, means ‘the truthful one’, “I will not thank him and praise him but rather Allah Who has given the revelation that has protected my honor!” Then the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) went to the mosque and recited what had just been sent down:

Surely those who fabricate the lie are a group from among you. Do not think it is bad thing for you; no it is good for you. Every man will receive what he has earned for this sin, and whoever had the greater part in it will have a great punishment. Why did the men and women believers, when they heard it, not think good in their selves and say: ‘This is clearly a lie?’ Why did they not produce four witnesses? Since they did not produce witnesses, they are certainly liars in the sight of Allah. If it were not for the grace of Allah, and His mercy on you in this world and in the next world, an awful doom would have overtaken you for what you repeated. Since you received it with your tongues, and repeated what you did not know anything about with your mouths, you thought it was a trifle, but in the sight of Allah it is serious. Why, when you heard it, did you not say: ‘It is not for us to repeat this, Glory be to You (O Allah), this is a serious rumor.’ Allah warns you to never repeat anything like this again, if you are indeed believers and Allah makes the signs clear to you; and Allah is Knowing, Wise. Surely those who love to spread around slander about those who believe will have a painful punishment in this world and in the next world; and Allah knows and you do not know. (Quran 24:11-19).

A’isha forgave those who had let themselves be caught in the slander and in later years would not hear anything bad said about them. The fact that A’isha’ s honor and reputation had been protected by a revelation from Allah could not be ignored by anyone, and from then on everyone was more aware of her high station with Allah. It was also during the course of A’isha’s marriage with the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) that the Muslim commexpanded so rapidly that Mecca was eventually conquered by the Muslim army, and preparations were made for the first of the many battles that were successfully fought against the Greeks and the Persians after the letters from Muhammad inviting Heraclius and Choroes to embrace Islam and worship Allah alone had been contemptuously ignored.

This extraordinary expansion – even the idea of which would, at the time of Khadijah’ s death (may Allah be pleased with her) have seemed like a wild dream was heralded, in 6 AH, by the treaty of Hudaybiyya, by virtue of which peace was declared between the Quraish and the Muslims for ten years, and the right of the Muslims to enter Mecca and do ‘umra unharmed was recognized by the Quraish.

Although the Muslims had to wait for a year before they could do umra, that year was not long in passing, and in the interval the Jews of Khaybar, who like the other Jews around Madina had attempted to destroy the Muslim community by breaking their peace agreement with the Muslims and supporting the idol worshippers were fought and defeated. After the Jews of Khaybar had been defeated, a Jewess managed to serve the Prophet some poisoned meat, which itself informed him that it had been poisoned, so that he only had a small taste of it. Even though one of his companions who had already eaten some of the meat subsequently died, the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) forgave the Jewess and let her go free.

The Jews of Khaybar were permitted to stay on their land provided that they paid a yearly tribute to the Muslims. As a result, some of the Muslims began to grow more wealthy than they had been in the past. Indeed on one occasion, the Prophet’s wives, led by ‘A’isha and Hafsa, asked him for some money that he did not have for there was never one night that he lay down to sleep with any money in his possession. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was distressed by this not because he did not have the money to give to them, but rather because it was this that apparently they desired.

At this time, both Abu Bakr and Umar visited him and they found the Messenger of Allah seated, surrounded by his wives who were all silent. Abu Bakr said to himself, “By Allah, I will say something to cheer up the Messenger of Allah!’ So he said, “Messenger of Allah, if I were to see the daughter of Kharija asking me for money, I would strike her on the neck!” The Messenger of Allah smiled and said, ‘These ones you see around me have asked me for money.” SO Abu Bakr went to grab A’isha and Umar went to grab Hafsa, both exclaiming, “DO you ask the Messenger of Allah for something he does not have!” The women said, “By Allah, we would never ask the Messenger of Allah for something he does not have!”

This was not the only marital problem which he experienced at this time. There was a great deal of rivalry between some of the wives and also Hafsa had told A’isha something which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had told her not to disclose because it was something which would increase the friction between the wives. Some sources say that he had told her that Abu Bakr and Umar would rule after him. In any case, he stayed away from them for a whole month, during which many of his Companions began to think either that he was going to divorce them or that he had already done so.

IT is related by Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) that he went to visit the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) who was staying alone in a small upper room, in order to find out what was happening. First of all he visited his daughter Hafsa, who was weeping, and asked her if the Prophet had divorced his wives. “I don’t know,” she sobbed. Then he went and asked to see the Prophet. After he had been given permission to enter, Umar climbed up the ladder and into the small room: “I visited Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and he was lying on a mat. I saw down and he drew up his lower garment over him. He had nothing else on, and the mat had left its marks on his sides. I looked around at what stores Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had, and saw only a handful of barley equal to one sa’ and an equal amount of mimosa leaves in the corner of the room and tanned leather bag handing nearby, and I as moved to tears. HE said, ‘Ibn al Khattab, what is making you cry?’ I replied, ‘O Messenger of Allah, how can I not cry? This mat has left marks on your sides and I can only see what I have seen of your stores. Caesar and Chosroes are leading their lives of plenty, while you are the Messenger of Allah, His Chosen One, and look what you have!’ ‘Ibn al Khattab,’ he answered, ‘isn’t it enough for you that for us there is the next world, and for them there is this world?’ ‘Yes,’ I said. Then I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, what has happened with your wives? If you have divorced them, then truly Allah is with you, and His angels, Jibril and Mika’il, and Abu Bakr and I and the believers are with you.’ And seldom have I talked like that and hoped that Allah would testify to the words that I uttered. And so it happened that the ayahs of choice were revealed:

If you both turn to Allah in repentance, then that is what your hearts desire; and if you help each other against him then surely Allah Himself is his protector, and Jibril, and the righteous from among the believers, and as well as that, the angels will help him. It maybe, if he divorces you, that his Lord will give him wives who are better than you, who submit, who believe, who are devout, who are repentant, who worship, who fast, whether they have been previously married or are virgins. (Quran 66:4-5)

In fact the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) never divorced any of his wives, and as we grow more aware about how they lived, may Allah be pleased with all of them, it is clear that they possessed all of the qualities of the women described in the last ayat. Perhaps this ayat served as a reminder to them, a reminder that they would remember for the rest of their days which for most of them lasted long after the Prophet’s (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) death.

Returning to Sayyiduna Umar’s account of his visit to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) during the month of separation from his wives, Umar then asked, “O Messenger of Allah, have you divorced them?” and he replied, “No.” So after talking for a while longer and how in Mecca the men tended to dominate the women, whereas in Medina the women tended to dominate the men, which is what the womenfolk from Mecca had learned to do after they had made hijrah to Medina – Umar climbed down and stood at the door of the mosque and called out at the top of his voice: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) has not divorced his wives!” After the month was up, the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) first went to A’isha’s room. She was delighted to see him, but grew more serious when he said that some ayahs had been revealed to him which required him to put two options before her. “Do not make a hasty decision,” he said, “and consult your parents first.” He then recited these verses:

O Prophet, say to your wives:If you desire the life of this world and its adornments, then come, and I will make you content, and I will release you with a fair release. But if you desire Allah and His Messenger and the abode of the next world, then truly Allah has prepared an immense reward for those of you who do good.’ (Quran 33:28-29)

“Is there any need to consult my parents?” replied A’isha. “Indeed I desire Allah and His Messenger and the abode of the next world.” And her response was followed by all of his other wives. A’isha remained true to her word both during the lifetime of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and afterwards. Once, when the Muslims were favored with great wealth, she as given a gift of one hundred thousand Dhirhams. She was fasting when she received the money, and distall of it to the poor and needy, even though she had no provisions in her house. Shortly after that, her maid servant said to her, “Couldn’t you have brought a dirham’s worth of meat with which to break your fast?” “If I had thought of it,” she replied, “I would have done so!”

After a year had passed following the treaty of Hudaybiyya, the Muslims traveled to Mecca and they were able to complete all the rites of the umra, doing everything as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did it. In accordance with the terms of the treaty, the Muslims left after three days, when their umra had been completed. Not long after this, the Prophet sent an army of three thousand Muslims northwards to the borders of the Byzantine territories in what is now Palestine to chastise the tribes there for killing the messengers whom he had sent to call them to Islam. The tribes called on the Emperor Herclius for support, and when the Muslim army arrived at Muta, they found themselves facing an army of two thousand men. Many of the Muslims died as shahids on the day of the battle, but thanks to the tactics of Khalid bin Walid, the Greeks withdrew the next day, and so the Muslims were able to return to Medina relatively unscathed. When the news of the battle of Muta finally reached Mecca, the Quraish mistakenly believed that the Muslims had been thoroughly defeated by the Greeks and decided to renew their opposition to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). In doing so, they deliberately broke their treaty that they had made at Hudaybiiya, by allowing their allies to attack and kill some of the allies of the Muslims who lived near Mecca.

Accordingly the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) marched on Mecca at the head of an army of ten thousand Muslims. Despite everyone’s fears, he conquered it with hardly a drop of blood being spilled. As always, the mercy and forgiveness that he displayed towards those who had relentlessly opposed him for so many years changed people’s hearts, and many of the people of Mecca now embraced Islam as a result. Having pardoned all of the Quraish, with the exception of four men who had all committed murder for personal reasons, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) smashed all the idols and destroyed all the paintings that had been placed inside the Ka’ba by the idol-worshippers. The sanctity of the sanctuary of Mecca had been restored, and at long last the Muslims were free to come and go in Mecca as they pleased.

In the midst of the peace and rejoicing, however, news came that the tribes of Hawazin and Thaqif were preparing to attack the Muslims. The Muslim army that had conquered Mecca, swelled to twelve thousand by some of the men from the Quraish who had just embraced Islam, marched to a place called Hunayn. For the first time in their experience, the Muslims actually outnumbered the enemy, of whom there were only about four thousand. This nearly proved to be the Muslims’ undoing, for many of them felt secure because of their large numbers rather than because of the reliance on Allah. When the enemy suddenly attacked at dawn, showering down arrows from the hills, the Muslims were taken by surprise and many began to flee. A small group stood firm with the Prophet, one of whom was Umm Sulaym bint Milhan, the wife of Abu Talha. Although she was pregnant at the time, she had armed herself with a dagger to use against the kafirun.

Fortunately the strong Muslims rallied round the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and although there were only six hundred of them, their concerted effort, fighting valiantly in the way of Allah, turned the tide of the battle until those who had turned away in the initial panic and confusion had returned and the battle was won. After the battle of Hunayn, the only continued resistance to the Muslims was from the north and north-east, from the Byzantine and Persian Empires. Having heard that the Greeks were preparing a huge army of thirty thousand men and marched out in the heat of the late summer to do battle with them. After a long, hard, hot march, the Muslim army reached Tabuk, and here they learned that the Greeks had retreated back to their own territory. Accordingly, having made peace treaties with all the border tribes, the Muslims returned to Medina, in time for many of them to go on the pilgrimage to Mecca. Those who had made weak excuses in order to avoid going on the expedition to Tabuk now felt great shame and regret.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) himself did not go on the pilgrimage this year, for people were coming to Medina from all over the Arab lands to embrace Islam and to pledge allegiance to him. It was this year that came to be known as ‘the Year of the Delegations’, during which, at one point, the Prophet became so exhausted from seeing people that he had to pray sitting down. So instead, Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) led the pilgrims. It was during this hajj that the ayat in the Quran that forbade the idol worshippers from ever entering the sanctuary of Mecca again were revealed; they were made public during the hajj by Ali ibn Abi Talib (may Allah be pleased with him) who was sent straight from Medina to Mecca as soon as they had been revealed, so that as many people as possible would hear them. The following year, when the time for the pilgrimage drew near, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) announced that he was going on the hajj, and as a result everyone wanted to do it with him. The Muslims who did not live in or near Medina either first traveled to Medina in order to accompany him on the journey to Mecca, or else traveled to Mecca from every part of Arabia and joined him there.

Amongst the people on what has become known as ‘the Farewell Pilgrimage’ of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was A’isha, for the Prophet asked all of his wives, may Allah be pleased with them, to accompany him, to ensure that they all fulfilled this particular obligation that every Muslim owes to his or her Lord. It was an extraordinary pilgrimage. There never had been, and there never has been, and there never will be, another hajj quite like it, for at its heart was the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and around him were his family and Companions, may the blessings and peace of Allah be on them, and during it the ayat of the Qur’an was revealed:

This day I have perfected your deen for you and have completed My blessing on you, and have chosen Islam for you as your deen. (Quran 5:3)

It was also during this hajj that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) gave his famous Farewell Khutba, whose words still ring in our ears and echo in our hearts all these centuries later. When he had finished speaking to the thousands upon thousands of Muslims who were gathered around him on the plain of Arafa, he raised his voice slightly and asked, “My Lord, have I delivered the message?” And thousands upon thousands of voices from all around him answered his question: “Yes, you have.” And many of those who were present passed on that message to those who ere not present, and so it has continued, right up until today. And one of those who was present was A’isha, of whom the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) once said, “Learn some of your deen from this red haired lady.” Meaning A’isha.

This is not surprising, for she is one of the four people who have transmitted more than two thousand hadiths, the others being Abu Hurairah, Abdullah ibn Umar, and Anas ibn Malik. Many of these are about some of the most intimate aspects of personal behavior and hygiene which only someone in A’isha’s position could have learned. It was during the course of his marriage with A’isha that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) married several other wives, usually to strengthen ties between important families and tribes, or to relieve the hardship of a woman who had been unexpectedly divorced or widowed, or in order to clearly demonstrate whom it wapermissible for a Muslim to marry, but above all because all of his marriage had been decreed by Allah, and because all of his wives were exceptional women.

SOURCE: WIVES OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD (SAW) BY: IBN KATHIR

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