Tuesday, October 23, 2018
09:17 PM (GMT +5)

Go Back   CSS Forums > CSS Compulsory Subjects > Islamiat

Reply Share Thread: Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook     Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter     Submit Thread to Google+ Google+    
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old Saturday, April 19, 2008
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Islamabad
Posts: 104
Thanks: 10
Thanked 64 Times in 28 Posts
safdarmehmood is on a distinguished road
Default Islamic Information

Aqabah
A place just outside of Mecca, in Mina where the first Muslims from Madinah pledged allegiance to the Prophet in the year 621 C.E. A similar meeting took place the next year when more Muslims from Yathrib pledged their allegiance to the Prophet.

Ayat-ul-Kursi
It is called the throne of the Quran.

Badr
The first full military confrontation between the Muslims and the enemies of Allah. The battle took place between the Muslims and the Quraysh of Mecca in the second year of Hijrah (624 CE). Even though the Muslims were outnumbered, the final result was to their favor.

Hadith Qudsi
The Hadith Qudsi are hadith's in which the Prophet says the Allah says so and so. The meaning of the these Hadith was revealed to the Prophet but he put them in his own words, unlike the Quran which is the word of Almighty Allah and the Prophet conveyed it exactly as it was revealed to him.

Hajj
Means effort.

Hanif
People who during the time of jahiliyyah rejected the idolatry in their society. These people were in search for the true religion of Prophet Abraham.

545: Birth of Abdullah, the Holy Prophet's father.
571: Birth of the Holy Prophet. Year of the Elephant. Invasion of Makkah by Abraha the Viceroy of Yemen, his retreat.
577: The Holy Prophet visits Madina with his mother. Death of his mother.
580: Death of Abdul Muttalib, the grandfather of the Holy Prophet.
583: The Holy Prophet's journey to Syria in the company of his uncle Abu Talib. His meeting with the monk Bahira at Bisra who foretells of his prophethood.
586: The Holy Prophet participates in the war of Fijar.
591: The Holy Prophet becomes an active member of "Hilful Fudul", a league for the relief of the distressed.
594: The Holy Prophet becomes the Manager of the business of Lady Khadija, and leads her trade caravan to Syria and back.
595: The Holy Prophet marries Hadrat Khadija. Seventh century
605: The Holy Prophet arbitrates in a dispute among the Quraish about the placing of the Black Stone in the Kaaba.
610: The first revelation in the cave at Mt. Hira. The Holy Prophet is commissioned as the Messenger of God.
613: Declaration at Mt. Sara inviting the general public to Islam.
614: Invitation to the Hashimites to accept Islam.
615: Persecution of the Muslims by the Quraish. A party of Muslims leaves for Abyssinia.
616: Second Hijrah to Abysinnia.
617: Social boycott of the Hashimites and the Holy Prophet by the Quraish. The Hashimites are shut up in a glen outside Makkah.
619: Lifting of the boycott. Deaths of Abu Talib and Hadrat Khadija. Year of sorrow.
620: Journey to Taif. Ascension to the heavens.
621: First pledge at Aqaba.
622: Second pledge at Aqaba. The Holy Prophet and the Muslims migrate to Yathrib.
623: Nakhla expedition.
624: Battle of Badr. Expulsion of the Bani Qainuqa Jews from Madina.
625: Battle of Uhud. Massacre of 70 Muslims at Bir Mauna. Expulsion of Banu Nadir Jews from Madina. Second expedition of Badr.
626: Expedition of Banu Mustaliq.
627: Battle of the Trench. Expulsion of Banu Quraiza Jews.
628: Truce of Hudaibiya. Expedition to Khyber. The Holy Prophet addresses letters to various heads of states.
629: The Holy Prophet performs the pilgrimage at Makkah. Expedition to Muta (Romans).
630: Conquest of Makkah. Battles of Hunsin, Auras, and Taif.
631: Expedition to Tabuk. Year of Deputations.
632: Farewell pilgrimage at Makkah.
632: Death of the Holy Prophet. Election of Hadrat Abu Bakr as the Caliph. Usamah leads expedition to Syria. Battles of Zu Qissa and Abraq. Battles of Buzakha, Zafar and Naqra. Campaigns against Bani Tamim and Musailima, the Liar.
633: Campaigns in Bahrain, Oman, Mahrah Yemen, and Hadramaut. Raids in Iraq. Battles of Kazima, Mazar, Walaja, Ulleis, Hirah, Anbar, Ein at tamr, Daumatul Jandal and Firaz.
634: Battles of Basra, Damascus and Ajnadin. Death of Hadrat Abu Bakr. Hadrat Umar Farooq becomes the Caliph. Battles of Namaraq and Saqatia.
635: Battle of Bridge. Battle of Buwaib. Conquest of Damascus. Battle of Fahl.
636: Battle of Yermuk. Battle of Qadsiyia. Conquest of Madain.
637: Conquest of Syria. Fall of Jerusalem. Battle of Jalula.
638: Conquest of Jazirah.
639: Conquest of Khuizistan. Advance into Egypt.
640: Capture of the post of Caesaria in Syria. Conquest of Shustar and Jande Sabur in Persia. Battle of Babylon in Egypt.
641: Battle of Nihawand. Conquest Of Alexandria in Egypt.
642: Battle of Rayy in Persia. Conquest of Egypt. Foundation of Fustat.
643: Conquest of Azarbaijan and Tabaristan (Russia).
644: Conquest of Fars, Kerman, Sistan, Mekran and Kharan.Martyrdom of Hadrat Umar. Hadrat Othman becomes the Caliph.
645: Campaigns in Fats.
646: Campaigns in Khurasan, Armeain and Asia Minor.
647: Campaigns in North Africa. Conquest of the island of Cypress.
648: Campaigns against the Byzantines.
651: Naval battle of the Masts against the Byzantines.
652: Discontentment and disaffection against the rule of Hadrat Othman.
656: Martyrdom of Hadrat Othman. Hadrat Ali becomes the Caliph. Battle of the Camel.
657: Hadrat Ali shifts the capital from Madina to Kufa. Battle of Siffin. Arbitration proceedings at Daumaut ul Jandal.
658: Battle of Nahrawan.
659: Conquest of Egypt by Mu'awiyah.
660: Hadrat Ali recaptures Hijaz and Yemen from Mu'awiyah. Mu'awiyah declares himself as the Caliph at Damascus.
661: Martyrdom of Hadrat Ali. Accession of Hadrat Hasan and his abdication. Mu'awiyah becomes the sole Caliph.
662: Khawarij revolts.
666: Raid of Sicily.
670: Advance in North Africa. Uqba b Nafe founds the town of Qairowan in Tunisia. Conquest of Kabul.
672: Capture of the island of Rhodes. Campaigns in Khurasan.
674: The Muslims cross the Oxus. Bukhara becomes a vassal state.
677: Occupation of Sarnarkand and Tirmiz. Siege of Constantinople.
680: Death of Muawiyah. Accession of Yazid. Tragedy of Kerbala and martyrdom of Hadrat Hussain.
682: In North Africa Uqba b Nafe marches to the Atlantic, is ambushed and killed at Biskra. The Muslims evacuate Qairowan and withdraw to Burqa.
683: Death of Yazid. Accession of Mu'awiyah II.
684: Abdullah b Zubair declares himself aS the Caliph at'Makkah. Marwan I becomes the Caliph' at Damascus. Battle of Marj Rahat.
685: Death of Marwan I. Abdul Malik becomes the Caliph at Damascus. Battle of Ain ul Wada.
686: Mukhtar declares himself as the Caliph at Kufa.
687: Battle of Kufa between the forces of Mukhtar and Abdullah b Zubair. Mukhtar killed.
691: Battle of Deir ul Jaliq. Kufa falls to Abdul Malik.
692: The fall of Makkah. Death of Abdullah b Zubair. Abdul Malik becomes the sole Caliph.
695: Khawarij revolts in Jazira and Ahwaz. Battle of the Karun. Campaigns against Kahina in North Africa. The' Muslims once again withdraw to Barqa. The Muslims advance in Transoxiana and occupy Kish.

Islam and Muslims
The name of this religion is Islam, the root of which is Silm and Salam which means peace. Salam may also mean greeting one another with peace. One of the beautiful names of God is that He is the Peace. It means more than that: submission to the One God, and to live in peace with the Creator, within one's self, with other people and with the environment. Thus, Islam is a total system of living. A Muslim is supposed to live in peace and harmony with all these segments; hence, a Muslim is any person anywhere in the world whose obedience, allegiance, and loyalty are to God, the Lord of the Universe.

Muslims and Arabs
The followers of Islam are called Muslims. Muslims are not to be confused with Arabs. Muslims may be Arabs, Turks, Persians, Indians, Pakistanis, Malaysians, Indonesians, Europeans, Africans, Americans, Chinese, or other nationalities.

An Arab could be a Muslim, a Christian, a Jew or an atheist. Any person who adopts the Arabic language is called an Arab. However, the language of the Qur'an (the Holy Book of Islam) is Arabic. Muslims all over the world try to learn Arabic so that they may be able to read the Qur'an and understand its meaning. They pray in the language of the Qur'an, namely Arabic. Supplications to God could be in any language. While there are one billion Muslims in the world there are about 200 million Arabs. Among them, approximately ten percent are not Muslims. Thus Arab Muslims constitute only about twenty percent of the Muslim population of the world.

Allah the One and the Only God
Allah is the name of the One and Only God. Allah has ninety-nine beautiful names, such as: The Gracious, The Merciful, The Beneficent, The Creator, The All-Knowing, The All-Wise, The Lord of the Universe, The First, The Last, and others.

He is the Creator of all human beings. He is the God for the Christians, the Jews, the Muslims, the Buddhists, the Hindus, the atheists, and others. Muslims worship God whose name is Allah. They put their trust in Him and they seek His help and His guidance.

Muhammad
Muhammad was chosen by God to deliver His Message of Peace, namely Islam. He was born in 570 C.E. (Common Era) in Makkah, Arabia. He was entrusted with the Message of Islam when he was at the age of forty years. The revelation that he received is called the Qur'an, while the message is called Islam.

Muhammad is the very last Prophet of God to mankind. He is the final Messenger of God. His message was and is still to the Christians, the Jews and the rest of mankind. He was sent to those religious people to inform them about the true mission of Jesus, Moses, Jacob, Isaac, and Abraham.
Muhammad is considered to be the summation and the culmination of all the prophets and messengers that came before him. He purified the previous messages from adulteration and completed the Message of God for all humanity. He was entrusted with the power of explaining, interpreting and living the teaching of the Qur'an.

Source of Islam
The legal sources of Islam are the Qur'an and the Hadith. The Qur'an is the exact word of God; its authenticity, originality and totality are intact. The Hadith is the report of the sayings, deeds and approvals of the Prophet Muhammad. The Prophet's sayings and deeds are called Sunnah. The Seerah is the writings of followers of Muhammad about the life of the Prophet. Hence, it is the life history of the Prophet Muhammad which provides examples of daily living for Muslims.

Some Islamic Principles
A. Oneness of God: He is One and the Only One. He is not two in one or three in one. This means that Islam rejects the idea of trinity or such a unity of God which implies more than one God in one.

B. Oneness of mankind: People are created equal in front of the Law of God. There is no superiority for one race over another. God made us of different colors, nationalities, languages and beliefs so as to test who is going to be better than others. No one can claim that he is better than others. It is only God Who knows who is better. It depends on piety and righteousness.

C. Oneness of Messengers and the Message: Muslims believe that God sent different messengers throughout the history of mankind. All came with the same message and the same teachings. It was the people who misunderstood and misinterpreted them. Muslims believe in Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Ismail, Jacob, Moses, David, Jesus, and Muhammad. The Prophets of Christianity and Judaism are indeed the Prophets of Islam.

D. Angels and the Day of Judgment: Muslims believe that there are unseen creatures such as angels created by God in the universe for special missions. Muslims believe that there is a Day of Judgment when all people of the world throughout the history of mankind till the last day of life on earth, are to be brought for accounting, reward and punishment.

E. Innocence of Man at Birth: Muslim believe that people are born free of sin. It is only after they reach the age of puberty and it is only after they commit sins that they are to be charged for their mistakes. No one is responsible for or can take the responsibility for the sins of others. However, the door of forgiveness through true repentance is always open.

F. State and Religion: Muslims believe that Islam is a total and a complete way of life. It encompasses all aspects of life. As such, the teachings of Islam do not separate religion from politics. As a matter of fact, state and religion are under the obedience of Allah through the teachings of Islam. Hence, economic and social transactions, as well as educational and political systems are also part of the teachings of Islam.

Practices of Islam
God instructed the Muslims to practice what they believe in. In Islam there are five pillars, namely:

A. Creed (Shahada): The verbal commitment and pledge that there is only One God and that Muhammad is the Messenger of God, is considered to be the Creed of Islam.

B. Prayers (Salat): The performance of the five daily prayers is required of Muslims.

C. Fasting (Saum): Fasting is total abstinence from food, liquids and intimate intercourse (between married couples) from dawn to sunset during the entire month of Ramadan.

D. Purifying Tax (Zakat): This is an annual payment of a certain percentage of a Muslim's property which is distributed among the poor or other rightful beneficiaries.

E. Pilgrimage (Hajj): The performance of pilgrimage to Makkah is required once in a life time if means are available. Hajj is in part in memory of the trials and tribulations of Prophet Abraham, his wife Hagar and his eldest son Prophet Ishmael.

Other Related Aspects
A. Calendar: Islamic practices are based on the lunar calendar. However, Muslims also use the Gregorian calendar in their daily religious lives. Hence, the Islamic calendar includes both the common era and the migration (Higra) year of the Prophet of Islam from Makkah to Madinah in the year of 623 C.E.

B. Celebrations (Eid): Muslims have two celebrations (Eid); namely, Eid of Sacrifice and Eid of Fast-Breaking. The Eid of Sacrifice is in remembrance of the sacrifice to be by Prophet Abraham of his son. The Eid of Fast-Breaking comes at the end of the month of fasting, Ramadan.

C. Diets: Islam allows Muslims to eat everything which is good for the health. It restricts certain items such as pork and its by-products, alcohol and any narcotic or addictive drugs.

D. Place of Worship: The place of worship is called Mosque or Masjid. There are three holy places of worship for the Muslims in the world. These are: Mosque of Kaaba in Makkah, Mosque of the Prophet Muhammad in Madinah, and Masjid Aqsa, adjacent to the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. A Muslim may pray any where in the world whether in a Mosque, a house, an office, or outside. The whole world is a place of worship. It is preferable that Muslims pray in a congregation, however, he/she may pray individually anywhere.

E. Holidays: The holy day of the Muslims is Friday. It is considered to be sacred and the Day of Judgment will take place on Friday. Muslims join together shortly after noon on Friday for the Friday congregational prayer in a Mosque. A leader (Imam) gives a sermon (Khutba) and leads the congregational prayer.

F. Distribution of Muslims in North America: There are approximately five million Muslims in North America and are distributed in its major cities such as New York, Detroit, Boston, Toledo, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Cedar Rapids (Iowa), Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Edmonton, Vancouver, Windsor, Winnipeg, Calgary, and others.

G. Contributions in North America: Muslims are not established in North America. Sears Tower and the John Hancock buildings in Chicago were designed by a Muslim chief architect, originally from Bangladesh. Muslims have established academic institutions, community centers and organizations, schools and places of worship. They live in peace and harmony among themselves and among other groups of people in the society. The rate of crime among Muslims is very minimal. Muslims in North America are highly educated and they have added to the success of American scientific and technological fields.

The Muslims of the early period of the Islamic era were pioneers in medicine, chemistry, physics, geography, navigation, arts, poetry, mathematics, algebra, logarithms, calculus, etc. They contributed to the Renaissance of Europe and world civilization.

Non-Muslims
Muslims are required to respect all those who are faithful and God conscious people, namely those who received messages. Christians and Jews are called People of the Book. Muslims are asked to call upon the People of the Book for common terms, namely, to worship One God, and to work together for the solutions of the many problems in the society.

Christians and Jews lived peacefully with Muslims throughout centuries in the Middle East and other Asian and African countries. The second Caliph Umar, did not pray in the church in Jerusalem so as not to give the Muslims an excuse to take it over. Christians entrusted the Muslims, and as such the key of the Church in Jerusalem is still in the hands of the Muslims.

Jews fled from Spain during the Inquisition, and they were welcomed by the Muslims. They settled in the heart of the Islamic Caliphate. They enjoyed positions of power and authority.

Throughout the Muslim world, churches, synagogues and missionary schools were built within the Muslim neighborhoods. These places were protected by Muslims even during the contemporary crises in the Middle East.

The Meaning of Islam
ISLAM is derived from the Arabic root "SALEMA": peace, purity, submission and obedience. In the religious sense, Islam means submission to the will of God and obedience to His law.

Everything and every phenomenon in the world, other than man is administered TOTALLY by God-made laws i.e. they are obedient to God and submissive to His laws i.e. they are in the STATE OF ISLAM. Man possesses the quality of intelligence and choice, thus he is invited to submit to the good will of God and obey His law ie. become a Muslim. Submission to the good will of God, together with obedience to His beneficial law, i.e. becoming a Muslim is the best safeguard for man's peace and harmony.

Islam dates back to the edge of Adam and its message has been conveyed to man by God's Prophets and Messengers including Abrahim, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad. Islam's message has been restored and enforced in the last stage of the religious evolution by God's last Prophet and Messenger Muhammad.

The word Allah in the Arabic language means God, or more accurately The One and Only Eternal God, Creator of theUniverse, Lord of all lords, King of all kings, MostCompassionate, Most Merciful. The word Allah to mean God is also used by Arabic speaking Jews and Christians.

Articles of Faith

Allah, the One and Only God
A muslim believes in ONE GOD, Supreme and Eternal, Infinite and Mighty, Merciful and Compassionate, Creator and Provider. God has no father nor mother, no sons nor was He fathered. None equal to Him. He is God of all mankind, not of a special tribe or race.

God is High and Supreme but He is very near to the pious thoughtful believers; He answers their prayers and help them. He loves the people who love Him and forgives their sins. He gives them peace, happiness, knowledge and success. God is the Loving and the Provider, the Generous, and the Benevolent, the Rich and the Independent the Forgiving and the Clement, the Patient and the Appreciative, the Unique and the Protector, the Judge and the Peace. God's attributes are mentioned in the Quran.

God creates in man the mind to understand, the soul and conscience to be good and righteous, the feelings and sentiments to be kind and humane. If we try to count His favours upon us, we cannot, because they are countless. In return for all the great favours and mercy, God does not need anything from us, because He is Needless and Independent. God asks us to know Him, to love Him and to enforce His law for our benefit and our own benefit and our own good.

Messengers and Prophets of God
A Muslim believes in all the Messengers and Prophets of God without any discrimination. All messengers were mortals, human beings, endowed with Divine revelations and appointed by God to teach mankind. The Holy Quran mentions the names of 25 messengers and prophets and states that there are others. These include Noah, Abrahim, Ishmael, Isaac, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad. Their message is the same and it is Islam and it came from One and the Same Source; God, and it is to submit to His will and to obey His law; i.e., to become a Muslim.

Revelations and the Quran
A Muslim believes in all scriptures and revelations of God, as they were complete and in their original versions. Allah, the Creator, has not left man without guidance for the conduct of his life. Revelations were given to guide the people to the right path of Allah and sent down to selected people, the prophet and messengers, to convey it to their fellow men.

The message of all the prophet and messengers is the same. They all asked the people of their time to obey and worship Allah and none other. Abrahim, Moses, David, Jesus and Muhammad who were revealed their own book of Allah, were sent at different times to bring back straying human being from deviation to Right Course.

The Quran is the sacred book of the Muslims. It is the last book of guidance from Allah, sent down to Muhammad, peace be upon him, through the angel Jibraeel (Gabriel). Every word of it is the word of Allah. It was revealed over a period of 23 years in the Arabic language. It contains 114 Surahs (chapters) and over 6000 verses.

The Quran deals with man and his ultimate goal in life. Its teachings cover all areas of this life and the life after death. It contains principles, doctrines and directions for every sphere of human life. The theme of the Quran broadly consists of three fundamental ideas: Oneness of Allah, Prophethood and life after death. The success of human beings on this earth and in the life hereafter depends on obedience to the Quranic teaching.

The Quran is unrivalled in its recording and prservation. The astonishing fact about this book of Allah is that it has remained unchanged even to a dot over the past fourteen hundred years. No scholar has questioned the fact that the Quran today is the same as it was revealed. Muslims till today memorize the Quran word by word as a whole or in part. Today, the Quran is the only authentic and complete book of Allah. Allah is protecting it from being lost, corrupted or concealed.

The Angels of Allah
There are purely spiritual and splendid beings created by Allah. They require no food or drink or sleep. They have no physical desires nor material needs. Angels spend their time in the service of Allah. Each charged with a certain duty. Angle cannot be seen by the naked eyes. Knowledge and the truth are not entirely confined to sensory knowledge or sensory perception alone.

The Day of Judgement
A Muslim believe in the Day of the Judgement. This world as we know it will come to an end and the dead will rise to stand for their final and fair trial. On that day, all men and women from Adam to the last person will be resurrected from the state of death for judgement. Everything we do, say, make, intend and think are accounted for and kept in accurate records. They are brought up on the Day of Judgement.

One who believe in life after death is not expected to behave against the Will of Allah. He will always bear in mind that Allah is watching all his actions and the angles are recording them.

People with good records will be generously rewarded and warmly welcomed to Allah's Heaven. People with bad records will be fairly punished and cast into Hell. The real nature of Heaven and Hell are known to Allah only, but they are described by Allah in man's familiar terms in the Quran.

If some good deeds are seen not to get full appreciation and credit in this life, they will receive full compensation and be widely acknowledged on the Day of Judgement. If some people who commit sins, neglect Allah and indulge in immoral activities, seem SUPERFICIALLY successful and prosperous in this life, absolute justice will be done to them on the Day of Judgement. The time of the Day of Judgement is only known to Allah and Allah alone.

Qadaa and Qadar
A Muslim believes in Qadaa and Qadar which related to the ultimate power of Allah. Qadaa and Qadar means the Timeless Knowledge of Allah and His power to plan and execute His plans. Allah is not indifferent to this world nor is He neutral to it. It implies that everything on this earth originates from the one and only creator who is also the Sustainer and the sole source of guidance.
Allah is Wise, Just and Loving and whatever He does must have a good motive, although we may fail sometimes to understand it fully. We should have strong faith in Allah and accept whatever He does because our knowledge is limited and our thinking is based on individual consideration, whereas His knowledge is limitless and He plans on a universal basis. Man should think, plan and make sound choice, but if things do not happen the way he wants, he should not lose faith and surrender himself to mental strains or shattering worries.

The Purpose of Life
A Muslim believe that the purpose of life is to worship Allah. Worshipping Allah does not mean we spend our entire lives in constant seclusion and absolute meditation. To worship Allah is to live life according to His commands, not to run away from it. To worship Allah is to know Him, to love Him, to obey His commands, to enforce His laws in every aspect of life, to serve His cause by doing right and shunning evil and to be just to Him, to ourselves and to our fellow human beings.

Status of Human Being
A Muslim believes that human being enjoys an especially high ranking status in the hierarchy of all known creatures. Man occupies this distinguished position because he alone is gifted with rational faculties and spiritual aspirations as well as powers of action. Man is not a condemned race from birth to death, but a dignified being potentially capable of good and noble achievements.

A Muslim also believes that every person is born muslim. Every person is endowed by Allah with spiritual potential and intellectual inclination that can make him a good Muslim. Every person's birth takes place according to the will of Allah in realization of His plans and in submission to His commands. Every person is born FREE FROM SIN. When the person reaches the age of maturity and if he is sane, he become accountable for all his deeds and intentions. Man is free from sin until he commits sin. There is no inherited sin, no original sin. Adam committed the first sin, he prayed to Allah for pardon and Allah granted Adam pardon.

Salvation
A Muslim believes that man must work out his salvation through the guidance of Allah. No one can act on behalf of another or intercede between him and Allah. In order to obtain salvation, a person must combine faith and action, belief and practice. Faith without doing good deeds is as insufficient as doing good deeds without faith.

Also, a Muslim believes that Allah does not hold any person responsible until he has shown him the Right Way. If people do not know and have no way of knowing about Islam, they will not be responsible for failing to be Muslim. Every Muslim must preach Islam in words and action.

Acceptance of Faith
A Muslim believes that faith is not complete when it is followed blindly or accepted unquestioningly. Man must build his faith on well-grounded convictions beyond any reasonable doubt and above uncertainty. Islam insures freedom to believe and forbids compulsion in religion (one of the oldest synagogues and one of the oldest churches in the worlds is in Muslim countries).

A Muslim believes that the Quran is the word of Allah revealed to prophet Muhammad through the Angel Gabriel. The Quran was revealed from Allah on various occasions to answer questions, solve problems, settle disputes and to be man's best guide to the truth. The Quran was revealed in Arabic and it is still in its original and complete Arabic version until today. It is memorized by millions.

A Muslim also believes in a clear distinction between the Quran and the Traditions (called Hadits) of the Prophet Muhammad. Whereas, the Quran is the word of Allah, the Traditions of Prophet Muhammad (hadits i.e.: his teachings, sayings, and actions) are the practical interpretations of the Quran. Both the Quran and the Hadits of Prophet Muhammad are the primary sources of knowledge in Islam.

Application of Faith
God has laid down for a Muslim four major exercises of faith, some are daily, some weekly, some monthly, some annually and some are required as a minimum of once in a lifetime. These exercises of faith are to serve man's spiritual purposes, satisfy his human needs and to mark his whole life with a Divine touch. These major exercises of faith are:

Prayer (Salah)
Praying, to the Creator on a daily basis, is the best way to cultivate in a man a sound personality and to actualize his aspiration. Allah does not need man's prayer because He is free of all needs. Salah is for our benefit which are immeasurable and the blessings are beyond imagination.

In salah, every muscle of the body joins the soul and the mind in the worship and glory of Allah. Salah is an act of worship. It is a matchless and unprecedented formula of intellectual meditation and spiritual devotion, of moral elevation and physical exercise, all combined.

Offering of salah is obligatory upon every Muslim male and female who is sane, mature and in case of women free from menstruation and confinement due to child birth. Requirements of salah: performing of ablution (Wudu), purity of the whole body, clothes and ground used for prayer, dressing properly and having (or declaring) the intention and facing the Qiblah; the direction of the Ka'bah at Mecca.

Obligatory Salah: Five daily salahs, the Friday's noon congregation salah and the funeral salah.

Highly recommended salah: Those accompanying the obligatory salah and the two great festival salahs.

Optional salah: Voluntary salah during the day and night.

Times of Obligatory Salah:
1. Early Morning - after dawn and before sunrise.
2. Noon - after the sun begins to decline from its zenith until it is about midway on its course to set.
3. Mid-afternoon - after the expiration of the noon salah time until sunset.
4. Sunset - immediately after sunset until the red glow in the western horizon disappears.
5. Evening - after the expiration of the sunset salah until dawn.
Salah should be offered in its due time, unless there is a reasonable excuse. Delayed obligatory salah must be made up. In addition to the prescribed salah, a Muslim expressed gratitude to God and appreciation of His favours and asks for His mercy all the time. Especially at times of, for example: childbirth, marriage, going to or rising from bed, leaving and returning to his home, starting a journey or entering a city, riding or driving, before or after eating or drinking, harvesting, visiting graveyards and at time of distress and sickness.

Fasting
Fasting is abstaining completely from eating, drinking, intimate sexual contacts and smoking from the break of dawn till sunset. It is a matchless Islamic institution which teaches man the principle of sincere love to God. Fasting teaches man a creative sense of hope, devotion, patience, unselfishness, moderation, willpower, wise saving, sound budgeting, mature adaptability, healthy survival, discipline, spirit of social belonging, unity and brotherhood.

Obligatory fasting is done once a year for the period of the month of Ramadan; the ninth month of the Islamic year. Recommended fasting every Monday and Thursday of every week, three days in the middle of each Islamic month, six days after Ramadan following the Feast Day and a few days of the two months before Ramadan. Fasting of Ramadan is a worship act which is obligatory on every adult Muslim, male or female if he/she mentally and physically fit and not on a journey. Exception: women during their period of menstruation and while nursing their child and also in case of travel and sickness.

Charity Giving (Zakah)
Charity giving is an act of worship and spiritual investment. The lateral meaning of Zakah is purity and it refers to the annual amount in kind or coin which a Muslim with means must distribute among the rightful beneficiaries. Zakah does not only purifies the property of the contributor but also purifies his heart from selfishness and greed. It also purifies the heart of the recipient from envy and jealousy, from hatred and uneasiness and it fosters instead good-will and warm wishes for the contributors.

Zakah has a deep humanitarian and social-political value; for example, it frees society from class welfare, from ill feelings and distrust and from corruption. Although Islam does not hinder private enterprise or condemn private possession, it does not tolerate selfish and greedy capitalism. Islam adopts a moderate but positive and effective course between individual and society, between the citizen and the state, between capitalism and socialism, between materialism and spiritualism.

Zakah is paid on the net balance after paying personal expenses, family expenses, due credits, taxes, etc. Every Muslim, male or female who at the end of the year is in possession of the equivalent of 85 g of gold (approx. $1400 in 1990) or more in cash or articles of trade, must give Zakah at minimum rate of 2.5%. Taxes paid to government do not substitute for this religious duty. Contributor should not seek pride or fame but if disclosing his name and his contribution is likely to encourage others, it is acceptable to do so.

The recipient of Zakah are: the poor, the needy, the new Muslim converts, the Muslim prisoners of war (to liberate them), Muslim in debt. Also employees appointed to collect Zakah, Muslim in service of research or study or propagation of Islam, wayfarers who are foreigners in need of help.

The Pilgrimmage (Hajj)
It is a pilgrimage to Mecca, at least once in a lifetime and it is obligatory upon every Muslim male and female who is mentally, physically and financially fit. It is the largest annual convention of faith on earth (in 1989: 2.5 million). Peace is the dominant theme. Peace with Allah, with one's soul, with one another, with all living creatures. To disturb the peace of anyone or any creature in any shape or form is strictly prohibited.

Muslim from all walks of life, from every corner of the globe assemble in Mecca in response to the call of Allah. There is no royalty but loyalty of all to Allah, the Creator. It is to commemorate the Divine rituals observed by the Prophet Abrahim and his son Ishmael, who are the first pilgrim to the house of Allah on earth; the Ka'bah. It is also to remember the grad assembly of the Day of Judgement when people will stand equal before Allah.

Muslims go to Mecca in glory of Allah, not to worship a man. The visit to the tomb of Prophet Muhammad at Madena is highly recommended but not essential in making the Hajj valid and complete.

Islam is a Code of Life
It is a Muslim belief that Muhammad's mission was for the whole world and for all the time; because:

Its universality has been clearly confirmed by the Quran (Surah 7: verse 158, 6:19, 34:28, 81:27).

It is a logical consequences of the finality of his prophethood. He had to be the guide and the leader for all men and for all ages.

Allah has provided, through him, a complete code which is to be followed, and this in itself supports the concept of finality, because without completeness, the need for other prophets would remain.

It is a fact that during the last 1400 years no man has arisen whose life and works bear even the slightest resemblance to that of a prophet. Nor has anyone presented a book which could be remotely considered a divine communication. Still less has there been a man to claim legitimate authority as a law-giver fro mankind.

The mission of Muhammad, as well as of other prophets who brought the universal message of Islam, does not end with the announcement of the message. He has to guide the people by explaining to them the implications of the Islamic creed, the morale code, the divine injunctions and commandment, and the form of worship that sustains the whole system. He has to exemplify the faith so others can pattern their participation in the evolution of Islamic culture and civilization. The believers must grow under his guidance into an organized community so that Allah's word will prevail over all other words.

1. Spiritual Life: prayer (salah), fasting, charity giving (zakah), pilgrimage (hajj), love for Allah and His Messenger, love for truth and humanity for the sake of Allah, hope and trust in Allah at all times and doing good for the sake of Allah.

2. Intellectual Life: True knowledge based on clear proof and indisputable evidence acquired by experience or experiment or by both. The Quran points to the rich sources of knowledge in the whole universe. Islam demands faith in Allah on the basis of knowledge and research and leaves wide open all field of thought before the intellect to penetrate as far it can reach.

3. Personal Life: purity and cleanliness, a healthy diet, proper clothing, proper behaviour, and good healthy sexual relations within marriage.

4. Family Life: A family is a human social group whose members are bound together by the bond of blood ties and/or marital relationship and nothing else (adoption, mutual alliance, common law, trial marriage...etc.). Marriage is a religious duty on all who are capable of meeting its responsibilities. Each member of the family has rights and obligations.

5. Social Life: Man is ordained by Allah to extend his utmost help and kindness to other family members, relations, servants and neighbours. No superiority on account of class, colour, origin or wealth. Humanity represents one family springing from the one and the same father and mother. The unity of the humanity is not only in its origin but also in its ultimate aims.

6. Economical Life: Earning one's living through decent labour is not only a duty but a great virtue as well. Earning is man's private possession. The individual is responsible for the prosperity of the state and the state is responsible for the security of the individual. The Islamic economic system is not based on arithmetical calculations alne but also on moral and principles. Man comes to this world empty-handed and departs empty-handed. The real owner of things is Allah alone. Man is simply a trustee.

7. Political Life: The sovereignty in the Islamic State belongs to Allah; the people exercise it by trust from Him to enforce His laws. The ruler is only an acting executive chosen by the people to serve them according to Allah's law. The State is to administer justice and provide security for all citizens. Rulers and administrators must be chosen from the best qualified citizens. If an administration betrays the trust of Allah and the people, it has to be replaced. Non-Muslim can administer their personal life of marriage, divorce, foods and inheritance according to the Islamic law or to their own religious teachings. They may pay Zakah or a different tax tributes "Jizyah". They are entitled to full protection and security of the State including freedom of religion.

8. International Life: Man has a common origin, human status and aim. Other people's interests and right to life, honour and property are respected as long as the right of Muslim are in tact. Transgression is forbidden. War is only justified if the state security is endangered. During war, destruction of crops, animals and homes, killing non-fighting women, children and aged people are forbidden.

Introduction
Islam is a religion based upon the surrender to God who is One. The very name of the religion, al-islam in Arabic, means at once submission and peace, for it is in submitting to God's Will that human beings gain peace in their lives in this world and in the hereafter. The message of Islam concerns God, who in Arabic is called Allah, and it addresses itself to humanity's most profound nature. It concerns men and women as they were created by God--not as fallen beings. Islam therefore considers itself to be not an innovation but a reassertion of the universal truth of all revelation which is God's Oneness.

Prophets
his truth was asserted by the prophets of old and especially by Abraham, the father of monotheism. Islam reveres all of these prophets including not only Abraham, who is the father of the Arabs as well as of the Jews, but also Moses and Christ. The Prophet and Messenger of God, Muhammad--may peace and blessings be upon him, his family and his companions, was the last of this long line of prophets and Islam is the last religion until the Day of Judgement. It is the final expression of the Abrahamic tradition. One should in fact properly speak of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition, for Islam shares with the other Abrahamic religions their sacred history, the basic ethical teachings contained in the Ten Commandments and above all, belief in the One God. And it renews and repeats the true beliefs of Jews and Christians whose scriptures are mentioned as divinely revealed books in Islam's own sacred book, the Quran.

Quran
For Muslims, or followers of Islam, the Quran is the actual Word of God revealed through the archangel Gabriel to the Prophet of Islam during the twenty-three-year period of his prophetic mission. It was revealed in the Arabic language as a sonoral revelation which the Prophet repeated to his companions. Arabic became therefore the language of Islam even for non-Arab Muslims. Under the direction of the Prophet, the verses and chapters were organized in the order known to Muslims to this day. There is only one text of the Quran accepted by all schools of Islamic thought and there are no variants.

The Quran is the central sacred reality of Islam. The sound of the Quran is the first and last sound that a Muslim hears in this life. As the direct Word of God and the embodiment of God's Will, the Quran is considered as the guide par excellence for the life of Muslims. It is the source of all Islamic doctrines and ethics. Both the intellectual aspects of Islam and Islamic Law have their source in the Quran. Perhaps there is no book revered by any human collectivity as much as the Quran is revered by Muslims. Essentially a religion of the book, Islam sees all authentic religions as being associated with a scripture. That is why Muslims call Christians and Jews the "people of the book".

Throughout all its chapters and verses, the Quran emphasizes the significance of knowledge and encourages Muslims to learn and to acquire knowledge not only of God's laws and religious injunctions, but also of the world of nature. The Quran refers, in a language rich in its varied terminology, to the importance of seeing, contemplating, and reasoning about the world of creation and its diverse phenomena. It places the gaining of knowledge as the highest religious activity, one that is most pleasing in God's eyes. That is why wherever the message of the Quran was accepted and understood, the quest for knowledge flourished.

Prophets of Islam
The Prophet of Islam is loved and revered by Muslims precisely because he was chosen by God to reveal His Word to mankind. The Prophet Muhammad is not considered to be divine but a human being. However, he is seen as the most perfect of human beings, shining like a jewel among stones. He was born in 570 A. D. in one of the most powerful tribes in the Arabia of that time, for it had guardianship over the Ka'bah in Makkah. An orphan brought up by his grandfather and later by his uncle, the young Muhammad displayed exceptional virtue as a trustworthy individual whom members of various tribes would invite to act as arbitrator in their disputes.

Early Years
At that time the Arabs followed a form of idolatry, each tribe keeping its own idols at the Ka'bah, the cubical structure built originally by Abraham to celebrate the glory of the One God. But the monotheistic message of Abraham had long become forgotten among the general population of the Arabian peninsula. The young Muhammad, however, was a believer in the One God all of his life and never participated in the idolatrous practices of his tribe.

Angel Gabriel
When forty years old, during one of the retreats which he made habitually in a cave on top of a mountain outside Makkah, Muhammad first saw the archangel Gabriel who revealed God's Word to him, the Quran, and announced that Muhammad is the messenger of God. For the next thirteen years he preached the Word of God to the Makkans, inviting them to abandon idolatry and accept the religion of Oneness. A few accepted his call but most Makkans, especially those of his own tribe, opposed him violently, seeing in the new religion a grave danger to their economic as well as social domination based upon their control of the Ka'bah. But the Prophet continued to call the people to Islam and gradually a larger number of men and women began to accept the faith and submit themselves to its teachings. As a result, persecution of Muslims increased until the Prophet was forced to send some of his companions to Abyssinia where they were protected by the Christian king.

Early days of Islam
The Makkan period was also one of intense spiritual experience for the Prophet and the noble companions who formed the nucleus of the new religious community which was soon to spread worldwide. It was during this period that God ordered the direction of prayers to be changed from Jerusalem to Makkah. To this day Jerusalem remains along with Makkah and Madinah one of the holiest cities of Islam.

Migration
In 622 A. D. the Prophet was ordered by God to migrate to Yathrib, a city north of Makkah. He followed the Divine Command and left with his followers for that city which henceforth was known as "The City of the Prophet" (Madinat al-nabi) or simply Madinah. This event was so momentous that the Islamic calendar begins with this migration (hijrah).

In Madinah, the Prophet established the first Islamic society which has served as the model for all later Islamic societies. Several battles took place against the invading Makkans which the Muslims won against great odds. Soon more tribes began to join Islam and within a few years most of Arabia had embraced the religion of Islam.

Victory at Makkah
After many trials and eventually successive victories, the Prophet retumed triumphantly to Makkah where the people embraced Islam at last. He forgave all his former enemies and marched to the Ka'bah, where he ordered his companion and cousin 'Ali to join him in destroying all the idols. The Prophet reconstituted the rite of pilgrimage as founded by Abraham. The Prophet then returned to Madinah and made another pilgrimage to Makkah. It was upon returning from this last pilgrimage that he delivered his farewell address. Soon he fell ill and after three days died in 632 A. D. in Madinah where he was buried in the chamber of his house next to the first mosque of Islam.

Sunnah
The practices and traditions (Sunnah) of the Prophet which includes his sayings (Hadith) became the guide for Muslims in the understanding of the Quran and the practice of their religion. The Quran itself asserts that God has chosen in the Prophet an example for Muslims to follow. Besides this emulation of the Prophet in all aspects of life and thought, his sayings were assembled by various scholars. Finally they were codified in books of Hadith where the authentic were separated from the spurious. The Sunnah has always remained, after the Quran, the second source of everything Islamic.

Islamic Religion
According to a famous saying of the Prophet Islam consists of five pillars which are as follows: affirmation of the faith (shahadah), that is, witnessing that La ilaha illa'Llah (There is no divinity but Allah) and Muhammadun rasul Allah (Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah); the five daily prayers (al-salat) which Muslims perform facing Makkah; fasting (al-sawm) from dawn to sunset during the month of Ramadan; making the pilgrimage to Makkah (al-hajj) at least once in a lifetime if one's financial and physical conditions permit it; and paying a 2 1/2% tax (al-zakat) on one's capital which is used for the needs of the community. Muslims are also commanded to exhort others to perform good acts and to abstain from evil. Ethics lies at the heart of Islamic teachings and all men and women are expected to act ethically towards each other at all times. As the Prophet has said, "None of you is a believer until you love for your brother what you love for yourself."

As for faith according to Islam (al-iman), it means having faith in God, His angels, His books, His messengers, the Day of Judgment and God's determination of human destiny. It is important to understand that the definition of al-iman refers to books and prophets in the plural thus pointing directly to the universality of revelation and respect for other religions emphasized so much in the Quran. There is also the important concept, al-ihsan or virtue, which means to worship God as if one sees Him, knowing that even if one does not see Him, He sees us. It means to remember God at all times and marks the highest level of being a Muslim.

Islamic Law
Islam possesses a religious law called al-Shari'ah in Arabic which governs the life of Muslims and which Muslims consider to be the embodiment of the Will of God. The Shari'ah is contained in principle in the Quran as elaborated and complemented by the Sunnah. On the basis of these principles the schools of law which are followed by all Muslims to this day were developed early in Islamic history. This Law, while being rooted in the sources of the Islamic revelation, is a living body of law which caters to the needs of Islamic society .

Islamic laws are essentially preventative and are not based on harsh punishment except as a last measure. The faith of the Muslim causes him to have respect for the rights of others and Islamic Law is such that it prevents transgression from taking place in most instances. That is why what people consider to be harsh punishments are so rarely in need of being applied.

The spread of Islam
From the oasis cities of Makkah and Madinah in the Arabian desert, the message of Islam went forth with electrifying speed. Within half a century of the Prophet's death, Islam had spread to three continents. Islam is not, as some imagine in the West, a religion of the sword nor did it spread primarily by means of war. It was only within Arabia, where a crude form of idolatry was rampant, that Islam was propagated by warring against those tribes which did not accept the message of God--whereas Christians and Jews were not forced to convert. Outside of Arabia also the vast lands conquered by the Arab armies in a short period became Muslim not by force of the sword but by the appeal of the new religion. It was faith in One God and emphasis upon His Mercy that brought vast numbers of people into the fold of Islam. The new religion did not coerce people to convert. Many continued to remain Jews and Christians and to this day important communities of the followers of these faiths are found in Muslim lands.

Moreover, the spread of Islam was not limited to its miraculous early expansion outside of Arabia. During later centuries the Turks embraced Islam peacefully as did a large number of the people of the Indian subcontinent and the Malay-speaking world. In Africa also, Islam has spread during the past two centuries even under the mighty power of European colonial rulers. Today Islam continues to grow not only in Africa but also in Europe and America where Muslims now comprise a notable minority.

Characteristics of Islamic Civilization
slam was destined to become a world religion and to create a civilization which stretched from one end of the globe to the other. Already during the early Muslim caliphates, first the Arabs, then the Persians and later the Turks set about to create classical Islamic civilization. Later, in the 13th century, both Africa and India became great centers of Islamic civilization and soon thereafter Muslim kingdoms were established in the Malay-Indonesian world while Chinese Muslims flourished throughout China.

Global Religion
Islam is a religion for all people from whatever race or background they might be. That is why Islamic civilization is based on a unity which stands completely against any racial or ethnic discrimination. Such major racial and ethnic groups as the Arabs, Persians, Turks, Africans, Indians, Chinese and Malays in addition to numerous smaller units embraced Islam and contributed to the building of Islamic civilization. Moreover, Islam was not opposed to learning from the earlier civilizations and incorporating their science, learning, and culture into its own world view, as long as they did not oppose the principles of Islam. Each ethnic and racial group which embraced Islam made its contribution to the one Islamic civilization to which everyone belonged. The sense of brotherhood and sisterhood was so much emphasized that it overcame all local attachments to a particular tribe, race, or language--all of which became subservient to the universal brotherhood and sisterhood of Islam.

The global civilization thus created by Islam permitted people of diverse ethnic backgrounds to work together in cultivating various arts and sciences. Although the civilization was profoundly Islamic, even non-Muslim "people of the book" participated in the intellectual activity whose fruits belonged to everyone. The scientific climate was reminiscent of the present situation in America where scientists and men and women of learning from all over the world are active in the advancement of knowledge which belongs to everyone.

The global civilization created by Islam also succeeded in activating the mind and thought of the people who entered its fold. As a result of Islam, the nomadic Arabs became torch-bearers of science and learning. The Persians who had created a great civilization before the rise of Islam nevertheless produced much more science and learning in the Islamic period than before. The same can be said of the Turks and other peoples who embraced Islam. The religion of Islam was itself responsible not only for the creation of a world civilization in which people of many different ethnic backgrounds participated, but it played a central role in developing intellectual and cultural life on a scale not seen before. For some eight hundred years Arabic remained the major intellectual and scientific language of the world. During the centuries following the rise of Islam, Muslim dynasties ruling in various parts of the Islamic world bore witness to the flowering of Islamic culture and thought. In fact this tradition of intellectual activity was eclipsed only at the beginning of modern times as a result of the weakening of faith among Muslims combined with external domination. And today this activity has begun anew in many parts of the Islamic world now that the Muslims have regained their political independence.

Brief History of Islam
Upon the death of the Prophet, Abu Bakr, the friend of the Prophet and the first adult male to embrace Islam, became caliph. Abu Bakr ruled for two years to be succeeded by 'Umar who was caliph for a decade and during whose rule Islam spread extensively east and west conquering the Persian empire, Syria and Egypt. It was 'Umar who marched on foot at the end of the Muslim army into Jerusalem and ordered the protection of Christian sites. 'Umar also established the first public treasury and a sophisticated financial administration. He established many of the basic practices of Islamic government.

'Umar was succeeded by 'Uthman who ruled for some twelve years during which time the Islamic expansion continued. He is also known as the caliph who had the definitive text of the Noble Quran copied and sent to the four corners of the Islamic world. He was in turn succeeded by 'Ali who is known to this day for his eloquent sermons and letters, and also for his bravery. With his death the rule of the "rightly guided" caliphs, who hold a special place of respect in the hearts of Muslims, came to an end.

Caliphates

Umayyad
The Umayyad caliphate established in 661 was to last for about a century. During this time Damascus became the capital of an Islamic world which stretched from the western borders of China to southern France. Not only did the Islamic conquests continue during this period through North Africa to Spain and France in the West and to Sind, Central Asia and Transoxiana in the East, but the basic social and legal institutions of the newly founded Islamic world were established.

Abbasids
The Abbasids, who succeeded the Umayyads, shifted the capital to Baghdad which soon developed into an incomparable center of learning and culture as well as the administrative and political heart of a vast world.

They ruled for over 500 years but gradually their power waned and they remained only symbolic rulers bestowing legitimacy upon various sultans and princes who wielded actual military power. The Abbasid caliphate was finally abolished when Hulagu, the Mongol ruler, captured Baghdad in 1258, destroying much of the city including its incomparable libraries.

While the Abbasids ruled in Baghdad, a number of powerful dynasties such as the Fatimids, Ayyubids and Mamluks held power in Egypt, Syria and Palestine. The most important event in this area as far as the relation between Islam and the Western world was concerned was the series of Crusades declared by the Pope and espoused by various European kings. The purpose, although political, was outwardly to recapture the Holy Land and especially Jerusalem for Christianity. Although there was at the beginning some success and local European rule was set up in parts of Syria and Palestine, Muslims finally prevailed and in 1187 Saladin, the great Muslim leader, recaptured Jerusalem and defeated the Crusaders.

North Africa and Spain
When the Abbasids captured Damascus, one of the Umayyad princes escaped and made the long journey from there to Spain to found Umayyad rule there, thus beginning the golden age of Islam in Spain. Cordoba was established as the capital and soon became Europe's greatest city not only in population but from the point of view of its cultural and intellectual life. The Umayyads ruled over two centuries until they weakened and were replaced by local rulers.
Meanwhile in North Africa, various local dynasties held sway until two powerful Berber dynasties succeeded in uniting much of North Africa and also Spain in the 12th and 13th centuries. After them this area was ruled once again by local dynasties such as the Sharifids of Morocco who still rule in that country. As for Spain itself, Muslim power continued to wane until the last Muslim dynasty was defeated in Granada in 1492 thus bringing nearly eight hundred years of Muslim rule in Spain to an end.

Islamic History after Mongol Invasion
The Mongols devastated the eastern lands of Islam and ruled from the Sinai Desert to India for a century. But they soon converted to Islam and became known as the Il-Khanids. They were in turn succeeded by Timur and his descendents who made Samarqand their capital and ruled from 1369 to 1500. The sudden rise of Timur delayed the formation and expansion of the Ottoman empire but soon the Ottomans became the dominant power in the Islamic world.

Ottoman Empire
From humble origins the Turks rose to dominate over the whole of Anatolia and even parts of Europe. In 1453 Mehmet the Conqueror captured Constantinople and put an end to the Byzantine empire. The Ottomans conquered much of eastem Europe and nearly the whole of the Arab world, only Morocco and Mauritania in the West and Yemen, Hadramaut and parts of the Arabian peninsula remaining beyond their control. They reached their zenith of power with Suleyman the Magnificent whose armies reached Hungary and Austria. From the 17th century onward with the rise of Westem European powers and later Russia, the power of the Ottomans began to wane. But they nevertheless remained a force to be reckoned with until the First World War when they were defeated by the Westem nations. Soon thereafter Kamal Ataturk gained power in Turkey and abolished the six centuries of rule of the Ottomans in 1924.

Persia
While the Ottomans were concerned mostly with the westem front of their empire, to the east in Persia a new dynasty called the Safavids came to power in 1502. The Safavids established a powerful state of their own which flourished for over two centuries and became known for the flowering of the arts. Their capital, Isfahan, became one of the most beautiful cities with its blue tiled mosques and exquisite houses. The Afghan invasion of 1736 put an end to Safavid rule and prepared the independence of Afghanistan which occured fommally in the 19th century. Persia itself fell into tummoil until Nader Shah, the last Oriental conqueror, reunited the country and even conquered India. But the rule of the dynasty established by him was short-lived. The Zand dynasty soon took over to be overthrown by the Qajars in 1779 who made Tehran their capital and ruled until 1921 when they were in turn replaced by the Pahlavis.


Malaysia and Indonesia
Farther east in the Malay world, Islam began to spread in the 12th century in northem Sumatra and soon Muslim kingdoms were establishd in Java, Sumatra and mainland Malaysia. Despite the colonization of the Malay world, Islam spread in that area covering present day Indonesia, Malaysia, the southern Phililppines and southern Thailand, and is still continuing in islands farther east.

Africa
As far as Africa is concemed, Islam entered into East Africa at the very beginning of the Islamic period but remained confined to the coast for some time, only the Sudan and Somaliland becoming gradually both Arabized and Islamized. West Africa felt the presence of Islam through North African traders who travelled with their camel caravans south of the Sahara. By the 14th century there were already Muslim sultanates in such areas as Mali, and Timbuctu in West Africa and Harar in East Africa had become seats of Islamic leaming.

Gradually Islam penetrated both inland and southward. There also appeared major charismatic figures who inspired intense resistance against European domination. The process of the Islamization of Africa did not cease during the colonial period and continues even today with the result that most Africans are now Muslims carrying on a tradition which has had practically as long a history in certain areas of sub-Saharan Africa as Islam itself.

Integration of pre Islam Sciences
As Islam spread northward into Syria, Egypt, and the Persian empire, it came face to face with the sciences of antiquity whose heritage had been preserved in centers which now became a part of the Islamic world. Alexandria had been a major center of sciences and learning for centuries. The Greek leaming cultivated in Alexandria was opposed by the Byzantines who had burned its library long before the advent of Islam. The tradition of Alexandrian learning did not die, however. It was transferred to Antioch and from there farther east to such cities as Edessa by eastern Christians who stood in sharp opposition to Byzantium and wished to have their own independent centers of learning. Moreover, the Persian king, Shapur I, had established Jundishapur in Persia as a second great center of learning matching Antioch. He even invited Indian physicians and mathematicians to teach in this major seat of learning, in addition to the Christian scholars who taught in Syriac as well as the Persians whose medium of instruction was Pahlavi.

Once Muslims established the new Islamic order during the Umayyad period, they turned their attention to these centers of learning which had been preserved and sought to acquaint themselves with the knowledge taught and cultivated in them. They therefore set about with a concerted effort to translate the philosophical and scientific works which were available to them from not only Greek and Syriac (which was the language of eastern Christian scholars) but also from Pahlavi, the scholarly language of pre-Islamic Persia, and even from Sanskrit. Many of the accomplished translators were Christian Arabs such as Hunayn ibn Ishaq, who was also an outstanding physician, and others Persians such as Ibn Muqaffa', who played a major role in the creation of the new Arabic prose style conducive to the expression of philosophical and scientific writings. The great movement of translation lasted from the beginning of the 8th to the end of the 9th century, reaching its peak with the establishment of the House of Wisdom (Bayt alhikmah) by the caliph al-Ma'mun at the beginning of the 9th century.

The result of this extensive effort of the Islamic community to confront the challenge of the presence of the various philosophies and sciences of antiquity and to understand and digest them in its own terms and according to its own world view was the translation of a vast corpus of writings into Arabic. Most of the important philosophical and scientific works of Aristotle and his school, much of Plato and the Pythagorean school, and the major works of Greek astronomy, mathematics and medicine such as the Almagest of Ptolemy, the Elements of Euclid, and the works of Hippocrates and Galen, were all rendered into Arabic. Furthermore, important works of astronomy, mathematics and medicine were translated from Pahlavi and Sanskrit. As a result, Arabic became the most important scientific language of the world for many centuries and the depository of much of the wisdom and the sciences of antiquity.

The Muslims did not translate the scientific and philosophical works of other civilizations out of fear of political or economic domination but because the structure of Islam itself is based upon the primacy of knowledge. Nor did they consider these forms of knowing as "un-lslamic" as long as they confirmed the doctrine of God's Oneness which Islam considers to have been at the heart of every authentic revelation from God. Once these sciences and philosophies confirmed the principle of Oneness, the Muslims considered them as their own. They made them part of their world view and began to cultivate the Islamic sciences based on what they had translated, analyzed, criticized, and assimilated, rejecting what was not in conformity with the Islamic perspective

Mathematical Sciences and Physics
The Muslim mind has always been attracted to the mathematical sciences in accordance with the "abstract" character of the doctrine of Oneness which lies at the heart of Islam. The mathematical sciences have traditionally included astronomy, mathematics itself and much of what is called physics today.

Astronomy
In astronomy the Muslims integrated the astronomical traditions of the Indians, Persians, the ancient Near East and especially the Greeks into a synthesis which began to chart a new chapter in the history of astronomy from the 8th century onward. The Almagest of Ptolemy, whose very name in English reveals the Arabic origin of its Latin translation, was thoroughly studied and its planetary theory criticized by several astronomers of both the eastern and western lands of Islam leading to the major critique of the theory by Nasir al-Din al-Tusi and his students, especially Qutb alDin al-Shirazi, in the 13th century.

The Muslims also observed the heavens carefully and discovered many new stars. The book on stars of 'Abd al-Rahman al-Sufi was in fact translated into Spanish by Alfonso X el Sabio and had a deep influence upon stellar toponymy in European languages. Many star names in English such as Aldabaran still recall their Arabic origin. The Muslims carried out many fresh observations which were contained in astronomical tables called zij. One of the acutest of these observers was al-Battani whose work was followed by numerous others. The zij of al-Ma'mun observed in Baghdad, the Hakimite zij of Cairo, the Toledan Tables of alZarqali and his associates, the ll-Khanid zij of Nasir al-Din al-Tusi observed in Maraghah, and the zij of Ulugh-Beg from Samarqand are among the most famous Islamic astronomical tables. They wielded a great deal of influence upon Western astronomy up to the time of Tycho Brahe. The Muslims were in fact the first to create an astronomical observatory as a scientific institution, this being the observatory of Maraghah in Persia established by al-Tusi. This was indirectly the model for the later European observatories . Many astronomical instruments were developed by Muslims to carry out observation, the most famous being the astrolabe. There existed even mechanical astrolabes perfected by Ibn Samh which must be considered as the ancestor of the mechanical clock.
Astronomical observations also had practical applications including not only finding the direction of Makkah for prayers, but also devising almanacs (the word itself being of Arabic origin). The Muslims also applied their astronomical knowledge to questions of time-keeping and the calendar. The most exact solar calendar existing to this day is the Jalali calendar devised under the direction of 'Umar Khayyam in the 12th century and still in use in Persia and Afghanistan.

Algebra
As for mathematics proper, like astronomy, it received its direct impetus from the Quran not only because of the mathematical structure related to the text of the Sacred Book, but also because the laws of inheritance delineated in the Quran require rather complicated mathematical solutions. Here again Muslims began by integrating Greek and Indian mathematics. The first great Muslim mathematician, al-Khwarazmi, who lived in the 9th century, wrote a treatise on arithmetic whose Latin translation brought what is known as Arabic numerals to the West. To this day guarismo, derived from his name, means figure or digit in Spanish while algorithm is still used in English. Al-Khwarazmi is also the author of the first book on algebra. This science was developed by Muslims on the basis of earlier Greek and Indian works of a rudimentary nature. The very name algebra comes from the first part of the name of the book of al-Khwarazmi, entitled Kirah al-jahr wa'l-muqabalah. Abu Kamil al-Shuja' discussed algebraic equations with five unknowns. The science was further developed by such figures as al-Karaji until it reached its peak with Khayyam who classified by kind and class algebraic equations up to the third degree.

Geometry
The Muslims also excelled in geometry as reflected in their art. The brothers Banu Musa who lived in the 9th century may be said to be the first outstanding Muslim geometers while their contemporary Thabit ibn Qurrah used the method of exhaustion, giving a glimpse of what was to become integral calculus. Many Muslim mathematicians such as Khayyam and al-Tusi also dealt with the fifth postulate of Euclid and the problems which follow if one tries to prove this postulate within the confines of Eucledian geometry.

Trigonometry
Another branch of mathematics developed by Muslims is trigonometry which was established as a distinct branch of mathematics by al-Biruni. The Muslim mathematicians, especially al-Battani, Abu'l-Wafa', Ibn Yunus and Ibn al-Haytham, also developed spherical astronomy and applied it to the solution of astronomical problems.

Number Theory
The love for the study of magic squares and amicable numbers led Muslims to develop the theory of numbers. Al-Khujandi discovered a particular case of Fermat's theorem that "the sum of two cubes cannot be another cube", while alKaraji analyzed arithmetic and geometric progressions such as:

1^3+2^3+3^3+...+n^3=( 1+2+3+...+n)^2.

Al-Biruni also dealt with progressions while Ghiyath al-Din Jamshid al-Kashani brought the study of number theory among Muslims to its peak.

Physics
n the field of physics the Muslims made contributions in especially three domains. The first was the measurement of specific weights of objects and the study of the balance following upon the work of Archimedes. In this domain the writings of al-Biruni and al-Khazini stand out. Secondly they criticized the Aristotelian theory of projectile motion and tried to quantify this type of motion. The critique of Ibn Sina, Abu'l-Barakat al-Baghdadi, Ibn Bajjah and others led to the development of the idea of impetus and momentum and played an important role in the criticism of Aristotelian physics in the West up to the early writings of Galileo. Thirdly there is the field of optics in which the Islamic sciences produced in Ibn al-Haytham (the Latin Alhazen) who lived in the 11th century, the greatest student of optics between Ptolemy and Witelo. Ibn al-Haytham's main work on optics, the Kitah al-manazir, was also well known in the West as Thesaurus opticus. Ibn al-Haytham solved many optical problems, one of which is named after him, studied the property of lenses, discovered the camera obscura, explained correctly the process of vision, studied the structure of the eye, and explained for the first time why the sun and the moon appear larger on the horizon. His interest in optics was carried out two centuries later by Qutb al-Din al-Shirazi and Kamal al-Din al-Farisi. It was Qutb al-Din who gave the first correct explanation of the formation of the rainbow.

Medical Sciences
The hadiths of the Prophet contain many instructions concerning health including dietary habits; these sayings became the foundation of what came to be known later as "Prophetic medicine" (al-tibb al-nabawi). Because of the great attention paid in Islam to the need to take care of the body and to hygiene, early in Islamic history Muslims began to cultivate the field of medicine turning once again to all the knowledge that was available to them from Greek, Persian and Indian sources. At first the great physicians among Muslims were mostly Christian but by the 9th century Islamic medicine, properly speaking, was born with the appearance of the major compendium,
Rhazes Anatomy Smallpox Antiseptic Psychosomatic Medicine
The Paradise of Wisdom (Firdaws al-hikmah ) by 'Ali ibn Rabban al-Tabari, who synthesized the Hippocratic and Galenic traditions of medicine with those of India and Persia. His student, Muhammad ibn Zakariyya' al-Razi (the Latin Rhazes), was one of the greatest of physicians who emphasized clinical medicine and observation. He was a master of prognosis and psychosomatic medicine and also of anatomy. He was the first to identify and treat smallpox, to use alcohol as an antiseptic and make medical use of mercury as a purgative. His Kitab al-hawi (Continens) is the longest work ever written in Islamic medicine and he was recognized as a medical authority in the West up to the 18th century.

The Canon of Medicine and Meningitis
The greatest of all Muslim physicians, however, was Ibn Sina who was called "the prince of physicians" in the West. He synthesized Islamic medicine in his major masterpiece, al-Qanun fi'l tibb (The Canon of Medicine), which is the most famous of all medical books in history. It was the final authority in medical matters in Europe for nearly six centuries and is still taught wherever Islamic medicine has survived to this day in such lands as Pakistan and India. Ibn Sina discovered many drugs and identified and treated several ailments such as meningitis but his greatest contribution was in the philosophy of medicine. He created a system of medicine within which medical practice could be carried out and in which physical and psychological factors, drugs and diet are combined.

Pulmonary Circulation
After Ibn Sina, Islamic medicine divided into several branches. In the Arab world Egypt remained a major center for the study of medicine, especially ophthalmology which reached its peak at the court of al-Hakim. Cairo possessed excellent hospitals which also drew physicians from other lands including Ibn Butlan, author of the famous Calendar of Health, and Ibn Nafis who discovered the lesser or pulmonary circulation of the blood long before Michael Servetus, who is usually credited with the discovery.

Gynecology
As for the western lands of Islam including Spain, this area was likewise witness to the appearance of outstanding physicians such as Sa'd al-Katib of Cordoba who composed a treatise on gynecology, and the greatest Muslim figure in surgery, the 12th century Abu'l-Qasim al-Zahrawi (the Latin Albucasis) whose medical masterpiece Kitab al-tasrif was well known in the West as Concessio. One must also mention the Ibn Zuhr family which produced several outstanding physicians and Abu Marwan 'Abd al-Malik who was the Maghrib's most outstanding clinical physician. The well known Spanish philosophers, Ibn Tufayl and Ibn Rushd, were also outstanding physicians.

Islamic medicine continued in Persia and the other eastern lands of the Islamic world under the influence of Ibn Sina with the appearance of major Persian medical compendia such as the Treasury of Sharaf al-Din al-Jurjani and the commentaries upon the Canon by Fakhr al-Din al-Razi and Qutb al-Din al-Shirazi. Even after the Mongol invasion, medical studies continued as can be seen in the work of Rashid al-Din Fadlallah, and for the first time there appeared translations of Chinese medicine and interest in acupuncture among Muslims. The Islamic medical tradition was revived in the Safavid period when several diseases such as whooping cough were diagnosed and treated for the first time and much attention was paid to pharmacology. Many Persian doctors such as 'Ayn al-Mulk of Shiraz also travelled to India at this time to usher in the golden age of Islamic medicine in the subcontinent and to plant the seed of the Islamic medical tradition which continues to flourish to this day in the soil of that land.

Major Hospitals
The Ottoman world was also an arena of great medical activity derived from the heritage of Ibn Sina. The Ottoman Turks were especially known for the creation of major hospitals and medical centers. These included not only units for the care of the physically ill, but also wards for patients with psychological ailments. The Ottomans were also the first to receive the influence of modem European medicine in both medicine and phammacology.
In mentioning Islamic hospitals it is necessary to mention that all major Islamic cities had hospitals; some like those of Baghdad were teaching hospitals while some like the Nasiri hospital of Cairo had thousands of beds for patients with almost any type of illness. Hygiene in these hospitals was greatly emphasized and al-Razi had even written a treatise on hygiene in hospitals. Some hospitals also specialized in particular diseases including psychological ones. Cairo even had a hospital which specialilzed in patients having insomnia.

Pharmacology
Islamic medical authorities were also always concemed with the significance of pharmacology and many important works such as the Canon have whole books devoted to the subject. The Muslims became heir not only to the pharmacological knowledge of the Greeks as contained in the works of Dioscorides, but also the vast herbal phammacopias of the Persians and Indians. They also studied the medical effects of many drugs, especially herbs, themselves. The greatest contributions in this field came from Maghribi scientists such as Ibn Juljul, Ibn al-Salt and the most original of Muslim phammacologists, the 12th century scientist, al-Ghafiqi, whose Book of Simple Drugs provides the best descriptions of the medical properties of plants known to Muslims. Islamic medicine combined the use of drugs for medical purposes with dietary considerations and a whole lifestyle derived from the teachings of Islam to create a synthesis which has not died out to this day despite the introduction of modem medicine into most of the Islamic world.

Nature History and Geography
The vast expanse of the Islamic world enabled the Muslims to develop natural history based not only on the Mediterranean world, as was the case of the Greek natural historians, but also on most of the Eurasian and even African land masses. Knowledge of minerals, plants and animals was assembled from areas as far away as the Malay world and synthesized for the first time by Ibn Sina in his Kitab al-Shifa' (The Book of Healing). Such major natural historians as al-Mas'udi intertwined natural and human history. Al-Biruni likewise in his study of India turned to the natural history and even geology of the region, describing correctly the sedimentary nature of the Ganges basin. He also wrote the most outstanding Muslim work on mineralogy.

Botany and Zoology
As for botany, the most important treatises were composed in the 12th century in Spain with the appearance of the work of al-Ghafiqi. This is also the period when the best known Arabic work on agriculture, the Kitab al-falahah, was written. The Muslims also showed much interest in zoology especially in horses as witnessed by the classical text of al-Jawaliqi, and in falcons and other hunting birds. The works of al-Jahiz and al-Damiri are especially famous in the field of zoology and deal with the literary, moral and even theological dimensions of the study of animals as well as the purely zoological aspects of the subject. This is also true of a whole class of writings on the "wonders of creation" of which the book of Abu Yahya al-Qazwini, the 'Aja'ih al-makhluqat (The Wonders of Creation) is perhaps the most famous.

Geography
Likewise in geography, Muslims were able to extend their horizons far beyond the world of Ptolemy. As a result of travel over land and by sea and the facile exchange of ideas made possible by the unified structure of the Islamic world and the hajj which enables pilgrims from all over the Islamic world to gather and exchange ideas in addition to visiting the House of God, a vast amount of knowledge of areas from the Pacific to the Atlantic was assembled. The Muslim geographers starting with al-Khwarazmi, who laid the foundation of this science among Muslims in the 9th century, began to study the geography of practically the whole globe minus the Americas, dividing the earth into the traditional seven climes each of which they studied carefully from both a geographical and climactic point of view. They also began to draw maps some of which reveal with remarkable accuracy many features such as the origin of the Nile, not discovered in the West until much later. The foremost among Muslim geographers was Abu 'Abdallah al-Idrisi, who worked at the court of Roger II in Sicily and who dedicated his famous book, Kitab al-rujari (The Book of Roger) to him. His maps are among the great achievements of Islamic science. It was in fact with the help of Muslim geographers and navigators that Magellan crossed the Cape of Good Hope into the Indian Ocean. Even Columbus made use of their knowledge in his discovery of America.

Chemistry
The very name alchemy as well as its derivative chemistry come from the Arabic al-kimiya'. The Muslims mastered Alexandrian and even certain elements of Chinese alchemy and very early in their history, produced their greatest alchemist, Jabir ibn Hayyan (the Latin Geber) who lived in the 8th century. Putting the cosmological and symbolic aspects of alchemy aside, one can assert that this art led to much experimentation with various materials and in the hands of Muhammad ibn Zakariyya' al-Razi was converted into the science of chemistry. To this day certain chemical instruments such as the alembic (al-'anbiq) still bear their original Arabic names and the mercury-sulphur theory of Islamic alchemy remains as the foundation of the acid-base theory of chemistry. Al-Razi's division of materials into animal, vegetable and mineral is still prevalent and a vast body of knowledge of materials accumulated by Islamic alchemists and chemists has survived over the centuries in both East and West. For example the use of dyes in objects of Islamic art ranging from carpets to miniatures or the making of glass have much to do with this branch of learning which the West learned completely from Islamic sources since alchemy was not studied and practiced in the West before the translation of Arabic texts into Latin in the 11th century.

Technology
Islam inherited the millenial experience in various forrns of technology from the peoples who entered the fold of Islam and the nations which became part of Dar al-Islam. A wide range of technological knowledge, from the building of water wheels by the Romans to the underground water system by the Persians, became part and parcel of the technology of the newly founded order. Muslims also imported certain kinds of technology from the Far East such as paper which they brought from China and whose technology they later transmitted to the West. They also developed many forms of technology on the basis of earlier existing knowledge such as the metallurgical art of making the famous Damascene swords, an art which goes back to the making of steel several thousand years before on the Iranian plateau. Likewise Muslims developed new architectural techniques of vaulting, methods of ventilation, preparations of dyes, techniques of weaving, technologies related to irrigation and numerous other forms of technology, some of which survive to this day.

Man and Nature
In general Islamic civilization emphasized the harmony between man and nature as seen in the traditional design of Islamic cities. Maximum use was made of natural elements and forces, and men built in harmony with, not in opposition to nature. Some of the Muslim technological feats such as dams which have survived for over a millenium, domes which can withstand earthquakes, and steel which reveals incredible metallurgical know-how, attest to the exceptional attainment of Muslims in many fields of technology. In fact it was a vastly superior technology that first impressed the Crusaders in their unsuccessful attempt to capture the Holy Land and much of this technology was brought back by the Crusaders to the rest of Europe.

Architecture
One of the major achievements of Islamic civilization is architecture which combines technology Treatises on natural and art. The great masterpieces of Islamic architecture from the Cordoba Mosque and the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem to the Taj Mahal in India, scientists were often display this perfect wedding between the artistic illustrated with detailed principles of Islam and remarkable technological know-how. Much of the outstanding medieval facilitate teaching of the architecture of the West is in fact indebted to the techniques of Islamic architecture. When one views the Notre Dame in Paris or some other Gothic cathedral, one is reminded of the building techniques which travelled from Muslim Cordoba northward. Gothic arches as well as interior courtyards of so many medieval and Renaissance European structures remind the viewer of the Islamic architectural examples from which they originally drew. In fact the great medieval European architectural tradition is one of the elements of Western civilization most directly linked with the Islamic world, while the presence of Islamic architecture ean also be directly experienced in the Moorish style found not only in Spain and Latin America, but in the southwestern United States as well.

Influence of Islamic Science and learning on the West
The oldest university in the world which is still functioning is the eleven hundred-year-old Islamic university of Fez, Morocco, known as the Qarawiyyin. This old tradition of Islamic learning influenced the West greatly through Spain. In this land where Muslims, Christians and Jews lived for the most part peacefully for many centuries, translations began to be made in the 11th century mostly in Toledo of Islamic works into Latin often through the intermediary of Jewish scholars most of whom knew Arabic and often wrote in Arabic. As a result of these translations, Islamic thought and through it much of Greek thought became known to the West and Western schools of learning began to flourish. Even the Islamic educational system was emulated in Europe and to this day the term chair in a university reflects the Arabic kursi (literally seat) upon which a teacher would sit to teach his students in the madrasah (school of higher learning). As European civillization grew and reached the high Middle Ages, there was hardly a field of learning or form of art, whether it was literature or architecture, where there was not some influence of Islam present. Islamic learning became in this way part and parcel of Western civilization even if with the advent of the Renaissance, the West not only turned against its own medieval past but also sought to forget the long relation it had had with the Islamic world, one which was based on intellectual respect despite religious opposition.

Aftermath of colonial rule
At the height of European colonial expansion in the 19th century, most of the Islamic world was under colonial rule with the exception of a few regions such as the heart of the Ottoman empire, Persia, Afghanistan, Yemen and certain parts of Arabia. But even these areas were under foreign influence or, in the case of the Ottomans, under constant threat. After the First World War with the breakup of the Ottoman empire, a number of Arab states such as Iraq became independent, others like Jordan were created as a new entity and yet others like Palestine, Syria and Lebanon were either mandated or turned into French colonies. As for Arabia, it was at this time that Saudi Arabia became finally consolidated. As for other parts of the Islamic world, Egypt which had been ruled by the descendents of Muhammad Ali since the l9th century became more independent as a result of the fall of the Ottomans, Turkey was turned into a secular republic by Ataturk, and the Pahlavi dynasty began a new chapter in Persia where its name reverted to its eastern traditional form of Iran. But most of the rest of the Islamic world remained under colonial rule.

Arab
It was only after the Second World War and the dismemberment of the British, French, Dutch and Spanish empires that the rest of the Islamic world gained its independence. In the Arab world, Syria and Lebanon became independent at the end of the war as did Libya and the shaykdoms around the Gulf and the Arabian Sea by the 1960's. The North African countries of Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria had to fight a difficult and, in the case of Algeria, long and protracted war to gain their freedom which did not come until a decade later for Tunisia and Morocco and two decades later for Algeria. Only Palestine did not become independent but was partitioned in 1948 with the establishment of the state of Israel.

India
In India Muslims participated in the freedom movement against British rule along with Hindus and when independence finally came in 1947, they were able to create their own homeland, Pakistan, which came into being for the sake of Islam and became the most populated Muslim state although many Muslims remained in India. In 1971, however, the two parts of the state broke up, East Pakistan becoming Bengladesh.

Far East
Farther east still, the Indonesians finally gained their independence from the Dutch and the Malays theirs from Britain. At first Singapore was part of Malaysia but it separated in 1963 to become an independent state. Small colonies still persisted in the area and continued to seek their independence, the kingdom of Brunei becoming independent as recently as 1984.

Africa
In Africa also major countries with large or majority Muslim populations such as Nigeria, Senegal and Tanzania began to gain their independence in the 1950's and 1960's with the result that by the end of the decade of the 60's most parts of the Islamic world were formed into independent national states. There were, however, exceptions. The Muslim states in the Soviet Union failed to gain their autonomy or independence. The same holds true for Sinkiang (called Eastem Turkestan by Muslim geographers) while in Eritrea and the southern Philippines Muslim independence movements still continue.

National States
While the world of Islam has entered into the modern world in the form of national states, continuous attempts are made to create closer cooperation within the Islamic world as a whole and to bring about greater unity. This is seen not only in the meetings of the Muslim heads of state and the establishment of the OIC (Organization of Islamic Countries) with its own secretariat, but also in the creation of institutions dealing with the whole of the Islamic world. Among the most important of these is the Muslim World League (Rabitat al-alam al-Islami ) with its headquarters in Makkah. Saudi Arabia has in fact played a pivotal role in the creation and maintenance of such organizations.

Revival and Reassertion of Islam
Muslims did not wish to gain only their political independence. They also wished to assert their own religious and cultural identity. From the 18th century onward Muslim reformers appeared upon the scene who sought to reassert the teachings of Islam and to reform society on the basis of Islamic teachings. One of the first among this group was Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab, who hailed from the Arabian peninsula and died there in 1792. This reformer was supported by Muhammad ibn al-Sa'ud, the founder of the first Saudi state. With this support Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab was able to spread his teachings not only in Arabia but even beyond its borders to other Islamic lands where his reforms continue to wield influence to this day.
In the 19th century lslamic assertion took several different forms ranging from the Mahdi movement of the Sudan and the Sanusiyyah in North Africa which fought wars against European colonizers, to educational movements such as that of Aligarh in India aiming to reeducate Muslims. In Egypt which, because of al-Azhar University, remains to this day central to Islamic learning, a number of reformers appear, each addressing some aspect of Islamic thought. Some were concerned more with law, others economics, and yet others the challenges posed by Western civilization with its powerful science and technology. These included Jamal al-Din al-Afghani who hailed originally from Persia but settled in Cairo and who was the great champion of Pan-Islamism, that is the movement to unite the Islamic world politically as well as religiously. His student, Muhammad 'Abduh, who became the rector of al-Azhar. was also very influential in Islamic theology and thought. Also of considerable influence was his Syrian student, Rashid Rida, who held a position closer to that of 'Abd al-Wahhab and stood for the strict application of the Shari'ah. Among the most famous of these thinkers is Muhammad Iqbal, the outstanding poet and philosopher who is considered as the father of Pakistan.

Reform Organizations
Moreover, as Western influence began to penetrate more deeply into the fiber of Islamic society, organizations gradually grew up whose goal was to reform society in practice along Islamic lines and prevent its secularization. These included the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan al-muslimin) founded in Egypt and with branches in many Muslim countries, and the Jama'at-i Islami of Pakistan founded by the influential Mawlana Mawdudi. These organizations have been usually peaceful and have sought to reestablish an Islamic order through education. During the last two decades, however, as a result of the frustration of many Muslims in the face of pressures coming from a secularized outside world, some have sought to reject the negative aspects of Western thought and culture and to return to an Islamic society based completely on the application of the Shari 'ah. Today in every Muslim country there are strong movements to preserve and propagate Islamic teachings. In countries such as Saudi Arabia Islamic Law is already being applied and in fact is the reason for the prosperity, development and stability of the country. In other countries where Islamic Law is not being applied, however, most of the effort of Islamic movements is spent in making possible the full application of the Shari'ah so that the nation can enjoy prosperity along with the fulfillment of the faith of its people. In any case the widespread desire for Muslims to have the religious law of Islam applied and to reassert their religious values and their own identity must not be equated with exceptional violent eruptions which do exist but which are usually treated sensationally and taken out of proportion by the mass media in the West.

Kaaba
The Ka'ba is the place of worship which God commanded Abraham and Ishmael to build over four thousand years ago. The building was constructed of stone on what many believe was the original site of a sanctuary established by Adam. God commanded Abraham to summon all mankind to visit this place, and when pilgrims go there today they say 'At Thy service, O Lord', in response to Abraham's summons.

Quran
The Quran is a record of the exact words revealed by God through the Angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). It was memorized by Muhammad (SAW) and then dictated to his Companions, and written down by scribes, who cross-checked it during his lifetime. Not one word of its 114 chapters, Suras, has been changed over the centuries, so that the Quran is in every detail the unique and miraculous text which was revealed to Muhammad (SAW) fourteen centuries ago.

Caliphs
Upon the death of the Prophet, Abu Bakr, the friend of the Prophet and the first adult male to embrace Islam, became caliph. Abu Bakr ruled for two years to be succeeded by 'Umar who was caliph for a decade and during whose rule Islam spread extensively east and west conquering the Persian empire, Syria and Egypt. It was 'Umar who marched on foot at the end of the Muslim army into Jerusalem and ordered the protection of Christian sites. 'Umar also established the first public treasury and a sophisticated financial administration. He established many of the basic practices of Islamic government.

'Umar was succeeded by 'Uthman who ruled for some twelve years during which time the Islamic expansion continued. He is also known as the caliph who had the definitive text of the Noble Quran copied and sent to the four corners of the Islamic world. He was in turn succeeded by 'Ali who is known to this day for his eloquent sermons and letters, and also for his bravery. With his death the rule of the "rightly guided" caliphs, who hold a special place of respect in the hearts of Muslims, came to an end.

Last edited by Princess Royal; Sunday, April 20, 2008 at 10:02 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following 17 Users Say Thank You to safdarmehmood For This Useful Post:
Abdullah88 (Wednesday, July 20, 2011), afifa ali (Friday, September 11, 2009), Beauty (Friday, March 22, 2013), beginer (Tuesday, November 17, 2015), cyraaa (Sunday, June 12, 2011), Faraz_1984 (Friday, August 08, 2008), Himmat Na Haar (Monday, October 26, 2009), Humayun Khan (Friday, January 01, 2010), jahanzaib khan kakar (Monday, September 23, 2013), Jahanzebmemon (Thursday, October 22, 2009), khuhro (Thursday, August 23, 2012), pisceankhan (Thursday, July 03, 2014), Potential Threat (Monday, October 19, 2009), Shikva (Thursday, June 02, 2011), theknight (Thursday, October 24, 2013), xahi (Wednesday, December 05, 2012), yasirmayo (Wednesday, June 29, 2011)
  #2  
Old Thursday, June 02, 2011
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Lahore
Posts: 49
Thanks: 0
Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts
ayazsaleem is on a distinguished road
Arrow

It is request to all of us that the word "Makkah" is used instead 'Mecca' in all your written material.


The word "Zakat" instead 'Zakah' is used. Don't try to short the Islamic words


Regards

Ayaz Saleem
Comsats IIT, Lahore

Last edited by Silent.Volcano; Thursday, June 02, 2011 at 03:05 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to ayazsaleem For This Useful Post:
Beauty (Friday, March 22, 2013)
  #3  
Old Tuesday, July 05, 2011
Veeniez's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1
Thanks: 2
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Veeniez is on a distinguished road
Default

571: Birth of the Holy Prophet. Year of the Elephant.

the year of elephant n the birth of Prophet is 570! isnt it?..:s
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Veeniez For This Useful Post:
Beauty (Friday, March 22, 2013)
  #4  
Old Wednesday, January 18, 2012
AdeelAhmed's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: karachi
Posts: 14
Thanks: 23
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
AdeelAhmed is on a distinguished road
Default Adeel

Dear.. safdarmehmood

Thank u very much for sharing such valuable information..
but plzz confirm me that..
weather the info u provide is othentic or not..
can I used it for my islamic studies..
plz make this thing confirm..

Adeel Ahmed.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old Thursday, June 28, 2018
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 12
Thanks: 5
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Muzafar Ali Shah is on a distinguished road
Default

Good stuff
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The Religion Of Islam MUKHTIAR ALI Islamiat 1 Thursday, June 28, 2018 08:08 AM
Islamic Doc Predator Islam 43 Thursday, June 28, 2018 08:07 AM
development of pakistan press since 1947 Janeeta Journalism & Mass Communication 14 Wednesday, November 11, 2015 11:03 AM
Jihad In The Modern Era: Heavenly Happiness Islamiat Notes 0 Friday, June 22, 2007 01:58 PM
Islam ( AN essay of islamic basics) Ahmad Bilal Essays 0 Friday, April 14, 2006 05:44 PM


CSS Forum on Facebook Follow CSS Forum on Twitter

Disclaimer: All messages made available as part of this discussion group (including any bulletin boards and chat rooms) and any opinions, advice, statements or other information contained in any messages posted or transmitted by any third party are the responsibility of the author of that message and not of CSSForum.com.pk (unless CSSForum.com.pk is specifically identified as the author of the message). The fact that a particular message is posted on or transmitted using this web site does not mean that CSSForum has endorsed that message in any way or verified the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message. We encourage visitors to the forum to report any objectionable message in site feedback. This forum is not monitored 24/7.

Sponsors: ArgusVision   vBulletin, Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.