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Islam Invite to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better. Truly, your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His Path, and He is the Best Aware of those who are guided." Holy Qur'an 16:125

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Old Tuesday, November 13, 2007
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Post Islamic Doc

Islamic Fundamentalism

I -INTRODUCTION
Islamic Fundamentalism, diverse political and social movements in Muslim countries of North Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia, which have as their goal national government based on the principles and values of Islam. Although these movements all seek to restore social justice based on sharia (Islamic law), they differ in the form of government they seek and in how strictly they believe the government should interpret the law.

For many people in the West, the term “Islamic fundamentalism” evokes images of hostage crises, embassies under siege, hijackings, and suicide bombers. But these images hardly present a comprehensive picture. The ranks of Islamic fundamentalists include Muslims who provide much-needed services to the poor through Islamic schools, medical clinics, social welfare agencies, and other institutions. While some Islamic militants try to reach their goals through violence, the majority of Islamic activists work through political parties within the electoral process. At the fringes are those like Saudi-born millionaire Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda network that engage in a global war of terrorism.

The reassertion of Islam and Islamic values in Muslim politics and society over the past 30 years is often referred to in the West as the rise of Islamic fundamentalism. However, the word fundamentalism, which originated in Christianity, can be misleading when it is used to describe Islam or Muslim countries. The conservative monarchy of Saudi Arabia, the radical socialist state of Libya, and clerically governed Iran have all been described as “fundamentalist,” but this description fails to take into account vast differences in their governments and policies. Political analysts prefer to use the expressions “political Islam” or “Islamism” when discussing Islam’s many-faceted roles in current social and political movements.

II -ISLAM AND POLITICS
Like Judaism and Christianity, Islam originated in the Middle East. Adherents of all three religions are considered to be the children of Abraham. Muslims believe that God, whom they call Allah, sent his revelation first to Moses (through the Hebrew scriptures, the Torah), then to Jesus (through the New Testament of the Christian Bible), and finally to Muhammad (through the Islamic scriptures, the Qur'an). Islam is based on the Qur’an and the example of the prophet Muhammad. Islam’s involvement with politics dates back to its beginnings with the founding of a community-state by Muhammad in the 7th century AD. Under the political leadership of Muhammad and his successors, known as caliphs (see Caliphate), Islam expanded from its point of origin in what is now Saudi Arabia into Islamic empires and cultures that extend across North Africa, through the Middle East, and into Asia and Europe (see Spread of Islam). Islam today claims more than 1.2 billion followers, more than any religion except Christianity.

Islam has exercised considerable political and social influence throughout its history. Early rulers in the Middle East and elsewhere claimed legitimacy for their authority in the name of Islam, and Islamic teachings gave structure to almost every facet of society. But these early Muslim states and empires were not theocracies—that is, governments ruled by or subject to religious authority. There never was a theocratic or clergy-run state in the Middle East until the creation of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979.

A -The Resurgence of Political Islam
The causes of Islam's resurgence vary by country and region, but there are several common threads. Among these is a widespread feeling of failure and loss of self-esteem in many Muslim societies. Most Middle Eastern and North African countries achieved independence from colonial rule by the mid-20th century, but the expectations that accompanied independence were shattered by failed political systems and economies and the negative effects of modernization. Overcrowded cities with insufficient social support systems, high unemployment rates, government corruption, and a growing gap between rich and poor characterized many of the newly independent Muslim nations. Modernization also led to a breakdown of traditional family, religious, and social values.

Many Muslims blamed Western models of political and economic development for these failures. Once enthusiastically pursued as symbols of modernity, these models increasingly came under criticism as sources of moral decline and spiritual malaise. Consequently, many countries became disillusioned with the West, and in particular with the United States. United States support for authoritarian Muslim rulers who backed Westernization, such as Iran's Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, as well as America’s pro-Israel policy, strengthened anti-Western feelings.

Israel's crushing victory over its Muslim neighbors in the 1967 Six-Day War became a symbol of this sense of failure. After defeating the combined forces of several Arab nations, Israel seized conquered territory from Egypt, Syria, and Jordan. The loss of Jerusalem, the third holiest city of Islam, was particularly devastating to Muslims around the world.

The Islamic revival has affected both the private and public lives of Muslims. Many Muslims have recommitted themselves to Islam's basic tenets by attending mosque, fasting, wearing Islamic dress, emphasizing family values, and abstaining from alcohol and gambling. Publicly, the revival has manifested itself in the form of Islamic banks, religious programming in the media, a proliferation of religious literature, and the emergence of new Islamic associations dedicated to political and social reform.

As Islamic symbols, slogans, ideology, and organizations became prominent fixtures in Muslim politics in the 1980s, Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi, Pakistan’s General Muhammad Zia ul-Haq, and other government leaders appealed to Islam in order to enhance their legitimacy and authority and to mobilize popular support. Movements in opposition to the government in Afghanistan, Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and other countries did the same.

The most successful Islamic opposition movement culminated in the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979. Throughout the 1980s, Iran inspired antigovernment protests in Kuwait and Bahrain, and helped create Islamic militias, such as Lebanon's Hezbollah (Party of God) and Islamic Jihad, both of which were involved in hijackings and hostage-takings. These acts, combined with the 1981 assassination of Egypt’s president Anwar Sadat by religious extremists, contributed to the image of a monolithic radical Islamic “fundamentalist” threat to governments in the Muslim world and the West. Distinguishing between moderate Islamic groups that participate within society and violent revolutionaries is critical to understanding the resurgence of Islam. Many opponents of political Islam have charged that all Islamic movements are extremist groups that seek to “hijack democracy” and manipulate the political system in order to gain power and impose their will. Some experts argue that this type of reaction contributes to the radicalization of moderate Islamists.

B -Beliefs Behind Political Islam
A number of beliefs and assumptions lie at the heart of the Islamic political revival. The first of these is that the Muslim world is in a state of decline, and the cause of this decline is departure from the straight path of Islam.

The cure, therefore, is a return to Islam in personal and public life, which will ensure the restoration of Islamic identity, values, and power. Moreover, Islam is a total or comprehensive way of life as stipulated in the Qur’an, mirrored in the example of Muhammad and the first Muslim community-state organized by Muhammad at Medina, and embodied in the comprehensive nature of the sharia. Thus, the renewal and revitalization of Muslim governments and societies require the restoration or reimplementation of Islamic law, which provides the blueprint for an Islamically guided and socially just state and society.

Although political Islam condemns the Westernization and secularization of society, it does not condemn modernization as such. Science and technology are accepted, but the pace, direction, and extent of change are to be subordinated to Islamic belief and values in order to guard against the penetration of and excessive dependence on Western values.

C -Beliefs of the Radical Minority
While the majority of Islamic activists seek to work within the system and bring about change from within society, a relatively small but significant radical extremist minority believe they have a mandate from God to carry out God’s will. This extremist minority further believes that because the rulers in the Muslim world are authoritarian and anti-Islamic, violent change is necessary. They seek to topple governments, seize power, and impose their vision or interpretation of Islam upon society.

Radical Islamic movements often operate on the assumption that Islam and the West are locked in an ongoing battle that reaches back to the early days of Islam, a battle that has been heavily influenced by the legacy of the Crusades and European colonialism, and that today is the product of a Judeo-Christian conspiracy. This conspiracy, they believe, is the result of superpower neocolonialism and the power of Zionism (support for a Jewish nation, now the state of Israel). These radical movements blame the West (Britain, France, and especially the United States) for its support of un-Islamic or unjust regimes and biased support for Israel in the face of the displacement of the Palestinian people (see Palestine). Thus, violence against such governments and their representatives as well as Western multinationals is regarded as legitimate self-defense.

Islamic radicals also believe that Islam is not simply an ideological alternative for Muslim societies but a theological and political imperative. Because it is God’s command, implementation must be immediate, not gradual, and the obligation to implement is incumbent on all true Muslims. Therefore, those who hesitate, remain apolitical, or resist—individuals and governments—are no longer to be regarded as Muslims. They are atheists or unbelievers, enemies of God, against whom all true Muslims must wage holy war in the form of jihad.

III -THE FACES OF POLITICAL ISLAM TODAY
At the beginning of the 21st century, Islam remains a major presence and political force throughout the Muslim world. The question is not whether Islam has a place and role in society, but how best for it to assume that role. While some Muslims wish to pursue a more secular path, others call for a more visible role of Islam in public life. The majority of Islamic activists and movements function and participate within society. A distinct minority are radical extremists who attempt to destabilize or overthrow governments and commit acts of violence and terrorism within their countries.

During the late 1980s and the 1990s Islamic political organizations began to participate in elections, when allowed, and to provide much-needed educational and social services in a number of countries. Headed by educated laity rather than the clergy, these Islamic organizations attracted a broad spectrum of members, from professionals and technocrats to the uneducated and poor. Candidates with an Islamic orientation were elected to high office in several countries. In Turkey, the leader of the Islamist Welfare Party held the office of prime minister from 1996 to 1997. In Malaysia, Anwar Ibrahim, a founder of the Malaysian Islamic Youth Movement (ABIM), served as deputy prime minister from 1993 until his dismissal in a power struggle in 1998. In the first democratic elections in Indonesia, Abdurrahman Wahid, leader of perhaps the largest Islamic movement, the Nahdlatul Ulama, was elected president in 1999. But popular support for him eroded as Indonesia’s economic problems worsened, and he was removed from office in 2001.

The primary concerns of Islamic movements are domestic or national, although international issues also have shaped Muslim politics. Among the more influential issues have been the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict and Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem; the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan during the 1980s; the devastating impact of United Nations sanctions against Iraq following the Persian Gulf War (1991) and the consequent deaths of an estimated 500,000 Iraqi children; and forceful efforts to suppress Muslims in Bosnia, Chechnya, and Kashmīr. In addition, countries such as Iran, Libya, and Saudi Arabia have sought to extend their influence internationally by supporting government Islamization programs as well as Islamist movements elsewhere.

A review of the current situation in key areas of North Africa, the Middle East, and Southwestern Asia indicates the directions and diverse forms that Muslim politics has taken during recent decades.

A -Tunisia
Until the late 1980s analysts believed that North Africa, like Turkey, was beyond the reach of any serious challenge from Islamic activism. Tunisia had had one-man rule after gaining independence from France in 1957; Habib Bourguiba served as the country’s president from 1957 to 1987. In 1987 Tunisia’s prime minister Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali seized power from Bourguiba, who had been declared senile.

Ben Ali promised democratization and held parliamentary elections in 1989. Islamic candidates won 14.5 percent of the vote nationwide and a stunning 30 percent in several cities. The Tunisian government responded by suppressing the most effective Islamic opposition movement, Ennahda, through widespread arrests and trials held before specially created military courts. International human rights organizations strongly criticized these repressive actions. The government’s brief flirtation with democratization came to an end as President Ben Ali in 1994 and 1999 won reelection by 99 percent of the vote.

B -Algeria
Whereas the Tunisian government decapitated the Islamic movement, driving its leaders into exile or underground, in Algeria the military set in motion an escalating spiral of indiscriminate violence and counterviolence. Under its constitution Algeria had single-party rule by the National Liberation Front (Front de Libération Nationale, FLN), the group that won independence from France in 1962. A revised constitution in 1989 permitted other political parties to challenge the FLN. That year the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) became North Africa’s first legal Islamic political party.

Led by a university professor, Shaykh Ali Abbasi al-Madani, the FIS flourished as the FLN-led government failed to resolve Algeria’s social and economic problems. Through mosques and an effective social welfare network, the FIS built a national organization and emerged as the strongest opposition party. Substantial support for FIS came from the unemployed, at a time when Algeria’s unemployment rate had surpassed 30 percent, and from socially marginalized youths. But FIS supporters also included small-business owners and prosperous merchants, civil servants, university professors, physicians, lawyers, and other professionals.

In 1990 Algeria held local elections, its first multiparty election since independence. The FIS captured 54 percent of the vote, and it scored an even more surprising victory in 1992 in the first round of parliamentary elections. As Islamists celebrated after the elections, the Algerian military intervened and forced the resignation of Algeria’s president. The military arrested more FIS leaders, outlawed the FIS, seized FIS assets, and imprisoned more than 10,000 Algerians in desert camps. These actions led to a protracted civil war in which the majority of Algerians found themselves caught between extremist factions. On one side were hardline military and security forces whose only strategy was the eradication of Islamism; on the other, the equally uncompromising radical Armed Islamic Group.

Brutality and bloodshed continued into the late 1990s and early 2000s. The FIS was excluded from 1997 elections for the National Assembly (lower house of the Algerian legislature), but two other Islamically oriented parties together won 107 of the 380 seats. Presidential elections in 1999 were flawed by the last-minute withdrawal of all six opposition candidates, who charged that the military had rigged the elections.

C -Egypt
Political Islam in Egyptian society includes a spectrum of organizations, from radical and violent to mainstream and nonviolent. The Muslim Brotherhood gained strength during the 1970s under Egypt’s president Anwar Sadat and began participating in the political process during the 1980s under his successor, Hosni Mubarak. Radical Islamic organizations, such as Islamic Jihad and the Islamic Group (al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya), turned to violence in the 1990s, attacking government officials, institutions, fellow Muslims, Christians, and foreign tourists. Their goal was to destabilize and overthrow the Egyptian government.

The Mubarak government launched a counteroffensive against the radical groups, imprisoning more than 20,000 Islamists, many of them without charge. Military courts not subject to law were created, and laws were enacted to restrict freedom of the press, take control of mosques, and prevent elected Islamists from heading professional associations. The slaughter of 58 foreign tourists at the historic town of Luxor in 1997 seemed to indicate the powerlessness of the government. By 2000, however, the Mubarak government had gained the upper hand and weakened the radical movements.

Despite the government’s apparent success in containing Islamic radicalism, Egyptian society has become more Islamized by moderate Islamists at the grassroots level, however. Young, university-educated professionals preach to middle- and upper-class audiences. Physicians, journalists, lawyers, and political scientists—male and female—speak out and write on issues of Islamic reform, such as pluralism (different beliefs) within Islam, women’s rights, and social justice for the poor. Islamic schools, clinics, hospitals, and social services, as well as Islamic banks and publishing houses, offer an alternative set of institutions and an indirect indictment of the government’s inability to meet peoples’ needs. Elections in 2000 were the first to be supervised by Egypt’s independent judiciary and thus free of the ballot tampering that characterized previous elections. Although the Muslim Brotherhood was banned from participating as a legal party, its members, running independently or with other parties, won 17 of the 444 contested seats in the legislature.

D -Iran
In 1979 Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, an aging, white-bearded Muslim cleric came to power in Iran, having toppled Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, a modern ruler and close ally of the United States. The Iranian revolution was the product of a long, slow buildup of opposition to the shah, who came to power in 1941. In 1953 the shah was forced to flee the country by supporters of Iran’s prime minister, who sought to nationalize Iran's oil industry. But the shah was reinstated within a week with the help of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). He maintained a close relationship with the United States and Europe afterward.

During the 1960s and 1970s, the shah used his country's enormous oil revenues to finance a modernization program. But the reforms tended to benefit urban areas and the educated elite rather than Iran's thousands of rural villages. Opponents warned that the shah’s uncritical economic, military, and cultural dependence on the West, referred to as “Westoxification,” threatened Iranian identity, autonomy, and culture.

The Iranian revolution (1978-1979) was supported by a broad-based alliance of religious and political opponents, mobilized under the umbrella of Shia Islam, the dominant form of Islam in Iran. An existing network of clergy, mosques, and seminaries in every city, town, and village provided necessary organization and a means for communication and mobilization of the people. Although the government banned political meetings, it could not close the mosques, where Iranians heard sermons denouncing injustice and oppression. Khomeini, exiled in 1964 for criticizing the shah, became a symbol of the opposition. The shah's military and security forces responded with increased ferocity against opponents. The shah's unyielding stance transformed his opponents into revolutionaries. As a stunned world looked on, the shah's government fell. Khomeini returned from exile, and the Islamic Republic of Iran was born.

Although many Iranians expected the clergy would return to their mosques and seminaries soon after the revolution, Iran became a clergy-governed state within a year. Khomeini sat at the apex of power and served as the final authority on all domestic and international matters. He silenced all effective opposition, secular and religious, and many Iranians fled the country.
After Khomeini's death in 1989, Iran witnessed an expansion of political participation and dissent. Public discussion and debate became more open, and the number of independent newspapers, magazines, and journals grew significantly. But perhaps the most stunning example of increased moderation and pluralism in Iran was the victory of Muslim cleric Mohammed Khatami in Iran's 1997 presidential election.

Widely seen as moderate and progressive, Khatami pursued two major policies: creating a more open and tolerant society at home and promoting dialogue with the West abroad. In January 1998 Khatami proposed cultural exchanges with the United States as a means of breaking down the “wall of mistrust” between the two countries. As a result, Iran and the United States embarked on more open communication and exchange.

In its third decade, the Islamic Republic of Iran is locked in a struggle to redefine its political and economic future at home and abroad. Reformists jockey with antireform forces for political power. In elections in 2000, pro-Khatami progressive candidates gained a plurality of seats in parliament. After this victory conservative forces flexed their political muscle, leading many of Khatami’s key supporters in government to resign. Some government officials were imprisoned, and the judiciary closed down more than 30 reformist newspapers and journals. Conservative clergy retained control of the major institutions of power. Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme spiritual leader, expanded his authority to encompass parliamentary affairs and the once independent seminaries. Thus, the significance and impact of President Khatami’s quiet revolution and the future direction of Iran and its posture in international politics remained difficult to fully assess or predict in late 2001.

E -Pakistan
Pakistan moved toward greater Islamization of state and society under General Zia ul-Haq, the country’s president from 1978 to 1988. A side effect of Pakistan’s Islamization was increased conflict between different religious communities and organizations, especially between the Sunni Muslim majority and the Shia Muslim minority. Although anti-Shia sentiment had existed in Pakistan, the 1990s saw a dramatic upsurge of religious radicalism and violence. Armed with automatic weapons and explosives, militant Sunni organizations fought equally militant Shia organizations.

During this period of religious violence, Pakistan, long regarded as a stable ally of the United States, became a training ground for guerrilla warriors and Islamic terrorists. The Soviet Union had invaded Afghanistan in 1979, and a ten-year Soviet-Afghan War followed. Afghan rebels set up camp in Pakistan, where Muslims from other countries joined them to train as guerrillas. Known as mujahideen, the guerrillas were regarded as freedom fighters in their campaign against Soviet forces, and they received substantial financial and military assistance from the United States, Saudi Arabia, and other countries throughout the 1980s. After the war ended with Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989, many of the mujahideen returned home to such countries as Algeria, Egypt, and Pakistan. There they contributed to the spread of radical Islam. Others remained in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Pakistan’s military, Islamized under Zia, supported the mujahideen. The military developed close ties with the Taliban (the movement that controlled most of Afghanistan from 1996 until November 2001) and with militant Pakistani groups. So did many of Pakistan’s madrasas (religious seminaries). Pakistan and Afghanistan together supported the mujahideen in their struggle against India in Kashmir, disputed territory claimed by both Pakistan and India.

F- Afghanistan
Although Afghanistan’s mujahideen succeeded in driving out Soviet occupation forces in 1988 and 1989, their victory did not bring peace to Afghanistan. The rebels ousted Afghanistan’s central government in 1992, but civil war then broke out among factions within the mujahideen. The shared Islamic identity that had served to inspire, mobilize, and unify the mujahideen in their jihad against the Soviet Union was eclipsed by Afghanistan’s age-old tribal, ethnic, and religious (Sunni-Shia) differences and rivalries.

F1 -Rise of the Taliban
A new militia, Taliban, first appeared in late 1994 and subsequently swept across Afghanistan, uniting 90 percent of the country under its rule and declaring the Islamic State of Afghanistan in 1996. Taliban, which means “group of madrasa students,” included many veterans of the Afghan-Soviet war who had returned to the madrasas after the departure of the Soviet troops. Although portrayed as seminary students with no military background, they were in fact a highly trained force.

The Taliban were initially hailed as liberators who secured towns, made the streets safe for ordinary citizens, and cleaned up corruption and graft. But they also imposed puritanical doctrines. The Taliban barred women from school and the workplace, required that men wear beards and women the full-length all-enveloping chador, banned music and television, and imposed strict physical punishments on those who deviated from these policies.

The Pashtun, Afghanistan’s dominant ethnic group, dominated the Taliban. Using religion for legitimacy, the Pashtun Taliban fought “holy” wars to subdue other ethnic and Muslim groups in Afghanistan. The Taliban’s intolerance led to the slaughter of many of Afghanistan’s Shia minority, whom the Taliban disdained as heretics. Many Muslim religious leaders denounced the Taliban’s policies as too extreme and a deviation from Islam. Muslim governments as diverse as Iran’s and Egypt’s condemned the Taliban’s violations of human rights, as did Western governments and international human rights organizations. Neither the United Nations nor most of the global community acknowledged the Taliban’s legitimacy as Afghanistan’s governing body.

The Taliban brand of Islam produced a “jihad culture” of Islamic radicalism and revolution. The classical Islamic belief that jihad is a defense of Islam and the Muslim community against aggression was transformed into a militant worldview that targets Muslims and non-Muslims alike. This worldview feeds off political fragmentation and economic failures as well as religious and ethnic differences and conflicts. Many groups that embrace the jihad culture have received support from Saudi Arabia. With the funding has come the influence of Saudi Arabia’s ultraconservative Wahhabi reform movement, which promotes a narrow, militant worldview.

Afghanistan under the Taliban provided a sanctuary and training ground for young Islamic rebels in Southeast and Central Asia. The effects are felt from Chechnya, an autonomous republic in Russia, to Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in China. Afghanistan also has provided a haven for Osama bin Laden, the Saudi-born veteran of the Afghan-Soviet war, and his export of global terrorism.

F2 -Osama bin Laden and Global Terrorism
Attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, on September 11, 2001, provided a grim reminder of Osama bin Laden’s reputation as the godfather of global terrorism. The Afghanistan-based multimillionaire and his umbrella organization of international terrorist groups, al-Qaeda, were soon identified as the prime suspects in the attacks. Intelligence analysts have linked bin Laden and al-Qaeda to a series of attacks, many of them in his self-declared jihad against the United States.

American intelligence experts regard Osama bin Laden as a major funder of terrorist groups involved in the following attacks: bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993; firefight in Somalia in 1993 that left 18 Americans dead; bombing of a military training center run by the United States in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in 1995; bombing of the Khobar Towers, an apartment complex that housed U.S. servicemen in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, in 1996; the killing of 58 tourists at Luxor, Egypt, in 1997; bombings of U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998; and an attack against the USS Cole while it refueled in Yemen in 2000. He has admitted his complicity in the attacks in Somalia; expressed his admiration for the “heroes” responsible for the Riyadh and Dhahran bombings, while denying his involvement; threatened attacks against Americans who remain on Saudi soil; and promised retaliation internationally for cruise missile attacks. In 1998 he announced the creation of a transnational coalition of extremist groups known as The Islamic Front for Jihad against Jews and Crusaders.

After the September 11 attacks, the United States declared a war on terrorism to capture bin Laden, destroy al-Qaeda training bases in Afghanistan, and replace the Taliban with a government less friendly to terrorists. Aerial bombing attacks destroyed al-Qaeda bases and helped a coalition of anti-Taliban forces called the Northern Alliance gain control of Afghanistan. The whereabouts of bin Laden, however, remained unknown.
Osama bin Laden’s message resonates with the feelings of many in the Arab and Muslim world. A sharp critic of U.S. policy toward the Muslim world, bin Laden has denounced U.S. support for Israel, which he blames for the failure of the Middle East peace process. He has condemned U.S. refusal to censure Israel’s 1996 shelling of civilians in Qana, Lebanon, and U.S. insistence on continued economic sanctions against Iraq, which have resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths, especially among children. He has been equally critical of what he dismisses as “new crusades” in the Persian Gulf, in particular the substantial U.S. military and economic presence and involvement in Saudi Arabia. He has embraced populist causes such as the “liberation” of Muslims in Bosnia, Chechnya, Kashmir, Kosovo, and other areas.

Bin Laden and other Islamic extremists justify their use of violence with the claim that most Muslim and Western governments are corrupt oppressors that themselves resort to violence and terrorism. These extremists use Islam to motivate their followers and rationalize their actions. However, they misinterpret and misapply Islamic beliefs. Claiming that Islam and the Muslim world are under siege, they call for a jihad. Although jihad refers to the right and duty of Muslims to defend themselves, their community, and their religion from unjust attack, extremists use the concept to legitimate acts of violence and terrorism.
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Post Muhammad (PBUH)

Muhammad (PBUH)

I -INTRODUCTION
Muhammad (prophet) (570?-632), founder of Islam, whose prophetic teachings, encompassing political and social as well as religious principles, became the basis of Islamic civilization and have had a vast influence on world history.

Muhammad was born in Mecca. He belonged to the clan of Hashim, a poor but respected branch of the prestigious and influential tribe of Quraysh. His father died before he was born, and after his mother's death when he was six, he was brought up by his uncle Abu Talib. Pensive and withdrawn in temperament, he displayed an acute moral sensitivity at an early age, and he was known as al-Amin (“the trusted one”). Like his fellow tribesmen, he became a trader and made several journeys to Syria, where he may have met and conversed with Christians. He then began to manage the business of a rich widow, Khadija; she was greatly impressed by both his honesty and ability, and she shortly offered him marriage, which he accepted at the age of 25.

II -FIRST REVELATION
Muhammad probably heard Christians and Jews expound their religious views at commercial fairs in Mecca, and, troubled by the questions they raised, he periodically withdrew to a cave outside Mecca to meditate and pray for guidance. During one of these retreats he experienced a vision of the archangel Gabriel, who proclaimed him a prophet of God. He was greatly perplexed by the experience but was reassured by his wife, and, as new revelations followed, he came to accept his prophetic mission. His wife and his cousin Ali became his first followers, and eventually he began to preach in public, reciting the verses of his revelation, which came to be known as the Qur'an (Koran). He gained some prominent converts, but the movement grew slowly.

III -TEACHINGS
Muhammad's earliest teachings emphasized his belief in one transcendent but personal God, the Last Judgment, and social and economic justice. God, he asserted, had sent prophets to other nations throughout history, but, having failed to reform, those nations had been destroyed. Muhammad proclaimed his own message, the Qur'an, to be the last revealed Book and himself to be the last of the prophets, consummating and superseding the earlier ones.

IV -OPPOSITION
Insisting on the necessity of social reform, Muhammad advocated improving the lot of slaves, orphans, women, and the poor and replacing tribal loyalties with the fellowship of Islamic faith. This egalitarian and reformist tendency quickly aroused the enmity of the rich merchants who dominated Mecca.

They persecuted some of Muhammad's weaker followers, and in 615 he ordered 83 families to take refuge in Ethiopia. When both his beloved wife Khadija and his uncle and protector Abu Talib died in 619, he despaired of his position in Mecca. After an unsuccessful effort to convert the nearby town of AţŢā’if, he was approached by a delegation from Yathrib (later Medina), a city about 300 km (about 186 mi) to the north that was divided by tribal feuds. They asked him to arbitrate the feuds, offering him considerable authority. After careful negotiations, Muhammad accepted and asked his followers to emigrate from Mecca to Medina.

V -THE HEGIRA
Muhammad left Mecca just as his enemies were preparing to murder him, and he arrived in Medina eight days later. His emigration became known as the Hegira (Arabic hijrah) and marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar.
Muhammad was soon given supreme authority in Medina, and he began to establish the ritual practices of Islam and to carry out social reforms. He promulgated a charter that specified the rights and relationships of the Muslims, Jews, and other groups of the city. The Meccans, meanwhile, persisted in their hostility, demanding the extradition of Muhammad and his Meccan followers. They were supported in Medina by a group, referred to in the Qur'an as the Hypocrites, who had submitted to Islam but were secretly working against it. This group in turn was aided by the three Jewish tribes that were residing in Medina.

VI -WAR WITH MECCA
Muhammad's strategy in the developing conflict with Mecca was to attack Meccan trade caravans returning from Syria and thus economically weaken the city. In 624, the first major battle occurred, in which the Muslims, despite their inferiority in numbers and weapons, soundly defeated the Meccans. In the next major battle, the following year, the Meccans had the advantage but were unable to achieve a decisive victory. A Meccan army of 10,000 besieged Medina in 627 but failed to take the city. Muhammad meanwhile eliminated his enemies within Medina. After each of the first two battles he expelled a Jewish tribe, and after the third major battle he had the males of the remaining tribe massacred for collaborating with his opponents.

VII -VICTORY
In 630, the Meccans, unable to conquer Medina and crippled by the severing of their trade routes, finally submitted peacefully to Muhammad, who treated the city generously, declaring a general amnesty. Tribal delegations arrived from throughout Arabia, and their tribes were soon converted to Islam. Muhammad, now the most powerful leader in Arabia, enforced the principles of Islam and established the foundation of the Islamic empire. He ordered the destruction of the idols in the Kaaba, the traditional place of pilgrimage in Mecca, which then became the holiest shrine of Islam. He granted Jews and Christians religious autonomy as “peoples of the Book,” whose revelations anticipated his own. On his last visit to Mecca, at the time of the annual pilgrimage, he gave a sermon in which he summarized his reforms, declared the brotherhood of Muslims, and repudiated all distinctions of class, color, and race. He died suddenly and unexpectedly in Medina about a year later, on June 8, 632.

VIII -DESCENDANTS
As long as Khadija lived, Muhammad took no other wives. After her death in 619, when he was 50, he eventually married nine women, including Aisha, the daughter of his kinsman and early follower Abu Bakr, who was to become the first caliph, or successor to Muhammad. He also took a Christian Coptic slave as a concubine. Muhammad's sons all died in infancy, and the only daughter to survive him was Fatima, who married Ali, the fourth caliph.
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Post Caliphate

Caliphate


I -INTRODUCTION
Caliphate, office and realm of the caliph as supreme leader of the Muslim community and successor of the Prophet Muhammad. Under Muhammad the Muslim state was a theocracy, with the Sharia, the religious and moral principles of Islam, as the law of the land. The caliphs, Muhammad's successors, were both secular and religious leaders. They were not empowered, however, to promulgate dogma, because it was considered that the revelation of the faith had been completed by Muhammad.

The Sunnis (followers of the Sunna, the body of Islamic custom or the Way of the Prophet), who constitute a majority of Muslims, generally consider the period of the first four caliphs the golden age of Islam (see Sunni Islam). Other sects, however, as they were formed, came to regard this period and subsequent caliphates differently, and as a result great hostility has frequently arisen between the Sunnis and other Muslims, such as the Shias (see Shia Islam), concerning the caliphate. During the course of Islamic history the issue of the caliphate probably has created more dissension than any other article of faith.

Based on the examples of the first four “rightly guided” caliphs and companions of the Prophet, the Sunnis formulated the following requirements of the caliphate: the caliph should be an Arab of the Prophet Muhammad's tribe, the Quraysh; he should be elected to his office and approved by a council of elders representing the Muslim community; and he should be responsible for enforcing divine law and spreading Islam by whatever means necessary, including war. In the history of the caliphate, however, all these requirements were rarely met.

The Shias, in contrast, believing that the Prophet himself had designated his son-in-law, Ali, as both his temporal and spiritual successor, accepted only Ali's descendants (by Fatima, Muhammad's daughter) as legitimate claimants to the caliphate.

II -THE IMMEDIATE SUCCESSORS
Muhammad died in 632, leaving no instructions for the future government of the Muslim community. A group of Islamic leaders met in Medina (now in Saudi Arabia), the capital of the Muslim world at that time, and elected Abu Bakr, the Prophet's father-in-law and closest associate, to lead the community. Abu Bakr took for himself the title khalifat Rasul Allah (Arabic, “successor to the Messenger of God”), from which the term caliph (Arabic, khalifah, “successor”) is derived.

Umar I became the second caliph in 634. On his deathbed, Abu Bakr had designated Umar as his successor, and all the important members of the Muslim community immediately accepted Umar's succession. Under his leadership, the first great expansion of Islam outside of Arabia took place. Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and the northern part of Mesopotamia became Islamic territories, and the armies of the Persian Empire were routed several times. Umar added the title amir-al-mum-inin (Arabic, “commander of the believers”) to that of caliph.

After Umar's death in 644, Uthman ibn Affan, Muhammad's son-in-law and one of his first converts, was appointed the third caliph by a panel of six Meccan electors. Although an elderly man, he carried on Umar's policy of territorial expansion. Eventually, however, Uthman earned the enmity of many of his subjects, who felt he favored the Meccan aristocracy in political and commercial affairs. Uthman also antagonized the Islamic preachers by issuing an official text of the Qur'an (Koran), with an accompanying order to destroy all other versions. Rebellious Muslim troops from Al Kūfah (Iraq) and Egypt besieged Uthman in Medina and assassinated him in 656.

Ali, a cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad, was acknowledged as the fourth caliph by the Medinians and the rebellious Muslim troops. The governor of Syria, Muawiyah, later Muawiyah I the first Umayyad caliph, refused to recognize Ali as caliph and called for vengeance for the death of Uthman (who was Muawiyah's kinsman). In 657 the rival parties met at Siffin, on a plain in northern Syria, near the site of the modern city of Ar Raqqah. There, after an inconclusive battle, they agreed to arbitrate the dispute. Ali found himself being considered as a mere candidate for the caliphate on equal grounds with Muawiyah. Angered by this indignity, and with Ali for submitting to it, a group of his followers, later known as the Kharijites, deserted and vowed to assassinate both Ali and Muawiyah. They succeeded in killing only Ali. Ali's son, Hasan, then claimed (661) the still disputed caliphate but abdicated within a few months under pressure from Muawiyah's supporters, who greatly outnumbered Ali's followers, the Shias.

III -THE UMAYYAD CALIPHS (661-750)
The Umayyad caliphs were descendants of aristocratic caravan merchants, the Umayya, to which Muawiyah, the first Umayyad caliph, belonged. During his reign, Muawiyah stabilized the Muslim community after Ali's assassination. He moved the capital of Islam from Medina to Damascus, bringing the Muslim rulers into contact with the more advanced cultural and administrative traditions of the Byzantine Empire. Muawiyah also dispensed with the practice of electing the caliph by designating his son Yazid as heir apparent. The principle of election was acknowledged formally, however, by having the council of elders pledge to support the designated heir. The practice of hereditary succession continued throughout the Umayyad dynasty and in subsequent dynasties as well. Many Muslims, however, later disapproved of it as a deviation from the essential nature of Islam.

Yazid I (reigned 680-83) succeeded his father but was faced immediately with two rebellions, each supporting a rival claimant to the caliphate. The Kufan Shias recognized Ali's second son (and the Prophet's grandson), Husayn, as caliph. Thus encouraged, Husayn left Medina for Al Kūfah, despite warnings that Yazid's troops had quelled the Kufic uprising. On the plain of Karbalā’, in Iraq, he and his small escort were intercepted and slaughtered. This event, more than any other, marks the true beginning of the Shia schism. A second rebellion by Meccans was finally quelled during the caliphate (685-705) of Abd al-Malik, Yazid's third successor.

Shia, Kharijites, and other groups of Muslims and non-Arabic converts (Arabic mawali) frequently revolted against the Umayyads. The mawali accused the Umayyads of religious laxity and of indifference to their demands for full brotherhood in the Muslim community. Umayyad caliphs, nevertheless, vastly enlarged the Muslim empire and created a bureaucracy capable of administering it. Under the Umayyads, Muslim armies swept eastward to the borders of India and China, westward across North Africa to the Atlantic Ocean, then northward through Spain and over the Pyrenees Mountains into France, where the Frankish infantry under the Carolingian ruler Charles Martel checked them near Poitiers in 732.

IV -THE ABBASID CALIPHS (750-1258)
The Umayyads were overthrown by a combination of Shia, Iranian, and other Muslim and non-Muslim groups dissatisfied with the Umayyad regime. The rebels were led by the Abbasid family, descendants of the Prophet's uncle Abbas. From about 718 the Abbasids had plotted to take the caliphate, sending agents into various parts of the Muslim empire to spread propaganda against the Umayyads. By 747 they had secured enough support to organize a rebellion in northern Iran that led to the defeat of the Umayyad caliphate three years later. The Abbasids executed most of the Umayyad family, moved the capital of the empire to Baghdād, and assimilated much of the pomp and ceremony of the former Persian monarchy into their own courts.
Beginning in 750 with Abu al-Abbas, the Abbasid caliphate lasted five centuries; it is the most durable and most famous Islamic dynasty.

The Abbasids became patrons of learning and encouraged religious observance. They were the first Muslim rulers to become leaders of an Islamic civilization and protectors of the religion rather than merely an Arab aristocracy imposing an Arab civilization on conquered lands. Under their caliphate Baghdād replaced Medina as the center of theological activity, industry and commerce developed greatly, and the Islamic empire reached a peak of material and intellectual achievement.

The 8th- and 9th-century caliphs Harun ar-Rashid and his son Abdullah al-Mamun are especially renowned for their encouragement of intellectual pursuits and for the splendor of their courts. During their reigns scholars were invited to the court to debate various topics, and translations were made from Greek, Persian, and Syriac works. Embassies also were exchanged with Charlemagne, emperor of the West.

In the late 9th century, the Abbasid caliphs increasingly began to delegate administrative responsibility to ministers of state and other government officials and to lose control over their Baghdād guards. As they gradually gave up personal political power, the caliphs placed more and more emphasis on their role as protectors of the faith. One result of this change in emphasis was the increased persecution of heretics and non-Muslims. About the same time, several successful revolts in the eastern provinces led to the establishment of independent principalities, and independent caliphates were subsequently established in North Africa and in Spain. Eventually, the power of the Abbasids barely extended outside Baghdād, and by the middle of the 10th century, the Abbasid caliphs had virtually no power, serving merely as figureheads at the mercy of the military commanders. The final defeat of the Abbasid dynasty came from outside the Muslim world, when al-Mustasim was put to death by the invading Mongols at the order of Hulagu, the grandson of Genghis Khan.

V -THE ABBASIDS IN CAIRO (1261-1517)
When the Mongols sacked Baghdād in 1258, two members of the Abbasid family escaped to Egypt, where they took refuge with Baybars I, the Mamluk sultan. Each was named caliph, successively, by the sultan; but they were allowed to assume only religious duties, and the descendants of the second caliph remained politically powerless under the Mamluk sultans.

VI -THE FATIMID DYNASTY AND THE UMAYYADS OF SPAIN
During the decline of Abbasid power, two rival caliphates were established, one in North Africa and another in Spain. The first, ruled by the Fatimid dynasty, was founded by Ubayd Allah, who proclaimed himself caliph in Tunisia in 909. The Fatimids were Shias, claiming descent from Fatima (thus the name Fatimid), Muhammad's daughter, and her husband Ali, the fourth caliph. At the height of its power, in the latter half of the 10th century, the Fatimid caliphate constituted a serious threat to the Abbasids in Baghdād. The Fatimids ruled most of northern Africa from Egypt to present-day Algeria, as well as Sicily and Syria. In addition the Fatimids claimed the allegiance of other Shias, both within and outside their domain. They sent missionaries from their capital in Cairo to the rest of the Muslim world, proclaiming the Fatimid caliphs to be infallible and sinless and the bearers of divine illumination handed down directly from Ali. Their dynasty was overthrown in 1171 by Saladin, sultan of Egypt.

The second rival caliphate was established by Abd-ar-Rahman III, who proclaimed himself caliph in Spain in 929. He was the descendant of an Umayyad prince who fled the Abbasid massacre of his family and settled (755) in Spain. The Umayyad dynasty of Spain, responsible for a brilliant period in Spanish history, ruled from its capital in Córdoba until 1031, when the caliphate broke up into numerous petty states.

VII -THE OTTOMANS AND THE MODERN PERIOD
From about the 13th century various monarchs throughout the Muslim world, particularly the Ottoman sultans, assumed the title caliph indiscriminately without regard to the prescribed requirements of the caliphate. The title held little significance for the Ottoman sultans until their empire began to decline. In the 19th century, with the advent of Christian powers in the Near East, the sultan began to emphasize his role as caliph in an effort to gain the support of Muslims living outside his realm. The Ottoman Empire collapsed during World War I (1914-1918). After the war, Turkish nationalists deposed the sultan, and the caliphate was finally abolished (March 1924) by the Turkish Grand National Assembly.

The abolition of the caliphate brought consternation to many sections of the Muslim world, and protests were directed against the action of the Turkish government. Subsequently, King Husein ibn Ali of Al Ḩijāz (the Hejaz, now part of Saudi Arabia), laid claim to the title by virtue of his direct descent from the Prophet and his control of the two holy cities, Mecca and Medina. His claim, however, received little attention outside of Palestine, Syria, and parts of Arabia. The conquest (1925) of Al Ḩijāz by Abdul Aziz ibn Saud, ruler of Najd, Arabia, made Husein's claim even less significant.

An international Muslim congress held in Cairo in 1926 to choose an acceptable successor to the caliphate proved abortive, resulting only in an appeal to the Muslims of the world to work together to reestablish a caliphate. Ever since World War II, however, the preoccupation of Muslim nations has been with national independence and economic problems, and the restoration of the caliphate may now be regarded as irrelevant.
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Post Women in the Qur'ân and Women in the Bible

Women in the Qur'ân and Women in the Bible


Qur'ân: "And the believers, men and women, are protecting friends one of another; they enjoin the right and forbid the wrong, and they establish worship and they pay the poor-due, and they obey Allâh and His messenger. As for these, Allâh will have mercy on them. Lo! Allâh is mighty, wise." (9):71

Qur'ân: "And they (women) have rights similar to those of men over them in a just manner" (2):228

Qur'ân: "Whoso does an ill deed, he will be repaid the like thereof, while whoso does right, whether male or female, and is a believer, (all) such will enter the garden, where they will be nourished without stint." (40):40.

Bible: "Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression." (1 Timothy 2:11-14)

Bible says: "Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church." (1 Corinthians 14:34)

Bible says: "Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as christ also is the head of the church, he himself being the savior of the body. But as the church is subject to christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything." (Ephesians 5:22-24)

Qur'ân: "And of His signs is this: he created for you spouses from yourselves that you might find tranquillity in them, and he ordained between you love and mercy. Lo, herein indeed are signs for folk who reflect." (30):21

The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: "The best believers are the best in conduct, and the best of you are those who are best to their wives." (Tirmidhi) narrated by Abű Hurayrah

Bible: "A bad wife brings humiliation, downcast looks, and a wounded heart. Slack of hand and weak of knee is the man whose wife fails to make him happy. Woman is the origin of sin, and it is through her that we all die. Do not leave a leaky cistern to drip or allow a bad wife to say what she likes. If she does not accept your control, divorce her and send her away" (Ecclesiasticus 25:25).

Qur'ân: "..But consort with them in kindness, for if you hate them it may happen that you hate a thing wherein Allâh has placed much good." (4):19

Bible: If a father / husband does not endorse his daughter's / wife's vows, all pledges made by her become null and void, in other words a woman cannot make any contract on her own Women in the Qur'ân and Women in the Bible
without the permission of a husband or father: "but if her father forbids her when he hears about it, none of her vows or the pledges by which she obligated herself will stand ....Her husband may confirm or nullify any vow she makes or any sworn pledge to deny herself" (Numbers. 30:2-15)

In Islam a woman's wealth is her own and her husband has no rights over it:

Qur'ân: "...and covet not the thing in which Allâh has made some of you excel others. Unto men a fortune from that which they have earned, and unto women a fortune from that which they have earned. (Envy not one another) but ask Allâh of his bounty. Verily! Allâh is knower of all things." (4):32.

Bible says: "A virgin who is raped must marry her rapist (if they are "found")- (Deut 22:28-29) "if a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay the girl's father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the girl, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives" Deuteronomy 22:28-30

Qur'ân: "And those who launch a charge against chaste women, and produce not four witnesses (to support their allegations) - flog them with eighty stripes; and reject their evidence ever after: for such men are wicked transgressors" (24:4)

The Bible blames Eve for the original sin: (genesis 3:12-16) "and the man (Adam) said, the woman (Eve) whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the Lord god said unto the woman, what is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, the serpent beguiled me, and I did eat..unto the woman He said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be
to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee."

In the Qur'ân, both Adam and Eve share the blame for eating from the tree. This can be seen in the Qur'ân in such verses al-Baqarah (2):36, al-A'raf (7):22-24. They were also both forgiven by God Almighty for this sin.

Qur'ân: "O Adam dwell with your wife in the garden and enjoy as you wish but approach not this tree or you run into harm and transgression. Then satan whispered to them in order to reveal to them their shame that was hidden from them and he said: 'your Lord only forbade you this tree lest you become angels or such beings as live forever.' And he swore to them both that he was their sincere adviser. So by deceit he brought them to their fall: when they tasted the tree their shame became manifest to them and they began to sew together the leaves of the garden over their bodies. And their Lord called unto them: 'did I not forbid you that tree and tell you that satan was your avowed enemy?' They said: 'our Lord we have wronged our own souls and if You forgive us not and bestow not upon us Your mercy, we shall certainly be lost' " (7:19-23).

The Bible says that giving birth to a female child makes a woman more "unclean" than if she had a male child. Leviticus 12:2-5 "Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, if a woman have conceived seed, and born a male child: then she shall be unclean seven days; according to the days of the separation for her infirmity shall she be unclean. And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. And she shall then continue in the blood of her purifying thirty three days; she shall touch no hallowed thing, nor come into the sanctuary, until the days of her purifying be fulfilled. But if she bear a female child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her separation: and she shall continue in the blood of her purifying sixty six days."

Ecclesiastics 7:26-28 "and I find more bitter than death the woman who is a snare, whose heart is a trap and whose hands are chains. The man who pleases God will escape her, but the sinner she will ensnare....While I was still searching but not finding, I found one upright man among a thousand but not one upright woman among them all."

Qur'ân: "And their Lord has heard them (and he says): Verily! I suffer not the work of any worker, male or female, to be lost. You proceed one from another." (3):195.

Qur'ân: "And whoso does good works, whether of male or female, and he (or she) is a believer, such will enter paradise and they will not be wronged the dint in a date stone." The Noble Qur'ân, an-Nisâ (4):124.

Qur'ân: "Whosoever does right, whether male or female, and is a believer, him verily we shall quicken with good life, and We shall pay them a recompense in proportion to the best of what they used to do." (16):97.


"A man asked the prophet Muhammad (pbuh): 'whom should I honor most?' The prophet replied: 'Your mother'. 'And who comes next?' Asked the man. The prophet replied: 'Your mother'. 'And who comes next?' Asked the man. The prophet replied: 'Your mother'. 'And who comes next?' Asked the man. The prophet replied: 'Your father' " (Bukhari and Muslim).

Bible says that a woman must cover her head as a sign of man's authority over her:"And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonours her head - it is just as though her head were shaved. If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off; and if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or shaved off, she should cover her head. A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and
glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. For this reason, and because of the angels, the woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head" (1 Corinthians 11:3-10).

Bible: 1 corinthians 11:5-10: "But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head."

Bible: 1 corinthians 11:13: "Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto god (with her head) uncovered?"

The Qur'ân teaches that a woman must be covered out of modesty and to protect her from harassment:

Qur'ân: "Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty......And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what ordinarily appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms...." (24:30,31).

Qur'ân "O prophet, tell your wives and daughters and the believing women that they should cast their outer garments over their bodies (when abroad) so that they should be known and not molested" (33:59).


According to the Bible (Numbers 27:1-11), widows and sisters don't inherit at all. Daughters can inherit only if their deceased father had no sons.

Qur'ân: "Unto the men (of a family) belongs a share of that which parents and near kindred leave, and unto the women a share of that which parents and near kindred leave, whether it be little or much, a legal share." (4):77.

Bible: Leviticus 15:19-30 "And if a woman have an issue (her period/menses), [and] her issue in her flesh be blood, she shall be put apart seven days: and whosoever toucheth her shall be unclean until the even. And every thing that she lieth upon in her separation shall be unclean: every thing also that she sitteth upon shall be unclean. And whosoever toucheth her bed shall wash his clothes, and bathe [himself] in water, and be unclean until the even.
And whosoever toucheth any thing that she sat upon shall wash his clothes, and bathe [himself] in water, and be unclean until the even. And if it [be] on [her] bed, or on any thing whereon she sitteth, when he toucheth it, he shall be unclean until the even.....(It goes on and on)."
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Post The Meaning of Islam

The Meaning of Islam


"ISLAM" is derived from the Arabic root salaama 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 and jinn is administered totally by God-made laws,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, i.e. 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 age of Adam and its message has been conveyed to man by God's Prophets and Messengers including Abraham, 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 the Universe, Lord of all lords, King of all kings, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful. The word Allah to mean God is also used by Arabic speaking Jews and Christians.


Articles of Faith


1. 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 neither father nor mother, neither 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 helps 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 good.


2. 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, Abraham, 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.


3. 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 prophets 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. Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus and Muhammad who were revealed their own book of Allah, were sent at different times to bring back straying human beings from deviation to the 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 preservation. 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.




4. The Angels

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 is charged with a certain duty. Angels cannot be seen by the naked eyes. Knowledge and the truth are not entirely confined to sensory knowledge or sensory perception alone.


5. The Day of Judgement

A Muslim believes 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 believes 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 angels 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.


6. Qadaa and Qadar

A Muslim believes in Qadaa and Qadar which relate 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 choices, 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 believes 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 Beings

A Muslim believes that human beings enjoy an especially high ranking status in the hierarchy of all known creatures. Man and woman occupy this distinguished position because they alone are gifted with rational faculties and spiritual aspirations as well as powers of action. Man and woman are not a condemned race from birth to death, but dignified beings potentially capable of good and noble achievements.

A Muslim also believes that every person is born Muslim. Every person is endowed by Allah with the 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 becomes accountable for all his deeds and intentions. Man is free from sin until he commits sin. There is no inherited sin, and no original sin. Adam committed the first sin, but 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 ensures freedom to believe and forbids compulsion in religion (one of the oldest synagogues and one of the oldest churches in the world are 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 today. It is memorized by millions.

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


Pillars of Islam and Application of Faith

Islam is built on five pillars (Hadith Sahih Bukhari Vol 1, Book 2, No 7 ), the first of which is a state of faith, the other four are major exercises of faith of which some are daily, some weekly, some monthly, some annually and some are required as a minimum 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. The five pillars of Islam are:



WITNESSING (SHAHADA) THAT ALLAH IS ONE AND MUHAMMAD IS HIS MESSENGER

This statement of faith must be declared publicly. It should be a genuine belief which includes all the above articles of faith. The witnessing of the Oneness of Allah is the rejection of any form of deity other than Allah, and the witnessing that Muhammad is His Messenger is the acceptance of him being chosen by Allah to convey His message of Islam to all humanity and to deliver it from the darkness of ignorance into the light of belief in, and knowledge of, the Creator. The statement of Shahada in arabic is:

Ashhadu Alla Ilaha Illa Allah Wa Ashhadu Anna Muhammad Rasulu Allah

An English translation would be:

I bear witness that there is no God but Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is His Messenger


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. Prayer is for our immeasurable benefit, and the blessings are beyond imagination.

In prayer, every muscle of the body joins the soul and the mind in the worship and glory of Allah. Prayer 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 prayers is obligatory upon every Muslim male and female who is sane, mature and in the case of women free from menstruation and confinement due to child birth. Requirements of prayer: performing of ablution (Wudu), purity of the whole body, clothes and ground used for prayer, dressing properly and having the intention and facing the Qiblah (the direction of the Ka'bah at Mecca).

Obligatory prayers: Five daily prayers, the Friday's noon congregation prayer and the funeral prayer. Times of obligatory prayers:



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 prayer 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 prayer until dawn.

Highly recommended prayer:Those accompanying the obligatory prayer and the two great festival prayers.

Optional prayer:Voluntary prayer during the day and night.

Prayer should be offered in its due time, unless there is a reasonable excuse. Delayed obligatory prayers must be made up. In addition to the prescribed prayer, a Muslim expresses 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.


OBLIGATORY CHARITY (ZAKAH)

Obligatory charity giving is an act of worship and spiritual investment. The literal 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 grams of gold (approx. $1400 in 1990) or more in cash or articles of trade, must give Zakah at the minimum rate of 2.5%. Taxes paid to government do not substitute for this religious duty. The 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 recipients of Zakah are: the poor, the needy, the new Muslim converts, the Muslim prisoners of war (to liberate them), Muslims in debt, employees appointed to collect Zakah, Muslims in service of research or study or propagation of Islam, and wayfarers who are foreigners in need of help.

Note the obligatory nature of Zakah; it is required. Muslims can also go above and beyond what they pay as Zakah, in which case the offering is a strictly voluntary charity (sadaqa).


FASTING (SAWM)

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 includes 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 is mentally and physically fit and not on a journey. Exceptions: women during their period of menstruation and while nursing their child, and also in case of travel and sickness for both men and women.


THE PILGRIMAGE (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.

Muslims 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 there is loyalty of all to Allah, the Creator. It is to commemorate the Divine rituals observed by the Prophet Abraham and his son Ishmael, who were the first pilgrims to the house of Allah on earth: the Ka'bah. It is also to remember the great assembly of the Day of Judgement when people will stand equal before Allah.

Muslims go to Mecca to glorify 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.
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Post Islamic Medicine: 1000 Years Ahead of its Times

Islamic Medicine: 1000 Years Ahead of its Times

Ibrahim B. Syed

SUMMARY Within a century after the death of Prophet Muhammad (peace beupon him) the Muslims not only conquered new lands, but also becamescientific innovators with originality and productivity. They hit thesource ball of knowledge over the fence to Europe. By the ninthcentury, Islamic medical practice had advanced from talisman andtheology to hospitals with wards, doctors who had to pass tests, and theuse of technical terminology. The then Baghdad General Hospitalincorporated innovations which sound amazingly modern.

The fountains cooled the air near the wards of those afflicted withfever; the insane were treated with gentleness; and at night the pain ofthe restless was soothed by soft music and storytelling. The prince and pauper received identical attention; the destitute upon dischargereceived five gold pieces to sustain them during convalescence. WhileParis and London were places of mud streets and hovels, Baghdad,Cairo and Cardboard had hospitals open to both male and female patients; staffed by attendants of both sexes.

These medical centers contained libraries pharmacies, the system ofinterns, externs, and nurses. There were mobile clinics to reach thetotally disabled, the disadvantaged and those in remote areas. There were regulations to maintain quality control on drugs. Pharmacistsbecame licensed professionals and were pledged to follow thephysician's prescriptions. Legal measures were taken to preventdoctors from owning or holding stock. in a pharmacy. The extent to which Islamic medicine advanced in the fields of medical education,hospitals, bacteriology, medicine, anesthesia, surgery, pharmacy,ophthalmology, psychotherapy and psychosomatic diseases arepresented briefly.

INTRODUCTION Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who is ranked number oneby Michael Hart', a Jewish scholar, in his book The 100: The MostInfluential Persons in History, was able to unite the Arab tribes whohad been tom by revenge, rivalry, and internal fights, and produced a strong nation acquired and ruled simultaneously, the two knownempires at that time, namely the Persian and Byzantine Empires.The Islamic Empire extended from the Atlantic Ocean on the West tothe borders of China on the East. Only 80 years after the death of their Prophet, the Muslims crossed to Europe to rule Spain for more than700 years. The Muslims preserved the cultures of the conquered lands.However when the Islamic Empire became weak, most of the Islamiccontributions in an and science were destroyed. The Mongols bunt Baghdad (1258 A.D.) out of barbarism, and the Spaniards demolishedmost of the Islamic heritage in Spain out of hatred.

The Islamic Empire for more than 1000 years remained the mostadvanced and civilized nation in the world. This is because Islam stressed the importance and respect of learning, forbade destruction,developed in Muslims the respect for authority and discipline, andtolerance for other religions. The Muslims recognized excellence andhungering intellectually, wereavid for the wisdom of the world ofGalen, Hippocrates, Rufus of Ephesus, Oribasius, Discorides and Paulof Aegina. By the tenth century their zeal and enthusiasm for learningresulted in all essential Greek medical writings being translated intoArabic in Damascus, Cairo, and Baghdad. Arabic became theInternational Language of learning and diplomacy.

The center of scientific knowledge and activity shifted eastward, andBaghdad emerged as the capital of the scientific world. The Muslimsbecame scientific innovators with originality and productivity. Islamicmedicine is one of the most famous and best known facets of lslamiccivilization, and in which the Muslims most excelled. The Muslims werethe great torchbearers of international scientific research. They hit the source ball of knowledge over the fence to Europe. In the words ofCampbell' "The European medical system is Arabian not only in originbut also in its structure. The Arabs are the intellectual forebears of theEuropeans."
The aim of this paper is to prove that the Islamic Medicine was 1000years ahead of its times. The paper covers areas such as medicaleducation, hospitals, bacteriology, medicine, anesthesia, surgery,opthalmology, pharmacy, and psychotherapy.

MEDICAL EDUCATION

In 636 A.D., the Persian City of Jundi-Shapur, which originally meant beautiful garden, was conquered by the Muslims with its greatuniversity and hospital intact. Later the Islamic medical schoolsdeveloped on the Jundi-Shapur pattern. Medical education was serious and systematic. Lectures and clinical sessions included in teaching werebased on the apprentice system.
The advice given by Ali ibnul-Abbas (Haly Abbas: -994 -A.D.) to medical students is as timely today as it was then'. "And of those thingswhich were incumbent on the student of this art (medicine) are that heshould constantly attend the hospitals and sick houses; pay unremittingattention to the conditions and circumstances of their intimates, incompany with the most astute professors of medicine, and inquire frequently as to the state of the patients and symptoms apparent inthem, bearing in mind what he has read about these variations, andwhat they indicate of good or evil."
Razi (Rhazes: 841-926 A.D.) advised the medical students while they were seeing a patient to bear in mind the classic symptoms of a diseaseas given in text books and compare them with what they found (6).

The ablest physicians such as Razi (Al-Rhazes), Ibn-Sina (Avicenna:980-1037 A.D.) and Ibn Zuhr (Avenzoar: 116 A.D.) performed the duties of both hospital directors and deans of medical schools at thesame time. They studied patients and prepared them for studentpresentation. Clinical reports of cases were written and preserved forteaching'. Registers were maintained.

Training in Basic Sciences

Only Jundi-Shapur or Baghdad had separate schools for studyingbasic sciences. Candidates for medical study received basic preparationfrom private tutors through private lectures and self study. In Baghdadanatomy was taught by dissecting the apes, skeletal studies, and
didactics. Other medical schools taught anatomy through lectures andillustrations. Alchemy was once of the prerequisites for admission tomedical school. The study of medicinal herbs and pharmacognosy rounded out the basic training. A number of hospitals maintainedbarbel gardens as a source of drugs for the patients and a means ofinstruction for the students.
Once the basic training was completed the candidate was admitted asan apprentice to a hospital where, at the beginning, he was assigned ina large group to a young physician for indoctrination, preliminarylectures, and familiarization with library procedures and uses. Duringthis preclinical period, most of the lectures were on pharmacology and toxicology and the use of antidotes.

Clinical training:
The next step was to give the student full clinical training. Duringthis period students were assigned in small groups to famous physiciansand experienced instructors, for ward rounds, discussions, lectures, and reviews. Early in this period therapeutics and pathology weretaught. There was a strong emphasis on clinical instruction and someMuslim physicians contributed brilliant observations that have stoodthe test of time. As the students progressed in their studies they wereexposed more and more to the subjects of diagnosis and judgment.

Clinical observation and physical examination were stressed.Students (clinical clerks) were asked to examine a patient and make adiagnosis of the ailment. Only after an had failed would the professormake the diagnosis himself. While performing physical examination,the students were asked to examine and report six major factors: thepatients' actions, excreta, the nature and location of pain, and swelling and effuvia of the body. Also noted was color and feel of the skin-whether hot, cool, moist, dry, flabby. Yellowness in the whites of theeye (jaundice) and whether or not the patient could bend his back (lungdisease) was also considered important (8).

After a period of ward instructions, students, were assigned tooutpatient areas. After examining the patients they reported theirfindings to the instructors. After discussion, treatment was decided onand prescribed. Patients who were too ill were admitted as inpatients. The keeping of records for every patient was the responsibility of thestudents.

Curriculum There was a difference in the clinical curriculum of different medicalschools in their courses; however the mainstay was usually internal medicine. Emphasis was placed on clarity and brevity in describing adisease and the separation of each entity. Until the time of Ibn Sina thedescription of meningitis was confused with acute infectionaccompanied by delirium. Ibn Sina described the symptoms of meningitis with such clarity and brevity that there is very little that canbe added after I 000 yearS6. Surgery was also included in thecurriculum. After completing courses, some students specialized underfamous specialists. Some others specialized while in clinical training.

According to Elgood9 many surgical procedures such as amputation,excision of varicose veins and hemorrhoids were required knowledge.Orthopedics was widely taught, and the use of plaster of Paris for castsafter reduction of fractures was routinely shown to students. Thismethod of treating fractures was rediscovered in the West in 1852.Although ophthalmology was practiced widely, it was not taughtregularly in medical schools. Apprenticeship to an eye doctorwas the preferred way of specializing in ophthalmology. Surgical treatment ofcataract was very common. Obstetrics was left to midwives. Medicalpractitioners consulted among themselves and with specialists. Ibn Sinaand Hazi both widely practiced and taught psychotherapy. After completing the training, the medical graduate was not ready to enterpractice, until he passed the licensure examination. It is important tonote that there existed a Scientific Association which had been formedin the hospital of Mayyafariqin to discuss the conditions and diseases ofthe patients.

Licensing of Physicians

In Baghdad in 931 A.D. Caliph Al-Muqtadir learned that a patienthad died as the result of a physician's error. There upon he ordered hischief physician, Sinan-ibn Thabit bin Qurrah to examine all those whopracticed the art of healing. In the first year of the decree more than860 were examined in Baghdad alone. From that time on, licensingexaminations were required and administered in various places. Licensing Boards were set up under a government official calledMuhtasib or inspector general . The Muhtasib also inspected weights and measures of traders andpharmacists. Pharmacists were employed as inspectors to inspect drugsand maintain quality controlof drugs sold in a pharmacy orapothecary. What the present Food and Drug Administration (FDA) isdoing in America today was done in Islamic medicine I 000 years ago.The chief physician gave oral and practical examinations, and if theyoung physician was successful, the Muhtasib administered theHippocratic oath and issued a license. After 1000 years licensing ofphysicians has been implemented in the West, particularly in Americaby the State Licensing Board in Medicine.

For specialists we have American Board of Medical Specialities suchas in Medicine, Surgery, Radiology, etc. European medical schoolsfollowed the pattern set by the Islamic medical schools and even in theearly nineteenth century, students at the Sorbonne could not graduatewithout reading Ibn Sina's Qanun (Cannon). According to Razi aphysician had to satisfy two condition for selection: firs0y, he was to befully conversant with the new and the old medical literature andsecondly, he must have worked in a hospital as house physician.

HOSPITALS

The development of efficient hospitals was an outstandingcontribution of Islamic medicine (7). 'ne hospitals served all citizensfree without any regard to their color, religion, sex, age or social status.The hospitals were run by government and the directors of hospitalswere physicians. Hospitals and separate wards for male patients and female patients.Each ward was furnished with a nursing staff and porters of the sex ofthe patients to be treated therein. Different diseases such as fever, wounds, infections, mania, eye conditions, cold diseases, diarrhea, andfemale disorders were allocated different wards. Convalescents hadseparate sections within them. Hospitals provided patients with unlimited water supply and withbathing facilities. Only qualified and licensed physicians were allowedby law to practice medicine. The hospitals were teaching hospitals educating medical students. They had housing for students and house-staff. They contained pharmacies dispensing free drugs to patients. Hospitals had their own conference room and expensive librariescontaining the most up-to-date books.

According to Haddad, the library of the Tulum Hospital which wasfounded in Cairo in 872 A.D. (I 100 years ago) had 100,000 books.Universities, cities and hospitals acquired large libraries(Mustansiriyya University in Baghdad contained 80,000 volumes; thelibrary of Cordova 600,000 volumes; that of Cairo 2,000,000 and thatof Tripoli 3,000,000 books), physicians had their own extensivepersonal book collections, at a time when printing was unknown andbook editing was done by skilled and specialized scribes putting in longhours of manual labour. For the first time in history, these hospitals kept records of patientsand their medical care. From the point of view of treatment the hospital was divided into anout- patient department and an inpatient department. The system ofthe in-patient department differed only slightly from that of today. Attile Tulun hospital, on admission the patients were given special apparel while their clothes, money, and valuables were stored until thetime of their discharge. On discharge, each patient - received five goldpieces to support himself until he could return to work.The hospital and medical school at Damascus had elegant rooms andan extensive library. Healthy people are said to have feigned illness inorder to enjoy its cuisine.

There was a separate hospital in Damascusfor lepers, while, in Europe, even six centuries later, condemned leperswere burned to death by royal decree.
The Qayrawan Hospital (built in 830 A.D. in Tunisia) wascharacterized by spacious separate wards, waiting rooms for visitorsand patients, and female nurses from Sudan, an event representing thefirst use of nursing in Arabic history. The hospital also providedfacilities for performing prayers.
The Al-Adudi hospital (built in 981 A.D. in Baghdad) was furnishedwith die best equipment and supplies known at the time. It had interns,residents, and 24 consultants attending its professional activities, AnAbbasid minister, Ali ibn Isa, requested the court physician, Sinan ibn Thabit, to organize regular visiting of prisons by medical officers (14).At a time when paris and London were places of mud streets andhovels, Baghdad, Cairo, and Cordova had hospitals which incorporatedinnovations which sound amazingly modern. It was chiefly in thehumaneness of patient care, however, that the hospitals of Islamexcelled. Near the wards of those afflicted with fever, fountains cooled the air; the insane were treated with gentleness; and at night music andstorytelling soothed the patients.

The Bimaristans (hospitals) were of two types - the fixed and themobile. The mobile hospitals were transported upon beasts of burdenand were erected from time to time as required. The physicians in themobile clinics were of the same standing as those who served the fixedhospitals. Similar moving hospitals accompanied the armies in the field.The field hospitals were well equipped with medicaments, instruments, tents and a staff of doctors, nurses, and orderlies. The traveling clinicsserved the totally disabled, the disadvantaged and those in remoteareas. These hospitals were also used by prisoners,and by the generalpublic,particularly in times of epidemics.
BACTERIOLOGY Al-Razi was asked to choose a site for a new hospital when he cameto Baghdad. First he deduced which was the most hygienic area byobserving where the fresh pieces of meat he had hung in various partsof the city decomposed least quickly.

Ibn Sina stated explicitly that the bodily secretion is contaminated byfoul foreign earthly body before getting the infection. Ibn Khatimastated that man is surrounded by minute bodies which enter the humansystem and cause disease. In the middle of the fourteenth century "black death" was ravagingEurope and before which Christians stood helpless, considering it anact of God. At that time Ibn al Khatib of Granada composed a treatise in thedefense of the theory of infection in the following way:To those who say, "How can we admit the possibility of infection whilethe religious law denies it?" We reply that the existence of contagion isestablished by experience, investigation, the evidence of the senses and trustworthy reports. These facts constitute a sound argument. The factof infection becomes clear to the investigator who notices how he whoestablishes contact with the afflicted gets the disease, whereas he who isnot in contact remains safe, and how transmission is effected through garments, vessels and earrings.

Al-Razi wrote the first medical description of smallpox and measles -two important infectious diseases. He described the clinical differencebetween the two diseases so vividly that nothing since has been added.Ibn Sina suggested the communicable nature of tuberculosis. He is saidto have been the first to describe the preparation and properties ofsulphuric acid and alcohol. His recommendation of wine as the bestdressing for wounds was very popular in medieval practice. HoweverRazi was the first to use silk sutures and alcohol for hemostatis. He wasthe first to use alcohol as an antiseptic.

ANESTHESIA Ibn Sina originated the idea of the use of oral anesthetics. Herecognized opium as the most powerful mukhadir (an intoxicant ordrug). Less powerful anesthetics known were mandragora, poppy,hemlock, hyoscyamus, deadly nightshade (belladonna), lettuce seed,and snow or ice cold water. The Arabs invented the soporific spongewhich was the precursor of modem anesthesia. It was a sponge soakedwith aromatics and narcotics and held to the patient's nostrils.The use of anesthesia was one of the reasons for the rise of surgery inthe Islamic world to the level of an honourable speciality, while in Europe, surgery was belittled and practiced by barbers and quacks.The Council of Tours in 1163 A.D. declared Surgery is to be abandonedby the schools of medicine and by all decent physicians." Burton statedthat "anesthetics have been used in surgery throughout the East for centuries before ether and chloroform became the fashion in civilizedWest."

SURGERY Al-Razi is attributed to be the first to use the seton in surgery andanimal gut for sutures.

Abu al-Qasim Khalaf Ibn Abbas Al-Zahrawi (930-1013 A.D.) knownto the West as Abulcasis, Bucasis or Alzahravius is considered to be themost famous surgeon in Islamic medicine. In his book Al-Tasrif, he described hemophilia for the first time in medical history. The bookcontains the description and illustration of about 200 surgicalinstruments many of which were devised by Zahrawi himself. In itZahrawi stresses the importance of the study of Anatomy as afundamental prerequisite to surgery. He advocates the re implantation of a fallen tooth and the use of dental prosthesis carved from cow's bone, an improvement over thewooden dentures worn by the first President of America GeorgeWashington seven centuries later. Zahrawi appears to be the firstsurgeon in history to use cotton (Arabic word) in surgical dressings in the control of hemorrhage, as padding in the splinting of fractures, as avaginal padding in fractures of the pubis and in dentistry.

Heintroduced the method for the removal of kidney stones by cutting intothe urinary bladder. He was the first to teach the lithotomy position forvaginal operations. He described tracheotomy, distinguished betweengoiter and cancer of the thyroid, and explained his invention of acauterizing iron which he also used to control bleeding. His descriptionof varicose veins stripping, even after ten centuries, is almost likemodern surgery. In orthopedic surgery he introduced what is calledtoday Kocher's method of reduction of shoulder dislocation andpatelectomy, 1,000 years before Brooke reintroduced it in 1937. Ibn Sina's description of the surgical treatment of cancer holds trueeven today after 1,000 years. He says the excision must be wide andbold; all veins running to the tumor must be included in theamputation. Even if this is not sufficient, thenthe area affected should be cauterized.

The surgeons of Islam practiced three types of surgery: vascular,general, and orthopedic, Ophthalmic surgery was a speciality whichwas quite distinct both from medicine and surgery. They freely openedthe abdomen and drained the peritoneal cavity in the approved modernstyle. To an unnamed surgeon of Shiraz is attributed the firstcolostomy operation. Liver abscesses were treated by puncture andexploration. Surgeons all over the world practice today unknowingly several surgical procedures that Zahrawi introduced 1,000 years ago . MEDICINE The most brilliant contribution was made by Al-Razi who differentiated between smallpox and measles, two diseases that werehitherto thought to be one single disease. He is credited with many contributions, which include being the first to describe true distillation,glass retorts and luting, corrosive sublimate, arsenic, copper sulfate,iron sulphate, saltpeter, and borax in the treatment of disease . Heintroduced mercury compounds as purgatives (after testing them onmonkeys); mercurial ointments and lead ointment."

His interest in urology focused on problems involving urination,venereal disease, renal abscess, and renal and vesical calculi. Hedescribed hay-fever or allergic rhinitis. Some of the Arab contributions include the discovery of itch mite ofscabies (Ibn Zuhr), anthrax, ankylostoma and the guinea worm by IbnSina and sleeping sickness by Qalqashandy. They described abscess ofthe mediastinum. They understood tuberculosis and pericarditis.Al Ash'ath demonstrated gastric physiology by pouring water into themouth of an anesthetized lion and showed the distensibility andmovements of the stomach, preceding Beaumont by about 1,000 years"Abu Shal al- Masihi explained that the absorption of food takes placemore through the intestines than the stomach. Ibn Zuhr introducedartificial feeding either by gastric tube or by nutrient enema. Using thestomach tube the Arab physicians performed gastric lavage in case of poisoning. Ibn Al-Nafis was the first to discover pulmonary circulation.Ibn Sina in his masterpiece Al-Quanun (Canon), containing over amillion words, described complete studies of physiology, patlhology andhygiene. He specifically discoursedupon breast cancer, poisons,diseases of the skin, rabies, insomnia, childbirth and the use ofobstetrical forceps, meningitis, amnesia, stomach ulcers, tuberculosis asa contagious disease, facial tics, phlebotomy, tumors, kidney diseasesand geriatric care. He defined love as a mental disease.

OPHTHALMOLOGY

The doctors of Islam exhibited a high degree of proficiency andcertainly were foremost in the treatment of eye diseases. Words such asretina and cataract are of Arabic origin. In ophthalmology and optics lbn al Haytham (965-1039 A.D.) known to the West as Alhazen wrote the Optical Thesaurus from which such worthies as Roger Bacon,Leonardo da Vinci and Johannes Kepler drew theories for their ownwritings. In his Thesaurus he showed that light falls on the retina in the samemanner as it falls on a surface in a darkened room through a smallaperture, thus conclusively proving that vision happens when light rayspass from objects towards the eye and not from the eye towards theobjects as thought by the Greeks. He presents experiments for testingthe angles of incidence and reflection, and a theoretical proposal formagnifying lens (made in Italy three centuries later).

He also taught that the image made on the retina is conveyed alongthe optic nerve to the brain. Razi was the first to recognize the reactionof the pupil to light and Ibn Sina was the first to describe the exactnumber of extrinsic muscles of the eyeball, namely six. The greatestcontribution of Islamic medicine in practical ophthalmology was in the matter of cataract. The most significant development in the extractionof cataract was developed by Ammar bin Ali of Mosul, who introduceda hollow metallic needle through the sclerotic and extracted the lens bysuction. Europe rediscovered this in the nineteenth century.

PHARMACOLOGY

Pharmacology took roots in Islam during the 9th century. Yuhannabin Masawayh (777-857 A.D.) started scientific and systematicapplications of therapeutics at the Abbasids capital. His studentsHunayn bin Ishaq al-lbadi (809-874 A.D.) and his associates establishedsolid foundations of Arabic medicine and therapeutics in the ninthcentury. In his book al-Masail Hunayn outlined methods forconfirming the pharmacological effectiveness of drugs byexperimenting with them on humans. He also explained the importanceof prognosis and diagnosis of diseases for better and more effectivetreatment. Pharmacy became an independent and separate profession frommedicine and alchemy. With the wild sproutingof apothecary shops, regulations became necessary and imposed to maintain qualitycontrol." The Arabian apothecary shops were regularly inspected by asyndic (Muhtasib) who threatened the merchants with humiliatingcorporal punishments if they adulterateddrugs." As early as the days of al-Mamun and al-Mutasim pharmacists had to pass examinations tobecome licensed professionals and were pledged to follow the
physician's prescriptions. Also by this decree, restrictive measures werelegally placed upon doctors, preventing them from owning or holdingstock in a pharmacy.

Methods of extracting and preparing medicines were brought to ahigh art, and their techniques of distillation, crystallization, solution,sublimation, reduction and calcination became the essential processes of pharmacy and chemistry. With the help of these techniques, theSaydalanis (pharmacists) introduced new drugs such as camphor,senna, sandalwood, rhubarb, musk, myrrh, cassia, tamarind, nutmeg,alum, aloes, cloves, coconut, nuxvomica, cubebs, aconite, ambergris and mercury.

The important role of the Muslims in developing modern pharmacyand chemistry is memorialized in the significant number of currentpharmaceutical and chemical terms derived from Arabic: drug, alkali,alcohol, aldehydes, alembic, and elixir among others, not to mentionsyrups and juleps. They invented flavorings extracts made of rosewater, orange blossom water, orange and lemon peel, tragacanth andother attractive ingredients. Space does not permit me to list the contributions to pharmacology and therapeutics, made by Razi,Zahrawi, Biruni, Ibn Butlan, and Tamimi.
PYCHOTHERAPY From freckle lotion to psychotherapy-such was the range of treatment practiced by the physicians of Islam. Though frecklescontinue to sprinkle the skin of 20th century man, in the realm ofpsychosomatic disorders both al-Razi and Ibn Sina achieved dramaticresults, antedating Freud and Jung by a thousand years. When Raziwas appointed physician-in-chief to the Baghdad Hospital, he made it the, first hospital to have a ward exclusively devoted to the mentallyill." Razi combined psychological methods and physiologicalexplanations, and he used psychotherapy in a dynamic fashion, Raziwas once called in to treat a famous caliph who had severe arthritis.

He advised a hot bath, and while the caliph was bathing, Razi threatenedhim with a knife, proclaiming he was going to kill him. This deliberateprovocation increased the natural caloric which thus gained sufficientstrength to dissolve the already softened humours, as a result the caliphgot up from is knees in the bath and ran after Razi. One woman who suffered from such severe cramps in her joints that she was unable torise was cured by a physician who lifted her skirt, thus putting her to shame. "A flush of heat was produced within her which dissolved therheumatic humour." The Arabs brought a refreshing spirit of dispassionate clarity intopsychiatry. They were free from the demonological theories whichswept over the Christian world and were therefore able to make clearcut clinical observations on the mentally ill.
Najab ud din Muhammad'", a contemporary of Razi, left manyexcellent descriptions of various mental diseases. His carefullycompiled observation on actual patients made up the most completeclassification of mental diseases theretofore known." Najab describedagitated depression, obsessional types of neurosis, Nafkhae Malikholia(combined priapism and sexual impotence). Kutrib (a form ofpersecutory psychosis), Dual-Kulb (a form of mania) .

Ibn Sina recognized 'physiological psychology' in treating illnessesinvolving emotions. From the clinical perspective Ibn Sina developed asystem for associating changes in the pulse rate with inner feelingswhich has been viewed as anticipating the word association test ofJung. He is said to have treated a terribly ill patient by feeling thepatient's pulse and reciting aloud to him the names of provinces,districts, towns, streets, and people. By noticing how the patient's pulse quickened when names were mentioned Ibn Sina deduced that thepatient was in love with a girl whose home Ibn Sina was able to locateby the digital examination. The man took Ibn Sina's advice , marriedthe girl , and recovered from his illness.

It is not surprising to know that at Fez, Morocco, an asylum for thementally ill had been built early in the 8th century, and insane, asylumswere built by the Arabs also in Baghdad in 705 A.D., in Cairo in 800A.D., and in Damascus and Aleppo in 1270 A.D. In addition to baths, drugs, kind and benevolent treatment given to the mentally ill, musico-therapy and occupational therapy were also employed. These therapieswere highly developed. Special choirs and live music bands werebrought daily to entertain the patients by providing singing andmusical performances and comic performers as well.

CONCLUSION 1,000 years ago lslamic medicine was the most advanced in the worldat that time. Even after ten centuries, the achievements of Islamicmedicine look amazingly modern. 1,000 years ago the Muslims werethe great torchbearers of international scientific research. Everystudent and professional from each country outside the IslamicEmpire, aspired, yearned, a dreamed to go to the lslamic universities tolearn, to work, to live and to lead a comfortable life in an affluent andmost advanced and civilized society.
Today, in this twentieth century, the United States of America hasachieved such a position. The pendulum can swing back. FortunatelyAllah has given a bounty to many Islamic countries - an income over100 billion dollars per year. Hence Islamic countries have theopportunity and resources to make Islamic science and medicinenumber one in the world, once again.
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Post The Science behind the Veil

IN THE NAME OF Allaah, THE MOST GRACIOUS, THE MOST MERCIFUL


The Science behind the Veil


There are a number of health's and moral benefits that wearing the veil can provide. The moral duty of wearing the veil (Hijab) in Islam is an Often-discussed topic among Muslim women. However, little has been written About scientific reasons that the veil is beneficial for society. There Are, in fact, a number of health benefits that wearing the veil can Provide, as well as many behavioral science studies that suggest that the Veil is the best attire (clothes) for women.

Protecting the head is very important from a health perspective. Results Of medical tests show that 40-60% of body heat is lost through the head. So persons wearing head coverings during cold months are protected about Fifty-percent more than those who do not. Chinese & Muslim medical texts take this concept even further. In the Hua Di Nei Jing (The Yellow Emperor's Classic on Internal Medicine), wind is said to cause sudden changes within the body, & shaking, swaying, & other movements that potentially upset the body's equilibrium; thus, creating bad health.

These texts attribute the common cold to wind elements entering the body & causing the typical symptoms of sneezing & a runny nose. In the traditional Islamic medical texts of Al Jawziyya, we can find numerous references to the "four elements" of fire, water, air, & earth, & how these affect the body in adverse ways. In particular, we are advised to stay away from drafts & to protect our heads in wind, breezes, drafts, & cold weather.

All outdoor workers should wear some sort of head covering. For this reason; Protecting the head is even more important in warm weather. V.G. Rocine, a prominent brain research specialist, has found that brain Phosphorus melts at 108 degrees; a temperature that can be easily reached If one stays under the hot sun for any length of time without a head Covering. When this happens, irreversible brain damage, memory loss & loss Of some brain functions can result. Although this example is extreme, Brain damage can still be measured in small degrees from frequent exposure To & overheating of the head. Bernard Jensen, a naturopath & chiropractor, States that this is because the brain runs on the mineral phosphorus, which is very affected by heat.

Hygienic Purposes: all public should wear a veil or head covering Workers serving society to ensure cleanliness & purity. Workers in a Number of professions wears "veils" - nurses, fast food workers,and deli Counter workers, restaurant workers & servers, doctors, health care Providers, & many more. In fact, when we compare the number of workers who Cover their heads to the number who do not, we find that more people Probably cover their heads than do
not.

Social Influence: Aside from personal & public health benefits of the Veil, it has numerous other benefits to society. In Analyzing Visual Data, Ball & Smith discuss the acknowledgement of sociologists that visual Representations are influential in shaping people's views of the world & Their interpretations of life. Men use visual data to interpret there Relationships with the women around them.

Many studies have found that when a person tries to rewire there Instinctual perceptions, they are usually only rewired on the surface; Their original perceptions still exist on some level. Brain studies show That we exist in a world of constantly varying light variables that force The brain to perform what is called "lateral inhibition" consequently, it Provides us with a "steady" image as opposed to a "true" image of what we See.

Furthermore, lateral inhibition networks operate as part of the "Unconscious" brain; largely, without providing any information to the "Conscious" part of the brain about what they are doing. Therefore, the Brain can provide varying perceptions of the world without our even being Fully conscious of what it is processing. Further studies cited in Encyclopedia Britannica show that how a female Presents herself to society falls under the category of ritualized Behavior through which animals provide specific information to other Animals, usually members of its own species. Virtually all-higher animals, Including humans, use displays to some extent to do this, & the best known Displays are visual ones. Some biologists actually restrict the term Display to refer to visual signals or gestures. These visual signals, Which in animals can be simply a bright color or plume, encourage Attraction. In humans, they are usually exhibited in ornamental hair, make Up, or clothing.

In our society, most of the time attractive hairstyles & clothing are Worn for the purpose of making the adorner more attractive (advertising & Television has institutionalized this reality). The ever changing Variations in fashion tend to affect the brain because it typically has Trouble constantly adjusting to changing shadows & forms in the world. Reasonably then, through "lateral inhibition," the brain automatically Simplifies these images into the unconscious message that attractive hair & Clothing is meant to attract.
Joining these two concepts together, we Can see how the human male could receive the signal of "attraction" from The brain before he has enough time to "block" it by "lowering his gaze." Having to re-form an image already processed by the lateral inhibition Network is a cause of stress for most people. Doing this day after day, After seeing many "displays," potentially causes a great cumulative stress On society.

Present day stresses arise from many things; among these are the vast Amounts of visual & physical input we are bombarded with in this "Information age" of personal freedom. The problem we face in this is that The body still continues to respond in the same fashion as during Primitive times, releasing large amounts of these hormones, which can be Very harmful. They can cause an increase in blood pressure, damage muscle Tissue, lead to infertility, inhibit growth, damage the hippocampus, & Suppress the immune system.

The two most effective solutions to this problem are, first, to convince The advertising industry, & society as a whole, to alter the presentation Of women to our males. The second & more viable way is to simply influence Women to dress modestly, which will help ensure that they do not send inappropriate visual signals to men.

Female Psychological Balance: Last, but not least, covering the hair can Also have a beneficial effect on the female psyche as well. Studies of Women being interviewed for jobs show that there is a high correlation between what they wear & their perceptions of how successful they will be In their interviews. There are many more examples of how what we wear can Influence how we act. Wearing a veil can serve to remind women of their religious duties & behavioral expectations. It can also serve as a reminder to women that we are not only individuals, but also repetitive & diplomats of our Nation "Ummah."
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Post History of Hazrat Ali (A.S) life.

Name : Ali(a.s.) - the 1st Holy Imam
Title : Ameer al-Momineen, Haider-e-Karrar, Sher-e-Khuda, Mushkil Kusha
Agnomen: Abu Turab, al-Murtaza
Father : Hazrat Abu Talib(a.s.)
Mother : Bibi Fatima bint-e-Asad(a.s.)
Birth : Inside Khana-e-Kaaba in Makkah on 13th Rajab (600 A.D.)
Martyred : In Masjid-e-Kufa in Iraq on 21st Ramzan 40 A.H. (661 AD)
Cause of Death/Buried : Hit by an attach during prayers and buried in Najaf-e-Ashraf (Iraq)

Manner of birth:

Imam Ali (a.s.) is the first child in the family of Bani-Hashem whose both selfs are children of Hashem. His father Hazrat Abu-Taleb(a.s.) is the son of Hazrat Abdul-Mottaleb(a.s.) the son of Hashem bin Abd-Manaf and his mother is Bibi Fatemah bint-e-Asad(a.s.) who is the son of Hashem bin abd-manaf. The Hashemi family in the tribe of Qoraish is well-known (famous) for its moral virtues and high (supreme) humanistic characteristics among the Arab tribes. Magnanimity, generosity, courage and so many other virtues are characteristics of Bani-hashem. Moreover, each of these virtues at its highest degree exist in Imam Ali's (a.s.) existence. Bibi Fatemah bint-e-Asad(a.s.) went to the holy Kaaba when in labour pain and came close to the wall of Kaaba and said "O God, I have firm faith in you, the Prophets and the books sent by you and also the speech of my grand father the builder of this house . O God, in consideration to the respect of the one who built this house and for the sake of the child in my womb make the birth of this child easy". An instant later, in front of the eyes of Hazrat Abbass bin Abdul-Mottaleb(a.s.) and Hazrat Yazeed bin Taaf(r.a.) the south east wall of Kaaba cracked and Bibi Fatemah(a.s.) entered the Kaaba; the wall closed again.

She was the guest of Allah(swt) for three days in the holiest place in the universe and there she gave birth to her child - Imam Ali(a.s.). Three days after the thirteenth of Rajab, thirty years passed the year of the Elephat; Bibi Fatemah bint-e-Asad, came out of the same cleavage in wall which opened again and said: "I heared a message from the unsean to call him Ali".

Period of childhood:
The Holy Imam Ali(a.s.) stayed with his parents. Since it was Allah's(swt) will for him to gain more perfection, therefore, the honoured Prophet(pbuh&hf) from the beginning of his birth took care of his indirect education. Untill an unsual famine occurred in Mecca. Hazrat Abu-Taleb(a.s.) the uncle of the Prophet(pbuh&hf) having many children faced a heavy living expense. The honoured Prophet (pbuh&hf) with the consultation of his uncle Hazrat Abbas(a.s.), came to agreement that each one of them take one of the children of Hazrat Abu-Taleb(a.s.) with him as to make a relief for Hazrat Abu-Taleb(a.s.). Therefore Hazrat Abbas(a.s.) took Jaffar and the Prophet(pbuh&hf) took Imam Ali(a.s.) to his house. In this way the Holy Imam Ali(a.s.) was completely besides the Prophet(pbuh&hf). Imam Ali(a.s.) was always accompanying the Prophet(pbuh&hf) even when the Prophet(pbuh&hf) would leave the town and go to the mountain and desert.

Appointment of the Prophet(pbuh&hf) and the Holy Imam Ali (a.s.):
One of the virtues of the Holy Imam Ali(a.s.) is that he is the first one to testify the Prophethood of Prophet Mohammad(pbuh&hf). Ibn Abeel Al-Hadeed says related to this : Know that among the great , big and scholastic theologians of the Mutazilites there is no dispute that Ali bin Abee-Taleb is the first person to believe in Islam; and to support the messenger of God.

The Holy Imam Ali(a.s.) the first supporter to the honored Prophet(pbuh&hf) :
After the revelation of Allah(swt), the selection of the Prophet Mohammad(pbuh&hf) for prophethood and the three years of secret preaching, finally, the messenger of revelation arrived and the order for public preaching was given. At this juncture, the Holy Imam Ali(a.s.) was the only testifier of the Prophet(pbuh&hf); And was the only companion and sympathetic to his holiness in the invitation arranged to acquainte his relatives to Islam and to call them to the religion of Allah(swt). In this invitation the Prophet(pbuh&hf) asked the people present: "who is among you to help me in this way so to be my brother, successor and representative among you". Only Imam Ali(a.s.) answered : "O Prophet of Allah, I will support you in this way". The Prophet(pbuh&hf) after three times repeating the question and hearing the same answer said : O my relatives; Know that Ali(a.s.) is my brother , successor and Caliph after me among you. Of the other glories of the Holy Imam Ali(a.s.) is his perfect courage in sleeping in the Prophet's (pbuh&hf) bed , therefore, nullifying the plot of the idol- worshipers to kill the Prophet(pbuh&hf); And , furthermore, prepared the ground for the Prophet's (pbuh&hf) migration.

After the migration of his the Prophet(pbuh&hf) and Imam Ali(a.s.) to Madina, we explain two examples of the virtues of Imam Ali (a.s.):

1- Sacrifice and endangering in the field of struggle His presence in 26 battles of the 27 battles of the prophet (p) and participation in different expeditions are of the glories and virtues of his holiness.

2- Registering (keeping) and writing the revelation [the Holy Quran]: Writing the revelation, organizing (arranging) many of the historical and political documents and writing propagational and invitation letters, both in Makkah and Madina, And for this reason he is considered one of the writers of the revelation and memorizes of the Quran.

It was in this period that the Prophet (pbuh&hf) issued the decree of Muslim brotherhood, concluded the contract of brotherhood with the Holy Imam Ali(a.s.) and said to him: "You are my brother in this world and in the here after, swearing by Allah who has appointed me with the truth. I choose you as my brother, a brotherhood that is to the extent of both worlds". The Holy

Imam Ali(a.s.) the son-in-law of the Prophet(pbuh&hf):

The pond of Khom :

In the last Year of the Prophet's (pbuh&hf) life, after finishing the rituals of piligrammage and when returning in a place called the Khom pond close to Johfa , he ordered to stop, because the revelation commanded the Prophet(pbuh&hf) to complete his message. After the noon prayer the Prophet(pbuh&hf) went up the (mimbar) pulpit of the camels' saddles and said: "O people, it is soon that I answer the call of Allah and go from among you.

what do you think about me". People said: "we witness that you have propagated the religion of Allah". Prophet(pbuh&hf) said:" Don't you witness that there is no God but the one God and Mohammad is his slave and messenger". People said:"Yes, we witness". Then the Prophet(pbuh&hf) raised the hand of the Holy Imam Ali(a.s.) and said: "O People! among the believers who is more worthy than them selves. People said : "God and his prophet know better". Then the Prophet(pbuh&hf) said:" O People, Allah is my master, I am your master and of whomever I am the master and leader, Ali is his master and leader as well. And repeated this sentence three times. then the people congratulated this selection to the Holy Imam Ali(a.s.) and swore allegience to him.

The Holy Imam Ali(a.s.) after the death of the honoured Prophet(pbuh&hf) :

After the death of the honoured Prophet(pbuh&hf) because of special conditions that had arised, the Holy Imam Ali(a.s.) withdrew from the scene of the society and choose silence; He neither participated in any struggle nor spoke officially in the society . He put the sword in the sheath and engaged with individual duties and educating the individuals.

Activities of the Holy Imam Ali(a.s.) in this period were briefly as follows :

1- Interpretation of the Quran, solving religious problems and decreeing the rule of incidents that didn't have a resemblance along the 23 Years of the Prophet's (pbuh&hf) life.

2- Answering to questions of scholars from other religions and other towns.

3- Expressing the rule for many of the new events which didn't occur previously in Islam.

4- Solving the problems when the caliphate system faced dead ends in political matters and some other problems.

5- Educating and raising a group who had pure conscience and prepared soul for spiritual journey.

6- Work and strife to secure the life of many of the poor and disabled to the extent that he would establish gardends and extract aqueducts and then would give them as endowments in the way of Allah (swt).

Period of the caliphate of the Holy Imam Ali(a.s.)
In the time of his aliphate many wars occurred as Siffin, Jamal and Nahrawan, which had specific consequences. After the war of Nahrawan and the suppression of the Kharijites, some of the Kharijities among whom was Abdul-Rahman bin Moljam Moradi and Barak bin Abdullah Tameemi and Amr bin Bakr-tameemi in one of the nights got together and considered the ciruimstances of that time the blood-sheds and civil wars and remembered Nahrawan and their deads and finally reached to this conclusion that the reason for this blood-shed and brothers killing are the Holy Imam Ali(a.s.). Ibn Moljam undertook killing the Holy Imam Ali(a.s.) and on the ninetheenth night of the month of Ramadan accompanied with some stayed in the mosque of Kufa.

That night the Holy Imam Ali(a.s.) was a guest of his doughter's and was aware of the morning accident. When he mentioned this subject to his daughter, Umm-e-Kulsoom said: Tomorrow send Joada to the mosque. The Holy Imam Ali(a.s.) said: It is not possible to escape the Godly decree, then he fastened his belt and while humming these two verses he went to the mosque. Fasten your back firmly for death Because death will meet you and when death comes to you don't fear or scream While the Holy Imam Ali (a.s.) was in prostation, Ibn Moljam hit him with the sword on his forehead and blood from his holiness head streamed in the altar and blood dyed his honoured beard. In this condition his holiness said: I swear by the Allah of Kaaba that I was successful. Then related verse 55 from soora Taha:
From it we created you and into it we shall send you back and from it we raise you a second time.

The Holy Imam Ali(a.s.) was at his last moment of his life still thinking of the welfare and happiness of the peoples adviced his chidlren relatives and all the Muslims saying : I advice you of piety and to organize your deeds and always think of causing reconciliation among the Muslims. Don't forget the orphans, regard the rights of the neighbours. Make Quran the practical programme for yourself. Respect (honor) praying because it is the pillar of your religion. The Holy Imam Ali (a.s.) attained martyrdom on the 21 st of the month of Ramadan and was burried in Najaf in Iraq. His shrine became the tryst for the lovers of the truth and reality.
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Post Common Errors in Prayer That MUST Be Avoided

Common Errors in Prayer That MUST Be Avoided



Reciting Surat al-Fatiha fast without pausing after each verse. The Prophet (SAW) used to pause after each verse of this surah. (Abu Dawood)

Sticking the arms to the sides of the body, in rukoo' or sujood, and sticking the belly to the thighs in sujood.
The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: "Let not one of you support himself on his forearms (in sujood ) like the dog. Let him rest on his palms and keep his elbows away from his body." (Sahih Muslim)

The Messenger of Allah (SAW) used to keep his arms away from his body during rukoo' and sujood that the whiteness of his armpits could be seen (Sahih Muslim).

Gazing upward during prayer.
This may cause loss of concentration. We are commanded to lower our gaze,
and look at the point at which the head rests during sujood.

The Prophet (SAW) warned: "Let those who raise their gaze up during prayer stop doing so, or else their sights would not return to them. [i.e. lose their eyesight]." (Muslim)

Resting only the tip of the head on the floor during sujood.
The Prophet (SAW) said: "I am commanded to prostrate on seven bones the
forehead and the nose, the two hands [palms], the two knees, and the two feet." (Sahih Muslim)

Applying the above command necessitates resting the forehead and the nose
on the ground during sujood.


Hasty performance of prayer which does not allow repose and calmness in
rukoo' or sujood.

The Messenger of Allah (SAW) saw a man who did not complete his rukoo' [bowing], and made a very short sujood [prostration];he (SAW) said: "If this man dies while praying in this manner, he would die upholding a religion other than the religion of Muhammad."

Abu Hurairah (RA) said:
"My beloved friend, Muhammad (SAW) forbade me to perform postures of prayer copying the picking of a rooster; (signifying fast performance of prayer), moving eyes around like a fox and the sitting like monkeys (i.e. to sit on thighs)." (Imam Ahmad & at-Tayalisi)

The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: "The worst thief is the one who steals from his own prayer." People asked, 'Messenger of Allah! How could one steal from his own prayer?' He (SAW) said: "By not completing its rukoo' and sujood." (At-Tabarani & al-Hakim).

To complete rukoo' is to stay in that posture long enough to recite 'subhana rabbiyal Adtheem' three times, SLOWLY, and 'subhana rabbiyal-a'ala' three times, SLOWLY, in sujood.

He (SAW) also announced:
"He who does not complete his rukoo' and sujood, his prayer is void." (Abu Dawood & others)

Counting tasbeeh with the left hand
The Prophet (SAW) used to count tasbeeh on the fingers of his right hand after salah.

lbn Qudamah (RA) said: "The Messenger of Allah (SAW) used his right hand for tasbeeh." (Abu Dawud)


The above hadeeth indicates clearly that the Prophet (SAW) used only one hand for counting tasbeeh. No Muslim with sound mind would imagine that the Prophet (SAW) used his left hand for counting tasbeeh. Aa'ishah (RA) said that the Prophet (SAW) used his left hand only for Istinjaa', or cleaning himself after responding to the call of nature. He never used it for tasbeeh.

Yasirah (RA) reported: The Prophet (SAW) commanded women to count tasbeeh on their fingers.

The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: "They (the fingers) will be made to speak, and will be questioned (on the Day of Resurrection.)" (At-Tirmithi)

The above hadeeth indicates that it is preferable to count tasbeeh on the fingers of the right hand than to do so on masbahah (rosary).


Crossing in front of a praying person.
The Messenger of Allah (SAW) warned: "Were the one who crosses in front of
a praying person to know the consequences of doing so, he would have waited for *forty better than to cross in front of him." (Sahih Bukhari and Muslim).

*The forty in the tradition may be days months or even years. Allah knows best.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~

29:45 '...and remembrance of Allah is the greatest (thing in life) without doubt...'
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If you are not amongst those, who by Allah’s grace have been able to attend
this great act of worship, then do not despair!! The first ten days of the sacred month of Thul-Hijjah represents a great opportunity to invest in the way of good deeds.

Narrated Ibn Abbaas: The Prophet, sallallaahu álayhi wa sallam , said: “No good deeds done on other days are superior to those done on the first ten days of Thul-Hijjah”. Then some of the companions of the Prophet, pbuh, asked: “not even Jihad?” he replied: “not even Jihad, except that of a man who does it by putting himself and his property in danger for Allah’s sake and does not return with any of these things. (Al-Bukhaari) Even, by just abstaining from cutting one’s hair or clipping one’s nails during these days, for the person who intends to sacrifice in Al Adha Eid, is an act of Sunnah and, Insha-Allah, will be rewarded accordingly. May Allah help us to be amongst those who make the most of those blessed days? Being a pilgrim or otherwise. Ameen

SUPERIORITY OF DOING GOOD DEEDS:

Every Muslim is recommended to exploit the superiority of these days by increasing his practice of good deeds, such as Nafl prayers, donations, reciting Qur’an, Dhikr (remembrance of Allah), fasting, etc. Islam emphasizes, particularly in these days, the following actions:

1. Performing Hajj and Umra are the best deeds that can be done on those days. The Prophet (SAS) said: ”Al Hajj Al-Mabrour has no reward but Jannah.” ( Bukhari and Muslim)

2. Fasting the day of Arafah for those who are not in Hajj, as it expiates the sins of two years, the year that passed and the year that follows. As for the day of Arafah, where all the pilgrims gather in that very special place, “the Mount of Arafat”, hoping that they might be amongst those who will be saved from the grueling punishment of Hellfire, The mother of the Faithful “Aisha (ra) reported that she heard the Messenger of Allah (sws) saying: “There is no day when Allah sets free more servants from hell than the day
of “Arafah”. Those who are not performing Hajj, can also share the blessings of this day through fasting; the Prophet (sws) said: “Observing the fast on the day of ‘Arafah amends the sins (committed during the past year and the subsequent one”. (Muslim)

3. The Takbeer (saying Allahu-Akbar). Ibn Omar and Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with them) used to go to the market saying Takbeer during the first ten days of Dhul-Hijja and the people would say it after them. It is recommended to say Takbeer after daily congregational prayers starting from Fajr prayer of the day of Arafah (the 9th) to ‘Aser prayer on the last day of Al Tashreeq (the 13th).

4. Attending the Eid prayer on the 10th day and then listening to the khutba.

5. Offer the sacrifice.

1. When Hajj was prescribed:

According to the correct view, Hajj was made obligatory in 9AH, the year of the Delegations (al-Wufood), in which Soorat Aal ‘Imraan was revealed, in which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah) to the House (Ka’bah)is a duty that mankind owes to Allaah, those who can afford the expenses (for one’s conveyance, provision and residence).” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:97]

The ruling of Hajj:
Hajj is a fareedah (obligatory duty), one of the pillars of Islam. The evidence (daleel) for this is the aayah mentioned above, and there is also evidence in the Sunnah which indicates the same thing.

Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with them both) said: the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu álayhi wa sallam) said: “Islam is built upon five (pillars): testifying that none deserves to be worshipped but Allaah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah, establishing regular prayer, paying zakaah, Hajj and fasting Ramadhaan.” ( Al-Bukhaari, 8; Muslim, 16).

3. Is Hajj obligatory straight away?

Yes, it should be done straight away. The evidence for this is the aayah referred to above. This (doing things straight away) is the guiding principle concerning the commands of sharee’ah. The evidence in the Sunnah which indicates this is as follows:

1. Abu Hurayrah said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) gave a sermon (khutbah) and said: “O people, Allaah has enjoined Hajj upon you so do Hajj.” (Narrated by Muslim, 1337).

2. Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever wants to go for Hajj, let him hasten to do it, because he may fall ill or some other problems may arise.” (Narrated by Abu Dawood, 1732, without the phrase “because he may…” also narrated by Ibn Maajah, 2883 and Ahmad, 1836). According to a report narrated by Ahmad “Hasten to do Hajj –i.e., the obligatory Hajj – for none of you knows what may happen to him.” These two reports strengthen one another. (See Irwaa’ al-Ghaleel by al-Albaani, 4/168). The Shaafa’is say that Hajj may be delayed, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) delayed his Hajj until 10 AH. But the answer to this is as follows:

a. He only delayed it for one year, but they say it may be delayed indefinitely!

b. He (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) wanted to purify the House (the Ka’bah) of the Mushrikeen and those who performed Hajj naked.

c. He was kept busy with the delegations that had started to come to Madeenah, one after another to announce their Islam. (See al-Sharh al-Mumti’ by Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 7/17, 18)

4. It is obligatory to do Hajj once in one's lifetime Abu Hurayrah said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) gave a sermon (khutbah) and said: “O people, Allaah has enjoined Hajj upon you so do Hajj.” A man said, Is it every year, O Messenger of Allaah? He remained silent until the man had said it three times, then he said, “If I say yes, it will become obligatory and you will not be able to do it.” Then he said, “Do not push me to tell you more than what I have left you with, for those who came before you were destroyed because they asked too many questions and argued with their Prophets. If I command you to do a thing, do as much of it as you can, and if I forbid you to do something, then avoid it.”
(Narrated by Muslim, 1337)

A- The virtues of Hajj

There are many ahaadeeth which speak of the virtues of Hajj, including the following:

1. From Abu Hurayrah, that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was asked which deed is best. He said, “Belief in Allaah and His Messenger.” He was asked, then what? He said, “Jihaad for the sake of Allaah.” He was asked, then what? He said, “Hajj Mabrour (an accepted Hajj).” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 26; Muslim, 83).

To have one’s Hajj accepted, one should:

a. Pay for it with halaal money
b. Keep away from evil, sin and unjust disputes during Hajj.
c. Observe all the rituals according to the Sunnah.
d. Not show off by doing Hajj; it should be purely and sincerely for the sake of Allaah.
e. Not follow it with acts of disobedience and sin.

2. Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “Whoever does Hajj for the sake of Allaah and does not have sexual relations (with his
wife), commit sin, or dispute unjustly (during the Hajj), will come back like the day his mother gave birth to him.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1449; Muslim, 1350).

3. Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “ ‘Umrah is an expiation for the time between it and the previous ‘Umrah, and an accepted hajj has no less a reward than Paradise.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1683; Muslim, 1349).

4. ‘Aa’ishah, the Mother of the Believers (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: I said, O Messenger of Allaah, can we not go out on campaigns and fight in jihaad with you? He said, “But the best and most beautiful of jihaad is Hajj, an accepted pilgrimage.” ‘Aa’ishah said, I never stopped going for Hajj after I heard that from the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1762).

5. ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Hajj wipes out whatever (sins) came before it.” (Narrated by Muslim, 121).

6. ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood said: the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Keep on doing Hajj and ‘Umrah, for they eliminate poverty and sin just as the bellows eliminate impurities from iron and gold and silver.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 810; al-Nasaa’i, 2631. The hadeeth was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani – may Allaah have mercy on him – in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 1200).

7. Ibn ‘Umar reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The one who fights for the sake of Allaah and the pilgrim who goes for Hajj or ‘Umrah are all guests of Allaah. He called them and they responded; they ask of Him and He will give them.” (Narrated by Ibn Maajah, 2893. The hadeeth is hasan and was classed as such by Shaykh al- Albaani in al-Silsilat al-Saheehah, 1820).

B. The benefits of Hajj

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “That they may witness things that are of benefit to them.” [al-Hajj 22:28] The benefits are both worldly and religious (spiritual). With regard to the religious benefits, the one who goes for Hajj earns the pleasure of his Lord, and comes back with all his sins forgiven. He also earns the immense reward which he cannot earn anywhere else than in these places. One prayer in al-
Masjid al-Haraam, for example, is equal to a hundred thousand prayers elsewhere, and Tawaaf and Saa’ee cannot be done anywhere except in these places.

Other benefits include meeting other Muslims and discussing their circumstances, and meeting scholars, learning from them and asking them about one’s problems. Worldly benefits include trade and business, and other kinds of earnings that have to do with Hajj.

C. The ruling on Hajj and its spiritual effects on a person There are many virtues of the rituals of Hajj, and much wisdom behind them. Whoever is blessed with proper understanding of them is blessed with much goodness.

For example:
1. When a person travels to carry out the rituals of Hajj, he is reminded of his journey to Allaah and the Hereafter. When he travels, he leaves behind his dear friends, wife, children and homeland, and the journey to the Hereafter is like that.

2. The one who goes on this journey equips himself with enough provision to help him reach the sacred land, so let him remember that for his journey to his Lord, he needs to have sufficient provision to help him get there safely. Concerning this, Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And take a provision (with you) for the journey, but the best provision is At-Taqwaa (piety, righteousness, etc.).” [al-Baqarah 2:197]

3. Travelling is a kind of torment, and the same is true of the journey to the Hereafter, only much more so. Ahead of man there is his dying, death, the grave, the gathering, the accounting, the scales and al-Siraat, followed by either Paradise or Hell. The blessed one will be the one whom Allaah saves.

4. When the pilgrim puts on the two garments of his Ihraam, he cannot help but be reminded of the shroud in which he will be wrapped [after he dies]. This prompts him to give up disobedience and sin. Just as he has given up his regular clothing [for Hajj], so he has to give up sin. Just as he has put on two clean, white garments, he has to make his heart clean and white [pure], and keep his faculties clean and pure, uncontaminated by the stain of sin and disobedience.

5. When he says “Labbayk Allaahumma labbayk” at the Meeqaat [station of entering ihraam], he means that he has responded to his Lord, so how can he insist on still sinning and not respond to his Lord’s call to give it up? When he says “Labbayk Allaahumma labbayk”, he means, “I am responding to Your prohibition of it and this is the time I am giving it up.” 6. When he gives up haraam things during his Ihraam, and keeps himself busy with the talbiyah and dhikr, this shows him how the Muslim should be He trains himself to give up some things which in principle are halaal, but Allaah has forbidden them to him at this time [during his Ihraam], so how can he violate the prohibitions of Allaah by doing things which are haraam
at all times and in all places?

7.When he enters the Sacred House of Allaah, that Allaah has made a sanctuary for mankind, he remembers the sanctuary of the Day of Resurrection, which no one can reach without striving hard and making a
concerted effort. The greatest thing that keeps a person safe on the Day of Resurrection is Tawheed (monotheism) and avoiding Shirk (associating others with Allaah). Concerning this, Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “It is those who believe (in the Oneness of Allaah and worship none but Him Alone) and confuse not their belief with Zulm (wrong, i.e. by worshipping others besides Allaah), for them (only) there is security and they are the guided.” [al-An’aam 6:81]

8.Kissing the Black Stone, which is the first ritual to be undertaken, teaches the visitor to honour the Sunnah and not to oppose the laws of Allaah with his feeble reasoning. He recognizes that there is wisdom and goodness behind the laws and rituals which Allaah has prescribed for mankind, and he trains himself to submit himself totally to his Lord, may He be exalted. Concerning this, ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said, after he kissed the Black Stone: “I know that you are only a stone and that you can neither benefit nor harm. If I had not seen the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) kiss you, I would not have kissed you!” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1520; Muslim, 1720).

9.When he does Tawaaf, he is reminded of his father Ibraaheem (peace be upon him), who built the House to be a place of resort for mankind and a place of safety, and that he called them to perform pilgrimage to this House. And our Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) also called them to perform pilgrimage to this House. Moosa, Yoonus and ‘Eesaa (peace be upon them) also performed pilgrimage to this House. This House was a symbol and a meeting place for these Prophets; how could it be
otherwise, when Allaah had commanded Ibraheem (peace be upon him) to build it and venerate it?

10. When he drinks the water of Zamzam, he is reminded of the blessing which Allaah has bestowed upon mankind in the form of this blessed water, from which millions of people have drunk throughout the long ages, but it has never dried up. He is encouraged to make du’aa’ when he drinks it by the hadeeth which has been reported from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) “The water of Zamzam is for whatever it is drunk for.” (Narrated by Ibn Maajah, 3062; Ahmad, 14435. This is a hasan hadeeth; classed as hasan by Ibn al-Qayyim – may Allaah have mercy on him – in Zaad al-Ma’aad, 4/320).

11. and how she ran back and forth between al-Safaa’ and al-Marwah, searching for water which would save her from what she was suffering, and especially so that she could give her little son – Ismaa’eel – water to drink. Since this woman was patient in the face of this adversity and turned to her Lord. this teaches man that doing this is better and more appropriate. When a man remembers the struggle and patience of this woman, it makes it easier for him to bear his own problems, and a woman who is of her own kind will
find her problems easier to bear.

12. The standing (wuqoof) in ‘Arafaah reminds the pilgrim of the throngs of people on the Day of Gathering. If the pilgrim feels tired from being in a crowd of thousands, how will it be in the crowds of barefoot, naked, uncircumcised people, standing for fifty thousand years?

13. When he throws the pebbles at the Jamaraat, the Muslim trains himself to obey Allaah unquestioningly. Even if he does not understand the reason and wisdom behind this throwing (ramy), and cannot make the connection between rulings and their purpose, this is a manifestation of complete submission (‘uboodiyyah) to Allaah.

14. When he slaughters his sacrifice (hady), he is reminded of the great event when our father Ibraaheem submitted to the command of Allaah to sacrifice his only son Ismaa’eel, after he had grown up and become a help to him. He is also reminded that there is no room for emotions which go against the commands and prohibitions of Allaah. This teaches him to respond to what Allaah commands, as Ismaa’eel said (interpretation of the eaning): “ ‘O my father! Do that which you are commanded. In shaa Allaah (if Allaah wills), you will find me of al-saabireen (the patient ones).’” [al-Saaffaat 37:102].

15. When he comes out of his Ihraam and things that had been forbidden to him once again become permissible, this teaches him about the consequences of patience and that after hardship comes ease. The one who responds to the call of Allaah will have joy and happiness, and this joy cannot be known by anyone except those who have tasted the sweetness of obedience, such as the joy felt by the one who fasts when he breaks his fast, or by the one who prays Qiyaam during the last part of the night, after he has
finished praying.

17. When he has finished performing all the rituals of Hajj as they were prescribed by Allaah and in the manner that Allaah loves, he has the hope that his Lord will forgive him all his sins, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) promised in the hadeeth, “Whoever does Hajj for the sake of Allaah and does not have sexual relations (with his wife), commit sin, or dispute unjustly (during the hajj), will come back like the day his mother gave birth to him.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1449; Muslim, 1350). This invites him to start a new page in his life, free of sin.

18. When he comes back to his wife and children, and experiences the joy of meeting them again, this reminds him of the greater joy of meeting them in Paradise. This also teaches him that the greatest loss is losing oneself and one’s family on the Day of Resurrection, as Allaah says (interpretation of the
meaning): “The losers are those who will lose themselves and their families on the Day of Resurrection. Verily, that will be a manifest loss!” [al- Zumar 39:15].
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