Category Archives: History


By Murat Mert

Foremost among the relics preserved for centuries in Mecca are the Hacer-ul Esved and the Makam-ı Ibrahim. The former is the sacred Black Stone brought from Mount Ebu Kubeys and built into the southeastern corner of the Kaaba to mark the starting point of the circumambulation, and the latter is a rectangular slab of marble carved with “footprints” alleged to be those of Abraham, who is said to have stood on it either during construction of the Kaaba or when calling on the people to perform the pilgrimage. Since Muslims interpreted the Koranic verse reading, “Take as your place of worship the place where Ibrahim stood ” , as meaning that they should pray by this stone, it was moved by Omar from its original position next to the Kaaba so that those who were praying did not obstruct the circumambulation.

Another sacred relic at the Kaaba was a pair of horns thought to belong to the sacrificial ram sent to Abraham by God in place of his son (identified as Ishmael in the Koranic and Isaac in the Biblical version). According to Azraki, when Muhammed (peace be upon him) entered the Kaaba following the conquest of Mecca, these horns were hanging on the wall but subsequently disappeared during the siege of Mecca by Hajjaj.

Even during Muhammed’s (peace be upon him) lifetime his followers collected keepsakes. Following his death the desire for such objects, which were regarded as sacred, became even keener. There were those who declared that they would rather possess a hair from the Prophet’s head or beard than the entire world. When the controversy over the caliphate broke out, the Omayyads wished to possess some of the relics of Muhammed (peace be upon him) so as to gain public support, and Muaviye purchased the Prophet’s mantle for twenty thousand drachmas. This mantle was to become one of the most venerated symbols of the caliphate, and following the death of Muaviye was passed down from caliph to caliph, who wore it on feast days. Following the collapse of the Omayyads, the first Abbasid caliph Ebu’l-Abbas Seffah purchased the mantle.

With the conversion of the Turkic peoples, Islam expanded over a wide area, and when the caliphate passed to the Ottoman dynasty in 1517, Istanbul became both the religious and political hub of the Islamic world. The holy relics which are today kept at Topkapı Palace have been reverently preserved over the centuries. As well as those belonging to Muhammed (peace be upon him) himself, there are some which belong to other prophets or to companions of Muhammed (peace be upon him) another group associated with the Kaaba, and finally containers and wrappers in which the relics were transported.

The Ottoman sultans held all holy relics in respect, not only those associated with the history of Islam and fastidiously preserved them all for posterity. Following the conquest of Istanbul, Mehmed II ( 1451-1481) proclaimed that all the religious communities of the city were free to follow their own faith. The hand and fragments from the skull of John the Baptist kept in reliquaries in the Treasury are known to have first been brought to Topkapı Palace during the reign of this sultan. During the inventory of the relics carried out in 1924 after the palace became a museum, these were recorded as being amongst the other holy relics.

Among the exhibits in the Pavilion of the Holy Mantle are many other relics attributed to Biblical prophets, including the sceptre of Moses, the saucepan of Abraham, the sword of David, and a wooden panel carved in relief with the Temple of Solomon and an inscription in Hebrew.

The relics at Topkapı Palace for the most part were brought here between the 16th and early 20th centuries, with a notable spate during the 19th century due largely to the spread in Arabia of the Wahhabi sect, which denounced the idea of material objects being endowed with sanctity. The relics were therefore taken to Istanbul to protect them from destruction at the hands of the Wahhabis, who demolished the tomb of Hussein and in 1803 occupied and razed the city of Mecca. Despite security precautions, the tombs of Othman and Ali were looted in 1898, and a considerable amount of treasure taken from the tomb of Muhammed (peace be upon him) which was also badly damaged. In November 1818 Abdullah bin Suud surrendered in Dir’iyye to the forces of Mehmed Ali Paşa, Governor of Egypt, and was sent to Istanbul, so preventing further attacks on sacred buildings. Abdullah bin Suud relinquished to Mehmed Ali three Korans and a casket containing around three hundred emeralds, pearls and a gold band that his father had stolen from the tomb of Muhammed (peace be upon him) . When interrogated, he asserted that some of the other stolen items were in the possession of prominent Arabs, inhabitants of Medina, and even the Sheriff of Mecca.

The holy relics to be sent to Topkapı Palace were delivered, together with an inventory, to the official responsible for transporting them. Abdullah bin Suud and several others involved in the theft of many relics and valuables from Ravza-i Mutahhara (the tomb of Muhammed (peace be upon him) , which had been looted by his father, the tomb of Hussein and other holy places, were later executed.

Prior to the evacuation of Medina during the First World War, it was decided to send the holy relics of the city and the precious gifts sent during the Ottoman period to Topkapı Palace for safe keeping. This decision of the Ottoman command was notified to Fahreddin Paşa, commander of the Hejaz Forces, on March 2nd, 1917. Fahreddin Paşa consulted Ziver Bey, governor of Medina, as to whether there was any religious objection to removing the relics, and on learning that there was not, sent them off to Istanbul. The subject of the holy relics and gifts was discussed at Lausanne, and the Turkish delegation rejected a demand that these objects be returned. Consisting of eighty-one pieces altogether, they include large diamonds, candelabra, chandeliers, lamps, hanging ornaments, fans, rare manuscripts, Koran cases, caskets for the Holy Mantle, and other objects of priceless spiritual and material value.

The Ottoman sultans traditionally sent precious gifts to Mecca and Medina every year, as did other prominent figures from parts of the Islamic world, and in this way the number of holy relics expanded over the centuries. In all the collection of holy relics at Topkapı Palace today numbers 765. During the reign of Mahmud II (1808-1839) those relics which were kept at the palace were placed in the Hasoda, under the care of forty palace officers.

The Koran was recited day and night in the Pavilion of the Holy Mantle over the centuries by forty hafiz (one who has memorised the Koran), out of respect for the mantle of Muhammed. Sultan Selim I (1512-1520) was himself one of these forty hafiz who read by turns “for the triumph of good over evil”. This tradition is still maintained today. The respect in which the holy relics have always been held means that even the brooms, dustpans, candles, wood used to repair the Kaaba, sandalwood and agallch wood, prayer beads, spoons and other artefacts employed in the Hasoda or kept here have been carefully preserved. The Pavilion of the Holy Mantle was first opened to the public on August 31st, 1962.




The following is a brief account of a devastating plague which hit and devastated Muslim lands in the year 449 Hijri. It is an account by Sibt Ibn Al-Jawzi (Rahmatullah alayh):

“In Jumāda ‘l-Ākhirah [of the year 449] a letter arrived from Bukhārā from Transoxiana that an unprecedented and unheard of pandemic occurred there such that 18,000 caskets (Janaazahs) came out of this region in a single day! Those that died were counted and they were 1,650,000, up to the writing of this letter.

Those who survived passed through these lands and saw nothing but empty stores and locked doors. The pandemic spread to Azerbaijan and then to Ahwāz, Baṣrah and Wāsiṭ, and other regions.  Large pits were dug and 35 people would be dumped in them. The copy of a letter written from Samarkand to Balkh arrived at Baghdād stating that each day 5,000, 6,000 or more righteous Muslims are being buried, and the stores are shut, and the people are engaged night and day in burying their dead, and bathing them and shrouding them.

Every house in which death entered, it would overtake them all. From the houses of the heads and elite, more than 2000 houses of the city were shut, neither old nor young, nor free nor slave, nor heir remained.

All the people repented and gave in charity most of their wealth. They  spilled wine and smashed musical instruments, and remained attached to the Masjids and reciting Qur’ān, and the women in the homes were doing likewise.

Every house in which was wine, its inhabitants died in one night. Whoever had an unlawful woman with him, both died together. The administrator of a Masjid who died had 50,000 dirhams and none accepted it. They were kept for nine days as they were in the Masjid, and then four people came and took them and died with them. Everyone who bequeathed to another, the one bequeathed to died before the testator. Each pair of Muslims between whom was distance (i.e. had become enemies), but did not reconcile died. 700 jurists were with Faqīh ‘Abdul Jabbār ibn Aḥmad and ‘Abd al-Jabbār and other jurists died.

We came upon a sick person whose death throes extended for seven days and he pointed with his finger to a room of the house which we entered and searched and found wine in a container so we turned it upside down and Allāh saved him from death.

It has been said from the start of Shawwāl to the end of Dhu ‘l-Qa‘dah, the caskets (janaazahs) that came out of the doors of Samarkand were counted, and they came to 236,000. (This is besides the mass burials). This pandemic originated in Turkistan, a land of disbelievers, and then came from there to lands of Sāghūn, Kāsghar, Shāsh, Farghānah and those regions and reached Samarkand on the 27th of Ramaḍān of this year.

(Mir’āt al-Zamān, 19:12-14)

(Translation, not by The Majlis)

COMMENT (By Mujlisul Ulama):

“Verily, the Athaab (Punishment) of your Rabb is dreadfully severe.” (Qur’aan)

In the entire history of Islam, from its very inception, to a few weeks ago, NEVER were any Musaajid closed by Muslims, neither by Muslim governments nor by the mutawallis nor by the communities. In our era in close proximity to Qiyaamah, the villainy of the closure of the Musaajid and the cancellation of Salaat are the satanic handiwork of the Munaafiqeen in our midst. Allah Ta’ala has made manifest the Munaafiqeen. They are the rubbish molvis, sheikhs and zindeeq doctors masquerading as Muslims.  There nifaaq has been advertised by Allah Ta’ala for all and sundry to see and to recognize the traitors lurking within the community.

Whenever Musjids closed in any epidemic, it was not a closure by Muslims or the authorities, it was due to the total or near total decimation of the populace.  Bodies were being dumped unceremoniously in mass graves. There was no choice – no option other than to act as they did. No one locked the Musaajid. There were just no Muslims remaining to attend the Musaajid. On the contrary, where there were communities, still alive, they flocked to the Musaajid, supplicating and pleading to Allah Ta’ala. But it was too late. The decree had already gone forth. There was no turning back. The Athaab had to take its course.

Where it was possible, all Muslims flocked to the Musaajid, those affected and those unaffected by the disease. They flocked into the Musaajid, crying and repenting. But once the decree of Athaab has been issued, it followed its trajectory. No dua and no repentance can then avert it. The time for averting the   Greater Athaab which brings obliteration in its wake, is when Allah Ta’ala gives us a mild taste of His lesser punishment in order to jolt us into realization. In this regard, the Qur’aan Majeed states:

“Most certainly We shall give them to taste of the lesser Punishment, not the greater punishment, for perhaps they may return (to the Path of Rectitude).”

When the Athaabil Adna (Lesser Punishment) is ignored, then the Divine Ordinance stated in the following Qur’aanic Aayat becomes applicable:

“When We intend to destroy (the people of) a settlement (village, town, city, etc.), then We command its affluent people (i.e.  give them unbridled freedom to  wallow in their  filth of sin and immorality). Thus, they (recklessly) and flagrantly indulge in fisq. Then We utterly destroy them.”

Today, all over the world, Muslims are ignoring the Athaabil Adna, and on the contrary are justifying their fisq, fujoor and kufr. This is the scariest part of the prevailing saga. It is the indication for Athaab of a horrendous and shocking kind which is overshadowing us.

Instances of Haram Closures in History

By Waleed Hakeem

Subhanallah, news of the Haram being closed are going viral and causing panic, with people even going as far as declaring it one of the signs of the final day!

Since I am here in Makkah, let me clarify facts from fiction so we could calm down:

– The tawaf (mataf) area (only) around the Kaabah was closed before. However, people were still doing tawaf outside in the covered area.

– The rest of the Masjid was open for the 5 prayers, and people were praying outside too.

–  1 hour after Isha, the entire mosque will be closed for sanitization until 1 hour before Fajr when it will be reopened again. This is also happening in the Prophet’s ﷺ mosque in Madinah!

– Zamzam water will also be shut down and sanitized. All the tabs and the containers.

– No corona cases reported from the Haram.

– No one wearing Ihraam clothing will be allowed inside Makkah. If you come plain clothed however, you are allowed to come inside the city boundaries. You may or may not be stopped for questioning. Groups are not allowed under any circumstances.

Now, is this one of the signs of the day of judgement as some claim?

– Actually, Haram was closed over 40 times in history, due to fires, diseases, expansions, or wars, and we know them year by year, from 865 to 1987. Here are some of the most significant closures of the Haram:

865 AD: It was first closed in 251 AH. Ismail Ibn Yusuf al-Alawi carried out a massacre in Makkah killing hundreds of hujjaj.

930 AD: This was one of the most disastrous events. The Qaramita, who are an extremist sub group of the Shia attacked Makkah. They called tawaf around the Kabah as idol worship. They tried to destroy the Kabah and stole the Black Stone. Umrah was stopped in that year. They took the Black Stone with them to Qatif. They tried to invent their alternate version of Hajj instead. For 22 years it remained in their possession until it was bought back. While they were stealing it, the stone broke into 7 pieces as it is seen today.

1258 AD: The Mongolians attacked Baghdad. They massacred over 2 million people and threw 500,000 books from the House of Wisdom into the river. They also assassinated the Khalifah and his family. Out of fear for their lives and safety concerns amidst this chaos, the people didn’t come for Umrah.

1814 AD: This is the historic plague the Prophet peace be upon him spoke about. More than 8,000 people died.

1831 AD: There was an outbreak of a contagious disease (likely the cholera outbreak) from India. It claimed the lives of over 3 quarters of the Hujjaj present in Makkah at the time.

1892 AD: There was an outbreak of severe cholera. The bodies of the Hujjaj were piled up like mountains around the Haram, till they were able to be buried. What’s worse is that this happened on the Day of Arafat.

1979 AD: Juhayman Al Otaybi claimed to be Almahdi and with 500 followers, he took an armed siege of the Haram for 2 weeks until a coalition of commandos were able to defeat them and re-open the Haram.

1987 AD: Around 10,000 people around the Haram were affected by meningitis which is an inflammatory disease impacting the brain and spinal cord.

Even in Ottoman times, they had built places around the Haram for quarantine, so that people coming to Hajj would be placed and treated there in case of any issues.

The media is trying to scare us because it sells better. My intention is to counter this by calming us down seeking only the reward of Allah (calm while we take the necessary precautions).

We ask Allah to protect our health, heal us, and invite us into His home once it is safe for us to return and visit. Aameen!


Tipu Sultan (Rahmatullah Alayh)’s Link with the Spiritual Family of Rae Barelly

A number of books have been written on the life of Tipu in different languages from various angles worldwide. Amongst all the eminent personalities of India, it was Tipu alone who has earned the distinction of being made the subject of the historic research and work by a number of authors, a majority of them being non-Muslims. Those historians and writers who have highlighted his personal life agree unanimously to the fact that apart from being extraordinarily secular in nature, he had great love towards his own religion. In other words, he was a true follower of Islam. Concerning the issue of following the teachings of Islam, he imposed as much strictness on the common Muslims as upon himself. However, ironically enough, no historian has taken up the cudgels to investigate into this aspect thoroughly up till now.

From where or how did this love for Islam, religious strictness and abstinence become inherent in him such that unmindful of the criticism and opposition of majority of people, he went ahead to eliminate un-Islamic practices and innovations in religion in spite of the fact that his father, Hyder Ali was a bit lenient in terms of religion. However, from authentic sources, one can conclude that though his family had descended from the Quraish tribe of Arab, because of living in India for years altogether along with the Hindus, the family was no more supportive of an Islamis spirit deeply or developed religious outlook staunchly. Even in Devanahalli, the place where he spent his childhood, there was no such religious atmosphere or Islamic society. Probably, it might not have had an impact upin him. After a long research the writer of the article got a clue from Maulana Syed Abul Hasan Nadvi that there may be some reference to this  aspect in the personal collection of books of the Hasani family, piled in the Shibli Library, Nadwat-ul-Ulama, Lucknow. And really there was a manuscript by Syed Hyder Ali Tonki which disclosed the hidden mystery that Tipu had spiritual links with Shah Abu Sayeed and his son Shah Abullais, the real maternal grandfather and maternal uncle, respectively, of Sayyid Ahmad Shaheed (rahmatullah alayh), the great founder of the revitalization of Khilafat Movement in the Sub-Continent. Both these saints were the spiritual guide and the patron of this family. Sayyid Ahmad Shaheed (rahimahullah) (1786-1831) was the great disciple of an eminent Muslim divine Shah ‘Abd al-Azeez (rahmatullah alayh) who had issued a fatwa declaring the Sub-Continent as Darul Harb. Inspired by this fatwa Sayyid Ahmad Shaheed had started a movement which exhorted Muslims to return to early Islam and fight against those non-Muslim powers which were playing havoc with the lives of Muslims. He was a bitter critic of innovations in Islam and non-Muslim practices and rituals which had got deeply embedded in the minds of uneducated Muslim masses. He had nothing to do with Khilafat Movement which was started by Muslims in 1920 against the British. The family was in bayat with Shah Abullais of Naqshbandi Order and the spiritual effects and the spirit of their conscience and cravings had got deeply embedded into the body and soul of Tipu Sultan. The ban imposed by Tipu on the traditional peeri-mureedi and practices in connection with rituals on the eve of Muharram was also the outcome of the association with these saints whose entire family had earned great fame all over the country. Otherwise it would have been a Herculean task for Tipu to impose such a ban in those days when the ignorant practices and innovations in the religion had crept deep inside the Muslims in the country. Shah Abu Sayed visited the Sultanat-e-Khuddad along with his son, Shah Abullais with the intention of spreading the teachings of Islam and reformation from North India after traversing thousands of miles during the period of Hyder Ali. Thousands of Muslims entered into bayat with him over there. When Shah Abullais returned after performing Hajj, he preferred to stay in the Sultan-e-Khuddad permenantly and continued to guide the Sultani family spiritually. He stayed in the western coastal city of Koriyal Bandar. He expired at the same place in 1208 A.H. corresponding to 1793 A.D. six years before the Sultan’s demise, albeit Shah Abu Saeed passed away in 1193 A.H. at his home town, Rae Bareli.

In 1822, Hadhrat Sayyid Ahmad Shaheed (rahmatullah alayh), the nephew of Abullais stopped in Calcutta for 3 months along with his entourage on his trip to Makkah fot the purpose of Hajj, Sultan Tipu’s exiled princes and their mother who were staying at Tollygunj in Calcutta also came to know about it. Tipu’s wife was aware of her husband’s and her father-in-law’s spiritual link with the saints Shah Abu Sayeed and Shah Abullais belonging to the Hasani family of Rae Bareli and both of them were mureeds in that order. She sent a person called Muhammad Qasim in the servive of Sayyid Sahib (rahmatullahi alayh) to find whether he belonged to the family of Shah Abu Saeed so that they might also visit him to pay their regards. Sayyid Sahib (rahimahullah) told the man that Shah Abu Sayeed happened to be his real maternal grandfather and Shah Abullais his maternal uncle. Thereafter, Sayyid Sahib (rahimahullah) got the bayat of all the princes on the request of Tipu’s wife. Finally, she herself along with the only princess took the bayat besides other royal women folk. Tipu’s wife was a very pious lady. She had earned greater spirituality from the blessings of Sayyid Sahib (rahimahullah). The princes had undergone a great change, in terms of their ideologies, after being in contact with their atheist teacher Abdul Raheem. However, Tipu’s wife stopped him from teaching the princes when Sayyid Sahib had asked her to do so.


Hamza Yusuf & The Sultan: Misreadings of History to Justify Obedience to Tyrants

[By Ibn Mosharraf]

As an Ummah we are in a strange situation today. Our social media is dominated by either endless stream of tragedies. Or teeth grinding controversy.

Over the last week a video of Hamza Yusuf that was recorded way back in 2016 went viral. Provoking rage and condemnations from Muslims and spurring on his ardent followers to defend their beloved Shaykh who has been involved in a string of controversies.

Amidst all the emotionally driven polemics there have been several academic responses attempting to highlight the problems with Hamza Yusuf’s arguments and his central praxis. (1)

While Hamza Yusuf does not state it outright, his idea of political activism is giving dawah to tyrants hoping that they will change and become more Islamic. This view rooted in his idea that Kings(any King) are divinely appointed and rebellion against them incites fitnah and bloodshed. He has an explicit preference of tyrannical order over any kind of anarchy. What complicates this issue is the fact that this view is seemingly rooted in the classical Sunni scholarly consensus.

The issue is a bit more complex. While one can find most Ulema of the Salaf to be not in favor of armed revolts, Imam Abu Hanifa (rahimahullah) was noted to have supported revolts against the Umayyads. (2)

This discrepancy exists due to a lot of reasons. However the main reason for the Ulema of the Ahlus Sunnah to become more wary of armed revolts was due to a series of tragedies that happened during the course of the Ummayad rule. Such as the rebellion lead by Ibn Al-Ash’ath where many scholars perished. (3)

This discussion is a complex matter which we hope to address at a later time.

For now we will focus on an essential point that is being missed in these conversations which we tried to address in our last article. (4)

We will attempt to expand on that in this article by focusing on two issues.

  1. The idea of political quietism.
  2. The context of the scholarly fatwas against rebellion.

In response to terror movements like AQ or ISIS, scholars have attempted to endear themselves to the West (and their proxies) by instituting a systematic normalization of the idea that we are in the Makkan phase and we should be law-abiding citizens perpetually. This line of argument is used to justify Hamza Yusuf’s controversial statements and his involvement in state sponsored programs. (5)

When one looks at these developments with a fresh and unbiased perspective after reading the Seerah, the arguments made by Hamza Yusuf and his followers will seem preposterous. And this so called fiqh of minorities is rather contentious to say the least.

Muslims in Makkah were actively calling upon the Polytheists to become Muslims and establish Dar Al Islam.

Prophet Muhammad(ﷺ) did not talk about how we should refrain from giving dawah because it might incite fitnah.

Neither did Isa(عليه السلام) when the Romans were cracking down on his followers.

Prophet Muhammad(ﷺ) did not hold interfaith dialogues with the Quraysh.

Hadhrat Ibrahim (عليه السلام) did the same with the Mushriks of his time.

Prophet Muhammad(ﷺ) did not say the Quraysh are a tolerant nation or a paragon of human values while they oppressed Muslims.

Neither did Nabi Musa (عليه السلام) endorse the Firaun when he was oppressing the Jews.

It’s one thing to decontextualize these fatwas and attempt an ad-hoc justification of certain positions such getting involved in state sponsored programs.

It’s another thing entirely when one looks at these fatwas within context.

Classical scholars lived under rulers who implemented the Shariah. At least that is our understanding from the readings of the texts we have at hand today.

Ibn Taymiyyah’s fatwas which are used by Salafi Jihadists specifically apply to Mongolian rulers who purported the Islamic faith but didn’t really practice or implement Islam. (6)(7) (8)

Similarly in Imam Abu Hanifa (rahimahullah)’s case many Ummayad policies were not just questionable but outright oppressive. It is also likely that Imam Abu Hanifa’s views were influenced the Tābi’een scholars who were more in favor of dethroning tyrants.

By the time Imam Abu Hanifa’s students gained prominence the Abbasid “Revolution” had come to pass and Islamic rule was relatively stable. Additionally with the tragedies that had happened in the years prior, scholars were more inclined to discourage armed revolts. And even so, while scholars actively discouraged armed rebellions they also were quite wary about their involvement with the ruling class. It was only during the Ottoman Era when scholars started actively involving themselves in the state bureaucracy which subsequently had it’s fair share of issues. (9)

Regardless, the Maqasid of discouraging armed revolts lies in the desire to maintain unity and strength against external enemies.

This doesn’t just apply to the Sultan’s subjects but the Sultan himself as well.

Scholars always advised the Rulers to have a reconciliatory approach towards rebels. Imam Muhammad Hasan Al Shaybani (rahimahullah) has a detailed treatise on the treatment of rebels. (10)

And it was adopted by many Sultans and Amirs of the Muslim provinces for the most part. Sultans would often try to reconcile with rebels by giving them rights and appointing them in government posts.

The deeper problem in our discourses today is the conflation of armed revolts with Revolutions.

Revolutions can be non-violent. The majority of the revolts in Muslim Emirates throughout history were not revolutionary in the truest sense. And what Prophet Muhammad(ﷺ) lead in Makkah can arguably be described as a revolution.

The intrigues, coups and revolts in Islamic history were not geared towards systematic change as much securing rights from an existing system.

Mamluks and Janissaries had notoriously lead many of these rebellions and coups. But they never sought to change the established order. Rather the aim was restoration of what was perceived to be an ideal Islamic order. Their respective orders were abolished by reformist Sultans instead who sought to modernize the state. The modern pattern of state crackdown on perceived rebels i.e. the pathological Madhkalism and dehumanization of rebels, can be traced to these events. The centralization and increasing dominance of the state institutions in many ways were more revolutionary than the armed revolts themselves. The elimination of the Mamluks and Janissary orders is widely celebrated for the dissolution of stagnant and outdated “institutions”. However, we tend to overlook how much dominance the state institution was establishing in the hearts and minds of people to the point where slaughter of Muslims(or Non-Muslims) is not only overlooked, but celebrated. (11) (12)

Many Muslim commentators today don’t realize the fact these measures actually paved a role in the Europeanization i.e. Colonization of Muslim societies.

And as fate would have it, these dynasties did not last long.

Taking Hamza Yusuf’s point about Allah humiliating people, it is probably because of their cumulative brutality is why neither the progeny of Ibrahim Pasha or Mahmud II managed to maintain their rule for long. Abd Al Malik Bin Umayr once said,

“I walked into the court of Ubaid Allah Bin Ziyad and I saw the head of Al Hussein. And not too long after I walked into the court of Mukhtar Al Thaqafi and I saw the head of Ubaid Allah Bin Ziyad and then I remember walking into the court of Musab Ibn Zubayr and I saw the head of Mukhtar Al Thaqafi and then I walked into the court of Abd Al Malik Ibn Marwan and I saw the head of Musab Inb Zubair.” (13)

The tyrant’s dynasty is always cursed for it’s injustice and eventually it faces humiliation for it’s deeds. And it’s probably why the progeny of the once great Mughal and Ottoman dynasties find themselves to be barely relevant in modernity. Something that we think our Ulema should be discussing more often when they give Naseeha to our modern day rulers.

All that aside, Hamza Yusuf’s public speeches and the rhetoric of his followers are always geared towards admonishing Palestinians or Syrians or the Ummah in general for their apparent lack of Imaan or Taqwa. There never has been any focused or targeted critique of Muhammad Bin Zayed and Muhammad Bin Salman and their collective policies to this day. The blame is always on the Muslims because we lack civil society or knowledge of fiqh.

This is not political quietism. This is active involvement in a certain kind of politics. And not the good kind.

And this is where we see the deficiency in our modern Ulema. They have internalized this narrative of victim blaming and have established the perpetual failure to understand the lessons to be taken from the political and strategic decisions made by Muslims as scholarly wisdom.

Theology and Fiqh should not be used analyze why Revolutions failed, at least Theology and Fiqh should not be the central part of our discussions. Analyzing the reasons for failure should be centered on geopolitics and military strategies. Theology and Fiqh should only be used to remind the Muslims of Qadr and to remind them that we cannot be merciless like our enemies.

The Ulema involved in the Syrian Revolution were just as qualified as Hamza Yusuf, if not more. Many Ulema including Hamza Yusuf backed the Syrian Revolution in it’s initial stages. (14)

No one was talking about lack of taqwa of lack of knowledge regarding fiqh at that time.

So why did the Syrian Revolution fail?

  • Brute force bombing by American coalition who claimed to fight ISIS.
  • Rebel Infighting fueled by the Salafi Jihadists and ISIS
  • Assassination of capable forward thinking Leaders

This is the shortest summary I can provide you for one of the most brutal, complex and downright depressing events of this Ummah. Right up there with Karbala and the Mongol Massacres.

Ilm, Taqwa, Imaan, etc are developed through a continuous process. It requires time and patience. But that doesn’t mean that we abandon everything and focus on personal development alone. Rizq comes from Allah. But we don’t just sit in the masjid and make dua, do we? We supplement our Ibadah with material efforts.

So taking all these things into consideration, one will be naturally confused as to how theology or fiqh, as defined by Hamza Yusuf—i.e personal development—fits into this discussion.

The First Fitnah, the Second fitnah, the Abbasid “Revolution”, the Ummayad conquests in Andalus, the eventual loss of Andalus and the establishment of the Ottomans and their eventual dissolution, existence of Civil Societies are merely incidental. They cannot be causes or effects of anything.

If one were to look at the contemporary accounts these societies at the time when Islamic dynasties established themselves, they will realize that those nomadic communities hardly had any hallmarks of an imagined Civil Society.

If anything scholars often accused civil society of engaging in decadence that brought about instability and weaknesses. This is quite clearly illustrated in Ibn Khaldun’s Cycle of Civilizations. (15)

Whether it’s the Andalusian Emirates or the Mughal Sultanate or the Ottoman realms during their twilight, civil society have shown themselves to be willing aiders and abetters of colonial powers.

Omar Mukhtar said during his trial “The people of cities hated me because I brought them bad luck, and I hated them because they did not help the cause of their religion, for which alone I fought”. (16)

It has held true throughout history. Whether it’s the slaughter of Imam Hussain (radhiyallahu anhu), the Reconquista of Andalus, the Mongol onslaught into Muslim lands, the humiliation of the Mughal dynasty or the brutal assassination of Osman II, Selim III and Abdul Aziz.

And the abolishment of the Ottoman Caliphate itself.

Civil Society have always shown themselves to be weak in times of trial.

And all that aside, Modern Day Syrians and Palestinians are relatively civilized. Hamza Yusuf and his followers may point to the presence of bars and clubs, but anyone who lives in a Muslim Majority country knows that people who go these places are not representatives of the Muslim population at large. Furthermore these secular elitists are often Assad supporters or whatever tyrant is keeping their purses filled.

Some Muslims have appropriated the rhetoric of the Western Ideologues and often say something along the lines of Norway being comparable to the Caliphate of Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz. (17)

But factually speaking, the Western Civil Societies we see today is built on top of colonialism, genocide and brutal civil wars.

Two perfect examples are the English civil wars in the 17th Century and the brutal French Revolution. Today England and France boast themselves to be among the representatives of modernity and progress. But how did they get to this point? Was their success really established through “civil societies”?

Not really.

Neither of these countries were examples of civil societies and even today their virulent racism, brutality and intolerance often comes to the surface.


The idea of obedient citizens who abide by law can eliminate oppression is problematic. This has never been the case in history at any point in time.

If the Germans were more disobedient rather than obedient citizens, the massacre of the Jews probably could have been averted. Today, if Indians didn’t let their conscience be drowned the meta-narrative of national integrity or whatever, Kashmiris wouldn’t be in the situation they are in today. Neither would be the Assamese or the other minorities who are increasingly at risk in India today.

And the idea that Syrians and Palestinians are not capable of forming bus lines is not only offensive but reveals deeply prejudiced perceptions of the Eastern World. Further exacerbated by diaspora Muslims who have internalized a lot prejudices against their countries of origin.

Hamza Yusuf might have stated this as a rhetoric. But it is still deeply offensive and reveals his deficiency in not only understanding politics but his inability to recognize modern social trends. It is a consistent pattern. (18)

Another thing that gets overlooked by Hamza Yusuf’s followers is consistent attempt at normalizing secularism in Muslim discourses. He has been quite virulent in his opposition to the Caliphate. (19)

It all circles back to the defensive stances that scholars have adopted to distance themselves from ISIS. And honestly, it’s an illustration of the fact that our modern Ulema had lost the war long before it even began.

We end this article with these questions.

  1. Why is the Iman and Taqwa of the oppressed that is always scrutinized?
  2. Dictatorships didn’t come to power through civil society. None of the modern States did including United States of America. Why and How is Civil Society a precursor for any Revolution?
  3. Has there been any instance of Hamza Yusuf or any Western Ulema systematically lobbying for the freedom of scholars who are being jailed by the Saudi regime(or any other autocratic regime)?
  4. Are the Ulema who are attending the state sponsored programs really following the Sunnah?
  5. What dividends have these Peace Conferences brought forth other than token charities?
  6. What will learning fiqh and theology do if there is no concerted effort at political change?
  7. Why is Hamza Yusuf’s attempt at normalizing Western(i.e. kufr) Concepts of governance overlooked by his followers?

Works Cited

  1. Shaykh Hamza Yusuf And The Question of Rebellion In The Islamic Tradition available at:
  2. Imam Abu Hanifah (d. 148 A.H.) – Regarding Rebellion Against Unjust Rulers available at:
  3. The revolt of ‘Abd Al-Rahman Ibn Al-Ash’ath: It’s nature and causes. Available at:
  4. Hamza Yusuf & The Sultan: A Case Study in the Misuse of Prophetic Traditions. Available at:
  5. On the Theology of Obedience: An Analysis of Shaykh Bin Bayyah and Shaykh Hamza Yusuf’s Political Thought. Available at:
  6. Jihad and the Mongols available at:
  7. Ibn Taymiyyah: His Anti-Mongol epistle post the second campaign of Mahmud Ghazan Khan available at:
  8. The Mongol Invasions of Bilād al-Shām by Ghāzān Khān and Ibn Taymīyah’s Three “Anti-Mongol” Fatwas. Available at:
  9. Guardians of Faith in Modern Times: ʻulamaʼ in the Middle East. p.37
  10. The Status of Rebels in Islamic Law. Available at :
  11. Mamluks in the Modern Egyptian Mind: Changing the Memory of the Mamluks, 1919-1952 p.27
  12. Osman’s dream. Pg 359
  13. Karbala: Myths and Reality. Available at:
  14. Profiles of Syrian Sunni Clerics in the Uprising. Available at:
  15. Ibn Khaldun on Luxury and the Destruction of Civilizations. Available at:
  16. Libya:
    The Secret Proceedings in the Italians Trial of Libyan Mujahed Omar al-Mukhtar. Available at:
  17. Concept of Islamic State is a fantasy | Sh. Hamza Yusuf Available at:
  18. U.S. Muslim cleric Hamza Yusuf calls Trump ‘a servant of God’ during racist rant against Black Lives Matter. Available at:
  19. Hamza Yusuf: Islam Does not Need a Khilafah. Available at:

اورنگ زیب عالمگیر کون تھے؟

✏ فضیل احمد ناصری

شاہ جہاں کے فرزندوں میں ایک نمایاں نام عالم گیرؒ کا ہے۔ یہ اپنے خاندانی مغلیہ سلطنت کے سب سے بہتر بادشاہ تھے۔ دین دار اور علم دوست۔ تقویٰ اور طہارت میں مثالی۔ اصل نام ابوالمظفر محی الدین تھا۔ لقب اورنگ زیب۔ مگر نام سے زیادہ لقب سے شہرت پائی۔ آج سے چار سو سال قبل 1618 میں پیدا ہوئے اور 1707 میں وفات پائی۔ ولادت گجرات کے داہود میں ہے اور انتقال مہاراشٹر کے احمد نگر میں۔ تدفین اورنگ آباد کے قریب خلد آباد میں ہوئی ۔

مغلیہ سلطنت کا بانی ظہیر الدین بابر تھا۔ اس کا بیٹا تھا نصیرالدین ہمایوں۔ اس کے بیٹے کا نام جلال الدین اکبر تھا۔ نور الدین جہاں گیر اسی کا فرزند تھا۔ جہاں گیر کا بیٹا شاہ جہاں تھا، اورنگ زیب عالمگیر اسی کے بیٹے تھے۔

اورنگ زیب رحمہ اللہ نے اس ملک پر پچاس برس حکومت کی۔ اس وقت کا ہندوستان آج کا ہندوستان نہ تھا۔ پاکستان اسی کا حصہ تھا اور بنگلہ دیش بھی۔ اورنگ زیب نے نظامِ سلطنت جس چابک دستی سے چلایا وہ اپنی مثال آپ ہے۔ ان کی بہت سی یادگاریں آج بھی زندہ ہیں۔

وہ مدارس کے بڑے شوقین تھے۔ ان کے عہد میں بے شمار تعلیم گاہیں کھلیں۔ دہلی کا جامعہ رحیمیہ انہیں کے دور کی یادگار ہے۔ ان کے بڑے کارناموں میں سے ایک *فتاویٰ عالمگیری* بھی ہے۔ فقہ و فتاویٰ پر مشتمل یہ کتاب انہیں کی سرپرستی میں تیار ہوئی۔ اس کی ترتیب کے لیے ملک کے طول و عرض سے پچاس سے زیادہ جید علما نے اپنی خدمات پیش کی ہیں۔ اورنگ زیب عالمگیر نے اس کا ہر ہر جز باقاعدہ سنا ہے اور ضروری پڑا تو اس میں ترمیم بھی کی ہے۔ یہ کتاب جہاں ان کی محبتِ دینی کا منہ بولتا ثبوت ہے، وہیں ان کی علمی شان و شوکت اور فقیہانہ بصیرت کی بھی غمازی کرتی ہے۔

وہ قرآنِ کریم کے اچھے حافظ بھی تھے۔ انہوں نے تحفیظ القرآن کی سعادت بچپن میں نہیں، ادھیڑ عمر میں حاصل کی۔ وہ بھی اس وقت، جب ان کی زندگی کی 47 ویں بہار چل رہی تھی ۔اس کے ساتھ ہی وہ بہترین خوش نویس بھی تھے اور یہی خوش نویسی ان کا ذریعۂ معاش بھی تھی۔ اپنے ہاتھ سے قرآن لکھتے اور اس کے ہدیے سے گزر اوقات کرتے۔ دارالعلوم دیوبند میں ان کے ہاتھ کے لکھے قرآن کے چند پارے آج بھی موجود ہیں۔ قرآن کے ساتھ ایسا شغف آپ نے کسی بادشاہ میں دیکھا ہے؟ گزر اوقات کے لیے ایک دوسرا مشغلہ ٹوپی کی بنائی بھی تھی۔

اورنگ زیبؒ نے حکومت سے کبھی تنخواہ نہ لی۔ سلطانِ وقت ہو کر بھی انتہائی فقیرانہ اور سادہ زندگی گزاری۔ کھانا پینا بھی انتہائی سادہ ہوتا۔ اس سلسلے کا یہ واقعہ ضرور پڑھنا چاہیے:

عالم گیرؒ کے ذاتی مطبخ کا باورچی ٹکتا نہیں تھا۔ چند دن کے بعد اپنا تبادلہ لنگر خانے میں کرا لیتا تھا۔ ایک من چلا باورچی تھا، اس نے سوچا: کیا بات ہے کوئی باورچی بادشاہ کے یہاں ٹکتا نہیں؟ میں دیکھوں گا۔ اس نے درخواست دی: حضور! میں آپ کا کھانا پکانا چاہتا ہوں۔ عالم گیر نے فرمایا: ہمارے یہاں کوئی باورچی ٹکتا نہیں، تو بھی چند دن میں بھاگ جائے گا۔ اس نے وعدہ کیا کہ میں ہرگز نہیں جاؤں گا۔ چناں چہ بادشاہ نے اس کو رکھ لیا۔ اس نے دیکھا کہ نپا تلا کھانا پکتا ہے۔ آدھا گھر میں چلا جاتا ہے اور آدھا بادشاہ کے سامنے۔ دیگچی میں کچھ نہیں بچتا۔ جب روز کا یہ معمول دیکھا تو تنگ آ گیا، مگر وہ یہ تو نہیں کہہ سکتا تھا کہ میرا تبادلہ لنگر خانے میں کر دیا جائے۔ اس نے سوچا کہ بادشاہ کو پریشان کرو تاکہ وہ ناراض ہو کر بھگا دے۔ بادشاہ کے یہاں شام کو ایک سیر کھچڑی پکتی تھی۔ آدھی گھر میں جاتی تھی اور آدھی بادشاہ کے سامنے۔ ایک دن اس نے کھچڑی میں نمک نہیں ڈالا۔ بادشاہ نے جب لقمہ لیا تو باورچی کی طرف دیکھا، مگر کچھ نہیں کہا۔ نمک بھی نہیں مانگا۔ پھیکی کھچڑی کھا لی۔ باورچی نے سوچا: بادشاہ کو پھیکی کھچڑی اچھی لگتی ہے۔ اور جو پھیکا کھا سکتا ہے وہ تیز نمک والا نہیں کھا سکتا۔ چناں چہ اگلے دن ڈبل نمک ڈال دیا۔ بادشاہ نے ایک لقمہ کھا کر پھر باورچی کو دیکھا اور کچھ نہیں کہا۔ کھچڑی کھا لی ۔ جب باورچی برتن اٹھانے آیا تو اس سے کہا: کل ڈیڑھ سیر کھچڑی پکانا! اور جتنی گھر میں جاتی ہے اتنی گھر میں بھیجنا، باقی میرے پاس لانا۔ بادشاہ نے حسبِ معمول آدھی کھچڑی کھائی اور آدھی بچ گئی۔ جب باورچی برتن اٹھانے آیا تو اس سے کہا: یہ ہمارا بچا ہوا تبرک ہے، اس کے نو حصے کرو اور ہمارے نو رتنوں (وزیروں) کو ہدیہ پہونچاؤ! باورچی نے اس تبرک کے نو حصے کیے اور خوب سجائے۔ وزیروں کو جب معلوم ہوا کہ آج بادشاہ کا بچا ہوا کھانا ہدیہ آ رہا ہے تو ہر وزیر نے آگے بڑھ کر اس کا استقبال کیا اور باورچی کو ایک ایک لاکھ روپیہ ہدیہ دیا۔ جب باورچی فارغ ہو گیا تو بادشاہ نے پوچھا: ارے ہمارے وزیروں نے تجھے کچھ دیا بھی؟ اس نے کہا: حضور! اتنا دیا ہے کہ میری سات پشتوں تک کے لیے کافی ہے۔ عالم گیرؒ نے فرمایا: پھر نمک ٹھیک ڈالا کرو۔ (تحفۃ الالمعی، ج 5،ص 192،93)

ملا موہن بہاری کا یہ تربیت یافتہ، ملا جیون کا یہ شاگرد، یہ مردِ قلن

The Fifteen Century Hijri

The dawn of the fifteenth century of Hijri today tends its air throughout the world. The Hijri Calendar began with the migration of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Normally, every era is reckoned from the birth or death of any great personality or a victory gained or the establishment of kingdom. It is noteworthy, however, that the Religion of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was not named after him; rather the name of his Religion speaks of his Message. Islam is not the name of any person: it means a conscious decision to submit oneself to God. The same characteristic is to be found in the nomenclature of its Calendar: it does not begin with the birth of any great personage, not even that of the last Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) whom Muslims love and revere only next to God.

The Calendar of Islam neither begins with the birth of the Prophet, nor with his death, but instead with his migration. This means that whenever a new Islamic century begins, it brings a Message for you. It does not remind you of any person or class of persons, but refreshes your memory of the great cause for which the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) left his hearth and home to settle down in a new city. It was undoubtedly a great cause — a great Message — which took him there, not meant for the safety of his own life nor that of his Companions. The step was taken to preserve and deliver the Message of God to the whole of mankind. The advent of this century, then reminds us that even those things which we hold dearest can be given up for the sake of a great cause. The incident it conjures in our minds was one of the most daring steps ever taken in the annals of the world. It also gives up hope and courage by demonstrating that whatever the hardships and adverse circumstances be and, however great the opposition may be, if a cause is meant for the good of humanity and it is pursued with sincerity and resolute will, it is bound to live and thrive and ultimately succeed in achieving its end.

Thus, the fifteenth century of the Islamic era is not a Message of hope for Muslims alone; it is a gospel for the whole of mankind, especially for those who have anything to offer for the good of humanity and who also want to strive for it.

So will this century prove a blessing for Muslims and humanity, at large, or will it be a calamity? This cannot be predicted at present. These are things that are determined by God. But there are also truths pointed out by the Qur’an which remain unchanged for ever. One of these truth is:

That man hath only that for which he maketh effort. [Qur’an]

Man gets only that in his life of the world and in the Hereafter for which he strives and makes an effort. Verily, he can lay claim only to the efforts made by him and to the outcome of such an effort. God further says in the same context:

And that his effort will be seen. [Qur’an]

What God says is really a heartening Message for the whole of mankind. It means that in every time and clime, the efforts made by man will bear fruit. Anyone who strives for any cause will see the result of his efforts.

And afterward he will be repaid for it with fullest payment. [Qur’an]

The promise made for the outcome of human effort, as spoken of in the above verses, is really a Message of hope for mankind. Iqbal has alluded to the same fact in one of his couplets in which he says:

Effort fashions the life, makes it heaven or hell;

Man, by nature, is neither a saint nor a devil.

I would substitute the word ‘century’ for man in this couplet. This also applies to the ongoing fifteenth century as well as to the centuries that are past: they were neither a blessing nor a curse. The virtue or vice of a century depends on the effort made by man. We cannot foretell whether a century, a year, a month or even a day or a moment is auspicious or inauspicious. Islam does not admit to any such theory of luckiness or ill-fetedness of time as found in other nations which have been deprived of the guidance of God’s Prophets (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). To say that the this century will be propitious for the Muslim nation or that it will bring ill-luck and dishonour to any people is not the Islamic way of thought. There is nothing in the scripture or the traditions of the Prophet to support such predictions. Actually, the vary prognostication about time is highly injurious to human effort. If a man were to know beforehand that the approaching hour was inauspicious for him, he would cease to make any effort or he would indolent become irresolute and indolent.

The last Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) of God plucked out superstition and credulity (peace be upon him) by its root and branch. Once there was an eclipse of the sun during the Prophet’s life time or, perhaps, it was willed by God for the guidance of the Prophet’s followers. The Prophet’s (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) son Ibrahim had died a short prior to this. This was the time when ignorance and superstition pervaded the entire world and its vestiges still lingered on in Arabia. The bereavement suffered by the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was highly emotional. So much so that some Muslims came out with the comment: “the sun has been affected by the bereavement of the Prophet (peace be upon him).” Any other religious leader or founder of a movement would have kept rather quiet at this instead of contradicting such an innocent remark. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) however, was not party to this rumour, one which actually enhanced his prestige and influence. The people themselves had thought of it and, therefore, it was not incumbent on him to disclaim the notion. There is though a difference between a Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) of God and a worldly leader of people. The very things which are considered advantageous by worldly-minded people and political leaders are treated as infidelity by the Messengers of God. I do not know if anyone else has given such a good account of himself as the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) of Islam. Of course, we might come across similar examples of rectitude among the others Prophets (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) but it would be difficult to find a similar example among political leaders. The Holy Prophet addressed his followers, saying:

The sun and the moon are two of the signs of God. They do not undergo an eclipse on the life or death of human beings.

The Prophet made it clear that the view some people had expressed was wrong. The sun and moon are governed by another law which takes no notice of the death or any other happening connected with any man, however great he may be. If the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had remained silent, nothing untoward would have happened. At the most it would have been taken as the spontaneous expression of love and affection or the result of the overcredulousness of certain persons, but the Prophet (peace be upon him) of God could not condone such superstitious ideas. He immediately rejected it as if declaring to posterity : “No, no! My family and my progeny has nothing to do with it. The universe created by God is much more important than my family, and the Lord of the world is independent of all creations. His Law is above everything else.” This was the Prophetic guidance meant for the intellectual development of the human race. There is no doubt that human intelligence is much more important than the human species. It is man’s intellect which rules over the human race: the human race cannot claim to have superiority over the intellect of man. The remark made in connection with the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) son amounted to a waywardness in human intellect and therefore it was dangerous. It needed to be set right there and then.

No century can be branded as auspicious or inauspicious. Take the example of a tumbler. If it is empty, you cannot say that it is good or bad. Its goodness or badness depends on the thing contained by it. In the same way, it depends on our own efforts whether this century is propitious or doomful for us.

I would like to cite three examples in this connection. Two of the centuries I will mention here began in a very somber and gloomy mood but we do not find that the then historians and writers lamenting or grieving at its oncoming. Ibn Athir and Ibn Kathir, in their writings, show us the reactions of the Islamic world to the beginning of the seventh century. Storm petrels at that time were clear enough to predict that the oncoming century would be gloomy and sinister not only for the Muslims or the Islamic world but for the entire world at large. The century began with such a horrible incident that Ibn Athir (d.638/1239) said:

“If anyone were to claim that no such happening has come to pass since the days of Adam to this day, he would not be incorrect, for history does not record any incident even half so disastrous.”

I am referring here to the onslaught of the Tartars in 616/1219 against the strongest Muslim Kingdom of Khwarizam Shah. The seventh century of the Islamic era and the thirteenth Christian century had just begun when the Tartars rose as a tempest and swept away the whole of the Islamic world. They pulled down entire cities in Turkistan and Iran and raised minarets of human skulls to announce their victory. Flourishing cities were turned into graveyards.

It appeared to all intents and purposes that Christianity would emerge successful in this contest. The Tartars had not fought their battles against the Christians and a number of Genghis Khan’s sons had taken Christian wives. Christian clergymen had also gained entry into the courts of Mongol warlords. It thus appeared to be a foregone conclusion that the Mongols would ultimately embrace Christianity. But, do you know what happened finally? Let me quote Arnold:

But Islam was to rise again from the ashes of the former grandeur and through its preachers won over these savage conquerors to the acceptance of the faith.

“In spite of all difficulties, however, the Mongols and the savage tribes that followed in their wake were at length bought to submit to the faith of the Muslim peoples whom they had crushed beneath their feet.

That century which began with a most inauspicious incident — if there is a word like inauspicious in a dictionary of Islam — became a century of luminous victory while the world stared wide-eyed at such a turn of events. The Mongols, whose swords were still dyed with Muslim blood, became followers of Islam. Such previously had been the animosity of the Mongols against the Muslims that Howarth writes in the History of the Mongols that:

So notoriously brutal was the treatment they received that even the Chinese showmen in their exhibitions of shadow figures exultingly brought forward the figure of an old man with a white beard dragged by the neck at the tail of a horse as showing how the Mongol horsemen behaved towards the Muslims”.

The fact is that the Muslims had then lost everything except their Faith in God. They had not lost their trust and conviction in God, nor their inner strength of spirit. So the question becomes, who suffered the defeat? I would say — with regret — that unworthy Muslim Kings had been put to rout and a sickly and weak Muslim society had been humbled. As for Islam, it remained where it was; it was never thrown out of court. The Muslims considered the Mongols as invincible because their swords had rusted or broken. The Tartars proved their valour by their superior military organisation. They had not fallen to a life of ease and comfort like the Muslims who wallowed in an excess of wealth. They were still fresh, had vigour and could undergo hardship like the early Arab conquerors who came out of the desert to subdue the world. No power could face them merely with the munitions of war.

Then, who prevailed over the Tartars? Who won them over to Islam? Those who had the power of spirit came forward in this hour of crisis and surrounding gloom and made them enter the fold of Islam within half a century of their conquests. We have innumerable examples of individuals, families and tribes, even the entire inhabitants of a city, embracing Islam but there are only three or four instances when a whole people came to the threshold of Islam. The Arabs were the first to accept Islam enmasse. The Afghans were also converted to Islam as a people and then the Tartars and Turks accepted Islam as a people. But it is a riddle of history — and I am myself astounded at it — that no historian has been able to bring to light the names of those persons who succeeded in converting a whole people to Islam. It was an event which turned the course of history, but why do we not know who those missionaries of Islam were? Why did these people never allowed their names to be mentioned?

This reminds me of another incident recorded by history. When Madayn, the capital of Persia, was conquered, a Muslim soldier, found the crown of Chosroes. He hid it under his garment and brought it to S’ad bin Waqqas, the Commander of the Muslim army, as if he was stealthily taking away something very costly. Then handing over the crown to his Commander he said: “O Amir, it appears to be costly. I am giving it to you to be deposited in the Treasury”. The Commander stared open mouthed at his infantryman for he was himself astounded to see the crown, studded with costly jewels. He was still more amazed to see that the poor man had brought it instead of keeping it with him. S’ad asked the soldier’s name but he turned his back and replied: “He knows my name for whose sake I have brought it here.” And then he departed without caring to know his Commander’s comment.

This incident relates to one man only. But I believe that all those people who enabled the Tartars to accept the Faith of Islam acted in a similar manner. So far, I have only been able to search out the names of two people so involved and this after turning thousands of pages on the subject. One of these was the pure hearted Amir Tuzaun who occupied the office of Prime Minister in the court of a Tartar King of Iraq. Being a man of God, he always tried to advise the King to take the path of virtue and goodness. His efforts bore fruit and the inhabitants of Baghdad saw one Friday that King Ghazan and his courtiers were entering the mosque with rosaries in their hands.

Another man was Shaikh Jamaluddin whose unfathomable sincerity, perfection of spirit and well-intentioned sympathy for the savage Tartars succeeded in converting its Chaghtai branch, known as the middle Kingdom, which ruled over Kashghar. Once the Shaikh was going somewhere these were the days when the Tartars treated the Iranians as an inferior stock and lost no opportunity to humiliate them and unwittingly trespassed the game-preserve of the Crown Prince who was out hunting that day. The Tartars were a superstitious folk who took ill of any trespass in the game-preserve. The Shaikh was immediately apprehended and produced before an angry Prince. He had his dog beside him. When he saw the Iranian Shaikh, he asked: “Are you better than this dog?” The Shaikh remained cool and quietly replied: “If I do not die with my Faith intact, I would certainly be worse than the dog.” Struck by this unexpected reply, the Prince asked further what the Shaikh meant by Faith. The Shaikh explained how man’s ultimate end in the hereafter depended on having a sound Faith in God. Think of the confidence and courage it would have taken to give this answer to an autocrat Prince. Consider what a conviction the Shaikh had in life after death and his dependence on Faith in God. His sincerity of purpose and his strength of conviction was not lost, for the Prince, who was to shortly, ascend the throne replied: “I cannot do anything now, but meet me when I have taken the sceptre in my hand”. This story has been related by a number of Persian historians and is also included by Arnold in his Preaching of Islam.

Shaikh Jamaluddin now awaited the Prince’s coronation, but he died before the event came to pass. At this death-bed, the Shaikh bade his son Rashid Uddin complete the task left unfinished by him. He told his son to go to the Prince, after he had ascended the throne, and remind him of his promise. Rashid Uddin did as he was bidden by his late father, but it was not easy to gain access to the King. He was not allowed to enter the royal palace, but he did not lose heart and waited for an opportunity to complete the task left unfinished by his father. He took up residence under a tree by the side of the royal palace, performing Prayers and giving call for them at the appointed hours. One early morning, he began to chant the call to Prayers in his sonorous voice and this disturbed the slumbering King. He ordered the guards to produce the man before him. This was the opportunity Rashid Uddin had been seeking. In reply to the King’s interrogation, Rashid Uddin referred to the conversation the King had had with his father. He told him that he had asked his father if the latter was better than a dog. He had then replied that it all depended on whether or not he died with his Faith in God. “Now, the matter has been decided,” said Rashid Uddin, “for my father has actually died with full conviction and trust in his Lord.”

The King recalled the conversation and called for his Prime Minister. Taking him into his confidence, he recounted the story to the Prime Minister and said that he intended to embrace Islam. The Prime Minister replied that he had already accepted that Faith but had kept it a secret. Other ministers were also summoned and they all agreed to follow the King in accepting the new Faith.

The Tartars were rulers but they hardly had any religion, culture, arts or sciences worth the name. They accepted Islam and promulgated the law of Islam:

Allah is the host of the heavens and the earth, and Allah is ever Mighty, Wise. 

There is hardly any  doubt that all this happened according to the pre-determined Will of God Almighty. The Tartars were a simple-minded people who could not have run the administration of their vast conquests, of countries which were way ahead of them in terms of culture and civilisation. They had, at the most, a code of criminal law whereas they needed men to run the administration, keep the canals flowing, organise the revenue administration and the like. They were bound to take the help of Muslims who could assist the running of the administration. In this way, the Muslims impressed the superiority of Islamic cultural attainments on the minds of their new rulers. Thus, it was only Faith that remained to be borrowed by the Tartar rulers from their functionaries, and ultimately they succumbed to the charm of Islam.

Shortly after the acceptance of Islam by Tughluq Timur Khan in Iran, all the Tartar tribes in that country followed suit. The Tartars in Iraq had already embraced Islam through the efforts of Amir Tuzaun. Historians are on record that the way the Tartars accepted Islam in those days resembled the falling of the beads of a broken rosary. It was all the accomplishment of Muslim missionaries, scholars and pious men whose sincerity and perfection of spirit was beyond doubt. History bears witness to the fact that they worked ceaselessly behind the scenes without anyone coming to know of their efforts until they changed the course of events. The millions of Tartars who accepted Islam will be witness to the greatest service rendered by these men of God when they rise again on Day of Judgement.

I have spoken first of a century which began with dreadful forebodings of death and destruction for Islam but one where the Muslims did not yield to despair. Although they lost an empire they did not lose heart. Empires can be lost ten times and won in the eleventh attempt, but the heart once lost can seldom be regained. The votaries of Islam continued their efforts silently without any fanfare. I do not know if they ever formed any organisation or society for the conversion of the Tartars, or if they publicised the benefits accruing from their acceptance of Islam, or the effects of the re-establishment of the ascendancy of Muslims. Nothing of this sort, as far as I am aware, was done by them. Those who engaged themselves in the task continued their efforts so silently that even other Muslims did not know what was happening. Then, suddenly, everyone was amazed to find that the entire Tartar nation had accepted Islam.

The illustration I have given here pertained to the seventh century of the Islamic era, that is, the thirteenth Christian century. A century whose beginning was so terrifying that it scared the Muslims to death. God forbid, if they had also lost conviction in their Faith, there was every likelihood of their undergoing cultural and intellectual apostasy even if they had not abjured their Faith in Islam. Yet nothing of the kind took place; there was no cultural or intellectual apostasy, much less a renunciation of Islam.

I will now look at another illustration, namely the tenth century (the sixteenth century of the Christian era). I will not take you to any other country of the vast Islamic world, but instead refer to India which was then about to overthrow the ascendancy of Islam. Apparently, it looked as if the die had been cast and the change over was just a matter of a few days. You can examine the prease details of it in the many books written about it. The then world had two Muslim empires, that of the Ottoman Turks in Asia Minor and the Middle East and the other was headed by the Moghuls in this sub-continent. Iran’s Safawid Kingdom occupied third place. The ruler of this country was young, energetic, intelligent and courageous and had won a number of brilliant victories. He happened to have among his courtiers a few talented scholars or rather master spirits of the age, among them Faizi and Abul Fazl. They lent support to a movement designed to replace the grip of Islam over India by the Din-i-Ilahi of Akbar euphemistically given the name of “universal toleration”, but really meant to positively prohibit essential Muslim rites.

This was a dangerous union of material power and intellectual acumen or rather a deep laid conspiracy by an autocratic power in unison with latitudinarian thought so for as to oust Islam. We rarely come across another examples of this nature. It was then openly preached that the first millennium of the Islamic era was to come to an end with the tenth century, that a thousand years were more than enough for any religion. A number of Iranian and Indian scholars, lacking any awe of God or having little knowledge of Islam, readily came forward with illustrations to show that several religions were replaced by another after a thousand years. They pleaded that the Religion of the Arabs had completed its term and that the followers of the Arabian Prophet (Place be upon him) now needed a new Faith to pattern their lives according to the changed conditions. Such thoughts are very often a product of speculative thought which wants to rid itself of every moral obligation.

Now you can imagine the dangers involved at that time. The new movement had as its symbol the very man whose arms were invincible in India. He had emerged successful in every battle fought by him, had never come across any defeat or discomfiture. He was young and courageous, the descendant of a man as ambitious as Taimur and as strenuous as Babur. He as not only the Emperor of India but also one of the most intelligent and sagacious rulers to leave his mark on the pages of history.

What was the result? The closing decades of the tenth century foreshadowed the decline of not merely Islamic political power in this country but also an end to its religious and spiritual supremacy. It also forebode that the vacuum created by Islam’s departure was to be filled by others.

The 3 Attempts to Steal the Body of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) in History

You might have heard some people asking where is the body of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam)? Well, everybody knows the body of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is buried inside Masjid al Nabawi in his chamber under the green dome. They ask this question because Non-believers have made many attempts to steal the body of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) in history.

In this specific writing, we will talk about the first attempt made to steal the Holy Body of Prophet Muhammad  (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) from the Green Dome in Madinah. However ALLAH Almighty arranged a great defeat for all such morons.

Historians have reported three attempts made by the Non-Believers to steal the Holy Body of Prophet Muhamad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).


Nur ad-Din Mahmud Zangi (Rahmatullahi Alayh)’s Dream

Some Christians planned to steal the body of Prophet Muhammad S.A.W in 557AH. It was the time of a very pious Muslim ruler Nur ad-Din Mahmud Zangi. The commander of his soldiers was Asad ad-Din Shirkuh the uncle of Great Salah ud Din, the one who conquered Jerusalem.

One night Nur ad-Din Mahmud Zangi was blessed with a dream and he saw Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). The Holy Prophet pointed at two people of red color hair (at their heads) and Said, “Mahmud, Save Me from them” .

Al Zangi (may Allah Bless him) woke, offered prayer and slept. He saw the same dream again. He got up from the bed again, offered prayer and tried to sleep and saw the same dream for the third time . He then called his advisor Shaikh Jamal ud Din, and discussed the matter with him.

He Left for Madinah Immediately

Shaikh advised him to go to Madina immediately and asked him to not to relate the dream to anyone else. Nur ud Din Mahmud Zangi took his advisor with him and a Historian Majd al Din. The caravan comprised thousands of camels carrying expensive gifts on them.

Mahmud Zangi reached Madinah from Syria in sixteen days. He directly went to Masjid al Nabawi where he offered prayers.

He Arranged a Feast for Everyone

With the consultation of his advisor, he summoned all the people of Madinah in order to present them with alms. Nur ud Din Zangi looked carefully at each of the visitors but could not see those he saw in a dream. He inquired if all the residents have received the alms.
The people replied in Yes. He asked them again and some people told him that there are two pious people who don’t accept any alms. They feed the needy people generously, observe fast on regular basis, perform tahajjud and offer salah day and night and once a week they visit Masjid al Nabawi.

He Recognized them Immediately

Nur ud Din ordered the two to be presented to him. They were exactly the two people he saw in the dream. He recognized them immediately and asked them why they are here.

They replied that they are Moroccans, came for hajj and wish to stay in Madina as neighbors of the Holy Prophet.
Nur ud din Zanki insisted them, to tell the truth, but they kept quiet.

There was a Tunnel directing to Prophet’s Sacred Chamber

He asked about their residence and went there. He inspected their residence near the sacred chamber and when an old rug was lifted, a wooden board was found and under that a newly dug tunnel.

The tunnel was approaching the Sacred Chamber. They got terrified and confessed that they are Christians and the king of Iberia sent them with a huge sum of money to steal the body of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).

They rented the house nearest to the Holy Chamber and used to dig the tunnel in the night and throw out the soil in the day.

He Ordered the Execution of Both

They also told that when they got near to the sacred chamber an earthquake shook the earth and a fearful thunder was observed. Nur ud Din Mahmud Zanki ordered the immediate execution of the culprits and thanked Allah who blessed him with the honor of saving the sacred chamber.

Arrangements made to protect the Holy Body of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam):

After this attempt, Nur ud Din Zangi (Rahmatullahi Alayh) ordered a deep trench to be dug around the Holy Chamber and then filled it with melt lead so that nobody could ever reach the sacred chamber again.


The love for Prophet Mohammed (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) has always been a trademark of Muslims. This is the reason that non-believers of all the times targeted the Personality of Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) directly.

They tried to shake the belief of people on Him (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and when they failed, they tried to cause harm to the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).

In this specific writing, we will talk about the second attempt made to steal the Holy Body of The Prophet Mohammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) from the Green Dome in Madina. However ALLAH Almighty arranged a great defeat for all such morons.

Famous historian, poet, and geographer Ibn Zubayr explain the Second attempt. He says that he was in Egypt in 578 AH and he left Alexandria on the 8th day of Dhul Hijjah. He saw a big crowd coming out of homes to see the Roman prisoners.

These Roman Christians were brought in a humiliating way; they were tied with the camels with their faces facing the tails of camels. Ibn Zubayr was told about the activities of those prisoners in detail. The Syrian Christians built some boats and equipped them with weapons for war.

They headed to the sea and in their way, they looted many caravans of pilgrims and burnt many of their boats. They looted the trade caravans as well. They killed everyone they found in their way.

Haji Luhluh Destroyed them

They boldly announced that they are going to Madinah to steal The Holy Body of The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).

When they were at a traveling distance of one day, Haji Luhluh attacked them with a few Moroccan young people who were experts in the sea war. They killed some of the Christians and arrested the others.

They sent some prisoners to other places so the people can see them how they are being put to the sword. Some of them were also sent to the Holy cities of Makkah and Madinah.


Imam Muhammad ibn Jarir Al-Tabari describes the Third attempt. He says that Shams ad-Din Sawawab Lamti was the head of the people who served the mosque of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). One of the friends of Sawab was known to the ruler of Madinah.

Some people from Halab bribed the ruler: One day his friend told Shams ad-din Sawawab that some people from Halab (Syria) have bribed the ruler and have demanded the Holy Bodies of Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him) and ‘Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) the ruler of Madinah has agreed with them.

Soon after this news, the ruler called for Shams ad-Din and told him that some people will come at night and he has to open the door for them and let them do whatever they want to. Shams ad-din got worried.

Someone knocked on the door: After the doors were closed after ‘Isha prayer, someone knocked on the door, Baab al-Salaam.

Ruler’s house was in front of this door. Shams ad-din opened the door and 40 people carrying torches and equipped with equipment for demolishing buildings entered and headed towards the sacred chamber. The earth split suddenly and all of them were buried there with their equipment.

There was no sign of their presence on the ground. After some time, the ruler called him and asked if the people have arrived. He told the ruler the whole happening.

The ruler was astonished and demanded Shams ad-Din to not to tell the incident to anyone else. This incident is also reported by Abu Mohammad Abdullah Marghani.

Muslim world in a great panic as some unbelievable and terrifying news was being heard. It was reported that few people were of the view to remove the Holy Bodies from the Sacred Chamber and demolish the Sacred Green Dome.

But Allah wanted to keep the Holy Bodies safe and they are safe till today and will remain safe until the Day of Judgment.


Heresies of Dara Shikoh

Dara Shikoh was the son of Shahjahan and the brother of Aurangzeb, the propagandists in the social media paint a picture that he was executed by Aurangzeb as “unjustifiable” and “oppressive”, but this is far from the truth and isn’t compatible with recorded facts. This post is an exerpt from the book Saviours of the Islamic Spirit where its author Maulana Abul Hasan Ali al-Nadwi (rahimahullah) highlights the heresies of Dara Shikoh:

It would not be fair to depend on the court historians of Aurangzeb’s reign for condemning Dara Shikoh as an apostate from Islam nor the war of succession between Dara and his brothers could be conceived as a struggle between Islam and infidelity, nor yet was it a conflict of ideologies and philosophies. Dara’s own writings, however, confirm the charge of his contemporaries, both Muslims and non-Muslims, who allege that he had discarded the essential dogmas of Islam and wanted to renew Akbar’s electicism. This mystic prince had unfortunately fallen under the spell of the pseudo fake-sufis like Mian Mir, Mulla Shah and Sarmad. It did not take him long to claim that he was an ‘Arif Kamil, a knower through God, and to declare that “the wealth of divine knowledge is not bestowed on every person, but it has been bestowed especially on me”.[1] By the time he was in his late twenties, he had developed hatred towards dogma and (Islamic) orthodoxy: he wrote to an eminent mystic saint, Shah Dilruba, in a letter, “Esoteric Islam has ceased to influence the mind of this meek-hearted and the real esoteric infidelity has shown its face to him”.[2] In his streak of egoism and self-commendation, Dara often indulged in aphorisms and mystical utterances repugnant to Islamic beliefs and practices. He argued that distress or calamity made the prayer necessary for the immature, while an ‘Arif Kamil, as he was, had no need of prayers. Accordingly, he had suspensed with the prayers and fasts enjoined by Islam.[3] Meanwhile, his studies of Sanskrit led him to Vedenta and Yoga philosophy, to Hindu rituals and mythology. Fascinated by mystical pantheism he wanted to renew Akbar’s syncreticism. The Holy Qur’an he found enigmatical, its meaning hidden and the Upanishads as the original revelation in which Quranic verses could be found in entirety.[4] Dara kept the company of Brahmins, yogis and sanyasis and regarded them as true masters of wisdom. As a contemporary historian has reported, “He considered their books… …the word of God, and …… employed himself in translating them…….More specifically, Dara had taken up the Hindu name Prabhu (Lord) and inscribed it on the rings which he wore, he had given up the prayers, fasting and other obligations imposed by the law……It became manifest that if Dara Shikoh obtained the throne and establi shed his power, the foundations of the faith would be in danger and the precepts of Islam would be changed for the rant of infidelity and Judaism.”[5]

The Muslim chroniclers’ accounts could be coloured by their prejudice, but there are also corroborative evidences left by contemporary Hindu writers about the censurable beliefs and conduct of Dara Shikoh. Sujan Singh writes in the Khulasatut-Tawarikh, “………Data Shikoh being inclined towards the religion of the Hindus, associates with Brahmins, yogis, and saniyasis, and regards them as his guides and protectors, and looks upon their Books, known as Veda, as ancient and revealed from God, and spends his precious time in translating them, and composing poems in Hindi; calls them “tasawwuf,” and, in stead of the name of God, he has inscribed Hindi names which denote Reflection of God to Hindus, on diamond, ruby, and other stones, and puts them on as a charm and has discarded fasting and prayers and the ways of a Musalman; has usurped power—determined to pay respect to His Majesty.”[6]

Dara’s thoughts and behaviour, portending renewal of Akbar’s religious eclecticism, which were never kept secret by the conceited prince, must have caused serious misgivings to the Indian Muslim society, and provided a God-send opportunity to the practical and astute Aurangzeb to take advantage of the situation. It is also quite reasonable that the Muslim scholars, right-minded sufis and their disciples, would have recoiled in horror at the thoughts and doings of Dara for they had been a witness to the indignities heaped on Islam and the Muslims during Akbar’s time. They would have been sympathetic or rather actively helped the Prince whom they knew to be virtuous, God fearing and the defender of orthodox faith.[7]

The final outcome of the war of succession is too well known to be recounted here. Aurangzeb ascended the throne in 1068/1659 and ruled over the country for half a century.


[1] Dara Shikoh, Risala Haqnamah, Litho, Newal Kishore Press, p. 5

[2] Fourth letter to Shah Dilruba in Faiyyaz-ul-Qawanin cited by Bikramajit Hasrat in Dara Shikoh: Life and Works, (Shanti Niketen, 1953), p. 65

[3] Khafi Khan. Muntakhab-ul-Lubab, Vol. I, pp. 717, 725 (Bibliotheca Indica Series; Elliot and Dowson); Muhammad Kazim’s ‘Alamgir Namah), Vol. VII, p. 179

[4] Sirrul Asrar (British Museum). In some Mss. the book bears the title of Sirr-i-Akbar. Also see Majma’-ul-Bahrain by Dara Shikoh, pp. 1,18.

[5] Mohammad Kazim, ‘Alamgir Namah, Elliot and Dowson, Vol. VII, p. 179

[6] Sujan Singh, Khulasat-ut-Tawarikh, p. 58 cited from Aurangzeb and His Times, p. 48

[7] See for details Prof. Muhammd Aslam who has thrown light on the role played by the scholars and mystics in the victory of Aurangzeb in one of his essays included in the Tarikhi Maqalat.