Tag Archives: Quran

Muslim Degeneration and its only Remedy

[Maulana Ihtishaamul Hasan Kandhlawi]

Author’s Preface

For the high devotion, keenness and perseverance of Hadhrat Muhammad llyas (Rahmatullah-Alayh) and also due to the profound zeal shown by many other learned and pious perrsonages among Muslims, a cohesive work is currently in progress for the propagation of Islam and the Islamic way of life. This fact is known to most of the well informed Muslims of this period. Although an unworthy being for the high illusion, I have been commanded by the distinguished gentlemen referred to above to write an account of this work, so as to bring out clearly the special features of propagation (Tabligh) and also let highlight the burning need for this, the Supreme Islamic activity, at this critical juncture, so that; as many Muslims as possible are able to understand and benefit from what is going on.

In obedience to their command, I have ventured to gather in this article a few thoughts and ideas, which are mere drops from the ocean of knowledge and enlightenment possessed by the above mentioned personalities. The collection really amounts to a handful of petals from the vast garden of the teachings of Islam, which I have hurriedIy picked up for presentation to the readers. There may be mistakes and omissions in the presentation, for which I beg my readers to make allowance, and request them to be so kind as to amend or correct those mistakes if necessary, thereby earning my gratitude.

It is my earnest prayer that may Haq Ta’ala (Shaanahu) by His special favours and kindnesses, and for the sake of the noble personages connected with this work, forgive me for my sins and not uncover my misdeeds, but He may graciously enable us alI to lead a pious and virtuous life. May He bestow upon us the wealth of His own love, and grant us the approval to follow His own chosen faith of Islam. May He also give us the power to propagate Islam in strict obedience and loyalty to His dearest and the most distinguished Prophet, (Hadhrat Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wasallam).

MOHAMMAD EHTESIHAM-UL-HASSAN (DELHI). 18 RABBI US SANI 1358 (HIJRI)

PAST HISTORY

About thirteen and a half centuries ago, when the world was sunk inthe darkness of ignorance, sin and impiety, a light of true knowledge and guidance rose from the horizon of the rugged hills of Batha* (Name of hills around Makkah (Saudi Arabia). Its rays spread to the East, West, North and South; they reached every corner of the earth and within the short period of 23 years, the way was paved, through that light for the mankind to move to such heights of glory as had never been attained before. It enlightened Muslims and created in them the urge for taking the right counsel, which would ultimately bring them their salvation. By following the right path and the guidance emanating from that light, the Muslims moved from success to success and attained the highest pinnacle of glory in history. For centuries, they ruled all this earth with such grandeur and strength that no contemporary power had the courage to challenge them and, if someone dared to do so, he did that at the risk of being annihilated. This is the historical truth, which cannot be erased. But, alas! this fact of history has only become a myth, an ancient tale, to narrate which may sound meaningless and ridiculous, particularly in the context ofthe present day life of Muslims, which obviously is a blot on the brilliant performance and achievements of their, ancestors, the early followers of Islam.

THE DISEASE

The history, even up to the end of the thirteenth century Hijri, will reveal that the Muslims were the sole possessors of honour, dignity, power and grandeur, but when one turns his eyes away from the pages of the history books and looks at the Muslims of today, one sees the picture of a people sunk in misery and disgrace, a people who possess no real strength or power, honour or dignity, brotherhood or mutual love, and reflects no virtues or moral character worth the name. One cannot find any sign in them of those noble deeds which at one time used to be the symbol of each and every Muslim. Now-a-days there can hardly be a living person who can be said to have the purity or the sincerity or conscience. On the contrary. Muslims are sunk in vice and sin. They have wandered away so much from the path of virtue which at one time used to be their “hallmark”, that the enemies of Islam talk and discuss their affairs with delight, contempt and ridicule. Unfortunately, the matter does not end here. The Muslim youth of the new generation, which has been affected and influenced by the so-called modern trends or the Western way of life take pleasure in laughing at the very ideals of Islam and openly criticize the sacred code of “Shariat” as being out of date and impracticable. One wonders at such behaviour and finds that a people, who once gave strength, happiness, honour and peace to the entire mankind have now become completely demoralised, apathetic, shallow and helpless. Those who had once taught the world the golden lessons of etiquette and culture are today found wanting in these very adornments.

EARLIER ATTEMPTS TOWARDS IMPROVEMENT

For a long time, some distinguished thinkers and preachers of Islam have been seriously pondering over this unfortunate plight of their people and have been striving hard to reform the Muslim society, but alas! 

(The treatment only aggravated the disease). The situation is fast deteriorating and the future looks darker still. Inaction and complacency on our part in these circumstances will be an unforgiveable sin and crime. But, before deciding what is to be done, it will be necessary to look closely at the root cause of this sad state of affairs.

People have assigned several causes to this degeneration and have adopted numerous measures for arresting the rot, but unfortunately all efforts so far have only brought further frustration. Instead of improvement, despair and confusion have resulted, particularly so in the ranks of learned preachers and “ulema”. The basic truth of all this is that the root cause of the real disease has not been diagnosed. Until this is done, no proper treatment can be prescribed or administered, hence no cure or improvement can be expected. Any step lacking proper diagnosis and correct treatment would amount to making a chronic situation more chronic, and further increase confusion and despair.

THE APPROACH

It is the proven claim of Islam that the “Shariat” is the Divine Code, which lays down a complete way of life outlining every possible measure for advancing and progressing on the path of true success and righteousness. It very clearly describes the proper course of action and indicates methods to check and re-orientate in the event of losing direction or going astray. In other words, “Shariat-e-Muhammadiah” assures its followers their spiritual and material well-being and advancement for their whole life in all situations, right up to the last day of life on this earth. Obviously, therefore, it would be futile to look for the cause and the cure for the prevailing degeneration outside the didates of Shariat. For this, of necessity, we must look closely into the Qur’an-i-Hakim which is the fountain source of Shariat and of all knowledge and guidance for the whole of mankind. In fact, it is the only source of wisdom for man. We ought to seek its help in finding out what our troubles are and how they are to be removed, if we really desire to attain full recovery, Once we come to know about that, we must cling to the solution and solemnly resolve to adopt it. Certainly, the wisdom and guidance from the Qur’an will never fail us, particularly at the critical juncture and in the difficult times through which we are passing nowadays. Let us look and search for the right solution in the Qur’an and Sunnah.

THE DIAGNOSIS

The Creator of the universe, Allah Ta’ala, remains avowedly committed that the kingdom and His vicegerency on earth are only meant for the true Muslims (mu’minin). This is clear from the following verse:

Allah has promised to those from amongst you who believe and do righteous deeds that He would surely make them His vicegerents on earth

He has also given the assurances that true believers will always dominate over non-believers and that non-believers will be left without any friend or ally; as is clear from the following verse: 

And if these non-believers had given you a battle, they were sure to turn on their heels. and they would have found no protector and no helper.

Moreover, it is Allah Ta’ala’s own obligation to grant every help to the true Muslims and it is also His promise that such people will always remain exalted and glorious. This is borne out by the following verses:

And it is our bounden duty to render succour to the true believers.”

And do not give way to despair. and do not grieve, and you only shall dominate, if you are true believers.”

And honour is only for Allah. His Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and those who believe.”

The above Divine assertions clearly indicate that the way to regain honour, grandeur, exaltation, glory and virtues by Muslims, lies only in their being strictly faithful. If their relationship with Allah Ta’ala and the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is strong and firm, they are destined to be masters of each and every things on this Earth. But if, on from the following verse:

And let Time be witness: verily man is in a great loss except, of course, those who believe and do righteous deeds and who rejoin truth and enjoin patience.”

As already brought out, history proves that the early Muslims had been able to reach the highest summit of honour and glory, whereas the present day Muslims seem to have moved in the opposite direction. It is obvious from the above verse of the Qur’an that the first Muslims had attained that high position in life because of the purity and strength of their faith and the excellence of their character. Conversely, the deplorable condition of the present-day Muslims is the result of weakness in their faith and character, the opposite of what their forefathers possessed. Therefore, it will be right to say that today we are Muslims in name only! In this connection, the true Messenger of Allah Ta’ala Hadhrat Muhammad, (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), had prophesied:

An era will come in the near future when Islam will exist merely in name and Qur’an will exist merely in phrase.”

This is clearly applicable to the Muslims of the present time. In these circumstances, the points which need urgent investigation are:

(a) as the right type of faith, which can have the approval of Allah Ta’ala and His Apostle and which will bring us spiritual and material advancement, is not to be seen anywhere, what will be the means of acquiring that true faith; and

(b) what are the factors which have caused the extinction of that faith, and with it the true life of Islam, from our midst?

A study of the Holy Qur’an clearly reveals that the capacity to maintain the required level of the true faith of Islam, and the ultimate ascendance to exaltation and glory through it are dependent on the fulfilment of a special task which has been so graciously assigned by Allah Ta’ala to the Muslims alone. It is for this that they have been given, in the Qur’an, the distinguished position. Khair-ul-Ummat (the best of all peoples).

According to the faith of Islam, the main purpose behind the creation of this world was to establish and prove the Divinity. the Oneness, and the most exalted existence of Almighty Allah Ta’ala, and to reflect His unlimited Powers and boundless Attributes through man, who was to be guided by the light of true knowledge. It was impossible for man to conceive and utilize that knowledge without his first being purified of impiety and obscenity. Only after that purification, is he to be adorned with fine virtues, excellence of conduct and the eventual capacity to act righteously. It was for this purpose of bringing about this purity and power in the ranks of mankind that thousands of Prophets and Apostles had been deputed by Allah Ta’ala. The last in the series, came the Sayyed-ul-Ambiya wal Mursalin (the greatest of all the Prophets) Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). It was through him that man reached the high state of development of mind and body leading to the final stage of purity. It was then that mankind received the glad tidings in the following verse:

And today we have perfected your Religion for you and completed our bounty upon you.”

The supreme purpose of man’s creation had been fulfilled; good and evil had been clearly defined, a complete system of practical life had been revealed, the lineage of prophethood and apostlehood had been terminated, and lastly, the duties that were formerly discharged exclusively by the Prophets had devolved after a collective mission upon the Ummat-i-Mohammadia (the Muslim people). This last fact has been clearly brought out in the following verses of the Holy Qur’an:

O you (followers of Muhammad): you are the noblest of peoples, in that you have been brought out for (the benefit of) mankind. You enjoin the good and forbid the evil, and you believe in Allah.”

And it is but meet that amongst you there should be a group devoted to inviting people towards righteousness and enjoining the good and forbidding the evil and it is only those who do this that prosper.”

In the first verse, Allah Ta’ala has stated the reason why the Muslims are called “Khair-ul-Umam” (noblest of all peoples); it is because of spreading good and preventing evil. In the second verse, He has further clarified that only those people shall be exalted in life who fulfil that injunction. The command does not end here. It is stated in another place that the failure to accomplish this vital task will bring curse and gloom on its assignees. This inference is taken from the following verse:

And those amongst the people of Israel who rejected Allah’s commands were cursed by Allah through the tongues of Dawood and Isa, son of Maryam. And the curse was because they rebelled against Allah’s commands and transgressed the limits and did not desist from the evil that they were doing; and verily it was a grievous lapse on their part.”

A further explanation and clarification of the above verse of the Holy Quran can be seen from the following “Ahadith” (sayings of the Holy Prophet Mohammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam).

(1) It has been narrated by Hadhrat Abdullah bin Masud (radhiyallahu anhu) that the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) was pleased to say:

Amongst peoples gone by, when somebody committed a sin, the other would reprimand him and would say: “Fear Allah”; on the following day would befriend him and mix with him as if he had never seen him committing the sin. And when Allah saw them behaving thus, He confounded the hearts of some with those of some, and cursed them through the tongues of Dawood and Isa son of Maryam; and this because they rebelled against Allah anf transgressed His limits.”

I, Muhammad swear by Him, Who has control over my soul, you must enjoin the good and forbid the evil and force the ignorant wrongdoer into the path of rectitude; else Allah will confound your hearts and you will be cursed; as were some of the peoples gone by.

(2). Hadhrat Jareer (radhiyallahu anhu) has narrated that Hadhrat Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) was pleased to say:

When an individual of a community sins and the community, inspite of its authority over him, does not prevent him from sinning, ..Allah’s punishment descends on them even before death, i.e., He subjects them to for various tribulations in this very world.”

3) Hadhrat Anas (radhiyallahu anhu) has narrated that Hadhrat Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) was pleased to say,

The Kalimah La ilaha Illallah always benefits the individuals who proclaim it, and keeps away from them woes and troubles, unless, indeed, its rights are ignored,” The companions inquired: “What does the ignoring of its rights mean?” Replied the Prophet: “It means that when sins are being committed openly they do not prevent or stop them.”

(4) Hadhrat Aisha (radhiyllahu anha) says: “The Holy Prophet, (sallallahu alaihi wasaIlam) came to me and I could read from his noble countenance that something extraordinary had happened. He did not utter a single word but, having performed ablution, repaired straight to the mosque. I, too. stood by the wall of the mosque to hear what he had to say. The Prophet of Allah ascended the pulpit and, after the usual holy exordium, said: ‘O people, Allah has ordained you to enjoin the good and forbid the evil, lest a time should come when you call and He may not respond, you ask for a favour and He may not grant it, and you call for help and He may refuse“.

(5) Hadhrat Abu Huraira (radhiyallahu anhu) has narrated: “Said the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam): When my “Ummat” (followers) begin to attach more importance to the world and to regard it as a-source of glory; the awe and importance of Islam will vanish from their hearts. When they give up-the practice of enjoining good and forbidding evil, they will-be deprived of the blessings of Revelation, and, when they begin to indulge in mutual recrimination, they will fall low in the eyes of Allah.” 

THE ROOT-CAUSE

From the above Ahadith it is clear, that the abandonment of the act of Amr bil maruf wa nahi anil munkar (enjoining the good and forbidding the evil) has usually been the root cause of Allah Ta’ala’s anger and displeasure and His eventual -wrath. And if the Ummat-e-Muhammadiah becomes guilty of that neglect and omission, the punishment to be given to them will be more severe than to the earlier people, because they would have failed to recognise their exclusive obligation and neglected to fulfil the sole mission in their life. For this reason, the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) has enjoined the act of Amr bil maruf wa nahi anil munkar (enjoining the good and foridding the evil) “as the essence and the pivot ofthe faith of Islam” and the abandonment of that act as the cause of decay and decline of the faith.

In the Hadith of Abu Saeed Khudri, (radhiyallahu anhu) it is mentioned:

When anyone of you witnesses the commission of evil, he should use his hands to prevent it; and if he has not the power to do this, he should use his tongue; and if he has not the power to do even this, he should use the power of his heart; and this last represents the weakest degree of faith.”

There is yet a clearer version of the same Hadith from Ibn Masud (radhiyallahu anhu):

It is usual for Allah to so arrange that every Prophet leaves behind a group of his companions who perpetuate His message, who follow it rigorously and preserve the holy message exactly in the form in which the Messenger left it. Then comes an epoch of mischief and error, an epoch that Witnesses the birth of people who step aside from the path laid down by the Prophet. Their actions are at variance with their proclamations; their activities are not warranted by the holy law. So whosoever arises in defence of Truth and Law, and opposes the miscreants with his hands, is a true believer; he who cannot do this but uses his tongue is a believer too; and he who cannot do even this, but uses the power of his heart, is also a believer; but less than this, there is no degree of faith-(Muslim).

The vital importance of Tabligh (the task of propagation) has been further emphasized by Imam Ghazali; (rahmatullah alaih) in the following manner:

“There can be no doubt that the act of “amr bil maruf, wa nahi anil munkar” is that solid pillar of Islam on which each and every article of faith rests. It is for this very mission that Allah Ta’ala deputed all the Holy Prophets. If unfortunately, it is ignored or forgotten and its methods and practices are given up, one has to say that the very purpose of prophethood is totally defeated and rendered meaningless. Thereafter, the consience, which is the capital wealth of man will wither and degenerate Indolence and dullness of mind will prevail. The highway to vice and arrogance will be opened up and barbarity will spread in the whole world. All achievements of man will become dangerous and even harmful Human relationship will break down. Civilization will be ruined. Mankind will be reduced to utter moral destitution. But, the vivid realisation of all this will come only on the Day of Judgement, when the entire mankind will be under trial before the Almighty Allah Ta’ala and called upon to account for each and every action.

Alas! alas! the fear has come true, that which was apprehended is before our eyes.

The tower of knowledge and enlightenmnt has been demolished and its benefits and effects have been completely  wiped out. Consequently, mutual contempt and humiliation are rampant. Nothing, of the sublime relationship between man and his Creator, is left in human hearts; on the contrary, man, like an animal, has become the slave of his passions. Indeed, not only is there a paucity of true Muslims in this world now, but it is practically impossible to meet anyone who is prepared to bear the inevitable privations for the sake of propagating Islam.

“Any Muslim who dares to take steps to remove the present state of ruin and devastation, endeavours to revive the act of propagation and comes forward to shoulder that heavy responsibility, will surely rank as the noblest and the most distinguished being among the whole of mankind.”

He said this nearly eight hundred years ago, but his statement is very accurately applicable to us today.

We must ponder and calmly think out what is to be done in these circumstances. There are some well-known causes which seem to be responsible for the apathy and in-difference that prevail today. These are discussed below.

CAUSES

First

We generally believe that the act of Tabligh is the sole and special responsibility of the “ulema“, even when the relevant injunctions of the Qur’an are clear and squarely apply to each and every living Muslim. The actions and the hard work of the Companions of the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), and all those distinguished Muslims who immediately followed them, bear definite testimony to the contention that each and every Muslim is responsible for the propagation of Islam (Tabligh). To assign the obligation of Tabligh (amr bil maruf wa nahi anil munkar) solely to the ranks of ulema, and not to ourselves, is a sign of grave ignorance on our part. The duty of the ulema is to state the truth and to point out the right path. To enforce the righteousness among the people and to keep the people moving on the right path is the responsibility of all other Muslims.

The following Hadith is a clear exhortation to this:

Lo! All of you are leaders and shall be questioned on the Day of Judgment in respect of your trust. So, the king is a head unto his subjects and shall be questioned in respect of them; the husband is a head unto his wife and shall be questioned in respect of her; the wife is a head unto her husband’s house and the children, and shall be questioned in respect of them all; the slave is a watchman unto his master’s effects and shall be questioned in respect of those. So you are all shepherds. and you shall be questioned in respect of that entrustedto you.”

And similarly, in another place, a yet clearer version is given:
And similarly, in another place, a yet clearer version is given:

The Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Religion is the act of counselling.” (The Companions) enquired: “On whose part (to counsel)?” He said: “On the part of Allah, the Apostle; the leaders of the Muslims and the lay Muslims.”

Even if we suppose, as an extreme case, that this task has to be carried out by the Ulema only, the present emergency and the critical situation demand that everyone of us should put his shoulder to the wheel and strive hard for the propagation of the Kalimah and the protection of the Muslim way of life.

Second

It is commonly believed that, if a person is firm and steadfast in his own faith (Iman), the infidelity of others will bring him no harm, because of the meaning attached to the following verse of Holy Qur’an: 

O you who believe! you are responsible for your own  souls. He who goes astray cannot harm you, while you are on the path of righteousness.”

In fact, the real meaning and sense of the above verse is not what is being apparently attached to it, because. in that case, the meaning would appear to be against the Divine wisdom and spirit and against the teachings of the Shariat-i-Mohammadiah. It indicates that the collective life and progress and salvation of the Muslim society as a whole are the essence of Islam. The Muslim people must be considered like a single body having several limbs. When any limb receives an injury, the whole body suffers from the pain.

Mankind may progress to any limit and it may reach the highest pinnacle of glory in every sphere of life yet there will be some who will go astray and become involved in impiety. In that event, the above verse re-assures the righteous people that as long as they remain steadfast and keep moving on the right path, no harm can be brought to them by those who decide to give up the right way of life.

Yet another point is that full enlightenment will be received only when all the rules of law of Shariat-i-Mohammadia are accepted and practised, including all the Divine commands, which naturally cover Amr bil maruf wa nahi anil munkar. This interpretation is supported by the following words of Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu):

O people! you are given to reading this verse: “O you who believe! you are responsible for your own souls; he who goes astray cannot harm you, while you are on the path of righteousness,” but I have heard the Apostle of Allah saying that when people see something evil and do not seek to liquidate it, they will soon find themselves encompassed by the wrath of Allah.

The verse in question has been similarly interpreted by all the truly learned personages, such as Imam Nawawi (rahmatullah alaih), who explains in his “Sharah Muslim,:

“The consensus of opinion of the learned personages regarding the meaning of his verse is that, “when you have performed the duty enjoined on you, the remissness of those who refuse to profit by your counsel will not harm you, as says AllahTa’ala:

(No one shall Carry another man’s burden)“; and of the several injunctions addressed to all, one is that regarding enforcement of good and prevention of evil. Therefore when an individual has performed this duty and the addressee proves refractory, the former shall not be penalised for it. He has performed his duty ,of amr-o-nahi and acceptance or rejection of it by the other party is not within his competence. Allah knows best.”

Third

People of distinction as well as the common man, the learned and the ignorant, all alike, have become indifferent or even averse to the need for the reformation of society. They all seem to have resigned to the fate, that it is difficult, rather impossible these days, for the Muslims to make any progress to regain their lost glory. Whenever any scheme for improvement and reformation is presented to anyone, the usual reaction is: how can the Muslims progress in the circumstances when they have neither a state*
(The original text was written in 1938 when the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent were not free and did not possess independent political power or authority). of their own nor any power to rule, neither wealth nor any financial standing, no army and equipment of war nor any influence, they lack even in physical stamina, mutual agreement and unity of purpose. Even the religious people seem to have decided by themselves that, it being the fourteenth century Hijri and the people, having drifted so farther away from the prophetical teachings, the downfall of Islam and the Muslims is inevitable. They maintain that, in these circumstances, it will be useless to make any effort towards the reformation of Muslims.

It is true that the effects of the apostolic light become less and less as we are removed farther and farther away from it, but this does not mean that no effort is to be made to regenerate that light by enforcing Shariat and upholding and defending, with all our energies and power, the way of life taught by Hadhrat Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam).

For; had the Muslims before us thought so, there would have been no trace of Islam left anywhere by now, because there would have been no means through which the lessons and the teachings of Shariat could have reached us. Therefore, it will be fatal for us not to check the
present negative altitude towards Islam. We should adopt a vigorously positive line for our own sake and also for the sake of future generations. The time is moving fast, and so is the pace of deterioration in the religion of Islam. The situation demands a strong, quick and determined effort by one and all for arresting the rot and stopping further degeneration of the Muslim society.

As a rule, existence of true Islam depends entirely upon the perseverance and collective effort of its followers. Unfortunately, they seem to be deficient in these very requirements. We must appreciate that the Qur’an and Hadith are full of the lessons in calling the Muslims to be active and to persevere in the path of Allah. There is a hadith about a very pious person who may pray night and day all his life; but he cannot come to the level of one who strives and sacrifies his pleasure and comfort for the sake of guiding and helping people to move on the right path of Islam.

On this very point, many commands and injunctions in the Qur’an exist. It is clearly brought out that the one who strives hard in the path of Allah Ta’ala remains superior and exalted compared to all other; for example:

“The believers who without a reasonable excuse, sit at home; cannot equal those who perform “jehad” in the path of Allah with their lives and wealth. Allah has raised the status of those who perform “jehad” with their lives and wealth as compared to those who stay at home. To the former, He has promised a blessed abode; Allah has exalted the “Mujahideen” over those who stay at home, with glorious reward: pompous ranks, His mercy and forgiveness; and Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.”

Although the above verse refers to “jehad” (holy war) against the infidels and unbelievers in order to uphold the teachings of Islam and subdue and subjugate faithlessness and shirk and, although we are unfortunate in not having the opportunity of fulfilling that sublime task, we ought not to throw away any chance of doing something, howsoever small, in the direction of propagating the truth. Only then can we expect that one day our humble efforts. and insignificant perseverance may gather momentum and impetus for bigger and higher performances.

Undoubtedly, Allah Ta’ala has promised to provide protection for the way of life propagated by Hadhrat Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). But, human effort and perseverance have been defined as the only media for its promotion and advancement. The Companions of the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) strove untiringly for that purpose and, assuredly, they succeeded and were the recipients of high rewards. They had the honour of receiving Divine help and assistance. We, being their admirers and believers, ought to try and follow them and prepare ourselves for the propagation of the Kalimah and the message of Allah Ta’ala. Thus, we will also be favoured with Divine help and assistance:.

If you (come forward to) help the religion of Allah Ta’ala, He shall help you and make you steadfast.”
Fourth

Most of us think that, as we ourselves do not possess, the essential virtues and qualities of Islam, we are not competent to perform the duty of propagation of those qualities among others. This is a clear misunderstanding. Since an obligation has to be fulfilled, particularly when we have been commanded by Allah Ta’ala for that task, there can be no question of denying obedience to it. We must set ourselves to work in obedience to Divine command. Our efforts then shall, Insha Allah, gather greater strength and make us more determined and resolute. In this way, our sustained endeavour on proper lines will one day bring us the great honour of being dear to Allah Ta’ala. It is against the convention and the Sunnat of Allah Ta’ala that, if one perseveres and strives for His sake (religion), He would not condescend to bestow favours and kindnesses because the person was not competent or fit for the task! This point is fully brought out in the following Hadith:

Hadhrat Anas (radhiyallahu anhu) relates:. “We inquired of the Holy Prophet: ‘O Prophet of Allah, is it right that we should not enjoin virtue unless we practise all the virtues ourselves and should not forbid the wrongs unless we ourselves completely abstain from them all? ‘Nay,’ said the Prophet, ‘do enjoin others to practise good deeds even though you do not practise all of them, and do forbid evil actions even though you do not abstain from them all‘.”

Fifth

Most of us take it for granted that the religious schools, the ‘Ulema, the saints who have their seats at various religious places (Khanqah), and the religious books and magazines are sufficient activities for the fulfilment of the mission of Amr bil ma’ruf wa nahi anil munkar (Tabligh). These efforts, they think, are enough to meet the requirements of Tabligh. Undoubtedly, the presence of all these is absolutely, essential and one must look upon them with reverence and pay attention to their problems, as the traces of Islam that exist today owe their existence to these very institutions, but they are not enough to meet the situation even partially. The task is stupenduous, considering our present weaknesses and the extent of the problem. To be content with the existence of these few means will be a grave folly on our part.

Even to derive full benefit from these institutions, we have to create, within ourselves, a true and a deep respect for the faith of Islam and a burning desire to adopt it in our practical life. Up to fifty years back, people did possess real love; urge and passion for Islam, and there were visible signs and manifestations of lslamic way of life. In those days these institutions could perhaps meet the demand adequately. But, today all our sentiments and feelings for Islam are practically dead, because of the continuous onslaught on our faith and social structure by various foreign elements and forces. Alas! they have succeeded in their object. As, instead of love, We seem to possess a hidden inferiority complex towards our religion and faith! Obviously, therefore, we must act quickly and Wrest the initiative from the hands of opposite forces and launch a strong counter-effort, whereby we are able to revive the dead spirit of each and every Muslim and rekindle in him the love and attachment for Islam. Only then can we derive full benefit from the existing religious institutions which, in turn, can serve the community in a befitting manner. Unless such steps are taken vigorously, the present state of complacency will spread deep and wide, and instead of these institutions, which are doing good in this limited way, may meet the fate of total extinction.

Sixth

There is a great misunderstanding that, whenever one takes up the work of enjoining good and forbidding evil, he is not received well by the people. The people invariably treat him badly, using harsh and, insulting language. Also, that sometimes people tend to adopt a mean and contemptuous attitude towards religious workers. This is true, but we are apt to forget the fact that the performance of the act of propagation means simply to follow in the footsteps of the Prophets of Allah Ta’ala, who were always the victims of the worst type of treatment. That is the usual and destined disposition of those who take to this mission! Indeed, all Prophets had to suffer untold miseries on account of this, as is clear from the following verse:

And We sent down Prophets before you amongst people gone by, and no Prophet came to them but that they ridiculed him.”

The Holy Prophet (sallallaho alaihe wasallam) once remarked:

No Prophet has suffered more than me in the propagation of truth.”

It. is obvious therefore that there is no justification of giving rise to such misunderstanding. As we profess to be the followers of Hadhrat Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) who himself had suffered in the performance of this very mission, but took everything cheerfully and with forbearance, we mist also follow his sublime examples and show patience and calmness while performing the vital duty of Tabligh.

SOLUTION

It has been clearly brought out in the preceding paragraphs that the current disease in the body of Muslims has sprung from the extinction of the true spirit of Islam in our hearts. As a result, real sentiments and love for Islam are practically dead in us and our belief in it has dissipated. Obviously, when the very source becomes dry, the channels of virtue, good deeds and fine attributes which can flow from it, are not to be seen any longer. This is exactly what is evident today. It has been fully discussed and brought out earlier that the only means for the building up of this source, and maintaining a constantly proper flow of religious benefits from it is the act of Tabligh, which really and truly is the life-blood of Islam. Unless we are able to revive it, we cannot achieve anything in this life because no nation or people can rise to glory without having in them the high human attributes and character which only the religion of Islam can give. We should now clearly feel the disease from which we suffer and judge the treatment which can bring the remedy. It is now up to us to set about the revival of the obligatory task of Tabligh, It will be only then that we can hope to regenerate the true faith of Islam in the masses. By this means alone can we recognise and truly understand both Allah Ta’ala and His Holy Prophet, Hadhrat Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), and will be able to clearly understand and finally submit to their commands and wishes. To achieve all this, we will have to adopt the exact methods and ways which are laid down and were demonstrated by the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) himself when he reformed the pagan Arabs. Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’an:

Indeed the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is the perfect example for you to follow.”

In this very connection, Hadhrat Imam Malik (rahmatullah alaih) said:

Reformation of the last (part) of this (Muhammad’s) Ummat will not be possible except by adopting the method which was used in the beginning (by Hadhrat Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wasallam).

In the beginning, when the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) had started to call the people to Islam, he did not have a single supporter behind him nor had he any political power or possessions. The Pagan Arabs were arrogantly independent and self-opinionated. No one among them was prepared to listen to reason or truth or obey another person. They strongly disliked and were deadly opposed to the Kalimah-tul-Haq, which the Holy Prophet (sallallaho alaihe wasallam) had the sole mission to teach. In these circumstances, one wonders what gave such invisible power and force to that one single man who was wordly poor and without any means, that he eventually was able to draw the whole of the Arab nation towards him. First we ought to carefully think and see what was it towards which he beckoned the people; initially they refused, but came running towards him as soon as they perceived the light, and stood by him so close that they never left him again. It was the message of Etemal Truth to which he called!-that and only that (Truth), which was the Holy Prophet’s (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) sole mission and aim in life-and which he so beautifully presented to the people! It is:

That we worship nothing but Allah, and associate none with Him as His compeer or rival, and none of us considers another god except Allah.”

The propagation of that same very truth can bring the very same results again. The Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) forbade his followers from looking upon any Being except Allah Taala for worship or obedience. Not only did he succeed in achieving his aim but was able to cut all ties between his followers and every alien element, and bound his people in one uniform system of life from which they never tried to break away again. They really became the picture of:

Follow that which has been sent to you from the Sustainer, and. do not follow others (considering them) as Protectors except Allah Ta’ala.”

This was the real lesson, which the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) had been commanded (by Allah Talala) to teach and spread. It is further clear from the following verse:

O Muhammad! invite people to your Lord with wisdom and better counsel, and argue with them in such wise as is best; verily your Lord knows the one who wanders astray from His path, and He knows those who are on the right path.

The highway marked for the progress of the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and his followers is further declared in the following verses:

O Muhammad! say, this is my path, and I invite you towards Allah Taala knowingly, I and my followers too: and Allah is all pure and never will I join partners with Allah.'”

And who is better in speech than one who invites you towards Allah Taala, does good deeds and says, verily, I am of those who submit their will to Allah.

To call mankind to Allah Ta’ala and show the right path to all those who had gone astray was the only mission and the sole purpose of the Holy Prophet’s (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) life. To serve this very purpose, thousands of prophets had been deputed before him. As Allah Ta’ala says:

And We did not send any Prophet before you, but that We revealed upon him that verily there is no god but Me and so worship Me.

The sacred biography of Hadhrat Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and also those of other Prophets indicate one single aim as the sole mission of their lives: i.e., to believe in One True Allah Ta’ala and His one Divine Personality and His Attributes. This belief is the essence of the faith of Islam. It was to practise and demonstrate this very faith that man has been sent on this earth, as will be seen from this verse:

And We have not created the Jinn and human beings but to worship Me only.

We should by now ought to be able to understand the real purpose for the creation of man and the way we, particularly Muslims, should live; we also know the true disease from which we suffer and its treatment; it should, be therefore, not be difficult then to find out how to apply that treatment-and regain our lost vitality. If we bear in our mind all that has been discussed so far, and with that background act sincerely, any method adopted will Insha Allah prove to be beneficial and successful. However, a proven successful method is described.

Course of Action

With the very limited knowledge and understanding that I have about such a vital matter as Tabligh (enjoining good and forbidding evil), a scheme of work and action is described below, for the improvement of Muslims and their progress in Islam. Actually, what I have to say is nothing else than a brief outline of the practical way of life which had been followed by our ancestors and early Muslims.

The FIRST and the FOREMOST thing to do is to change the aim of our life, from material motives and acquisition of wealth to the propagation and spreading of Allah Ta’ala’s Kalimah and Islam; to fix as a definite objective for ourselves, the enforcement of the commands and orders of Allah Ta’ala; and to sincerely resolve: I will obey every command of Allah Ta’ala, shall try to practise it in my daily life and will not disobey Allah Ta’ala in any circumstances. The fulfilment of this resolution must be made the main aim of life. We can plan and act on this broad base by adopting the following practical scheme and procedure:

(1) To memorise and correctly recite the Kalimah:

Laa ilaaha Illallaah Muhammadur Rasulullah

And to understand its literal meaning, as well as what it actually implies. That is, to believe, to say, and to act on the faith that Allah Ta’ala is the only Power, the only Authority and the Sale Controller of all things, and it is He alone who is to be worshipped and obeyed, and it is He alone who grants success or failure in life. Success will depend on our truly adopting the way of life preached and taught by Hadhrat Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and our accepting him as true and last Prophet of Allah.

Having this as ideal, we begin to change our own life on the pattern requirements of the Kalimah.

(2) To become punctual and regular in offering our prayers (namaz) five times a day. The performance of this most obligatory duty ought to be sttictly in accordance with the procedure laid down by Hadhrat Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), to be performed in utmost humility and supplication. The greatness and superiority of Allah Ta’ala must be held uppermost in mind throughout the prayers, whilst maintaining the feelings of one’s own humbleness and helplessness. In other words, namaz should be performed as if one was actually being presented to Allah Ta’ala in a manner befitting the Height of His Greatness and Glory. If the procedure of namaz is not known, it ought to be learnt properly with each detail committed to memory.

(3) To develop attachment of body and soul to the Holy Qur’an in the following manner:

(a) To recite daily a portion of the Qur’an, however small, with highest respect and reverence for the holy scripture and by understanding its meaning, if possible. If one is unable to understand the meaning, he may still recite the text with the purpose and hope that his salvation and progress depends on it. Simple recitation of the original words and lines is also a great blessing. If a person is unable to read, he ought to spend a little time daily to learn to read.

(b) To ensure that one’s own children as well as those of the neighbours and friends are taught the Holy Qur’an and other essential religious books as a first step in their learning.

(4) Some time should be devoted each day to zikr, which means concentrating on the Omnipotence, the Greatness, and the Attributes of Allah Ta’ala, and to offer DUROOD [prayers] for the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). In this connection, guidance should be sought from a Sheikh-e-Tariqat (a learned and saintly person), who should be carefully selected for his distinction in piety and his capacity to follow Shariat and Sunnah. He may prescribe certain Wazaif (special verses) to be recited during the times of Zikr. In case no such holy person can be contacted, it is suggested that the following Wazaif may be repeated a hundred times (one tasbih of 100 beads) each, both in the morning and in the evening:

(a) Third Kalimah

Subhanallahi Wahamdulillahi Walaailaaha Illallaahu WallahuAkbar

(b) Durood (praying blessings for the prophet).

(c) Istighfar (seeking forgiveness ofAllah).

(5) Every Muslim must be considered as one’s real brother and must always be given affection, sympathy and sincere attention at all times, particularly when he is in need. The fact that a person professes the faith of Islam automatically entitles him to brotherly respect and reverence from all Muslims, who must at all times refrain from causing him any physical or mental harm.

The above practices should be strictly enforced in one’s own life and, at the same time, efforts should be made so that other people may follow them as well. The only and the best way to achieve this is to devote some time specially for learning and inculcating in oneself these fine Islamic qualities, and also persuading others to make similar efforts. Thus a joint and collective campaign will automatically ensure for the growth and expansion of Islam in its true form, which is the real and urgent need of the day.

It was exactly this type of work, which every Prophet of Allah Ta’ala had to do as his sole occupation. For the sake of this work, almost all Prophets had to bear untold miseries and perils. The worthy Companions of Hadhrat Muhammad (sallallahu alaihe wasallam), as well as many other distinguished Muslims of the early period of Islam, spent the whole of their lives in striving hard and struggling for the religion of Islam in this very manner. Most of them sacrificed their lives in the sacred path of Allah Ta’ala. It will be our misfortune and enormous loss if we do not devote a part of our lifetime, however small a period it may be, towards propagating and perpetuating Islam. We must confess that it is due to our negligence in this vital task that the Muslim society has reached its present state of low morale and virtual collapse and, therefore, we must rise and make manifold efforts.

Previously, the very purpose of being a Muslim was to be ready to lay down one’s life, honour and wealth for upholding Islam and the Kalimah. In those days, if anyone did not do that, he was considered to be ignorant and a useless fellow; But alas! today, although we feel proud to be called Muslims, we remain totally unmoved by the fact that every particle of Islam is being destroyed one by one before our very eyes, and not a finger is moved to check this terrible loss. If we realise this we can appreciate that the propagation of Islam is our real mission in life, and therein lies our very existence as Muslims and also our success, glory and ultimate salvation. The opposite is also true that by neglecting this important task we suffer from moral degeneration and social degradation. The only remedy for this is that all of us must sincerely repent our lethargic and injurious past and take immediate steps to revive the act of Tabligh as our major occupation. It is only then that we can expect the mercy and compassion of Allah Ta’ala to flow, to bring us triumph and happiness both in this life and the hereafter.

This does not mean that we should give up everything else, i.e., our profession-trade or employment and take entirely to this work. It really means that, as we devote our whole-hearted attention and time to other material vocations, we should also attend to this work. As and when some persons find themselves ready to take up this sacred task, they should try to contact their friends or such persons in their neighbourhood who may already be engaged in this work and spend a few hours a week in their company. The next step will be to spend, under the guidance of those people,. full three days every month outside in a locality or a village other than one’s own. Later, but as early as possible; to pass one full month, or better still. forty days annually in some distant area in similar manner. Lastly, the real requirement in Tabligh is to spend continuously four months once in the lifetime, in a given place or area. All these periods are to be spent entirely in the pursuit of learning and propagation of the true faith of Islam and adopting the actual way of life under the Sacred code of Shariat. Thus our efforts will become extensive and ultimately reach every person, rich and poor, employer and employee, Land-Lord and Peasant, learned and ignorant, to join hands in this work and become bound in the ties of true Islam as ordained by Allah Ta’ala and the Holy Prophet Mohammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam).

PROCEDURE TO WORK

The most important factor in the task of Tabligh is the manner and the method of approach, which simply means to follow closely the lines adopted by the worthy Companions of the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) strictly in accordance with his teachings and practices. The method adopted by the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) was as follows:

A jamaat or group of at least ten men should be formed. One of them should be selected amir (leader). They should get together in a mosque, make ablutions and offer two rakaat nafil prayers. After this, all should supplicate together and beseech for Divine mercy, help and guidance for success in their efforts and remaining steadfast and resolute in their task of Tabligh. For all this time, zikr should be recited by all, arid every precaution should be taken not to indulge in idle talk. On reaching the place for Tabligh, once again the jamaat should supplicate and beseech for Allah Ta’ala’s mercy and help in their mission. The place of Tabligh will be the vicinity of a mosque of the locality where the work is to be conducted. A part of the jamaat should be detailed to tour the locality calmly, and quietly inviting people to the mosque, where ta’leem, (reading and teaching out of religious books) should be in progress and later the namaz (prayers) of the time should be offered. After this, one of the members of the jamaat should place before the people in an affectionate and calm manner, the importance and urgency of reviving Islam in each and every Muslim as ordained by Allah Ta’ala and the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), giving out as simply as possible the cardinal points of Tabligh and the way to accomplish them. Finally, the people should be persuaded, again in a cordial manner, to join hands in this sacred task and come out to do the work of Tabligh like the jamaat itself.

Later, some members of the jamaat may accompany the people to their homes, where the womenfolk should also be addressed and persuaded to do similar duty among women.

They should be told to be regular in their daily prayers. All this should be done without entering the primary portion of any house. The women should also be told to strictly follow the cardinal points of Tabligh in their daily life and observe pardah in accordance with the Shariat.

After this, all such people who may be prepared to join the work should be organized into a separate jamaat, with an Amir from among themselves.They should first be made to work under the guidance of the members of the original jamaat. The important point to be remembered at this stage is that every person engaged on Tabligh must fully obey his amir and the latter, in turn should ensure that his personal services and attention are available to each and every member of his Jamaat. He must see to every person’s welfare, comforts and morale and, before taking any decision, he must consult all his colleagues. The following general principles of the work of Tabligh, should be catefully noted at all times. 

GENERAL PRINCIPLES

In its real form and sense, Tabligh is the most important type of worship of Allah Ta’ala and it amounts to a blessing of very high order. It literally means to follow in the footsteps of the prophets. Truly, as the work is of a very superior character, lt must be based on equally high prnciples, which ought to be strictly followed throughout. Each participant must feel that it is he, who needs to improve himself rather than thinking of reforiming others. During the course of work and, even away from it he must try to behave as a perfect Muslim, as a faithful slave of Allah Ta’ala, constantly obeying and following the Divine commands of Shariat and always seeking Allah Ta’ala’s mercu and pleasure. This is the basic requirement and the soul and foundation of the work of Tabligh. Once it is deeply and firmly embedded in the hearts of workers, the other principles, rules and practices, some of which are narrated below, will become easy to follow:

(1) As far as possible, all expenses, including travelling, food etc. must be borne by each individual himself and, if he can afford, he may quietly assist those companions who may be in need.

(2) All fellow workers and companions in this work must be given full respect, shown tolerance, be cared for and encouraged at all times by one another. Such participation will prove a great blessing for the whole area where the jamaat may be working.

(3) Conversations, talks and discussions must be conducted in soft and persuasive tones, using simple and polite language: All types of displeasure with each other must be avoided. The ulema-e-karam (scholars of Muslim scripture) must be held in high respect and esteem as we usually display for the Holy Qur’an and Hadith, because, it is through these learned personages that Allah Ta’ala has blessed us with the true knowledge of Islam and enlightenment. Any disrespect towards them, however insignificant, may amount to contempt of Islam itself, which in turn may provoke the wrath of Allah Ta’ala for the whole community.

(4) Leisure and free moments must be spent either in reading good religious books or in the company of pious and learned companions; by this means one will be able to learn many right things about the faith of Islam, about Allah Ta’ala and His apostle. Particular care must be taken of the time given to the Tabligh work itself, that nothing unimportant, useless or senseless is uttered, discussed or done.

(5) To endeavour to earn an honest and pure living to be most careful and frugal in expenditure and to constantly, observe every single obligation, however big or small, towards one’s family, relations and acquaintances.

(6) No controversial matters or points of secondary importance be discussed at any time. The total time must be devoted to bringing out the Divinity, Oneness and Omnipotence of Allah Ta’ala and to confine all talk to the main points of Tabligh, which are in real sense the basic principles to be followed by each and every Muslim at all times.

(7) Every action, work and speech must be fused with sincerity and honesty of purpose, for an act, however small, but imbued with this quality is destined, to bring high rewards and plenty of well-being. On the other hand, an insincere act, however big, will not bear any worthwhile fruit or benefit, either in this life or in the hereafter. Hadhrat Mu’az (radhiyallahu anhu), who was appointed as governor of Yemen, begged the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) to give him some special advice. The Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) was pleased to Say: “Be meticulously honest and sincere in matters of religion: a little done with sincerity is enough“. There is yet another “Hadith” in the same connection, “Allah Ta’ala accepts only such actions and deeds which are performed purely for His pleasure and accord“. In another place it is mentioned “Allah Ta’ala does not look at your face nor at your property, but only at your hearts and deeds“. So the crux of the matter is that the work of Tabligh must be performed with all sincerity and honesty. No show or outward appearance is to be put on. The degree of success and progress will depend entirely on the depth of our sincerity.

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION

A brief sketch of the work of Tabligh, its importance and Urgent need have been discussed. It now remains to be judged as to how all this can guide us and bring us the desired relief and benefits in these times, which are fraught with confusion, unrest and rivalries.

For this, once again, we have to seek guidance from the all wise Holy Qur’an. which refers to the hard work and endurance for the faith of Islam as a highly profitable business, and puts it across in the following manner:

O you who believe! shall I point out to you a trade that will shield you from a grievous doom? Believe in Allah and His Messenger, and struggle in His way with your wealth and lives. This is best for you, if you understand. Your Lord will forgive your sins and you shall enter Paradise, under which ripple (beauteous) streams, and stately abodes in everlasting gardens; and this is great success … And another which you covet much, i.e., succour from Allah and victory near at hand; and give glad tidings to those who believe.”
The above verse describes a trade. which if accepted promises deliverance from all types of afflictions and punishments. The trade is meant: to have a firm faith in Allah Ta’ala and His Apostle and to struggle hard in the path of Allah, without shirking to use one’s life and wealth. This again points to the act of  Tabligh, which can ensure for us everlasting well-being and happiness. It is this simple work which will bring us great benefits, such as the forgiveness for all-our sins, deliberate mistakes and shortcomings and high rewards in the life hereafter. So much for the success in the next life, which really is the greatest triumph for a Muslim, but there is also clear hint for this life too. We shall get what we cherish most, such as prosperity, divine help and success against all our adversaries!

In other words, Allah Ta’ala has demanded two things from us, firstly to have firm faith in Him and His Apostle, secondly, to struggle hard in His path, giving, if need be, our lives and all that we possess. In return for this, He has also promised two things: first a, beautiful and peaceful abode in Heaven (Jannat) with an eternal life and everlasting happiness and second, glory and success in this life. The first demand on us is that of faith (iman). This is exactly what the Tabligh is meant to bring to us, that we should all be endowed. with the wealth of true faith. The second demand, is that of striving in the path of Allah, which actually means “jehad”. Jehad may normally mean fighting a war against oppressors and non-believers. In the practical sense, however, it means spreading of Kalimah of Allah and enforcing of Allah’s Commandments, which is also the ultimate aim of Tabligh.

It should be clear to us now that the happiness and success in the life after death is solely dependent on having firm faith in Allah Ta’ala and His Apostle, and in striving hard in the path laid down by Him. Similarly, the success and prosperity in this life too depend entireIy on that very faith and on spending all our efforts in the path of Allah Ta’ala.

When we fulfil these basic requirements, firstly of faith In Allah ta’ala and His Aposle, and secondly of struggling hard in their path, through these two attributes alone we can adorn ourselves with high moral virtues and excellence of character. Only then can we fit to receive the promised vicegerency of Allah Ta’ala and His kingdom on earth. which are bound to come as is promised in the Holy Quran:

To those of you who believe and do righteous deeds, Allah promises that He will certainly give dominance to them in this world as He gave to those before you; O and the religion that has been chosen for them shall be strengthened for them and He will thereafter certainly transform their fear into tranquillity provided they worship Me and associate none with Me.”

The above verse portrays a forthright promise of kingdom~ but through iman (firm faith) and righteous deeds. This was actually fulfilled in the days of the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and remained in effect right through the period on the Khulfa-e-Rashidin. (the first  four Caliphs after the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). Practically the whole of Arabia had become an Islamic territory in the days of the Holy Prorhet (sallallahu alaihe wasallam) himself and the most of the countries (Muslim countries of today) mostly joined Islam during the period of Khulfa-e-Rashidin or immediately after their time. Later on too the promise continued to be fulfilled in favour of a number of Muslim kings and “Khalifas” and it still awaits materialisation if someone fulfils the conditions, as is clear from the next verse:

Surely Allah’s followers shall-dominate

In these few pages, an analysis of the present situation and a practical solution for improving it has been given; in fact the solution is nothing else than the actual Islamic way of life, which belonged to our forefathers and early Muslims.

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, it can be said that there is no way to gain honour, happiness, peace and tranquillity in this life other than to adopt and firmly hold on to the work and system of Tabligh, for which everyone of us must use all his energies and wealth.

Hold fast to the rope of Allah and do not create dissensions.

FINAL APPEAL

This very system has actually been put into practice, in the recent past, in the territory of Mewat (an area of Alwar State and a few other districts around Delhi (India). The work in that region, has not yet reached the final stage; the progress of the local Muslims, however, has been quite marked. The blessing and benefits of the system of Tabligh are clearly visible and worth witnessing. If all Muslims collectively resolve to follow the noble example mentioned above and adopt the correct system of life, as described in this article, there is every hope that, through that effort, Allah Ta’ala may obviate all our miseries and adversities and we may be able to regain out faith, the power to do righteous deeds and the resultant honour, dignity and glory in this life and attain permanent salvation in the next. The Muslims can then set an example for the rest of the World to live in peace, tranquillity and happiness, which is the natural desire of every man on earth.

An attempt has been made to explain as early as possible the real purpose behind the writing of this article, which is to present to the readers the sketch of a practical way of life, which about thirty years ago had been initiated and vigorously followed by Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Sahib (rahmatullah alaih). He had infact dedicated all his life for this sacred purpose and mission. It is up to us, the Muslims of the present time, to understand our obligations towards Islam and fulfil them in our own interest and that of the coming generations and the mankind at large. The way is clear and well set. Let us begin the march and fix our minds on the final goal, which is to acquire the pleasure and approval of Allah Ta’ala.

Tahajjud and Dhikr: the two missing components

By Mufti Ahmad Khanpuri
Edited by ‘Abd Allah bin Muhammad al-Afriqui

A summary of an ‘Ulama address by Mufti Ahmad Khanpuri (Allah protect at him) of Jami’ah Islamiyyah Dabhel at Madrasah Talim al-Din, Isipingo Beach on Sunday, 1 Sha’ban 1434; 9 June 2013.

We all take pride in linking ourselves to our akabir (elders) who had laid the foundations of the various dini (religious) works that we are involved in.

However, what is required of us is to see what were the sifat (qualities) that they possessed which enabled them to achieve success and progress. There were two outstanding qualities in their lives that are decreasing in our ‘ulama presently.

The first is the performance of Tahajjud salah (voluntary night prayer). Initially it was the first fardh (obligatory) salah. Study Surat al-Muzzammil (Qur’an, 73) and see the link that it has with the dini work that we are involved in. Who could have been more occupied than Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), yet Allah instructed His Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) to spend a minimum of a third (1/3) of the night in Tahajjud salah. It is through this that one will gain energy for the rest of the day.

The hadith speaks of Shaytan tying three knots on the nape of a sleeping person saying to him that he should continue sleeping. Thus, even if our eyes open early we will look at the clock and say to ourselves that there is still plenty of time left, resulting in us not getting the opportunity to perform Tahajjud salah.

It was a common feature in the lives of all the Sahabah (radhiyallahu anhum), tabi‘in, muhaddithin, and our akabir (rahimahumullah), whether those whom we had seen or those before them. They were punctual on this practice irrespective of whether they were travelling or not.

The second common feature was that of dhikr Allah (remembrance of Allah). This was their spiritual energy. They never left out their daily adhkar and  ma’mulat  (prescribed routine). Mawlana Habib al-Rahman (rahmatullah alayh) who was the vice principal of Dar al-‘Ulum Deoband would daily make 125,000 dhikr of ‘Allah’ despite his busy schedule of seeing to the administration of the madrasah.

In a letter to one of his khulafa’  who was a principal of a madrasah, Shaykh al-Hadith Mawlana Muhammad Zakariyya al-Kandhalawi (rahmatullah alayh) impressed upon him the need to spend at least two and a half hours daily in dhikr and inabat ilallah in order for his madrasah to prosper and progress.

Dhikr Allah will be in the form of one’s ma’mulat , the morning and evening adhkar and du’as, and tilawah (recitation) of the Qur’an. Mawlana Zakariyya al-Kandhalawi would daily recite eight to nine juz’ (parts) in spite of his busy schedule of teaching, mutala’ah and tasnif. Each one of us needs to ask ourselves, how much of the Qur’an do we recite daily.

8 Easy Steps to Recite the Entire Qur’an this Ramadan

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[By Haafidha Rayhaanah Omar (Fee Qalbee blog)]

It has been said that everything has a beloved & that the month of Ramadan has a beloved, too: The Glorious Qur’an. For the duration of this month, Muslims worldwide honour Ramadan’s beloved and aspire to complete the recitation of the Qur’an.

In this article you’ll learn how you too can work towards achieving this noble goal, In sha’ Allah.

STEP 1➡ ESTABLISHING AN INTENTION

Our beloved Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) taught us – through his words & actions – the importance of one’s intent or purpose. Establishing one’s intention is an effective catalyst for implementation. Once your intention has been established, remember to renew it often. Whilst reciting and even upon completion of the Qur’an, recall your intention and renew it, thus ensuring that it is constantly purified & you are seeking His Divine Acceptance, In sha’ Allah.

STEP 2➡ DON’T BE OVERWHELMED

For some, as much as they aspire to complete the recitation of the Qur’an during Ramadan, they are overwhelmed by the number of pages or the length of some Surahs. Remove ➡ “I can’t” from your vocabulary and eliminate negative thinking, for the believer puts their trust in Allah, matched by striving with their actions. Remind yourself that you are (if Allah wills) fully capable of achieving your Qur’anic aspirations, whether it be completing Qur’an 1 or 5 timesThis second point is key. Put your heart into this accomplishment & reap the rewards throughout, In sha’ Allah.

STEP 3➡ PLAN AHEAD

Prior to commencing with your recitation it’s important to plan around your routine and block out time for your Qur’an goal e.g. your work hours, rest hours & any other commitments which you may have. Structure a realistic plan of how to complete the recitation of Qur’an within the month by dividing each Juz per day. Draw up this personal plan, review it constantly, and put it into action!

As you put your plan to paper, consider past Ramadan’s and ask yourself if there have been instances where you were unable to complete Qur’anic recitation. Reflect over why and how this occurred. Is there a different mechanism that you could put into place?? How could you enhance your daily Qur’an routine if these distractions were dealt with??

Take the first opportunity that comes, to begin your Qur’anic quest. So when the moon is sighted & the announcement has been made for the 1st Salaatul-Taraweeh, begin in earnest, with Surah Al-Fatiha, Surah Al-Baqarah etc.

STEP 4➡ UNDERSTAND THE QUR’AN

Read the translation of the Juz you will be reciting daily. Having a basic knowledge of the theme, topic, message & meaning of what you are reciting makes the recitation of the Qur’an an incredibly uplifting experience that you do not want to miss out on!

STEP 5➡ FIND QUR’AN BUDDIES AND COMPETE IN GOOD

Develop close bonds with brothers/sisters who are known for their attachment to the Qur’an. They’ll be your spiritual friends. Engage a Qur’an Buddy in your Noble Qur’an productivity goals. Request that they remind you to fulfil your goals and spiritual aspirations so they can help you in times of slacking.

In life, we compete with many materialistic goals and race one another, but what about following the footsteps of the best of generations that had come before us in a competition this Ramadan?? In striving and competing with our friends and colleagues towards our noble goals, in a good-natured way, we can motivate ourselves to finish our Qur’an goal.

One of the common aspects which deter a Muslim from completing this task is excessive communication. Often, many of us spend too much unnecessary time surfing the net, chatting, texting, etc… . Reduce this even by a third and you will see, feel and witness the blessings in your time, in sha’ Allah.

STEP 6➡ SEIZE THE MOMENT

A deeply inspiring story in ‘lessons from the waiting room’ – where a mother; who has taken her unwell child to the hospital; waits for the doctor to see to her child. She notices a young Muslim who uses his time in the waiting room, in a most effective & spiritually rewarding way, reciting from a pocket-sized Qur’an. Lesson to be taken here: Invest in a pocket-sized Qur’an and make it your best friend this Ramadan. Seize every opportunity and moment to be with Allah (glorified and exalted be He) through your recitation.

One of the best times at which to recite Qur’an, is after Suhoor (pre- dawn meal). Having partaken from the Sunnah meal, and within an hour or two still to go before work or school, this is the ideal jump start to your day. The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) asked Allah  to bless our Ummah in the early hours, and you will also be more likely to memorize ayahs at this time. Research shows that morning study creates better performance in students so don’t miss the morning recitation!

Time Tip: Salah Followed by Qur’an

Consider the following option that has worked well for numerous people in past Ramadan’s. Try reciting 6 – 8 pages of Qur’an (depending on the Mushaf (copy of the Qur’an) that you are using) after each of your 5 daily salah. Add Qiyaamul-Layl (late night salah) as a 6th addition, and you will reach the end of Ramadan, having completed your Qur’an recitation with ease & perhaps, even before the last 5 days of Ramadan so long as you remain committed.

Time Tip: Recite before going to sleep.

Allah (glorified and exalted be He) says: “Indeed, the hours of the night are more effective for concurrence and more suitable for words” [Qur’an 73:6]. Reciting during the day is also beneficial, however the night time recitation is easier as well during Ramadan as there are less distractions and noise.

STEP 7➡ REMAIN STEADFAST AND CONSISTENT

The key to any success is consistency. Once you’ve mapped your plan, stick to it. Remind yourself of the greatness of this month, of the opportunities that it provides for your spiritual growth and your relationship with the Qur’an. Don’t be willing to compromise it in this month.

STEP 8➡ MAKE DUA’A TO ALLAH (SUBHAANAHU WA TA’ALA)

Nothing can be achieved without the aid and guidance of Allah. When making your intention to complete your recitation or memorisation of Qur’an, supplicate to Allah to ease this noble pathway and to crown your efforts with success, In sha’ Allah.

These are the 8 ways I wanted to share with you on starting and completing your journey through recitation of the Qur’an this Ramadan. Indeed, Allah (glorified and exalted be He) says in Surah Al-Baqarah: “This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allah.’’ In the hours of the days and nights of this sacred month, may the Qur’an be your companion of light and guidance, resonating through your words, actions and life mission. May your relationship with the Qur’an be strengthened, enriched & enlivened with the profound wisdom and divine message from Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala. Aameen!

Did Prophet Muhammad Copy And Plagiarize Bible?? Did Prophet Muhammad Author Qur’an for Worldly Gains?? – A reply to Anti-Islam Liars

Could Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) Have Read Bible And Copied??

Qur’an and the Hadith state that Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was Ummi. Qur’an 7:158 states:

[007:158] Say (O Muhammad): O mankind! Lo! I am the messenger of Allah to you all – (the messenger of) Him unto Whom belongeth the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth. There is no God save Him. He quickeneth and He giveth death. So believe in Allah and His messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write, who believeth in Allah and in His Words, and follow him that happily ye may be led aright. (Pickthall Translation, Quran 7:158)

Pickthall translated the word Ummi as “who can neither read nor write”.

According to Ectaco English-Arabic Online Dictionary (http://www-old.ectaco.com), arabic word Ummi (أمي) means:
“ILLITERATE, UNLETTERED”

Source: http://www-old.ectaco.com/online/diction.php3?lang=3&q=1&refid=316𝔯_id=1&rqt_id=19731153&pagelang=23&word=%C3%E3%ED&direction=2&x=37&y=15

And according to Ectaco English-Arabic Online Dictionary ( http://www-old.ectaco.com), arabic words for illiterate are:

أمي ِ يقرأ وِ يكتب, جاهل,

Source: http://www-old.ectaco.com/online/diction.php3?lang=3&q=2&refid=316𝔯_id=1&rqt_id=19731153&pagelang=23&word=ILLITERATE&direction=1

Qur’an also states that Prophet Muhammed (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was illiterate. Qur’an 29:048 says:

[029:048] And thou wast not (able) to recite a Book before this (Book came), nor art thou (able) to transcribe it with thy right hand: In that case, indeed, would the talkers of vanities have doubted. (Yusuf Ali Translation, Qur’an 29:48)

So until that point we can be sure that Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) could not read nor write. Naturally, if prophet could read or write then Non-Muslims would have claimed  prophet Muhammed as a liar. They would have seen Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) writing or reading and used that as an evidence that he lied in Qur’an 29:48. Their reaction and refusal to use 29:48 as a proof to demonstrate that prophet Muhammad was a liar is a solid proof that Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayho wasallam) could really not read nor write and nor could he consquently have read Bible personally.

Allegation that Waraqa Ibn Nawfal taught Prophet Muhammed

Waraqa was a cousin of Khatija (radhiyallahu anha), first wife of Prophet Muhammed (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). He was a learned man and was well versed in New Testament. Some morons assert that Waraqa could have been teaching prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). There are several historical and logical flaws in that assertion.

Sahih bukhari Volume 1, Book 1, Number 3 states:
“…Waraqa replied in the affirmative and said, “Anyone (man) who came with something similar to what you have brought was treated with hostility; and if I should remain alive till the day when you will be turned out then I would support you strongly.” But after a few days Waraqa died” (Sahih Bukhari Volume 1, Book 1, Number 3)

Firstly, Waraqa died few days later after Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) recieved the first revelation of the Qur’an. Since Waraqa died after few days later then he cannot have been the source of Qur’an, since the Qur’an continued to be revealed continuously upto 23 years after his death. Naturally, since he was dead he could not have been teaching Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) or been the source of Qur’an!

Secondly, Waraqa was a pious and a wise man, who dedicated much of his life in the search of God. However, he stated in Sahih Bukhari Volume 4, Book 55, Number 605:

“Narrated ‘Aisha(radhiyallahu anha):
The Prophet returned to Khadija (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) while his heart was beating rapidly. She took him to Waraqa bin Naufal who was a Christian convert and used to read the Gospels in Arabic Waraqa asked (the Prophet), “What do you see?” When he told him, Waraqa said, “That is the same angel whom Allah sent to the Prophet) Moses. Should I live till you receive the Divine Message, I will support you strongly.” (Sahih Bukhari Volume 4, Book 55, Number 605)

Thus he was intending to support Prophet Muhammed (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and accepted his prophethood. If he (Waraqa) had been the source of Qur’an then he would have exposed prophet Muhammed and refused to follow him! It must be remembered that Waraqa was a god-fearing and a noble person.

When was Bible translated into Arabic according to historian?

According to all scholarly sources Bible was not translated into Arabic during Prophet’s time. The Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics admits this:

there is no evidence of any parts of the Bible having been translated into arabic before Islam. (Hastings, James. The Encyclopedia of Rleigion and Ethics. Vol. X, p. 540)

Hastings Dictionary of the Bible attributes the first arabic translation of the Bible to the tenth century (Source: Hastings, James. Dictionary of the Bible. p. 105). However, Encyclopedia Judaica attributes the first arabic translation of the Old Testament either to Hunayn Ibn Ishaq (800-873CE) or to Saadiah bin Joseph Gaon (882-942CE) (Source: Encyclopedia Judaica, vol. 4, p. 863)

Paul Wegner explains that the Christian and Jewish traditions that were circulating in Arabia were oral traditions. But the Christian and Jewish groups in Arabia were not orthodox at all, and there were numerous heretical groups:

The Scriptures do not seem to have been extant in an Arabic version before the time of Muhammad (570-632), who knew the Gospel story only in oral form, and mainly from Syriac sources. These Syriac sources were marked by Docetism (believed that Jesus had only a divine nature and only appeared to be incarnate – they thought the material world and thus one’s body was inherently evil)… (Wegner, Paul D. The Journey from Texts to Translations. 1999. Grand Rapids: Baker Books. p. 250)

According to New Catholic Encyclopedia:

Neither Arabian Jews nor Arabian Christians, unfortunately, were to be classed among the better representatives of their faiths at the time. The former had lived in comparative isolation possibly since the middle of the 1st millenium B.C., although they had been mildly successful in proselytism and the latter were mainly heretical Monophysites, remote in every sense from the centers of Christian learning. (New Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol 9, p.1001)

There are hadiths stating Waraqah Ibn Nawful translated and read New Testament in Arabic. Sahih Bukhari Volume 6, Book 60, Number 478 states:

…Waraqa had been converted to Christianity in the Pre-lslamic Period and used to write Arabic and write of the Gospel in Arabic as much as Allah wished him to write. He was an old man and had lost his eyesight. …” (Sahih Bukhari Volume 6, Book 60, Number 478)

There is no hadith stating that Waraqah Ibn Nawfal translated the whole bible into Arabic, including Old Testament and New Testament, which was official and available to public. As the hadith states Waraqah translated the Gospel as much as Allah willed him to write. He also became blind, which naturally would have prevented him from translating further. Furthermore, history dictates that his translation was for personal usage and not an official translation of the Bible accessible to the Public, therefore Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) getting a copy of his translation and reading it is very unlikely. He only translated fragments of the Bible, which was for his personal study. Therefore, the hadiths and history do not contradict on this issue.

Allegation that Qur’an was taught to Prophet Muhammad by a Roman Blacksmith

Some pagans accused Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) of learning the Qur’an from the Roman blacksmith, who lived in the outskirts of Makkah and was a Christian. Prophet used to go and watch him do his work often. However, Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala Himself refuted this claim by the use of logic:

[016:103] We know indeed that they say, “It is a man that teaches him.” The tongue of him they wickedly point to is notably foreign, while this is Arabic, pure and clear. (Yusuf Ali Translation, Qur’an 16:103)

That would be like stating that a Chinese immigrant, who didn’t know English well, authored Shakespere’s work; which is obviously illogical. In a same manner how could a blacksmith who didn’t know arabic well have authored Qur’an, linguistics of which exceed excellence?? Indeed, he would not have managed to even convey and explain his basic believes to the Prophet!

Accusation that ‘Hanif’ taught Prophet Muhammad the Qur’an

Hanif were the group of people at Makkah who tried to follow religion of Abraham (Qur’anic Ibraheem alayhissalaam), and therefore believed in monotheism. Before the revelation of the Qur’an, Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) himself was a Hanif.

However, the Hanifs were not learned about Christianity and Judaism. Indeed as it is demonstrated from Sahih Hadith Volume 5, Book 58, Number 169, many of the Hanif knew no background knowledge of Judaism and Christianity, and their religion seems contradicting to Hanifs beliefs. Therefore, even the Hanifs were not aware of Judeo-Christian beliefs, so there is no possibilty or proof of them teaching Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) about Judeo-Christian beliefs.

Allegation that Priest and Rabbi taught Prophet Muhammad the Qur’an

The discussions between priest and Rabbi and Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) took place in Madinah, however much of the Qur’an, especially the stories of Prophets Such as Jesus (Surah Maryam), Joseph (Surah 12) and others were revealed in Makkah. That theory would only be worth considering if the stories of Prophet and other bible-related stories were ONLY revealed in Madinah. But the bible-related stories were revealed in Makkah, where Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) did not participate in debates with priests and rabbi.

Were the occasional trips to Syria source of Prophet’s knowledge?

There are 2 recorded travel of Prophet Muhammad (sallallaalahu alayhi wasallam) to Syria. One when he was 12 years old and second when he was around the age of 25.

On his journey to Syria when he was 12, he met a monk by the name of Bahira. An immediate question arises, how can a child of 12 learn the theology of different religions in such detail at a brief visit, whilst constanly accompanied by his Uncle and other traders and yet manages to remember all this information until the age of 40?? This is a logical fallacy! Naturally a child at such an age cannot have enough intelligence to comprehend complex theology (in detail), and yet remember for more than 28 years.

Furthermore, Seerah (Biography of Prophet Muhammad) tells us that Prophet Muhammad was accompanied by his Uncle and many other traders, naturally they would not forsake a child in a totally different country; they would accompany him to every possible corner! This would minimize the time he has for learning complex theology.

Bahira himself believed in prophethood of Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). Indeed, the invitation to entertainment itself was in honour of Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). His belief in prophethood of Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam is described in many seerah texts, this visit is recorded as follows:

Bahira said that he had seen the stones and the trees prostrating to Muhammad as Muhammad had been walking by. They only do this for a prophet of Allah. He looked at the Muhammad’s back and noticed the seal of the prophet, which was an oval shape protruding just below Muhammad’s shoulder blades. He said that this was one of the signs of a great prophet to come that was taught to them in their books.

Second journey was for trade, the story is narrated here:

Khadija soon sent word to Muhammad asking him if he would take a trade caravan to Syria. She would pay him a high fee, which was double that of which she had paid any other person. She also gave Muhammad the services of a young lad by the name of Maysarah who would look after him on the journey. When Muhammad reached Basra, he was shading under a tree when a Monk saw him by the name of Nestor. Nestor asked Maysarah about the person sitting under the tree; Maysarah replied that it was Muhammad. Nestor said, that person is no other than a messenger of Allah. Maysarah soon realised that he was in the company of a very special person. He said that he noticed that the heat was extreme when he saw a clear vision of two angels shading Muhammad from the heat of the day.

Main point to notice is that Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was again followed closely by Maysarah, therefore he would have realised if Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) had been learning about Bible. And once again the monk Nestor believed in the prophethood of Prophet Muhammed (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). Muhammad Mohar Ali writes in his book on this topic:

Had Muhammad contacted during his trade journeys to Syria any Christian monk or layman for obtaining information or even for casual discussion, the Quraysh opponents, many of whom had accompanied him to Syria, would not have failed to make the most of it in their attack against himThat no such allegation was made by them is a decisive proof that he had not sought information about Christianity or Judaism from anyone in the course of his journey to Syria. (Sirat Al-Nabi And the Orientalists Vol. I A by Muhammed Mohar Ali, Page 266)

Did Prophet Muhammad heard Quss preach Christianity at the Ukaz fair??

In his book Sirat Al-Nabi And the Orientalists Vol. I A, Muhammad Mohar Ali writes regarding this:

It is stated that the Prophet heard Quss preach at the Ukaz fair. This tradition is unanimously classified as spurious and is rejected as such. Specially, one of its narrators, Muhammed ibn al-hallaj al-Lakhmi, is condemned as a confirmed liar (kadhdhab). And even according to this spurious report, the Prophet was only one of the audience and did not make any enquiries as such with the speaker. The orientalists’s use of this report without any indication of its weakness and untrustworthiness is indicative of how such materials are uncritically accepted and cited to support a particular assumption. (Sirat Al-Nabi And the Orientalists Vol. I A by Muhammed Mohar Ali, page 266-267)

Did Prophet Muhammad Author Qur’an for Worldly Gains?

It is very evident from Seerah (biography of Prophet’s life) that Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) could not have authored Qur’an for worldly gains.

After unsuccessful attempts of Quraysh (tribe of Makkah) they could do little to prevent islam from spreading. Therefore they tried to bribe Prophet Muhammad into leaving islam. Utbah Ibn Rabiah was sent for this task. This story is narrated in a Seerah called “Muhammed The Last Prophet”, by Sayyed Abdul hasan ‘Ali Nadwi (rahimahullah), page 43:

‘Nephew,’ he [Utbah] said, ‘you know your standing among us, but you have brought a matter of grave concern to your people. You have divided their community, made fun of their customs, criticised their gods and their religion and declared some of their ancestors to be unbelievers. Now, listen to me. I will make some proposals for you to examine and perhaps you will accept some of them.’ The Messenger of Allah said, ‘Speak, Abul-Walid. I am listening.’ ‘Nephew, ‘Utbah continued, ‘if you want money by this business, we will collect some of our property and make you the wealthiest among us. If you want honour, we will make you our chief so that every decision is yours. If you want a kingdom, we will make you our king. If you are possessed by a ghost of a jinn that you cannot drive away from yourself, we will find skilful doctors to help you. We will spend our wealth on it till you are cured.’When Utbah had finished, the Messenger of Allah asked, ‘Have you finished, Abul-Walid?’
‘Yes.’ 
‘Then listen to me.’‘I will,’ said Utbah. Then the Messenger of Allah recited some verses from Surah Fussilat. Utbah listened intently, putting his hands behind his back and leaning on them. When the Messenger of Allah reached the place mentioning prostration, he prostrated and then said, ‘You have heard what you have heard, Abul-Walid. It is now up to you.’ (“Muhammed The Last Prophet”, by Sayyed Abdul hasan ‘Ali Nadwi, page 43)

If Prophet Muhammed had been after money, women, kingdom or any other worldly desire then now would have been a perfect chance! But Prophet Muhammed chose Islam above all.
Furthermore, history dictates that Prophet’s financial status worsened after the Prophethood mission. “Muhammed The Last Prophet”, by Sayyed Abdul hasan ‘Ali Nadwi, page 185 narrates:

‘A’ishah has related, ‘When the Messenger of Allah left this world, there was nothing in the house that a creature could eat except a little barley on a shelf. (“Muhammed The Last Prophet”, by Sayyed Abdul hasan ‘Ali Nadwi, page 185)

Even a person considered poor by today’s standards would have had more luxuries than that. If Prophet’s intentions were to gain wealth then surely he would have had large amount of wealth and luxuries by the time of his death.

Pukhtūnwalī in the light of the Qur’ān and Sunnah

Author:Abu Yusuf ʿUthmān Ibn Farooq al-Yūsufzaī

All praise is due to Allah, may peace and blessing be upon his servant and Messenger Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and on his household and all of his Companions.

What is Pakhtūnwalī or Pashtunwali??

Pukhtūnwalī (Also pronounced Pashtūnwalī) is an unwritten, democratic, socio-political culture, law and ideology of the Pakhtūn society inherited from their forefathers and carried on to the present generation. It is a dominant force of Pakhtūn culture and identity.

What is a Pakhtūn??

Pakhtūn (also pronounced Pashtūn) is a race of people who are ethnic Afghāns. According to the most correct opinion in order to qualify to be known as a Pakh tūn a person has to be an ethnic Afghān, speak Pukh to (also known as Pashto) , be Muslim and follow Pakhtūnwalī.

Executive Summary

The point of this article is to examine the primary concepts of Pakhtūnwalī in the light of the Qur’ān and Sunnah. There are many things done under the name of Pukhtūnwalī that are not Islāmic at all and should be rejected, we will not be discuss that here. In this article we will only examine the very basics of Pakhtūnwalī and how those rules hold up in the light of Islāmic sciences.

Why examine Pukhtūnwalī under the light of the Qur’ān and Sunnah?

This project was initiated because Pukhtāna (Pukhtūn or Pakhtun or Pashtūn People, who are also known as Afghān or Pathān) are well known around the world for strict adherence to Islāmic rules and regulations. They are very orthodox and conservative in their views and extremely observant of Islāmic rituals in their day to day life. Yet, they live by a code of conduct, called Pukhtūnwalī, that some call external to Islām, pre-Islāmic or even un-Islāmic. Hence we wanted to examine the base concepts of Pukhtūnwalī to see if it indeed is un-Islāmic or not.

Primary concepts in Pukhtūnwalī

The basic or primary divisions of Pukhtūnwalī are noted here in Afghān (Also known as Pukh to or Pashto). These Afghān words are common to ethnic Afghān and Pukhtūn society and language.

The following four form the major components of Pukhtūnwalī.

Melmastia (hospitality) – to show hospitality to all visitors, regardless of whom they are, their ethnic, social, religious, or national background, without hope of remuneration or favor.

Badal (justice/revenge) to seek justice for the one who has been wronged. This applies to injustices committed yesterday or 1000 years ago if the wrongdoer still exists.

Nanawatay (settlement) derived from the verb meaning to go in. This principle dictates that a Pukhtūn must provide safety and refuge to anyone who seeks protection in a Pukh tūn’s home. Hence a Pukh tūn will never turn anyone away who seeks refuge or justice. This is to help and protect the poor and weak, who are being persecuted and ask help of a Pukhtūn. This principle also contains the idea that if there is a feud and the vanquished party goes to the house or Hujra or the victor and concedes, the victor will accept their concession.

Nang (honor) – also known as Ghayrat, meaning a Pukhtūn must uphold and protect his honor, and that of his family, at all costs. This includes the defense of Zan, Zar and Zamīn. Zan: Defense of women (meaning his family), Zar: Wealth or Gold (meaning his monetary funds), and Zamīn: Land. Pukhtana are taught that death is preferable to a life without honor.

Now let us examine each of there in the light of the Qur’ān and Sunnah:

Melmastia (hospitality):

To show hospitality to all visitors, regardless of whom they are, their ethnic, social, religious, or national background, without hope of remuneration or favor.

This, I would say is strongly based in Islāmic thought. The reader will find the following verses from the Noble Qur’ān to emphasis this concept:

“Has the story reached you, of the honored guests [three angels; Jibrīl (Gabriel) along with another two] of Ibrahim
(Abraham) ? When they came in to him and said: `Salam (peace be upon you) ,’ He answered: `Salam (peace be upon you), ‘ and said: `You are a people unknown to me.’ Then he turned to his household, and brought out a roasted calf [as the property of Ibrahim (Abraham) was mainly cows] . And placed it before them, (saying): `Will you not eat?”’ [Reference: Qur’ān 51: 24-27]

“And his (Lūt’s) people came rushing towards him, and since aforetime they used to commit crimes (sodomy), he said: `O my people! Here are my daughters (i.e., the women of the nation) , they are purer for you (if you marry them lawfully). So fear Allah and disgrace me not with regard to my guests! Is there not among you a single right-minded man? ”’ [Reference: Qur’ān 11:78]

This concept is also heavily emphasized in the authentic Ahādīth of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) . As Abu Hurairah (Radhiallāhu Án) reported:

Rasulullah (sallAllahu alyhi wasallam) said: “He who believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him show hospitality to his guest; and he who believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him maintain good relation with relatives; and he who believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him speak good or remain silent.” [Reference: Sahīh al-Bukhārī and Muslim]

This point was further emphasized by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) in the following Hadīth repoted by Abu Shuraih
Khuwailid bin `Amr al-Kh uza`i (Radhiallāhu Ánhu), who reported:

I heard Rasulullah (sallAllahu alyhi wasallam) saying, “He who believes in Allah and the Last Day, should accommodate his guest according to his right.” He was asked: “What is his right, O Rasulullah (sallAllahu alyhi wasallam) ?” He (sallAllahu alyhi wasallam) replied: “It is (to accommodate him) for a day and a night, and hospitality extends for three days, and what is beyond that is charity.” [Reference: Sahīh al-Bukhārī and Muslim]

So we see from the proof quoted above that the Pukhtūnwalī concept of Melmastia (hospitality) is firmly based in the Shari’ah of Islām. Melmastia is clearly proven and emphasized by the Qur’ān and Sunnah.

Badal (justice/revenge)
To seek justice for the one who has been wronged. This applies to injustices committed yesterday or 1000 years ago if the wrongdoer still exists.

Although this concept is proven from Qur’ān and Sunnah but the way it is carried out by the Pukhtūn people is usually very un-Islāmic. Islām calls for justice yet always favors forgiveness and mercy, while the Pukhtūn usually go above and beyond justice while taking revenge.

Nevertheless the concept of Badal, can be proven from the following verses of the Qur’ān:

“And we prescribe for them therein the life for a life, the eye for the eye, the nose for the nose, the ear for the ear, the tooth for the tooth, and for wounds of retaliation. But whosoever forgives it, it shall be expiation for him. Whosoever judges not by that which God has revealed, such as wrongdoers.” [Reference: Qur’ān 5:45]

“Never should a believer kill a believer unless by mistake, and whoever kills a believer by mistake should free a believing slave and pay compensation to the family of the deceased, unless they remit it freely.” [Reference: Qur’ān 4:92]

Hence we see proof that one is wronged must be compensated by the one who committed the wrong. In regards to this there are rules and regulations in Islāmic law that must be followed. Islām always encourages forgiveness and mercy.

Nanawatay (settlement)

This principle dictates that a Pukhtūn must provide safety and refuge to anyone who seeks protection in a Pukhtūn’s home. Hence a Pukhtūn will never turn anyone away who seeks refuge or justice. This is to help and protect the poor and weak who are being persecuted and ask help of a Pukhtūn. This principle also contains the idea that if there is a feud and the vanquished party goes to the house or Hujra or the victor and concedes, the victor will accept their concession.

This is also well rooted in Islāmic Shari’ah and is clearly proven by the Qur’ān and Sunnah. Here is an example of a Hadīth that promotes such values, narrated ‘Abdullah bin Umar (Radhiallāhu Ánhu):

Rasulullah (sallAllahu alyhi wasallam) said, “A Muslim is a brother of another Muslim, so he should not oppress him, nor should he hand him over to an oppressor. Whoever fulfilled the needs of his brother, Allah will fulfill his needs; whoever brought his (Muslim) brother out of a discomfort, Allah will bring him out of the discomforts of the Day of Resurrection, and whoever screened a Muslim, Allah will screen him on the Day of Resurrection.” [Reference: Sahīh al-Bukhārī]

This is further clearly stated in an other authentic Hadīth from Sahīh al-Bukhārī, narrated Muawiya bin Suwald (Radhiallāhu Ánhu) I heard Al-Bara’ bin ‘Azib (Radhiallāhu Ánhu) saying:

“Rasulullah (sallAllahu alyhi wasallam) orders us to do seven things and prohibited us from doing seven other things.” Then Al-Bara’ mentioned the following: To pay a visit to the sick
(inquiring about his health) , to follow funeral processions, to say to a sneezer, “May Allah be merciful to you” (if he says, “Praise be to Allah!”), to return greetings, to help the oppressed, to accept invitations, to help others to fulfill their oaths. [Reference: Sahīh al-Bukhārī]

We can further see this concept emphasized by Rasulullah
(sallallahu alyhi wasallam) when He (sallallahu alyhi wasallam) explained in the end of a longer Hadīth:

How shall Allah bless a nation that does not protect the weak against the strong?” [Reference: Sunan Ibn Mājah and Sunan al-Bayhaqī]

So deduce from the aforementioned authentic ahādīth that this principle is something established and encouraged in Islām.

Nang (honor)

The various points below that a tribesman must observe to ensure his honor, and that of his family, is upheld. This includes the defense of Zan, Zar and Zamīn: Defense of women/family, treasure, and property/land. Pukhtana are taught that death is preferable to a life without honor.

Ghayrat which is from the root word Ghira in Arabic is a very clearly established concept in Islām. We can find it being mentioned in the following authentic ahādīth from Sahīh al-Bukhārī: Narrated ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ūd (Radhiallāhu Ánhu):

Rasulullah (sallAllahu alyhi wasallam) said, “There is none having a greater sense of Ghira than Allah. And for that He has forbidden the doing of evil actions (illegal sexual intercourse etc.) There is none who likes to be praised more than Allah does.” [Reference: Sahīh al-Bukhārī]

Narrated Abu Huraira (Radhiallāhu Ánhu):
Rasulullah (sallAllahu alyhi wasallam) said: “Allah has a sense of Ghira, and Allah’s sense of Ghira is provoked when a believer does something which Allah has prohibited.” [Reference: Sahīh al-Bukhārī]

Narrated Al-Mughira (Radhiallāhu Ánhu) that Sa’d bin Ubada
(Radhiallāhu Ánhu) said:

“If I found a man with my wife, I would kill him with the sharp side of my sword.” When Rasulullah (sallAllahu alyhi wasallam) heard that he said, “Do you wonder at Sa’d’s sense of ghira? Verily, I have more sense of ghira than Sa’d, and Allah has more sense of ghira than I.” [Reference: Sahīh al-Bukhārī]

Narrated Jabir bin Abdullah (Radhiallāhu Ánhu) :

Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “I saw myself (in a dream) entering Paradise, and behold! I saw Ar-Rumaisa’, Abu Talha’s wife. I heard footsteps. I asked who is it? Somebody said, ‘It is Bilāl ‘ Then I saw a palace and a lady sitting in its courtyard. I asked, ‘For whom is this palace?’ Somebody replied, ‘It is for ‘Umar.’ I intended to enter it and see it, but I thought of your (‘Umar’s) Ghira (and gave up the attempt).” ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) said, “Let my parents be sacrificed for you, O Allah’s Messenger! How dare I think of my Ghira being offended by you? [Reference: Sahīh al-Bukhārī]

Hence we see the concept of Ghira (called Ghayrat) is well established in Islām. We cannot say that ever action carried our in the name of ghayrat or Pukhtūnwalī is approved in Islām , we are only discussing the concept here. All actions carried out under any of the concepts mentioned above must be examined in the light of Shari’ah.

Conclusion

In the light of the abovementioned evidences (dala’il) from the Holy Qur’ān and Noble Hadīth of Rasulullah (sallallahu alyhi wasallam), we can conclude that the core principles of Pukhtūnwalī are not contrary to Islāmic beliefs. Having said that, we must keep in mind the cautionary qualification that the method in which that these principles are carried out in must be inline with the Qur’ān and Sunnah as well.

And Allah knows best.

Islam and Nationalism

The contents of this article are listed below:

1. Understanding the bonds with which humans identify and relate to each other in Society
2. Characteristics of Nationalism
3. Secularism and Nationalism are twin brothers
4. History of Nationalism
5. How nationalism made inroads into Muslim world
6. Rise of Nationalism as a creed and a pseudo-religion
7. Illogical Basis of Nationalism
7.1 Territory and country
7.2 Language
7.3 History, culture and civilization
7.4 Race
7.5 Political organization and economic factors:
8. Nationalism defeats its own objectives
9. Dangers of Nationalism
9.1 Tribal prejudice
9.2 Nationalism culminates in racism
9.3 Nationalism results in a desire to colonize
9.4 Narrowing man’s mental horizon
10. Islam and nationalism are two opposite poles
11. The Prohibition of Nationalism in Islam

1. Understanding the bonds with which humans identify and relate to each other in Society

The concept of nationalism cannot be understood without studying the way humans identify and relate to each other in society.

This study will enable a differentiation to be made between various forms of grouping and nationalism. Human beings can identify or group together on the basis of:

• Love of a particular land or a country – patriotism

• Tribe, lineage or race – nationalism

• Religion – spiritual bond

• A particular issue – bond of interest

• A creed – ideological bond

Patriotism arises when people come together due to the love of a country. It is a form of  unity that comes about when that particular country is under external threat e.g. military conflicts with other nations. The effect of this bond results in people of different backgrounds setting their differences aside to form a common front in support of the
government. A classical example of patriotism was found during the so-called invasion of the Falkland Islands by Argentina. Public opinion in the United Kingdom was
mobilised against Argentina through the media machinery, uniting political parties of  all shades in the process. The message was simple: “We are fighting for Queen and country.” This unity, based on patriotism, soon evaporated after the Falkland Islands were captured from Argentina.

The inherent weakness of patriotism, as a basis of uniting people, is that it unites people temporarily, and only then if an external threat is looming in the horizon. Hence, patriotism has no role to play during peace time, and it cannot, therefore, be a basis of a
permanent unity.

Nationalism is a bond between people that is based upon family, clan or tribal ties.

Nationalism arises among people when the predominant thought they carry is that of  achieving domination. It starts from the family, where one member asserts his authority to achieve leadership in the affairs of the family. Once this is achieved, the individual extends his leadership to the wider family. In this way, the families would also try to achieve leadership in the community they reside in. The next stage is that of tribes competing with each other, all trying to dominate others in order to enjoy the privileges and the prestige that comes with this authority.

Nationalism cannot unite the people because it is based on quest for leadership. This quest for leadership creates a power struggle between the people and this leads to conflicts among various strata of society. Examples of power struggles can be clearly seen in many Muslim countries, such as in Saudi Arabia where the Saud family has achieved leadership over others by force, and in Sind, Pakistan, where the Bhutto’s have secured massive influence through feudalism.

Another drawback of nationalism is that it gives arise to racism. This is expected if people are allowed to compete with each other on the basis of their race. Some whites, for example, may see themselves as superior to the blacks, or vice-versa, leading to
polarisation of the races and a divided society.

The spiritual bond is a grouping of people based on their ‘religious belief’ which is not a comprehensive belief covering every aspect of life. An example of a spiritual bond is when people identify with each other on the basis of being a Christian, a Hindu or a Jew. Spiritual bond does not unite people on issues other than matters of belief and worships,
hence it is limited and cannot be the basis of any lasting unity.

Another way people group together is on the basis of some common interest. Pressure
groups are an example of such groupings, where people unite over a particular issue which affects their life. Examples of such groups are the Suffragettes from the past and, more recently, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), Anti-Nazi League, Farm Animal Welfare Council and so on. Normally, once the issue has been resolved this type of grouping disappears.

Uniting over common interest does not serve to unite people permanently because when
the issue is resolved, people will disperse. Besides, people can hold different opinions over the same issue, thus leading to a clash. For example, some people may support the deployment of nuclear weapons as a means of security whilst others, like members of
CND, will call for nuclear disarmament. Hence, common issues do not provide the basis of a permanent unity.

The final way in which people can group together is on the basis of an ideology. An  ideology is a creed that provides a set of rules and regulations according to which man lives and which he refers to in order to solve his problems . This is commonly known as an ideological bond. It only takes into account the creed and nothing but the creed.
Colour, race and gender are irrelevant. This type of bond is found amongst Muslims,
Capitalists and Communists.

Ideological bond is a permanent bond because it arises from a creed, which is an intellectual conviction pertaining to the meaning of life. The creed is never influence by colour, race, language, love of a land or local issues. Hence, it is the only basis for
permanent unity. Islam calls for this type of unity, as it will be seen later in this essay.

2. Characteristics of Nationalism

The school of nationalism is built upon two animal instincts of man which he has in common with other creatures, namely the ‘group instinct’ and the ‘love of home’.

Nationalism begins with these two instincts, eventually ending in a pseudo-religion which causes these relatively innocent sentiments to become dangerously fanatical. It is similar to tribal system. In the tribal system, wars and peace were made for the tribe’s sake. A person was proud of his membership in the tribe and very often looked with scorn upon others. The tribe was an organization under whose umbrella, the members felt secure. Nationalism also gives rise to similar sentiments.

Giving authenticity to territory, blood or language is the basis of nationalism. It bases unity on language, territory and race. Homeland and nationality become the axis of patriotism. All the loyalty is centred upon the homeland. All other loyalties such as loyalty to God, religion, belief and ideology are subordinated to loyalty to the country and nation. No loyalty should check patriotism, and when religious sentiments come in opposition with patriotic sentiments, the latter must prevail. This is a principle which no nationalist can ignore. Man lives for his country and offers his life for it, and not for anything else. It is attachment to nationality that gives direction to one’s individual and social postures, not attachment to ideology. A human being takes pride in his national achievements and feels dependent on its cultural heritage.

A nationalist believes deeply that nation and country are superior to all others, attributing all the good things to them. It considers sovereignty as a tool to protect the country and its citizens, not one for enforcing a particular ideology and system.

Economy, too, is based on national interest and welfare, not on what is legitimate or illegitimate. Culture, art, poetry and literature are the means for depicting national pride and greatness and creation of solidarity and inspiring racial sentiments.

To nationalism, the strongest factors directing individual and social life, determining intellectual and political postures, are the country and nation. Some of the other characteristics of nationalism are:

1) Belief that one should defend a compatriot against a foreigner, whether the former is in the right or not.

2) Eulogizing and almost worship of national personalities and historical heroes of one’s country.

3) Revival of past traditions such as ancient idolatry. Neo-nationalism too, in this connection, relies on myths, ancient and dead customs.

4) A tendency to distort historical facts to glorify one’s country, and to invent stories and create models to show one’s nation at its best.

5) Like old Totemism, there are special emblems in nationalism which are given sanctity. The flag, national emblem, and national anthem are considered sacred, for each of which a human being has the duty of self-sacrifice.

3. Secularism and Nationalism are twin brothers

Nationalism is closely linked with secularism, in view of the necessity of separation between government and religion, and politics from creed. One of the basic principles of nationalism is a rejection of religious bonds and an acceptance of a secularist order.

Secularism means that religion is something subjective that must be confined to an individual’s private and family life, and religious feelings and ideas should not interfere in the socio-politico set-up, be the concern of nationalism only. So the socio-politico roots of religion should be severed from politics.

Nationalism leads directly to secularism. The belief that national unity must be based on a common land, race or language, necessitates that religion be kept apart from politics. Thus, secularism paves the way for the domination of nationalism, since according to this school of thought, religion and nationalism cannot rule at the same time in the same realm.

Secularism is the twin brother of nationalism and it changes the meaning of minorities. In a government founded on religion, the followers of other creeds and schools are regarded as minorities, but with nationalism and secularism, there are only racial, political and regional minorities. Nationalism claims that religious beliefs prevent national unity and religious minorities feel themselves alienated. The only proper basis is geographical, racial or lingual nationality. The main duty of everyone is the patriotic duty, and religious duty is subordinate to it, and confined to personal belief. The patriotic duty of everyone is to sacrifice everything, even religion, for the nation and country and serve and fight for them.

4. History of Nationalism

While some of the characteristics of nationalism may be witnessed in the tribal system of the Greek city-state many thousand years ago, nationalism as a political, social and ideological school of thought took birth in the West following the French Revolution.

The main fabric of the school of nationalism was laid by the French Revolution, where it was first put to practice. It was then that the stimulation of emotions towards the flag and country, the glorification and worship of national heroes, the composition of the national anthem, the emphasis on the sanctity of the French language and race, the creation of great national festivals and ceremonies in the style of religious rites, a pride in the history of France and a belief in the great mission of the French nation, emerged and displayed themselves one after another in the course of the Revolution.

The 19th century is called ‘the golden age’ of nationalism. It was in that century that Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine set up the foundations for American nationalism. In England, Jeremy Bentham gave nationalism a new scope. With William Gladstone, British nationalism reached its height. Nationalism spread as an intellectual movement and school in the whole of central and Western Europe. Mazzini, who rose in Italy is regarded as one of the greatest theoreticians of the school of nationalism of the 19th century. Other great propounders and banner-bearers of nationalism in that century were Giuseppe Garibaldi in Italy, Victor Hugo in France and Otto Bismarck in Germany.

The history of nationalism in the 20th century can be divided into two periods:

A- Nationalism in the first half of the 20th century.

B- Nationalism in its second half.

In the first half of the 20th century, up to the Second World War, the clearest manifestation of nationalism was seen in Europe and Japan resulting in a universal war. It revived in them the dream of colonizing the whole world, and led them to start two calamitous wars. Most scholars admit that the main cause for the First and Second World Wars was nationalistic sentiments. In this period, the true off-springs of nationalism who elevated this school to its highest position and gave it its severest form were Mussolini in Italy, Hitler in Germany, Peron in Argentina, Franco in Spain and Salazar in Portugal. This was the wicked product that nationalism gave to mankind and this way is still continued. Nationalism is still looked upon as a formal religion by international aggressors such as the U.S.

In the contemporary world, colonization having become a thing of the past, and the colonies having secured their independence, nationalism has come to be used by colonization and imperialism in another form, and its role is somewhat changed.

Neo-colonization uses nationalism to prevent the union of former colonies, so as to keep them weak and dependent on stronger powers.

The imperialists on realizing that they could no longer keep eastern nations under their direct yoke, and that their union would be a serious threat to their interests, started exporting nationalism to the East in a bid to weaken them and encourage conflicts among the newly independent nations of Asia and Africa. This way, they aimed at sowing the seed of hostility and dispersion among them to check their unity and solidarity. This is why we see that wherever colonization has made an exit, the rein of affairs is held by an evil westernized educated minority, and nationalistic forces are encouraged to stand against Islamic forces.

5. How nationalism made inroads into Muslim world

After failing to defeat the Muslims in the Crusades, Britain and France along with the United States focused their attention to separate Muslims from Islam. One of these means was to inject nationalism into the Muslim Ummah.

Using Missionaries who operated in the Uthmani Khilafah (Ottomans), there were many attempts (and failures) to try and establish associations and organizations of members belonging exclusively to one ethnicity (tribe) – such as “Arab” or “Turk”. In 1857, the missionaries were successful in establishing the Syrian Scientific Association and in 1875 the Secret Association was established in Beruit. These organizations, would promote “Arabism” and its related pre-Islamic culture while criticizing the Uthmani Khilafah and accusing the “Turks” of stealing the Khilafah from the “Arabs”. In this manner, Arab nationalism was re-introduced into the Muslim Ummah. By the turn of the 20th century, the fever of nationalism had spread to all corners of the Islamic regions of the Middle East.

When the Colonialists occupied various parts of the Islamic regions, by dividing it into nation states, patriotism (the temporary bond between people of a geographical location against an external threat) emerged among the Muslims as a reaction to the political and economic oppression by the Colonialists. By the time the Islamic Ottoman Caliphate was abolished Muslims were no longer bound solely by the Islamic Aqeedah. Rather, there were additional ties of race, ethnicity, tribe and geographical location.

The important question that arises is why the idea of nationalism which penetrated Islamic lands through Western ideas and colonial plots, was welcomed by some sections of the Muslim masses and how did it expand??

Firstly, the masses could not see the difference between ‘patriotism’ and ‘nationalism’ and to their unconscious mind, both concepts seemed to denote the same idea as that of Islamic ‘Ummahism‘. From the beginning, Islam had created a strong feeling of the ‘Ummah‘ and had divided the world into the “House of Islam” and the “House of War”. The masses believed nationalism to be the same as ‘Ummahism‘ and therefore welcomed it.

Secondly, contrary to the main pioneers of nationalism, who propagated it as a result of their dependence on colonial powers and the West, the masses manifested nationalistic sentiments in opposition to social tyranny or to the colonial influence of Britain and France. To the masses, nationalism was a sentiment, not a school, but to the Western, so-called ‘enlightened class’ and politicians, it was an ideology and a political creed.

6. Rise of Nationalism as a creed and a pseudo-religion

Man cannot live without a faith, an ideology, to which he can show affection and love. In the Middle Ages in the West, this faith, ideology, were found in Christianity and the religion of the Church. But Christianity was an unrealistic, imperfect and one dimensional religion, and since it had an unscientific and anti-intellectual basis, it could not last as a permanent and universal religion and ideology.

The Renaissance and subsequent changes dealt the church a heavy blow, and Christianity could no longer make its presence felt as a living faith in Europe, and soon became a dead creed.

In the absence of an inspiring force that would revive them, the westerners were left in the dark. Christianity was dead. Since man cannot live in a vacuum (of belief) and needs an ideology to follow, to inspire and love, ‘Aazar, the idol-maker’ of Western ideas hewed the idol of nationalism, and offered it to the West as a new religion and a new god to fill the vacuum and that was welcomed by thirsty devotees. This vacuum was later on filled by Marxism, and both these schools owed their creation to the weakness and failure of Christianity in satisfying the religious longing of Westerners.

7. Illogical Basis of Nationalism

Herbert Luthy says: “Nationalism is a creed based on a handful of dogmas that cannot be accounted for from a scientific and intellectual point of view, and have authenticity only in the minds of their followers.”

Nationalists have been unable to explain explicitly how their principles can be applied universally, and what are the factors which build up the independent identity of a nation and what is the distinction of a nation which naturally or psychologically sets it apart from other nations, so that these qualities cannot be found in any other nation. The works of the nationalist propounders give us no indication in this connection, but a show of such disharmonious ideas which are not logically acceptable.

Nationalist theoreticians rely on geographical, lingual, racial, political, economic, cultural and historical factors, and regard the territory, country, blood and history as the factors that build up a nation’s separate identity.

Now we will analyze the validity and logic of each of the above factors as a so-called unifying factor and as a yardstick for measuring the independent identity of a society.

7.1 Territory and country

These words are rather conventional, than natural. A human being feels at home to be in his town, village and locality as a result of persistent suggestion from outside.

If one is to consider more than the above, why should he regard himself an Egyptian and not an Arab?? And if he is a member of the Arab world, why not be an Asiatic?? This is something conventional and personal, not logical. Why should a man, born in Ireland, consider his country to be Britain and not Ireland?? The frontiers of many countries are imaginary demarcations. Nationalists want the people to show attachment to these crooked lines that colonial powers have drawn on the maps of Asia and Africa, and turn this affection into an ideology. They drew these lines, made them look real and forced people on this side of the line to consider themselves as belonging to that country, and those outside that line as foreigners, without giving a logical reason for it. The attachment of a person to his land is natural, not logical. When it is suggested constantly to a person that a country is his homeland, he comes to believe it, and to consider others as aliens. From a geographical viewpoint, ‘homeland’ is constantly changing. What Afghanistan is today, was considered Iran yesterday. Why then should an Afghan regard himself an Afghan and not an Iranian? This is only a matter of suggestion.

7.2 Language

The German school of nationalism with Herbert Luthy (1744-1803) and Johan Fichte (1762-1814), particularly, who had been its greatest representatives in the 18th and 19th centuries considers language and history to be the most important factors behind the national identity of a people. They regard language as being especially significant in the creation of a national spirit and identity. Following them are some nationalists of the Islamic world like Namegh Kamal of Turkey and Nadim of Egypt who attach the greatest importance to language as a basis of nationality. But the fact is that the language and common history of a people have not been sufficient in themselves to kindle a national awareness.

The Americans of George Washington’s time had the same language and history as those of England, and yet they segregated from Britain and became an independent nation. Switzerland has three different languages in three regions, and yet the feeling of nationality is strong there. If language is a determining factor of unity and independent national solidarity, why did not England and North America form a single nation in spite of their common language?? Why did not the Latin American countries (except Brazil) which have a common language like Spain, Brazil or Portugal become united??

We do not want to deny the role of a common language in accelerating the process of unity and solidarity, since it is evident that language is a means of direct communication, offering a nation a common literature. What we mean is that language is not the principal factor in shaping nationality, even if it speeds the process. Many nations have become nations in spite of differences in languages (like Switzerland), while there are many nations which are remote from one another in spite of a common language. Thus language cannot be regarded as a firm basis for nationality. Nasser and other Arab nationalists tried to set up a united Arab nation on the basis of a common language but they failed. The Maronite Christians and Muslims of Lebanon speak the same language but they have been fighting each other for the last six years, and these Christians feel closer to the Europeans than to the Muslims.

Moreover, in every country, we come across several languages, not one. What is called a dialect is in fact a different language. Is it easier for a Persian-speaking individual to understand the Afghani Dari or the Azari of Tabriz?? The people of Arabia do not understand even ten percent of the Arabic of Libya. All these facts show that language is a weak factor and basis of nationality and any reasoning opposing this assertion will be illogical and defective.

7.3 History, culture and civilization

It is true that the history and culture of a people create a feeling of unity and of communal interests, but nationalists forget the fact that in the East, especially in the world of Islam, the unity of history, culture and civilization is based on belief, not on geographical factors. Culture and civilization-wise, post-Islamic Iran is more close to Arab countries and Pakistan, than to the ancient Zoroastrian culture. Similarly, Egypt in its culture and civilization is closer to post-Islamic Iran than was the Pharaonic civilization. Our history and culture are based on ideology and belief. All the Muslims after the rise of Islam have the same history and culture. The past civilization of Iranians, Arabs, Turks, Pakistanis and Indian Muslims is nothing but an Islamic one. Nationalism tries in vain to call this civilization an Iranian or Arab civilization in order to rouse the national sentiments or unearth the decayed bones of pre-Islamic history and culture which has nothing to do with our present culture and civilization. That is why the relics of those civilizations cannot warm the hearts of the people in comparison with Islamic history and civilization, and lead them towards unity and victory.

Nationalists do not only try to revive the memory of the ancient civilization through exaggerations, suppositions, bombasts, self-Praise and fallacious reasonings, but they also resort to a scorn of Islamic history and civilization in order to elevate the racial greatness of Iranians, Arabs or Turks, and, try to ignore Islam altogether. But this is wrong and prejudiced and it defeats the objective. As a teacher  has pointed out: “During the whole course of history, the Iranian race (and the Turks, Arabs and other Muslim nations) has never found a better opportunity than the brilliant Islamic centuries to show its talent and ability.

Contrary to the nationalists, since the seventh century A.D., Iran, Turkey and the Middle East embraced Islam, so strongly that their history is the same as that of Islam, and their course has been the same with the course of Islamic history, culture and civilization. The greatness and honor of these nations lie in their share in promoting Islam and in their creation of a magnificent Islamic culture and civilization. They are the achievements of these Islamic nations whose past history is not in any way comparable with their religion, and if Islamic countries wish to be proud of their past, they have no basis but Islam.

Moreover, the choice of history as a factor in building up a man’s identity is a feeble and illogical one, since the frontiers of countries have not been the same throughout history. Afghanistan was once part of Iran. How then can history be considered as the basis of independent nationality??

7.4 Race

Most nationalists regard race as a factor which determines nationality. But a careful analysis of it shows the weakness and illogicality of it, like other factors based on prejudice, illusion and superstition.

What is racism?? It is a feeling of unity based on kinship. The first line of this attachment is an objective reality, namely the bond with one’s father and mother. When this is extended, it reaches one’s family, tribe and lastly one’s race. But extending it to race, the bond becomes so remote from common ancestors that the racial root cannot be scientifically and logically proved. Has there ever existed in history a thing called the Aryan or Semitic race?? Moreover, who can prove that a man is an Aryan?? For example half of the Iranians are Sayeds, who are descendants of the Prophet of Islam who was not himself an Aryan. Can those non-Sayeds claim that during these thousands of years, their blood has not been blended with non-Aryan blood??

Belief in the race and racial unity has no objective and scientific reality; it is only a subjective illusion on which nationalism wishes to base its social-political relations. How comical and illogical!

Thirdly, if we were to adopt blood as a basis, as racism and nationalism do, why should we not have our first ancestors, namely Adam and Eve, as the basis of human generation. In such a case, instead of racism, we may turn to humanism, and instead of nationalism to internationalism. This would be a more logical and convincing idea than the question of race which cannot be proved. Even if the Aryan, Semitic and other races have a historical authenticity, if we do not stop at this point and go far back in history, all these races end In common ancestors. Then why should we not adopt this as a basis?

7.5 Political organization and economic factors:

Some nationalistic schools consider political organization and economic factors as the basis of nationality. From apolitical angle, the Irish form part of Britain, and yet they consider themselves independent. There are many similar cases in the present and past history.

Economics has sometimes acted as a factor of unity like the union of the customs among the various German provinces between 1819 and 1952, which was a prelude to their political union. But such cases are only exceptions to the rule. Economic harmony and collaboration of various groups are not the requisites of national unity.

It is thus clear that the main foundations of nationalism are weak, invalid and illogical, even though they may help occasionally in rousing nationalistic sentiments. They are not determining the fundamental factors behind unity and solidarity. An effort to create unity on the above basis leads to greater differences and conflicts among human beings. A unity based on geographical boundaries, race or language cannot include all human beings. It is more like walls set up between them, separating them, and intensifying their division. Ideological boundaries can expand without force or imposition with the free acceptance of that school by individuals and nations, and intellectually it is not impossible for it to end with the unity of all mankind.

Nationalism creates division among mankind and thus, it cannot lead to universal unity. In such a unit, the questions of minorities and aliens, too, become insoluble. But an Ummah founded on belief is an ‘open unit’ and it can admit people from every race, color, language and territory who accept that belief. This unity can, therefore, expand and lead to man’s universal brotherhood.

In fact the only proper, scientific and logical basis for nationality and unity is belief and ideology. Other factors as compared to these are insignificant.

Thus we see that none of the principles that nationalists rely on are universal and logical. But the nationality based on belief and ideology which Islam upholds has an intellectual authenticity and is justifiable. Those who have the same ideology possess the same world vision, religious belief, culture, objective and destination, form thus a single Ummah.

8. Nationalism defeats its own objectives

The aim of nationalism is the creation of unity, but its result is the reverse and it defeats its own objective. The means adopted by nationalism to realize its objectives of creating unity is to kindle sharp sentiments of solidarity on the basis of race, language or nationality.

But in every country, there exist racial and lingual minorities. When these minorities come to face nationalistic sentiments incited by the propaganda of the majority, they may lose their own independent identity within the majority and react. It is often seen that such propaganda directed at inciting nationalistic sentiments by the majority rouses a regional, racial or lingual nationalism among the minorities and results in the dispersion and disunion of the country.

Logically there is no reason why the majority’s nationalism should be considered right and the minority’s one wrong. Why should British nationalism be regarded as right and laudable, while the Irish one, as blameworthy and condemnable. If Iraqi Baathists have the right to speak of Arab nationalism all day and night, why shouldn’t an Iraqi Kurd have the right to turn to Kurdish nationalism. If territorial, racial and lingual prejudice is good, then it is good for both sides, and if it is bad, it is so for both. We cannot judge by two different criteria. If the nationalism of America’s whites is good, why should that of its blacks be bad??

We see, then, that nationalism has no logical basis, and it defeats its own purpose, and has to establish solidarity by force. It secures what is contrary to its goal, namely division and dispersion.

Contrary to the nationalists’ claim, it is not ideological beliefs, but nationalistic feelings which check unity and produce division in the country. The result of half a century of the nationalistic propaganda of Reza Khan and Muhammad Reza was rebellion in Kurdestan and Turkeman Sahara.

Nationalism has at no time been able to solve the question of racial, lingual and regional minorities. On the, contrary it has intensified oppositions and made them perpetual.

As the criterion is race, language or territory, and as race and language and the like are not changeable, therefore those not belonging to a certain race or having a certain language are always regarded and live as a minority group and cannot share the sentiments of the majority. Those who through emigration or change of geographical boundaries or invasions become nationals of a country, even after many generations and centuries, feel themselves to be a segregated and alienated group, and others feel the same towards them. Armenians in Turkey, Syria and Iran, and Kurds, Scots, Irish and American negroes are the clearest examples of this.

9. Dangers of Nationalism

To glorify itself, nationalism generally resorts to suppositions, exaggerations, fallacious reasoning, scorn and inadmissible self-praise, and worst of all, it engages in the distortion of history, model-making and fable-writing. Historical facts are twisted to imaginary myths as it fears historical and social realism.

Misinterpretation of history is one of the greatest harms of nationalism. It may be argued that the case is so where an extreme form of nationalism exists. But that is not the case. Any kind of nationalism by essence inclines towards self-pride and scorn of others, for so long as it does not rouse in people a false sense of pride in their nation, how can it turn national prejudice in favor of itself and against others??

9.1  Tribal prejudice

As nationalism is based on man’s animal instincts, not on belief and intelligence, therefore, tribal prejudice is its foundation and one of its peculiarities.

The accidental birth of a person in a certain country gives him the wrong baseless idea that he may scorn others and consider them as enemies. Having been born in Europe and having a white skin for example, he gives himself the right to plunder the blacks and refuse to employ towards others criteria he uses towards his own compatriots. Even a genius like Einstein is disliked by a German because he is a Jew. Taking birth in Germany or France, both a matter of accidental birth in a certain land and not one of conscious choice, is no reason to dislike other, be prejudiced and evaluate human beings with two different criteria.

Can anything be more inhuman and unreasonable that to prefer a wicked, corrupt and incompetent compatriot of the same race or language to an honest, benevolent and competent person who is born beyond one’s frontiers??

A person is judged on the basis of his race, language, country and considered a compatriot or alien, without the least consideration of his deeds, virtues or views. Human honor and good deeds are disregarded simply because one is born in a certain land. The yardstick for evaluating the individual becomes territory and blood, not action, faith, chastity or obligation.

The more popular nationalism becomes, the more intense will fanatical ignorance and racial prejudice become, and the more limited will be one’s vision. A nationalist defends everything related to his country solely through intellect or reflection. He considers everything outside his country as alien and ignominious. Right and wrong become meaningless concepts.

This is fanatical ignorance which is strongly condemned in Islam, it is inherited from the inhuman tribal system, but with a more dangerous dimension.

9.2  Nationalism culminates in racism

Nationalism inevitably ends in racism and racial prejudice. In any land where it attempts to base unity on the co-existence of a particular group so as to create fanaticism and make that group an independent, separate unit, it must attribute a certain name to that group like Iranian, Turk or some other name; it must brainwash those in that group into believing that they are superior to other on the basis of their race, blood etc. Without attention to the criteria of virtue, belief and action. Eventually, other neighboring countries come to manifest similar feelings, leading to perpetual clashes, rivalry and racial hostilities.

History bears witness to the fact that nationalistic sentiments have always ended in racism. The Greeks at the height of their civilization called non-Greeks as ‘barbarians.’

Aristotle said:

It is nature’s will that barbarians be the slaves of the Greeks.” The Jews who were a national unit before being a religious unit, regarded themselves as God’s selected people. The Romans at the height of their civilization believed that there were only three nations on earth, the Romans, their confederates and the ‘barbarians’ (non-Romans).

9.3   Nationalism results in a desire to colonize

Nationalism results in a desire to dominate and colonize seeking domination due to three factors:

1- Strong prejudice

2- Superiority complex

3- Self-interest (and disregard of others interests)

Nationalism relies on all these three factors and that is why it eventually leads to domination and colonization. Nationalism has been the cause of clashes, aggressions, and constant rivalry between nations, causing much riot and bloodshed the world over. When a country thinks only in terms of its own interests and gives itself the right to dominate others, the result will obviously be conflicts, aggressions and colonization. Some think that this is only true of extreme nationalism. But history has taught us that there are no such things as healthy or unhealthy nationalism, since nationalism in whatever form ultimately ends in chauvinism and racism.

As mentioned in the previous chapters, the savage colonialism of the West in the 19th century which spread over the Third World was caused by nationalistic sentiments. The calamitous World Wars and the Nagasaki and Hiroshima disasters and hundreds of other wars which have tainted man’s history with blood, are living proofs of nationalism as a dominating evil force.

Nationalism is a factor of expansionism and a basis of injustice and aggression. It has been the source of imperialism and it cruelly transgresses over weak nations, imposing its illegitimate ambition on others in the name of national desires and national expediencies.

9.4  Narrowing man’s mental horizon

Nationalism narrows man’s mental horizon in two ways: Firstly, it discourages man to think of the whole of mankind and of ways to help and guide the latter. It encourages him to consider his compatriots only and limit the radius of his vision within the framework of frontiers. Secondly, it encourages man to reject belief, the spirituality, the intellect, and to focus on land, blood, country and race, thereby narrowing down his mental horizon.

Nationalists are the slaves of emotions, and have no regard for the intellect and intelligence. Ideology, on the other hand, relies extensively on reflection and by creating a sense of obligation and responsibility, the intellect comes to dominate over emotions and not the other way round as is the case with nationalism.

10.  Islam and nationalism are two opposite poles

Simple patriotic sentiments, so long as they do not contravene the higher conviction of man is permissible in Islam, like the affection one feels towards one’s father, son and family. But nationalism does not stop at simple sentiments. It is a socio-political creed and an actual way of life which aims at controlling man’s individual and social conduct. Islam, too, being a school having its own independent, spiritual, practical, political and social system and comprising a particular set of beliefs, it naturally comes into conflict with the school of nationalism.

Unlike other religions such as Christianity, Buddhism etc, Islam is not confined to religious rites and metaphysical convictions. Had Islam been only a religion of devotions, it might have agreed with nationalism. But Islam is a religion with a social and philosophical worldview, and provides for economic and political principles. Nationalism, too, has its own social and political principles based however on different beliefs and criteria. Therefore, conflict between Islam and nationalism is inevitable. The Islamic ideology is not compatible with any other ideology on the question of sovereignty over the private and social life of Muslims. A Muslim cannot at the same time be a Muslim and a polytheist, or a Muslim and communist. In Islam, there is no room for one to be a loyal and genuine nationalist. It is a question of identity, and one negates the other.

Nationalism is incompatible with Islam, both schools having two opposite ideologies. These two assume two totally opposite poles in their spirit, essence, direction and goal.

Nationalism attaches value only to the historical traditions, culture, civilization, ideas and historical figures of its own nation, but Islam’s vision goes beyond the frontier, race, tribe and nation.  Musa (alayhissalaam) (Moses), Nabi ‘Eesa (alayhissalaam) (Jesus) , and Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) are considered as belonging to all mankind. Islam wishes all nations to regard the Qur’an as their Book, and the Ka’aba as their Qibla.

It is very hard for nationalism to accept this view. According to its limited vision, it considers the entry of Islam as a transgression or as something dangerous. It associates the nation to Cyrus and Darius, not to Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). It intends to revive its ancient past which Islam calls paganism. Islam curses the Pharaoh, but Egyptian nationalism makes him a national hero to be worshipped.

The logical result of this attitude is to revive national creeds. It is not surprising that during the nationalistic regime of Pahlavi, the creeds of Zoroastrianism and Baha’ism which were regarded as Iranian faiths, were encouraged by the regime. In the time of Hitler’s domination over Germany, Nazi thinkers belonged to one of the two following groups: one group considered Christ as a Palestinian Jewish descendant and thus rejected Christianity, and the other group turned to Christianity and wanted to prove that Christ was not Palestinian, but of the Nordic race.

Islam says that all the Muslims in the world are members of the same body and all Arab, non-Arab, Turk, Afghan, Indian, black, white and yellow belong to one ummah in their belief. But nationalism considers the religious solidarity of a country with other nations as a danger for national and tribal identity.

Thus, nationalism’s vision about society and politics is quite opposite to that of Islam, and these two cannot go together. That’s why the nationalists of other Islamic lands regard separation from Islam a condition for nationalism to succeed, even if they do not utter it. Their acts reveal their hatred towards those who seek Islam.

Nationalism is based on giving authenticity to racial and national units. It divides human society into limited and independent units according to geographical boundaries or factors of race, language, history, political organization etc., and considers all others outside these units as aliens, and very often encourages hostility between them. Nationalism does not address the whole of humanity, but restricts itself to national units, and its goal is the establishment of national states, not a universal society.

But Islam addresses all of mankind as a single unit. Its system is not for a nation, a race, a special region, but for the whole human society. Those who accept this system are regarded as equals and brothers, and have equal rights and duties in devotion, politics, economy and social life. The ultimate goal of Islam is to establish a universal monotheistic society which goes beyond geographical, racial, lingual and cultural boundaries, and joins them all in one community. Islam condemns the division of mankind on the basis of blood and territory in national and racial units, and grants no authenticity to national and racial differences. Its only test of individual worth is chastity, belief, faith and good deeds. The Quran emphasizes the universal unity of mankind:

 “O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) He created his wife [Hawwa (Eve)], and from them both He created many men and women.” (Qur’an 4:1)

Differences in race, tribe, nation and family have no legal authenticity and they are not the basis of unity or criteria of superiority and inferiority. They are only the means of facilitating human relations:

 “O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you with Allâh is that (believer) who has At-Taqwa” (Qur’an 49:13)

Thus, divisions into tribes and groups is for the purpose of knowing one another better, not for taking pride, showing love or hate, seeking superiority or engaging in disputes. The only criteria are faith, belief and chastity.

There is not a single verse in the Qur’an concerning the authenticity of nationality and division of mankind on the basis of land and blood. The Qur’an calls all men to kindness and happiness, not to national and racial privileges.

Nationalism believes the country to be the focus of loyalty while Islam believes God and His religion should be this focus. As the Quran says:

“The command (or the judgement) is for none but Allâh. He has commanded that you worship none but Him;” (Qur’an 12:40)

In nationalism, deep affection to’ one’s country is a basis, whereas in Islam, the basis is belief in God and absolute loyalty to Him.

“You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help” (Qur’an 1:5)

Nationalism aims at having man given the greatest share of his loyalty and affection to the country, and to even subordinate the loyalty to God to the love of the nation. This in itself is a kind of polytheism.
To nationalism, what matters the most is national interests, whether from an individual or social point of view, but in Islam it is love of God and divine injunctions. Love and hate, friendship and enmity, war and peace are all for the sake of God and His religion. No other factor is of importance.

“Say (O Muhammad Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam): “Verily, my Salât (prayer), my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allâh, the Lord of the ‘Alamîn (mankind, jinn and all that exists) ;” (Qur’an 6:162)

In nationalism, sovereignty belongs to the nation and the criterion is national interests. But in Islam, God is the sovereign, and no other factor is of significance before His laws.
“So the judgement is only with Allâh, the Most High, the Most Great!” (Qur’an 40:12)

Nationalism considers all people in a country as compatriots and those of other nations even if they are Muslims as foreigners. Islam believes in the contrary: All relationships, even that of a son, father, wife, husband, are subordinated to belief, and those who do not believe in the school are aliens in spite of their close relationships:

“O you who believe! Take not for Auliyâ’ (supporters and helpers) your fathers and your brothers if they prefer disbelief to Belief. And whoever of you does so, then he is one of the Zâlimûn (wrong-doers).” (Qur’an 9:23)

11.  The Prohibition of Nationalism in Islam

Nationalism is a concept alien to Islam because it calls for unity based on family and tribalistic ties, whereas Islam binds people together on the ‘aqeedah, that is, belief in

Allah and His Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). In other words, Islam calls for the ideological bond.

Grouping together on tribalistic lines is clearly forbidden. It is narrated by Abu Dawud  that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said:

He is not one of us who calls for ‘asabiyyah, (nationalism) or who fights for ‘asabiyyah or who dies for ‘asabiyyah.

And in another hadith, the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) describes the one who calls for  nationalism as being like the worm that crawls in the bottom of the dung, and in the hadith recorded in Mishkat al-Masabih, the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said:

He who calls for ‘asabiyyah is as if he bit his father’s genitals

There are many examples in the seerah where the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) had rebuked those who upheld nationalism. On one occasion a party of Jews conspired to bring about disunity in the ranks of the Muslims after seeing the ‘Aus and Khazraj within Islam. A youth from amongst them was sent to incite remembrance of the battle of Bu’ath where the ‘Aus had been victorious over the Khazraj, and he recited poetry to bring about division between them. As a result there was a call to arms. When the news reached the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), he said:

O Muslims, remember Allah, remember Allah. Will you act as pagans while I am present with you after Allah has guided you to Islam, and honoured you thereby and made a clean break with paganism; delivered you thereby from disbelief; made you friends thereby?

When they heard this they wept, and embraced each other. This incident clearly highlights how the messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) rebuked any forms of tribalism. Allah  then revealed,

“O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared and die not except in a state of Islam. And hold fast together all of you to the rope of Allah, and be not divided among yourselves; and remember with gratitude Allah’s favours on you; for you were enemies and He joined your hearts in love, so that by His Grace you became brothers; and you were on the brink of the pit of fire, and He saved you from it. Thus Allah make His signs clear to you that you may be guided.” [Qur’an 3:102-103]

It is transmitted by at-Tabarani and al-Hakim that in one incident some people spoke very lowly about Salman al-Farsi (radhiyallahu anhu). They spoke of the inferiority of the Persian in relation to the Arabs, and upon hearing this the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasalla ) declared, “Salman belongs to ahl al-bayt (the Prophet’s family).” This statement of the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) disassociates all links based on lineage and tribal considerations.

It is also transmitted, in two different versions, by Ibn al-Mubarak (rahimahullah) in his two books, Al- Birr and As-Salah, that some disagreement occurred between Abu Dharr and Bilal (radhiyallahu anhum) and Abu Dharr (radhiyallahu anhi) said to Bilal (radhiyallahu anhu), “You son of a black woman.” The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was extremely upset by Abu Dharr’s (radhiyallahu anhu) comment, so he (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) rebuked him by saying, “That is too much, Abu Dharr. He who has a white mother has no advantage which makes him better than the son of a black mother.” This rebuke had a profound effect on Abu Dharr (radhiyallahu anhu), who then put his head on the ground swearing that he would not raise it until Bilal (radhiyallahu anhu) had put his foot over it.

The incidents above demonstrate that tribal ties have no place in Islam. Muslims are commanded to stick together and not to disassociate themselves from each other just because they comes from different tribes. The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) also said,

The Muslims are like a body, if one part of the body hurts, the rest of the body will also suffer

meaning that the Muslims, whether they are of Chinese, African, European or Asian origin, are one Ummah and they cannot be separated from each other. No tribalistic ties should ever break their unity.

Some people claim that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) approved of nationalism because during the migration to Madinah, he (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said about Makkah with tears in his mubarak eyes, “You are the most beloved land of Allah to me.” However, this saying has nothing to do with nationalism, and this can be seen from the full saying which people often do not quote, “You are the most beloved land of Allah to me because you are the most beloved land of Allah to Allah.” The Messenger of Allah’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) love for Makkah was based on the noble status that Allah has given to Makkah, and not because he (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was born there. All Muslims should have this love and affection for Makkah because it is the most beloved land in the sight of Allah. After all, the Muslims pray towards Makkah and go there to perform hajj there as it houses the Ka’ba. The above saying of the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) therefore has nothing to do with nationalism.

Not only does Islam forbid people from grouping on nationalistic ties, but it also prohibits the establishment of more than one state, whether these states are based on nationalism or otherwise. The only state that is allowed for the Muslims is the state of Islamic Shari’ah, which is a state that is governed exclusively by Islam. Allah addressed the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam),

“And rule between them by that which Allah revealed to you, and do not follow their vain desires away from the truth which came to you” [Qur’an 5:48]

and,

“And rule between them by that which Allah revealed to you and do not follow their whims, and beware (be on the alert) that they may deviate you away from even some part of what Allah revealed to you.” [Qur’an 5:49]

The speech of Allah  to the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhu wasallam) is a speech to his  Ummah unless specific evidence comes to restrict this. In this case, there is no such restriction, and so it becomes obligatory for the Muslims to rule according to Islam. And ruling according to Islam leaves no room for nationalistic constitutions whatsoever because what is applied, and what forms the criteria for judgement, is the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallan).

Ruling according to Islam can only be achieved in one state, with Islamic Shariah. It is reported in Sahih Muslim that ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘As (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated that he heard the

Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhu wasallam) say,

He who gave the bay‘ah to an Imam, giving him the clasp of his hand and the fruit of his heart has to obey him as long as he can. If another comes to dispute with him (his authority) strike the neck of that person.”

Abu Said al-Khudri (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said,

If a bay‘ah is taken for two Khaleefahs, kill the latter one.”

And ‘Arafaja (radhiyallahu anhu) said that he heard the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) say,

If someone comes to you when you are united over one man and wants to break your strength and divide your unity, kill him.

This unity of the Muslims was clearly highlighted in the document that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) wrote when he established the Islamic Statw in Madinah. In this document, which was to regulate the relationships of Muslims and non-Muslims in the Islamic State, the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said regarding the Muslims, “Allah’s covenant amongst them is one” and “Believers are brothers to the exclusion of others” and “The peace of the believers is indivisible. No separate peace shall be made when believers are fighting in the way of Allah.” These statements serve to indicate that Muslims are one body and they are not to be treated separately.

Furthermore, the obligation for having one state, and not many nationalistic states, also comes from the Ijma’ of the Sahabah. When the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) left this world, the Sahabah convened to discuss the appointment of the Khaleefah in the courtyard of Bani Sa‘ida. One person had proposed that the Ansar should elect their own amir and the Muhajireen their own, but Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated the hadith that forbids the Ummah from having more then one leader. So the Sahabah never allowed more than one ruler and their consensus is a legitimate evidence for us.

Islam therefore leaves no room for the Saudi state, an Egyptian state, or a Pakistani state. Islam calls for one state with one ruler where all Muslims are tied together by the ‘aqeedah of Islam. And this is a matter decided by Islam to which we must submit to, for Allah says,

  “It is not for a believer (male or female) that when Allah and His Messenger have decided a matter that they should have any choice in the matter.” [Qur’an 33:36]

And those who still uphold nationalism, remember what Allah  says,

“Those who oppose Allah’s order have to be warned that a calamity may strike them or a painful doom may fall upon them.” [Qur’an 24:63]

Traditions of the Prophet are Indispensable to an Understanding of Qur’an

 [Maulana Najeeb Qasmi D.B]             
            
                 بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم

اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِيْن،وَالصَّلاۃ وَالسَّلامُ عَلَی النَّبِیِّ    الْکَرِيم وَعَلیٰ آله وَاَصْحَابه اَجْمَعِيْن۔

Qur’an:  It is the Holy Book which All Almighty revealed to his last prophet for the guidance of the mankind so that he could explain its ordinances and teachings to them by his words and deeds.

Traditions: Traditions of the prophet [Ahadeeth] refer to the sayings, pronouncements, attributes, and practices of the prophet as narrated by his companions or by his holy consorts. They also include his acquiescence in acts done by his companions within his knowledge.

Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was the First Interpreter of Qur’an: It is evident from the nature of Qur’an and Hadeeth that the person who was the recipient of wahy was the person eminently fit for interpreting the gospel in the first instance. So how can we understand the Qur’an without a reference to his words and deeds? Allah Almighty Himself has pointed out this fact in the Qur’an. Suffice it to quote two Quranic ayats in this context:

” . . . and We have revealed unto you the Remembrance that you may explain to mankind that which has been revealed for them, and that haply they may reflect” [An-Nahl: 44].

“And We have revealed the Scripture unto you only that you may explain unto them that wherein they differ . . . .” [An-Nahl: 64].

In the above two verses Allah has amply clarified that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is the first exegist of the Holy Qur’an and that he has been obligated by Allah Almighty to explain all its ordinances and teachings explicitly to the Muslim community.  We, therefore, firmly believe that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) has discharged his obligation very well. The corpus of the sayings and practices of the prophet which has been transferred to us through the companions of the prophet and those succeeding them and those who succeeded them next constitutes the first compendium of the interpretation of Qur’an which is most authentic and most reliable. We, therefore, believe that no understanding of the Qur’an is possible without understanding the traditions of the prophet.

Obedience to Allah is Bound with Obedience to His Prophet

In numerous verses of the Qur’an obedience to Allah is enjoined along with obedience to the Messenger of Allah.  Sometimes believers are exhorted to obey the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). This is because the prophet is the carrier of the ordinances of Allah. Without the obedience of the prophet obedience of Allah is not possible. The commands and directions of the prophet have reached us through the compendium off the ahadeeth. If somebody callously denies the authenticity or non-binding character of the ahadeeth he is guilty of demolishing hundreds of ayaat which enjoins the obedience of the prophet. In other words he is saying that what God Almighty has ordered us, that is obedience of the prophet is beyond our competence.

In Ayat 80 of Surah An-Nisa God Almighty has explicitly proclaimed that “One who obeyed the prophet he surely obeyed Allah”.

Similarly in Ayat 31 of Surah Al Imran God Almighty has equated obedience off the prophet to the love of God:  “Say: If you love God then follow me. Allah will love you and forgive all of your sins.”

Allah has promised eternal paradise as a reward for obedience of Allah and his prophet and warned of hell for those who disobey Allah and his prophet: “These are the limits [prescribed by] Allah. Whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger, He will make him enter Paradise underneath which rivers flow, where they will dwell forever. That will be the great success. And whosoever disobeys Allah and His messenger and transgresses His limits, He will make him enter Fire, where he will dwell for ever; his will be a shameful doom” [An-Nisa: 13-14].

Allah has made Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) an exemplar till the end of the world. That is, the sum of the sayings and practices of the prophet as preserved in the form ofahadeeth is a good example to be emulated by the true believers. “Verily in the Messenger of Allah you have a good example for him who looks unto Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much” [Al-Ahzaab: 21].

Obligation of Obedience of the Prophet according to Traditions

The head of all prophets and the last messenger Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) himself has emphasized the obligation of obeying Qur’an along with following the traditions of the prophet. Obedience of the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is impossible without knowledge of the pronouncements and practices of the prophet.  Almost all collections of ahadeeth are replete with statements of the prophet exhorting to his obedience. Out of them only three are quoted here:

The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said: “One who obeyed me obeyed Allah and one who disobeyed me disobeyed Allah [Bukhari; Muslim].The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) pronounced: “If I forbid you from doing something desist from it; and when I order you to do something do it to the best of your ability” [Bukhari; Muslim].The Messenger of Allah aphorized: “All members of my community shall enter paradise except those who refuse it“. He was asked O Messenger of Allah who can refuse entry into paradise? He replied: Those who obey me shall enter paradise and those who disobeyed me they refused (to enter paradise) [Bukhari; Muslim].

Consensus of the Community on Obedience of the Prophet

Following the example of the companions of the Prophet during his life time and after his demise, the Islamic community has evolved a consensus on the obligatory nature of following the teachings of the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) because the companions first tried to find the solution of their problems in the Qur’an then in the traditions (hadith) of His prophet. On this basis the great majority of Muslim theologians have identified two types of wahy:

Wahy matlu [recited revelation, i.e. the Quran proper]. And Wahy ghair matlu [non-recited revelation, i.e. the words of the prophet which though spoken by the prophet nevertheless express the divine intents].

Verses 3-4 of Surah An-Najm speak: “He does not speak at his liking; it is but an inspiration that is inspired.”  In the same way Ayat 129 of Al-Baqarah pronounces: “O Creator of us raise a messenger among them from among themselves who recites to them Your verses and teaches them the Book and wisdom and purifies them.”  Here the Book means Qur’an and wisdom means the sayings of the prophet.

Generality of Qur’anic Ordinances

It is a feature of the Qur’an that its ordinances have been laid down in general and abstract terms.  Even the four pillars of Islam – – salat, siyamzakat, and hajj have been prescribed but their details have not been elaborated.  Now who fills the gap?? For this purpose Allah deputes His messengers to the mankind so that they would elaborate and clarify the ordinances of Allah though their own words and deeds. For instance, Qur’an in many places prescribes qiamruku‘, and sujud.  However, the details of performance of salat have been provided nowhere. Similarly zakat has been made obligatory but the quantum of zakat and other particulars have not been mentioned. All such details have been laid down by the teachings and practices of the prophet.  It follows that if we don’t acknowledge the Sunnah of the prophet as the first and basic source of interpretation of the Qur’an most of the Qur’anic ordinances will become abstract and meaningless. The abstract is operationalized by means ofahadeeth. It follows that Quran can neither be understood nor implemented except through the medium of ahadeeth.

Similarly, in Surah Al-Jum’uah there is a general direction that whenever a call for the salat of Jum’uah is given leave sale and purchase of goods and hurry up to remembrance of Allah. It is only instructions of the prophet that govern the arrangements for the salat of Jum’uah.

In addition many questions relating to Quran have been settled by hadeeth.  Therefore, it is impossible to understand Quran without hadeeth.

A Clarification

Allah has directed us to reflect over Qur’an. But this reflection ought to be done in the light of the words and deed of the first interpreter of the Qur’an Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). On many occasions Allah has directed his messenger to clarify the scripture to the people. It is our firm belief that the prophet has discharged his duty very well. However, it is regretted that some people have declared some ahadeeth interpreting the Qur’an as “weak” and discarding them impose their own arbitrary opinions. This is wrong and unjustified. We must certainly deliberate into and reflect over the Qur’an deeply but not at the expense of ahadeeth. We ought to make an allowance for weak ahadeeth if they are helpful in clarifying problems.  Solutions of the new issues and problems must be found in Qur’an but not by ignoring the supplement of the Quran viz. the ahadeeth of the prophet.

Fallacy I

A fallacy which needs to be demolished here is that some misguided people misinterpreting the wording of certain ayats for instance “Clarification for all things” [An-Nahl: 89] or “Details for all things” [Al-An’am: 154] assert that the solution of every problem is present in the Qur’an and that there is no need at all to take ahadeeth into account.

This is a fallacy which must be combated. On the one hand, it is enjoined on innumerable occasions that people obey Allah and His messenger even obedience of the messenger has been equated with the obedience of Allah. But on the other hand there is provision proclaiming that only Qur’an should be taken into account and nothing else. Had it been so there was no need to impose the obligation of obedience of the prophet.

Fallacy II

Some misguided people taking into account the controversies among the experts on ahadeeth and the jurists regarding the unreliability of certain categories of ahadeeth or non-credibility of certain narrators of ahadeeth have taken a stand on the unreliability of the entire corpus of ahadeeth. This is another fallacy which needs to be demolished.

Such misguided persons must know that Allah has promised to preserve his book till the end of the world. At the same time, Allah has also placed the mission of clarifying and elaborating the Shari’ah on the shoulders of his messenger, which mission he has accomplished with remarkable success. It follows that just as the gospel is preserved for ever similarly the traditions of the prophet supportive of the Hadith shall be preserved for ever, Allah- willing. The preservation of Qur’an does not mean merely preservation of the letter of Qur’an shorn of its meaning.  If the letter remains and meaning is lost then the whole purpose of transmission of Qur’an is lost.

I pray to Allah to enable us to lead our lives in accordance with Qur’an and Sunnah. Aameen!