Archive | May, 2008

Bida’aa

27 May

“Hold onto the rope of Allah, and do not be divided amongst yourselves” [EMQ 3:103]

We have been ordered to hold onto the rope of Allah (swt), and once we have it, we must unite upon it. Many today are uniting upon nationalism, tribalism etc. – everyone has there own ism to unite upon. But Allah (swt) has rejected all unities, except the one that is based on His Rope, which is the Qur’an and the Sunnah. This ittisaam is from Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah and is very important for us to possess, for there is an aim for the ummah and as an individual, which is to follow the Messenger Muhammad [saw]. Unless the individual holds onto the rope of Allah (swt), he will never be able to follow the Messenger Muhammad (saw). For example, the Sufis, Barelvis etc, all say that they follow the way of the Messenger Muhammad (saw), yet they do not hold onto the Rope. So no matter how hard they try, it will never be accepted from them, because in order for your deeds to be accepted, two conditions must prevail. The objective must firstly be to hold on fast to the Rope of Allah (swt), by following the Qur’an and Sunnah, and also hifz ud deen- the protection of the deen. There is no way to protect the deen unless we hold on to the Rope of Allah (swt). Just look around. Muslims are being attacked everywhere and the Muslim lands are occupied, simply because Muslims are not holding onto the rope of Allah (swt).

‘Do not take the disbelivers as your auliyah. They are but supporters of one another, and anyone who does take them as supporters, he is one of them’. [EMQ 5:51]

So it is very important for us to hold onto the Rope of Allah (swt), and this is manifested in many degrees. Firstly, we must close the door to innovation as it will lead to the Hellfire. The Prophet (saw) told us to beware of innovation even before it comes near us, so that we can reject it and close the door that leads to it.

The Salaf were asked, which was worse; bid’ah or sin? They replied that when a person does a sin, he knows it is wrong and will repent from it if he is sincere and knows in his heart that what he is doing is wrong. But when a person does what is bid’ah he does it sincerely in their heart thinking that he is doing good, so how will he seek forgiveness for it?

The Messenger Muhammad (saw) said that every bid’ah is dalalah [misguidance] and every dalalah leads to hellfire. He said there will be a lot of havoc and many divisions because people will begin making decisions from their desires. Bid’ah is anything added onto the deen, or taken away from the deen, or distorted in the Shariah. ibn Abbas (ra) narrated that the Messenger Muhammad [saw] said, ‘A group of my ummah will be dragged towards the left, I will say that they are my Companions’ [Usayhabi: not the general companions, but those in his time who met him (saw)]. You did not know what they invented after you. He (saw) quoted. “Never did I say to them aught except what You did command me to say: ‘Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.’ And I was a witness over them while I dwelt amongst them, but when You took me up, You were the Watcher over them, and You are a Witness to all things.’ (EMQ 5: 117)

The Messenger Muhammad (saw) would call them Usayhabi, but they were actually murtadeen because at that time there were many who would reject the revelation when it was conveyed e.g. they didn’t give the zakah. At that time they only refused the zakah, but look today how many rules have been rejected, and changing and innovating in the deen is the greatest cause of fitna and a cause of apostasy.

Make not the calling of the Messenger among you as your calling of one another. Allah knows those of you who slip away under shelter. And let those who oppose the Messenger’s commandment (among the sects) beware, lest some Fitnah befall them or a painful torment be inflicted on them. [EMQ 24: 63]

And from those who call themselves Christians, We took their covenant, but they have abandoned a good part of the Message that was sent to them. So We planted amongst them enmity and hatred till the Day of Resurrection, and Allah will inform them of what they used to do. [EMQ 5: 14]

In this verse Allah (swt) talks about the People of the Book who committed a great bid’ah in their time and were punished, and He (swt) put enmity between them i.e. today, if someone is a Hannafi, they won’t let their daughter marry a Shafi’ and this is one of the sicknesses we suffer. We need to now ask ourselves that if we are Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah how can we block the doors of innovation rather than closing them? On the Day of Judgment, Allah (swt) won’t account us if we successfully change our reality, but we will be asked about our duties. Imam Bukhari said in his Kitaab ul Itisaam: “Block the doors of innovation by constantly speaking about it and continue warning others about it”.

So whatever the bid’ah is, Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah will always speak about it so that others are warned and are aware of it. As far as bid’ah is concerned, just like the kufr and shirk, it as two types; bid’ah, akbar (which makes the person) murtad; and bid’ah asghar, which leads towards bid’ah akbar. So we should follow the ulema and not the ignorant; we must expose any false analogies and opinions, such as those that say that voting is allowed – the evil analogy has been condemned in the Qur’an. The first of creation ever to make a false and evil analogy was Iblis who said that he was made from the fire and Adam was made from clay, thus refusing to obey Allah (swt), but he was from among the losers. We must expose ourselves; if we are about to do a sin, we must expose ourselves and not blame the deen and engage in matters of exaggeration and dwelling deep into things. The Shariah doesn’t talk about certain matters, nor do we need to talk about it, but people wish to dig deep, but this deepness is too much, questioning everything, digging deep into matters and by doing this, people will enter into innovation.

Jundub Ibn Abdullah narrated that the Messenger Muhammad (saw) said, ‘Read the Qur’an as long as your heart is close to each other, if you differ, leave it and leave the Qur’an, because that is what will cause dispute’.(Sahih Bukhari)

A group of Sahabah mentioned an ayah from the Qur’an and started to argue until their voices had risen. The Messenger Muhammad (saw) came out angrily, and threw sand at them saying, ‘Take it easy people, slow down!’ His face was red by this time. He said, ‘It is by this that many nations before were destroyed. They differed among each other about their nabi, and argued about their books and made contradictions between the ayah. The Qur’an never came down to negate anything, rather it came down to support the other. Whatever you know, act upon it and whatever you are ignorant about, refer it back to the aalim.’

So don’t argue for the sake of arguing; rather refer to the ulema when you are not sure about something. Allah (swt) said, ‘They are not equal, those who know and those who dont know’. Although people may have legitimate arguments, one person may have an argument, and the other says that it is not allowed. It is allowed to debate like this provided that the arguments are based on evidence. The whole point of debating is for the haq to prevail, and not for the sake of arguing.

Truly, the religion with Allah is Islam. Those who were given the Scripture did not differ except, out of mutual jealousy, after knowledge had come to them. And whoever disbelieves in the Ayah of Allah, then surely, Allah is Swift in calling to account’ [EMQ 3: 19]

It is forbidden to follow or imitate the Kuffar and take your Deen from them. Allah (swt) says:
O you who believe! If you obey those who disbelieve, they will send you back on your heels, and you will turn back (from Faith) as losers. [EMQ 3: 149]

When a person starts to obey and refer to the disbelievers, they will naturally refer to organisations like the MCB, who have become the voice the eyes the ears of the non-Muslims.

Never will the disbelievers be pleased with you till you follow their religion. Say: “Verily, the Guidance of Allah that is the (only) Guidance. And if you were to follow their desires after what you have received of Knowledge then you would have against Allah neither any Walî nor any helper. [EMQ 2:120]

Allah (swt) is telling us that once we have established the Haq, we must never turn to the kuffar

O you who believe! Take not as Bitânah those outside your religion since they will not fail to do their best to corrupt you. They desire to harm you severely. Hatred has already appeared from their mouths, but what their breasts conceal is far worse. Indeed We have made plain to you the Ayah if you understand. [EMQ 3:118]

Abu Saeed Al-Khidri narrated that the Messenger Muhammad (saw) said, ‘You are going to imitate the people before you arm by arm, hand-span by hand-span until you enter the lizard’s hole’. The Sahabah asked if it was the Yahoodi wal Nasaar and He (saw) replied, ‘Who else?’ (Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim)

Imaam Ahmed Ibn Hanbal narrated from Abdullah Ibn Omar (ra) that the Messenger Muhammad (saw) said ‘Whoever imitates a people he is part of them’.

So how have the people followed the kuffar? They celebrate the birthdays of their Prophets, just as the kuffar do. They build places of worship over graves, and take their Sheikh’s word over the word of Allah (swt), just like the kuffar took their priests and rabbis as their Lords; the kuffar call for democracy as do the Muslims; they call for interfaith, as do the Muslims, and the kuffar have an organisation called Christian Aid – Muslims have Muslim Aid

In conclusion, there are a few things that we can do, in order to make the haq prevail and for the bid’ah to be exposed. They are as follows:
1. Stop bid’ah
2. Stop the jaahil from being in charge
3. Encourage the ulema
4. Expose false analogies.
5. Stop exaggerating in the deen
6. Stop people from bickering and arguing

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Great Islamic Achievments

25 May

For 1302 years, the Ottoman Empire extended from the Atlantic Ocean in the West to the borders of China in the East, and of all the colonial empires that existed, the French, the Dutch, the Spanish, the German and even the British, the Ottoman Empire was the most advanced of all.

Its driving force was the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Messenger Muhammad (saw), according to the understanding of the Sahabah, which obliges Muslims to seek knowledge and simultaneously make people aware of this knowledge

“And recite what has been revealed to you of the Book of your Lord, there is none who can alter His words; and you shall not find any refuge besides Him.” [EMQ 18:27]

When one thinks of an Islamic State, the image of poverty, illiteracy and barbarism comes to mind – a view that is quite widespread today, Thus, it is quite difficult to imagine that such an ‘outdated’ regime that ruled for so long could ever flourish.

However, if we look to history, it is evident that the Ottoman Empire was once indeed prosperous and thrived in education and modernity. This leaflet will highlight just a handful of such successes in order to understand how the Empire was a vital catalyst towards society as it stands today.

Arabic, the language of Islam, became the international language of learning, with millions of works translated into modern languages such as Latin and English.

Medicine was the most common field of interest amongst the scientists, some of whom were scholars. Amongst them were:

Abu Musa Jabir in Haiyyan (Geber) [also known as the Father of Chemistry]. He excelled in chemistry (which is derived from the Arabic word ‘al-Kimya’), pharmacy, philosophy and was renowned astronomer, engineer, physician and physicist.

His works include:
 The study of numerous applied sciences
 The discovery of processes such as evaporation and crystallisation
 He was able to classify materials into three substances – spirits, metals (gold, silver, lead) and compounds (groups of two or more elements that are bonded together), very similar to the Periodic Table that is used in schools today
 He invented numerous important processes that are used in modern chemistry today such as hydrochloric and nitric acids and distillation that are now the foundations of chemistry and chemical engineering. He invented aqua regia, one of the few substances that can dissolve gold.
 He is also credited with the discovery of both citric and acetic acid.
 He discovered the method to prevent rust, how to engrave gold, dyeing and waterproofing cloth and tanning leather.

Mohammad ibn al Khawarizmi a mathematician, astronomer and geographer was the founder of algebra, (the word ‘Algebra’ comes from the word ‘al Jabr’ meaning ‘binding together’). It was the first book ever that dealt with the linear and quadratic equations. His work paved the way for trigonometry and he founded the study of modern arithmetic such as decimals and fractions that we study today, and until the Sixteenth Century, his works were used as a point of reference in universities all over the world.

In geography, he compiled a book called Kitab Surat al Ard, (only one copy of this book exists in the Strasbourg University Library in France). It consists of a list of latitudes and longitudes in each weather zone

Bin Rabban was amongst the founders of the study of the body i.e. biology. He studied and classified all the diseases of the bodily organs such as that of the heart, lungs, liver and kidneys

He wrote a book entitled Firdous al Hikmat, which was the first ever Medical encyclopaedia and incorporated all the branches of medicinal science as it is today. Some of the topics in this book are:
 Diseases of the head and brain
 Muscular diseases (paralysis and spasm),
 Different kinds of fever,
 The examination of the pulse and urine (this part is the largest in the book and is almost half the size of the whole book),
 The description of flavour, taste and colour, and drugs and poison

Abu al-Qasim Al-Zahrawi (Albucasis) was known as the Father of Surgery. His book, Kitab ul Tasrih became extremely popular in the West. It covered a wide range of topics, including surgery, medicine, orthopaedics, ophthalmology, nutrition and pharmacology. In this latter section, he covers areas such as cardiac drugs, laxatives, weights and measures and drug substitution.

He also discovered the causes and symptoms of diseases and invented the process of tablet-making.

His work on various operations spanned many subjects, ranging from cauterisation, bloodletting, midwifery, obstetrics and the treatments of wounds. He spoke about the extraction of cataracts from the eyes, as well as extensive work on injuries to bones and joints, even mentioning fractures of the nasal bones and of vertebrae. He described the removals of tonsils, tracheotomy and craniotomy.

He was an expert in dentistry and developed the technique of preparing artificial teeth and in medicine he was the first to describe the disease of haemophilia, a blood disorder most common in men.

Imam ibn Zakaria ar-Razi (Rhazes) was known as the Head of Physicians. He compiled twenty volumes of books about the basis of medicines, and his book, Kitab al Asar, was the chief source of chemical knowledge at his time.

He was the first to write articles on allergies and discovered hay fever and that fever is a natural defense mechanism, the body’s way of fighting disease.

A bulletin in 1970 by the World Health Organisation (WHO) commented on his work stating: His writings on Smallpox and Measles show originality and accuracy and his essay on infectious diseases was the first scientific document on the subject.

Ibn Sina (Avicenna) wrote a book entitled al-Qanoon [The Cannon] which listed over 760 drugs and medicines and was the main source of guidance at his time. It enlisted the nature of contagious diseases, the spread of disease via water and soil. It discovered the cause of meningitis, the mannerisms of the spread of epidemics and the contagious nature of tuberculosis.

Imam ibn Haytham (Alhazen) excelled in the study of the eyes and that of motion
He made significant contribution in optics, anatomy, maths, engineering, medicine, ophthalmology, physics, psychology, visual perception and science. He invented the camera and laid the foundations for microscopic work.

Complicated eye surgery had been carried out in the Islamic State 600 years before it had even been contemplated in Europe.

Other scientist and scholars who excelled in their relative spheres were:
 Arib in Sa’ad al-Katib of Cordoba in gynaecology
 Ali ibn Isa in ophthalmology
 Ibn Nafi’ in blood circulation
 Al-Khazini in gravity

Aside of the achievements of these scientists and scholars, the environment within the Islamic State was also very advanced, in comparison to the rest of the world at that time. By the Tenth Century, with Cordoba in Spain as it’s Capital, the Islamic State already consisted of:

 Sanitation
 Pavements
 Street lights
 300 public baths
 Parks
 100,000 houses,
 Police stations
 70 libraries, each containing at least half a million books – all the libraries in France combined did not possess this many books.
 The use of paper was discovered 200 years before it had been in Europe, and the State itself had many paper mills and paper banks.
 Education was free under the Islamic State
 In the field of mathematics, difficult equations had been solved by the Tenth Century, and in science, gravity, blood circulation and the laws of motion had all been discussed in some way or another.

A famous historian of science, George Sarton once stated:
The mission of mankind is accomplished by Muslims. The greatest mathematicians, Abul Kamil and Ibrahim ibn Sina, geographer and encyclopaedist al-Masudi, and the greatest historian, at-Tabari were all Muslim.

So it is clear from these very few examples that much of society that we witness today is nothing other than the legacy of Islam and the Muslims. Muslims throughout history have endeavoured to succeed in the betterment of society whether it be in the field of education or in that of the environment. Either way, it poses the question that, had the Muslims not contributed to society in the way that they had, would we even have had this piece of paper in the form that it is today?