Wednesday, October 15, 2014

MUBAHELA

In the early days of Islam, Najran was a big center of learning whose inhabitants were idol-worshipers. Subsequently, they accepted Christianity as their religion. Najran is in Saudi Arabia, south of Jiddah. The Noble Prophet (s.a.w.a.s.) had sent letters to the heads of different countries inviting them to Islam. One such letter was sent to the Christians of Najran.
It read as follows:
In the name of the God of Ibrahim, Ishaaq and Yaqoob. This letter is from Muhammad, the Prophet and Messenger of                                                         Allah to the Bishop of Najran.
Praise be to the God of Ibrahim, Ishaaq, and Yaqoob. I invite you to worship Allah instead of His servants. I invite you to come out of the rule of servants of Allah and into the rule of Allah Himself.
It is also stated that the Noble Prophet (s.a.w.a.s.) included the following Ayah of the Glorious Qur’an:
“Say, (O’Muhammad) O People of the Book (Bible), come to an agreement between us and you; that we shall worship none but Allah and that we shall claim no partner to Him, and that none of us shall take others for lords besides Allah” And if they turn away, then say, “Bear witness that we are Muslims (those who have surrendered to Allah).
This was the event of 10 A.H. Sixty learned priests headed by their chief monk priest, Abdul Masih came to Madinah and went straight to meet the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.s.) dressed in silken clothes. The Prophet did not like their attire and turned his face away from them. The Commander of the faithful, Maula Mushkil-Kusha came to their rescue and advised them to dress in simple clothes. When they returned wearing simple clothes, the Prophet warmly welcomed them.
 Following conversation took place:
The Holy Prophet: I invite you to the belief of Tauheed and the worship of one God and submission to His will. (Then he recited Ayah 64 of Surah Aale Imran.)
Abdul Masih: If Islam means faith in one God of the universe, we already believe in Him and follow His commands.
The Holy Prophet: Islam has a few other signs and some of your actions show that you have not accepted true Islam. How do you claim worship of one God when you worship the cross and do not abstain from eating pork and believe that God has a son?
Abdul Masih: Certainly he [Isa (a.s.)] was the son of God because his mother Mary [Mariyam (s.a.)] had given birth to him without marrying anyone in the world. Therefore, obviously his father is the God of this universe. And also because he used to bring dead back to life, cure the sick and create birds from clay and make them fly. It shows that he is God.
The Holy Prophet: No, he was the servant and creature of God, and placed in the womb of his mother Mariyam (s.a.). All his power and strength was granted to him by God.
At this time, Archangel Jibra’eel brought the following Ayah 59 of Surah Ale Imran:
“Surely the example of Isa to Allah is like that of Adam; He created him from dust and the said to him, “Be” and he was”
It means that if Isa (a.s.) could be called the son of God because he was born without father, then Adam (a.s.) deserves this title more because he was born without a father and mother. The priests could not reply to this argument and continued to argue out of obstinacy.
Then the following Ayah 61 of Surah Ale Imran was revealed:
              “And whoever argue with you in this matter after what has come to you of knowledge then say,                 come, let us call our sons and your sons, and our women and your women, ourselves and                           yourselves, then let us humbly pray (to our Lord) and invoke the curse of Allah upon the liars” 
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) produced this verse before the priests and challenged for “Mubahela”. The priests consulted each other and accepted the challenge. It was agreed that the two parties' contest would take place the next day in the open desert outside Madinah. On 24th Zilhajj, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.s.) came out for Mubahela. He was holding Imam Hussayn (a.s.) in his arms, and held Imam Hasan (a.s.) by his hand, Lady of Paradise Hazrat Fatima Zahra (s.a.) was behind him, while the Lion of Allah, Imam Ali (a.s.) was behind her. The Noble Prophet (s.a.w.a.s.) said to them, “When I pray for curse of Allah, you should say Ameen”.
In compliance of the Ayah of Mubahela, the Noble Prophet (s.a.w.a.s.) brought Imam Hasan and Imam Husayn (a.s.) as his “SONS”, Hazrat Fatima Zahra (s.a.) in place of “WOMEN” while he could have brought three women, and Imam Ali (a.s.) as his “SELF “while the Ayah had the accommodation for three.
The priests, by seeing these shining faces emitting light, were spellbound. Their hearts trembled and they began to shake on seeing the light radiating from The Holy Panjetan (a.s.).
Their leader asked: “who are these persons who have come with Muhammad”
A man told their names and their relationship with the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.s.). He could no longer hold his patience and cried out:
“By God, I am seeing such faces that if they were to pray to God to move the mountain, God Almighty would move the mountain for them. O You People of Najran, if you contest with Muhammad in this prayer of invoking curses on the liars, then I warn you that all of you will be destroyed and not a single soul will remain on this earth. I feel that it would be better to surrender to them and obey them
After the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.s.) heard these words, he later remarked:
“By God, had the Christians of Najran contested with us, they would have been transformed into monkeys and swine. Fire would have rained over them”  
It is a historic event of a unique triumph of Islam. This event unquestionably established the truth about Islam and the spiritual purity of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). It proved beyond doubt as to who were the members of The House of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.s.) and their “unquestionable Truthfulness!”
There is a point to be remembered here that in Arabic language the plural tense is used for more than three. Allah had provided the place for three or more than three persons in the categories of “SONS”, “WOMEN”, and “SELVES”. But the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.s.) had to decide as to who were the persons who were “TRUTHFUL and never lied in their life time, because Mubahela would bring up Allah’s curse on the “LIARS”. It was a crucial test for IslamHence, he picked-up Imam Hasan (a.s.) and Imam Hussayn (a.s.); only two persons for the place in “SONS”. While in the place of “WOMEN”, he picked-up his daughter, The Lady of Paradise, Hazrat Fatima Zahra (s.a.). Similarly, in the place of “SELVES”, he picked up The Conqueror of Khyber, Imam Ali (a.s.).
After the sad demise of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.s.), when Hazrat Fatima Zahra (s.a.) claimed her gifted property of Fidak, which was given to her by her father, Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.s.). The Caliph did not accept her testimony, that of Imam Ali (a.s.) nor Imam Hasan (a.s.) and Imam Husayn (a.s.). These were the same Panjetan, whose Truthfulness was accepted by Allah on the eve of Mubahela!


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

STORIES OF PIOUS MEN

Martyr Ayatullah Mutaza Mutahhari (r.a.) has written many valuable books, among which is a book called “Dastan Rastan”. A few stories are reproduced below:
“The New Convert”
Two neighbors, a Muslim and a Christian, were on a friendly terms. They would exchange greetings, inquire about their health and family. The Muslim was a devout and religious man and would speak high of his religion. Consequently, the Christian friend embraced Islam. The night passed and it was nearing dawn. The Christian, the new convert, heard somebody ramming his door. Surprised and restless, he shouted “Who is it?” The reply came “I was so and so, who had the honor of converting him to Islam.” He said “What do you want at this late hour?” He said “Be quick, get ready to go to mosque for prayer.”
They were early for the morning prayers hence they performed recommended prayers till Fjar prayer. They performed Fajar Prayer. After that the Muslim friend forced him to read supplications. After that he told the new convert to fast because there were many benefits of fasting and also gave the Glorious Qur’an to recite. Then he urged the new convert to pray noon prayers in the mosque. Likewise, he convinced the new Muslim to pray Asr prayers also. He dragged the new convert to pray Maghreb and also Esha at the mosque.
Next day at the same hour of night, he heard a knock at the door. Reply came “I am so and so, your neighbor, get ready to go to mosque.”
“As soon as I returned from mosque last night, I resigned from your religion. Please go away and some other idle man, who has nothing to do in this world, so that, may be able to spend his whole time in the mosque. I am a poor man having a wife and children to feed. I should better go after my work to earn my livelihood.
“What did happen to your sons?”
After the martyrdom the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (a.s.), Muawiya met many of the sincere companions or followers and wanted to hear few words of regrets for supporting their Imam (a.s.). One day he met Adi, son of Hatim, the paramount chief of Tai tribe. He, his sons and his tribe were always ready to sacrifice everything for Imam Ali (a.s.). His three sons, Tarfa, Turaif, and Tarif, were martyred in Battle of Siffin, under the banner of Imam Ali (a.s.). Muawiya wanted to revive the sad memories of his sons and to make him confess how much harm had come to him in the friendship of Imam Ali (a.s.).
Muawiya said “What happened to your sons?” Adi replied “They were martyred in Siffin.”  
Muawiya “Ali did not do justice to you.” Adi said “I did not justice to Ali.”
Muawiya said “Why?” Adi replied “Because he was killed and I am still alive. I should have sacrificed myself in his life time.” Muawiya was not pleased to hear the reply. However, he asked Adi  to speak  about his Imam. Adi said:
                “By God, Ali was the most far-sighted and strong man. He was an ocean of knowledge                 and wisdom. He hated the worldly pomp and show, and liked the solitude of night. He                 wept more in love of Allah. He scrutinized his own self and like a simple life. Amongst                 us he was like one of us. If we requested Him for anything, he granted our request.                      When we visited him he made us sit near  him without  keeping any distance. His                          presence was so awe inspiring that we did not dare utter any words. He was so                              majestic that we could not look at him. He respected honest and pious people and                       was kind to indigent. Neither a strong man had a fear of injustice from him, nor a weak                 person ever, lost hope of his justice. By God, one night I saw him standing at his place               of worship, tears were rolling down on his face and beard, he was restless like snake-                   bitten person and was weeping like a  breaved person. I heard him addressing the                         world: “O World! You are coming towards me and wanted to lure me. Go deceive
              someone else. I have divorced you three times after which there is no return. Alas!                      The provision is too little, the journey is too long, and there is no companion.”
Muawiya said “Now tell me how do you feel without him?”
Adi replied “I feel like a mother whose dear-one is beheaded in her lap.”
Muawiya “Wouldn’t you ever forget him?”
Adi replied “Would the world allow me to forget him!”


Saturday, October 11, 2014

EID AL-GHADEER

Shia Muslims celebrate 5 Eids: Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Azha, Eid-e-Mubahela, Eid-e-Ghadeer,
Wedding of Lady of Paradise Hazrat Fatima Zahra (s.a.) and Commander of Faithfuls Imam Ali (a.s.).
Apart from these, the birth days of Chahardah Masoomeen are also days of rejoicings and celebrations are treated as Eids.
On the 18th day of Dhul-Hijjah 10 A.H. the Noble Prophet (s.a.w.a.s) was returning along with over 120,000 Muslims after performing last Hajj, when Archangel Jibra’il descended on earth and brought Sura al-Mai’dah Ayah 67, “O Apostle, deliver what has been sent down to you from your Lord, and if you don’t do it, you have not delivered His message (at all); and Allah will protect you from the people.” By this time, every command of Allah has been delivered and nothing was added after this day. A question arises in every mind as to why Allah was threatening His Messenger that if he did comply with the directive of Allah then it would liquidate his efforts of whole life. The Noble Prophet (s.a.w.a.s.) died about 70 days after the event of Ghadeer. The last sentence indicates that the Noble Prophet (s.a.w.a.s.) was apprehensive of the reaction of his people in delivering that message but Allah informed him not to worry, for He will protect His Messenger from the people!
The Noble Prophet (s.a.w.s.) spent about 5 hours at Ghadeer-e-Khumm in the scorching heat of Arabian Desert. He recited about 100 verses of the Holy Qur’an for about 3 hours. The Messenger declared “It seems the time approached when I shall be called away (by Allah) and I shall answer that call. I am leaving for you two precious things (thaqalayn) and if you adhere to them both, you will never go astray after me. They are the Book of Allah and my Progeny that is my Ahlul Bayt. The two shall never separate from each other until they come to me by the Pool of Kauthar (in Paradise)” Then the Messenger continued “Do I not have more right over the believers than what they have over themselves.” People cried and answered “Yes, O Messenger of God” Then followed the key sentence denoting the clear designation of Imam Ali (a.s.) as the Leader of Muslim ummah. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) held up the hand of Imam Ali (a.s.) and said “For whoever, I am his Leader (Maula), Ali is his Leader (Maula) .The Prophet continued
“O’God, love those who love him and be hostile to those who are hostile to him.”
Immediately the Prophet finished his speech, the following verse was revealed, Sura
Al-Ma'ida Ayah 3 “Today, I have perfected your religion, completed My favors to you, and have chosen Islam as your religion”. This verse clearly indicates that Islam, without clearing up matter of leadership after Prophet, was not complete, and completion of religion was due to the announcement of the Prophet’s immediate successor.
As soon as the Noble Prophet (s.a.w.a.s.) completed his sermon, Hassan Bin Thabit, the companion and poet of the Messenger of Islam asked for his permission to compose a few verses of poetry for the newly crowned successor Imam Ali (a.s.) for the audience. The Prophet said “Say, with the blessings of Allah”. Hassan stood up and said “O People of Quraysh, I follow with my words what preceded and witnessed by the Messenger of Allah. He then composed the following verses extempore:
            He calls them on the Day of Ghadeer, their Prophet
            In Khumm so hear (and heed) the Messenger’s call
            He said “Who is your Guide and Leader?
            They said, and there was no apparent blindness clearly:
            “Your God, our Guide, and you are our leader
            And you won’t find from among us, in this, any disobedient”
            He said to him “Stand up O Ali, for I am
            Pleased to announce you Imam and Guide after me
            So whomever I was his leader (mawla), then this is his leader (mawla)
            So be to him supporters in truth and followers”
            Then he prayed “Allah! Be a friend and Guide to his follower
            And be, to the one who is Ali’s enemy, an enemy”
After his speech, The Messenger of Allah asked everybody to give the oath of allegiance to Imam Ali and congratulate him. Among those who did so was Umar bin al-Khattab, who said “Well done, Ibne Abi Talib! Today you became the Leader (mawla) of all believing men and women.”
Allah ordered His Prophet to inform the people of this designation at a time of crowded populace so that all become the witnesses and narrators of the tradition, while they exceeded a hundred twenty thousand. Narrated by Zayd bin Arqam: Abu al-Tufayl said “I heard from the Messenger of Allah and there was no one there except that he saw him with his eyes and heard him with his ears”
Some Sunni commentators report that when the first three verses of Sura al-Maa’rij were revealed, some problem arose when the Noble Prophet (s.a.w.a.s.) reached Madinah as discussed below:
On the day of Ghadeer, the Prophet summoned the people towards Ali and said “Ali is the mawla of whom I am the mawla. The news spread quickly all over the urban and rural areas. When Harith Ibne Nauman al-Fahri came to know of it, he rode his camel and came to Madina and went to the Messenger of Allah and said to him “You commanded us to testify that there is no deity but Allah and that you are the Messenger of Allah. We obeyed you. You ordered us to pray five times a day and we obeyed. You ordered us to observe fasts during month of Ramadan and we obeyed. Then you commanded us to offer pilgrimage to Makkah and we obeyed. You are not satisfied with all this and you raised your cousin by hand and imposed upon us as our master as saying ‘Ali is the mawla of whom I am the mawla.’ Is this imposition from Allah or you?”
The Noble Prophet (s.a.w.a.s.) said “By Allah, who is the only deity! This is from Allah, The Mighty and The Glorious” On hearing this, Harith turned back and proceeded towards his she-camel saying “O Allah! If what Muhammad said is correct then fling on us a stone from sky and subject us to severe pain and torture” He had not reached his she-camel when Allah, who is above all defects, flung at him a stone which struck him on his head, penetrated his body, and passed out through his body and left him dead. It was on this occasion that Allah, the Exalted sent the following verse “A questioner questioned about the punishment to fall. For the disbelievers, there is nothing to avert it, from Allah, The Lord of the Ascent.” Surah al-Maa’rij Ayahs 1-3.
Irrespective of the meaning of “Maula”, whether “Friend” or “Ruler”, it is the Day when Allah perfected the religion for every Muslim, hence every Muslim should celebrate and rejoice on this day!

Sources used:
The Glorious Qur'an    
Al-Ghadeer                                                         by Allama Abdul Hussayn Al-Amini Al-Najafi
WIKIPEDIA

            

Thursday, October 9, 2014

BIRTH ANNIVERSARY OF IMAM ALI AL-NAQI (A.S.)

Imam Ali al-Naqi (a.s.) was our 10th Imam. He was born in Madinah in 214 A.H. and was martyred in 254 A.H. and was buried in his home in Samarrah, Iraq.
Like his forefathers, he was also very kind to the slaves. One day he was going somewhere, he saw that a master was beating his slave severely. The Imam said to him: “O’man, is this weak man your creature? “Not my creature, but my slave.” replied the man. The Imam said: “You have not created him, you have only purchased him for few Dirham and you have the right to beat him so much.” The man said: “Yes, that is why I am beating him. He is my disobedient slave.” The Imam said: “If according to you, a disobedient slave is eligible for such punishment, for how much punishment a disobedient creature would be eligible? Do you not disobey the commands of Allah?
Are you not the same person who lied and became drunk? If Allah punishes you for that disobedience, what would be your condition?”
During the time when Muatawakkil had made Imam’s life difficult, the Imam used to go without food but he never complained to any one about it. One day, he managed to get some food after being hungry for two mealtimes. He was about to commence eating when a guest arrived. He placed his food before the guest in a cheerful manner and did not at all let him realize that he already missed two meals. When the person finished eating, he gave the Imam some Khums money. The Imam spent it on poor and destitute and slept hungry.
Ziarat-e-Jamia :
One of the learned companions of the Imam was Musa bin Abdullah an-Naqa’i. Once he went to the Imam and requested for a composite Dua’a which he could recite whenever he visits for Ziarat of any Imams of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). The Imam (a.s.) dictated to him a Ziarat which became famous as “Ziarat-e-Jaamia”
Intellectual qualities:
Like other Imams of AhlulBayt (a.s.), Imam Ali al-Naqi was also divinely gifted. On the day when  poison was administered to Mutawakkil. He made a vow that if he survived he would give lot of money in charity. When he recovered there was a difference of opinion among scholars regarding what constituted “lot of money?” At last, the Mutawakkil sent his slave to Imam Ali al-Naqi (a.s.) about it. He said: “Eighty Dirham be given in charity” When Mutawakkil requested for an explanation, the Imam said: “The Almighty Allah said: Allah certainly helped on a lot of occasions. Since the military expeditions of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.s.) were eighty in numbers, it may be concluded that “a lot” denotes eighty.” The reply of the Imam pleased Mutawakkil.
A Christian committed fornication with a Muslim woman. He was brought to Mutawakkil. When Mutawakkil wanted to sentence him, he became a Muslim. Qazi Yahya said that he cannot be sentenced then because he was converted and all his past sins were remitted. Someone suggested that the opinion of the Master of the Faithful, Imam Ali al-Naqi be sought. The Imam said: “He should be beaten till he dies” The court scholars refused to accept this verdict and requested an explanation. The Imam said: “A clear verdict is given in Surah Momin Ayah 84 “But when they saw our punishment, they said: We believe in Allah alone and we deny what we used to associate with Him.”
Piety of the Imam:
Someone lied to Mutawakkil that Imam Ali al-Naqi was leading a luxurious life. And that he had collected a lot of wealth and weapons in his house, and was secretly raising an army of his shias.
Mutawakill ordered that all the contents of Imam’s house may be collected. When the soldiers entered the Imam’s house, they found only a sack, a coarse shirt of wool and some clay utensils. When this was reported to Mutawakill, he punished the man who had given false report.
Worship of Imam Ali Naqi:
Mutawakkil brought the Imam from Madinah and imprisoned him without any reason and put a harsh man in-charge of the prison. But the man became a devotee of the Imam. When Mutawakill came to know the situation, he called the jailer and inquired. The jailer said: “O Chief! This person seems to be higher than angels in spiritual accomplishments. I have never seen him eat during the day and sleep whole night. His favorite activity is remembrance of Allah. He laments so intensely that his beard is wet with his tears. He recites the Glorious Qur’an in such a melodious way that one if who hears it had a heart of stone, it would melt like wax.”
Affection of Imam Ali al-Naqi
In spite of leading an impoverished life in Samarrah, he was not neglectful of the poor creatures of Allah. He himself visited the widows and orphans and carried food on his for them while he himself remained hungry. If an orphan came in his presence, he would caress his head affectionately and if he desired something it was provided to him.
Sayings of Imam Ali al-Naqi:
Others will fear him who fears Allah. He who obeys Allah will be obeyed. He, who obeys Allah, will not care for the dissatisfaction of His creatures. He who enrages the Creator, should be sure of encountering the dissatisfaction of the creatures.
Do not expect honesty and purity of intentions from someone who has suffered from your malice; do not expect loyalty from one to whom you have been disloyal; do not expect goodwill from someone whom you regard with ill-will; his heart towards you is the same as your heart towards him.
There are definite places in which Allah wants His servants to supplicate to Him. One of these places is the tomb of Imam Hussayn, Master of the Martyrs (a.s.).
No one can describe Allah with attributes other than those which He describes Himself. How can any one describe Him when senses are too short to perceive Him, illusions are too short to comprehend Him, ideas are too short to mark Him, and sights are too short to appreciate Him? He is remote in His nearness and near in His remoteness. He created the “how” without being asked “How” and founded the where without being asked “where?”
He is out of how and where. He is the One and Only. Exalted be His majesty and sacred be His names.
The neglector of “Bismillah” is the same as the neglector of (the obligatory) prayers.

Reference:
Akhlaq-e-A’imma, Morals and Mannersof the Holy Imams
        By Maulana Zafar Hasan Amrohvi
Fourteen Masoomeen
        By Peer Muhammad Trust, London
Imam Reza Network
Lantern of the Path


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

MUSLIM CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE MODERN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Rise and Fall of Abbasids and Umayyad: As the saying goes that for every rise there is a fall. The Abbasids claim for power was based on the fact that they were the descendants of the younger uncle of the Noble Prophet (s.a.w.a.s.), named Abbas. They were sympathetic towards the Shia Muslims and received assistance from them. But once they came to power, they were more tyrannical and oppressive to the Shia Muslims. Nepotism, unlawful use of Muslim wealth for personal selfish interests, oppressive behavior towards the Muslims, was some of the causes of their downfall.
Islamic Golden Age: The capital was moved from Damascus to Baghdad. The society as a whole realized that importance of knowledge as reported in the Traditions that the ink of a scholar was more holy than the blood of a martyr. The Abbasid caliphate which lasted till the conquest of Baghdad by the Mongols is considered as the “Islamic Golden Age” Arab scientists were in the fore front of the scientific advancements in the fields of Astronomy, Chemistry, Mathematics, Medicine, and optics etc.
Algebra was significantly developed by Muhammad al-Khwarizmi as detailed in his book “Kitab al-Jabr wal-Muqabala”. He is considered as the “Father of Algebra”. He was also responsible for introducing the Arabic Numerals and Hindu Arabic numerals system beyond the Indian sub-continent. Ibn al-Haytham (alhazen) developed an early scientific method in his “Book of Optics”. Ibn al-Haytham’s empirical proof of the intromission theory of light (that the light rays entered the eyes rather than that they emitted by them). Bradley Steffens described Ibn al-Haytham as the “First Scientist”. During the 9th Century there were 800 doctors in Baghdad and great discoveries in the understanding of anatomy and disease were made. The clinical distinction between measles and small pox was described during this time. Famous Persian scientist Ibn Sina (known to the West as Avicenna) produced treatises and works that summarized the vast amount of knowledge that scientists had accumulated, and was very influential through his encyclopedias, “The Cannon of Medicine and The Book of Healing” His work and also others greatly influenced the research of European scientists during the “Renaissance” (The Revival of Learning).  
Astronomy in Medieval Islam was advance by al-Battani, who improved the precision of the precession of the earth’s axis. The corrections made to the geocentric model by al-Battani, Averroes, Nasir-uddin al-Tusi, Mohyuddin Urdi, and Ibn al-Shatir were later incorporated into the Copernican heliocentric model. The Astrolabe, though originally developed by the Greeks, was developed further by Muslim Astronomers and Engineers, and subsequently brought to Medieval Europe.
Muslim alchemists influenced the European Medieval alchemists, particularly the writings of Jabir ibn Hayyan (Geber). A number of chemical processes such as Distillation techniques were developed in Muslim world then spread to Europe.  
The Muslim world adopted the paper making from China. The Islamic paper makers devised assembly lines methods of hand-copying manuscripts to turn out editions far larger than any available in Europe for centuries. It was from Muslims that the rest of the world learned to make paper from linen.
Advances were made in irrigation and farming using “Windmill”. Almonds and citrus fruits were brought to Europe through al-Andlus (Spain), and sugar cultivation was gradually adopted by Europeans. Apart from Niles, Tigris and Euphrates, navigable rivers were uncommon, so transport by sea was very important. Navigational sciences were highly developed, making use of a rudimentary Sextant. Muslim sailors were responsible for reintroducing large three masted merchant vessels through Mediterranean. Arab merchants dominated the trade in the Indian Ocean until the 16th century.
Muslim Engineers made a number of innovative industrial use of “Hydro Power”, and early industrial use of “Tidal Power”, ‘Wind Power” and petroleum (notably by distillation into kerosene). The industrial use of “Watermill” dates back to 7th century, while Horizontal-wheel and Vertical-wheeled Watermills were in use since 9th century. These mills performed both an industrial and agricultural tasks. Muslim engineers also developed machines (such as pumps)incorporating crank-shafts, employed gears in mills, and water-raising machines, and used dams to provide additional powers to the water mills and water raising machines.
A number of industries were generated during the Arab Agricultural Revolution, including early industries for textiles, sugar, rope-making, silk, and paper. The handicraft industries also experienced a high level of growth during this period.

Source used:


WIKIPEDIA

Monday, October 6, 2014

MUAWIYA IBN ABU SUFYAN

Muawiya was the son of Abu Sufian. They both converted to Islam in 8 A.H. at the time of the Victory of Makkah, which took place 14 years after the Advent (Be ‘sat) of Islam, when Allah ordered His Prophet to openly invite people towards Islam. They were considered as “Talaqa”; people who were considered slaves and released by the Noble Prophet (s.a.w.a.s.) on the eve of theVictory of Makkah. Abu Sufian was the leading enemy of Islam and the Muslims. Abu Sufian was one of the polytheists of Makkah who made the life miserable for the newly converted Muslims. After Hijrat to Madinah, Abu Sufian was in the fore front of all important Battles like Uhad, Badr, Trench (Khandaq), and Hunain. His mother, Hinda, had chewed the lever of the King of Martyrs Hazrat Hamza (a.s.) in the Battlefield of Uhad.
He had married Maysum, the daughter of the chief of the Kalb tribe Jacoidte Christian Arab for political reasons and Yazeed was born out of this wedlock. He was appointed the governor of Syria (Sham) by the second caliph. After his death, Usman bin Affan became the third caliph, who was also from the Bani Umayyad clan as Muawiya. The third caliph consolidated his position by including more adjoining areas into Syria. Hence he ruled Syria for more than 20 years. Bani Umaiyya’s plan to seize the caliphate started moving in the right direction after the third caliph was killed as the people were dissatisfied by the dominance of Bani Umayyad on all important government posts and their oppression on the Muslims. After the assassination of the third caliph, the Muslims thronged the streets of Madinah and requested Imam Ali (a.s.) to accept caliphate, but he refused to their demands. When they requested him for the sake of Islam and the Ummah, then Imam Ali (a.s.) accepted the responsibilities. Talha and Zubair wanted to become the governor of provinces but Imam Ali advised them to stay in Madinah and help him but they refused and joined the opposition and raised the slogan of revenge for the murder of the third caliph. Muawiya also joined them in the apparent campaign of revenge and refused allegiance to Imam Ali (a.s.) as “The Khalifa-e-Rashid”.
Although he did not take part in the Battle of the Camel (Jamal) but continued to consolidate his position by exhibiting the blood-stained shirt of the third caliphon the streets of Sham (Syria). One can imagine the effectiveness of his propaganda that when the news of the martyrdom of Imam Ali (a.s.) during prayers reached Syria (Sham), people were inquiring if Ali even prayed!
At the start of the Battle of Siffin, Muawiya’s forces captured the banks of River Euphrates and denied access to Imam Ali (a.s.)’s forces. He sent emissaries to Muawiya to open the access of water but he refused. When Imam Ali (a.s.)’s forces captured the water front, he allowed access to everyone! When the warfare entered the decisive stage and Muawiya’s forces were about to flee, then on the advice of Amr ibn al-Aas, the Noble Qur’an was raised on the spears, saying “Let the Glorious Qur’an decide”. It was a conspiracy to deceive the simple Muslims.
After the martyrdom of Imam Ali (a.s.), Imam Hasan (a.s.) succeeded him, but because of the Muawiya’s strategy of deception, bribery and murder to capture Caliphate, Imam Hasan (a.s.) had to enter into a peace treaty but on attaining complete control of the situation, he openly declared from the pulpit that “the treaty is under my foot”. He openly defied each and every term of the treaty which included:
(a)    He will act according to the Glorious Qur’an, Sunnah, and character of the pious and virtuous caliphs.
(b)   He will not appoint any successor.
(c)    Imam Ali (a.s.)’s name will be remembered with respect and dignity and no abusive language will be used.
(d)   He will not use the title of “Amir-ul-Momineen”.
He did not comply with any of the covenants of the treaty!  
 He bribed Imam Hasan’s wife, Ja’dah to poison the Imam and promised her gold and to marry her to his son Yazeed.
He was responsible for the murders of Malik al-Ashtar, Hujr ibn Adi, Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr to name a few. Even Abdul Rahman ibn Hassan was buried alive!
There was a famous Tradition of the Noble Prophet (S.A.W.A.S.) that Ammar ibn Yasir would be martyred by a rebellious group. Hazrat Ammar ibn Yasir took part in the Battle of Siffin from Imam Ali (a.s.)’s side!
He directed that from every mosque in the whole Kingdom, the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (a.s.) should be cursed! Imam Ali was the “Nafse Rasool”in Mubahela, his purity was confirmed in the Ayah of Purity, he was the conqueror of Khyber when the Noble Prophet (s.a.w.a.s.) said: “Ali’s zarbat on the day of Khandaq is better than the prayers of thaqalain”, he was the husband of the Lady of Paradise, whose sons were the “Princes of the youths of Paradise”, who was the “Purchaser” of the Consent of Allah on the Night of Migration of the Noble Prophet from Makkah to Madinah. Hence the Khilafat turned into Kingdom, and he became the first Umaiyyad King.
Sources used:
Khilafat and Mulookiyat                                                          by Maulana Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi
Imam Husain 14. Blogspot.com
Anecdotes of Ahlu-Bayt                                                          by Martyr Murtadha Mutahhari

History of Caliphs                                                                    by Rasul Jafarnian

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

HAZRAT MUHAMMAD IBN ABI BAKR (R.A.)

Hazrat Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr was the son of the first caliph. His mother was Hazrat Asma bint Umais (s.a.). After the death of the first caliph, she married the Commander of the Faithful; Imam Ali (a.s.) and the Imam adopted Hazrat Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr and treated him like his own son. He was born in Madinah in 10 A.H. After being raised in the Purified shadow of the Imamate, he became one of the staunchest supporters of Imam Ali (a.s.). It requires a huge moral courage to see the truth and stand up against any one even his own sister, Hazrat A’isha, the Mother of Muslimeen, in the Battle of Camel (Jamal).
He had a son named Qasim, who had a daughter whose name was Umme Farwa. She was married to the Infallible Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (a.s.). Hence she became the mother of the Infallible Imam Jaffar al-Sadiq (a.s.)
During the Battle of Camel (Jamal), Imam Ali (a.s.) appointed him as the commander of the infantry. He was a brave man and hence fought bravely. When the Imam ordered the feet of the camel on which Hazrat A’isha was leading the war, the Imam told him to go near the camel and protect his sister when the seat falls. After the end of hostilities, Imam Ali (a.s.) respectfully sent her back to Madinah under the protection of Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr and forty respectable women disguised as men. At every occasion, Imam Ali (a.s.) demonstrated the highest degree of humanity, respect for Allah’s creation as a Divinely appointed leader should perform.
Hazrat Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr had written a letter to Muawiya about his behavior towards Imam Ali (a.s.). It is a long letter which exhibits the flair of Imam Ali (a.s.)’ eloquence. Some of the extracts are reproduced below:
                “I saw how you tried to reach his lofty status, though you are what you are, while he is                the one who stood out above the rest as the foremost in doing of anything good and in                  embracing Islam. His conviction was most sincere, his offspring the best among all                        people, his wife the best of all women, whose cousin (the Prophet) was the very best,                   whose uncle was the Master of Martyrs on the day of Uhad, whose father defended the               Messenger of Allah and his mission, while you are the accursed and the son of the                         accursed. You and your  father  have never ceased plotting to undermine the religion of               Allah, trying, both of you, to put out the light of Allah, rallying others behind you,                        spending wealth and seeking the support of other tribes. Woe unto you!  How dare you               set yourself as an equal to Ali while he is the heir of the Messenger of Allah, his wasi,                  the first among the people to follow him, the very closest to him. He shares secrets with               him,  while you are his enemy and the son of his enemy!”

Imam Ali (a.s.) appointed him as the governor of Egypt and sent instructions of governance. Extracts are given below:
                “Treat them (Egyptians) with respect. Be kind and considerate with them. Meet them                cheerfully. Be fair, just, and impartial in your dealings so that even influential persons               may not dare take undue advantage of your  leniency and the commoners and the poor               may not be disappointed in your justice and fair dealings. O’Creature of Allah!                             Remember that the Almighty Lord is going to take an account of each one of your sins,               major or minor  and whether committed openly or secretly. If He punishes you for                       your sins, it will not be an act of tyranny and if He forgives you it will be because of                     his Great Mercy and Forgiveness.”
Muawiya wanted to wrestle away Egypt from Imam Ali (a.s.); hence he sent Amro bin al-Aas with 6,000 people to face Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr. On receiving this information, Imam Ali (a.s.) sent Hazrat Malik al-Ashtar. When he reached Areesh, Muawiya conspired with a landlord to poison him in exchange for his taxes for 20 years will be free. Hence, Malik was martyred before reaching Egypt. Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr fought bravely but was martyred. On instructions from Muawiya, his body was sewed in the Caracas of a donkey and burnt. One can imagine what type of so called Muslims were they! Hazrat A’isha continued to curse Muawiya and Amro Aas for the rest of her life.    
Imam Ali (a.s.) wrote to Abdullah ibn Abbas, Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr’s uncle: “Muhammad died as a martyr. I beseech the reward of Allah for the sorrow I feel and the grief I suffer on account of the martyrdom of this young man who was like a son to me. He loved me. He was faithful to me. For Islam, he was a sharp sword and an impregnable fort.

Sources used:
Sharah Nahjul-Balagha                                                                                  By: Ibne Abul Hadid
Alhassnain.com

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