The signs of a good end(Death)

There are many signs of a good end, which the scholars (may Allaah have mercy on them) have derived from the texts which speak of that. These signs include the following: 

1 – Uttering the shaahadah (testimony of faith) when dying, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “A person whose last words are Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah [there is no god but Allaah] will enter Paradise.” Narrated by Abu Dawood, 3116; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood, 2673. 

2 – Dying with sweat on the forehead, because al-Buraydah ibn al-Husayb (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say, “The believer dies with sweat on his forehead.” Narrated by Ahmad, 22513; al-Tirmidhi, 980; al-Nasaa’i, 1828. Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi

3 – Dying on the night or day of Friday, because the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “there is no Muslim who dies on the day of Friday or the night of Friday, but Allaah will protect him from the trial (fitnah) of the grave.” Narrated by Ahmad, 6546; al-Tirmidhi, 1074. al-Albaani said: When all its isnaads are taken into consideration, this hadeeth is hasan or saheeh. 

4 – Dying as a fighter for the sake of Allaah, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Think not of those as dead who are killed in the way of Allaah. Nay, they are alive, with their Lord, and they have provision.

They rejoice in what Allaah has bestowed upon them of His Bounty and rejoice for the sake of those who have not yet joined them, but are left behind (not yet martyred) that on them no fear shall come, nor shall they grieve.

They rejoice in a grace and a bounty from Allaah, and that Allaah will not waste the reward of the believers”

[Aal ‘Imraan 3:169] 

And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever is killed for the sake of Allaah is a martyr, and whoever dies for the sake of Allaah is a martyr.” Narrated by Muslim, 1915. 

5 – Dying of the plague, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The plague is martyrdom for every Muslim.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2830; Muslim, 1916. 

It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her), the wife of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), said: I asked the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) about the plague, and he told me that it is a punishment that Allaah sends upon whomsoever He will, and that Allaah has made it a mercy for the believers, for there is no one who stays in his land at the time of a plague, bearing that with patience and seeking Allaah’s reward, knowing that nothing will befall him but that which Allaah has decreed for him, but he will be given a reward like that of a martyr.” 

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3474. 

6 – Dying of a stomach disease. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “… and whoever dies of a stomach disease is a martyr.” Narrated by Muslim, 1915. 

7 – Dying because of being crushed by a falling wall or by drowning, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The martyrs are five: the one who dies of plague, the one who dies of a stomach disease, the one who drowns, the one who is crushed by a falling wall, and the one who is martyred for the sake of Allaah.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2829; Muslim, 1915. 

8 – If a woman dies as a result of childbirth, or when she is pregnant. The evidence for that includes the hadeeth narrated by Abu Dawood (3111), according to which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “A woman who dies with child is a martyr.” al-Khattaabi said: What this means is if she dies with a child in her womb. ‘Awn al-Ma’bood.

 And Imam Ahmad narrated (17341) that ‘Ubaadah ibn al-Saamit said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told us about the martyrs and mentioned among them, “A woman who is killed by the child in her womb attains martyrdom, and her child will drag her by his umbilical cord to Paradise.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Kitaab al-Janaa’iz, p. 39.  

9 – Death caused by burning, pleurisy and tuberculosis. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Being killed for the sake of Allaah is martyrdom; the plague is martyrdom; drowning is martyrdom; dying of a stomach disease is martyrdom; and the woman who dies in childbirth, her child will drag her by his umbilical cord to Paradise.” (Abu’l-Awaam, the custodian of Bayt al-Maqdis added: and burning and tuberculosis). Al-Albaani said: Hasan saheeh. Saheeh al-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb, 1396. 

10 – Dying to defend one’s religion, one’s wealth or one’s life, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever is killed defending his wealth is a martyr; whoever is killed defending his religion is a martyr; whoever is killed in self-defence is a martyr.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 1421. 

Al-Bukhaari (2480) and Muslim (141) narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “Whoever is killed defending his wealth is a martyr.” 

11 – Dying guarding the borders of Islam for the sake of Allaah. Muslim (1913) narrated that Salmaan al-Faarisi (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Guarding the borders of Islam for one day and one night is better than fasting and praying at night for a whole month, and if he dies (whist performing this duty), he will go on receiving the reward for this great deed and his provision (continually), and he will be spared the questioning in the grave. ” 

12 – One of the signs of a good end is dying whilst doing a righteous deed, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:  

“Whoever says Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah, seeking the Countenance of Allaah thereby, and that is the last of his deeds, will enter Paradise. Whoever gives charity and that is the last of his deeds will enter Paradise.” Narrated by Imam Ahmad, 22813; classed as saheeh by al-Albani in Kitaab al-Janaa’iz, p. 43. See Kitaab al-Janaa’iz by al-Albaani (may Allaah have mercy on him), p. 34. 

These are the good signs which point to a good end, but despite that we cannot be certain that a specific person is one of the people of Paradise unless the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) testified that he will go to Paradise, such as the four khaleefahs. 

We ask Allaah to grant us a good end.

Advertisements

The Shiite Minister who made deal with Mongols to kill Caliph and Muslims.

O you who believe! Take not as (your) Bitanah (advisors, consultants, protectors, helpers, friends) those outside your religion (pagans, Jews, Christians, and hypocrites) 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 Ayat if you have sanity. Here you are! You are the ones who love them but they love you not, and you believe in all the Books [i.e. you believe in the Taurt (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel), while they disbelieve in your Book, the Qur?an]. And when they meet you, they say, “We believe”. But when they are alone, they bite the tips of their fingers at you in rage. Say: “Perish in your rage. Certainly, Allah knows what is in the breasts (all the secrets).” [Qur’an, 3: 118-119]

The Story of Ibn Al `Alqami

Ibn Katheer mentions in his famous book, Al-Bidaayah Wan-Nihaayah:

“Al Musta’sim billah used to have a minister called ibn Al Alqami.”

Ibn Al Alqami was a Raafidi Twelver Shiite (the Shi`ah who curse the Sahabah). He was severely corrupted but used to show the people that he was a man of Prayer and piety. However behind the shadows, he was the one who wrote letters to the Mongol barbarian Hulagu Khan. In one of the letters he wrote,

“I am willing to help you conquer all of Baghdad on the condition that you remove the Khilafah(Caliphate) of the Muslims”

While the Caliph was upon the way of the Sunnah as both his predecessors, Ibn Al-’Alqami was a Raafidhi Shee’ah. He had staged his plans for the destruction of the Sunnah Abbasid and the establishment of a Shee’ah state.

He had thought that by allowing and helping the Mongols to do so, he would get rid of the Sunnis in Iraq and establish a Shi’ite state. For example, he would go to the Caliph and advise him to make redundant 15,000 soldiers from the army. He claimed that it was costly and not necessary to retain them and insisted until the Caliph agreed, and ordered 15,000 soldiers of the Abbasid Caliphate to return home. After a few months, Ibn al-’Alqami returned and advised him to release another 20,000 soldiers. The Caliph agreed to take on his “expert” advice to the pending doom of the caliphate.

After the Caliph had done according to his wishes, ibn Al Alqami personally chose from the best of the soldiers, took away their weapons and sent them home. The 20,000 soldiers that he had made redundant were equivalent to a million of the Tatar army because they were brave, ready to fight and die in the path.

By way of his being a minister in the government, and the Caliph being heedless of him, ibn Al-’Alqami tried his utmost to deregulate the armies of the Caliph and hinder enrollment in the army. In his days, the army had reached around one hundred thousand soldiers, some of their commanders having the power and respect of kings. Yet he continued to deregulate the armies until the number of soldiers came down to about ten thousand. He changed the posts of the remaining soldiers from the front lines to other less meaningful positions, such as guards for the marketplace and door attendants at the Masjid.

Once he had completed his conspiracy, he wrote to Hulagu and informed him how Baghdad had no more than 10,000 soldiers. He encouraged him to overtake the land, describing it as easy and telling him the reality of the government and its forces. He instructed Hulagu to come from the north of Baghdad and divide the army to all other fronts in the south and the east.

So when the armies of the Tatar overtook Baghdad under the leadership of their chief Hulagu Khan, he brought with him his comrade At-Toosi, and the first to go out and meet them was the minister Ibn Al-’Alqami. After meeting with Hulagu, he returned to the Caliph.

Ibn Al-’Alqami suggested to the Caliph to go out and meet with Hulagu, and to lower himself in front of him, for the welfare of the nation, and to offer him one half of all the land taxes collected yearly in Iraq. He continued to convince the Caliph until he went out to meet Hulagu in the presence of over 700 judges, scholars, and prominent figures.

So when they came close to the house of Hulagu, they drew back from the Caliph and all but 17 people entered with him. As far as those who stayed back, as soon as they came down from their horses, they were killed. The Caliph met with Hulagu and then returned to Baghdad in the company of At-Toosi, ibn Al-’Alqami as well as others. The Caliph then returned to Hulagu and brought with him much gold and jewels.

As soon as the Caliph returned, the order was given to kill him, and it is said the one who gave the suggestion was Ibn Al-’Alqami himself along with At-Toosi.

They went to the tent of the Caliph, had him surrounded by the army and hit him with their shoes until his bones were broken. After that, they let loose the horses to jump onto him until the Caliph was killed.

Ibn Al-’Alqami was the one who betrayed and used all means to destroy the Muslims from within. Hulagu then entered Baghdad early in the morning and started to kill the women, the children, the elderly. They raped and mutilated much from the Muslims.

It was the biggest massacre of Iraq, similar to the massacres of Fallujah and Basra today.

Ibn Katheer then says, “After the Caliph was killed, they went and stormed through the country, killing everyone they were able to from men, women, and children, old and young, sick and healthy. Many people hid inside wells and gardens, hiding for days so as not to be found, or ran to the hills and mountains.

The Tatar continued their rampage, killing the people even on the roofs of their homes and inside the Masjid, until the streets ran of blood like rainwater in a valley. No one was safe from them, except the Jews, Christians and those that took refuge in the home of Ibn Al-’Alqami, the same one who set this trap up for the Muslims. The killing continued until it was said that the number of dead reached one million eight thousand bodies.”

They did not leave anyone alive and continued killing and burning everything for 40 days until nothing was left. Ibn Kathir described Baghdad as being full of bodies until the smell made it difficult to breathe and diseases had spread causing many more people to die.

Then it was declared that Baghdad was under the control of the Tatars. It was complete chaos and nobody could recognise their own brother or mother because all the bodies were so badly mutilated and rotten.

But after this Hulagu called Ibn Al-’Alqami. Hulagu was shrewd and he knew that the hypocrite was not trustworthy. He said,

“I do not see anything that you deserve for your co-operation with me except to kill you in a very bad way.”

That is how the hypocrite’s fate was sealed. Hulagu had him hung from his legs and let everyone cut his body into pieces. This ultimately was the end of the Shii’te minister and hypocrite.

A Tour to Masjid Al Aqsa

Masjid al-Aqsa. The first Qiblah for the Muslim Ummah, the second Masjid built on earth, and the only place on earth where all the Messengers of Allāh (ʿalayhim al-Salām) prayed together, led by our beloved Prophet Muḥammad (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam).

This most sacred of Islamic sites has, over the recent past, become in great danger of being brought to dust by those who have illegally seized control of this most blessed land. As a result of the reputation that this brutal and bloodthirsty regime has created for itself, the number of Muslims that visit this beautiful and historical Masjid has slowly dwindled, such that the Masjid and its people are at risk of being the forgotten jewels of our Ummah.

Protecting the historical legacy of Masjid al-Aqsa and reviving the love of it in our hearts is therefore something we must all seek to act upon collectively as an Ummah, before we potentially despair at losing such a valuable part of our religious heritage.

A visit to Masjid al-Aqsa is something more accessible than most would perceive. A short flight to ‘Tel-Aviv’ airport or a flight to Jordan with an aim to cross the King Hussein Bridge leaves a one hour coach drive to the holy Aqsa sanctuary in the heart of the Old City of Jerusalem. Arrival to either point of entry means having to deal with Israeli customs officers. Unfortunately, as a Muslim, this means the process may be time-consuming. But it is important to appreciate that one of the aims of this process is merely to frustrate you and to put you off coming again. However, if one stays patient and exercises self-restraint, despite the understandable frustration, then this process can be dealt with easier than one may have thought. Often travelling as part of an official group, or with families, can help to facilitate this process and quicken things up.

The level of security presence, in the form of armed soldiers from the Isreali Defence Force (IDF), is something that dawns upon the new visitor very quickly. Armed soldiers patrol most streets, and their numbers are generally higher in the Old City around the Aqsa complex. It really makes one wonder that if these invaders felt their presence was legitimate, then why would they need to impose themselves in such an intimidating manner? Perhaps it is a manifestation of their internal recognition of being illegal occupiers, and thus they feel compelled to behave this way.

On reaching the Old City, one can really begin to sense the great history of this blessed land. After settling in the hotel, the final mental and spiritual preparations are completed before setting out on the final stretch of the journey towards the great Masjid al-Aqsa. A short walk through the narrow paths of the Old City follows which are lined by the small quintessential shops and markets. And, finally, the entrance to the al-Aqsa sanctuary awaits, all the while flanked by the ever-present IDF soldiers.

Finally the visitor arrives to Masjid al-Aqsa. Allāhu Akbar! The Masjid mentioned by name in the Holy Qur’ān. The land over which the Angels have spread their wings and the chosen land of Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā). The land which is referred to nearly 70 times in the Qur’ān. The land where the Prophet Muḥammad (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) was taken to by Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā) at night from Makkah, where he led all the Prophets (ʿalayhim al-Salām) in prayer and then was ascended up to the Heavens. Eyes are fixed upon the sacred Masjid al-Aqsa. Directly opposite the Masjid is the magnificent Dome of the Rock Masjid, with its historic and unmistakably recognisable golden dome. Immediately the heart is filled with awe and veneration for this sacred land, and all thanks and praises are for Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā) who allows those fortunate ones from His slaves to be guests of this blessed and noble Masjid.

As Salāh time approaches, the most beautiful Athān is called, resonating in both the hearts as well as the ears. Indeed, it is about these callers to prayer that the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said, as was narrated from al-Bara’ ibn ‘Aazib (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu), that:

“Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā) and His angels send blessings upon the [people who pray in the] front row, and the muezzin [caller to prayer] is forgiven as far as his voice reaches, and whatever hears him, animate or inanimate, confirms what he says, and he will have a reward like that of those who pray with him.”[1]

On setting foot into this great Masjid, one cannot help but feel overwhelmed by the great sense of history. Legendary names like ʿUmar (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu), Nurudīn az-Zinki, Salāḥuddin al-Ayūbi, Ibn Qudāmah al Maqdisi, Sulaymān the Magnificent and Imām al-Ghazāli amongst others come to mind (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhum). Standing on the same land, in the same Masjid, where these shining lights of our Ummah and where all the Prophets stood together, fills the heart with humility, reverence and a feeling of being from amongst the most fortunate of people. It really is an indescribable feeling.

The fortunate visitor then prepares to raise his hands in prayer. However, these two units of prayer are not like any other prayer on entering a Masjid. The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said,

“The reward of a prayer in Masjid al-Haram (Makkah) over other Masājid is equivalent to 100,000 Salāh (in reward), a prayer in my Masjid (Madīnah) is equivalent to 1000 Salāh and a Salāh in Bayt al-Maqdis (Al-Aqsa) is equivalent to 500 Salāh.”[2]

We also learn from our Prophet Muḥammad (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) that when the Prophet Sulaymān (ʿalayhi al-Salām) built Masjid al-Aqsa, he asked Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā) for three things:

1) Judgement that was in harmony with Allāh’s judgment (and he was given that).

2) A dominion that no one after him would have (and he was given that).

3) When he finished building the Masjid he asked Allāh, the Mighty and Sublime, that no one should come to it, intending only to pray there, but he would emerge free of sin as the day his mother bore him.[3]

What a huge reward for praying in this great Masjid! Allāhu Akbar! If one were to keep just this immense reward at the forefront of his mind during his journey to Masjid al-Aqsa, then he surely would be able to be patient enough to deal with any obstacles that may be placed in front of him.

Time spent in Masjid al-Aqsa is blessed, filled with Barakah and peace. Despite the somewhat unpleasant atmosphere created by the illegal occupiers that make their presence felt in the most intimidating of manners, Masjid al-Aqsa remains a sanctuary of tranquillity and Khair for Muslims.

Its unique history, numerous virtues, and importance in our Islām’s legacy make this Masjid a place that cannot be forgotten by our Ummah. We cannot let ourselves forget our brothers and sisters who strive day and night to protect the sanctity of this Holy Land, and we cannot turn a blind eye to the oppression that continually happens there. Rather, Masjid al-Aqsa should be frequented, throughout the year and not just in Ramaḍān, by Muslims from all over the globe, who desire to benefit from the blessed land about which Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā) Himself says;

سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَىٰ بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلًا مِّنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الْأَقْصَى الَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ آيَاتِنَا إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ

“Glorified be He (Allāh), Who took His slave (Muḥammad) for a journey by night from Al-Masjid-al-Haram (at Makkah) to the Al-Masjid al-Aqsa, the area where We have blessed, in order that We might show him (Muḥammad) of Our signs. Verily, He (Allāh) is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.”[4]

Masjid al-Aqsa invites you, dear Muslim, to be its honourable guest. Do not let this most noble of invitations pass you by.

May Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā) protect our beloved Masjid al-Aqsa, liberate it from the hands of the oppressors, and allow us to visit there frequently and support our resilient families there. Āmīn.

Notes:

[1] Narrated by al-Nasā’i, 646

[2] Sunan al Bayhaqi classes Saḥiḥ by al Albany

[3] Narrated by al-Nasaa’i

[4] Al-Qur’ān, 17:1

The 22 yr old sultan who conquered Constantinople

Copied.

The month of February is one which stands out in history as one which witnessed Muḥammad al-Fātiḥ’s ascension to the throne in the house of Uthmān, ‘The Ottomans’, following the death of his father Sultan Murad II in Muharram 852 A.H., February 1451A.C. At the age of 19 he became the 7th Sultan of the Ottomans.

The Early Years

Sultan Muḥammad was born on 27th Rajab 835A.H, 30th March 1432. He was brought up under the close supervision of his father, Sultan Murad II who prepared and trained him to shoulder the responsibilities of the position of a Sultan. It is stated that Sultan Muḥammad memorised the entire Qur’ān, learnt the Prophetic narrations, Islamic jurisprudence, mathematics, astronomy and the skills required for war. He was multi-lingual being fluent in Arabic, Persian, Latin and Greek. He joined his father in his battles and conquests.

He was raised with an Islamic upbringing under the tutelage of a number of scholars of his age such as Shaykh Aḥmad b. Ismāʿīl al-Kourani and Shaykh Ak Shamsuddin, one of the scholars who played a role in developing the personality of Sultan Muḥammad and who is attributed as instilling in his heart the spirit of Jihād and the desire to be a person with high ambition.

At the age of 12, a young Muḥammad was driven by a particular ḥadīth of the Messenger of Allāh (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) that profoundly affected him and impacted his life, changing his destination and that of the course of history. The ḥadīth was as follows:

“Verily, Constantinople shall be opened. Its commander shall be the best commander ever, and his army shall be the best army ever.”[1]

Much like Salāh ad-Dīn before him in his quest to liberate Jerusalem, his ambition overwhelmed him to the extent that he would not talk about any subject except for the conquest of Constantinople. Having now become the Sultan on the death of his father at the age of 22, Muḥammad set about fulfilling his ambition in liberating and conquering Constantinople and seeking to be the one whom the Messenger of Allāh (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) had prophesied about.

Constantinople is a very unique city in Europe as it is located in a very strategic geographic location, between two major continents, Asia and Europe. At the North, it is bordered with the Black Sea while Russia and Iran are at the South. From the East side, it is bordered with Syria and the Mediterranean Sea whereas at the West sit Bulgaria, Greece and Aegean Sea. Constantinople was of course the capital city for the Roman Empire (753-476) and the Byzantine Empire (610-1453). Napoleon was quoted as saying, “If the Earth were a single state, then Constantinople would be its capital”. It was at that time regarded as one of the most fortified cities in the world.

The Masterful Strategy

Sultan Muḥammad realised that the attempt to open Constantinople was not an easy task as Muslim armies from as early as the time of Muawiyyah (radiyAllāhu ‘anhu) had attempted to besiege this city but it consistently failed on each occasion – the closest to achieving the aim was Sultan Beyazid but, qadralllāh, his attention was forced elsewhere with the emergence of the Mongols. Hence, Sultan Muḥammad knew that his attempt needed to be well-planned and meticulously strategised.

One such strategy was to build the navy. He put together a formidable armada of more than 100 ships for the conquest of Constantinople. To ensure victory, he sought to equip his army with the latest artillery in warfare – a new technology which had not been owned by any other country was bought from a Hungarian engineer, Orban. The technology came in the form of giant cannons capable of tearing down the wall of fortresses surrounding Constantinople.

As a further preparation for war, Sultan Muḥammad ordered the building of fortresses close to the region about to be attacked. The function of this was clear: to station the army and, at the same time, provide logistical sites for uninterrupted war supplies. These fortresses were built in a few months. He knew that Emperor Constantine XI would have noted his movements and it was rumoured that the Hungarians and Venetians were on their way to support Byzantine, as such, Sultan Muḥammad was in a hurry.

Sultan Muḥammad personally supervised the training of the huge army for the conquest to ensure that they were of the highest standard physically and, more importantly, spiritually. He would often remind them of the ḥadīth about the liberating of Constantinople hoping that they might be the ones referred to. Also, it is reported that on one occasion Sultan Muḥammad entered the markets in disguise to purchase a number of items. He went to one of stalls whose owner, not knowing who the buyer was, informed him that, praise be to Allāh, he had made enough sales for the day and the remaining items should be purchased from another stall nearby. When Sultan Muḥammad went to the stall nearby, having purchased one of the items he needed, again the owner informed him that he too had made enough sales and therefore his remaining item should be purchased from the stall near to him. On seeing this, Sultan Muḥammad knew that he had amongst him a righteous group of believers with which to undertake the momentous task, much like Salāh ad-Dīn before him who once stated that he knew the time had arrived to liberate Al-Aqsa when he witnessed that the size of the congregation for the morning prayer was as large as the Friday prayer.

With his ships all prepared and fortresses built, Sultan Muḥammad set off with a force of 250,000 mujāhids to Constantinople on 6 April 1453 (875 AH). Sultan Muḥammad had terms of surrender sent to Emperor Constantine XI as per Islāmic custom before engaging in battle. He invited him to surrender peacefully and be spared everyone’s life and property, with the security that whoever wanted to remain would be safe. However, the Emperor refused and with this began the siege of Constantinople.

The Muslims became frustrated however with Byzantine’s famous barrier chain in the sea. Made of giant wooden links that were joined by immense nails and heavy iron shackles, the chain could be deployed in an emergency by means of a ship hauling it across the Golden Horn. Securely anchored on both ends, with its length guarded by Byzantine warships at anchor in the harbour, the great chain was a formidable obstacle and a vital element of the city’s defences. The Ottoman fleet tried many times to get into the city by sea, but they faced numerous failures. The soldiers even tried to secretly break the chain which was 4 to 5 feet below sea level, but they were killed in the process.

Nevertheless, Sultan Muḥammad was one of the great generals who used one of the most outstanding, daring military approaches and strategy in military history. He ordered his army to bring up the naval ships on land and pulled them over the hills at the eastern side of Constantinople. Over 70 ships were pulled on rails made by wood from the trees surrounding the hills and animal grease spread on the wood to facilitate the transport of the ships. This intelligent and seemingly impossible task was completed by his soldiers disguised by the cover of darkness over a lengthy distance in only one night.

The next morning, the people of Constantinople awoke to the sounds of the Takbīr, “Allāhuakbar”, and they were shocked to see the Ottoman ships lined in front of their fortified fortress causing a huge psychological blow. The Muslims now began bombarding the walls day and night with the cannons.

The Conquest and Liberation

On 27 May 1453 (857 AH), Sultan Muḥammad commanded his army to purify themselves and to intensify their worshipping and devotion to Allāh so that He may ease the siege. That night, scholars such as Shaykh Shamsuddin reminded the army of verses from the Qur’ān and reminded them of great men who died trying to liberate the city such as the great Sahābi (Companion), Abū Ayūb al-Ansari (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu), who was martyred just outside the city walls at the age of 90. The soldiers spent much of the night uttering the Tahlīl (“Alḥamdulillāh”) and Takbīr (“Allāhuakbar”) and making supplications. Again, there is much parallel with Salāh ad-Dīn who too was known to encourage his soldiers to engage in much worship and to supplicate to Allāh. It is said that on one occasion, Salāh ad-Dīn received news of Crusader ships sailing toward them with reinforcements, he retired to the masjid and spent the night in prayer, beseeching and begging Allāh’s assistance. In the Morning Prayer, he told a pious man to supplicate for them. The person replied, “Don’t fear, O Salāh ad-Dīn, verily the tears of the night have drowned the enemy ships.” A short while later news was received that the ships had indeed sunk.

In the morning (Day 54 of the siege), Sultan Muḥammad delivered his final battle speech in which he instructed the soldiers not to attack the Churches and places of worship, sparing the priests, the weak and those unable to fight in line with the Prophetic injunctions. It is said that the speech had a profound impact on the army as the speech indicated that victory was within their grasps. Later that day, one part of the wall became weak enough for the infantries to rush into the city. The people of Constantinople saw the flag of Islām flag being flown for the first time and the liberation was then completed with Sultan Muḥammad aged 22.

Sultan Muḥammad entered the city on his horse along with his army – his commanders congratulated him whilst he said to them: “You have become the liberators of Constantinople, about whom the Messenger of Allāh (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) informed us”. He then dismounted his horse and fell in prostration praising Allāh for this prestigious honour and supplicated for the brave Mujāhidīn who were martyred along the way.

He then headed towards the one of the greatest churches in all of Christendom, the Aya Sofia. Inside were many priests to whom Sultan Muḥammad showed kindness and mercy and gave reassurances for the lives and possessions of all in the city on account of which many were said to have become Muslim from witnessing the justice and tolerance of Islām. Sultan Muḥammad gave instructions for Aya Sofia to be transformed into a Mosque as soon as possible in preparation for the Jummuʿah (Friday prayer) that was approaching in the coming days. Accordingly, Aya Sofia was cleansed of any crucifixes and idols, all images were covered up and a mimbar (pulpit) was built. When the blessed day of Jummuʿah arrived, Shaykh Shamsuddin was honoured with delivering the first sermon in what was now and forever from that day forward, the Aya Sofia Mosque. Again, this is very similar to the liberation of Al-Aqsa by Salāh ad-Dīn who entered the city on a Friday and immediately began the cleaning of the Mosque in readiness for the prayer and he too showed justice to the Christians where no house was exposed to plunder and no individual was harmed. His soldiers, acting on instructions, patrolled the streets and gates, preventing any aggression to which the Christians might be exposed and the release of his captives, even at his own expense.

In the meantime, Sultan Muḥammad continued to meet the heads of the various religions and sects reassuring them all that they would each receive their religious rights with each having their appointed leader, own schools and places of worship – such was the tolerance of Islām in contrast to the barbaric Crusaders and their treatment of Jews and Muslims in Palestine and Al-Andalus, Spain. Sultan Muḥammad also sent letters and gifts to all the rulers of the Islamic World, in Egypt, the Arabian Peninsula, Persia and India to inform them of the great victory which he claimed not just for himself and the Ottomans, but for all of Islām and Muslims.

His Death

Sultan Muḥammad Fātiḥ continued to spread Islām in the Conquest of Serbia (1454–1459); Conquest of Morea (1458–1460); Conquests on the Black Sea coast (1460–1461) Conquest of Wallachia (1459–1462) wherein he famously defeated the Dracula; Conquest of Bosnia (1463); Conquest of Karaman (1464–1473); Conquest of Albania (1466–1478); Conquest of Genoese Crimea and the alliance with Crimean Khanate (1475).

Not being content on fulfilling one of the sayings of the Prophet (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam), Sultan Muḥammad Fātiḥ sought to now conquer the heart of Christendom, Rome for indeed the Messenger of Allāh (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said that the Muslims would liberate Rome.[2] However, whilst marching with the Ottoman army to the campaign, he became ill. After some days, he died on 3 May 1481, at the age of 49 – Allāh has destined this to be achieved at the hands of another great noble individual.

Points to Note:

The liberation of Constantinople paved the way for Islām to enter Europe. The conquest remains one of the great events in not just Islamic history, but that of world history. The liberated city was from here on forever to be referred to as ‘Islāmbul’, meaning the “City of Islām”. It should be noted that it was only during the secularisation process of Ataturk where it took on the name of ‘Istanbul’ which has no relevant meaning. Incidentally, there are coins in the British Museum from 1730 where the name of the city, Islambul is clearly imprinted.[3]

Many factors played into the hands of the Muslims which made the liberation of Constantinople ripe, for example, crusading nations such as France and England were exhausted from ‘The Hundred Year War’, Germany had internal affairs to deal with whilst Spain were busy waging war against the Muslims in Andalusia.

I have made many references to the similarities between Sultan Muḥammad al-Fātiḥ and Salāh ad-Dīn to highlight that what they achieved was not just by mere chance but that there is a similar thread with respect to their noble characteristics as a result of which Allāh enabled victory and honour to be achieved at their hands.

We also learn that neither god-conscious leader, nor brave liberator emerges, except that there is a group of pious scholars around him to teach and guide him and to also themselves participate in the battles leading by example. There are many such examples in history such as the role played by Shaykh Bahā’ ad-Dīn b. Shaddād with Salāh ad-Dīn, Shaykh Shamsuddin with Muḥammad al-Fātiḥ as seen here, as well as the ‘Shaykh of Scholars’, Al-`Izz b, Abdis-Salām alongside Saif-ad-Din Qutuz.

Today our youth are motivated to become footballers or celebrities which is in sharp contrast to the young Sultan Muḥammad who desired to be a blessed leader mentioned by the Prophet of Allāh.

Perhaps the greatest accolade with respect to this noble warrior is that for both Muslims and non-Muslims alike, he was forever to be known and remembered as Muḥammad al-Fātiḥ (Muḥammad the Conqueror) – establishing a direct link to the one prophesised by the Messenger of Allāh (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) – liberator of Constantinople and defeater of the Romans. Finally, his army should also not be forgotten as they too were prophesised about as the best army ever.

Notes:

[1] Ahmad

[2] Muslim

[3] http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=3011455&partId=1

http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_image.aspx?image=k146828.jpg&retpage=17475

Sultan Muḥammad al-Fātiḥ, Dr ʿAli Muḥammad al-Salābi;

The Ottomans in History and Civilisation, Muhammad Harb

Double Standards & Trials.

Copied.

After 13 years of persecution, the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) was finally given permission to fight.[1] He (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) sent out military and exploratory campaigns and expeditions against the pagans of Quraish. The scholars of history are generally agreed that a “Ghazwa” is a campaign which was led by the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) whilst a “Sarriya” is an expedition which he would be absent from.

During the year in which permission to fight back was given, the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) had led four expeditions and organised four others. It is one of these expeditions that forms our topic of today; later named as Sarriyatu Nakhla (palm tree)” or the Sarriyah of ʿAbdullāhi b. Jahsh.”

In the month of Rajab, two years after the Hijra, the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) sent the companion ʿAbdullāhi b. Jahsh on a Sarriyah and sent with him another eight men. Before they had set off, not knowing the purpose of their mission, the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) gave ʿAbdullāh a letter and commanded him to leave it unopened until he had traveled for two continuous days. He also told him that when you read it, do not force any of the eight men who are with you to continue. The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) was sending these men on an undercover mission deep into the territory of the pagans and thus he command them not to open the letter until only after two days worth of travelling had elapsed, so that they do not become dissuaded from traveling the remaining distance.

After traveling for two days, ʿAbdullāh opened the letter and it said the following:

“If you have looked into this letter, then continue traveling until you reach a palm tree which is situated between Mecca and At-Tā’if. When you get there, I want you to spy on the people of Quraish and obtain their information.”[2]

So the purpose of this expedition was not a military one but an investigative one, a potentially life threatening investigate mission, for should they succeed in obtaining information, they will need to get very close to the pagans. Should their cover be blown however, what will nine men do against an entire city?

Upon reading the instructions, the very first words of ʿAbdullāh were:

“We hear and obey.”

This was the slogan of the companions and motto in life! The messenger commands and they would obey, he would request and they would fulfil. Thus they were successful. Allāh says:

“The saying of the true believers, when they are called to Allāh and His messenger (i.e. the Qur’ān and Sunnah) to judge between, is that they say: “we hear and we obey” and they are the successful ones.”[3]

Upon displaying his unconditional obedience to the Prophet’s instructions, he turns to the blessed men who had accompanied him and fills them in on the news. He said:

“So whoever of you desires martyrdom so let him come and as for he who dislikes this, let him go back. As for myself, I am off to fulfil the task of the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam).”

So what was the outcome of this presentation? Not a single one of them stayed behind, may Allāh be pleased with them all. They continued travelling until they reached the stated palm tree and as they rested, a trade caravan belonging to the pagans of Quraish passed by, one that was loaded with food, material and wealth.

The companions held an emergency meeting, for this was a golden opportunity to deliver yet another economic blow to the pagans and to raid this caravan whereby they could reclaim some of the many goods that had been ransacked from them during their time in Makkah! But there was a major obstacle. This happened to be the last day of the month of Rajab and we know that Rajab is one of the four holy months of Islām in which fighting is prohibited! Stuck in two minds, they said to one another:

“If we wait any longer, then this trade caravan will enter the holy city of Makkah and thus we will not be able to raid it. But

should we choose to launch an assault, we would have done so in a holy month!”

They hesitated but then agreed that the opportunity is not to be missed. Courageously, the Muslims launched the attack and killed one of the four pagans who were guarding the caravan, ʿAmr b. Hadrami. Another two pagans, ʿUthmān b. ʿAbdilLāh and Al-Hakam b. Kaysan were taken as captives and the fourth managed to escape.

The operation was of seemingly groundbreaking success. The Muslims returned back to Madina, carrying with them the products from the trade caravan, accompanied by the two captives until they approached the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam). Upon hearing about what happened, the words of the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) were not what they expected and they fell onto their ears like a thunderstorm. He said to them:

“I did not command you to fight in the holy month.”

This is the Prophet Muḥammad (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam), a man who respected agreements, who upheld sanctities, who was the most faithful of all people.

The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) refused to take anything from the products and the hearts of these brave men shattered into pieces. As for Quraish, they would waste no time in taking full advantage of the situation, capitalising on the mistake of the Muslims. They said:

“Muḥammad and his companions have breached the sanctity of the holy month! They shed blood, stole money and have taken captives!”

As you can imagine, this was a very awkward time for the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) and the stress was mounting, for the pagan press was almost literally on fire, exploiting the Muslim breach to the very max! The image of Islām was being heavily maligned whilst the fate of ʿAbdullāhi b. Jahsh and his companions was distressingly unclear.

After much suspense, verses of Qur’ān would finally arrive to comment on the matter and to straighten out crooked understandings. Allāh mentions:

“They ask you concerning fighting in the holy Months (i.e. 1st, 7th, 11th and 12th months of the Islamic calendar). Say “Fighting therein is a great sin …”

Yes, the Muslims had committed an error that Allāh described as ‘great’ but the verse does not end here. Rather, Allāh then makes mention of the matters that led up to this mistake which are far worse than what the companions had engaged in. In this, we see the fairness of Allāh. Condemnation is given where due but He would not single out the acts of the Muslims in condemnation but rather placed it within its wider context.

The verse continues,

“…but a greater sin with Allāh is to prevent mankind from following the way of Allāh, to disbelieve in Him, to prevent access to Al-Masjid-Al-Haram at Makkah, and to drive out its inhabitants, and Al-Fitnah (driving people out of their faith) is worse than killing!…” [4]

Heart-warming verses that contextualised the entire episode, as if they were being told,

“O pagans! You have been reviling, ransacking, torturing and killing the Muslims for over thirteen years! You have also driven them out of their home city, prevented them from accessing Makkah and actively pushed them to apostate! These matters are far worse than killing! Furthermore, you have been perpetrating these crimes during every holy month of the calendar and within the holy city of Makkah itself! Now, that the Muslims commit a single error, you unjustly exploit it to your advantage and all of a sudden, these four month are very holy and sanctified to you.”

We are very often told about the injustices of the few Muslim countries that have banned women from their right of education yet rarely does the media make any mention of the Muslim women in France who are unjustly banned from their right of education simply because they wear Hijāb.[5]

A French court injunction banned a Jesus based clothing advert mimicking Da Vinci’s Last Supper. The display was ruled “a gratuitous and aggressive act of intrusion on people’s innermost beliefs”, by the French judge.[6] As for the cartoons that satirised the Prophet Muḥammad (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) in the most demeaning of ways, the courts of France and Europe were unmoved.

The Daily Telegraph recently published a report with regards to the academic and economic underachievement of “Muslims”,[7] whereas underachievement in other communities is never attributed to their religion, but to deprivation, investment and other societal factors.

Muslims are labelled as discriminatory, regressive, sexist and backward for wishing to segregate between the sexes at university lectures but in March 2014, when 50,000 orthodox Jews demonstrated in New York, men were completely segregated from women and it was described as “keeping to tradition, with men and women in separate groups.”[8]

The use of double standards and fraudulent coverage is as old as mankind. For Allāh said:

وَيْلٌ لِلْمُطَفِّفِينَ (1) الَّذِينَ إِذَا اكْتَالُوا عَلَى النَّاسِ يَسْتَوْفُونَ (2) وَإِذَا كَالُوهُمْ أَوْ وَزَنُوهُمْ يُخْسِرُونَ (3) أَلَا يَظُنُّ أُولَئِكَ أَنَّهُمْ مَبْعُوثُونَ (4) لِيَوْمٍ عَظِيمٍ (5) يَوْمَ يَقُومُ النَّاسُ لِرَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ (6)

“Woe to the defrauders, those who, when they take a measure from people, take in full. But if they give by measure or by weight to them, they cause loss. Do they not think that they will be resurrected? For a tremendous Day – The Day when mankind will stand before the Lord of the worlds?”[9]

As for ʿAbdullāh and the eight brave men who accompanied him, verses were revealed which spoke in their praise and, as for the captives, the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) returned one of them back to Makkah. But what about the other? He would remain in Madina as he had embraced Islām. Al-Hakam b. Kaysan would not only embrace Islām but would dedicate his life in service of Islām until he would attain martyrdom in Bi’r Ma’oona! Who would have thought that this could happen?! Who would have imagined that any light could emanate from such an episode?

Regardless of the difficulty at hand and the many odds which Muslims seem to be up against, whether it pertains to their lives, land or image, one must ensure that hopes in Allāh remain sky high, for you and I have absolutely no idea how Allāh plans for and aids His Deen just as He (subḥānahu wa taʿālā) plans for and aids you as a practicing Muslim individual.

Hamza, the uncle of the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam), would embrace Islām after hearing the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) being insulted. Similarly, At-Tufail b. ʿAmr would embrace Islām and would be the cause behind the Islām of his entire tribe, “Daws”, which included Abū Huraira, after hearing the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) being insulted!

Furthermore, if it was not for trials, anguish and trauma, Prophet Yūsuf (ʿalayhi al-Salām) would have remained within the arms of his father, but through trials, anguish and trauma, he became the ʿAzīz of Egypt

Had baby Mūsa (ʿalayhi al-Salām) not been separated from the arms of his mother and united with the turbulent waves of the river Nile, his upbringing would not have been within the palace of the Pharaoh.

As Muslims, both individually and collectively, our affair is just as the poet once said,

فـلربـما كان الـدخولُ إلى العـلا ***** والـمـجد من بوابـة الأحـزانِ

“For it may be that the entry to heights and glory are arrived at through the doorways of sorrow.”

Notes:

[1] Al-Qur’ān 22:39

[2] Seerat Ibnu Hisham

[3] Al-Qur’ān 24:51

[4] Al-Qur’ān 2:217

[5] http://www.mintpressnews.com/france-ban-hijab-headscarves-universities-islamophobia/166675/

[6] http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4337031.stm

[7] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/11409181/British-Muslims-integration-and-segregation-are-about-economics-not-values.html

[8] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2577015/Patriotism-persecution-Thousands-Orthodox-Jews-swarm-NYC-streets-protest-Israeli-armys-proposal-draft-young-men.html

[9] Al-Qur’ān 83:1-6

Short Intro on Battle of al-Qadisiyyāh (636)

The Sassanid Persian Forces led by Rostam Farrokhzād were crushed by the Rashidun Caliphate Forces led Sa’ad ibn Abi Waqqas (رضي الله عنه).— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
The Sassanid army was destroyed, most of their commanders killed or captured, opening the way to conquer Mesopotamia (Bīlad ar-Rafidayn), and later conquer Persia and destroy the Sassanid Empire.
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
This battle is a turning point in the Middle East, it changed the balance of power in the region, by changing the balance of power in the region, the Arabs took the advantage over the great empires of the region that are Persia and the Byzantine Empire (because yes the Byzantines will be crushed in Yarmouk, the same year), and Islam gained power in the region. The battle is a huge traumatism for Persians. Just think about it, Arabs poorly armed, no better than goat farmers, countrymen ! crushed one of the most powerful armies of the time ! (admittedly weakened because of the conflicts against Byzantium and internal problems).
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
The battle is also one of the reasons of the assassination of Umar ibn al-Khattab (رضي الله عنه) by a Persian slave captured during the Persian Conquest. — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
In Iran, The battle of al-Qadissiyah is still seen as an humiliation and a huge traumatism even today.
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
By the way, it still has an echo that resonates until today ex: Qadisiyyah has been associated with Arab nationalism and was used by Saddam Hussein as a propaganda tool in his war against Iran in the 1980’s when he built his famous Victory Arch (or Swords of Qadisiyyah) in Baghdad.

#copied

Intellect is your weapon!

Back in Abbasid times, there was an old man who worked as a tailor. He also happened to be the local mu’adhin, or caller to prayer. One night he woke up in the middle of the night, unable to sleep. As he awaited the first light, he heard a struggle. He saw a man grabbing a woman and forcing her into his home. Because the mu’adhin was so old and frail, he knew he could do nothing to stop this. But Allah endowed the human being with something greater than strength: intellect. The old man climbed atop the mosque and called the adhan, even though it was before the time. When the people came out to pray, he directed them to the man’s home, telling them there was a woman inside being assaulted. Because he was the mu’adhin, they trusted him and proceeded to bang on the man’s door. As soon as he opened it, they yanked him out, beat him to a pulp and released the woman.

After the sun rose and the day began, it was discovered that the assailant was a military officer. The news reached the Caliph and he summoned all those involved. He exectued the soldier on the spot. Then he called on the old man: “What made you think of calling the prayer early?” He replied, “I realized I was too weak to face that man myself. But I knew people would come out soon, since Fajr was almost in. Then I calculated that calling the adhan too early was a lesser harm than allowing a woman to be attacked. So I called it early.” The Caliph rewarded him, and used to grant him an audience whenever he wanted thereafter.

This story is recounted in the histories of Baghdad.

Ramadān: the Month of Victory

“O Allāh!  Should this group be defeated today, You will no longer be worshipped.”

These were the words of the Messenger of Allāh (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) as he stood before his Lord one Friday night with his hands raised in the air, his palms wide open, weeping, whilst supplicating for victory for the Ummah.  So troubled was the Messenger of Allāh (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) that his tears did not cease, his supplications did not end, until his cloak fell off his shoulders and Abū Bakr (radiyAllāhu ‘anhu), his closest companion, assured him that Allāh would not reject his prayer.  But this was no ordinary night and this was no ordinary place.  This was the 17th night of Ramadān and this du’ā’ (supplication) was being made in the valley of Badr, on the eve of the battle of Badr, the most important battle ever to be fought by the Muslims. Completely outnumbered by a much better equipped army, the Prophet (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) and the Muslims did all they could physically do and made du’ā’ before, during and after the battle.  Out of His infinite mercy, Allāh granted them victory against the odds that would never be forgotten where 313 men, 2 horses and 70 camels defeated an army of 1000 men, 100 horses and 700 camels. Such was the measure of this victory that the cries of “Allāhu Akbar” and “Ahad, Ahad” (God is One) reverberate right to this very day and the ripple effects of the victory continue to shake the ground from beneath us. The timeless reminder of this victory is preserved for us in the Glorious Qur’ān when Allāh jalla wa’alā states:

“And indeed Allāh assisted you at Badr when you were weak, so be observant to your duty to Allāh so that you may be of the thankful ones. When you said to the believers ‘Does it not suffice you that your Lord should assist you with three thousand angels sent down’.” [1]

The battle of Badr strengthened the faith of the Muslims and was a decisive victory that shattered the forces of the enemy and firmly established the new State in Madīnah as a powerful spiritual, political and now, military force. It should not be forgotten that such was the importance of that decisive battle, that were it not for the courage, sacrifice, loss of limb and life of those noble and blessed companions on that day, we would not be here today to bear witness of Allāh.

Such was the month of Ramadān in the time of the Prophet (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam). It was a time of purification, enjoining the good, forbidding evil and striving hard with one’s life and wealth to make the Word of Allāh the highest. The Prophet (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) and his Companions (radiyAllāhu ‘anhum) passed through approximately nine Ramadāns together after the Hijrah. Those Ramadāns were filled with decisive events that shaped the course of history.

The Opening of Makkah

We should know that it was in this blessed month of reward, on the 20th of Ramadān, in the 8th year AH that the Prophet (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) returned to Makkah not as the ruled, but as the ruler in the opening of Makkah (Fath Makkah), when he took it under the authority of Islām for the first time in the history of Islām. Makkah was conquered without a battle. He entered Makkah and treated the people justly. He personally went to the Ka’ba, pointed to the idols with his stick and recited the verse:

“The Truth has come and the falsehood has passed away; verily falsehood is sure to pass away.” [2]

After that, all the idols which the Quraysh used to worship collapsed on their backs, one after the other, and then they were burnt, broken up and disposed of. Thus, Makkah was completely liberated and the age of worshipping idols such as al-’Uzza, Suwā’ and Mannāt therein were over forever.

After the death of the Prophet (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam), Muslims carried this Sunnah on and Allāh the Majestic used the believers to affect the course of history. Logic might tell you that battling whilst fasting is to result in a loss, but faith and reliance on Allāh transcends such flawed logic, it is greater than that. And so you find that rarely has a month witnessed so many battles for fighting for the sake of Allāh and the achievement of great conquests and victories of Islām like the month of Ramadān.

Al-Qādisiyyah

In the year 636CE corresponding to 15AH in the month of Ramadān, the Muslim army led by Sa’ad b. Abī Waqqās (radiyAllāhu ‘anhu) consisting of 30,000 among which there were more than 700 sahābah and more than 70 veterans of Badr, set out to meet the Persian army in Qādisiyyah after the Muslims had made great strides into the Persian kingdom – this battle was set to pave the way for the demise of the Persian empire. The Persian army was very imposing, numbering around 100,000 and had within its ranks, huge elephants wearing coats of mail with their tusks wrapped in silk and velvet. The Muslim army looked less impressive but what they lacked in resources, they made up for in their faith and unshakable conviction and thus, the ground was set for the spectacle of battle between two formidable armies.

After an early setback, a great sahābi, Qa’qa’ (radiyAllāhu ‘anhu) entered the fray having previously been posted in Syria. He joined the battle with a rousing cry of “Allāhu Akbar” which immediately uplifted the Muslims for they knew Qa’qa’ was a man as good as an army and a man about whom Abū Bakr (radiyAllāhu ‘anhu) stated “No army can be defeated if in its ranks is the likes of this man”.  Qa’qa’ brought down the great elephants and following this, the great Persian commander, Rustum was erased from the pages of history. The blood on the plains of Qādisiyyah had not yet dried when Sa’ad wrote a letter to the Khalīfah, ‘Umar (radiyAllāhu ‘anhu) stating:

“Lo, Allāh has given us victory over the Persians… The Muslims met numbers chroniclers have not heard of but their numbers were of no avail to them and Allāh gave their possessions to the Muslims.” [3]

Greece

In the Ramadān of 31AH, the Muslims, under the leadership of Mu’āwiyah (radiyAllāhu ‘anhu), conquered the Christian islands of Rhodes, destroying the biggest idol in the world at the time, the Colossus of Rhodes (named after the Greek god named Helios), a statue 110 feet tall that sat on a 50-foot high pedestal of white marble near the harbour entrance of the city. This battle was known to be so ferocious that it is said that had a bird sought to fly over the plains of this spectre, it would not pass to the other side without being cut into a thousand pieces from the meeting of the swords and the volley of arrows.

Spain

By 92AH, Islām had spread across North Africa, Persia and Shām. Al-Andalus (Spain) was under the tyrannical rule of King Roderic of the Visigoths who persecuted, oppressed and imprisoned the Jews and Christians alike. According to the chronicles of history, a Christian chief called Julian who had fled Spain called upon the Muslims across the shores for help.[4] The Umayyad governor of North Africa, Mūsā b. Nusair, responded by sending his courageous General at the head of 12,000 troops who landed at a point close to the huge rock which dominates the entrance to the Mediterranean. In Ramadān of that year, they were confronted with an army led by Roderic himself amounting to 90,000. There was an aura of fear and scepticism amongst the Muslim flanks; upon knowing which, the General ordered his loyal men to burn all the ships that had carried them here and were their only source of a safe journey back home. That man, that fearless leader was called Tāriq b. Ziyād. Once all of the ships were burnt, Tāriq addressed his soldiers and said:

“Brothers in Islām! We now have the enemy in front of us and the deep sea behind us. We cannot return to our homes, because we have burnt our boats. We shall now either defeat the enemy and gain victory or die a coward’s death by drowning in the sea. Who will follow me?”

The army burst with great enthusiasm to meet the enemy and Allāh manifested a clear victory over the forces of tyranny and oppression and they conquered Spain. The place where he landed was named Jabal al-Tāriq by the Muslims, later twisted to what we know today as Gibraltar. That little name is a reminder of our glorious past and the heroic man who rose to the heights of courage on wings of faith and self-belief.

The Crusades

A divided Islāmic world offered feeble resistance to the Crusaders who had invaded and consolidated their hold on the lands surrounding al-Quds containing Islām’s third holiest site, Masjid al-Aqsa. The warring Muslim parties did not take the Crusader invasion seriously at this stage. After almost 100 years of occupation, in the words of Imām al-Dīn al-Khatīb: “Allāh renewed Islām after it had declined and strengthened it after it had grown weak” through Nūr al-Dīn and then by the man of the hour, perhaps the most celebrated of Muslim soldiers in the history of Islām, Salāh al-Dīn Ayūbi, who threw down the gauntlet to the invading Crusaders.

After a number of battles, the decisive battle once again, as many times previously, took place in the blessed month of Ramadān in the year 582AH at the battle of Hattīn. Leading up to this battle, one of the crusader kings, Renaud treacherously attacked a Muslim caravan during a period of truce. He seized these people, put them to torture, threw them into pits and imprisoned some in dungeons. When the prisoners objected and pointed out that there was a truce between the two peoples, he remonstrated: “Ask your Muhammad to deliver you”. The battle of Hattīn which then followed, is considered by many to be the key to all the Muslim conquests against the crusaders and represented the period that the crusader tide began to recede which eventually resulted in the liberation of al-Quds on the 27th of Rajab, which was said to have coincided with the Night Journey of the Prophet (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam).

The very first jummu’ah khutbah (Friday Sermon) delivered in Jerusalem following its liberation has been preserved for us until this very day began with a verse which was indeed apt for the magnanimous occasion:

“So the people that committed wrong were eliminated. And all the praises and thanks be to Allāh, the Lord of the worlds”. [5]

One of the names and attributes of Allāh is al-Rāfi ‘The One who raises’ and it was in the blessed month of Ramadān in the battle of Hattīn that Allāh raised Salāh al-Dīn’s status among the greats of this noble Ummah. And thus, Salahaddīn fulfilled the saying of someone who once said to his mother while she was pregnant with him that “in your womb there is one of the weapons of Allāh”.

The Mongols

Fierce mounted warriors swept out of Mongolia, laying waste to every city that refused to surrender. In 656 AH, they unleashed their fury against Baghdād and breached its walls. They murdered and pillaged for a week – some estimates say that as many as 1,800,000 were killed. The whole IslāmIc world trembled in fear of the Mongols. This was such a decisive blow that for the first time since the very early stages of the faith at the time of Badr, there was a real fear that Islām and Muslims could be wiped off the face of the earth.

Amongst all this doom and gloom and when Muslims were in a real position of weakness, fear and apprehension, Allāh raised for the Ummah His servant, Saif al-Dīn Qutuz who was a Mamluk (Mamluks had served as soldier-slaves for the Ayyubid sultans of Cairo). He united the Muslims, prepared them to fight, raised the necessary money and the army was mobilised to engage in the battle to defend Islām, its followers and lands, and to fight the usurping aggressor. Amongst the many renowned scholars who had encouraged the Muslims to unify behind Qutuz and prepare for the battle was the great scholar, al-‘Izz b. ‘Abd al-Salām.

Lying between Qutuz and the Mongols, however, was another enemy of the Muslims—the crusader forces that had come to Palestine to reclaim the “Holy Land” for Christendom. From them, Qutuz sought safe passage and the right to buy supplies in order to engage the Mongols in war in Palestine. The crusaders consented. Qutuz, after all, was the only hope the crusaders had of ridding the area of the Mongols, who were as much of a worry to them as they were to the Muslims. As a result, the stage was set for a decisive clash between the Muslims and the Mongols. In the month of Ramadān, on Friday the 25th in 658 A.H was the infamous battle of Ain Jālūt.

Qutuz told his army to wait until they finished the Jummu’ah Salāh, “Do not fight them until the sun passes the middle of the sky, the shadows appear and the winds stir, and the preachers and people start to implore Allāh for us in their prayers,” and thereafter, the fighting began. Among the army of Qutuz was his General, Beybars, who would in time carve his own name into the honorary roll of warriors. By the Grace of Allāh, they achieved their victory. The invaders were defeated and the whole of the world sighed in relief and stood in awe at the remarkable achievement of these noble sons of Islām. This was the first Mongol defeat since they had launched their westward thrust out of Mongolia 43 years earlier. Never again could they return with such thrust as they had done and in time, their descendants converted to Islām and began another glorious chapter in the history of Islām.

Conclusion

This was the spirit of Ramadān that enabled our righteous forefathers to face seemingly impossible challenges. It was a time of intense activity, spending the day in the saddle and the night in prayer while calling upon Allāh for His mercy and forgiveness.

We see that the history of Islām is replete with lessons that illuminate the road of the believers where kingdoms and nations rose and fell, armies marched west and east and still the sun of Islām did not set on the world but rather it continued to shine.

Today, the Muslim world is faced with imperialist occupation, military aggression, widespread corruption and oppressive rulers. In such times, we ask that Allāh raises a group of believers who walk in the footsteps of our beloved Prophet (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam), the illustrious Sahābah, Tāriq b. Ziyād, Qutuz, Salāh al-Dīn and the other countless heroes of Islām who dazzled the world and changed the course of history.

We have seen that history bears witness to the fact that the power of Ramadān is that reputations are torn up and transformed, legacies are gilded and legends are born. It is easy to witness the current state of the suffering of Muslims as we have seen recently everywhere, but let the above stories serve as a means of hope. May Allāh make this Ramadān a turning point in the Islamic history and make it join the months of victory. Āmīn!

Notes:

1.Al-Qur’ān 3:123 -124

2.Al-Qur’ān 17:81

3.Tabari, Vol 3

4.http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/islam/history/spain_1.shtml

5.Al-Qur’ān 6:18

Ramadan!

“The month of fasting has now come to shade and shelter you,

Do not transform it also into a month of sinning.

Recite the Qur’an and glorify [God], with diligent assertion.

Indeed! It is a month for glorification and the Qur’an.

Deny your bodily appetites, seeking your soul’s salvation.

Eventually, the earth will consume the body.

How many deceased people have you known who fasted?

Amongst your family, neighbors, and brothers.

Death has erased them, leaving you behind.

Get serious [about your religion], for the living are quite close to the dead!

You take delight in the ‘Eid outfits being cut out now for the festival.

But soon they will be your burial shrouds.

How long will the person be happy with his worldly home?

Knowing that his ultimate home is the grave.”

-Ibn Rajab al Hanbali, from ’Lata’if al-Ma’arif’

Quran, Bible & Archeology

Copied.

A popular trend among some Orientalists is to try and attack the Qur’ān by casting doubt on its historical reliability. What should we as Muslims make of these claims? It is important to understand the way historians view history. Much like detectives, they work by piecing together clues that they find in the present to form a bigger picture about something that happened in the past. The clues can vary from archaeological evidence to testimonies of those who lived during, or close to, a particular historical person or event. Motives must be sought, sometimes even second guessed. Therefore much like a jigsaw, the more pieces of the puzzle they have, the clearer and more complete the picture of the past will be. The further back in history one goes, the more difficult this task becomes, as there are fewer pieces of the jigsaw that have survived.

Historians are limited in what they can discover about the past because they can only deal with what is apparent. A good example of this is the late Mother Teresa. She was a Roman Catholic nun who dedicated her life to the poor, sick and dying in India. Such was her dedication to charitable work that she has been dubbed the Saint of the Poor. She was the recipient of numerous honours including the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize. In 2003, she was beatified by the Catholic Church as “Blessed Teresa of Calcutta”. It is believed that she will soon be officially recognised as a saint by the Catholic Church. For a long time historians held her as an exemplary of piety. No credible historian questioned her faith because of what was apparent, everyone judged her by her public persona.

All of this changed ten years after her death with the release of some of her private letters.[1] They revealed for the first time that throughout her life she was deeply tormented about her faith and suffered periods of doubt about God. This stands in marked contrast to her public image as a selfless and tireless minister for the poor who was driven by faith. Literally overnight she went from being the Saint of the Poor to a doubting Thomas. Because these letters were kept secret by her colleagues and seniors, historians held to a distorted picture of her even long after her death. What this example serves to demonstrate is that the reality of a situation can, and often is, at odds with what human beings are able to perceive using our limited senses.

By contrast the Qur’ān is not limited by the apparent; it in fact reveals the reality of history. The Qur’ān proclaims that it reveals knowledge of the unseen:

That is from the news of the unseen which We reveal to you, [O Muḥammad]. You knew it not, neither you nor your people before this… [2]

This quality is illustrated beautifully in the story of Prophet Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi al-Salām). The oldest historical accounts we have for Ibrāhīm are found in the Old Testament. Biblical tradition places Ibrāhīm’s birthplace to be a location called “Ur of the Chaldeans”:

This is the account of Terah’s family line. Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran. And Haran became the father of Lot. While his father Terah was still alive, Haran died in Ur of the Chaldeans, in the land of his birth. [3]

Ur was an ancient city of Mesopotamia located in modern day Iraq.

The Bible states that Ibrāhīm’s people were idol worshippers. It must be noted that the Bible makes no mention of specific idols that were worshipped, they are simply referred to as “other gods”:

Joshua said to all the people, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Long ago your ancestors, including Terah the father of Abraham and Nahor, lived beyond the Euphrates River and worshiped other gods.’” [4]

While there is a lot of overlap in the stories about Ibrāhīm in the Qur’ān and Bible, there is a particular story about Ibrāhīm that is only found in the Qur’an:

And thus did We show Abraham the realm of the heavens and the earth that he would be among the certain [in faith].

So when the night covered him [with darkness], he saw a star. He said, “This is my lord.” But when it set, he said, “I like not those that disappear.”

And when he saw the moon rising, he said, “This is my lord.” But when it set, he said, “Unless my Lord guides me, I will surely be among the people gone astray.”

And when he saw the sun rising, he said, “This is my lord; this is greater.” But when it set, he said, “O my people, indeed I am free from what you associate with Allāh.

Indeed, I have turned my face toward He who created the heavens and the earth, inclining toward truth, and I am not of those who associate others with Allāh.” [5]

We can see from this story how Ibrahim debated with his people, explaining to them the error of their way in worshipping false gods. We are taught an important principle by this story; we should only worship that which is worthy. Even though the sun, moon and stars are attractive, ultimately they are part of the creation which means they have a creator and therefore one that is more worthy of our worship than they are. Like the Biblical narrative, the Qur’ān states that Ibrāhīm’s people worshipped idols. However unlike the Bible, the Qur’ān goes into historical detail as it elaborates on the idolatry of his people.

There is strong evidence to suggest that the star spoken of in the Qur’ān is in fact Venus. We find mention of this in the works of Tafāsīr of several classical scholars of the Qur’ān. For example from Tafsīr al-Jalalayn:

“When night descended, [when] it darkened, upon him he saw a star — said to have been Venus…”

From Tafsīr Ibn Kathīr:

“Ibrāhīm, may Allāh’s peace and blessings be on him, first proved that Venus is not worthy of being worshipped…”

That the celestial body mentioned by the Qur’ān is Venus can also be deduced from astronomy. Let us analyse the verses in detail:

So when the night covered him [with darkness], he saw a star. He said, “This is my lord.” But when it set, he said, “I like not those that disappear.” [6]

Venus plays a very prominent role in the night sky. Venus is the brightest planet in sky, but it is only visible shortly after sunset or before sunrise. Notice the words of the verse, “I like not those that disappear”. Venus is in fact known as the “Morning Star” and “Evening Star” because it is visible for only a short amount of time just after sunset and again for a short amount of time just before sunrise. From the verse itself we can see that the star disappeared just after night fall. Furthermore, the very next verse tells us that the Moon rose after the disappearance of the star:

“And when he saw the moon rising…” 

Again this would indicate that the celestial body is Venus. Even from a logical standpoint, if his people did worship the celestial bodies then they would surely worship the most prominent ones. It so happens that Venus is the third brightest object in the sky, after the Sun and Moon, sometimes appearing so bright that it can actually cast shadows on the ground. In summary, the Qur’ān alludes to the claim that Ibrāhīm’s people worshipped three celestial gods: the Sun, the Moon and Venus.

Does archaeology support the Qur’ān’s claims? Ibrāhīm’s city, Ur, was founded around 4000 BC and was the capital of the Sumerian civilisation and once a great harbour city on the banks of the Euphrates River. The city started to decline from around 550 BC and was no longer inhabited after about 500 BC. Eventually the city fell into ruin and the area was buried beneath the desert sands.[7] Before the 20th century, written history had told the world very little about Ur. Beyond the Bible’s brief references to it as the home of Ibrāhīm, almost nothing was known. The British Museum commenced excavations in Ur under the direction of archaeologists in 1918. They were forced to dig a vast hole over 40ft deep to uncover the lowest levels of the city. Their findings revealed much about everyday life, art, architecture, literature, government, and religion in what has come to be called “the cradle of civilisation”.[8]

They discovered that Ur was especially devoted to the worship of the Moon god Nanna. Here is the Ziggurat of Ur, a giant complex containing a temple dedicated to Nanna, the principle deity of the city [9]:

Here is a relic discovered at Ur which depicts the moon god Nanna in the form of a crescent:

The people of Ur also worshipped other astral gods and goddesses. This bronze figure represents Ur-Nammu, the ruler of Ur. The inscription around and over the king’s body states that Ur-Nammu dedicated the figure to the goddess of Venus, Ishtar [10]:

The people of this region also worshipped the sun. In this stele the sun god Shamash, god of justice, is depicted handing authority to the king. If you look closely at the figure on the right you see sun rays proceeding from his shoulders [11]:

In fact these three astral deities – Nanna (the Moon god), Shamash (the Sun god) and Ishtar (goddess Venus) – were believed to be genealogically related to each other and formed an astral triad. According to Sumerian mythology, Ishtar and Shamash were siblings and both the offspring of the moon god Nanna [12].

The famous Stele of Ur-Nammu depicts this relationship between the Moon god Nanna joined together with his daughter Ishtar the goddess of Venus:

A lot of the relics from this period of Sumerian history have been lost or destroyed. Later surviving relics depict the astral triad together in full:

Here is an example of a boundary stone. It portrays numerous Mesopotamian gods graphically in segmented registers on the stone. Notice how the astral triad of Venus, the Moon and the Sun take their place at the top of the pantheon of gods, signifying their prominence:

What is remarkable is that this knowledge had been lost for thousands of years at the time of the Qur’ān’s revelation in the 7th century. These historical claims that have been mentioned in the Qur’ān about the deities worshipped by Prophet Ibrāhīm’s people – the astral triad of the Sun, Moon and Venus – could not have naturally been known to Prophet Muḥammad (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam). Knowledge of Sumerian religion (especially the birthplace of Ibrāhīm, the city of Ur) had been lost for thousands of years until their rediscovery and excavation in the 20th century.

The only realistic natural source of knowledge about Ibrāhīm available to Prophet Muḥammad (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) would have been the Bible based stories in circulation. As we have seen however, the story of Prophet Ibrāhīm in the Bible is silent on the details of the religious beliefs of his people. Critics may claim that the author of the Qur’ān merely luckily guessed the gods and goddesses that were worshipped by Ibrāhīm’s people. This is highly unlikely given the fact that the people across this region worshipped thousands of deities. They had gods for everything from brick making to brewing, even including a Lord of Livestock Pens.[13] From where then did Prophet Muḥammad obtain this information? The Qur’ān answers:

Your Companion is neither astray nor being misled. Nor does he say (aught) of (his own) desire. It is no less than inspiration sent down to him. He was taught by one mighty in Power. [14]

We have looked at one example in detail, the story of Ibrāhīm. However the author of the Qur’ān consistently demonstrates knowledge of the unseen, of different times and places in history. This is not a quality of fallible human beings but rather the divine. This is one of the many reasons why we have certainty in the perfect words of our Lord. Allāh is the knower of the unseen, His knowledge trumps all human knowledge. So if there ever is an apparent conflict between historians and the Qur’ān, we can rest assured that the Qur’ān goes beyond what is apparent and reveals the true reality of the situation:

This is the Scripture in which there is no doubt, containing guidance for those who are mindful of Go

Notes:

Further Reading

For a more in-depth treatment of various subjects covered in this article you can refer to the author’s blog:

http://manyprophetsonemessage.com/2014/10/14/quran-reveals-lost-knowledge-about-prophet-abraham/

References

[1] Reuters article (valid as of 02/08/2015):

http://www.reuters.com/article/2007/08/24/us-teresa-letters-idUSN2435506020070824

[2] Al-Qur’ān 11:49

[3] Genesis 11:7-28

[4] Joshua 24:2

[5] Al-Qur’ān 6:75-79

[6] Al-Qur’ān 7:76

[7] British Museum website (valid as of 02/08/2015):

http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/articles/u/ur.aspx

[8] Pennsylvania Museum website (valid as of 02/08/2015):

http://www.penn.museum/press-releases/983-british-museum-and-penn-museum-collaborate-on-web-resource.html

[9] Charles Kahn, World History: Societies of the Past.

[10] British Museum website (valid as of 02/08/2015):

http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/me/f/foundation_figure_of_ur-nammu.aspx

[11] Louvre website (valid as of 02/08/2015):

http://www.louvre.fr/en/oeuvre-notices/law-code-hammurabi-king-babylon

[12] Kramer, Sumerian Mythology.

[13] Robert Wright, The Evolution of God.

[14] Al-Qur’ān 53:2-5

[15] Al-Qur’ān 2:2

The sincerity of Early Generations.

We know that we can never and should never tire from the discussion of sincerity and of reminding ourselves about its pivotal nature to a believer. With this in mind, what follows is a selection of texts that reflect the attitude and statements of the righteous generations regarding sincerity. As we read these let us reflect carefully on them and on ourselves!

A man said to the Companion Abu Dardāʾ: “Advise me.” He replied, “Remember a day when secrecy will be swapped for publicity.”

Muḥammad b. Isḥāq reported from ʿIkrimah bin Abī Jahl that when the Messenger of Allāh (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) conquered Makkah, he (ʿIkrimah) ran away, fleeing from him. When he was on the sea, headed for Ethiopia, the ship started to rock and the crew said: O people, pray sincerely to your Lord alone, for no one can save us from this except Him. ʿIkrimah said: “By Allāh, if there is none who can save us on the sea except Him, then there is none who can save us on land except Him either, O Allāh, I vow to You that if I come out of this, I will go and put my hand in the hand of Muḥammad and I will find him kind and merciful.” And so he went to him and accepted Islām. (al-Nasāʾī)

So many scholars viewed the aḥadīth on intentions to be the most fundamental ḥadīth. This ḥadīth is one of the aḥadīth around which the whole religion revolves, and it is related that Imām al-Shāfiʿī said, “This ḥadīth constitutes a third of all knowledge.” Imām Ahmad said, “The foundations of Islām are upon three aḥādīth:

– The ḥadīth of ‘Umar, ‘Verily actions are by intention’;

– The ḥadīth of ʿĀʾishah, ‘Whosoever introduces into this affair of ours that which is not part of it, then it is rejected’; and

– The ḥadīth of Nuʿmān b. Bashīr, ‘The ḥalāl is clear and the ḥarām is clear’.”

Isḥāq b. Rāhawayh said, “The foundations of the religion are upon four ḥadīth:

– The ḥadīth of ‘Umar, ‘Verily actions are by intention’;

– The ḥadīth, ‘The halal is clear, and the haram is clear’;

– The ḥadīth, ‘Verily the creation of one of you comes together in the stomach of his mother for 40 days’; and

– The ḥadīth, ‘Whosoever invents into this affair of ours anything which is not part of it, then it is rejected’.”

Abu Dāwūd said, “I looked into the ḥadīth of the Musnad (i.e. of Ahmad) and it consisted of 40,000 aḥādīth. Then I looked again and (found that) the 40,000 aḥādīth revolved around 4 aḥādīth:

– The ḥadīth of Nuʿmān ibn Bashir, ‘The halāl is clear and the harām is clear’;

– The ḥadīth of ‘Umar, ‘Verily actions are by intentions’;

– The ḥadīth of Abu Hurayrah, ‘Verily Allāh is pure, and does not accept except that which is pure. And indeed Allāh ordered the Muslims with that which He ordered the Messengers’; and

– The ḥadīth, ‘From the excellence of ones Islām is his leaving that which does not concern him’.”

And also from Abu Dāwūd, “It suffices man that he knows from all these aḥādīth [the ones he collected in his Sunan] 4 aḥādīth:

– His saying, ‘Verily actions are by intention’;

– His saying, ‘From the excellence of a person’s Islām is his leaving that which does not concern him’;

– His saying, ‘The believer will not truly believe until he wishes for his brother that which he wishes for himself’; and

– His saying, ‘The halāl is clear and the harām is clear’.”

And in another narration from him, “Fiqh revolves around 5 aḥādīth:

– ‘The halāl is clear and the harām is clear’;

– ‘Do not harm and do not reciprocate harm’;

– ‘Verily actions are by intentions’;

– ‘The religion is advice/sincerity’; and

– ‘What I forbade you from then stay away from it, and what I ordered you with then do as much of it as you can’.”

Many of them started their works with this ḥadīth. ʿAbdurRaḥmān al-Mahdi said, “If I were to write a book composed of chapters, I would place in every chapter the ḥadīth of ‘Umar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb to do with ‘actions are by intentions’.” Abu ʿUbayd said, “The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) collected all the affairs of the Hereafter in one statement, ‘Whosoever introduces into this affair of ours that which is not part of it, then it is rejected,’ and all the affairs of this world in one statement, ‘Verily actions are by intentions.’ Place them in every chapter.”

Yaḥyā b. Abī Kathīr said, “Learn about intention for it is more far-reaching than actions.”

Ibn Abī Jamrah said, “I had hoped that among the scholars there would be some who would have no other occupation but to teach the people about their intentions behind their actions. And that they would be completely free to sit and teach only the dynamics of intention and its details, because many people fail only because they go astray in that regard.”

Suhayl was asked: What is the thing most difficult for the nafs (soul)? He replied: “To have ikhlāṣ, especially when the soul is not disposed towards it.”

Al-Fuḍayl b. ʿIyyāḍ said: “Abandoning action for the sake of people, is to seek their admiration. To do an action for the sake of people is to commit Shirk (to associate in the worship of Allāh, others along with Allāh). Indeed ikhlāṣ is when Allāh saves you from both of these states.”

Ibn Abī al-Dunyāʾ relates from Maʿqal Ibn ʿUbaydillāh al-Jazarī: “When the scholars met they would exhort one another with these words and if they were absent from each other they would write to one another, ‘Whoever rectifies his private state Allāh will rectify his public state; whoever amends what is between him and Allāh, Allāh will suffice him concerning that which is between him and his fellow people; and whoever pays concern to Allāh’s affair, Allāh will suffice him concerning his worldly affairs.’

Let’s also have a read of some remarkable tales of sincerity:

“By Allāh, I cannot say that for even a single day I went to seek ḥadīth with the intention of seeking Allāh’s countenance.” This was said by Hishām al-Distiwāʾī, whereas the great scholar Shuʿbah b. al-Ḥajjāj said, “I don’t declare of anyone seeking ḥadīth that they do it seeking Allāh’s countenance except for Hishām al-Distiwāʾī.”

Al-Ḥasan al-Baṣrī said about the Companions, ‘One of them would have memorised the Qur’ān and his neighbour would not be aware of that; one of them would have amassed much knowledge but people would not know of that; One of them would perform lengthy prayers in his house and the guests he would have would not know of that; I met a people who if they were able to do any action on the face of this earth in private they would never do it in public.”

The wife of Hassan b. Abī Sinan said, “Hassan would come, and like tricking a child to sleep, enter with me into the bed until he knows that I had slept, he would sneak out and stand in prayer.“ I said to him, ‘O Aba Abdullah, how much are you going to torture yourself? Have compassion on yourself. He replied, ‘Be quiet and woe to you; it may be soon that I lay down and I do not get up from that for an extent of time.’

Dāwūd b. Hind fasted for forty years and even his family did not know it. He would take his lunch from them, but would give it as charity on the way. He would then return in the night and eat with his family.

“Some among the poor of Madīnah lived for many years not knowing who continuously delivered their livelihood to their places, and when Ali ibn al-Hussain died, they lost whatever [sustenance] came to them by night. After his death, it was said, grave marks were found on his back from the food-sack he used to carry at night to the homes of the widows and the poor.”

During a battle a man from amongst the Muslims came forward and duelled with one of the enemy. After he had killed him, he duelled with another and killed him, and then another and killed him. People gathered around this man wanting to know who he was but he was covering his face. ʿAbdah Ibn Sulaymān pulled one end of the cloth and saw that it was Abdullah Ibn al-Mubarak and Abdullah said rebuking him, ‘And you O Abu ‘Amr are one who wishes to expose me?”

Shaddād Ibn Al-Had narrated: “A Bedouin came to the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam), accepted Islām and said: “I wish to migrate (to Madinah)’. So the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) asked some of his companions to take care of him. Then after a battle, the Muslims had gained some booty so the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) divided it and gave the Bedouin’s share to some of his companions to look after, as the Bedouin was still at the rear guard. When the Bedouin returned, they gave him his share, so he asked them: ‘What is this?’ they replied: ‘It is your share from the booty which the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) gave us to hold on to for you.’ So the Bedouin took the booty and went to the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) and asked: ‘What is this?’ The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) replied: “Your share of the booty.” The Bedouin said: ‘This is not why I believe in you and follow you; rather, I follow you so that I can get shot by an arrow right here, (and then he pointed to his throat) then die and enter Paradise.’ The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said: “If you are sincere then Allāh will grant you your wish.” After a short while, fighting resumed and the Bedouins body was brought to the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) with an arrow in his throat at exactly the spot where he had pointed to the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam). Thereupon The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said: “He was sincere so Allāh granted him his wish.” Then using his own garment, the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) shrouded the Bedouin, prayed the funeral prayer over him and was heard by his companions to say during the prayer: “O Allāh! This is Your slave who migrated for Your sake and was killed as a martyr – and I testify to this”. (al-Nasāʾī)

Al-Mawardi authored works in Fiqh, Tafsīr and other fields and none of this was known during his lifetime. He hid them in a place no one knew of. When his death came near he told someone he trusted that he has books he authored in a certain place and that he did not publicise them because he did not feel he had a sincere intention. He instructed the person that once he sees that he is about to die if he squeezes his hand then know it has not been accepted of him and to take the works at night and dump them; on the other hand if he does not squeeze his hand then know they have been accepted and that he has achieved what he hoped from Allāh.” The man said, when his death approached I put my hand in his hand and he opened his hand and did not squeeze mine, so I knew that it was a sign of acceptance and I publicised his works after that.

It is reported that when Ibn Abī Laylah prayed at night, if someone entered his house, he would lie down on his bed as if he was sleeping.

The early generations were known for not describing themselves as sincere; hiding their actions; fearing a display of pretence; and would not readily show their knowledge and conceal their weeping and so on, may Allāh have mercy upon them all. What an amazing living example they set for us to emulate; it is not beyond us but requires steadfastness and a constant connection to our Lord and the realities of faith so that He may turn to us and give us the success to be of those who are sincere in their practice of religion to Him. May Allāh make us all of those…Ameen.

The story of Dracula and Sultan Muhammad Fatih.

The below Article is copied from Internet,

He who controls the present controls the past.” [1]

Many will be aware of the Hollywood film which has been released entitled: ‘Dracula Untold’. It might not be well known that, supernatural powers aside, the tale of Dracula is actually based on a real person. Unfortunately however, this film is such a fictitious remake that it speaks volumes about the rise of Islamophobia as well as it does about the West’s attempts to seek to rewrite history by glamourising mass murders whilst peddling the fear of the ‘Muslim invaders’. What follows is a summarised account of the real, well-known history of Dracula.

Vlad Dracula was a three-time Voivode of Wallachia (modern day Romania), ruling mainly from 1456 to 1462, the period of the emergent Uthmani Khilafah, the Ottoman Caliphate, and its conquest of the Balkans. His father, Vlad II Dracul, was a member of the Order of the Dragon, which was founded to protect Christianity in Eastern Europe and was fashioned after the military orders of the Crusades requiring initiates to defend the Cross and fight the so-called “enemies of Christianity”, in particular the Muslim Ottoman Caliphate.

Childhood

There was a time, when much of what is modern Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Belarus, the Balkans, the Crimea and almost all of southern Russia was ruled by Muslims. This was once part of the Muslim heartland of Islām, the Ottomon Empire and produced many great leaders and scholars. Today of course, the only majority Muslim community found in mainland Europe is in Bosnia, Kosovo and al-Baniya, Albania.

The Christian communities in Hungary and Wallachia wanted to fight against the Ottomans, however they were very weak and there was much disunity amongst them. In 1436, Vlad II Dracul ascended to the throne in Wallacia only to be dethroned by those loyal to the King in Hungary, János Hunyadi. Vlad II sought the help of the Ottoman Muslims who in turn sought payment of the Jiz’yah, a tax which non-Muslims pay to a Muslim ruler in return for their protection from outside nations. As part of this deal, Sultan Murad II asked that Vlad II send two of his four sons to Istanbul to be educated. Vlad II agreed and so he sent his two sons and he in turn was ascended to the throne again in Wallachia by the Ottomans.

The two sons who travelled back with the Muslims to Edirne were Vlad Dracula and his younger brother, Radu. Vlad is the one who we have now come to know as Dracula because the word Dracula means ‘son of Dracul’ which was the name of his father. The word ‘Dracula’ has of course since taken on a different meaning, being synonymous with a devilish evil, and we will see why this is.

Whilst under the tutelage of the Ottoman Muslims, the boys were provided with education including that of Islamic texts. Radu became Muslim and was a close friend with the young boy of the Sultan Murad II, Muḥammad (Mehmet II). Vlad however was rebellious and is recorded to have developed a well-known hatred for Muslims even though he too studied the Qur’ān, spoke Arabic, Persian, Turkish and of course Wallachian (Romanian).

In 1447 the King of Hungary attacked Wallachia and killed Vlad Dracula and Radu’s father and brothers. Given that Vlad’s father had paid the Jiz’yah, the Muslims defended them against the Hungarians and they installed Vlad Dracula in power.

In the meantime, Radu at the age of 22 became a leading Mujāhid (one who strives in the path of Allāh) within the Ottoman court and commanded the Janissaries (the foreign contingent of the army). He was sent by his good friend Muḥammad, who by this stage had become the Sultan at the age of 19, to subdue various rebellions such as that in Anatolia. Perhaps more importantly, he participated alongside Sultan Muḥammad in the Ottomon siege which eventually led to the fall of Constantinople in 1453. Constantinople was the capital city for the Roman Byzantine Empire. Napoleon was quoted as once saying, “If the Earth were a single state, Constantinople would be its capital” [2]. As for Sultan Muḥammad, he was from here on forever to be known as Muḥammad Fātiḥ (Muḥammad the Conqueror), and his new city was from here on forever to be referred to as Islambul, meaning the “City of Islām”. It should be noted that it was only during the secularisation process of Ataturk where it took on the name of ‘Istanbul’ which has no relevant meaning. Incidentally, there are coins in the British Museum from 1730 where the name of the city, Islambul is clearly imprinted [3]. By conquering Constantinople, Sultan Muḥammad Fātiḥ had also fulfilled the blessed words of the Messenger of Allāh (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) who said concerning this event:

“Verily, Constantinople shall be conquered. Its commander shall be the best commander ever, and his army shall be the best army ever.” [4]

Crusades

With the fall of Constantinople, Pope Pius II called for crusade in 1459 against the Ottoman Muslims, at the Congress of Mantua. In this crusade, the main role was to be played by Matthias Corvinus, son of János Hunyadi, the King of Hungary. To this effect, Matthias Corvinus received from the Pope 40,000 golden coins, an amount that was thought to be enough to gather an army of 12,000 men and purchase 10 warships. In this context, Vlad Dracula allied himself with Matthias Corvinus, whose family it should be remembered killed his family, with the hope of keeping the Ottomans out of the country.

The Declaration of War

Later that year, Sultan Muḥammad Fātiḥ sent emissaries to Vlad in Wallachia to urge him to pay a delayed jiz’yah which Vlad Dracula had put off paying. Unknown to the Ottomans, Vlad Dracula had already allied himself with the Hungarians and joined the Pope’s call for a Crusade against them. Vlad Dracula met with the emissaries and said to them, “If you want to step inside of my port, you have to take off your turban and bow.” The Muslims responded that they would not remove their turban and “we only bow to Allāh”. So Vlad once again demanded, “Take it off” and again they refused. Vlad Dracula then told someone to come with some very big nails and hammers and he said, “If they refuse to remove it for me then they will never remove it again.” And he commanded that their turbans be nailed into their heads. Of course, this resulted in them being killed – this act was a declaration of war against the Muslims which Vlad Dracula had been spoiling for.

Sultan Muḥammad Fātiḥ sent the Bey of Nicopolis, Hamza Pasha to eliminate Vlad Dracula. Vlad Dracula however planned an ambush. Hamza Pasha, the Bey of Nicopolis, brought with him 10,000 cavalry and when passing through a narrow pass north of Giurgiu, Vlad Dracula launched a surprise attack. The Christians had the Muslims surrounded and defeated and almost all of them were caught and impaled, with Hamza Pasha impaled on the highest stake to show his rank. Impalement was Vlad Dracula’s preferred method of torture and execution and it was this which makes him stand out in being remembered as absolutely evil and barbaric. Impalement is the penetration of an organism by an object such as a stake, pole, spear or hook, by complete (or partial) perforation of the body, often the central body mass. What they would do is get a very long stick, make sharp one end and insert it through a person’s back passage, driving it through their body until it came out of their mouth. Often, the victims would be alive and this is how they would be killed. Then they would put this stick into the ground and impale others, putting them next to each other.

Massacres

In the winter of 1462, Vlad Dracula crossed the Danube and devastated the entire Bulgarian land in the area between Serbia and the Black Sea. Disguising himself as Turkish, utilising the fluent Turkish he had learned whilst under the care of the Muslims, he infiltrated and destroyed Ottoman camps. In a letter to Corvinus of Hungary, he wrote:

“I have killed peasant men and women, old and young… We killed 23,884 Turks (Muslims) without counting those whom we burned in homes or the Turks whose heads were cut by our soldiers… Thus, your highness, you must know that I have completely broken any peace with him (Sultan Muḥammad Fātiḥ).”

Vlad Dracula’s attack was celebrated by the then western Christendom; the Saxon cities of Transylvania, the Italian states and the Pope. A Venetian envoy, upon hearing about the news at the court of Corvinus, expressed great joy and said that the whole of Christianity should celebrate Vlad’s successful campaign. The Genoese from Caffa also thanked him.

In response to this, Sultan Muḥammad Fātiḥ raised an army of around 60,000 troops and 30,000 irregulars, and in spring of 1462 headed towards Wallachia. This army was under the Sultan’s commandership and in its ranks was his friend and brave Mujāhid, Radu. Vlad Dracula was unable to stop the Ottomans from crossing the Danube on June 4, 1462 and on entering Wallachia, they found that on one of the very long roads leading to the capital of this area were 20,000 Muslims impaled along the sides of these roads. Imagine this, we suffer today no doubt but incidents of such brute are very rare indeed. You can imagine how Sultan Muḥammad Fātiḥ felt to see even one Muslim killed which was too much to bare, but to mutilate their bodies after this was something, which was beyond acceptable.

Vlad Dracula constantly organised small attacks and ambushes on the Muslims and adopted what we would call today ‘Guerrilla warfare’. Pausing for a moment and thinking of the current state of the Muslim world, it is clear that it is now the Muslims who usually adopt guerrilla tactics in view of their weakness and inferior military might whereas Muslims were in the time of Muḥammad Fātiḥ, the superpower of the day.

The End Game

After some time, Radu, who remained faithful to Islām and the Sultan and spent his entire life on the frontlines of Jihād and battle in protection of the frontiers of the Ottoman Empire, was charged with the responsibility of pursuing his brother and thus showing the world that in Islām, brotherhood in faith is given priority over blood relations where they have an enmity towards the faith. Vlad Dracula was running out of funds and returned to Hungary to seek help from Corvinus, who instead of helping Vlad Dracula, imprisoned him as he was seen as a liability even for the Christians. In his absence, Radu defeated the remnants of Vlad Dracula’s army and became the ruler in Wallachia and he ruled from 1463-1473 when he died at the age of 40. Meanwhile, Vlad Dracula was released from prison and he returned to Wallachia once again and retook power in 1476 with Hungarian support. He immediately assembled an army and invaded Bosnia, slaughtering its Muslim population and impaling 8,000 on stakes in a forest of human bodies. Vlad Dracula had arisen from the darkness with the objective of eliminating Islām from the Balkans once and for all and installing Christianity. Sultan Muḥammad Fātiḥ invaded Wallachia and faced the forces of Vlad in Bucharest, Romania. Vlad’s army was overrun in a blitz and all were killed, including Vlad himself. His head was removed from his body and was taken back to Istanbul. They impaled his head and put it at the gates of Islambul where it stood for about 2 – 3 months to send a clear message to others.

“If you want to be like this man, then dare wage war against us.”

Points to note

This was the demise of Dracula and again as Muslims, most of us will not even know about this. How many people even know that Dracula was a real man?

It is very important that we do not allow distractions such as this new film’s fictitious rewriting of history to shape our understanding of what really happened. The film is truly shocking in its attempt to rewrite history, in portraying a man who was truly barbaric and brute in nature, as a brave man and a hero. They seek to show that his war with the Muslims started because he was seeking to protect his children, which of course is far from the truth; this was a man who did not care about family. What is more insulting and offensive is that by portraying Vlad as a hero, they are portraying his enemies, the Muslims as being barbaric and thereby also insulting the great man whom the Messenger of Allāh (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) had spoken about, Sultan Muḥammad Fātiḥ.

Many Muslims had tried before Muḥammad Fātiḥ to be the best commander ever as prophesied in the Hadith by attempting to conquer Constantinople for over eight hundred years, making ten attempts. Among them were some of the greatest men whose names shine as bright stars including ‘Uthman b. ‘Affan (radiyAllāhu‘anhu), Mu’awiyah b. Abū Sufyān (radiyAllāhu‘anhu), Abū Ayyūb al-Ansari (radiyAllāhu‘anhu) who was martyred and buried there, Sulaymān b. ʿAbd al-Mālik, Harun al-Rashīd, and many Muslim commanders from the age of the Umayyad Caliphate, ‘Abbasid Caliphate and also the ‘Uthmāni Caliphate. This was a man whom when asked about his capabilities and how he managed the conquest, replied:

“I have two traits: 1) a heart as hard as a rock that does not rest until I achieve what I want; (2) an eye that cries out of fear of Allāh jalla wa’ala. So how could I not achieve victory?”

It was to defend his honour, raḥimahu Allāhu (may Allāh’s mercy be upon him), and that of the Muslims who were martyred at the hands of the Dracula, may Allāh grant them all Jannah (Paradise), that caused me to write this article. Unfortunately, we find certain desperate, lowly movements in the West through the many weapons in their armoury, including the make-believe propaganda tool that is Hollywood, demeaning this noble champion of Islām whilst upholding a bloodthirsty savage who committed many atrocities against humanity and in doing so, they legitimise his crimes and not a word of condemnation will you find being uttered from their lips. It would be inconceivable that a film be made to depict Hitler as a hero but yet the Muslim community is hated so blindly by some in today’s society that not many will even see this issue in that context. As a New Statesman article recently put it: “The vilification of Islām has reached such heights that when the Sultan Muḥammad Fātiḥ is cast opposite history’s bloodiest psycho-tyrant, it’s Dracula who emerges as the tragic hero [5].”

What is apparent from the film is that it recreates evil as good and good as evil. It reaffirms the narrative which is prevalent in current times and the strategy deployed against Muslims. Aa famous statement from Malcolm X (raḥimahu Allāhu) comes to mind when he said:

“If you are not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”

So there you have it. You will often hear the saying that garlic kills a ‘Dracula’ or a silver bullet or a wooden stake through the heart – of course none of these killed Dracula. Indeed it was the Muslims who killed the Dracula. Let this serve as a reminder to the many bloodthirsty Draculas we have in our midst today, that if anyone wants to follow his way, they too will face the same wrath from the Muslims until justice is restored for all of humanity. We are not afraid of one desperate film changing anything, for it is Allāh that determines what legacy is left for each person—it is no coincidence that this Dracula has and always will be remembered as a monstrous, blood-sucking vampire, by people all over the globe. And likewise, Muḥammad Fātiḥ will always be known as the victor.

Notes:

[1] George Orwell, 1984

[2] Napoleon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a French military and political leader during the latter stages of the French Revolution

[3] http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_image.aspx?image=k146828.jpg&retpage=17475

[4] Imām Aḥmad, al-Musnad, no 18478

[5] http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2014/10/what-historical-inaccuracies-dracula-untold-tell-us-about-rise-islamophobia

The following sources were also used:

Sultan Muḥammad al-Fātiḥ, Dr ʿAli Muḥammad al-Salābi

Mehmed the Conqueror and his Time by Babinger, Franzz

The Vampire Book: The Encyclopaedia of the Undead by J. Gordon Melton

Dracula, Prince of many Faces: His Life and His Times and The History of Dracula and vampires by McNally, Raymond T and Floresc, Radu R;

Dracula: Essays on the Life and Times of Vlad Ţepeş and Vlad III Dracula: The Life and Times of the Historical Dracula by Kurt W. Treptow

Trials of Imam Bukhari

In his later years, Imam Al-Bukhari was decided to move to Nishapur because of animosity of some people of the ruling elite of Bukhara against him. Nishapur was a learning place with some great Muhadditheen including Imam Muslim.

When people of Nishapur heard that Imam Bukhari was coming, they came out to welcome him in huge numbers. It is said he was welcomed by 4000 horse-riders, along with a huge number of people on camels, donkeys and on foot. Even the kings would envy such a welcome.

Some even setup tents outside Nishapur to be able to greet and welcome Imam Al-Bukhari, one of those including al-Dhuhli, who encouraged his students and everyone to give him a good welcome.

Imam Al-Bukhari was well received and started giving lectures on hadith which were attended by a large number of people. Which reduced the popularity of al-Dhuhli and other scholars. And things soon started to change.

So they soon started conspiring against al-Bukhari by claiming that he believed that a “person’s wording of the Qur’an is created.

They sent people to confront him, he declined to answer but when the people insisted, al-Bukhari answered by saying, “The Qur’an is the speech of

Allah and is not created. But the actions of the slaves are created. And to test someone is an innovation”

This gave people the opportunity to misinterpret Imam Al-Bukhari’s words. Al-Dhuhli, who was the most influential scholar in Nishapur, declared Imam Al-Bukhari to be an innovator, a person of defective aqidah and said that no one should sit with him or listen to him.

And soon, everyone turned their backs on Imam Al-Bukhari and abandoned him. Only two people stood by him, who attended his lectures and sat with him, Imam Muslim and Ahmad ibn Salama.

Imam Muslim even took a step further and sent back all of Al-Dhuhli’s books that he had, and stopped recording any hadiths that he had heard from him, effectively suggesting that he was not a reliable narrator of hadith.

But Imam Al-Bukhari advised both scholars to not cut ties and alienate their peers within their own city. He suggested that since he was an outsider and people of the city no longer feel that he can benefit them, the more appropriate thing for him would be to leave the city.

Thus, the great Muhadith, who was welcomed by thousands of people on his arrival left alone and at night.

He had decided to go back to Bukhara and spend the rest of his days there but his trials hadn’t yet ended. On his return to Bukhara, the governor, Khalid ibn Ahmad al-Dhuhli sent a messenger and invited him to come to his palace and privately tutor his children.

Imam Bukhari replied that he wanted to benefit maximum number of people with his knowledge and cannot limit his knowledge and himself to a selective few, so it’d be more appropriate if the children of governor come to Masjid or his house and study with the rest of the people.

The governor was deeply offended by his response and took it upon himself to expel Al-Bukhari from the city, a task in which he soon succeeded. After being expelled from Bukhara, Al-Bukhari decided to go to Samarkand.

However, when the scholars of Samarkand heard of his imminent arrival, they sent him a message imploring him not to come and that they feared the situation of the city will get bad if he comes.

Upon hearing this, Imam Al-Bukhari prayed to Allah to take his soul as the world has become restricted for him despite all its expansion.

Allah accepted his dua and he spent his last days in the village of his aunt, by the town of Khartank, near Samarkand. He passed away on the last Friday of Ramadan, after Friday prayers.

These were the last days of the greatest scholar of hadith, compiler of the most correct book after Quran. Allah preserved his legacy and honoured him by making his work one of the foundational documents of Ahle-Sunnah’s corpus of knowledge.

People turned their back on him and abandoned him. They didn’t even award him the courtesy of being able to explain himself which would have cleared the misunderstanding in a few short sentences but he endured and passed that test and Allah honoured him.

That’s what I have learned from life too. People will abandon you and turn their backs on you in an instance. Often those claiming to love you and promising to stand by you wouldn’t even grant you the courtesy of asking an explanation or respect of listening to one.

Which is why in Allah alone we should place our trust and on Allah alone we should rely upon.

Sadness

“The word sadness (الحزن) does not appear in the Quran except in the form of forbidding it (ولا تهنو ولاتحزنوا) or in the form of negating it (فلاخوف عليهم ولا هم يحزنون).

The reason for this is because there is no benefit for having sadness in the heart. The most beloved thing to Shaytan is to make the believing slave sad by taking him off track.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) sought refuge in Allah from sadness (اللهم إني أعوذ بك من الهم والحزن) (in a Du’a).

Sadness weakens the heart and diminishes determination and wanting to go forward. And there is nothing more beloved to Shaytan than sadness of a believer.

For this reason, be happy, optimistic and think good about Allah. Have trust in what Allah is able to do and depend on Him. You will find happiness and pleasure in all situations.

Don’t ruin your happiness with worry, and don’t ruin your mind with pessimism. Don’t ruin your success with deception and don’t ruin the optimism of others by destroying it. Don’t ruin your day by looking back at yesterday.

If you think about your situation, you will find that Allah has given you things without asking, so have trust in Allah that He doesn’t prevent anything you want except there is goodness for you.

You could be sleeping and the doors of the heavens are being opened with dua’as (supplications) being made on your behalf, subhan’Allah (Glory be to God) perhaps from someone poor whom you helped, or someone sad whom you brought joy, or someone passing by and you smiled to him, or someone in distraught and you removed it…so don’t ever underestimate any good deeds.

One of the righteous predecessors said: I make dua’a (supplication) to Allah for something I want, and if He gives it to me then I’m happy once and if He doesn’t give it to me then I’m happy ten times because the first was my choice and the second was Allah’s choice.”

Ibn al Qayyim al Jawziyyah (may Allah have mercy on him)

O my brother who has fallen into sins

Yahya Ibn Mu’adh

O my brother who has fallen into sins, do not despair from the mercy of your Lord, for indeed the door to repentance is open until the sun rises from the west. The Prophet (SAW) said: “Verily, Allah extends His hand out at night in order to accept the repentance of the sinner by day. And He extends His hand out during the day in order to accept the repentance of the sinner by night, until (the day) when the sun will rise from its west.” [Reported by Muslim]

Umar ibn Al-Khattab

O people who take pleasure in a life that will vanish, falling in love with a fading shadow is sheer stupidity.

Ibn Qayyim Al Jawziyyah
O son of Adam, how is your heart ever going to be softened by the recitation of Qur’an when all you read for is to reach the end of the surah.

Al-Hasan Al-Basree
O son of Adam, if Shaytan whispers to you with a sin, or if you yourself are inclined towards it, then remember along with that what Allah bestowed upon you from His Book, that which, if it was bestowed upon an unshakable mountain, it would have been humbled and broken apart. Have you not heard Him saying: “If We had sent down this Qur’an upon a mountain, you would have seen it humbled and broken apart from fear of Allah.” [Sooratul-Hashr 59:21]

What Allah has forbidden will always hurt you!

Ibn al Qayyimرحمه الله said,

Forbidden pleasure is combined with ugliness and it will cause pain after the moments has passed. If you feel strongly inclined toward it, you should think about the pain it will leave behind. It is necessary to compare the two matters and discover the difference between them. Suffering pain while worshiping Allah is combined with a good soul that will bear the fruit of pleasure and relief. When the soul finds it heavy and thinks to stop the pain and then compares the end results of the two kinds.

To make the correct choice, you must know the reasons and consequences of each act and then choose that which is more deserving and useful. Whoever succeeds at doing this, would choose the better and prefer it. Whoever thinks about this Worldly life and the Hereafter, would know that he will never gain either of them except by hardship. He should bear this hardship in order to gain the best and more lasting of them.

He also said,

To restrain oneself from fulfilling unlawful desires is easier than to endure that which is the result of doing so, because giving in to one’s desires will either cause pain and punishment or it will prevent a more perfect pleasure than could ever be experienced in this worldly life. Either it kills time to the extent that it causes regret, or it defiles honor, whose preservation is more beneficial and worthy to the servant. Either ittakes away some wealth that would be better to be saved than to be wasted, or derogate a reputation that would be better to be praised.

Also it will either remove some grace that would be better to be preserved, or itdebases you and makes you subservient to lowly people. Also itcauses worry, grief, sadness and fear that is far more than the pleasure of fulfilling the desire, or it causes you to forget some knowledge that would be better to be remembered than satisfying one’s desire. Either it makes an enemy rejoice and makes a friend sad, or prevents an expected grace from reaching you, or it causes a flaw or characteristic that will remain permanently. Indeed deeds are the means of developing qualities and character.

Al Fawaid (pg. 319, 236)

Perseverance

Al-Faḍl bin Saʿīd bin Salm said:
أنا أَبُو مَنْصُورٍ مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَلِيِّ بْنِ إِسْحَاقَ خَازِنُ دَارِ الْعِلْمِ نا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ الْحَسَنِ بْنِ مِقْسَمٍ الْمُقْرِئُ، نا أَبُو الْعَبَّاسِ ثَعْلَبٌ قَالَ: حَدَّثَنِي الْفَضْلُ بْنُ سَعِيدِ بْنِ سَلْمٍ، قَالَ:

A man once tried seeking knowledge, but he was unable to do so, so, he decided to abandon it.
“ كَانَ رَجُلٌ يَطْلُبُ الْعِلْمَ فَلَا يَقْدِرُ عَلَيْهِ فَعَزَمَ عَلَى تَرْكِهِ

One day, he passed by water streaming down from the summit of a mountain unto a rock.
فَمَرَّ بِمَاءٍ يَنْحَدِرُ مِنْ رَأْسِ جَبَلٍ عَلَى صَخْرَةٍ

The water altered (dented) the rock.
قَدْ أَثَّرَ الْمَاءُ فِيهَا

So [upon seeing this], the man exclaimed: “This water with its softness has had an effect on this rock despite its thickness.
فَقَالَ: الْمَاءُ عَلَى لَطَافَتِهِ قَدْ أَثَّرَ فِي صَخْرَةٍ عَلَى كَثَافَتِهَا

By Allāh, I will seek knowledge!
وَاللَّهِ لَأَطْلُبَنَّ الْعِلْمَ

He sought it and acquired it.
فَطَلَبَ فَأَدْرَكَ ”

al-Khaṭīb al-Baghdadī, Al-Jāmiʿ li Akhlāq Al-Rāwī 2/179 #1545

الخطيب البغدادي, الجامع لأخلاق الراوي وآداب السامع 2/179 #1545

Imam Gazali on Time Management

Eye opening remineder

“Your time should not be without any structure, such that you occupy yourself arbitrarily with whatever comes along. 
Rather, you must take account of yourself and order your worship during the day and the night, assigning to each period of time an activity that must not be neglected nor replaced by another activity.
By this ordering of time, the blessing in time will show itself. A person who leaves himself without a plan as animals do, not knowing what he is to do at any given moment, will spend most of his time fruitlessly. 
Your time is your life, and your life is your capital: by it you make your trade, and by it you will reach the eternal bounties in the proximity of Allah.
Every single breath of yours is a priceless jewel, because it is irreplaceable; once it is gone, there is no return for it. 
So do not be like fools who rejoice each day as their wealth increases while their lives decrease. What good is there in wealth that increases while one’s lifespan decreases?
Do not rejoice except in an increase of knowledge or an increase of good works. 
Truly they are your two friends who will accompany you in your grave, when your spouse, your wealth, your children, and your friends will remain behind.”
— Imam al-Ghazali

Deviant Sects: Al-Zaydiyyah

Al-Zaydiyyah

The name Zaydiyyah comes from Zayd ibn Ali, the grandson of Husayn [رضى الله عنه]. –

They are under the umbrella of the Shi’ah sect although they’re the most moderate and close to the Sunnis out of the Shi’ahs. They do not hold the belief that the Ahl-Bayt are infallible and they do not make takfīr on the companions, and they consider themselves ‘the fifth madhab’. According to Zaydis, ‘Ali, Hasan and Husayn are the first three rightful Imāms [leaders], after them, the Imamah [leadership] is open to whomever of their descendants establishes himself through armed rebellion.

They say the leader must be from the Ahlul-Bayt

But they do not share the beliefs of a hidden “mahdi” like the other heretics claim, nor do they believe that their imāms were guided by divine commands.

The Zaydis are considered as Muslims but Mubtadi’een [people of innovation], and they are misguided in regards to their view on the khilāfah and its rulings, nevertheless they are the most orthodox out of the Shi’ah and do not share the same shirky beliefs as the other sects.

we ask Allāh to guide them to the straight path