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“In the latter days, the sun shall rise from the west” • Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him)




  T he Hol y Prophet Muhammad
       Holy Prophet

Messenger of God
                                                    Chapter 21:108
                                                    And We have sent thee not but
                                                    as a mercy for all peoples.


                                                    Chapter 33:22
                                                    Verily you have in the Prophet
                                                    of Allah an excellent model,
                                                    for him who fears Allah and
                                                    the Last Day and who
                                                    remembers Allah much.



    25 Women: Bearer         31 Muhammad in           16 Muhammad:               27Prophet
     of Original Sin or             the Bible            A Mercy for       Muhammad and the
              Paradise                                     Mankind              Jewish Tribes


                                                                                   Spring 2006 1
         The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
  T
          he Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is a religious organization,
          international in its scope, with branches in over 178 countries in
          Africa, North America, South America, Asia, Australasia, and Europe.
  The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was established in 1889 by Hadhrat
  Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas (1835-1908) in Qadian, a small and remote village in
  the Punjabi province of India. He claimed to be the expected reformer of the
  latter days, the Awaited One of the world community of religions (The Mahdi
  and Messiah). The Movement he started is an embodiment of the benevolent
  message of Islam – peace, universal brotherhood, and submission to the
  Will of God – in its pristine purity. Hadhrat Ahmadas proclaimed Islam as the
  religion of man: “The religion of the people of the right path” (98:6).The
  Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was created under divine guidance with
  the objective to rejuvenate Islamic moral and spiritual values. It encourages
  interfaith dialogue, diligently defends Islam and tries to correct
  misunderstandings about Islam in the West. It advocates peace, tolerance,
  love and understanding among followers of different faiths. It firmly believes
  in and acts upon the Qur’anic teaching: “There is no compulsion in religion”
  (2:257). It strongly rejects violence and terrorism in any form and for any
  reason.

  After the passing of its founder, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has
  been headed by his elected successors. The present Head of the Community,
  Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, was elected in 2003. His official title is
  Khalifatul Masih V or Fifth Successor to the Promised Messiah..
                                                                                                  Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908)



Editor                                                              Editor's Notes:
Falahud Din Shams                                                   The Muslim Sunrise is published by the Ahmadiyya Muslim
                                                                    Community, USA, 15000 Good Hope Road, Silver Spring, MD
                                                                    20905, Phone 301.879.0110, Fax 301.879.0115, under the
Editorial Board                                                     auspices of Dr. Ahsanullah Zafar, Ameer and National
Imam Mubasher Ahmad                                                 President. The views and opinions expressed by individual
Hasan Hakeem                                                        contributers in this publication do not necessarily reflect
Dr. Shanaz Butt                                                     the views of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, USA.
Amjad Mahmood Khan
Naveed Malik                                                        The Muslim Sunrise welcomes letters to the editor, questions
                                                                    and submissions. Email: Muslim_Sunrise@yahoo.com.
Staff
Hasan Hakeem, Design/Layout                                         Library of Congress Call Number BP195.A5 M8
Fateh Shams, Circulation
                                                                    Mailing Address: The Muslim Sunrise, 2 S 510 Route 53,
                                                                    Glen Ellyn, IL 60137, Phone: (630) 790-4100, ext. 206


Salutations                                                         Commitment to Accuracy
Muslims follow the name of God’s prophets with the prayer           Issue 86, Volume 1: Interview with Frank Levy
Alaehis salaam or ‘may peace be upon him,’ and for the Holy         In answering the question, “What is the role of God in Judaism and what is God’s
Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho alaehi wasallam or ‘may                 relationship with mankind?”, Mr. Levy’s answer should have read, “In Judaism Adonai/
peace and blessings of God be upon him.’ Companions of              God is creator, father, sovereign, judge, protector and law giver. It is through Torah and
prophets and righteous personalities who have passed away           the Mitzvot – which are the 613 commandments that inform Jewish behavior and a Jew’s
are saluted by Radhi-Allaho anho or ‘may Allah be pleased           relationship with God, humanity, and the world – that God expresses God’s love for all
with him.” While such salutations have been abbreviated in          humanity.” The italicized portion of the answer was mistakenly omitted.
the text for readability (as, sa & ra respectively), we encourage
all Muslims to offer these prayers as if set out in full.

                                                                www.alislam.org
2 MuslimSunrise
In This Issue
Features
9 Status and Rights of Women
A discussion of women’s rights established by the
Holy Prophet of Islam.
                                                      The
13 Prophet Muhammad’s Treatment of Slaves
A discussion of how the Prophet Muhammad
abolished slavery.                                       Summer 2 0 0 6 - V o l u m e 8 6 I s s u e   2

16 Muhammad: A Mercy for Mankind
A discussion on how the prophet was indeed a        40 Trivial Matters
mercy for all peoples.                              Solution to the crossword puzzle from the last
                                                    issue, and a new one for you to solve.
20 The Greatest Worship of God
A discussion of the kinds of worship that Prophet   42 Poetry Corner
Muhammad established for his followers and how
God is worshipped at every hour on this earth
through his system of prayers.
                                                    News, Views and Reviews

25 Women: Bearer of Original Sin or Paradise?       43 Press Publications
A comparison between the status of women in         Letters written to American newspapers regarding
Islam and Christianity.                             the cartoon controversy.

27 Prophet Muhammad and the Jewish Tribes           44 Response to Anti-Islam Articles in Media
A discussion of Prophet Muhammad's treatment of
                                                    An official response by the Ahmadiyya Muslim
the Jewish Tribes of Medina..
                                                    Community to the recent cartoon controversy.
31 Muhammad in the Bible
Part I of a discussion on the prophecies of the     46 Book Review
Bible regarding the advent of the Prophet           Review of the Autobiography, Yusef Lateef: The
Muhammad.                                           Gentle Giant by Yusef Lateef and Herb Boyd.


36 Farewell Address of the Prophet of Islam         47 Questions and Answers
Prophet Muhammad’s famous sermon delivered
towards the end of majestic life.                   52 Khalifatul Masih on Cartoon Controversy
                                                    Excerpts from the sermons of the Head of the
Departments                                         International Muslim Community relating to the
                                                    cartoon of Prophet Muhammad published in Euro-
                                                    pean newspapers.
4 Passage from the Holy Qur'an
Chapter 33 of the Holy Qur'an.                      55 Interview
                                                    Archbishop Jacob J. Agepog, President of Aape
6 Editorial                                         Indian International Ministries, Inc.
Letters to the Editor opposite.
                                                    57 Perspectives
38 From the Archives                                Daily observations from an Islamic perspective.
Book review of World of Allah (1982) by a former
photographer of Life magazine.

                                                                                               Spring 2006 3
                    From the Holy Qur'an
                         Al-Ahzab Chapter 33: 22




           Verily, you have in the Prophet of
                  Allah an excellent model, for
                  him who hopes to meet Allah
                   and the Last Day and who
                    remembers Allah much.




4 MuslimSunrise
                          The Seal of Prophethood

T
                          Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

             he perfect man to whom the
             Holy Qur'an was revealed,          I say it plainly that a person who believes in anyone as a
             was not limited in his vision,
             nor was there any deficiency       Prophet after the Holy Prophetsa and breaks the seal of his
             in his sympathy in the sharing    Prophethood, is accursed. That is why no Prophet can arise
of sorrows. Both from the point of view of
the time and of the place, his soul was        after the Holy Prophetsa who has not with him the seal of the
charged with perfect sympathy. He was,
therefore, bestowed a full share of the                          Muhammadi Prophethood.
manifestations of nature and he was made
Khatam-ul-Anbiya (Seal of the Prophets),       excellences of Prophethood attained their         Divine love and Divine converse more than
which did not mean that no one would from      climax in the Holy Prophetsa. The person          was possible before. Its perfect follower
then on receive any spiritual grace from       who sets up a movement in opposition to           cannot be called simply a Prophet for this
him, rather that he possessed the seal of      him and puts forward some verity outside          would be an insult to the perfect
Prophethood and that without the               his Prophethood and withdraws from the            Muhammadi Prophethood. He can be
attestation of that seal, no grace can reach   fountain of Prophethood is false and an           called a follower of the Holy Prophetsa and
anyone, and that for his people, the door      impostor. I say it plainly that a person who      a Prophet, both together, for in this there is
of converse with the Divine would never        believes in anyone as a Prophet after the         no insult of the perfect Muhammadi
be closed. Beside him, there is no Prophet     Holy Prophetsa and breaks the seal of his         Prophethood, but its grace shines forth
                                               Prophethood, is accursed. That is why no          even to a greater degree.3




                                                                                                 W
who possesses the seal of Prophethood. It
is only by the testimony of his seal that a    Prophet can arise after the Holy Prophetsa
Prophethood can be bestowed for which it       who has not with him the seal of the                                  e affirm that the person
is a condition that the recipient must be a    Muhammadi Prophethood. The Muslims                                    who moves away in the
follower of the Holy Prophetsa. His high       who are opposed to us are involved in the                             slightest degree from
courage and sympathy did not wish to           error that they believe in the coming of an                           the law of the Holy
leave his people in a condition of             Israeli Prophet, who would break the seal                             Prophetsa is a kafir (one
deficiency and were not reconciled to the      of Prophethood. I say that it is a                who does not believe). When anyone who
door of revelation, which is at the root of    manifestation of the spiritual power of the       turns away from following the Holy
all understanding, being closed. Yet, in       Holy Prophet sa and of his everlasting            Prophetsa is a kafir in our estimation, then
order to preserve the sign of the closing of   Prophethood that 1,300 years after him, the       what about one who should claim to bring
Prophethood, he desired that the grace of      Promised Messiah has appeared under his           a new law, or should make a change in the
revelation should be bestowed through          training and instructions with the same seal      Holy Qur'an and the Sunnah (Practice) of
obedience to him and that this door should     of Prophethood. If this doctrine is kufr          the Holy Prophetsa or should abrogate any
be closed to anyone who was not his            (disbelief), I hold this kufr dear. But those     commandment? In our estimation only that
follower. God appointed him Khatam-ul-         whose reason has been darkened and who            person is a believer who truly follows the
Anbiya in this sense.                          have not been bestowed any share in the           Holy Qur'an, and believes it to be the last
   Thus it was established till the Day of     light of Prophethood cannot understand            revealed Book, and accepts the law that
Judgment, that a person who does not           this and hold it as kufr; whereas, this is a      the Holy Prophetsa brought into the world,
prove being his follower through true          matter which proves the perfection of the         as everlasting, and makes not the slightest
obedience and who does not devote his          Holy Prophetsa and his everlasting life.2         change in it, and loses himself wholly in
full being to obeying him, cannot become          There is no need to follow the                 following it, and devotes every particle of
the recipient of perfect revelation. Direct    Prophethoods and Books which passed               his being to its cause, and does not
Prophethood has been ended with the Holy       before the Holy Prophetsa as Muhammadi            oppose it intellectually or by his conduct.
Prophet sa; but Prophethood by way of          Prophethood comprises all of them, and            It is then that he would be a true Muslim.4
reflection, which means the receipt of         beside it all ways are closed and all verities
revelation through the grace of                are included in it. No new verity will arrive        Bibliography:
Muhammadsa will continue till the Day of       after it as there was no verity before it which      1
                                                                                                      Haqiqat-ul-Wahi, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol.
Judgment, so that the door of perfection of    is not included in it. Therefore, all             22, pp. 29-30
mankind should not be closed and this sign     Prophethood ends with this Prophethood;              2
                                                                                                      Al-Hakam, 10 June 1905, p. 2
should not disappear from the world that       and so it should have been, for everything           3
                                                                                                      Al-Wasiyyat, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 20,
the high resolve of the Holy Prophet sa        that has a beginning, has also an end, but        p. 311
desired that the doors of converse with the    the Muhammadi Prophethood is not                     4
                                                                                                      Al-Hakam, 6 May 1908, p. 5
Divine should remain open till the Judgment    deficient in beneficence. It is more
Day and the understanding of the Divine,       beneficent than all other Prophethoods.
which is the basis of salvation, should not    Following this Prophethood, one reaches
disappear.1                                    God in a very easy manner, and by
   I affirm it with full confidence that the   following it one is bestowed the bounty of


                                                                                                                              Spring 2006 5
Editorial

P
                 rophets of God                  different. It took place in the full light of       The enemies of Prophet Muhammadsa
                 appearing at different          history. We know what he stood for since         also left him for dead during the battle of
                                                 Muslim and non-Muslim historians recorded        Uhud. He was injured and dead bodies were
                 times in history have left      all that he did. The accounts of various         piled up on top of him. Many Muslims
                 their marks. Depending          occurrences can be verified from many            believed at that moment that he was dead.
                 on the circumstances            different historical renderings. Without         Yet he was alive. God saved him from his
                 they faced, something           question he existed, preached the word of        enemies, and the suffering he endured for
                                                 God and claimed to be a Prophet and a            the fulfillment of the Will of God
of their character shined in a great             Messenger of God.                                strengthened his faith.
manner. Centuries have passed but                   There is yet another difference that is of       No matter which prophet you believe in,
aspects of their character remain alive.         much more importance than the aspect of          you will find that prophet’s noble character
   Prophet Abrahamas is known for his firm       history. Prophet Muhammadsa embodied the         reflected in the life of the Prophet
                                                 various beautiful character traits of past       Muhammadsa. In fact, Prophet Muhammadsa
faith in the Oneness of God. His conviction
                                                 prophets.                                        removed doubts as to the character of
against idol worship is an exceptional affair.
                                                    Prophet Muhammad sa stood for the             previous prophets. He refuted such
Prophet Jobas experienced pain and suffering
                                                 Oneness of God among his people and told         accusations that Abraham as lied, Jesusas
but never blamed God for any of his
                                                 them that the 360 idols that they worshipped     showed disrespect to his mother or that
suffering; rather, he looked to God for His
                                                 were worthless. His efforts and conviction       Noahas drank and danced naked. He declared
                                                                                                  that all these were innocent, sinless prophets
                                                                                                  of God walking on the path described by
           He was a husband, father, son, friend, teacher,                                        God to them. He restored these prophets’
                                                                                                  dignity.
           soldier, general, an oppressed, an indigent, a                                            We can examine the life of Prophet
             negotiator and a businessman. No matter                                              Muhammadsa from many different angles.
                                                                                                  He was a husband, father, son, friend,
           which aspect of his life you examine, you find                                         teacher, soldier, general, an oppressed, an
            God’s reflection in his behavior. He was the                                          indigent, a negotiator and a businessman.
                                                                                                  No matter which aspect of his life you
              personified model of His teachings and                                              examine, you find God’s reflection in his
             morality. He practiced what he preached.                                             behavior. He was the personified model of
                                                                                                  His teachings and morality. He practiced
                                                                                                  what he preached.
                                                                                                     His life is worth learning about if only to
mercy and benevolence. Prophet Mosesas
                                                 were so strong that in his lifetime he was       understand the great religion he established.
fought the vicious forces of his time, namely
                                                 able to remove every one of the 360 idols        Billions of people look to him as the ultimate
that of the Pharaoh, to protect his people,
                                                 kept in the Ka’aba.                              role model and strive to emulate him. He
never hesitating to place his life in danger
                                                    He also suffered at the hands of his          was a king without a crown, a general
for that cause. Prophet Jesusas experienced
                                                 enemies personally as did his family and his     without any stars, a wealthy man without
the wrath of his enemies by being placed on
                                                 followers. He did not blame God but looked       accumulating any wealth, a powerful man
the cross. His enemies’ design strengthened
                                                 to Him for His Mercy. For thirteen years in      who slept on the floor, and full of awe in
his faith, and God saved him from the
                                                 Mecca, he was humiliated in the streets,         front of his enemies but tearful and trembling
disgraceful death. He wanted God‘s will to
                                                 attacked physically and punished with            when praying to God in the middle of the
prevail even as he faced humiliation and
                                                 sanctions. Yet he never lost faith in God.       night.
disgrace from his enemies.
                                                    Prophet Muhammadsa also took up arms
   There are some who question the
                                                 in defense of his followers against the fierce      In this issue we have tried to cover a few
historicity of prophets. Whether these
                                                 forces of his time. He faced armies many         aspects of the life of Prophet Muhammadsa.
prophets actually existed is a debate for the
                                                 times larger than the people standing            We hope our brief treatment generates
scholars of today as it was for the historians
                                                 alongside him for their own defense. It was      enough interest among our readers to
of the past. Even the latest prophet of the
                                                 his faith in God that gave him the courage       inspire them to read further about his life
Children of Israel, Jesusas, has no authentic
                                                 and bravery to conquer the enemy and then        and develop a more informed understanding
history. So we rely on the Gospels’ account
                                                 to forgive them. It was at the time of his       of Islam. Indeed, it is only through
of his life.
                                                 complete victory that he announced               knowledge that we can truly understand one
   The advent of Prophet Muhammadsa was
                                                 amnesty for his enemies.                         another.
6 MuslimSunrise
                                                                                             Shared sentiments

Letters to the Editor
                                                                        I
                                                                              read the article on Red Light Shopping [Vol. 86, Issue 1]
                                                                             and am glad to see that I am not the only person on the
                                                                             planet with these thoughts. It disturbs me to see
            Is the floor open for questions?                            young, healthy looking men on the streets with signs asking for
                                                                        money. Men who seem capable of walking, lifting, etc, yet they


I
     found the “Q&A” section of the Muslim Sunrise [Vol. 86,            beg for money. I refuse to give in and would like to be able to
    Issue 1] to be a concise, informative look into the rich            stop the car and offer them employment. Having said all this,
    teaching and doctrines of the Muslim faith. My upbringing           when having dinner at a small restaurant just recently, I was
in Catholic school and occasional trips to various Baptist              pleased to see a man came in with a guitar and settled down at a
churches during high school left me without a real clue as to           seat near the front. The man introduced himself and announced
views and teachings of other religions. It was refreshing to read       that he would be singing a couple of songs for us this evening.
the “Q&A” section as it spoke not only to the fundamental               The man began playing his five string acoustic guitar, sang his
tenets of Islam, but incorporated the beliefs of other faiths as        song and even played the harmonica for a bit in-between the
well. I would like to see this section continued in future editions     song. I was quite impressed with the one-man band trying to
of the Muslim Sunrise. I hope that the floor remains open to            make a living. After a few minutes, the man thanked us for
questions from individuals from different walks of faith as             listening and started wrapping up his things, leaving a cup nearby
communication is the key to fostering better relationships among        for those who would like to make a donation. I can say I was
us all.                                                                 glad to give this man some money.

Temesgen Zerai Strickland                                               Jasmine Soto
Forest Park, IL                                                         Cicero, IL

                   1929-2006                                            1962. He stayed there until 1976 at which time he was offered the
 In Memory of: Alhaji Khalil Mahmud                                     position of University Librarian at Kashim Ibrahim Library, Ahmadu




K
                                                                        Bello University. He retired from Ahmadu Bello University in 1988,
              halil Mahmud was born on March 7th 1929 in Boston
                                                                        after putting his two eldest sons through university.
              Massachusetts. His father had moved to Boston from
              the     Island        of     Montseratt      in    the       He completed studies in various countries including Al-Azhar
              West Indies in 1922. His mother,                                       University in Egypt, additional studies in Afghanistan,
              also from the British West Indies                                      Pakistan, India, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, and
had moved from her home of Saint Kitts in 1918.                                      Germany.
His mother passed away when he was only 10                                              A devout Muslim and Ahmadi he took his family to
years old.                                                                           various countries such as Ghana, Sierra Leone, Ivory
   Growing up in Cambridge in the early 30’s                                         Coast, Niger, Morocco, India, Syria, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq,
Khalil Mahmud was strongly influenced by Jazz                                        Ethiopia, Republic of Benin, Togo, UK, France and The
music and the big Bands of the time, at a young                                      Netherlands in an effort to educate his children about
age became an avid musician, playing the piano                                       Islam and expose them culturally. He made the
with numerous Jazz bands. He was also very                                           pilgrimage to Mecca in 1972 with his wife and three of
studious and took an interest in religion in his                                     his children.
teenage years. He was introduced to Islam by                                            Always in pursuit of scholarly excellence, he got an
a friend and through the auspices of Chaudry                                         appointment in the United States after “retiring” from
Ghulam Yasin learned more about Islam,                                               ABU, Nigeria. His position as a professor of religion
accepting Islam and Ahmadiyyat at the age of         Khalil Mahmud                   and Archivist at Lincoln University Pennsylvania,
17. Khalil Mahmud, graduated from Brandeis                                           afforded him the opportunity to discuss religion and
university in 1956 with a BA in history. In 1957                                     the history of religion at great lengths with young
the Jamat arranged the marriage between Zakiyyah Zakara Ashraf          adults, many of whom were greatly influenced by his knowledge
and Khalil Mahmud. It was a good union, Alhamdulilah, that would        and shining example as a devout Muslim.
last almost fifty years, until his last breath.                             While at Lincoln he put his last two sons through university
   In 1958, he graduated from Brandeis University with a Masters        and remained there until 1998 when for health reasons he decided
in History of Ideas. In his pursuit for knowledge he studied at         to retire again.
McGill University in Canada where he obtained a BLS and MLS in             Khalil Mahmud sadly passed away after an extended illness on
library science as well as a Diploma in Arabic, in 1962.                January 29, 2006. He had spent the last 60 years of his life as a
    He took a position at Harvard University in the Middle Eastern      devout and righteous Muslim. He is survived by his wife, four
Studies Department as an Arabic cataloger before accepting a            sons, (Idris, Shuaib, Luqman and Dawud) one stepdaughter
position as Deputy Librarian at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, in   (Hafsah), twelve grand children, and three great grand children.u

                                                                                                                              Spring 2006 7
            An Introduction to Islamic Law

            M
                            ost world religions are built upon the same basic founda-
                            tion: God, prophet and follower. The religion of Islam gal-
                            vanized this structure insofar as its law is derived from
                            these three sources. First, the Holy Qur'an, which is the
                            revealed word of God, serves as the foundation upon which
            the entire structure of Islam rests. After the Holy Qur'an, the most impor-
            tant Islamic textual material is the Tradition, which is comprised of the Sunnah
            and Hadith of the Holy Prophet sa. Sunnah is the practice of the Holy Prophet sa
            while Hadith are his sayings. Ijtihad, or the exercise of judgment, is the third
            source of Islamic principles and codes, and rests with each individual.

            Of the entire blessed Community of Prophets, it is the life of the Holy Prophet
            Muhammadsa that is better documented than that of any other prophet –
            and perhaps any other human – in the history of mankind. Throughout this
            issue, readers will find the Tradition of the Holy Prophet Muhammad sa. While
            there are numerous collections of Hadith, there are six compilations consid-
            ered most authentic, which are collectively known as Sihhah Sittah (the Six
            Authentic Ones). These are:

            1.    Sahih Bukhari
            2.    Sahih Muslim
            3.    Jamia Tirmidhi
            4.    Sunan Abu Daud
            5.    Sunan Nisai
            6.    Sunan ibn Majah

            We hope our readers will find a good balance of the Holy Qur'an and Tradition
            to reflect upon, and, exercising their own judgment (Ijtihad), come to their
            own conclusions about Islam and the Prophet Muhammad sa.


            Happy reading,

            Muslim Sunrise Editorial Board


8 MuslimSunrise
                                                                           Status and
                                                                        Rights of Women
                                                                     Islam lays comprehensive
                                                                       guidelines in the Holy
                                                                       Qur'an regarding the
                                                                        spiritual, economic,
                                                                   intellectual and social rights
                                                                             of women.
By Saadia Ahmed




T
             he author Michael H. Hart          they had no status, and whatever property        to hear news or speak to friends.
              famously declared that            they possessed was considered to be
              Muhammad, the holy prophet        owned by their husbands. Some husbands                Status of Women in Islam
              of Islam (may peace and           would sell their wives or lose them in bets.
              blessings of Allah be upon        In domestic affairs, women had no rights            However, in 7th century Arabia, Prophet
him), is the most influential man in history,   over their children or themselves. If they       Muhammad’ssa advent signaled the end to
being “the only man in history who was          were abused by their husbands, they had          such conditions. He put an end to atrocities
supremely successful on both the religious      no recourse to divorce. They had no real         that women were subjected to and
and secular levels.” 1 Although Hart            status in the society, not being respected       announced that a woman has a distinct
discusses the dynamic and revolutionary         as wife, mother or daughter. In fact,            status in all her roles, and was capable of
change Prophet Muhammadsa brought to the        daughters were considered a shame and            not only receiving spiritual bounties in the
lives of thousands of Arabians, and how         were often killed at birth. Women were given     hereafter, but also could take part in the
his influence radically altered the world's     little or no education, and had no say in        affairs of governing in this world. The Holy
landscape, he failed to mention one of his      religious matters, and were regarded as          Prophet Muhammadsa emphasized that a
crowning achievements, which was the            being limited in both spirituality and           woman’s rights need to be protected as
elevation of the status of women in the 7th     intellect. These abusive conditions existed      much as those of a man.
century, A.D. In this article, we will recall   well into the 19th century in most parts of         His teachings and actions demonstrated
the condition of women prior to Islam and       the world, even in the western and European      a profound respect for all the various roles
the changes that the Holy Prophet               countries, where some basic rights were          women have in an Islamic society. He taught
Muhammadsa brought in the lives of women        given to women only in the beginning of          that for an ideal Islamic society to exist, there
through his personal example and through        the 20th century. In 1892, feminist economist    must be a social system which upholds the
the enactment of the teachings of the Holy      Charlotte Perkins Gilman published the           rights and responsibilities of each individual.
Qur'an.                                         novella The Yellow Wall-Paper, a horrifying      Such a system would provide a balance in
                                                depiction of how the medical and legal           the role and status of men and women, thus
    The Pre-Islamic Status of                   systems worked together to institutionalize      putting women on an equal footing with
                                                or otherwise isolate ambitious women             men. The Holy Prophetsa emphasized that
            Women                               simply by spousal testimony. Such women          Islam lays down comprehensive guidelines
                                                were often treated for “mental exhaustion”       regarding the spiritual, economic,
  In pre-Islamic Arabia, women were             by being deprived of any “unwomanly”
considered as slaves and chattels, who could                                                     intellectual and social rights of women.
                                                intellectual stimulation whatsoever,             Prophet Muhammadsa set an example for
neither own nor inherit property. As wives,     including basic writing materials or the right

                                                                                                                                Spring 2006 9
                          “The best among you is the one who treats his spouse well and
                              in that respect I am better than all of you.” (Tirmidhi)

others to follow, as he himself safeguarded                                        his demise that when he was alive there was
                                              before her death, she should be buried with
women’s rights and carried out the                                                 hardly ever any food in the house. On one
                                              her face turned towards the tent where she
commands of Allah to treat women with                                              occasion after his death, she received
                                              met the Holy Prophetsa for the first time after
honor, kindness and dignity. By enacting                                           cornmeal as a gift from Hadhrat Umarra, but
                                              her marriage. Hadhrat Ayeshara, who was
these Qur'anic teachings in his own daily     only twenty at the time that the Holywhen she tried to take a bite of the soft bread
life, Prophet Muhammad sa essentially                                              she was so overcome by memories of her
                                              Prophetsa died, is known to have said after
formulated a charter of human                                                                  life with the Holy Prophetsa that
conduct regarding the just                                                                     she could not swallow and
treatment of women.                                                                            started to cry with grief. Such
                                                                                               was the magic of our Holy
   Rights of Wives in                                                                          Prophet’ssa loving treatment of
                                                          The farewell address of the          his wives .
         Islam                                                                                    Although there are reports of
                                                           Holy Prophet , which he
                                                                          sa
                                                                                               his wives sometimes losing their
   Every stage of the Holy                                delivered in Mecca during            temper with him, never once is
Prophet’ssa life reflects his high                                                             he reported to have lost his or
regard for women. Although                                    his last pilgrimage:             retorted in the same manner. He
youth is supposed to be a period                                                               is never known to have
of wild and lighthearted                                                                       addressed them harshly. In the
amusement, the Holy Prophetsa                                                                  context of the rights of wives the
entered this period of his life as
a model of chastity and purity.
                                              O men,        you have some rights               Holy Prophetsa said:
Due to his high moral qualities,          against your wives, but your wives                           “The best among you is the
friends and foe alike called him                                                                    one who treats his spouse well
‘The Truthful’ and ‘The                    also have some rights against you.                       and in that respect I am better
Trustworthy’.            Hadhrat          Your right against them is that they                      than all of you.” (Tirmidhi)
Khadijahra was so impressed by
his high morals that she made           should live chaste lives, and not adopt                        The Holy Prophetsa always
him the leader of her trade
convoy that was going to Syria,           ways, which may bring disgrace to                         treated the relatives and friends
                                                                                                    of his late wife Hadhrat Khadijara
which was very successful and           the husband in the sight of his people.                     with respect and kindness.
profitable. Hadhrat Khadijahra                                                                      Likewise, he treated the relatives
was so happy with his spotless            But if the behavior of your wives is                      of his wet-nurse Halimah in the
character and fair and honest
dealings, that she sent a
                                         not such as would bring disgrace to                        same respectful manner. Once a
                                                                                                    relative of Halimah visited the
proposal of marriage to                   their husbands, then your duty is to                      Holy Prophet sa and he
Muhammadsa through his uncle,                                                                       immediately stood up and spread
Hadhrat Abu Talibra. At that              provide for them food and clothing                        a sheet for her to sit upon. When
time, the Holy Prophet sa was             and shelter, according to your own                        someone inquired about the
twenty-five years old and                                                                           guest, he introduced her as close
Hadhrat Khadijahra was forty              standard of living. Remember, you                         relative of Halimah, and said that
years old and had been widowed                                                                      he respected her like she was his
twice. He started his married life        must always treat your wives well.                        own mother.
with a widow, and spent the best         God has charged you with the duty of
part of his youth with her.                                                                            Hadhrat Ayesha ra narrates
   The Holy Prophet’s sa                     looking after them. When you                           that the Holy Prophetsa always
treatment of his own wives, and
his devotion to them, was well           married, God appointed you trustees                        helped her in the daily
                                                                                                    household chores. He mended
known and respected. His wives              of those rights. You brought your                       his own clothes and shoes,
themselves testified to the fact                                                                    fetched water himself for his
that he was the best among men           wives to your homes under the law of                       own use, and would never seek
in treating his wives. Hadhrat
Ayesha ra testified that “his
                                         God. You must not, therefore, abuse                        help in these matters. (Bukhari,
                                                                                                    Ahmed)
conduct was a reflection of the            the trust, which God has placed in
Holy Quran” and Hadhrat Umm-                                                                          The farewell address of the
e-Salamah ra instructed that                           your hands’.                                 Holy Prophetsa, delivered during


10 MuslimSunrise
the course of his last pilgrimage to Mecca,      time, such as those that relate to slaves,       give to her. The woman divided it between
teaches about human equality without             widows or an adopted son’s divorced wife.        her two daughters, and did not eat it herself.
discrimination of any race or color:                                                              Hadhrat Ayeshara narrated this incidence to
                                                     Rights of Mothers in Islam                   the Holy Prophetsa, who said:
  "O men, you have some rights against
   your wives, but your wives also have                                                           "Whoever is thrown into trial on account
    some rights against you. Your right             In connection with the respect, honor and
                                                                                                  of his daughters, they are a screen for him
   against them is that they should live         status of woman as a mother, the Holy                from hellfire." (Life of Muhammad)
 chaste lives, and not adopt ways, which         Prophetsa set very clear guidelines. Once a
may bring disgrace to the husband in the         man came to ask permission to join in the          He also has said that:
sight of his people. But if the behavior of      fighting taking place in the defence of Islam.
  your wives is not such as would bring          The Holy Prophetsa asked him if his parents       "If a man has daughters and he makes
  disgrace to their husbands, then your          were alive. When the companion replied in        arrangement to have them educated and
   duty is to provide for them food and          affirmative, the Holy Prophetsa advised him       takes pains with their upbringing, God
 clothing and shelter, according to your         that, "Then find your striving (jihad) in        would save him from the torment of Hell."
 own standard of living. Remember, you           serving them." (Bukhari, Muslim)                                (Tirmidhi)
 must always treat your wives well. God
has charged you with the duty of looking
    after them. When you married, God              The Holy Prophetsa repeatedly said that:        Islamic Teachings Concerning
  appointed you trustees of those rights.                                                         Rights of Inheritance for Women
  You brought your wives to your homes                      "Paradise lies under the
   under the law of God. You must not,                 feet of your mothers." (Nasa’i)
                                                                                                    The Holy Prophetsa was very serious in
therefore, abuse the trust, which God has
           placed in your hands."                                                                 improving the condition of women in
                                                   Once a man came to the Holy Prophetsa
                                                                                                  society and on securing for them a position
                                                 and asked, “Messenger of Allah! Who is




                                                     ‘If a man has daughters and he makes
                                                 arrangement to have them educated and takes
                                                  pains with their upbringing, God would save
                                                     him from the torment of Hell’. (Tirmidhi)




T
                      he Holy Prophet sa                                                          of dignity and fair and equitable treatment.
                                                 best entitled to my good service and
                      married twelve times in                                                     Islam was the first religion which conferred
                                                 devotion?” He answered, “Your mother”.
                      his lifetime, and one of                                                    upon women the right of inheritance and
                                                 The man inquired further, “And after that?”
                      the allegations that                                                        divorce. In England, these rights were only
                                                 The Prophetsa replied again, “Your mother.”
                      critics levy against him                                                    conferred to women by the passing of
                                                 When the man inquired again with the same
                      was that he was a                                                           Equity law in the early 19th century. The
                                                 question, the Prophetsa said for a third time,
                      womanizer. It is worth                                                      Equity law had a liberalizing effect upon the
                                                 “Your mother.” Finally, when the man
                      bearing in mind,                                                            legal rights of women in the United States.
                                                 inquired a fourth time, the Prophetsa then
however, that all his wives except Hadhrat                                                        Mississippi passed the first Married
                                                 replied: “Now your father, and then your
Ayesha ra were widows. He had a                                                                   Woman’s Property Act, followed by New
                                                 relatives in order of relationship.” (Abu
monogamous relationship with Hadhrat                                                              York in 1848. Many similar acts were passed
                                                 Daud)
Khadijara, who was his first wife and fifteen                                                     in the next two decades, providing women
years his senior, till her death around the                                                       in some states with a measure of security in
                                                   Rights of Daughters in Islam                   their own property and allowing married
age of 68. Although she was very wealthy
at the time of their marriage, she gave away                                                      women to own property separate from their
                                                    To take care of a daughter tenderly is        husbands. In divorce law, however, the
most of her wealth in charity for the            greatly emphasized in the sayings of the
advancement of poor, orphans and widows.                                                          divorced husband generally kept legal
                                                 Holy Prophetsa. Hadhrat Ayeshara narrates        control of both children and property. Until
All his other marriages were contracted to       that once a woman came to her with her two
set a precedent for his followers or to                                                           1935, married women in England did not have
                                                 daughters asking for charity. She gave the       the full right to own property and to enter
abolish certain customs prevalent at that        woman a date, as she had nothing else to

                                                                                                                             Spring 2006 11
into contracts at par with unmarried                                                                taught that women were equal to men
women. Only after 1920 was                                                                          as the creatures of God, and were not
legislation passed to provide                “Take care of the glass! Take care                     the slaves of men and should not be
working women with employment                 of the glass!”, a phrase of gentle                    beaten. The Prophet sa admonished
opportunities and pay equal to men.                                                                 men and told them that those who
Not until the early 1960s was a law           kindness that reminded the men                        treated women with unkindness could
passed that equalized pay scales for                                                                never win the favor of God.
men and women in the British civil           that women were among the party                           The Holy Prophet sa always
service.                                          and that they would suffer                        exhorted those who had to go upon a
   The Holy Qur'an establishes                                                                      journey should finish their errands
daughters as heirs, along with the              discomfort if the camels and                        quickly and return home as soon as
sons, to the property left by their                                                                 possible so that their wives and
parents. In the same way, a mother is
                                               horses they rode on were put to                      children do not suffer separation
made an heir to her son’s or                      full gallop. (Sahih Bukhari)                      longer than was necessary. Whenever
daughter’s property, and a wife is                                                                  he returned from a journey he always
made an heir to her husband’s                                                                       came home during the daytime. If he
property. When a brother becomes                                                                    found night approaching towards the
an heir of his deceased brother’s                                                                   end of his journey, he would camp
property, a sister is also an heir to                                                               outside Medina for the night and enter
that property. No religion or law                                                                   in the morning. He also told his
before Islam had so clearly and firmly                                                              companions that when they returned
established a woman’s right of                                                                      from a journey they should not come
inheritance and her right to possess                                                                home suddenly, and without giving a
property. In Islam, a woman is the                                                                  notice of their return.
absolute owner of her own property                                                                     It is ironic that in the present day,
and her husband cannot obtain any                                                                   Islam is harshly criticized for its
control over it by virtue merely of                                                                 treatment of women. The so-called
their relationship. A woman is at full                                                              “Islamic” countries of the world are
liberty to deal with her property as                                                                lending credence to these charges by
she chooses. A woman has been granted                                                         their actions and laws. The golden example
the right to initiate divorce and the right to wives counsel him in his affairs and he does of the Holy Prophet sa is completely
keep the children till a certain age.           not stop them. Why don’t you follow his forgotten. Countries which are called Islamic
                                                example?” (Abu Daud)                          usually use teachings regarding treatment
                                                   If during any of his journeys women were of women as a way to express these
   Intellectual Rights of Women                 also among the party, he would always direct teachings in their lives and spiritual and
                                                that the caravan should move slowly and
   It is misunderstood that Islam does not by easy stages. On one such occasion when intellectual growth. Let us hope that these
permit equal opportunities to women to seek the men were eager to push forward, he said: misconceptions about Islam are removed
knowledge with men. The Holy Prophetsa                                                        and that Muslim countries follow the true
said in this regard,                                                                          teachings of Islam, so that Muslim women
                                                    “Take care of the glass! Take care of the throughout the world are accorded their
                                                glass!”, a phrase of gentle kindness that freedom, dignity and basic human rights.u
 "Seeking knowledge is the duty of every        reminded the men that women were among
     Muslim man and Muslim woman."              the party and that they would suffer
           (Pathway to Paradise)                                                              Saadia Ahmed has an MBA in Finance and
                                                discomfort if the camels and horses they
                                                rode on were put to full gallop. (Sahih works as a Financial Advisor. She resides
  Islamic Injunctions Concerning Bukhari)                                                     in Silicon Valley, California.
     Kind Treatment towards
                                                     Once during a battle, confusion arose            Bibliography
             Women                                                                                   1. The life of the Holy Prophet of Islam by
                                                 among the ranks of the mounted soldiers
                                                                                                  Maulana M. A. Cheema
   The Holy Prophetsa was so careful to treat    and their animals became unmanageable.              h t t p : / / w w w. a l i s l a m . o r g / h o l y p r o p h e t /
women kindly that those around him not           The Holy Prophetsa fell from his horse and       the_holy_prophet_muhammad.pdf
previously accustomed to looking upon            some women also fell from their mounts. One         2. Pathway to Paradise published by Lajna
                                                 of his companions, who was riding a camel        Imaillah, U.S.A.
women as partners found it difficult to                                                              3. Gardens of the Righteous by Sir Muhammad
accommodate themselves to the standards          immediately behind the Prophetsa, jumped         Zafrullah Khan
that the Prophetsa was anxious to maintain.      down and ran towards him. The Holy                  4. The Seal of Prophets: His Personality and
Hadhrat Umar ra relates, “My wife                Prophet’ssa foot was still in the stirrup. He    Character by Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad Khalifatul
occasionally sought to intervene in my           released it hastily and said to his companion,   Masih IV
                                                 “Don’t worry about me, go and help the              5. The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential
affairs with her counsel and I would                                                              Persons in History by Michael H Hart
admonish her, saying that the Arabs had          women.”                                             (Footnotes)
never permitted their women to intervene in          It was a common practice with the Arabs         1 Hart, Michael H. The 100: A Ranking of the
their affairs.” She would retort: “That is all   to inflict physical chastisement upon women      Most Influential Persons in History. Carol Publishing
                                                 for every little fault. The Holy Prophetsa       Group, 1992.
in the past. The Holy Prophetsa lets his


12 MuslimSunrise
Prophet
Muhammad’s
Treatment of                                                             Neither in the law of the Holy
                                                                     Prophet (the Qur’an; 24:34, 47:5,
Slaves                                                              23:7, 90:12-14) nor in his practices
                                                                   did he approve the keeping of slaves.




I
By Tahir Mannan                                                    The only time when a slave was kept
             n the most hostile, unclean,                            was in the time of battles and wars
            immoral, and backward                                        which had to be fought by the
            country of Arabia in the 7 th
            century, where Arabs took                                   Prophet and his companions to
            pride in idolatry, gambling and
            drinking, where abusive and                             uphold the very institution of liberty
            foul language was part of                                and freedom, especially freedom of
            daily communication, and where
corruption abound, there was a man, Mu-                              religion which was a matter of an
hammadsa, who was destined to change
the course of this wretched society into                              individual’s heart. So the sayings
peace, love and devotion. From a social                            and practices of the Holy Prophet on
standpoint, one of the long-imparted in-
stitutions completely abolished 1400 years                           this issue were only for the time of
ago by this Prophet sa was slavery.                                 battles, battles which were decidedly
   Neither in his implementation of Islamic                        and conclusively won by the Muslim
law (see, the Qur'an at 24:34, 47:5, 23:7, 90:12-
14) nor in his own practice did the Prophetsa
                                                                   forces, otherwise from the dozens and
approve the keeping of slaves. Slaves were                             dozens of recorded sayings of the
only kept during battles fought in defense
of Islam and only as an extenuating and                                Holy Prophet slavery was indeed
temporary measure until law and order was
established.
                                                                              abolished in Islam.

   Dozens of recorded sayings of the Holy
Prophetsa suggest that slavery was indeed
abolished in Islam. On one occasion, the
Prophet’s companions saw a fellow
companion, Al Ma’rur bin Suwaidra, and his
slave wearing similar cloaks. The                                                                  spare some portion for him [from his own
companions asked Ma’rur bin Suwaidra why            should not overburden them with what they      share].” (Muslim)
                                                    cannot bear, and if you do so, help them [in
he did so, to which he replied:                     their hard job]’.” (Bukhari)
                                                                                                      The Prophet sa went so far as to not
“Once I abused a man and he complained                                                             recommend use of the term “slaves”: “[O]ne
of me to the Prophetsa. The Prophetsa asked         On another occasion, the Prophet said:
                                                                                      sa
                                                                                                   should not say, my slave (Abdi), or my girl-
me: ‘Did you abuse him by slighting his                                                            slave (Amati), but should say, my lad (fatai),
mother?’ He added: ‘Your slaves are your            “When the slave of anyone amongst you
                                                    prepares food for him and he serves him        my lass (fatati) and my boy (ghulami)”
brethren upon whom Allah has given you
authority. So, if one has one’s brethren un-        after having sat close to [and undergoing      (Bukhari). In several other Hadith, we find
der one’s control, one should feed them             the hardship of] heat and smoke, he should     the Prophetsa to be sensitive to the needs of
with the like of what one eats and clothe           make him [the slave] sit along with him        slaves. For example, he ordered Muslims to
them with the like of what one wears. You           and make him eat [along with him], and if      buy slave boys and slave girls the same
                                                    the food seems to run short, then he should    quality of clothes and gifts that they would


                                                                                                                              Spring 2006 13
buy for their children. He also ordered         Prophet of Islam, was by far the largest.     part of the whole fabric of human society
adult Muslims not to hit or be violent to       And one of the greatest services to           in his time. To abolish it all of a sudden
slaves.                                         mankind of this greatest and noblest of       was neither wise, nor practicable or even
                                                men was his unequivocal and emphatic          possible. It should have meant a
   The Prophetsa imparted his sympathetic       condemnation of and the effective             deathblow to the entire existing social
view of slaves to others. He advised and        measures he took to abolish those social      order. The sudden emancipation in
ordered his devoted companions to               injustices that were practiced by one         hundreds of thousands of those persons
purchase as many slaves as they can and         section of humanity against another. His      who having been held in bondage for
to set them free. His close companion,          mind rebelled and revolted against the        generations had lost all initiative to lead
Hadhrat Abu Bakr ra , purchased many            then prevalent idea that man could be         an independent life, would have serious
slaves from the pagan Arabs and                 bought, sold and treated by men like          consequences upon the whole moral tone
immediately set them free or gave them to       chattel. His ideal of human brotherhood       of society. Jobless and workless they
other notable Muslims to care for them.         and the inborn and inherent equality of       would have stooped to all sorts of immoral
One such slave was Hadhrat Syedna               all men could scarcely be reconciled with     acts. This was exactly what the Holy
Bilal ra, whom the Prophet sa revered so        the practice of slavery, which was so         Prophet sa sought to avoid and he did
much that he let him have the honor of          widespread as to have become inextricably     succeed in avoiding it. On the other hand,
calling out the first Adhaan (call to prayer)   interwoven and deeply rooted in the social    he laid down precepts and injunctions,
in Islam. Many of the Prophet’s sa first        conditions and ideas of his time. His heart   which were calculated to do away with
companions were poor people and slaves,         burnt to see the inequities and enormities    slavery gradually, but surely and
all whom the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa            practiced by man upon man. He grieved         effectively." (Tafseer-e-Kabeer, Short
always cherished as the backbone and            and pined for this unfortunate section of     Commentary of the Holy Quran, p. 1857)u
foremost among Muslims. The Prophetsa           humanity. He would if he could abolish
commanded: “Whoever frees a Muslim              altogether by a stroke of the pen a system    Tahir Mannan is a sophomore at the
slave, Allah will save all the parts of his     so repugnant and revolting, so destructive    University of New Haven studying
body from the (Hell) Fire as he has freed       of all human instincts, of all that           Accounting and Law. He resides in
the body-parts of the slave.” Sayd bin          distinguishes man from beast and brute.
Marjanara said that he narrated that Hadith     But this institution had become an integral   Middletown, Connecticut.
to ‘Ali bin Al-Husainra and he freed his
slave, for whom Abdullah bin Ja’far had
offered him 10,000 Dirhams or 1,000 dinars.        He (the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa) would if he could
Even if one did not have the money to                abolish altogether by a stroke of the pen a system so
manumit a slave by himself, the Prophet sa
taught,                                             repugnant and revolting, so destructive of all human
 “Whoever frees his share of a common           instincts, of all that distinguishes man from beast and brute.
slave and he has sufficient money to free
him completely, should let its price be
                                                But this institution had become an integral part of the whole
estimated by a just man and give his part-
ners the price of their shares and manu-
                                                              fabric of human society in his time.
mit the slave [completely].” (Bukhari)                                                                               
                                                              £££¡£¡¢¡¡¢¡¢¡¡¢¡¢¡¡¢¡¢¡¡¢¡¢¡ 
  Finally, the Prophet sa taught that                 To abolish it all of a sudden was neither wise, nor
Muslims should marry those slave women               practicable or even possible. It should have meant a
who were set free after bondage. He
himself married a bondwoman after she             deathblow to the entire existing social order. The sudden
was freed and gave her full stature and
measure.                                           emancipation in hundreds of thousands of those persons
                                                 who having been held in bondage for generations had lost
  The Prophet’s sa view of slavery is
perhaps best captured by Hadhrat Mirza          all initiative to lead an independent life, would have serious
Bashiruddin Mahmood Ahmadra thus:
                                                     consequences upon the whole moral tone of society.
   “We maintain that of all divine
                                                                                                                      
                                                               £¡££££¢¡¢¡¡¢¡¢¡¡¢¡¢¡¡¢¡¢¡¡¢¡ 
messengers and Prophets of God, of all
founders of different creeds, faiths and        Jobless and workless they would have stooped to all sorts of
religious systems, of all social reformers
and philanthropists, and of all those
                                                  immoral acts. This was exactly what the Holy Prophetsa
teachers and leaders of men who at any           sought to avoid and he did succeed in avoiding it. On the
time in any land and in any form,
contributed to the social uplift and moral       other hand, he laid down precepts and injunctions, which
and spiritual regeneration of humanity;            were calculated to do away with slavery gradually, but
the share of Muhammad sa , the Holy
                                                                   surely and effectively.

14 MuslimSunrise
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                                                                           Spring 2006 15
     Muhammad: A Mercy for Mankind




                                                                          "Adopt the color of Allah, and there is nothing better than the
By Imam Mubasher Ahmad                                                           color of Allah; and Him alone do we worship.”

                                                                           Thus, to adopt the noble attributes of Allah and to reflect them
 In the Holy Qur'an, in Sura Al-Anbiya, Verse 108, in our human interactions is the very purpose of life. Through this,
Allah the Exalted says to the Holy Prophet we strengthen the natural bond between God and ourselves.
Muhammadsa:
                                                                           Now, referring to His attributes, Allah declares:
        “And we have not sent you save as                                             “And My mercy encompasses all things.”
            a mercy for all peoples.”                                       Mercy is God’s overwhelming, all comprehensive, and all



T
                                                                         pervasive attribute. The Holy Prophet Muhammadsa was the greatest
        his verse of the Holy Qur'an clearly and emphatically            of all of Allah’s servants, and as such he adopted the color of Allah
        designates the quality of mercy as the most consequential        perfectly by submerging his personality completely in all of Allah’s
        and the most prominent feature in the character of the Holy      attributes. He reflected the color of Allah in his daily conduct towards
Prophet Muhammadsa. It also emphasizes the need of mercy as the          others. He absorbed Allah’s attributes to the final limits of human
most pressing and crucial for the whole of mankind. The need for         endeavors.
mercy has no historic limits or geographical boundaries.                    The title “Rahmatul-lil-Alameen” (Mercy for all Peoples) tells us
   This verse of the Holy Qur'an precisely declares that the sole        that he was not just a merciful man in the ordinary sense, showing
purpose of Allah - by sending the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa to             kindness to his contemporaries. The attribute of mercy in his
mankind - was nothing but mercy for all the nations for all times to     character was not just one solitary ray of light; it was rather the full
come.                                                                    outburst of sunshine in its entire spectrum, in its most benevolent
   The Qur'anic declaration: “And We have sent you not save as a         and magnificent glory, embracing all, missing none.
mercy for all the peoples” (21:108) gives significant dimensions to         As mercy is the fundamental, encompassing and overwhelming
his benevolence. To fully appreciate the comprehensiveness of            attribute of Allah, the same was the case with the Holy Prophet
Holy Prophet Muhammadsa being sent by Allah as a mercy to all            Muhammadsa. All his actions, thoughts and feelings were basically
mankind, we have to understand the concept of Rahmat, or mercy,          expressions of Allah’s mercy for mankind. Without any exaggeration,
in Qur'anic context.                                                     it is true to say that Holy Prophet Muhammad sa was mercy
   First, in the Holy Qur'an, it is made very clear that the objective   personified.
of the creation of mankind is Ibadat or the worship of Allah. To            Anyone who reads the life of Holy Prophet Muhammadsa in detail
become a true Abd (servant) of Allah, man is asked to first take in      may come to the obvious conclusion that he was indeed a kind and
and then reflect the attributes of Allah on a human scale. The Qur'an    tender-hearted man. He was, without a doubt, gentle and
says:

16 MuslimSunrise
    Mercy is God’s overwhelming, all comprehensive, all pervasive attribute. The Holy
      Prophet Muhammad sa was the greatest of all of Allah’s servants, and as such he
   adopted the color of Allah perfectly by submerging his personality completely in all of
  Allah’s attributes. He reflected the color of Allah in his daily conduct towards others. He
              absorbed Allah’s attributes to the final limits of human endeavors.




compassionate towards his friends, neighbors, relatives, close          from any harm. The brutal scoundrels and vagabonds of the town
companions, followers and even strangers. He set a shining example      of Taif, who shamelessly insulted him and chased him out of their
of loving care and compassion for the needy, the sick, the              town, throwing rocks on him, causing him to bleed profusely, they
handicapped, the hungry, the widowed and the orphaned.                  also received his prayers, forgiveness and security. The Holy
   He was always at the forefront in protecting the rights of the       Prophet Muhammadsa became a Shield of Mercy between them and
poor, the slaves, the economically exploited, the weak and the          the aroused wrath of God.
subjugated. There is no one equal to his social contributions in           There was a time when a price was fixed on his head. The open
removing the evils of oppression and inequity. He was the greatest      invitation for his assassination came with the offer of a reward of
benefactor of women, slaves and prisoners of war. His life is replete   one hundred red camels. A Bedouin horseman by the name of Suraqa
with glorious incidents when he healed the pain and anguish of          pursued him into the desert during his flight from Mecca to Medina.
many who suffered. Through his heart-winning attitude he was            But at the end of his vicious pursuit, not only did Suraqa receive
able to reform hard-core criminals into benevolent members of the       the Prophet’s forgiveness, but also received a prophetic gift of
society.                                                                great historic significance. He was told by the Prophetsa that one
   His “punishment” to prisoners of war was to ask them to teach        day he would wear the gold bangles of the King of Persia. And
others how to read and write, and thus, earn their freedom by freeing   indeed, this gift he did receive in the era of Hadhrat Umarra, the
others from the clutches of illiteracy.                                 second Khalifa (Successor) of the Prophet of Islam.
   He was heroically magnanimous in dealing with his enemies.              When the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa triumphantly entered the
Most of his enemies were hateful, cruel and deadly, and yet in          city of Mecca with his ten thousand saintly followers, the vicious
response they received his prayers and charity of heart. Those          Meccans were completely subdued. Earlier, the Meccans had
who had wanted to take his life were given a new spiritual life, a      crossed all boundaries of human decency, they had committed every
rebirth of their morals and virtues.                                    conceivable atrocity towards the Prophetsa and his followers over
   Those who tortured him, threw filth upon him, laid thorns in his     an extended period of two decades. Their monstrous crimes against
way, showered rocks on him, causing him bleed from head to toe; in      the weak and helpless believers in Islam had made them deserving
response they all received from him nothing but love, comfort and       of the most severe punishments. When Mecca was conquered by
mercy.                                                                  the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa, the same Meccans were standing
                                                                        in front of the Prophet, terrified, trembling.
  Many had tried to take his life away, but once touched by his
mercy, they ended up laying down their own lives to protect him           The Holy Prophet Muhammadsa asked them what they thought


                                                                                                                         Spring 2006 17
                                                                            But most importantly, Allah’s Mercy is expressed through the
                                                                          Revival of the Dead (17:82) and Giving New Life to the Barren.
          Spiritual rain descends upon
                                                                            For example, the Holy Quran says:
          mankind from the heavens in
       various forms, such as knowledge,                                     “After they have despaired, it is He Who sends down rain and
                                                                                    spreads out His Mercy. And He is the Protector,
       wisdom, revelations, true dreams,                                                      the Praiseworthy.”[42:29]
       visions and acceptance of prayers.                                  “And He it is Who sends the winds as glad tidings before His
                                                                           mercy; and We send down pure water from the clouds,, that We
         The Holy Qur'an, the best and                                    may thereby give life to a dead land, and give it for drink to Our
       perfect guidance for mankind, full                                    creation – cattle and men in large numbers.” [25:49-50]

         of wisdom and knowledge, is a                                       For the dead and barren land, life giving rain descends from the
                                                                          clouds carried on the winds of glad tidings. The same is the case of
          mercy of Allah for mankind.                                     Allah’s mercy over morally and spiritually dead people. Allah’s
                                                                          mercy descends upon them in every age to rejuvenate the dying
                                                                          hearts and parching souls.
should be their punishment. They knew the Holy Prophet                       Spiritual rain descends upon mankind from the heavens in
                                                                          various forms – such as knowledge, wisdom, revelations, true
Muhammadsa well, and they pleaded in one voice for his mercy.
                                                                          dreams, visions and acceptance of prayers. The Holy Qur'an, the
  And mercy they did receive. The Holy Prophet Muhammadsa                 best and perfect guidance for mankind, full of wisdom and
                                                                          knowledge, is a mercy of Allah for mankind. The spiritual reviving
declared:
                                                                          power of the Qur'an has been called a mercy many times in various
 “Go! All of you are free. This day, no one will harm you. May            Suras (chapters) of the Qur'an:
 God forgive you; he is the Most Merciful of all the merciful.”
                                                                             Or lest you should say, ‘Had the Book been sent down to us, we
   As he said these noble and compassionate words, his own eyes           should surely have been better guided than they.’ There has now
were filled with tears.                                                   come to you a clear evidence from your Lord, and a guidance and
   On that momentous day in history, many dimensions of his mercy         a mercy. Who, then, is more unjust than he who rejects the Signs of
were witnessed. In the rough and rocky streets of Mecca, Hadhrat          Allah and turns away from them? We will requite those who turn
Bilalra, an Ethiopian slave who had accepted Islam, used to be            away from Our Signs with an evil punishment because of their
dragged in the burning summer heat, skin at his back being peeled         turning away. (6:158)
off, and his chest being crushed under the weight of burning hot
stones. His former master was one of the cruelest Meccans                    And remember the day when We will raise up in every people a
imaginable. On the day when Mecca was conquered, justice required         witness against them from amongst themselves, and We will bring
that Hadhrat Bilal’s sufferings and torture should receive full           thee as a witness against these. And We have sent down to thee the
retribution. On entering Mecca, memories of the merciless treatment       Book to explain everything, and a guidance, - and a mercy, and
at the hands of Meccans must have flashed back into Hadhrat               glad tidings to those who submit to God. (16:90)
Bilal’s mind. It was but natural. And to think of getting even would
have been justifiable. The Holy Prophet Muhammad’ssa mercy                   Mankind received the perfect gift of mercy from God through
quenched Hadhrat Bilal’s natural thirst for retribution. But, instead     the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa. In the Qur'an, all previous Prophets
of giving Hadhrat Bilalra the mere satisfaction of retribution, Hadhrat   and the recipients of Allah’s Word are called the recipients of His
Bilalra received a far greater satisfaction and recompense. He was        mercy. For example, Nuhas (11:28), Hoodas (11:58), Salihas (11:63),
made a sanctuary for the lives of his oppressors. He was given the        Shoaibas (11:94), Lootas (21:75), Zakriaas (19:2), Haroonas (19:53), and
banner of security. The Holy Prophet Muhammadsa announced that            Isaas bin Maryam (19:21-22) all have been called “mercy” in the
whosoever took refuge under Hadhrat Bilal’s banner, he would be           Qur'an.
granted amnesty. What a wonderful and beautiful way of showing
mercy - both for the oppressor and the oppressed. The downtrodden            Thus, to fully understand and appreciate the magnitude of the
black slave instantly became the victorious benefactor of mankind;        Holy Prophet Muhammadsa as a “mercy for mankind,” we have to
he became the life-saver of his most bitter foes.                         accept and acknowledge him as the greatest source of Allah’s mercy
   Thus, undoubtedly the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa was indeed               that descended upon human hearts and souls to revive them.
the most merciful, considerate, compassionate man in history. The            To receive spiritual rain – the heavenly mercy – to revive the
noble precepts set out by him are everlasting and always refreshing.      dead hearts and sinful souls, obedience to the Holy Prophet
Measured by all possible standards, he stands out as the most             Muhammad sa is a must. Therefore, Allah the Exalted says:
towering figure in history as far as demonstrated quality of his
personal mercy is concerned.                                              “And obey Allah and the Messenger that you be shown mercy.”
   The Holy Qur'an pours a flood of light on the concept of mercy                                  [3:133]
by tying it with various other virtues. For example, Allah’s Mercy is
                                                                           “And observe prayer and give the Zakat and obey the Messen-
coupled with His Guidance (16:64), Healing (17:83), Righteousness                  ger, that you may be shown mercy.” [24:57]
(27;197), Abundance (24:10), Love (30:21), and Joy (30:36).



18 MuslimSunrise
                                                                        these lights, the darkness of sin departs from his heart.” (Review
   The Mercy of Allah descends upon those who obey Allah and            of Religions Vol. 1 No. 5)
the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa. Obedience to the Holy Prophet
Muhammadsa not only revives us spiritually, it also promises us the     “When we estimate justly, then out of the whole series of Prophets,
highest spiritual rewards, the highest spiritual grades.                we find one of high courage and alive and greatly dear to God,
   It also helps us to understand the true significance of another
                                                                        the Chief of the Prophets, the pride and the crown of the
noble title of the Holy Prophet Muhammad sa bestowed upon him
by Allah the Exalted in the Holy Qur'an, namely, Khataman               Messengers, whose name is Muhammad Mustafa and Ahmad
Nabiyyeen, the Seal of all the Prophets.                                Mujtaba. By walking under his shadow for ten days one obtains
                                                                        that light which before him could not be obtained in a thousand
  “And who so obeys Allah and this Messenger of His, shall be           years - We have found every light by following the immaculate
    among those on whom Allah has bestowed His blessings,               Prophet and whoever follows him will also find it and he will
   namely, the prophets, the truthful, the martyrs and the righ-        become so accepted of God that nothing will be impossible for
 teous; and excellent companions are these. This grace is from
                    Allah, the All Knowing.”                            him. The Living God Who is hidden from people, will be his God
                                                                        and all false gods will be trodden under his feet. He will be
   Thus, if man follows in the footsteps of the Holy Prophet            blessed everywhere and Divine Power will be with him. Peace
Muhammad sa, Allah’s mercy is promised in all its vastness,             be on him who follows the guidance” (Siraj Muneer, p. 82).
magnificence and benevolence, not only to raise the dead but also
to take the revived souls to the highest spiritual plateaus.            “How shall we express our gratitude to God who bestowed upon
   The highest forms of mercy that could be conceived –                 us the good fortune to follow the Prophet who is a sun for the
righteousness, martyrdom, truthfulness and prophecy – all are in        souls of the righteous as there is a sun for the bodies. He appeared
the waiting for those who walk the way of the Prophet of Islam, the     in a time of darkness and illumined the world with his light. He
Rahmatul-lil-Alameen. That’s why he is called the greatest of the       was neither tired nor fatigued till he purified all parts of Arabia
greatest, the best of the best, the Prophet of the Prophets. His base
                                                                        from associating partners with God. He is the proof of his own
is as Rahmatul-lil-Alameen, and his climax is as Khataman
Nabiyyeen. He is Khataman Nabiyyeen because he is Rahmatul-lil-         truth for his light is present in every age and true obedience to
Alameen.                                                                him purifies a person as the clear and transparent water of a river




I
                                                                        cleanses dirty linen. Who has come to us with a sincere heart and
      n conclusion, I quote a few passages from the writings of         has not witnessed that light, and who has knocked honestly on
      the Imam Mahdi, the Promised Messiah, the founder of the          that door for whom it has not been opened? But the pity is that
      Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam, Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam                 most people prefer the lower life and do not desire that higher
      Ahmadas of Qadian, in praise of Holy Prophet Muhammadsa           light should enter into them” (Chashma Marifat, p. 288).
      as a Mercy for Mankind:
                                                                        “The Holy Prophet came into the world so that he might bestow
“Even in this age a person who obeys the Holy Prophet, peace be         hearing on the deaf who had continued in that condition for
on him, is raised from the dead and is bestowed a spiritual life not    hundreds of years. Who is blind and who is deaf? The same one
merely in imagination, but through the display of his righteous         who does not accept the Unity of God and who does not accept
effectiveness and of heavenly help and blessings and                    this Prophet who revived the Unity of God on the earth; the same
extraordinary support of the holy spirit. He becomes a unique           Prophet who converted the wild ones into men and then converted
person from among all mankind, so much so that God Almighty             them into men possessing true moral qualities, then dyed Them in
talks to him and discloses His special mysteries to him, and            the Divine color of those who establish their relationship with
communicates His verities to him, and manifests the signs of His        God; the same Prophet, the sun of righteousness, at whose feet
love and favour in him, and causes His help to descend upon him,        thousands of those who had died of paganism and atheism and
and places His blessings in him, and makes him the mirror of His        evil living were revived and came to life and a sample of the
Rahmaniyyat.”                                                           judgment Day was exhibited.
(Ayena Kamalte Islam p. 221)
                                                                         “I have observed that by calling down blessings upon the Holy
“When a person believes sincerely in the Holy Prophet, peace be         Prophet, Divine grace in the shape of wonderful light proceeds in
on him, and accepting his greatness, follows him with eagerness         the direction of the Holy Prophet, peace be on him, and is absorbed
and love and obedience, so much so that through perfect                 into his breast and then issuing there from numberless streams of
obedience, he arrives at the stage of nonexistence, he, on account      it reach everyone deserving them according to his capacity.
of this close relationship with him, also partakes of the Divine        Certainly no grace can reach anyone without the agency of the
light which descends upon the Holy Prophet. Then as light and           Holy Prophet, peace be on him. Calling down blessings on the
darkness are opposed to each other, his inner darkness begins to        Holy Prophet brings into movement His Throne from which these
be dispelled till no part of it remains inside him and, being           streams of light issue. He who desires to obtain the grace of God
strengthened by light, good of the highest type proceeds from           Almighty should call down Divine blessings on him very diligently
him and the light of the love of God shines forth through all his       so that that grace might be moved”
limbs. His inner darkness is wholly dispelled and he enjoys light
intellectually as well as in conduct and by the combination of          (Al-Hakam, 28 Feb. 1903, p, 7).u


                                                                                                                          Spring 2006 19
The Greatest
Worship of God
By Falahud Din Shams


   On careful examination, we see that
worship and prayer are key components of
all pre-Islamic religions. Indeed, without
worship and prayer, what becomes of the
meaning of “faith”? Yet, it seems there are
too few traditions in recorded history
describing the ways of worship of the
prophets from the time of Adamas through
the time of Jesusas. There are no details of
how the prophets worshipped. How did
they prepare themselves for prayer, how
many times a day did they pray and in what
words did they supplicate on a regular
basis?
   Early followers of pre-Islamic faiths did                The followers of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa
not place enough importance to the form                    know exactly how many prayers to recite, how to
and substance of worship. Therefore, the
followers of these prophets cannot seem to                   recite them, when and how to fast, and how to
find the crucial significance of the form of
worship today. When a prophet cannot be
                                                           perform the sacred pilgrimage to Mecca, etc. It is
relied upon as an example of prayer or                      his true example that we as Muslims can follow
worship, then it is left up to his followers to
decide how to go about it. Obviously, the                             exactly how to worship Allah.
early followers of these religions never
found their prophets’ ways of worshipping
to be vital to their faith. If it were important   By his example, Muslims know exactly when        Prophetsa, form and substance for worship
enough to the followers of these prophets,         and how to pray to God.                          are clearly defined and followed. The
the practice of their prophets would have             The Prophet Muhammad’s sa habit of            followers of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa
been recorded in detail.                           praying began well before his first revelation   know exactly how many prayers to recite
                                                   from God, before his call to Prophethood in      and how to recite them, know when and how
                                                   the Cave of Hira. Even before the Angel          to hold fasts, how to perform the sacred
           Worship in Islam                        Gabriel came to him, he would regularly visit    pilgrimage to Mecca, and so on. It is his
   Unlike other religions, Islam provides a        the small cave outside of his town to            true example that we as Muslims can follow
complete description of worship and prayer;        meditate and pray. At this cave, the Ka’aba      exactly in worshipping Allah. The Holy
which is derived from the Sunnah (practice)        was visible to him and his attention was         Prophetsa ensured that, by acknowledging
of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa. His                drawn to God, yet God’s attributes had not       in the Kalima (Creed) that he is a human
methods of worship are detailed clearly in         yet been revealed to him. He was inclined        being and a worshipper like us, he would
documented history. This model of prayer           to worship even before his God was defined       not be worshipped as some prophets of
was and is vital to the followers of Islam.        to him.                                          earlier religions, who were deified.
                                                      In Islam, through the example of the Holy

20 MuslimSunrise
   5 Pillars of Islam
                                                                                                   Sajda (prostration) as well. Hence, the Holy
                                                                                                   Prophet sa , when not offering salat in
                                                                                                   congregation, chose to recite as many
                                                                                                   surahs - no matter how long they were - as
                                                                                                   he wished.
                                                                                                      While the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa
                                                                                                   stressed the importance of formal prayer, he
   n        Shahadah: Profession of Faith                                                          also established the importance of
                                                                                                   moderation in worship. Hadhrat Anasra
                                                                                                   relates that three persons inquired from the
   n        Salat: Prayer (five times daily)                                                       wives of the Holy Prophet sa about his
                                                                                                   practice in the matter of worship. When
                                                                                                   they were informed, they felt that amount of
   n        Zakat: Funds to support the needy                                                      time spent worshipping would not suffice
                                                                                                   in their own cases, saying, “There is no
                                                                                                   comparison between the Holy Prophetsa and
                                                                                                   us. He has been forgiven in advance.”
   n        Saum: Fasting during Ramadhan                                                          (They meant that they would need to
                                                                                                   worship more than the Holy Prophetsa.) One
                                                                                                   of them declared, “I shall always spend the
   n        Hajj: Pilgrimage to Mecca                                                              whole night in voluntary prayer.” The
                                                                                                   second announced, “I shall observe a fast
                                                                                                   every day without interruption.” The third
                                                                                                   said, “I shall keep away from women and
   Prayer was so important to the Holy          bow to Allah in their worship to Him. The
                                                                                                   shall never marry.” The Holy Prophetsa
Prophetsa that there never seemed to be a       way in which Muslims prostrate to God, is
                                                                                                   arrived and asked them, “Did you say this
moment where he was not found                   emulated by cultures in the Middle East and
                                                                                                   and this? Now, I fear God more than you do
worshipping God. He worshipped during           India to show humbleness and humility. The
                                                                                                   and am more mindful of my duty to Him than
the day and most of the night as he was         form of Islamic prayer has been clearly
                                                                                                   you are, but I observe a fast and also abstain
commanded. Huzaifahra and Abu Dharrra           defined and ultimately, designed to
                                                                                                   from fasting, and I perform voluntary prayer
relate that the Holy Prophetsa supplicated      encompass all people of the entire world.
                                                                                                   at night and also sleep, and I consort with
on retiring at night: “With Thy name, O            Surah Fatiha (the opening chapter) of the
                                                                                                   my wives. He who turns away from my
Allah, I expire and return to life;” and        Qur'an is its essence and was prescribed by
                                                                                                   practice is not of me.” The Holy Prophetsa
supplicated on waking: “All praise belongs      the Holy Prophetsa to all his followers as a
                                                                                                   was saying that even though he spent an
to Allah Who has brought me back to life        requisite part of salat. No prayer is complete
                                                                                                   ample amount of time in worship and prayer,
after He had caused me to die, to Him is the    unless Surah Fatiha is recited.
                                                                                                   he did not spend every waking moment
return.” While most people were sound              The Holy Prophet sa emphasized the
                                                                                                   praying. Although there were days that he
asleep at night, the Holy Prophetsa was         blessings of congregational prayers, but in
                                                                                                   would fast, there were also days when he
awake, praying. His wife, Hadhrat Ayeshara,     an effort alleviate any undue burden, kept
                                                                                                   did not keep a fast. There were parts of
relates: “One night, I missed the Holy          them short. When leading congregational
                                                                                                   nights that he prayed and others where he
Prophetsa from his bed so I cast about and      prayers, he would recite a short surah after
                                                                                                   slept. He pointed out to his followers the
discovered that he was in bowing and            Surah Fatihah, and instructed other imams
                                                                                                   need to observe his teachings on
prostration and was reciting, ‘Holy art Thou    to do the same. In his own prayers at home,
                                                                                                   moderation and not to completely abandon
and Thine is the Praise and there is none       however, he would often recite two or three
                                                                                                   living life for religion. It is noteworthy that
worthy of worship save Thee’.”                  longer surahs in just one raka’a.
                                                                                                   in spite of the fact that he performed much
                                                   Hadhrat Huzaifahra relates that one night
                                                                                                   worship, whenever he prayed, he always
                                                he had the opportunity of offering salat
       Salat (Formal Prayer)                                                                       praised Allah and asked for forgiveness.
                                                alongside the Holy Founder of Islam.
   The first form of the Holy Prophet’ssa                                                          Hadhrat Ayeshara relates that in his bowing
                                                Prophet Muhammadsa started reciting Surah
worship, salat, changed the world. No one                                                          and prostration, the Holy Prophetsa recited
                                                Baqarah, which is the longest chapter in the
could have imagined it then, but now, the                                                          repeatedly, “Holy art Thou, O’ Allah our
                                                Holy Qur'an. Hadhrat Huzaifahra assumed
entire world bears witness that the form he                                                        Lord, and Thine is the Praise. Forgive me, O
                                                that he would recite only 100 [of the 287]
used for prayer was a global way of                                                                Allah.”
                                                verses, but he continued past that mark. He
gesturing humility and humbleness. For          then expected the Holy Prophetsa would
example, in salat, when we stand with our       finish the entire Surah, which he did.                         Saum (Fasting)
hands folded, it is a reflection of people in   However, upon reciting the entire Surah, he           Another method of worship that the Holy
the western hemisphere, who fold their          continued on with the next surah, Al-Imran,        Prophetsa practiced was fasting. During the
hands in front of themselves as a sign of       and after that, he completed reciting Surah        holy month of Ramadhan, the Holy Prophetsa
respect to others. In certain South American    Al-Nisa. These three surahs alone make up          adhered to fasting the entire month and
cultures and some Asian cultures, touching      more than 5 parts of the Holy Qur'an, which        devoted his time to prayer. Hadhrat
ones ears is a sign of asking forgiveness, as   has 30 parts in all. Furthermore, as much          Ayeshara relates that the Holy Prophetsa
Muslims do in salat. East Asians show their     time as he took to recite all 3 surahs, he spent   never offered more than eleven raka’as at
respect to others by bowing, as Muslims         equal amounts of time in Ruku (bowing) and         night during Ramadhan or at any other time.


                                                                                                                               Spring 2006 21
                                                                                                            Pilgrimmage to Mecca
                                                                                                             was another form of
                                                                                                               worship that was
                                                                                                           established by the Holy
                                                                                                           Prophetsa. There was no
                                                                                                          record of how many Hajj
                                                                                                             he performed before
                                                                                                             Islam; possibly every
                                                                                                          year. It is recorded in the
                                                                                                           history that the Quraish
                                                                                                          in Mecca used to perform
                                                                                                                Hajj every year.
                                                                                                           Therefore, it is assumed
                                                                                                           that the Holy Prophetsa
                                                                                                          also performed Hajj once
                                                                                                             a year, but the exact
                                                                                                            number is not known.


He would offer four raka’as long and perfect,    while others, such as Hindu gurus and           and even accelerated his giving in the month
and then four of the same type and then          monks of different faiths, fast for long        of Ramadhan. He was very conscious that
three. She asked him, “Messenger of Allah,       periods of times. The Holy Prophet’s sa         no money or wealth should be kept in his
do you sleep before offering Witr [a             method of fasting established the middle        house. On one occasion, extraordinary
voluntary prayer]?” He answered,                 ground from previous religions. He never        money came to him from one of the battles.
“Ayesha, my eyes sleep but my heart does         allowed 24-hour fasting, as do certain other    Distribution of the whole sum could not take
not.” What the Holy Prophetsa was trying         religions. He required people to wake and       place by that evening. So that night, the
to say was that even though his eyes were        eat breakfast and to break the fast at the      Prophet Muhammadsa stayed in the mosque
closed, his heart was still worshipping. Take,   prescribed times. Once again, when he           and did not enter his house until Hadhrat
for example, when something is bothering         stressed the importance of moderation in        Bilalra came and told him that the work was
us, during our sleep, our subconscious is        worship, it was reflected in fasting as well.   complete and all monies had been
continuously thinking of that problem. Even                                                      distributed.
during sleep, our mind is focused on this                 Zakat (Almsgiving)                        His desire to give charity to the needy,
problem. The Holy Prophetsa said that even          The third form of worship is Zakat, or       widows, and orphans is well recorded and
though his eyes were closed, his mind, heart,    almsgiving, in the way of God, which was        cherished by Muslims. One day there was
and soul were continuously worshipping           prescribed by the Holy Prophet sa. He           goat meat that was to be distributed. The
Allah.                                           established a prescribed method of Zakat.       Holy Prophet Muhammadsa had left home
   Ramadhan was not the only time of the         By stating exactly how much and how to          and later returned. He asked Hadhrat
year that he would fast. He would fast           give, Muslims know the correct way of           Ayeshara, “How did the distribution of the
throughout the year for a different number       worshipping in the form of charity.             meat go?” She replied by saying, “Nothing
of days. Yet, he never fasted for an entire      However, there is no record of him ever         could be saved except for one leg.” The
month unless it was during Ramadhan.             paying Zakat. From this information, some       Holy Prophet sa said, “No, Ayesha, you
Hadhrat Anas ra relates that the Holy            have inferred that the prophets of God are      should have said ‘all of it was saved except
Prophetsa would not fast during a month till     not obligated to pay Zakat. The fact is,        one leg’.” He was trying to show that the
we began to think he would not fast in this      however, that Zakat is required only on the     meat that was given away to the needy was
month, and he would go on observing the          property that a person keeps for more than      actually the part that was ‘saved.’ It was
fast till we thought he would not omit fasting   a year. But anything that came into the         that distributed meat that would be his and
at all during the month; and if one wanted       possession of the Holy Prophet sa never         Ayesha’sra reward with Allah. The leg that
to see him offering prayer at night one could    remained in his hands for very long. He         was left for them to eat would not reward
do that; or if one wanted to see him at sleep    always gave it away to the needy, therefore,    them. It would be consumed in this world
at night one could do that as well.              not obligating him to pay Zakat.                and would not be saved.
   There is a long spectrum regarding fasting       One of the meanings of Zakat relates to
amongst the pre-Islamic religions. Some          Sadqa, or charity. In that respect, the Holy              Hajj (Pilgrimage)
religions feel that just refraining from meat    Prophetsa was unique in the sense that he         Pilgrimage to Mecca was another form of
on a particular day is considered fasting,       gave away everything that was given to him      worship that was established by the Holy


22 MuslimSunrise
Prophetsa. There was no record of how many      eating, going to sleep, waking up, riding on      supplicate, “Allah, do Thou cause the
times he performed Hajj prior to the advent     a horse, entering a house, putting on new         appearance of this moon to be a harbinger
of Islam. It is recorded in history that the    clothes, entering and leaving the mosque,         of peace, faith, security and Islam for us.
Tribe of Quraish in Mecca used to perform       looking in the mirror, and so on. The times       Thy Lord, O’ moon, and my Lord is Allah.
Hajj every year. Therefore, it can be assumed   are countless. Even while traveling he was        May this be a moon presaging guidance and
that the Holy Prophetsa also performed Hajj     known to pray. Hadhrat Anasra relates: We         good.” Even in battles, he worshipped,
once a year, but the exact number is not        returned from a journey with the Holy             offered his prayers, and remembered Allah
known.                                          Prophetsa and when Medina came into view          in different ways. He set up a system
   During his thirteen-year stay in Mecca       he began to repeat, “We are returning safe,”      whereby one group of Muslims could offer
after the call, he performed two pilgrimages.   turning to our Lord, worshipping Him and          their prayers while another group sat on
He also performed Hajj during his tenth year    praising Him; and he kept it up till we entered   watch for enemy attacks. Once was the first
in Medina. It is also confirmed that he         the town. He was also known to worship            group concluded their prayers, these groups
performed Umrah (voluntary, Hajj-like           before going to sleep. His wife, Hadhrat          would trade places so that the latter could
pilgrimage performed outside the prescribed     Ayesha ra , relates that when the Holy            have their prayer time. One time during the
calendar dates for Hajj) four times during      Prophetsa came to bed, he would cup his           Battle of Khaiber, the enemy attacked at the
the time he lived in Medina. He showed          hands and blow upon his palms and recite          time of the Asr (afternoon) prayer. The attack
everyone precisely how to perform the           the last two chapters of the Holy Qur'an          was so viscious that it was impossible to
circuit and what prayers to recite. This is     and then pass his hands over his body.            take even one moment for salat. As the sun
the example and model that pious Muslims        Talha ibn Ubaidullahra relates that, on seeing    set, Asr time came to an end. The Holy
follow to this day.                             a new moon, the Holy Prophetsa would              Prophetsa felt awful about missing his prayer
   One         extremely                                                                                                   time. As soon as the
significant role of Hajj is                                                                                                attack was over, the
its display of citizens                                                                                                    very first thing he
from       all     nations                                                                                                 did was to offer the
worshipping together in                                                                                                    Asr prayer in
one place. People of all                                                                                                   congregation.
different backgrounds,                                                                                                        On every Friday
color, and nationalities                                                                                                   and every Eid
come together for one                                                                                                      celebration, the very
purpose and are all equal                                                                                                  last sentence of the
in the sight of God.                                                                                                       Prophet’ssa sermon
                                                                                                                           was about the
Remembrance of                                                                                                             remembrance of
                                                                                                                           Allah. The final
    God                                                                                                                    portion of the Friday
   The last form of                                                                                                        sermon, which is
worship that I will                                                                                                        recited in Arabic just
discuss       is      the                                                                                                  prior to the Jumah
remembrance of God as                                                                                                      Salat, are the words:
practiced by the Holy                                                                                                         “Remember
Prophet sa .    Hadhrat                                                                                                    Allah so that He
Ayeshara relates that the                                                                                                  will remember you
Holy          Prophet sa                                                                                                   and pray to Him
remembered Allah every                                                                                                     and He will accept
moment of his life. There                                                                                                  your prayers and
was never a moment                                                                                                         remembrance of
where he would not pray
to Allah. He was the            So for 24 hours a day, there are human                                                     Allah is the greatest
                                                                                                                           virtue.”
personified example of
the Quranic verse:               beings always offering prayers to God                                                        This is how he
                                                                                                                           finished his sermons
   “My prayer and my
sacrifice and my life
                                   somewhere in the world. No other                                                        every Friday and on
                                                                                                                           Eid, which are the
and my death are all for
Allah, the Lord of the
                                 prophet or religion accomplished this.                                                    occasions           of
worlds” (6:163).               Other religions, whether they have weekly                                                   gathering of the
                                                                                                                           largest groups of
   Every aspect of his
life was focused on God.       or even daily services, cannot achieve the                                                  Muslims in a city or
                                                                                                                           a         particular
There are literally
countless incidents of          24-7 worship of God around the world.                                                      neighborhood. It
                                                                                                                           was      of     great
the Holy Prophet sa                                                                                                        importance to him,
remembering God. He                                                                                                        and                he
prayed at the time of



                                                                                                                              Spring 2006 23
continuously implanted this in the minds of           The example of the Holy Prophet sa            supplications of the Holy Prophetsa. In his
every Muslim.                                     praying all night until his feet bcame swollen,   opinion, whatever happened in the
                                                  praying while traveling, and taking part in       beginning of Islam was the result of the
    Establishment of Worship                      expeditions, sends a forceful message to his      supplications of the Holy Prophetsa, which
   In addition to being a perfect model, the      followers regarding the worship of God.           he had submitted to God Almighty with his
Holy Prophet Muhammad’s sa greatest               There should never be a moment where a            tears in the streets of Mecca. All the grand
accomplishment was the establishment of           Muslim forgets God. Not just through              victories which changed the entire aspect
continuous worship of God throughout the          prayer, but through our actions as well.          of the world were the result of his prayers.”
world. To underscore how profound this            Worship is also prescribed in other forms,        (Al-Hakam)
accomplishment is, let us reflect on one          such as almsgiving, pilgrimage, and fasting.         The Promised Messiah writes in his book
single day on earth: The time that a Muslim       Remembrance of Allah is vital to being a          Barakatud Dua (Blessings of Prayers):
rises for Fajr prayer in New York is between      true Muslim.
five and six o’clock in the morning. While            In the eyes of Muslims, there can be no          “Have you any notion what was the
the Muslims in New York are still offering        human being more perfect than the Holy            strange event that occurred in the desert
their Fajr prayer, the time for Fajr has come     Prophet Muhammadsa but his humbleness             country of Arabia when hundreds of
in Chicago and Muslims there are waking to        and humility are noteworthy. He always            thousands of the dead were revived within
offer their prayers. Next, Muslims in Arizona     seemed to be asking for forgiveness for           a brief period and those who had been
will rise for Fajr prayers while people in the    himself. Aghirr Muzanira relates that the         misguided through generations put on
Midwest are concluding their prayers. Once        Holy Prophetsa said, “Sometimes I perceive        divine colour, and those who were blind
again, while they are still praying, Muslims      a veil over my heart and I supplicate Allah       obtained sight, and those who had been
on the West Coast are beginning their             for forgiveness a hundred times in a day.”        dumb began to speak of the understanding
prayers. This obviously continues through         It is amazing that a man as flawless as the       of the Divine, and the world underwent a
Hawaii, Japan, and further west. When the         Holy Prophet sa could keep asking for             revolution which had never been seen or
time for Zuhr prayer (noon time) arrives, the     forgiveness and be constantly praying and         heard of before? It was the supplications
same process starts all over again. So for 24
hours a day, there are human beings always        Supplicate in these words: ‘Allah, I beg of Thee of good all
offering prayers to God somewhere in the
world. No other prophet or religion
                                                  that Thy Prophet Muhammad begged of Thee and seek Thy
accomplished this. Other religions, whether         Protection against all the evil against which Thy Prophet
they have weekly or even daily services,
cannot achieve the 24-7 worship of God             Muhammad sought Thy protection. Thou art the One who
around the world. Furthermore, this is only
the required salat and does not consider
                                                   is asked for help and it is for Thee to convey the guidance.
the voluntary prayer that Muslims offer.             There is no strength to resist evil, nor power to do good,
   Another way to look at this is on a
worldwide scale. At any one moment, at                               except through Allah’.”
various places in the world, it is time for one
of the five daily salats. So the five daily,      worshipping Allah, while most Muslims             during dark nights of one who had lost
formal prayers are being offered in the world     need to be consistently reminded to pray.         himself in God which raised a clamor in the
without any break whatsoever.                     In fact, the Holy Prophetsa prayed so much,       world, and manifested such wonders as
   According to the instructions of the           that it could not even be recorded how often      appeared impossible in the case of that
Holy Prophetsa, prayers are taught to Muslim      or how much he prayed. Abu Umamahra               unlearned helpless one. Send down Thy
children between the ages of 7 and 10. He         relates the Holy Prophet sa made many             blessings and peace, O’ Allah, on him and
established among his followers that              supplications which we were not able to           his people according to the number of his
children aged 7 should learn prayers. By          retain in our memories. So we said to him,        grievings and sorrows for his followers and
the age of 10, they shoud be obliged to recite    “Messenger of Allah, you make many                pour down upon him the lights of Thy mercy
their prayers every day. This reflects the        supplications of which we do not remember         forever.” (Barakatud Dua)
importance of worship for his followers.          any.” He said, “Shall I tell you something           The Holy Prophet Muhammadsa was a
That is why it begins in the early years of       which shall comprehend all of them?               great model of worship for his followers. He
life and not in adulthood.                        Supplicate in these words: ‘Allah, I beg of       praised God so much, and it a mark of the
   The primary substance of these prayers         Thee of good all that Thy Prophet                 excellence of his worship that Allah
is also prescribed by the Holy Prophetsa, in      Muhammad begged of Thee and seek Thy              responded to him with such kindness, the
addition to whatever a person wants to pray       Protection against all the evil against which     like with which He had not done in the past.
for. In formal prayer, all Muslims first recite   Thy Prophet Muhammad sought Thy                   God Himself declared:
the same words in Arabic, after which, they       protection. Thou art the One who is asked            “Allah sends down blessings on the
are allowed to ask for whatever personal          for help and it is for Thee to convey the         Prophet, and His angels invoke blessings
guidance they need. Prescribed prayers are        guidance. There is no strength to resist evil,    on him. O’ ye who believe, so you also
the ones that appeal to Allah and that is         nor power to do good, except through              invoke blessings on him and salute him with
why He taught us those. A Muslim is               Allah’.”                                          the salutation of peace.” (Holy Qur'an 33:57)
following a perfect script as taught and             The Promised Messiah as , the Holy                Under this commandment, all over the
practiced by the Holy Prophetsa, but can          Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim                   world at every hour of the day, there are
also offer any other prayers that personally      Community, has summed up beautifully the          believers who join Allah and His angels in
appeal to him or her.                             result of the worship, prayers and                sending the salutations and blessings on
                                                                                                    this Prophetsa.u
24 MuslimSunrise
Women: Bearer of                                                                                    As regards the individual nature, woman
                                                                                                      is defective and misbegotten, for the
                                                                                                    active force in the male seed tends to the

Original Sin or Paradise?                                                                            production of a perfect likeness in the
                                                                                                     masculine sex; while the production of
                                                                                                    woman comes from a defect in the active
                                                                                                   force or from some material indisposition,
                                                                                                     or even from some external influence.3
By Maham Khan                                   bearer of the Original Sin.
                                                  The concept of the Original Sin is an               Hence, according to these traditions,


T
      he advent of Islam fourteen hundred       important element in the Christian faith. Evera    women are depicted spiritually as well as
       years ago came at a time when the        was allegedly the first one to commit the sin      intellectually inferior, all because Evera “was
       Arabs used to bury their infant          according to the Bible:                            in the transgression.” Islam, on the other
daughters alive, out of fear of shame.                                                             hand, forgave the transgression. It does not
Women were considered to be the literal         “Let the woman learn in silence with all           believe in the Original Sin and it certainly
property of men and were handed down to          subjection. But I suffer not a woman to           does not say that Evera carries the burden
                                                 teach, nor to usurp authority over the
sons and even step-sons, as possessions,        man, but to be in silence. For Adam was            of plucking the apple. Islam came to dignify
when their husbands would pass away. But                                                           the status of women, rather than proclaiming
                                                                                                     them as hellish beings. In contrast to how
                                                                                                     the Bible portrays the woman, the Qur'an
                                                                                                     states:

                                                                                                       “Surely for men who submit to Allah
                                                                                                     and for women who submit to Allah, for
              In secular society, where God is not a factor                                          believing men and for believing women,
                                                                                                      for devout men and devout women, for
             which measures the dignity of someone, man                                                truthful men and truthful women, for
                                                                                                     steadfast men and steadfast women, for
              becomes the standard by which women are                                                  humble men and humble women, for
                                                                                                     charitable men and charitable women,
            judged. Instead of honor and esteem as judged                                             for fasting men and fasting women, for
              and given by God, they fall into honor and                                                 men who guard their chastity and
                                                                                                       women who guard their chastity, for
            esteem as judged by the standards of man. It is                                          men who remember Allah much and for
                                                                                                      women who remember Allah much, for
             these so-called champions of women’s rights                                             all of them Allah has prepared forgive-
                                                                                                        ness and a mighty reward.” (33:36)
           who are in fact the real subjugates of patriarchy.
                                                                                                        The Qur'an makes it clear that men and
                                                                                                     women both, are capable of doing virtuous
                                                                                                     deeds, of becoming believers and
                                                                                                     acquiring the same noble traits to receive
                                                                                                     God’s favors. However, for a woman,
                                                                                                     parenthood elevates her spiritual status
                                                                                                     even higher as the Prophetsa has said that
when Prophet Muhammadsa preached the                                                                 "Paradise lies beneath the feet of the
message of Islam to the ignorant Arab           first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not           mother.”4 She is the one who nurtures and
                                                deceived, but the woman being deceived             influences her child the most, compared to
nation, he broke the shackles of bondage          was in the transgression.” (1 Timothy 2:11-14)
from women and not only freed them, but                                                            the father, not to mention the sacrifices that
elevated their status in society. By virtue                                                        she makes. No wonder why Islam insists on
                                                   So when Evera sinned, she set to doom           the education of women. Hence, the Qur'an
of just being a woman, they became the          the fate of all womankind. Saints in
gateway to everlasting Paradise.                                                                   portrays women as equal partners with men
                                                Christianity described woman as an obstacle        in every sphere of life, be it spiritually,
   That Muslims are the great oppressors        to spiritual enlightenment. “Woman is the
of woman and the Qur'an has created                                                                morally or even academically.
                                                instrument which the devil uses to gain               Today women have progressed in various
discrimination between the two genders is       possession of our souls,”1 says St. Cyprian.
one of the most frequent and common                                                                fields and Islam encourages that. Prophet
                                                St. John Demascene, a prominent 7th century        Muhammadsa has made it compulsory on
allegations leveled against the fair name of    saint, described woman as “a daughter of
Islam. Anti-Muslims claim that the Qur'an                                                          every believing male and female to acquire
                                                falsehood, a sentinel of Hell, the enemy of        knowledge…even if they have to go to
deprives women of their rights and has          peace; through her, Adam lost paradise.”2
classified them as 'second-class citizens.'                                                        China!5
                                                Centuries later, St. Thomas Aquinas still             That the Qur'an teaches that women are
Ironically, the ones to criticize are usually   considered women as innately flawed:
Christians, who believe Evera to be the                                                            intellectually inferior to men is an utterly


                                                                                                                               Spring 2006 25
shameless attack at Islam. “Educate a man
and you educate a family; educate a woman,
you educate a nation,”6 is the Prophet’ssa              Islam teaches that for a woman to adorn
emphasis on a woman’s education.
   Beginning with early Islam, there have                herself and maintain her beauty is her
been many women scholars who have been
authorities in a variety of subjects which             birthright as granted in the Qur’an. At the
range from religious jurisprudence to
science. An outstanding example is Hadhrat
                                                       same time, for her to display it in public is
Ayeshara, one of the Prophet’s wives, who
gave discourses even to men, on both
                                                       opposed to her modesty. The only one who
spiritual and secular matters. His first wife,         will appreciate her beauty is her husband
Hadhrat Khadija ra , was a successful
businesswoman during an age when women                    because it is meant for him (Qur’an,
never had any say in their own affairs. To
top that, she was the Prophet’ssa employer!             24:31). Islam has made man and woman
   However, according to Rabbi Eliezer, who
lived in the first century C.E., “If any man
                                                       to serve as a comfort for each other as the
teaches his daughter Torah, it is as though
he has taught her lechery.”7 We also read in
                                                       Qur’an says: “They are garments for you
the Bible:                                               and you are garments for them.” So if
   “Let your women keep silence in the                   the husband is to be his wife’s partner,
   churches: for it is not permitted unto
 them to speak; but they are commanded                  why should she feel the need to appeal to
 to be under obedience as also saith the
 law. And if they will learn any thing, let                        others around her?
them ask their husbands at home: for it is
    a shame for women to speak in the
       church.” (1 Corinthians 14:34)
                                                 consider the bare head “nudity.” 8 Some          To try to compete with man by his God-
   Feminists in the West are fighting hard       Rabbis have been quoted to say, “Cursed          given yardstick is only to expose and
to earn the right to become church ministers,    be the man who lets the hair of his wife be      reinforce one’s own inferiority complex.
despite what the Bible says. Such feminists      seen…”9 However, when a Muslim woman                Islam teaches that women may go out and
don’t have anything to do with the original      wears the veil, she does it for God; not for     pursue an education and career, and indulge
                                                 her husband as she is not subjected to him.      in all pure things that their hearts desire,


                                                 I
Judeo-Christian thought. They are only
fighting against the State for their self-           slam teaches that for a woman to adorn       provided, that they don’t ignore the needs
proclaimed rights. They don’t try to                 herself and maintain her beauty is her       of their home and family. And it is this
understand the rationality behind these              birthright as granted in the Qur'an. At      distinctive honor which dignifies a woman
religious traditions; just like they couldn’t    the same time, for her to display it in public   – in her own unique way – which a Muslim
understand why Islam does not allow a            is opposed to her modesty. The only one          woman considers a privilege. Not even a
woman to lead mixed congregational               who will appreciate her beauty is her            secular feminist can deny that ultimately the
prayers.                                         husband because it is meant for him (24:31).     hand that rocks the cradle of the humanity
   For the same reason, the hijab (veil) never   Islam has made man and woman to serve as         is that of a woman. This is the reverence
fails to shock the Western intellect. They       a comfort for each other as the Qur'an says:     and beauty that women in Islam enjoy.u
think that the headscarf is a symbol of
ignorance and oppression, conveniently           “They are garments for you and you are           Maham Khan has a Bachelor of Arts in
over-looking what their own Bible says:          garments for them.”10                            International Relations. She resides in
                                                                                                  Houston, Texas.
   “But every woman that prayeth or              So if the husband is to be his wife’s partner,
prophesieth with her head uncovered              why should she feel the need to appeal to           Bibliography:
dishonoureth her head: for that is even all      others around her?                                  1. The Gospel According To Woman, Karen
one as if she were shaven...”                       In secular society, where God is not a        Armstrong; pp 52-62.
  (1 Corinthians 11:5-6)                         factor which measures the dignity of                2-3. Ibid
                                                 someone, man becomes the standard by                4. Sahih Muslim – Compilation of Hadith
                                                 which women are judged. Instead of honor         (Sayings of Prophet Muhammadsa )
   Up till now, some Christian sects (e.g. the                                                       5-6. Sahih Muslim
Amish and the Mennonites), consider the          and esteem as judged and given by God,              7. Women in Judaism: The Status Of Women In
head-covering a mark of a woman’s                they fall into honor and esteem as judged        Formative Judaism, Leonard J. Swidler; pp 83-
subjection to man and to God. The attire of      by the standards of man. It is these so-called   93.
Christian nuns bears a striking resemblance      champions of women’s rights who are in fact         8. Psychosocial Perspective, Hoboken; pp. 316-
to the Muslim dress code. Eastern Orthodox       the real subjugates of patriarchy. This is       317.
                                                 the fallacy that prevails in the West, and          9. Ibid
Christian women in Europe and Russia still                                                           10. Qur'an, Chapter 2, verse 188.
wear the headscarf in public. Orthodox Jews      that has crept into western religious thought.


26 MuslimSunrise
Prophet Muhammad and the Jewish Tribes
By Lubna Malik                                                               This treaty was ratified by all parties and the prominent point of the
                                                                             treaty was that the Prophetsa was the declared chief executive of


I
    slam is a religion of tolerance and peace. Never seeking to be           Medina and that all matters relating to state were under his auspices.
    the aggressor, Islam solely defends one’s right to follow one’s             Even with this awesome power of chief executive awarded to
    beliefs and to protect one’s land. The Holy Qur'an, the                  him, the Prophetsa ensured that his new allies were equitably
theological and sacred book of Islam, attests to this claim and              addressed. Realizing that the Jews held different beliefs on the
proclaims that:                                                              Prophet’ssa status as the Messenger of God, it was not incumbent
                                                                             upon them to accept him as the Messenger. The treaty also
   Surely, those who believe and the Jews and the Christians and             illustrated great equity between the Muslims and the Jews – so
the Sabians – whichever party from among these truly believes in             long as the Jews abided by the treaty with the Muslims by way of
Allah and the Last Day and does good deeds, shall have their                 not making treaties with the enemies of the Muslims, the Jews
reward with their Lord, and no fear shall come upon them, nor shall          would not be harmed; so long as the Jews were involved in a joint-
they grieve. (2:63, emphasis added).                                         effort battle with the Muslims against a common enemy, the Jews
                                                                             would contribute to the cost of war; without reservation, the Jews
   This verse of the Holy Qur'an                                                                                 would be able maintain their own
emphasizes that Jews and                                                                                         religion; in the event the Jews
Christians and Sabians are all to                                                                                were treacherous and breached
be respected because those that                                                                                  the treaty, the Muslims would be
exemplify goodness will be                                                                                       permitted revenge; if the Muslims
rewarded by God. The everyday                                                                                    were attacked, the Jews would
practice of this positive thinking                                                                               come to their aid, and vice versa.
about Jews in terms of tolerance                                                                                 Such conditions were not only
and peace is seen nowhere better                                                                                 reasonable, but just. Such was
than in the tumultuous life of the                                                                               the nature of the Prophetsa. Such
Holy Prophet of Islam,                                                                                           stipulations showed not only the
Muhammadsa. Interacting with                                                                                     Prophet’s sa concern for a
Christians and Jews, the Prophet                                                                                 powerful military alliance with his
of Islam sa practiced kind and                                                                                   Jewish neighbors, but also his
compassionate treatment to all.                                                                                  commitment to religious freedom
Never did he speak harshly to one                                                                                and toleration and also to justice
of another faith unprovoked.                                                                                     in times of betrayal – that all
Never did he encourage his                                                                                       parties had agreed to.
companions         to     practice                                                                                   After being established as the
intolerance or violence against                                                                                  chief executive of Medina and
members of another group                                                                                         having settled peace accords with
because of their beliefs. The                                                                                    his neighbors, the Prophet sa
Jewish people, in particular, posed                                                                              began his role as a reformer and
several challenges to the Prophetsa                                                                              sought to eliminate the racial,
by way of questioning his authority and attempting to destroy                ethnic, cultural, tribal, and national distinctions and prejudices that
Islam and Muslim community. Upon sequential examination of the               were present in the marriage process by encouraging all people -
life of the Prophetsa, true tolerance and peace are seen by his              Muslims, Jews, and non-Muslim Arabs - to marry on the basis of
continuous forgiveness and mercy to a people who never desired               piousness. True to his own admonitions, the Prophetsa married
anything more than his and his message’s destruction.                        Safiyahra, a very poor, yet humble, Jewess.1
                                                                                While in Medina, a Jew once approached the Prophetsa and told
            The Jewish community in Medina                                   him that a man from the Ansari (the Medinite helper group) had
                                                                             slapped him and as such the Jew was in great distress. The Prophetsa
   “So as long as they are true to you, be true to them” (9:7). The          summoned his companion and asked him why he had slapped the
life cycle of the Prophetsa mandated that until 622, the year of the         man. His companion replied that he did so because the Jew had
hijra, the Prophetsa would have limited contact with the Jewish              proclaimed that Mosesas was the supreme prophet, even more
community. Upon arriving in Medina, however, the Prophetsa was               supreme than the Prophet Muhammadsa and that this assertion on
immersed in a culture where Jews were his immediate neighbors                the behalf of the Jew had infuriated him. Rather than siding with his
and, after God, his first group of potential allies. Thus, the Prophet’ssa   Muslim companion, the Prophetsa became very disturbed and told
first order of business in Medina was ensuring peace, cooperation,           his companion to never give preference to him over other prophets.
brotherhood, and harmony. In this endeavor, the Prophetsa created               On another occasion, a funeral procession was passing in a
a treaty between the Medinite Muslims, non-Muslim Arabs, and                 street of Medina. When the procession passed by the Prophetsa,
Jewish tribes of Banu Qainuqa, Banu Nadhir and Banu Quraidhah.               he stood up in respect. Seeing the Prophet’ssa reaction to the


                                                                                                                                 Spring 2006 27
                                                                                             admitted her crime. Rather than
                                                                                             punishing the woman who had
                                                                                             attempted to take his life, the Prophetsa
                                                                                             immediately forgave her.
                                                                                                The Prophet’s sa dedication to
                                                                                             equitable treatment to Jews in all affairs,
                                                                                             whether marriage, freedom of religious
                                                                                             expression, respect for other faiths, and
                                                                                             even forgiveness to one who sought to
                                                                                             take his own life, exemplifies Islam’s role
                                                                                             as a tolerant and respectful faith. The
                                                                                             Prophet’ssa commitment to justice and
                                                                                             impartiality were so impressive that the
                                                                                             Jews of Medina, although not accepting
                                                                                             the Prophetsa as a Messenger of God,
                                                                                             brought their religious cases of dispute
                                                                                             to the Prophetsa and requested that he
                                                                                             come to a decision based on Jewish law
                                                                                             for them.

                                                                                             The Prophet’ssa Treatment of
                                                                                              the Jews during Hostilities
                                                                                              The initial time after the treaty with
                                                                                           the Jews of Medina had been made was
                                                                                           a peaceful one where the Jews complied
                                                                                           by all of the agreements they had, of
                                                                                           their own free will, agreed to and signed
                                                                                           to. Expecting the Muslims to be easily
                                                                                           defeated by the Quraish, however, the
                                                                                           continued success of the Muslims in
                                                                                           battle and in conversion of non-Muslims
                                                                                           greatly plagued the Jewish tribes and
                                                                                           they began seeking to create dissent
                                                                                           among the Muslims. Verbal attacks
                                                                                           directly against the Prophetsa were also
   The Prophet’s dedication to equitable treatment to Jews in
                        sa
                                                                                           employed by the Jewish tribes; after the
          all affairs, whether marriage, freedom of religious                              313 Muslims had defeated 1,000
                                                                                           Meccans in the Battle of Badr, the
    expression, respect for other faiths, and even forgiveness to                          Prophet sa advised the Jewish tribal
                                                                                           leaders to accept Islam, to which they
  one who sought to take his own life, exemplifies Islam’s role responded that the Muslim victory
            as a tolerant and respectful faith. The Prophet’s                              meant nothing because the Quriash were
                                                                                           weak and that they, the Jews, would be
   commitment to justice and impartiality were so impressive                               more than willing to show the Muslims
                                                                                           what real fighting meant.
         that the Jews of Medina, although not accepting the                                  Of the three Jewish tribes that signed
      Prophetsa as a Messenger of God, brought their religious                             the Medinite treaty, Banu Qainuqa was
                                                                                           the first to openly breach their
   cases of dispute to the Prophetsa and requested that he come                            agreement with the Muslims by way of
                                                                                           planning assassination attempts against
               to a decision based on Jewish law for them.                                 the Prophetsa. Not wanting to further
                                                                                           the problems, the Prophetsa reacted to
procession, a companion approached the Prophetsa and told him this obvious treason by being compassionate and advising his
that this funeral procession was for a Jew. The Prophetsa replied, companions to embody peace and not violence against the hostile
“Was a Jew not a human being?” This single sentence guaranteed Banu Qainuqa. The Jews of Banu Qainuqa, however, only got
that Muslims would respect all humans.                              worse. Once a Muslim woman was shopping at a store owned by a
   On yet another occasion, a Jewish woman invited the Prophet   sa man of Banu Qainuqa; while shopping some other men of Banu
and some of his companions to her home for dinner. Having evil Qainuqa pinned up her skirt so that when she stood up from her
intentions, the Jewish woman had poisoned the food. Under Divine position, her lower half was made totally visible. As the Muslim
guidance, however, the Prophetsa refused to eat the food. The woman cried for help and was utterly mortified, the men of Banu
woman, ashamed of her own act by the Prophet’ssa recognition, Qainuqa laughed with wicked glee. Hearing the cries of the woman,

28 MuslimSunrise
a nearby Muslim began arguing and fighting with the shopkeeper,            attempts against the Prophetsa continued for some time, the Prophetsa
who was ultimately killed.                                                 met with the tribe leaders of Medina and asked them to reach a
                                                                           consensus as what should be done with Kaab for his assassination


I
    n response to the disgrace of the Muslim woman, the Prophetsa          attempts against the chief executive of Medina, the Holy Prophetsa.
    met with the leaders of Banu Qainuqa and, rather than punish           This group of leaders, which included the tribe leaders of the Banu
    them, warned them yet again to mend their ways. Again, the             Nadhir and the remaining Jewish tribe of Banu Quraidhah, decided
Banu Qainuqa continued in their ways. Greatly perturbed by the             that Kaab had committed acts of treason and was punishable by
betrayal of a former ally, the Prophetsa went himself to seek a peaceful   death. After Kaab had been privately put to death by his own
solution from the Banu Qainuqa. However, upon seeing the Prophetsa         foster brother, the Jewish community agreed to live peacefully.
approaching their gates, the Banu Qainuqa prepared for battle.                Even after signing the Medinite treaty and then seeing the
Left with no choice but to attack the Banu Qainuqa or to be attacked,      mistakes of the Banu Qainuqa and Banu Nadhir, the Banu Quraidhah
the Prophetsa led a two-week siege of                                                                          continued in the same
the Banu Qainuqa, after which they                                                                             treacherous manner and led a
accepted defeat. Rather than the                                                                               rebellion of the remaining Jews
Prophetsa place a punishment on the                                                                            against the Muslims. As per the
Banu Qainuqa, they requested the                                                                               agreed to terms of the treaty, the
Prophetsa to spare their tribe and to take                                                                     Prophet sa retaliated by laying
all of the material possessions. So                                                                            siege to the town of the Banu
merciful was the Prophetsa that, even                                                                          Quraidhah with an army of
after all that the Banu Qainuqa had                                                                            Muslims.       The Jews, not
done, he accepted their terms even                                                                             recognizing the siege as just
though he could have punished them                                                                             retaliation against their own
with the most extreme punishment of                                                                            treason against Medina, became
Mosaic law, which was executing all of                                                                         indignant. With time, however,
the able-bodied males. In order to                                                                             the Banu Quraidhah became
protect Medina and the Muslim                                                                                  distressed by the siege and, in
community, the Prophetsa, after sparing                                                                        search of understanding their
the lives of all of the Banu Qainuqa,                                                                          options against the Muslim army,
exiled the Jewish tribe – a most mild and                                                                      requested that the Prophetsa send
merciful punishment for treachery and                                                                          in Abu Lubaba bin Mundhar of
treason.                                                                                                       Aus because the tribe of Aus had
   Even after seeing the mistake of the                                                                        once been an ally of the Banu
Banu Qainuqa, the Banu Nadhir chose                                                                            Quraidhah. Complying with the
to side against the Muslims. Kaab bin                                                                          Jewish request, the Prophet sa
Ashraf, a leader of the Banu Nadhir,                                                                           permitted Abu Lubaba to enter
had hoped that the Muslims would lose                                                                          the besieged town. The Banu
against the Quraish in the Battle of Badr                                                                      Quraidhah asked Abu Lubaba if
where they had been severely                                                                                   opening the Jewish gates to the
outnumbered; first doubting the Muslim                                                                         Prophetsa and allowing him to do
victory and then becoming very upset                                                                           as he wished was the best
upon realization of the truth, Kaab                                                                            solution. Abu Lubaba replied,
began planning the destruction of Islam                                                                        without any knowledge of the
and the Muslims with the help of the Quraish and non-Muslim                Prophetsa that it was, but that such an action meant death for all
Arab tribes in the country. In Medina, he approached and addressed         Jews. This false statement guaranteeing death of the Jews led to
Muslim women inappropriately, including those of the family of the         the Banu Quraidhah preparing to fight even more fervently against
Prophetsa. Not satisfied with his own disrespectful behavior to            the Muslims. Upon hearing the problem that Abu Lubaba had
innocent women purchasing food for their families, Kaab began to           created, the Prophetsa became distressed at the coming hardships
plan the assassination of the Prophetsa. Hearing of Kaab’s                 for both sides.
assassination plot, the Prophetsa prayed that he and all of the Jews          After three more weeks of the siege, the Banu Quraidhah relented
be reformed and shown mercy. In response, Allah revealed to the            and requested the Prophetsa to send Sa’d bin Muaz, chief of Aus, to
Prophetsa that:                                                            settle terms of surrender in the hope that the chief of Aus would be
   "Ask thou forgiveness for them, or ask thou not forgiveness for         lenient. The Prophetsa agreed, and after meeting with the Banu
them; even if thou ask forgiveness for them seventy times, Allah           Quraidhah, Sa’d returned to the Prophetsa and informed him that
will never forgive them. That is because they disbelieved in Allah         the Banu Quraidhah had agreed to accept the Prophetsa as an arbiter
and His Messenger. And Allah guides not the perfidious people"             and were prepared to abide by his decision in relation to their
(9:80).                                                                    punishment for treason. While Sa’d was relaying this message to
   Even after receiving this revelation, however, the Prophetsa            the Prophet sa, many people of Banu Quraidhah were nearby
continued to pray. A companion of the Prophet’ssa asked him why            screaming for mercy. Sa’d asked both the nearby people of Banu
he was praying even after God had told him that it would be to no          Quraidhah and the Prophetsa if he, Sa’d bin Muaz, decided the
avail; the Prophetsa replied that perhaps God would grant His Mercy        punishment of the Banu Quraidhah, would it be permissible? They
upon the Jews and Kaab if the Prophetsa prayed seventy-one times.          both agreed. Granted this power by both sides, Sa’d, who was
This was the Prophet’ssa dedication to saving, not condemning, the         expected to be lenient with the Jews, announced that, in punishment
Jewish people. After word of Kaab’s proposed assassination                 for their treason, all of the able bodied males of Banu Quraidhah

                                                                                                                              Spring 2006 29
would be put to death, the women and children would be made
prisoners of war, and the spoils would be divided amongst the
Muslims. The Prophetsa replied that the Banu Quraidhah had sealed
their own fate. When asked to speak with Abu Lubaba, the Prophetsa
                                                                           The Perfect
                                                                           Example of
permitted it; when asked to go by Sa’d’s judgment, they agreed.



S
       o merciful was the Prophetsa, that even while executing males,


                                                                           Muhammadsa
       the Prophetsa urged them to accept Islam so that they may be
       shown mercy by God. Of the 400 men of Banu Quraidhah that
were executed, each was given a proper burial under the direction
of the Prophetsa. Of those to be executed, all of those who asked for        By Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as
mercy were spared. The Prophetsa was asked why he was so merciful       Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
to the treasonous Banu Quraidhah and he replied that, as chief
executive, it was his duty to show mercy – thus showing that he         The man who in his being and his attributes
was inclined to forgiveness and mercy, not punishment. The
Prophet’ssa mercy and grace extended even further with a leading
                                                                           and his actions and through his spiritual and
member of the Banu Quraidhah, Zubair bin Batia. The Prophetsa            holy faculties set an example of perfection, in
had not executed him because he had once done a Muslim a favor.             knowledge and action and in sincerity and
After having his life spared, Zubair pleaded to the Prophetsa that
his life was worthless while his wife and children as prisoners of       steadfastness, and was called the perfect man
war – the Prophetsa returned his family. Zubair then pleaded that he     was Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah
had nothing to sustain his family with – yet again the Prophetsa
granted Zubair the restoration of his property. Further, of the women   be on him.... The man who was most perfect as
and children kept as prisoners, all were kept well and healthy, many         man and as Prophet, and came with full
were freed by payment and even more were freed out of sheer grace
by the Prophetsa.2                                                        blessings, and who through a spiritual revival
   In yet another hostile attack on the part of the Jews, the            and resurrection manifested the first Judgment
Prophetsa exhibited great tolerance and mercy. On his return to
Medina from the signing of the ten-year peace treaty of the Treaty       in the world and revived the dead world, that
of Hudaibia with the Quraish, the Prophetsa was encountered by           blessed Prophet, the Seal of the Prophets, the
the hostile Jews of Khaiber. Initially, the Prophetsa sought to
make peace with the Jews, but all attempts failed. With all other
                                                                          leader of the righteous ones, the pride of the
options exhausted, the Prophetsa led an army of 1,000 Muslims             Prophets, was Muhammad, the chosen one,
against the Jews and easily defeated them. Upon defeat, the                  peace and blessings of Allah be on him.
Prophetsa granted the Jews very simple terms of surrender: half of
the Jewish produce of Khaiber was to be given to the Muslims
(which half of each year’s produce was to be given was left to the        Our Lord, send down on that beloved
judgment of the Jews).3 This example of such leniency, even after       Prophet that mercy and blessing that Thou hast
first having tried to avoid fighting with the Jews, illustrates Islam
and the Prophet’ssa dedication to peace and the respect of the          not sent down on anyone since the beginning of
Jewish people.                                                               the world. Had that grand Prophetsa not
   Thus the entire span of the Holy Prophet’ssa interaction with
the Jewish community was an embodiment of God’s                          appeared in the world then we would have no
commandments regarding peace. God stated that He would not                   proof of the truth of lesser Prophets like
punish the Jews because they were Jews, but because of their
individual acts. Following in suit, the Holy Prophetsa did not treat
                                                                         Jonahas, Jobas, Jesusas son of Mary, Malachias,
the Jewish people as they were a condemned group that was                  Johnas, Zechariahas, etc. Though they were
doomed to Hell, but as people who had just as much of an                 favorites and honored and were beloved ones
opportunity to attain God’s Mercy and Blessings as anyone else.
Such a firm dedication to moral principles through all times of          of Almighty God, they are under obligation to
hardship provides an excellent example of how to treat people of           this Prophet that they were accepted in the
all faiths.u
                                                                                     world as true Prophets.
Lubna Malik is a sophomore at Princeton University’s Woodrow
Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. She resides           O Allah, send down Thy blessings on him
in Novi, Michigan.                                                      and on his people and on his companions, all of
  Bibliography:                                                         them. Our last word is that all praise belongs to
  1. Cheema, Maulana M.A. The Life of the Holy Prophet of Islam.                   Allah, Lord of the worlds.
  2. Khan, Muhammad Zafrulla. Muhammad: Seal of the Prophets.
  3. Soofi, N.R.A.G. “An Outline of Early Islamic History.”                 [Itmam-ul-Hujjah. Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 8, p. 308]
  Chapter 12: Prophet decided to visit Mecca. www.alislam.org.



30 MuslimSunrise
                            ¤¤   A lecture delivered by the late J. D. Shams, Imam of
                            ¤¤   the London Mosque in 1941 as part of a series of




                                 I
                                 lectures on “Why the Early Christians Accepted Islam.”
                            ¤¤
                            ¤            n an address last year, I said that one of the many reasons
                            ¤¤           why Christians, in countries where a religious struggle took


Muhammad                    ¤¤
                            ¤
                            ¤¤
                                         place between Christianity and Islam, became Muslim was
                                         the marvelous teachings of the Holy Qur'an relating to the
                                         personality of Jesusas; being more rational and acceptable
                                         than the complicated theological dogmas of the Church.


      in the                ¤¤
                            ¤
                            ¤¤
                                   Today I would like to point to another reason, which led sincere
                                 Christians to accept Islam whole-heartedly.

                                                   Standard set by Jesusas


    Bible
                            ¤¤
                            ¤¤      We read in the Gospel of St. John that, in order to prove the truth
                            ¤¤   of his claim, Jesusas referred to Moses'sas prophecy and rebuked his
                            ¤¤   opponents in these words:

                            ¤¤      “For had you believed in Moses ye would have believed in me,
                            ¤¤   for he wrote of me; but if ye believe not in his writings how will ye
                                 believe in my words?” (John 5:46-47)
                            ¤¤
                            ¤¤      This saying of Jesusas clearly shows that appearance of a prophet
                                 in accordance with previous prophecies is an absolute proof of his
                            ¤¤   truth; therefore, on the subject of prophecies about the coming of
                            ¤¤   the Holy Prophet of Islam, the Holy Qur'an says:
                            ¤¤      “And when there came to them an Apostle from Allah verifying
                            ¤¤   that which they have, a party of those who were given the Book
                            ¤¤   threw the Book of Allah behind their backs as if they knew
                                 nothing.” (2:102)
                            ¤¤
                            ¤¤     Again, it says that the true believers from whom He will ordain
                                 His special mercy are:
                            ¤¤
                                    “Those who follow the Apostle Prophet, the Ummi whom they
“For had you believed
                            ¤¤
                                 find written down with them in the Torah and the Gospels.” (7:158)
                            ¤¤
   in Moses ye would        ¤¤      Besides these two verses, there are many others in which God
                                 has turned the attention of Christians and the Jews to the fact that
                            ¤¤   by rejecting the Holy Prophetsa they are rejecting their own Holy
  have believed in me,      ¤¤   Scriptures; the coming of the Holy Prophetsa is in proof of their
                                 scriptures. Within the limited time at my disposal, I will mention

for he wrote of me; but
                            ¤¤   some of the Biblical prophecies relating to the Holy Prophet of
                            ¤¤   Islamsa.

 if ye believe not in his   ¤¤
                            ¤¤       Promises about the Ishmaelites in Genesis

  writings how will ye      ¤¤     First to Hagarra: “I will multiply thy seed exceedingly that it shall
                                 not be numbered for multitude.” (16:10)
 believe in my words?”
                            ¤¤
                            ¤¤      Then to Abrahamas: “This is My covenant which ye shall keep
        (John 5:46-47)      ¤¤   between me and you, and thy seed after thee. Every man-child
                                 among you shall be circumcised. And ye shall circumcise the flesh
                            ¤¤   of your skin, and it shall be a token of the covenant between me and
                            ¤¤   you.” (17:10-11)
                            ¤¤     “And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee, behold I have
                            ¤¤   blessed him and will make him fruitful and will multiply
                                 him exceedingly, twelve princes shall he beget, and I will
                            ¤               make him a great nation.” (17:20)

                                                                                     Spring 2006 31
               After depriving the Israelites of their spiritual blessings, God fulfilled His
               covenant with the Ishmaelites by raising the Holy Prophet of Islam from
                  amongst them. His appearance according to these prophecies was in
              fulfillment of the prayer of Abraham and Ishmael, which they addressed to
                           God, as they raised the foundations of the Ka’aba.

                                             We read in the Holy Qur'an:
             “Our Lord! And raise up in them an apostle from among them who shall
           recite to them Thy communications and teach them the Book and wisdom, and
           purify them; surely Thou art the Mighty and Wise.” (2:130)


 “And Ishmael was 13 years old when he           amongst the Israelites; rather from among      to them Thy communications and teach
   was circumcised in the flesh of his           another nation, to wit, the Ishmaelites with   them the Book and wisdom, and purify
           foreskin.” (17:25)                    whom God had made a promise through            them; surely Thou art the Mighty and Wise.”
                                                 Abrahamas. This promised nation was no         (2:130)
 “And also of the son of the bondwoman           doubt the Arabs. For no other nation ever
  will make a nation because he is thy
             seed.” (21:13)                      claimed to be the descendants of Ishmaelas.       Before the advent of the Holy Prophetsa
                                                    In commentaries on the verse “And           of Islam, Arabs were despised by all nations.
  God said to Hagaras about her son: “I will     Ishmael will be a wild man, his hand will be      Edward Gibbons writes of the Arabs, in
make him a great nation.” (Genesis 21:18)        against every man.” (Gen. 16:12), it is        his Decline and Fall: “In this primitive and
                                                 mentioned that:                                abject state, which ill-deserved the name of
  These verses make the following points:                                                       society, the human brute, without arts or
                                                 “This prophecy answers to the character        laws, almost without sense of language, is
                                                  of the Bedouin Arabs, who were always         poorly distinguished from the rest of the
   1.      Ishmael and his descendants were
                 as
                                                    feared and dreaded by other men.”
the seeds of Abrahamas.                                                                         animal creation.”
   2.      God promised to bless them with          “The Abyssinians, Jews, Persians,
spiritual gifts and to make them a great                                                          “No doubt before the advent of the
                                                  Romans and other nations have made               Prophet, as mentioned in the Holy
nation like Isaac and his progeny.                 war against them, but by no nation,           Qur'an, most Arabs were as animals in
   3.      The circumcision of Ishmaelas at      however powerful, could they at any time         the form of human beings.” (25:45)
the age of          thirteen leaves no room            be permanently subdued.”
for doubt that Ishmaelas was among the             (Arnold, “Koran and Bible” p.125)              Thomas Carlyle has pictured in a few
progeny of Abraham as with whom the                                                             words their condition before and after the
covenant had been established.                      Adam Clark says in his commentary that:
                                                                                                coming of the Prophetsa. He writes:
   The blessings of the covenant, as Adam        “Bedouins and wandering Arabs are the
Clark writes in his commentary (Gen. 17:14),     descendants of Ishmael” and concerning             “A poor shepherd people, roaming
were both temporal and spiritual.                chapter 17, verse 20, writes: “From Ishmael     unnoticed in its deserts since the creation
   Bearing in mind these promises, the verse:    proceed the various tribes of the Arabs,        of the world, a prophet was sent down to
“But my covenant will I establish with           called ‘Saracens’ by Christian writers.”        them with a word they could believe. See
Isaac as .” (Gen. 17:21) has no other               After depriving the Israelites of their     the unnoticed becomes world-great. Within
interpretation than that the covenant, which     spiritual blessings, God fulfilled His             one century afterwards, Arabia is at
God made with Abrahamas, was first to be         covenant with the Ishmaelites by raising the     Granada on this end, at Delhi on that.”
fulfilled in Isaac’sas progeny. It so happened   Holy Prophetsa of Islam from amongst them.             (Heroes and Hero Worship)
that prophethood remained in the line of         His appearance according to these
Isaac until the time of Jesus Christas, who      prophecies was in fulfillment of the prayer      The Prophet like unto Moses
declared to the Israelites:                      of Abrahamas and Ishmaelas, which they
                                                 addressed to God, as they raised the              After Abrahamas, Mosesas in 1451 B.C.
   “Nation bringing forth the fruit              foundations of the Ka’aba. We read in the      gave more particulars of this prophet. God
thereof.” (Matt. 21:43)                          Holy Qur'an:                                   revealed to Mosesas thus:

  Jesus Christas here clearly predicts that        “Our Lord! And raise up in them an              “I will raise them up a prophet from
no more was a prophet to appear from             apostle from among them who shall recite        among their brethren like unto thee, and


32 MuslimSunrise
   will put my words in his mouth and he         Jesus as was not one of the Ishmaelites.
   shall speak unto them all that I shall                                                            “For Moses truly said unto the fathers: A
                                                 Fifthly, the prophecy further tells us that         prophet shall the Lord your God raise up
 command him, And it shall come to pass,
that whosoever will not hearken unto my          the prophet “shall speak all that I command           among you of your brethren…” (Acts
words which he shall speak in my name, I         him”, whereas Jesusas says: “I have yet                                 3:22)
   will require it of him, But the prophet       many things to say unto you, but you                  It is crystal clear from these eight points
  which shall presume to speak a word in         cannot bear them now” (John 16:12). Sixthly,        that Jesus cannot be the object of this
my name which I have not commanded him           I wonder how Christians will reconcile their        prophecy, and that the promised prophet
 to speak, or that shall speak in the name       belief that Jesusas was put to death on the         was bound to appear between the first and
   of other Gods, even that prophet shall        cross, with this prophecy, which contains           second advent of Jesus Christas. It is no
           die.” (Deut. 18:18-20)                no hint that the prophet shall be killed; rather,   wonder that only the Holy Prophet
                                                 it says that the false prophet shall die, i.e.      Mohammed (peace and the blessings of
   Adam Clark, writing about this prophecy       shall be killed and destroyed. Seventhly, we        God be upon him) has claimed to be the
in his commentary on the Bible, says:            read in John 1:20 that in the time of Jesusas,      subject of the prophecy. The seven signs
                                                 the Jews were awaiting the advent of three          mentioned in it were found precisely in his
   “This cannot be understood of the             persons: Elijahas, Christas and the prophet. It
ordinary prophets which were raised up                                                               person.
     in Israel, but of Christ only.”             shows clearly that Christas and the prophet,
                                                 according to the belief of the Jews were not           1. The prophet will be raised from among
   I am sorry to say that we cannot accept       one and the same person. Eighthly, there is         the brethren of the Israelites. The Holy
this view; and for good reasons; Firstly,        proof to support our view in the following          Prophet of Islamas appeared from among the
Jesus Christ as never claimed to be like         saying of Peter recorded in Acts 3:20: “And         Ishmaelites, brethren of Israelites.
Mosesas. Secondly, Jesusas did not fight with    he shall send Jesus Christ which before was
his enemies, as Mosesas did. Thirdly, Jesusas    preached unto you whom the Heaven must                 2. He will be the like of Mosesas. God says
did not bring a New Law containing new           receive until the time of restitution of all        in the Holy Qur'an (73:16):
ordinances, as Mosesas did. Fourthly, we are     things which God has spoken by the mouth
told in this prophecy that the prophet will      of His holy prophets since the world began.”         “Surely we have sent you an apostle to
be sent from among the brethren of               These words evidently imply that we are to          witness against you as We sent apostle to
Israelites, i.e. Ishmaelites. The verses 16-17   expect the fulfillment of those prophecies                         Pharaoh.”
of this chapter strongly support this view.      before the second advent of Jesusas.
                                                     Peter then continues, and as an example,          The Holy Prophetas is like Mosesas. He
All the children of Abrahamas were brethren
                                                 mentions the prophecy under discussion:             was also given a new Law, as was Mosesas.
of Ishmaelas. (See Genesis 16:-12.25-18.) But
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                       The Holy Prophet of Islam was given a compete
                              religion, as the Holy Qur'an says:
                      “Today, I have completed for you your religion and
                            perfected on you my blessings.” (5:4)

                         And at the time of the last pilgrimage, the Holy
                        Prophet, looking to heaven while addressing the
                        pilgrims gathered together on the occasion, said:
                              “O Lord! I have delivered my message and
                        fulfilled my mission!” “Yea, thou hast”, was the
                         response of the multitudes listening. “O lord! I




                                                                                                                                Spring 2006 33
Under the divine will, he had to fight his                                                        Medina. If you enquire there of the boys
enemies as had Mosesas.                          “Fight them, Allah will chastise them by         who sell flowers, “where do they get the
                                                  your hand and bring them in disgrace            flowers from?” they will reply “Min
   3. The prophecy states that “God shall          and assist you against them.” (9:14)           Bariyyat-i-Faran” i.e., “from the wilderness
put words into his mouth”. Thus says the                                                          of Paran.”
Holy Qur'an: “Nor speaks he of his own              7. The prophecy says: “A false prophet


                                                                                                  M
inclination. It is but a revelation which is     shall die.” That is, God will protect the true              oreover, the prophecy contains a
revealed to him.” (53:3-4)                       prophet, so nobody could kill him. Thus God                 special sign which cannot be
                                                 says in the Holy Qur'an:                                    applied to any other than the Holy
  4. “He shall speak unto them all that I                                                         Prophet of Islamsa. That is, his coming with
shall command him.”                                 “O Apostle: Deliver what has been             ten thousand of saints, which coincides
                                                  revealed to you from your Lord, and if          with the number of Muslims who took over
                                                 you do it not, you have not delivered His
  The Holy Prophet of Islam was given a          message; and Allah will protect you from         Mecca with the Holy Prophetsa, as mentioned
compete religion, as the Holy Qur'an says:                  the people.” (5:68)                   in Bukhari's Book of Hadith.
                                                                                                     I’d like to reproduce here the account of
  “Today, I have completed for you your            Again He says:                                 this number briefly from the Life of Mahomet
 religion and perfected on you my bless-                                                          by Emile Dermenghem (London 1930):
               ings.” (5:4)
                                                  “If this prophet had fabricated against
                                                  Us some of the sayings, We would have                “In the month of Shawwal of the fifth year
  And at the time of the last pilgrimage, the    seized him by the right hand and cut out         of the Hijra, the Allied (disbelievers) numbering
Holy Prophet, looking to heaven while            his aorta, and not one of you could have         ten thousand, marched against Medina, where
addressing the pilgrims gathered together           withheld Us from him.” (69:45-46)             there were but three thousand men to oppose
on the occasion, said:                                                                            them. Never before in the Hejaz had there been
                                                    Although he was many times in great           such a large army. Then there came upon them
  “O Lord! I have delivered my message           danger, yet God protected him, no one could      (one night while they were beseiging Medina)
  and fulfilled my mission!” “Yea, thou          kill him, despite many attempts.                 violent and icy winds and one of those
hast”, was the response of the multitudes           Thus we see that Muhammadsa was the
 listening. “O lord! I beseech Thee bear                                                          downpours of rain characteristic of the Arab
                                                 prophet foretold by Moses as in this             winter. In a few minutes, the camp of the Allies
          Thou witness unto it.”
                                                 prophecy, nearly two thousand years              was in complete disorder. Tents were
                                                 before his appearance. There is no prophet       uprooted, and blown to a considerable
   5. “He shall speak in my name.” Thus
we find that the first chapter that was          beside him in whom the seven signs               distance, fires were extinguished, pots were
                                                 mentioned in the prophecy could be found.        overturned, and the horses and camels
revealed to the Holy Prophetsa says: “Read
in the name of your Lord.”(96:2)                                                                  scattered. Panic reigned. The nomads had no
                                                 The Prophet and 10,000 Saints                    thought but of flying, so Abu Sufyan gave a
   Moreover, in fulfillment of this prophecy,                                                     command to retreat. Three years after the Battle
every chapter of the Holy Qur'an begins “in         There is another prophecy contained in        of the Ditch, ten thousand Mussalmans left
the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the           Deuteronomy 33:2, Mosesas said: “The Lord        for Mecca by a circuitous road and pitched
Merciful”. It was the custom of the Holy         came from Sinai and rose up from Seir unto       camp upon the surrounding heights. Mounted
Prophetsa to begin every thing in the name       them; He shined forth from Mount Paran,          on Qoswa, his camel, at last, the prophet rode
of God.                                          and in His right hand went a fiery Law for       into his birthplace, proclaiming, 'Truth is come
                                                 them.”                                           and error is gone' and all the idols were broken
   6. “Whosoever shall not hear the words                                                         into pieces.”
of God which he shall speak in His name,           In this verse, the prophets of Sinai and           The fiery law, too, refers to the
God will require it of him”, and it is added     Seir were Mosesas and Jesusas respectively.      commandments to fight away unbelievers.
in Acts that “he will be destroyed”. It is       The third prophet who was to appear from         Thus it is that the prophet who was to come
historical fact that the champions of those      Mount Paran is the Holy Prophet of Islamsa,      from Mount Paran with ten thousand saints
who did not believe in him and listen to the     descendant of Ishmaelas, who dwelt in the        was the Holy Prophet of Islam sa . His
words of God which he spoke in His name          wilderness of Paran (Gen. 21:20). If we          companions were not unjust in their fighting.
                                                                                                  They fought against the heaviest odds and in
                                                                                                  defense of their right to believe; they were
 “If this prophet had fabricated against Us some of the                                           saints.
 sayings, We would have seized him by the right hand                                                  In connection with the ten thousand saints,
                                                                                                  I’d also like to refer to the Song of Songs in
  and cut out his aorta, and not one of you could have                                            which Solomon has described in a romantic
                                                                                                  way his beloved; according to our view, the
           withheld Us from him.” (69:45-46)                                                      Holy Prophet of Islamsa. He says:
perished; all their false gods and stone idols   consider the various descriptions of the            “My beloved is whole and ruddy, the
were destroyed, and only One God came to         boundaries of Paran, we come to the              chiefest among ten thousand…His mouth is
be worshipped throughout Arabia. The wars        conclusion that Mecca along with the whole       most sweet, yes, he is altogether lovely.” (5:10
of those times were in the nature of divine      of Hejaz is included in Paran. The Fatima        & 16)
punishment. God says in the Holy Qur'an:         Valley is a halting place between Mecca and


34 MuslimSunrise
                                                                                                       The Psalm further tells us that he will be
             No student of history can deny the majesty                                              known for his truthfulness, honesty,
             and glory, steadfastness and bravery of the                                             meekness and righteousness. The Holy
                                                                                                     Prophet of Islamsa was commonly credited
            Prophet of Islam in carrying out his mission.                                            by his countrymen with these qualities.

                                                                                                       Emile Derengham writes:

   This is the color of the Prophet’ssa skin,      the turban, his countenance beamed with a            “They admired his character, moreover,
as recorded in the traditions. The Hebrew          majestic radiance at the same time expressive     and gave him the nickname of “El-Amin”,
of ‘altogether lovely’ is Mohammadiam,             and gentle. People felt that this inspired man    the Faithful, the Sincere, the Trustworthy.”
which signifies the name of his beloved. And       was born to command and they obeyed him           (Life of Mahomet, P 47)
I have already mentioned that Mohammad             blindly.”
(peace and the blessings of God be upon               No student of history can deny the                Washington Irving writes, on authority
him) was the chiefest among the ten                majesty and glory, steadfastness and              of Abulfeda a Muslim historian:
thousand of his companions who entered             bravery of the Prophet of Islamsa in carrying
Mecca.                                             out his mission. Take for instance when he           “Allah had endowed him with every gift
                                                   denounced their false gods. “The Kuraish,         necessary to accomplish and adorn an
      Qualities of the Prophet                     the guardians of the Kaaba, perceived, like       honest man; he was so pure and sincere, so
                                                   the silversmiths at Ephesus that, if this went    free from every thought, that he was
   After Mosesas, we find Davidas describing       on, their position would be endangered, and       commonly known by the name El-Amin, or
his countenance and some other qualities,          their gains gone. Finding that bribes, threats,   the Faithful.” (Life of Mohammad. P. 33)
on which I quote the following from Psalms         and entreaties were alike powerless to deter
45:                                                him, they expostulated kindly with his (Abu          “Once he hurried,” writes Emile
                                                   Talib’s) nephew, ‘Should they array against       Derengham, “to the hill Safa, and gave the
   1. Thou art fairer than the children of men.    me the sun on my right hand, and the moon         ancient war-cry of the Quraishites. When
                                                   on my left,’ said Mohammed, ‘yet while God        they assembled, he cried out 'If I told you
  2. Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most         should command me, I would not renounce           that horsemen were in the valley ready to
mighty with the glory and thy majesty.             my purpose.’ These are not the words, nor         attack you, would you believe me?' 'Yes,'
                                                   this the course, of an imposter,” says R.         they answered, ‘We have never heard you
   3. And in thy majesty, ride prosperously,       Bosworth Smith in his book Mohammad and           lie’.” (Page 75)
because of truth and meekness and                  Mohammadanism (p. 119).
righteousness.                                                                                         He was meek throughout his life. Emile
                                                      Consider this who had subjected him and        Dermengham has described him thus:
   Christians assert that it is in Christas and    his followers to the severest persecution,
in the mystical union between God and his          and sought to kill him, and then compare it          “Mohamet was neither vain, covetous,
church that this Psalm has its true fulfillment.   with what Jesus answered to his brethren          nor corrupted by ambition and fanaticism…
But we Muslims say that the subject of the         when he had given up walking with Jewry,          He was most gentle, sensitive and
Psalm is the Holy Prophet of Islamsa; as only      because the Jews sought to kill him, and his      humane…He was affable with everyone and
he possesses the qualities mentioned in it.        brethren asked him at the Jews’ feast to go       very simple in his habits. He used to sweep
                                                   into Judea and show his work to his disciples     his own bed-chamber, mend his clothes and
   Muslim historians are unanimous that the        and show himself to the world. He answered        sandals, milk the ewes, lie on his back on
Holy Prophet of Islamsa was the fairest in his     them:                                             the floor of the Mosque, get up to let in a
countenance. Here I quote descriptions of                                                            cat, look after sick cockerel, wipe the sweat
his appearance by Christian writers:                  “Go ye up unto the feast: I go not yet up      from his horse with his sleeve, give alms to
                                                   unto this feast, for my time is not yet full      the poor whenever he had anything to give,
   Edward Gibbon writes in his Decline and         come.” But when his brethren were one up,         avoid as much as possible anything that
Fall: “They applauded his commanding               then went he also up, unto the Feast, not         gave him the air of being a King. He had
presence, his majestic aspects, his piercing       openly, but as it were in secret.” (John 7:1-     neither a Court nor Ministers, only advisors
eye, his gracious smile, his flowing beard,        10)                                               and several secretaries, and a Seal on a liver
his countenance that painted every                                                                   ring bearing these words: ‘Mohammed, the
sensation of the soul, and his gestures that          Likewise, when Peter said unto him that        Messenger of God.’” (Life of Mahomet pp.
enforced each expression of the tongue.”           he was the Christas, he blessed him; but at       165-166)
                                                   the same time, he charged his disciples that
   Emile Dermengham writes:                        they should tell no man that he was Jesusas          Therefore, it is absolutely clear that the
                                                   the Christ. (Matt. 16:20)                         Holy Prophet of Islam sa was the true
   “Mahomet was in the full vigor of his                                                             fulfillment of the Psalm under discussion.u
manhood, robust, or medium height, strong             Considering the anarchistic state of the
built, with broad chest and massive head;          Arabs, and their barbarity and cruelty, every
                                                   sincere thinker must know that the Holy            Part II will be presented in the
his hands and feet, although large, were fine
and sensitive, his skin tanned….From under         Prophet of Islamsa was the object of this                     next issue.
                                                   Psalm.

                                                                                                                                Spring 2006 35
     Farewell Address of the
                                                                                                     Even as the fingers of the two hands are
                                                                                                   equal, so are human beings equal to one
                                                                                                   another. No one has any right, any
                                                                                                   superiority to claim over another. You are as


      Holy Prophet of Islam
                                                                                                   brothers.

                                                                                                     Proceeding the Prophetsa said:

In the ninth year of Hijra (Exodus), the Prophetsa went on a pilgrim-                                 Do you know what month this is? What
                                                                                                   territory we are in? What day of the year it
   age to Mecca. On the day of the Pilgrimage, he received the                                     is today?
  revelation containing the famed verse of the Qur'an which says:
                                                                                                   The Muslims said in reply, they knew it was
     “This day have I perfected your religion for you and                                          the sacred month, the sacred land and the
                                                                                                   day of the Hajj.
    completed My favor upon you and have chosen for you
                Islam as your religion” (5:4).                                                     Then the Prophetsa said:




T
                                                  against you. Your right against them is that         Even as this month is sacred, this land
             his verse said in effect that the    they should live chaste lives, and not adopt
             Message which the Holy                                                                inviolate, and this day holy, so has God
                                                  ways which may bring disgrace to the             made the lives, property and honor of every
             Prophetsa had brought from God       husband in the sight of his people. If your
             and which by word and deed                                                            man sacred. To take any man’s life or his
                                                  wives do not live up to this, then you have
             he had been expounding all                                                            property, or attack his honor, is as unjust
                                                  the right to punish them. You can punish
these years, had been completed. Every part       them after due inquiry has been made by a        and wrong as to violate the sacredness of
of this Message was a blessing. The               competent authority, and your right to           this day, this month, and this territory. What
Message now completed embodied the                punish has been established. Even so,            I command you today is not meant only for
highest blessings which man could receive         punishment in such a case must not be very       today. It is meant for all time. You are
from God. The Message is epitomized in the        severe. But if your wives do no such thing,      expected to remember it and to act upon it
name ‘al-Islam’, which means submission.          and their behavior is not such as would          until you leave this world and go to the next
Submission was to be the religion of              bring disgrace to their husbands, then your      to meet your Maker.
Muslims, the religion of mankind. The Holy        duty is to provide for them food and
Prophetsa recited this verse in the valley of     garments and shelter, according to your own
Muzdalifa, where the pilgrims had                                                                  In conclusion, he said:
                                                  standard of living. Remember you must
assembled. Returning from Muzdalifa, the          always treat your wives well. God has
Prophet sa stopped at Mina. It was the                                                                 What I have said to you, you should
                                                  charged you with the duty of looking after
eleventh day of the month of Dhul-Hijja. The      them. Woman is weak and cannot protect           communicate to the ends of the earth.
Prophetsa stood before a large gathering of       her own rights. When you married, God            Maybe those who have not heard me may
Muslims and delivered an address, famed           appointed you the trustees of those rights.      benefit by it more than those who have
in history as the farewell address of the         You brought your wives to your homes             heard. (Sihah Sitta, Tabari, Hisham and
Prophetsa. In the course of this address he       under the Law of God. You must not,              Khamis)
said:                                             therefore, insult the trust which God has           The Prophet’ssa address is an epitome of
   O men, lend me an attentive ear. For I         placed in your hands.                            the entire teaching and spirit of Islam. It
know not whether I will stand before you             O men, you still have in your possession
again in this valley and address you as I                                                          shows how deep was the Prophet’s sa
                                                  some prisoners of war. I advise you,             concern for the welfare of man and the peace
address you now. Your lives and your              therefore, to feed them and to clothe them
possessions have been made immune by                                                               of the world; also how deep was his regard
                                                  in the same way and style as you feed and
God to attacks by one another until the Day                                                        for the rights of women and other weak
                                                  clothe yourselves. If they do anything
of Judgment. God has appointed for every                                                           creatures.




                                                                                                   T
                                                  wrong which you are unable to forgive, then
one a share in the inheritance. No ‘will’ shall   pass them on to someone else. They are part
now be admitted which is prejudicial to the       of God’s creation. To give them pain or                        he Prophetsa knew his end was
interests of a rightful heir. A child born in     trouble can never be right.                                   near. He had had hints from
any house will be regarded as the child of           O men, what I say to you, you must hear                    God about his death. Among
the father in that house. Whoever contests        and remember. All Muslims are as brethren                     the cares and anxieties to
the parentage of this child will be liable to     to one another. All of you are equal. All men,                which he gave expression were
punishment under the Law of Islam. Anyone         whatever nation or tribe they may belong
who attributes his birth to some one else’s                                                        his care and anxiety about the treatment
                                                  to, and whatever station in life they may        women received at the hands of men. He
father, or falsely claims someone to be his       hold, are equal.
master, God, His angels and the whole of                                                           took care that he should not pass away from
                                                     While he was saying this the Prophetsa
mankind will curse him.                                                                            this world to the next without assuring to
                                                  raised his hands and joined the fingers of
   O men, you have some rights against your       the one hand with the fingers of the other       women the status which was theirs by right.
wives, but your wives also have some rights       and then said:                                   Since the birth of man, woman had been


36 MuslimSunrise
                 O men, what I say to you, you must hear and remember. All Muslims
                 are as brethren to one another. All of you are equal. All men, whatever
                  nation or tribe they may belong to, and whatever station in life they
                                          may hold, are equal.




    While he was saying this the Prophetsa raised his hands and joined the fingers of the one
                        hand with the fingers of the other and then said:
     Even as the fingers of the two hands are equal, so are human beings equal to one an-
    other. No one has any right, any superiority to claim over another. You are as brothers.

regarded as the slave and handmaid of man.      induced one people to usurp the rights of      hundred years after the advent of Islam.
This was the Prophet’ssa one care. His other    another and to attack their lives and their    Every person who enters Islam becomes the
care was for prisoners of war. They were        possessions-unless these conditions which      equal of everyone else, no matter how low
wrongly looked on and treated as slaves and     become rampant at times of moral decay         the society from which he comes. Freedom
were subjected to cruelties and excesses of     were removed, the peace and progress of        and equality are characteristic contributions
                                                the world could not be assured.                of Islam to the culture of the world.
all kinds. The Prophetsa felt he should not
                                                   He taught that human life and human            The conceptions which other religions
leave this world without assuring to            possessions had the same sacredness which      hold of freedom and equality are far behind
prisoners of war the rights which were theirs   belonged to sacred days, sacred months and     those which Islam has preached and
in the sight of God. Inequality between man     sacred places. No man ever showed such         practiced. In a Muslim mosque, a king, a
and man also oppressed the Prophetsa.           concern and such care for the welfare of       religious leader and a common man have the
   Occasionally differences were stressed       women, the rights of the weak, and for peace   same status; there is no difference between
to a degree which could not be endured.         between nations as did the Prophetsa of        them. In the places of worship of other
Some men were raised to the skies and others    Islam. No man ever did as much as the          religions and other nations these differences
were degraded to the depths. The                Prophet sa to promote equality among           exist to this day, although those religions
conditions which made for this inequality       mankind. No man pined as much as he for        and nations claim to have done more than
were conditions which made for antagonism       the good of man. No wonder, Islam has ever     Islam for freedom and equality.u
and war between nation and nation and           upheld the right of women to hold and to
country and country. The Prophetsa thought      inherit property.                              - Excerpt from Introduction to Study of the
of these difficulties also. Unless the spirit      European nations did not conceive of        Holy Qur'an, pages 294-297.
of inequality was killed and conditions which   this right until about one thousand three


                                                                                                                          Spring 2006 37
From the
Archives
Excerpt from Volume LII, 4th
Quarter 1985, No. 2

Book Review: The World of Allah, by
David Douglas Duncan Houghton,
Boston. 1982. Reviewed by
Shakurah Nooriah




T
              his engrossing volume
              introduces the non-Muslim to
              the stunning panorama of
              Islamic daily living through
              photographic essays and text,
and interpretation of Duncan’s view of the
people in their world. An ex-Marine, he is a
world-famous and highly respected former
photographer for Life magazine. This                       An Ahmadiyya Muslim Mosque in Tanzania, East Africa
handsome and expensive offering is based
on the many years which he spent living          Faith supports a world apart” and “For the
among Muslims, both professionally and                                                            supporting missionary partner. His actual
                                                 nomad, every morning of all seasons fills        possessions are “his bicycle, books and
personally. For this issue, he has culled the    life with a promise of future dreams.”
best of all of his photographs made during                                                        literature and his faith.” May Allah
                                                    This central theme is explored with           strengthen his hands.
many journeys in the lands of Allah: from        sensitivity in Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda;
Spain, Morocco, Jerusalem, Cairo and                                                                 He is deeply convinced that in the near
                                                 the resolute heroes are those dedicated,         future millions of Africans will seek spiritual
Palestine to Istanbul and Indonesia.             self-sacrificing Ahmadi Muslim missionaries
   His subtly searching lens, lyric pen and                                                       and social solace in Islam and his present
                                                 who are teaching and preaching the               efforts will help them and the missionary
sympathetic tone blend easily with the           Message of the Holy Prophet (may the
warmth of his special memories of life among                                                      who will someday take over his duties. He
                                                 peace and blessings of God be upon him) in       observes that there are several reasons why
the Faithful, forming a harmonious whole.        some of the most isolated places on earth.
The one regrettable omission is the lack of                                                       Islam appeals to Africans, rather than
                                                 At Lagos, Duncan’s lens catches the              Christianity or paganism. First of all, Islam
specific reference to Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam       Muezzin’s call, the mission news boy selling
Ahmad, the Promised Messiah and Mahdi                                                             “welcomes and recognizes” the equality of
                                                 Truth, and teacher Hamzat Okunun and his         each human being. Secondly, Islam is the
(peace be upon him) the Founder of the           students in class. His camera then focuses
Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam at Qadian,                                                            one agency which promises peace and
                                                 on an Ahmadi Muslim, Hakeem Mohammad             stability to Africa after its turbulent history
India in 1889.                                   Ibrahim, who travels “three thousand miles
   The centerpiece and major theme of The                                                         of vigorous nationalist movements; the
                                                 a year on his bicycle across mountains and       violence and moral insensibility of
World of Allah lies deeply hidden among its      jungles,” armed only with his briefcase filled
300 or so pages, juxtaposed between                                                               apartheid; the long and brutal years of
                                                 with pamphlets and books. The                    humiliating colonialism; and the effects of
extraordinary glimpses of the serenity of the    photographs from pages 178 to 185 are
Alhambra and other compositions of                                                                the ideological conflicts between the two
                                                 carefully explained in the text in the back of   superpowers.
Moorish Spain... the fabled Mosque of            the book, on pages 273 through 276. As one
Isfahan... bargaining in bustling market                                                             Many non-Muslims are familiar with the
                                                 studies the faces of these devout teachers       caricatured face and name of the Ayatollah
towns... abandoned street waifs... the           and their follower-converts, one is struck
opulent splendor of royal palaces ... solitary                                                    Ruhollah Khomeini but “...there are other
                                                 by the modesty of these people in the face       voices in the world of Allah.” In his passage
shepherd boys on desolate desert terrain...      of their tremendous service to the cause of
stark, rock-strewn cemeteries... veiled                                                           through the Islamic community of East
                                                 Islam. Nowhere else in this book does one        Africa, Duncan had the good fortune to
beauties sequestered in cool mosque              sense the true meaning of Islam as in these
courtyards... military maneuvers on snowy                                                         encounter and become a friend of Maulana
                                                 few pages.                                       Sheikh Mubarak Ahmad, the director of all
Turkish plains... breath-taking views of            Maulana Hakeem Mohammed Ibrahim
Middle and Far Eastern fabled landscapes...                                                       Ahmadiyya missions in East Africa for more
                                                 has the wonderful role of physician, teacher     than 27 years. They spent many hours
and a multitude of methods of eking out a        and Ahmadiyya missionary for all of the
living from a difficult environment. As                                                           engaged in wide-ranging and probing
                                                 entire length and breadth of Uganda, which       dialogue on the theme of universal Islam in
Duncan has it, “The roots and hallowed           leaves him little time to practice medicine.
traditions of more than a thousand years                                                          the twentieth century. They maintain a
                                                 He works alone, without the benefit of           cordial relationship today.
strengthen and enfold all Believers whose        printing press or a central office and a


38 MuslimSunrise
   Maulana Mubarak Ahmad was
subsequently appointed as Ameer and
Missionary In-Charge of the Ahmadiyya
Communities in the United Kingdom and,
later, in the United States, where he presently
resides with his family. His modest office in
Nairobi housed only a desk and books and
pamphlets, in its location behind the Ahmadi
mosque. He accomplished the prodigious
feat of translating the Holy Qur'an into
Swahili (said to be the 10th language in
usage in the world) while he was in charge
of East African headquarters of the
Movement. He began this exemplary task in
1936 and completed it in 1953 – over 1,100
pages, “the greatest job of translation ever
attempted in East Africa, perhaps in all of
Africa, regarding a single volume work.” The
original Arabic is preserved in this
translation, in all of its pristine purity.



T
          he first Ahmadi missionary
          entered East Africa in 1934. Ten
          years later he was joined by a
partner; today they number 13 Pakistani and
12 African missionaries. They are scattered
all over that part of Africa and earn small
salaries, being supported by subscription
funds donated by local members. These
funds also provide for the publication of
Ahmadi literature in English, Arabic, Swahili,
Luo and Luganga.
   As Maulana Mubarak Ahmad says, “We             Maulana Mubarak Ahmad accomplished the prodigious feat of translating
are a very poor community... but we have          the Holy Qur'an into Swahili (said to be the 10th language in usage in
zeal... we devote our lives to our assigned       the world) while he was in charge of East African headquarters of the
tasks... we go willingly.”                        Movement. He began this exemplary task in 1936 and completed it in
   How do the missionaries go about               1953 – over 1,100 pages.
accomplishing conversion to Islam in East
                                                  chaotic change in social, political and             people an understanding of Islam, nothing
Africa? Much instruction is given in the
                                                  economic institutions.                              more. “This can be accomplished by
religion of Islam and the applicant must meet
                                                     Duncan describes Maulana Mubarak                 “printing long term literature like the Holy
the requirements: circumcision; proper
                                                  Ahmad as “a quiet, intelligent, soft-spoken         Quran and short term magazines,
cleansing of hands and feet; successful
                                                  man who has thought about what he wants             newspapers and pamphlets.”
completion of lessons and question-answer
                                                  to say... a far cry from those wild-eyed               His concluding words in the interview
sessions based on the Holy Qur'an and the
                                                  Muslim fanatics who are out to convert or           with David Douglas Duncan were, “Islam is
Traditions of the Holy Prophet sa ;
                                                  confront the world.” Maulana Ahmad                  the future religion in Africa. The ground is
understanding of the conditions of the
                                                  carefully explained that it is his responsibility   being prepared now for carrying on
Bai’at (Initiation) as taught by Ahmadis;
                                                  to “lay the foundation of understanding of          organized Muslim missionary work. Yes, the
signing of the conversion papers which are
                                                  Islam so that others, non-Muslims, will turn        people will come!”
sent to be recorded at international
                                                  to the only universal faith for all men,               Duncan has provided the evidence that
headquarters at Rabwah, Pakistan;
                                                  regardless of color, country, place in life or      Ahmadis are the antithesis of the commonly
changing to a Muslim name; learning
                                                  community” of origin.                               held Western stereotype of Muslims as
Prayers; and passing through the final
                                                     He answers criticisms of orthodox                anarchic, irrational, sensual, and
ceremony of initiation which consists of
                                                  Muslims by forthrightly stating that “It is         uneducated. Therefore, appreciation must
proper cleansing (wudhu), and followed by
                                                  no sin to translate the Quran into other            be extended to him for setting forth, so
more instructions.
                                                  languages since Arabic is not universally           clearly and sympathetically, the incessant
   Only the Ahmadiyya Movement is
                                                  understood. While they do not have the              toil, poverty, and the willing sacrifice of self
actively spreading Islam in East Africa. Sunni
                                                  material wealth of other religious                  and family which Ahmadi missionaries
and Shiite sects resent and oppose Ahmadi
                                                  organizations, such as Christianity,                undergo to provide spiritual nurturing,
teachings as not based on Holy Qur'an and
                                                  organized Muslims can bring greater                 medical and educational services to
thus un-Islamic. Maulana Ahmad responds
                                                  balance to the people of the world. It is the       mankind, not only in Africa but in all areas
that it is the Ahmadi understanding of Islam
                                                  duty of Ahmadis to present to interested            of this world.u
which keeps Islam alive in these times of


                                                                                                                                  Spring 2006 39
 Trivial Matters
                                             ost
                                            M answers can be found in the issue!
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           18        s
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           20   ___ for Mank   ind                                       13   U            's
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                Journalis ___ F k  is                                    14       uf
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           25               e
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           27   Sermon on the ___ M     ount                             19   Father of Muhamm     ad
           29         k
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           31                 oly
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           32   Mother of M   uhamm   ad                                 26   M              s
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           33   C ave                                                    28   Seal of Prophets
           34   H ajj-like                                               30     orld eball C s U 1s opp.
                                                                              W Bas              las ic, S' t
           35      orld
                W of Allah G                ds
                                   uide (2 w )

40 MuslimSunrise
           Solutions to Trivial Matters Vol. 86, Issue 1
The prior issue’s word match contained a Secret Message. Circle the remaining letters
after finding every word from the top left of the square up until a hidden message
becomes clear!
                                        Crossword Puzzle
                                       Hint - Find Answers Throughout Issue!

                        M     J O H                       N P A U L             S
                    T   U   G     U                                             A
                    R   J   E     M                       A L I K     R A H E E M
                W H I T E S O X   A                                       A     E
                A   N   E   R     N                             K H A L I Q     E
                D   I   B   G     I                         B   A     O
                O   T       E D I T                       O R   T     N     S
                O   Y             Y                         A   R     G     H
                D                                           H   I   K H A L I F A
                        M       R E                       H M A N     O     V   P
                      B U D D H A                           A   A     R     A   P
                        F       B                                     N         L
                        T   B A B A                       N A N A K   S   L O V E
                        I     W                                               I
                              W                                       N       S
                            S A L A                       AM        J O S E P H
                              L                                       O       N
                                                            P O T T E R       U


                                              Word Match
                   L   I   B   E   R     T    Y   L   E    N   G   L   A   N   D   O   V   Y   E

                   F   K   O   S   H      I   P   N   E    W   Y   O   R   K   R   A   T   L   L
                   H   H   A   T   R     M    E   P   A    R   I   S   T   A   O   I   S   M   D

                   F   A   T   I   N     O    O   R   A    N   G   E   O   R   N   N   O   N   M
                   E   L   P   S   B     T    M   D   B    T   D   W   V   E   Q   Q   Y   A   Y

                   T   I   E   E   L     H    O   X   R    W   M   T   R   P   G   R   L   C   L
                   H   F   A   N   A     E    T   T   Z    U   L   E   E   K   O   S   R   K   C

                   O   A   C   A   N     R    T   B   R    T   S   E   J   T   I   E   C   T   O
                   N   Q   E   T   K     N    O   F   I    U   L   S   C   U   M   X   E   L   L

                   O   Q   X   O   E     L    O   B   O    S   T   I   I   N   D   K   R   L   L

                   R   Q   P   R   T     G    B   T   V    O   V   H   K   A   R   A   P   K   E
                   G   H   A   N   A     A    V   Z   K    T   T   C   T   A   H   T   I   H   G

                   F   N   H   C   R     E    T   E   P    P   E   B   M   R   E   R   J   S   E
                   N   Q   I   A   G     E    X   L   H    T   U   A   A   K   U   P   R   N   M

                   F   H   T   D   P     B    W   I   L    I   T   N   C   L   Q   S   P   T   E
                   C   K   I   R   F     P    C   F   D    R   C   O   I   H   L   R   T   O   C

                   L   R   A   V   B     Z    Y   E   T    D   R   L   C   T   E   H   L   A   C
                   B   C   J   Y   Q     H    A   R   M    O   N   Y   E   O   Y   R   J   S   A

                   P   O   L   I   C     Y    V   C   P    G   O   A   T   C   W   Z   X   T   B




                                                                                                   Spring 2006 41
  Poetry Corner

  Our Leader
  By Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
  The English rendering of an Urdu poem written in praise of the Holy Prophet Muhammad sa

                   He is our leader, who is the source of all light;

     H             His name is Muhammadsa; he alone is my beloved.
                   All Prophets are holy, one better than the other;
                   But from the Almighty, he is the best of the creation.

  He is far better than those before him, he is a darling in his qualities;
  Every eye is focused on him, he is the full moon which dispels all darkness.
  Those who came earlier, were fatigued halfway; He it is who brought us to the shore;
  May I be a sacrifice; he alone is the guide.

  He removed the screen, and showed the secret path;
  He joined the hearts to the Beloved, such a friend he is!
  That Friend, beyond all physical limitations, that Unseen Beloved;
  We saw through him, so he is the true guide.

  Today he is the King of faith; the Crown of the apostles;
  He is pure and holy, this is his eulogy.
  All commandments ordained by the True God were demonstrated in practice by him;
  He revealed all secrets, an excellent gift is this.

  His vision is far-reaching like a telescope, his heart is close to the Friend;
  In his hands is the light of faith; he is the fountain of light.
  He revealed the weighty secrets of faith;
  He is the King who grants wealth.

  I am a sacrifice at that light; I belong entirely to him;
  He is all, what worth do I possess? This is the final verdict.
  That Unique Beloved is the source of all learning;
  All else is a mere tale, this is the truth unblemished.

  We found everything through him, O Allah You are a witness;
  He is that manifestor of Beauty, who showed us the Truth.




42 MuslimSunrise
   News, Views & Reviews

M
                                                      The protesters of the cartoons have taken      did not allow anyone else to kill him because
           uslim Sunrise writers have been
                                                   their reaction to extremes by burning flags       he might be hurt. But Muhammad forbade
           actively engaged in responding
                                                   and buildings and causing deaths. But as a        Bin Sulool’s son, also. One of his
           to the American press on articles
                                                   civil society, America should hold itself to      companions, Hazrat Omar came forward and
of religious importance. Some recent samples
                                                   higher standards. It would be arrogance and       reminded Prophet Muhammad sa of the
of their published responses concerning the
                                                   ignorance to claim a right to blaspheme and       Quranic verse telling him, “O prophet of
recent cartoon controversy are below:
                                                   offend.                                           God, don’t you know that Allah has said
                                                      The Quran rejects violent acts even in         that He will not forgive Bin Sulool even if
 Dallas Morning News, February 9, 2006
                                                   wartime, much less in peacetime protests. It      YOU seek forgiveness for him 72 times.”
  Chicago Sun Times, February 9, 2006
                                                   also clearly bids Muslims not to blaspheme        Prophet Muhammad said, “Omar, I’ll seek
      USA Today, February 9, 2006
                                                   the leaders of any sect, cult, religion, etc.,    forgiveness for him more than 72 times.”
  Houston Chronicle, February 9, 2006
                                                   and holds all prophets of God in respect.         This was the noble character of the founder
                                                                                                     of Islam and his treatment of his enemies.
   “Cartoons Show Disregard,                       Qamar Ahmad                                       He kept praying for his forgiveness. No
  Newspapers Show Restraint”                       Duluth, Georgia                                   violence can be attributed to him.
                                                                                                       Thus, whereas on the one hand I request
Dear Editor:                                        Letter to the Editor, Kalamazoo Gazette          the free press to use its freedom responsibly,
                                                         (Michigan), February 14, 2006               I also humbly urge my fellow Muslims to
   I am a Texan Muslim and condemn the                                                               instead pray for those who hurt their
cartoon depictions of our Holy Prophet,            Dear Editor,                                      sensibilities and work to conduct
Muhammadsa. People of all religions should                                                           themselves in the true spirit of Islam and
feel welcome and safe to practice their               Thank you for not hurting the                  follow in the footsteps of its great founder,
religion in the peaceful manner for which it       sensibilities of millions of Muslims by           the prince of peace and educate your
was intended. For this, I am proud and would       reprinting the offensive and provocative          communities about his excellent character.
like to applaud the responsible and                cartoons in your paper. Thank you for using
conscientious conduct upheld by our                your freedom of speech in a responsible           Ayesha Mangla
newspapers this side of the Atlantic. The          manner. While we as Muslims are deeply            Portage, MI
media must balance its right to free speech        hurt, we are also embarrassed by the foolish
with its duty to guard the religious               reaction of some ignorant Muslims who had         Letter to the Editor, Frederick News Post
sensitivities of all religions, and refrain from   been incited by their violent religious leaders          (Virginia), February 14, 2006
vulgarity which deliberately provokes              or mullahs. Their behavior is totally against
others. To my Muslim brethren, I would hope        the teachings of the Quran and the conduct          “Local Muslim comments on
that you too would take your responsibility        of our beloved prophet Muhammad, peace                 cartoon controversy”
and follow the legacy of our Prophet and           be upon him.
return insults with forbearance and                    Muslims around the world are burning
kindness.                                          flags, setting foreign embassies on fire and         As a Muslim, it is my responsibility to
                                                   threatening more violence because they            defend the honor of what is holy in Islam.
Bilal A. Rana                                      consider the printing of those cartoons           As an American Muslim, I am not taken to
Houston, TX                                        blasphemy. This behavior is against the very      burning embassies or flags of other
                                                   definition of a Muslim. A Muslim is one who       countries; instead, I will exercise my freedom
Letter to the Editor, Atlanta Journal-             is at peace with him/herself and is at peace      of speech on the recent cartoons of the
Constitution, February 13, 2006                    with all the creatures of the world. By           Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him).
                                                   definition, there should be no danger of any         It would be naive to say that the
    “Muhammad Cartoons:                            sort from a Muslim.                               cartoonist did not intend to insult Muslims
                                                       I’ll mention one example of how Prophet       while giving his view on terrorism. Was the
  Protests offensive, as Quran                     Muhammad sa behaved when Abdullah bin             cartoonist within his rights given the state
        rejects violence”                          Obeye Bin Sulool blasphemed against               of Muslim/Western relations and the results
                                                   Muhammad sa during his lifetime.                  the cartoons would surely produce? It is an
Dear Editor:                                       Muhammad’s sa companions became furious           American who once told us freedom of
                                                   and offered to kill Bin Sulool, but Prophet       speech does not mean you can shout “Fire!”
   I write as a Muslim who came to America         Muhammad sa forbade them. Then Bin                in a crowded theatre. Why does this
15 years ago and received my college               Sulool’s own son, who was a Muslim, came          common sense not apply today?
education here (“Cartoon focus misses big          forward and sought permission to kill his            According to Islam, the sanctity of creating
picture,” @issue, Feb .10).                        father. He thought that the prophet probably      or representing human life is meant only for
                                                                                                     God. In addition, artistic images of people are


                                                                                                                                 Spring 2006 43
forbidden because of the human tendency
to worship these images.
    More importantly, Muslims hold
profound love for this gentle, wise, perfect
and just Prophet because of the gift of his
life’s example.
    Imagine, then, our feelings even to hear
that someone has depicted Muhammad
(peace be upon him) telling would-be
bombers that heaven is all out of virgins.
Adding to the injury, the cartoonist had
displayed his own absolute ignorance of
the Quranic teachings on martyrdom and
Paradise.
    It is an act of prejudice against billions
of Muslims worldwide that has most
unfortunately driven the gap between
East and West even wider. And in this
age of uncertainty, terrorism and war, that
is a display of irresponsibility, not freedom
of the press, on the part of the European
newspapers.                                                                                    Central Response Committee of the
                                                 NEWS ,V IEWS & R EVIEWS                       Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, USA.
Sincerely,


                                                                                               T
Ruqaiya Asad                                                                                          he controversy surrounding the
Frederick, VA                                     Danish Newspaper Cartoons                           cartoon depiction of the Prophet
                                                                                                      Muhammad (peace be on him) is
Other Printed Responses:                                    Editor’s Note:                     an eye-opening example of our need to
                                                                                               better understand Islam. It also


                                                 O
Dr. Sohail Hussain, Letter to the Editor,
Yale Daily News, February 14, 2006                        n September 30, 2005, Danish         underscores our need to be responsible
                                                          newspaper Jyllands-Posten            in balancing our freedoms with the fragile
Dr. Mahmood Qureshi, Letter to the Editor,                published 12 cartoons depicting      sensitivities of the people of this great
New London Daily (Connecticut),                  the Muslim Prophet Muhammadsa. The            nation, and the world.
February 14, 2006                                pictures accompanied an editorial                Freedom should never be taken as an
                                                 criticizing self-censorship after Danish      excuse to exploit the sensitivity of others,
Dr. Ahsan M. Khan, Letter to the Editor,         writer Kare Bluitgen complained that he       especially in matters of faith. Those
Orange County Register, February 15,             was unable to find an illustrator for his     images of the Prophetsa were insulting and
2006                                             children’s book about the Prophetsa. Some     forbidden in Islam. We believe this might
                                                 of the cartoons – most notably one            not be widely known outside the Muslim
Saleem Qadir, Letter to the Editor, Silicon      showing the Prophetsa carrying a lit bomb     world.
Valley/San Jose Business Journal,                on his head – were clearly intended to           The media is a powerful weapon. It can
February 17, 2006                                deliberately provoke Muslims.                 be used to build harmonious
                                                    The cartoons were republished in           relationships, be they interfaith,
Sardar Anees Ahmad, Letter to the Editor,        Austria, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.    international, or interracial. Much in the
Anchorage Press (Alaska), February 17,           Diplomatic protests by governments of         same way, however, it can destroy them.
2006                                             Islamic countries started in October 2005,    We congratulate the American media
                                                 escalating to the closure of embassies.       taking a stand against “Islamophobia” –
Mehvish Mirza, Letter to the Editor, Santa       Boycotts of Danish products and protests      drawing a line between Muslims and
Clara Newspaper, February 23, 2006               across the Islamic world built up in late     terrorists who happen to identify
Editorial, Broadside Online (George              January and early February. In the            themselves as Muslims. We are pleased
Mason University newspaper),                     Palestinian territories, armed groups have    to see our local media capitalizing on
February 20, 2006                                made direct threats against citizens of the   building a stronger and better world
                                                 countries in which the cartoons were          through education and responsible
Luqman Tahir Mahmood, Editorial,                 published. There have also been death         dissemination of information. We wish
Broadside Online (George Mason                   threats against the artists. There have       the same could be said for of our
University newspaper), February 20, 2006         since been angry and sometimes violent        European counterparts.
                                                 protests across the Islamic world.                Although we can disguise our
                                                                                               prejudice as “freedom of speech,”
                                                   What follows is a brief reflection on the   responsible media challenges us to seek
                                                 cartoon controversy prepared by the           the facts in order to respect the
                                                                                               sensitivities of all religions. These



44 MuslimSunrise
principles have nourished our nation to be
the superpower it is today. We live in a multi-
religious society, and as world citizens, it
behooves us to understand and respect our
neighbors if we seek to live with them in
peace and harmony.
    We believe members of all faith-based
communities should stand together and
condemn this type of profanity in our midst.
No Prophet of God should be depicted in
such an insulting manner.
    According to Muslims, there is only one
acceptable designation of Muhammad,
peace and blessings of God Almighty be
upon him, which comes straight from the
Holy Qur'an, “Muhammad is not the father
of any of your men, but he is the Messenger
of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets...”
(33:41). This one sentence esteems him to
the level most deserving of review and
honest resolution.
    Although he is not the physical father
of any men who perpetuated his lineage, he
is the spiritual father of well over a billion
people. He is included among other holy
recipients of Divine revelation and stands
alone as their seal, attesting to the truth of
all Prophets who were sent to various
nations at various times, in accordance with
the needs of those peoples. Muslims revere
him as the best example of the most noble
attributes ranging from kindness and
generosity to bravery and justice. We believe
he brought the last and final law from God
Almighty while being the threshold through
which the Living God continues to
communicate and guide. We state this so
that those who put forth such assaults, be
they in the form of misinformation
campaigns or cartoon caricatures, should
realize who they are insulting. It is far more
than a man who lived 1,500 years ago – it is
a group of 1.5 billion people who recognize
and respect the Truth of all Prophets of all
Faiths, peace be upon them all.                   In the Palestinian territories, armed groups have made direct threats



T
                                                  against citizens of the countries in which the cartoons were published.
        he Prophet’s well-known response to
        verbal and physical assaults was
        patience and forbearance. Despite a       done, the Prophetsa victoriously returned to   recognizes the need for understanding and
bitter 13-year persecution including              Mecca, his hometown, with 10,000 soldiers,     is prepared to support efforts towards
economic boycotts, murderous plots,               many of whom were eagerly awaiting their       tolerance and respect.
intrigues and cruelty against the weak and        opportunity to avenge their previous              Again, we congratulate the American
helpless, he remained firm on non-violent         persecutions. To the surprise of the           media for the responsible manner with which
reprisals. He endured rejection, oppression,      Meccans, however, the Prophet sa had           they have handled this hurtful incident.u
death threats and eventual migration, as did      forgiven his most bitter enemies and granted
other prophets. However, once war was             a general amnesty.                                The response was prepared by Hasan
declared against his community, it was his           Now is the time to revisit such forgiving   Hakeem, Zion, IL on behalf of the Central
duty as their leader to protect them, and         platforms for all observing these recent       Response Committee and first published
employ every moral stratagem to ensure            incidents. Now is the time for conference,     in the February 2006 edition of the
victory. This included taking up the sword        not confrontation; dialogue instead of         Waukegan News Sun, Lake County,
in battles, and attacking the enemy’s caravan     debate; for engaging rather than enraging.     Illinois.
supply routes. When it was all said and           The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community



                                                                                                                          Spring 2006 45
NEWS, VIEWS AND REVIEWS: BOOK REVIEW
Yusef Lateef: The Gentle Giant
Yusef Lateef and Herb Boyd,
Gentle Giant: An Autobiography
of Yusef Lateef (Morton Books,
Inc., January 2006)

“Finding Beauty Through Music:
The Journey of Yusef Lateef”
By Ata-ul-Malik Khan

   Last fall, Yusef Lateef, Grammy Award-
winning musician and member of the
Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, released
Gentle Giant: An Autobiography of Yusef
Lateef (Morton Books, 2006). Working with
Herb Boyd, his long time counterpart and
the author of We Shall Overcome: The
History of the Civil Rights Movement, the
84-year old Lateef lucidly depicts his journey
from living in the culturally rich and socially
poor streets of Detroit to landing at the
forefront of musical popularity – an
inspirational journey which deserves a close
analysis.
   Internationally, Lateef is a household
name, as his tours spanned countries in
Africa, Asia, and Europe. From August 1981
until August 1985, he worked as a senior
research fellow at the Center for Nigerian
Cultural Studies in Nigeria, extensively
researching the Fulani flute.
   Lateef formed his own entity, YAL
Records, in 1992, with the aim of recording
and distributing works of his own and those
of other compelling artists. Fana Music, his
publishing company, has released such
books as A Repository of Melodic Scales
and Patterns and Yusef Lateef’s Flute Book
                                                                                                                      Photo by Hasan Hakeem
of the Blues.
   Lateef’s gift to the musical world has            Recently, Lateef was the subject of an           the chance to meet him before he left for a
been his ability to seamlessly blend sounds       article (reproduced below) written by the           series of appearances in Europe, I didn’t
from a variety of reed instruments, including     renowned Israeli musician, Assif Tsahar.            hesitate for a moment. I rented a car and
the tenor saxophone, flute, oboe, bamboo          The writer interviewed Lateef at his                drove to Amherst, Massachusetts, 300




                                                  W
flute, shanai, shofar, argol, sarewa, and         Amherst, Massachusetts home.                        kilometers from New York, where Lateef has
taiwan koto. His musical compositions are                                                             been living and teaching for the past 30
not only for his quartets and quintets, but                                   hen musicians and       years.
also for symphony and chamber orchestras,                                    jazz lovers talk            Yusef Lateef, 85, is one of the only
as well as stage bands, vocalists, and solo                                  about the giants         musicians who see their art as a never-
pianists. In 1987, Lateef was awarded a                                      who         haven’t      ending journey and quest. Throughout his
Grammy for his recording, “Yusef Lateef’s                                    received         due     career, he has been breaking down
Little Symphony.”u                                                           recognition, one of      boundaries and forging new paths, and as
                                                  the first names that always comes up is             such he has always intrigued me. Ever since
Ata ul Malik Khan is a sophomore at               Yusef Lateef. But Lateef doesn’t think of           I started out as a jazz musician, first as a
Claremont McKenna College double                  himself in that way. In fact, he is hardly          guitarist and later on tenor saxophone, he
majoring in History and Economics. He             willing to call himself a jazz musician. Luckily,   has had a tremendous influence on me.
resides in Chino Hills, California.               we don’t need his permission to see him as             Lateef is a virtuoso who has acquired
                                                  one of the jazz greats. So when I was offered       incredible skill on three main instruments:

46 MuslimSunrise
tenor saxophone, of course - the sounds he
makes from this instrument are my favorites;
and flute and clarinet. Though he
hasn'tplayed the clarinet that much in recent
years, I still think he’s a superb clarinetist.
In the 1950s, he was one of the first to bring
world music to jazz and popular music, and
played traditional instruments from all over
the world, music that was full of magic and
mystery and simultaneously very roots-
connected. With that same unmistakable
touch, he also wrote music for classical
orchestras and composed integral works
involving jazz ensembles, too. Like Miles
Davis and John Coltrane, in his own way he
creates music that is always innovative and
that takes on surprising new forms.

    I am 36 now and so I can appreciate
Lateef’s late blooming. He released his first
records at age 36, after the death of Charlie
Parker. I was surprised to learn that he and
Parker were born the same year, 1920. “I was                                              Photo by Hasan Hakeem
born in Chattanooga, Tennessee,” Lateef
told me, “and I grew up in Detroit, where my                    I read that through prayer one can begin to
family moved when I was 5, in 1925. I started                    experience God and direct one’s personal
playing music at age 18, when I bought my
first saxophone. I’d always wanted to play,                  tendencies into the right channels. I understood
but my parents didn’t have the money to
buy me an instrument. My father told me
                                                                   that you get respect for humanity and
that if I came up with half the amount, he’d                    interpersonal contact based on honesty and
give me the other half. I worked selling
newspapers and when I found an alto                             acceptance. I learned to respect parents, the
saxophone that cost 80 dollars I had enough
money to pay half and my father gave me
                                                            neighbor, the man in the street and the orphan. I
the rest. I started studying music in high                  liked it. The simplicity that God is one. I’d never
school. I was in the same class with Milt
Jackson [one of the all-time great vibraphone                 understood about God being a trinity. And so I
players - A. T.]. I remember that the teacher
suggested that Milt play vibraphone. It was
                                                           decided to choose this way and to convert to Islam.
a time when the music scene in Detroit was                  I started saying my prayers regularly and it also
thriving and there were a lot of leading
musicians: The Jones Brothers, Tommy                       meant saying no to drugs and alcohol. And eating
Flanagan, Barry Harris, Kenny Burrell.                         clean food. At that time, I saw a lot of people
    "Lucky Thompson sat behind my wife in
class. I remember that when Lucky didn’t                     falling by the wayside from drugs and alcohol.
have money for a saxophone, he made holes
in a broom and used that to practice on. He
                                                               My life became better. I appreciated life, and
worked on buses until he got enough money                    humanity. I’m happy with it, I don’t know any
to buy an instrument. He’s the one who got
me my first job in New York in 1943, with the                      better way. If I did, I would choose it.
Lucky Mander Orchestra, two weeks at the
Apollo Theater in Harlem, and after I stayed        sound is personal, warm and full and         of building my own way of expressing my
in New York with the swing bands of Hot             identifiable from the first note, and his    ideas. I think that this is the tradition of
Lips Page and Roy Eldridge. In 1948, I joined       methods of playing and writing are totally   this music. I call it ‘auto-physopsychic’
Dizzy Gillespie’s big band.”                        unique.                                      music. Which means that it’s a music of
    What’s really beautiful and rare about             "My first influences were Herschel        the individual body, mind and soul. The
Yusef Lateef’s playing is that it contains the      Evans, Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins,        idea is that the musician has to find his
whole history of jazz, from swing to bebop          Don Bayes, Ben Webster. But eventually I     individual voice, and this is hard. It’s a lot
to world music to modal and modern music,           understood that I had to find my own         easier to imitate someone else. You put on
and despite all this stylistic variety, it always   independent voice. This happened years       a record and start to imitate their ideas, but
has a basic connection to the blues. Lateef’s       ago and ever since I’ve been on a journey    it’s not you.


                                                                                                                             Spring 2006 47
                                                have a different aesthetic. And use our own
  Yusef Lateef was the first                    ideas and not those of others. If we want to
                                                                                                           I’ve read his recently
                                                present something meaningful in music, the
        to introduce folk                       goal is not imitation. The goal is creation.                      published
  instruments from all over                        "People who are different have to be                    autobiography, “The
       the world into jazz                      brave and smart. First of all, when someone                 Gentle Giant,” and
                                                is so individual and different, the masses
  ensembles. He researched                      won’t accept him. Nor will the establishment.               his presence in this
                                                When Stravinsky presented his ‘Rite of
      and used scales and                       Spring’ for the first time, people left in the                   face-to-face
      melodies from many                        middle. He was brave and wrote something                   conversation has an
                                                that came from within himself. He didn’t
     different cultures. The                    imitate anybody. If he had written in the style                intensity that’s
      beauty and organic                        of his time, people would have applauded
                                                and said how great he was. Take John                         missing from the
     quality with which he                      Coltrane, for example. All through his life,                   book. Reading
                                                he developed in different directions, and
   combined them with jazz                      some of his fans left him because they didn’t               something he wrote
    and blues, the tradition                    get it. But there were some who stayed with
                                                                                                             and hearing him
                                                him and understood his creativity. Being
   from which he emerged,                       different takes courage.                                   speak are two utterly
    are still extraordinary.                       "It’s not easy to develop your role.                       different things.
                                                Outside, there are many influences and you
                                                love them. And if you follow them, it’s easy
                                                                                                     then, style. Now when we try to play like
                                                for you to play that way because someone
                                                                                                     Charlie Parker, Charlie Parker-style, we’re
                                                else created it for you. But then you’re an
                                                                                                     only making an effort, we’re not creating
                                                imitator and not a creative artist. I think that’s
                                                                                                     anything. Death comes when we try to make
                                                what John Coltrane understood. That he had
                                                                                                     style out of the music. ‘Style is the death of
                                                to find his voice and go his own independent
                                                                                                                          creativity.’ There’s a lot
                                                way.”
                                                                                                                          of truth in that.”
                                                   "Yusef Lateef talks
                                                                                                                               He laughs. “Ever
                                                and I listen. I’ve read
                                                                                                                            since commercialism
                                                his recently published
                                                                                                                            and the publicity
                                                autobiography, “The
                                                                                                                            machine took over,
                                                Gentle Giant,” and his
  I discovered very early that this is what I                                                                               they’ve             been
                                                presence in this face-to-
need to do, to find my way to express myself,                                                                               searching for labels to
                                                face conversation has an
and this is what I’m trying to do.”                                                                                         attach to everything.
                                                intensity that’s missing
                                                                                                                            They have to give
                                                from the book. Reading
   These days it’s hard to find independent                                                                                 everything a name. But
                                                something he wrote and
voices like Yusef Lateef. Music today is full                                                                               the name has no
                                                hearing him speak are
of imitations of imitations. The personal and                                                                               connection to what the
                                                two utterly different
individual voice has disappeared in the                                                                                     artist creates. There’s
                                                things. It’s like the
world of commercialism. Musicians today                                                                                     no connection to the
                                                difference between
are busy fulfilling expectations and not                                                                                    creators of art. The
                                                hearing a record and
searching for their own unique way to                                                                                       merchants and the
                                                seeing the musician, in
express themselves. It’s fascinating to hear                                                                                publicists call a certain
                                                this case an incredible
Yusef Lateef explain that this is in essence                                                                                kind of art ‘pointillism’
                                                musician who has
the tradition of jazz or “auto- physopsychic”                                                                               and then they try to sell
                                                outlined his own unique
music, as he calls it.                                                                               it. We’re not selling, we’re creating.”
                                                path, a real artist when it counts. There are
                                                things that can only be experienced on a
  "You know,” he says, “Duke Ellington                                                                  In 1948, Yusef Lateef converted to Islam
                                                personal level.
once said that it’s better to be 95 percent                                                          and joined the Ahmadiyya sect, which was
yourself than 100 percent someone else. I                                                            founded in the late 19th century in the Punjab
                                                   “You know, Don Cherry [the legendary
came to this understanding by looking                                                                in northern India and is considered heretical
                                                trumpeter who played with Ornette Coleman
inward. By recognizing that there’s only one                                                         by Shiites and Sunnis.
                                                - A. T.] said that ‘Style is the death of
Lester Young. And that I can never be Lester
                                                creativity’! You understand? The way that
Young. For example, just as each one of us
                                                Charlie Parker played didn’t have style. It
has different fingerprints, we each must
                                                was Charlie Parker. There was no such thing


48 MuslimSunrise
The Ahmadiyya center in Israel is located in     folk instruments from all over the world into       them (“Repository of Scales and Melodic
Haifa. As an Ahmadi, he makes use of             jazz ensembles. He researched and used              Patterns”) found its way to Israel. I
Indian, Sufi and Western ideas.                  scales and melodies from many different             remember how we used to reverently pass
                                                 cultures. The beauty and organic quality            this lone copy around and tried to extract
   “When I was in Chicago in 1948, I met a       with which he combined them with jazz and           something from the wealth of ideas in it
man who gave me writings on Islam and the        blues, the tradition from which he emerged,         that would further our own musical
Ahmadiyya movement. When I got back to           are still extraordinary. I always thought this      development. But this book, too, was
New York I went to meetings with Abdullah        musical path was related to his conversion          more about the creative inspiration it
ibn Buhaina [legendary drummer Art Blakey        to Islam. I was surprised to learn that it didn’t   provided than about how or what to play.
- A. T.] and saxophonist Sahib Shihab. They      happen that way.                                    It was a tool to use in finding your own
were already part of the movement and had                                                            individual way. In 1961, he joined the
converted to Islam.                                 “Let me tell you the truth about how it          Cannonball Adderley group, which was
                                                 happened. After I finished recording my first       one of the must successful jazz ensembles
   “I read that through prayer one can begin     record in 1956, for Savoy Records, I said to        at the time (and also included Joe Zawinul,
to experience God and direct one’s personal      myself that if I’m going to keep on making          who later founded Weather Report). “I got
tendencies into the right channels. I            records, I have to strengthen my music and          the offer to join Cannonball at the same
understood that you get respect for              enrich it. I can’t record the same music again      time that I got an offer to join Count
humanity and interpersonal contact based         and again. I told myself that I ought to go         Basie’s orchestra, and then I was also
on honesty and acceptance. I learned to          and learn the music of other cultures. So I         offered a chance to join Thelonius Monk’s
respect parents, the neighbor, the man in        went to the library and started learning from       quintet because Charlie Rose was sick.
the street and the orphan. I liked it. The       other cultures - ragas, scales, everything.         But my agent was Cannonball’s agent,
simplicity that God is one. I’d never            At the time, I was working in a car factory -       too, so I went with him. I’ve often thought
understood about God being a trinity. And        Chrysler - where I met a man from Syria. He         that it could have been interesting playing
so I decided to choose this way and to           asked me if I knew the rabat, a Syrian one-         with Monk. In 1964 I left Cannonball and
convert to Islam. I started saying my prayers    string instrument, and he told me he would          went to study at the Manhattan School of
regularly and it also meant saying no to         make me one. With the rabat I recorded              Music.”
drugs and alcohol. And eating clean food.        ‘Morning.’And in a shuk, in an Oriental spice
At that time, I saw a lot of people falling by   market, I found the orghul, an Arabian                 And thus, at age 44, at the height of his
the wayside from drugs and alcohol. My life      double-reed instrument. So I taught myself          career, Yusef Lateef decided, almost
                                                                                                     casually, to start anew as a student. I tried
 “The Qur'an says, ‘I am not pleased by your name, I am                                              to explain to him that this is not a decision
                                                                                                     most people would make. He laughed.
pleased by your deeds,’ so the only thing from which a man                                           “Islam says ‘Seek knowledge from cradle
                                                                                                     to grave.’ I was seeking knowledge and
 derives honor are his deeds. The name serves nothing but                                            I’m still seeking. Life is a phenomenal
   itself. My name is Yusef after the prophet Yusef Abdul                                            thing. To experience life there are so many
                                                                                                     things to understand. Just to be alive. Life
           Lateef - ‘servant of the gentle and kind.’                                                is a wonderful thing that should be
                                                                                                     appreciated and devoted to joy, learning
                                                 how to play it. And that’s how I searched           and helping others. I am very grateful to
became better. I appreciated life, and
                                                 for different types of instruments and also         be here.”
humanity. I’m happy with it, I don’t know
                                                 started learning clarinet and Indian flute. At
any better way. If I did, I would choose it.”
                                                 the time, I was playing on weekends and                Yusef Lateef continued his studies until
                                                 earning $8 a night.                                 he received his doctorate, and since 1975
   And he laughs again. Yusef Lateef’s
original name was William Emanuel                                                                    he has been a professor at the University
                                                    “But it wasn’t enough to support a               of Massachusetts in Amherst. In 1981, at
Huddleston. Since I, too, have changed my
                                                 family with three children, so I worked at          age 61, he was invited to spend four years
name, I know that a name always has
                                                 Chrysler during the week. Until 1955, when          in Nigeria studying the local music, and
significance, and so I was interested to know
                                                 I found a regular, six-night-a-week gig and         there he both studied and taught in a local
the meaning of Yusef Lateef’s name.
                                                 left my day job. That’s also when I first           music school. His journey of learning has
                                                 heard Stockhausen’s woodwind quintet                never ended. In 1990, at age 70, he
   “The Qur'an says, ‘I am not pleased by
                                                 and his theories on how diatonic intervals          launched an independent record label,
your name, I am pleased by your deeds,’ so
                                                 like the minor third and the major third            won a Grammy and composed some of his
the only thing from which a man derives
                                                 affect the music. I wanted to go to                 most spellbinding works, including a piece
honor are his deeds. The name serves
                                                 Germany to study with him, but I didn’t             for classical orchestra. He also began
nothing but itself. My name is Yusef after
                                                 have the money. Then I studied with a               collaborating with percussionist Adam
the prophet Yusef Abdul Lateef - ‘servant
                                                 student of his in Boston. And thus the              Rudolph. In recent years, he has been
of the gentle and kind.’ It means that I have
                                                 development of the music sent me on a               working with the French brothers Lionel
to be gentle and kind. So it gave me a goal
                                                 quest in the music of all cultures.”                and Stephane Belmondo, with whom he
to achieve. And it’s my way now, how I relate
to people around me, to my family. I aspire                                                          recorded the beautiful double CD
                                                   Yusef Lateef has written about 20 books           “Influence” last year.
to be ‘lateef’.”
                                                 on music. Once, a single copy of one of
   Yusef Lateef was the first to introduce


                                                                                                                                Spring 2006 49
Lateef is coming to Israel with the Belmondo      visiting him on 103rd Street. I went up the       bowl, and then he took it all out as one
Brothers. Their first performance here will       steps and I heard him practicing. I rang the      connected thing. Two weeks before he died,
be on Saturday at the Enav Center in Tel          bell. He stopped, opened the door, asked          he came to visit me. I made him some hot
Aviv, and later they will also perform at the     me to take a seat and went back to playing.       chocolate. No one knew that he was sick,
Goldstar Zappa Club in the city.                  After 15 or 20 minutes, I signaled to him that    but I think he knew that he was going to die.
                                                  I was going to leave. He walked me to the         I flew to England to play at Ronnie Scott’s
   It’s hard to believe that this man is 85. He   door and after I left, I heard him practicing     club and there I heard that he’d died. I miss
sounds like a teenager. His playing is            again. When I got home, I understood that I       him. Every time we met, he would ask, ‘What
powerful and bursting with ideas. His             needed to practice.” He laughs that laugh         are you doing now?’ and I’d ask ‘What are
horizons are infinite. I feel like I’m sitting    of his again.                                     you doing now?’ He was always
with the person who is actually living all            "With the practice regimen he developed,      searching.”
that I once listened to with awe long ago at      it’s no wonder he played like he did. He              On my way back to New York, it occurred
Korus Jazz. I have to ask him about his           invested so much thought and effort in what       to me that Yusef Lateef was the teacher I
friendship with John Coltrane.                    he did. He was multifaceted. He put               had never had, and was always looking for.
   "I was very close to Coltrane. He was a        everything that he heard into his music. He       But when I got home, I knew what I had to
man of action, not words. I remember              took from all over and put it all together in a   do: practice!u



       MAHATMA GANDHI, speaking on the character of Muhammadsa, says in
       Young India:

           “I wanted to know the best of one who holds today’s undisputed sway over the
         hearts of millions of mankind....I became more than convinced that it was not the
           sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the
         rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet, the scrupulous regard for
          his pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his
         fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission. These and not the
           sword carried everything before them and surmounted every obstacle. When I
         closed the 2nd volume (of the Prophet’s biography), I was sorry there was not more
                                     for me to read of the great life.”


        K. S. RAMAKRISHNA RAO, an Indian Professor of Philosophy, says in
        his booklet, Muhammad, The Prophet of Islam:

          “Perfect model for human life.” Prof. Ramakrishna Rao explains his point by
          saying, “The personality of Muhammad, it is most difficult to get into the whole
         truth of it. Only a glimpse of it I can catch. What a dramatic succession of pictur-
          esque scenes! There is Muhammad, the Prophet. There is Muhammad, the War-
          rior; Muhammad, the Businessman; Muhammad, the Statesman; Muhammad,
            the Orator; Muhammad, the Reformer; Muhammad, the Refuge of Orphans;
          Muhammad, the Protector of Slaves; Muhammad, the Emancipator of Women;
            Muhammad, the Judge; Muhammad, the Saint. All in all these magnificent
                roles, in all these departments of human activities, he is alike a hero.”



50 MuslimSunrise
                                                             What are Prophet                      reinforced by the evidence of the divine law
               The                                3        Muhammad’ssa greatest                   of nature that the herbivorous animals do
                                                                                                   not possess the same degree of courage as

            Muslim                                           accomplishments?                      do carnivorous ones. The same applies to
                                                                                                   birds. Thus there is no doubt that morals




Q&A         Sunrise                                 First, the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa             are affected by food. Conversely those who
                                                 firmly and emphatically established the unity     are given to a diet consisting mainly of meat
                                                 and worship of God, for all time. Second,         and eat very little of greens suffer a decline
                                                 the Messenger of Allah brought to mankind         of meekness and humility. Those who adopt
                                                 the Qur'an, which is the final and most perfect   the middle course develop both types of
                                                 Divine scripture. These are without doubt         moral qualities. That is why God Almighty
                                                 the two greatest accomplishments of the           has said in the Holy Quran: Eat and drink
                                                 Prophet of Islam. Moreover, his entire life

 1
                                                                                                   but do not be immoderate (7:32); that is to
               Who were                          was a wondrous achievement. He was the            say, eat meat and other foods but do not eat
          Muhammad’ssa parents?                  Seal of the Prophets and the Emperor of           anything to excess, lest your moral state be
                                                 Arabia. Today more than one billion people        adversely affected and your health might
The Holy Prophet Muhammad sa was born            look to his every action as a guide to live       suffer” (Philosophy of the Teachings of
to Abdullah and Aminah. Prophet                  their own lives.                                  Islam, Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas).
Muhammad sa was born in 570 A.D. in the
Hashimite branch of the tribe of Quraish.
Shortly after Abdullah’s marriage to Aminah,
he went to Yathrib (modern day Medina) in
pursuit of trade. He died there a few months
                                                  4            What religions are
                                                              practiced in China?                   6             Why can’t Muslims
                                                                                                                     eat pork?
                                                    The principal faith traditions in China are       Pork is forbidden in the Holy Quran on
prior to the birth of Muhammad sa. Six years     Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism. The            the grounds that its meat is unclean. The
later, when young Muhammad sa was                People’s Republic of China is officially          Law of Moses as also forbade consumption
returning to Mecca from Yathrib with his         secular and atheist, however, so exact            of pork, which is clearly noted in the Holy
mother, she also fell ill and died.              figures or even approximations of the number      Bible. Furthermore, there is no proof
                                                 of followers of these religions is difficult to   whatsoever that Jesus Christ as ever ate pork.
   Thus, the Prophetsa was orphaned at the       obtain. Confucianism is named after the           Muslims are allowed to eat pork, however,
tender age of six. His grandfather and uncle     prophet Confucius as, whose true name was         in life or death circumstances, as we read in
then raised him in succession. It is no          Ch’iu K’ung as and lived from 551-479 BC.         the Holy Quran: He has made unlawful to
wonder that the Holy Prophet of Islam,           He was known to his followers as K’ung-           you only that which dies of itself, and blood
throughout his life, emphasized the              fu-tse (K’ung the Philosopher). This was          and the flesh of swine, and that on which
importance of caring for orphans. We find        changed in the West to Confucius as. Taoism,      the name of any other than Allah has been
many citations in the Holy Quran and Hadith      pronounced dowism, is derived from the            invoked. But he who is driven by necessity,
calling for the protection of orphans’ rights,   word Tao, which means The Way. Little is          being neither disobedient nor exceeding the
conveying that their dutiful care leads to       known about its founder, Lao-tze as (Old          limit, it shall be no sin for him. Surely, Allah
paradise.                                        Philosopher), other than he was a                 is most Forgiving, Merciful (2:174).
                                                 contemporary of Confucius as, about fifty

 2
            Why is the drawing of                years his senior (604-524 BC). Buddhism is
            portraits forbidden in               named after Buddha as, whose proper name
                                                 was Siddharta Gautama as and lived from 560-
                    Islam?                       480 BC.
                                                                                                     Do you have a
                                                  5
   There is a misconception that picture-
                                                             Does the food we eat
taking in general is forbidden in Islam but
this is not accurate. It is only the portrait                affect us spiritually?                  question on Islam?
drawn for the purpose of worshipping its
                                                    Yes. We read, “According to the Holy
                                                                                                     On religion?
subject that is forbidden. The Holy Prophet
Muhammad sa understood that prophets
who came before him had been deified by
                                                 Quran, the physical state of man has a very
                                                 strong relationship with his moral and
                                                                                                     On God?
misguided followers. Their portraits were        spiritual states, so much so that even a
worshipped as gods. As a precautionary           person’s manner of eating and drinking
measure, he forbade the drawing of his own       affects his moral and spiritual states.             Email us your
portraits as the burning love of his own
followers may later lead them to worship him        For instance, careful observation would          questions today, to:
(God forbid). Historical accounts show that      disclose that people who refrain altogether         Muslim_Sunrise@yahoo.com
Jesus as and his mother Mary were deified        from eating meat gradually suffer a decline
by some of their followers. The wisdom in        of the faculty of bravery; they lose courage
Prophet Muhammad’s ban then becomes              and thus suffer the loss of a divinely
clear.                                           bestowed praiseworthy faculty. This is



                                                                                                                               Spring 2006 51
Khalifatul-Masih on the
                                                                                                  national flag. They wish for their apology
                                                                                                  to be accepted and the government has
                                                                                                  recently unveiled plans to build a large
                                                                                                  mosque in Copenhagen to compensate for


Cartoon Controversy
                                                                                                  the hurt caused to Muslims. Though the
                                                                                                  majority of the Muslim world is ready to




T
                                                                                                  accept their apology, a handful of Muslim
                                                                                                  ‘leaders’ are taking a negative stance on
               he Head of the worldwide                                                           reconciliation, which is improper. It is time
               Ahmadiyya            Muslim                                                        to accept the apology and work together to
               Community, Hadhrat Mirza                                                           re-establish social harmony.
               Masroor Ahmad, recently
               delivered a series of sermons                                                      Muslims Beware
               from February 10, 2006 to                                                             It is not far-fetched to say that mischief
March 10, 2006 from London in response to                                                         such as this will continue on, its objective
the cartoon controversy. These sermons                                                            being to torment Muslims, incite them to
were broadcast to the world via the global                                                        violence and subsequently vilify them and/
Muslim Television Ahmadiyya (MTA)                                                                 or restrain their movement in the West. As
Satellite1 and have critiqued reactions of                                                        such, the Muslim response must be in line
both the Muslim world and the West. The                                                           with the values of Islam.
sermons also highlight the role of the
Promised Messiah, Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam                                                            Defense of Holy Prophet sa
Ahmadas, as the greatest defender of Islam                                                            The proper way to defend the honor
and of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa in this                                                        of the Holy Prophet sa can be seen from
age. They further answer a baseless                                                               the numerous examples from the life of
allegation against the Ahmadiyya                                                                  t h e P r o m i s e d M e s s i a h as a n d h i s
Community, and convey the tolerant                  Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad
                                                                                                  successors. Abdullah Athim, an
teachings of the Prophet of Islam, Hadhrat               Khalifatul Masih V
                                                                                                  aggressive Christian Missionary in
Muhammadsa and the true Islamic reaction                                                          India, had used extremely offensive
                                               worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
to such events.                                                                                   language against the Holy Prophet sa ,
                                               strongly rejects violence and terrorism in
                                               any form and for any reason.                       calling him ‘Dajjal’ (a deceiver, an Anti-
Notes:                                                                                            Christ). During a public debate with
The Muslim Sunrise has prepared this
brief report using select extracts from        A Divided West                                     Abdullah Athim that lasted fifteen days,
the published summaries of these                  Those in the West who defend the                the Promised Messiah as continually
sermons.        These summaries are            cartoons as ‘free speech’ have an apathetic        prayed privately, and after the debate
prepared by the MTA Team and are not           stance towards religion and have lost all          was over, he told Abdullah Athim that
the exact verbiage of the sermons. To          sense of sanctity for it. On the other hand,       the matter was not finished yet, that the
hear     the    word-for-word    English                                                          Living God would determine who was the
translation of these sermons, visit
                                               journalists like Robert Fisk have written that
                                               this is indeed not a matter of freedom of          false party among them and if that party
www.alislam.org/archives/2006. While
Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad’s official         speech. Rather, Fisk expresses, for Muslims,       did not repent within 15 months, they
title is Khalifatul-Masih or Successor of      the Prophetsa received divine words directly       would be punished by being thrown in
the     Promised      Messiah,    he   is      from God and Muslims live their religion           ‘Hawiya’ (the nethermost hell). Abdullah
affectionately referred to as Huzoor,          whereas ‘we’ do not; and while the Muslims         Athim was frightened upon hearing this
meaning His Holiness.                          have kept their faith alive ‘we’ have lost ours.   prophecy and immediately expressed his
                                               In comparison, Fisk quoted the angry               remorse and did not say any word
                                               reaction to a film ‘Last Temptation of Christ’     against Islam and its Prophet sa.
Honor of the Holy Prophetsa                    some years ago and said that how could we              Another person in the time of the
February 10, 2006                              expect the Muslims to remain silent at these       Promised Messiah as was a Hindu named
                                               crude cartoons.                                    Lekhram who had insulted the Holy
Reaction of the Muslim World                      It is unfortunate that the inappropriate        Prophet sa repeatedly and had used foul
   The entire Muslim world was angered by      reaction of certain Muslim ‘leaders’ gives         language against him. The Promised
the extremely depraved cartoon depiction       the West the chance to take political              Messiah as prayed and announced that
of the Holy Founder of Islam. The              advantages; in this case, the cartoons that        the enemy of God and His Prophet sa
sentiments to these publications were most     found staunch support from the West were           would die a pathetic death within six
natural, more so for Ahmadi Muslims, who,      clearly an unprovoked attack on Islam, but         years of the prophecy; that is exactly the
by means of the Promised Messiahas, have a     the violent reaction of some Muslims ended         way it came to pass. In the era of
deeper understanding of the lofty station      up making them look like the intimidators.         Khalifatul Masih II (1914-1965), some
of the Holy Prophetsa than do the Muslims                                                         offensive books defaming the Holy
who have yet to accept the Messiah.            The Danish Apology                                 Prophet sa were written and the Muslims
However, be it known unequivocally that           Huzoor and the Ahmadiyya Community              took to violence in reaction. He advised
strike and sabotage is not the way for true    are concerned for the Danish people, who           them that according to the teachings of
Muslims to express their feelings. The         feel threatened by the condemnation of their       the Holy Prophetsa the brave ones are not
                                                                                                  who start fighting, but the truly

52 MuslimSunrise
                                                                                                          Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC).
                                                                                                          The OIC has maintained that these countries
                                                                                                          will be pressured to apologize and to legislate
             To be offensive about holy persons does not                                                  against offending prophets of God in the
                                                                                                          name of freedom of speech and that if they
           constitute freedom of speech. It is playing with                                               did not abstain from this then there could
              the emotions of others while seeming to be                                                  be no guarantee for world peace. Huzoor
                                                                                                          prayed that may they be enabled to actually
             championing freedom of speech – certainly                                                    make decisions like this for world peace.
             every facet in life has a code of conduct and                                                Muslims Killing Muslims
            these cartoons exceed all limits. If this is de-                                                 Huzoor commented on the situations in
                                                                                                          Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh
             noted as freedom, it is the kind that leads to                                               where Muslim is killing Muslim at the
                  decline rather than advancement.                                                        provocation of their leaders. Enemies of
                                                                                                          Islam take advantage of such situations.
                                                                                                          Muslims are faced with this blight because
                                                                                                          they have accused the Messiah of
courageous ones are who have strong                    Truth of the Promised Messiah as                   falsehood and in doing so have been
determination, and once they make a                    February 17, 2006                                  disobedient to the Holy Prophetsa. This
decision they do not draw back from it.                                                                   situation saddens the Ahmadis and they
The Muslims should adopt the fear of                   Free Speech Responsibility                         should pray that may the rest of the Muslims
Allah in their hearts, should propagate                   To be offensive about holy persons does         not bring Islam in disrepute by being
Islam among others, and their leaders                  not constitute freedom of speech. It is            instrumental to the enemy. Without doubt
should try to uplift them socially and                 playing with the emotions of others while          the majority of Muslims follow their
financially attaining financial and                    seeming to be championing freedom of               erroneous leaders in these heinous acts of
cultural freedom.                                      speech – certainly every facet every facet         violence due to their own lack of knowledge.
   In the time of Khalifatul Masih IV                  in life has a code of conduct and these
(1982-2003) the incident of Salman                     cartoons exceed all limits. If this is denoted     Tolerant Teachings of Islam
Rushdi’s offensive book took place, and                as freedom, it is the kind that leads to decline   March 10, 2006
the proper response was advised by him.                rather than advancement.
Similarly, last year an article appeared in
the press attacking the private family life                                                               Answering Objections to Islam
                                                       Violence in the Name of Religion                      The non-Muslim objection is that the
o f t h e H o l y P r o p h e t sa a n d H u z o o r       There are hadith that relate the Messiah
responded to that with four months of                                                                     Holy Prophetsa – God forbid – brought a
                                                       will abolish religious battles and will
sermons on the Prophet of Islam2.                                                                         religion that offers nothing but harshness
                                                       champion spreading God’s religion through
                                                       Signs. With reference to Quranic verse,            and killing and that there is no concept of
The Right Reaction                                     Huzoor expounded that indeed the                   religious tolerance and freedom in Islam
   Earnest dialogue is the way for all the             despairing situation of the present-day            and that it is this teaching that has become
Ahmadis to express their protest. We                   conflicts and wars in the Muslim world are a       a part of the Muslim psyche.
do not believe in strikes, burning down                sign that war in the name of religion is not          Huzoor said he has mentioned many
building and flags. Ahmadi Muslims are                 valid anymore and that now Jihad has to be         times before that it is unfortunate that the
writing articles and letters to the media.             with arguments and reasoning; Either the           actions of certain sections of Muslims,
Most importantly, Ahmadis strive to                    ones fighting wars are not true believers or       who work outside the Islamic code of
imbue among themselves the beautiful                   it is time to give up fighting in the name of      conduct, have assisted the world to put
character-traits of the Holy Prophet saw.              religion, the fact is both of these
Our objective cannot be achieved by                                                                       across distasteful and offensive material
                                                       observations are applicable today.
destructive methods. All Ahmadis, living                                                                  about our beloved mastersa.
in all places, should ask other Muslims                                                                      On the contrary, Islamic teachings, as
                                                       Defending the Holy Prophet sa
to join in with them. Allah sent the Holy                                                                 expounded by the Holy Qur'an,
                                                       February 24, 2006
Prophet sa as ‘Rahmatul-lil Alameen’                                                                      repeatedly mention the rights of non-
(mercy for all mankind). We should                                                                        Muslims, justice and freedom in matters
demonstrate his benevolence and love                   A Step in the Right Direction
                                                                                                          of religion etc. The Holy Prophet
and mercy for others and for this,                        Huzoor began this Friday Sermon by
                                                       citing verse 57 of Surah Al-Ahzab (33:57)          Muhammadsa was compassion personified
Muslims have to bring a change in their                                                                   in all aspects of his life and set great
attitudes. Huzoor gave details of the                  and said that he would continue with the
                                                       subject he has been giving a discourse on          examples of freedom of conscience and
immediate constructive and civilized
                                                       for the past few weeks. Speaking of some           displayed the greatest of compassion in
response of our missionaries and
Ahmadis in Denmark, where the cartoon                  European countries and their media’s               triumph at the victory of Mecca giving
had first appeared in a newspaper and                  current ploy at hurting the feelings of            total freedom of religion and thus fulfilling
told of their effective efforts.                       Muslims in the name of freedom of speech,          the Quranic injunction of “there should
                                                       Huzoor praised the response of the                 be no compulsion in religion” (2:257).u


                                                                                                                                      Spring 2006 53
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54 MuslimSunrise
                                                 The Muslim Sunrise Interview

                      Archbishop Jacob J. Agepog

T
            he Muslim Sunrise interviews         be altered. We have to do those things that    offensive cartoons of the Prophet
            noteworthy personalities from        are lovely, just and honorable. Then,          of Islamsa?
            the U.S. and abroad, to learn        everyone will cooperate with us, because
            about their background, beliefs                                                         My personal beliefs are that we should
            and contribution to society.                                                        respect everyone, every religion, because
                                                                                                no religion teaches us bad things. Every
   In this issue, we sat with Archbishop                                                        religion teaches us good things. So, we do
Jacob J. Agepog. Dr. Agepog was born in                                                         have to respect all religions. We should not
1941 in Hyderabad, India. He started                                                             undermine any religion. We should not talk
preaching at the young age of 17, and                                                             bad about any religion. We are in a
was ordained as Preacher in 1976. He                                                               society; so, we have to help each other,
is the President of Agape Indian                                                                    encourage each other and we have to
International Ministries, Inc., and an                                                               build up each other, and never criticize
Executive member of the World                                                                         anyone, any religion, so that we can
Bishops Council, New York. He has                                                                      live peacefully and happily.
served as the President of Asian
American Churches in Methodist                                                                         If you had to present the
Church, Northern Illinois                                                                              Prophet of Islam sa to your
Conference. He came to the US in                                                                      own congregation, what infor-
1987, studied at Trinity University                                                                  mation would you provide
in Deerfield, Illinois. He was ordained                                                             them? What is it that they
as Bishop in 2002 by the World
                                                                                                   should know about him?
Bishops Council, New York, and elected
as Archbishop on September 24, 2004.
                                                                                                    I will tell them to read about the Prophet
                                                                                                Muhammadsa. Whatever he says, without
Archbishop Agepog, what do you
                                                                                                altering anything, without adding or
feel are the common points                                                                      subtracting anything out of his teachings;
between Islam and Christianity —                                                                we must find the truth and reality. Whatever
the world’s two principal                                                                       he teaches and whatever the Islamic sacred
religions?                                                                                      book, the Quran says, we should present
                                                                                                 only that. When we are true to our religion
  The respect and love for Jesusas is                                                               and true to ourselves, then we will be
common among us. We believe                                                                            blessed by everybody!
Jesus as is the Son of God, and
Muslims believe he is a Prophet of                                                                      As a religious leader of
God.                                                                                                    Christians, a very impor-
                                                                                                        tant and respectable post,
What about the concept                                                                                   should I assume that you
of God Almighty? Do you                                                                                  have read the life of
believe that is the same,                                                                       Prophet Muhammadsa?
or do we have differences?                       we do not want to harm anyone! We want
                                                 to bless everyone. In other words, we want       I have read it, but not in so much detail.
   The Bible says: God the Father, God the       to help everyone. The Bible says: “If ye
Son, and God the Holy Spirit. He is a Triune     have done to the least of my brethren, ye      As a Christian leader, spiritually
God. We cannot separate them. They are           have done it to me!” That’s what Jesusas
                                                                                                speaking, what challenges do you
inseparable! That’s what I believe in.           said. So, we have to take care of the least
                                                 people. That means the downtrodden who         feel are in your way to bring the
How can Muslims and Christians                   usually are not cared for. We have to take     people to God? What are the main
work together in noble and                       care of those who have nothing to give in      difficulties?
worthwhile endeavors?                            return, but they will be able to pray to God
                                                 for those who helped them in difficult            We cannot expect to see the results of
                                                 situations.                                    our work at the spur of the moment. It takes
   There is ample room for working together.
                                                 What are your feelings about the               time. So, we have to educate them in the
When we go by the truth, the Bible says the
                                                 current controversy regarding the              right way of life. We need to first understand
truth shall set you free. So, the truth cannot

                                                                                                                           Spring 2006 55
their problems. Where there is                                                                            The Bible says: Ask! And it shall
no understanding, difficulties                                                                         be given to you! What things so-
arise. We need to understand                                                                           ever ye desire, when ye pray,
each other, try to be helpful and                                                                      believe that ye receive them, and
never hurt each other.                                                                                 ye shall have them (Mark 11:24). I
                                                                                                       asked Him with the sincerity of my
What are the major moral                                                                               heart. I did not want [this ability]
problems you see in Ameri-                                                                             for selfish reasons, but because I
can society that need to                                                                               wanted to help the community. I
be corrected?                                                                                          wanted to help everyone who was
                                                                                                       in need. The rich may go to doctors
   People do not believe in, and                                                                       and to hospitals, but the poor
are not doing what the Ten                                                                             cannot afford to go. So I wanted
Commandments tell us to do in                                                                          to help them. So, God has given
the Bible. We come short of                                                                            me the gift of healing.
God’s Glory.
                                                                                                       When did you find out that
May I ask, what are, lets                                                                              you had this gift of healing?
say, three major conditions
of sinfulness in this soci-                                                                                In 1968, I was in Hyderabad,
                                                                                                        Dakkan, and I visited a hospital.
ety that worry you?
                                                                                                        One patient told me that he was
                                                                                                        only 17 years old and asked me to
   The first one is insincerity:                                                                        pray for him because the next
Whoever one may be, a Muslim
                                                                                                        morning they were going to
or a Christian, one must be
                                                                                                        amputate his leg! I prayed for him
truthful; true to one’s Holy Book.                                                                      and had the feeling that the Lord
The other is respecting the
                                                                                                        had touched him! I told him that
elders; that has gone away. We
                                                                                                        he would be healed and he should
need to bring that back. Once we                                                                        ask the doctor to reexamine the leg
respect our elders, we will be the
                                                                                                        before he tried to amputate it. The
recipients of the blessings of the
                                                                                                        next morning the doctor
elders. There is no love, genuine                                                                       reexamined him and could not
love! If I do not love you, then I
                                                                                                        believe that the leg was cured, and
will be finding faults with you.
                                                                                                        he wanted to know what had
In other words, love covers                                                                             happened? That was the first time
everything. We have to have
                                                                                              I realized the healing power of prayer.
God’s love. Sincere and genuine love is       womb) knows that. The child will also hear
missing in the society.                       the good music. If husband and wife are
                                              fighting, fighting, fighting, the unborn baby   Did you ever have an experience
How do you create love in the                 feels that.                                     when a prayer did not work, and
hearts of the loveless?                                                                       God did not heal the sick?
                                              Is the training of children left to
                                              parents or is the Church also in-                  Yes, because if the other party, the
   We have to educate them. They have to
                                                                                              patient, does not believe, it would not take
be true to their own word. We have to give    volved in their moral training?
                                                                                              place! It is by faith. You have to have the
them the knowledge in the right direction.
                                                                                              faith in the power of prayer. You give your
                                                 Parents have to provide the first stage of
                                                                                              faith and receive the healing! There are so
How do you give them the knowl-               training. The children are not at home all
                                                                                              many people that I prayed for, but they did
edge?                                         the time; they are also at schools. So, they
                                                                                              not believe, therefore, they did not receive
                                              are subject to the authorities and society.
                                                                                              this. But there are so many who believed,
    It starts from the very beginning, from   So it is the responsibility of the parents as
                                                                                              who had faith. Some of them were even
childhood. The Bible says in Proverbs: 22:6   well as the community at large. Only then
                                                                                              suffering from cancer, who have been
“Train up a child in the way he should go:    we will be able to produce good and helpful
                                                                                              healed. I do not charge anything. If I
and when he is old, he will not depart from   citizens.
                                                                                              charged, then this gift would be gone. It
it.” Once a mother of a one year old child                                                    would become a business.
asked me when should she start training her   I understand you believe in having
child? I told her: You are already one year   the healing power through prayer.               On behalf of The Muslim Sunrise,
and nine months late! You should have         Would you like to share some of                 thank you for your time.
started immediately when you came to know     your experiences? How did you
you were pregnant. How can you train a        develop this ability of healing with
child when he is not born? When a pregnant                                                      Thank you. It was a great honor for me!u
                                              prayer?
woman reads good things, the child (in the


56 MuslimSunrise
Perspectives
                                                                                                     Salman Rushdie was not the first person
                                                                                                 to write blasphemy against the Holy Prophet
                                                                                                 Muhammadsa. Even the Pope announced


Freedom of Speech:
                                                                                                 that he considered Rushdie’s book to be
                                                                                                 blasphemous. Muslims showed an
                                                                                                 emotional reaction, and Ayatollah Khomeini
                                                                                                 even announced a price on his head.

A Frankenstein Monster?                                                                              The debate about Rushdie centered on
                                                                                                 freedom of expression and not on decency.
                                                                                                 The simple fact is that he was being indecent




F
By Falahud Din Shams, Editor                                                                     and therefore committed blasphemy. The
                                                                                                 punishment for blasphemy is not death.
                reedom of speech is a                                                            Actually it is nothing. It is left to God.
                wonderful concept. Being                                                             The worst blasphemy that people spoke
                exposed to a multitude of                                                        about God had to do with Mary, the mother
                voices and views is                                                              of Jesus. The allegation has been made that
                constructive             and                                                     Jesus is a begotten Son of God. This implies
                educational. Be it in a                                                          that God had a relationship with Mary as
newspaper, on radio, or on television, we                                                        His wife (God forbid). In the Holy Qur’an,
find opposing views expressed on just about                                                      Allah has referred to it in the following
everything.                                                                                      words:
   With the power of remote control, we can                                                          “No knowledge have they thereof, nor
select and listen to those who confirm our                                                       had their fathers. Monstrous is the word
views. Before the remote control era, there                                                      that comes out of their mouths. They speak
were hard times. It was not just the limited                                                     nothing but a lie.” (Al-Kahf)
number of channels but the effort required                                                           Crucial in this discussion is that the
to get up from the sofa to change the                                                            Qur'an does not prescribe corporal or
channel.                                                                                         physical punishment by any human being.
   Theoretically, at least, this hopelessness                                                        In relation to the same incidence, the
should have produced balanced views                                                              Jews also committed blasphemy against
among Democrats and Republicans. We                                                              Maryra. She was a pious woman, but the Jews
were stuck listening to both sides. I don’t                                                      blamed her for having an illegitimate child.
think it helped. It just made us madder about                                                    The Holy Qur'an refers to it as a grievous
the people of the other party as they hogged                                                     calumny or false charge against her. In Sura
the time on TV.                                  politically correct. Freedom of expression is   Al-Nisa it says: “For their disbelief and for
   On the cover of freedom of speech, some       limited by the barriers we have erected         their uttering against Mary a grievous
have misused this precious value. I am not       around it. We just don’t want to admit it.      calumny.” Yet no punishment was
just referring to pornographic literature and    That will also be politically incorrect.        prescribed.
movies. I am talking about indecent                 Defining blasphemy is very simple. If you        The Holy Qur'an has termed these
expressions in areas of religion and politics.   call me filthy names and insult me, you will    blasphemies against God and Maryra as the
I know we cannot win the First Amendment         be considered an indecent person. The           monstrous word and a grievous insult. Yet,
debate. But we can discuss the decency of        decency in our society requires that you do     the feelings of today’s Muslims have not
                                                                                                 been agitated enough to put a price on the
                                                                                                 head of every Christian and Jew. But when
  Defining blasphemy is very simple. If you call me filthy                                       it comes to blasphemy against the Holy
 names and insult me, you will be considered an indecent                                         Prophetsa, it is a different story altogether.
                                                                                                 Mullahs can really let their emotions go wild.
 person. The decency in our society requires that you do not                                     That’s when they kill their own brothers,
                                                                                                 destroy their own properties and burn their
 use foul and filthy language about another person. If you                                       own buildings.
were to make the same kind of remarks about God or one of                                            But interestingly enough, there was a
                                                                                                 case of blasphemy against the Holy Prophet
 the religious figures such as prophets, you will be consid-                                     Muhammadsa in his lifetime. It was of such
                                                                                                 seriousness that the Holy Qur'an mentioned
                   ered to be blasphemous.                                                       it in Sura Al-Munafiqoon.
speech. Most specifically, we can discuss        not use foul and filthy language about
blasphemous speech.                                                                                Some background of this story is in order.
                                                 another person. If you were to make the same
   Most Americans probably don’t know            kind of remarks about God or one of the
the definition of blasphemy. They know it                                                          Abdullah bin Ubbye was the leader of
                                                 religious figures such as prophets, you will
has something to do with religion. That’s                                                        Medina. He had politically situated himself
                                                 be considered to be blasphemous.
something they don’t want to get into an                                                         such that all tribes, including the Jews in
                                                 Blasphemy is simply indecent talk about a
open discussion on. It would not be                                                              Medina, chose him as their king. His crown
                                                 divine person or God Himself.


                                                                                                                            Spring 2006 57
was on order, and as soon as it arrived, the   from the Prophetsa, any Muslim would have         countries. They exist in the land of the free
ceremonies could begin.                        killed Abdullah. But no such punishment           also.
   Meanwhile, the Muslims of Medina            was to be given for the blasphemy against            You see it has nothing to do with freedom
invited the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa to         the Prophet.                                      of speech. It has to do with standards of
migrate to Medina, which he accepted. The         Here is the interesting opportunity that       decency.
presence of the Prophet in Medina was          came up. Abdullah’s son came to the                  A preacher calls the Holy Prophet
noticeable and it became obvious that          Prophet and asked for his permission to kill      Muhammad sa hateful names or some
Abdullah had no chance of being the king       his father. His argument had to do with the       cartoonist draws a cartoon depicting him as
of Medina. The real king had arrived and       tribal customs among the Arabs. He stated         a terrorist. All that it reflects is their
the whole city knew it.                        that if someone else kills him, his tribe would   indecency and ignorance. It shows the kind
   Abdullah would make disgusting remarks      take revenge even if it took many                 of indecent social circle they belong to.
about and scheme against the Holy Prophet      generations. But, if he killed his own father,    Freedom of speech only helps to get their
Muhammadsa, while outwardly Abdullah           there would be no revenge. The tribe could        inner true picture out in public. You see,
would project that he had accepted Islam.      not take revenge against itself. Later on, the    decent criticism under the freedom of speech
The remarks referred to in the Holy Qur'an     Prophet forbade him to take any such step.        would be to discuss and debate the
state that he called the Prophet the meanest   He told him to leave his father alone. The        teachings and philosophies of other faiths
or the lowest of all the people in Medina      Prophet even performed the funeral prayer         as civilized people without casting
(God forbid). He also made the claim that      of Abdullah against the objections of his         aspersions on anyone.
the noblest person of Medina (meaning          companions.                                          Muslims are commanded in the Holy
Abdullah himself) would drive out the             There will always be people with filthy        Qur'an not to insult other religions or
meanest from the city.                         mouths and indecent expressions. They             religious leaders, or even idols. It takes
   Aside from the fact that God or the Holy    exploit the precious freedom of speech            patience but we need to show that we are
Prophet Muhammad sa did not issue any          through filthy writings, cartoons or indecent     decent people and will not abuse the right
verdict of punishment for Abdullah,            expressions. They don’t just exist in ignorant    of freedom of speech.
Muslims were furious. Upon one indication      and uneducated people living in third world
                                                                                                   That is the principle that can set us free.u




      Sir George Bernard Shaw in ‘The Genuine Islam,’ Vol. 1, No. 8, 1936.
         “If any religion had the chance of ruling over England, nay Europe within the
                             next hundred years, it could be Islam.”

        “I have always held the religion of Muhammad in high estimation because of its
         wonderful vitality. It is the only religion which appears to me to possess that as-
        similating capacity to the changing phase of existence which can make itself ap-
        peal to every age. I have studied him - the wonderful man and in my opinion far
             from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the Savior of Humanity.”

         “I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern
        world he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring it the
             much needed peace and happiness: I have prophesied about the faith of
        Muhammad that it would be acceptable to the Europe of tomorrow as it is begin-
                            ning to be acceptable to the Europe of today.”



58 MuslimSunrise
                  The Lockhart White Report
                                                                                   Annual Awards Dinner and Report to The Community
                  Mary Lockhart White
                  Executive Director                                                                                                         Don't Wait,
                                                                                                                         “POWER                         O ”
                  Community Action Partnership of Lake County, IL




                                                                           COMMUNITY ACTION PARTNERSHIP OF LAKE COUNTY
                                                                                                                                             Subscribe
                  America, Let's Celebrate CAP                                                                                                     NE
                                                                                                                                             OFToday!

I
                                                                                                                                      ,
                                                                                                                         Friday, May 27 2006
        n this column, we are always highlighting our efforts to help
        people and change lives, but May, National Community                                                             7 PM to 10 PM
        Action Month, is a special time set aside for us to really
        celebrate. Throughout the country, people from all walks of
        life gather at various town hall meetings, dinners, awards
banquets, community festivals, and open houses to experience
how Community Action is making America a better place to live.
   We have a lot to celebrate this year, but we have a lot of work
ahead of us. Before Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans and the Gulf
Coast were populated with thousands of low-income people. They                                                                  ckets, conta Li War 847
                                                                                                                              tick                   ard,
                                                                                                                          For tickets, contact Lisa Ward, 847.249.4330
went about their lives, virtually unnoticed by the rest of America.
Very few people, save for the local Community Action Agencies
that are helping them become self-sufficient, knew the daily
challenges and obstacles they face.
   That all changed when the hurricane blasted through the Gulf
Coast and single-handedly catapulted poverty onto the national
spotlight. Camera crews, photographers, and journalists from across                                                       Banquet Information
the world camped out and captured images and stories of people                                                            Community Action Partnership of
                                                                                                                          Lake County’s “The Power of One
stuck on rooftops, languishing at overcrowded convention centers,                                                         Banquet,” celebrates more than 40
and wading through chest-deep, contaminated water that were so                                                            years of Helping People to Help
                                                                                                                          Themselves and recognizing
horrific and shocking that virtually the entire country stopped what                                                      community partnerships, volunteers
they were doing to focus on poverty.                                                                                      and significant corporate
                                                                                                                          partnerships.
   There was outrage and anger, telethons, and fundraisers, and an
                                                                                                                          Lincolnshire Marriott Resort
enormous outpouring of offers to help hurricane victims get back                                                          Ten Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire, IL
on their feet after having suffered for days without food, water, and
shelter. The media coverage continued for weeks after. Newspapers
ran column after column lamenting the part poverty played in the                  Community Action Agencies know this all too well. They witness
evacuation of the Gulf Coast. On cable news shows, elected officials           the disparity of poverty daily in the faces of the 13 million Americans
lobbed verbal attacks at each other for the lack of response. And              they help turn hope into reality. In fact, Community Action Agencies
network affiliates told of the innovative ways local communities               were there before the storm even hit, because they are always there
were helping the hurricane victims.                                            to help people and change lives.
   Then, as the holidays approached, the media attention subsided.


                                                                               L
Gone were the round-the-clock coverage, graphic photos, and heart-                      ake County, Illinois residents have a chance to experience
wrenching articles. The media went back to covering stories about                       how this effort is underway in their local community by
teenagers gone missing on spring break and the latest celebrity                         attending Community Action Partnership of Lake County’s
breakups. Community Action Agencies, however, were there long                  “Power of One” Annual Awards Dinner and Report to the
after the media packed up their klieg lights, cameras, and film. They          Community, May 27th. The event is being held in honor of National
were a significant part of the national relief efforts and responded           Community Action Month, an annual celebration held in May to
with an outpouring of support and donations, and offers of help                pay tribute to the poverty-fighting efforts of Community Action
and shelter.                                                                   Agencies across the country.
   Community Action Agencies have continued to help the                           In addition, we invite you to participate in a community simulation
residents of the Gulf Coast months after the hurricane has all but             in poverty, “Walk A Mile in The Shores of Poverty, May 10th , 10
faded from national attention because the devastation is so                    AM to 2 PM at the CAP Banquet & Meeting Center, 1200 Glen Flora
widespread and requires the type of commitment and dedication                  Ave., Waukegan. Participants will assume the roles of 26 different
that Community Action Agencies have possessed for more than 40                 families living in poverty. It’s an experience you will never forget
years. Such commitment and dedication is not dictated by ratings               because poverty knows no boundaries.
or trends, it is born out of the Promise of Community Action to help              It is a time for the entire community to learn about our programs
people and change lives.                                                       and how they are helping the county’s low-income residents change
   The hurricane was probably the worst crisis experienced by all              their lives. Although Hurricane Katrina caused havoc and tragedy
residents of the Gulf Coast, but it really took its toll on those living       in the wake of the powerful storm, it has served as a reminder that
in poverty. They were the ones that did not have enough money to               we need to work together to end poverty. We invite you to attend
escape, or to rent a hotel room, or buy extra food for their children.         our “Power of One” banquet to learn how they can join us in this
This was what they faced in a major national disaster—but many of              critical effort.
them feel like the tide of economic uncertainty washes over them                  We invite Americans from all walks of life to join the Community
everyday, there are just no cameras present to capture it.                     Action network as we celebrate National Community Action Month.
                                                                                                                                                               Spring 2006 59
  58         th
                   Annual Ahmadiyya Muslim Convention
                            September 1-3, 2006
                          Dulles Expo Center•Chantilly, Virginia

                         Islam is equality. Islam   for informative and
                         is peace. Islam is trust   richer perspectives on
                         in God. We invite you      Islam. For more
                         to join the Ahmadiyya      information, Phone:
                         Muslim Community           301.879.0115


                                                    "It's not an ordinary convention. The Ah-
                                                    madiyya Muslim Convention is a wonderful
                                                    experience and an opportunity to learn."
                                                    -- Dr. John Hanson, Associate Professor of
                                                    History and Director of African Studies
                                                    Program at Indiana University.




                                 www.alislam.org



The Muslim Sunrise is published by the
Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, USA
2S 510 Rte. 53 Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

Postmaster: Send address changes to:
Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, USA
P.O. Box 226
Chauncey, OH 45719




60 MuslimSunrise

				
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posted:10/29/2011
language:English
pages:60