Introduction to Islam,By: Dr MuhammadHamidullah. Series No. 1/a. INTRODUCTION. TO ISLAM. By. DR. M. HAMIDULLAH. NI. אאוארא. SH. MUHAMMAD ASHRAF. PUBLISHERS, BOOKSELLERS & EXPORTERS. There has been a wide demand for a correspondence course on Islam. Tn response to this, a modest effort has been made with the help of several collaborator.

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SYSTEM. OF. ISLAM. ٭AN INTRODUCTION٭. Dr. Muhammad Hamidullah The economic policy of Islam has also been explained in the. Quran, in most. By: Dr MuhammadHamidullah. Urdu Translation of this book has been published with the name Dae e Islam. Download / Read PDF File. Introduction to Islam [Muhammad Dr. Hamidullah] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. INTRODUCTION TO ISLAM There has been a wide .

Works incorporating these kinds of documents of the time of the Prophet cover several hundreds of pages.. This was the famous SujJah which served as dormitory during the night and as lecture hall during the day for all those who wanted to profit by this facility.

In the year 2 H. These and other arrangements contributed to the rapid increase of literacy among the Muslims. It is Dot surprising that the companions of the Prophet grew ever more interested iD the preservation by writing of the pronouncements of their supreme guide. Like every new and sincere convert, their devotion and enthusiasm were great.

A typical example is tbe foHowing: When 'Umar worked; his companion visited the Prophet and reported to 'Umar in the evening all that he had seen or heard in the preseuce of the Pro. Thus both of them were abreast of what was passing around the Prophet, e. As to the written compilation of the Hadith, during the lifetime of the Prophet. Tirmidhi reports: The Prophet rep ied: Take the ai d of thy ri ght ha nd i. A large number of sources al.. Tirmidhi, Abu-Dawud, etc. One day his com He replied!

To be surer.. Even when thou art happy and satisfied. The Prophet said: Nothing that comes out of this mouth is ever a He,' "Abdallah gave his compilation, the name of "Sahifa Sadiqah" the book of truth. For severalgenerations it was ta ught and transmitted as an independent work; it was later incorporated into the larger collections of the Hadith compiled by Ibn Hanbal and others. Ad-Darimi and Ibn 'Abd al-Hakam report: Once this same 'Abdallah had his pupils around him and somebody asked: Which of the two cities will be captured first, Rome or Constantinople?

He replied: The city of the descendants of Heraclius, ,,. This narration definitely proves that the companions of the Prophet were interested even during his lifetime in writing down b is very words. More important is the case. One of the rare Madinaos who could read -and write wben only ten years old" he was presented by his devoted parents to the Prophet as his personal attendant.

Anaa did not quit the company of tbe Prophet till he died. Remaining night and day in his house, Anas had the opportunity of seeing the Prophet and hearing from him that which was not practicable for others, It is Anas who reports the saying of the Prophet: If we insisted-anotber version;. The case is cited by numerous classical authorities" such as ar Ramhurmuzi d.. Khatib al-Baghdadi d. It was natural that tbe interest in the biography of tbe Prophet should have increased after his death.

His Companions left for the benefit of their children and relatives, accounts of what tbey knew of the Prophet.

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The new converts had a thirst for the sources of their religion. Death was diminishing daily the num her of those who knew Hadith 'at ,first hand; and this was an added incentive to those who survived, to pay closer attention to the preservation of their memoirs. A large number of works were thus compiled on the say Of course that refers to the first hand knowledge.

Wben the Prophet m inated "Amr ibn Hazm as governor of Yemen, 'be gave him written instructions regarding the administrative duties he had to perform. Judham, Taiy, Tbaqif, etc.

This work bas come down to us. In the SQhih of Muslim, we read that Jabir ibn "Abdallah compiled an opuscule on the pilgrimage of Mecca, in which be gave an account of the last' pilgrimage of the Prophet and included his celebrated farewell address pronounced on the occasion. Probably it dealt with the general saying's and doings of the Prophet. Two other companions of the Prophet, Samurah ibn Jundab and Sa"d ibn 'Ubadah are also reported to have compiled their me!

Ibn Hajar, speaking of them, adds that the work of Samurah was big and voluminous. Ibn 'Abbas, who was very young at the death of the Prophet, 1earnt many tb'lngs from his elder comrades, and compiled with this material numerous works.

The chroniclers state: When he died, he left a camel- load of writings. Ibn Mas' ud, one of the greatest jurists among the Companions, had also compiled a book on Hadith, and later his son "Abd ar-Rahman used to show that to his friends cf. Mustadrak, ch. Ibn Mas'ud , If anyone desired information about the Prophet, they replied in writing.. They even took the initiative of communicating.

One day a pupil of Abu.. Hurairah told him: Thou badst told me such and such a thing. Hurairah, who W3S apparently in his old age, with enfeebled mem,ory refused to believe the Hadith, yet when his pupil insisted that it was from him- that he had learnt it, Abu-Hurairah replied: If thou hadst learnt it from me, it must be in my writings.

Thereupon he exclaimed: I had told thee. Abu-Hurairch died in the year 59 H. To one of his pupils, Hammam ibn Munabbih.. This work, which dates from the first balf of the first century of the Hijrah, has been preserved.

Dhahabi tTadhklras al-Huffazs reports: The caliph Abu-Bakr compiled a work, in which there were traditions of tbe Prophet, and handed it over to his daughter 'Aishah.

The next morn.. Yet" 'Umar continued to hesitate and pray to God for a whole month for guidance and enlightenment. Ultimately he decided not to undertake the task, and said: Details would be too long here.. The last two narrations. As far as we know, the only narrators who arc reported to have said that the Prophet bad ordered not to write down anything other than the Quran, are Abu..

N either the context nor the occasion of this direction is known. However intelligent they might have been, it is comprehensible that the Prophet prohibited them in the early years after the Hijrah from noting down his talks.

As to Abu.. Hurairah, we have just seen that be had himself complied "many books on the Hadith. Abu-Hurairah came from Yemen in the year 7 H. It is possible that in the first days after his conver.. The contradiction between the word and the deed of those who are nevertheless known for their piety and scrupulous observance of the directions of the Prophet confirms our supposition that the injunction against writing down of the Hadith had a certain context whicb has not been preserved to U8 in the narrations, and that it had a limited scope.

We must therefore seek to reconcile between the two contradictory orders of the Prophet rather than reject them both. Three possible explanations come to our mind: Hurairah, for instance; came from Yemen, aud it is probable that he mastered the Musnad or Himyarite script and not the so-called Arabic script prevalent in Mecca and from thence in Madinah.

Abu-Said al- Khudri alludes to it; and we possess the formal injunction of tbe caliph 'Umar against tbis particular way of writing Hadith. Other explanations may be adduced, but these would for the pre 5 ent s uffice. In the second generation, when students attended lectures of more than one master.

A few generations later all the memoirs of the Companions of the Prophet were collected, and later still an attempt was made to classify these traditions according to subject matter, and deduce juridical rules, and otber scientific usages.

This triple method of preservation and secu.. Not long after tbe Prophet, the reporters of the Hadith adopted the habit of mentioning Dot only the name of the Prophet as the ultimate source of the knowledge in question, but also the means ODe after another of obtaining that information.

Al-Bukhari, for instance, would say: I have heard my master 'Abd-ar-Razzaq saying: My Master Ma'mar Ibn Rashid told me.

I heard my master Hammam ibn Munabbib told me: My Master AbuHurairah told me: I beard the Prophet saying" such and such a thing, For every single report of a few words upon the Prophet, there is such an exhaustive chain of references relating to successive authorities. In a single chain of the narrators. We find the reports of this chain in all these works-which luckily have all come down to us-in exactly the same words.

In the presence of a succession of such autboritative sources! It is by this triple method of safeguard, viz.

Tbis is true as much of tbe Quran as of the Hadith which consists of the memoirs of tbe companions of the Prophet, concerning the sayings. It may be remembered that 8S a founder of religion too. The biographers of the companions of the Propbet affirm. There arc bound to be repetitions, but the very multiplicity of the sources recounting one and the same event does but add to the trustworthiness of the report.

We possess In all about ten thousand reports eliminating the repetitions of the Hadith, on the life of the Prophet of Islam, and these concern aU aspects of his life in In his natural state, man scarcely thinks of anything but his own individual interest, and only later of his close relatives. When we study the features and characteristics of the past score of civilizations. There is rather a relative preeminence of one over the others; in the ladder of graded civilizations..

When the Phoenicians, for instance, appeared on the scene and developed a brilliant civilization, several other contemporary peoples were perhaps almost as civilized, altbough lacking the occasion and a suit.. At the Arabo-Islamic epoch, the Greeks. Not withstanding this progress of some, there are, at the lame timet even in this second half of the 20th century t in certain parts of the globe, groups still in savagery if not actual cannibalism.

The question arises as to why the evolution of some is rapid, and of others slow? In an epoch when the Greeks enjoyed a glorious civilization why was it that Weltern Europe was barbarian? Why did. The same question may be posed in respect of several countries in several epochs. There are perhaps other possible explanations also, more complex and depending upon a variety of coexisting causes, governing the accomplishments of some, and the frustration or even extinction of the other.

There is still another question. After 8 momentary state of splendour, why do people fall anew into relative obscurity if not into a semi-barbarous state?

We propose to investigate these questions, in relation to contemporary Islam, and discuss, if possible, the chances it has of survival. If one were to believe Ibn Khaldun.. At the end of a single generation, tbe race exhausts its vitality, and for purposes of rejuvenation there must be a change at least in the family of men at the helm of affairs, This racial theory, even if it be considered as a learned exaggeration, can affect ethnic civilizations and such religions as do DO t admit conversion.

Islam luckily escapes this cycle of decadence; for its followers are found among all races. Moreover it is unanimously recognized that Islam bas almost completely effaced, inside its community, racial prejudices.

The systematic emancipation of slaves, which was ordered by the Quran, present. The life and death of a civilization depend in an equal measu re on the q uality of its basic teach ing.. I f it invi t es it s adhe- I rents to renounce the world" spiritually will certainly make great progress.. For materialism often engenders egoilm and Jack of respect for the rights of others, creating enemies, who await their chance for reprisals.

The result is mutual killing. The story of the two brigands is well known, They bad captured some booty. One of them went to the town to download provisions, and the other had to collect wood to prepare the meal. However each one resolved secretly in his heart to get rid of the other and monopolize the illicit gain.

So the ODe who bad gone shopping, poisoned the provisions; while his comrade awaited him in ambush. There may be another defect inherent in a civilization, when its teachings do not contaln an innate capacity for development and adaptation to circumstances However nice its teaching may be for one epoch or one environment, it may Dot prove 80 for another ; to be captivated by such 8 teaching will evidently be fatal to those wbo come later.

An ordinary example 'Would illustrate the point. At a time, when there was no electric Hgbting and wheu the centres of cults had no stable revenues.

Nothing may be said against a belief that an act of piety. But can the continuation of lighting a candle In a place which is already brilliantly lit with electric lamps be anything more than a wastage? Let us study Islam in the ligbt of these circumstances.

Tbe following examples will illustrate the argument. In order to see with Hi. A believer must fast at the moment prescribed by the QuraD.. One feels a spiritual uplift, thinks of God and of all that He does for us, and enjoys. But the fast also does material good. The acidities. If one fasts for material ends, it has no spiritual value; yet if one fasls for gaining tbe good will of God, tbe material advantag-es are never t. Without entering into a detailed discussion. So is it in worship, individual or congregational, and so is it in the abnc If one does something solely for the sake of God, it has a double merit: On the contrary, if one does the lame t,..

Let us recall the celebrated saying of the Prophet Muhammad: Bukhari, Muslim. Speaking of a strictly temporal act, such as a tax or a war. It should not be astonishing, that Islam considers this act! The sign;.. One unites the spiritual and the temporal in a single whole. When this duty of paying the taxes becomes fixed in the mind as something sacred, 8 duty unto God from Whom nothing can be concealed and Who is, moreover.

By spiritualizing the temporal duties, Islam has had no other motive but strengthening the spiritual side of man. The Prophet has said: Ostentation is a sort of polytheism shirk ; and the reason as explained by al-Ghazali, is that when be said: If somebody worships or fasts for ostentation, it is shirk polytheism , a worship of one's self1 not of God Almighty; on the contrary.

Prophet bas observed cC. Ibn Hanbal, V, " ]67, , etc. A corollary perhaps of the same all-embracing conception of life, is the fact that the Quran uses very often the double formula "believe and do good deeds", the mere profession of faith. Islam insists as much on the one as on the other. The doing of good deeds without the belief in God is certainly preferable. Zakat does Dot mean cbarity. It is a. In the first instance, it is the revealed law which alone can be the criterion, but in, the last resort, it is one's conscience which can be one's arbiter.

When a problem is posed. One can refer to the text o. Yet a jurisconsult can only reply on the basis of facts 'which have been brought to his notice.

If certain material facts should have been concealed from him, whether intentionally or otherwise, the consequent injustice cannot be imputed to law. We may recall a channing little discourse of the Prophet, who said one day! An Islamic judicial maxim stresses the same when it says: To think of others. Yet the Quran praises those "who prefer others above themselves though poverty become their lot' The Quranic direction may be considered as a characteristic trait of Islam, to wit: A saying of the Prophet cited by Tirmidbi explains it in an impressive manner: HOod likes to see the traces of H is bounty on His creature.

When the Prophet asked him the reason, he replied that he preferred to have a wretched look, not for miserliness but for piety, as he preferred the needy to his own self. The Prophet did not approve it, and put a limit to self The Prophet has unequivocally said: U Bukharl , Notwithstanding the imposition of heavy daily practices, Islam does not demand mortification or voluntary misery; on the contrary the Quran reproaches those who would develop s ncb an attitude: Thus do We detail Our commands for people who have knowledge.

Man seems to have always sought to know his Creator for the sake of obeying Him. The best religious leaders or every epoch aDd civilization have established certain rules of conduct for this pur.. Yet others have enshrouded God with mysteries wbich mystify sometimes the person of God. And some others have felt the Deed of such symbols, formulas or gestures. In this field. In Islam, God is not only transcendent and. The relations.

Creator are direct and per.. Even the saintliest of the saints, such as prophets, are only guides and messengers; and it is left to the individual marr to make his choice and be directly responsible to God.

Assign Muhammad (3).pdf - The Prophet of Islam His...

It admits that man has his weaknesses. In his weakness, the individ ual may commit offences against God or against fellow creatures. Each offence has in principle a pro.. As to offences against man, they should be amended, as far as possible; so that the victim may pardon either gratuitously; or at the restitution of the object taken away from him or by having it replaced, or in any similar way. As regards offences against God, man may receive either a suitable punishment or a gracious pardon from the Lord.


This could be seen in all its preseriptions ' be they religious or temporal, Thus the service of worship is collective in principle, if in case of need there is some exemption re..

For reasons best known to Him, God bas endowed different individuals' with different talents. Two children of the same couple, two pupils of the same class do not always have the same qualities or capacities.

All lands are not equally fertile; climates differ; two trees of the same species do not produce the same quantity or quality.

Every being, every part of a being has its own peculiarities. On the basis of this natural phenomenon, Islam affirms, OD the one hand, the: All are creatures of the same Lord, and it is Dot materiaJ superiority which counts for obtaining the greater appreelation of God. Piety alone is the criterion of tbe greatness of the individual. After alit life in this world ia but ephemeral, and there mUlt be a difference between the bebaviour of a man and a beast.

It is in this sense" that Islam rejects the narrow basis of birth and common blood as the element of solidarity. The attachment to parentage or to the soil on. Since extermination or subjugation of others is excluded the only valid possibility i. And which means can serve better such assimilation. Islam has proclaimed that God has always sent His messcnser! It pro.. The Quran, the Hadith and the practice of all- time demand that non-Muslims should have their own laws, administrated in their own tribunals by their OWD judges, without any interference on the part of the Muslim authorities, whether it be in reli..

The Quran does not exaggerate when it declares 4: One can bear many privations, but not of ailments. The Islamic conception on this subject is well known. It envisages tbe constant redistribution and circulation of the national wealth. Thus, the poor are exempt from taxation, whereas the rica are taxed to provide for the needy. Islamic Conception of Life 47 avoided. This leads us to the philosophic question of tbe free will. This eternal dilemma can never be resolved by logic alone.

For, if man enjoys free will with respect to all his acts, the omnipotence of God suffers thereby. Similarly, if God predestines, why should man be held responsible for his acts?

The Prophet Muhammad bas emphatically recommended his adherents not to engage in discussions OD this topic. Islam separates celestial affairs, which are the attributes of God, fl om human temporal matters and insists on the faithful to act; and since the Divine will rests concealed from man, it is man's duty never to despair after a preliminary failure, but to try again and again until the object is either realized or becomes impossible of attainment, The Islamic concept of predestination comes.

That no laden one, shall bear another's load. He is t he goal. I shall predestine your acts, and want to reward or punish you accordiog to whether they are good or evil. Other created beings said: Thou wiJJE create, and we have to be responsible for the same?

They got afraid. Man believed in the limitless mercy of the Lord, and. Depost of Thine. Predetermination in Is1am hal another significance, Dot less importaat. God Who alone attributes to a human act the quality of lood or evil; it is God Who is the source or all law.

It is t11e Divine prescriptions which are to be observed in all our behaviour ; and which He communicates to us through His chosen messengers. Muhammad being the last of these, also the ODe whose teaching has been tbe better preserved.

We do not possess original. The Ouran is not only an exception to the rule, but also constitutes the latest Divine message. He is also to contribute according to his capacities and possibilities, to the propaptlon of this ideology, which j s based-on Divine revelation and m- tended for the well- being.

The beliefs may change with agc and experience, among other factors. In this context, the most important aspect is the idea of man regarding bis own existence: Beliefs are purely personal affairs..

Nevertheless, the history of the human species has known inthis connection many an act of fratricidal violence and horror, of which even tbe.

The basic prillciple of Islam. It is charity I and even a sacrifice, to guide others and to struggle for dispelling tbe ignorance of Iellow-beings without compelling anybody to any belief waateoever-e-sucb is the attitude of Islam. In the field of religious dogmas, primitive man was perhaps even incapable of the abstract notion of a transcendental God, 4.

Even his language was incapable of translating sublime ideas without being forced to use terms which would not be very appro.. Islam lays very strong emphasis on the fact tbat man is composed simultaneously of two elements: To devote onese If exclusively to spiritual needs would be to aspire to become an angel whereas. One day the Prophet Muhammad himself replied to a question as to what is Faith and said: Muslims have nothing in common with atheists, polytheists, and those who associate others with the One God, The Arabic word for One God is Allah, Lord and Creator of the universe", Even the simplest, the most primitive and uncultured man knows well that one cannot be the creator of one's own self: Atheism and materialism does not respond to this logical need.

Mao, for instance. The division of Divine powers thus becomes impracticable.. But the question is whether the two would act in mutual accord, or there wo uld arise conflict between them?

In the first case, the Duality becomes redundant and super.. Should one believe then, in a weakling, the god of the good as God. Moreover, the evil is a relative thing: Monotheism alone, pure and unmixed can satisfy reason. God is One, though He is capable of doing all sorts of things.

Hence the multiplicity of His attributes. God is not only the creator" but also the master of ail: He rules over the Heavens and the earth; no", thing moves without His knowledge and His permission.

The Propbet Muhammad bas said that God has ninety.. He is the crea tor, the essence of the existence of all, wise, just, merciful, omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient determinant of everything" to Whom belongs life, death. It rOnOW! The Prophet Muhammad admired the fervour of the faith of simple folk, and often gave the example of ,,' the faith of old women," that is, unshakable and full of sincere conviction. They had never before beard of an elephant; so on its arrival, each of them approached the strange animal: On their return, each one exchanged impressioftl and described the elephant in bis own manner and personal experience.

Everyone was right, yet none had found tbe whole truth which was beyond his perceptive capacity. If we replace the htin'd men of this parable by searchers of the Invisible God, we can easily realize tbe relative veracity of individ ual experiences.

As certain mystics of e. Islam, there is enough elasticity for satisfying the needs of different categories of men; learned as well as ignorant" intelligent as well as hrople, poets, artists. Muslim savants have constructed their entire system on a juridical basis, where rights and duties are correlative.

God haa given us the organs and faculties whlch we possess, and every gift implies a. To worship God, to be thankful to Him. God is the creator not only of our bodies, but also of all our facul..

It is He Wbo bas given us the intuition. The human spirit is capabfe. Among the common foJk it is possible tbat good people receive sometimes evil inspirations temp- tations and bad people good inspirations.

Inspirations may come from. The best would have beee incarnation; but Islam has rejected it. It would be too degradiDI for a transcendent God to become man, to eat, drink, be tortured by His own creatures. Man may annihilate himself;' as say the mystics. According to the Prophet; good dreams arc suggested by God and suidc men in the right direction.

Another means is tlqa literally" throwing. There is also the ilham r: Things are suggested to the heart. The saints of all epochs in all countries have enjoyed fhis grace. When someone devotes one's. It is God. Who guides him and controls him and his thoughts as well as his actions.

Even the prophets-the human messengen of Godget this kind of direction, 'among others. The mystics affirm that sometimes even the most ploua men arc led astray by tbeir imperceptible ego" not being able to distinguish the base inspirations that come as a Divine tria. The highest degree of contact, the surest and the most in.. Man is matter; God is on the contrary above even the spirit; and therefore beyond all possibility of direct physical contact with man Quran 6: God is omnipresent.

Therefore it is a malak-literally a messenger, i. None except a prophet receives such a revelation through the intermediary of a celestial messenger. It ought to be remembered that in Islam, prophet docs not mean one who makes prophecies and predictions, but only an envoy of God, a bearer of Divine message intended for his people. A s to the angel, it does not enter in the scope of our studies bere to discuss whether it is a spiritual being, distinct from the material beings in the universe, or something else, The functionary in charge of hell is named Malik literally "master' or "owner" , It speaks also of other angels without name and without attributes.

The Islamic belief is that Jibril, also termed by the Quran "trustworthy spirit al.. In the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, as distinct from tbe Quran, we read that this celestial messenger, Jibrll, di1 not appear to the Prophet always in the same form. The Prophet Raw him sometimes like a being suspended in the air, sometimes in the shape. Several days afterwards, the Prophet told his companions: In the transmission of Ibn Hanbal, this same report reads: Or "Once when the moment of revelation arrived.

Or "Whenever the revelation came, he suffered therefrom and his face darkened" Ibn Sa'd. Other series of reports say that he then felt the weight of a great load. In fact sometimes the camel sat down, but sometimes it obstinately tried to stand; with legs planted like pegs althrough the time of revelation, and this lasted until the state of revelation vanished, and sweat fell from him like pearls" Ibn Sa'd.

I would have. Or "He was holding a loaf of meat during: Yet he never lost his consciousness nor control of his self. In the early times of the mission, he used to repeat aloud. He sends His messengers for the benefit of man, God is the sovereign and the source of all law, spiritual as well as temporal.

We have just spoken of the revelations and communications of the win of God to man. The Quran speaks of it in numerous passages. For instance 2: It is. One knows tho sad story of the Torah of Moses and how it was destroyed by Pagans several times. Be it what it may.. So the Muslims are not authorised to affirm categorically the Divine character, for instance" of Avesta or of the Hindu Vedas; yet they cap-not formally reject either the possi The same is true in connection with what ap An angel brings the message of God to a chosen man; and it is this latter who is charged with its communication to the people.

In Quranic terminology" this human agent of the message is differently called: According to the Quran, there were certain prophets who had received the revelation of Divine Books, and there were others , who did not receive new Books but had to follow the Books revealed to their predecessors.

The Divine messages do not disagree on fundamental truths, such as the Oneness of God, the demand for doing good and abstaining from evil, etc. Certain prophets had had the Divine mission of educating members of a single house tribe or clan , or of a single race, or of a single region; others had vaster missions, embracing 'the entire humanity and extending over all times.

David, Moses, Salih, Hud, Jesus.

John the Baptist, and Muhammad, but the Quran is explicit that there have been others also before Muhammad, he being the seal and the last of the messengers of God. The Prophet Muhammad has also demanded belief in the doomsday. Man win be resuscitated after his death, and God will judge him on the basis of his deeds during the life of this world, in' order to reward his good actions and punish him for the evil ones.

One day OUf universe will be destroyed by the order of God, and then after a certain lapse of timet He Who bad created us first, would bring us back to life. Paradise as a reward, and Hell as a punishment are but graphic terms to make us understand a state of things which is beyond all notions of OUf life in this world. Speaking of it, the Quran Again 9; So tbis pleas ure on His part is over and above even the Gardens of Eden. In yet another passage of Quran As far as Paradise is concerned, an oft- q uoted utterance of the Prophet Muhammad is: Thereupon God will remove the veil, and nothing would be lovelier than gazing the Lord.

It is in the light of this authoritative interpretation that one should read what the Quran and the Hadith unceasingly describe for the common man with regard to the joys of Paradise and the horrors of Hell in terms which remind us of our surroundings in this world: Similarly, in hell there is fire, there are serpents, boiling water and other tortures, there are parts extremely cold; and itt spite of these sufferings.

All this is. It is necessary to speak to everyone according to his capacity of under. One day, when the Prop bet Muhammad was speaking to a- company of the faithful about Paradise and its pleasures including its flying horses. The Quran speaks of Paradise and Hell simply as a means of persuading the average man to lead a just life and to march ift the path of truth; it attaches no importance to details whether they describe a place or a state of things?

That should not interest us either; a Muslim believes in them, without asking: It goes without saying that Paradise will be eternal: The Quran assures But the question is whether Hell is eternal for the unbelievers?

The opinions of the Muslim Theologians have differed'on the points although a great. Others opine that even the punishment of disbelief may one day terminate by the grace of God. These theologians deduce their opinions, also from certain verses of the Quran In his expose, the Prophet Muhammad has lastly demanded the belief that the determination qadr or all good and evil is from God.

Does tbis. In other words, nothing is good or evil in itself, but it is so only because God has declared it to be such; and man has to do nothing but observe it. Here is in fact a dilemma for the theologian, If we declare that man is responsible for his acts, it would be incompatible with the predestination of his acts. One would like to attribute to God not only justice; but also omnipotence and omniscience. The Prophet Muhammad ridicules this discussion, which win ever remain inconclusive: He does not want to tic up one of these things with the other.

In a way, he relegates this discussion to tbe level of the futility of knowing whether the egg came first into existence or the ben? Moreover good and evil are but relative terms. A tiger hunts a rabbit for food. What is good sustenance for one is evil death for the other, That is why the evil that seems to reach us is on account of.

That is also wby it is for God to determine, for whom a given act is. Furthermore it should be remembered that the conception of "responsibillty' is a this-worldly thing. We are shocked only when we relegate them both to tbe same level.. To do so would be a fallacy.. Far from creating in him an im.. This is a resume practically of all that a Muslim has to believe. The whole formula of the creed is succinctly summed up in the two expressions: It is in fact a complete code of human life.

The concern for "centralizationU is displayed in the fact that all Islamic practices touch simultaneously the body and soul.

Not only do temporal practices acquire sacred moral character, when they conform to Divine prescriptions, but the spiritual practices also possess a material utility. The rules of conduct, whether splrtual or temporal.. The ineluctable result Is tbat according to the Islamic terminology the imam supreme director or leader of the Muslim world signifies Dot only tho leader of the service of prayer in the mosque.

For el ucidating the subject under discussion, it would admirably suit our purpose to quote and comment on what he has said OD the second point. He declared: The Quran speaks of it more than a hundred times, and calls it variously salat inclination , du'a prayer, appeal.. Devottona; Life and.

Rellglous Practices of Islam 63 one should pray when one rises-and one should rise early-again early in the afternoon, late in the afternoon J at sunset, and at night before one goes to bed.

This requires abandoning, during the few minutes spent in each service of worship, all material interests, in order to provide proof of one's submission and gratitude to God our Creator. That applies to every adult, man or womao.

The service of early afternoon is transformed every Friday into a weekly congregational service, with greater solemnity, in which the imam of the locality delivers also a sermon before prayer. Islam bas instituted two annual feasts: These two feasts are celebrated by two special services of worship, in addition to the daily five. Thus, early in the morning people assemble for a collective service of prayer to after which the imam delivers a sermon.

Another service of prayer t of restricted obligation, is held for tbe deceased before burial. He sees and feels things which human tougue is incapable of describing. Once this state of light passes away, he returns to his previous condition, and finds him.. Thereupon be tries to rejoin that which has escaped him, and adopts the condition of this lowly world which would be nearest to a state of absorption in the knowledge of the Creator.

This is a posture of respect, of devotion, and of an almost direct conversation with God. Worship consists essentially of three elements: In a passage Another passage In other words, worship is what the slave does. God demands of the mountains to remain Itanding, of beasts and birds to remain bent, and of plants to remain prostrate before Him, that is their service, their worship.

To everyone what suits him and what bi-s Lord desires of him" Of course tq man also what becomes of him 8S a rational being. A blution or ritual washing and physically beiDa clean i. For this ritual purification one bu to wasb the hands, the mouth, the nose, the face" the arms, the bead. Washing them is not merely the outward cleanliness; it is a repentance for the past and a resolution for the future 4' Rcpen..

The hand attacks, the mouth talks, the nose smells. Not to 'Speak of the sexual sin, from which one gets rid even before begio.. This symbolical and mystical aspect or purification is evident in the formulas of invo.. In the w. The five daily services were made obligatory for Muslims on the occasion of the ascension of the Prophet ml'raj.

The Prophet Muhammad has moreover declared that the service of worship of a believer is his own ascension, in which be is raised into the presence of God. After having bymned and recalled the merits of God" he feels so humble before the Divine majesty, that he bows low and puts down his head as a sign of reverence, proclaiming "Glory to my Lord Who alone is Majestic. There he salutes God. In fact. As for its material utilities.. It assemble. Thus one meets not on1y other members of the community..

The social aspect of' the service of prayer is that. At the call of the muezzin, all rush to the place of assembly, stand in serried ranks behind the leader, doing acts and carrying on movements in common with others, in perfect uniformity and co' ordination. Further t the faithful, in all parts of the globe, turn their faces. T his reminds them of the unity of the world comm unity of Muslims, without distinction of class, race, or region".

In the absence of such a possibility. The five prayers of the' day mean rather a minimum duty of passing about 24 minutes, during 24 hours, in the presence and remembrance of God; but the believer must actually remember Godt every instant, in weal and in woe, at work or in bed or while engaged in any occupation" The Quran 3: HGod tasketh Dot a soul beyond its scope. Such a red uction is permitted tn abnormal conditions. In fact it is reported that in the course or the battle of Kbandaq, it happened that the Prophet himself performed the ph' J '01';, - maghrib aad 'lsM services, all these four late in the night, for the enemy bad not allowed a single moment's respite during the day to attend te prayet.

Maqrizl; Imta',. I, This means twice the prayer during the day. Tbn I:: Evidently all depends on the conscience of the individual faithful who is-personally responsible to God Whom ODe cannot dupe and from Whom one can conceal nothing. There is again the question oftbe timings, We know that there is. Women are exempted from prayer-services during their monthly indisposition and accouchement, Tnl FAIT The second religious duty of a believer is the fasting for one month every year.

One must abstain during every day of the month of RamaQ. It goes without saying that one must likewise abstain from thinking of carnal. The fast extends over a whole month; and 8S is wei known it is the purelylunar month which counts in Islam.

The result is that the month of fasting, Ramadan, rotates turn by turn through all tbe seasons of the year, autumn, winter, spring and summer; and' one gets accustomed to these privations in the burning heat of summer as well as the chilling cold of winter, and one undergoes all tbis as a spiritual djsclpline, in obedience to God.

At the same time one derives from fasting temporal advantages connected with hygienic, military training, development of will power, among others, even as those resulting from the services of worship.

More than anybody else, it is the soldiers who have, daring sieges and other occasisns of a war to support the privations of food and drink and still continue their duty to defence. So the most stupid ruler or commander-in-chief would be the one who binders his militia from fasting in the month of Ramadan, But it must be repeated that the aim is, essentially and chiefly a religious practice and a spiritual exercise enabling proximity to God.

If one fasts for temporal motives only-under the prescription of a doctor for instance-be will be far from accomplishing his religious duty, and will not benefit spiritually at aile. As in the case of prayer. He remarked: From the medical point of view, one notes that fasting eternally becomes a habitude, which does not produce the same effect as.

To fa! It is a myth to say that fastiug, in the sense of the privationof food and drink, in cold climate is contrary to the requirements of human health, Biological observations show that wild beasts get practically nothing to eat especially when it snows. They steep or other.. In fact like all animal organs, the digestive apparatus also require rest. Fast is the only conceivable method for it.

Fasting is offering the tithe of our meals to God. A parallel notion endorsed by the Quran 6: That explains the saying of the Prophet: Shauwal is as if he has fasted the whole year. In order to subjugate the body to the spirit, it is necessary to break tbe force of the body and increase that of the spirit. It has been found that nothing is as eflica.. One of the aspects of individual perfection is the subordination of animal nature to reason and the spirit.

Nature sometimes rebels, and its behaviour at other times is.

One therefore needs the practice of hard exercises, such as fasting, in order to keep in check animality. If one commits sins, penitence and mortification through fasting may bring solace and purify the soul.

It has also been remarked that neither eating nor drinking is a trait of the angels; and in imposing this regimen, man makes himself resemble more and more the angels; and since his actions arc intended to COD", form to the behests of God. Conventionally this term is translated as pilgrimage, although it is far from giving the exact significance of the word lJajj. This is the third of the religious duties of a Muslim.

Those who do not possess the material means of travel, are. But which Muslim would not collect, little by little. If one were to think only of Abraham-who according to the Islamic tradition; was but the restorer of the edifice erected originally by Adam-it would still be older than the temple of Jerusalem, constructed by Solomon.

No other place of worship older than the Ka'bah of Mecca. The rites of the 11 ajj may briefly be noted! At the borders 72 Introduction to 1,lam i of the sacred. He is bare.. He goes to 'Arafat, in the suburbs of Mecca" to pass there the day in meditation. Towards evening. There he passes three days, during which he lapidates Satan every morning, sacrifices a goat" pays a short visit to Ka'bah for performing the ritual sevenfold circumambulation and running through the hills of Sara and Marwah in front of the Ka'beh, The symbo1io background may also be described here: After their fall from Paradise, Adam and Eve were separated and lost.

In gratitude to God, the descendants of Adam and Eve turn to Him, make an effort to forget themselves and be assimilated with the Divine Presence, with a view to entreat His pardon for tbeir shortcomings in the past and His help for the future.. To add to this trial, Satan went first to Abraham to dissuade him from his resolution-eand they say that this happened at Mina-vbut Abraham chased Satan away every time by pelting stones at him.

So one repeats the acts symbolically. To give evidence of obedience, one goes there with respect and in huml.. It is a very old custom to circumambulate a thing for showing one's readiness to sacrifice one's self for the object of devotion and care and love. The Black Stone requires a particular mention on account of the many misunderstandings on its score" It is not a meteorite, but a black stone. Secondly, this stone is not worshipped.

In the course of this absence or the Black Stone, no Muslim turned to the place where it wa. Even the building of the Ka'bah is not essential: In the Quranic terminology, God is the king, and He has not only His treasures and His armies, but also His realm; in tbe realm there is a metropolis Ummal qurra and in the metropolis naturally 8 palace Bait.. AIUih, home of God. Ifa subject wants to testify to his loyalty.

So one repeats this act in the same place where Hagar did it. The world brotherhood of Muslim. They camp together in the desert, and perform their religious duties in common. For several days, at fixed hours, they march, make a halt, pass the night under tents or in bivouac.. Rahman a sermon which constitutes tbe charter of Humanity in Islam. Some 1,40; Muslims had come that year from all parts of Arabia. He reminded the baste elements of Islam, viz. Prohibition of vendetta and private justice, obligation of treating well the womenfolk; Constant re..

There is a reason to believe that a pre-Islamic practice was continued. Profiting by the occasion provided by such a vast assembly, an annual li teracy congress was organized, where poets "published" their new compositions, orators made harangues before the spellstricken masses to demonstrate their talents..

Introduction to Islam by Dr. Muhammad Hamidullah

Caliph 'Umar gave it a most salutary administrative character. For this was an occasion for him to hold the sessions of an appeal court, against his governors and commanders as also of public consultation on important projects in view.

Let us recall once again, that in Islam the sacred and the profane, the spiritual and the temporal live in coexiatence and even in a harmonious collaboration. Secondly there followed fratricidal wars, and massacres and genocides became the order of the day, causing more or less a complete loss of these Divine messages. As to the books of Abraham, we know them only by the name; and as for the books of Moses, records tell us how they were repeatedly destroyed and only partly restored.

Concept of God 3. If one should judge from the relics of the past already brought to light of the homo sapiens, one finds that man has always been conscious of the existence of a Supreme Being, the Master and Creator of all. Methods and approaches may have differed, but the people of every epoch have left proofs of their attempts to obey God.

Communication with the Omnipresent yet invisible God has also been recognized as possible in connection with a small fraction of men with noble and exalted spirits. Whether this communication assumed the nature of an incarnation of the Divinity or simply resolved itself into a medium of reception of Divine messages through inspiration or revelation , the purpose in each case was the guidance of the people.

It was but natural that the interpretations and explanations of certain systems should have proved more vital and convincing than others. Every system of metaphysical thought develops its own terminology. In the course of time terms acquire a significance hardly contained in the word and translations fall short of their purpose.In passing. Have not fratricidal wars caused damage to the copies of the texts? The mystics affirm that sometimes even the most ploua men arc led astray by tbeir imperceptible ego" not being able to distinguish the base inspirations that come as a Divine tria.

Alcoholic drinks, gambling and -games 'of chance were at this. It" s.. One knows tho sad story of the Torah of Moses and how it was destroyed by Pagans several times.

ALEXIS from Miramar
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