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Monthly Archives: June 2012

DEMOCRACY, MONARCHY AND CALIPHATE – PART 2

by mthago

MONARCHY

Monarchy is a system in which the hierarchies of power remain within a certain families, cronies or parties. As explained previously in the last article of mine on similar topic, the system of democracy was initially developed in order to avoid power to remain within only a certain families, cronies or parties. However due to manipulation, the system of democracy slowly turn to become the system of monarchy. Democracy allows everyone to become a leader provided he or she obtains the majority votes in an election. However, there are certain cases where the power goes to only certain individuals of the same families, cronies or parties. When power goes only to individuals from the same families, parties or cronies, the system is no longer democracy but monarchy. Monarchy is the oldest system used by mankind to select their leaders. In monarchy, when a king died, the power to rule the country automatically goes to the eldest son or daughter of the king. In some monarchial system, when the king died, the power must goes only to his son and not to his daughter but in some cases the power can also goes either to the son or daughter. In other cases, when the king has no children the power usually goes to the brother of the king. Whatever it is, monarchy means, the power to rule the country only goes to one family, and no other individual outside the family can become the rulers of the country.

As mentioned previously in my article of similar topic, it is the natural inclination of all men to love power and wealth. Power and wealth seem to be inseparable and men want power because with power men will also obtain wealth. It is said in a Hadis that if a man is given a valley of gold, he would want another valley of gold. Men’s thirst for power and wealth will never end until men died. Until a man died, his thirst for power and wealth will never be satisfied. Desire for power and wealth is with men, since the day man was created by Allah. Both Adam and Hawa were in paradise. Both of them were living in a place of extreme luxury without limit. Paradise is a place where men’s desire can be fully satisfied yet even in such a place, Iblis was successful in seducing both Adam and Hawa into disobedience to the orders of Allah. Allah had forbidden both Adam and Hawa from eating the fruits of a tree in paradise known as forbidden tree. Iblis was able to seduce Hawa. Iblis told Hawa to eat the fruits of the forbidden tress, if she wanted to remain in paradise forever. Hawa succumbed to the invitation of Iblis because she wanted to live in paradise forever with her husband. Hawa was able to seduce Adam into eating the fruits of the forbidden trees, which was not allowed by Allah. Even though, Adam knows that he was not allowed by Allah to eats the fruits yet his love for his wife and luxurious lifestyle had tempted him into following the invitation of his wife. Because of men’s love to wealth and power, men are tempted to disobey the orders of Allah.

  • As mentioned earlier, it is men’s nature to love luxurious lifestyle and it is the natural desire of all men to love power and wealth. Men believe with power, men would be able to obtain wealth and with wealth men would be able to lead a luxurious lifestyle. Men love for power and love to maintain power within the circles of his families lead to the emergence of monarchy. Monarchy is the oldest system used by men to choose leaders in their societies. Almost all ancient civilizations use monarchical system in choosing their leaders. The ancient Romans were the first ancient civilization that used the system of democracy in choosing their leaders. Monarchical system of choosing leaders developed because of men’s basic nature to love power and wealth. Monarchical system of choosing a leader was developed by men and all the systems developed by men are influenced by men’s own weaknesses. The greatest weakness of men is that; all men love power and wealth but the love of power and wealth is the foundation of all evils. Allah does not want men to love power and wealth and Allah has never ordered men to love power and wealth. Allah ordered men to love Allah more than to love other than Allah. Allah has never ordered men to work on gaining power or wealth. Allah has ordered man to work, when men have needs such as foods, accommodation, transport and clothes to be fulfilled. Men do not need power in order to live. Power is not the men’s need. When men’s needs are fulfilled, there is no obligation for men to work to earn his needs. The main work of men is not to earn his needs but to gain the pleasure of Allah by calling other men to recognize, to love and to obey the orders of Allah.

    Power and wealth are not necessities or needs to men. Foods, houses, clothes, companions and transports are necessities or needs to men. Although it is not the work that fulfills the needs of men, but when men have needs to be fulfilled, Allah orders men to work to earn his needs and also to make doa to Allah. Allah forbids men to ask for his needs from other men or only to make doa and not willing to work to earn his needs. Allah orders men to work to earn his needs as well as to make doa to Allah. When Allah gives men abundant wealth, Allah orders men to gives part of the wealth to the poor. Allah has never ordered us to become rich or poor. Rich or poor is only test from Allah. A person who is rich and powerful is not a sign that he or she is a successful person and a person who is poor and weak is not a sign that he or she is unsuccessful. Success or failure depends only on whether we are obeying or disobeying the orders of Allah. Allah will make us a successful person when we obey the orders of Allah with the intention to please Allah until Allah is pleased. Whether we are poor or rich if we continue to obey the orders of Allah in all situations, Allah will make us successful. Allah does not order us to become rich or powerful. Most politicians want to have power and to become rich as the millionaires. Many Muslims do not know that when Muslims have in their heart the desire to have power and wealth there are not obeying the order of Allah. Our aim or purpose of life is not to become rich or poor, or to become man with power or man without power but our main aim and purpose in life is to love Allah until we become the lover of Allah. Allah said in a Hadis Qudsi; make Me (Allah) as your aim in life, make Me (Allah) as the purpose of your life and make Me (Allah) as your lover, if you have Me (Allah) you will have everything.

    Monarchy is a result of men’s lust for power and wealth. All the monarchs of the world either in the past or current times live in a luxurious lifestyles. All monarchs of the world live in large palaces with so many workers to help them to maintain the palaces. All the palaces are well decorated with various types of paintings and would have so many rooms and in some palaces the rooms may even reach to a thousand. All palaces would have hundreds of bathrooms and toilets and usually there are many beautiful water fountains and gardens with various types of beautiful flowers around the palaces. All the ladies monarchs of the world wear expensive and beautiful dresses, shoes, undergarments and decorated their bodies with diamonds and gold. All monarchs of the world eat foods of highest quality. They are driven in expensive cars and are able to tour the world in such a grandeur manner. With such a luxurious lifestyle, who does not want to become a monarch? And who does not want their children to become a monarch too? When the children become monarch, they would be able to lead a luxurious lifestyle similar to their parents. It is the desire of all men to live like the monarch of the world, and it is also the desire of all the monarchs of the world to have their children to become a monarch too. This is the reason why monarchy had remained with mankind for a very longtime and even to those who are practicing democracy, are trying to turn it to monarchy.

    Most monarchs failed to fulfill their responsibilities as rulers, because since ancient times until today are busy enjoying themselves with the luxury of the world. When most monarchs of the world failed to deliver their responsibilities as rulers, it leads to social unrest which finally leads to the revolt of the peoples against the monarch. One of the famous people’s revolutions of the world, known as French Revolution, was a revolution of the French peoples, in overthrowing the monarch of France. Since the French revolution, there were many monarchs who had been overthrown by their peoples. Many monarchs of Indonesia were overthrown when Indonesia gains independence from the Dutch. Recently the system of monarchy in Nepal was replaced by the system of democracy. With the advancement of technology and communication in the world, the system of monarchy failed to remain relevant in the world. Many monarchs were being overthrown and loose their executive power. In order to avoid being overthrown by the peoples, many monarchs choose to loose their executive power but not their luxurious lifestyle. Now the system of monarchy is no longer relevant in the modern world and the role of many monarchs of the world is mainly ceremonial. As for example the monarchs of Malaysia and Great Britain are mainly use for ceremonial purposes. Now there are very few monarchs who are still having the executive power and one of them is the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam.

    Generally most countries which are ruled by monarchical system are less developed compare to countries which are ruled by the system of democracy. Many monarchs are now accepting the fact that the system of monarchy is no longer relevant in modern times. When the hierarchy of power only runs within a certain family, the system will not be able to recruit other personalities with far better qualities to become the ruler of the country. The first person who becomes the ruler must have been a person with good qualities, otherwise he will not be appointed to become the ruler of the country. When the son inherits the power he may or may not have the same good qualities as his father. In the system of monarchy the power to rule can easily goes to a person with bad qualities. According to monarchical system, to have leaders with good qualities is not important and what is important is the son must inherit the power to rule the country. Whether the son has good quality or not is secondary. In other words monarchical system is not in accordance to the orders of Allah. Allah orders the Muslims to choose the best among them to become the ruler of Muslims. The system of choosing a leader in Islam is the same as the way Allah told the Muslims to choose their imam in a congregational prayer. How do we choose someone to become our imam in solat with congregation? Allah orders us to appoint the best from among those who pray to become the imam of the congregational prayer. Similarly the best from among all the Muslims in a country must be chosen to become the leader of the country. Who is the best among the Muslims? The best among the Muslims is the one with the most taqwa and taqwa can be attained when a person fulfills the right of the Great Kalimah, and the right of the Great Kalimah is to invite men to good and to forbid men from evil.

    Monarchical system of selecting a leader is not an Islamic system. The system was developed as a result of men’s love towards power and wealth. In monarchical system, there is no general election as in democracy to select leaders. Power is inherited and given to a person because he is the son of a leader. Such system is no longer relevant in modern times. Monarchical system may work during ancient times but it is no longer relevant in modern times. In monarchy, there is no constancy in the quality of the leader that rules the country. A son, who inherits the power from his father, could be a good leader or he could be the worst leader. What would happen to the country when the ruler is the worst leader? Because monarchy and democracy are not an Islamic system, the system does not work at all time. The systems may work at certain times or to a certain communities only. As for example, democracy may work in a highly literate communities but it fail deliberately in illiterate communities. On the other hand, Islamic system of Caliphate works at all time and at all type of communities, because it is the system given by Allah to the whole mankind. However men refuse to use the system because it is against men’s desire to have power and wealth. It works in all communities but it works very well in the communities with many men have become believers and their desire are only to obtain the love of Allah.

    Prof. Dr. Nasoha Saabin
    June 2012
    Dean of Faculty of OptometryInternational University College of Technology Twintech
    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    Source : http://mthago.com/2012/06/21/democracy-monarchy-and-caliphate-part-2/

    About Prof. Dr. Nasoha Saabin
    Prof Dr Nasoha Saabin is a professional academician and qualified as an Optometrist with a Master degree in Optometry from Melbourne University, 1978. He currently serves as Dean, Faculty of Optometry, Twintech International University College, Damansara, Malaysia while receiving patients for various kinds of illnesses at his clinic, Integrative Holistic Wellness Centre located in Gombak, Selangor. He preaches Islam daily to none-muslim and muslim in his locality, writes books and produces song lyrics. His ideas, views and critics on various topics can be viewed at his official blog http://www.mthago.com

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    Our Incredible Regenerating Body

    Allah, the Exalted says in the Qur’an:

    وَفِي أَنفُسِكُمْ أَفَلَا تُبْصِرُونَ

    And within your own bodies, will you not look (and reflect) (51:21)

    The human body is a remarkable machine – every minute of every day our cells are in a constant state of change, building a new body, repairing it and regenerating it. Each tissue has its own renewal time, depending on how much that particular organ or area is used by us each day. By breaking the body down into different areas, this article explains the amazing phenomenon of our continually regenerating body.

  • The skeleton

    The human skeleton is made up of 206 bones. Study has shown that each bone’s shape is perfectly adapted to its function within the body.

    A skeleton will completely renew itself about every ten years. This obviously doesn’t happen all in one go, but over our lifetime, this process ensures optimum protection of our internal organs.

    The heart

    The heart is an extraordinarily reliable muscular pump, pumping around 6 liters of blood around the body every minute.

    Researchers have confirmed that some heart cells renew themselves over the course of a person’s lifetime, although this process can take decades. This means that by the age of 70, up to 40% of our heart may be renewed. This provides great potential for anyone who has suffered damage to their heart.

    The liver

    The liver is the body’s largest internal organ. It consists of around 50,000 tiny units called hepatic lobules, which filter blood from the heart and intestines.

    These liver cells, or hepatic cells, renew themselves regularly. These cells are exposed to toxins on a daily basis, which increases their potential for damage. The approximate lifespan for a liver is 150 days, after which the cells being to renew themselves and the liver regenerates. This ensures the liver continues to work optimally. However, excess toxic intake from harmful substances can put extra strain on this process and cause damage to occur at a greater speed than regeneration, resulting in permanent damage to the cells.

    The skin

    The skin is the largest external organ of the body and is made up of three crucial layers: the epidermis (the outer layer), the dermis (the second layer) and the sub-dermis (the third layer). The surface of the skin consists of flat, interlocking dead cells, which wear away and are replaced by cells moving up from below, like a conveyor belt. The cells are produced at the base of the skin’s outer layer, the epidermis.

    We shed around 60,000 particles of skin a day, and it is completely renewed every 28 days.

    The hair

    Hair follicles, from which hairs grow, are found in the second layer of skin, the dermis. Only the base of the hair, where it grows, is alive, and the shaft that shows above the surface is dead.

    The speed at which our hair generates is dependent on where it is on the body. Head hair grows at a rate of 1 mm every three or four days and renews every six years, so after six years the hair on our head will be a completely different batch to the one six years prior. Hair elsewhere may be renewed quicker if exposed to daily damage or removal.

    The red blood cells

    Red blood cells are some of the smallest cells in the body – only one drop of blood contains millions of red blood cells. 45% of our blood is made up of red blood cells, and they are the main way that oxygen is delivered to the internal organs. They are a fundamental part of our ability to thrive, so red blood cells are renewed very three to four months.

    The intestines

    The ‘villi’, which look like tiny hairs, are the parts of the small intestine that are vital for the absorption of nutrients from food. There are around 4,000 villi in an area the size of a fingernail, so they provide a huge surface area to maximize absorption of nutrients. These structures are used every time we eat or drink for the stomach acid needed to break down food, so are essential for optimum health. As a result, they need to be renewed regularly. New villi take the place of old cells every two to three days.

    The mouth and taste buds

    The cells of the mouth’s lining, including the inside of the cheeks and surface of the tongue, multiply to renew themselves every few hours. This rapid replacement is needed to cope with the continual wear and tear of biting, chewing and swallowing.

    The tongue’s surface is roughened by papillae or ‘pimples’ of several shapes and sizes. Around 10,000 microscopic taste buds are scattered around these pimples and also on the roof of the mouth and upper throat. Used on a daily basis, our taste buds can get very worn out. In order to maintain our ability to taste and detect different flavors, our taste buds are renewed every ten days to two weeks.

    The Crucial Role of antioxidants

    Unfortunately, there are also some areas that are not regenerated. Although some parts of the brain can be renewed by stem cells, the majority of it cannot and it is the reason why most brain damage is permanent. The eyes (apart from the cornea) will also not be able to recover from damage, as well as teeth that become decayed.

    Antioxidants play a fundamental role in both repairing damage to old cells and also to renewing them. A diet packed with antioxidants is vital to support the regeneration process or to protect organs like the eyes or brain from damage. Found naturally in fruits, vegetables, nuts, pulses or through naturally sourced food supplements, these beneficial substances are crucial for a healthier and younger-looking body.
    Source : http://www.healthymuslim.com/articles/qxmmz-our-incredible-regenerating-body.cfm

     
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    Kafir (كافر)

    Generally the word kafir means ‘unbeliever’ and it is not meant as a derogatory label (unless it is used against Muslims by another Muslim). Of course, there are different levels of Kufur (disbelief) so although a person may be correctly identified as a kafir, that person is not kafir in the strongest sense of the word. Absolute kufur is the denial of God. Here are some examples of kufur:

    (1) A person is known as a Kafir if they are disbelievers in Allah, in His Oneness, and in His final Messenger, Muhammad (SAW). (E.g. An apostate from Islam)
    (2) A ‘Muslim’ who disbelieves in a necessary tenant of Islam like the 5 pillars or some other things is known as a disbeliever.
    (3) An originally non-Muslim person who denies the religion of Islam while knowing in his heart that it is true.
    (4) A disbeliever in Islam only because they originally follow another (monotheistic) faith.
    (5) A person who follows another (monotheistic) faith and knows nothing about Islam.
    (6) A person who believes in many gods (polytheist).
    (7) An agnostic who is a monotheist is a lesser kafir than a polytheist.
    (8) An Atheist – ultimate kufur.

    Generally a Christian or Jew is not identified as a kafir but they are known respectfully as Ahlul kitab – People of the Book(s), and Islam considers their religions valid but once they find Islam they are expected to follow the updated covenant sent by God. وَإِذْ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلاَئِكَةِ اسْجُدُواْ لآدَمَ فَسَجَدُواْ إِلاَّ إِبْلِيسَ أَبَى وَاسْتَكْبَرَ وَكَانَ مِنَ الْكَافِرِينَ

    And behold, We said to the angels: “Bow down to Adam” and they bowed down. Not so Iblis: he refused and was haughty: He was of those who reject Faith. [Quran 2.34]

    Notice the use of the word ‘kafireen’ in the Arabic. This is one of the reasons why one must learn Arabic to understand the full meaning of the Quran, the words of Allah. Kafir is derived from the word meaning ‘to cover’ and Kafir also means ‘disbeliever in God’. But in this case, Iblees (Satan) is fully aware of Gods’ existence and power yet he is still described as a kafir! This goes to show that a person can be a kafir even if he believes in a God. In other words, just because someone believes there is a God, that someone can still be a kafir and be (technically) condemned to hell. Therefore, a kafir can be more correctly defined as someone who ‘rejects submission to God’ even though he is fully aware of His existence, as well as meaning a person who is a true Atheist – one who ‘rejects the existence of God’.
    Source : http://www.islamic-dictionary.com/index.php?word=kafir

     

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    Limbs will Witness against Self

    Limbs will Witness against Self

    The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “The slave will meet his Lord, and Allah will say, ‘Did I not honour you and make you a leader and give you a spouse, and subjugate horses and camels for your use, and let you become a leader?’ He will say, ‘Yes indeed, O Lord.’ Allah will say, ‘Did you think that you would meet Me?’ He will say, ‘No.’ (Allah) will say, ‘I will forget you as you forgot Me.’ Then a second slave will meet Him, and He will say something similar to Him. Then a third slave will meet Him, and He will say something similar, but he (the third slave) will say, ‘I believed in You and in Your Book and Your Messenger. I prayed, fasted and gave in charity.’ He will praise himself as much as he can. Then (Allah) will say, ‘Shall We not send Our witness against you?’ and he will wonder who that witness could be. Then a seal will be placed over his mouth, and it will be said to his thigh, ‘Speak!’ So his thigh will speak, as will his mouth and his bones, of what he used to do, and thus he will be left with no excuse. That is the Munaafiq (hypocrite), and that is the one with whom Allah will be angry.” [Muslim]

    Because the hypocrite was prone to lying and concealing his true animosity to Islam and Muslims in the world, he will attempt to lie his way though the Day of Judgement as well. He lied in life, pretending to be a Muslim, and will again attempt to lie on the Day of Judgement. A hypocrite’s God is not Allah but benefit. On the Day of Judgement however, although he will attempt to lie and claim to have been righteous, his own body will testify against him.

    The debate that will take place between a person and his limbs and faculties is a strange and wondrous matter testified to in the Quran as well.

    “Their hearing (ears) and their eyes and their skins will testify against them as to what they used to do. And they will say to their skins, ‘Why do you testify against us?’ They will say, ‘Allah has caused us to speak.’ He causes all things to speak, and He created you the first time, and to Him you are made to return.” [Quran: Surah Fussilat, Ayaat 20-21]

    http://dailyhadith.adaptivesolutionsinc.com/#

     

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    Read about Abu Bakr Siddeeq and his status in Islam…

    Abu-Bakr’s (Radi Allahu Anhu – may Allah be pleased with him) name was Abdullah ibn ‘Uthman ibn ‘Amir and he was from the tribe of Quraish. He was also known as Abdullah bin Abu Qahafa. Ibn Kathir mentions in his books “The order and Refinement of the Beginning and the End, by Ibn Kathir, p. 17”, “the first to accept Islam from outside the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam)’s family, he was tolerant, patient and strong-willed. He was also generous, brave, firm and had sound opinions in grave situations. His trust in Allah and confidence in Allah’s promise was absolute. He was pious, away from suspicions, an ascetic in this worldly life, desiring for what is with Allah. He was an intimate companion of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam).”
    Abu Bakr’s characteristics

    The embracing of Islam by Abu Bakr (RAA) benefitted Muslims immensely as many celebrities followed this great scholar’s lead, such as Abdul Rahman ibn Auf, Sa’d ibn Abi Waqas, ‘Uthmân ibn Affân, az-Zubair ibn al-Awwâm, and Talha ibn ‘Ubeidu-Allah. On the day he embraced Islam, he had forty thousand dirhams which he spent in the way of Allah.

    Ibn Al-Jawzi said, “The natural disposition of Abu Bakr is well-known through his piety, fear (of Allah), asceticism, and modesty. Before becoming the caliph, he used to milk the sheep of the neighborhood; one morning, after he was acknowledged as Caliph he was walking in the market. A young woman from the neighborhood said, ‘Now he will not milk our animals,’ upon which he said, ‘Nay, I will certainly milk your animals for you. I wish that this matter I went through will not change me.’ (At-Tabsirah [the Enlightenment] 1/400)

    Ash-Shu’abi, (may Allah have mercy on him), said, “Allah Almighty has singled out Abu Bakr with (the following) four characteristics that no one else had.

    He, the Almighty, has called him As-Siddîq and no one other than him was named that.
    He was the companion of the Messenger of Allah (s) in the cave (during the migration journey).
    He was his companion in the migration journey.
    During the time of the prophet, he (s) ordered him to lead the prayers and the Muslims were there, witnessing and present.”

    In the cause of Allah, he manumitted a number of oppressed slaves who were being tortured such as Bilal. Al-Hakim reported from al-Mussayyib that, “Abu Bakr was like a counselor to the Prophet, (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam), who used to confer with him in all matters. He was his second man in embracing Islam, his second in the cave, his second in the arbor during the battle of Badr and his second to go to the grave (die). The Messenger of Allah, (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam), has never brought any man ahead of him.” (The History of the Caliphs by As-Sayûti, p. 56)
    Read more about Abu Bakr Siddeeq by clicking on the blog post link below.
    http://www.iqrasense.com/islamic-history/abu-bakr-as-siddeeq-the-man-of-truth.html

     

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    Modules of Islamic Personality Development


    Important Modules for Islamic Personality Development

    Conviction in Faith

    Blind faith leads to fanaticism. Self conviction leads to politeness and confidence. With the help of rational thinking, logical analysis and scientific inquiry – the participants will be led to self conviction. Be it the concept of God, the concept of Prophethood or the concept of life after death – each article of faith is analyzed logically so that the participants are led to self-conviction.

    Commitment in worship / Success through Salah

    Salah is not a ritual to be performed daily without any awareness. Salah connects man with Allah and that is to be realized through Salah. Salah changes a person altogether. The effect of Salah is to be reflected in all walks of the life of a believer. Humbleness, politeness, calmness, God consciousness, dignity, self respect, brotherhood, unity, better human relations, leadership, time management and a lot more can be developed through Salah if prayed with awareness.


  • Major sins in Islam

    Younger generation is vastly influenced by the modern way of life and they very easily fall prey to social evils – big sins. From smoking to drug abuse, from dating to premarital sex, our younger generation too has a definite share in these evils. Awareness about the major sins in Islam will definitely save our younger generation.

    Islamic Values (Akhlaaqul Hasanah)

    Islamic values are universal values. Value excellence is the spirit of Islam. But this is a missing priority in our community. Islamic values like – truthfulness, trustworthy, promise keeping, justice, balanced, consistency, chaste and pure, preferring others over one’s self, generosity, courage, contentment, magnanimity, kindness, etc, will be taught in relevance to the present context in mind.

    Human Relations in Islam (Huqukul Ibaad )

    This is also a very important component of a Muslim’s personality. Our younger generation has to be taught about – how to behave with parents and relatives, how to behave in working places, how to relate ourselves with non- Muslims etc., Human relations skills like – smartness, gentleness, politeness, communication, empathy, helping tendency, counsel, criticism etc., will be focused.

    Etiquettes and Manners (Adab)

    Personal discipline is the secret of success. This area is one of the most beautiful aspects of Islam. Awareness about general cleanliness, personal hygiene, living place maintenance, dress code, table manners, greeting others, public manners etc., are focused.

    Intellectual pursuit of a Muslim (Ilm and Hiqmat)

    A Muslim should be an intellectual par excellence. He should always be in the pursuit of knowledge. Importance of knowledge, effects of ignorance, motivation to learning, what a Muslim should know etc., are the areas of this study.

    Purification of heart (Tazkiya)

    A Muslim is a friend to Allah (SWT). Then how to attain closeness to Allah is a very big concern for a Muslim. Constant remembrance of Allah, God conscousness – Taqwa – nafil Salah like Tahajjud, nafil fasting, seeking the help of Allah for all of one’s endeavours, purity of intention, Quran reading, thinking about death and life after et., are discussed in this study.

    Emotional Wisdom ( Sabr)

    Sabr is a comprehensive Quranic Term which includes emotional wisdom too. How to control impulsive behaviour, delaying gratification, learn from mistakes, self awareness, empathic understanding etc., are studied.
    by S.A. Mansoor Ali.M.A., B.Ed.,

    http://meemacademy.com/?p=1307

     
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    The Night Journey – Al-Isra’ and Al-Miraj


    The Night Journey – Al-Isra’ and Al-Miraj

    Al-Isra’ and Al-Miraj (the Night Journey and Ascension) refer to the miraculous journey that Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) experienced. Unlike what some people claim, that journey involved both the body and soul of the Prophet. The main proof of the fact that the body of the Prophet was involved in the journey is that Almighty Allah began the first verse of Surat Al-Isra’ by the word subhan, which means exalted and glorified. This word indicates that a miraculous event is about to be mentioned in the sequel.

    This journey was a decisive stage of the Prophet’s call in Makkah, because there were several cases of people embracing Islam and others leaving it after this incident. Abu Bakr, the Companion of the Prophet, received his title As-Siddiq (Arabic for the very sincere) after this incident. He was the first to believe in the truthfulness of all events of this journey as narrated by the Prophet. It is not known exactly when the Night Journey and Ascension took place, but it was certainly before the Hijrah (emigration from Makkah) to Madinah. It was said to have happened either three years or 18 months before the Hijrah.

    On that night, Jibreel came to the Prophet and told him to circumambulate the Kaaba seven times. At the Kaaba, Jibreel told him that he (Prophet Muhammad) was going to Al-Aqsa Mosque, wherefrom they shall both ascend the seventh heaven to meet Almighty Allah.

    Thus, his going to Al-Aqsa Mosque, the land of Prophets, from which came Prophets Ibrahim, Isaaq, Musa, and Isa (AS), was an indication that leadership of the world had moved to the new international message, Islam. Allah Almighty wanted Muslims to realize and deeply appreciate the relation between His Sacred House and Al-Aqsa Mosque. It was from His Sacred House that the Night Journey began and to Al-Aqsa Mosque that it reached.

    Prophet Muhammad was received by other Prophets of Allah Almighty in Al-Aqsa Mosque and he lead them in Salah (ritual Prayer) there. This was significant and it indicates that leadership was moved to a new nation and to a new Prophethood.

    It is significant that Prophet Muhammad’s mission was not like the missions of the previous prophets. Each of all the other prophets (peace and blessings be upon them all) was sent to his own people, while Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was sent to all mankind [and jinn]. He (peace and blessings be upon him) was sent as a mercy to the worlds at all times. This was a sign of the eternity and internationality of His message (peace and blessings be upon him).

    Allah Almighty has blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque and its neighborhood. He Almighty says in that regard:

    “Glory to (Allah) Who did take His servant for a Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Farthest Mosque, whose precincts We did bless,- in order that We might show him some of Our Signs: for He is the One Who heareth and seeth (all things).” (Surah Al Isra’ 17:1)

    Mind that Allah Almighty had blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque and its neighborhood and referred to it even before even the Prophet’s Mosque was built, as the Prophet’s Mosque was established after his immigration to Madinah. Mind also that when Prayer was ordained on the Muslims, Al-Aqsa Mosque was the qiblah to which they were to turn during Prayer. They would turn their faces in Prayer towards it for three years in Makkah, and for 16 months in Madinsh before the qiblah was changed to Allah’s Sacred House.

    Besides, Al-Aqsa Mosque is one of the three mosques to which Muslims are required to dedicate time for visiting; the other two mosques are the Sacred Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque. This shows that Jerusalem is the third sacred place after Makkah and Madinah in Islam.

  • Allah Almighty wanted to establish and emphasize the significance and sacredness of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Muslims’ hearts so that they do not cede it for anything. They are to hold it as sacred as both Allah’s Sacred House and His Prophet’s Mosque.

    Anas ibn Malik’s narration of the story of ascension continues. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said,

    “I prayed two rak’ahs in it [i.e. Al-Aqsa Mosque] and then went out, and Jibreel brought me a vessel of wine and a vessel of milk. I chose the milk, and Jibreel said, ‘You have chosen the natural thing.’” (Muslim)

    Milk represents Allah’s creation that is intact. On the other hand, wine is an example of human interference in the creation of Allah. It is produced by fermenting the juice of grapes and thus requires human interference. In many cases, such interference can spoil what Allah has created.

    The Prophet’s choice emphasizes that fitrah or pure nature of what Allah has created is one foundation for the Muslim Ummah. One must search for this pure nature within oneself.

    Almighty Allah says,

    “Glory to (Allah) Who did take His servant for a Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Farthest Mosque, whose precincts We did bless,- in order that We might show him some of Our Signs: for He is the One Who heareth and seeth (all things). We gave Moses the Book, and made it a Guide to the Children of Israel, (commanding): “Take not other than Me as Disposer of (your) affairs.” O ye that are sprung from those whom We carried (in the Ark) with Noah! Verily he was a devotee most grateful.” (Surah Al Isra’ 17:1–3)

    These verses talk about three generations in a descending chronological order: the generation of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), that of Prophet Musa (Moses) (peace be upon him), and that of Prophet Nuh (Noah) (peace be upon him). All three generations have a common bond: love for Almighty Allah, belief in the same message, and endeavor to achieve the same goal.

    Also, it is worth mentioning that Prophet Muhammad passed by three important sites during his Night Journey: Mount At-Tur in Sinai, which witnessed a number of events mentioned in the story of Prophet Musa (Moses) and the Children of Israel; the city of Bethlehem where Prophet Jesus was born; and the road between modern-day Palestine and Makkah, which was trod by Prophets Ibrahim (Abraham) and Ismail (Ishmael) in their way to the place where they built the Kaaba.

    Prophet Muhammad started his journey of ascension from Al-Miraj Rock. In company with Angel Jibreel, he reached the seventh heaven within seconds. Today, a spacecraft traveling at a speed of 7,000 KPH takes three years to reach the nearest planet.

    In a hadith narrated by Al-Bukhari, Prophet Muhammad said,

    “Then he [Jibreel] took my hand and ascended with me to the nearest heaven. When I reached the nearest heaven, Jibreel said to the gatekeeper of the heaven, ‘Open [the gate].’ The gatekeeper asked, ‘Who is it?’ Jibreel answered, ‘Jibreel.’ He asked, ‘Is there anyone with you?’ Jibreel replied, ‘Yes, Muhammad is with me.’ He asked, ‘Has he been sent for?’ Jibreel said, ‘Yes.’ So, the gate was opened and we went over to the nearest heaven, and there we saw a man sitting with some people on his right and some on his left. When he looked toward his right, he laughed, and when he looked toward his left, he wept. Then he said, ‘Welcome! O pious Prophet and pious son.’ I asked Jibreel, ‘Who is he?’ He replied, ‘He is Adam, and the people on his right and left are the souls of his offspring. Those on his right are the people of Paradise, and those on his left are the people of Hellfire; when he looks toward his right, he laughs, and when he looks toward his left, he weeps.’”

    Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) is the father of humanity. This confirms the idea of unity of humans everywhere. Anyone can easily notice the recurrent emphasis on this notion throughout the journey of Al-Isra’ and Al-Miraj.

    Now, why is Prophet Adam laughing and crying? He is happy with those who learned from his experience and, at the same time, sad for those who did not. As we already know, his experience with Satan resembles a mathematical problem that has a model answer; it is something that one has to learn to resolve similar problems. Although other problems may appear different, the idea is the same: Keep away from the whispers of Satan.

    Prophet Muhammad continued the narration. He said,

    “Then, we ascended to the second heaven. Jibreel (peace be upon him) demanded that the gate of heaven be opened, and he was asked who he was. He answered, ‘Jibreel.’ Again, he was asked, ‘Who is with you?’ He replied, ‘Muhammad.’ It was said, ‘Has he been sent for?’ He replied, ‘He has indeed been sent for.’ The gate was opened.”

    “When I entered, Jesus, son of Mary, and Yahya, son of Zakaria (peace be upon them) — cousins from the maternal side, each is the son of the other’s aunt — welcomed me and prayed for my well-being.”

    “Then, I was taken to the third heaven and Jibreel asked for the opening [of the gate]. He was asked, ‘Who are you?’ He replied, ‘Jibreel.’ He was asked, ‘Who is with you?’ He replied, ‘Muhammad.’ It was said, ‘Has he been sent for?’ He replied, ‘He has indeed been sent for.’ The gate was opened for us, and I saw Yusuf (Joseph) (peace be upon him), who had been given half of [world’s] beauty. He welcomed me and prayed for my well-being. Then, he ascended with us to the fourth heaven.”

    “Jibreel (peace be upon him) asked for the gate to be opened, and it was said, ‘Who is it?’ He replied, ‘Jibreel.’ It was said, ‘Who is with you?’ He said, ‘Muhammad.’ It was said, ‘Has he been sent for?’ He replied, ‘He has indeed been sent for.’ The gate was opened for us, and lo Enoch was there. He welcomed me and prayed for my well-being. Then, he ascended with us to the fifth heaven.”

    “Jibreel demanded that the gate be opened. It was said, ‘Who is it?’ He replied, ‘Jibreel.’ It was said, ‘Who is with you?’ He replied, ‘Muhammad.’ It was said, ‘Has he been sent for?’ He replied, ‘He has indeed been sent for.’ The gate was opened for us, and then I was with Aaron. He welcomed me prayed for my well-being.”

    “Then, I was taken to the sixth heaven. Jibreel (peace be upon him) asked for the door to be opened. It was said, ‘Who is it?’ He replied, ‘Jibreel.’ It was said, ‘Who is with you?’ He replied, ‘Muhammad.’ It was said, ‘Has he been sent for?’ He replied, ‘He has indeed been sent for.’ The gate was opened for us, and there I was with Musa (Moses) (peace be upon him). He welcomed me and prayed for my well-being.”

    “Then, I was taken up to the seventh heaven. Jibreel demanded that the gate be opened. It was said, ‘Who is it?’ He said, ‘Jibreel.’ It was said, ‘Who is with you?’ He replied, ‘Muhammad.’ It was said, ‘Has he been sent for?’ He replied, ‘He has indeed been sent for.’ The gate was opened for us, and there I found Abraham (peace be upon him) reclining on Al-Bayt-ul-Ma`mur [Arabic for the much-frequented fane], and there enter it 70,000 angels everyday; they never visit [this place) again.” (Al-Bukhari)

    It is narrated on the authority of Anas b. Malik that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said:

    “I was brought al-Buraq Who is an animal white and long, larger than a donkey but smaller than a mule, who would place his hoof a distance equal to the range of version. I mounted it and came to the Mosque (Bait Maqdis in Jerusalem), then tethered it to the ring used by the prophets. I entered the mosque and prayed two rak’ahs in it, and then came out and Jibreel brought me a vessel of wine and a vessel of milk. I chose the milk, and Jibreel said: “You have chosen the natural thing.” Then he took me to heaven. Jibreel then asked the (gate of heaven) to be opened and he was asked who he was. He replied: “Jibreel.” He was again asked: “Who is with you?” He (Jibreel) said: “Muhammad.” It was said: “Has he been sent for?” Jibreel replied: “He has indeed been sent for.” And (the door of the heaven) was opened for us and lo! we saw Adam. He welcomed me and prayed for my good.

    Then we ascended to the second heaven. Jibreel (peace be upon him) (asked the door of heaven to be opened), and he was asked who he was. He answered: “Jibreel;” and was again asked: “Who is with you?” He replied: “Muhammad.” It was said: “Has he been sent for?” He replied: “He has indeed been sent for.” The gate was opened. When I entered ‘Isa b. Maryam and Yahya b. Zakariya (peace be upon both of them), cousins from the maternal side. welcomed me and prayed for my good.

    Then I was taken to the third heaven and Jibreel asked for the opening (of the door). He was asked: “Who are you?” He replied: “Jibreel.” He was (again) asked: “Who is with you?” He replied: “Muhammad.” It was said: “Has he been sent for?” He replied: “He has indeed been sent for.” (The gate) was opened for us and I saw Yusuf (peace of Allah be upon him) who had been given half of (world) beauty. He welcomed me prayed for my well-being. Then he ascended with us to the fourth heaven.

    Jibreel (peace be upon him) asked for the (gate) to be opened, and it was said: “Who is he?” He replied: “Jibreel.” It was (again) said: “Who is with you?” He said: “Muhammad.” It was said: “Has he been sent for?” He replied: “He has indeed been sent for.” The (gate) was opened for us, and lo! Idris (peace of Allah be upon him) was there. He welcomed me and prayed for my well-being (About him) Allah, the Exalted and the Glorious, has said: “We elevated him (Idris) to the exalted position” (Quran, Surah Maryam 19:57).

    Then he ascended with us to the fifth heaven and Jibreel asked for the (gate) to be opened. It was said: “Who is he?” He replied: “Jibreel.” It was (again) said: “Who is with thee?” He replied: “Muhammad.” It was said: “Has he been sent for?” He replied: “He has indeed been sent for.” (The gate) was opened for us and then I was with Harun (Aaron) (peace of Allah be upon him). He welcomed me prayed for my well-being.

    Then I was taken to the sixth heaven. Jibreel (peace be upon him) asked for the door to be opened. It was said: “Who is he?” He replied: “Jibreel.” It was said: “Who is with thee?” He replied: “Muhammad.” It was said: “Has he been sent for?” He replied: “He has indeed been sent for.” (The gate) was opened for us and there I was with Musa (Moses peace be upon him) He welcomed me and prayed for my well-being.

    Then I was taken up to the seventh heaven. Jibreel asked the (gate) to be opened. It was said: “Who is he?” He said: “Jibreel.” It was said: “Who is with thee?” He replied: “Muhammad.” It was said: “Has he been sent for?” He replied: “He has indeed been sent for.” (The gate) was opened for us and there I found Ibrahim (Abraham, peace be upon him) reclining against the Bayt-ul-Ma’mur and there enter into it seventy thousand angels every day, never to visit (this place) again. Then I was taken to Sidrat-ul-Muntaha whose leaves were like elephant ears and its fruit like big earthenware vessels. And when it was covered by the Command of Allah, it underwent such a change that none amongst the creation has the power to praise its beauty.

    Then Allah revealed to me a revelation and He made obligatory for me fifty prayers every day and night. Then I went down to Musa (peace be upon him) and he said: “What has your Lord enjoined upon your Ummah?” I said: “Fifty prayers.” He said: “Return to thy Lord and beg for reduction (in the number of prayers), for your community shall not be able to bear this burden. as I have put to test the children of Bani Israel and tried them (and found them too weak to bear such a heavy burden).” He (the Holy Prophet) said: “I went back to my Lord and said: My Lord, make things lighter for my Ummah.” (The Lord) reduced five prayers for me. I went down to Musa (peace be upon him) and said: “(The Lord) reduced five (prayers) for me,” He said: “Verily thy Ummah shall not be able to bear this burden; return to thy Lord and ask Him to make things lighter.” I then kept going back and forth between my Lord Blessed and Exalted and Musa (peace be upon him), till He said: There are five prayers every day and night. O Muhammad, each being credited as ten, so that makes fifty prayers. He who intends to do a good deed and does not do it will have a good deed recorded for him; and if he does it, it will be recorded for him as ten; whereas he who intends to do an evil deed and does not do, it will not be recorded for him; and if he does it, only one evil deed will be recorded. I then came down and when I came to Musa (peace be upon him) and informed him, he said: “Go back to thy Lord and ask Him to make things lighter.” Upon this the Messenger of Allah remarked: “I returned to my Lord until I felt ashamed before Him.”” (Sahih Muslim, Book #001, Hadith #0309)

    But, where are the rest of the Prophets? Why didn’t Prophet Muhammad meet Prophet Nuh (Noah)? The fact is that the presence of those particular Prophets in the seven heavens is symbolic.

    Some prophets were ordered by Allah to construct new societies and this was what Prophet Mohammad was going to do when he immigrated to Madinah. Other prophets migrated from their homelands and returned, like Prophets Yusuf (Joseph) and Musa (Moses). In fact, this was a prediction of what Prophet Muhammad was going to do two years after immigration to Madinah.

    Some other prophets were subjected to persecution, while others were even subjected to murder or attempts of murder by their people. It was as if Almighty Allah had selected a number of Prophets whose lives foreshadowed future events in the life of Prophet Muhammad.

    Al-Bayt-ul-Ma`mur is a place in the seventh heaven. It is located exactly above the Kaaba and is identical to it. We perform Tawaf (circumambulation of the Kaaba) on earth, and right above us, the angels perform Tawaf around Al-Bayt-ul-Ma`mur. Above both of these is Allah’s throne. Those who visit Makkah for Hajj or Umrah feel this. The Kaaba is the holiest place on earth and a point directly connected to the holiest of places ever.

    But, why is Prophet Ibrahim reclining on the wall of Al-Bayt-ul-Ma`mur? This is because he and his son, Ismail (Ishmael), built the Kaaba. The rule is that one reaps the fruits of his or her labors. He is leaning on it because he labored enough in his life, and now he can rest in the hereafter.

    We should labor in this life so that Almighty Allah would allow us to rest on the Day of Judgment. That is life: We want to rest, but there is no comfort in it. Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal was once asked, “When does a person get to relax?” He replied, “It is the moment when he [or she] sets his [or her] foot in Paradise.” There is no repose before that.

    We should not let comfort be our purpose in life. We live this life to farm, learn, reform our societies, reproduce, worship Allah, help people, and take initiatives. Almighty Allah says,

    “Verily We have created man into toil and struggle.” (Surah Al Balad 90:4)

    Thus, work, toil, and accept your destiny.

    Prophet Muhammad said, “Seventy thousand angels enter into it [Al-Bayt-ul-Ma`mur] daily and, after they come out, they never return again.” Can anyone imagine the number of angels? One cannot even compare the number of human beings to the number of angels. Look at this evocative hadith: Prophet Muhammad said,

    “The heavens resound yearningly — worthy it is to sound yearningly and proudly — as no place in them is without an angel prostrate in adoration and worship before Almighty Allah.” (Authenticated by Al-Albani)

    However, Allah does not need our worship. We are the ones who need to worship Him to save ourselves from Hellfire. We need to kneel and prostrate ourselves before Him. The angels are many. Prophet Muhammad saw scores of them as he ascended through heavens. They are true worshippers who perform Prayer thoroughly. Now, can you see the kingdom of Allah? Do you understand what the Omnipotent, Almighty, Owner of the Kingdom, and Possessor of Majesty and Bounty mean?

    On the authority of Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), who said:

    “Allah (mighty and sublime be He), had said: ‘I have divided prayer between Myself and My servant into two halves, and My servant shall have what he has asked for. When the servant says: ‘Al-hamdu lillahi rabbi l-alamin’ (“Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds.”), Allah (mighty and sublime be He) says: ‘My servant has praised Me.’ And when he says: ‘Ar-rahmani r-rahim’ (“The Merciful, the Compassionate.”), Allah (mighty and sublime be He) says: ‘My servant has extolled Me,’ and when he says: ‘Maliki yawmi d-din’ (“Master of the Day of Judgement.”), Allah says: ‘My servant has glorified Me’ – and on one occasion He said: ‘My servant has submitted to My power.’ And when he says: ‘Iyyaka na budu wa iyyaka nasta in’ (“It is You we worship and it is You we ask for help.”), He says: ‘This is between Me and My servant, and My servant shall have what he has asked for.’ And when he says: ‘Ihdina s-sirata l- mustaqim, siratal ladhina an amta alayhim ghayril-maghdubi alayhim wa la d-dallin’ (“Guide us to the straight path, the path of those upon whom You have bestowed favors, not of those against whom You are angry, nor of those who are astray.”), He says: ‘This is for My servant, and My servant shall have what he has asked for.’” [Hadith Qudsi, Muslim]

    The journey of Al-Isra’ and Al-Miraj was a bounty and honor bestowed on Prophet Muhammad by Almighty Allah. It relieved his grief over the incident of At-Ta’if and the persecution of Quraysh. Truly, Allah is Most Great and his kingdom is boundless.
    Source : http://navedz.wordpress.com/2009/10/10/the-night-journey-al-isra-and-al-miraj/#comment-6309

     
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