Meri Soch aur Meri Awaz

The treasure of a fool is in his tongue, so think before you speak

Monday, July 17, 2006

A Divine Challenge For Those Who Doubt the Revelation

In the name of the Merciful, the Beneficent "If you are in doubt as to what We have revealed to Our servant (Muhammad), then produce one Surah comparable to it and call upon all your witnesses, other than God, if you were truthful. But if you fail, as you will certainly do, then guard yourselves against the fire, fuelled by men and stones, prepared for the unbelievers." [The Cow — "Al-Baqarah" 2: 23-24]
Commentary by Sayyid Qutb — Translated & Edited by Adil Salahi & Ashur Shamis

The Jews of Madinah doubted the truth of Prophet Muhammad’s message, why the hypocrites, like the polytheist Arabs of Makkah, were skeptical and called it into question. Therefore, we find the Qur’an challenging them all, as indeed it challenges mankind in general, into a direct confrontation. It says: "If you are in doubt as to what We have revealed to Our servant (Muhammad), then produce one Surah comparable to it and call upon all your witnesses, other than God, if you were truthful." [2: 23]The challenge starts off with emphasizing an important fact by identifying Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, as the "servant" of God. This description is significant in a number of ways. It is, first, an honor to the Prophet, peace be upon him, himself and an indication that to be a "servant" of God is the highest honor a human being can attain. Second, it affirms the essence of "servitude" to God and renounces all patterns that may be associated with Him. Mankind should also emulate the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, who, though highly honored by receiving Divine revelations, is nevertheless referred to simply as a "servant" of God.The challenge is also related to the opening of Surah Al-Baqarah, which points out that the Qur’an was composed of the very same letters the Arabs were familiar with in their language. If they were in any doubt as to its truth or veracity, they were free to produce anything, even one Surah, comparable to it, and they could call any witnesses they wished to testify in their favor; the Prophet’s claim had already been supported by God.This challenge remained valid throughout the Prophet’s life, and has done so ever since. The Qur’anic argument stands just as firmly today as it had through the centuries. The Qur’an remains today the unique work it was on the first day it was revealed, clearly distinguished from anything men can ever produce, in fulfillment of God’s words: "But if you fail, as you will certainly do, then guard yourselves against the fie, fuelled by men and stones, prepared for the unbelievers." [2: 24] It is a remarkable challenge indeed, but what is even more remarkable is the absolute certainly with which it is made. Were any of the unbelieving Arabs able to take up the challenger, they would not have hesitated for a moment. The Qur’anic assertion of the futility of their task, and the endurance of that assertion, are in themselves manifest and irrefutable proof it is superhuman nature.The opportunity remains wide open for anyone to pick up the gauntlet and confound the Qur’anic claims of divinity and superiority. But this has not happened and, according to the Qur’an, will never happen. That is the Qur'an’s final word for posterity.Anyone with the honest knowledge or appreciation of literature, philosophy, psychology, social science or any other science at all will not fail to recognize that whatever the Qur’an has to say in any of these fields is something unique, unlike anything human beings would say. Argument over this fact can only arise from blind ignorance or sheer prejudice.The stern warning to "guard yourselves against the fire, fuelled by men and stones" should, therefore, come as no surprise to those who may fail in their challenge to God but persist, nevertheless, with their rejection of the truth.Use of the word "stones" here is intriguing. It is derived from the fact that the unbelievers, for whom "God has sealed their hearts and ears" and whose "eyes are covered", who have failed to take up God’s challenge, and who have persisted in their rejection of His Message, are effectively stone-like themselves. Hence the connection between humans and stones in his verse. The expression amply conveys the horror of the awesome scene in which people and stones are consumed by fire.

Friday, July 07, 2006

To Whom Praise is Due

Commentary by Sayyid Qutb


In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Beneficent
Your Lord creates and chooses whatever He pleases. Never can they have such choice. Limitless is God in His glory and exalted is He above all those they associate with Him as partners.
And your Lord knows all that their hearts conceal and all that they bring out into the open. He is God, other than whom there is no deity. To Him all praise is due at the first and at the last; with Him rests all judgment, and to Him you shall all return. (The Story, Al-Qasas: 28: 68-70)
The surah approaches the end of its comments on an important event that took place when the Prophet (peace be upon him) was still preaching his message in Makkah where its people put up stiff resistance to it. This took place when a Christian delegation including a number of priests arrived in Makkah to check on the Prophet and what he preached. When they met him and listened to the Qur’an, it did not take them long to declare their submission to God and their belief in the truth of Islam. The surah comments on this story and answers the absurd fears of the unbelievers who claimed that should they follow them, they would be run over by other powers of unfaith. The surah told them where real security lied.
The surah then makes it clear that everything is subject to God’s will and His choice. It is He who creates and knows everything. To Him all matters of this life and the life to come are referred. All praise belongs to Him and His is the judgment on anything in this life. For to Him is the eventual return. They cannot choose for themselves or for anyone else. It is God who creates and chooses what He pleases:
“Your Lord creates and chooses whatever He pleases. Never can they have such choice. Limitless is God in His glory and exalted is He above all those they associate with Him as partners. And your Lord knows all that their hearts conceal and all that they bring out into the open. He is God, other than whom there is no deity. To Him all praise is due at the first and at the last; with Him rests all judgment, and to Him you shall all return.” (Verses 68-70)
These verses are stated by way of comment on those that precede them. Verses wherein the unbelievers state their fear about losing their land should they accept the guidance the Prophet presents, and concluding with their position on the Day of Judgment when they face the reckoning and have to answer for their idolatry and erring ways. These comments clearly state that they do not have a choice between security and fear. They also re-emphasize God’s oneness and that all matters are returned to Him.
“Your Lord creates and chooses whatever He pleases.” (Verse 68) This is a fact people often forget or overlook. Indeed, God creates what He is pleased to create. No one can suggest anything to Him, whether an increase or decrease in His creation. No one can introduce any amendment or modification on what He creates. He is the One who chooses whatever and whomever He pleases for the fulfillment of the functions, actions and duties He determines. No one can suggest to Him any candidate, or course of action to follow. None can propose to Him any statement or move. “Never can they have such choice,” whether in what relates to themselves or to anyone else. Everything large or small belongs to God alone.
If only this fact were established in people’s minds and hearts, they would never feel frustrated. They would neither be elated with anything they receive nor be distressed by anything they miss out on. The choice is not theirs to make; it is God who chooses.
However, this does not mean that they should stop thinking or acting as they wish. It simply means that they should accept what happens after they have done their best to consider, reflect, plan and act. They should accept it willingly. All they have to do is their utmost, leaving the results to God.
The unbelievers used to allege that God had partners when God alone is the Creator who chooses everything. He has no partner who has any share in His creation or in what He chooses: “Limitless is God in His glory and exalted is He above all those they associate with Him as partners.” (Verse 68)
“And your Lord knows all that their hearts conceal and all that they bring out into the open.” (Verse 69) He requites them according to what He knows of their situation, choosing for them what they deserve, be it truth or error.
“He is God, other than whom there is no deity.” (Verse 70) No partner does He have either in His creation or His choice. “To Him all praise is due at the first and at the last.” (Verse 70) Praise is due to Him for His choices, blessings, wisdom, planning, justice, grace and mercy. He alone deserves all praise. “With Him rests all judgment.” (Verse 70) His judgment is passed on all His servants, with none able to change any part of what He judges. “And to Him you shall all return.” (Verse 70) He then makes His final judgment on all.
Thus the surah gives us a feeling that God’s overpowering will is supreme throughout the universe. He is fully aware of everyone’s situation, whether hidden or open. Nothing is hidden from Him. To Him all shall return. How can they, then, associate partners with Him when they are under His control?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Hardest Day in the Life of Allah’s Messenger

Once Aishah, the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) wife, asked him: “Have you ever gone through a day harder than that of the Battle of Uhud?” We will leave the Prophet’s answer till next week, but we will only say today that the Prophet spoke to her about his trip from Makkah to Taif to recruit support for his message. This was at least five years before the Battle of Uhud. For today, we will concentrate on what happened in that battle to justify Aishah’s question that suggests that for her the day ranked as the hardest in the Prophet’s life. Was it just the military defeat?
After the Prophet settled in Madinah, welcomed by the Ansar, the people of the Quraysh in Makkah were wary lest the message of Islam should win support in the rest of Arabia. Such a prospect would certainly weaken their position as the master tribe, respected and feared by all other Arabian tribes. They tried to prevent such an eventuality by military force in the Battle of Badr, which took place about 18 months after the Prophet’s immigration to Madinah. That battle, however, ended in a spectacular victory for the Muslims, while the unbelievers of the Quraysh lost many of their leading personalities. Therefore, they raised a large army and moved fast to attack the Muslims in Madinah, taking them unawares. They were very close to Madinah when the Prophet learned of their approach and consulted his companions about the strategy to meet the impending challenge. Such were the circumstances leading to the Battle of Uhud.
The day started badly for the Muslims. As they set out of Madinah in an army of around 1,000 men, Abdullah ibn Ubayy, the chief hypocrite who was still enjoying popular support in his tribe, the Khazraj, one of the two major tribes of the Ansar, deserted with about one third of the army. They protested that going out to face the Quraysh army was the wrong strategy.
When the battle started, the Muslims soon gained the upper hand, and it looked likely that they would score another great victory. However, lack of discipline within the rearguard unit led to chaos. The unbelievers, benefiting by a young commander who was to become one of the greatest military commanders in Muslim history, Khalid ibn Al-Waleed, were able to regroup and launch a fresh attack from the rear of the Muslim army. Thus, the Muslims were facing a much larger force fighting them on two sides, when a cry was heard that Muhammad was killed. This made many of them give up and they started to go up the nearby Mount of Uhud, unsure what to do.
That was only the beginning of what Aishah described as the hardest day in the Prophet’s life. The main strategy the Quraysh had adopted for their battle set their top aim as killing the Prophet. Failing that, they aimed to kill as many of his leading companions as possible to avenge what happened to them a year earlier in the Battle of Badr. In fact, four brave Quraysh fighters had vowed that they would stop at nothing to kill Muhammad.
When most of his companions were fleeing the battleground, the Prophet himself stood firm, with a handful of his companions exerting every effort to defend him and ready to die in order to protect God’s Messenger. The best show in this defense was put up by one of those who had emigrated with the Prophet from Makkah called Talhah ibn Ubaydellah. He was only 15 or 16 when he adopted Islam in the very first week of the Prophet receiving God’s revelation. Now a man of 30, he was continuing his unblemished record of devoted service to the cause of Islam. At Uhud, he surpassed himself. He fought as hard and as determinedly as anyone could imagine. He carried his sword and dashed here and there in front of the Prophet or behind him or to his left or to his right, beating off whatever danger was approaching. He walked round the Prophet, making his own body a shield, protecting the Prophet from the swords and spears of his attackers. He continued to do so until the Quraysh attack was beaten off. Indeed, no one was as effective as Talhah in protecting the Prophet that day. For this reason the Prophet praised him and said: “Talhah has made it a must.” What the Prophet meant was that Talhah had made it inevitable that God would admit him to heaven because of his determined defense of the Prophet. The Muslims recognized the role played by Talhah in Uhud and that he alone did the work of a whole unit. Abu Bakr himself, the Prophet’s closest companion and one of those who stood firm when the Muslims were badly shaken, used to say of the Battle of Uhud: “That day belonged totally to Talhah.”
Shammas ibn Uthman of the Makhzum clan of the Quraysh was another man who defended the Prophet well. Every time the Prophet looked right or left, he found Shammas fighting in that direction. Apparently the attackers came very close to the Prophet, so that a few of his defenders had to shield him with their own bodies. One of those was Shammas who dug his feet into the ground as he shielded the Prophet until he was killed. The Prophet said: “I have never seen the like of Shammas except in heaven.”
Now, what did those four men determined to kill the Prophet do on that day? Their pledge that they would not be deterred from killing him was well known in Makkah, where everyone of the Quraysh expected them to be true to their word. When the assault on the Prophet was at its height, the four of them were in the thick of it. One of them, Abdullah ibn Shihab managed, indeed, to hit the Prophet, causing a cut in his forehead; his beard was red with blood. Another, Utbah ibn Abu Waqqas, the brother of Saad who was defending the Prophet so bravely, managed to hit the Prophet in his lower lip and break one of his lower front teeth. A third, Amr ibn Qami’ah succeeded in hitting him on his cheek; two links of the Prophet’s iron mask penetrated into his flesh. Amr then hit the Prophet on the shoulder with his sword and the Prophet fell in a hole in the ground and was unable to rise again. Ali ibn Abu Talib held the Prophet’s hand while Talhah ibn Ubaydellah lifted him. This injury to the Prophet caused him pain for a whole month.
The fourth man, Ubayy ibn Khalaf aimed his spear at the Prophet and said: “You liar, where will you flee from me?” The Prophet hit him in his shoulder with a spear and he went back, snorting like a bull. When the Quraysh army was on its way back, Ubayy had given up all hope of survival. His fellow soldiers said to him: “There is hardly any injury in your shoulder. Why are you behaving like a dying man?” He said: “Have you not heard what Muhammad said? He said he would kill me. By God, had he spat on me, he would kill me.” Ubayy died before reaching Makkah.
It took a long while for sufficient numbers of the Muslims to rally to the Prophet’s defense. The battle ended in a clear military victory for the Quraysh. It was very bitter for the Muslims to feel that they let down the Prophet and did not fight well for their faith, but this taught them an important lesson that was to serve them well in future.

Adil Salahi

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Asalam O Alaikum,

www.ourdialogue.com/1.pdf

Of one is interested in all the questions asked by readers of Adil Salahi, then this is very useful. You can change the 1.pdf to 2 to 3 to 4. It has all the questions answered by Adil Salahi since I think 1995. Very informative and pretty much you will find answers to all kinds of questions from A to Z.

You can also visir www.ourdialogue.com

May Allah guide us All and unite us muslims all Inshallah. AMEEEN.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

By Allah,
other than whom there is no God,
one of you may behave like the people of paradise
until there is but an arm's length between him and it,
and that which has been written overtakes him
and so he behaves like the people of hell fire
and thus he enters it;
and one of you behaves like the people of hell fire
until there is but an arm's length between him and it,
and that which has been written overtakes him
and so he behaves like the people of paradise
and thus he enters it."
(Related by Al Bukhari & Muslim.)

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Ibn Abbas reports: “When God’s Messenger stood up for prayer in the depth of the night, he used to say: ‘All praise is due to You, my Lord! You are the light of the heavens and the earth. Again, all praise is due to You, my Lord! You are the Master of the heavens and the earth. All praise is due to You, the Lord of the heavens and the earth and all that they contain. You are the Truth, and Your word is truth. The meeting with you is a truth; heaven is a truth; hell is a truth; and the Day of Resurrection is a truth. My Lord! To You I submit myself; and in You I believe; and on You I rely; and to You I turn; and relying on You I dispute with others; and to Your judgment I submit. Therefore, forgive me whatever I did and whatever I may do, and what I do in public or private. You are my Lord; there is no deity other than You.” (Related by Malik, Al-Bukhari and Muslim.)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

"The Best way to show your love for your prophet is by practicing his teachings rather than
singing his praises"
Adil Salahi