By Editorial Staff
Muslims believe that the Prophet Muhammad is a human being.
Who is Muhammad? How do Muslims view Muhammad? Did he claim that he is God or a son of God?
What does the Quran say about him?
Muslims believe that the Prophet Muhammad is a human being. He was sent by God with a divine revelation, like the prophets before him; Jacob, Joseph, Moses, and Jesus (peace be them all).
In the following verse, we read what the Prophet of Islam was ordered to tell the people about himself:
Say, ‘I am only a human being, like you, to whom it has been revealed that your God is One. Anyone who fearsb to meet his Lord should do good deeds and give no one a share in the worship due to his Lord. (Al-Kahf 18:110)
In another verse, we read:
A Messenger has come to you from among yourselves. Your suffering distresses him: he is deeply concerned for you and full of kindness and mercy towards the believers. (At-Tawbah 9:128)
It was narrated that Ibn Mas`ud said a man came to the Prophet (peace be upon him), so he spoke to him, and he started to tremble with awe. He said to him: ‘Take it easy. I am not a king; I am just a man whose mother ate dried meat.’” (Ibn Majah)
This video clip introduces the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). We hope that every seeker of truth reflect upon it with his heart and mind.
Source of the Video: Guide to Islam Youtube Channel
Source of the introduction: www.lastmiracle.com
All scripture study leads to Islam.
By Editorial Staff
Shuhada’, also previously known as Magda, revealed on Twitter last week that she’s ditched the Catholic Church for good.
“This is to announce that I am proud to have become a Muslim. This is the natural conclusion of any intelligent theologian’s journey. All scripture study leads to Islam. Which makes all other scriptures redundant. I will be given (another) new name. It will be Shuhada’,”
Sinead O’Connor posted a video of herself singing the Adhan, the Muslim call to prayer. She wrote in the post:
“Here is my 1st attempt at singing the Azan. I got some pronouncition (sic) wrong because emotions took me from my page… but there’ll be hundreds of others onstage to come …,” she wrote. “When I’ve practiced it 30 times i’m Gonna make the world stop turning.”
Sinead O’Connor’s decision to convert to Islam has some reaction on social media. Here are some example:
I’m very happy to hear Sinead O’Connor, the famous singer from Ireland, has converted to Islam. May Allah bless our sister Shuhada and make her a role model for her people, and all of us.
Sinead O’Connor now has a new name, Shuhada’ Davitt, and a new religion, Muslim. May Allah keep Sister Shuhada on the straight path of Islam. Alhamdulillah.
Wow, Sinead O’Connor converted to Islam.
SubhanaAllah : I’m very happy to hear Sinead O’Connor, the famous singer from Ireland, has converted to Islam.
Wow, Sinead O’Connor is a muslimah now..
Sinead O’Connor has converted to Islam and changed her name. Have long wished her nothing but peace and hope she’s found it.
We all know the singer Sinead O’Connor, she converted to Islam and named herself Shuhada which means martyrs in Arabic, congrats and welcome to our community of 1.7 billion Muslims – I’m here for you when you need any help during this journey
Alhamdulillah, Sinead O’Connor is a Muslim. May Allah bless her in this world and akhirah.
Wow! Sinead O’Connor has converted to Islam. She has changed her first name to Shuhada. Welcome to Islam, Shuhada! Amazing.
An Irish singer Sinead O’Connor converted to Islam recently. Indeed Allah give guidance to those who He wants.
Welcome to Team Muslim, Sister. First lesson, don’t listen to anyone on Twitter.
Alhamdulilah , Sinead O’Connor a very famous pop star has accepted Islam.
By Editorial Staff
And in yourselves. Then will you not see? (Adh-Dhariyat 51:21)
Look at the universe around you. Who runs this universe and that He is always of in full control of it?
In the Quran we read:
Indeed, Allah holds the heavens and the earth, lest they cease. And if they should cease, no one could hold them [in place] after Him. Indeed, He is Forbearing and Forgiving. (Fatir 35:41)
Look into yourself. Every single cell points to the existence of God. We read in the Quran:
And in yourselves. Then will you not see? (Adh-Dhariyat 51:21)
Plants and galaxies point to the existence of God.
Who takes care of the embryo in the deep darkness surrounding it? None other than God.
We read in the Quran:
Do the disbelievers not see how rain clouds are formed, how the heavens are lifted, how the mountains are raised high, how the earth is spread out? (Al-Ghashiyah 88:17-20)
No matter how accumulated the clouds of suspicions to prevent the truth light from reaching the insights, the fact that this universe has a creator will remain firm and undeniable in the hearts.
It is a fact uttered by every atom of the universe and every human emotion that is deeply rooted in his heart. Man longs for an Exalted creator who subjugated his servants and predestined their affairs.
It is a matter that no one may disclaim.
Here we tell you about that fact and reflect with you on its evidence around us so that you think about going back to your natural disposition.
Source: This video is produced by Osoul Global Center and taken from Guide To islam Youtube Channel.
By Abdullah Craig Walker
Baghdad was the raison d’être and crowning achievement of the Golden Age of Islam.
This is the fourth part of the series. The author focuses here on Islam’s golden age and its effect on the Jewish-Muslim relations. He also highlights the relation between political Islam and anti-Semitism. Click to read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.
Islam’s Golden Age
The Islamic Golden Age, from 750 c.e. to 1257 c.e., was a period of unparalleled intellectual accomplishment in mathematics, astronomy, chemistry, medicine, architecture, literature, and philosophy.
It was also a period marked by political and economic success, and ecumenical tolerance. Although there were exceptions, Muslims, Jews, and Christians prospered and coexisted throughout the Islamic world in relative peace within the framework of the policy of the Rules of the Protected Minorities.
The success of the policy was evident particularly in medieval Muslim Spain, where Muslims and Jews together built a civilization, known as Al-Andalus, which was more advanced than any in Europe at that time.
However, when Muslim Spain fell to the Christian armies in 1492, most of Spain’s Jews were expelled. Many immigrated to Palestine, where they were given asylum by Palestinian Muslims.
The inquisition eliminated those Jews who remained. Even during the most oppressive periods in Islamic history, Jews under Muslim rule received far better treatment and had greater rights than they did under Christian rule in medieval Europe.
Baghdad was the raison d’être and crowning achievement of the Golden Age of Islam. During the Abbasid caliphate from the 9th through the 13th centuries, Baghdad was the principal trading hub in the Islamic Empire. The city also was where Muslim, Jewish and Christian scholars from throughout the world came into contact with one another, and shared their knowledge, literature, language, and faiths.(1) The educational roots of Muslim scholars and jurists were in Baghdad during this period, as well.(2) The cosmopolitan city became the cultural and intellectual center of the world,(3) as well as the primary location for translation into Arabic of classical Greek texts and other important scholarly writings. With the development of cotton and hemp paper, books copied and produced in Baghdad filled libraries throughout the Islamic world, thereby facilitating the transition from oral to written communication in West Asia and the Middle East.
The ‘Long Twilight of the Late Islamic Middle Ages’
In the 13th century, regional economies began to stagnate, and the Muslim Middle East entered a prolonged period of decline which historians refer to as “the long twilight of the late Islamic Middle Ages.” While there were multiple causes for the decline, there is general agreement among historians that the end of Islam’s Golden Age was precipitated by the devastating invasions into West Asia and the Middle East by Genghis Khan and his Mongol Turkic tribes, and the Crusaders’ incursions into the Holy Land. The Mongols’ invasion left in its wake a swathe of ruined cities, libraries, and mosques. They destroyed northern Iran and decimated the ancient irrigation systems of Mesopotamia. With regional and local economies imperiled, people of all religions and ethnicities suffered immeasurably.
The Islamic Golden Age and Baghdad’s reign came to a tragic and abrupt end in 1258 c.e. with the Siege of Baghdad by Mongol forces led by Hulagu Khan, the grandson of Genghis Khan. Conservative estimates indicate that more than 100,000 people were massacred, and that the city’s libraries and schools were completely destroyed. It was said that Baghdad’s streets “ran red with the blood of scholars”, and the Tigris River “ran black with the ink of books.
In reaction to the irreplaceable loss of learning of the past resulting from the destruction of manuscripts and the slaughter of scholars, Muslim societies turned inwards and became more conservative. The struggle to preserve Islamic religious traditions and recover what had been lost impacted Islamic jurisprudence. Up to this point, the work of Shari`ah jurists had been characterized by independent legal reasoning, or ijtihad. The jurists now turned to the practice of taqlid, or imitation, arguing that there was no need to formulate new rules as all the rules of law had been expounded. The net effect was a virtual ossification of Islamic law and learning.(4)
Political Islam and Anti-Semitism
With the advent of the Industrial Revolution, the Middle East and Asia gradually came to be dominated by British and European colonial powers pursuing natural resources to fuel the engines of their new economies. As agrarian economies in Asia and the Middle East contracted, the specter of religious intolerance and persecution of dhimmis in Muslim societies grew. Lacking understanding of the nature and impact of industrialization that was occurring throughout the world, and ill-prepared to adapt, Muslim societies blamed others – foreigners, outsiders, dhimmis — for their languishing economies and waning independence. Ethnic and religious rivalry and victimization increased, and the status of Jews in the Muslim world deteriorated accordingly.
As has been shown, anti-Semitism is not supported in the Qur’an, and contradicts the life and teachings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Nevertheless, the amalgam of the Mongol invasion, the Crusades, the industrial revolution, and the rise of British and western European colonialism generated the ideal conditions — a perfect storm — for virulent anti-Semitism to gain a foothold in the Muslim world.
It was left to Nazi Germany to propel anti-Semitic narratives in the Middle East. In the 1930s, pursuing hegemony in the region, Hitler’s agents incited anti-Jewish hatred amongst Muslims in Egypt and Palestine with propaganda, weapons, and money. As WW II drew to a close, the core of anti-Semitism began to shift from Germany to the Arab world. With the Balfour Declaration and the creation of the state of Israel, anti-Semitism took root in various Muslim nationalist political movements, particularly in the Middle East.
The specter of anti-Semitism plagues Islam to this day, essentially for the reasons that it appeared during the decline of Islam’s Golden Age and later in the colonial period. Invariably, racial, ethnic and religious minorities are blamed, marginalized and attacked whenever and wherever there are conditions of political oppression, foreign supremacy, extreme poverty, and unequal distribution of scarce resources.(5)
Diverting attention from the actual, often intractable causes of social, political, and economic problems by projecting or transferring blame onto “others” — those who are different by virtue of race, ethnicity, nationality, religious and/or political beliefs, is a demagogic propaganda strategy as old as civilization itself.
(1) Cooperson, Michael, “Baghdad in Rhetoric and Narrative”, Muqarnas (1996) 13:100.
(2) Robinson, Chase, Islamic Historiography, (2003) New York: Cambridge UP, p. 27.
(3) Gaston Wiet, Baghdad: Metropolis of the Abbasid Caliphate, Univ of Oklahoma Press, Ch. 5.
(4) Kareem Elbayar, Reclaiming Tradition: Islamic Law in a Modern World, International Affairs Review, Vol. XVII, No. 1: Spring/Summer 2008.
(5) See: Islam and Politics, by John Esposito, 4th ed., 1998.
To be continued…
This series of articles is published with kind permission from the author.
The folder at hand provides brief biographies of the compilers of Sahihs and Sunan.
By Editorial Staff
Imams of Hadith
Almighty Allah has chosen some people to be the torch bearers leading the Muslim community to the straight path and guiding its way in light of the instructions of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
They are the religious scholars who devoted their life for teaching people the religion of God. They are the inheritors of Prophets and the most beloved ones to God the Almighty.
Abu Ad-Darda’ (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The scholars are heirs of the Prophets, and the Prophets leave neither dinar nor dirham, leaving only knowledge, and he who takes it takes an abundant portion.” (Abu Dawud)
In fact, the knowledge of Hadith is one of the greatest branches of the Shari`ah knowledge. It explains the speech of Allah, relates the conditions and merits of Prophet (peace be upon him), conveys the commandments of Islam and represents the second main source of Islam.
Those who occupied themselves with acquiring it undoubtedly excel their peers in other kinds of science. It is enough that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has supplicated God for them as narrated by Ibn Mas`ud (may Allah be pleased with him): “I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) saying, “May Allah make the faces of the person who hears something from us and communicates it to others exactly as he has heard it shining and radiant, for it may be that the recipient of knowledge understands it better than the one who has heard it.” (At-Tirmidhi)
It is also reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him) that he said, “This knowledge (Hadith) will be carried by the most upright from among each generation. They will remove from it the distortion of the immoderate, the plagiarism of the liars and the misrepresentation of the ignorant. (Ibn `Abdul-Barr)
Those scholars of Hadith have undertaken the responsibility of narrating the hadiths of the Prophet to the following generation, verifying the weak of them from the strong, demonstrating them to people, inspecting their transmitters and discriminating between the authentic and the inauthentic. They have devoted their lives for this sacred mission, may Allah reward them all the best!
The folder at hand provides brief biographies of the compilers of Sahihs and Sunan, including the Imams: Al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa’i and Ibn Majah. We have shed light on the early life, scientific journeys, righteousness, sheikhs, students, writings, death and praise of scholars of each scholar. The folder is highly beneficial to every Muslim, specially the knowledge seekers, as it introduces the biographies of the 6 imams of hadith in an interesting, simple and scientific way.
The article touches on some of the sides of Imam Al Bukhari’s biography as well as his works, sheikhs and students…
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The article touches on some of the sides of Imam Muslim ibn Al-Hajjaj’s biography as well as his works, sheikhs and students…
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The article touches on some of the sides of Imam Abu Dawud’s biography as well as his works, sheikhs and students….
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The article touches on some of the sides of the life of Imam At-Tirmidhi and talks about his works, teachers, journeys and students…
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The article talks about some of the sides of the life of Imam An-Nasa’i in terms of his early life, knowledge-seeking, books, the scholarly appraisal of him and other interesting things…
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The article touches on the life of Imam Ibn Majah, including his scientific journeys, works, sheikhs and students…
Read More »
By Khurram Murad
This simple message shook the very foundations of the Makkan society as well as the seventh-century world.
Muhammad was not only a wise, just, compassionate, honoured and respected man, but also a profoundly contemplative and spiritual person. As he approached the age of 40, increasingly he came to spend more and more of his time in retreat, in contemplation, worship, prayer, in the Cave of Hira in Jabal al-Nur, sometimes for several days at a time.
It was here that one night before dawn, in the last part of the month of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting for Muslims, the Angel Gabriel appeared before him in the form of a man, and said to him: ‘Read’, and the Prophet said: ‘I am not a reader.’
Thereupon, as he himself told it, ‘the Angel Gabriel overwhelmed me in his embrace until I reached the limit of my endurance. Then he returned me and said: ‘Read.’ Again I said: ‘I am not a reader.’
Thrice the same thing happened. The third time, after releasing me from his embrace, the Angel finally said:
Read in the name of your Lord Who has created. He has created man from a clot of blood. Read, and your Lord is the Most Bountiful: He who has taught by the pen, taught man what he knew not. (Al-[Alaq 96:1–5)
He recited these words after the Angel. And, then, the Angel said to him: ‘You are the Messenger of God.’
Overawed by the unique experience of the Divine and overwhelmed by the huge burden of truth and message, he came out of the cave, his body trembling and his heart quaking. The Prophet returned home. ‘Cover me! Cover me!’, he said to his wife Khadijah. She quickly covered him with a cloak. Wrapped in the cloak, he told her what had happened in the Cave of Hira, how he had come to be appointed as God’s Messenger.
The event in Hira, as narrated by Muhammad, was the supreme and most crucial event of his life.
All that happened later has been happening over the centuries, and all the positions that he enjoys in the eyes of his followers, or his detractors, hinges on the veracity, truthfulness, authenticity and nature of this event in Hira.
Yet the only thing to support his claim in this respect was and remains his own word. Was he truly a Messenger of God? Was what he saw real and true? Or, was it an hallucination? Was he a man possessed? Did he just compose in words as poets do, the ideas he found in his heart? These questions are raised today, as they were raised by his compatriots then.
Of these his wife of 15 years was to be the first judge. She knew him too well to doubt even for a moment that he could say anything but the truth. She also knew his character. So, she believed in him without a moment’s hesitation.
As with his wife Khadijah, so his closest friend Abu Bakr, his adopted son Zayd, his cousin Ali who lived with him, in short all who knew the Prophet most intimately, believed in his truthfulness most spontaneously.
Khadijah took the Prophet to her cousin Waraqah, who had converted to Christianity, and
acquired great learning in Christian Scriptures.
Both the Jews and Christians had been expecting the coming of the last Prophet as foretold in their Scriptures. Had not Moses, just before he died, been told:
‘I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brethren; and I will put my words in his mouth’ (Deuteronomy 18: 18)?
Who could be the brethren of the sons of Israel except the sons of Ishmael? Who could be the mysterious Shiloh but the Prophet Muhammad, about whom Jacob prophesied immediately before his death, that to him would be transferred the Divine mission in ‘the latter days’:
‘And Jacob called his sons and said, gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days . . . The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him the gathering of the people be.’ (Genesis 49:1, 10)
And, whom did Jesus mean other than Muhammad when he said: ‘If I do not go away, the
Helper will not come to you . . . he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak’ (John 16: 7–14)?
Waraqah, therefore, had no doubts that the last Prophet had come; so, he, too, believed in him. But most of the people of Makkah who had acclaimed him as the Trustworthy (Al-Amin) and the Truthful (Al-Sadiq) could not bring themselves to believe in him. Nor could the Jews and Christians who had for so long been living in expectation of his arrival. Not that they doubted his truthfulness or integrity. But they were not prepared to turn their
whole established way of life upside down by submitting to his simple but radical message:
When I recite the Qur’an, I find the following clear instructions: God is He who has created you, and the heavens and the earth, He is your only Lord and Master. Surrender your beings and your lives totally to Him alone, and worship and serve no one but Him. Let God be the only God. The words I speak, He places in my mouth, I speak on His authority. Obey me and forsake all false claimants to human obedience. Everything in the heavens and on earth belongs to God; no man has a right to be master of another man, to spread
oppression and corruption on earth. An eternal life beyond awaits you; where you will meet God face to face, and your life will be judged; for that you must prepare.
This simple message shook the very foundations of the Makkan society as well as the seventh-century world. That world, as today, lived under the yoke of many false gods: kings and emperors, priests and monks, feudal lords and rich businessmen, soothsayers and spell-binders who claimed to know what others knew not – all lorded over man. Not only that: man-made gods of their own desires, their tribal loyalties, their ancestors, and the powers of nature, like the nations, cultures, science and technology today all lorded over man.
The Prophet’s message challenged them all, exposed them all, threatened them all. His
immediate opponents in Makkah could do no better than brand him unconvincingly as a liar, a poet, a soothsayer, a man possessed. But how could he who was illiterate, he who had never composed a single verse, he who had shown no inclination to lead men, suddenly, have words flowing from his lips, so full of wisdom and light, morally so uplifting, specifically so enlivening, so beautiful and powerful, that they began to change the hearts and minds and lives of the hearers?
His detractors and opponents had no answer. When challenged to produce
anything even remotely similar to the words Muhammad claimed he was receiving from God, they could not match God’s words.
First privately, then publicly, the Prophet continued to proclaim his Message. He himself had
an intense, living relationship with God, totally committed to the Message and mission entrusted to him. Slowly and gradually, people came forward and embraced Islam.
They came from all walks of life – chiefs and slaves, businessmen and artisans, men and women – most of them young.
Some simply heard the Qur’an, and that was enough to transform them. Some saw the Prophet, and were immediately captivated by the light of mercy, generosity and humanity that was visible in his manners and morals, in his words and works, and in his face too.
So also the opposition continued to harden and sharpen. It grew furious and ferocious. Those who joined the Prophet as also the Prophet himself were tortured in innumerable ways: they were mocked, abused, beaten, flogged, imprisoned, and boycotted.
Some were subjected to much more inhuman tortures: made to lie on burning coal fires until the melting body fat extinguished them, or were dragged over burning sand and rocks. Yet such was the strength of their faith that none of them gave it up in the face of such trials and tribulations.
However, as the persecutions became unbearable, the Prophet said to them: ‘If you go to Abyssinia, you will find there a king, a Christian, under whom no one suffers wrong.’ About 80 of his followers, therefore, forsook their homes and emigrated to
Abyssinia, where the Christian king gave them full protection despite the pleadings and machinations of the emissaries sent by the Quraysh chiefs. This was the first emigration of Islam.
All the while, the Prophet and his Companions continued to nourish their souls and intellects and strengthen their character and resolve for the great task that lay ahead. They met regularly, especially at a house near the Kabah called Dar al-Arqam, to read and study the Quran, to worship and pray, and to forge the ties of brotherhood.
Ten years passed, but the people of Makkah would not give their allegiance to the Prophet’s
Message nor showed any signs of mitigating their persecution. At the same time, the Prophet lost his closest Companions and his wife Khadijah, as also
his uncle Abu Talib, his chief protector in the tribal world of Makkah.
The Prophet now decided to carry his Message to the people of the nearby town of Taif, known for its wealth. In Taif, too, the tribal leaders mocked and ridiculed him and rejected his Message. They also stirred up their slaves and the street urchins to insult him, mock him, and throw stones at him.
Thus, he was stoned until he bled and was driven out of Taif. And yet when his Companion, Zayd, requested him to curse the people of Taif, and when God placed at his command the Angel of Mountains to crush the valley of Taif if he som wished, he only prayed for their being guided.
Such was the mercy and compassion of the one who is the ‘mercy for all the worlds’.
The Taif episode was the hardest moment in the Prophet’s life. It signaled the advent of a new era for him, when his mission was to find a secure base, and was to ascend higher and higher in the coming days until the end of time.
To mark that, one night the Prophet was awakened and taken, in the company of the Angel
Gabriel, first to Jerusalem. There he was met by all the Prophets, who gathered together behind him as he prayed on the rock in the centre of the site of the Temple, the spot where the Dome of the Rock stands today.
From the rock, led by the Archangel, he ascended through the seven heavens and beyond.
Thus he saw whatever God made him see, the heavenly worlds which no human eye can see, and which were the focus of his Message and mission.
During this journey, the five daily Prayers were ordained for his people. Furthermore, it was then that the Prophet was given the charter for the new society and state soon to be born, which, too, was prophesied and which is described in Surat Al-Israa’ (Chapter 17) of the Qur’an.
Source: Taken from the author’s Who Is Muhammad? Published by Islamic Foundation, London, 1998.