By Yasmina Blackburn
I often get into debates with people about women in Islam. How we dress. How we don’t dress. What we think or don’t think or should-be-thinking. I get into debates about feminism. What it is and what it isn’t. I think I’ve spawned permanent foes because I don’t care to apply the label, feminist, to describe myself. (I’m not one for labels, sorry.
But if it’s even required of me, “Muslim woman” suits me just fine.) But if we could agree for a moment that there exists a pure definition of the word feminist to mean: awesomely fierce to the millionth degree, then I’d like to introduce you to Islam’s first feminist.
Her name is Khadijah bint Khuwaylid. She was the wife of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him.) And she is one of the people that I think about when I face or debate issues surrounding women today. Khadijah’s existence precedes mine by more than 1,400 years; and, if I can at the very least, continuously strive to emulate her character, I will consider myself a success in life.
7 things you might not know about the awesomely fierce, Khadijah (may God be pleased with her):
1- She was a successful and esteemed business woman
I would give anything to do an on-the-job, ride-along with Khadijah. Gladly swipe my car for a camel- my laptop for a government-issued glass weight to measure goods in trade. What could I learn in one day of shadowing this highly-respected business leader, trading furniture, pottery and silks?
Khadijah was born to a father who was a successful merchant in their Quraysh tribe of Mecca. She inherited her father’s skills in a time in history where society was male-dominated and dangerous. Upon her father’s death, she took over the business and traded goods through the primary commerce centers at that time, from Mecca to Syria and to Yemen, hiring the most trustworthy men of character to brave the dangerous trade routes.
Her business was larger than all of the Quraish trades combined and the most acclaimed with a reputation of fair-dealing and high-quality goods. She had a keen eye and was highly intuitive, earning the monikers, Ameerat-Quraysh (“Princess of Quraysh”) and al-Tahira (“The Pure One”) due to her stellar reputation. Khadijah knew what she was doing business-wise, never compromising her modesty or integrity to succeed in the male-dominated trades- hiring only those that could meet these standards. Glass ceiling? Hah! 1,400 years ago, yes, Khadijah shattered it.
2- She turned down many marriage proposals
Being the most successful woman around, rich in worldly attainment as well as character, it seems Khadijah faced a consistent campaign of men seeking her hand in marriage. She was married twice before her wedlock to the Prophet; both of these marriages produced children and both left her widowed. Her keen sense of character left her picky; and, she was less than eager to suffer another painful loss of a husband. She resigned herself to being a widowed woman taking care of herself and her family. Until …
3- She asked the Prophet to marry her
Love comes when you aren’t looking, or so I have heard. Khadijah learned of the stellar character of Muhammad as well as his experience managing caravans on the trade routes accompanying his uncle, Abu Talib. She hired him into her conglomerate. Marriages at this time were typically necessary for survival and not always about love as we know it in today’s world. Khadijah didn’t need a husband to take care of her financially. And Muhammad did not have the means to seek a wife. She fell in love with him, and through a friend, asked him to marry her. (He said yes.)
4- She was 15 years older than Muhammad
If Khadijah’s story hasn’t broken stereotypes about Islam yet, it might intrigue you to know that she was 40 years old when she married Muhammad. He was 25.
5- She was an ideal wife; theirs was a true love story
Your wives are a garment for you, and you are a garment for them. (Al-Baqarah 2:187)
Taking multiple wives was a common practice, yet Khadijah and Muhammad’s marriage was monogamous until her death 25 years later. Muhammad’s prophethood began during his marriage to Khadijah, when he received the first of God’s revelations through the Angel Gabriel that left him frightened, strained and feeling alone when no one believed in him. Khadijah comforted her husband and encouraged him during the most difficult days of his life. She bore him 6 children. He loved no one more than Khadijah during his lifetime.
6- She was the first Muslim
Khadijah, the mother of Islam, was the first person on earth to accept Muhammad as the final prophet of God and accept the revelations that culminated into the Holy Qur’an. She was greeted with “Salam” (peace) by God himself as well as the Angel Gabriel. She bequeathed her worldly goods and put herself in the face of danger to stand by the Prophet Muhammad as Islam became established in the land.
7- She spent her worldly riches on the poor
In Islam, whether rich or poor, one’s financial condition is a test. Khadijah gave her earnings to the poor and to the orphans, to the widows and the sick. She helped poor girls get married and provided their dowry.
Khadijah was one of history’s most remarkable women. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) once said that the four greatest women of mankind were: Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, Fatimah bint Muhammad (his youngest daughter,) Maryam bint `Imran (the Virgin Mary) and Asiyah bint Muzahim (the wife of Pharaoh.) Khadijah continues to inspire people to this day who revere her for taking great care of the Prophet of Islam and for showing the world, through her behavior, what a pious, modest and courageous woman can accomplish. The example she left for mankind remains timeless.
Source: Quoted with modifications from http:huffingtonpost.com.
Islam means peace.
How can Islam be called the religion of peace when it was spread by the sword?
The question “Was Islam Spread by The Sword?” was answered by Dr. Zakir Naik in the following points:
It is a common complaint among many non-Muslims that Islam would not be having millions of adherents all over the world, if it had not been spread by the use of force.
The following points will make it clear, that far from being spread by the sword, it was the inherent force of reason and logic that was responsible for the rapid spread of Islam.
1- Islam comes from the root word ‘salam’, which means peace. It also means submitting one’s will to Allah. Thus, Islam is a religion of peace, which is acquired by submitting one’s will to the will of the Supreme Creator, Allah.
2- Sometimes, force has to be used to maintain peace. Each and every human being in this world is not in favour of maintaining peace and harmony. There are many who would disrupt it for their own vested interests.
It is precisely for this reason that we have the police who use force against the criminal and anti-social elements to maintain peace in the country.
Islam promotes peace. At the same time, Islam exhorts it followers to fight where there is oppression. The fight against oppression may, at times, require the use of force. In Islam, force can only be used to promote peace and justice.
3- Historian De Lacy O’Leary gives the best reply to the misconception that Islam was spread by the sword:
“History makes it clear however, that the legend of fanatical Muslims sweeping through the world and forcing Islam at the point of the sword upon conquered races is one of the most fantastically absurd myth that historians have ever repeated.” (Islam at the crossroad, p. 8)
4- The Muslims ruled Spain for about 800 years. The Muslims never used the sword to force the people to convert. Later, the Christian Crusaders came to Spain and wiped out the Muslims. There was not a single Muslim who could openly give the Adhan, that is the call for prayers.
5- Muslims were the lords of Arabia for 1400 years. For a few years, the British ruled, and for a few years the French ruled. Overall, the Muslims ruled Arabia for 1400 years. Yet today, there are 14 million Arabs who are Coptic Christians, i.e. Christians since generations.
If the Muslims had used the sword, there would not have been a single Arab who would have remained a Christian.
6- The Moghuls ruled India for about a thousand years. If they wanted, they had the power of converting each and every non-Muslim of India to Islam. Today more than 80% of the population of India are non-Muslims. All these non-Muslim Indians are bearing witness today that Islam was not spread by the sword.
7- Indonesia is a country that has the maximum number of Muslims in the world. The majority of people in Malaysia are Muslims. May one ask, “Which Muslim army went to Indonesia and Malaysia?”
8- Similarly, Islam has spread rapidly on the East Coast of Africa. One may again ask, if Islam was spread by the sword, “which Muslim army went to the East Coast of Africa.”
9- Even when Muslims won battles, they never forced the non-Muslims to accept Islam. The behaviour, brotherhood, honesty and justice of the Muslims and the universality and practical approach of Islam were the reasons for non-Muslims to accept Islam.
Islam spread a great extent by the Muslim traders and businessmen who spread in different parts of the world and whose behaviour impressed the non-Muslims.
10- Thomas Carlyle refers to this misconception about the spread of Islam on the following words:
“The sword indeed, but where will you get your sword? Every new opinion, at its starting is precisely in a minority of one, in one man’s head alone. There it dwells as yet. One man alone of the whole world believes it; there is one man against all men. That he takes a sword and tries to propagate with that, will do little for him. You must get your sword! On the whole, a thing will propagate itself as it can.’ (Heroes and Hero worship)
11- With which sword was Islam spread? Even if Muslims had the sword, they could not use it to spread Islam because the Quran says: “Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from error” (Al-Baqarah 2:256)
12- It is the sword of intellect. It is the sword that conquers the hearts and minds of the people. The Quran says: “Invite (all) to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious.”(An-Nahl 16:125)
13- An article in Readers digest ‘Almanac’, year book 1986, gave the statistics of the increase of percentage of the major religions of the world in half a century from 1934 to 1984. This article also appeared in ‘The Plain Truth’ magazine. At the top was Islam, which increased by 235%, and Christianity had increased only by 47%. Which war took place in this century, which converted millions of people to Islam?
14- Today the fastest growing religion in America is Islam. The fastest growing religion in Europe is Islam. Which sword is forcing people in the West to accept Islam in such large numbers?
15- Dr. Joseph Adam Pearson rightly says, “People who worry that nuclear weaponry will one day fall in the hands of the Arabs, fail to realize that the Islamic bomb has been dropped already, “it fell the day Muhammad was born”.
Enjoy watching this short in which Dr. Zakir Naik refutes the claim that Islam was spread by the sword:
Source of the video: The Message Channel
Source of the answer: http://www.islamawareness.net
If you have a question about Islam and Muslims, please feel free to have a one-to-one live chat with us:
Imam Muslim is one of the leading scholars and memorizers of the Prophet’s narrations and reports.
By Editorial Staff
He is Abu Al-Husayn Muslim ibn Al-Hajjaj ibn Muslim ibn Ward ibn Kushadh Al-Qushairy An-Naysabur, the outstanding and eminent authority of Hadith.
He is one the leading scholars and memorizers of the Prophet’s narrations and reports. His hadith collection is regarded as one of the two most authentic books of Hadith, alongside Sahih Al-Bukhari.
His Birth and Early Life
Imam Muslim was born in Nishapur in 206 A.H. (821) from a noble Arab tribe called Qushair. In a family of knowledge and good conduct, for his father was a regular attendant of the circles of knowledge and upright man, and in a town replete with Islamic knowledge, Abu Al-Husayn Muslim grew up stuck on knowledge. He began his knowledge journey in his tender age, as Imam Adh-Dhahaby said, “The beginning of his Hadith learning was in 218 A.H. from Yahya ibn Yahya At-Tamimi and he offered Hajj in 220 A.H. while he was still beardless.” It means that he was then about 12 years old or less when he attended the circles of Hadith.
His Pursuit of Knowledge
Abu Al-Husayn started by learning hadith from the scholars in his town Nishapur, then he began his long scientific journeys in a very early age. As-Siyuti said, “He travelled to Basra when he was 14 then he went to Hejaz to perform Hajj and study Hadith under the Imams of Hadith in Makkah and Medinah. Then, he travelled to Egypt, the Levant, Iraq and returned to Ar-Rayy and then Khurasan. He remained about 15 years pursuing knowledge of Hadith during which he met many sheikhs and collected more than 300000 hadith.” He travelled to these places more than once without any tiredness or wearisome. In these tours, he bent on knowledge seeking, scrutinizing the narrators of hadith and gaining the fruits of knowledge.
His Sheikhs and Students
Imam Muslim studied under a great deal of scholars of hadith and narrated hadiths from numberless people. Among the prominent scholars from which he narrated hadiths were `Abdullah ibn Maslamah Al-Qan`aby, Yahya ibn Yahya An-Naysabury, Qutaybah ibn Sa`id, Sa`id ibn Mansur, Ahmed ibn Hanbal, Is-haq ibn Rahuwayh, Abu Khaithamah Zuhair ibn Harb, Abu Kurayb Muhammad ibn Al-`Alaa’, Abu Musa Muhammad ibn Al-Muthanna, Muhammad ibn Yahya Adh-Dhuhaly, Abu Muhammad ibn Isma`il Al-Bukhari, `Abdullah Ad-Darimi and others. It is related that his sheikhs were about 220 from the narrators of hadith. He accompanied Imam Al-Bukhari and was affected by his method in compiling hadiths. It is reported that he would say to Imam Al-Bukhari, “Let me kiss your legs, O master of teachers, leader of Muhaddithin (scholars of hadith) and doctor of Hadith knowledge and its deficiencies.”
An-Nawawi said, “He learned from Yahya ibn Yahya, Is-haq ibn Rahuwaih and others in Khurasan, and from Muhammad ibn Mahran Al-Jammal, Abu Ghassan and others in Ar-Rayy, from Ahmad ibn Hanbal, `Abdullah ibn Muslim Al-Qa`nabi and others in Iraq, from Sa`id ibn Mansur, Abu Mus`ab and other in Hejaz, from `Amr ibn Suwad, Harmalah ibn Yahya and others in Egypt, and from many others.
As for his students, they were plentiful. Among them were `Ali ibn Al-Hasan ibn `Isa Al-Hilali, Muhammad ibn `Abdul-Wahhab Al-Farra’, Al-Husain ibn Muhammad Al-Qabbani, Abu `Eisa At-Tirmidhi, `Abdullah ibn Yahya As-Sarkhasi Al-Qady, `Ali ibn Al-Husain Ar-Razi, Salih ibn Muhammad Jazarah, Nasr ibn Ahmed Al-Hafiz, Ibn Khuzaimah, Abu `Uwanah, `Abdur-Rahmadn ibn Abu Hatim Ar-Razi, and many others
Imam Muslim compiled a lot of books, the most important of which are Al-Musnad As-Sahih (Sahih Muslim), At-Tamiyiz, Kitab Al-`Ilal, Kitab Al-Wuhdan, Kitab Al-Afrad, Kitab Al-Aqran, Kitab Al-Mukhadramin, Kitab Awham Al-Muhaddithin and Kitab At-Tabaqat.
- Muhammad ibn `Abdul-Wahhab Al-Farra’ said, “Muslim was one of the prominent scholars and vessels of knowledge.”
- Muhammad ibn Bashshar said, “The memorizers of hadiths are four: Abu Zur`ah, Muhammad ibn Isma`il Al-Bukhari, Ad-Darimi, and Muslim.”
- Al-Husain ibn `Ali An-Naysaburi said, “There is no book under the canopy of the sky more authentic than the book of Muslim ibn Al-Hajjaj in the knowledge of Hadith.”
- Ahmed ibn Salamah said, “I saw Abu Zur`ah and Abu Hatim advancing Muslim ibn Al-Hajjaj in knowing the authentic hadiths upon the sheikhs of their age.”
- Ibn Khalkan said, “He is the compiler of the Sahih, one of the greatest memorizers and leading scholars of hadith.”
- Ibn Al-Jawzi said, “He is a prominent scholar of Hadith and one of the vessels of knowledge.”
- Sadi` ibn Hasan Al-Qanuji said, “Imam Muslim ibn Al-Hajjaj Al-Qushairy Al-Baghdadi is one of the outstanding memorizers and knowledgeable scholars of hadith, he is the leader of Khurasan in hadith following Al-Bukhari.”
– He said to Imam Al-Bukhari, “Let me kiss your legs, O master of teachers, leader of Muhaddithin (scholars of hadith) and doctor of Hadith knowledge and its deficiencies.”
He lived for 55 years and died in Rajab, 261 A.H. Regarding the cause of his death, Adh-Dhahabi mentioned on the authority of Ahmad ibn Salamah, “A gathering of knowledge and revision was held for Abu Al-Husayn Muslim bin Al-Hajjaj where a hadith that he did not know was mentioned. He went home and lit his lamp and said to those at home, “No one should enter the house (i.e. disturb me).” He was told, “We have been gifted a basket of dates.” He said, “Put it out for me,” so they served it to him. He started searching for the hadith and taking a date at a time until the morning, by which time the dates where finished and he had finally found the hadith. Muhammad bin ‘Abdullah (one of the reporters of this narration) added, “A reliable companion of ours added that this was the cause of his death.”
– Siyar A`lam An-Nubala’ by Adh-Dhahabi
– Tadhkirat Al-Huffaz by Adh-Dhahabi
– Tarikh Baghdad by Al-Khatib Al-Baghdadi
– Al-Bidayah wa An-Nihayah by Ibn Kathir
– Abjad Al-`Ulum by Al-Qanuji
– Tahdhib At-Tahdhib by Ibn Hajar
– Tabaqat Al-Huffaz by Jalaluddin As-Siyuti
Al-Bukhari: The Imam of Hadith and Sunnah
At-Tirmidhi: Imam of Hadith and Fiqh
Abu Dawud: The Faqih and Scholar of Hadith
Imam An-Nasa’i: The Great Authority of Hadith
Ibn Majah: The Great Memorizer of Hadith
Sahih Al-Bukhari is considered the most authentic book next to the Qur’an.
By Editorial Staff
He is Abu `Abdullah Muhammad ibn Abu Al-Hasan Isma`il ibn Ibrahim ibn Al-Mughirah Al-Ga`fi Al-Muhkari, known as Al Bukhari, the ever well-known scholar of hadith. His collection of Hadith “Sahih Al-Bukhari” is considered the most authentic book in Islam next to the Glorious Quran.
This article sheds light on some of the sides of Imam Muhammad ibn Isma`il Al-Bukhari; his biography, works, sheikhs and students.
Al-Bukhari’s birth and early life
Abu `Abdullah Al Bukhari was born on Friday 13 Shawwal, 194 A.H. in the city of Bukhara in Khorasan (Uzbekistan) in a family renowned for their uprightness and righteousness. His father Isma`il was a practicing scholar and noble man, but he did not remain long and passed away while his children were too young. His son Muhammad showed significant love of seeking Islamic knowledge. Therefore, his mother sent him to the circles of the Qur’an and Hadith to learn in them.
Imam Al-Bukhari showed peerless learning capacities and excelled all his classmates. He was once asked, “When did you start seeking Hadith knowledge?” He said, “I was bestowed the talent of memorizing Hadith while I was in the kuttab (small school). He was asked, “How old were you at that time?” He answered, “10 years or less.”
He was exceptionally talented in memorization which helped him memorizing thousands of hadiths in a very early age.
Once, his classmates censured him for not writing hadiths like them. He told them that he committed all the hadiths they learned to memory. They tested his memory which proved perfect.
One of the stories circulated about this unique talent is that of Salim ibn Mujahid who said, “I was with Muhammad ibn Salam Al-Baikandari who said to me, “If you came a little while ago, you would saw a young boy memorizing 70000 hadiths.” Salim said, ‘I went out searching for this boy until I met him.” Salim said, “I told him, ‘You allege that you memorize 70000 hadiths?’ The young Al-Bukhari replied in the affirmative and said, “I will not mention a hadith from the Sahabah or their followers but I have knowledge about their birth, death and residence.  Actually, Al-Bukhari was a nonpareil seeker of knowledge.
Al-Bukhari’s pursuit of knowledge
Al-Bukhari started knowledge seeking in the kuttab. He memorized the whole Quran at the age of 10 years then he moved to Hadith learning. When he reached 16, he has memorized the entire hadiths narrated by Ibn Al-Mubarak and Waki`.
He traveled for narrating hadiths to Balkh and Nishapur. Then, he went to Makkah and remained in it for a while, then traveled to Baghdad, the Levant and Egypt. He got a lot of knowledge and narrated many hadiths. It is reported that his sheikhs is counted as more than 1000 scholars.
Al-Bukhari started teaching Hadith when he was 17 years old. He used to say, “I memorized one hundred thousand authentic hadiths, and I memorized two hundred inauthentic hadiths.”
Among the Sheikhs of Al-Bukhari were: Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Hammad ibn Shakir, Makki ibn Ibrahim and Abu `Asim An-Nabil. Among those who narrated from Al-Bukhari were: Muslim ibn Al-Hajjaj, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa’i, Muhammad ibn Nasr Al-Marwazi; and many others.
Imam Al-Bukhari compiled numerous books but the most widely known of them is “Al-Jami` Al-Musnad As-Sahih Al-Mukhtasar min Umuri Rasullillah wa Sunanih wa Ayyamih.” It is translated as “The Abridged Collection of Authentic Hadith with Connected Chains regarding Matters Pertaining to the Prophet, His practices and His Times.” It is known as Sahih Al-Bukhari.
Imam Muhammad ibn Isma`il compiled other books including, Al-Adab Al-Mufrad, At-Tarikh Al-Kabir, Khalq Af`al Al-`Ibad, Raf` Al-Yadain fi As-Salah, and Al-Kuna.
Imam Al-Bukhari was a pious, practicing and devout knowledgeable scholar. He was distinguished with his exact observance of the Sunnah without any slackness or indolence. There is nothing more evidencing on his sincerity than the spread of his “Sahih Al-Bukhari” that is considered as the most authentic book next to the book of Allah, the Qur’an.
Imam Al-Bukhari was a shining star in the space of piousness and fear of God. He used to say, “I hope that I meet Allah and that He does not call me into account for backbiting anyone.” Yet, his absorption with Hadith did not impede him from observing Jihad. It is reported that he would frequent places of archery to be prepared for Jihad. He was reported to go to borderline cities defending the Muslim state.
Scholarly Praise of Al-Bukhari
– Raja’ Al-Hafizh said, “He (Al-Bukhari) is one of Allah’s signs walking on the Earth.”
– Al-Husain As-Samarqandi said, “Muhammad ibn Isma`il is singled out with three characteristics in addition to his praised ones. He was a reserved man, unambitious about what people have and completely bent on seeking knowledge.”
– An-Najm ibn Al-Fudayl said, “I saw in a dream the Prophet was walking and Muhammad ibn Isma`il was walking behind him, wherever the Prophet place his foot Muhammad Ibn Isma`il would place his foot.”
– Yahya ibn Ja`far said, “If I was able to give to Muhammad ibn Isma`il from my lifetime, I would do that because my demise equals the death of one man while the demise of Al Bukhari means the demise of knowledge.”
– Na`im ibn Hammad said, “Muhammad ibn Isma`il is the Faqih of this Ummah.”
– Ibn Khuzaymah said, “I have never seen underneath the sky one who is more knowledgeable and memorizer of the hadith of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) than Muhammad ibn Isma`il.”
– Al-Hafiz Abu `Amr Al-Khaffaf said, “Muhammad ibn Isma`il is more knowledgeable of hadith than Is-haq ibn Rahawayh, Ahmad ibn Hanbal and other scholars with 20 degrees. Whoever speaks badly about him, I curse him 1000 curses. Muhammad is the most pious and purest scholar and I have not seen anyone like him.
– `Abdullah ibn Hammad said, “I hoped that I was a hair in the chest of Muhammad ibn Isma`il.”
– I know nothing that people may need but is found in the Quran and Sunnah.
– I hope that I meet Allah and that He does not call me into account for backbiting anyone.
– I did not start teaching hadith until I became full-aware of the authentic and the inauthentic narrations, reviewed all the books of opinion and visited Basra 5 times or about that, and left no authentic hadith but I wrote it except what I deemed it not authentic. 
– I never willed to start any speech that included the worldly life but I will start with praising and commending Allah.
Al Bukahri’s trail and death
When Imam Al-Bukhari reached Nishapur he was majestically welcomed. The scholar of Nishapur at that time was a man called Muhammad ibn Yahya Adh-Dhahli. Shortly after Al-Bukhari’s arrival, ِAdh-Dhahli’s hadith circle became empty. He got furious and enraged against Al-Bukhari, and thus started spreading false rumors about Al-Bukhari. He disseminated that Imam Al-Bukhari believed that the Quran is created. Although Al-Bukhari never said so and he was completely innocent of this, Muhammad ibn Yahya continued his allegations and fight against Al-Bukhari until he compelled Al Bukhari to leave the whole city and return to his homeland Bukhara.
Then, Al-Bukhari was subject to another ordeal by the ruler of Bukhara who asked Al-Bukhari to visit him and narrate Sahih Al-Bukhari to his children. Imam Al-Bukhari was a self-proud man, he refused saying, “Knowledge is to be sought,” meaning that if anyone wanted to learn Sahih Al-Bukhari, he should come to the circle of Hadith. This caused alienation between him and the ruler. In addition, the former rumors reached that ruler who was already aggravated by Al Bukhari’s reaction. Thereupon, He expelled Imam Al-Bukhari out of Bukhara.
As he has grown old, the expulsion of Imam Al-Bukhari caused painful aches inside him. On 1 Shawwal 256 A.H. Imam Al-Bukhari passed away at the age of 62 years in a small town near Samarkand called Khartank. May Allah confer His Mercy upon our greatest Imam!
1- Adh-Dhahabi Shams Ad-Din Muhammad ibn Qaymaz (d 748), Tadhkirat Al-Huffaz, 1st edition, Dar Al-Kutub Al-`Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, 1998. vol. 2, p. 104.
2- Ibid p 104
3- Ibn Kathir, Al-Bidayah wa An-Nihayah, Dar Al-Fikr, 1986, vol. 11, p. 25.
5- Al-Khatib Al-Baghdadi Abu Bakr Ahmad ibn `Ali (d 463 AH), Tarikh Baghdad, Dar Al-Gharb Al-Islami, Beirut, Lebanon, 1st edition, 2002, vol.2, p. 324.
6- Ibn `Asakir Abul-Qasim `Ali Ibn Al-Hasan (d 571 AH), Tarikh Dimashq, Dar Al-Fikr, 1995, vol. 52, p. 63.
7- Adh-Dhahabi Shams Ad-Din Muhammad ibn Qaymaz (d 748), Siyar A`lam An-Nubalaa’, Ar-Risalah Institution, 3rd edition, vol. 12, p. 393.
8- Ibn `Asakir Abul-Qasim `Ali Ibn Al-Hasan (d 571 AH), Tarikh Dimashq, Dar Al-Fikr, 1995, vol. 52, p. 58.
9- Ibn Hajar Al-`Asqalani Ahmad ibn `Ali, Tahdhib At-Tahdhib, Da’irat Al-Ma`arif An-Nizamiyyah, India, 1st edition, 1326 AH, vol. 9, p. 50.
10- Adh-Dhahabi Shams Ad-Din Muhammad ibn Qaymaz (d 748), Tadhkirat Al-Huffazh, 1st edition, Dar Al-Kutub Al-`Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, 1998. vol. 2, p. 105.
11- Adh-Dhahabi Shams Ad-Din Muhammad ibn Qaymaz (d 748), Siyar A`lam An-Nubalaa‘, Ar-Risalah Institution, 3rd edition, vol. 12, p. 439.
12- Adh-Dhahabi Shams Ad-Din Muhammad ibn Qaymaz (d 748), Siyar A`lam An-Nubalaa’, Ar-Risalah Institution, 3rd edition, vol. 12, p. 439.
13- Al-Khatib Al-Baghdadi Abu Bakr Ahmad ibn `Ali (d 463 AH), Tarikh Baghdad, Dar Al-Gharb Al-Islami, Beirut, Lebanon, 1st edition, 2002, vol. 2, p. 340.
14- Adh-Dhahabi Shams Ad-Din Muhammad ibn Qaymaz (d 748), Siyar A`lam An-Nubalaa’, Ar-Risalah Institution, 3rd edition, vol. 12, p. 448.
15- Ibn Hajar Al-`Asqalani Ahmad ibn `Ali, Fat-h Al-Bari Sharh Sahih Al-Bukhari, Dar Al-Ma`rifah, Beirut, 1379, vol. 1, p. 7.
16- Ibid p. 484.
17- Ibn `Asakir Abul-Qasim `Ali Ibn Al-Hasan (d 571 AH), Tarikh Dimashq, Dar Al-Fikr, 1995, vol. 52, p. 87.
18- Ibn Hajar Al-`Asqalani Ahmad ibn `Ali, , Dar Al-Ma`rifah, Beirut, 1379, vol. 1, p. 485.Fat-h Al-Bari Sharh Sahih Al-Bukhari
19- Al-Khatib Al-Baghdadi Abu Bakr Ahmad ibn `Ali (d 463 AH), Tarikh Baghdad, Dar Al-Gharb Al-Islami, Beirut, Lebanon, 1st edition, 2002, vol.2, p. 340.
21- Ibn Hajar Al-`Asqalani Ahmad ibn `Ali, Fat-h Al-Bari Sharh Sahih Al-Bukhari, Dar Al-Ma`rifah, Beirut, 1379, vol. 1, p. 488.
22- Adh-Dhahabi Shams Ad-Din Muhammad ibn Qaymaz (d 748), Siyar A`lam An-Nubalaa’, Ar-Risalah Institution, 3rd edition, vol. 12, p. 416.
23- Ibid 445.
24- Ibid 465
25- Al-Khatib Al-Baghdadi Abu Bakr Ahmad ibn `Ali (d 463 AH), Tarikh Baghdad, Dar Al-Gharb Al-Islami, Beirut, Lebanon, 1st edition, 2002, vol.2, p. 340.
Muslim: The Leading Scholar of Hadith
Abu Dawud: The Faqih and Scholar of Hadith
At-Tirmidhi: Imam of Hadith and Fiqh
Imam An-Nasa’i: The Great Authority of Hadith
Ibn Majah: The Great Memorizer of Hadith
The Prophet had a good laugh and so did his companions.
In spite of the fact that he fought in the battles of Badr, Uhud, Khandaq and other major encounters, An-Nuayman ibn Amr remained a light-hearted person who was quick at wordplay and who loved to play practical jokes on others.
He belonged to the Banu an-Najjar of Madinah and he was among the early Muslims of the city. He was one of those who pledged allegiance to the Prophet (peace be upon him) at the Second Pledge of Aqabah.
He established links with the Quraish when he married the sister of Abdur-Rahman ibn Awf and later Umm Kulthum the daughter of Uqbah ibn Abi Muayt. She had obtained a divorce from her husband Az-Zubayr ibn al-Awwam on account of his harshness and severity.
Once An-Nuayman went to the market and saw some food being sold which appeared to be tasty and delightful. He ordered some and sent it to the Prophet as if it were a gift from him.
The Prophet was delighted with the food and he and his family ate of it. The vendor of the food then came to An-Nuayman to collect the price of it and An-Nuayman said to him: “Go to the Messenger of God it was for him. He and his family ate it.” The vendor went to the Prophet who in turn asked An-Nuayman: “Didn’t you give it to me?” “Yes,” said An-Nuayman. “I thought you would like it and I wanted you to eat some of it so I had it presented to you. But I don’t have any money to pay the vendor for it. So, pay, O Messenger of God!” The Prophet had a good laugh and so did his companions. The laugh was at his expense, literally, for he had to pay the price of the unsolicited gift. An-Nuayman felt that two benefits came out of the incident: the Prophet and his family ate food that they enjoyed and the Muslims had a good laugh.
Once Abu Bakr and some companions went on a trading expedition to Busra. Various people on the trip were given fixed duties. Suwaybit ibn Harmalah was made responsible for food and provisions. An-Nuayman was among the group and on the way he became hungry and asked Suwaybit for some food. Suwaybit refused and an-Nuayman said to him:
“Do you know what I would yet do with you?” and went on to warn and threaten him but still Suwaybit refused. An-Nuayman then went to a group of Arabs in the market and said to them: “Would you like to have a strong and sturdy slave whom I can sell to you.” They said “of Course and An-Nuayman went on: “He has a swift tongue and is very articulate. He will resist you and say: ‘I am free.’ But don’t listen to him”
The men paid the price of the slave – ten pieces of gold and An-Nuayman accepted it and appeared to complete the transaction with business-like efficiency. The buyers accompanied him to fetch theft purchase.
Pointing to Suwaybit, he said: “This is the slave whom I sold to you.” The men took hold of Suwaybit and he shouted for dear life and freedom. “I am free”. I am Suwaybit ibn Harmalah…” But they paid no attention to him and dragged him off by the neck in shackles as they would have done with any slave.
All the while, an-Nuayman did not laugh or batter an eyelid. He remained completely calm and serious while Suwaybit continued to protest bitterly. Suwaybit’s fellow travelers, realizing what was happening, rushed to fetch Abu Bakr, the leader of the caravan, who came running as fast as he could. He explained to the purchasers what had happened and so they released Suwaybit and had their money returned. Abu Bakr then laughed heartily and so did Suwaybit and an-Nuayman. Back in Madinah, when the episode was recounted to the Prophet and his companions, they all laughed even more.
A man once came to the Prophet on a delegation and tied his camel at the door of the Mosque. The Companions noticed that the camel had a large fat hump and their appetite for succulent tasty meat was stimulated. They turned to An-Nuayman and asked: “Would you deal with this camel?” An-Nuayman understood what they meant. He got up and slaughtered the camel. The nomad Arab came out and realized what had happened when he saw people grilling, sharing out and eating meat. He shouted in distress: “Oh my camel, what have you done!” The Prophet heard the commotion and came out. He learnt from the Sahabah what had happened and began searching for An-Nuayman but did not find him. Afraid of being blamed and punished, an-Nuayman had fled. The Prophet then followed his footprints. These led to a garden belonging to Danbaah the daughter of az-Zubayr, a cousin of the Prophet. He asked the companions where an-Nuayman was. Pointing to a nearby ditch, they said loudly so as not to alert an-Nuayman: “We haven’t found him, O Messenger of God.” An-Nuayman was found in the ditch covered with palm branches and leaves and emerged with dirt on his head, beard and face. He stood in the presence of the Prophet who took him by the head and dusted the dirt from his face while he chuckled with laughter. The companions joined in the mirth. The Prophet paid the price of the camel to its owner and they all joined in the feast.
The Prophet obviously regarded an-Nuayman’s pranks for what they were; light-hearted jokes that were meant to create some relief and laughter. The religion of Islam does not require people to disdain seemly laughter and levity and remain perpetually gloomy. An appropriate sense of humor is often a saving grace. An-Nuayman lived on after the Prophet and continued to enjoy the affection of Muslims. But did he put an end to his laughter?
During the caliphate of Uthman, a group of Companions were sitting in the Masjid. They saw Makhramah ibn Nawfal, an old man who was about one hundred and fifteen years old and obviously rather senile. He was related to the sister of Abdur-Rahman ibn Awf, who was a wife of an-Nuayman. Makhramah was blind. He was so weak that he could hardly move from his place in the Mosque. He got up to urinate and might have done so in the Mosque. But the companions shouted at him to prevent him from doing so.
An-Nuayman got up and went to take him to another place, as he was instructed. What is this other place that an-Nuayman took him to? In fact he took him only a short distance away from where he was sitting at first and sat him down. The place was still in the Mosque! People shouted at Makhramah and made him get up again all in a frenzy. The poor old man was distressed and said: “Who has done this?” “An-Nuayman ibn Amr,” he was told.
The old man swore and announced that he would bash An-Nuayman on the head with his stick if he should meet him. An-Nuayman left and returned. He was up to some prank of his again. He saw Uthman ibn Affan, the Commander of the Faithful, praying in the Mosque. Uthman was never distracted when he stood for Prayer. An-Nuayman also saw Makhramah. He went up to him and in a changed voice said: “Do you want to get at an-Nuayman?” The old man remembered what an-Nuayman had done. He remembered his vow and shouted: “Yes, where is he?” An-Nuayman took him by the hand and led him to the place where the Caliph Uthman stood and said to him: “Here he is!” The old man raised his staff and bashed the head of Uthman and the people shouted: “That’s the Commander of the Faithful!” They dragged Makhramah away and some people set out to get an-Nuayman but Uthman restrained them and asked them to leave him alone. In spite of the blows he had suffered, he was still able to laugh at the deeds of An-Nuayman. An-Nuayman lived up to the time of Muawiyah when a trial between the believers saddened him and discord filled him with anguish. He lost his humor and laughed no more.
There was once a civilization that was the greatest in the world.
When we look up the word civilization in the Websters online dictionary we get:
“A society in an advanced state of development.”
When looking at the effects of Islam on the Arabs, anyone would recognize a huge transformation in the followers of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) from the very beginning and for centuries after that.
This “advanced state of development” began the most powerful transition in a society known to the history of man.
Some of the many drastic changes which took place during the 23 years of the Prophet’s mission were:
1- The whole of Arabia completely leaving a long history of Polytheism to the purest form of Monotheism.
2- The Arabs went from a lawless nation of continuous tribal feuds to a unified empire which accepted non-Arabs as part of their civilization and outlawed the incorrect notion of tribalism.
This empire was built on the law of God with an executive leader (Caliph), governers, a judicial system, etc… The law wiped out virtually all social corruption and brought about sweeping justice throughout the land.
3- Although they were masters of their language and highly eloquent, the Arabs were known as the illiterate nation. The teachings of Islam pushed them to not only become literate, but Islam thrust them into an age of scholarship and record keeping in addition to becoming a nation of high level academic publications.
And lastly, the mosques became centers for learning and in the fields of science, math, and medicine they picked up where the Greeks left off. The Muslim civilization literally set the stage for the technological advancement we now live in.
4- The Arabs were a weak nation living under the authority of the Persian and Roman empires for over a thousand years. Within 35 years of the death of the Prophet the Islamic nation had toppled both empires within their region and pushing the Romans into the heart of Europe.
The Muslim rule replaced these material empires of power and wealth which oppressed the commoners with justice and inclusivism.
5- Arabs had good qualities of generosity and honor, but they were generally an immoral people engulfed in drunkeness, prostitution, and gambling. The Islamic Law strictly forbade all of these things and put heavy consequences upon those who indulged in them.
6- The Arab society was deeply into myth and superstition. Islam taught logic and common sense and brought forth a science for accepting narrated scripture which wouldn’t allow error in belief or practice. In addition to that Islam teaches that nothing happens without the will of Almighty God and that His knowledge encompasses everything past, present, and future.
I would like to introduce the subject of the great Islamic Civilization and its noble characteristics with a speech given by a non-Muslim business woman from today’s Western civilization. The woman who gave this speech is Carly Fiorina was the CEO of Hewlett Packard from 1999 to 2005 until she resigned from her position. She has a thorough background in history as well as business. This speech was given on Sep. 26, 2001 in Minneapolis, MN.
The speech it titled “Technology, Business and our way of life: What’s Next?”
“There was once a civilization that was the greatest in the world. It was able to create a continental super-state that stretched from ocean to ocean, and from northern climes to tropics and deserts. Within its dominion lived hundreds of millions of people, of different creeds and ethnic origins.
One of its languages became the universal language of much of the world, the bridge between the peoples of a hundred lands. Its armies were made up of people of many nationalities, and its military protection allowed a degree of peace and prosperity that had never been known. The reach of this civilization’s commerce extended from West Africa to China, and everywhere in between.
And this civilization was driven more than anything, by invention. Its architects designed buildings that defied gravity. Its mathematicians created the algebra and algorithms that would enable the building of computers, and the creation of encryption. Its doctors examined the human body, and found new cures for disease. Its astronomers looked into the heavens, named the stars, and paved the way for space travel and exploration.
Its writers created thousands of stories; stories of courage, romance and magic. Its poets wrote of love, when others before them were too steeped in fear to think of such things.
When other nations were afraid of ideas, this civilization thrived on them, and kept them alive. When censors threatened to wipe out knowledge from past civilizations, this civilization kept the knowledge alive, and passed it on to others.
While modern Western civilization shares many of these traits, the civilization I’m talking about was the Islamic world from the year 800 to 1600, which included the Ottoman Empire and the courts of Baghdad, Damascus and Cairo, and enlightened rulers like Suleiman the Magnificent.
Although we are often unaware of our indebtedness to this other civilization, its gifts are very much a part of our heritage. The technology industry would not exist without the contributions of Arab (Muslim) mathematicians. Sufi poet-philosophers like Rumi challenged our notions of self and truth. Leaders like Suleiman contributed to our notions of tolerance and civic leadership.
And perhaps we can learn a lesson from his example: It was based on meritocracy, not inheritance. It was leadership that harnessed the full capabilities of a very diverse population that included Christianity, Islamic and Jewish traditions.
This kind of enlightened leadership– leadership that nurtured culture, sustainability, diversity and courage led to 800 years of invention and prosperity.
In dark and serious times liek this, we must affirm our commitment to building societies and institutions that aspire to this kind of greatness. More than ever, we must focus on the importance of leadership and decidedly personal acts of leadership”