By Truth Seeker Staff
The information about the revitalization of plants in the verse is just one of the countless miraculous properties of the Qur’an.
The rain’s function of “bringing a dead land back to life” is indicated in several verses of the Qur’an:
“… We send down from heaven pure water so that by it We can bring a dead land to life and give drink to many of the animals and people We created.” (Al-Furqan 25:48-49)
As well as bringing water, an essential requirement for living things, to the earth, the rain also has a fertilizing property. Drops of rain which evaporate from the sea and reach the clouds contain certain substances which “revitalize” dead soil. These raindrops with such “revitalizing” properties are called “surface tension droplets.”
These form from the top layer of the surface of the sea called the micro-layer by biologists; in this surface layer, less than one-tenth of a millimeter thick, are found large quantities of organic waste formed from the decomposition of microscopic algae and zooplankton. Some of these wastes collect and absorb elements such as phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium, which are rarely found in seawater, as well as heavy metals such as copper, zinc, cobalt, and lead.
Seeds and plants on the surface of the earth receive large quantities of the mineral salts and elements they need to grow from these raindrops. The Qur’an refers to this in these terms:
“And We sent down blessed water from the sky and made gardens grow by it and grain for harvesting.” (Qaf 50:9)
These salts which descend with the rain are examples in miniature of fertilizers traditionally used to enhance productivity (calcium, magnesium, potassium etc.). Heavy metals of the kind found in aerosols create elements which increase productivity during growth and production of plants. In short, rain is an important fertilizer.
With the fertilizer which provided by rain alone, within a hundred years, a soil of poor quality can obtain all the elements necessary for plants. Forests also grow and are nourished with help from these chemicals which originate from the sea.
In this way, every year some 150 million tons of particles of fertilizer fall to earth. Were it not for this fertilizing function, there would have been far fewer plants on the Earth and the balance of life would have been disturbed. The information about the revitalization of plants in the verse is just one of the countless miraculous properties of the Qur’an.
Taken with slight editorial modifications from Miracles of the Qur’an website.
By Siraj Islam Mufti
The Islamic family, if it is rightly Islamic, is the very ideal to which Western people aspire.
The Western society as a whole is in a deep social crisis. This is primarily due to the breakdown of the family institution through dominant secular forces. Family constitutes the foundation of a society and on its strength or weakness lies the strength or weakness of its society. If the family institution is weak nothing else can make up for this weakness. Therefore, despite its present greatness, the entire West is heading towards a disastrous end.
The breakdown of Western families is proceeding at an alarming speed. Rising divorce rates show that the West tops the world. In 2014 the United States stood at 10th place with 53%, and Belgium led at 71%. With a population of 320 million, it is estimated that there is one couple breaking up in the U.S. every 6 seconds. Unbelievable! Isn’t it?
Less than 50% of American children live in a first marriage family, and the fastest growing form of family is a single mother.
Two of the biggest problems among children are teenage pregnancy and drug abuse. In 2012, 89% of pregnancies in ages 15-19 years were outside of marriage. And the new-borns are often left at the doors of others or dropped into dumpsters.
One could go on dwelling into other problems that the Western society is suffering from. Among these, drinking alcohol and use of other drugs, which have bad consequences for a family.
But let us discuss the subject of Islamic family and its importance for Muslims.
I will quote Ismail Faruqi, a great Islamic intellectual who was a professor of religion at the Temple University and a founder of the International Institute of Islamic Thought in Herndon, Virginia.
He observed, “The Islamic family if it is rightly Islamic, is the very ideal to which Western people aspire. In other words, the reality of Western people today stands diametrically opposite; if they can say that they can stand at the bottom at the bottom of human, social, and ethical development, because of what we see happening around us in their midst, the Islamic family with its ideals, with its norms and standards, stands at the opposite highest, and therefore, there could be no better way of convincing Western man, the non-Muslim man or woman, of the value of Islam, of the greatness of Islam, than to invite them to visit a Muslim family.”
However he warned Muslims, “But then, the Muslim family must be a good one. In other words, it must be truly Islamic and it must live up to the standards expected of an Islamic family.”
Let us compare and contrast some of the reasons for the wellbeing of an Islamic family versus a Western family.
- Even before an Islamic family is started it carries divine blessings on the premise that there no sex before marriage. Thus it saves Muslims from the evils of sexual promiscuity that is rampant in the West. It is the cause, among others, of the spread of venereal diseases.
In the Western societies, virginity is looked upon as an oddity. The youngsters mix freely with one another and have sex as they desire with more than one partner. And this habit continues after they get married. Therefore, there is great infidelity in marriage. And even a father may not consider that children born are legitimately his – leading to his emotional ruin.
In females, this is the cause of widespread teenage pregnancy and of unmarried mothers.
- Islam confers different roles of man and woman. As such, women do not compete with men but complement each other.
This is clear from the following Qur’anic verse: “Husbands are the protectors and maintainers of their wives because God has given the one more strength than the other, and because they support them from their means.” (Al-Nisa’ 4:34).
Islam assigns the family leadership role to men because God has endowed them with somewhat greater physical and emotional strength and endurance. As such men are responsible for supporting all female relatives in addition to their own household.
On the other hand, God made women biologically and psychologically very much suited to concentrate on the home and family and all that is required to operate and develop this institution and its associated areas.
This is a tremendous responsibility. And no one else can either take it away from her or adequately attend to it.
Let me quote from Khurshid Ahmad another great Islamic intellectual: “The function of child-bearing remains incomplete without its more crucial part of child-rearing and upbringing -their education, orientation, character-building and general initiation into religion and culture. If is because of this aspect that family care becomes a full-time job. No other institution or even a number of institutions can take care of this function.”
However, differences in roles or functions between men and women do not mean differences in their humanity. Or that one is superior to the other.
The Qur’an tells us at several places on the equality of men and women before God and in His judgment in the Hereafter. For example: “If any do deeds of righteousness – be they male or female – and have faith, they will enter heaven. And not the least injustice will be done to them.” (Al-Nisa’ 4:124)
- An Islamic family begins with the affinity between the two families and prospective spouses. The courtship between husband and wife starts after marriage and grows and becomes stronger with the passage of time. And marriage is the beginning not the consummation of this process of courtship and love.
In the Western system, love and courtship start before marriage. Marriage is the culmination of this relationship, and there is no excitement left to look forward to in marriage except the burden of responsibility.
- Arranged marriage in Islam means a marriage not between two individuals, but of two families. As such the two families with all their human, economic, and wisdom resources are at the service of the newly married couple. And all these resources are available for the two spouses if there is any problem.
In stark contrast, young men and women in the West meet on their own and decide to get married. As such after marriage, they are left on their own, and there no one to help or guide them to solve their marital problems.
- Marriage in Islam means a civil contract between two individuals with the backing of two families. It requires the consent of the two entering marriage, is signed and agreed upon and witnessed by guardians and elders of the spouses and becomes a legal and binding document. It serves as a constitution for the home state with all of its functionaries with responsibilities in the home.
The Western marriage has no constitution. It calls marriage a sacrament but is without any defined framework and when there is trouble between couples, it resorts to custom, common law and whatever the judge may arbitrarily decide.
- In Islam, a woman, married or single is seen as a person in her own right, and not merely an adjunct to another person. As such, she has the full right of ownership and disposal of her own property and earnings, even after marriage. When she is married, she retains her family name, instead of adopting her husbands.
Despite its other achievements, the West has still to learn a great deal from Islam on the question of the legal status of women, regardless of the marriage relationship.
- As stated above, marriage in Islam is a commitment of the spouses and their families to each other, and therefore it increases the sense of responsibility among them and induces a spirit of sacrifice for each other. And defeats and overcomes any individual selfish tendency for their common good. As a result, Muslim families are stable as indicated by the low divorce rate in Muslim countries.
There is no stability in marriage in the Western societies, as discussed above. After all, marriage requires adjustment to the new situation by the two spouses, and the two have to compromise to find a common ground as a solution to the problems encountered.
Since people in Western societies are highly individualistic, the essential ingredient of sacrifice for each other is missing in the West. Therefore, marriages have a very tenuous relationship and people stay married as long it is convenient for them. Each of the couple insists on fulfilling his/her personal idiosyncrasies, and none is willing to give in.
And when problems develop along with declining morals, they seek comfort elsewhere which results in infidelity, which is so very common. Finding solutions to marriage problems takes time, and instead of waiting most marriages in the West end up in divorce courts.
- A most important characteristic advocated by Islam is an extended family system. Dr. Faruqi calls the extended family of Islam as “the noblest, the greatest, the most valuable social institution the world has ever seen.” And that, “By going nuclear, that is to say by going individualistic, Western society has lost all these values and they are suffering terribly.”
An extended Muslim family is endowed with all its human wisdom and all the resources that it could contribute.
Because we live with our parents and our elders who have brought us up, played with us at our young age, told us stories, were patient with us, educated us, guided us, advised us – so we love them because we are in constant communion with them.
However in the West, there is alienation, and as soon as a youth grows up, he strikes out on his own. And when parents are old there is no respect for them and they end up pining for their children in old or nursing homes.
There could be no more cruel death than dying slowly in these homes for old age, away from their progeny, deprived of the love of their own children. Respect for elders has to be cultivated and it cannot be cultivated by separation from them. This is the greatest benefit of the extended family.
There are numerous other advantages of an extended family. Such as if there is a real need by the community, a Muslim woman can have a career without jeopardizing the upbringing of children, because there are others to take care of them.
Also, an extended family meets the needs of its individuals at different times. The need for love, for play, for consulting and counseling, for letting out the pent-up emotions, and so on and so forth.
And most importantly, there is no generation gap in an extended family. Thus social norms and values are passed on from one generation to the next, and there is a continuity between generations without a generation gap. This important quality is gravely missing in the Western societies.
The last point that the current research has shown is that as a result of the support system provided by an extended family, its individuals do not suffer from many of health complications and illnesses – such as depression, psychological and mental disorders, and even diseases such as cancers.
In summing it up, here in America, it is important to emphasize on brothers and sisters to stay chaste, guarding the elements of respect and shame within their God-given bodies. And to consult with parents regarding the selection of marriage partner, and live in close contact with extended family – we will ignore them only at our peril.
Giving utmost attention to these characteristics is extremely important because living in the same environment American Muslims are facing the same problems. It should be a cause of great concern for us that among American Muslims there are frequent reports of domestic violence and increased divorces – now estimated at about 31 percent. And if we are not careful we would get into more and more problems losing our very identities as Muslims. We must reform ourselves as well as teach others of the beauty of Islam: It is a vital role that we have to play for our good, the good of America and the wider humankind.
- Ismael Faruqi, Role of Family in the Spread of Islam, http://joerzack.tripod.com/role_of_the_family_in_the_spread.htm.
- Khurshid Ahmad, Family Life in Islam. The Islamic Foundation. Third Edition, Leicester, U.K., 1980.
Taken with slight editorial modifications from isamicity.org.
Siraj Islam Mufti, Ph.D. is a journalist and author. This article was given as Friday sermon and is part of his upcoming book on Family and Islamic Civilization due in November 2015. His two other books are Muslims At The Crossroads, 2012 and Basic Islamic Dynamics, 2015.
By Abul Ala Maududi
To answer this it is necessary to study carefully the difference between the Islamic concept of spirituality and that of other religions and ideologies. Without a clear understanding of this difference it often happens that, when talking about the spirituality in Islam, many of the vague notions associated with the word ‘spiritual’ unconsciously come to mind; it then becomes difficult for one to comprehend that this spirituality of Islam not only transcends the dualism of spirit and matter but is the nucleus of its integrated and unified concept of life.
The idea which has most influenced the climate of philosophical and religious thought is that body and soul are mutually antagonistic, and can develop only at each other’s expense. For the soul, the body is a prison and the activities of daily life are the shackles which keep it in bondage and arrest its growth. This has inevitably led to the universe being divided into the spiritual and the secular.
Those who chose the secular path were convinced that they could not meet the demands of spirituality, and thus they led highly material and hedonistic lives. All spheres of worldly activity, whether social, political, economic or cultural, were deprived of the light of spirituality; injustice and tyranny were the result.
Conversely, those who wanted to tread the path of spiritual excellence came to see themselves as ‘noble outcasts’ from the world. They believed that it was impossible for spiritual growth to be compatible with a ‘normal’ life. In their view, physical self-denial and mortification of the flesh were necessary for the development and perfection of the spirit. They invented spiritual exercises and ascetic practices which killed physical desires and dulled the body’s senses. They regarded forests, mountains and other solitary places as ideal for spiritual development because the hustle and bustle of life would interfere with their meditations. They could not conceive of spiritual development except through withdrawal from the world.
This conflict of body and soul resulted in the evolution of two different ideals for the perfection of man. One was that man should be surrounded by all possible material comforts and regards himself as nothing but an animal. Men learnt to fly like birds, swim like fish, run like horses and even terrorize and destroy like wolves but they did not learn how to live like noble human beings. The other was that the senses should be not only subdued and conquered but extra-sensory powers awakened and the limitations of the sensory world done away with. With these new conquests, men would be able to hear distant voices like powerful wireless sets, see remote objects as one does with a telescope, and develop powers through which the mere touch of their hand or a passing glance would heal the un-healable.
The Islamic viewpoint differs radically from these approaches. According to Islam, God has appointed the human soul as His Khalifah (vicegerent) in this world. He has invested it with a certain authority, and given it certain responsibilities and obligations for the fulfillment of which He has endowed it with the best and most suitable physical frame. The body has been created with the sole object of allowing the soul to use it in the exercise of its authority and the fulfillment of its duties and responsibilities. The body is not a prison for the soul, but its workshop or factory; and if the soul is to grow and develop, it is only through this workshop. Consequently, this world is not a place of punishment in which the human soul unfortunately finds itself, but a field in which God has sent it to work and do its duty towards Him.
Therefore spiritual development should not take the form of a man turning away from this workshop and retreating into a corner. Rather, man should live and work in it, and give the best account of himself that he can. It is in the nature of an examination for him; every aspect and sphere of life is, as it were, a question paper: the home, the family, the neighborhood, the society, the market-place, the office, the factory, the school, the law courts, the police station, the parliament, the peace conference and the battlefield, all represent question papers which man has been called upon to answer. If he leaves most of the answer-book blank, he is bound to fail the examination. Success and development are only possible if man devotes his whole life to this examination and attempts to answer all the question papers he can.
Islam rejects and condemns the ascetic view of life, and proposes a set of methods and processes for the spiritual development of man, not outside this world but inside it. The real place for the growth of the spirit is in the midst of life and not in solitary places of spiritual hibernation.
Criterion of Spiritual Development
We shall now discuss how Islam judges the development or decay of the soul. In his capacity as the vicegerent (Khalifah) of God, man is answerable to Him for all his activities. It is his duty to use all the powers which he has been given in accordance with the Divine will. He should utilize to the fullest extent all the faculties and potentialities bestowed upon him for seeking God’s approval. In his dealings with other people, he should behave in such a way as to try to please God. In brief, all his energies should be directed towards regulating the affairs of this world in the way in which God wants them to be regulated. The better a man does this, with a sense of responsibility, obedience and humility, and with the object of seeking the pleasure of the Lord, the nearer will he be to God. In Islam, spiritual development is synonymous with nearness to God. Similarly, he will not be able to get near to God if he is lazy and disobedient. And distance from God signifies, in Islam, the spiritual fall and decay of man.
From the Islamic point of view, therefore, the sphere of activity of the religious man and the secular man is the same. Not only will both work in the same spheres; the religious man will work with greater enthusiasm than the secular man. The man of religion will be as active as the man of the world indeed, more active in his domestic and social life, which extends from the confines of the household to the market square, and even to international conferences.
What will distinguish their actions will be the nature of their relationship with God and the aims behind their actions. Whatever a religious man does, will be done with the feeling that he is answerable to God, that he must try to secure Divine pleasure, that his actions must be in accordance with God’s laws. A secular person will be indifferent towards God and will be guided in his actions only by his personal motives. This difference makes the whole of the material life of a man of religion a totally spiritual venture, and the whole of the life of a secular person an existence devoid of the spark of spirituality.
Taken with slight editorial modifications from www.islammessage.com.
By Truth Seeker Staff
Converting to Islam made me feel different. It made me feel absolutely peaceful. I felt unstable before.
My name is Jamie and I converted to Islam a week and half ago.
Before I became a Muslim, I was not a very conservative person, I was not a very good person.
I modeled for about five years, and during that time I did a lot of drugs. And I thought oh, I can do math, and I won’t get addicted because I’m just using it as a weight loss helper. I will just use it every once and a while to just keep myself from eating too much.
Ah right! I thought I was strong enough to not get addicted to a drug that absolutely addicts basically everyone who uses it.
So I started doing math, and I would probably give it a couple of weeks and then I got really addicted to it, and I did it all day and all night for five years. And it really brought me to a place of complete rock bottom. My husband at that time had been doing it with me, and he started getting violent with me, and I was afraid for my life.
So I decided to quit. I decided that that was not what I wanted for my life, and I told him “I said I’m going to quit.” And he laughed at me and said “Yes, right. You are not going to quit!” and I said “You know what, I’m going to quit” I quit that day completely, never again looked back. I didn’t have any time for rehab, no outside help nor support system. I had my husband laughing at me and trying to get me to do it again.
After that I had my little boy. My whole focus on life kind of changed. I had this wonderful little boy who needed a good mother and I loved him so much, I wanted to change everything that I focused on for him.
Back in the day, I could do anything I wanted. I was very involved in basically the Hollywood scene that anybody would want to be involved in. A lot of people are surprised that I gave that up in order to become a Muslim, but the funny thing is when I said my shahadah the desire to do all those things was completely taken away from me. I used to drink, did drugs, and all that stuff. I don’t want to do them anymore. It is amazing to me, I really enjoy and feel peaceful in my heart about being a Muslim.
I was born and raised non-denominational charismatic born-again Christian, and I didn’t find answers for what I was looking for, for 31 years as a Christian, I never really felt God. I tried this as hard as I could. I really did and I never felt Him. The whole thing that started leading me to Islam was that I got married to an Iranian man who was a very devout born-again charismatic non-denominational Christian, and he was mentally and emotionally abusive to me, not to mention that fact that he was poisoning me, just so that he could control me, to keep me at home not being able to leave the house just to know where I would be all the times. So I left him, and that kind started me on a whole new journey to see what was really going on in the world.
Researching Islam and Finding Peace
I researched Islam for a while before I chose to convert. Basically, I wanted to know why people hated Muslims so much because I saw what I saw in the news. I saw oppression and violence and I wanted to know what really existed, and if that was the way that Islam was.
So I started researching it, and the more and more I researched it, the deeper I got into it, I saw the truth in it. I think the main thing that I liked about Islam was the respect for women. There is a large amount of respect for women and the things we do as women. Our lives aren’t easy. We have a lot of things that we have to think and worry about; our families, our husbands, our children and we have to bear children. That’s really a very hard thing to go through.
And you know, a lot of us have to cook, clean, raise children and take care of the house and the husband. It’s a difficult job. And the fact that Islam respects women for that, and they separate us at mosques so that the men are not distracted by us because Islam understands the power that we have behind, I guess you could say, our sexuality. The way we look is really powerful to men, and they are affected by it. Islam respects that. Once I realized that, it grabbed the hold of me, and that’s when I knew I wanted to become a Muslim.
Converting to Islam made me feel different. It made me feel absolutely peaceful. I felt unstable before. I felt like a lot of things in my life were just up and down because they hadn’t been decided on. There was no goal in my mind. There was no reasoning for me being here. I didn’t know why I should be here, and converting to Islam gave me that peace and security and the balance that I needed in my life that made everything make sense to me; that made everything real. And it made everything worth being here for, because I finally have a purpose and I understand what it is.
We don’t always have the opportunity to meet people that we essentially need to meet in order to understand them. So I started going to a mosque in order to really get close to the people and understand them. And the more I got involved in the mosque, the more the women just surrounded me and took me in, and they really showed me the kindness that is Islam.
I never ever in my life would have ever thought that I would become a Muslim. Never ever! My perception of Muslims was so misconceived that I didn’t like them because I believed media and I thought they were bad, and never in a million years would I have thought one day I would be one of them. But now that I’m, I’m so proud and happy. I want to wear Hijab because I want people to know that I’m Muslim, even if they hate me, I don’t care. I want to show them that Allah exists in any kind of person, not just Middle Easterners.
I played drums before I was Muslim, and just because I became a Muslim doesn’t mean I have to stop doing the things that I enjoy. I do a lot of sports; snowboarding, water skiing and I still can be a good Muslim and still wear Hijab.
My dad never really knew about my past with the drugs and playboy modeling and all that stuff. He and I didn’t speak for 8 years. He kicked me out of the house when I was 17 years old and I lived under a freeway overpass for a week. I was homeless. And all I had with me was what I could fit in my back bag and my guitar case.
So we didn’t speak for 8 years after that and he didn’t understand I wouldn’t have understood is that these are experiences I needed to have on my own. I needed to have the pain on my own, and I needed to have the recovery on my own.
The only reason why I started speaking to him again was because I got pregnant with my son, and I figured that my son needed a grandfather. When I did come back and started speaking to him again, we had a beautiful conversation together and we discussed what had happened before and we both apologized to each other and promised we will never do it again. So, … this is my daddy. And he is my best friend in the whole wide world. And it’s something I never thought it was going to happen. But now that it has, I love him so much.
The first time my dad learned about my conversion, I was on my way home from Sacramento. I had just gone to a mosque up there and converted. I was driving home and I was too afraid to call him because I knew he was going to be really mad. So I texted him on the phone and I said “Dad, could you please try to start having an open mind about Muslims? Can you please just stop being so judgmental and believing all you see about Muslims on the news?” He texted me back and said “Why?” So I said “Well, dad, I’m Muslim!”
My father wasn’t too pleased when he found out that I converted to Islam. He was quite unhappy to the point where I feared that I was going to have to leave. We live in the same home. And we work at the same job, and I haven’t gone back to the job since, but living at home has been very tense…
Taken with slight editorial modifications from onislam.net.
By Aisha Stacey
If you discovered something so amazing you felt like jumping up and down in excitement, what is the first thing that you would want to do? If you worked out the answer to a puzzle and knew others were trying to do the same thing, how would you feel, how would you react? If you discovered the meaning of life or the secrets of the universe, what would you do with that knowledge? If you worked out a way of banishing fear and sadness and replacing it with eternal happiness what would you do?
Most people would not be able to contain their excitement and would want to tell as many people as possible. They would want to tell everyone what they had discovered in the hope that they would be just as thrilled and just as excited. And that is the short and concise answer to why Muslims call others to Islam. Because they are convinced without a shadow of a doubt that Islam is the meaning of life, the secret of the universe and the key to eternal happiness are all rolled into an attainable and understandable package and they want every single person on the face of this earth to know that.
But there is a longer answer and it involves obeying the commands of God, following in the footsteps of the prophets, and gathering rewards in the hope of attaining eternal peace and happiness in the Afterlife.
Islam is what is sometimes called a proselytizing religion. That means it is a religion that attempts to convince people that its belief system is the correct belief system. Islam is a religion that not only holds all of the answers to life’s big questions but it is also inclusive in that there are no restrictions on who can be a Muslim. Islam is a religion for all places, all time and all people. No one can be barred from learning the truth no matter what their religious background is, or what ethnicity or nationality they belong to.
Once a person is a Muslim, he or she is fully equal to every other Muslim and it does not matter where they are from, what they look like or what the state of their lives and hearts was before they embraced Islam. The truth about God and His purpose for us, His creation, is something everybody should have access to. Thus those of us who know are commanded by God, to tell others.
“Let there be a group among you who call others to good, and enjoin what is right, and forbid what is wrong: those who do this shall be successful.” (Aal `Imran 3:104)
“Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and fair preaching, and argue with them in the best manner possible…” (Al-Nahl 16:125)
Most people want to spread the exciting news about Islam and at the same time fulfill the commands of God. The scholars of Islam agree that calling others to the way of God is a communal obligation, that is that every believer should undertake this great work, however, if in a particular place there are a sufficient number of people doing this, the others are released from this obligation.
This work is called da’wah and the person who engages in it is called a da’ee. However, it would be wrong to assume that only specialized people can do da’wah. Of course, preaching to a large crowd would require training, but the reality is that all practicing Muslims do some form of da’wah every day. Their manner of living and dealing with others is often the best forms of da’wah. Islam is a way of life and when people see the contentment, modesty and justice imbedded in a Muslims’ everyday life – it must, and does, look very appealing. Being a good example is an easy way to call the people to Islam. A religion of mercy and forgiveness where the people behave that way every day is attractive, to those whose lives are not so grounded.
From the reasons that people like to call others to the way of Islam is that they wish to follow in the footsteps of the prophets of God. Their mission was to call the people out of darkness and into light. They tried to take the people from disbelief to belief in the Oneness of God. Prophet Muhammad, the last in a long line of prophets was sent to humankind by God to tell them, among other things, about the immense rewards in the Hereafter for those who believe in One God and worship Him correctly.
“We have not sent you (O Muhammad) but to all mankind as a giver of good news and as a warner, but most people do not know.” (Saba’ 34:28)
“O Prophet, indeed We have sent you as a witness, and a bearer of glad tidings and a warner. And as one who invites to God by His leave and as a lamp spreading light. And announce to the believers the glad tidings, that they will have from God a great bounty.” (Al-Ahzab 33:45-47)
Another reason to do da’wah is that it is a source of unlimited goodness and reward. When a person embraces Islam because of another’s influence the caller to Islam takes rewards every time that person worships God. Prophet Muhammad said, “Whoever calls to guidance will have a reward similar to that of those who follow it, without the reward of either of them being lessened at all.” He also said, “If God guides one person through you, this will be better for you than possessing red camels.” In the time of Prophet Muhammad, camels were very valuable and the red variety were the most valuable of all.
Muslims believe that the only way to be successful in this life and in the next is by living the religion that is Islam. They believe that all of life’s big questions, the one’s that keep you up at night and the ones that make you day dream about an eternity of enlightenment, can be answered by Islam. Sincerity is an important concept in Islam; those who are insincere know their rewards will dwindle rapidly. Those believers who sincerely want to spread the good news of Islam can see their rewards multiply even if their efforts are unsuccessful. Muslims sincerely want everybody on this planet to know and to love God the way they know and love God. And that is why Muslims call others to Islam.
 Saheeh Muslim
 Saheeh Bukhari & Saheeh Muslim
Taken with slight editorial modifications from www.IslamReligion.com.
By Truth Seeker Staff
The history and building of Makkah is directly connected to Prophet Ibrahim
History informs us about what happened during specific points in the past as well as events that have taken place over time and gives us information related to this. Such information may be true or false, and every Muslim is obliged to seek the truth and confirm any information he hears so that he may ascertain what is correct from what is fabricated. Moreover, every Muslim should refer to reliable sources in order to obtain definite, authentic and verifiable information.
Makkah is the Sacred City as well as the holiest and the absolutely most honorable place on earth. The most truthful sources from which one can take the news about its history are the Noble Qur’an and the authentic prophetic narrations in this regard, and from these, we can ascertain its ancient history as well as how it was prior the message and prophethood of Muhammad.
After the advent of Islam, Muslim scholars and historians have endeavored to record chronicles of Makkah in general history books as well as books concerned with the biographies of the Muslim scholars who lived in it. Some scholars authored books that dealt primarily with its history and the areas surrounding it, one of the most famous beings “Chronicles of Makkah and its Ancient Monuments” authored by Abu Al-Waleed Al-Azraqi from the third century AH. Another book was “Chronicles of Makkah in Ancient and Contemporary Times” authored by Al-Fakihi who also lived during the third century AH, and his book was larger than that written by Al-Azraqi but the initial parts of his book were lost over time.
Thereafter, chronicling the affairs and events of Makkah ceased for a period of almost four centuries. It was thereafter resumed and one of the scholars who is considered to be the most prolific author regarding it and its history was Imam Taqiyyud-Deen Al-Fasi Al-Makki (775 AH – 832 AH). In his book entitled “The Therapy for those who Harbour Affection for the History of the Sacred City”, Imam Taqiyyud-Deen expressed his amazement at the fact that chronicling the history of Makkah had halted after Imams Al-Azraqi and Al-Fakihi.
This incited him to write many publications on the history of Makkah that took different sizes; large, medium and small. One of the largest books he authored was “The Treasured Necklace on the History of the Secure City” which consisted of eight volumes. Next in size came “The Therapy for those who Harbour Affection for the History of the Sacred City” which consisted of two volumes, which he later summarised in books such as “The Gift for the Honourable on the History of the Sacred City” and others.
Thereafter, many scholars and schools of history arose which contributed to the writing of the history and chronicles of Makkah such as, Aal Fahd and Aal Al-Tabari, and this has continued ever since, to include the contemporary.
The establishment of Makkah
The history and building of Makkah is directly connected to Prophet Ibrahim (may Allah exalt his mention) as he was the first person to settle his family in it when he left his wife Hajar and his son Isma`il (may Allah exalt his mention) there in compliance with the command of Allah for him to do so.
Imam Al-Bukhari reported on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) in the long narration in which the Prophet informed us that Ibrahim (may Allah exalt his mention) once came with his wife Hajar and his son Isma`il (may Allah exalt his mention) who was still a suckling infant, from ancient Syria to Makkah. At that time, Makkah had no water and nobody residing in it. Ibrahim (may Allah exalt his mention) took them both under the shade of a tree and left with them a bag of dates and a flask of water, then headed back to ancient Syria. As he was leaving, his wife Hajar called to him, saying: “Where are you going? How can you leave us in this deserted valley that has neither humans nor anything else (in terms of life)?” She repeated this a few times but he did not reply, so she asked: “Did Allah command you to do this?” Ibrahim (may Allah exalt his mention) replied: “Yes” Thereupon she said: “Then He shall never forsake us”.
Ibrahim (may Allah exalt his mention) walked for a while and then stood upon a small hill, raised his hands in supplication, and said, as Allah informs us saying (what means):
“Our Lord! I have settled some of my descendants in an uncultivated valley near Your Sacred House, our Lord, that they may establish prayer. So make hearts among the people incline toward them and provide for them from the fruits that they might be grateful.” [Ibrahim 14:37]
Allah blessed Hajar and her son with the well of Zamzam, and then people came from all directions and resided in Makkah. The first tribe to reside there was the tribe of Jurhum among whom Isma`il (may Allah exalt his mention) grew up and from whom he married.
Ibrahim (may Allah exalt his mention) came many times to Makkah to check upon their condition, and later Allah commanded him to build the Ka`bah; Allah says (what means):
“And [mention] when Ibrahim (Abraham) was raising the foundations of the House and [with him] Isma`il (Ishmael), [saying]: ‘Our Lord! Accept [this] from us. Indeed, You are the Hearing, the Knowing.’” [Al-Baqarah 2:127]
Allah also says (what means):
“And [O Muhammad], when We designated for Ibrahim (Abraham) the site of the House, [saying] “Do not associate anything with Me and purify My House for those who perform Tawaaf (circumambulation of the Ka’bah) and those who stand [in prayer] and those who bow and prostrate.” [Al-Hajj 22:26]
Ibn Kathir said commenting upon this verse in his famous book of history entitled “The Beginning and the End” in Volume 1, page 135: “There is no authentic report from the infallible (i.e. Prophet Muhammad ) informing us that the House (the Ka`bah) was built before Ibrahim (may Allah exalt his mention) and whoever states that, relying upon this verse (for evidence of that), has no basis for such a claim because what is meant by the verse is that he was simply being informed of where the House was to be built.” In Volume 2 page 227 of the same book, he said: “The verses of the Qur’an clearly indicate that Ibrahim was the first person to build it.”
Abu Dharr (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated: “I asked the messenger of Allah: `O Messenger of Allah! Which mosque was the first built on earth? He replied: “The Sacred Mosque (in Makkah)” “I then asked: ‘Which mosque was built next?` He said: “The Aqsaa mosque (in Jerusalem).” “Thereupon, I asked: `What was the period between the building of the two mosques?’ He replied: “Forty years.” [Al-Bukhari]
These reports clearly highlight the virtue of Prophet Ibrahim (may Allah exalt his mention) and confirm that he was the one who built the two mosques and that the period between the two was forty years.
Therefore, it becomes evident that the first thing to be established in Makkah was the Sacred Mosque (i.e. the Ka`bah), and that the first water to gush forth from it was Zamzam.
Thereafter, the offspring of Isma`il (may Allah exalt his mention) multiplied in the area of Hijaz (the province in which Makkah lies) and its surroundings, and their families succeeded each other in caring for the Sacred House and maintaining it for a long period of time, until the tribe of Khuza`ah took over this responsibility. People remained upon the monotheism with which Prophet Ibrahim (may Allah exalt his mention) came until the time when ‘Amr bin Lahy Al-Khuza`i introduced idol worshipping in the Ka`bah.
The number of idols then increased in the Ka`bah and this phenomenon spread all around the Arabian Peninsula to the extent that the number of idols in the Ka`bah reached three hundred and sixty, as stated by Al-Kalbi in his book “The Idols”.
Due to numerous wars and tribal struggles, the well of Zamzam was buried and people could no longer find it. Qusay bin Kilab, a great-grandfather of the Prophet Muhammad forcefully took over the custody of caring for the Sacred House and maintaining it from the tribe of Khuza`ah, as it had abused its authority. Qusay gathered the scattered families of the Quraysh tribe, relocated them in Makkah, and restored the sanctity of Makkah, which had been lost due to Khuza`ah’s misuse of authority and because some of the Quraysh tribe had been placed in the surrounding areas of Makkah in order to protect it.
This marked the beginning of an authority that glorified Makkah and which freely offered all types of services to its visitors, such as food, water and the cleaning and maintaining of the Ka`bah.
After `Abdul-Muttalib saw a dream in which he saw the exact spot of the buried well of Zamzam, he had the area dug up and restored the well. Thus, the well of Zamzam once again became the source of water to the pilgrims and visitors, as well as to the residents of Makkah.
After this, a grave event took place during the time of `Abdul-Muttalib when Abrahah the Ethiopian headed towards Makkah riding a huge elephant in order to demolish the Ka`bah. This is why that year came to be known as “The Year of the Elephant”, during which the Prophet was born.
A city with such a magnificent history is worthy of having such an exalted status and should, therefore, be glorified and honored. It deserves to occupy a special place in the hearts of its residents, as well as the Muslims in general.
Taken with slight editorial modifications from islamweb.net.