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How to Deal with Non-Muslims

How to Deal with Non-Muslims

By Dr. Ali Al-Halawani

Non-MuslimsHow to Deal with Non-Muslims

Any one can say or claim anything, be it true or false. What distinguishes the truth from falsehood is one’s practice and deeds. If one’s talk conforms to his/her deeds, one is considered truthful and vice versa. To be truthful, you have to walk the talk!

In the case of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him), it was not him who talked about or described himself. Rather, it was Allah the Almighty Who described him saying:

{And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds} (Al-Anbiya’ 107)

The Prophet’s mercy was not, in any way, restricted to Muslims. It encompassed all, Muslims and non-Muslims, humans and the Jinn, and even animals and non-living things.

He (peace and blessings upon him) showed mercy even to those who wronged him or attempted to kill him.

Below are some prime examples of the mercy shown to non-Muslim neighbours, relatives, fellow countrymen.

If you are a new Muslim facing difficulties dealing with your relatives, a young student and have non-Muslim colleagues, a professional wondering how to interact with coworkers of different faiths, these hadiths are for you:

Be kind to your non-Muslim relatives

Asma’ bint Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (May Allah be pleased with her) said: “My mother came to me while she was still a polytheist, so I asked Messenger of Allah, ‘My mother, has come to visit me and she is hoping for (my favour). Shall I maintain good relations with her?’

He (peace and blessings be upon him) replied, ‘Yes, maintain good relations with your mother’” (Al- Bukhari and Muslim).

Your non-Muslim family are hostile? Pray for them

Narrated Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him): At-Tufail ibn `Amr came to the Prophet and said, ‘The Daws (tribe) have perished as they disobeyed and refused to accept Islam. So invoke Allah against them.’

But the Prophet said, ‘O Allah! Give guidance to the [the tribe of] Daws and bring them [as Muslims]!’” (Al-Bukhari)

Exchange gifts

Narrated Ibn `Umar: `Umar saw a silken cloak over a man for sale and requested the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) to buy it in order to wear it on Fridays and while meeting delegates. The Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) said, ‘This is worn by the one who will have no share in the Hereafter.’

Later on, Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings upon him) got some silken cloaks similar to that one, and he sent one to `Umar.

`Umar said to the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him), ‘How can I wear it, while you said about it what you said?’

The Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) said, ‘I have not given it to you to wear, but to sell or to give to someone else.’

So, `Umar sent it to his brother at Makkah before he embraced Islam” (Al-Bukhari).

The Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) did not blame him for his deed.

The Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) accepted gifts from non-Muslims too. Al-Bukhari narrated that a Jewish woman brought him mutton which was proved later to be poisoned after he ate some of it. The Prophet pardoned her.

However, later on, when Bishr ibn Al-Bara’, who had eaten from it, died, she was killed for him.

Protect non-Muslims rights

A number of the Prophet’s Companions narrated that the Messenger of Allah said:

‘Beware, if anyone wrongs a mu`ahid [a non-Muslim enjoying the protection of Muslims], or diminishes his right, or forces him to work beyond his capacity, or takes from him anything without his consent, I shall be his adversary on the Day of Judgment” (Abu Dawud).

Narrated `Abdullah ibn `Amr: The Prophet said, “Whoever killed a mu`ahid shall not smell the fragrance of Paradise though its fragrance can be smelt at a distance of forty years (of travelling).” (Al-Bukhari).

Visit the sick

Narrated Anas: “A young Jewish boy used to serve the Prophet and he became sick. So the Prophet went to visit him. He sat near his head and asked him to embrace Islam.

The boy looked at his father, who was sitting there.

The latter told him to obey the Prophet and the boy embraced Islam. The Prophet came out saying:

“Praise be to Allah Who saved the boy from the Hell-fire” (Al-Bukhari)

Do business… why not?

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to do business and enter into dealings with non-Muslims. It was narrated that `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said:

“The Messenger of Allah bought some food on credit from a Jew, and he gave him a shield of his as collateral (rahn)” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).

Respect for the deceased persons

Jabir said: “The Prophet and his Companions stood up for the funeral of a Jew until it disappeared” (Sunan An-Nasa’i).

A final word

The Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) treated all people well, including non-Muslims. Allah enjoined fairness, kindness, good treatment and rendering back trusts for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. The Qur’an says:

{Allah does not forbid you from dealing kindly and fairly with those who have neither fought nor driven you out of your homes. Surely Allah loves those who are fair.} (Al-Mumtahanah 60: 8)

We understand from this ayah that Muslims should be kind and nice to all peaceful people, Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

As charity begins at home, a Muslim, be it a born Muslim or a new Muslim should deal fairly and nicely with his fellows especially when they are family or neighbours.

———

Dr. Ali Al-Halawani is Assistant Professor of Linguistics and Translation, Kulliyyah of Languages and Management (KLM), International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He was Assistant Professor and worked for a number of international universities in Malaysia and Egypt such as Al-Madinah International University, Shah Alam, Malaysia (Mediu) and Misr University for Science & Technology (MUST), Egypt; Former Editor-in-Chief of the Electronic Da`wah Committee (EDC), Kuwait; Former Deputy Chief Editor and Managing Editor of the Living Shari`ah Department, www.islamOnline.net; Member of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS); and member of the World Association of Arab Translators & Linguists (Wata). He has recently started to self-publish his articles and new books, which are available on Amazon and Kindle. He is a published writer, translator and researcher. You can reach him at [email protected].

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An Islamic View of Peaceful Coexistence (Part 1/2)

An Islamic View of Peaceful Coexistence (Part 1/2)

By Dr. Jaafar Sheikh Idris

But the old myth of Islam as a chronically violent faith persists, and surfaces at the most inappropriate moments. As one of the received ideas of the west, it seems well-nigh impossible to eradicate.”

But the old myth of Islam as a chronically violent faith persists, and surfaces at the most inappropriate moments. As one of the received ideas of the west, it seems well-nigh impossible to eradicate.”

No Compulsion

Existing peacefully with non-Islamic beliefs is an essential Islamic principle that is clearly stated in many Qur’anic verses, and that has been practiced by Muslims throughout their history.

It is not something that Muslims impose on their religion or something that they have to resort to because of exceptional external circumstances.

Its requirement is demanded by the nature of this religion and is based on the following facts and doctrines:

a. Islam is God’s final message to his servants and is conveyed to them by His final Prophet, a man who is thus described by Him as being a mercy to the entire world. It is inconceivable for a religion of this nature to order those who accept it to wage war on the rest of the world with the purpose of compelling them to accept it, or wipe them out.

b. God himself tells His Prophet that the majority of people – at least at his time – will not accept Islam. How can He tell him at the same time to force them to accept it? (Yusuf 12:113)

c. The Prophet tells us that all Muslims will die just before the end of the world; only non-Muslims shall witness the final day.

d. God tells us that no one except Him has control over people’s hearts and minds. Prophets are told that they cannot guide people in the sense of instilling truth in their hearts; only God can guide in this sense. The role of Prophets and other preachers is only to guide in the sense of showing the right path.

“Remind them, for you are only one who reminds, You art not at all a warder over them.” (Al-Ghashiyah 88:21-2)

 

“Is it you (Prophet) who can force people to be believers?” (Yunus 10:99)

“You (the Prophet) cannot guide whom you love to guide; it is God who guides whom He will.” (Al-Qasas 28:56)

e. And if Prophets do not have the power to instill good in people’s hearts, the devil does not have the power to instill evil in them either. He can only tempt and deceive. But God ensures us that even this will not be effective unless people choose to listen to him; God comes to the help of those who seek his help and protection and guides to the truth every one who genuinely seeks it.

“As to my servants, you (the Devil) have no power over them, except the deviant who choose to follow you.” (Al-Hijr 15:42)

“And Satan says … … I had no power over you except that I called to you and you obeyed me. So blame me not, but blame yourselves.” (Ibrahim 14:22)

f. It is because faith is thus primarily a matter of the heart, it is necessarily a willful act; it is something that one has to choose to acknowledge, and to voluntarily act on. No one can be forced to be a Muslim in this basic sense

“Say: (It is) the truth from the Lord of you (all). Then whosoever will, let him believe, and whosoever will, let him disbelieve.” (al-Kahf 18:29)

g. The famous Qur’anic verse: “There is no compulsion in religion.” is in consonance with these facts and doctrines. It is not, as some might mistakenly think, an isolated verse, nor is it the only verse that states this truth. There is no compulsion in religion because it is a futile attempt to try to force a person to accept a faith.

It is not because it is in the interest of every individual to have the faith or belief of their choice, as some liberals might think. This cannot be so because some beliefs are based on falsehoods and cannot therefore be of any good to the individuals who adhere to them or to the society in which they spread.

Islam does not tolerate non-Islamic beliefs because it condones them; it definitely does not. It does so because it discriminates between beliefs and believers. Thus while it tolerates the latter and calls for treating them nicely, it does not waver in condemning the former and criticizing them severely.

Look for example at what it says about the Christian belief in the divinity of Jesus, and the way it treats Christians. It tells Christians that if God is the creator of every thing then Jesus must be one of His creations. But a creator of someone cannot be his father; a father begets his child; he does not create it. It also says, how can God be a father seeing that He has no wife, that Jesus never claimed to be God’s son, and so on.

As to the Christians it calls them, alongside Jews, people of the book, and thus accords them a special place among non-Islamic believers. Muslims are allowed to marry their women, to eat the animals they slaughter, to allow them to worship the way they choose, to allow them to serve the country they live in as citizens, and so on.

Invitation

The purpose of tolerating non-Muslims and of living peacefully with them, and of treating them nicely, is to present the truth to them in the best of ways so that it becomes easy for them to see and accept it.

It is because of this that the emphasis in Islam is always on inviting people to the truth, on the importance of this, on the best ways of making it, on the fact that it is the primary duty of Prophets and those who follow in their footsteps, and so on:

Thus the Prophet is told that his primary task is only to convey the message, that he is only a reminder, that he cannot guide whom he loves, that he cannot force people to accept the faith and that he must invite people to the way of God with wisdom and good admonition. Muslims are told not to argue with people of the book except in the best of ways, excepting those who commit acts of aggression.

“But if they are averse, We have not sent you as a warder over them; Yours is only to convey (the Message)” (Al-Shura 42:48)

“Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and fair exhortation, and reason with them in the better way. Lo! your Lord is Best Aware of him who strays from His way, and He is Best Aware of those who go right.” (al-Isra’ 16:125)

Islam: a History of Tolerance

population world day2The Islamic teachings of which we have just given a brief account did not remain only at the idealistic level, but were translated by Muslims into empirical realities that many non-Muslims acknowledged and were very much impressed by. Here are some examples of some of their recent and modern testimonies.

When the present Pope made that famous speech at a German university in which he quoted approvingly Emperor Manuel II claim that Muhammad ordered Muslims to spread Islam by the sword, some of the best replies to him came from non-Muslims.

Uri Avnery who describes himself as being a Jewish atheist said:

Jesus said: “You will recognize them by their fruits.” The treatment of other religions by Islam must be judged by a simple test: How did the Muslim rulers behave for more than a thousand years, when they had the power to “spread the faith by the sword”?

Well, they just did not.

He goes on to tell the Pope that Muslims ruled Greece for many centuries, but never forced any Greek to convert to Islam. In the same way were the Bulgarians, Serbs, Romanians, Hungarians and other European nations treated. He also tells him that when in 1099, the Crusaders conquered Jerusalem and massacred its Muslim and Jewish inhabitants indiscriminately, 400 years into the occupation of Palestine by the Muslims, Christians were still the majority in the country. Throughout this long period, no effort was made to impose Islam on them. There is no evidence whatsoever of any attempt to impose Islam on the Jews. As is well known, under Muslim rule the Jews of Spain enjoyed a bloom the like of which the Jews did not enjoy anywhere else until almost our time. Every honest Jew who knows the history of his people cannot but feel a deep sense of gratitude to Islam, which has protected the Jews for fifty generations, while the Christian world persecuted the Jews and tried many times “by the sword” to get them to abandon their faith.

The story about “spreading the faith by the sword” is an evil legend, one of the myths that grew up in Europe during the great wars against the Muslims

Caren Armstrong concurs

With disturbing regularity, this medieval conviction surfaces every time there is trouble in the Middle East. Yet until the 20th century, Islam was a far more tolerant and peaceful faith than Christianity. The Qur’an strictly forbids any coercion in religion and regards all rightly guided religion as coming from God; and despite the western belief to the contrary, Muslims did not impose their faith by the sword

But the old myth of Islam as a chronically violent faith persists, and surfaces at the most inappropriate moments. As one of the received ideas of the west, it seems well-nigh impossible to eradicate.”

The fact that Islam spread in a peaceful way was recognized and emphatically emphasized a long time age by the Christian Sir Thomas in his famous book, The Preaching of Islam:

…of any organized attempt to force the acceptance of Islam on the non-Muslim population, or of any systematic persecution intended to stamp out the Christian religion, we hear nothing. Had the caliphs chosen to adopt either course of action, they might have swept away Christianity as easily as Ferdinand and Isabella drove Islam out of Spain, or Louis XIV made Protestantism penal in France, or the Jews were kept out of England for 350 years. The Eastern Churches in Asia were entirely cut off from communion with the rest of Christendom throughout which no one would have been found to lift a finger on their behalf, as heretical communions. So that the very survival of these Churches to the present day is a strong proof of the generally tolerant attitude of Mohammedan [sic] governments towards them”.

To be continued…

Sources:

  • Uri Avnery, Muhammad’s Sword, strketheroot.com, September 27. 06
  • Karen Armstrong, We cannot afford to maintain these ancient prejudices against Islam, The Guardian, Sept., 18. 2006.
  • Arnold, Sir Thomas W., The Preaching of Islam, a History of the Propagation of the Muslim Faith, Westminster A. Constable & Co., London, 1896, p. 80. quoted in Jihad Explained,  The Institute of Islamic Information & Education, P.O. Box 41129, Chicago, IL 60641-0129 http://www.irshad.org/idara/,
  • Noam Chomsky, Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance, Metropolitan Books, Henry Holt and Company, New York, 2003, p. 29.

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Taken with slight editorial modifications from www.jaafaridris.com.

 

 

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Charting the Lost Innovations of Muslims

Charting the Lost Innovations of Muslims

By Paul Lewis

Innovations of MuslimsCharting the Lost Innovations of Muslims

It is the thread that links cars, carpets and cameras and is also responsible for three-course meals, bookshops and modern medicine.

The Islamic civilization, according to the curators of a national exhibition that opened this week, has made an enormous but largely neglected contribution to the way we live in the west.

The project, 1001 Inventions: Discover the Muslim Heritage of Our World, supported by the British Home Office and the Department for Trade and Industry, uncovers the Islamic civilization’s overlooked contribution to science, technology and art during the dark ages in European history.

It lifts the veil on hundreds of innovations – from kiosks and chess through to windmills and cryptography – that are often popularly associated with the western world but originate from Muslim scholarship and science.

Based on more than 3,000 peer-reviewed academic studies, the exhibition charts Islamic innovations during ten decades of “missing history” spanning from the 6th to the 16th century and covering an area stretching from China to southern Spain.

Tailored to appeal to school children and their teachers, and accompanied by a book and online resource, the project was launched at Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry and will tour the country.

Professor Salim al-Hassani, who has led a five-year project to collate and validate the research behind the exhibition, said: “If you ask the average person where their spectacles or camera or fountain pen come from, few people would say Muslims.

“A lot of these scientific and cultural developments are accepted as fact in the academy, but the vast majority of people – because of the nature of the education system – are completely unaware of their origins.”

In his own field, mechanical engineering, Professor al-Hassani has used original 13th century manuscripts to produce virtual reconstructions of sophisticated water pumps and cranks.

“The technology behind these mechanisms was incredibly sophisticated for its time and eventually gave birth to pioneering machinery which still features in every single car,” he said.

A central theme is the exchange of knowledge and culture between civilizations and their lasting significance today.

For example, the 9th century musician and fashion designer known as Ziryab, who travelled from Iraq to Andalusia in Spain, is said to have introduced the concept of the three-course meal.

Meanwhile, it was Caliph al-Ma’mum’s interest in astronomy that led to the development of large observatories, sophisticated astronomical instruments and a rigorous analysis of the stars.

The organizers, the Manchester-based Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilization, hope to use the compilation to bring about an audit of the national curriculum to ensure it recognizes Islamic achievements and the full extent of knowledge transfer between civilizations through the ages.

“For a lot of children in schools, the history of science seems untouchable and remote,” said Yasmin Khan, the exhibitions project manager. “We need to change the way we explain civilization’s progress in our schools.”

Last year, the government’s preventing extremism working group on education proposed that the entire education system should be instilled with “a more faithful reflection of Islam and its civilization”.

Professor Mark Halstead, a lecturer in moral education at Plymouth University, said there was scope in the existing curriculum to teach the contributions of Islamic civilization, but teachers required better training.

“Islam needs to take its place alongside other historic groups, such as the ancient Romans and Greeks,” he said.

“When Europe was living in the dark ages, Islamic civilization was blossoming, and the advances during this period are more relevant to the modern world than those of the Ancient Egyptians and Aztecs.”

———-

Paul Lewis writes for the Guardian Unlimited from the UK.

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Reflections on Eid

Reflections on Eid

By Kifah Mustapha

Reflections on Eid

Reflections on EidThe word Eid in Arabic means: ‘a gathering of a group at any day.’ It is also related to the meaning: ‘to return’ which indicates that this day returns again every year. From an Islamic perspective, Eid is the day Muslims celebrate finishing the fasting of the month of Ramadan.

Eid (El-Fitr) or breaking fast (1st day of Shawwal) comes after finishing fasting during the month of Ramadan, and Eid (Al-Adha) or sacrifice (10th day of Zul-Hijja) comes after finishing the major acts of pilgrimage or Hajj.

Eid for Muslims is a time of celebration but of a unique kind. It is a celebration of gratefulness to Allah by responding to His call through fasting this month. Allah said: “O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it has been prescribed for those [who have believed] before you, so that you may be [ever] God-fearing.” [Al-Baqarah 2:183]. It is a celebration of thanks that He gave us the chance to worship Him.

Allah said: “They say: all praise is for God [alone] who has guided us to this! Nor would we ever have been guided had God not guided us.” [Al-A`raf 7:43].

It is a celebration of love and joy for practicing one of the most beloved acts to Allah, fasting! Allah said in the holy Hadith: “All acts of the son of Adam are for himself but fasting, it is for Me and I shall reward by it.” (Hadith narrated by Baihaqi).

Eid for Muslims is a time of unity when they all break their fast together and perform a prayer out in the open [preferably] with men, women, elderly, adults and kids all attending the prayer. Ibn Abbas narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) used to bring his wives and daughters to Eid prayer. (Hadith narrated by Ibn Majah).

Eid for Muslims is an act of worship toward Allah (SW). Allah (SW) said: “For each [faith] -community We have appointed [sacred] rites, so that they may mention the name of God.” [Al-Hajj 22:34].

Eid (El-Fitr & Al-Adha) are the only two Eids (holidays) celebrated in Islam. When the prophet (PBUH) came to Madinah, he found that people used to celebrate two days during the time of ignorance period (Jahiliyya). He said: “I came to you and you have two days you celebrated during (Jahiliyya) and Allah has substituted for you better days: the Day of Sacrifice and the Day of breaking Fast.” (Hadith narrated by Ahmad & Abu Daoud).

Eid for Muslims is a celebration of the symbol of being clean from your sins and bad deeds. The prophet (PBUH) said: “Whoever did fast Ramadan out of faith and hoping for rewards [from Allah] (SW), forgiveness will be granted to all his past sins.” (Hadith narrated by Ahmad).

Eid for Muslims is the time for entertainment and having fun. When the Abyssinians came to the Mosque in Madinah with their dancing performance, the prophet (PBUH) called on Aisha (RAA) to watch. When Omar son of Al-Khattab saw them performing in the Mosque and wanted to stop them, the prophet (PBUH) said: “Leave them alone O Omar, this is what they do.” The prophet (PBUH) then looked at them and said: “Be safe [while performing] and let the people of the Book know that there is a space in our religion [for entertainment].” (Hadith narrated by Bukhari).

Eid for Muslims is a time when they remember the poor by giving charity before the Eid prayer so the poor can use it to enjoy on such a day what they might be missing on other days. Zakatul Fitr is the term used for such a charity; Ibn Omar (RAA) said: “The Prophet (PBUH) ordained Zakatul Fitr of Ramadan from dates or barley on everyone had it be a free man or a slave, a male or a female and young or old. (Hadith narrated by Bukhari).

In this blessed Eid we pray to Allah to grant us all the Barakah and blessings of this Eid. We pray that Allah will unite Muslims and bring happiness and joy to them in this life and in the Hereafter.

———–

Taken with slight editorial modifications from Mosque Foundation.

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The Woman Who Founded Hajj Rites: Lady Hajar

The Woman Who Founded Hajj Rites: Lady Hajar

By Majidah Shahatah

Hajj RitesThe Woman Who Founded Hajj Rites

The days of Hajj are a remembrance of great events – The Hajj rites have their roots deep in the history of God’s noble Prophets from the time of Abraham to the time of Muhammad (peace be upon them all).

Our Hajj, as a consequence, affirms in our hearts the strong connection that exists between all of the Prophets while reminding us of the great sacrifices they all had made for the guidance of the world’s people.

We see this clearly in the story of Abraham and Hajar, which we find narrated in Sahih Al-Bukhari.

Abraham (peace be upon him) set off with his wife Hajar and newborn son on a long journey. They arrived at Makkah. Hajar looked around her. She could see nothing but a barren wasteland in all directions. There was no life. The silence was unbearable.

In the distance, the land met the sky without any movement breaking the terrain anywhere. This alien landscape grew even stranger in Hajar’s eyes as she recalled that her husband Abraham was intending to leave her here, without a doubt, and return to his people.

Hajar’s mind was beset with all kinds of thoughts: What was she getting herself into?

How can she survive among these sharp crags?

How will she bear the impenetrable darkness of the night?

This was certain death. What husband would leave his wife and child to die in the desert?

The Power of Trusting in God

When she turned to her husband, her conduct was impeccable. Her manners were perfect and her countenance was calm. Nevertheless, whenever it seemed to her like he was about to leave, her heart would make an involuntary jump.

The time came when Abraham resolved to depart. Hajar was not going to disobey her husband, for he was a Prophet of God and this was something about which she had no doubt. He did not take but a few steps before Hajar rushed over to him, the full force of her being left alone in this wilderness bearing upon her.

She asked:

O Abraham! Where are you going, leaving us in this barren, empty valley?

Abraham did not turn around to face her, though she asked again and again. Finally, she asked:

Did Allah command you to do this?

Abraham said: “Yes, He did.” Then her heart calmed down.

She said: “Then, Allah will certainly not ever neglect us.

Her words were so certain, so sure, that it added reassurance to even Abraham’s heart in his carrying out what he knew for certain God had commanded him to do.

In this, we see how a woman is able to shoulder great hardships that a man would be unable to bear, as long as she is a firm believer in the task that she is undertaking. When a woman believes in a cause that is noble, she is able to sacrifice her safety, her stability, and even her entire life aspiring for what she recognizes to be a greater and mighty purpose.

This is how our mother Hajar was able to remain in that desolate wasteland until the water that was with her ran out without losing heart and without succumbing to despair. Nor did she sit down and await her fate.

Though Hajar put her trust fully in God, she was not complacent. She was actively in the search for water for herself and her baby, and she did not let herself weary under the relentless heat of the sun. She scanned the valley that she was in.

Nothing stirred. So she headed for the nearby mountains. Perhaps from its summit she would spot some signs of life. She climbed to the top of Mount Safa and looked in every direction.

Nothing.

Without despairing for even a moment, she descended into the valley and headed for the small mountain on the other side of the valley, Mount Marwa. Perhaps there was something on the other side. She made her way to the other mountain.

Sometimes she walked at a hurried gait. When fatigue beset her, she would slow down for a while. She kept going, spurred on by the idea that behind Mount Marwa she might spot some sign of life. She ascended the peak.

Again, nothing.

She kept up the search, ultimately going between the two hillocks seven times, hoping she would spot some travelers or some caravan passing by. She continued to pray to God and beseech His help.

After her latest descent into the valley from the top of Mount Safa, she looked to where she had gently placed put her child, Ishmael, on the ground. Water was springing forth from beneath his feet.

This was the help of God. God’s help did not come with a dramatic thunderclap. There was no lightning; there were no storm clouds, no heavy rains, and no floodwaters. Instead there was a spring quietly bubbling up from under from the earth – the very thing which could promise a permanent source of life-giving water.

God had answered Abraham’s prayers and had proven Hajar’s words to be true – never did God neglect her.

With the life that Hajar established in Makkah with her son Ishmael, a nation was born that would last until the end of time.

The story of this nation begins with a woman who was willing to bear great burdens to establish it. To honor her, the efforts that she made are repeated in the rites of hajj every year. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:

This is why the people walk back and forth between Safa and Marwa.” (Al-Bukhari)

———-

Adapted with editorial modifications from Islam Today.

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Stoning of Satan in Hajj: Story and Significance

Stoning of Satan in Hajj: Story and Significance

By Omam Khalid

Stoning of SatanStoning of Satan in Hajj: Story and Significance

Stoning of Satan is one of the main rituals of the annual Hajj pilgrimage to the holy city of Makkah during the month of Dhul Hijjah.

During this ritual, Muslims throw pebbles at the three pillars called ‘jamarat’ in Mina, just east of Makkah. During the night spent in Muzdalifah, pilgrims gather 70 stones to pelt the three pillars representing Satan on the 10th of Dhul Hijjah, i.e. the day of Hajj.

Muslims perform the same ritual for the next three days before the concluding circumambulation of Ka’bah. Ibn Abbas narrated that:

The Prophet seated al-Fadl behind him on his mount, and al-Fadl said that he did not stop reciting the Talbiyah until he stoned the Jamrah. (Al-Bukhari: 1685 and Muslim: 1282).

At another instance, Abdulllah narrates that:

He came to the largest Jamrah and put the House on his left and Mina on his right and stoned it with seven (pebbles), and he said: This is how the one to whom chapter al-Baqarah was revealed (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) stoned it. (Al-Bukhari: 1748 and Muslim: 1296)

There is plenty of evidence which points towards the importance of this ritual. Thereafter, it is necessary to understand the history and significance of this ritual to fully comprehend its importance.

History

This ritual is a symbolic reenactment of the incident between the Prophet Ibrahim and the Satan. Ibrahim was commanded by Allah Almighty to sacrifice his son Ismail. On his way to carry out this commandment, Satan repeatedly tried to dissuade Ibrahim from following this order of Allah. Ibrahim was instructed by the Angel Gabriel to throw pebbles at Satan. This incident is explained by a very famous Muslim historian Al-Azraqi as:

“When he [Ibrahim] left Mina and was brought down to al-Aqaba, the Devil appeared to him at Stone-Heap of the Defile. Gabriel (Jibril) said to him: “Pelt him!” so Ibrahim threw seven stones at him so that he disappeared from him. Then he appeared to him at the Middle Stone-Heap. Gabriel said to him: “Pelt him!” so he pelted him with seven stones so that he disappeared from him. Then he appeared to him at the Little Stone-Heap. Gabriel said to him: “Pelt him!” so he pelted him with seven stones like the little stones for throwing with a sling. So the Devil withdrew from him.”

This incident was given permanence in the lives of the Muslims in the shape of a ritual to be performed during Hajj. And each year during Hajj, Muslims perform this ritual in the remembrance of this incident.

Significance Behind Stoning

The stoning of Jamarat denotes complete obedience to the commands of Allah without anything dissuading a Muslim against it. Ibrahim was commanded to sacrifice his son and Satan tried to discourage Ibrahim from doing so, but Ibrahim demonstrated complete faith in Allah and followed His command without any questions or temptation.

Satan tried to instill confusion in Ibrahim’s mind and tried to tempt him away from submitting to God’s will. Ibrahim’s heroism is to be celebrated because Ibrahim was childless until the age of seventy, when Allah gave him his first son, Ismail.

In these circumstances, this was a very great sacrifice that was demanded of Ibrahim. Satan tried to discourage Ibrahim by giving the argument of old age and who’s going to look after you in such an age.

However, Ibrahim was strong in his faith and in order to drive Satan away, he threw pebbles at him. It was an act of casting aside his desires and wishes, something all Muslims are expected to do during Hajj and otherwise also.

Throwing pebbles at the Satan is not as if Satan is present at the place, rather it is an exercise of faith: this act is a testament that the believers are able to resist the thoughts and desires that Satan puts in the believer’s mind.

Even though a pilgrim is throwing a pebble at one of the pillars of Jamarat, but in fact, he or she is throwing them in the face of Satan as nothing annoys Satan more than a man following the command of Allah.

Ibrahim followed the command of Allah and stoned the Satan, so Muslims all over the world follow the commands of Allah and throw pebbles at the Satan in the same way to show disdain towards this devil’s being.

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Adapted with slight editorial modifications from Islamic Finder.

 

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