Posts Tagged ‘Islam’

Does Islam support pantheism?

July 16, 2017

 

Does chapter (Q, 57:3) prove that Islam supports pantheism? It is said by the proponents of Pantheism, that everything that exists is Allah (in the image of Allah) and will eventually return to Allah. Is it the correct interpretation of the verse? 

There are a variety of definitions of pantheism. Some consider it a theological and philosophical position concerning Allah (SWT).

As a religious position, some describe pantheism as the polar opposite of atheism. From this standpoint, pantheism is the view that everything is part of an all-encompassing, Immanent God. All forms of reality may then be considered either mode of God, or identical with Him.

Some hold that pantheism is a non-religious philosophical position. To them, pantheism is the view that the Universe (in the sense of the totality of all existence) and God are identical (implying a denial of the personality and transcendence of God).

Here are various translations of the verse quoted above.

Asad: He is the First and the Last, 1 and the Outward as well as the Inward: 2 and He have full knowledge of everything.

Malik: He is the First and the Last, the Evident and the Immanent, and He has the knowledge of all things.

Pickthall: He is the First and the Last, and the Outward and the Inward, and He is Knower of all things.

Yusuf Ali: He is the First and the Last the Evident and the Immanent: and He has full knowledge of all things. 5276

Explanation of # 5276—-Allah is Evident in so far as there is ample evidence of His existence and providence all around us. On the other hand, Allah is hidden in so far as intellect cannot grasp His essence nor can He be seen in the present world. The following tradition in Sahih Muslim is also significant for an understanding of this verse. The Prophet (PBUH) said: (H) “Thou art the First, so that there was nothing before Thee; and Thou art the Last, so that there is nothing after Thee; and Thou art Evident, (or Ascendant) so that there is nothing above Thee, and Thou art the Hidden, the Knower of hidden things, so that there is nothing hidden from Thee.”

Here is something to be noticed that in any of the translation of the Qura’anic text there is nothing even faintly hinting that “Anything (created) is part of an all-encompassing, immanent God” Which has categorically been declared in (Q, 112:4) “There is nothing like Him”

CONCLUSION

This verse, therefore, does not in any form or shape subscribe to the man made, the philosophical or theosophical, construct.

Purely Philosophical position; denying the existence of God is simply beyond the realm of any rational argument, is simply an untenable position.

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How Scholars view Sharia’a?

June 11, 2017
 (First published on FB).

Although It is an anathema mainly for most Non-Muslims and few modernist, secularist Muslims but ironically they forget that it is not Muslims exclusive. Moses had his Shari’a and so did many other Prophets. Successful Propaganda, labeling it antiquated, draconian and too Harsh is the reason.
Here is, however, how the Muslim scholars see and categorize it.
“God made this Blessed righteous Shari’a accommodating and convenient and thus won the hearts of human beings and invoked in them love and respect for the law. Had they had to act against convenience they could not have honestly fulfilled their obligations”
ABU ISHAQ AL-SHITABI (A Muslim religious Scholar)
“The Shari’a is all Justice, Kindness, Common Good and Wisdom. Any rule that departs from Justice to injustice…..or departs from common good (maslaha) to harm (mafsada) ….is not part of Shari’a even if it is arrived at by literal interpretation”
IBN QAYYIM.(A Muslim religious Scholar)
“Take to forbearance, and bid the Fair and ignore the ignorant”
Qura’an (7:199)
Prophet was asked by God to “accept what people can do easily” not demanding a high standard of deeds.
Holy Prophet (PBUH) has referred to this aspect of sharia’a saying:-
“Ad Dino Yusrun”…..I am leaving among them an easy and practicable law; which is neither cumbersome nor susceptible to going astray

Psychological dimension of Qura’an

October 3, 2016

 

Image result for PICTURE OF OPEN QURAN

Qura’an’s main emphasis is on the guidance of human behavior/actions. Guidance is dispensed, mostly through general, and a few specifically, absolute, injunctions. Specifically, absolutes injunctions are called “limits” (Hudood)–which are just five. In explanation of the verses a fair use of analogy/allegory has been employed to accommodate common man’s logic and reasoning—elaborated through Ahadith and Sunnah; (words and deeds of the Prophet Mohammad-PBUH). Qura’anic verses, Ahadith and Sunnah are further interpreted and explained, by the exegetes, with reference to their contextual background presenting a coherent and cosmic perspective. (Literal translation whereof otherwise, may be misleading).

 

The importance of guidance can be gauged from the very fact that God, in the very first Surah “Al-Fath” (The-Victory), Himself taught the man how to pray and ask for guidance—for it is an embodiment of all material and spiritual benefits here and hereafter.

 

In Islamic parlance, the process of guidance is three tiered.                                                                          The first degree of guidance is given to every created thing. Qura’an (20:50) “Our Lord is He who gave unto everything its nature, then guided it aright”. Qura’an (17:44) “And there is not a thing except that it exalts God by His praise, but you do not understand their way of exalting”

The second degree of guidance is given to rational beings only through the Scriptures and Prophets explaining it. It may be accepted by some and rejected by others-hence being believers or non-believers. The tertiary degree of guidance is limited only to the Prophets and Men of God. It is of the highest degree and unlimited. It is called “Tawfeeq” which cannot be refuted or repelled by any rational being. Although the first and third degree of guidance are direct; without the medium of scripture or the prophets, yet in a matter of gradual progression from second to the third level, a rigor of the second degree (following the scripture and Prophet) would be inevitable. (The best example of “Tawfeeq” would be the endowment of Prophet-hood to Mohammad—PBUH—as he was un-lettered therefore, taught everything as a “Tawfeeq” by God).

 

 

RIGHTS fall in two domains as bifurcated below.

 

 

  • Rights of God (Allah) &   2) Rights of fellow human beings.     

                                 

Rights of God (Hudood) are absolute. There is no choice endowed to any human being regardless of his status or station; for any addition, deletion, modification or mollification. For details access the link below.

https://shakir2.wordpress.com/2014/05/10/disjunctive-sequel-2/

 

Rights of fellow Human beings, on the contrary, are open to interpretations within the strictures of Qura’an, Hadith & Sunnah; available as a consensus of OPINIONS of the (competent) religious scholars. There is an avenue of “Ijtihad” (by the competent religious scholars of the highest eminence) also available to address new issues/situations, which have either, not been addressed sufficiently, or at all, in either of the sources mentioned above. The institution of Ijtihad and the presence of various School-of-thoughts, provide a scope for adaptability as well, where “Taqleed” is not adhered to. (By the way, Imam Hanbal and Imam Ibn Tamayya and many others are against “Taqleed”).

 

Although in Qura’an, there is a panoply of topics on which injunctions have been issued, this treatise, however, would be restricted to tangibility and vassal; which are least discussed and explained with specific reference to human psychology.

 

 

 

Human Psychology

Human behavior, as mentioned earlier, is the main locus of Divine guidance, which can also be divided into two areas. (Philosophical terms have also been inducted at relevant places to broaden the scope of comprehension).

  1. Instinctive or innate behavior(Phil: Idealism, Priori knowledge).

Most prominent is the conception of the Creator–the Supreme Being, followed by empathy, compassion, rage fear, gratitude, possessiveness, self-protection, suckling etc. Qura’an stresses the cleansing of the inner-self through meditation, compassion and tranquility of justice enhancing the awareness and benefits conferred by these traits. In Sufic terminology, it would be a deliberate process of subduing the lower-soul, or lower-self (Nafs). These traits, contrary to general belief, do not annihilate, for they are an integral part of the human genre, but get channeled, through the bottleneck of struggle (mujahida), into higher soul/higher-self for higher purposes.

 

  1. Learned or acquired behavior— (Phil; Empiricism, Posteriori knowledge). A litany of the behavioral attitudes fall in this category, to name a few—-Defrauding, avariciousness, vanity, tangibility, and Vassal etc. The last two traits are often faced, but least understood and discussed. Qura’an in such matters, for the most part, orders prudence, care in association and equity of behavior by enshrining the element of “awe” (generally translated as (Fear)* backed up by a retributive system. The system of retribution is mostly reserved for the hereafter (with the exception of “injustice”, which is often swiftly dealt with here as well). Justice, of the last resort, however, will be done in the hereafter without the slightest discrepancy whatsoever.(Qura’an) A very important issue, which Qura’an mentions, is that the good done by the non-believers would fetch no reward in the hereafter. It would instead be rewarded right here in this world.

 

 

Tangibility & Vassal Qura’an has not expounded on these topics exclusively as a subject matter but rather alluded to them as causative-weaknesses of human behavior.

 

Tangibility

Acquired traits of human beings are of immense consequence. Most of the aberrations in human behavior stem from these, as a consequence of upbringing, culture, education, and training etc. We, in general, become so accustomed to tangibility that often, substitutes even God (Allah SWT) with someone or something conspicuous. For example instead of relying on God and asking Him to fulfill our needs we resort to some acquaintance. We always, as an impulse, think of rich and powerful to help us rather than the one who made them rich and powerful. This behavioral aberration emanates from “cognitive easement” which triggers the instant sense of association culminating in instant reposal of trust in thus cognized entity. (This cognitive easement, however, is normally one-sided and may or may not be fortuitous). On the contrary, cognitive journey, towards an unseen or invisible entity, would require deliberated efforts and conviction to be completed and fruitful. This behavioral pattern vividly explains the difference in the approach and mindset of an unbeliever* from that of a believer. This aspect of human tangibility and vassal has been aptly articulated in Surah Zuukhruf 43, V 31 & 32.                                                      *(A professed believer could also act as an unbeliever).

 

Vassal

Pagans of Arabia often raised the objection that why Prophet Mohammad (PBUH); being of an ordinary background, has been accorded the prestige of Prophet-hood instead of some rich and powerful person of the town; who could have helped them with some mercy (compassion/favor) and put them to work. Ironically we, in our own time, often witness people coagulating around rich and powerful due to habituation with vassal and tangibility. Prophet Noah, (A.S) also complained of such an attitude of his people in Surah Nuh 71, V-21. Exegesis of Surah Tur 52, V-37 predicates the issue of similar attitude as well.

 

A couple of anecdotes, which would help bring the point home, are quoted here.

1) When Prophet Moses (A.S) journeyed to Mount Sinai (Zion) for 40 days his people, in his absence, started worshiping a “CALF” instead of God (Because it was visibly and tangibly right there).

2) When Prophet Moses (A.S) crossed river Nile and reached the other side, the first thing his people saw was; a tribe worshiping an idol, therefore, due to sudden tangibility impulse, they demanded that Prophet Moses (A.S) should make them a statue of God, like theirs. This probably was the worst example of habituation with tangibility. Prophet Moses (A.S) who just saved Israelites from the clutches of Pharaoh-god’s (tangibility/vassal): who they were forced to worship, wanted to worship an “idol” instead of God!

 

Translation (Surah Zukhruf 43, v 31, 32)

“They say! Why Qura’an is not revealed on any one of the great men of the two big cities?” “Is it they who distribute mercy of your Lord? We distributed among them their livelihood in this world and raised some of them in ranks over the others so that some of them may put some others to work. And Mercy of your Lord is much better than what they (the rich and powerful) may have accumulated” (wealth and resources etc)

 

Explanation (Exegesis)

“Mercy” here represents the Prophet (PBUH); which they objected to for being of humble background, and asked why not one of the rich men from big cities like Mecca or Taif has been chosen for this august office? God answered by admonishing them, that you can’t even handle the small economies of your cities, division of labor, distribution of resources etc, how dare you suggest, who should be chosen as a Prophet? God then declared that some of you have been accorded a higher rank; to act (like) as an Economic Manager, and that they have also been assigned resources (economy). Then He cautioned, that despite their higher ranks, do not seek favors from them (vassal) as My mercy is far better than their hoardings (wealth and resources—attractive to most human beings)” Human beings thus have been given a befitting answer with a warning about their weakness (I seek Allah’s refuge for any inadvertent misinterpretation or mistake)

 

1* – Fear (of not being able to do justice to the great task of worshiping God and recognizing His greatness). (Khashiyyah)  is the real term used, instead of fear, for its use is limited with reference to God only.  Khashiyyah} can loosely be translated as “Awe”.   “Fear” {Khawf}  ordinarily, is from  the other sentient beings.

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Transgendered & Eunuch in Islam

August 6, 2016

 

This issue nowadays, especially in the west, is commonly debated, in the context of gender equality. Unfortunately, this topic is mixed with homosexuality and then, contemptuously, hurled at Muslims, due to a clear cut position in Islamic jurisprudence against homosexuality.

I would, therefore, try to express Islamic point of view mainly on the transgendered, since the issue of homosexuals is clearly settled, in Islam as well as in other Divine religions. First and foremost, the question of their impermissibility in Islam does not  arise since their existence is an undeniable reality. They are created by the same Creator who created cis-gendered.

 

There are several categories of them which need to be understood.

Trans-sexual:-  Those who want to be opposite of what they are or look like.

Transvestite:- Those who are apparently male but act like a woman (effeminate).

Trans-queer:- Those who have both the male and female organs/tendencies.

Mukhannas (Arabic for Eunuch):- who is either due to castration or naturally has not sexual desires.

Mukhannathan (Arabic for Trans-queer or double-gendered):- who generally hides his masculinity to mix with women.

(One may find these classifications overlapping and confusing at times)

Qura’an as a matter of principle deals with the issues of main concerns. Since laws are made for common occurrences and not exceptions. Despite the fact that nowadays we witness relatively somewhat higher proportion of transgendered people, or we may say, have wider awareness and discussion on the topic, they still constitute a fairly small part of the overall population. Qura’an does not specifically or categorically deals with the topic of transgendered as a subject matter except that in one of the Surah Nur # 24, V-31 it says, inter alia, male attendants who lack vigor” and then in Surah Waqiah # 56, V-61 it says “…We may transform you and make you (afresh) as you know not” Then in the successive verse it also alludes to the previous creations (per exegetic interpretation:-  referring to the transformation of human into the apes, monkeys and swine etc).  Then in verse 63 man is questioned as to “What do you cultivate” If this Surah, in its broadest possible scope, anyway refers to transgendered people then they are presented rather as an anomaly, for common people, to ward off heedlessness. Then in another surah 82:8, It is said “He created you in whatever form He willed” That is probably the reason that least has been said about them in Qura’an or Hadith!

This interpretation seems to be corroborated by two instances with reference to the Prophet (PBUH) Sunnah. In one he ordered a transgender to be expelled from the city and did not approve of killing him. (For, he was a praying person). In the second instance, a transgender (most likely Eunuch) was allowed to help his wives. (Although caution of Hijab was ordered subsequently)

Here is a different, though somewhat confusing, point of view.

“According to some “authors” (I guess it means writers/scholars) the Qur’an explicitly recognizes that there are some people who are neither male nor female. Verses 42:49-42:50 are translated by these authors as: “To God belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. It creates what it wills. It prepares for whom it wills females, and it prepares for whom it wills males. Or it marries together the males and the females, and it makes those whom it wills to be ineffectual (barren)”. According to these authors the usual English translation of these verses which mention God ‘giving daughters or sons to whom it wills and gives some people both sons and daughters’, is problematic. They argue that the verses, in fact, describe varieties of sexual orientation and gender(http://www.well.com/user/aquarius/Qurannotes.htm). One scholar has noted that commentaries on Surah13.3 which refers to ‘every kind of fruit being made in pairs’ also recognized that there is a third sex in plants. This scholar believes that it is possible to conclude that as there is a third sex in plants there may also be a third sex ‘unisex’ in animals and humans (unpublished paper)”

(I, the writer of this article, do not vouch for this interpretation as the verses quoted are not explicit about the issue as claimed).

Now here are some ancillary issues which may be of interest to believers and non-believers alike.

Transgendered people, who have a sexual urge, one way or the other, and the means to afford a marriage, are allowed to marry, by several scholars. (needless to say, with opposite of their own urges and genitals).

They are also allowed, by some scholars, the reassignment of gender-operations performed if they wish to do so.

Their gender will be determined by the genital used for urination until adolescence, thereafter by the nature of wet dreams, whether of a male or female?  If this person developed breast and also acts accordingly will be considered a female and treated accordingly.

There might be a situation where it may be difficult to distinguish domineering tendency. In such a situation this person would be classed as—Trans-queer (difficult-gender).

Under Islamic jurisprudence, such person would not be allowed to marry. He would also not be given the funeral bath at his demise, but rather “Tayammum” Dry-bath, or Dust-bath. Mehram (blood-relative) should perform it. In the absence of a Mehram, another person should wear some sort of gloves.

Difficult-gender (having both the genital organs) cannot wear silk and jewelry due to the possibility of him being more of a male than the female.

Such person should go out with some Mehram only, should he be more of a female than the male.

Such people should be accorded same respect and dignity as any normal person. They should not be forced into prostitution or some other lowly, demeaning situations at any cost…Doing so is a grave sin. Given the situation they are in, which is not of their own making but beyond their control, Qura’an in Surah Baqarah # 2, V-233 and in several other verses instructs to treat others (including anomalous and incapacitated people) with justice and fairness.

 

Needless to say that “eunuch”, who are bereft of sexual urges; could reach the highest echelon of spiritual excellence, should they devote themselves to the Creator in the right ways. It would also be worth mentioning that “Eunuchs” have played very important roles in various settings and have been even the rulers in the past.

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Divine Wisdom

May 10, 2016

Koran And Glasses - csp0074385

 

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ

(In the name of God The most gracious and the most merciful)

عَلَّمَالْقُرْآنَ

Allamal Qura’an (Surah Ar-Rahman 55 V 2)

Ar Rahman (The Gracious) has taught the Qura’an.

Just one word of Qura’an would show the veracity of Divine wisdom (Qura’an) for the people of intellect and understanding.

The word “Allama” (to teach) a verb, according to Arabic grammar, requires two object. One is direct and other indirect.

1) The one of which knowledge has to be imparted (taught).

2) The one to whom the knowledge has to be imparted (taught).

(1-is the source and 2-is the recipient)

Here the first object is Qura’an while the other one is not specified.

Some scholars/exegetes opine that it is Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) who was taught the Qura’an directly by God (through the medium of Jibrail (Gabriel- A.S) for onward dissemination to the entire creation. (Not only Muslims)

Let us look at it from another, rather a subtle, point of view.

The purpose of the Qura’an is to give guidance, about good morals and righteous deeds, to the entire creation; therefore, the 2nd object is left deliberately unspecified to ensure the dissemination.

عَلَّمَهُا لْبَيَانَ (4)خَلَقَ الْإِنسَانَ  (3)

Next verses # 3 & 4 say:- He created man. He taught him how to express himself.

Man’s creation ranks first and foremost in the natural order of things so much so that even the imparting of knowledge proceeded after his creation.

This also determines the sole purpose of the creation of human and gene (Jin), stated in (51:56) We created man and Gene (Jin) for nothing but worship. Worship without guidance is impossible.(Nevertheless, the mention of Qura’an precedes the creation of man in surah Ar-Rahman—but imparting of the knowledge became possible only after man’s creation. Hence, man acquires first and foremost position in the natural/rational order of things).

 

 

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JUDAISM CHRISTIANITY & ISLAM

August 11, 2015

3 in one

Berlin thinks it is making religious history as Muslims, Jews and Christians join hands to build a place where they can all worship. The House of One, as it is being called, will be a synagogue, a church and a mosque under one roof.

Why Muslim believe in all three religions, Prophets and Books?

 

“We ordained for you that religion which, We commanded unto Noah, and that which We inspired in you (O Mohammad), and that which, We commanded unto Abraham and Moses and Jesus saying establish the religion, and be not divided therein”. (Surah Counsel 42, V-13)

“Unto this (very religion), then, summon (O Mohammad) and be upright as you are commanded, and follow not their lusts, by saying: I believe in whatever Scripture God has sent down. And I am commanded to be just among you. God is our Lord and your Lordunto us our work and unto you your work. No argument between us and you. God will bring us together and Unto Him is the journeying” (Surah Counsel 42, V-15)

All three Divine religions were sent down by the very same God and there is intrinsically and thematically (monotheism) no difference in them except, in ancillary practices (Sharia’ahs) of the Prophets. “For each (of you) We have appointed a Divine Law and a traced out way” (Surah Ma’aeda 5, V-48)

 

It names Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Mohammad, which means that His message since Adam till now is the same and has not changed with any of the Prophets. There however had been a difference in the practices of the prophets—called Sharia’ahs. There is consensus of religious scholars that no deviation occurred from the time of Prophet Adam till Noah.

Explanations

  • Be not divided thereinmeans do not discriminate between the religions since all are divine in their origin and their adherents were truly obedient to GodDeviation and dissensionstarted from the time of Prophet Noah onward.
  • 2) Lust here is in the sense of deviation or dissention, desires or whims.
  • 3) Unto us our work and unto you your work—means you are responsible for your deeds and we are responsible for ours. We all shall gather unto God andHe is the final arbiter.
  • I am commanded to be just among you—one of the meanings of this sentence interpreted by exegetes is that—-The Prophet Mohammad has to obey all the Divine Laws, treat all the commands of religions equally by believing in all the Prophets and in their Books without any exceptions.

 

That is why it is incumbent upon and compulsory for Muslims to believe in all three religions as Divine, All Prophets and their Books. It also dispels the misunderstanding, as to why there are similarities in Torah, Bible and Qura’an. Some ignorant even go to the extreme, accusing that Qura’an is a copy of some earlier scriptures or Books.

There arises an obvious question, then why all these books are needed? The answer is that earlier books had been grossly interpolated (altered) making the original text extinct. According to Christian Historical perspectives, Bible was compiled anew, through memory bank of Christian priests/monks, 200 years after the ascension (Crucifixion in Christian terms) of Jesus Christ. That is how Christianity ended up having four or more versions of Bible. All 4 prominent disciples of Jesus Christ compiled their own version of Bible through their own sources. Technically it can’t even be called “BIBLE” Qura’an in any form other than the Arabic text does not technically meet the threshold of being called Qura’an. Qura’an with Arabic text, on the other hand, is the divinely preserved final Book of revelations. There has not been any change in its original text since the time of it descended.

There was a gap of about 500 years between Jesus Christ and Prophet Mohammad. Original Bible and Torah had already gone extinct even before Prophet Mohammad’s period. Fewer true Jews and Christians were left. Prophet Mohammad, as ordered, invited them to embrace Islam as the true and final religion. Some did, but others did not—as religion has always been a very sensitive matter—- hence we have an ongoing clash of egos on our hands till the end of the time. God guide us all and forgive us too. (Peace Be Upon all Prophets).

Note:-No criticism or disrespect is intended through this essay in any way or sense. Its purpose rather is to educate and inform people across the board.

God-Guarded sanctity of Qura’an

July 29, 2015

Qura'an

“Lo! Those who distort our revelations are not hid from us. Is he who is hurled into the fire better, or he who comes out secure on the day of resurrection? Do what you will. Lo! He is seer of what you do.     Say to them—for those who believe it is guidance and healing—-and for those who disbelieve, there is deafness in their ear and it is blindness for them. Such are (those who are) called to from afar” (customarily unable to comprehend)                                      (Surah Sajda 41, V 40 & 44)

In Qura’an and Hadith terminology the Arabic word used—ILHAD—means to deviate from the verse (meaning) of the Qura’an.  Lexically this word means –deviation, open denial, misinterpretation distortion in essence. (Particularly when apparently there exists an impression of belief–expressed or implied—but attributing self assumed misleading meaning—or the use of the meaning in irrelevant places; just to prove one’s point. (In contravention of the recognized and accepted meanings and use of the verse) It falls in the category of hypocritical Kufr. (infidelity)

Further is it declared that Qura’an is protected by God hence, is unassailable, God holds this book very dear and no falsehood can enter it. (V-41)     In Surah Hijr # 9 it is said “It is We, even We, who revealed the Qura’an and it is We, who will protect it”

Poetry in Islam

June 8, 2015

  poetry session

Poetry is an antiquated wasteful preoccupation, rightly censured in Islam so should be treated with rather indifference. It is a recruitment resource for the residency of Hollow slothful imaginative realm which pulls one away from the realities of the world and the hereafter making one eternally consigned to the abyss of oblivion. Realm within realm, from the one of distractions to that of abyss of oblivion, even Satan couldn’t imagine it. Where would Poets end up God Knows!  Gnostic believes that even Allama-Iqbal, most acclaimed Poet of the East, got flung on the way to Tassawwuf.   It is frowned upon by Allah in Surah Al Shura’a # 26, V-221 to 227 says that “poets say what they do not do themselves”. Listeners, who follow them, have been censured even more sternly. In another Surah Al Annam # 6, V-116 it is explained that “if you follow the majority on earth it will lead you away from Allah’s path, because this, majority do nothing but build conjectures” Prophet Mohammad was often accused by the non believers that he is a poet or sorcerer and that Qura’an, given its unique eloquence, is a book of poetry. (NAB)

Although poetry, across the board seems a dying preoccupation, but in countries with plenty of leisure of time mushroom growth of new and often unscrupulous poets is witnessed. They often concoct salacious and lecherous poetry and in pursuit of creating rhythmical balance would trample any boundary. Modernist and liberal secularists would sure have argument that it is curbing the creative talent of intelligent people, hence would jump to label Islam as rudimentary and antiquated. Most powerful counter-argument is provided by Allah Himself in Qura’an (17:85) “A little knowledge is given to man” & “He is All Knowing”.Qura’an.

Although poetry was widely in vogue at the time of te prophet and many of his companions were involved in composing reverential poetry, dedicated to the praise of Allah and the Prophet. Prophet reportedly has heard some, but there seems to be no praise lavished by him. Conversely however, there is a hadith which rather expresses harsh rebuke. Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah’s Apostle; said, “It is better for anyone of you that the inside of his body be filled with pus which may consume his body, than it be filled with poetry.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 73, Number 176).

There is another Verse in Qura’an Surah Ya Sin 36, V – 69 whereby dislike is expressed by Allah in the following words;-  ”We did not teach him poetry. It does not suit him” Following it there is a Hadith narrated by Imam Abu Bakr Al Jassa (R.A), that someone asked Syyeda A’isha (R.A) if the Holy Prophet (PBUH) used to recite some verses of poetry in a while? She said NO, however he did once of Ibn Tarfah, which was meaning “The time will reveal to you which you do not know, and the news will be brought to you by one whom you did not appoint to do so”  Abu Bakr (R.A) chided O Prophet this verse is not like this. Prophet said “I am not a poet, nor is poetry appropriate for me” He read it out of rhythmic balance on purpose. Ibn Kathir, Tirmidhi both reported this.      

NATURE

June 3, 2015

Forest

This word is frequently and invariably used by all of us. Its origin stems from Latin word-“Natura”–derived from Greek word—“physis”— meaning, essential qualities, innate disposition—in earlier times it also meant “birth”.  The concept of Nature as Physical universe was developed from Greek word –“physis”—by pre Socratic philosophers. Although everyone harbors one’s own interpretation and understanding the broadest possible definition however, would encompass physical, material and natural world. Nature also represents the processes of the physical world and life in general. Its domain ranges from sub atomic particles to cosmic universe. Although Human beings comprise a miniscule of total biomass on, comparatively insignificant, planet earth yet their influence on Nature is disproportionately large and Nature seems to be revolving around them. Natural wonders were celebrated in “Psalm” and” Book of Job” Later Qura’an sacralized “nature” with reference to Creator, Faith and creation–Human beings showcased as natural embodiment of its vivid exposition and expression.

 

Human beings are essential part of Nature (for which Qura’an uses the Arabic word –FITRAH) but their activities somehow are considered of a different category as an outcome of some other natural phenomenon. In this essay a conscious endeavor, to look at it from an unconventional angle, has been made; which, I am sure many would find, not only enlightening but also emphatically consenting. Word-Nature- has so much variety and currency that it is equally useful for theists, agnostics, atheists,   naturalist, secularists and many others. If observed diligently, one would notice a conscious trend, particularly in the west, of avoiding the use of word “GOD” –for fear of annoying or infringing upon the beliefs or rights of others (those with a different persuasion or school of thought etc), or flouting the doctrine of political correctness. The use of word—Nature—therefore, guards against all such possible hazards. Nature on the other hand is the bedrock of creation—accommodating both theistic and secular-scientific perspectives. Allah says in Qura’an—(20:50) “He gave shape (form) to everything, then guidance”—means– Nature—Operating manual—whereby everything functions.

In Surah Rome V-30 Allah says—“It is Allah’s Nature on which Human beings have been created—there is no change in His creation—that is how faith has been established”—To put it in lay man’s terms —Human kind has been created on the Nature of GOD and that Nature (rule of creation) does not change for (any other) creation as well, Faith too has been established on this rule–Nature. (A flow chart—Allah to Human to Faith—all connected with Allah’s Nature). Most difficult part of Surah to interpret correctly is “There is no change in His creation”.  From this Surah a specific rejection of evolutionary process of Human species could be deduced (because this notion is furthered immediately after the mention of Human creation on His nature). Science so far, apart from Darwin’s evolutionary theory, has not been able to prove human evolution-as patterned in other species-conclusively. Another deduction, which seems even more logical and pliable, is that the nature on which human beings have been modeled is unchangeable. It carries weight as the Nature of God does not need to change as well. It is in conformity with the notion that—“this is how the Faithmonotheism— has been established”. In essence right from the day of Adam (R.A) till now it has not changed“(here the first part of the injunction is of generic/universal nature whereas the later two parts are of assertive nature/character).

Qura’an exegetes offered several interpretations of Surah Rome, V-30.  Two of which are formally presented here. The first one—which is offered within the theistic constricts–“All human beings are borne Muslims by their Nature and instinct”. But then it is the surrounding and environment which change them into what they exhibit to be. Logical explanation is derived from the textual meaning of the word—“Muslim”—means –submitter. Upon contemplating it would be noticed that there is nothing in the created realm, which does not submit to the will of the— Nature—Creator.  This interpretation is severally asserted in Qura’an and by a hadith of sahihain (doubly authentic). In Surah Isra’a, V-44, in Surah Al Noor V-41, in Surah Al Ra’ad, V-15 and in Surah Al Nahl, V- 48 & 49 It is exhorted that– “whatever is in the heavens and earth is bound to (prostrate) submit, willingly or unwillingly, even their shadows incline to the right and to the left prostrating unto Allah, in the evening and morning hours-without any pride”

The second interpretation is of generic and universal character—“Allah (Creator) has bestowed upon all human beings the capability to discern and believe in the true God”. The scope could be expanded by generalizing the capability to discern good from bad. There is however, a conditionality attached to this capability and that is the bestowal of Divine Grace (His will); without which, despite “nature” being embedded, exercise of discernment would not be possible. This conditionality (in the wider scope of Faith) has been confirmed in Qura’an in surah Younus V-100, where Allah declared that “It is not for any soul to believe save by the permission of Allah” Then there is Specific affirmation in Surah Anfal, V-29—–“Allah gives capacity to discern, to those who fear Him” (Sharpness of skill of using logic and reason)-Also known as “Furqan”

In Surah Rome, V-30—it has also been said that—“There is no change in Allah’s creation”. (Again there are several interpretations of this verse too, but the opted one is comparatively more logical and supported by ahadith). It means that the rules of creation of Allah (Creator) would not change–as the basic instinctive capacity of discernment from good to bad would stay intact, despite the fact that one may deviate due to attending environ or the circumstances. The natural (instinctive) character of other creations would also stay intact— worshiping the Creator with their specific prayers in their specific ways. (Surah  Al Noor, V-41).  Imam Torapushti has also preferred the 2nd interpretation. This interpretation is further confirmed in Surah Taha V-50, Where Allah says “He gave everything its shape then guidance”. It is like pre-programming of a product. Validation of the notion of being borne on—Nature—can also be  derived from the experiences of daily life where human being, regardless of persuasions, invariably calls upon the Creator in the face of any hardship or calamity. This guidance is of generic, universal character and every being is embedded with. Here is however another Surah Al Qasas, V-56 saying “Allah gives guidance to whomsoever He wills” This injunction is of specific character (to tread the right path determined by the Creator). Guidance of this kind is a special feature which everybody does not pursue unless specifically willed by God. Here in this passage the first injunction is of generic nature with which everything is embedded, whereas the second injunction/command is of specific nature and is given only to the chosen ones– as is the capacity to discern.                                                                                                                   

(These classifications must be borne in mind throughout the essay for clear understanding)

Qura’an exegetes restrict their interpretations—rightly–to Islam; since Qura’an descended on prophet Mohammad (PBUH) in which Allah chose the name for His religion as “Islam”. It is categorically declared in Surah Aale-Imran V-19—“Lo, religion with Allah (is) the surrender” (unto His will & guidance) also in Surah Maida -5, V-3 it was declared that “today I have completed your religion for you and bestowed my blessings upon you and chose “Islam” as religion for you”   (Surrender = submitter = Muslim).

Note:- It is like a computer which though fully programmed but certain functions need activation to perform—-Similarly Allah’s will is needed as an activation command for certain functions to be activated of  human computer .

It is “you”—a miniscule biomass– only on an insignificant small planet earth— but an integral part of the infinite cosmic “NATURE”—made subservient—anxious to serve & facilitate—- “you”—- A declared crown of the creation——- Isn’t it marvelous!

Hipocrisy

April 29, 2015

Hypocrisy

One of the early wars fought by Muslims is “Al-Ahzab” which has several distinctive features but it became famous due to a new war-strategy of trench–“Al-Khandaq”— which was the brain-child of Salman Farsi (R.A). Salman Farsi, a Persian by descent, freed himself from an artificially imposed slavery of a Jew and devoted his life to Islam. He observed this strategy being practiced by Persians. When he broached this idea to the Prophet (PBUH) he accepted it since it would protect Muslims from out of Madina massive attack. Trench dug at the entrance to Madina at the time of Al-Ahab war was about three and a half miles long, about 6 ft deep and 6 feet wide and completed in just six days. Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) practically participated in digging this trench. This war was fought in lashing winter and financially straitened conditions. Most of the Sahabah including Prophet went hungry for days. Total number of fighters was three thousands with only thirty six horses. Opposing army was a coalition of several Jewish, Meccan, Quresh, tribes some of which are Aslam, Ashja, Banu Murrah, Banu Kinanah, Fazarah and Ghittan consisting of 12000 to 15000 well equipped men, more than 300 horses and 1000 camels. One of the tribes of Madina, Bani Quraizah, who had a peace treaty with the Muslims also broke off and joined the enemy forces. This multiplied the danger from within and without Madina. The coalition was formed in the hope of eliminating the new religion once for all.

In the course of digging the trench, a huge glossy rock impeded the process and the matter was referred to Prophet. Prophet came to the site and took the matter in his own hands and struck the rock reciting a short verse of Qura’an (Surah Al Anam 6, V-115) meaning—“And the word of your Lord is perfect in truth and justice—none is there to change His words”. Prophet struck the rock three times and each time 1/3rd of it broke off. Some of the Sahaba, (Companions) (R.A) observed a gleaming light emerging from it at all three occasions. Upon inquiring Prophet explained that in the First light I was shown the cities of Yaman and those of Cyrus and in the Second I was shown the red palaces of Byzantine thereupon Arch Angel Jibril (R.A) gave me the good news that your ummah (Nation/Community) will conquer them. Hearing this Muslims felt at peace and assured of their successes in the times to come.      (Muslims may recited this Surah while undertaking some difficult task)

Upon hearing this prediction, hypocrites, who were with Muslims just to keep their cover and half heartedly involved in digging the trench, started taunting Muslims, by asking, do you really believe what Prophet has said? Look at you! Who are digging this trench and so overwhelmed that can’t even take care of personal needs. Do you really believe you will be the conqueror of the kingdoms of Byzantine and Persia as promised? This is what is expressed in Surah Al Ahzab, 33 V- 12 “And those having malady in their hearts were saying “Allah and His Prophet did not promise us but deceitfully”

The time was so critical for Muslims that the whole faith was at stake. Strenuous and strained circumstances, fear of enemy massive attack from within and without. On top of it all hypocrites were trying to plant the doubts in their minds. Had it worked! Would have been immensely devastating and most probably changed the course of Muslim History. By the grace of Allah however, it was braved by righteous Muslims with absolute belief in Allah and His Prophet. Exemplary immutability of true believers was displayed.  Trench proved to be very effective in holding back the enemy fighters for significant period of time. In this period some tactical and diplomatic initiatives were undertaken and desired results achieved. This war was won with flying colors by the will and grace of Allah. Eventually the prediction also came true and Sahabah (R.A) witnessed the Conquests of Byzantine and Persia   first hand. Hypocrisy of the hypocrites stood exposed.


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