Author Archive: سليمان الكندي

The Jewish Commemoration of the Temple – Our Heritage, Our Distinction

قالوا يا موسى إنا لن ندخلها أبدا ما داموا فيها فاذهب أنت وربك فقاتلا إنا هاهنا قاعدون
[The children of Israel] said, “O Moses! We shall most certainly not enter [the city] for as long as they are in it. Go you and your Lord and fight while we sit here.” [al-Māʾidah: 24]

The Jews have recently commemorated Tisha B’Av, the date of the destruction of the Temple, twice. In a general sense this is part of our history as well, as those were the rebellious believers of the time and these occurences are mentioned in the Qurʾān in the opening of Sūrah Banī Isrāʿīl also called Sūrah al-ʾIsrāʿ. Even in the name of “Tisha”, the Arabic student should recognise “Tāsiʿ” or ninth. B’Av is however beyond me.

Yet it is in the very commonality that the two religions share, that our distinction is most evident. There may be a common historical legacy, but through the guidance of Muḥammad صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ our outlook and treatment of the very same common event is treated differently.
The Origin of Tisha B’Av

Rabbinical authorities clarify that the original reason catastrophe constantly befalls the Jews on this date was the refusal of the Children of Israel to fight the Canaanites when Allāh’s Messenger, Mūsā (Moses peace be upon him), commanded them to do so.

The spies return on the eighth day of Av and report that the land is unconquerable. That night, the 9th of Av, the people cry. They insist that they’d rather go to Egypt than be slaughtered by the Canaanites. G d is highly displeased by this public demonstration of distrust in His power
http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/946703/jewish/What-happened-on-the-Ninth-of-Av.htm

The Qurʾān records the above as follows:

(20) And [mention, O Muhammad], when Moses said to his people, “O my people, remember the favour of Allah upon you when He appointed among you prophets and made you kings and gave you that which He had not given anyone among the worlds.
(21) O my people, enter the Holy Land which Allah has written for you and do not turn back [from fighting in Allah ‘s cause] and [thus] become losers.”
(22) They said, “O Moses, indeed within it is a people of tyrannical strength, and indeed, we will never enter it until they leave it; but if they leave it, then we will enter.”
(23) Said two men from those who feared [to disobey] upon whom Allah had bestowed favour, “Enter upon them through the gate, for when you have entered it, you will be victorious. And rely upon Allah, if you truly are believers.”
(24) [The children of Israel] said, “O Moses! We shall most certainly not enter [the city] for as long as they are in it. Go you and your Lord and fight while we sit here.” [al-Māʾidah: 20 – 24]

Third parties would list Joshua (peace be upon him) as a Jewish hero, but again we differ in commonality. Note the respect the Qurʾān accords him as man who fears Allāh. Whilst we agree that he was sent to gather intelligence, Muslims would deem it disrespectful to use the term “spy” on him. Again, note how he and his companion encourage reliance upon Allāh and striving in His Cause. Can there be any doubt as to the esteem we hold him in?

The Jewish Legacy

So we agree on a common even but as Islām is zealous that all mankind achieve guidance, whilst Judaism is primarily focussed on its own flock, and some even obstructing people from entering the fold of Judaism, the legacy is quite different. The Jewish interpretation becomes nation focussed and whilst we would deem the refusal to fight to be plain rebellion against Allāh and His Messenger, the Jewish national explanation is not of punishment, but divine displeasure at not fulfilling one’s potential. The focus is on the nation:

Many tragedies happened on the 9th of Av. The Two Holy Temples in Jerusalem were destroyed. World War One and Two’s commencement was due to an event that happened on the 9th of Av.
Charlie Harary in a Video On Aish.com explains that G-d is not out to punish people. He wants people to remove their negative attitude of not believing in themselves. Thus, aside for mourning, the destruction of the temples and the tragedies that occured, we should do teshuva / repent and make resolutions to better ourselves through the Torah’s lessons and strengthen our belief in ourselves – in our ability to do good.

– See more at: http://jerusalemlife.com/?p=4169#sthash.sMM8pRYR.dpuf

Tisha b’Av reminds us of how broken we are, how we have not been living up to our potential, and Hashem mourns over the destruction of the temple within each of us and the distance between us that that destruction has created.
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/17256#.VcZKMfljKf4

The Muslim Legacy

The tribe of Kindah was Jewish before Islām, although there would have been idolaters amongst them as well. If only the racist Muslims I have to live amongst, could comprehend even the one deed below, of the first of my tribe to embrace Islām. I would ask you to read up on the details of the Battle of Badr on your own, but the pertinent point is that fighting was not yet compulsory on all. Muḥammad صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ was unsure whether all would voluntarily join in this battle, upon which the very existence of Islām would depend. Miqdād bin al-Aswad al-Kindī (may Allāh be pleased with him) referred to the event from our Isrāʾīlī heritage. Yet this offspring of a Jewish tribe, who had become imbued with the spirituality of Muḥammad صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, no longer had any nationalist interest. To him the incident with Mūsā (peace be upon him) was now a lesson in absolute loyalty, obedience and sacrifice. Allāh and His Messenger come above any excuse in exonerating the nation, the tribe, the people or the self. I conclude in quoting him from Muḥammad Rasūlullāh, by ʾAbul Ḥasan ʿAlī Nadwī:

Then Miqdād got up and said, “O Apostle of God, we will not say as the Children of Israel said to Moses, ‘Go thou and thy Lord and fight, we will sit here.’ We will fight with you on your left and on your right, in your front and in your rear.”

سليمان الكندي
Twitter: @sulayman_Kindi

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My first foray into Kindle Direct Publishing

Islām teaches us the concept of Ḥusnuzh Zhann, having a good opinion of others. Is this why Muslims have this opinion that their scholars are of such lofty spiritual status, that they live on love and fresh air alone? (Even if that were the case, where’s the fresh air in these polluted times?)

In any case, I have started working on my next book, and if it is completed, I intend publishing it via Amazon.com on its Kindle Direct Publishing service. Dealing with Muslim publishers and booksellers does not help pay my bills and debts, so here goes trying to deal with non-Muslims.

Simply as an experiment and a first time practice, I have published my Ramaḍān Tafsīr notes (originally here on my blog) on Kindle Direct. You may view it here on Amazon and offer your suggestions.

May Allāh reward you.

سليمان الكندي
Twitter: @sulayman_Kindi

How many white hairs did Muḥammad صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ have?

Question:

During the Ramaḍān Tafsīr you mentioned that the Companions of Muḥammad صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ counted how many white hairs he had, but you left it for us as “homework” to find out the number. I have tried Google and got no answer. My young son is very upset about this and wants to know. Please assist.

Reply :

The reason I intentionally omit information such as this, is to create a zeal within the listener/ reader to seek knowledge. If Allāh wills, knowledge obtained after a search is more appreciated and will remain firmer than that which was simply handed over.

It pleases me that someone did in fact exert himself in seeking Islāmic knowledge, more so in trying to learn about our Beloved Prophet صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ. That you have raised a young boy who loves Allāh’s Messenger صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ and anxiously thirsts for more information on him, is truly a remarkable feat in this era and gives us hope for the future. May he be a treasure in your account for the Hereafter.

Although other points may also be made, such as the amazing physical strength and appearance of Allāh’s Messenger صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, my purpose in mentioning the narration of ʾal-ʾImām ʾat-Tirmiẓī, was to point out the intense love the Companions had for him, to the extent that they counted his white hair. This is a sad comparison to contemporary Muslims who know everything about their western idols of sport, music and debauchery, but nothing about he about whom the most detailed biographies have been compiled in human history.

The description of Allāh’s Messenger صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ is compiled by ʾal-ʾImām ʾat-Tirmiẓī (Allāh’s mercy be upon him) as ­ʾash-Shamāʾil lit-Tirmiẓī, which is printed separately as well (from his major Ḥadīth compilation). I urge Muslim to obtain a copy and study it. If a physical copy is unobtainable, it is freely available online.

In any case, let me put your son out of his anxiety….

عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عُمَرَ ، قَالَ

: إِنَّمَا كَانَ شَيْبُ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ نَحْوًا مِنْ عِشْرِينَ شَعْرَةً بَيْضَاءَ

 

ʿAbdullāh bin ʿUmar (may Allāḥ be pleased with father and son) narrated, “The white hairs of Allāh’s Messenger صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ were about twenty strands.” [Tirmiẓī]

سليمان الكندي
Twitter: @sulayman_Kindi

Topics in my daily commentary before Tarāwīḥ – Complete

I have been invited by the Northcliff Masjid to give a brief explanation every night of what will be recited in the Tarāwīḥ Ṣalāh. Since I am making points of what I am speaking, I thought I may as well record them in a blog post as I progress. If Allāh wills, I shall update this post daily, instead of separate posts, as these are points and not full commentaries. I may also write a point about which I never had time to speak on.
سليمان الكندي
Twitter: @sulayman_Kindi

1. First Night – 1st Juz and 1st Quarter of Juz 2
• Relationship between Ramaḍān and revelation.
• Distinction between complete revelations and revelation over 23 years – ʾInzāl and Tanzīl
• The first letter of the Qurʾān “bi” is a conjunction and this is the essence of the entire Qurʾān – joining the Creator and His creation.
• ʾal-Fātiḥāh – Opening Chapter.
• ʾal-Baqarah – The Cow, insincere questions and lead one astray.
• Similarly all knowledge is not useful – sorcery of Babylon
• Sorcery continued to the time of the innocent Prophet, Sulaymān (Solomon) and to this day.
• Opposite of knowledge – Allāh declares two groups idiots – those who criticise the Ṣaḥābah and those who question the command of Allāh i.e. change of Qiblah.
2. Last 3 quarters of 2nd Juz and 1st half of Juz 3
• Piety is whatever Allāh defines it to be. Qiblah is wherever He decrees.
• Contemporary attitude of Muslims of emphasising deeds and neglecting correct belief needs to be tended.
• The moon, Islāmic calendar. Revive this Sunnah in one’s personal capacity by using the Islāmic date where possible.
• Enter Islām in its entirety, desire of ʿAbdullāh bin Salām to maintain some Jewish habits. We do not pick and choose what part of religion sorts us. Submit completely.
• Allāh has decreed three divorces maximum. Attitude of people who still live together out of shame “what will people say” are is if they elevate the view of people above the command of Allāh. This defect in belief is worse than the adultery they commit.
• Allāh chose the first king of Israel and mentioned his qualities of knowledge and good physique. The Sunnah is balance between religion and world, or rather guarding your body and world in order to serve religion.

3. 2nd half of Juz 3 and 1st three quarters of Juz 4
• The family of ʿImrān.
• Maryam, daughter of ʿImrān, born in response to supplication of her mother.
• Dedicated to service in al-Masjid al-ʾAqṣā, where her uncle, Zakārīyyā was inspired by her receiving out of season fruit by divine means, to supplicate for a son, despite his age and wife’s barren state.
• Yaḥyā granted to him, plus with piety, Prophethood, Allāh naming him, and naming him uniquely. It is recommended to name children different from common names.
• ʾĪsā son of Maryam who never touched a man. No Prophet after him until Muḥammad صلى الله عليه و سلم, will return at Damascus.
• Plot of the Jews. Early example of psychological warfare in trying to discredit Muḥammad صلى الله عليه و سلم.
• Qurʾān’s prophecy true to the letter. Allāh has struck the Jews with disgrace (expelled from every land) except when people extend a rope unto them (America).
4. Last quarter of Juz 4 and full Juz 5
• Chapter on woman, Islām gave women dignity, specifically the right to formally inherit.
• Polygamy mentioned in context of protecting women. It is not an obligation, but questioning the command of Allāh and opposing the Sunnah of Muḥammad صلى الله عليه و سلم reveals defective faith, most serious.
• Inheritance stipulated by Allāh.
• Funeral expenses and debts to be settled first. Bequest is maximum a third of remainder.
• Ṣalātul Khawf – if Allāh desires congregational prayer behind a single leader even on the battle field, what then of us in peace time?
5. Juz 6
• Origin, Sunnah and how to make Nabeezh (date extract juice). Not strictly Tafseer, but the congregation seemed more interested in my beverage than my Tafseer.

• Allāh does not like gossip. Speak good or keep silent. Matters of public concern (government corruption), the oppressed, are different matters.
• Prohibition of interest. Opposite of interest is wholesome trade. But it would be necessary to know Islāmic regulations of trade, e.g. Tamlīk – taking possession.
• Help each other in good deeds. The point is the deed. Do not focus on the defects of the other party.
• Allāh replaces lax nations with others who will serve Him. This pattern has been repeatedly observed in Islāmic history.
6. Juz 7
• Christians wept at hearing the Qurʾān, why are our hearts so dead?
• Prohibiting that which is good. Just as evil as permitting evil. Usurpation of Allāh’s right of legislation.
• When pagans were confronted about their baseless customs such as not allowing certain camels to be used, they responded that their ancestors did the same. Such an attitude of preferring custom over Islām is found amongst some Muslims.
• “We only live in this world” pagan materialism prevalent in society today.
• Allāh consoled Muḥammad صلى الله عليه و سلم when he was saddened at the words of the unbelievers and said they in fact dispute Allāh’s signs. Shows firstly that Muḥammad صلى الله عليه و سلم had human emotion but still persevered in his mission. Secondly, sometimes an attack is not at us personally, but at the broader mission.

7. Juz 8

• The distinction of Halaal and Haraam directly linked to the August Name of Allah. What we eat has major impact on our spiritual development. In fact this is the first command to man – tree in Paradise.
• Verse 124, only place in the Qurʾān where “Allāh” is mentioned immediately after “Allāh”. Place of accepted supplication according to some.
• Pagans would pile up sacrifices for idols and Allāh. Take care that idol pile is complete but not bother if pile meant for Allāh spilt into the idol pile. Do we have same attitude in short cuts in religion?
• The variety of fruits, in fact all of creation are signs of Allāh’s handiwork. There has to be an Intelligent Designer, the Creator!
• Muḥammad صلى الله عليه و سلم is utterly free of those who split into sects. Consider how contemporary Muslims split on the most trivial of issues, and in fact define themselves on single issues, let alone become codified sects.
• Reward for virtues multiplied ten-fold, but for “he who brings” i.e. preserves his virtue and does not destroy it or lose his faith.
• Punishment for evil is merely equal or forgiven.
• Plains of ʾAʿrāf most likely for people of equal virtue and sin, not entitled to immediate entry into Paradise or Hell.
• When Satan was questioned as to his rebellion he replied with arrogance, “I am better than him.”
• ʾĀdam (peace be upon him), reacted with humility to his error, “O our Lord! Indeed we have wronged ourselves.”

8. Juz 9
• The magicians of Pharaoh summoned to confront Mūsā (peace be upon him).
• Accepted truth when presented.
• So immediate that they fell into prostration as if flung down.
• Despite threat of amputation and crucifixion.
• They had been materialist, had the guts to demand a reward from a tyrant like Pharaoh, now their focus was on the Hereafter.
• Ungrateful Israel blamed Mūsā عليه السلامfor their afflictions, are we willing to bear a little loss for the command of Allāh?
• Mūsā عليه السلامchose 70 elite for his meeting with Allāh. Islām commands consultation, but this does not equate to mob rule.
• Israel saw so many miracles yet remained rebellious and rude to their Prophet. We love Muḥammad صلى الله عليه و سلم without seeing manifest miracles.
• The people of the Sabbath who tried to deceive Allāh.
• The Pledge of the souls extracted from ʾĀdam’s عليه السلام back

9. Juz 10
• When you encounter a hostile force remember Allah much. One point is that we should remember Allah in all circumstances and another is the balance between material and spiritual effort.
• Prepare whatever means possible to confront the enemy.
• Allah united the hostile Arab tribes. Not even Muḥammad صلى الله عليه و سلم could have achieved that on his own. Following the basic Sunnah teachings of unity (greeting, standing in straight rows) is superior to fancy conferences etc.
• Allah announced Arabia as preserve of Monotheism. Saudis allowed unbelievers to trap her sacred soil.
• Belief of Sahaabah superior to Quraysh custodianship of Kabah. Belief superior to deeds. Saudi transgressions not justified by apparent services.
• They desire to extinguish Allah’s light, but He sent a Messenger to complete it. Sunnah essential to victory.
• Excuses of hypocrites to avoid sacrifice.
• Mocking religion is the way of hypocrite.
10. Juz 11
• Good and bad Bedouins, like all races.
• The first Muslims, our obligations and debt to them.
• Masjid built for wrong reasons.
• Allah bought the lives of the believers in exchange for Paradise…. The kind way Allah speaks to us. He owns our life to start with but says He buys it from us in exchange for Paradise.
• Pious company essential to personal piety.
• Muḥammad صلى الله عليه و سلم extremely hurt at what hurts and zealous for our welfare. How do we treat his rights?
• Unbelievers facing drowning turn to Allah and then forget him. Similar to our condition today.
• Pop star recitation of the Quraan focusses on tune and ignores rules of recitation. If we ignore the pause, then “Do not let their statement grieve you. All honour belongs to Allah,” becomes, “Do not let their statement, that all honour belongs to Allah, grieve you.”
• By sparing Nineveh, city of Yunus (Jonah), Allah granted Islam great saints, scholars and warriors from that region.

  1. Juz 12
    • Muḥammad صلى الله عليه و سلم said that Surah Hud and its associates gave him white hair. It may be the burden of, “Be steadfast as you have been commanded.”
    • The most beloved deed unto Allah is that which one is constant upon even if it be small.
    • The unbeliever son of Nuh (alayhis salaam) – family have rights, but Allah’s right takes precedence. Testify the truth even if it is against family.
    • Shu’ayb (alayhis salaam) preached to Madyan, city of unscrupulous traders.
    • Two of their statements bear thought – are we the same? Do we say to the scholars, “Who are you to tell us what to do with our money,” “If not for your followers then you would have seen what we would have done to you.” Numbers mean more than Allah?
    • Stories of the pious strengthen the heart. Read! Make them your heroes, not atheist celebrities.

 

  1. Juz 13
    • Surah Yusuf revealed when unbelievers tested Muḥammad صلى الله عليه و سلم , he only tells tales of ancient Arabian which we know, he will not know how Israel came to Egypt.
    • “The most excellent story” in the Quran with many subtle points.
    • Accusation against the slave Yusuf (alayhis salaam), yet minister looked at evidence not the word of noble wife.
    • Once Yusuf  عليه السلامhad his brothers under his authority, he neither denied the facts nor harped on the wrongs, but subtly referred to the problem Satan caused amongst them.
    • He is prophet but asks for death as Muslim just as Ibrahim عليه السلام asked for safety from idolatry.

 

  1. Juz 14
    • Devils try and overhear speech in heavens which is why fortune tellers sometimes get something right. Trend of going into prophecies, Nostradamus, most harmful to one’s faith and leads to involvement in dark forces.
    • Even the Devil at the moment of being cursed knew that he can still turn to Allah and ask of Him.
    • Cure for sorrow – remembrance of Allah and prostration.
    • Plants, animals, celestial system day and night artwork of the Creator.
    • Even before the prohibition of wine, the subtle indication of the Quraan that it’s excluded from “good sustenance” was enough for many Muslims to start abstention.
    • When Muḥammad صلى الله عليه و سلم was accused of copying the Quraan from Christian monk, Allah’s response was factual, not emotional – the monk was non-Arab incapable of the fluent Arabic of the Quraan.
  1. Juz 15
  • The Isrā (journey to Jeruslaem) and Miʿrāj (ascension to Heavens)
  • At this glorious moment Muḥammad صلى الله عليه و سلم is referred to as “slave” not by lofty titles.
  • To be a slave to anyone is humiliation, but the highest dignity for the believer to be the obedient slave of Allāh.
  • To not be extremely miserly nor so generous that you end up in need. Another example of the path of moderation which is the hallmark of the Sunnah.
  • Do not approach adultery/fornication. Reminiscent of Adam not to approach the tree. Basic principle of the forbidden. Stay away from what leads to it, not only the actual deed.
  • The Sleepers (youth) of the Cave. Youth also take the lead in religious matters.
  • Important to recite these ten verses for protection from Anti-Christ, just as the youth were protected.
  • We sometimes go into intricate theories on these matters and omit the teachings we supposed to (recite ten verses).
  • Two forms of divine punishment – instant, full out, wipes out nations and slow, grinding punishment witnessed over period
  1. Juz 16
  • Ẓul Qurnayn, ancient king who conquered the world. His story ties in with the Anti-Christ facet of Sūrah al-Kahf, in that the Gog and Magog whom he imprisoned will be released after the appearance of slaying of Anti-Christ.
  • To be a slave to anyone is humiliation, but the highest dignity for the believer to be the obedient slave of Allāh.
  • Outstanding feature of Maryam (Mary) was her concern for her chastity, to the extent that she warns off the angel who is in a man’s form, not recognising what he is.
  • Everyone to cross over the bridge over Hell. Some deeds take forms of vehicles or affect speed of crossing. Prepare.
  • Allāh manifests His love for some of the pious through people loving them. Some are severely tested.
  • How Mūsā (Moses, peace be upon him) recognised that H was indeed speaking to Allāh.
  • Time and place are creations of Allāh. Allāh is above comparison to creations.
  • Mūsā (Moses, peace be upon him) dragged out his response solely to extend the conversation with his most beloved Allāh.
  1. Juz 17
  • The perfect system of the heavens and the earth is proof of monotheism. Many gods would have caused conflict and break down.
  • Allāh’s arguments are factual and logical.
  • Man is created hasty. The few commands such as funeral in which haste is commanded we delay in. Allāh loves thought before action. Effects of technology – elimination of the attribute Allāh loves, that email or text must be answered NOW! Push the button NOW!
  • The entry of outlying tribes into Islām was deemed unimportant, but was a warning of the eventual conquest of Makkah. Let us regard our minor victories today as consolation for Allāh’s coming help.
  • Syria mentioned as blessed throughout the Qurʾān.
  • Makkah to be solely for worship without distraction, to the extent that Allāh answered the Duʿāʾ of ʾIbrāhīm (Abraham, peace be upon him) to sustain Makkah, by having an angel take land from Syria and place it outside, where Ṭāʾif is today. Even the fruit and climate of Ṭāʾif were not tolerated as distractions in Makkah, how then what the Saʿūd do?
  • Makkah is the only place where evil intentions are accountable. Tread carefully.
  1. Juz 18
  • Sūrah an-Nūr, the foundation of Islāmic etiquette and civilisation.
  • Sexual purity, modesty, greeting, rights of privacy.
  • The story of Marthad bin Abī Marthad al-Ghanawī (may Allāh be pleased with him) – filthy women are for filthy men. Parents who allow their children to roam freely should not expect them to acquire pure spouses.
  • Ten verses declare our Mother, ʿĀishah (may Allāh be pleased with her) to be pure, yet the Shīʿah Rawāfiḍ agree with the accusations of the hypocrites that she is an adulteress.
  • On this the 17th night of Ramaḍān, Muḥammad صلى الله عليه و سلم sat in the mud of Badr praying for a victory through which we are Muslims today. How sad that we know nothing of his biography and everything of sports players and movie stars.
  1. Juz 19
  • The importance of correct company. Uqbah bin Abī Muet entered Islām, but reneged because of his friend Ubayy bin Khalaf.
  • Let us not imitate those who make their personal desires their gods.
  • Pharaoh countered Mūsā (Moses, peace be upon him) with his past favours upon. Mūsā (Moses, peace be upon him) acknowledged them but did not allow that to detract from the tyrant’s disbelief and oppression. Till today governments and corporations distract us with fig-leaf good to hide many evils.
  • Sulaymān (Solomon, peace be upon him) was a king and prophet yet he condescended to listen to a bird’s excuse before reaching a conclusion.
  • Sulaymān (Solomon, peace be upon him) did not only say that which we quote, “This is from the bounty of my Lord,” but added, “To test me whether I am grateful or ungrateful.”
  • The very same thing or condition can be a punishment or blessing based on how we react to it.
  1. Juz 20
  • Allāh intended to compensate the oppressed Israel. Allāh answers the imploring of the oppressed even if he be an unbeliever. Do not oppress even unbelievers whether politically, financially, labour etc.
  • One facet of Pharaoh’s doom being sealed was him consulting with Hāmān. Conversely the Queen of Sheba consulted wise men and was guided.
  • The modesty of the future wife of Mūsā (Moses, peace be upon him), as if she “walked upon modesty”
  • Mūsā (Moses, peace be upon him) was appointed prophet but requested his brother as well. He recognised his own shortcomings and was willing to share in the honour of the greatest of enterprises. Some today will not share business with own family.
  • “You do not guide whom you love, but Allāh guides whom He wishes to…” Guidance is no accident. Be grateful.
  • Qārūn said he acquired his wealth from his own acumen not from Allā Many have this attitude.
  1. Juz 21
  • Prayer should be influencing our conduct and character.
  • Debate with dignity when engaging the Christians and Jews, do not be harsh and emotional.
  • Language is a sign of Allā Evolutionists cannot adequately explain why language came into existence.
  • Idolater who arranged for entertainments to distract people from listening to the Qurʾān. A simple sports game can distract Muslims from the massacre of Muslims abroad.
  • Advice of Luqmān. Uniquely here – walk moderately and do not raise your voice, like a donkey.
  • Tahajjud linked to high stages of Paradise.
  • The promise that Rome and Persia would be conquered seemed fantastic at the time. It was a joke to the hypocrites and a test which the believers affirmed.
  1. Juz 22
  • Marriage of Zayd bin Ḥārithah and Zaynab bint Jaḥsh (may Allāh be pleased with both).
  • No formal adoption in Islām
  • Zayd only Companion mentioned by name in Qurʾān
  • Do not impose on the time of a host, leave suitably early.
  • Allāh does not feel shy over the truth. Some people create false shyness e.g. explaining laws related to puberty with their children.
  • Salutation upon Muḥammad صلى الله عليه و سلم a simple act with much reward and builds relationship with him.
  • Ancient Yemen prosperity lost due to ingratitude.
  • Upper and lower classes to exchange blame in Hereafter. Significantly the lower classes mention the conspiracy of the upper classes. Despite several mention in the Qurʾān there are those who deny conspiracy.
  • With true knowledge comes true fear and awareness of Allāh.
  • Do not seek justice from Allāh, seek mercy. If we were apprehended for our crimes only animals would remain on earth.

22. Juz 23
• Ḥabīb, the carpenter saw Paradise before his soul left.
• Those who say only Prophets preached before Islām not correct.
• Perfect system of plants, cosmic system, day and night signs of the Creator.
• Our origin is a drop of sperm, how can we be arrogant.
• All humanity descendants of Nūḥ (Noah, peace be upon him). Fanciful theories of descendants of Cain = Gog and Magog have no shred of reality.
• Admirable qualities of both father Ibrāhīm (Abraham, peace be upon him) and son Ismāʿīl (peace be upon him) demonstrated in stories of the youth.
• Remembrance of Allāh attracts His mercy – Yūnus (Jonah, peace be upon him).
• Cut off that which distracts of His remembrance – Sulaymān (Solomon, peace be upon him) and his horses.
• Idols are intercessors to Allāh? However logical and sincere an argument might seem, it is irrelevant when contradicting the command of Allāh.

  1. Juz 24
  • “O My slaves who have transgressed against themselves, do not despair of Allāh’s mercy…”
  • Verse which gives hope. The honour of being addressed as Allāh’s slave.
  • The two groups of the Hereafter. Work towards being in the group of Paradise, not Hell.
  • The ultimate manifestation that Allāh is the Ever-Living King of kings, when He calls out, “To whom does sovereignty belong to today?” and there is non to reply.
  • The Egyptian believer who spoke the truth in Pharaoh’s court. “The most virtuous Jihād is to speak a word of truth to a tyrant ruler.” – Ḥadīth.
  • Tafwīḍ – handing one’s affairs to Allāh’s will, does not negate using whatever means one can whilst focusing on Allāh and accepting whatever result He decrees. Peace of heart in Tafwīḍ.
  • Call unto Me I shall reply unto you, importance of Duʿāʾ.
  • ʾĀd boasted, “Who is more powerful than us?” same as contemporary powers.
  • Allāh’s reply is equally applicable to today’s powers, “Did they not see that He who created them is more powerful than them?”
  1. Juz 25
  • Some of the pious have been drawn to Allāh simply because He loves them, others are required to exert and thus gain His guidance.
  • Allāh dispenses sustenance as He wills, all cannot be rich.
  • All Duʿāʾ bear a common theme of drawing attention to the Hereafter and Allāh, thus travel Duʿāʾ, “…and indeed we are moving towards our Lord.”
  • Consider how Duʿāʾ is so worded it is equally applicable to travelling on donkey or spacecraft. Had these not been divine or divinely inspired they would have applied to 7th Arabia and been redundant today.
  • Neither the heaven (gate where our good deeds enter) nor the earth (which testifies when to the good we did on it) weep for Pharaoh. They weep for the pious believer though.
  1. Juz 26
  • “…I do not know what will be done to me or to you…” Clearly Muḥammad صلى الله عليه و سلم did not know the future and the unseen except that which was revealed to him.
  • [The above comment almost earned me a physical assault in the Masjid. So much for Muslim tolerance!]
  • Unlike some religions which deified their prophets, we draw a line between love, respect and obedience to Muḥammad صلى الله عليه و سلم without associating divine attributes to him.
  • The people of ʿĀd thought that the cloud was to relieve their drought but it was the instrument of their destruction. Good and bad is what Allāh says it to be.
  • Some people who heard Muḥammad صلى الله عليه و سلم mocked him whilst others increased in faith. Same circumstances, different result, guidance is from Allāh.
  • “Reconcile between your brethren” directed at third parties. The two conflicting parties should not be abandoned to stew in their dispute.
  1. Juz 27
  • “I have not created Man and Jinn except to worship Me.”
  • Worship is for our benefit. Allāh is not in need of us.
  • Generally fruit is mentioned before meat in the Qurʾān. Arabs used to implement this subtlety, although not a command. Today dieticians say the same.
  • Suspicion does not equate to fact and destroys society. Same as rumours (emails) spread without checking source.
  • Worldly classes and races to terminate, but the three classes of Hereafter are forever. Work to enter the real Upper Class.
  • Earlier Companions superior to latter, but all are lofty. Strive to assist good when it is most fragile and in need.
  1. Juz 28
  • ʿĀishah (may Allāh be pleased with her) could not hear the woman complaining to Muḥammad صلى الله عليه و سلم when she was just there, but Allāh heard. He is All-Hearing. Also when in need, others might intentionally not hear us, but He does!
  • Consideration when sitting in a gathering. Even someone whom you sit next to in the bus is your neighbour (companion of the side) with rights accountable at Resurrection, even if not Muslim.
  • A temporary law, compulsory charity before entering the gathering of Muḥammad صلى الله عليه و سلم. This was due to the difficulties the hypocrites caused, and make them pause before coming. ʿAlī (may Allāh be pleased with him) was the only person who managed to act on this before it was revoked. Today Muslims take Islāmic scholars, literature etc cheaply because they get these free, but value secular speakers and media and pay hefty fees.
  • The Jews of Qurayzhah betrayed the Muslims and would only fight behind their fortifications due to cowardice. Compare the heavy armaments, and fortifications against Ghazzah.
  • Spend in good while living, you will never return. Reward for bequests much lower.
  1. Juz 29
  • “to test you which of you are best in deeds.” Not most in deeds. Of course quantity assists to practice with quality.
  • He who recites salutations on Muḥammad صلى الله عليه و سلم is blessed 10 fold. He who abused him is cursed in al-Qalam 10 fold.
  • The stingy people of the garden blamed each other. Typical human trait instead of owning up to responsibility.
  • All friends and family will abandon us at Resurrection. Why sin for their sake?
  • We shall gaze upon the countenance of Allāh!
  • “We do not want your compensation or even gratitude.” Sincerity, good to people even when we are not appreciated, because it should be for Allāh, not people.
  • Classes of people in Paradise as personified in their drink – drink floating for convenience vs. servants honouring them vs. Allāh granting drink.
  1. Juz 30
  • He who controls his ego will have Paradise as his abode.
  • “He frowned” at the blind man who interrupted when he was busy. Sometimes we have to tolerate naïve but sincere people who do not realise the bigger picture.
  • “What has deceived you in regards your Noble Lord?” ʿUmar (may Allāh be pleased with him) used to weep and reply, “Your forbearance, O my Lord!”
  • Woe unto those who demand full measure but short-change others.
  • Rust accumulates and blackens the heart when we sin.
  • The unbelievers pass by us and mock us, whether attire, prayers or just for being Muslim. They will be mocked in the Hereafter.
  • ʿAbdullāh bin Thammār, the Yemeni boy who sacrificed his life for truth.
  • The most virtuous – ʿAbū Bakr (may Allāh be pleased with him).
  • A full understanding of Sūrah al-ʿAṣr is sufficient for one’s guidance according to ʾal-ʾImām ʾash-Shāfiʿī.
  • ʾan-Naṣr – actually the funeral announcement of Muḥammad صلى الله عليه و سلم, “When one of you is afflicted with calamity, let him remember the calamity of [losing] me, for indeed that is the greatest calamity that could afflict a [true] believer.”

Interview on Jewish Radio – Ramadaan & Fasting

Will be interviewed on Jewish Radio (101.9 FM) Wednesday 10 June 7am (GMT+2) – Ramadaan and fasting

 
سليمان الكندي
 Twitter: @sulayman_Kindi

Anachronism & Fiction in the ISIS Letter

I have to be blunt – I could not force myself to read beyond page 2 of the ISIS letter sent to South African scholars. It pains me to read something written by an adult in the style of a 6 year old.Yet, as a lover of history and the truth, I thought I should share some facts in regards two of the statements made.

They claim that the scholars of the era opposed Ṣalāḥuddīn, and issued rulings against joining his army, because those worldly scholars feared for the loss of their luxuries.

I have read biography after biography of Ṣalāḥuddīn. They were written in three different languages, from his immediate era, up until recent years, and are from the pens of both Muslims and non-Muslims. I have NEVER heard such an allegation before. If there is any substance to the allegation, why do they not produce at least ONE name?

There may possibly have been rulings from the Shīʿah side, but if that is what they are referring to, why are they so misleading with something which is utterly irrelevant to us anyway? Another possibility is that there may theoretically have been Sunnī scholars who did not recognise his initial claim over Syria, but that again is utterly irrelevant to the ISIS letter claim that the scholars opposed joining his anti-Crusade army.

The closest I can think of, is the historian, Ibn ʾAthīr (no, that is not a typo for Ibn Kathīr). He was not a fan of Ṣalāḥuddīn, but his not liking Ṣalāḥuddīn is a far cry from scholars issuing rulings against him.

Rather than being opposed by the scholars, Ṣalāḥuddīn, was surrounded by scholars who served the cause by serving him as their ruler and general, or those who guided him when he went to them. And unlike the nameless fictional scholars of the letter, the scholars I speak of have names. Off-the- cuff I can mention Qāḍī Yūsuf of Mosul, Qāḍī Ibn Zakī of Aleppo and the great traditionalist, Ibn Asākir.

ISIS makes Barbarossa into the king of France. I wonder what would the German Emperor, Frederick Barbarossa and Philip, the actual King of France at the time, feel about such a change of thrones?

Barbarossa only marched against Ṣalāḥuddīn after the liberation of Baytul Muqaddas, which was visited by the all the major scholars of the region by the invitation of the victorious Sulṭān. What Fatwā would they then have given against the Emperor or King or whatever, who drowned along the way and never fought against the great liberator?

Sheer utter nonsense.

In writing this brief article, I have not opened a single book, nor internet-searched a single sentence, fact or word. Idiocy does not deserve such respect.

سليمان الكندي
Twitter: @sulayman_Kindi

Podcast: Common Heritage of Islam & Judaism

Click for Interview on Jewish community radio station, Chai FM, 20 May 2015.

سليمان الكندي
 Twitter: @sulayman_Kindi

interview on Jewish Radio – commonalities between Islam and Judaism

Will be interviewed on Jewish Radio (101.9 FM) Wednesday 20 May 7am (GMT+2) – commonalities between Islam and Judaism

 

Pray that I can maintain balance between courtesy to non-Muslims and maintaining dignity of Islam
 
 
سليمان الكندي
 Twitter: @sulayman_Kindi

The Craving to “Spice-Up” Our Religion

عن أبي ذر رضي الله عنه قال : « قال لي رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قل الحق ولو كان مرا

ʾAbū Ẓarr, may Allāh be pleased with him narrated, “Allāh’s Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم said to me, ‘Speak the truth, even if it be bitter.’” [Ibn Ḥibbān] I have noticed a disturbing tendency of some Muslims in displaying dissatisfaction with the truth which Allāh’s Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم had preached. They instead disseminate falsehoods and “glamorous” distortions which they find more appealing to their agendas, even if such agendas are supposedly for the greater glory of Allāh and His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم . These statements range from emails that Pope Benedict resigned due to him embracing Islām, to world famous orators tweaking facts to suit a given situation. I even had my ears polluted by a “Muftī”, who twice declared that on the Day of Resurrection, some people will be entering Paradise, when the angels will accost them for entering without having first rendered their accounting. Allāh will then say to leave them that it is He who should give them a reckoning for having sacrificed a certain amount of time for His religion every day! I wonder at the motivations and mentality of such people. Whether they are sincere or not, there are some points I would like to draw our attention to:

  • When the Qurʾān does not permit narrating of tales without verification, how much more severe is the situation of those who concoct these tales?
  • Is it not that truth is such an ideal, that a Name of Allāh is ʾal-Ḥaqq (the Truth)? Is your intellect not enough to understand that falsehood pushes you away from Allāh, not nearer? Do we really have to reproduce the injunctions against lying mentioned in the Qurʾān and Ḥadīth?
  • If the facts of Islām, as it is, does not please you, and you have to innovate additions, you imply that you are more capable than Allāh’s Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم in conveying the message.
  • When the idiocy of your claims are revealed, e.g. Benedict is still very much a Catholic, it makes Islām and the Muslims seem foolish in the eyes of the world. I sometimes wonder if these lies are perhaps hoaxes from non-Muslims to deliberately embarrass Islām. Sadly, interaction with Muslims reveal otherwise. Muslims are well capable of embarrassing their religion without outside assistance.
  • Even if your ultimate point is correct, the way of the early scholars was to present a cogent valid argument, they never tweaked the facts to reach that conclusion. They examined the facts and reached a conclusion. Conversely, there are those today who first decide on the conclusion, which might in fact be correct, but only then do they seek the facts to back up the already decided upon conclusion.

The Pope-becoming-Muslim kind of emails are way too numerous and downright ridiculous to spend further energy on. I shall instead mention two examples of the orators. The examples are not of major import in and by themselves, I merely mention and discuss them as instances where Muslims can take better care of what they say, hear and narrate.

Example 1 – the Spiced-Up Ḥudaybiyah

The orator stated that the Quraysh sent ambassador after ambassador to Allāh’s Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم at Ḥudaybiyah. They were at a loss at what to do, because each time they sent an ambassador, the sacred personality of Allāh’s Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم and the conduct of the Muslims drove the ambassador to embrace Islām, i.e. on the spot. The point of the orator cannot be argued against – remove obstacles of hostility, create an atmosphere of peace and show good conduct in order to win the hearts of the non-Muslims amongst whom we live. In fact, ʾal-ʾImām ʾaz-Zuhrī mentioned that more people embraced Islām during the two-odd years of the peace of Ḥudaybiyah, than during the previous 18-odd years of hostility. Although the end argument is correct and attested to by the likes of ʾaz-Zuhrī, the tweaking of the facts and having the ambassadors embrace Islām is not correct. The Quraysh sent four ambassadors:

  1. Budayl bin Warqāʾ, may Allāh be pleased with him, who embraced Islām at the Conquest of Makkah, i.e. two years after his supposed instant Islā
  2. Al-Ḥulays bin ʿAlqamah about whom there is no substantiation that he ever embraced Islām, let alone at glancing upon Allāh’s Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم.
  3. ʿUrwah bin Masʿūd, may Allāh be pleased with him, who still resisted Islām after the Conquest of Makkah and fought against Allāh’s Messenger at the Battle of ʾaṭ-Ṭāʿif. Thereafter he embraced Islām and his people martyred him.
  4. Suhayl bin ʿAmr, may Allāh be pleased with him, who embraced Islām at the Conquest of Makkah, i.e. two years after his supposed instant Islā

So of the four, two embraced Islām after two years, one even longer than that, and one probably never embraced Islām. Not one of them embraced Islām at the time, as claimed for the purpose of better oratory. The issue is not of me being technical and lambasting a servant of the religion. The issue is that of verifying our facts before moving our tongues and pens in regards the religion of Allāh. Is our religion so weak that it cannot stand up to facts and needs these tweaks and fictions?

Example 2 – The Hollywood Version of Muslim Spain

A lifetime can be spent in addressing issues arising from the topic of the Muslim rule, decline and disappearance in Iberia. However, for the purpose of this article, attention is drawn to a claim originating from one habitually liberal with facts. The orator makes three claims:

  1. The Spanish welcomed the Muslim invaders.
  2. The welcome was due to Muslims combatting oppression, which he then defined as the rape of a Christian princess.
  3. Once the Muslims no longer showed concern for the oppressed, the Christians evicted the Muslims whom they had previously welcomed.

Before commenting on the three claims, I would have to state that the ultimate argument of the orator, that the welfare of Muslim minorities is intertwined with the concern that they show to their non-Muslim hosts and neighbours, is not in dispute. What should be disputed is the tendency to first decide on a cause of action and then concoct “proofs”. If we rather cling to the Sunnah and draw our inspiration and proofs from it, there would be no need to tweak “facts” to suit our agenda. Again, let me emphasise, the agenda is not in question, rather my target is the attitude of a need to spice up our religion, instead of finding guidance where it rightfully is. Ultimately we should question ourselves when we perpetrate falsehoods in the name of religion – are we serving religion or massaging our own ego? Knowledge of some background facts is needed. The Muslims invasion was facilitated by Count Julian of Ceuta, in Africa. The Spanish King, Roderick, had either raped Julian’s daughter according to some narrations, or had been seduced by her according to others. The King was facing dissent from the family of the previous King, Wittiza. They saw the Muslims as mere raiders and deserted Roderick, thinking that the Muslim raiders would depart after the major battle.

1.    The Spanish welcomed the Muslims

In the context of the era, the relatively small resources allocated to the Muslim forces and the infrastructure of the time, the conquest of Spain was indeed a rapid and magnificent feat. However, to morph those 5 years of war, battles, and sieges into 5 years of welcome festivities really baffles the mind. Bear in mind that “the walkover” was of a similar duration as the Second World War. Where is the evidence of the Spanish welcoming the Muslims to take what they would perceive to be their sovereign lands? At best, three parties could be identified.

  • Jews assisting any outsider against their overlords do not constitute the Spanish population welcoming the Muslims.
  • The family of Wittiza thinking they could use what they saw as Muslim “raiders” to overthrow King Roderick, makes even less of an argument for the case of a Spain which with open arms welcomed the Muslims as the new rulers.
  • If we concede for the sake of argument, that Count Julian of Ceuta foresaw that his support for the Muslims would result in permanent Muslim rule, rather than merely an attack against his enemy, the King, and that he actually welcomed this, how does the welcome of one man, who was not Spanish, did not reside in Spain and did not rule anywhere in Spain, translate into the Spanish, as a people, welcoming the Muslims?

Is five years of war a welcome? Is the historical record of the Spanish fleeing to the hills a welcome? Is Pelagius setting up a separate kingdom right from the beginning and fighting the Muslims a welcome? If your religion is true and pure, what need is there to adulterate it with romance and Hollywood style fictions?

2.    The Welcome was due to Muslims Combatting Oppression

This depends on accepting that there was a welcome in the first place, which there was not. That many Spanish fled to the hills, is understandable from their point of view. In those days a captured city would face looting, rape and massacre. The Spanish did not know of the true nobility of the new conquerors, so they took precautions. Where is there legitimate scope to paint the Spanish as seeing the Muslims as liberators from oppression, when they in fact clearly displayed understandable ignorance about Islām and Muslims? Then clutching at straws, and claiming that the possible rape of a Byzantine woman from Africa, equates to the national oppression of Spain, which the Muslims came to avenge, is really the product of a fantastic imagination. Why is there this need to concoct a justification for the invasion of Spain in a manner appealing to a western audience? Is it an inferiority complex? Are we not convinced of the truth of Islām? Are we now going to rewrite our histories and pretend that the early Muslims did never aimed to establish the law of Allāh over every inch of the earth? Of course, such ideals and theology is not understandable to most Muslims today, let alone when discussing with non-Muslims, but there is still no need to lie. A simple depiction of the state of the world at that time, would suffice, without having to resort to lies. The simple truth is that every country at that time conquered whichever country it could. At the very moment of the Muslim invasion of Spain, Spain itself was occupying the south of France. Less than a century later, France invaded Germany and forcibly converted the Germans to Catholicism. The Germans in turn would later wipe out their pagan neighbours, the Prussians and resettle Prussia. So why do we have to be the only people to apologise for what was the norm then? And why do the weak-hearted amongst us have to lie about it?

3.    The Christians only Evicted the Muslims when the Muslims showed no Concern for the Oppressed.

Spain dates the beginning of the Reconquest to 718 when Pelagius defeated a Muslim detachment. The battle against the Muslims was from the very beginning. It was continuous. It never ceased. To claim it to have materialised seven centuries later due to a change in Muslim attitude is simply not true. Spanish propaganda against the Muslims focuses on three complaints, all of which existed from day one, not seven centuries later:

  1. That the Muslims invaded them in the first place.
  2. That the Muslims insisted on Jizyah.
  3. That the Muslims were of darker races in origin. The Spanish reacted by instituting Apartheid policies called Limpieza de sangre, or Purity of Blood.

Conclusion

I may have digressed into details more than what I had intended, but these details should show how some people adjust facts to suit their agendas. It is important that we realise the importance of speaking the truth, however bitter it may be. Our point of reference is the guidance of Allāh and His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم. Once we cast them aside and spew western thoughts as substitutes, we slide down a slippery slope, down which some have been already sliding for 200 years and have not reached an end. Let us recommit ourselves to Allāh and His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم as our primary focus, and emphasise their teachings of honesty and verification. سليمان الكندي Twitter: @sulayman_Kindi

Podcast: Arabic Origin of Place Names

Podcast of Mufti Musajee of Radio Islam  interviewing me on my article on Arabic origins of place names et al

Thursday, 25 March 2015, 19:00-20:00 GMT+2

Click here

سليمان الكندي

Twitter: @sulayman_Kindi