www.SDOL.

org – Project Tafsir Alphabetical

Alphabetical Quranic Commentaries
www.sdol.org
Bismillah Ir Rahman Ir Rahim In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the merciful This paper contains the commentaries of Quran regarding many different issues, assembled alphabetically. The Pooya/M.A. Ali English commentaries are taken from www.al-islam.org. Knowledge is no ones property. You may distribute it to anyone you may like. And Quran is same for all shias/sunnis/muslims! However it is requested that where ever you distribute this copy to, do give the reference of www.sdol.org . Spread the Light of Quran. I hold no responsibility for any typing error in the commentaries. I have just organized them in the wanted way. A copy unique in its own way, I hope it is of great help to you. Wasalaam

Syed Ammar Shah es_ammar@hotmail.com

i

www.SDOL.org – Project Tafsir Alphabetical

Contents
Commentaries
Abdullah Bin Obay Abdullah Ibn Ummi Maktum Abel and Cain Abu Lababa Abu Lahab Abu Talib Accountability Adam Adl Adoption Adultery AhleKitab AhlulBayt Ali Ibn Abu Talib Aliens Allah Angels Asahab Al Fil Asahab Al Kahf Ayyub Back Biting Bada and Naskh Badr, The Battle Of Balam Bani Israel Bismillah Charity Covenant, The Creation Of The Heavens and Earth Dawat Al Ashira Dawood Death Debt Edibles Fasting Fatima Zahra (AS) Gambling Gadheer e Khum Ghayb Greetings Hajj 1 1 2 3 3 4 5 7 9 9 10 12 13 14 17 18 21 23 24 26 28 30 31 34 35 35 37 37 38 38 38 42 43 44 45 46 48 48 49 49 49

ii

www.SDOL.org – Project Tafsir Alphabetical Heaven Hell Here After Hidayat Hijrat – To Medina Hijrat – To Abyssinia Hud 52 53 53 55 56 58 59 59 62 63 63 64 69 69 70 70 71 71 73 73 74 74 81 82 84 85 86 87 88 89 92 94 95 96 96 97 97 98 98 99 100 100 101 102 103

Hudaybya and Oath of Ridwan
Hunayn – The Battle Huruf Muqatta-at Iblees and Shaitans Ibrahim, Ismail and Ishaq Idris, Prophet Iffik Illiyun Illyas, Prophet Inheritance Injeel Inna Lillah Intoxicants Iram Isa and Mariam (AS), Prophet Islam Jihad Jinns Kafir Kawthar Kerbala Khalifa Khandaq – The Battle Khaybar Khizr Khums Kill – The Murder Kufr Lawh Mahfuz Loan Lunar Calendar Luqman Lut Magians Maliki Yawmi Din Marriage Martyrdom Masjid Dhirar iii

www.SDOL.org – Project Tafsir Alphabetical Mecca Mecca – The Fall Messengers Menstruation Miraj Mubahila Muhammad (SAW) Munafiqin Musa Mutah Nuh Oaths Orphans Poetry Qadr – The Night Qayamah Qibla Qisas Quran Rabb Ramadan Rass Riba Righteous Romans – The Prophecy Ruyat Saba – The Townships Sabbath Sabeans Salat Salih Sects Shafa-at Shirk Shuaib Sibgh Signs Sijjin Sins Slavery Sorcery Soul Spending In The Way Of Allah Spoils Of War Spouses iv 103 104 105 106 106 110 112 116 119 127 127 129 130 130 131 132 138 138 139 144 145 145 146 147 149 149 150 151 151 152 153 154 154 155 157 157 158 158 159 159 160 160 162 164 165

www.SDOL.org – Project Tafsir Alphabetical Sulaiman Tabarra Tabuk – The Expedition Talaq Taqdir Taqiya Tawba Tawheed Tawrat Tayammum Trade Tubba Uhud, The Battle Of Ulil Amr Ummul Momineem Usool e Deen Uzayr, Prophet Wasila Yunus 165 168 169 170 173 173 174 176 177 179 179 179 179 182 183 186 186 187 187 188 194 196 197 198 199

Yusuf and Yaqub, Prophets
Zakarriya and Yahya, Prophets Zihar Zodiac Zulqurnain Zu-Nuwas

v

Abdullah Bin Obay

Abdullah Bin Obay
Many a commentator wrongly refers to Abdullah bin Obay and his associates whenever munafiqin are discussed in the Quran, as a scapegoat substitute for the really dangerous hypocrites whose subversive activities proved more harmful to Islam than Abdullah bin Obay and his comrades. It is an attempt to restrict the general view of the Quran. In fact Abdullah bin Obay's activities never amounted to a real threat. He had no influence even over his own family. He was a very wealthy man, and therefore, wanted to be the chief of Madina, but his chances of success disappeared after the arrival of the Holy Prophet. He was a man of no importance. Had his schemes been really harmful to Islam, the Holy Prophet would not have led his funeral prayers.

Abdullah Ibn Ummi Maktum
One day when the Holy Prophet was in conversation with some of his companions, a blind man, Abdullab ibn Ummi Maktum, who was also poor, came to meet him and learn the Quran. The Holy Prophet received him with kindness and asked him to sit beside him. The Quraysh leaders did not like the interruption, particularly the respect and honour given to him by the Holy Prophet. One of the companions frowned and turned his back on him, which displeased Allah, and this surah was revealed. Some commentators say that the pronoun "he" in abasa refers to the Holy Prophet who disliked the interruption at a time when he was engrossed in earnest discourse with some of the pagan Quraysh leaders. As has been mentioned in the commentary of many verses, particularly Baqarah: 78; Mumin: 55; Fat-h: 2 and Muhammad: 15 to 19, a large number of Muslim scholars try to find out imaginary weaknesses in the character of the Holy Prophet so as to minimise the actual shortcomings, deviation and waywardness found in the companions whom they present as heroes of Islam. It is a preconceived plan to bring the infallible status of the Holy Prophet to the ordinary level of temporal rulers, which has been fully exposed in the commentary of above noted verses. For the perfection bestowed on the Holy Prophet refer to the commentary of Ahzab: 21 and Qalam: 4. The commentators who have depended on the sources, other than the Ahl ul Bayt, say that the nominative pronoun in verse 1, the subjective pronoun in verse 2, and the pronouns in verses 3, 6, 7 and 8 refer to the Holy Prophet. It is a deliberate attempt to belie the infallibility of the Holy Prophet. According to the Ahl ul Bayt all the pronouns refer to a companion who was present there and frowned in anger as soon as Abdullah ibn Ummi Maktum sat beside the Holy Prophet. If, as said by such commentators, the Holy Prophet was deeply and earnestly engrossed in explaining the right path to pagan leaders whose conversion he had long cherished and did not pay attention to a man who had already embraced Islam, then this act should not have been censured by Allah.

1

Abdullah Ibn Ummi Maktum The question in verse 3 clearly indicates that the doubt "whether Abdullah would grow in knowledge if the Holy Prophet talked to him" could only creep into the mind of a person whose faith was not fully strengthened. It could never come to the mind of a messenger of Allah who had been sent to preach the religion of Allah to one and all, irrespective of the listener's worldly position. Verse 4 asserts that it is more likely that a poor man on account of his will to learn may grow in his spiritual development more than a wealthy leader who was proud of his possessions, referred to in verse 5, and it was he who frowned in anger (in verse 1). The wealthy companion who looked down upon Abdullah is commanded to let the poor companion be attended to because the message of Allah is accepted by the poor and lowly at once, and the mighty ones of the earth only come in when the weak and the simple people become an irresistible force. Even if a poor man does not grow in knowledge there is no blame on any one. Attention should be paid to those who come to learn with a sincere longing for knowledge. The wealthy companion, in spite of receiving guidance from the Holy Prophet, was unmindful of the preferences of Allah. The Quran has been revealed to guide the whole mankind from which no one is to be excluded, rich or poor, great or lowly, learned or ignorant. Those who show sincere earnestness must be given preference.

Abel and Cain
Habil (Abel) and Qabil (Cain) were the two sons of Adam. Adam had nominated the younger son Habil as his successor. The elder son, Qabil, disputed his father's judgement. Thereupon Adam asked each of them to offer a sacrifice to Allah separately so that Allah might accept the sacrifice of one whom He found deserving to succeed him. Habil was a shepherd and Qabil a tiller of the soil. Habil brought the best of his flock as a gift to the Lord; and Qabil brought some dried up ears of corn. Allah received Habil's gift with favour; but He did not receive Qabil's gift. Qabil was very angry and his face fell. He attacked his brother Habil and murdered him. As this was the first murder, in fact, first human death, Qabil did not know what to do with the corpse and stood puzzled. A raven was sent by Allah to show him how to bury a dead body. Adam was greatly disturbed. Allah had granted him another son, Shith, in place of Habil. Shith, a prophet of Allah, succeeded Adam. Qabil's descendants were drowned when the waters of the great flood came upon the earth in the days of Nuh. Allah only accepts sacrifice from those who are pious and safeguard themselves against evil with full awareness of Allah's laws. The murderer bears the sins of the person he has slain. If the murdered person is a prophet, as Habil was, the murderer bears the sins of those who might have been guided to the right path, by the slain prophet or the guide appointed by Allah, till the day of resurrection. Every prophet or guide, divinely chosen, represents his people, and the sins of the people are laid at his door, so that Allah may pardon them on account of His chosen representative, as has been indicated in verse 2 of al Fat-h.

2

Abel and Caine

In verse 4:31 Qabil is sorry for his ignorance (not repentant) and condemns himself for not knowing even that which a raven knew.

Abu Lababa
It is reported that after 21 days siege of Bani Qurayza they agreed to make a settlement. They would leave Madina and go to Syria. The Holy Prophet appointed Sad bin Ma-adh as an arbitrator, but the Jews wanted to consult Abu Lababa who was their old friend and relative, before accepting the arbitration of Sad bin Ma-adh. When they sought Abu Lababa's advice, he pointed his finger to his throat, to indicate that it would be as if cutting their own throats. The Holy Prophet came to know about the treachery of Abu Lababa through Jibra-il. Abu Lababa at once realised what he had done-he had knowingly defrauded Allah and His prophet. Then he tied himself to a pillar of the masjid al nabawiyy and avowed that he would neither drink nor eat until he was forgiven by Allah and His prophet. The Holy Prophet went to him and told him that he had been forgiven.

Abu Lahab
Abu Lahab, literally "the father of flame", was the nickname of Abul Uzza, an uncle of the Holy Prophet, and a bitter and fiery opponent of Islam and the Holy Prophet. At dawat dhil ashira Abu Lahab flared up and shouted at the Holy Prophet, saying: "Perdition to you". He made it his business to torment the Holy Prophet; and his wife, Umm Jumail, sister of Abu Sufyan, took pleasure in carrying thorny bushes and strewing them in the sand where she knew that the Holy Prophet was sure to walk barefooted, because of which she is referred to as the bearer of the wood. Abu Lahab used to persuade the people to throw stones at the Holy Prophet, whenever he passed the streets of Makka, by telling them that he was a mad man. The two hands he used to throw stones at the Holy Prophet are cursed by Quran. The two hands of Abu Lahab may also refer to the evil deeds he had sent forth which condemns him to suffer severest punishment till eternity. Neither his wealth nor his supporters will be able to save him from the blazing fire. A week after the battle of Badr, Abu Lahab perished, consumed with grief and his own fiery passions. The angel of death strangled his wife with the rope she used to wear around her neck. On the day of judgement the fire of punishment like a rope of iron strongly twisted will be put on her neck. No relationship whatsoever, even with the Holy Prophet, can be of any advantage to the disbeliever. Abu Lahab, an uncle of the Holy Prophet, will burn in the blazing fire. On the contrary, it is noticeable, that Salman, a Persian outsider, through his faith and

3

Abu Lahab submission to Allah, the Holy Prophet and his Ahl ul Bayt achieved the highest distinction of being included in the Ahl ul Bayt.

Abu Talib
Abu Talib followed the creed of Ibrahim, i.e. Islam. Abu Talib died as a Muslim before hijrat, therefore all the false traditions reported by the Muslim traditionists were fabricated by the enemies of Ali ibn abi Talib to present his father as an unbeliever. Abd al Muttalib, the Holy Prophet's grandfather, on his deathbed embraced Muhammad for the last time and then entrusted him to Abu Talib, saying: "Take care of this boy, nothing in our kindred is more precious than he." Abu Talib affectionately brought him up, loved him fondly, made him sleep by his own bed-side and took him with himself wherever he went. History is a witness that, before Ali, it was Abu Talib who supported and assisted the Holy Prophet and his divine mission under all circumstances. In his sermons and poetry he praised his nephew as the messenger of Allah and expressed his faith in him and his belief in Allah. When Abu Talib saw his son, Ali, praying with the Holy Prophet to worship Allah, he gladly approved the act of devotion performed by his son and advised him to follow the Holy Prophet, help and support him in his mission. When the verse "warn your relatives" (Shu-ara: 214) was revealed, the dawat dhil ashira was arranged by the Holy Prophet in the house of Abu Talib. Abu Lahab, his other uncle tried his best to stop the Holy Prophet from delivering his speech but Abu Talib put his hands on Abu Lahab's shoulders and made him listen to the Holy Prophet's message, the message of Islam. He not only supported him in all his activities against the idolworshippers but also suffered untold hardships along with him when the pagans of Makka began the historic boycott of the Holy Prophet. They went in a body to Abu Talib, and adopting a threatening tone demanded of him to make his nephew desist from attacks on their gods. The Holy Prophet was present. He refused to do so. The Holy Prophet thought that his uncle, for fear of family feud, wanted to withdraw his protection, so he said to him that he solely depended on Allah, and turned to go away. Here it is reported by Abul Fida, Habib al Siyar and Asni-al Matalib that Abu Talib called him back and told him that he would stand by him against all his enemies and would protect him (in his mission) till his own death; because Abu Talib believed in his nephew's convictions, and he accordingly made the Makkans understand that his nephew was really a messenger from Allah; and therefore they should take him as their spiritual leader and guide. Tabari and Ibn Hisham write that urged by Abu Sufyan, the heads of the different families of idolworshippers decided to break off all connections with the Holy Prophet and his relatives. In the seventh year of bi-that a covenant was written-not to have any sort of intercourse with the Holy Prophet and his kinsmen, neither to sell to nor to buy anything from, nor to contract matrimonial alliance with them-and signed and sealed and

4

Abu Talib was kept in the Ka-bah. Abu Talib then took the Holy Prophet and the Banu Hashim to his quarters known as Shib abi Talib. This fortress was also beleaguered occasionally by the idolworshippers of Makka, to enforce the boycott in all its rigour. Abu Talib feared even night attacks and was on his guard for the safety of the Holy Prophet, and often changed his bed-site as a precaution against sudden violence. This state of affairs lasted for about three years. Finally the Holy Prophet told Abu Talib that Allah had shown His disapproval of the covenant against him, and had sent worms to eat out every word of the document placed in the Ka-bah, excepting His own name written thereon. Abu Talib, believing his nephew as the receiver of revelations from Allah, unhesitatingly went to the idolworshippers and told them what the Holy Prophet had spoken; and added that if what he was telling was found true, they would be bound to withdraw their boycott and lay aside their enmity towards the Holy Prophet and his kinsmen; if proved false, he would withdraw his protection. They all agreed and at once went to inspect the document. Only the name of Allah was there and nothing more. They said that it was an enchantment of the Holy Prophet, but, at the persistence of Abu Talib the boycott was withdrawn. It is clear that only a believing man could do what Abu Talib did. In the tenth year of bi-that, some months after the withdrawal of the interdict Abu Talib died at the age of 87 years. Abu Talib's attitude towards the Holy Prophet as well as some of his preserved verses prove, says Abul Fida, that he believed in the Holy Prophet as the true messenger of Allah and in his religion, Islam. He died actually in the faith with the kalimah on his lips. Some of his well-known verses are noted below: 1. I believe that Muhunmad's faith is the best of all the religions of the universe. 2. Do you not see that we have found Muhammad, a prophet like Musa; he is already predicted in previous scriptures. 3. To exalt him He (Allah) derived his name from His own; He as the highest is called Mahmud while He named him Muhammad. The status of Abu Talib in Islam was the same as that of "Mumin min ali Firawn" (a believer from among the people of Firawn) mentioned in verses 28 to 45 of al Mumin who had concealed his faith to protect Musa-an instructive parallelism between Muhunmad and Musa. The enemies of Ali fabricated false traditions to give the impression that his father had not embraced Islam. In a malicious, nevertheless stupid, way they had tried their best to take revenge from Ali for having killed in various battles their fathers, the idolworshippers and hypocrites of Makka and Madina.

Accountability
Asra ul hasibin - when asked "How Allah would take account of all the created beings simultaneously" Imam Ali replied: Just as He provides sustenance to one and all at the same time.

5

Accountability

The messengers of Allah will bear witness over their followers when they will be asked to give their report about them. The Holy Prophet (see commentary of an Nisa: 41) will be a witness over all the witnesses, which means he was present in the times of all the prophets. Ya Sin: 65-"We will put a seal upon their mouths, and their hands will speak to Us and their feet will bear witness as to what they used to do". Imam Jafar bin Muhammad as Sadiq said: Deeds are not material substance to be weighed, therefore "heavy weighing" means good deeds outbalance the bad deeds. Even if a man prays the whole night and fasts throughout his life, his deeds will not benefit him if he does not regulate his life in the light of the teachings and guidance of the guideleaders appointed by Allah. Imam Ali ibn abi Talib said: "A balance weighs things consisting of matter. So no one can weigh thoughts and deeds which are not corporeal, but if justice is taken as balance the weight of good deeds means its quantity to which sincerity adds quality; and weighing is reckoning to prove to the person concerned the actual position of his or her faith and conduct. Nothing is hidden from or unknown to Allah." Imam Ali bin Husayn Zayn al Abidin said: "Reckoning will be for the believers. The disbelievers will be punished outright according to the degree of their wickedness." It is also reported that figuratively it means that the thoughts and deeds of a believer will be compared with the thoughts and deeds of the Prophet or the Imam of the age in which he or she lived. Verse 47 of Ash Shura says that Allah has sent down the book with truth and the balance, i.e. the Holy Prophet to serve as the truest and the most perfect model of putting into practice the word of Allah. For giving reward every thought or deed will be assessed in the light of its nearness to the thought or deed of the prophet or the Imam in whose times the believer concerned had lived. The assessment of the quantity and quality will be done by the all-wise Lord who does not need any assistance. As the authority of Allah operates in justice, the reward and punishment will be awarded as it ought to be with measurable exactitude, for which a scale is necessary, a scale that can appraise the nature of the thing judged. For example to judge a thought, whether it is good or evil, a scale, different from the scale which weighs the weight of a material object, is required. Such scales should be infallible. They are those who have been selected by Allah. The Holy Prophet said: "The love of Ali is the scale of faith, and hostility unto him is the scale of hypocrisy."

6

Accountability Abu Talib said: "Muhammad is the scale of truth which weighs the minimum as well as the maximum weight ."

Adam
While talking about the creation of Adam the appearance of visible form (matter) in the "arc of ascent" must be reviewed. Matter, in its primitive mode of being, carries the potentiality to develop into various forms - minerals, vegetables, animals and human beings. The capability of matter to give form to different species is determined by the "unlike in nature" potency of its elements or components. Earth, a product of matter, carried the capacity to bring some of its elements to a more advanced and highly organised body of a human being. Likewise its other components could develop other animate or inanimate objects. In form and substance each individual human being differs from the other. It is on account of the diversity in the potentiality of the components of the matter. The development in the "arc of ascent" was gradual. The graduality (in time) is motion. Motion is the transfer of potentiality into actuality. Verily, We created man of wet clay of black mud moulded into shape, (Hijr: 26) Allah informed the angels about the creation of Adam, a new phase, and says: I am appointing a vicegerent in the earth. It was in the knowledge of the angels that struggle and conflict among the living beings in the pre-Adam period brought about bloodshed and destruction. Many a religious school confirms that there were semi-men, jinn and demons (afrit) before the advent of Adam, on the earth. According to some traditions they were living beings of furious nature and fiery temperament, devoid of intellect, reasoning and contemplation, fighting each other for survival. The angels who always worship Allah and carry out His orders presumed that Adam would also be like the above noted creatures. Allah rightly points out their ignorance about the excellence of the vicegerency He has bestowed upon Adam. According to verse 75 of Sad, Allah has created Adam with His two hands, matter and spirit, which gives man the distinctive power of expression, termed as biyan by the Quran. The names Adam learned from Allah were not in the knowledge of the angels, because these names did not refer to the phenomena known to them. The hum of aradahum does not refer to the "names" but to the "named", and as a plural term cannot be used for Allah, therefore, it cancels the possibility of interpreting these names as the names of Allah. When reference is made in Arabic to several objects of inanimate nature, a singular feminine pronoun is used, but when the objects are conscious beings, a plural masculine pronoun is used, as done here through aradahum, to point out the "named ones". If the object referred to is inanimate, the singular feminine pronoun, tilka or hadhihi should have been used. Here the personal demonstrative pronoun refers to the conscious beings of a superior-most status, knowledge of whose names entitled Adam to the vicegerency of Allah. Thus the existence of the beings of the highest status has been

7

Adam established. Due to the affinity between Adam and these highest beings (alin), he was capable to function as the medium of their manifestation. Till then the names of the highest beings along with the insight and vision of their realities, their latent qualities and inherent endowments were unknown to the angels. Through Adam the angels became acquainted with the glory of the glorious beings. When Adam, at the command of Allah, stated the names, qualities and symbols of those highest beings whose collective and comprehensive status can be termed as wisdom personified, the angels witnessed the glory of the infinite power and wisdom of the Lord that could create such perfect beings of the highest calibre, in substance as well as in style, like of whom they did not know till then. The names were of The Panjtun e Pak (The Holy 5). It becomes a logical conclusion that since Allah willed these five lights of glory to be manifested through Adam, he had been appointed as the khalifa of Allah, and through these lights Allah's light had been destined to be manifested. As Allah is aware of all the "unseen" in the universe, He knew that the angels secretly thought themselves more deserving than Adam to be chosen as Allah's khalifa. After seeing the glory of the five lights, endowed in the seed of Adam, they accepted their ignorance and submitted to Allah's decision. Satisfied with the proof of absolute wisdom and mercy of Allah, the angels prostrated themselves before Adam, as ordered by Allah, and acknowledged the superiority of the khalifa of Allah. Iblis, jinn, as described by verse 50 of al Kahf, overcome with grief and despair, under the burden of arrogance (kabar), refused to come into the camp of knowledge and mercy surrounded by iman. According to this verse, prostration (sajdah) by one created being, in order to pay homage and accept superiority of another created being, is permissible. The sajdah of total submission and unconditional surrender is for the creator only. With his opposite and complementary companion, Hawwa, the woman, Adam, the man was given the garden to dwell in, unrestrained. Only a tree was out of bounds. According to many a tradition, it was not the perpetual heavenly garden. The garden referred to here was an area of expansion, comfort and ease, everything that was needed and desired was available without toil and effort. The out of bound tree is the symbol of temptation, covetousness, envy and greed. Imam Ali bin Musa al Rida says:It stimulates desire for things which are not necessary for life. The command of Allah was not to go near the tree. Eating the fruit of the tree was not definitely forbidden. Adam was endowed with infinite potentiality to reach the ultimate through rational thinking and be able to discriminate and choose. Shaytan, the furious and the fiery, obstinate and perverse, devoid of iman, became an enemy of Adam. The stimulating

8

Adam warning of the divine command "not to go near the tree" awakened Adam's latent ambition to march unto those "highest beings" whose status Allah had shown him. To begin this journey, Adam, in a way, apparently gave Shaytan the opportunity to use his guile and rebellious energy in order to take advantage of the situation and get even with his adversary who caused his downfall. Adam and Hawwa slipped out of the condition of peace and contentment into the realm of struggle where peace and conflict, love and hate, and such opposites are at full play. Thereafter the two opposite groups faced each other. It was a conflict between good and evil, right and wrong. Ihbitu, also used in verse 61 of al Baqarah, means a change from the easy life of joy and happiness to the life of toil, suffering and misery. There was no chance of going back to the dwelling of joy and happiness. They were at the mercy of the Lord. They turned repentant unto Allah. The merciful and oft-forgiving Lord blessed Adam with the most extraordinary words of prayer through which Adam, and after him any one in his progeny (mankind), could invoke the mercy of the Lord. These were the holy names of those highest beings whom Allah had already introduced to Adam. So the oft-forgiving merciful Lord took Adam and his wife under His mercy when they invoked Him through these names. Man is originally sinless. The evil takes roots in him through external factors. Therefore, the Christian theory of "original sin" has no place in the interpretation of the history of Adam by the Quran. The approaching to the out-of-bounds tree, when he was in the earthly paradise, was prior to his coming into this world, therefore, on account of his record, after shouldering the responsibility of the vicegerency of Allah on the earth, he is clean and sinless.

Adl
Faith in Allah's justice is essential. The laws made by Him to operate the universe are precise and decisive. These are bound by rules based upon justice, and are not arbitrarily changed. That is why there is complete harmony in the working of the whole creation, otherwise there would have been chaos and confusion. All Allah's acts are just and right. It is folly to suppose that Allah only reigns in the heavens. He also reigns on the earth. He knows all our secret thoughts and motives, and the real worth of all that is behind what we care to show. It is by our deeds that He judges us; for our deeds, whether good or evil, we shall get due recompense in due time.

Adoption
Call the adopted sons by their natural fathers and not by those who have adopted them which corresponds with truth and reality. It is better to call them brothers in faith or friends, because brotherhood is used in a wider sense than fatherhood and is not likely to be misunderstood.

9

Adoption In the market of Akkaz Zayd bin Harith was being sold as a slave. The Holy Prophet purchased him and adopted him as his son. The father of Zayd was a man of means. When he came to know that his kidnapped son was sold as a slave, he approached Abu Talib to obtain the freedom of Zayd from his nephew. The Holy Prophet at once set him free and gave him permission to go with his father, but Zayd decided to remain with the Holy Prophet. The Holy Prophet asked the people to bear witness that from that day Zayd was his son and he was his father. Then he married his cousin Zaynab, a very beautiful young woman, to Zayd. It so happened that they could not live happily together. Zayd divorced Zaynab. To save Zaynab from the misery of a divorcee Allah commanded the Holy Prophet to marry Zaynab. According to pagan formula when a man wanted to get rid of his wife without making her free to remarry, he simply said to her: "You are to me as the back of my mother." Likewise an adopted son was treated as a natural son. It was this crudity of the pagan morals that, upon the Holy Prophet's marrying the divorced wife of his freed man Zayd, who was also his adopted son, gave rise to a great deal of hostile criticism. Islam abolished these widespread foolish customs. In Islam, according to verse 23 of Nisa, those who have been "wives of your sons proceeding from your loins" are within the prohibited degrees of marriage, and this does not apply to adopted sons. Adoption in the technical sense is not allowed in Muslim law.

Adultery
Fahisha in its general significance is "an excess, an enormity, anything exceeding the bounds of rectitude", but when particularised, signifies "adultery or fornication", and, in this context, evidently means an act of adultery. The evidence in the case of adultery must be, according to the law of Islam, ocular, not hearsay, conjectural or circumstantial. Every possible safeguard is taken against hasty and unfounded accusations. When four men testify that they saw with their eyes the actual carnal conjunction, punishments mentioned, can be inflicted. If the married bondswoman is guilty of adultery inflict on her half the punishment enjoined for free women. The Arabic word zina denotes the sexual intercourse between a man and a woman, whether married or not, who do not stand to each other in the relation of husband and wife. The words are not "commit not adultery", but "approach not adultery" or "go not near to adultery", thus preventing all ways and paths that could lead to it, because it destroys the basis of the family; it works against the interests of children born or to be born and cuts asunder permanently the bonds of society. No religion or creed has so emphatically and comprehensively forbidden zina as Islam has done. Every believer must guard himself against every kind of sex abuse or sex perversion. Refinement or degradation of human soul is the result of how one deals with the hidden workings of the sex instincts. Even the natural exercise of sex is restricted to the marriage bond. This brief verse comprehends every aspect of chastity. A true believer must hold in check his or her sex urge within the prescribed bounds. Because of inherent and latent

10

Adultery danger in fulfillment of sexual prompting, even its minimum activity is strictly restricted to the bonds of wedlock, under which the rights of both parties, man and woman, are duly regulated and maintained. In view of the seriousness of the issue the word hafizun is used, which implies that the natural demands of sexual desires should be treated as a trust to be managed judiciously without ever misusing it. The punishment of flogging both the adulterer and the adulteress with a hundred stripes is restricted to unmarried offenders. The punishment should be open, in order to be deterrent. There can be no leniency in enforcing this law because as said it is Allah who has ordained this punishment. As the punishment is severe the proof of the offence has to be beyond all possibilities of concoction. Let not even the slightest shade of falsehood play a part in such cases (see commentary of Nisa: 15 and 16). To give an example of how meticulous one should be in judging such cases an event that took place in the reign of Umar bin Khattab is narrated below: Six persons, accused of adultery, were produced before the then caliph, Umar bin Khattab. At once he sentenced them to flogging, each of them with a hundred stripes. When Ali pointed out to him that his judgement was in contravention of the divine law, Umar requested him to give his own judgement. Ali said: Execute the first., Stone to death the second, Punish the third with a hundred stripes, Punish the fourth with fifty stripes, Warn the fifth and set him free, Set the sixth free without any penalty. All wondered as to why Ali gave a different verdict for each of the 6 persons tried for the same crime. Ali explained: The first is a dhimmi, a disbeliever under the protection of the Muslim state, who committed the crime of adultery with a believing woman, and having violated the law of Islam has ceased to be a dhimmi, therefore he must be executed. The second is a married man whose punishment is stoning to death. The third is to be flogged with a hundred stripes because he is a bachelor. The fourth is a slave, so fifty stripes is his punishment . The fifth has only been warned because he was caught in the crime inadvertently. The sixth is insane, so the law cannot be applied on him. Then Umar said: "Had there not been Ali, Umar would have perished." In almost all modern societies adultery is regarded as a social misconduct, but Islam categorises it among the most heinous crimes, because it destroys the very social fabric of the society and makes the lives of the affected individuals so miserable that they feel as if they are neither living nor dead. The essential harmony of the Society is ruined beyond recovery. In view of the severe punishment if a woman is charged with the crime of adultery, it should be supported by evidence twice as strong as would ordinarily be required for other

11

Adultery offences, even in murder cases. Therefore four witnesses (God-fearing and upright whose impartiality is beyond all doubts in the eyes of the people) are required instead of two. If the accuser fails to produce such preponderant evidence, then he should be punished with eighty stripes. Not only is he subjected to the disgrace of punishment but is also deprived of the right of giving evidence in all matters all his life. It is a very effective check. It almost puts a stop to false accusations, slander and gossip. It is a necessary provision to protect the honour, integrity and reputation of innocent women. The case of married persons is different from that of outsiders. If a man truly accuses his wife of unchastity, after having caught her in adultery, more often it is not possible to produce four witnesses, sometimes not even one, therefore he should bear witness four times, calling Allah four times as his witness, and solemnly swear to the fact, and in addition invoke the curse of Allah upon himself if he is telling a lie. It is a prima facie evidence of the wife's guilt. She should be punished. But if she swears similarly four times and similarly invokes Allah's curse on herself, she is acquitted of the guilt. In either case the marriage is dissolved, as it is against human nature that the two can live together happily after such an incident.

AhleKitab
The Jews thought that they were Allah's favourites to the exclusion of all other people, and they alone would go to paradise. This preposterous idea made them deny the Holy Prophet in spite of the clear proofs available in their book."Desire death, if you are truthful", is a challenge. Tamannul Mawta means desire or wish (not invoke or pray) death. If they were so specially favoured by Allah, they did not have to even take the trouble of praying for death; merely desiring it would have received His response. He who loves Allah loves death -to depart from this world and enter the eternal land of bliss and happiness. The conviction of the Jews was not genuine. They did not believe in what they said. Aware of their own misdeeds, and the way they had corrupted their books, they could not desire death for themselves. On the other hand they were plotting to kill the Holy Prophet, because they knew that the Holy Prophet was a true prophet of Allah. According to the book of Daniel (12: 1) , Mika-il is the great captain who stands guard over the Jews. So Mika-il was their guardian angel. They disliked Jibra-il, who they thought, always brought punishment. It was Jibra-il through whom the prophets came to know the perverse behaviour of the Jews, and, therefore, they cursed the Jews. It was Jibra-il who announced the birth of John the Baptist, and conveyed the glad tidings to virgin Maryam about the birth of Isa whom the Jews obstinately hated. It was Jibra-il who saved Nebuchadnezzar from their clutches when he was a boy, and he, afterwards, destroyed their temple. Jibra-il was their enemy. This prejudice led them to believe that he was asked to convey the office of prophethood to one of the Jews but he inadvertently went to the Holy Prophet. Abdulla bin Suriya, a Jew, came to the Holy Prophet and asked some questions to test his genuineness. He was convinced that Muhammad was a true messenger of Allah, but when he came to know that it was Jibra-il who conveyed the

12

Ahl e Kitab divine message, he said that he would not believe in his prophethood because Jibra-il was the enemy of the Jews. In fact, the Jews were the enemies of Jibra-il, who brought Allah's commands and revelations to His prophets, which contained guidance and good news for the believers. Whosoever is the enemy of Allah, His messengers and His angels is an unbeliever. Allah is the enemy of the unbelievers who are described as infidels.

AhlulBayt
According to 3:103, "Hold fast, all of you together, to the cord of Allah"-gives a mental impression that a rope is hanging from the heaven so that those who are lying down on the ground (earth) may climb up, by holding it, in the presence of the Lord to seek His nearness. Abu Sa-id Khudri reports that he heard the Holy Prophet saying: I leave behind me, among you, two ropes. If my people hold fast to these two ropes, after me, they shall not go astray. They are the book of Allah, hung from the heaven unto the earth, and my Ahl ul Bayt. One of them is greater than the other. Be it known that these two shall never be separated from each other; and joined together, they shall meet me at the spring of Kawthar. The Holy Prophet said: My Ahl ul Bayt are like the ark of Nuh. Whoso gets into it is saved and whoso stays away is drowned and lost. In Durr Manthur, Jalaluddin Sayuti says that the Holy Prophet had said: "The objects shown to the angels were five lights. Allah informed the angels pointing to each of the lights respectively: 1. This is Muhammad, the most praised, derived from My name, the praised one. 2. This is Ali, the high, derived from My name, the highest. 3. This is Fatimah, the original, derived from my name, the originator of the heavens and the earth. 4. This is Hasan, the bountiful, derived from My name, the benefactor. 5. This is Husayn, the good, derived from My name, the good in origin. O angels! It is in love of these five that I have created the universe." Imam Jafar bin Muhammad al-Sadiq said: Through us (the Ahl ul Bayt) Allah is recognised and worshipped. Verse 33:33 was revealed for the ahlulbayt to purify them from all sins, 1. Innama (verily or only) signifies exclusive distinction. To emphasise this exclusiveness, the second object of the verb yudh-hiba (keep off)-the phrase ankum (from you)-has been put before the first object rijs (uncleanness); and for further emphasis, the phrase Ahl ul Bayt has been mentioned to explain the pronoun ankum (from you). The grammatical structure of the whole clause indicates that this a unique privilege or distinction granted to the Ahl ul Bayt only, excluding all others.

13

AhlulBayt 2. The verb yuridu implies that the continuous will or intention of Allah is His creative will/intention, not legislative. To interpret the will as the legislative will as in Ma-idah:6, distorts the whole fabric of the verse and renders meaningless the exclusive particle and the constructional arrangement. Even then it means that only the Ahl ul Bayt exclusively achieved the standard. 3. This verse is a preface to verses 77 to 79 of al Waqi-ah: "Verily this is an honourable (Karim) Quran, in a hidden (preserved) book, which no one can touch save the purified." (Refer to page 3.) 4. The excellences of Ahl ul Bayt have been openly demonstrated in the event of mubahilah (refer to the commentary of Ali Imran : 61). 5. The Ahl ul Bayt had only been thoroughly purified by Allah because of their total submission to Allah's will and their state of being always in communion with Allah. Fakhr al Din al Razi writes that the Ahl ul Bayt are at par with the Holy Prophet in five things: 1. In salutation, for Allah said: "Peace be to you, O prophet." and He also said: "Peace be to the ali yasin." 2. In invoking the blessings of Allah during prayers, after each tashhahud. 3. In their purity, for Allah revealed the verses of purification (Ahzab: 33) for the Ahl ul Bayt. 4. In the sadqah (alms) being forbidden for them. 5. In love, for Allah said: "Say: I ask you no recompense except that you love my kindred." (Shura: 23)

Ali Ibn Abu Talib
The Holy Prophet, on several occasions, appointed Ali ibna abi Talib as his successor and vicegerent, in compliance with the commands of Allah. Some of the important traditions and the verses of the Quran which make clear and confirm the vicegerency of Ali ibna abi Talib have been mentioned in the "Essentials for the readers of the Quran" (page 1 to 7), and in the commentary of verses 2 and 30 to 39 of this surah. From his birth in the holy Kabah to the "tradition of qartas", there are several events and occasions, recorded by well-known Muslim scholars in many books of history, traditions and commentaries which can be referred to for arriving at the conclusion that in his own right and on the basis of his matchless merits, he alone was the divinely chosen vicegerent to succeed the Holy Prophet. According to the verse of Mubahilah (Ali Imran: 61) Ali was the nafs (self) of the Holy Prophet. It was Ali who stood by the Holy Prophet and protected him in the battle of Uhad when all his companions ran away. In all the battles which guided the course of Islamic history, it was Ali who won victories for the Muslims. It is evident from these and other incidents in history that only the Holy Prophet and his Ahl ul Bayt (the Imams in his progeny) are those who studied and followed the book as it ought to be done. Imam Ali said:"Verily, by Allah I declare that the son of Abu Talib is more familiar with death than a baby is with the breast of his mother."

14

Ali Ibn Abu Talib

Therefore, neither the greed for power nor the fear of death, as the opponents of Ali used to think, was the reason for his outspoken analysis of the behaviour of his contemporaries, or his silence in the midst of ruthless deviators and hypocrites. The sword which was used to defend the cause of Islam right from the beginning was the dhulfiqar, and the man who devoted his life to the cause of Islam was Ali. A divine voice informed the Holy Prophet in the midst of the battle of Uhad: La Fata Illa Ali, La Sayf Illa Dhulfiqar (There is no hero save Ali, there is no sword save dhulfiqar) Ali, the champion of Islam, and his God-sent sword fought against the pagans of Makka and their allies and the Jews and the Christians in the lifetime of the Holy Prophet. After him, he never took part in the hostile campaigns directed against the non-Muslims of the world by the companions of the Holy Prophet. It is because of the policies carried out by those companions, that men like Gibbon declared that Islam was preached by the sword, as he (wrongly) concluded that what the followers did, must have been the policy of the preacher. He failed to identify the true followers of the prophet of Islam, Ali and his sons, who, after the Holy Prophet, took the sword in their hands, not to enslave the nonMuslims and appropriate their wealth, but to save Islam from the evil of hypocrisy which had emerged in full force to mutilate the beautiful face of Islam. "I shall not cease to fight against the hypocrites until the last of them is driven out from the fold of the true believers," said Imam Ali ibna abi Talib. In Kerbala Imam Husayn bin Ali used the dhulfiqar for the last time to distinguish between right and wrong or truth and falsehood. When this purpose was served the God-sent sword was sheathed for ever till the return of the last living Imam. The Holy Prophet has said: 1. I and Ali are of one and the same light. 2. Ali is a part of me and I am a part of Ali. 3. The root of Ali and me is the same, but all other people come from various other origins. (Zaynul Fata; Ibna Maghazali; Shafa-i; Kanzul Ummal, Ahmad ibna Hanbal). Some of the titles of Ali ibn abi Talib, which are exclusively his, are given below: Mawlud Kabah - Born in the house of Allah. Nafs al Rasul - The "self" of the messenger. Kullu Iman - The total faith. La Fata - The hero who has no equal. Karrar Ghayra Farrar - The unconquerable attacker who never runs away from the battlefield. Bab al Ilm - The gateway to wisdom. Al Murtada - The chosen (by Allah). Amir al Muminin - The commander of the faithful. Imam al Muttaqin - The leader of the pious. Mazhar al Aja-ib The manifestor of wonders.

15

Ali Ibn Abu Talib Imam al Awliya - The original source of the friends of Allah who seek His closest nearness. Sayyid al Awsiya - The chief (or the first) of the successors of the Holy Prophet. The following are some traditions found regarding Imam Ali: 1. The Holy Prophet placed his hand on the neck of Ali and said: "This is the guide of the righteous and the slayer of the profligate. He who helps him is victorious and he who abandons him is forsaken. 2. The Holy Prophet said: "Three things have been revealed to me about Ali: he is the master of the Muslims, leader of the pious and the chief of the singularly radiant." 3. The Holy Prophet said: "It has been revealed to me about Ali that he is the master of the Muslims, friend of the pious and the chief of the singularly radiant." 4. The Holy Prophet said: "Allah has informed me that Ali is the flag of guidance, the Imam of my friends and a light for those who are obedient to me; and he is the word which I have imposed upon the pious as duty." 5. The Holy Prophet pointed with his hand towards Ali and said: "This Ali is the first person to believe in my prophethood and will be the first person to shake hands with me on the day of judgement. He is the truest person and the wisest discriminator in this nation. He will differentiate between truth and falsehood and he is the ruler of the faithful." 6. The Holy Prophet said: "O you ansars-residents of Madina! Let me tell you one thing. If you will rigidly follow it you will never go astray. Here is Ali. Love him as you love me and be respectful to him as you are respectful to me. What I have told you is certainly the commandment of the almighty and glorious Allah which Jibra-il has conveyed to me. 7. The Holy Prophet said: "I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its door. He who wants to acquire knowledge should come through the door." 8. The Holy Prophet, said: "Ali ibn Abu Talib is the door of forgiveness. He who enters the door is faithful and he who goes out of it is an infidel.' 9. The Holy Prophet, on the day of Arafat (the climactic day of the pilgrimage) during the farewell pilgrimage, said: "Ali is from me and I am from Ali and nobody can discharge my duty as a messenger except myself or Ali." 10. The Holy Prophet said: "He who loves Ali loves me and he who hates Ali hates me." 11. The Holy Prophet said: "O Ali! You are the leader in this world and the leader in the world hereafter. Your friend is my friend and my friend is the friend of Allah, and your enemy is my enemy and my enemy is the enemy of Allah. Woe to him who hates you after me." 12. The Holy Prophet said: "O Ammar! When you find Ali walking on one path and the people walking on a different track, then follow the path of Ali and leave the people. Ali will never lead you to destruction and will never misguide you." 13. The Holy Prophet said: "O Fatimah! Are you not pleased with this, that Allah cast a glance on the dwellers of earth and selected from them two men, . one of them your father and the other your husband?". 14. The Holy Prophet said: "I and this man Ali will be the judge upon my followers on the day of judgement."

16

Ali Ibn Abu Talib 15. The Holy Prophet said: "He who wants to see Adam in his knowledge, Nuh in his determination, Ibrahim in his clemency, Musa in his intelligence and Isa in his religious devotion should look at Ali ibn Abu Talib." 16. The Holy Prophet said: "O Ali! There is a resemblance between you and Isa whom the Jews hated so much that they laid a false blame on his mother; the Christians loved him so much that they assigned to him the position which is not for him." 17. The Holy Prophet said to Ali: "My followers will turn treacherous towards you, when you will be living according to my way, and you will be killed while still adhering to my sunnah. He who loves you loves me and he who hates you hates me. And this," pointing to Ali's beard, "will be deeply tinged with the blood of this" (pointing to Ali's head). 18. The Holy Prophet said: "There is among you a person who will fight for the interpretation of the Quran just as I fought for its revelation." The people around him raised their heads and cast inquisitive glances at the Holy Prophet and at one another. Abu Bakr and Umar were there. Abu Bakr inquired if he was that person and the Holy Prophet replied in the negative. Then Umar inquired if he was that person and the Holy Prophet said: "No, but the person who is mending shoes (i.e. Ali)." 19. The Holy Prophet said: "O Ali! I have surpassed you in prophethood, for there will be no Prophet after me, and you surpass all others in seven things: You are the first to believe in Allah, the best fulfiller of the promise made to Allah, the best adherer to the commandments of Allah, the most equitable distributor among the people, the best dispenser of justice to the people, you have the best insight into controversial cases, and are the most conspicuous in virtue and honour before Allah. " Ali ibn abi Talib is known as mazhar al aja-ib and mazhar al ghara-ib because, as willed by Allah, he used to appear in different forms to carry out divine plans under very special circumstances. These two epithets are exclusively reserved for Ali. Even today the true believers invoke Allah to send him for help. The famous dua, known as Nadi Ali, which the Holy Prophet recited, as commanded by Allah, at Khaybar refers to Ali as mazhar al aja-ib. Ali ibn abi Talib is also known as mushkil kusha, the remover of hardships. In every age, to many persons he comes personally to remove hardships. Through his name great spiritual achievements are attained. The Holy Prophet, and after him, Ali are acknowledged as the most superior possessors of the spiritual powers. Abdullah bin Umar said that his father, Umar bin Khattab, used to say that he coveted for the three distinctions which only Ali had: 1. his marriage with Fatimah; 2. the standard of Islam given to him on the day of Khaybar; 3. the sadqah given by him alone in compliance with verse (58:12).

Aliens
Life is not confined to the earth. It is indicated in this verse that life in some form or other is existing in the millions of heavenly bodies scattered through space. The Almighty who created such countless beings has surely the power to bring them together when the trumpet is blown.

17

Aliens [42:29] And one of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and what He has spread forth in both of them of living beings; and when He pleases He is all-powerful to gather them together.

Allah
There is no fitting equivalent, in the English or any other language, to convey and express the essential essence of the word ALLAH. In the earlier times the idea of a "supreme being" was conveyed to man by the prophets of Allah, but due to the general low level of knowledge, a single word, containing the all-embracing sense and significance of the supreme, universal and absolute being, was not made known. "Father" may imply creativeness but, in no way, refers to compassion, beneficence and mercy. The word father implies that the father of the universe had a father and a mother who gave birth to him, because it does not indicate that the father of the heaven and the earth had no father or mother to bring him into being. It also fails to establish his uncreated self-existing eternity, unless explanatory words are added. The word Allah is a compound of the definite article al and the noun ilah, meaning "that God". The literal meaning of ilah is "puzzling" if waliha is the source, and "referred to" if it is derived from aliha; in either sense, it can be used for the supreme being unto whom man must surrender. Known to every one, there is only one universal ultimate whom all human beings devotedly worship; and upon whom they depend and rely. He is undefinable, beyond the reach of human intelligence, unknowable to knowledge, unimaginable, yet recognised by one and all. Imam Jafar bin Muhammad al Sadiq pointed to the spirit and vision of the word Allah to an atheist, in the course of a discussion. He said: "When you are in a ship, sailing in the middle of an ocean, and a wind-storm comes on from every side, and there is no conceivable means of rescue, yet, in this hopeless situation, you make efforts, in hope of deliverance; this ultimate faith is Allah, referred to by Allah in verse 22 of Yunus." The word Allah points to that which is already in the consciousness, but cannot be arrested by comprehension, or conceived mentally. It is universal, because it is connected with the whole as well as with the part. It must be noted that as the absolute can never be perceived by consciousness, so it cannot be defined by any name. One can refer to Him by personal pronouns, of which "He" (huwa) is the most suitable. The word Allah stands for the absolute self, the greatest name (ism azam), the one perfect total of all good and excellence with no defect. The two possible words ilah is derived from, are alaha and walah meaning astonishment and wonder. The word Allah is formed by adding the definite article al to alah, which means the one who is beyond the reach of conception, or even imagination, and out of the range of knowledge.

18

Allah The quest for knowledge about Allah comes to a close when the seeker in astonishment confesses that with all his sincere efforts supported by intellect and insight he cannot know Him. Imam Muhammad bin Ali al Baqir said: Observe and examine the creation of Allah, do not pry into the being of Allah because no one knows what He is except He. Imam Ali ibn abi Talib said: He! O He whom none knows what He is, nor how He is, nor where He is, nor in what respect He is, but He. The name Allah stands for the supreme one who encompasses everything in the universe but nothing can encompass Him. He is the ever-living allknowing almighty. He has no equal. There is none comparable to Him. He has no associate or partner. All goodly names and ideal attributes belong to Him. He owns and controls that which is in the heavens and that which is in the earth and that which is in between them, the kingdom of the universe. It is only His will that is done. He is the all-seeing, all-hearing, all-just, allmerciful. He is eternal, infinite and essential. He is the first, the immediate and the ultimate. The name Allah is called the ismi-dhat, the name of the absolute self, the only essential being owning all the divine attributes. The other names called asma ul husna are appellative and descriptive, relating to various attributes, each separately applicable according to His dealings with His creation. He is Allah, the creator, the maker, the fashioner. His are the asma ul husna (the excellent names), (Hashr: 24) The words rahman and rahim point out to the essence of one divine attribute-rahmah (mercy or grace), yet, in application, each demonstrates a distinct aspect of the divine mercy. He is rahman to all His creation, one and all, be they obedient or disobedient; and He is rahim to the faithful who do good and receive His mercy as a reward, or as an appreciation of the goodness of their souls. Rahmah (grace), which is the root of both the words rahman and rahim, is the most comprehensive attribute of Allah. It is the source which initiates and stimulates His activities. Creation, sustenance of the creatures, guidance and legislation are the outcome of His universal grace. Mercy or grace stands for active willingness to give with no strings attached, without expectation of return, just for the well-being and good of His dear created beings. No being is out of His grace. Rahman signifies the (all) penetrating and (all) enveloping universal grace of Allah. But every one receives His mercy according to his ability of receiving and containing, in relation to its usefulness for each individual, neither less nor more than that which is appropriate and equitable. To give more than what one deserves would mean to waste the grace. Therefore the worthiness on the part of the creature itself restricts or limits the measure of grace to be bestowed. The manner of giving is just. His

19

Allah justice is as universal as His grace. In short, as he gives to each and all unreservedly and with no expectation of return, His gift is grace; and as He gives to each according to its merits His gift is justice. This grace subject to merit is implied in the attribute rahim. Creation of life, brought about by His mercy, makes evident that He is an everliving uncaused supreme being, hayy bidh-dhat, and on account of the mercy and its demonstration it is inevitable that He, in His will and decision, is on His own, absolute and final. He is the creator of the creation and of the nature of creation, therefore, He is essentially all-aware and all-knowing. He is the beneficent and merciful. He loves each and every living being, so the beloved must stay attached with Him. He is near, gives answer to the supplicants when they cry unto Him. As it is His mercy which sustains the whole universe, He alone is the true bountiful. These two attributes of Allah, the creator Lord of the universe, are first presented to man to make him know that his master, by Himself, is beneficent and merciful, which automatically draws man nearer to the real master. Man runs away from dreadful events and things, but to escape the imaginary affliction or hurt from such terrifying agents he may yield to them under compulsion in order to appease their anger. Man, by nature, loves a beneficent being who benefits him, and a merciful being who overlooks his shortcomings. The submission of man to a beneficent and merciful being will undoubtedly be out of love rather than the caution to be safe from any tyrannical affliction, against which he is assured of safety by the qualities of beneficence and mercy. There is none other besides Allah who alone exists and who alone can cause anything to be or not to be. If man assures himself (and acts upon it) that it is Allah's will that is done, and only He and none else can fulfil anything and there is none who can resist His will, it gives him confidence and success. It is our common experience that when a mother censures her child to discipline his conduct, the child, even while being reproved, rushes towards the bosom of his mother. Why? It is because the young human soul is sure, and in his own heart is convinced of his mother's love, full of mercy. There is none else better than her in giving him the required protection even when her own self is being offended by him. It is also seen many a time that when a child in a family is reprimanded by the parents, displeased at any of his offences, he seeks protection with those of the members of the family who, he knows, love him and would surely give him the required protection. This same phenomenon works with maximum effectiveness in the man-god relationship. "Slumber does not overtake Him", means that He is not influenced by any change whatsoever. He is beyond time and states, for He encompasses time and all states. He is the ever vigilant, or the true and perfect vigilance itself. "Whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth is His" means that He is the creator of matter. If the "matter" is not created by Allah, and is said to be eternally

20

Allah existing as He is, then He is only a fashioner of things out of matter, in which case nothing belongs to Him. There is no propriety in this conjecture. It is unreasonable to say that there are two independent eternal equals. If matter is accepted as an independent and uncreated eternal, then Allah, to prove His existence, will need the matter to carry out His creative plan, otherwise the matter will remain idle. There is no meaning in the idea of two eternal equals, separated from each other. They must be one. If there are two such beings, then there must be a dividing factor which makes the two as two and maintains their two separate entities, in which case the dividing factor, superior in will and authority will be the ever-existing supreme being. Imam Ali said: “Total dedication to Allah is correspondingly related to mature understanding of His Supreme Being. (He is) the (absolute) being, not 'happened for the first time', nor His being is on account of an accident or event; the (ever) existing, not after "missing" or "be wanting", nor there is any "before" before Him. He is along with everything, not allied, related or circumstanced; aloof, by Himself, (but) not detached, nor missing or slipping over any thing; making, doing, operating, effective, not in terms of movement or motion, nor through any medium; seeing, even when there was 'nothing' to look at. Utmost degree of involvement (with Him) tells the truth that "He is single". Ultimate of "He is single" belief generates sincere love with Him. The most possible in sincere love is not to associate qualifying terms with Him, because every adjective demonstrate its exclusion from the substance, and every substance certifies that it is other than the adjective. There is no adjective, limiting definition of His attributes, at hand to give a character to the actual and make it agree with the same; and incomputable is the space of time (to record His beginning), and no "time to come" will arrest the end, therefore, whoso gives Allah a character joins one thing to another; and he who joins together, adds (addition in effect is collection of bit and pieces); and to divide Him into parts and portions is to be unwittingly ignorant of Him; and to stipulate direction or position is to circumscribe Him. He who outlines Him in fact computes Him. "In" infers He is that which is implied; "upon, at or by" assumes void devoid of Him. He was "there" before the created beings could describe Him. He who describes Him in terms of qualities, gives simile or example, or estimates relatively, in fact, does not subscribe to His singleness. He, who draws a parallel or brings to mind a likeness to convey an image of Him, has not indeed referred to Him. He who makes a conjecture and employs guesswork goes wrong and does not have in him to know Allah as the independent, everlasting and free of wants Lord master.”

Angels
The word malak is derived from malaka (to possess), and not from alak (conveying the message). The angel as such is not the message, but the carrier of the message.

21

Angels

Angels, according to the Quran, are finite creatures, devoid of substance, in the sense of matter, therefore, imperceptible by our senses. The angels are conscious beings are the intermediary agents in the process of development and administration of the physical world, operating under the laws of cause and effect; Angels are obedient beings. There is no "becoming" (change) in the angelic sphere. Each of them has a fixed status to carry out a particular function. In view of the reply the angels gave to Allah's declaration about His will to send a khalifa on the earth, it means that the angels have been endowed with freedom of will to give expression to their views whenever they choose to do so, and that they are liable to err, because Allah told them that they did not know what Allah knew when they made known their opinion. In whatever manner created and wherever found, the angels, finite creatures of light, endowed with consciousness and intelligence, act to fulfil the divine plan. They take any physical form (except pigs, dogs and other base animals) to become visible to human vision, but belong to the celestial realm. Those angels who administer the development of the animal life belong to a higher order compared to those angels who control the development of the plant life. The characteristics of the four arch-angels are as follows: 1. JIBRA-IL He communicated the will of Allah to His messengers. He also destroyed the enemies of Allah and His messengers. 2. MIKA-IL He supplies nourishment and provisions. 3. ISRAFIL He gives forms and shapes. He also assimilates nature. 4. IZRA-IL He disengages living beings from one state of existence to initiate into another state of existence . These are, in fact the functions of the rububiyat, the cherishing aspect of Allah's grace. There are many angels working under the arch-angels. The various angelic functions are closely linked together. One cannot function without the other. The single exclusive authority of Allah controls these functions according to His supreme will. So, there is no room for the angels to act in contravention to the command of Allah. Ma-aqqibat are the angels who descend, succeeding one another by turns, to keep safe every individual from misfortunes when that individual, in Allah's will, is not to suffer death (Anam: 61).

22

Angels

The angels not only descend on the prophets but also on those who believe and remain steadfast. It is reported on the authority of the Ahl ul Bayt that the angels also descend on the true believers when they die in order to relieve the agony of death. Verse 41:30 confirms that they descend on the true believers from time to time with glad tidings. Authentic traditions confirm that angels descended on Imam Husayn and his comrades in the battle of Karbala because it was the highest manifestation of possible perseverance. The angels are the noblest and purest beings, and among them are those, superior in excellence, who are in the neighbourhood of the arsh. All the angels not only celebrate the glory of their Lord but also pray for the protection of human beings. To save the transgressing human beings from the wrath of Allah, the angels, who only carry out the will of Allah, under His command, pray for His protection and mercy so that the erring human beings may not be totally annihilated by the rendering asunder of the heavens. Two angels are constantly with every human being to note his or her thoughts, words and actions. One sits on the right side and records good deeds and the other on the left, to record bad deeds, corresponding to the people of the right and the people of the left mentioned in Waqi-ah: 27 and 41. Every thought, word and action is recorded by the recording angels. The angels' record is complete. There are angels who traverse all frontiers of the universe to carry out divine commands. They never lag behind or leave anything undone while executing the will of Allah. Angels do not eat or drink. It is stated in verses 69 to and 70 of Hud that Ibrahim brought a roasted calf for the angels who visited him while going to the people of Lut but they did not eat it. Eating and drinking has not been mentioned in connection with the angels in the Quran.

Asahab Al Fil
Surah Al-Fil refers to an incident in the history of Makka, as an example of how Allah deals with those who oppose His will. About fifty days before the birth of the Holy Prophet, Abraha, the Abyssinia's viceroy of Yemen, Christian by religion, proceeded against Makka, as the head of a large army, with the object of destroying the Ka-bah, because he wanted that there should be no place or structure more glorious than the church he was building at Sana. He had with him elephants. Therefore he and his army is known as ashab al fil, those who brought elephants. At the outskirts of Makka he captured a large number of camels belonging to the chief of Makka, Abd al Muttalib, the grandfather of the Holy Prophet. After receiving the information that Abraha was coming to destroy the holy Ka-bah, Abd al Muttalib went to see him and said: "I have come to collect my camels. The Ka-bah belongs to God. He will surely protect it from your evil design."

23

Asahab al Fil

Abraha gave the captured camels to Abd al Muttalib He returned to the city and asked the people to retire to the neighbouring hills, leaving the Lord of Ka-bah to protect it. When Abraha entered Makka, suddenly a large flock of birds, like swallows, came flying from the sea-coast and pelted the invading army with pebbles of baked clay. They all died. They were like a dead and useless field from which all the produce is eaten up and only straw with stubble is left. Abraha escaped and went directly to the king in Abyssinia. All the way a bird with a stone in her beak followed him. When the king asked Abraha as to what kind of birds they were, Abraha looked to the sky and the bird at once dropped stone in her beak and killed him on the spot. The lesson to be drawn is twofold. The pagans of Makka were forewarned that as the Holy Prophet was superior to the Ka-bah, Allah, who protects whatever is His own, shall protect him from all their evil schemes. It is also a warning to men in all ages that "if a man intoxicated with power comes out to defeat Allah's holy plan, he cannot prevail against Allah, but his plan will fail and destroy him as well." The event narrated in this surah is a miracle. It proves the sanctity of the Ka-bah and the strong faith of Abd al Muttalib, the grandfather of the Holy Prophet, in Allah. When this chapter of the Quran was recited by the Holy Prophet before the Quraysh unbelievers no one raised any voice to belie him. The faith of Abd al Muttalib in the oneness of Allah is proved by his following supplication: O Lord, there is no hope (of receiving help from any quarter) to stop them (Abraha's army) save from You, O Lord, therefore do not let them have Your protection because he who is the enemy of Your house is Your enemy, Verily they (the enemies whoever they are) cannot defeat Your power.

Asahab Al Kahf
Imam Jafar bin Muhammad As Sadiq said: "In order to test the Holy Prophet the pagans of Makka sent three men to Najran so that they might learn a few unknown episodes from the Jew scholars and confront him with them. They returned with the story of the "seven sleepers in the cave", and when the Holy Prophet was asked to narrate their story these verse 18 was revealed ." The Quran, as usual, lays stress on the moral lessons of the story, and not on the exact identification of the persons concerned. The Holy Prophet not only told them the main story but pointed out the variations that were current, and admonished them for disputing about such details. The story is treated as a parable, containing spiritual lessons of the highest value. The ashab ul kahf (the dwellers of the cave) were seven young Christian men who lived in Ephesus, a city on the west coast of Asia Minor. They lived in a society which was

24

Asahab al Kahf completely idolatrous, although they themselves were believers in only one God, as the true followers of Prophet Isa. The city in which they lived was under the rule of the Roman emperor Decius who ruled from 249 to 251 A.D. Decius was a tyrant, and an idol-worshipper. All those who lived under his rule were forced to worship the idols. He issued an order saying that any citizen who refused to worship the idols was a traitor and was condemned to death. Soon the seven young men-the ashab ul kahf-realised that they were the only persons left who refrained from worshipping the idols. This forced them to re-evaluate their situation: either give in to the majority pressure to worship idols, or refuse and be killed. None of these alternatives seemed favourable. Man must not jeopardise his life but should take all precautions to save it because it is a trust, and then leave the matter to the will of Allah. Therefore, they decided to leave the city and seek refuge elsewhere, away from the reach of the tyrant emperor. So they left the city. Outside the city, a dog named Qatmir joined them. They went towards the hills and finally found a cave for themselves. They prayed for Allah's help, and Allah made them sleep for about 300 years. A party of investigators, headed by a minister of the emperor came to the cave. The minister, who went inside the cave and found them sleeping, was a believer, so he told the emperor that they were dead. The cave was closed and a tablet (raqim) whereon were inscribed the names of the ashab ul kahf, their religion, and what it was from which they fled was put upon the entrance of the cave. The cave is said to be in Damascus. Even today the pilgrims who call upon the shrine of Bibi Zaynab, pay a visit to this cave. They were raised up in the reign of Theodosius 11 (408 to 450 A.D.), who was a Christian. It is written in Hastings "Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics" that the cave was reopened when Allah suggested to Adolius, the proprietor of the field where the cave is, to build a sheepfold for his flock; for this purpose the workmen used the stones which closed the entrance of the cave. The long period of 300 years seemed to the ashab ul kahf, as if only a day or two passed by, or even less. So our ideas of time are fallacious. The Almighty Lord controls time and space. Even an animal who associated itself with the godly servants of Allah was rewarded. This event is an example of Allah's power to resurrect all human beings after their death on the day of judgement. There is another version in which it is stated that when the ashab ul kahf came out of sleep they found the mouth of the cave closed. One of them said: "O my Lord, once I hired a man to work for me for one full day, but he finished the work in half a day and left without taking the payment. With the amount payable to him I bought a calf. Soon it multiplied into a herd. It so happened that one day he came to see me. I told him what had happened. He did not believe. I swore in Your

25

Asahab al Kahf name and gave the whole flock to him. I did it in Your name and for Your sake. Please open the cave." One third portion of the cave opened. Another from them said: "O my Lord, a beautiful woman came to me for some food when there was a widespread famine in our land. I desired her very much as soon as I saw her beauty but she refused to yield to my carnal passion and went away. She came to me again and again but every time I put the same proposal to her. At last she agreed. When I held her in my arms I felt she was violently trembling. To my question she said she was trembling in fear of God. I at once freed her and gave her the provision she asked for. I did it to obtain Your pleasure. I wept and sought Your forgiveness. Now I beseech You to open the cave." Now the two third portion of the cave was open. Another from them said: "O my Lord, once I brought some milk for my parents, but found them asleep. I did not want to disturb them. So I waited beside them. The whole night passed and my flock of sheep perished in the field as I could not attend to them. In the morning my parents awoke and drank the milk. I did it to please You, O my l.ord; so open the cave." Now the whole cave lay open before them. Whatever is stated about the ashab ul kahf is a miracle of Allah. He is able to do all things. No one has yet found the bodies of ashab ul kahf who are said to be still sleeping. Allah has kept them invisible as He has kept Isa, Khizr, Idris and the living Imam Al Qaim hidden from the sight of all people. When the people of the town found one of the ashab ul kahf in the market who went there to buy food they wanted to know who he was. He told them their story. They went with him to the cave. The man went inside in advance and informed his comrades that the emperor with his scholars is coming to see them. They fell prostrate before Allah and prayed that the sleep might come over them again. So when the royal entourage came in they were asleep. They decided to build a masjid over them. The act of giving recognition to the men of God has been appreciated by the Quran. To build a masjid over the graves of men of God or to treat the place where they are buried as a place of worship of Allah is permissible according to verse 18:21. On this basis the tawaf of hajr of Ismail, known as hajr al aswad, close to the Ka-bah, is obligatory during the performance of hajj.

Ayyub
Prophet Ayyub was a very prosperous man and of exemplary virtue and piety. He suffered from a number of calamities because Allah wanted to test his faith. He lost his family, children, cattle and servants and became a miserable destitute, yet he remained devoted to his Lord and prayed for His grace and mercy, even though Shaytan tried to

26

Ayyub convince him that the misfortunes afflicted on him were because of his sins. Ayyub became a model of humility, patience and faith in Allah. Then he was restored to prosperity, with twice as much as he had before, and he had a new family of several children. Ayyub was the son-in-law of Yusuf. He had abundant wealth and many children. Then he lost his home, his possessions, his family; and suffered from sores, but he did not lose faith, he turned to Allah. Those lacking faith suspected that Ayyub had committed some sin and was being punished, but those good at heart, said that he, as a prophet of Allah, was being tested to manifest ideal patience. Shaytan, during his sufferings, tried to make him lose confidence in the mercy of Allah. Ayyub, in his prayer to Allah, referred to Shaytan's endeavor to disturb his faith in Him and to the belief of vain people about his having committed some sin which had drawn His anger. When Shaytan failed in his every effort to strip Ayyub of his title of "the patient" he beguiled Ayyub's wife to lead him astray. He went to her as an experienced physician and convinced her that if she could take the sheep he had with him and sacrifice it in his name, he would immediately be cured. Since the wife was interested in Ayyub's welfare, she came to him and related the suggestion of the physician. Ayyub warned his wife not to be misled by the man because he was none but Shaytan. Shaytan came back again as a beautiful young man astride a thorough bred stallion and told her: "I am the king of the earth, and since your husband worshipped Allah, the king of the heavens, not me, it was I who caused the loss of your children and wealth. If, now, you prostrate before me once, l shall make your husband well again." She promised to do as he wanted if her husband allowed her to do so. Then Shaytan asked her to at least persuade Ayyub not to say bismillah before eating a meal and alhamdulillah after finishing it. Hardly had she mentioned the proposal, Ayyub was so much disturbed at the very audacity of it that he swore forewith to punish her with hundred stripes. Then he prayed to Allah: "Indeed an affliction has distressed me." There is another version that once when there was no food in the house she went to get at least a loaf of bread for Ayyub. A man attracted by her lovely hair agreed to give her food in exchange of a bunch of her hair. She gave it to him and brought some food. In those days hair of a woman was cut and removed if she was found guilty of fornication. It greatly pained Ayyub to see her head without her beautiful hair. He then swore to punish her with hundred stripes. For fulfilment of his oath, Ayyub was directed by Allah to strike his wife one simple blow with a palm-branch having a hundred leaves.

27

Ayyub The prophet of Allah Ayyub used to pray for those who came to him with incurable diseases and ailments. But when they asked him why he did not pray for himself, he said: "I have enjoyed Allah's grace and blessing for 80 years, and it would be downright ingratitude if now I grumble when I have been made to taste distress for some time." In his seven years illness he never uttered a single word of remonstration or grief, but due to the persistent pestering of Shaytan, he used to invite Allah's attention and help for combating his evil designs. The highest example of patience and fortitude to demonstrate total submission to the will of Allah was set forth by the grandsons of the Holy Prophet, Imam Husayn bin Ali in Karbala and Imam Ali bin Husayn Zayn al Abidin in Kufa and Damascus. They were the true inheritors of the Holy Prophet in whom all the virtues of all the prophets of Allah had been deposited by Allah in the highest degree. Ayyub was commanded by Allah to strike at a rock from which two springs of hot and cold water gushed forth. Hot water was to wash his body to get rid of all physical ailments and cold water to drink and refresh his spirits.

BackBiting
The habit of fault finding and backbiting has become so common that even the feeling of its evilness has disappeared. And at present neither the high avoid it nor the low; neither the high position of the pulpit prevents it nor the sacredness of the mosque. Whenever a few companions sit together their topic of conversation and engaging interest is just to discuss the faults of their opponents with added colourisation, and to listen to them attentively. Although the fault finder is himself involved in the faults which he picks up in others, yet he does not like that his own faults should be exposed. In such a case, he should have consideration for similar feelings in others and should avoid searching for their faults and hurting their feelings. He should act after the proverb: "Do not do unto others what you do not want others to do unto you." Backbiting is defined as the exposure of the fault of a brother-in-faith with the intent to vilify him in such a way as to irritate him, whether it be by speaking, acting, implication or suggestion. Some people take backbiting to cover only that which is false or contrary to fact. According to them to relate what was seen or heard, exactly as it was, is not backbiting, and they say that they are not backbiting but only relating exactly what they saw or heard. But in fact backbiting is the name of this very relating of the facts, because if it is not factually correct it would be false accusation and wrong blame. It is related about the Prophet that he said: "Do you know what backbiting is?" People said, "Allah and His Prophet know better." Then he said, "Backbiting means that you say about your brother a thing which pains him." Someone said, "But what if I say what is actually true about him?" The Prophet replied, "It is backbiting only when it is factually true, otherwise you would be accusing him falsely."

28

BackBiting There are many causes for indulging in backbiting, and because of this a man commits it sometimes knowingly and sometimes unknowingly. Abu Hamid al-Ghazali has recounted these causes in detail in his book Ihya' `ulumu'd-din. A few of the important ones are: 1. To make fun of anyone or to make him appear abased. 2. To make people laugh and to display one's own jolliness and high spiritedness. 3. Expressing one's feelings under the influence of rage and anger. 4. To establish one's feelings under the influence of rage and anger. 5. To disprove one's connection or involvement in a matter; namely that a particular evil was not committed by oneself but by someone else. 6. To associate oneself with some group when in their company in order to avoid strangeness with them. 7. To belittle a person from whom it is feared that he will expose some fault of one's. 8. To defeat a competitor in the same calling. 9. To seek position in the audience of someone in power. 10. To express sorrow by saying it is sad that so-and-so has fallen in such and such a sin. 11. To express astonishment, for example, to say it is wonderful that so and so has done this. 12. To name the committer of an act when expressing anger over it. However, in some cases fault finding or criticising does not fall under backbiting. 1. If the oppressed complains of the oppressor in order to seek redress, it is not backbiting. Allah says about it: Loveth not Allah open utterance of evil in speech except by one who hath been wronged.. (Qur'an, 4:148) 2. To relate anyone's fault while giving advice is not backbiting because dishonesty and duplicity is not permissible in counselling. 3. If in connection with seeking the requirements of a religious commandment the naming of a particular individual cannot be avoided, then to state the fault of such person to the extent necessary would not be backbiting. 4. To relate the misappropriation or dishonesty committed by someone with a view to saving a Muslim brother from harm would not be backbiting. 5. To relate the fault of someone before one who can prevent him from committing it is not backbiting. 6. Criticism and expression of opinion about a relater of traditions is not backbiting. 7. If a person is well acquainted with someone's shortcoming, then to relate such a fault in order to define his personality, for example, describing a deaf, dumb, lame or handless person as thus, is not backbiting. 8. To describe any fault of a patient before a physician for purposes of treatment is not backbiting. 9. If someone claims wrong lineage then to expose his correct lineage is not backbiting. 10. If the life, property or honour of someone can be protected only by informing him of some fault, it would not be backbiting. 11. If two persons discuss a fault of another which is already known to both it would not be backbiting, although to avoid iscussing it is better, since it is possible one of the two might have forgotten it.

29

BackBiting 12. To expose the evils of one who openly commits evils is not back-biting as the tradition runs: "There is no backbiting in the case of he who has torn away the veil of shamefulness."

Bada and Naskh
Naskh, as a Quranic term, means substitution of one current law by another. It is called bada if the substitution is in the law of creation, and naskh if it is in the law of legislation. Substitution has been effected in "creation" as well as in "legislation". The sudden changes in the course of creation, caused by the supreme will of Allah, a factor apparently incomprehensible for the human intellect, are known as miracles - like the birth of Adam and Isa, and the extraordinary performances carried out by the prophets and divinely chosen representatives of Allah. These miracles cannot be taken as effects without any cause, but are caused by a factor inconceivable by the human intellect. The effect of the creature's prayer in the course of providence is also based on the phenomenon of bada. These types of activities on the part of the creatures are a reaction to the divine action. They are governed by the possibility of bada, provided there is no contradiction. For example the "creation of a self-existing being" is a self-contradictory idea. Allah alone is the self-existing creator, and what He creates cannot be self-existing. The term "creation" itself suggests that it is not self-existing but was created whereas the term "self-existing" means that it was not created by anyone. Another example is of an "even number". It is impossible to stop it from being divided into two equal whole numbers. In view of the infinite power, possibilities and potentialities at the command of Allah it has been believed and accepted that every known operation in the creation can be changed, substituted or abrogated by His supreme will or action. The human knowledge may not comprehend the use of that which has happened and that which will happen, in the sphere of bada. It must be kept in mind that there can be no limitation to the power and ability of Allah. Imam Ali ibna Abi Talib says: "Allah has effected changes (bada) and will also effect many changes in the operation (system) of the universe." Change {Naskh) in the "legislation" became necessary due to the gradual development of the human society. Though the spirit might have been the same but the laws and teachings for mankind in a developed society had to be other than what they were in the primitive age. The conditions and circumstances of a particular age do not appear again. There are teachings, applicable in every age, but they, keeping the essential spirit intact, take to new forms till they reach the final stage. From Adam to Muhammad, the divinely appointed teachers took into consideration the receptive capacity of the people. For example prophet Isa, knowing the limitations of his people, put off the delivery of the final message and asked them to wait for the promised prophet. The divine order "to do" or "not to do" a thing is based upon reason - alms should be given for helping the poor; or liquor is prohibited in order to avoid its ill-effects. The justifying reason is in the thing ordered to be done or not to be done.

30

Bada and Naskh Sometimes the justifying reason is in the order itself. This is true of the orders issued merely as a test of the obedience of the believers. For example, the change in the direction of Qiblah was made (Baqarah: 149) to test the obedience of the believers; or when prophet Ibrahim was asked to sacrifice his son In the first category naskh takes place only when the substitution is necessary in view of the new development. In the second category change is made, without making less its scope and intensity, so that it may fully serve the purpose of the trial. Through naskh as well as bada the withdrawal of the previous procedure or legislation is made known. If the time-limit has already been prescribed for any law or procedure then the term naskh or bada cannot be used. Every aspect of the creation or the legislation, together with their possible manifestations, are known to the creator. Naskh or bada (substitution) cannot be attributed to Allah's ignorance or change of mind. These terms are used in relation to the creatures' knowledge of the divine will. Some orders or processes carry the restriction of the period of validity at the time of their revelation in which case the term bada or naskh cannot be applied. Sometimes it manifests afterwards. In both cases of naskh and bada, the change or substitution means notification of the discontinuation of the procedure or legislation which was in force. In connection with the events of creation or the procedures of legislation the prophets of Allah, now and then, received definite revelations about the taking place of an event, with its details, without any possibility of any change; and at times the nature of the predictions of the consequences of an act was indefinite, which, subject to conditions, could be changed. When the development reaches the ultimate stage, as verse 115 of al An-am says, there is no changing in His words. In the gradual revelation of the laws to the Holy Prophet, no abrogation of any portion of the Quran has been effected. It is generally believed that some Quranic laws, had been abrogated by its own verses, or by the sayings of the Holy Prophet; a list of which has been prepared by the jurists and the commentators, but the context of the traditions, in view of the external evidence, has been, with ulterior motives, twisted and misapplied. A careful study of the Quran with a thorough knowledge of the conclusively proved laws of the faith, passed on to us by the Holy Ahl ul Bayt, the divinely chosen purified custodians of the word of Allah, makes clear the view and proves that there are very few, not exceeding five, abrogations; and even those cannot be described as real or actual naskh.

Badr, The Battle Of
The Holy Prophet learnt that a caravan of the Quraysh laden with merchandise, under Abu Sufyan, was coming from Syria. Abu Sufyan sent a message to Abu Jahl that the Muslims were planning to attack his caravan in order to seize the merchandise he was bringing from Syria. In addition to the decision the Holy Prophet took (not to attack the caravan and take possession of the rich booty but to fight against the Quraysh army), the other facts which clearly show that it was the pagans of Makka who took the initiative to attack the Muslims are: the 13 days distance between Makka and Madina-the Muslim travelled 3

31

Badr, The Battle Of days to meet the pagans of Makka at Badr, who had already left Makka 10 days before with full readiness to destroy the Muslims; and the material as well as the mental condition of the Muslims who were so unprepared for such an encounter that they saw nothing but death waiting for them. The Holy Prophet, as guided by Allah, decided to leave the caravan and march out boldly against the well-armed and well equipped Quraysh army coming from Makka under the command of Abu Jahl in order to destroy the Muslims in Madina, even though some of the very close companions opposed this policy. There was a party which was not wholeheartedly submissive to the divine order, but Sad bin Ma-adh and Miqdad said: "We will do as the Holy Prophet commands." The prophet had 2 alternatives, the merchandise of the caravan or to face the Makkan army in self-defence. Some of the companions desired to capture the caravan with merchandise guarded by only 40 unarmed men, instead of confronting the strong army of 1000 fully equipped warriors, but the Lord willed otherwise. He desired to put to test their faith and cut off the roots of the infidels. The Muslim army, wearied with its long march needed a refreshing rest, therefore the Lord arranged it for them. It rained during the night, rendering the hard soil on which the pagans were moving heavy and fatiguing, and making the soft sand which the Muslims had to cross hard and more firm to walk upon. The "pollution of Shaytan" refers to his evil suggestions that had Allah willed to assist them they would not face such distress and hardship. The rain which fell in the night formed a little pool of water to be used for necessary purification. The Quraysh army, full of zeal and fury, advanced to annihilate from the face of the earth the meagre band of 313 ill-fed and poorly equipped Muslims. The Holy Prophet met the advancing army of Quraysh at Badr situated at a three day's journey from Madina. It is said that on the eve of the departure for the battle of Badr, Shaytan in the guise of the chief of Bani Kananah assured Abu Jahl that he would certainly prevail over the Holy Prophet but when he saw the angels descending from heaven ran away from the scene of the battle, forsaking Abu Jahl and his comrades to defeat and disgrace. The fate of the seducer and the seduced is the same-burning in the fire for ever. Those who were averse to fighting were not convinced that it was a wise or prudent decision, therefore, they felt as if they were being driven to death while death was staring them in the face. They were frightened and perturbed. It was the first trial Muslims were put to in order to prove their faith in the truth. It was also a clear proof that the Holy Prophet was the true messenger of Allah, because unless it was so he would have not risked total annihilation of the handful of Muslims, certain to take place if Allah had not assured him that they would win the battle. By Allah's help they won a splendid victory and the standard of truth was established, never to be lowered again.

32

Badr, The Battle Of Hamza, Ubaydah and Ali were sent by the Holy Prophet to fight against Utbah, Shaybah and Walid in single combat. Ali and Hamza killed all the three combatants but Ubaydah was seriously wounded and succumbed to his injuries. He is the first martyr. Then the general combat began. Ali and Hamza destroyed the army of Quraysh beyond recovery. They ran away to Makka. To help the Muslims Allah instilled terror into the hearts of the infidels in order to destroy their morale and sent angels to fight the foe along side the believers, so that the power base of the polytheism could be destroyed, otherwise, as always, they would oppose the religion of Allah and His Prophet. Thereafter whosoever opposes Allah and His Prophet shall be severely punished. It was (the hand of) Allah who in fact always destroyed the enemies of Allah and his prophet in the battles the Holy Prophet fought. The unexpected victory over the enemy was a gift of Allah. Although Allah takes for Himself the full credit for the defeat of the enemy but does not exclude the agency of His loyal and faithful agents whose every action is ascribed to Allah Himself. The throwing of the dust by the Holy Prophet was a reaction to His will. Badr was a camping ground and market, about twenty miles south-west of Madina. Hamza and Ali were the heros of the battle of Badr, which was of the greatest importance for the spread of Islam. On the hands of Hamza and Ali, under the command of the Holy Prophet, Islam had won its first and decisive military victory. Allah had reinforced the Muslims with three thousand angels, a heavenly aid given to the Holy Prophet, not actually to fight the enemy but to increase the very small group of men he had with him so that the Muslims could muster courage; and the enemy might be frightened at the sight of a large assemblage. It was Allah alone, not the angels, who really caused victory through the valour of Ali and Hamza which brought the enemy to their knees. The Muslim were poor in numbers, mounts and armour. The spirit of discipline and contempt of death manifested by the heroes of Badr (mentioned above), evident in all the battles the Holy Prophet fought, was due to their total reliance on Allah with whom they always took refuge and unto whom they always turned thankful. Seventy of the chosen chiefs of the Quraysh were slain and seventy others were taken captive, a complete rout, through Ali (yadullah-hand of Allah) after which, broken, in utter despair they went back to their homes. In the battle of Badr 313 Muslims were set to fight 1000 pagans, more than threefold their number, but by Allah's will, the army of the believers, fighting in the way of Allah saw the disbelieving host as twice their number, as has been made known to them in verses 44 and 66 of al Anfal.

33

Badr, The Battle Of The battle of Badr was indeed a turning point in the mission of the Holy Prophet. It was a decisive victory. The slain on the enemy's side included many of his most influential opponents. Who made this promised victory possible? Ibna Kathir has written that on the day of the battle of Badr, the Holy Prophet gave the standard to his twenty years old brother, Ali ibna abi Talib. Tabari and other historians have said that Ali and Hamza were the only two warriors who not only killed the well-known warriors of the enemy in single combats but also destroyed the enemy's fighting force beyond recovery. On the division of booty at Badr a garment was found missing. Some companions remarked that it might have been taken away privately by the Holy Prophet himself. The Holy Prophet has been exalted by Allah to the highest pinnacles of honour and glory, therefore those who wrongly try to blacken the fair name of the Holy Prophet shall be punished on the day of reckoning. It is reported that the Quraysh of Makka and Abu Jahl had prayed for victory for those who were on the side of justice. They were confident that their superior numbers, equipment and experience would be decisive at Badr, but they were completely routed. It was the judgement of Allah. The infidels have been reminded to desist from mischief making and accept the true faith. Their superiority in men and material would be of no avail to them because Allah is with the believers. It is a warning to those who participated in the battle of Badr that the promise made in the preceding verses (Allah is with the believers) will not save them from punishment if they ever turn away from the Holy Prophet and his commands, because as soon as any one turns away from the Holy Prophet he becomes a disbeliever or a hypocrite.

Balam
It is said that "The news of the man whom We gave Our signs" refers to Balam, in the days of Firawn, who knew the ism al azam. Firawn asked him to pray for Musa's arrest. He agreed and sat on his donkey to go to a particular place to recite the ism al azam for Musa's arrest, but the donkey did not budge. He beat the animal to its death. Then he realised that he had totally forgotten the ism al azam. He died as an infidel. Some commentators think the narrative relates to Balam. Some think the person referred here is Umayya ibn Abu Salt who read the old scriptures and knew that Allah would send a prophet about that time, but when the promised prophet, the Holy Prophet did arrive, he refused to acknowledge him. Some think it relates to Amru ibn Numan ibn Sayfi, an ascetic, who believed in the creed of Ibrahim but mixed it with the false beliefs of Christian monks, and when he was censured by the Holy Prophet, he turned against him. Imam Muhammad bin Ali al Baqir said: "Though it relates to Balam, but Allah intends to set an example for those who receive true guidance from Allah, yet prefer to act according to their own desires in order to lay hands on the worldly gains."

34

Bani Israel

Bani Israil
Is-haq's other name was Israil, hence the children of Is-haq are referred to as the children of Israil. They enjoyed the promised blessings of Allah as long as they deserved it, but, when, on account of their ungodly ways, they fell from grace, they did not stop Allah's plan, and the responsibility of keeping alive the guidance from Allah was transferred to the children of Ismail after prophet Isa who was the last prophet in the progeny of Is-haq. The Bani Israil were Allah's chosen people. It was His favour that they were graced with many prophets. There were more prophets among them than the rest of the people of the world put together. Allah saved them from the merciless persecution of the Fir-awns and provided them with heavenly bounties, but instead of making use of the guidance and the blessings to reach a higher spiritual level they fell into the degradation of depravity and disbelief.

Bismillah
The Holy Prophet said: There is no prayer (salat) without al Fatihah, and bismillahir rahmanir rahim is one of its verses. The Ahl ul Bayt (the thoroughly purified members of the family of the Holy Prophet), and the scholars, who follow their teachings, time and again, had verified this saying of the Holy Prophet. Abu Hanifa, founder of the Hanafi school, gave permission to his followers to recite bismillahir rahmanir rahim quietly, with al Fatihah, in prayers, because the Holy Prophet used to recite al Fatihah with bismillahir rahmanir rahim in his prayers, yet in his (Abu Hanifa's) opinion it was not a part of the surah. There are some scholars who admit that al Fatihah consists of seven verses but to insist on their misconceived notion that bismillahir rahmanir rahim is not included in it they split the last verse into two separate verses, although the meaning and the construction of the verse does not justify it. According to the Holy Prophet any deed begun without reciting bismillah goes bad and lacks effectiveness. As al salat is known as the best deed (khayrul amal) and al Fatihah is the inaugurator of the book it is logical that bismillahir rahmanir rahim is the first verse of al Fatihah. Bismillahir rahmanir rahim, in addition to al Fatihah, is also the part of al Naml: Verily, it is from Sulayman; and it is 'In the name of Allah, the beneficent, the merciful'. This is the beginning of the letter prophet Sulayman wrote to the queen of Shiba. To start any good deed with "(I begin) in the name of Allah, the beneficent, the merciful" means a supplication unto Allah for successful completion of the work. It also means that the supplicant undertakes the job in the name of and on behalf of Allah to serve the good in the work as well as achieve his own legitimate purpose. In other words he dedicates his life to Allah and employs his self-interest-oriented activity in the service of overall goodness. He admits his helplessness and relies on the truth that ability to make any work fruitful is exclusively with Allah, and with no one else. By invoking Allah in the name of 35

Bismillah His beneficence and mercy he prays for His aid to achieve success in his undertaking. It is quite logical to believe that the divine beneficence and mercy would bless such a faithful. It does. It is a fact that nothing exists or takes effect outside the course of Allah's will. The will of Allah governs the scope of every activity but does not determine the desires and methods of any created being. Anything that happens or exists without seeking Allah's pleasure, is covered by the will of Allah, but is not blessed with His grace. Should an individual begin any work without saying bismillah, it may be completed but without earning the divine pleasure. The desires and actions of an individual shall be blessed only when he surrenders them to Allah's pleasure. The Holy Prophet has made it known that anything done without invoking the divine grace by reciting bismillah is not approved by Allah. As said earlier anyone can begin any work, without invoking Allah with bismillah, and it will be executed, if the divine will allows it. However, in this event, it does not earn the divine pleasure, but on the contrary is liable to be punished according to the degree of evil involved, the intention of the individual, the nature and the effect of the work. Even if it is not evil in its nature, disciplinary action can be taken because the individual has relied upon his ability and will which is as bad as setting oneself against the almighty Lord. In starting a work in the name of Allah, the reciter demonstrates the undernoted aspects of fundamental importance : 1. Acknowledgement of the supreme being as his Lord master. 2. Confession of his own helplessness. 3. Belief in Allah as the ever-living and all-knowing - almighty. 4. Reliance on the supreme being, seeking His pleasure and mercy, and invoking Him with His mercy-invoking attributes. 5. Conviction at heart and confidence that if called, the beneficent and the merciful Allah will certainly not deny him His mercy. The words of bismillah i.e., in the name of Allah, have wide and discernible implications. The words may mean not only 'in the name of' but also: 1. For the sake of 2. To the service of One of the many unique features and distinguishing factors about the originality of Islam is bismillah which was never before used by or known to any of the other corrupted or falsified creeds of the world. The Holy Prophet and the holy Imams have enjoined to say bismillah before eating, and to say Alhamdulillah after eating. In this way eating, an act of unification at the physical level, becomes a function of devotion. The state of gratitude to Allah is bound to increase love for Allah, and thus increases the quality of worship and devotion. 36

Charity

Charity
To attach strings to charity, or to make it known, or to reproach the overly solicitous seeker of help, is an exercise in futility and renders the charity useless. It is well if one gives alms openly to set an example for others to follow suit. Extra and hidden giving in compliance with the Holy Prophet's advice "one hand knows not what the other gives", is more noble because it protects from the danger of vanity. This verse sanctions both the modes of spending in the way of Allah - open and secret, because Allah is aware of the intentions and the motives of the givers. He gives in return an appropriate recompense in both the cases. Imam Jafar bin Muhammad al Sadiq says: Hidden charity appeases the wrath of Allah, does away with the sins as the water puts out the fire, and keeps away several misfortunes. Alms should be given to those who are devotedly absorbed in the service of Allah. We can recognise them by the light of contentment and positive acceptance of their mission on their faces. They do not solicit charity, but live from hand to mouth. By stating that only those poor who abstain from begging deserve charity, the Quran, indirectly, condemns professional beggary.

Convenant, The
The wrongdoers (fasiqin), break the covenant of Allah (yanquduna ahadallah), and cut asunder that which Allah has commanded to join (yaqtuna ma amarallah), and make mischief to destroy peace and harmony in human society. Which covenant? Every soul, before coming into this world, makes a promise with the Lord that it will exist only to fulfil the will of the Lord, and never shall rebel against His authority, known as the original or the latent covenant. The second or the manifest covenant is that which an individual agrees to be bound by when he or she embraces Islam, which, in fact, is a surrender of the self to the will of Allah. Those who break the covenant made with Allah and His Holy Prophet will have no share in the rewards to be given on the day of judgement; nor will Allah speak to them or look at them (pay attention to their repentance), nor will He purify them-a grievous punishment awaits them which will torment them for ever. It is stated that to break the covenant of Allah is like the foolish act of a woman who uses labour and skill to spin good and strong yarn and then untwist its constituent strands and break them into loose pieces.

37

Creation Of The Heavens And The Earth

Creation Of The Heavens And Earth
In Arabic language, according to Lisanul kitab, sab-a is used (in addition to denote number seven) to say seven or more, several or many. Therefore, the seven heavens mentioned may mean a large number of heavens. According verses 9 to 12 of Ha Mim and verses 27 to 32 of Nazi-at the development of the earth and its resources had taken place before the arrangement and organisation of the heavens. Verses 30 to 33 of Anbiya say that the heavens and the earth were an integrated mass, but had been separated by splitting. The creation of the heavens and the earth was simultaneous, but the development of earth took place before the grouping of the heavens. Verse 30 describes another development after the arrival of Adam.

Dawat Al Ashira
When the verse "And warn your tribe of near relatives" was revealed, the Holy Prophet asked Ali to invite the tribe of his near relatives at the house of Abu Talib. Before the leaders of the Quraysh, like Isa, he said: "O kinsmen! By Allah, I and I alone can offer you the most precious of gifts, the good of this world and of the hereafter. Allah has commanded me to call you to that which is the best-His worship. I, therefore, call upon you to come forward and testify to my prophethood. Who among you will help me and join me in my task, and be my brother, my lieutenant, my vicegerent and my successor?" Ali was the only person who came forward in response to the call of the Holy Prophet. Then and there the Holy Prophet declared: "Verily Ali is my brother, my vicegerent and my successor. From this day it has been made obligatory upon every one to obey the superior authority of Ali."

Dawood
After Musa several prophets were sent to maintain his law (Tawrat), but as time passed, people started neglecting the law and took to idolatry. Ultimately a time came when the Jews had no prophet to guide them. In those days their enemies from the tribe of Jalut had captured all the land on the Mediterranean including Egypt and Palestine. They killed 440 princes and noblemen of Bani Israil and enslaved them. The Bani Israil prayed to Allah for a prophet. Allah appointed Samuel as their prophet. They asked Samuel to choose a king for them. Samuel warned them about what the kings would do, but they refused to listen to him. Samuel again warned them that they might not fight even if fighting was ordained for them. And when fighting was ordained for them, they turned back, except for a few of them. 38

Dawood Samuel said to the Jews that Allah had raised Talut (Saul) to be a king over them. According to 1 Samuel 10: 23 he was a head taller than anyone else. There was no one like him in the nation of Jews. He was called Talut on account of his height and strength. The people despised Talut's kingship because he did not have wealth, which they had in abundance. The reaction of the people to the divine appointment of the executor can be favourable or unfavourable. The Jews did not like the appointment of Talut as a king. The tabut which Talut possessed (3 yards X 2 yards) was a holy ark or chest which contained divine signs, understood by the prophets of Allah only. It was so divinely blessed that whenever carried by the Jews into the battlefield, the enemy invariably ran away. It was passed on from one prophet to another, and had miraculous properties. It is reported to contain the garments of Musa, the turban of Harun and some sacred relics. It was brought back from Shiloh to help the Jews in the war against the Philistines. Talut tests his men by means of the river (saying: whoever then drinks from it, he is not of me, and whoever does not taste of it, he is certainly of me, except he who takes as much of it as fills his hand), but only a few of them are found faithful. It must be noted that although the men with Talut were aware of their weakness against Jalut, they did not desert him, but history is a witness to the fact that some of the companions of the Holy Prophet not only ran away from the battlefield (Uhad) but also advised their comrades to return to their former state of idolatry, because they loudly announced that the Holy Prophet had been killed. An account of the formidable strength of the mighty forces of Jalut is given in 1 Samuel 17: 4 to 11. Dawud killed Jalut in single combat. The Philistines, when they saw that their hero was dead, turned and ran. In the battle fought between the Jews and the Philistines the enemy ran away when Dawud killed Jalut; in like manner the whole army of infidels of Makka left the battlefield in chaos and confusion when Ali killed Amr, completely routed and annihilated. These two events are meaningfully connected because perhaps there is no other battle where an army of a large number of fighting men left the battlefield when only one warrior was killed. And Allah gave him (the conquering warrior) kingdom and wisdom. Since kingdom belongs to Allah, He grants it to whom he likes, on merit after test and trial, to exercise divine authority on His behalf. It was given to Dawud. It was given to Ali (as imamat). It is stated in Minhaj al Sadiqin that prophet Dawud had nineteen sons, and every one of them wanted to inherit his father's kingdom. Allah sent Dawud nine questions with answers and asked him to appoint the son who gives the correct answers as his successor. 1.Which is the nearest thing? Hereafter. 2. Which is the farthest thing? Time passed away 3. What phenomenon manifests love? Body with soul. 4. What phenomenon manifests dread? Body without soul. 5. Which things remain the same? Sky and earth. 39

Dawood 6. Which things ever remain different? Day and night. 7. Which things are opposed to each other. Life and death. 8. What ends in - goodness? Patience and forbearance at the time of anger. 9. What ends in evil? Haste at the time of anger None save Sulayman, the youngest son, gave the correct answers, so he was made the heir of Dawud. Dawud had been gifted with an enchanting melodious voice, and whenever he sang the glory of Allah the mountains around him would echo his praise, and the birds would join him in chorus. Allah made iron, one of the hardest metals, soft and pliant in his hands, so that without heating the metal he was able to manufacture coats of mail. It is said that Dawud was the first to manufacture coats of mail. As a prophet of Allah he only manufactured armour which is the means of defence, and not swords, which are the implements of aggression. Dawud was an impartial and just ruler. He used to ask everyone he met what they thought of him as a ruler. If anyone had been wronged he would arrange the necessary redress. Once when Dawud was passing a street of his town at midnight, he met an angel, sent by Allah, in the form of a man. He asked the angel his usual question, and the angel replied that the ruler was alright, except for the fact that he took his own sustenance from the public funds. On hearing this Dawud wept for forty days, and prayed to Allah to teach him some profession. It was then that Allah, in His mercy, made iron soft and pliant like wax in Dawud's hands, and inspired him with the art of manufacturing coats of mail, and the other articles of defence. Dawud was therefore able to sell the articles and live upon his own earnings. One day two men of Bani Israil came to Dawud disputing the ownership of a cow. Dawud demanded witnesses from the plaintiff but he could not produce any, at which he asked them to come next day. At night, in dream, Dawud was commanded to kill the defendant, but since there was no proof he did not carry out the order at once. Dawud had this dream for 3 continuous nights and finally ordered the defendant to be executed. The defendant pleaded, asking the grounds on which this sentence was passed. Dawud replied that he had been commanded by Allah through dreams for 3 nights. When the defendant was sure of his death, he finally confessed that he had killed the plaintiff's father and taken possession of the cow. Then, the people, discouraged by the true visions of Dawud, gave up frauds, unfair dealings and evil intrigues and became law abiding citizens. Thus the authority of Dawud in his kingdom was firmly established by Allah. Dawud's brother Uriya obtained permission from the guardians of a girl, whom he loved, to marry her, but at the last moment the guardians broke their word. Then Dawud sent his own proposal and her guardians, impressed by Dawud's position as king, gave her hand to him in marriage. Dawud already had 99 wives. She became his hundredth wife.

40

Dawood Uriya was disappointed. He thought that Dawud should have used his influence to convince the girl's guardians in his favour. What Dawud did was not a sin, but in the opinion of Uriya, Dawud, as a brother and also as the king, could have given preference to him. Allah sent two angels in human form to Dawud. They were not allowed to enter his private chamber where he used to retire for his devotional prayers. They climbed over a wall, entered his private chamber and said that they had come to seek redress at his hands. One of them said: "This my brother has a flock of 99 sheep, and I had but one; yet he wants me to give up my one sheep to his keeping. He talks like one intending mischief." Without giving a chance to the other who also came to him as a contender Dawud decreed his demand unjust. The two angels disappeared as mysteriously as they had come. It was then realised by Dawud that it was a trial. In self-complacence he passed the judgement before listening to the defendant. As soon as it became evident to him, he turned to Allah in repentance. According to Imam Ali who so casts aspersion on Dawud on account of his marrying the girl betrothed to his brother must be condemned because every prophet of Allah is free from emotional weaknesses and sinful desires; particularly if the accuser is a Muslim the doubt amounts to blasphemy. The Biblical passages about Dawud are mere chroniques scandaleuses-narrative of scandalous crimes of the grossest character. The Quranic idea of Dawud is that of a just and upright prophet, endowed with all the virtues, in whom even the least thought of selfelation has to be washed off by repentance. A colossal musjid is said to be one of the structures erected by both men and jinn. It is said that Allah revealed knowledge to Dawud, saying: "I had covenanted with your father (ancestor) Ibrahim that I would bless his seed, (see Baqarah: 124) and multiply it, and make it a great nation, for he (Ibrahim) had offered the sacrifice of his son at My command. I have fulfilled my promise to him, but his seed has turned ungrateful to My grace and bounties and I shall send a chastisement on them." Allah then afflicted them with a plague, which was withdrawn when Dawud invoked Allah to spare them. Allah said: O Dawud, tell my servants to offer their gratitude for the prayer I answered, by building a masjid where your progeny and other future generations may also pray to Me." The construction of the masjid was commenced and the righteous Israelites and Dawud himself laboured to build it, carrying heavy stones and mud on their backs. When the walls of the masjid rose to a man's height, Dawud was informed by Allah that his share in the building of the masjid was complete, because the remaining work had been designated to his son Sulayman. Dawud died in the one hundred and fortieth year of his age and Sulayman succeeded his father to the throne in the thirteenth year of his age, and completed the construction of the masjid.

41

Death

Death
No one can die unless Allah dispenses, or his appointed term expires. Death shall come neither before nor after that time. It is not possible to delay death by keeping away from battle. Verse 8 of al Jumu-ah also confirms this fact. Everything, beside Allah, will know the taste of death. Nothing, save Allah, is permanent in its existence. This awareness of certain death makes man do good and avoid evil, so as to prepare himself for the inevitable day of reckoning, because the life of this world is a merchandise of vanity-deceptive, unreal, insubstantial, as compared with the everlasting hereafter. Imam Ali ibn abi Talib has said that in the agony of death every man remembers his wealth, children and deeds to seek help from them, but his wealth cannot do more than buying a shroud for him, his children will only take him to the graveyard and put him in the grave, but his deeds, good and bad, will accompany him to his ultimate destinationthe day of reckoning. After death those who lived in this world like the goodly tree will live in peace and bliss while those who lived like the evil tree will suffer untold miseries till the day of resurrection and eternal punishment after the day of judgement. Imam Ali said: "There is nothing greater in certainty than death." Whosoever is in error, Allah prolongs his span of life as much as He likes because the respite does not give him any advantage until he sees that which has been promised, either the chastisement in this world or the hour of doom (resurrection). Then he will know who is worst in position and weakest in forces. The phrase fal yamdud (shall prolong) appears to be imperative. The real sense is "let him do", a challenge, but actually it is a conditional clause meaning "even if Allah prolongs". There is no promise of prolonging the life span of those who are in error. Verse 96 of al Baqarah throws light on the actual meaning of this verse which is "whosoever is in error Allah shall allow him sufficient respite." Barzakh means a partition, a barrier-the place or state in which people will be after death and before the day of resurrection. The condition and the state of barzakh has not been described. What the Holy Prophet and his Ahl ul Bayt have said about this interval or intermediary state should only be accepted as true. In verse 61 of Anam also it is said that the angel of death will take every man's soul. In verse 42 of Zumar it is said that Allah takes the souls at the time of death. It indicates that whatever is done is the effect of His Will. The angel of death carries out His will. Imam Ali said: "On which day (can) I run away from death? The day which is decreed (or) the day which is not decreed!"

42

Death The souls of the wicked are averse to part with their body at death, but their choice will not count. The angel of death will drag forth their souls vehemently. In contrast to the wicked, the souls of the righteous will be drawn out gently to their new life. They are always ready for it. For them death is a release from the temptations of this world. They welcome the approach of the day of judgement.

Debt
Everything in the religion of Islam points to clarity and certainty. Therefore, all contracts of debt should be recorded. It is incumbent upon a Muslim to act as mediator, witness, or scribe when called upon to do so. All the parties to a contract of debt should safeguard themselves with full awareness of Allah's laws, a reminder which has been repeated twice in this verse, because Allah knows all things and what He teaches us is for our own good in the larger interest of human society. If we do not follow His guidance then surely we transgress. The laws prescribed in this verse develop and maintain a progressive, welfareoriented, civilised social order. Every contract of debt should be written down by a scribe with fairness. He who owes the debt should dictate without diminishing anything. If he is unsound or weak in understanding then his guardian should dictate with fairness. Two witnesses should be chosen to witness the written contract. If there are not two men, then one man and two women must be called in to witness, so that if one woman errs, the second may remind the other. If the transaction is for ready merchandise which is given and taken from hand to hand, then there is no blame on any party in not writing it down. This Quran enjoins to take collateral if a proper document of agreement cannot be written down, and the parties do not trust each other. If the debtor is in crisis, the demand for repayment should be postponed till he is in a better situation. The helpless poor must not be prosecuted and harassed. It is better, in such cases, if one can, to postpone demanding payment forever, because one is only here for a short while. The Holy Prophet said: He who grants a respite to his debtor, or gives up a part or the whole of the principal (given to him in cash or kind), will be allowed to take refuge with Allah on the day when there will be no shelter. During the period of postponement, the repayable debt will be treated as charity given by the lender to the debtor, till it is repaid. Zarara came to Imam Jafar bin Muhammad al Sadiq and informed him that one of Zarara's debtors was selling his house to repay his debt. The Imam said: "O Zarara! In the name of merciful Lord I direct you not to render him shelterless."

43

Debt Islam instructs the creditors to give respite and remission to the debtors and warns the debtors not to avoid repayment if they own sufficient means. It is reported that once a corpse was brought into the masjid for the final rites. The Holy Prophet refused to conduct the funeral prayer because the deceased had sufficient means at his disposal but did not repay his debt. Then and there Abu Qatadah paid the full amount on behalf of the deceased, after which the Holy Prophet prayed his funeral prayer. The Holy Prophet made it known that Allah dislikes those who neither repay their debts before death overcome them nor leave behind anything to meet their commitment of repayment on their behalf. Qardan hasanan, a goodly loan, is given without any consideration for its repayment, or time of repayment. In fact, it is completely forgotten as soon as it is given. The rewards of a goodly loan, offered to Allah to seek His pleasure only, are manifold. It brings about echoes of the goodness of the creator. The return from the merciful Lord corresponds to the purity and sincerity of the intention of the lender. This goodly loan, also refers to the spending in the way of Allah and striving in the cause of Allah. To restrict or increase the means of subsistence is exclusively in the hands of Allah.

Edibles
To determine what food is lawful or unlawful is a very intricate procedure. The injunction is to eat all that is suitable and good, and avoid causes of harm based on the satanic pattern. Unlawful are not only those things which Allah prohibits but even unforbidden things acquired unlawfully - by usurpation, by theft and cheating etcetera. There is a clear description of some of the forbidden edibles. These foods were also forbidden by the law of Musa, and by Isa. The Jews had forbidden some foods to themselves without any authority (Ali Imran: 93). Innama excludes everything besides that which has been mentioned. "The animals over which any other name than Allah has been invoked" brings to light the fact that everything in the universe belongs to Allah whose name is invoked when we eat or drink anything lawful. Ghayra baghin means "not for enjoyment" but to satisfy an unavoidable necessity. La adin means "without any intention" to break the prescribed laws of Allah, or not exceeding the minimum to satisfy the actual want. The divine mercy is such that when it is absolutely necessary for survival, or in circumstances beyond one's control, there is no blame if one transgresses temporarily. Allah's mercy will overcome the evil of the transgression. The spirit of the divine law must be observed in normal as well as extraordinary conditions. Under no circumstances any revolt against any divine law is allowed. Please refer to the commentary of al Baqarah: 173 for carrion (corpse of a dead animal), blood flesh of swine, and that over which is invoked the name a ghayrallah (other than 44

Edibles Allah). Also forbidden are the strangled, the beaten down, the fallen down, the gored, that which has been devoured by beasts of prey, and that which has been slaughtered at altars; and also dividing the meat by casting lots with arrows is forbidden. Illa ma dhakkaytun-tadhkiyah means to cleanse (allowing the heat in the body to pass away through the Islamic way of slaughter). The Jews and the Christians do not follow the prescribed method of slaughtering the animals, nor do they seek Allah's pleasure before killing the animal, therefore, to eat flesh of any animal offered by them is not lawful for the Muslims. According to Imam Jafar bin Muhammad al Sadiq the word ta-am implies food made of grains not containing flesh of permitted animals. Quran gives permission to the Muslims to eat the food (made of grains) offered by the people of the book.

Fasting
Fasting is a means of restraining and controlling the nafs, so that contentment (rida), and all the other blessings of this great discipline may be experienced. The fasting of the ordinary man is to withhold only from food and drink. The fasting of the pious man is to curb sensory desires, to refrain from looking at the unlawful, hearing the harmful, and thinking about the distasteful, or about what stimulates the lower nature. The fasting of a true believer is to seal the heart from paying any attention to other-than-Allah (ghayrallah), and safeguard himself with thorough awareness of the divine laws. Fasting (sawm) is one of the obligatory functions of the faith, next only to the prescribed 5 times a day prayers (salat), in importance. It trains the Muslims to guard themselves against evil as well as conditions them to suffer physical affliction and exercise self control in the defence of faith and the faithful. Fasting, although not as perfectly regulated and decisive as in Islam, was prescribed for the followers of the previous prophets also, and was also in vogue, in varying forms, in different parts of the world. Among the Jews it was done in times of sorrow and affliction. Among the Hindus in India, fasting is undertaken as a penance or to achieve spiritual power. The Sabians were also prescribed fasting for one full month and the object of fasting among them was almost identical to Islamic fasting. Fasting is prescribed "for a certain number of days" - they are the days of the month of Ramadan. The deeper benefits of fasting are gained when one is in good health. However, both in sickness and travel, these benefits are unlikely to be realised, therefore, exemption from fasting is provided, but a number of other days should be selected to fast in lieu of the obligatory fasts that have not been observed due to sickness or travel, and also a redemption (fidyah) should be effected by feeding a poor man for every missed fast. Aged people, nursing mothers and other cases in which the health is sure to be harmed by fasting can forego fasting altogether, but feed the poor instead, giving away the equivalent of one man's food daily for each fast missed.

45

Fasting It is better to fast as well as feed the poor to obtain a greater return from Allah. The fidyah is a concession allowed to the sick and the old but if they know the deeper benefits of fasting they must fast instead of availing the concession. The Holy Prophet and the holy Imams used to give away whatever they had in the way of Allah but in the month of Ramadan, they were more liberal and open-handed, because the month of Ramadan is the month of Allah. During the fast eating and drinking, after the whiteness of the day becomes distinct from the blackness of the night, is prohibited until night. In the beginning cohabitation between man and wife was not allowed for those who observed fast, whether night or day, but the future second caliph and some other companions confessed to the Holy Prophet that they had transgressed this prohibition (Tafsir Baydawi). Then a verse was revealed which allowed cohabitation between man and wife during the night.. It is incumbent upon each one of the faithful to seek the roots of justice and right balance deeply. The purpose of sawm is to curb mean and lower tendencies such as wrongfully consuming even things lawfully possessed and letting greed dominate every aspect of life.

Fatima Zahra (AS)
The Holy Prophet has declared that Bibi Fatimah is the chief of the women in the universe; (because) Bibi Fatimah was the daughter of the superior most prophet of Allah, the seal of prophethood; and the wife of an Imam who alone has the unique distinction of, "Ali's flesh is my flesh, Ali's blood in my blood, and I and he are from the same divine light" (saying of the Holy Prophet), and the mother of eleven holy Imams and through her last son the divine will and justice shall prevail on the earth, and the son of Maryam, Isa, shall follow him. Through verse 33 of Al Ahzab, she, Ali and their sons have been thoroughly purified. Therefore, (as the Holy Prophet has declared) Maryam was chosen and her status remained so till his daughter Fatimah was born and thereafter Fatimah is the most blessed, thoroughly purified, and the choicest woman, the best of all the women in the universe from beginning to the end, in all ages, among whom are included Asiyah, Maryam, and Khadijah al Kubrah. Muhammad Iqbal, known as the philosopher- poet of the east, accepted as a scholar of great depth and vision by all the Muslims, has given his opinion about Fatimah Zahra in the light of the historical facts mentioned in the books of Islamic history. He says: Maryam, of one connection with Isa, is venerable; (but) for three relationships Fatimah is revered, respected and glorified; she is the light of the eyes (dearest darling daughter) of the "mercy unto the worlds", the leader of those who have gone by and of those who will come; she is the wife of he who wears the crown of Hal-Ata (Surah al Dahr), the chosen, the divine helper, the fearless overpowering strength of Allah; she is the mother of the axis of the circle of love and devotion, the leader-in-chief of the caravan of lovers and devotees (Hasan and Husayn).

46

Fatima Zahra (AS) It is mentioned in Rawdzat al Ahbab and Tarikh al Khamis, and also reported by Tabari, Tibrani, Ahmad bin Hanbal and Ibn Asakir that the betrothal of Fatimah and Ali - as revealed to the Holy Prophet - was ordained by Allah, who, the Holy Prophet said to his daughter, had informed him of His choice from the noblest on the earth of two blessed men, one being her father and the other her husband; and that He had decreed his (the Holy Prophet's) lineal descendants to spring forth from the couple (Ali and Fatimah) and not from himself. Earlier, before their marriage, Abu Bakr, Umar and Abdur Rahman had expressed their desires to marry the daughter of the Holy Prophet, but the Holy Prophet made known the fact to all and sundry that Allah would choose the husband of Fatimah. Then they went to Ali, and, after telling him about their unsuccessful attempt, advised him to try his hand at this venture, as to marry Bibi Fatimah was a great privilege and the best blessings Allah could bestow on a man in this world and the hereafter. Ali went to the house of Ummi Salima and knocked at the door. The Holy Prophet was in. He said to Ummi Salima: "Go and open the door. On your door is standing the man who loves Allah and the messenger of Allah and Allah and His messenger love him the most." Ali entered, greeted the Holy Prophet and sat before him with his usual graceful demureness. The Holy Prophet asked: "What it is that brings you here? Do you want to marry Fatimah?" Ali said: "O Messenger of Allah, you have brought me up as your own son. You alone have the right to decide everything that concerns me." "What can you offer as a dower?" The Holy Prophet asked. "Everything is known to you. I have a horse, a camel, a coat of mail and a sword," Ali replied. "You need the horse and the sword to defend the truth, the camel to earn your livelihood, but you do not need the coat of mail, so sell it," said the Holy Prophet. Ali sold it for 500 dirhams. When he brought the money to pay the dower, the Holy Prophet informed Ali that the man to whom he sold the coat of mail was Jibrail. "O Ali, Jibrail has returned the coat of mail to me and conveyed the decree of Allah that your marriage with Fatimah has already been solemnized in the heaven and I have been I commanded to do the same here," said the Holy Prophet Tabattal implies that man should detach himself from worldly things and devote himself to Allah, or forsake everything and apply himself to the worship or service of Allah. In this sense the daughter of the Holy Prophet, Fatimah Zahra, is known as "batul"

47

Gambling

Gambling
Yasara, the root of maysir, means to divide a thing into parts or portions. Maysir means a game of chance to seek quick and easy wealth, an unearned profit. Gain or loss is a matter of chance. The Quran prohibits all games of chance and gambling.

Ghadeer Khum
The essential qualities required in a leader are clearly discernible if careful attention is paid to the reply given by Samuel to the jews: Inallahas-tafahu alaykum-Allah has chosen him in preference to you. According to the divine law a leader of the people (temporal or spiritual) is chosen by Allah, not by the people. Wa zadahu bastatan fil ilmi wal jism-And He has increased him abundantly in knowledge and physique. The chosen leader is given knowledge and physical strength by Allah Himself. The true leader possesses divinely endowed knowledge and strength to guide and protect the people whom Allah loves and cherishes. Wallahu yuti mulkuhu man yasha - Allah grants His kingdom to whomever He pleases. The sovereignty and the kingdom of the universe belong to Allah, therefore, on His behalf, the authority to lead and guide the created beings, is with him whom Allah chooses. He chooses whomever He likes, whether the people like it or not. Ali’s superiority over all the others in knowledge and strength, nobility and character is undisputed. After the conclusion and the termination of the office of prophethood, the infinite mercy of the merciful Lord did not leave mankind to go astray, misled by false leaders who usurped temporal authority, but commanded the Holy Prophet to declare the vicegerency of Ali and his progeny (the twelve Imams). The Holy Prophet, therefore, appointed Ali ibn abi Talib as his and Allah's khalifa on the earth. Every believer accepted the declaration of the messenger of Allah that of whomsoever the Holy Prophet was the lord-master, Ali son of Abu Talib was also his lord-master. After the unanimous undertaking of the believers, the following verse was revealed. This day I have perfected for you, your religion, and have completed My favour on you, and chosen for you Islam (to be) the religion. So after the departure of the Holy Prophet, the believers might not follow any other person save Ali ibna abi Talib, who alone was declared worthy and able to carry out the mission of Islam, as the lawful authority (lord-master), in the absence of the Holy Prophet. The declaration was not a mere fancy of the Holy Prophet to honour Ali, but in compliance with Allah's command to save the followers of Islam from yielding to those who make mischief in the earth and spread corruption in the garb of religious leaders. According to verse 217 of al Baqarah, mischief is more grievous than carnage. Islam stands for peace and harmony. And when is peace disturbed? Only when anyone wants to have (usurp) something which rightfully is not his.

48

Ghadeer Khum Man's hypocrisy, doubt, denial, bickering and disagreement about leadership, in spite of clear and specific prophetic directions, arise in all religions. The same thing occurred among the Muslims after the departure of the Holy Prophet. The Holy Prophet, in compliance with Allah's command, had appointed Ali as his vicegerent and successor in the open assembly of ashira and in the large gathering at Ghadir Khum.

Ghayb
The prophets of Allah did not know the unseen, the unknown, or the unknowable through ordinary means, unless the knowledge of the ghayb (the knowledge of the past, right from the beginning of creation and the events of the future which would take place in this world and in the hereafter) was revealed to them as much as Allah wills; therefore it is stated in Quran that Allah informs the Holy Prophet about the ghayb through revelation to know not only that which was unknowable through ordinary means but also that which was knowable through regular media.

Greetings
The customary greeting in Islam is: "Assalamu alaykum-peace be on you"; while "wassalamu alaykam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu-and on you be peace and blessings of Allah"; replies another. These gentle and cordial words of greeting each other have created a unique sense of brotherhood among the Muslims-master and servant, the rich and the poor, the learned and the unlettered, greet each other with the same dignity on both sides, leading to no loss of self-respect to either.

Hajj
The date and the month for performing hajj is fixed, whereas umra, an abridged ritual, can be performed at any time. Hajj is a week of total loyalty. The body is denied all kinds of comforts. The mind and the heart are tuned to bask in the light of devotion. It enables man to rise to the glorious heights of spiritual bliss. The proud, rich and the egotistic celebrities are made to know and realise their true insignificance, otherwise, in any other situation, they would prefer to spend any amount to avoid association with the ordinary people and being brought to the level of the meek . No distinction of wealth, fame, birth, colour or nationality are of any use when the hajj begins. All are in the service of the Lord. It is a training ground to put the idea of the brotherhood of man into practice. Whoso fails to do in day-to-day life what he has experienced during the hajj, is not a true believer. There is no other religion which has such an institution to inspire effective voluntary control to curb brutality and pride, so easily acquired by the men of the world. Islam would have been labelled as an imperfect code of life if hajj has not been prescribed as an obligatory duty. The criticism of the slaughter of animals by the opponents of Islam is unreasonable. Animals have been created by the creator to provide food for the human beings. There is 49

Hajj "life" in everything man or animal eats or drinks. Therefore saving or sparing "life" is not possible. This is the law of nature. The very existence of life depends upon the proper consuming of life. Life in the lower stages of creation has been purposely created to be sacrificed to serve the survival of the species in the higher realm. Similarly, man has been created to sacrifice his self which is dearest to him, to reach the higher realms of divinity or spiritual bliss. It is true that purposeless slaughter of animals is a waste of Allah's bounty when it is carried out in contravention to the laws of the author of nature. Even for those who hold animals sacred, the surest way to show their concern is to slaughter them at the proper time, because one day they will be eliminated by death. So, if an animal is to die anyway, it is better to use it for sustenance of human life, rather than letting it go waste. The merciful creator, therefore, has allowed slaughter of animals for the sustenance of human life. In the days of ignorance, man sacrificed man to please his man-made gods. Islam stopped this practice. Instead, to keep alive the spirit of the intended sacrifice of Ismail by Ibrahim, to show his obedience to his Lord, sacrifice of animals has been prescribed. On the other hand, Islam prohibits purposeless killing of animals. As long as a haji is in ihram he cannot kill even a mosquito. Hunting is not only forbidden during the hajj but also as a sport in ordinary life. Imam Ali, on his death bed, asked his children to take care of the birds he had domesticated, or else to set them free. Once a disciple of Imam Jafar al Sadiq killed some pigeons in exasperation. The Imam asked him to give one dinar in charity for every pigeon he had killed as an expiation. If the holy Kabah is held in reverence, it is not idolatry. The spirit of holding in veneration things dedicated to Allah (or godliness) without any intention of worshipping them, even if it is the psyche of the idol-worshippers, is not idolatry. The holy edifice was built by Ibrahim and Ismail, the two distinguished friends of Allah, for the exclusive remembrance of the true Lord. The pagans appropriated it and used it as their temple. The two other friends of Allah, the Holy Prophet and Imam Ali, cleared the sacred house of the idols and restored it to its original purpose. They destroyed the false gods but retained the really venerable black stone used by Ibrahim in construction of the holy house, because this stone was sent down by Allah. Likewise the respect paid to Safa and Marwa, on account of its association with Ibrahim and Ismail, has been preserved. Shawwal, Dhilqad and Dhilhajj are the well known months. One can start the pilgrimage in these months but the principal performance of hajj has been prescribed in the month of Dhilhajj. During these days the pilgrim enters the state of purity in which he is entirely absorbed with Allah. Taqwa is the best provision, because by resigning oneself to Allah and abstaining from all that which connects with worldly matters, devotion to Allah becomes total. Everything which pertains to rafas (sexual intercourse), fasaq (fornication), jidal (quarrelling with one another) are forbidden. "Take provision" means to plan and carry sufficient provisions for the journey so as not to be a burden on others. Some people used to go for pilgrimage to Makka without sufficient provisions, on the pretence that they trust in Allah's help, thus becoming a

50

Hajj burden on their fellow travellers. Making provision may also mean making provision for the journey of life with piety and righteousness. Mash-aril haram, the holy sign or monument, is the place known as muzdalifa, where the pilgrims halt for a night while returning from Arafat on the evening of the 9th Dhilhajj. Despite the dissimilarity of colour, age and gender, the pilgrims stand equal in the eyes of Allah, on the plain of Arafat. The Quraysh and the Kanana tribes imagined themselves superior to other people, therefore, they used to stay behind and did not join the multitude. Hajj is a meeting with the Lord . The ignorant Arabs used to boast about the achievements of their fathers. The father is merely a physical source, whereas the real source is Allah. The pilgrims are asked to remember and glorify only Allah. The station or the standing place of Ibrahim, the model believer in the unity of Allah, has the following points of significance (clear signs). 1. The standing place of Ibrahim has been made the permanent religious centre of all monotheists, because his faith (belief in the unity of Allah) was perfect, an ideal for every believer. 2. It is a sacred sanctuary. Whoso enters it is safe from the clutches of the disbelievers. It is a historic fact that all invaders who attacked this holy precinct were destroyed. 3. Pilgrimage to the Kabah to seek spiritual guidance has been made obligatory on mankind for ever. The believers shall go to Kabah to carry out the command of Allah till the day of resurrection. It should be noted that this prophecy was made at a time when the Muslims were in danger of being exterminated by their enemies. This institution of pilgrimage (hajj) has taken root in the lives of the Muslims. Every year a great many pilgrims come to Kabah to translate their faith into action. There is no sponsor, no convenor, no invitation, no compulsion. At Kabah, during the pilgrimage, they forget their social status, ideology, race, colour, and nationality and become a single party of the servants of Allah, dressed in a simple identical garment, standing in rows, shoulder to shoulder, before their Lord, in front of His holy house, praying to one God, in the language of the Quran, which, truly, is the everlasting miracle of the prophet of Islam, a clear sign of the victory of truth. In the end it is made clear that one who has sufficient means must perform the hajj. Wilful neglect of this commandment of Allah amounts to the abandonment of His faith (infidelity). So he who wilfully neglects the pilgrimage does so at his own peril, and not to any hurt to his Lord, because He is independent of the worlds. He is self-sufficient. Whether the whole mankind serve Him or none observe His commandments, it makes no difference to Him whatsoever. The hajj has been prescribed for man's own good. There is no profit or gain for Him. It is an escape from the sins a man commits (and its consequences) to take refuge under the shelter of Allah's mercy.

51

Hajj The Holy Prophet has said: He who wilfully does not perform the hajj shall rise on the day of resurrection in the state of infidelity, having no vision. Hajj wipes out the sins as fire removes corrosion from the iron. The epithet "great" is only added to distinguish hajj from umra. Every hajj is called hajj al akbar and umra is called hajj al asghar. To honour and respect the signs of Allah, during hajj, such as 1. kissing the hajr al aswad, 2. circumambulating round the Ka-bah, 3. running to and fro between Safa and Marwa, 4. and pelting stones at the three places in Mina, are, in a way, the worship of Allah, so acts like above should not be confused with idolatrous practices and rituals. As explained in the commentary of verse 5 of al Fatihah to employ ways and means, in contravention to Allah's orders, even to worship Him, is prohibited. When commanded by Him the angels fell prostrate before Adam because compliance with His command is His worship.

Heaven
The expression that the heavenly fruits, which the believers will enjoy, are similar, in taste, to that which they were familiar with, shows the continuity of the human consciousness and memory of the experiences in the life of this world; otherwise there is no sense in the concept of reward or punishment. Men will have women and women will have men as their mates. In the eternal garden of bliss the righteous will be reunited with all those near and dear ones whom they loved, provided that they were righteous also, because in eternity nothing else counts. Refer to Yusuf: 101. The angels shall enter through many gates to convey glad tidings and "peace" from Allah. Whatever a dweller of paradise desires it will be made available to him or her-blessings and blessings, more and more, with no limitations. Abu Basir asked Imam Jafar bin Muhammad as Sadiq: "Will a pious believing couple remain united in the paradise if both the husband and wife desire so?" The Imam said: "If the quality of piety and faith of husband is better, he will have the option, and if the quality of the piety and faith of the wife is better, she will have the option. If one desires the other they will certainly live together." There will be grades in the living conditions of the dwellers of paradise according to the quality of their faith and deeds. It is said that the people of higher regions will be allowed to visit the comparatively lower parts, but the residents of the lower parts will be unable to visit higher regions. 52

Heaven

Tasnim is the name of a spring of paradise whose water is pure and superior to all kinds of drinking liquids. It will be used by muqarrabin who comprise those human souls who are nearest to Allah because of their highest degree of submission to Allah.

Hell
Those who disbelieve Allah's signs shall be cast into fire, and when their skin (jild) is burnt up, then Allah shall give them a new skin so that they may go on tasting the agony of punishment. The continuous torment or comfort will be physical as well as spiritual. The outer structure of the body communicates the feelings of pain or pleasure to the soul, and as the cognitive self is not changed, the renewed outer structure, though had not committed the sin, yet will be used to convey pain or pleasure to the unchangeable soul. None of the senses will ever be destroyed but will be made sharper to taste pain. According to Imam Ali the seven gates are the seven stages of hell, one over the other: 1. Jahannam (Hell) -Ya Sin: 63 2. Sa-ir (Blazing fire) -Shura: 7 3. Saqar (Scorching fire) -Qamar: 48 4. Jahim (Burning fire) -Infitar: 14 5. Laza (Flaming fire) -Ma-arij: 15 6. Hutamah (Crushing fire) -Humazah :4 7. Hawiyah (Abyss) -Qari-ah: 9 According to Nisa: 145 the hypocrites will be in the lowest depths of the fire-the abyss (hawiyah). The tree of Zaqqum is a tree having small leaves, stinging, dust coloured, with a pungent odour, bitter taste and knots in its stem. This bitter tree of hell is a symbol of the contrast with the beautiful garden of paradise with its delicious fruits. When the dwellers of hell eat of the Zaqqum, they are brought up to drink the mixture of boiling water as a further punishment, after which they go back to repeat the round. Ahqab is the plural of huqub. According to Imam Ali there are 360 days in one huqub (a period of time) and each day is equal to one thousand years (of this world). When some transgressors will be forgiven and taken out from the hell, then one huqub will follow another and the transgressors condemned for ever will live therein. Ghassaq is an extremely foul smelling liquid. Dhari is understood to be a bitter and thorny plant, loathsome in smell and appearance.

HereAfter
Akhirat literally means the end, but in the Quran this word has mostly been used in the sense of the hereafter, the life after death. In some places it means the world beyond the visible world.

53

HereAfter The natural changes taking place in this world are a proof that this transitory state has an end and whatever good is to be done to secure a good end should be done here, otherwise, at the end of this worldly life, nothing can be done because the life of hereafter is a consequence of what has been done here. They know (only) the appearance (the apparent phase) of the life of the world (the lower life), and are heedless (negligent) of the hereafter (its other phase). (RUM: 7) The use of the word zahir (apparent), and ghafil (negligent) makes clear that akhirat is an antonym of zahir, which is known to most people, yet they are negligent. The word negligence is justified when something is known but paid no attention. The life after death is not the antonym of the apparent, nor it is the neglected known. It is something to come. The "other phase" means the world beyond the range of physical experience, which is the world of subjective insight and conscious self. In this connection, it must be noted that even the material world is not known to us through the physical experience of senses because they are affected by the qualities and conditions of the matter, not by the matter itself; and the conscious self is closer to the other world than to the lower world, which is more akin to the senses. Akhirat has been utilised in the sense of hereafter, the life after death, or after the end, the end of the material world. There is nothing without some end, in the sense of purpose, and the purpose lies beyond the "apparent phase", the world of awareness through the physical experience of the senses. In giving the description of the life of the hereafter, the Quran refers to the pain and pleasure experienced by the senses, because there is no other way to make man form an idea about the pains and pleasures, as a punishment or a reward, awaiting him in his other life, which he earns through bad or good conduct in this life. In the absence of the developed senses, to have an idea of the actual pains and the pleasures of the life of the hereafter, a figurative form has to be used to reach man in general, an example of which is verse 15 of Muhammad. The intellectual significance of the parables presented to man cannot be grasped by the common people save those endowed with wisdom. The Quran says that the life of the hereafter is the developed continuation of the life of the world. Not losing the essential elements, this life takes to a highly refined form in the next life, more real, effective and purposeful. Every object of our senses has a corresponding existence in the heaven. The social life of the hereafter, with positive and negative forces, is another fact which Quran makes known to us. In the next life the followers of misguidance will recognise their false leaders, the usurpers, and will wish to be given another chance to experience this life with true light, "the genuine leaders," but there will be no escape from the fire. Allah will show them their actions, done pursuant to their judgements, to prove that as promised justice has been done to them. Every individual, in the next life, will be conscious of his deeds in this life. The continuity of the human memory and consciousness, after death, indicated in this verse, dismisses the idea of transmigration of soul. 54

HereAfter When the whole universe along with its components, animate and inanimate, angelic and human, take the final form and shape to which they are destined, the trumpet will be blown. Before reaching that state the relations between the parts or components to each other and the whole is subject to change. For example a seed contains the parts and components of the tree, and each is related to the other, but when the process of growth begins in the fertile seed the relation of the parts also begins to change. There appear roots, stem, branches and leaves and the final form becomes a tree. In this process the parts which were in the earlier stage co-related or played procreative role in subsequent stage of growth, change their relation with each other. Likewise the universe with its evolutionary movement to the absolute, along with its parts and components, will not retain the same relation in the final stage; but it does not mean there will be no relation at all. The life in the hereafter is more spiritual and sublime than here. There the relation will take a different form. Once the Holy Prophet drew the attention of his companions to the swollen, rotten and stinking dead body of a goat lying on the ground, and asked them if any of them would buy it for a penny. All refused. Then he said: "The value of the worldly possessions is lower than this corpse." Imam Ali said: "The world is a corpse. Whoever seeks it is a dog, O Ammar, grieve not if the pleasures of this world are kept away from you. Honey, the best and sweetest food, is the saliva of an insect, the bee. The nicest dress is made of silk which is the refuse of a small worm. The most refreshing scent, musk, is the blood of an animal, the deer. The best drink is water which is also used by animals to quench their thirst. The most passionate act is cohabiting in which urinative organs are used." The Holy Prophet said: "This world is a prison for the believers, and a garden for the disbelievers. Treat this world as a land to cultivate harvest for the hereafter." This world is a test, and the life hereafter is its consequence-punishment or reward.

Hidayat
Hidayat means "right guidance". All the living beings, all over the universe, are motivated to exercise their free choice and do that which is meaningful and profitable, and avoid that which is absurd and harmful, by discovering, understanding and making use of the "controlled by precise laws" environment. Taqdir governs every natural phenomenon and hidayat directs all the activities of the living beings. Their combined application is universal. Every being in the universe is so perfectly designed that each fulfils its own individual needs from one and the same environment. But in order to refer to the particular aspect of sustenance and preservation which the nourishing and preserving Lord justly and mercifully supplies for the benefit of His creatures, a few typical examples are sufficient.

55

Hidayat A newly born child at once sucks the mother's breast. The roots of the plants and trees absorb from the earth only that which helps their growth, leaving out the unessential, notwithstanding its presence in the soil. As soon as a fish is born it swims. Every creature functions under the divine guidance.

Hijrat – To Medina
Hijrat is not escape or flight, but to leave home, property and possessions and strive hard in the cause of Allah with a religious motive. Thalabi, Ghazali, the author of Ahya-ul Ulum, and all the Shia commentators say that 2:207 was revealed to praise Ali ibna abi Talib, when he slept in the bed of the Holy Prophet, during the night of hijrat. Immediately after the death of Abu Talib, Abu Sufyan, the chief of the branch of Umayyah, succeeded to the principality of Makka. A zealous votary of the idols, a mortal foe of the line of Hashim, he convened an assembly of the Quraysh and their allies. All tribal heads held a conference on the instigation of Abu Sufyan and Abu Jahl. It was resolved that one man from every tribe should go to the Holy Prophet's house in the darkness of the night and kill him jointly, in order to divide the guilt, and baffle the vengeance of the Bani Hashim. In the stupidity of their ignorance, they forgot that Allah is seeing, hearing, and His hand (Ali) was alive, who, from his earliest days, had committed himself to save the Holy Prophet at all costs. In the dark night, the conspirators surrounded the house of the Holy Prophet. Meanwhile, Allah commanded the Holy Prophet to leave Makka at once and go to Madina. The Holy Prophet intimated Ali of the divine plan and asked him to lie down on his bed, in order to lead the enemies into thinking that it was the Holy Prophet himself who was sleeping, thus giving him enough time to go away from Makka (unnoticed). Ali asked the Holy Prophet if his lying down in his bed would save the Holy Prophet's life, to which he answered in the affirmative. So Ali lay down on the Holy Prophet's bed, covering himself with his blanket. Ali made a willing choice of certain death, as the blood-thirsty enemies were lurking around the house to kill the Holy Prophet in his bed at any time during the night. Ali willingly agreed to die because: in his opinion the life of the Holy Prophet was more valuable than his own; he was absolutely certain that it was the duty of a true believer to obtain the pleasure of Allah and His messenger, even if one's life has to be bartered; he had the peace of mind which gave him courage to sleep, while the naked swords were flashing to strike him - a singular example of willing surrender to Allah's will; While the assassins were lying in wait for the planned strike, they, on several occasions, looked slyly at the bed, and were assured by the blanket of the Holy Prophet that he was sleeping inside it. They did not realise that it was Ali under the blanket, whilst the Holy Prophet opened the door and walked away unnoticed. As planned, the assassins, naked swords in their hands, broke in and removed the blanket from the sleeper's face. They 56

Hijrat – To Medina were surprised to find Ali there instead of the Holy Prophet. They viewed his composure and steady expression of resolute courage, and having failed to obtain any information about the whereabouts of the Holy Prophet, disappointed, they stepped out one by one. The Holy Prophet had asked his companions not to leave their homes on the night of the migration, but he found Abu Bakr following him on his way to Madina. However, he allowed him to accompany him and they took refuge in a cave, because after finding Ali in the bed, the conspirators at once started the quest for the Holy Prophet. By Allah's will, a spider wove a web across the mouth of the cave, and in front of it a pigeon laid her eggs. Seeing this, the pursuers presumed that no one had entered the cave for a long time and did not search it. As has been mentioned therein, inside the cave, the companion of the Holy Prophet, Abu Bakr, was frightened and had started crying in anguish when he heard the voices of the enemy. Then the Holy Prophet said: "Do not fear. Allah is with us." Compare this fear to the tranquillity of Ali described in the commentary of verse 207 of al Baqarah which was revealed to honour and glorify Ali. It also points out the fact that wherever in the Quran those who received tranquillity (sakinah) from Allah have been mentioned Abu Bakr must be excluded because his fear has been historically recorded and referred to in this verse. "His companion" (sahibihi) and the "second of the two" imply no merit. See verse 37 of Kahf in which out of the two "mutual companions" one was a believer and the other was a disbeliever. On the next morning, Ali returned to the depositors all that which they kept with the Holy Prophet in trust and left Makka, with the ladies of the house, to join the Holy Prophet in Madina. It must be noted that even his opponents called the Holy Prophet al-amin, the trustworthy, and kept their valuables in his custody. And it was Ali, the executor of his will, who discharged all his commitments on his behalf. But the Muslim ummah, after the departure of the Holy Prophet, went along with the frightened companion and forgot him whose unshakeable faith in Allah, love for His messenger, and matchless courage entitled him to obtain mardatillah, the pleasure and discretion of Allah. Ali's risking his life for the Holy Prophet pleased Allah so much that He revealed this verse in his honour, referring to Ali's actions as selling his soul for earning Allah's pleasure and permission. It is reported that in the year of hijrat the harvest in Madina was not as good as it used to be, therefore, the Jews availed the opportunity to attribute the bad harvest to the arrival of the Holy Prophet in order to create doubts in the minds of the newly converts. It has been made clear that everything is from Allah but what comes to us of good is verily from Allah and what comes to us of evil is from our own selves (our actions).

57

Hijrat – To Abyssinia

Hijrat – To Abyssinia
When the Holy Prophet began to preach in public at Makka, the Quraysh violently reacted against him. They insulted him in public, threw dust and dirt at him and over him while in prayers, made loud cries, hooted or sang wild songs to drown his voice while he was preaching; but to their discomfiture they could not prevent him. Finding all their efforts of no avail, they began to use violence against his followers. The Holy Prophet, therefore, advised his followers, who had no protection in Makka, to seek refuge elsewhere. Abyssinia was the place proposed for this purpose, and unanimously agreed upon. Accordingly, in the fifth year of bi-that (about 615 A.D.) one hundred and sixteen refugees, headed by Jafar bin Abu Talib, reached Abyssinia in safety, while the Holy Prophet and his family remained in Makka. Baffled by the Muslim converts escaping to Abyssinia, the Quraysh sent an embassy headed by Amru bin As and Abdullah bin abi Rabi-i with costly presents to the Christian King of Abyssinia, Najashi (Negus). Amru and Abdullah first prostrated themselves to pay Negus their respects, then explained that some of their tribes-men, having adopted a new faith which taught them to think lightly of Isa and Maryam, had forsaken their ancestral religion and escaped to his country. They requested the king, in the name of the Quraysh chiefs, that the fugitives might be delivered up to them. The king sent for the Muslims to hear from them the defence against the heresy of which they were accused. They came in a body headed by Jafar bin Abu Talib. None of the Muslims prostrated himself before the king; but saluted him in their usual manner, 'peace be on you'. The king was not offended, rather admiring their manners, repeated the charges brought against them by the embassy of Quraysh. Jafar, who was . a man of noble mien, pre-possessing countenance and persuasive eloquence, stood forth and expounded the doctrines of Islam with zeal and enthusiasm. The king who was a Nestorian Christian found the doctrines similar to those of his own religion, opposed to polytheism. He asked Jafar to recite some passages from the revelations to the Holy Prophet. Jafar recited the surah of Maryam, which- touched the heart of the king so much that he could not help shedding tears. (Tabari; Ibn Athir, Ibn Hisham). It is reported that on this occasion these verses (5:83 to 5:86) were revealed. Then Negus, pleased to hear Jafar explaining the religion of Allah, dismissed the embassy of Quraysh from his court returning their gifts, and received the Muslims into his favour over and above the protection they already enjoyed. The Muslims lived in Abyssinia till the Holy Prophet established the community of his followers in Madina. In the meantime Negus and his courtiers had embraced Islam. The Holy Prophet wrote him to send back the party of Muslims to Madina. While the Holy Prophet was at Khaybar, Jafar reached Khaybar on the day of its conquest by his brother, Ali ibn abu Talib. The Holy Prophet was much pleased to welcome back his cousin after so long a separation, and joyfully explained that he did not know which of the two incidents Jafar's arrival or the conquest of Khaybar by Ali-delighted him most. Alongwith Jafar came some selected scholars from Abyssinia to learn more about Islam. A group of Christians from Syria headed by the great Christian monk, Buhayra, also 58

Hijrat – To Abyssinia came to meet the Holy Prophet. When the Holy Prophet recited the surah Ya Sin before them, their eyes brimmed over with tears and all of them became Muslims.

Hud
Prophet Hud, in the progeny of Nuh through Sam, was sent to preach the message of Allah to the people of Ad, who were physically very strong and lived in Arabian peninsula. They were zealous idolaters. In vain Hud tried to bring them to true faith. On account of their ever increasing corruption a three years' famine visited them, but they took no warning and challenged Hud to bring on them what he threatened them with. At last dark clouds appeared on the sky. Thinking that it was going to rain they all assembled under the clouds. A terrible blast of wind destroyed them and their land. It continued for eight days. Under the command of Allah Hud along with his virtuous companions had left the scene of calamity before it fell on the people of Ad. The people mentioned here are known as the tribe of first Ad. It was a tremendous hurricane. Its fury destroyed everything in its path. They were wiped out. Nothing was to be seen-the ruins of their habitations were covered by the heaps of sand, and their dead bodies buried under them.

Hudaybya and Oath of Ridwan
In the sixth year of Hijra, the Holy Prophet had a dream that with his followers he made circuits round the Ka-bah, and performed all the ceremonies of hajj. Six years had passed since the Holy Prophet had left Makka. Islam had grown during these six years. The pagans had tried to attack the Holy Prophet at various times, but had been defeated. The Holy Prophet desired to perform the umrah in the month of Dhiqada, unarmed, but accompanied with his followers. A large following joined him, to the number of fifteen hundred. Early in the month, the Holy Prophet led his followers to Dhul Hulayfa on the road to Makka. They carried no arms but sheathed sword of a traveller. When they drew near to Makka, they were warned that Quraysh had gathered their allies against them, and that their cavalry under Khalid bin Walid was on the road before them, and with him was Ikrima bin Abu Jahl. As the Holy Prophet did not come to fight, he turned towards the right. At Hudaybiya his camel, Qaswa, stopped and knelt down. The Holy Prophet took it as a divine command and encamped there. There was no water there as the wells were choked up with sand. The Holy Prophet planted an arrow in one of the wells and the water immediately surfaced. The Quraysh sent three emissaries, one after the other, to enquire about his intentions.

59

Hudaybya and Oath of Ridwan Urwa, a chief from Taif, said to the Holy Prophet that the Makkans were desperate and that they had resolved to die rather than allow him to enter. He also emphatically told him that as soon as the Makkans would fall upon his followers, they would run and desert him. At this Abu Bakr protested and resented the remark. The emissaries expressed their conviction in the sincerity of the Holy Prophet's intentions but the heathens did not listen to them. Kharrash bin Ummayya and Uthman were sent to the Quraysh but they could not convince them. They only agreed to allow Uthman, if he wished, to perform the rites of umrah. In view of a possible confrontation, the Holy Prophet summoned all those with him and standing under a tree, took oath from each, of resolute adherence to him, never to flee from the battle field and to fight to the end. Refer to the verse 48:18 of this surah. This pledge is called "The pledge under the tree". As said earlier, although the Holy Prophet came, unarmed, to perform umrah, the heathens of Makka did not allow him to enter into the city. In view of a possible confrontation those who were with him swore their fealty to him, by placing hand on hand according to the Arab custom. It was an impressive demonstration of surrender or submission of the will of every believer to the will of the Holy Prophet. It is also called bayt al ridwan (fealty which earns Allah's pleasure). Its another name is "bayt taht-ushshajarrah" (fealty under the tree). They placed their hands on the Holy Prophet's hand, but the hand of Allah was above them-He accepted their fealty. "Whosoever breaks his oath, does so to the harm of his own soul" indicates that the oath of allegiance will be broken. So when some of the swearers ran away from the battle of Hunayn the Holy Prophet addressed them: "O swearers of bayt al ridwan, whither are you going?" Mindful of the rout at the day of Khandaq at the hands of Ali the Makkans sent Suhayl bin Amr with some other representatives to conclude a treaty of peace with the Holy Prophet as soon as they heard of the pledge under the tree. When the terms of the treaty were settled the Holy Prophet asked Ali, his vicegerent, to write down the terms of the treaty. Ali began with "bismillahir rahmanir rahim" but Suhayl said that it should begin as the Makkans used to do: Bismika Allahumma. The Holy Prophet agreed. Again when Ali wrote that "This is the treaty made between Muhammad Rasullullah (the messenger of Allah) and Suhayl bin Amr", Suhayl said that had they accepted Muhammad as the messenger of Allah they would not have taken arms against him, therefore "Muhammad bin Abdullah" should be written. Ali hesitated, then the Holy Prophet himself erased the word rasulullah and wrote bin Abdullah after his name, and told Ali that he would likewise face a similar situation in future. This prophecy came true when a treaty was concluded between Ali and Mu-awiyah after thirty years. The following terms were put down in the treaty. 1. There shall be no aggression on the part of any of the two parties for the next ten years, neither shall attack the other or their allies. 60

Hudaybya and Oath of Ridwan 2. Whosoever wishes to join Muhammad and enter into a league with him shall have the liberty to do so. Likewise whoso wishes to join the Quraysh shall have the liberty to do so. 3 If any one goes over to Muhammad and is claimed back by his guardian he shall be sent back; but if any one from the followers of Muhammad returns to the Quraysh, he shall not be sent back. 4. Muhammad and his followers shall go back this year without entering the holy precincts. 5. Next year Muhammad and his followers may visit Makka for three days, when the Quraysh shall retire therefrom. They will not enter it with any arms, save with a traveller's sword. The text was written by Ali and was witnessed by some of the most prominent companions. It is mentioned in Sahih Bukhari, Tazkirat al Karim and Rawdat al Ahbab that Umar bin Khattab expressed himself plainly that he had never before suspected so strongly the truth of Muhammad being the messenger of Allah (it means he had doubted many times before); and said: "Are you not a true messenger of Allah? Why should we then put a blot upon our faith and bear the brunt of humiliation if we are in the right and our adversaries in the wrong?" The Holy Prophet replied: "I am but a messenger of Allah and can do nothing against His will. He will help me." The treaty of Hudaybiya, which though at the time seemed a set-back to the Muslims, proved in fact the greatest victory for Islam, moral and social, as well as political, and its lessons are expounded in this surah-victory comes from cool courage, devotion, faith and patience. By virtue of this treaty every individual, each family, clan or tribe was given freedom of choice to join the Holy Prophet in his mission, to profess Islam and convince others to come into the fold of the religion of Allah without any risk of persecution from the disbelievers. Islam was making steady progress throughout the land. During the course of events at Hudaybiya any incident might have plunged the Quraysh and the Muslims into a fight. On the one hand, the Muslims, though unarmed, had sworn to stand together, and if the Holy Prophet wanted he could have forced entrance to the Kabah, and on the other hand the Quraysh were determined to keep out the Muslims by resorting to armed confrontation, if necessary. Allah restrained both sides from anything that would have resulted in bloodshed (48:24). There were believing men and women in Makka, observing taqiyyah, not known to their brethren from Madina. Had a fight taken place in Makka, they would unwittingly have killed some of these believing men and women, and thus would have been guilty of shedding the blood of believers. This was prevented by the treaty. It not only saved the lives of the believers among the Makkans but also of those who became Muslims afterwards and served Islam. If the Muslims of Madina could have distinguished the believers intermingled with the pagans population in Makka, or those believers could be 61

Hudaybya and Oath of Ridwan separated, the Muslims might have been allowed to punish the disbelievers according to 48:25.

Hunayn – The Battle
Immediately after the conquest of Makka, the pagan idolaters, under the command of Malik bin Awf, organised a great gathering of 4000 soldiers near Hunayn which is on the road to Tayf from Makka to make plans for attacking the Holy Prophet. The Holy Prophet, with a force of 12000, marched towards Hunayn. For the first time the Muslims had tremendous odds in their favour. On leaving the narrow oasis of Hunayn the road enters winding gorges, suitable for ambuscades. As soon as the Muslim vanguard entered the hilly country, the enemy fell upon them with full fury and caused havoc with their arrows from their places of concealment. Many were slain, and many ran away from the battle as they had done in the battle of Uhad. Those who were acclaimed as the heroes of Islam, after the departure of the Holy Prophet from this world, were among the deserters. Abu Qatada says: "The Muslims took to flight. I was also among them. Suddenly I saw Umar ibn Khattab among those who were running away. I asked him: 'What has happened?' He said: 'It is the will of Allah.'" (Sahih Bukhari Vol. 3, p. 45.) According to some traditions Ali ibn abi Talib, Abbas ibn Abd al Muttalib, Abu Sufyan ibn Harith and Abdullah ibn Masud were the only four persons who stayed with the Holy Prophet. Some say there were ten persons who did not run away. Ali stood in front of the Holy Prophet and stopped every attack made by the enemy to slay him. The Holy Prophet called those who were deserting to come back. Some of them returned and joined Ali to launch a counter attack on the enemy. When Ali killed Abu Jarul, the standard bearer of the enemy army, a general retreat began to take place among the invaders, which soon turned into chaos and then flight. In this way a most crushing defeat was inflicted on the enemy. After the battle, on the instructions of the Holy Prophet, the spoils of war taken by the Muslims, were returned to those who embraced Islam. Some refused to comply with his orders. In such cases the Holy Prophet compensated them. When one companion protested that the Holy Prophet had not done justice in the matter of distributing the spoils of war, some people wanted to kill him, but the Holy Prophet stopped them and said: "Wait. Such people, on their own, one day will go out of the true faith, then the best of men among you will kill him." And that man was killed by Ali in the battle of Nahrawan. The believers who stayed with the Holy Prophet on the day of Hunayn also received the divine tranquillity (sakinah), along with the Holy Prophet. In verse 40 of surah 9 it is said that the companion of the Holy Prophet in the cave was deprived of this tranquillity. 62

Huruf Muqatta-at

Huruf Muqatta-at
Certain surahs of the Holy Quran begin with letters of the Arabic alphabet such as Alif, Lam, Mim. They are known as huruf muqatta-at, letters used as abbreviations for words which have a definite meaning of sublime and profound nature known only to Allah, His last prophet, and His Ahl ul Bayt, the true divinely chosen successors, the holy Imams. Particularly, these types of symbolic alphabets, used in some of the surahs of the Quran, as a part of those surahs, are beyond the comprehension of (even) the most learned intellectuals. It is strictly prohibited to use imagination and discretion in finding out its purport and meaning. There are six surahs including al Baqarah, which begin with Alif, Lam, Mim. The others are Ali Imran, Ankabut, Rum, Luqman and Sajdah. Many interpretations have been forwarded and manipulated by some commentators, but they are all based upon conjecture, devoid of any definite authority. According to the holy Imams these letters are a means of reaching the higher realms of true knowledge, available in the verses of the Quran, but the domain of sublime confidences are reserved only for the chosen representatives of Allah.

Iblees and Shaitans
Shaytan, a product of fire, not having the qualities of adaptability, nor blessed with the holy spirit, was the first creature of Allah who resorted to conjecture, therefore was thrown out, eternally accursed. On his request Allah gave him respite (by saying): Be you among those who have respite. It implies that there are others, like him, under respite. Shaytan has a large army of wicked seducers, and those who are their associates, helpers and deputies. Quran warns mankind that Shaytan along with his associates and their followers involves them into conflict and discord because he and his confederates through power, influence and riches make fair-seeming to them the progress in the field of material gains, having no trace of godliness, and obtained by total rejection of Allah's commands pertaining to the lawful and the unlawful. It is a disguise, therefore, man does not see Shaytan's plan of action. His activities engender willingness to carry out his mischief only in those people who possess the in-built complex of his characteristics. Shaytan is also often used in the Quran as evil personified. Hence every evil should be treated as our enemy and shunned. Shaytan spreads his snare everywhere because he wants man to share his damnation.

63

Ibrahim, Ismail and Ishaq

Ibrahim, Ismail and Ishaq
It is a historical fact that in the days of Ibrahim the patriarch of the family was addressed as father. The Christians address their priests as father, and in the same sense they refer to God as the father in heaven. Many traditions say that the real father of Ibrahim died before his birth and he was brought up by Azar, his uncle, who was the patriarch of his family. It is also said that Azar, his uncle, married his mother after his father's death, therefore Azar was also his step-father. The Holy Prophet's claim that impurity of ignorance and infidelity never touched any of his ancestors from Adam to Abdullah also confirms the abovenoted fact. The word ab may mean an uncle or an ancestor as Ismail, the uncle of Yaqub, has been addressed as ab in verse 133 of al Baqarah. According to Genesis 11 : 27 the name of Ibrahim's father was Terah. In the Talmud his name is Therach. Azar was his uncle or the brother of his grandfather. Ibrahim lived among the Chaldeans, who had great knowledge of the stars and heavenly bodies. The Babylonian religion was an admixture of animism and nature worship. The two powers most commonly chosen were the sun and the moon. Allah showed him the spiritual glories behind the magnificent powers and laws of the physical universe. When he saw the waning of the stars, the moon and the sun, he saw through the folly of idolworship and the futility of worshipping distant beautiful things that shine, to which the ignorant ascribe a power which is not in them. They rise and set according to laws whose author is Allah. Its worship is therefore futile. Appearances are deceptive. That is not God. It is a folly to worship created things and beings when the author and the creator is there. All must turn to the true God, renounce all these follies, and proclaim one true Allah. Ibrahim was free from superstitious fears, for he had found the true God, without whose will nothing can happen. He admonished his people to come in the security of faith instead of wandering in the wilderness of fear by worshipping the "setting ones" creatures created by Him. The spiritual education of Ibrahim (given to him by Allah) enabled him to preach the truth among his people. Idol-worshippers, in ancient times, revered their kings as the representatives of God. Nimrud, in the days of prophet Ibrahim, claimed divinity. Boastful of his temporal power, he disputed with Ibrahim about the authority of the prophethood bestowed upon him by Allah, since Ibrahim's authority clashed with his absolute sway over the people, whose lives, he argued, depended on his decision; he could kill them at any time or let them live. Ibrahim rendered his argument null and void by pointing out his helplessness against the divine forces working in nature. Although there was no reply, yet Nimrud, an obstinate disbeliever, could not draw advantage from this clear guidance. It was a day of festivity. The idolaters were rejoicing in the streets and open fields. Ibrahim broke all their idols to pieces but left the chief idol intact. When they came back and found their idols lying broken on the floor they brought Ibrahim on the scene and asked him if it was he who did that with their gods. Ibrahim pointed to the chief idol, left intact by him, and asked them to find out the truth from him. It is obvious that the 64

Ibrahim, Ismail and Ishaq question of lying or deceit on the part of Ibrahim rises nowhere in the whole episode. Ibrahim had the best of the argument. They knew the idols could not speak. They turned to each other and confessed their folly and hung their heads in shame. When they admitted that idols could not speak, Ibrahim put forward his decisive argument mentioned in verses 66 to 67 of surah 21 about the unity of Allah beside whom no one should be worshipped. Nimrud ordered Ibrahim to be cast into a furnace. He had a pile of wood set on fire, and Ibrahim was cast into it. Ibrahim proclaimed the true faith in Allah, knowing full well that Nimrud, whom the idolaters worshipped as god, would put him to death. When Ibrahim was being thrown into the fire several angels requested Allah to allow them to save Ibrahim from the blazing fire. "Help him if he seeks your help" was the reply. They came to him, but he said: "It is between me and my Lord. Let His will be done." Jibra-il advised him to beseech Allah for help. Ibrahim said: "My Lord knows that which is taking place." As the chosen friend of Allah, Ibrahim put his trust in Allah. When Ibrahim was thrown into the fire, the fire became cool and a means of safety for Ibrahim under the command of Allah. The persecutors of Ibrahim were the worst losers. A host of mosquitoes attacked them. One mosquito entered into the brain of Nimrud through his nostrils and killed him. For the blessings Ibrahim received from his Lord refer to the commentary of Baqarah: 124. Ibrahim asked Allah to show him how Allah gives life to the dead, so that his heart may be at ease. It is narrated that as directed by Allah, Ibrahim took a pigeon, a peacock, a cock and a crow, cut them into very small pieces, mixed them together and put portions of the mixture on the top of four separate mountains, and then called out to them; they came flying to him as individual birds. It became clear to Ibrahim that Allah does what He wills because He is mighty, wise. Some spiritualists say that the slaying of the four kinds of birds is meaningful for those who aspire for a spiritual life. 1. The pigeon stands for social life - the love for family, friends and associates, which must be sacrificed. 2. The cock stands for animal passion which must be killed. 3. The crow stands for greed which must be destroyed. 4. The peacock stands for worldly adornment which must be smothered. When all the above four desires are crushed, the soul merits the bliss of the eternal life. Halim means "ready to suffer and forbear." The quality of forbearance has been mentioned specially to distinguish Ibrahim and his son Ismail, the ancestors of the Holy Prophet. Ibrahim's wife Sarah had borne him no children. She had a handmaid whose name was Hajirah. She gave her to Ibrahim as a wife. 65

Ibrahim, Ismail and Ishaq

According to Imam Jafar bin Muhammad as Sadiq, Prophet Ishaq was born to Sara after five years of the birth of Ismail to Hajira. Although Sara had herself presented Hajira to her husband, but after her giving birth to Ismail, she could not tolerate Hajira with her son Ismail remaining in the same place. Under these circumstances, Ibrahim had to bring Hajira and his son Ismail to Makka and left them there entrusting the mother and child to Allah. Hajirah bore Ibrahim a son. Ibrahim named the child Ismail. After his birth, the peace and harmony of the family was disturbed. Sarah ill-treated Hajirah. Ibrahim was vexed on Ismail's account. He sought Allah's help. Allah, in view of Sarah's past goodness, directed Ibrahim to send away Hajirah and Ismail to a place now called Makka. Ibrahim, with the help of Jibrail, took Hajirah and Ismail out of the native land and reached Arabia. They stopped at the place where hajar aswad or the black stone is stationed. Jibrail informed Ibrahim that it was a land full of Allah's blessings and bounties, and there used to be a house (known as baytul mamur) in that place, which was held sacred and venerated by mankind in ancient times, and that it was Allah's will that Ibrahim and Ismail should rebuild the ruined house again. A shelter was made for Hajirah and Ismail so that they could live there in Ibrahim's absence because Allah had commanded Ibrahim to go back to his native land. At the time of his departure Hajirah said: "O Ibrahim, the devotee of Allah, in whose care are you leaving us here?" Ibrahim said: "I leave you in the care of Allah who saved me from the fire in which Namrud threw me, and gave me all that which I needed and desired." Hajirah said: "I rely upon Allah. He is sufficient for me and my child." When Ibrahim reached the mount Zi-Tavi, he stopped and turned towards the place where he left Hajirah and Ismail and prayed: "Our Lord! Verily I have settled a part of my progeny in a barren valley near to Thy holy house, our Lord. so that they may establish prayer; so incline some hearts of men that they yearn towards them, and provide them with fruits in order that they may be grateful." (Ibrahim: 37) When the water in the waterskin, Ibrahim left for them, was finished, there was no water any where near them to quench their thirst. There was no milk in her breasts. The heat in the desert had dried it. The scorching sun brought the situation from bad to worse. The child was restless. He cried, cried and cried. The mother ran hither and thither, between Safa and Marwa. From Safa to Marwa and Marwa to Safa she ran seven times because when she was on the mount of Safa she heard a voice from the mount of Marwa, and when she reached Marwa she heard a voice from Safa. There was no one in sight. Unable to see her son 66

Ibrahim, Ismail and Ishaq dying, she left him where he was lying and stood alone on the mount of Marwa. Dejected, helpless, yet worried for her son she came back. There she saw a spring of fresh and sweet water gushing forth from the earth under the feet of Ismail. In her absence Jibrail, under the command of Allah, came and produced a well full of water (known as Zamzam) - also recorded in Genesis 21: 14 to 21. She heard a voice (saying): "Fear not. The Lord has produced this well for you and your son, but it will also serve the pilgrims who will visit His holy house which your husband and son shall build." The flow of water increased day by day and the surrounding land became fertile. People began to come and settle there. Soon it became a flourishing town. Trade and commerce developed. When Ibrahim returned he found the wasteland in the desert a busy trade centre. The running of Hajirah between Safa and Marwa has been prescribed as one of the essential rites of hajj. When Ibrahim revisited Hajira, his son Ismail was thirteen years old. Ibrahim saw in a dream that he was sacrificing Ismail. It was on the 8th of Dhilhajj, known as yawm al tariwiyah. Next day he saw the same dream again, known as arafat; and was convinced that it is a command of Allah and decided to act as he was asked by the Lord. Ibrahim told Hajira to prepare Ismail for a journey to a friend's place and provide him with a rope and a knife. When he reached the place Sa-i, between two hillocks, Safa and Marwa, Ibrahim disclosed his dream to Ismail who bid his father to go ahead and offer the sacrifice. Shaytan appeared in the guise of an old man and tried to prevent Ibrahim from offering the sacrifice. Having failed to convince Ibrahim he turned to Ismail and persuaded him to run away and save his life. Both the prophets of Allah saw through his scheme and as a sign of repulsing his accursed intrigue Ibrahim threw seven small stones at him. Sleep is a state of partial consciousness for the prophets of Allah, so their dreams come true and are fulfilled. What Ibrahim, as a prophet of Allah, saw in his dream was as valid as an experience in wakefulness. In the case of Ismail the sacrifice was stopped but the sacrifice Husayn offered was accepted by Allah as dhibhin azim according to verse 37:107. Muhammad Iqbal, the poet of the east, has said; "Ismail was the beginning, Husayn was the ultimate." Before laying his son on the ground to fulfil what he had been commanded in his dream to do, on the request of Ismail, Ibrahim tied his hands and legs, and blindfolded himself and wrapped his cloak, so that at the time of slaughter if Ismail felt pain and became restless, Ibrahim might not be disturbed; and as a father, Ibrahim would not be able to witness his son's slaughter if he remained blindfolded; and the cloak was rolled up in 67

Ibrahim, Ismail and Ishaq order to spare Hajirah from seeing the blood of Ismail on Ibrahim's clothes. Then, as commanded, Ibrahim took the knife and enacted exactly what he had seen in his dream and thus carried out the command of his Lord. But, when he removed the fold from his eyes, to his surprise, he found Ismail standing safe by his side and in his place, a ram lay slain before them. Any ordinary father would have rejoiced at his son escaping death but Ibrahim stood disappointed, apprehending if his sacrifice had been rejected by Allah. A voice from above said: "O Ibrahim you have fulfilled the dream. Thus do We recompense those who do good." This was a manifest trial to prove the calibre of Ibrahim and Ismail and the high degree of their faith in Allah and the extent of their submission to the will of their Lord. In verse 37:107 the sacrifice with which Ismail was ransomed is described as great by Allah, therefore it must be great in absolute degree. An ordinary ram by no means, in any sense whatsoever, can be termed as great; moreover under no circumstances a ram can be greater than Ismail son of Ibrahim, both the most distinguished prophets of Allah, in whose progeny Allah had appointed His divinely commissioned Imams (see commentary of Baqarah : 124). The ransom, therefore, is essentially a great sacrifice Allah had kept in store for future when the religion of Allah would be perfected and completed after the advent of the Holy Prophet. It was indeed a great and momentous occasion when two men of God stood ready to offer to Allah that which was dearest to them to seek His pleasure, then Allah puts off this great manifestation of "devotion and surrender to His will" which was the real purpose of the trial (not blood and flesh) to a future date, so that the "devotion and surrender to Allah's will" should be demonstrated in a greater style and degree than what Ibrahim and Ismail could. This type of service Imam Husayn performed, many ages later, in 61 A.H., and as he was a descendant of Ibrahim and Ismail the credit of "the great sacrifice" goes to them also. Where on the lands of kerbala, he held his 6 month old baby in hands, and saw him getting hit by an arrow on the neck by hurmila, the captain of yazeeds army. Imam hussain, not only sacrificed his own life but of 72 of his fellow friends, 18 of them were family members, which included sons, brothers and nephews. When Ibrahim and Ismail raised the foundations of the holy Kabah, they prayed to Allah to accept their service, make them both Muslims (submissive to Allah), and also make their descendants Muslims, and raise up in them a messenger who would recite to them Allah's revelation, teach them the book and the wisdom and purify them. This prayer shows that there had always been some men and women in the progeny of Ibrahim who were true Muslims, through whom the divine light of Muhammad and Ali passed till it reached Abdul Muttalib. Then his two sons Abdullah and Abu Talib carried it separately. Abdullah transferred it to Muhammad. and Abu Talib transferred it to Ali, the vicegerent and the successor of the Holy Prophet the first of the twelve Imams the 68

Ibrahim, Ismail and Ishaq divinely commissioned rightly guided guides for mankind. "I and Ali are from one and the same light", said the Holy Prophet As said in the commentary of verses 80 to 84 of al Araf the two angels first came to Ibrahim and informed him that they were sent to the people of Lut. They gave Ibrahim and his wife, Sarah, the glad tidings from Allah that inspite of their advanced age soon they would have a son, Is-haq, and a grandson, Yaqub, Is-haq's son. Sarah was included in the Ahl ul Bayt because firstly she was a cousin of Ibrahim and secondly she was going to give birth to Is-haq, in addition to her own merits, otherwise a wife (particularly one who does not possess required merits) cannot be included into the Ahl ul Bayt, a divinly chosen term to praise and glorify certain persons, because a wife can be divorced, after which she ceases to be a member of the house. Ibrahim, kind and forbearing, was disturbed when the angels told him that they were going to destroy the people of Lut, but after receiving the command of Allah, he readily acknowledged the necessity of the divine action.

Idris, Prophet
Prophet Idris is mentioned twice in the Quran. In verse 85 of Anbiya he is among those who patiently persevered. He was the grandfather of the father of Nuh, and son of the grandson of Shith. He was born a hundred years after the death of Adam. He introduced the art of writing, weights and measures and tailoring to mankind. He was also well versed in the science of astronomy. Idris was also raised to a high position. This raising to the closeness or nearness of Allah is termed as wilayah, without which no one could be honoured with prophethood.

Iffik
The particular incident referred to here occurred on the return from the defensive expedition of the Bani Mustaliq in 5-6 Hijra. At one of the halts, A-isha, the Holy Prophet's wife, withdrew from the camp to cleanse herself in the nearby desert. There she lost her necklace. As it was dark there she took time to discover it. In the meantime the march was ordered. As her litter was veiled, it was not noticed that she was not in it. When she returned to the camp, she could do nothing but wait. She fell asleep. Next morning she was found by Safwan who had been left behind to pick up anything inadvertently left behind. He put her on his camel and brought her, leading the camel on foot. This episode furnished some malicious enemies of the Holy Prophet, particularly the hypocrites, with an opportunity to raise a scandalous storm in order to hurt the feelings of the Holy Prophet.

69

Iffik The ringleader among them was the chief of the Madina hypocrites, Abdullah ibn Ubay. Mistah, her uncle, also helped him. Ibn Ubay is referred to as the man who "took on himself the lead among them" to spread the scandal.

Ali ibn abi Talib knew that it was an obvious lie (as said in verse 24:12), concocted to hurt the Holy Prophet, so he asked Burayrah, the maid of A-isha, to tell the mischiefmakers the truth about her mistress. On Burayrah's report the scandal was diffused. Mistah was a sahabi (companion) of the Holy Prophet but because of his role in the incident he was punished by the Holy Prophet. It shows that every sahabi was not righteous. According to Allah's law (indallah) four witnesses have to be produced even if the accusation is true. People may think it is an insignificant matter to speak lightly of something which damages a person's character or reputation, but with Allah it is a most serious matter in all cases, particularly when it involves the honour and reputation of pious men and women. Verse 24:22 refers to Abu Bakr, the father of A-isha, and Mistah, his cousin. Abu Bakr was given ample means by Allah. He used to support Mistah, but after this incident he withdrew his help. According to the highest standards of Islamic ethics, as said in this verse, a truly generous patron should not, in personal anger, withdraw his support even from a delinquent if he is in need. The general application holds good for all time. Those who desire that Allah should forgive their faults must be forgiving and merciful in their dealings with men who have wronged them.

Illiyun
Illiyun literally means the high places, in contrast to the sijjin in verse 83:7. It is a place where the record of the righteous is kept. It contains every detail of the deeds of the righteous. Those nearest to Allah will be witnesses to the records of the righteous. On the day of judgement a witness will be called for every people and the Holy Prophet will be called as witness over all these witnesses.

Ilyas, Prophet
Prophet Ilyas is mentioned in I Kings 17 and 2 Kings 1 and 2 as Elijah. According to it he lived in the reign of Ahab (896-874 B.C.) and Ahaziah (874-872 B.C.), kings of the northern kingdom of Israil or Samaria. After Musa, the people began to worship Baal, the sun-god worshipped in Syria. Ilyas denounced all sins of Ahab and Ahaziah and warned people to stop the worship of Baal and believe in the true religion of Musa.

70

Illyas, Prophet As mentioned in history Ilyas or Ilyah or Elijah was taken up in a whirlwind to heaven when the people planned to kill him. He is still alive; and is represented by Ali ibn abi Talib.

Inheritance
What one leaves behind should be clearly defined, according to the law of inheritance as well as one's own wishes. No vagueness is allowed in Islam, because the path is that of awareness, discrimination, and knowledge. The distribution of wealth among the heirs is to be effected after taking the will (bequest) of the deceased into consideration. The Holy Prophet and Imam Ali had clearly, in many instances, advised those, who sought their guidance, to bequeath or not to bequeath according to the merits and circumstances of the seekers of guidance. Here the word kutiba means "laid down". It can be compulsory or optional according to the merits and circumstances of the case. This Islamic law of inheritance is a land-mark in the history of legal and social reform. In pre-Islamic world wives, daughters and sisters were excluded altogether from inheritance. In Islam both the men and women are given the right of inheritance. The cardinal principle of inheritance is to distribute the wealth among all near relatives, and not to let it accumulate in the hands of one person-a wise and effective check on concentration of wealth in few hands. Distant and remote relatives, who are not legal heirs of the deceased, have also been accommodated in the most benevolent social order of the world-Islam.

Injeel
Just as the Tawrat is not the Old Testament, or the Pentateuch, so the Injil, mentioned in the Quran, is certainly not the New Testament, and it is not the four gospels as now received by the Christian church, but an original Gospel which was promulgated by Isa, as Tawrat was promulgated by Musa, and the Quran by the Holy Prophet. The New Testament as now received consists of 1. four gospels with varying contents (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John); and other miscellaneous matter; viz.; 2. The Act of the Apostles (probably written by Luke and purporting to describe the progress of the Christian church under St. Peter and St. Paul from the supposed crucifixion of Jesus to about 61 A.D.); 3. twenty-one letters or epistles (the majority written by St. Paul to various churches or individuals, but a few written by other disciples, and of a general nature); 4. the book of revelation or Apocalypse (ascribed to St. John, and containing mystic visions and prophecies, of which it is difficult to understand the meanings).

71

Injeel As Prof. F C. Burkitt remarks in the (Canon of the New Testament) it is an odd miscellany. "The four biographies of Jesus Christ are not all independent of each other, and neither of them was intended by its writer to form one of a quartet. But they are all put side by side, unharmonised, one of them being actually imperfect at the end, and one being only the first volume of a large work." All this body of unmethodical literature was casual in its nature. No wonder, because the early Christians expected the end of the world very soon. The four canonical gospels were only four out of many, and some others besides the four have survived. Each writer just wrote down some odd sayings of the master that he recollected. Among the miracles described there is only one which is described in all the four gospels, and others were described and believed in, in other gospels which are not mentioned in any of the four canonical gospels. Some of the epistles contain expositions of doctrine, but this has been interpreted differently by different Churches. There must have been hundreds of such epistles, and not all the epistles now received as canonical were always so received or intended to be so received. The Apocalypse also was not the only one in the field. There were others. They were prophecies of "things which must shortly come to pass"; they could not have been meant for long preservation, "for the time is at hand". When were these four gospels written? By the end of the second century A.D. they were in existence, but it does not follow that they had been selected by that date to form a canon. They were merely pious productions comparable to Dean Farrar's Life of Christ. There were other gospels besides. And further, the writers of two of them, Mark and Luke, were not among the twelve disciples "called" by Jesus. About the gospel of St. John there is much controversy as to authorship, date, and even as to whether it was all written by one person. Clement of Rome (about 97 A.D.) and Polycarp (about 112 A.D.) quote sayings of Jesus in a form different from those found in the present canonical gospels. Polycarp (Epistle, vii) inveighs much against men "who prevent the sayings of the Lord to their own lusts," and he wants to turn "to the word handed down to us from the beginning," thus referring to a book (or a tradition) much earlier than the four orthodox gospels. An epistle of St Barnabas and an Apoclaypse of St. Peter were recognised by Presbyter Clement of Alexandria (flourished about 180 A.D.). The Apoclaypse of St. John, which is a part of the present canon in the west, forms no part of the Peshitta (Syriac) version of the eastern Christians, which was produced about 411-433 A.D. and which was used by the Nestorian Christians. It is probable that Peshitta was the version (or an Arabic form of it) used by the Christians in Arabia in the time of the Holy Prophet. The final form of the New Testament canon for the west was fixed in the fourth century A.D. (say, about 367 A.D.) by Athanasius and the Nicene creed. The beautiful Codex Sinaiticus which was acquired for the British Museum in 1934, and is one of the earliest complete manuscripts of the Bible, may be dated about the fourth century. It is written in the Greek language. Fragments of unknown gospels have also been discovered, which do not agree with the received canonical gospels. The Injil (Creek, Evangel = Gospel) spoken of by the Quran is not the New Testament. It is not the four gospels now received as canonical. It is the single Gospel which, Islam 72

Injeel teaches, was revealed to Jesus (Isa) and which he taught. Fragments of it survive in the received canonical gospels and in some others, of which traces survive (e.g. the gospel of childhood or the nativity, the gospel of St. Barnabas, etc.). Muslims therefore do not accept the present Bible (New Testament and Old Testament), as "the Injil", but as it contains some portions of "the Injil" revealed to Isa it is paid due respect, yet they reject the peculiar doctrines taught by orthodox Christianity or Judaism. They claim to be in the true tradition of Ibrahim and therefore all that is of value in the older revelations, it is claimed, is incorporated in the teaching of the last of the prophets.

Inna Lillah
This is the attitude of a faithful when a misfortune befalls him or he suffers a loss. It is the summary of all that which Islam teaches. We are His. We unconditionally submit to His will. We shall return to Him. He is our destination. Whoso makes his life a true expression of this description becomes His prime favourite for His grace, blessings and guidance. The Holy Prophet who stands first and foremost in submission to Allah is the ideal model of this expression which has further been elaborated in verse 163 of AliImran. It is reported that when Ali ibna abi Talib heard the news of the martyrdom of Hamza, his and the Holy Prophet's dearest uncle, in the battle of Uhad, he said: Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Ilayhi Raji-un And afterwards Allah revealed these words to the Holy Prophet in verse 2:156.

Intoxicants
Actions such as taking intoxicants, or seeking quick and easy wealth through gambling, draw us away from reality and dull our sense of comprehending and distinguishing things. Man's reason for existence is to grasp reality. All intoxicating substances have been defined by the Holy Prophet and the holy Imams of his Ahl ul Bayt. When the harm of a thing is stated to be greater than its advantage, it is sufficient indication of its prohibition, for no sensible person would take a course which is sure to bring him a much greater loss than an advantage. The Holy Prophet said: "Curse of Allah be on liquor, its maker and he who assists him, bearer, loader, distributor, seller, purchaser, consumer and whoever uses its sale proceeds and profit." Imam Ali ibna abi Talib said: If a drop of liquor falls into a well and a minaret is built on its nearby land I will not recite azan from it; and if it falls into a river and in its dry bed grows grass, I will not let my horse graze on it.

73

Intoxicants Liquor is ummul khaba-ith, the mother of all vices. An intoxicated person ceases to be a human being, becomes a brute and loses the ability to distinguish between good and evil, right and wrong. The Holy Prophet said: "Do not visit a sick person if he drinks wine (or any intoxicating drink), if he dies do not attend his funeral prayers, if he is in distress do not give him alms; and it is like throwing your daughter into hell if you marry her to a drunkard."

Iram
Iram was a city of lofty structures, known as the "earthly paradise", built by Shaddad son of Ad. Allah sent a prophet to admonish Shaddad who began to call himself God. When asked, the prophet gave him the description of paradise, and Shaddad built such a place and named it Iram. When it was completed Shaddad went to see it. As soon as he entered the main gate he saw the angel of death standing in front of him. He asked for a few moments in which he wanted to see the paradise he built but while dismounting from his horse when he was about to touch the ground his soul was seized by the angel of death; after which the garden he built had disappeared.

Isa and Mariam (AS), Prophet
There are three persons named Imran: 1. The father of Musa and Harun. 2. The father of Maryam (grandfather of Isa). 3. The father of Ali, the paternal uncle of the Holy Prophet, known as Abu Talib. Imran, the father of Maryam, is referred to in the Quran, not the father of Musa. There is a long period of time between Musa and Isa, therefore, some of the Christian scholars wrongly conclude that the Quran and the Holy Prophet (God forbid) made a mistake by stating that the mother of Maryam is the sister of Musa. The Holy Prophet knew well that between Musa and Isa there were several prophets of Allah- Dawud, Sulayman, Yunus, Zakariyya, Yahya. Isa was the last prophet of the children of Israil, after whom none was sent as a prophet of Allah save Ahmad, the Holy Prophet himself. When a female was born, Hanna, wife of Imran, was disappointed, because she had vowed to dedicate her son to the service of Allah, as it was a custom in those days to give one of the sons over to the temple in Jerusalem. Yet she named her daughter Maryam which, in Hebrew, means "maid-servant of God"; and brought her to the sanctuary. The priests unwillingly accepted Maryam on Hanna's plea that her daughter was assigned by her to God's service before her birth. She entrusted her daughter and her offspring (Isa) to Allah and invoked Him to keep both of them safe from satanic influence. Zakariyya, husband of Hanna's sister, and Maryam's maternal uncle, was chosen by casting lots to take charge of Maryam. As soon as she reached the age of puberty, he erected a high balcony where she used to stay the whole day, praying; and in the evening, he used to take her with him to her abode. The room in which she slept and lived during the night was always locked and its key was kept with him. 74

Isa and Mariam (AS), Prophet

The desire of Hanna was fulfilled in Isa. The miraculous birth of Isa was a clear sign of the omnipotent will of Allah. As the creator of the laws of nature, He does not depend on their operation because whatever takes place in nature is an immediate effect of His will Whenever Zakariyya came to see Maryam in the sanctuary, he found her provided with fresh fruits and eatables from heaven. This naturally excited wonder in him, since none could enter her locked chamber except himself. He used to ask, "Where has this come from?" And always she replied, "From Allah who gives food in abundance to whomsoever He likes". Ruhana (Our spirit) refers to angel Jibra-il. Maryam went into privacy, from her people and from people in general, for prayer and devotion. It was in this state of purity that Jibra-il appeared to her in the form of a man. It means the spiritual power of Jibra-il made her see him as a man otherwise he remained a spirit, so as to solace her which he could not do unless she was able to see him with her own eyes. Also refer to the commentary of Hud: 69 to 78 for appearance of angels in human form before Ibrahim and Lut. The birth pangs led her to the trunk of a date-palm tree. It is said that it was a barren tree but as soon as she rested herself on its trunk it became green and new leaves and fruit grew on its naked branches. A similar miracle was seen by all when, while migrating from Makka to Madina, the Holy Prophet rested upon the trunk of a barren tree on a road side. The leaves of the tree were used by the sick to cure their different ailments. Maryam was worried about the whispering campaign the people would start when they would come to know that she gave birth to a child without being married. They would not believe the truth that the holy ghost caused her conception. Overcome with shame and pain she cried: "Would that I had died before this and become a thing forgotten, lost in oblivion!" Maryam was asked to keep from talking to people so that she might not give her own answers to the expected censure from the people. The answer was to be given by Isa himself as a child in the cradle. Many Christian scholars have failed to understand the term "O sister of Harun", although, according to the Bible, Maryam and Zakariyya's wife were related to each other, and Zakariyya's wife was a descendant of the house of Harun. Generally any female belonging to a family is described as a sister or daughter of the head of the family. The Quran and the Bible assert that Maryam and Zakariyya's wife were the descendants of Harun, the brother of Musa, a prophet of God, and through him belonged to the tribe of Levi, noted for virtue and piety, and not to the house of Dawud. In order to remove the discrepancies between the two genealogies, given in Matthew and Luke, the Christian Church wrongly tries to establish that one refers to Maryam and the other refers to Joseph, the alleged husband of Maryam, which is entirely based upon conjecture and is against the clear wordings of the Quran and the Bible. 75

Isa and Mariam (AS), Prophet When Isa was born the people of the town declared that Maryam had fallen and disgraced the name of her progenitors. As stated in the commentary of verse 26 the child in the cradle, Isa, was selected by Allah to give the answer. This verse and verse 46 of Ali Imran clearly say that Isa, lying in the cradle, spoke clearly to defend his holy mother. She was asked not to give her own answers, therefore when she brought him to them and was reprimanded, she pointed to the baby in the cradle as stated in verse 27, 28 and 29 of Surah 19. The people asked as to how they could talk to one who was a child in the cradle. From the cradle Isa says: "Allah has given me a book (Injil) and made me a prophet." Compare the Quran's declaration that Isa was a prophet of Allah from the day he was born and the Injil was revealed to him simultaneously with the opinions of the majority of Muslim scholars and their followers about the Holy Prophet mentioned in the commentary of verse 12 of this surah and al Baqarah: 97. The Holy Prophet said:"I was a prophet of Allah when Adam was yet in the making." Like Isa Ali ibn abi Talib was also a believer in Allah from the day he was born in Kabah, and was the first person to believe in the prophethood of the Holy Prophet, and never worshipped a ghayrallah. Refer to the commentary al Baqarah: 124; Ali Imran: 52 and 53 and Bara-at: 100. As a child Isa refutes the charges of illegitimate birth by declaring that Allah has made him blessed wheresoever he be. The will of Allah, as creator of nature and the laws of nature, controls their working without any limitation on its independent activity, because any kind of limitation would circumvent His absolute omnipotence. Leave aside causing birth of a man without the agency of a father or even without a mother and father (Dahr:1), Allah has the absolute power to create children for Ibrahim out of stones, as stated in Luke 3: 8. Salat and zakat have been enjoined on him by Allah as long as he lived. Salat does not mean only movements of the parts of the body but it refers here to the spirit or mental attitude of prayer, because the soul of a prophet of Allah is always in communion with his Lord who has sent him in the world with a purpose. Likewise zakat here refers to the generosity a prophet of Allah necessarily displays in his thought and action. Kalimah means a word. Isa has been described as a word of Allah, which refers to his birth from a virgin mother, a unique distinction, because he was born at the command of Allah, when He said: "Be". Allah does what He wills. He can create a being by making amendments in the laws of nature, created by Himself, which always obey His will. The first istafaki (selection of Maryam) refers to her apostolical lineage (in the seed of Ibrahim) and her purification. The second istafaki refers to the fact that she was chosen to 76

Isa and Mariam (AS), Prophet become the mother of a prophet without a father, remaining a virgin therefore, up to her time and till the advent of the Holy Prophet, she was the best of the women in the worlds. The Quran makes it clear that Isa shall speak to people from the cradle in the same style and manner, containing the same substance and content, which he will convey to them in his mature age. If it is wrongly presumed that as a child in the cradle he will speak to people like an ordinary child, not conveying the message of Allah, the information Allah gives to Maryam becomes unnecessary, because there is no sense in recording this fact, if it means nothing more than the "ordinary experience of every child who is not dumb". "And in maturity" confirms that what he will speak to people in maturity, which undoubtedly was the revealed message of Allah to be conveyed to mankind as a messenger of Allah, he will speak and make known even as a child in the cradle. It is a miracle. Anna means "how", used by Maryam to express her surprise or curiosity as Zakariyya did in verse 40 of this surah. Lam yamsasni basharun (when no man has touched me) clearly shows that the news of the forthcoming birth of Isa was given to Maryam in her state of virginity, which was going to take place without the agency of a male partner, suspending the natural process necessary for a woman to conceive a child. The religion of Allah, Islam, emphatically states that Maryam, the mother of Isa, was a virgin. She did not have any kind of sexual relation with any man before or after the birth of Isa and remained a virgin in the strict sense of the word till she departed from this world, as has been mentioned in verse 12 of al Tahrim that Maryam, the daughter of Imran, guarded her chastity, and Allah breathed into her His spirit (Isa), and she was an obedient servant of Allah, and she testified the truth of the words of her Lord-she neither lied nor kept anything hidden, because, as Allah says, she was truthful. "Allah taught Isa the book and wisdom, and the Tawrat and the Injil" brings up the question as to when Isa received the education promised in this verse. In the light of verse 46 of this surah, he was sent into this world with the knowledge of the book and wisdom, the Tawrat and the Injil. The birth of Isa was a miracle. He lived a godly life, exposed the hypocrisy and corruption of the Jews, and gave the glad tidings of the advent of the Holy Prophet. Isa, by Allah's permission, formed, of clay, a thing like a bird and breathed in to it (and Allah made the thing alive), cured blindness and leprosy, put life into the dead and told the people their most secret affairs. In the days of Isa the people to whom he was particularly sent (the Jews) could not be effectively convinced with the help of arguments based on reason because of their ready inclination to believe in anything which confounded their raw and undeveloped intelligence. For example, magic and witchcraft excited their imagination. More often than not, they responded to suggestions made through either of them, therefore, the 77

Isa and Mariam (AS), Prophet purpose of the miraculous manifestation of the divine powers at his hands was to make them believe in him and in that which he preached, as the prophet of Allah. Isa had no new message. He confirmed that which had been conveyed by Musa. He preached the unity of Allah, not trinity. See James 2: 19; John 20: 17;Timothy (1) 2: 5; Jude 25. According to verse 50, Isa had the authority to repeal or amend the laws of Musa, therefore, he cancelled some of the laws of Tawrat, but, in the New Testament, a saying of Isa is reported that: mountains may move but not a word from the Tawrat will be removed. The Quran presents Isa as a law-giver prophet. He asks people to obey him and follow his orders in addition to the testament that they already had. He also asks them to adhere to the right path which implies that adherence is not following a particular legislation but strict compliance with all the laws issued by Allah. The Jews disbelieved that which Isa had said and planned to kill him. Hawariyyun refers to the disciples of Isa, who were usually dressed in white garments, or to those who were deputed by Isa to preach the unity of Allah, the true gospel. In both cases it may also refer to the purity of their hearts. The devoted disciples of Isa bear witness that they have surrendered themselves to His will. They pray for attaining the quality of the witness referred to in verse 17 of al Hud, which refers to the Holy Prophet as a clear sign of Allah and to Ali as a witness, a guide and a mercy, from Allah. According to some commentators the reference in 36:13 is to Antioch which was a Greek city founded by Selcucus Nicator, one of the successors of Alexander, in about 300 B.C. in memory of his father, Antiochus. The city may be a symbolic entity populated by human society. In line with the style of the Quran whereby stories are forwarded as example it is told that Isa had sent two of his disciples to preach his message. When they came to the outskirts of a city, they met a shepherd who asked as to who they were. They replied that they were the messengers from Isa, the prophet of Allah, and had been sent to invite people to the religion of Allah. The shepherd wished to see if they had any signs to prove their bonafide. They said that they could cure the sick and restore sight to the born blind and cure the born lepers. On this, the shepherd took those men to his son who was sick for long and no one could help him. They prayed to Allah and the sick son of the shepherd was cured. The shepherd embraced the religion of Allah preached by Isa. Hearing about the arrival of these men in the city, the man Habib al Najjar, known as "mumin of ali Yasin", who believed in the advent of the Holy Prophet, even 680 years before his coming, came out from his retreat and embraced the true faith, and a great number of sick in the city were cured by the disciples of Isa. The Roman name of Habib was Theofulus. The King, who was a stubborn non-believer, imprisoned those messengers of Isa. On hearing the fate of his messengers, Isa sent another of his disciple Simon who came to the 78

Isa and Mariam (AS), Prophet city and pretended to belong to the King's faith (an example of taqiyyah) and gained influence over him. See Acts 11: 16. When Simon had gained sufficient influence over the King, he asked the King one day to bring those two men to be questioned about their faith. The two messengers came but did not give the indication of recognising Simon who asked them as to who they were and what was the purpose of their visit to that place. They said that they were the messengers of Isa, the prophet of Allah, sent to invite the King to give up his idolatry and embrace the faith in the only true Lord. On being asked about their bonafides they said that they can cure the sick and even born lepers and could give sight to the blind. Simon told the king as to why the king and he should not ask the idol gods to show some kind of miracles The king laughed and replied: "How can we expect these things from idols which neither can speak nor hear." Then Simon said that they should have also joined those two men in worshipping Allah who has such powers. The king agreed and embraced the religion of Allah but the people rejected the truth and said that the two messengers were only men who were mortals like themselves and called the disciples of Isa liars. Since the enforcement of justice by the Almighty does not need the pomp, show and circumstances which ordinary power and authority of earthly beings manifest to create terror in the minds of fellow beings in order to establish regard for their strength and glory, no hosts from heaven were sent to punish the people of Antioch for their conduct against the messengers from Isa and their killing the mumin of ali Yasin. To punish these people, a single blast either through the rumbling of an earthquake or a violent stormy wind with a thunder was sufficient. They became like ashes. Makr means to employ a plan, not known to the opponent, to outwit and have an upper hand over him. It is condemnable if employed for an evil purpose. It is commendable if employed for a good purpose. The Jews plotted to put Isa to death, but Allah saved him by frustrating his enemies' plot. The birth of Isa was a miracle. His departure from this world to the heaven, alive, was also a miracle. It is stated in Minhaj al Sadiqin that Isa was kept in custody in a room during the night following which he was to be crucified in the morning. At daybreak, Judas the hypocrite companion of Isa, who had betrayed him to the Roman soldiers, went into the room to escort Isa to the place of crucifixion. As soon as he entered the room, he was miraculously transformed into a person who resembled Isa. When he came out of the room the Roman soldiers took him to the cross and crucified him, in spite of his loud and desperate protestations. The Jewish plot to kill Isa was prevented by the best of planners, the almighty Allah. Tawaffa is to fulfil a promise. Inni mutawaffika means "I will complete your term". The word may mean death or to take away. It has been used in both its meanings in the Quran. 79

Isa and Mariam (AS), Prophet

The incoherent recording of the events of Isa's crucifixion, burial and resurrection in the New Testament, proves that the whole story had been fabricated to suit the doctrines of the Christian church. Paul had distorted the true faith of Isa to accommodate Roman paganism. Their story should be judged in the light of the following analysis: 1. Those who came to arrest Isa, in the darkness of night, had never seen his face. 2. It was Judas who, standing beside Isa, identified him. 3. Judas' features were very much like Isa's. 4. As the light was very dim, their faces could not be seen clearly. 5. The soldiers were afraid of the people, who certainly would have started a struggle at any moment and made their task difficult, so they were in a great hurry. 6. It was Judas who was crucified. 7. The crucified body was brought down from the cross in the early hours of dawn. 8. The disciples ran away from the scene and did not witness the burial. 9. The grave, in which the crucified body was buried, was found empty. 10. The only witness of the resurrection was Mary Magdalene whose versions, given in the four gospels, differ from each other. In some, she was there when Isa rose from the grave; and in some, when she approached the grave, she was told by another unknown witness that her Lord was raised to heaven. 11. Isa was seen by the disciples after the resurrection It is a fact that it was not Isa who was crucified. He was saved. His disciples gave currency to the idea of his crucifixion so that the Jews remained assured of his death, else they would have gone in his pursuit. The Roman soldiers also kept quiet in order to avoid the blame of killing a wrong person and also the certain punishment for not executing Isa. As Sale has observed in his above noted explanation, the early Christians did not believe in Isa's crucifixion. All the Muslims, in the light of this and other verses of the Quran, do not give any credence to the false story of Isa's crucifixion and resurrection, fabricated by the Christian church. Tawaffa (to take away), tahar (to purify), raf-a (to raise) and nuzul (to descend) are the four effects of the divine will in connection with Isa, out of which the first three have already taken place and the fourth is expected to happen, before the final resurrection. Those who disbelieved in Isa and those who disbelieved in the Holy Prophet shall be severely punished and there will be no helpers to save them from the hell-fire. The Christians of Najran came to the Holy Prophet and asked him as to why he had been abusing Jesus (Isa) by saying that he was a man created by God, when he was born without a father. The Holy prophet told them that he could not abuse Isa as he was the "word of Allah" communicated through a purified virgin, Maryam, but the reason (birth of a man without a father) put forward by them to accept him as a son of God or God was 80

Isa and Mariam (AS), Prophet untenable because Allah created Adam without a father and a mother. When Allah wills a thing to "be", it becomes. Even in the theory of evolution there comes a stage, while backtracking, when one has to accept the fact that a living being must have come into being without the agency of a sexual procedure. Whatever once happened in the process of creation can take place any time, may be once in a great while but not altogether impossible. There are several examples in nature, which are inexplicable through any law known to man. The only explanation, as the Quran points out, is the imperative word of Allah. The likeness of Isa with Allah is as the likeness of Adam. Therefore, as the Christian church argues, if Isa was a son of God because he was born without a father, Adam deserved more to be God or son of God as he came into being without a father and a mother .

Islam
Aslim means to submit. The root of the word is islam (complete submission to Allah). The literal meanings of iman, islam and din, used frequently in the Quran, are very close to each other. The submission of thoughts and feelings to the object of belief is iman. To surrender willingly, inwardly as well as outwardly, to the will (of a supreme being) is islam. A deeply rooted dutiful, devoted, submissive and abiding approach, by nature and in appearance, towards "the approved discipline" is din. Din has been used variously to mean judgement, subjugation, religion, to do good, to obey, to advance a loan, to take into account, to reward and to punish, but the root is that which has been stated above, which also implies all the given meanings. According to verses 14 and 15 of al Hujurat islam is the outward obedience and iman is the inward submission. Islam and iman become synonymous when islam is used with reference to inward submission and iman is used with reference to outward obedience. The religion of Islam is universal, for all people, in every age. Therefore, it is necessary for every follower of Islam to believe in all the prophets and messengers of Allah and in what was revealed to them. No other religion besides Islam demands from its followers to believe equally in the sinless purity of the conduct and character of other prophets of Allah, and in the truthfulness of other sacred scriptures as the revealed words of Allah. To frighten with the consequences of wrongdoing is a negative approach, whereas to invite unto love and attachment with a real beneficent and merciful Lord-sustainer is a positive step towards a meaningful life, wherein even a wrongdoer can obtain amnesty if he undertakes to make amends and go straight. The religion of Allah, Islam, grows out of the divine mercy and attracts universal attention with its references, and relies on it to give feasible sense and significance to the relationship between the creator and the created beings.

81

Islam The religion sent for mankind is Islam which means peace, and the prophet deputised by Allah to translate it into action has been made the "mercy unto the worlds". Several other religions and creeds in the world have tried their best to bring down God to the level of man to make man god-minded and reform him. But Islam offers guidance to man to rise unto Allah and get nearer to Him, as nearer as his individual efforts, strengthened by his personal sincerity, can take him. Islam wants to make man god-minded, so as to create in him the belief that he is nothing, can do nothing and can achieve nothing by himself, for himself or for anybody else. Judaism and Christianity were instituted after the revelation of the Tawrah and the Injil to Musa and Isa respectively, whereas, according to the Quran, the religion of Allah, Islam, was preached and practised by all His prophets from Adam to Muhammad. From the beginning of the world to its end, Islam (total submission to the will of Allah) remains to be the only religion of Allah. Islam awakens conscience and invites man to use reason for believing in the signs of Allah so that he finds out the truth.

Jihad
Jihad (from jahada) means to strive, take great pains, and to give away life, property and everything in the way of Allah. The message of Islam is universal. From early times the Muslims were only permitted to fight in self defence. When there is no option, and in the face of persecution, however, the Muslims must fight. The strength of Islam lies in its certainty of ultimate victory over aggression, transgression, and ascribing falsehood to Allah and His last prophet. Fitna can mean oppression, persecution, seduction - all implying the "discord" that attachment with ghayrallah (other-than-Allah) brings about. War is detestable but fitna is worse than slaughter. Islam promotes peace, order and harmony in the human society and keeps man on the right path. When the enemies of Islam found that the light of this message was sweeping darkness from every corner, the disbelievers vowed to annihilate it. It was only then that, no recourse being left for the believers, they had to resolutely take up the sword in defence. Verses 39 and 40 of al Hajj also give permission to fight when any people is wronged, oppressed and persecuted. So in the way of Allah, the prophets were commanded to put an end to the activities of the disbelievers who wanted to destroy the true devotees of Allah in order to stop the advancement and progress of the religion of Allah. The Quran commands the Muslims not to exceed the limits but to fight evil until its power base is dislodged, and if the kafirs desist then to show mercy. The role assigned to the Holy Prophet as the "mercy unto the worlds" was the most benign of all the campaigns undertaken by His messengers to liberate mankind from the clutches of the enemies of Allah. He fought and killed the enemy whenever war was imposed on him. Nobody who has any idea of the miserable conditions of the early Muslims, would for a moment imagine that this handful of people could have wantonly set themselves to provoke the active hostility of the whole world about them. They would quietly have 82

Jihad borne any provocation rather than take the risk of fighting numberless hordes. If they did engage themselves in this way, one would presume that circumstances had forced them to it; unless their very existence was in peril, they could not possibly have thought to plunge themselves into a mortal struggle. This is so clear a priori that even if the initiative did appear to be taken by Muslims, no sane minded person would for a moment suppose that they were really offensive wars - they must have been offensive with a defensive import. The circumstances had forced them to take action, and if the Holy Prophet had not been quick to it and had waited for a formal assault from the other side, he would only have given the enemy time to collect their forces; and who can doubt that in that case, the world would soon have heard the last of this little band of Muslims. Finally it should be noted that as without jihad correspondence of the Holy Prophet to the career of prophet Musa would fail to be perfect, Islam would also fail to be a complete and perfect religion for the world. Fighting has well been said to be the direct necessity of human nature, a religion that did not provide for it, did not regulate its principles and define its rightful limits, would not be a perfect religion, much less a final religion for the world. As Imam Muhammad bin Ali al Baqir says: "A war may be termed as holy or godly (jihad) if the object is to make people give up submission to the ghayrallah and to submit only to Allah's authority and the divine will. But if the purpose is to make them give up submission to one creature in order to submit to any other, it is the usual war waged for selfish and worldly gain. Hence it is unholy and thus condemned by Islam." Taking this definition in view, it is obvious that no war is holy unless it is sanctioned and allowed by the person who is perfectly pure from every kind of ungodliness and is constantly in communion with the universal will of the absolute. However, Islam enjoins on Muslims to be always ready, well prepared and well equipped to meet all exigencies, or an eventuality which may unexpectedly develop against them, then they should gather as much strength as they can, so that their opponents, the opponents of the divine cause, may refrain from any unprovoked aggression. (Anfal: 60). The order is to kill the enemy (against whom fighting has been enjoined) wherever they are found, whilst the war goes on. It does not refer to unbelievers in general. Islam avoids killing and destruction, but when public peace and safety is at stake, prompt and severe action is taken to bring order and eliminate lawlessness. Islam has no room for wilful aggressors and cunning mischief-makers. The sanctity of the holy Kabah and the sacred months is very important, but when attacked all considerations should be kept in abeyance till the aggressors are destroyed completely. Showing mercy when one has the upper hand is enjoined. On all occasions, the lover of Allah attempts to draw near Him by taking on the appropriate attribute of Allah. Mercy and forgiveness for the enemies if they desist from fighting has been recommended. No other creed or religion has this provision. 83

Jihad Rajab, Dhilqad, Dhilhajj and Muharram are the sacred months. The men of Allah are allowed to inflict injury on those who violate the sanctity of the sacred months and attack the believers, because under the law of retaliation justice demands that the aggressors be punished, but when the enemy desist from continued confrontation, peace, bound by agreement, should prevail and be adhered to. "In the way of Allah" implies taking part in the holy war with pure heart and clean motives, not for booty. A believing and devout warrior either wins a victory or gives his life to attain martyrdom, because ignominy of defeat is not for him. There is a mighty reward awaiting for him in the hereafter. The primary motive to fight should be to defend the cause of Allah and also to protect or liberate the oppressed among men, women and children. A jihad is fought under strict conditions, under a righteous leader, purely for the sake of faith and Allah's laws. All baser motives (territory, trade, revenge or military glory"temporal goods of this world") are strictly excluded. The greed of gain in the form of ransom from captives has no place in such warfare. It is reported that once some people asked Ali as to why he always went in the battlefield astride a mule when all the great warriors used thorough bred horses, Ali said: "A thorough bred horse is needed either to run away from the battle when odds against the warrior are very heavy or to pursue the escaping enemy to collect their possessionsneither of which I do, therefore I do not need a thorough bred horse." Jihad, in its total rational perspective, does not mean a war against some enemy. It means striving, specially against one's own self, which is the greatest jihad. One who strives in the way of Allah, does it for his own good. The ordinance to kill the disbelievers is applicable when they launch an attack on the believers, not when they have surrendered. Islam prescribes effective defence in the event of an unprovoked aggression.

Jinns
According to the root meaning of jinn (to be covered or hidden) they are invisible beings. Jinn are stated to have been created from fire. In many verses jinn and men (created from clay) are spoken of together. The angels are the spirit of goodness and jinn are the spirit of evil. This Quran asserts the existence of invisible beings who establish communication with the human beings and influence the weak-minded among them so as to lead them astray from the right path. Evil consorts with evil because of their mutual bargains, bound as they are to each other in the planning and execution of evil. Minkum (from among you) indicates that messengers of Allah had also been sent to the jinn (a separate people) because the Quran says: "We have sent a guide to every people." 84

Jinns As man is superior to all the created beings the messengers sent to the jinn must have worked under the human-prophets, but the Holy Prophet was the sole guide for all the created beings, men, jinn and angels, and for this reason the jinn have been addressed in the Quran - Ahqaf : 29; Rahman : 33; Jinn : 1. Jinn are also conscious beings. Jinn are made of fire, therefore, more often than not, evil is associated with them. They can also take any physical form, including debased animals. The jinn must naturally be uncontrollable, rebellious beings because the phrase be-idhni rabbihi indicates that some special control of Allah was needed to make them work submissively. The punishment mentioned to be waiting for the disobedient among them, implies that they were by nature liable to revolt and disobey the authority of man. The first being to disobey Allah in the matter of prostrating before Adam, while all the angels immediately did so, was neither an angel nor a human being, but a genie. It is said that Iblis was a genie, made of fire, and he opposed the very first man while the man was yet in his creation (Araf: 12). The inability of the human beings, particularly in the earlier ages of ignorance, to understand the nature of created beings other than themselves, led them to believe in false notions about the jinn. They thought that the jinn had mysterious powers and could harm them in supernatural ways, so they began to give undue importance to the jinn, and many people used to invoke them for protection and safety. This attitude of man made the jinn proud and they foolishly and falsely assumed the responsibility of guarding and protecting mankind. Like the disbelievers some among the jinn also thought that there is no resurrection and judgement, so they became daring and tried to pry higher realms but their dark plots were defeated by vigilant guards described as the shafts of meteoric light in the heavens.

Kafir
Sealing of the disbelievers' hearts, who make a willing choice of the life of sin, is a happening in the usual course. Lack of proper use of the faculties of discernment and understanding blunts their judgement and reasonableness, a logical penalty, referred to in verse 179 of al Araf, and verse 5 of Ha Mim, wherein they themselves bear witness to the penalty they had been inflicted with. Allah bears witness to the loss of usefulness of the disbelievers' faculties to see, hear and understand, in order to inform the Holy Prophet that all attempts, howsoever sincere and eager, will fail to bring them back to the right path, as they are unable to pay attention to any type of warning. Those who cover themselves with the dark veil of ignorance (Kufr-infidelity) are deaf, dumb and blind, therefore, the impact of the call of the message of Allah is lost. There is no response. The kafir is devoid of understanding. 85

Kafir Denial of the prophets (succeeding the prophet in whom one believes) is a subversive act tantamount to disbelief (Kufr). For such disbelievers the requital is the curse of Allah and the angels and of men. They shall live under it for ever, and their agony shall not decrease, nor there will be respite for them. The rebellious heart and the indifferent attitude toward Allah's laws and commandments, of a disbeliever, render him liable for an everlasting painful punishment, and from him shall not be accepted an earthful of gold if he were to give it in alms in this world to ransom himself from punishment in the hereafter. The decree of punishment for him is final and definite. No amount of charity will be of any use to alleviate the deserved punishment from Allah. The believers are warned not to make friends with the enemies of Islam, their associates and relatives. Tolerance is desirable only when it is known that there is no joining of hands to launch an offensive against the true faith. It is a wise maxim to preserve the faith from the contaminating influence of impiety and infidelity. The disbelievers will not fall short in corrupting or vitiating the true belief of the believers, because they cannot control their hatred. The infidels are unclean both literally and metaphorically. It refers to their physical uncleanliness as well as to their impure hearts and souls. According to the holy Imams anything wet touched by an idolater should not be used unless properly purified. According to 9:29 a disbeliever, or a polytheist, or an infidel (kafir) is he who 1.does not believe in Allah, nor in His oneness and unity, but associates other created beings as partners or co-equals with Him 2. does not believe in the day of judgement 3. does not follow what Allah and His Prophet have enjoined 4. does not accept and submit to the true religion. Even the disbelievers, if they do good, will be duly recompensed in this life, because the Quran repeatedly says that Allah never let good deeds remain unrewarded, but they will have no share of eternal bliss on account of their disbelief.

Kawthar
When the Holy Prophet's son, Tahir, born to Khadijah al Kubra, died, Amr bin As and Hakam bin As taunted the Holy Prophet by calling him abtar-tail-less, whose progeny has been cut off. This surah Kauthar was revealed to give glad tidings to the Holy Prophet that abundance of unbounded grace, wisdom and knowledge, mercy and goodness, spiritual power and insight, in highest degrees, and of progeny has been given to him. It is mentioned in Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hambal and other books of renowned Sunni scholars that the Holy Prophet said: "Kawthar is a stream of super excellence, exclusively belonging to me. Only the righteous believers (among my followers) will be allowed to drink from it. Ali shall distribute the water from it to 86

Kawthar them. On the day of judgement I will see some of my companions driven, like cattle, away from Kawthar. It will be announced that they are those who, after my departure from the world, deviated from the true religion and introduced innovations (based upon conjecture) to corrupt the faith." From that day Ali was known and referred to by the companions as saqi al kawthar. Kawthar also means abundance of descendants. The countless descendants of the Imams of the Ah ul Bayt, in the progeny of Ali and Fatimah are known as sayyids. They are the descendants of the Holy Prophet. Quran guarantees abundance in every type of growth and profit to the Holy Prophet. In gratitude of the grant of "abundance", the Holy Prophet and his Ahl ul Bayt demonstrated highest standard of devotion in prayers and in giving everything they had in the cause of Allah. The enemies of the Holy Prophet and his Ahl ul Bayt will be lost in oblivion. It is a divine prophesy.

Kerbala
Only once in the history of the world all kinds of trials, mentioned in this verse (2:155), to the maximum conceivable degree, have been happily and triumphantly endured and coped with by Imam Husayn and his family and friends in the desert of Karbala. No less was the situation of the other holy Imams under the tyrannical rule of the Ummawi and Abbasi rulers. The event of Kerbala clearly separated and identified the two camps the camp of Allah and the camp of Shaytan. The Imams in the progeny of Imam Husayn, through piety, reason and wisdom, preached the true religion of Allah. The hypocrisy of the usurpers, through ruthless intimidation and shameless treason, opposed them to crush and destroy the Islam original kept alive by the Ahl ul Bayt. Yet the Islam original flourished. The severest despots could not obliterate it. For three days the Imam, his friends and relatives were without food and water. From all sides they were surrounded by the enemy. At dawn of Ashura the Imam asked his son Ali Akbar to recite the azan. Tayammum was performed. The Holy Imam led the congregational fajr salat. The devotees who stood in front of the Imam to guard the prayers fell on the ground when arrows shot by the enemy hit them. In the evening, the holy Imam was alone, every pore of his body a bleeding wound, he slid over the burning sand of Naynawa from his horse, and prayed the asr salat. Swords, arrows, spears, daggers, lances, stones hit him from all directions. The sacred blood of Muhammad, Ali and Fatimah flowed (from the Imam's body) in a stream over the sandy soil. For what pleased Allah most concerning Imam Husayn see commentary of As Saffat : 107 wherein the sacrifice of Husayn has been described as "dhibhin azim" - the greatest sacrifice. 87

Khalifa Khalifa The literal meaning of khalaf is to come after, follow, succeed etcetera. In verse of AlBaqrah, it has been used in the sense of succeeding, in fact, representing Allah on the earth, to exercise His authority in terms of "reacting" to His will, as His vicegerent. This is the basis of prophethood. Some schools of thought hold the view that reason and intellect, at the disposal of man, are enough to represent Allah, and there is no need of the delegation of authority. The necessity of a vicegerent of Allah on the earth has been conclusively proved, appointment of whom cannot and shall not be made by any one save Allah. Khalifatullah, the representative of Allah, is he whom Allah Himself delegates His authority. Neither the consensus of public opinion, nor a group, nor an individual has the right to represent the will of Allah. Even the prophets or the angels did not have the right to say anything in the matter of appointment of the khalifa. Allah does not allow any one to interfere with the execution of His will, nor can any one question Him. Here and in many other places, dealing with the delegation of authority, it has been asserted that His will and choice is not arbitrary but is always based on the recognition of merit. Adam was appointed as His vicegerent, in preference to the angels, on the merit of possessing the knowledge which they did not have. According to verse 124 of al Baqarah Allah appointed prophet Ibrahim as the Imam after He had tried Ibrahim with a number of things which he fulfilled, with the clear provision that although there would be Imams in his progeny, but those who were unjust would not receive this authority. In verse 947 of al Baqarah, Saul is appointed as an authority over the people because of his wisdom and strength, in preference to those who claimed to be more worthy than him on account of their worldly position. In verses 17 to 25 of al Sad, Allah appoints Dawud as His vicegerent on the merit of wisdom, power of judgement and obedience to Allah's will. The most important qualifications, mentioned in the Quran, are given below: 1. Untiring and continuous remembrance of Allah, with no drift or diversion under any type of circumstance. 2. Never giving in to the demands motivated by self-oriented interests. 3. Following only the divine revelations. 4. Being the first and the foremost in establishing and carrying out every virtue to the point of perfection. 5. Awareness and wisdom of all laws (physical and moral) made by Allah, and their operation, so as not to make any mistakes; and for this awareness received no guidance or education from any one save Allah. 6. No type of adversity, crisis or temptation should affect the tranquillity of the mind and the heart, described as sakinah in the Quran. 7. The purity of birth, character and conduct because of which they are the most honoured with Allah (Hujurat:13), the foremost in faith and virtue, in receiving the rewards, and in their nearness to Allah (Waqi-ah:10,11). 8. Ruling over the people with justice as pointed out in verse 26 of al Sad. 88

Khalifa The Holy Prophet was the perfector of Adam's mission of khalifatullah on the earth and the executor of the final will of the Lord of the worlds. Therefore his khalifa was also chosen and appointed by Allah to carry out the responsibilities of the divine office. The choice was not left to the fancy of the people, nor was any consultation needed. Inni jailun fil ardi khalifah is an open declaration of His will and decision. Likewise the successor of the Holy Prophet could neither be chosen by the companions nor by the Holy Prophet himself. From the "feast of the near relations" to the event of "Ghadir Khum", narrated in detail on page 6 on the authority of well-known Muslim scholars, it was the will and command of Allah which the Holy Prophet had carried out.

Khandaq – The Battle
The verse 2:214 is reported to have been revealed at the time of the battle of Khandaq, when the restless Muslims kept on asking: "When comes Allah's help?" The fifth year of Hijra was a critical year in the history of early Islam. The pagans of Makka, the Jews and bedouin Arabs entered into an unholy alliance against Islam, and came with a force of 10000 men in the month of Shawwal and besieged Madina. The hypocrites among the Muslims in Madina were in secret league with the invading army. As to the battle of Khandaq which took place when the allied forces of the disbelievers besieged the city of Madina, The huge army of the infidels and the mischief making of the hypocrites created despondency among the Muslims, so they have been asked to remain steadfast on the religion of Allah revealed to the Holy Prophet and rely upon Allah, and not to pay attention to the schemes hatched by the hypocrites in league with the disbelievers. The infidels of Makka with a mighty host of twelve thousand warriors encircled Madina to destroy a few hundred Muslims, including women and children. On the suggestion of Salman, a ditch was dug around the city in six days. It is reported that at the time of digging the trench a stone in the earth was found which neither could be removed nor broken. The people went to the Holy Prophet to seek his help. He came and struck it thrice with an axe, each time a flashing spark sparkled from the stone and people saw the glimpses of Syria, Madina and Yeman one after another. The stone was broken. The Holy Prophet told them Allah would grant the Muslims victories over those towns. The weak in faith and the hypocrites, who were expecting certain end of the Holy Prophet, openly accused him of telling morale boasting lies to keep the people in delusion. The sight of the enemy who surrounded the city round the trench was frightful. All the Muslims save the Holy Prophet, his Ahl ul Bayt and their followers feared that they might not be able to stand the trial and would be slaughtered and destroyed. "The hearts jumped to the throats" is expressive of cowardice. "They came on you from above you" refers to the heathens and "from below you" refers to the hypocrites and the weak-hearted wavering converts. (33:10) The word muminin in verse 33:11 refers to those who posed themselves as believers but were not in fact true faithfuls. Their insincerity and false guise became known when Amr 89

Khandaq, The Battle Of threw an open challenge but none of the companions came forward to meet him in single combat because they were shaken by a frightening terror. Most of the companions of the Holy Prophet who were weak in faith fell easy prey to the machination of the clever hypocrites, as they did in the battles of Badr and Uhad (see verses of Ali Imran and Anfal noted above) and afterwards in Hunayn (see commentary of Bara-at: 25 to 27). In times of danger they would look to the Holy Prophet and Ali for protection, and keep themselves snugly away from the fight. When the danger is past, they would come and brag and wrangle and show their covetousness and greed for gains. Even any good they might have done was obliterated because there was no sincere motive behind it except envy, greed and cowardice. Verse 33:20 gives a vivid picture of the psychology of the most of the companions of the Holy Prophet. Even when the enemy had gone they were so much confused in their minds that they secretly decided to run away from the city and take refuge in the desert if the enemy made another attack. "They would fight but little" shows that the companions made almost no contribution to the mission of the Holy Prophet. Even a commentator like Allama Yusuf Ali (who has not mentioned the Ahl ul Bayt at all in his entire commentary) admits in his note (3685) that "Ali particularly distinguished himself in many fights, wearing the prophet's own sword and armour." This battle is known as the battle of khandaq (ditch) or ahzab. At length a select party of the besiegers' horsemen found out a narrow part of the ditch which was not guarded. Amr bin Abdwud, Nawafal bin Abdullah, Darar bin Khattab and Ikrima bin Abu Jahl succeeded in leaping over the trench. Amr, reining forward towards the Muslims, challenged them to single combat. Amr bin Abdwad, a warrior who used to defeat one thousand soldiers single-handedly, jumped over the ditch and threw an open challenge to the Muslims. The Holy Prophet turned towards his companions, and invited each of them to go and fight Amr on behalf of Islam, but there was fear and panic in their hearts, as some of them had been close to him in the days of their infidelity and had witnessed his acts of bravery and strength. No one came out at the call of the Holy Prophet. Then Amr shouted aloud the names of the famous companions, one by one, but each looked aside. The Holy Prophet repeated his call three times. There was no response. Each time only Ali came forward and said: "I am ready to fight him O the messenger of Allah." After the third call the Holy Prophet put his turban on Ali's head and said: "Verily, here goes total belief to fight against total disbelief." When Ali and Amr stood face to face Amr said to Ali: "By God, I do not like to put you to death because your father was my friend, and I enjoyed many a feast at his dinner table." Ali replied: "There could be no friendship between belief and disbelief, so by Allah, I am here to kill you." 90

Khandaq – The Battle

Amr was described by the Holy Prophet as the personification of infidelity, nevertheless even such a person had a moral sense to give respect and have consideration for the son of the man who treated him well, but the so-called followers of the Holy Prophet who not only guided them to the right path but also took them out from the darkness of ignorance and depths of degradation to the light of civilisation, harassed, persecuted and killed his children in Karbala and after Karbala till his last son and inheritor Imam Mahdi al Qa-im was taken up by Allah, as Isa was taken up to heaven, to make him invisible. "Allahu akbar' said Ali and hit Amr with his sword. It cut his sword, shield, iron headgear in half, and Amr's head was lying on the ground. "Here is the head of the enemy of Allah and Islam O messenger of Allah", Ali said and put Amr's severed head before the Holy Prophet. The Holy Prophet said: "One strike of Ali, on the day of khandaq, is superior to all worship of both the worlds put together." Then there was a piercing blast of the cold east wind, the enemy's tents were torn up, their fires were extinguished, the sand and rain beat in their faces, and they were terrified by the signs against them. When Ali ibn abi Talib killed Amr bin Abdwud in single combat the whole army of 10000 men went back to Makka without further fighting. This type of unique retreat after the defeat of one warrior never happened in the history except in the time of Prophet Dawud when he killed Jalut. Ali's triumph became so decisive that the pagans of Makka or their allies never made any attempt thereafter to attack Muslims in Madina. The reference 33:26 is to the Jewish tribe of the Banu Qurayza. As citizens of Madina they were bound by solemn agreement to help in the defence of the city. But on the occasion of the siege by the Quraysh and their allies they intrigued with the enemies and treacherously aided them. The Banu Qurayza were filled with terror and dismay when Madina was free from the Quraysh danger. They shut themselves in their fortress about three or four miles to the east of Madina. Ahul Fida and Tabari in their histories and Hirwi in Habib al Siyar say that soon after his return from the battle of Khandaq, while laying aside his armour, the Holy Prophet was washing his hands and face in the house of his beloved daughter Fatimah whom he used to visit before going to his own quarter on return from an expedition or excursion the angel Jibrail brought a command from Allah to proceed immediately against the Qurayza Jews. The Holy Prophet instantly sent Ali with his standard, and himself following with his army laid siege to the fortress of the Jews. The Holy Prophet himself went near the gate of their fortress and asked them to surrender. They did not. Had they done as suggested by the Holy Prophet they would have enjoyed the fair and lenient terms given to the tribe 91

Khandaq – The Battle of Banu Quinuqa It is said that at the command of the Holy Prophet the grove of the trees near the walls of the fortress moved over to a place away from it so as to give shelter to the Muslim army. At last, after twenty five days they offered to surrender, if Sad bin Mu-az, the chief of their allies-the Bani Aws- might be appointed to decide their fate. The Holy Prophet agreed. Sad decreed that the male captives should be put to sword, women and children be sold as slaves and their goods be confiscated and divided among the besiegers. This decision was given by Sad in the light of the verses 13 and 14 of Deuteronomy 20: "You shall put all its males to the sword, but you may take the women, the dependants, and the cattle for yourselves."

Khaybar
Soon after his return from Hudaybiya the Holy Prophet decided to proceed against the Jews of Khaybar, and declared that he would take with him only those who had accompanied him to Hudaybiya, because those who stayed behind at the time of going on that journey and now desired to be there when booty could be available, were debarred from joining the jihad. Jihad is not for personal gain or booty. Jihad is striving hard, in war and peace, in the cause of Allah. Since after the Holy Prophet's immigration to Madina, the Jews, jealous and apprehensive of the evergrowing power and authority of the Holy Prophet were constantly hatching plots to stop the march of Islam. In Shawwal, 6 Hijra, the Jews of Khaybar began a fresh campaign to launch an attack against the Holy Prophet and his followers. Therefore in Muharram, 7 Hijra, he undertook an expedition against them to put an end to their plots. The Jews rallied round their chief, the king of their nation, named Kinana. He lived in a strongly fortified citadel of Khaybar named al Qamus. The siege of al Qamus was the most trying task for the Muslims, who had never before forced their way into such a stronghold. Abul Fida writes in Tarikh Abul Fida that the Holy Prophet handed over his standard to Abu Bakr directing him to lead the assault, but he was vigorously repulsed by the Jews and forced to retreat. Next the Holy Prophet sent Umar bin Khattab, but the result was no better than a forced retreat (Tabari; Sirat Muhammadiya, Rawdat al Ahbab; Tarikh al Khamis). The soldiers, coming back to the Holy Prophet, charged their leader, Umar, with cowardice, while Umar blamed them of lack of courage (Tabari; Sirat Muhammadiya). Then the Holy Prophet said: "Tomorrow I shall give my flag to one who loves Allah and His Prophet, and who is the beloved of Allah and His Prophet, a fearless constant charger who never turns his back upon a foe, at his hands the Lord will give victory."

92

Khaybar Everyone of the Holy Prophet's chief companions was anxious to be signalised on the morrow as the "beloved of Allah and His Prophet." No one thought of Ali, the ever victorious hero of all the previous wars, the vicegerent of the Holy Prophet, because, suffering with sore eyes, he was not present.

The Holy Prophet, however, as commanded by Allah, recited Nadi Ali: "Call on Ali, (He) is able to bring about the extraordinary. You will find him an effective supporter in all calamities. (All) worries and sorrows will soon disappear. O Ali, O Ali, O Ali." As soon as the Holy Prophet called Ali, he appeared on the scene. The Holy Prophet, taking Ali's head into his lap, applied the saliva of his mouth to his eyes. At once his eyes become so clear as if he had not suffered from the disease at all. Then he gave his sacred banner into the hands of Ali, and thus Ali became the beloved of Allah and the Holy Prophet. The Holy Prophet told Ali: "Go and conquer the fort". To provide guidance to the people in every age the Holy Prophet, under the command of Allah, gave every opportunity to his senior most companions to prove their abilities, but they failed, and their failure is recorded in the history for ever. A Jewish monk, when he came to know that the name of the new commander was Ali, told his men that it was mentioned in their scripture that a man named Elia would conquer the fort of Khaybar. Harith, a Jewish champion, who had successfully repulsed the attacks of Abu Bakr and Umar, stepped forward to meet Ali in single combat. Ali slew him. The brother of Harith, Marhab, was a man of gigantic stature. He was unequalled in valour among the Jews. To avenge the death of his brother, he came out, covered with a double coat of mail, with a huge sword and a big spear with triple-forked sharp pointed heads. "I am Marhab ," he cried, "as all Khaybar knows, a warrior bristling with arms in a furiously raging war." Ali advanced in response to his challenge and said: "I am he whom his mother named Hayder, a lion of the wilderness." As they came near each other, Marhab thrust his three-pronged lance at Ali, missed and lost concentration and balance for a brief moment, and before he could recover, Ali dealt him a blow with the dhulfiqar, which passed through his iron head-gear, skull, head, chest and body down to his saddle, severing him in two equal parts. "Allahu Akbar", said Ali and all knew that Ali was victorious. When Harith, Marhab, Antar, Rabi-i, Dajij, Dawd, Morra and Yasir, the most distinguished Jew warriors, were killed by Ali, the Jews retreated into the fort and closed its huge iron gate. Ali jumped over a trench and wrenched the door of the irongate off its hinges and used it as a sheild. In some traditions it is reported that he spread the door 93

Khaybar over the trench as a bridge to make easy the entry of the Muslim soldiers into the fort. It is mentioned in Sirat Ibn Hisham, Tarikh Kamil and Tarikh Abul Fida that, after the war, several men tried to turn it over but failed. This is the "sign" referred to in 48:20 for the guidance of the believers unto the right path. After the conquest of al Qamus, the remaining strongholds capitulated and their lands were subjected to a tax of half of the produce. When the inhabitants of Fadak gave their land to the Holy Prophet verse 26 of Bani Israil: "Give to the near of kin that which is due," was revealed. Ibn Hisham, Tabari, Zarqani and Abul Fida say that as the income from Fadak belonged wholly to the Holy Prophet on account of its being given to him without use of force, he gave it to Bibi Fatimah (Kanzal Ammal by Ali Muttaqi). While the Holy Prophet was at Khaybar, an attempt at his life was made by a Jewess, daughter of Harith, who dressed a lamb, poisoned it with a deadly poison and sent it as a gift when the evening repast was being served to him. As soon as the Holy Prophet took a bite of the meat he knew at once that it was poisoned, so he spat it forth. Bishr bin Bara, in the meantime, swallowed some of it and at once fell down and died without even stirring his limbs. The poison was so deadly that, though it only touched the Holy Prophet's tongue, it slowly spread to his neck. During his sickness, before his departure from this world, when the mother of Bishr came to see him, he told her that the same poison, which killed her son, was now killing him. Thus the death of the Holy Prophet occurred as a martyr.

Khizr
Quran describes the meeting which took place between Musa and a chosen servant of Allah, whose name, as per Islamic traditions, was Khizr. Allah told Musa that if he wanted to see a more knowledgeable person then he should go to meet him at the place where the two seas come together. The sign for that meeting-place was that a fish would disappear in the water. Musa was the most learned man of his times, but even his wisdom did not comprehend everything. Therefore he was commanded by Allah to go in search of Khizr who would impart to him such knowledge as even he did not possess. To meet him Musa had to reach the junction of the two seas where he lived. The distance was very long. Huquba means a long space of time, sometimes it is limited to 80 years. Musa took Yusha, his attendant, with him. When they reached the junction of the two seas where the two arms of the Red Sea join together viz., the Gulf of Aqaba and the Gulf of Suez, they stopped and took rest. Yusha put the cooked fish on a nearby rock. While Yusha was looking on, the fish took its way into the sea in a strange manner. When they had passed the meeting-place, Musa felt hungry and asked Yusha to bring the fish. Then Yusha cursed the avowed enemy of man, Shaytan, who made him forget the mentioning of it to Musa. So they immediately turned back retracing their tracks and 94

Khizr reached the meeting place where they found Khizr, a servant from among the servants of Allah, whom He had granted mercy and whom He had taught knowledge from Himself. Verses 66 to 77 of surah Kahf describe the actions of Khizr, during their onward journey, which baffled Musa and forced him to question Khizr inspite of the warning Khizr gave to him in the beginning that he would not be able to bear patiently with the events he could not comprehend. In verses 79 to 82 Khizr explains to Musa the interpretation of his actions which he could not bear with patience. Musa learned from Khizr that the mysteries of life are diverse and countless. The finite mind cannot easily disentangle the web of secrets unless the all-wise Lord shows the way to have a glimpse of the unknown; that patience is essential to face the vicissitudes of life and to know the inner meanings of the external manifestations; that the working of the divine plan always brings good in the end; that in the larger interest of the human society the loss of a few lives is not a loss at all; and that good deeds should be done for the sake of good not for immediate return in terms of material gain. In verse 79 Khizr says: "I intended to damage it (the boat)"; in verse 81 he says: "We intended that their Lord would give them in exchange (a son) better in purity"; and in verse 82 he says: "So your Lord intended that they should attain their maturity." In the end he says: "I did it not of my own accord." The reason for taking the responsibility of damaging the boat in verse 79, is not to attribute such an act to Allah as a matter of courtesy. In verse 81 the slaying of the boy deprived him of his life but it was a service to his parents, therefore "we" is used. The deprivation refers to Khizr and the advantage refers to Allah. The act referred to in verse 82 is purely good, so it has been attributed to Allah exclusively. Khizr's statement is based upon the fact that every manifestation has a cause in the final analysis. In verse 79 he refers to himself as the causative agent; in verse 81 he takes the apparent and the real causes into consideration; and in verse 82 by stating that "he did not do anything" he discards human or any created agency and points towards the real author of all events. Whatever takes place is a divine blessing in disguise even if the manifestation is apparently not favourable to an individual or a group of individuals. The knowledge of even those who have received divine revelation is not all-encompassing, and is limited according to the excellence Allah bestowed on them as mentioned in verse 253 al Baqarah and explained in the commentary of Bani Israil: 1.

Khums
Khums means one-fifth. Ghanayam means the property, movable and immovable, surrendered by the enemy in any battle. Verse 1 of surah 8 has already stated that it belongs to Allah and the Holy Prophet. Although the Sunni jurists have restricted its meaning to the spoils of war, but actually, according to Shia scholars, on every profit obtained by trade and labour, or from mines, or from sea or by means mentioned in the books of fiqh, payment of khums is obligatory, because as per the rules of lexicography 95

Khums the word ghanimat applies to all these things. Well-known commentators like Razi and Qartabi admit that the real meaning of ghanimat does not justify its restriction to the spoils of war only.

According to 8:41 out of every profit, from wherever it comes, including the spoils of wars, khums has to be paid, because both ma (a relative pronoun-mawsulah) and shay are of a general nature and carry no restrictions. The amount of khums payable is divided into six equal parts to be disbursed as under: 1. Allah's share. 2. The Holy Prophet's share. 3. The Holy Prophet's relatives' share. (The Holy Prophet used to receive all these three shares). 4. Share of the orphans of Bani Hashim. 5. Share of the poor. 6. Share of the wayfarers. As sadqa has been forbidden for the relatives of the Holy Prophet, Allah has decreed khums for them. The Holy Prophet said: "Recognise the rights of my pious and upright relatives for the sake of Allah, and as for those among my kinsmen who are less careful in the matters of religion, pay their dues for my sake, because sadqa has been forbidden to them."

Kill – The Murder
The meaning of wa ma kana li-muminin explained in the preceding verses -the killer of a believer cannot be a mumin. This verse contains the law for the killer of a believer. If the punishment for the murder of an ordinary believer is eternal damnation, what will be the fate of the killers of the Ahl ul Bayt? Murder of an individual has been compared to "killing all humanity", in order to lay emphasis on the establishment of peace and harmony on the earth.

Kufr
Kufr means to cover or to conceal. In the Quran covering the truth, or the fault, has been described as kufr. Covering or concealing the truth is turning the mind from it. Covering the fault is redeeming or redressing, or wiping it out, as per verse 31 of al Nisa. It is mostly used in a sense directly opposite to iman. In the sense of concealment of truth, kufr is a wilful act, (may be) not out of ignorance, but due to ulterior motives or unreasonable bigotry. Therefore the disbelievers (kafirs), devoid of faith, do not follow guidance, whether they are warned or not. 96

Kufr

When this biased and prejudiced bent of mind, to reject the real and adopt the unreal, becomes a rigid habit, "sealing" of hearts takes place. Kufr is the rejection of truth, wilfully by perversity or indolence, or it is disbelief in that which is preached by the Holy Prophet. Hell is only for those who wilfully and perversely reject the truth, or those who have the means to know the truth but do not care to do so. Those who will be punished will abide in hell according to the state they have reached in this life, without respite. The chastisement is eternal.

Lawh Mahfuz
In the sacred tablet (lawh mahfuz) the knowledge of every thing (the tiniest of objects) in the universe is preserved together with the will of the omnipresent and omniscient almighty Lord. The omnipresent's constant watchfulness embraces all His creatures. [10:61] And you are not (engaged) in any affair, nor do you recite concerning it any portion of the Quran, nor do you do any work but We are witnesses over you when you enter into it, and there does not lie concealed from your Lord the weight of an atom in the earth or in the heaven, nor any thing less than that nor greater, but it is in a clear book. The manifest book is inscribed in the lawhin makfuz (Buruj: 21 and 22); and verses 77 to 79 say that its knowledge is with no one except those thoroughly purified (Ahzab: 33). The maknun (hidden, precious, well-guarded) Quran in the lawh mahfuz is beyond the reach of earthly understanding, based upon empirical conclusions. Only the thoroughly purified, mentioned in Azhab: 33, come in contact or achieve real contact with its true meaning (refer to Ali Imran: 7), sense, grasp and handle (various meanings of the word mass) the real purport of the word of Allah. 1. According to Buruj: 21 and 22 the Quran has a pre-revealed existence in the lawh mahfuz (the preserved tablet). 2. This existence is not material or physical, knowable to human senses. 3. The nature of this existence is spiritual and intellectual, so the word mass cannot refer to the sense of touch. It implies intellectual grasp because the inseparable pronoun in objective case (yamassuhu) either refers to the maknun book or the Quran which is hidden in the maknun book. 4. If there is a tradition which prohibits impure persons to touch the revealed version of the Quran, it should be taken as an imperative based on the indicative preposition as has been pointed out in the commentary of Saffat: 102-Ibrahim told Ismail his dream in an indicative form but Ismail treated the indicative as imperative.

Loan
The goodly loan given in the way of Allah: 97

Loan 1. must have been earned through lawful means, 2. must be free from harmfulness 3. must be needed by the giver, not discarded or unusable, 4. must be given before death occurs because after death he is no longer in need of any worldly possession, 5. must be given without strings attached, particularly not to promote self interest and reputation, 6. must be given to the most needy, 7. must be given to please Allah, not for fame or show-off, 8. must be given with the idea that whatever is given is very less.

Lunar Calendar
In Islam religious duties and other prescribed actions like fasts, festivals and pilgrimage, are carried out according to the lunar calculation. The reasons are given below: 1. Even an illiterate person can determine the day of the month and the month of the year according to the different shapes and forms of the moon, which cannot be calculated from the sun. 2. Man can experience the joy and satisfaction of fulfilment in every type of season, which is not possible if solar calendar is followed. 3. Acts of worship do not become seasonal rituals. 4. The lunar year is shorter than the solar year. So the devotee gets more opportunities, in his lifetime, to turn to Allah, and obtain more benefits. The inclination of some to adopt the solar calendar, with reference to acts of worship, under the influence of Christian propaganda, should be discouraged, because it was Paul, who, in order to please the pagan Romans, introduced the solar calendar.

Luqman
Luqman, it is said, was not a prophet of Allah but was blessed with wisdom. He was the nephew of prophet Ayyub. He lived for one thousand years, from the time of Dawud to the time of Yunus. Once, when he was asleep, angels came and asked if he would like to be Allah's deputy on the earth. To this, he replied that if it was a command from Allah, he would accept it, however, if Allah had asked his desire he would like to be excused because it was a great responsibility to dispense justice among men, and he could not bear the burden. Another saying about Luqman is that he was an Ethiopian carpenter whom the Greek called Aesop. He was a very obedient servant of the Lord, extremely pious and modest who mostly remained silent, engrossed in higher thoughts. His fear of sins was such that he never rejoiced over any gain nor grieved over any loss, even at the death of his children. 98

Luqman It is said that whenever he passed over any vegetation they used to disclose their respective properties latent in them. He used to visit Dawud and discuss with him complicated issues to find out their solution. Refer to Ibrahim: 8. The basis of the divine laws is man's own good, and not any benefit to Allah who is above all needs. When we obey His will, we bring our position into conformity with our own nature as made by Him.

It is said that one of Luqman's wives and some of his children were disbelievers, but he preached unity of Allah to them and ultimately they became believers. Polytheism has been described as the greatest iniquity (zulmun azim).

Lut
Lut was a cousin of Ibrahim, his maternal aunt's son. Lut's own sister, Sara, was the first wife of Ibrahim. He was sent as a prophet to the people of Mutafikat, a complex of five towns, Sodom being the largest. He was not one of them but looked upon them as his brethren (Qaf: 13). He was a messenger of Allah, and was therefore free from the shameful features attributed to him in Genesis 19: 30 to 38. The people of Mutafikat were wicked and extremely niggardly. The road connecting Egypt with Syria went through their towns. Those who travelled on this road had to break journey and stay in their towns which they did not like. It is reported that one day Shaytan came to them as a male human being and taught them homo-sexuality in order to stop the travellers from taking shelter with them. From then on they became so addicted to this unnatural wickedness that the word sodomy now literally means male homo-sexuality. They turned a deaf ear to all the warnings given by Lut. Then angel Jibra-il along with some other angels visited Ibrahim and told him that they were going to Sodom to carry out Allah's command. When they entered the town in human form, Lut was watering the fields. He warned them to be on guard against the wickedness of the people and took them to his own house. The wife of Lut was in league with the people and as their agent at once informed them that Lut had brought some travellers as guests. They surrounded Lut's house and shouted at him to deliver the guests to them. Jibra-il made them blind and asked Lut to leave the place along with those who believed. After their departure Allah rained down on them a shower of stones. Everything was buried under the mountain of stones. Nothing was left, no trace of anything could ever be found. According to verse 84 they were criminals. Once a slave, charged with the murder of his master, was brought to Imam Ali. The slave told him that his master copulated with him by force at midnight when they were alone in the house, therefore, he killed him. When asked by Imam Ali the slave said that his master neither repented nor asked pardon of Allah when he struck him. It was the Holy 99

Lut Prophet who had told him that: "The dead body of a sodomist who had not repented before death is removed from his grave and thrown into the heap of the sodomists of Sodom so that they all shall be raised together on the day of judgement." Accordingly when the grave of the slain master was opened it was found empty. The slave was set free. Then the people came to know that the jurisdiction of Ali's authority was equally applicable over the dead and the alive.

For the first time sodomy is declared a crime, a most horrible crime; and capital punishment has been ordained.

Magians
The Magians (Majus) consider fire as the purest and noblest element, and worship it as a fit sign of God. Their religion was founded by Zardusht (about 600 B.C.). Their scripture is the Zend-Avesta. It is believed that like Isa, Zardusht also preached the unity of God but his followers, like the followers of Isa, gradually corrupted his preachings and began to worship fire.

Maliki Yawmid Din
Allah is the master of the day of faith, or the day of the final judgement. He who sits in judgement is known as a judge. The Arabic word is qadi. Here the word qadi is not used because qadi is not the law-giver or lawmaker, but only an executor of the law made and enforced by some other authority, and therefore, is restricted by the judicial system in force. The malik or the master is the law-maker as well as the executor of His own laws. With the supreme powers of a law-maker He uses His discretion not only in passing the judgement but also in carrying it out, according to the merits of each individual case and in view of His own satisfaction, in the light of explanations given by the accused. When an accused is proved guilty, the qadi cannot grant pardon or remission of punishment but the malik can grant amnesty to the petitioner at His own independent discretion which cannot be challenged. A master, who is also the beneficent, the merciful and the Lord-nourisher, would naturally be just as well as kind and compassionate when He sits in judgement over His own created, nourished and protected creatures. The justice, strict application of law to requite according to the deeds, will be modified by blending mercy with it. Only those, found unpardonable, not deserving to receive the benefit of His benevolence, will suffer the penalty. This aspect of the nature of the master of the day of final judgement has been revealed through the holy name rabb, to keep man alert against the strict justice and at the same time keep him hopefully expectant of the divine mercy. The actual malik (master) is He who exercises absolute authority over everything in His possession. Everything owes its existence to Him He is the absolute. Therefore, the use of the term "master" for the possession and the right of possession (malikiyyat), or power 100

Maliki Yawmid Din and authority (mulukiyyit) is true and real in the case of Allah only. For others it would be only figurative and unreal. This is also strictly applicable to all His other attributes.

Marriage
Inter-marriage between the believers in God and the idolaters has also been prohibited by Tawrat and Injil. According to verse 21 of al Rum, Allah created for us from ourselves spouses that we may find repose in them, and caused between us love and compassion, therefore, spiritual affinity is essential between two life-partners, which is not possible if one believes in Allah and the other is an infidel who, spiritually and intellectually, is on the animal level, caught in the cobweb of falsehood, wickedness and mental retardness. It would be an unholy alliance. The infidel partner may draw the faithful away from the Lord and make him or her worship the imaginary deities and false gods. More often than not the children are affected by the conflicting beliefs of the parents. The risk is quite unnecessary, because any adverse response will lead directly to hell. The wife of a deceased man should keep herself in waiting for four months and ten days, even if she had no intercourse with her dead husband. If she is pregnant she should wait upto the prescribed period or the delivery, whichever is later. There is no harm if some one desires to marry a widow who is keeping herself in waiting for the prescribed period (iddat), and indirectly speaks his mind, but there should be no confirmation of the marriage tie until the period of waiting is completed. "He in whose hand is the marriage tie", according to the holy Ahl ul Bayt, is the wali father or grandfather of the wife, and if none of them is available, the legal authority hakim sharah. The wife is entitled to receive the amount of dowry directly; but if she is a minor her guardian (wali), on her behalf, shall receive the payment. It is unreasonable to say that the husband himself is the wali, because he is the person who must pay the dowry; and it is the wife or her guardian who is paid, or approached for half refund (if dowry has been paid in advance) or for foregoing the full amount. The husband cannot plead for the concessions due to himself. If a man fears that he cannot; be fair to an orphan girl in regard to her dower and other conjugal rights, helpless as she is and in his charge, then he may, instead of taking the orphan-girls in marriage, marry women who are pleasing to him-two, three, or four, but not more; but if he thinks he cannot treat so many with equity, he must marry only one. Thus monogamy is the ideal; and polygamy is only allowed as a safeguard against greater social evils. The translation itself contains the clear guidance. Payment of dowry, either a sum of money or other form of property, to the wife is no obligation, prescribed by the law, on the husband. The right to receive husband's wealth gives the woman an honourable status as a human being. Also refer to verse 7 of this surah.

101

Marriage It has been prohibited to marry the women who were the wives of one's father. 4:23 contains the list of women whom one cannot marry. "Save those whom your right hands own" signifies "such married women as shall come in your possession as prisoners of war". Such women, when not taken back on payment of ransom or through negotiation, are lawful as wives, even though their previous marriage has not been formally dissolved, provided the infidel woman becomes a Muslim. Those who do not afford to marry a free believing woman and fear to fall into sin of adultery can marry a believing bondswoman, with the consent of her guardian and after paying the dowry to her.

Martyrdom
Those, who die and give themselves fully for the sake and in the way of Allah, are not dead. They are alive, attached and closely connected with the ever-living Allah. Fisabilillah means "in the way of Allah" or "for the cause of truth". All the created beings are given the opportunity to prove their potential, therefore, everyone is tried with something of fear, hunger, and loss of possessions and children. Those who have attained the highest spiritual maturity through personal virtues, ability to exercise patience, with faith and reliance upon Allah, face the trials successfully and reach the highest stations nearest to Allah. Each individual occupies a different status according to the degree of faith and patience he employs to encounter the test and trial. Some souls are not considered fit to be tried. It is their misfortune. The exemption may be to let their infidelity or hypocrisy grow to its full scope for which there is a painful punishment. (Ali Imran: 178). In verse 169 of Ali Imran it is advised not to think that those who are slain in the way of Allah are dead, because they are alive, getting sustenance from their Lord. It means that they are in direct communion with their cherisher and sustainer. The term shahid, in the Quran, refers to this state of existence. If campaigning in the cause of Allah brings about death, it obtains His mercy and forgiveness which is immensely better than what the others amass of this world and its comforts. Those slain in the way of Allah are not dead. They are alive, getting sustenance from their Lord. The unending life or continuous existence of the martyrs has been fully discussed in the commentary of al Baqarah: 154 and 155. Death is not the destruction of the ruh (spirit). It applies to all human beings, but as said in 3:163 "of diverse ranks they shall be with Allah", therefore, the martyrs who are nearest to Him and occupy highest positions are in direct communion with their Lord. Their active consciousness perceives that which is happening in this world even after their departure from here. They can reach us and we can have access to them. Through the grace of Allah, on account of their direct relationship with Him, they can carry into effect that which they desire by His permission. 102

Masjid Dhirar

Masjid Dhirar
Abu Amir was a Christian monk. Before the arrival of the Holy Prophet in Madina, he used to tell the people of Madina that a promised prophet was about to appear, but when he came and conquered the hearts of the people, Abu Amir lost his position in the community and people completely forgot him. He went to Makka and encouraged and prepared the pagans to fight against the Holy Prophet. He took part in the battles of Uhad and Hunayn. Then he went to Hercules, the emperor of Byzantine empire, to raise an army to crush the Muslims. From there he wrote letters to his comrades (hypocrites in Madina) to build a masjid of their own, so that when he returned it could serve as a centre from where they could operate their plans against the Holy Prophet. At once the hypocrites built a masjid in Quba, a suburb of Madina, about 3 miles to the south-east, known as masjid dhirar (mischief). This place was selected because the Holy Prophet had rested in Quba for four days before entering the city on his emigration from Makka, and had built the first masjid there to which he frequently came to pray salat. It is said that offering of salat in this masjid is equal to one umrah. By the time masjid dhirar was completed Abu Amir died in Syria. The hypocrites requested the Holy Prophet to consecrate it by praying therein. He did not, and after his return from Tabuk it was demolished.

Mecca
Ummul Qura - mother of cities refers to Makka. Bakka is a variant for Makka, either derived from tabakk i.e. press one another in a crowd, or bakk i.e. break one's neck, because whenever it was attacked by an invader his neck had been broken-defeated and crushed. Another version is that Bakka means the holy house of Kabah, a guidance unto the worlds. It is reported on the authority of the Ahl ul Bayt that the valley of Makka was the first part of the earth which emerged above the surface of the water and cooled down when the heavens and the earth (an integrated mass) were split by Allah's command (Anbiya: 30, 31), in support of which there are a number of geological evidences. Many a non-Muslim scholar agrees that this holy place, dedicated to the worship of the Lord of the lords, was not only known to the people of Semitic origin but also to the ancient inhabitants of India according to the references available in pre-Sanskrit literature. Ibrahim's prayer in Ibrahim : 37 confirms its antiquity. In Baqarah: 125 and 129, it is implied that Allah commanded Ibrahim to renew its foundations, purify it and establish it as a place of worship of the almighty Lord, and settle down there along with his family. The family of Ismail was chosen as the first human family to inhabit this land with the sole purpose of dedicating themselves wholly to the worship and the service of the Lord of the worlds.

103

Mecca – The Fall

Mecca – The Fall
The immediate occasion for the revelation of this (60:1) was a letter, secretly despatched from Madina, through a slave songstress of Makka who came to Madina posing as a destitute but was a spy, by Hatib, a muhajir, addressed to the Makkans, giving them notice of the intended Muslim expedition to Makka, and advising them to arm themselves to fight against the Holy Prophet. Jibrail revealed the affair to the Holy Prophet who immediately sent Ali, Miqdad and Ammar after her. The spy, when intercepted, readily presented herself for a search, denying the charge she was accused of. Having full faith in the knowledge of the Holy Prophet, Ali threatened her with slaughter if she did not produce the letter. Then she brought the letter from the long tresses of her hair. On being questioned, Hatib offered the excuse that it was solely due to his natural desire to save his unprotected family at the hands of the Makkan pagans. The Holy Prophet, in view of his past conduct, graciously asked him to seek pardon from Allah. This was shortly before the conquest of Makka, but the principle is of universal importance. There cannot be any intimacy with the enemies of your faith and people, who are persecuting your faith and seeking to destroy you and your faith. You should not do so even for the sake of your relatives, as it compromises the life and existence of your whole community. For treachery the plea of children and relatives will not be accepted when the day of judgement comes. Children, family and friends will be of no avail. All the conspiracies, intrigues and plots of the Makkans and their allies to destroy the Holy Prophet and his mission recoiled on their own heads. Gradually all the people of Arabia rallied round him and the bloodless conquest of Makka was the conclusion of his patient and constant striving in the cause of Allah-a promise made by Allah ultimately fulfilled. Those who had hitherto held aloof, then hastened to offer their allegiance to the religion of Allah. Delegations flocked from near and far to offer obedience to the Holy Prophet. Gibbon refers to it as "one of the most memorable revolutions which have impressed a new and lasting character on the nations of the globe". The expansion of Islam is the most miraculous of all miracles. Polytheism yielded to monotheism. After the bloodless conquest of Makka, the Holy Prophet stood at the entrance of Ka-bah and said: "There is no god save Allah. He has fulfilled His promised and helped His servant." Inside the Ka-bah he pointed to each of the 360 idols with his staff reciting: "Truth has come and falsehood has vanished"-Bani Israil: 82-and the idol fell down on its face. The great idol named Hubal was fixed on a high position beyond reach. To destroy it, the Holy Prophet asked Ali to mount on his shoulders. Ali mounted as was desired and standing over the shoulders of the Holy Prophet wrenched the idol and threw it, to the ground. It crashed to pieces. Refer to Madarij al Nabuwa, Habib al Siyar; Sharh Mawahib, Rawdat al Ahbab. 104

Messengers

Messengers
Although all the prophets of Allah are equally truthful and holy, but in the same way that some signs are clearer and contain deeper messages than others, so Allah's messengers are of different ranks. The particular mention of Musa and Isa is to point out their distinguished positions as the reformers. Musa was directly addressed by Allah, and Isa was assisted by the ruhul qudus (the holy spirit). Both these prophets of Allah glorified the Holy Prophet and gave to the people the glad tidings of his arrival A large number of messengers were sent by Allah. He made some of these messengers to excel others, and some of them He exalted in rank. In the end He sent the best of them all, the Holy Prophet, to guide mankind on the right path and prevent the people of the world, in all times, from going astray in the direction of Shaytan, their avowed enemy. There is no compulsion in religion. It is not the plan of the almighty that guidance should be imposed upon any individual or community. There is complete freedom to any person who wants to go astray. Allah does not keep any one on the right path under duress if he himself, through reason and intelligence, does not make willing efforts to walk on the right path. The followers of the prophets, including the followers of the Holy Prophet, fought one another, went astray and followed the path of the devil as soon as the divinely commissioned guides, with clear signs and arguments, had left them. If Allah had willed, this straying could be stopped. He brings about what He wills. He could guide the people without the agency of the prophets, but He has given freedom to man to use reason and intelligence to distinguish between good and evil and make efforts to do good and earn reward, or make mischief and collect punishment. The door of guidance is kept open for those who sincerely seek the true direction. The individual differences in the prophets of Allah are on account of the level of intelligence and the needs of the people amongst whom they were sent, to show them what was right and what was wrong. The manner of receiving the inspiration from Allah and the nature and limitation of every prophet's mission were determined in accordance with the ability of the people to understand and grasp the message. The last message of Allah was perfect, complete, final and conclusive. Therefore, the prophet who was chosen to deliver the final message was the most superior of all the prophets. He was not only the last prophet but also the foremost in total submission to the will of Allah. Musa was honoured with the divine speech, Isa with the holy spirit, Ibrahim with shuhud (vision), but the Holy Prophet had the distinction of receiving the divine inspiration and revelation through all the mediums. Many a prophet has fought, with a number of godly men beside him, against the infidels, in the cause of Allah, and disasters befell them but their zeal did not diminish in the least, nor did they humble themselves before the enemy. Therefore, He helped them and exalted their position.

105

Messengers As demanded by the infidels, if Allah did send down an angel (who is by nature invisible to human eye) he would have certainly appeared as a human being, and the paganish nature would also have rejected him. Many prophets (Nuh, Lut and Thamud), before the Holy Prophet, were also mocked at, but the scoffers were subdued and destroyed by the thing that they mocked at. Nabi (prophet) is he who receives communication from Allah; and rasul (messenger) is he who is sent to mankind by Allah to convey His message. Every rasul is necessarily a nabi, but every nabi is not necessarily a rasul. Therefore if nabuwwat ends, there is no room for any rasul.

Menstruation
The natural cyclical discharge of woman is a purifying process - it removes discarded cells and purifies her body. So men have been commanded not to approach women, during the menstrual discharge, until they become clean. The divine laws had been given to mankind through the Holy Prophet whose life is a perfect model for the followers of the religion of Allah. In Sahih Bukhari, under the chapter of menstruation, a false, baseless and disgraceful report has been narrated by one of the wives of the Holy Prophet to malign him, which, in fact, is a deliberate character assassination. Such kind of reporting makes clear that the followers of these schools of thought have failed to understand the true status of the Holy Prophet. Yat-hurna means cessation of menstruation or the state after ghusl (bath) - for details refer to fiqh. Min haythu amarakum means "as ordained". Yuhibbul mutatahhirin refers to the purification of the body as well as the mind. Islamic instructions and restrictions bring forth mental and physical refinement, both equally important.

Miraj
Miraj- physical ascension of the Holy Prophet to the highest station in the heaven. The mi-raj; is usually dated to the 27th night of the month of Rajab in the year before hijrat. While the Holy Prophet finished his night prayers in the house of his cousin, Ummi Hani, the sister of Ali ibn Abu Talib, the angel Jibra-il came to him with the invitation of the Lord of the worlds to have a journey to the highest heaven. Jibrail first took him to the Ka-bah (the Masjid al Haram) and from there he was taken to the farthest masjid in the heavens. Although aqsa means "the farthest" but most of the translators and commentators confuse this word with the name of Masjid al Aqsa in Jerusalem. Farthest is an adjective used to refer to the masjid in the most distant heaven. The distance between the Masjid al Haram 106

Miraj and the Masjid al Aqsa in Jerusalem is not more than a few hundred miles which cannot be described as farthest. Moreover, the journey to Jerusalem was meaningless when the divine purpose was to show the Holy Prophet the wonders of the glory of the kingdom of Allah. If Allah had selected an earthly place to do this He could have chosen the Masjid al Hama. According to the Ahl ul Bayt the mi-raj was a physical ascension, not a vision or dream in sleep or slumber, because even ordinary men see such things in their dreams. It was no doubt a spiritual realisation but attained by an actual journey. To bring the position of the Holy Prophet to the level of ordinary mortals, A-isha and Mu-awiyah had reported that the mi-raj; was only a vision.

In view of what history and traditions say about the credibility of these two reporters, a large number of Sunni authorities have rejected their point of view and have accepted the fact that it was a physical ascension. Those who doubt the great miracle of the physical ascension of the Holy Prophet wrought by Allah should also doubt as to how Allah could create the universe out of nothing, or how He could make virgin Maryam give birth to Prophet Isa, or how could Isa preach the message of Allah from his cradle as a just born infant, or how could Allah split the sea to save Musa; and how could the several other miracles mentioned in the Quran take place if the doubters insist upon empirical justifications. The physical journey of the Holy Prophet to the arsh in the highest heaven known as miraj; is an unheard of wonder of the world since its beginnings and shall remain so to its end as the greatest miracle of the Almighty Lord of the worlds. Among the celestial lights, where he received from Allah order for the five daily prayers, he saw his own name together with that of Ali inscribed in the kalimah. In the heaven Allah showed him Ali and said: "O my Prophet Muhammad, I have given you Ali to be your vicegerent and successor. Peace be on you from your Lord, and His grace and His bounties." Then all the secrets of creation and what happened in the world since its creation and what will take place were disclosed to the Holy Prophet. The Holy Prophet said: "Peace from the Lord be on all the righteous servants of Allah, and peace be on all of you (O angels), and His grace and His bounties." The Holy Prophet held in view the entire universe from the highest position, where he found Jibrail. The Holy Prophet saw Jibrail at sidratil muntaha beyond which neither any angel nor any other created being could pass. Then Jibrail told him: "I shall not take another step from here." The Holy Prophet went ahead. 107

Miraj In the region of bliss beyond sidratil muntaha the Holy Prophet saw the glory of the kingdom of Allah, and became fully aware of the wisdom governing it. There were wonders both spiritual and sensible but the Holy Prophet, neither dazzled nor confounded, remained firm and self-possessed, engrossed in the unique experience of beholding the glory of the Lord. There was no visual delusion nor any intellectual or emotional disturbance. The arsh or throne (the seat of divine authority) and Allah's presence are figuratively localised in the highest heaven because human knowledge and imagination are unable to understand the dimensionless existence and sway of the eternal Lord of the worlds with the theories of time and space. Verse 255 of al Baqarah: says: "His throne (presence, wisdom and authority) extends over the heavens and the earth (whole universe)". The Holy Prophet drew near to Allah "till a distance of two bows or still nearer." The nearness described by "still nearer" cannot be imagined by human mind. It is the nearest nearness possible between the finite and the infinite. Arabic idiom qaba qawsayn indicate extreme nearness. "The drawn bows, with their chords touching," make a circle of union, yet the Holy Prophet is not to be considered as totally absorbed into divinity. The nearness stands for the highest position of the Holy Prophet in the order of creation-the nearest to Allah. It was a custom among the Arabs that when two individuals joined their bows it implied that both of them were united or bound by an agreement to shoot their arrows simultaneously in one direction. Imam Jafar bin Muhammad as Sadiq said: "It was in this state the command relating to wilayah or imamah with finality was revealed to the Holy Prophet." The Imam further said that "what he saw" has nothing to do with the ordinary sense of seeing but it refers to the realisation the cognitive self of the Holy Prophet achieved. Fatadalla implies that the Holy Prophet brought himself low in utmost humility before the manifest glory of the Lord of the worlds to express his gratitude for the unique divine grace bestowed on him. The nature of communion with Allah at their nearest point is incommunicable and incomprehensible to any one who is not from the Holy Prophet. When the Holy Prophet returned to Makka from his journey, before he related his experience, Ali began to give every detail of his journey, which proves that in every single step the Holy Prophet had taken during his journey Ali was with him; and this is the reason on account of which the Holy Prophet said: "I and Ali are of one and the same light." In the bygone days ignorance might have prevented people to believe in the physical ascension of the Holy Prophet as the most beloved friend of Allah-habiballah, and his having attained the highest and the subtlest realisation of Allah's being, and seeing Ali face to face in the highest heaven, but there is no ground for the people of this age to deny it in the midst of advancement of science and technology, the step by step 108

Miraj awareness of the laws, made by Allah, governing the operation of the universe, with the help of which man is exploring the so far unknown frontiers in the space. The terms ascension and descension are used to explain the order of creation and the movement of cognitive self through the various spheres of finite beings to the absolute and from there coming down again through the various spheres of abstract and spiritual beings, of more comprehensive nature, to the lowest finite world. This journey is intellectual as well as visual. The intellectual journey is experienced by all seekers of truth with the help of spiritual faculties, not bound by the physical senses. The visual journey begins from the highest point of the intellectual achievement, using it as a base, and proceeds upwards through the various spheres of the spiritual beings to higher and still higher levels till it reaches the absolute, and again comes down to its base. There was no prophet who did not have this visual experience of ascension and descension, and, as said in al Baqarah: 253, each had it in keeping with his potential, during sleep or wakefulness or in a state in between them, once in a lifetime or often times as the Holy Prophet had done. being the superiormost of them all. Not only the Holy Prophet but also his divinely commissioned successors (the Imams of the Ahl ul Bayt) who, in soul and body, were from him and from them, and all of them were of one and the same divine light and origin, had the visual experience of ascension to the absolute many a time, The Quran in verse 33 of Ar-Rahman says that man can cross the bounds of the heavens and the earth if he possesses the authority and has the power (knowledge of the laws enforced by Allah) to do so. Therefore the theories based on ignorance from the laws made by Allah should not be given any importance when they are put forward to deny not only the physical ascension of the Holy Prophet but also all the miracles wrought by the prophets of Allah and His chosen representatives . So far as the physical and the dimensional aspect of the journey is concerned, it was undoubtedly physical. There is no logical, reasonable and scientific argument to prove its impossibility. As the end of the ascension was the full realisation of the aosolute, while passing the boundaries of physical realm, under the influence of divine light, his whole physical aspect was totally spiritualised and transcended the properties of substance and corporeality. It was a total transcendence of the Holy Prophet into a spiritual entity. Descension means his reappearance in his physical form. Only those who know and believe that he was a light, the first created being, and the last and final messenger of Allah can understand his ascension to the farthest stage where Allah's cognition is achieved in the highest realm of creation, referred to in this verse as the masjid al aqsa, the environment of which is blessed by His signs shown to the Holy Prophet. Many a traditionists and commentators has dealt with his ascension at length in detail. A few points discussed by the great scholar Tabrasi in his commentary, Majma-ul Bayan, are stated below.

109

Miraj The physical ascension in the state of wakefulness has to be accepted. There is no doubt in it. Some of the details given by the traditionists and commentators about what the Holy Prophet did and said during his ascension journey are not reasonable and in agreement with the articles of the faith. There is no room for any proper interpretation except that he visited the heavens, met all the prophets, saw paradise and hell, and fully comprehended the operation of the absolute omnipotent authority of Allah, but all that which is narrated about his talking to Allah seeing Him and sitting with Him on the arsh should be totally rejected because it is out-and-out anthropomorphism which is far from the glory and absoluteness of Allah. Neither was his chest opened nor washed, because he was free from all evil (dirt), and if there was any spiritual dirt, washing with water would have not served the purpose. All this nonsense was evidently borrowed from anthropomorphist theories of the pagan and Christian creeds by the thoughtless narrators who thought that they should also attribute to their prophet all that which the others had done to their religious leaders. Eyes can see matter. Allah is the creator of matter. He Himself is not matter. No finite being can ever see the infinite. The Holy Prophet saw the manifestation of His glory and power in the heaven. The quality of glory the Holy Prophet saw there was different from any that is visible on the earth, so when he narrated what he saw to the dwellers of the earth, those among them who did not have the elementary knowledge of the spiritual existence disputed with him concerning what he saw during his ascension.

Mubahila
The verse 3:61 refers to the well-known event of mubahilah mentioned in every book of history, traditions and tafsir written by Muslim scholars. The Holy Prophet was sending invitations to all to accept the true religion of Allah. Tribe after tribe, region after region, were coming into the fold of Islam. One such invitation was sent to the Christians of Najran, a town in Yemen, in the 9th year of Hijra. A deputation of 60 scholars came to discuss the matter with the Holy Prophet. Abdul Masih, the chief monk, asked him as to who was the father of Isa, thinking that the Holy Prophet would accept God as the father of Isa. Verse 59 of this surah 3 was revealed and presented to the Christians as a reply but they did not listen to reason. Then the verse of Mubahila was revealed to call them to a spiritual contest by invoking the curse of Allah on the liars, mubahilah. The Christians agreed to this contest. Early next morning, the 24th of the month of Dhilhijjah, the Holy Prophet sent Salman to the selected site, outside the city area, to set up a shelter for those whom he would take with him, as his sons, women and selves.

110

Mubahila A large number of companions assembled in the masjid, making themselves available for the selection. On the opposite side of the field, selected for the contest, the Christians, with their selected men, women and children appeared on the scene. At the appointed hour, a huge crowd, standing in wait, saw the Holy Prophet coming in, Imam Husayn in his arms, Imam Hasan holding his index finger, walking beside him, Bibi Fatimah Zahra, close to his heels and Imam Ali just behind her-as his sons, women, and selves. It should be noted that although there was provision for "women" and "selves" the Holy Prophet selected one "woman" and one "self"-Fatimah and Ali, because there was no woman and no man among his followers at that time who could be brought into the contest of invoking the curse of Allah on the liars. They alone were the truthful ones. (see commentary of al Tawbah: 119). The Holy Prophet raised his hands to the heaven and said: "O my Lord! These are the people of my house". The chief monk looked up and down at the faces of the Pure Five (Panjatan Pak), from whom emanated a radiant and brilliant glow; and this sight filled him with awe and anguish. He cried out aloud: "By Jesus! I see the faces that if they turn upward to the heavens and pray, the mountains shall move. Believers in Jesus of Nazareth, I tell you the truth. Should you fail to come to some agreement with Muhammad, he, along with the godly souls with him, shall wipe out your existence for ever, should they invoke the curse of God on you." The Christians saw the wisdom of their chief and readily agreed to arrive at a settlement. As there is no compulsion in religion (Baqarah 256), the Holy Prophet gave them complete freedom to practise their faith. He also agreed to protect their lives and possessions; and for this service the Christians consented to pay a nominal fee (Jizya). It was an extraordinary manifestation of the glory of Islam; therefore, the followers of Muhammad and ali Muhammad celebrate this unique blessings of Allah (bestowed on the Ahl ul Bayt) as a "thanksgiving" occasion of great joy and comfort. Many Muslim scholars, commentators and traditionists whom the ummah acclaim with one voice, have given the details of this event with following conclusions: 1. The seriousness of the occasion demanded absolute purity, physical as well as spiritual, to take part in the fateful event. 2. Only the best of Allah's creations (the Ahl ul Bayt) were selected by the Holy Prophet under Allah's guidance. 3. It, beyond all doubts, established the purity, the truthfulness and the sublime holiness of the Ahl ul Bayt. 4. It also unquestionably confirmed as to who were the members of the family of the Holy Prophet.

111

Mubahila The word anfus is the plural of nafs which means soul or self. When used in relation to an individual, it implies another being of the same identity with complete unity in equality; therefore, one is the true reflection of the other in thought, action and status, to the extent that at any occasion or for any purpose, any one of them can represent the other. Even if the word nafs is interpreted as "the people", it is clear that Ali alone is "the people" of the Holy Prophet.

Muhammad (SAW)
The Holy Prophet had lived his whole life of purity and virtue amongst his people, and they knew and acknowledged it before he declared his divine mission. His fair character and honourable bearing won the approbation of the fellow citizens; and he received the title, by common consent, of al-amin (the trusted) and al-sadiq (the truthful). The Holy Prophet's truthfulness was a byword in Makka. Then under Allah's command he preached the unity of Allah and denounced idolatry.

The messenger of Allah was sent to preach the truth and create discipline by setting practical examples. He was not responsible for the reaction of the people. He was a warner. He will not be called upon to answer for the behaviour of the transgressors . Muhammad (literally means a man praised much, or repeatedly, or time and again; endowed with divine wisdom) to the end of his life claimed for himself the title of "the prophet of Allah" only. "Your comrade neither errs, nor is deceived, nor does he speaks of his own desire, it is but a revelation revealed", says the Quran in al Najm: 2 to 5 All the Muslims know and acknowledge that the Holy Prophet, the seal of prophethood, is the superior-most prophet of Allah, the chief of all the prophets, whose advent has been continuously promised by Allah long before the birth of Isa-see Deuteronomy 18: 5, 15, 18 and 19 text of which has been mentioned in the commentary of al Baqarah: 253, wherein is also mentioned that which Isa said about the advent of the Holy Prophet (the comforter, the spirit of truth) John: 14: 16, 17; 15: 26; 16: 7 to 13. Is there any sense in saying that the Holy Prophet was an illiterate who acquired whatever learning he had from ordinary mortals, when Isa came into this world endowed with divine knowledge? Please refer to the commentary of al Baqarah: 78. All Muslims should feel ashamed to believe in the lie that the Holy Prophet took fright at the sight of angel Jibrail on the mountain of Hira; he returned home scared stiff; his wife, Khadija al Kubra, consoled him and took him to Warqa bin Nawfil, a Christian, who informed him that prophethood had been bestowed on him, because it was not a devil that he saw on the mountain of Hira but an angel. May Allah forgive them for believing in such nonsense which the devil must have invented to lead the so-called Muslims astray. Please refer to verses 1 to 4 of al Rahman wherein it is said that Allah, the beneficent, Himself taught the Quran to the Holy Prophet, the divinely perfected ideal man, to be followed by every man who desires to be a real human being. 112

Muhammad (SAW) The Holy Prophet has said: I was a prophet when Adam was yet amidst water and clay. It is wrong to use this verse to prove that the Holy Prophet did not have the power to perform miracles. The Quran bears witness that he had rent asunder the moon, yet the infidels said: "This is the same magic continuing". (Qamar: 1 and 2). Besides those mentioned in the Quran, a large number of miracles, performed by him, have been recorded in the books of history reported on the authentic and unbreakable evidence of the traditions. Not only the Holy Prophet, but also the divinely chosen holy Imams had performed miracles whenever they deemed it necessary and thought that it could serve a definite purpose but refused to put them to use as an answer to the challenge of any antagonistic individual or group, who even after witnessing a miracle would not accept the truth The Holy Prophet, in theory and practice, was endowed with the extraordinary power to perform all or any of the miracles manifested by all the prophets, from Adam to Isa. The Holy Prophet did not have to resort to miracles on account of the following reasons: 1. His matchless and ideal character before announcing his ministry-His life in Makka convinced the people, among whom he was sent, that he was trustworthy and truthful; therefore, they used to address him as al-amin and al-sadiq. 2. His noble lineage-he was a direct descendant of prophet Ibrahim. 3. He had an everlasting miracle with him-the Quran. 4. The Holy Prophet, the last messenger of Allah was commissioned to convey the final divine message and to invite the people to worship one Allah, at a time when the human mind was on the threshold of the era of finding out truth through reason and contemplation. The human mind was ready to listen to rational arguments and reflect, think and judge. Awesome and wondrous manifestations, to bring home to people the truth, were a thing of the past. So the Holy Prophet, in spite of having all the powers to manifest miracles, called mankind unto the way of the Lord with wisdom and fair exhortation (words of good advice), and reasoned with the people in the best way, as has been asked by the Lord in verse 125 of al Nahl. Holy Prophet occupies the highest place in the company of all the prophets of Allah. He is the superior-most messenger of Allah. The glory of the divinity of the Lord manifests, reflects and radiates in him to maximum perfection. Endowed with perfection, he was sent as a "mercy unto the worlds" (Ambia: 107). The other prophets were sent to guide a particular people in a particular place (Matthew 10: 5 and 6), therefore, in view of their limited mission, they are not on the level of the Holy Prophet who was sent to guide and discipline the whole mankind for all times (Saba: 28). As the Holy Prophet is the best of all the prophets of Allah, a distinguished group among his followers has been raised up by Allah as khayra ummatin, the best of all the nations. Shaykh Sadi says: The beauty of Yusuf, the breath of Isa (whereby he resuscitated the dead), the white hand of Musa, those excellences they had separately, you (O Muhammad) alone have all of them. 113

Muhammad (SAW)

The Holy Prophet was a teacher, interpreter and expounder of the religion of Allah. Before him the people, all over the world, were steeped in evil, idolatry and slavery. It was a great favour of Allah that He sent the Holy Prophet to show them the right path. As has been made clear in verse 17 of al Hujurat those who became Muslims (submitted to Allah) should not deem it a favour to the Holy Prophet. It is Allah who conferred a favour on them, inasmuch as He has led them to the faith. Allah has decreed that the Holy Prophet's judgements, decisions and directions (concerning all material, spiritual, personal and public matters) should be accepted and carried out by his followers, else profession of their faith would not be genuine and sincere. Fima shajara baynahum gives unlimited powers to the Holy Prophet. Thumma la yajidu fi anfusihim seals the decisive nature of the Holy Prophet's judgements, decisions and directions. No one has any right whatsoever to disagree with him in thought and action. Yusallimu taslima implies total surrender to him without any reservation. Obedience to the Holy Prophet is not restricted to any people or age but its application is universal, till the end of this world. In the end, it makes the Holy Prophet's authority final and decisive- "and when you have resolved (come to your own decision) put your trust in Allah". As far as the "consultation" is concerned the Holy Prophet used to hear even Abdullah bin Obay whenever he came to give him his advice (before the battle of Uhad he advised the Holy Prophet not to go to Uhad but wait in Madina to fight against the Quraysh). He was a nadhir (warner) to the sinners-the eternal punishment they will be afflicted with in the hereafter. He was a bashir (giver of glad tidings) to the virtuous-the reward of eternal happiness they will enjoy in the hereafter. In many verses the Quran asserts that the Holy Prophet does not do anything or say any word on his own authority but he follows that which is revealed to him. All his sayings are also revelation, though not the part of the Quran, as made clear in verse 101 to 103 of al Nahl, but equally decisive and binding. Allah sends His blessings (salawat) on the Holy Prophet. The angels invoke Allah to send His blessings on him. The believers are also commanded to invoke Allah to send His blessings on him. The Muslims asked the Holy Prophet: "How are we to seek blessings on you?" He said: "Say: 'O Allah, send blessings on Muhammad and on the al (children) of Muhammad." Surah Yasin is devoted to the Holy Prophet and the revelation which was revealed to him. This surah is considered to be "the heart of the Quran". This surah is regarded with special reverence, and is recited in times of adversity, illness, fasting and on the approach of death. Generally Ya Sin is said to be an abbreviation of "0 man!" Even if it is true it refers to the "perfect man", the leader of men, sent by Allah to guide man in all ages, the Holy Prophet. 114

Muhammad (SAW) In the Quran, the Holy Prophet has been mentioned by the names of Muhammad, Ahmad, Abdullah, Ya Sin, Nur, Ta Ha, Muzzamil and Muddaththir. The Holy Ahl ul Bayt are referred to as ali Ya Sin, the children of "Ya Sin" (the Holy Prophet) In the commandment of "Do not be forward or presumptuous", Allah has joined the Holy Prophet with Himself. This implies that no irreverence should be shown to either Allah or His Prophet in any matter. The believers must be mannerly, decorous, feeling and showing reverence in the presence of the Holy Prophet. It is not allowed to give advice in any matter before the Holy Prophet asks a believer to do so, if he pleases. Obey Allah and His Prophet in every matter, small or great; in the whole conduct of your life. Judgement or verdict is given by Allah in all matters through His messenger. So obey and revere the Holy Prophet as you should obey and revere Allah. Surah al-qamr is a reference to a famous miracle of the Holy Prophet, recorded in several authentic traditions of the companions, particularly of the Ahl ul Bayt whose evidence is always true, performed at the insistent demand of the pagans and the Jews. The Jews who saw this miracle (division of the moon in 2 parts) became Muslims but Abu Jahl said: "This is magic continuous". It is written in the Book of Joshua 10: 13: "So the sun stood still and the moon halted until a nation had taken vengeance on its enemies." So the Jews and the Christians cannot deny the possibility of "divine adjustment" in the solar system. Some commentators think that the past tense is used here for the future-the moon will be rent asunder at the approach of the resurrection. Firstly authentic traditions relate the cleaving asunder of the moon, secondly the observation "this is magic continuous" in verse 2 leaves no room for the speculation of the enemies of the Holy Prophet. Even the Qadiani commentators, who habitually deny miracles, accept the incident to have taken place. The epithets Muzzammil and Muddaththir (the name of the next surah) are used to address the Holy Prophet. It means "folded in a sheet, as one renouncing the vanities of this world", or "separating himself from all worldly engagements for the purpose of meditation." Verse 93:6 refers to the divine protection arranged for the Holy Prophet when his father Abdullah died before he was born and his mother died when he was only six years old. His grandfather Abdul Muttalib died two years later. Thereafter his uncle Abu Talib loved him, protected him and brought him up as his own son. Thus the protection given by Allah to the Holy Prophet was through Abu Talib; and so when the pagan Arabs joined hands to oppose the Holy Prophet, in the process of their hostile scheming and plotting they included Abu Talib also. In the most adverse conditions which the Holy Prophet faced in the beginning of his divine mission Abu Talib stood like a "cemented wall" to protect him and while going away from this world 115

Muhammad (SAW) gave his son, Ali, to him as the most trustworthy, reliable and unconquerable defender of the faith and the preacher of the faith. The history of Islam is a witness to the singular services Ali rendered to protect the Holy Prophet and his mission. Imam Ali bin Musa ar Rida said that the word yatim, means lonely or unattended. The character of the Holy Prophet was, even in his childhood and youth, exemplary and exceptional in the most wayward environment of Makka as is borne out by even his worst enemies. He remained aloof from the coarse and licentious practices of the young around him. Living in the midst of the worst idolatry and polytheism of Makka, reserved and meditative, endowed with refinement, truthfulness and utmost honesty, he earned the titles, by common consent, of al amin and as sadiq. He was under the constant guidance and care of Allah. So there is no implication whatever of error or fallibility on his part. The Arabic root dalla (in verse 93:7) has various shades of meaning. Here it does not mean astray or ignorant but in view of the occasion of revelation it should be translated "lost". While taking the Holy Prophet to his grandfather, his nurse Halimah left him by the roadside and went inside the desert to clean herself. When she came back the child was not there. After receiving the news from Halimah, Abdul Muttalib, with his friends and relatives, conducted a thorough search but the Holy Prophet was not traceable. Halimah, while making her own queries, met an old man in the precinct of Ka-bah and asked him: "Where is Muhammad?" It is said that when the name of the Holy Prophet was pronounced the idols fell on the ground in Ka-bah. In the meantime Abdul Muttalib arrived there with his men and invoked Allah's help to find out the Holy Prophet. A voice announced: "Go to the valley of Tahamah. He is there." Then Warqa bin Nawfil came and told Abdul Muttalib that he saw the boy in the valley of Tahamah. They at once went there and found the Holy Prophet playing with the branches of a tree. The Holy Prophet, whom his grandfather had not seen since his birth, told him: "I am Muhammad" He took him in his arms and embraced him for a long time. This verse refers to the event mentioned above. Verse 93:7 also implies that the knowledge the Holy Prophet possessed was perfect because he never acquired knowledge from any mortal but was taught by Allah Himself. Imam Ali bin Musa ar Rida said: "The Holy Prophet was lost in the ignorance of the people, so Allah brought his light among them in order to guide them to have true knowledge about him."

Munafiqin
Those disbelievers, who put on a show of coming into the fold of Islam in order to avail safety and security, to serve their self-interest, and to protect their social position, have been described as the hypocrites (munafiqin). 116

Munafiqin

Although a large number of commentators find it suitable to point to Abdullah bin Obay and his comrades, exclusively, as the hypocrites referred to here and in other places, but the use of the word munafiqin is not restricted to Madani surahs. In verse 11 of al Ankabut, revealed in Makka, when Abdullah bin Obay and his active partisans did not appear on the scene, this word was used to identify, in general, one and all, in any age, who may possess this evil. Among those who accepted Islam and agreed to follow the teachings of the Holy Prophet, some were reluctant converts; some were uncertain about the bonafides of the Holy Prophet as the messenger of Allah; some, under protest and with a heavy heart, followed the mainstream but at heart were pagans; some only put up a front. Such half-hearted, unwilling, or deceptive acceptance of faith is devoid of the higher spiritual conceptions, therefore, sincere and perfect practice of the faith was not possible. And men and women belonging to this category could never fulfil any of the demands of the faith, particularly that which did not serve their interest, because, in their minds, something else, not the faith in Allah and the Holy Prophet, was more likely and feasible. The incident about the cutting down of trees during the siege of Bani Nadhir, referred to in verse 5 of al Hashr; the abandonment in time of trouble by running away from the battle of Uhad, referred to in verses 153 to 155 of Ali Imran; the expression of doubt about the bonafides of the messenger of Allah, throws light on the conduct of those companions who were weak or indecisive in their belief. (i) According to Tabari (Vol. 3, page 21, published from Egypt), Shibli (Al Faruq), Ibna Kathir (Badayah Wan Nahayah: Volume 4, page 28, published in 1351 Hijra from Egypt), the second and the third caliphs were among the deserters in the battle of Uhad. (ii) According to Tarikh Khamis, Vol. 2, page 24, published in 1302 Hijra from Egypt), Sahih Bukhari (Vol. 2; page 82 published in 1355 Hijra from Egypt), Tafsir Durr Manthur (Vol.2; page 77 published in 1314 Hijra from Egypt), and Tafsir Kathir (Vol. 3; page 351 published in 1402 from Beirut), the second caliph Hazrat Umar bin Khattab, as per his own version, had never before suspected so strongly the bonafides of Muhammad the true messenger of Allah, as at the time of the treaty of Hudaybiya. There are different classes of believers. No doubt the types described above are not hypocrites, but, as pure and perfect faith is a very refined state of mind and heart, they cannot be counted in the highest category of believers. It is very difficult for an individual to know the degree of his own faith (verse 9 refers to the self-delusion of such believers), until he comes across a test and trial. The true quality of the faith of the confused companions was laid bare whenever tested, yet such indecisive believers, after the Holy Prophet, were acclaimed as the heroes of Islam. The Holy Prophet says: A hypocrite is he who lies, breaks promises, and proves himself dishonest if trusted.

117

Munafiqin To obtain wealth and power they try to attract the attention of the people by putting on a superficial show of virtuousness. They may win the goodwill of the common people but their expectation of getting a reward from Allah ends in frustration, because He is fully aware of the intentions of His creatures. He does not take them out of their delusion. Hypocrisy lurks in the hearts of those who are not thoroughly purified. Circumstances and lure of worldly gains, and not independent conviction, motivated many an early convert to come into the camp of the Holy Prophet The policy to verbally profess faith in Allah and His messenger, so as to deceive the faithful, in the hope of getting material gains, is as the "disease of the heart", the result of which may be disbelief (kufr), or hypocrisy (nifaq). Envy and jealousy took hold of those who did not sincerely believe in the supreme authority of the Holy Prophet. The disbelief, the envy and the jealousy of the hypocrites has been termed as a disease. Since it is Allah who bestowed the supreme authority on the Holy Prophet, therefore, the envy and jealousy in the hearts of the hypocrites, as a disease, which increased proportionately to the enhancement in the glory of the Holy Prophet, is the result of Allah's will. The new mission, Islam, is like a heavy shower coming down from heaven, a promising event every one welcomes, but the thunder, lightning and darkness, coming along with it, create fright and make people take precaution against the impending threat. In the days of early Islam some people anticipated reaping a good harvest if they joined the ranks of the believers, yet they were reluctant to give up the privileges enjoyed by them under the old system. For example the Quraysh, as custodians of the Kabah, were respected by the people of Arabia. This sanctity gave them the opportunity of monopolising the trade from the Indian Sea to the Mediterranean, and from the Persian Gulf to the Arabian Sea and Red Sea upto the African coast. By giving up idolatry, they had to renounce class distinction and agree to the equality of human beings, preached by Islam, which would have certainly affected their economic interests. On the other hand, they could not close their eyes to the grand possibility of taking control of the ever progressing active energy of a highly advanced society, created by the lofty ideals of Islam, which would spread like a wild fire all over the world, so as to rule over vast lands and countless people and appropriate the wealth of the nations. The result was a continuous wavering. Neither did they want to detach themselves from the old order, which appeared to them as a frightful darkness, nor could they resist the unlimited produce the abundant rain, Islam, would yield. These wavering hypocrites do not belong to the class of those disbelievers whose hearts, ears and eyes have been sealed. If some people's vision and insight have been sealed beyond any hope of their ever finding the way to truth, then what is the use of addressing such closed minds? The aim of the Quran is to stimulate reaction, through its message, in all classes, in order to maintain its universality, since as mentioned earlier none would remain without some reaction. Some make a willing choice of the right path, and some go in the opposite direction. In this connection refer to verses 80 and 81 of al Naml. 118

Munafiqin According to the Holy Prophet, a man who prays, fasts and behaves like a believer, but lies when he talks, breaks his promises and cheats if trusted, is in fact a hypocrite. The Holy Prophet said: Ri-a (hidden polytheism-doing good for show off and not for Allah) among my followers is more harmful to the religion of Allah than the declared polytheism, because the concealed infidelity is more deceptive than the progress of a black ant on a coal-like stone in a dark night." The wealth and the children of the hypocrites, in reality, were a snare, so the believers were advised not to envy them. Their wealth filled them with pride, obscured their understanding and led them to their destruction. Their children either perished like themselves or adopted the true faith which they had fought against. Once Ali and Qambar were taking a walk in the city of Kufa after nightfall. Qambar stopped at the doorsteps of a house in which a man was reciting this verse, but Ali went ahead. After a few steps he turned and asked Qambar: "Why did you stop?" Qambar replied: "He is reciting the Quran in a very tender and melodious voice." Ali said: "The sleep of a person whose mind and heart are ingrained with the conviction of faith is better than the adoration of a doubting hypocrite." It is reported by Qambar that he could not grasp the meaning of Ali's observation, so he recorded the identity of that house in his mind and visited it the next day. He found out that it was the house of a hypocrite. Then he asked Ali as to how did he know what was hidden in the heart of the man? Ali said: "How could a guardian remain unaware of that which is concealed by the people in their hearts?" Instead of clearly pointing out the hypocrites, following the example of the Quran, the Muslim scholars invented a paradox by stating that whosoever pronounced the kalimah by mouth, saw, heard and talked to the Holy Prophet was a sahabi (companion) worthy of highest respect and honour, although the Quran has clearly refuted this theory. In addition to several Quranic verses, the surah al Munafiqun is a manifest testimony that there were many sincere companions among the followers of the Holy Prophet, but a powerful, scheming and evil group of hypocrites was lurking in the background which seized power at the opportune time to sow the seed of imperialism, contrary to the teachings of the Holy Prophet and his Ahl ul Bayt, to fulfil their aim of destroying the true religion of Allah.

Musa
The Moses of Quran is a Muhammad in disguise" is an interesting comment of a Christian scholar. There is an instructive parallelism in Musa's mission to Muhammad's mission. The Quran never mentions the Egyptian king or kings by name. It uses the general designation, viz., Firawn, a dynastic title. During the time of prophet Yusuf the children of Israil prospered in Egypt, but times changed and the Egyptians treated them as their slaves. 119

Musa

Musa was raised up as one who had been brought up among themselves to preach unity of Allah to them and to unite and reclaim his own people, rescue them and lead them to a new life. Astrologers had informed Firawn that a boy would be born among the children of Israel who would put an end to his life. Firawn issued orders to all midwives to kill the male babies born to the Israelites but spare the female babies. When Musa was born the attending midwife was overawed by the light radiating from his face and advised his mother to hide him. She reported to the king that a dead girl was born and buried. Allah revealed to his mother. "Suckle him. If you are afraid for him, cast him in the river without any fear or regret, for We shall restore him to you, and make him a prophet. (Qasas: 7) The (Pharoah’s) informers searched (Musa’s) house and finding flames coming out of the oven did not go near it and went away. When Musa's mother heard of the oven being lit, she came full of grief to see what had happened to her baby. She found Musa sitting in the flames and playing with them. The mother of Musa approached Hazkil, a carpenter, to make a small box for her. He asked the purpose and was told the plan by Musa's mother who was unable to tell a lie. Hazkil made the box, but he also went to Firawn's informers to tell them what he had heard from Musa's mother. However, when he came to them, he turned dumb and on his attempt to talk by making signs, the informers considered him mad and drove him away. When he returned to his shop he was not dumb any more. Again he went to the informers but this time he not only became dumb but also lost sight. This time, again, he was driven away, but when he returned home he was fit and sound again. Now, being convinced that the child must be the promised messenger of Allah Hazkil came to Musa's mother and declared his belief in Allah. Since Musa was the prophet of Allah Hazkil is called the believer among Firawn's people mumin min ali Firawn. The mother of Musa did as was directed. Then he was picked up by the family of Firawn unaware that he was. the boy who would destroy them. Asiya, the wife of Firawn, requested Firawn not to kill him and let her adopt him as a son. Musa refused the wet nurse appointed by them. Through his sister his mother was appointed as his nurse. So Musa grew up in the palace of Firawn. In verse 20:38 awhayna means "We inspired". When Firawn was told by his courtiers that a boy would soon be born to an Israelite woman who would cause his downfall and destroy his kingdom, he ordered Israelite male children to be killed when they were born. So, as soon as Musa was born, Allah inspired his mother to put her child into a chest and send the chest floating down the Nile. It flowed on into a stream that passed through Firawn's garden. It was picked up by Firawn's wife Asiya. Firawn was an enemy to Allah and an enemy to Musa, but Allah made Musa so comely, attractive and loveable as to be adopted by Firawn and Asiya. Refer to Exodus 2 : 3 to 9 for these events. 120

Musa After the child was floated on the water, the anxious mother sent Musa's sister to follow the chest from the bank and see where and by whom it was picked up. One of Firawn's daughters had patches on her body. Scholars of ancient scriptures had predicted that a creature like a human child would come floating in the river, if the saliva of that child is applied on the patches, they will be gone. When Musa came floating in the box, it was picked up and the astronomers were consulted to know if the baby is the promised deliverer of Bani Israil. They said: "No." Asi-ya, the wife of Firawn, said that they might be benefited by the child. The child's saliva was tried and the white patches on the body of Firawn's daughter disappeared. When it was picked by Firawn's family and they seemed to love the child, she appeared before them and promised to bring a good wet-nurse for the child. That was exactly what they wanted. Like that Allah's providence looked after Musa in bringing his mother to him, and nourishing him on his mother's milk, and thus the mother's heart was also comforted. Years passed. Musa grew up. He saw the Egyptian oppression under which the Bani Israel laboured. One day He saw an Egyptian smiting an Israelite with impunity. There and then, he smote the Egyptian. He did not intend to kill him, but the Egyptian died of his blow. Musa left the palace of Firawn and went to Sinai peninsula. When going away from Egypt, Musa went towards Midian, and wandering in the desert, arrived at an oasis, weak and hungry, after a week. He sat under a tree near a well and saw shepherds giving water to their flocks while two girls waited with their flocks for their turn. The shepherds were drawing water for their own flocks but none drew water for the girls. These two girls were Safura and Safra, daughters of prophet Shu-ayb, who was very old and could not come to give water to the flocks which compelled the young ladies to go out but because of their modesty and personal nobility they could not thrust themselves into the crowd of males. Musa could not tolerate the highhandedness and went over to the girls to help, who stood quiet and helpless. Musa asked the shepherds to help the young ladies but they told Musa to draw water for the flocks of the girls himself. The robust figure and strong arms of Musa kept the shepherds away and he drew the huge bowl from the well alone which the shepherds used to pull out jointly, several of them, and gave water to the flocks of the girls. Another version says that Musa asked the girls if there was another well. The girls pointed out a well whose mouth a huge rock, almost immovable, had kept shut. Musa, at once, removed it and took out water from the well.

121

Musa News of this event went to Shu-ayb through one of his daughters who invited Musa home. While walking, he told the girl to walk behind him and in case he needed guidance she might point the direction by throwing a small stone in that direction before him. When Shu-ayb ordered food to be served, Musa declined it because he would not sell any of his good deeds for a profit of this world; he did not give water to his flock for any return from him. On this, Shu-ayb replied that it was not in return that he served food, but as his custom to welcome and receive a guest. Musa then accepted the food. One of his daughters recommended to Shu-ayb that Musa be taken in employment because he was strong and trustworthy. Imam Musa bin Jafar al Kazim says that Shu-ayb asked his daughter: "I know by his removing the huge rock from the mouth of the well that he is strong, but how do you know that he is also trustworthy?" Then the girl narrated to her father how Musa had asked her to walk behind him and point the way by throwing a small stone before him, for he said that he did not belong to those people who cast their eyes upon the backs of women. He married the daughter of the prophet Shu-ayb, and was now travelling with his family. The night was cool in the open desert. He saw a fire and went to bring an ember from it for his wife and two sons. When he approached it Allah called him "O Musa" in order to give him heart and confidence, and announced: "I am your Lord, so take off your shoes." Tuwa literally means "a thing twice done", or "twice blessed". As a proper noun it is the name of the valley below mount Sinai. The command "to take off the shoes" is interpreted as a mark of humility for self and respect for Allah, or to renounce the thought of family, so as to be present before the Lord in utter devotedness and concentration of heart and mind. Exodus 3: 2 to 5 also relates this event. The fire Musa saw was a divine manifestation, so whosoever was in it and around it (Musa and the angels) were blessed. There is no possibility to take it as the identification or incarnation of God. "Glory be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds" confirms it. It was Allah (not the fire) who called unto Musa. The voice came from the direction of the fire, or the right side of the valley, or from the tree (Qasas: 30). Musa was chosen as a prophet and a messenger of Allah to whom Tawrat was revealed. He was commanded to worship Allah alone, because there is no god save He, and establish prayer (salat) for His remembrance. It was made clear to him that the hour of reckoning would certainly come to pass, but its exact time was kept hidden in order that every individual may be recompensed according to that which he or she has strived for in this world. "No one who carries a burden shall bear the burden of another" says verse 15 of Bani Israil. 122

Musa

Musa, having been prepared, was commanded to go to Firawn, Rameses II, who had transgressed all bounds. Then Musa requested his Lord to appoint for him another person like him to strengthen his back and assist him in his task. Refer to the commentary of Maryam: 53 and Ali Imran: 52 and 53 for parallelism between Musa and Harun and Muhammad and Ali. When Musa came before Firawn to tell him that he was a prophet from the Lord of the worlds, Firawn was sitting in his court with his ministers and chiefs around him relying upon their own superior worldly power aided by the magic which was a part of the Egyptian religion. Confronting them stood two men, Musa with his mission from Allah, and his brother Harun who was his lieutenant. "I am a messenger from the Lord of the worlds", Musa introduced himself to Firawn and said: "Let the people of Israil go with me; because I have come with a clear sign." Firawn asked Musa to display the sign. Musa threw down his staff and it became a live serpent. He also drew forth his hand from his garment, it was shining bright and white. These miracles were displayed to prove that Egyptian magic was nothing before the true power of Allah. In Islam the "white hand" of Musa has passed into a proverb, for a symbol of divine glory dazzling to the beholders. Although the Egyptians were impressed by the two signs but they thought that Musa was a clever magician, so, on the advice of his courtiers Firawn summoned the best magicians of Egypt. They cast their spell first. The ropes they threw on the floor turned into swirling snakes. Their trickery made a great impression on the people. Then Musa threw down his staff, it swallowed up their conjurations in no time. The falsehood was exposed and the truth was confirmed. Vanquished and humiliated the magicians fell down prostrate in adoration and said, "We believe in the Lord of the worlds, the Lord of Musa and Harun." Firawn was furious. He threatened them with severe punishment. They answered: "We have (in any case) to go back to our Lord." The same reply the faithful companions of Imam Husayn gave in Karbala. Along with the magicians a large number of Egyptians also came into the fold of true faith. Firawn arrested all of them and kept them in captivity. Musa and his followers camped outside the city. Allah afflicted the people of Firawn with famine and dearth of everything that they might take heed, but they did not believe. Then Allah let loose on them floods and locusts and vermin, but they were a people full of sin. Musa began to worry with fear when he came to know that Firawn with his hosts was tracking him and his people in order to wipe them out. They were in a hopeless situation. There was a desert on one side of them, the Red Sea on the other, and the impassable mountain chain of the Jabal Attakah in front. Allah commanded Musa to strike the waves of the Red Sea with his staff. Musa did as was ordered. A broad causeway was formed in the sea upon which Musa and his followers advanced and crossed the sea. When Firawn and his hosts reached the spot, his soldiers at once entered the causeway; though Firawn tried very much to stop his horse but it moved on and they all were in the middle of the 123

Musa sea. Then under the command of Allah the parted sea again became one as it was before; and Firawn and his army were drowned. In the last moment Firawn said: "I believe that verily there is no god save Allah in whom the followers of Musa believe, and I am of those who submit to the will of Allah", but it was too late. The mummy of Ramesus II, the last Firawn of the eighteenth dynasty, has been found at Thebes, and is now in a glass case in the museum of Cairo, for every man to look upon (Encyclopaedia Britannica). This discovery confirms the Quran. The Bible does not mention this event. It also confirms the fact that the Quran is a revealed book of Allah otherwise the Holy Prophet would not have known this fact, also the quran promises to keep firaun as a lesson for the whole world, and there he lies in a meuseum for everyone to see and fear the punishment. Imam Muhammad bin Ali al Baqir said: "Firawn and his army was drowned in the sea, but the dead body of Firawn was thrown on the shore so that the people who worshipped him as a god might know that their (false) god was a lifeless decomposed corpse, and men in every age may draw a lesson." The cleaving of the (Red) sea was a real occurrence. In this way Allah saved the Bani Israil because at that time they were in submission to the truth. To escape from the pursuing Fir-awn and his army Musa and his followers reached the Red Sea. Fir-awn was almost upon them when the Jews looked up and saw the Egyptians close behind. Then Allah commanded Musa to strike the water with his rod, as there were no boats to carry them across the sea. Musa did as was told. A dry path appeared. They easily reached the other side After their crossing Fir-awn with his army followed the same path but in midway the water in the sea again began to flow and the pursuing enemy was drowned, while the Bani Israil were watching from the shore. Also refer to verse 90 of Yunus. "When the Bani Israil departed from Egypt towards the Philistine via the Red Sea, the Lord all the time went before them, by day a pillar of cloud to guide them on their journey, by night a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel night and day." (Exodus 13) Manna and salwa are two heavenly foods not requiring toil to obtain. Traditions confirm that there was always a similar pillar of cloud over the head of the Holy Prophet during his journeys to Syria, before he was commissioned to make public his mission of prophethood. As commanded by Allah, Musa gave instructions to the Bani Israil to enter the city (of Canaan/Israel) through its gate prostrating, and saying: "I seek forgiveness of the Lord and turn repentant unto Him", because therein they would live in peace and harmony with plenty of provisions. 124

Musa

Exodus 17: 1 to 6 narrate that when there was no water for the people to drink Allah asked Musa to take with him some of the elders of Israil and the staff with which he had struck the Red Sea. When Musa struck the rock, water poured out of it. Twelve springs for the twelve tribes of the Bani Israil gushed out from that rock, as each tribe wanted to have a separate spring for its use. Musa stayed on the mount Sinai for forty days after which the law of Tawrat was given to him. He observed fast on all the forty days. According to verse 142 of al Araf the stay was for thirty days, but subsequently the term was extended by ten more days. The delay created doubts in the minds of the Bani Israil about the genuineness of the prophethood of Musa, and unjustly they took up the worship of the calf. Musa had appointed his brother, Harun, as his successor and deputy, during his absence. Likewise the Holy Prophet, at the time of migrating to Madina from Makka, had chosen Ali to sleep in his bed, during the night of hijrat, and to return the deposits, kept in trust with him, to the owners; commissioned Ali to take charge of the administration in Madina when he went to Tabuk to encounter the enemy; and he had also assigned to Ali the responsibility of delivering al Barat to the people of Makka, because as per the divine command only he or Ali could deliver the divine revelation. "Ali is to me as Harun was to Musa", declared the Holy Prophet. When Musa was summoned to the mount for forty days (Baqarah: 51), he left Harun behind him as his representative among the people. While Musa was on the mount his people were tested and tried, and they failed in the trial. The Israelites had brought from Egypt jewels of gold and silver and raiments. Samiri, an Egyptianised Hebrew, who came with them, made a golden calf from the said ornaments. All of them began to worship the image of the calf which made a hollow sound (see commentary of Araf: 148). Harun admonished them and made every effort to keep them from worshipping a meaningless and lifeless object which had no power either to harm them or to do them good. He warned them that they were being tested by their Lord. They did not listen to him. The questions Musa asks in Surah 20 verses 92 and 93 and the reply Harun gives in verse 94 are used as a medium to make the position of Harun clear by making known the fact to the people that Harun prevented them from falling a prey to Samiri's guile and discharged his duty of guiding them to the right path. He did not want to cause a division among the children of Israil. Samiri's answer is an example of mixing truth with falsehood. He says that he took a handful of dust from the footprint of the angel Jibra-il and threw it into the calf's image. As the people of Musa violated their oath of loyalty to Harun and followed Samayri the magician, the ummah of Muhammad also turned their back upon Ali and pursued their own fancies. In this way the iman of the people was tested, and they were found doing injustice to themselves. 125

Musa The outer meaning (of certain verses) is that the righteous among the Bani Israil should get rid of the evil ones, the calf-worshippers, even if they were their own beloved kith and kin. It is stated in the Bible that three thousand persons were killed. The inner meaning could be the annihilation of selfishness, pride and other base passions. In any event, as stated here, carrying out Allah's command brings about purity and forgiveness. If a man was murdered and the people were unable to trace out the murderer, according to the original law of Musa, 50 men of the suspected tribe had to swear their innocence and ignorance and pay the blood-money to the inheritors of the deceased. When a case like this actually took place the Bani Israil rebelled, argued, doubted and rejected the doctrine of truthful submission and guidance. They insisted that Musa should pray to Allah to reveal the name of the murderer, which Musa was rightly refusing because it was contrary to the divine laws in force. In fact it was a conspiracy to test the prophetic powers of Musa. In answer, Allah commanded them to sacrifice a cow. They were greatly disturbed by this command because under the influence of the heathen ideologies, cows and bulls were held in high veneration. They again started to pester Musa with endless questions. They thought that narrowing down the specification of the cow would result in non-availability of such an animal. Imam Ali bin Musa al Rida has rightly observed that any cow would have been sufficient, but the more the Bani Israil made a fuss, the more did Allah impose restrictions as a punishment to their persistent demands for unnecessary details. Musa, under the divine command, was able to make them purchase the prescribed cow by paying a large sum to a very holy and pious man who owned such a cow. It was a reluctant compliance. The cow was slain and its tail was put on the sacrum of the dead man. The dead man came to life and pointed out the same man as the murderer, who had raised the cry for his blood-money. The murderer was his nephew. The body was concealed in a nearby village. The Bani Israil, as said above, wanted to test Musa. They were sure that Musa had no means of finding out the murderer to the full satisfaction of the people. The unfolding event proved their limitations. Allah brought forth that which they were going to hide. Even after witnessing the soul-stirring event the Bani Israil lost no time in reverting to disbelief. They were like stones, worse. than stones, because even a stone follows its nature. It does not rebel. The following wonderful events, which became operative as supernatural phenomena, are narrated in the Quran as the miracles given to Musa to furnish the proof of his Prophethood: 1. The rod of Musa transformed into a serpent. 2. The brilliance of the palm of Musa. 3. The splitting of the sea. 4. The gushing of water from the rock. 5. The coming of manna and salwa from the heavens. 6. The shadowing of the cloud over the Bani Israil. 7. The raising of the dead. 8. The suspension of the mountain over the people. 9. The transformation of the transgressors into apes. 126

Musa

After Firawn and his people had been drowned in the Nile, Musa delegated the authority to Harun. This caused envy in Qarun towards Musa and Harun. To degrade Musa he employed a woman, bribing her with two purses of gold, and told her to say before public that Musa had committed adultery with her. Next day when Musa was preaching to the crowd against adultery, Qarun stood up and asked if the same punishment would be against Musa also if he committed the crime? Musa said that it would certainly be, at which Qarun pointed out to the woman and said that the woman alleged that Musa had committed adultery with her. Musa called the woman and asked her to tell the truth. When face to face with Musa the woman divulged the secret plan of Qarun saying that she had been hired by Qarun to lay this false charge against him. Musa got angry and prayed to Allah to punish Qarun. Allah responded to Musa's prayer and asked Musa to order the earth to swallow Qarun and his fellow disbelievers who were with him. When the earth had taken up Qarun and his party to their waists they shouted for mercy but Musa did not stop the earth and they were completely swallowed. Allah addressed Musa, at this stage, and said to Musa that Qarun and his men cried for mercy several times but Musa commanded the earth to swallow them completely. "Had they called Me even once, I would certainly have forgiven them and saved them."

Muta
Famastamta-tum bihi provides for a temporary marriage, known as muta. It has been specifically made lawful by the Quran and the Holy Prophet, therefore, this provision subsists as unrescinded. One day, for no reason at all, and having no authority to amend a law given and practised by the Holy Prophet, the second caliph declared from the pulpit: "Two mutas (temporary marriage and combining hajj with umra) were in force during the time of the Holy Prophet, but now I decree both of them as unlawful; and I will punish those who practise them." Therefore the Shia school of thought (Islam-original) holds both the mutas lawful. The Maliki school of thought also holds muta as lawful.

Nuh
When Nuh tried to put fear of the torment of a dreadful day in the hearts of the people they laughed at him. Allah's retribution came soon afterwards-the great flood, in which his unbelieving people were drowned, but he and those who believed and came into the ark were saved. 127

Nuh

The great flood has been described in verses 37 to 48 of al Hud. Chapters 6 and 7 of Genesis in the Old Testament describe the great flood. Nuh literally means one who weeps. He used to weep continuously in fear of Allah. There were ten prophets between him and Adam. Nuh lived for two thousand five hundred years. He used to live in a small hut. He never built a permanent dwelling abode for himself. In spite of his ceaseless preaching the people were corrupt and full of violence. The men, women and children used to throw stones at him. Whenever he was buried under the heap of stones, wounded and helpless, Jibra-il was deputed to save him and nurse him. His preaching of goodness and godliness continued in the face of violent opposition by his loathsome people. At last the waters of the great flood came upon the earth. Allah wiped out every thing on the earth, and only Nuh and his companions in the ark survived. The people of Nuh lived in a plain, in the higher region of Mesopotamia, hundreds of miles away from the Persian Gulf. They laughed at Nuh when he began to make an ark. When the ark was completed, Nuh received Allah's command to bring into the ark every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort, a male and a female to keep them alive with him, and his family and believers. Nuh's three sons with their families came into the ark but Kanan, one of his sons, born to a hypocrite wife, refused to come and was drowned when the great flood came. Tanur means oven, or the surface of the earth, or its high lands. The deluge was a wrath of Allah, so fierce and overwhelming that with the catastrophic downpour of rain, water simultaneously gushed forth from the underground, even from ovens in the houses of the people. A very few believed Nuh and joined him in the ark. The great flood destroyed all save those in the ark. Keeping this in view the Holy Prophet said: My Ahl ul Bayt are like the ark of Nuh. Whoso boards on it is saved, and whoso stays behind is drowned and lost. Nuh made this supplication to make it clear for ever that any relationship to the prophets without spiritual excellence does not justify the use of the term "ahl" ul Bayt. It is exclusively restricted to the thoroughly purified (Ahzab: 33) group of the Holy Prophet's household. Relationship by blood or matrimony is not applicable. True reflection of character and spiritual attainment is the basis of the thorough purification. Although Kanan was his son, Allah says to Nuh that verily he is not of his family, because he was an infidel and did not have the qualities of his father. Birth or ancestry has no value at all. Salman, an outsider, was accepted as one among his Ahl ul Bayt by the Holy Prophet on the basis of his faith and piety. It is well known that Salman was a devout follower of Ali ibn abi Talib. No other companion had achieved such a singular position except Salman. 128

Nuh Nuh was standing in the sun when the angel of death came. He asked Izra-il to let him go into a nearby shade before his soul was taken away from his body. After coming under the shade he said: "The life of this world is as long as the time he took to come under the shade from the sun, even shorter." The people in his time had transgressed all moral bounds. Disbelief, wickedness and evil had made deep inroads in their social lives. A purge had to be made. So the great flood put an end to their civilisation. Before the final punishment prophet Nuh warned them against the consequences of their ungodliness. Had they availed the respite given to them and repented and reformed themselves, they would still have obtained mercy. The five false gods worshipped by the people in the time of Nuh were as follows: 1. Wadd, in shape of a Man reflecting Manly power 2. Suwa, (shape) Woman, representing Mutability, Beauty 3. Yaghuth, in shape of a Lion (Or Bull) representing Brute strength 4. the Horse-shaped Ya-ub for swiftness 5. Nasr, in shape of Eagle or Falcon representing Insight It is mentioned in Minhajus Sadiqin that these gods were forgotten after the great flood but Shaytan introduced them again to the idol worshippers.

Oaths
Allah commands man to do good. Therefore, "not to do good" cannot be justified under any pretext, not even because of swearing by Allah. Allah cannot be made an urdah (obstacle) in the way of doing good, safeguarding against evil, and making peace between men. It is an injunction to abstain from making "swearing by Allah" a pretext for withholding oneself from doing good. Good must be done at all events. For example the "swearing by Allah" of a husband in anger, that he will not go to his wife, has been forbidden. (See also al Qalam: 10; al Ma-idah: 89). Vain oath means unintentional swearing, which is a common habit with most people in their ordinary conversation. Allah will not hold any one accountable for vain oaths, but He will call His creatures to account for their real intentions and what they do. Verbal swearing has no value. However, swearing with full consciousness of the seriousness of the undertaking, binds the swearer to do as resolved provided the deed to be done is legal and good. Allah curses the people who break their pledge. So the Muslims should take precaution and avoid to act like the Jews.

129

Orphans

Orphans
Acting rightly and generously towards the orphans and those without guardians will not only directly benefit the giver as well as the receiver, but also be reflected in an improved human society. Islam allows partnership with an orphan, and guardianship and trusteeship of an orphan, with strict injunctions to maintain correct separate accounts in order to safeguard the orphans's interest at all events. Before handing over the property to an orphan, when he or she attains the age of majority, it must be positively ascertained that the orphan is not immature, because property, as a means of support and sustenance, is a thing to be valued, and not to be spent away wastefully or to be foolishly squandered; otherwise it should be managed by a guardian. The property of a ward should be managed in a profitable way by investing it in trade or industry so that from its profit the ward or wards may be properly maintained, without consuming the capital. "Speaking to them (treating them) with kindness" could only be prescribed by a religion which has been completed and perfected by a kind and merciful Lord.

Poetry
Poetry and other arts are not in themselves evil when used in the cause and service of Allah, His servants and righteousness as mentioned in verse 26:227. If the poets are insincere and are divorced from actual life, its goodness and serious purpose, they become instruments of evil, then they seek the dark depths of wickedness rather than the heights of enlightenment and goodness. In pagan Arabia they were held in esteem and awe. They were believed to be under the power of jinn. Before Islam they were the leaders of their tribes. Abdullah bin Zubayr, Abu Sufyan bin Harith, Zuhayra bin abi Wahab and Sami bin Abd Munaf used to compose poems in praise of idols and in denunciation of their enemies, always indulging in fancies and phantasms divorced from truth. They very often painted viciousness so vividly and alluringly as to excite passions and darken the intellect and erode the power of reasoning. They used to condemn the Holy Prophet and his faithful followers. Husayn bin Thabit and Ibn Rawahil, the two famous Muslim poets, came to the Holy Prophet and sought his advice concerning their future involvement in writing poetry. The Holy Prophet said: "You compose poetry in praise of Allah and righteousness and in condemnation of falsehood." Those poets who remember Allah in their verses, highlight the sufferings of the oppressed, condemn the persecutors and beliers of the truth and the truthful, have been excluded from the category of the poets mentioned above.

130

Qadr – The Night

Qadr – The night
The word qadr therefore has been translated as power and not as determination. Baqarah:185 says that the Quran was sent down in the month of Ramadan, Qadr: 1 says that it was sent down on the night of Qadr and that it was sent down on a blessed night. Therefore, the Quran was sent down in the month of Ramadan on the blessed night of Qadr (power), one of the odd nights in the last ten days of the month of Ramadan. The abovenoted verses clearly prove that the whole Quran was revealed to the Holy Prophet on the night of Qadr, and the gradual revelation refers to the occasions on which he was commanded by Allah to recite them to the people. Refer to the commentary of Baqarah: 2 and Ta Ha: 114. Therefore if any theory, based upon conjecture, is put forward to state that the Holy Prophet was not aware of the full text of the Quran and knew it only as and when any portion was revealed to him, should be rejected. On the night of Qadr the divine wisdom determines the solution of all spiritual pursuits man decides to undertake, therefore the Holy Prophet has advised the believers to pray and seek Allah's mercy throughout this night.

Qadr is power, honour, glory, grandeur. Laylatil Qadr means the night of power or grandeur. As verses 2 and 3 of Surah 97 suggest it is, in the spiritual sense, a secret kept hidden, and it transcends time because in it Allah's power dispels the darkness of ignorance through His revelation. The night of qadr is in the month of Ramadan wherein it is stated that the whole Quran was revealed in this night. The descension of the angels and the spirit is a regular occurrence since the creation of Allah till the day of resurrection, and the place of descent is a thoroughly purified heart (Ahzab: 33). Therefore there should be such a purified heart in existence at all times. Imam Muhammad bin Ali al Baqir said: "Present this surah as a decisive argument for the continuity of the divine vicegerency on the earth." The 19th, 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th or 29th night of Ramadan is the night of qadr. The whole Quran was revealed to the Holy Prophet in this night but he used to recite or convey to the people only such passages or verses as he was commanded by Allah through Jibrail. It is known as gradual revelation. Quoting Sajdah: 4, 5 and Ma-arij: 4, Abdullah Yusuf Ali says that "a thousand months" refers to "timeless time". One moment of enlightenment under Allah's light is better than thousands of months or years of animal life, and such a moment converts the night of darkness into a period of spiritual glory.

131

Qadr – The night The Imams of Ahl ul Bayt have asked their followers to pray to Allah and invoke His forgiveness and blessings during the night of Qadr. It is said that angels and holy spirits descend on the earth with peace and special blessings from Allah for those who seek Allah's mercy and bounties through prayers and supplications during this night. In the month of Ramadan the believers fast, pray and do good, therefore Allah sends down His forgiveness, mercy and blessings on those believers who obey His commands, and the boon of blessings and bounties promised to the sincere devotees of Allah continues until the rising of the dawn. When the spiritual darkness is dispelled by the light from Allah, a sense of security and peace dawns on the soul.

Qayamah
What man today, in this life, believes and disbelieves, will be laid bare on the day of faith. The believers and the disbelievers will witness the truth manifested before them. His reward to the righteous believers and His punishment to the wicked disbelievers will be announced. Both will thereafter live through the recompense requited by the maliki yawmiddin. Therefore, the day of faith, in fact, is the day of judgement, or the day of reckoning. There will be a day of judgement or requital, but it does not exclude Allah's authority to reward and punish while life, prior to the promised day, goes on. It is one of the aspects of the infinite mercy that the act of judging is continuous. This aspect serves as a warning to keep man on the right path, or to encourage him to return to it if he drifts or goes astray. The day of judgement is the day of final requital. The life after death is the continuation of the life in this world, to be lived in paradise or hell, in view of the good or evil done here. As you sow so shall you reap. At every stage of existence the divine judgement stays operative. Yawm (day), mentioned in the Quran, is not, on every occasion, the day of the earth, from sunrise to sunset. It can be a moment or a period of time extending even to fifty thousand years as per verse 4 of al Ma-arij. Therefore, according to the context in which it is used, the day may be of an indefinitely small or long period of time, not what we understand in terms of the orbit of the earth around the sun. The blowing of the trumpet (nufkhus sur) will breathe spirits into forms. All the creatures will take their final shape. The influence of time and space which separate one creature from the other will be removed. All will be brought together. It was He from whom everyone had come forth and unto Him every one shall return through the agency of the grace and guidance of (His) rububiyat. Each shall take up the position he or she is entitled 132

Qayamah on merit. Din is stipulated as such with reference to the yawmid din. Thus the masterdom of the malik assumes complete manifestation. Sa-iqa implies "a swoon", loss of all consciousness of being, and cessation of the normal functioning of the powers of feeling. With the first trumpet the living on the earth will die, and the souls of the dead will become unconscious. The exception, according to Ahl ul Bayt, refers to martyrs. There will be a new heaven and a new earth as stated in Ibrahim: 48. The new earth will be illuminated by the divine light, not by the sun or the moon. With the second trumpet they will stand in the new world before Allah, then the judgement will begin. This day cannot be taken as a day of any duration. It shall be a day which will not be followed by any night. The word yawm, refers to the life of the hereafter which includes the term of life beginning with the departure of the soul till the final resurrection. In some verses of the Quran it is said that every human being will undergo a trial on the day of final resurrection as an individual, whereas some other verses suggest groups of people, along with their leaders, will come before the Lord. According to some verses the wicked will be condemned without being permitted to put forward their lame excuses, whereas other state that some of the wicked will accuse their leaders for misleading them. There is no contradiction. In fact there are several varying stages in the intermediary period as well as in the final phase. The examination of every soul according to its individual deeds may differ from the accountability of its social behaviour. A man may be condemned as an individual but on account of his attachment to the divinely chosen wasilah (support and influence), he may be redeemed On the day of judgement the face of the believers (who followed the teachings of the Holy Prophet in letter and spirit) will shine bright with the radiance of joy. And (as Hasan al Basari has also said) the faces of those turncoats who went back to infidelity after their profession of faith (by rejecting the teachings of the Holy Prophet and his Ahl ul Bayt and introducing their own theories) shall turn black with gloom of fear, because they had disobeyed the instructions of the Holy Prophet to obey his Ahl ul Bayt and follow their guidance. On the day of judgement no soul shall speak without Allah's permission. Verses 35 and 36 of al Murasalat say that they will not be allowed to put forward their excuses. Verse 39 of Ar Rahman says that neither men nor jinn will be questioned. Verse 24 of As Saffat says that they will be questioned. Verse 21 of Ha Mim says that their skins will bear witness against them when Allah shall give their skins the power to speak. There is no contradiction because as the holy Imams have pointed out (refer to Shaykh Saduq's treatise on the Shi-ah faith) the day of resurrection has many stages each has its own peculiarity which differs from the other stages and states, and every verse refers to a different or particular state or stage. The whole mankind will be divided and kept in two camps on the basis of what they had done in the life of the world. Those who earned disgrace and doom by their evil deeds (fa-ammalladhina shaqu has been used for the wretched or doomed which gives no room 133

Qayamah to the doctrine of predeterminism) will be in hell; and those who have earned blessings and pleasure of Allah by their good deeds (fa-ammalladhina su-idu has been used for the blessed which gives no room to the doctrine of predeterminism) will be in paradise. If wretchedness and blessedness were predestined then ammal ashqiya wa ammal sawda or any other phrase like it would have been used. Shaqu is the active voice of verb which implies that the wretched willingly and knowingly walk the path of evil; and su-idu is the passive voice of verb which implies the doers of good deeds receive Allah's guidance and assistance when they knowingly and willingly walk on the right path; and when once they are blessed and have obtained the pleasure of Allah they can never be deprived of it. It is for ever. The punishment awarded after the final judgement will be permanent. The Holy Prophet said: On the day of judgement an announcement will be made: "Where are the unjust and their theoreticians who propagated their ideologies by spoken and written words, and those who agreed, assisted and followed them? Bring them all together with their leaders." According to the holy Imams of the Ahl ul Bayt on the day of judgement an entirely new and different earth will replace the present once. A thorough study of the verses of the Quran, read with several authentic traditions, supports the idea that in the evolutionary course the heavens and the earth will reach a stage known as the day of resurrection when the laws of time and space shall cease to apply. All the terrestrial and the celestial distances will disappear. There will be no past, present and future. All will be before the Lord together to be judged. When some people asked the Holy Prophet as to what would become of the solid mountains or the eternal hills, he recited verses 105 to 107: "My Lord will uproot them and scatter them as dust, and will leave them as plains, smooth and level, without any crookedness or unevenness," The scene of the day of judgement will be a level plain in which there will be no places of concealment. The angel Israfil as the summoner will blow the trumpet to assemble all souls who will follow him. Verse 20:109 makes it clear that those who have been granted permission by Allah shall have the authority to intercede and obtain forgiveness for those whom they find suitable and deserving. The day of judgement will be a day of terrible hardships for the disbelievers. What we cannot see now will be clearly visible. The sky, which now appears remote and blank, will be rent asunder. There will appear the holy spirits of all grades of excellence, and the true majesty and glory of Allah will be visible as it should be in reality. Here sama means the various spheres, one upon the other, like the clouds which cover the space above them. Shaq means the removal of the cover like a cloth is torn asunder. Then the dwellers of the upper spheres will descend. In verse 104 of Anbiya it is said that the heavens will be rolled up like a written scroll. In verse 29 of Shura it is said that all the 134

Qayamah living things will be gathered together if He wills. Verses 4 to 6 of Waqi-ah say that the earth will be shaken up convulsively, the mountains bruised and crushed, turned to dust, floating in the air. Verses 7 to 9 of Qiyamah say that the eyes will be dazed, the moon eclipsed, and the sun and the moon are conjoined. Verses 8 to 10 of Mursalat say that the stars will be obliterated, the heavens split asunder, the mountains will be reduced to dust and blown away. Verse 19 of Naba says that the heavens will be opened wide as if there were doors. There are similar descriptions in Takwir, Infitar and Inshiqaq also. A close study of these verses indicate that just before the day of resurrection all the barriers of time and space which separate the conscious beings from each other will be removed. The day (yawm), mentioned in the Quran, is not, every time, the day of the earth, from sunrise to sunset. It can be a moment, or a period of 1000 years as in verse 5 below, or 50000 years as in Ma-arij: 4, or a very long period as in Ha Mim: 9 to 12. On the day of judgement, the restoration of all values shall be so swift that it will occur in the twinkling of an eye, yet to our ideas it will be as a thousand years. The Holy Prophet said: "Dukhan refers to the smoke which will be seen on the day of judgement." This is a warning to those who reject the true faith. They will see smoke every where on the day of reckoning. It will envelop them as a grievous penalty. On the day of judgement a wall or barrier (record of deeds) will divide the true believers (the good) from the hypocrites (the evil), but the communication between them will not be cut off, so that the evil doers must realise that the mercy and grace available to those who do good was within their reach but due to their own rejection of mercy now the wrath of Allah, would envelope them. Qariah means "striking calamity", another description of the day of judgement which the people of Ad and Thamud belied. This word Qariah is also the title of surah 101. The people of Ad were destroyed by a terrible blast of wind; and the people of Thamud were destroyed by an earthquake accompanying a terrible thunderstorm. The calamities were thorough. The whole visible world will pass away, And a new world will come into being. The mountains are mentioned because they stand for hardness, size and durability. They will be crushed to powder. The heavens will be rent asunder. In Arabic language la, the negative particle, is inserted to lay emphasis on the affirmation of the oath. Qiyamah means rising which refers to the day of resurrection or the day of final judgement because on the day of resurrection all the dead created beings will rise from the graves or from wherever their dead bodies disappeared.

135

Qayamah On the day of resurrection the glory of the Lord will shine. All luminaries will loose their light. Every individual will be confounded. All reflected and relative phenomena will sink into nothingness before the true reality of Allah. The prophets, sent in succession at different times to all nations, will be gathered together in one place before the seat of judgement to bear witness as to the righteous or the unjust among their followers and the Holy Prophet as a witness over all the prophets of Allah. In the house of Abu Ayub Ansari, the Holy Prophet told Ma-adh bin Jabal: "On the day of judgement the backbiters' faces will be like the monkey; the faces of those who take forbidden things as food will be like the swine; those who make money by usury will walk upside down on their heads; the unjust will be blind as a bat, the proud boasters (inspite of their good deeds, if any) will be deaf and dumb; the tongues of the corrupt judges and the hypocritic scholars will hang on their breasts polluting the air with foul smell; those who harassed and annoyed their neighbours will be there without their hands and legs; the maligners will be hanging in the columns of fire; those who transgress the boundaries laid down by Allah in order to indulge in carnal passions will emit foul stench; and like their will be those who obstruct dispensation of justice, deprive others from their rights; and those who are puffed up with pride and arrogance will be seen in garments made of qaratan, a kind of sticking matter. Like the 1 to 13 verses of Takwir the signs which will appear before the day of resurrection are mentioned in these verses. The heavens will cleave asunder, the stars will be scattered, the oceans will overwhelm the whole globe, and the graves will throw out the buried bodies. The physical world as we see it will be destroyed and after the final judgement a new eternal realm of spiritual existence will begin. Imam Muhammad bin Ali al Baqir said: "The command on that day (day of judgement) and today is Allah's, but on that day the subordinate authorities (at a certain stage) will not be visible." The manifestation of Allah's absolute authority is like the sun, when it shines all the stars disappear, though they are there, deriving the light from the sun. On the day of judgement the tarnished, blackened and sealed hearts of the sinners because of total loss of reflectivity, will not receive the light of the glory of Allah-a deprivation of the highest magnitude. The fire of punishment will be to them the only reality which they will perceive. On the day of judgement there will be certain persons who will be witnesses, and certain persons or things which will be the subjects of the witness. The witnesses may be: 1. Allah (All Imran: 81 and Yunus: 61). 2. The prophets (Nisa: 41 ). 3. The recording angels (Qaf: 21). 4. The sinner's limbs (Nur: 24). 5. The records of deeds (Bani Israil: 14). 136

Qayamah 6. The sinner (Bani Israil: 14). 7. The Holy Prophet (Barat : 105; Ahzab : 45). The subject of the witness may be the crimes of the sinners and the sinners against whom the witnesses bear witness. So the sinner will not be able to escape the consequences of his crimes, but if he repents, before death seizes him, make amends and lives a life free from sins, thereafter he may be forgiven. The literal meaning of shahidin wa mash-hud is clear, but its application has been explained in a variety of ways by different commentators. Imam Hasan bin Ali al Mujtaba said: "Shahid is the Holy Prophet and mash-hud refers to the day of resurrection." Ghashiyah means that which overshadows or overwhelms-a terrible thing or event which makes people lose their senses. The day of judgement is indicated as an event when all that which we have seen and experienced in the life of this world will be lost and the only reality before us will be the process of reckoning. As after the terrible disaster the day of judgement will begin, it will be so a far-reaching convulsion that no earthquake which has taken place before can even be compared to it. It only gives some idea of the world-shaking event. Having no idea of such a tremendous convulsion, consequences of which will be totally different from any convulsion experienced by man, he will not be able to make head or tail of it. He will be in a puzzled agony of total confusion. The earth will divulge all the events that ever took place on her. The present order will pass away, but the deeds done therein, even the most secret, will be made known when Allah will give the command. It is written in Minhajus Sadiqin that according to Fatimah Zahra one day an earthquake sent the people of Madina into a panic, and all of them along with Abu Bakr and Umar came to Ali. He took them outside the city and addressed them: "The quaking of the earth has overwhelmed you with fright. What will you do when it will quake before the day of judgement?" Then he put his hand on the earth and commanded it to cease quaking. It stopped to quake. He said: "Do you wonder at what has happened? I am he to whom the earth will speak on the day of judgement," and recited surah al Zilzal. The dawn of the day of resurrection and judgement has been described in al Ghashiyah and al Zilzal. A tremendous stunning noise will be heard before the day of judgement. The whole of the present order of existence will be overthrown. All our present landmarks will be lost. It will inaugurate a new existence of true and permanent values, in which every human deed will have its just recompense as if weighed in balance.

137

Qayamah No one can have the idea of the confusion, distress and helplessness with which men will find themselves overwhelmed on the day of judgement, because nothing even near to the terrible convulsion has ever been experienced by man on the earth. Moths are frail light things. To see them scattered about in a violent storm gives some idea of the nature of calamity men will encounter on the day of judgement when the mountains will scatter about like flakes of carded wool.

Qibla
Qiblah is the direction towards which the face is turned. In Makka, the Holy Prophet used to face Jerusalem at the time of praying salat, but the holy Kabah was always between him and the first qiblah. Even in Madina, he continued to pray towards Jerusalem for seventeen months, after which Allah accepted the Holy Prophet's request to change the qiblah, because the Jews of Madina had been mocking the Muslims for not having their own qiblah. Madina is located between Makka and Jerusalem. Facing Jerusalem, standing in Madina, meant turning the hinder parts of the body towards Makka. Since the Holy Prophet knew that the holy Kabah in Makka was going to be the ultimate qiblah, he did not like to turn his back towards it. The Jews knew that the Holy Prophet was the final messenger of Allah (see verse 40 of this surah). They also knew that the holy Kabah, with the "black stone" set in one of its corners, was destined to be the qiblah of the true believers. Allah informed the Holy Prophet that nothing, not even Allah's signs, would make the Jews and the Christians follow his qiblah, the true religion of Allah - Islam, because, out of their stupidity and arrogance, they did not like a descendant of Ismail to be the promised prophet. Also the Jews and the Christians did not follow each other's qiblah or religion. In fulfilment of the divine promise to bless Ibrahim and Ismail, it was necessary to make the house built by them, the final qiblah for the worship of Allah, by the followers of the perfected and completed religion of Allah, for all times. Reference to surah al Fil makes it clear that to keep safe the highly venerated house of Allah, Allah Himself destroyed the army of Abraha who came to demolish the holy Kabah. This change was also a prophecy that Makka would, one day, come into the hands of the Muslims, and that it would be cleared of the false gods, because a centre of idolatry could never have been the qiblah of a thoroughly monotheistic faith.

Qisas
In verse 2:178 the law of qisas (requital, settlement) is set forth in detail. It is enforceable strictly according to the demands of justice tempered with the spirit of mercy. Allah is the forgiving, and therefore man must be able to forgive. The heirs of the slain have the choice to pardon the murderer if someone on behalf of him pays them the blood-price, 138

Qisas after which brotherhood is again restored among the parties concerned. Before the advent of Islam, more often than not, the scenario after a murder was a chain of brutal and bloodthirsty reactions. The families and the tribes of both the slayer and the slain used to engage themselves into a war of attrition, generation after generation, involving innocent men, women and children. Islam, through the Holy Prophet, put a stop to this barbaric collective human behaviour and gave a just and kind system of justice to the human race, which for the first time, without ignorance and superstition, applied compassion and understanding in order to live in peace and harmony. "Payment should be made according to recognised usage in a good manner" is called diyat (blood-money). Moderation in punishment is an alleviation from the Lord. Verse 92 of al Nisa prescribes moderation when the murder is not premeditated and intentional. Verse 93 of al Nisa clearly declares that a great punishment awaits the murderer who kills a believer intentionally. In addition to the legal penalty, in the hereafter, he will abide in hell for ever. "When a man hits you on the cheek, offer him the other cheek too; when a man takes your coat, let him have your shirt as well. Give to every one who asks you; when a man takes what is yours; do not demand it back." (Luke 6: 29 and 30) At no time in history the Christian or any other authority could put this principle into practice. Qassa, the root of qisas, means to cut, divide and differentiate. Life is balanced by discrimination between good and bad, light and darkness, life and death. The proper justice of retaliation is discrimination without which we become transgressors by not enforcing Allah's law of balance. Therefore, the guilty should be paid back in the same coin. The people against whom the crime is committed should know what punishment has been given and how it is carried out. This way the boundaries of transgression are clearly marked and made known. La-allakam tattaqun points out that the purpose of ordaining penalty for the crime is to make people abstain from evildoing. If a believer takes another believer's life by mistake or mischance, the ransom or redemption (money) to be paid, in different cases, have been mentioned in this verse.

Quran
Dhalika (that), a demonstrative pronoun, refers to something distant, but, in Arabic, sometimes is also used to indicate a highly revered object, even if it is close at hand. This book, the word of Allah, in the sphere of revelation, is complete, comprehensive, sublime and worthy of reverence, in the highest possible degree. Therefore, here and in many other sentences dhalika is used to refer to this holy book; and tilka, the feminine gender of dhalika, is used to refer to its verses. Whether translated as this or that, it refers to that which is in our hands. Al kitab, the book, has been named Quran, derived from the verb qura-a, which means to recite or to read. Therefore, the literal meaning of Quran is recitation, in the light of 139

Quran verses 16 to 19 of al Qiyamah, and in view of verse 185 of al Baqarah, it is a guidance with clear proofs, and a distinction. It is furqan - that which teaches us to distinguish between good and evil, according to verse 1 of al Furqan, on account of its containing the principles of good and evil, and also the conditions of reward and punishment. It is also called furqan because of its gradual delivery, part by part, according to verses 106 and 107 of Bani Israil. According to verse 9 of al Hijr, it is dhikr, the reminder. Al kitab is hakim (a decisive book of divine wisdom), aziz (a unique book of natural beauty), hamid (praiseworthy), majid (glorious), karim (bounteous and honoured) and mubin (clear and expressive). It is also ummul kitab, the mother book. The application of this title is with regard to the clear revelations, beyond all ambiguity (ayat ul muhkamat) - they are the substance of the book as per verse 7 of Ali Imran, in the light of which the rest of the book is explained. The Quran is a guidance to those who safeguard themselves against evil with full awareness of Allah's laws, but it is a plain statement to ordinary human beings. The Quran has been specified as the book, as well as, the word or sentence of Allah. The book and the word are the vehicles of thought and will. When the expression of thought or will, or both, are written, giving stability and simultaneity to the components, it is a book, whereas the word is only the spoken expression. Although the expression, whether written or spoken, is attributable to the knowledge and the ability of the author or speaker, it is absurd to refer to the work of the author or speaker as his attribute, because knowledge or ability, and not its outcome, is the attribute. In normal sense, the word is produced by highly organised functions of the vocal organs of living beings; and a book is the result of the elaborate labour of man's hand, pen, paper and ink etc. This does not apply to the word and the book of Allah. According to Imam Ali ibna abi Talib, the word of Allah is not a spoken expression in the sense of sound but is a divine will. He said: It is not a sound that strikes the ear, nor a voice to be heard. Verily His words are His work, originated by Him. His work, originated by Him, had stability and simultaneity prior to its gradual delivery to the visible world; and after the appearance in the lowest sphere of manifestation, this stable and simultaneous work became His book. Therefore, it has continuity, in the order of descent, by the continuity of His will. In view of these two aspects, all that has been created (the whole and its parts) is His word, the effect of His creative will. On account of its stability and the simultaneity of its parts the whole creation is a book of Allah i.e. the written expression of His will and thought.

140

Quran Nazul or the revelation is a term applied in the Quran to the process of descent from the infinite to the finite, in creation as well as in legislation. The divine revelation, in legislation, passes through the same stages of intellectual, angelical and non-material agencies, as it does in creation. In creation, the last stage of revelation is that when it is exposed to our senses, termed as alam shahadat (the visible world), and alam malak (the world of cause and effect). In legislation the last stage of revelation is the heart (power to visualise) of the Holy Prophet, prior to its utterance. Therefore, this revelation (legislation) is in complete conformity with the revelation regarding creation. Imam Ali ibna abi Talib says: Although you see yourself as a "nothing to speak of" origin, in you is summed up the vast universe; and, therefore, you are the meaningful The Quran is the sum total of the word and the book of Allah. It is the map of the universe. Its letters, words, clauses, sentences, chapters, parts, and symbols, jointly or severally, signify the facts of the creation in its circular process. To read and understand any map, a fixed scale is required, without which it would be a meaningless mass of unrelated and irrelevant dots and lines having no value or significance. Therefore, in the case of the Quran, those who do not make use of the "real scale", remain unattached, go astray and wander in the wilderness of ignorance and confusion. The Quran refers to this fact. In view of the explanation of the word and the book of Allah, the opinion held by some people of importance, as an article of faith, that the Quran is uncreated, eternal and coexisting with the being of Allah, like His attributes, becomes unacceptable. The word or writing of Allah is His work, not His essential attribute. The idea of coexistence of His work with His being was imported from the Christian ideology which was borrowed from Jewish Alexandrian philosophy. The Quran repeatedly presents the whole creation and its every part and particle as the word (work) of Allah, the outcome of His creative will and attention, or His legislative will and attention. The Quran in full, in parts and in its arrangement, is the work of Allah. There is no doubt in it. In verses 41 and 42 of Ha Mim, it has been made clear that the book, in our hands, is the same as revealed to the Holy Prophet, both in its quantity as well as in its arrangement. It was revealed to him as a complete book. The gradual delivery, part by part, verse by verse or chapter by chapter to the people, on various occasions, does not mean that the revelation to him was also gradual or piecemeal. He recited it as and when necessary, under divine instruction, which only regulated the delivery. It is a historical fact that the arrangement of the verses was not made according to any chronological order, but that the passages delivered in the later period were put by the order of the Holy Prophet, into the respective chapters delivered in the earlier period, because he knew beforehand, to which chapter each verse belonged. This would not have been possible unless the whole and complete book, in its present arrangement, had already been with him, duly revealed, prior to its delivery to the people. For those who treat the Holy Prophet as an ordinary man who passed his forty years in ignorance, astray and bewildered, prior to the endowment of the prophetic mission, when the holy ghost, Jibrail, taught him bismillah, as in the case of a child, the gradual revelation, scattered and 141

Quran with no proper arrangement, may be justified; but for those who see the Holy Prophet in his true position, which is repeatedly asserted by the Quran; that he never followed, in any period of his life, any path or creed except the divine religion, rightly know and believe that he was chosen and commissioned right from the beginning, to deliver that which had already been revealed to him. Allah throws an open challenge to mankind for making an effort to compose even one surah in the style and manner of the Quran, not only to assert the genuineness of the divine words revealed to a man who did not receive any type of education from any mortal, but also to put an end to doubts and speculations, for ever, that it could be the fabrication of any human mind. This challenge refers to the Quran as a work of literature and wisdom, and not to its effects as some commentators wrongly try to prove. The inimitable literary excellence and the pure and perfect wisdom of the Quran has been and will always be beyond the reach of the literary and intellectual genius of mankind. Say (O Muhammad); If men and jinn should unite to produce the like of this Quran they could not produce the like of it though they were helpers one of another. (Bani Israil: 88) In what respect is the Quran an unchallengable miracle? How is it the proof of its own truthfulness? Several views have been put forward by both Muslim and non-Muslim scholars. 1. Eloquence and rhetorical excellence. 2. Prophecies. 3. Precepts and laws. 4. Effect of its forceful and fascinating tone on the human mind and heart. No attempt has been made to look into the book itself to know why and in what sense it is a miracle. The book is the book of guidance. The duty of the messenger of Allah was to convey and preach guidance to mankind. The speaker or author arranges his words and sentences to make his ideas meaningful to the audience or the readers. In search of the best way to communicate the ideas, the science of grammar and the art of rhetoric had been developed. The use of language and style has to be adopted in relation to the class of people who are addressed. A message or guidance of universal nature, dealing with all aspects of human life in its manifold dimensions (individual and social, economic and political, physical and spiritual) not for any particular person or class but for every human being, community and nation, educated and uneducated, till eternity, must be the work of a person who knows, inside out, human nature in general as well as the capacity to understand and the tendencies of different individuals and communities of different classes and races. In addition, the relation of each individual to the other, the relation of mankind as a whole to other beings and surrounding nature, the beginning and the end of human life, the first and the final cause of creation of which man is a part, have to be taken into consideration. The style and substance of such a message should not only appeal to the "welfare-oriented" interests of the people but also should be able to refine 142

Quran human feelings and emotions. Such a power of expression is beyond the limit of human ability. Therefore it is true to say that the Quran is a miracle in view of its style and substance. Allah's book is true. It contains and encompasses the knowledge of the diversity of creation. Dispute and difference can only relate to the diversity of creation, not to the laws that govern it. Those who go against the book doubt the genuineness of the Quran as the revealed word of Allah. The opponents of the book among the Jews concealed or misinterpreted the prophecy about the advent of the Holy Prophet, clearly mentioned in their scripture. All schools of Islam agree that the whole Quran was sent to baytul ma-mur and thereafter it was revealed to the Holy Prophet on suitable occasions during a period of 23 years. Bayt ul ma-mur is said to be the celestial counterpart of the holy Kabah. It is an allegorical term used for the heart of the Holy Prophet. Bil haqq means (with) truth, certainty, reason, justice and proof, in contrast to the false notions and fabricated dogmas of the other corrupted religions and creeds. Musaddiqan means the Quran verifies and confirms the preachings of the earlier prophets about the unity of Allah and His demand from man to do good and adopt righteousness. Furqan means that which teaches us to distinguish between good and evil, truth and falsehood. It also means salvation. It is another name of the Quran. Most of the verses of the Quran are clear and decisive. There is no ambiguity in them. They are known as the muhkamat. They relate to the fundamentals of the faith, such as the oneness of Allah, the directions pertaining to the practice of the faith and the laws governing the day to day life of the faithful. They can neither be changed nor modified. Any man of average intelligence can understand and follow them. The mutashabihat are the verses which have been composed in subtle and profound diction and style. They carry implications other than the literal meanings, and therefore, are capable of giving different significations, like "The hand of Allah is on their hands" in verse 10 of al Fat-h. Only the men of understanding who possess a higher level of intelligence contemplate and find out the meaningful implications of such verses. Average and ordinary minds cannot figure out or have knowledge of the real purport of such verses, and if they try this on their own, they are bewildered and go astray. As mentioned in the commentary of verse 1 of al Baqarah, the huruf muqatta-at are also meaningful but their subtle and profound meanings are known to Allah and His chosen representatives (Muhammad and ali Muhammad) only. Zaygh means disease, perversity, evil, and wicked intention, the inclination to go against the truth and to blunder, revolt and go astray. Fitna means to create mischief, or to create difference of opinion and to mislead. "None knows its interpretation except Allah and those (who are) firmly rooted in knowledge", renders null and void all attempts made by 143

Quran scholars to discover the true meanings of the mutashabihat. The firmly rooted in knowledge are those whom Allah Himself gives the knowledge, as verse 49 of al Ankabut says: But it is clear revelations in the hearts of those who have been given knowledge. Ali ibn abi Talib said:"Seek remedy as well as answers to all questions and difficulties from the Quran. It cures the worst diseases like infidelity, hypocrisy and deviation." "(This is) a book We have sent down to you (14:1)" implies that the whole Quran was revealed to the Holy Prophet in a complete book form; it was neither edited nor arranged nor compiled by any one after its revelation. Allah has taken the work of guarding the Quran. Allah's pure and holy truth will never suffer tahrif (alteration).

Rabb
Rabb in Arabic stands for nourisher, cherisher, and sustainer. According to Raghib, an Arab lexicologist, the word rabb signifies "the fostering of a thing in such a manner as to make it attain one condition after another until its goal of completion". Our Lord is He who gave unto everything its form, and then guided it aright. (TAHA; 50) Rububiyat speaks of another attribute - lutf , meaning tenderness and refinement in diffusing through every one's mind and feelings to know the needs and make available the necessary means of satisfaction. This position gives authority to exercise legislative powers which, in fact, justifies the establishment of the office of nabuwat and imamat. By making Allah known as the rabbul alamin, Islam has disclosed the truth to mankind that He is the Lord of everything in the universe, be that human, animal, vegetable, mineral, perceptible or imperceptible, visible or invisible, near or far, in the earth or in the heavens, or in between them. With infinite power, able to do all things, the all-wise almighty creator of matter and meaning is a supreme sovereign in every aspect of His absolute authority. His independent will extends to and covers all kinds of the worlds created by Him. The five "mystic" classifications of the worlds are as under: 1. Material or physical NASUT 2. Metaphysical MALAKUT or supernatural 3. Spiritual or JABARUT 4. Divine or LAHUT 5. Imperceptible or GHAYBUL GHAYUB The rububiyat begins to operate as early as the will to create a being takes effect, and continues to nurture the created being with love, care and never-ceasing vigilance, providing all its needs according to the changes it goes through. It is like a self-imposed duty to guide the creature to make conscious efforts to avoid harm and avail profit. 144

Rabb

Things necessary for the living beings, all over the universe, in all times, are available to satisfy various wants and needs. The quality and quantity of the "resources" have been determined according to the collective requirements of all that which has been created. Some things are rare, some things are plentiful, but at all events nothing is less or more. A thoughtful study of the complex of "things" brings the obvious fact to light that there is only one single owner master who has set the wonderfully harmonious working of the universe in motion, allowed life to be created, and in addition, enabled each and every creation to put into effect the aim of its being brought into existence. The heat of the sun changes the water into a mass of fog and the wind takes it to the sky in the shape of rolling clouds and drives them over various parts of the earth; and when the stored water in the clouds melts on account of the solar glow, it rains all over the earth. The earth receives the water and grows "food" for all the living beings. Every being finds, all that which serves to maintain life on earth, ready, as soon as it comes into being, duly provided and arranged in the required quantity and quality. The milk, a new-born baby feeds on, is ready in the mother's breasts well in advance of its birth. By introducing Allah as the rabbul alamin, Islam has warned and alerted mankind not to do injustice to any creation of Allah. He will punish the unjust offender because even the smallest degree of injustice displeases the just Lord of the worlds. Also, this term makes man realise that Allah is the master not only of mankind or animate and visible objects but He is the Lord of everything in the universe - human or animal, vegetable or mineral, visible or invisible, perceptible or imperceptible, near or far.

Ramadan
The month of Ramadan is that in which the complete Quran was revealed to the Holy Prophet in the night of Qadr (Dukhan: 3; Qadr: I ). Thereafter he was intimated to deliver it gradually to the people as and when Allah deemed it suitable.

Rass
Commentators have given various accounts of the companions of al Rass. The root meaning of rass is an old well or shallow water-pit. They were people who disobeyed their prophet and were destroyed. Imam Ali bin Musa ar Ridha reported on the authority of Imam Husayn bin Ali that a man from Banu Tamim came to Ali and asked him as to who were the people of al Rass. Imam Ali said: "You have asked a question no one has yet investigated; and there is no one except me who can give you the answer because there is no verse in the Quran but I know when, where and why it was revealed. The treasures of knowledge Allah has given me are inexhaustible, but there are very few who want to know. The seekers of truth and wisdom 145

Rass shall miss me when they will not find me among them to know that which is unknown to any scholar. The people of al Rass worshipped the pine tree which Yafas, son of Nuh, planted beside a spring called Dushab, particularly created by Allah for Nuh, after the great flood. After Sulayman, son of Dawud, there were twelve towns, between Adharbayjan and Arminia on the river known as Rass, in which these people lived. The names of the twelve towns were 1. Aban 2. Adhur 3. Day 4. Bahman 5. Isfandar 6. Farwardin 7. Ardi Bahist 8. Khurdad 9. Mardad 10. Tir 11. Mihr 12. Shahryur. Isfandar was the largest town in which was the pine tree the people worshipped. Tarkuz son of Ghayur son of Yarishk son of Sazan son of Nimrud son of Kanan was their king. It was strictly prohibited to use the water of the spring for any purpose because if it dried, they presumed, their god would die. An Israelite prophet, a descendant of prophet Yaqub, was sent to show the right path of Allah to them, but they did not give up the worship of the pine tree. At last Allah made the tree dead. The people, in a fury of revenge, buried the prophet alive in a well. Then the wrath of Allah seized them. All perished. No one survived."

Riba
Riba literally means a growth or an addition. The additional amount, collected over and above the capital given as a loan, is interest or usury. It is an abuse or a misuse of the power one holds over the weak or the needy, and therefore, strictly forbidden. Spending in the way of Allah for the welfare of the human society has been prescribed in the preceding verses. With enough means at one's disposal, it is a sin not to part with some of it in order to help the needy. When giving in the way of Allah, as a free gift, under such circumstances, has been prescribed, then those whom Allah has given enough, must at least lend that which is needed by the needy, without charging any additional payment, because practising usury is akin to being confounded by Shaytan, and is tantamount to digging one's own grave. Inherent in a transaction of usury is the element of enslavement and abuse, because a person who is in need of material help cannot pay back more than what he had originally taken; therefore Islam has prohibited usury. In the transaction of usury, both the givers and the takers suffer. The lender, in love of more and more 146

Riba material gains, becomes heartless and selfish. Those who take loans become extravagant and ruin their families. This scenario is diametrically opposed to the very purpose of the religion of Islam - establishment of a fair, kind and welfare-oriented social order. If there is no temptation of usury, material help will be given to only those who are really in need of it. Mahaq means to blot out, to render unfortunate, to withdraw one's blessings from Allah does not bless usury, and He causes charitable deeds to prosper. The act of usury itself lights the fuse of the ultimate destruction of the system that builds, supports and perpetrates it. According to the Holy Prophet, he who upholds usury as permissible is a kafir. It is generally known among the Muslims that to use the gains obtained from usury is as wicked and as satanic as marrying one's own mother. There is no neutral standing space between good and bad actions. If the faithful do not desist from usury, they will bear the consequences of making war against Allah and His messenger. Fadhanu means "be warned of" a war from Allah and His messenger. Imam Ali ibna abi Talib says: The Holy Prophet not only cursed the giver, the receiver, and the consumer of the usury but also condemned those who write and witness the transaction of usury.

Neither lend nor borrow money on interest, simple or compound. Islam has forbidden usury for all ages and in all circumstances, regardless of any "commercial" consideration. "Multiplied manifold" implies an unjust economic system by making the rich richer and the poor poorer. The basis of prosperity and success, both in this world and the hereafter, is love of Allah and awareness of His laws, not greed of gold.

Righteous
According to the Holy Prophet whoever puts verse 2:177 into practice attains perfection in faith. The theory and practice of piety have clearly been mentioned in this verse. Faith in Allah and welfare of the mankind have been founded as the essence of the religion of Allah, Islam. Righteousness is this that one should believe: 1. in the unity of Allah with all His attributes; 2.in the last day of judgement; 3. in the angels; 4. in the book of Allah; 5. in all the prophets and messengers of Allah; 6. and give away wealth out of love for Allah to the near of kin, and the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer, and the beggars, and for the liberation of slaves; 7. and keep up the (obligatory) prayers,

147

Righteous Those who believe in Allah, do good deeds, keep up the salat, and pay Zakat will have no fear nor will grieve on the day of judgement. The Holy Prophet has said: Seven persons shall be allowed to take refuge with Allah when there will be no other refuge. 1. He who rules justly and judges impartially. 2. He who grows up in a virtuous family as an embodiment of virtue. 3. He who remains attached with the place of worship of Allah, and loves and helps the worshippers. 4. He who loves people, and hates the evildoers in order to promote the cause of Allah. 5. He who says: "I fear the Lord" whenever a beautiful woman incites him to do that which is forbidden. 6. He who gives charity in secret by one hand, not letting the other know it. 7. He who prays in secret and sheds tears in fearful awareness of the Lord. A true believer receives good things lawfully as due return for his labour or services but keeps them in trust with himself, to be distributed as and when commanded by Allah. He is always ready to part with them because he does not attach himself to them in the sense of hubbush shahawati. Being a man he is allowed to desire happiness and satisfaction but is required to keep his feelings and emotions in check to attain moral and spiritual refinement which, in return, enables him to make an offering of his means of satisfaction to the service of the Lord. It is more trying and demanding to control passions than not to have them at all. Total suppression of feelings and desires and mortification of the flesh betrays an escapist tendency to avoid test and trial. You shall not attain to righteousness until you spend (in the way of Allah) of what you love. (Ali Imran: 92) The patient, the truthful, the devout and those who spend in the way of Allah are entitled to receive the grace of Allah. The reward of the righteous will be far more than in proportion to their merits. While the blessed will be rewarded beyond their merits, the condemned, who earn evil (bring it on themselves by the deliberate choice of evil), will receive their punishment only with exact justice On several occasions the Holy Prophet had said that every Muslim man and Muslim woman must cultivate the following virtues: 1. Faith, hope and trust in Allah, and in His benevolent administration of the whole universe; 2. devotion and service in practical life; 3. love and practice of the teachings of Islam in thought and intention, word and deed; 4. patience in suffering and constancy in right endeavour; 5. humility, the avoidance of an attitude of arrogance and superiority; 6. financial help to the poor and less fortunate fellow-beings; 148

Righteous 7. self denial, 8. purity in sex life, purity in motive, thought, word and deed; 9. constant attention to Allah's commands, 10. safeguarding oneself against evil with full awareness of laws made by Allah.

Romans – The prophecy
During the period 614 A.D. to 616 A.D. the Byzantine emperor Heraclius was defeated by the Persians and the Byzantine empire lost much of its lands. In Makka, the pagans were happy about the defeat of the Romans because they were Christians and the people of the book. But the Muslims were grieved at the defeat of Romans because the Persians were fire worshippers, and the disbelievers of Makka were taunting the Muslims that their fate would also be similar to the Romans as this was an omen of their triumph upon the Muslims. This verse 30:3 was sent to console the grieved Muslims bringing the prophesy that soon the Romans will defeat the Persians. Inter alia, this also meant that the pagans of Makka, who were so happy about the defeat of the Romans, would very soon be disillusioned both about the fate of the Persian fire-worshippers and their own fate against the Muslims. This prophesy of the Quran was fulfilled in 624 A.D. when Heraclius defeated the Persians; and at the battle of Badr (in 2 A.H.) the disbelievers of Makka were defeated by the Muslims. According to Imam Muhammad bin Ali al Baqir, when the Holy Prophet migrated from Makka and arrived in Madina, he sent out two letters, one to the Byzantine emperor and the other to the emperor of Persia, inviting them to embrace Islam. The Muslim envoy received honour in Constantinople and the emperor returned him with valuable gifts despite his not accepting the invitation to join Islam. While the emperor of Persia insulted the Muslim envoy and tore the Prophet's letter into pieces. The Byzantine emperor was rewarded by Allah for the respect he paid to the Holy Prophet' envoy and to the invitation to Islam whereas the Persian emperor met the return for his pride and insulting arrogance with which he rejected the divine invitation. In this way the prophesy that came with the verses of Quran was fulfilled and the Muslims rejoiced at it.

Ruyat
The reward of spiritual discipline and worship of Allah is the certainty of the knowledge of the return to Allah. The word liqa (meeting or encounter) has been used in the Quran many times. It is wrong to interpret it as seeing. The theory of the possibility of seeing Allah (ruyat) in this world or in the hereafter assumes the personification of God, which 149

Ruyat is a fanciful conjecture against the fundamental article of the faith (the absolute unity), therefore, has been rejected by the Holy Quran: "vision perceives Him not" (An-am: 103), and the Holy Prophet and the holy Imams. Ali ibn abi Talib says: I do not worship the God whom I cannot see, not through sight, (but) through insight. Therefore, liqa means realisation through insight and not by physical vision. When a man asked Imam Jafar bin Muhammad al Sadiq to enable him to see Allah, the Imam advised him to meet him some other day. On one occasion he met the Imam while he was standing beside a river, and repeated his request. As directed by the Imam, his companions tied the hands and legs of the man and threw him in the river. While struggling to save himself from drowning he solicited help from every man standing there one by one, but none came to his rescue. Losing all hopes, he cried "O God! Help me", when he was about to go down under the water. Then the Imam took him out from the river and asked him "Did you see Allah?" He said: "Yes, my master." The Imam said: "You cannot see Allah with your eyes. You can see Him through your insight by realizing His essential existence." Liqa-ana (meeting with Us) does not mean seeing Allah; it refers to the ultimate return to Allah for the final accountability.

Saba – The townships
The soil of Saba was very rich and there was an abundant water supply. The whole area flourished with profoundly yielding fruit gardens and was free from venomous serpents and insects. The climate was very pleasant. Each of the twelve townships of Saba had its own prophet of Allah. Each of the prophets called their people to correct belief in Allah, the true Lord of the universe, and to righteous living. They preached: "Eat of what Allah from His grace and mercy has provided to you, and be thankful and grateful to Him who is the most merciful." It was a happy and prosperous country, amply supplied with canals and roads, and skirted by gardens to the right and left, but the people became arrogant of their prosperity, their skills and the achievements of their ancestors. Allah therefore punished them by destroying their habitations, gardens and cultivated fields. A mighty flood came and the dam burst. The French traveller T.J. Arnaud saw the town and ruins of the dam of Ma-arib in 1874, and described its gigantic works and its inscriptions in Journal Asiatique for January 1874. The dam as measured by Arnaud was two miles long and 120 feet high. The date of destruction was somewhere about 120 A.D. The flourishing land was converted into a waste.

150

Saba – The Townships The old Frankincense route was the great highway between Arabia and Syria. Through Syria it connected with great and flourishing kingdoms of the Euphrates and Tigris (Furat and Dajlah) valleys on the one hand and Egypt on the other, and with the great Roman empire round the Mediterranean. At the other end, through Yemen coast, the route was connected, by sea transport, with India, Malaysia and China. The route was studded, in the days of prosperity, with many cities close to each other. The close proximity of the cities prevented the inroads of highway men. The people of Saba became increasingly covetous and selfish, departing from the path of righteousness and envying their neighbour's prosperity and happiness. In order to make more profit the distance between two towns had to be extended, because a few stations which they could monopolise would bring more money. Their grasping nature put aside the moral standards of righteousness. Monopoly in trade and industry not only spreads poverty among people but also destroys the moral fabric of the society. They fell into the snare of Shaytan, therefore fell from divine grace and declined. They gradually passed out of history, and became only a name in a story. Prosperity is only a snare unless used for the highest service of Allah and His servants, an nas (common people). The people of Saba neglected the bounties of Allah and invited the miseries on themselves. This is true of the material, as well as the spiritual life of man. Thus Imam Jafar bin Muhammad as Sadiq quotes this verse to illustrate that the trouble which engulfed the Muslims (and will continue until the reappearance of Imam Al Mahdi al Qaim) was due to the ingratitude shown by the people concerning Ghadir Khum. They neglected to pay attention to the covenant of Ghadir (see commentary of Ma-idah: 67). For a similar example among the chadren of Israil see Ma-idah: 20 to 26.

Sabbath
Sabbath day was reserved exclusively for prayers. To do anything else was forbidden. The people (Bani Israel) invented crafty methods through which the fish got trapped. In this way they resorted to fishing which was also forbidden on the Sabbath days. In view of their persistent violations in spite of the repeated warnings given by the prophets., they were transformed into apes. After three days all of them died. A powerful wind swept their corpses into the sea. This incident took place in the town of Elah, on the coast of the Red Sea, during the time of prophet Dawud. This transformation has again been stated in verse 166 of al Araf.

Sabeans
Sabeans belonged to Chaldean religion. Their religion was much modified at various times and places by Jewish, Gnostic and Zoroastrian influences, and so there are conflicting accounts of them in various Muslim authors. Star-worship was the distinctive feature of their religion, otherwise they were monotheists.

151

Salat

Salat
The literal meaning of salat is the middle of the backbone. When used as a verb, it means the bending and unbending of the backbone. It is particularly employed when an animal is curved at the time of delivery. Figuratively, it was used for a bending posture at the time of giving or taking something. From this, it was adopted for prayer, to signify a submissive attitude. The Quran has drawn on this word to describe man's praying attitude towards Allah, as well as Allah's turning towards His creatures. Salat (with reference to the creature) means bending before the creator Lord to express wants and needs for obtaining fulfilment, and (with reference to the creator Lord) turning towards the supplicant creature to give that which he deserves. The natural religious tendency of man, as the result of self-love, makes him bend before the absolute, in prayer, to express his wants and needs in order to obtain fulfilment. The bending of the absolute means His turning towards the supplicant to give that which he deserves. According to verses 41 to 43 of al Ahzab, for the creature, prayer is the expression of his quest for the grace of the creator, and for the creator His salat is the bestowal of His grace upon the creature. In Islam, the purpose of prayer is to please Allah, and nothing pleases Allah but that which is the most beneficial to His creatures. Therefore, no prayer is approved by Islam save that which has been prescribed by Allah, nothing less, nothing more, as man has no right to add, omit or alter the prescribed prayer. Qumu lillahi qanitin (stand up with devotion, truly obedient to Allah) prescribes qunut, recitation of any Quranic dua, while standing and raising both the hands, palms joined together, in front of the face. Concentration and presence of mind are essential for praying the salat, a regulated system of worship which gives man the opportunity to establish communion with his creator, five times a day. Salat prescribed by Islam, is not the ritualistic movements of the body. Its demand of employing all mental powers enables man to reflect divine attributes in his character, otherwise mere ritual has been condemned in the following verses. Woe, therefore, to such performers of prayer, who are unmindful of their prayer, who would (pray) to be seen. (Ma-un: 4 to 6) Salat prayed in danger, is called salat ul khawf. According to the verse salat cannot be missed under any circumstances, even in danger, other methods of Salat can be adopted therein. This verse 4:101 refers to salat ul khawf (offering of salat while facing an enemy in a battle) and salat ul qasr (offering of salat during a journey)- curtailing the salat (zuhr, asr and isha) by half. The journey should be for a lawful purpose and for not less than (nearly) 27 miles. 152

Salat

In the battle of Uhad, the sharp point of an arrow stuck into the foot of Ali ibn abi Talib and could not be removed because the head of the arrow broke when it was being taken out. As advised by the Holy Prophet it was pulled out when Ali was praying salat. He did not know what took place. After the completion of his prayer he noticed blood on the prayer-mat and realised that the broken part of the arrow was taken out from his foot. He used to be so much involved in his communion with his Lord-master that on several occasions people thought he was dead. The Holy Prophet said: "In qiyam the prayer must look steadily at the point where the forehead is placed in sajdah; in ruku at the place between the two feet; in qunut at the palms of the joined hands; in sajdah at the nose; in qu-ud (sitting position to recite tashahud) at the thighs. Concentration of heart and mind at the time of offering salat so as to think nothing but about Allah is essential to acknowledge the presence of the authority of the Lord-master." At the time of ablution (wudu) the awe and reverence of the glory of Allah Ali felt was always visible on his face, because, as he himself explained, he was getting ready to stand in the presence of the majesty of Allah as a humblest servant should stand before his Lord-master. Likewise the body of Imam Ali bin Husayn Zayn al Abidin used to shake from awe and reverence of Allah whenever he went to offer prayers.

Salih
Thamud has often been mentioned along with Ad in the Holy Quran. The people of Thamud are known as the tribe of second Ad who lived in Ahqaf, from Umman to Hadhramawt. Their prophet and warner was Salih. Their territory included both rocky country and fertile valley of Qura, and the crisis in their history is connected with a wonderful she-camel. The dwellers of hijr were the Thamud the people of Salih. They lived in houses that had been hewed out in the mountains. Jabl Hijr is about 150 miles from Madina. The rocky tract of land known by this name lies in the north of Arabia on the highway to Syria. They were also, like the tribe of Ad, godless and idol worshippers. They used to worship a part of a mountain and offer sacrifices on it. There was scarcity of water and the arrogant privileged classes tried to prevent the access of the poor or their cattle to the springs, while Salih used to intervene on their behalf (Shu-ara: 155 and Qamar: 28), also they tried to monopolise the pasture, a free gift of Allah as per verse 73 of this surah. This particular she-camel was made a test case (Qamar: 27) to see if the arrogant people would see light and come to reason. On their demand Salih, with the pemmission of Allah, made a she-camel come out from the mountain with a baby camel. It was decided that one day the she-camel would drink water from the spring and on the next day the people would take it. The she-camel, after drinking the water, gave as much milk as the whole town could drink, but in spite of Salih's warning that the she-camel was a sign of Allah and if they let her come to any harm, they would be seized with a grievous punishment, they 153

Salih hamstrung her, and insolently defied the order of their Lord. Consequently they were destroyed by a dreadful earthquake, which threw them on the ground and buried them with their houses and their buildings. Salih was saved by Allah's mercy. There was no survivor. His speech is a warning as well as a reference to the sin and folly of the people who belie the signs of Allah in any time. Thalabi writes in his Tafsir that the Holy Prophet said to Ali: "The worst of men in the days gone by were those who killed the she camel of Salih. The worst men among the present generation are those who will slay you." Thalabi says that the name of the killer of the she camel was Qaddar and his mother's name was Quttama. So also Qaddar was the name of Ibn Muljim and Quttama was his mother's name . In verse 74 it is said that the people of Thamud had hewed the mountains to make houses, which shows that they were a nation of architects, well versed in the art of masonry. They also built palaces in the plains as their abodes but used the houses in the mountains after nightfall to protect themselves, and also kept there those among them who were about to die. Professor Nicholson says that according to the monuments found in Madayan al Salih in the mountain-houses the people of Thamud buried their dead. It does not disprove the Quran. Obviously when the sick died they must have been buried there.

Sects
The Muslims are warned not to split into sects, hostile to each other, like the Jews and the Christians, who, moved by self-interest and other ignoble motives, made amendments and corrupted the words of Allah and His messengers, Musa and Isa, but the Muslims paid no attention, and, after the departure of the Holy Prophet, instead of following the Quran and his Ahlul Bayt, relied upon the guidance and leadership of those who neither were chosen by Allah and His Prophet, nor deserved to lead the ummah on the strength of their learning and character, otherwise they would have been selected in the party of Allah which represented Him in mabahilah (Ali Imran: 61), or would have been included in ayah al tat-hir (Ahzab: 33). It is a historical fact that such self-proclaimed leaders enacted laws and made judgements, in the name of ijtihad, against the teachings of the Holy Prophet and the book of Allah, because of which the Muslim ummah was divided into many sects. There is a great punishment for such mujtahids and their followers on the day of judgement.

Shafa-at
On the day of resurrection absolute justice will prevail. The chosen people also will be judged in view of their actions. The verses, which make certain that in the divine scheme of reward and punishment the "institution" of intercession has been firmly established, are quoted below: Who can intercede with Him, except by His permission. (Baqarah: 255) 154

Shafa-at They shall have no power of intercession, save he who has taken a promise from the merciful. (Maryam: 87) There are several such verses in the Quran which prove untrue the theory of nonavailability of intercession propagated by a misguided school of thought among the Muslims. The Holy Prophet and the thoroughly purified Imams (Ahzab: 33) are those upon whom Allah has bestowed (an-amta alayhim - Fatihah :7) the power of intercession. The word shafa (to pair or to join a thing to its like) is the root of shafa-at, which means intercession. It can be favourable or unfavourable, as per verse 85 of al Nisa. It signifies the loving attachment of a person with his ideal or model whom he follows. On the day of judgement the wicked and the virtuous will be separated, therefore, it will be a day of pairing of the souls according to their affinity and attachment in this world - "remember the day when We will summon every people with their Imam (leader)", says verse 71 of Bani Israil. The Quran, in many places, asserts the effectiveness of intercession, therefore, the negation here either refers to a particular condition or to the fact that no intercession offered by a soul on its own behalf shall be accepted. Only those who have been authorised by Allah shall have the right to intercede. "Who can intercede with Him, except by His permission?" implies that though Allah is the almighty and the absolute sovereign but as He is also the merciful, the compassionate, He has given permission to "Muhammad and Ali Muhammad", the thoroughly purified, to intercede on behalf of the sinners. To pretend that there are other powers than Allah is to invent lies. The idolaters shut their eyes to the goodness and glory of Allah, and go after false gods, and say by way of excuse that their (false) gods will intercede for them and save them from eternal punishment on the day of judgment. Even the noblest cannot intercede as a right, but only with His permission.

Shirk
The word mala-ik is derived from the Arabic malk, not from the Hebrew root alaka. The meaning of malk, mulk, milk and malakut is possession, which is also ownership or holding. The holding authority is malik or maalik or malak, who is also the owner or the sovereign, exclusively used by the Quran to refer to Allah. The whole universe is milk or mulk and the holder is the absolute owner, Allah. Between the absolute owner and the held mulk there are dominions over which the intermediary authorities exercise control, with Allah's consent, in relation to the dominion above them. Each of these dominions is termed as malakut and each holding authority is called malak. The pagans worship these mala-ik, under misconceived conclusion, as the independent authorities, either the sons or the daughters of the absolute authority, who can speak or advocate on their behalf to the king of kings. It is because they do not have the insight, or true guidance, to view the spiritual world, as pointed out by verses 26 to 31 of al Najm. 155

Shirk

Allah alone holds the authority. No interceding authority shall be accepted by Him, save those to whom He Himself has delegated the authority, according to verse 87 of Maryam and such other verses in the Quran. Therefore worship of no one is acceptable, in Islam, save the worship of Allah. There are three type of shirk: 1. JALLIYY - evident. 2. KHAFIYY - concealed. 3. AKHFA - most concealed. The Holy Prophet has compared the shirk, hidden in the hearts of men, to the movement of a black ant on a black stone in the darkness of the night. Everyone is involved with shirk of one kind or another, in the heart of his hearts. Strictly speaking, trying to assert one's own wish against a decree of Allah is no less than a shirk of equalising one's self or ego with the authority of the divine will. The Holy Prophet says: Every human child is born with the Adam's nature; it is the "parents" (the environment) which turns the child into a Jew, a Christian or a Magian . The most loathsome heresy is shirk, giving to Allah a partner. The exposition of the existence of Allah should be set forth in such a way as always to emphasise His absolute unity. "Giving currency to an innovation (in the sense of alteration and deviation) and praising those who follow it and condemning those who oppose it" is the starting point of shirk, in the opinion of Imam Jafar bin Muhammad al-Sadiq, according to Umdatul Bayan by Sayyid Ammar Ali. Inatha (females) refers to the historical motive of idolatry. In primitive ages man could not understand any productive action except the sexual relationship. The pagans thought that their idols were the daughters of God. The cult of goddesses had been almost universal, partly through the association of maternity. The goddess was the fountain and source of human life. Inatha also signifies inanimate things as trees, stones and wood. The idolworshippers, in fact, submit to Shaytan who, devoid of good, invites his followers to lawlessness, anarchy and evil. The argument of the preceding verses continues that a created being who has no power over loss or gain cannot be worshipped as God. The pagans, who believe in false gods, must call upon the imaginary deities whom they worship, but instead they cry out to Allah in moments of extreme helplessness, danger and affliction. In utter helplessness, unable to find help from any quarter, the "inner self" of every human being, be he an unbeliever, is liberated from the obstinacy of personal views, and commands to cry for the help of the omnipotent and omniscient Lord. 156

Shirk
To ascribe daughters to Allah was particularly abominable and blasphemous because the pagans used to hold the female sex in contempt. The disbelievers used to wince when a daughter was born to them and hanker after sons. What they hated and were ashamed of for themselves they attributed to Allah. The description of those lifeless objects which were adorned with ornaments and could neither speak nor do anything refers to the idols the disbelievers used to worship. The false gods the polytheists worship either do not exist, or they are ordinary mortals. They neither create or originate anything on earth, nor have they a share in the creation and working of the universe, nor do they have a book from the supreme Lord to guide mankind. The prophets or messengers of Allah have such authority, and they bring evidence of the true God. If man worships his own self, his faculties will bear witness against him (Ha Mim: 20 to 22), if he worships men of God like Isa, they will disown him (Ma-idah: 11 and 117), if he worships angels, they will disown him (Saba 40 and 41); and even Shaytan will refuse to accept that it was he who led them astray.

Shuaib
Aykah means thicket, forest. The dwellers of the aykah were the people of prophet Shuayb. Madyan was the name of one of the sons of Ibrahim. Madyan was married to one of the daughters of Lut. The land Midian takes its name from him. Shu-ayb, a descendant of Ibrahim, was sent as a prophet by Allah to guide the people of Midian and A-ikah. Giving short measure or weight, depriving people of rightful dues, creating mischief and disorder, taking to highway robbery, cutting off people from access to the worship of Allah and abusing and exploiting religion itself for their crooked ends, were some of their sins which Shu-ayb wanted to eradicate. The gentle and persuasive arguments of Shu-ayb fell on hard hearts. The fate of Midian people was the same as that of the people of Thamud. A shower of ashes and cinders accompanying a volcanic eruption seized them, and then an earthquake by night buried all of them in their own homes. The miraculous staff, which Musa had, is reported to have been given to him by Shu-ayb. Another miracle associated with him was that whenever he wanted to climb a mountain to reach its peak, it used to lower itself for him.

Sibgh
Sibgh means dye-colouring or immersion in water. The Christian church has adopted it as a religious ceremony of baptism. By immersion in or sprinkling water on every convert, he or she is admitted to their faith. The Christian baptism, does not really introduce a man to the true faith. The true faith is universal. The Christian baptism rejects and denies all 157

Sibgh prophets and messengers of Allah. The divine baptism inspires love for goodness (tawalla) and dislike for evil (tabarra) which is the true nature of man. It colours or conditions the mind and behaviour of the believers so that he or she should adhere to godliness and reject godlessness. The dye-colouring of Allah means to take on the colour of the attributes of Allah and involve the soul deeply in the divinity of the Lord. It inspires the believer with the conviction that the Lord of the universe is one. He loves every created being. Those who love Allah must love every thing Allah loves.

Signs
The literal meaning of ayat is sign. Every verse of the Quran is a sign (ayat) because it draws the attention of the reader to its meaning. But Allah's signs, in the perfect sense, are those beings whose holy personalities draw the attention of the human beings to the glory of Allah. Every prophet of Allah, during his time, was a sign of Allah, and the Holy Prophet, the Twelve Imams and Bibi Fatimah are the conclusive signs of Allah. Allah gives a fair warning to those who, under the influence of the eternal enemy of man, Shaytan, go astray from the right path, the path of "Muhammad and Ali Muhammad", that their abode will be the fire. The verses of the Quran are clear signs. "Signs" also refer to the miracles which the messengers of Allah put into operation. Covered with ignorance, the perverse unbelievers disbelieve in the "signs" of Allah. Sha-a-irillah means signs of Allah, which remind a person of Allah or a representative of Allah - a prophet or an imam, whose remembrance itself would be an act of virtue or devotion to Allah. It is in this sense that the followers of Muhammad and Ali Muhammad give respect to alams, tazias, zarihs, associated with the holy Imams. The harmony in the working of the universe is referred to in the Quran as a sign of the unity of the maker. Man is asked to reflect over this creation and realise the divine unity in the midst of diversity and amongst the various forces of nature that work in perfect harmony. Those who disbelieve in Allah's signs shall be severely punished. The verses of the Quran are His signs. Signs also refer to the miracles the messengers of Allah and His chosen representatives (the Ahlul Bayt) put into operation under

Sijjin
The record of the wicked is preserved in Sijjin. The root word sijn means "a prison" which suggests that everything done by the wicked is "imprisoned" (recorded) in a register from where nothing can ever escape (be found missing).

158

Sins

Sins
It is said that to a true lover of Allah it is an "open sin" if he is mentally engrossed all the time in the bounties of Allah available in this world, and it is a "secret sin"' if he spends much time in visualizing the blessings he will get in the hereafter, because in both situations he detaches himself from the remembrance of Allah. In both cases "sin" has not been used in the sense of transgressing the limits of shariah. Imam Ali bin Husayn al Zayn al Abidin has said that the bounties, Allah bestows on any person, are never taken away, but in consequence of certain sins: 1. Disobedience to the virtuous, pride, ridiculing others, (these result in withdrawal of bounties and turn the sinner into a hardened transgressor.) 2. Going to bed before praying Isha salat, sleeping at the time of Fajr salat, thinking lightly of the bounties of Allah, complaining to others against Allah. (these reduce the means of sustenance to the minimum.) 3. Swearing false oaths, uttering lies, adultery, obstructing the way of the Muslims, false claims, misappropriation of a trust, not helping the aggressed and oppressed, not preaching pursuance of good and abstinence from evil. (these bring down calamities.) 4. Practising iniquity and wickedness, legalising that which is forbidden, obedience to the wicked and revolting against the virtuous, drunkenness and gambling, using jests and jokes to stimulate ridicule of others. (these give an upper hand to the enemies.) To slander a chaste woman, who is not even aware of the sin she is accused of, is the gravest moral offence. Such slanderers are cursed in this life and in the hereafter where they shall be severely punished. If Allah had dealt with all the sinners on earth with His strict justice, everyone would have long since perished. It is only His mercy that allows mankind time to repent and mend their ways. That is why the holy Ahl ul Bayt have taught us to be continuously praying: "O Lord, show us Your mercy, do not let us face Your justice." Sins bind the sinner in a chain of causes and effects, due to which he loses his free will to repent, amend and follow the right guidance and ultimately destroys himself in the blazing fire of punishment.

Slavery
Of all the religions, only Islam condemns slavery. It treats liquidation of the institution of slavery as a prime virtue. In verse 13 of al Balad freeing a slave has been highly praised. In verse 89 of al Ma-idah and in verse 3 of al Mujadalah the liberation of slaves has been prescribed as kaffarah (expiation).

159

Slavery The Holy Prophet said:"For the love of Allah give away your wealth for freeing those enemies whom you have captured in war." Once the Holy Prophet gave a slave to Abu Dhar with instructions to treat him kindly and to do with him as he would with himself. As soon as Abu Dhar brought the slave home, he set him free. "Allah will bless you", said the Holy Prophet when he heard the news.

Sorcery
Prophet Sulayman was endowed with extraordinary powers to control the forces of nature. To discredit him in the eyes of the people the devils had forged a book in the name of Sulayman on the art of sorcery in order to give currency to the idea that it was witchcraft, not divine endowment, through which Sulayman directed the operation of created phenomena and exercised various super natural acts. As sorcery demands belief in ungodly agencies and false deities, he who makes use of witchcraft is an infidel. To cast aspersion on the prophet of Allah was a blasphemy. Sulayman worshipped the true God (Yahweh). He was not an unbeliever. It was the devilish beings who disbelieved . Though it cannot be directly observed. the good and evil spirits are capable of corporeal manifestation. To invoke the agency of evil spirits in order to effect magic is infidelity, and is therefore condemned by Islam. In Babylon and other centres of old civilisation sorcery was in vogue. It was used to confuse the people because they could not distinguish between witchcraft and genuine miracles. To counter this devilish scheme two angels, Harut and Marut, were sent down by Allah to help the prophet of that time. By providing him with the means of undoing the effects of sorcery, the people were properly equipped to discriminate between right and wrong, truth and falsehood. During the time of the Holy Prophet a large number of Jews practised sorcery and adopted it as their creed by setting aside the Tawrat. 1. Sorcery is not altogether ineffective. 2. Sorcery can do no harm if Allah so wills. 3. To learn witchcraft or sorcery is not profitable, but harmful. 4. Those who go after the art of sorcery and witchcraft will have no share of good in the hereafter, because it is as bad as mischief-making. To dispel the effects of witchcraft and sorcery people are allowed to learn the art of defending themselves.

Soul
The human spirit (ruh) is the reflection emanated directly from the absolute (min ruhi), according to verse 29 of al Hijr. It does not mean separation because the absolute is indivisible. It refers to His direct attention or command. The other beings in the "arc of ascent" are also the reflections of His attention or command but through angelic medium. Ruh, according to the Quran and the Holy Prophet's sayings refers to that which proceeds from the absolute through the "arc of descent". The nafs (soul, ego or self) is the 160

Soul corresponding reflection or the reaction in the "arc of ascent". As this reflection is conditioned by the tinat, it cannot have any existence prior to the development of the tinat. On the contrary, the ruh or the corresponding action in the arc of descent has its existence prior to the reflection in the arc of ascent. If the reference is to the radiation or the acting source in the "arc of descent", it exists before the body, and is eternal with the eternity of the source. If the reference is made to the reflection (human ego, or self) it comes into being after the formation of the tinat. Therefore, the nafs of each individual is developed after the preparation of the body. It depends on the matter for its development but becomes independent in the process of growth. The ruh exists independently before the matter and remains so, for ever. It, the ruh, never joins the matter and never becomes dependent on it. It acts on the matter. The nafs, with no prior existence as it is only a reaction of the ruh, acts through the body, and when it develops into a state, free from the influence of matter, the ruh operates and makes it independent. Thereafter it neither deteriorates nor becomes dependent again. Through progress and development into a higher state of spirituality, passive matter reaches the condition of a conscious active form. It is not true that the body is blind and the soul is light, and, joined together, they help each other temporarily, but after separation each remains as before, devoid of any progress and development, as the theory of transmigration tries to make man believe. Ruh has been used in the Quran in various meanings: 1. The life or spirit breathed into Adam (Hijra: 29). 2. The life in every conscious being. 3. Isa is a word of Allah and a spirit (proceeding) from Him. (Nisa: 171). 4. The Quran as mentioned in Shura: 52. 5. The spirit which comes down in the night of qadr with the angels (Quran: 4). 6. The spirit which will stand with the angels on the day of resurrection. (Naba: 38) 7. The holy ghost (Ma-idah: 11). 8. The spirit sent to Maryam which appeared before her as a man. (Maryam: 17). Besides the Quranic use, the word spirit was in vogue among the pagans of Arabia, India, Europe, Africa and other places, attributing to the spirit all the aspects and happenings they could not explain in terms of cause and effect. The reference here is not particular but to that which is unseen and immeasurable but present in human body as an active agent which gives awareness to man, not obtainable through observation and experiment, or produces extraordinary happenings in human society and other physical realms . The ancient philosophers had diverse opinions about the spirit in its general sense and did not have a clear definition. They were not sure whether it is created or uncreated. Some Indian and Greek schools of thought expounded the idea that both spirit and matter are uncreated, therefore the existence of a third agent, who controls these two as God, was a disputed issue among them. They also disputed whether there is one spirit manifesting in various ways in the nature, or every individual or every species has a spirit of its own; and whether it is an undimensional conscious entity influencing the dimensional relation, 161

Soul
or it is also dimensional but not having the characteristics of matter-a very fine ethereal objective reality. The issue has been dealt with by the various schools of thought in Islam by relying, more or less, on the theories of Greek, Indian and Persian philosophers. According to some commentators the answer is evasive because Allah says in this verse that the spirit is a matter of concern for Allah only and human knowledge is not sufficient to understand it. Some commentators say that the answer is there because as an outcome of Allah's command spirit should be treated as created, and its nature is all-pervading like the nature of the divine command, assuming appropriate form and character in every stage and every realm, sometimes dimensional and sometimes undimensional. In other words the spirit, the active agent in the universe and in the order of creation, is the outcome of the divine will, not conditioned by any particular character or limitation, like the radiation coming from its source, which is not conditioned at all by the character of the ground on which it falls, but the reflection or the effect produced by the radiation is conditioned by the character of the ground, material or non-material. It is from this viewpoint the spirit has been termed by the scholars as material or non-material. What proceeds from Allah is undimensional and non-material, which, when produces effect in material beings, becomes material; and, when produces effect in non-material realm, becomes non-material. The factor responsible for animal function is termed "spirit", and the mind itself is termed "spirit" because it produces effects and reflections known as knowledge; and what proceeds from Allah to give knowledge and awareness to human mind is also "spirit". Any effect or reflection produced by the agencies other than material factors, can be termed as spirit, or angels, or the hand of Allah. This is the interpretation of this verse in view of the traditions narrated from the Holy Prophet and his Ahl ul Bayt. Human knowledge is not sufficient to understand the true nature of "spirit"

Spending In Way Of Allah
Spending in the way of Allah, as prescribed by Him pleases Him because it is a source of great benefit to His creatures. The giving away to others from that which has been provided is not confined to the material possessions, but it includes every thing which comes under the term provision, like knowledge etc. Islam does not demand indifference to worldly possessions but makes it obligatory to subordinate the love of possession to the spirit of giving it away in the name and cause of Allah, the real owner of the bounties, which are given to some of His servants as a favour. They should hold these bounties as a trust to be distributed according to His command. Emancipation of the captives or liberation of slaves is an essential condition of the genuine faith in Allah. Islam is the only religion which makes spending (in the way of Allah) obligatory. Every Muslim must follow the divine commandments as to how the bounties of Allah, given to him, should be shared with his less fortunate relatives and fellow-creatures. 162

Spending In Way Of Allah

First, in the list, are the parents, then the near kindred, the orphans, the needy and the wayfarer. There is no reward if parents and the nearer kindred are overlooked in order to meet the demands of others. The needs of the parents should be cared for as a duty without the embarrassment of their having to ask for the same. The Holy Prophet advised his followers to take care of the parents, brothers and sisters, and the nearest relatives first, and then the others. It must also be noted that wars (in selfdefence) require funds. To finance such wars is as important as spending for the helpless relatives, because it is in the interest of the whole community that the invaders should not be allowed to destroy the polity of the faithful. What should be spent in the way of Allah? Whatever good that may benefit others is the answer. As Zakat (the poor-tax) is compulsory, it cannot be made a part of "whatever good you do", which has no connection with Zakat. Also, Zakat cannot be spent on the members of the family. The word afwa in verse 219 of this surah makes it clear that only surplus should be given. The Holy Prophet has defined the surplus, and how much and to whom it should be given. In all events moderation is the guideline. It is mentioned in the Minhajus Sadiqin that when Imam Ali ibna abi Talib asked Prophet Khizr to say something good, Khizr said: "To give in the way of Allah to please Allah is the best charity." "Do you know that which is better than this?" Ali asked him. "No", Khizr replied. Ali said: "The self-respect of the poor, who depends on Allah, is better than the charity the wealthy give to the needy." Spending and giving of what one wants to keep, benefits man twice over; it speeds up the process of inner purification as well as promotes the welfare of the human society. Islam lays special stress on the spending in the way of Allah because it is a universal religion, perfected and completed by Allah who has prescribed mercy for Himself in verses 12 and 54 of al An-am. Islam, when translated into action, takes the form of salat, Zakat and sadqa. And faith, unless proved by actions, is a bogus claim. Neither Allah accepts it nor His servants give it any importance. If the spirit or the intention behind the spending is to seek pleasure of Allah, then. if the means are large the corresponding spending will also be substantial and big-hearted and if the means are moderate, even then the spending will be sufficient. When heavy rain falls the tall trees of a garden bring forth their fruit twofold, but even light rain is sufficient, because rooted very deep, they draw adequate nutrition from the soil. Islam prescribes spending in the way of Allah, but does not treat it as a tax to be collected by the government. It is a moral responsibility to carry out the religious duty. It develops 163

Spending In The Way of Allah
conscientiousness to observe the obligations prescribed by religion voluntarily to our utmost feasibility. "And this will do away with some of your evil deeds" indicates that there are some good deeds, like spending in the way of Allah, which earn forgiveness from the Lord for the sins so far committed. This verse implies that even if the disbelievers give charity it cannot be termed zakat because unless alms are given for the sake and in the way of Allah it does not become an act of righteousness. The ungodly motives of the disbelievers make their alms-giving a pretence or a trick to hoodwink people and exploit them for their material gains. Imam Ali said: "Allah told the Holy Prophet: "Wealth is Mine. The possessor of it is a trustee. The poor and the have-nots of this world are My family. Woe unto those possessors of wealth who do not discharge their duty concerning My trust."

Spoils Of War
The root of anfal is nafl which means addition or accession-of the property, movable or immovable, for which there is no owner or claimant, particularly the spoils of war, at the end of a battle. Anfal means: 1. Enemy's property, movable or immovable, abandoned by the enemy soldiers. 2. The movable or immovable property of those who have migrated to another place, leaving behind no owner-known as fayi (Hashr: 6 and 7). 3. The inheritance of a person who has left no inheritor. 4. The land which is owned by no one. Anfal belongs to Allah and the Holy Prophet, who is authorised to distribute or dispose it as he likes. It is because Allah is the absolute sovereign. He owns everything. He has delegated His authority to the Holy Prophet. In this way the discord, cropped up among the people, has been solved. It is a permanent principle and a guideline for all times to come. On the authority of Bukhari, Nisa-i and other traditionists, it has been reported in Tafsir Durr al Manthur that while the Holy Prophet was distributing some spoils of war a man from the Banu Tamim, Dhul Khuyasarah, came and said: "O Messenger of Allah, please do justice." The Holy Prophet replied: "Woe to you. Who would do justice if I am doing injustice?" Umar bin Khattab said: "O Messenger of Allah, give me permission to kill him." The Holy Prophet said: "Leave him alone. There are men like him among you whose observance of prayers and fasting will make you feel small, but one day they will go out of the faith as an arrow leaves the bow. They are called mariqin. There will be discord among the Muslims and these men will revolt under the leadership of a man with one breast like a woman." Abu Sayeed Khudhri says: "When Ali killed such people in the 164

Spoils of War
battle of Naharwan, I was with him. I saw the slain body of the man described by the Holy Prophet lying on the ground."

Spouses
Sexual relations among the human beings is a very delicate matter. The Quran deals with it in a manner which not only takes into consideration the physical sensuality but also makes certain that man should rise above the animal level and temper his sensual urges with moral and spiritual discipline. Even the language used to provide the essential guidance in this connection has been very carefully worded so as not to let the issue be described in a lewd style - the literary way and technique of the then Arabic poets. Woman is compared to tillage. The real object of conjugal union should be for the reproduction of human life for the service of the Lord. "Do with your tillage as you like" explains "Do with them as ordained" of the previous verse, but keep in mind that women are a tillage, therefore, dealing with it in a wasteful or unnatural way is foolish and detestable. Qanitatun means devoted to Allah, therefore, a woman who obeys Allah must accept His command and acknowledge her duties she has to perform to please her husband who spends of his wealth to provide for her. She must also watch over his property and his interests, attend to his needs, and above all guard her chastity. In case a perverse woman (wife) refuses to mend her ways (very common among the low-bred and ignorant women of easy virtue) then the husband can admonish her, and even stop sleeping with her, but if the corrective measures fail to refine her, he can take harsher steps to make her qanitatun (devoted and obedient to Allah). Fala tabghu alayhinna is a warning to the unscrupulous husbands not to seek an excuse for resorting to the conditional provision allowed to discipline the depraved women only. The Holy Prophet has strongly disapproved the women who do not keep their bodies clean and attractive for their husbands, or give false excuses to avoid the fulfilment of their husband's desires. He has also condemned the husbands who allow their wives to display the beauty of their bodies to others. In another tradition it is stated that the Holy Prophet has advised all wives to obey the instructions of their husbands, no matter what the circumstances are, because obedience and faithfulness unto their husbands would earn forgiveness of the sins they have committed.

Sulaiman
Sulayman had miraculous power over the winds and he could make them obey his orders. This power was from Allah, the omnipotent author of nature. Also refer to Saba: 12 and Sad: 36.

165

Sulaiman Allah also gave Sulayman power to tame the devilish forces of evil; and to make them serve him in the cause of righteousness. When Sulayman with his large army of men, jinn, spirits and animals entered a valley where several thousand ants were carrying on their daily routine on the surface of the earth, they at once decided to enter into their holes inside the earth so that they might not be inadvertantly crushed by the hosts of Sulayman. According to Imam Jafar bin Muhammad as Sadiq there were large deposits of gold, silver and other very useful metals in that valley. As Sulayman was given supernatural powers, he understood the language of the ants and ordered a halt to his hosts till the ants clear the way. The ant is a very small and humble creature, yet they are given necessary intellect to manage their lives in orderly manner by doing that which is useful and avoiding that which is harmful. In spite of his great kingdom and supernatural powers, Sulayman humbly prays that his power and wisdom and all other gifts may be used for righteousness and for the benefit of all around him. These verses narrate the story of Saba or the queen of Sheba of the Bible (refer to chapters 10 and 11 of I Kings) whose Arabic name was Bilqis. Hudhud (hoopoe) is a light, graceful bird, with a yellow crest on its head. This bird served Sulayman as an efficient scout, and also used to discover water beneath the surface of the earth, as if a Xray device was fixed in its eyes. Tafaqqad literally means to find out a defect, but in verse 27:20 it is used for making an enquiry. When Sulayman took a muster of the birds, he did not find the hoopoe, because he had a good reason for his absence. At that time he was surveying the vast realm of Saba, the queen of Sheba, where he went along with another hoopoe who met him while he was flying to report to Sulayman and (the other hoopoe) gave him an explicit description of the grandeur of her dominion, after hearing the might and glory of Sulayman's kingdom. Sulayman's hoopoe came back and told him what he saw, particularly about their religion that she and her people were the worshippers of the sun. To test the hoopoe's report Sulayman wrote a letter to Saba; and asked the hoopoe to go and deliver his letter to her and bring her reply. Sulayman expressly began his letter with bismillahir rahmanir rahim, on which is based the true religion of unity of Allah, and invited her and her people to the true faith, not for worldly conquest but for the spreading of the light (guidance and wisdom) of Allah. The queen, after consultation with her courtiers, decided to send a few gifts to Sulayman in order to find out that Sulayman was not like ordinary kings who conquer by violence. When her embassy came to Sulayman with the gifts, he refused to accept them because 166

Sulaiman
firstly Allah had given him better than that which He had given her, and secondly he was expecting her submission to the true religion. He told the embassy that soon his army would drive them forth from there, disgraced and humbled. After the embassy had departed he asked his chiefs: "Who can bring me her with her throne, before they come to me in submission." A large, powerful jinn offered his services and assured Sulayman that he would do it before he would rise from his council. However strong and big a creature might be, it was not possible for him to go to a distant land and bring her and her throne in a few moments, unless the jinn had supernatural powers to do it. Although the jinn had boasted of his strength and supernatural power, yet when a man who had knowledge of the book said that he would bring them to him within the twinkling of an eye, Sulayman gave him permission. Soon the Queen, with her throne, was before him. See commentary of Rad: 43 to know about him who had the knowledge of the book. It is reported by Abu Ishaq Thalabi that Abdullah bin Salam asked the Holy Prophet to give the name of the man who had knowledge of the book and brought the queen of Sheba with her throne within the twinkling of an eye. The Holy Prophet said: "It was Ali." It is stated in Minhaj al Sadiqin and Umdat al Bayan that then the Holy Prophet said to Ali: "O Ali, you helped all the prophets of Allah incognito (concealed from view), and you help me in propria persona (in person) manifestly." The queen was lodged in another building of the palace. To make the queen see the fallacy of outward appearance the floor of the palace was made of slabs of smooth glass that glistened like water. When she was brought into the palace she thought it was water, and tucked up her clothes to pass through it, showing her bare feet and ankles. Sulayman told her the real fact. She then realised that she had been wrongly worshipping the creation of God, the sun, deceived by outward appearance, instead of worshipping the creator. At once she submitted herself to Allah, the Lord of the worlds, whom Sulayman worshipped. Imam Ali bin Musa Ar Ridha said: "Once Sulayman told his courtiers: 'Allah has blessed me with the greatest kingdom such as no other man ever possessed, and has favoured me with unique gifts of control over men, jinn, animals and birds, and has even taught me the language of the birds; but I have to give account of every moment of this great responsibility He has given me. I want to view the whole of Allah's kingdom around me from the top of my palace, so let no one disturb me.' He climbed to the top with his staff in his hand, and while he stood viewing the kingdom around him a beautifully dressed young man appeared from a corner of the palace. Sulayman asked him: 'Who are you? Who gave you permission to come here? I had ordered that none should be allowed to enter.' The visitor replied: 'The owner has given me permission.' Sulayman said: 'I am the owner.' The stranger said: 'Allah is the owner of the universe. I am the angel of death and I have been sent to take your soul from your 167

Sulaiman
body.' Sulayman said: 'Then go ahead, and fulfill the duty for which the Lord has sent you.' While Sulayman stood leaning on his staff, his soul left his body, but the staff supported the body in that posture a full year. The people below could see him standing and thought him to be alive. When some considerable time had passed many people began to worship him as a god. Some people said that he was a magician, with the power of control over their perception, so as to make them see him standing there. Allah commanded the white ants to chew his staff, then it collapsed, and the body of Sulayman fell on the ground, and at that time the people came to know that he was dead. Until that moment they had believed him to be living and therefore continued to perform the duties entrusted to them by him." The event has several factors of guidance for mankind which are given below: 1. No amount of power, however great, possessed by anyone in this world, is permanent, and power and glory, however great, enjoyed by man comes to an end. 2. None, not even the prophets of Allah, are exempted from undergoing the reality of death. 3. Great events like the death of Sulayman could be manifested by unseen agencies as commanded by Allah. 4. Even the smallest creatures can destroy strong, hard structures like Sulayman's staff, which had born the weight of his body for a long time. 5. A man, who unconditionally submits himself to Allah's will, like Sulayman, could have control over all Allah's creatures in order to fulfill His will. Any body can survive and remain stationary, for any period beyond the ordinary limits of our limited knowledge in accordance with Allah's will. The forces of nature are always subservient to the chosen servants of Allah. 6. Things people regard impossible to achieve, Allah effects with ease through His will. 7. A true and godly responsibility to control men, materials and matters is given to a chosen individual endowed with divine wisdom, not to ordinary men who are either elected by the people or usurp the authority by force. 8. The knowledge of the unknown is with Allah only and not with men or jinn. 9. The greatest and most magnificent structures designed by men or jinn decay and ultimately perish. 10. Death is decreed by Allah and could not be avoided or delayed. It is effected immediately as Allah wills.

Tabarra
In verses 86 and 87 of al Nisa also the angels and the believers join Allah to curse the wicked. In verse 56 of al Ahzab, Allah and His angels bless the Holy Prophet; and Allah commands the believers to send blessings on him. Unless we join Allah and His angels to curse the enemies of the Holy Prophet, our asking Allah for sending blessings on him will be incomplete. Therefore, the followers of Muhammad and Ali Muhammad bless the Holy Prophet and his Ahl ul Bayt and curse their enemies. Justice demands that we identify the devil as a devil, and curse him even if he is disguised in the garb of a Muslim like Yazid and others. Cursing and expression of dislike and disgust for any evil or evildoer is essential to remain on guard against wickedness, as has been made clear in the 168

Tabarra above-noted verse and verse 7 of al Fatihah, therefore, tabarra has been prescribed as one of the fundamentals of the religion. Those who recognise falsehood and condemn it, undoubtedly revert to the path of reality through repentance and true submission. Allah is ever-available for those who turn away from their nafs. As a consequence of this real repentance, they will be mending their way of life, that is, unifying their intentions and actions along the path that will bring them the promised bliss and mercy. Quran orders us to not make the disbelievers and hypocrites your friends or allies. This justifies the article of tabarra (avoiding evil and evildoers and expressing dislike for them).

Tubuk – The Expedition
The verse 9:38 is a reference to the defensive expedition of Tabuk in 9 Hijra, to counter the aggression by the Byzantine empire. The people who hesitated to follow the call of Tabuk were deterred by: 1. a very long journey in the heat of the summer, 2. the fear of losing the fruit harvest, which was ripe for gathering, 3. the dread of a highly organised, large and formidable foe. The Sahabis have been reminded that the comforts of this life are little as compared with the hereafter. Those who hesitated on account of clinging to worldly gains were suffering from a spiritual disease, therefore they have been warned of severe punishment if they failed to obey the Holy Prophet. If a nation receives favours and fails to deserve them, it will be replaced by another, as has often happened in history. In 9:42 the arts and excuses of the hypocrites (who either watched the battles as unconcerned spectators from a safe distance or took to flight when, in their opinion, defeat was certain) have been exposed. If there had been booty in sight or an easy walkover, they would gladly have come. All their oaths were false, and by taking the false oaths they destroyed their souls. They planned to stay in Madina to plunder the city and enslave the women and children in the absence of the Holy Prophet. When the Holy Prophet came to know their plot, he left Ali in Madina as his deputy. In utter frustration the hypocrites spread the vile rumour that Ali was not found suitable to accompany the Holy Prophet in the battle of Tabuk because he had started disliking Ali. Ali at once went to meet the Holy Prophet outside the city and informed him about the vilifying whispers of the hypocrites. The Holy Prophet replied: "O Ali! You are to me as Harun was to Musa, save that prophethood has terminated with me. You are my successor. Your flesh is my flesh, your blood is my blood, you and me are created from one light." 169

Tubuk – The Expedition Those who can rightly be exempted from going to war are not classified as hypocrites. There were seven men of the ansar who came to the Holy Prophet and told him that they did not have suitable provisions for going with him on the expedition of Tabuk. On hearing from the Holy Prophet that there was nothing left with him after providing others, they went away weeping. The expedition of Tabuk ended without a fight, because the enemy forces did not come to the battlefield.

Talaq
Talaq means letting a woman free from the bond of marriage or dissolution of the contract of marriage. Talaq should be put to use only when reconciliation is not possible in spite of best efforts. To warn the husbands who, unjustly and without reason, divorce their wives, the phrase "Allah is surely hearing, knowing" has been added. Only Islam safeguards the interests of women. According to the Holy Prophet, of all the permissible acts, divorce is the one most disliked by Allah, so as to keep in check any indiscriminate use of this pragmatic sanction. Therefore, in Islam, divorce is the most loathsome of the permitted acts. Marriage is an alliance of two individuals who love each other. Without love and understanding, it becomes a soulless body. In this situation, the sooner it is undone the better. If due to events and reasons, beyond control, day to day life of a married couple becomes a burden and a misery, separation is necessary and is an act of charity. Islam has the essential and elastic laws to deal with every type of case and circumstance and to control the harmony of the society as well as to safeguard the interest of every individual. Divorce, though legalised by Islam, has been so controlled and restricted through the observations of the Holy Prophet that its indiscriminate use is not possible by those who sincerely believe in Allah and follow the teachings of the Holy Prophet and his holy Ahl ul Bayt. For them it is almost impossible to resort to divorce. Quru means menstrual period. The divorced woman is required to keep herself in waiting for three menstrual periods, during which the husband has to support and care for her. In the course of these three months, if it is found out that she is pregnant, then the parental propriety of the offspring is established. Above all, the door of reconciliation remains open. If there is real love between them, the husband can take the wife back before the expiry of iddat (prescribed period of waiting). Such a practical arrangement is not available in any religion except Islam. Allah is all-wise, therefore, particularly in the case of divorce, man can initiate the course of divorce, but a woman cannot. She, no doubt, can go to a qadi to obtain separation on the ground of unbearable maltreatment and demand dissolution of marriage by surrendering her right to mahar (dowry). This provision is reasonable because it prevents women from obtaining separation on flimsy grounds.

170

Talaq Islam gives women the right of choosing her life-partner. No one can compel her to accept any man as her husband. The matter lies entirely on her independent judgement. So she does not have the right to take the initiative for annulment of wedlock. Yet she has a recourse. She can go to a mujtahid or hakim sharah and obtain separation and then marry again whomsoever she likes. "Divorce may be pronounced twice". These two pronouncements can be revoked. It is an effective check to prevent divorce on account of emotional outbursts and highhandedness of a husband who may recover his balance of mind and reconsider his unreasonable pronouncement. Before Islam, a man could divorce his wife as many times as he liked and take her back. To stop this absurd farce, only two revocable pronouncements of Talaq have been prescribed by Islam. After the third announcement, the Talaq is complete and becomes irrevocable. Even after Talaq the husband has to treat the divorced wife with kindness. It is not lawful for the husband to take back or withhold any part of what he has given to his wife or promised to give her as mahar (dowry). "What she gives up to become free" refers to khula or mubarat, the recourse a wife can avail to obtain separation, explained above, by the arbitration of the hakim sharah or mujtahid, by returning the dowry if she has taken it in advance, or by foregoing it. The pronouncement of Talaq more than once at a time is meaningless in view of the "divorce may be pronounced twice" (the opening words of this verse) because it stipulates chances of reconciliation after the first, and if not, after the second pronouncement. After the third, final and irrevocable pronouncement of divorce the husband cannot take his divorced wife back until she marries another man and the next husband agrees to divorce her. This is a sufficient reason to conclude that all the three pronouncements of Talaq cannot be said at one time. The consequences of the third pronouncement check indiscriminate pronouncement of Talaq. A husband has the right to divorce his wife but he cannot abuse her or refuse to pay her dues. Whoever does this, exceeds the limits (disobeys Allah's commandments). He must set her free with kindness and give her all her entitlements. The laws of Allah should not be taken in mockery. It shows how serious is the matter of divorce. There are prescribed laws in Islam, yet people (men and women) have the freedom to act according to their conscience; and if they are mindful of the fact that Allah is the knower of all things, they shall not go astray and do injustice to their own souls. The non-Shia schools do not observe the restrictions given in the verses in the matter of divorce. No doubt the Islamic law of divorce has been criticised as contemptible and ridiculous. The Shia school condemns all irregular forms of divorce. For Shias it is necessary that the man who pronounces a divorce be an adult, sane and free in his choice, will, design and intention. It does not take effect if given implicatively or ambiguously, even if there is 171

Talaq intention. According to the teachings of the holy Imams, it is also absolutely necessary that the pronouncement must be made by the husband in the presence of two just witnesses; non-fulfilment of this condition renders the divorce null and void. If the husband pronounces the divorce, in an irregular manner, even a hundred times, the woman remains his wife. After the first or second Talaq, if both the husband and wife agree to be reunited, in a lawful manner, they are allowed to do so. The woman has a right to take her own decision. Her relatives or guardians are warned not to prevent her in any way from exercising her rights. Even though the period of waiting may elapse, the husband can marry the divorced wife, if the third irrevocable Talaq has not been pronounced. Faridah is the dowry known as mahar. Even if the marriage is not consummated the husband must make provision for the divorced woman, according to his means, whether he is rich or poor. If the wife is at fault, then it is she who must relinquish her dower, whole or in part, to obtain separation. It is prohibited to falsely accuse a woman of adultery to obtain a divorce by forfeiting her dowry. If reconciliation between the husband and the wife cannot be made by themselves, the matter should be referred to the arbiters-one from the husband's family and one from the wife's family. Reconciliation through compromise and settlement is better than separation (divorce). Allah desires harmony among the husband and wife. Iddat, a prescribed period to be observed after the divorce, is a technical term in divorce law, and has been explained in the Surah 65. Iddat is in the interest of the wife, the husband, the unborn child (if there is any) and sexual relationship, therefore is essential to maintain a civilised, balanced and orderly human society. It is commanded to divorce a woman at a time when she is not in the period of menstruation while no cohabitation had taken place. Abdullah bin Umar made a mistake in divorcing his wife. Bukhari and Muslim narrate that he divorced his wife when she was in menstruation. Knowing this the Holy Prophet asked Abdullah to withdraw his divorce and keep her as a wife till she was free from the monthly course, then wait for her next menstruation and when she became clear again he could divorce her without cohabitation. The concluding words give the reason for the iddat. It also makes it clear that three pronouncements of divorce in a single space of time is illegal. This portion says that a reconciliation is possible, and is recommended, at any stage, which is not possible if three announcements as above are made.

172

Taqdir

Taqdir
Taqdir means "consider a thing well; fix in measure and quantity, render possible". Imam Ali ibn abi Talib had said: Allah had conditioned and circumstanced the operation of all that has been created under precise (self) regulating laws, in the sphere of time and space, made their unlike, complex and diverse dispositions agree and fit well together, implanted and infused rhythm and balance and co-ordination in their nature, to give them the inbuilt discipline that follows an orderly system. The appropriate assignment of a prescribed condition is taqdir, a precise system of laws which cannot be tampered with or led astray outside its logical course by any force except by almighty Allah, who is omnipotent and able to do all things. The perfect working of the well defined plan under definite laws depends upon His justice. As the 26th verse of Ale Imran says: "In Thy hand is all good", the almighty Lord through these precise laws, governing the operation of creation, has provided the living beings all the opportunities to make effort and win success by relying upon them. The arguments that man has no personal responsibility, that he is the victim of a determinism against which he is helpless. and that he may therefore go on doing what he is doing, have been attributed to the polytheists in this verse. Therefore those who believe in determinism and reject freedom of action and the responsibilities thereof, unwittingly join the camp of the polytheists who will be the fuel of the hell-fire. Allah is omnipotent. He does what He wills. But He, in His universal plan, has given man the freedom of choice and action. He has helped man to find the right path by sending His messenger guides. It is His mercy and grace. Man can thankfully accept Allah's guidance or ungratefully deny it to go astray. Imam Ali said: "People wrongly imagine that destiny is abiding and fate is certain. If it were so the idea of reward and penalty becomes meaningless, promise and threat a hoax. Allah, the most praised, has given man freedom of thought and action." Imam Ali clears this as under: He said: "While standing, if you want to lift one of your legs you can, and you are free to lift the second leg also, but as soon as your second leg leaves the ground you will fall down, because you have broken the law Allah has so precisely put in operation."

Taqiya
16:106 clearly enjoins taqiyah-concealing belief in Allah under compulsion or duress but heart remaining firm in faith. Taqiyah is not hypocrisy. Once the infidels of Makka subjected Ammar Yasir to unspeakable tortures for his belief in Islam and forced him to utter a word construed as recantation, though his heart never waved and he came back to the Holy Prophet at once, who consoled him for his pain and confirmed his faith.

173

Tawba

Tawba
Sincere repentance followed by efficient improvement is the key to open the doors of forgiveness beyond which a new life, full of promised blessings, awaits the deviators. Tawba means "return penitently to God" with reference to the creature, and "admit the penitent to God's mercy" with reference to the creator Lord. He who does not carry out Allah's command, disobeys Him. It is a sin which earns punishment. Although there are various degrees of disobedience, minor sins lead to major sins. Infidelity (denial of Allah's absolute sovereignty) is the worst sin. Punishment of each sin differs according to its degree. Of whatever degree the sin is, if the sinner turns repentantly to Allah, sincerely seeking to amend his ways in future, Allah will admit him to His mercy. Tawba is a cleansing procedure to remove ignorance and obstinacy from the heart and the mind and to wipe out the dirt of theoretical and practical "deviation from the right path". Allah may admit the sinner to His mercy at any time before the punishment comes upon him when no one will come for his help (Zumar: 54); or He may admit the sinner to His mercy if he does evil in ignorance (and) then turn quickly (in repentance) to Allah (Nisa: 17). But repentance is not (profitable) for those who do ill deeds until, when death comes to one of them (Nisa: 18), and shall not benefit them their faith when they see His punishment (Mu-min: 85). The doors of repentance are open till the agony of death overcomes the body. In Yunus: 98, the removal of punishment at the last moment shows that sincere repentance is effective, but Mu-min: 85 makes it clear that repentance to avoid punishment brings no result. Imam Ali bin Muhammad al Naqi gave his decision when Mutawakkil referred the case of a Jew who committed adultery with a Muslim woman and recited kalimah as soon as he was brought in the court of the ruler. The jurists of the court had wrongly advised him to acquit the Jew on the basis of a tradition which states that when a man becomes a Muslim his past is separated from him. But as, in this case, the Jew accepted Islam to avoid punishment, therefore the holy Imam judged him guilty. Unacceptable is the repentance of those who, having once come to faith, disbelieve and persist in their apostasy, like the Jews who believed in Musa and the Tawrat but disbelieved in Isa and the Injil, and then continued and aggravated their disbelief by denying the Holy Prophet, or also like those who believed in the Holy Prophet, but after his departure, turned on their heels, went astray and persisted in their deviations. They shall remain unredeemed in spite of their repentance. Those who do ill-deeds, in fact, wrong themselves. Every sinner corrupts his own soul and deserves punishment. If by remorse and making amends in the way prescribed by the 174

Tawba divine law he turns repentant to Allah, his sins may be forgiven. It is Allah who alone can forgive those sinners who do not persist in that which they have done. Repentance has for its elements:1. no premeditation but ignorance, 2. immediate realisation of the offence, 3. enlightenment of the heart, 4.detestation of the sin, 5. a resolve to avoid it in the future, 6. an earnest craving for Allah's forgiveness. It is stated that a faithful commits a sin, inspite of the knowledge of the law, under the satanic influence, in a fit of passion or in a moment of forgetfulness. Allah does not accept the repentance of those who continue indulging in sin until death draws near, nor of those who die disbelieving. Sin, committed at the spur of a moment, or in a heat of passion without the thought of Allah in the mind, are pardonable; but if at any moment the thought of Allah comes into mind as a punisher or pardoner, while committing the sin, yet carried out, then the sin is grave and deadly, and therefore, unpardonable. Jabir bin Abdullah Ansari relates an incident in which it is said that a man came into the masjid, prayed a two rak-at salat, and then said: "O Lord, I seek Your pardon." Imam Ali, who was there, said: "Your repentance is unacceptable. Tawbah (turning repentant unto ADah) should come together with a sincere determination to avoid sinning in the future." If any duty has been neglected it should be at once carried out. He who turns in repentance to Allah must feel sorry for the enjoyment of the sinful deed and humiliate himself before Allah for revolting against His command. Imam Jafar bin Muhammad as Sadiq said: "Just as a flutter of wind or a strong shaking brings the dried leaves of a tree on the ground, istighfar helps man to get rid of sins." Istighfar is a request made to Allah to keep the supplicant free from sinning by His grace and mercy. It is the highest form of worship. Every true servant of Allah uses this means to stay away from falling unintentionally into the pit of sin and evil, but a divinely commissioned leader (Imam) not only prays for himself but also for those who follow him, because their welfare is his responsibility. Imam Ali said: "A sincere repentant 1. is ashamed of his past sins, 2. takes up the duties overlooked and fulfils them, 3. makes good the wilfully ignored conditions of a trust managed by him, 4. forgives those who provoke him, 5. does not demand repayment of loans from those who are in financial distress, 6. makes firm determination not to sin ever again, 175

Tawba 7. surrenders his self to the adoration, devotion and service of Allah when it had swelled to the point of exploding due to inordinate consumption of worldly pleasures, transgression and disobedience."

Tawheed
There is no god but Allah. There is only One God, and all attributes belong to Him. His main attribute is an all-encompassing beneficence and mercy. The "unity of God" is the main and single fundamental upon which the whole structure of the religion of Islam rests, through which all guidance and enlightenment emerge. The word wahid (one) is not used in any numerical sense, nor in the sense of order (the first of any second), nor in the sense of the oneness of a genus or a specie, nor in any other general term, but it is used in the sense that He is indivisible, unanalysable organically, chemically, geometrically, logically, mentally or physically, or in any sense whatsoever. This unity, in essence, does not correspond to any limitation. Since He is unlimited, a second, an equal, or an opposite to Him is not conceivable. Having said that there is only one God, the e creation and its duality is described. Nature's diversity is caused by one source and it will revert to the same source. There are heavens and earth, day and night, land and sea, dryness and wetness, life and death; and man, who is the highest form of creation, is given the consciousness to experience all of these, to explore the meaning behind them. Whoever contemplates on the nature of creation, will reach the conclusion that it is one divine power that activates and enlivens all the diverse manifestations. As has been pointed out by Imam Musa bin Jafar al Kazim to his disciple, Hisham bin Hakam: Verily Allah perfected His arguments with reasoning, assisted His messengers with miracles, and proved His rububiyat with His signs. Imam Jafar bin Muhammad al Sadiq has explained the part reasoning plays in determining the relationship between man and God and its limitations. Reasoning (the internal) and the prophet (the external) are the two proofs Allah puts forward to let the people, who understand, have unshakeable faith in Allah. There is no use of the external proof (the prophet) if the heart and mind are not convinced through the internal proof (the reasoning). There may be religious doctrines beyond the grasp of limited human intellect but there should be no religious assertion contradictory to rational thinking. This shows that the only medium for understanding the absolute and securing nearness to Allah is sound logical reasoning. After reaching the final stage of the realisation of His existence and unity, the medium between him and the absolute becomes the divine revelation. It is reported that there are three kinds of existence; 1. Wajib Ul Wujud: The self-existing existence. The primal cause. There can never be any effect without a cause. The universe, therefore, was created by the self-existing creator, the primal cause. 176

Tawheed 2. Mumkin Ul Wujud: The creatures or created beings whose creation is possible only if the creator so wills. 3. Mumtani Ul Wujud: The impossible existence. The existence of another being like Allah is not possible because there cannot be two equals in the sense of oneness. If there are two equals in this sense, then there is no meaning in their being two, separated from each other. They must be one. If there are two such beings then there must be a dividing factor which makes the two as two and maintains their two separate entities, in which case the dividing factor will be the wajib ul wujud, therefore, such an existence is neither possible nor real. Wajib ul wujud, therefore, means the self-existing existence of the ever-living and selfsubsisting creator. To maintain His self-existing existence He must be an omnipotent authority who not only owns absolute knowledge of the existence but also the will that does what it wills. His control is absolute. His attributes are His self, inseparable from Him from any point of view or in any imaginable meaning or sense, as the meaning is inseparable from a word or as equiangularity is inseparable from an equilateral triangle. As the limited knowledge of the finite being cannot conceive of anything without referring to its attributes, we give names to the attributes of Allah, with the help of our visualisation, to have a suggestive idea of His absolute existence. Therefore, the Shia school holds it as a cardinal doctrine of faith not to think of any of His attributes as a separate entity from His existence. All the attributes of Allah are one absolute unity, because, if they are not, then it would mean complexity, which negates the absolute independence of the omnipotent authority. His existence means His authority, His authority means His knowledge, and likewise all His attributes are so linked together that they are one indivisible unity. Allah is a transcendental reality. He is unknowable. He is an infinite being, beyond the conceivability of our finite consciousness. He is inconceivable. He is hayyul qayyum, the ever-living, the self-subsisting.

Tawrat
The Tawrat is mentioned with honour as having been, in its purity, a true revelation from Allah. To translate it by the words "The Old Testament" is obviously wrong. The "Old Testament" is a Christian term, applied to a body of old Jewish records. The Protestants and the Roman Catholics are not agreed precisely as to the number of records to be included in the canon of the Old Testament. They use the term in contradiction to the "New Testament" whose composition shall be discussed in "The Injil". Nor is it correct to translate Tawrat as the "Pentateuch", a Greek term meaning the "five books", known as Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. A great part of the Jewish law is embodied in these books, which are traditionally ascribed to Musa, but it is certain that they were not written by Musa or in any age contemporary with Musa or within an appreciable distance of time from Musa. They were probably compiled sometime after the return of the Jews from the Babylonian captivity. Some new books such as Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi were admittedly written after the return from captivity. The statement in 2 Esdras (about the first century A.D.) that the law was burnt and Ezra (about 458-457 B.C.) was inspired to rewrite it, is probably true as to the historical fact 177

Tawrat that what is available now is no earlier than the time of Ezra, and some of it a good deal later. The Jews divide their scripture into three parts: 1. the law (Torah) 2. the prophets (Nebiim) 3. the writings (Kethubim). The corresponding Arabic words are 1. Tawrat 2. Nabiyin, 3. Kutub. In Luke 24: 44 Jesus refers to the law and the prophets and psalms. In the Old Testament (2 Chronicles 34: 30), the reference to the "book of the covenant" must be to the Torah or the original law. The Quran frequently refers to the covenant with reference to the Jews. The modern Christian terms "Old Testament" and "New Testament" are substitutes for the older terms" "Old Covenant and "New Covenant". The Samaritans, who claim to be the real children of Israel and disavow the Jews as schismatics, only recognise the Pentateuch, their version is slightly different from The Old Testament. In view of the school of higher criticism, two versions of sacred history existed, different in language, style and spirit, and they were combined together into a narrative in the reign of Hezekiah (B.C. 727-697). This forms the greater part of the Pentateuch as it exists today. In the reign of Josiah about 622 B.C., certain priests and scribes (with Jeremiah) promulgated a new code, pretending that they had found it in the temple (11 Kings 22: 8). This law (Torah) was the basis of Judaism, the new religion then founded in Palestine. The primitive Torah must have been in old Hebrew, but there is no Hebrew manuscript of the Old Testament which can be dated with certainty earlier than 916 A.D. For historical purposes the Creek version, known as the Septuagint, and the Latin version, known as the Vulgate, were the most important versions. Therefore there is no standard text of the Old Testament in its Hebrew form. The Pentateuch includes the laws and regulations associated with the name of Musa, but probably compiled and edited by Ezra or Esdras (Uzayr) in the 5th century B.C. In its original form "The Law" (Tawrat) was promulgated by Musa, and is recognised in Islam as having been a revealed book; but it was distorted or lost before Islam was preached. What passed as "The Law" with the Jews in the Holy Prophet's time was a mass of traditional writing, as explained above.

178

Tayammum

Tayammum
A total ablution or bathing is obligatory before praying the salat. Physical cleanliness, in Islam, is a sine qua non for moral and spiritual purification. If water is unobtainable (or injurious to health) tayammum should be performed.

Trade
Trade, on the other hand, is a mutual transaction in which both parties feel satisfied, in which both either hope to gain or run the risk of a loss. If financial help is required for business or trading, a different relationship can be structured between the two parties, such as a partnership or some form of sharing profit and loss. Those who say usury is only like trading will rise on the day of resurrection in a state of insanity, as those rise whom Shaytan has prostrated by his touch. Fairplay and honesty in trade has been emphasised, and dishonesty has been described as killing one another.

Tubba
Tubba was an appellation of each of the kings of Yemen, known as Himayarite kings. A one time the Himayarite kingdom extended over: all Arabia and beyond. First they were Sabians then professed the Jewish and the Christian religion. Among the embassies sent by the Holy Prophet in 9-10 Hijra was one to the Himyar of Yemen, which led to their coming into Islam. It is mentioned in Minhaj ul Sadiqin that about 1000 years before the advent of the Holy Prophet, Asad bin Malka abu Ayub, the then Himyarite king, after conquering many lands invaded Madina to take revenge of his slain son. He was a noble and God-fearing man. He used to begin all his letters with "in the name of Allah, the Lord of the land, the seas, the sun and the wind." To prevent him from destroying the city of Madina two men from the tribe of Bani Qurayza went to him and said: "Do not destroy this city because the last prophet of Allah, one day, will come here to preach the divine religion." He not only spared the town but also wrote a letter of felicitation and welcome to the Holy Prophet and handed it over to a Jew named Shamul with instructions to deliver it to him if he comes in his times, or let it be given to him by whosoever be his heir in the times of the Holy Prophet. Abu Ayub Ansari, the 21st offspring in the progeny of Shamul, gave this letter to the Holy Prophet who said: "Thank you O righteous Tubba."

Uhud, The Battle Of
Twelve months after the battle of Badr, when the third year of the Holy Prophet's stay at Madina was drawing to a close, there burst out a storm of unprecedented violence. Abu Sufyan, a zealous votary of the idols, a mortal foe of the Holy Prophet and his Ahl ul 179

Uhud, The Battle Of Bayt, the chief of the pagan Makkan tribes and head of the brand of Umayyah, had mobilised an army of 3000 warriors to avenge the defeat at Badr. He secretly negotiated an alliance with the Jews of Madina who agreed to attack the small band of Muslims when the major offensive would begin. After exceedingly elaborate preparations, the Quraysh commenced their march, 3000 strong; 700 were mailed warriors, and 200 wellmounted cavalry; the remainder rode on camels. Women were allowed to accompany them. Taking timbrels in their hands, they sang to their wild cadence songs of vengeance for kinsmen slain at Badr. The Muslims, able to fight, all told, were one thousand. To confront the enemy in an open field, the Holy Prophet reached Uhad. At the last moment on the pretext that his advice to wait and offer defence in Madina was not accepted Abdullah bin Ubay along with his 300 followers suddenly turned round and, deserting the Muslims, took the road back to Madina. Thus the Holy Prophet was left with 700 followers, facing a well-equipped army four times their number. There was a pass in the hills of Uhad through which the enemy soldiers could come and attack, so, the Holy Prophet stationed 50 archers under the command of Abdullah bin Jubayr at the mouth of the pass with strict instructions not to leave the post at any event. All the authentic books of history record that as soon as the fight began Ali and Hamza slashed the rows after rows of the enemy soldiers and sooner than expected the enemy took to their heels. Fascinated by the abrupt flight of the Makkan pagans, the unscrupulous companions of the Holy Prophet went in for loot and plunder. The archers also yielded to temptation and left their post by disobeying the orders of their commander. Khalid bin Walid, who was yet an unbeliever, with his men, attacked the unwary Muslims busy in collecting the booty from this opening and caught them off their guard. There was confusion and disorder. The pagans availed the opportunity and surrounded the Holy Prophet. He was wounded and fell into a pit. At this time Shaytan raised the cry "Muhammad has been killed." On hearing this cry even some of the closest companions of the Holy Prophet (who later became the leaders of the Muslims) also took to flight. The whereabouts of some of them became known after three days. One deserter suggested to send a messenger to Abdullah bin Obay so that he might obtain amnesty from Abu Sufyan. Tabari, Ibn Hisham and Tarikh al Khamis report that the second caliph was also among the deserters. Shibli says desperate despondency had seized the companions. Because of their long association with idolatry, the deserters, who either had embraced Islam under unavoidable circumstances or with ulterior motives, fell an easy prey to the satanic promptings. All deserted the messenger of Allah except Ali, Abu Dajjana and Sahl ibn Hunayf. The hand of Allah (yadullah), Ali, unsheathed his sword; the fearless, unconquerable and ever-overpowering strength of Allah (asdadullah), Ali, demonstrated his singular prowess as the executor of wonders {mazhar al aja-ib). Ali put so memorable a fight that Jibrail gloried Ali's action with the celebrated sentence: "la fata illa Ali" (there is no man save 180

Uhud, The Battle Of Ali) and "la sayf illa dhulfiqar" (there is no sword save dhulfiqar). The scene again changed and the three thousand proud warriors of Arabia ran from the battlefield like frightened rats, with Abu Sufyan in the front, and stopped at Hamra ul Asad, 8 miles away from Uhad. There he reviewed his misadventure to know the reason which changed certain victory into humiliating defeat. He was planning to launch another attack, but, before he could regroup the disheartened soldiers, the news of a possible pursuit by Ali ibn abi Talib broke his spirit and he at once took the road to Makka. Hamza, a valiant warrior, the uncle of the Holy Prophet, was martyred in this battle. Hinda, the wife of Abu Sufyan, the mother of Mu-awiyah, had hired an Abyssinian slave to kill the Holy Prophet, Hamza and Ali. He took out the liver of Hamza and gave it to Hinda. She chewed it and tried to eat it but could not. Then she washed the pieces, made a garland and wore it around her neck. The Holy Prophet, as he sat wounded in his face and as the blood was being wiped off him, reflected on the conduct of his close companions who deserted him in the hour of need, as their conduct exposed their uncertain faith and hypocrite tendency, and so he wondered as to how such people would behave after his departure from this world. It showed how much he was concerned with the future of his people. Allah knew that as the "mercy unto the worlds" the Holy Prophet was very much interested in the welfare of the people, thus Allah put him at ease by saying that it was He who might open their (companions) hearts to true faith or inflict immediate punishment. The deserters who had caused a disaster at Uhad deserved to be punished but the leniency shown to them did not wipe out their evil deed of desertion. If the Holy Prophet had been stern and hard of heart they would surely have broken away from him. So he was asked to pardon them in order to prevent them from making mischief and let the divine mission of guidance and salvation progress unhampered. After the battle of Uhad 3:139 was revealed to create confidence in the Muslims so that they might not grieve excessively for the loss of relatives and lose heart because of a partial set back in the battlefield (due to their own greed and lack of discipline). Persons who were not at Badr desired to be present with the Holy Prophet at another battle in order to gain the distinction (of being known as victors or martyrs) obtained by the heros of Badr. When they had seen the battle of Uhad and brought back their slain and wounded relatives, they indulged in lamentation and felt miserable. Those who had run away from the battlefield returned to Madina after three days and told the Holy Prophet that they took to flight because they heard a cry announcing his death. In reply 3:144 was revealed. Truth, at all events, remains positive and reliable. Therefore, if the messenger of Allah departs from this world there is no excuse to turn on one's heels and forsake his teachings. He who does so hurts himself.

181

Uhud, The Battle Of The infidels ridiculed the deserters when they reached Madina for having lost their friends and relatives in the battle of Uhad and assured them that if they had been with them (the infidels) they would not have suffered the misfortune. The ignorant infidels and "their brethren" did not know that Allah is the giver of life and death and that ultimately the infidels themselves had to regret for not becoming Muslims, because finally Islam was to emerge victorious. In view of verses 2 to 4 of al Ankabut it can be stated that the battle of Uhad was a trial and a test for those who professed to believe in Allah and His messenger. That which befell the Muslims was by Allah's will so that the believers and the hypocrites could be identified openly, and the faith of the one group and the hypocrisy of the other made clear. Allah knew best that which the hypocrites concealed. When they were asked to come and fight in the way of Allah, they thought that it was not a fair fight (because the enemy was killing them, therefore, they took to flight). Nearer were the hypocrite deserters on that day to infidelity. After the battle of Badr, the Jews of Bani Nadir accepted the fact that the Holy Prophet was the messenger of Allah whose advent has been clearly mentioned in their scripture and made a pledge not to help or abet the enemies of Islam. The hypocrites had sympathized with the Jews of Bani Nadir, whose opposition had grown strong since the Muslim reverse at Uhad (when many well-known companions had fled), and had promised to side with them if it came to a collision with the Muslims; and to emigrate with them if they were forced to emigrate. When the Holy Prophet visited their habitation after Uhud to conduct an inquiry concerning of killing of some Muslims, they tried to kill him. Then, because of their treason and projected murder of the Holy Prophet, they were asked to leave the strategic position which they occupied, about 3 miles south of Madina, endangering the very existence of the Muslims. At first they disagreed, relying on their fortresses and their secret alliances with the pagans of Makka and the hypocrites among the Muslims. When the Muslims marched against the Bani Nadir and besieged them while they were in their strong towers, the hypocrites did nothing; and when at length they were exiled, the hypocrites did not go with them into exile. Some went to Syria and some joined their brethren in Khaybar. The Bani Nadir deserved punishment for treason and projected murder of the Holy Prophet, but their lives were spared, and they were allowed to carry away their goods and chattels.

Ulil Amr
"Obey Allah and obey the messenger and the ulil amr (those vested with authority through His messenger)." 4:59 The command to obey is infinite-total obedience in all material, religious and spiritual matters, therefore, as this verse clearly signifies, the ulil amr must also be as just, wise and merciful as Allah and the Holy Prophet are, and he who - administers the affairs of 182

Ulil Amr mankind should be the khalifatullah (vicegerent of Allah) and the waliallah (representative of Allah whom He chooses after equipping him with His wisdom). It is irrational and senseless to accept any ruler as ulil amr, otherwise men like Yazid bin Mu-awiya will have to be included in the category of ulil amr; and no sane person would say that Allah has enjoined to obey men like Yazid (prototypes of whom were and are many and in abundance since the departure of the Holy Prophet till today) just as one obeys Allah and the Holy Prophet. Today the Muslim ummah (from Indonesia to Morocco) is in a quandary, because the theoreticians who directly or indirectly served the interests of the despotic rulers, have presented "the obedience to ruler" (even if he is an usurper, a rogue or a ruffian) as a fundamental of religion (known as the theory of ghlu and ghalba-violence and conquest) by misinterpreting this verse. Such theoreticians are their Imams. There is no way leading to emancipation from terror and exploitation if this theory is not rightly rejected once and for all. It is not possible unless the sincere Muslims submit to the teachings of the Ahl ul Bayt.

Ummul Momineen
As the wives of the Holy Prophet they were expected not only to display refinement, decency and decorum but also imbibe moral and spiritual excellence in their character because of their close and constant association with the Holy Prophet; and if they did not, their punishment in the hereafter would be doubled (greater in degree), because as the wives of the Holy Prophet they should have been models of piety for other women. Refer to the commentary of Nur: 26. To the good and obedient wives Allah will give double reward and a honourable sustenance. It has been made clear to the wives of the Holy Prophet that mere association with him does not give them any privilege unless they obey the Holy Prophet and safeguard themselves against evil. Although they have been declared "the mothers of the believers", yet they are warned not to be too friendly lest some one is moved with desire. In this there is guidance for all women that they should keep all men at arm's length-not to give even a slight unconscious indication of possible complaisance. The only youthful marriage of the Holy Prophet was his first marriage to Khadija, mother of Fatimah, the noblest of women and the best of wives. He married her fifteen years before he made known his prophetship; their marriage life lasted for twenty five years, and their love and harmony was ideal. During her life he had no other wife. When she died the Holy Prophet observed "the year of grief". He would probably never have married again, as he was most abstemious in his physical life, but for two considerations which governed his later marriages-(i) compassion and clemency; (ii) help in his duties of prophetship. 183

Ummul Momineen Some of his wives were gentle and faithful; some were envious and avaricious, whom the Holy Prophet, as commanded by Allah in this verse, offered to set free in a goodly manner. (33:28) After hearing the Holy Prophet's declaration Ummi Salima stood up and said: "I have chosen Allah and His Prophet". Then verse 33:29 was revealed. It refers to those wives who did not covet for worldly gains but rejoiced in the honour they had as the wives of the Holy Prophet. For such wives there is a great reward from Allah in the hereafter. Most of the commentators say that this verse was revealed because of the persistent demand of his wives for a high standard of living which was beyond the means of the Holy Prophet. According to Irshadus Sari Sharh Sahih Bukhari, volume 7; page 314, the following wives of the Holy Prophet were divided in two groups, one of which including Hafsa, Sawda, Safiya, was dominated by A-isha. It is reported that Abu Bakr and Umar bin Khattab had expressed their displeasure to their daughters and reprimanded them for their unjustified demands and their insolent behaviour. Once Ali tried to put fear of Allah in their hearts but A-isha lost her temper and used harsh words to insult him. Then and their the Holy Prophet gave authority to Ali to divorce any of his wives on his behalf. See commentary of At Tahrim: 1 to 5. Bukhari in his commentary of Tahrim in his Sahih record several traditions as related by Umar stating that the two women who were insolent and haughty towards the Holy Prophet were A-isha and Hafsa. It refers to her address to the Holy Prophet: "I smell maghafir (a kind of flower having a very bad odour) from you." She said this in order to prevent him from visiting the house of Zaynab and eating honey there. When some malevolent persons falsely accused Mariyah mother of Ibrahim, A-isha supported the accusers and tried in vain to confirm the false blame, but Allah absolved them (the Prophet and Mariyah) and saved them from injustice through Imam Ali. Those who want to know the details of the unhappy incident should refer to the account of Mariyah in Hakim's Mustadrak, vol. 4, p. 30; or Dhahabi's Talkhis al Mustadrak. Bukhari has recorded in the chapter "What happened in the houses of the Prophet's wives" in the book "Jihad and Travel" of his Sahih, vol. 2, p. 125, that while delivering an address from the pulpit, the Holy Prophet pointed towards A-isha's house and said: "Here lies the scandal; here lies the scandal; here lies the scandal, where the horn of Shaytan would be rising." In the words of Sahih Muslim: "The Prophet came out of the house of A-isha and remarked: "Here is the head of infidelity where the horn of Shaytan will rise." Refer to Sahih Muslim, vol. 2,0.502. The Holy Prophet used to drink a glass of honey-syrup whenever he visited the apartment of Zaynab. A-isha and Hafsa became resentful, and A-isha devised a plot. Knowing the Holy Prophet's dislike of unpleasant smells she held her nose when he came to her apartment after drinking a glass of honey-syrup prepared by Zaynab, and accused him of 184

Ummul Momineen having eaten the produce of a very ill-smelling tree. When she accused him of having eaten maghafir (a nauseating herb) the Holy Prophet said that he had taken only honey. She said: "The bees had fed on maghafir." When he visited Hafsa she also acted just like A-isha. Displeased with their obnoxious behaviour the Holy Prophet vowed not to eat honey any more. This is recorded by Bukhari in his commentary on Tahrim, in his Sahih, Vol. 3, p. 136. In the same place are recorded several traditions as related by Umar bin Khattab stating that the two women, A-isha and Hafsa were insolent and haughty towards the Holy Prophet. On a day assigned to Hafsa, when she was not found in her apartment as she went to her parent's house, the Holy Prophet spent the night with Marya, the coptic girl, presented to him by the ruler of Egypt, who became the mother of his son, Ibrahim. To calm the quarrelsome bad temper of Hafsa he vowed that he would have no more to do with Marya. The wives of the Holy Prophet were expected to show a higher standard in behaviour, as they were in the company of the superior most teacher of manners, social behaviour and etiquette. The Holy Prophet's mind was sorely distressed by the obnoxious behaviour of A-isha and Hafsa and he renounced the society of his wives for one month. Verse one was revealed to say that as Allah has allowed him honey and Marya, he did not have to forsake any of them. If any vow prevents from doing good or acting rightly one should expiate the vow, but not refrain from doing good deeds. Verses 3 to 5 of surah 66 refer to A-isha and Hafsa who were envious and jealous to the point of sickness against the Holy Prophet's refined and highminded wives. Once Hafsa came to know about a very personal matter concerning the Holy Prophet which he thought should not be made public, therefore he asked her not to publish it. But she at once rushed to her friend A-isha and whispered to her a version which was in great part untrue. Hafsa who betrayed confidence and A-isha who encouraged the betrayal were commanded to turn in repentance to Allah. If they were to resist repentance and amends, they would be abetting each other's crime but could not harm the most perfect messenger of Allah whom all the spiritual forces always surrounded to protect from every type of slander and falsehood. Please refer to Kanz al Ummal, vol. 6 p. 294 and Ibn Sad's Tabaqat, vol.8, p. 115. The Prophet had discretionary power to divorce any or all his wives, and if he did so Allah would give him good women as his wives in place of the existing wives, who were, in view of verse 5, ordinary women harbouring envy, jealousy, and ill-will against others; particularly A-isha's hostility towards Ali Ibn abi Talib has been recorded by all the well known historians.

185

Usool e Deen

Usool e Deen
Justice is one of the 5 fundamental doctrines of Islam-Original, Shi-aism. It distinguishes Shi-a faith from other schools of thought. The 5 roots of the faith (usul al din) are given below: 1. Tawhid: There is no god save Allah. 2. Adl: Allah is all-just. 3. Risalat: The prophets or messengers of Allah, appointed by Him, were truthful, holy and infallible. The last messenger of Allah, the seal of prophethood, is Muhammad al Mustafa. 4. Imamat: After the Holy Prophet, the office of the prophethood was terminated, but the divine guidance continued, for which Allah appointed the twelve Imams in the progeny of the Holy Prophet. 5. Qiyamat: The day of final judgement.

Uzayr, Prophet
It is not Ezekiel but Ezra who is referred to as Uzayr. It was prophet Uzayr who, like Ibrahim, prayed and asked Allah to show him how the dead are brought back to life again. Nebuchadnezzar conquered and destroyed Jerusalem. The corpses of the inhabitants were left to be eaten by the wild beasts and birds of prey. When prophet Uzayr passed by the ruins of the city, he wondered if the people whose desiccated bones were lying on the ground could ever be brought to life again so as to rebuild the devastated town? So Allah caused him and his donkey to die. After seventy years, Cyrus gave permission to rebuild Jerusalem. Within thirty years Jerusalem was an active city again. When Uzayr died, it was morning. After hundred years he was brought to life again. The sun had not yet set. "How long have you tarried?" the angel, who was sent to meet Uzayr, asked him. I have tarried a day, or part of a day," he replied. No! You have tarried a hundred years," the angel informed him. He also asked him to look at his food and drink in his bag. It was as fresh as it was a hundred years ago. He looked at his donkey. There were only its bones lying beside him. As he was looking at his donkey, its scattered bones were joined together and it stood before him, alive and breathing. The purpose of this miracle was to make prophet Uzayr an instructive example to those who either do not know how the dead will be brought to life again on the day of resurrection, or who disbelieve in Allah's warning. So when it became clear to Uzayr, he said: "I know that Allah has power over all things." At home he found his son, born after his departure, one hundred years old; his young maid one hundred and twenty years old, and all his grandchildren older than him. They looked at the fifty year old Uzayr and wondered. Uzayr became a living sign of Allah's omnipotence. 186

Wasila

Wasila
Wasilah is a means of access to a thing or a being. If Allah had willed He could have guided mankind directly through inspiration, but in His infinite wisdom, He had not deemed it desirable. He selected and appointed His representatives to convey His message and laws to people and administer their affairs in every age. Thus wasilah or means of access to Allah is to faithfully follow the Holy Prophet and the holy Imams of his holy house, who have been thoroughly purified by Allah (Ahzab: 33).

Yunus
Dhun-nun, "the man of the fish", is the title of prophet Yunus. Yunus' mission was to the city of Nineveh, then steeped in wickedness. The people rejected him. He departed in anger without the permission of his Lord, so his departure is described as if a slave runs away from captivity. The cause of anger Yunus felt was the disobedience of his people who did not respond to his preaching, so Allah tested him by putting him in the belly of a huge fish. He boarded a fully laden boat which met stormy weather. The sailors, thinking that the ill-luck was caused by some fugitive, wanted to discover him by casting lots. The lot fell on Yunus, so they took up him and cast him forth into the sea. A great fish swallowed up Yunus. He was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. When he was engulfed with the darkness of the night, the sea and the belly of the fish, he cried to his Lord and accepted the fact that he should have not gone away in anger breaking off from his people, though they refused to believe in him and Allah. Then he prayed unto the Lord through the depths of darkness in the fish's belly: "There is no god but You. Glory be to you. I am indeed of the unjust." (Anbiya: 87). By the command of Allah the fish vomited out him upon the dry land. He was in a state of sickness. Allah caused to grow gourd plant there whose large leaves he used to protect his body from the hot sun, flies and other insects which were preying on his wounded body. Then he was commanded to return to the city of Nineveh. The people repented and believed, and Nineveh got a new lease of life. The spiritual force of the prayer- "There is no god but Thou. Glory be to Thee. Verily I have been of the wrong-doers"-has been confirmed by the Holy Prophet and the holy Imams. All the prophets of Allah were aware of the fact that every human being is likely to make mistakes and it is Allah alone who can save him from wrong-doing, so every one of them always prayed to Allah that he might keep himself away from mistakes. 187

Yusuf and Yaqub, Prophets

Yusuf and Yaqub, Prophets
The story of Yusuf son of Yaqub son of Is-haq son of Ibrahim as given in the Quran is not identical with the Biblical story. The atmosphere is wholly different. The Biblical story is a folk-tale in which morality has no place. It exalts the clever and financiallyminded Jew against the Egyptian, and to explain certain ethnic and tribal peculiarities in later Jewish history, Yusuf is shown as buying up all the cattle and the land of the poor Egyptians for the state under the stress of famine conditions, and making the Jews "rulers" over the Firawn's cattle. The Quranic story, on the other hand, is less a narrative than a highly spiritual sermon or allegory explaining the seeming contradictions in life, the enduring nature of virtue in a world full of flux and change, and the marvellous working of Allah's eternal purpose in His plan as unfolded to us on the wide canvas of history. It is the most detailed of any story in the Quran and is full of description of vicissitudes of human life, and therefore deservedly appeals to men and women of all classes. It paints in vivid colours, with their spiritual implications, the most varied aspects of life-Yaqub's old age and the confidence between him and his little beloved son, the elder brothers' jealousy, their plot, Yaqub's grief, the sale of Yusuf into slavery for a petty price, carnal love contrasted with purity and patience and fortitude, chastity, false charges, prison, the divine gift of interpretation of the dreams, evil life and spiritual life, innocence raised to honour, forgiveness and benevolence, matters of administration, humility in glory, filial love, and the ultimate triumph of piety and truth. When the tribal chiefs of the Quraysh asked the Holy Prophet about the cause of the migration of the children of Yaqub to Egypt from Syria, surah Yusuf was revealed. Except four verses (the first three and the seventh according to Ibn Abbas) this surah was revealed in Makka on the eve of the Holy Prophet's migration to Madina. If true, it proves that the date and the sequence of the revelations were not taken into consideration by the Holy Prophet. It must be noted that like Yusuf the Holy Prophet also had to leave his birth place on account of the conspiracy of his near relatives. This surah gave confidence and hope to him that they would also encounter the same fate as the brothers of Yusuf met. Like Yusuf the Holy Prophet also declared clemency for his relatives and tribesmen. After the fall of Makka he said: "I say that which my brother Yusuf said to his brothers in the end." Yusuf son of Yaqub was a very beautiful youth. The truth, which Yusuf, the prophet of Allah, saw in his vision, was unpalatable to his half-brothers, who plotted against him and sold him into slavery to a merchant for a few pieces of silver. Yusuf was taken by the merchant into Egypt, was bought by a great Egyptian court dignitary, Aziz. The beauty of Yusuf was so irresistible that the dignitary's wife fell in love with him on first sight and sought to entice Yusuf to the delights of earthly love, but Yusuf, a faithful servant of Allah and His prophet, did not yield to the temptation. His self-control and faith in Allah could not be shaken just for the pleasure of a fleeting moment. He preferred the misery of 188

Yusuf and Yaqub, Prophets imprisonment to the disgrace he would have to face if he had succumbed to the lure of Shaytan. Although some commentators have given many notes of mystic nature connected with the story of Yusuf, yet it is advisable to rely upon that which has been narrated in the Quran. Yusuf, born of Yaqub's beloved wife Rachel, occupied the first place in his father's affections. Rachel gave birth to another child, Benjamin, Yusuf's real brother, after which she died. When Yusuf was about twelve years of age he dreamed a dream in which he saw a light had enveloped the whole environment. Every creature was singing the song of Allah's glory. Then the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to him. As soon as Yaqub, also a prophet of Allah, heard this dream, he knew its interpretation immediately. It is reported on the authority of Jabir bin Abdullah Ansari that one day Bashan, a Jew of Madina, came to the Holy Prophet and asked him whether he knew the names of the stars which Yusuf saw in his dream. The Holy Prophet gave him the following names: 1. Hurban 2. Turaq 3. Zi-al 4. Zulkitfani 5. Qabisth 6. Wathab 7. Amud 8. Faluq 9. Masbah 10. Saduh 11. Zul Qarh Yaqub advised Yusuf not to relate his dream to his brothers who hated and envied him because they saw that their father loved him more than all of them, and that Yusuf was a very beautiful boy, a gift of Allah bestowed on him as a distinctive excellence. There was a tree in Yaqub's house. Whenever a son was born, a new branch used to grow on the tree. As soon as that son reached puberty, Yaqub would cut the branch and give it to the boy to be used as a staff. On the birth of Yusuf no such branch grew. Yaqub prayed to Allah. In reply Allah sent a heavenly branch for Yusuf. The brothers envied him for this divine favour. Yusuf dreamed another dream that all the brothers planted their staves in the earth, but his staff grew higher and higher and reached the sky. Then a violent storm destroyed the staves of his brothers, leaving his staff intact. Yaqub told him that the dream showed his high position near Allah. His brothers became furious with jealousy and hatred-all negative and wicked characteristics are the promptings of Shaytan, an open enemy of man. 189

Yusuf and Yaqub, Prophets

As a chosen prophet of Allah Yusuf had to understand and interpret signs and events aright. The dreams of the righteous prefigure events correctly. Yusuf could look back to his fathers upto Ibrahim, the upright, who through all adversities kept his faith pure and won through. The brothers of Yusuf proposed to kill him so that the favour of their father might be given to them alone, but one of them suggested to throw him in a well, in which case some travellers passing by would pick him up and remove him to a far country and they would be free from the charge of murder. The plot having been formed, they approached their father to let Yusuf go with them to play and enjoy. Yaqub had strong misgivings and apprehension. He told them that while they were attending to their own affairs a wolf might devour him. In the end they prevailed upon him and took Yusuf with them, and threw him into a well. Allah was with Yusuf in his sufferings and sorrows and reassured him that one day they would stand before him, seeking his help, not knowing that he was their betrayed brother. They stained Yusuf's shirt with the blood of a goat and showed it to their father to convince him that while they were playing a wolf had devoured Yusuf who was guarding their things. Yaqub did not believe them. He saw that there had been some foul play. Imam Jafar bin Muhammad as Sadiq has said that while Yusuf was in the well, Jabra-il advised him to invoke Allah in the following words: ALLAHUMMA INNI AS-ALUKA - BI-ANNA LAKAL HAMDU - LA ILAHA ILLA ANTAL MANNANU - BADI-US SAMAWATI WAL ARD - DHUL JALALI WAL IKRAM - AN TUSALLIYA ALA MUHAMMADIN WA ALI MUHAMMAD - WA AN TAJ-ALLI MIN AMRI FARAJAN WA MAKHRAJAN - WA TARZUQNI MIN HAYSU AHTASIB WA MIN HAYSU LA AHTASIB (O Allah, I beseech You, praise be to You, there is no god save You, the benign, the originator of the heavens and the earth, the Lord of grandeur and honour, send Your blessings on Muhammad and on the children of Muhammad, and make my affair easy, and let it find a way-out, and provide me from wherewith I reckon, and from wherewith I do not reckon.) A caravan of merchants pulled Yusuf up with a bucket which was let down to bring water from the well. For the merchants Yusuf was an item of merchandise. The brothers, who were visiting the well daily, came to claim his price as a runaway slave, but dared not haggle over the price, lest their plan, to get rid of him, should be defeated. The shrewd merchants bought Yusuf for the paltry sum of a few dirhams. In Egypt, a high court official purchased him when he was put for sale in a public auction. He took him to his house and instructed his wife to make his stay honourable so that they might adopt him as a son. So Allah firmly established Yusuf in the land and taught him the interpretation of dreams, and when he reached the prime of life He gave him wisdom and knowledge, because Allah rewards those who are good. The wife of the high official, Zulaykha, tried to seduce him. She desired him very much. As Yusuf was one of Allah's chosen devotees, He enabled him to avert both evil and lechery from himself. She grabbed and rent his 190

Yusuf and Yaqub, Prophets shirt from behind. Both of them raced to the door. There they met her husband outside the door. At once she saw the trouble and put the blame on Yusuf and said: 'There is no other penalty for a man who wanted to outrage your wife but imprisonment or grievous punishment." Yusuf said that it was she who wanted to seduce him. He had to tell the truth. A witness from her family testified. Yusuf's shirt was torn at the back, he must obviously have been retreating and Zulaykha must have been tugging from behind. Everybody knew the guilty party. The husband was convinced that indeed it was a woman's ruse-the wiles of women are terrible. He asked Yusuf to ignore the affair and ordered his wife to ask forgiveness for her sin. In the city the women gossiped. When she heard their slanderings, she invited them to a sumptuous feast and gave each of them a knife and called Yusuf to come out before them. When they saw him, the women were so wonderstruck with his beauty that they cut their hands. Hasha lillah is a phrase which denotes remoteness from imperfection or the like, or freedom therefrom; generally implying wonder or admiration-How far (or how free) is Allah from every imperfection! It implies wonder at the power of Allah as manifested in the creation of a beautiful person like Yusuf. The women all agreed that no man had a right to resist their solicitations, so Zulaykha, in her tragic guilt, threatened Yusuf with imprisonment and disgrace. Yet, inspite of having seen the clear proofs of his innocence, the men, as a political move, sent him to prison for a time, until the scandalous gossip of the town regarding the high official's wife had ceased. There came into the prison two young men with him. They were employed in the court of Firawn. One was a cup-bearer, and the other was a cook. They were both in disgrace. The former dreamed that he was pressing grapes, the latter that he was carrying bread, but the birds ate of it. They saw in Yusuf a man of Cod endowed with His wisdom, therefore told him their dreams and asked him to interpret them. First Yusuf taught the truth of Allah and the faith in the hereafter to both men. It was his mission, his duty. The highest good he could do to them was to teach the polytheist Egyptians the gospel of unity of Allah. He had the heritage of great men renowned for wisdom and truth such as Ibrahim, Is-haq and Yaqub, whose faith he followed, and all of them never associated anyone with Allahbelief in one Allah is a grace of Allah to mankind. All false gods are nothing but names that polytheists have named for which there is no divine sanction. Sovereignty belongs to Allah alone, therefore, worship none but Him-this is the right religion. The word sahibi (my companion) has been used by Yusuf to address the two fellowprisoners who were polytheists. Likewise it is not necessary that all the companions of the Holy Prophet were sincere believers. Many of them were hypocrites.

191

Yusuf and Yaqub, Prophets Then Yusuf told them that the cup-bearer would again serve wine to Firawn, while the cook will be crucified and the birds would peck at his brain. He asked the cup-bearer to mention him to his master, but Shaytan made him forget to mention this to his master, and Yusuf remained in prison for a few more years. One day the king told his courtiers that he saw in a dream seven fat cows being devoured by seven lean ones, and seven green ears of corns and seven others that were withered. None of the courtiers knew how to interpret dreams. The cup-bearer told Firawn that he would give him its interpretation and went to see Yusuf in prison. He asked him to tell him the meaning of the dream. Yusuf, the prophet of Allah, was a siddiq-truthful, who from his childhood worshipped no one save Allah. From this it follows that those who had worshipped a ghayrallah for the most part of their lives cannot be addressed as siddiq. Yusuf the truthful said that there would be seven years of abundant harvest. Of them they should take a little for their sustenance and store the rest in the ears. There would follow seven years of dreadful famine which will consume all the stores which were saved in the good years. That would be followed by a year of rain in which people would press wine and oil. The king sent a messenger to bring Yusuf. Yusuf told the messenger that his innocence was well-established before Allah, but before he came out of the prison there should be a public inquiry. Then the king sent for the ladies concerned. Among them came Zulaykha. The king demanded the whole truth. Zulaykha confessed that it was she who attempted to seduce Yusuf but undoubtedly he was a truthful man of virtue. Ammarah refers to the urge which commands man to do evil, but if he sincerely believes in Allah and resolves to do good at all events, Allah gives him power to control this urge and always keeps his conscience awake to safeguard himself against evil of Shaytan. The conscience which censures and holds in check the urge to do evil is called lawwamah (Al Qiyamah: 2). When he controls the ammarah, and abides by the dictates of lawwamah he is blessed with peace of mind, joy and fulfilment and deserves to be called nafs mutmainnah, the ultimate destination of which is that which has been promised in verse 8 of al Bayyinah. The king was much impressed, and appointed Yusuf as his confidential wazir. Yusuf wanted to do real service to the people. He undertook the hardest task of organising reserves in times of plenty, against the lean years to come. He was put incharge of the granaries and store-houses. So Allah gave Yusuf authority in the land and bestowed His favours on him. He does not allow the reward of those who are good to go waste. There was a wide spread famine in all of Arabia, Northern Africa, Syria, Iraq and Palestine. On account of Yusuf's foresight and his able administration bread was available in Egypt only. So the brothers of Yusuf also came to Egypt and called on him. He (Yusuf) recognised them, though they did not recognise him. He treated them liberally. The ten brothers had come. Yusuf asked them to bring their brother, Benjamin, 192

Yusuf and Yaqub, Prophets whom they said his (they did not say their) father had kept with him, so that they would be able to get his share also. They went back to Yaqub and asked him to send Benjamin with them so that they could bring more grain. Yaqub said he could not trust them with Benjamin after what they did to Yusuf. Yaqub knew that Yusuf was alive, so he said Allah was the best of guardians. Yaqub wanted his sons to know that their undertaking to guard Benjamin had no credibility in his opinion, as was in the case of Yusuf aforetime. On both occasions Yaqub did not trust his sons; he put his faith in Allah alone. When they unpacked their goods they found the money which the servants of Yusuf had put there on his orders, so that greed might bring them back again with Benjamin. Yaqub, a man of wisdom and experience, aware of the possible suspicions the people of Egypt might have about eleven strangers parading in the city, advised them to enter from different gates. Although they did as advised by Yaqub but it did not profit them against the plan of Allah - reunion of the whole family and shaming the ten brothers into repentance. The men of Allah are full of knowledge, not as men, but as taught by the grace of Allah. Yusuf was delighted to see Benjamin, his own brother. He told him not to worry as he was going to keep Benjamin with himself. After taking the provisions, when they were departing Yusuf asked a steward to put his own drinking silver cup in Benjamin's saddlebag; and then it was announced that Yusuf s silver cup had been stolen. As they were about to leave a steward stopped them and searched their bags, and found the silver cup in Benjamin's bag. So he was detained. It was Allah's plan to allow Yusuf to keep his brother with himself because under the law of the land he could not detain his brother. Above every knowing there is a knower who knows all and more than all the knowingAllah. The brothers said that if Benjamin had stolen, it was no wonder, his brother had stolen before. Yusuf knew well his half brothers were worse in the degree of evil. One brother stayed there, and the others went back to Yaqub and told him what had happened. Yaqub was greatly disturbed. His eyes became white with sorrow and he fell into silent melancholy, yet he hoped that it was all being done so that Allah the allknowing, might bring his sons back to him. He asked his sons to go in search of Yusuf and Benjamin and advised them to have faith in the mercy of Allah, because those who did not believe in Allah despaired and lost hope. They returned to Yusuf, offered him what little they had and begged for his favour. Yusuf could no longer hold himself. He said: "I am Yusuf and this is my brother Benjamin. Allah has been gracious to us; for Allah verily does not deprive those who obey and follow His laws and commands and endure." The half brothers confessed their sin and wickedness. Yusuf at once forgave them and prayed to Allah to forgive them. Allah is the most merciful of all. 193

Yusuf and Yaqub, Prophets When the Holy Prophet entered into Makka, after its fall, in identical language he freely forgave the whole population of his worst foes who were entirely at his mercy. Yusuf gave them his shirt and asked them to put it on his father's face to restore his eyesight, and then to bring the whole family to him. Far-tadda basira means (Yaqub) forwith regained his sight. It implies that he had lost his sight and then regained it. When the garment was put over Yaqub's face his eyesight was restored. He said: "Did I not tell you? I know from Allah what you do not know." The sons asked their father to pray for them that their sins be forgiven. Yaqub said: "Allah will forgive you. He is oftforgiving and kind." When they went back to Yusuf, he gave his father and mother a place of honour, and seated them by his side on the throne; and they fell before him in homage. Sajada-falling down in prostration. The father, the brothers and the aunt fell down in prostration before Yusuf. There are two types of sajdahs-one is that which is for Allah in total submission to His will, and the other is done in reverence to pay homage to a divinely chosen representative of Allah (see commentary of al Baqarah: 34). The sajdah by the father and the brothers was the interpretation of Yusuf's dream. In keeping with his character as a prophet of Allah, Yusuf, in all humility, attributes everything good and worthy not to himself but to the grace of Allah. The divine grace is always based on knowledge and wisdom. Then Yusuf said: "O my father, this is the meaning of my earlier dream. My Lord has made it come true. He was gracious in getting me out of prison, and bringing you out of the desert to me after the discord created by Shaytan between me and my brothers, for my Lord is gracious to whomsoever He pleases. He is indeed all-knowing and all-wise. O my Lord, You have given me dominion and taught me the interpretation of dreams; O creator of the heavens and the earth, You alone are my saviour in this world and the hereafter, take my soul as one submitting to Your will (as a Muslim) and unite me with the righteous." In the story of Yusuf, and all the events narrated in the Quran pertaining to the prophets of Allah there is a lesson for those who can study and obtain guidance from the history.

Zakarriya and Yahya, Prophets
The clear evidence of Allah's extraordinary benevolence prompted Zakariyya to pray for a son he longed all his life. Tayyab means virtuous, blessed, pure and good. Prophet Zakariyya's prayer makes it clear that Maryam received her sustenance direct from Allah, the miraculous nature of which made Zakariyya turn to Allah to beseech Him for a son he could not have since his wife was barren; and as a prophet he knew that only a miracle willed by Allah could give him a son.

194

Zakarriya and Yahya, Prophets In Luke 1: 5 and 13, it is stated that an angel appeared to Zakariyya on the right of the altar of incense (mihrab-the private chamber of a prayer house, partitioned and kept hidden from the eyes of the people) and said to him: "Do not be afraid, your prayer has been heard, your wife will bear a son, and you shall name him John (Yahya)." Quran signifies the events of the births of Isa and Yahya as miracles effected by the will of Allah. Owing to his curiosity to know as to when a son will be born in spite of their natural disability, Zakariyya had asked the Lord to appoint a sign for him. "You will not speak to men for three days" was the sign given to him. In reply to Zakariyya's request for a sign which could let him know that his wife was blessed with a child, the almighty Lord gave him the sign that he would not be able to talk to the people whilst being fully occupied with remembrance and praise and glorification of Allah, day and night. The command was to remember Allah and glorify Him all the time. So it was obvious that a prophet of Allah, while carrying out his Lord's command, would not find time to speak to the people at all, otherwise there was no restriction on uttering words from the mouth. Praise and glorification of Allah takes man into the pure domain of spiritualism through which he overcomes physical disabilities and obstacles, and obtains grace and blessings of Allah. The laws of nature, known to man, can be controlled, modified or altered by the spiritual and divine agency. Yahya (John) was the cousin of Isa, six months older than Isa, who was the first person to believe in Isa as a true prophet of Allah, sent to revive the faithful practice of the law of Musa. Yahya was killed before Isa's ascension to the heavens. Zakariyya invoked Allah to give him a son, not only as the inheritor of his family but also as an upholder of his mission and the mission of his ancestors. These verses (19:2) prove that the prophets of Allah inherit and leave inheritance. To interpret "Warith" as reference to knowledge and wisdom only is a deviation from the real, direct and plain meaning of this word, without any external or internal evidence. If inheritance of personal belongings is excluded, the repetition of the verb becomes meaningless because Zakariyya himself was a descendant of ali Yaqub, who inherited the prophethood and wisdom of his ancestors, and his son would do the same if Allah so willed as He chooses whomsoever He wills as His messenger (An-am: 124), therefore Zakariyya said: "inherit me and inherit ali Yaqub". Zakariyya is referring to his belongings and the belongings of the posterity of Yaqub separately. The first verb refers to the inheritance of his property which Zakariyya thought would be appropriated by his relatives if he remained childless; and the second verb refers to the prophethood, he wanted for Yahya, for which there was no need to fear that it would be taken by any one. Verse 16 of An Nahl confirms that which has been explained here. The mother of the son given to Zakariyya was a born barren woman, so he was named Yahya, derived from hayat (life), a name which was given to him for the first time. The 195

Zakarriya and Yahya, Prophets Hebrew form of Yahya is Johanan which means "Jehvah (God) has been gracious". Hananan (see verse 13) means compassion. Imam Jafar bin Muhammad as Sadiq said: "Before Yahya and Husayn, no one was ever named by either of their names. The murderers of Yahya and Husayn were illegitimate. The heads of both of them were severed from their bodies and displayed in the streets and the courts which (according to Imam Husayn) prove the worthlessness of this world in the estimation of Allah. The head of Yahya was presented before the depraved wife of the Egyptian king and her pervert daughter and the head of Husayn was presented to the sons of whores." Verse 19:12 says that hukm (strength, power of judgement and prophethood) was given to Yahya in his childhood. Likewise Isa was also appointed as the prophet of Allah while he was in the cradle. Therefore there is no justification for the misconceived idea propagated by a large number of Muslims that the Holy Prophet was an illiterate person (see commentary of al Baqarah: 97). Ayyashi quotes Ali bin Asbath as under: "While going to Egypt I met Imam Ali bin Musa in Madina. Then he was a five year old boy. I was greatly impressed by his knowledge when we talked about on various topics. I had decided to tell everyone in Egypt about his extraordinary wisdom and judgement. As soon as the idea came into my mind, he recited: 'We gave him (Yahya) wisdom, while yet a child.'" Yahya boldly denounced sin. He had pity and love for all creatures of Allah, lived among the humble and lonely, despised worldly comforts, and never used violence nor entertained a spirit of rebellion against human or divine law. He did not live long. He was beheaded by Herod, the provincial ruler under the Roman empire, at the instigation of the woman with whom Herod was infatuated. Peace and Allah's blessings were on him when he was born; they continued when he was about to die an unjust death at the hands of a tyrant; and they will be manifest at the day of resurrection.

Zihar
Khula hint Thalaba, wife of Aws bin Thamit, had complained to the Holy Prophet that her husband had put her away for no good reason by employing an old formula of the pagan Arabs, known as zihar, which consists of the words: "You are to me as the back of my mother." This was held by pagan custom to imply a divorce and freed the husband from any responsibility for conjugal duties but do not leave the wife free to leave her husband's home, or to contract a second marriage. She pleaded that she had little children whom she had no means to support, and, under zihar, her husband was not bound to support. Her 196

Zihar prayer to Allah containing her just plea was accepted, and this brutal and unjust custom was abolished through these quran. The penalty prescribed for the husband, who repents his hasty act, is to set a slave free. Then only he can claim his conjugal rights. Such laws served the abolition of slavery in a rational and evolutionary way without creating chaos and disorder in the society.

Zodiac
In the countless stars in the universe there is a marvellous order, beauty and harmony, on a scale which man is appreciating more and more as his knowledge is increasing. The first distinct belt is the Zodiac, which marks the position of the sun with reference to the movement of various constellation of stars of the solar system. Its twelve divisions are called the signs of the Zodiac. Through them we can mark off the seasons in our solar year, and express in definite laws the most important facts in meteorology, agriculture, seasonal winds, and tides. All these are vitally important and affect our physical life on the earth. The most important lesson we draw from them is that the author of the wonderful order and beauty is One, and He alone is entitled to our worship. The Zodiac belt is the lowest heaven. The heavens above it are more spiritual than physical. Celestial factors effect the terrestrial events. Some of the determinative occurrences of the celestial realm manifest themselves before they produce an effect upon the terrestrial world. Those who delve in occult sciences rely upon these manifestations to foretell the future. Such attempts are not reliable because the radiating celestial bodies (shihabun mubin or shahab thaqib) prevent them from reading the actual consequences. The shooting star or flaming fire, most probably, is the continuous radiation from the celestial bodies which pierces into the terrestrial hemisphere. It may mean that the conjunctions of radiations from different celestial sources neutralise the effect of each other and it becomes immeasurable and incomprehensible to those who try to foretell the future. Spiritually speaking, order, beauty, harmony, light and truth are repugnant to evil. Therefore the bliss of the heavens are denied to the forces of evil. It is reserved only for the virtuous. The crooked nature of evil try to gain access by fraud or stealth but a flaming fire stops them from even hearing the sound of harmony ringing in the land of eternal bliss. Qummi in his commentary says that when the Holy Prophet was born a mass of shooting stars was seen in the sky. A Jew named Joseph came to Makka and asked the Quraysh if a male child was born in their tribe. They did not know, but when he told them that it was written in Pentateuch that when the last prophet of Allah would be born the devilish forces will be driven away from the heaven by the shooting stars and their access to the higher regions would be blocked for ever, they made inquiries and found out that in the night before a son was born to Abdullah bin Abd al Muttalib. In the same night the palace of Kisra in Persia was cracked and the fire burning in the temple for a thousand years was extinguished. 197

Zodiac

In astronomy, Sirius is the highest star, also called day star, in the firmament. It was worshipped by the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans and the pagan Arabs. Allah is the creator, the Lord-nourisher of the most magnificent creation, therefore worship is due to Him alone. Buruj, the imaginary belt of the constellations marking the twelve signs of the Zodiac. The constellations are as follows: 1. Aries (Ram) 2. Taurus (bull). 3. Gemini (Twins) 4. Cancer (Crab). 5. Leo (Lion). 6. Virgo (Virgin). 7. Libra (Balance). 8. Scorpio (Scorpion). 9. Sagittarius (Archer). 10. Capricorn (Goat). 11. Aquarius (Water-bearer). 12. Pisces (Fishes). Tariq means "who knocks or hammers or beats". It is also used for a nocturnal traveller who tramples the ground. Here it is used as a star of piercing brightness (see verse 3). According to the Ahl ul Bayt it refers to a star which traverses all the spheres in the universe and returns to its starting point. It can be applied figuratively to the Holy Prophet whose wisdom and mercy encompassed all the physical and spiritual spheres of the universe.

Zulqurnain
Qarn literally means a distinctive mark in a man, animal or thing which is distinguished and known by it. Therefore any person who possesses two such distinctive qualifications is described as dhul qarnayn. Whether Dhul Qarnayn was Alexander or Darius or some one else is not the issue in these verses but the Quran aims to provide guidance to man through the narrative of a man who possessed two qualities, knowledge and strength, like Talut. Dhul Qarnayn was an upright and righteous king, a true servant of Allah, whose sway extended over east and west, and over people of diverse civilisations. His first expedition was to the west. A spring of murky water refers to Lychintis (now Ochrida). There he protected the weak and punished the unlawful and the turbulent. He possessed the qualities, a god-fearing man must own, to administer the affairs of men. Great was his power and great were his ways and means which he used for justice and righteousness, but he always remembered that his power and capabilities were given to him by Allah. He never said like Firawn: "I am your Lord, most high." He declared that 198

Zulqurnain his punishment to the wicked was tentative to preserve the balance of this life as he could appraise it but the real consequences of the evil-doing will be encountered by the evildoers on the day of judgement. Then he went to the east. Those who lived there were a primitive but simple people. The climate was hot, and they required neither roofs over their heads, nor much clothing. He did not disturb their simple mode of living. He left them as they were. Dhul Qarnayn was a man of God. He was not a despot who would forcibly change that which he did not find agreeable to him. He knew his limitations in the sight of his Lord. Then he reached a tract between two mountains (most probably Armenia and Azerbaijan). The people of this land did not understand the speech of the conqueror. Dhul Qarnayn was now among a people who were different in speech and race from him. They were a peaceable and industrious race, much subject to incursions from wild tribes who were called Yajuj and Majuj (Gog and Magog). Against these tribes they were willing to pay him tribute in return for protection. The permanent protection they wanted was the closing of a mountain gap through which the incursions were made. Dhul Qarnayn was not greedy. He did not impose any tribute, nor was he in need of monetary help or subsidy from them. He had the organising skill. He only asked for material and labour. A barrier was constructed with blocks or bricks of iron, and the cracks were filled up with molten lead, so as to form an impregnable mass of metal. After all the effort which he made for their protection, he claimed no credit for himself beyond that of discharging his duties as a ruler. He turned their attention to Allah who provided the ways and means by which they could be helped and protected, but a time would come when all their precautions would crumble into dust, because it was a promise of Allah.

Zu-Nuwas
Another case cited is that of Zu-Nuwas. The true events concerning him and those whom he persecuted have been narrated by Imam Ali as follows: "Allah sent a prophet to the people of Abyssinia. Zu Nuwas, the king, was a pagan and asked the people to worship him as their god. The prophet prevented the people from worshipping him. The king killed many of the companions of the prophet and arrested him along with a few remaining believers. A huge pit of burning fire was prepared and it was announced that whoso believed in the God whom the prophet worshipped should jump into that pit. A believing woman came with a baby in her arms but stopped at the eleventh hour on account of her love for her child. The child cried (as Allah willed so): "Mother, jump into the fire with me. It is a test to prove our faith in Allah." She jumped and the prophet along with his remaining followers also jumped into the fire. By Allah's command all of them were saved from the fire.

199

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful