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Muhammad– A Mercy to The Worlds

The World Prior to Muhammad (P)


Written By Abidali Mohamedali based on a Lecture by Sheikh Mansour Leghaei

It is imperative, that before embarking on a study of the life of the siding between rough stones and deaf serpents (wild fearless snakes),
Holy Prophet, an in-depth analysis be made of the situation prior to you used to drink dirty water and the food you were eating was
his coming. The parallels drawn from the life of the people prior to the filthy, you shed the blood of each other cutting the bonds of relations
coming of the H. Prophet and life today are staggering. The customs between yourselves. A variety of idols were raised high and sins were
and practices of that time are still being practiced, nay, being ap- clinging to you” (Sermon 26)
plauded and prized, in this so called contemporary ‘civilised’ world ‫ان اﷲ ﺑﻌﺚ ﻣﺤﻤﺪا )ص( ﻧﺬﻳﺮا ﻟﻠﻌﺎﻟﻤﻴﻦ و اﻣﻴﻨﺎ ﻋﻠﯽ اﻟﺘﻨﺰﻳﻞ و اﻧﺘﻢ ﻣﻌﺸﺮ اﻟﻌﺮب ﻋﻠﯽ ﺷﺮ دﻳﻦ و ﻓﯽ‬
we live in today. ‫ﺷﺮ دار ﻣﻨﻴﺨﻮن ﺑﻴﻦ ﺣﺠﺎرة ﺧﺸﻦ و ﺣﻴّﺎت ﺻﻢ ﺗﺸﺮﺑﻮن اﻟﮑﺪر و ﺗﺎﮐﻠﻮن اﻟﺠﺸﺐ و ﺗﺴﻔﮑﻮن دﻣﺎﺋﮑﻢ و‬
THE AGE OF IGNORANCE .‫ﺗﻘﻄﻌﻮن ارﺣﺎﻣﮑﻢ اﻻﺻﻨﺎم ﻓﻴﮑﻢ ﻣﻨﺼﻮﺑﺔ و اﻵﺛﺎم ﺑﮑﻢ ﻣﻌﺼﻮﺑﺔ‬

The time prior to the advent of Islam is technically referred to as the Allah summarises the situation before Islam as “And you were on the
time of “jahiliya” or the age of ignorance. It is not only referred to the brink of a pit of Fire, and He saved you from it.” (3:103)
ignorance in the Arab community but the entire world. The term ‘al- BEST REFERENCES TO STUDY THE AGE OF IGORANCE
jahiliya’ means ignorance in a literal sense but is not confined to illit-
eracy although one of its characteristics is illiteracy, jahiliya, therefore • Without doubt, the first and foremost source is the Holy Qur’an.
in this context is any practice that is immoral or vicious within a par- Allah in the Qur’an implicitly abolishes the practices of the ac-
ticular culture. Imam Ali (AS) describing the world before Islam says: quired during the age of ignorance at the same time establishing
“Allah sent the Prophet when the mission of other Prophets had virtuous Islamic laws. In this manner the culture of jahilya can be
stopped and the peoples were in slumber for a long time. Evils were elucidated.
raising heads, all matters were under disruption and in flames of
wars, while the world was devoid of brightness, and full of open de- • The second are the hadith from the Prophet and Aimmah as sup-
ceitfulness” (Ser.89). In describing the Arab world in particular, Imam port to the Qur’an
Ali (AS) says “ The Almighty sent Prophet Muhammad (P) a Warner • The poetries of al-Jahilya is also a great source as the Arabs were
for the world and a trustee for His revelation and you Arabs, were on gifted with an immense and deep knowledge of poetry. ‘Celebrity’
the worst religion and were residing in the worst place, you were re- (Continued on page 2)

The World Prior to Muhammad (P). 1

The Great Satan Viewpoint ……………………………….1

For as long as most people who read this can materialism and in many cases ignorance all of Editorial………………………....…….. 2
remember, the United States of America has which are characteristics of a ‘satanic’ culture.
had a reputation that has elicited varied emo- Having established the reason for such a brand- Feature Article..………………………. 4
tions from pride, to downright embarrassment ing, the question comes to mind is that, do we
and anger. At this point in time especially in the as Muslims share any of these satanic traits? History feature…………………….….. 5
Muslim world, America has never been more The reply one would get is a resounding NO!
despised. It is known as the seat of the capital- But on second thought many of us are not very Tafsir of Qur'an …..……..…..……….. 6
ists, it was the founder of pop culture, women’s different.
liberation, and played an integral part in the Our Ulamaa …………………………… 8
The American culture of Music, capitalism, ma-
information revolution, it is also today the
terialism, dress etc. has inculcated itself so
world’s largest consumer and the same time the Diversity ……………………………….. 8
seamlessly within own that we do not realise its
most wasteful of countries. It has been called
extent until we contrast ourselves with those on DISCLAIMER AND CAUTION
the home of freedom and democracy but is
the path of Allah. Not only has it inculcated The articles published in this paper are
more affectionately known as the ‘great Sa-
itself into our culture and psyche, it has made not the views of Al-Fajr or any particu-
tan”! . Why the ‘Great Satan’? Well, it is the
many within us consider Islam as an inferior lar Islamic centre but of the Author.
home of the greatest moral indecencies form the
culture that has not stood the test of time and Please handle with care as it contains
Islamic perspective including alcoholism, crime,
immorality, drugs, gambling, wastefulness, (Continued on page 7)
names of Allah and His Prophet
1
Editorial...
poets works used to hang around the Ka’ba. their gods out of dates and in times of impover-
Salaam Alykum!
These poems reflect literature and therefore ishment ate them! Others worshipped stars, sun,
the culture of the Arabs of the time. moon, Venus (Uzza) etc.
The days of sorrow and grief for the
• Books such as ‘Al-Asnaam’ by Hisham Bin 2- Illiteracy
Holy Prophet (P) and his family
Muhammad a historian of the 2nd century
have finally come to a close. These Most of the Arabs before the coming of the
are also a good source.
Prophet were utterly illiterate. Allah expresses
past 2 months have seen tragedies to
• Similarly the book ‘al-Mofassal Fi Tarikh al- this in Surat-Jumua verse 62 “He it is Who sent
the Prophets’ family that have no among the unlettered ones a Messenger from
Arab Qablal-Islam’ by Dr. Jawad Ali, a ten
parallels in history, but the pain and volume comprehensive study of the history among themselves, reciting to them His
anguish for them does not yet stop! prior to Islam has also been used. (10:15) Signs…”. Imam Ali (AS) says “The Almighty
The very mourners of the tragedy of Allah sent Muhammad (P) when none (not liter-
THE ARABIAN PENINSULA ally) of the Arabs could read a book.” [Ser. 103].
Imam Husain (AS) and his so called
It is the largest peninsula in the world but is A famous historian Al-Waqedi in his book ‘The
‘Shi'a’ for the most part forget this Wars of the Prophet (P)’ says: “At the dawn of
mostly a desert. The larger population resided
tragedy as soon as the month is Islam there were only 17 people among the
in the edges of this peninsula as can be evi-
over. What did we learn, change, denced by the fact that most countries are also Qoraysh who were literate.” The odds of tam-
benefit, revolutionize, correct? Are in these regions although certain countries such ing these ‘wild’ Arabs become even more appar-
as Yemen (yaum- blessing) are lush. There ex- ent. Ibn Khaloun referring to that says “Due to
we the same people who began the
isted 2 major races of the Arabs, the first which their illiteracy, science was the strangest thing
mourning asleep to ourselves and to Arabs.” It becomes very clear the impact of
no longer exists were the Al-Arabil-Baaida
remain asleep? Or are we the em- Islam as later the Islamic empire was not only
(baaidah-perished) and some have suggested
bodiment of the saying ‘Every Day the centre of science but of literacy in the entire
that the tribes of ‘Aad and Thamud mentioned
is Ashura and Every Place is Kar- world!
in the Qur’an were in fact these Arabs. The sec-
bala’? ond are the Arabil-Baaqiya (surviving) who 3- Murdering and Plundering
have been further divided into Al-Arab-al
The closure of this month does not Kahtaan and al-Arab-al-adnaan who were the The hobby of the Arabs prior to Islam was to
translate to partying and rejoicing, it offspring of Prophet Ismail who migrated from fight. The most childish and silly of reasons
is a time for reflection upon the pre- the North and would result in bloodshed for generations. Ibn
therefore were Khaldoun in his introduction says that
dicament we find ourselves in. The
‘adopted’ Arabs. “Sustenance for the Arabs of Ja-
uncanny parallels between the pe- hiliyyah was by means of
Most of population
riod of Jahiliya before the coming of of Arabia were cen- spear!” The revenue
the Prophet (P) and the so called tred along the west- of the Arabs was by
ern banks bordering plundering and at-
‘civilization’ today, as elaborated in
the Red sea where the tacking others. A
the cover story, questions whether clear parallel can be
cities of Makkah and
we are the instruments of change seen in today’s
Medina were.
like the Prophet was or part of the world where
problem. The time for sitting on the ARAB CULTURE BEFORE ‘superpowers’ are do-
ISLAM ing the exact same thing
fence is over we must make a stand
1- Idolatry: The common relig- in the guise of ‘liberation’
and create a revolution in our own although in a much greater
ion among the Jahilya.
hearts and attitudes before we die, scale! Prof. E. Gibbon: “More
lest we be branded as hypocrites and The question that arises is that, than 1700 wars during the age of Ja-
be raised up with the likes of Yazid despite the establishment of a relig- hiliyyah have been recorded some of which
ion by Prophet Ibrahim and Ismail (P), lasted for generations.” [History of the Saracen
and his cursed cronies. The first step
how did idol worshipping flourish and take (Muslims at the time of crusade) Empire].
towards that goal of perfection is hold? There are various theories that have been
undoubtedly realizing the problem Ibn Athir in his history work ‘Al-Kaamil’ says:
posed to answer this question.
“A war took place between the two tribes of
and waking up to ourselves by edu-
• The first theory that has been suggested is Bani-’abas and Bani-fazareh for 40 years over a
cating ourselves and constantly re- that, wandering Arabs, who revered the horse racing dispute!” A clear picture of the
maining in the presence of the Al- Ka’ba very much used to take parts of it lifestyle of the Arabs is emerging which can be
mighty. May Allah grant us the while travelling and eventually began wor- summarised in 3 words, war, wine and women.
Tawfiqh to remain true Shi’a of the shipping it. Initially therefore, they used to 4- Superstitions
pray only to God.
Prophet and his holy pure progeny.
It is hilarious to talk about the superstitions at
Ameen. • The other theory is that a person my the that time but it is unfortunate that Muslims and
name of Amr-ibn-Lohay went to Syria and non-Muslims even in the 21st century not only
We hope you gain as much out of
was very much attracted by some idols and share but actively develop more elaborate su-
this issue as we have. Your contribu- brought them back with him to the Arabs. perstitions which render the intelligence useless.
tions in any shape or form will be This comes from a Hadith of the Prophet Allah in describing these superstitions says
greatly appreciated. wherein he states “And he releases them from their heavy burdens
Wassalaam ‫ اول ﻣﻦ ﻏﻴّﺮ دﻳﻦ اﺑﺮاهﻴﻤﻌﻤﺮو ﺑﻦ ﻟﺢ‬:(‫اﻟﻨﺒﯽ )ص‬ and from the fetters [heavy chains] that were
upon them.” (7:157) some examples include:
Abidali Mohamedali - Editor This trend became so ingrained in the society
that some tribes, such as Bani-Hanifa, made • When the Prophet was still in Makkah, his
Al– Fajr ‫ اﻟﻒﺠﺮ‬4(2) ‫׀‬Pg 2
only son Ibrahim passed away at the age be ‘selected’. Umar Ibn A’as (LA) was one of to the birth of his last child and the trip
of two years and was a source of grief for those people who were the product of such longer than expected. In the meantime his
him. On the same day this incident hap- a marriage whereby Abu Sufyan (LA) al- wife gave birth to a girl and knowing the
pened, there happened to be a solar ways insisted that Amr was his son but wrath of her husband hid her away in a re-
eclipse, the Muslims at the time started Leila, his mother insisted it was A’as! Ziad mote village. Upon his return, Qays in-
saying that even the sun is crying for the Ibn Abee (LA) (Ziad son of his father!) an- quired about the newborn but was told that
grief of the Prophet (P). The Prophet other of the vicious people of Karbala was it died. After a few years he noticed a beau-
upon hearing this said in the sermon another example of such a person whereby tiful young girl visiting the house and call-
“The Sun or the Moon do not mourn for his father was not even known! The final ing his wife ‘mother’. His arose suspicion in
anyone.” The Prophet did not take ad- example is that of exchange marriage, him and inquired about he from his wife
vantage of the ignorance of the people whereby men could swap their wives per- who first asked “isn’t she pretty?” Qays re-
but saw it s an opportunity to educate manently or for pleasure. In short, women plied in the affirmative that is when she
them. did not have any rights whatsoever. This is confessed to her husband perhaps thinking
the exact phenomenon that is taking place that since she is older the same fate might
• ‘Sneezing’ was a sign of evil to them! The today! The number of paternity disputes not befall her. Qays took her out to the de-
prophet on the contrary used this phe- keeps rising day by day and the number of sert and pretended to play a game whereby
nomenon to remember Allah! illegitimate children is increasing exponen- he dug a hole and asked her to jump and as
• They would sacrifice a child before their tially. Even for the legally married couples, part of the game he would cover her with
idols to extinguish the wrath of their their first child more often than not is also sand. He covered her with sand up to her
gods! illegitimate! trunk and she felt scared and pleaded for
him to stop, but he continued until she was
It is amazing that to this date, Muslims espe- Burying Alive Newborn Girls-
buried completely. This was when it
cially, due to their customs and traditions Allah in the Quran refers to this practice in touched his heart and could not bear the
still ascribe to superstitions and use coinci-numerous places in the Qur’an such was burial of his 12th daughter. The Prophet (P)
dental phenomena to support their faith or when Allah says in Surah Takwir (81) verse was in tears at this stage and said “This is
prove it. Examples are strife from a prostrat-8-9 “And when the female (infant) buried really cruelty; Allah will have no mercy on
ing tree to the name of Imam Ali (AS) on the alive is questioned: For what sin, was she him who has no mercy”
moon! These are mere remnants of supersti- killed?” In Sura Nahl 16:58-59 Allah says
tious beliefs of the past. On the flip side, tiny pockets of mercy still
“And when a daughter is announced to one
existed in this vicious society. Sa’sa’ the
5- Status of Women of them his face becomes black and he is full
grandfather of Farazdaq (pet at the time of
of wrath. He hides himself from the people
Imam Zaynul Abideen) saved the life of 280
In the book ‘Civilization of Islam and Ar- because of the evil of that which is an-
infant girls. He had his first chance incident
abs’, Gustav LeBon writes “Woman was nounced to him. Shall he keep it with dis-
grace or bury it (alive) in the dust? Now where he traded 3 camels with a Bedouin,
regarded a creation between human and
animal whose benefit was only for repro- surely evil is what they judge.” But the whose wife had just given birth, for a baby
duction. Having a baby girl was a shame question is that why did they bury their girl. His benevolence reached the tribes of
and burying her alive was a legitimate right infant girls? Two theories have been sug- Arabia where this vicious act was being
of her father.” This shameful attitude was gested practiced and men came to him trading cam-
considered normal to the Arabs at the time els for baby girls. He traded his whole herd
and shame be on those too who say that the • In order to avoid their girls being taken of camels to rescue 280 innocent babies. He
Prophet was influenced by his culture! The as captives during the wars, the parents asked the Prophet if there was any reward
Prophet not only was the exact opposite of would rather bury them alive than suffer fro him as he had done this act as a mushrik.
this description but was the greatest protec- that humiliation! The Prophet (P) replied “This (action) was a
tor of the rights of all humans especially gate of righteousness for you and you had
• For fear of poverty. Allah says in the the reward of it, as Allah conferred a favour
women. Some examples of the ways in Qur’an “And do not kill your children
which women were treated was : upon you by becoming a Muslim.”
for fear of poverty; We give them suste-
Legal adultery under the guise of marriage- nance and yourselves (too); surely to kill These facts make it very clear that the situa-
them is a great wrong.” [17:31]. tion and circumstance that the Holy Prophet
This type of adultery is practice to this date (P) was put in was extremely dire. It is his
but is commonly called DE-FACTO (French This trend of killing newborns is also preva- miracle that not only, today there exist over
term for fact). It is not a marriage but a fact lent in this day and age under the guise of 1.5 billion Muslims, but also the very cradle
of life! Illegitimate marriages were a recur- abortion. It is absolutely forbidden to abort a of civilisation, sciences, arts etc. originated
ring theme as long as the ‘council’ approved baby at any stage after conception. The pen- or was propagated by the Muslims. Unfortu-
it and the proper due was paid. Examples of alties in the eyes of Allah are severe in the nately, in this so called western civilisation,
these included, public marriages where hereafter but in this world too, the chronic the practices of the age of Jahiliya still have
women were selected and put in one house depression resulting abortion, especially for their stranglehold, be it in more politically
and any man would be able to come in and Muslims can be debilitating and severe as correct terms. As Muslims, it is our DUTY to
be ‘married’ for that night to any woman he they know they will be questioned by the carry the same message our Messenger did
wished! The other example was that of in- life they took. and recognise and fight against this igno-
heriting the wife, like other property, of his It is bewildering to note examples of this rance by the tactics of benevolence, mercy,
father (step mother) (Nikah Al –Maqt vicious practice. A person by the name of patience, and righteousness and piety that
(anger)) although not liked was still prac- Qays ibn Aasim came to the H. Prophet after he used. In the same breath we must realise
ticed due to the liberal nature of Arabs. The advent of Islam and said “My wife gave the immense blessing of this religion that
other example was the group marriage birth to 12 girls and I buried them all alive!” has been bestowed upon us and NEVER
where a group of men (<10) would get mar- The last of his daughters was the hardest for take it for granted.
ried to one woman and if there was a child him to bury as he confessed to the Prophet.
then on facial appearance his father would He narrated that he had gone for a trip prior
Al– Fajr ‫ اﻟﻒﺠﺮ‬4(2) ‫׀‬Pg 3
The Culture of Talking to Allah written by Sh. Muhammad Khalfan

If rooted deeply and practiced earnestly notices the parents also speak to Allah. The of the opportunities presented in the form
during one's lifetime, this culture can make parents' apparent secrecy of such dua in of dua while they have small children to
a difference in one's fate in this and the next low whispers is beyond his comprehension. facilitate the dua to be answered sooner. It
world, but then it needs to be cultivated and "Call on your Lord humbly and se- is simple. When the child eagerly requests
commenced in one's childhood. cretly..." (Q.7:55). He thinks that the whole for a special thing, not common in his
participation in this secretive monologue is wants, direct him to address a dua to Allah
It is not common to see a child moved on
for adults only. for it, without revealing whether the inten-
his own accord to talking to Allah in the
tion is to buy it for him or not, and then
form of Dua. It never dawns upon the chil- FAMILY IS THE LOSER
leave him in suspense while he keeps re-
dren the need to talk to Allah. Their parents
Parents may falsely presume that children peating the daily dua before the request is
make available for them almost all that they
do understand why parents "recite" dua or met.
need, desire or hope for. They provide a
address it in low whispers and that children
dependable sense of security. When chil- The parents should also teach the child to
also understand that their needs are pro-
dren fall sick, they see the parents bring resign to the dua not being granted by mak-
vided because of the blessing of Allah to the
medicine to make them feel good again. ing the child to address dua even where the
parents through
intention is not to com-
There was however this child who did talk duas and they
to Allah. No one in the family had asked also presume, “ He thinks that the ply with his request.
him to, though. His mother, half crying, again falsely, that "Dua is a gist of ibadat
was telling his grandmother on the phone children's duas to whole participation in (worship)"; "The best
that his baby sister with signs of serious Allah, if they are prayer (ibaadat) is dua" -
dehydration was to be rushed to the hospi- made to address, this secretive mono- Ahaadith, Holy Prophet.
tal that very moment and that the baby was produce no re- Why not get children to
in danger of her life and the family doctor sults because of logue is for adults participate in this form
who had just left after examining her would their age. By such of ibaadat, which is sim-
join them after a short while. She ended the a presumption
conversation hurriedly with a frantic plea to the family is the
only ” ple in performance and
convenient in the discre-
the grandmother for dua to Allah. big loser. tion of time and yet has tremendous re-
wards. Parents should experience the thrill
After the parents had left with the baby for We mortals are poor in the sight of Allah.
of their small child praying to Allah for lots
the hospital, the child, realising for the first "O' men! you are (fuqaraa) they who stand
of things, big and small, for them while they
time how helpless and weak his parents can in need of Allah..." (Q. 35:15). The only thing
strain their ears to catch his words without
be after all, talked to Allah in a few stutter- we own is the avenue of dua. Allah has
letting him know, for he will have been
ing words of his language. He felt less anx- asked us to call upon Him and promised
taught to pray for them also in his own lan-
ious after that. He would however not let grant of duas. "I answer the prayer of the
guage. So let the child "play" adult in this
his parents know about this secret mono- supplicant when he calls on Me...." (Q.
euphoric role of talking to Allah and the
logue because children do not talk to Allah! 2:186). "Call upon Me and I will answer
"score" will be real!
you..." (Q. 40:60).
What normally the child sees at home as a
familiar scene perhaps almost daily is of the He is the Best of Promise-keepers. We can
parents individually "reciting" what they expect the pleas of the children to be more
call "dua" and that too in the language readily granted not only because of their There are people who worship
which the child knows as not theirs. He innocence (ismat) but also because teaching
does not know the reason for this recitation them to turn to Allah is pleasing to Him. Allah to gain His Favors, this is
except that it is no different from what he
sees as Salaat in regularity. He however,
Street beggars apply the "salesmanship" of the worship of traders; while
taking out their children together to elicit
sympathy. We should get our there are some who worship
children to join us in express-
ing our humbleness to our Him to keep themselves free
Lord in the form of dua. Let
us remember that if the sight from His Wrath, this is the
of a child sitting in a quiet
corner and engaged in im- worship of slaves; a few who
ploring Allah in low and
shyful whispers with small obey Him out of their sense of
hands raised up together
moves the heart of the gratitude and obligations, this
mother, then it is reported
that the love of Allah for His is the worship of free and noble
creatures (servants - ibaad) is
seventy times of that of the men
mother for her child.
IT IS SIMPLE IMAM Ali (AS) Nahjul Balagha
Parents should make the best

Al– Fajr ‫ اﻟﻒﺠﺮ‬4(2) ‫׀‬Pg 4


The history of the Leaders of the Islamic empire is an
essential part of the understanding of the political and
social circumstances that have shaped the history of
Islam. This history also sheds light on the emergence of
the various sects of Islam. Besides this crucial under-
standing is the knowledge that “One who dies without
knowing the Imam of his time dies an Ignoramus
(Jahil)”. The very first question that is asked when one
want to ‘know’ another is the family and where one
comes from. It is imperative that besides knowing the
facts of the History of our Imam, we endeavor to under-
stand the circumstances that have lead to the preserva-
tion of Islam as we have it today. This is the only way in
which we will ever be able to fully appreciate, predict
and handle the circumstances we find ourselves in, as
the lives of our Imams have seen parallels to our circum-
stances.

Al– Fajr ‫ اﻟﻒﺠﺮ‬4(2) ‫׀‬Pg 5


Surah Hujuraat - Verses 13-18 Presented by Sh. Mansour Leghaei written by Abidali Mohamedali
Allah (SWT) in His infinite wisdom has in a tionality! This is the example of the racism the sight of God, All humans are from the
mere 18 verses of Surat al- Hujuraat or Surat that the Prophet worked so hard to eradi- family of Adam, the Almighty God created
Akhlaq, elaborated on the pure fundamen- cate. Adam from the soil as every human.” Then
tals of social relationships, which if followed the Prophet read the above ayah.. In another
A slave at the time of the Prophet called
will not lead mankind astray and will not incident the Prophet said “When someone is
Juwaybir who was from Africa and did not proposing to your daughter and you are
create division and animosity between men.
have a very handsome face nor good looks happy with is moral values, then consider
It is astounding that despite this knowledge
because of his dark face, but conversely was his proposal”. This means that regardless of
and understanding, after 1400 years since its
very pious and honest. The Prophet asked his background or colour of skin, it is the
revelation, the Muslims still do not practice
him why he does not get married and he responsibility not to disregard a person. One
the advice of the Almighty. This puts many
alluded to the fact of his looks and inquired may marry her cousin who is irreligious
of us equivalent to the behaviour of people
as to who would give their daughters to with loose morals and treats her mercilessly
in the time of jahilya.
him. The Prophet sent him to one of the An- or alternatively marry a person with high
One example of this aspect of human moral values and reach paradise.
behaviour is the absolute pride and the
holding of value of ones ancestry, eth- The Prophet also said “O People, re-
nicity, family or background. By sus- member that your lord is one and your
taining a significant attachment to this father is one there is no preference of an
aspect, most tend to forget the values Arab over a non-Arab and neither is
that they have to concentrate on such as there a preference of the non-Arab in
humility, piety, etc. Imam Ali (AS) says, favour of an Arab, neither black over
“A brave man does not point to his an- white or white over black except in pi-
cestors to demonstrate his bravery, he ety” The Prophet then asked “Did the
uses his bravery”. Muslims have a ten- message get to you?” to which they re-
dency to brag about the achievements of plied “Yes” then the Prophet continued
the pioneers of the scholars and Muslim “then take this message to your friends
scientists gone by when he, himself has who are not here”. Some mufasireen
done nothing significant to speak of! By have suggested that this verse was re-
highlighting their achievements, the vealed when Bilal was sent on top of the
impression of us moving backwards is Ka’ba by the H. Prophet to recite Adhan.
even more apparent. Similarly, many As soon as Bilal started an ignorant
people tend to be proud of their race, Muslim said “Thank god my father is
introducing concepts of racism, nation- not alive to see this disgrace, this man
alism, patriotism into their societies. cannot even pronounce the words!
Shaheed Mutahari says that this is an- Could not the Prophet find someone
other facet of jahilya (tawahush) there- else!” It was then that this verse was
fore those proud of which nationality revealed.
they come from considering themselves It is unfortunate that despite having the
superior to others are living in the era of guidance of this exquisite book and this
jahilya. A case in point is verse 13 of pure religion, so called ‘Muslims’ still
this surah where Allah says: feel the need to marginalise people from
O you men! surely We have created you different backgrounds. Only because
of a male and a female, and made you they are not Lebanese or Arabs, they are
tribes and families that you may know lesser people. The non Muslims can be
each other; surely the most honourable excused for their ignorance of not hav-
of you with Allah is the one among you ing any guidance, but what of Muslims?
most careful (of his duty); surely Allah Do they have any justification!? Nation-
is Knowing, Aware. alism, patriotism etc. are characteristics
sar who had a daughter by the name of of the ignorant not of the guided. Allah in
This verse is addressed to the whole of man- Dhulfa and to ask the father in the name of verse 14 continues:
kind and not only to the Muslims emphasis- the Prophet whether he will marry his
ing the universality of the message unlike daughter to him. Juwaybir being naïve went “The dwellers of the desert say: We believe.
the previous verse in regards to gossiping directly to the house of this man and asked Say: You do not believe but say, We submit;
which was addressed to the believers. The for his daughters hand in marriage at which and faith has not yet entered into your
male and female referred to in this verse is the fathers jaw dropped! He instantly ques- hearts; and if you obey Allah and His Mes-
Adam and Eve, with the emphasis that we tioned Juwaybir of the authenticity of his senger, He will not diminish aught of your
are all from one couple and therefore part of claim being that he was one of the ‘noble’ deeds; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.”
one family regardless of where you were Arabs. The father went to the Prophet with Allah is categorically dividing Muslims in 2
born. From this immense family Allah cre- his dilemma to which the Prophet told him distinct groups, the first and more common
ated tribes and nations as certain people “O! You people. Allah has removed from one is the Muslims by name and the second
delineate themselves with their tribe or with you the disgrace of Jahiliyah, to be proud of are the ones where the faith has penetrated
their nation with the sole purpose of know- ones ancestors, There are 2 categories of their hearts. According to this verse, a mere
ing each other. It is appalling that a Muslim people in the sight of Allah, one who is Muslim is one who has only said the shaha-
brother will not even consider a proposal righteous, pious and generous, and one who
(Continued on page 7)
from someone who is not of the same na- is sinful, disgraceful and is humiliated in
Al– Fajr ‫ اﻟﻒﺠﺮ‬4(2) ‫׀‬Pg 6
lower classes at school to higher levels. This the sake of the Almighty. Allah then contin-
verse implicitly indicates that if one does ues:
not obey God and his Messenger after pro-
“Say: Do you apprise Allah of your religion,
claiming to do so, there will not be much
and Allah knows what is in the heavens and
reward for him and therefore should not
what is in the earth; and Allah is Cognizant
expect it from God in the hereafter. Allah is
of all things.”
the most forgiving and merciful in this con-
text means that although one was not prac- “They think that they lay you under an ob-
ticing previously, and has made a conscious ligation by becoming Muslims. Say: Lay me
effort to convert to Islam, his past will be not under obligation by your Islam: rather
forgiven. Allah in the next verse gives a Allah lays you under an obligation by guid-
precise definition of the true believers who ing you to the faith if you are truthful.”
datain, although he meant it, his level of will reap the real rewards Allah has prom-
“Surely Allah knows the unseen things of
faith is so shallow that it is as if he is giving ised
the heavens and the earth; and Allah sees
lip-service to Islam. Despite this fact, juris-
“The believers are only those who believe in what you do.”
prudentially this is the minimum condition
Allah and His Messenger then they doubt
required to enjoy the benefits of Islam such
not and struggle hard with their wealth and
as burial, inheritance, marriage etc. On the
their lives in the way of Allah; they are the This verse is aimed at the hypocrites who
converse is one who is a Mu’min, who sacri-
truthful ones.” think that by just saying they are Muslims
fices to attain the pleasure of the Almighty.
are doing a favour to God! They have not
This ayah was revealed to the Prophet when Allah uses the word “innamaa” emphasis-
understood Islam as surely if Allah knows
once a group of Bedouins (a’raab) came to ing that this and this is the definition of a
what is in the heavens and the earth, He
the Prophet at the time of drought and con- beliver. The first is that they found the faith
would most surely know what their true
verted to Islam to reap the monetary bene- in their heart, this is not mere ‘knowing’ as
intentions are! Therefore you don’t need to
fits of being a member of the Muslim soci- they do not doubt of their religion. Many
talk about yourself! Allah knows who you
ety. Although they were not hypocrites per people, logically know the existence of God,
really are. The next ayah continues about
se, they were using Islam as a convenience but that knowing is weak as the faith has
such people who think they have done God
for themselves. not yet permeated their hearts. One of the
a favour by praying or fasting! In fact Allah
major tests to differentiate between true
One of the unique characteristics of this has bestowed HIS favour upon mankind by
believers and hypocrites at the time of the
exquisite religion is the fact that even if a guiding them but if they were truthful, they
H. Prophet (P) was the test (Jihad-jaahadu)
person proclaims Islam as lip service, he has would recognise this!
of parting with money for the cause of Al-
all the rights and privileges of being a Mus-
lah. If one is doubtful, it will be more diffi- We pray to the Almighty to hold on to this
lim. Allah designed this system such that to
cult to part with their money. But the hard- exquisite gem of Islam
prove that proclamation of faith is the first
est test yet is the jihad of the nafs and self,
step just as much as one progresses from
those willing to part with their very lives for

Continued from page 1

many have begun doubting its validity and same footsteps having the same motivations not so obvious traps of the devil is to edu-
compatibility. The western American culture and the trends? What happened to the cate ourselves and immerse ourselves in the
has necessitated us to change our names, our uniqueness Allah has put into us to make teachings of the Islam, not a mere lip service
dress, our lifestyles and preferences to con- each individual distinct from another? Are nor a superficial understanding. This, fol-
form to it and those who do not, not only are any of us gutsy enough to follow in the foot- lowed by a critical analysis of our life has the
considered “old-fashioned” or “geeks/ steps of our Imams or Prophets in foregoing potential of making us as noble as those in
nerds” but also are ridiculed and considered the transient pleasures of this world for ful- the realm of the Prophets.
stagnant portions of society. Examples of filled life in the hereafter? Or are we all cow-
boys changing their names form Muham- ards and are willing to hide behind our
mad, to Moe or Michael or from Ali to Al are money and our ‘cool’ looks and sell out be-
strife. More disturbing is the fact that liefs for a lousy buck or two? Is Islam not a
women and girls feel the need to parade superior way of life, a way of life designed
their bodies for the amusement of men in the by the creator Himself to afford us maxi-
name of freedom. Yet other trends involve mum benefit in this life and the next? Yes,
teenagers striving to keep up with the latest Islam is a far superior way of life from every
‘Nike fashions’, Hollywood movies, music, angle and we should be proud to be Mus-
computer games, swear words and language lims but each and every one of us still has to
use at the expense of their morality, princi- look within ourselves and determine if we
ples and their parent’s wallets. All this, fall into the category of the slaves of Satan or
aimed at blending us into a collective psyche the slaves of Allah. It is not sufficient for us
and smothering all individual thinking and to say we are Muslims when we still con-
questioning. sciously or unconsciously do not follow or
believe in its precedents and ideals or con-
All this leads me to wonder, are we hypo-
sider it an inferior lifestyle.
critical to call America the ‘Great Satan’
when we, ourselves are following in the very The only way in which we can avoid these

Al– Fajr ‫ اﻟﻒﺠﺮ‬4(2) ‫׀‬Pg 7


Martyr Ayatullah Murtada Mutahhari Diversity? By Haj Hadi Ahankoob

Martyr Ayatullah Murtada Mutahhari was born in Fariman (Iran) in Many in today's world blame the chaotic state of our world on
February 1919. His father Sheikh Muhammad Husain was a religious its diversity. Reasoning that it is the differences in culture, lan-
scholar and a pious person. Mutahhari received his elementary educa- guages and even religion is what has lead to this state of insta-
tion in theology from his father. bility and fear. But one has to ask will a homogenous world be
When he was twelve years of age, he joined the conventional Islamic the secret to a happy and peaceful society? Or one should go
School at Mashhad and pursued his studies there for five years. Then further and ask can we achieve peace in a world with so much
he proceeded to Qum, the famous Educational Centre of Shi’ah Mus- diversity?
lims. He stayed there for fifteen years and completed his education
It is human nature to be fearful of the "Others", whoever they
under the supervision of Allamah Tabatabai, Imam Khumayni and
might be and it is deep rooted in our mind that in time of fear
many other distinguished ulema.
and instability go back to our most primitive instinct, the tribal
During the period of his education Prof. Mutahhari felt that the com- mentality. And seek protection from our own tribe. Hence it is
munists wanted to destroy the very spirit of Islam by mixing their athe- understandable the desire to feel that one can only be in peace
istic views with the Islamic philosophy and interpreting the verses of when with same kind of people, and to take that one step fur-
the Holy Qur’an in a materialistic manner. Of course, communism was ther the world can only be in peace if we are all the same type,
misguiding the young generation, which prompted the professor to nip be it racially, culturally or ideologically. One example is the
this threat in the bud. widely cited book, "Clash of Civilizations" where it highlights
He wrote extensively against the baneful effects of communism. He the problems with so many cultures and how it can easily lead
also wrote on exegesis, philosophy, ethics, sociology, history and many to conflict.
other subjects. He left over twenty books that have been published in Further more this kind of mentality can be traced back to
Persian, Arabic, Turkish, Urdu and English. In 1952, he established a Plato's "The Republic", where his ideal society consisted of one
council of university students in Tehran and, in 1955, began teaching
race, or Thomas Moore's Utopia, which consisted of only one
theology at the University of Tehran at the doctorate level continuing
type of people. Hence it is possible to reach conclusion that a
until 1978. He remained faithful to his socio-political commitments. In
successful society will be possible or easier to achieve if it con-
1963, he was arrested along with Imam Khumayni.
sisted of one type of people.
After the exile of Imam Khumayni to Turkey, he took active part in the
Now one should look at the Islamic perspective about this
leadership of the Islamic movement, making decisive contributions to
the mobilization of the combatant ulema. After the success of Islamic issue. Because it is a valid question why has the omnipotent
Revolution in Iran he was nominated as the President of the Constitu- God created so many different kinds of people when he knew
tional Council and was performing his duties in a very befitting man- this will lead to much difficulties and instability? In Holy
ner. The activities of this scholar were intolerable for the followers of Quran we read:(The Romans (30): 22)
the atheistic schools and therefore his disposal was made imminent. “And one of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the
Eventually they assassinated him on May 1, 1979. His martyrdom was earth and the diversity of your tongues and colors; most surley
a great tragedy. When the sad news was conveyed to Imam Khumayni there are signs in this for the learned”
he could not control his tears. In his condolence message he said: “In For a Muslim this means not only God has willed this diver-
him I have lost a dear son. I am mourning the death of one who was the sity but also this diversity is one of his blessings that he has
fruition of my life.”
bestowed upon this world. And the importance of this variety
Thousands and thousands of Muslims escorted his funeral. He was laid is further stated in the Holy Qur'an as follows: (The Chambers
to rest in Qum in the precincts of the Holy Shrine of Ma’suma in Qum. (49): 13)
May his soul rest in peace “O you men! Surely We have create you of a male and female,
and made you tribes and families that you may know each
other; surely the most honourable of you with Allah is the one
among you most careful (of his duty); surly Allah is Knowing,
Aware”
The above verse is also a sign that one should strive to learn
about this diversity by promoting to “know each other”.
Hence from Islamic per-
spective not only diversity
is a benefit for us but by
striving to know each other
and learn about other one
can start to lay the ground
work for peace. This peace
will be different to the uto-
pian peace because it will be
result of mutual under-
standing, tolerance, respect
and caring and not due to
We are all just dwellers in this lack of diversity. This Is
planet we call earth. Its better we certainly the most effective
tolerate each other for we have no and productive outcome for
place else to go! all.
Al– Fajr ‫ اﻟﻒﺠﺮ‬4(2) ‫׀‬Pg 8