Has Science Become a New Religion?

Has Science Become a New Religion?

By Truth Seeker Staff

In this amazing video by the London Dawah Movement, Brother Abdurraheem Green answers this very problematic question of, has science become a new religion? And what does this mean with respect to Islam as well as other divinely revealed religions.

Join us to see what Brother Green has to say on this…

 

 

 

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Is Atheism Unnatural?

Is Atheism Unnatural?

By Hamza Tzortzis

Is Atheism Unnatural?

Why do human beings believe in God? This question has engrossed thinkers for centuries. Why are beliefs about supernatural agents and ritual practices derived from those beliefs found in all human societies, across disparate times and far-ranging cultures?

Join us to see this wonderful video…

 

 

 

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7 Reasons Islam beats Atheism!

7 Reasons Islam beats Atheism!

7 Reasons Islam beats Atheism!

By Truth Seeker Staff

In this amazing video, one knowledgeable Muslim draws a comparison by the Qur’an and a book that advocates atheism and he proves that it is the Qur’an that is perfectly capable of answering a major as well as crucial question:

What best explains REALITY?

Join us to see the answer to this question…

 

 

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Scientists: Fasting Triggers Stem Cell Regeneration & Fights Cancer

Scientists: Fasting Triggers Stem Cell Regeneration & Fights Cancer

By Truth Seeker Staff

Fights Cancer

Fasting may help to combat cancer and boost the effectiveness of treatment

Fasting Triggers Stem Cell Regeneration & Fights Cancer

A number of ancient health practices are proving to be effective in multiple ways. We recently posted an article about meditation, and how

neuroscience can now explain what happens to the brain when we meditate. Now, scientists have discovered the first evidence of a natural intervention triggering stem cell-based regeneration of an organ or system. The study was published in the June 5 issue of Cell Stem Cell by researchers from the University of Southern California. The research shows that cycles of prolonged fasting protect against immune system damage and induce immune system regeneration. They concluded that fasting shifts stem cells from a dormant state to a state of self-renewal.

Human clinical trials were conducted using patients who were receiving chemotherapy. For long periods of time, patients did not eat which significantly lowered their white blood cell counts. In mice, fasting cycles “flipped a regenerative switch, changing the signaling pathways for hematopoietic stem cells, which are responsible for the generation of blood and immune systems.”

“We could not predict that prolonged fasting would have such a remarkable effect in promoting stem cell-based regeneration of the heatopoietic system. When you starve, the system tries to save energy, and one of the things it can do to save energy is to recycle a lot of the immune cells that are not needed, especially those that may be damaged. What we started noticing in both our human work and animal work is that the white blood cell count goes down with prolonged fasting. Then when you re-feed, the blood cells come back. ” – Valter Longo, corresponding author.

Again, because fasting significantly lowers white blood cell counts, this triggers stem cell-based regeneration of new immune system cells. More importantly, it reduces the PKA enzyme, which has been linked to aging, tumor progression and cancer.(1) It’s also noteworthy to mention that fasting protected against toxicity in a pilot clinical trial where patients fasted for 72 hours prior to chemotherapy.

“Chemotherapy causes significant collateral damage to the immune system. The results of this study suggest that fasting may mitigate some of the harmful effects of chemotherapy.” Co-Author Tanya Dorff

Fasting is a tradition that’s been incorporated into many ancient cultures, from Vedic to Buddhist and more, fasting should not be confused with starvation. It’s the process of restraining and control from the sensorial experience of eating and at the same time making sure you are doing it correctly. When I fast, I usually do water fasts and I have been doing them for almost eight years now and I always feel great and full of energy after doing so.

More Research

1. Fasting helps protect against brain disease:

Researchers at the National Institute on Aging in Baltimore have found evidence that fasting for one or two days a week can prevent the effects

Fights Cancer

Scientists found tumour cells responded differently to the stress of fasting compared to normal cells

of Alzheimer and Parkinson’s disease. Research also found that cutting the daily intake to 500 calories a day for two days out of the seven can show clear beneficial effects for the brain.

2. Fasting cuts your risk of heart disease and diabetes:

Regularly going a day without food reduces your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Studies show that fasting releases a significant surge in human growth hormone, which is associated with speeding up metabolism and burning off fat. Shedding fat is known to cut the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Doctors are even starting to consider fasting as a treatment.

3. Fasting effectively treats cancer in human cells:

A study from the scientific journal of aging found that cancer patients who included fasting into their therapy perceived fewer side effects from chemotherapy. All tests conducted so far show that fasting improves survival, slow tumor growth and limit the spread of tumors. The National Institute on Aging has also studied one type of breast cancer in detail to further understand the effects of fasting on cancer. As a result of fasting, the cancer cells tried to make new proteins and took other steps to keep growing and dividing. As a result of these steps, which in turn led to a number of other steps, damaging free radical molecules were created which broke down the cancer cells own DNA and caused their destruction! It’s cellular suicide, the cancer cell is trying to replace all of the stuff missing in the bloodstream that it needs to survive after a period of fasting, but can’t. In turn, it tries to create them and this leads to its own destruction

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Read More:

More Than 1 Billion People Stopped Eating and Drinking: Discover Why

An Atheist Finds Islam Through Fasting Ramadan

 

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Fasting Should Increase Philanthropy

Fasting Should Increase Philanthropy

By Sadullah Khan

Philanthropy Fasting & Philanthropy

Sawm or Fasting in the Islamic tradition requires dawn until dusk abstention from food, drink and intimacy. It is, however far more than mere refraining from these necessities of daily living.

Spirituality and Social Consciousness

Fasting in Islam is a mode of enhancing self-discipline, an opportunity for regulating attitude and conduct; for developing a better self that focuses on the larger purpose of existence. The month of Ramadan is thus an opportunity for spiritual rejuvenation and increased philanthropy; a means of attaining taqwa (piety), which the Qur’an considers the pinnacle of human development.

While fasting, we are far more aware of the hunger of the poor and the suffering of the oppressed and are therefore instructed to be more generous in this month. As a matter of fact, the feast of Eid-ul-Fitr, marking the end of the fast of Ramadan, cannot be celebrated unless those affording ones have disbursed the sadaqa-tul-fitr (natural charity or sincere bounteousness) to the impoverished. This promotes attentiveness to social responsibility, interest in the welfare of society and inspires a continued spirit of generosity.

Dimensions of Generosity

Whatever one can do to enhance the situation of others is considered charity or an act of generosity. Prophet said; “There is charity due on every part of the body every day.” He went on to say: ” to bring justice between people is charity, to help a person with transport and helping with baggage is charity, a kind word is charity, every step towards prayer is charity, removing harmful things from the way is charity …. giving water to the thirsty is charity. A person’s true wealth lies in the good they accrue for the Hereafter through good deeds in this world. When a person dies people ask ‘what has he left behind?’ while angels ask ‘what has he sent forth?’ ”

Honestly answering the question; “What am I doing for others?” is in a way a good measure of our spirit of generosity.

Heart over Wallet

Charity enhances the giver rather than devaluing his worth; as Prophet Muhammad said; “Charity does not decrease wealth”. Real generosity is not dependent so much on income as it is on the capacity of the heart. There are many who have the means to give, but not the heart to give. And there are many, who, the more they have the less they give. Thus, when giving of material wealth, ensure that you do not give merely from the top of your wallet, but rather give from the bottom of your heart.

Greater Living through Benevolence

Life should not really be about how much wealth we accrue, but rather how many people we serve; because the greater our giving, the greater our living Prophet Muhammad said: “Surely, Allah created humanity to be of benefit to creation.

Remember, we are here to enrich the world. We become enriched by enriching the lives of others and if we ever forget that, we impoverish ourselves.

Ramadan Mubarak – A blessed Ramadan to all.

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Adapted with slight editorial modifications from islamicity.org.

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Al-Wadoud: The All-Loving God

Al-Wadoud: The All-Loving God

By Dr. Muhammad Ratib An-Nabulsi

godAl-Wadoud: The All-Loving God

Allah’s divine name “Al-Wadoud” (The All-Loving), is an emphatic name derived from the Arabic word “Woudd”, which means “Houbb” (Love) as Allah says:

“And He (Allah) is the All-Forgiving, the All-Loving.” (Al-Buruj 85:14)

The Arabic word “Houbb” is, in turn, derived from “Habab Al-Asnan”, which means “whiteness, cleanliness and purity of teeth”. This means that those who love Allah, Most Gracious, are pure, chaste, sincere, and faithful. The word “Houbb” also indicates submission and obedience to the beloved. Hence, those who love Allah, Most Gracious, are dutiful and obedient to Him. They are modest, humble and submissive to the Lord, Exalted and All-High.

The word “Houbb” also means “instability”, which, in turn, means that those who love Allah are in constant instability as regards their relationship with their lord. True believers, who really love their Lord, undergo constantly changing feelings as regards their relationship with Him; while hypocrites, whose hearts are dead and, hence, emotionless, remain stable and unchangeable. Also, the word “Houbb” or “Habb” refers to a seed from which we get good fruits.

This means that those who love the Lord their love is like a seed that produces a shady tree that, in turn, yields good fruits. In fact, the word “Houbb” (love) embraces all of the foregoing meanings: purity, chastity, submission, humbleness, instability, growth and good …etc.

Love into Action

Undoubtedly, there is a delicate difference between both words. “Al-Houbb” means love as a noble feeling dwelling in the heart; while “Al-Woudd” means love substantiated by action. In other words, if you love someone, your inner feelings towards him are called “Houbb” (i.e. love that exists in your heart), but when you translate such love into action by smiling to him, for example, or doing him a favor, this is “Woudd” (i.e. love that you put into action).

If you offer him a present, it is “Woudd”. If you help him out of a problem, it is “Woudd”. If you visit him when he is ill, it is “Woudd”. If you offer him a present when he gets married, it is “Woudd”. In short, inner feelings of love are “Houbb”; while ostensible substantial acts of love are “Woudd”.

All those who have “Woudd” must necessarily have “Houbb”, but not vice versa. This means that someone might love another but does not show that in his behavior, but if someone shows love to another, this means that he loves him.

This means that the whole universe, that is, with its heavens, stars, planets, galaxies, the sun, the moon, rain, fishes, birds, animals, plants, flowers, is but a substantiation of Allah’s “Woudd” (Love) for mankind. Children, who fill the home with life and movement, are of Allah’s “Woudd”. The great many kinds of fruits are of Allah’s “Woudd”. Wives, whom Allah created especially for men’s psychological and physical comfort, are of Allah’s “Woudd”. Husbands, whom Allah created especially for women’s comfort, are out of Allah’s “Woudd”. Wool, which Allah created to protect us from cold is out of Allah’s “Woudd”. All things that Allah has subjected for mankind are out of Allah’s “Woudd”. The whole universe is subjugated for man as a kind of “Woudd” from God.

And when God loves someone He honors and mercies him/her. However, Allah’s love for true believers is confirmed in the Qur’an.

Allah’s divine love for man is manifested by His divine protection, help, victory, success, sending down mercy upon his heart, sending down peace and tranquility upon him, providing him with all the things he needs. This is Allah’s divine love for man. But man’s love for Allah is substantiated by inclination and attachment, because if Allah forsakes him, or deprives him of His divine light, he feels unbearable pain and sorrow.

Once man loves God he gets inclined to Him, seeks refuge in His divine shade, light, holy manifestations, peace and tranquility, and he feels that Allah is always protecting and helping him. But Allah’s divine love for man means protection, help, support…etc. And “Al-Woudd” is the practical substantiation of both kinds of love.

Allah Is All-Loving

1- The first point concerns Allah’s name “Al-Wadoud” (The All-Loving) is that He endears Himself to His slaves by bestowing His innumerable divine favors upon them. Therefore, logic and good reason show that the entire universe is nothing but a manifestation and substantiation of Allah’s Divine “Woudd” (i.e. Love) for mankind.

Thus Allah favors you with His never-ending favors and graces: good health, fresh water, delicious food and drink, fruits, fishes, birds…etc. When your heart and all other parts of your body work properly, this is one of Allah’s uncountable Divine Favors and Graces. Therefore, true believers should say what Allah’s Prophets taught us to say:

“Say: ‘Truly, my prayer, my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, Lord of all worlds.” (Al-An`am 6:162)

Before Allah created you and brought you into existence, you were nothing at all. But from the moment He brought you into existence, He bestowed on you a couple of Priceless Divine Favors:

“Have We not made for him (Man) a pair of eyes, a tongue and a pair of lips, and shown him the two Ways (of good and evil)?” (Al-Balad 90:2-4)

The first divine gift man that receives from his Lord upon his birth is a very complicated operation, namely the so-called “Suck reflex”, which enables him, from the moment of birth, to take his mother’s breast tightly with his small mouth and start sucking. Without such reflex, human life would be impossible! Your mother is one of Allah’s great divine signs and favors, for she is naturally pre-disposed to consecrate, and even sacrifice, all her existence for her baby. She devotes all herself, her nerves, her feelings and emotions, her powers, and her efforts, for the sake of her baby.

Air that we breathe and water that we drink are great Divine Favors. What would you say about the different kinds of fruits?! Even more, God has endowed you with an intelligent mind with which you think and take up a certain vocation or profession and do it properly.

2- When in the Qur’an Allah says: “And He (Allah) is the All-Forgiving, Al-Wadoud (the All-Loving)”, the word “Al-Wadoud” here means that Allah loves and honors His righteous slaves. It also means that His favors and blessings are but substantiations and manifestations of His Divine Love for them:

“On those who believe and work deeds of righteousness, will (Allah) Most Gracious bestow love.” (Maryam 19:96)

3- Allah is “Wadoud” (All-Loving) for His slaves in the sense that He creates love and casts it among His slaves.

Who casts love for children in the hearts of mothers? If you go to an infant-hospital, you see something really amazing: different mothers from all walks of life cry for their babies. In fact, all mothers, Muslim and non-Muslim, without any exception, cry for their babies if anything goes wrong with them. Undoubtedly Allah, most gracious, has cast such love for children in the hearts of mothers!

Therefore, Allah “Al-Wadoud” (the All-Loving), creates love and casts it among His slaves: fathers, mothers, husbands, mothers, siblings, and friends. They all enjoy love among them. To the same effect, Allah, Most Gracious, says:

“And among His Signs is that He has created for you wives from among yourselves that you may find repose in them; and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed Signs for a people who reflect.” (Ar-Rum 30:21)

Who creates such affection and mercy? It is Allah, Most Gracious!

4- Allah is All-Loving in the sense that He seeks love of His slaves, just as they seek His divine love. And He casts love into their heart for one another and for Him. In this sense, this name has three meanings: love from the Lord for His slaves, love from slaves to their Lord, and love among slaves for one another. That is why Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, says “The zenith of wisdom, after belief in Allah, is to seek people’s love.”

Therefore, the wisest, cleverest and best thing a believer can do, after having believed in Allah, is to seek people’s love and friendship, in order to help them know the truth. To this, Allah says:

“And by a Mercy from Allah you dealt with them gently. And had you been severe and harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from around you; so pass over (their faults), and ask (Allah’s) Forgiveness for them, and consult them in the affairs. Then, when you have taken a decision, put your trust in Allah. Certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him).” (Aal `Imran 3:159)

Here emerges a difference between “Al-Woudd” (Practical love) and “Ar-Rahmah” (mercy) as the latest is offered to a weak, helpless, miserable, ill, suffering person who is inferior to you, and, hence deserves your mercy; while “Al-Woudd” (love) is offered to others not because they are inferior to you or are in need of your help.

In other words, “Al-Woudd” is offered without request or imploration, but “Ar-Rahmah” is offered upon request, imploration or inferiority. When God created us, He was “Wadoud”, i.e. loving. We were nothing, but He created us, honored us, and bestowed His Innumerable divine favors and graces upon us: “O man! What has made you careless about your Lord, the Generous, Who created you and made you in due measures? In whatever shape He desires He constructs you.

“Be cursed (the disbelieving) man! How ungrateful he is! From what thing did He (Allah) create him? From a semen He created him and then set him in due proportion. Then He made the Path easy for him. Then He caused him to die and caused him to be put in a grave. Then, when He wills, He will resurrect him. Nay! But he (man) has not done what He (Allah) commanded him.” (`Abasa 80:17-23)

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This article is a summarized version of the article (Al-Wadoud) by the author, published at his web site www.nabulsi.com.

Dr. Muhammad Ratib An-Nabulsi is a Muslim Syrian preacher and writer. He has written a number of Islamic books, most remarkable of which are: “Encyclopedia of the Beautiful Names of Allah”, “Encyclopedia of Scientific Miracles of the Holy Qur’an and Prophetic Sunnah” , “Outlooks on Islam” and “Contemplations on Islam”. He delivers a number of lessons, orations, symposiums and chat programs broadcasted on the Syrian, Arab, and Islamic radios and Televisions.

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Existence of God: Between Faith & Atheism

Existence of God: Between Faith & Atheism

By Truth Seeker Staff

We should bear in mind that abundant as the proofs may be, they are only of avail to those who honestly and sincerely search for the truth.

We should bear in mind that abundant as the proofs may be, they are only of avail to those who honestly and sincerely search for the truth.

Existence of God: Between Faith & Atheism

Mankind, in general, has maintained a belief in the existence of the Creator of the universe since time immemorial.

The duty of the prophets of Allah was not so much to inform their people of Allah’s existence as to warn them against associating others with Him, and to teach them how to serve Him:

“Their messengers said, ‘Is there any doubt concerning Allah, the originator of the Heavens and the Earth?’” (Ibrahim 14:10)

The early Muslim scholars did not even have to address the issue of the Existence of God, for it was a blatantly obvious fact, which nobody questioned. It was only around the fourth century after the Prophet’s migration to Madinah, when people’s doctrine started being infiltrated with atheism and permeated by unbelief that the scholars had to address the issue.

The existence of Allah is established by various categories of proofs, which may be conveniently classified under four categories.

Scriptural

The major religions of the world have scriptures, which teach the existence of the Creator. In particular, the Qur’an, the only revealed book which has remained totally intact and preserved, establishes the existence of Allah by compelling rational arguments, while at the same time serving as an enduring miracle testifying to His reality. It decisively establishes His uniqueness and non-resemblance to creation, and emphasizes that worship is only for Him.

“Fitrah”

As already mentioned, the human being has an inherent and inborn recognition of his Creator. This is a consequence of a pledge which Allah took from the soul of every one of us before we came into this world:

“And [remember], when your Lord took from the children of Adam, their children behind them, and made them testify over their own selves, [saying to them], ‘Am I not your Lord?’ They said, ‘Yea.’” (Al-A`raf 7:172)

Every human being is born with this natural disposition, which is called in Arabic “Fitrah“. Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, has reported that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said:

“Every child is born upon Fitrah, then it is his parents who make him Jewish, or Christian, or Magian (Zoroastrian), just as an animal delivers a perfect baby animal; do you find it mutilated?” (Al-Bukhari)

But, this “Fitrah” sometimes becomes latent, especially when the human being is in a corrupt and spiritually degenerate environment, which is devoid of reminder and exhortation towards the Lord. The “Fitrah” surfaces, however, in times of calamity and distress. How many avowed atheists find themselves raising their hands to the skies in supplication when in affliction? And how do the staunch unbelievers cry out for deliverance when they are faced with death?

“[Allah] it is who causes you to travel over land and sea; until, when you are in the ships, and they sail with [their passengers] with a fair breeze, and they are glad therein, a tempestuous wind reaches them, waves are coming at them from everywhere, and they think that they are overwhelmed therein; [then] they call to Allah, making their faith pure for Him [alone], ‘If You save us from this, we will surely be among the thankful!’” (Yunus 10:22)

Yet, this sincerity is often short-lived:

“Then, when He saves them, behold, they rebel upon the earth wrongfully.” (Yunus 10:23)

Mankind is all too apt, during the course of his daily life of comfort and enjoyment, to forget his Lord:

“And when some trauma touches man, he calls to his Lord, turning repentant to Him. Then, when He grants him a favor from Himself, he forgets that for which he called to Him before, and sets up partners to Allah.” (Az-Zumar 39:8)

It is to awaken and alert this “Fitrah” that God, in His mercy and wisdom, sent messengers to remind people of their true religion, and to direct them towards fulfilling their commission of serving their Lord. Allah has ordered His prophet to proclaim:

“Say: O mankind! If you are in [any] doubt regarding my religion, then [know that] I do not worship those whom you worship besides Allah, but I worship Allah Who will take your souls (at death): I am commanded to be (in the ranks) of the Believers.” (Yunus 10:104)

The specific mention of death here drives home the stark reality, which even the pagans must concede to when faced with the glaring, intuitive evidence, that Allah alone causes death. The rational individual, then, should prepare for this inevitability by responding to his Lord.

Islam is merely a hearkening by man to his nature, an acceptance of that which is naturally good and intuitively right:

“So, set your face toward the religion in uprightness. That is the “Fitrah” of Allah, upon which He has created mankind. Let there be no changing of Allah’s creation.” (Ar-Rum 30:30)

There are others who stubbornly resist this truth and reject God’s message when it is presented before them, although they are well aware of its veracity. This was the attitude of Pharaoh and his supporters, and its consequences are severe, in this world and the Hereafter:

“They rejected [Our signs], although their own souls were convinced of their truth, out of iniquity and arrogance. See, then, what was the sequel for those who cause corruption!” (An-Naml 27:14)

Yet, even hardened deniers who stand in the way of truth and resist it may grab hold of it at the last moment, before it is too late, for on account of the surfacing of the “Fitrah“, a disbeliever who is faced with death on the battlefield may suddenly embrace Islam. The Muslim who fights in Jihad will similarly be exposed to death frequently, thus enhancing and sharpening his awareness of Allah.

Rational

Health and Islamic PhilosophyIt is intuitively obvious, and confirmed by science, that the universe had a beginning. Every action requires a doer, and thus the existence of creation necessarily indicates the existence of the Creator. Allah appeals to the human mind and rationality:

“Were they created from nothing, or are they [themselves] the creators?” (At-Tur 52:35)

Quite obviously, we have been created, and brought into existence after being non-existent, and it is also plain that we do not create ourselves.

A few years ago, the sands in the “Rub’ al-Khali” desert (the Empty Quarter), of the Arabian Peninsula, were blown away by a windstorm to reveal the ruins of a city that had been covered by the sands. Scientists began to examine the contents of the city to try to determine the period in which it had been built. Nobody among the archaeologists or others even suggested that this city could have appeared as a result of the natural actions of the wind, rain, heat and cold, and not by the actions of man. If anyone had suggested such a thing, people would have regarded him as crazy and would have taken pity on him. So how about if someone had said that this city was formed by the air from nothing in the far distant past, then it settled on the earth?

Having recognized the necessity of the existence of a Creator, one then realizes that there can only be one Creator:

“If there were in [the heavens and the earth] gods other than Allah, [the heavens and earth] would surely have been disordered.” (Al-Anbiya 21:22)

“Allah has not taken a son, nor is there any god with Him, for in that case, each god would assuredly have championed that which he created, and some of them would surely have overcome others. Glorified be Allah above that which they allege!” (Al-Mu’minun 23:91)

Further, this one and only Creator cannot possibly resemble creation:

“Is, then, He Who creates, like he who does not create? Do you not reflect?” (An-Nahl 16:17)

Perceptual

We witness and experience the answering of prayers, and this in itself indicates the existence of Allah:

“When you sought help of your Lord, and He answered you.” (Al-Anfal 8:9)

Al-Bukhari and Muslim, may Allah have mercy upon them, have both narrated the Prophet’s saying in which a Bedouin asked the Prophet, peace be upon him, to pray for rain, since crops were perishing and people were starving. The prophet prayed to Allah for rain, and almost immediately clouds began to gather and it began raining heavily. Also in this category of evidence are the miracles which people witness at the hands of the prophets, including the splitting of the moon by Muhammad, peace be upon him, and the enduring miracle of the Qur’an.

Finally, we should bear in mind that abundant as the proofs may be, they are only of avail to those who honestly and sincerely search for the truth. As for those obdurate ones who simply refuse to believe, they will not cease their idle disputation:

“And they say: ‘Our hearts are in a covering from that to which you call us, and in our ears is a deafness, and between us and you is a veil, so act, we [also] are acting.” (Fussilat 41:5)

“Those against whom the decree of your Lord has been verified, will not believe, although every sign should come to them, until they see the painful punishment.” (Yunus 10:96-97)

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Courtesy Islamweb.net web site – http://www.islamweb.net with slight editorial modifications.

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Story of the Prisoners of the Battle of Badr

Story of the Prisoners of the Battle of Badr

By Safi Ur-Rahman Mubarakpuri

Battle of BadrStory of the Prisoners of the Battle of Badr

On their way back to Madinah, at a large sand hill, the Prophet (PBUH) divided the spoils equally among the fighters after he had taken al-khums (one-fifth). When they reached as-Safra’, he ordered that two of the prisoners should be killed. They were an-Nadr ibn al-Harith and ‘Uqbah ibn Abi Mu’ayt, because they had persecuted the Muslims in Makkah, and harboured deep hatred towards Allah and His Messenger (PBUH).

In a nutshell, they were criminals of war in modern terminology, and their execution was an awesome lesson to oppressors. ‘Uqbah forgot his pride and cried out, “Who will look after my children O Messenger of Allah?” The Prophet (PBUH) answered, “The Fire (of Hell).” Did ‘Uqbah not remember the day when he had thrown the entrails of a sheep onto the head of the Prophet (PBUH) while he was prostrating himself in prayer, and Fatimah had come and washed it off him? He had also strangled the Prophet (PBUH) with his cloak if it had not been for Abu Bakr to intervene and release the Prophet (PBUH). The heads of both criminals were struck off by ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib.

The Prophet (PBUH) exhorted the Muslims to treat the prisoners so well to such an extent that the captors used to give the captives their bread (the more valued part of the meal) and keep the dates for themselves.

Prisoners of war constituted a problem awaiting resolution because it was a new phenomenon in the history of Islam. The Prophet (PBUH) consulted Abu Bakr and ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab as to what he should do with the prisoners. Abu Bakr suggested that he should ransom them, explaining this by saying: “They are after all our relatives, and this money would give us strength against the disbelievers, moreover, Allah could guide them to Islam.”

‘Umar advised killing them, saying, “They are the leaders of kufr (disbelief).” The Prophet (PBUH) preferred Abu Bakr’s suggestion to that of ‘Umar’s. The following day, ‘Umar called on the Prophet (PBUH) and Abu Bakr to see them weeping. He showed extreme astonishment and inquired about the situation so that he might weep if it was worth weeping for, or else he would feign weeping.

“It is not for a Prophet that he should have prisoners of war (and free them with ransom) until he had made a great slaughter (among his enemies) in the land. You desire the good of this world (i.e. the money of ransom for freeing the captives), but Allah desires (for you) the Hereafter. And Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise. Were it not a previous ordainment from Allah, a severe torment would have touched you for what you took.” (Al-Anfal 8:67-68)

The previous Divine ordainment went as follows:

“Thereafter (is the time) either for generosity (i.e. free them without ransom) or ransom.” (Muhammad 47:4)

Which included an area providing permission to take ransom, that is why no penalty was imposed. They were rebuked only for taking prisoners before subduing all the land of disbelief. Apart from this, the polytheists taken to Madinah were not only prisoners of war but rather arch-criminals of war whom modern war penal law brings to justice to receive their due sentence of death or prison for life.

The ransom for the prisoners ranged between 4000 and 1000 dirhams in accordance with the captive’s financial situation. Another form of ransom assumed an educational dimension; most of the Makkans, unlike the Madinese, were literate and so each prisoner who could not afford the ransom was entrusted with ten children to teach them the art of writing and reading. Once the child had been proficient enough, the instructor would be set free.

Another clan of prisoners were released unransomed on grounds of being hard up. Zaynab, the daughter of the Prophet (PBUH), paid the ransom of her husband Abul-‘As with a necklace. The Muslims released her prisoner and returned the necklace in deference to the Prophet (PBUH) but on condition that Abul-‘As allow Zaynab to migrate to Madinah, which he actually did.

In captivity, there was also an eloquent orator called Suhayl ibn ‘Amr. ‘Umar suggested that they pull out his front teeth to disable him from speaking, but the Prophet (PBUH) turned down his suggestion for fear Quraysh should retaliate in the same manner on one hand, and on the other for fear of Allah’s Wrath on the Day of Resurrection.

Sa’d ibn an-Nu’man, a lesser pilgrim detained in Makkah, was released in return for setting Abu Sufyan’s son, a captive, free.

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Adopted with editorial adjustments from Ar-Rahiq al-Makhtum (The Sealed Nectar).

 

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The Companions’ Sense of Humor

The Companions’ Sense of Humor

By Truth Seeker Staff

humorThe Companions’ Sense of Humor

Qarrah said: That he asked the Ibn Sirin if the companions of the Prophet (PBUH) played jokes on one another. At this, he said, “They too were human beings and nothing else.” [Al-Haythami vol. VIII, p. 89]

Awf ibn Malik Ashjai said that at the time of the battle of Tabuk he went to see the Prophet (PBUH). At that time, the Prophet was sitting in a small round shaped tent of leather. Awf saluted the Prophet and he returned the salutation. He further asked him to come into the tent. At this Awf said, “Should I come in, the whole of me?” The Prophet said, “Yes, come in the whole of you.” Then he entered the tent. [Abu Dawud, Al-Bidayah vol. VI, p. 46]

[Walid ibn ‘Uthman ibn Abu’l-Aliyah says that Awf had said this because of the smallness of the tent (op cit)]

Abu Malikah said that once ‘A’ishah uttered some humorous words before the Prophet (PBUH). At this, ‘A’ishah’s mother said to the Prophet, “O Messenger of Allah! Some of the pleasantries of this tribe trace their origin in the tribe of Kinanah.” At this, the Prophet said, “This tribe itself depends on our humour.” [Al-Bukhari, Chapter of Adab (Manners) p. 41]

Bakr ibn ‘Abdullah related that the Companions m of the Prophet (PBUH) used to throw melons on one another by way of a joke. But they became valiant when faced with the realities of life or its hardships. [Al-Bukhari, Chapter of Adab p. 41]

Rabiah ibn ‘Uthman said that a certain Bedouin came to the Prophet (PBUH). He seated his she-camel outside the Holy Mosque and himself went inside to meet the Holy Prophet. Some of the companions of the Prophet said to Nuyman ibn ‘Amr al-Ansari, “If you slaughter this she-camel and satisfy your hunger, the holy Prophet will pay its penalty.”

The narrator says that very soon Nuyman slaughtered the she-camel. When the Bedouin came out of the Mosque and saw all this, he began crying out, “O Muhammad! Someone has slaughtered her.” The Holy Prophet came out and asked the people who had done that.

The people told him that Nuyman had done that. Now the Prophet went out in search of him. He found Nuyman in the house of Dabah daughter of Zubayr ibn ‘Abdul-Muttalib. He had hidden himself in a cell and had put branches and dry barks and leaves of the date tree over his body.

Someone cried out that he had not seen him. But this very man pointed to the place where Nuyman was hiding. The Prophet took him out from there and his face was covered with dust and leaves of the date tree. The Prophet asked him who had asked him to do that. He said, “O Messenger of Allah! These very men who had told you about my whereabouts had asked me to do that.”

The Holy Prophet began removing the leaves and barks from his head and face and remained laughing. The narrator says that later on, the Prophet paid the price of the she-camel to that Bedouin. [Al-Istiab, vol. III, p. 575 and Al-Isabah vol. III, p. 570]

Umm Salamah said that Abu Bakr went to the city of Busra on a trade mission. With him were Nuyman and Suwaybit ibn Harmalah, and both were the two who had fought in the battle of Badr. Suwaybit was in charge of the provisions of the caravan. Nuyman asked him to give him food. At this Suwaybit said, “Wait a little and let Abu Bakr come.” Nuyman was a witty and humorous fellow. He went to a group of men who had brought beasts of burden. He said to them, “Will any of you purchase a slave?” They replied in the affirmative.

Nuyman said, “That Arab slave is a plausible fellow and it is just possible that he might say that he is not a slave. If you leave him because of his words then blame me not, and break not the deal.” Those traders agreed to this. These men purchased him for ten she-camels. Nuyman brought the she-camels and pointing towards Suwaybit, he told them that that was the slave. The traders said, “We already know that you will say this,” (i.e. that he was not a slave). Now the traders tied Suwaybit by his neck and wanted to take him to their place.

In the meantime, Abu Bakr came there, and he was informed about all of this. Abu Bakr and his companions went to those merchants and returned them to their she-camels. Thus they bought back Suwaybit. Later on when the Prophet was informed about this incident, he laughed. The Prophet and his Companions continued laughing over this incident for the whole year. [Ahmad, Abu Dawud, at-Tayalsi, Al-Isabah, vol. II, p. 98, Al-Istiab, vol. II, p. 126 and vol. III, p. 576]

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Adopted with editorial adjustments from Hayatus-Sahabah (The Lives of the Companions).

 

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Interfaith: Spiritual Power to Counter Pandemic

Interfaith: Spiritual Power to Counter Pandemic

By Victor Ghalib Begg

PandemicInterfaith: Spiritual Power to Counter Pandemic

Detroit’s multi-faith community is uniquely prepared in countering the scourge of the coronavirus.

So, how are some of them responding to this pandemic?

I looked for a few examples. I wanted to ask the leaders what each’s aith community is doing in these challenging times. I found a common goal that motivates those connected to the houses of worship in serving others in need, irrespective of the recipient’s beliefs. No matter who their congregations worship to, I noticed unanimity — they bring their respective community resources to meet this challenge.

COVID-19 targets us as a single vulnerable people. Creed, color or status means nothing to it. Whether be Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh and none, we’re confronting one enemy.

In polling the interfaith community leaders I had worked with, as interfaith partners in service, I learned: believers, facing an adversary like this one, lean upon the universal power of love, mercy, service and care for their neighbors — giving real meaning to One Nation under God, and In God we Trust.

I especially wanted to hear from the diverse minority faith groups.

► Rabbi Asher Lopatin, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council/AJC, told me the stories of his community work that matters in these difficult time — he highlighted one of their several initiatives: Food to the Front Lines Meals on Wheels program in providing daily meal deliveries to those in need.

► Mahmoud Al-Hadidi, chair of the Michigan Muslim Community Council, briefed me: Their members too are helping with food distribution. He pointed out the Muslim Council’s collaborative efforts with Muslim Jewish Advocacy Council of Michigan to provide hundreds of kosher and halal meals to front line healthcare providers of all backgrounds, in appreciation of their heroic sacrifices.

► Sam Yono, a Chaldean community leader and businessman, spoke of the contributions of his Catholic community: “Our grocery stores and gas stations stay open, well stocked to provide essentials — many offering free food and other necessities to the poor.” He added, “Our volunteers collect supplies and protective gear for medical professionals.”

► Raman Singh, president of the Interfaith Leadership Council, and a trustee of Mata Tripta Ji Gurdwara Sahib in Plymouth, provided me with pictures of Sikh volunteers unloading bags of food for distribution to the needy.

Churches, synagogue, mosques and temples may shut their doors to keep this invader out, but it can’t lock God out, who inspires goodness into the hearts of the believers — giving them the strength and a will to serve even under attack. This foe may subdue a human body, but their human spirit of giving and sacrifice remains undefeated — a reason why hospitals offer spiritual spaces and hospital chaplains of all faiths comfort patients in trying times.

From Vatican to Mecca, the coronavirus is aiming to separate congregants from their houses of worship — church bells temporarily stopped welcoming, a prominent rabbi urging worshipers not to kiss the western wall, mosques replacing the call to prayer with al-salatu fi buyutikum or “pray in your homes” instead of the usual hayya alas-salah or “come to prayer.”

Undaunted faithful, however, continue by livestreaming services; never abandoning the strong and healing hand of God. Zoom video technology brings faith groups face to face to plan and promote service to humanity. As one who welcomes interfaith engagement, dialogue and unity, I’m proud to know interfaith partners of Metro Detroit are stepping up to the challenge.

As the governments, scientists and the front-line medical professionals battle the coronavirus, the faith communities offer spiritual power to counter this invisible force.

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Victor Ghalib Begg is an emeritus senior adviser of Michigan Muslim community Council, and the author of the 2019 memoir, “Our Muslim Neighbors — Achieving the American Dream; An Immigrant’s Memoir.” You can reach him at VictorBegg.com.

 

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