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December 2013 eGazette: The Prophet Muhammad: A Mercy for the Whole Mankind‏‏

Al Islam eGazette


And We (Allah) have sent thee (Muhammad) not but as a mercy for all peoples. (Al Quran 21:108)


So said Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Founder of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community


Mosque of Medina

Have you any notion what was the strange event that occurred in the desert country of Arabia when hundreds of thousands of the dead were revived within a brief period and those who had been misguided through generations put on Divine color, and those who were blind obtained sight, and those who had been dumb began to speak of the understanding of the Divine, and the world underwent a revolution which had never been seen or heard of before? It was the supplications during dark nights of one who had lost himself in God which raised a clamor in the world, and manifested such wonders as appeared impossible in the case of that unlearned helpless one. Send down Thy blessings and peace, O Allah, on him and his people according to the amount of pain and anguish he felt for his Ummah, and pour down upon him the lights of Thy mercy forever.

[Barakat-ud-Du'a, Ruhani Khaza'in, Vol. 6, pp. 10-11]

I always wonder how high was the status of this Arabian Prophet, whose name was Muhammad, (thousands of blessings and peace be upon him). One cannot reach the limit of his high status and it is not given to man to estimate correctly his spiritual effectiveness. It is a pity that his rank has not been recognized, as it should have been. He was the champion who restored to the world the Unity of God which had disappeared from the world; he loved God in the extreme and his soul melted out of sympathy for mankind. Therefore, God, Who knew the secret of his heart, exalted him above all the Prophets and all the first ones and the last ones and bestowed upon him in his lifetime all that he desired.

He is the fountainhead of every grace and a person who claims any superiority without acknowledging his grace is not a man but is the spawn of Satan, because the Holy Prophet has been bestowed the key to every exaltation and he has been given the treasury of every understanding. He who does not receive through him is deprived forever. I am nothing and possess nothing. I would be most ungrateful if I were not to confess that I have learnt of the true Unity of God through this Prophet. The recognition of the Living God we have achieved through this perfect Prophet and through his light. The honor of converse with God, through which we behold His countenance, has been bestowed upon me through this great Prophet. The ray of this sun of guidance falls like sunshine upon me and I continue illumined only so long as I am adjusted towards it.

[Haqiqat-ul-Wahi, Ruhani Khaza'in, Vol. 22, pp. 118-119]

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A Collection of Sayings of the Prophet Muhammad with Foreword by Mahatma Gandhi

Epigraph: And We (Allah) have sent thee (Muhammad) not but as a mercy for all peoples. (Al Quran 21:108)

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (pronounced [ˈmoːɦənd̪aːs ˈkərəmtʃənd̪ ˈɡaːnd̪ʱi] ( listen); 2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) was the preeminent leader of Indian nationalism in British-ruled India. Employing non-violentcivil disobedience, Gandhi led India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. The honorific Mahatma (Sanskrit: “high-souled,” “venerable”[2])—applied to him first in 1914 in South Africa,[3]—is now used worldwide. He is also called Bapu (Gujarati: endearment for “father,”[4]“papa.”[4][5]) in India.

But, for Albert Einstein, Gandhi would have been the man of the century, as determined by the Time magazine, for the twentieth century.

This collection of sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him, collected by Sir Abduallah Suhrawardy, with foreword by Mahatma Gandhi is not only a wonderful heritage for all the Muslims, but, also for a billion Hindus, in India and else where.

One of the first four Hadith quoted in this book is about the Golden rule, “No man is a true believer unless he desireth for his brother that which he desireth for himself.”

Allama Sir Abdullah al-Mamun al-Suhrawardy, M.A, Ph.D., D.Litt. (Oxon), LL.D., Commander of the Order of Medjidie, (1870 – 1935) was an Islamic scholar, barrister, and academic.

To read the full book click here


An apology for Mohammed and the Koran

Book written by John Davenport

This is a short but a wonderful book and a must read for all Muslims and Christians.

The Muslim Times has the unique privilege to make a PDF file of this beautiful book, An apology for Mohammed and the Koran, available online. I will encourage all readers to download and not only read the book, but, save it for future generations. Let us call this book a very important world heritage.

In his book An apology for Mohammed and the Koran, John Davenport has a chapter dedicated to refuting four different allegations against the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him. In the beginning of the chapter he makes a list of the four allegations that he is going to defend:

The charges brought against Mohammed are reducible to four, as follows :—

I. The promulgating a new and false religion as a revelation from God, it being, on the contrary, but a mere invention of his own, for the purpose of gratifying his ambition and lust.

II. That Mohammed propagated his religion by the sword, thereby causing an enormous waste of human blood and a vast amount of human misery.

III. The sensual character of his Paradise as described in the Koran.

IV. The encouragement he has given to licentiousness by legalizing Polygamy.

Below I have quoted some parts from the said chapter:

Is it possible to conceive, we may ask, that the man who directed such great and lasting reforms in his own country by substituting the worship of the one only true God for the gross and debasing idolatry in which his countrymen had been plunged for ages; who abolished infanticide, prohibited the use of spirituons liquors and games of chance (those sources of moral depravity), who restricted within comparatively narrow limits the unrestrained polygamy which he found in existence and practice—can we, we repeat, conceive so great and zealous a reformer to have been a mere impostor, or that his whole career was one of sheer hypocrisy? Can we imagine that his divine mission was a mere invention of his own of whose falsehood he was conscious throughout? No, surely, nothing but a consciousness of really righteous intentions could have carried Mohammed so steadily and constantly without ever flinching or wavering, without ever betraying himself to his most intimate connections and companions, from his first revelation to Khadijah to his last agony in the arms of Ayesha.

Surely a good and sincere man, full of confidence in his Creator, who makes an immense reform both in faith and practice, is truly a direct instrument in the hands of God, and may be said to have a commission from Him. Why may not Mohammed be recognized, no less than other faithful, though imperfect servants of God, as truly a servant of God, serving him faithfully though imperfectly? Why may it not be believed that he was, in his own age and country, a preacher of truth and righteousness sent to teach his own people the unity and righteousness of God, to give them civil and moral precepts suited to their condition.

The Muslims, however, believe that the Prophet Muhammad did serve his God perfectly. Having said that, any Muslim cannot but help being grateful to John Davenport for his eloquence in the defense of Islam.

In another place John Davenport beautifully explains that the religion of Islam is a continuation of the religion of all the previous prophets:

It has also been objected that Mohammed, while pretending not to deliver any new religion to the Arabians, but only to revive that old one which God had revealed to Abraham, and Abraham had delivered to Ishmael, the founder of their nation, actually did found a new religion, and, consequently, spake that which was false. But, if that only be a new religion which differs from the former in the object of its worship, and the moral duties imposed by it, then, certainly neither that of Moses, nor that of Jesus Christ, nor that of Mohammed, were new religions. That of Moses was no more than the renewal and enforcement by laws of that religion which Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Ishmael professed, and which was to adore the one only God, and Him to love and obey with their whole soul, and to practise those moral duties which the necessity of human society as well as the will of God imposed upon mankind. Thus, Jesus Christ tells us that to love God above all things and our neighbour as ourselves was the whole law and the prophets, that is, that Moses and the prophets taught the Israelites a religion which entirely consisted in the love and adoration of one eternal God, and an extensive love of one another; and hence the doctrine of Jesus Christ himself was not new, but the same that Moses had taught before, with this only difference, that our moral duties to one another were commanded with more force than before, and this admirable and divine rule set down, by which the meanest and most ignorant of mankind might know with almost certainty when he offended against these moral duties and when not, as the precept ‘do unto others as you would they should do unto you’ clearly shows.

At the appearance of Jesus, the Jews inhabiting Judea were extremely corrupt in their morals, and a criminal self love and egotism having been long spread among them, both priests and people, there was nothing to be found but avarice, rapine, injustice and oppression, for, placing their righteousness in the rigid observance of some ceremonies and formulas of religion, they had entirely lost its real substance. To restore this seems to have been the whole aim, drift and design of the mission of Christ, for to that all his doctrines plainly tend—a consideration sufficient to show that the Christian religion in its foundation was but the renewing of that of Moses. The business of Mohammed was not only to enforce moral doctrines, but also to establish the adoration of one God, for the people among whom it was his lot to be cast were gone vastly astray in both; it was, therefore, his intent to revive the religion of Ishmael the founder of his nation—namely, the worship of one God; and this is enough to prove that Mohammed did but speak the truth when he told the Arabians that he did not preach to them a new religion, but only the ancient one which their forefather Ishmael had proposed many ages before.

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Did Prophet Muhammad kill 700 Jews?

Source: Muhammad Fact Check

This is perhaps one of the most common contemporary allegations levied against Prophet Muhammad [1]. It is also one of the most spurious.

This event occurred after the largest battle ever held on Arabian soil in Medina during Prophet Muhammad’s life. The Confederate Army comprised of no less than 12,000 soldiers while the Muslims barricaded themselves in Medina, along with their sworn allies—per the Charter of Medina—numbering roughly a tenth the size. While the Muslims were victorious, they came within moments of annihilation due to the Banu Quraizah tribe’s treason.

Critics baselessly claim that Prophet Muhammad blindly executed the entire tribe. This too is baseless. Prophet Muhammad and the Jews were allies, as enshrined in the Charter of Medina Article 49, which states, “The parties to this Pact are bound to help each other in the event of an attack on Yathrib.” The Banu Quraizah Tribe was an equal and willing party to this pact. Yet, in the heat of battle, the Banu Quraizah sided with the enemy against the state of Medina despite their prior signed agreement. Fortunately, the remaining allied Medina army was able to withstand this treasonous act and win the battle against incredible odds. The question remained, however, how to address the Banu Quraizah’s treason. Adding to the dilemma was the fact that the Banu Quraizah had committed this act once before, upon which Prophet Muhammad merely exiled them. When they later asked his forgiveness, he granted it, which is why they had since re-entered Medina. The 19th century historian Stanley Lane-Poole accurately describes the events that followed the Battle of the Ditch:

Of the sentences on the three clans, that of exile, passed upon two of them, was clement enough. They were a turbulent set, always setting the people of Medina by the ears; and finally, a brawl followed by an insurrection resulted in the expulsion of one tribe; and insubordination, alliance with enemies and a suspicion of conspiracy against the Prophet’s life, ended similarly for the second. Both tribes had violated the original treaty, and had endeavored in every way to bring Muhammad and his religion to ridicule and destruction. The only question is whether their punishment was not too light. Of the third clan a fearful example was made, not by Muhammad, but by an arbiter appointed by themselves. When Quraish and their allies were besieging Medina and had well-nigh stormed the defences, this Jewish tribe [the Banu Quraizah] entered into negotiations with the enemy, which were only circumvented by the diplomacy of the Prophet. When the besiegers had retired, Muhammad naturally demanded an explanation of the Jews. They resisted in their dogged way and were themselves besieged and compelled to surrender at discretion. Muhammad, however, consented to the appointing of a chief of a tribe allied to the Jews as the judge who should pronounce sentence upon them. This chief gave sentence that the men, in numbers some 600, should be killed, and the women and children enslaved; and the sentence was carried out. It was a harsh, bloody sentence; but it must be remembered that the crime of these men was high treason against the State, during a time of siege; and one need not be surprised at the summary execution of a traitorous clan.

Thus, Prophet Muhammad did not order any execution, nor did he participate in the execution. On the contrary, Prophet Muhammad graciously agreed to let the Banu Quraizah’s own ally, Sa’d bin Mu’adh of Aus, deliver the verdict. Why blame Prophet Muhammad for a decision he did not make and for a crime he did not commit?

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Prof. Laura Veccia Vaglieri: An interpretation of Islam

Prof. Laura Veccia Vaglieri contributed several articles to the Encyclopedia of Islam. She was a pioneer of Arabic and Islamic studies in Italy, Veccia Vaglieri served as professor at the Naples Eastern University and was the author of books on the historical and institutional analysis of the Arab and Muslim world.

Laura Veccia Vaglieri (1893 – 1989) was an Italian orientalist

A pioneer of Arabic and Islamic studies in Italy, Veccia Vaglieri served as professor at the Naples Eastern University and was the author of books on the historical and institutional analysis of the Arab and Muslim world.

Her most popular book is An interpretation of Islam.

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Muhammad: the Light for the Dark Ages of Europe!

Abstract

An honest study of the causes of the Dark Ages and European renaissance will lead to the inevitable conclusion that Muhammad, may peace be on him, was the light for the Dark Ages. John Davenport writes in, an apology for Mohammed and the Koran: “It is in the compositions of Friar Bacon, who was born in 1214, and who learned the Oriental languages, that we discover the most extensive acquaintance with the Arabian authors. He quotes Albumazar, Thabet-Ebu-Corah, Ali Alhacer, Alkandi, Alfraganus and Arzakeb; and seems to have been as familiar with them as with the Greek and Latin classics, especially with Avicenna, whom he calls ‘the chief and prince of philosophy.’ The great Lord Bacon, it is well known, imbibed and borrowed the first principles of his famous experimental philosophy from his predecessor and namesake Roger Bacon, a fact which indisputably establishes the derivation of the Baconian philosophical system from the descendants of Ishmael and disciples of Mohammed.” In a short paragraph, John Davenport has very precisely identified all the links in the human intellectual evolution. Additionally, his book, which is available in Google books, is a master piece in the defense of the Prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him. Read his two page Preface and he is standing shoulder to shoulder with other great defenders of the Prophet Muhammad in the Western world, like Thomas Carlyle. Unfortunately, some Western scientists and historians propose the European science to be some sort of magical wand and what preceded it as not good enough or label it as pre-science or mystical science etc.!

My task here is twofold, first to show that European science was built on the Latin translations of the works of the great Muslim pioneers and secondly that the Muslim learning from 8th-12th centuries was heavily influenced by the teachings of the Holy Quran, the literal word of God, revealed to the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him.

“If greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and outstanding results are the three criteria of human genius, who could dare to compare any great man in modern history with Muhammad?” -Alphonse de Lamartine, Foreign Minister of France, 1848

Allow me to make the lion’s share of my case by quoting a classic book History of the Moorish Empire in Europe published in 1904 in three volumes and extending over more than 2000 pages. The insightful writer, Samuel Parsons Scott, a lawyer from Hillsboro Ohio writes, as he attributes all the success of Europe to the Prophet Muhammad:

Unlike most theological systems to which men, in all ages, have rendered their obedient and pious homage, no mystery obscures the origin and foundation of Islam. The purity and simplicity of its principles have undergone no change. Its history has been preserved by the diligence of innumerable writers. The life and characteristics of its Prophet, even to the smallest detail, are accessible to the curiosity of every enterprising scholar.

The austere character of a faith which, at its inception, exacts a rigid compliance with the minutest formalities of its ritual, naturally becomes relaxed and modified after that system has attained to worldly importance and imperial authority; or, in the language of one of the greatest of modern writers, ‘a dominant religion is never ascetic.’ It is strange that Islam, which, in this respect, as in many others, has conformed to the general law of humanity, and now acknowledges tenets and allows practices that would have struck the subjects of Abu-Bekr and Omar with amazement, has been able to preserve in such perfection the observance of its ceremonial; especially when it had no organized sacerdotal power to sustain it. The absence of an ecclesiastical order which could dictate the policy of the throne, and humble the pride of the ermine and purple with the dust in the presence of some audacious zealot, also left untrammelled the way for scientific investigation and research, and, more than all else, contributed to dispel the darkness of mediaeval times. The doctrine of toleration enunciated by Mohammed gave no encouragement to that system of repression whose activity has exhausted every means of checking the growth of philosophical knowledge, by imposing the most direful spiritual and temporal penalties upon every teacher who ventures to publicly explain its principles; and it is a matter of far deeper import to the civilization of the twentieth century, than is implied by the mere performance of an act of devotion, when the Temple of Mecca—the seat of a time-honored faith, from whose shrine emanated the spirit of learning that redeemed degraded Europe—is saluted five times every day by the reverent homage of concentric circles of believers, one hundred and fifty million in number, from Tangier to Pekin, from the borders of Siberia to the Equinoctial Line.

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Book Review: The Leadership of Muhammad

Written by Prof. John Adair

Reviewed by Zia H Shah MD

Epigraph: : Indeed, the Messenger of God is an excellent model for those of you who put your hope in God and the Last Day and remember Him often. (Al Quran 33:22)





Leadership

John Adair is one of the world’s leading authorities on leadership and leadership development. Over a million managers worldwide have taken part in the Action Centered Leadership programs he pioneered.

He wrote this wonderful book about the Holy Prophet Muhammad’s contributions to leadership in 2010. This year he has come out with another book Confucius on Leadership.

His short 127 page book, The Leadership of Muhammad, appears to me, to be a very lucid commentary of the verse, I mentioned as Epigraph and Adair quotes it in the introduction to his book.

In the conclusion of his book, he pays wonderful tribute to the Prophet, by saying, “The Muslim tradition of leadership, if I have understood it, transcends even the three great human traditions of understanding leadership that I have just mentioned.”

He describes a universal or a generic role of a leader. He says that a universal leader, then, will be a person who exemplifies such distinctively human qualities as goodness, kindness, humaneness and compassion. He writes in the introduction of the book:

I believe that there is a universal or generic role of leader. Moreover, thanks to one lucky discovery (see Chapter 8), I have come as close as anyone has yet been to defining what that universal or generic role actually is. When experimentally applied on a large scale to selection and training of leaders the theory has worked consistently, and it has done so for over half a century. That is why I now claim that it is true.




Prof. John Adair: UN Chair of Strategic Leadership & World’s first Professor of Leadership Studies

Adair concludes each of the eight chapters with a few key points. In the end of the first chapter he writes:

-Leader should exemplify or personify the qualities expected, required and admired in their working groups. A leader of soldiers, for example, needs to demonstrate courage, ‘the soldier’s virtue’, as Shakespeare called it.

-Courage is a quality shown by Muhammad at Hunayn: it is that which enables people to meet danger without giving way to fear, to act bravely under stress or to endure in times of adversity.

Another generic quality of universal leaders is humility. The word comes from the Latin root humus (ground, earth), related to homo (man). When Muhammad spread his cloak, lowered himself and sat on the ground with people at the same level, it was an act of humility. Compare a king sitting high upon a throne above his subjects, who abase themselves before him. As they will tell you in Ghana, ‘Don’t expect to be offered a chair when you visit a place where the chief himself sits on the floor.’

The fifth chapter is titled, Muhammad: ‘The Trustworthy One,’ here, Adair writes:

Why does truth or veracity, honesty and high principle, matter in a leader? The reason is simple. Leaders who are true, and always speak the truth, create trust. And trust is vital in all human relations, professional or private. You can see why Muhammad insisted upon integrity in those who were chosen to be leaders in the Umma, the growing Muslim community. There was to be no place for any form of bribery or corruption: not that this prohibition was – or is – easy, for man is ‘violent … in his love of wealth’ (Q 100:8).

‘I will stand surety for Paradise if you save yourself from six things: telling untruths, violating promises, dishonouring trust, being unchaste in thought and act, striking the first blow, taking what is bad and unlawful.’ MUHAMMAD

Today, the political leaders do not think twice, before a preemptive strike, when it serves their purpose, as long as they can fog the public perception, with excuses, smoke screens and propaganda.

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December 2013


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Archives of Alislam-eGazette about the Prophet Muhammad

April 2011

Jan 2011


Thomas Carlyle, Karen Armstrong, John Davenport and Prof. Laura Veccia Vaglieri

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