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Divorce In Islam


Devout Muslims take their marriage seriously because in Islam divorce is disliked and should be considered the very last resort for a bad or strained relationship. If problems arise in a marriage, both parties should seek to solve through family intervention if their own efforts bear no fruit. Islamic divorce procedure is vastly different from the western one, mainly because it is based on very well defined, unchangeable, yet easy and just rulings. Judicial system works more efficiently in countries governed by the Islamic shari’ah because of these characteristics. Hence Muslims living in an Islamic society are at an advantage in this matter. They know what to expect both in cases of marriage and divorce, and everything is taken care of by the Islamic court itself. The west does not have such a beneficial system. Constantly changing laws can raise havoc there in such matters. Moreover, one has to hire an expensive attorney that not everyone can afford and hope to get an unbiased judge.

In Islam divorce is not such a simple thing as it is misunderstood by some people. It has certain rulings, and is forbidden under certain circumstances.  It is legally forbidden to pronounce divorce during a woman’s monthly menstrual cycle and if the couple has had intercourse after her last monthly period. This prohibition addresses a few pertinent matters. For one, a woman is likely to experience emotional ups and downs during menstruation. This in turn creates more stress and may deter any reconciliation. If divorce is pronounced to a woman during this time, she may tend to be more emotional, cause undue trauma for her and her family. After the pronouncement of divorce, an additional waiting period of three monthly cycles must pass in order to facilitate any possible reconciliation. If the woman is pregnant, the waiting time is until the birth of the baby regardless of the length of the time. The Muslim man, regardless of his desire for divorce at this time must wait out the entire period of pregnancy.  In other words, he cannot abandon his wife while she is carrying their child. He must continue to maintain her throughout the pregnancy, and possibly after the childbirth when divorce is finalized. The mother can nurse her child and is entitled to get support from its father until it reaches the age of two. If the mother refuses, the husband must be prepared to hire someone else as a nurse.

The waiting period as prescribed acts as a buffer. Divorce is stressful enough for both the parties concerned.  The waiting period is often a time for reconciliation, which is permissible and even desirable. Whatever the circumstances may be, Islam forbids cruel treatment of either partner, and equitable, humane respect is expected from every person involved. Islamic divorce does not take place publicly in front of a judge or in a courtroom full of strangers. Consciousness of God as an omnipresent power is a fundamental underlying force in Islam; therefore, Muslim men and women are expected to be responsible at all times, even during the delicate process of divorce. Due to the element of religious and moral uprightness required of Muslims and because Islam has defined everything, making a divorce public would not be beneficial.

In Islam the general grounds for divorce are simple and humane. It is the inability of either the husband or the wife to continue keeping their marital duties. It might be that one simply cannot live peacefully or compassionately with the other. It is inhumane to force a person to stay with someone under duress. Some acceptable reasons to justify a wife’s request for divorce include a husband being absent for an extended period without his wife’s consent, he being neglectful of his wife and her needs, inability or unwillingness on his part to provide for his wife, excessive financial stress, or the inability to reproduce. Circumstances which require dissolution are when a wife accepts Islam but the husband does not or if either partner denounces his/her faith. Also if the marriage contract is found to be incorrect or void due to falsification or error, a divorce must take place.

Quran says regarding divorce:

The divorce is final after waiting period is finished.
The couple may now go their separate ways. For children under the age of two, the mother is given custody for the purpose of breastfeeding. The father is at this time required to pay for the maintenance of the mother and child until the child reaches the age of weaning; (Surah Talaq 65:1)

And at another place, it says:

If no agreement is reached by the parents concerning custody, the child is normally retained by the mother during preschool years and then may be given to the father, unless it against the best intrests of the child. (Surah Baqarah 2:233)

It must be understood that the Muslim men are forever the wards and providers for their children even after the divorce. This means that children in Islam are protected by this command, unlike in the west where “deadbeat dads” exist. In case where father is granted the custody of children, he cannot forbid the mother from seeing, keeping contact with or visiting her children. This is anti-Islamic and would be cruel. In Islam divorce does not mean the end of parent-child relationship. One of the prerequisites to enter Heaven is that one has been good to and has honoured the womb which bore him.

A couple may be divorced twice, after which they may remarry.  However, after the third divorce it is forbidden to reconcile until the woman has first married another man with the intention of permanence.  Then she must have been widowed or divorced from the second husband. This forces couples to be very careful about their actions and words towards one another and does not allow for the ease of divorce to be abused or taken for granted. Divorce in Islam has been made easy, but not so easy that people will take advantage of it.

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Beware ! Of the Kharijite Fitna (Trial) in the name of Islam


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Beware of the Kharijite Fitnah in the Name of Islam!

 

The most dangerous sect in Islam are the Kharijites (Al-Khawarij). They have existed since the very early period of Islam and they will continue to cause strife in the Muslim nation until the end of time when they will join forces with the False Messiah,Anti Christ (Dajjal). We must be aware of their ideology and characteristics in order to protect ourselves from unwittingly supporting their destructive behavior. The kharijites earned their name from the root “kha-ra-ja” meaning “to go out”, because they exited Islam and the Muslim community due to their heretical innovations.

The kharijite ideology is based upon the following evil tenets:

– Declaring Muslims to be unbelievers.

– Rejecting lawful obedience to the rulers.

– Justifying violence against Muslims and innocent people.

Regarding the first tenet, the correct Islamic belief is that no Muslim can become an unbeliever due to his sins alone. Imam At-Tahawi states: {…} “We do not excommunicate anyone who prays toward Mecca because of his sins as long as he does not consider them lawful, and we do not say sins do not harm the faith of those who commit them.” (Source: Aqeedah At-Tahawi). A Muslim must explicitly disavow Islam in order to be properly considered an unbeliever as Imam at-tahawi states: {…} “A person does not leave faith except by disavowing what brought him into it.” (Source: Aqeedah At-Tahawi). But the Kharijites charge other Muslims with unbelief due to their sins or perceived sins in order to justify their merciless and criminal behavior towards them. Ibn taymiyyah writes:

{…}

“The kharijite sect was the first to declare Muslims to be unbelievers because of their sins. They charged as unbelievers whoever disagreed with their innovations and they made lawful the spilling of blood and the taking of wealth. This is the condition of people of innovation, that they invent some religious innovation and then they excommunicate whoever disagrees with them concerning it. Rather, the people of the Sunnah and the community follow the Book and the Sunnah and they obey Allah and His Messenger and follow the truth. They have mercy upon the creation.” (Source: Majmu’ Al-Fatawa 1/278)

True Muslims have mercy upon the entire creation, including unbelievers and idolaters, but the Kharijites have no mercy for those outside their group. They declare other Muslims to be unbelievers by misinterpreting and misapplying the verses of the Quran. Al-Bukhari reported: Ibn Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, considered the Kharijites to be the worst of Allah’s creation and said: {…} Indeed, they take verses that were revealed about unbelievers and use them against the believers.” (Source: Sahih Bukhari 6531, Grade: Sahih). In the early period of Islam, they even declared Ali Ibn Abi Talib to be unbeliever when he intended to reconcile with Mu’awiyah.

The Kharijites believe their opinions regarding leadership, government, politics, and the Sharia are the only valid opinions in Islam and whoever disagrees with them becomes an unbeliever. However, the truth is that much of these matters are left open to interpretation and consultation among the Muslims. In fact, the Prophet commanded us to distinguish between the rule of Allah and the rule of people and not to claim our opinions as the rulings of Allah. Buraida reported: When the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, would appoint a commander over the army, he would personally enjoin him to fear Allah and to be good with the Muslims who were with him. The Prophet would say:

{…}

“When you besiege the people of a fortress and they appeal to you for protection in the name of Allah and His Prophet, do not give them protection in the name of Allah and His Prophet but rather give them protection in the name of you and your companions. Verily, for you to violate the protection of yourself and your companions is a lesser sin than to violate the protection of Allah and His Messenger. When you besiege the people of a fortress and they appeal  for you to bring them out according to the rule of Allah, do not bring them out according to the rule of Allah but rather bring them out according to your ruling. Verily, you do not know if you will judge with the ruling of Allah concerning them or not.” (Source: Sahih Muslim 1731, Grade: Sahih)

Thus, Muslims must distinguish between the rule of Allah and the rule of people. Yet the Kharijites, who make no such distinction, will charge other Muslims with unbelief who disagree with their views. In fact, the kharijites do not simply declare Muslims to be unbelievers in a theoretical way, but rather they call for violent rebellion against entire Muslim societies.

Regarding the second tenet that is about the Muslim rulers, the correct Islamic belief is that we must obey them in all lawful matters. We should disobey them only if they command us to commit sins and we may not call for a violent overthrow of their governments as long as they allow the prayer. Umm Salamah reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said: {…} “There will be rulers from whom you will see both goodness and corruption. One who recognizes their evil and hates it will maintain his innocence, but one who is pleased with it and follows them will be sinful.” It was said, “Shall we not fight them?” the Prophet said: {…} “No, as long as they pray.” (Source: Sahih Muslim 1854, Grade: Sahih). Thus, as long as Muslims are allowed to pray and practice the pillars of Islam, rebellion against the rulers will not be justified. However, the Kharijites rebel against the rulers not to protect religion, but for inexcusable worldly reasons.

In general, Muslims must work to reform societies through non-violent methods such as teaching, preaching, and charity. Violence is only the last resort. The Kharijites, on the other hand, charge Muslim leaders with disbelief and those also who do not support their call for violent rebellion. In this way, they justify indiscriminate violence against entire Muslim societies. Abu huraira reported: The messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

{…}

“Whoever rejects obedience to the leader and divides the community and dies will have died upon ignorance. Whoever fights under the banner of one who is blind, raging for the sake of tribalism, or calling to tribalism, or supporting tribalism, and is killed will have died upon ignorance. Whoever rebels against my nation, striking the righteous and wicked alike and sparing not even the believers and does not fulfill the pledge of security, then he has nothing to do with me and I have nothing to do with him.” (Source: Sahih Muslim 1848, Grade: Sahih)

This narration succinctly describes the characteristics of the kharijites and their violent behavior. They reject lawful obedience to Muslim leaders and they fight according to their tribal zeal, which means that they are not concerned with justice for their victims. They attack both the righteous and the wicked, and they do not honor covenants of security and the protection of civilians. In our times, you will see them target markets, bus stations, airports, and other places frequented by unarmed civilians. The purpose of such attacks is not to achieve any immediate military objectives, but rather to spread terror among the population and destabilize the government. Thus, they follow the same path as the first Kharijites in the early period of Islam.

Ibn Kathir writes: {…} “If the Khawarij ever gained power, they would corrupt the entire earth, Iraq, and Syria. They would not leave a boy or a girl or a man or a woman, for in their view the people have become so corrupt that they cannot be reformed except by mass killing.” (Source: Al-Bidayah Wa Nihayah 10/584). Wherever they appear, the kharijites cause division among the Muslims at large and even among their own groups. Whenever they form a group, it is not long before splinter groups and off-shoots appear with each one claiming to have the right to seize the Caliphate.

Wahb Ibn Munabbih said:

{…}

“I knew the early period of Islam. By Allah, the Kharijites never had a group except that Allah caused it to split due to their evil condition. Never did one of them proclaim his opinion except that Allah caused his neck to be struck. Never did the Muslim nation unite upon a man from the Kharijites. If Allah had allowed the opinion of the Kharijites to take root, the earth would have been corrupted, the roadways would have been cut off, the Hajj pilgrimage to the sacred house of Allah would have been cut off, and the affair of Islam would have returned to ignorance until the people would seek refuge in the mountains as they had done in the time of ignorance. If there were to arise among them ten or twenty men, there would not be a man among them except that he would claim the Caliphate for himself. With each men among them would be ten thousand others, all of them fighting each other and charging each other with unbelief until even the believer would fear for himself, his religion, his life, his family, his wealth, and he would not know where to travel or with whom he should be.” (Source: Ta’reekh Dimshaq 69290)

Nevertheless, the Kharijites have been successful recruiting ignorant or desperate Muslims. The Prophet describes them as using beautiful Islamic rhetoric and selling “foolish dreams” to the Muslim masses. Ali Ibn Abu Talib reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said: {…} “In the last days, there will be young people with foolish dreams. They will say the best of words in creation but they will pass through Islam just as an arrow passes  through its game. Their faith will not go beyond their throats.” (Source: Sahih Bukhari 4770, Grade Muttafaqun Alayhi). Their “foolish dreams” are their promises of an Islamic Utopia, a glorious jihad, a new Caliphate that will bring honor and strength back to the Muslims. Yet, their dreams are unrealistic and their methodologies dangerous to the very people they claim to be helping. Their understanding of faith is so shallow, superficial, and hypocritical that they cause even greater harm to Muslim community. Like their predecessors, their preaching and propaganda entices people to join their cause but by their actions they are the worst of creation, even though they recite the Quran and call to Islam. They bring forth verses of the Quran to bolster their arguments but wield them against the objectives of Islam.

Sa’eed Ibn Jubair reported: We were met by Abdullah Ibn Umar and we hoped that he would narrate to us a good saying. A man approached him and he said, “O Abu Abdur Rahman, tell us about fighting during times of persecution as Allah said: And fight until there is no more persecution.” (2:193). Ibn Umar said: {…} “Do you know what persecution is? May your mother be bereaved of you! Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, only fought the idolaters as there was persecution for practicing their religion. It was not like your fighting for the sake of ruling.” (Source: Sahih Bukhari 6682, Grade: Sahih). The purpose of a just war in Islam is to end religious persecution and to protect innocent people, yet the Kharijites use such verses to further persecute Muslims and to justify their worldly ambitions of political power.

World will keep witnessing the violent call of the Kharijites appearing again and again until the end of time when the False Messiah appears among them. They follow the same Satanic forces from which will emerge the greatest tribulation and suffering ever faced by humanity. Abdullah Ibn Amr reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said: {…} “There will emerge from the east some people from my nation who will recite the Quran but it will not go beyond their throats. Every time a faction of them emerges it will be cut off.” The prophet repeated this and on the tenth time he said: {…} “Every time a faction of them emerges it will be cut off until the False Messiah emerges from their remnants.” (Source: Musnad Ahmad 27767, Grade: Sahih). As such, in our times we are witnessing a number of conflicts between oppressive governments and rebel Kharijite forces. Muslims are stuck between the spear of the ruler and the sword of the rebel. In such cases, we must remain patient and work to reform and improve our communities through education, preaching, and charity.

Abdullah Ibn Amr reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said: {…} “There will be a tribulation that will wipe out the Arabs in which those killed on both sides are in the Hellfire. In that time the tongue will be stronger than the sword.” (Source: Musnad Ahmad 6941, Grade: Sahih). If we are not careful, we might fall into the sins of either side of the conflict by legitimizing the misdeeds of an oppressive government or justifying acts of terrorism in response. We should not rush to support one or the other side in such conflicts as they are tribulations (fitnah) in which the truth is unclear. Therefore, we must be patient, resist calls for violence, and avoid getting involved in these conflicts. If we are patient, it will not be long before Allah will give us a way out. But if we call for violence, then Allah will heap more violence upon us. Haan Al-Basri, may Allah have mercy on him, said: {…} “If the people had patience when they are being tested by their unjust ruler, it will not be long before Allah will give them a way out. However, they always rush to their swords, so they are left with their swords. By Allah, not even for a single day did they bring about any good.” (Source: Tabaqat Al-Kubra 8789)

Satan intends to use the alluring call of the Kharijites as a means to drag us into the Hellfire. We have to resist them by upholding the true teachings of Islam: mercy with the creation, patience, with hardship, justice with our enemies. The Kharijites intend to impress us by their outward displays of faith, but inwardly they have no faith. It is only by understanding the true spirit of Islam in both its inward and outward teachings that we can save ourselves, our children, and our communities or societies from falling under the influence of their dangerous ideology.

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Who is Liberated in the West ? Part 2


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Is Paradise for Men Only?
 

One cannot predict how long this paradise will continue to thrive, but it is clear that if there should happen a real women’s awakening and real women’s liberation movement then its end would be easier to foresee. The women movement has done nothing to change the way men and women live together as man and wife. In fact, it has created the type of society many men would crave; free sex, no marriage constraints, and no financial responsibilities. Most men applaud women’s strides in the liberation movement because they know they are being let off the hook more and more as time goes by. Deep inside them they realize they would never trade places with a woman because her life is filled to the brim with extra financial demands, a lower social status, and more stress.

 

What bothers most women about men in the west is that while they expect their wives  to work outside, they still call house work “women’s work.” And then there is a man who makes his wife feel inferior by reminding her his salary is bigger than hers. In what way is this woman liberated when she is performing so much more than her share towards her relationship, marriage and family?

 

Only a few years ago women cleverly designed legally binding contracts called prenuptial agreements to protect their assets and economic security during marriage and in case of divorce. Men accused women who asked for such contracts, manipulative and demanding, simply because she was looking out for herself.

 

If a woman has property, a high paying career or other assets, it becomes a partial property of her future husband if she does not state otherwise in a prenuptial agreements. This portrays the double standard women in the west face. Whenever a man asserts himself or “beats the system,” he is called intelligent and resourceful, but if a woman asserts herself, she is called manly or aggressive. The system is designed so that men are the only ones allowed to play.

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Who is Liberated in the West ?


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It is time to stop talking about women because the ones who have been liberated in the west do not wear dresses. If there is anyone who has won points from the women’s liberation movements, it certainly has got to be men. At every turn he leaps ahead, is promoted, is listened to in the workplace, and is catered to inside and outside of marriage, not only by the legal Justice System and Government politics, but also by the women of society.

 

Feminists try to copy him, and this must make him feel even more superior. He has enjoyed up until now the best of both the worlds. Certainly, the western lives in a “man’s world” that has been described by some as a paradise for men.

 

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A Messiah Whom no one Loves !


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A MESSIAH Whom No One Loves!

 

The United States may feel it rightful to claim to be the benefactor and the leader of the world as an upholder of all her illusionary ideals of equality, peace, freedom, justice, as well as a champion of human rights. No doubt, for many people she is the Great Provider of their daily bread, giving food, money, and arms to scores of nations and assisting them in the implementation of their development plans in the name of Foreign Aid. But is it all just for the sake of charity? Out of human compassion for the suffering and starving nations? If it had been so, the whole world would have been worshipping the Great America, or at least would have been sincerely grateful to her. Masses all over the world should have been deeply in love with their “Messiah”.  But is it really what America is getting in return? No, the reality is just opposite – she is the most hated country (may be after Israel?) on the face of the earth today.

 A number of countries may feel protected against external aggression because of their defense pacts and other arrangements with America. For them, having friendly relations with the America is the greatest guarantee for having peace and maintaining their sovereignty. Yet, no one is sincerely thankful towards her. On the contrary, they never miss an opportunity to denounce her. An undercurrent of hatred is found everywhere against her, resulting in America having no sincere friends, no true well-wishers in any part of the world. The question is: Do the leaders of this great country not feel it? Are its thinkers blissfully unaware of this reality? No, they must be knowing that for all her dollars, what America is getting back is a kick here and a let-down there. But have they ever cared to go to the roots of the matter? If they do a little self-introspection, they will find that at the core of it all lies America’s own insincerity.

The entire concept and mechanism of aid and assistance devised by the United States is devoid of earnestness to serve the humanity. In the very first place, it is America herself that is responsible for whatever turmoil the poor nations are facing today. Her generosity in turn is again a cloak for the exploitation of the weaker and the poorer nations. She gives, but not to enable them to stand on their own feet. Her magnanimity is aimed at the perpetuation of their dependence upon her. It is a way to keep other nations in a perpetual debt so as to keep their loyalty, to disarm them against America – in one word, to force them to “Slavery”. Her so graciously donated “Foreign Aid” is thus a misleading term, a way of acting out and implementing her (America’s) imperialist designs in the garb of a messiah – a messiah whom no one really loves!

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Reconstruction of the World : A Dream


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What will be the answer if in western countries which is bustling with life and activity one were to ask how many real men lived; men whose hearts throbbed and eyes wept for the sake of humanity; men who controlled their carnal desires and were the riders and not the mounts of this civilization; who held the reins of life instead of being driven by it; who knew their Creator and whose hearts were filled with love for him and respect for mankind; who led a simple life, in harmony with nature, and were aware of true joys and genuine pleasures; who did not like tensions and conflicts in the world and hated the selfishness and greed of the politicians; who wished every country well and wanted it to prosper; who were eager to give and not to grab; who did not believe that the aim of life was only to eat, drink, and be merry, but thought that there was much more pleasure in feeding the other men and going hungry themselves; who saw gain in loss and victory in defeat; who dreamt of the reconstruction of the world and were not concerned solely with the growth and development of their own land; who wanted to see the world united, not on the transitory and artificial platform of the United Nations, but on the real and natural stage of the oneness of mankind.

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IQRA: How Muslims addressed this call


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Iqra: How Muslims Addressed this Call

“IQRA” is the first word of the first revelation of Islam to Prophet Mohammad, an Arabic word which literally means: “Read”. Muslims since then have tried to do justice to this call for knowledge and learning by setting up an elaborate system of education and learning all through the Islamic world and all through the Islamic history. The importance and high value that Islam accords to education became evident since the very beginning as the very first prisoners of war captured by Muslims in the battle of Badr, the first battle of Islam with the non-believers, who were unable to pay the prize that they were required to pay in order to earn their freedom were asked to teach the art of reading and writing to the illiterate Muslims in exchange of that prize. It is obvious that the pagan prisoners were not supposed to impart the religious knowledge, hence highlighting the fact that it was the idea of literacy itself that Islam bestowed so much value upon!

Islam, thus, has a long and strong tradition of introducing its followers to the art of learning by establishing a network of elementary schools called “madrasahs” (maktab, or kuttab) where pupils learned to read and write, which were developed into centres for instruction in elementary Islamic subjects. Students were expected to memorize the Qur’an as perfectly as possible. Some schools also included in their curriculum the study of poetry, elementary arithmetic, physical sciences, penmanship, ethics (manners), and elementary grammar. Maktabs were quite common in almost every town or village in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Sicily, and Spain, existing since as early as the 9th century. However, the most famous one was founded in 1057 by vizier Nizam-ul-Mulk in Baghdad. The Nizamiyah, devoted to Sunnite learning, served as a model for the establishment of an extensive network of such institutions throughout the eastern Islamic world, especially in Cairo which had 75 madrasahs, in Damascus which had 51, and in Aleppo where the number of madrasahs rose from six to 44 between 1155 and 1260. Important institutions also developed in the Spanish cities of Cordoba, Seville, Toledo, Granada, Murcia, Almeria, Valencia, and Cadiz, under the Umayyads.

Al-Azhar University at Cairo, Egypt, has been the chief centre of Islamic and Arabic learning in the world, founded by the Fatimids in 970 C.E. with a large public library and several colleges. The basic program of studies was, and still is, Islamic law, theology, and the Arabic language. Gradually these subjects got eliminated after having reached climax resulting in consequent decline. In the 19th century philosophy was reinstated. The modernization has resulted in the addition of social sciences at its new supplementary campus. Presently a number of Islamic universities have been established in the Muslim countries where apart from theology, the other sciences are also taught, but they are few in numbers. There are, however, thousands of traditional madrasah and Dar-ul-ulooms in countries with Muslim populations where only Islamic theology and religious sciences are taught, producing millions of ‘ulema’ (religious scholars) with almost no knowledge of social and physical sciences or other branches of knowledge.

Early Muslim Education:

Early Muslim education emphasized practical studies such as the application of technological expertise to the development of irrigation systems, architectural innovations, textiles, iron and steel products, earthenware, and leather products; the manufacture of paper and gunpowder ; the advancement of commerce; and the maintenance of a merchant marine. After the 11th century, however, denominational interests dominated higher learning, and the Islamic sciences achieved preeminence. Greek knowledge was studied in private, if at all, and the literary arts diminished in significance as educational policies encouraging academic freedom and new learning were replaced by a closed system characterized by intolerance toward scientific innovations, secular subjects, and creative scholarship. This denominational system spread throughout eastern Islam between around 1050 and 1250 C.E.

Pursuit of Scientific Knowledge & Libraries:

Thus during first half of millennia of its history, Islamic civilization has been keen to gain knowledge, be it physics, chemistry (alchemi), algebra, mathematics, astronomy, medicine, social sciences, philosophy or any other field. The high degree of learning and scholarship in Islam, particularly during the ’Abbasid’ period in the East and the later during Umayyads in the West (Spain) encouraged the development of bookshops, copyists, and book dealers in big and important Islamic cities such as Damascus, Baghdad, and Cordoba. Scholars and students spent many hours in these bookshop schools browsing, examining, and studying available books or purchasing favourite selections for their private libraries. Book dealers travelled to famous bookstores in search of rare manuscripts for their purchase and resold them to collectors and scholars, thus contributing to the spread of learning. Many such manuscripts found their way to private libraries of famous Muslim scholars such as Avicenna, al-Ghazali, and al-Farabi, who in turn made their homes the centres of scholarly pursuits for their students.

Role of Islam in Renaissance & Enlightenment:

Europe owes its awakening from the dark ages to the Renaissance and Enlightenment by the transfer of knowledge including lost Greek heritage through the Muslim scholars and centres of learning at Spain and their contact with the Muslim world through Crusades. As long as Muslims continued the pursuit of all branches of useful worldly knowledge of physical sciences and technology along with the religious sciences, the Islamic Civilization was at its zenith.

Stages of Evolution of Learning Process:

The progress and development of educational system among Muslims may be divided into various stages. The renaissance of Islamic culture and scholarship developed largely under the ‘Abbasid administration in Eastern side and later under the Umayyads in the West, mainly in Spain, between 800 and 1000 C.E. This latter stage, the golden age of Islamic scholarship, was largely a period of translation and interpretation of classical thoughts and their adaptations to Islamic theology and philosophy. The period also witnessed the introduction and assimilation of Hellenistic, Persian, and Indian knowledge of mathematics, astronomy, algebra, trigonometry, and medicine into Muslim culture. Whereas the 8th and 9th centuries (mainly between 750 and 900 C.E.) were characterized by the introduction of classical learning and its refinement and adaptation to Islamic culture, the 10th and 11th were the centuries of interpretation, criticism, and further adaptation. There followed a stage of modification and significant additions to classical culture through Muslim scholarship. During the 12th and 13th centuries, most of the works of classical learning and the creative Muslim additions were translated from Arabic into Hebrew and Latin. The creative scholarship in Islam from the 10th to the 12th century included works by such scholars as Omar Khayyam, al-Biruni, Fakhr ad-Din ar-Razi, Avicenna (Ibn Sina), at-Tabari, Avempace (Ibn Bajjah), and Averroes (Ibn Rushd).

Muslim Contributions in the field of Medicine, Science & Technology:

The contributions in the advancement of knowledge by the traditional Islamic institutions of learning (Madrasahs, Maktab, Halqa & Dar-ul-Uloom) are enormous, which have been summed up in Encyclopedia Britannica: “The madrasahs generally offered instruction in both the religious sciences and other branches of knowledge. The contribution of these institutions to the advancement of knowledge was vast.

Muslim scholars calculated the angle of the ecliptic; measured the size of the Earth; calculated the precession of the equinoxes; explained, in the field of optics and physics, such phenomenon as refraction of light, gravity, capillary attraction, and twilight; and developed observatories for the empirical study of heavenly bodies. They made advances in the uses of drugs, herbs, and foods for medication; established hospitals with a system of interns and externs; discovered causes of certain diseases and developed correct diagnoses of them; proposed new concepts of hygiene; made use of anesthetics in surgery with newly innovated surgical tools; and introduced the science of dissection in anatomy.

Muslims furthered the scientific breeding of horses and cattle; found new ways of grafting to produce new types of flowers and fruits; introduced new concepts of irrigation, fertilization, and soil cultivation; and improved upon the science of navigation. In the area of chemistry, Muslim scholarship led to the discovery of such substances as potash, alcohol, nitrate of silver, nitric acid, sulfuric acid, and mercury chloride.

Muslim scientists also developed to a high degree of perfection the arts of textiles, ceramics, and metallurgy.”

According to a US study published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science in its journal on 21 February 2007, “Designs on surface tiles in the Islamic world during the Middle Ages revealed their maker’s understanding of mathematical concepts not grasped in the West until 500 years later. Many Medieval Islamic buildings walls have ornate geometric star or polygon or ‘girih’, patterns, which are often overlaid with a swirling network of lines – This girih tile method was more efficient and precise than the previous approach, allowing for an important breakthrough in Islamic mathematics and design.”

Muslims Scholars of Theology and Science:

According to the famous scientist Albert Einstein; “Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind.” Francis Bacon, the famous philosopher, has rightly said that a little knowledge of science makes you a believer in God. A critical analysis reveals that most of Muslim scientists and scholars of medieval period were also eminent scholars of Islam and theology. The earlier Muslim scientific investigations were based on the inherent link between the physical and spiritual spheres, but they were informed by a process of careful observation and reflection that investigated the physical universe.

Influence of Qur’an on Muslim Scientists:

The worldview of the Muslim scientists was inspired by the Qur’an as they knew that: “Surely, in the creation of the heavens and the earth; in the alteration of the night and the day, in the sailing of the ships through the ocean for the profit of mankind; in the rain which Allah sends down from the skies, with which He revives the earth after its death and spreads in it all kinds of animals, in the change of the winds and the clouds between the sky and the earth that are made subservient, there are signs for rational people.” (Qur’an 2:164). Their scientific enquiry was inspired by Qur’anic verses like “Indeed in the alteration of the night and the day and what Allah has created in the heavens and the earth, there are signs for those who are God fearing.” (Qur’an 10:6). They were aware that there was much more to be discovered. They did not have the precise details of the solar and lunar orbits but they knew that there was something extremely meaningful behind the alteration of the day and the night and in the precise movements of the sun and the moon as mentioned in the Qur’an. One can still verify that those who designed the dome and the minaret knew how to transform space and silence in to a chanting remembrance that renews the nexus between God and those who respond to His urgent invitation.