JALSAHS, GIRLS MADRASAHS AND PICTOGRAPHY – TAQI SAHIB’S BELATED LAMENTS

On this topic, a Brother from the UK writes:

“I refer to recent Majlis article on Taqi Usmani’s condemnation of Khatme Bukhari programmes after he, himself, having been amongst its biggest proponents for many years.

I was reminded of a Malfooz of Taqi in which he laments in a similar manner regarding the mushrooming of girl’s madrasahs. Whilst lamenting, he is reminded by someone that his own institution had a girls madrasah, to which he responded, in justification, that this was the very first one!

The short-sightedness of this justification would have been comical if the consequences and repercussions of the mushrooming of these unnatural institutes, for which he himself is the flagship pioneer, weren’t so tragic.

There are similar laments of Taqi in respect to misuse of digital photography and “Islamic” banking.

He seems blissfully unaware of the fact that his own reckless and Haraam fatwas and actions have been amongst the biggest impetuses to opening for the masses the floodgates of satanism in all these areas which today he is lamenting.

Perhaps, after his recent stunt of conducting a lengthy television interview with a young female, face to face without purdah, he will one day begin lamenting on every other molvi embarking on similarly shameless shenanigans in open public.

And, of course, the laments in the eternal abode will be irredeemable and infinitely greater. May Allah Ta‘ala protect us.

The malfooz on girls madrasahs is below. I have bolded his admission of guilt.”

(End of the Brother’s letter)

Taqi Sahib’s lament

Lamenting on the mushrooming of girls madrasahs and the production of ‘jaahilahs’, Taqi Sahib, addressing an administrator of a girls madrassah, said:

‘The number of madrassa (traditional Islamic teaching institution) for girls is now exceeding that for boys (in Pakistan). I fail to understand the emphasis been given to this phenomenon.

Are there any precedents for this from our earlier pious predecessors, the Blessed Companions, the Ta’baeen, the one who came after them or even our elders of Deoband? I fear these institutions, especially those with residential hostels for possible inappropriate mishaps.”

The administrator mentioned that even Taqi Sahibs Darul Uloom in Karachi has a girls madrasah. In response, Taqi Sahib said:

Moreover, we try our best that all teaching is via female instructors.’ (This is a silly, flapdoodle response of Taqi Sahib, in a baseless endeavour to cover up for the error of the girls madrasah which he had initiated at his madrasah. – The Majlis)

Another scholar commented that the duration of the course for females has now been extended to 8 years. Taqi Sahib said:

‘It is 6 years for the expedited track. I agree with this. Previously the 4 years course was severely deficient. The graduates were deemed aalimah (scholars) whereas in fact they remained jaahilah (grossly ignorant). “

Office, Darul Uloom Karachi, 21 Ramadan 1437/ 27 June 2017 post Zuhar

(End of Taqi Sahib’s statement)

Our Comment

Taqi Sahib’s belated admission of the gross error of girls madrasahs and jalsahs such as Bukhaari Jalsah, comes at a time when the Imaan and Akhlaaq of a great segment of the Ummah have been ruined and laid to waste. His corrupt fatwas and extreme short-sightedness have caused irreparable damage to the Ummah. The wabaal (calamity) of his convoluted fatwas has settled on him as well. Due to lack of far-sightedness which is the attribute of fiqaahat which Taqi Sahib obviously lacks, he is responsible for misleading countless of thousands of the Ummah. Furthermore, his convoluted fatwas have provided ammunition to miserable paper molvis to denounce and reject the Haqq of the Shariah which the Ulama-e-Haqq have always proclaimed.

We have been highlighting the evil of these unnatural girls madrasahs for decades as well as the evil of jalsahs. Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Rahmatullah alayh) has also condemned these institutions and haraam activities. But all the naseehat fell on deaf ears.

“Allah casts rijs (filth) on the brains of those who have no aql (brains).”

10 Sha’baan 1442 – 24 March 2021

Please advise on the permissibility of engaging a non Muslim teacher to teach our children at home.

Q. Please advise on the permissibility of engaging a nonMuslim teacher to teach our children at home.

A. It is not permissible to have a non-Muslim to teach your children even at home. The kufr and spiritual rijs and najaasat of his/ her kufr will have a detrimental athar (effect) on the children. Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) forbade breastfeeding by even a Muslim woman if she is ignorant. He said that her ignorance will be transferred to the baby via her milk. To a greater extent will kufr, rijs and najaasat of the non-Muslim be contagious.

The final ‘report’ – will it be the right… or the left?

The life of this world is an ‘exam room’, the two ‘papers’ to be ‘written’ are that of Īmān (Belief) and Ā’mal (good deeds)… but the results will only be announced in the next world! The ‘paper’ of Īmān has to be passed… with 100% marks! The ‘paper’ of Ā’māl is to strive and ‘stock up’ on good deeds for the Day of Judgment. Even the little deeds will count in the Court of Allāh Ta’ala, therefore Nabī-Karīm ﷺ mentioned not to regard any good deed as small, and seek salvation from hell, even if it is through giving one piece of a date in charity.

The one given the ‘report’ in the right hand – a sign of success – will call out in excitement, ‘Look at my results!’ He will talk about how he strove in this world and will be entered into paradise to enjoy the bounties of Jannah, which is beyond imagination! The one who receives the ‘report’ in the left hand – a sign of failure – (Allāh save us!) will be in misery and disgrace, and wish for death to overtake him. But, the life after death is everlasting and neverending, either in bounties and favours of Allāh, or punishment in the grave, disgrace on the Day of Judgment and suffering in hellfire.

In the Holy Qur’ān, Allāh Ta’ala teaches us a Duʿā to be saved from disgrace on the Day of Judgment: ‎وَلَا تُخْزِنِي يَوْمَ يُبْعَثُونَ And do not disgrace me on the Day when all will be resurrected – [26:87]

Alas, life is passing like a fast flowing river and before we know, time is up. Despite our busy schedules, sparing a little time for Duʿā after the 5 Ṣalāh will take us a long way in this world and the Ākhirah.

Summary: Jumu’ah Talk – Umhlanga on April 26, 2019

STORIES FOR MUSLIMS YOUNG AND OLD

Stories For Muslims—Young and Old  

Moulana Muhammad Ibraheem Maqbah

Rahmatullahi Alaih

Part One: Learning to Read and Write. 4

Story One: 5

Imam Shaafi’i (Rahmatullahi Alaih) 5

Story Two: 5

The Two Brothers 5

Story Three: 6

Advice from a Buzrug. 6

Story Four: 7

First Make Your Effort 7

Story Five: 8

Early to Learn. 8

Story Six: 9

With Effort Comes Good Fates 9

Story Seven: 10

The Prince and the Pauper 10

Part Two: Manners and Good Behaviour. 11

Story One: 12

A Fortunate Lad. 12

Story Two: 13

The Means to Acquire Wealth and Honour 13

Story Three: 15

A Sincere Student’s Concern. 15

Story Four: 16

One Boy’s Haughtiness and. 16

Another Boy’s Friendliness 16

Story Five: 19

The Humbleness of the Cow.. 19

and the Insolence of the Donkey. 19

Story Six: 20

Hazrat Faqeeh Ali Makhdoom (Rahmatullahi Alaih) 20

Part Three: Benefits of Speaking the Truth and Harms of Lying and Backbiting   23

Story One: 23

The Boy who was Honest 23

and the Boy who was Dishonest 23

Story Two: 25

Mr. Mutthu. 25

Story Three: 26

The Man Who Cried, “Robber!”. 26

Story Four: 27

The Woodcutter and the Axe 27

Story Five: 29

Honesty Defeats Robbery. 29

Story Six: 31

A Crime against Humanity. 31

Story Seven: 32

The Tale-Bearing Backbiter 32

Story Eight: 33

Shab Guzaari … and Gheebat! 33

Story Nine: 34

Piercing the Arrow into the Heart 34

Part Four: Ibaadat (Prayers) and Piety. 35

Story One: 35

The Age of Forming the Habit of Salaat 35

Story Two: 36

A Happy Life in this World and in the Next 36

Story Three: 38

How to Solve All Your Problems 38

Story Four: 40

Shame on You, O Muslim! 40

Story Five: 42

What is Ibaadat?. 42

Part Five: The Disgrace of Drinking.. 43

and the Evils of Drugs and Bad Company. 43

Story One: 43

Bringing Disgrace on the Family. 43

Story Two: 45

The Root of All Evil 45

Story Three: 47

Save Yourself Young Man. 47

Story Four: 49

A Tragic End. 49

Story Five: 52

Substance Abuse 52

Part Six: The Harms of Craving and Greed and the Benefits of Patience and Contentment  55

Story One: 55

Your Parents’ Food and Your Friends’ Food. 55

Story Two: 56

Desiring Other People’s Things 56

Story Three: 57

Not Satisfied with Your Lot?. 57

Story Four: 58

The Greedy Dog. 58

Story Five: 58

The Fatal Poison of Greed. 58

Story Six: 61

The Discontented Parrot 61

Story Seven: 63

Shaikh Sa’di’s Lesson. 63

Story Eight: 63

Be Contented and Grateful 63

For That Which Allah Ta’ala Gives You. 63

Story Nine: 64

A True Mu-min in the Face of Adversity. 64

Story Ten: 65

Fantasies Go Up in Smoke 65

Story Eleven: 67

True Gratitude 67

 

Part One: Learning to Read and Write

Story One:

Imam Shaafi’i (Rahmatullahi Alaih)

Hazrat Imam Shaafi’i (Rahmatullahi alaih) learnt the Qur’aan Shareef and became a Hafiz at the age of 7. When he reached the age of 10, through the grace of Allah Ta’ala he learnt a lot of knowledge. At the age of 15 he became accomplished and qualified in all Islamic subjects. Thereafter he wrote many Kitaabs and became the leading Imam of his Math-hab.

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Story Two:

The Two Brothers

Two brothers would go to a Madrasah to learn. One was 9 years of age and the other 8 years of age who started going to the Madrasah a year after his elder brother. However, after nine or ten months he [the younger brother] caught up with the elder brother’s sabaq [lesson]. After a further seven to eight months he was very much ahead of his elder brother.

His father went to the Ustaad and said: “Moulana! What is this? Are you not giving due attention to my elder son? Are you not showing kindness to him and hence he is lagging far behind the younger boy?”

The Ustaad responded: “I put in equal effort on all the boys. Then we have some boys who put their minds and hearts into their lessons. They learn with effort. Daily they take new sabaq. And we have boys who come to the Madrasah and take sabaq. They move their heads to and fro when learning. But in their minds they have play and other things. They do not put their minds to their lessons. For this reason they are often punished. Your elder son belongs to the second class.”

When the father heard this he was very much annoyed at the elder son and he became very strict on him. At home he would give him punishment. Only then did he [the elder son] give up play and put his mind to his learning. In consequence he started to learn quickly.

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Story Three:

Advice from a Buzrug

A person went to a certain Buzrug [saintly person] and said:  “Hazrat! Make Du’aa for my son that he learns properly and his mind and intelligence increase.”

The Buzrug replied: “Listen! I will make Du’aa for him; however, I have some words of advice. Emphasize to him that when he sits down to learn then he should apply his mind to his sabaq and he should spend much time learning. All the time he should have eagerness in him to learn. He should not waste his time in play and laziness. Then the benefit and barkat of Du’aa will be with him and his mind will become bright and very intelligent. Through the fazl [grace] of Allah Ta’ala quickly he will learn, become qualified and complete with his studies.”

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Story Four:

First Make Your Effort

A Mureed [disciple] came to his Peer [spiritual mentor and guide] without his turban. The Peer asked him: “What have you done with your turban?” He replied: “I left it in the Masjid where I stay.”

Peer: Did you entrust it to someone for safekeeping?

Mureed: Not to any person. Trusting in Allah Ta’ala I left it there.

Peer: Go! Firstly see to your turban then put your trust in Allah Ta’ala.

Thus it is binding upon a person to carry out whatever he knows of a particular work, followed by his trust in Allah Ta’ala. Through the fazl [grace] of Allah Ta’ala he will attain his goal. However, to allow your work to be harmed and your fortune to be spoilt through laziness and carelessness is extremely foolish.

In exactly the same manner, if a student does not strive and make an effort himself; he does not put his heart and mind to his learning trusting in the effort and affection of the Ustaad, or he places his hopes in only ta’weez and du’aas then it will be very surprising if he gains Ilm.

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Story Five:

Early to Learn

There was a boy who always would be the first to go to Madrasah and learn his work. The other boys would become angry at him and say: “Why do you come so early to class? It Moulana finds out he will tell us also to come early and learn.” The boy replied: “If I do not come early and learn my work then Moulana will punish me [for not knowing my work]. My parents will be disappointed with me and other people will make a joke out of me saying that this boy does not learn well. Tell me what stops you from coming early to learn your lessons? If you do so then Moulana will not become angry with you. You will learn your lessons quickly and you will not be punished.”

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Story Six:

 With Effort Comes Good Fates

An elderly lady sent her child to Madrasah to learn how to read and write. The child would learn and forget. However, his mother did not become despondent. She would send him to Madrasah regularly for three or four years and make Du’aa for him. In the end, by the grace of Allah Ta’ala her son started to excel in his work until he received employement by a prominent person and by virtue of his education he was able to carry out all his responsibilities and handle all the accounts. Then he worked for a businessman until he himself became a wealthy businessman.

Poem:

“Whoever makes an effort to read and write,

 though he may be dull he will achieve good fate”

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Story Seven:

The Prince and the Pauper

A certain city was hit by a famine. The inhabitants of the city and the outlying areas—those who held government posts and the public, men and women, young and old—all in a state of distress and confusion left their homes, mansions, orchards, gardens, belongings and possessions and fled in all directions to other cities. Everyone was heading for wherever he/she could get to. Even the king of that city was afflicted with this calamitious, dismal and distraughtful condition. As he was fleeing he died on the way. The prince was with him.

Now separated from his father and in a pitiable condition he reached another country. Coincidentally the son of a villager from his [the prince’s] country also reached the city where the prince reached. The prince was not educated. He was ignorant. So, he wandered about begging for food. On the other hand the villager’s son was very educated, alert and intelligent. He received some employement by the king of that country. In time his status increased and it wasn’t long thereafter that he received such honour and greatness that he became the prime minister of the king.

The pen said: “I am the king of kings.

Whoever can write I crown him as a king.

Even if he is a wretched one then too for a time,

I give him the taste and pleasure of money and wealth.”

[The lesson to learn from this story is that if you learn the Kalaam or Speech of the King of the Universe—Allah Ta’ala—and if you study and learn His Laws—the Shariah, the Deen—then most assuredly you will receive honour and glory in His Kingdom.]

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Part Two: Manners and Good Behaviour

Story One:

A Fortunate Lad

A boy was on his way to the bazaar with his father. He was walking in front of his father. After walking for a while an elderly and holy person coming from the opposite direction appeared before them. He was walking slowly and behind him 5 to 7 strong young men were also walking slowly.

The boy asked his father: “Who is this old man and why are these people walking slowly behind him? Why don’t they walk ahead?” The father replied: “Son! This holy man is a big Aalim. Out of respect for him people do not walk in front of him.”

The boy was good and clever. He immediately started walking behind his father. The father saw that his son was a very fortunate boy; etiquette of manners quickly left its impression on him. He became very happy and at home he kissed the boy and showed much affection to him.

He mentioned to the boy’s mother and family what had transpired. Everyone became very happy at the boy and made Du’aa for him. From then onwards they showed much more love and affection for him.

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Story Two:

The Means to Acquire Wealth and Honour

There was a wealthy businessman. He had a son by the name of Abdullah. The businessman brought his son up well and taught him manners, respect and orderliness. When the businessman passed away the son inherited all his father’s money, wealth and properties. All authority became vested in him.

For many years he ran his father’s business well. He was friendly with everyone in the city and he would show them kindness and politeness. He would show equal respect and humbleness to rich and poor. Suddenly his business started to drop and all his business dealings came to a standstill. He had to close down all his shops. In this helpless and pitiable condition he left his city and came to a far off country where he took up employement by a certain wealthy person. Seeing his conduct, manners and respect the wealthy person treated him very well.

One day the wealthy person asked him: “Who are you? Where do you come from? What is the purpose in you coming here?” He then revealed his whole story. The wealthy person took pity on him. He started to treat him like his own son.

The wealthy man also had a son of his own. But his son was very haughty and rebellious. Neither would he obey his father, nor would he have manners for anyone. Neither would he show respect for others, nor would he make Salaam. He thought himself to be great. The father would be very heartsore and grieved over him.

Although Abdullah was not his son, the wealthy man was in his heart very much pleased with him over his manners and humbleness. In view of this he gave half his wealth and possessions to Abdullah and sent him to his homeland.

Poem:

مال وعزت کا وسیلہ ہے ادب

               بےادب پرتو سبھوں کا ہے غضب           

“The means to acquire wealth and honour is

 good manners.

An ill-mannered person makes everyone furious.”

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Story Three:

A Sincere Student’s Concern

Many boys would attend a certain Madrasah. Among them was a young boy whose father was poor. This boy would show more respect to the Ustaad and be better behaved than the other boys. He would not speak loudly to anyone in front of the Ustaad. He would not sit with his back to the Ustaad. When seeing the Ustaad or someone senior he would get up and make Salaam respectfully. The Ustaad was very much pleased with his behaviour and would teach him with affection and kindness. The other boys in the Madrasah would also readily help him due to his manners, humbleness and good character. The Ustaad would put more effort into this boy’s teaching and education.

One day the Ustaad was not present at the Madrasah. Another boy started to fight with him. It was not the fault of the boy who was very respectful. Nevertheless out of fear he became very worried and he said: “If my Ustaad or my parents come to know they will become angry and punish me.” This made him very sad.

Truly, a boy whom Allah Ta’ala has made good and fortunate, he is always well-behaved. If coincidentally he does something wrong then he becomes very fearful and as a result his heart grieves and becomes sore. Then he never repeats such an action.

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Story Four: 

One Boy’s Haughtiness and

Another Boy’s Friendliness

A person went to the home of a rich man for some work. The rich man was not at home. However, his son and another boy who was a son of a poor man were sitting there together. The man greeted them. The poor man’s son replied to the greeting and stood out of respect. But the rich man’s son did not move his lips or acknowledge with his hands. He sat quietly and stared at the man’s face. The man was surprised that this was such a rich man, but his son had no manners. He thought to himself that when this boy grows up what good will there be in him? In any case he did his work and left.

A few days thereafter the man saw the rich man’s son walking on the road. He followed him. There were many people walking on the road—old, young, children. But that boy did not make Salaam to anyone. He looked to the right and to the left avoiding looking at anyone and continued his way.

When any poor person would recognize him as the rich man’s son and make Salaam to him then he would either move his head slightly or wave his hand a little. The people of the city were aware of his haughtiness. In view of his bad ways many would not expect any reply of Wa Alaikumus Salaam from him and they would not feel like speaking with him.

Then that man had some work again with the rich man. He went to the rich man’s home but again the rich man was not at home. However, that son of his was there sitting and the poor man’s son was standing in front of him and speaking. The man greeted them. This time also the poor man’s son said, “Wa Alaikumus Salaam,” but the other boy said nothing and remained expressionless. The man asked: “Where is your father?” The son gave no clear answer. The poor man’s son responded: “He is not at home. He went out.” Hearing this, the man went away.

After some time, the man went on a journey to a distant city where he stayed for 10 to 12 years. One day he saw the rich man’s son walking along. He came close to him and asked: “How come you are here in this city?” The rich man’s son replied: My father died and at the time of his death he gave all his money and wealth to my younger brother. Everything was in the custody of my mother who would give me a little. Then I had an argument with my mother and I was forced to leave home. That is why I am here.”

The man asked: “There was a poor man’s son, who would keep company with you. Where is he?” The rich man’s son replied: “He is now a big businessman. His brother is here on a business trip on behalf of him. He saw me in a bad state and taking me to be his old-time friend he sent me with his brother on this trip.”

Listening to his story the man recalled the boy’s haughtiness and the manners and friendliness of the poor man’s son, and said to himself: “This is the misery of haughtiness and acting great, and look at how Allah Ta’ala loves manners and friendliness! Whoever is destined to be good or bad, he follows that path when he is young.”

عاجزی اورخا کساری دولت وعزت دکھاۓ       

فخرومغروری تو خواری سےبڑی ذلت دکھا ۓ

“Humbleness and politeness bring a fortune and respectability.

Boasting and acting great bring utter disgrace and misery.”

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Story Five:

The Humbleness of the Cow

and the Insolence of the Donkey

In a certain village a cow went out grazing in the fields. A donkey was also grazing there. Suddenly a lion appeared on the scene. Out of fear the cow stood still and quiet. It humbly lowered its head and looked down. But the donkey started braying and jumping.

The lion saw that the cow out of fear was standing still and quiet. “It will not run away. But the donkey arrogantly and inconsiderately is jumping and making a big noise. This disrespectful idiot should be taken care of first.” So the lion went after the donkey and dropped it. It filled its stomach with the donkey’s flesh and quenched its thirst with its blood.

As the lion was engaged with the donkey the cow saw the opportunity and made a decision to run for its life. The lion however was not neglectful of the cow. When the cow made a dash the lion went after it. Just then 20 to 30 men from the village appeared on the scene. They had rifles with them which were loaded. Upon seeing the lion they fired 5 to 7 shots at it. The shots hit their target and the lion fell down dead.

Due to the humbleness and respect of the cow it was saved from the first attack of the lion, and through the barkat [blessing] of that humbleness and respect it survived the second assault.

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Story Six:

Hazrat Faqeeh Ali Makhdoom (Rahmatullahi Alaih)

Hazrat Faqeeh Ali Makhdoom Muhaayimi (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) was an outstanding saint, great Aalim and a Friend of Allah Ta’ala. From childhood he was pious and honourable. His respected mother was very devout and would all the time be engaged in Ibaadat and devotion unto Allah Ta’ala. She was the friend of Allah Ta’ala.

From childhood Hazrat Makhdoom Saheb would serve, respect and honour his mother excessively. One night his respected mother asked him for some water to drink. Happily Makhdoom Saheb quickly went and washed the glass with his own hands, filled it with clean and cool water and brought it to his honourable mother.

When he came to her he saw that she had fallen asleep. Makhdoom Saheb kept the glass of water in his hand and stood by silently in anticipation of his mother waking up and asking for the water. However, out of respect he did not disturb her sleep by calling out. Quietly he remained standing and waiting.

When it was close to Fajr his mother woke up and what did she see? Her fortunate son was standing by her bedside with a glass filled with water. She asked: “My Dear Son! How long are you standing here?” With great respect he replied: “You asked for water. I brought it. When I came I saw that you had fallen asleep. I did not wish to wake you up or go from here. I stood here waiting for you to wake up and ask for the water. It is almost morning now.”

When the honourable mother heard the reality and saw his humility she became extremely pleased and realized that her son was indeed a pious boy. In fact, through the grace of Allah Ta’ala he was worthy of being conferred the mantle of sainthood. Mercy engulfed her heart and she raised both her hands in Du’aa unto Allah Ta’ala: “O Creator and Cherisher of His servants! Make this son of mine successful in both worlds. Make him accomplished in Your love and grant him the wealth of Your friendship.”

Her Du’aa was accepted and through the barkat of Makhdoom Saheb’s respect and the Du’aa of his honourable mother he achieved good fortune in Deen and dunya. He became a Wali [Saint] of Allah Ta’ala and he could perform miracles. He passed away in the year 835 of the Hijri [Islamic] calendar. The date of his demise auspiciously stands for ‘Jannaatul Firdous’ or ‘Gardens of Paradise’. His blessed name is alive and well known in the world and his writings are popular and praised all over.

 Poem:

ادب ہے تاج لطفِ رب کا اے یار

اسے سر پر رکھے سو ہووے سردار         

“My Friend! The Crown of Allah’s grace is good behaviour.

Whoever adorns himself with it will be a leader.”

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Part Three: Benefits of Speaking the Truth and Harms of Lying and Backbiting

Story One:

 The Boy who was Honest

and the Boy who was Dishonest

One boy went late to Madrasah. The Ustaad asked: “Why are you so late?” The boy replied: “There was some show on the way. I stood and watched. That is why I am late. Please make me maaf [excuse me]. I will not do so again.”

The Ustaad became happy over him speaking the truth and asking for maaf over his wrong. He thus said: “You spoke the truth and asked for maaf. This is your first ghunaah [wrong, sin]. I will therefore not punish you. But, remember don’t do so again otherwise you will be punished.”

Just then another boy turned up, also late. The Ustaad posed him the same question: “Why are you so late? What were you doing up till now? Why did you not come on time?” The boy replied: “My father sent me for some work. That is why I am late.” Coincidentally his father was passing by. The Ustaad called the father and said to him: “Don’t send your son to do any work during his learning time. See, he has only come now!” The father replied: “I never sent him anywhere!”

Hearing this, the boy became embarrassed. The Ustaad shouted him saying: “Speak the truth; otherwise you will regret it later.” Out of fear the boy spoke: “I was watching with other boys a show on the road. That’s the reason for me being late.” The Ustaad said: “Listen! You have committed two wrongs; one coming late to Madrasah and the second—a major wrong—you spoke a lie.” He then gave the boy a stern warning and some appropriate punishment so that he understood the gravity of speaking lies.

The boy realized that the misfortune he was caught in was on account of the evil of speaking lies.

In the evening he went home. His father also gave him a stern warning. “If the Ustaad never disciplined you I would have taught you a good lesson,” he said. “Now, remember what happened and beware of ever speaking lies! Speak what is the truth. Don’t add or delete anything from your own side. A person loses his reliability because of that and in fact he is punished.

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Story Two:

Mr. Mutthu

There was a person by the name of Mr. Mutthu. When he would speak about something he had the habit of including a couple of lies to his story. He would chatter a lot. When someone would investigate his stories and learn of his lies then he [Mr. Mutthu] would become very embarrassed and he would hide his face. But still he would not give up his bad habit and he would be disgraced.

One day Mr. Mutthu said: “There was a downpour in the city last night and all groceries and food were washed onto the roads. Rain fell heavily flooding the shops. Plenty of goods have been damaged.” When people investigated the news they learned that there was a downpour the previous night. This was true. But, neither were goods washed onto the roads and nor were the shops damaged. Now people firmly believed that Mr. Mutthu was a big liar and that he will never leave his habit of speaking lies. They decided not to listen to him anymore, and if by chance someone did hear what he had say then no trust should be placed in what he said. Poem:

بات جیسی ہوئی ہےو یسی بول

جھوٹ پر کم زیادہ منہ مت کھول

“Relate something just as it took place.

Do not lie by speaking a word more or less.”

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Story Three:

The Man Who Cried, “Robber!”

There was a man who made a noise in his house at midnight screaming falsely, “Robber! Robber! Come! Come! I am going to be killed!” Hearing this, his neighbours and people living nearby came terrified. But they found that nothing had happened. He was crying out falsely and as a joke. In this way he did this two or three times troubling and deceiving people. They made up their minds then never to come running to him when he cries out again.

Not long thereafter one night truly robbers broke into his home. The man called out and called out but no one came. The robbers casually took everything from his home and left.

Thus it is certain that whoever becomes notorious as a liar, even if he speaks the truth he is not trusted.

 Poem:

جھوٹ کہنے میں کوئی ہومشہور

اُسکی سچ بات بھی نہ ہو منظور

“When a person becomes a liar reputed,

the truth he speaks is also rejected.”

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Story Four:

The Woodcutter and the Axe

An old woodcutter would cut the dry branches of a huge shrub by the banks of a river. One day his axe slipped out of his hand and fell into the river. The distressed poor old woodcutter started to cry profusely. Just then a saintly person appeared on the scene. He took pity on the poor weak person and asked: “Old Man! Why are you crying?” “My axe fell into the water. I cannot take it out,” replied the old woodcutter.

The saintly person dived into the water and came out with a golden axe. He showed it to the old woodcutter who said: “Hazrat! This is not mine.” The saintly person dived into the water again and this time he came out with a silver axe. Upon showing it to the woodcutter, the woodcutter said: “Mister! This is not mine.”

The saintly person dived down for the third time and this time he came up with the woodcutter’s axe. The old man recognized it at once. He became extremely happy and said without hesitation: “Yes, this is my axe.” He thanked the saintly person abundantly, very humbly and earnestly. The saintly person was also very happy at the honesty and righteousness of the man and congratulated him. He rewarded him by giving him both the golden and silver axes as well.

When the old man came home he was beaming with happiness. His life changed to one of comfort and ease. He disclosed to his friends all that transpired. After listening to the old man’s story one person immediately took an axe and went to the bank of the river. He threw the axe into the river and sat down crying and moaning.

Again the saintly person appeared and asked him for the reason for his crying. He answered: “Hazrat! My axe fell into the river.” The saintly person dived into the river and came out with a golden axe. The man ran out of greed to grab hold of the golden axe. The saintly person realized that this was a liar and he became displeased. He did not give him the golden axe and he left the man’s axe in the river.

From this episode we can see how a person is honoured through honesty and righteousness and how a person is disgraced through dishonesty and greed.

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Story Five:

 Honesty Defeats Robbery

Hazrat Sayyid Abdul Qaadir Saheb Jilaani (Quddisa Sirruhu) was ready to leave for Baghdad to study as a young man. He came to bid farewell to his mother. His honourable mother was deeply grieved at the thought of him being separated from her. But for the sake of his studies she was constrained to permit him to leave. She gave him forty gold coins which he inherited from his honourable father. The money was sewn into a pocket inside his garment and upon departure she imparted the following advice to him: “Always speak the truth. I trust that you will never go against these words of mine.” Saying this she entrusted him in the care of Allah Ta’ala and bid farewell to him.

The young Abdul Qaadir set out with a caravan. After travelling for a few days the caravan was suddenly attacked by a gang of sixty robbers. The robbers robbed every one of their money and valuables. However, they left Abdul Qaadir Jilaani taking him to be a poor boy. One robber coincidentally asked the boy: “Young man! Do you have anything with you?” “Yes, I have forty gold coins with me,” said Hazrat Abdul Qaadir Jilaani. “Where are they,” asked the robber. The young Abdul Qaadir replied: “Sewn into a pocket on the inside of my robe.” The robber thought that the boy was making a joke. He went away.

Thereafter another robber came and asked: “Do you have anything with you?” The young boy gave the same reply. This robber also went away. Both reported the boy’s words to their leader. The leader told them to bring the young man before him. They brought him before the leader. The leader asked: “What do you have on you?” Abdul Qaadir replied: “Forty gold coins.” “Where?” asked the gang leader. “Show me.” Abdul Qaadir showed him the pocket on the inside of his robe.

The robber said: “O Good Boy! Why have you told us about your money?” The young Abdul Qaadir replied: “My dear mother left me with the advice of always speaking the truth. How can I then go against her advice?”   

These words of Abdul Qaadir Jilaani left such an impression in the heart of the gang leader and fear for Allah Ta’ala gripped him to such an extent that there and then he took the boy’s hand and kissed it. He made taubah [that is, he repented for his evil action of robbery] and returned to everyone in the caravan their money and belongings.

Seeing the action of their leader the other robbers also made taubah. “Our leader has repented. We will recite Istighfaar [Nastaghfirullah: O Allah! Forgive us] before the pious boy and stop our banditry,” they said.

In this way through the barkat [blessings and good fortune] of honesty all of them had a beautiful life in this world and will be rewarded in the Aakhirat [Hereafter], Insha Allah.

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Story Six:

A Crime against Humanity 

One person was speaking with his friend. During the conversation he started saying: “That person [he took the person’s name] is so shameless. He does not pay his debts, yet he sports expensive garments.” The friend replied: “Why are you making his gheebat? Why are you speaking badly about him behind his back? To make gheebat is a major sin. If the person whom you are making gheebat of hears you, he will be so upset. If the fault you mention is really in him then too it is gheebat. If not, then it is tuhmat [slander]. In other words you are making up a story and you are lying. This is another sin.”

The friend who made gheebat became very embarrassed and he told his friend: “I make taubah. I will never make gheebat of anyone again. You have guided me with sympathy. I am happy over this favour of yours.”

Poem:

عیب سے تو بھی بھراہے سر بسر

دو سر وں کے عیب پر طعنہ مت کر

“You are also steeped in evil.

Do not take out the faults of other people”

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Story Seven:

The Tale-Bearing Backbiter

A person went to a wealthy man and trying to gain favour with the wealthy man he said: “So-and-so friend of yours speaks bad about you.”

Listening to this the wealthy man replied: “He has committed one sin. But you have committed three sins.”  “How?” asked the man. The wealthy man replied: “One is that you want to make me annoyed at my friend. Secondly, you have made yourself unreliable by carrying tales. Thirdly, you have to answer to Allah Ta’ala for backbiting. Make taubah from what you are doing. Then Allah Ta’ala will forgive you.”

Poem:

ہے چغلخو ر  چو ر سے بد تر                       لوٹ لیتا ہے دو ستی کا گھر

“Compared to a thief a tale-bearer is worse.

The home of friendship he plunders.”

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Story Eight:

 Shab Guzaari … and Gheebat!

Hazrat Shaikh Sa’di (Rahmatullahi alaih) says: “I was with my father at a certain home spending the entire night in Ibaadat and making Tilaawat. Many people were sleeping around us. I said to my father: “Look at these people! Not one of them is getting up to read two Rakaats Namaaz! All of them are sleeping so heavily, as if they are dead corpses.”

My father spoke: “Son! If you were sleeping it would have been better than you making their gheebat and finding fault with them.”

 Poem:

خدا سے ما نگ نیکی کی ہدایت                   تو خود بد ہے نہ کر کسی کی شکا یت

“Ask Allah Ta’ala for the taufeeq of doing an act of good.

Do not find fault with anyone for you are also not so good”

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Story Nine:

Piercing the Arrow into the Heart

Someone said to a wise man: “So-and-so person swore you.” The wise man thought for a while and then spoke: “Brother! It is as if he who has sworn me has shot an arrow in my back. But you have taken that arrow and pierced it into my heart. Tell me, what joy have you received from this?”

Poem:

غیبتی سے تو خدا بیزار ہے          خلق مین بھی وہ بہت سا خوار ہے

“At a backbiter Allah is disgusted.

Even among people he is detested.”

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Part Four: Ibaadat (Prayers) and Piety

Story One:

The Age of Forming the Habit of Salaat

A rich man had a son of twelve years of age. The father hired the services of an intelligent person to teach and train his son. The son was the darling of his parents. The intelligent person imparted to him words of advice and wisdom with gentleness and kindness, but the boy remained neglectful.

The intelligent person became angry and told the rich man: “I teach your son manners and knowledge with affection and gentleness. When I see him uninterested then too I lovingly and with great effort try to make him understand. But he is still to lazy to read Namaaz. This I cannot tolerate. Either you caution him or give me permission to punish him and bring him on to the correct path.

The rich man replied: “Ustaad Saheb! He is still small. Emphasize to him with wisdom and softness.” The intelligent Ustaad responded: “The order in respect to the upbringing of boys is that when the son reaches seven years of age then stress on him to read Namaaz. And when he reaches ten years of age and still does not read Namaaz then beat him.”

Hearing this, the rich man immediately called his son and in front of the boy he instructed the Ustaad to give his son a good hiding if he does not read Namaaz. “And inform me so that I also teach him a good lesson,” said the rich man. When the boy heard this he became frightened and thereafter he stopped his laziness and carelessness in regard to Namaaz.

Poem:   

لڑ کپن میں جو کچھ عا دت پڑ یگی                           بڑ ھا پے تک وہی خصلت  رہیگی

“Whatever habit you form from childhood,

that same trait will remain through adulthood.”

کہ تا زی ڈالی کو چاہو سوخم دو                        جو سوکھی تو نہ آ  تشِ بن خمیگی

“For a fresh twig you can bend as you desire.

A dry one will not bend even in a forest fire.”

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Story Two:

A Happy Life in this World and in the Next

A person went to an accomplished saint (Buzrug, Wali) and said: “Hazrat! Give me such naseehat [advice] by virtue of which I live nicely in this world and my Aakhirat is also good.”

The saint replied: “Do not let up in the Ibaadat of Allah Ta’ala.”

The man then asked: “Hazrat! What Ibaadat are you referring to?” The saint answered: “Firstly, read all your Namaazes on time. This is a fardh of Allah Ta’ala. Slackness in this regard is a major sin.

Also, learn and remember the laws of Deen and the Shariat which are necessary. Do your work as required by those laws.

And when you have a moment or two free from your work and job, then sit in privacy and think about Allah in your heart. Have fear for him. Think that He is your Master. He sees whatever you do.

If you think about Allah Ta’ala and have fear for him in your heart in this manner, then by virtue of this you will always do good things, through which you will always be happy in this world and you will enjoy the good of the next world.”

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Story Three:

 How to Solve All Your Problems

A person was going to the Masjid to read Namaaz. On the way he met a friend. He asked the friend: “Brother! Where are you going? The friend answered: “What must I tell you? For three days now I am caught up in such a problem that I am confused as to what should I do? The problem is agitating me.”

The person going to the Masjid replied: “Come with me and read Namaaz. Make Du’aa unto Allah Ta’ala to solve your problem and remove all your worries and grief. I am aware that you are lax in reading your Namaaz and for this reason you are gripped in hardship.”

Hearing this, the friend became startled and he thought to himself: “This is true. I am negligent in reading Namaaz.”

In short, he went to Masjid and after performing his Namaaz he repented with humbleness and tears for his wrongs and he made Du’aa profusely.

When he came out of the Masjid he could immediately feel some joy in his heart. He was therefore not unmindful of the next Namaaz.

At night he sat alone, turned his heart to Allah and made Du’aa for his problem to be solved and his need to be fulfilled.

Whenever he had the opportunity he would engage in the remembrance of Allah Ta’ala and occupy himself with Namaaz, Durood and Wazeefahs [prescribed form of Du’aas and Zikr for different occasions]. Through the barkat of this the weight of grief and pain on his heart went away quickly and his problem was solved.

Three or four days later he met his friend who after greeting and asking him of his wellbeing enquired from him about his problem. He replied: “Through the grace of Allah Ta’ala and the medium of Namaaz and Du’aa my problem has been solved and all my worries and troubles are gone.”

It is a certainty that whoever is mindful of Ibaadat his heart is free from worry and the stress of worldly activities. His difficulties became easy and daily his mind is at ease and his heart with peace.

On the other hand one who is lazy in Ibaadat finds it arduous to even do his daily and basic work. He becomes dull and his sustenance lacks blessings.

It is therefore imperative to be conscious of Ibaadat as it is a security against all calamities.

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Story Four:

Shame on You, O Muslim!

A Muslim was on a journey. On the way he met a Hindu. Both travelled together. When it was night they stopped over somewhere. In the morning both moved on and at night they stopped. In the morning they were on their way again.

When they would stop for the night the Hindu would wash up and carry out some acts of worship before eating. After waking up and before the sun rose he would wash his hands and face and make some worship and prayer. Thereafter he would prepare to travel.

During this journey he [the Hindu] did not see the Muslim praying in the morning or in the night. He was surprised.  

On the third night he decided to find out why, and he waited for the morning. When he saw that the Muslim did not make any Ibaadat he asked: “O Muslim! Is this your way? Neither do you worship your God in the day nor in the night!”

The Muslim spoke: “Muslims have to read five Namaazes for the day and night.” “What kind of Muslim are you,” questioned the Hindu.” I did not see you making any Namaaz at any time for these three days.”

The Muslim answered: “What must I do? The day long travel leaves me tired. In this state of weariness I cannot read Namaaz.”

The Hindu responded: “Yet, you do not get tired eating two meals a day! But you are tired to worship that Allah who created you and looks after you? I am disgusted with your company. Looking at the face of a person like you in the morning will spoil my whole day, for whoever is careless in remembering Allah will sooner or later be struck with some calamity and difficulty.”

Poem:

کا ہلی حق کی بند گی میں نہ کر                   کہ نہ آوےگا  درد و غم تجھ پر

“Do not be lazy in Allah Ta’ala’s prayers,

so that you are not smitten with stress and sadness.”

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Story Five:

 What is Ibaadat?

A Moulana was giving a bayaan in a Masjid. “Brothers,” he said, “Always make Ibaadat of Allah Ta’ala in this world and keep on remembering him. Nothing but this is going to help you in the next world.”

A boy who had listened to the Moulana’s bayaan asked his Ustaad: “In the bayaan the Moulana said that we must always make Ibaadat of Allah Ta’ala. It I make Allah Ta’ala’s Ibaadat and his Zikr day and night then when am I going to find time to learn my sabaq [lessons] and come to Madrasah?”

The Ustaad replied: “Learning your sabaq and acquiring Ilm [Islamic knowledge] also fall under Ibaadat, as these are also farz [compulsory] on a person.

Then whatever livelihood you seek and whatever work you do to feed and look after your parents, your wife and your children is also Ibaadat of Allah Ta’ala.

Besides these whatever good acts you engage in is obviously Ibaadat in the Eyes of Allah Ta’ala.”

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Part Five: The Disgrace of Drinking

and the Evils of Drugs and Bad Company

Story One:

Bringing Disgrace on the Family

The son of a wealthy Jew became addicted to liquor. His father became very angry at him. The father would threaten the son and even beat him. But this did not serve any use.

One day, the son was very drunk and lying on the road. The father was informed. His blood started to boil out of embarrassment. Unable to do anything else he sent someone to bring the boy home.

The next day after recovering from his hangover, the son ran away from home fearing the wrath of his father. After much persuasion the son was brought back home upon the father’s instructions.

The father gave a long talk to the boy. For some time he stayed at home.

After several days the urge to do evil overwhelmed him and at midday he went and drank himself drunk. On the road somewhere he fell unconscious. Froth flowed from his mouth and swarms of flies flew around his mouth.

Police constables saw him lying on the ground in a bad state. They put him in their vehicle and rode to the police station.

After he came about the chief-superintendent ordered that his head should be shaved and he be made to stand in the market place all day long. In the evening he should pay a sum as a fine and be set free. If he does not pay the fine then he should be imprisoned for three days, as a warning that whoever drinks himself so drunk that he falls on the road, he will be punished in this manner.

When the father heard of this he became extremely depressed and heartsore. Unwillingly he left the son three days in prison to be punished for his shamelessness. In fact, for the duration of the three days he did not even send food for the son. After three days when the son was released and he came home then for the rest of his life he never again drank liquor.  

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Story Two:

The Root of All Evil

A poor Hindu labourer lived next to a Muslim. The poor Hindu labourer had three sons who also lived with him. The whole day he [the Hindu labourer] would work and he would come home in the evening very tired. Supper time the father would give his sons a little beer as part of his evil habit and he too would drink to take away his tiredness and stress from working. In this way he would fall asleep quickly.

When the father was old and the boys grew up they started earning and feeding the father. They started making and saving a lot of money.

Now they started drinking more than what they usually would drink. They started becoming addicted to beer and even during the day they started drinking.

It was not long thereafter that the only thing they did day and night was to drink. All the time they would remain drunk and out of their senses. They could not even carry on with their jobs. They became lazy and would lie at home the whole day. All the money they had saved was used up in this way.

Then one son joined gangsters and started stealing. But he was caught. The governor passed sentence over him and his hand was amputated.

The second son in a state of intoxication murdered someone. He was brought to justice and beheaded.

The old father came to his Muslim neighbour sobbing and in shame. He heaved heavy sobs relating the fate of the two. He started asking how his third son could be rehabilitated.

The neighbour took pity at the old age of the man and the terrible state of the boys. He asked questions endeavouring to find out the root of the problem. He finally came to the conclusion that all this evil and disgrace was on account of drinking beer. “Had they not been in the habit of drinking sips of beer when they were young,” he said, “then it would not have led them to drink more and more. This day of calamity would then not have come. That is why liquor is such a detestable substance according to Muslims. Anything which leads to intoxication, even drinking or eating a little of it we regard as haraam.

Listen! Although eating or drinking a little may not make one intoxicated, however, many misfortunes arise through it. Now, leave your third son by me to work. I will get him out of the habit of drinking and I will look after him.”

The old Hindu man was very thankful and he left that son of his to work by his Muslim neighbour who brought the boy on the right path with determination by keeping a constant watch over him and not allowing him to go near liquor. Then only he forgot about his beer and he started taking interest in his work.

Poem:

جو کو ئی  پیوےگا  تا ڑی یا شراب                        دو جہاں میں ہووے آخرخراب

جاوے مال اور آبرو اور عا فیت                           پھر خد اکے یہا ں بھی پاوےگا عذاب

“Whoever drinks beer and liquor,

in both worlds his ending is sour.

In money, respect and wellbeing he’s a loser.

Then by Allah also he will he thrown into the Fire”

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Story Three:

Save Yourself Young Man

In one country there was the curse that when a rich man died then often his young sons would throw away his wealth and riches by indulging in drinking and partying. Not long thereafter they would be left penniless and depending on others.

An Aalim travelling the world happened to reach there. When he learnt of this state of affairs he lamented. After much investigation he commented: “The root of this curse is company of evil people. If the uncle or any other senior relative or a friend of the parents sympathises and takes care of the sons after the father’s death and emphasizes upon them not to associate with bad boys, warns them in this regard, utilizes some of their inheritance to earnestly raise them with beautiful qualities then most probably they will not become rotten and they will occupy themselves with their livelihood and work.

Whether a rich man’s son or a poor man’s son it is vitally important for boys to firstly stay far away from the company of bad boys. When they grow up then they should never allow their hearts to be captivated by evil company and they should never entertain the idea of drinking liquor and taking drugs. Bad company and intoxication are two things which before everything else take boys away from the path of virtue, throwing them into the pits of vice.

These two evils start by wasting time in company and engaging in talk which captures the heart. This captivation of the heat is in fact being under the spell of Shaitaan.

When a boy has no character-training and he has no fear for any senior then in his youth he often falls prey to Shaitaan. Now further on what good is going to come from him and what goodness is he going to reap in his life?

Buzrugs [Saintly people] have said: “Intoxication is self-annihilation and evil association ruins one’s life and burns away one’s wealth.”

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Story Four:

A Tragic End

Once, there was a boy who when he was young would go to Madrasah. He would listen to his parents and to his Ustaad. He would be in the company of good boys and stay far away from the company of bad boys. His parents and family would be very happy at his ways.

When the boy would see anyone drinking beer or any other liquor he would become very angry and say to those with him: “Look at this evil! Spending one’s money to disgrace oneself in the eyes of people and be sinful in the eyes of Allah Ta’ala!

His father looked after him well, bought him nice clothes and whatever he required. After some time the father passed away and left behind a huge sum of money. Now the mother started to see to the boy as best as she could. For two to three years after the father passed away he lived well following his mother’s guidance.

Then the madness of youth hood started rumbling in his heart and his mind started becoming obsessed with evil thoughts. He started befriending wayward boys secretly. His mother and his family trusted him. They took him to be a good boy. No one even thought of him becoming immoral, whereas the young master quietly started sitting in the company of new friends.

First he used to listen to their evil talk with interest. But out of fear for his mother and shame he would not go with them to do haraam. He would come away when they would spend their nights at evil places.

After a few more days in their company and their persuasion he started going out with them. They bought beer to drink. They gave him some. He never drank liquor before. He drank some and became nauseous. After vomiting quite a bit he came back to his senses and started making taubah. He started grinding his teeth and telling himself: “I used to laugh at drunken people and now what am I doing? I’m never going to drink again.”

A week past by like that, when suddenly he was struck by the thought of visiting some bad places. Quietly he went alone to a prostitute. She ordered beer for him. He refused at first saying he could not drink it. The prostitute persisted and said to him: “Just drink a little for my sake.”      

Finally, his resistance dropped and he drank some. His eyes became red with intoxication. Fear departed from his heart and the veil of shame was ripped apart. He indulged in sensual pleasures and he was struck down by the sword of zina.

Gradually his heart became more and more attracted and emboldened to drink beer and visit prostitutes. With his friends he became more and more audacious and shameless. After eight or ten months he was drinking just like them, in fact even more and enjoying himself with immoral women. Now he had no shame for anything and no fear for anyone.

His mother would speak to him. Afterwards she also got tired of speaking. Not long thereafter she passed away. Disgraced and distressed the son regularly visited the haunts of prostitutes. Soon he was parting with all his money and selling all his belongings to satisfy his haraam desires and to keep his friendship with bad friends.

The time came when he was without a cent. He went from bad to worse. In this abject state of poverty he died. Someone even had to donate some money for his burial expenses. He died an outcast.

Poem:

گلستان میں کہا سعد ی نے سنۓ                                کہ پند ا یسی مجھے کر باب گزرے   

کہ شہوت آ  گ ہےکر  اس سے  پر ہیز                نہ کردوزخ کی آ  گ اپنے او پر تیز

“Shaikh Sa’di said in Gulistaan, listen!

Give me Naseehat and stop this argumentation.

Desire is a fire, don’t play with it.

Don’t go anywhere near to Jahannam’s heat.”

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Story Five:

Substance Abuse

A person asked a wise man: “There are so many harms of drinking liquor, yet so many people drink. What is the reason for this?”

The wise man replied: “The reason is subtle. Let me explain it to you. Listen attentively and do not forget it.

When a person drinks liquor for the first time then for the first few weeks he sees much benefit in it and he thinks that whatever he eats is digested with his intake of liquor. In this way he has an appetite for more food, his heart is contented and the strength of his body increases.

However, once drinking becomes a habit then liquor becomes his food and all those benefits are suspended. Now the force of intoxication asserts itself on him and he starts to drink more. He derives some benefit in drinking more for sometime.

When that increased intake also becomes normal and like food to him, its benefit diminishes and he feels more intoxicated. Heat builds up in his body. Through this heat the body becomes dry and the veins weak. The mind becomes impaired, one’s senses out of order, the face pale and the eyes crinkled.

The same thing happens with drugs, dagga, etc. An ignorant person gloats at the first joy and deception of liquor and drugs. Feeling some benefit in the beginning, he forgets the harms and disgrace of these things. Then for the rest of his life he is in a bad state and in anxiety.

Some people think that by drinking liquor their weakness will go away and their strength and energy will increase. This is absolutely erroneous. Once the intoxication is gone, one is left even weaker. The hands and feet become infirm, the heart worried and grieved.

The following words are true for all times:

“Drinking is a bad habit.

Disgrace in this world and punishment in the Aakhirat.”

Poem:

شرابی کی خرابی تو  ہے ظاہر                           کہ کھو وے مال اور حرمت کو آ خر

پھر اسکے تن کو اور حبی کو نہ راحت                     اگر چہ مال رکھتا ہو وے وافر                

“The ruin of a drinker is there for everyone to see.

He loses his money and his respect finally.

Neither does he enjoy comfort in his heart and his body,

even though he may have money aplenty.”

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Part Six: The Harms of Craving and Greed and the Benefits of Patience and Contentment

Story One:

 Your Parents’ Food and Your Friends’ Food

There was a poor man who had four sons. Whatever simple food he would get he would feed his sons. One of the sons was mischievous. He would be dissatisfied with the poverty of his father.

This son made friends with the sons of a rich man and now and again he would go to their home and eat. Craving for delicious food he started going more often.

One day he and one of the rich man’s sons had a fight over something. The rich man’s son gave him a good hiding. He punched his head and broke his teeth.

Now he made taubah and said to himself: “The loving dry bread of my father is better than a plate of delicious food dished out with hiding. Had I not craved for nice food and drink then I would not have been beaten today and my teeth would not have been broken.”

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Story Two:

Desiring Other People’s Things

A person had a beautiful coloured scarf. One boy saw it. Now he started coveting it and he made his mind up to take it. When he saw the opportunity he stole it.

When the owner saw his scarf missing, he looked everywhere for it. After much searching he found it by that boy. He beat the boy, warned the boy and made him embarrassed.

Other boys started to call him scarf-rogue. When the boy’s father came to know of his son’s theft he gave his son a sound beating. Thus take a lesson of how bad craving is. It brings utter disgrace and embarrassment.

Poem:

طمع میں ہے رسوائی اور دردسخت          نہ کر کچھ طمع گر تو ہے نیک بخت

“Craving brings disgrace and bitterness.

Do not crave if you are righteous.”

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Story Three:

Not Satisfied with Your Lot?

A person was working for someone. His monthly salary was R5000. After a few years working there greed overtook his heart. He thought to himself: “Many people earn much more than what I earn. I will quit this job and look for a higher-paid work.”

He was restless with this thought. It so happened that one day he received an offer of work for R10 000 a month. But after only three months of work at his new employer he was forced to leave.

Now he wanted to go back to his previous employer but he [the previous employer] had hired the services of someone more capable and hardworking. Now, he had no work and for quite some time he went around begging for work in disgrace. He cursed his own greed.

He regretted deeply being greedy for more and in the process losing everything. In desperation he accepted some employment for only R3000 a month. Thereafter he stayed far away from greed and craving for more.

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Story Four:

The Greedy Dog

A hungry dog stole a chunk of meat from a butcher’s shop and went to the river. The water of the river was very clear. When the dog looked into the river he saw his reflection in it, but he thought that it was another dog with a chunk of meat in its mouth.

Out of greed the dog at the river bank opened its mouth to bark and snatch away the other dog’s chunk of meat. He just opened his mouth and the meat he was holding in his mouth fell into the water.

This is what happens when you are greedy for more; you do not get what you are craving for and you lose even that which you do have.

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Story Five:

The Fatal Poison of Greed

Two people left their city travelling to another city. They travelled for fifteen to twenty days when they were passing on a desolated road. There they found a purse filled with gold coins. They became overjoyed and decided to return home with it quickly.

When it was night time they came close to a certain town. After Fajr one of them went to the bazaar of the town to buy food. The other person stayed behind looking after the gold coins.

The one who went to buy food thought to himself: “My companion is going to take half of the gold coins. I would be better off if I kill him.” He therefore bought some poison and returned.

Upon his return the other partner said to him: “Friend! I wish to buy something from town. While I am away prepare the food.” This brought joy to the first person and he started his preparation.  

When the second person went to town the same thought of killing his companion and taking all the gold coins crept into this person’s mind. He decided not to let his companion get any of the gold coins and to achieve this he also bought some poison to kill his friend and he returned.

The first person was busy preparing the meal. He sprinkled poison in the food and drink of his companion. His companion also looked for a chance and he added poison to the other one’s food and drink.

Both sat down to eat. After they had eaten, just two or three minutes passed when the poison started to take effect and they started vomiting. A few minutes later both were dead.

Had both of them been contented with their share and had both of them saved themselves from the snares of greed then they would have enjoyed themselves with the gold coins they found and they would not have died through poisoning.

[Important Mas-alah: Actually it was not even permissible for them to keep the gold coins for themselves. They were required by the Shariah to establish the rightful owner and return the money to the owner. In the event of the owner being unknown it was Waajib on them to make Sadqah (give in charity) the gold coins to the poor on behalf of the owner.

If they were poor and desperate then it would have been permissible for them to utilize the gold coins they found. However, in this case, as well as in the case of making Sadqah of the coins, had the owner turned up and demanded his money they would have had to reimburse the owner. Discarding the beautiful teachings of Islam they met with a disastrous fate.]

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Story Six:

The Discontented Parrot

A wealthy man had a parrot. He just adored the parrot. He would feed it with luxury food and always be mindful of it. Its cage was lovely. It was decorated very beautifully. The man would feed the parrot on most occasions himself and he would be present when the cage would be cleaned out. Daily he would place the cage in the middle of the garden so that the parrot could have fresh air and it could stay healthy.

The family of the wealthy man also loved the parrot. They would lovingly stroke their hands over its feathers and speak to it with affection.

Notwithstanding such a bounty, such comfort and such love and attraction the parrot just wanted to escape from the prison of the cage and fly around freely on the branches of shrubs in the field.

One day the door of the cage was open. The parrot was just waiting for such an opportunity for a long time. Quietly he slipped out of the cage and flew away.

It firstly flew to a nearby field. From there it took flight to a field even further away. Sometimes it would get food, sometimes it would not. Sometimes it would just sit hungry and thirsty. It never even came close to smelling anything like the wonderful food it used to eat day and night at its master’s home.

A week or so passed by in this manner when a severe storm broke out. Incessant rain and terrifying thunder and lightning came down. The parrot was battling to survive in the terrific storm. Due to the heavy rain it could not sit at ease and there was no chance for it to fly. It started to shiver and die. As the last few breaths of its life departed it said: “Alas! Had I been contented with my lot in the cage and had I made sabr over my difficulty in that confinement then I would not have died so terribly.”

[Lesson: Allah Ta’ala is our Master, Owner and Creator. We are His servants and we belong to Him. He showers His favours of food, drink, clothes, fresh air, etc upon us day in and day out. We are simply required to remain within the confines of His Shariah—the Deen of Islam—in appreciation of His countless favours. If we leave those sacred confines we can expect a terrible death; like the death of the discontented parrot.

Mas-alah: It is not permissible to cage such birds that can fend for themselves in the open. Furthermore, it is best to keep small birds born in cages and unable to survive in the open in spacious cages. Many people are neglectful in this regard.]

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Story Seven:

Shaikh Sa’di’s Lesson

Hazrat Shaikh Sa’di (Rahmatullahi alaih) says: “Once I did not have shoes to wear. On account of this I was somewhat disheartened. The Qudrat of Allah Ta’ala; just then my eyes fell on a person who didn’t have feet! When I saw this I expressed my gratitude unto Allah Ta’ala and I adopted patience over not having shoes.

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Story Eight:

Be Contented and Grateful

For That Which Allah Ta’ala Gives You

There was a man who was very pious and learned. His holiness and fear for Allah Ta’ala were famous among people.

One day a person came to him and started to tell him about his problems. The visitor said: “I have a family of four and I only earn R3000 a month. This is not sufficient for my needs. Make du’aa to Allah Ta’ala for His bounties to come down upon me.”

After him another person came and said: “Hazrat! I have a family of five to feed and I only earn R4000 a month. This is not sufficient for my expenses.”

When he went away, a short while thereafter a third person came. He said: “Hazrat! We are seven at home and I only earn R5000 wages per month.”

The Buzrug saw that each person was unhappy over his lot inspite of earning more than others. But if a person wishes to stay happy in this world and successful in the Hereafter then it is incumbent that he be contented over whatever Allah Ta’ala has given him and he should be patient and grateful. By virtue of this the Gracious Creator and Sustainer Who is the One unto whom we should entrust our affairs will grant us more.

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Story Nine:

A True Mu-min in the Face of Adversity

A person went to a Buzrug and said: “Hazrat! I have lost a lot of money. Due to this I am in a lot of difficulty.”

The Buzrug replied: “For a Mu-min not to experience some money problems and not to be afflicted with some difficulty is a danger-sign. Allah Ta’ala tests the one whom He has befriended with loss in his wealth and pain in his body. The Mu-min is put into some difficulty or the other so that he who is true in his Imaan is recognized from he who is an impostor.

Whoever carries out these three practices is indeed fortunate: Number One: He is contented with whatever command Allah Ta’ala has decreed in regard to him.

Number Two: He is patient over any pain or adversity that overcomes him. He does not become impatient.

Number Three: When he receives wealth or something good then he verbally expresses Shukr unto Allah Ta’ala as well as physically; that is he utilizes the bounty he has received for the benefit of others.”

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Story Ten:

Fantasies Go Up in Smoke

There was a recluse who stayed next to a shopkeeper. By virtue of this the recluse lived happily and with ease. The shopkeeper sold honey and ghee. Every day he would send some honey and ghee to the recluse.

The recluse would use some of the honey and ghee and the leftover he would carefully store away in earthen pots. One day he looked at the earthen pots and thought to himself: “When the pots are filled I will sell them and purchase five goats. In six months they will give birth and each will have two kids. Every year I will have twenty kid goats. After five years I will have a huge flock.

I will deal in goats, selling and earning my livelihood. I will then look for a wife from a respectable family and marry. After nine months a boy will be born. I will bring him up and educate him. I will teach him good manners. If by chance he is badly behaved I will put him straight with this stick of mine.”

Whilst lost in this thought and thinking that his “badly behaved son” is in front of him he lifted his stick and started striking the earthen pots of honey and ghee. The pots were on an elevated shelf. When he hit, the pots broke and honey and ghee splashed on his head, face and clothes. All his fantasies disappeared like a puff of smoke. Poem:

“Do not crave for a lot and lose your little.

Contentment over a little brings you a lot.”

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Story Eleven:

True Gratitude

It is said that Sultan Mahmood [a mighty king of central Asia] was very fond of Ayaaz [Sultan Mahmood’s slave] and hence all the ministers and attendants of the king’s court harboured enmity towards Ayaaz.

One day all of them told the king: “Everyday Ayaaz is alone in the treasure chamber. It appears that he is stealing from the treasure chamber, otherwise what work does he have there?”

The king replied: “When I see that with my own eyes I will believe it.”

The next day the courtisans informed the king that Ayaaz was in the treasure chamber. The king looked through a lattice window and what did he see?

Ayaaz opened a chest and took out some old and dusty clothes which he wore and gazed at. The king immediately went inside and asked Ayaaz: “Ayaaz! Why have you put on such worn out clothes?” Ayaaz replied: “Your Highness! When I was as yet not honoured with your service I had these garments. Now through your wealth and good fortune I wear beautiful garments. I wear my old clothes daily so as not to forget about my former condition and so that I be aware of Allah Ta’ala’s favour upon me.”

When the king heard this he became delighted. He embraced Ayaaz and gave him a higher rank in the Royal Court.

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The End

All praises are due unto Allah Ta’ala from beginning to end.

May Allah Ta’ala grant us beautiful character and may He make us embodiments of noble service unto Him.

Aameen

Translated and Published by:

Jamiatul Ulama Gauteng

 PO Box 264 De Deur 1884

South Africa

Fax: 0027 16 590 2280

E-mail: ulama@thejamiat.co.za

1st Edition

Ramadhaan 1430/September 2009

Don’t raise your children to hate Madrassa

A Madrassa is an environment in which Islam is discussed and implemented. The mercy of Allah descends upon Madrassas. In the sight of Allah they are blessed places. It is saddening how some parents view them like a detention for naughty children. Or they assume it is a place for children who cannot excel in academic studies, as though Madrassa is easier or less significant. Some do their children a disservice, by threatening to send them to Madrassa if they misbehave.

Back in the days, if a child was naughty, parents would say that if you don’t start behaving, we will send you to Mia’s Farm. Mia’s Farm was one of the first Darul Ulooms in South Africa. It paved the way for the establishment of many other Darul Ulooms. Mia’s Farm has produced countless Aalims who have travelled extensively throughout South Africa and abroad to spread the Deen. Such a noble Darul Uloom was reduced to a mere naughty corner for naughty children. This is inappropriate. Perhaps the same example is not given nowadays. However, telling a child that I’ll send you to Madrassa or its teachers if you misbehave, are still common threats. Avoid doing this. If your child needs reprimanding, do it yourself. That is your duty as a parent. Don’t drag the Madrassa and its teachers into this. Of course, this doesn’t negate the fact that our scholars are readily available to advise where necessary. But some parents take this out of context.

We should speak of madrassa in a positive light. Give it preference to help children understand what matters most. Nowadays, we do the opposite. Many parents are unconcerned if their child performs poorly in madrassa. Whereas for school, they expect sterling results. Some parents book their children’s appointments in madrassa time rather than school. Or children miss madrassa for flimsy reasons. Some time back when I used to teach in a maktab, a child came up to me in class, apologising for his absence the day before. When I asked the reason, he responded that he had a test at school. Unsurprisingly, his mum made him skip madrassa to revise for that test. I instructed him to tell his mum that he has a big test at madrassa tomorrow. Thus, he needs to skip school to revise. He began laughing and responded that mum will never allow that.

From the onset, this child has already learnt that if you have to choose between deen and dunya, give dunya preference. This is one of the reasons why we have many businessmen or professionals who are willing to sacrifice their fardh Salah for work. Many don’t feel guilty as they were raised with that mindset. This needs to stop. Otherwise, children will become frightened to attend madrassa or they will view it negatively. Fix this mindset before it is too late. May Allah forgive us and grant us the ability, aameen.

— Shaykh Dawood Seedat حفظه اللّٰ

Manners and Respectof a Religious Teacher in Islam

Manners and Respect of a Religious Teacher in Islam
• The teacher is a spiritual father
• The teacher is an inheritor of the Prophets ‘alaihim us salaam
• It is obligatory to obey him
• Respect and revere him
• Stand up in respect on his arrival in class
• Greet him with salaam first
• Shake hands with both hands when meeting him
• Never raise or spread your legs towards him
• Listen to him carefully when he is speaking
• Be quiet when he is speaking
• Always try to obey him
• Speak to him very gently
• Do not turn your back towards him
• Do not argue with him
• Do not make him angry
• Do not sit on his masnad (seat)
• Dress in a respectable way according to the Sunnah wearing a
hat or an ‘Imaamah (Turban) or a scarf
• When he is answering a question wait for him to finish before speaking


O Allah grant me the ability to honour, respect and fulfil the rights of my teacher aameen

Making her Dream a Reality

(Mother of Moulana Muhammad ‘Umar Paalanpuri [rahimahumullah] –)

It had always been the aspiration and desire of the mother of Moulana Muhammad ‘Umar Paalanpuri (rahimahullah) that her son should become an ‘Aalim of Deen, and Allah Ta‘ala made this dream of her’s a reality.

Maryam Khaalah had once narrated the hadeeth to her which mentions that the parents of the haafiz of the Quraan Majeed will be honoured by being made to wear crowns of noor on the Day of Qiyaamah. Hearing this hadeeth, his mother began to weep and said to her son, “My son! I want you to learn the Quraan Majeed, and you must learn Saheeh Bukhaari as well!” Moulana (rahimahullah) asked, “What will happen to my school/secular education?” His mother replied, “That is not my concern – my only concern is that you acquire the knowledge of Deen!”

At the age of seven, Moulana (rahimahullah) enrolled into a school in Bombay. It was the following year, when he was eight years old, that his father passed away. Moulana (rahimahullah) remained in school for five years, until the year 1942, when he returned with his mother to spend the holiday in his hometown. While he was at home during the holiday, his mother began sending him to the local madrasah in which a very pious ‘Aalim, Moulana ‘Abdul Hafeez Jalaalpuri (rahimahullah), was teaching. Moulana ‘Abdul Hafeez (rahimahullah) showed him special attention, and under his tutelage, Moulana progressed tremendously, studying no less than fifty kitaabs in one year.

During the course of this year, Moulana ‘Abdul Hafeez (rahimahullah) needed to return to his hometown in the province of U.P., over a thousand kilometers away. He sent a message to Moulana’s (rahimahullah) mother saying, “I want to take your son with me to my hometown so that his studies will not suffer (and I can continue to teach him).” Moulana’s (rahimahullah) mother was determined to make her son an ‘Aalim, so she acquired a loan of fifty rupees due to her financial constraints, and sent him to study Deen.

When Moulana’s (rahimahullah) mother initially took the decision to send him to madrasah to become an ‘Aalim, her relatives from Bombay came to her and attempted to convince her to keep him in school, especially as he was excelling and had achieved remarkable grades. They even said to her, “What will become of him when he is a Moulana? If you do not give him school education, how will he earn a livelihood? He will even be dependent on people for his roti!” To this, his mother replied, “If he studies Deen correctly, then Allah Ta‘ala will cause the world to fall at his feet.”

Moulana (rahimahullah) was once reading to his mother from a certain book when she spontaneously said, “O my son! Today, you are reading to me and only I am listening to you! Allah Ta‘ala will bring the day when hundreds of thousands of people will listen to you! I have no doubt regarding this!”

(Sawaanih Moulana Muhammad ‘Umar Paalanpuri (rahimahullah) pgs. 59-63 and Mithaali Khawaateen pgs. 271-273)

Lessons:

  1. Every parent has aspirations and dreams for their child, and they are prepared to make any sacrifice for their child’s sake. Moulana’s (rahimahullah) mother was no different – however her dream was for her son to become an ‘Aalim of Deen, serving Islam and spreading the message of Allah Ta‘ala. For this purpose, she was even prepared to send her young son over a thousand kilometres away with his ustaaz, and even took a loan to fund his studies.
  2. When faced with the opposition of her family, Moulana’s (rahimahullah) mother stood firm. She explained that if her son studied Deen correctly (i.e. he works with dedication and studies solely for the sake of pleasing Allah Ta‘ala – not for any other motive), then Allah Ta‘ala will most certainly look after him. In fact, the words that she used were ‘the world will fall at his feet’ – and this became a reality.
  3. Moulana’s (rahimahullah) mother wanted him to become an ‘Aalim so that he would become her investment in the Hereafter, and so that he could help her to improve her Deen. Hence, although he was the son and she was the mother, she would ask him to teach her and educate her regarding different aspects of Deen. This clearly highlights the level of her sincerity and her zeal for Deen.

33 Reasons to study under a Tutor

Knowledge is attractive and it’s something everybody needs. However, when the correct procedure is not followed, the desired results are lost. The trend of self-study that has become ever so popular in the current times actually contributes to the destruction of pure knowledge. The boom of the internet and its search engines have also contributed to this trend. What follows is an in-depth look at the “Need for a Tutor”

 

Introduction

To acquire knowledge under the expertise of a fully qualified, Sunnah-conscious Alim of Din is absolutely essential. Failure to do so will result in misguidance. In fact, the system of tutorship has been adopted throughout time and was even the practice of the Ambiya (‘alayhimus salam) and our pious predecessors. This is the only way in which one will acquire pure authentic knowledge. An added benefit is that one will also discover how to respect the people of knowledge. (see: Adabul ikhtilaf of Shaykh Muhammad ‘Awwamah, pg.162 and Ma’alim Irshadiyyah, pg.159)

A common supplication of the Salaf (pious predecessors) was:

التعوذ بالله من تشييخ الصحيفة

“They would seek refuge in Allah from having paper as their shaykh/tutor”

(Ma’alim Irshadiyyah of Shaykh Muhammad ‘Awwamah, pg.179)

 

What follows are a few substantiations for this phenomenon;

 

Quranic Verses

  1.     In this world, there will always be a) Those who know, and b) those who don’t. In this regard, Allah Ta’ala instructs us in the Quran, “Ask the people of knowledge if you do not know.” (Surah: 21, Verse: 7)

2. The Holy Quran was revealed by Almighty Allah Ta’ala for guidance and knowledge of the ummah. But, without the explanation of Rasulullah (sallallahu ’alayhi wasallam) the meanings would definitely be misunderstood. Allah Ta’ala addresses Rasulullah (sallallahu ’alayhi wasallam) in the Quran

And we have revealed to you the Quran, so that you may explain to the people what was revealed to them.”

(Surah: 6, Verse: 44)

This is the strongest, most evident proof for this issue.

 

Substantiation from Hadith

3.     Sayyiduna Mu’awiyah (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu ’alayhi wasallam) said:

«يا أيها الناس تعلموا، إنما العلم بالتعلم والفقه بالتفقه، ومن يرد الله به خيرا يفقهه في الدين»

 “O people! Acquire knowledge, for it can only be acquired through tutorship. You will only understand if you are made to understand (i.e, by a teacher). Allah Ta’ala grants the understanding of religion to those whom he intends good for.” (Tabarani and others; see Fathul Bari and ‘Umdatul Qari, before Hadith: 68)

There are several narrations with similar wordings that can be seen in the above two sources.

 

The famed commentator of Sahih Bukhari; Hafiz ibn Hajar (rahimahullah) explains: “This means that reliable knowledge is only that which is acquired from the Ambiya (Prophets) and their heirs (the ‘Ulama)”

A similar explanation is echoed by ‘Allamah ‘Aini (rahimahullah) in his commentary of Sahih Bukhari.

They both have graded this narration as “hasan” (sound)

 

4.     While emphasizing this point ‘Allamah Shatbi (rahimahullah) writes: “The proof for this in the Sahih Hadith: “Indeed Allah will not take away knowledge (from this world) by snatching it away at once, rather He will do so by taking away the ‘Ulama” (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith:100)

He writes further: “There is therefore no doubt that the keys to knowledge are its bearers” (Adabul ikhtilaf, pg.174)

 

5.     Under the commentary of the above Hadith, Hafiz Ibn Hajar (rahimahullah) quotes a narration from Musnad Ahmad that says: “Indeed, the departure of the people of knowledge is actually the exodus of knowledge itself.”

(Fathul Bari, Hadith: 100)

 

The Pattern of the Ambiya (‘alayhimus salam)

6.     Nabi Dawud (‘alayhis salam) is said to have benefited immensely from Luqman Al-Hakim, before Dawud (‘alayhis salam) received prophethood. (Tafsir Qurtubi)

 

7.     Luqman Al-Hakim actually advised his own son with the same:

“O my son! Sit in the company of the ‘Ulama and stick your knees to theirs, for Allah revives the hearts with the wisdom (acquired from them) just as he revives barren land with the rain”

(Jami’u Bayanil ‘ilm; ma’alim Irshadiyyah, pg.164)

 

 

8.     Sayyiduna Musa’s (‘alayhis salam) sojourn to Nabi Khidhr (‘alayhis salam) is well-known and enshrined in the Holy Quran.

 

9.     Sayyiduna Yusha’ ibn Noon (‘alayhis salam) stayed in the company of Nabi Musa (‘alayhis salam) for a long while before receiving prophethood himself.

 

The Statements of the Salaf

10.  Furthermore, during the era of the Tabi’un, whenever anyone would claim to have any knowledge, he would be questioned as to whom he had acquired that bit of knowledge from. (Introduction to Sahih Muslim)

 

11. Khatib al-Baghdadi (rahimahumullah), the famous muhaddith of the fifth century, states in his book, Taqyidul-Ilm (pg.61), “Many scholars of the classical times had – at the time of death – either destroyed their books themselves or instructed others to do so on their behalf. This was due to fear that it may end up in the hands of ignorant ones who would not understand its verdicts and would only take the apparent meanings there from.”

He thereafter cited the names of classical scholars who had done so. From among them were: Imam Abidah al-Salmani, Imam Shu’bah ibn Hajjaj, Imam Abu Qilabah and Imam ‘Isa ibn Yunus (rahimahumullah)(Ibid pgs.61-62)

 

12.  When Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) was informed of a group of people that sit in a “halaqah” (circle) discussing Fiqh (Issues of jurisprudence) in the Masjid, he enquired: “Do they have a leader (Teacher)?” The reply was negative to which he responded: “These people will never acquire (true) fiqh ever” (Adab al-Ikhtilaf pg.164 and Ma’alim Irshadiyyah, pg.163, both of Shaykh Muhammad ‘Awwamah, Al-Faqih wal Mutafaqqih, vol.2 pg.83)

 

13. Imam Malik (rahimahullah) was once asked if knowledge could be acquired from one who did not sit in the company of the Ulama (and who sufficed with books only). He replied in the negative and said:

“Knowledge should not be acquired except from one who has memorized, accompanied the scholars, practiced upon his knowledge and has piety in him.”

(Adabul-Ikhtilaf pg.165 and Ma’alim Irshadiyyah, pg.163)

 

14. Ibn Rushd (rahimahullah) writes: “In the earlier times knowledge was found in the chests of men. Then it was transferred to books, but the keys still remain in the chests of men. Therefore a student definitely requires a tutor who will open up for him the discussions and ways of understanding” (Footnotes on Adabul ikhtilaf, pg.174 and Ma’alim Irshadiyyah, pg.174)

 

15. Katib Baghdadi (rahimahullah) writes: “It is necessary for a learner to have a teacher under whom he could study, and one whom he could refer to for answers to difficult matters. (Al-Faqih wal Mutafaqqih, vol.2 pg.83 An-Nasihah li Ahlil Hadith, pg.259)

 

16. Imam Shatbi (rahimhaullah) mentions: “Books alone will not benefit a student in any way, unless there are ‘Ulama who will open up (the discussions and explain it) to them. This is common fact.” (Adabul ikhtilaf, pg.178)

 

The System of the Salaf

One who studies the life of the Scholars of the past, will easily notice the lengthy periods they would spend on sojourn and in the company of their tutors. This is referred to as: “Mulazamah” or “Tulus Suhbah”.

This is clear in the lives of the Sahabah and Tabi’un and all those that followed. They acquired their knowledge from the bracket of believers before them. A Tabi’i could only attain the term “Tabi’i” after coming into physical contact with a Sahabi.

Merely sufficing on attending a few lessons (or a Maqra-ah, like has become common nowadays) isn’t considered as “Mulazamah”-perseverance. (see footnotes on Ma’alaim Irshadiyyah, pg.177)

 

17.  Imam Malik (rahimahullah) said:

“Some men would sometimes attend the lessons of his teacher for thirty years!”

(Adabul ikhtilaf, pg.171)

 

18.  Here are ten examples from an exhaustive list:

1)     Nu’aim Al-Mujmir (rahimahullah) spent twenty years in the company of Sayyiduna Abu Hurairah (radiyallahu’anhu) (Adabul ikhtilaf, pg.171)

2)     Thabit Al-Bunani (rahimahullah) spent forty years with Sayyiduna Anas (radiyallahu ’anhu) (Adabul ikhtilaf, pg.171)

3)     Nafi’ ibn ‘Abdillah said: “I spent forty years attending the lesson of Imam Malik (rahimahullah) (Adabul ikhtilaf, pg.172)

4)     Al-Qa’naby also spent twenty years with Imam Malik (rahimahumallah) (Tartibul Madarik)

5)     Imam ‘Abdur Rahman ibnul Qasim (rahimahullah) spent seventeen years by Imam Malik. (Tartibul Madarik; see: Safahat min sabril ‘Ulama, pg.116)

6)     Muhammad ibn Ja’far was with Shu’bah (rahimahumallah) for twenty years (Khulasatul Khazrajy, pg.330)

7)     Abu Safwan, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abdil Malik was with Ibn Juraij (rahimahumallah) for ten years (Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 3353)

8)     Muhammad ibn Bashar was with Yahya Al-Qattan (rahimahumallah) for twenty years.

9)     Salamah ibn Shabeeb spent forty years by Imam ‘Abdur Razzaq (rahimahumallah) (Al-Jami’u li akhlaqir rawi, vol.2 pg.265)

10)  Imam Muslim accompanied Imam Bukhari (rahimahumallah) for six years. (Siyar A’lamin Nubala)

 

19.   The Hanafi Jurist, Ibn Nujaim (rahimahullah) explains the reason for this: “… and so it may become known that knowledge cannot be attained without constant referral, repeated effort and tutorship.” (Adabul ikhtilaf, pg. 172)

20.  Imam Shatbi (rahimhaullah) mentions: “The proof for the success of this system lies in the fact that every upright scholar that became popular and acceptable to the masses in his era actually had a teacher who enjoyed the same in his time.” (Adabul ikhtilaf, pg.176)

 

Also see Imam Shafi’is (rahimahullah) advice at the end of this article.

 

21.  Their lengthy sojourns

Another point of discussion here is the lengthy periods the salaf would spend on sojourn. Merely sufficing on the books doesn’t force a person to travel abroad and remain there for the periods of time that the salaf spent.

1)     Imam Baqy ibn Makhlad (rahimahullah) had embarked on two sepearte journeys in search of knowledge; the first one lasted fourteen years, and the second: twenty years! (Safahat min sabril ‘Ulama, pg.60)

2)     Imam Ibn Mandah (rahimahullah) spent forty five years away from home! (Safahat min sabril ‘Ulama, pg.65)

3)     Imam Ya’qub ibn Sufyan Al-Fasawi (rahimahullah) said: “I remained on sojourn for thirty years”! (Safahat, pg.61)

 

22.  Scanning the earth

During these journeys, the scholars would leave no city, village or town which had teachers of knowledge un-visited.

 

a)     Ibnul Jawzi (rahimahullah) writes regarding Imam Ahmad (rahimahullah): “He travelled the entire (Islamic) world twice before compiling his Musnad” (Saidul khatir; Safahat min sabril ‘Ulama, pg.54)

b)     Ibnul Muqri (rahimahullah) said: “I travelled from the East to the West (of the Islamic Empire) four times, and I visited Baitul Maqdis alone ten times”!!! (Safahat min sabril ‘Ulama, pg.64)

c)      Several Muhaddithun have compiled booklets in which they narrated forty ahadith from forty different sahabah, which they heard from forty diverse Shuyukh that lived in forty different towns!

 

23.  Not just one Tutor!

The Salaf never appease themselves with just one or two tutors. Their teachers sometimes numbered in the thousands!

1)     Imam Bukhari (rahimahullah) said: “I have written hadith from 1080 teachers” (Hadyus Sari, pg.670)

2)     Imam Ibn Hibban (rahimahullah) said: “I have perhaps written ahadith fom more than 2000 teachers” (Tadhkiratul Huffaz, vol.3 pg.921)

3)     Ibn Mandah (rahimahullah) had 1700 Shuyukh” (Tadhkiratul Huffaz, vol.3 pg.1032)

4)     Imam ‘Abdullah ibnul Mubarak (rahimahullah) had acquired knowledge from 4000 teachers. (Tadhkiratul Huffaz, vol.1 pg.276)

5)     Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) is said to have had 4000 teachers from the Tabi’un only! (Ibn Hajar Al-Haitami in Al-Khairatul Hisan; see Atharul Hadith, pg.176)

6)     Hafiz ‘Iraqi (rahimahullah) writes about Imam Qasim ibn Dawud Al-Baghdadi (rahimahullah): “He said: I wrote Hadith from 6000 shuyukh”!! (footnotes on Safahat, pg.64)

 

Disdain towards those who failed in this regard

24.  My most respected teacher, Shaykh Muhammad Awwamah (an unparalleled muhaddith of these times) mentions beautifully in his book, Adab al-Ikhtilaf: “They (the ‘Ulama) never paid attention to one who did not have any ustadh (teacher), neither would they consider such a person worthy of even being spoken to due to him being prone to mistakes.”

He further says: “Qadi Iyad (rahimahullah) and others have narrated that when Imam Ahmad ibn Hambal (rahimahullah)was requested by the ruler of his time (al-Mu’tasim) to discuss a certain matter with ibn Abi Du’ad, he (Imam Ahmad) turned his face away and said:

“How can I converse with a person whom I have never seen at the door of any ‘Alim ever!”

(Adabul ikhtilaf pg.144)

 

25.  When Abu Ja’far Ad-Daudi objected to a view of the upright Scholars of his time, they retorted: Keep quite! You have no teacher!”

(Adabul ikhtilaf, pg.164)

 

26.  Shaykh ‘Awwamah (may Allah protect him) also states: “All of us have a lineage. A student also needs a family tree for his knowledge, which consists of his teachers. One who has no teacher, is actually illegitimate in his knowledge; like a person whose identity and lineage is unknown. He holds no weight.” (Golden guidelines -English-, pg.8,  Ma’alim Irshadiyyah, pg.160 and Adabul ikhtilaf, pg.164)

 

The Harms of Failure

27.   Imams Muhammad ibn Sireen, Hakam ibn Atiyya and Waki’ ibn al-Jarrah (rahimahumullah) have all said that the primary cause for the misguidance of the Banu Isra’il was the books that they inherited from their forefathers. (Taqyidul-Ilm pg.61 and its footnotes)

 

28.  In fact, since the compilation of knowledge is also an indirect cause of the people slackening in attending the lessons of the ‘Ulama, Imam Awza’i (rahimahumullah) said:

“Knowledge was sublime for as long as it was obtained from the mouths of the learned men. But when it ended up in books, its nur (divine light) disappeared.”

(Taqyidul-Ilm, pg.64)

In one version he says:

“…when it ended up in books, those who were non eligible crept in!”

(Sunan Darimi, Hadith: 467)

NoteThe purpose of the previous two quotations is to prove that mere studying of books is incorrect and void of divine assistance. The ideal would be to study those very same books under the auspices of a learned teacher. Undermining the books of Shari’ah is not the intent.

 

29.   Shaykh Muhammad ‘Awwamah provides another angle to this discussion by saying: “How could we expect respect from one who hasn’t acquired knowledge from the ‘Ulama, and hasn’t remained in their company for a lengthy period whereby he could have inculcated their habits? How could such a person recognize the value of the ‘Ulama? Hence when he criticizes them verbally or with his pen, it brings no surprise! It is guaranteed, that he who attends the gatherings of the ‘Ulama will indeed begin to respect them” (Adabul Ikhtilaf, pg.172 and Ma’alim Irshadiyyah, pg.172)

 

30.  ‘Allamah Ibn Hajar Haitami (rahimahullah) writes: “Whoever attained knowledge from the books only, became a deviate that misled others too.” (Fatawa hadithiyyah; see Adabul ikhtilaf, pg.165)

 

31.  Al-Shatbi (rahimahullah) writes: “Most of the deviated sects and individuals who opposed the sunnah were culprits of failing in this regard.” (i.e, they never had tutorship) (Adabul ikhtilaf, pg.176)

 

Conclusion

32.  It’s a sad trend nowadays that people attend a few lessons of a particular Islamic subject and then try to figure out the rest by themselves. It gets worse, when some merely engage in “self study” by relying upon books, computer programs or on searching the internet for information with which they fill up their “fatwas” or “articles” without any guidance or supervision of a qualified specialist in that field.

 

33.  I end this discussion with the translation of a famous poem which is attributed to Imam Shafi’i (rahimahullah) and is quite famous on the tongues of the ‘Ulama. He says:

Oh my brother!
You will never acquire knowledge
Without the following six essentials;
Intelligence, desire, poverty,
Sojourn, tutorship of a shaykh (teacher)

Accompanied by a long consistent period (of studying under him)

(Adabul ikhtilaf, pg.162, also see footnote on Ma’alim irshadiyyah, pg.174)

 

Note:

Whatever has been written above was done out of concern for the misinformed sincere seeker of knowledge.

The 33 quotations cited in this discussion are enough to convince such individuals against falling prey to this evil trend.

 

Final caution:

According to my seniors, online courses are not sufficient substitutes. This may be resorted to in extreme cases and for the purpose of learning the basics of Din only. It is not a justified means for higher Islamic study. This, as well the recent dangerous trend of “Maqra-ahs” (swift recitals of Hadith Books with no adequate commentary) needs a detailed discussion which I hope to engage in soon insha Allah.

 

And Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

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This article is also available as an e-book. Click here

Four deeds for increasing the memory

The following was written by  Al-‘Allamatul Muhaddith, Shaykh Muhammad ‘Awwamah (hafizahullah) for the benefit of students of knowledge and all others who need it.

Shaykh writes:

The four deeds below are effective in increasing one’s memory and protection from forgetfulness:

1. Pray two rak’ats of nafl salah; in the first rak’ah after Surah Fatihah, recite

فَفَهَّمْنَاهَا سُلَيْمَانَ ۚ وَكُلًّا آتَيْنَا حُكْمًا وَعِلْمًا ۚ وَسَخَّرْنَا مَعَ دَاوُودَ الْجِبَالَ يُسَبِّحْنَ وَالطَّيْرَ ۚ وَكُنَّا فَاعِلِينَ

Fafahhamnaha Sulayman, wa kullan aatayna hukmaw wa ‘ilma, wa sakh-kharna ma’a Dawudal jibala yusabbihna wat tayr, wa kunna fa’ilin.

Translation:

‘We explained the decision [as mentioned in the previous ayahs] to Sulayman (‘alayhis salam) and granted wisdom and knowledge to both of them. We placed the mountains and birds at Dawud’s (‘alayhis salam) service and they all engaged in Allah’s glorification [with him]. We are the ones Who can do [Who can make such things possible].’

– In the second rak’ah after Surah Fatihah, Recite Surah Kawthar. After the Salam, recite the following du’a:

اللّٰهُمَّ افْتَحْ عَلَيْنا حِكْمَتَكَ وَ انْشُرْ عَلَيْنا رَحْمَتَكَ وَ أَنْزِلْ عَلَيْنا بَرَكاتِكَ وَ لا تُنْسِنا ذِكْرَكَ وَ صَلِّ وَ سَلِّمْ عَلىٰ خَيْرِ خَلْقِكَ مُحَمَّدٍ وَّ آلِهِ وَ أَصْحابِهِ أَجْمَعِينَ

Allahummaf tah ‘alayna hikmataka wan shur ‘alayna rahmataka wa anzil ‘alayna barakatika wala tunsina dhikraka wa salli wa sallim ‘ala khayri khalqika Muhammad wa alihi wa as-habihi ajma’in.

Translation:

O Allah, open Your wisdom for us, spread Your mercy upon us, do not let us forget Your remembrance, and send blessings and salutations upon Your greatest creation Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam), his family, and all his companions.

2. After reading any book, recite the following du’a:

سُبْحانَ اللّٰهِ وَ الْحَمْدُ لِلّٰهِ وَ لا إِلٰهَ إِلّا اللّٰهُ وَ اللّٰهُ أَكْبَرُ وَ لا حَوْلَ وَ لا قُوَّةَ إِلّا بِاللّٰهِ الْعَلِيِّ الْعَظِيمِ عَدَدَ كُلِّ حَرْفٍ كُتِبَ وَ عَدَدَ كُلِّ حَرْفٍ يُّكْتَبُ إِلىٰ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ

Subhanallahi wal hamdulillahi wa la ilaha illallahu wallahu akbaru wa la hawla wa la quwwata illa billahil ‘aliyyil ‘adhim ‘adada kulli harfin kutiba wa ‘adada kulli harfin yuktabu ila yawmid Din.

Translation:

All Glory and praise belongs to Allah! There is none worthy of worship besides Allah! Allah is the greatest! There is no might and power except with Allah the Most High (May Allah Ta’ala be praised with this) to the number of letters that have been written and that will be written till the Day of Qiyamah!

3. Before the lesson recite:

اللّٰهُمَّ افْتَحْ عَلَيْنا حِكْمَتَكَ وَانْشُرْ عَلَيْنا رَحْمَتَكَ يا ذا الْجَلالِ وَالْإكْرامِ

Allahummaf tah ‘alayna hikmataka wan shur ‘alayna rahmataka ya dhal jalali wal ikram.

Translation:

O Allah! O Possessor of Grandeur and Honour! Open up Your wisdom to us and spread Your mercy upon us!

4. Recite the following form of salat/durud on Nabi (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) frequently between Maghrib and ‘Isha Salahs:

اللّٰهُمّ صَلّ وَ سَلِّمْ وَ بارِكْ عَلىٰ سَيِّدِنا مُحَمَّدٍ وَّآلِهِ كَما لا نِهايَةَ لِكَمالِكَ وَ عَدَدَ كَمالِهِ

Allahumma salli wa sallim wa barik ‘ala sayyidina Muhammadiw wa alihi kama la nihayata likamalika wa ‘adada kamalihi.

Translation:

O Allah send blessing and salutations upon our Master Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) and his family to the amount of Your limitless perfection and the number of his perfection.
– End of article.

Note: These deeds are proven through experience [and not necessarily from Hadith] to be effective in increasing one’s memory.

May Allah Ta’ala make it beneficial for all.

WHAT IS NOT TAUGHT IN SCHOOL

What is Taught: The first mention of man in flight was by Roger Bacon, who drew a flying apparatus. Leonardo da Vinci also conceived of airborne transport and drew several prototypes.

What Should be Taught: Ibn Firnas of Islamic Spain invented, constructed and tested a flying machine in the 800’s A.D. Roger Bacon learned of flying machines from Arabic references to Ibn Firnas’ machine. The latter’s invention antedates Bacon by 500 years and Da Vinci by some 700 years.

What is Taught: Glass mirrors were first produced in 1291 in Venice .

What Should be Taught: Glass mirrors were in use in Islamic Spain as early as the 11th century. The Venetians learned of the art of fine glass production from Syrian artisans during the 9th and 10th centuries.

What is Taught: Until the 14th century, the only type of clock available was the water clock. In 1335, a large mechanical clock was erected in Milan , Italy . This was possibly the first weight-driven clock.

What Should be Taught: A variety of mechanical clocks were produced by Spanish Muslim engineers, both large and small, and this knowledge was transmitted to Europe through Latin translations of Islamic books on mechanics. These clocks were weight-driven. Designs and illustrations of epi-cyclic and segmental gears were provided. One such clock included a mercury escapement. The latter type was directly copied by Europeans during the 15th century. In addition, during the 9thcentury, Ibn Firnas of Islamic Spain, according to Will Durant, invented a watch-like device which kept accurate time. The Muslims also constructed a variety of highly accurate astronomical clocks for use in their observatories.

What is Taught: In the 17th century, the pendulum was developed by Galileo during his teenage years. He noticed a chandelier swaying as it was being blown by the wind. As a result, he went home and invented the pendulum.

What Should be Taught: The pendulum was discovered by Ibn Yunus al-Masriduring the 10th century, who was the first to study and document its oscillatory motion. Its value for use in clocks was introduced by Muslim physicists during the 15th century.

What is Taught: Movable type and the printing press was invented in the West by Johannes Gutenberg of Germany during the 15th century.

What Should be Taught: In 1454, Gutenberg developed the most sophisticated printing press of the Middle Ages. However, movable brass type was in use in Islamic Spain 100 years prior, and that is where the West’s first printing devices were made.

What is Taught: Isaac Newton’s 17th century study of lenses, light and prisms forms the foundation of the modern science of optics.

What Should be Taught: In the 11th century al-Haytham determined virtually everything that Newton advanced regarding optics centuries prior and is regarded by numerous authorities as the “founder of optics. ” There is little doubt that Newton was influenced by him. Al-Haytham was the most quoted physicist of the Middle Ages. His works were utilized and quoted by a greater number of European scholars during the 16th and 17th centuries than those of Newton and Galileo combined.

What is Taught: Isaac Newton, during the 17th century, discovered that white light consists of various rays of colored light.

What Should be Taught: This discovery was made in its entirety by al-Haytham (11th century) and Kamal ad-Din (14thcentury). Newton did make original discoveries, but this was not one of them.

What is Taught: The concept of the finite nature of matter was first introduced by Antione Lavoisier during the 18th century. He discovered that, although matter may change its form or shape, its mass always remains the same. Thus, for instance, if water is heated to steam, if salt is dissolved in water or if a piece of wood is burned to ashes, the total mass remains unchanged.

What Should be Taught: The principles of this discovery were elaborated centuries before by Islamic Persia’s great scholar, al-Biruni (d. 1050). Lavoisier was a disciple of the Muslim chemists and physicists and referred to their books frequently.

What is Taught: The Greeks were the developers of trigonometry .

What Should be Taught: Trigonometry remained largely a theoretical science among the Greeks. It was developed to a level of modern perfection by Muslim scholars, although the weight of the credit must be given to al-Battani. The words describing the basic functions of this science, sine, cosine and tangent, are all derived from Arabic terms. Thus, original contributions by the Greeks in trigonometry were minimal.

What is Taught: The use of decimal fractions in mathematics was first developed by a Dutchman, Simon Stevin, in 1589. He helped advance the mathematical sciences by replacing the cumbersome fractions, for instance, 1/2, with decimal fractions, for example, 0.5.

What Should be Taught: Muslim mathematicians were the first to utilize decimals instead of fractions on a large scale. Al-Kashi‘s book, Key to Arithmetic, was written at the beginning of the 15th century and was the stimulus for the systematic application of decimals to whole numbers and fractions thereof. It is highly probably that Stevin imported the idea to Europe from al-Kashi’s work.

What is Taught: The first man to utilize algebraic symbols was the French mathematician, Francois Vieta. In 1591, he wrote an algebra book describing equations with letters such as the now familiar x and y’s. Asimov says that this discovery had an impact similar to the progression from Roman numerals to Arabic numbers.

What Should be Taught: Muslim mathematicians, the inventors of algebra, introduced the concept of using letters for unknown variables in equations as early as the 9th century A.D. Through this system, they solved a variety of complex equations, including quadratic and cubic equations. They used symbols to develop and perfect the binomial theorem.

What is Taught: The difficult cubic equations (x to the third power) remained unsolved until the 16th century when Niccolo Tartaglia, an Italian mathematician, solved them.

What Should be Taught: Cubic equations as well as numerous equations of even higher degrees were solved with ease by Muslim mathematicians as early as the 10th century.

What is Taught: The concept that numbers could be less than zero, that is negative numbers, was unknown until 1545 when Geronimo Cardano introduced the idea.

What Should he Taught: Muslim mathematicians introduced negative numbers for use in a variety of arithmetic functions at least 400 years prior to Cardano.

What is Taught: In 1614, John Napier invented logarithms and logarithmic tables.

What Should be Taught: Muslim mathematicians invented logarithms and produced logarithmic tables several centuries prior. Such tables were common in the Islamic world as early as the 13th century.

What is Taught: During the 17th century Rene Descartes made the discovery that algebra could be used to solve geometrical problems. By this, he greatly advanced the science of geometry.

What Should be Taught:Mathematicians of the Islamic Empire accomplished precisely this as early as the 9th century A.D. Thabit bin Qurrah was the first to do so, and he was followed by Abu’l Wafa, whose 10th century book utilized algebra to advance geometry into an exact and simplified science.

What is Taught: Isaac Newton, during the 17th century, developed the binomial theorem, which is a crucial component for the study of algebra.

What Should be Taught: Hundreds of Muslim mathematicians utilized and perfected the binomial theorem. They initiated its use for the systematic solution of algebraic problems during the 10th century (or prior).

What is Taught: No improvement had been made in the astronomy of the ancients during the Middle Ages regarding the motion of planets until the 13th century. Then Alphonso the Wise of Castile (Middle Spain) invented the Aphonsine Tables, which were more accurate than Ptolemy’s.

What Should be Taught: Muslim astronomers made numerous improvements upon Ptolemy’s findings as early as the 9th century. They were the first astronomers to dispute his archaic ideas. In their critic of the Greeks, they synthesized proof that the sun is the center of the solar system and that the orbits of the earth and other planets might be elliptical. They produced hundreds of highly accurate astronomical tables and star charts. Many of their calculations are so precise that they are regarded as contemporary. The Alphonsine Tables are little more than copies of works on astronomy transmitted to Europe via Islamic Spain, i.e. the Toledo Tables.

What is Taught: The English scholar Roger Bacon (d. 1292) first mentioned glass lenses for improving vision. At nearly the same time, eyeglasses could be found in use both in China and Europe .

What Should be Taught: Ibn Firnas of Islamic Spain invented eyeglasses during the 9th century, and they were manufactured and sold throughout Spain for over two centuries. Any mention of eyeglasses by Roger Bacon was simply a regurgitation of the work of al-Haytham (d. 1039), whose research Bacon frequently referred to.

What is Taught: Gunpowder was developed in the Western world as a result of Roger Bacon’s work in 1242. The first usage of gunpowder in weapons was when the Chinese fired it from bamboo shoots in attempt to frighten Mongol conquerors. They produced it by adding sulfur and charcoal to saltpeter.

What Should be Taught: The Chinese developed saltpeter for use in fireworks and knew of no tactical military use for gunpowder, nor did they invent its formula. Research by Reinuad and Fave have clearly shown that gunpowder was formulated initially by Muslim chemists. Further, these historians claim that the Muslims developed the first fire-arms. Notably, Muslim armies used grenades and other weapons in their defence of Algericus against the Franks during the 14th century. Jean Mathes indicates that the Muslim rulers had stock-piles of grenades, rifles, crude cannons, incendiary devices, sulfur bombs and pistols decades before such devices were used in Europe . The first mention of a cannon was in an Arabic text around 1300 A.D. Roger Bacon learned of the formula for gunpowder from Latin translations of Arabic books. He brought forth nothing original in this regard.

What is Taught: The compass was invented by the Chinese who may have been the first to use it for navigational purposes sometime between 1000 and 1100 A.D. The earliest reference to its use in navigation was by the Englishman, Alexander Neckam (1157-1217).

What Should be Taught: Muslim geographers and navigators learned of the magnetic needle, possibly from the Chinese, and were the first to use magnetic needles in navigation. They invented the compass and passed the knowledge of its use in navigation to the West. European navigators relied on Muslim pilots and their instruments when exploring unknown territories. Gustav Le Bon claims that the magnetic needle and compass were entirely invented by the Muslims and that the Chinese had little to do with it. Neckam, as well as the Chinese, probably learned of it from Muslim traders. It is noteworthy that the Chinese improved their navigational expertise after they began interacting with the Muslims during the 8th century.

What is Taught: The first man to classify the races was the German Johann F. Blumenbach, who divided mankind into white, yellow, brown, black and red peoples.

What Should be Taught: Muslim scholars of the 9th through 14th centuries invented the science of ethnography. A number of Muslim geographers classified the races, writing detailed explanations of their unique cultural habits and physical appearances. They wrote thousands of pages on this subject. Blumenbach’s works were insignificant in comparison.

What is Taught: The science of geography was revived during the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries when the ancient works of Ptolemy were discovered. The Crusades and the Portuguese/Spanish expeditions also contributed to this reawakening. The first scientifically- based treatise on geography were produced during this period by Europe ‘s scholars.

What Should be Taught: Muslim geographers produced untold volumes of books on the geography of Africa, Asia, India , China and the Indies during the 8th through 15th centuries. These writings included the world’s first geographical encyclopedias, almanacs and road maps. Ibn Battutah’s 14 thcentury masterpieces provide a detailed view of the geography of the ancient world. The Muslim geographers of the 10th through 15th centuries far exceeded the output by Europeans regarding the geography of these regions well into the 18th century. The Crusades led to the destruction of educational institutions, their scholars and books. They brought nothing substantive regarding geography to the Western world.

What is Taught: Robert Boyle, in the 17th century, originated the science of chemistry.

What Should be Taught: A variety of Muslim chemists, including ar-Razi, al-Jabr, al-Biruni and al-Kindi, performed scientific experiments in chemistry some 700 years prior to Boyle. Durant writes that the Muslims introduced the experimental method to this science. Humboldt regards the Muslims as the founders of chemistry.

What is Taught: Leonardo da Vinci (16th century) fathered the science of geologywhen he noted that fossils found on mountains indicated a watery origin of the earth.

What Should be Taught: Al-Biruni (1lth century) made precisely this observation and added much to it, including a huge book on geology, hundreds of years before Da Vinci was born. Ibn Sina noted this as well (see pages 100-101). it is probable that Da Vinci first learned of this concept from Latin translations of Islamic books. He added nothing original to their findings.

What is Taught: The first mention of the geological formation of valleys was in 1756, when Nicolas Desmarest proposed that they were formed over a long periods of time by streams.

What Should be Taught: Ibn Sina and al-Biruni made precisely this discovery during the 11th century (see pages 102 and 103), fully 700 years prior to Desmarest.

What is Taught: Galileo (17th century) was the world’s first great experimenter.

What Should be Taught: Al-Biruni (d. 1050) was the world’s first great experimenter. He wrote over 200 books, many of which discuss his precise experiments. His literary output in the sciences amounts to some 13,000 pages, far exceeding that written by Galileo or, for that matter, Galileo and Newton combined.

What is Taught: The Italian Giovanni Morgagni is regarded as the father of pathology because he was the first to correctly describe the nature of disease.

What Should be Taught: Islam’s surgeons were the first pathologists. They fully realized the nature of disease and described a variety of diseases to modern detail. Ibn Zuhr correctly described the nature of pleurisy, tuberculosis and pericarditis. Az-Zahrawi accurately documented the pathology of hydrocephalus (water on the brain) and other congenital diseases. Ibn al-Quff and Ibn an-Nafs gave perfect descriptions of the diseases of circulation. Other Muslim surgeons gave the first accurate descriptions of certain malignancies, including cancer of the stomach, bowel and esophagus. These surgeons were the originators of pathology, not Giovanni Morgagni.

What is Taught: Paul Ehrlich (19th century) is the originator of drug chemotherapy, that is the use of specific drugs to kill microbes.

What Should be Taught: Muslim physicians used a variety of specific substances to destroy microbes. They applied sulfur topically specifically to kill the scabies mite. Ar-Razi (10th century) used mercurial compounds as topical antiseptics.

What is Taught: Purified alcohol, made through distillation, was first produced by Arnau de Villanova, a Spanish alchemist, in 1300 A.D.

What Should be Taught: Numerous Muslim chemists produced medicinal-grade alcohol through distillation as early as the 10th century and manufactured on a large scale the first distillation devices for use in chemistry. They used alcohol as a solvent and antiseptic.

What is Taught: The first surgery performed under inhalation anesthesiawas conducted by C.W. Long, an American, in 1845.

What Should be Taught: Six hundred years prior to Long, Islamic Spain’s Az-Zahrawi and Ibn Zuhr, among other Muslim surgeons, performed hundreds of surgeries under inhalation anesthesia with the use of narcotic-soaked sponges which were placed over the face.

What is Taught: During the 16th century Paracelsus invented the use of opium extracts for anesthesia.

What Should be Taught: Muslim physicians introduced the anesthetic value of opium derivatives during the Middle Ages. Opium was originally used as an anesthetic agent by the Greeks. Paracelus was a student of Ibn Sina’s works from which it is almost assured that he derived this idea.

What is Taught: Modern anesthesia was invented in the 19th century by Humphrey Davy and Horace Wells.

What Should be Taught: Modern anesthesia was discovered, mastered and perfected by Muslim anesthetists 900 years before the advent of Davy and Wells. They utilized oral as well as inhalant anesthetics.

What is Taught: The concept of quarantine was first developed in 1403. In Venice , a law was passed preventing strangers from entering the city until a certain waiting period had passed. If, by then, no sign of illness could be found, they were allowed in.

What Should be Taught: The concept of quarantine was first introduced in the 7th century A.D. by the prophet Muhammad, who wisely warned against entering or leaving a region suffering from plague. As early as the 10th century, Muslim physicians innovated the use of isolation wards for individuals suffering with communicable diseases.

What is Taught: The scientific use of antiseptics in surgery was discovered by the British surgeon Joseph Lister in 1865.

What Should be Taught: As early as the 10th century, Muslim physicians and surgeons were applying purified alcohol to wounds as an antiseptic agent. Surgeons in Islamic Spain utilized special methods for maintaining antisepsis prior to and during surgery. They also originated specific protocols for maintaining hygiene during the post-operative period. Their success rate was so high that dignitaries throughout Europe came to Cordova , Spain , to be treated at what was comparably the “Mayo Clinic” of the Middle Ages.

What is Taught: In 1545, the scientific use of surgery was advanced by the French surgeon Ambroise Pare. Prior to him, surgeons attempted to stop bleeding through the gruesome procedure of searing the wound with boiling oil. Pare stopped the use of boiling oils and began ligating arteries. He is considered the “father of rational surgery.” Pare was also one of the first Europeans to condemn such grotesque “surgical” procedures as trepanning (see reference #6, pg. 110).

What Should be Taught: Islamic Spain ‘s illustrious surgeon, az-Zahrawi (d. 1013), began ligating arteries with fine sutures over 500 years prior to Pare. He perfected the use of Catgut, that is suture made from animal intestines. Additionally, he instituted the use of cotton plus wax to plug bleeding wounds. The full details of his works were made available to Europeans through Latin translations.

Despite this, barbers and herdsmen continued be the primary individuals practicing the “art” of surgery for nearly six centuries after az-Zahrawi’s death. Pare himself was a barber, albeit more skilled and conscientious than the average ones.

Included in az-Zahrawi’s legacy are dozens of books. His most famous work is a 30 volume treatise on medicine and surgery. His books contain sections on preventive medicine, nutrition, cosmetics, drug therapy, surgical technique, anesthesia, pre and post-operative care as well as drawings of some 200 surgical devices, many of which he invented. The refined and scholarly az-Zahrawi must be regarded as the father and founder of rational surgery, not the uneducated Pare.

What is Taught: William Harvey, during the early 17th century, discovered that blood circulates. He was the first to correctly describe the function of the heart, arteries and veins. Rome ‘s Galen had presented erroneous ideas regarding the circulatory system, and Harvey was the first to determine that blood is pumped throughout the body via the action of the heart and the venous valves. Therefore, he is regarded as the founder of human physiology.

What Should be Taught: In the 10th century, Islam’s ar-Razi wrote an in-depth treatise on the venous system, accurately describing the function of the veins and their valves. Ibn an-Nafs and Ibn al-Quff (13th century) provided full documentation that the blood circulates and correctly described the physiology of the heart and the function of its valves 300 years before Harvey . William Harvey was a graduate of Italy ‘s famous Padua University at a time when the majority of its curriculum was based upon Ibn Sina’s and ar-Razi’s textbooks.

What is Taught: The first pharmacopeia(book of medicines) was published by a German scholar in 1542. According to World Book Encyclopedia, the science of pharmacology was begun in the 1900’s as an off-shoot of chemistry due to the analysis of crude plant materials. Chemists, after isolating the active ingredients from plants, realized their medicinal value.

What Should be Taught: According to the eminent scholar of Arab history, Phillip Hitti, the Muslims, not the Greeks or Europeans, wrote the first “modern” pharmacopeia. The science of pharmacology was originated by Muslim physicians during the 9th century. They developed it into a highly refined and exact science. Muslim chemists, pharmacists and physicians produced thousands of drugs and/or crude herbal extracts one thousand years prior to the supposed birth of pharmacology. During the 14th century Ibn Baytar wrote a monumental pharmacopeia listing some 1400 different drugs. Hundreds of other pharmacopeias were published during the Islamic Era. It is likely that the German work is an offshoot of that by Ibn Baytar, which was widely circulated in Europe .

What is Taught: The discovery of the scientific use of drugs in the treatment of specific diseases was made by Paracelsus, the Swiss-born physician, during the 16th century. He is also credited with being the first to use practical experience as a determining factor in the treatment of patients rather than relying exclusively on the works of the ancients.

What Should be Taught: Ar-Razi, Ibn Sina, al-Kindi, Ibn Rushd , az -Zahrawi, Ibn Zuhr, Ibn Baytar, Ibn al-Jazzar, Ibn Juljul, Ibn al-Quff, Ibn an-Nafs, al-Biruni, Ibn Sahl and hundreds of other Muslim physicians mastered the science of drug therapy for the treatment of specific symptoms and diseases. In fact, this concept was entirely their invention. The word “drug” is derived from Arabic. Their use of practical experience and careful observation was extensive.

Muslim physicians were the first to criticize ancient medical theories and practices. Ar-Razi devoted an entire book as a critique of Galen’s anatomy. The works of Paracelsus are insignificant compared to the vast volumes of medical writings and original findings accomplished by the medical giants of Islam.

What is Taught: The first sound approach to the treatment of disease was made by a German, Johann Weger, in the 1500’s.

What Should be Taught: Harvard’s George Sarton says that modern medicine is entirely an Islamic development and that Setting the Record Straight the Muslim physicians of the 9th through 12th centuries were precise, scientific, rational and sound in their approach. Johann Weger was among thousands of Europeans physicians during the 15th through 17th centuries who were taught the medicine of ar-Razi and Ibn Sina. He contributed nothing original.

What is Taught: Medical treatment for the insane was modernized by Philippe Pinel when in 1793 he operated France ‘s first insane asylum .

What Should be Taught: As early as the 1lth century, Islamic hospitals maintained special wards for the insane. They treated them kindly and presumed their disease was real at a time when the insane were routinely burned alive in Europe as witches and sorcerers. A curative approach was taken for mental illness and, for the first time in history, the mentally ill were treated with supportive care, drugs and psychotherapy. Every major Islamic city maintained an insane asylum where patients were treated at no charge. In fact, the Islamic system for the treatment of the insane excels in comparison to the current model, as it was more humane and was highly effective as well.

What is Taught: Kerosine was first produced by the an Englishman, Abraham Gesner, in 1853. He distilled it from asphalt.

What Should be Taught: Muslim chemists produced kerosine as a distillate from petroleum products over 1,000 years prior to Gesner (see Encyclopaedia Britannica)