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Inimitability of the Qur’an

Originally posted at Quran project

Qur’ân is God’s word:

FIRST – Because it is the pinnacle of linguistic perfection. The Arabs [of Jahiliyyah] were not accustomed to its form. Their linguistic abilities were hindered by the fact that its expression was worded in the shortest of forms without loss of clear meaning [bayaan].

SECOND – Its wonderful structure was unique when it comes to the beginning of verses, their termination, and the places where one stops [when rehearsing it].  This is added to a refined way of presenting truth and the true knowledge of God [`irfan].  Its beautiful word and kind insinuation, easiness of construct and correctness of ordering made the minds of the purest of desert dwellers [al-Arba’] amazed and the understanding of the masters of the tongue struck. The wisdom behind this intended differentiation in which the Qur’ân was revealed was to leave no doubt for those with wit [Fitnah] or give them reason to steal

[by producing something like it]

.

THIRD – Because the Qur’ân has a record of things to come. They came to pass in accordance with the way God has intended. Allah said, “you shall most certainly enter the Sacred Mosque [Mecca], if Allah pleases, in security, (some) having their heads shaved and (others) having their hair cut, you shall not fear.” (Surah “The Victory”, 48.27) 

FOURTH – What it told about previous generations and the people of yore and it was known [to the people of Quraish] that [Mohammed] was but an illiterate who neither read nor wrote.  He did not sit with teachers in schools, nor mixed with the learned. He was raised within a people who knew no book. They were naked [`arin] when it came to scientific inquiry

[al-ulum al-`aqliyyah]

. Allah said, “Surely this Qur’ân declares to the children of Israel most of what they differ in.” (Surah “The Ant”, 27.76).

FIFTH – What it revealed of the secrets of those who opposed it and what they used to plot. Their deceit was revealed to the messenger of God.

SIXTH – That it included knowledge from the smallest of particles to cosmic facts the Arabs did not know in general and neither did Mohammed (peace be upon him); most important, what it included about the science of Sharee’ah and how to deduce laws, the ways to logical argumentation

[al-hujaj al-`aqliyyah]

, the wisdom one derives from the stories of yore, the matters of the hereafter and the best of manners and behavior.

SEVENTH – It is free of contradiction despite the fact that it is a large book which includes many facts and various arts. “If it were from any other than Allah, they would have found in it many a discrepancy.” (Surah “The Women”, 4.82)

EIGHTH – It is a living miracle for it is read everywhere in uniformity, and God has promised to protect it. It is an established argument that, in contrast to other prophets whose miracles disappeared with them, the Qur’ân is Mohammed’s eternal miracle.

NINTH – Those who read it are not tired of it. Those who hear it are not bothered by it. And those who rehearse it fall in love with it.

TENTH – It includes both proof and proven. Those who understand the meaning know how to derive proof and how to find religious dictum at the same time when they consider both the way it is read and the way it is understood.  It is conciseness of words [balaghah] which proves its miraculous character. It is with meaning that one finds God’s order and His warning. Learning it by heart [hifdh] has been made easy. The fear that comes to the heart when hearing it and the humbleness that surrounds those reading it are beyond description.

The doctrine of the Quran’s inimitability (I’jâz al-Quran)

by Ola bint al-Shoubaki

‘And they say, “Why are not miracles sent down to him from his Lord?” Say: “The signs are only with Allâh, and I am only a plain warner.” Is it not a sufficient miracle for them that We have sent down to you the Book which is recited to them?  Verily, herein is a mercy and a reminder for a people who believe.’ (29:50-51)

The miracles that were given to the prophets were such that they would have the greatest impact on that particular nation.  The people at the time of Moses (peace be upon him) excelled in magic and sorcery, so he was given miracles which surpassed all their abilities, as a proof of his prophethood.  The people at the time of Jesus (peace be upon him) excelled in healing and medicine, and he was accordingly given appropriate miracles.  The people at the time of Muhammad (peace be upon him) were masters of language and eloquence – he was sent to them with the Quran. 

The powerful effect it had on its listeners, who were skilled practitioners in the art of rhetoric, was unsurpassable.  Few could help but be enchanted by it, including al-Walîd ibn al-Mughîra, who exclaimed, ‘I swear by God, there is none amongst you who knows poetry as well as I do, nor can any compete with me in composition or rhetoric – not even in the poetry of jinns! And yet, I swear by God, Muhammad’s speech (i.e. the Quran) does not bear any similarity to anything I know, and I swear by God, the speech that he says is very sweet, and is adorned with beauty and charm.  Its first part is fruitful, and its last part is abundant, and it conquers all other speech, and remains unconquered! It shatters and destroys all that has come before it!’[1]

Thus it was that the most eloquent and esteemed poet during the time of Muhammad (peace be upon him) was able to recognize the verbal power of the Quran, and its extraordinary composition.  There were those, however, who opposed its message disparagingly, and aimed at reviling Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his claim to prophethood, and at challenging the divine nature of the Quran.  They accused Muhammad (peace be upon him) of being a liar who forged the Quran, a soothsayer (kâhin), a poet (shâ’ir), a sorcerer (sâhir), and even a madman, possessed by jinn (majnûn), in an attempt to find an alternative explanation for his speech.  They claimed that there was nothing miraculous about the Quran, and could imitate it if they so desired,

‘And when Our verses are recited to them, they say, “We have heard this! If we wish, we can say something similar to it.  These are nothing but stories of old”.’ (8:31)

Accusations and Orientalism

Interestingly, the fourteen hundred year old accusations of the Arabs find their echo in contemporary Orientalism.[2] Amongst those who claimed that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was a poet, were the likes of  Bell in the 1920s[3], Rodinson – who could only explain this ‘poem’ as a product of Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) unconscious mind – and Stobart who, writing in the 19th century maintained that the Quran could have been written by any Arab ‘acquainted with the general outline of Jewish history and of the traditions of his own country and possessed of some poetic fire and fancy’. All of these critics, however, failed to realise that whereas Arabic poetry was commonly distinguished by its specific literary features, such as the wazn, bahr, ‘arûd and qâfiyah, which had to be adhered to even at the expense of grammar and semantics, the Quranic style displays no such established features. Therefore, the claims that Muhammad (peace be upon him) was merely a poet seem to be unfounded.

On a similar level were the claims of those Orientalists who suggested that the Quran was a result of Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) ‘wishful thinking’,[4] or a product of his ‘creative imagination’.[5]  These were the exact words of Watt who, in the 1960s, applied modern methods of literary analysis to the text and concluded that, ‘What seems to a man to come from outside himself may actually come from his unconscious.’ However, the unique occurrence of any kind of ‘creative imagination’ producing a text the likes of which has never been equalled in recorded history, would seem to suggest the intervention of some force other than imagination.

Following the disbelievers’ claims that they could produce speech similar to the Quran, there emerged the central aspect in proving undoubtedly the veracity of Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) message and its divine authorship.   If it could be shown that the Quran was inimitable by man and jinn alike, the accusations of the disbelievers[6] would be nullified.  This would effectively eliminate the possibility of man being author, leaving only one other possible option for authorship – God.  Thus, the significance of proving the Quran’s inimitability was manifest from the onset.

Quranic challenge

The Quranic challenge was posed – those who claimed that Muhammad (peace be upon him) forged the Quran were called upon to produce an entire Quran like it, this being gradually reduced to ten chapters similar to it.[7]  When the Quraysh were unable to do this, the final challenge and promise was given;

‘And if you are in doubt as to what We have sent down to Our servant, then produce a chapter similar to it, if you are truthful.  But if you do not do it – and of a surety you cannot do it – then fear the Fire whose fuel are men and stones, prepared for the disbelievers.’
(2:23-24)

Despite the pagan Arabs being masters of verbal eloquence, they were unable to rise to the challenge, an argument presented by many early Muslim writers.  [Contemporary critics who question the divine authorship of the Quran have not, to date, produced any material which may lend proof to their claims.]  Al-Jâhiz, in his ‘Hujaj an-Nubûwwa’, commented that this was even ‘in spite of strong motivation on account of their tribal pride and their opposition to Islam, and in spite of the fact that meeting the challenge would have been easier for them than engaging the Muslims in battle as they did, only to lose eventually’.[8] It caused the Muslims to regard events as divine authentication of the veracity of the message of the Quran and Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) prophethood.  By the early third/ninth century, the phenomenon of the Quran not being equalled in content or form came to be known as i’jâz (incapacitation), a term probably first used by Imâm Ahmad ibn Hanbal (d. 204 A.H.).[9]  By the end of the century, it came to refer to the miraculous inimitability of the Quran.

It would be significant to note at this point that for the duration of the discussions which took place regarding the aspects of the Quranic i’jâz, it was asked whether the Torah and the Gospel(s), sharing with the Quran the quality of being revelation from God, also shared the quality of inimitability.  It was argued by al-Bâqillânî[10] that they did not for a number of reasons; 

Firstly, although they included some information regarding the unseen (akhbâr al-ghayb), they were not revealed in a miraculously eloquent structure or style, as was the Quran. 

Secondly, God had not referred to them as being inimitable, as He did the Quran, and thirdly, no claim was made by the Prophets who brought them regarding their inimitability, as was made with the Quran.  Az-Zarkashî and az-Zamakhsharî added that the arrangement of the Quran was also divinely inspired, unlike that of the Torah and the Gospel(s). 

Therefore, the question of inimitability is posed with reference to the Quran alone, the affirmation of which would exalt its status over and above other revelation.

Following the recognition of its inimitability, there naturally arose the issue of what makes the Quran miraculous, and the nature of those aspects of it which cannot be imitated. According to the contemporary writer Kamâl Abû Dîb, the challenge was ambiguous for it ‘specified no particular qualities which those who were challenged were to match’.[11] Jurjânî held a different view, however.  He asked, ‘…is it possible that God ordered His Prophet (peace be upon him) to challenge the Arabs to produce something like it (the Quran), without them knowing the description of it by which, if producing (speech) according to that description, they will have produced something like it?’[12] This view was shared by many scholars of the Classical period, such as az-Zarkashî, who also held that it is inappropriate to pose a challenge while the challenged one is ignorant of that which his challenge entails.[13]

Responses by various Scholars

There were numerous responses put forward by various scholars of the Quranic Sciences on this issue, which included aspects such as the Quran’s eloquence, the arrangement of its chapters and verses, its stories of past, present and future nations and events,[14] its predictions, its laws, and its scientific facts.   There is not a single definitive list of the aspects, and while, for example, the scholar Muhammad ibn Juzay al-Kalbî (d. 741 A.H.) divided the Quranic i’jâz into ten categories, as-Suyûtî classified its related sciences and arts under approximately 300 headings![15] Az-Zarkashî lists over a dozen, after which he concludes, ‘…the statement of those who have researched the issue thoroughly is that the i’jâz of the Quran is due to all of the previous factors simultaneously and not by any one of them only.  For (the i’jâz) is in combining all of these facets…’[16]  It has even been suggested that every category discussed in the Sciences of the Quran (‘Ulûm al-Quran) is in fact a facet of the i’jâz.[17]

A prominent Mutazilite of the period, however, by the name of al-Nazzâm (d. 232/846), propounded a concept which seems anomalous to Mutazilite beliefs – that of sarfa (‘aversion’).  He maintained that the miracle of the Quran consisted in the divine prevention of Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) companions and followers from imitating it, by removing their competence and knowledge in this regard.  Thus Nazzâm held that, were it not for this notion of sarfa, man would have had the capability and capacity to imitate the Quran.  In doing so, he reduced the speech of God, the Creator, to the same level as the speech of man, the created.  There necessarily has to be a distinction between the two, however, for the ‘difference between the speech of God and the speech of His creation is the difference between God and His creation.’[18]

By holding this position, Nazzâm inadvertently contradicted Mutazilite beliefs regarding man’s free will, and the Justice of God, for it would not be just for God to challenge man to exert his efforts in an activity for which He had removed their potential of ever successfully completing.  The sarfa argument also rejected revelation as the miracle, but rather the sarfa itself, [19] a position which is undermined by the Qur’ân with the statement of the Almighty;

‘Say: If all of mankind and jinn gathered together to produce the like of the Qur’ân, the you could not produce the like thereof, even if they helped one another.’ (17:88).

Regarding this issue, as-Suyûtî comments, ‘…this verse mentions their incapability to (reproduce the Qur’ân), despite the fact that they still possess their faculties and powers.  If (the i’jâz of the Qur’ân) were in the elimination of their power, there would be no benefit in their ‘gathering together’, for it would be the same as if dead corpses were gathered together.  Since the Qur’ân challenges them to ‘gather together’, this clearly shows that the Qur’ân itself is the source of i’jâz’.[20]

The term i’jâz later developed to be primarily associated with the Quran’s ‘rhetorically unsurpassable and sublime style’.[21] This was due to the influence of early Islamic thinkers, such as al-Jâhiz, who tended to emphasize the eloquence of the Qur’ân in their writings. [22]  Many treatises were written on the literary i’jâz of the Quran, more than had ever appeared before in the field of religious writings, but as Wansborough points out, eloquence was peculiar to the Arabic language, hence there was no room for such analysis of the Torah or the Gospel(s) in previous times.  As al-Bâqillânî noted, such a literary masterpiece could best be appreciated by the well-versed Arab linguist, and this is reflected in the statements of many Orientalists  (such as Stobart who only read the translation of the Quran before making his assertion mentioned above) who had not mastered the Arab language enough to recognise and appreciate the various subtle techniques, styles and parallelisms employed by the language to emphasise intended meanings.  Rather, they mistook it for ‘a wearisome jumble, crude and incondite’.[23] They seemingly overlooked the classical works of the likes of al-Bâqillânî and al-Khattâbî, amongst others, who formulated intricate theories on the literary inimitability of the Quran.  Al-Khattâbî (d. 388/998) postulated that speech is made up of three basic elements.  Firstly, words conveying meanings.  Secondly, ideas subsisting in words, and thirdly, structure organizing them both.  He deduced that the Quran is inimitable because it is the speech of al-‘Âlim (the All-Knowing).  Humans do not possess this attribute of infinite knowledge, and as such, do not know all the words of Arabic, all the ideas ingrained in each word, and all the varieties of structure.[24]  Such is the difference between the speech of the Creator, and the speech of His creation.  While He creates, His creation merely manipulates.    

Another such example comes from Jurjânî[25] (d. 470/1078) who, after systematically eliminating a number of different aspects in which the literary miracle could be manifest,[26] postulated a theory of nazm, in which he argued that arrangement and construction in a text creates different shades of meanings for individual words.   It follows, therefore, that the best style is the one which chooses the most expressive words to connote the intended meaning and places them in the most effective arrangement.  It was this that he referred to with his term nazm, and said that the Quran uses the best nazm which, when the Arabs heard it, they realised they were unable to match.

The above discussion presents an outline of some of the factors which contributed to the i’jâz of the Quran.  As az-Zarkashî claimed, however, we cannot say that the i’jâz was in any one of them alone, and it was perhaps this inability to produce a single definition for it which led Abû Dîb to assert that the challenge was ambiguous.  But this ‘ambiguity’, in my estimation, rather than being a weakness, was another testification of the inimitability, for it is relatively simpler to define the specific factors which form the speech of men.  Thus, it was an impetus which drove the disbelievers to more aggression and hostility, for it is a characteristic of man that they fear the indefinable and the unknown.

The doctrine of the inimitability of the Quran is significant to the Islamic faith, for it   is ultimate proof of divine revelation, without which accusations against its authenticity would have no end.  It was a force which compelled a deeper study of the Quranic text, from all possible angles, leading to such assertions as, ‘It is meaningless to apply adjectives as ‘beautiful’ or ‘persuasive’ to the Quran; its flashing images and inexorable measures go directly to the brain and intoxicate it’.[27]  And as the famous Islamic scholar of the 8th century, Ibn Taymiyyah, wrote, ‘Its very revelation is one of the most supernatural and extraordinary of acts, for it is the call (to the worship of Allâh), and the proof (of the prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him), and the miracle (all in one)!’[28] That such speech, the like of which has never afterwards been composed, was brought to the Arabs by the illiterate Muhammad (peace be upon him), should dispel all doubts regarding its authorship.

The challenge of the Quran is open and valid until the end of time.  That the challenge has not yet been met stands as a witness to the truth of its message, and is a constant reminder for mankind. It also contains guidance for whosoever may doubt its source as divine, in that they know what is needed to lend proof to their claims.  But they also know the penalty of their doubts if they fail.

‘But if you do not do it – and of a surety you cannot do it – then fear the Fire whose fuel are men and stones, prepared for the disbelievers.’ (2:23-24)

Appendix

Present literary authorities have pointed out the following ways in which the Quranic style transcends the power of man and defies imitation: [29]

The form of the Quran reflects neither the sedentary softness of the townsmen nor the nomadic roughness of the Bedouins.  It possesses in right meansure the sweetness of the former and the vigour of the latter.

The rhythms of the syllables are more sustained than in prose and less patterned than in poetry.  The pauses come neither in prose form nor in the manner of poetry but with a harmonious and melodic flow.

The sentences are constructed in an elegant manner which uses the smallest number of words, without sounding too brief, to express ideas of utmost richness.

The Quranic words neither transgress by their banality nor by their extreme rarity, but are recognized as expressing admirable nobility.

The conciseness of expression attains such a striking clarity that the least learned Arabic-speaking person can understand the Quran without difficulty.  At the same time, there is such a profundity, flexibility, inspiration and radiance in the Quran that it serves as the basis for the principles and rules of Islamic sciences and arts for theology and the juridical schools.  Thus, it is almost impossible to express the ideas of the texts by only one interpretation, either in Arabic or in any other language, even with the greatest care.

There is a perfect blend between the two antagonistic powers of reason and emotion, intellect, and feeling.  In the narrations, arguments, doctrines, laws and moral principles, the words have both persuasive teaching and emotive force.  Throughout the whole Quran the speech maintains its surprising solemnity, power and majesty which nothing can disturb.

Some other aspects of the literary i’jâz are as follows:[30]

1. The placement of a particular word in perfect context, over its synonyms.  The connotations given by the chosen words are better than those that would have been given by its synonyms.

2. The unique sentence structure and syntax, which does not follow any one pattern but varies throughout the Quran.  Each style is unique, and its rhythm clear and resounding.

3. The use of different tenses (past vs. present; plural vs. singular, etc.) to give deeper meanings to a passage.

4. The pronunciation of a word matches its context.  In other words, when discussing topics that are encouraging and bearing glad tidings, it uses words that are easy to pronounce and melodious to hear, and vice-versa.

5. The perfect combination of concisement and detail.  When the subject requires elaboration, the Quran discusses the topic in detail, and when a short phrase suffices, it remains brief.

Source: islaam.com [External/non-QP]

Bibliography

Abu Dîb, K., ‘Literary Criticism’, Abbâsid Belles Lettres, Cambridge History of Arabic Literature, ed. Ashtiany, J., Johnstone, T.M., Latham, J.D., Sergeant, R.B., and Smith, R., (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990).
Boullata, I.J., Literary structures of religious meaning in the Quran, (London: Curzon Press, 2000).
Ibn Hishâm, al-Sîra al-nabawîyya, ed. Mustafâ al-Saqqâ, Ibrâhîm al-Abyârî, and ‘Abd al-Hâfiz Shalabî, 2nd edn. (Cairo:1955)
Al-Jurjânî, ‘Abd al-Qâhir, Asrâr al-Balâgha fî‘ilm al-Bayân, ed. Rida, M.A., (Cairo: Dâr al-Matbû’ât al-‘Arabiyya, n.d.)
 ________, Dalâ’il al-I’jâz, ed. Shakir, M., (Cairo: Maktabat al-Khanaji, 1989).
 Khalifa, M., The Sublime Quran and Orientalism, (New York: Longman, 1981).
 Khattâbî, ‘Bayân I’jâz al-Quran’, Thalath rasâ’il fî I’jâz al-Quran, ed. M. Khalafallah and   M. Zaghlul, (Cairo: Dar al-Ma’arif, 1991).
Qâdi, Abu ‘Ammâr Yâsir, An Introduction to the Sciences of the Quran, (Birmingham: Al-Hidaayah Publishing and Distribution, 2000)
Qattân, Mannâ’, Mabâhith fî ‘ulûm al-Quran,
Al-Rummânî, Abu’l-Hasan ‘Ali b. ‘Isa, ‘al-Nukat fî I’jâz al-Quran’, Thalath rasâ’il fî I’jâz al-Quran, ed. M. Khalafallah and M. Zaghlul, (Cairo: Dar al-Ma’arif, 1991).
Al-Suyûtî, Jalâl ad-Dîn, al-Itqân fî ‘ulûm al-Quran; with I’jâz al-Quran by al-Bâqillânî, (Beirut: Dâr al-Ma’rifa, n.d.).
Wansborough, J., Quranic Studies: Sources and methods of scriptural interpretation, (London: Oxford University Press, 1977)
Az-Zarkashî, Badr al-Dîn Muhammad b. ‘Abd Allâh, al-Burhân fî ‘ulûm al-Quran, ed. Muhammad Abu’l Fadl Ibrâhm, 4 vols., (Cairo: Dar al-Turâth, n.d.)

Footnotes:

[1] Ibn Hishâm, al-Sîra al-nabawîyya, pg 270-271

[2] Khalifa, pgs 10-17. All quotes in this section are taken from these pages.

[3] Bell described the Prophet (peace be upon him) as a poet, “but not of the ordinary Arab type”, because other poets did not compose their works on the same themes of religion, faith, and piety as he did.

[4] The view of Anderson in the 1960s.

[5] Similar to the disbeleivers’ accusations to the Prophet (peace be upon him), ‘Nay, they say: “These revelations are mixed up false dreams!” (21:5)

[6] Of both pagan Arab and Orientalist stock.

[7] The order in which the five tahaddî (challenge) verses were revealed, according to az-Zarkashî (v.2, p.110), Ibn Kathîr and others, is 52:33-34, 17:88, 11:13, 10:38, 2:23-24. Az-Zarkashî, however, holds that due to the wording of verse 11:13 (‘Say: Bring then ten forged chapters similar to it…’), at this time the challenge was to imitate the Qur’ân in prose and syntax, but not content, for the word ‘forged’ appears only in this verse. When the challenge was reduced to one chapter, it was to be matched in prose and content both.

[8] Boullata, pg 141

[9] Faqihî, Muhammad Hanîf, Nadhariyya i’jâz al-Qur’ân ‘ind ‘Abd al-Qâhir al-Jurjânî, Masters Diss., Cairo University, 1960, pg 13, as quoted in Qâdî pg 257.

[10] Bâqillânî, I’jâz al-Qur’ân, pg 609

[11] Abu Dîb, ‘Literary Criticism’, pg 362

[12] Jurjânî, Dalâ’il al-i’jâz.

[13] Az-Zarkashî, al-Burhân, pg 93

[14] This aspect is important because the information it contains regarding these issues could not possibly have been known by natural means to an illiterate man, such as Muhammad (peace be upon him).

[15] Khalîfa, pg 21 footnote.

[16] Az-Zarkashî, v.2, pg106

[17] Qâdî, pg 267.

[18] Abu ‘Abd ar-Rahmân as-Sulamî, a famous Tâbi’î (Successor), as quoted in Qâdî, pg 258.

[19] al-Bâqillânî, I’jâz al-Qur’ân, pg 43-44.

[20] As-Suyûtî, v.2, pg151. (A paraphrase from the Arabic).

[21] Boullata, pg 141.

[22] For more detailed lists on the literary i’jâz of the Qur’ân, see Appendix.

[23] Quoted from Khalifa, pg 20.

[24] Khattâbî, ‘Bayân I’jâz al-Qur’ân’

[25] See his ‘Dalâ’il al-i’jâz’

[26] An example of this is in Jurjânî’s illustration that the i’jâz could not merely be in the arrangement of vowels of the words, for this notion lead to attempts at composing verses which followed the same prototype as the existing Qur’ânic chapters. Such an attempt was made by Musaylamah who claimed to have met the Qur’ânic challenge with his verses, ‘Innâ a’taynâka’l jamâhir. Fasalli li rabbika wa hâjir. Inna shâni’aka huwa’l kâfir’ and, ‘wa’t-tâhinâti tahnan’. (These were composed according to the protoptype of verses 108:1-3 and 100:1 of the Qur’ân).

[27] Khalifa, ch 2 endnote 19 (pg 24)

[28] Ibn Taymiyyah, Majmû’ al-Fatâwâ, v.11, pg 324.

[29] Khalifa, pg 24.

[30] Qâdî, pg 268 (taken from Itr, Hasan Diyâq ad-Dîn, al-Mu’jiza al-Khâlidah, and al-Qattân, Mannâ’, Mabâhith fî ‘Ulûm al-Qur’ân)

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2019 in Relax, Truth & evidence

 

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Croatian, gifted with Quran in jail !

 
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The Sermon of Iblis to the Disbelievers on the Day of Judgement!

Shaytan disowns His Followers on the Day of Resurrection

(And Shaytan will say when the matter has been decided: “Verily, Allah promised you a promise of truth. And I too promised you, but I betrayed you. I had no authority over you except that I called you, and you responded to me. So blame me not, but blame yourselves. I cannot help you, nor can you help me. I deny your former act in associating me (Shaytan) as a partner with Allah (by obeying me in the life of the world). Verily, there is a painful torment for the wrongdoers.”) (Ibrahim 14:22)

Allah narrates to us what Iblis will say to his followers after Allah finishes with the judgement between His servants, sending the believers to the gardens of Paradise and the disbelievers to the lows (of the Fire). Iblis, may Allah curse him, will stand and address the latter, in order to add depression to their depression, sorrow to their sorrow and grief to their grief. He will declare,

(Verily, Allah promised you a promise of truth.) by the words of His Messengers that if you follow them, you will gain safety and deliverance. Truly, Allah’s promise was true and correct news, while I promised you then betrayed you.’ Allah said in another Ayah,

(He (Shaytan) makes promises to them, and arouses in them false desires; and Shaytan’s promises are nothing but deceptions.) (4:120)

(I had no authority over you) Shaytan will say, `I had no proof for what I called you to, nor evidence for what I promised you,

(except that I called you, and you responded to me.) even though the Messengers establish the proof and unequivocal evidences against you and affirmed the truth of what they were sent to you with. But you disobeyed the Messengers and ended up earning this fate,

(So blame me not,) today,

(but blame yourselves.), because it is your fault for defying the proofs and following me in the falsehood that I called you to.’ Shaytan will say next,

(I cannot help you), I cannot benefit, save, or deliver you from what you are suffering,

(nor can you help me.), nor can you save me and deliver me from the torment and punishment I am suffering,

(I deny your former act of associating me (Shaytan) as a partner with Allah.) or because you associated me with Allah before,’ according to Qatadah. Ibn Jarir commented; “I deny being a partner with Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored.” This opinion is the most plausible, for Allah said in other Ayat,

(And who is more astray than one who calls on others besides Allah, such as will not answer him till the Day of Resurrection, and who are (even) unaware of their calls to them And when mankind are gathered, they will become their enemies and will deny their worshipping.) (46:5-6) and,

(Nay, but they (the so-called gods) will deny their worship of them, and become opponents to them.)(19:82) Allah said next,

(Verily, the wrongdoers), who deviate from truth and follow falsehood, will earn a painful torment. It appears that this part of the Ayah narrates the speech that Shaytan will deliver to the people of the Fire after they enter it, as we stated. `Amir Ash-Sha`bi said, “On the Day of Resurrection, two speakers will address the people. Allah the Exalted will say to `Isa, son of Maryam,

(Did you say unto men: “Worship me and my mother as two gods besides Allah”) (5:116) until,

(Allah will say: “This is a Day on which the truthful will profit from their truth.”)(5:119) Shaytan, may Allah curse him, will stand and address the people,

(I had no authority over you except that I called you, and you responded to me.) Allah next mentioned the final destination of the miserable ones, who earned the disgrace and torment and having to listen to Shaytan address them, then He mentioned the final destination of the happy ones.

Source : Darussalam’s English Publication of Tafseer Ibn Katheer, Surah Ibraheem 14:22

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2019 in Relax

 

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What did the Muslims do for the Jews?

What did the Muslims do for the Jews?

 

Islam saved Jewry. This is an unpopular, discomforting claim in the modern world. But it is a historical truth. The argument for it is double. First, in 570 CE, when the Prophet Mohammad was born, the Jews and Judaism were on the way to oblivion. And second, the coming of Islam saved them, providing a new context in which they not only survived, but flourished, laying foundations for subsequent Jewish cultural prosperity – also in Christendom – through the medieval period into the modern world.

By the fourth century, Christianity had become the dominant religion in the Roman empire. One aspect of this success was opposition to rival faiths, including Judaism, along with massive conversion of members of such faiths, sometimes by force, to Christianity. Much of our testimony about Jewish existence in the Roman empire from this time on consists of accounts of conversions.

Great and permanent reductions in numbers through conversion, between the fourth and the seventh centuries, brought with them a gradual but relentless whittling away of the status, rights, social and economic existence, and religious and cultural life of Jews all over the Roman empire.

A long series of enactments deprived Jewish people of their rights as citizens, prevented them from fulfilling their religious obligations, and excluded them from the society of their fellows.

This went along with the centuries-long military and political struggle with Persia. As a tiny element in the Christian world, the Jews should not have been affected much by this broad, political issue. Yet it affected them critically, because the Persian empire at this time included Babylon – now Iraq – at the time home to the world’s greatest concentration of Jews.

Had Islam not come along, Jewry in the west would have declined to disappearance and Jewry in the east would have become just another oriental cult

Here also were the greatest centres of Jewish intellectual life. The most important single work of Jewish cultural creativity in over 3,000 years, apart from the Bible itself – the Talmud – came into being in Babylon. The struggle between Persia and Byzantium, in our period, led increasingly to a separation between Jews under Byzantine, Christian rule and Jews under Persian rule.

Beyond all this, the Jews who lived under Christian rule seemed to have lost the knowledge of their own culturally specific languages – Hebrew and Aramaic – and to have taken on the use of Latin or Greek or other non-Jewish, local, languages. This in turn must have meant that they also lost access to the central literary works of Jewish culture – the Torah, Mishnah, poetry, midrash, even liturgy.

The loss of the unifying force represented by language – and of the associated literature – was a major step towards assimilation and disappearance. In these circumstances, with contact with the one place where Jewish cultural life continued to prosper – Babylon – cut off by conflict with Persia, Jewish life in the Christian world of late antiquity was not simply a pale shadow of what it had been three or four centuries earlier. It was doomed.

Had Islam not come along, the conflict with Persia would have continued. The separation between western Judaism, that of Christendom, and Babylonian Judaism, that of Mesopotamia, would have intensified. Jewry in the west would have declined to disappearance in many areas. And Jewry in the east would have become just another oriental cult.

But this was all prevented by the rise of Islam. The Islamic conquests of the seventh century changed the world, and did so with dramatic, wide-ranging and permanent effect for the Jews.

Within a century of the death of Mohammad, in 632, Muslim armies had conquered almost the whole of the world where Jews lived, from Spain eastward across North Africa and the Middle East as far as the eastern frontier of Iran and beyond. Almost all the Jews in the world were now ruled by Islam. This new situation transformed Jewish existence. Their fortunes changed in legal, demographic, social, religious, political, geographical, economic, linguistic and cultural terms – all for the better.

First, things improved politically. Almost everywhere in Christendom where Jews had lived now formed part of the same political space as Babylon – Cordoba and Basra lay in the same political world. The old frontier between the vital centre in Babylonia and the Jews of the Mediterranean basin was swept away, forever.

Political change was partnered by change in the legal status of the Jewish population: although it is not always clear what happened during the Muslim conquests, one thing is certain. The result of the conquests was, by and large, to make the Jews second-class citizens.

This should not be misunderstood: to be a second-class citizen was a far better thing to be than not to be a citizen at all. For most of these Jews, second-class citizenship represented a major advance. In Visigothic Spain, for example, shortly before the Muslim conquest in 711, the Jews had seen their children removed from them and forcibly converted to Christianity and had themselves been enslaved.

In the developing Islamic societies of the classical and medieval periods, being a Jew meant belonging to a category defined under law, enjoying certain rights and protections, alongside various obligations. These rights and protections were not as extensive or as generous as those enjoyed by Muslims, and the obligations were greater but, for the first few centuries, the Muslims themselves were a minority, and the practical differences were not all that great.

Along with legal near-equality came social and economic equality. Jews were not confined to ghettos, either literally or in terms of economic activity. The societies of Islam were, in effect, open societies. In religious terms, too, Jews enjoyed virtually full freedom. They might not build many new synagogues – in theory – and they might not make too public their profession of their faith, but there was no really significant restriction on the practice of their religion. Along with internal legal autonomy, they also enjoyed formal representation, through leaders of their own, before the authorities of the state. Imperfect and often not quite as rosy as this might sound, it was at least the broad norm.

The political unity brought by the new Islamic world-empire did not last, but it created a vast Islamic world civilisation, similar to the older Christian civilisation that it replaced. Within this huge area, Jews lived and enjoyed broadly similar status and rights everywhere. They could move around, maintain contacts, and develop their identity as Jews. A great new expansion of trade from the ninth century onwards brought the Spanish Jews – like the Muslims – into touch with the Jews and the Muslims even of India.

A ll this was encouraged by a further, critical development. Huge numbers of people in the new world of Islam adopted the language of the Muslim Arabs. Arabic gradually became the principal language of this vast area, excluding almost all the rest: Greek and Syriac, Aramaic and Coptic and Latin all died out, replaced by Arabic. Persian, too, went into a long retreat, to reappear later heavily influenced by Arabic.

The Jews moved over to Arabic very rapidly. By the early 10th century, only 300 years after the conquests, Sa’adya Gaon was translating the Bible into Arabic. Bible translation is a massive task – it is not undertaken unless there is a need for it. By about the year 900, the Jews had largely abandoned other languages and taken on Arabic.

The change of language in its turn brought the Jews into direct contact with broader cultural developments. The result from the 10th century on was a striking pairing of two cultures. The Jews of the Islamic world developed an entirely new culture, which differed from their culture before Islam in terms of language, cultural forms, influences, and uses. Instead of being concerned primarily with religion, the new Jewish culture of the Islamic world, like that of its neighbours, mixed the religious and the secular to a high degree. The contrast, both with the past and with medieval Christian Europe, was enormous.

Like their neighbours, these Jews wrote in Arabic in part, and in a Jewish form of that language. The use of Arabic brought them close to the Arabs. But the use of a specific Jewish form of that language maintained the barriers between Jew and Muslim. The subjects that Jews wrote about, and the literary forms in which they wrote about them, were largely new ones, borrowed from the Muslims and developed in tandem with developments in Arabic Islam.

Also at this time, Hebrew was revived as a language of high literature, parallel to the use among the Muslims of a high form of Arabic for similar purposes. Along with its use for poetry and artistic prose, secular writing of all forms in Hebrew and in (Judeo-)Arabic came into being, some of it of high quality.

Much of the greatest poetry in Hebrew written since the Bible comes from this period. Sa’adya Gaon, Solomon Ibn Gabirol, Ibn Ezra (Moses and Abraham), Maimonides, Yehuda Halevi, Yehudah al-Harizi, Samuel ha-Nagid, and many more – all of these names, well known today, belong in the first rank of Jewish literary and cultural endeavour.

Where did these Jews produce all this? When did they and their neighbours achieve this symbiosis, this mode of living together? The Jews did it in a number of centres of excellence. The most outstanding of these was Islamic Spain, where there was a true Jewish Golden Age, alongside a wave of cultural achievement among the Muslim population. The Spanish case illustrates a more general pattern, too.

What happened in Islamic Spain – waves of Jewish cultural prosperity paralleling waves of cultural prosperity among the Muslims – exemplifies a larger pattern in Arab Islam. In Baghdad, between the ninth and the twelfth centuries; in Qayrawan (in north Africa), between the ninth and the 11th centuries; in Cairo, between the 10th and the 12th centuries, and elsewhere, the rise and fall of cultural centres of Islam tended to be reflected in the rise and fall of Jewish cultural activity in the same places.

This was not coincidence, and nor was it the product of particularly enlightened liberal patronage by Muslim rulers. It was the product of a number of deeper features of these societies, social and cultural, legal and economic, linguistic and political, which together enabled and indeed encouraged the Jews of the Islamic world to create a novel sub-culture within the high civilisation of the time.

This did not last for ever; the period of culturally successful symbiosis between Jew and Arab Muslim in the middle ages came to a close by about 1300. In reality, it had reached this point even earlier, with the overall relative decline in the importance and vitality of Arabic culture, both in relation to western European cultures and in relation to other cultural forms within Islam itself; Persian and Turkish.

Jewish cultural prosperity in the middle ages operated in large part as a function of Muslim, Arabic cultural (and to some degree political) prosperity: when Muslim Arabic culture thrived, so did that of the Jews; when Muslim Arabic culture declined, so did that of the Jews.

In the case of the Jews, however, the cultural capital thus created also served as the seed-bed of further growth elsewhere – in Christian Spain and in the Christian world more generally.

The Islamic world was not the only source of inspiration for the Jewish cultural revival that came later in Christian Europe, but it certainly was a major contributor to that development. Its significance cannot be overestimated.

David J Wasserstein is the Eugene Greener Jr Professor of Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt University. This article is adapted from last week’s Jordan Lectures in Comparative Religion at the School of Oriental and African Studies.

Source: The Jewish Chronicle

 
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Posted by on June 6, 2018 in Relax

 

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Pearls in the Sky (Ramadan Nasheed)

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2018 in Relax, Video

 

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The Prophet Muhammad’s Care for People with Special Needs

The Prophet Muhammad’s Care for People with Special Needs

by Muhammad Mus`ad Yaqut

The civilized world has recently paid attention to people with special needs. This started after it had cast aside corrupt, racist theories calling for neglecting them on the false grounds that people with special needs are not of any benefit to the society. A report issued by the United Nations International Labor Organization in 2000 estimated the number of those with special needs to be more than 610 million, out of which 400 million live in developing countries. According to the World Bank’s statistics, this category represents 15 percent of the world’s population.

> In Early Societies

> The Prophet and People With Special Needs

> Honoring Them and Meeting Their Needs

> Forgiving the Fool and the Ignorant

> Consoling Them

> Visiting Them

> Praying for Them

> Prohibition of Mocking Them

> Removing Difficulties and Hardships

> Breaking Their Isolation

In Early Societies

A cursory look at the history of the West shows the blatant neglect and persecution of people with special needs that culminated in killing disabled babies in some old European societies. Superstitious beliefs were responsible for this setback. For example, it was believed that people suffering from intellectual disabilities were possessed by devils and evil spirits. Even philosophers and scholars held such ideas. The laws of the legendary lawgiver of Sparta, Lycurgus, and the Athenian philosopher and lawmaker Solon allowed getting rid of those who had disabilities that made them unable to work or engage in war. Moreover, the renowned philosopher Plato came and declared that those who have special needs are a malicious category constituting a burden on the society and a damaging factor to his Republic. Likewise, English philosopher Herbert Spenser (1820-1903) called on the society to deny those with special needs any kind of help, claiming that this category constitutes a useless, heavy burden for a society to carry.

Whereas, the pre-Islamic Arabs – though they used to kill their female babies for fear of possible disgrace – were less hardhearted and more compassionate toward those afflicted with adversities and the chronically ill. They, however, abstained from sharing food or sitting at a meal with those who had special needs.

When the world was floundering between theories that called for the execution of the mentally disabled and other theories that called for employing them in drudgery, the East and the West, at long last, rightly arrived at the idea of the perfect care for people with special needs. That being the case, we, on the other hand, do see how our Messenger, the educator and teacher, (peace and blessings be upon him) was so merciful toward this type of people.

The Prophet and People With Special Needs

It is narrated on the authority of Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) that a woman, somewhat mentally defected, said, “ O Messenger of Allah! I have a need that I want you to meet. He responded, “O mother of so and so, choose the way you like to walk in so that I may know your need and meet it.” He walked with her in some route until she had her need fulfilled (Muslim).

This is, of course, a proof of his forbearance, humility, and patience in answering the needs of those with special needs. It, also, serves a legal proof that a ruler is obligated to care for people with special needs, socially, economically, and psychologically, and that the ruler should fulfill their needs and grant their requests.

The forms of such care include, but are not restricted to the following:

· Medication and regular check-up

· Proper education and training

· Assigning some workers to take care of them

Following this merciful Prophetic course, `Umar ibn `Abdul-Aziz(may Allah be pleased with him) asked rulers of the provinces to send him the names of all those blind, crippled, or with a chronic illness that prevented them from establishing salah. So they sent him their names. He, in turn, ordered that every blind man should have an employee to guide and look after him, and that every two chronically ill persons – those with special needs – be attended by a servant to serve and care for them (Ibn Al-Jawzi).

The same course was taken by Umayyad caliph Al-Waleed ibn`Abdul-Malik (may Allah have mercy on him). The idea of the establishment of institutes or centers for the care of people with special needs was his. In AH 88(707 CE), he ordered the establishment of a foundation specialized in looking after them. Doctors and servants, paid fixed stipends, were employed in this foundation. He granted a regular allowance to persons with special needs, and told them, “Do not beg people.” Thereby, he made them sufficient enough to not beg others. In addition, he appointed employees to serve all those who were disabled, crippled, or blind (Ibn Kathir, At-Tabari).

Honoring Them and Meeting Their Needs

It happened in a well-known incident that Prophet Muhammad frowned at the face of a blind man, `Abdullah ibn Umm Maktoum (may Allah be pleased with him) when he came to ask the Prophet about a Shari `ah matter. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was sitting at that time with a group of noble and high-placed people attempting to win them over toward Islam. Although the blind man did not see nor perceive his frowning face, yet Allah (the Mighty and Exalted) blamed His Messenger for doing this, saying what means in the Qur’an, (He frowned and turned away, that the blind man came to him. And what makes you realize whether he would possibly (try) to cleanse himself? Or that he would constantly remember, and the Reminding would profit him?)(`Abasa 80:1-4).

Afterwards, the Prophet used to meet that blind man with a welcoming and smiling face, saying to him, “Welcome to a man for whom my Lord has blamed me!” (Al-Qurtubi).

Forgiving the Fool and the Ignorant

The beloved Prophet’s mercy toward those with special needs, his forgiveness to the ignorant and his forbearance toward the fool did most evidently emerge in the battle of Uhud (Shawwal AH 3/ April 624 CE). It is reported that when the Prophet headed along with his army toward Uhud, intending to pass by a farm owned by a blind hypocrite, the latter insulted the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). The blind man picked a handful of dust and insolently said to the Prophet, “By Allah, if I am certain that none but you will be affected by it, I will definitely throw it at you.” The Companions of the Prophet were about to kill that blind person, but the Prophet forbade them, saying, “Leave him alone” (Ibn Kathir).

The Prophet did not capitalize on the fact that the blind man was weak; he did not order that he be killed or even harmed, though the Muslim army was on its way to battle and the situation was critical and the nerves were tense. Despite this, when the blind hypocrite stood in the army’s way and said what he said and did what he did, Allah’s Messenger refused but to forgive and pardon him, as it is not becoming of Muslim fighters, let alone the Prophet, to attack or harm those who are handicapped and disabled. It was his approach to behave kindly toward them, take a lesson from their condition, and supplicate Allah to cure them.

Consoling Them

It is reported on the authority of `A’ishah(may Allah be pleased with her) that she said, “I heard Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) say, ‘Allah, Glorified and Exalted be He, revealed to me that whosoever takes a route of seeking knowledge, the route to Paradise will be made easy for him, and that I (Allah) will reward the one whose two dear things (that’s his eyes) were taken away from him with Paradise” (Al-Baihaqiand authenticated by Al-Albani).

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), addressing all who have illnesses and disabilities, said,“No Muslim is pricked with a thorn, or anything larger than that, except that a hasanah will be recorded for him and a sin will be erased as a reward for that”(Al-Bukhari and Muslim).

There exists in these Prophetic texts and hadith qudsi comfort and glad tidings for everyone with a certain disability; if they exhibit patience at their adversity, being content with the trial Allah has afflicted them with, anticipating the reward from Allah alone for their disability, Allah will recompense their with Paradise.

`Amr ibn Al-Gamouh was a lame man. However he insisted on participating with the Muslims in the battle of Uhud where he was martyred. The prophet passed by his body and said, “As though I could see you walking with this leg of yours, being heard, in Paradise” (Authenticated by Al-Albani).

It is narrated that the Messenger of Allah left Ibn Umm Maktoum twice as his successor in Madinah to lead the prayer, though he was blind (Ahmad).

And it is reported on the authority of `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that Ibn Umm Maktoumwas a muezzin of Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) though he was blind (Muslim).

It is narrated via Sa`id ibn Al-Mosayyab (may Allah have mercy on him) that when Muslims would go on their expeditions, they used to leave those among them who were chronically ill, submit the keys of their doors to them, saying, “We have made it lawful for you to partake of our houses’ food” (Ar-Razi).

Al-Hasan ibn Muhammad said, “I entered upon Abi Zayd Al-Ansari, who called out the Adhan andIqamah while he was sitting.” He added, “a man advanced and led us in prayer. That man was lame whose leg was hit in the Cause of Allah, the Exalted” (Al-Baihaqi).

Thus was the Prophet’s society, a society that was marked by mutual support, cooperation, and unity in consoling, honoring, and respecting those with special needs. For all of this, the course of the merciful Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was the role model in dealing with those who have special needs.

Visiting Them

Visiting the sick in general, and the disabled in particular, was legislated by Islam for the purpose of relieving their suffering. A disabled person, compared to a sound one, is closer to withdrawal, isolation, a pessimistic view, and psychological illness. So, neglecting the disabled in social occasions, such as visits and marriage, is wrong.

The Prophet used to visit the sick, pray for them and console them, instilling confidence in their souls and covering their hearts and faces with happiness and joy. He could once go to someone in the outskirts of Madinah particularly to answer a simple need of his or hers or to perform salah in the house of an afflicted one, as granting of his or her request.

An example of this was `Etban ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him); he was a blind man from Ansar. He said to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), “I wish that you, O Messenger of Allah, would come and perform salah in my house so that I would take it as a place of prayer.” As a reply, the Prophet promised to visit him and perform prayer, so humbly saying, “I will do, if Allah so wills.”

`Etban said, “Allah’s Messenger and Abu Bakr came early in the morning. Allah’s Messenger asked for permission to enter, which I gave.” Without sitting, he immediately entered and said, “In which part of your house do you like me to pray?” I pointed to a certain place in the house, so the Messenger of Allah stood and started praying and we, in turn, stood and he lined us in a row. He performed a two-rak`ah prayer, ending it with taslim (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).

Praying for Them

The mercy of the Prophet of Islam toward people with special needs was so manifest as well when he legislated the supplication for them as a way to encourage them to endure afflictions. He desired to create will and build resolve in their souls.

Once a blind man entered into the presence of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and said, “Supplicate Allah to cure me.” He (peace and blessings be upon him) replied, “I shall supplicate if you will, yet it would be better for you if you choose to keep patient.” The man asked the Prophet to make du`aa‘ for him. Then, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) ordered him to perform wudu‘ well and say the following du`aa‘: “My Lord, I implore you and turn to you, having your Prophet Muhammad as an intercessor for me, so that my need may be answered. O Lord, make him an intercessor for me and accept his intercession.” (At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah)

Also:

A woman, who would usually have epileptic fits, came to the Prophet and said, “I do have epileptic fits that, as a result, cause parts of my body to be revealed. So, pray to Allah for me.”

To this came the reply of the Prophet,“If you will, be patient and Paradise will be your reward. And if you will, I shall supplicate Allah to cure you.”

She said, “I choose patience.” Then she said, “But parts of my body to be revealed, so pray to Allah that this will not happen.” And the Prophet prayed for her. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Prohibition of Mocking Them

“Cursed is he who misleads a blind person away from his path”(Hadith)
People with special needs, in some societies of Europe, were taken as objects of mockery, amusement, or fun. The handicapped would, therefore, find themselves stuck between two fires: the fire of exclusion and isolation on one hand, and the fire of derision and malicious joy on the other. Accordingly, the society would turn, within itself, into an abode of estrangement, persecution, and separation.

However, Islamic law came to forbid ridiculing all people in general, and the afflicted in particular. Allah the Exalted revealed most evident Quranic verses stressing the prohibition of such an ignorant attribute of pre-Islamic era; these verses read what means:

(O you who believe,let not a folk deride a folk who may be better than they (are), not let women (deride) women who may be better than they are; neither defame one another, nor insult one another by nicknames. Bad is the name of lewdness after faith. And whosoturneth not in repentance, such are evil-doers.) (Al-Hujurat 49:11)

It is also authentically reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,“Pride is the rejection of the truth and looking down at people” (Muslim). Perhaps the afflicted one is higher in rank in Allah’s sight and has a precedence over people in terms of knowledge, jihad, piety, chastity, and good manners. Let alone the general and decisive rule set by the Prophet:“Indeed, Allah has made your blood, your wealth, and your honor forbidden for you, one to another” (Al-Bukhari).

Additionally, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) has warned in such a strict manner against misleading the blind away from their path or harming them or making them an object of fun and mockery: “Cursed is he who misleads a blind person away from his path” (Authenticated by Al-Albani).

This carries a severe threat for those who take the congenital defects as a method of fun, amusement, or derision, and for those who look down at those who are defected. People afflicted with certain defects could be a brother or sister, father or mother, son or daughter, tested by Allah, so that we may take a lesson from their condition and recognize the power of Allah; not for the purpose of making them an object of entertainment and fun.

Breaking Their Isolation

The pre-Islamic society used to boycott people with special needs, isolate them, and prevent them from leading normal lives, such as their right to marriage or even interaction with people.

Before Islam, people of Madinah used to prevent the lame, the blind, and the diseased from sharing food with them, because they deemed them disgusting. On this, Allah the Exalted revealed what means,

(No blame is there upon the blind nor any blame upon the lame nor any blame upon the sick nor on yourselves if you eat from your houses, or the houses of your fathers, or the houses of your mothers, or the houses of your brothers, or the houses of your sisters, or the houses of your fathers’ brothers, or the houses of your fathers’ sisters, or the houses of your mothers’ brothers, or the houses of your mothers’ sisters, or (from that) whereof you hold the keys, or (from the house) of a friend. No sin shall it be for you whether you eat together or a part. But when you enter houses, salute one another with a greeting from Allah, blessed and sweet. Thus Allah maketh clear His revelations for you, that haply you may understand.)(An-Nur 24:61)

It is indicated here that there is no harm in jointly partaking of food with the sick, the blind, and the lame. They are people just like ourselves, having the same rights as ours. So, Muslims do not boycott, isolate, or forsake them, for the most honorable among Muslims in Allah’s sight are the most pious, regardless of anything else. Besides, there is a hadith that reads “Allah looks at neither your appearances nor your wealth; rather, He looks at your hearts and your deeds”(Muslim).

Thus, the Qur’an has been revealed as a mercy for people with special needs, consoling, relieving, and supporting them. It saves them from the most dangerous psychological diseases that may affect them if they happen to suffer from isolation and withdrawal from social life.

Unlike what some societies had done, Islam permitted people with special needs to marry, for they have hearts, emotions, and feelings, just like others. The right to marriage was, therefore, established for them so long as they have the ability needed for that.

They have rights as well as obligations. Muslims did not exploit the weakness of those with special needs; Muslims did not take away their due rights or deny them their rightful property. It is narrated that `Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “If any man marries a woman who is insane or leper and touches her (i.e. have intercourse with her), then the whole dower becomes due to her” (Ahmad).

Removing Difficulties and Hardships

Among the forms of mercy toward people with special needs is the fact that Shari`ah takes them into consideration with regard to many of the obligatory rulings, removes the difficulties they might encounter, and makes things easy for them.

On the authority of Zaydibn Thabit(may Allah be pleased with him), the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) dictated to him the verse that says what means: (Those of the believers who sit still … are not on an equality with those who strive in the way of Allah with their wealth and lives) (An-Nisaa’ 4:95).He said, “Ibn Umm Maktoum came while the Prophet was dictating it to me to write it down, and said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, if I was capable of jihad, I would certainly do;’” he was a blind man. Zayd ibn Thabit further said, “Then, Allah, Almighty and Exalted be He, revealed to His Messenger, (other than those who have a (disabling) hurt)” (An-Nisaa’ 4:95). (Al-Bukhari)

Relieving the burdens of people with special needs, Almighty Allah says what means:

(There is no restriction on the blind, nor is there restriction on the lame, nor is there restriction on the sick. And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger, He will cause him to enter Gardens from beneath which rivers run; and whoever turns away, He will torment him with a painful torment.)(Al-Fath 48:17)

Thus, Almighty Allah absolved them from the obligation of jihad in the battlefields. They may carry arms and go to battle voluntarily only. An example of this is the story reported by Ibn Hisham of `Amribn Al-Gamouh (may Allah be pleased with him) in the battle of Uhud. He was a lame man who had four sons who used to engage alongside the Messenger of Allah in all serious events. When the Day of Uhud drew so nigh, they wanted to keep him back, telling him, “Allah the Glorified and Exalted has excused you!” So he went to the Messenger of Allah and said, “My sons want to prevent me from going out to fight with you. Yet, by Allah, I wish to tread with this crippled leg of mine in Paradise! The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) replied, “As for you, Allah did indeed excuse you, so you are not obligated to engage in jihad.” Then the Prophet said to his sons, “Do not keep him back; perhaps Allah will grant him martyrdom.” Ibn Hisham went out with the army and fell a martyr on the Day of Uhud (Ibn Hisham).

Nevertheless, the relief enjoyed by the handicapped under the Islamic law is distinguished by balance and moderation. A disabled person should be relieved in proportion to his disability and be obligated according to his ability. Al-Qurtubi says,

Verily, Allah absolved the blind from the duties that necessitate eyesight, the crippled from the duties that involve walking or cannot be done with lameness, and the sick from the duties canceled on account of sickness, such as fasting, the conditions and pillars of salah, and jihad and so forth. (Al-Qurtubi)

The blind and the insane are examples of this; the former is charged with all the Shari`ah obligations except for certain duties such as jihad. As for the latter, Allah Almighty has absolved them from all obligations. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) made it clear that three types of people are not accountable: “a sleeping person till he wakes up, a child till he grows up, and an insane person till he turns sane” (Ibn Majah).

A madman shall not be punished in any way, no matter what mistakes he may make or crimes he may commit.

Thus was the approach of the Prophet in dealing with people with special needs at a time the rights of those people were not recognized whatsoever by any people or regime. So, the Islamic law came and defined the comprehensive and perfect care for people with special needs. It has put them on a good place within the priorities of the Muslim society. It has legislated the forgiveness of the fool and ignorant among them. It has honored their afflicted ones, especially those who have certain talents, useful crafts, or successful experiences. It has also encouraged visiting and praying for them. It has prohibited ridiculing them. It breaks their isolation and boycott, lightens the rules for them and absolves them from their obligations. Excellent indeed is the law of Islam and its Prophet!

Sources:

Al-Qurtubi, Muhammad ibnAhmad ibn Abi Bakr, Al-Jami` liAhkam Al-Qur’an.

Ar-Razi, Fakhr Ad-Din, Mafatih Al-Ghaib.

At-Tabari, Muhammad ibn Jarir.TarikhAr-Rusul wa Al-Mulouk.

Ibn Al-Jawzi, Sirat`Umar ibn`Abdul-`Aziz.

Ibn Hisham, `Abdul-Malik ibnHisham ibn Ayoub, As-Sirah An-Nabawiyah.

Ibn Kathir, Isma`il ibn `Amr Al-Basri, Al-Bidayah wa An-Nihayah.

Muhammad Mus`ad Yaqut is an Egyptian preacher and researcher. He prepares and presents programs on the Egyptian TV and other Arab satellite channels. He is a member of the Afro-Asian Writers’ Association.

source: https://archive.islamonline…

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2018 in Know him !, Relax

 

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Grandmother Accepted Islam & Is Now Sharing It !

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2018 in Relax, Video

 

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