Past, Present & Future of Islam

Islamic passed, present and Future:

Today Muslims are living all over the globe. There are approximately 300 million Arabs living in 22 countries, ruled by Arabs. Approximately 700 Million Muslims are living in 33 non Arab Muslim countries. The term Darul-Islam is applied to these independent Muslim countries. Muslims, who are living under the rule of non Muslims, such as in India, Europe, North America, Russia, and China, are about 330 Millions. This segment of Muslim population is known as Darul-Harb. Then there are Muslims who are refugees, roaming all over the globe, numbering about Millions and they constitute 80 % of the global refugee population. This is called Darul-Muhajireen.

There was a time when Muslims were the masters of the earth, controller of the destiny, but today they are on a path of continuous decline. Their Condition is horrible, they face miserable poverty, illiteracy, malnutrition, disease and sickness. There is a feeling of helplessness, hopelessness, and frustration among the Muslims. They are just living, for the sake of living, without any sense of direction. Neither the rulers, nor the intellectuals of this nation, have any plan, for this huge mass of suffering humanity. It is really painful to see them suffer, despite the best lands, resources, and vast number. It is very important for those, who are concerned about the future of the Islamic Ummah, to ponder about as to what is the cause of Muslim decline, What if anything can be done to end this misery.

Muslims had their own social, economic, Judiciary and political system of Khilafat, that was established by Messenger Muhammed peace be upon him and the system was further advanced by Caliphs (rightly guided successor). After 40 years, the system of Khilafa was derailed, and changed into Kingship, though the rulers continued to call themselves Khalifas. In order to understand the causes of decline of Muslims, one has to know the fundamentals of Khilafa, as follows: -

¤ The government is established according to the commandments of Quran, with Allah Almighty being the supreme and sovereign ruler of the state. Man cannot be the sovereign.

¤ All power belongs to the system, not to the Ruler. Khalifa is merely an agency to conduct the affairs of the state, by the framework given in Quran. When people obey this system, they do not obey any person, they really obey Quran, the word of God.

¤ The Khalifa is the central authority, on political as well as religious front. It is his responsibility to meet social, economic and political needs of the people. In muslim religion and the state cannot be separated.

¤ It is the responsibility of the Islamic system, to create the conditions within the state, where equal opportunity is provided for the Psychosocial development of every individual, on Quranic lines.

░ Answering Islam By Telling Causes and Decline of Muslim World

» Political Decentralization

Tauheed is the most essential element of Islam. It does not mean only the oneness of Allah Almighty. It also means one nation under one God. Muhammed peace be upon him established the Islamic state according to Quran. He was the head of the state, performing the political and religious duties simultaneously. After his demise, it was the rightly guided Khalifah who followed the foot steps of the Rasool, with single central authority (markaziah). Subsequently the system was changed to the dictatorial system, where power belonged to the individual rulers, not to the system. Now these rulers were not interested in the religious affairs of people, they took control of the foreign affairs, treasury, defense and trade and left rituals of Salaat, Saum, Hajj, Zakat, marriage, divorce etc. for the priests. So the single centralized authority was divided into political and religious wings. The rulers invented the laws to serve their aims and goals and distanced themselves from the guiding principals of Quran. They did not care for immediate and delayed deleterious effects of decentralization of the Muslim Ummah.

In dictatorship, whosoever gets the power, does not want to give it up and likes to pass it on to his descendants. The end result of this phenomenon is struggle for power among the successors, and fragmentation of the elite group. This fragmentation does not stop at the upper-level but trickles down to the commoners, who start supporting one leader against the other. In this way the united power of the people, required for the defense of the country, gets misdirected against each other. When Ummayya became weak in this way, they were easily eliminated by Abbassids who in turn were decimated by Tatarees. This is the punishment, Muslims received, for sacrificing the Quranic principal of Tauheed. Allama Iqbal expressed it well: - There is death for the nations, in detachment from the center, There is life for the nations, in attachment with the center (Quranic Laws, Kabba)

» Religious Sectarianism

The vacuum left by rulers on religious front was filled by Mullahs. Majority of them were also insincere to the cause of Islam. Most were interested in strengthening their power and position. Their power grew parallel to the power of the rulers and they gradually evolved into institutions. The heads of these institutions became so powerful, that their ruling became the last word. They created followers and supporters, slowly personality worship started. As they say, two of a trade seldom agree; Interpersonal jealousy and struggle for power among the Mullahs, divided one nation into numerous sects. Sufis have not lagged behind, they too have hundreds of Silsilas. The rulers and Mullahs have fragmented one Ummah into so many sects that there is hardly any hope of reunion in the near future.

Further ruler and Mullah have developed a reciprocal symbiotic relationship. Ruler gives a special status to the clergy, tax exempt status, to collect tax free money from people. The clergy on the other hand pays it back to the ruler, by justifying the illegitimate actions of the rulers with their fatwas. They brain wash people not to react against the rulers, and ask them to accept the status quo. Poor is pacified and put to sleep with the statements like; “will of Allah Almighty, destiny fate, reward in life after death, hate for this base of materialism, person who suffers here is the dearest to God Almighty etc.” The purpose of this is to eliminate the spirit of struggle (Jihad) among the Muslims, so that the field can be left wide open to the infidels. » Psychological Change in Muslim Ummah

Under the Islamic Khilafah, there is a complete freedom for people to express themselves. As a matter of fact, religion gives the ultimate freedom because Quran forbids enslaving of the people, even the Rasool(saw) does not have the authority to subjugate people, he never did it.. Public is encouraged to surrender to the system not to the Khalifah. In dictatorial system, people do not have freedom to think and speak against the state. If anyone does dare to speak, he just disappears, never to be found. So people become fearful and unconcerned with affairs of state. As a result of this, people learn hypocrisy, and suffer from fear complex. This is why the nation of 1.3 billion people is facing the crisis of altruistic leadership. Muslims are suffering from sickness of hypocrisy for the same reason. They address each other as brother, but act contrary. For the same reason, Muslim states do not trust each other and are plagued with conflict after conflict, purposely created by outsiders, to keep them tangled in their internal disputes. Both rulers and Mullahs are unconcerned with the future of the nation, as long as they can maintain their respective seats of power. Majority of us do not even react with our tongues, leave alone the constructive action. Is this the practice of Islam? Is this the Muslim brotherhood? According to Quran internal conflicts are the AZABUN-ALEEM (severe punishment). Today Ummah is caught in a vicious cycle of internal division, conflict, and weakness. This cycle must be broken by following measures.

░ Reforms & Solutions:

» Reestablishment of Islamic Central Authority

As I have discussed that the cause of Muslim fragmentation is because of the loss of a sacred central authority of Khalifah, we must make a sincere effort to re establish the Khilafah. It must be according to Quranic principals and life processes of rasool (saw). Otherwise, it will be a failure. To achieve this goal is a big task, but can be done, not impossible. Deeni dawat with peaceful approach for every muslims/non muslims should come under, Create Muslim Unity/love for ummah in the Islamic states through strive in the path of Allah (join and make collective effort to bring everyone for the cause of Allah).

Open the Quran, understand the final revelation, and propagate it to the masses and win their hearts and minds as shown by prophet (saw). Unity can only be created through the message of Quran and the path shown by our beloved prophet(saw). If one descends below the level of Quran, where human thoughts come into play, the gap widens. No point in discussing the past, look forward, towards ultimate goal. Past is past, can not be reversed. People in the past made their decisions depending on their circumstances and we have to make decisions based on our circumstances, and the circumstances demand unity. highlight our similarities, rather than be fixed on our differences.

» Learn Arabic Language

Bulk of the Muslims today are non Arabs, living outside the Arab lands, who neither speak nor understand the language of Quran and Prophet Mohammed peace be upon him. All Muslims must learn to read write and speak Arabic language for effective communication. If we can master English, French, Spanish and German, there is no excuse not to learn Arabic. This should be in addition to their other regional languages.

» Implement Islamic Economy

Muslim Economists and scholars should develop models of LARIBA interest free economy. Central Islamic bank and regional Islamic banks should be developed to finance these projects. Banking should be part of LARIBA Islamic economy.

» Islamic Media

In order to present Muslim point of view, entry into the media is of utmost importance. Through this vehicle all negativism against Islam should be challenged. TV, Radio, Magazine and Newspapers must be established. Movies have a very powerful impact on people. So far Muslims have neglected this powerful mean of impacting the public. This should be persued.

» Focus On To Real Concept Of Hajj

The word Hajj is from Hujjat, which means to discuss and find the solution to the problems. At this annual event, must discuss the problems and find the solutions for the problems facing the Ummah. Annual program must be spelled out in front of the Ummah and and in the subsequent year the goals achieved throughout the year should be presented at the next Hajj. This is the place where unified policy of the Muslim territory must be charted out. It should become United Nations of Islam. This should be in addition to present rituals of Hajj.

» Protection of Right of Muslim minority

Muslims, living in Darul-Harb, are facing severe discrimination in education, jobs, physical insecurity; they are denied religious and political rights. An effective policy should be charted out to deal with the Governments of the offender countries. Our resources, our trade should be shared with those countries, only if they are willing to change their policy towards their Muslim subjects.

»In the end I will say to the Muslims, if such a plan can be developed, and dedicated efforts are made, the abysmal fall of ummah will stop and rise will not be too far away. To rest of the globe I will say, After all, Muslims are a significant number of one human family, progress of Muslims, will be the progress of the whole human family. At this time when globe is progressing toward one world government, The dream of world peace will remain a dream, unless the global policy is based on justice, freedom and equality, which Muslims are denied so far.

History of Islam :- Muslim Empire Chart
Islam is a religion, flawless system, code of living for entire mankind. After establishing a first Islamic state which was based on absolute Quranic ideology the muslim ummah levy a seed of prosperity and success. Islam has given them a natural ability to grow and when they grew an entire mankind has grown with them.

No. Dynasty State Head Thrown Beginning Ending Total Period
1 khulfai-Rashideen 4 Medina 11 Hijri 40 Hijri 29 Years
2 Umayyad 14 Damascus 41 Hijri 132 Hijri 91 Years
3 Abbasid 37 Baghdad 132 Hijri 656 Hijri 524 Years
4 Umayyad (spain) 23 Qurtaba 138 Hijri 422 Hijri 284 Years
5 Al-mehmoodia (spain) 12 Maalka 407 Hijri 439 Hijri 32 Years
6 Al-mehmoodia (spain) 2 Al-Jazeera 431 Hijri 450 Hijri 19 Years
7 Al-Abbadia (spain) 3 Ashbeeliya 414 Hijri 484 Hijri 70 Years
8 Al-Zar-e-aah (spain) 5 Ghaarnata 403 Hijri 483 Hijri 80 Years
9 Al-Jahoriya (spain) 3 Qurtaba 422 Hijri 461 Hijri 39 Years
10 Zon-noniya (spain) 3 Taliteela 427 Hijri 478 Hijri 51 Years
11 Al-Amireeyah (spain) 7 Zalfeesia 412 Hijri 478 Hijri 66 Years
12 Tajibee (spain) 9 Sarqousa 410 Hijri 536 Hijri 126 Years
13 Maluk Daniah 2 Daniah 408 Hijri 468 Hijri 60 Years
14 Bani Nasr - Ghaarnata 629 Hijri 897 Hijri 268 Years
15 Al-Darsa (Africa) 10 Morocco 172 Hijri 375 Hijri 203 Years
16 Al-Ghalibah (Africa) 11 Tunis 184 Hijri 296 Hijri 112 Years
17 Zaireeya (Africa) 8 Tunis 362 Hijri 543 Hijri 181 Years
18 BunuHammad (Algeria) 9 Algiers 438 Hijri 548 Hijri 110 Years
19 Marabitoon (Algeria) 6 Morocco 448 Hijri 541 Hijri 93 Years
20 Al-Mohidoon (Africa) 13 North Africa 524 Hijri 668 Hijri 144 Years
21 Banu-Zayaan (Africa) 9 - 633 Hijri 796 Hijri 163 Years
22 Banu-Mareen (Africa) 29 Morocco 591 Hijri 875 Hijri 284 Years
23 Al-Shurfa (Africa) 25 Morocco 951 Hijri uptill now uptill now
24 Al-Toluneeya (Africa) 5 Egypt 254 Hijri 292 Hijri 38 Years
25 Akh-shediya (Africa) 5 Egypt 323 Hijri 358 Hijri 35 Years
26 Fatimaaid (Africa) 14 Qairo 297 Hijri 568 Hijri 271 Years
27 Ayubeeyah (Africa) 45 Qairo/Syria 564 Hijri 648 Hijri 84 Years
28 Mamuleek-ul-Bahair 30 Qairo/Syria 648 Hijri 762 Hijri 114 Years
29 Banu-Hafs 23 Tunis 625 Hijri 941 Hijri 316 Years
30 Mamuleek-ul-Burjee 24 Qairo 784 Hijri 922 Hijri 138 Years
31 Khid-Yoyeah 10 Qairo 1220 Hijri 1372 Hijri 152 Years
32 Ziadeeyah 5 Yemen 204 Hijri 409 Hijri 205 Years
33 Yaghforeeyah 10 Sana 247 Hijri 345 Hijri 98 Years
34 Najaheed 8 Yemen 412 Hijri 553 Hijri 141 Years
35 Saailheeyah 3 Sana 429 Hijri 495 Hijri 66 Years
36 Haamdaniyah 8 Sana 496 Hijri 569 Hijri 77 Years
37 Mehdeeyah 3 Yemen 554 Hijri 569 Hijri 15 Years
38 Zareeyah 8 Adan 476 Hijri 569 Hijri 93 Years
39 Rasoole-Yah 17 Yemen 628 Hijri 858 Hijri 232 Years
40 Ayube-Yaan (yemen) 6 Yemen 569 Hijri 625 Hijri 56 Years
41 Tahireeyah 4 Yemen 850 Hijri 923 Hijri 73 Years
42 Al-aymatul-araseeyah 17 Sana 280 Hijri 700 Hijri 460 Years
43 Al-aymatul-sana - Medina 1000 Hijri uptill now uptill now
44 Haamdaniyah 9 Masul 317 Hijri 394 Hijri 77 Years

History of Islam :- Muslim Empire Chart

No. Dynasty State Head Thrown Beginning Ending Total Period
45 Mardaseeya 7 Halb 414 Hijri 472 Hijri 58 Years
46 Aqileeyah 11 Masul 386 Hijri 489 Hijri 103 Years
47 Marwaaniah 5 Syria 380 Hijri 489 Hijri 109 Years
48 Mazeedeyah 8 Al-hilah 403 Hijri 545 Hijri 142 Years
49 Dalfeeyah 5 Kurdistan 210 Hijri 285 Hijri 75 Years
50 Sajeeyah 4 Azerbaijan 268 Hijri 318 Hijri 50 Years
51 Alveeyah 5 Tabristan 250 Hijri 316 Hijri 66 Years
52 Tahreeyah 5 Khurasaan 205 Hijri 259 Hijri 54 Years
53 Safareeyah 3 Persia 254 Hijri 290 Hijri 36 Years
54 Samaneeyah 10 Turkistan 261 Hijri 389 Hijri 128 Years
55 Khanat Ellak 26 Turkistan 320 Hijri 560 Hijri 240 Years
56 Zaideeyah 6 Jurjan 316 Hijri 434 Hijri 118 Years
57 Hasnu-eeyah 3 Kurdistan 348 Hijri 406 Hijri 58 Years
58 Bovee Yah 27 Iraq 320 Hijri 448 Hijri 128 Years
59 Kakoovee 2 Kurdistan 398 Hijri 443 Hijri 45 Years
60 Salajikah 51 Western Asia 429 Hijri 700 Hijri 271 Years
61 Danishmandiah 5 Maliteah 490 Hijri 560 Hijri 70 Years
62 Atabekah Boree 6 Damascus 497 Hijri 549 Hijri 52 Years
63 Zangee 20 Syria 521 Hijri 648 Hijri 127 Years
64 Amrai Bakingnee 3 Arbilla 539 Hijri 630 Hijri 91 Years
65 Amrai Artaqeeah 25 Daayar Bakar 633 Hijri 796 Hijri 163 Years
66 Shahaan Ameeneah 8 Armenia 493 Hijri 604 Hijri 111 Years
67 Amrai Azerbaijan 5 Azerbaijan 531 Hijri 622 Hijri 91 Years
68 Salghariah 9 Persia 543 Hijri 686 Hijri 143 Years
69 Hazar Aspiah 14 Loristan 543 Hijri 740 Hijri 197 Years
70 Shahaan Khurzaam 8 Khurzaam 470 Hijri 628 Hijri 158 Years
71 Khanan Katleghia 8 karman 619 Hijri 703 Hijri 84 Years
72 Al-Usman 37 constantipole 699 Hijri 1336 Hijri 637 Years
73 Khandan-e-Moghol 34 Rangariah 603 Hijri 1043 Hijri 440 Years
74 Moghol Farsee 17 Persia 654 Hijri 750 Hijri 96 Years
75 Khandan-e-Urdu 40 North Sehon 621 Hijri 907 Hijri 286 Years
76 Khanan-e-Karm 62 Alqarm 823 Hijri 1197 Hijri 374 Years
77 Khanan-e-Chughtai 28 Sana 247 Hijri 345 Hijri 98 Years
78 Jallairee 6 Iraq 736 Hijri 814 Hijri 78 Years
79 Muzfaree 6 Persia 713 Hijri 795 Hijri 82 Years
80 Sirbidaree 12 Khurasaan 737 Hijri 783 Hijri 46 Years
81 Kurtee 8 Haraat 643 Hijri 791 Hijri 148 Years
82 Kurakounlo 5 Azerbaijan 780 Hijri 874 Hijri 94 Years
83 Amrai-aaq kounlo 12 Azerbaijan 780 Hijri 908 Hijri 128 Years
84 Shahaan-e-Iran 23 Tehran 907 Hijri 1979 Hijri 1072 Years
85 Tamuree 11 Turkistan 771 Hijri 906 Hijri 135 Years
86 Sheebanee 20 Turkistan 906 Hijri 1007 Hijri 101 Years
87 Amrai Mangeet 6 Turkistan 1200 Hijri 1284 Hijri 84 Years
88 Shahaan Khewa 35 Turkistan 921 Hijri 1289 Hijri 368 Years

89 Shahaan-e-Khoqand 19 Turkistan 1112 Hijri 1293 Hijri 181 Years
90 Janee 11 Astar Khan 1007 Hijri 1200 Hijri 193 Years
91 Ghaznavi 22 Afghanistan 351 Hijri 582 Hijri 231 Years
92 Ghouri 10 Afghanistan 543 Hijri 612 Hijri 69 Years
93 Salateen-e-Delhi 38 Delhi 602 Hijri 962 Hijri 360 Years
94 Maluk-e-Bangal 59 Calcutta 599 Hijri 984 Hijri 385 Years
95 Maluk-e-Jonpur 6 Jonpur 796 Hijri 905 Hijri 109 Years
96 Maluk-e-Malwa 7 Malwa 804 Hijri 937 Hijri 133 Years
97 Ghujrat 14 Ghujrat 799 Hijri 980 Hijri 181 Years
98 Khandees 11 Khandees 801 Hijri 1008 Hijri 207 Years
99 Maluk-e-Bahminee 18 Daccan 748 Hijri 923 Hijri 175 Years
100 Maluk-e-Amadeeyah 5 Barar 890 Hijri 980 Hijri 90 Years
101 Maluk-e-Kashmir - Kashmir 735 Hijri 995 Hijri 260 Years
102 Maluk-e-Nazamiah 10 Ahmed Nagar 896 Hijri 1004 Hijri 104 Years
103 Maluk-e-Bareed 5 Bareed 897 Hijri 1018 Hijri 121 Years
104 Maluk-e-Adilaah 8 Baija Pur 895 Hijri 1097 Hijri 202 Years
105 Maluk-e-Qatbeeyah 5 Golkandah 918 Hijri 1098 Hijri 180 Years
106 Maluk-e-Maughal 21 Delhi 932 Hijri 1275 Hijri 343 Years

There are only two Muslim festivals set down in Islamic law: Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha ( Eid is a word significance for festival). But there are also several other unique days which Muslims celebrate. Some Muslims disapprove of commemorateing the birthday of the Prophet (pbuh), on the grounds that it is an innovation, and novelty in religious matters are prohibited.

Some Muslims say that if amended were made in sacred issues it would entail that Islam was not absolute when it was exposed to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), or that the Prophet (pbuh) did not tell Muslims everything that was revealed to him. This would be seen as extremely irreverent by many Muslims.

Eid ul Fitr: (1 Shawwal):-
This marks the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting, and is a festival of great celebration. In Islamic countries it is a public holiday.

The first Eid was celebrated in 624 CE by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) with his comrades and kins after the triumph of the battle of Ghazwa -e-Badar. Muslims are not only celebrating the end of fasting, but expressing gratitude to Allah Almighty for the assistance and potency that he gave them throughout the previous month to help them carry out self-control. The fiesta begins when the first view of the new moon is seen in the sky.

The festive feeling is enlarged by everyone wearing best or new attire, and decorating their homes. There are extraordinary services out of doors and in masjids, parade through the streets, and of course, a special celebratory meal-eaten during daytime, the first daytime meal Muslims will have had in a month. Eid is also marked as a time of pardon, and making atonement.

Eid ul Adha: (10 Dil Hijja):-
This fiesta symbols the end of the Hajj or holy pilgrimage, which is one of the 5 pillars of Islam. though it is celebrated by all Muslims, not just individuals who are on the pilgrimage.

This is a 3-day public holiday in Muslim countries. The festival memorizes the prophet Ibrahim's readiness to sacrifice his son when God decree him to... Ibrahim's whole compliance to the will of God is celebrated by Muslims each year. Each Muslim, as they celebrate, reminds themselves of their own submission to God, and their own willingness to sacrifice anything to God's wishes.

During the festival Muslims who can afford to, sacrifice domestic animals, usually sheep, as a sign of Abraham sacrifice. The meat is dispersed among family, kiths and the deprived, who each get a third share.

Ashura: (10 Muharram):-
Shi'aat in particular use the day to commemorate the martyrdom of Hussain, a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in 680 A.D.

It marks two past events: the day Nuh (Noah) left the Ark , and the day that Musa (Moses) was saved from the Egyptians by Allah Almighty . Shi'aat in particular exercise the day to honor the martyrdom of Hussain, a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in 680 A.D. In Shi'aat communities this is a somber day: plays a replica of martyrdom, repeatedly staged and many take part in bereavement ceremony.

Al-Hijra: (1 Muharram):-
This carnival celebrates the Hijra (or Hegira) in 622 A.D when the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) moved from Mecca to Medina .

Al-Hijra, the Islamic New Year, is the first day of the month of Muharram. It symbols the Hijra (or Hegira) in 622 A.D when the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) moved from Mecca to Medina , and set up the first Islamic state. The Muslim calendar counts dates from the Hijra.

There is no precise spiritual service required on this day, but Muslims will think about the broad meaning of Hijra, and observe this as a good time for "New Year Resolutions". The Qur'an uses the word Hijra to mean moving from a bad place or state of affairs to a good one - and so Muslims may believe about how their belief helps them leave behind bad ways of living and attain a healthier life. The date marks the opening of Islam as a community in which pious and earthly life were completely incorporated. It was a community inspired by God, and totally obedient to God; a group of people bound as one by faith.

By breaking the connection with his own clan the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) established that tribal and family loyalties were unimportant compared to the bonds of Islam. This Muslim community grew progressively over time, unifying the many tribes that had made up the Arab world in advance. Islam now evolved as a joint spiritual and earthly community, with political and military power working hand in hand with spiritual authority and direction. At the same time the community developed the religious and ethical codes of actions that still provide the base of Muslim existence.

Lailat al Qadr (27 Ramadan):-
The fiesta of The Night of command symbols the night in which the Qur'an was first opened to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) by Allah Almighty .

Muslims observe this as the most important event in history, and the Qur'an says that this night is better than a thousand months (97:3), and that on this night the angels come down to earth. This is a festival that Muslims spend in study and prayer. Some will spend the whole night in prayer or in reciting the Qur'an. The date of 27 Ramadan for this day is a customary date, as the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) did not tell us when the Night of Power would be, although he suggested it was in the last 10 days of the month. As of this, many Muslims will treat the last 10 days of the month of Ramadan as a mainly fine time for prayer and understanding the Qur'an.

History of Kaaba And its Geographical Location ;

At the time of Messenger Muhammad peace be upon him , his tribe, the Quraysh was in charge of the Kaaba, which was at that time a shrine to numerous Arabian tribal gods. Desert tribesmen, the Bedouin , and inhabitants of other cities would join the annual pilgrimage, to worship and to trade. Caravan-raiding, common during the rest of the year, was suspended during the pilgrimage; this was a good time, then, for travel and trade.

Muhammad peace be upon him, preaching the Laws of one God (in Arabic, Allah Almighty). The Quraysh persecuted and harassed him continuously, and he and his followers eventually migrated to Medina , the Muslim community became a political and military force. In 630 C.E., Muhammad peace be upon him and his followers returned to Mecca as conquerors, and the Kaaba has been marked as a first Islamic State capital and the centre point for entire Muslim ummah. The Kaaba was built by the Messenger Ibrahim (Abraham) peace be upon him and his son Messenger Ishmael peace be upon him.

The Qibla, for any point of reference on the Earth, is the direction of the Kaaba. In Muslim religious practice, supplicants must face this direction in prayer. It should be noted that Muslims do not worship the Kaaba or its contents, any more than Christians worship churches or crosses; the Kaaba is simply a focal point for prayer. The Qibla points along the shortest path to the Kaaba. Because the Earth is approximately spherical, this path will be a great circle such as airplanes fly. The location of the Kaaba can be used together with spherical geometry to determine the Qibla for any given point on the Earth.

The Masjid al Haram in the city of Mecca. It is considered by Muslims to be the holiest place on and is the focal point of the hajj pilgrimage required of all able-bodied Muslims as one of the Five Pillars of Islam. According to Islamic tradition, the mosque was built by Messenger Ibrahim peace be upon him with the help of his son. They were ordered by Allah Almighty to build the Masjid. The mosque itself has always been an important part of Arab culture. Even in pre-Islamic days it was a site for pilgrimages by pre-monotheistic Arabs, who filled the Kaaba with idols of the gods they worshipped. This episode is seen as a corruption of what the Kaaba was meant for, and the fact that they had strayed from the path of God explains why God sent Muhammad peace be upon him as a messenger to the people of Mecca. Muhammad peace be upon him grandfather, Abu Muttalib, was a caretaker of the Kaaba, and Messenger spent much time there.

After the Hijra, Messenger Muhammad peace be upon him was forced to withdraw to Medina . Upon his return to Mecca years later, he ritually smashed all the idols in the Kaaba and cleansed it. This began Islamic rule over Kaaba, and the building of a Masjid around it.

Hajj is a routine exercise of entire muslim ummah in a year time and this congregation held at Mecca - kaaba. Today the pilgrimage structures the entire life of the Muslim. A believer is required to make attempt to attend this congregation.The Muslim's whole life is directed towards Quranic goal; all of life becomes a pilgrimage

Medina - Saudi Arabia

City of Medina, Its history & Geography ;

Medina is a city in the Hejaz region of western Saudi Arabia . The long form of the Arabic name means "the enlightened city", while the short form just means "the City". Medina is the second holy city of, after Makkah (Mecca) .Its importance as a religious site derives from the presence there the Shrine of the Prophet Mohammad by Masjid al-Nabawi or the Mosque of the Prophet, famously know as Gumbad-e-Khizra, Prophet's Dome or Green Dome, which was built on a site adjacent to Prophet Muhammad 's home. His home later became part of the mosque when it was expanded by the caliph al-Waleed ibn Abdel Malek. The first mosque of Islam is also located in Medina and is known as Masjid Quba, the Quba Mosque . In 622 , Medina became the seat of Messenger Muhammad peace be upon him growing movement after the Hijra. In 622 Muhammad was invited to come and live in Yathrib (the old name of Medina ) and act as a sort of governor. Medina in those times was a divided city. Different clans and religions were eternally quarrelling and bickering and he brought unity to the city. All parties agreed to a pact drawn up by Muhammad peace be upon him and his comrades. He invited all people in the city to follow the new religion (system) of Islam. However, he had trouble convincing the majority of the Jewish population (which was actually quite large) and the Christian population that Islam was the true version of Judaism or the true religion of Jesus .

In the ten years following the Hijra, Medina formed the base from which Muhammad peace be upon him attacked and was attacked and it was from here that he marched on Mecca, becoming its ruler without battle. Even when Islamic rule was established Medina remained for some years the most important city of Islam . Under the first four Caliphs, known as the Righteous Caliphs, the Islamic empire expanded rapidly and came to include centres of learning such as Jerusalem , Ctesiphon , and Damascus .

Badr - A ground outside Medina where first Holy War of islam was fought

Badr, is known for its " Battle of Badr "

The Battle of Badr was a seminal event in the formative days of Islam. It is mentioned by name in the Quran (3.122) Allah Almighty helped you at Badr and you were weak') According to the historic traditions that have come down to us, the battle itself was a test so far as the Muslims were concerned. Victory at Badr crystallized Muhammad peace be upon him as a recognized effective combat leader and solidified his position in Medina . The traditions describe the enemy at Badr as, essentially, the entire manpower of the Quraysh (although several groups are described as declining to take part). Their number is estimated at about 1000 men. Muhammad peace be upon him is reported to have had 313 comrades. It was this battle that cemented the allegiance of the Medinans to the messenger.

It was a rumor which has been spread accidentally or intentionally that the business caravan of Mecca 's rich was attacked by Muslims this thing reacted like a fire, therefore people in Mecca collected their forces and rode out to teach Muhammad peace be upon him a lesson. It seems that they were expecting messenger to be leading no more than his Qurayshi followers whom the men from Mecca felt they could easily disperse.

The two forces met one another at the ground of Badr between Medina and Mecca and, after resting overnight, fought a battle on the next day. No description of battle as a whole has come down to us and apparently the historians believed that Meccans broke almost immediately and the battle dissolved into a collection of single combats. Muslims were victorious in this battle with minimum causalities rate in comparison to Meccans army. The outcome of this battle was the boost of confidence among Muslims and their robust impression on infidels and others (Christians & Jews). The Quran has also eloquently discussed this event and marked with this title “Yaumul Furqan” means the day when negative forces were standing apart from positive forces.

Ottoman State - Empire reached its apex under Suleiman 1

Ottoman Empire, originated as a Beylik within the Seljuk Empire in the 13th century

The Ottoman Empire, Turkish is a member of the Turkish family of languages, which includes Balkan Gagauz Turkish, Gagauz, and Khorasani Turkish in addition to Turkish. The Turkish family is a subgroup of the Southern Turkic languages, themselves a subgroup of the Turkish languages, which some linguists believe to be member of the disputed Altaic language family (which is considered part of the even more disputed Ural-Altaic language family) was an imperial power that existed from 1299 to 1923 1923 to rule the borders of the Mediterranean Sea. At the height of its power, it included Anatolia, the Middle East, part of North Africa, and south-eastern Europe. It was established by a tribe of Oghuz Turks in western Anatolia and ruled by the Osman i dynasty. This has also been interpreted as referring to the Empire's position as gateway between Europe and Asia .In its day, the Ottoman Empire was also commonly referred to as the Turkish Empire or Turkey , though it should not be confused with the modern nation-state of that name. The Ottoman State originated as a Beylik within the Seljuk Empire in the 13th century. In 1299, Osman I declared independence of the Ottoman Principality.Murad I was the first Ottoman to claim the title of sultan (king). With the capture of Constantinople in 1453, the state became a mighty empire with Mehmed II as its emperor. The Empire reached its apex under Suleiman I in the 16th century, when it stretched from the Persian Gulf in the east to Hungary in the northwest, and from Egypt in the south to the Caucasus in the north. The Empire was situated in the middle of East and West and interacted throughout its six-century history with both the East and the West. During this period, the Empire vied with the emerging European colonial powers in the Indian Ocean. Fleets with soldiers and arms were sent to support Muslim rulers in Kenya and Aceh and to defend the Ottoman slave and spice trade.In Aceh, the Ottomans built a fortress and supplied huge cannon.The Dutch Protestants were helped by the Ottomans against Catholic Spain.

In the 17th century, the Ottomans were weakened both internally and externally by costly wars, especially against Persia , the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Russia and Austria-Hungary. There was a long succession of sultans who were not as good as the generation of Mehmed II, Selim I and Suleyman 1. The scientific advantage the Ottomans had over the other European countries also diminished. While the Ottomans were stagnating in a stalemate with their European and Asian neighbor countries, the European development went into overdrive. Eventually, after a defeat at the Battle of Vienna, in 1683, it was clear the Ottoman Empire was no longer the sole superpower in Europe. In 1699, for the first time in its history the Ottomans acknowledged that the Austrian empire could sign a treaty with the Ottomans on equal terms, and actually lost a large territory which had been in Ottoman possession for two centuries. Through a series of reforms, the empire continued to be one of the major political powers of Europe.

The Empire was founded by Osman I. In the 16th and 17th centuries, the Ottoman Empire was among the world's most powerful political entities and the countries of Europe felt threatened by its steady advance through the Balkans. From 1517 onwards, the Ottoman Sultan was also the Caliph of Islam, and the Ottoman Empire was from 1517 until 1922 (or 1924) synonymous with the Caliphate, the Islamic State. In 1453, after the Ottomans captured Constantinople (modern Istanbul) from the Byzantine Empire, it became the Ottoman capital. Following World War I, during which most of its territories were captured by the Allies, Ottoman elites established modern Turkey during the Turkish War of Independence.

Abbasid Dynasty - Caliphs Of Baghdad

Abbasid was the dynastic name generally given to the caliphs of Baghdad, the second of the two great Sunni dynasties of the Muslim that overthrew the Umayyid caliphs.It seized power in 750, when it finally defeated the Umayyads in battle, and flourished for two centuries, but slowly went into decline with the rise to power of the Turkish army they had created, the Mamluks. Their claim to power was finally ended in 1258 for broader historical context, see 1250s and 13th century. When Hulagu Khan, the Mongol general, sacked Baghdad .While they continued to claim authority in religious matters from their base in Egypt, their dynasty was ended.

» Learning Under The Abbasid Dynasty

The reigns of Harun al-Rashid ( 786 - 809 ) and his successors fostered an age of great intellectual achievement. In large part this was the result of the schismatic forces that had undermined the Umayyad regime, which relied on the assertion of the superiority of Arab culture as part of its claim to legitimacy, and the Abbasids' welcoming of support from non-Arab Muslims.

A number of medieval thinkers and scientists living under Islamic rule, many of them non-Muslims or heretical Muslims, played a role in transmitting Greek, Hindu, and other pre-Islamic knowledge to the Christian West.They contributed to making Aristotle known in Christian Europe.In addition the period saw the recovery of much of the Alexandrian mathematical, geometric and astronomical knowledge, such as that of Euclides and Claudius Ptolemy, and these recovered mathematical methods were later enhanced and developed by other Islamic scholars, notably by Al-Biruni, and Abu Nasr Mansur, who are thought to have first derived the Cosine rule and applied it to spherical geometry.

Three speculative thinkers,the Persians al-Kindi,al-Farabi, and Avicenna, combined Aristotelianism and Neoplatonism with other ideas introduced through Islam

» The end of the Caliphate

Hulagu Khan sacked Baghdad on ( February 10 , 1258 ), causing great loss of life. Al-Musta'sim, the last reigning Abbasid caliphate in Baghdad was then executed on February 20, 1258. The Abbasids still maintained a feeble show of authority, confined to religious matters, in Egypt under the Mamluks, but the dynasty finally disappeared with Motawakkil III, who was carried away as a prisoner to Constantinople by Selim 1.

» Abbasid Caliphs of Baghdad

Abul Abbas As-Saffah 750 -754

Al-Mansur 754 - 775

Al-Mahdi 775 - 785

Al-Hadi 785- 786

Harun al-Rashid 786 - 809

Al-Amin 809 - 813

Al-Mamun 813 - 833

Al-Mutasim 833 - 842

Al-Wathiq 842 - 847

Al-Mutawakkil 847 - 861

Al-Muntasir 861 - 862

Al-Mustain 862 - 866

Al-Mutazz 866 - 869

Al-Muhtadi 869 - 870

Al-Mutamid 870 - 892

Al-Mutadid 892 - 902

Al-Muktafi 902 - 908

Al-Muqtadir 908 - 932

Al-Qahir 932 - 934

Ar-Radi 934 - 940

Al-Muttaqi 940 - 944

Al-Mustakfi 944 - 946

Al-Muti 946 - 974

At-Tai 974 - 991

Al-Qadir 991 - 1031

Al-Qaim 1031 - 1075

Al-Muqtadi 1075 - 1094

Al-Mustazhir 1094 - 1118

Al-Mustarshid 1118 - 1135

Ar-Rashid 1135 - 1136

Al-Muqtafi 1136 - 1160

Al-Mustanjid 1160 - 1170

Al-Mustadi 1170 - 1180

An-Nasir 1180 - 1225

Az-Zahir 1125 - 1226

Al-Mustansir 1226 - 1242

Al-Mustasim 1242 - 1258

Battle Of Uhud has vital place in the history of Islam

Battle Of Uhud(2nd Holy War in islam) - Ground
Mount Uhud

The battle of Uhud was a reprisal against the Muslims following the battle of Badr. Some of the leading members of Quraysh such as Abu Jahl, Utbah, Shaiba, Walid, Umayya bin Khalaf, and Hanzala bin Abu Sufyan, had been killed in the battle of Badr. After the death of Abu Jahl, leadership of the Makkans had passed on to his compeer, Abu Sufyan, who was the chief of the clan of Banu Umayya. There was profound sorrow in Makkah at the loss of so many chiefs but Abu Sufyan had forbidden the bereaved families to cry and to lament their losses. Tears, he knew, could wash away malevolence from the hearts. But time and tears, he asserted, would not be allowed to heal the wounds received by the Meccan aristocracy at Badr. He himself had taken an oath that he would remain a stranger to every pleasure until he had paid the Muslims back in their own coin. He and the other leaders of the Quraysh spent a whole year of feverish activity in which they equipped and trained a new army.

One year after the battle of Badr, the new army of the idolaters of Makkah was ready to take the field against the Muslims. In March 625 Abu Sufyan left Makkah at the head of three thousand seasoned warriors. Most of them were foot soldiers but they were supported by a strong contingent of cavalry. Also accompanying the army, was a band of warlike women. Their duty was to wage "psychological warfare" against the Muslims by reading poetry and by singing amatory songs to spur the courage and the will-to-fight of the soldiers. They knew that nothing held such terror for the Arabs as the jibes of women for cowardice, and they also knew that nothing was so efficacious to turn them into utterly reckless fighters as the promise of physical love. These amazons included the wives of Abu Sufyan and Amr bin Aas. The Muslims advanced with 700 men against 3000 warriors from Mecca . Moreover, while the Muslims could muster only one hundred men with coats of chain-mail, and no horses, Quraish and their allies included 700 men in armor and 200 horsemen. Wishing to cover their rear in view of their small numbers, the Muslims posted themselves at the foot of Mt. Uhad. Their right flank and rear were covered by the mountains, but their left flank lay in open ground and was thus exposed to a charge by the enemy cavalry. To guard against this, Muhammed peace be upon him posted fifty archers on this flank, with orders on no account to leave their post, from which they could protect the Muslim left wing from the Quraish horse. The Meccans drew up their line facing the Muslims in such a way that the latter, with their backs to Uhad, were facing Medina , while the Quraish line confronted them with Medina in its rear, thereby interposing between the Muslims and the town. Quraysh had brought a number of women with them, riding in camel-litters. These now, as the two lines drew towards one another, proceeded to rouse the enthusiasm of the Meccans, beating upon tambourines, reciting martial poetry and letting down their long hair. The battle of Uhud began just as the battle of Badr had begun, with a Makkan warrior advancing from his lines and challenging the Muslims to single combat. The muslim army has lost this battle because their platoon of archers who were deployed on to the strategic position at Mount Uhud has left their position despite the clear orders from their commander in chief to stick their positions till the time they have got an orders to get ease.

Treaty Of Hudaibiyah - Significance & Importance in Islam

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Hudaibiyah - 2
Hudaibiyah - 3

In the sixth year after his migration to Medina (March 628), Messenger Muhammad peace be upon him decided to perform the Umrah (other than Hajj). Fourteen hundred of the companions joined the Messenger for Mecca . He ordered them not to carry any weapons of war, but allowed a sword which was customary for the travelers to carry for protection against caravan raids.

The Quraish (Pagans) intent upon not allowing the prophet to enter Mecca closed all access to the city. The Prophet then reached a place called Hudaibiya, on the precincts of the sacred territory of Mecca , and halted there.The Quraysh tried to provoke the Messenger's companions to fighting. Upon finding the pilgrims in their Ihram (pilgrim's garb) and their intention not to fight, the fears and anxieties of the Quraysh were abated; and they were forced to think of the consequences if the pilgrims were turned back without performing the rites. The Quraysh sent Urwah bin Mas'ud to the Prophet as their spokesman. The Prophet's delegation and that of the Quraysh negotiated back and forth. In these deliberations, the Quraysh made some unpleasant remarks about the Prophet and his companions. At this Urwah, the Meccan representative, felt that he was led to be misguided and protested to Quraysh that he had not made a pact with them for such a behavior and stated:

“I have been sent as envoy to the courts of Kesra (Chosroes), Qaisar (Caeser), and the Negus but I have not seen a king whose men so honor him as the companions of Muhammad peace be upon him honor him If he commands anything they almost outstrip his words in fulfilling it....When he speaks, their voices are hushed in his presence and they lower their eyes in reverence for him. He has made you a good offer, therefore accept it from him.” The Quraysh realizing their mistake and the risk of losing important allies, came to an agreement with the Prophet. The terms of the treaty were written down and is known as the Treaty of Hudaibiyah, It included:

“In your name, O Allah. These are the terms of the truce between Muhammad, the son of Abdullah and Suhayl, the son of Amr (of Mecca).Both parties have agreed to lay down the burden of war for ten years. During this time, each party shall be safe, and neither shall injure the other; no secret damage shall be inflicted, but uprightness and honor shall prevail between them.

» The Muslims shall return this year without performing Umrah (the pilgrimage).In the coming year, you may enter it with your companions, staying therein for three days, bearing no arms except the arms of the traveler, with swords remaining in their sheaths.

» If a Quraysh person comes to Muhammad (i.e., after accepting Islam) without the permission of his guardian, Muhammad shall return him to them, but if one of the Muhammad's people come to the Quraysh, he shall not be returned.

» Whoever wishes to enter into covenant with Muhammad can do so, and

» Whoever wishes to enter into covenant with the Quraysh can do so.”

Many of the Muslims were not satisfied with the terms of the treaty and they regarded it to be humiliating to themselves, considering the behavior of the Quraish against the Prophet during the negotiations. The Prophet declared the treaty a victory and they accepted it on the conviction that Allah and His messenger know best.On their way back to Medina, Allah Almighty (The One God) revealed to the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him a chapter of the Quran known as Al-Fath (The Victory, Chapter 48). The chapter begins with: “Verily we have given thee a victory, a very clear victory.

Al-Hudaibiyah Treaty: Socio-political Impact :

A series of events confirmed the profound wisdom and splendid results of the peace treaty which Allâh called "a manifest victory". How could it be otherwise when Quraish had recognized the Muslims existence on the scene of political life in Arabia , and began to deal with the believers on equal terms. Quraish in the light of the articles of the treaty, had indirectly relinquished its claim to religious leadership, and admitted that they were no longer interested in people other than Quraish, and washed their hands of any sort of intervention in the religious future of the Arabian Peninsula. The Muslims did not have in mind to seize people's property or kill them through bloody wars, nor did they ever think of pursuing any coercive approaches in their endeavours to propagate Islam, on the contrary, their sole target was to provide an atmosphere of freedom as regards ideology or religion:

» O Rasool! proclaim to the entire mankind "The truth has come from your Rabb, whosoever chooses may accept it and whosoever chooses may reject it, knowing, however, that Allah Almighty has kept ready for the Z'alimeen the fire of Jahannam which will engulf them. The gold and silver which had emboldened them to oppose the Divine Order will be melted and poured down their throats to quench their thirst for which they will cry forth. How wretched the drink and what an unhappy place to lie in! (9/34-35) - Quran Chapter 18 verse 29

The Muslims, on the other hand, had the opportunity to spread Islam over areas not then explored. When there was armistice, war was abolished, and men met and consulted together, none talked about Islam intelligently without entering it; within the two years following the conclusion of the treaty double as many entered Islam as ever before. This is supported by the fact that the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him went out to Al-Hudaibiyah with only 1,400 men, but when he set out to liberate Mecca, two years later, he had 10,000 men with him.

The article of the treaty pertaining to cessation of hostilities for ten years points directly to the utter failure of political haughtiness exercised by Quraish and its allies, and functions as evidence of the collapse and impotence of the war instigator.

Quraish had been obliged to lose those advantages in return for one seemingly in its favour but does not actually bear any harm against the Muslims, i.e., the article that speaks of handing over believing men who seek refuge with the Muslims without their guardians' consent to Quraish. At first glance, it was a most distressing clause and was considered objectionable in the Muslim camp. However, in the course of events, it proved to be a great blessing. The Muslims sent back to Mecca were not likely to renounce the blessings of Islam; contrariwise, those very Muslims turned out to be centres of influence for Islam. It was impossible to think that they would become apostates or renegades. The wisdom behind this truce assumed its full dimensions in some subsequent events. After the Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam had reached Medina, Abu Baseer, who had escaped from Quraish, came to him as a Muslim; Quraish sent two men demanding his return, so the Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam handed him over to them. On the way to Mecca, Abu Baseer managed to kill one of them, and the other one fled to Medina with Abu Baseer in pursuit. When he reached the Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam, he said, Your obligation is over and Allah Almighty has freed you from it. You duly handed me over to the men, and Allah Almighty has rescued me from them. The other Muslims who were oppressed in Makkah began to escape to Abu Baseer. He was joined by Abu Jandal and others until a fair-sized colony was formed and soon sought revenge on Quraish and started to intercept their caravans. The pagans of Makkah finding themselves unable to control those exiled colonists, begged the Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam to do away with the clause which governed the extradition. They implored him by Allâh and by their ties of kinship to send for the group, saying that whoever joined the Muslims in Medina would be safe from them. So the Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam sent for the group and they responded, as expected, positively.

These are the realities of the clauses of the truce treaty and as it seems they all function in favour of the nascent Islamic state. However, two points in the treaty made it distasteful to some Muslims, namely they were not given access to the Holy Sanctuary that year, and the seemingly humiliating attitude as regards reconciliation with the pagans of Quraish. In due course the Chapter of Victory (48th) was revealed saying: We (O Rasool) have laid open for you the visible path for success and victory; and a decisive revolution is about to take place. [48:1]

The early part of the year 7 A.H. witnessed the Islamization of three prominent men of

Mecca, ‘Amr bin Al-‘As, Khalid bin Al-Waleed and ‘Uthman bin Talhah. On their arrival and entrance into the fold of Islam, the Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam said, "Quraish has given us its own blood."

Tabuk - Battle of Tabuk

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Tabuk an oasis town, northwestern Saudi Arabia . The town is situated amid a grove of date palms. In former times it was a station on the Hejaz railway (now defunct). At the edge of the old part of Tabuk town stands a Turkish fort, built in 1694. Modern Tabuk is developing as one of the fastest-growing industrial center of Saudi Arabia.

Some of the tribes were still ensnared in the mirage that the rise of Islam was temporary like a cloudburst, whose tide would be stemmed before long. It was therefore necessary to warn or even threaten such people before they device an opportunity to strike at the Muslims. The expedition of Tabuk had the desired effect on such halfhearted tribes much in the same way as the conquest of Mecca had gone a long way in clearing away the clouds of opposition. This expedition against the Byzantine Empire whose might and magnificence was well-known to the Arabs, virtually meant that the Muslims were ready to hurl down the gauntlet even to the greatest power of the day. As to how much respect the Arabs had for the Byzantines whom they called Romans. The Arabs could not then dream of attacking the Byzantine Empire; they themselves feared Byzantine invasion or rather did not rate themselves so high as to be converted by any great power. The Tabuk Expedition really brought the match to a chain of victories which eventually catapulted the Muslims as the masters of Syria. What was the genesis of this expedition? It is related that the Prophet Muhammad Peace be upon him got reports of Byzantine forces converging in the northern frontiers of Arabia with the purpose of rising an attack on the Muslims. The Messenger Muhammad peace be upon him intended to forewarn the Byzantines that they should not consider the Muslims weak nor should they take any precipitate action to infringe their territorial sovereignty. The expedition was thus considered a precautionary measure since one that does not have enough strength could neither dare shake one's fist at a great power nor could one take the risk of descending on its borders. It is certain, at all events, that the true purpose of the expedition was what the revelation in this connection had explained in these words: On the other hand war is also important for the protection of your Deen) so O Jamaat-ul-Momineen fight hard your enemies who are around you so that they may know how tough you are, at the same time you should keep in mind that Allah Almighty is with those who are duty-conscious - Quran chapter 9 verse 123

The Tabuk campaign was undertaken in the month of Rajab, 9 A.H. It was the time when the date palms had ripened and their shades were very pleasant.The Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him undertook a long journey for the Tabuk expedition and crossed deserts and baked plains to face an enemy hugely great in numbers. As the Muslims were then passing through a period of famine, the Messenger peace be upon him told the companions in advance, unlike in previous occasions, that he intended to fight with the Byzantines so that they might make suitable preparations. The hypocrites fell out on different excuses. They either disliked arduous wars against the potent enemy or disliked going out in the harsh heat. They even doubted the truth and had little interest in fighting for the sake of God, so they avoid doing from accompanying the Prophet (Peace be upon him) on this instance. Allah Almighty warn about such disaffected persons as is related in this Quranic verse: O Rasool, those hypocrites who did not accompany you in the expedition are delighted that they did not obey the Rasool's orders. They were averse to striving in the cause of Allah Almighty with their possessions and their lives.They themselves stayed away and also asked others not to go in the hot weather.Say to them O Rasool that the fire of Jahannam is more severe in heat if they could only understand - Quran chapter 9 verse 81

When the Prophet (Peace be upon him) saw that there was no movement of troops by the enemy who seemed to have abandoned the border towns, he gave orders for the return march. The objective of the expedition having been achieved, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) did not consider it necessary to advance further in the enemy's territory to carry on the hostilities. Never in the history of human conflict had any vanquisher exhausted so little bloodshed yet achieved such a extraordinary triumph. In all these clashes, only 1018 persons, made up of Muslims as well as non-Muslims lost their lives. But, it would be to appropriate the impractical to gamble any guess as to how much blood of the ferocious Arabs was saved from being spilled or how many souls escaped degradation and humiliation because of this tiny loss to human life. Such was the public calm and method resulting from the Prophet (Peace be upon him) campaigns that a woman pilgrim would go from Hira to Mecca and return after circumambulating the Kaaba without any fear in her heart save that of God Almighty.

Al-Andalus - Muslim Rule in Spain Europe

Al Andalus - Spain
Gibraltar - Spain
Al hamrah - Spain

Al-Andalus (Arabic) is the Arabic name given to the Iberian Peninsula by its Muslim conquerors; it refers to both the Emirate (ca 750–929) and Caliphate of Cordoba (929–1031 )and its taifa successor kingdoms specifically, and in general to territories under Muslim rule (711–1492). As Iberia was slowly regained by Christians fighting from northern enclaves, in the long process known as the Reconquista, the name "al-Andalus" came to refer the Muslim-dominated lands of the former Roman Hispania Baetica, Hispania Lusitania and Hispania Tarraconensis, within an ever-southward-moving frontier. Conquest and early years.In 711 CE, a Moorish Islamic army from North Africa invaded Visigoth Christian Spain. Under their leader Tariq ibn-Ziyad, they landed at Gibraltar on April 30, 711, and brought most of the Iberian Peninsula under Islamic rule in an eight-year campaign. They moved northeast across the Pyrenees but were defeated by the Frank Charles Martel at the Battle of Tours in 732. The Iberian peninsula, except for small areas in the northwest and largely Basque regions in the Pyrenees , became part of the expanding Umayyad empire, under the name of Al-Andalus. In the Archaeological Museum in Madrid, a dinar dating from five years after the conquest (716), has the Arabic "Al-Andalus" on one side and the Iberian Latin "Span(ica)" on the other — apparently the first mention known. At first, Al-Andalus was ruled by governors appointed by the Caliph, most ruling for three years or less. However, from 740, a series of civil wars between various Muslim groups in Spain resulted in the breakdown of Caliphal control, with Yusuf al-Fihri, who emerged as the main winner, being effectively an independent ruler The Emirate and Caliphate of Cordoba. When the Umayyad dynasty gave way to the Abbasid in 750, Abd-ar-Rahman I (later titled AlDaakhil), an Umayyad exile, established himself as the Emir of Cordoba in 756, ousting Yusuf al-Fihri. Over a thirty-year reign, he established his rule over the whole of al-Andalus, overcoming partisans both of the al-Fihri family and of the Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad , whose title he refused to acknowledge.For the next century and a half, his descendants continued as Emirs of Cordoba, with nominal control over the rest of al-Andalus (and sometimes parts of western North Africa) but with real control, particularly over the marches along the Christian border, varying greatly depending on the competence of the individual Emir. Indeed, Abdallah ibn Muhammad, who was Emir around 900, had very little control beyond the area immediately around Cordoba.However, Abdallah's grandson Abd-ar-Rahman III, who succeeded him in 912, not only rapidly restored Ummayad power not only throughout al-Andalus but extended it into western North Africa as well. In 929 he proclaimed himself Caliph, elevating the emirate to a position competing in prestige not only with the Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad but also the Shiaite Caliph in Tunis — with whom he was competing for control of North Africa.

The period of the Caliphate can reasonably be regarded as the golden age of al-Andalus. Irrigation techniques and crops – for instance, rice, oranges and a variety of other citrus fruits – imported from the Middle East provided the area around Cordoba and some other Andalusi cities with an agricultural infrastructure well in advance of that of any other part of western Europe. Cordoba under the Caliphate, with a population of perhaps 100,000, was far larger and more prosperous than any other city of the time in Europe, with the exception of Constantinople , and competed on at least equal terms as a cultural centre with anywhere else in the Islamic world. The work of its philosophers and scientists would be a significant formative influence on the intellectual life of medieval Western Europe. The famous Court of the Lions inside the Nasrid palace of Alhambra , in Granada, one of the finest examples of the high art and culture achieved by the Islamic civilization in Spain.In 1502, the Capitulation's extension of tolerance was rescinded, and the remaining Muslims were forced to leave Spain or convert to Christianity, as moriscos. They were an important portion of the peasants in some territories, like Aragon , Valencia or Andalusia , until their systematic expulsion in the years from 1609 to 1614. Henri Lapeyre has estimated that this affected 300,000 out of a total of 8 million inhabitants at the time.The Moorish domination of the peninsula had a profound effect on language, art and culture, especially in the south. Examples include the many Arabic or Arabic-influenced words in Spanish, and architecture such as Granada's Alhambra.The name of today's Andalusia (Spanish: Andalucía) comes from "Al-Andalus", as this southern province was among the last territories to pass from Moorish to Spanish Christian hands.

For a Muslim who has some familiarity with Islamic history in the Iberian Peninsula, a visit to this country is almost like a pilgrimage. However, unlike the pilgrimage to Mecca, such a visit can be spiritually and emotionally agonizing, for one is overwhelmed by manifestations of European Islam in Spain (Al-Andalus, as it was then known.

Zamzam: Well Near Kaaba,Mecca

Zamzam Well
Zamzam - Hajj
Zamzam - History

The Well of Zamzam is a well located in Mecca near the Holy Kaaba. In the Islamic religion, the well is said to be the source of life-giving water that can satisfy both hunger and thirst, and cure illness. Recent scientific study has revealed that the water contains elevated levels of calcium and magnesium, as well as high amounts of fluoride. According to Islamic tradition, the well was shown to Hajara, wife of Abraham peace be upon him, when she was in search of water to feed Ishmael peace be upon him. Since then, millions have quenched their thirst and still continue to do so. The water is served to the public through coolers stationed throughout Masjid al Haram and is transported to Masjid al Nabawi, the Prophet's mosque in Medina, where also, several coolers are stationed throughout the mosque. Each year, during the Pilgrimage, millions of people fill up their large water canisters through special taps and take it back home to distribute among relatives and friends.

The History of Zamzam

According to Arab historians, the Zamzam Well, except for a few periods when it became dry or was buried under sand, has been in use for around 4000 years. The well marks the site of a spring that, miraculously, had issued forth from a barren and desolate wadi (non perennial stream) where the Abraham peace be upon him, under Allah's command, had left his wife Hajara and their infant son Ishmael peace be upon him. Prophet Abraham peace be upon him settled his family there as part of God Almighty's mission for him. Many traditions believe that the Zamzam well was to provide Hajara and Ishmael peace be upon him with water in the hot, dry valley they were in. In her desperate search for water, Hajara ran seven times back and forth in the scorching heat between the two hills of Safa and Marwa to provide for her baby who was dying of thirst. She was searching for it while watching at her son and would run whenever she could not see Ishmael peace be upon him.

According to Islamic religion, God Almighty then sent the Angel Gabriel, who scraped the ground, causing the spring to appear. On finding the spring, and fearing that it might run out of water, Hajara enclosed it in sand and stones. The name Zamzam originates from the phrase "zomë-zomë", meaning "stop flowing", a command repeated by Hajara during her attempt to contain the spring water. The area around the spring, which was later converted to a well, became a resting place for caravans, and eventually grew into the trading city of Mecca, birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. The well of Zamzam retained its importance in later generations. The grandfather of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, Abdul Muttalib was honored with the responsibility of taking care of the well and the pilgrims to Mecca.

Al Ahzab : Battle of Trench

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Trench Warfare

The Muslims sphere of influence widened and their authority increased dramatically, reaching new heights. The whole of the Arabian Peninsula became fearful of the might exercised by the Muslims. Whenever the Arabs got wind of a raid that was about to be launched against them by Allah's Messenger they would get frightened and run away, this happened in Ghatafan and Dumat al-Jandal. Quraysh were no longer a match for the Muslims and they could no longer dare to confront them on their own.

The Battle of the Trench took place after the campaign against Banu Nadir, who had been expelled from Medina for their treachery and who had mostly joined their Jewish brethren in Khaybar.In the fifth year of Hijra, a group of those Jews including Sallam ibn Abi al-Huqayq and Huyayy ibn Akhtab, together with a number of Banu Wail, left for Mecca. They urged the Quraysh to make war on the Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, and promised help and support.The Jewish group then went to the tribes of Ghatafan and Qays Aylan and guaranteeing them help also, encouraged them to fight against God's Messenger peace be upon him. These intrigues of the Jews resulted in the formation of a great confederacy against Islam. It consisted of the Meccans polytheists, the desert tribes of central Arabia, the Jews previously expelled for treacheries from Medina , the Jews (Banu Qurayza) remaining in Medina , and the hypocrites led by ‘Abdullah ibn Ubayy ibn Salul. The last two constituted a treacherous network within Medina. When God's Messenger Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, heard, through his intelligence service, of the gathering of the allies or confederates (ahzab) against him, and the strength of their desire to fight against him, he consulted his Companions, as he always used to do. It was their unanimous view that they should remain in Medina and fight from there. Salman al-Farisi suggested to God's Messenger that they should dig a trench around Medina.

The trench took six days of feverish work to dig. God's Messenger had divided them into groups of ten people and put them to a competition. It was a hard task and time was restricted; what was more, hunger struck them all; yet all the Companions worked enthusiastically. In order not to feel hunger, each fastened a rock around his belly. The Messenger Muhammad peace be upon him who dug alongside them, and had fastened around his belly two rocks.

Medina under threat

The allies advanced against Medina in the hope of destroying the Muslims in a battle to be fought in an open field. However, when they faced a new strategy of God's Messenger, they took the first blow. Numbering around 20,000 men, they camped near the ditch. The Medina n fighting strength was no more than 3,000, and the Jewish tribe of Banu Qurayza and the Hypocrites were a source of weakness as they were treacherously intriguing with the enemy. As stated in the verses of the Quran (al-Ahzab, 33.12-20) when the Hypocrites first saw the enemy, they were already in a defeatist mood. Not content with disloyalty themselves, they tried to infect others, who made paltry excuses to withdraw from the fight. If the enemy were to gain entrance, they were ready to betray the city to the enemy. While the war was continuing with exchanges of arrows and stones, God's Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, did not neglect to make diplomatic attempts to disunite the Allies. He contacted the leaders of Ghatafan and, offering them peace, urged them to withdraw with their people from the war. Nuaym ibn Masud was one of the leaders of the Allies, who before the battle, had come to Medina to sow discord; instead, he then began to incline towards Islam. During the battle, he secretly entered Islam. God's Messenger, supported by the mountain Sal behind, had ordered a point in the trench to be made narrower. He had expected that leading horsemen of the Quraysh would try to cross the trench through that narrow spot. It happened as he had expected, and some of the most renowned warriors of the Quraysh attempted to cross the trench and volunteered for single combat with Muslim fighters. The siege lasted 27 days. It caused the Muslims much suffering, from hunger, cold, an unceasing shower of arrows and stones, and attempts and concentrated assaults to cross the trench, and betrayals and intrigues within the city. The Quran describes this situation as follows:

When enemy forces stormed upon you from all directions, it was such a difficult time that your eyes were stupefied with horror and your hearts thumped with fear, as if they would jump on to your throats. And those (amongst you) who were weak started developing doubts about Allah's promise. At that hour of staggering calamity, the true inner courage of the Momineen was revealed. Everyone witnessed the courage and fortitude with which they stood and fought under such adverse circumstances. On the contrary, the Munafiqeen and those who were deceptive started spreading rumors that all the promises which Allah Almighty and His Rasool had made them, were nothing but delusions. One of the groups went to the extent of saying, 'O people of Medina , as you cannot hold the ground and withstand the attack of the enemy, it would be better to go back immediately. One of the groups even asked the Nabi to excuse them, on the plea that their houses were not secure, even though they really were quite safe. Actually, using this excuse they wanted to run away from the battlefield. (al-Ahzab, 33. 10-13)

After a close investment of four weeks, during which the enemy were disheartened by their ill success and the believers proved their steadfastness and loyalty, there was a piercing blast of the cold east wind. The enemy's tents were torn up, their fires were extinguished, the sand and rain beat in their faces, and they were terrified by the portents against them. They had already well night fallen out among themselves. The Muslims were victorious by God's help; there were hidden forces of Allah Almighty which were stood beside them: O Jamaat-ul-Momineen, to achieve this purpose you have to go to war at times. As in your case, you had to go to war several times. One such war was the battle of Ahzab, in respect of which you should keep in mind the blessings of Allah. When the enemy forces came down upon you, We let loose stormy winds against them. These winds in fact were the heavenly forces which could not be seen; and Allah Almighty was fully watchful of everything you were doing. (al-Ahzab, 33.9)


1. The Story of the Mi'raj in the Hadith.

One of the most famous Islamic monuments in the world is the Dome of the Rock which stands on the site of the original Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. It is the third-holiest in the Muslim world after the Ka'aba in Mecca and Prophet's Mosque in Medina and commemorates the alleged occasion of Muhammad's ascent through the seven heavens to the very presence of Allah. It stands above the rock from which Muhammad is believed to have ascended to heaven. The narrative of this ascent is recorded in all the major works of Hadith in some detail, but there is only one verse in the Qur'an openly refer ring to the incident and in a limited context at that.

The traditions basically report that Muhammad was asleep one night towards the end of his prophetic course in Mecca when he was wakened by the angel Gabriel who cleansed his heart before bidding him alight on a strange angelic beast named Buraq. Muhammad is alleged to have said:

I was brought al-Burg who is an animal white and long, larger than a donkey but smaller than a mule, who would place his hoof at a distance equal to the range of vision. I mounted it and came to the Temple (Bait-ul Maqdis in Jerusalem), then tethered it to the ring used by the prophets. (Sahih Muslim, Vol. 1, p. 101).
Some traditions hold that the creature had a horse's body and angel's head and that it also had a peacock's tail. It is thus represented in most Islamic paintings of the event. The journey from Mecca to Jerusalem is known as al-Isra, "the night journey". At Jerusalem Muhammad was tested in the following way by Gabriel (some traditions place this test during the ascent itself):

Allah's Apostle was presented with two cups, one containing wine and the other milk on the night of his night journey at Jerusalem. He looked at it and took the milk. Gabriel said, "Thanks to Allah Who guided you to the Fitra (i.e. Islam); if you had taken the wine, your followers would have gone astray". (Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 6, p. 196).
After this began al-Mi'raj, "the ascent". Muhammad passed the sea of kawthar, literally the sea of "abundance" (the word is found only once in the Qur'an in Surah 108.1), and then met various prophets, from Adam to Abraham, as well as a variety of angels as he passed through the seven heavens. After this Gabriel took him to the heavenly lote-tree on the boundary of the heavens before the throne of Allah.

Then I was made to ascend to Sidrat-ul-Muntaha (i.e. the lote-tree of the utmost boundary). Behold! Its fruits were like the jars of Hajr (i.e. a place near Medina) and its leaves were as big as the ears of elephants. Gabriel said, "This is the lote-tree of the utmost boundary". (Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 5, p. 147).
This famous tree, as-sidratul-muntaha, is also mentioned twice in the passage in Surah 53 describing the second vision Muhammad had of Gabriel (Surah 53.14,16) where he also saw the angel 'inda sidrah, "near the lote-tree". Gabriel and Buraq could go no further but Muhammad went on to the presence of Allah where he was commanded to order the Muslims to pray fifty times a day:

Then Allah enjoined fifty prayers on my followers. When I returned with this order of Allah, I passed by Moses who asked me, "What has Allah enjoined on your followers?" I replied, "He has enjoined fifty prayers on them". Moses said "Go back to your Lord (and appeal for reduction) for your followers will not be able to bear it". (Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 1, p. 213).
Muhammad allegedly went back and forth between Allah and Moses till the prayers were reduced to five per day. Moses then told him to seek yet a further reduction but Muhammad stopped at this point and answered Moses:

I replied that I had been back to my Lord and asked him to reduce the number until I was ashamed, and I would not do it again. (Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasulullah, p. 187).
Allah then said whoever observed the five times of prayer daily would receive the reward of fifty prayers. Muhammad then saw some of the delights of paradise as he returned to Gabriel and Buraq and then beheld the torments of the damned before going back to his bed in Mecca that same night. This, briefly, is the narrative of the ascent.

2. The Night Journey in the Qur'an.

As said already, the Qur'an has only one direct reference to this whole episode and it is found in this verse:

Glory to (God) Who did take His Servant for a Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Farthest Mosque whose precincts We did bless, - in order that We might show him some of Our Signs: for He is the One Who heareth and seeth (all things). Surah 17.1
The "Sacred Mosque" (al-masjidul-haram) is interpreted to be the Ka'aba at Mecca and the "Farthest Mosque" (al-masjidul- aqsa) the Temple at Jerusalem (also referred to as al-baitul- muqaddas - the "holy house"). The great mosque which presently stands next to the Dome of the Rock is accordingly known today as the "al-Aqsa" mosque.

The verse is somewhat vague as it refers only to "signs" that Allah would show him. What is important, however, is the fact that the verse refers purely to the "journey by night" (asra), from Mecca to Jerusalem, and makes no mention of the ascent through the heavens (mi'raj) at all. Indeed the Qur'an nowhere directly refers to nor outlines the supposed ascent - a striking omission if it was a genuine experience. Some Muslim commentators have sought allusions to it elsewhere in the Qur'an but the passages quoted are too weak to be relied on with any certainty.

Those who know how large a part the Miraj, or miraculous journey on the Borak, bears in popular conceptions of Mohammedanism will learn with surprise, if they have not gone much into the matter, that there is only one passage in the Koran which can be tortured into an allusion to the journey to heaven. (Bosworth Smith, Mohammed and Mohammedanism, p. 186).

There are some who say that the vision referred to in Surah 53.6-18 (see page 100) refers to the Mi'raj, but we have already seen that Muhammad recited this very Surah at the time of the first emigration to Abyssinia, and the passage must therefore refer to one of the very early visions as the Mi'raj is only said to have taken place some years later just before the Hijrah. Another hadith supports this conclusion by identifying this passage more clearly:

Masruq reported: I said to Aisha: What about the words of Allah: Then he drew nigh and came down, so he was at a distance of two bows or closer still . . . (53.8-10)? She said: It implies Gabriel. He used to come to him in the shape of men; but he came at this time in his true form and blocked up the horizon of the sky. (Sahih Muslim, Vol. 1, p. 112).
The occasion Ayishah records is plainly identified as one of those where Muhammad had a vision of the approaching angel in the sky rather than a manifestation of the angel during their ascent through the heavens. If the verse had referred to the Mi'raj, Ayishah would have surely mentioned the fact, but it patently refers to an independent occasion.

Furthermore the narratives in the Hadith expose a glaring anachronism. After proclaiming that he had been to Jerusalem Muhammad was allegedly asked to describe the Temple. He is said to have replied:

I stood at al-Hijr, visualised Bayt al-Muqaddas and described its signs. Some of them said: How many doors are there in that mosque? I had not counted them so I began to look at it and counted them one by one and gave them information concerning them. (Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir, Vol. 1, p. 248).
Another tradition states that when the Qurayah disbelieved him, Muhammad answered "Allah lifted me before Bait-ul-Maqdis and I began to narrate to them (the Quraish of Mecca) its signs while I was in fact looking at it" (Sahih Muslim, Vol. 1, p. 109). There is a real problem here for the structure had been destroyed more than five hundred years earlier and the site at that time had become a rubbish-dump and was so discovered by Umar when he conquered Jerusalem some years later. It cannot be said that Muhammad saw a vision of the Temple as it had been before it was destroyed for the Quraysh were asking him to describe contemporary Jerusalem as he saw it that very night. How could he have counted the doors of a building that no longer existed?

The whole story of the Mi'raj as found in the Hadith may well be a pure fiction, a conclusion that will be reinforced through a study of its sources shortly. Here let it be said that it is not at all certain that Muhammad ever claimed that he actually ascended to heaven. It is possible that he merely related a striking dream, which he took as a vision, in which he imagined his journey to Jerusalem. Al-Hasan reported:

One of Abu Bakr's family told me that Aisha, the Prophet's wife, used to say: "The apostle's body remained where it was but God removed his spirit by night". (Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasulullah, p. 183).
These words clearly teach that Muhammad never left his apartment the whole night. Furthermore the Qur'an plainly restricts the journey to the Isra as we have seen. It is probable that what was originally nothing more than a dream of a journey to Jerusalem has been transformed into an actual physical event which was followed by an ascent through the heavens to the throne of Allah himself.

The suggestion that even the Isra was only a dream is strengthened by the fact that the anachronism appearing in the Hadith is also found in the Qur'an for the latter also states that Muhammad was taken to the Temple in Jerusalem in Surah 17.1 quoted above. Although the Qur'an does not refer to the baitul-muqaddas but only to the masjidul-aqsa, it is clear that the same shrine is intended as the Qur'an in the same way describes the baitullah, the Ka'aba in Mecca, as the masjidul-haram. Furthermore the context establishes this interpretation for, only a few verses later, the Qur'an actually records the destruction of the second Temple in Jerusalem and here simply describes it as al-masjid (Surah 17.7 - the word today is only used of a Muslim mosque but in the Qur'an it is commonly used for any holy sanctuary).

Although Muhammad obviously knew of the destruction of the second Temple, it seems he believed that it had been rebuilt like the first one. The fact that he first chose Jerusalem as his qiblah before turning to the masjidul-haram in Mecca adds considerable weight to this suggestion for he would hardly have chosen the former if he had known that no masjidul-aqsa stood on the site at that time, where the mosque of this name now stands, but only a compost heap.

It seems appropriate to conclude that the experience Muhammad had was really only a dream which characterised his illusions about Jerusalem, and that the whole story of the Mi'raj is accordingly nothing more than a mythical fantasy imaginatively built upon it.

3. A Literal Event or a Mystical Experience?

Orthodox Muslims hold that the Mi'raj was a literal, bodily ascent to heaven, but others have suggested that it was purely a mystical experience. The distinction goes back to the early days of Islam and is summarised in the following quote:

The belief in the Ascension of the Prophet is general in Islam. Whilst the Asha'ri and the patristic sects believe that the Prophet was bodily carried up from earth to heaven, the Rationalists hold that it was a spiritual exaltation, that it represented the uplifting of the soul by stages until it was brought into absolute communion with the Universal Soul. (Ali, The Spirit of Islam, p. 447).
To this day those who believe that Muhammad actually went up to heaven and back remain overwhelmingly in the majority and the event is commemorated once a year during the lailatul-mi'raj, "the night of the ascension", which falls on the 27th night of the Islamic month of Rajab. In more recent times, however, prominent Muslim authors have rejected the possibility of a physical ascent and have offered an assortment of alternative spiritual interpretations.

Now, it is agreed by all that Muhammad's Ascension was a matter of seconds or minutes instead of being days, months or years, and the words used for it by all biographers is Miraj, the same as used by God for the ascension of the angels or spirits who have no bodies . . . The Miraj is nothing but Inspiration or Revelation raised in degrees. (Sarwar, Muhammad: the Holy Prophet, pp. 119, 122).
Since "faith" is an abstract concept, it is obvious that the Prophet himself regarded this prelude to the Ascension (the cleansing of his heart) - and therefore the Ascension itself and, ipso facto, the Night Journey to Jerusalem - as purely spiritual experiences. But whereas there is no cogent reason to believe in a "bodily" Night Journey and Ascension, there is, on the other hand, no reason to doubt the objective reality of this event. (Asad, The Message of the Qur'an, p. 997).

Haykal has a novel view - he alleges that the discoveries of modern science, e.g. the reproduction of images on television and voices on radios, etc., proves that forces of nature can be transferred from one place to another, and so concludes: "In our modern age, science confirms the possibility of a spiritual Isra' and Mi'raj . . . Strong and powerful spirits such as Muhammad's are perfectly capable of being carried in one night from Makkah to Jerusalem and of being shown God's signs" (The Life of Muhammad, p. 146). Quite what is meant by the latter statement, only the author can know. Nevertheless his interpretation is typical of modern attempts to cast the ascension into a mystical mould, reminiscent of the rationalistic interpretations of the "free-thinking" age of early Islam when similar attempts to explain the Mi'raj in rationalistic terms were made.

In fact Haykal returns to the standpoint of the Mu'tazila, who also rejected the realistic understanding and denied that the ascent into heaven had occurred in the body. (Weasels, A Modern Arabic Biography of Muhammad, p. 84).
The fanciful nature of the traditional story of the Mi'raj has made more educated Muslims realise that the orthodox interpretation is perhaps more consistent with the marvellous tales of the Arabian Nights than the world of reality. Even the early biographer Ibn Ishaq had his doubts about the narrative. In his introduction to the Sirat Rasulullah, Guillaume states: "In his account of the night journey to Jerusalem and the ascent into heaven he allows us to see the working of his mind. The story is everywhere hedged with reservations and terms suggesting caution to the reader" (p. xix).

A famous biographer perhaps gets to the heart of the matter by suggesting that, as Muhammad was already looking northwards towards Medina for the future of his ministry and had decided to adopt Jerusalem as the qiblah, the imaginations of his mind by day probably became the fantasies of a dream by night: "The musings of the day reappeared in the slumbers of the night" (Muir, The Life of Mahomet, p. 117).

At this stage we are bound to ask on what authority it may be suggested that the story of the Mi'raj, as recorded in all its details in the traditions, was purely a mythical adaptation of a simple dream. Did later scribes put it all together as a pious figment of their fertile imaginations? Not at all. Another modern Muslim author gives us a clear indication as to why much of it is an acute problem to recent scholars.

The doctrine of a locomotive mi'raj or 'Ascension' developed by the orthodox (chiefly on the pattern of the Ascension of Jesus) and backed by Hadith is no more than a historical fiction whose material comea from various aourcea. (Rahman, Islam, p. 14).
Let us now, in closing, examine these sources on which early traditionists relied for their details of the story.

4. The Sources of the Alleged Ascent.

Stories strikingly similar to the Mi'raj are found in various religious works predating the time of Muhammad and it is virtually certain that later scribes borrowed elements from these to create the story found in the Hadith.

In these later narratives of the Mi'raj we find mythology unrestrained by any regard for reason or truth. We must now inquire what was the source from which the idea of this night journey of Muhammad was derived. (Tisdall, The Original Sources of the Qur'an, p. 225).
Stobart refers to Surah 17.1 as Muhammad's "simple account of what was probably only a dream prompted by his waking thoughts" and relieves him of responsibility for the fanciful narratives found in the Hadith:

For the details of this revelation, with all its later embellishment of curious and extravagant fiction, drawn from the legends of the Haggidah, and the dreams of the Midrash and the Talmud, the prophet cannot, in fairness, be made responsible. (Stobart, Islam and its Founder, p. 141).
Stobart refers to Jewish works where accounts similar to that of the Mi'raj are found, but perhaps the real origins of the Islamic account of Muhammad's ascent to heaven are those stories found in Zoroastrian works which are strikingly parallel to the Mi'raj. Tisdall states that "The story may have incorporated elements from many quarters, but it seems to have been in the main based upon the account of the ascension of Arta Viraf contained in a Pahlavi book called 'The Book of Arta Viraf"' (The Original Sources of the Qur'an, p. 226), where we find remarkable coincidences. Arta Viraf was a saintly priest who had a mi'raj of his own some four hundred years before the Hijrah:

It is related that; when this young Arta Viraf was in a trance, his spirit ascended into the heavens under the guidance of an archangel named Sarosh, and passed from one storey to another, gradually ascending until he reached the presence of Ormazd himself. When Arta Viraf had thus beheld everything in the heavens and seen the happy state of their inhabitants, Ormazd commanded him to return to the earth as His messenger and to tell the Zoroastrians what he had seen. All his visions are fully related in the book which bears his name. (Tisdall, The Original Sources of the Qur'an, p. 227).
It is unnecessary to point out how great is the resemblance between all this and the Muhammadan legend of Muhammad's Mi'raj. (Tisdall, The Original Sources of the Qur'an, p. 229).

A 16th century Persian miniature painting celebrating Muhammad's ascent into the Heavens, a journey known as the Miraj. Muhammad's face is veiled, a common practice in Islamic art.The Isra and Mi'raj (Arabic: الإسراء والمعراج‎, al-’Isrā’ wal-Mi‘rāğ), are the two parts of a Night Journey that, according to Islamic tradition, the Islamic prophet Muhammad took during a single night around the year 621. It has been described as both a physical and spiritual journey.[1] A brief sketch of the story is in sura (chapter) 17 Al-Isra of the Qur'an,[2] and other details come from the Hadith, supplemental writings about the life of Muhammad. In the journey, Muhammad travels on the mythological steed Buraq to "the farthest mosque" where he leads other prophets in prayer. He then ascends to heaven where he speaks to God, who gives Muhammad instructions to take back to the faithful on Earth about the number of times to offer prayers each day.

The Journey is associated with the Lailat al Miraj, one of the most significant events in the Islamic calendar.[3]

Contents [hide]
1 Religious belief
2 Masjid al-Aqsa, the farthest mosque
3 Modern observance
4 Qur'an and hadith
4.1 Qur'an
4.2 Hadith
5 See also
6 References
7 External links

[edit] Religious belief
Al-Buraq seen on a reproduction of a 17th century Indian Mughal miniature.The Isra begins with Muhammad praying in the Kaaba in Mecca, when the archangel Jibral (Gabriel) comes to him, and brings him the mythological steed Buraq, the traditional heavenly steed of the prophets. Buraq carries Muhammad to the Masjid Al Aqsa the "Farthest Mosque", which Muslims believe is the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. Muhammad alights, tethers Buraq to the Western Wall and leads other prophets including Adem (Adam), Musa (Moses), and `Īsā (Jesus) in prayer. In the second part of the journey, the Mi'raj (an Arabic word that literally means “ladder”[4]), Buraq takes him to the heavens, where he tours the circles of heaven, and speaks with the earlier prophets such as Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. He is then taken by the angel Jibril to meet God. According to Islamic tradition, God instructs Muhammad that Muslims must pray fifty times per day; however, Moses tells Muhammad that it is very difficult for the people and urges Muhammad to ask for a reduction, until finally it is reduced to five times per day.[3][5][6][7][8]

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[edit] Masjid al-Aqsa, the farthest mosqueThe place referred to in the Qu'ran as the "the farthest mosque"[2] (Arabic: المسجد الأقصى‎, al-Masğidu 'l-’Aqṣà), from Al-Isra, has been historically considered as referring to the site of the modern-day Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. This interpretation was advanced even by the earliest biographer of Muhammad—Ibn Ishaq—and is supported by numerous aḥādīth. The term used for mosque, "masjid", literally means "place of prostration", and includes monotheistic places of worship but does not exclusively lend itself to physical structures but a location, as the prophet Muhammad stated 'the earth has been made a masjid for me and my followers...' (bukhari volume 1, Book 7, Number 331). When Caliph Umar conquered Jerusalem after Muhammad's death, a prayer house was built on the site. The structure was expanded by the Ummayad caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan and finished by his son al-Walid in 705 CE. The building was repeatedly destroyed by earthquakes and rebuilt, until the reconstruction in 1033 by the Fatimid caliph Ali az-Zahir, and that version of the structure is what can be seen in the present day.

The modern Al-Aqsa Mosque[edit] Modern observanceThe Lailat al Miraj (Arabic: لیلة المعراج‎, Lailätu 'l-Mi‘rāğ), also known as Shab-e-Miraj (Persian: شب معراج, Šab-e Mi'râj) in Iran, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, and Miraç Kandili in Turkish, is the Muslim festival celebrating the Isra and Mi'raj. Some Muslims celebrate this event by offering optional prayers during this night, and in some Muslim countries, by illuminating cities with electric lights and candles. The celebrations around this day tend to focus on children and the young. Children are gathered into a mosque and are told the story of the Isra and Mi'raj. The story focuses on how Muhammad's heart was purified by an archangel (Gabriel) who filled him with knowledge and faith in preparation to enter the seven levels of heaven. After prayer (Salah, where the children can pray with the adults if they wish) food and treats are served.[3][11][12] Esoteric interpretations of Islam emphasise the spiritual significance of Mi'raj, seeing it as a symbol of the soul's journey and the potential of humans to rise above the comforts of material life through prayer, piety and discipline.[4]

The exact date of the Journey is not clear, but is celebrated as though it took place before the Hijra and after Muhammad's visit to the people of Ta’if. It is considered by some to have happened just over a year before the Hijra, on the 27th of Rajab; but this date is not always recognized. This date would correspond to the Julian date of February 26, 621, or, if from the previous year, March 8, 620. In Shi'a Iran for example, Rajab 27 is the day of Muhammad's first calling or Mab'as.

[edit] Qur'an and hadithThe event of Isra and Mi'raj are referred to briefly in the Qur'an. For greater detail, they have been discussed in supplemental traditions to the Qur'an, known as hadith literature. Within the Qur'an itself, there are two verses in chapter 17, which has been named after the Isra, and is called "Chapter Isra" or "Sura Al-Isra". There is also some information in Sura An-Najm, which some scholars say is related to the Isra and Mi'raj.[13]

Of the supplemental writings, hadith, two of the best known are by Anas ibn Malik, who would have been a young boy at the time of Muhammad's journey.

[edit] Qur'anGlory to (Allah) Who did take His servant for a Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the farthest Mosque, whose precincts We did bless,- in order that We might show him some of Our Signs: for He is the One Who heareth and seeth (all things).
—Qur'an, Sura 17 (Al-Isra) ayah 1[2]
Behold! We told thee that thy Lord doth encompass mankind round about: We granted the vision which We showed thee, but as a trial for men,- as also the Cursed Tree (mentioned) in the Qur'an: We put terror (and warning) into them, but it only increases their inordinate transgression!
—Qur'an, Sura 17 (Al-Isra) ayah 60[14]
For indeed he saw him at a second descent,
Near the Lote-tree beyond which none may pass:
Near it is the Garden of Abode.
Behold, the Lote-tree was shrouded (in mystery unspeakable!)
(His) sight never swerved, nor did it go wrong!
For truly did he see, of the Signs of his Lord, the Greatest!
—Qur'an, Sura 53 An-Najm, ayat 13-18[13]
[edit] HadithNarrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah:
That he heard Allah's Apostle saying, "When the people of Quraish did not believe me (i.e. the story of my Night Journey),
I stood up in Al-Hijr and Allah displayed Jerusalem in front of me, and I began describing it to them while I was looking at it."

—Collected by Muhammad al-Bukhari, Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 58, Number 226[15]
[edit] See alsoFoundation Stone
Islamic view of miracles
[edit] References^ Richard C. Martin, Said Amir Arjomand, Marcia Hermansen, Abdulkader Tayob, Rochelle Davis, John Obert Voll, ed (December 02, 2003). Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World. Macmillan Reference USA. p. 482. ISBN 978-0028656038.
^ a b c Qur'an 17:1 (Translated by Yusuf Ali)
^ a b c Bradlow, Khadija (August 18, 2007). "A night journey through Jerusalem". Times Online. Retrieved March 27, 2011.
^ a b Mi'raj — The night journey
^ - Isra and Mi'raj, The Details
^ - The Meaning of Isra' and Mi'raj in Islam
^ Vuckovic, Brooke Olson (December 30, 2004). Heavenly Journeys, Earthly Concerns: The Legacy of the Mi'raj in the Formation of Islam (Religion in History, Society and Culture). Routledge. ISBN 978-0415967853.
^ Mahmoud, Omar (April 25, 2008). "The Journey to Meet God Almighty by Muhammad—Al-Isra". Muhammad: an evolution of God. AuthorHouse. p. 56. ISBN 978-1434355867. Retrieved 27 March, 2011.
^ Heribert Busse, "Jerusalem in the Story of Muhammad's Night Journey and Ascension," Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam 14 (1991): 1–40.
^ N. Robinson, Discovering The Qur'ân: A Contemporary Approach To A Veiled Text, 1996, SCM Press Ltd.: London, p. 192.
^ BBC Religion and Ethics - Lailat al Miraj
^ WRMEA article on Muslim holidays
^ a b Qur'an 53:13–18 (Translated by Yusuf Ali)
^ Qur'an 17:60 (Translated by Yusuf Ali)
^ Sahih al-Bukhari, 5:58:226
A. Bevan, Mohammed's Ascension to Heaven, in "Studien zu Semitischen Philologie und Religionsgeschichte Julius Wellhausen," (Topelman, 1914,pp. 53-54.)
B. Schreike, "Die Himmelreise Muhammeds," Der Islam 6 (1915–16): 1-30
Colby, Frederick. The Subtleties of the Ascension: Lata'if Al-Miraj: Early Mystical Sayings on Muhammad's Heavenly Journey. City: Fons Vitae, 2006.[
Hadith On Isra and Mi'raj from Sahih Muslim

" Glory to "Allah" Who did take His servant for a Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the farthest Mosque, whose precincts We did bless,- in order that We might show him some of Our Signs: for He is the One Who heareth and seeth (all things)." Qur'an 17:1

Hadith #1

Narrated Anas bin Malik

The night Allah's Apostle was taken for a journey from the sacred mosque (of Mecca) Al-Ka'ba: Three persons came to him (in a dreamy while he was sleeping in the Sacred Mosque before the Divine Inspiration was revealed to Him. One of them said, "Which of them is he?" The middle (second) angel said, "He is the best of them." The last (third) angle said, "Take the best of them." Only that much happened on that night and he did not see them till they came on another night, i.e. after The Divine Inspiration was revealed to him. (Fateh-Al-Bari Page 258, Vol. 17) and he saw them, his eyes were asleep but his heart was not----and so is the case with the prophets: their eyes sleep while their hearts do not sleep. So those angels did not talk to him till they carried him and placed him beside the well of Zam-Zam. From among them Gabriel took charge of him. Gabriel cut open (the part of his body) between his throat and the middle of his chest (heart) and took all the material out of his chest and abdomen and then washed it with Zam-Zam water with his own hands till he cleansed the inside of his body, and then a gold tray containing a gold bowl full of belief and wisdom was brought and then Gabriel stuffed his chest and throat blood vessels with it and then closed it (the chest). He then ascended with him to the heaven of the world and knocked on one of its doors.

The dwellers of the Heaven asked, 'Who is it?' He said, "Gabriel." They said, "Who is accompanying you?" He said, "Muhammad." They said, "Has he been called?" He said, "Yes" They said, "He is welcomed." So the dwellers of the Heaven became pleased with his arrival, and they did not know what Allah would do to the Prophet on earth unless Allah informed them. The Prophet met Adam over the nearest Heaven. Gabriel said to the Prophet, "He is your father; greet him." The Prophet greeted him and Adam returned his greeting and said, "Welcome, O my Son! O what a good son you are!" Behold, he saw two flowing rivers, while he was in the nearest sky. He asked, "What are these two rivers, O Gabriel?" Gabriel said, "These are the sources of the Nile and the Euphrates."

Then Gabriel took him around that Heaven and behold, he saw another river at the bank of which there was a palace built of pearls and emerald. He put his hand into the river and found its mud like musk Adhfar. He asked, "What is this, O Gabriel?" Gabriel said, "This is the Kauthar which your Lord has kept for you." Then Gabriel ascended (with him) to the second Heaven and the angels asked the same questions as those on the first Heaven, i.e., "Who is it?" Gabriel replied, "Gabriel". They asked, "Who is accompanying you?" He said, "Muhammad." They asked, "Has he been sent for?" He said, "Yes." Then they said, "He is welcomed.'' Then he (Gabriel) ascended with the Prophet to the third Heaven, and the angels said the same as the angels of the first and the second Heavens had said.

Then he ascended with him to the fourth Heaven and they said the same; and then he ascended with him to the fifth Heaven and they said the same; and then he ascended with him to the sixth Heaven and they said the same; then he ascended with him to the seventh Heaven and they said the same. On each Heaven there were prophets whose names he had mentioned and of whom I remember Idris on the second Heaven, Aaron on the fourth Heavens another prophet whose name I don't remember, on the fifth Heaven, Abraham on the sixth Heaven, and Moses on the seventh Heaven because of his privilege of talking to Allah directly. Moses said (to Allah), "O Lord! I thought that none would be raised up above me."

But Gabriel ascended with him (the Prophet) for a distance above that, the distance of which only Allah knows, till he reached the Lote Tree (beyond which none may pass) and then the Irresistible, the Lord of Honor and Majesty approached and came closer till he (Gabriel) was about two bow lengths or (even) nearer. (It is said that it was Gabriel who approached and came closer to the Prophet. (Fate Al-Bari Page 263, 264, Vol. 17). Among the things which Allah revealed to him then, was: "Fifty prayers were enjoined on his followers in a day and a night."

Then the Prophet descended till he met Moses, and then Moses stopped him and asked, "O Muhammad ! What did your Lord en join upon you?" The Prophet replied," He enjoined upon me to perform fifty prayers in a day and a night." Moses said, "Your followers cannot do that; Go back so that your Lord may reduce it for you and for them." So the Prophet turned to Gabriel as if he wanted to consult him about that issue. Gabriel told him of his opinion, saying, "Yes, if you wish." So Gabriel ascended with him to the Irresistible and said while he was in his place, "O Lord, please lighten our burden as my followers cannot do that." So Allah deducted for him ten prayers where upon he returned to Moses who stopped him again and kept on sending him back to his Lord till the enjoined prayers were reduced to only five prayers.

Then Moses stopped him when the prayers had been reduced to five and said, "O Muhammad! By Allah, I tried to persuade my nation, Bani Israel to do less than this, but they could not do it and gave it up. However, your followers are weaker in body, heart, sight and hearing, so return to your Lord so that He may lighten your burden."

The Prophet turned towards Gabriel for advice and Gabriel did not disapprove of that. So he ascended with him for the fifth time. The Prophet said, "O Lord, my followers are weak in their bodies, hearts, hearing and constitution, so lighten our burden." On that the Irresistible said, "O Muhammad!" the Prophet replied, "Labbaik and Sa'daik." Allah said, "The Word that comes from Me does not change, so it will be as I enjoined on you in the Mother of the Book." Allah added, "Every good deed will be rewarded as ten times so it is fifty (prayers) in the Mother of the Book (in reward) but you are to perform only five (in practice)."

The Prophet returned to Moses who asked, "What have you done?" He said, "He has lightened our burden: He has given us for every good deed a tenfold reward." Moses said, "By Allah! I tried to make Bani Israel observe less than that, but they gave it up. So go back to your Lord that He may lighten your burden further." Allah's Apostle said, "O Moses! By Allah, I feel shy of returning too many times to my Lord." On that Gabriel said, "Descend in Allah's Name." The Prophet then woke while he was in the Sacred Mosque (at Mecca).

Hadith #2

Narrated Abu Huraira

On the night Allah's Apostle was taken on a night journey (Miraj) two cups, one containing wine and the other milk, were presented to him at Jerusalem. He looked at it and took the cup of milk. Gabriel said, "Praise be to Allah Who guided you to Al-Fitra (the right path); if you had taken (the cup of) wine, your nation would have gone astray."

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