One of the strangest facts in today's world is
that Islam, a religion which in many ways is almost identical to
Christianity and Judaism, should be so poorly understood in Europe and
America. Since there are millions of Moslems in the world, and since they
control many strategic areas of the earth it is essential that we
understand them better.
Mohammed, the inspired man who founded Islam, was born about 570 AD at
Mecca. Orphaned at birth, he was always particularly solicitous of the
poor, needy, widows, orphan, slaves and the downtrodden. At 20 he was
already a successful businessman and soon he became the director of camel
caravans of a wealthy widow. When he reached 25, his employer recognising
his merit proposed marriage. Even though she was 15 years senior, he
married her and as long as she lived, he remained a devoted husband.
By 40 this man of the desert had secured for himself a most satisfying
life, a loving wife, fine children and wealth. Then, Moslems believe, in a
series of dramatic and terrifying events, he began to revive through
Archangel Gabriel a revelation of God's word.
Like almost every major Prophet before him, Mohammed fought shy of
serving as the transmitter of God's word, sensing his own inadequacy. But
the angel commanded, 'Read'. So far as we know, Mohammed was hardly able
to read or write, but he began to dictate those inspired words which would
soon revolutionize a large part of the earth; "There is but one God".
Mohammed's message infuriated those rich Arabs whose faith required
many idols, and he and his few followers were driven from Mecca, his home.
Forced now to fight in defense of the freedom of conscience which he
preached, he became an accomplished military leader.
He repeatedly went
into battle, out-manned and out-speared as much as five to one,
some spectacular victories.
Later he became head of the state, and the testimony even of his
enemies is that he administered wisely. The wisdom he displayed in judging
intricate cases became the basis for the religious law that governs Islam
today. In his final years, he was invited to become a dictator or a saint,
but he rejected both temptations, insisting that he was an average man to
whom God had sent another of his periodic messages to the world.
By the force of his extraordinary personality, Mohammed revolutionized
life in Arabia and throughout the Middle East. He preached a religion
dedicated to one God and he lifted women from the bondage in which desert
custom held them and preached general social justice.
Moslems think it particularly ironic when Mohammed is charged
Western writers with having established a voluptuous religion.
considering the fact that he abolished alcohol so that
even today all good
Moslems are teetotalers.
He ordered individual prayers five times each
In a nation that reveled in feasting he instituted a most rigorous
lasting a full month each year.
Western critics have based their charges of voluptuousness mainly on
the question of women. Before Mohammed, however men were encouraged to
take innumerable wives, he limited them to four only and the Qoran is
explicit that husbands who cannot maintain strict equality between two or
more wives must confine themselves to one.
A widespread misunderstanding arises from Mohammed's promise of
paradise. In a land of blistering drought and sandstorms he predicted that
evil men would suffer the tormenting fires of hell. Whereas good men will
experience cool breezes, comforting streams and beautiful hours.
Western imaginations, unfamiliar with this last word hour, defined it
by analogy with one of the ugliest words in English and jumped to the
conclusion that Mohammed's paradise was to be a sexual debauch. They were
wrong. A hour is a fair-skinned, blacked woman created from musk and
spices, incredibly beautiful and perpetually virgin.
In all things, Mohammed was profoundly practical. When his beloved son
Ibrahim died, an eclipse occurred, and rumours of God's personal
condolence quickly arose. Whereupon Mohammed is said to have announced-"
An eclipse is a phenomenon of nature. It is foolish to attribute such
things to the birth or death of a human being."
At Mohammed's own death an attempt was made to deify him, but the man
who was to become his administrative successor killed the hysteria with
one of the noblest speeches in religious history. "If there are any among
you who worshipped Mohammed, he is dead.
But if it was God you worshipped,
he lives for ever."
These things explain why people who follow the religion of
not like to be called Mohammedan
The Quran is probably the most often read
book in the world, surely the most often memorized, and possibly the most
influential in the daily life of the people who believe in it.
New Testament, which is written in an exalted style,
it is neither poetry
nor ordinary prose, yet it possesses the ability
to arouse its hearers to
ecstasies of faith. Its rhythms have been compared
to the beat of drums to
the echoes of nature and to the chants
which are common in all early
It is written in Arabic, and devout Moslems have often insisted that it
must not be translated into any other language. One might expect that such
a wish would have limited the spread of Islam. On the contrary, all over
the world men have laboured to learn Arabic, not an easy language just to
be able to read their holy book and pray in the original.
The Qoran was revealed to Mohammed between the years 610 and 632 AD in
the cities of Mecca and Medina. Devoted scribes wrote it down on "scraps
of paper, bark and the white shoulder blades of animals. The early
revelations were dazzling assurances that there was only one God, Merciful
and Compassionate; He is Allah, the Creator, the Maker, and the Fashioner.
Whatever is in the heavens and the earth declares His glory and He is the
Mighty, the Wise.
It was this message that inspired men to revolutionize their lives and
their nations. In later years, when Islam began to penetrate large areas
of Arabia and had acquired much power, the revelations dealt with the
organisation of society its laws, procedures and problems.
The Christian or Jew who reads the Qoran finds himself on familiar
ground a good deal of the time. Many revered names from Christianity and
Judaism appear in the Qoran. For example, five of the important chapters
are entitled Noah Jonah, Joseph, Abraham, and Mary. Lacking specific
chapters of there own, but playing quite important roles are Jesus, Adam,
Goliath, Job, Moses, Lot and Solomon.
Islam is partly founded on the words of four Prophets who lived before
Mohammed; Jesus, Noah, Abraham, Moses. The Qoran does not acknowledge that
Jesus was the Son of God and that He suffered death upon the Cross. If
Jesus were acknowledged the child of God, Moslems believe it would
compromise God's oneness, the belief which is the cornerstone of Islam. It
would, moreover be difficult thereafter to contend that Mohammed was the
bearer of the final perfect revelation as Moslems do.
It is this dedication to one God plus practical instruction that makes
the Qoran unique.
Each Islamic nation contains many citizens who are
that their land will be groaned well only if its laws conform to Quran
In addition to the Quran Islam relies
upon 'traditions', what
Mohammed said and did. These are largely
affectionate campfire gossip,
the odds and ends that would be remembered
after a great man had died.
About 200 years after Mohammed's death, more than 6,00,000 separator
anecdotes about him were still current, and several great scholars
undertook the job of checking them for historical validity. More than
5,97,000 were rejected. The remainders called the Hadith,
are accepted by
all good Moslems.
Much of Islam's common sense comes from them. For example, one dark
night Mohammed had to escort his wife home from the mosque. On the way he
saw two men giggling in the shadows so he called them to him, lifted his
wife's veil and said, "See, it is my wife with whom I walk." When the
strangers protested that they trusted him, he said; "I was not worried
about your trust of me. I did not want your faith to be affected by your
Once a Jew came to the Prophet and protested that Mohammed's chief
assistant had outraged Jews by claiming that Mohammed was more exalted
than Moses. The Prophet said to his assistant: "You should not have said
this. The feelings of other people must be respected."
Also some of the profoundest elements of Moslem faith and culture
derive from these traditions. Every Moslem, before beginning a meal or
entering upon any other task, repeats 'In the name of God, Most Merciful,
Most Beneficent'. This is the opening verse of the Qoran. Moslems greet
each other with the traditional salutation "peace be on you." The whole
ritual of congregational prayer is taken from the traditions, including
the well-known call to worship.
Some traditions influenced Western behaviour. On one occasion, Mohammed
saw a donkey being branded on the face. When asked why this was being
done, the herdsmen said, "The Romans taught us this to prevent theft".
Mohammed reflected a moment and said: "An animal's face is the most
sensitive part of its body. If you must brand, then do it on the flanks,
where the flesh is thicker". And the custom spread.
As a successful general, Mohammed left many traditions regarding decent
conduct in war. "Faithfully carry out all covenants and agreements. Avoid
treachery and do not disfigure the enemy dead. Do not slay children,
women, old men or persons dedicated to the service of religion. Do not
destroy sacred objects, orchards or crops.
Throughout the traditions Mohammed appears as a saintly man, one whom
devout people of all religions would have recognised immediately as deeply
concerned about the nature of God. He preached that slaves should be set
free, that fathers should not kill unwanted baby girls, that those
oppressed by society inherit the earth, that peace is much proof that
Mohammed hoped for the day when all who shared a common belief in God
would exist together in peace. It is well documented that, on one
occasion, when a deputation of Christians visited him, he said, when time
for prayers arrived, "Conduct your service here in the mosque.
It is a
place consecrated of God.
No other religion in history spread so rapidly as Islam. By the time of
Mohammed's death (AD 632) Islam controlled a great part of Arabia. Soon it
triumphed in Syria, Persia, Egypt, and the lower borders of present Russia
and across North Africa to the gates of Spain. In the next century its
progress was even more spectacular.
The West has widely believed that this surge of religion was made
possible by the sword. But no modern scholar accepts that idea, and the
Quran is explicit in support of freedom of conscience. The evidence is
strong that Islam welcomed the people of many diverse religions, so long
as they behaved themselves and paid extra taxes. Mohammed constantly
taught that Moslems should cooperate with the "people of the Book" (Jews
Important Facts Of Islam
Westerners, accustomed by their history books to believe that Moslems were
barbarous infidels, find it difficult to comprehend how profoundly our
intellectual life has been influenced by Moslem scholars in the fields of
science, medicine, mathematics, geography and philosophy. Crusaders who
invade the Holy Land to fight Moslems returned to Europe with new ideas of
love, poetry chivalry, warfare and government. Our concept of what a
university should be was deeply modified by Moslem scholars who perfected
the writing of history and who brought to Europe much Greek learning.
More than most religions, Islam preaches the brotherhood of all races,
colours and nations within its fold. Mohammed himself probably had the
same skin colouring as Jesus, a very suntanned white but today his
followers embrace all colours: black men from Africa, yellow men from
China, brown men from Malaya, white men from Turkey.
For long periods in history Moslem nations strayed far from the spirit
If one focus only upon the worst Persian and Turkish caliphs
one can easily condemn
Islam as a religion that failed. But one can find
such similar dark spots in the history
of Christianity. If one looks at
the enormous good that Islam has achieved
however, one sees the permanent
greatness of this religion.
Moallim Hazrat Khwaja Syed Moinuddin Hasan Chishty(R.A.)
Shah Syed Shah Nawaz Chishty
S/O HAJI Peer Syed Hasan Chishty
CHISHTY MANZIL (ZIA HOUSE)
P.O.BOX 109,DARGAH SHARIF
YOU NEED ANY SPIRITUAL HELP CONTACT ON THESE Nos.:
09829270093 , 09928237078