Showing posts with label heroes of islam. Show all posts
Showing posts with label heroes of islam. Show all posts

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Personal Story Al Hasan Al Basari

Muslim Commander: ‘Tell me, Khalid, about the ‘Hasan of Basra.’ I think you know him best.’
‘He is a man whose outside is like his inside, whose words are like his actions. When he tells people to do something good, he is the first to do it; and when he advises others not to do something; he is the first to shun it. He has renounced what people have, but they are always in need of him.’

Muslim Commander:
‘Enough have you said, Khalid. No people would go astray while they have a man like him in their midst.’

This short dialogue between a well-known Commander of Muslim armies and a friend of our hero summarized for us in few words the personality of ‘AI-Hasan AI-Basri,’ who is well-known in Islamic history for his truthfulness, authority on matters of religion, words of wisdom, courage and other worldliness.

‘AI-Hasan AI-Basri’
was born in Madinah. His beloved mother was a former bondswoman of ‘Umm-Salama’ the ‘Prophet's’ wife, and his father ‘Yasar’ was a former bondsman to ‘Zaid-Ibn-Thabit,’ one of the scribes of ‘Prophet Muhammad’ (pbuh). His real name was ‘AI-Hasan Ibn-Yasar,’ but he is better known in history by the name ‘AI-Hasan AI-Basri’ (AI-Hasan of Basra). He was indeed a very fortunate child, for though he was born after the death of ‘Prophet Muhammad’ (pbuh), he was literally brought up in the ‘Prophet's’ household, he spent his childhood with his mother mistress ‘Umm-Salama,’ stayed in constant contact with the other widows of the ‘Prophet,’ was educated by their exemplary personalities and conduct and heard first hand reports about the ‘Prophet’ (pbuh). Since Madinah then was still full of the former companions of ‘Prophet Muhammad’ (pbuh) ‘Al-Hassan Al-Basri’ had the golden opportunity to learn about Islam and its teachings directly from those great students and companions of ‘Prophet Muhammad’ (pbuh), including people like 'Uthman-Ibn-Affan’, ‘Abdullah-Ibn-Umar’ and ‘Ali-Bin-Abi-Talib’ (Radhi-Allahu 'Anhum) whose personality and fluency left a special impression on his character.

At the age of fourteen his family moved to Basra in Iraq, where he got the name of AI-Basri. AI-Basra was then one of the major urban centers of culture in the Islamic Empire, and it was full of the former companions of ‘Prophet Muhammad’ (pbuh) who taught the principles and practices of Islam to the thirsty students and masses. ‘AI-Hasan AI-Basri,’ fully utilized the opportunity. Spending all his time in the mosque, learning, especially at the hands of the well-known companion of the ‘Prophet’ (pbuh), 'Abdullah-Ibn-Mas'ood’. Since many people, rulers and masses were greatly influenced by the new wealth and prosperity that followed the expansion of the Muslim State East and Westward, they needed constant reminders of the dangers of overindulgence in worldly affairs and luxury. ‘Al-Hassan Al-Basri’ was one of such reminders. To him, truth had to be said even in the face of tyrants. For a righteous man of Allah like him should have no fear of anyone except his ‘Creator and Master’ (“Allah”). An example of his daring personality is the incident between him and ‘AI-Hajjaj’ who was a notorious tyrannical governor of Iraq. ‘AI-Hajjaj’ built himself a big palace at Wasil, and he invited people to see it (to impress them). The masses crowded the place, full of admiration of the palace.
To ‘Al-Hassan Al-Basri’ this was a golden opportunity to preach to people, warning them of the dangers of tyranny and indulgence in worldly gains. Naturally, AI-Hajjaj was not very happy with his doing. He swore to kill him. So he ordered some of his soldiers to fetch him. Upon entering, he walked with confidence towards ‘AI-Hajjaj’ muttering some prayers. Suddenly, the tyrant was awe-struck and almost unconsciously invited our hero to sit next to him with all humility and respect. Then, he asked about some matters of religion, attentively listening to ‘AI-Hasan's’ answers, while everyone sat in a state of astonishment. Upon leaving the guard of ‘AI-Hajjaj,’ full of surprise at the sudden turn of the events, asked him, "When you entered and saw the sword ready you muttered a few words. What did you say?”

‘AI-Hasan’ answered: "I prayed to Allah: 'O my Master and Protector! Reverse the rage of ‘AI-Hajjaj’ as you changed the fire into coolness and safety for Ibrahim."
Among the many memorable occasions of pious advice offered by ‘Al-Hasan’ to rulers was his encounter with a great governor of Iraq and Persia, 'Umar-Ibn-Hubaira.’ It is reported that ‘Ibn-Hubaira’ used to receive from the Caliph in Damascus orders which smelt of injustice. So he invited two religious scholars, including our hero to seek their opinion and advice. Following are rough translations of our hero's words of advice:
‘Al-Hasan’: ’Ibn-Hubaira!’
“Fear Allah in dealing with Yazeed (the Caliph), and fear not Yazeed in your dealings with Allah. Remember that Allah can protect you from Yazeed, but Yazeed cannot protect you from Allah. A stern angel who never disobeys Allah will come to you taking you from your great and wide palace to the narrow grave, where you will find no Yazeed, but only your wrong actions with which you disobeyed the Lord and Master of Yazeed. ‘Ibn-Hubaira!’ If you are with Allah, He will protect you from the wrath of ‘Yazeed-Ibn-Abdul-Malik’ in this world and in the Hereafter. But if you are with Yazeed in defiance of Allah's commandments, Allah will leave you to the mercy of Yazeed. Remember that one should never obey a creature whoever he might be in disobedience to the Creator."
It was with this type of words of wisdom that he spent his eighty years of pious and ascetic life teaching and preaching, not only to rulers and the masses of his time, but also to all readers of his wise sayings at all times.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Story About Shaikh-ul-Islam Imam Ahmad Ibn Taymiyyah.

Revivalist of Islam (661-728 A.H.)

We are a people who love goodness for everyone. We like to see Allah bringing you the best of this world and that of the hereafter. For the best way to worship Allah is by giving counsel and advice to his creatures. This was the purpose of all the Prophets and Messengers from Allah. And there is nothing better than advice in matters of the relation between man and his Creator. Man is certainly destined to meet with his Lord, and he is going to be questioned about his duties. All the Christians know that when he talked to the Tartars concerning the captives in their lands, Ghazan and Katloushah released them.

I talked to the king about those captives, and he allowed the release of the Muslims only and said to me, ‘We have some Christians that we captured in Jerusalem, these we are not going to release.'
I told him, 'But you release all the Jewish and Christian captives because they are under the protection of Islam. And we will leave no captive if he is a Muslim or Christian.' Thus, we caused the release of many Christians from captivity.

This ‘Ibn Taymiyyah’ did only for the sake of Allah whose rewards everyone seek. "Besides, everyone knows about the Christian captives in our hands and how kindly and charitably we treat them in accordance with the teachings of the last of the Prophets, ‘Prophet Muhammad’ (peace be upon him). The above mentioned words are quotations from a letter written by ‘Ibn Taymiyyah,’ to King Sirjwan of Cyprus in which he tried to explain the basic views of the Islamic faith to a Christian ruler.

But who was ‘Ibn Taymiyyah?’

‘Ibn Taymiyyah,’ who is known by the title of Sheikh-ul-Islam
(The eminent Scholar of Islam) is one of the leading thinkers of Islam and a revivalist of its pristine teachings at a time when the Muslim world was going through one of its darkest times, being under attack by the ruthless Mongol Tartars from the East (who destroyed everything and everyone who stood in their heavy flow from Central Asia) and the fierce Crusaders from the West. Hundreds of thousands of books were thrown by the Tartars into the rivers of Tigris and Euphrates until the waters of these rivers became black with the ink in those books. On the cultural scene many Muslim scholars were busy summarizing and explaining the works of their ancestors with hardly any worthwhile contribution.

In religion, again many unorthodox ideas had crept in from un-Islamic philosophies and foreign thoughts. The theologians were plagued by the ideas of the Mu'tazilites and other misguided sects. The jurists were at a standstill in the understanding and application of the legal spirit of Islam, blindly imitating the opinions of their predecessors. The masses were thus left in total darkness, misguided by agnostic Sufism and their practices, such as exaggeration in worshiping tombs of the pious and the Saints to the extent of almost worshipping them besides Allah. It was in those circumstances that ‘Ibn Taymiyyah’ was born. ‘Ibn Taymiyyah’ was born in 661 A.H. (1263
G.)in Harran (near Damascus). His family was a people of learning and teaching, both its male and female members being well known for their contribution to religious education. Since his childhood ‘Ibn Taymiyyah’ was known for his great intelligence, strong memory and insatiable thirst for learning. No wonder then that he started research and writing at the age of nineteen. At the age of 21 his father died, and he replaced him in the post of teaching Fiqah (Islamic law or jurisprudence) and Tafseer (Quranic exegesis or commentaries).

When he announced in 696 A.H. his views on certain theological issues, some theologians (whose understanding was contaminated by foreign philosophical ideas) started annoying him. ‘Ibn Taymiyyah’s’ views on the divine attributes enraged some theologians who had him called to court in Egypt and imprisoned there.

It seems that his courage and frankness in attacking unconventional interpretations of Islamic teachings in areas of theology, jurisprudence and spirituality caused many problems for him. For ‘Ibn Taymiyyah’ made it his job to correct the wrong views prevalent at his time despite the fierce resistance he met with from many religious scholars. He felt it’s his duty to unify the Muslims around orthodox and pristine Islamic teachings, of Ahl-ah-Sunnah-wal-Jama'ah by fighting against polytheists and innovations in religion (bid'ah) and purifying the religion from interpretations and practices alien to it, taking only the Qur'an and Sunnah or Prophetic traditions as the only reliable sources. ‘Ibn Taymiyyah’ suffered a great deal because of this, but he never hesitated or faltered.

History tells us that the enemies of ‘Ibn Taymiyyah’ not only caused the authorities to imprison him on many occasions but also they even tried to have him killed by reporting to Sultan-an-Nasser faking that ‘Ibn Taymiyyah’ was using the masses love and admiration for him to usurp the throne. An-Nasser Lideeni-Liah ordered that he brought to him.

He told him, "I have been told

that people listen to you, and that you are seeking my kingdom.

Ibn Taymiyyah’ answered, "I do that? By Allah your kingdom and the kingdoms of all the Moguls are not worth a single penny to me."

The Sultan was impressed by our hero's answer and was convinced of the falsehood of the allegation. But intelligence, knowledge, courage and frankness were not the only things for which he known. He was also known for his otherworldliness and unlimited generous to the extent that he would give the clothes he had on to a needy person.

‘Ibn Taymiyyah’ was not only an active teacher, but he was also a creative writer of in-depth knowledge as well. So when he died in 728 A.H. (at the age of 67). He left scores of volumes of writings on various topics including comparative religion. One of his masterpieces is well known, namely "Fatawa·lbn-Taymiyyah”, (The religious Rulings and verdicts of ‘Ibn Taymiyyah’) which has been published in 36 volumes, several times.

’Ibn Taymiyyah’ is reported to have said, 'The (real) prisoner is the one whose heart has been kept away from remembering his Lord, and the (real) captive is the one who has been captivated by his whims and desires."

His disciple Ibn-ul·Oayyim, reports that he, i.e. ‘Ibn Taymiyyah’ used to say, when he was imprisoned in ‘AI-Qalah’ prison in Damascus, "What on earth can my enemies do to me? My Paradise is in my heart and accompanies me wherever I go. My imprisonment is (in fact) seclusion (which helps me worship Allah better) my killing is (in fact) martyrdom and my deportation from my country is (in fact) seeing the world.”

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tareq Bin Ziyad

Tareq Bin Ziyad
Tariq ibn Ziyad was born in the tribe of Natzawah (a Berber tribe of North Africa). His father was an early convert to Islam who had joined the Faith since the days of the first liberator of North Africa, 'Uqbah ibn Nati' AI-Fihri . Upon the death of his father Tareq bin Ziyad , still a young teenager joined  the Muslim army in North Africa. Despite his young age he showed great courage and enthusiasm for the Faith and for its spread in the hearts of people.  Soon he won the trust of Musa ibn Nusair who appointed him Governor of Tangier and its surroundings in the Far West (as Morocco was called then), when the area was liberated from Roman control.  
History tells us that Spain at the time was suffering from turmoil and strife under the rule of Rodrigos who usurped the Spanish throne from its rightful heirs. Julian had sent his daughter to get education at the Spanish Court in Toledo. But Rodrigos apparently did not observe the rules of propriety in dealing with royal guests. Julian's daughter was badly mistreated and imprisoned by him. When her father learnt of the news he was enraged. Julian convinced the legal heirs of the Spanish throne to seek help from the Muslim Arabs who had conquered the whole of North Africa and were near the doors of the Iberian Peninsula. Both of them talked to Tariq ibn Zivad who suggested to them to talk to his Emir Musa ibn Nusair in Kairawan in Tunisia. Naturally, Musa ibn Nusair and Tareq bin Ziyad were already studying the ways and means of carrying the banner of Islam across the sea to Spain. So Julian's visit gave Mussa ibn Nusair a golden opportunity to learn more closely of the situation in Spain. Musa ibn Nusair wrote to the Caliph at Damascus for permission to invade Spain. Due to the novelty of the experience the Caliph was very reserved in his reply. He suggested that scouting expeditions be sent to Spain before any major invasion was undertaken. Tareef another Berber Muslim was chosen to lead 400 commandoes tor the task of military exploration or scouting. The expedition was a success. Upon the return of Tareef, Musa ibn Nusair decided that the time was ripe for the invasion.
Tariq ibn Zivad was chosen to lead the army of 5000 men under the pretense of saving the Spanish throne. Tariq ibn Ziyad was supported by a group of experts, Arab and Berber alike. Julian was to supply the ships to transport the fighters, and he was also to act as a guide for them on the Spanish land. It has been pointed out by historians that the move was a tactful and strategic one. For if the Muslims used their own ships it would have attracted attention to them. The Muslim fighters crossed the strait in groups and gathered at the mount called later the Mount of Tariq (Gibraltar), after the name of their commander. This was achieved in 92 A.H. (711 G.). In order to show his soldiers the seriousness of the situation,  Tareq bin Ziyad burnt all the ships that carried them to the Iberian Peninsula. In his historic speech to his army he said, "0 people! Where is the flight? The sea is behind you, and the enemy is in front of you. By Allah! You have no alternative except patience and steadfastness.
On Sunday, 28th of Ramadhan 92 AH  (19th July 711 AD) the battle  started between the Muslim army under the command of Tareq bin Ziyad and the Spanish army under the command of Rodrigues . Naturally, by then the Muslim army received a new reinforcement of 5000 men, carried this time by the Muslim fleet. Julian's men acted as agents for the conquerors by pointing out to the Spaniards the truth about the Muslims: that they were not colonizers, nor military invaders, but rather "carriers" of a message of peace and liberation. So, a part of the Spanish cavalry deserted Rodrigues. This caused chaos in the army, and many soldiers started running for their lives. However, the battle continued and the Muslims started winning the war. Rodrigues fled, leaving behind his defeated army.  In 14 months all the major towns of Toledo, Seville, Morda and others were under Muslim control, and in two years’ time almost the whole of the Iberian Peninsula was already under Muslim rule, which lasted for the next 800 years.
To the conquest of Spain by Muslims many historians attribute the cultural developments in Europe that led later to the Renaissance. The Muslims brought to Spain the net products of many civilizations that extended from the Atlantic Ocean in the West to India and China in the East. It was in Muslim Spanish centers of learning that many influential European scholars had their education.