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

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Story About Ibn Qayyim AL-Jawziyyah One Of The Student Of Imam Ahmed Ibn Taymiyyah.

Ibn Qayyim AI-Jawziyyah (691-751 A.H.)

"Through patience and poverty one attains leadership in religion. The seeker of truth needs the will that will inspire him and push him upward and (religious) knowledge that will lead him and guide him."

These words of Ibn Qayyim AI-Jawziyyah sum up the personality of this great man, Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr, who is better known as Ibn Qayyim AI-Jawziyyah or Ibn AI-Qayyim, for short. He was born in 691 A.H.

He began his long journey on the road of learning early in his life, moving from one teacher to another to quench his thirst for knowledge. At the age of 21 (in 712 A.H.)  Al-Qayyim met his teacher Ibn Taymiyyah another great hero of Islam and a revivalist of the faith. Their companionship lasted to the end of the teacher's life, Ibn Al·Qayyim kept close company to Ibn Taymiyyah with whom he suffered the pains of prison and flogging many a time.

Apparently, it was from Ibn Taymiyyah that he learnt many special qualities such as frankness and courage, in defiance of the falsehood of others, including those in authority. For to both truths had to be said regardless of the consequences. But unlike his teacher, or Ibn AI-Qayyim was less fierce in his attacks (in words or action). The 8th century' Hijra witnessed a state of ignorance and feuds in the Muslim community. Muslims were fighting each other and each trying to impose his authority in everything including religious opinion and scholarship which suffered from stagnation. For the majority of religious scholars acted more like 'recorders' of knowledge rather than true scholars and teachers. To them their teachers were the main. If not the sale, source of knowledge, and the schools of thought they blindly imitated were the only acceptable ways.

Like his teacher Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn AI·Qayyim spent his life in attempting to correct the wrong course the community was following. He fought the exaggerated reverence for the tombs of the pious despite the strong resistance he met with from the masses. He tried to show the errors committed by the misled sects and their blind followers.

For he considered that the disputes and fights among the Muslims of his time were caused by their sectarian attitude and chauvinistic practices, each one considering himself and his sector school of thought the only right one, and claiming that everyone else was on the wrong path.

Ibn AI-Qayyim spent most of his time and great efforts trying to unite the people, pointing out to them the dangers of blind imitation of the predecessors. He explained that a Muslim should be open-minded; i.e., he should accept what is right and good regardless of the teacher as long as what he or she accepts is consistent with the Qur'an and the Sunnah and the consensus of the scholars and the general spirit of the faith. To him imitation was wrong in the following cases: 

1) If it entails violation of Divine teachings.

2) If it represents an act of blind following of people we are not sure of their knowledge.

3) If it is in defiance of truth after finding it.

It was blind imitation that caused stagnation in scholarship and differences among people. Some so-called scholars, he pointed out, were not really scholars of Islam but rather simple propagators of others opinions. To those people the words and views of their teachers or leaders were the only correct way of understanding the faith to the extent that they subjected even the interpretation if the
Qur'an and the Prophetic teachings to the views of their teachers, which they wrongly took for the ultimate criteria.
Ibn AI-Qayyim considered that the sources of religious knowledge were to be taken in the following order:

1) The Qur'an. 

2) The Sunnah (Prophet Muhammad's teachings). 

3} The teachings of the companions of the Prophet.

To these one could add consensus of Muslim scholars and analogy. Intolerance and Prejudice were to him the enemies of learning. To propagate his views,
Ibn AI-Qayyim wrote scores of books besides direct teaching.
In his own private life Ibn AL-Qayyim was a very pious and sincere worshipper who spent most of his time in prayers and recitation of the Qur'an. He was in fact an ascetic who rejected the unorthodox practices of some Sufis (mystics) who claimed that religious teachings had external and internal sides, meaning that religious obligations (such as Prayers, Fasting During Ramadan etc. etc.) did not apply to them.

As pointed out earlier Ibn AI-Qayyim was a man of courage and frankness to whom truth was the ultimate goal. His open-minded and flexible attitude is reflected in his views on the correct understanding of religious laws (Sharia), and that these should be interpreted in the light of the circumstances of time and place, because Islam is intended and practicable for all mankind at all times. He wrote many books to explain this invaluable principle. Many of his views find their application in the legal system of modern nations more than six centuries after his death in 751 A.H.

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.”

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Jerusalem was Liberated - Waiting for Salahuddin

The Great Warrior and Ruler - Sultan Salahuddin Ayoubi 

History tells us that when Sultan Salahuddin recaptured Jerusalem from the invading and ruthless Crusaders. Who had ninety years earlier massacred and savagely treated its Muslim and Jewish inhabitants, he met a group of Latin Christian women who addressed him, "0 Sultan! You see that we are leaving. Among us are mothers, wives, daughters or sisters to the soldiers in captivity with you. These men are our support in life; and if we lose them we will lose everything. But if you leave them for our sake, you will be giving us back our lives." At this Salahuddin smiled and gave orders that the sons and husbands of those women be set free. He went even further and gave money to the women whose supporters were killed in the battle. An irate French girl came up to the Sultan and said, "You murderer, you have killed my father and captured both of my brothers. So there remains no one to support me!" Salahuddin calmly ordered that her brothers be set free, and then addressed her: "your father was killed in a war which he started himself, and in which many innocent people were killed." The French girl looked down, full of shame and regret for her insolence with such an honorable man and, with tears in her eyes, she said, "Forgive me, Sir! It was the bitterness of grief and the descriptions and bad impressions given to us about your people and their cruelty in our country (that caused my insolence). But now I see the reality: that you are honorable and I have not despaired of your forgiveness. May God curse the liars in our homelands who deceived us and depicted you as savage assassins who had desecrated our holy places? They exploited our emotions (and sent us here). But when we came to know you well we could not see the truth in any of their claims."
Salahuddin used to say, "It is better for one to err in forgiveness than to be right in punishment." However, we should not forget that this was only one of many special qualities that adorned his character.
Salahuddin was born of Kurdish parents in Takreet (in Iraq) in 1137 G., came at a time when the Islamic world was at its worst state, politically and even morally. In the Fertile Crescent (Today’s Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Jordan and Iraq) the ruler of almost every small town had an independent state of his own and tried to expand his authority through fighting with the other neighboring city states. Besides, almost all the major coastal towns on the East Mediterranean were captured and ruled by the Crusader invaders. Jerusalem (the claimed target of the Crusaders) was, of course, already under ruthless foreign domination. In brief, the picture was very bleak indeed.
Salahuddin was a man of unflinching faith. He knew that through the application of Islamic teachings and its principles, miracles could be made. Had not the early Muslims gone out of the desert and defeated the two greatest Empires on earth of their time? What were the arms with which they faced fighters who were much superior in number, training and equipment? It was certainly their firm faith in Allah, devotion to justice and unity. These three things were then the goals which Salahuddin tried to achieve in order to liberate Muslim lands from the Crusaders.
To Salahuddin Jihad started from inside. He had to watch himself and his aids and soldiers to make sure that they behaved in compliance with Divine commandments in all spheres of life, spiritual, moral and material. It is reported that prayers and devotion to Allah were the constant companions of Salahuddin. Once an adviser of his suggested, "Why do you not save the money you give in charity to the poor and religious teachers, and spend it in your war efforts?" He answered that he could not do that, because the prayers of poor men were a sure source of his strength in his wars.
Ibn Shaddad (an intimate companion of Salahuddin) reports, "In faith and practice the Sultan was a devout Muslim, ever conforming to the tenets at Islam. He was regular in the performance of religious observances, assiduous in offering the ritual prayers, founded on the practice of the Prophet; he also performed the voluntary prayers during the night." Salahuddin’s attitude to material luxury and gains is revealed in the fact that when he died he left nothing except one dinar and 47 dirhams. Nothing else did he leave by way of houses, goods, gardens or any other type of property. He did not leave even as much as that could suffice to defray his burial expenses. As for the acute sense of justice of Salahuddin, it is enough to mention that he did not object to go with one of his subjects to the Qadi (the judge). When he won the case he forgave the man and even gave him what he had claimed.
"0 believers! Stand out firmly for Allah as just witnesses; and Let not the enmity and hatred of others make you avoid justice, Be just: that is nearer to piety and fear of Allah. Verily, Allah is well acquainted with what you do," (Al-Our'an: 5:8)
His greatness was due to two main qualities namely,
(1) His inborn leadership qualities, and
(2) Meticulous application of the Islamic teachings in all aspects of his life: spiritual and material, individual and social, at war and in peace.
The liberation of Jerusalem from the hands of the ruthless Crusaders was only one of the great achievements of Salahuddin.  At the age of seven, Salahuddin moved with his father Najmuddin to Damascus, where he closely witnessed the heroic deeds of his relative Nouruddin, the ruler of Damascus and some other parts of Syria, who was at constant war with the invading Crusaders. So, besides the civil education Salahuddin received (especially in religious learning), he had the opportunity of training in the arts of war and military maneuvers as well.
Later, when Salahuddin Uncle Asaduddin Shirkoh was sent to Egypt,  Salahuddin was ordered to accompany him, which he did. However, this trip proved to be the most critical in Salahuddin’ s life, For not only did he learn so much from his second teacher , his great uncle Asaduddin in the tactics of war, but he also succeeded him later to the position of minister to the Fatimide Caliph in 564 A.H. (1169 C.E).
At the age of 32 he was given the title "The Supporting King". This appointment seemed to have changed Salahuddin’ s temperament and attitude to life in a manner reminiscent of another earner hero of Islam, 'Urnar ibn 'Abdul-Aziz. For to both, authority was a responsibility rather than an honor, and they felt that they had to shun the life of ease and comfort in order to carry out the responsibility placed upon their shoulders. Salahuddin started by rectifying the corrupt conditions in Egypt. His first target was to clean the government from corrupt elements and the heads of treachery, some of whom he caught red-handed. The second major step was to abolish the whole ailing Fatimide Dynasty, sending parts of the unjustly earned and heaped property of the Dynasty to the Abbaside caliph in Baghdad and to his commanders-in-chief in Damascus to be used in his war efforts. The rest of the properties of the Dynasty Salahuddin sold, and he deposited the money in the public treasury.
As an honest and sincere leader, Salahuddin stayed in his old residence and refused to move to the luxurious palaces of the Caliphate, until he built the castle at AI-Mugattam mount in Cairo. Then he launched a long campaign in an attempt to unify the Muslim world; thus, bringing into the fold a great part of North Africa {Libya and Tunis}, the West of Arabia (where the Sacred Cities of Makkah and Madinah are situated}, down to Yemen. Upon the death of Nouruddin , Salahuddin became the undisputable master and Sultan of Egypt, Yemen and the Syrian region, which were subjugated by Salahuddin after some battles in which some rulers of the area allied themselves with the invading forces. Despite the fact that Salahuddin had by then a very strong army, we believe that he had something far greater on his side in those battles; that is, his charitable nature, for that won him the hearts of the residents of the fortified towns even before he entered them. We find an illustration of this charitable and chivalrous nature of Salahuddin in the following incident. While Salahuddin was besieging Haab {Aleppo} and attacking it, the young daughter of his former leader Nooruddin Mahmood came out of the city to meet him. He gave her a very warm welcome. Then he asked her about her request. She told him that the people wanted 'l'zaz' (honourable departure). He complied with her request and even accompanied her and her soldiers to the gates of the city. Then he set free all the soldiers captured in that battle, soldiers whose hearts Salahuddin had already won, due to his kindness and charitable nature. As pointed out earlier, Salahuddin was in his kindness and charity only applying the teachings of Islam, which instructs its followers to demonstrate justice even with the most detested enemies.
Salahuddin returned to Egypt after unifying the newly founded state under his command. He sent his soldiers to their families and directed his attention to civil projects, such as building hospitals, schools, bridges and public parks. He also ordered the fortification of Cairo.
All these and similar incidents increased Salahuddin's conviction of the necessity of a major offensive. The battlefield was Hitteen at which Salahuddln met with a huge army of the Crusaders for which the conflicting Crusader rulers came into form with each other. The battle was very fierce but Salahuddin finally won the day, and the invaders were beaten. Thus, the way to Jerusalem was half paved for Salahuddin who captured (or rather liberated) it after ninety years of occupation. This was in Rajab 583 A.H. (July 1187); thus, opening the doors of the Masjid AI-Aqsa the most sacred mosque in Jerusalam, or (Bait-ul-Maqdis which is regarded as the third Sacred Mosque in Islam) again for the pious followers of Islam.