title: Fasting Fights Cancer,
A number of ancient health practices are proving to be effective in multiple ways. There are articles about meditation, worship,
prayers and their physical benefits. The neuroscience now can explain what happens to the brain when we perform prayers.
A research by University of Southern California on fasting
Now, scientists have discovered the first evidence of a natural intervention triggering stem cell-based regeneration of an organ or system. A study was published on this subject, in the June 5th issue of Cell Stem Cell by researchers from the University of Southern California. The research shows that cycles of prolonged fasting protect against immune system damage and induce immune system regeneration. They concluded that fasting shifts stem cells from an inactive state to a state of self-renewal.
Human clinical trials were conducted using patients who were receiving chemotherapy. For long periods of time, patients did not eat which significantly lowered their white blood cell counts. In mice, fasting cycles “flipped a regenerative switch, changing the signalling pathways for hematopoietic stem cells, which are responsible for the generation of blood and immune systems.”
“We could not predict that prolonged fasting would have such a remarkable effect in promoting stem cell-based regeneration of the hematopoietic system. When you fast, the system tries to save energy, and one of the things it can do to save energy is to recycle a lot of the immune cells that are not needed, especially, those that may be damaged. What we started noticing in both our human work and animal work is that the white blood cell count goes down with prolonged fasting. Then when you re-feed, the blood cells come back. ”
Again, because fasting significantly lowers white blood cell counts, this triggers stem cell-based regeneration of new immune system cells. More importantly, it reduces the PKA enzyme, which has been linked to aging, tumor progression and cancer. It is also noteworthy that fasting protected against toxicity in a pilot clinical trial where patients fasted for 72 hours prior to chemotherapy.
Fasting lessens some harmful effects of chemotherapy
“Chemotherapy causes significant collateral damage to the immune system. The results of this study suggest that fasting may mitigate some of the harmful effects of chemotherapy.”
Fasting is a tradition that’s been incorporated into many ancient cultures, from Vedic to Buddhist and more. (And fasting during the whole month of Ramadan, the ninth month of Islamic Calendar is an obligatory worship in Islam.) Fasting should not be confused with starvation. It’s the process of restrain from the sensorial experience of eating and at the same time making sure you are doing it correctly. (In Islam, fasting starts from the light of dawn to sundown. One has to abstain from food, drink and sexual relations. On the moral, behavioral side, one must abstain from lying, malicious gossip, quarreling and trivial nonsense.)
Fasting helps protect against brain disease
Researchers at the National Institute on Aging in Baltimore have found evidence that fasting for one or two days a week can prevent the effects of Alzheimer and Parkinson’s disease. Research also found that cutting the daily intake to 500 calories a day for two days out of the seven can show clear beneficial effects for the brain.
Fasting cuts your risk of heart disease and diabetes
Regularly going a day without food reduces your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Studies show that fasting releases a significant surge in human growth hormone, which is associated with speeding up metabolism and burning off fat. Shedding fat is known to cut the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Doctors are even starting to consider fasting as a treatment.
Fasting effectively treats cancer in human cells
A study from the scientific journal of aging found that cancer patients who included fasting into their therapy perceived fewer side effects from chemotherapy. All tests conducted so far show that fasting improves survival, slow tumor growth and limit the spread of tumors. The National Institute on Aging has also studied one type of breast cancer in detail to further understand the effects of fasting on cancer. As a result of fasting, the cancer cells tried to make new proteins and took other steps to keep growing and dividing. As a result of these steps, which in turn led to a number of other steps, damaging free radical molecules were created which broke down the cancer cells own DNA and caused their destruction! It’s cellular suicide, the cancer cell is trying to replace all of the stuff missing in the bloodstream that it needs to survive after a period of fasting, but can’t. In turn, it tries to create them and this leads to its own destruction.
Fasting in Islam
Although fasting is beneficial to our health, it is regarded principally as a method of self-purification, by cutting oneself off from worldly pleasures and comforts. The fasting person gains true sympathy for those who go hungry regularly, and achieves growth in his spiritual life, learning discipline, self-restraint, patience and flexibility.
In fact, fasting is not just a kind of worship; it is also a treatment and healing for many diseases. It is a renewal for our body cells, it renews our entire life. When we realize the benefits of fasting, we can really taste its sweetness, Allah the Almighty says:
O you who believe! Observing As-Sawm (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqun (the pious). (Al-Baqarah2: 183).
Moreover, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “Fasting is a protection.” (Reported by Muslim)
The aforementioned medical discoveries verify the divinity of the Glorious Qur’an and at the same time, they are additional proofs for the genuineness of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who informed us fourteen centuries ago that fasting is better us. Allah Almighty says:
And that you fast, it is better for you if only you know. (Al-Baqarah2:184).
May Allah guide us all to the right path of Islam.
tags: amarnath / arya-samaj / barat / conditions-of-fasting / darshan / dayanad / declaration-of-faith / fasting / fasting-in-islam / hindu-gods / hnduism / india / indian / kumbh-mela / lakshmi / lekhram / puja / requirements-of-fasting / rulings-of-fasting / sarasvati / sawm / self-control / shivling / tapasya / taqwa / tirath / upwas / varanasi / varat / why-is-fasting-an-obligatory-worship / worship / yatra /
title: Zakah (Obligatory Charity) in Islam,
Zakah is one of the five pillars of Islam. Zakah is mentioned together with Salah (prayer) in eighty two verses of the Glorious Qur’an. Almighty Allah says:
And establish prayer and give zakah. (Al-Baqarah 2:43)
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “Islam is based on five pillars: “The testimony of Faith, the performance of Salah, the payment of Zakah, the performance of Hajj and the fasting of Ramadan.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Meaning of Zakah
The Arabic word “Zakah” literally means “Purity” and it is known that giving Zakah purifies excess wealth. The Islamic meaning of Zakah is that a certain percentage of excess wealth is taken from the rich and given to the poor. It bridges the gap between the rich and the poor Muslims, and fosters brotherly love among them. The importance of Zakah in Islam is undeniable and should not be underestimated.
Zakah is Obligatory
It is incumbent upon every Muslim who owns nisab (minimum zakatable amount) of wealth to pay its Zakah. The nisab and the percentage of Zakah to be taken from different types of excess wealth are clearly defined in the Glorious Qur’an and Sunnah. For example, when a quantity of 85 grams or more of gold or 595 grams of silver or their equivalent of cash is held in possession for one year, Zakah of 2½ percent becomes due upon it, once the nisab has been reached.
Who receives the Zakah?
The eligible recipients of Zakah are clearly mentioned in the Glorious Qur’an:
Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [zakah] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the [stranded] traveler – an obligation [imposed] by Allah . And Allah is Knowing and Wise. (At-Tawbah 9:60)
Why pay Zakah?
A man said to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) “Tell me about a deed which admits me to heaven.” He said: “Worship Allah ascribing no partner to Him, perform Salah, pay Zakah and maintain good relation with your kinfolk.” (At-Tabarani)
Warning against withholding Zakah
Allah Almighty says:
And let not those who [greedily] withhold what Allah has given them of His bounty ever think that it is better for them. Rather, it is worse for them. Their necks will be encircled by what they withheld on the Day of Resurrection. And to Allah belongs the heritage of the heavens and the earth. And Allah , with what you do, is [fully] Acquainted. (Aal `Imran 3:180)
This is a special kind of Zakah that is due at the end of the month of Ramadan. Allah, the Exalted, has instituted Zakah Al-Fitr as a means of purification from idle talk and deeds that one may have uttered during this month, as well as a food gift to the needy to save them the embarrassment of asking for it on the Day of `Eid, thus the poor may celebrate the joy of `Eid along with the rich.
Rulings of Zakah Al-Fitr
1. One of a “Sa`” (measure of about 2.5 kgs) of rice, wheat, dates or similar types of food should be given to the poor.
2. Zakah Al-Fitr should be given on `Eid day, and it can be paid a day or two before `Eid.
3. It is permissible to give Zakah Al-Fitr in the form of money, clothes, food or any other articles.
4. If Zakah Al-Fitr was given after the `Eid prayers it would be regarded as common charity not as Zakah Al-Fitr.
5. Zakah Al-Fitr should be given on behalf of every adult, minor, male or female Muslim.
Source: Taken from www.saudigazette.com with modifications.
tags: aid / alms-tax / almsgiving / amarnath / arya-samaj / astha / banaras / bhajan / charity / daan / dan / dayanad / financial-support / ganga / generosity / hindi / hindu / hindu-gods / hinduism / idolatry / india / indian / kumbh-mela / lakshmi / lekhram / mandir / sarasvati / shivling / temple / yamuna / yatra / yearly-tax / zakah / zakah-in-islam /
title: Significance of Zakah,
In the first place, we must differentiate between Zakah and tax. Zakah has a spiritual nature and has its roots in the revelation, whereas secular taxes are imposed by the civil or secular authority.
Secondly, the function of Zakah is clearly defined as catering for eight categories, whereas taxes have much wider applications.
Thirdly, tax collection depends on the power and skill of the authorities, which induces many people to seek to avoid, if not evade payment. Zakah, being a religious duty, has the consciousness of the believer as an inducement towards payment. There is an invisible collector of Zakah living in the heart of every Muslim. You can cheat the government, but how can you cheat Allah? For this reason, Zakah remains an obligation on the Muslim.
There is no excuse for Muslims to withhold Zakah. The aim of Shari`ah is to help the poor and needy to be self-sufficient. It is not to encourage the culture of dependence. Islam abhors those who make begging a profession. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) once bought an axe for a poor man to collect fire wood to sell and feed himself and his family. This example should inspire the Zakah authorities into projects that affect the fundamental solution of poverty. It should fund training schemes to make the skills of the poor more marketable. It should also finance projects that give jobs and supply needed goods and services such as textile factories, machine tool manufacture and cheap housing.
Zakah Is a Solution of Poverty
Modern economics shun aid which meets immediate consumption. There are, of course, cases where the need for food and other consumer goods is too urgent. But Zakah funds should plan to achieve the aim of the Shari`ah, that is to find a long term solution to poverty and dependence. In this respect, I would like to differentiate between Zakah Al-Fitr (Zakah for breaking the fast) and Zakah Al-Mal (wealth tax). The former should be exclusively for consumption as the Prophet (peace be upon him) advised us to bring joy and plenty to every household on the occasion of `Eid Al- Fitr. But the latter should be an allocation of long-term projects.
The imposition of an organized Zakah collection system should be the objective of every Islamic state, both for the benefit of social peace and religious fulfillment. This might create a problem where Muslims live side by side with non-Muslims. It would not be just to charge the Muslim with both civil and religious taxes while the non-Muslim neighbor pays only one tax. In the past, non-Muslims used to pay Jizyah which was the counterpart of Zakah from Muslims.
Economy occupies a large part of our life. We cannot pass even a day without undertaking any economic activity, whatever it is. Even eating or sleeping for a while comes within the purview of economics. As for example, why do we eat? We eat to survive. Why do we survive? We survive for work. Why should we work? We work just to earn our bread. How do we get bread? We get it either for money or by producing. Therefore, both money and production are the two most important parts of economy. The Glorious Qur’an and Sunnah involve a lot of texts that exhort for charity, Zakah and doing works that benefit human society. If the system of Zakah in Islam is understood well and properly it verifies the divine nature of Islam. Truly, the system came from none other than the Almighty Allah, who created everything including people and the universe. Manmade theory may be wrong. But, there is no slightest degree of doubt that Allah’s System is perfect and beneficial for all.
Zakah and the Prosperity of Human Society
If the concept of Zakah is faithfully implemented, it can solve the current economic problems of not just Muslims, but also problems of the whole world. The economic problems of Muslims would be solved if we start practicing, in earnest, this much-neglected pillar of Islam.
Zakah: the First Universal Welfare System
The achievements of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) were based not on ephemeral but on the permanent values of the Glorious Qur’an. He brought about the greatest revolution, even an economic and political miracle, in human history. In a very short time after the prophet (peace be upon him) migrated to Al-Madinah and implemented the system of salah and Zakah, the economic condition of the people changed and improved immediately.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is reported to have said: “If a single person were to sleep hungry in a town, then Allah’s protection is lifted from such a town.” (Ahmad) This hadith emphasizes that no one (Muslim or non-Muslim) under this system should go hungry. Thus, the Zakah system created the first universal welfare system in human history. It also gradually transformed the existing slave-based economy to a universal welfare-based economy. By the end of Prophet Muhammad’s period, the entire Arabian Peninsula enjoyed economic as well as political security. In fact, we abandoned the system implemented by our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Consequently, common Muslims have continued to live in poverty and suffer intergenerational economic misery. Islam’s system of Zakah has nothing to do with this sad state of affairs.
The effective control of Muslim land and its vast resources have slowly passed into the hands of the enemy, while we are exhorting ordinary, working-class Muslims to give Zakah. While thousands of children die from malnutrition and lack of medicine, religious Muslims spend millions of dollars on food and decorations to celebrate the departures and arrivals of Hajis (pilgrims) in hundreds of cities and towns around the world. Many religious and rich Muslims firmly believe that performing multiple Hajj and `Umrah is the highway to heaven. While many of the Imams and religious leaders join in and participate in the celebrations of the rich by praising their religiosity, all the while they exhort the poor to be patient and accept their predetermined fate.
When will we implement the economic system of Zakah as effectively as was demonstrated by our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) there will be no poor and needy.
Role of Zakah in Present Days
Zakah is generally translated as charity or poor-due, but Zakah with its root Zakw, which means growth and development. Zakah ultimately leads to growth and development of all human beings; it removes the need for charity or poor-due in the long term. Zakah not only leads to the economic progress of individuals and all human beings, but to their spiritual progress as well.
 http://ireland.iol.ie/~afifi/Articles/Zakah.htm (last accessed on 29-82013).
 http://kantakji.com/fiqh/Files/Zakah/143.txt (last accessed on 29-82013).
 For a detailed discussion about the system of Salah, see a two part article in MONITOR, pages 6-10, September/October 1998, and pages 7-12, December1998/January 1999.
 http://islam-understanding.blogspot.com/2004/10/role-of-Zakah-in-islam.html (last accessed on 29-82013).
tags: aid / alms-tax / almsgiving / amarnath / arya-samaj / astha / banaras / bhajan / charity / daan / dayanad / financial-support / ganga / generosity / hindi / hindu / hindu-gods / hinduism / idolatry / india / indian / kumbh-mela / lakshami / lakshmi / lekhram / mandir / sarasvati / shivling / significance-of-zakah / temple / yamuna / yatra / yearly-tax / zakah /
title: A Hindu Loves the Fasting of Ramadan,
DUBAI – Every year, an Indian Hindu expatriate Jaideep Sai Naidu joins festivities and celebrations marking the start of the fasting during the holy month of Ramadan with his Muslim friends in the United Arab Emirates.
Though he does not always participate in the fasting, he enjoys the spirit of unity spread during the blessed month.
Ramadan an Opportunity to Get Together
The 24-year-old Jaideep Sai Naidu told The National on Thursday, May 25:
“The best part of Ramadan, regardless of whether you see your friends or not throughout the year, is that at this time everybody starts getting together and people contact me to invite me for iftar meals with them.”
During Ramadan, he receives between 15 to 20 iftar invitations as 90 per cent of his friends are Arab Muslims.
Thousands of miles away in his home India, Naidu’s parents also get into the special Ramadan spirit and invite the families of Muslim friends for iftar at their home.
Taraweeh in the Nights of Ramadan
Naidu also enjoys the vibrant life of Ramadan nights when Muslims perform Taraweeh prayer and the Glorious Qur’an is recited in the mosques.
“Everywhere you go there are offers and sales and great deals, not just for small things but also all the way to cars. It is like the second Dubai Shopping Festival for everyone.” he says.
Naidu the entrepreneur, who runs a start-up construction company says that during this month, markets, shops and malls are open all the night. Roads and streets are inhabited by pedestrians and cars coming and going all the time. You feel like life does not stop. People like him can generally enjoy themselves until the late night, and then he even goes to suhoor with his Muslim friends.
Naidu Recites Qur’an
Witnessing many Ramadans, Naidu said his curiosity led him to read the Glorious Qur’an, adding he will convert to Islam to marry his Muslim fiancée.
Fasting for some Ramadan days, Naidu said that those days have taught him the value of food and how the poor, hungry people in the world feel.
“You feel you want to help, donate and give to charity.” he said.
“With my fiancée’s encouragement, I end up once or twice during Ramadan visiting orphanages and elderly care homes and that makes me see things in a different perspective.”
Ramadan the Ninth Month of Islamic Calendar
In Ramadan, adult Muslims, save the sick and those traveling, abstain from food, drink, smoking and sex between dawn and sunset.
Muslims dedicate their time during the holy month to become closer to Allah the Almighty through prayer, self-restraint and good deeds.
Revelation of Qur’an in Ramadan
It is customary for Muslims to spend part of the days during Ramadan studying the Noble Qur’an, as the revelation began in the month of Ramadan.
Many men perform i`tikaf (spiritual retreat), spending the last 10 days of the month exclusively in the mosque.
This article was taken from: aboutislam.net with modifications.
tags: a-hindu-loves-the-fasting-of-ramadan / allah / almighty / avtar / beef / bharat / dewta / eid / fasting / god / hindu / hinduism / iftar / india / ishvar / jaideep-sai-naidu / lord / parmeshwar / parmod / puja / quran / ramadan / ramzan / sanatan-dharma / upvas / vishnu /
title: Fasting in Ancient Indian Religions and Islam (2/2),
How does fasting start in Hinduism?
If a person intends to fast he prepares and takes his food on the day before the fast-day at noon, cleans his teeth, and fixes his thoughts on the fasting of the following day. From that moment he abstains from food. On the morning of the fast-day he again cleans his teeth, washes himself, and performs the rituals of the day. He takes water in his hand, and sprinkles it into all four directions; then he pronounces the name of the deity for whom he fasts, and remains in this condition till the day after the fast-day. After the sun has risen, he is free to break the fast at that moment if he likes, or, if he prefers, he may postpone it till noon.(1)
Kinds of Fasting in Hinduism
If a person breaks his fast when the sun has risen, this kind of fasting is called Upvasa, but if a person fasts from one noon to the following it is called Lakant, not Upvasa. Another kind of fasting is called Krichra, if a person takes his food on some day at noon, and on the following day in the evening. On the third day he eats nothing except what by chance is given to him without asking. On the fourth day he fasts.
Another kind of fasting is called Parak, if a person takes his food at noon on three consecutive days. Then he transfers his eating-hour to the evening during three further consecutive days. Then he fasts uninterruptedly during three consecutive days without breaking fast.
Another kind of fasting is called Chandrayn, if a person fasts on the day of full moon; on the following day he takes only a mouthful, on the third day he takes double this amount, on the fourth day the threefold of it, going on thus till the day of new moon. On that day he fasts; on the following days he again diminishes his food by one mouthful a day, till he again fasts on the day of full moon.
Another kind is called Masaupvasa, if a person uninterruptedly fasts all the days of a month without ever breaking fast.(2)
Sawm Al-Wisal (continuous fasting) in Islam
We would like here to address the issue of continuous fasting in Islam. Sawm Al-Wisal means to fast day after another continuously without interruption; if a person fasted a day and did not eat or drink anything until the second day and then continued his fasting and did not eat anything and drink any thing and kept fasting the other day, this type of fasting is called Sawm Al-Wisal, whether the fasting lasted for two or more days. This type of fasting is prohibited in Islam.
The fast of the Prophet (peace be upon him) continuously was his special distinctions. In some matters the Prophet (peace be upon him) had some specific commandments which were obligatory for him but not for his followers. Such things were permissible for him but not for his nation. All these things are called his special distinctions.
It is not permissible for Muslims to follow such practices. One of these things is Sawm Al-Wisal, which means to observe fast for several days without taking any food at all. Since Allah had granted the Prophet (peace be upon him) special power and patience, he could observe fast continuously for days. But his followers are not endowed with that energy and patience; so they are not permitted to do so. Because Sawm Al-Wisal may weaken human body and may lead to self-destruction which is not permissible in Islam.(3) There are two narrations in this regard:
1) Abu Hurairah and `Aishah (may Allah be pleased with them) said: The Prophet (peace be upon him) prohibited observing continuous voluntary fasts further than one day. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
2) Ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with them) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) prohibited observing continuous fasts more than one day. The companions submitted: “But you do it.” He replied, “I am not like you. I am given to eat and to drink (from Allah).” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Hindu months and related fasting
This is about the types of fasting in Hinduism according to the intention of a devotee. There are some rewards on fasting in Hindu religion, but most of these rewards are related to this worldly life, such as the devotee will get fame, fortune and love of women, etc.
If a man fasts all the days of Chitra, he obtains wealth and joy over the nobility of his children.
If he fasts Vaisakha, he will be a lord over his tribe and great in his army.
If he fasts Jytha, he will be a favorite of the women.
If he fasts Ashadha, he will obtain wealth.
If he fasts Sravana, he obtains wisdom.
If he fasts Bhadrapada, he obtains health, wealth, riches and cattle.
If he fasts Asvayuja, he will always be victorious over his enemies.
If he fasts Kartika, he will be grand in the eyes of people and will obtain his wishes.
If he fasts Margasirsha, he will be born in the most beautiful and fertile country.
If he fasts Pausha, he obtains a high reputation.
If he fasts Magha, he obtains innumerable wealth.
If he fasts Phalguna, he will be beloved.(4)
Rewards of fasting in Islam
We have seen in the previous lines that most of the rewards of fasting in Hindu religion are associated with this life, such as getting money, wealth and prestige, etc. According to Islam, this life and its all pleasures are little when compared with the Hereafter.
In Islam, the rewards of fasting are the most comprehensive and complete. Though there are many verses in the Glorious Qur’an and many Hadiths of the Prophet (peace be upon him) that show the reward of fasting. The most important reward of this worship is the pleasure of Allah the Almighty. We refer here to two Hadiths that mentioned the reward of fasting.
1) The Prophet (peace be upon him) said that Allah the Almighty said: “Every action of the son of Adam is given manifold reward, each good deed receiving (reward of) ten times its like, up to seven hundred times. Allah the Most High said, ‘Except for fasting, for it is for Me and I will give recompense for it, he leaves off his desires and his food for Me.’ (Al-Bukhari).
2) The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “There is a gate in Paradise called Ar-Rayyan, and those who observe fasts will enter through it on the Day of Resurrection and none except them will enter through it. It will be said: ‘Where are those who used to observe fasts?’ They will get up, and none except them will enter through it. After their entry the gate will be closed and nobody will enter through it.” (Al-Bukhari)
But fasting in Hinduism is observed for different deities as was previously mentioned. A Hindu brother says in this regard: “A vrata can be taken during a religious festival, or a pilgrimage, and also in conjunction with pursuing some goal in life, which may include material or spiritual well being or success. Vratas are applied following ritually significant and meaningful patterns, depending on which deity is addressed or which goal is pursued.”(5)
Is Drinking Juice Permissible during Fasting in Hinduism?
Some kinds of fasting in Hinduism are partial not entirely, contrary to what is known in Islam. Fasting in Islam, whether supererogatory or obligatory includes complete abstinence from eating, drinking and sexual intercourse. If a Muslim intends fasting, it is not permissible for him to drink even a drop of water, juice or milk, even drinking a drop of water or a drop of juice or milk invalidates his fast. Similarly, if he eats anything of fruits or vegetables or food cooked or uncooked, his fast becomes invalid;this is from dawn up to sunset. However, in Hinduism some types of fasting means abstinence from certain food so drinking water or juice will not invalidate his fast.
A Hindu writer says in this context: “You can fast from all food, or only from solid food. You can choose a one day fast with only: water fresh fruit juice, fresh vegetable juice, raw fruit and raw vegetables, avoiding during the fast cooked vegetables, cooked whole grains, whole grain flour products, bread, pasta, etc.”(6)
This type of fasting leads some Hindu brothers to eat some food eagerly, which is not included in his fast and rush to some other foods greedily. This has been criticized by a Hindu brother in a style of irony, who says:
“Today, you will see people with plates overflowing with puris and pakoras who say they are fasting. There are phalharI chapatis, saboodana kichari and so many other hearty foods that we barely even notice it is a fast. I have heard that there is even a recipe for phalhari pizza dough!”(7)
The Time of Fasting in Hinduism
In Hinduism, some fast begins from sunrise up to sunrise of another day, a Hindu brother inquired about the timing of the Maha Shivaratri fast if it is a sunrise to sunrise fast? If the fast would be started from sunrise on the 12th of February (the day of Shivaratri) and would be broken after sunrise on the day after (13 February).
Then the answer was: “The Mahashivratri fasting begins on the morning of Shivratri and ends on the next day morning or the Amavasya morning.(8)
What is Karwa Chauth?
Karwa Chauth is a particular fast in Hinduism which is observed by only married Hindu women in some parts of India for the wellbeing, prosperity, and longevity of their husbands.
There is no fasting in Islam particular for wife; rather, woman and man both are equal in fasting. Also the reward of fasting would be for the faster not for his/her spouse.
After we have presented some aspects of fasting in Hindu religion, we would like to point out a few notes.
First: The presence of fasting in Hinduism is a positive sign and a common denominator between Hinduism and Islam and other religions of the world which shows the importance of fasting for mankind.
Second: Fasting in Hindu society is a mixture of idolatry and polytheism as was stated by Al-Beruni. The worship of fasting in Hinduism is devoted to different gods and deities during every month and festival. While fasting in Islam is only for the pleasure of One God that is Allah the Almighty. However, this does not mean absence of other physical and spiritual benefits in fasting. The worship of fasting in Islam is based on the commandment of Allah the Wise. That is why, it bears many benefits for human being, though some of those benefits have been revealed by the modern medical science.
Third: Hindu religion is devoid of texts that can determine if the sexual intercourse during fasting is invalid or valid. We should bear in mind that angels neither eat nor drink; they are only absorbed in the worship of Allah. When a Muslim fast he tries to imitate them in their habits, that entails that sexual intercourse also must be avoided during the fast so that the imitation would be complete as the angels are free from carnal desires. Moreover, the Hindu ascetics use to fast and renounce all worldly desires including wife, son, wealth, house and all belongings and many Hindu monks still abstain from everything related to this world. The absence of ruling about sexual intercourse during fasting in Hindu scriptures is a serious issue? This denotes that Hindu scriptures have been twisted and distorted over times.
Fourth: It is only Hinduism where you can imagine a partial fasting or abstaining from some particular food or drink.
Fifth: Islam is characterized by mass fasting. Muslims fast all over the world in one month, Ramadhan the ninth month of Islamic calendar, but there is no concept of mass fasting in Hinduism similar to the fasting in Ramadhan.
Sixth: Fasting in the Hindu religion is a voluntary and individual worship not an obligatory and collective ritual, as was stated by Al-Beruni. However, Islam is characterized by both types of fasting; obligatory and supererogatory. The fast of Ramadhan is compulsory on every Muslim, sane, adult and capable. But who is sick or on a journey he will fast when he is healthy and capable after Ramadhan. As well as a pregnant and nursing woman is allowed to remain without fasting and she will make up for those days when her situation was changed. Fasting is prohibited for a menstruating woman and for the woman after child-birth due to their unstable psychology and health. Some types of fasting are supererogatory in Islam like the fasting on every Monday and Thursdays, and every 13th, 14th and 15th of every month as per Islamic calendar.
We pray Allah the Almighty to guide us to the straight path and accept our fasting.
(1) Al-Beruni’s India, translated by DR. EDWARD C. SACHAU, LONDONKEGAN PAUL, TRENCH, TRUBNER & CO. Ltd. DKYDEN HOUSE, GERRAKD STREET, W.1910, Vol.2nd p.157.
(3) See: Badr Ad-Din Al-A`yni, `Umdat Al-Qari: A commentary on Sahih Al-Bukhari, Dar Al-Fikr, vol. 10, p. 300.
(4) Al-Beruni’s India, p.157.
(5) http://www.speakingtree.in/spiritual-slideshow/seekers/faith-and-rituals/sex-during-fasting-whats-wrong-in-it (Last accessed on 18-6-2014).
(6) http://www.falconblanco.com/health/fasting.htm (Last accessed on 19-6-2014).
(7) http://www.parmarth.com/updates/april2002/message.htm (Last accessed on 20-6-2014).
(8) http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=5280(Last accessed on 15-6-2014).
tags: amarnath / arya-samaj / barat / conditions-of-fasting / darshan / dayanad / declaration-of-faith / fasting-in-islam / hindi / hindu-gods / hnduism / india / indian / karva-chauth / kumbh-mela / lakshmi / lekhram / puja / requirements-of-fasting / rulings-of-fasting / sarasvati / sawm / self-control / shivling / tapasya / taqwa / tirath / upvaas / upvas / upwas / varanasi / varat / worship / yatra /
title: About Fasting in Islam,
The fourth pillar of Islam is sawm (i.e. fasting). Allah prescribed fasting upon every able and adult Muslim during the whole of the month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the lunar calendar.
Exempted from the fast are the very old and the insane. On the physical side, fasting starts from the light of dawn to sundown. One has to abstain from food, drink and sexual relations. On the moral, behavioral side, one must abstain from lying, malicious gossip, quarreling and trivial nonsense.
Those who are sick, elderly or on a journey, and women who are menstruating, pregnant or nursing are permitted to break their fast, but they have to make up for the missed fast days later. In case of the physically unable persons, they have to feed a needy person for each day missed. Children should be trained on fasting and observing the prayers. By attaining puberty, fasting becomes a must.
Although fasting is beneficial to the health, it is regarded principally as a method of self-purification. By cutting oneself off from worldly pleasures and comforts, even for a short time, the fasting person gains true sympathy for those who go hungry regularly, and achieves growth in his spiritual life, learning discipline, self-restraint, patience and flexibility.
Furthermore, one is encouraged to recite the entire Qur’an. In addition, special prayer, called Tarawih (night prayer in Ramadan), is held in the mosque every night of the month, during which the Qur’an is recited. These are done in light of the fact that the revelation of the Qur’an to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) began during Ramadan.
During the last ten days of Ramadan, there occurs the Night of Decree (Laylat Al-Qadr). Spending that night in worship is equivalent to a thousand months of worship, i.e. Allah’s reward for it is very great.
On the first day of the following month, after another new moon has been sighted, a special celebration is made, called `Eid Al-Fitr. A quantity of staple food or equivalent money is donated to the poor (Zakat al-Fitr). Everyone has bathed and put on their best, preferably new clothes and communal prayers are held in the early morning, followed by feasting and visiting relatives and friends.
There are other fast days throughout the year. Muslims are encouraged to fast six days in Shawwal, the month following Ramadan, Mondays and Thursdays and the ninth and tenth or tenth and eleventh of Muharram, the first month of the year. The tenth day, called `Ashura’, is also a fast day.
While fasting per se is encouraged, constant fasting, as well as monasticism, celibacy and otherwise retreating from the real world are condemned in Islam. Fasting on the two festival days, `Eid Al-Fitr and `Eid Al-Adha, is strictly forbidden.
Source: Taken from www.islamtomorrow.com with modifications.
tags: agnostic / amarnath / arya-samaj / atheism-2 / atheist / barat / conditions-of-fasting / darshan / dayanad / declaration-of-faith / disbelief / fasting / fasting-in-islam / featured / hindi / hindu-gods / hnduism / india / indian / kumbh-mela / lakshmi / lekhram / non-believer / populations / puja / requirements-of-fasting / rulings-of-fasting / sarasvati / sawm / self-control / shivling / tapasya / taqwa / tirath / upwas / varanasi / varat / worship / yatra /
title: Fasting in Ancient Indian Religions and Islam (1/2),
Fasting is a famous religious phenomenon that existed in most of the world’s religions, such as Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Judaism and Christianity, etc. There is no doubt that the definition of fasting may vary from one religion to another, but what is common is that fasting is a sort of refraining from eating, whether the abstaining is partial or complete, from particular food and drink from a fixed time to a fixed time, short or long. There are also differences between the religions in the times of fasting, when the fasting should start and when it should end. However, it is agreed upon that fasting existed in Islam as well as in many religions in the world.
Fasting in the Qur’an
When the ruling of fasting was revealed in the Glorious Qur’an, it was pointed out that fasting was not something new. Rather, it was enjoined on previous nations. Allah (Glory be to Him) says:
O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous. (Al-Baqarah 2:183)
Now, the historical accounts have verified that fasting was found in almost all religions of the world; including; Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. This became an established fact and confirmed reality.
The Encyclopedia of Britannica says in this regard:
“Fasting, abstinence from food or drink or both for ritualistic, mystical, ascetic, or other religious or ethical purposes, the abstention may be complete or partial, lengthy or of short duration. Fasting has been practiced from antiquity worldwide by the founders and followers of many religions.”(1)
Similarly, fasting has been practiced by most nations from the remotest antiquity. The Egyptians, Phoenicians, and Assyrians, had their fasts as well as the Jews.(2)
It is known that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) did not read and write even a single letter in his whole life. Then how was it possible for him to inform us about the presence of fasting in the previous religions and nations? We find in the history of different religions of the world that fasting existed since the ancient times. So there is no assumption except that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was able to inform about this fact only through a true and divine revelation that confirms that he was really a true messenger of Allah who received the Glorious Qur’an from Allah the Almighty Who knows every thing.
A Hindu brother says about the worship of fasting in Hinduism: “(upavasa), or abstaining from specific substances during certain periods is a well-established part of all Hindu spiritual practices. In the early times, it was related to ascetic practices, and it is still a major aspect of the religious practices of many of the sadhus or “holy men” in India. Also, many ordinary Indians fast on specific days during the year, either by taking no food at all or by restricting their diet.”(3)
However, it could not be said certainly that all religions of the world are divine, but it is a well-known reality that Judaism and Christianity were initiated by two true prophets of Allah. Most of the religions have many practices beside the worship of fasting. In this article, we look into the religions of India in order to shed some light on the fasting compared with the concept of this worship in Islam.
Meaning of Upvas (Fasting) in Sanskrit
Upvas literally means to make the One above reside in mind, as the word is composed of two separate words Up (what is above, and Vas (to reside), i.e. to remember the One Who is above all. Thus, Upvas has been considered a part of fasting.(4)
There is another explanation for this word. A Hindu brother says in this regard:
“In Sanskrit, the word for fast is Upvas. This literally means, “Sitting near to…” i.e. sitting near to God.”(5)
The first interpretation brings the kingdom of heaven to the earth while the second one takes a devotee to the kingdom of heaven; this is the difference between both interpretations.
Meaning of Sawm (fasting) in Arabic
However, the word Sawm (fasting) in Arabic language literally means to abstain, and in Islamic terminology, Sawm means to abstain from eating, drinking and sexual intercourse with the intention of worship from dawn until the sunset. Fasting is the fourth of the five pillars of Islam. It is an obligatory worship on all Muslims who are sane, capable and pubescent during the whole month of Ramadhan.
Fasting In Hinduism
In Hinduism, each day of a week is dedicated to a particular god. Apart from the special Vratas and Upvaas, many Hindus also fast on a particular day in a week. Each day in a week has a specialty and there are numerous folklores associated with the fasting observed on the days of a week. Sunday is dedicated to Lord Surya (Sun God). Those who undertake fast (Upvaas) on the day take only a single meal. Oil and salt are avoided. Red is the color of the day and red flowers are offered to Surya. Those people who undertake fast on the day only eat food once that too before sunset. Salt, oil and fried food items are avoided.
It must be noted here that the deity worshipped on a particular day might vary from region to region and community to community. The result of all upvaas or fast depends on the person. We note here that fasting in the Hindu religion is not directed to the One God, it is directed to some items of the nature, as the fasting of Sunday is dedicated to the sun god. Also, the God whose pleasure is sought is not one, but it varies depending on the region and community. This is unlike fasting in Islam, as Allah is One Whose pleasure is always sought, it never varies from one area to another or one community to another.
Can a person have sex while fasting according to Hinduism?
Al-Beruni (1030 A.D.) has devoted in his book on India a chapter to talk about the worship of fasting in Hinduism, where he said that fasting for Hindus is a voluntary and supererogatory worship. Fasting is abstaining from food for a certain length of time, which may be different in duration and in the manner in which it is observed. The ordinary middle process, by which all the conditions of fasting are realized, is that a man determines the day on which he will fast, and keeps in mind the name of the deity whose kindness he wishes to gain and for whose sake he will fast, be it a god, or an angel, or some other being.(6)
We note here that fasting in Hinduism is not something compulsory, it is only a voluntary and individual worship that depends on the intention of a person. As well as, it is noted in the statement of Al-Beruni who described the Hindu concept of fasting as abstaining from food only, he does not mention drink and sexual intercourse, that means that fasting in the Hindu religion is not required to abstain from drinking water during fasting, as well as fasting in Hinduism does not include abstinence from sexual intercourse.
This point has been verified by a Hindu writer who says in this regard: “There is rarely any advice given to the person observing a fast concerning sex. It is like an unsaid rule.”(7)
But fasting in Islam requires abstinence from sexual intercourse, abstaining from sexual intercourse is an essential requirement of fasting in Islam, there is no dispute between Muslims on this issue.
Is drinking water permissible during fasting in Hinduism?
According to the ancient Hinduism tradition, a person is allowed to drink water until that time, in the afternoon, one may have fruit juice or one or two fruits.
A Hindu brother says:
“A simple fasting may consist of merely avoiding certain foods for a day or more, such as when non-vegetarians abstain from fish, fowl and meats. A moderate fasting would involve avoiding heavier foods, or taking only juices, tea and other liquids.”(8)
There are three types of fasting in Hindu ritual, which is determined according to the intention of a devotee.
Tasteless Fast: In this type of fasting, salt or sugar or both should be avoided. Food at both time and one time can be taken according to the devotee’s convenience.
Fruit Based Fast: In this type of fast only fruit or milk is taken twice or once but the food is avoided.
Water Based Fast: This fast is kept only on water for twenty four to thirty six hours.(9)
Please, read the rest part of this writing in our coming article.
(1) (http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/202347/fasting) (Last accessed on 24-6-2014)
(2) (Buck’s Theological Dictionary,p.273. Fasting) (Last accessed on 22-6-2014).
(3) http://www.speakingtree.in/spiritual-slideshow/seekers/faith-and-rituals/sex-during-fasting-whats-wrong-in-it(Last accessed on 21-6-2014).
(4) http://hindi.webdunia.com/religion-sanatandharma-rules/जानिए-कौन-से-व्रत-और-उपवास-का-क्या-है-लाभ-1130802013_2.htm(Last accessed on 24-6-2014).
(5) http://www.parmarth.com/updates/april2002/message.htm(Last accessed on 20-6-2014).
(6) Al-Beruni’s India, translated by DR. EDWARD C. SACHAU, LONDONKEGAN PAUL, TRENCH, TRUBNER & CO. Ltd. DKYDEN HOUSE, GERRAKD STREET, W.1910Vol.2nd p.157.
(7) http://www.speakingtree.in/spiritual-slideshow/seekers/faith-and-rituals/sex-during-fasting-whats-wrong-in-it (Last accessed on 18-6-2014).
(8)http://www.indusladies.com/forums/chitvish-on-hindu-culture-vedanta/7706-fasting-according-to-hindu-religion.html (Last accessed on 16-6-2014).
(9) http://vishwamitra-spiritualtransformation.blogspot.com/2012/11/vrat-and-upvas-fasting.html (Last accessed on 15-6-2014).
tags: amarnath / arya-samaj / barat / conditions-of-fasting / darshan / dayanad / declaration-of-faith / eid-al-fitr / fasting-in-islam / hindi / hindu-gods / hnduism / iftar / imsak / india / indian / karva-chauth / kumbh-mela / lakshmi / lekhram / puja / requirements-of-fasting / rulings-of-fasting / sarasvati / sawm / self-control / shivling / siyam / tapasya / taqwa / tirath / upvaas / upvas / upwas / varanasi / varat / worship / yatra /
title: Fasting in Islam,
By: Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi
Indeed, I have vowed to the Most Merciful abstention, so I will not speak today to [any] man. (Maryam 19:26)
According to Shari`ah, the word Sawm means to abstain from all those things that are forbidden during fasting, from the break of dawn to the sunset, and to do so with the intention of fasting.
The Purpose of Fasting
The Glorious Qur’an says:
O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous. (Al-Baqarah 2:183)
Taqwa is a very important spiritual and ethical term of the Glorious Qur’an. It is the sum total of all Islamic spirituality and ethics. It is a quality in a believer’s life that keeps him or her aware of Allah all the time. A person who has Taqwa loves to do good and avoid evil, for the sake of Allah. Taqwa is piety, righteousness and consciousness of Allah. Taqwa requires patience and perseverance. Fasting teaches patience, and with patience one can rise to the high position of Taqwa.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said that fasting is a shield. It protects a person from sin and lustful desires.
Imam Ibn Al Qayyim, viewed fasting as a means of releasing the human spirit from the clutches of desire, thus allowing moderation to prevail in the carnal self. Imam Shah Waliullah Dahlawi viewed fasting as a means of weakening the bestial and reinforcing the angelic elements in human beings. Mawlana Mawdudi emphasized that fasting for a full month every year trains a person individually and the Muslim community as a whole, in piety and self restraint.
The Obligation of Fasting
In the second year of Hijrah, Muslims were commanded to fast in the month of Ramadan every year as mentioned in Surah Al-Baqarah 2:183. The Glorious Qur’an further says:
The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it. (Al-Baqarah 2:184)
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) explained this further in a number of his statements reported in the books of Hadith. It is reported by Imam Al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim on the authority of Ibn `Umar that the Messenger of Allah said: “Islam is built upon five pillars: testifying that there is no one worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, performing Prayer, paying the Zakah, making the pilgrimage to the Sacred House, and fasting during the month of Ramadan.”
The entire Muslim world is unanimous in the principal of fasting in the month of Ramadan and considers it obligatory upon every person who is physically capable.
Rulings of Fasting
A) Who must fast?
Fasting in the month of Ramadan is obligatory upon every adult Muslim, male or female, who has reached puberty, is sane and who is not sick or traveling.
Sickness could be a temporary sickness from which a person expects to be cured soon. Such a person should not fast during the days of his or her sickness, but he or she must fast later after Ramadan to complete the missed days. Those who are sick with incurable illness and expect no better health are also allowed not to fast but they must pay the fidyah, which is giving a day’s meals for each fast missed to a needy person. Instead of food for one day one can also give equivalent amount of money to a needy person.
Women in their menses and post-natal bleeding are not allowed to fast, but they must make up for the missed days of fasting later after Ramadan. Pregnant women and mothers who are nursing babies can also postpone their fasting to a later time when they are able to fast.
According to the Shari`ah, the rulings of travelling is applicable to any journey that takes you away from your city of residence, a minimum of 48 miles or 80 kilometers. The journey must be for a good cause. One must avoid frivolous travel during Ramadan which causes a person to miss fasting. If possible, one should try to change their travel plans during Ramadan to be able to fast and should not travel unless it is necessary. The traveler who misses the fasts of Ramadan must make up for those missed days later as soon as possible after Ramadan.
B) Sunnan of Fasting
It is recommendable to do the following:
1- Taking Sahur (pre-dawn meal). It is Sunnah, and there is a great reward and blessing in taking Sahur. The best time for Sahur is the last half hour before the time of Fajr prayer.
2- Taking Iftar (break-fast) immediately after sunset.
3- During the fast, abstain from all false talks and deeds. Do not quarrel, dispute and do not indulge in arguments, do not use bad words, do not commit anything that is forbidden. You should try to discipline yourself morally and ethically, besides gaining physical training and discipline. You should also not make a show of your fasting by talking too much about it, or by showing dry lips and a hungry stomach, or by showing a bad temper. The fasting person must be a pleasant person with good spirits and good cheer.
4- During the fast, do acts of charity and goodness to others and increase your worship and reading of the Glorious Qur’an. Every one should try to read the whole Glorious Qur’an at least once during the month of Ramadan.
C) Things That Invalidate the Fast
You must avoid doing anything that may render your fast invalid. Things that invalidate the fast and require Qada’ (making up for these days) are the following:
1- Eating, drinking or smoking deliberately, including taking any non-nourishing items by mouth or nose.
2- Deliberately causing oneself to vomit.
3- The beginning of menstrual or post-childbirth bleeding even in the last moment before sunset.
4- Sexual intercourse, or masturbation that results in ejaculation (for men) or vaginal secretions (orgasm) for women.
5- Eating, drinking, smoking or having sexual intercourse after Fajr (dawn) on the mistaken assumption that it is not Fajr time yet. Similarly, engaging in these acts before Maghrib (sunset) on the mistaken assumption that it is already Maghrib time.
Sexual intercourse during fasting is forbidden. Those who engage in it must make both Qada’ (make up the fasts) and Kaffarah (expiation by fasting for 60 days after Ramadan or by feeding 60 poor people for each day of fast broken in this way). According to Imam Abu Hanifah, eating and/or drinking deliberately during fast also entail the same qadaa’ and kaffarah.
D) Things That Do Not Invalidate Fasting
During fast, the following things are permissible:
1- Taking a bath or shower. If water is swallowed involuntarily it will not invalidate the fast. According to most of the jurists, swimming is also allowed in fasting, but one should avoid diving, because that may cause the water to go from the mouth or nose into the stomach.
2- Using perfumes, wearing contact lenses or using eye drops.
3- Taking injections or having a blood test.
4- Using Miswak (tooth-stick) or toothbrush (even with tooth paste) and rinsing the mouth or nostrils with water, provided it is not overdone (so as to avoid swallowing water).
5- Eating, drinking or smoking unintentionally, i.e., forgetting that one was fasting. But one must stop as soon as one remembers and should continue his fast.
6- Sleeping during the daytime and having a wet-dream does not break one’s fast. Also, if one has intercourse during the night and was not able to make Ghusl (bathe) before dawn, he or she can begin fast and make Ghusl later. Women whose menstruation stops during the night may begin fasting even if they have not made Ghusl yet. In all these cases, bathing (Ghusl) is necessary but fast is valid even without bathing.
7- Kissing between husband and wife is allowed in fasting, but one should try to avoid it so that one may not do anything further that is forbidden during the fast.
E) Requirements for the Validity of Fasting
There are basically two main components of fasting:
1- The intention (Niyyah) for fasting. One should make a sincere intention to fast for the sake of Allah every day before dawn. The intention does not need to be in words, but must be with the sincerity of the heart and mind. Some jurists are of the opinion that the intention can be made once only for the whole month and does not have to be repeated every day. It is; however, better to make intention every day to take full reward of fasting.
2- Abstaining from dawn to dusk from everything that invalidates fasting as was mentioned above.
Source: Taken from www.islamicity.com with modifications.
tags: amarnath / arya-samaj / barat / conditions-of-fasting / darshan / dayanad / declaration-of-faith / fasting / fasting-in-islam / featured / hindu-gods / hnduism / india / indian / kumbh-mela / lakshmi / lekhram / puja / requirements-of-fasting / rulings-of-fasting / sarasvati / sawm / self-control / shivling / tapasya / taqwa / tirath / upwas / varanasi / varat / worship / yatra /
title: Workers’ Rights in Hadith,
On the occasion of Labor Day in India which coincides the first of May, I would like to present two Hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and I will not comment, because the Hadith is clear on the workers ’rights. There is no doubt that workers in India particularly and in the world in general are oppressed, their rights are violated, and the examples are not hidden to people.
Violating the Rights of Workers and its Punishment in Hadith
يقول النبي ﷺ: يقول الله: ثلاثة أنا خصمهم يوم القيامة، ومن كنت خصمه خصمته، رجل أعطى بي ثم غدر، ورجل باع حرا فأكل ثمنه، ورجل استأجر أجيرًا فاستوفى منه ولم يعطه أجره.
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Allah, the Exalted, says: ‘I will contend on the Day of Resurrection against three (types of) people: One who makes a covenant in My Name and then breaks it; one who sells a free man as a slave and devours his price; and one who hires a workman and having taken full work from him, does not pay him his wages.”‘ [Al- Bukhari].
Payment of Dues before the sweat dries up
عن عبدالله بن عمر رضي الله عنهما قال: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: ” أَعْطُوا الْأَجِيرَ أَجْرَهُ قَبْلَ أَنْ يَجِفَّ عَرَقُهُ ” رواه ابن ماجه.
On the authority of Abdullah bin `Umar, (may Allah be pleased with them) who said: The Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, said: “Give the hired worker his wage before his sweat dries.” [Reported by Ibn Majah].
The Prophet Muhammad A Defendant of the Workers
The Prophet Muhammad (may peace of Allah and His blessings be upon him) has defended through these blessed Hadiths workers ’rights fifteen centuries ago, before there were unions of workers, even at that time people probably did not have awareness of workers’ rights, and do not ask about India and the tyranny of the upper caste over the outcasts and the non-human dealings with them.
tags: combination-of-islam-and-hinduism / compare-and-contrast-islam-and-hinduism-essay / difference-between-islam-and-hinduism / difference-between-islam-and-hinduism-pdf / ethical-standards-of-islam-and-hinduism / first-of-may / hadith / hinduism-and-islam-god-is-one / history-of-islam-and-hinduism / how-are-islam-and-hinduism-alike / how-are-islam-and-hinduism-different / how-are-islam-and-hinduism-similar / how-are-islam-and-hinduism-the-same / how-old-is-islam-and-hinduism / in-what-region-did-islam-and-hinduism-meet / india / islam / islam-about-hinduism / islam-and-hinduism-by-zakir-naik / islam-and-hinduism-common / islam-and-hinduism-comparison-chart / islam-and-hinduism-conflict-in-india / islam-and-hinduism-connection / islam-and-hinduism-essay / islam-and-hinduism-in-india / islam-and-hinduism-pdf / islam-and-hinduism-similarities / islam-and-hinduism-venn-diagram / islam-aur-hinduism / islam-aur-hinduism-me-yaksaniyat / islam-buddhism-hinduism-judaism-christianity / islam-buddhism-hinduism-similarities / islam-copied-hinduism / islam-e-hinduismo / islam-from-hinduism / islam-hinduism-christianity / islam-hinduism-comparison / islam-in-hinduism-books / islam-o-hinduismo / islam-on-hinduism / islam-or-hinduism-which-is-older / islam-origin-hinduism / islam-over-hinduism / islam-prophet-hinduism / islam-to-hinduism-conversion / islam-to-hinduism-converts / islam-vs-hinduism-chart / islam-vs-hinduism-history / judaism-and-hinduism-islam / labor-day / mix-of-islam-and-hinduism / non-human-dealings / outcasts / sikhism-mixture-of-islam-and-hinduism / similarities-between-hinduism-and-islam-dr-zakir-naik / similarities-between-hinduism-islam-and-judaism / similarities-between-islam-and-hinduism / similarities-between-islam-and-hinduism-by-dr-zakir-naik / similarities-between-islam-and-hinduism-pdf / similarities-of-islam-and-hinduism / the-prophet-muhammad / tyranny-of-the-upper-caste / what-do-islam-and-hinduism-have-in-common / what-do-islam-and-hinduism-in-fact-represent / what-does-hinduism-islam-and-judaism-have-in-common / what-does-islam-and-hinduism-have-in-common / workers-rights-in-hadith /
title: Islamic Ethics during Coronavirus/COVID-19,
We are in a terrible moral crisis and ethical problem these days that has appeared during the days of isolation or quarantine or lockdowns in many countries around the world. This epidemic has exposed the worst aspect in human soul in terms of moral endemic and behavioral decline, due to the fear and shock that prevails in the world.
Losses after Coronavirus or COVID-19
What will be the corona’s death toll? What will be after the collapse of international companies and the bankruptcy of governments? How long will it take to return to the normal? How much will be the unemployment rate? The answers for these questions are unknown, but we are sure that the losses will be large and long-term. Under the current circumstances it has been revealed that selfishness, self-interest, greed, miserliness, self-love and denial of others remained visible when the supermarkets, Wal-Mart’s shelves got empty. The impacts of moral declination and selfishness are more dangerous than the epidemic itself for the individual, society and nations.
Test for Ethics in Pandemic of Coronavirus
Greed, stinginess, miserliness, self-love, denial of the other, forgetting of virtuous morals, mean behaviors, these immoral viruses remained hidden in human souls and inactive in the essence of the people until the Coronavirus pandemic surfaced over the scene that caused these moral diseases to show their symptoms clearly.
Community members were careless of the collapse of the moral values among the individuals and groups, but suddenly they woke up when the crisis worsened, shelves in stores became empty instantly, who could swiftly to collect multiple items has collected them without any consideration of others and their needs. Basic goods, necessary items were gone, and greedy merchants have monopolized the goods and raised their prices. Heads of states and governments appealed to people not to be anxious and terrified reassuring that the necessary materials are available and people should not worry, but people did not listen to them because the moral instincts have died and the behavioral foundation have collapsed a long time ago, when the individual and society did not feel the importance of ethics, and they may now feel the need for ethics more than their need to find medicine and drug for the recent pandemic Coronavirus or COVID-19.
Spirit of Cooperation in Adversity
There is no need to mention the related texts extensively here. It is sufficient to point out some important points. It is necessary to acknowledge that this epidemic has reminded the people all over the world of their fragility and weakness: rulers and ruled, presidents and subordinates, the governor and the governed, rich and poor, all are equal before nature, before the general epidemic or before the Divine judiciary and destiny, you may own money, deposits, and possessions but you are only a partner in the sources of life; you are not alone to own them.
The spirit of cooperation and assistance is one of the principles implanted in the human creation, which is the dominant nature of the normal and healthy human in any country in the world. Harming others purposely is a rare and an exception from this general habit, and wherever it is found it is a sign of psychological illness and moral disease as we have seen in some videos that a person with coughing symptoms began coughing purposely on the handle of shopping trolleys one after another with the intention of polluting others when they will hold the handle. This incident does not represent the general character in human at all, Yes, anomaly may occur from an abnormal person anywhere in the world.
Ethics when Shopping During Pandemic
Remember that people need the same things that you need, and people hold their lives dear, just as your life is dear, and their family and children are dear to them, just as your family and children are dear to you. Do not fill the cart with extra numbers of items especially during the natural epidemics or pandemics. Do not buy multiple or double items and remember the needs of others. Do not buy more than you really need out of fear, do not be selfish, be merciful, fair, helpful, supportive, cooperative and kind, be brave and do not be a coward and fearful.
Do you want all people in this world to die and you should live alone? This world is beautiful for you because of others, imagine yourself alone in this world, imagine how stranger and how alien you are in this world, how weird you are and how much anxious your sense of loneliness, isolation and fear will be without others. People are a source of adornment for you and a source of pleasure for you even if you do not feel that when you are surrounded by them.
Lend a Helping Hand to those around You
Being a human being requires you to extend a helping hand to those around you who are members of your society, remember, the members of society are not equal in money, wealth, prestige and position, among them, there are poor and rich, a working person and a jobless, but they are helpful for you and for each other and you are benefited by their services over all.
An Arab poet demonstrates this reality saying:
“People, whether they are from the city or from the villages or countryside, everyone is a servant to other even if they do not realize it.”
For example: The farmer is a servant to you, he serves you by planting, sowing and harvesting and providing food for you, and you are a servant to him and serve him with your money and wealth when you buy food materials from him.
Be Reasonable and do not be Foolish:
At the time of epidemics or abnormal conditions, some people pretend to be brave and do not care about infection of Coronavirus, this is a stupidity and foolishness and may lead to destroy himself and others, but remember, if he causes any harm to himself or others he will be responsible for that. For example if his recklessness and foolishness lead to contract the virus or spread the infection, know that he will bear his sin and the sin of everyone who will be infected because of him even the number reaches a thousand. Everyone has to listen to the health and epidemiologists involved; now everyone has to maintain social distance and should stay at home.
We can advise those foolish people, wait and be patient now, perhaps, if you survive this pandemic you may get another opportunity to show your courage and bravery. However, now you need to use your logic more than your bravery. This is a serious and tough time and you need to listen to people of specialization and medical expertise.
(Altruism) Preference of Other over his Own Need
In Islam there is a great moral value, which is called Ithaar (or altruism), which is to prefer the need of others over the need of one’s own self, and giving the other the thing that he own self needs more.
Itahr, or selflessness, is one of the noble qualities emphasized in Islam. One who is selfless places concern for others above concern for himself. The selfless person is generous with his time and freely lends aid and support to others.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) reminded the believers of the noble quality of selflessness when he said:
“None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother, what he loves for himself.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
(Altruism) Or Ithaar in Qur’an
Allah the Almighty has praised and admired the moral value of Ithaar (self-sacrifice for others) in the Glorious Qur’an. Allah the Almighty says:
(and give them preference over themselves, even though they were in need of that. And whosoever is saved from his own covetousness, such are they who will be the successful.) (Al-Hashr 59:9)
The Prophet Muhammad Example of Altruism
It has been reported on the authority of Ibn Masoud (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: “A boy came to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and said: My mother asks you so and so, then the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: We have nothing today to give. Then the boy said: my mother asks you to gift me your shirt, the Prophet (peace be upon him) took off his shirt and gave him and he himself sat in his home without a shirt on him.(1)
The most important results:
First: Good manners and noble behavior are a dividing line between human and animal.
Second: Good ethic is a habit and an instinct rooted in the human soul, and it has manifestations in deeds, actions and words.
Third: The moral instinct in a person is affected by companionship and friendship, and it can tend to good and bad, so a person should maintain and observe whom he accompanies.
Fourth: Some moral values are universal, such as goodness of honesty and badness of lying, goodness of helping others and cooperation, badness of harming others, goodness of generosity and kindness and badness of miserliness and greed, goodness of sincerity and badness of betrayal, goodness of fulfilling the promise and badness of breaking the promise, and so on.
Fifth: Translating noble moral values into good deeds and actions is praiseworthy all the time and in times of crises, epidemics and disasters is more praiseworthy and important.
Sixth: Noble person is respected in every society in the world while a bad-mannered is cursed and detested in every society in the world.
(1) See: at-Tafsir al-wasit lil-Quran al-karim by Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, Dar al-Maarif 1992. Surah Al Israa ayah No29.
tags: altruism-or-ithaar-in-quran / altruism / arab-poet / bad-mannered-is-cursed / badness-of-betrayal / badness-of-harming-others / badness-of-lying / badness-of-miserliness / calamities / compare-and-contrast-islam-and-hinduism-essay / coronavirus / covid-19 / epidemic / ethics-when-shopping / ethics-when-shopping-during-pandemic / glorious-quran / good-ethic / good-manners / goodness-of-fulfilling-the-promise / goodness-of-generosity / goodness-of-helping / goodness-of-honesty / goodness-of-sincerity / greed / how-are-islam-and-hinduism-alike / how-are-islam-and-hinduism-different / how-are-islam-and-hinduism-similar / immoral / islam / islam-about-hinduism / islam-and-hinduism-by-zakir-naik / islam-and-hinduism-common / islam-and-hinduism-conflict-in-india / islam-and-hinduism-connection / islam-and-hinduism-essay / islam-and-hinduism-in-india / islam-and-hinduism-pdf / islam-and-hinduism-similarities / islam-and-hinduism-venn-diagram / islam-aur-hinduism / islam-aur-hinduism-me-yaksaniyat / islam-buddhism-hinduism-judaism-christianity / islam-buddhism-hinduism-similarities / islam-in-hinduism-books / isolation / ithaar-altruism / miserliness / moral-declination / moral-endemic / moral-instinct / moral-values / morals / noble-behavior / noble-person-is-respected / pandemics / quarantine / selfishness / similarities-between-islam-and-hinduism / stinginess / the-prophet-muhammad-example-of-altruism /
title: Coronavirus/COVID-19 between Islam and Medical Science,
Until writing these lines, the world, despite the unbelievable advancement in all fields of sciences, could not be able to discover a vaccine or injection to prevent and treat coronavirus infected peoples, we supplicate Allah the Almighty to guide the medicine scientists to succeed to discover something that can help the people.
Nature of Divine Message
A Divine Religion represents a divine guidance in matters of faith and the worldly life, according to my belief, Islam is a divine religion that originated from God the Almighty and remained preserved from distortion and alteration. And Islam is the last divine message. We are going to present here some ideas on teachings of Islam on prevention and treatment for the coronavirus.
We do not claim that Muslims have a specific and definite text for Coronavirus or COVID-19, but those texts are general that include this virus and other viruses and epidemics, SARS and MERS may outbreak in the world in the future, as it is evident that Coronavirus will not be the last of the epidemics or pandemics.
Religious guidelines are general and comprehensive, such as the laws, principles, and regulations, for example: the Constitution of India, Article 15 says:
“Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.”(1)
The article does not specify any religion or follower of a religion but suppose, if Mustafa is a Muslim and citizen of India then surely the article will include him and will include others who have the same description and would be unlawful to be discriminated, though the article did not mention the name Mustafa. The same is applicable to the religious texts.
What is Coronavirus? Can Virus be seen?
Virus is a small infectious agent that multiplies only within the living cells of the organism. Viruses can infect all types of life, from animals, plants, microorganisms and bacteria. Viruses are so small that most cannot be seen with a light microscope, but must be observed with an electron microscope.(2)
Coronavirus and the Lungs
The coronavirus is a respiratory virus that influences first the lungs and the related system. Coronavirus is a group of viruses that can cause many symptoms such as runny nose, cough, sore throat and fever. Some are mild, such as the common cold, while others are more likely to lead to pneumonia.
The CDC recommends washing hands with soap and water before eating, after using the bathroom, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, and before and after caring for a sick friend or a family member.(3)
Coughing and Sneezing and Coronavirus
Coughing and sneezing are among the major causes of the spread of coronavirus from the infected person to the air and then to the other people.
The experts say in this regard:
It’s likely to be transmitted in droplets from coughing or sneezes, and the virus has a two- to 14-day incubation period. (Incubation is the period of time between infection with germs and the appearance of symptoms of illness or disease.(4)
Teachings of Islam When Sneezing and Yawning
We are presenting here some of the rulings and manners when sneezing and yawning from the sayings and actions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). I think that those manners if are followed are not helpful only in containing the Coronavirus or COVID-19 but for other infectious viruses related to the lungs or respiratory system in human body.
The narration says: Whenever the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) sneezed; he would cover his mouth with his hand or a piece of cloth, suppressing the sound this way. [Reported by Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi]
This narration demonstrates the habit of the Prophet Muhammad (May peace and blessing be upon him) when he sneezed. There is another hadith that commands others to do same when they sneeze.
The Hadith says:
Whenever one of you sneezes, he should cover his mouth with his hand or a piece of cloth, suppressing the sound. (Reported by Al Hakim)
In this hadith, there are two etiquettes of sneezing: The first: covering the mouth with hand or a piece of cloth. Second: reducing and lowering the voice.
“Serious respiratory illnesses like influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), whooping cough, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) are spread by: Coughing or sneezing unclean hands.” CDC advises: Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.(5)
Islamic Etiquette When Yawning
It is noticeable that medical centers concerned with coronavirus or COVID-19 or with infectious viruses does not mention yawning and its part in spreading the infection, but they mentioned only sneezing and coughing, although we find in the hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of God be upon him) teachings and etiquettes when yawning. It is evident that yawning also causes to breath out infected air from the respiratory system in human body.
The Hadith says:
“When one of you yawns, he should put his hand over his mouth.” (Reported by Muslim)
Another narration says: “When one of you yawns, he should repress it as much as possible.”
One of the principles of Islamic jurisprudence is that the similar case will be added to the original and that the like will take the same ruling of the principle case or subject. Therefore, the hadith did not mention coughing, but according to the principles of jurisprudence, coughing will take the same ruling of the sneeze, because the reason for the ruling is the same in both cases. For example, wine is forbidden by the text of the Qur’an, and the reason of forbidding is intoxication, so new drugs are forbidden because of the intoxication even if the names of newly produced intoxicants were not mentioned in the Qur’an.
Hence, all actions that lead to the spread of any infection or the virus, whether corona or other, are not permitted in Islam. Such as; travel, meeting, gathering, shaking hands, hugging, kissing, spitting, talking face to face and so on.
Washing Hands after Waking up
Purification from any dirt or impurity on the hand or from germs or bacteria that may cause disease, it is recommended in Islam to wash hands after waking up immediately, before touching anything.
A Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) says: “When one of you wakes up from his sleep, he must not put his hand in a utensil till he washed it three times, for he does not know where his hand was (while he slept)”. [Reported by Al Bukhari and Muslim].
Purification System in Islam: Prevention from Viruses
The purification system in Islam has its role in the removal of bacteria and reducing the spread of diseases and infectious viruses. The system of purification in Islam is a distinct system between the religions of the world. In Islam, there is a complete list of pure things and impure things, as well as directives in the sayings and deeds of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) bear for us clear and inclusive instructions in this context. Full body bath or shower with water is obligatory after any sexual intercourse between man and woman and this is not optional rather, it is necessary for them. Washing the urinary organ and the back passage with water is also necessary after defecating. To perform purification ritual called Wudu is obligatory that is washing the face, both hands, arms, and feet, cleansing the inner mouth and nostrils. A full body shower for a woman after the end of the menstrual cycle is also necessary. A full body bath for woman after giving birth after the postpartum blood is also necessary. In fact, these few lines cannot accommodate all those subjects in detail, it is easy to search on the Internet by the key words, like; purification in Islam, or purification in the Qur’an, purification in the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and many results will be before you. In our contemporary language, those manners can be included and listed in healthy manners, hygiene, purity from germs, bacteria, viruses, sterilization, and so on.
The Sex System in Islam: Prevention from Diseases
The sex system in Islam has a major role in limiting the spread of diseases and transmitting viruses. Sex in Islam is not absolute permission or absolute prohibition, but it is based on balanced ruling that is fully appropriate for general human taste natural human need. Sex outside marriage is prohibited in Islam, and marriage is not permitted except between male and female, so the same-sex or same-sex marriage, whether a woman with a woman or a man with a man is absolutely prohibited in Islam, and sex during the menstrual cycle is forbidden in Islam, and sex in the back or anal sex is also prohibited in Islam.
From a medical perspective and preventive aspects, and from a social angle, all of these provisions and rulings are in the interest of society and the individual, for example; sex during the days of menstruation in vagina and also anal sex are causes for bacterial contamination and impurity and thus a cause of disease. Therefore, they have been regarded as prohibited.
Diet System in Islam: Prevention and Treatment
The diet system in Islam is a balanced one, which is prevention and treatment according to latest medical point of view. Vital effect of the diet system in Islam is clear in limiting the spread of diseases and epidemics, and it is essentially based on the interest of the individual and society. It is not absolutely permissive as we see in the tradition and habits of some countries that eat everything from worms, insects, snakes, bats, dogs and so on. The diet system in Islam combines plants, grains and some meat with conditions in the animal and conditions in getting the meat. From an Islamic perspective, there are conditions in animals and conditions in the process of obtaining meat.
The Prohibited Animals in Islam
Ibn ‘Abbas reported that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) has prohibited the eating of all fanged beasts of prey, and all the birds having talons.
The Hadith mentions general principle for Halal (permissible) and Haram (prohibited) animals. The category of prohibited wild beasts includes wild beasts that have fangs by which they devour their prey such as lions, tigers, wolves, elephants, cheetahs, panthers, leopards, dogs, foxes, wild pigs, jackals, cats, crocodiles, tortoises, hedgehogs, monkeys, hyenas and the like.
The Hadith includes category of prohibited birds, according to this Hadith it is prohibited to eat birds that have claws by which they hunt such as eagles, falcons, hawks, accipiter, kites, owls and the like. It is also prohibited to eat birds that devour carrion and dung such as eagles, crows, vultures, hoopoes, martins and the like.
In addition, the cattle or chickens and the like whose fodder is mostly dirt and impure, it is prohibited to consume their meat, their milk, and their eggs until they are detained and fed with pure fodder, to the degree that one becomes almost certain of their purity.(6)
In addition, An-Nawawi said: “The views of scientists regarding the land insects, scorpions, snakes scarabs, cockroaches, mouse and the like are that they are prohibited: it is our view that they are haram (prohibited), and it is the conclusion of Abu Hanifa, Ahmad and Dawood.(7)
An-Nakha’i said: All birds are halal (permissible), except for the bat. This is forbidden because they are malicious, which the Arabs do not like, and they do not eat them.(8)
After looking at the aforementioned, it is clearly evident that the prohibition of certain things and actions by Islam and permissibility of other things is based on human interest and well-being.
We can conclude some important points in the following:
First: dead animal’s meat and pig are prohibited in Islam, the latest medical findings advise to avoid them for health prevention.
Second: it is not permissible to torture the animal when slaughtering or before it. The animal must be slaughtered in its throat with a sharp, fast-cutting knife or cutter so that its blood, a big source of contamination and germs are gone and meat becomes pure, free of germs and bacteria.
Third: Names of God must be recited when slaughtering because the animal is God’s creature and it is not permissible to destroy a life but when you mention God’s name it is as if you sought Allah’s permission for slaughtering and using it as your food.
Fourth: if people of the globe irrespective of their faith, race, color, religion and gender practice Islamic rulings on food, sex, purification and manners, the world will be safer, happier and more prosperous. This does not require full conversion to Islamic faith.
Fifth: Coronavirus outbreak or COVID-19 will not be the last of its kind that threaten the existence of human being on the earth; therefore, those humanistic manners, practices and guidelines are important for ever not only for this infection, coronavirus or COVID-19.
Sixth: if you bought a car and followed the related instruction you will be safe and will benefit from the product but if you misused and crossed the red-light or violated the speed limit you will destroy yourself and will harm others. You are a creation of God who revealed for you guideline and instruction in the form of religion, follow the true religion and be safe, happy and prosperous and save others from your harm.
(7) An-Nawawi, Al Majmu`a” (9 /16-17.
(8) Ibn Qudamah, Al Mughni.
tags: anal-sex / bats / cdc / common-cold / constitution-of-india / coronavirus / coronavirus-and-the-lungs / coronavirus-covid-19-between-islam-and-medical-science / cough / coughing / coughing-and-sneezing-and-coronavirus / covid-19 / diet-system-in-islam-prevention-and-treatment / divine-message / drugs / epidemic / fever / forbidden / full-body-shower / god / intoxicants / intoxication / islam / islamic-etiquette / medical / menstrual-cycle / mers / nature-of-divine-message / pandemic / prevention-and-treatment-for-the-coronavirus / purification-system-in-islam / religion / respiratory / runny-nose / same-sex / same-sex-marriage / sars / severe-acute-respiratory-syndrome-sars / sex-outside-marriage / sexual-intercourse-between-man-and-woman / snakes / sneezing / sore-throat / the-prohibited-animals-in-islam / the-quran / the-sex-system-in-islam-prevention-from-diseases / virus / viruses / washing-hands-after-waking-up / what-is-coronavirus / whooping-cough / wine-is-forbidden / wudu /
title: The Miraculous Night Journey of the Prophet Muhammad,
By E-Da`wah Committee
Allah (Glory be to Him) says in the Glorious Qur’an what means:
Glory be to Him Who made His servant to go on a night from the Sacred Mosque to the remote mosque of which We have blessed the precincts, so that We may show to him some of Our signs; surely He is the Hearing, the Seeing. (Al-Israa`a’ 17:1)
The Date of Al-Isra’ Wal-M`iraj
There is no doubt that Al-Israa` (the night journey) followed by Al-Mi`raj (the heavenly ascension) was one of the miracles in the life of our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). According to the most accepted view, it happened on the 27th of Rajab, the seventh month of the Hijri calendar, in the tenth year of Muhammad’s prophethood.
It is reported in Hadith literature, that the Messenger of Allah was carried from the Sacred Mosque in Makkah to the “Farthest Mosque” (Al-Masjid al-Aqsa) in Jerusalem on a creature called Al-Buraq in the company of the archangel Gabriel (peace be upon him). There he led a congregational prayer of the prophets of God.
Then Gabriel took him to the heavens where he met the prophets Adam, John, Jesus, Idris, Aaron and Moses (peace be on them all). In the seventh heaven, he met Abraham (peace be on him). He was then brought to the Divine Presence. The details of this meeting are beautifully detailed in the beginning of Surah An-Najm: 52.
Prayer A God-Given Gift
During this time, Allah ordered for his nation fifty daily Prayers. However, on the Prophet’s return, he was told by Prophet Moses (peace be on him) that his followers could not perform fifty Prayers. Thus, he went back and eventually it was reduced to five daily Prayers. After this, the Prophet returned to Makkah on the same night itself.
Therefore, Muslims should be thankful to Allah for this gift. They should take care of it and never neglect it. The prayer is the worship that allows a Muslim to communicate with the Creator five times every day.
Lessons from Al-Isra’ and Al-M`iraj
One major lesson of that miraculous event was that the system of the space and time is at the command of Allah the Almighty. On that night, the time and space were bridged for the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as he traveled this auspicious journey to the heavens by the will of Allah the Almighty.
The implications of the night journey cannot be overstated. The miraculous nature of the Prophet’s journey established his divine-stated legitimacy as the seal of all prophets and messengers. Allah brought the Prophet to His blessed court to show us his true worth and dignity in the sight of Allah.
Miracles as Divine Support for the True Prophets
All religious traditions share the concept of miracles that accepts and believes in some supernatural events that surpass logic, nature or the established constitutions in this world.
We will limit our discussion to legitimate miracles from Allah, which are the only true miracles. When the forces of disbelief are strong, typically the prophetic miracles that oppose them are stronger and more powerful. The Prophet Moses was given several miracles, which included his stick that turned into a massive snake and helped him in his parting of the Red Sea, as a divine response to the extreme infidelity of Pharaoh.
Similarly, the Prophet Jesus was given even the power to raise the dead, in order to establish his legitimacy before the Jews who ultimately tried to kill him for blasphemy. Nevertheless, his miracles were undeniable by their nature, and it was only the obstinacy and arrogance of his people that led them to deny him.
The Reaction of the People of Makkah
The Prophet Muhammad’s night journey was obviously not easy for the pagan Makkans to believe. Nevertheless, the Prophet proved it logically by describing the approaching caravans that he overtook on his miraculous return. Thus, this particular prophetic miracle not only established the Prophet’s eminence for Muslims as discussed above, but it also helped to prove his prophethood to the non-believers of his time.
Celebrating the Event
As far as the Muslims are concerned, there is no particular celebration, fast or prayer to commemorate Al-Israa’ and Al-Mi`raj. However, in some places, the Muslims themselves have started to have commemorative functions, where the story of the night journey is told in poetry or lectures. There are scholars who maintain that gatherings meant to remind the Muslims of the importance of Al-Mi`raj in the history of Islam, or to remind us of the importance of love for the Prophet and the significance of the city of Jerusalem, are permissible.
tags: al-isra-wal-miraj / al-madinah / astha / avtar / belief / bhagat / hindi / hindu / hindu-scriptures / hinduism / hindus / incarnation / india / islam / kalki-avtar / last-prophet / makkah / messenger / muhammad / muslims / parmatma / parmeshwar / prophecy / prophethood / quran / signs-of-muhammads-prophethood / vishnu /
title: The Story of the Prophet’s Night Journey (1/2),
What is Al-Israa’?
Israa’ and sara in Arabic language refer to traveling in the night(1) and Israa’ here denotes the miraculous night journey of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) from al-Masjid Al-Haram in Makkah to Bayt Al-Maqdis in Jerusalem with Angel Gabriel on al-Buraq, a white and long animal larger than a donkey but smaller than a mule. This journey is called al-Israa’ that took place merely by the power and order of Allah the Almighty. This was mentioned in the Glorious Qur’an in a Surah named “Al-Israa’”(2)
What is Al-Mi`raj?
Al-Mi`raj was derived from the Arabic root-word `uruj that denotes ascending or climbing. In Islamic theology, the word Al-Mi`raj denotes the miraculous travel of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) from Jerusalem to the heavens and skies to see the sublime and unique beautify of the divine worlds and to be blessed with conversation with his Lord and to observe the divine beauty within minutes or hours or a small part of the night that did not take even the whole night.
The Mi`raj followed the Israa’ in the same night and the story of al-Mi`iraj was mentioned in brief in Surat An-Najm according to the opinion which says that the verses of Surat An-Najm describe the Prophet’s ascension to heavens, beside many other Prophetic traditions. Bothe the Israa’ and the Mi`raj were in awakening not in dream.(3)
When Did the Miraculous Event Happen?
According to the most famous opinion, the Israa’ and the Mi`raj took place on Rajab 27th, about a year before the migration of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to Madinah. No doubt, there are other views in this regard. However, Muslims in the world celebrate this precious occasion on Rajab 27th every year.(4)
The Story of Al-Israa’
It is narrated on the authority of Anas ibn Malik that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said that he was brought al-Buraq that is an animal white and long, larger than a donkey but smaller than a mule, which would place its hoof on a distance equal to the range of its sight. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) mounted it and came to Bait Al-Maqdis in Jerusalem, then he tethered it to the ring used by the prophets before him. He entered the mosque and prayed two rak`ahs in it, and then came out and Gabriel brought him a vessel of wine and a vessel of milk but the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) chose the milk, then Gabriel said: You have chosen the natural thing.
The Story of Al-Me`araj
After that the miraculous and heavenly journey started as Gabriel took the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) to the nearest heaven and asked the gate of heaven to be opened and he was asked who he was. He replied: Gabriel. He was again asked: Who is with you? Gabriel said: Muhammad. It was said: Has he been sent for? Gabriel replied: He has indeed been sent for. The door of the heaven was opened for them and at once they saw the Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) who welcomed him and prayed for his wellbeing. Then they ascended to the second heaven. Gabriel (peace be upon him) asked the door of heaven to be opened, and he was asked who he was. He answered: Gabriel; and was again asked: Who is with you? He replied: Muhammad. It was said: Has he been sent for? He replied: He has indeed been sent for. The gate was opened, when he entered the Prophets `Isa ibn Maryam and Yahya ibn Zakariya (peace be upon both of them), cousins from the maternal side welcomed him and prayed for his wellbeing.
On the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Heavens
Then he was taken to the third heaven and Gabriel asked for the opening (of the door). He was asked: Who are you? He replied: Gabriel. He was again asked: Who is with you? He replied Muhammad (peace be upon him). It was said: Has he been sent for? He replied: He has indeed been sent for. The gate was opened for them and he met the Prophet Yusuf (peace of be upon him) who was very beautiful rather he had been given half of the beauty of the world. He welcomed him and prayed for his wellbeing. Then he ascended with him to the fourth heaven. Gabriel (peace be upon him) asked for the gate to be opened, and it was said: Who is he? He replied: Gabriel. It was again said: Who is with you? He said: Muhammad. It was said: Has he been sent for? He replied: He has indeed been sent for. The gate was opened for them, and suddenly he met the Prophet Idris (peace be upon him) who welcomed him and prayed for his wellbeing. It is noteworthy that Allah (Glory be to Him) mentioned the Prophet Idris in the Glorious Qur’an and said: “We elevated him (Idris) to the exalted position.” (Maryam 19:57)
Then he ascended with them to the fifth heaven and Gabriel asked for the gate to be opened. It was said: Who is he? He replied Gabriel. It was again said: Who is with you? He replied: Muhammad. It was said has he been sent for? He replied: He has indeed been sent for. The gate was opened for them and then he was with the Prophet Harun (Aaron) (peace be upon him) who welcomed him and prayed for his wellbeing.
On the Sixth and Seventh Heavens
Then he was taken to the sixth heaven. Gabriel (peace be upon him) asked for the door to be opened. It was said: Who is he? He replied: Gabriel. It was said: Who is with you? He replied: Muhammad. It was said: Has he been sent for? He replied: He has indeed been sent for. The gate was opened for them and there he was with the Prophet Musa (Moses) (peace be upon him) who welcomed him and prayed for his wellbeing. Then he was taken up to the seventh heaven. Gabriel asked the gate to be opened. It was said: Who is he? He said: Gabriel It was said. Who is with you? He replied: Muhammad (may peace be upon him.) It was said: Has he been sent for? He replied: He has indeed been sent for. The gate was opened for us and there he found the Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) (peace be upon him) reclining against al-Bait al-Ma`mur “the Frequented House” (that is situated in the 7th heaven, directly above the Ka`bah on earth and seventy thousand angels enter into al-Bait al-Ma`mur every day who never gets the chance to visit this place again.
The Sidrat al-Muntaha is a very large Lote Tree beyond the seventh heaven. It was named Sidrat al-Muntaha because whatever ascends from the earth and whatever descends from heaven terminates there.
Then the angel Gabriel took the Prophet (peace be upon him) to Sidrat al-Muntaha whose leaves were like elephant ears and its fruit like big earthenware vessels. When the Lote tree was covered by the command of Allah, it underwent such a change that none amongst the creation has the power to praise its beauty.
The Gift of the Prayers
Then Allah (Glory be to Him) revealed to him a revelation and He made obligatory for him and his followers fifty prayers every day and night. Then he went down to Moses (peace be upon him) who asked him: What has your Lord enjoined upon your followers? He said: Fifty prayers. The Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) said to him to return to his Lord and beg for reduction (in the number of prayers), for his community shall not be able to bear this burden. As he has put to test the children of Isra’il and tried them (and found them too weak to bear such a heavy burden). The Prophet (peace be upon him) went back to his Lord and asked his Lord to make the prayers lighter for his nation. The Lord reduced five from the fifty prayers for him. He went down to Moses and said the Lord reduced five prayers for him, He said: Verily your nation shall not be able to bear this burden; return to the Lord and ask Him to make the prayers lighter. He then kept going back and forth between his Lord Exalted be He and Moses, until He said: There are five prayers every day and night. O Muhammad! each being credited as ten, so that makes fifty prayers. He who intends to do a good deed and does not do it will have a good deed recorded for him; and if he does it, it will be recorded for him as ten; whereas he who intends to do an evil deed and does not do, it will not be recorded for him; and if he does it, only one evil deed will be recorded. (Muslim)
Leading the Prophets and Messengers in Prayer
Some authentic narrations say that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) met the prophets in the heavens, then he returned to Jerusalem again and the prophets (peace be upon them) came down with him then he led them in the prayer in Bayt Al-Maqdis, after that he rode Al-Buraq again and returned to Makkah. In fact, Allah (Glory be to Him) made Adam and other prophets alive for him and he met them and led them in prayer.(5)
To be continued…
(1) Az-Zamakhshari, Tafseer Al-Kashshaf, Dar Al-Ma`rifah, Beirut, edit.3rd, 2009, p. 589.
(2) See: `Abdul-Haq Muhaddith Dehlawi, Madarij An-Nubuwwah, Urdu translation by Mufti Sayyid Ghulam Mu`eenu-ddin Na`imi, Shabbir Brothers, Urdu Bazar 2004, vol.1st p.209.
(3) See: Abu-Ja`far At-Tahawi, Al-`Aqidah At-Tahawiyyah, Dar Ibn Hazm, Beirut 1995, p.15.
(4) See: Abul Hassan An-Nadawi, As-Seerah An-Nabawiyyah, Dar Ibn Kathir, Damascus, 1425 A.H., p. 216.
(5) See: Al-Bayhaqi, Dala’il An-Nubuwwah, vol. 3, p. 113., Tafsir Ibn Kathir, vol. 5, p. 29 and As-Suyuti, Al-Khasa’is Al-Kubra, vol. 1, p. 404.
tags: al-isra-wal-miraj / al-madinah / astha / avtar / belief / bhagat / hindi / hindu / hindu-scriptures / hinduism / hindus / incarnation / india / installing-windows / installing-windows-7 / islam / kalki-avtar / last-prophet / makkah / messenger / muhammad / muslims / parmatma / parmeshwar / prophecy / prophethood / quran / signs-of-muhammads-prophethood / vishnu / windows /
title: The Story of the Prophet’s Night Journey (2/2),
Click here to read Part 1
The Reaction of Abu Jahal and his Followers
After the Prophet (peace be upon him) returned from his miraculous night journey, we was sure that people would not believe when he will tell them about the special blessing of Allah.
Abu Jahl passed by him and asked him mockingly: Was there anything from heaven? The Messenger of Allah said: Yes.
Abu Jahl asked: What is it?
The Messenger of Allah said: I was given a miraculous night journey.
Abu Jahl asked: To where?
The Messenger of Allah said: To Bayt al-Maqdis.
Abu Jahl said: Then you came back to be among us?
The Messenger of Allah said: Yes.
Abu Jahl deciding not to belie him in order to encourage him to tell it to the people, he cunningly said: If I invite people over here, will you tell them what you have told me about?
The Messenger of Allah said: Yes.
The Messenger of Allah said: I was given a night journey.
They said: To where?
The Messenger of Allah said: To Baytul Maqdis.
Abu Jahl said: then you came back to be among us?
The Messenger of Allah said: Yes.
Then some of them clapped their hands while others put their hands on their heads, as a gesture of disbelief.
They asked: “Can you describe the Mosque of Bayt al-Maqdis in Jerusalem as some of us have travelled to Jerusalem before and saw the Mosque?”
The Messenger of Allah said:
“I started describing it to them until I could no longer do that. Then, Jibril brought a view of the mosque close to the neighboring house of `Uqail, then I resumed describing it while I was looking at it.”
The Messenger of Allah added that the description included details that I no longer remember.
The people, then, commented saying: “Concerning the description of Bayt al- Maqdis, by Allah, he told the truth.” (Musnad Ahmad)
This narration clearly shows that the people of Makkah investigated the story of the Prophet by asking him questions about the mosque in Jerusalem and his answer and description were verified by those who had visited it before, though the Prophet never visited the mosque of Bayt Al-Maqdis before.
Abu Bakr As-Siddiq and the Prophet’s Night Journey
When the Prophet Muhammad reported to the people about his journey, most of the unbelievers of Makkah found it strange and unusual and some of them said: By God! This is really a strange happening, our convoys take one month from Makkah to Bayt Al-Maqdis; one month in going and one month in returning, and how is it possible for Muhammad to go in one night and to return to Makkah in the same night?
Therefore, people came to Abu Bakr and said: “O Abu Bakr! What do you think about your friend who says that he went tonight to Jerusalem and prayed there then returned to Makkah in the same night? Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) said: do you tell false on his behalf? They said: no, here is your friend in the mosque who announces it to the people. Then Abu Bakr said: by God, if he says that, he is surely true, why are you in surprise? By God! he tells me about the revelation that comes to him from sky to the earth in moments, any time in the day or night and I believe in his talk. In fact, what you have been told about his night journey is easier than the issue of revelation has been believed by me.
Then Abu Bakr came to the Messenger of Allah and said: O Prophet of Allah! have you really told them that you visited Jerusalem tonight? He said: yes, then he asked the Prophet of Allah to describe Bayt Al-Maqdis as he had traveled to it. The Messenger of Allah began describing it, Abu Bakr said on each description “You are true, and I wetness that you are a true Messenger of Allah” until the Messenger of Allah has finished his description then he said to Abu Bakr: O Abu Bakr! You are Siddiq (a man of truth) since then Abu Bakr became known with this title. (Al-Qurtubi, Al-Jami`li-Ahkam Al-Qur’an, vol. 10, p.257)
Logical Evidence of the Israa’ and the Mi`raj
It is known that miracles are a common denominator among most religions of the world; even Hinduism has many stories and legends based on the miracles. However, we are not sure of their authenticity and accurate transmission through the ancient ages. While the miracles of the Prophet Muhammad in general and the miracle of the Israa’ and the Mi`raj particularly were mentioned in more than one narrations of the Hadith.
In addition, the story of Israa’ was mentioned in the Glorious Qur’an while the story of Mi`raj was mentioned in the blessed Sunnah, which was transmitted to us by countless people who belonged to different countries and centuries, also the numbers of the narrators are so big that is impossible to agree on a false or fabricated narration. The number of those companions who heard the story from the Prophet directly was very big then the next generation of the narrators who heard from those companions was also big in numbers and the number was same in the next coming generations until the period of the compilation of the narrations. Thus, the miracles of the Prophet Muhammad were transmitted by countless narrators in every age that could not be a mere lie. For example, many of us have not seen the North Pole of the planet or the Himalaya Mountains but we believe in their presence because a large number of people told us about their presence who saw them by their eyes.
How is it possible to travel to the heavens in one night?
It can be said that how is it possible to travel around the heavens in one night, rather, in a small part of the night? In our modern age, we know that spacecrafts that go to Mars, moon or other planets with astonishing speed, even though they take months and years to arrive at them, so the ascension of the Prophet Muhammad to the heavens seems impossible.
It is easy for those who believe in the existence of God, who can do everything and whose power is limitless, “His command is only when He intends a thing that He says to it “Be” and it is!” I think that most Hindus believe in the existence of God the Almighty. The Israa’ and the Mi`raj were carried out by the will and command of Allah the Almighty who created the world and organizes, directs and runs the system of the universe. Nothing of this world is beyond His command and power. So Al-Israa’ Wal-Mi`raj are miraculous journey that took place by the power of Allah the Almighty whose supremacy is not limited to our limited thoughts, views or opinions.
Moreover, we say to those who do not believe in God or who want to interpret the universe and life in the light of laboratory experiments, we ask them; have you interpreted everything in the universe? The answer is no, as we see many scientists say in many studies; “We do not know”, but there is a big difference between “We do not know” and “It is impossible”.
For example: Humans before three centuries used to reject the reality of transmission of sound to thousands of kilometers, rather, it was believed as an impossible idea, but now most people talk on phones and Mobiles from one country to another even they hear the transmitted sound by their own ears. Now, most people believed in the transmission of the sound in a single moment from one country to another.
In fact, the modern scientific discoveries in various fields help us a lot in giving satisfaction with the miracles of the Prophet Muhammad including the miracle of the Israa’ and the Mi`raj, because mankind before these scientific discoveries was unaware of many secrets in the cosmic system, planets, space, atom and many other items of the universe. According to Islam, Hinduism and other religions of the world, the system of the world was created by God the Almighty. Indeed, the miracle of the Israa’ and the Mi`raj is strange and unbelievable only when it was claimed to be a result of human power or strength, but when it is done or carried out by the power and will of Allah the Almighty then there is no room for denial or refusal, because, Allah is the Creator of all things and He is Only One who sets the system of the world and it is not difficult for the Creator to stop the system of His created universe for a specified time.
Why the Israa’ and the Mi`raj?
There are many secrets in the miracle of the Israa’ and the Mi`raj; some of them were explained by our honored scholars in the light of the Glorious Qur’an and the blessed Sunnah. Sheikh Jalal Addin As-Suyuti (may Allah have mercy on him) mentioned in his booklet “Al-Israa’ wal-Mi`raj” twenty secrets behind this miraculous journey. Some of them are mentioned below.
- The kings and princes honor exalted personalities of their courts when they finish their assigned duties in a unique style or when they achieve some important missions they are honored with awards, medals, and valuable prizes. There is no comparison between the standard of honoring by Allah the Almighty and human being.
After the Prophet Muhammad had suffered a lot of violence, cruelty and damage from his people in order to convey the message of Allah the Almighty to the people, Allah (Glory be to Him) wanted to honor His excellent servant, the Prophet Muhammad by inviting him to His blessed court and to make him see His major signs in the universe and the heavens.
- The Prophet led in the prayer all Messengers and Prophets since Adam until the Prophet `Isa (peace be upon them) that shows the honor, prestige and merit of the Prophet Muhammad amongst the entire humanity.
- The importance of the five prayers for the Muslim community is evident from the Israa’ and the Mi`raj. As the prayer was a special gift from Allah the Almighty for him and his followers that was given in an extraordinary and honored way. Therefore, the prayer has been regarded as a Mi`raj for Muslims as was the ascension to the blessed court of Allah the Almighty a Mi`raj for the Prophet .
- Mi`raj is a hope for those Muslims who are in sorrow and sadness. Any grief or damage in the way of Allah is always followed by some wonderful divine blessings and gifts that are beyond our expectations and imaginations.
- The Israa` and the Mi`raj were dividing lines between a strong believer and between a weak believer, rather, they were a distinction between belief and disbelief. Some became Siddiq (the man of truth) due to his strong belief in Mi`raj and in the Prophet Muhammad while some become infidel and disbeliever due to the rejection of the Israa’ and the Mi`raj.
tags: al-isra-wal-miraj / al-madinah / astha / avtar / belief / bhagat / hindi / hindu / hindu-scriptures / hinduism / hindus / incarnation / india / islam / kalki-avtar / last-prophet / makkah / messenger / muhammad / muslims / parmatma / parmeshwar / prophecy / prophethood / quran / signs-of-muhammads-prophethood / vishnu /
title: A Brief Biography of Prophet Muhammad,
The Birth of the Prophet Muhammad:
Muhammad, son of `Abdullah, was born in Mecca, in the year of Elephant Event,* on Monday morning, the 12th Rabi` Al-Awwal, 570 A.D.1 `Abdullah means slave of God. His mother was ‘Aminah, daughter of Wahab the chief of his tribe Banu Zahrah. ‘Aminah was the noblest woman in Quraysh. `Aminah in Arabic refers to peace and security.2 During her pregnancy with Prophet Muhammad, she saw and felt many blessings and extraordinary incidents and miraculous happenings that assured her the uniqueness of her expected child.3
`Abdullah, father of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be up on him), died before his birth. After his birth, he was named Muhammad, which is an Arabic word that means the highly praised one. As well as, amongst his names was Ahmad, which is a superlative form of the Arabic root word ‘Hamd’ (praise). It also means “the highly praised one”.4
On the seventh day of his birth, a feast of `Aqiqah was held in his home by his grandfather and dignitaries of Quraysh were invited on this auspicious occasion. When they asked `Abdul Muttalib: “What have you named him?” He answered: “Muhammad”.5
Many miraculous events accompanied the birth of the Prophet Muhammad and his childhood as was mentioned by most of the historians. In the night therein Prophet Muhammad was conceived by his mother, all the idols of Mecca were thrown down on the ground. And when Prophet Muhammad was born the palace of Kisra (King of Persia) trembled and its fourteen chandeliers fell down. The flames of the fire-worshippers were extinguished for the first time, though that fire had been burning for more than a thousand years.6
In fact, those miraculous events were indications and signs that denoted that humanity was going to see unlimited mercy of Allah through Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his sublime message.
It was a custom among the rich and noble families of Quraysh to send their infants to the Bedouin tribes whose women visited Mecca twice a year to get infants to foster them and suckle them on their breasts. A few days after the birth of the Prophet Muhammad, according to this custom he was given to Halimah Al-Sa`diyah. As soon as Halimah took the Prophet Muhammad, the blessings started coming down on her and her family, even her neighbors and relatives were blessed by the arrival of the Prophet Muhammad. Her donkey that she was returning on became more energetic and lively while it was weak and tired when she rode it to Mecca. When she reached her tent the she-camels, goats and sheep became full of milk, the days of drought and famine came to end and the rain was profuse everywhere and the arid land turned into green lawns. Not only this but the entire life of Halimah was changed, her poverty was changed into a fortune, her sorrow was transformed into a pleasure.6
Thus she fostered him for a few years then she brought him back to Mecca, but as an epidemic was spreading in the city of Mecca at that time, Prophet Muhammad was sent back to the desert where he lived for about six years.7
It was the practice of the nobles of Mecca to get their babies fostered in the tribes of desert so that their child’s physical structure could grow sounder. And they would able to learn the purest and most classical Arabic language, since they avoided the multi-cultural conditions of Mecca, which was usually crowded with different tribes, especially during the season of pilgrimage. The Prophet (peace be upon him) himself told his companions: “I am the most perfect Arab of you all. I am of Quraysh, and I was suckled and brought up among the tribe of Banu Sa`d ibn Bakr.”8
When Prophet Muhammad was six years old, his mother ‘Amnah took him to Al-Madinah where she lived for about a month. On her way back to Mecca on reaching a village by the name of Al-Abwa’, she breathed her last and was buried there.9
`Abdul Muttalib now took the young orphan in his charge and always kept Muhammad with him. But `Abdul Muttalib also died when Prophet Muhammad was about eight years old.10
Muhammad felt his grandfather `Abdul Muttalib’s death grievously. Before his death, `Abdul Muttalib left Muhammad to the care of his son, Muhammad’s uncle, Abu Talib. `Abdul Muttalib had ten sons. Abu Talib was full brother of `Abdullah, father of Prophet Muhammad and loved Prophet Muhammad as he loved his own children. Later, when Prophet Muhammad was persecuted by the people of Mecca, this good and kindly uncle often served as a shield to his beloved nephew who had been subjected to different types of aggressions by his opponents.
At about the age of 10 or 12, Prophet Muhammad herded goats for some time. Unlike India, this was not held in disrepute by the Arabs, and was generally followed by the noble and rich families of Quraysh.
The scholars say that the wisdom behind herding the sheep and goat before the prophecy is to make the Prophets patient with their nation, because herding sheep needs patience and tolerance. Furthermore, it teaches how to save the goats and sheep from beasts. Thus they were prepared for their great mission of saving their nation from destruction.11
His Journey to Syria:
At the age of 12, Prophet Muhammad accompanied his uncle Abu Talib on the mercantile expedition to Syria. It was on this journey that he met the Christian Monk Bahira, who, on seeing Prophet Muhammad, said that he recognized in that young boy the future Prophet whose advent had been prophesied by the prophets that had preceded him.12
On several occasions, he had accompanied his uncle to Syria on business; he had gained reputation for honesty and fair dealing. He had kept his accounts clear, fulfilled his promises and had come to be known as a trustworthy, truthful and faithful person. People readily trusted their wares to his care and he undertook the responsibly on the usual consideration of sharing the profits.13
He had now attained the age of 25 and had taken his share in the public affairs of his time and had established creditable business relations. His fame for honesty and trustworthiness attracted the notice of a rich widow of Mecca named Khadijah. She was extremely rich and was known for her gentle nature and spotless character. She was aged 40 and had two sons and a daughter from her previous husband. Khadijah invited Prophet Muhammad to take her merchandise to Syria promising to pay him twice as much as she paid to anyone else. He accepted the terms. Three months after his return from this journey, she expressed that she wished to marry him. Prophet Muhammad gave his consent and the marriage was duly celebrated in the presence of his uncle and the elders of his family.
It is noteworthy that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) never offered any worship to any idol, nor did he ever join any rites pertaining to the worship of any idol, or in any celebrations held in honor of any deity. He refused to partake of feasts of sacrifices offered to the idols. Indeed Allah had meant him for some higher purposes. The future Prophet of Islam could not step down below his level, and he who later divulged the profound secrets of Godhead, established true principles of an eternal religion, taught the simple ways of a beautiful morality, stood high above the crowd of men who lived the life of beasts.14
When Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was in his forty, he often retired to a cave called Hira’, about three miles distant from Mecca, where he used to spend months in contemplation and prayer. Thus he (peace be upon him) was ready to bear the full weight of the message which had to be revealed to the world through him. Till at last, one fine morning, he met an angel who told him to “Read! In the Name of your Lord, Who has created (all that exists).” (Al-`Alaq 96:1)
[*] The year wherein the Abyssinian king had attacked Ka`bah, however, the Ka`bah remained unharmed and the attackers were destroyed by Allah Almighty.
 Abul-Hasan An-Nadwi, As-Sirah An-Nabawiyah, Volume1, 12th ed. (Damascus; Dar Ibn Kathirm, 1425 A.H), p. 157.
 Some Hindu scriptures had predicted the manifestation of a prophet namely ‘Kalki Avtar’ the last Messenger of Allah. In the ‘sacred’ book of Hindus the father’s name of ‘Kalki Avtar’ is mentioned as ‘Vishnu Bhagat’ and his mother’s name as ‘Somanib’, in Sanskrit, ‘Vishnu’ stands for Allah (Glory be to Him) and the literal meaning of ‘Bhagat’ is slave. ‘Vishnu Bhagat’ therefore, in the Arabic language will mean Allah’s slave or `Abdullah. While ‘Somanib’ in Sanskrit means peace and tranquility which in Arabic is denoted by the word ‘Aminah the mother of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). (See. Q.S. Khan, Kalki Avtar and Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, Urdu translation by Sayyid Anisuddin, Mumbai: Harmony and Welfare Publication, p. 4.
 The Vedas have prophesied about the coming of a sage whose name will be Narashangsa that indicates a person whose very name means ‘The Praised’. The Arabic word Muhammad means ‘The Praised’. (See. Q.S. Khan, Muhammad Sahab and Holy Narashansa, Mumbai: Harmony and Welfare Publication, p. 1.
 Ibn Kathir, As-Sirah An-Nabawiyyah, edited by Mustafa `Abdul Wahid, Volume 1 (Beirut: Dar al-Ma`arifah, 1976) p. 210.
 Ibid., p. 227.
 Abul-Hasan An-Nadwi, As-Sirah An-Nabawiyyah, Volume 1, 12th ed. (Damascus: Dar Ibn Kathir, 1425), p. 158.
 Shafi Ahmad, Prophet Muhammad (India: G.A. Natesan and Co. Madras) p. 10.
 Ibn Hisham, As-Sirah An-Nabawiyah, ed. Mustafa As-Saqa, volume 1, (Cairo: Mustafa Albabi Al-Halabi, 1955), p. 167
 Ibn Kathir, As-Sirah An-Nabawiah, p. 241.
 Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar, Fath al–Bari, (Dar Ar-Rayyan, 1986) p. 516.
 Shafi Ahmad, Prophet Muhammad, p. 10.
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