Content about Religion

December 11, 2013

A specter is haunting Israel; it’s the specter of democracy. In Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel, the American journalist Max Blumenthal holds up a mirror to Israeli society and reveals the specter of a failed democracy now hurtling toward fascism.

In 73 chapters and 410 pages, Blumenthal documents the racism that pervades Israeli society and institutions and traces its origins to the Zionist movement’s settler-colonial project to create an ethnocratic state bent on excluding and dispossessing the indigenous Palestinian population. Others have done this before, but several things make Blumenthal’s book unique.

Based on four years of research, much of it spent in Israel and the occupied West Bank, Goliath may be the most comprehensive survey yet of contemporary Israeli society and politics. At the same time, its ability to link the past to the present shows a continuum of racism and authoritarianism throughout Israel’s history.

Unlike some critiques that focus mainly, if not exclusively, on the 1967 occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Blumenthal confronts the Nakba — the forced displacement of Palestinians before Israel’s establishment in 1948 — to illustrate liberal Zionism’s hypocrisy. He excoriates its embrace of the two-state solution as a means of preserving Jewish supremacy and avoiding the “demographic nightmare” of Palestinian babies.

Moreover, Blumenthal provides a profile of Palestinian activists and legislators and an emerging anti-Zionist, Jewish Israeli left that is rarely, if ever, found in the mainstream corporate media.

Blumenthal tells his story in vignettes that detail just how openly racist Israel has become. These stories underscore the ongoing dispossession of Palestinians, not just in the West Bank and Gaza but also within Israel itself, showing the growing popularity of the far right with its hate-mongering rhetoric aimed not just at Palestinians but also asylum-seeking Africans.

 

 

November 16, 2013

In Guardian interview, Robinson says he will talk to police to help them investigate dangerous racists in far-right group

The former leader of the English Defence League, Tommy Robinson, has apologised for causing fear among British Muslims and for issuing bigoted, anti-Islamic statements during his time with the group.

In an interview with the Guardian, Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, said he was sorry for helping to create a culture of "us and them" and for frightening the UK Islamic community.

Pressed as to whether he now believed it was wrong to blame "every single Muslim" for "getting away" with the 7 July bombings, and for calling Islam a fascist and violent religion, he held up his hands and said: "I'm sorry, I'm sorry."

Robinson, 30, who this week dramatically quit as leader of the extreme rightwing group known for thuggish street protests and openly racist followers, also said he would now talk to police to help them investigate dangerous racists in the organisation.

"I apologise for [creating] that fear," he said, "but there's fear in my house too." The people he had represented in the EDL and his home town of Luton were afraid of what they perceived to be growing Islamic radicalization, he said.

Explaining past inflammatory statements, Robinson said they had often been fuelled by alcohol and the adrenaline rush of "leading the biggest street protest movement in Europe", as well as by anger over the murder of drummer Lee Rigby.

Sitting beside Maajid Nawaz, a former prominent member of the radical Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir, Robinson said he had been sobered by his stint in prison and would now work to stem such angry and "ill-judged" outbursts.

Nawaz, who heads the deradicalization think tank the Quilliam Foundation, and is also a prospective Lib Dem MP, said he had refused to sit with Robinson after being approached during the filming of a BBC documentary last week.

"I shook his hand and said I'm sorry, I'm not going to sit with you … until you're ready to talk about leaving the EDL. I can't give legitimacy to the EDL."

Nawaz revealed that, off-camera, Robinson indicated that he was willing to depart, and last weekend they began a series of lengthy conversations.

"We spent the weekend talking over the phone, and then he came in [to the foundation] all day Monday and all day Tuesday."

That Tuesday night, Quilliam held a hastily arranged press conference at which Robinson announced his departure. However, until Thursday's Guardian interview, Robinson had refused to express any remorse for his past behaviour.

Asked to define the concept of "Englishness" he had professed to defend during city street protests that often descended into brawls with police, Robinson said it was a feeling that people had about being attached to the nation and that he was passionate about his country.

Prompted by Nawaz, Robinson appeared to agree with a vision of multiculturalism inclusive of a variety of ethnic and religious groups, but said he did not want to see some groups receiving "special treatment".

Nawaz said he would work to introduce Robinson to his own contacts in government and the Home Office in an attempt to procure government funding. Robinson said his future work would involve taking on radicalism on all fronts, although he could not support anti-fascist groups because they also subscribed to "communism" or were "anarchists".

When pressed as to whether he would work with the police to root out criminal racists in the group he helped form four years ago, he agreed he would now talk to the authorities.

Robinson, whose financial assets have been frozen because of ongoing criminal proceedings for public order offences, said he did not doubt he would be successful again in any endeavour he pursued as long as he was passionate about it. (The Guardian)

November 16, 2013

In Guardian interview, Robinson says he will talk to police to help them investigate dangerous racists in far-right group

The former leader of the English Defence League, Tommy Robinson, has apologised for causing fear among British Muslims and for issuing bigoted, anti-Islamic statements during his time with the group.

In an interview with the Guardian, Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, said he was sorry for helping to create a culture of "us and them" and for frightening the UK Islamic community.

Pressed as to whether he now believed it was wrong to blame "every single Muslim" for "getting away" with the 7 July bombings, and for calling Islam a fascist and violent religion, he held up his hands and said: "I'm sorry, I'm sorry."

Robinson, 30, who this week dramatically quit as leader of the extreme rightwing group known for thuggish street protests and openly racist followers, also said he would now talk to police to help them investigate dangerous racists in the organisation.

"I apologise for [creating] that fear," he said, "but there's fear in my house too." The people he had represented in the EDL and his home town of Luton were afraid of what they perceived to be growing Islamic radicalization, he said.

Explaining past inflammatory statements, Robinson said they had often been fuelled by alcohol and the adrenaline rush of "leading the biggest street protest movement in Europe", as well as by anger over the murder of drummer Lee Rigby.

Sitting beside Maajid Nawaz, a former prominent member of the radical Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir, Robinson said he had been sobered by his stint in prison and would now work to stem such angry and "ill-judged" outbursts.

Nawaz, who heads the deradicalization think tank the Quilliam Foundation, and is also a prospective Lib Dem MP, said he had refused to sit with Robinson after being approached during the filming of a BBC documentary last week.

"I shook his hand and said I'm sorry, I'm not going to sit with you … until you're ready to talk about leaving the EDL. I can't give legitimacy to the EDL."

Nawaz revealed that, off-camera, Robinson indicated that he was willing to depart, and last weekend they began a series of lengthy conversations.

"We spent the weekend talking over the phone, and then he came in [to the foundation] all day Monday and all day Tuesday."

That Tuesday night, Quilliam held a hastily arranged press conference at which Robinson announced his departure. However, until Thursday's Guardian interview, Robinson had refused to express any remorse for his past behaviour.

Asked to define the concept of "Englishness" he had professed to defend during city street protests that often descended into brawls with police, Robinson said it was a feeling that people had about being attached to the nation and that he was passionate about his country.

Prompted by Nawaz, Robinson appeared to agree with a vision of multiculturalism inclusive of a variety of ethnic and religious groups, but said he did not want to see some groups receiving "special treatment".

Nawaz said he would work to introduce Robinson to his own contacts in government and the Home Office in an attempt to procure government funding. Robinson said his future work would involve taking on radicalism on all fronts, although he could not support anti-fascist groups because they also subscribed to "communism" or were "anarchists".

When pressed as to whether he would work with the police to root out criminal racists in the group he helped form four years ago, he agreed he would now talk to the authorities.

Robinson, whose financial assets have been frozen because of ongoing criminal proceedings for public order offences, said he did not doubt he would be successful again in any endeavour he pursued as long as he was passionate about it. (The Guardian)

November 16, 2013

When Malala Yusufzai was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen simply because she wanted to gain an education it sent shockwaves around the world.

Straight away the Western media took up the issue. Western politicians spoke out and soon she found herself in the UK. The way in which the West reacted made me question the reasons and motives behind why Malala's case was taken up and not so many others.

There is no justifying the brutal actions of the Taliban or the denial of the universal right to education, however there is a deeper more historic narrative that is taking place here.

This is a story of a native girl being saved by the white man. Flown to the UK, the Western world can feel good about itself as they save the native woman from the savage men of her home nation. It is a historic racist narrative that has been institutionalized. Journalists and politicians were falling over themselves to report and comment on the case. The story of an innocent brown child that was shot by savages for demanding an education and along comes the knight in shining armor to save her.

The actions of the West, the bombings, the occupations, the wars - all seem justified now, "See?  We told you. THIS is why we intervene to save the natives."

The truth is that there are hundreds and thousands of other Malalas. They come from Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and other places in the world. Many are victims of the West, but we conveniently forget about those as Western journalists and politicians fall over themselves to appease their white-middle class guilt, also known as the white man's burden.

Gordon Brown stood at the UN and spoke words in support for Malala, yet he is the very same Gordon Brown that voted for the war in Iraq that not only robbed people of their education but of their lives. The same journalists that failed to question or report on the Western wars in an intelligible manner now sing the praises of the West as they back Malala and her campaign without putting it in context of the war in Afghanistan and the destabilization of the region thanks to the Western occupation of Afghanistan.

Malala's message is true, it is profound, it is something the world needs to take note of; education is a right of every child, but Malala has been used as a tool by the West. It allows countries like Britain to hide their sins in Afghanistan and Iraq. It allows journalists to report a feel good story whilst they neglect so many others, like the American drone strikes that terrorize men, women and children in Pakistan's border regions.

The current narrative continues the demonization of the non-white Muslim man. Painting him as a savage, someone beyond negotiating with, beyond engaging with, the only way to deal with this kind of savage is to wage war, occupy and use drones against them. NATO is bombing to save girls like Malala is the message here.

Historically the West has always used women to justify the actions of war mongering men. It is in the imagery, it is in art, in education, it is even prevalent in Western human rights organizations. Amnesty International's poster campaign coinciding with the NATO summit in New York encouraged NATO to 'keep the progress going!' in Afghanistan.

Shazia Ramzan and Kainat Riaz were also shot along with Malala, the media and politicians seem to have forgotten about them. Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi - how many of the Western politicians and journalists know about this name? She was the 14-year-old girl violated by five US soldiers, then she and her family, including her six-year-old sister were murdered. There are no days named after her, no mentions of her at the UN, and we don't see Gordon Brown pledging his name to her cause.

I support Malala, I support the right to education for all, I just cannot stand the hypocrisy of Western politicians and media as they pick and choose, congratulating themselves for something that they have caused. Malala is the good native, she does not criticize the West, she does not talk about the drone strikes, she is the perfect candidate for the white man to relieve his burden and save the native.

The Western savior complex has hijacked Malala's message. The West has killed more girls than the Taliban have. The West has denied more girls an education via their missiles than the Taliban has by their bullets. The West has done more against education around the world than extremists could ever dream of. So, please, spare us the self-righteous and self-congratulatory message that is nothing more than propaganda that tells us that the West drops bombs to save girls like Malala.

November 16, 2013

When Malala Yusufzai was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen simply because she wanted to gain an education it sent shockwaves around the world.

Straight away the Western media took up the issue. Western politicians spoke out and soon she found herself in the UK. The way in which the West reacted made me question the reasons and motives behind why Malala's case was taken up and not so many others.

There is no justifying the brutal actions of the Taliban or the denial of the universal right to education, however there is a deeper more historic narrative that is taking place here.

This is a story of a native girl being saved by the white man. Flown to the UK, the Western world can feel good about itself as they save the native woman from the savage men of her home nation. It is a historic racist narrative that has been institutionalized. Journalists and politicians were falling over themselves to report and comment on the case. The story of an innocent brown child that was shot by savages for demanding an education and along comes the knight in shining armor to save her.

The actions of the West, the bombings, the occupations, the wars - all seem justified now, "See?  We told you. THIS is why we intervene to save the natives."

The truth is that there are hundreds and thousands of other Malalas. They come from Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and other places in the world. Many are victims of the West, but we conveniently forget about those as Western journalists and politicians fall over themselves to appease their white-middle class guilt, also known as the white man's burden.

Gordon Brown stood at the UN and spoke words in support for Malala, yet he is the very same Gordon Brown that voted for the war in Iraq that not only robbed people of their education but of their lives. The same journalists that failed to question or report on the Western wars in an intelligible manner now sing the praises of the West as they back Malala and her campaign without putting it in context of the war in Afghanistan and the destabilization of the region thanks to the Western occupation of Afghanistan.

Malala's message is true, it is profound, it is something the world needs to take note of; education is a right of every child, but Malala has been used as a tool by the West. It allows countries like Britain to hide their sins in Afghanistan and Iraq. It allows journalists to report a feel good story whilst they neglect so many others, like the American drone strikes that terrorize men, women and children in Pakistan's border regions.

The current narrative continues the demonization of the non-white Muslim man. Painting him as a savage, someone beyond negotiating with, beyond engaging with, the only way to deal with this kind of savage is to wage war, occupy and use drones against them. NATO is bombing to save girls like Malala is the message here.

Historically the West has always used women to justify the actions of war mongering men. It is in the imagery, it is in art, in education, it is even prevalent in Western human rights organizations. Amnesty International's poster campaign coinciding with the NATO summit in New York encouraged NATO to 'keep the progress going!' in Afghanistan.

Shazia Ramzan and Kainat Riaz were also shot along with Malala, the media and politicians seem to have forgotten about them. Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi - how many of the Western politicians and journalists know about this name? She was the 14-year-old girl violated by five US soldiers, then she and her family, including her six-year-old sister were murdered. There are no days named after her, no mentions of her at the UN, and we don't see Gordon Brown pledging his name to her cause.

I support Malala, I support the right to education for all, I just cannot stand the hypocrisy of Western politicians and media as they pick and choose, congratulating themselves for something that they have caused. Malala is the good native, she does not criticize the West, she does not talk about the drone strikes, she is the perfect candidate for the white man to relieve his burden and save the native.

The Western savior complex has hijacked Malala's message. The West has killed more girls than the Taliban have. The West has denied more girls an education via their missiles than the Taliban has by their bullets. The West has done more against education around the world than extremists could ever dream of. So, please, spare us the self-righteous and self-congratulatory message that is nothing more than propaganda that tells us that the West drops bombs to save girls like Malala.

November 12, 2013

  Each year Muslims throughout the world anticipate the coming of  the New Year, welcoming the sacred month of Muharram.  Within it is a day like no other, the Blessed Day of Ashura.  Below is an excerpt from Sufficient Provision for Seekers of the Path of Truth, by Sheikh Abdul Qadir Gilani detailing these many blessings of Muharram and Ashura.

As we are reliably informed by Shaikh Abu Nasr Muhammad ibn al-Banna, Allah's Messenger once said: If someone observes a day of fasting during Muharram, for every such day he will be credited with thirty days.

According to another traditional report, transmitted by Maimun ibn Mihran on the authority of Ibn Abbas (May Allah Ta'ala be pleased with him and his father),  Allah's Messenger also said: If someone fasts on the day of Ashura in Muharram, he will be granted the spiritual reward of ten thousand angels. If someone provides a believer with a meal to break his fast on the night of Ashura, it will be just as if the entire community of Hazrat Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had broken fast as his guests, and had filled their stomachs to capacity."O Messenger of Allah" , his listeners exclaimed, ' it would seem that Allah ta' ala has given preference to the day of Ashura over all the other days!' "Yes," said he as he went on to explain: Allah (Exalted is He) created the heavens on the day of ' Ashura'. He created the mountains on the day of ' Ashura. He created the oceans on the day of ' Ashura'. He created the Pen on the day of Ashura. He created the Tablet on the day of Ashura. He created Adam (peace be upon him) on the day of 'Ashura', and He caused him to enter the Garden of Paradise on the day of Ashura.

Abraham (peace be upon him) was born on the day of 'Ashura, and Allah Ta'Ala delivered him from the fiery furnace on the day of Ashura, then He redeemed his son from being sacrificed on the day of Ashura. He caused Pharaoh to drown on the day of Ashura. Allah (Exalted is He) relieved Job [Ayyub] (peace be upon him) of his trials and tribulations on the day of Ashura. Allah [Exalted is He] relented toward Adam (peace be upon him) on the day of Ashura. Allah [Exalted is He] forgave the sin of David [Dawud] (peace be upon him) on the day of Ashura. Jesus {Isa] (Peace be upon him) was born on the day of Ashura. The Day of Resurrection will occur on the day of Ashura.

According to another version of this report, likewise transmitted on the authority of Ibn Abbas ( may Allah have be pleased with him), “If someone strokes the head of an orphan with his hand on the day of Ashura, for every hair on the orphan's head, Allah ta' ala will promote him by one degree in the garden of Paradise.

"O Messenger of Allah,” exclaimed Umar ibn al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him), Allah (Exalted is He) has treated us with favor, by granting us the day of Ashura !" The Prophet then said: Allah (Exalted is He) created the heavens on the day of Ashura, and the earth likewise. He created the mountains on the day of Ashura, and the stars likewise. He created the Heavenly Throne on the day of Ashura and the Pedestal likewise. He created the Tablet on the day of Ashura, and the Pen likewise.

He created Gabriel on the day of 'Ashura, and the angels likewise. If someone performs the major ritual ablution on the day of Ashura, he will never experience any illness, apart for the sickness of death. If someone anoints his eyelids with antimony on the day of 'Ashura, he will not suffer inflammation of the eyes throughout the entire course of the year.

If someone pays a visit to a sick person on the day of Ashura, it is just as if he had visited all the children of Adam. If someone gives [a thirsty person] a drink of water on the day of 'Ashura, it is just as if he had never disobeyed Allah ta'ala for a single instant.

If someone performs four cycles of ritual prayer on the day of 'Ashura, reciting in each cycle the Opening Sura of the Book, one time, and the Sura that begins with "Qul Huwa 'llahu Ahad, “ ‘Say: He is Allah,’ fifty times, Allah (Exalted is He) will forgive him the sins of fifty bygone years, and of fifty years that are still in the future.  The most meritorious fasting, after the month of Ramadan, is fasting in the month of Allah which they call the Sacred Month al-Muharram. And the most meritorious ritual prayer - after that which is prescribed as an obligatory duty, and that which is performed in the middle of the night - is the ritual prayer of the day of Ashura.

Hazrat Ali ibn Abi Talib (may Allah ennoble his countenance) is reported as having stated that the Holy Last Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be on him), said: “In Allah's Sacred Month, Allah ta'ala has relented toward certain people, and He will also relent toward others.

Concerning the Origin and Significance of the Term “Ashura”

According to some of the scholars, it came to be called Ashura because it is the day on which Allah Ta Ala bestowed ten tokens of special favor upon ten of the Messengers (peace be upon them all).  According to some however, it came to be called Ashura because it is the tenth of the tokens of special favor by Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) upon this community of ours.  The day of Ashura, on which fasting counts as the atonement of one whole year.

Ashura has thus come to be on a par with the rest of the noble days, such as the two Eids, Friday, the day of congregation, the day of Arafat, and so on.  Moreover, if it had ever been permissible to observe this day as the day of tragic misfortune, the companions and the successors (may Allah be well pleased with them all) would have observed it as such, because they were more closely in touch with it than we are, and better qualified to understand its true significance.  In actual fact, as we know from traditional reports about them, they used to urge people to treat their dependents with special generosity on that day, and to observe it as a day of fasting.  To cite one example, Al Hasan Al Basri (may Allah bestow Him mercy upon him) is reported as having said:  “Fasting on the day of Ashura is an obligatory religious duty.”  Hazrat Ali (may Allah bless his countenance) is also reported as having said: “Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) once said:  “if someone spends the night of Ashura in vigilant worship, Allah will let him live as long as he wishes.”

November 12, 2013

My married life of 63 years was replete with love, warmth, trust and grace.  How can I forget

even for a moment the years spent in my wife’s company twinkling before my eyes like the soothing rays of the full moon.  For all those she met she was a flower of courtesy free from narrow and selfish motives; her heart being as pure as snow.  She had a special knack of mixing with youngsters and would with motherly tenderness become intimate with them.  She was a tender and indulgent mother,  incapable of hurting anyone and anyone’s feelings.  My life partner expired peacefully at 0715 hours on 26 April, 2013 at the age of 80 years.  She had been a heart patient for the last twenty years.

She would often insist on a short stroll alone. She attended parties (birthdays, marriages, and anniversaries) and particularly enjoyed the company of her grand and great grandchildren, to whom she would give presents and prayed for their happy, long lives. It is difficult to ascertain as to who was her favorite great grandchild-

Ibrahim, Nehan, Yousaf, Zahra and Zain, all under 6 years, would rush over to her warm and affectionate lap.  They were also very keen on picking up her walking stick and handing over to her and being rewarded with a motherly kiss.  All of them miss her and often ask  when Barey Dada would come back from heaven?  

She would quietly help the poor and needy people with cash, rations, clothes and would even provide items for the marriages of needy girls.  For all this she would delve into her savings. She had also arranged at least a dozen matrimonial alliances and by the grace of Allah, all of them were living happily.

She also gave out loans without any strings attached and monthly allowances to those who were too proud to stretch out their hands for alms.  We had a gardener who one day requested a loan of Rs. 1500 for some urgent work but I declined because I thought that he would not be able to pay it back.  After some days he died and I really blamed myself for not having paid the advance to him.  I mentioned my anguish and repentance to my wife who disclosed that she had quietly paid the money to the gardener because she had heard his conversation with me.  A magnanimous soul, she is deeply mourned and it has been decided to continue her wishes.  

On the 25th of April, 2013 at 1330 hours, our daughter-in-law, Quisia Sadi, brought lunch for us.  My wife said she would wait for the children, Ibrahim and his mother Bushra - who was a teacher in a branch of the ROOTS School System, who were expected to come an hour later.  Reluctantly she agreed to have lunch and I noticed an aura of sadness on her face.  As usual she offered me the best piece of meat and remarked that dishes prepared by Quisia, under her supervision were delicious.  Alas! that was our last meal together, every moment of it remains engraved in my memory box. She finished her Zuhr prayers and in the meantime the children arrived.  She hugged Ibrahim, kissed his forehead, and gave him a packet of sweets as usual.  My left eyebrow was throbbing since morning, and a feeling of uneasiness, fear and despair came over me;  I tried to shake it off, but it’s grip was tight.  At about 1500 hours, she called Bushra to take her to the door of the washroom  where she reached with the help of the ‘walker’.  All of a sudden she collapsed.  Bushra tried to lift her shouting ‘Dadi!’ ‘Dadi!’ But there was no response.  Quisia, Dr. Ahsen, and young Usama, our grandson, also rushed there and after feeling her pulse and heartbeat immediately transferred her to the car with his mother Quisia, Usama, and a servant.  Upon reaching the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC), she was shifted to the emergency ward where Ahsen and the doctor on duty battled to revive her.  Various instruments were used to produce respiration.   Our son Sadi, Quisia, Afshan, Amad, Bushra, Dr. Nooman and Usama sat near her bed for many hours calling out “Mama”  “Mama” “Dadi” “Dadi” but there was no response.  However, they felt that her thumb and index were moving slowly as if she were counting on her prayer bead.  Dr. Ahsen applied all his knowledge and experience to revive his dearest grandmother and was near her bed for the whole night.  He prayed with tears in his eyes and held her hand, but Allah had already decided to call her to heaven.  She breathed her last in his arms at 0715 hours on 26 April, 2013.

At 0830 hours, Nokhez and Zareen arrived from Dubai. Our daughter Anjum and Muddisir, who had gone to perform Umra, reached at 1030 hours; they wept and cried.  The main hall and compound were filled with people reciting the Holy Quran.

Under the guidance of Zahoor, a sincere, sympathetic neighbor, my better half was given her last bath by our daughter, daughters-in-laws, granddaughter and nieces.

After the Namaz-e-Janaza, held after Asr prayers, her body was lowered into the grave by Nokhez, Said, Muddisir, Nooman, Amad, Ahsen, Usama and two of her nephews.  The main hall was covered in gloom, most were weeping and crying.  Allah, the Merciful is able to soothe and sustain distressed souls.

During the first week of January 1951, I was performing duty of Defending Officer in a court martial at Lahore Cantt.  It was Saturday and when I reached home it was evening.  I found my father and brother Waqar standing outside the gates.  My father produced railway tickets and said we would be going to Montgomery, now Sahiwal, where my mother had already gone in advance.  I was told that a ‘girl’ had been selected by her and the parents of the girl desired to meet me and if both sides agreed, the Nikkah would be performed.  I was flabbergasted to hear this news but before I could say anything my father said, “You should have complete faith in your mother’s selection.”  I knew the family but had not met any of its members.  A photograph of the girl was not available but my brother said she was beautiful and had charming habits.  

After we arrived at the destination, my mother called me inside.  While my mother was very loving, affectionate, kinder than the kindest, she was a strict disciplinarian and her advice was accepted by every member of our family.  She kissed my forehead, embraced me and said, “The girl is charming, well groomed and capable of running a house.”  I placed my head on her shoulder and my silence was taken as my acquiescence to her selection.  The Rukhsati was held on 13 April 1951 and that was the day that I saw my wife for the first time and there has been no occasion for repentance since then.

Every human being (except the Holy Last Messenger-peace be upon him) has some weakness.  My better half was blessed with the weakness of  ‘forgive and forget’; some call this an outstanding quality of her character.

All sincere, loyal and considerate wives are great.  I do not claim that my wife was outstanding among the chosen few.  But to me, with her kindly and sweet spirit during crisis, she was a tower of strength. There was an indefinable charm about her and needless to say, her presence made me that much richer.

“My whole heart rises up to bless Your name in pride and thankfulness!

Take back the hope you gave-I claim

Only a memory of the same.”

Robert Browning-

November 12, 2013

My married life of 63 years was replete with love, warmth, trust and grace.  How can I forget

even for a moment the years spent in my wife’s company twinkling before my eyes like the soothing rays of the full moon.  For all those she met she was a flower of courtesy free from narrow and selfish motives; her heart being as pure as snow.  She had a special knack of mixing with youngsters and would with motherly tenderness become intimate with them.  She was a tender and indulgent mother,  incapable of hurting anyone and anyone’s feelings.  My life partner expired peacefully at 0715 hours on 26 April, 2013 at the age of 80 years.  She had been a heart patient for the last twenty years.

She would often insist on a short stroll alone. She attended parties (birthdays, marriages, and anniversaries) and particularly enjoyed the company of her grand and great grandchildren, to whom she would give presents and prayed for their happy, long lives. It is difficult to ascertain as to who was her favorite great grandchild-

Ibrahim, Nehan, Yousaf, Zahra and Zain, all under 6 years, would rush over to her warm and affectionate lap.  They were also very keen on picking up her walking stick and handing over to her and being rewarded with a motherly kiss.  All of them miss her and often ask  when Barey Dada would come back from heaven?  

She would quietly help the poor and needy people with cash, rations, clothes and would even provide items for the marriages of needy girls.  For all this she would delve into her savings. She had also arranged at least a dozen matrimonial alliances and by the grace of Allah, all of them were living happily.

She also gave out loans without any strings attached and monthly allowances to those who were too proud to stretch out their hands for alms.  We had a gardener who one day requested a loan of Rs. 1500 for some urgent work but I declined because I thought that he would not be able to pay it back.  After some days he died and I really blamed myself for not having paid the advance to him.  I mentioned my anguish and repentance to my wife who disclosed that she had quietly paid the money to the gardener because she had heard his conversation with me.  A magnanimous soul, she is deeply mourned and it has been decided to continue her wishes.  

On the 25th of April, 2013 at 1330 hours, our daughter-in-law, Quisia Sadi, brought lunch for us.  My wife said she would wait for the children, Ibrahim and his mother Bushra - who was a teacher in a branch of the ROOTS School System, who were expected to come an hour later.  Reluctantly she agreed to have lunch and I noticed an aura of sadness on her face.  As usual she offered me the best piece of meat and remarked that dishes prepared by Quisia, under her supervision were delicious.  Alas! that was our last meal together, every moment of it remains engraved in my memory box. She finished her Zuhr prayers and in the meantime the children arrived.  She hugged Ibrahim, kissed his forehead, and gave him a packet of sweets as usual.  My left eyebrow was throbbing since morning, and a feeling of uneasiness, fear and despair came over me;  I tried to shake it off, but it’s grip was tight.  At about 1500 hours, she called Bushra to take her to the door of the washroom  where she reached with the help of the ‘walker’.  All of a sudden she collapsed.  Bushra tried to lift her shouting ‘Dadi!’ ‘Dadi!’ But there was no response.  Quisia, Dr. Ahsen, and young Usama, our grandson, also rushed there and after feeling her pulse and heartbeat immediately transferred her to the car with his mother Quisia, Usama, and a servant.  Upon reaching the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC), she was shifted to the emergency ward where Ahsen and the doctor on duty battled to revive her.  Various instruments were used to produce respiration.   Our son Sadi, Quisia, Afshan, Amad, Bushra, Dr. Nooman and Usama sat near her bed for many hours calling out “Mama”  “Mama” “Dadi” “Dadi” but there was no response.  However, they felt that her thumb and index were moving slowly as if she were counting on her prayer bead.  Dr. Ahsen applied all his knowledge and experience to revive his dearest grandmother and was near her bed for the whole night.  He prayed with tears in his eyes and held her hand, but Allah had already decided to call her to heaven.  She breathed her last in his arms at 0715 hours on 26 April, 2013.

At 0830 hours, Nokhez and Zareen arrived from Dubai. Our daughter Anjum and Muddisir, who had gone to perform Umra, reached at 1030 hours; they wept and cried.  The main hall and compound were filled with people reciting the Holy Quran.

Under the guidance of Zahoor, a sincere, sympathetic neighbor, my better half was given her last bath by our daughter, daughters-in-laws, granddaughter and nieces.

After the Namaz-e-Janaza, held after Asr prayers, her body was lowered into the grave by Nokhez, Said, Muddisir, Nooman, Amad, Ahsen, Usama and two of her nephews.  The main hall was covered in gloom, most were weeping and crying.  Allah, the Merciful is able to soothe and sustain distressed souls.

During the first week of January 1951, I was performing duty of Defending Officer in a court martial at Lahore Cantt.  It was Saturday and when I reached home it was evening.  I found my father and brother Waqar standing outside the gates.  My father produced railway tickets and said we would be going to Montgomery, now Sahiwal, where my mother had already gone in advance.  I was told that a ‘girl’ had been selected by her and the parents of the girl desired to meet me and if both sides agreed, the Nikkah would be performed.  I was flabbergasted to hear this news but before I could say anything my father said, “You should have complete faith in your mother’s selection.”  I knew the family but had not met any of its members.  A photograph of the girl was not available but my brother said she was beautiful and had charming habits.  

After we arrived at the destination, my mother called me inside.  While my mother was very loving, affectionate, kinder than the kindest, she was a strict disciplinarian and her advice was accepted by every member of our family.  She kissed my forehead, embraced me and said, “The girl is charming, well groomed and capable of running a house.”  I placed my head on her shoulder and my silence was taken as my acquiescence to her selection.  The Rukhsati was held on 13 April 1951 and that was the day that I saw my wife for the first time and there has been no occasion for repentance since then.

Every human being (except the Holy Last Messenger-peace be upon him) has some weakness.  My better half was blessed with the weakness of  ‘forgive and forget’; some call this an outstanding quality of her character.

All sincere, loyal and considerate wives are great.  I do not claim that my wife was outstanding among the chosen few.  But to me, with her kindly and sweet spirit during crisis, she was a tower of strength. There was an indefinable charm about her and needless to say, her presence made me that much richer.

“My whole heart rises up to bless Your name in pride and thankfulness!

Take back the hope you gave-I claim

Only a memory of the same.”

Robert Browning-

November 12, 2013

My married life of 63 years was replete with love, warmth, trust and grace.  How can I forget

even for a moment the years spent in my wife’s company twinkling before my eyes like the soothing rays of the full moon.  For all those she met she was a flower of courtesy free from narrow and selfish motives; her heart being as pure as snow.  She had a special knack of mixing with youngsters and would with motherly tenderness become intimate with them.  She was a tender and indulgent mother,  incapable of hurting anyone and anyone’s feelings.  My life partner expired peacefully at 0715 hours on 26 April, 2013 at the age of 80 years.  She had been a heart patient for the last twenty years.

She would often insist on a short stroll alone. She attended parties (birthdays, marriages, and anniversaries) and particularly enjoyed the company of her grand and great grandchildren, to whom she would give presents and prayed for their happy, long lives. It is difficult to ascertain as to who was her favorite great grandchild-

Ibrahim, Nehan, Yousaf, Zahra and Zain, all under 6 years, would rush over to her warm and affectionate lap.  They were also very keen on picking up her walking stick and handing over to her and being rewarded with a motherly kiss.  All of them miss her and often ask  when Barey Dada would come back from heaven?  

She would quietly help the poor and needy people with cash, rations, clothes and would even provide items for the marriages of needy girls.  For all this she would delve into her savings. She had also arranged at least a dozen matrimonial alliances and by the grace of Allah, all of them were living happily.

She also gave out loans without any strings attached and monthly allowances to those who were too proud to stretch out their hands for alms.  We had a gardener who one day requested a loan of Rs. 1500 for some urgent work but I declined because I thought that he would not be able to pay it back.  After some days he died and I really blamed myself for not having paid the advance to him.  I mentioned my anguish and repentance to my wife who disclosed that she had quietly paid the money to the gardener because she had heard his conversation with me.  A magnanimous soul, she is deeply mourned and it has been decided to continue her wishes.  

On the 25th of April, 2013 at 1330 hours, our daughter-in-law, Quisia Sadi, brought lunch for us.  My wife said she would wait for the children, Ibrahim and his mother Bushra - who was a teacher in a branch of the ROOTS School System, who were expected to come an hour later.  Reluctantly she agreed to have lunch and I noticed an aura of sadness on her face.  As usual she offered me the best piece of meat and remarked that dishes prepared by Quisia, under her supervision were delicious.  Alas! that was our last meal together, every moment of it remains engraved in my memory box. She finished her Zuhr prayers and in the meantime the children arrived.  She hugged Ibrahim, kissed his forehead, and gave him a packet of sweets as usual.  My left eyebrow was throbbing since morning, and a feeling of uneasiness, fear and despair came over me;  I tried to shake it off, but it’s grip was tight.  At about 1500 hours, she called Bushra to take her to the door of the washroom  where she reached with the help of the ‘walker’.  All of a sudden she collapsed.  Bushra tried to lift her shouting ‘Dadi!’ ‘Dadi!’ But there was no response.  Quisia, Dr. Ahsen, and young Usama, our grandson, also rushed there and after feeling her pulse and heartbeat immediately transferred her to the car with his mother Quisia, Usama, and a servant.  Upon reaching the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC), she was shifted to the emergency ward where Ahsen and the doctor on duty battled to revive her.  Various instruments were used to produce respiration.   Our son Sadi, Quisia, Afshan, Amad, Bushra, Dr. Nooman and Usama sat near her bed for many hours calling out “Mama”  “Mama” “Dadi” “Dadi” but there was no response.  However, they felt that her thumb and index were moving slowly as if she were counting on her prayer bead.  Dr. Ahsen applied all his knowledge and experience to revive his dearest grandmother and was near her bed for the whole night.  He prayed with tears in his eyes and held her hand, but Allah had already decided to call her to heaven.  She breathed her last in his arms at 0715 hours on 26 April, 2013.

At 0830 hours, Nokhez and Zareen arrived from Dubai. Our daughter Anjum and Muddisir, who had gone to perform Umra, reached at 1030 hours; they wept and cried.  The main hall and compound were filled with people reciting the Holy Quran.

Under the guidance of Zahoor, a sincere, sympathetic neighbor, my better half was given her last bath by our daughter, daughters-in-laws, granddaughter and nieces.

After the Namaz-e-Janaza, held after Asr prayers, her body was lowered into the grave by Nokhez, Said, Muddisir, Nooman, Amad, Ahsen, Usama and two of her nephews.  The main hall was covered in gloom, most were weeping and crying.  Allah, the Merciful is able to soothe and sustain distressed souls.

During the first week of January 1951, I was performing duty of Defending Officer in a court martial at Lahore Cantt.  It was Saturday and when I reached home it was evening.  I found my father and brother Waqar standing outside the gates.  My father produced railway tickets and said we would be going to Montgomery, now Sahiwal, where my mother had already gone in advance.  I was told that a ‘girl’ had been selected by her and the parents of the girl desired to meet me and if both sides agreed, the Nikkah would be performed.  I was flabbergasted to hear this news but before I could say anything my father said, “You should have complete faith in your mother’s selection.”  I knew the family but had not met any of its members.  A photograph of the girl was not available but my brother said she was beautiful and had charming habits.  

After we arrived at the destination, my mother called me inside.  While my mother was very loving, affectionate, kinder than the kindest, she was a strict disciplinarian and her advice was accepted by every member of our family.  She kissed my forehead, embraced me and said, “The girl is charming, well groomed and capable of running a house.”  I placed my head on her shoulder and my silence was taken as my acquiescence to her selection.  The Rukhsati was held on 13 April 1951 and that was the day that I saw my wife for the first time and there has been no occasion for repentance since then.

Every human being (except the Holy Last Messenger-peace be upon him) has some weakness.  My better half was blessed with the weakness of  ‘forgive and forget’; some call this an outstanding quality of her character.

All sincere, loyal and considerate wives are great.  I do not claim that my wife was outstanding among the chosen few.  But to me, with her kindly and sweet spirit during crisis, she was a tower of strength. There was an indefinable charm about her and needless to say, her presence made me that much richer.

“My whole heart rises up to bless Your name in pride and thankfulness!

Take back the hope you gave-I claim

Only a memory of the same.”

Robert Browning-

November 12, 2013

This was the time when Muslims had started building mosques and schools all over Spain and eminent divines and jurists of Islam had come over to this country.  In the capital, Cordova, the Islamic system of teaching and training had been introduced.  Ziad b. Umar was a highly learned traditionist, philosopher and interpreter of the Holy Quran.  At the same time, he had no equal in offering prayers and due to his integrity, purity, and unostentatious prayerfulness, he was held in great affection throughout Spain.  He would spend his days in teaching and at nights he would attend gatherings of divines and officials of the government.  His house was adjacent to the University of Cordova and so after Isha prayer,  those interested in learning gathered at his house.  

One day while this meeting was in progress and eminent divines and men of letters were present, Ziad b. Umar came.  All stood up in his respect.  After they were seated Ziad enquired after everyone’s health and then addressed Umar Lahmi.

Ziad b. Umar:  May Allah fructify your efforts!  You have conveyed the message of truth in the very home of unbelief and humbled unbelievers!

Umar Lahmi:  I am just an ordinary weak Muslim and this has been possible because of your prayers; Isabella has accepted Islam in her heart.  She was desirous of meeting you, so she has come here for an audience.

Ziad b. Umar:  Oh! Is Isabella present here?  

Umar Lahmi:  Yes, she has been put up in the adjoining house and if you permit she may be brought to your presence.

Ziad:  Yes, certainly.  If she has come to meet me, let her come.

Asad (one of those present):  By Allah, sir, this is very great!  There is a great commotion among the Christians of Cordova.  But is it Isabella alone who has been attracted to Islam or are there others also with her?

Umar Lahmi:  About this you will hear from Isabella herself.

Another of the audience:  I have heard that Christians intend to kill Isabella.

Umar Lahmi:  So far, Isabella has taken great care to keep it secret.  No one has found out that she has embraced Islam or intends to do.  So the rumour of the intention to kill her is premature.

Ziad: Now call Isabella here.  We shall hear the interesting details from her own lips.

Shortly after, Isabella enters and seeing Ziad b. Umar sitting at a prominent place, raises her hand to salute him and sits in a corner while all those present congratulate her on her great courage and firmness.

Zaid:  Daughter Isabella, I congratulate you on your love of truth;  Allah has taken you out of the darkness of unbelief and granted you the boon of Islam, relieved you from the labyrinth of Trinity and put you on to the Straight Path beset with dangers!  To remain firm on it is the task of a very brave person.  But those in whose hearts Islam has firmly established itself would not mind the greatest trouble of the earth.  Allah guides them.

Isabella:   Revered father….

Ziad:  Daughter, you have to give up such words too.  There is no papacy in Islam.  Islam has not given its divines the position which Christians have given to their priests.  There is perfect equality in Islam.  The only duty of the divines is to guide Muslims in the light of the Holy Quran and sacred Traditions of the Messenger (Peace and Blessings be upon him).  It is the duty of Muslims to act on that guidance and not to deify them or make them masters of all their affairs.

Isabella (ashamed):  Now will  you, yourself teach me how I should address you and other leaders of Islam?

Ziad:  Address me and other Muslims just as brothers, but if you desire to add anything, just say “sir”. To be continued

Isabella:  Very well, sir, I will obey all your orders in future.  Oh sir, it is a great benevolence and grace of God that He showed this humble servant the path of truth and justice and took me out of the course of trinity and worship of the cross.  The means of any guidance is my spiritual preceptor and benefactor Umar Lahmi, who preached to all the priests of Cordova in their own homes and, through him, the call of truth reached my ears.  I wholeheartedly pray that God grant him all the boons of this world and the next and by prayer my life and death be on Islam.  

All those present cried: Amin!

Ziad:  Daughter, Allah wants to take from you great service and surely Muslims will be greatly benefited through you.  But say if you have converted any one of the other ladies.

Isabella:  Yes, sir, I have four other friends of mine who have lost their faith in Christianity and are inclined to Islam.  God willing, I will bring them with me tomorrow or the day after, that they may have grace from you and any doubts that may still lurk in them are removed.

Umar Lahmi:  Sister, who are these friends of yours?  By Allah, we have no knowledge of them and you never mentioned them to me.

Isabella:  One of them is the daughter of Michael, my teacher in theology, and there are  three others.  All these have been listening to all the discussions.

Umar Lahmi:  Have they really become Muslims and see through the weaknesses of Christianity?

Isabella:  The weaknesses of Christianity have become manifest to all of them, and they have recognised the truth of Islam, but they have not yet mustered enough courage to give up their  ancestral religion and declare their adherence to Islam.

Ziad:   Well, Allah will give them the necessary courage.  We shall also pray for them.

Umar Lahmi:  Bring Michael’s daughter also some day so that her doubts may also be removed.

Isabella:  Tomorrow or day after I will surely bring her with me and if all the four girls do not come, I will bring at least this one (Michael’s daughter) with me.

Ziad:  I tell you, daughter, again that you should accept Islam after clearing all your doubts and never, by any greed or deception, for Allah wants sincerity and the Quran says that a Muslim’s life and death, prayer and devotion, sitting and standing, sleep and waking everything should be for Allah and the pleasure of Allah should be the aim of our life.

Isabella:  Oh sir, I say it and bring God to witness that no lust or greed has brought me to the threshold of Islam, nor the acquisition of wealth and power is my aim.  You yourself know the honour my father enjoys in Cordova and throughout Spain.

Ziad:   May Allah reward you, give you firmness and shower His bounties on you.

Umar Lahmi:   Islam is the only religion which by accepting it Allah’s bounties are showered on man and all his sins are forgiven!

Isabella: (smiling);  All my sins are forgiven every week by the priest of Cordova, who is in charge of the Department of Inquisition and (bowing her head) I am already sinless and innocent.

Ziad:  What is this Department of Inquisition and what is the meaning of the priest forgiving sins?  Can any man also forgive sins?

Isabella:  (with shame and humility):  Oh sir, this story is most interesting and probably quite novel to you, as you are not aware of the inner working of Christianity.

Ziad:  Will you inform us of these matters?  Such interesting facts should certainly be worth knowing and no one can relate them better than you.

Isabella:  Oh sir! Christians go before the altar of the Christ in the presence of the head priest every week and confess their sins which the head priest forgives as, according to Christian creed, the head priest has power to do that as he is considered to be the representative of Saint Peter.

Ziad:  La hawla wala quwwata illa billah! [There is no power or authority except with Allah].  Allah forgive us!  Can any man forgive sins except Allah?  This is why the Holy Quran has accused Christians that they have made their priests and elders their Rabb (fosterer) besides Allah:  (In surprise) Have the priests the authority to forgive all sins?

Isabella:  Yes, provided the sinner confessed all his open and secret sins before the priest.  If he has concealed anything it will not be forgiven.

November 12, 2013

This was the time when Muslims had started building mosques and schools all over Spain and eminent divines and jurists of Islam had come over to this country.  In the capital, Cordova, the Islamic system of teaching and training had been introduced.  Ziad b. Umar was a highly learned traditionist, philosopher and interpreter of the Holy Quran.  At the same time, he had no equal in offering prayers and due to his integrity, purity, and unostentatious prayerfulness, he was held in great affection throughout Spain.  He would spend his days in teaching and at nights he would attend gatherings of divines and officials of the government.  His house was adjacent to the University of Cordova and so after Isha prayer,  those interested in learning gathered at his house.  

One day while this meeting was in progress and eminent divines and men of letters were present, Ziad b. Umar came.  All stood up in his respect.  After they were seated Ziad enquired after everyone’s health and then addressed Umar Lahmi.

Ziad b. Umar:  May Allah fructify your efforts!  You have conveyed the message of truth in the very home of unbelief and humbled unbelievers!

Umar Lahmi:  I am just an ordinary weak Muslim and this has been possible because of your prayers; Isabella has accepted Islam in her heart.  She was desirous of meeting you, so she has come here for an audience.

Ziad b. Umar:  Oh! Is Isabella present here?  

Umar Lahmi:  Yes, she has been put up in the adjoining house and if you permit she may be brought to your presence.

Ziad:  Yes, certainly.  If she has come to meet me, let her come.

Asad (one of those present):  By Allah, sir, this is very great!  There is a great commotion among the Christians of Cordova.  But is it Isabella alone who has been attracted to Islam or are there others also with her?

Umar Lahmi:  About this you will hear from Isabella herself.

Another of the audience:  I have heard that Christians intend to kill Isabella.

Umar Lahmi:  So far, Isabella has taken great care to keep it secret.  No one has found out that she has embraced Islam or intends to do.  So the rumour of the intention to kill her is premature.

Ziad: Now call Isabella here.  We shall hear the interesting details from her own lips.

Shortly after, Isabella enters and seeing Ziad b. Umar sitting at a prominent place, raises her hand to salute him and sits in a corner while all those present congratulate her on her great courage and firmness.

Zaid:  Daughter Isabella, I congratulate you on your love of truth;  Allah has taken you out of the darkness of unbelief and granted you the boon of Islam, relieved you from the labyrinth of Trinity and put you on to the Straight Path beset with dangers!  To remain firm on it is the task of a very brave person.  But those in whose hearts Islam has firmly established itself would not mind the greatest trouble of the earth.  Allah guides them.

Isabella:   Revered father….

Ziad:  Daughter, you have to give up such words too.  There is no papacy in Islam.  Islam has not given its divines the position which Christians have given to their priests.  There is perfect equality in Islam.  The only duty of the divines is to guide Muslims in the light of the Holy Quran and sacred Traditions of the Messenger (Peace and Blessings be upon him).  It is the duty of Muslims to act on that guidance and not to deify them or make them masters of all their affairs.

Isabella (ashamed):  Now will  you, yourself teach me how I should address you and other leaders of Islam?

Ziad:  Address me and other Muslims just as brothers, but if you desire to add anything, just say “sir”. To be continued

Isabella:  Very well, sir, I will obey all your orders in future.  Oh sir, it is a great benevolence and grace of God that He showed this humble servant the path of truth and justice and took me out of the course of trinity and worship of the cross.  The means of any guidance is my spiritual preceptor and benefactor Umar Lahmi, who preached to all the priests of Cordova in their own homes and, through him, the call of truth reached my ears.  I wholeheartedly pray that God grant him all the boons of this world and the next and by prayer my life and death be on Islam.  

All those present cried: Amin!

Ziad:  Daughter, Allah wants to take from you great service and surely Muslims will be greatly benefited through you.  But say if you have converted any one of the other ladies.

Isabella:  Yes, sir, I have four other friends of mine who have lost their faith in Christianity and are inclined to Islam.  God willing, I will bring them with me tomorrow or the day after, that they may have grace from you and any doubts that may still lurk in them are removed.

Umar Lahmi:  Sister, who are these friends of yours?  By Allah, we have no knowledge of them and you never mentioned them to me.

Isabella:  One of them is the daughter of Michael, my teacher in theology, and there are  three others.  All these have been listening to all the discussions.

Umar Lahmi:  Have they really become Muslims and see through the weaknesses of Christianity?

Isabella:  The weaknesses of Christianity have become manifest to all of them, and they have recognised the truth of Islam, but they have not yet mustered enough courage to give up their  ancestral religion and declare their adherence to Islam.

Ziad:   Well, Allah will give them the necessary courage.  We shall also pray for them.

Umar Lahmi:  Bring Michael’s daughter also some day so that her doubts may also be removed.

Isabella:  Tomorrow or day after I will surely bring her with me and if all the four girls do not come, I will bring at least this one (Michael’s daughter) with me.

Ziad:  I tell you, daughter, again that you should accept Islam after clearing all your doubts and never, by any greed or deception, for Allah wants sincerity and the Quran says that a Muslim’s life and death, prayer and devotion, sitting and standing, sleep and waking everything should be for Allah and the pleasure of Allah should be the aim of our life.

Isabella:  Oh sir, I say it and bring God to witness that no lust or greed has brought me to the threshold of Islam, nor the acquisition of wealth and power is my aim.  You yourself know the honour my father enjoys in Cordova and throughout Spain.

Ziad:   May Allah reward you, give you firmness and shower His bounties on you.

Umar Lahmi:   Islam is the only religion which by accepting it Allah’s bounties are showered on man and all his sins are forgiven!

Isabella: (smiling);  All my sins are forgiven every week by the priest of Cordova, who is in charge of the Department of Inquisition and (bowing her head) I am already sinless and innocent.

Ziad:  What is this Department of Inquisition and what is the meaning of the priest forgiving sins?  Can any man also forgive sins?

Isabella:  (with shame and humility):  Oh sir, this story is most interesting and probably quite novel to you, as you are not aware of the inner working of Christianity.

Ziad:  Will you inform us of these matters?  Such interesting facts should certainly be worth knowing and no one can relate them better than you.

Isabella:  Oh sir! Christians go before the altar of the Christ in the presence of the head priest every week and confess their sins which the head priest forgives as, according to Christian creed, the head priest has power to do that as he is considered to be the representative of Saint Peter.

Ziad:  La hawla wala quwwata illa billah! [There is no power or authority except with Allah].  Allah forgive us!  Can any man forgive sins except Allah?  This is why the Holy Quran has accused Christians that they have made their priests and elders their Rabb (fosterer) besides Allah:  (In surprise) Have the priests the authority to forgive all sins?

Isabella:  Yes, provided the sinner confessed all his open and secret sins before the priest.  If he has concealed anything it will not be forgiven.

November 12, 2013

This was the time when Muslims had started building mosques and schools all over Spain and eminent divines and jurists of Islam had come over to this country.  In the capital, Cordova, the Islamic system of teaching and training had been introduced.  Ziad b. Umar was a highly learned traditionist, philosopher and interpreter of the Holy Quran.  At the same time, he had no equal in offering prayers and due to his integrity, purity, and unostentatious prayerfulness, he was held in great affection throughout Spain.  He would spend his days in teaching and at nights he would attend gatherings of divines and officials of the government.  His house was adjacent to the University of Cordova and so after Isha prayer,  those interested in learning gathered at his house.  

One day while this meeting was in progress and eminent divines and men of letters were present, Ziad b. Umar came.  All stood up in his respect.  After they were seated Ziad enquired after everyone’s health and then addressed Umar Lahmi.

Ziad b. Umar:  May Allah fructify your efforts!  You have conveyed the message of truth in the very home of unbelief and humbled unbelievers!

Umar Lahmi:  I am just an ordinary weak Muslim and this has been possible because of your prayers; Isabella has accepted Islam in her heart.  She was desirous of meeting you, so she has come here for an audience.

Ziad b. Umar:  Oh! Is Isabella present here?  

Umar Lahmi:  Yes, she has been put up in the adjoining house and if you permit she may be brought to your presence.

Ziad:  Yes, certainly.  If she has come to meet me, let her come.

Asad (one of those present):  By Allah, sir, this is very great!  There is a great commotion among the Christians of Cordova.  But is it Isabella alone who has been attracted to Islam or are there others also with her?

Umar Lahmi:  About this you will hear from Isabella herself.

Another of the audience:  I have heard that Christians intend to kill Isabella.

Umar Lahmi:  So far, Isabella has taken great care to keep it secret.  No one has found out that she has embraced Islam or intends to do.  So the rumour of the intention to kill her is premature.

Ziad: Now call Isabella here.  We shall hear the interesting details from her own lips.

Shortly after, Isabella enters and seeing Ziad b. Umar sitting at a prominent place, raises her hand to salute him and sits in a corner while all those present congratulate her on her great courage and firmness.

Zaid:  Daughter Isabella, I congratulate you on your love of truth;  Allah has taken you out of the darkness of unbelief and granted you the boon of Islam, relieved you from the labyrinth of Trinity and put you on to the Straight Path beset with dangers!  To remain firm on it is the task of a very brave person.  But those in whose hearts Islam has firmly established itself would not mind the greatest trouble of the earth.  Allah guides them.

Isabella:   Revered father….

Ziad:  Daughter, you have to give up such words too.  There is no papacy in Islam.  Islam has not given its divines the position which Christians have given to their priests.  There is perfect equality in Islam.  The only duty of the divines is to guide Muslims in the light of the Holy Quran and sacred Traditions of the Messenger (Peace and Blessings be upon him).  It is the duty of Muslims to act on that guidance and not to deify them or make them masters of all their affairs.

Isabella (ashamed):  Now will  you, yourself teach me how I should address you and other leaders of Islam?

Ziad:  Address me and other Muslims just as brothers, but if you desire to add anything, just say “sir”. To be continued

Isabella:  Very well, sir, I will obey all your orders in future.  Oh sir, it is a great benevolence and grace of God that He showed this humble servant the path of truth and justice and took me out of the course of trinity and worship of the cross.  The means of any guidance is my spiritual preceptor and benefactor Umar Lahmi, who preached to all the priests of Cordova in their own homes and, through him, the call of truth reached my ears.  I wholeheartedly pray that God grant him all the boons of this world and the next and by prayer my life and death be on Islam.  

All those present cried: Amin!

Ziad:  Daughter, Allah wants to take from you great service and surely Muslims will be greatly benefited through you.  But say if you have converted any one of the other ladies.

Isabella:  Yes, sir, I have four other friends of mine who have lost their faith in Christianity and are inclined to Islam.  God willing, I will bring them with me tomorrow or the day after, that they may have grace from you and any doubts that may still lurk in them are removed.

Umar Lahmi:  Sister, who are these friends of yours?  By Allah, we have no knowledge of them and you never mentioned them to me.

Isabella:  One of them is the daughter of Michael, my teacher in theology, and there are  three others.  All these have been listening to all the discussions.

Umar Lahmi:  Have they really become Muslims and see through the weaknesses of Christianity?

Isabella:  The weaknesses of Christianity have become manifest to all of them, and they have recognised the truth of Islam, but they have not yet mustered enough courage to give up their  ancestral religion and declare their adherence to Islam.

Ziad:   Well, Allah will give them the necessary courage.  We shall also pray for them.

Umar Lahmi:  Bring Michael’s daughter also some day so that her doubts may also be removed.

Isabella:  Tomorrow or day after I will surely bring her with me and if all the four girls do not come, I will bring at least this one (Michael’s daughter) with me.

Ziad:  I tell you, daughter, again that you should accept Islam after clearing all your doubts and never, by any greed or deception, for Allah wants sincerity and the Quran says that a Muslim’s life and death, prayer and devotion, sitting and standing, sleep and waking everything should be for Allah and the pleasure of Allah should be the aim of our life.

Isabella:  Oh sir, I say it and bring God to witness that no lust or greed has brought me to the threshold of Islam, nor the acquisition of wealth and power is my aim.  You yourself know the honour my father enjoys in Cordova and throughout Spain.

Ziad:   May Allah reward you, give you firmness and shower His bounties on you.

Umar Lahmi:   Islam is the only religion which by accepting it Allah’s bounties are showered on man and all his sins are forgiven!

Isabella: (smiling);  All my sins are forgiven every week by the priest of Cordova, who is in charge of the Department of Inquisition and (bowing her head) I am already sinless and innocent.

Ziad:  What is this Department of Inquisition and what is the meaning of the priest forgiving sins?  Can any man also forgive sins?

Isabella:  (with shame and humility):  Oh sir, this story is most interesting and probably quite novel to you, as you are not aware of the inner working of Christianity.

Ziad:  Will you inform us of these matters?  Such interesting facts should certainly be worth knowing and no one can relate them better than you.

Isabella:  Oh sir! Christians go before the altar of the Christ in the presence of the head priest every week and confess their sins which the head priest forgives as, according to Christian creed, the head priest has power to do that as he is considered to be the representative of Saint Peter.

Ziad:  La hawla wala quwwata illa billah! [There is no power or authority except with Allah].  Allah forgive us!  Can any man forgive sins except Allah?  This is why the Holy Quran has accused Christians that they have made their priests and elders their Rabb (fosterer) besides Allah:  (In surprise) Have the priests the authority to forgive all sins?

Isabella:  Yes, provided the sinner confessed all his open and secret sins before the priest.  If he has concealed anything it will not be forgiven.

November 12, 2013

Introduction

Since my childhood, each year on the 11th of Rabi us Sani, I have been attending the proceedings of the anniversary of the passing of Hazrat Ghaus E Azam Syed Abdul Qadir Gilani (Jilani), Rehmat Ullah Alayh (Mercy of Allah be on him), the Sultan of Awliya*, ( friends of The Almighty) the ‘Royal Falcon’ of the mystic way.  The proceedings invariably commenced with Tilawat (recitation of the Holy Qur’an), recitation of Durood Sharief (an invocation asking blessing of Allah upon the Holy Last Messenger) and few naats in the praise of the Holy Last Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) held in the courtyard of our house.

My late grandfather often presided and before offering Fatiha (the first chapter of the Holy Qur’an), some learned elders would narrate a few events of the life and teachings of the Sultan of Awalia, .  Later, food and alms were distributed among the poor.  

After the death of my grandfather, my mother continued to offer Fatiha with depth and fervor of her devotion. The ladies enclosure was always separate.  I am proud to be a Gilani (Jilani) - a descendant of the Sultan of Awalia, Rehmat Ullah Alayh.  I have studied many books about his life, teachings, visits to various places, homage paid to him by great Awalia, and his charismatic miracles - karamat, whereas, only Messengers of Allah had been blessed with miracles - Mujizats.

Often, even well-read people (friends and colleagues etc.) would ask the difference between Jilani and Gilani.  The real name is Gilani.  In Arabic ‘G’ (Gaff) is inserted with (Jeem); therefore in the Arabic speaking world it is called Jilani.  The Sultan of Awalia was born in Gilan, a province situated in the south of Caspian Sea - Iran.

In this article, effort has been made to narrate, briefly, the following salient events pertaining to the fascinating personality of the Sultan of Awalia, Hazrat Ghaus E Azam, Sheikh Syed Abdul Qadir Gilani, Rehmat Ullah Alah.

    1.   Parentage

    2.   Birth

    3.   Journey to Baghdad

    4.   Spiritual Guides

    5.   Homage by the great Awalia

    6.   Teaching

    7.   Karamat

    8.   Traits and Habits

    9.   Passing away

   10.   Reality of Giarhavin Sherief

Parentage

Hazrat Abu Salih Jani Dost, father of Sheikh Syed Abdul Qadir Gilani, was descendant in the direct line of Hazrat Imam Hassan (11th in line), mercy of Allah be on them.  His mother, Syeda Fatima Ummul Khair, was a descendant of Hazrat Imam Hussain.  He is therefore, Hassani and Hussaini and progeny of the Holy Last Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him.

Sheikh Abdullah Sumi was the maternal grandfather of Ghaus E Azam, and an accomplished awalia and prominent for his piety, who lived in Gilan.  Hazrat Abu Salih was a native of Naif in the district of Gilan, south of the Caspian Sea.  He was a God-fearing, seeker of truth and fond of fighting against the infidels.  He was a man of courage and would not hesitate to publicly condemn the wrongdoings of even the Caliph in power.  One day he saw a few servants of the Caliph carrying pitchers full of wine on their heads.  He broke all the pitchers, but no one dared to intervene on account of his extreme respect in the society.  He was summoned in the court and when asked by the Caliph as to why he had broken the pitchers, he replied, “I am Muntasib, it is my duty to execute Divine laws.”  The Caliph asked, “who appointed you Muntasib?” Abu Salih boldly replied “The Lord who appointed you Caliph, taking pity on you and liberated you from humiliation in the world and hell fire. I broke the pitchers!”  The Caliph immediately appointed him as the Muntasib and from that day he was called “Jangi Dost”.

One day, while sitting on the bank of a river in the pursuit of Divine light, he saw an apple floating down the current.  He had not taken any thing for several days, he picked the apple up and ate it, but immediately his conscience pricked as he had eaten the apple without permission of the owner.  He got up and walked up stream in order to trace the owner of the apple.  He reached an orchard where he saw apple trees hanging over the river.  He deducted that the apple he had eaten must have fallen from the same tree.  His inquiry took him to Hazrat Abdullah Sumi and begged his forgiveness for having eaten the apple without his permission.  During conversation it was revealed that the boy was a descendant of Hazrat Imam Hassan and perceived that he was extraordinarily virtuous and a seeker of truth.  He said, “I am ready to forgive if you agree to work in my orchard for twelve years.”

The young man accepted the condition.  After the completion of the period, he asked for permission to leave.  Hazrat Sumi said, “I shall forgive you, but you will have to marry my daughter who is blind, deaf, dumb and crippled.”  The young man agreed and the marriage took place.  At night when he entered the chamber of the bride, he was surprised to see an extremely beautiful and flawless lady, having no sign of disability on her.  In confusion, he left the chamber thinking that he had entered the wrong chamber.  The next morning he went to see Hazrat Sumi.  Upon seeing him, Hazrat Sumi understood this man’s predicament regarding his bride.  He called him, and explained to him the reasons behind his claims.  Hazrat Sumi stated that “my daughter was blind because she had never seen any man with whom she could be married; she was deaf because she had never paid any attention to falsehood; she was told to be paralytic because she had never touched any unlawful thing; she was told to be lame as she had never stepped towards any unjust act.  Hearing Hazrat Sumi, Syed Hazrat Abu Salih Jangi Dost felt spiritually enlightened.  Her name was Ummul Fatima.

Birth

It is said that Hazrat Abu Salih saw the Holy Last Messenger (peace and blessing be upon him) at the night of Ghaus E Azam’s birth in a dream, along with the companions present in his house.  The Holy Last Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “O Abu Salih! Allah has bestowed a son to you who is my son.  His rank amongst the Awalia is like that of mine amongst the Messengers.”  The night in which Ghaus E Azam was born, all the women of Jilan gave birth to eleven hundred males, all of whom turned Awalia.  In the middle of his shoulders a sign of the footprint of the Holy Last Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) was visible.  He was born during 470 AH (1077-78 C.E.), in the holy month of Ramadan and according to his illustrious mother, never sucked during fasting hours.

According to some eminent Awalia like Imam Hassan Askari, Hazrat Junayed Baghdadi, Hazrat Mansur Bathie, Sheikh Abu Bakr Bin Harrar, Sheikh Mohammad Shambky and some others, had predicted the advent of Hazrat Abdul Qadir Gilani during the fifth century B.H.(before Hijrah) who would be the chief of all the Qutbs, spiritual polestars or axises of the world.  His foot would be on the neck of all the foremost and later Awalia, meaning his rank would be the highest amongst all the Awalia.

At the age of one year, his father returned to Allah, therefore his basic religious education was imparted under the care of his mother and maternal grandfather Hazrat Sumi, who showered all the love, affection and spiritual blessings on him.  But when Hazrat Sumi did returned to Allah, he was left alone with his mother.  When he was five years old, his mother sent him to a local school in Jilan, where he completed his basic education in religious sciences.  Allah had endowed him with extraordinary brilliance, insight, a refined disposition and excellent memory.  He memorized the Holy Qur’an at a very young age at his native school in Jilan.

Journey to Baghdad

The thirst for knowledge was raging in his heart.  He requested his mother to allow him to go to Baghdad, which in those days was  world famous as a center of learning for higher education.  The aged mother - according to historians she was 60 years old when she had given birth to Abdul Qadir, which is considered past the child bearing age - with a heavy heart, tears in her eyes and broken voice, accorded permission to her son to embark upon the journey for higher studies.  His mother advised him to observe strictly the following instructions:

1.   Always speak the truth come what may.

2.   Obey Almighty’s Commands.

3.   Abstain from unlawful and forbidden acts.

4.   Always be pleased with the Divine Decree.

His mother had at that moment 80 dinars left by her husband for Abdul Qadir and his brother.  Abdul Qadir took 40 Dinars and left 40 for his brother.  His mother sewed 40 dinars into the armpit of his garment and with trembling hands she embraced her son and kissed his forehead and said, “I entrust you in the protection of the Great Protector who will protect you.  I separate myself from that which is dearest to me for Allah’s Sake.”

Abdul Qadir joined a trading caravan destined for Baghdad.  But near Hamdan, a band of 60 robbers attacked the caravan, looted their belongings, money and whatever they had been carrying.  No one came near the Ghaus E Azam, thinking that the boy was penniless.  One robber asked him if he had anything.  The boy gave a fearless answer that he had 40 dinars sewed into his garment, but the robber thought it to be a joke.  A few more robbers came and enquired but Ghaus E Azam gave them the same reply.  They reported the matter to their chief named Ahmad Alafi, who summoned the boy, who gave the same reply and indicated the place where the 40 dinars had been sewn.  The garment was cut open and the dinars were found.  All the robbers were amazed at the courage and truthfulness of the young boy.  The chief asked what made him tell the truth.  The young boy replied, “My mother had advised me to speak the truth whatever circumstances confront me.  I cannot disobey her advice.”  This reply shocked the chief so that tears came into his eyes.  He said, “You have not disobeyed your mother, but I have been breaking the commands of Allah all my life.”  He instantly vowed to give up banditry, returned all the belongings to the travelers and all of them became true Muslims.  This incident is clear karamat of Ghaus E Azam at the school-going age.  

After traveling nearly 400 miles of dangerous journey, he reached Baghdad during 488 AH (1098 C.E.).  It was the capital of the Abbasid Caliphate and a great centre for learning.  Here he was a complete stranger, left with a small amount of money that was utterly insufficient to meet his needs.  The state was not paying any grants to the institutions, therefore every student had to make personal effort to earn his living and bear the expenses for his education.  For higher education at Jamia he experienced unending hardship.  He had no money for his needs.  He never stretched his hand to anyone for help.  During bitter hardships he would be on the ground facing the heaven and recited.  “So verily with every difficulty there is relief. Verily, with every difficulty there is relief.”

By reciting the above verse his sufferings would diminish.  As a student of Fiqh, Islamic Jurisprudence,  he often went to a jungle, for hours walked on thorny and stony ground to test his determination.  He used to eat the vegetables grown on the bank of the river Tigris.

Once the fellow students urged him to go with them to see a great scholar Sharif Yaqoobi.  The nobleman cast a spiritual glance at him.  His eyes revealed to him the personality of Ghaus E Azam.  He said, “Seekers of truth and pious people never beg, they do not stretch hands before anyone.  You are specially graced and favored by the Most Gracious!”  These words left a deep impact and he immediately withdrew from the company of other students who had gone to collect charity from a rich landlord.  Also, he never allowed his students to beg from others.

While roaming into deserted area, he saw the ruins of old palaces where he found seventy Divinely guided persons hungry and searching for something to eat.  Without disturbing them, he returned to Baghdad.  On the way, he met a stranger who belonged to this area who gave him a piece of gold saying that his mother had sent this for him.  He immediately went back to the ruins, kept a small sum for himself and distributed the rest amongst the hungry awalia.

Weeks and weeks passed and Ghaus E Azam would stay in deserted areas for studying his lessons.  During the famine in Baghdad he was hungry and penniless, in this state he went to the River Tigris to pick up some vegetables thrown as garbage by the people.  He found many people there, searching for food but he did not interfere in their search and came back to Baghdad in extreme hunger and entered a mosque and sat in a corner.  In the meantime, a young man entered carrying bread and roasted meat and started eating.  On seeing the weak condition of Ghaus E Azam, the man offered him to take some food, but he refused the offer.  The stranger however persisted for him to accept his offer.  During conversation, Ghaus E Azam disclosed his identity.  The young man became perturbed.  He said, “Your mother had given me eight dinars to hand over to you, but for a number of days I could not trace you.  During this period, my money was spent, as I had no food for two days and to save my life I bought food with your money.  I am sorry and seek your forgiveness.  This is your food and the balance of your money.”  On hearing his explanation, Ghaus E Azam consoled him, pardoned him, kept two dinars for himself and advised the stranger to keep the balance to meet expenses of the journey and food.

Spiritual Guides

During his stay in Baghdad, the Ghaus E Azam used to see the awalia and holy men in order to gain Divine knowledge and blessings of their company.  He met Hazrat Hammad Al-Dabbas, who recognized Ghaus E Azam and cast a glance of love and affection, which created unbreakable spiritual light in him.  Sheikh Hammad was always kind to discuss mystical problems and solutions.

Soon, the Ghaus E Azam got admission for higher education at some prestigious institutions.  He got admission to the Jamiah of Sheikh Abu Saeed Mubarik Bin Ali Makhzoomi in  Baghdad.  There were several eminent scholars in this school.  He had already memorized the Holy Qur’an.  He studied Fiqh (Islamic Laws),  Tafseer (Hadith) under Abu Qasim Ali and Abu Zakariya Yahya Tabrizi, Principal of Jamiah Nizamia and writer of many books.  There were 14 other eminent scholars under whom he had studied.

At the time of his graduation from the Jamiah, the certificate included the following citation:

“Oh Abdul Qadir, we hereby confer upon you the degree in all kinds of knowledge acquired by you.  You are a genius and your capability of understanding the subject was so excellent that on several occasions we ourselves were benefitted by your interpretation of Hadith.”

He had taken nine years from 488 AH to 496 AH at the Jamiah of Abu Saeed to complete university education.  Abu Saeed appointed him as a teacher in his Jamiah and finally handed over the institution to his care before his death in 513 AAH.

He had great respect for all the great Muslim jurists.  He was made guardian of the tomb of Hazrat Imam Abu Hanifa (mercy of Allah be on him) for some time.  For him it had become a daily routine to issue fatwas, rulings on a point of Islamic law given by a recognized authority.  There used to be several clerks to deal with his work as day after day he received legal questions from all parts of the Muslim world.  All the famous scholars and jurists would wonder at the speed and ease by which Ghaus E Azam would give his decisions in the legal matters.

Various Titles of The Ghaus E Azam

His name is Abdul Qadir, his nickname is Abu Muhammad.  Later he gained the title of Muhiyuddin, that is,  the reviver of religion.  His other titles are Sultan of Awalia, Hazrat Qutb-Al-Aqtab, Syed Us-Sadat, Qutb-Al-Wajoo, Pir Piran, Mir-Miran, Sheikh Al-Syed Muhiyuddin Samdani, Abu Muhammad Abdul Qadir Jilani, Al Hasani, Wal Hussaini, Al Baghdad.

Note: Bibliography will be mentioned in the end of Part II of the article.

About the Author

Initial schooling was from Military College Jhelum.   Mr. Gilani completed Aeronautical Engineering from the United Kingdom or UK. After on the job training, he was granted Aircraft Maintenance Engineer’s License by the Civil Aviation Authority, UK.  Mr. Gilani returned to Pakistan to serve with Pakistan International Airlines also known as PIA, which at that time was one of the best airlines in the world.  After acquiring Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority Aircraft Maintenance Engineer’s License, Syed Nokhez Gilani Qadri was busy advancing his professional status and was promoted and transferred as Engineering Manager to Quetta, Pakistan.  He served with PIA for 12 years, then with Emirates International Airline in Dubai.  Mr. Gilani attended and passed professional courses with distinction at Boeing, Airbus, Rolls-Royce and General Electric Aero Engine.

* The difference between Awalia (Friends of Allah) and the term ‘Saint’ is that the title Saint has been used by the Pope, as he desires and for whomever he chooses.  The qualities or characteristic of the person are not taken into consideration.  You cannot compare a Wali (Friend of Allah), whom Allah holds in high esteem and carries excellent characteristics, with a Saint.

November 12, 2013

Introduction

Since my childhood, each year on the 11th of Rabi us Sani, I have been attending the proceedings of the anniversary of the passing of Hazrat Ghaus E Azam Syed Abdul Qadir Gilani (Jilani), Rehmat Ullah Alayh (Mercy of Allah be on him), the Sultan of Awliya*, ( friends of The Almighty) the ‘Royal Falcon’ of the mystic way.  The proceedings invariably commenced with Tilawat (recitation of the Holy Qur’an), recitation of Durood Sharief (an invocation asking blessing of Allah upon the Holy Last Messenger) and few naats in the praise of the Holy Last Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) held in the courtyard of our house.

My late grandfather often presided and before offering Fatiha (the first chapter of the Holy Qur’an), some learned elders would narrate a few events of the life and teachings of the Sultan of Awalia, .  Later, food and alms were distributed among the poor.  

After the death of my grandfather, my mother continued to offer Fatiha with depth and fervor of her devotion. The ladies enclosure was always separate.  I am proud to be a Gilani (Jilani) - a descendant of the Sultan of Awalia, Rehmat Ullah Alayh.  I have studied many books about his life, teachings, visits to various places, homage paid to him by great Awalia, and his charismatic miracles - karamat, whereas, only Messengers of Allah had been blessed with miracles - Mujizats.

Often, even well-read people (friends and colleagues etc.) would ask the difference between Jilani and Gilani.  The real name is Gilani.  In Arabic ‘G’ (Gaff) is inserted with (Jeem); therefore in the Arabic speaking world it is called Jilani.  The Sultan of Awalia was born in Gilan, a province situated in the south of Caspian Sea - Iran.

In this article, effort has been made to narrate, briefly, the following salient events pertaining to the fascinating personality of the Sultan of Awalia, Hazrat Ghaus E Azam, Sheikh Syed Abdul Qadir Gilani, Rehmat Ullah Alah.

    1.   Parentage

    2.   Birth

    3.   Journey to Baghdad

    4.   Spiritual Guides

    5.   Homage by the great Awalia

    6.   Teaching

    7.   Karamat

    8.   Traits and Habits

    9.   Passing away

   10.   Reality of Giarhavin Sherief

Parentage

Hazrat Abu Salih Jani Dost, father of Sheikh Syed Abdul Qadir Gilani, was descendant in the direct line of Hazrat Imam Hassan (11th in line), mercy of Allah be on them.  His mother, Syeda Fatima Ummul Khair, was a descendant of Hazrat Imam Hussain.  He is therefore, Hassani and Hussaini and progeny of the Holy Last Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him.

Sheikh Abdullah Sumi was the maternal grandfather of Ghaus E Azam, and an accomplished awalia and prominent for his piety, who lived in Gilan.  Hazrat Abu Salih was a native of Naif in the district of Gilan, south of the Caspian Sea.  He was a God-fearing, seeker of truth and fond of fighting against the infidels.  He was a man of courage and would not hesitate to publicly condemn the wrongdoings of even the Caliph in power.  One day he saw a few servants of the Caliph carrying pitchers full of wine on their heads.  He broke all the pitchers, but no one dared to intervene on account of his extreme respect in the society.  He was summoned in the court and when asked by the Caliph as to why he had broken the pitchers, he replied, “I am Muntasib, it is my duty to execute Divine laws.”  The Caliph asked, “who appointed you Muntasib?” Abu Salih boldly replied “The Lord who appointed you Caliph, taking pity on you and liberated you from humiliation in the world and hell fire. I broke the pitchers!”  The Caliph immediately appointed him as the Muntasib and from that day he was called “Jangi Dost”.

One day, while sitting on the bank of a river in the pursuit of Divine light, he saw an apple floating down the current.  He had not taken any thing for several days, he picked the apple up and ate it, but immediately his conscience pricked as he had eaten the apple without permission of the owner.  He got up and walked up stream in order to trace the owner of the apple.  He reached an orchard where he saw apple trees hanging over the river.  He deducted that the apple he had eaten must have fallen from the same tree.  His inquiry took him to Hazrat Abdullah Sumi and begged his forgiveness for having eaten the apple without his permission.  During conversation it was revealed that the boy was a descendant of Hazrat Imam Hassan and perceived that he was extraordinarily virtuous and a seeker of truth.  He said, “I am ready to forgive if you agree to work in my orchard for twelve years.”

The young man accepted the condition.  After the completion of the period, he asked for permission to leave.  Hazrat Sumi said, “I shall forgive you, but you will have to marry my daughter who is blind, deaf, dumb and crippled.”  The young man agreed and the marriage took place.  At night when he entered the chamber of the bride, he was surprised to see an extremely beautiful and flawless lady, having no sign of disability on her.  In confusion, he left the chamber thinking that he had entered the wrong chamber.  The next morning he went to see Hazrat Sumi.  Upon seeing him, Hazrat Sumi understood this man’s predicament regarding his bride.  He called him, and explained to him the reasons behind his claims.  Hazrat Sumi stated that “my daughter was blind because she had never seen any man with whom she could be married; she was deaf because she had never paid any attention to falsehood; she was told to be paralytic because she had never touched any unlawful thing; she was told to be lame as she had never stepped towards any unjust act.  Hearing Hazrat Sumi, Syed Hazrat Abu Salih Jangi Dost felt spiritually enlightened.  Her name was Ummul Fatima.

Birth

It is said that Hazrat Abu Salih saw the Holy Last Messenger (peace and blessing be upon him) at the night of Ghaus E Azam’s birth in a dream, along with the companions present in his house.  The Holy Last Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “O Abu Salih! Allah has bestowed a son to you who is my son.  His rank amongst the Awalia is like that of mine amongst the Messengers.”  The night in which Ghaus E Azam was born, all the women of Jilan gave birth to eleven hundred males, all of whom turned Awalia.  In the middle of his shoulders a sign of the footprint of the Holy Last Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) was visible.  He was born during 470 AH (1077-78 C.E.), in the holy month of Ramadan and according to his illustrious mother, never sucked during fasting hours.

According to some eminent Awalia like Imam Hassan Askari, Hazrat Junayed Baghdadi, Hazrat Mansur Bathie, Sheikh Abu Bakr Bin Harrar, Sheikh Mohammad Shambky and some others, had predicted the advent of Hazrat Abdul Qadir Gilani during the fifth century B.H.(before Hijrah) who would be the chief of all the Qutbs, spiritual polestars or axises of the world.  His foot would be on the neck of all the foremost and later Awalia, meaning his rank would be the highest amongst all the Awalia.

At the age of one year, his father returned to Allah, therefore his basic religious education was imparted under the care of his mother and maternal grandfather Hazrat Sumi, who showered all the love, affection and spiritual blessings on him.  But when Hazrat Sumi did returned to Allah, he was left alone with his mother.  When he was five years old, his mother sent him to a local school in Jilan, where he completed his basic education in religious sciences.  Allah had endowed him with extraordinary brilliance, insight, a refined disposition and excellent memory.  He memorized the Holy Qur’an at a very young age at his native school in Jilan.

Journey to Baghdad

The thirst for knowledge was raging in his heart.  He requested his mother to allow him to go to Baghdad, which in those days was  world famous as a center of learning for higher education.  The aged mother - according to historians she was 60 years old when she had given birth to Abdul Qadir, which is considered past the child bearing age - with a heavy heart, tears in her eyes and broken voice, accorded permission to her son to embark upon the journey for higher studies.  His mother advised him to observe strictly the following instructions:

1.   Always speak the truth come what may.

2.   Obey Almighty’s Commands.

3.   Abstain from unlawful and forbidden acts.

4.   Always be pleased with the Divine Decree.

His mother had at that moment 80 dinars left by her husband for Abdul Qadir and his brother.  Abdul Qadir took 40 Dinars and left 40 for his brother.  His mother sewed 40 dinars into the armpit of his garment and with trembling hands she embraced her son and kissed his forehead and said, “I entrust you in the protection of the Great Protector who will protect you.  I separate myself from that which is dearest to me for Allah’s Sake.”

Abdul Qadir joined a trading caravan destined for Baghdad.  But near Hamdan, a band of 60 robbers attacked the caravan, looted their belongings, money and whatever they had been carrying.  No one came near the Ghaus E Azam, thinking that the boy was penniless.  One robber asked him if he had anything.  The boy gave a fearless answer that he had 40 dinars sewed into his garment, but the robber thought it to be a joke.  A few more robbers came and enquired but Ghaus E Azam gave them the same reply.  They reported the matter to their chief named Ahmad Alafi, who summoned the boy, who gave the same reply and indicated the place where the 40 dinars had been sewn.  The garment was cut open and the dinars were found.  All the robbers were amazed at the courage and truthfulness of the young boy.  The chief asked what made him tell the truth.  The young boy replied, “My mother had advised me to speak the truth whatever circumstances confront me.  I cannot disobey her advice.”  This reply shocked the chief so that tears came into his eyes.  He said, “You have not disobeyed your mother, but I have been breaking the commands of Allah all my life.”  He instantly vowed to give up banditry, returned all the belongings to the travelers and all of them became true Muslims.  This incident is clear karamat of Ghaus E Azam at the school-going age.  

After traveling nearly 400 miles of dangerous journey, he reached Baghdad during 488 AH (1098 C.E.).  It was the capital of the Abbasid Caliphate and a great centre for learning.  Here he was a complete stranger, left with a small amount of money that was utterly insufficient to meet his needs.  The state was not paying any grants to the institutions, therefore every student had to make personal effort to earn his living and bear the expenses for his education.  For higher education at Jamia he experienced unending hardship.  He had no money for his needs.  He never stretched his hand to anyone for help.  During bitter hardships he would be on the ground facing the heaven and recited.  “So verily with every difficulty there is relief. Verily, with every difficulty there is relief.”

By reciting the above verse his sufferings would diminish.  As a student of Fiqh, Islamic Jurisprudence,  he often went to a jungle, for hours walked on thorny and stony ground to test his determination.  He used to eat the vegetables grown on the bank of the river Tigris.

Once the fellow students urged him to go with them to see a great scholar Sharif Yaqoobi.  The nobleman cast a spiritual glance at him.  His eyes revealed to him the personality of Ghaus E Azam.  He said, “Seekers of truth and pious people never beg, they do not stretch hands before anyone.  You are specially graced and favored by the Most Gracious!”  These words left a deep impact and he immediately withdrew from the company of other students who had gone to collect charity from a rich landlord.  Also, he never allowed his students to beg from others.

While roaming into deserted area, he saw the ruins of old palaces where he found seventy Divinely guided persons hungry and searching for something to eat.  Without disturbing them, he returned to Baghdad.  On the way, he met a stranger who belonged to this area who gave him a piece of gold saying that his mother had sent this for him.  He immediately went back to the ruins, kept a small sum for himself and distributed the rest amongst the hungry awalia.

Weeks and weeks passed and Ghaus E Azam would stay in deserted areas for studying his lessons.  During the famine in Baghdad he was hungry and penniless, in this state he went to the River Tigris to pick up some vegetables thrown as garbage by the people.  He found many people there, searching for food but he did not interfere in their search and came back to Baghdad in extreme hunger and entered a mosque and sat in a corner.  In the meantime, a young man entered carrying bread and roasted meat and started eating.  On seeing the weak condition of Ghaus E Azam, the man offered him to take some food, but he refused the offer.  The stranger however persisted for him to accept his offer.  During conversation, Ghaus E Azam disclosed his identity.  The young man became perturbed.  He said, “Your mother had given me eight dinars to hand over to you, but for a number of days I could not trace you.  During this period, my money was spent, as I had no food for two days and to save my life I bought food with your money.  I am sorry and seek your forgiveness.  This is your food and the balance of your money.”  On hearing his explanation, Ghaus E Azam consoled him, pardoned him, kept two dinars for himself and advised the stranger to keep the balance to meet expenses of the journey and food.

Spiritual Guides

During his stay in Baghdad, the Ghaus E Azam used to see the awalia and holy men in order to gain Divine knowledge and blessings of their company.  He met Hazrat Hammad Al-Dabbas, who recognized Ghaus E Azam and cast a glance of love and affection, which created unbreakable spiritual light in him.  Sheikh Hammad was always kind to discuss mystical problems and solutions.

Soon, the Ghaus E Azam got admission for higher education at some prestigious institutions.  He got admission to the Jamiah of Sheikh Abu Saeed Mubarik Bin Ali Makhzoomi in  Baghdad.  There were several eminent scholars in this school.  He had already memorized the Holy Qur’an.  He studied Fiqh (Islamic Laws),  Tafseer (Hadith) under Abu Qasim Ali and Abu Zakariya Yahya Tabrizi, Principal of Jamiah Nizamia and writer of many books.  There were 14 other eminent scholars under whom he had studied.

At the time of his graduation from the Jamiah, the certificate included the following citation:

“Oh Abdul Qadir, we hereby confer upon you the degree in all kinds of knowledge acquired by you.  You are a genius and your capability of understanding the subject was so excellent that on several occasions we ourselves were benefitted by your interpretation of Hadith.”

He had taken nine years from 488 AH to 496 AH at the Jamiah of Abu Saeed to complete university education.  Abu Saeed appointed him as a teacher in his Jamiah and finally handed over the institution to his care before his death in 513 AAH.

He had great respect for all the great Muslim jurists.  He was made guardian of the tomb of Hazrat Imam Abu Hanifa (mercy of Allah be on him) for some time.  For him it had become a daily routine to issue fatwas, rulings on a point of Islamic law given by a recognized authority.  There used to be several clerks to deal with his work as day after day he received legal questions from all parts of the Muslim world.  All the famous scholars and jurists would wonder at the speed and ease by which Ghaus E Azam would give his decisions in the legal matters.

Various Titles of The Ghaus E Azam

His name is Abdul Qadir, his nickname is Abu Muhammad.  Later he gained the title of Muhiyuddin, that is,  the reviver of religion.  His other titles are Sultan of Awalia, Hazrat Qutb-Al-Aqtab, Syed Us-Sadat, Qutb-Al-Wajoo, Pir Piran, Mir-Miran, Sheikh Al-Syed Muhiyuddin Samdani, Abu Muhammad Abdul Qadir Jilani, Al Hasani, Wal Hussaini, Al Baghdad.

Note: Bibliography will be mentioned in the end of Part II of the article.

About the Author

Initial schooling was from Military College Jhelum.   Mr. Gilani completed Aeronautical Engineering from the United Kingdom or UK. After on the job training, he was granted Aircraft Maintenance Engineer’s License by the Civil Aviation Authority, UK.  Mr. Gilani returned to Pakistan to serve with Pakistan International Airlines also known as PIA, which at that time was one of the best airlines in the world.  After acquiring Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority Aircraft Maintenance Engineer’s License, Syed Nokhez Gilani Qadri was busy advancing his professional status and was promoted and transferred as Engineering Manager to Quetta, Pakistan.  He served with PIA for 12 years, then with Emirates International Airline in Dubai.  Mr. Gilani attended and passed professional courses with distinction at Boeing, Airbus, Rolls-Royce and General Electric Aero Engine.

* The difference between Awalia (Friends of Allah) and the term ‘Saint’ is that the title Saint has been used by the Pope, as he desires and for whomever he chooses.  The qualities or characteristic of the person are not taken into consideration.  You cannot compare a Wali (Friend of Allah), whom Allah holds in high esteem and carries excellent characteristics, with a Saint.

November 8, 2013

WASHINGTON - Pakistani survivors of American drone strikes who live in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of northwest Pakistan, spoke to members of the US Congress Tuesday, and called for an end to killing civilians with weaponized unmanned aerial vehicles.

Rafiqur Rehman; his son Zubair (12); and daughter Nabila (9) told a packed room in the Rayburn House Office Building that Momina Bibi, who perished on October 24, 2012, while working in a field near their home in North Waziristan, was “the string that held the pearls of our family together, and that string has been broken, and we are all lost”.

Congressman Alan Grayson, a Democrat, invited Rafiq to speak in Washington about the strike last October that killed his 67-year-old mother who, he said, was recognized around the region as a midwife, not a militant. Regardless, a weaponized CIA drone executed Momina in front of her grandchildren on Oct 24, 2012.

The US has not formally acknowledged the attack, nor taken responsibility.

“Nobody has ever told me why my mother was targeted that day,” Rafiq said during the Tuesday morning panel. “Only one person was killed that day. A mom, grandma, a midwife.

“The string that holds the pearls together. That is what my mother was,” Rafiq said in an emotionally choked voice. “Since her death, the string has been broken and life has not been the same. We feel alone and we feel lost.”

Speaking before members of Congress, Rafiq thanked Congressman Grayson for the invitation and said it was reassuring that some members of the US government were willing to try and shed light on a gruesome operation rarely acknowledged publicly in Washington.

If he has the opportunity to meet President Barack Obama, Rafiq said, he will ask him to “find a peaceful end to the war in my country, and end these drones.”

Rafiq said he has seen people living peacefully in the United States and wants a similar peaceful environment in North Waziristan and dreams that his children would be able to complete their education and help rebuild Pakistan.“We can achieve peace through education,” he said.

The US and Pakistan should work together to resolve the problem, he said.

“I am a teacher, my job is to educate,” said Rafiq. “But how can I teach this? How can I teach what I don’t understand?”

Rafiq’s 12-year-old son, Zubair, told Grayson and the few congressional colleagues that joined him on the Hill Tuesday that he was with his grandmother last year when she was killed shortly after the buzzing of a drone was heard hovering above them.

“As I helped my grandma in the field, I could see and hear (a) drone overhead but wasn’t worried because we’re not militants,” Zubair said. “I no longer like blue skies. In fact, I prefer gray skies. When sky brightens, drones return and we live in fear.

“We used to love to play outside. But now people are afraid to leave their houses so we don’t play very often,” the boy added.

Zubair’s sister, Nabila, was picking okra in a field with her grandmother at the time of the attack. She testified that she heard the noise from above. “Everything was dark and I couldn’t see anything, but I heard a scream...I was very scared and all I could think of doing was just run,” she said.

They were joined at the hearing by Robert Greenwald, a filmmaker who has been working in Pakistan over the past several months on a project related to the ongoing US drone strikes. Testifying on his own behalf, Greenwald suggested that the ongoing operations waged by the US as an alleged counter-terrorism operation are breeding anti-American sentiment at a rate that makes Qaeda jealous.

“Yes, there are 100 or 200 fanatics, but now you have 800,000 people in this area who hate the US because of this policy,” Greenwald said. Greenwald added that the research he’s seen indicated that 178 children have been killed in Pakistan by US drone strikes. “We’ve gone from being the most popular country among Pakistani to, according to the polling I’ve seen, the least popular,” Grayson said. “And if you ask people why, the reason is this program.”

“I hope that by telling you about my village and grandmother, you realize drones are not the answer,” pleaded 12-year-old Zubair.

Congressman Jan Schakowsky, a Democrat, said at the hearing that she would bring up the witnesses’ plight with the White House. Grayson said that “friends of the military industrial complex” in Washington would likely keep a full discussion from occurring immediately in Washington, adding that “I don’t expect to see a formal hearing conducted on this subject anytime soon.”

November 8, 2013

WASHINGTON - Pakistani survivors of American drone strikes who live in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of northwest Pakistan, spoke to members of the US Congress Tuesday, and called for an end to killing civilians with weaponized unmanned aerial vehicles.

Rafiqur Rehman; his son Zubair (12); and daughter Nabila (9) told a packed room in the Rayburn House Office Building that Momina Bibi, who perished on October 24, 2012, while working in a field near their home in North Waziristan, was “the string that held the pearls of our family together, and that string has been broken, and we are all lost”.

Congressman Alan Grayson, a Democrat, invited Rafiq to speak in Washington about the strike last October that killed his 67-year-old mother who, he said, was recognized around the region as a midwife, not a militant. Regardless, a weaponized CIA drone executed Momina in front of her grandchildren on Oct 24, 2012.

The US has not formally acknowledged the attack, nor taken responsibility.

“Nobody has ever told me why my mother was targeted that day,” Rafiq said during the Tuesday morning panel. “Only one person was killed that day. A mom, grandma, a midwife.

“The string that holds the pearls together. That is what my mother was,” Rafiq said in an emotionally choked voice. “Since her death, the string has been broken and life has not been the same. We feel alone and we feel lost.”

Speaking before members of Congress, Rafiq thanked Congressman Grayson for the invitation and said it was reassuring that some members of the US government were willing to try and shed light on a gruesome operation rarely acknowledged publicly in Washington.

If he has the opportunity to meet President Barack Obama, Rafiq said, he will ask him to “find a peaceful end to the war in my country, and end these drones.”

Rafiq said he has seen people living peacefully in the United States and wants a similar peaceful environment in North Waziristan and dreams that his children would be able to complete their education and help rebuild Pakistan.“We can achieve peace through education,” he said.

The US and Pakistan should work together to resolve the problem, he said.

“I am a teacher, my job is to educate,” said Rafiq. “But how can I teach this? How can I teach what I don’t understand?”

Rafiq’s 12-year-old son, Zubair, told Grayson and the few congressional colleagues that joined him on the Hill Tuesday that he was with his grandmother last year when she was killed shortly after the buzzing of a drone was heard hovering above them.

“As I helped my grandma in the field, I could see and hear (a) drone overhead but wasn’t worried because we’re not militants,” Zubair said. “I no longer like blue skies. In fact, I prefer gray skies. When sky brightens, drones return and we live in fear.

“We used to love to play outside. But now people are afraid to leave their houses so we don’t play very often,” the boy added.

Zubair’s sister, Nabila, was picking okra in a field with her grandmother at the time of the attack. She testified that she heard the noise from above. “Everything was dark and I couldn’t see anything, but I heard a scream...I was very scared and all I could think of doing was just run,” she said.

They were joined at the hearing by Robert Greenwald, a filmmaker who has been working in Pakistan over the past several months on a project related to the ongoing US drone strikes. Testifying on his own behalf, Greenwald suggested that the ongoing operations waged by the US as an alleged counter-terrorism operation are breeding anti-American sentiment at a rate that makes Qaeda jealous.

“Yes, there are 100 or 200 fanatics, but now you have 800,000 people in this area who hate the US because of this policy,” Greenwald said. Greenwald added that the research he’s seen indicated that 178 children have been killed in Pakistan by US drone strikes. “We’ve gone from being the most popular country among Pakistani to, according to the polling I’ve seen, the least popular,” Grayson said. “And if you ask people why, the reason is this program.”

“I hope that by telling you about my village and grandmother, you realize drones are not the answer,” pleaded 12-year-old Zubair.

Congressman Jan Schakowsky, a Democrat, said at the hearing that she would bring up the witnesses’ plight with the White House. Grayson said that “friends of the military industrial complex” in Washington would likely keep a full discussion from occurring immediately in Washington, adding that “I don’t expect to see a formal hearing conducted on this subject anytime soon.”

November 8, 2013

 

(Lahore) A young American housewife has experienced the unfortunate corruption, cruel and inhumane treatment that exists within the Pakistani government. Married to a Pakistani businessman, the young housewife, whose name is withheld to prevent further incident, has lived in Pakistan for over six years and recently required a routine renewal of her Visa. During the process, she and her family were met with rudeness, disregard and an unwillingness to help. Unfortunately, her appalling encounter is becoming the routine for Americans when dealing with corrupt elements in Pakistan. Still, for this young housewife, the memory of years of service by American Muslims shines in contrast to the disrespect delivered to innocent housewives, students, and humanitarian workers who have sacrificed, given aid, and shown kindness to the people of Pakistan who overwhelming support and respect American Muslims. The young housewife speaks exclusively to The Islamic Post about those good works with the aim of exposing and ridding the Pakistani government of those who fraudulently represent them.

 

As an expectant mother in her last trimester, the young American housewife sent her husband’s brother with the paperwork to renew her visa at the Ministry of Interior office in Islamabad. Oddly, it was after review of the documentation that he was spoken to harshly, treated rudely, and told he must bring the passport owner to Islamabad. Her brother-in-law insisted on processing the visa immediately explaining the delicate condition of the young housewife who was under doctor’s orders to refrain from travel. Furthermore, there was no security to accompany her in an area highly susceptible to the abduction of foreign nationals. The explanations afforded no leniency. The reply from the Pakistani official was a firm “no” as well as an indication that the young housewife’s visa might be cancelled altogether.

 

Against doctor’s orders, the young housewife travelled five hours to Islamabad. The Pakistani government official remained discourteous to the young housewife, not caring that she was visually suffering from apparent maternal pangs. Thankfully, his boss learned of the entire situation and immediately gave due and proper respect as well as provided a one-year extension to the visa. After leaving, the young housewife learned that the rude official who initially rejected the paperwork brazenly reversed his boss’s permission and changed the visa to expire in three months. Furthermore, he advised that the young housewife cannot come back to the office for renewal, but instead might have to go to America. She knew these were not empty threats because some years ago several American doctors, humanitarian workers and students were sent home from Pakistan after visa extensions were denied.

 

This type of corruption, hatred and ill-treatment of American Muslims has permeated the government of Pakistan for years and should be known by every American organization. It is well understood that when Muslims from America come to know that one of their honorable daughters has been mistreated, it could cause great strife. To create disruption between the American Muslims and Pakistanis living in America would be a great failing after decades of faithful service provided by American Muslims who work hard to look after Pakistanis everywhere.

After catastrophic disasters, floods and earthquakes, it is the American Muslims who sacrificed time, money and family to travel to the country of Pakistan to offer help to the people. Following the devastating 2005 earthquake, American Muslim Medical Relief Team, AMMRT, sent doctors, nurses and medical staff worked in tent camps to offer food, medicine and comfort to those affected and displaced from their homes. On the contrary, it is well known that many corrupt individuals within the Pakistani government took donations of medicines and money and embezzled them to sell on the black market - denying comfort and healing for their own people. Due to this corruption, the American doctors working in Pakistan were faced with medical supply shortages. At one time there were two hundred burned children seeking medical care, but doctors had no surgical knives. It was the American Muslims who provided the much-needed supplies to save the lives of suffering Pakistani children. In return, the Pakistan government provided not even a word of thanks, except one article found in the daily Nation newspaper.

American Muslims have touched even the lives of Kashmir refugees when the rest of the world turned a blind eye. For four years, American Muslim ladies provided money, food, shelter, education and assistance to the refugees from Kashmir. In 2010, flooding in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan regions of Pakistan was described by General Secretary of the United Nations, Ban Ki Moon, as the worst disaster he’d seen in his life. The American Muslims responded with immediate aid. A member of the American Muslim Medical Relief team recalls their flood relief effort, “During the flood relief work, we were not treated well by the government even though we were there to help the people of Pakistan who appreciated us. When our team was preparing to return home to America, we had a lot of unexpected expenses and unfortunate experiences. For one, we incurred the expense of transporting our medical supplies because Pakistan International Airlines withdrew their offer to carry aid for free. We also had trouble with our visas similar to the young housewife. I remember those two issues being a major setback. We were in the middle of a humanitarian crisis, in which travel visas and transportation should not have been an issue.”  

In the case of the young housewife, the Pakistani official who cancelled the one-year visa should never be allowed to again interfere and mistreat citizens. The family calls for the immediate transfer of the Pakistani official and restoration of the one-year visa as promised. The American Muslims have also formed a delegation who will further pursue the matter in the US. Therefore, this resolution has been promptly adopted by The Muslims of America, Inc., and the staff and students of the International Quranic Open University, Inc for immediate attention.

November 8, 2013

 

(Lahore) A young American housewife has experienced the unfortunate corruption, cruel and inhumane treatment that exists within the Pakistani government. Married to a Pakistani businessman, the young housewife, whose name is withheld to prevent further incident, has lived in Pakistan for over six years and recently required a routine renewal of her Visa. During the process, she and her family were met with rudeness, disregard and an unwillingness to help. Unfortunately, her appalling encounter is becoming the routine for Americans when dealing with corrupt elements in Pakistan. Still, for this young housewife, the memory of years of service by American Muslims shines in contrast to the disrespect delivered to innocent housewives, students, and humanitarian workers who have sacrificed, given aid, and shown kindness to the people of Pakistan who overwhelming support and respect American Muslims. The young housewife speaks exclusively to The Islamic Post about those good works with the aim of exposing and ridding the Pakistani government of those who fraudulently represent them.

 

As an expectant mother in her last trimester, the young American housewife sent her husband’s brother with the paperwork to renew her visa at the Ministry of Interior office in Islamabad. Oddly, it was after review of the documentation that he was spoken to harshly, treated rudely, and told he must bring the passport owner to Islamabad. Her brother-in-law insisted on processing the visa immediately explaining the delicate condition of the young housewife who was under doctor’s orders to refrain from travel. Furthermore, there was no security to accompany her in an area highly susceptible to the abduction of foreign nationals. The explanations afforded no leniency. The reply from the Pakistani official was a firm “no” as well as an indication that the young housewife’s visa might be cancelled altogether.

 

Against doctor’s orders, the young housewife travelled five hours to Islamabad. The Pakistani government official remained discourteous to the young housewife, not caring that she was visually suffering from apparent maternal pangs. Thankfully, his boss learned of the entire situation and immediately gave due and proper respect as well as provided a one-year extension to the visa. After leaving, the young housewife learned that the rude official who initially rejected the paperwork brazenly reversed his boss’s permission and changed the visa to expire in three months. Furthermore, he advised that the young housewife cannot come back to the office for renewal, but instead might have to go to America. She knew these were not empty threats because some years ago several American doctors, humanitarian workers and students were sent home from Pakistan after visa extensions were denied.

 

This type of corruption, hatred and ill-treatment of American Muslims has permeated the government of Pakistan for years and should be known by every American organization. It is well understood that when Muslims from America come to know that one of their honorable daughters has been mistreated, it could cause great strife. To create disruption between the American Muslims and Pakistanis living in America would be a great failing after decades of faithful service provided by American Muslims who work hard to look after Pakistanis everywhere.

After catastrophic disasters, floods and earthquakes, it is the American Muslims who sacrificed time, money and family to travel to the country of Pakistan to offer help to the people. Following the devastating 2005 earthquake, American Muslim Medical Relief Team, AMMRT, sent doctors, nurses and medical staff worked in tent camps to offer food, medicine and comfort to those affected and displaced from their homes. On the contrary, it is well known that many corrupt individuals within the Pakistani government took donations of medicines and money and embezzled them to sell on the black market - denying comfort and healing for their own people. Due to this corruption, the American doctors working in Pakistan were faced with medical supply shortages. At one time there were two hundred burned children seeking medical care, but doctors had no surgical knives. It was the American Muslims who provided the much-needed supplies to save the lives of suffering Pakistani children. In return, the Pakistan government provided not even a word of thanks, except one article found in the daily Nation newspaper.

American Muslims have touched even the lives of Kashmir refugees when the rest of the world turned a blind eye. For four years, American Muslim ladies provided money, food, shelter, education and assistance to the refugees from Kashmir. In 2010, flooding in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan regions of Pakistan was described by General Secretary of the United Nations, Ban Ki Moon, as the worst disaster he’d seen in his life. The American Muslims responded with immediate aid. A member of the American Muslim Medical Relief team recalls their flood relief effort, “During the flood relief work, we were not treated well by the government even though we were there to help the people of Pakistan who appreciated us. When our team was preparing to return home to America, we had a lot of unexpected expenses and unfortunate experiences. For one, we incurred the expense of transporting our medical supplies because Pakistan International Airlines withdrew their offer to carry aid for free. We also had trouble with our visas similar to the young housewife. I remember those two issues being a major setback. We were in the middle of a humanitarian crisis, in which travel visas and transportation should not have been an issue.”  

In the case of the young housewife, the Pakistani official who cancelled the one-year visa should never be allowed to again interfere and mistreat citizens. The family calls for the immediate transfer of the Pakistani official and restoration of the one-year visa as promised. The American Muslims have also formed a delegation who will further pursue the matter in the US. Therefore, this resolution has been promptly adopted by The Muslims of America, Inc., and the staff and students of the International Quranic Open University, Inc for immediate attention.

October 16, 2013

 

Most of the Africans forced to come to America were of noble ancestry.  They came from kings and queens. Many were Muslims - noted scholars having full knowledge of Holy Quran (Hafiz) and the Sunnah (ways and sayings of the Holy Last Messenger) peace and blessings be upon him.  They upheld the five pillars of Islam in a hostile environment.  *A large proportion  of the Muslims arrived in the New World already literate, reading and writing Arabic and their own languages transcribed in the Arabic alphabet.  As other Africans came from exclusively  oral cultures, and as learning to read and write was either illegal or actively discouraged for all slaves in the Americas, literacy became one of the most distinguishing marks of the Muslims.* Contemplating these facts and those to come after,  is it any wonder, that these realities give credence to the saying “America is our country, Islam is our way of life, and freedom is our right?”

The following list are inventions by people of African descent and the possible scenario without them.

There are very few crops that have would have flourished, because the nation was built on a slave-supported system.

There would be no cities with tall skyscrapers because Alexander Miles, a man of African descent, patented an electric elevator, and without his knowledge, one finds great difficulty reaching higher floors.

There are few if any cars because Richard Spikes, a man of African descent, invented the automatic gearshift and in 1932 licensed the patent for $100,000 and he also has a long list of very notable inventions worth mentioning. Joseph Gambol, also of brown color, invented the supercharger system for internal combustion engines and Garrett A. Morgan invented  traffic signals.

Furthermore, one could not use the rapid transit system because its procurer was the electric trolley, which was invented by another man , Albert R. Robinson, yes - of African descent.

Even if there were streets on which cars and a rapid transit system could operate, they would be cluttered with paper because an African American, Charles Brooks, invented the street sweeper.

There were few if any newspapers, magazines and books because John Love invented the pencil sharpener, William Purveys invented the fountain pen, and Lee Barrage invented the typewriting machine and W. A. Love invented the advanced printing press. They were all - you guessed it - of African descent.

Even if Americans could write their letters, articles and books, they would not have been transported by mail because William Barry invented the postmarking and canceling machine, William Purveys invented the handstamp and Philip Downing invented the letter drop.

The lawns were brown and wilted because Joseph Smith invented the Lawn Sprinkler and John Burr the lawn mower.

When they entered their homes, they found them to be poorly ventilated and poorly heated. You see, Frederick Jones invented the air conditioner and Alice Parker the heating furnace.

 

Their homes were also dim. But of course, Lewis Lattimer later invented the electric Lamp, Michael Harvey invented the lantern and Granville T. Woods invented the automatic cut off switch.

Their homes were also filthy because Thomas W. Steward invented the household mop and Lloyd P. Ray the dust pan.

Their children met them at the door-barefooted, shabby, motley and unkempt. But what could one expect?

Jan E. Matzelinger invented the shoe lacing machine, Walter Sammons invented the comb, Sarah  Boone invented the ironing Board and George T. Samon invented the clothes dryer.

Finally, they were resigned to at least have dinner amidst all of this turmoil. But here again, the food had spoiled because another man of color, John Standard invented the refrigerator.

Now, isn't that something? What would this country be like without the contributions of Negros (colored people), as African-Americans? Sarah Breedlove known as Madam C. J. Walker, was an American entrepreneur and philanthropist, regarded as the first female self made millionaire in America. She made her fortune by developing and marketing a successful line of beauty and hair products for women of African descent under the company she founded, Madam C. J. Walker Manufacturing Company. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "by the time we leave for work, Americans have depended on the inventions from the minds of Blacks." African American history includes more than just slavery - Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey & W.E.B. Dubois, and President Barack H. Obama, first person of African descent and Ahl i Bayt (descendant of the Holy Last Messenger Muhammad - peace and blessing be upon him) to be president of United States of America.   

October 16, 2013

 

Most of the Africans forced to come to America were of noble ancestry.  They came from kings and queens. Many were Muslims - noted scholars having full knowledge of Holy Quran (Hafiz) and the Sunnah (ways and sayings of the Holy Last Messenger) peace and blessings be upon him.  They upheld the five pillars of Islam in a hostile environment.  *A large proportion  of the Muslims arrived in the New World already literate, reading and writing Arabic and their own languages transcribed in the Arabic alphabet.  As other Africans came from exclusively  oral cultures, and as learning to read and write was either illegal or actively discouraged for all slaves in the Americas, literacy became one of the most distinguishing marks of the Muslims.* Contemplating these facts and those to come after,  is it any wonder, that these realities give credence to the saying “America is our country, Islam is our way of life, and freedom is our right?”

The following list are inventions by people of African descent and the possible scenario without them.

There are very few crops that have would have flourished, because the nation was built on a slave-supported system.

There would be no cities with tall skyscrapers because Alexander Miles, a man of African descent, patented an electric elevator, and without his knowledge, one finds great difficulty reaching higher floors.

There are few if any cars because Richard Spikes, a man of African descent, invented the automatic gearshift and in 1932 licensed the patent for $100,000 and he also has a long list of very notable inventions worth mentioning. Joseph Gambol, also of brown color, invented the supercharger system for internal combustion engines and Garrett A. Morgan invented  traffic signals.

Furthermore, one could not use the rapid transit system because its procurer was the electric trolley, which was invented by another man , Albert R. Robinson, yes - of African descent.

Even if there were streets on which cars and a rapid transit system could operate, they would be cluttered with paper because an African American, Charles Brooks, invented the street sweeper.

There were few if any newspapers, magazines and books because John Love invented the pencil sharpener, William Purveys invented the fountain pen, and Lee Barrage invented the typewriting machine and W. A. Love invented the advanced printing press. They were all - you guessed it - of African descent.

Even if Americans could write their letters, articles and books, they would not have been transported by mail because William Barry invented the postmarking and canceling machine, William Purveys invented the handstamp and Philip Downing invented the letter drop.

The lawns were brown and wilted because Joseph Smith invented the Lawn Sprinkler and John Burr the lawn mower.

When they entered their homes, they found them to be poorly ventilated and poorly heated. You see, Frederick Jones invented the air conditioner and Alice Parker the heating furnace.

 

Their homes were also dim. But of course, Lewis Lattimer later invented the electric Lamp, Michael Harvey invented the lantern and Granville T. Woods invented the automatic cut off switch.

Their homes were also filthy because Thomas W. Steward invented the household mop and Lloyd P. Ray the dust pan.

Their children met them at the door-barefooted, shabby, motley and unkempt. But what could one expect?

Jan E. Matzelinger invented the shoe lacing machine, Walter Sammons invented the comb, Sarah  Boone invented the ironing Board and George T. Samon invented the clothes dryer.

Finally, they were resigned to at least have dinner amidst all of this turmoil. But here again, the food had spoiled because another man of color, John Standard invented the refrigerator.

Now, isn't that something? What would this country be like without the contributions of Negros (colored people), as African-Americans? Sarah Breedlove known as Madam C. J. Walker, was an American entrepreneur and philanthropist, regarded as the first female self made millionaire in America. She made her fortune by developing and marketing a successful line of beauty and hair products for women of African descent under the company she founded, Madam C. J. Walker Manufacturing Company. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "by the time we leave for work, Americans have depended on the inventions from the minds of Blacks." African American history includes more than just slavery - Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey & W.E.B. Dubois, and President Barack H. Obama, first person of African descent and Ahl i Bayt (descendant of the Holy Last Messenger Muhammad - peace and blessing be upon him) to be president of United States of America.   

October 16, 2013

Many of us grow old before our time.  The worries of this world overwhelm us.  We are always aspiring for something worldly that is far reaching.  It takes us away from our true focus, Almighty Allah.  One hundred years ago, the life expectancy for men was 48 and for women 52.  Today, we outlive our ancestors because life isn’t as hard.  Years ago people walked long distances, which of course, kept them in shape.  Today, we walk very little.  As our bodies change, so do our organs inside.  Our heart rate becomes slightly slower, and our hearts may even become bigger.  Our blood vessels and arteries also become stiffer, which causes the heart to work harder.  Often times, this leads to hypertension and other cardiovascular problems. What can we do to improve our aging and get the best quality of life as well?  

Understanding how your body works is a step in the right direction.  Let’s look at an overview of how the body works.

Our Cardiovascular System, bones, joints and muscles

 A healthy heart needs oxygen, and the best oxygen is obtained through breathing deeply.  Exercise such as walking, running, stepping in place, playing catch and throwing the ball over your head are all activities that force you to breathe deeper, if done long enough.  Healthy foods play their part also.  Wild salmon, blueberries, spinach, cumin, cinnamon, sweet potatoes, green tea, and nuts are all good foods for overall aging.

When we age, the bones tend to shrink in size and density, which weakens them and makes them more susceptible to fracture. You might even become a bit shorter. Muscles generally lose strength and flexibility, and you might become less coordinated or have trouble balancing. To promote bone, joint and muscle health:

  • Get adequate amounts of calcium. For adults ages 19 to 50 and men ages 51 to 70, the Institute of Medicine recommends 1,000 milligrams (mg) of calcium a day. The recommendation increases to 1,200 mg a day for women age 51 and older and men age 71 and older. Natural sources of calcium include organic dairy products, almonds, broccoli, kale, wild salmon, parsley, sage, basil, dark leafy vegetables, thyme and fresh sardines.

  • Get adequate amounts of vitamin D. For adults ages 19 to 70, the Institute of Medicine recommends 600 international units (IU) of vitamin D a day. The recommendation increases to 800 IU a day for adults age 71 and older. When using supplements, make sure they are of vegetable sources.  Many people get adequate amounts of vitamin D from sunlight, this might not be a good enough source for everyone. Other sources of vitamin D include oily fish, such as tuna and sardines, the herbs horsetail, nettle, alfalfa and parsley, egg yolks and vitamin D-fortified organic milk.

  • Include physical activity in your daily routine. Weight-bearing exercises, such as walking, jogging, tennis and climbing stairs, and strength training can help you build strong bones and slow bone loss.

Our Digestive System

Constipation is more common in older adults. Many factors can contribute to constipation, including a low-fiber diet, not drinking enough fluids and lack of exercise. Medications such as diuretics and iron supplements and certain medical conditions such as diabetes and irritable bowel syndrome may also contribute to constipation.  To prevent constipation:

  • Eat a healthy diet. Make sure your diet includes high-fiber foods, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Limit meats that are:  high in fat, dairy products and sweets, which might cause constipation. Drink plenty of water and other fluids.

  • Include physical activity in your daily routine. Regular physical activity can help prevent constipation and is important for your overall health.

  • Don't ignore the urge to have a bowel movement. Holding in a bowel movement for too long can cause constipation.

  • Use Herbal supplements such as;

   A mixture of the following herbs brewed into a tea

  • 3 tsp.  powdered psyllium husk

  • 2 tsp.  dandelion root

  • 2 tsp.  senna pods crushed

  • 1tsp.  ginger root

  • 1tsp.  licorice root

Our Bladder and Urinary Tract

Loss of bladder control (urinary incontinence) is common with aging. Medical conditions, such as diabetes, might contribute to incontinence — as can menopause, for women, and an enlarged prostate, for men.
To promote bladder and urinary tract health:

Losing weight is a very good beginning.  Getting enough magnesium in the diet (peppers, bananas ALL ORGANIC), vitamin D from sunlight and cutting out the caffeine.  You will be surprised to learn that caffeine is in energy water drinks.  Pure drinking water is your best choice.  Staying hydrated is a must throughout life and especially in you.our later years,. drinking more water and staying hydrated.  A few herbs that are helpful are saw palmetto, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin seed oil, and extract.

Our Memory

Memory tends to becomes less efficient with age. It might take longer to learn new things or remember familiar words or names. To keep your memory sharp:

  • Eat a healthy diet. A heart healthy diet might benefit your brain. Focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Choose low-fat protein sources, such as fish, lean meat and skinless poultry. What you drink counts, too.  Herbs to help are ginkgo biloba, st john’s wort, and alfalfa.

  • Include physical activity in your daily routine. Physical activity increases blood flow to your whole body, including your brain. This might help keep your memory sharp.

  • Drink pure clean water, there is no replacing it.  It is easier to dehydrate when you are older.  Make a point of drinking lots of good clean water.  Avoid bottled water as much as possible.  There are a ton of harmful chemicals in the water and the plastic.  It is most often tap water in a bottle.  It is important to have a pure water source.  It affects healing and good health in general.

  • Stay mentally active. Mentally stimulating activities help keep your brain in shape.  Read Holy Quran and listen to it.  Play games with your grandchildren.  Crochet, knit, grow a garden, paint or do crossword puzzles. Take alternate routes when driving.

  • Be social. Social interaction helps ward off depression and stress, which can contribute to memory loss. Look for opportunities to get together with loved ones, friends and others.  Open up and share your life with others.

Finally, there was a study done on 678 elderly nuns between the ages of 74- 104.  During this study, which ended barbarically (because they did autopsies on all of the deceased), they found that these women were extremely energetic and looked younger than their actual ages. Here are their findings;  AD stands for Alzheimer’s Disease.

  • High linguistic ability in early life seems to protect against AD.

  • Lifestyles can affect one's chances for a mentally healthy old age.

  • A positive attitude and spirit, involvement in community, and faith contribute to health and longevity.

This is no secret.  Living a healthy, happy life can be obtained by doing your daily worship rituals.  These poor women were used as guinea pigs for the pleasure of demented scientists.  Fast food is the killer of many, as we now know.  Stay away from all processed foods.  Love your community and work for it.  Play with your grandchildren, take an interest in their Islamic education - they are our future.  Stay active in your community, learn new things and help everyone who needs your help, solely for the Sake of Allah.  Learn to love, and be loved in return.

October 16, 2013

Many of us grow old before our time.  The worries of this world overwhelm us.  We are always aspiring for something worldly that is far reaching.  It takes us away from our true focus, Almighty Allah.  One hundred years ago, the life expectancy for men was 48 and for women 52.  Today, we outlive our ancestors because life isn’t as hard.  Years ago people walked long distances, which of course, kept them in shape.  Today, we walk very little.  As our bodies change, so do our organs inside.  Our heart rate becomes slightly slower, and our hearts may even become bigger.  Our blood vessels and arteries also become stiffer, which causes the heart to work harder.  Often times, this leads to hypertension and other cardiovascular problems. What can we do to improve our aging and get the best quality of life as well?  

Understanding how your body works is a step in the right direction.  Let’s look at an overview of how the body works.

Our Cardiovascular System, bones, joints and muscles

 A healthy heart needs oxygen, and the best oxygen is obtained through breathing deeply.  Exercise such as walking, running, stepping in place, playing catch and throwing the ball over your head are all activities that force you to breathe deeper, if done long enough.  Healthy foods play their part also.  Wild salmon, blueberries, spinach, cumin, cinnamon, sweet potatoes, green tea, and nuts are all good foods for overall aging.

When we age, the bones tend to shrink in size and density, which weakens them and makes them more susceptible to fracture. You might even become a bit shorter. Muscles generally lose strength and flexibility, and you might become less coordinated or have trouble balancing. To promote bone, joint and muscle health:

  • Get adequate amounts of calcium. For adults ages 19 to 50 and men ages 51 to 70, the Institute of Medicine recommends 1,000 milligrams (mg) of calcium a day. The recommendation increases to 1,200 mg a day for women age 51 and older and men age 71 and older. Natural sources of calcium include organic dairy products, almonds, broccoli, kale, wild salmon, parsley, sage, basil, dark leafy vegetables, thyme and fresh sardines.

  • Get adequate amounts of vitamin D. For adults ages 19 to 70, the Institute of Medicine recommends 600 international units (IU) of vitamin D a day. The recommendation increases to 800 IU a day for adults age 71 and older. When using supplements, make sure they are of vegetable sources.  Many people get adequate amounts of vitamin D from sunlight, this might not be a good enough source for everyone. Other sources of vitamin D include oily fish, such as tuna and sardines, the herbs horsetail, nettle, alfalfa and parsley, egg yolks and vitamin D-fortified organic milk.

  • Include physical activity in your daily routine. Weight-bearing exercises, such as walking, jogging, tennis and climbing stairs, and strength training can help you build strong bones and slow bone loss.

Our Digestive System

Constipation is more common in older adults. Many factors can contribute to constipation, including a low-fiber diet, not drinking enough fluids and lack of exercise. Medications such as diuretics and iron supplements and certain medical conditions such as diabetes and irritable bowel syndrome may also contribute to constipation.  To prevent constipation:

  • Eat a healthy diet. Make sure your diet includes high-fiber foods, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Limit meats that are:  high in fat, dairy products and sweets, which might cause constipation. Drink plenty of water and other fluids.

  • Include physical activity in your daily routine. Regular physical activity can help prevent constipation and is important for your overall health.

  • Don't ignore the urge to have a bowel movement. Holding in a bowel movement for too long can cause constipation.

  • Use Herbal supplements such as;

   A mixture of the following herbs brewed into a tea

  • 3 tsp.  powdered psyllium husk

  • 2 tsp.  dandelion root

  • 2 tsp.  senna pods crushed

  • 1tsp.  ginger root

  • 1tsp.  licorice root

Our Bladder and Urinary Tract

Loss of bladder control (urinary incontinence) is common with aging. Medical conditions, such as diabetes, might contribute to incontinence — as can menopause, for women, and an enlarged prostate, for men.
To promote bladder and urinary tract health:

Losing weight is a very good beginning.  Getting enough magnesium in the diet (peppers, bananas ALL ORGANIC), vitamin D from sunlight and cutting out the caffeine.  You will be surprised to learn that caffeine is in energy water drinks.  Pure drinking water is your best choice.  Staying hydrated is a must throughout life and especially in you.our later years,. drinking more water and staying hydrated.  A few herbs that are helpful are saw palmetto, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin seed oil, and extract.

Our Memory

Memory tends to becomes less efficient with age. It might take longer to learn new things or remember familiar words or names. To keep your memory sharp:

  • Eat a healthy diet. A heart healthy diet might benefit your brain. Focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Choose low-fat protein sources, such as fish, lean meat and skinless poultry. What you drink counts, too.  Herbs to help are ginkgo biloba, st john’s wort, and alfalfa.

  • Include physical activity in your daily routine. Physical activity increases blood flow to your whole body, including your brain. This might help keep your memory sharp.

  • Drink pure clean water, there is no replacing it.  It is easier to dehydrate when you are older.  Make a point of drinking lots of good clean water.  Avoid bottled water as much as possible.  There are a ton of harmful chemicals in the water and the plastic.  It is most often tap water in a bottle.  It is important to have a pure water source.  It affects healing and good health in general.

  • Stay mentally active. Mentally stimulating activities help keep your brain in shape.  Read Holy Quran and listen to it.  Play games with your grandchildren.  Crochet, knit, grow a garden, paint or do crossword puzzles. Take alternate routes when driving.

  • Be social. Social interaction helps ward off depression and stress, which can contribute to memory loss. Look for opportunities to get together with loved ones, friends and others.  Open up and share your life with others.

Finally, there was a study done on 678 elderly nuns between the ages of 74- 104.  During this study, which ended barbarically (because they did autopsies on all of the deceased), they found that these women were extremely energetic and looked younger than their actual ages. Here are their findings;  AD stands for Alzheimer’s Disease.

  • High linguistic ability in early life seems to protect against AD.

  • Lifestyles can affect one's chances for a mentally healthy old age.

  • A positive attitude and spirit, involvement in community, and faith contribute to health and longevity.

This is no secret.  Living a healthy, happy life can be obtained by doing your daily worship rituals.  These poor women were used as guinea pigs for the pleasure of demented scientists.  Fast food is the killer of many, as we now know.  Stay away from all processed foods.  Love your community and work for it.  Play with your grandchildren, take an interest in their Islamic education - they are our future.  Stay active in your community, learn new things and help everyone who needs your help, solely for the Sake of Allah.  Learn to love, and be loved in return.

October 16, 2013

 

Let us see what Isabella had been doing in connection with these discussions and what were her activities in the meantime.  In fact, all this time her mind was filled with the subject matter of these discussions and all other engagements and social entanglements were relegated to the background. After the discussion between the priests and Umar Lahmi she had come to the conclusion that the priests had no answer to the objections of Muslims and her belief in Christianity had been shaken and no argument could keep her firm on it.  During this time she had often secretly met Umar Lahmi and sought information about the Muslim creed.  The talk between Umar Lahmi and her father (the head priest) had also concluded at her house and more than a month had passed on it.  Nevertheless she continued her inquiry.  She had also met several times Ziad b. Umar, the Qasi of Islam in Cordova, through Umar Lahmi and got consolation from him.  Ziad b. Umar, besides being a profound scholar of Islam, was a God-fearing man of piety.  Muslims of Spain revered him as a Wali Allah (Friend of Allah), Isabella’s mind was greatly affected by several visits to him and she became attached to Islam and Fully realised that Islam is the true religion while Christianity is a mixture of misguidance and disruptions.  The head priest had asked Umar Lahmi in the cathedral to come to his house next day and had also invited all the priests.  So early next morning Umar Lahmi with some of his associates and divines reached the house of the head priest and was treated with respect and given refreshments in a separate room  Then more than forty Christian divines also arrived and the head priest then addressed Umar Lahmi.

Head Priest:  I know the questions which you will ask, but I do not want to go into details and prolong the talk.  I will say just a word or two which may lead to the result in minutes instead of hours.  What I mean is that Islam and Christianity may be tested by their basic teachings and whichever teaching is best the religion which taught it will be true.  Is it not so?

Umar Lahmi:  I have no objection to anything and I am prepared to discuss on any lines that you choose.  Surely, it is by the teachings of Christianity and Islam that truth and falsehood can be known.

Head Priest:  Bravo, bravo! Surely the help of the Holy Ghost is on your side and you will soon come from the wrong path to right guidance.  Now, that you have agreed to the lines suggested by me, let me proceed.  In every religion there are basic principles and matters of detail.  I want to put before you the essences of Christianity in just one word and desire that you will also give the essence of your religion in one word.  Do you agree?

Umar Lahmi:  Yes, you may proceed.  I agree to whatever you say.

Head Priest:  (to the priests), “See, this is the way to talk!  Just one word decides the issue, (to Umar Lahmi:) Now listen.  The essence of Christianity is “Love”.  Christianity has been condensed in a single word.  Now, you have also to give the essence of Islam in one word.

Umar Lahmi: I am proud to say that Islam has also condensed the essence of its teachings in a single word which covers all basic principles and details.  The root of Islamic principles and teachings is Tauhid (unity).  

Head Priest:  If the essence of Islam is Tauhid (unity), then love has been excluded from it.  Besides, we also say “unity” to be the essence of our religion.

Umar Lahmi:  If Tauhid were the essence of your religion, you should have said so.  Why did you say that love is the essence of your religion?  Now, it is quite wrong to say that by accepting “unity” as the essence of religion, “love” is excluded from it.  On the other hand, the fact is that “love” comes from “unity”.  If “unity” is not taken with all its requisites, love will be a meaningless word.  To accept ‘love’ as the essence of religion means total denial of ‘unity,” or not to take it as the essence of religion.

Head Priest:  The thing is that “unity” comes from “love.” and not “love” from “unity”.

Umar Lahmi:  This is an example of perverted logic.  If unity comes from love, then love is quite a meaningless word.  Because without unity, that is, want of knowledge of Allah, love of Allah will be excluded from it as love of Allah depends on the knowledge of the divine, and unity is but the true recognition of the divine.  Mere love does not prove love of Allah.

Head Priest:  You have started a long discussion.  What I mean is that love has no place in Islam.

Umar Lahmi:  If love has no place in Islam, then love does not exist at all in the world.  It can, on the other hand, be said that there is not the least trace of love in Christianity. Where love is merely a verbal claim, it has neither any standard nor proof.

Head Priest:  Look here.  It is a well-known slogan of our Scriptures that God is love.  Is it not the proof of love?

Umar Lahmi:  It is nothing but merely a verbal claim.  Unless there is a standard of love, the prescribed theory of love will not be acceptable.

Head Priest:  Now, you define the standard of love.  Have not our Scriptures called God father?  Does not father love his children?

Umar Lahmi:  Mere repetition of the word love leads us nowhere unless all its conditions are fulfilled.  If anyone loves another, he should prove it by the sacrifice of his life and possessions and then only can he be said to have loved truly.  Therefore Islam has prescribed obedience and service as the criterion of love which is another name of sacrifice of life and possessions. The Holy Quran says to the Messenger: (peace and blessings be upon him)  “Qul in kuntum tuhibbun Allah fat-tabi’uni yuhbibkum Allah”  [Say:  If you love Allah, follow me:  Allah will love you].* Thus this verse has prescribed a standard of love which has discriminated between true and false love.  But in your religion there is no criterion of love.  Any pretender can stand up and say that he loves Allah.  

Head Priest:  You have again started a long discussion.  I want that everything should be comprehensive so that the decision may be arrived at quickly.  However, If your Holy Quran has also called God father, which is the highest position of love?

Umar Lahmi:  If the Quran had used the word father for God, it would have been the greatest proof of its deficiency.  Islam never used this misleading word for God but, on the other hand, has used such words as have the most sublime significance as compared to the term father.  

Head Priest:  You are very impudent, calling the word “father” misleading.  Now, tell me quickly what better word Islam has used instead of father.  (The head priest’s neck at this time became stiff and foam cane from his mouth in great anger).  

Umar Lahmi:  There is no reason for the loss of temper.  I have called the word “father” misleading because it has become the basis of assigning partners to Allah, and people invented a son to Allah.  Christians also believe in the divinity of Christ.  As to the better word in place of father used by Islam, that word is Rabb (fosterer), which implies a Being who fosters from beginning to end and his fostering care never ends.  So by using the word “fosterer” Islam has taught that Allah’s fostering love is never withdrawn.  But the concept of father implies that father will care for his child up to a certain time and will then become indifferent. Besides, a father can care for his child only in optional matters but not in matters beyond his control.  If the child falls ill, father cannot cure his illness while the fostering of Allah is no so; He has power over everything and in nothing is He helpless and His fostering care is everlasting.  This proves that, instead of father, fosterer is more suited to the Dignity of Allah and, besides, fosterer is indicative of “Unity of Allah,” while father is the source of assigning partner to Allah in the world.  

Head Priest:  The effects of the fosterer as indicated by you find no proof in the world while you cannot shut your eyes to father’s love.  So how can one accept a word without meaning which has no proof in the world, while you cannot ignore the effects of father’s love.

Umar Lahmi:  Unfortunately, the creed of Atonement has clouded your vision, otherwise you could not have said so.  We see every day that a child is fostered in its mother’s womb and in childhood and youth and old age the fostering care continues.  That is, His fostering continues from beginning to end.  It is not the work of the Rabb (Fosterer) which we see every day?

Head Priest:  The Bible says that God has such a love with the people of the world that He sacrificed His only child for the sake of men.  What better proof can be of love that father sacrifices his dearest thing for love.

Umar Lahmi:  This very statement of the Bible refutes your claim.  You mean that the father is one who sacrifices his pure and innocent son for the sake of impure and sinful men.  That is, father’s love was manifested thus that he killed his innocent son.  But the fosterer is one who is not unjust to anyone.  On the other hand, He punishes the unjust.  The Holy Quran says:  “Wa la tuziru waziratun wizra ukhr” [And no burdened soul can bear another’s burden]. **  But your father killed his own child.  If to crucify and kill one’s innocent and sinless child is love we cannot touch such love with a pair of tongs.

Head Priest;  (to other priests):  I had thought that this man was inclined to Jesus Christ, but he is a stiff “unbeliever”.  Everything that I have said is of high order but how can these people understand them?  (to Umar Lahmi):  Your heart has turned black.  Christ does not want to accept you.  Now, you go away from here.  I have nothing todo with you.  You just came to annoy me.  (To the priests):  You should also have no concern with these people.  You have seen that they are so hot-headed, they would not agree to anything.

Umar Lahmi:  But, sir……………

Head Priest:  Shut up, now.  I have seen for what purpose you came here and with what object you talk to us.  So saying the Head Priest, exhibiting his Christian manners, left for his room on the upper storey.  Umar Lahmi and other Muslim divines came out raising the cry of “Nasrun min Allah wa fathun qarib” [Help from Allah and victory is a hand].***  

Voicing the slogan of victory, Umar Lahmi and other Muslim divines returned to their respective homes.  Isabella had attentively listened to the talk of both sides.  With her were her friends and other respectable Christian ladies.  In the evening when Isabella’s friends gathered again comments started on the morning talk.  Whatever little faith Isabella had in Christianity was shattered and she full realised that the Christian creed was just a sham which had neither any basis nor any principle.  Earlier meetings had left her with the impression that Michael, Peter and others were not well informed, but her father, the head priest, had profound knowledge of the reality of Christianity and, therefore, if these people were unable to meet the questions of Muslims, she had thought, her father would be able to silence them.  But after listening this last talk she was thoroughly disappointed and had left no alternative but to conclude that the basis of Christianity was no better than the spider’s web.

A month had passed and a great revolution had come in the mind of Isabella.  She had secretly beeen meeting Umar Lahmi and, through him, other divines like Ziad b. Umar in Cordova.  She was not more devoted to the study of the Holy Quran and the truth of Islam was taking deep root in her mind.  She made a comparative study of the Holy Quran and the Bible to find out which of the two had greater truth and which was just a mixture of superstitions.  She had given thought according to her lights to the problems of Unity of Allah, Messenger Hood, the Holy Quran, salutation, atonement, intercession, meaning of sin and human acts and their consequences.  

She was no longer a devotee of Christianity, but had bowed her head to Islam.  But often she was perturbed with the idea of giving up a religion she had followed from her birth.  What trials and tribulations she might have to face on going over to Islam.  She will have to forsake her father, mother, sisters and relatives.  How shall her future life be?  But, immediately it struck her that trials and troubles have to be encountered in the path of truth and if, after recognising the truth, she did not openly declare it she will be guilty in the sight of Allah.

When Umar Lahmi Learnt of her perturbation he secretly sent word to her to recite then times each morning and evening the verse of the Holy Quran:  “Rabbi adkhilni mudkhala sidqin wa akhrijni mukhraja sidqin waj ‘al-li minladunka sultaman nasire” [My Lord! make me enter a truthful entering, and make me go forth a truthful going forth, and grant me from Thy presence an authority to help (me)]. ****  Allah willing, her anxiety will be relieved.

So Isabella followed this advice.  By reciting this verse morning and evening she felt as if some mysterious power was giving strength to her heart and removing her fears.  This prompt effect of the verse further strengthened her faith in Islam and she became more devoted to the Holy Quran and Islam.  

October 16, 2013

 

Let us see what Isabella had been doing in connection with these discussions and what were her activities in the meantime.  In fact, all this time her mind was filled with the subject matter of these discussions and all other engagements and social entanglements were relegated to the background. After the discussion between the priests and Umar Lahmi she had come to the conclusion that the priests had no answer to the objections of Muslims and her belief in Christianity had been shaken and no argument could keep her firm on it.  During this time she had often secretly met Umar Lahmi and sought information about the Muslim creed.  The talk between Umar Lahmi and her father (the head priest) had also concluded at her house and more than a month had passed on it.  Nevertheless she continued her inquiry.  She had also met several times Ziad b. Umar, the Qasi of Islam in Cordova, through Umar Lahmi and got consolation from him.  Ziad b. Umar, besides being a profound scholar of Islam, was a God-fearing man of piety.  Muslims of Spain revered him as a Wali Allah (Friend of Allah), Isabella’s mind was greatly affected by several visits to him and she became attached to Islam and Fully realised that Islam is the true religion while Christianity is a mixture of misguidance and disruptions.  The head priest had asked Umar Lahmi in the cathedral to come to his house next day and had also invited all the priests.  So early next morning Umar Lahmi with some of his associates and divines reached the house of the head priest and was treated with respect and given refreshments in a separate room  Then more than forty Christian divines also arrived and the head priest then addressed Umar Lahmi.

Head Priest:  I know the questions which you will ask, but I do not want to go into details and prolong the talk.  I will say just a word or two which may lead to the result in minutes instead of hours.  What I mean is that Islam and Christianity may be tested by their basic teachings and whichever teaching is best the religion which taught it will be true.  Is it not so?

Umar Lahmi:  I have no objection to anything and I am prepared to discuss on any lines that you choose.  Surely, it is by the teachings of Christianity and Islam that truth and falsehood can be known.

Head Priest:  Bravo, bravo! Surely the help of the Holy Ghost is on your side and you will soon come from the wrong path to right guidance.  Now, that you have agreed to the lines suggested by me, let me proceed.  In every religion there are basic principles and matters of detail.  I want to put before you the essences of Christianity in just one word and desire that you will also give the essence of your religion in one word.  Do you agree?

Umar Lahmi:  Yes, you may proceed.  I agree to whatever you say.

Head Priest:  (to the priests), “See, this is the way to talk!  Just one word decides the issue, (to Umar Lahmi:) Now listen.  The essence of Christianity is “Love”.  Christianity has been condensed in a single word.  Now, you have also to give the essence of Islam in one word.

Umar Lahmi: I am proud to say that Islam has also condensed the essence of its teachings in a single word which covers all basic principles and details.  The root of Islamic principles and teachings is Tauhid (unity).  

Head Priest:  If the essence of Islam is Tauhid (unity), then love has been excluded from it.  Besides, we also say “unity” to be the essence of our religion.

Umar Lahmi:  If Tauhid were the essence of your religion, you should have said so.  Why did you say that love is the essence of your religion?  Now, it is quite wrong to say that by accepting “unity” as the essence of religion, “love” is excluded from it.  On the other hand, the fact is that “love” comes from “unity”.  If “unity” is not taken with all its requisites, love will be a meaningless word.  To accept ‘love’ as the essence of religion means total denial of ‘unity,” or not to take it as the essence of religion.

Head Priest:  The thing is that “unity” comes from “love.” and not “love” from “unity”.

Umar Lahmi:  This is an example of perverted logic.  If unity comes from love, then love is quite a meaningless word.  Because without unity, that is, want of knowledge of Allah, love of Allah will be excluded from it as love of Allah depends on the knowledge of the divine, and unity is but the true recognition of the divine.  Mere love does not prove love of Allah.

Head Priest:  You have started a long discussion.  What I mean is that love has no place in Islam.

Umar Lahmi:  If love has no place in Islam, then love does not exist at all in the world.  It can, on the other hand, be said that there is not the least trace of love in Christianity. Where love is merely a verbal claim, it has neither any standard nor proof.

Head Priest:  Look here.  It is a well-known slogan of our Scriptures that God is love.  Is it not the proof of love?

Umar Lahmi:  It is nothing but merely a verbal claim.  Unless there is a standard of love, the prescribed theory of love will not be acceptable.

Head Priest:  Now, you define the standard of love.  Have not our Scriptures called God father?  Does not father love his children?

Umar Lahmi:  Mere repetition of the word love leads us nowhere unless all its conditions are fulfilled.  If anyone loves another, he should prove it by the sacrifice of his life and possessions and then only can he be said to have loved truly.  Therefore Islam has prescribed obedience and service as the criterion of love which is another name of sacrifice of life and possessions. The Holy Quran says to the Messenger: (peace and blessings be upon him)  “Qul in kuntum tuhibbun Allah fat-tabi’uni yuhbibkum Allah”  [Say:  If you love Allah, follow me:  Allah will love you].* Thus this verse has prescribed a standard of love which has discriminated between true and false love.  But in your religion there is no criterion of love.  Any pretender can stand up and say that he loves Allah.  

Head Priest:  You have again started a long discussion.  I want that everything should be comprehensive so that the decision may be arrived at quickly.  However, If your Holy Quran has also called God father, which is the highest position of love?

Umar Lahmi:  If the Quran had used the word father for God, it would have been the greatest proof of its deficiency.  Islam never used this misleading word for God but, on the other hand, has used such words as have the most sublime significance as compared to the term father.  

Head Priest:  You are very impudent, calling the word “father” misleading.  Now, tell me quickly what better word Islam has used instead of father.  (The head priest’s neck at this time became stiff and foam cane from his mouth in great anger).  

Umar Lahmi:  There is no reason for the loss of temper.  I have called the word “father” misleading because it has become the basis of assigning partners to Allah, and people invented a son to Allah.  Christians also believe in the divinity of Christ.  As to the better word in place of father used by Islam, that word is Rabb (fosterer), which implies a Being who fosters from beginning to end and his fostering care never ends.  So by using the word “fosterer” Islam has taught that Allah’s fostering love is never withdrawn.  But the concept of father implies that father will care for his child up to a certain time and will then become indifferent. Besides, a father can care for his child only in optional matters but not in matters beyond his control.  If the child falls ill, father cannot cure his illness while the fostering of Allah is no so; He has power over everything and in nothing is He helpless and His fostering care is everlasting.  This proves that, instead of father, fosterer is more suited to the Dignity of Allah and, besides, fosterer is indicative of “Unity of Allah,” while father is the source of assigning partner to Allah in the world.  

Head Priest:  The effects of the fosterer as indicated by you find no proof in the world while you cannot shut your eyes to father’s love.  So how can one accept a word without meaning which has no proof in the world, while you cannot ignore the effects of father’s love.

Umar Lahmi:  Unfortunately, the creed of Atonement has clouded your vision, otherwise you could not have said so.  We see every day that a child is fostered in its mother’s womb and in childhood and youth and old age the fostering care continues.  That is, His fostering continues from beginning to end.  It is not the work of the Rabb (Fosterer) which we see every day?

Head Priest:  The Bible says that God has such a love with the people of the world that He sacrificed His only child for the sake of men.  What better proof can be of love that father sacrifices his dearest thing for love.

Umar Lahmi:  This very statement of the Bible refutes your claim.  You mean that the father is one who sacrifices his pure and innocent son for the sake of impure and sinful men.  That is, father’s love was manifested thus that he killed his innocent son.  But the fosterer is one who is not unjust to anyone.  On the other hand, He punishes the unjust.  The Holy Quran says:  “Wa la tuziru waziratun wizra ukhr” [And no burdened soul can bear another’s burden]. **  But your father killed his own child.  If to crucify and kill one’s innocent and sinless child is love we cannot touch such love with a pair of tongs.

Head Priest;  (to other priests):  I had thought that this man was inclined to Jesus Christ, but he is a stiff “unbeliever”.  Everything that I have said is of high order but how can these people understand them?  (to Umar Lahmi):  Your heart has turned black.  Christ does not want to accept you.  Now, you go away from here.  I have nothing todo with you.  You just came to annoy me.  (To the priests):  You should also have no concern with these people.  You have seen that they are so hot-headed, they would not agree to anything.

Umar Lahmi:  But, sir……………

Head Priest:  Shut up, now.  I have seen for what purpose you came here and with what object you talk to us.  So saying the Head Priest, exhibiting his Christian manners, left for his room on the upper storey.  Umar Lahmi and other Muslim divines came out raising the cry of “Nasrun min Allah wa fathun qarib” [Help from Allah and victory is a hand].***  

Voicing the slogan of victory, Umar Lahmi and other Muslim divines returned to their respective homes.  Isabella had attentively listened to the talk of both sides.  With her were her friends and other respectable Christian ladies.  In the evening when Isabella’s friends gathered again comments started on the morning talk.  Whatever little faith Isabella had in Christianity was shattered and she full realised that the Christian creed was just a sham which had neither any basis nor any principle.  Earlier meetings had left her with the impression that Michael, Peter and others were not well informed, but her father, the head priest, had profound knowledge of the reality of Christianity and, therefore, if these people were unable to meet the questions of Muslims, she had thought, her father would be able to silence them.  But after listening this last talk she was thoroughly disappointed and had left no alternative but to conclude that the basis of Christianity was no better than the spider’s web.

A month had passed and a great revolution had come in the mind of Isabella.  She had secretly beeen meeting Umar Lahmi and, through him, other divines like Ziad b. Umar in Cordova.  She was not more devoted to the study of the Holy Quran and the truth of Islam was taking deep root in her mind.  She made a comparative study of the Holy Quran and the Bible to find out which of the two had greater truth and which was just a mixture of superstitions.  She had given thought according to her lights to the problems of Unity of Allah, Messenger Hood, the Holy Quran, salutation, atonement, intercession, meaning of sin and human acts and their consequences.  

She was no longer a devotee of Christianity, but had bowed her head to Islam.  But often she was perturbed with the idea of giving up a religion she had followed from her birth.  What trials and tribulations she might have to face on going over to Islam.  She will have to forsake her father, mother, sisters and relatives.  How shall her future life be?  But, immediately it struck her that trials and troubles have to be encountered in the path of truth and if, after recognising the truth, she did not openly declare it she will be guilty in the sight of Allah.

When Umar Lahmi Learnt of her perturbation he secretly sent word to her to recite then times each morning and evening the verse of the Holy Quran:  “Rabbi adkhilni mudkhala sidqin wa akhrijni mukhraja sidqin waj ‘al-li minladunka sultaman nasire” [My Lord! make me enter a truthful entering, and make me go forth a truthful going forth, and grant me from Thy presence an authority to help (me)]. ****  Allah willing, her anxiety will be relieved.

So Isabella followed this advice.  By reciting this verse morning and evening she felt as if some mysterious power was giving strength to her heart and removing her fears.  This prompt effect of the verse further strengthened her faith in Islam and she became more devoted to the Holy Quran and Islam.