Friday, April 30, 2010

The Seige of Malta: Napoleon's Style

Bonaparte defeats Knights of St. John at Malta: Bourrienne

From a Gutenberg e-text of Bourrienne's biography of Napoleon Bonaparte (R.W. Phipps trans.), a brief account of Bonaparte's conquest of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem at the islands of Malta. Note that upon taking the capital of Valetta, Bonaparte freed the Muslim prisoners taken by the Knights during their piracy expeditions to North Africa. This move was part of his diplomacy and propaganda with the Muslim world, and the freed Muslims would be useful to him in Egypt..


We arrived off Malta on the 10th of June. We had lost two days in waiting for some convoys which joined us at Malta.

The intrigues throughout Europe had not succeeded in causing the ports of that island to be opened to us immediately on our arrival. Bonaparte expressed much displeasure against the persons sent from Europe to arrange measures for that purpose. One of them, however, M. Dolomieu, had cause to repent his mission, which occasioned him to be badly treated by the Sicilians. M. Poussielgue had done all he could in the way of seduction, but he had not completely succeeded. There was some misunderstanding, and, in consequence, some shots were interchanged. Bonaparte was very much pleased with General Baraguay d'Hilliers' services in Italy. He could not but praise his military and political conduct at Venice when, scarcely a year before, he had taken possession of that city by his orders. General Baraguay d'Hilliers joined us with his division,--which had embarked in the convoy that sailed from Genoa. The General-in-Chief ordered him to land and attack the western part of the island. He executed this order with equal prudence and ability, and highly to the satisfaction of the General-in-Chief. As every person in the secret knew that all this was a mere form, these hostile demonstrations produced no unpleasant consequences. We wished to save the honour of the knights--that was all; for no one who has seen Malta can imagine that an island surrounded with such formidable and perfect fortifications would have surrendered in two days to a fleet which was pursued by an enemy. The impregnable fortress of Malta is so secure against a 'coup de main' that General Caffarelli, after examining its fortifications, said to the General-in-Chief, in my presence, "Upon my word, General, it is luck: there is some one in the town to open the gates for us."

By comparing the observation of General Caffarelli with what has been previously stated respecting the project of the expedition to Egypt and Malta, an idea may be formed of the value of Bonaparte's assertion at St. Helena:

"The capture of Malta was not owing to private intrigues, but to the sagacity of the Commander-in-chief. I took Malta when I was in Mantua!"

It is not the less true, however, that I wrote, by his dictation, a mass of instructions for private intrigues. Napoleon also said to another noble companion of his exile at St Helena, "Malta certainly possessed vast physical means of resistance; but no moral means. The knights did nothing dishonourable nobody is obliged to do impossibilities. No; but they were sold; the capture of Malta was assured before we left Toulon."

The General-in-Chief proceeded to that part of the port where the Turks made prisoners by the knights were kept.

The disgusting galleys were emptied of their occupants: The same principles which, a few days after, formed the basis of Bonaparte's proclamation to the Egyptians, guided him in this act of reason and humanity.

He walked several times in the gardens of the grandmaster. They were in beautiful order, and filled with magnificent orange-trees. We regaled ourselves with their fruit, which the great heat rendered most delicious.
Posted by Juan Cole at 1:04 PM

Napoleon Bonarparte: The Other Side

Napoleon Bonaparte embraced Islam?

England's foe for many years has been France. The legacy remains as seen in the Capital of England, London, where monuments dedicated to defeats over France, are evident. The defeats have been most significant against that of when France was being ruled by Napoleon Bonaparte. (Nelson's Column, Trafelgar Square, Waterloo Station to name but a few.)

Yet, history is seldom seen in the truthful light, and is nearly always partial to the 'winning side' - in whose hand the pen remains, long after both the battle and the war have been won. Yet, recent discoveries have seemed to suggest some interesting facts about Napoleon and his religious beliefs.

In the book, ‘Satanic Voices - Ancient and Modern’ by David M. Pidcock, (1992 ISBN: 1-81012-03-1), it states on page 61, that the then official French Newspaper, Le Moniteur, carried the accounts of his conversion to Islam, in 1798 C.E.

It mentions his new Muslim name, which was ‘Aly (Ali) Napoleon Bonaparte’. He commends the conversion of his General Jacques Menou, who became known as General ‘Abdullah-Jacques Menou’, who later married an Egyptian, Sitti Zoubeida - who was descended from the line of the Prophet Muhammad (on whom be peace).

Napoleon did recognise the superiority of the Islamic (Shari'ah) Law - and did attempt to implement this in his Empire. Most of this, as one can imagine, has been removed/replaced by modern-day secular laws in France and other parts of Europe, but some aspects of the Islamic (Shari'ah) Law do currently exist in French constitution as the basis for some of their laws from the Code Napoleone. One publicised case was that of the fatal car accident with Diana, Princess of Wales, and Dodi Al-Fayed. "The photographers were charged with an old part of the French Jurisprudence, for ‘not helping at the scene of an accident’- which is taken from the Shari'ah Law of Imam Malik." (David M. Pidcock, 1998 C.E.)
Further detailed accounts of this can be found in the book 'Napoleon And Islam' by C. Cherfils. ISBN: 967-61-0898-7

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Moon Is Always In Front Of My House

Went outside to take a peek of the outside,
The moon is always in front of my house,
Shining so brightly, with a perfect circle,
Reflecting the sun, almost like a mirror,
And the night is getting clearer and clearer.

I shut my eyes and listen to the sound of the night,
The Malayan crickets say hi to each other, greeting one another,
What if they knew that after all they have been through,
After they had been something, they would end up being nothing, now won't that be something?

The Moon keeps on shining, with a light not of its own,
The night covers me, assuring the troubled me,
Don't worry about the Camel, you don't have no cancer to cure,
If there's alternative, an option is always at hand,
For a desperate time would always require a desperate measure,
It's the only logic of the always thinking mind.

Somebody in Switzerland discovered some jars in the sea,
Once full with dust, of British, seeking a death's mercy.
Now, suicide is unglamourous as it can be,
Only the privileged, had such an opportunity.

In China, the babies also waited quietly,
In the depth of the river, asking why it should be me,
Now, sex is alluring as any diamond can be,
Only the free, of guilt, had such a bounty.

Paedophilia, children and matrimony,
The skeleton in the closet, rustling, asking to be free,
For being in the dark, One should understand their hopes and fear,
Nobody likes to be ignored, while bleeding profusely.

Can we really ignore our own ignorance?
Do we really can ignore how ignorant we have become?
Forget the past, look at our own present of time.
That is why the panda's great sifu said it is named after a thing that made a man smile.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Heights

The Heights

With the name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Very-Merciful.
Alif, Lām, Mīm, Sād.

(This is) a book sent down to you. Therefore, your heart must not be straitened because of it. (It is revealed to you) so that you may warn through it, and it may be an advice for the believers.

(O humankind,) follow what has been sent down to you from your Lord, and do not follow any masters other than Him. Little you heed to advice!

How many a town We have destroyed! Our punishment came upon them at night or when they were having a nap at midday.

So, when Our punishment came upon them, they could say nothing but cry, “We were wrongdoers indeed.”

So, We shall ask those to whom the messengers were sent, and We shall ask the messengers (how they conveyed the message).

Then, having full knowledge, We shall tell them the whole story, as We were never far from them.

The Weighing (of deeds) on that day is definite. As for those whose scales are heavy, they will be the successful ones.

But those whose scales are light, they are the ones who have brought loss to themselves, because they did not do justice to Our verses.

We established you on earth, and created in it means of living for you. Little you appreciate.

We created you, then gave you a shape, then We said to the angels, “Prostrate yourselves before ’Ādam.” So, they all prostrated themselves, except Iblīs (Satan). He did not join those who fell prostrate.

Allah said, “What has prevented you from prostrating when I ordered you?” He said, “I am better than him. You have created me of fire, and created him of clay.”

He said, “Then, get you down from here, it is not for you to show arrogance here. So, get out. You are one of the degraded.

He said, “Then give me respite until a day when all will be resurrected.

He (Allah) said, “You are granted respite’’.

He said, “Now that You have led me astray, I will certainly sit for them (in ambush) on Your straight path.

Then I will come upon them from their front side and from their behind, and from their right and from their left. You will not find most of them grateful.

He (Allah) said, “Get out of here, condemned, rejected. Indeed, whosoever will follow you from among them, I will fill Hell with all of you together.

O ’Ādam, dwell, you and your wife, in Paradise, and eat from wherever you like, but do not go near this tree, otherwise you shall join the transgressors.”

Then Satan whispered to them, so that he might expose to them their shame that was hidden from them; and said, “Your Lord has not prohibited this tree for you, but to avoid your becoming angels or your becoming eternal.”

He swore an oath, “I am one of your well-wishers.”

Thus, he cast both of them down by deception. When they tasted (the fruit of) the tree, their shame was exposed to them, and they began to patch together some leaves of Paradise upon themselves, and their Lord called them, “Did I not forbid you from that tree? Did I not tell you that Satan is your declared enemy?”

They said, “Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves, and if You do not forgive us and do not bless us with mercy, we shall, indeed, be among the losers.

He said, “Go down, some of you enemies of some; and for you on the earth there will be a dwelling place and enjoyment for a time.”

(Further) He said, “There you shall live and there you shall die, and from there you shall be raised again.”

O children of ’Ādam, We have sent down to you the dress that covers your shame and provides adornment. As for the dress of Taqwā (piety), that is the best. That is one of the signs of Allah, so that they may learn a lesson.

O children of ’Ādam, “Do not let Satan put you in trouble the way he had your parents expelled from Paradise, having their dress removed from them, so that he could show them their shame. Indeed, he sees you - he and his company - from where you do not see them. Surely, We have made the devils friends to those who do not believe.

When they do a shameful act, they say, “We have found our fathers doing it, and Allah has ordered us to do so.” Say, “Allah never orders anything shameful. Do you say about Allah what you do not know?”

Say, “My Lord has ordered me to do justice.”Set your faces aright on each occasion of prostration, and pray to Him with pure faith in Him. Just as He has originated you, so you will be raised again.

He has led a group to guidance; and established for another group is misguidance. Indeed, they have taken the devils for their friends, instead of Allah, and they think that they are on the right path.

O children of ’Ādam, take on your adornment at every mosque. Eat and drink and do not be extravagant. Surely, He does not like the extravagant.

Say, “Who has prohibited the adornment Allah has brought forth for His servants, and the wholesome things of sustenance?”
Say, “They are for the believers during this worldly life (though shared by others), while they are purely for them on the day of Resurrection. This is how We elaborate the verses for people who understand.”

Say, “My Lord has prohibited only the shameful acts, whether open or secret, and (every) sinful act, and unjust aggression, and that you associate with Allah anything for which He has not sent any authority, and that you attribute to Allah any thing about which you do not have sure knowledge.

For every people there is an appointed time. So, when their appointed time will come, they cannot be late for a moment, nor will they get ahead.

O children of ’Ādam, if messengers from among you come to you conveying My verses to you, then, those who fear Allah and correct themselves will have no fear, nor shall they grieve.

Those who reject Our verses and stand arrogant against them, - they are the inmates of the Fire. There they shall live forever.

So, who is more unjust than the one who coins a lie against Allah or rejects His signs? They shall receive their share from that (sustenance) which is written (for them in their destiny) until, when Our envoys (angels) shall come to them to take their souls away, they (the angels) will say, “Where are those (so-called gods) whom you used to invoke besides Allah?” They (the unbelievers) will say, “They all have vanished from us”, and they shall testify against themselves that they were unbelievers.

He (Allah) will say, “Enter the Fire along with the peoples who passed before you from the Jinn and the human beings.” Whenever a group will enter it, they will curse their fellows, until when all of them will have joined each other in it, the latter ones will say about the former ones “Our Lord, they misguided us; so, give them a double punishment of the Fire.” He will say, “For each there is a double, but you do not know.”

The former ones will say to the latter ones, “So, you have no privilege against us. Now, taste the punishment for what you have been earning.”

Surely, those who have rejected Our signs and stood arrogant against them, the gates of the heavens shall not be opened for them, and they shall not enter Paradise unless a camel passes through the eye of a needle. This is how We recompense the sinners.

For them there is a bed from the Jahannam, and over them there are coverings. This is how We recompense the transgressors.

Those who believe and do good deeds,-We do not obligate anyone beyond his capacity-they are the people of Paradise; they shall remain there for ever.

We will remove whatever amount of malice they had in their hearts. Rivers will flow beneath them, and they will say, “All praise is to Allah who has guided us to this. We would not have been able to find the way, had Allah not guided us. Surely, the messengers of our Lord came with the truth.” Then they will receive a call, “Here is the Paradise which you have been made to inherit because of the deeds you have been doing.”

The inmates of Paradise will call out to the inmates of the Fire: “We have found true what our Lord had promised to us. Have you, too, found true what your Lord had promised?” They will say, “Yes.” Then, an announcer between them will call out, “The curse of Allah is on the wrongdoers

who used to turn themselves away from the way of Allah, seeking to make it crooked, while they were the deniers of the Hereafter.”

Between the two groups there will be a barrier. And on A‘rāf (the Heights) there shall be people who will recognize each group through their signs, and they will call out to the people of Paradise, “Peace on you.” They will not have entered it, yet they will hope to.

When their eyes will be turned to the people of the Fire, they will say, “Our Lord, do not join us with the unjust people.”

The people of A‘rāf will call out to the people (of Fire) whom they will recognize through their signs: “Your masses were not of any help to you, nor was the arrogance you used to show.

Is it these (people of Paradise) about whom you swore that Allah would not allow His mercy to reach them?” (It will be said to such people,) “Enter Paradise; there will be no fear for you, nor shall you grieve.”

The people of the Fire will call out to the people of Paradise, “Pour on us some water, or some of what Allah has provided you.” They will say, “Allah has prohibited these for disbelievers,

who had taken their faith as play and a game, and the worldly life had deceived them.” So, We shall forget them today, as they had forgotten to face this day of theirs, and as they used to deny Our signs.

Surely We have brought them a book that We have elaborated with knowledge, as guidance and mercy for a people who believe.

They are waiting for nothing but its final result (i.e. the punishment promised in the Qur’ān). The day when its final result will come, those who had ignored it earlier will say, “Surely, the messengers of our Lord had come with truth. So, are there any intercessors for us who could intercede in our favor? Or, could we be sent back, so that we might do contrary to what we used to do?” Indeed, they have put their selves to loss, and vanished from them all that they used to fabricate.

Surely, your Lord is Allah who created the heavens and the earth in six days, then He positioned himself on the Throne. He covers the day with the night that pursues it swiftly. (He created) the sun and the moon and the stars, subjugated to His command. Lo! To Him alone belong the creation and the command. Glorious is Allah, the Lord of all the worlds.

Supplicate to your Lord humbly and secretly. Surely, He does not like those who cross the limits.

Do not make mischief on the earth after it has been set in order. Supplicate Him in fear and hope. Surely, the mercy of Allah is close to those who are good in their deeds.

He is the One who sends the winds carrying good news before His blessings, until when they lift up the heavy clouds, We drive them to a dead land. Then, there We pour down water. Then, We bring forth with it all sorts of fruits. In similar way, We will bring forth all the dead. (All this is being explained to you), so that you may learn a lesson.

As for a good land, its vegetation comes out with the permission of its Lord. But that which is bad does not grow except what is bad. Thus We alternate the verses in various ways for a people who pay gratitude.

Surely We sent NūH to his people. So he said, “O my people, worship Allah. You have no god other than Him. I fear for you the punishment of a great Day.”

The chiefs of his people said, “Indeed we see you in an obvious error.”

He said, “O my people, there is no error in me, but I am a messenger from the Lord of all the worlds.

I convey to you the messages of my Lord and wish your betterment, and I know from Allah what you do not know.

Do you wonder that an advice from your Lord has come to you through a man from among you, so that he may warn you and that you may fear Allah, and that you may be blessed with mercy?”

Then, they accused him of falsehood; so We saved him, and those with him in the Ark, and drowned those who rejected Our signs. Certainly, they were a blind people.

To ‘Ād, We sent their brother Hūd. He said, “O my people, worship Allah; you have no god other than Him. So, will you not fear Allah?”

Said the chiefs of his people who disbelieved, “Indeed, we see you in folly, and we believe you are one of the liars.”

He said, “O my people, there is no folly in me, but I am a messenger from the Lord of all the worlds.

I convey to you the messages of my Lord; and I am an honest well-wisher for you.

Do you wonder that an advice from your Lord has come to you through a man from among you, so that he may warn you? And remember when He made you successors after the people of NūH and gave you increased strength in physique. So, be mindful of the bounties of Allah, so that you may be successful.”

They said, “Have you come to us that we should worship Allah alone and give up what our fathers used to worship? Now, bring upon us that (scourge) with which you threaten us if you are one of the truthful.”

He said, “The punishment and the anger from your Lord have fallen upon you. Do you quarrel with me about mere names that you and your fathers have concocted and for which Allah has sent down no authority? So, wait. I am one of those waiting with you.”

So, We saved him and those with him out of mercy from Us, and We eradicated those who rejected Our signs. They were not believers.

To Thamūd, (We sent) their brother, SāliH. He said, “O my people, worship Allah. You have no god other than Him. There has come to you a clear sign from your Lord. This is the she-camel of Allah, a sign for you. So, leave her to eat on the earth of Allah, and do not touch her with mischief, lest a painful punishment should seize you.

Remember when He made you successors after ‘Ād and lodged you on earth (whereby) you make castles in its plains and hew out the mountains to build houses. So be mindful of the bounties of Allah, and do not go about the earth spreading disorder.”

The haughty chiefs of his people said to those of the oppressed who had believed (in the Messenger), “Do you know for sure that SāliH is a messenger from his Lord?” They said, “Of course, we believe in what he has been sent with.”

The haughty people said, “As for us, we disbelieve in what you believe.”

Then they slaughtered the she-camel and defied the command of their Lord and said, “O SāliH, bring to us what you threaten us with, if you are one of the messengers.

So, the earthquake seized them, and they were (found dead) in their homes, fallen on their faces.

So, he turned away from them and said, “O my people, indeed I have delivered to you the message of my Lord, and wished you betterment, but you do not like the well-wishers.”

And (We sent) LūT (Lot) when he said to his people, “Do you commit the shameful act in which nobody in the world has ever preceded you?

You come to men lustfully instead of women. No, you are a people who cross the limits.”

The answer of his people was no other than to say, “Expel them from your town. They are a people who pretend too much purity.”

So, We saved him and his family, except his wife. She was one of those who remained behind.

And We rained down upon them a rain. So, look! How was the fate of the sinners!

And to Madyan (We sent) their brother Shu‘aib. He said, “O my people, worship Allah. You have no god other than Him. There has come to you a clear sign from your Lord. Give the measure and weight in full, and do not make people short of their things, and do not make mischief on the earth after it has been set in order. That is good for you, if you are believers.

Do not sit in every path threatening and preventing from the way of Allah the people who believe in Him, and seeking a twist in it. Remember the time when you were few, then He increased you in number. Consider the fate of those who used to make mischief.

If a group from among you has believed in what I have been sent with, and another group has not believed, then keep patience until Allah decides between us. He is the best of all judges.”

The chiefs of his people, who were arrogant, said, “O Shu‘aib, we will expel you and those who believe with you from our town, or you shall have to turn to our faith.” He said, “Even if we hate it?

We will be forging a lie against Allah, if we were to turn to your faith after Allah has saved us from it. It is not for us that we turn to it unless Allah, our Lord, so wills. Our Lord has encompassed everything with His knowledge. In Allah we place our trust. -Our Lord, decide between us and our people, with truth, and You are the best of all judges.”

The chiefs of his people who disbelieved said, “If you are to follow Shu‘aib, then you will be utter losers.”

So, the earthquake seized them, and they were (found dead) in their homes, fallen on their faces.

Those who rejected Shu‘aib became as if they never dwelt there. Those who rejected Shu‘aib were themselves the losers.

So, he turned away from them and said, “O my people, I have surely delivered to you the message of my Lord, and wished your betterment. How, then, should I grieve over a disbelieving people?”

We did not send any prophet to a town, but We seized its people with hardship and suffering, so that they may turn humble.

Thereafter, We substituted good in place of evil until they increased, and said, “Hardship and prosperity came to our fathers (too).” Then We seized them suddenly while they were not aware.

If the people of the towns believed and feared Allah, We would have opened for them blessings from the heavens and the earth, but they disbelieved. So, We seized them because of what they used to earn for themselves.

So, do the people of the towns feel themselves immune from Our punishment that may befall them at night while they are asleep?

Or do the people of the towns feel themselves immune from Our punishment that may befall them in broad daylight while they are at play?

Do they feel secure from Allah’s plan? None can feel secure from Allah’s plan except the people who are losers.

Have all these events still not taught a lesson to those who inherit the land after its (former) inhabitants, that if We so willed, We could afflict them for their sins? But We seal their hearts, so that they do not listen.

Those are the towns We narrate to you their important events. Surely their messengers came to them with clear signs, but they were not able to believe in what they had rejected earlier. This is how Allah seals the hearts of the disbelievers.

We did not find with most of them any covenant (unbroken), and surely We have found most of them sinners.

After them, We sent Mūsā with Our signs to Pharaoh and his chiefs. But they did injustice to them. So, consider the fate of the mischief-makers.

Mūsā said, “O Pharaoh, I am a messenger from the Lord of all the worlds;

it befits me not to say anything about Allah except the truth. I have come to you with a clear sign from your Lord. So, let the children of Isrā’īl go with me.”

He said, “If you have come with a sign, then bring it forth, if you are really truthful.”

So he threw down his staff, and in no time it was a vivid serpent;

and he drew out his hand, and it was luminous for the onlookers.

The chiefs of the people of Pharaoh said, “This man is certainly a sorcerer of great knowledge.

He wants to expel you from your land. So, what do you suggest?”

They said, “leave him and his brother alone for a while, and send (your) men to the cities to collect

and bring to you every expert sorcerer (who could defeat him).”

The sorcerers came to Pharaoh. They said, “There must be a reward for us, if we are the victors.”

He said, “Yes, and of course, you will be among the closer ones (to me).”

They said, “O Mūsā, would you throw (first) or are we to throw?”

He said, “You throw.” So when they threw, they bewitched the eyes of the people, and made them frightened, and produced great sorcery.

We revealed to Mūsā, “Throw your staff.” Then of a sudden, it began to swallow all that they had concocted.

Thus the truth prevailed, and what they were doing became a nullity.

So, they were overcome then and there and turned humiliated.

The sorcerers could not but fall in prostration.

They said, “We believe in the Lord of the worlds,

the Lord of Mūsā and Hārūn.”

Pharaoh said, “You have believed in him before my permission. Undoubtedly, this is a plot you have designed in the city, so that you may expel its people from it. Now you shall know (its end).

I will cut off your hands and your legs from opposite sides. Then I will crucify you all together.”

They said, “We have surely to return to our Lord.

For what fault would you punish us except that we have believed in the signs of our Lord when they appeared to us? O our Lord, pour out patience upon us, and cause us to die as Muslims (those who submit to you.)”

The chiefs of the people of Pharaoh said, “Shall you leave Mūsā and his people free to spread disorder in the land and to abandon you and your gods?” He said, “We shall slaughter their sons and let their women remain alive. We have full power over them.”

Mūsā said to his people, “Seek help from Allah and be patient. Surely, the land belongs to Allah. He lets whomsoever He wills inherit it from among His servants; and the end-result is in favor of the God-fearing.”

They said, “We were persecuted before you came to us and after you have come to us.” He said, “Hopefully your Lord will destroy your enemy and make you successors in the land, then He will see how you act.”

And We seized the people of Pharaoh with years of famine and poor production of fruits, so that they may learn a lesson.

When good times came to them, they said, “This is our right.” And if an evil touched them, they took it as an ill omen of Mūsā and those with him. Listen, their ill omen lies with Allah only, but most of them do not know.

They said, “Whatever sign you bring to us to enchant us with, we are not going to believe in you.”

So We sent upon them the storm and locusts and lice and frogs and blood, as signs distinct from each other. Yet they showed arrogance, and they were a guilty people.

Whenever a scourge befell them, they said, “O Mūsā, pray for us to your Lord by the covenant He has made with you. If you remove the scourge from us, we will truly believe in you, and will send the children of Isrā’īl with you.”

But when We removed the scourge from them for a term they had to reach, in no time they started to break their promise.

Then We subjected them to retribution, and drowned them in the sea, because they rejected Our signs, and were neglectful of them.

We caused those people who were deemed to be weak (the Israelites) to inherit the East and West of the land that We had blessed. And the sublime word of your Lord was fulfilled for the children of Isrā’īl, because they stood patient; and We destroyed what Pharaoh and his people used to build and what they used to raise high.

We made the children of Isrā’īl cross the sea, then they came across a people sitting in devotion before their idols. They (the Israelites) said, “O Mūsā, make a god for us like they have gods.” He said, “You are really an ignorant people.

What these people are engaged in is sure to be destroyed; and false is what they are doing.”

He said, “Shall I seek any one other than Allah as God for you, while He has given you excellence over the (people of all the) worlds.”

(Remember) when We delivered you from the people of Pharaoh who inflicted grievous torment upon you, slaughtered your sons and left your women alive. In all that there was a great trial from your Lord.

And We made an appointment with Mūsā for thirty nights, then We supplemented them with another ten. So, the total period fixed by his Lord was forty nights. Mūsā said to his brother Hārūn, “Take my place among my people and keep things right, and do not follow the way of mischief makers.”

When Mūsā came at Our appointed time and his Lord spoke to him, he said, “My Lord, show (Yourself) to me that I may look at You.” He said: “You shall never see Me. But look at the mount. If it stays at its place, you will see Me.” So when his Lord appeared to the Mount, He made it smashed, and Mūsā fell down unconscious. When he recovered, he said: “Pure are You. I repent to You, and I am the first to believe (that no one can see You in this world.)”

He said, “Mūsā, I have chosen you above all men for my messages and for My speaking (to you). So, take what I have given to you, and be among the grateful.”

We wrote for him on the Tablets advice of every kind, and explanations of all (needful) things. “So hold it firm, and ask your people to hold on to the best things in it. I shall show you the house of the sinners.

I shall keep away from My verses those who show arrogance on the earth with no right to do so. Even if they were to see every sign, they would not believe in it; and if they see the Path of guidance, they do not take it as their way; and if they see the path of misguidance, they would take it as their way. That is because they have rejected Our signs, and have been neglectful of them.

Gone to waste are the deeds of those who have rejected Our signs and the meeting of the Hereafter. They will be recompensed only for what they have been doing.

And in the absence of Mūsā, his people made a calf from their ornaments, which was merely a sculpture with a moaning sound. Did they not see that it neither talked to them nor could it guide them to any way? They adopted it (as god), and were so unjust.

When they became remorseful and saw that they had gone astray, they said, “If Allah shows no mercy to us, and does not forgive us, we shall certainly be among the losers.”

When Mūsā returned to his people, angry and sad, he said, “How bad is the thing you have done in my absence! How did you act in haste against the command of your Lord?” He dropped down the Tablets, and grabbed the head of his brother, pulling him towards himself. He (Hārūn) said, “My mother’s son, the people took me as weak and were about to kill me. So do not let the enemies laugh at me, and do not count me with the wrong-doers.”

He said, “My Lord! Forgive me and my brother, and admit us into Your mercy. You are the most Merciful of all the merciful.”

Surely, those who have taken the calf (as god) shall be seized by Allah’s wrath and by humiliation in the worldly life. That is how we recompense the fabricators.

As for those who do evil, and repent thereafter, and embrace faith, your Lord is then most forgiving, very merciful (for them).

When the fury of Mūsā calmed down, he picked up the Tablets, and in its contents there was guidance, and mercy for those who are fearful before their Lord.

And Mūsā selected seventy men from his people for Our appointment. Later when the earthquake seized them, he said, “My Lord, had it been Your will, You could have destroyed them earlier, and me too. Would You destroy us for what the foolish among them have done? It is nothing but a trial from You, wherewith you let go astray whom You will, and give guidance to whom You will. You are our protector, so forgive us, and have mercy on us, and You are the best among those who forgive.

And write for us good in this world and in the Hereafter. We turn to You in repentance.” He (Allah) said, “As for My punishment, I afflict with it whom I will. And My mercy extends to everything. So, I shall write it for those who guard themselves against evil, and pay Zakāh, and those who do believe in Our verses,

those who follow the Messenger, the Ummiyy (unlettered) prophet whom they find written with them in the Torah and the Injīl , and who bids them what is fair and forbids what is unfair, and makes lawful for them good things, and makes unlawful for them impure things, and relieves them of their burden, and of the shackles that were upon them. So, those who believe in him and support him, and help him and follow the light sent down with him, - those are the ones who are successful.”

(O Prophet Muhammad) Say, “O people, I am a messenger of Allah (sent) to you from the One to whom belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth. There is no god but He. He gives life and brings death. So, believe in Allah and His Messenger, the Ummiyy (unlettered) prophet, who believes in Allah and in His words, and follow him, so that you may find the right path.”

Among the community of Mūsā there are people who guide with truth and do justice thereby.

And We divided them into twelve tribes, as separate communities, and We revealed to Mūsā when his people asked him for water, “Strike the rock with your staff.” Then twelve springs gushed forth from it. Each tribe came to know their drinking place. We shaded them with the shadow of the clouds. And We sent down to them Mann and Salwā (saying), “Eat of the good things we have provided you.” And they did us no harm, rather they have been harming their own selves.

(Recall) when it was said to them, “Live in this town and eat therefrom anywhere you like, and say, HiTTah (we seek forgiveness) and enter the gate prostrating yourselves, so that We forgive your errors. We shall give much more to those who are good in their deeds.”

But those of them who were unjust substituted another word for the one that was said to them. So, We sent down upon them a scourge from the heavens, because they had been transgressing.

Ask them about the town situated by the sea, when they used to transgress in the matter of Sabbath, when their fish came to them openly on the Sabbath, and did not come when they did not have Sabbath. In this way, We put them to a test, because they used to act sinfully.

When a group of them said, “Why do you exhort a people whom Allah is going to destroy or chastise with a severe punishment?” They said, “To absolve ourselves before your Lord, and in order that they may fear Allah.”

So, when they forgot the advice they were given, We saved those who used to forbid evil and seized those who transgressed with a bitter punishment, because they had been disobeying.

When they persisted in doing what they were forbidden from, We said to them, “Become apes debased.”

Recall) when your Lord declared that He would surely keep sending, till the Day of Judgment, those who inflict on them evil chastisement. Certainly, your Lord is swift in punishing, and certainly He is the Most-forgiving, Very Merciful.

We divided them on the earth as separate communities. Some of them were righteous, while some others were otherwise. We tested them with good and bad times, so that they might return.

Then, after them, came a generation that inherited the Book, opting for the mundane stuff of this world and saying, “We shall be forgiven.” But if there comes to them similar stuff, they would opt for it (again). Was not the covenant of the Book taken from them that they should not say anything but the truth about Allah? They learnt what it contained. Certainly, the Last Abode is better for those who fear Allah. Have you then, no sense?

Those who hold fast to the Book and establish Salāh, We shall never let the reward of (such) righteous people to go to waste.

When We raised the mountain over them as though it were a canopy, and they thought it was falling upon them, (We said,) “Adhere firmly to what We have given you and remember what is therein, so that you may become God-fearing.”

(Recall) when your Lord brought forth their progeny from the loins of the children of ’Ādam, and made them testify about themselves (by asking them,) “Am I not your Lord?” They said, “Of course, You are. We testify.” (We did so) lest you should say on the Day of Judgment, “We were unaware of this,”

or you should say, “It was our forefathers who associated partners with Allah, and we were their progeny after them; would you then destroy us on account of what the erroneous did?”

This is how We elaborate the verses, so that they may return.

Recite to them the story of the one whom We gave Our verses, then he wriggled out from them, so Satan pursued him and he became one of the perverted.

If We so willed, We would have elevated him thereby; but he clung to the earth and followed his desires. So, his example is like the example of a dog, if you attack him, he pants with his tongue protruding, and if you leave him alone he still pants with his tongue protruding. That is the example of those who rejected Our signs. So, relate the chronicles, so that they may ponder.

Evil is the example of those who have rejected Our signs and have been doing wrong to themselves.

The one whom Allah gives guidance is the one on the right path. As for those whom Allah lets go astray, those are the losers.

Surely We have created for Hell a lot of people from among Jinn and mankind. They have hearts wherewith they do not understand, eyes wherewith they do not see, and ears wherewith they do not hear. They are like cattle. Rather, they are much more astray. They are the heedless.

For Allah there are the most beautiful names. So, call Him by them, and leave those who deviate in (the matter of) His names. They shall be recompensed for what they have been doing.

Among those whom We have created there are people who guide with truth and do justice thereby.

As for those who reject Our signs, We will lead them gradually (towards their punishment) in a way that they do not know.

I give them respite. Surely My plan is firm.

Have they not reflected that their fellow (i.e. the Holy Prophet) does not suffer from any madness? He is but a plain warner.

Have they not looked into the kingdom of the heavens and the earth, and into the things Allah has created, and into the fact that their time might have possibly drawn near? In which other discourse, then, shall they believe after this?

For those whom Allah lets go astray, there is no one to guide, and He leaves them wandering blindly in their rebellion.

They ask you about the Hour (i.e. the Doomsday), “When is it due to happen?” Say, “Its knowledge is only with my Lord. No one can unfold it except He at its time. It shall weigh heavy in the heavens and the earth. It shall not come upon you but suddenly.” They ask you as if you were aware of it. Say, “Its knowledge is only with Allah, but most of the people do not know.”

Say, “I have no power to bring a benefit or a harm to myself, except that which Allah wills. If I had the knowledge of the Unseen, I would have accumulated a lot of good things, and no evil would have ever touched me. I am but a warner, and a herald of good news for a people who believe.”

He is the One who has created you from a single soul, and out of him created his wife, so that he may find comfort in her. So when he covers her with himself, she carries a light burden and moves about with it. Thereafter, when she grows heavy, they both pray to Allah, their Lord, “If You bless us with a perfect child, we shall be grateful.”

But when We bless them with a perfect child, they ascribe partners to Him in what He blessed them with. Indeed Allah is much higher than what they associate with Him.

Do they associate those with Allah who do not create any thing, rather, they are created (themselves)?

And they (the alleged partners) cannot extend to them any help, nor can they help themselves.

If you call them to the right path, they will not follow you. It is all the same for them whether you call them or remain silent.

Surely, those whom you invoke beside Allah are slaves (of Allah) like you. So, call them, and they should respond to you if you are true.

Do they have legs to walk with? Or do they have hands to grasp with? Or do they have eyes to see with or do they have ears to hear with? Say, “Call to your associate-gods, then, plot against me and allow me no respite.

Surely, my protector is Allah who has revealed the Book and who does protect the righteous.”

Those whom you call beside Him cannot help you, nor can they help themselves.

If you call them for guidance, they shall not hear. You see them as if they are looking at you, while they cannot see.

(O Prophet,) take forgiveness (as your habit), enjoin virtue, and ignore the ignorant.

Should a stroke from the Satan strike you, seek refuge with Allah. Surely, He is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.

Surely when the God-fearing are touched by any instigation from Satan, they become conscious (of Allah), and at once they discern (the reality).

As for the brethren of satans, they are dragged by them on into the error, and they do not desist.

When you do not bring them a sign, they say, “Could you not make up one?”Say, “I only follow what is revealed to me from my Lord.” This is (a Book of) insights from your Lord and a guidance and mercy for a people who believe.

When the Qur’ān is recited, listen to it and be silent, so that you may be blessed.

Remember your Lord in your heart with humility and awe, and without speaking loudly, in mornings and evenings, and do not be among the heedless.

Surely, those who are with your Lord (i.e. the angels) are not arrogant against His worship, and they proclaim His purity, and before Him they prostrate themselves.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Finding the Inner Muslim Prince

The attraction of Islam: Finding the inner Muslim prince

Written by Eric Walberg

In the third of his Ramadan articles, Eric Walberg looks at the increasing attraction to Islam on the part of Westerners
27/9/7 -- In part I we saw how the Crusades and their modern equivalents -- imperialism and neo- imperialism -- brought the West's agenda forcibly to the Muslim world, first via missionaries and armies, then businessmen and armies. In the past two centuries the West did much to undermine the raison d'être of the Muslim world, but the increased contacts also opened the doors for Western intellectuals to study its rich cultural heritage and, with the help of sincere translations of the Quran and other religious books, to discover Islam from the inside, not only with an attitude of superiority and hostility.

Edward Said argues in Orientalism (1978) that Islam and Muslims are ingrained in the Western mind as "the other", oriental, opposite to the Christian and European Jewish experience, though in fact Muslims are much closer in their beliefs to Christians than Jews are. In 17-18th cc Europe, Western critics still vied to discredit Islam as a religion and set it in opposition to the "true religion" of Christianity, with the anathema and insult of the first Islamic millennium replaced by arguments of a historical, geographical, sociological or political nature. For example, a burning hot climate supposedly makes Arabs intellectually lazy and overly sensuous, encouraging them to accept the doctrine of predestination and a belief in a purely carnal paradise, to the point where they wished to die for their religion in order to reach it all the more quickly.

Voltaire plays a fascinating role as an early critic of all organised religions, a deist positing a God of reason, much like Islamic monism. His early tragedy Mahomet or Fanaticism portrays the Prophet as a Machiavellian manipulator but was really more a critique of the Catholic church and the use of religion to justify war. He later read Sale's newly translated Koran and came to an appreciation of Islam as "benign and tolerant", "a wise, severe, chaste and humane religion", "less impure and more reasonable" than Christianity and Judaism, having the eponymous Candide retire to an island near Constantinople to cultivate his garden and live in contemplation, much like a Muslim Sufi. Voltaire was even accused of being a "patriarch in the breast of Constantinople" for noting that the Ottoman empire "peacefully governs twenty peoples of different religions". His British contemporary Edward Gibbon, also a deist, viewed Islam as a rational, priest-free religion, with Muhammad as a wise and tolerant lawgiver.

Since then, the "Christian" viewpoint has continued to lose its credibility as the melting pot of secularism dulled the distinction between Jew and Christian in the 20th c, letting pundits blandly refer to a "Judeo-Christian" civilisation, and turning the age-old Christian assault on Islam into a triple-barrel Judeo- Christian-secular one. The fact that the Muslim world remains economically and culturally "backward" -- in contrast to the spiritual backwardness of its nemesis -- has accentuated the gap between the two cultures. So Westerners who try to bridge this gap have played and continue to play an important role in promoting better understanding.

A 16th c sailor, John Nelson, inadvertently or otherwise left behind in Morocco, was the first recorded Englishman to become a Muslim. He eventually returned to England safely. No doubt he converted less out of conviction than to endear himself to his captors/hosts, though Islam has never practiced forced conversions and active proselytising in the way that Christian invaders have throughout the world in the past four centuries.

With Napoleon's invasion of Egypt in 1799 interaction between the West and the Muslim world accelerated. The 19th c Western invasion, however, was not only by armies, but by adventurers and intellectuals, forerunners of the archaeologists, anthropologists, and economists of today. Four legendary adventurers of the 19th-early 20th cc -- Pickthall, Lawrence, Philby and Burton -- embody particularly well the range of responses by Westerners fascinated by Muslim society and provide models for the experience of individuals since then. All travellers and writers, more or less unattached to the West, they were able, to varying extents, to shed their stuffy British natures. Parsifals in the quest of the holy grail, embracing their inner Muslim prince, their subconscious, their soul. But they came with very different mindsets and left very different legacies.

Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall travelled to Cairo at age 18 in 1894 and, as he later recalled in his delightful Oriental Encounters: Palestine and Syria, "ran completely wild for months, in a manner unbecoming to an Englishman; and when at length, upon a pressing invitation, I turned up in Jerusalem and used my introductions, it was in semi-native garb and with a love for Arabs which, I was made to understand, was hardly decent. My native friends were objects of suspicion. I was told that they were undesirable, and, when I stood up for them, was soon put down by the retort that I was very young. I could not obviously claim as much experience as my mature advisers, whose frequent warnings to me to distrust the people of the country thus acquired the force of moral precepts, which it is the secret joy of youth to disobey."

The Orient came as a revelation. Later in life he wrote, "When I read The Arabian Nights I see the daily life of Damascus, Jerusalem, Aleppo, Cairo, and the other cities as I found it in the early nineties of last century. What struck me, even in its decay and poverty, was the joyousness of that life compared with anything that I had seen in Europe. The people seemed quite independent of our cares of life, our anxious clutching after wealth, our fear of death."

He had found a world of freedom unimaginable to a public schoolboy raised on an almost idolatrous passion for The State. Most Palestinians never set eyes on a policeman, and lived for decades without engaging with government in any way. Islamic law was administered in its time-honoured fashion, by qadis (local judges). Villages chose their own headmen, or inherited them, and the same was true for the bedouin tribes. The population revered the Sultan-Caliph in faraway Istanbul, but understood that it was not his place to interfere with their lives.

It was this freedom, as much as intellectual assent, which set Marmaduke on the long pilgrimage which was to lead him to Islam. He saw the Muslim world before Westernisation had contaminated the lives of the masses, and long before it had infected Muslim political thought and produced the modern vision of the Islamic State, with its centralised bureaucracy and its secret police. He would have converted to Islam immediately but was discouraged by an imam who was concerned about the shock this would be for the lad's mother, telling him to delay his decision till the moment was right.

Throughout his life Pickthall saw Islam as radical freedom, a freedom from the encroachments of the State as much as from the claws of the ego. It also offered freedom from the narrow fanaticism and sectarian bigotry which characterised and still characterises the myriad sects of Christianity. Superstition and priestcraft were abhorred. The Reason-God was immanent in creation, a blessed sign of God's nearness. The brotherhood of Muslims which he observed in Syria, the respect between Sunni and Shia, and their indifference to class distinctions in their places of worship, seemed to be the living realisation of the dreams of the Diggers, English radicals at the time of Cromwell's Commonwealth.

In 1917, in London, as the "Christian" nations committed mass murder in the war-to-end-all-wars, during a lecture on "Islam and Progress", he took the plunge. As the New Statesman put it in 1930, reviewing his Quranic translation, "Mr Marmaduke Pickthall was always a great lover of Islam. When he became a Muslim it was regarded less as conversion than as self-discovery."

WWI was a turning point in relations between East and West. The slaughter among Christian nations disillusioned many, including these three British soldiers who
WWI was a turning point in relations between East and West. The slaughter among Christian nations disillusioned many, including these three British soldiers who "joined the colours of Islam". From left to right, Gunner F Leadon (Azeez), Private Ballard (Mubarak) and Gunner H Camp (Basheer). From Islamic Review, September 1916

The war ground on, and Pickthall watched as the Turks trounced the British and colonial troops at Gallipoli, only to be betrayed by the Arab uprising under TE Lawrence. Pickthall despised Lawrence as a shallow romantic, given to unnatural passions and wild misjudgements. As he later wrote, reviewing The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, "He really believed that the British Government would fulfill punctually all the promises made on its behalf. He really thought that it was love of freedom and his personal effort and example rather than the huge sums paid by the British authorities and the idea of looting Damascus, which made the Arabs zealous in rebellion."

Once a friend of Winston Churchill's, Pickthall broke with his elite friends, moved to India to teach and write, and became a close associate of Gandhi, supported the ulama's rejection of violent resistance to British rule. Nonviolence and noncooperation seemed the most promising means by which India would emerge as a strong and free nation. When the Muslim League made its appearance under the very secular figure of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Pickthall joined the great bulk of India's ulama in rejecting the idea of partition. India's great Muslim millions were one family, and must never be divided. He also continued his Friday sermons, begun in the working class mosque in Woking, preaching at the great mosque of Bijapur and elsewhere, now in Urdu.

In 1935 Pickthall returned to England. His school and journal Islamic Culture were flourishing. Henceforth he had forever to deny that he was the Fielding of his friend EM Forster's novel A Passage to India. The last lines he wrote were from the Quran: "Whosoever surrendereth his purpose to Allah, while doing good, his reward is with his Lord, and there shall no fear come upon them, neither shall they grieve." (5:69) A Don Quixote, peripheral to the great forces of imperialism, with its agenda of war and subjugation, but a template for the post-imperial man, citizen of the world, a modern saint.

His early love affair with life under the Ottomans meant he witnessed the dismemberment of the Caliphate, not as TE Lawrence and Philby's "liberation", but as a tragedy, resulting in hundreds of thousands of deaths, the ethnic cleansing of millions, the planting of ethnic hatred among peoples who had lived in harmony for centuries, and a fatal blow to Islam. However, while rejecting bitterness and calls for violent revenge, he was convinced that Islam's victory would come through changing an unjust world from within.

Pickthall's contemporary and bête noire, TE Lawrence was a horse of a different colour. Second of five illegitimate sons of an Irish baronet and his governess, Lawrence lived out his troubled youth on a world scale. He ran away from home in 1905 and served as a boy soldier in Cornwall. Fascinated by the Crusades, his first journey to the Middle East was a solo three-month walking tour of crusader castles in Syria, during which he travelled thousands of miles on foot and learned Arabic. His Oxford graduation thesis was The influence of the Crusades on European Military Architecture -- to the end of the 12th century. He subsequently worked on archeological digs in northern Syria.

In 1914, Lawrence spied for the British military posing as an archaeologist for a military survey of the Negev Desert, of strategic importance as it would have to be crossed by any Turkish army attacking Egypt in the event of war. He was next posted to the Arab Bureau of Britain's Foreign Office which supported Arab tribes opposed to Turkish centralised rule. With the capture of Damascus he was promoted to lieutenant- colonel, made a Companion in the Order of the Bath and awarded the Legion d'Honneur in 1918, though he curiously refused a knighthood in October of that fateful year, possibly because he realised by then how he had (inadvertently?) betrayed his many Arab friends in the cause of empire. Nonetheless he served as an advisor to Winston Churchill at the Colonial Office and in the military in India throughout the 1920s. Churchill attended his funeral in 1935. Lawrence's major work is The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, an account of his war experiences, military strategy, Arabic culture and geography.

Jack Philby (Sheikh Abdullah), father of the legendary double agent Kim Philby, was an explorer, writer and spy. At Trinity College, Cambridge, he was a friend and classmate of Jawaharlal Nehru, later Prime Minister of India. Like Lawrence, he was deeply involved in fomenting the Arab revolt against the Ottomans, and like Lawrence, he felt betrayed by the British government for its reneging on all the promises of post-WWI independence for the Arabs. He worked with TE Lawrence for a while, but did not share Lawrence's enthusiasm for the Hashemites, being a proponent of the Saudis. Philby settled in Jeddah and became a partner in a trading company and Ibn Saud's chief adviser, negotiating a 60-year contract for the kingdom with Standard Oil, paving the way for US domination of the Middle East. In 1960, on a visit to Kim in Beirut, while in bed with his son Kim at his side, he said, "God, I'm bored" and died. Though he considered himself a socialist and Muslim, he seems to have served neither cause, a fitting father to his master spy son, and, along with Lawrence, an example for the steady stream of Westerners who come to the Muslim world with a smile and a briefcase.

Much the senior of Pickthall and Lawrence/Philby, Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton (1821-1890), like Lawrence and Philby, was a spy in addition to his calling as adventurer and writer. Burton's best-known achievements include travelling in disguise to Mecca (he was rumoured to have killed a native to avoid exposure), making an unexpurgated translation of The Book of One Thousand Nights and A Night and the Kama Sutra. He was a captain in the army of the East India Company, and later served as British consul in Damascus, where he wrote The Jew, the Gipsy and el Islam, a scathing critique of Judaism and Christianity and a defense of Islam. He did not formally convert to Islam, though he composed on his return journey from Mecca The Kasidah which contains layers of Sufi meaning. "Do what thy manhood bids thee do/ from none but self expect applause;/ He noblest lives and noblest dies/ who makes and keeps his self-made laws" is The Kasidah 's most oft-quoted passage.

Burton stands midway between Pickthall and Lawrence/ Philby, an ethnographer who delighted in exotic foreign customs, a brilliant intellectual and linguist who remained in British mainstream society without working too actively to promote the British imperial cause, but cold and elitist.


While these early adventurers had no clear agenda, the Burtons and Philbys of today -- the eager young Western archaeologists, anthropologists, economists, advisers -- do: to document the dying cultures in the case of the former, and dig the knife in to accelerate their demise in the case of the latter. However, the message of Islam continues to penetrate the Western mind, appealing to the spiritual hunger which is at the basis of the human experience. Just as Americans embraced Buddhism from defeated Japan after WWII, they are increasingly embracing the spirituality of the supposedly conquered Muslim world today.

Over the past 20 years, an estimated 20,000 people in England have converted and, as in many other countries, the movement toward Islam has accelerated. One Dutch Islamic centre claims a tenfold increase in converts since 9/11, while the New Muslims Project, based in Leicester and run by a former Irish Catholic housewife, reports a steady stream. A 1999 United Nations survey showed that between 1989 and 1998, Europe's Muslim population more than doubled. Today, about 13 million Muslims live in Western Europe: 3.9 million in Germany, 3.3 million in Britain, 7.5 million in France. Surprisingly, there has been a surge in conversions to Islam since September 11, especially among affluent young white Britons.

So the tradition that Pickthall embodied continues. Austrian correspondent for the Franfurter Zeitung Leopold Weiss (Muhammad Asad) left Europe in 1922 for what was supposed to be a short visit to an uncle in Jerusalem. Weiss counted himself an agnostic, having drifted away from his Jewish moorings despite his religious studies. There, instead of becoming a Zionist, he was struck by how Islam infused everyday lives with existential meaning, spiritual strength and inner peace, though he was disappointed in the corruption of Muslim society. In the mountains of Afghanistan a young provincial governor finally told him, "But you are a Muslim, only you don't know it yourself." When he returned to Europe, he saw that "the only logical consequence of my attitude was to embrace Islam.

"Islam appears to me like a perfect work of architecture. All its parts are harmoniously conceived to complement and support each other: nothing is superfluous and nothing lacking, with the result of an absolute balance and solid composure. As a spiritual and social phenomenon, it is still in spite of all the drawbacks caused by the deficiencies of the Muslims, by far the greatest driving force mankind has ever experienced; and all my interest became, since then, centred around the problem of its regeneration."

After the establishment of Pakistan, he was appointed the Director of the Department of Islamic Reconstruction, West Punjab and later became Pakistan's alternate representative at the United Nations. He authored Islam at the Crossroads and Road to Mecca, published a monthly journal Arafat and, like Pickthall, an English translation of the Quran.

Charles Le Gai Eaton, a former British diplomat and author of Islam and the Destiny of Man, relates how he overheard a young woman telling a Christian minister she was not sure she believed in human progress. "The Minister answered her so rudely and with such contempt that I could not resist the temptation to say: 'She's quite right - there's no such thing as progress!' He turned on me, his face contorted with fury, and said: 'If I thought that, I would commit suicide this very night!' Since suicide is as great a sin for Christians as it is for Muslims, I understood for the first time the extent to which faith in progress, in a 'better future' and, by implication, in the possibility of a paradise on earth has replaced faith in God and in the hereafter. Deprive the modern Westerner of this faith and he is lost in a wilderness without signposts."

Abdul-Karim Germanus, professor of history and civilisation at the University of Budapest for 40 years, worked to revive classical Arabic, dreaming of a time when all Arab countries would speak the same form of Arabic that would tie them to their rich heritage and history.

Dr Murad Wilfried Hofmann, Catholic German diplomat, first became interested in Islam in 1961 when posted to Algeria. He witnessed the cruel persecution of the natives who maintained their humanity despite torture and hardship, and felt it must be their religion that inspired them. He started to read the Quran and found it much more appealing than the qualified deism of the Jewish tribal God or the artificial, complicated Trinity of Christianity. It was the most straightforward and least anthropomorphic, i.e., the most advanced monotheism. He was enthralled by Islamic art and architecture -- so imbued with spirituality, where the mosque is integral to social life.

Yahya Birt, son of former BBC Director General Lord John Birt, says of Islam: "It has a clear moral system and an intact tradition of religious scholarship. No scripture expresses its message of the oneness of God as clearly as the Quran. It also has a remarkably rich mysticism, which may be what appeals to middle-class white Brits like me." Singer/composer Cat Stevens cut his singing career short to become Yusuf Islam in 1977 and a high-profile spokesman for the British Muslim community.

These well-heeled defectors prompted Cold War author and journalist Philip Knightley to brand them "the new Philbys". They were running from privilege, he suggested, driven as much by a sense of guilt at what they had as wonder at the mysteries of Islam. The fact that Kim Philby's father happens to have converted to Islam was taken to support the accusation. But take Joe Ahmed-Dobson, the son of the former Health Secretary -- a child of New Labour and the opposite of a rebel. He works on inner city regeneration, finds spiritual satisfaction in Islam's "constant impetus to do the right thing", and credits his first-class degree to the structure his faith has brought to his life.

Surprisingly, almost as many Western women are converting as men. In America, one in four converts is a woman; in England, the figure is one in two. British journalist Yvonne Ridley converted to Islam after being held captive by the Taliban during the US invasion of Afghanistan. Working as a reporter for the Sunday Express in September 2001, Ridley was smuggled from Pakistan across the Afghan border. But her cover was blown when she fell off her donkey in front of a Taliban soldier near Jalalabad. The formerly hard-drinking Sunday school teacher became a Muslim after reading the Quran on her release.

She represents a trend of conversion in the West precisely among educated women, who like their male aspirants are in search of spiritual fulfillment, their own "feminist" holy grail. What do her Church of England parents in County Durham make of her new family? "Initially the reaction of my family and friends was one of horror, but now they can all see how much happier, healthier and fulfilled I am. And my mother is delighted I've stopped drinking." What does Ridley feel about the place of women in Islam? "There are oppressed women in Muslim countries, but I can take you up the side streets of Tyneside and show you oppressed women there. Oppression is cultural, it is not Islamic. The Quran makes it crystal clear that women are equal."

Karen Armstrong, a former nun and best-selling author who writes on Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Buddhism, now calls herself a "freelance monotheist". She has advanced the theory that fundamentalist religion is a response to and product of modern culture, and has been influential in conveying the meaning of Islam to a wide readership in Europe and North America. Her writings include A History of God: The 4000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam and her biography Muhammad: A Prophet For Our Time.

Elizabeth L, a graduate in political science and the daughter of affluent white British parents says very movingly: "I know it sounds clichéd, but Allah came knocking at my heart. That's really how it feels. In many ways it is beyond articulating, rather like falling in love." As she read the Quran and prepared for her conversion, the September attacks came and went and failed to derail her spiritual journey: "I can see why people get fed up with the West. Capitalism is enormously oppressive."

The individuals who will stand out as heroes of our times, who will lead us out of our current social and economic crisis, will most likely be Muslims, at least in their way of life. Both the born Muslims and the men and women who have found their inner Muslim prince.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Proof of The Preservation of the Quran

By Sabeel Ahmed,

while writing this article, the author is (E-mail: ) is at the final stage of his medical programme in Ross University, New York. He is the Co-chairman of the Da'wa Committee and Board of Director at the Muslim Community Center Masjid (the largest mosque in the Illinois state). He is also a member of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) where he is actively involved in the 'toll free da'wa hotline' 1-800-662-islam, having first hand experience in handling calls by non-Muslim. He was a student of Shaykh Ahmed Deedat and his main field of interest is in comparative religion.

There are hundreds of religions flourishing around the world: Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Sikhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Bahaism, Babism, Zoroastrianism, Mormonism, Jehovas Witnesses, Jainism, Confucianism etc. And each of these religions claim that their scripture is preserved from the day it was revealed (written) until our time. A religious belief is as authentic as the authenticity of the scripture it follows. And for any scripture to be labeled as authentically preserved it should follow some concrete and rational criteria.

Imagine this scenario:

A professor gives a three hour lecture to his students. Imagine still that none of the students memorized this speech of the professor or wrote it down. Now forty years after that speech, if these same students decided to replicate professor's complete speech word for word, would they be able to do it? Obviously not. Because the only two modes of preservation historically is through writing and memory.

Therefore, for any claimants to proclaim that their scripture is preserved in purity, they have to provide concrete evidence that the Scripture was written in its entirety AND memorized in its entirety from the time it was revealed to our time, in a continuous and unbroken chain. If the memorization part doesn't exist parallel to the written part to act as a check and balance for it, then there is a genuine possibility that the written scripture may loose its purity through unintentional and intentional interpolations due to scribal errors, corruption by the enemies, pages getting decomposed etc, and these errors would be concurrently incorporated into subsequent texts, ultimately loosing its purity through ages.

Now, of all the religions mentioned above, does any one of them possess their scriptures in its entirety BOTH in writing AND in memory from the day of its revelation until our time.

None of them fit this required criteria, except one: This unique scripture is the Qur'an - revelation bestowed to Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) 1,418 years ago, as a guidance for all of humankind.

Lets analyze the claim of the preservation of the Quran...


'In the ancient times, when writing was scarcely used, memory and oral transmission was exercised and strengthened to a degree now almost unknown' relates Michael Zwettler.(1)

Prophet Muhammad (S): The First Memorizer

It was in this 'oral' society that Prophet Muhammad (S) was born in Mecca in the year 570 C.E. At the age of 40, he started receiving divine Revelations from the One God, Allah, through Archangel Gabriel. This process of divine revelations continued for about 22.5 years just before he passed away.

Prophet Muhammad (S) miraculously memorized each revelation and used to proclaim it to his Companions. Angel Gabriel used to refresh the Quranic memory of the Prophet each year.

'The Prophet (S) was the most generous person, and he used to become more so (generous) particularly in the month of Ramadan because Gabriel used to meet him every night of the month of Ramadan till it elapsed. Allah's Messenger (S) use to recite the Qur'an for him. When Gabriel met him, he use to become more generous than the fast wind in doing good'. (2)

'Gabriel used to repeat the recitation of the Qur'an with the Prophet (S) once a year, but he repeated it twice with him in the year he (Prophet) died'. (3)

The Prophet himself use to stay up a greater part of the night in prayers and use to recite Quran from memory.

Prophet's Companions: The First Generation Memorizers

Prophet Muhammad (S) encouraged his companions to learn and teach the Quran:

'The most superior among you (Muslims) are those who learn the Qur'an and teach it'. (4)

'Some of the companions who memorized the Quran were: 'Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Ali, Ibn Masud, Abu Huraira, Abdullah bin Abbas, Abdullah bin Amr bin al-As, Aisha, Hafsa, and Umm Salama'. (5)

'Abu Bakr, the first male Muslim to convert to Islam used to recite the Quran publicly in front of his house in Makka'. (6)

The Prophet also listened to the recitation of the Qur'an by the Companions: 'Allah Apostle said to me (Abdullah bin Mas'ud): "Recite (of the Quran) to me". I said: "Shall I recite it to you although it had been revealed to you?!" He Said: "I like to hear (the Quran) from others". So I recited Sura-an-Nisa' till I reached: "How (will it be) then when We bring from each nation a witness and We bring you (O Muhammad) as a witness against these people?"' (4:41) 'Then he said: "Stop!" Behold, his eyes were shedding tears then'. (7)

Many Quranic memorizers (Qurra) were present during the lifetime of the Prophet and afterwards through out the then Muslim world.

'At the battle of Yamama, many memorizers of the Quran were martyred. 'Narrated Zaid bin Thabit al Ansari, who was one of those who use to write the Divine Revelations: Abu Bakr sent me after the (heavy) casualties among the warriors (of the battle) of Yamama (where a great number of Qurra were killed). Umar was present with Abu Bakr who said: "Umar has come to me and said, the people have suffered heavy casualties on the day of (the battle of) Yamama, and I am afraid that there will be some casualties among the Qurra (those who memorized the entire Quran) at other place..."' (8)

'Over the centuries of the Islamic Era, there have arisen throughout the various regions of the Islamic world literally thousands of schools devoted specially to the teaching of the Quran to children for the purpose of memorization. These are called, in Arabic, katatib (singular: Kuttab). It is said that the Caliph 'Umar (634-44) first ordered the construction of these schools in the age of the great expansion'. (9)

Second Generation Memorizers:

"...Quranic schools were set up everywhere. As an example to illustrate this I may refer to a great Muslim scholar, of the second Muslim generation, Ibn 'Amir, who was the judge of Damascus under the Caliph Umar Ibn 'Abd Al-Aziz. It is reported that in his school for teaching the Quran there were 400 disciples to teach in his absence". (10)

Memorizers in Subsequent Generations:

The Number of Katatib and similar schools in Cairo (Egypt) alone at one time exceeded two thousand. (11)

Currently both in the Muslim and non-Muslim countries thousands of schools with each instructing tens of hundreds of students the art of memorizing the entire Quran. In the city of Chicago itself, there are close to 40+ Mosques, with many of them holding class for children instructing them the art of Quranic memorization.

Further Points of Consideration:

* Muslims recite Quran from their memory in all of their five daily prayers. * Once a year, during the month of Fasting (Ramadan), Muslims listen to the complete recitation of the Quran by a Hafiz (memorizer of the entire Quran) * It's a tradition among Muslims that before any speech or presentation, marriages, sermons, Quran is recited.


Quran is the only book, religious or secular, on the face of this planet that has been completely memorized by millions. These memorizers range from ages 6 and up, both Arabic and non-Arabic speakers, blacks, whites, Orientals, poor and wealthy.

Thus the process of memorization was continuous , from Prophet

Muhammad's (S) time to ours with an unbroken chain.

"The method of transmitting the Quran from one generation to the next by having he young memorize the oral recitation of their elders had mitigated somewhat from the beginning the worst perils of relying solely on written records..." relates John Burton (12)

"This phenomenon of Quranic recital means that the text has traversed the centuries in an unbroken living sequence of devotion. It cannot, therefore, be handled as an antiquarian thing, nor as a historical document out of a distant past. The fact of hifz (Quranic Memorization) has made the Qur'an a present possession through all the lapse of Muslim time and given it a human currency in every generation never allowing its relegation to a bare authority for reference alone" reflects Kenneth Cragg (13)

Written Text of the Quran

Prophet's Time:

Prophet Muhammad (S) was very vigilant in preserving the Quran in the written form from the very beginning up until the last revelation. The Prophet himself was unlettered, did not knew how to read and write, therefore he called upon his numerous scribes to write the revelation for him. Complete Quran thus existed in written form in the lifetime of the Prophet.

Whenever a new revelation use to come to him, the Prophet would immediately call one of his scribes to write it down.

'Some people visited Zaid Ibn Thabit (one of the scribes of the Prophet) and asked him to tell them some stories about Allah's Messenger. He replied: "I was his (Prophet's) neighbor, and when the inspiration descended on him he sent for me and I went to him and wrote it down for him..." (14)

Narrated by al-Bara': There was revealed 'Not equal are those believers who sit (home) and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah' (4:95). The Prophet said: 'Call Zaid for me and let him bring the board, the ink pot and scapula bone.' Then he (Prophet) said: 'Write: Not equal are those believers...' (15)

Zaid is reported to have said: 'We use to compile the Qur'an from small scraps in the presence of the Apostle'. (16)

'The Prophet, while in Madinah, had about 48 scribes who use to write for him'. (17)

Abdullah Ibn 'Umar relates:... 'The Messenger of Allah (S) said: "Do not take the Qur'an on a journey with you, for I am afraid lest it should fall into the hands of the enemy"' (18)

During the Prophet's last pilgrimage, he gave a sermon in which he said: 'I have left with you something which if you will hold fast t it you will never fall into error - a plain indication, the Book of God (Quran) and the practice of his Prophet...' (19)

'Besides the official manuscripts of the Quran kept with the Prophet, many of his companions use to possess their own written copies of the revelation'. (20)

'A list of Companions of whom it is related that they had their own written collections included the following: Ibn Mas'ud, Ubay bin Ka'b, Ali, Ibn Abbas, Abu Musa, Hafsa, Anas bin Malik, Umar, Zaid bin Thabit, Ibn Al-Zubair, Abdullah ibn Amr, Aisha, Salim, Umm Salama, Ubaid bin Umar'. (21)

'The best known among these (Prophet's Scribes) are: Ibn Masud, Ubay bin Kab and Zaid bin Thabit'. (22)

'Aisha and Hafsa, the wives of the Prophet had their own scripts written after the Prophet had died'. (23)


The complete Quran was written down in front of the Prophet by several of his scribes and the companions possess their own copies of the Quran in the Prophet's lifetime. However the written material of the Quran in the Prophet's possession were not bounded between the two covers in the form of a book, because the period of revelation of the Qur'an continued up until just a few days before the Prophet's death. The task of collecting the Qur'an as a book was therefore undertaken by Abu Bakr, the first successor to the Prophet.

Written Quran in First Generation:

At the battle of Yamama (633 CE), six months after the death of the Prophet, a number of Muslims, who had memorized the Quran were killed. Hence it was feared that unless a written official copy of the Quran were prepared, a large part of revelation might be lost.

Narrated Zaid bin Thabit al-Ansari, one of the scribes of the Revelation: Abu Bakr sent for me after the casualties among the warriors (of the battle) of Yamama (where a great number of Qurra (memorizers of the Quran, were killed). Umar was present with Abu Bakr who said: "Umar has come to me and said, the people have suffered heavy casualties on the day of (the battle) of Yamama, and I am afraid that there will be some casualties among the Qurra at other places, whereby a large part of the Quran may be lost, unless you collect it (in one manuscript, or book) Abu Bakr said to me (Zaid bin Thabit): You are a wise young man and we do not suspect you (of telling lies or of forgetfulness) and you used to write the Divine Inspiration for Allah's Apostle. Therefore, look for the Qur'an and collect it (in one manuscript)'...So I started locating the Quranic material and collecting it from parchments, scapula, leafstalks of date palms and from the memories of men (who know it by heart)..." (24)

Now, a committee was formed to under take the task of collecting the written Quranic material in the form of a book. The committee was headed by Zaid bin Thabit, the original scribe of the Prophet, who was also a memorizer of the complete Quran.

'...Zaid bin Thabit had committed the entire Quran to memory...' (25)

The compilers in this committee, in examining written material submitted to them, insisted on very stringent criteria as a safeguard against any errors.

1. The material must have been originally written down in the presence of the Prophet; nothing written down later on the basis of memory alone was to be accepted. (26) 2. The material must be confirmed by two witnesses, that is to say, by two trustworthy persons testifying that they themselves had heard the Prophet recite the passage in question. (27)

'The manuscript on which the Qur'an was collected, remained with Abu Bakr till Allah took him unto Him, and then with Umar (the second successor), till Allah took him unto Him, and finally it remained with Hafsa, 'Umar's daughter (and wife of the Prophet)'. (28)

This copy of the Quran, prepared by the committee of competent companions of the Prophet (which included Memorizers of the Quran) was unanimous approved by the whole Muslim world. If they committee would have made a error even of a single alphabet in transcribing the Quran, the Qurra (memorizers of the Quran) which totaled in the tens of hundreds would have caught it right away and correct it. This is exactly where the neat check and balance system of preservation of the Quran comes into play, but which is lacking for any other scripture besides the Quran.

Official written copy by Uthman

The Quran was originally revealed in Quraishi dialect of Arabic. But to facilitate the people who speak other dialects, in their understanding and comprehension, Allah revealed the Quran finally in seven dialects of Arabic. During the period of Caliph Uthman (second successor to the Prophet) differences in reading the Quran among the various tribes became obvious, due to the various dialectical recitations. Dispute was arising, with each tribe calling its recitation as the correct one. This alarmed Uthman, who made a official copy in the Quraishi dialect, the dialect in which the Quran was revealed to the Prophet and was memorized by his companions. Thus this compilation by Uthman's Committee is not a different version of the Quran (like the Biblical versions) but the same original revelation given to the Prophet by One God, Allah.

Narrated Anas bin Malik: Hudhaifa bin Al-Yaman came to Uthman at the time when the people of Sham (Syria) and the people of Iraq were waging war to conquer Armenia and Azherbijan. Hudhaifa was afraid of their differences in the recitation of the Quran, so he said to Uthman, 'O chief of the Believers! Save this nation before they differ about the Book (Quran) as Jews and Christians did before'. So Uthman sent a message to Hafsa saying, 'Send us the manuscripts of the Quran so that we may compile the Quranic materials in perfect copies and return the manuscripts to you'. Hafsa sent it to Uthman. 'Uthman then ordered Zaid bin Thabit, 'Abdullah bin Az-Zubair, Said bin Al-As and Abdur Rahman bin Harith bin Hisham to rewrite the manuscripts in perfect copies. Uthman said to the three Quraishi men, 'In case you disagree with Zaid bin Thabit on any point in the Quran, then write it in their (Quraishi) tongue'. They did so, and when they had written many copies, Uthman sent to every Muslim province one copy of what they had copied and ordered that all the other Quranic materials whether written in fragmentary manuscripts or whole copies, be burnt..." (29)

Again a very stringent criteria was set up by this Committee to prevent any alteration of the Revelation.

1. The earlier recension (Original copy prepared by Abu Bakr) was to serve as the principal basis of the new one. (30) 2. Any doubt that might be raised as to the phrasing of a particular passage in the written text was to be dispelled by summoning persons known to have learned the passage in question from the Prophet. (31) 3. Uthman himself was to supervise the work of the Council. (32)

When the final recension was completed, Uthman sent a copy of it to each of the major cities of Makka, Damascus, Kufa, Basra and Madina.

The action of Uthman to burn the other copies besides the final recension, though obviously drastic, was for the betterment and harmony of the whole community and was unanimously approved by the Companions of the Prophet.

Zaid ibn Thabit is reported to have said: "I saw the Companions of Muhammad (going about) saying, 'By God, Uthman has done well! By God, Uthman has done well!" (33)

Another esteemed Companion Musab ibn Sad ibn Abi Waqqas said: "I saw the people assemble in large number at Uthman's burning of the prescribed copies (of the Quran), and they were all pleased with his action; not a one spoke out against him". (34)

Ali ibn Abu Talib, the cousin of the Prophet and the fourth successor to the Prophet commented: "If I were in command in place of Uthman, I would have done the same". (35)

Of the copies made by Uthman, two still exist to our day. One is in the city of Tashkent, (Uzbekistan) and the second one is in Istanbul (Turkey). Below is a brief account of both these copies:

1. The copy which Uthman sent to Madina was reportedly removed by the Turkish authorities to Istanbul, from where it came to Berlin during World War I. The Treaty of Versailles, which concluded World War I, contains the following clause:

'Article 246: Within six months from the coming into force of the present Treaty, Germany will restore to His Majesty, King of Hedjaz, the original Koran of Caliph Othman, which was removed from Madina by the Turkish authorities and is stated to have been presented to the ex-Emperor William II". (36)

'This manuscript then reached Istanbul, but not Madina (Where it now resides)'. (37)

2. The second copy in existence is kept in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. 'It may be the Imam (master) manuscript or one of the other copies made at the time of Uthman'. (38)

It Came to Samarkand in 890 Hijra (1485) and remained there till 1868. Then it was taken to St.Petersburg by the Russians in 1869. It remained there till 1917. A Russian orientalist gave a detailed description of it, saying that many pages were damaged and some were missing. A facsimile, some 50 copies, of this mushaf (copy) was produced by S.Pisareff in 1905. A copy was sent to the Ottoman Sultan 'Abdul Hamid, to the Shah of Iran, to the Amir of Bukhara, to Afghanistan, to Fas and some important Muslim personalities. One copy is now in the Columbia University Library (U.S.A.). (39)

'The Manuscript was afterwards returned to its former place and reached Tashkent in 1924, where it has remained since'. (40)


'Two of the copies of the Qur'an which were originally prepared in the time of Caliph Uthman, are still available to us today and their text and arrangement can be compared, by anyone who cares to do, with any other copy of the Quran, be it in print or handwritten, from any place or period of time. They will be found identical'. (41)

It can now be proclaimed, through the evidences provided above, with full conviction and certainty that the Prophet memorized the entire Quran, had it written down in front of him through his scribes, many of his companions memorized the entire revelation and in turn possess their own private copies for recitation and contemplation. This process of dual preservation of the Quran in written and in the memory was carried in each subsequent generation till our time, without any deletion, interpolation or corruption of this Divine Book.

Sir Williams Muir states, " There is otherwise every security, internal and external, that we possess the text which Muhammad himself gave forth and used". (42)

Sir William Muir continues, "There is probably no other book in the world which has remained twelve centuries (now fourteen) with so pure a text". (43)

This divine protection provided to the Quran, the Last Reveled Guide to Humanity, is proclaimed by One God in the Quran:

We* (Allah) have, without doubt, send down the Message; and We will assuredly Guard it (from corruption)' (Quran - Chapter 15, Verse 9). *('We' is the plural of Majesty, and not the Christian plural of trinity)

Compare this divine and historical preservation of the Quran with any literature, be it religious or secular and it becomes evident that none possess similar miraculous protection. And as states earlier, a belief is as authentic as the authenticity of its scripture. And if any scripture is not preserved, how can we be certain that the belief arising out of this scripture is divine or man made, and if we are not sure about the belief itself, then our salvation in the hereafter would be jeopardized. Thus this above evidence for the protection of the Quran from any corruption is a strong hint about its divine origin. We request all open hearted persons to read, understand and live the Quran, the 'Manual for Mankind'.


1. (1) (Michael Zwettler, The Oral Tradition of Classical Arabic Poetry, p.14. Ohio State Press: 1978
2. (Transmitted by Ibn Abbas, collected in Sahih Al-Bukhari, 6.519, translated by Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan)
3. (Transmitted by Abu Hurayrah, collected in Sahih Al-Bukhari, 6.520, translated by Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan)
4. (Transmitted by Uthman bin Affan, collected in Sahih Bukhari, 6.546, translated by Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan).
5. (Jalal al-Din Suyuti, 'Al-Itqan fi-ulum al-Quran, Vol. I p.124)
6. (Ibn Hisham: Sira al-nabi, Cairo, n.d., Vol.I, p.206).
7. (Bukhari, 6.106)
8. (Al-Bukhari, 6.201)
9. ( Labib as-Said, the Recited Koran, Translated by Bernard Weiss, M.A.Rauf, and Morroe Berger, The Darwon Press, Princton, New Jersey, 1975, pg.58).
10. ((Ibn al Jazari, Kitab al-Nash fi al-Qir'at al-Ashr, (Cairo al-Halabi, n.d._ vol. 2, p. 254, also Ahmad Makki al-Ansari, al-Difa' An al-Qur'an. (Cairo, Dar al-Ma'arif, 1973 C.E.), part I, p.120)
11. (Labib as-Said, the Recited Koran, Translated by Bernard Weiss, M.A.Rauf, and Morroe Berger, The Darwon Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 1975, pg.59)
12. (John Burton, An Introduction to the Hadith, p.27. Edinburgh University Press: 1994)
13. (Kenneth Cragg, The Mind of the Qur'an, p.26. George Allah & Unwin: 1973)
14. (Tirmidhi, Mishkat al-Masabih, No. 5823)
15. (Bukhari, 6.512)
16. (Suyuti, Itqan, I, p.99)
17. (M.M.Azami, Kuttab al-Nabi,Beirut, 1974)
18. (Muslim, III, NO. 4606, also 4607, 4608; Bukhari, 4.233)
19. (Ibn Hisham, Sira al-nabi, p.651).
20. (Suyuti, Itqan, I, p.62).
21. (Ibn Abi Dawud: Masahif, p.14)
22. (Bayard Dodge: The fihrist of al-Nadim: A Tenth Century Survey of Muslim Culture, New York, 1970, pp.53-63)
23. (Muwatta Imam Malik, Lahore, 1980, no.307, 308, translation by M. Rahimuddin).
24. ((Bukhari 6.201)
25. (Labib as-Said, The Recited Koran, translated by Bernard Weiss, et al. 1975, p.21.
26. (Ibn Hajar, Fath, Vol. IX, p.10)
27. (ibid., p.11)
28. (Bukhari, 6.201)
29. (Bukhari, 6.510)
30. (Ibn Hajar, Bath, IX, p. 15)
31. (Suyuti, Itqan, Vol.I, p.59)
32. ((ibid., p.59).
33. (Naysaburi, al-,Nizam al-Din al-Hasan ibn Muhammad, Ghara'ib al-Quran wa-ragha'ib al-furqan. 4 vols. To date. Cairo, 1962).
34. ((Ibn Abi Dawud, p.12)
35. Zarkashi, al-, Badr al-Din, Al-Burhan fi-ulum al-Quran, Cairo, 1957, Vol. I, p. 240.
36. (Fred L. Israel, Major Peace Treaties of Modern History, New York, Chelsea House Pub., Vol. II, p. 1418 )
37. (Makhdum, op.cit., 1938, p.19).
38. (Ahmad Von Denffer, Ulum Al-Qur'an, Islamic Foundation, revised ed., 1994, p.63)
39. (The Muslim World, Vol.30(1940), pp. 357-8.)
40. (Ahmad von Denffer, Ulum Al-Quran, Islamic Foundation, revised Ed., 1994, p.63).
41. (ibid., p,64)
42. (Sir Williams Muir, Life of Mohamet, Vol.I. Introduction)
43. (ibid.)