Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Last Ten Nights of Ramadan

The last ten nights of Ramadan are very special. The first of these nights occurs on the eve of the 21st day of Ramadan. In other words, it is the night that commences after the completion of the 20th day of fasting. Sometimes there are only nine nights, whenever the month of Ramadan lasts for only 29 days. Nevertheless, they are still traditionally referred to as "the last ten nights".

The last ten nights of Ramadan are very special. These are the nights that the Prophet (peace be upon him) would spend in constant worship. Among these nights is Laylah al-Qadr – a night more blessed than a thousand months.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to single these nights out for worship and the performance of good deeds. He would exert himself in worship during these ten nights more than any other nights of the year.

`A'ishah tells us: "During the last ten nights of Ramadan, the Prophet (peace be upon him) would tighten his waist belt and spend the night in worship. He would also wake up his family." [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (1920)]

`A'ishah also says: "I had never known Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) to read the entire Qur'ân in a single night, or to spend the whole night in prayer up until the morning, or to spend a whole month in fasting – except in Ramadan." [Sunan al-Nasâ'î (1641) and Sunan Ibn Mâjah (1348)]

When we say that the Prophet (peace be upon him) spent the whole night in worship, we should qualify it. This is because he would spend some time eating dinner, partaking of his pre-dawn meal, and other similar activities. However, he would spend most of the night in worship.

Waking Up the Family

`A'ishah informs us that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to wake up his family during the last ten nights of Ramadan. Indeed, he used to wake up his wives for prayer throughout the year, but that was so that they could pray for a small fraction of the night.

We know this, because Umm Salamah relates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) woke her up one night and said: "Glory be to Allah. What has been sent down of trials during this night? What has been sent down of treasures, so that the denizens of the bedchambers will be awakened? O Lord! To be clothed in this world by naked in the Hereafter." [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (1074)]

During the last ten nights of Ramadan, the Prophet (peace be upon him) would wake up his wives to pray for a much longer portion of the night than during the rest of the year.

Exerting Oneself in Worship

`A'isha tells us: "The Prophet would exert himself in worship during the last ten nights more than at any other time of the year." [Sahîh Muslim (1175)]

The great jurist, al-Shâfi`î declares: "It is Sunnah for one to exert greater efforts in worship during the last ten nights of Ramadan." [al-Majmû` (6/397)]

When `A'ishah tells us that the Prophet (peace be upon him) would "tighten his waistbelt", she is speaking figuratively. The phrase means to set about to devote oneself fully and wholeheartedly to the task at hand.

Seeking Out Laylah al-Qadr

One of the greatest distinctions of these ten special nights is that one of them is Laylah al-Qadr – the Night of Decree. This is the greatest night of the year – better than a thousand months. This means that a Muslim can earn more rewards on Laylah al-Qadr than he would if – excluding this special night – he were worship his Lord for eighty-four years straight. This is one of the immense favors that Allah has bestowed upon the Muslim community.

Ibrâhîm al-Nakha`î says: "Good works performed on this night are better than those performed consistently for a thousand months."

Abû Hurayrah relates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Whoever spends Laylah al-Qadr in prayer, believing in Allah and seeking His reward, will be forgiven all of his past sins." [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (1802) and Sahîh Muslim (760)]

Belief in Allah, in this hadîth, means not only to believe in Allah, but to believe in the reward that we are promised for observing prayer on this night.

Laylah al-Qadr is on one of the odd nights. `A'ishah relates that Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said: "Seek out Laylah al-Qadr in the odd nights during the last ten nights of Ramadan." [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (1913) and Sahîh Muslim (1169)]

It is most likely one of the last seven odd nights. Ibn `Umar relates that Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said: "Look for it in the last ten nights. If one of you falls weak or unable to do so, then he should at least try on the seven remaining nights." [Sahîh Muslim (1165)]

The most likely candidate for Laylah al-Qadr is the 27th night of Ramadan. This is indicated by the statement of `Ubayy b. Ka`b: “I swear by Allah that I know which night it is. It is the night in which Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) ordered us to observe in prayer. It is the night on the eve of the 27th of Ramadan. Its sign is that the Sun will rise in the morning of that day white without exuding any rays.” [Sahîh Muslim (762)]

A Muslim should seek out this special night by spending the last ten nights of Ramadan engaged in various acts of worship. These include reciting the remembrances of Allah, reading the Qur'ân, and begging Allah's forgiveness.

It is best for us to strive hard on all ten nights, because the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: The way we "look for" Laylah al-Qadr is by engaging in extra worship.

When the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Look for it in the last ten nights" he did not mean that we should literally "look for" signs and indications that distinguish Laylah al-Qadr from other nights. The things that distinguish Laylah al-Qadr from other nights are part of the Unseen.

Allah says: " Surely We revealed it on a blessed night. Surely We ever wish to warn (against evil) – On this night, every wise matter is made distinct." [Sûrah al-Dukhân (3-4)]

Allah says: "Laylah al-Qadr is better than a thousand months. The angels and the Spirit descend therein, by the permission of their Lord, with every decree. (This night is) peace, until the rising of the dawn." [Sûrah al-Qadr (3-5)]

These are the ways in which Laylah al-Qadr is special. They are not things that we can see with our eyes. No one after the Prophet (peace be upon him) can see the angels.

Observing a Retreat in the Mosque (I`tikâf)

Observing a retreat in the mosque is of the best things we can do during the last ten nights of Ramadan. `A'ishah tells us: "The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to observe a retreat in the mosque during the last ten nights of Ramadan up until he died. His wives continued to observe this practice after his death." [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (1922) and Sahîh Musli (1172)]

The practice of i`tikâf is a strongly recommended act. It is defined as remaining in retreat in the mosque for the express purpose of worship. The purpose of doing so is to devote one's heart exclusively to Allah. The person engaging in i`tikâf keeps this intention close to mind and seeks Allah's blessings. He should not forget the reason why he is observing this retreat.

A person observing i`tikâf does not leave the mosque except for what is absolutely necessary (like going to the bathroom). While in the mosque, he should busy himself with the remembrance of Allah. He should make sure to offer the remembrances of the morning and evening and the prescribed remembrances for the five daily prayers. He should perform all of the Sunnah prayers and all other recommended prayers, like the Duhâ prayer. He should read as much of the Qur'ân as he can.

He should spend less time eating and sleep as little as possible. He should avoid unnecessary talk. However, he should engage in advising his fellow Muslims and in enjoining them to truth and to patience.


It is encouraged for us to be extra generous during the last ten nights of Ramadan, without being extravagant or ostentatious in our giving. Ibn `Abbâs relates that: "Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) was the most generous of all people in doing good, and he was at his most generous during the month of Ramadan. Gabriel used to meet with him every year throughout the month of Ramadan, so the Prophet could recite the Qur'ân to him. Whenever Gabriel met with him, he became more generous than a beneficial breeze." [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (1902) and Sahîh Muslim (2308)]

Al-Nawawî states [al-Majmû` (6/398)]:
Generosity and open-handedness are strongly encouraged in Ramadan, especially during the last ten nights. By doing so, we emulate the example of Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) as well as of our Pious Predecessors. Also, this month is noble, and good works carried out in this month are more blessed than they are at any other time. Also, during this month, people are preoccupied with fasting and worship, and this distracts them from their livelihood, so they might need some assistance during this time.

"Whoever guides [another] to a good deed will get a reward similar to the one who performs it." Prophet Mohammad (PBUH)[Sahih Muslim]
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Friday, August 27, 2010

We need to pray....

Written by Ash Shams
After a long and hectic day at work, how difficult it is for a tired person to go out to the mosque and concentrate on his prayers to Allah, the Almighty. Snuggled up in a warm and cozy bed, how difficult it is to get up at the call of the Mu'ezzin: "Come to prayer! Come to success!"

The famous doctor and philosopher, Ibn Sina (Avicenna), recalls such a moment in his life. One cold and icy night, he and his servant were resting at an inn in a remote part of Khurasan. During the night, he felt thirsty, so he called to his servant to bring him some water. The slave had no desire to leave his warm bed, so he pretended not to hear Ibn Sina's call. But finally, after repeated calls, he reluctantly got up and went to fetch the water.

A little while later, the melodious sound of the adhan (call to prayer) filled the air. Ibn Sina began to think about the person calling the people to prayer. "My slave, Abdullah," he mused, "has always respected me and admired me. He seizes any opportunity to lavish praise and affection on me, but tonight he preferred his own comfort to my needs.

"On the other hand, look at this Persian, slave of Allah: He left his warm bed to go out into the chilly night, he made ablution in the icy water of the stream, and then he ascended the high minaret of the mosque to glorify Him Whom he truly serves: 'I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah. I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah'."

Ibn Sina records: "I learned the essence of true love, that love which results in complete obedience." The love of Allah demands total and unconditional obedience. Allah, the Almighty says:

Say (O Muhammad, peace be upon, to mankind): "If you (really) love Allah then follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." (Qur'an, 3:31)

Cry of the inner soul

Arrogance and pride have often led man to behave as an oppressor and a tyrant. Some men have been carried away by their own self-importance that they have even claimed divinity.

But is man really as strong and great as his ego tells him? The Qur'an tells us the reality of man's nature: "Allah is He Who created you in (a state of) weakness, then gave you strength after weakness, then after strength gave (you) weakness and grey hair. He creates what He wills. And it is He Who is the All Knowing, the All Powerful." (Qur'an, 30:54)

Weakness in the beginning and weakness in the end: This is the essence of man. He is so weak and helpless at birth that his entire existence depends on his parents and his family. He needs a gentle and loving hand, not only in his infancy, but also in his childhood and his teenage years. As this child enters the years of youth and independence, he begins to take control of his own life.

He looks with pride at his strong physique, his handsome features and his many talents. He begins to despise those of lesser abilities, even scorning his parents, who exhausted their own health to nurture him. He becomes unjust and cruel, using his strength and vigour to dominate others. He thinks he is master, free to act as he wills. But does this youth, these good looks last forever? In only a few decades, he begins to lose his strength. His youth is replaced by old age.

Weakness in the beginning, weakness in the end. The message is clear: The real Master is Allah. He Alone is Mighty, He Alone is Great. He Alone never gets tired, never needs rest, is never dependent upon anyone. Allahu Akbar!

In our everyday lives, we say a warm 'thank you' for the small acts of kindness which others do for us. So what about thanking Allah, Who, in His infinite Mercy, has provided for every single one of our needs. Just observe the beauty and perfection of the earth around you and fall down in gratitude to your Lord.

Ascension for a believer

After the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was commissioned for Prophethood, the first thing he was commanded to do by Allah was pray. The angel Jibril came to him and a spring of water gushed out of the rocks in front of them. Jibril then showed him how to make ablution and how to offer prayers. He then went home and showed his wife Khadeejah what he had learnt from angel Jibril. The Prophet (peace be upon him) began to pray two rak'ahs, twice a day – once in the morning and once in the evening.

From that time, the Prophet (peace be upon him) never went through a day without praying. Just before his migration to Madinah, he was taken on a night journey to Jerusalem and then to the heavens (Mi'raj). During this journey, Allah ordered him to pray five times a day. This prayer was a gift given to every believer to experience a spiritual ascension five times a day.

It gives every Muslim the chance to communicate with his Lord. Allah has emphasized the need for humility and concentration in prayers.

For instance, when we recite Surah Al-Fatihah, we should remember that it is a conversation with Allah. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) reported that Allah, the Almighty, said: "When my slave says in his prayer: 'Alhamdulillahi Rabbil-Aalameen (All praise is for Allah, the Lord of the worlds),' I say: 'My slave has praised Me'. When he says: 'Ar-Rahmanir- Raheem, Maaliki Yawmid-Deen (The Merciful, the Compassionate, Master of the Day of Judgement),' I say: 'My slave has glorified Me.' When he says: 'Iyyaka Na'budu wa Iyyaka Nasta'een (You Alone we worship and your Aid we seek),' I say: 'This is between Me and My slave.' When he says: 'Ihdinas-Sirat Al-Mustaqeem' (Show us the Straight Path),' I say: "This is for My slave, and I give My slave what he wants."

The prayer is so very important that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Verily, between man and polytheism and disbelief is abandoning prayer." (Sahih Muslim)

Allah says, concerning the plight of the disbelievers on the Day of Judgement, that they will be asked by the believers:

"What has caused you to enter Hell?" They will say: "We were not of those who prayed." (Qur'an, 74:42-43).

- Abridged from 'Why Do We Pray?' by Dr. Suhaib Hasan

** Permission is granted to circulate among private individuals and groups, to post on Internet sites and to publish in full text and subject title in not-for-profit publications.

Benefits of Suhoor (predawn meal)

Written by Ash Shams
The predawn meal (Suhoor) is one of the main meals during the blessed month of Ramadhaan. Doctors have confirmed that it is more important than the meal with which one breaks his fast (Iftaar), because it helps the person persevere through the difficulties of fasting. This is the reason why our Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, advised us to eat it and encouraged us not to abandon it in many texts. For example, he, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “Eat Suhoor; Indeed, there is a blessing in Suhoor.” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

Part of the reason for the blessings that result from eating this meal is its strengthening the fasting person and giving him energy, thus making fasting easy for him. Additionally, by eating this meal one attains the reward of following the instructions of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

This blessed meal has many health benefits for the fasting person, such as:

It prevents fatigue and headaches during the daytime.
It reduces extreme hunger and thirst.
It prevents the fasting person from feeling lazy, sluggish or in need of sleep.
It prevents the loss of body cells.
It energizes and stimulates the digestive system.
It helps the body maintain its sugar levels while fasting.
It spiritually assists the believer to fulfill fasting as an act of worship.

It is preferable that this meal include vegetables that contain a high level of fluids, such as lettuce and cucumber, because this helps the body maintain fluids for a long period of time which thus reduces the feeling of thirst and prevents dehydration. Additionally, these types of vegetables are a good source for vitamins and minerals.

It is also recommended to have beans with olive oil, cheese and eggs as a part of this meal. This is because it takes the body 7-9 hours to digest these types of foods, and thus one’s hunger would be delayed. Also, these types supply the body with the required energy throughout the day.

Do not consume large quantities of sugar or salt, because sugar triggers hunger, while salt triggers thirst.

It is important to delay the Suhoor meal until as close to dawn as possible so as not to feel hungry or thirsty shortly after one starts to fast.

Moreover, this was the advice of our Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. ‘Amr ibn Maymoon, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: “The Companions, may Allaah be pleased with them, would break their fasts immediately at sunset (without any delay) and would delay eating Suhoor (until as close to Fajr as possible).” [Al-Bayhaqi]

Suhoor does not have to be a full meal. Rather, one can simply eat a date and would be considered as having had Suhoor. Abu Hurayrah, may Allaah be pleased with him, reported that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “The best Suhoor is (to eat) dates.” [Abu Daawood] If one cannot find dates, then water would be sufficient for one to attain the sought blessing promised by the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Maybe the Caliphate is a dream?

Written by Ammar Doosh

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem,

Muslims worldwide aspire for unity and the return of the Islamic Caliphate. As recent surveys show the majority of Muslims in some of the major Muslim countries want a Caliphate.

But does a 21st century Caliphate have any chance of being established or are Muslims just dreaming?

You can read what the ‘experts’ say here and what a ‘leading journalist’ says here. I have summarised the main points below.

The Muslim world is too diverse. Different languages, customs and traditions
Nationalism is too deeply rooted
Sunni / Shia differences
Muslim rulers prefer to live separately in nation states

The Muslim world is too diverse with different languages, customs and traditions

It’s true there are multitudes of languages, foods, clothing and other customs prevalent in the Muslim world. But this diversity is meaningless when it comes to the political system ruling the country. Political systems do not develop from people eating the same food or being the same colour skin. They develop from adopting economic, political and social legislation to govern the society. In most of the Muslim world today the political system derives from western constitutions such as the French constitution which became a basis for many Muslim countries after their independence.

Taking Iraq as an example. Many Kurds long for an independent Kurdish state. But the problem in Iraq as elsewhere in the Muslim world is not one of ethnicity but rather the governing system. Saddam Hussein not only oppressed Kurds but he brutally tortured and murdered thousands of his own people whether Kurd, Arab, Sunni or Shia. He even executed his two son-in-laws!

The underlying culture of the Kurdish people is Islamic. They share the same Islamic culture as the rest of the Muslims whether in Turkey, Iraq or elsewhere. The most famous Kurd in history was Salahudeen Ayyubi. He is honoured not just by Kurds but by all Muslims, from all ethnicities, because of his liberation of Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, the third holiest site in Islam.

Moreover is there anything in the sharia (Islamic law) that cannot be implemented on a person due to his ethnicity?

Muslims throughout the world pray five times a day, fast in Ramadan, give charity and go for the pilgrimage to Makkah. They get married, educate their children, fight to defend their lands from occupation, pay taxes, establish companies and punish criminal behaviour.

Nationalism is too deeply rooted

“Incidentally, try selling a Pakistani Caliph to a Bangladeshi...” as one journalist said. The Caliph is not a Pakistani Caliph or a Bengali Caliph or an Arab Caliph for that matter. He is a Muslim Caliph who heads the Islamic State. It’s true if a leader claims a particular nationality then people of another nation won’t follow him. But if a leader claims to represent the interests of Islam the entire Muslim world will follow him.

Bengali’s and Pakistani’s are all Muslim. During the devastating earthquake in Pakistan, Muslims in Bangladesh and throughout the world sent $millions to help the victims.

Ordinary Muslims do not recognise these artificial borders drawn up by the western powers. They are one people who share the same Islamic culture. The Islamic concept of Umma (Islamic nation) runs deep. Its also a major problem for western powers conducting their colonial foreign policy since support for the resistance to their occupation not only comes from the indigenous population but from all corners of the Muslim world.

Nationalism is an outdated concept that took root in the Muslim world during its declined period in the 19th century. Nowadays with globalisation and modern communications nationalism and racism are being consigned to the dustbins of history.

Sunni / Shia differences

There is much talk of a Shia crescent being formed in the Muslim world with Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran uniting against the other Sunni states in the region. The civil war in Iraq is also painted as a Sunni Shia conflict.

I have already partially addressed the issue here but to do justice to the subject a more detailed analysis will appear in a later article.

The Sunni Shia schism has been hyped out of all proportions by those powers within the Muslim world and outside who are seeking to make political gain from it. There was never a problem between Sunni and Shia before the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Now there is a civil war. The cause is clearly not the Sunni Shia schism but the occupation government in Iraq that was set up along ethnic and sectarian lines. Each grouping has its own militias that are now fighting for their own selfish political interests not for any Sunni or Shia interests.

The victory of Hizbollah in Lebanon was not seen as a shia victory but an Islamic victory supported by Sunni and Shia across the world. Incidentally Hizbollah has the support not only of Muslims but also Lebanese Christians who are standing shoulder to shoulder with them in their peaceful protests to oust the Lebanese government.

Whenever a leader plays the Sunni or Shia card he is doing it for his own selfish political interests. It has nothing to do with Islam. stoking the sectarian flames by Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia is just one more example of their treachery and their complete disregard for the interests of their people and Islam. We should not be surprised by claims that Saudi will arm Sunni militia against Shia in Iraq if America leaves.

Muslim rulers prefer to live separately in nation states

Agreed. The rulers in the Muslim world are some of the worst this world has ever seen. They are also some of the richest people the world has ever seen - having got rich on the backs of their own citizens wealth. Ordinary Muslims want shot of them. Unfortunately, these rulers have friends in high places namely London and Washington. These rulers suppress their people with an iron fist. Islam Karimov in Uzbekistan literally boils alive his political opponents!

Of course these rulers want to live separately and are only concerned with their own selfish political interests. But this cannot last. The Muslim leaders are running scared. Their peoples no longer fear their brutal torture and imprisonment. They are speaking openly against them. Demonstrations have been seen throughout the Muslim world. In Egypt, traditionally the most oppressive county of the Middle East has seen huge opposition amongst politicians, judiciary and the media to Hosni Mubarak’s brutal rule. Unfortunately, Mubarak has a good friend in London – Tony Blair – who regularly holidays in Egypt and has just met with him now to show his support for the Egyptian regime.

Europe only 50 years ago was at war. Now they are united under the EU with a single currency - something unimaginable just a few decades ago. If the EU with its strong nationalism, diverse languages and separate customs can unite, why cant the Muslim world?

Some commentators even in the west can see the possiblility of a Caliphate returning.

Ann Berg discusses from an economic viewpoint the potential power of economic union in the Muslim world. Osama Saeed discusses the potential benefits of a developed Muslim world under a Caliphate.

Is it really a dream for these brutal dictators in the Muslim world to be replaced in a Coup d'état by a representative government?

None of the Muslim leaders were elected by their people save one or two. Many assumed power through a Coup d'état such as General Musharraf of Pakistan. No matter how hard the governments try to suppress Islamic political movements and their culture they cannot stop an idea. The idea of a Caliphate is now deep rooted among the Muslims. It’s slowly rising up through the officer class of the armed forces. It’s only a matter of time before one or more senior army officers in the Muslim world decide enough is enough and do the right thing – removing the current dictator and replacing him with a Caliph.

The armies of the Muslim world should remember that if they do this the entire Muslim world will be behind them and the west will have no power to stop them.

Wal hamdulilahi Rabbil alameen.

- Asian Tribune -

Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 10 No. 121
Home » Maldives ship seized in Madras
Maldives ship seized in Madras
Sun, 2010-08-22 01:42 — editor

* Maldives Islands

Male, 22 August, (

The Madras High Court has ordered the arrest a Maldives registered ship lying at the anchorage of Kannur port in Kerala.

The court order, issued last week, follows alleged non-payment of dues to a Tuticorin-based company, the Siasath Daily reported.

“Justice V. Peruya Karuppiah passed the interim order on an application from Hari Company alleging that the owners of the ship M/v Dhuvaafaru Galaxy had not paid for various items worth 248,386 USD (approx Rs.1.27 crore) supplied to the ship,” it said.

The firm said despite repeated appeals, the vessel owners had not made any payment which was outstanding since February 16 last, according to the news report.

Holding that there was a prima facie case, the judege said since the ship was available at Kannur port for two days and the balance of convenience was also in favour of the applicat he was passing the interim order of the arrest of the vessel for two weeks, it added.

Maldives new AG appointed to JSC

President Mohamed Nasheed has appointed Attorney General Dr Ahmed Ali Sawad to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), Miadhu reported.

President Nasheed presented the letter of appointment to Dr Sawad Thursday, at a ceremony held at the President’s Office.

Before the presentation of the letter of appointment, Dr Sawad took the oath of membership of JSC.

The oath was administered by Supreme Court Judge Abdulla Areef.

Following the appointment, President Nasheed said the government and the people had high hopes for the judicial system, and that the Judicial Service Commission would carry out its constitutional mandate to that end.

The President expressed confidence that Dr Sawad would do whatever possible to make the Commission more effective, it said.

The Judicial Service Commission of the Maldives is an independent and impartial institution entrusted to, among other responsibilities; investigate complaints about the Judiciary; and, to take disciplinary action against them.

The JSC is also mandated to advise the President and the People’s Majlis on any matters relating to the Judiciary or the administration of justice.

Bills on Gang Violence and Assault Weapons passed

Parliament passed the Bill on Gang Violence and the Bill on Threats, Assault Weapons and Sharp objects.

The House on Thursday passed 5 amendments on Bill on Threats, Assault Weapons, and Sharp Objects out of the 13 amendments proposed, Miadhu reported.

Both the bills will curtail violent gang crime and protect law-abiding citizens and communities from violent criminals.

Both of the bills were passed with 67 out of 69 members who participated voted in favour of the Bills.

Gang violence often erupts in the capital Male’. Of late the city saw a surge of violence and murders of youngsters, in broad day light.

Dive and Dine with Fabien Cousteau in Maldives

The Soneva Fushi Resort is teaming up with Fabien Cousteau, grandson of legendary oceanographer Jacques Cousteau, to help highlight marine conversation concerns in the Maldives, the Examiner reported.

“During the month of October, Fabien Cousteau will be staying at Six Senses' flagship resort -- Soneva Fushi -- to discuss mankind's overuse of marine resources and provide suggestions on sustainable treatment of our oceans,” it reported.

During Fabien's visit, he will be offering Soneva Fushi guests an exclusive opportunity to dive and dine with him.

Sovena Fushi is committed to a Slow Life philosophy -- Sustainable - Local - Organic - Wholesome Learning - Inspiring - Fun - Experiences.

"The overfishing of oceanic and reef species such as tuna, groupers and lobsters is becoming a concern in the Maldivian waters with the growth of the local tourism industry and increasing number of visitors and locals," Sovena Fushi's resident marine biologist Anke Hofmeister was quoted as saying in the Examiner.

"Soneva Fushi has always been cautious not to feature any endangered species on its menus, closely monitors its fish consumption and thereby helps prevent negative impacts on nature's assets. However, more awareness-raising and sustainable farming initiatives are key if the Maldivian sea life is to exist in its full glory in the future,” she added.

Honoring his grandfather's legacy, Fabien is an aquatic filmmaker and oceanographic explorer.

He also runs a charity called “Plant A Fish” that helps raise awareness of marine environment restoration efforts.

"The team at Plant A Fish is thrilled to collaborate on a sea life restoration partnership with Soneva Fushi by Six Senses, a resort renowned for its socially and environmentally conscious values and initiatives, said Cousteau, according to the news report.

"This autumn, we'll be investigating fundraising efforts that will help restore endemic marine populations to the Maldives, one of which we hope will include a large-scale lobster rehabilitation project."

- Asian Tribune -

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Abdullah Afeef, a lover of honesty.

By Julien Durup a student of history.

Abdullah Afeef, (also known as Abdullah Affif Didi), was born in 1916 in Hithadhoo, Addu Atoll, the southernmost atoll in the Maldives. However, his local name was Elha Didige Ali Didige Afifu, and he is still remembered warmheartedly by the southerners as “our Afeefu”. Didi does not seem to be a southerner’s name. Afeefu became the first and only president of the breakaway nation of United Suvadive Islands from 1959 to 1963. He arrived in the Seychelles on 4 October 1963, where he died on 13 July 1993, after spending 30 years of exile.

Archival records now prove that Afeefu indirectly conspired with the British for the interests of his impoverished people against the dictatorial Maldivian State in the two following revolts, 1944 and 1958. During the first revolt he was convicted in July 1944 for exchanging letters with the British. Afeefu and other members of his family were taken to Malé where he was convicted, along with his followers. Tied prostrate face-down on the ground, he was publicly flogged with a long rod of several rattan canes. Chilli powder was poured into the open cuts, leaving lifelong scars on his body. Apparently, he was the only one not to scream because he had stuffed a handkerchief into his mouth. He was then exiled for 7 years to another atoll.

The new authoritarian Prime Minister, Ibrahim Nasir of the Maldives, was appointed in 1957. He assumed that Afeefu had repented and appointed him liaison officer between the locals and the British. In 1958 the tax plans of Nasir triggered off riots throughout Addu Atoll. While the revolt started, Afeefu and the Maldivian representative were speedily taken for their safety by the British to the RAF station and then on to the SS Matheran, a cargo ship that was unloading concrete beams, heavy lifts, and general cargo, for the base on Gan. During the revolt the Government office was burnt to the ground. After the unrest, a delegation of the Addu people arrived on Gan and declared their independence to the British. Afeefu was chosen as their leader, and only after the British insisted that a reliable leader whom they were familiar with should be chosen. This was a requirement for them to back the secession.

Afeef addressing his compatriot aboard a British destroyer

Afeefu the President United Suvadive Islands holding a microphone assuring a crowd
of Adduans that he had no intention of abandoning the Addu cause and going abroad.
Her Majesty's serviceman in the background.

Before taking his new post, Afeefu demanded and obtained a secret letter of protection from the British. He then promised to lead the new government, provided the people of Addu gave him their loyalty and support. He swore to lead the rebel movement and promised that he would be the last to desert the new republic.

Soon after, two Southern Atolls, Huvadu and Fua Mulakau, joined them. After a year in office, Afeefu pleaded in vain for support and recognition from Britain. However, he received only cool support. And Britain broke her promised by signing a treaty with the Maldivian government without involving Afeefu. Following that, the Maldivian government imposed an economic embargo and regularly sent gunboats to attack Suvadive insurgence. Without the support of the British the uprising was about to collapse. Finally, the British in 1963, unceremoniously dismantled the new insurgence and lowered their flag.

On 30 September 1963 Afeefu and his immediate family boarded HMS Loch Lomond, the guard ship of Gan, and headed for exile in the Seychelles. Before embarking on the frigate

Afeefu demanded that he would like to be exiled only to Muslim countries in the world. However, he arrived in early October 1963 in the Seychelles, the land of the kafir, “infidel” (term use nowadays by Muslim extremists referring to all none Muslims), escorted by Mr. Hitie, a Seychellois who was working at the RAF base at Gan.

During his first trial Afeefu, a fervent Muslim, was portrayed in the Malé press as an “infidel”. History does not say whether he asked the British during his exile to be moved to a Muslim country, or if he personally made such a request to a foreign Muslim nation. But we doubt that he ever did so. From the letter he wrote on 25 May 1959, his Muslim country was in a dire state. He said that there was no medical doctor, nor medical supplies, people were undernourished, no schools, no means of communication, no public utilities and that they were suffering from many diseases. The appeal he made for help and remedy was refused by the authorities in Malé. The authorities told him that the only remedy was to go on reading the Koran. Thus, the Seychelles, his new domicile, had all the amenities that he was looking for, and when he became sick he went to see a doctor, his children went to school, and his remittance was paid regularly. Because of that, the Seychelles became a little paradise for him and his family. During his exile in the Seychelles he remained an ardent supporter of British rule. And he seemed to have not been subjected to any restriction imposed by the British colonial power.

Afeefu arrived in the Seychelles with his only wife from the Hitadu Island, and with the following children: Ibrahim, aged 9; Mohamed, aged 7, and Hussein, aged 5. And the following three children were later born in the Seychelles: Ahmed, Aminath, and Sarah. All of them later became scholarship laureates of the Seychelles Government; and they have occupied important post in the soi-disant socialist state, where they have instantly turned capitalist. However, they are now part of the privileged few, which remind us of the “Sybil or the two nations”, the novel of Benjamin Disraeli, or better still the words of Plato, the famous Greek philosopher, who said: that each city contains two cities, “one of the poor, the other one of the rich.”

Afeefu and his family as they left to board HMS Loch Lomond

Afeefu and his family as they left to board HMS Loch Lomond
Ebrahim and Mohamed in front and Hussein behind them

I had the privileged of talking to two of his sons, Ibrahim and Hussein. I found Hussein, the French medical scholar, very friendly, intelligent, opened minded, not a yes-man and I liked his simplicity. As for Ibrahim, the former managing Director and Chief Executive of the Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation, he was a yes-man, and it is alleged that he was a kas amba; his management style was a bit like that of the two former presidents of his native Maldives, the dictator Abdull Gayoon and the authoritarian Ibrahim Nasir. During his tenure as director a lot of workers left, causing a major drain of trained manpower. It is alleged that he said “Inshallah” ‘I was appointed by the President’ and the reasons for tendering his resignation was also “Inshallah.”

When the Seychelles became an independent Nation in 1976, Afeefu had spent 13 years there. In 1965 he was allowed to accompany his wife for medical treatment to London. During the Constitutional conference in London for the Seychelles independence, the Seychellois delegation remained silent about him and on the deportees Chagossians. The two main parties, SDP and SPUP, never gave their reasons for that. This gave pleasure to the British who would otherwise have had to move him to the England, where the cost for his upkeep would have been much more. And the British would also have had to pay money for the upkeep of the Chagossians in the Seychelles like they did with Mauritius.

During his exile, Afeefu made several requests to Abdoul Gayoon, the dictator of the Maldives, for him to visit his family on his homeland island. Gayoon, who did not want him to set foot in the Maldives again, continually took no notice of his requests. However, in 1989, a year after Afeefu suffered a stroke and was in an uncertain health situation, they allowed him to travel to Addu to bid adieu to his family and friends. Four years later he died and was buried at Mont Fleuri, Mahé. However, it seemed that the Maldivian dictator never granted him an official pardon, in spite of the fact that at first the Maldivian authorities wanted him to be exiled for only six months.

The frail Afeefu in Addu, with his son Ibrahim and families
during his meeting d’adieu

I always thought that ‘our Afeefu’ betrayed his people by not keeping to his word when he promised them that he would be the last one to desert the new republic. In fact he was the first and only one to go to a safe heaven. After reading about the inhuman treatment he received from his Muslim, brutish, brothers, I personally would have done the same in dealing with men that have lost their reasoning. History will remember him as a peaceful man who wanted to improve the appalling, humanitarian conditions of his people and that his rebel movement was the most democratic in the Maldives. During his difficult tenure of office he was an honest and kind person. However, ‘our Afeefu’ always said that he never planned the revolt in 1944, but never said that he was totally innocent. Even at the end of his life, ‘our Afeefu’, was resentful by his experience of punishment in Malé and his first exile. It is alleged that he said to his close friends: “Now I am labelled as a rebel. These scars are the scars of a rebel. I will never forgive. Even on the Day of Judgement I will raise this complaint of mine”.

It is sad that little has been written about how he survived his 37 years of exile; for that we will have to find another Aeschylus, the father of tragedy, to tell us how. And I will end with this famous saying of Pope Gregory VII (1028-1085), which goes very well with him: “J’ai aimé la justice et j’ai haï l’iniquité c’est pour cela que je meurs en exile


  1. William McAteer : To Be A Nation, 200.
  2. Dianna Salabert: Exiles in the Sun, 1994.
  3. Maldives:
  4. Majid’s pages- suvadies photo album.
  6. RAF. Gan Remembered memories.
  7. HMS Loch Lomond
  8. Chapter 4 Abdullah Afeef and the uprising of 1944.
  9. Abdullah Afeef, in Wikipedia.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The food prohibited to consume is explicitly indicated in the Quran.

QURAN (16:115) "He only prohibits for you dead animals, blood, the meat of pigs, and food which is dedicated to other than GOD. If one is forced (to eat these), without being deliberate or malicious, then GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful."

QURAN (6:145) Say, "I do not find in the revelations given to me any food that is prohibited for any eater except: (1) carrion, (2) running blood, (3) the meat of pigs, for it is contaminated, and (4) the meat of animals blasphemously dedicated to other than GOD." If one is forced (to eat these), without being deliberate or malicious, then your Lord is Forgiver, Most Merciful.

NO PROHIBITION AGAINST MUSSELS AND SHRIMP! As we have seen in the above verses only four things have been forbidden, namely: dead animals, blood, pork and the meat of an animal on whom a name other than God’s has been invoked. However, in a situation when there is no other choice, a person may eat of these, provided not with willful obedience and without going to extremes.

QURAN (6:140 ")Losers indeed are those who killed their children foolishly, due to their lack of knowledge, and prohibited what GOD has provided for them, and followed innovations attributed to GOD. They have gone astray; they are not guided."

One can see that the Quran leaves no loopholes. Yet, thinking there are loopholes, the sects have thought it advisable to add other prohibitions. For instance, the Hanafi sect, the largest of the sects, has forbidden the eating of mussels and shrimp. It is to be regretted that many people believe that these gifts of nature have been prohibited by religion, depriving themselves of them. The sects contradicted not only the Quran but also each other. For example, the Maliki sect acknowledges the edibility of mussels and shrimp banned by the Hanafi sect. On the other hand, the flesh of horses forbidden by Maliki is consumable for the Shafi and Hanbali sects. These are not all that are declared forbidden by great scholars. Carnivores like the wolf, the bear and the squirrel are also on the black list. The sects also have banned the rapacious birds. One may also add to the black list serpents, frogs, toads, tortoises and crabs. Those who did not deem enough the prohibitions laid down in the Quran felt the necessity to add to the list of prohibited animals those that appeared unsightly. One should remember that the cuisine of populations living in different regions of the earth differs greatly. Given the fact that there are no restrictions stated in the Quran, other than the four items mentioned above, we are free in our choices.

As one clearly sees in the verses, man’s attributing to religion those things that do not exist in the Quran is tantamount to raising arms against God; a slander against God, a betrayal of religion. Being instrumental in causing people to turn their backs to religion is a capital sin.

QURAN (5:87) " O you who believe, do not prohibit good things that are made lawful by GOD, and do not aggress; GOD dislikes the aggressors."


EATING RICE WITH THREE FINGERS Many other things extraneous to religion’s scope have been introduced to it, ranging from table manners to menus under the guise of sunnas. Here are some of the additions: regarding table manners, a meal must be consumed seated on the ground. Whether it is rice or other dishes, man must use three fingers and not a fork and spoon. When seated on the ground, the right leg should be bent from the knee while the left should be placed under the buttocks. It is absolutely required that the right hand be used, for Satan is believed to eat with his left hand. On the menu of the Prophet the following existed more often than not: chicken, beef, squash and eggplant. As America had not yet been discovered during the lifetime of the Prophet, potatoes, tomatoes and corn were outside the confines of the sunnas. In other words, a person who ate squash was performing a meritorious act while the potato eater would be deprived of this blessing. Numbers also were important: water should be drunk in three gulps; it is also claimed that a meal should be served in one single container in which persons around should partake, according to the sunna.

(Yet in Sura The Light ,24: 61, it is said: “It is no sin in you that you eat together or separately.”)

QURAN (24:61) "The blind is not to be blamed, the crippled is not to be blamed, nor is the handicapped to be blamed, just as you are not to be blamed for eating at your homes, or the homes of your fathers, or the homes of your mothers, or the homes of your brothers, or the homes of your sisters, or the homes of your fathers' brothers, or the homes of your fathers' sisters, or the homes of your mothers' brothers, or the homes of your mothers' sisters, or the homes that belong to you and you possess their keys, or the homes of your friends. You commit nothing wrong by eating together or as individuals. When you enter any home, you shall greet each other a greeting from GOD that is blessed and good. GOD thus explains the revelations for you, that you may understand."

According to another widespread belief, breaking the fast in the month of Ramadan with olives or dates is a meritorious act. A person who breaks his fast with soup or cheese will not be as meritorious as the former. At the conclusion of the meal, the three fingers with which one has eaten should be licked and the order in which this will be executed should be according to a sunna. The concept that sees the Quran as inefficient has immersed the religion in details almost without end.

The essential thing according to the Quran regarding the eating habits are as follows: the fact that what is eaten is lawful and the fact that God is thanked for what one has consumed in cognizance of the fact that sustenance comes from God. All other manners are but customs of Arabs to which the Prophet may have conformed. ….Nothing have we omitted from the Book 6 The Cattle, 38

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Why Should We Study the Qur’an in Ramadan

The angel Gabriel used to review the entire Qur’ân with Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) during the night in the month of Ramadan.

This teaches us the value of studying the Qur’ân with others. It shows us that it is good for the believer to study the Qur’ân at the hands of someone else who can benefit him. The Prophet (peace be upon him) studied the Qur’ân at the hands of the angel Gabriel in order to benefit from him. Gabriel was the one who came from Allah, since he was the emissary between Allah and His human Messengers.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) was certainly the one who received benefit from their study sessions together. He would profit from what Gabriel brought to him from Allah – from the way the Qur’ân was to be recited to the meanings that Allah intended for its verses.

A person should preferably learn the Qur’ân from someone who can help him to understand its meanings as well as assist him in its proper recitation. This is the example that the Prophet (peace be upon him) set for us with the angel Gabriel.

This does not mean the angel Gabriel was better than Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). It is simply that since Gabriel was Allah’s emissary to the Prophet who conveyed to the Prophet (peace be upon him) what Allah wished to have conveyed to him, it was the Prophet (peace be upon him) who was the recipient of the benefit. We know that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the best of humanity and that he has preference over the angels. Nevertheless, his studying the Qur’ân under the angel Gabriel was very beneficial for him.

There is another useful lesson for us to learn from this Ramadan practice of the Prophet (peace be upon him). He studied the Qur’ân with the angel Gabriel at night. We can derive from this that studying with others at night is better than doing so during the day. Nighttime, as we all know, is a time when people’s hearts are more attentive and more respnsive to others. Therefore, the benefit to be gained in studying with others is usually greater at night.

We can also learn from this the value of group study in general – whether during Ramadan or at any other time of the year. It is a rewarding practice for all those involved. There can be more than two people participating in it, since each person can benefit from the other participants. The group acts as a source of encouragement and positive reinforcement, since a person studying alone is liable to become lazy. The members of the group are also able to help review each others’ memorization and assist each other in difficult passages. There is great good in all of this.

We can also derive from the Prophet’s review of the entire Qur’ân in Ramadan that it is good for the imam to read the entire Qur’ân during the month in the Tarâwîh prayers. This is also a kind of group study. In this case, the whole congregation benefits from the reading.

This is why Ahmad b. Hanbal used to prefer it for the imam to recite the Qur’ân in its entirely during the course of the month. Ahmad was following the way of the Pious Predecessors, who had a particular love of listening the Qur’ân from beginning to end.

At the same time, we should understand that it is not obligatory to read the entire Qur’ân in the month or Ramadan during the Tarâwîh prayers. It is far more important to offer our prayers with devotion and with attentive hearts. This should be our primary concern in our nightly observance of prayer, not making sure we get through the whole of the Qur’ân.

Sheikh `Abd al-`Azîz b. Bâz

May Allah grant us all the blessings of Ramadan

"Whoever guides [another] to a good deed will get a reward similar to the one who performs it." Prophet Mohammad (PBUH)[Sahih Muslim]
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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Rajapakse, regional politics, “Eurocentric Developmentalism” and the western hegemony (Part 13)


Quo vadis Maldives?
Posted on August 4th, 2010
Geethanjana Kudaligamage
Rajapakse, regional politics, “Eurocentric Developmentalism” and the western hegemony (Part 13)

From western point of view, loosing Sri Lanka is a colossal strategic setback. But no one can blame Sri Lanka for this tragic reality. From Sri Lankan point of view, Sri Lanka hasn’t done anything in detrimental to relations with USA. Therefore, the fate of the relations of two nations solely rests in the hands of policy planners of USA, but not in Sri Lanka. I wouldn’t put the blame of this deteriorating situation entirely on the State Department of the USA since the agency only reflects grand strategies of the upper echelons of US administration. The entire western policy of Asian is based on the strategies of Trans National Corporations’ globalization agenda, according to which, Sri Lanka must be divided. If not at least they need to have military presence in close proximity to Indian subcontinent. What is the next option? Isn’t that Maldives?

However at this point, Sri Lanka must closely observe what’s happening in the Maldives. Many Sri Lankans do not know that majority of the Maldivian people are Sinhalese, and they speak corrupt version of old Sinhala language. Their ancestral relationship with Sri Lanka was maintained up until recent times through traditional Maldivian customs of payments of various annual taxes although they were not being abided by any law of both lands. They paid these taxes voluntarily though their envoy visits as fulfillment of age old traditions to keep up their ancient blood relationship with Sri Lanka. In other words, it was more like fulfilling an age old Sinhalese tradition of “Nagam yama”; because Maldives must have been a principality of Sri Lanka in pre modern times. Their presence in Sri Lanka was a common spectacle up until recent times. I personally have seen Maldivian vendors selling ‘Bondi Aluwa’ in Colombo streets in my childhood. Until recent times Maldivian children were educated in Sri Lanka. Our relationship is older than we can conceive through conventional knowledge derived from western version of our history.

This close relationship attests to the fact that, larger amount of Buddhist archeological evidences had been found in Maldives next to India and Sri Lanka in Indian Ocean region in south Asia.

Unfortunately Maldivian consciousness of this blood relationship between two countries was severely shattered by our shortsighted foreign policy of JR Jayawardene and brought a devastating effect to the relations between these two nations during the terror attack launched to Maldives by a SL Tamil terrorist group in November 1988.

It was revealed that the first reaction of the then president of Maldives to the attack was to call then president of Sri Lanka JR Jayawardene asking for military assistance. JRJ as a man who preferred to drink even cold water only after making it even more colder, (‘alwathurath niwala bona’)naturally sought to his coldhearted callous foreign policy, quickly declined the request and advised to channel Indian help. It is said that JRJ personally called Rajeev Gandhi in this respect. By doing so JRJ neglected Sri Lankan nation’s moral obligation to Maldivien people. And thus he severed the strong blood link of this nation with Sri Lankan people. I do not think President Gayoom and people of Maldives will ever forget this humiliation. We may have to work very hard for that end.

Any leader of Sri Lanka disciplined by any moral code would have extended helping hand to Maldives at the hour of need due to two reasons. Firstly Maldivians are Sinhalese people’s immediate relatives. Secondly JRJ had a personal responsibility into the event for him being the one who must be held responsible for not having any control of the terrorist menace within the country at the moment that had began to export its brutality to other lands. But JRJ was not a man of moral to begin with; therefore, the matter of ‘obligation’ never arises.

The whole episode could be suspected as an externally orchestrated grand conspiracy of espionage agencies active in the region including RAW. Since Indian army was in Sri Lanka at the moment, what JRJ must have done was to send SL military commandos to Maldives and then request Indian help. But he missed the train. Indians took the charge and became the saviors of Maldivians and replaced Sri Lanka in the Maldivian hearts and minds.

To the current situation, if any western power managed to get foot hold in Maldives militarily while we display our cold shouldered relationship with Maldives, then it must be considered as another security blow to Sri Lanka at this moment. We must further strengthen our relations with Maldives in immediate effect, not only in diplomatic relations, but also militarily.

Furthermore, we must initiate restrengthening of our moral bondages between two nations. First step could be broader coalition in educational, cultural and archaeological sector. Our Universities must open a quota for Maldivian students to learn in Sri Lanka under minimal charges competing Indian universities and Western ones.

Maldivians are Sri Lankans. Both our fate in the Indian Ocean is intertwined, and will depend on the destiny of each other. We must work together.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Let There Be No Compulsion in Religion

One of the fundamental truths established by the sacred texts is that no one can be compelled to accept Islam. It is the duty of Muslims to establish the proof of Islam to the people so that truth can be made clear from falsehood. After that, whoever wishes to accept Islam may do so and whoever wishes to continue upon unbelief may do so. No one should be threatened or harmed in any way if he does not wish to accept Islam.

Among the many decisive pieces of evidence in this regard are the following. God says:

“Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth has been made clear from error. Whoever rejects false worship and believes in God has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that never breaks. And God hears and knows all things.” (Quran 2:256)

God says:

“If it had been your Lord’s will, all of the people on Earth would have believed. Would you then compel the people so to have them believe?” (Quran 10:99)

God says:

“So if they dispute with you, say ‘I have submitted my whole self to God, and so have those who follow me.’ And say to the People of the Scripture and to the unlearned: ‘Do you also submit yourselves?’ If they do, then they are on right guidance. But if they turn away, your duty is only to convey the Message. And in God’s sight are all of His servants.” (Quran 3:20)

God says:

“The Messenger’s duty is but to proclaim the Message.” (Quran 5:99)

It is important to note that these last two verses were revealed in Medina. This is significant, since it shows that the ruling they gave was not just contingent on the Muslims being in Mecca in a state of weakness.

Some people might be wondering that if Islam indeed advocates such an approach, then what is all this we hear about jihad? How can we explain the warfare that the Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, and his Companions waged against the pagans? The answer to this is that jihad in Islamic Law can be waged for a number of reasons, but compelling people to accept Islam is simply not one of them. As for conversion, this is to be done peacefully by disseminating the Message with the written and spoken word. There is no place for the use of weapons to compel people to accept Islam.

The Prophet, said in his letter to the Roman governor Heraclius:

“I invite you to accept Islam. If you accept Islam, you will find safety. If you accept Islam, God will give you a double reward. However, if you turn away, upon you will be the sin of your subjects.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim)

Once people have heard the Message without obstruction or hindrance and the proof has been established upon them, then the duty of the Muslims is done. Those who wish to believe are free to do so and those who prefer to disbelieve are likewise free to do so.

Even when the Muslims are compelled to fight and then, as a consequence, subdue the land, their duty thereafter is to establish God’s law in the land and uphold justice for all people, Muslim and non-Muslim. It is not their right to coerce their subjects to accept Islam against their will. Non-Muslims under Muslim rule must be allowed to remain on their own faith and must be allowed to practice the rights of their faith, though they will be expected to respect the laws of the land.

Had the purpose of jihad been to force the unbelievers to accept Islam, the Prophet would never have commanded the Muslims to refrain from hostilities if the enemy relented. He would not have prohibited the killing of women and children. However, this is exactly what he did.

During a battle, the Prophet saw people gathered together. He dispatched a man to find out why they were gathered. The man returned and said: “They are gathered around a slain woman.” So God’s Messenger said:

“She should not have been attacked!” Khalid b. al-Walid was leading the forces, so he dispatched a man to him saying: “Tell Khalid not to kill women or laborers”. (Sunan Abi Dawud)

Therefore, even in the heat of battle against a hostile enemy, the only people who may be attacked are those who are actually participating in the fighting.

Had the purpose of jihad been to force the unbelievers to accept Islam, the rightly guided Caliphs would not have prohibited the killing of priests and monks who refrained from fighting. However, this is exactly what they did. When the first Caliph, Abu Bakr, sent an army to Syria to fight the aggressive Roman legions, he went out to give them words of encouragement. He said: “You are going to find a group of people who have devoted themselves to the worship of God (i.e. monks), so leave them to what they are doing.”

"Whoever guides [another] to a good deed will get a reward similar to the one who performs it." Prophet Mohammad (PBUH)[Sahih Muslim]
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