Tuesday

Quran-The Authentic Book from Allah (part-2)









 The Islamic Prayer from A to Z Tales of the Prophets (Qisas Al-Anbiya) (Great Books of the Islamic World) Salat or Islamic Prayer Book The Qur'an & Modern Science (Compatible or incompatible?)
Another Inquiring Mind

Heraclius was not the only ruler to recognize the Prophethood of Muhammad. Negus, the ruler of, Abyssinia, similarly recognized the message of Islam and the words of Quran as being of divine origin when he questioned the Muslims who had emigrated to escape the tortures and oppression of the pagan Quraish. The Prophet's claim is given added weight by numerous Christian and Jewish scholars, both in Muhammad's time, and afterwards who recognized him as the final messenger foretold in their scriptures. The case of Heraculus has already been mentioned. Bahira, the monk whom some Orientalists have vainly tried to suggest was the teacher of Muhammad, recognized the signs of Prophethood on him whilst Muhammad was a boy accompanying his uncle Abu Talib's caravan to Syria, as did Waraqa, one of the few Christians in Mecca, who had translated some parts of the Christian scriptures into Arabic, who was the cousin of Muhammad's wife Khadijah. Indeed, after the Prophet had received the first revelation, he went to this same Waraqa, who said "Surely, by Him in whose hand is Waraqa's soul, thou art the Prophet of these people. There has come unto you the greatest angel, who came unto Moses. You will be called a liar, and they will use you despitefully, and cast you out and fight against you." Al Jurud ibn Ak Ala, a Christian scholar and ruler of his people came to visit the Prophet and said: "By Allah you have come with the truth, and have spoken truly, as a Prophet I have found your description in the Gospel, and the son of the Virgin has announced your coming." Al Jurud then accepted Islam along with his people. Also Muqauqas, the King of the Copts, in his response to the letter sent to him by the Prophet inviting him to Islam wrote: "I have read your message and have understood what you have mentioned in it, and what you are calling to. I have known that a Prophet would be sent and thought that he would appear in Sham, and I have honored your messenger."

The story of one the Prophet's companions, Salman the Persian, further illustrates this:

"I was a Persian man from the peoples of Isfahan from a town known as Jayi. My father was the town chief. To him, I was the most beloved of the creature Allah. His love of me reached the point whereby he trusted me to supervise the fire he lit, which was not allowed to be let to die down. My father owned land, and one day while he was busy he told me to go and inspect the land and to bring from it some things he wanted. On my way I came across a Christian church. I heard the voices of the prayers of the people inside. I did not know what goes on with the lives of other people because my father had kept me confined to his house. So when I came across those people and I heard their voices I went inside watching what they were doing. When I saw them I liked their prayers and became interested in their religion. I said to myself: "By Allah, this religion of theirs is better than that of ours." By Allah I did not leave them until sunset, and never inspected my father's land. I asked: "Where is the origin of this religion?" They said: "In As-Sham (i.e. Greater Syria)." I returned to my father who had become worried and sent after me. Upon my arrival he said: "O son! Where have you been? Didn't I trust you with an assignment?" I said: "I came across some people praying in their church and I liked what they were on from their religion. By Allah I stayed with them until sunset." My father said: "O Son! There is no good in that religion. The religion of your fathers is better." I said: "No, by Allah, it is better than our religion." He threatened me and chained me by my foot and kept me confined to the house. I sent to the Christians requesting to let me know of the arrival of any Christian trade caravan coming from as-Sham. A trade caravan arrived and they informed me about it. I told them to keep me informed about the people of the caravan, and when they were about to finish their business and return to their country. I took off the chains from my foot and joined the caravan until we reached as-Sham. Upon my arrival I asked: "Who is the best amongst the people of this religion of yours?" They said: "The Bishop in the Church." I went to him and said: "I like this religion and I love to be with you, serving you in your Church, to learn from you and to pray with you." The Bishop agreed. After a while I learnt that this Bishop ordered and motivated his people to pay charity only to keep it for himself. He did not give it to the poor. He heaped up seven jars with gold and silver! I hated him so much because of what I saw him doing. The Bishop died. The Christians gathered to bury him. I told them that he was a bad man who ordered you to release your money for charities only to keep if for himself and that he did not give anything of it to the poor. They said: "How do you know this?" I said: "I can show his treasure." They said: "Show us!" I showed them the place and when they saw it they said: "By Allah we will never bury him!" They took his dead body and crucified and stoned it. They replaced their bishop. I never saw a man from those who do not pray the five prescribed prayers better than him; nor a man detached from this worldly life and attached to the hereafter more than him; nor a committed person who works day and night better than him. I loved him more than anything else I loved before. I stayed with him for sometime before his death. When his death approached I told him: "O teacher, I stayed with you and loved you more than anything else I loved before. Now you are approached by the decree of Allah, so who would you recommend for me and what would you like to order me?" The Bishop said: "By Allah! People are in a total loss, they altered and changed what they were on. I do not know of anyone who is still holding to what I am on except a man in Al-Moosil, so join him." When the man died, I moved to Al-Moosil and met the recommended person. I told him that my former master at the time of his death recommended that I join you. He also told me that you are holding to the same as he was. The man of Al-Moosil told me to stay with him; I stayed with him and found that he was the best man holding onto the matter of his friend. Soon he died. When death approached him I asked him to recommend some other person who is on the same religion. The man said: "By Allah! I don't know of anyone who is on the same matter of ours except a man in Nasiyibin, so join him." Following his death I moved to the man of Nasiyibin and stayed with him for a while. The same story repeated itself. Death approached and before he died, I came to the man and asked for his advice as to whom and where to go. The man recommended that I join another man on the same religion in Am'muriyiyah, which I did, and earned some cows and one sheep. When death approached the man of Am'muriyiyah, I repeated my request. The answer was different. The man said: "O son! I do not know of anyone who is on the same religion as we are. However, the time of emergence of a Prophet will shade you. This Prophet is on the same religion of Abraham. He comes from Arabia and migrates to a place located between landscapes of black stones. Palm trees are spread between these scapes. He has certain well known signs. He eats food given as a gift and he does not eat from charity. The seal of Prophethood is between his shoulders. If you could move to that land, then do so." After he died I stayed in Am'muriyiyah until one day some merchants from the tribe of Kalb passed by me. I told them, "Take me to Arabia and I will give you my cows and the only sheep I have." They agreed. When we reached Wadi Al-Qura (close to Madinah) they sold me as a slave to a Jew and I saw the palm trees, and I hoped that this would be the same place described by my friend. A man who was a first cousin to my master came visiting one day and bought me. He took me with him to Madinah. By Allah! When I saw it I knew it was the place my friend had described. Then Allah sent His Messenger. He stayed in Mecca as long as he did. I did not hear anything about him because I was very much busy with the work of slavery. He the migrated to Madinah. I was on a palm tree doing some work for my master. A first cousin of his came and stood in front of him and said: "Woe to Bani Qilah, they are gathered in Quba around a man whom came today from Mecca claiming that he was a Prophet!" When I herd that I shivered thinking that I was about to fall down on my master. I came down and I said: "What did you say, what did you say?" My master became angry and punched me with a powerful punch and said: "What kind of business do you have in this matter? Go back to your work!" I said: "Nothing! I just wanted to be sure of what he was saying." On that evening I went to see the Messenger of Allah while he was in Quba. I took with me something I had saved. I went in and said: "I was told you are a righteous man and that your company are strangers in need, and I want to offer you something I saved as charity. I found that you deserve it more than anyone else." I offered it to him; he said to his companions: "Eat!" and he kept his hand off. I said to myself: "This is one of the signs!" The next time I visited the Prophet in Madinah I said: "I see you don't eat from the charity, here is a gift that I wanted to honor you with." The Prophet ate from it and ordered his companions to do the same which they did. I said to myself: "Now they are two." On the third encounter I went to funeral of one of the Prophet's companions. I greeted him with the Salaam, then I moved towards his back attempting to see the seal that was described to me by my friend. When he saw me he knew I was trying to confirm something described to me. He took the garment off his back and I looked at the seal. I recognized it. I came down on it kissing it and crying. The Messenger of Allah told me to move around and talk to him, and I told him my story."



Among the People of the Book...

Great numbers of Christians embraced Islam during and soon after the Islamic conquests after the prophet's death. They were never compelled, rather it was a recognition of what they were already expecting. Anselm Tormida, a priest and Christian scholar was one such person whose history is worth relating. He wrote a famous book The Gift to the Intelligent for Refuting the Arguments of the Christians. In the introduction to this work he relates his history:

"Let it be known to all of you that my origin is from the city of Majorca, which is a great city on the sea, between two mountains and divided by a small valley. It is a commercial city, with two wonderful harbors. Big merchant ships come and anchor in the harbor with different goods. The city is on the island which has the same name - Majorca, and most of its land is populated with fig and olive trees. My father was a well respected man in the city. I was his only son. When I was six, he sent me to a priest who taught me to read the Gospel and logic, which I finished in six years. After that I left Majorca and traveled to the city of Larda, in the region of Castillion, which was the centre of learning for Christians in that region. A thousand to a thousand and a half Christian students gathered there. All were under the administration of the priest who taught them. I studied the Gospel and its language for another four years. After that I left for Bologne in the region of Anbardia. Bologne is a very large city, it being the centre of learning for all the people of that region. Every year, more than two thousand students gather together from different places. They cover themselves with rough cloth which they call the "Hue of God". All of them, whether the son of a workman or the son of a ruler wear this wrap, in order to make the students distinct from others. Only the priest teaches controls and directs them. I lived in the church with an aged priest. He was greatly respected by the people because of his knowledge and religiousness and asceticism, which distinguished him from the other Christian priests. Questions and requests for advice came from everywhere, from Kings and rulers, along with presents and gifts. They hoped that he would accept their presents and grant them his blessings. This priest taught me the principles of Christianity and its rulings. I became very close to him by serving and assisting him with his duties until I became one of his most trusted assistants, so that he trusted me with the keys of his domicile in the church and of the food and the drink stores. He kept for himself only the key of a small room were he used to sleep. I think, and Allah knows best, that he kept his treasure chest in there. I was a student and servant for a period of ten years, then he fell ill and failed to attend the meetings of his fellow priests. During his absence the priests discussed some religious matters, until they came to what was said by the Almighty Allah through his prophet Jesus in the Gospel: "After him will come a Prophet called Paraclete". They argued a great deal about this Prophet and as to who he was among the Prophets. Everyone gave his opinion according to his knowledge and understanding; and they ended without achieving any benefit in that issue. I went to my priest, and as usual he asked about what was discussed in the meeting that day. I mentioned to him the different opinions of priests about the name Paraclete, and how they finished the meeting without clarifying its meaning. He asked me: "What was your answer?" I gave my opinion which was taken from interpretation of a well known exegesis. He said that I was nearly correct like some priests, and the other priests were wrong. "But the truth is different from all of that. This is because the interpretation of that noble name is known only to a small number of well versed scholars. And we posses only a little knowledge." I fell down and kissed his feet, saying: "Sir, you know that I traveled and came to you from a far distant country, I have served you now for more than ten years; and have attained knowledge beyond estimation, so please favor me and tell me the truth about this name." The priest then wept and said: "My son, by God, you are very much dear to me for serving me and devoting yourself to my care. Know the truth about this name, and there is a great benefit, but there is also a great danger. And I fear that when you know this truth, and the Christians discover that, you will be killed immediately." I said: "By God, by the Gospel and He who was sent with it, I shall never speak any word about what you will tell me, I shall keep it in my heart." He said: "My son, when you came here from your country, I asked you if it is near to the Muslims, and whether they made raids against you and if you made raids against them. This was to test your hatred for Islam. Know, my son, that Paraclete is the name of their Prophet Muhammad, to whom was revealed the fourth book as mentioned by Daniel. His way is the clear way which is mentioned in the Gospel." I said: "Then sir, what do you say about the religion of these Christians?" He said: "My son, if these Christians remained on the original religion of Jesus, then they would have been on God's religion, because the religion of Jesus and all the other Prophets is the true religion of God. But they changed it and became unbelievers." I asked him: "Then, sir, what is the salvation from this?" He said "Oh my son, embracing Islam." I asked him: "Will the one who embraces Islam be saved?" He answered: "Yes, in this world and the next." I said: "The prudent chooses for himself; if you know, sir the merit of Islam, then what keeps you from it?" He answered: "My son, the Almighty Allah did not expose me to the truth of Islam and the Prophet of Islam until after I have become old and my body weakened. Yes, there is no excuse for us in this, on the contrary, the proof of Allah has been established against us. If God had guided me to this when I was your age I would have left everything and adopted the religion of truth. Love of this world is the essence of every sin, and look how I am esteemed, glorified and honored by the Christians, and how I am living in affluence and comfort! In my case, if I show a slight inclination towards Islam they would kill me immediately. Suppose that I was saved from them and succeeded in escaping to the Muslims, they would say, do not count your Islam as a favor upon us, rather you have benefited yourself only by entering the religion of truth, the religion that will save you from the punishment of Allah! So I would live among them as a poor old man of more than ninety years, without knowing their language, and would die among them starving. I am, and all praise is due to Allah, on the religion of Christ and on that which he came with, and Allah knows that from me." So I asked him: "Do you advise me to go to the country of the Muslims and adopt their religion?" He said to me: "If you are wise and hope to save yourself, then race to that which will achieve this life and the hereafter. But my son, none is present with us concerning this matter, it is between you and me only. Exert yourself and keep it a secret. If it is disclosed and the people know about it they will kill you immediately. I will be of no benefit to you against them. Neither will it be of any use to you if you tell them what you heard from me concerning Islam, or that I encouraged you to be a Muslim, for I shall deny it. They trust my testimony against yours. So do not tell a word, whatever happens." I promised him not to do so. He was satisfied and content with my promise. I began to prepare for my journey and bid him farewell. He prayed for me and gave me fifty golden dinars. Then I took a ship to my city Majorca where I stayed with my parents for six months. Then I traveled to Sicily and remained there five months, waiting for a ship bound for the land of the Muslims. Finally a ship arrived bound for Tunis. We departed before sunset and reached the port of Tunis at noon on the second day. When I got off the ship, Christian scholars who heard of my arrival came to greet me and I stayed with them for four months in ease and comfort. After that I asked them if there was a translator. The Sultan in those days was Abu al-Abbas Ahmed. They said there was a virtuous man, the Sultan's physician, who was one of his closest advisors. His name was Yusuf al-Tabib. I was greatly pleased to here this, and asked where he lived. They took me there to meet him separately. I told him about my story and the reason of my coming there; which was to embrace Islam. He was immensely pleased because this matter would be completed by his help. We rode to the Sultan's Palace. He met the Sultan and told him about my story and asked his permission for me to meet him. The Sultan accepted, and I presented myself before him. The first question the Sultan asked was about my age. I told him that I was thirty-five years old. He then asked about my learning and the sciences which I had studied. After I told him he said. "Your arrival is the arrival of goodness. Be a Muslim with Allah's blessings." I then said to the doctor, "Tell the honorable Sultan that it always happens that when anyone changes his religion his people defame him and speak evil of him. So, I wish if he kindly sends to bring the Christian priests and merchants of this city to ask them about me and hear what they have to say. Then by Allah's will, I shall accept Islam." He said to me through the translator, "You have asked what Abdullah bin Salaam asked from the Prophet when he-Abdullah came to announce his Islam." He then sent for the priests and some Christian merchants and let me sit in an adjoining room unseen by them. "What do you say about this new priest who arrived by ship?", he asked. They said: "He is a great scholar in our religion. Our bishops say he is the most learned and no one is superior to him in our religious knowledge." After hearing what the Christian said, the Sultan sent for me, and I presented myself before them. I declared the two testimonies that there is no one worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger, and when the Christians heard this they crossed themselves and said: "Nothing incited him to do that except his desire to marry, as priests in our religion can not marry". Then they left in distress and grief. The Sultan appointed for me a quarter of a dinar every day from the treasury and let me marry the daughter of Al-Hajj Muhammed al-Saffar. When I decided to consummate the marriage, he gave me a hundred golden dinars and an excellent suit of clothes. I then consummated the marriage and Allah blessed me with a child to whom I gave the name Muhammed as a blessing from the name of the Prophet."

There was also a community of Jews who lived in Madinah who had emigrated there to wait for the expected prophet. Indeed they use to threaten the pagan Arabs of Madinah with his arrival, saying that the Prophet will destroy them as Allah destroyed Aad and Thaumud. It was one of the factors that caused these same Arabs to hasten to join the Prophet when they herd of him. One learned Jew, Ibnul Hayyaban, had left Syria seven years before the advent of the Prophet and as he was dying had told his people: "O Jews, what do you think made me leave the land of bread and wine to come to a land of hardship and hunger?" When they replied that they could not think why, he said that h had come to this country expecting to see the emergence of a prophet whose time was at hand. This was the town where he would migrate and he was hoping that he would be sent so that he could follow him. A good number of the Jewish rabbis embraced Islam, including Abdullah ibn Salaam who, when he went to the Prophet to announce his Islam, said: "Oh Prophet of Allah! My people are very tricky, so summon them and ask them what they think of me." So the Prophet did so, asking them: "What do you think of 'Abdullah ibn Salaam?" So they said: "By Allah he is the best of us, and most noble and learned amongst us!" So the Prophet asked, "What would you say if he embraced Islam?" They replied, "We seek refuge with Allah! He would never do that!" So the Prophet asked again, "What would you say if he did?" Again they said, "We seek refuge with Allah from that!" Then Abdullah came from behind the covering and said: "I testify that there is nothing worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad is His Messenger!" So his people immediately started to revile him saying: "He is the worst of us, and the most base born and most ignorant." Abdullah ibn Salaam once commented on the verse: "And they (the people of the Book) know this (that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah) like they know their own sons." "By Allah, Allah speaks the truth, for we only rely on our women concerning our sons, where as Allah has spoken of you in His Book (meaning the Torah.)." He also testified that when he heard about the Prophet he already knew his name, time and place of arrival.

There are numerous incidents where Jews tested and questioned the Prophet, some accepting him and others not. The wife of the Prophet, Safiyah bint Hauyay, said about her father and uncle,(who were Jews): "When the Messenger of Allah arrived at Quba, my father Huyay ibn Akhtab and my uncle Abu Yaser went to him after morning prayer while it was still dark and they did not return until sunset. They returned tired and demoralized, and were walking slowly. I went near them but they did not even turn towards me due to their sadness. Then I hear my uncle say to my father, 'Is he the one?' He replied: 'Yes, by Allah'. My uncle said: 'Do you know him and confirm him?' He said: 'Yes'. My uncle said: 'How do you feel about him?' He said: 'By Allah! Hatred and enmity as long as I live.'"



Prophecies, Predictions and Past Events

I myself was influenced by my knowledge of the Bible to accept the Prophethood of Muhammad, and have had two Jewish rabbis admitting to me in Speaker's Corner that Muhammad was the Prophet spoken of in their books. It has long been recognized that a sure sign of the truth of a claim to Prophethood is the ability of that individual to accurately and consistently predict future events. This is especially true of Christians who often demand "what did Muhammad prophecy?". This is because the Bible lays down this as a means to distinguish a true Prophet from a false. Everybody is able to predict the future sometimes, some are able to get it right a lot of the time, but only someone who is receiving information from the One who has complete knowledge of the future can get it right every time. There are many predictions both in the Quran and the authenticated sayings of the Prophet Muhammed that have been fulfilled.

The Quran says:


"Ye shall enter the Sacred Mosque, if Allah wills, secure, heads shaved, hair curt short, and without fear"



[Noble Quran 48:27]



This passage was revealed after the Prophet had been stopped by the Quraish from making 'Umrah (the Minor Pilgrimage) and a treaty was made between the Muslims and pagans at Hudaybia, six years after the Prophet's emigration from Mecca. From this position of weakness, in merely two years the verse was fulfilled, Mecca was captured, and the Muslims performed the pilgrimage, shaving their heads, and some cutting their hair.

The Quran says:


"Allah has promised to those of you who believe, and do good deeds, that He will surely grant them in the land inheritance of power as He granted it to those before them; that He will establish in authority their religion which He has chosen for them. And that He will change their state after fear to one of security and peace. They will worship Me alone and not associate aught with Me."

[Noble Quran 24:55]



And also:


"Say to those who deny faith, soon you will be vanquished."

[Noble Quran 3:12]



and


"When comes the help of Allah and Victory, and you see the people enter Allah's religion in multitudes..."



[Noble Quran 110:1-2]



The first verse was revealed at a time of the Muslim's weakness, promising the righteous victory, and the second predicting the peoples entering into Islam in crowds, and so it came to pass, after the capture of Mecca, and in the time of the Caliphs Abu Bakr, 'Umar, 'Uthman and 'Ali, who were from the most pious companions of the Prophet, were established by Allah in the land, defeating the Persian and Roman empires, so that Islam was established from Spain to parts of China in a mere twenty years. This, in part, fulfills another prophecy of the Quran:


"It is He who has sent the Messenger with guidance, and the religion of truth, to make it triumphant over all religions."

[Noble Quran 9:33]



Christianity, Judaism, paganism have never regained any lasting dominance, physically and intellectually since the coming of Islam. The secular philosophies of communism and capitalism are in the process of being dealt death blows. At the present rate of growth Islam will over take Christianity by 2025 in terms of numbers. See also Quran 48:18-21 and 1:13, which promise victory and the taking of booty - which were also fulfilled.

The Quran says:


"The Roman Empire has been defeated in a land close by; but they, even after this defeat, will gain victory in a few years. Allah's is the command, in the past and in the future. On that day shall the believers rejoice, with the help of Allah, He helps whom He wills. And He is the mighty and the most Merciful. It is the promise of Allah. Allah never departs from His promise: but most men understand not. They crave for the outer things of life, but of the hereafter they are heedless."



[Noble Quran 30:2-7]



The Eastern Roman (i.e. Byzantine) Empire suffered a massive defeat at the hands of the Persians who captured Jerusalem in 614, and after that Egypt and Syria fell, and Constantinople was laid siege to - ("a land close by"). The pagan Arabs delighted in this, as it seemed to signal to them the success of idolatry over the followers of revelation. When this verse was revealed it seemed impossible that Rome would recover. The word, translated "a few", is bid'a, which actually means from three to nine years. Ubayy, a pagan Arab, wagered Abu Bakr one hundred camels that this would never occur. By the year 623, Heraclius, the Byzantine Roman Emperor, took to the field and vanquished the Persians in a series of battles, culminating in the battle of Niveveh in 627. Ubayy had been killed, so his relatives paid the dept. At this same time the Muslims had been victorious over the pagan Quraish and were rejoicing, as the Quran foretold.

In part of a long narration found in the two authoritative books of Hadith, the Prophet was sitting in a garden. 'Uthman ibn Afan walked in and the Prophet asked Abu Musa 'Ashari (the narrator) to inform him of the good news of paradise, and also that the people would mutiny against him. The Prophecy was fulfilled in that 'Uthman became the leader of the Muslims, and secondly some of the people rose against him and slew him.

'Ali ibn Abi Talib, the fourth Rightly Guided Caliph, had also been informed by the Prophet of his assassination in such detail that he knew the man who was going to kill him, and identified him and pointed him out to the people. They asked 'Ali why he did not kill the man and he replied: "Then who will kill me?" The night preceding his assassination 'Ali had come out, and gazed at the sky and said: "By Allah he never told a lie, nor was a lie ever told to him." The next day the same man killed 'Ali, and his blood spilled down his beard, as the Prophet had described.

Whilst the Muslims were fighting the Jews in Khyber, after some days of attempting to besiege the fortress, the Prophet said that the next morning he would entrust the flag to a man to whom Allah would give victory. He gave the flag to 'Ali, and the same day the fortress was conquered under Ali's command.

The Prophet saw 'Ali and Zubair one day laughing together, and he asked Ali if he loved Zubair. Ali replied: "How could I not love him since he is my nephew and co-religionist." The Prophet asked Zubair the same question, who gave a similar response. The Prophet then told Zubair that he would fight 'Ali, and that he would be the oppressor. So in the Battle of Jamal, when Ali and Zubair, in opposing camps came face to face. 'Ali reminded Zubair of the incident, and Zubair recalled, and said that he had forgotten, and he immediately left the battle field. So the battle took place as the Prophet had predicted, and Zubair was the oppressor, since Ali was the Rightful Caliph, and to oppose him with violence was wrong.

The Prophet said: "The Caliphate will last for thirty years, then there will be a biting kingship." So it happened. The rule of the Rightly Guided Caliphs was exactly thirty years: Abu Bakr for two, 'Umar for ten, 'Uthman for twelve, 'Ali for two and a half and Hassan three and a half. After that evil spread and kingship was established.

The Prophet also predicted the capture of Egypt, and told his companions to treat the people well, and that they would seize the treasures of the Persian Choseros (Emperor), who lives in the white palace, all of which they accomplished, and that Suraqa bin Malik (one of the companions) would have the bracelets of Caesar put on his hands. So it happened that some such bracelets fell into the possession of 'Umar and he called Suraqa, and placed the bracelets on him, reminding him of the Prophet's words.

A narration in the most authoritative of the Hadith books, Sahih al-Bukhari, told Auf bin Malik to look for six incidents before the last day: "The first, my death; the second the conquest of Jerusalem; third, an epidemic among them; fourth, the abundance of wealth so that a man would not gladly accept one hundred dinars even if given it; fifth, a trouble that would involve all Arab families without exception; sixth, a treaty with the Christians, which the Christians would violate, etc.. (the hadith describes this last event, not yet fulfilled). Jerusalem was captured, and after this in 16 A.H. an epidemic broke out in Umwas and seventy thousand died. Wealth became plentiful, especially during the Caliphate of 'Uthman, and after that in the time of 'Umar ibn AbdulAzziz, when the collectors of zakat found no one poor enough to receive it. Also the rebellious war arose in the time of 'Uthman and became worse after his murder, so none of the Arabs families were not involved in some respect.

The Prophet mentioned that the Muslims would conquer both Rome and Constantinople. He was asked which would fall first, and the Prophet said: "The city of Heraclius", i.e. Constantinople. Constantinople was taken by the Muslims in the fifteenth century. Rome still remains to be conquered, as it will be. So the order is correct, and rest still to be fulfilled. What is noteworthy about these statements of the Prophet is that they were made at a time when no one could imagine that a small city state, permanently under siege by the pagan Arabs, would reach such heights of power and strength, and that these predictions are not couched in some vague terminology open to various interpretations, like the Bible's Book of Revelation's "Beast of 666", and monsters with horns and little horns, or the meanderings of Nostradamus. The language is clear, their assertions direct, and often with specific names and dates.

The Prophet also predicted the dividing of the Muslims into many sects and mentioned some of their characteristics. The Prophet mentioned that some people would do to 'Ali what the Christians did to Jesus. This clearly refers to the Shi'a, who exaggerate in love and praise of 'Ali. One of the Shi'a sects, the Nusaria, actually worship him as the manifestation of Allah. The Prophet also mentioned that a group would arise who will deny Allah's Qadr (Divine Decree) and he called them the "Magians of the Ummah", and so it happened, and they were called the Qadaria. He also mentioned the appearance of those who would claim the Quran is created, and of those who would tell people to take only from the Quran and ignore the Sunnah (Prophetic Tradition), and these things have all come to pass. The Prophet also predicted that from the tribe of a certain individual a group would arise who would used the verses of Quran pertaining to unbelievers on the believers, and that they should be fought and killed. So it happened that the first of the deviant sects to arise was the Khawarij, who said that 'Ali and Mu'awia were unbelievers, and whoever did not believe this, then they also were unbelievers, and they would slaughter the Muslims, and they arose from the tribe of Tamim, as the Prophet had said.

The Prophet mentioned that there would be signs forewarning the approach of the last day. Among those that have clearly come to pass are:

a. The barefooted bedouins competing in building tall buildings. Today we find in the Arabian Peninsula, the Arabs who used to be impoverished herders of camels and sheep, are competing in building the tallest tower blocks.

b. The Mosques would be like palaces. This is clearly the case, even though the Prophet ordered simplicity in the houses of Allah, the mosques have become more and more fantastic, with golden domes, marbled floors, lavish carpets and chandeliers.

c. Disappearance of trustworthiness, so much so that one would only be able to say: "I know a trustworthy person in such-and-such town."

d. The increase in killing, so that the one who kills does not know why he killed, and the one killed does not know why he was killed. I was recently sent an article from the Washington Post about the rise of gang warfare. Part of the initiation ceremony was for a new gang member (some times as young as eleven) to shoot someone. The second highest cause of death from fifteen to thirty five in the US are gun related. The massacre of civilians in the Vietnam War by American troops who had little idea why they were there, and the increase of such conflicts, is further illustration of the fulfillment of this prophecy. As are the rise of insane mass murders, of children killing children, such as Jamie Bulger.

e. The increase of the use of riba (usury/interest) so that no one will able to escape being tainted by it. This clearly the state of the world economy today.

f. The enemies of the Muslims dividing the Muslim's wealth and lands between them, the Muslims abandoning jihad, and concerning themselves only with the worldly matters. We have already mentioned this.

g. The increase of literacy.

h. The decrease of religious knowledge due to the disappearance of scholars.

i. The increase of musical instruments, and the Muslims making it lawful even though the Prophet has forbidden them.

j. The increase of sexual promiscuity, and new diseases that people had not heard of before spreading amongst them as a consequence of that. This is clear, with the arrival of AIDS, and other previously unheard of viruses.

k. Appearance of Dajjals (liars), each claiming to be a Messenger of Allah, while Muhammad is the last messenger. There are numerous examples of this, starting with Musailima, who arose in the time of the Prophet, just before his death, to more modern liars such as Elija Muhammad, founder of the Black American racist movement "The Nation of Islam", and India's pretender Gulam Ahmed of Qadian.

l. Nakedness of women while still being dressed.

m. The drinking of wine becoming common, and the Muslims making it lawful by calling it another name.

n. Shouting in the mosques.

o. The worst and most ignorant will become leaders and they will be oppressors.

p. A man will obey his wife and disobey his mother, and treat his friends kindly and shun his father.

q. Men will wear silk and gold, and the making of it lawful by the Muslims even though the Prophet had forbidden it for the men of his 'Ummah (nation).

r. People will abandon the religion for a small worldly gain, and keeping to the religion will be like holding two hot coals.

So these are just some of the numerous prophecies of Muhammad, that have clearly come true, and some have been fulfilled in this age in which we live, all adding weight to the evidence in favor of his claim.

The Quran also provides accurate knowledge of the past. This is also information which Muhammad was unable to receive except from Allah. Some examples of this are:

The Quran mentions about the ark of Noah:


"The Ark came to rest upon Mount Judi"

[Noble Quran 11:44]



Recent archeological research has discovered a boat shaped object with exactly the same dimensions as those of the Ark on Mount Judi. The Bible claims that the Ark came to rest twenty miles away on the Mountains of Ararat. This is not possible, since these mountains are a recent geological formation, and did not exist at the time of Noah. The Quran also refers to the flood as a localized event, destroying only Noah's people. The dates and time offered by the Bible for the flood, and its claim that it was a world wide cataclysm, has been proven false by all archeological evidence.

The Quran describes the ruler of Egypt being addressed as "King" in the time of Joseph, whilst Moses addresses the ruler as "Pharaoh". This is a small but telling accuracy, for in the time of Joseph the rulers were from the Hykos Dynasty, and were Semites. They did not refer to themselves as "Pharaohs". The term was used by the native Egyptian dynasties that supplanted the Hykos, in the time of Moses. The Bible again proves inaccurate on this point referring to both as "Pharaoh". The Quran also correctly describes aspects of the ancient Egyptian religion, in particular the worship of Pharaoh as a god.

The Quran refers to the early followers of Jesus as "Nazarenes". This is historically accurate. The word "Christian" was actually a nick name used by the Romans sometime after Jesus - Acts 11:26 "The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch."

The Quran makes reference to a city Iram, which Allah destroyed for its evil doings. Until recently there was no record of this city, and it was believed to be only a legend. In 1973, in North-Western Syria, the 4300 year old city of Ebla was excavated. On the cuneiform clay tablets, a record was found of all the cities with who they used to do business. Among them was Iram.

How and from where did Muhammed gather this information? If, as some claim, he took it from the Bible, how did he manage to correct the Bible's mistakes?



Signs, Science and Surety

The Quran is the last revelation, and a proof not only to the pagan Arabs one thousand four hundred years ago, but also to the scientists of today. Perhaps one of the most remarkable qualities of the Quran for those living in the twentieth, and what will soon be the twenty first century, is the complete consistency between the Quran and most of the discoveries of modern science, and in some cases pre-empting facts discovered within the last twenty years. One of the first Western scientists to make a serious study of this subject was Maurrice Bucaille, who wrote a book called The Bible, the Quran and Science. In this book, he compared the statements concerning natural and scientific data in the Bible and the Quran. He concluded: "The Quran follows on from the two Revelations that preceded it and is not only free from contradictions in its narrations, the sign of the various human manipulations to found in the gospels, but provides a quality all of its own for those who examine it objectively and in the light of science, i.e. its complete agreement with modern scientific data. What is more, statements are to be found in it (as has been shown) that are connected with science: and yet it is unthinkable that a man of Muhammad's time could have been the author of them. Modern scientific knowledge therefore allows us to understand certain verses of the Quran which, until now, it has been impossible to interpret. The comparison of several Biblical and Quranic narrations of the same subject shows the existence of fundamental differences between the statements in the former, which are scientifically unacceptable, and declarations in the latter which are in perfect agreement with modern data: this was the case of the Creation and the Flood, for example. An extremely important complement to the Bible was found in the text of he Quran on the subject of the history of the Exodus, where the two texts were very much in agreement with archaeological findings, in the dating of the time of Moses. Besides, there are major differences between the Quran and the Bible on the other subjects: they serve to disprove all that has been maintained-without a scrap of evidence-concerning the allegation that Muhammad is supposed to have copied the Bible to produce the text of the Quran... . In view of the level of knowledge in Muhammad's day, it is inconceivable that many of the statements in the Quran which are connected with science could have been the work of a man. It is, moreover, perfectly legitimate, not only to regard the Quran as the expression of a Revelation, but also to award it a very special place, on the account of the guarantee of authenticity it provides and the presence in it of scientific statements which, when studied today, appears as a challenge to explanation in human terms."

Some of the statements involving data confirmed by modern science are:

The Accurate Description of Embryonic and Fetal Development. At the time of Prophet Muhammad prevalent theories included those of Aristotle who thought that a child was formed by the congealing of menstrual blood catalyzed by the male blood, as rennet does to cheese. In the Eighteenth Century, Hartsoeker claimed to have seen within the sperm a pre-formed human being through the primitive microscopes. The Quran reflected none of these, describing the development of the embryonic human with detailed accuracy:


"We created man from a quintessence of clay, We then placed him as a drop (Nutfa) in a place of rest firmly fixed, Then we made the drop into an Alaqah (leech-like) and then we changed the leech-like structure into a Mudghah (chewed-like) and then We made out of that chewed-like substance bones then We clothed the bones with flesh then We caused him to grow and come into being and attain the definitive form. Blessed be Allah the Perfect creator. After that, at length you will die. Again, on the Day of Judgment, you will be raised up."

[Noble Quran 23:12-16]



The Prophet further explained the meaning of Nutfa as meaning both the male sperm and female ovum. The word "alaqah" has three meanings in Arabic: 1) A thing that clings; 2) A blood clot; and 3) A leech like thing. All three accurately describe the first stage of the developing embryo. After the fertilisation of the egg, a blastocyst develops, which has on its exterior villocites which literally "cling" to the wall of the uterus. It then goes on to resemble a leech both in appearance and behavior. (Both leech and embryo extract blood from host.) It also goes on to resemble a blood clot. The next stage, when it becomes "chewed-like", is also accurate. It is also true that the bones precede the development of muscle and flesh. The Prophetic traditions state: "When forty -two nights have passed over the conceptus, Allah sends an Angel to it, who shapes it, makes its ears, eyes, skin, flesh and bones. Then he says O Lord! is it male or female? And your Lord decides what He wishes and then the angel records it." This accurate information gives the correct time for the recognizable growth of the features described, and the sex of the fetus can not be definitely determined until just after forty-two days. This was not known until the invention of powerful microscopes only decades ago. I have mentioned this subject only briefly, and quoted a few of the verses and hadith concerning this topic. Keith Moore, Professor and Chairman, Department of Anatomy, University of Toronto, Canada, and author of The Developing Human, is considered one of the leading embryologists, said concerning these statements in the Quran and authenticated hadith: "Until the 19th Century, nothing was known about classifying the stages of human development. A system of staging human embryos was developed around the end of the 19th Century based on alphabetical symbols. During the 20th century, numerals were used to describe 23 stages of embryonic development. This system of numbering the stages is not easy to follow and a better system would be based on the morphological changes. In recent years, the study of the Quran has revealed another basis for the classification of the stages of the developing embryo which is based on easily understood actions and changes in shape. It utilizes terms which were sent from God to Muhammed the Prophet by the Angel Gabriel and recorded on the Quran... It is clear to me that these statements must have come to Muhammad from God because almost all of this knowledge was not discovered until many centuries later. This proves to me that Muhammed must have been a Messenger of God." Marshall Jonson, Professor and Chairman, Department of Anatomy, Director of the Daniel Baugh Institute, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, U.S.A., said: "As a scientist I can only deal with things I can specifically see. I can understand embryology and developmental biology; I can understand the words that are translated to me from the Quran. If I were to transpose myself into that era, knowing what I do today and describing things, I could not describe the things that were described. I see no evidence to refute the concept that this individual Muhammed had to be developing this information from some place, so I see nothing in conflict with the concept that Divine Intervention was involved on what he was able to say."

Cosmology.


"Have not those who disbelieve known that the heavens and the earth were joined together as one united piece, then We parted them. And We have made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe."

[Noble Quran 21:30]



This verse clearly mentions the common origin of the universe, a fact that was not discovered until forty years ago with the advent of nuclear physics. The separation seems to refer to what the scientists call the "Big Bang". Also, all living things are composed of protoplasm, which consists of 80-85% water.


"Then He rose over towards the heaven when it was smoke, and said to it and to the earth: 'Come willingly or unwillingly.' They both said: 'We come willingly.'"

[Noble Quran 41:11]



The word smoke describes accurately the primeval state of the universe, which was composed of a hot gaseous mass, with particles moving vigorously, just as in smoke. From this the stars, planets and the earth were formed.


"The heaven, We have built it with power, verily We are expanding it.'

[Noble Quran 51:47]



It is an accepted fact that we are living in an expanding universe. "Allah is the one who created the night and day, the sun and moon. Each one is traveling in an orbit with its own motion." The Arabic word referring to a movement with self-propelled motion is the verb sahabah (yasbahuna in the text). It implies a motion that comes from the body in question. If it takes place in water, it is to swim; it is to move by the action of one's own legs' if it takes place on land. For movement that occurs in space it would mean "to rotate". The sun is actually in orbit, not around the earth but around the centre of the galaxy, so there is no contradiction, since the Quran does not specify the Sun's orbit.


"Have you not seen how Allah merges the night into the day and the day into the night?"

[Noble Quran 31:29]




"He coils the night upon the day and He coils the day upon the night."

[Noble Quran 39:5]



To coil or to wind is the translation of the Arabic verb kawwarra. The original meaning of the verb is to coil a turban around the head. The process of perpetual coiling, including the interpenetration of one sector by another is expressed in the Quran just as if the concept of the Earth's roundness had already been conceived at the time, which is clearly not the case.


"It is He who made the Sun a shining thing and the moon as a light, and measured out their stages... "

[Noble Quran 10:5]



The Quran describes the Sun as a "siraj" which means a torch, generating its own heat and light where as the Moon is described "an-nur" which is light originating from another source.

Geology.


"Have We not made the earth an expanse; and the mountains stakes?"

[Noble Quran 78:6-7]




"And Allah has cast into the ground mountains standing firm so that it does not shake with you."

[Noble Quran 31:10]



It has recently been discovered that mountains have roots that go into the earth's crust which is composed of seven tectonic plates. Their movement is the cause of earthquakes. It is thought that the roots and weight of the mountains play a vital role in stabilizing the earth's crust.

Animal and Plant life. The sixteenth chapter of the Quran mentions the bee that leaves its home to gather as feminine, although it has generally been believed that the bees are soldiers and they answer to a King. The Quran also mentions the sexes of plants and the winds as a means of their fertilization.


"We sent forth the winds that fecundate."

[Noble Quran 15:22]



All recently discovered matters.

Atomism. The Greek philosopher Democritus (460-361 BC) advanced the theory that matter was composed of tiny, indivisible particles called Atoms. Modern science has discovered that there is the Atom, but that Atom is divisible. The Quran states:


"He is aware of an atom's weight in the heavens and on the earth, and even anything smaller than that..."



[Noble Quran 34:3]



Dermatology.


"Does mankind think that We cannot assemble his bones? Nay, We are able to put together in perfect order the very tips of his fingers."

[Noble Quran 75:3-4]



No two finger prints are alike. This verse tells of both Allah's knowledge and ability to resurrect us even to the most unique and individual part:


"Those who reject Our signs We shall soon cast into the fire, As often as their skins are roasted through, We shall change them for fresh skins so that they may truly taste the Penalty, For Allah is exalted in power, wise."

[Noble Quran 4:56]



The nerve ends that feel pain are found in the skin. When the skin is severely burnt the nerve ends are destroyed and pain is not felt. In Hell, Allah will recreate the skin so that its inhabitants may permanently feel intense pain.


"Verily, the tree of zaqqum will be the food of the sinners, like boiling oil it will boil in their bellies, like the boiling of scalding water, ' Taste you this! Verily you were pretending to be the mighty the generous! Verily this is that which you used to doubt!"

[Noble Quran 44:43-50]




"...and drink boiling water which cuts their bowls to pieces."

[Noble Quran 47:15]



Thermal receptors are not present in the intestines. It is known that if the bowel is cut the contents go into the highly sensitive Peritonea Cavity, where intense pain is initiated. This is not common knowledge now, let alone in Muhammad's time. The author of the Quran is, however, well acquainted with these facts!

The Water Cycle. The Quran correctly describes the water cycle, and the origin of underground springs as being from rain water. Obvious you may think, but the Greek philosophers did not get it right, suggesting that underground springs were produced by sea spray collecting in caves which fed a great underground sea through the 'abyss'! In fact the water cycle was not accurately propounded until the 18th century. The Quran, however, states:


"Hast though not seen that Allah sent water down from the sky and led it through sources into the ground?"



[Noble Quran 39:21]



For the sake of brevity, I have only mentioned a few of the statements and provided limited explanation of the statements contained in the Quran and traditions dealing with scientific subjects. T. V. N. Persud, Professor and Chairman, Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Manitoba, Canada commented: "Muhammed was a very ordinary man, he couldn't read, didn't know how to write, in fact he was an illiterate... we're talking about 1400 years ago you have some illiterate person making profound pronouncements and statements that are accurate of a scientific nature. I personally can't see how this could be a mere chance, there are too many accuracies... I have no difficulty in my mind reconciling that this is a divine inspiration or a revelation which led him to these statements." Let us not forget the words of Dr, Bucaille that these facts "appear as a challenge to explanation in human terms." And Professor Persud's statement that it cannot be coincidence, there are too many accuracies! The probability against Muhammad taking wild guesses and getting each fact right are indeed phenomenal! These scientists, renowned experts in their fields, like the Arabs who had mastered their language in the time of the Prophet, recognize the clear proof and miraculous nature of the Quran.


"We will show them our signs on the furthest horizons and within themselves until they know that this is the truth."



[Noble Quran 41:53]



The Quran is consistent with external realities, and it is also consistent internally. It is the nature of the works of men, be they scientists, philosophers, sages or mystics to contain inconsistencies and contradictions. This cannot be so with the Divine Revelation as the Quran states: "Have they not carefully considered the Quran, had it been from other than Allah they would have found many in-discrepancies in it."



CONSEQUENCES

This is the evidence, in part, that Islam is from Allah, The Divine Being, the All-Knowing Creator. The cognition of that fact has consequences:


"If they answer you not, know then that the Revelation is sent down with the Knowledge of Allah and that none has the right to be worshipped but He! Will you not then be Muslims (of those who sincerely submit to Allah)?"

[Noble Quran 11:14]



Science has produced theories based on empirical evidence that leads to statements about things which we can not see. An example of this is the existence of protons, neutrons and electrons. The existence of these is not disputed, even though they can not be seen, because their existence is believed in on the basis of what is visible and observable. The Quran explains the existence of unseen realities, and the fact of their being unseen does not make them any less real. The descriptions in the Quran of this unseen reality is one of the things that mark it for special attention. It is noteworthy that the Bible, for example, is greatly lacking in such descriptions. Both the Quran and the Hadith contain numerous detailed descriptions of the Afterlife, some of which was relayed to the Prophet as information, some of which he saw in visions and dreams, and some of which he actually witnessed in his physical ascension through the heavens on his Night Journey. The extent and depth of detail of these descriptions appear to be beyond the realm of a man's mere imagination, and the convincing manner in which they were conveyed suggest an intimate familiarity with this reality. The Prophet's companions once told him that if Allah were to bring the Hell-Fire and Paradise in front of them it would not increase their faith in its existence, so real was it to them! To the Muslim 'fundamentalists', the next life is as real as this one. The Quran and the Hadith constantly remind the reader of the temporary nature of the world and wealth, and that it is only a test, to see whether it is used to obey or disobey Allah; that the next life is longer, its pleasures lasting and its torment terrible; The believer may, indeed should, posses the lawful things of the world but should not allow the love of it to enter the heart. It is not a call to abandon the world, but a call to use it for righteous ends. There is not time or space to give a detailed description of the Afterlife. I shall include here one hadith concerning the life in the grave and only the main headings included in the index of Quran about death, the Day of Judgment, Hellfire and Paradise:


"Wheresoever you may be, death will overtake you even if you are in fortresses built up strong and high!"



[Noble Quran 4:78]



It is reported that al Bara bin Azib said: "We went out with the Prophet in order to participate in the funeral rites of a man from the Ansar. We arrived at the grave, but the inner chamber had not been prepared yet; so Allah's Messenger sat down facing the direction of the Qiblah, and we sat around him so attentively it was if the birds were sitting on our heads. He had a stick in his hand with which he sketched upon the ground. Then he began looking alternately to the heavens and to the earth, razing his gaze and then lowering it. Finally, he said two or three times: 'Seek refuge in Allah from the torment of the grave.' Then he said: 'O Allah, verily I seek refuge in You from the torment of the grave.' He repeated it three times, then he elaborated: 'Verily, when the believing servant is leaving this world and entering the next, angels from the heavens descend to him-their faces white with brightness like the sun and carrying with them burial sheets and scents from Paradise. They sit before him at a distance as far as the eye can see. Then the Angel of Death comes to the person, sits at his head and say's: 'O good soul, come out to your Lord's forgiveness and pleasure.' Thereupon, the soul flows out of the body like water flowing from the mouth of a waterskin, and all of the angels between the sky and the earth supplicate for Allah's blessing upon him. The doors of the heaven are opened for him, and the keepers of these doors all plead with Allah that this soul might pass in front of them as it is being carried upward. The Angel of Death barely receives the soul in his hands, whereupon the other angels take it from him and wrap it with fragrant winding sheets. This is what is meant by Allah's saying: "Our messengers seize his soul, and they do not fall short of their duty." Then the Prophet said: 'There exudes from the soul a scent like the most beautiful fragrance of musk that one could find on the face of the earth. The angels ascend with the soul, never passing a host of angels without hearing them ask: 'Who is this wonderful soul?' They reply, 'So and so, the son of so and so,' addressing him with the best names he was known by during his earthly life. Upon reaching the first heaven, the angels request that it be opened for the soul - which is granted. The soul is then accompanied by the angels of each heaven until it reaches the one above it and finally arrives at the seventh heaven. Then Allah, the Mighty and Majestic says: 'Place the record of My servant in Illyyun." The person's record is then placed in Illiyyun, whereupon a command is heard: 'Return him to the earth, for verily I have promised mankind that having created them from the earth I will return them to it. And I will make them come out of it, yet another time. Then the soul is returned to the earth, back into its body. Verily the deceased hears the shuffling feet of his companions who attended his burial as they turn away and leave his grave. Thereupon, two angels, severe in interrogation, come to him, and sitting him up, they begin to ask him questions. They say, 'Who is your Lord?' He replies, 'Allah is my Lord.' They continue, 'What is your religion?' He answers, 'Islam is my religion.' They proceed with the questioning, saying, 'Who is this man that has been sent to you?' He responds, 'He is the Messenger of Allah.' Finally, they ask him about his deeds, to which he replies, 'I read Allah's Book and believed in it.' A voice is then heard in the heavens, saying, 'My servant has told the truth, so clothe him in the clothing of Paradise, spread for him the furnishings of Paradise, and open for him a window with a view of Paradise.' Thereupon, he is engulfed by a breeze of fresh air and fragrance, while the expanse of his grave is extended before him as far as the eye can see. There appears before him a man with a wonderful face and beautiful clothing, emitting a splendid fragrance. He says to the soul, 'Rejoice at the news which will gladden you. Rejoice at Allah's pleasure and His Paradise, whose joys and delights never end. This is the day which you were promised.' The deceased says to him, 'And who are you, for your face bears good tidings?' The figure answers, 'I am your good ; by Allah, I've always known you to be quick in obedience to Allah and slow to His disobedience. So may Allah award you with a good reward.' Then a door to Paradise is opened, and a door to Hell, whereupon it is said to him regarding the Hellfire, 'This would have been your final abode had you disobeyed Allah, however, it has been exchanged for this other abode.' When the soul sees what is in Paradise, he cries, 'My Lord, hasten the arrival of the Hour so that I might be joined with my family and wealth.' Thereupon it is said to him, 'Rest in tranquility.' Allah's Messenger continued, 'When the disbelieving , sinful servant is about to leave this world and enter the next, angels, powerful and severe, descend to him from the heavens - their faces black and carrying with them coarse strips of cloth from Hell. They sit before him at a distance as far as the eye can see. Then the Angel of Death arrives, and sitting at the head of the disbeliever, he says, 'O you foul soul, come out to the anger and wrath of your Lord.' The soul inside the disbelievers body is overcome by terrible fear, where upon the Angel of Death violently pulls it out like multi-pronged skewers being yanked out of wet wool - tearing with them the arteries and nerves. Upon this, the soul is cursed by every angel between the heavens and the earth and by those inside the heavens. Then the doors of the heavens are closed to him, and every single guard at these doors begs Allah that this soul not be carried up in front of him. The Angel of Death barely receives the soul in his hands, whereupon the other angels grasp it from him and wrap it up in coarse cloth. There emits from it the foulest odor that could be found on the face of the earth. They ascend with it, never passing a host of angels without being asked, 'Who is this ugly soul?' They reply, 'So and so, the son of so and so,' using the worst names by which he was known in this world. When they arrive at the lowest heaven, they request that it be opened for this soul, but the request is denied.' And the Prophet recited the verse: 'The gates of the heavens will not be opened for them, nor will they enter the Garden of Paradise until a camel goes through the eye of a needle.' After that he continued, 'Then Allah the Mighty and Majestic, says to the angels: 'Place his record in Sijjeen-in the lowest heaven. Return my servant to the earth, for verily I have promised mankind that having created them from the earth, I will return them to it. And will make them come out of it, yet another time.' Upon this command, the deceased soul is thrown down from the sky until it lands in its body.' The Prophet then recited the verse: 'And whoever ascribes partners with Allah, it is as though he had fallen from the sky, such that the birds snatch him up or the wind throws him to a remote place.' Then he commented, 'Verily the deceased hears the sound of his companions footsteps as they turn away from his grave.' The Prophet resumed his explanation, 'Then the two angels, severe in interrogation, come to him, and sitting him up, they begin to question him, 'Who is your Lord?' He answers, 'Aah! Aah! I don't know.' They continue by asking him, 'What is your religion?' He answers, 'Aah! Aah! I don't know.' So they ask, 'Then what do you say about this man who was sent to you?' The disbeliever does not appear to understand who they are referring to, so it is said, 'Muhammed.' Again he states, 'Aah! Aah! I don't know. I only heard the people talking about him.' Then it is said, 'You did not know, and you did not read!' Thereupon a voice from the heavens is heard, 'He has lied! So spread out for him a place from the Fire and open for him a window to the Fire.' The searing hot winds of Hell engulf him while his grave closes in upon him, crushing him until his rib cage is broken by the force - causing the ribs of one side to intertwine with the ribs of the other. Then there appears to him a person with an ugly face and ugly clothing and exuding a foul odour, who says, 'Tidings of evil to you, for this is the day which you were promised!' The deceased says to him, 'And you, too; may Allah give you evil tidings! Who are you, for yours is a face which portends evil.' The person rejoins, 'I represent your wicked deeds. By Allah, I have always known you to be slow in obedience to Allah and quick in disobedience to Him. May Allah reward you with evil!' Then one who is deaf, dumb and blind and is carrying an iron rod is sent to the deceased. If he were to strike a mountain with it, the mountain would disintegrate into rubble. He strikes the deceased with a blow which turns him into dust. Allah returns the deceased to his original form, whereupon he is struck a second time. This causes him to shriek with such violence that it is heard by all the creation except mankind and jinn. Then a door to the Fire is opened, and beddings of the Fire are spread for him, whereupon he cries, 'Lord, do not establish the Hour!' (i.e. Day of Resurrection Day of Gathering, Day of Judgment, Day of Decision, Day of Sorting Out, Day of Grief and Regrets). Trumpet will be blown, a single shout, a single cry, a near torment, pregnant she camels shall be neglected, suckling mothers will forget their babes, every pregnant will drop her load, the heaven will shake with a dreadful shaking. Heaven will be split asunder and shall be rent asunder with clouds Heaven will be rolled up in His Right Hand, and all those in heaven and earth will swoon away. Heaven shall be opened, it will become as gates. The sky will be like boiling filthy oil. The stars shall fall and some stars will lose their light. The Sun will lose its light. Seas will become as blazing fire, and some seas will burst forth. The earthquake of the Hour - mountains will be shaken violently, the earth will be ground to powder, and earth will be changed into another earth and so will the heavens. The earth will be stretched forth as a leveled plain. The earth will throw out its burdens, graves will be turned upside down, and there will be a complete resurrection from the graves. Wild beasts shall be gathered together, raised up blind, and the souls will be joined together with their bodies. This is the True Day, and mankind will be like moths scattered about. All of mankind will proceed in scattered groups, as in a drunken state. Relatives shall be made to see one another - a man shall flee from his relatives - and no friend will ask after a friend. There will be no friend or intercessor. Everyone will be paid their wages in full - written pages of deeds shall be laid open, and every person will know what he she has brought. Every person will be confronted with all the good and evil he has done. A person will know what he has sent foreword and left behind. The will be no fear of injustice - the balances of justice and the scales of deeds - whosoever does good or evil equal to the weight of an atom shall see it. All the secrets will be examined. Some records will be given in the right hand, and some records will be given in the left hand. Some records will be given behind the back. A hard day for the disbelievers - a heavy day. They bear a heavy burden, and are not permitted to put forth any excuse. The wrong-doer will bite his hands. All wrong-doers will be assembled with their companions and idols. It will be a destruction with deep regrets, sorrows and despair. The female infants who were buried alive shall be questioned. The greatest terror - the caller will call to a terrible thing. (On the Day of Resurrection the life of this world will seem like) a stay no longer than ten days - a day or part of a day. No person shall have the power to do anything for another - they will have no power nor any helper. There will be no fear for believers, and all believers will be in the shade, and amongst springs and fruits. Angels will be sent down with a grand descending. The Shin shall be laid bear and Paradise shall be brought near. Hellfire shall be brought near and Hellfire shall be stripped off, kindled to a fierce ablaze. The unbelievers will wish to return and become believers. Hell fire, blazing fire, flaming fire, crushing Fire, burning flame, raging and roaring - the terrible drawing in of its breath. The shadow of black smoke, a narrow place, a place of ambush. This is the worst place to rest - worst indeed is that destination - the torment will not be lightened. An evil final return. The fire of Allah, kindled and filled with men and jinns all together, will say: 'Are there any more?'. For those who took their religion for amusement and play, the promised place for them all. It spares not nor does it leave. Disbelievers will be driven to it in groups - criminals and transgressors known by their marks, they will be seized by their forelocks and their feet, seized and dragged into the midst of the blazing fire, bound together in fetters, chained together, wherein they will abide forever. Death will come from all angles, yet they will not die. Therein they will neither die nor live. Every time they seek to get away, they will be driven back. They will find neither protector nor helper. They will be made to drink boiling festering water and boiling hot water - given from a boiling spring. It will melt away what is in their bellies. Boiling oil will boil what is in their bellies. Nothing cool shall they taste therein Water and provision will be forbidden to the disbelievers - only the food of poisonous thorny plant - from the tree of zaqqum. . Food for the sinners. Nor shall they have any drink, except a taste of boiling fluid and puss, filth from the washing of wounds, in fierce hot wind and boiling water. Boiling water poured down over their heads, burning their skins. Their skins will be burnt off then replaced with fresh skins. Their faces will be turned and rolled from all sides in the Fire. They will wear garments of pitch, and fire will cover their faces. Garments of fire will be cut for them, and on them will be hooked rods of iron. Their abode will be the Fire - the torment of the Fire that they used to deny. This is that whereof they used to doubt. Destruction with deep regrets and sorrow. (They will say:) 'Had we but listened or used our common sense!' They will dispute with their leaders in the Fire. Nineteen angels will be its guardians and keepers. And in Paradise... Gardens underneath which rivers flow. Everlasting gardens. Gardens of Eternity. Gardens of delight. Gardens with everlasting delights. Gardens and grapevines, fruits of two gardens, fruits of all kinds as desired in plenty. Fruits will be near at hand, fruit and meat, flesh of fowls, thornless lote trees and banana trees, a running spring - a spring called Salsabil, a spring called Kafur, a spring call Tasnim. A river in Paradise named Kauthar. Rivers of wine, milk and clear honey A cup mixed with Zanjabil water, trays of gold cups, vessels of silver and cups of crystal, green garments of fine and thick silk, adorned with bracelets of gold and pearls. Coaches lined with silk brocade, green cushions and rich beautiful mattresses set in rows. Thrones woven with gold and precious stones raised high. Rich carpets spread out, beautiful mansions, lofty rooms, one above another, abiding therein forever. An eternal home, facing one another on thrones. They will never taste death therein, nor will they be asked to leave it. All hatred, jealousy or sense of injury will be removed from their hearts. All grief will be removed and no sense of fatigue, toil or weariness will touch them. Neither will there be any hurt, abdominal pain, headache or intoxication. There will be no vain speaking nor sinful speech, neither harmful speech nor falsehood. They will be free from sin. There will be neither excessive heat nor bitter cold. There will be a known provision, in peace and security. The home of peace, with greetings therein, and whoever does righteous deeds will enter. Those who kept their duty to their Lord will be led in groups, and be made to inherit because of their deeds. Allah is pleased with them and they with Him. My Paradise, the greatest bliss, the great success and the supreme success. For the believers are Gardens as an entertainment. The dwellers of Paradise will be busy in joyful things that Day. They will be amidst gardens and water springs, and will see the angels surrounding the Throne, near the Omnipotent King. They will have all that they desire. Houries - chaste females with wide and beautiful eyes, as if preserved eggs. Pure wives - wives in a pleasant shade - reclining on thrones. Young full-breasted maidens of equal age, immortal boy-servants to serve them as scattered pearls.


The Death of Death.

Abu Hurayra reported that Allah's Messenger said: "After the people of Paradise enter Paradise and the People of the Fire enter Hell, Death will be brought foreword in the form of a spotted ram. It will be on the wall which separates the people of Paradise from the people of the Fire. Then it will be said: 'O people of Paradise!' Thereupon they will raise their heads and stare apprehensively. Then it will be said: 'O people of the Fire!' Whereupon its inhabitants will raise their heads in hope of intercession. After this the people of Paradise and the inhabitants of the Fire will be addressed thus: 'Do you know what this is?' They will all reply: 'We know it; it is Death, which assigned to us.' Thereupon Death will be placed on its side and slaughtered on the wall. Finally it will be said: 'O people of Paradise, only eternity and no more death. O people of the Fire, only eternity and more death.'"



Footnotes

'Allah' is in fact the proper name for God. It means 'the one who alone deserves to be worshipped.' It is identical to the Hebrew name for the Creator, 'Elah' and the Aramaic (the language of Jesus) 'Eli', both being sister languages of Arabic. Arab Christians always called God _Allah', even before the Messengership of Muhammad.

'Salawat' means Allah's mentioning and praising someone to His gathered angels.

The word for 'religion' is a translation of the Arabic word 'deen' which is more restrictive than the Arabic. Other suggested translations might be 'way of life', or 'life transaction.'

Shari'ah: literally means 'watering hole', but refers to the whole corpus of the Divine Law.

Jinn: The jinn are a different type of creation made from smokeless fire that inhabit the world, eat, drink, procreate, having different languages, tribes, nations and religions just like us. They often inhabit deserted buildings and dirty places. They also have the will to choose Islam or disbelieve, and will be judged on the Day of Resurrection, and punished or rewarded accordingly. They are not visible to us in their natural form, but are able to take the form of humans and some animals. They are also able to possess people, and have unique abilities and strength to carry objects at great distances over a short time. The Devil, or Shaitan, (Satan) or Iblis is not a fallen Angel but a jinn. Everybody has an evil jinn companion that incites them to wrong. It is through communicating with your familiar jinn that some 'fortune tellers' are able to know details of your life, and some magicians perform incredible feats.

Not the purely materialistic, political, social or economic reasons as most ignorantly believe, which serves to illustrate just how blind are those, and helpless the task of those who seek solutions in other than that which Allah has revealed.

These are just some of the forms of worship that must be dedicated to Allah alone. Worship consists of everything that Allah loves, whether it be inward or outer, actions of the limbs, or beliefs of the heart. Allah must be worshipped with both love, fear and hope and not with one to the exclusion of others which is a path to error and disbelief. For to worship Allah with love and hope alone is to deny His wrath, and will inevitably cause one to fall into sins. To worship with fear alone is to deny His mercy, and will cause a fall to extremes. There are two conditions for any good deed to be accepted by Allah. First it must be done sincerely. That entails that you do the deed only because you wish to please Allah, and not to be admired by others etc... Secondly the action must be correct. That means it must be done the way Allah has taught us through the messenger Muhammad. An action that is sincere but not correct is not accepted, and if it is correct but not sincere it is also useless. In fact it is sin, and is a type of lesser shirk, because one is doing something that should be exclusively for Allah for someone other than Him.

Jihad actually means 'to struggle to the utmost of ones ability', and is not therefore limited to physical combat. This 'jihad al nafs', or jihad of the self has often been called 'the greatest jihad.' Although the muhaditheen (scholars of the sciences of hadith) have declared the hadith on which this saying is based to be a fabrication, the meaning is correct in the sense that the purification of the self is the foundation upon which all the other forms of jihad depend. 'The matter' being Islam.

Al-Ainya. The selling of goods to a person for a certain price and then buying them back from him for a far less price. Also the selling of goods one does not own by using the buyers money to purchase those goods. It is a form of riba. This means that the people become content with agriculture and mere day to day living.. From a treaties on jihad by Sheik Abdullah bin Muhammed bin Humaid, translated into to English and can be found in the introduction to the English translation to the collection of Hadith Sahih al Bukari, and the English Interpretation of the Quran by Dr. Muhammed Taqi-ud-deen Al Hilali and Dr Muhammed Muhsin Khan.

Answer: You don't! For an excellent book that refutes the myth of Muslim hordes forcing conversion at the point of the sword read V.W. Arnolds 'The Preaching of Islam.'

Shari'ah: The total body of Islamic law.

Ijtihad: exertion or effort; a scholars opinion about a certain matter based on his effort to investigate the sources of shari'ah. This will be covered later, inshallah.

John B. Taylor, Director of Dialogue with people of Living Faiths and Ideologies of the World Council of Churches wrote in his book _Thinking about Islam': '...Thus we can feel confident that the Quran which we have today is as far as is humanly possible the text which was established within a few years of the Prophet's death.' A brief comparison with the Biblical texts would be useful. The oldest complete Biblical text is the Codex Sianaticus, found in St. Catherine's monastery by a German biblical scholar, Constantine Tishendorf, in 1844 and is now located in the British Museum. This oldest complete Biblical text was written three hundred and sixty years after Christ. It also contains notable textual differences from the modern standard bibles, including an extra gospel, the gospel according to the Shepherd Hermes, and also an Epistle of Barnabas, not found anywhere else. The oldest copies of any substantial portion of the gospels date to about 200 C.E. The Catholic Bible contains seventeen extra books considered apocrypha by the Protestants, and other variations exists between the numerous different Christian sects. The language of Jesus was Aramaic, and all the oldest Biblical fragments are in Latin and Greek. No original Aramaic text exists, and it is noteworthy that all three languages (four including ancient Hebrew) are dead. This, as any entomologist will tell you, leaves serious problems for the correct interpretation of texts. A phrase, that in its original form and context might have a completely innocuous meaning, translated literally into another language takes a completely different connotation. Indeed it is open to serious scholarly dispute as to how much of the sayings and happenings ascribed to Jesus actually took place. None of the evangelists were eye witnesses. Even the names of the Gospellers are questionable, as the Gospels were originally circulated anonymously. In fact it was not until the council of Nicaea, three hundred and forty five years after Christ, that the beginnings of what is now called "the Bible" began to be canonized. In the council of Nicaea, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were four gospels chosen out of over two thousand, and by whom, and by what criterion? All the gospels were put in the middle of a room, and the group of assembled Bishops were told to go away and pray all night. The four on top were to be chosen as canonical! The Gospels themselves contain numerous contradictions, as does the Old Testament. The Hindu vedas, and writings of the Buddhists and Zoroastrians are not more able to validate scriptural texts. The Quran suffers from none of these inadequacies.

The Islamic calendar starts from the emigration of the Prophet from Mecca to Medina, so is called Hijri, meaning _emigration'.

The nineteenth century saw an attempt by the likes of Noldeke and Goldiziher to discredit the hadith. Their arguments have been effectively refuted. Francesco Gabrielli comments in his book _Muhammad and the Conquests of Islam': 'This skepticism is opposed by some of Muhammad's recent biographers who, while admitting that our knowledge, especially of his origins and early life, contains gaps, uncertainties and pious legends, consider tradition on the whole trustworthy and worth using, with critical discrimination, in its main out line and many details.' This position is exactly that which has always been held by the Muslim scholars of Hadith. John Bagot Glubb wrote in _The Life and Times of Muhammad': 'In consequence a new learned profession came into existence, that of the traditionalist, whose task it was to distinguish between the real saying of Muhammad and those false stories which had been forged.'

Uhaz is in Iraq.

The Ka'bah is the cube like structure in the centre of the sacred Mosque in Mecca originally built by Abraham and Ismael for the worship of Allah. It was rebuilt when the Prophet was a youth, and had become the centre of idol worship throughout Arabia.

Al Bihar-Seas, so called because of the way the poem moves, according to its rhythmic patterns. At-Tawil, al-Bassit, al-Waafir, al-Kaamil, ar-Rajs, al-Khafif, al-Hazaj, al Muttakarib, al-Munsarih, al-Muktatab, al-Muktadarak, al-Madid, al-Mujtath, al-Ramel, al Khabab.

Quraish: The leading tribe of Mecca, indeed of Arabia. They were responsible for caring for the pilgrims during Hajj, the annual pilgrimage. Muhammad was from Beni Hashim, a sub-tribe of the Quraish.

Tawaf: the ritual of circumbulating the Ka'bah as part of the pilgrimage. See Appendix 1 Muhammed's Prophethood. An analytical view.

Islam rejects belief in astrology. The stars do not determine anyone's fate, nor influence their life. Ultimate control is with Allah, and _good' and _bad luck' are solely under the power of Allah. Belief in fortune tellers, or the stars, or the belief that some things, like rabbits feet, bring good fortune, or others bad luck, is to ascribe to those things power that only belongs to Allah, and thus commit shirk, or polytheism. Some knowledge, however, is picked up by the evil jinn who listen to the Angels issuing commands, and they carry this information to the fortuneteller, but mixes the truth with a hundred lies.

For a fascinating insight into the statements in the Bible, and the mentioning of the Prophet's name, see Appendix 'Muhammad in the Bible.' Deuteronomy 18:20-22S

Shaving, or cutting the hair is one of the rituals of the pilgrimage.

This was before the verses forbidding gambling were revealed.

The two authoritative books of hadith are Sahih al Bukari and Sahih al Muslim.