Saturday, April 23, 2005

foreword

"There once was a civilization that was the greatest in the world. It was able to create continental super-state that streched from ocean to ocean and from northern climes to tropics and deserts. Within its dominion lived hundreds of millions of people, of different creeds and ethnic origins.

One of its languages became the universal language of a large part of the world and the bridge between the peoples of a hundred lands. Its armies were made up of people of many nationalities, and its military protection allowed a degree of peace and prosperity that had never been known. The reach of this civilization's commerce extended from Latin America to China, and everywhere in between.

And this civilization was driven more than anything, by invention. Its architects designed buildings that defied gravity and its mathematicians created algebra and algorithms that would enable the building of computers and the creation of encryption. Its physicians examined the human body and found new cures for disease, whilst its astronomers looked into the heavens, named the starts, and paved the way for space travel and exploration. Its writers created thousands of stories -- stories of courage, romance and magic. Its poets wrote of love, when others before them were too steeped in fear to think of such things.

When other nations were afraid of ideas, this civilization thrived on them and kept them alive. When the censors threatened to wipe out knowledge from past civilizations, this civilization kept the knowledge alive and passed it on to others.

While modern Western civilization shares many of these traits, the civilization I'm talking about was the Islamic world from the year 800 to 1600, which included the Ottoman Empire and the courts of Baghdad, Damascus and Cairo, and such enlightened rulers as Sulayman the Magnificent.

Although we are often unaware of our indebtedness to this other civilization, its gifts are very much a part of our heritage. The technology industry would not exist without the contributions of Arab mathematicians. Sufi poet-philosophers like Rumi challenged our notions of self and truth, and leaders like Sulayman contributed to our notions of tolerance and civic leadership.

Perhaps we can learn a lesson from this example: It was leadership based on meritocracy, not inheritance. It was leadership that harnessed the full capabilities of a very diverse population, which included Christian, Islamic and Jewish traditions.

This kind of enlightened leadership that nurtured culture, sustainibility, diversity and courage led to 800 years of invention and prosperity.

In these dark and serious times, we must affirm our commitment to building societies and institutions that aspire to this kind of greatness. More than ever, we must focus on the importance of leadership, both bold acts of leadership and decidedly personal acts of leadership"

The preceding descriptions are not the words of a famous muslim scholar, but those of Carly Fiorna, the (former) CEO of Hewlett Packard, ending her speech on "Technology, Business and Our Way of Life: What's Next?" held in Minnesota (September 2001) .....

This book written by Dr. Mustafa Siba`i (1915-1964) is a collection of lectures he delivered on Syrian Radio between September and December 1955. Dr. Mustafa Siba`i was a leading figure of the Muslim Brotherhood as well as being a great scholar of Islam. Shaykh Abul-Hasan `Ali Nadwi says about him, "He is an embodiment of steadfastness. His long struggle spread over different fields -- from the battlefield of Palestine to the Syrian Parliament, from the office of the leader [of the Muslm Brotherhood in Syria] to the oceans of compiling, writing and journalism, from the pulpit of speech and da`wah to the idea of establishing the Faculty of Shari`ah at the Syrian University, from debating with atheist orientalists to guiding and directing the Muslim youth... a struggle which was never interrupted and continued to the very last day of his life .....


S.M. Hasan al-Banna
October 2001, London, UK


THE ISLAMIC CIVILIZATION
Dr. Mustafa Siba`i
(translation revised by S.M. Hasan al-Banna)

Sunday, April 17, 2005

* the islamic civilization *

i'd like to share few para's from a book that i had recently read, in the next few entries, inshaAllah. it is "the islamic civilization" by allahyarham shaykh dr mustafa siba`i (rahimahullah). i remember shaykh mokhtar mentioning the author's name during icna southeast convention last thanksgiving...

http://www.awakening.org/isapi/isapi.dll?product_detail&
product_id=26&search_type=browse&cat_id=1


anyway, lets start off with a lil sumthin sumthin on the author's background...
----------

Dr. Mustafa Siba`i was born in 1915 in Hums, Damascus. He memorized the Quran at an early age and completed his primary and secondary studies in the Mas`uudiyyah School. Constantly excelling in his studies, he became renowned for his intelligence and his academic brilliance. He studied the Islamic Sciences both with his father, Shaykh Hasani Siba`i and in circles with the great scholars and jurists of Hums. His teachers included Shaykh Tahir al-`Atasi (Mufti of Hums at the time), Shaykh Zahid al-`Atasi, Shaykh Muhammad al-Yaasiin, Shaykh Anas Kalaalib and others.

From the age of eighteen he delivered the Friday khutbas in the absence of his father, and in 1933, he went to Egypt to enroll at the University of al-Azhar to study Fiqh. Upon completing his studies of Fiqh, he enrolled at the Usuul al-Diin Faculty of al-Azhar where he excelled in his research. In 1949, he completed his Ph.D. on the theme of "The Position of Sunnah in Legislation."

He then embarked on a career in teaching and taught Arabic and Islamic Studies in the secondary schools of Hums. Later, he moved to Damascus where he established an educational institution which then set up branches throughout Syria.

In 1950, he was appointed as the Professor of Law at the Faculty of Laws, University of Damascus, and in 1955, he established the Faculty of Shari`ah at the same university, becoming the first Dean of Faculty. Dr. Siba`i was elected to the Syrian Parliament to represent the people of Damascus from 1949-1954. Whilst in Egypt, he had met Imam Hasan al-Banna and joined the Muslim Brotherhood. There, he was imprisoned several times due to his da`wah activities and his resistance to the British colonization of Egypt. Upon returning to Syria in 1945, he established the Musim Brotherhood.

Dr. Siba`i founded several newspapers and magazines such as al-Manaar and Shahab. In 1952, he was exiled to Lebanon where he set up a movement among the youth of Lebanon. In 1956, there was an assassination attempt made on his life, and it was later discovered that foreign powers had played a major part in the attempt.

Dr. Mustafa Siba`i attended many conferences and headed a delegation to the International Islamic Conference in Pakistan in 1951. On returning to Syria from Lebanon in 1956, he was sent on an academic tour of Western universities. He visited Turkey, Italy, Britain, Ireland, Belgium, Germany, Holland, Norway, Switzerland, Finland, Sweden and France where he met and discussed with Orientalists. In 1957, he was invited to Moscow by the University and consequently visited the majority of universities in Russia.

On Saturday July 3, 1964, he passed away, leaving behind a rich legacy of thought and action. Amongst his famous sayings, actually written from his hospital bed, the following is perhaps one of the most poignant, "I have seen people whose body is ill but whose heart is healthy. I have seen people whose body is healthy but whose heart is ill and very rarely have I seen the body and the heart both healthy."

----------

kudos and thanks to both rahmat and gjie for the two wonderful entries...

...the saga continues...

Al Jawab Al Kaafi Kelas Hari Selasa Masjid Hidayah

Review

Impact of sin in a collective level.

Hassan Al Basri once had said “ Verily Al Fitnah (discord in society) is sort of punishment from Allah…

Baghdad was once known as a main hub of Islamic civilization. During those time the knowledge of Islam and science flourished in a tremendous and elegant way that no civilization prior to it had ever achieved. Furthermore, for us as Muslim, we more or less are supposed to have a deep attachment to Baghdad as it is the grave of many well-known scholar and ulamak in Islamic sciences, where most of the knowledge that we adhere this day is solely come from their effort and sacrifice.

But still in spite of all the glory and fame, today Baghdad is facing the most dreadful moment in Islamic history. Today this so-called blessed place is virtually nothing but ruins and scattered debris. The army of kufar is now marching on the very grave of auliyak and ulama, dragging Islam to the lowest level that is beyond our imagination. Strife prevails and peace is just a dream.

Sedih bile mengenangkan tanah suci itu sekarang menjadi medan perang.


When people disobey and done injustice against Allah, Allah will unleash someone that doesn’t know Him and no mercy at you-prophet Daniel

If any one of you( Muslim) done an injustice to the the zimmi ( non believer) I will be the prosecutor against you in the hereafter-marhum hadith

From this saying, when zunub is done in a collective level, Allah will select among them a leader that will inflict injustice as a punishment to them. The reason why Allah choose cruel leader are twofold

1) Only injustice ruler can execute cruelty to the people. A just ruler is not meant to be the cause to inflict injustice to his people

2) The act of injustice by the leader is itself is a cause for him to receive greater punishment in the hereafter.

To be continued

Saturday, April 16, 2005

bismillah, walhamdulillah, wassolatu wassalamu 'ala rasulillah

BEEN WONDERING HOW TO MAXIMIZE YOUR REWARD WITH MINIMIZED ACTION? =D Remember this hadith?
Verily, actions are (judged) by motives (niyyah), and verily, each man will have what he intended. Thus, he whose migration (hijrah) was to Allah and His Messenger, then his migration is to Allah and His Messenger; and he whose migration was for some worldly thing he might gain, or for a wife he might marry, then his migration is to that for which he migrated.
***
SubhanAllah, in just few words, Rasulullah sallAllahu'alaihi wasallam laid down for us the most fundamental rules in our deen; ALL our actions (read:physical, mental, spiritual..i mean, ALL) revolve around our intentions.
Now, if we want to maximize the rewards with minimized action, first we need to worry about the validity of our deeds, simply because there is no ‘amal without niyah. Good news! There are just two conditions for our deeds to be valid:
1) Make sure that our niyah is purely for Him subhaanahu wata'ala, and
2) that our action is in accordance to the practise of rasulullah SAW, or what he SAW had taught.

Next is the fun part! Once we are sure that our acts are valid, then only do we worry 'bout the rewards. Here are two things that we need to know:
1) Niyah distinguishes an 'ibadah from a mundane act. As long as we have a sound niyah, doesn’t matter if the act is as unexciting as sleeping, we'll still be rewarded.
2) The diversity in the good niyah will only add to the rewards [e.g: I'm sleeping for Allah, I'm sleeping to make sure that I'll have enough rest to stay awake for qiyam, I'm sleeping so that I'll have enough energy to do good for the rest of the day etc. you get what i mean, inshaAllah]

Well, some ask, how do I know if my niyah is a good/sound one? You and I know that it is almost impossible (except if we struggle hard for it) to have a niyah purely for Him, right? These are what the 'ulama taught us:
1) Niyah comes out of our hearts. So, good heart produces good niyah.
2) Keep on checking that your niyah is free from riya', sum'ah, 'ujub and doing acts for the attainment of dunya.
3) Constantly be mindful of the movements/acts e.g. hubb, tawakkul, sabr, riya', kibr etc of your qalb; be watchful of them and take very good care of them.
4) Knowledge, knowledge, knowledge. Remember, regardless of how awesome we think our deeds are, if they don't fulfill the rules, rest assured they'll go in vain.

None can stress enough of the importance of cleansing and purifying our hearts. If we don’t struggle and exert ourselves to make our hearts spotless, we won’t be able to have a sound niyah. No sound niyah = no ‘amal. No ‘amal = no rewards. No rewards = ??? you can figure that out. So, whatever we do, we need to make sure that HE FINDS OUR HEARTS WHERE THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO BE, AND HE DOESN’T FIND IT WHERE THEY ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE. May He grant us the strength to practice what we learn, and the ability to understand the wisdom behind His creations. Ameen.

Footnote:
- Niyah = the burst inside the heart, the ‘azm, the determination, the resolution and the commitment; not merely an ambition.

**summary from Monday halqa (study of the book of taysir al-‘allam, sharh umdat al-ahkam, a compilation of ahadeeth from Bukhari & Muslim)

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Assalamualaikum..

Since usrah is family, I would like to share a problem with all of you. So that I can approach my problem with various styles.

Imam Djafer once said in the khutbah that many people waste their time in two things which are watching TV and sleeping. Since I don't have TV, I don't waste my time on TV but I have a problem with my sleep.

It seems that I can't control my sleep nowadays. I can't control my mind to wake up. My mentality before sleep (which is energetic and prepare to wake up early) is different when my alarm clock rings.

First, I changed my position by not sleeping on my bed but on the floor - it doesn't work..

Second, I wrote a letter to myself as a reminder about my mentality before I go to sleep - it doesn't work..

So friends, help me.. :( I don't want to sleep a lot like a baby..

Jazakumullahu khayr..

Monday, April 04, 2005

after a long hiatus...

auzhubillahi mina shaitani rajim
bismillahi rahmani rahim
alhamdulillahi rabbil 'alamin
wassolatu wassalamu ala rasulillah


After such a long hiatus from the world of blogging, alhamdu lillah today I had the chance to go online for a while to post something. I was reading a few blogs today and yesterday, and saw a poem from brother Zuhdi's blog -

Jika hati sejernih air, jangan biar ia keruh
Jika hati seputih awan, jangan biar ia mendung
Jika hati seindah bulan, hiasi ia dengan iman

[translation]
If your heart is as clear as water, let it not become murky
If your heart is as white as clouds, let it not become cloudy (any better word for mendung? :))
If your heart is as beautiful as the moon, decorate it with the light of iman


Incidentally, while I was in the surau (something like a masjid, but in Malaysia a surau is a smaller masjid) I had written something about qalb as well -

Hati
Retak
Bengkak
Pecah
.

Jangan sampai Mati
Tanpa Mandi
Hanya kafan hitam membaluti.

[translation]

Qalb
Cracked
Bruised
Broken to pieces
.

Do not wait for its death
without ghusl
only black shroud as cover.

----

Unfortunately, we all wish to have hearts like Zuhdi's poem: clear/transparent, white, and beautiful, like the hearts of those nearest to Allah and beloved by Him.. yet at least for my own poor self, only the opposite is true.

----

O Allah, send our greetings of peace and blessing upon Your beloved slave, the one whose face is like the full bright moon, sallallahu alaihi wasallam, and provide forgiveness and purification for us sinning, broken beings.

Malaysia
25 Safar 1426

Saturday, April 02, 2005

The love of the Beloved
must be unconditionally returned.

If you claim love
yet oppose the Beloved,
then your love is but a pretence.
You love the enemies of your Beloved
and still seek love in return.

You fight the beloved of your Beloved.

Is this Love or the following of shaytaan?

True devotion is nothing
but total submission
of body and soul
to One Love.

We have seen humans claim to submit,
yet their loyalties are many.

They put their trust here, and their hope there,
and their love is without consequence.

Love of Allah
Imam Ibn ul Qayyim al Jawziyyah


Excerpted from An-Nooniyyah
Quoted in "Al-Walaa wal-Baraa" of Muhammad Saeed al-Qahtani