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...

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...


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