ISLAM AND THE WORLD

1. How did the Hadith of Allah’s Messenger encourage learning? 
The Hadith that ‘there is no disease for which Allah has not sent a cure’ gave Muslims an interest in the study of medical sciences. It motivated them to ponder over the teachings of Qur’an and come up with new discoveries in different branches of science.


2. In what fields of science were the Muslims particularly advanced?
The Muslims were particularly advanced in the field of mathematics and medical science.

3. Give a brief account of the hospitals in some of the old Muslim cities.
There were efficient hospitals in each Muslim city. The best hospitals had separate wards for fevers, surgical cases, and eye diseases. The most notable hospital was the Mansuri Hospital in Egypt, built in 1282 A.D. It had beds for several thousand people. It had separate sections for male and female patients.


4. What contribution did the Muslims make to medical science? 
Muslims preserved the old scientific works and added their own special knowledge. They performed surgery and did amputations when necessary. They removed cancerous tissues. They created anesthetics that were used in surgical operations. They wrote hundreds of valuable medical books thus contributing towards the advancement of medical sciences.


5. How did each of the following contribute to medicine and learning:


a. Ar-Razi: 
Ar-Razi, a great Muslim physician, wrote a medical encyclopedia in which he discussed measles, smallpox, kidney stones, skin diseases, and ways to maintain one’s health. He was the first scientist to differentiate between measles and small-pox. Ar-Razi wrote 200 medical books, which were translated into Latin and were widely consulted in medieval Europe.


b. Ibn Sina:
Ibn Sina explained to the world the human digestive system. He excelled in bacteriology, the basis of modern medical science. He proved that bacteria causes several diseases. He was an expert in anatomy and pharmaceutical sciences. His works were translated into Latin and Greek. His greatest contribution was the magnum opus, the Canonical Law of Medicine, a medical encyclopedia of immense interest.


c. Ibn Abi Hazm:
Ibn Abi Hazm was the first scientist to explain the theory of the circulation of blood in detail. He proved that food is fuel to maintain the heat of the body. He was a physician and a surgeon as well.


6. What Muslim achievements were passed on to the Western civilization? 
Muslims in Turkey treated smallpox through vaccination in 1679. The system reached Europe in the 18th century through lady Montague, wife of the British ambassador in Turkey. Sir William Harvey was greatly benefited from the work of a Muslim scientist, Ibn Abi Hazm of Damascus, in propagating the theory of the circulation of blood. The Western civilization was greatly benefited from the encyclopedic works of Ar-Razi and Ibn Sina.

A’ISHAH SIDDIQA رضي الله عنها – MOTHER OF THE BELIEVERS

1. Who was A’ishah Siddiqa? Who was her father? What was her mother’s name?
A’ishah Siddiqa was a wife of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). Her father was Abu Bakr Siddique. Her mother was Umm Ru’man.

2. A’ishah Siddiqa is considered to be one of the most reliable sources of Hadith. Discuss.
A’ishah Siddiqa was very brilliant and of sharp intellect. She had learnt by heart thousands of Hadith. She has reported 2210 Ahadith, and being a wife of the Prophet, she is considered among the scholars as one of the most reliable sources of Hadith.

3. Who was Khadijatul Kubra? When did she die?
Khadijatul Kubra was the Prophet’s first wife. She died in the year 619 A.D.

4. What was the effect of her death on Allah’s Messenger?
He felt a deep loss on her death.

5. Who suggested that the Prophet (peace be upon him) should marry A’ishah?
Khawla, wife of Uthman bin Maz’un, suggested that the Prophet (peace be upon him) should marry A’ishah.

6. How long did A’ishah stay in her father’s house after the marriage ceremony?
A’ishah stayed in her father’s house after the marriage ceremony for three years.

7. When did the bride depart from her father’s house in Madinah?
The bride departed from her father’s house in Madinah in Safar 1 H, 623 A.D.

8. The marriage of A’ishah with the Prophet put an end to a number of indecent practices. Explain how?
The departure of the bride in the month of Safar was considered to be an omen of bad luck in those; but both the Nikah and departure ceremony of A’ishah took place in this month. It was an Arab custom to carry flaming torches before the bridal party. The husband used to first meet his bride in a palanquin. A’ishah’s marriage rooted out all such practices.

9. What kind of household tasks did A’ishah do?
She would grind corn into flour, knead the dough and cook food. She would make the beds, put up water for the Prophet to perform the wudhu, and wash clothes.

10. Describe the inside of A’ishah’s apartment. What were her personal effects?
Her room measured hardly ten feet across. Its walls were made of mud. It had a roof of palm fronds, held by tree trunks. The roof was so low that one could easily touch it. Her personal effects were a bed, a pillow stuffed with palm-fibers, a mat, two earthen jars for keeping flour and dates, a pitcher for water and a drinking bowl.

11. Write a character sketch of A’ishah.
A’ishah was a brilliant lady. She possessed a sharp intellect. She lived a simple life. She organized classes for women and used to explain the teachings of Islam. She used to do all household works by herself. She never spoke ill of anyone. Her most outstanding quality was her generosity. She would even borrow money to help the needy.

Write Short Notes on the following:

1. A’ishah’s spirit of inquiry:
The Prophet used to give religious talks, next to Aishah’s apartment. She would listen to them intently. When she would not understand something, she would ask the Prophet about it. Every week ladies assembled in her apartment. She instructed them in religion. Her spirit of inquiry did great service to Islam.

2. The greatness of A’ishah (Radhi Allahu Anha)
She never spoke ill of anyone. Her most outstanding quality was her generosity. She would even borrow money to help the needy. If A’ishah had even a date, she would not hesitate to give it away saying that on the Day of Judgement, ‘He who shall have done an atom’s weight of good, shall see it’. She was the most learned. She has reported 2210 hadith of the Prophet. She was very pious. She freed 67 slaves.

3. The affair of the lie (Ifk)
This relates to an incident, which occurred on the Prophet’s return from the campaign against the tribe of Mustaliq in the year 6 H. A’ishah accompanied the Prophet on this expedition. At the last halt, before they arrived back in Madinah, she moved away out of sight for a while to ease herself. A necklace dropped in the sand and it kept her longer than she had intended. By the time she was back, the caravan had left. After having spent several hours alone, she was found out by one of the Prophet’s companions. He then brought her back on his camel. The enemies of Islam raised a malicious scandal. The ringleader was Abdullah ibn Ubayy, a hypocrite.

THE PROPHET ISA عليه السلام

1. Who was Isa?
Prophet Isa was the last prominent Prophet sent to Bani Isra’il.


2. What was the most extra-ordinary thing about Isa? 
The most extra-ordinary thing about Isa was that he was born without a father.


3. Mention some of the virtues of Maryam, the Mother of Isa. 
Maryam descended from the family of Harun, the brother of Prophet Musa. There is a chapter entitled Maryam, in the Qur’an. She was a virtuous woman who gave birth to a son, Prophet Isa, by a special miracle from Allah. According to one hadith, Maryam is one among the four great women of the world.


4. What was the mission of Isa? 
The mission of Isa is mentioned in the Qur’an in two ways:
1. He was a sign to men; his wonderful birth and wonderful life were to turn a sinful world back to Allah
2. His mission was to give comfort and solace to the repentant.


5. What book was revealed to Isa? 
Injeel was the book that was revealed to Prophet Isa.


6. What miracles were given to Isa? 
a. He could make birds out of clay, could breathe life into them by Allah’s leave
b. He could heal leprosy
c. He could restore eyesight to the blind.
d. He could make the dead alive.
e. He could declare what the people had eaten and what they had stored in their houses.


7. Was Prophet Isa crucified to death? What does the Qur’an say about it? 
No, the Prophet Isa was not crucified to death. The Qur’an says that ‘he was raised up to heaven’.


8. What was the teaching of Isa? Did he ask his followers to worship him? 
Like other Prophets of Allah, Isa called people to the worship of the One True God. He enjoined upon the people to offer prayers and pay the Zakah. He never told his followers to worship him.


9. What does Islam say about incarnation? 
Incarnation means coming of God on earth in human form. Islam rejects this Christian doctrine. Islam says that Isa was merely a created being like all other creatures. He was a Prophet of Allah, and not a son of God! His birth was a sign of the power of Allah.

FROM SURAH ABASA (Verses 1 – 16)

NOTE: You must learn the verses 1 to 16 by heart and know its meaning thoroughly


Write the meaning of the following words: 


1. عَبَسَ – He frowned 
2. الأعْمَى – the blind 
3. يَزَّكَّى – purity 
4. الذِّكْرَى – the reminder 
5. اسْتَغْنَى – self-sufficient 
6. تَصَدَّى – to give attention 
7. يَسْعَى – comes running, eagerly 
8. يَخْشَى – fears 
9. عَنْهُ تَلَهَّى – far from being attentive 
10. ذَكَرَهُ – remember it, remember the Qur’an 
11. مُكَرَّمَةٍ – honoured 
12. مَرْفُوعَةٍ – kept high 
13. مُطَهَّرَةٍ – pure 
14. سَفَرَةٍ – scribes 
15. كِرَامٍ بَرَرَةٍ- noble and pious, honoured and holy 


Answer the following questions:

1. Why did the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) ‘frowned and turned away’? 
The Prophet ‘frowned and turned away’ because the blind came to him interrupting the conversation which he was having with some of the influential men of Makkah. 


2. Who was the blind man who came to the Prophet (Peace be upon him)? 
The blind man who came to the Prophet was Abdullah ibn Umm Maktoum (Radhi-Allahu-Anhu) 


3. Who were the people about whom Allah tells the Prophet that they ‘are not in want of anything’? They were among the leaders of Quraysh, a famous tribe of Makkah. 


4. What do you mean by ‘although you will not be blamed if he does not purify himself’? 
It means that the Prophet (peace be upon him) will not be taken to task if the people do not heed to the call of Islam. 


5. ‘The Qur’an is a Reminder’. Explain briefly. 
It means that the purpose of Qur’an is to remind people of the duty towards their Creator and Cherisher, and towards the fellow human beings. 


6. ‘So let him who wants to remember it (do so)’. Explain. 
This verse gives man the freedom to believe in Allah and be conscious of Him, or to deny Allah and live a life of rebellion. Since one can make or mar one’s own destiny, one should be prepared to face the consequences of one’s own choice. 


7. What is the meaning of ‘it is on honoured pages, kept high and pure’? 
The Qur’an is a Word of Allah. It is noble, sacred and glorious. It is holy, free from all corruption and impurities. Its teachings are of a very high standard. 


8. Who are those ‘who are noble and pious’? 
They are the noble and respected Angels of Allah.

SO TAUGHT OUR PROPHET MUHAMMAD صلى الله عليه وسلم

Read the following ahadith and answer the questions given below: 


1. “None of you has faith unless I am dearer to him than his father, and his son and all mankind”. What is the meaning of this Hadith?
It means that if one wants to be a true Muslim, the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad should become one’s priority and it should be above all other human considerations. For example, if one’s father tells to do something, which the Prophet has prohibited, then the Prophet’s teaching must be preferred and followed and not what one’s father tells.


2. “Perform part of your prayers at home, so that your houses do not become like graves”. 
a. Which part of one’s prayers can be performed at home?
One can perform the Sunnah and Nafil prayers at home instead of offering them in the mosque.


b. What is compared to the home where prayers are not performed? And Why? 
The Prophet compared the home where prayers are not performed with that of a grave. It is because prayers are not performed in the graves.


3. “There are two blessings which most people misuse: health and leisure”. 
a. What are the two blessings, which most people misuse? 
The two blessings, which most people misuse, are health and leisure.

b. In what way health and leisure are blessings. 
Health and leisure are deadly combinations for the wise and active people to do good, beneficial deeds by utilising time in a useful way. If a person falls sick or is afflicted with some disease and is bed ridden, he would be unable to carry out his work. Similarly, a busy person without leisure would not be able to fulfil many obligations, for example: spending time with one’s family. Health and leisure, therefore, are blessings.


c. Explain how people misuse health and leisure? 
A healthy man who has time at his disposal can do many constructive things and be a source of help to others. However, if he is using these two blessings to carry out activities that are harmful to the society, then definitely he is misusing them.


4. “No one eats better food than the one who earns from the work of his own hands”. 
a. Explain the above-quoted hadith? 
Earning a livelihood through one’s own hard work is the better way – the dignified way – to live in this world. Those who live on other’s earnings are indeed parasites that have no self-respect!


b. Why did the Prophet say, “No one eats better food than the one who earns from the work of his own hands”? 
Islam condemns lethargy and beggary. It wants Muslims to stand on their own legs. It wants Muslims to lead a dignified life. That is why the Prophet said this.


5. “There is no disease for which Allah has not sent a cure”. 
a. What is the meaning of ‘There is no disease for which Allah has not sent a cure”? 
It means: if there is a disease, there is a cure.

b. If that is true, why, then, there is no cure for cancer? 
The Prophet cannot be wrong. There is a cure even for cancer. The problem lies in striving to find a cure. If doctors and medical scientists explore the avenues, they will definitely find a cure for cancer.


6. “Paradise lies at the feet of the mothers”.
What is meant by ‘Paradise lying at the feet of the mothers’? 
It means, when you are good to your parents, obeying, respecting and being kind to them, Paradise, then, is yours!


7. “It is charity for any Muslim who plants a tree or cultivates land which provides food for a bird, animal or man”. 
a. Explain the above quoted Hadith. 
Being a source of benefit to others is a form of charity. A Muslim who plants a tree is doing a great service to the society. The tree provides fruits and flowers, which are used by people. Even if a tree gives neither fruit nor flower, it at least, provides shelter to the people. It gives out oxygen, the source of human survival. Similarly, cultivating a land that provides food for birds, animals and human beings is charity. As long as people, even birds and animals, eat the produce of one’s cultivation, it would be credited as charity in one’s account.

b. Islam is environment-friendly. Justify in the light of the above quoted Hadith. 
By calling the act of planting a tree or cultivating a land an act of charity, the Prophet Muhammad (sal-lal-lahu-alahi-wa-sallam) has in fact motivated the Muslims to participate in the conversation of the environment. He has encouraged his followers to adopt environment-friendly attitude in their life. A Muslim, therefore, cannot indulge in deforestation. He/She cannot participate in any act that causes global warming. He/She cannot be a party to death and destruction of birds, animals and human beings. All these teachings are pointers to the fact that Islam is an environment-friendly religion.


8. “Help your brother, be he a wrong-doer or wronged”. Thereupon a man exclaimed, “O Messenger of Allah! I may help if he is wronged, but how could I help a wrongdoer?” The Prophet answered, “You must prevent him from doing wrong: that will be your help to him”.
a. In this hadith, who is being referred to as ‘your brother’?
‘Your brother’ is one’s fellow Muslim, a brother by virtue of one’s faith.


b. When can you consider someone to be wronged and how can you help your brother who is wronged? 
When a fellow Muslim becomes a victim of injustice, he is wronged and he needs the help and support from his fellow Muslims. One can help him by raising one’s voice and bringing justice to his case.


c. What does the Prophet mean by ‘Helping a wrongdoer’? Why did the Prophet say this?
 Helping a wrongdoer is to prevent him/her from doing wrong. When you stop someone from doing wrong, you in fact prevent crimes being committed in the society. You help the society in the larger interest.


9. “The Believers are like one man: if his eye suffers, his whole body suffers; if his head suffers, his whole body suffers”. 
a. Why did the Prophet say, “Believers are like one man”?
The Prophet said, “Believers are like one man”, because Islam wants the Muslims to be united, not divided. Strength lies in solidarity.


b. Explain the above quoted Hadith in your own words.
This Hadith has two meanings. One: Suffering of one Muslim is the suffering of other Muslim. This is because, Muslims are part and parcel of one Ummah, one brotherhood. Two: A Muslim cannot neglect the sufferings of other Muslims. He must feel the problems and sufferings of other Muslims, and come to their rescue. To emphasize these points and to make the Muslims aware of the importance of living in unity, the Prophet has given the example of a whole body suffering because of illness or injury in just one part of the body. What an apt example!


10. If any of you sees something evil, he should set it right by his hand; if he is unable to so, then by his tongue; and if he is unable to do even that, then within his heart – but this is the weakest form of faith”. 
a. What do you mean by ‘setting it right by one’s hand’? 
Hand symbolizes power and influence. When one sees an evil happening in the society, one should use all powers at one’s disposal to prevent such a thing from happening.


b. What should a true Muslim do, if he/she comes across an evil happening in the society? 
He/She should stop it from happening by his/her hand: that it, by using all powers at one’s disposal. However, if one is not able to stop it by his hand that is by force then he/she should speak against it and see to it that the evil act is stopped. If he/she is unable to do even that, then he/she should feel bad about it within one’s heart.


c. What is the weakest form of faith? 
The feeling that something evil is happening in the society and that one is unable to stop it with one’s hand or tongue, is the expression of the weakest of faith. Where there is no such feeling, there is no Imaan at all!


11. “The Believers are to one another like a building – each part of it strengthening the others”. 
Explain the above quoted Hadith. 
Like each part of a building supporting and strengthening its other parts, Muslims must mutually support and strengthen each other. Muslims must adopt caring and sharing attitude and be willing to help each other thereby contributing towards the good of the Islamic society.