Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine

August 2005
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Children's Corner

Faith and Weakness
By Dr. Yusuf Al-Qaradawi


Submissiveness is that of the heart, not of appearance.


Some people mistake righteousness and piety with weakness and humiliation . In their view, being a devoted person implies taking a negative position and isolating oneself from the events of life. They have a distorted vision of the morals preached by Islam; for example, they understand submission as tantamount to passivity and fatalism. Humbleness, in this context, is taken to mean accepting oppression and giving up all means and manifestations of strength. Refuting this misconception, Dr. Yusuf Al-Qaradawi states:


The true concept of Islam has nothing to do with such spiritlessness or weakness. In fact, iman (faith) has always been the source of strength and might, high morals, and strong personality.
Once ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) saw a man who, while performing prayer, was totally withdrawn and dispirited, as if coming from among the dead. ‘Umar reacted angrily to such attitude and said to the man, “Do not incorporate into our religious rites aspects of death. Submissiveness is that of the heart not of appearance.”


‘Umar was famous for his saying “O Allah! I seek refuge in You from fake submissiveness.” People said, “What is fake submissiveness?” ‘Umar replied, “To have a humble body, but not a humble heart.” Ash-Shifa’ bint ‘Abdullah saw some youth walking listlessly, so she asked, “Who are those people?” “They are ascetics,” was the answer. She commented, “‘Umar, though a real ascetic, used to walk quickly and speak loudly,” indicating that he was strong.


While being the example of modesty and humbleness, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to walk quickly as if coming down from a hill. Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) described him: “I have never seen a person with a countenance more beautiful than that of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) as if the sun was shining in his face. I have never seen a person quicker in pace than him, as if land is folded before his feet.”.


Dr. Yusuf Al-Qaradawi is the head of the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR), and the president of the International Association of Muslim Scholars (IAMS).

From a Caterpillar to a Butterfly
By Harun Yahya


Being one of the creatures that lay the most eggs at one time (450-500), the silkworms use a very intelligent way to protect their eggs: they unite the eggs with a viscous substance (thread) they secrete to prevent them from being scattered around. The caterpillars that pop out of their eggs firstly find a safe branch for themselves and then get tied to this branch with the same thread. Later, to promote their own development, they start to spin a cocoon for themselves with the thread they secrete. It takes 3-4 days for a caterpillar that has opened its eyes very recently to life to complete this process. During this period, the caterpillar makes thousands of turns and produces a thread an average of 900-1,500 metres long. At the end of this process, it starts a new task through which it undergoes a metamorphosis to become an elegant butterfly.


These living creatures come into life, behave and live in the way determined by God who has created them. The Qur’anic verse stating that God has inspired the honeybee and commanded it to make honey (Surat an-Nahl, 68-69) provides an example of the great secret of the world of living beings. This secret is that all living beings have bowed to God’s will and follow the fate determined by Him. This is why the honeybee makes honey and the silkworm produces silk.

Al-Khwarzimi: The Father of Algebra
By David W. Tschanz


Algebra. Even the word is enough to strike terror into the hearts of junior and high school students the world over - not to mention send shivers of apprehension down the backs of their parents as they start the process of solving for “x” or “y”, and sometimes both. However, junior high school students have not always studied algebra. During the ninth century, it was reserved for the intellectual elite. The word “algebra,” like the subject, is a consequence of the intellectual ferment that occurred in Baghdad during the ninth century reign of Caliph al-Ma’mun (813-33).


The “Father of Algebra” is generally acknowledged to be Abu Ja’far Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi, born in approximately 786 C.E. Some historians speculate that his name may indicate that he came from the Khwarizmi region, south of the Aral Sea in central Asia. Al-Khwarzimi was born at a time of great cultural and scientific development in the Islamic world. Harun al-Rashid became the fifth Caliph of the Abbasid dynasty on the 14th of September in the year 786; about the same time that al-Khwarizmi was born. Al-Khwarizmi and his colleagues, the Banu Musa, were scholars at The House of Wisdom in Baghdad. Al-Khwarizmi worked under the patronage of Al-Mamun and he dedicated two of his texts to the Caliph. Sometime around 830 C.E., Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi composed the earliest known Arabic treatment of algebra and started an algebraic line in the Arabic world that persisted for several centuries. The treatise, Hisab al-jabr w’al-muqabala or The Compendious Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing, was also the most famous of all of al-Khwarizmi’s works, and the title gave us the word “algebra.” He died in Baghdad in approximately 850.

Man's Pride
By Tariq Huq
Chennai


The beautiful setting sun,
I looked upon
Not wondering what was going on.
Its beauty had me mesmerized
Its strength little did I realize


Sitting on the sandy shores
Forgetting my daily chores
The sight that I behold
Never did I feel bored


Never did the sun look more at peace
Emitting its light across the seven seas
For all its strength and majesty
It came down for a drink
at the water’s boundary


I am never proud of what I do
I am just Allah’s gift to you
Truly he created us all
This was its pledge after all


The heavens and the earth He rules
And man is nothing, but a fool
For every action, he feels proud
He is not even a feather
compared to the sun

[TIME FOR TALES] The Fence


There was a little boy with a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, to hammer a nail in the back fence. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Then it gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence. Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, “You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound is still there. A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one.

Al-Wakil [The Trustee]


“Allah suffices as a Disposer of affairs” (4:81)


Allah is All-good and All-powerful. All our affairs are best entrusted to His care, for He is the best Guardian of all interests. He is free of all shortcomings that render human beings untrustworthy. In Allah let the believers put all their trust.” (3: 160). Putting one’s trust in Allah means that one should take all possible precautions and then leave the results in the hands of Allah.