Two faces of Jihad
By ZebaA child cries for his father. He sees the worry on his mother's face, the pain and anguish in her eyes as she hurriedly picks him up and gropes for some place where they could be safe-safe from the heavy shelling of the Russian Air Force, the constant firing of bullets and the piercing noise of sirens ringing in the air. She clutches onto her child, holding him close to her and whispering "Allahu Akbar" as she convinces herself, that there is a God, her Creator who will help her. Yes, its that belief in one God that has given her hope and it is that same belief that she is praying for.
Her husband had left to fight, to defend his country, to protect his people, to proclaim his freedom, for the cause of his religion. Yes, he had gone for Islam the religion of truth, brotherhood and humanity. And he will either fulfil his aim, or die for its cause. Yes, he would face the enemy boldly, defiantly, courageously. He had risked his life for Allah's sake, and what is given up for Allah is not taken back. This is one face of Jihad. His family members were made refugees in their own country-why? Was it just because they said 'Allahu Akbar'? Just because they wanted to practise Islam in their own country?
This is the other face of Jihad-the testing of a human being's faith and his true belief in one God. But does this really matter to the rest of the World? Does anyone really care to hear the child's cries, to comfort the child, to provide him a home? No, we are too busy, engrossed in our own lives. We have not only betrayed that child, but also betrayed humanity, ignored our responsibilities. Why have we acted as by-standers-watching people being oppressed, killed, driven out of their homes, made refugees in their own countries, tortured at the hands of merciless oppressors. Where are all the so-called 'human rights activists' who claim themselves as the bringers of 'peace and stability' in this world? They do not help unless they have any 'interest' in a region. They cannot feel for humans unless it gives them wealth, power and fame. Why look up to them for support when we ourselves are to be blamed. Why have we watched people being oppressed, killed, driven out of their homes, made refugees in their own countries, and still done nothing about it? When will we wake up from this slumber and feel for our own brethren? Why should we wait till we ourselves get victimized in such circumstances? Are we that hard-hearted that we cannot hear the cries of thousands of children suffering for no fault of theirs? Even animals have feelings for their young ones, but we have stooped to a level below theirs. Shame on us.
Shahadah: Declaration of faith
By Ms Tasneem In Islam the term "deen" translated as religion in English has a wider meaning than the common acceptance or understanding of the term. Usually we use it to mean our relationship with Allah and our everyday activity is termed as social or personal. For a Muslim the main purpose of life on earth is worshipping Allah. This does not mean we sit on the prayer mat the entire 24 hours of the day; it means regulating and directing all our actions to please Allah. Therefore, enforcing charity, justice, kindness and honesty in our daily activity is as important as prayer.
However, all our activities must have a basis, a foundation and the five pillars of Islam provide that foundation to support, reinforce and invigorate all our actions by giving a definite purpose. These are the five pillars of Islam which we have already talked about. Let us now look at them in detail.
It is required by a Muslim to declare La ilahaha illallah Muhammadur Rasool lallah, meaning there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah(Pbuh). It is a method of confirming our belief in the one and only God, Allah.
Now you might ask, why do we have to declare our faith, Allah knows what is in our hearts, so surely He knows we have faith in Him? That is indeed true. Allah does know. However, Allah has made it a requirement that if we have faith we must prove it with our action and declaring our faith is one of the methods of proving our faith.
At the same time the declaration of the Shahada acts as a testimony or pledge of oath we make with Allah as the witness promising to obey Allah and not to associate partners with Him and by declaring that Muhammad (Pbuh) is the Messenger of Allah, we are pledging or making a promise to follow the way of life of a Muslim.
This is very easy to understand when we try to find out why Presidents, Heads of States or Heads of Institutions along with the Officers are required to take a pledge promising to abide or work according to the rules and regulations of the office he/she is about to take and at the same time promising to work devotedly and sincerely.
Similarly, the Shahadah is a pledge to follow the principles of Islam and act according to the injunctions with sincerity and devotion.
Does making such a promise ever work? Indeed it does. When we read the history of Islam and the story of Prophet Muhammad's(pbuh) companions, we find those men who were corrupt, dishonest idol worshippers had been completely transformed into honest, devoted Muslims overnight by this declaration, such is the power of the Shahadah!
When we make a promise, we feel an inner urge to abide by it, the little voice inside us keeps reminding us to keep our promise, we become morally obliged to fulfil it.
The obligation of a Muslim after declaring the Shahadah is multiplied to an even greater proportion because we have made the promise to the King of Kings, the Majesty, the Creator of the Universe, the Master of our body, mind and soul; so it is a lifelong appointment as a Muslim and we owe it to ourselves to be committed to it.
By M.H. Rafeeque
In the Second Century A.H. Muslims gave attention to the Compilation of Prophetic Tradition (Hadith). The Ummayad Caliph Umar ibn Abdal'Aziz (99-101 A.H. 717-720 A.D.) was among the first who called for that Malik ibn 'Anas (died 179 A.H.), author of "al Muwatta' Fi al Hadith", was one of the most celebrated among the Scholars who started the Compilation of Hadith in that Century. Activity in this field increased during the third Century A.H., when principal works on Hadith were compiled. "Al-Jamia as-Sahih" by Al-Bukhari is one of the most famous and accurate of these works.
Al-Bukhari is Abu Abd Allah Muhammad ibn Ismail'. He was born at Bukhara, in Turkestan, on the 13th of Shawwal 194 A.H. The 21st of July 810 A.D. He began the study of Hadith at the age of eleven. In his sixteenth year, he made the pilgrimage and attended the lectures of the most famous teachers of Hadith in Makkah and Madinah. He then travelled to many centres of learning in Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Persia. He met teachers of hadith there, this lasted sixteen years. He then returned to his native town, Bukhara, where he died on the 30th of Ramadan 256 A.H. the 31st August 870 A.D.
In his Compilation of Hadith, he followed a Scrupulous Scientific Method which was followed by his successors. he stipulated that, besides being a Muslim, the rawi (narrator) of Hadith should be truthful, fair and of sound intellect. Following this method, Al-Bukhari collected over 7000 Hadiths in his work "Al Jami As-Sahih", which established his reputation.
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