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See: Project Rebuttal: What the West needs to know about Islam

Refuting the gross distortion and misrepresentation of the Quran, the Prophet Muhammad and Islam, made by the critics of Islam

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November 23rd, 2012

Issue 79

Issue 79 [@1:21:07]: Video – with a title displayed – “London, England May 2005”
[Crowd/demonstration of about 150-200 people of various ages and ethnicity chanting and displaying placards]
[Speaker leading and crowd repeating with camera panning –] La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammad-ur rasul-ullahAllah-o-Akbar (various images from the crowd, a policeman, 3 men with masked faces with Keffiyeh)
[Placard carried by a child –] Allah cannot be defeated oh America!
[Two women in black veils with forehead bands of Kalima Shahada, one of which holding a placard –] Islam will dominate the world
[Speaker holding the microphone recites Darood/Darud wearing a Chitrali brown cap–]
[a voice from crowd yells and some small numbers repeat ] Jihad! Jihad!
[Apparently, the keynote speaker of the video clip takes over the microphone, wearing white thawb with Middle Eastern accent –] Its time for whole West to realize Islam is a truth. As a matter of time, Islam could be implemented. And the giant of Islam and giant of the Islamic state is going to rise up again…and it is going to be a fact…and is going to be a true fact in reality…look, the Muslims in Egypt, they go for Islamic state. Look at the alim-e-Jihad (inaudible). Look in Iraq. Look in Afghanistan. In Pakistan, even in Europe people calling La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammad-ur rasul-ullah. (Inaudible) It is matter of time, Shariah will be implemented. And the Muslim Ummah will be united.

Rebuttal 79: It is difficult to contextualize the purpose and goal of the demonstration as shown in the video clip. If we tease out the chants and the placards of the demonstrators, we come across the following main messages in Quranic context:

* Allah-o-Akbar
* La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammad-ur rasul-ullah
* Jihad
* Darood
* Shariah (see Issue 78)
* Islam will dominate the world

These foundation stones of Islam will be elaborated upon below.

* Allah-o-Akbar simply means ‘God is Great‘ or ‘God is Greater (than everything else)’.

29:45. Recite what has been revealed to you of the Book and keep up prayer. Surely prayer keeps (one) away from indecency and evil; and certainly the remembrance of Allah is the greatest (force). And Allah knows what you do.

[Footnote] This verse invites the followers of all religions to accept the Quran on account of its purifying effect upon life, as the previous scriptures had ceased to effect deliverance from the bondage of sin. The verse also lays down the right principle for getting rid of the bondage of sin in the words the remembrance of Allah is the greatest, i.e., the most powerful and effective restraint upon sin. It is a living belief in the Divine power, knowledge, and goodness that restrains people from walking in the ways of His displeasure.

The recitation of the Book, the keeping up of prayer, and the remembrance of Allah are really identical; for the Quran is recited in prayers, and the Quran is the best means of the remembrance of Allah. The Quran is pre-eminently a Book that manifests the glory, greatness, grandeur, goodness, love, purity, power, and knowledge of the Supreme Being. While, as generally understood, by the remembrance of Allah is meant His glorification and praise in prayer, it is also here meant Allah’s remembrance of man or His raising him to a place of eminence. Thus the significance would be that through prayer to God, not only is man freed from the bondage of sin, but (which is greater than this) he is raised to a place of higher eminence.

The phrase Allah-o-Akbar are the first words whispered in the ear of an infant even before s/he opens the eyes to the world and the last sounds when the same eyes close and the person returns to his Maker. These are the first words by which Muslims are awoken in the morning from their cozy comforts by the call to prayers for them to humble themselves before the Almighty and to continue this unpretentiousness through the day in pursing their social, economic, academic and all the chores of livelihood. These words are uttered by a Muslim on the average more than a 360 times a day, aloud or in silence, during the five times a day call to prayers, while lining up in ranks for prayers and during the prayers with every change of posture. These are the spontaneous words from the tip of the tongue which imprint on a Muslim mind of one’s humbleness in success and failure, in prosperity and poverty, in ease and adversity. Alas! Spencer will never hear these silent utterances of God is Great nor understand their significance, whereas these words create meekness in each Muslim when s/he treads in footsteps and example of Jesus Christ, a notion that is the corner stone of Islam.

“…no careful observer, no student of religion can withhold his tribute of admiration and of reverence toward that faith which holds as its first creed “God is Great,” and which depends every day upon submission as the hall-mark and custodian. Submission in Arab character does not mean submission passive to inherent forces. Submission of Islam is submission in co-operation with great forces of nature, which operates on the spirit of man to produce the result toward which the universe is working. This submission toward the will of God, the brotherhood of man, and the fatherhood of God is the contribution of that great Prophet to the sum total of the human thought…” [ref: “League of Faith: A Message From Islam” excerpted from opening address by the Chair – Mr. C.P. Ramaswami Aiyer, B.A., B.L., given at Victoria Public Hall, Madras, India, on February 25, 1920, as quoted in Islamic Review and Muslim India, Vol. VIII, No. 5, May 1920, p. 180, The Woking Muslim Mission and Literary Trust, The Shah Jehan Mosque, Woking, England – pdf link]

As how to bring out the full spiritual nectar of Allah-o-Akbar, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad writes in his essay – A Living Religion and a Living Prayer p. 26-27:

… [while praying] to establish such a connection [with God], for unless all worldly connections are severed and the heart is dead to the love of the world, the nature of the man must remain devoid of zeal for the love of God. It has been said that the Companions of the Holy Prophet used to be so engrossed in their prayers that when they were ended, they could hardly recognise one another. In fact, every true believer should be engrossed in his prayers. According to the Muslim law when a man meets his companions after separation, he must say Assalamau-Alaikum: “Peace be on you.” In this lies the secret of ending prayer with Assalamau-Alaikum wa Rahmatullah: “Peace be on you and the mercy of God.” When a man stands up for prayers and begins his devotions by saying Allah-o-Akbar (God is Great), he stands in the Divine presence and is, as it were removed into another world being absorbed in the contemplation of Divine Glory and Majesty. When the prayers are ended, he comes back into this world and hence at the end he says Assalamau-Alaikum wa Rahmatullah: “Peace be on you and the mercy of God”, having met his friends after separation. But if only dull ceremonies are gone through without realising their deep significance, no good can result. Ceremonies are shells in which there is no kernel, and if the deep truths that underlie them are not realised, they may turn out to be ways of destruction. It is when such a truth is realised that a true love for God is generated in the heart and the soul flies to God and is completely engrossed in the contemplation of Divine glory. Every particle of the body in that state serves and obeys God…

* Jihad

The term Jihad has been addressed from its many angles in previous issues: 26, Muhammad Ali –27, Pickthall –27, 28, Zahid Aziz –33, 34, 35, Nooruddin –36, G.W. Leitner –37.

Spencers in the West (and the West in general) has been programmed to war cries whenever name of God is mentioned. “Deus vult! (God wills it) became the battle cry of the Crusader and the red cross became its symbol that is still on the flags of many modern European and South Pacific nations.

When Pope Urban had said these and very many similar things in his urbane discourse, he so influenced to one purpose the desires of all who were present, that they cried out, “It is the will of God! It is the will of God!” When the venerable Roman pontiff heard that, with eyes uplifted to heaven he gave thanks to God and, with his hand commanding silence, said:

Most beloved brethren, today is manifest in you what the Lord says in the Gospel, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name there am I in the midst of them.” Unless the Lord God had been present in your spirits, all of you would not have uttered the same cry. For, although the cry issued from numerous mouths, yet the origin of the cry was one. Therefore I say to you that God, who implanted this in your breasts, has drawn it forth from you. Let this then be your war-cry in combats, because this word is given to you by God. When an armed attack is made upon the enemy, let this one cry be raised by all the soldiers of God: It is the will of God! It is the will of God! [Medieval Sourcebook: Urban II (1088-1099): Speech at Council of Clermont, 1095, Five versions of the Speech, as quoted from – Dana C. Munro, “Urban and the Crusaders”, Translations and Reprints from the Original Sources of European History, Vol 1:2, (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 1895), 5-8]

Ever since the war cry of Council of Claremont, the Middle East has been attacked by the West under one pretext or another in a major way at least 16 times – Nine medieval Crusades between 1095 and 1272, the Alexandrian Crusade of 1365 and the Crusade of Nicopolis of 1396. Three intermediate “Christian invasions” of the Middle East namely, Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt in 1798, the British occupation of Egypt in 1882, and the British and French mandates after World War I. Thereafter, Iraq I & II. This does not include its abetted occupation and wars by Israel. Thus, the use of the word “crusade” rings lots of bells in the Middle East of foreign aggression, ironically of the same West which found the likes of Spencers amongst its midst in each period of history.

As if the coinage of the term ‘Holy War’ was not enough by Pope Urban II to justify Crusades, President Bush set it in stone to wage “crusade” (read holy war) against the menace of our times:

September 16, 2001, at South Lawn of the White House: “We need to go back to work tomorrow and we will. But we need to be alert to the fact that these evil-doers still exist. We haven’t seen this kind of barbarism in a long period of time. No one could have conceivably imagined suicide bombers burrowing into our society and then emerging all in the same day to fly their aircraft — fly U.S. aircraft into buildings full of innocent people — and show no remorse. This is a new kind of — a new kind of evil. And we understand. And the American people are beginning to understand. This crusade, this war on terrorism is going to take a while. And the American people must be patient. I’m going to be patient. But I can assure the American people I am determined, I’m not going to be distracted, I will keep my focus to make sure that not only are these brought to justice, but anybody who’s been associated will be brought to justice. Those who harbor terrorists will be brought to justice. It is time for us to win the first war of the 21st century decisively, so that our children and our grandchildren can live peacefully into the 21st century.” [White House – archives]

February 16, 2002 – US President George W. Bush, from a rally for the troops in Alaska, “I want to tell you something, we’ve got no better friends than Canada. (Applause.) They stand with us in this incredibly important crusade to defend freedom, this campaign to do what is right for our children and our grandchildren.” [White House – archives]

Bush and his neocon advisers missed a historic opportunity to turn a tragedy into a permanent victory for peace in the world, while they could, but they did not. It was a time when there was a global ground swell for unity and sympathy for the United States. Muslim world was equally mourning the victimization of thousands of innocent and their families and were equally aggrieved for the loss of a nation whose food, fashion, movies, music, technology was accepted as a symbol of bliss in the world. If Bush would had used the word “Jihad” instead of “crusade” and acted in spirit of what Jihad stands for in Quran, the results would had been different in much shorter span of time, rather than the ongoing apologetic retractions, withdrawal and licking of the wounds inflicted on the body, psyche and pocket book of the world in general and West in particular. Bush sought revenge, and the world got ongoing inconclusive Bush’s wars of more than a decade, trillions of dollars spent and hundreds of thousands humans dead and maimed. Jihad means striving, to be conducted foremost with the intellect outlined in the Quran itself. Such a course would had taken the wind out of the sails of the extremists and deprived them of their argument. The extremist elements would had been weeded out of their sanctuaries as religious duty by their shielders. But, the arrival of marching steps of ‘crusaders’ on the door steps, churned out an even further twisted and distorted Jihad among the fringe elements. No matter how much those elements may be in minority, but would get the most press coverage in the West. Ironically, the current meaning of Jihad was given and funded by the West itself. West created Jihadis of today when the enemy was the Soviets and the Jihadis were toasted in the White House [see picture] by none other than a Republican President, Ronald Reagan. It is from these fringe elements and their internet videos; the West hears the war cry of Allah-o-Akbar. Neither Jihad of Quran stands for such deeds nor does Allah-o-Akbar.

In sum total, Allah-o-Akbar is anything but the war cry Deus vult!

The gargantuan human and monetary toll of the ‘crusades’ of our times may be judged in a report by Reuters, Wed Jun 29, 2011– Cost of war at least $3.7 trillion and counting:

In human terms, 224,000 to 258,000 people have died directly from warfare, including 125,000 civilians in Iraq. Many more have died indirectly, from the loss of clean drinking water, healthcare, and nutrition. An additional 365,000 have been wounded and 7.8 million people — equal to the combined population of Connecticut and Kentucky — have been displaced.

In one sense, the report measures the cost of 9/11, the American shorthand for the events of September 11, 2001. Nineteen hijackers plus other al Qaeda plotters spent an estimated $400,000 to $500,000 on the plane attacks that killed 2,995 people and caused $50 billion to $100 billion in economic damages.

What followed…For every person killed on September 11, another 73 have been killed since.

In the 10 years since U.S. troops went into Afghanistan to root out the al Qaeda leaders behind the September 11, 2001, attacks, spending on the conflicts totaled $2.3 trillion to $2.7 trillion.

Those numbers will continue to soar when considering often overlooked costs such as long-term obligations to wounded veterans and projected war spending from 2012 through 2020. The estimates do not include at least $1 trillion more in interest payments coming due and many billions more in expenses that cannot be counted, according to the study.

The US currently spends over 1.2 million dollars a minute on militarism and war. That’s 20,000 dollars every second [link]. Of course, that very biblical treasure trove is for none but defense industry:

“The Last Supper has become part of the lore of the military industry — though partly that’s because Mr. Aspin’s prediction about tighter Pentagon budgets turned out to be so wrong. “On the day George W. Bush took office,” said Loren B. Thompson, a well-known military consultant, “defense spending was around $300 billion.” Today it is more than double that amount, around $700 billion. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — not to mention the Pentagon’s voracious appetite for expensive weapons systems, and the lack of competition among the remaining contractors — have been a gold mine for the Big Five…the so-called primes: Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Raytheon, Northrop-Grumman and Boeing.” [From Pentagon, a Buy Rating on Contractors – Joe Nocera, The New York Times, Feb 11, 2011]

A characteristic that is common to crusaders, medieval or current, they all started by dividing the world into good and evil. “This is about good vs. evil” is famously attributed to George Bush, a born-again Christian. All crusades of past, present and even possible future start with initial idealistic determinism, which soon transforms into loot and plunder of their own people first and then everyone else that came their way, be it the land or the people.

One is pained to ask a fundamental question to the West that is under the influence of Spencers – What is so holy in your Holy War? Look no farther than your own scriptures which answer the insanity of Bush’s crusades, rather the sanity underlying the Defense industry – Matthew 6:21 (NIV):

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

* La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammad-ur rasul-ullah

47:19. So know that there is no god but Allah…

48:29. Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah…

From a very early Islamic tradition, the elements over two verses are compounded into a declaration:

La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammad-ur rasul-ullah
“There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah”

This declaration is the fundamental oath of a Muslim. It identifies the source of belief (Allah) and the messenger (Muhammad). According to Quran, this is a declaration of Believers since eternity – the believers in Allah and the followers of the prophet of the time, the Muslims, the submitting ones:

5:111. And when I inspired the disciples [of Jesus], (saying): Believe in Me and in My messenger [– Jesus], they said: We believe. Bear witness that we have surrendered (unto Thee) “we are Muslims [– the submitting ones].

By declaring Allah as one’s only God one is barred from taking others as gods, including any person, entity, or resource. Along the same lines, it prevents one from thinking or acting like a god toward others, yet, the very objective of Islam is to revive godly attributes in oneself. This declaration fundamentally makes one humble, unburdening one from the shackles of arrogance, myths, dependency and fears and thus unleashing human potentials.

By declaring Muhammad the Messenger, the oath assigns human status to Muhammad and prevents the Muslims from attributing super human qualities to him. In other religions, their followers, out of love for their respective messengers, coupled with their ancestral and inherent idolatrous traditions, over a period of time started attributing godliness to their messengers. The Muslim oath preserves the fundamental immaculate monotheistic nature of Islam.

Given the unity of the Message from Adam to Muhammad, and the universality of the Message of Muhammad, the above declaration is further extended for Muslims to believe not only in all the previous Messengers but also in all the previous Books:

4:171. …Believe, therefore, in Allâh and in all His Messengers…

2:136. Say, `We believe in Allâh and in that (the Qur’ân) which has been revealed to us, and what was revealed to Abraham, Ismâîl, Isaac, Jacob and his children, and what was given to Moses and Jesus, and (we believe) in what was given to (all other) Prophets from their Lord. We (while believing in them) make no discrimination between anyone of them, and to Him do we submit ourselves entirely.’

* Darood

Besides, Allah-o-Akbar, Darood is a ubiquitous part of daily Muslim prayers, which besides creed of Prophet Muhammad, is also directed for the creed of Abraham:

Allahu-mma salli ‘ala Muhammadin wa ‘ala ali Muhammadin kama sallaita ‘ala Ibrahima wa ‘ala ali lbrahima inna-ka Hamidum Majid. AIIahumma barik ‘ala Muhammadin wa ‘ala’ ali Muhammadin kama barakta ‘ala Ibrahima wa ‘ala’ ali Ibrahima inna-ka Hamidum Majid.

[Translation] O Allah! exalt Muhammad and the true followers of Muhammad as Thou didst exalt Abraham and the true followers of Abraham; surely Thou art Praised, Magnified. O Allah! bless Muhammad and the true followers of Muhammad as Thou didst bless Abraham and the true followers of Abraham; surely Thou art Praised, Magnified. [The Muslim Prayer Book, p. 24, Muhammad Ali]

Id-ul-Adha Khutba [– Sermon] at Darus Salaam, London, 16 March 2000
By Dr. Zahid Aziz
Published in The Light & Islamic Review, March-April 2000, p. 6-8 [pdf – link, webpage – link]

And when his Lord tried Abraham with certain commands he fulfilled them. He said: Surely I will make you a leader of mankind. Abraham said: And of my offspring? My covenant does not include the wrongdoers, said He.” — The Holy Quran, 2:124

And when Abraham said: My Lord, make this city secure, and save me and my sons from worshipping idols. My Lord, surely they have led many people astray. So whoever follows me, he is surely of me; and whoever disobeys me, Thou surely art Forgiving, Merciful.” — The Holy Quran, 14:36.

I will return shortly to an explanation of the verses quoted just now. Before that, let me read the well-known prayer taught to Muslims known in Urdu and Persian as the Darood and in Arabic as Salatun-Nabi

O Allah, exalt Muhammad and the true followers of Muhammad as Thou didst exalt Abraham and the true followers of Abraham, Thou art the Praised, the Magnified. O Allah, bless Muhammad and the true followers of Muhammad as Thou didst bless Abraham and the true followers of Abraham, Thou art the Praised, the Magnified.

The words of this prayer in Arabic are recited by Muslims, both within the set daily prayers and at other times, and are believed to be a source of blessing. But unfortunately, Muslims generally are either unaware of what the Arabic words of the prayer mean, or if they do know the meaning they are unaware of what is the “exaltation” and “blessing” that they are asking to be bestowed upon the Holy Prophet Muhammad and his followers, which were also granted to Abraham and his followers.

The Bible mentions the promises of exaltation and blessing given from God to Abraham and his progeny as follows. God said to Abraham:

“I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you… and by you all the families of the earth shall bless themselves.” — Genesis, 12:2–3.

“You shall be the father of a multitude of nations…I will make nations of you, and kings shall come forth from you.” — Genesis, 17:4, 6.

“I will indeed bless you, and I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore…and by your descendants shall all the nations of the earth bless themselves.” – Genesis, 22:17– 18.

Unfortunately the followers of the Bible, that is to say the Jews and the Christians — the first group being the descendants of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob, and the second group having arisen out of the Jews – considered this promise to be unconditional. Their belief was that no matter how they behaved, well or badly, they would still be great and blessed nations because of being Abraham’s descendants. But the Holy Quran puts this promise in a different way, as in the verse quoted at the beginning of this khutba [–sermon]. When Abraham asked God about his progeny, God said: My promise does not include and extend to the wrongdoers.

Also according to another verse in the Holy Quran as quoted above, Abraham prayed to God as follows:

­­­­“So whoever follows me, he is surely of me; and whoever disobeys me, Thou surely art Forgiving, Merciful.” – The Holy Quran, 14:36

Two points are made here:

1. It is whoever follows the path of Abraham who is “of him” or his progeny, offspring or issue. The same applies to any other spiritual leader. It is not by mere physical descent but by following in their path that you become their real descendants. This is a great and deep principle revealed by Islam, and if we bear it in mind it can save us from going wrong many a time.

2. As to those who disobey or do not follow Abraham, he prays for their forgiveness. This teaches us to constantly pray to Allah to show forgiveness and mercy to the rejecters of truth by bringing them into the fold of truth.

After Abraham, in the long course of time, two main religions developed among the followers of the Bible: the Jewish and the Christian religions. But both deviated from, and in fact, went contrary to Abraham’s path, while considering themselves to be the blessed nations springing from him.

The Jewish religion became a religion of rites and rituals only, so that the priests and the masses stuck to the letter of the religious teachings but lost the true spirit. They lost the spirit of sacrifice of one’s desires that Abraham demonstrated, and indeed what he is famous for. So they became a morally corrupt people while sticking most rigidly to the letter of the religion.

The Christian religion invented wrong beliefs about God, making a mortal Jesus into a part of God, going against the Oneness of God which was so dear to Abraham and which he preached so fervently, and coining the doctrine that your sins are forgiven if you believe that Jesus died for your sins. Abraham’s belief was that to have your sins forgiven the only way is to lead a righteous life with belief in One God.

So how could these nations be the blessed heirs of Abraham when they go against his teachings?

That is why God then raised the Holy Prophet Muhammad, from the descendants of Abraham through Ishmael, in order to revive the beliefs taught by Abraham. That is, belief in One God, sacrificing your lower desires in order to reach God, and leading a righteous life.

Apart from reviving Abraham’s beliefs, in the physical and material sense too, Islam arose in a place, Makka, whose foundations were laid by Abraham, and Islam made as its religious center the Ka‘ba which had been rebuilt by Abraham from a state of ruin. Further, Islam instituted a remembrance of the incident of Abraham’s act of sacrifice to be done at the Hajj, and by all Muslims throughout the world.

This shows that it is the Muslim nation which is the heir to Abraham, and it is through this nation that the promise of God given to Abraham is fulfilled that “I will make a great nation out of you and will bless those who bless you, and by your descendants shall all the nations of the earth bless themselves”.

The significance of the Darood prayer, or Salatunnabi, is that we pray that the promise of the blessings of God coming to Abraham and his followers be fulfilled through the Holy Prophet Muhammad and his followers.

But we must beware that merely by copying Abraham’s example of sacrifice in a symbolic way, or by just going to the Hajj to the place that Abraham is associated with and performing the outward rites, we do not become his heirs and heirs to the promised blessings. This is just like the fact that the Jewish and Christian religions, while arising among Abraham’s descendants, are not his spiritual heirs because they have gone against his teachings.

To be Abraham’s real heirs, so as to be worthy of inheriting the promised blessings, we have to make sacrifices of our own desires, just as Abraham did, which needs to be done in order to attain a higher goal.

This is why our Darood is couched in the form of a prayer: “O Allah, exalt…O Allah, bless…”, so that we realize that it is a goal for which we have to work and pray. Muslims are not taught to refer to these blessings as something which is guaranteed to them by God, regardless of their behaviour, even though it is true that the followers of the Prophet Muhammad have been destined to inherit those blessings.

Abraham was promised, in the words of the Holy Quran, that he would be made “a leader of mankind”. What does that mean? The word for “leader” is imam, which means one who sets an example. He was selected by God as an example because of his willingness to sacrifice what he loved most in the path of God. Similarly, if his heirs are to become leaders of all mankind, they have to set the same example of self-sacrifice. A leader, according to Islam, is not someone who just has power and gives orders. A leader is one who sets the greatest example himself of what he wants and requires others to do, and then people follow his example. That is the kind of leader that the Holy Prophet Muhammad was, one who has left behind his own actions and life as an example. That is the kind of leadership of the nations that Islam wants Muslims to have.

Also, the promise contains mention of making a “great” nation from Abraham. What is a great nation? According to the Quran, it is not one which rules over the most lands, has the biggest empire, possesses the most wealth and resources, or is the most powerful in weapons and armaments, but the greatest nation is the one which upholds truth, goodness and justice more than anyone else.

Note: The khutba [–sermon] ends above, but in this written version I deal with a question related to the Darood which was once asked by a friend. He asked: Since the Holy Prophet Muhammad is the greatest of all prophets in rank and status, why do we Muslims pray that Allah may bestow those blessings on him, and on his followers, which had already been bestowed upon Abraham and his followers? Are we saying that Abraham held a higher rank than the Holy Prophet Muhammad and we are praying for the Holy Prophet to reach that same rank and status?

The answer is that the words of the Darood, “as Thou didst exalt Abraham and the true followers of Abraham” and “as Thou didst bless Abraham and the true followers of Abraham”, do not refer to any exaltation or blessings that had actually been attained in full measure by Abraham and his followers prior to the time of the Holy Prophet, so that we could be said to be praying for the same now to be given to the Holy Prophet and his followers. Rather, this was a promise made by God to Abraham relating to the future. That promise had been fulfilled only very partially through the Israelite prophets and kings of the Bible who came after Abraham, and by the time the Holy Prophet Muhammad arose the followers of the Bible had lost all those blessings as a result of deviating completely from Abraham’s teachings. Therefore the promise to Abraham and to his followers was destined to come true through the Holy Prophet Muhammad and his followers: that there would be great nations in the whole of the world following Abraham’s message, blessing him, and through whom his name would be made great. So the Darood is the prayer to say that may the promises of God made with Abraham come to fulfillment in the fullest and most complete manner through the Holy Prophet Muhammad and his followers.

Darood and the propagation work of our Movement

On a second point, since we pray in the Darood for the Holy Prophet Muhammad to be exalted and blessed, it means that we must also work towards this goal. For the Holy Prophet to be exalted in the world it is absolutely essential to strive hard to present a true picture of his noble life and character, particularly to counteract the false image found in hostile Western writings as well as in certain Muslim books written by foolish friends. Only then will the image of the Holy Prophet, and along with him that of his followers, be raised high or exalted in the world. Only then will people realize what a great blessing for the world he was, and they will send their blessings on him. Just repeating the Darood in words, without any action to bring about the exaltation and blessing which is being prayed for, cannot achieve anything.
* Islam will dominate the world

The opponents of Islam and the current documentary in particular try to make Islam synonymous with certain races. They just cannot help it because their only experience of “domination” is their own history of one race colonizing, enslaving and exploiting other races and faiths.

What this placard is drawing attention to is not the domination of one race over another, but domination of better ideas over the inferior ones. This challenge has its source in Quran:

61:8. They desire to put out the light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah will perfect His light, though the disbelievers may be averse.

61:9. He it is Who has sent His Messenger with the guidance and the Religion of Truth that He may make it prevail over all religions, though those who set up partners (with Allah) are averse.

[Footnote] Verses 8 and 9 contain two different prophecies. The first is that all attempts to annihilate Islam will fail, and they did fail. In the second it is affirmed that Islam will be made the predominant religion, the truth of which was witnessed by Arabia in the lifetime of the Holy Prophet. But both prophecies have a wider significance. Attempts are still being made to annihilate Islam, and the Divine promise is that all these attempts shall be brought to naught; while the predominance of Islam over all the religions of the world would in time be established, as clearly as it was in Arabia.

41:53. We will soon show them Our signs in farthest regions and among their own people,

[Footnote] The word afaq means borders or extremities of the earth, or its remote sides, and the great message conveyed here is that Islam will spread to the most distant regions of the earth, the words their own people denoting the Arabs. What is stated here is that Islam will quickly spread, not only in Arabia but in the remote regions of the earth, and this prophecy is contained in a chapter revealed early at Makkah, when Muslims were being severely persecuted and the message of Islam had apparently little hope of finding acceptance anywhere. If the prophecy is so clear, its fulfilment is clearer still. Within twenty years of its birth, Islam spread through the whole of Arabia, and within a hundred years, it reached the farthest regions of the earth, both in the East and the West. Both the prophecy and its fulfilment are thus two of the most amazing facts of history.

until it is quite clear to them that it is the Truth. Is it not enough that your Lord is a Witness over all things?

As to who is bearer of the said superior ideas, Quran speaks of it:

53:6. …So he attained to perfection,

[Footnote] The Holy Prophet is spoken of here as having attained to perfection because the Almighty Himself was his Teacher.

53:7. and he is in the highest part of the horizon.

[Footnote] The Prophet’s being in the highest part of the horizon is in reference to the resplendence of his light, which was to illuminate all corners of the world — a prophecy that he will shine out in the full brilliance of his light as the midday sun.

Even though the early Islamic history, till a few centuries ago bears testimony to the truth of all the above verses for their prophecies, still the documentary can make the claim that Islam is at present confined predominantly to certain races and regions only. For such proponents, Quran has the prophecies of our times, which are quite vivid and not ‘Nostradamusically’ vague. Chapter 81 deals with events of our times as outlined in its introductory commentary by Maulana Muhammad Ali“…The chapter begins by speaking prophetically of certain events of the distant future fulfilled in the modern age. It concludes by making clear that the Holy Prophet’s light will reach the remotest horizon and the Quran will reach all nations…”

81:1. When the sun is folded up,

[Footnote]For the folding up of the sun, see the introductory note above. Verses 1–13 speak of twelve signs, some of which undoubtedly relate to this life and the rest may therefore also be taken as referring metaphorically to this life. The Resurrection of the dead in another life may often contain a deeper reference to the spiritual resurrection which was to be brought about by the Prophet in this very life, and hence the combination of the real with the metaphorical, as here.

81:2. and when the stars are dust coloured,

[Footnote] The darkening of the stars indicates complete darkness. Not only would the light of the day disappear, but even the smaller lights would become dark, and so the opponents of Truth would be left in utter darkness.

81:3. and when the mountains are made to pass away,

[Footnote] The passing away of the mountains signifies the passing away of the greatest obstacles to the spread of Truth; see 20:105 footnote [reader: refer to the original publication link in references section]. [the verse also alludes to modern highways]

81:4. and when the camels are abandoned,

[Footnote] Ishar is plural of ushara, meaning a she-camel that has been ten months pregnant. It is applied to the she-camel until she has delivered and also after she has delivered, and to a camel that is milked. Such camels are undoubtedly the most precious, and their being abandoned may stand for the abandonment of camels generally. Bearing on this subject is a hadith of the Prophet: “Camels will be abandoned so that they will not be used for going swiftly (from one place to another)” (Mishkat, 26:5). This clearly refers to a time when swifter modes of going from one place to another will come into existence, so that camels will no more be needed.

81:5. and when the wild animals are gathered together,

[Footnote] The gathering together (hashr) of wild animals seems also to be a prophecy relating to the distant future, when the wild animals were to be gathered together from all corners of the world into big towns [in the zoos]. It may refer metaphorically to the gathering together of barbarous people into towns and cities.

81:6. and when the cities are made to swell,

[Footnote] The word bihar is the plural of bahr, which means sea or river, as well as of bahrah which is synonymous with baldah or a town. The swelling of cities is a clear indication that advancing civilization will result in people gathering more and more in cities. The next verse corroborates this significance, as it speaks in clear words of the uniting of people.

81:7. and when people are united,

[Footnote] The uniting of people is one of the greatest achievements of modern civilization. The time is not far distant indeed when the whole world will be united and may become as a single nation [as it has started to happen with globalization of economies, human rights, communications, travel, United Nations etc.].

81:8-9. and when the one buried alive is asked for what sin she was killed,

[Footnote] The reference here is to the burying alive of daughters, a practice common among the pre-Islamic Arabs who, either for fear of hunger or disgrace, buried alive their female children. The questioning refers to the future when, with the predominance of Islam in Arabia, this barbarous practice was to be abolished. But the one buried alive may stand generally for the female sex, and the reference here may, therefore, be to the general tyranny of the male over the female. (Editor’s Note: Killing of girls at birth still takes place in some parts of the world. Abortion of foetuses for the reason of being female is a modern extension of the same barbarous practice.)

81:10. and when the books are spread,

[Footnote] This is also a prophetic reference to the distant future, with the circulation of books and papers to an incredible extent. The Muslim world did immense service to the cause of the circulation of literature, and the revival of learning in the West, which has brought about the great spread of books and papers, was a direct result of the impetus which Islam gave to the study of letters. [the verse also refers to modern print and electronic media, internet etc.]

81:11. and when the heaven has its covering removed,

[Footnote] The removal of the covering of the heaven signifies the unveiling of the mysteries relating to the heavens, which is one of the great achievements of modern science. Compare 99:2 where the earth is spoken of as yielding her treasures [reader: refer to the original publication link in references section].

81:12. and when hell is kindled,

[Footnote] Just as the righteous are promised heaven in this very life, the wicked are told that hell would be kindled for them even here, if they had only the eyes to see it. Compare 79:36 [reader: refer to the original publication link in references section]. The forces of materialism have already engulfed the world in a burning hell in the form of modern wars.

81:13. and when the Garden is brought near

[Footnote] God has not doomed this world to utter destruction, but when it has tasted somewhat of the evil consequences of its own doings, Divine mercy will take it by the hand and bring the Garden of bliss near to it by bringing about a spiritual awakening. Thus the solace of mind which man can attain to through realization of the Divine in him is here described as the bringing near of the Garden.

81:14. every soul will know what it has prepared.

[Footnote] Man will then become conscious that there is a higher life, which is his real goal, and he will know what to do to attain that goal. [the verse also draws attention to accountability in the modern world]

81:15-18. Indeed, I call to witness the stars, running their course, (and) setting, and the night when it departs, and the morning when it brightens,

[Footnote] The calling to witness of the stars that run their course and set also draws attention to the disasters that awaited the opponents of the Truth; see 53:1 footnote [reader: refer to the original publication link in references section]. The departing of the night and the rise of the bright morning is clearly the disappearance of the darkness of ignorance, giving place to the bright light of the sun of Islam.

81:19-21. surely it is the word of a bountiful Messenger, the possessor of strength, established in the presence of the Lord of the Throne, one (to be) obeyed, and faithful.

[Footnote] Verses 19–21 refer to the Holy Prophet Muhammad. He is the
bountiful Messenger (Rasul Karim), the one to be obeyed (see 4:64) [reader: refer to the original publication link in references section], and the faithful (al-Amin). His being possessor of strength prophetically refers to his future career and to his ultimate triumph over his enemies.

81:22-23. And your companion is not mad. And truly he saw himself on the clear horizon.

[Footnote] This means that his light would shine in the remotest corners of the world. See also 53:7 and footnote [reader: refer to the original publication link in references section].

81:24. Nor is he miserly (with knowledge) of the unseen.

[Footnote] This shows that there are some great prophecies relating to the future in what has gone before.

81:25-26. Nor is it the word of an accursed devil — where then are you going?

[Footnote] Wonder is expressed that despite the clearest evidence of Truth, humanity has been so slow to accept it.

81:27. It is nothing but a Reminder for the nations,

[Footnote] This, one of the earliest revelations, clearly shows that the foundations of the universality of the message of Islam were laid on the very first day.

81:28-29. for whomever among you who wishes to go straight. And you do not (so) wish, unless Allah please, the Lord of the worlds.

[Footnote] See 76:30 footnote for explanation [reader: refer to the original publication link in references section].

Fruition of the claims and prophecies in Quran of success of Islam as an ideology are not based upon just a fanciful wish and “me too” of any faith out there, but it is based upon its intellectual strengths. Quran does not shy away from having a discussion, dialogue and debate for its fortes versus any other idea. Factually, Quran encourages such a discourse:

27:64. Or, Who originates the creation, then reproduces it, and Who gives you sustenance from the heaven and the earth? Is there a god with Allah? Say: Bring your proof, if you are truthful.

6:148-149. …Say: Have you any knowledge so you would bring it forth to us? You only follow a conjecture and you only tell lies. Say: Then Allah’s is the conclusive argument;…


Note: [text enclosed in square brackets above is not part of the original quoted sources]
League of Faith: A Message From Islam – Islamic Review and Muslim India
A Living Religion and a Living Prayer – Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
Deus vult! – Merriam-Webster
Medieval Sourcebook: Urban II (1088-1099): Speech at Council of Clermont, 1095, Five versions of the Speech, as quoted from – Dana C. Munro, “Urban and the Crusaders”
Pope Urban II – Wikipedia
Remarks by the President Upon Arrival – South Lawn – White House – archives – President George Bush
President Rallies the Troops in Alaska – White House – archives – President George Bush
Reagan meets Afghan Mujahideen – Wikipedia
Cost of war at least $3.7 trillion and counting – Reuters
I Apologize for Inaccurate Statistics on US Gov’t War Spending – Red Letter Christians
Matthew 6:21 (NIV) – Bible Gateway
From Pentagon, a Buy Rating on Contractors – Joe Nocera, The New York Times
The Muslim Prayer Book – Muhammad Ali
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF SALAT-UN-NABI OR DAROOD, pdf – link – Dr. Zahid Aziz, The Light & Islamic Review, March-April 2000
Holy Quran – Muhammad Ali, edited by Zahid Aziz

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