hispania tu khoon-e-musliman ka ameen hain
maanind-e-haram paak hai tu meri nazar mein
posheeda teri khaak mein sajdon key nishan hain
khamosh azaanein hain teri baad-e-sahar mein
roshan thee sitaron kee tarhan in kee sananain
khemey they kabhi jin ke tere koh-0-kamar mein
phir terey haseenon ko zarurat hain hina kee?
baaqi hai abhi rang merey khoon-e-jigar mein!
Except the history of earliest phase of Islam, this is a great book to read as an introduction to Islamic history. Its short and well written as all books by Karen Armstrong are. At one place she states that ‘the claim that Prophet Muhammad had been the last and greatest of the prophets is not made explicitly in the Quran’ . But if you see 33:40 of Quran it is stated that Muhammad PBUH is the seal of the prophets. Apart from this and some other mistaken details , this book is worth reading.
The best book on beginning of Islam as a biography of Prophet Muhammad PBUH is that by Allama Shibli Nomani and his student Syed Suleiman Nadwi. For anyone reading the biography of Prophet Muhammad PBUH for the first time, it is highly recommended that it should be read. The author clearly indicates why western historians and biographers make mistakes in recording the life of the prophet. One wonderful example is how the writer has proved that the Battle of Badr was a defensive act by Muslims. It is a 7 volume text in Urdu and I luckily bought all volumes for 1200 rupees from new Darrussalaam shop at University Road Karachi.
There is something about repentance that I don’t understand. But before I confess have a look at this wonderful symbol:
Did you see that Our Lord has decreed upon Himself mercy?
In his translation and commentary on Quran, Muhammad Asad has stated in the explanation to 6:12 :
The expression ‘God has willed upon Himself as a law’ (kataba ala nafsihi) occurs in the Qur’an only twice – here and in verse 54 of this surah – and in both instances with reference to His grace and mercy (rahmah); none of the other divine attributes has been similarly described……….
Can you imagine that?
So I have noticed that sometimes when we repent we seek some sort of satisfaction after committing a sin and we go on repenting till we are satisfied. But we are satisfied very easily, at least I am , I confess. Does that mean that I am just regretting an act until I forgive myself? Is me forgiving myself a limit of the repentance? Is this repentance a true repentance? Why do I get satisfied as soon as I forgive myself?
I think I am wrong and one should continually repent, not just to the extent of satisfying himself/herself, feel the sense of guilt lingering onto one continually.
It is an illusion that youth is happy, an illusion of those who have lost it says Maugham in Of Human Bondage. It is so indeed. But it is not unhappy either. A youthful age is a period of all a man can achieve. Seize the day or lose it forever. Days and nights of young age are full of unfulfilled dreams but one can say that for old age too. On the river side at night an old man is standing gazing at the stars, the ambition as high as those he could have reached. A young man looks at the stars and smiles when he remembers his capability to reach ambitions as high as those little twinkling lamps. There is in me a storm unlike this calm beautiful river.
A young man like me thinks of this world as created by One Almighty Being Who has established an intricate system of causes and effects, an unending chain, philosophers search for the ultimate Cause and scientists study the ever increasing number of causes and their effects. When they understand a particular point of nature, they name it and earn the respect of the world for days to come. Now the One has created this chain and therefore He knows how things may act and how they may produce different results. So He knows about the future , in a way I can say that the future is written and all is destined to happen, is this what they call destiny? Or is it a purely scientific view of it based absolutely on reason? This is one of my sorrows. I do not understand. Think of it as a straight line in space. The starting point of the line represents the beginning of the universe. Mind that its the universe that is visible to our mortal senses. Now look along this line and you will find all the ages that have passed, you will see the wars , ‘the Revelation of Light from on high’, various nations, their beginnings, their ends, kingdoms, their rises, their falls, keep looking till you see the present moment! It is beyond our capacity to look further.
Aren’t we caged, bound by the nature? Aren’t we prisoners in a most complex gaol? When I stand up for prayers at night and the recite chapter of the Quran about declaration of Allah’s absolute unity, I feel like I am a statue and now a gust of wind will blow and break me into fine particles of dust. That gust of wind is my own slow recitation of the ayahs. I experience the truth.
Then why am I heedless when all the symbols are engraved on my heart?
That is one of my sorrows and it has killed me.
A hand of dust is all I own;
I scatter it upon the way,
Because I hope that on a day
It shall ascend to heaven’s throne