Islam is a religion which is free of superstitions and silly tales; it rejects fallacious miracles; it accepts man not as a sinner, but as Allâhu ta’âlâ’s created slave; it provides them with an industrious and prosperous life; and it commands physical and spiritual cleanliness. Islam’s essence is the belief in one Allah and His Prophet, Hadrat Muhammad (sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallâm) who is, like us, a human being and a slave of Allâhu ta’âlâ. In Islam, a prophet is a man, but innocent and perfect. Allâhu ta’âlâ has chosen him as His messenger to communicate His commandments to humanity. Islam recognizes all the Prophets (’alaihi-mus-salâm), loves them all, and mentions their names with reverence. Essentially, the advent of the latest Prophet is written in ancient religious books as well as in the original Torah and Bible. Hadrat Muhammad (sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallâm) is the latest (final) Prophet, and no other Prophet will succeed him.
To believe that Hadrat Muhammad (sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam) is Allâhu ta’âlâ’s Prophet means to believe that all the commandments and prohibitions written in the Qur’ân al-kerîm, which he communicated, are Allâhu ta’âlâ’s commandments and prohibitions. If a person who so believes does not obey some of these commandments, he does not lose his îman (belief); that is, he does not become a non-Muslim. However, if he does not feel sorrow over disobeying even one of them, but instead boasts about this state of his, he will not have believed in the Prophet; he will lose his îmân and become a kâfir (disbeliever). If his head hangs in shame and his heart feels broken for his improper actions against Allâhu ta’âlâ’s commandments, it becomes clear that his îman (faith) is firm. The following gives an account of the fundamentals of Islam: Various rites, reforms and numerous feasts have no place in Islam and holy days are very few. Islam holds it essential for people to lead an honest and chaste life, but to enjoy lfe at the same time. It allots only a short time for worship. Committing one’s heart completely to Allâhu ta’âlâ while worshipping is essential. Worships are done not as customs, but for entering the presence of Allâhu ta’âlâ, for thanking and calling upon Him with all one’s heart and soul. Allâhu ta’âlâ does not accept a worship done for ostentation. In the Sûra Mâ’ûn, the Qur’ân al-kerîm states: “O! My Messenger! Have you seen someone who denies the Judgement, puts the orphan aside with harshness, does not promote feeding the needy? There will be a very severe torment for worshippers who are heedless of their prayers, who like to be seen at worship, and who do not give the right of the poor (zakât).”
Islam’s holy book is the QUR’ÂN AL KERÎM. The Qur’ân alkerîm was revealed by Allâhu ta’âlâ to Hadrat Muhammad (sall- Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam) and was communicated to the Sahâbat al-kirâm by him. While the Qur’ân al-kerîm was being revealed, it was also being recorded with great care, and survives even today; none of its words has been defiled. No other religious book is as eloquent as the Qur’ân al-kerîm. It has the same clarity and eloquence today that it had fourteen centuries ago. Goethe (1749-1832), one of the world’s most famous literary men, writes about the Qur’ân al-kerîm in his work West-East Divan: ( German name of its original is West-Ostlicher Dîvân.) “The Qur’ân contains many iterations, and we feel as if these iterations will bore us, but when we read on, gradually the book begins to attract us. Then it carries us to admiration and eventually to reverence.” Besides Goethe, many other famous thinkers have felt admiration for the Qur’ân al-kerîm. Let’s quote some of them. Prof. Edouard Mon é says: “The Qur’ân al-kerîm is the book that tells of Allah’s oneness in the most clear, most sublime, most sacred and most convincing language, which can be surpassed by no other religious book.”
Dr. Maurice, who translated the Qur’ân al-kerîm into French, says: “The Qur’ân al-kerîm is the most beautiful of the religious books bestowed upon mankind.”
Gaston Karr says: “The Qur’ân al-kerîm which is the source of Islam, contains all the principles of modern civilization. This is such a clear fact that, today, we have to believe that our civilization is established on the fundamental principles of the Qur’ân.” Islam is founded on the basis of physical and spiritual cleanliness. It accumulates in itself all the overt and covert merits of all the former religions. There are five principles, religious precepts, which those who have been converted to Islam, that is, all Muslims have to do: The first is to believe in one Allâhu ta’âlâ and that Hadrat Muhammad (sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallâm) is His Prophet and created slave; the second is to perform salât (prayer), as prescribed by Islam; the third is to fast; the fourth is to go on hajj (pilgrimage); the last one is to pay zakât, a special kind of yearly charity paid by the rich to poor Muslims.
Performing prayer (salât) is a religious rite done five times a day in their prescribed times. Before beginning the prayer it is necessary to make an ablution, which mainly consists of washing the hands, the face, the arms, and the feet. Several prayers can be performed with one ablution, the ablution has been broken for one of the reasons, (which, too, are prescribed by Islam). Praying five times a day does not hinder one’s normal daily work. In fact, the prayer, requiring little time, can be performed anywhere as well as in a mosque. Also there is the method of “masah” (wiping) mests (leather socks) which saves one from the obligation of washing the feet when making an ablution anew.
For those who are at places without water or who are ill; it is possible for them to make an ablution with soil, a method which is called “tayammum.” In cases of strong necessity, such as when there is the danger of thieves on a journey or the danger of being killed, prayers can be omitted and left to qadâ; that is, those prayers can be performed one right after another some other time.
Fasting is to abstain from doing anything that breaks one’s fast only during the day for one month a year, i.e., in the month of Ramadân. One of its worldly values is in that it teaches people the meaning of hunger and thirst. A sated person will never know hunger or sympathize with the hungry. Fasting teaches a sated person the sufferings of a hungry person. At the same time it drills us in self-discipline. Because fasting dates are determined according to Arabic months, each year’s fast begins ten days earlier than the previous year’s. Therefore, it coincides with summer months as well as with winter months. People not well enough to endure a summer fast can make qadâ of them (perform them later) in winter, and those who are too old to fast can pay their debts by giving special alms termed “fidya” in lieu of fasting. No force or torture takes place in Islam. Allâhu ta’âlâ has never required one to worship at the cost of one’s health, that is, to worship so much that one will get ill. Allâhu ta’âlâ is very magnanimous, forgiving and compassionate. In other words, He is so merciful, He will forgive those who do penance.
Zakât means that the Muslims who are wealthy and who possess zakât property in excess of the amount necessary to live on, i.e., above the amount termed “nisâb” will give two-and-ahalf percent, or one-fortieth, of all their property to poor Muslims once a year. People with earnings sufficient for only a basic living standard do not pay zakât. In other words, this fard (precept) is valid only for wealthy Muslims.
As for Hajj, it is again only for wealthy Muslims who have no debts and who are able to leave enough household subsistence for their families, left behind, during the journey. Hajj means to go to Mecca once in a lifetime, to visit the Ka’ba, and to pray to Allâhu ta’âlâ in the open space of Arafat. This fard (obligation) is also only for the Muslims who have the conditions stated above. In case there is the danger of death or illness on the way to and from Mecca, or if there is trouble beyond your capacity, you do not have to go on hajj. Instead, you send someone else who is capable.
To learn the details of these worships, their conditions, and how they are to be performed correctly, each of the four madhhabs has a certain book called, “Ilm-i hâl.” ( There is detailed information on these kinds of worship in the five fascicles of Endless Bliss.) It is necessary for a Muslim to read and learn how to worship from the books of his madhhab, which he preferred because it seemed to be easy for him to follow.
Islam’s worship remains between Allâhu ta’âlâ and the slave. Allâhu ta’âlâ alone forgives or punishes those who are negligent or guilty. Those who are to be punished will be put in the vehement fire of retribution, which we term “Hell.” Who will remain eternally in Hell? Will it be those who do not perform their prayers? Will it be those who commit sins? No! Those who will be burned eternally in Hell are Allâhu ta’âlâ’s enemies. Sinners are not Allâhu ta’âlâ’s enemies. They are like a naughty, guilty child. Do parents become hostile to their disobedient child? Of course, they do not. They only scold him a little, but they keep loving him.
Muslims have belief principally in six things, they are: in Allâhu ta’âlâ, in His Prophets (alaihimussalawâtu wattaslîmat), in His holy books, in His angels, in the fact that good and evil come from Allah, and in the Rising after death. Actually all the religions we have spoken of are based on these fundamentals.
Above we have said that worships remain between Allâhu ta’âlâ and man. But those who cheat others, those who appropriate others’ rights, liars, the fraudulent, the tyrants, those who practice injustice and dishonesty, those who disobey their parents or superiors, those who rebel against authorities and their government, in brief, those against the commandments of Allâhu ta’âlâ and those who deprive others of their rights or deceive others for their own advantages will never be forgiven unless they are forgiven by the owners of those rights. In short, Allâhu ta’âlâ will never forgive those who unjustly appropriate other people’s or animals’ rights, and they will go to Hell and receive their punishment, no matter how much they worship.
One of the human rights is “to pay the mahr” immediately to the woman whom one has divorced. If it is not paid, the retribution, punishment in this world and the torment in the next world will be dreadful.
The most important among human rights, of which the torment will be the most dreadful, is that of not doing “amr-u ma’rûf’ to relatives and to the people under one’s authority. This means to discontinue teaching the Islamic religion to them. It is understood that a man who prevents them or any other Muslim from learning their religion and from worshipping by the use of torture or deceit, is an enemy of Islam, a kafir (disbeliever)! A Muslim who does not follow one of the four madhhabs is called a “heretic.” Muslims are in great peril in the face of heretics’ attempts to change the creed of Ahl as-sunna and to defile Islam and belief.
While in the world, such people should repent as early as possible, then return the wronged person’s right, get themselves forgiven and consign themselves to Allâhu ta’âlâ’s mercy by abstaining from doing such evil acts again. They should also try to get their sins pardoned by doing a lot of good deeds. Then, Allâhu ta’âlâ will forgive them for their sins. It is believed that those who have worked and left behind them useful information and efforts with a view to serving humanity, even if they are considered to have been in another religion, may have attained Allâhu ta’âlâ’s guidance towards the end of their lives. Of old, Muslims called such people “the secret pious.” If it is not known for certain that such doers of good acts had been holding non-Muslim beliefs, we do not know, either, in what belief they were when they died. If they had used well the weapon of mind, which Allâhu ta’âlâ had conferred upon them; if they had worked with the idea of serving all human beings without harming anyone; if they had studied the fundamentals of all the religions, it should be expected that they attained Allâhu ta’âlâ’s guidance and as a result were Muslims.
For example, Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), a famous contemporary literary man, states in one of his articles: “Islam is the only religion which can be adapted to every century. I predict that Islam will be the religion which will be accepted by tomorrow’s Europe.” This reveals that he has accepted Islam in his heart. The German thinker and writer Emil Ludwig (1881-1948) wrote in one of his works: “I visited Egypt. One evening as I was having a walk along the Red Sea shore, in the midst of silence, I heard the sudden call of the adhân, and my whole body trembled with the fear of the Creator. All of a sudden, there arose within me a desire to throw myself into the water, to make an ablution, to prostrate and to entreat Allah as Muslims do.” Does this not show that there shone a light of “hidâya,” though temporarily, in that famous writer’s heart?
Lord Headley, who felt a similar light of “hidâya” in his heart, said, “After seeing the plain but bright greatness of Islam, shining like a halo, you feel as if you have come out of a dark corridor into the sunlight.” He later embraced Islam. ( Please see our publication Why Did They Become Muslims.) If such people should die without îmân (faith) and be punished in the next world by Allâhu ta’âlâ, He will certainly diminish their punishments on account of the favours they have done for humanity. It is declared in the seventh and eighth verses of sûra Zilzâl in the Qur’ân alkerîm: “He who did the tiniest bit of good will face it, and he who did the tiniest bit of evil will face it, too.” A Muslim will receive rewards for his good deeds both here and in the Hereafter. However, a disbeliever will receive his reward only in this world. Therefore, being a disbeliever is the worst possible thing. That is why a person who has worked with the pure intention of only serving humanity and as a result has brought about developments that are beneficial for humanity, while they were accomplished under the most difficult conditions of risking his health and life, but who has not been converted to Islam and died in the state of “disbelief” (kufr) will not be exempted from the punishment for disbelief despite his good deeds. Nonetheless, in Allâhu ta’âlâ’s view, the punishment for those hypocrites who committed every sort of evil and fraud and who pretended to worship, will be much worse. Their pretending to be Muslims will not protect them from the torment which they deserve because of the disbelief in their hearts.
Ottoman history gives a record of many commanders, many men of knowledge and science who had formerly been Christians and who eventually accepted Islam and subsequently performed many services to the religion. Ismâil Hakkı Effendi (rahima-hullahu ta’âlâ) passed away in Bursa in the year 1137 . His explanation of the Qur’ân alkerîm, namely Rûh-al-bayân, which consists of ten volumes, is esteemed highly by Islamic savants (rahima-humullâhu ta’âlâ) all over the world. He said after finishing the interpretation of the sixth juz: (Every group of twenty pages in the Qur’ân al-kerîm is called “one juz.”) “My shaikh [master, teacher] was the allâma [most deeply learned] of his time. When he was told that some Jews and Christians behaved honestly and truely and did favours for everybody, he responded, “Being so is a sign which is peculiar to those who will be given eternal felicity. It is hoped that those who have such qualities will attain îman (faith) and tawhîd and that their end will be salvation.” This quotation from a book of explanation is another proof for our words above. Now let us turn to those who criticize Islam and try to find fault with Islam. Such people mostly dwell upon the following aspects:
1- Some people say, “Islam grants a man the right to marry four women, which is not compatible with contemporary family concepts, family bonds, and social order.” The answer to be given to this is: It has been fourteen centuries since the advent of Islam. In Arabia, the birth place of this religion, women had no rights at all in those days. Everybody used to cohabit with as many women as he liked, and they assumed no responsibility towards them. The fact that women had no value can be discerned by the fact that baby girls were buried alive by their parents. Islam, which arose in such a society, has limited the number of women a man can live with to the barest minimum possible for that time. It has recognized the rights of women and has protected the divorcee against destitution by prefixing, before marriage, a sum of money, called a mahr, to be paid to her in the case of a divorce. Contrary to the critics’ assertion that “it has abhorred women,” it has promoted women to a higher social status. These facts, which we have given are explained in detail in the book Diyâ-ul-kulûb from page 324 onward, which was written in Turkish by Ishaq Effendi ( Ishaq Effendi, passed away in 1309 (1891 A.D.)) of Harput in order to disprove the slanders and the lies propagated against Islam by Protestant missionaries. This book has already been published by HAKÎKAT KİTABEVİ under the name “Cevâb Veremedi” (Could Not Answer).
Today everybody should know that Islam has not ordered a Muslim to marry four women. In other words, to marry more than one women is neither fard (obligatory) nor sunnat, but only mubah (permissible). Mahmat (Mehmet) Zihni Effendi (rahimahullâhu ta’âlâ) at the beginning of the section on marriage in his book Nimet-i Islâm says: “Neither divorcing a woman nor marrying four women is wâjib (a strong duty) in Islam. It is not a mendub (pious act), either. It is permitted in case of necessity.
Men are not obliged to marry four women, and the women are not obliged to accept it, either.” If the government forbids a mubâh thing, it becomes harâm (forbidden) and no longer mubâh. This is because a Muslim never disobeys the law. A Muslim is a person who is not harmful to himself or to others. In addition, Islam has established economic and social conditions to preserve the rights and freedoms of the first wife if a man intends to marry a second wife. Other women whom he may marry later on will each have special rights, and Islam forbids marriage to more than one woman for those who cannot meet these conditions and who cannot attend to rights guaranteed to women. On the other hand, it is thawâb (a means for blessings in the next world) for him to give up the second marriage in order to please his first wife. Furthermore, it is harâm (forbidden) to hurt a Muslim, i.e., his first wife. In the twentieth century, due to economic conditions in almost every country, most men cannot fulfill these conditions. It is obvious, therefore, that it is not permissible for such men to marry a second woman. Islam accepts that rules that are based on usage and custom can be adapted to time, and, therefore, today most Muslim men have only one wife.
Concerning polygamy, let us now look at some other countries and religions. Marriage with more than one women is permitted in the 30th chapter of Genesis, 21st chapter of Deuteronomy, and the 2nd chapter of Second Samuel of the Torah (Old Testament), which is accepted as the holy book of Jews and Christians. The Prophets David and Solomon had several wives and female slaves; East Roman Emperors always had several wives, and old German Emperors, e.g., Friedrich Barbarossa (1152-1190) had three to four wives. An Eskimo can marry a second woman provided he is granted permission by his first wife. The Mormon Christian sect founded in America in 1830 permits a man to marry more than one women. (But presently, American law prohibits such marriages.) Even in today’s Japan, a man can marry several women.
In the light of the above facts, it would be gravely unfair to blame Islam because “it gives a man permission to marry several women.” Polygamy has been accepted by a number of countries and religions. The famous author John Milton (1608-1674) said, “Why should something prohibited neither in the Old Testament nor in the New Testament be considered shameful or unchaste? Ancient Prophets (’alaihimu ’s-salâm) always had several wives. Therefore, polygamy is not fornication. It is compatible with laws and with common sense.”
The famous thinker and writer Montesqieu (1659-1735) said, “If we take into consideration the fact that in hot countries women grow faster and age faster, it is quite natural for those who live in such countries to marry several women.” Anyway, as stated above, because of economical conditions, today’s Muslim countries have almost no polygamy.
2- Some people say: Islam orders Muslims to invade, kill, burn, destroy countries, and to put people to the sword for the sake of their religion, calling this “jihâd” (holy war). This assertion is completely wrong. The essence of jihâd as defined by Islam is not to ruin countries or to kill people, but to propagate the religion, and at the same time to protect the religion, which is never done by destroying, burning or cruelty.
Islam only commands defence and struggle against transgressors. On the other hand, Christians, as we have mentioned above at length, have not shied away from committing the most horrifying murders in the name of religion, and, despite Hadrat ’Îsâ’s (Jesus’) teachings and advice on mercy and fairness, they have perpetrated all kinds of evil and savagery. History teems with examples of their atrocities. In contrast, according to Islam, a Muslim should never apply any sort of aggression upon anyone. If a Muslim, or his religion, is attacked he first tries to dissuade the aggressor politely. In case his efforts are unsuccessful, he sues him. And the court inflicts the necessary punishment with justice. If he cannot get his right even through the court, he will retire either into his house, or into his place of business. He will keep away from his transgressors. If his house, or place of business is attacked, he will move away; that is, he will leave that city. If he cannot find any city to move in, he will leave that country. If he cannot find any Muslim country to move to, he will move to any non-Muslim country where human rights are respected.
A Muslim does not attack anyone with his hands or tongue, nor does he violate anyone’s property, possession, chastity, or honour. Jihâd means to communicate Allâhu ta’âlâ’s true religion to His created slaves. This can be done by using the sword to eliminate cruel and exploiting dictators, who hamper Allahu ta’âlâ’s religion from reaching His slaves. First, it begins with admonishing and moral preaching, and then in the case of disobedience or opposition, these obstructions are eliminated by other means. Jihâd with force is done not by individuals, but by the Islamic state.
In the 256 th verse of Sûrat al-Baqara in the Qur’ân al-kerîm it states: “There is no compulsion in religion…” In contrast with the usual methods of Christians, Muslims do not attempt to convert a person to Islam by having recourse to any means, i.e., by force or by promising material advantages. He who wants to be a Muslim becomes a Muslim willingly. Muslims cause non-Muslims to embrace Islam with their sweet, logical and reasonable words, and with their moral conduct and model behavior. Those who prefer not to become Muslims live freely under the protection of the Islamic state as non-Muslim countrymen. They have the same rights and freedoms as Muslims; they freely perform their own religious rituals. These are explained in the book Diyâ-ul-qulûb from page 293 onward.
It is narrated in the seventieth story of the book Manâqib-i Chehâr yâr-i Guzîn: “A caravan of merchants made a night’s halt immediately outside Medina. Since they were exhausted, they soon fell asleep. Umar (radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anh), the Caliph, who was walking one of his usual beats around the city, saw them. He went to Abd-ur-Rahmân Ibn Awf’s (radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anh) house and said to him: ‘A caravan is here tonight. They are all disbelievers. But they have consigned themselves to our protection. They have many valuable goods. I fear that strangers or travellers may rob them. Come along, let’s guard them.’ They guarded them until the next morning, and then went to the mosque for the morning prayer. A youngster among the merchants had not slept. He followed them. Inquiring about them, he found out that the person who had guarded them was Umar, the Caliph (radiy-Allâhu ’anh). He went back and told his companions all about this. Seeing the mercy and compassion of the exalted Caliph, who had routed the Roman and Iranian armies, who had conquered numerous cities, and who was so well known for his justice, they concluded that Islam was the true religion, and willingly became Muslims altogether.”
As it is written in the same book, Manâqib: “During Hadrat Umar’s (radiy-Allâhu ’anh) caliphate, Sa’d ibn Abû Waqqâs (radiy Allâhu ’anh), the commander of the eastern front, wanted to have a villa built in Kûfa city. He had to buy a magian’s house which was next to his parcel. The magian did not want to sell his house. The magian went home and conferred with his wife who said: ‘They have the ‘Amîr-ul-Mu’minîn in Medina. Go to him and lodge a complaint with him.’ He went to Medina and asked about the Caliph’s palace. The people he asked answered that the Caliph did not have a palace or a villa and that he had gone outside the city. So he, too, left the city to look for him. There were no soldiers or guards around. He saw someone sleeping on the ground. He asked the man if he had seen the Caliph Umar. In fact, the man he asked was the Caliph Umar himself (radiy-Allâhu ’anh). He asked the magian why he was looking for the Caliph Umar. The man answered: ‘His commander coerces me to sell him my house. I came here to lodge a complaint against him.’ Hadrat Umar (radiy-Allâhu ’anh) went to his home, taking the magian along with him. He asked for some paper, but they could not find any paper in the house. He saw a shoulder blade and asked for it. He wrote as follows on the bone:
‘Bismillâhirrahmânirrahîm ( In the Name of Allah the Compassionate, the Merciful.) Lo, Sa’d! Do not hurt this magian’s heart! Otherwise, come to me at once.’ The magian took the bone and went back home. He said: ‘I went to all this lot of trouble for nothing. If I give this piece of bone to the commander he’ll think he is being teased and will become very angry.’ But when his wife insisted, he went to Sa’d. Sa’d was sitting and chatting cheerfully with his soldiers. No sooner had he caught sight of the handwriting on the bone in the magian’s hand, who was standing at some distance, than he turned pale, for he had recognised the Emir-ul-mu’minîn Umar’s (radiy-Allâhu ’anh) handwriting. The abrupt change surprised everybody. Sa’d (radiy-Allâhu ’anh) approached the magian and said: ‘I’ll do whatever you want me to. But, please don’t do anything that will make me look guilty in Umar’s (radiy-Allâhu ’anh) presence, for I cannot endure the punishment inflicted by him.’ Seeing the commander begging surprised the magian to the degree of madness. When he regained his senses, he immediately became a Muslim. When others asked him how he had become a Muslim, his answer was: ‘I saw their Amîr (chief) sleeping on the soil with a patched coat. I saw how his commanders trembled with fear of him. I, therefore, came to the conclusion that they were in the right religion. Such justice for a fire worshipper like me could only have been done by believers of the right religion.’ ”
History Professor Shibli Nu’mânî, Chief of India’s assembly of Nadwat-ul-Ulamâ and the author of the famous book Al-Intiqad, passed away in 1332 . His book, Al-Fârûq, in Urdu, was translated into Persian by Serdâr Esedullah Khân’s mother, who was a sister of Nâdir Shâh, the Emperor of Afghanistan. The translation was printed with Nâdir Shâh’s command in Lahore in 1352 (1933). It says on its one hundred and eightieth page: “Abû Ubaydat ibn Jarrâh (radiy-Allâhu ’anh) made his men announce the Caliph Umar’s (radiy-Allâhu ’anh) commands in every city he conquered. When he conquered Humus city, he said, ‘O Byzantines! With the help of Allâhu ta’âlâ and commanded by our Caliph, Umar (radiy-Allâhu ’anh), we have conquered this city, too. You are all free in your trade, business, and worship. No one will even touch your property, life, or chastity. Islam’s justice shall be applied to you, and your rights shall be observed the same way. Against attacks coming from without, we shall protect you as we protect Mus ims. As we tax Muslims with zakât of animals and ushr in return for this service, so shall we ask you to pay us the jizya once a year. Allâhu ta’âlâ commands us to serve you and to tax you with jizya.’ ( The amount of jizya is forty grams of silver from the poor, eighty grams from the middle-class, and a hundred and sixty grams from the rich. Other commodities, such as corn of equal value, may be given instead of silver. Women, children, the ill, the destitute, the old, and men of religion are not taxed with jizya.)“The Byzantines of Humus paid their jizyas willingly and gave them to Habîb ibn Muslim, the chief of the Baytulmâl.
When intelligence reported that Heraclius had been recruiting soldiers all over his country and was making preparations to attack from the Antioch front, it was decided that the soldiers in Humus should join the forces at Yarmuq. Abû Ubayda (radiy-Allâhu ’anh) had his officials announce to the city: ‘O Christians!
I promised to serve you, to protect you, in return for which I took the jizya from you. But now, as I have been commanded by the Caliph (radiy-Allâhu ’anh), I’m leaving here to help my brothers who will perform a holy war against Heraclius. I shall not be able to keep my promise to you. So, come all of you to the Baytulmâl and take your jizyas back! Your names and contributions are recorded in our registry.’ The same was done in most of the Syrian cities. Seeing this justice, this mercy on the part of Muslims, the Christians were extremely delighted to know that they were freed from the cruelty and torment which the Byzantine emperor had been exercising on them for many years. They shed tears of joy. Most of them became Muslims willingly. Of their own accord, they spied upon the Byzantine armies for the Muslim armies. Thus, Abû Ubayda was daily informed about all the movements of Heraclius’ army. These Byzantine spies played a major role in the great victory of Yarmuq. The establishment and enlargement of the Islamic states was not accomplished by aggression or by killing. The great and main power that kept up those states and kept them alive was the power of îmân (belief), the power of justice, goodness, honesty, and self-sacrifice which Islam cherishes greatly.”
It is not civilization to imitate the West’s fashions, immoralities, and false beliefs. It will damage the constitution of the Muslim people. And this damage is perpetrated only by the enemies of Islam. Islam never tolerates a Muslim being supine or lazy. It commands Muslims to work and improve in all branches of science, to learn from non-Muslims their new scientific findings, and also to emulate them. It commands them to be ahead of others in agriculture, commerce, medicine, chemistry, and in the war industry. Muslims must find out all the scientific means that other nations have, and manufacture them. But they must not adopt or imitate their corrupt religions, squalid and ugly habits, customs or traditions.
Ignatiyef, who was a Russian Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire for a long time, reveals in his memoirs a letter written by the Patriarch Gregorius, the chief plotter of the 1237 (1821) Greek insurrection during the time of Sultan Mahmut Khan II (rahima-hullâhu ta’âlâ), to the Russian Czar, Alexandre. The letter is a lesson:
“It is impossible to crush or demolish the Turks materially. The Turks, being Muslims, are very patient and enduring people. They are very dignified and have a mighty belief. These moral qualities originate from their adherence to their faith, contentment with destiny, the power of their traditions, and the feeling of obeisance to their emperors [state authorities, commanders, superiors].
The Turks are intelligent and industrious as long as they have chiefs to lead and manage them in a positive way. They are quite content. All their merits, including their feelings of heroism and bravery, come from their devotion to their traditions and the firmness of their morality. The first requirement is to break the Turks’ feelings of obedience, to extirpate their spiritual bonds, and to weaken their religious convictions. And the shortest way to this end is to accustom them to foreign ideas and behaviour that are repugnant to their national traditions and morality.
The very day their religious morality is broken, the Turks’ real power, which takes them to victory in front of forces that are in form much more powerful and numerous, and in appearance much greater, will waver, and, thus, it will be possible to crush them down by material superiority. For this reason, victories in warfare alone are not enough for the elimination of the Ottoman Empire. In fact, adherence to this method only will invigorate the Turks’ sense of honour and dignity, which may cause them to further realize their essence.
The thing to do is to furtively aggravate the atrophy in their constitution without letting the Turks notice anything.” This letter is important enough to be written in school books for memorization. There are a number of messages in the letter; yet, the following two are of primary importance:
2- To complete the destruction within the Turks’ constitution without them noticing. And these objectives can be attained by getting them to imitate the West’s immoralities in belief and fashion. Naturally, it is necessary to obtain the West’s knowledge in technical achievements, and in every branch of science. In fact, Islam commands it. Lord Davenport, a British scholar, who had studied all religions quite well, said in his English book, Hadrat Muhammad and the Qur’ân, which he published in London in the early twentieth century:
It is its utter strictness on ethics that caused Islam to spread so rapidly in a short time. Muslims always showed forgiveness to people of other religions who submitted to the sword in combat. Jurio says that the Muslims’ treatment towards the Christians is never comparable to the treatment which popes and kings deemed proper for Muslims. For example, in 980 A.H. [1572 A.D.], on August 24, that is, on Saint Bartholomew’s Day, sixty thousand Protestants were killed in Paris and in its outlying areas with the command of Charles IX and Queen Catherina. Saint
Bartholomew, one of the twelve apostles, was martyred as he was teaching Christianity in Erzurum in August 71 A.D. The blood shed by Muslims in those and many other persecutions is much greater than the Christian blood shed by Muslims in wars. It is for this reason that it is necessary to rescue many misled people from the misconception that Islam is a cruel religion. Such wrong statements have no proof. Compared with the papacy’s persecutions, which yielded to savagery and cannibalism, the behavior of Muslims towards non-Muslims was as mild as a suckling baby.
Chatfeld said, “If the Arabs, the Turks and the other Muslims had applied the same cruel treatment to Christians as was applied by the Westerners, that is, Christians to Muslims, there would be no Christians left in the East today.” Amidst the bogs of superstition and doubts of other religions, Islam grew as purely as a violet and became the symbol of mental and intellectual nobility. Milton said, “When Constantine siphoned national wealth to the church’s coffers, this inspired ambition for post and wealth among the priests. As a result, Christianity fragmented into many different sects.”
Islam spared humanity from the nuisance and disaster of shedding human blood for idols. Bringing worship and alms in its place, it provided men with goodness. It laid the foundation for social justice. Thus it easily prevailed over the world without recourse to bloody weapons. [This is jihâd in Islam.] It can be said that no other nation was as loyal and as respectful to the casue of knowledge as were the Muslims.
The Prophet’s (’alaihi ’s-salâm) numerous hadîths sincerely encourage the pursuit of knowledge and abounds with respect for knowledge. Islam cherishes knowledge above property. Hadrat Muhammad (sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam) supported this attitude with all his might, and his Companions worked in this way to the best of their abilities.
Founders of today’s science and civilization, and protectors of the old and new works of literature were the Muslims from the times of the Umayyads, the Abbasids, the Ghaznevids, and the Ottomans. Davenport’s word ends here.
Missionaries strove to annihilate Davenport’s English book, from which we have paraphrased some passages. Jihad in Islâm is explained in detail in the second volume of the book Idhhârulhaq written by Rahmatullah Effendi, ( Rahmatullah Effendi passed away in Mecca in 1306 (1889 A.D.).) from India.
3- “In Islam the Qur’ân al-kerîm embodies the law. Hence, the Qur’ân contains some very oppressive rules which are looked upon as forms of cruelty today. An example of this is the mutilation of a thief’s hand,” some people say.
This assertion is wrong. It is true that the Qur’ân al-kerîm contains the rule of mutilating the hands of those who steal. But, what is meant by “thieves” in the text are those who savagely attack the homes of innocent people to burn, destroy and usurp.
The Qur’ân al-kerîm commands that their hands be cut off when they are caught. But, its execution depends on conditions. The absence of those conditions prevents its execution. Hadrat Ali (radiy-Allâhu ’anh) specifically commanded that the hands of those who stole during the famine not to be cut off. If this law is applied wrongly in some countries in the name of Islam, the culpability belongs to those who apply it wrongly, but not to Islam. It has not been executed in real Islamic countries that apply the principles of the Islamic religion correctly. This is because the conditions for the implementation of “hand-mutilation” did not exist. Aware of the penalty revealed in the Qur’ân al-kerîm, nobody dared to commit those types of crimes.
In Islamic countries no one, not even the judges, has a right to forgive the penalty called had. This penalty is inflicted upon those who committed a crime which requires a “had” penalty and execution in front of the public. With the fear of being subjected to this penalty, nobody commits, or, rather, nobody can commit, these sorts of crimes. Now let us take a look at the Holy Bible that is in the hands of today’s Christians. It is written as follows in Matthew’s Gospel (chapter 18/8): “Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: It is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.”
The fourteenth verse of the thirty-first chapter of Exodus in the Torah states: “Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death:…” (Ex: 31-14)
This proves that it is also in the Holy Bible that it is correct to cut off the hand or foot of those who commit a grave sin. Medicine given by a doctor may be found bitter by an unhealthy person. He may think that it is of no use and may even believe that it is dangerous for him to use it. But, when he trusts the understanding of his doctor and thus uses the medicine, he gets well. Allâhu ta’âlâ, the Almighty, being a specialist on all kinds of diseases of the heart, soul and body, commands handmutilation as a cure for the disease of stealing. When every Muslim knows this commandment, and when it is heard that some hand-mutilations have been executed on a couple of thieves, there won’t be any further habits of stealing due to the fear of its punishment. The disease of stealing will disappear. Thus, people will no longer experience the sorrow of having their property stolen, and none will suffer from hand-mutilation.
4- “Islam takes ‘will-power’ away from man, attributes everything to ‘fate’ and thus renders men lethargic, supine and inactive,” they say. This assertion is completely wrong, too. On the contrary, Islam commands people to work incessantly, to use their minds well, to learn every kind of novelty, to have recourse to every sort of lawful means for success, and never to get tired or bored. Allâhu ta’âlâ expects His slaves to decide on and perform their own actions to the best of their ability.
The meaning of the word “fate” is totally different. Only in case a Muslim cannot attain success after using his mind, having recourse to all means and working with his utmost energy to perform some action, should he then not feel sorry but be contented with his fate, admitting that the result is something which Allâhu ta’âlâ deemed to his advantage. Otherwise, it is a grave sin to wait for one’s “luck” by taking one’s ease and opening one’s mouth without working, learning or striving. Allâhu ta’âlâ declares in the thirty-ninth verse of Chapter Najm: “Man can have nothing [in the hereafter], but what he strives for [in the name of Allâhu ta’âlâ].” In the following discourse on knowledge and science in Islam, we shall see how highly Muslims esteem learning and working.
Sometimes men cannot attain exactly what they want howsoever hard they work and have recourse to every means. This is the time for them to admit that some power above their own plays a major part in their work, affects men’s life and success, and guides them. That is what we call “fate.” Fate is at the same time a great source of consolation. A Muslim who says, “I have done my duty, but this is my luck, which I cannot change,” does not give up hope even if he fails at some task, but continues to work with his heart being completely free from anxiety. The meaning of a verse in Chapter Inshirah of the Qur’an al-kerîm is: “Yet hardship will bring ease. Indeed, hardship must bring ease! So whenever you have finished, still toil on! Towards your Lord direct your longing!” It means that it is necessary to continue to work despite the frustrations felt upon failure. On the other hand, a non-Muslim whose only interest is in the material aspects of something or a heathen who does not believe in any religion, loses his hope, courage and determination to work when he meets with failure, so much so that he cannot work any more. People all over the world began to believe in “fate” after the Second World War. It was stated in many European and American publications: “What Muslims have termed ‘fate’ certainly is true. No matter how much we work, it has been impossible to change events.” A person who is involved in some misfortune, such as bereavement or the loss of property can find consolation only in his belief in fate and by putting his trust (tawakkul) in Allâhu ta’âlâ, and then resuming his daily life. However, it must be kept in mind that before having tawakkul it is a must to look for a remedy for every problem by using the mind and by having recourse to all means.
5- They say: “By prohibiting interest, the Islamic religion stands against the present economic system of the world.” This assertion is wholly untrue too. Islam does not prohibit earning or borrowing, but usury and exploiting borrowers. Earning which is done honestly and merely for commercial purposes is not prohibited, but, on the contrary, it is especially appreciated and encouraged by Islam. Hadrat Muhammad (sall- Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam) stated, “Allâhu ta’âlâ loves the tradesman; the tradesman is his beloved,” and he himself traded, too. It has an important place in Islam’s trade rules for a person who cannot trade by himself to invest his money in his friend’s stock or in a business company and get his share from the profit his friend makes. The share which a person gets from a bank earning money only by commercial business, without interest, is completely halâl (legal in Islam). A bank, earning money without interest and its advantages have been written in detail in our (Ilm-ul-hâl) book Seâdet-i ebediyye (Endless Bliss). Chapter Mâida of the Qur’ân al-kerîm informs us that interest, which is prohibited in Islam was also harâm (illegal, prohibited) in the Tawrât (Torah), too. As an example, the 19th verse of the twentythird chapter of Deuteronomy states: “Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother; usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of anything that is lent upon usury: Unto a stranger thou mayest lend upon usury.”
6- At one time there were also those who asserted that the Islamic religion was “hostile to knowledge and science.” How could it ever be possible for Islam to stand against knowledge. Islam is knowledge itself. Many chapters of the Qur’ân al-kerîm enjoin seeking knowledge and praise men of knowledge. For example, the ninth verse of Chapter Zumar purports: “Are those who know to be considered equal with those who do not know? Truly, men of understanding will take heed more.”
Our Prophet’s (sall-Allâhu alaihi wa sallam) utterances praising and encouraging knowledge are so plentiful and so well known that even non-Muslims know of them. For example, while describing the virtues of knowledge, the books Ihya al-’ulûm and Mawdû’ât al-’ulûm quote the Hadîth ash-sherîf: “Go and get knowledge even if it is in China,” which means: “Go and learn even if knowledge is in the farthest place in the world and even if it is possessed by disbelievers! Another Hadith ash-sherîf declares: “Work and learn from the cradle to the grave!” That is, even an old man of eighty who has one foot in the grave has to work. His learning is an act of worship. Another Hadîth ashsherîf declares: Work for the next world as if you were to die tomorrow, and work for this world as if you were never going to die.” And another Hadîth ash-sherîf: “Little worship done with understanding is better than much worship done with ignorance.” And yet another Hadîth ash-sherîf states: “Satan fears a savant more than he does a tho sand devoted worshippers who are uneducated.” In Islam a woman cannot go and perform supererogatory hajj (pilgrimage) without her husband’s permission. Nor can she travel or visit others. But if her husband does not teach her Islam or allow her to study Islam she may go and study it without his permission. As it is seen, while it is sinful for her to go on hajj without his permission though it is a great act of worship loved by Allâhu ta’âlâ, it is not sinful for her to go out seeking knowledge without his permission.
Here is another Hadîth ash-sherîf in which our Prophet (sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa-sallam) commands us to learn: “Islam is where knowledge is present; disbelief is where knowledge is absent.” First, every Muslim has to learn his religion and then the secular sciences.
Nor can it be asserted that Islam is hostile to science. Science means, “observing creatures and events, studying them so as to understand, and doing experiments to make the same.” All these three are commanded by the Qur’ân al-kerîm. It is fard-i kifâya ( Something clearly commanded in the Qur’ân al-kerîm is called fard, pl. farâid. When the command is to be done by every individual Muslim it is termed fard ayn. When only one person in a community of Muslims has to do it, it is termed fard kifâya. In other words, when one Muslim in an assembly, a community or a city of Muslims carries out the fard kifâya, the rest are absolved from that particular obligation.) for Muslims to study science, art, and to try to make the most up to-date weapons. Our religion commands us to toil more than our enemies. One of our Prophet’s (sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa-sallâm) most vivid expressions commanding science is quoted in the eleventh chapter of the first fascicle of Endless Bliss. Hence, Islam is a dynamic religion that commands science, experiments, and positive developments. Europeans took many of the fundamentals of their scientific understanding from the Muslim world. For example, Europeans thought that the earth was flat like a tray and was surrounded by a wall, while Muslims had realized the fact that it was a revolving globe. This is written in detail in the books Sharh-ul mawâqif and Ma’rifatnâma. They measured the length of the meridian on the Sinjar Desert, which is near Mosul, and their measurement tallies with today’s findings. Nûr-ud-dîn Batrûjî, who died in 581 (1185), was a professor of astronomy at an Islamic University in Andalusia. His book Al-Hayât reflects today’s astronomical information. When Galileo, Copernicus and Newton studied Muslims’ books and stated that the earth was rotating, their statements were deemed heresy. Galileo, as we have said above, was subjected to a trial and was sentenced to imprisonment by Christian priests. The natural sciences were also studied and taught in the time’s Islamic madrasas. The Andalusian madrasas guided the whole world in this respect.
The one who first explored that germs caused diseases was Ibni Sinâ, ( Ibni Sinâ (Avicenna) Husain, passed away in Hamadan in 428 (1037 A.D.)) who was educated in a Muslim environment. It was 900 years ago when he said, “It is a very little worm that makes every disease. It is a pity we do not have an apparatus to see them.” One of the great Islamic doctors, Abû Bakr Râzî (rahimahullâhu ta’âlâ) (854-952), was the first to distinguish between scarlatina, measles, and smallpox, which were thought to be the same disease during that time. The books of such Islamic scholars were taught in all the universities of the world throughout the Middle Ages. While the mentally-handicapped were being burned alive because they were “possessed by Satan” in the Western world, hospitals had been constructed in the Eastern world for the medical treatment of such patients.
Today, everyone with an objective mind admits the facts written above, i.e., the fact that positive knowledge and science was first founded by Muslims. This, too, is also confirmed by many Western scholars. However, some enemies of Islam, who infiltrated into Muslim countries, masqueraded as Muslims, somehow drew Muslim audiences and began to foist their heresies on Muslims. They told uneducated people about their new scientific findings and facilities, and about the new weapons they produced. Then they deceived the ignorant, saying, “These are non-Muslim findings, those who use them will become non-Muslims.” They caused the Muslims to forget Allâhu ta’âlâ’s command: “Learn everything.” The efforts of these people was one of the main reasons for the decline of the East. The Western world became superior with its new weapons and technology. On the one hand, these insidious enemies of the Islamic religion deceived Muslims in this way, and, on the other hand, they said: “Muslims do not like science; they do not want constructive knowledge; Islam is fanaticism and it means going backwards.” They tried to alienate Muslim youngsters from their Islamic heritage and destroy the future of Islam. Those who are trying to answer the question, “Why did it take two hundred years for the printing machine from Europe to reach the countries under the sovereignty of the Ottoman Empire?” by saying, “Because the Islamic religion forbids printing books with printing machines,” are completely wrong.
People called “mustensih” (transcribers), who lived by writing books, caused it to be delayed, fearing that using printing machines to publish books would make them jobless. They used various propaganda techniques to prevent the press from coming to Turkey. For instance, they organized a demonstration march to Bâb-i Âli with a coffin with their pencases in it. Moreover, they exploited the bigots -whom we shall discuss later-, by beguiling those idiots into iterating here and there that the press would bring “blasphemy against Islam”. In order to solve this problem, the Ottoman Sultan Ahmad ( Ahmad Khân; passed away in 1149 (1736 A.D.) ) III, who realized that these seditious people had been trying to use Islam as a means for their own advantages, got the help of his Grand Vizier, Damat Ibrahim Pasha, and received a fatwâ ( Answer which is given by an Islamic savant to Muslims’ questions. Sources, references have to be appended to the fatwâ.) about the press from the Shaikh-ul-Islâm, the greatest dignitary of the Islamic religion. The fatwâ given by the time’s Shaikh-ul-Islâm, Abdullah Effendi, is written in the two hundred and sixty-second page of Bahjat-ulfatâwâ, as follows:
“It has been decreed through this fatwâ that it is permissible and quite good to establish the press, wherewith books of knowledge, science and ethics will be printed in great numbers in a short time; useful books will be obtained cheaply and disseminated far and wide.” This fatwâ would suffice to show how wrong it was to assert that the press would be blasphemous.
The word “bigot” is used above to mean a man who tries to foist his vulgar, ignorant, and corrupt ideas and political convictions in the name of religious knowledge. They convey Islamic knowledge wrongly to get everybody to accept their corrupt views and heretical convictions. Some of them get their power from the title they possess, some from the laws they took shelter under, but mostly by exploiting the beliefs of the Muslims. Dragging large masses of people with them, they cause agitation, rebellion, civil war and the breaking up of the country into different states. The most harmful and the most dangerous of them are the religious ones, the bigots of science (fake scientists) and the political ones who try to defile the nation’s belief and moral qualities by propagating religion reforms, foreign ideologies, and non-sunnî Muslims, in order to obtain property, money or position. As a result they corrupt the nation’s faith and morality. These seditious people (bigots) can be classified into three groups:
1- Ignorant bigots are those who think of themselves as intelligent and scientific, even though they lack both religious and secular knowledge. They cause dissension and can be easily deceived by the enemies of Islam as well as be dragged into destructive paths. In the Ottoman history, Patrona Halil, Kabakçı Mustafa and Kızılbaş Celâlî, who said he was the Mahdi, are a few of those who caused so much bloodshed.
2- The second group is called “Religious bigots.” These are the men of religion who are wicked and malicious. Even though they have some knowledge, they say and do what they don’t know or the opposite of what they know to be correct. This is because they want to attain their insidious objectives and caprices. They fall outside of the Islamic religion. They become an example and a leader for the ignorant in doing evil and in destroying the religion. Abdullah Ibn Saba’; Abû Muslim Horasânî; and Hasan Sabbah, the son of the Qâdi (Islamic judge) for Samavne city; Shaikh Badraddîn; and the men of religion who gave a fatwâ to martyr the Ottoman Sultans were religious bigots. In addition, Muhammad, the son of ’Abd al-Wahhâb from Najd, who caused dissension, namely, Wahhabism to appear; Jamal ad-dîn-Afghânî, ( Jamal ad-dîn Afghânî, died in 1314 [1897 A.D.]) who was the head of a Masonic Lodge in Egypt; Muhammad Abduh, who was a muftî for Cairo; his follower Rashid Ridâ; Hasan Bennâ and Sayyed Qutb of Egypt; doctor Abdullah Javdat, an enemy against the Muslims of Istanbul; Ahmad Qadiyânî, a hypocrite who was used as a toy in the hands of the British to harm the Muslims of India; Abu-l a’la al-Mawdûdî of Pakistan; and the new but similarly madhhabless reformer and famous English spy Lawrence is in this group that wounded Islam terribly. This group wounded the Islamic religion internally by exploiting certain perceptions and beliefs.
In the 47th letter of his book Maktûbât the great Islamic savant Imam Ahmad Rabbânî (rahmatullâhi ’alaih) bitterly complains about these evil men of religion as follows: “To listen to the words of those worldly-minded men of religion or [to read their books], is as harmful as eating poison. Their corruption is ontagious. They undermine a society causing it to shatter into pieces. It was those worldly-minded men of religion who brought disastrous effects upon the Islamic states of the past. They misled the men of state. Our Prophet (sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam) declared: ‘Muslims will be divided into seventy-three groups. Out of these, seventy-two will go to Hell. Only one group will be saved from Hell.’ The leaders of all these seventy-two deviated groups were wicked men of religion. It has rarely been seen that the harm of an average ignorant citizen is of any con-sequence. But the ignorant and deviated shaikhs of dervish lodges have been seen to be quite dangerous. Their harm is contagious, too.” In his 3rd letter, he wrote: “Our Prophet (sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam) declared: ‘On the Resurrection Day, the man to be given the greatest torment is the scholar who did not make use of his knowledge.” Will not the knowledge which is praised by Allâhu ta’âlâ, and which is the most honoured of all be harmful for those who misuse it as a means for attaining worldly property, position and political success? Being fond of worldly things is something that Allâhu ta’âlâ never likes. Therefore, it is a very tragic event to use the knowledge praised by Allâhu ta’âlâ in a way disliked by Him. It means to dignify what He doesn’t like, and to devalue what He likes. Or, more clearly, it means to stand against Allâhu ta’âlâ. Teaching, preaching, writing and publishing religious books will be blessed with the condition that they are done for the sake of Allâhu ta’âlâ, only, and not for attaining a position, property, or fame. A sign of possessing this pure intention is not to be fond of worldly benefits. Those addicted to ea thly blessings and those using their religious knowledge to obtain them are the wicked men of religion. They are the most evil members of mankind. They are the thieves of religion. They corrupt and steal the faith and beliefs of Muslims.
They presume themselves to be shaikhs or scholars. They believe that they are the best among mankind. Allâhu ta’âlâ declares in the 18th and 19th verses of the Sûrat al-mujadala in the Qur’ân alkarîm: ‘And they think that they are Muslims. No! Indeed they are liars. The devil hath engrossed them and so hath caused them to forget the remembrance of Allah. They are of the devil’s party. Lo! is it not the devil’s party who will be the losers?’ An Islamic sage saw Satan sitting and doing nothing. He asked him why he was not busy with deceiving human beings. Satan answered, “Today’s malicious savants, so-called men of religion, are so helpful in misleading human beings that I do not think I have to be busy with it any more.”
Indeed, the recent general laxity in observing Islam’s commandments and the concomitant alienation from the religion are consequent upon such people’s malignant words and writings. [There are three groups of men of religion: those who are wise; those who are knowledgeable; and those who are pious. A religious savant is one who possesses all three qualities. The words of those who lack any of them are not dependable. Being an owner of knowledge requires being a specialist in the sciences termed of aql and naql].
True Islamic savants are those who do not use their religious knowledge to attain worldly rewards. They are the men of Allâhu ta’âlâ. They are the inheritors and representatives of the Prophet (’alaihi mussalâm). They are the best and the dearest ones among mankind. On the Day of Resurrection, the ink of their writings will weigh heavier than the blood of those martyrs who died in battle for Islam, that is, for the cause of Allâhu ta’âlâ. The Hadith ash-sherîf: ‘The sleep of savants is worship!’ praises those Islamic savants. They are the men who really know that the hereafter is eternal, and that the world is temporary; they well understand the beauty of eternal blessings in the hereafter, and the ugliness and wickedness of the world. That is why they have held fast to what is eternal, to the beauty lasting without any change, not to what is provisional, changeable and onsumable. Being able to understand how important the hereafter is depends on being able to see how great Allâhu ta’âlâ is. One who has unde stood the importance of the hereafter never deems the world valuable. It is because the hereafter and the world are opposites in this respect. If you please one, the other will be offended. One who deems the world valuable will offend the hereafter. To dislike the world means to value the hereafter. It is impossible to value or humiliate both of them at the same time. Opposites cannot exist in the same place [water and fire, for example].
Some of the great Sûfis, after having completely forgotten themselves and the world, seem to be men of the world for various reasons. They seem to desire and love the world. In fact, there is no secular love or desire in their hearts. It is declared in the 37th verse of Sûrat an-Nûr in the Qur’ân al-kerim: “They are the men whom neither business nor trading distracts from remembering Allâhu ta’âlâ.” They seem to be fond of the world, but actually, never! Hâja Bahâeddîn-i Naqshiband Bukhârî ( Bahâeddîn-i Bukhârî, passed away in 791 (1389 A.D.)) (quddisa sirruh) said, “A young merchant was doing shopping in the marketplace of Minâ in the blessed city of Mekka. Although the shopping deal he was making amounted to around fifty thousand gold coins, his heart was never oblivious of Allâhu ta’âlâ even for a moment.”
3- The bigots of science are the third group of seditious men who have obtained a diploma from a university and pass for scientists. The writings fabricated by these bigots are written and presented as scholastic examples of science and medicine and are used to demolish the beliefs of the youth to alienate them from religion and Islam. They say that the true religious books are wrong since they are not in conformity with scientific information, and, moreover, they say it is reactionism to believe in those religious books and to live in accordance with their text. Bigots of science attack Islam by changing scientific knowledge, just as the bigots of religion change religious knowledge.
People equipped with substantial Islamic knowledge and with university education immediately understand the these bigots’ words are not aggreeable with knowledge or science and that they are ignorant in science and in religion. However, younger generations and students are vulnerable to the sway ingrained in their titles and positions camouflaging their deceits and lies, and therefore they may drift into the consequent disasters. Their words and activities are subversive to the Islamic communities. Detailed explanations about the bigots of science are written in the book Endless Bliss (Seâdet-i Ebediyye).
The three groups of bigots, as explained above, have orchestrated great harm upon Islamic countries and upon the pure religion of Islam. Such hypocrites and zindiqs still exist, and are trying to demolish Islam further from within. All praise be to Allâhu ta’âlâ; they are no longer as powerful as they used to be. Today, as Allâhu ta’âlâ has commanded, the Muslim world has been striving to learn all the subtleties of science, and they know that they can catch up with the West only by doing so. It is a shame that Muslims, who were ahead of everyone in the Middle Ages, have been stranded in this respect recently, which is the result of their being deceived by the trickery of those who are against Islam and by neglecting Islam’s commandments. All these add up to the fact that Islam is an utterly perfect religion which perfectly squares with the conditions of the twentyfirst century that we are about to enter. It drills us on knowledge and science, prohibits indolence, it is just, and it is the founder and protector of the social order that was established in the nineteenth century. This book is too small for us to give enough detailed information about this subject. Our Muslim brothers and those, the followers of other religions, who want to know about Islam can learn the connections between the Islamic religion and social order in the book Endless Bliss (Seâdet-i Ebediyye). We recommend that they read this book.