Monday, 21 November 2016

Photos of our 'Masjid' - Anniversary Hazrat Data Gunj Buksh (ra)

- Illumination on evening of Nov. 21, 2016

Anniversary of Hazrat Data Gunj Buksh Ali Hajveri (ra)

These photos I took this evening (Nov. 21, 2016) of the Masjid near my home in Lahore. The masjid is illuminated because of anniversary of Hazrat Data Gunj Buksh Syed Ali Hajveri (ra).

Friday, 18 November 2016

Suicide as seen in Islam

Suicide as seen in Islam

Very moving article as shared below. I sent this through mail 10 years back but we need to revise this lesson. Makes us understand the importance of this life as a great blessing from Allah. The article loses its flow in the middle but again picks up later forward it to your so happens that some youngsters who are not aware of the grave punishment for suicide in the next world lose their hearts over some incidents and think about committing we need to educate ourselves besides creating awareness...if suicide is strictly condemned in our beautiful religion Islam then how could 'suicide attacks' on innocent people be allowed??? - Syed Roman Ahsan.

Every breath of a human, every moment of his or hers life in all Religious traditions, their teachings, their guidance, their viewpoints, their perspectives is worth more than a priceless gem. These breaths the human being takes in order to survive in life and the moments of life itself are like the pearls of a necklace. Just as a pearl will embellish the appearance of that neck that wears the necklace of pearls, in the same way the life of a individual is enhanced by that person who looks after the moments of his life. No Treasure trove of any Ruler, no Sultanate of any Sultan, no Kingdom of any King, no Rulership of any Queen in tantamount is equal in value to one moment of an individuals life. Life in-fact in numerous places of the Quraan, either directly or indirectly, is described by Allah as a favour on human beings. In one verse of the Quraan, Allah says, " How can you disbelieve? Seeing that you were dead and He gave you life. Then He will give you death, then again will bring you to life (on the Day of Resurrection) and then unto Him you will return." (Surah Al-Baqarah Verse 28)

Out of all the bounties Allah has bestowed upon human beings, the most precious is the gift of life. Each one us should remember that this life Allah has granted us, it is not our personal possession or our personal property. In-fact it is a trust from Allah, making us merely trustees. Because we are trustees we should utilise each and every moment of our lives in the paths that please Allah.

In one verse of the Quraan Allah informs mankind,
"And I (Allah) created not the jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me (Alone)". (Surah Adh-Dhariyat Verse 56)

From this verse we can learn the reason why Allah created mankind.

How precious is this gift of life, we can learn through the Holy Quraan, Ahadeeth (Traditions and Sayings of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him)) and the Shariah (Islamic Law).

For instance, in one verse of the Quraan, Allah says,

"He has forbidden you only the carrion (flesh of dead animals), and blood, and flesh of swine, and that which is slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than Allah (or has been slaughtered for idols, on which Allah’s Name has not been mentioned whilst slaughtering). But if one is forced by necessity without wilful disobedience nor transgressing due limits, then there is no sin on him. Truly, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."(Surah Al-Baqarah Verse 173)

In the closing stages of this verse Allah talks about one who is forced to consume Haraam (unlawful) items due to the fear of death. Allah says, then there is no sin in him. For example, one is in severe hunger, such hunger that could lead to ones death, he consumes something that is Haraam (unlawful) e.g. Carrion, on the Day of Judgement he will not be questioned regarding these Haraam (Unlawful) items he consumed in order to save his life. Similarly one is fasting in the Month of Ramadhaan and severe thirst over-takes him, again it is permissible for him to break his fast in order to saves ones life. Even if he broke the fast by consuming Haraam (Unlawful) fluids e.g. Blood, Alcohol he will not be questioned regarding this. From this verse we can undoubtedly acknowledge how precious and valuable life is in the eyes of The Almighty Allah.

Life in many people’s opinion is a journey. Some even sees it as a pilgrimage. In the Islamic perspective it is a journey far beyond death. It is like a trip around the world. We stop in many different Continents, Countries, Cities, Towns and Villages. Some bring happiness and some give us grief. The white beaches, beautiful rainforests, buildings etc would force a smile on the face of many a person regardless of what grief he is in, but the sight of the poor, war-stricken and weak will give one intense grief. Life is a test from Allah, He tests people in various ways and times. He tests some by blessing them with countless bounties to see if the servant appreciates what he has been blessed with by Allah and he shows gratitude towards Allah for blessing him with these bounties. At times Allah in his infinite wisdom, puts a person in intense grief, to see if the servant turns to Allah and seeks guidance and help.

Excellent examples of both situations are found in the life and story of the Prophet of Allah, Ayyub (AS). Allah granted him many bounties, then he gave him such illness that the people around him could not bear. Prophet Ayyub (AS) turned to Allah for help and Allah in his infinite mercy returned all the past bounties upon him. In some narrations it has been said that Allah gave him more bounties than the amount he had before his illness.

In the Quraan Allah has mentioned the call for help of Prophet Ayyub (AS). Allah says:

"And (Remember) Ayyub (Job), when he cried to his Lord: "Verily, distress has seized me, and you are the Most Merciful of all those who show mercy". So We answered his call, and removed the distress that was on him, and We restored his family to him (that he had lost) and the like thereof along with them as a mercy from Ourselves and a reminder for all those who worship Us. (Surah Al-Anbiya Verse 83-84)

In another Surah of the Quraan Allah says regarding Prophet Ayyub (AS):

"And remember Our slave Ayyub (Job), when he invoked his Lord (saying):"Verily Satan has touched me with distress (by ruining my health) and torment (by ruining my wealth)! (Allah said to him): "Strike the ground with your foot: This is (a spring of) water to wash in, cool and a (refreshing) drink". And We gave him back his family, and along with them the like thereof, as a Mercy from Us, and a Reminder for those who understand."And take in your hand a bundle of thin grass and strike therewith (your wife), and break not your oath. Truly, We found him patient. How excellent a slave! Verily, he was ever oft- returning in repentance (to Us).

Like Prophet Ayyub, each and every one of us is tested by Allah in someway or another. Some turn to Allah and seek help, as in the case of Prophet Ayyub and others turn completely to the opposite side, which leaves many in grief. These people upon whom many grieve and mourn are the people who have turned to suicide.

Suicide, or self-killing, has been known throughout the whole of recorded history and has been a phenomenon in every culture and social setting. It was noted in the Biblical Times within the Jewish and Christian faiths. It is mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita within the Hindu faith, in classical Greece and Rome, and later throughout the Middle-Ages, when the reaction to the heresy of suicide was severe hostility from the Universal Church, whose later fathers railed against the canonical sin of despair.

Suicide occurs in every culture, not only in the Western developed world, but also in India, China and, despite severe theological prohibitions, in Islam.

Within the Judaeo-Christian tradition, there are eleven instances of suicide described in the Bible's Old Testament and one in the New Testament. Perhaps the most famous death in the former is the suicide of King Saul following his defeat in the hands of the Philistines, heard in David’s lament, and ‘how are the mighty fallen’. Saul had sought the assistance of his bodyguard to help kill himself. The soldier was horrified at the irreligious notion of killing his appointed King, and turned the sword upon himself. Saul, apparently aided by such an example, then followed suit. It appears that the avert prohibition against suicide was first formerly pronounced by Saint Augustine, who in his City of God describes the action as a ‘moral sin’.

The Church did not always condemn suicide when, for example, following some severe assault, such as rape, the victim took a ‘virtuous’ or honourable way out. She could then claim sympathy and the forgiveness of her society and family, in both Roman and Christian times.

As shown, neither the Judaic nor Christian parts of the Bible are there direct injunctions against suicide. However, this is not the case in the traditions of the true religion, Islam, which continues to be a major influence upon many Islamic people.

There are a few quite specific sanctions expressed in the Quraan against self-killing. The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) also assigns suicide to the lower levels of Hell.

Allah says explicitly in the Quraan,
"And do not kill yourselves. Surely, Allah is Most Merciful to you". (Surah An-Nisa Verse 29)

In another verse of the Quraan, Allah says:
"And do not throw yourselves in destruction". (Surah Al-Baqarah Verse 195)

The impact of this injunction still has considerable force in Islamic countries, and it may be one reason why, with the exception of Jordan and Turkey, there is no recorded suicide in national statistics of the Islamic Nations. But, in the last decade or so there has been a substantial increase of suicide in Muslims living in Non-Muslim countries, namely Britain and America.

The current attitude and dilemmas, unlike in previous times, suicide can be discussed relatively easily today, even within the mass media of the late twentieth century. For example, in the worldwide magazine Time there have been three major articles concerning suicide, which while acknowledging dilemmas, were mainly concerned with where firm baselines should be drawn, accepting without question the ‘obvious’ rationality of such actions in many situations. Yet a little more than 100 years ago, Robert Louis Stevenson, in what was considered to be a horrendous book, The Suicide Club, found himself almost at the extreme end of the case of language, because he could not describe in sufficiently villainous terms the leader of this ‘devilish’ club. Constantly, modern poets and novelist have almost celebrated suicide.

The reasons that lead a person to commit suicide are as numerous and complex as the thousands of people who do so every year. Below are a few contributing causes of suicide:

Unipolar affective disorder (Depression)

The mental disorder usually called ‘depression’ is now described as ‘unipolar affective disorder’. The term depression is of course problematic, in that a low mood, or sometimes a feeling of emotional glumness, of living ‘out of sorts’ or ‘fed up’, is a frequent experience for many people. In this sense it is ‘normal’ and many people can feel ‘depressed’ without having depression. There is another side to this coin, where a person can feel particularly well, ‘on a high’ or with a feeling of well being. This can be the experience of a large number of people without it being felt, thought or observed as a problem or a disorder. A person simply feels in a ‘good mood’.
The causes of depression are many:

1. Mood: There is a profound disturbance of mood, which is one of the prevailing sadness and misery.

2. Cognition (To think deeply): There is an important disturbance of cognition, so that everything around them is interpreted dismally. Sufferers can believe they are hateful, worthless and, at the extreme, that they are already dead and responsible for the evils in the world.

3. Energy: There are very often tell-tale changes in mood and energy, in which the mood is especially low in the early morning hours, with relative lighting of misery in the afternoon.

4. Sleep: There is a disturbance of sleep, where it is quite usual for a person to be able to sleep almost as soon as going to bed, but with early waking, sometimes accompanied by quite enclosed changes of mood.

5. Appetite: There is a loss in appetite, and an apparently liked food turns to such, that you cannot bear the sight of it.

6. Stress: Stress at work, home, school etc can cause severe depression which can lead to suicide.

Isolation and detachment

One of the most common sentiments expressed by many of those who resort to suicidal behaviour is a sense of detachment from others. This is not so much physical isolation but refers more to a sense of moral insulation, where the individual has come to define his, or her, situation as so hopeless that others cannot help to put it right.

Substance misuse (Drugs and alcohol)

Addiction to drugs and alcohol, in this day and age, has become a major factor, which leads a person to suicide. In the past few months the media around the world have shown many cases of suicide due to drug use. Some have also predicted if drugs like cannabis was to be made legal, the death toll will increase due to this. The media have shown the devastating effects suicide has on the society around the world through drug use.

Loss of family or friends

One may feel isolated after the death or separation from family members or friends. Loss of a relative/friend causes immense grief, which may cause one to think about suicide. Some commit suicide thinking they will join the dead in the grave.

Relationship break-ups

This many times has the same effect as the death of a loved one. Sometimes it may, make some feel life is not worth living.

Financial problems

One who is large debts, thinking he will never be able to pay-up and may resort to suicide, thinking he will no more have this burdensome responsibility on his head, leaving his next of kin this problem.

Sickness and disability

Severe sicknesses, which one cannot bear, can lead one to take his life. In many cases taking help from others in doing this act (Euthanasia).

(Above are only a few reasons why one may resort into taking his own life. Many others can be found through thorough research.)

Few events in life have the same impact on us as the suicide of a friend or a loved one. The loss of a loved one, from any cause, brings out intense grief and mourning. The response and emotions felt by the bereaved following suicide are very different to those felt after other types of deaths. The fact that a loved one's death appears to involve an element of choice, raise painful questions which deaths from natural or accidental causes do not. Bereavement by suicide is usually prolonged. The grief is characterised by agonising, questioning and the search for some explanation as to why the death of his loved one has happened. Bereavement in this way often encompasses strong feelings of abandonment and rejection.

The sense of shock and disbelief following suicide is very intense. The most common and disturbing aspect of grief after suicide is recurring images of death, even if it was not witnessed. The finding of the body can be a traumatic experience. Going over and over the very frightening and painful images of the death, and the feelings these create, is a normal process of grief.

Newly bereaved people always ask ‘why?’ However bereavement through suicide often involves a prolonged search for a reason or explanation to tragedy. Most people bereaved by suicide usually come to accept that they will never know the reason why a loved one did what they did. In the search for answers, different members of the same family may have different ideas as to why he/she took their life, it could strain family relationships, especially if an element of blame is involved.

Below, I have included statistics, which I have obtained for many different sources, including The Samaritans ( 

· The World Health Organisation estimates that in the year 2002 approximately 1.1million people will die from suicide
· A global mortality rate of 17 per 100,000
· One death every 40 seconds from suicide
· In the last 45 years suicide rates have increased by 65% worldwide.
· Suicide is now among the three leading causes of death amongst those aged 14-44(both sexes)
· Suicide attempts are up to 20 times more frequent than completed suicide
· Although suicide rates have traditionally been highest amongst the elderly, rates among young people have been increasing to such a rate that they are now the group at highest risk in a third of all countries
· More people die from suicide than homicide in the USA, in 1997 there were 1.5 times as many suicides as homicide
· Mental disorders (particularly depression and substance abuse) are associated with more than 90% of all causes of suicide
· Males are four times more likely to die from suicide than women are. However , females are more likely to attempt suicide than males
· 2 suicides every day by young people in the UK and Republic of Ireland
· 80% of suicides by young men
· Suicide accounts for a fifth of all deaths of young people
· An estimated 24,000 adolescents self-harmed in 1998 – 3 every hour
· Alcohol and substance misuse are significant factors in youth suicide
· Contributory factors to youth suicide include unemployment, social isolation, recent inter personal life events and difficulties with parents, peers and partners
· 6,216 suicides in the UK, 439 suicides in the Republic of Ireland
· One suicide every 79 minutes in the UK and the Republic of Ireland
· More than two young people commit suicide every day in the UK
· Suicide figures are double the death toll from road traffic accidents
· Suicide is now the second most common cause of death in the UK for young people aged between 15-24
· People who make suicide attempts or threats are not just "attention seeking", but are at the risk of harming themselves
· Most suicidal people are undecided about living or dying, and try beforehand to let others know how they are feeling, or give clues or warnings
· Somebody tries to take his own life every three minutes
· In any given week, at least 463,000 people have serious thoughts about suicide
· Every year around 2500 children or young people phone child-line about feeling suicidal
· Overdosing accounts for 50% of female suicides and 25% of male suicides
· Under 25 year olds account for 9.26% of all suicides in East Lancashire. Of which 2.3% are of Asian heritage
 Statistics about suicide are difficult to collate, and many are inaccurate because of the sensitivity of the issue. According to some research suicide rates are 50%-60% higher than the official rate.

There are three areas where the law is relevant to suicide. First, while attempting to commit suicide has not been illegal in Britain since 1961, it is still a criminal offence under the ‘Suicide Act 1961’ to help someone commit suicide. Second, health professionals who do not take reasonable precautions to safeguard a suicidal patient who then goes on to commit suicide may be sued for negligence in the civil courts. Third, in some cases, people felt to be at grave risk of harming themselves can be detained for their own safety under the ‘Mental Health Act 1983’ (England and Wales), 1984 (Scotland), or ‘Mental Health Order 1986’ (Northern Ireland).

Our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) mentioned suicide many times, a few of these incidents are recorded in Muhammad Ibn Ismael's, 'Sahih Al-Bukhari'. In one incident narrated by Thabit bin Ad-Dahhak (RA): the Prophet (SAW) said, "Whoever intentionally swears falsely by a religion other than Islam, then he is what he has said, (e.g. if he says, 'If such thing is not true then I am a Jew,' he is really a Jew if he is a liar). And whoever commits suicide with a piece of iron, he will be punished with the same piece of iron in the Hell-fire."

Narrated by Jundub: The Prophet (SAW) said, "A man was inflicted with wounds and he commited suicide, and so Allah said: My slave has caused death on himself hurriedly, so I forbid Paradise for him."
Narrated by Abu Hurairah (RA): The Prophet (SAW) said, "He who commits suicide by throttling shall keep on throttling himself in the Hell-fire (forever), and he who commits suicide by stabbing himself, he shall keep stabbing himself in the Hell-fire (forever)."

From the sayings of Allah and his Prophet (SAW), we can see suicide is not accepted in Islam and we can also see through other sources, it is also prohibited in other religions.

If one is thinking of committing suicide he should think about his friends and family, then he should turn to Allah and ask for his help. Talking to the Scholars and others would also help. Confidential information is also available through your GP. Many centres also offer help for people in these troubled times.

May Allah save us from this sin and give us all guidance to the straight path. May Allah save us from all types of grief and give us all entrance into Paradise. – Aameen.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

جمعہ کا دن

جمعہ کا دن

Glory of Mosques - مساجد کی فضیلت (Hadith)

مساجد کی فضیلت

Hadees No :660
Kitab : Sahih Bukhari
Baab : مساجد کی فضیلت

آپ صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم نے فرمایا کہ سات طرح کے آدمی ہوں گے۔ جن کو اللہ اس دن اپنے سایہ میں جگہ دے گا۔ جس دن اس کے سایہ کے سوا اور کوئی سایہ نہ ہو گا۔ اول انصاف کرنے والا بادشاہ، دوسرے وہ نوجوان جو اپنے رب کی عبادت میں جوانی کی امنگ سے مصروف رہا، تیسرا ایسا شخص جس کا دل ہر وقت مسجد میں لگا رہتا ہے، چوتھے دو ایسے شخص جو اللہ کے لیے باہم محبت رکھتے ہیں اور ان کے ملنے اور جدا ہونے کی بنیاد یہی «للهى» (اللہ کے لیے محبت) محبت ہے، پانچواں وہ شخص جسے کسی باعزت اور حسین عورت نے (برے ارادہ سے) بلایا لیکن اس نے کہہ دیا کہ میں اللہ سے ڈرتا ہوں، چھٹا وہ شخص جس نے صدقہ کیا، مگر اتنے پوشیدہ طور پر کہ بائیں ہاتھ کو بھی خبر نہیں ہوئی کہ داہنے ہاتھ نے کیا خرچ کیا۔ ساتواں وہ شخص جس نے تنہائی میں اللہ کو یاد کیا اور (بے ساختہ) آنکھوں سے آنسو جاری ہو گئے۔

Monday, 14 November 2016

TRUMP and us

TRUMP and us

Trump has been elected President of USA but would it have been better for us if Hillary had won? These few posts below can throw some light better than mainstream English Newspapers in Pakistan.

This was the feeling in Middle East before Elections...

But Trump is still an extremist...

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Second marriage or girlfriends?


I see some ignorant girls posting against second marriage of men. The sad fact is that many established, so-called sophisticated and well-to-do men in our country keep girlfriends in spite of being married. They do not keep second wives. With marriage, a Muslim man is required to give respectable status to women and other rights. But if a woman is happy being a girlfriend, then sadly she is just being used by a married man.

However, a married man is required to seek the approval of his first wife before he thinks about marrying a second time. But that man should not base his second marriage decision on desire and lust, but rather to provide a home and security to a woman who needs it. It would be noble of an already married man to bring another woman in his house who is a divorcee or a widow.

Girls, the choice is yours to condemn second marriage of a man but to express no resentment if a married man keeps a girlfriend.

Friday, 11 November 2016

Our Lost Heritage

A worthy research-based article which needs to be read and re-read. It was written at least 10 years ago but still seems fresh in approach...


By: Dr. Habib Siddiqui

Abu Rayhan al-Biruni was a great Muslim scientist, physicist, astronomer, sociologist, linguist, historian and mathematician whose true worth may never be known. He is considered the father of unified field theory by a Nobel Laureate. He lived nearly a thousand years ago and was a contemporary of Ibn Sina (Avicenna) and Sultan Mahmoud of Ghazni.

When he was on his deathbed, Biruni was visited by a jurisprudent neighbor of his. Abu Rayhan was still conscious, and on seeing the jurisprudent, he asked him a question on inheritance law or some other related issue. The jurisprudent was quite amazed that a dying man should show interest in such matters. Abu Rayhan said, "I should like to ask you: which is better, to die with knowledge or to die without it?" The man said, "Of course, it is better to know and then die." Abu Rayhan said, "That is why I asked my first question." Shortly after the jurisprudent had reached his home, the cries of lamentation told him that Abu Rayhan had died. (Murtaza Motahari: Spiritual Discourses) [This narration does not undermine the fact that Muslims are required to recite ‘Kalma Tayyaba’  before death which can open doors to salvation in afterlife].

That was then, nearly a millennium ago, when Muslims were the torchbearers of knowledge in a very dark world. They created an Islamic civilization, driven by inquiry and invention, which was the envy of the rest of the world for many centuries.

In the words of Carli Fiorina, the former highly talented and visionary, CEO of Hewlett Packard, "Its architects designed buildings that defied gravity. Its mathematicians created the algebra and algorithms that would enable the building of computers, and the creation of encryption. Its doctors examined the human body, and found new cures for disease. Its astronomers looked into the heavens, named the stars, and paved the way for space travel and exploration. Its writers created thousands of stories; stories of courage, romance and magic. When other nations were afraid of ideas, this civilization thrived on them, and kept them alive. When censors threatened to wipe out knowledge from past civilizations, this civilization kept the knowledge alive, and passed it on to others. While modern Western civilization shares many of these traits, the civilization I'm talking about was the Islamic world from the year 800 to 1600, which included the Ottoman Empire and the courts of Baghdad, Damascus and Cairo, and enlightened rulers like Suleiman the Magnificent. Although we are often unaware of our indebtedness to this other civilization, its gifts are very much a part of our heritage. The technology industry would not exist without the contributions of Arab mathematicians."

Truly, there is hardly a field that is not indebted to these pioneering children of Islam. Here below is a short list, by no means a comprehensive one, of Muslim scientists from the 8th to the 14th century CE: 1

701 (died) C.E. * Khalid Ibn Yazeed * Alchemy
721-803 * Jabir Ibn Haiyan (Geber) * Alchemy (Great Muslim Alchemist)
740 * Al-Asma'i * Zoology, Botany, Animal Husbandry
780 * Al-Khwarizmi (Algorizm) * Mathematics (Algebra, Calculus), Astronomy
776-868 *  Amr ibn Bahr al-Jajiz * Zoology
787 * Al Balkhi, Ja'far Ibn Muhammas (Albumasar) * Astronomy
796 (died) * Al-Fazari,Ibrahim Ibn Habib * Astronomy
800 * Ibn Ishaq Al-Kindi - (Alkindus) * Medicine, Philosophy, Physics, Optics
815 * Al-Dinawari, Abu-Hanifa Ahmed Ibn Dawood * Mathematics, Linguistics
816 * Al Balkhi * Geography (World Map)
836 * Thabit Ibn Qurrah (Thebit) * Astronomy, Mechanics, Geometry, Anatomy
838-870 * Ali Ibn Rabban Al-Tabari * Medicine, Mathematics
852 * Al Battani Abu Abdillah * Mathematics, Astronomy, Engineering
857 * Ibn Masawaih You'hanna * Medicine
858-929 * Abu Abdullah Al-Battani (Albategnius) * Astronomy, Mathematics
860 * Al-Farghani, Abu al-Abbas (Al-Fraganus) * Astronomy, Civil Engineering
864-930 * Al-Razi (Rhazes) * Medicine, Ophthalmology, Chemistry
873 (died) * Al-Kindi * Physics, Optics, Metallurgy, Oceanography, Philosophy
888 (died) * Abbas ibn Firnas * Mechanics, Planetarium, Artificial Crystals
900 (died) * Abu Hamed Al-ustrulabi * Astronomy
903-986 * Al-Sufi (Azophi) * Astronomy
908 * Thabit Ibn Qurrah * Medicine, Engineering
912 (died) * Al-Tamimi Muhammad Ibn Amyal (Attmimi) * Alchemy
923 (died) * Al-Nirizi, AlFadl Ibn Ahmed (Altibrizi) * Mathematics, Astronomy
930 * Ibn Miskawayh, Ahmed Abu-Ali * Medicine, Alchemy
932 * Ahmed Al-Tabari * Medicine
934 * al Istakhr II * Geography (World Map)
936-1013 * Abu Al-Qasim Al-Zahravi (Albucasis) * Surgery, Medicine
940-997 * Abu Wafa Muhammad Al-Buzjani * Mathematics, Astronomy, Geometry
943 * Ibn Hawqal * Geography (World Map)
950 * Al Majrett'ti Abu-al Qasim * Astronomy, Alchemy, Mathematics
958 (died) * Abul Hasan Ali al-Mas'udi * Geography, History
960 (died) * Ibn Wahshiyh, Abu Baker * Alchemy, Botany
965-1040 * Ibn Al-Haitham (Alhazen) * Physics, Optics, Mathematics
973-1048 * Abu Rayhan Al-Biruni * Astronomy, Mathematics, History, Linguistics
976 * Ibn Abil Ashath * Medicine
980-1037 * Ibn Sina (Avicenna) * Medicine, Philosophy, Mathematics, Astronomy
983 * Ikhwan A-Safa (Assafa) * (Group of Muslim Scientists)
1001 * Ibn Wardi * Geography (World Map)
1008 (died) * Ibn Yunus * Astronomy, Mathematics.
1019 * Al-Hasib Alkarji * Mathematics
1029-1087 * Al-Zarqali (Arzachel) * Astronomy (Invented Astrolabe)
1044 * Omar Al-Khayyam * Mathematics, Astronomy, Poetry
1060 (died) * Ali Ibn Ridwan Abu'Hassan Ali * Medicine
1077 * Ibn Abi-Sadia Abul Qasim * Medicine
1090-1161 * Ibn Zuhr (Avenzoar) * Surgery, Medicine
1095 * Ibn Bajah, Mohammed Ibn Yahya (Avenpace) * Astronomy, Medicine
1097 * Ibn Al-Baitar Diauddin (Bitar) * Botany, Medicine, Pharmacology
1099 * Al-Idrisi (Dreses) * Geography, Zoology, World Map (First Globe)
1110-1185 * Ibn Tufayl, Abubacer Al-Qaysi * Philosophy, Medicine
1120 (died) * Al-Tuhra-ee, Al-Husain Ibn Ali * Alchemy, Poem
1128 * Ibn Rushd (Averroe's) * Philosophy, Medicine, Astronomy
1135 * Ibn Maymun, Musa (Maimonides) * Medicine, Philosophy
1140 * Al-Badee Al-Ustralabi * Astronomy, Mathematics
1155 (died) * Abdel-al Rahman Al Khazin * Astronomy
1162 * Al Baghdadi, Abdel-Lateef Muwaffaq * Medicine, Geography
1165 * Ibn A-Rumiyyah Abul'Abbas (Annabati) * Botany
1173 * Rasheed Al-Deen Al-Suri * Botany
1180 * Al-Samawal * Algebra
1184 * Al-Tifashi, Shihabud-Deen (Attifashi) * Metallurgy, Stones
1201-1274 * Nasir Al-Din Al-Tusi * Astronomy, Non-Euclidean Geometry
1203 * Ibn Abi-Usaibi'ah, Muwaffaq Al-Din * Medicine
1204 (died) * Al-Bitruji (Alpetragius) * Astronomy
1213-1288 * Ibn Al-Nafis Damishqui * Anatomy
1236 * Kutb Aldeen Al-Shirazi * Astronomy, Geography
1248 (died) * Ibn Al-Baitar * Pharmacy, Botany
1258 * Ibn Al-Banna (Al Murrakishi), Azdi * Medicine, Mathematics
1262 (died) * Al-Hassan Al-Murarakishi * Mathematics, Astronomy, Geography
1270 * Abu al-Fath Abd al-Rahman al-Khazini * Physics, Astronomy
1273-1331 * Al-Fida (Abdulfeda) * Astronomy, Geography
1306 * Ibn Al-Shater Al Dimashqi * Astronomy, Mathematics
1320 (died) * Al Farisi Kamalud-deen Abul-Hassan * Astronomy, Physics
1341 (died) * Al-Jildaki, Muhammad Ibn Aidamer * Alchemy
1351 * Ibn Al-Majdi, Abu Abbas Ibn Tanbugha * Mathematics, Astronomy
1359 * Ibn Al-Magdi, Shihab-Udden Ibn Tanbugha * Mathematic, Astronomy
1375 (died) * Ibn Shatir * Astronomy
1393-1449 * Ulugh Beg * Astronomy.
1424 * Ghiyath al-Din al Kashani * Numerical Analysis, Computation

With such a train of Muslim scholars, it is not difficult to understand why George Sarton said, "The main task of mankind was accomplished by Muslims. The greatest philosopher, Al-Farabi was a Muslim; the greatest mathematicians Abul Kamil and Ibrahim Ibn Sinan were Muslims; the greatest geographer and encyclopaedist Al-Masudi was a Muslim; the greatest historian, Al-Tabari was still a Muslim."

History before Islam was a jumble of conjectures, myths and rumors. It was left to the Muslim historians who introduced for the first time the method of matn and sanad tracing the authenticity and integrity of the transmitted reports back to eyewitness accounts. According to the historian Buckla "this practice was not adopted in Europe before 1597 AD." Another method: that of historical research and criticism - originated with the celebrated historian Ibn Khaldun. The author of Kashfuz Zunun gives a list of 1300 history books written in Arabic during the first few centuries of Islam. That is no small contribution!

Now look at today's Muslim world. When was the last time you heard of a Muslim winning the Nobel Prize in science or medicine? How about scientific publications? Unfortunately, you won't find too many Muslim names in scientific and engineering journals either. Why such a paucity? What excuses do we have? 

A recently published UN report on Arab development noted that the Arab world comprising of 22 countries translated about 330 books annually. That is a pitiful number, only a fifth of the number of the books that (tiny) Greece (alone) translates in a year! (Spain translates an average of 100,000 books annually.) Why such an allergy or aversion from those whose forefathers did not mind translating older works successfully to regain the heritage of antiquity, analyzing, collating, correcting and supplementing substantially the material that was beneficial to mankind?

Why is the literacy rate low among Muslims when the first revealed message in the Qur'an is 'Iqra (meaning: Read)?

Muslims today seek wealth more than they know how to even spend it. Such a mentality is silly, if not risky.

Knowledge is superior to wealth for ten reasons

Ali (RA) was once asked what was better: wealth or knowledge. He said, Knowledge is superior to wealth for ten reasons:

(1) Knowledge is the legacy of the prophets. Wealth is the inheritance of the Pharaohs. Therefore, knowledge is better than wealth.

(2) You have to guard your wealth but knowledge guards you. So knowledge is better.

(3) A man of wealth has many enemies while a man of knowledge has many friends. Hence knowledge is better.

(4) Knowledge is better because it increases with distribution, while wealth decreases by that act.

(5) Knowledge is better because a learned man is apt to be generous while a wealthy person is apt to be miserly.

(6) Knowledge is better because it cannot be stolen while wealth can be stolen.

(7) Knowledge is better because time cannot harm knowledge, but wealth rusts in course of time and wears away.

(8) Knowledge is better because it is boundless while wealth is limited and you can keep account of it.

(9) Knowledge is better because it illuminates the mind while wealth is apt to blacken it.

(10) Knowledge is better because knowledge induced the humanity in our Prophet to say to Allah, "We worship Thee as we are Your servant," while wealth engendered in Pharaoh and Nimrod the vanity which made them claim Godhead.

What wisdom! Yet today our people are dispassionate about seeking knowledge. Why? Do they know what Imam Ibn Hazm (RA) - the great Spanish Muslim theologian, jurist and poet - said? "If knowledge had no other merit than to make the ignorant fear and respect you, and scholars love and honor you, this would be good enough reason to seek after it... If ignorance had no other fault than to make the ignorant man jealous of knowledgeable men and jubilant at seeing more people like himself, this by itself would be reason enough to oblige us to feel it... If knowledge and the action of devoting oneself to it had no purpose except to free the man who seeks it from the exhausting anxieties and many worries which afflict the mind, that alone would certainly be enough to drive us to seek knowledge." I only wish that his remarks would wake our people to seeking and mastering knowledge.

Solutions to our present-day predicament:

While there are many solutions that I can point out to get us out of our current predicament, I choose to discuss three major ones below, of which the first two relates to personal and community/social obligations.

1. Seeking knowledge:

The main reason behind the success of early Muslims rested in their seeking knowledge where it was evident and also from places where it was hidden. They did not shy away from translating and learning from others in the best of the Prophetic Traditions:
"The word of wisdom is [like] the lost property of a wise man. So wherever he finds it, he is entitled to it." [Tirmizi: Abu Hurayrah (RA)]

When others were hesitant to do experiments to check their hypotheses, they courageously filled the vacuum. In that they were true to the Prophetic dictate:
"Knowledge is a treasure house whose keys are queries." [Mishkat and Abu Na'im: Ali (RA)]

Sharafuddin Maneri (RA) said, "Knowledge is the fountainhead of all happiness, just as ignorance is the starting point of all wretchedness. Salvation comes from knowledge, destruction from ignorance." [Maktubat-i Sadi]

2. Quality of leadership and Government patronage:

In the early days of Islam, Muslim rulers were not only the great patrons of learning they were great scholars themselves. They surrounded themselves with learned men: philosophers, legal experts, traditionalists, theologians, lexicographers, annalists, poets, mathematicians, scientists, engineers, architects and doctors. Scholars held high ranks in their courts. They built libraries, academies, universities, research centers, observatories and astrolabes. They invited scholars of all races and religions to flock to their capitals. Thus the cities they built became intellectual metropolises in every sense of the term. Like today's MIT, Stanford, Harvard, Yale and Princeton, their universities were then the most sought after academies.

And what do we have today? Most of the rulers in Muslim countries are half-educated individuals, who are surrounded (with very few exceptions) by cronies whose most important qualification is not competence or education but "connections" with the ruler or his/her family.

Our rulers (with very few exceptions) are utterly corrupt and self-serving. Not surprisingly, they are surrounded by equally corrupt people who have been put into positions of authority to fatten the coffer of their patrons and peers. Thus, while the number of palaces and mansions increase exponentially, not a single university has been built by most of these rulers. Only a token fraction of the state budget is spent today on education and research. So, it is all too natural to witness the dismal record of invention from Muslim countries. Not a single university in the Muslim world ranks within the top 100 universities of the world. The brightest minds naturally are draining out of their respective countries, only to settle (with very few exceptions) in more prosperous western countries, where they can apply their talents and skills appositely.

Our society remains so much entrenched in a system of patronage and clientage that government contracts are almost always doled out on the basis of personal and professional relationships rather than what is good for our people. So a new breed of half-literate billionaires has emerged who sees no value in education or its patronizing.
Why this behavior, when Islam teaches that anyone who is seeking after virtue should keep company with the virtuous and should take no companion with him on his way except the noblest friend - one of those people who is learned, sympathetic, charitable, truthful, sociable, patient, trustworthy, magnanimous, pure in conscience and a true friend?

So if Muslim countries want to regain their lost heritage in knowledge, they must retrace their path that once made them successful and discard the current aberrant methodology that only leads to doom and gloom. 

Let me again quote here from Carli Fiorina, who said, "Leaders like Suleiman contributed to our notions of tolerance and civic leadership. And perhaps we can learn a lesson from his example: It was leadership based on meritocracy, not inheritance. It was leadership that harnessed the full capabilities of a very diverse population-that included Christianity, Islamic, and Jewish traditions. This kind of enlightened leadership - leadership that nurtured culture, sustainability, diversity and courage - led to 800 years of invention and prosperity." 
Would our leaders take heed and amend their actions?

3. Going beyond the expected:

As I hinted above, Muslims are far behind in every field of learning. Simply going with the flow or doing just the bare minimum is simply not sufficient to close this widening gap. Our strategy ought to be - going beyond the normal call of duty, doing extra things. To elucidate this point, let me here close with a story from our Prophet's time.
Talha bin 'Ubaidullah narrated that a man from Najd with unkempt hair came to Allah's Apostle and we heard his loud voice but could not understand what he was saying, till he came near and then we came to know that he was asking about Islam. Allah's Apostle said, "You have to offer prayers perfectly five times in a day and night (24 hours)." The man asked, "Is there any more (praying)?" Allah's Apostle replied, "No, but if you want to offer the Nawafil prayers (you can)." Allah's Apostle further said to him: "You have to observe fasts during the month of Ramad, an." The man asked, "Is there any more fasting?" Allah's Apostle replied, "No, but if you want to observe the Nawafil fasts (you can.)" Then Allah's Apostle further said to him, "You have to pay the Zakat (obligatory charity)." The man asked, "Is there any thing other than the Zakat for me to pay?" Allah's Apostle replied, "No, unless you want to give alms of your own." And then that man retreated saying, "By Allah! I will neither do less nor more than this." Allah's Apostle said, "If what he said is true, then he will be successful (i.e. he will be granted Paradise)."

Here in this hadith lies the formula for rejuvenating the Muslim nation. May we be guided to reclaim our lost heritage!


1. Hamed Abdel-Reheem Ead, Professor of Chemistry at Faculty of Science-University of Cairo Giza-Egypt and director of Science Heritage Center,  See also the books: 100 Muslim Scientists by Abdur Rahman Sharif, Al-Khoui Pub., N.Y; Muslim Contribution to Science by Muhammad R. Mirza and Muhammad Iqbal Siddiqi, Chicago: Kazi Publications, 1986.

Dr. Habib Siddiqui lives in suburban Philadelphia, PA, and is the author of the book Islamic Wisdom. He can be reached at