Vision and Cameras

Vision, Light and Optics: Discovered by Muslims.

A ninth-century Muslim polymath, known as Al-Kindi was the first person to question the Greek theories of vision. The Greeks believed that rays came out of our eyes (a little like laser technology) and this allowed us to see. However, Al Kindi stated that our visual cone is not made up of discrete rays but rather it is a volume of continuous radiations in three dimensions.

Al Kindi was “one of the twelve giant minds of history1, as stated by the 16th century Italian physician and mathematician Geronimo Cardno. Al Kindi examined vision with and without a mirror. He spoke of how light rays came in a straight line, the effect of distance and angle on sight and about optical illusions.

He wrote two disquisitions on physiological and geometrical optics which were used by other scholars including German physicist Witelo and English scholar Roger Bacon. Al Kindi’s work was so profound that various English scholars and others in the field repeatedly referred to his work.

The questioning of how our vision works was continued by Al-Hasan Ibn al-Haytham, who built on Al-Kindi’s work. Ibn al-Haytham, was a Muslim scientist who revolutionised vision, optics and light. In the tenth century, Ibn al-Haytham eventually found that vision was possible due to the refraction of light rays.

Ibn al-Haytham was born in Basra, Iraq, in 965. The story of how he reformed the understanding of light and vision began when he was summoned by the ruling caliph in Cairo to control the Nile’s unpredictable flood. Upon arriving and assessing the situation, Ibn al-Haytham found that this challenge he had agreed to complete was in fact impossible. The Caliph at the time was brutal and out of fear of the wrath that would occur due to his failure, Ibn al-Haytham pretended he was mad! For his own protection, the Caliph placed him under house arrest and this 10-year imprisonment led to the world-renowned discoveries that modern science still follows.

In his darkened room, Ibn al-Haytham saw light projecting through a pinhole and this helped him realise that light rays that are emitted from objects enter our eyes.

Next, he began experimenting within the room and “camera obscura” and showed how light enters eyes in the shape of a geometric cone of vision. He further experimented with lenses and mirrors.

Figure 1: Ibn al Haytham’s camera obscura in Cairo, Egypt.
This illustration shows how light shines through a small hole in the darkened room, projecting an inverted image on the opposite sheet. He called this “Qamara”, the world’s first Camera Obscura.

These developments were published in the acclaimed Book of Optics which he wrote between 1011 and 1021. This book was translated in many languages, including Latin, influencing the works of Leonardo Da Vinci, Roger Bacon and Johannes Kepler. Contemporary society relies on this accurate understanding of light and vision, which was founded by the Muslim scientist Ibn al-Haytham, over a thousand years ago.

Figure 2: The illustration at the front of Al-Haytham’s 1572 Latin edition of Book of Optics

Ibn al-Haytham also realised that his senses were prone to error and thus he began scientific methods of variation, testing, verification and experimentation to ensure that his findings were all accurate. This was unusual at the time as physics was without experiment, much like philosophy. His methods of investigation later became known as the crucial modern scientific method of research.

“He, Ibn al-Haytham, was the greatest Muslim physicist and student of optics of all times. Whether it be in England or far away Persia, all drank from the same fountain. He exerted a great influence on European thought from Bacon to Kepler.”

George Sarton in his History of Science.

Kamal al Din al Farisi, a Muslim persian mathematician built on Ibn al-Haytham’s work. Al Farisi experimented with a glass sphere filled with water, to try to understand and explain the colours of the rainbow. He used this sphere as a model of a raindrop and showed that sunlight bent twice through the droplet.

Figure 3: Notes and sketch by 13th century Kamal al-Din al-Farisi depicting the anatomy of the eye. The text identifies the role of the brain when interpreting the image on the retina of the eye. Based on Al-Haytham’s ideas.

Ibn al-Haytham’s dark chamber which he named “camera obscura” formed the basis of optical devices such as cameras. His distinguished research paved the path for experimental science and the rational perspectives of later scholars.

Unfortunately, Al Haytham’s contributions were disregarded since his death. When his books were translated to Latin, he was not referred to by his real name but rather “Alhazen”. Changing the names of Muslim scholars to one that is more European sounding often occurred during the European Renaissance, with aims of discrediting Muslims and their contributions within the wider world.

A crater on the moon is named Alhazen in honor of Hasan Ibn Al Haytham’s vast contributions on vision and camera developments.

Nevertheless, the brilliant minds of these Muslim scholars inspired many generations and continues to be a source of motivation for others. Indisputably, without their research, especially Ibn Haytham’s discoveries, the modern world of science as we know it today, would not exist.

References:

Figure 1: Illustration from 1001 Inventions, ISBN-10: 1426209347

Figure 2: Book of Optics, Latin edition, front cover.

Figure 3: Kamal al-Din Farisi’s autograph manuscript, Tanqih al-Manazir, Adilnor Collection.

“Ibn al-Haytham.” The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. 2012.

Morgan, M. (2007). Lost History. Washington D.C. : National Geographic Society.

Masood, E. (2006). Science and Islam. Icon Books.

Sabra, A. I., trans., The Optics of Ibn al-Haytham. Books I-II-III: On Direct Vision. English Translation and Commentary. 2 vols, Studies of the Warburg Institute, vol. 40, London: The Warburg Institute, University of London, 1989.

Salih, H., Al-Amri, M., and El-Gomati, M., The miracle of light, in A World of Science (UNESCO), A World of science, vol. 3, no. 4, October-December 2005, pp. 2-7.

1S. M. Ghazanfar, Author of Medieval Islamic Economic Thought

The Enduring Legacy of Muslim Civilization by Salim T.S. Al-Hassani

There’s nothing funny about bullying

There’s nothing funny about bullying

How many of us have been bullied in the past under the guise of sharing an innocent laugh with friends? Most people don’t realise that there is a fine line between having a friendly laugh with someone and bullying them.

While it’s perfectly fine to share a laugh with someone, it’s a completely different story when you begin to laugh at them. This is even more so relevant, when the person you are laughing at is a complete stranger, as you don’t know how they will interpret your innocent ‘jokes’.

It’s an unfortunate reality that many of us have fallen into – whether we be the subject of the jokes – or we be the ones saying them to others. We need to be very careful that the innocent laughter we have with those around us, doesn’t lead to others develop feelings of sadness and embarrassment.

Allah, the exalted, speaks of this topic explicitly in the Quran when He states:

O you who have believed, let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them, nor let women ridicule [other] women; perhaps they may be better than them. And do not insult one another and do not call each other by [offensive] nicknames. Wretched is the name of disobedience after [one’s] faith. And whoever does not repent – then it is those who are the wrongdoers.

Quran 49:11

It is also narrated on the authority of A’isha, may Allah be pleased with her that she said:

“I said to the Prophet ﷺ ‘It is enough for you that Safiyyah is such-and-such (meaning that she was short).’

The Prophet ﷺ  replied:‘You have said a word that could pollute the water of the sea if it were mixed with it.’”

She also said, “I once imitated a man before him and he (the Messenger) replied: I would never like to imitate anyone, even if I were to get such-and-such (a reward for it).’”

Abu Dawud and Al-Tirmidhi

May Allah protect us from all forms of bullying that not only harm our fellow brothers and sisters but also severely diminish our good deeds.

The New Grand Mufti of Australia has just been announced …

Sheikh Abdel Aziem Al-Afifi has been announced as the new Mufti of Australia.

Following their 11th general assembly meeting, The Australian National Imams Council held an election for the position of Mufti of Australia. This comes as result of the previous Mufti, Dr. Ibrahim Abu Mohamad, completing the maximum constitutionally permitted two full terms of six years.

11th General Assembly of ANIC held on Sunday 18th of March. (ANIC)

The Australian National Imams Council Executive Committee which comprises of 18 eminent Imams from different states in Australia, elected Imam Abdel Aziem Al-Afifi as the new Mufti of Australia for a three-year session.

The Victorian-based Sheikh Al-Afifi served as the president of the Australian National Imams Council (ANIC) for two terms from 2010-2015. Born in Egypt, he graduated with a degree in Islamic studies. Al-Afifi also holds a masters degree in Quranic recitations. Sheikh Abdel Aziem arrived in Australia in the year 2000 where he served numerous Islamic Societies and schools.

The previous Mufti Dr. Ibrahim Abu Mohamad was known for his unprecedented service to the Muslim community, and The Australian National Imams Council asked that all parties of the Muslim community cooperate with the new Mufti and wished him success in serving Islam.

Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohamad – Completed six years as Mufti of Australia. (image: Facebook)

In a Press Release issued on Sunday 18th of March, 2018, The Australian National Imams Council emphasized that they are the official Islamic religious authority recognised by the Australian government, hence, any other party claiming the role of Mufti is false and has no basis.

This statement comes after the recurring allegations presented by Mustafa Rashed, whom the Australian National Imams Council assured is not a member of their council and stated he is not known or recognised to the Muslims in the community.

Mustafa Rashed – an imposter who has claimed he is the Mufti of Australia.

Mr. Rashed alongside Mr. Mohammed Tawhidi, were both interviewed last year by a prominent Australian channel as representatives of the Muslim community where they made shocking allegations against Muslims in Australia. OnePath Network previously released a story about the pair, and ANIC released a statement at the time refuting their bogus claims. These “so-called” Imams have no known credentials in Islamic Studies or any center/following in Australia. Mr. Rashed has also appeared on satellite channels in the Middle East falsely claiming that he is the Mufti of Australia.

Seven tips from the Sunnah on how to make your wife Happy

SEVEN tips from the SUNNAH on how to make your wife Happy

Marriage is a sacred contract made before Allah swt. And it isn’t always easy. It takes some hard work from both sides. Too often in our communities marriage has become a source of pain and frustration, but what if our marriage became a place of comfort and tranquility?  What if the war zone within our hidden four walls illuminated to a refuge of sacred space; a place to seek peace away from the chaos of the outside world?

It is crucial to understand that this life is just a means to a greater end and that all that we do in this world is a journey for us to reach Allah. Your marriage is a tool to bring you closer to Allah swt. We are here to know, worship and gain closeness to Allah. Having the understanding that nobody’s marriage is perfect is crucial. You may have an amazing spouse but suffer a lot of pain from in-laws, if you’ve been given a difficult spouse you may have incredible children or it may be that your relationships give you much joy but it’s the finances or family illness that disrupts your peace and keeps you up at night. We need to understand that it is all a test for us.

So all our dealings, in essence, our dealings with Allah. Everyone in your life is a personified test and we are tested on our actions and reactions to each other. Allah has given each of us their unique circumstance and not an atom worth is a coincidence in our lives. Imagine from this moment everything that happens in your life, every difficult trial, every single moment you tell yourself ‘okay what am I learning from this right now? How is this going to serve me to be a better person, how can this get me closer to Allah?’ Imagine we live our lives like this. A life where we don’t resist realisation but embrace realisation.

The marital relationship is an incredible blessing and divine sign, as Allah says in the Qur’an:

“And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.”

Quran 30:21

The Prophet ﷺ understood love and marriage more than any other human. The perfection of character that he ﷺ displayed specifically within a marriage is greatly beneficial to study to enhance our own marriage. Our deen needs to translate into inner beauty and that inner beauty needs to translate to good character and good actions especially to those closest to us. The pious predecessors said that a man’s true character is how he is like within the home. Outside we are bound by social norms yet inside the walls of our home our true character manifests. Muhammad ﷺ had a happy family life built on mutual understanding and kindness. As diverse as his roles were as a Prophet, governor, military commander and master of mankind he still put in a lot of effort strengthening his relationship with his wives and children.

 

1. Show her Gratitude and Acknowledge the hard work she does.   

 

By showing your wife gratitude and acknowledging her hard work, you will make her feel a sense of accomplishment and this will help keep her motivated to do the hard work she does. It also means that if you are grateful to your wife then you are grateful to Allah for blessing you with her company because it was Allah swt that gave you the opportunity to unite together in marriage. Thank your wife very often and tell her that you appreciate all her work and effort and say Alhamdulillah for her companionship.

Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said :

“Whoever is not grateful to the people, he is not grateful to Allah.”

Tirmidhi (Sahih)

Allah also states in the Quran:

“If you are grateful I will increase you”

Quran 14:7

This verse is not limited to being only grateful to Allah but can also apply to being grateful towards our loved ones.

2. Express Yourself with Loving Words and Sweet Gestures.

Sweet words don’t cost very much but can fill a woman’s heart.

Our pious predecessors said that expressions of love and affection that are not inappropriate are actually Sunnah. The idea of kissing your wife every time you arrive home is an expression of love and gratitude and it is Sunnah.The Prophet ﷺ would always walk into his home and show affection to his wife.

Prophet ﷺ advised believers to give gifts to each other is it fills love in their hearts towards each other.

Anas said to his son, Thabit,

“My son, exchange gifts, it will bring about love between you.”

(Sahih)

3. Help and Support her in her daily chores

Be your wife’s greatest support and offer to help her with any task, whether it be big or small. Your wife wants to feel like you are working together as a team to build your family and maintain your home.  

The prophet helped out around the house, serving his family often.

Al-Aswad said,

“I asked ‘A’isha, may Allah be pleased with her, ‘What did the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, do when he was with his family?’ She replied, ‘He would do chores for his family, and when it was time for the prayer, he would go out.'”

Bukhari Al Adab Al Mufrad (Sahih)

Aishah, may Allah be pleased with her, described the Prophet ﷺ as always smiling and making those around him feel comfortable in his presence. His loved ones were not afraid of him, they loved his company. A great sign of his Prophetic character was that those closest to him such as his best friend Abu Bakr r.a., his wife Khadija r.a. And his cousin Ali r.a. was amongst the first to accept Islam.  

4. Really Listen to Her! Listen to her emotional needs

Men don’t always have to be solution-oriented sometimes when women open up about their issues. Simply showing empathy and understanding can be very therapeutic for your wife. Acknowledge her emotions and appreciate her perspective and give her your full attention when she speaks to you.  

5. Spend Quality time with Her!

Spend quality time with her at home but also try to explore other ways to build your companionship.  Creativity and activity through outings and different experiences can add some variety to the marriage. Research shows that it is the novelty in a marriage that creates the passion. Be a reliable and responsible spouse in which you prioritise time spent with your wife responsibly. Don’t always allow ‘boys time’ to override moments with her. Give her the time and attention she deserves and ask Allah swt to put barakah in the time you spend together.

An example is that of Prophet Muhammad with Aishah: One day a young group of Abyssinian men were dancing in Masjid Nabawi. Aishah said to the Prophet that she wanted to watch them. So she leans and places her chin on the shoulder of the Prophet ﷺ, his noble bodyguarding her. Her cheek was touching his cheek and her arms around him as they watch the performance in the Masjid. And he gently asks her “Are you done yet?” She said “No, not yet’ and this happened a few times. She finally moves away.

After the Prophet ﷺ passed away she confesses that “By Allah, I had no interest in watching those people dancing; I just wanted my face to be on his face”.

6. Be good to her family and friends

Aishah narrated:

“I was not jealous of any wife of the Prophet as I was jealous of Khadijah, and it was not because I saw her. It was only because the Messenger of Allah mentioned her so much, and because whenever he would slaughter a sheep, he would look for Khadijah’s friends to gift them some of it.”

Tirmidhi (Sahih)

7. Be Her Best friend

Studies show that couples that were best friends had a much more fulfilling marriage. Our best example of this is Prophet Muhammad and Khadija. They endured so much together; from emotional heartache, family abandonment, boycott, and even starvation. And yet they were each other’s pillar of strength; supporting each other through every trial and difficulty. Allah promised Khadija, a special place in Paradise because she created such a calm, loving environment at home.  The Prophet ﷺ described her saying‘…She believed in me when the people disbelieved in me, she considered me truthful when other people called me a liar, she spent on me when other people refused to spend on me. Allah blessed me with children through her and He did not bless me children through any other woman’.

Make your wife really feel and believe that she is the most beloved thing to you no matter what. Your wife wants to know that you are her greatest fan, that you believe in her and that in your eyes she is the most amazing and most beautiful person. Give her that confidence and nurture her self-esteem. Don’t ever make fun of her or belittle her in any way.

 

Five Great Lessons From The Sunnah About True Courage

FIVE great lessons from the Sunnah about TRUE courage

When we think of the word courage, we imagine a strong fearless person who is willing to stand firm in the face of defeat and fight to the last breath. Such an image of courage has been promoted through Hollywood movies and historical recounts of wars and battles. Physical manifestations of courage are certainly applicable, but what about the spiritual and social manifestations of courage? How did our Prophet Muhammad SAW explain this concept and what examples from the Sunnah do we have to teach us about it. Courage is such a great moral value to instill in our lives and to pass on to the next generation. But how can this be done in a context where there is peace and harmony and absolutely no need to display physical courage.

Here are 5 ways to show TRUE courage from the Sunnah

Be Strong and Firm in your belief

Have strong conviction in the existence and oneness of Allah and never let your faith be deterred. Have true belief in Allah’s decree and seek closeness to Him.

“The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

‘The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak believer, although both are good. Strive for that which will benefit you, seek the help of Allah, and do not feel helpless.

(Sunan Ibn Majah)

Stand up for the Truth

At a time where there are so many injustices occurring around the world, speak out against oppression and immorality in a respectable and confident manner.

It was narrated by Tariq bin Shihab that:

A man asked the Prophet, when he had put his leg in the stirrup: “Which kind of Jihad is best?'”

He said: “A word of truth spoken before an unjust rulers.”

(Sunan an-Nisai)

Have good self-control

Do not allow anger to overtake you and always remain composed so that you can deal with your anger properly.

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said,

“The strong man is not one who is good at wrestling, but the strong man is one who controls himself in a fit of rage.”

[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Abu Hurairah narrated that a man came to the Messenger of Allah and said:

“Teach me something that is not too much for me so that, perhaps, I may abide by it.

“He (ﷺ) said: “Do not get angry.”

He repeated that (the request) a number of times, each time he replied: ‘Do not get angry.”

Sincerely accept calamities and failures

Whatever befalls you in life, be patient and accept the decree of Allah with full conviction that it is good in every affair.

Remember the words of the Messenger (ﷺ):

“How wonderful is the affair of the believer, for his affairs, are all good, and this applies to no one but the believer. If something good happens to him, he is thankful for it and that is good for him. If something bad happens to him, he bears it with patience and that is good for him.”

(Narrated by Muslim)

Avoid regret and doubt

Have the courage to venture into new opportunities without being afraid of negative outcomes.

If anything befalls you, do not say,

“If only I had done such and such”, rather say; 

قَدَّرَ اللَّهُ وَمَا شَاءَ فَعَلَ

“Qaddara Allahu wa ma sha’a fa’ala

(Allah has decreed and whatever he wills, He does).”

For (saying) ‘If’ opens (the door) to the deeds of Satan.'”

Sahih

 

May Allah SWT give us the courage to uphold our Islam!

How connected are we to the Houses of Allah?

How connected are we to the Houses of Allah?

If you want to know your connection with Allah, then you really need to ask yourself what role does the Masjid play in your life. The Masajid are essential to our communities and as Muslims, we are obliged to ensure they are up-kept, raised and sanctified. As Allah states in the Quran:

فِي بُيُوتٍ أَذِنَ اللَّهُ أَن تُرْفَعَ وَيُذْكَرَ فِيهَا اسْمُهُ يُسَبِّحُ لَهُ فِيهَا بِالْغُدُوِّ وَالْآصَالِ

“In mosques which Allah has ordered to be raised and that His name be mentioned therein; exalting Him within them in the morning and the evenings”

Quran 24:36

No doubt these Houses are beloved to Allah and we should always strive to connect ourselves with them. The Prophet ﷺ shed light on this love when he said:

أَحَبُّ الْبِلَادِ إِلَى اللَّهِ مَسَاجِدُهَا وَأَبْغَضُ الْبِلَادِ إِلَى اللَّهِ أَسْوَاقُهَا

“The Most beloved places to Allah are the Masjid, and the most hated places to Allah are the shopping centres”.

Sahih Muslim

If we too love that which Allah loves, by the will of Allah, this will be a reason for our salvation and His love descending on us. As the Prophet ﷺ taught, from amongst the people who will be shaded under the shade of Allah on the Day of Judgement is:

رجل قلبه معلق بالمساجد

“a man whose heart was connected to the Masjid”.

Sahih Al Bukhari and Muslim

And likewise, just as a man’s attendance to the Masjid is a sign of belief, it is also a sign of hypocrisy to be away from the Masjid without an excuse, as the Prophet ﷺ taught:

“No prayer is more burdensome on the hypocrites than the Fajr and Isha prayer, had they known what was in them both they would have attended them even if they had to crawl”.

Sahih Al Bukhari and Muslim

Malik Ibn Dinaar is narrated to have also said;

“When a believer enters the Masjid, it is as though he has entered a fragrant garden that he does not wish to depart from. While a hypocrite that enters the Masjid feels as though he is imprisoned and cannot wait to leave”.

We should always strive to enhance our relationship with the Houses of Allah and be cautious of being absent from them. As Ibn Isaac, one of the predecessors of the companions narrates:

انْظُرْ أَنْ لا يَرَاكَ اللَّهُ حَيْثُ نَهَاكَ , وَأَنْ لا يَفْقِدَكَ حَيْثُ أَمَرَكَ.

“My brother Dawud advised me:

“Be cautious Allah does not see you in places He prohibited you from, and He does not miss you where He has commanded you to be…”

 

May Allah make us of those who love and uphold His Houses in this life in a manner that pleases Him.

The six pillars of Imaan (Faith)

The six pillars of Imaan.

Imaan (faith) is a crucial part of a Muslim’s life, and there are six articles of faith. These are derived from the Holy Quran and Sunnah of the prophet Muhammad. Its importance is found in the following Quranic verse:

“O you who believe! Keep faith in Allah and His Messenger and the Book which He revealed to His Messenger, and the Book which He revealed before. Whoso disbelieves in Allah, His angels, His Books, and His Messengers and the Last Day, he verily has wandered far astray.”

(Quran, 4:136)

And, also in the following Hadith:

“…What is Belief?

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Belief is to believe in Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Apostles, and the meeting with Him, and to believe in the Resurrection.” Sahih Al Bukhari

Here are the six pillars of Imaan:

Belief in Allah

To believe in Allah is to believe that there is only one God worthy of worship, with no partner, or son. This concept is known as Tawheed. Also, it is to completely believe in the way He is described in the Quran, Sunnah and in His 99 names.

Allah clearly explains Tawheed in the Holy Qur’an as He says, “Say: He is Allah, the One. Allah, the Eternal Refuge. He neither begets nor is born, nor is there to him any equivalent.”

(Quran, 112:1-4)

Belief in His Angels

The angels are messengers of Allah and are created from light. They were created before humans, for the purpose of worshipping and obeying Allah.

Angels do not sleep, eat or suffer from illnesses. It is crucial to believe in the angels, as they keep a record of our deeds. Some of the other duties of angles include: blowing the trumpet on judgment day, taking people’s souls (i.e. angel of death) and to be the keepers of heaven and hell.

Who so disbelieves in Allah, His angels, His Books, and His Messengers and the Last Day, he verily has wandered far astray.

(Quran, 4:136)

Belief in His books

Allah revealed books to his messengers as a form of guidance and proof for mankind. Among these books, is the Quran, which was revealed to Prophet Muhammad. Allah has guaranteed the protection of the Quran from any distortion or corruption. The books that were sent and known to man are:

  1. The Scrolls (Suhof) to Ibrahim
  2. The Psalms (Zaboor) sent with the Prophet Dawud (David),
  3. The Torah (Torah) sent with the Prophet Musa (Moses),
  4. The Gospel (Injeel) sent with Prophet Isa (Jesus),
  5. The Quran sent with Prophet Muhammad.

Muslims believe in all of the books revealed to the messengers. However, they only follow the Quran, as it is the final revelation, and aim to implement the rulings into their daily lives, as instructed by God and prophet Muhammad.

“Indeed, it is We who sent down the Qur’an and indeed, We will be its guardian.”

(Quran, 15:9)

Belief in His messengers

Allah sent prophets and messengers to preach the same topic: to believe in one God, guiding their nations to Islam. All messengers were created as human beings.

“And We certainly sent into every nation a messenger, [saying], “Worship Allah and avoid Taghut.” And among them were those whom Allah guided, and among them were those upon whom error was [deservedly] decreed.

Quran, 16:36).

25 prophets were mentioned in the Quran and they are: Adam,Idris (Enoch), Nuh (Noah), Hud (Heber), Salih (Methusaleh), Lut (Lot), Ibrahim (Abraham), Ismail (Ishmael) ,Ishaq (Isaac), Yaqub (Jacob), Yusuf (Joseph), Shu’aib (Jethro), Ayyub (Job), Dhulkifl (Ezekiel), Musa (Moses), Harun (Aaron), Dawud (David), Sulayman (Solomon), Ilias (Elias), Alyasa (Elisha), Yunus (Jonah), Zakariya (Zachariah), Yahya (John the Baptist), Isa (Jesus), Muhammad (SAW).

Most of the messengers of Allah were sent to a specific nation except Prophet Muhammad, who was sent to guide all of mankind. It is a duty of Muslims to send salaams (Peace and Blessings of Allah) when mentioning the names of any of the Prophets.

Belief in the final day (Hereafter)

Muslims must believe in the existence of an afterlife, where all our deeds will be accounted, no matter how big or small. No one knows when this day will be except Allah, and thus we must continually work hard to achieve the best.

Muslims also believe in the existence of heaven and hell, and our final destination will be determined according to our deeds in this life.

“And We place the scales of justice for the Day of Resurrection, so no soul will be treated unjustly at all. And if there is [even] the weight of a mustard seed, We will bring it forth. And sufficient are We as an accountant.”

(Quran, 21:47)

Belief in the Qadar (Divine Decree)

Everything that happens, is due to the will and decree of Allah. Nevertheless, Muslims also understand that they are given free will and have the ability to distinguish between good and evil.

The belief in Divine Predestination includes belief in four things:

  • Allah created everything,
  • Allah knows everything; the past and present,
  • There is a record of everything that has happened and will happen,
  • Whatever Allah decrees to occur, will occur. Whatever Allah wills not to happen, does not happen.

Do you not know that Allah knows what is in the heaven and earth? Indeed, that is in a Record. Indeed that, for Allah, is easy.

(Quran, 22:70)

“The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: ‘No slave truly believes until he believes in four things: in Allah alone with no partner; that I am the Messenger of Allah; in the resurrection after death; and in the Divine Decree (Qadar).”

Sunan Ibn Majah, Book 1, Hadith 85

No matter how bad a situation may be, we must always put our trust in Allah and His decree.

May Allah SWT strengthen our Imaan and continuously guide us to the correct path. Ameen.

Why you need to learn Arabic

Why you need to learn Arabic

Arabic is currently the 5th most commonly spoken native language in the world! It is the official language in more than 20 countries, with more than 375 million native speakers, ranging throughout the Middle East and the rest of the world. It is also an official language of the United Nations, the Arab League, the Organization of Islamic Conference, and the African Union.

Here are some reasons everyone should be learning Arabic:

Chosen by Allah ﷻ

Allah ﷻ chose Arabic as the liturgical language of Islam. Thus, the Quran, hadeeth and all Islamic teachings were provided in Arabic. It was chosen out of all the languages in the world, used in the past, present and future. This fact alone should suffice as a reason to learn Arabic, especially since this has been confirmed in the Quran:

Indeed, We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur’an that you might understand.”

(Quran, 12:2)

This verse implies that Arabic was chosen as it is a language that every human has the capability of understanding. Further, it has qualities and features that make it unique in comparison to other languages. If Allah ﷻ had wanted to reveal the Quran in every language, he could have. However, He chose Arabic, and that is sufficient of a reason.

The language of Quran

The Quran was revealed in Arabic. Thus by learning this language, you will have a better appreciation for the Quran, its subtleties, and meaning. When one understands the words, they form a deeper connection with the Quran. This not only assists in the reading of it but also memorisation. When you understand the words, it becomes easier to implement it into your daily life. When it is understood, you are forming a direct connection with Allah ﷻ, as they are His words and commands.

And We have certainly made the Qur’an easy for remembrance, so is there any who will remember?”

(Quan, 54:17)

The Quran is the pinnacle of eloquence and sophistication and no human has the ability to produce anything on of the same level of the Quran. It is unrivaled in its stylistic output and to truly appreciate this you must understand Arabic. Otherwise, you are deprived of its greatness and you won’t have the ability to comprehend the depths and precision of its language.

The revelation of the Book is from Allah, the Exalted in Might, the Wise.”

(Quran, 45:2)

Islamic teachings

The vast majority of Islamic teachings are in Arabic. This includes the teachings of our Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, the Sunnah, and hadeeth that he has provided us with. Furthermore, many of the analytic aspects of the Quran and Hadeeth are in Arabic. Although some of these have been translated into English, there is a lack of flow with the meaning, and a true understanding will only be achieved through Arabic. The books of tafsir, commentary on hadith and any books on Islamic Jurisprudence can only be truly appreciated in Arabic. Translations will always be deficient as they are human approximations of Allah ﷻ Divine Speech. Much of the Islamic heritage has been and will remain inaccessible to the non-Arabic speaking Muslims, especially since the majority has not been translated.

This is a blessed Book which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], that they might reflect upon its verses and that those of understanding would be reminded.”

(Quran, 38:29)

Increase in devotion

When one does not understand what they are saying, it is practically impossible to form a connection. On the contrary, understanding Arabic will help increase you in devotion and spirituality. This is evident when one performs salah, recites and listens to Quran, listens to the Friday sermon (khutbah) or makes a supplication (Dua) to Allah ﷻ. When Arabic is used and understood in these circumstances, it creates a deep connection with Allah ﷻ. This, in turn, can result in you increasing in worship as a love for your religion continues to grow the more you understand and reflect upon your religion.

Then do they not reflect upon the Qur’an, or are there locks upon [their] hearts?

(Quran, 4:24)

Avoid misconceptions

When you understand Arabic, the language of Quran, you can quickly eliminate any misconceptions and incorrect facts, especially about your religion. This has become extremely common, as many like to use the Quranic verses out of context, or state incorrect facts about our religion or provide sub-standard interpretations. This issue can be quickly resolved by having your own, true deep understanding of both your religion and the Holy Quran. This matter is very important, especially since a lot of people have come to rely on translated versions of the Quran and other Islamic teachings, making themselves prone to being denied the real teachings and meaning of Islam, due to one’s inability to directly communicate with the Quran (without a translator/translation).

Improves cognitive ability

Learning a new language, without doubt, directly benefits your cognitive abilities, especially your memory. There have been various studies that have found that those who are bilingual or multilingual have greater critical thinking abilities, are better communicators and have sharper memories. Moreover, learning Arabic will open the gates to Islamic culture and further your knowledge, providing you with a more global and intercultural understanding.

Imam Baihaqi (May Allah have mercy on him) narrates that Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) said:

Learn Arabic for it strengthens the mind and enhances chivalry.”

“My Lord, increase me in knowledge.” Ameen.