Sunday, January 23, 2011

(8) The Language Of The Qur'an.

By Sodium

As it is well known, that the language of the Qur'an is the Arabic language. What is unknown to a large number of people, world wide, that the written Arabic language of the Qur'an is so beautifully mesmerizing as it is chanted by a beautiful voice. Because of this fact, one may encounter a problem in deciding whether or not to consider the language of the Qur'an as classical Arabic, or may be just some form of rhythmic poetry or may be just a beautiful Arabic prose.

Although lengthy discussions can be initiated and facilitated by various and different opinions by those who, as the writer of this article, are fascinated by the beauty of the language in which the Holy Qur'an is written, there is no need to burden those who wish to learn the fundamentals about Islam, for the sole purpose of enhancing their common and broad knowledge. But to give the possible conclusions that one may reach after reviewing the lengthy discussions about the written language of the Qur'an, it is prudent and wise to simply remember the following conclusions reached by the writer of this essay:

~ The written Language of the Holy Qur'an is NOT classical Arabic.

~ The written language of the Holy Qur'an is NOT Arabic poetry.

~ The written language of the Holy Qur'an is NOT Arabic prose.

~ The written language of the Holy Qur'an IS QUR'ANIC ARABIC, meaning: no other forms of the Arabic language and its various and great literatures fit to frame the written language of the Holy Qur'an in any one of them.

Please note that the writer of this essay used the world "Holy" repeatedly in the foregoing. That has been done deliberately for support in making the following comments:

* Moses had changed part of the Red Sea into land to save his people from slaughter. That was a miracle made by Moses.

* Jesus Christ had made the blind see, had healed people with leprosy and even revived Lazarus from his death. These are miracles made by Jesus Christ..

* The Prophet Muhammad had not done miracles similar to what Jesus and Moses did. But Muhammad's miracle is, indeed, the fascinating Qur'an whose language is mesmerizing when it is chanted collectively by a group of prayers, or singularly by an Imam or Mua'zen like Bilal, first Mua'zen in Islam. Because of that and all of the above outline, the use of the word " Holy " in describing the Qur'an has become fully and fairly justified, since the written language of the Qur'an sounds so divine.

If the reader who reads this article remembers the foregoing outline about the written language of the Qur'an, he or she would achieve a degree of enlightenment that others lacked.

One more point to remember is the following important point:

In the opinion of the writer of this essay, the written QUR'ANIC ARABIC IS UN-TRANSLATABLE, in spite of the fact it has already been translated into so many languages. In order to understand the essence of Islam CORRECTLY, profound knowledge of the Arabic language is an empirical pre-requisite. There is no other way out of this pre-requisite. Period.

Monday, January 3, 2011

(7) Muhammad's Triumphant Return To Mecca.

By Sodium

Islam instructs all Muslims to be kind to fellow human beings. However, if attacked,self-defense becomes imperative and the Muslims should fight back with all force they might be able to muster.

Although the Muslims fled Mecca and left all their possessions behind and were confiscated by the Pagans of Mecca, the intent of the Qurayishi Pagans remain the same: they still wanted to kill the Prophet Muhammad and slaughter his followers. Muhammad had to reciprocate by planning " ghazos ",meaning " raids " against the Qurayshi caravans that travelled to Syria and other surrounding regions of Arabia, where commerce was an integral part of their way of life. The following three " ghazos ",meaning, " raids "  were mentioned frequently in Arab history books:

* The Battle of Badr.
* The Battle of Auhud.
* The Battle of Mu'atah.

The first two battles took place in Arabia, against the caravans of the Qurayshis who wanted to kill him. Mu'atah was fought by some of Muhammad's followers in southern Jordan against the Byzantiun Romans. The Muslims won the first battle, Badr, but lost the other two.

What was going on was a tet for tat kind of military warfare that was ended when both parties, the Meccan power elites and Muhammad agreed to a truce called Hudaybiyyah. The Romans were taken care of later on, after Muhammad's death by the First and Second Caliphs Abu Bakr Alsidiq and Omar ibn Al-Khattab, respectively.

The points of the Truce of Hudaybiyyah were three:

~ No more hostilities between the Pagans of Mecca and the Muslims of Medina.
~ Muslims who wish to make the pilgrimage to Ka'aba, the holy site built by the Prophet Abraham and his son Ishmael, in Mecca,they might do so, beginning in the next year.
~ Muslims in Medina will extradite back to Mecca any Meccan who leaves Mecca without the consent of his or her protector.

The Muslim followers of Muhammad initially thought that their Prophet had made a mistake in agreeing to the terms of the truce of Hudaybiyyah, but later on realized he had done the right things. Reasons:

#  For the first time he was considered by the power elites of Mecca their equal, not someone whom they wanted to slay and slaughter his Muslim followers as well.
#  Free from military activities would help all Muslims to prepare better for the future.
#  The Prophet Muhammad had gained a great deal of admiration amongst the people of Mecca since he recognized the importance of the pilgrimage to Ka'aba, in a sense similar to theirs, and at the same time told them: " I have my religion and you have yours ", which implied that he did not believe in the conversion to his religion by a forceful manner.

All of the foregoing were merely a prelude to Muhammad's Triumphant Return To Mecca. Add to that that during his preaching activities in the 10 years he spent living in Medina, the number of Muslims increased exponentially.

The Truce of Hudaybiyyah lasted for two years. Now, the Prophet Muhammad could assemble more than 10,000 Muslims strong ready to back him up and defend Islam, if necessary. Unfortunately, the Truce of Hudaybiyyah broke down after two years, because of the following bloodshed that took place between the following Jewish Arab tribes:

- The Jewish tribe of Banu Khuza'a which had good relation with the Prophet Muhammad.
- The Jewish tribe of Banu Bakr which had an alliance with the Meccans.

Banu Bakr had made a night raid against Banu Khuza'a, slaughtering a few of them. The Meccans helped Banu Bakr in weapons and took part in the fighting. As the details of this bloody event unfolded, the Prophet Muhammad sent a message to the Meccans, asking them to choose one of the following conditions:

+ Pay blood money for those who were slain of the Banu Khuza'a.
+ Declare no responsibility of what the Banu Bakr had done.
+ Declare the Truce of Hudaybiyyah null.

The Meccans replied that they would accept only the last condition: Declaring The Truce of Hudaybiyyah null. Later on, the Meccans realized that their reply was a mistake. They sent Abu Sufian, one of their powerful men, to Muhammad to renew the Truce of Hudaybiyyah, but now Muhammad declined to accept Abu Sufian's request.

So it was in 629 the Prophet Muhammad organized more than 10,000 Muslims strong and marched on to Mecca. With hardly any resistance, he entered Mecca with his Muslims followers triumphantly and peacefully. Mecca whose Pagans inhabitants attempted for years to kill him and destroy his new religion had become now under his full control.

The first order of business done by Muhammad was declaring amnesty for past offenses. The second order of business was destroying all the Pagans' idols in Ka'aba and making it a holy place to the Muslims who were considered decedents of Ishmael, the oldest son of the Prophet Abraham whom the Muslims considered one of them.

Finally, most Meccans became Muslims. The influence of Mecca was extremely great in Arabia. It was a commercial hub for all tribes in Arabia. It was a gem for those who ran it. Now it is under Islamic control. As a result, all Arabia became Islamic in characteristic and no more Pagans worshipping so many idols as gods or goddesses could be found in Arabia.

Shortly after the Prophet Muhammad had made his last welfare pilgrimage to Ka'aba, (perhaps in 632 ), and retrurn to Medina, he became ill,and died shortly later in the lap of his wife Ai'asha, after asking her to distribute the few possessions he had to the poor. He was 63 year old when he died.

His achievement has been great, indeed. He changed Arabia from a tribal society, living in a tribal warfare system, tribes fighting one another over a well of water or grazing rights for their domestic animal and their harsh deserts provided them with little to sustain their lives. Hence, the first two Caliphs who ruled Arabia after the death of the Prophet wanted Arabia to remain united. One way, they thought, could accomplish that was to see what the Arabs could do outside Arabia, so that they would not go back to their tribal warfare, as they practiced it before the appearance of Islam. It is a myth to think of the Arab conquests of the old world was to spread Islam. It was not. The conquests were manifestations of some sort of imperialism. That was the case with the human nature since the time of Alexander the Great, Roman empire, Persian empire, Arab empire, Ottoman empire, British empire, French empire, Soviet empire, and now the Great American empire consisting of 737 military bases across the globe. Nothing has changed in the fundamentals of the human nature. Nothing has changed, indeed.