Yes, lets imagine a world WITHOUT MUSLIMS, shall we?
Without Muslims you wouldn’t have:
– Experimental Physics
That’s right. Cannabis, and the word ‘marijuana’ were spread around the world by Muslims.
Franz Rosenthal’s study of the use of hemp in medieval Islamic culture and its associated controversies includes catalogues of epithets drawn from the lists of medieval Muslim commentators. These include ‘the shrub of understanding’ and some still in use to this day, such as the Turkic esrar, or ‘secrets.
“Cannabis was used medicinally across the Arabic world in Roman times, applied to a wide variety of ailments (from migraines to syphilis) and as an analgesic and anesthetic. The great ninth-century Islamic physician Rhazès prescribed it widely; a contemporary, the Arab physician Ibn Wahshiyah, warned of the potential effects of hashish which he wrote was a lethal poison.”
Martin Booth Cannabis: A History, 2005 – http://www.mjic.com/cannabis-a-timeline
The Simultaneous Spread of Islam and Cannabis
Islam reached West Africa by 900 AD, almost 600 years before the beginning of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and, if not established earlier, the use of cannabis as an intoxicant likely followed the spread of Islam and Middle Eastern culture through trade. However, pre-Columbian transatlantic contacts with the Americas have been argued for with as much enthusiasm as transpacific contacts and it is possible that cannabis reached the Americas from Africa or the Mediterranean before its introduction by the Portuguese.
Arabic Origin of the Word ‘Marijuana’
Professor Victor Mair of the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations has suggested to me that the root of the word marijuana might be a Semitic loan word in Spanish, having an Arabic origin, later being imported to Mexico from Moorish Spain.
Professor Mair has identified the consonantal group mrj, pronounced something like *maraj or *mraj, as the root of the Chinese word for ‘hemp’ ma? He suggests a possible connection with the Semitic root mrr, meaning bitter, which he thinks predates the ancient Chinese *maraj or *mraj = hemp.
Although one might expect any Arabic mrj root associated with cannabis to be well attested in Medieval Spanish, associations between the herbologies of Moorish Spain, Morocco and Mexico also have been noted. Mary Austin in her foreword to Healing Herbs of the Rio Grande by L. S. M. Curtin, refers to the intrusion of the influence of the Moors, the Arab and North African conquerors of Spain, which, transferred from Spain to America, formed part of the overlapping of traditional Indian, Spanish, and Moorish lore.
The author L. S. M. Curtin himself thanks Dr. J. P. Harrington of the Bureau of Ethnology, Smithsonian Institution, for ‘proposing Morocco as a valuable source of herbal comparisons and etymologies’. He points out that the Southwest became a Spanish colony only a few generations after the Moorish hold upon most of Spain was broken and that, like many other parts of Hispanic America, ‘the Southwest felt the direct and the indirect influences of that Moorish occupation of Spain: direct, in the persons of Moorish artisans, Moorish architects, and Moorish servants, who accompanied the conquistadores and their successors to the New World; indirect, in the infusion of Moorish customs, words, and knowledge which every Spaniard brought to the Americas’.
Curtin proposes the urgent need for a thoroughgoing study of Moorish influence throughout the three Americas during the colonial period.
From Piper, Alan. “The Mysterious Origins of the Word ‘Marihuana’”. Sino-Platonic Papers (153): July 2005. Retrieved from http://www.sino-platonic.org/complete/spp153_marijuana.pdf
Islam was revealed in Arabic in the Arabian Peninsula, but what does it actually say about Arabs? What is their place in Islam and Islamic history? And does this apply to today’s modern musta’rab (Arabized people) or only to the original Arabs?
Arabs & Islamic Culture in Islamic History
Enmity to Islam
- The first opponents of Islam were Arabs. They tortured and killed Muslims, even spearing a woman- Sumayya- in her vagina.
- The people Muslims had to flee from, several times, were Arabs.
- The first army Muslims fought was an army of Arabs.
- The first munafiqeen (hypocrites) were Arabs. They pretended to be Muslims ready to fight with Prophet Muhammad, sAá&s, then betrayed him.
- The first murtadeen- renegade apostates- and false prophets were Arabs.
Enmity to Prophet Muhammad, sAá&s, and His Family
- Arabs tried to assassinate Prophet Muhammad, sAá&s, a grave sin of the Children of Israel condemned in the Qur-an many times.
- The first people to physically attack the body of Prophet Muhammad, sAá&s, were Arabs.
- The first people to belie and mock the Prophet Muhammad, sAá&s, were Arabs.
- The murderer of Ali, son-in-law of the Prophet, 4th Khalifa (Caliph), was an Arab.
- The murderers of the grandsons of the Prophet Muhammad, Hasan & Husayn, were Arabs.
Arabs & Arab Culture in the Qur-an & Prophetic Narrations (Hadith)
“So when you have accomplished your (Hajj) rituals, remember Allah as you remember your forefathers or with a greater rememberance…” (Qur-an 2.200)
This refutes a custom the Arabs had introduced into the Hajj (a pilgrimage which precedes Allah’s revelation to Muhammad). In it, they would spend hours praising their forefathers in poetry and song, an exercise in tribal pride.
Bedouin Arab Culture is Disbelief and Hypocrisy
“The wandering desert Arabs are the severest in disbelief and hypocrisy, and most likely to be ignorant of the limits which Allah hath revealed unto His messenger. And Allah is Knower, Wise.
Some of the desert Arabs look upon their payments as a fine, and watch for disasters for you: on them be the disaster of evil: for Allah is He That heareth and knoweth (all things).
But some of the desert Arabs believe in Allah and the Last Day, and look on their payments as pious gifts bringing them nearer to Allah and obtaining the prayers of the Messenger. Aye, indeed they bring them nearer (to Him): soon will Allah admit them to His Mercy: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Qur-an 9.97-99)
“He Who belongs to the Bedouin is most likely harsh and hard of heart”
[Reported by Abu Y’ala on the authority of Al-Bara’. Also by Ahmad on the authority of Abu Hurairah].
“All the following people are cursed by Muhammad (Peace be upon him) until the Day of Judgment, the man who lends money at interest (Riba), the man who accepts to pay it back at interest, the man who writes down this usurious agreement, the two witnesses of it at those times, the tattooer and the tattooed for the of beauty, the procrastinator of Zakah, whoever turns back to the Bedouin life after his immigration.”
[Reported by lbn Khuzaimah in his Sahih (No.2250), Al-Hakim (vol. 1, pp.387, 388), Al-Baihaqi (vol.9, p.19), and `Abd Al-Raziq in his Musanaf with difference in words (No.15350). It is also reported by Ahmad (No.3881), Al-Nasa’i (vol.8, p.147), and Ibn Hibban (No .3252) on the authority of Al-Harith Al-A’war]
The apostate to Bedouin life, as Ibn Al-‘Athir said, is the one who returns to desert and live with the Bedoums after his immigration. The man who returned to Bedouin life after immigration without excuse was considered an apostate.
Abu Hurairah reported in a hadith that:
“The great sins are disbelief in Allah, killing a fellow man without a just cause, devouring usury, eating up the property of orphans unjustly, turning one’s back to the disbelievers in a battlefield at the time of fighting, accusing chaste women, and to go back to the Bedouin after one’s immigration.”
[Al-Haitharni said: It is reported by Al-Bazar, vol.1, p.103]
Sahl Ibn Abi Hathamah narrated after his father that he heard the Prophet (Peace be upon him) saying:
“Avoid the great seven sins. When the Prophet saw that the people kept silent, he went on: “Won’t you ask me about them? They are: to associate partners in worship with Allah and to turn and live in the desert with Bedouin after the immigration etc.”
[Al-Haithami said: It is reported by Al-Tabarani in Al-Kabir, vol.1, p.103]
Selling Daughters and Female Wards
“And give to the women (whom you marry) their dowry with a good heart…” (Qur-an 4.4)
This bans the practice of giving dowries to the fathers of the bride, effectively ending the custom of selling daughters and buying wives against their will.
Passing Women between Brothers
O ye who believe! It is not lawful for you forcibly to inherit the women (of your deceased kinsmen), nor (that) ye should put constraint upon them that ye may take away a part of that which ye have given them, unless they be guilty of flagrant lewdness. But consort with them in kindness, for if ye hate them it may happen that ye hate a thing wherein Allah hath placed much good. (Qur-an 4.19)
The Arab custom of widows being inherited by their brother-in-law or other in-laws is banned.
Passing Wives to Sons
And marry not women whom your fathers married,- except what is past: It was shameful and odious,- an abominable custom indeed. (Qur-an 4.22)
Another Arab custom is banned.
Sexual Comparison of Wives and Mothers
If any men among you divorce their wives by Zihar, they cannot be their mothers: None can be their mothers except those who gave them birth. And in fact they use words (both) iniquitous and false: but truly Allah is one that blots out (sins), and forgives (again and again).
But those who divorce their wives by Zihar, then wish to go back on the words they uttered,- (It is ordained that such a one) should free a slave before they touch each other: Thus are ye admonished to perform: and Allah is well-acquainted with (all) that ye do.
And he who findeth not (the wherewithal), let him fast for two successive months before they touch one another; and for him who is unable to do so (the penance is) the feeding of sixty needy ones. This, that ye may put trust in Allah and His messenger. Such are the limits (imposed by Allah); and for disbelievers is a painful doom. (Qur-an 58.2-4)
Zihar, the Arab custom of divorcing a wife by saying approaching her is like approaching the back of his mother, is condemned, punished and banned.
Refutation of Blood Feuds
“O you who believe! The Law of Equality in Punishment is prescribed for you in the case of murder: the free for the free, the slave for the slave, and the female for the female.
But if the killer is forgiven by the brother (or relatives, etc.) of the killed for blood money, then adhering to it with fairness and payment of the blood-money to the heir should be done in fairness. This is an alleviation and a mercy from your Lord. So after this, whoever transgresses the limits (i.e. kills the killer after taking the blood-money), he shall have a painful torment.
And there is a saving of life for you in the Law of Equality in Punishment, O people of understanding, that you may become righteous.” (Qur-an 2.178-9)
Previously, tribes would retaliate for a murder by murdering any other member of the offending tribe, which would in turn retaliate, starting a vicious cycle of vengeance. At the time of Allah’s revelation to Muhammad, a blood feud had been running for centuries between two tribes that began with a member of one drinking from the other’s well.
Hating Females and Murdering Female Infants
“And when the female infant is asked: for what sin was she killed?… …every soul will know what it has brought (of good and evil).” (Qur-an 81.8-9, 14)
When news is brought to one of them, of (the birth of) a female (child), his face darkens, and he is filled with inward grief!
He hides himself from the people because of the evil of that which is announced to him. Shall he keep it with disgrace or bury it (alive) in the dust? Now surely evil is what they judge. (Qur-an 16.58-9)
The Arabs used to dig a hole for the mother to deliver over. If it was a girl, they would simply bury her in the hole. This is the amount of shame and inferiority that was attached to females. There is a narration in which a man once informed Prophet Muhammad that he buried his daughter alive after she was several years old. It is also reported that a man once told the Prophet that he had buried eight of his daughters alive before Islam.
Today, Arab men publicly greet each other by kissing and hugging each other multiple times, and also hold hands when they walk. Any display of affection towards a woman is generally forbidden.
Other Miscellaneous Refutations of Arab Culture and Customs
“And as such do the idols beautify for the idolaters the killing of their children, in order to lead them into their own destruction and confuse them in their religion. And if Allah Had Willed, they would not have done so. So leave them alone in their fabrications.
And they say: “What is in the bellies of these cattle is for our males alone, and forbidden to our females, but if it is born dead, the all have shares therein.” He Will Punish them for their attribution (of such evils to Himself). Verily, He Is Wise, Knowing. (Qur-an 6.137, 139)
Arabs in Islamic Prophecy
The Khawarij- extremist rebels- were and will be Arabs
Jabir b. Abdullah reported that a person came to the Messenger of Allah (SallAllah-u-Alaihi-wa-Sallam) at Ja’rana on his way back from Hunain, and there was in the clothes of Bilal some silver. The Messenger of Allah (SallAllah-u-Alaihi-wa-Sallam) took a handful out of that and bestowed it upon the people. He (the person who had met the Prophet at Ja’rana) said to him: Muhammad, do justice. He (the Holy Prophet) said: Woe be upon thee, who would do justice if I do not do justice, and you would be very unfortunate and a loser if I do not do justice. Upon this Umar b. Khattab (Allah be pleased with him) said: Permit me to kill this hypocrite. Upon this he (the Holy Prophet) said: May there be protection of Allah! People would say that I kill my companions. This man and his companions would recite the Qur’an but it would not go beyond their throat, and they swerve from it just as the arrow goes through the prey.
[Sahih Muslim: Book 005, Number 2316]
In one narration the words are:
A person among the people then sought permission (from the Holy Prophet) for his murder. According to some, it was Khalid b. Walid who sought the permission. Upon this the Messenger of Allah (SallAllah-u-Alaihi-wa-Sallam), said: From this very person’s posterity there would arise people who would recite the Qur’an, but it would not go beyond their throat; they would kill the followers of Islam and would spare the idol-worshippers. They would glance through the teachings of Islam so hurriedly just as the arrow passes through the pray. If I were to ever find them I would kill them like ‘Ad.
[Sahih Muslim: Book 005, Number 2318]
The Dajjaal* Will Resemble an Arab
*”Deceiving Anointed One”, False Messiah, Anti-Christ
No, By Allah, the Prophet did not tell that Jesus was of red complexion but said, “While I was asleep circumambulating the Ka’ba (in my dream), suddenly I saw a man of brown complexion and lank hair walking between two men, and water was dropping from his head. I asked, ‘Who is this?’ The people said, ‘He is the son of Mary.’ Then I looked behind and I saw a red-complexioned, fat, curly-haired man, blind in the right eye which looked like a bulging out grape. I asked, ‘Who is this?’ They replied, ‘He is Ad-Dajjal.’ (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 650)
In another narration:
The Prophet added, “The man he resembled most is Ibn Qatan, a man from the tribe of Khuza’a.” (Bukhari Volume 9, Book 88, Number 242)
Great Trials and Tribulations Will Come From Arabia
The Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said,
“O Allaah bestow your blessings on our Shaam [The Levant]. O Allaah bestow your blessings on our Yemen.”
The people said, “O Messenger of Allaah, and our Najd [Central Arabia or Iraq].”
I think the third time the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said, “There (in Najd) will occur earthquakes, trials and tribulations, and from their appears the Horn of Satan.”
(Reported in al-Bukhaaree [Book of Trials, Chpt. ‘The afflictions will come from the East’ 9/166 no. 214 Eng. Trans])
Narrated by Abu Huraira
Allah’s Apostle said, “The Hour will not be established till the buttocks of the women of the tribe of Daus move while going round Dhi-al-Khalasa.” Dhi-al-Khalasa was the idol of the Daus tribe which they used to worship in the Pre Islamic Period of ignorance. (Bukhari Volume 9, Book 88, Number 232)
Narrated by Abu Huraira
Allah’s Apostle said, “The Hour will not be established till a man from Qahtan appears, driving the people with his stick.” (Bukhari Volume 9, Book 88, Number 233)
Qahtan is a large tribe in the Arabian Peninsula.
“The Arab intellect turns easily to lies, delusions and burying facts, as an excercise to save its face (dignity). Thus, it never accepts defeat, neither it is apologetic.”
Salman al-Ouda is a respected Muslim scholar from the Arabian Peninsula. He is a member of the International Union for Muslim Scholars and on its Board of Trustees, and a director of the Arabic edition of the website Islam Today. He and appears on a number of TV shows and authors newspaper articles.
Aten: The Original Creator God
The mythology of the Aten, the radiant disk of the sun, is not only unique in Egyptian history, but is also one of the most complex and controversial aspects of Ancient Egypt. This term initially could be applied to any disk, including even the surface of a mirror or the moon. The term was used in the Coffin Texts to denote the sun disk, but in the ‘Story of Sinuhe‘ dating from the Middle Kingdom, the word is used with the determinative for god. In that story, Amenemhat I is described as soaring into the sky and uniting with Aten his creator. In the New Kingdom, Amenhotep I, becomes in death “united with Aten, coalescing with the one from whom he had come”.
Aten Absorbed into Egyptian Pantheon
Text written during the New Kingdom‘s 18th Dynasty frequently use the term to mean “throne” or “place” of the sun god. The word Aten was written using the hieroglyphic sign for “god” because the Egyptians tended to personify certain expressions. Eventually, the Aten was conceived as a direct manifestation of the sun god.
Amāna- ātpa (Amenhotep III, Amenophis III; “Amun is Satisfied”)- Father of Akhenaten
Prior to Amenhotep IV, the sun disk could be a symbol in which major gods appear and so we find such phrases as “Atum who is in his disk (‘aten’). However, from there it is only a small leap for the disk itself to become a god.
Sole Worship of Creator Aten Revived
It was Amenhotep IV who first initiated the appearance of the true god, Aten, by formulating a didactic name for him. Hence, in the early years of Amenhotep IV’s reign, the sun god Re-Horakhty, traditionally depicted with a hawk’s head, became identical to Aten, who was again worshipped as a god, rather than as an object associated with the sun god.
To honor his new god, Amenhotep IV constructed an enormous temple east of the Great Temple of Amun at Karnak during the third year of his reign. The temple included pillared courts with striking colossal statues of the king and at least three sanctuaries, one of which was called the Hwt-benben (‘mansion of the Benben’). This emphasized the relationship between Aten and the sun cult of Heliopolis. The Benben symbolized the primeval mound on which the sun god emerged from Nun to create the universe.
Banning Anthropomorphism & Polytheism
Amenhotep IV, who would change his name to Akhenaten to reflect Aten’s importance, first replaced the state god Amun with his newly interpreted god. The hawk-headed figure of Re-Horakhty-Aten was then abandoned in favor of the iconography of the solar disk, which was now depicted as an orb with a uraeus at its base emitting rays that ended in human hands either left open or holding ankh signs that gave “life” to the nose of both the king and the Great Royal Wife, Nefertiti.
Nefertiti Bust, a 3300-year-old painted limestone bust of the Great Royal Wife of the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten, believed to have been crafted in 1345 BC by the sculptor Thutmose.
Around the ninth year of of Akhenaten‘s reign, the name of the god Aten was once more changed. Now, all mention of Horakhty and Shu disappeared. Horakhty was replaced by the phrase, “Ruler of the Horizon”. No longer was the hawk form of the god acceptable and this image was definitively replaced with new iconography and a purer form of monotheism was introduced. Now, Aten became “the Living One, Sun, Ruler of the Horizon, who rejoices on the horizon in his name, which is Sunlight, which comes from the disk”.
Left: Akhenaten in an exaggerated form; Right: Nefertiti in a form less attractive then her Berlin Bust. Both are receiving “life” from the Aten
Aten was now considered the sole, ruling deity and celebrated its own royal jubilees (Sed-festivals).
The concept of the new god was not so much the sun disk, but rather the life giving illumination of the sun. To make this distinction, his name would be more correctly pronounced, “Yati(n)”.
Aten was now the king of kings, needing no goddess as a companion and having no enemies who could threaten him. In effect, this worship of Aten was not a sudden innovation on the part of one king, but the climax of a religious quest among Egyptians for a benign god limitless in power and manifest in all countries and natural phenomena.
After Aten ascended to the top of the pantheon, most of the old gods retained their positions at first, though that would soon change as well. Gods of the dead such as Osiris and Soker were several of the first to vanish from the Egyptian religious front.
Akhenaten‘s new religion, which inaugurated theocracy and systematic monotheism, manifest itself with two central themes surrounding light and the king. It was probably after the god’s final name change that Akhenaten ordered the closure of the temples dedicated to all other gods in Egypt. Not only were these temples closed, but in order to extinguish the memory of these gods as much as possible, a veritable persecution took place. Literal armies of stonemasons were sent out all over the land and even into Nubia, above all else, to hack away the image and name of the god Amun.
Hijrah / Exodus / Migration
In year six of his reign, Amenhotep IV became weary of Thebes and the old powerful Amun priesthood, and thus founded a new capital city in the desert valley area we now call el-Amarna (ancient Akhetaten) somewhat north of the old capital in Middle Egypt. Amenhotep IV mentions on two stelae that the priests were saying more evil things about him than they did about his father and grandfather, so from this we learn that there must have been a conflict that dated back at least to the reign of Tuthmosis IV. Luckily for the king, however, the priesthood was apparently not strong enough to curb a pharaoh’s inclinations at this point in time.
There, in his new capital of Akhetaten (‘horizon of Aten’), Aten could be worshipped without any consideration of other deities. Thus he built both a Great Aten temple in the city. Outside of Akhetaten, there appears to have also been temples dedicated to Aten at Memphis, at Sesebi in Nubia, and perhaps elsewhere during at least part of Akhenaten‘s reign.
Around the time Akhetaten was founded, Amenhotep IV changed his own birth name from Amenhotep, which may be translated as “Amun is content”, to Akhenaten, meaning “he who is beneficial to the Aten” or “illuminated manifestation of Aten”. Afterwards, the king proceeded to emphasize Aten’s singular nature above all other gods through excessively preferential treatment. Ultimately, he suppressed all other deities.
Monotheistic Hymn- Revealed Scripture?
But indeed, Akhenaten‘s new creed could be summed up by the formula, “There is no god but Aten, and Akhenaten is his prophet”. The hymn known as the “Sun Hymn of Akhetaten” offers some theological insight into this newly evolved god. Scholars have noted a similarity between the hymn and Biblical Psalm 104, although the distinct parallels between the two are usually interpreted simply as indications of the common literary heritage of Egypt and Israel.
Head of colossal statue of Akhenaten; Karnak; Aten Temple;
Inscribed in thirteen long lines, the essential part of the poem is a hymn of praise for Aten as the creator and preserver of the world. Within it, there are no allusions to traditional mythical concepts, since the names of other gods are absent. Hence, it should be noted that, unlike other supreme gods of Egypt, Aten did not always absorb the attributes of other gods. His nature was entirely different.
The hymn abounds with descriptions of nature and with the position of the king in the new religion. Irregardless of the existence of a priesthood devoted to Aten, only to Akhenaten had the god revealed itself, and only the king could know the demands and commandments of Aten,
Ahl al-Bayt: The people of the prophet’s family
However, while the hymn seems to provide exclusive rights to the Aten only to the king, his family appears to have been included within this inner circle. The new myths of the religion were filled with the ruler’s family history and it is not surprising that the faithful of the Amarna period prayed in front of private cult stelae that depicted the royal “holy” family.
Resistance to Monotheism
Aten had to be forced on the Egyptian people, and outside of Akhetaten (and really even there) and the official state religion, Aten never replaced all the traditional Egyptian gods. In effect, among the common Egyptians, if anything, the situation created a religious vacuum which was unstable from the beginning. And while it is clear that the elite of Akhetaten certainly paid respect to Aten, there is no real evidence for personal individual worship of the god on the part of the ordinary Egyptians whose only access to the god was through the medium of the king. On the contrary, at even the workers village in eastern Amarna, there has been unearthed numerous amulets of traditional gods, as well as some small private chapels probably dedicated to ancestor worship but showing no traces of the official religion.
A painted ivory relief of a royal child picking grapes. Amarna period, New Kingdom, Egypt
Soon after the death of Akhenaten, his capital was dismantled, as was his religion. Aten was removed from the Egyptian pantheon, and Akhenaten as well as his family and religion, were now the focus of prosecution. Their monuments were destroyed, together with related inscriptions and images. While the Aten did continue to be worshipped for some period after Akhenaten’s death, the god soon fell into obscurity.
- Akhenaten: King of Egypt, Aldred, Cyril, 1988, Thames and Hudson Ltd, ISBN 0-500-27621-8
- Amarna Letters, Forbes, Dennis C., 1991, KMT Communications, ISBN 1-879388-03-0
- Ancient Gods Speak, The: A Guide to Egyptian Religion, Redford, Donald B., 2002, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-515401-0
- Art and History of Egypt, Carpiceci, Alberto Carlo, 2001, Bonechi, ISBN 88-8029-086-x
- Chronicle of the Pharaohs (The Reign-By-Reign Record of the Rulers and Dynasties of Ancient Egypt), Clayton, Peter A., 1994, Thames and Hudson Ltd, ISBN 0-500-05074-0
- Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt, The, Wilkinson, Richard H., 2003, Thames & Hudson, LTD, ISBN 0-500-05120-8
- Conceptions of God in Ancient Egypt: The One and the Many, Hornung, Erik, 1971, Cornell University Press, ISBN 0-8014-8384-0
- Dictionary of Ancient Egypt, The, Shaw, Ian; Nicholson, Paul, 1995, Harry N. Abrams, Inc., Publishers, ISBN 0-8109-3225-3
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- Egyptian Religion, Morenz, Siegfried, 1973, Cornell University Press, ISBN 0-8014-8029-9
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- Thebes in Egypt: A Guide to the Tombs and Temples of Ancient Luxor, Strudwick, Nigel & Helen, 1999, Cornell University Press, ISBN 0 8014 8616 5
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Dhul-Kifl Means “Man from Kapil”
The mid-twentieth century scholar, Hamid Abdul Qadir, in hisBuddha the Great: His Life and Philosophy (Arabic: Budha al-Akbar Hayatoh wa Falsaftoh), postulates that the Prophet Dhu’l-Kifl, meaning “the one from Kifl,” mentioned twice in the Quran (Al-Anbiya 85 and Sad 48) as patient and good, refers to Shakyamuni Buddha. Although most scholars identify Dhu’l-Kifl with the Prophet Ezekiel, Qadir explains that “Kifl” is the Arabicized form of Kapila, short for Kapilavastu. Although the truths that Buddha realized under the fig tree are not described as revelation, later great Buddhist masters have received revelations of sacred texts, such as Asanga in fourth century India directly from Maitreya in Tushita, the Heaven Filled with Joy.
In the list of prophets who are specifically mentioned in Islamic sources, there are certain names which do not seem to belong to the prophets of Israel. Many commentators therefore are inclined to believe that they are non-Arab prophets who are included in the list just for the sake of representation of the outer world. For instance, Dhul-Kifl is one name in the list of prophets which is unheard of in the Arab or Semitic references. Some scholars seem to have traced this name to Buddha, who was of Kapeel, which was the capital of a small state situated on the border of India and Nepal. Buddha not only belonged to Kapeel, but was many a time referred to as being ‘Of Kapeel’. This is exactly what is meant by the word ‘Dhul-Kifl’. It should be remembered that the consonant ‘p’ is not present in Arabic, and the nearest one to it is ‘fa’. Hence, Kapeel transliterated into Arabic becomes Kifl.”
Fig Tree is Bodhi Tree of Enlightenment
He also proposes that the Qur’anic mention of the fig tree (At-Tin 1-5) refers to Buddha as well, since he attained to enlightenment at the foot of one. Some scholars accept this theory and, as supportfor this position, point out that the eleventh-century Persian Muslim scholar of Indian history, al-Biruni, referred to Buddha as a Prophet. Others dismiss this last piece of evidence and explain that al-Biruni was merely describing that people in India regarded Buddha as a prophet.
Maitreya means Prophet
Some scholars associate the prophesied future Buddha Maitreya, the Loving or Merciful One, with the Prophet Muhammad as the servant of the Merciful One.
Buddhists as People of the Book
Buddha’s attainment and his teachings of techniques for others to achieve the same are known in Sanskrit as “Dharma,” literally “preventive measures.” They are measures to take and methods to follow in order to avoid causing oneself and others suffering. Starting in the second century BCE, Buddha’s discourses on them that had been transmitted orally up until then were written down in the form of scriptural texts. In present-day Uzbekistan and northern Afghanistan, where the Arabs first encountered Buddhists, the versions of these texts most widely available were in Old Turk and Sogdian translation. In these languages, the word Dharma was translated as nom, a loan word from Greek, meaning “law.”
The Quran taught tolerance for the religions of “people of the Book,” which referred to Christianity and Judaism. When the Arabs encountered Buddhism, then although its followers were not strictly “people of the Book,” nevertheless they were granted the same status and rights as the Christians and Jews under their rule. They were allowed to follow their religion, provided the laypeople among them paid a poll-tax. Thus, the legal concept of “People of the Book” seems to have been widened to include those who followed a set of ethical principles of higher authority.
COME in alone
you’ll love to let go
and i turn you around
when you’re allready down
WHY, I don’t need
to believe what you see
to look up and around
you would offer me doubt
to break down
FEEL: I’m alive
you will see more and why
for i cried over all
and i got through them all
walls, just fall
CAUGHT in a lull?
you’ll love to let go
and i’ll turn you around
when your hope’s feeling drowned,
Pit Of Grief
“Allah’s Messenger (سيدنا محمد ﺻﻠﯽ الله ﺗﻌﺎﻟﯽٰ ﻋﻠﯿﮧ ﻭﺍٓﻟﮧ ﻭﺳﻠﻢ) said: ‘Seek refuge in Allah against the pit of grief.’ The Companions asked, ‘Allah’s Messenger, what is the pit of grief?’ He replied, ‘It is a river in Hell against which even Hell seeks refuge four hundred times a day.’ They again asked, ‘Allah’s Messenger, who will enter it?’ He remarked, ‘It has been prepared for reciters of the Quran desiring to show off their deeds. The most detestable of the reciters in the sight of Allah are those who frequently visit the rulers (for worldly ends).’” [Ibn Majah – Sahih]
This hadith tells us the punishment prepared for the one who sells religion to secure worldly benefit. There are two acts that reciters of the Quran (i.e. scholars of Islam) are specifically warned against, but that also apply to all other Muslims:
1. Showing off knowledge of Islam or one’s good deeds.
2. Visiting rulers.
The responsibility on the shoulders of one who visits the people in power is great. They must enjoin them to do good, i.e. implement Islam. They must also warn them to refrain from evil, i.e. un-Islamic practices and policies. The reason for being warned against visiting the rulers and political leadership is that in one’s desire to please them many will not be honest in assessing their deeds.
Muslims, especially scholars, who compromise the teachings of Islam, to make it more palatable, lose their religion. Therefore, whatever ‘benefit’ comes at the cost of making well known the true teachings of Islam, is no benefit at all. It will cause the person to burn painfully in Hell for an extremely long time. We must purify our intentions and seek Islam for a better Hereafter and not to show off with it. And we must never use it to gain power, contacts, wealth, or recognition. We must flee from such sins with the speed of one who has mad dogs chasing him/her.
At the time of the Abbasid Khalifa Al-Mansur, Imam Abu Hanifa was offered the position of “Qadhi-ul-Qudaat” (Chief Justice/Judge of the Islamic State). This was a most honoured position at the side of the Khalifa, along with a handsome salary. Imam Abu Hanifa declined to accept the post, fearing to be influenced by the ruler and used as a rubber stamp to endorse his actions whatever they may be. Imam Abu Hanifa preferred to continue selling cloth to earn his living than compromise his Islam.
Al-Mansur was so enraged that he had the Imam thrown into prison. Time and again Imam Abu Hanifa was dragged before Al-Mansur and asked to accept the post of Qadhi-ul-Qudaat. But Imam Abu Hanifa refused every time even though he was starved, flogged and paraded in the market for his defiance. The great Imam eventually died in prison in 150 A.H. (767 CE) rather than serve the ends of the ruler of the day.
Similar was the stance and persecution that our other great Imams such as Ahmed Ibn Hanbal, Malik Ibn Anas and many others faced, because true understanding of Islam does not allow a person to lie about Allah’s religion. Such was the example of our pious predecessors and is the example of a few pious people that Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) has also blessed our times with. Unfortunately, the majority of scholars today, especially those promoted in the media, have sold their services to the highest bidder, to issue fatwas (religious rulings) and recommendations that serve the purposes of their paymasters.