The role of women in history and their contribution to nations, societies and communities seems to be a theme greatly neglected in the records of history. True to the gender bias displayed in its morphological structure, the term "history" depicts essentially the story of males. It is "his" stories which are important. Men are the dominant characters and history is essentially a depiction of "his" achievements and "his" contributions. Occasionally some of the "sisters" do become "brothers" and finds a centre place in "his story". For this, their contribution or their sacrifice must be exceptional. Yet without women, would there really have been a "history"? What this essay intends to do, is to pay tribute to the
The name Palestine elicits conflicting emotions – on the one hand Zionists lay claim to the country as being their home¬land, whilst on the other hand Palestinians and Muslims the world over long for the day when Palestinians can live in their country like normal human beings, free from the strife, and oppression they have so long endured.This series intends to enlighten and educate Muslims about the history and significance of Palestine from an Islamic perspective. This part of the series deals mainly with the early history of Palestine. Part 2 examines the rise of Zionism and its effect on Palestine and indirect¬ly on the Muslim world. The nineteenth and early twentieth century’s were peri¬ods when intense cruelty and oppres¬sion against the Muslim inhabitants in Palestine became a regular occurrence. Armed bands of Zionists turned aggres¬sively on Palestinians in their endeav¬our to establish a Jewish state.
Rise of Zionism
Theodore Herzl, a man of Jewish descent, issued a pamphlet in 1896 titled "The Jewish State". This pamphlet advocated the establishment of an autonomous Jewish state. With the assistance of the German emperor William II he traveled to Palestine to investigate the feasibility of establishing such a state in Palestine. In 1897 Theodore Herzl officially launched Zionism in Switzerland (the World Zionist Organization) as a movement for the estab¬lishment of a Jewish state. Although Zionism was not part of the doctrine of Judaism, the Zionist founders (the other founder was Chaim Weizman) used Judaism as a religious cause to promote the movement. Theodore Herzl chose Palestine above Argentine, the other option for a Jewish state.
During the early nineteen-hundreds there was a revival of political activity in Palestine and many Palestinians sat in the Ottoman Parliament as deputies. Arab newspapers clearly indicated their opposition to Zionism and Arabs actively sought to curtail land purchases in Palestine by Zionists. At that stage there were about 47 Zionist colonies established in Palestine, most of which were funded by Baron Edmund de Rothschild (a wealthy German industrialist). The population of Palestine in 1914 was as follows: 535 000 Muslims, 70 000 Christians and 85 000 Jews.
The Balfour Declaration
The First World War brought fighting, famine and epidemics to Palestine and by 1918 Palestine was occupied by Britain, despite an agreement between the British High Commissioner to Egypt, Sir Henry MacMahon and Husayn ibn Ali (emir of Makka) in 1915 in terms of which Palestine would be granted independence. The Balfour Declaration was contained in a let-ter from the British Minister of foreign Affairs to Lord Rothschild (a Zionist leader) promising support for the establishment of a "home" for Jewish people within Palestine, provided that it did not prejudice the rights of non-Jews. However, the Arabs in Palestine rejected the Declaration.
Defeat of the Ottoman Turks, The Turks entered World War 1 on the side of Germany, while the Palestinians, having been promised independence by the British, assisted the latter against Turkey. In 1920 at the San Remo Conference, Britain was given a mandate over Palestine. Britain's first High Commissioner to Palestine was Sir Herbert Samuel, an avowed Zionist.
The League of Nations issued a mandate in terms of which it favoured the establishment of a homeland for Jews in Palestine. Shortly after this announcement there were anti-Zionist riots in Palestine, which left a number of Arabs and Jews dead and injured. During this period Mahatma Gandhi had the following to say about Palestine: "Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France belongs to the French. It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs. What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct." (1938). Zionist violence against Arabs On December 13, 1947, a group of Zionist terrorists disguised themselves as members of a British Army patrol and entered the Palestinian village of Yehiday. This village was in close proximity to the first Zionist settle¬ment, Petah Tekva. Once in the village they sprayed the local coffee shop with gunfire. Grenades were also thrown at civilians. This attack resulted in the death of seven Palestinians. Earlier on that day six Palestinians were killed when homemade bombs were thrown at a crowd of Palestinians, whilst six Arabs were killed in Jaffa when a bomb was thrown at a group of civilians. Five days later two carloads of Zionist ter¬rorists drove through the village of Khisas firing machine guns and throwing hand grenades. The result of this attack was that 10 Palestinians were killed. On the first day of 1948, about 200-armed Zionists attacked the Palestinian village of AI-Sheikh, killing over 40 Palestinians. The aim of the attacks was to drive the Palestinians out of Palestine in order to make way for Jewish settlers. 1948 - a disastrous year for Palestinians
In May 1948 the British forces withdrew from Palestine and the Zionists proclaimed the state of Israel without defining its bor¬ders. Arab armies from the surrounding areas moved in to defend the Palestinians and Jordan took control of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. There were a number of massacres of Palestinians by Zionist ter¬rorists and hereunder are a few of these tragic events that occurred during 1948:
April 13 - 14: Nasser al-Din
A group of Zionists dressed as Palestinian fighters entered the village of Nasser al-Din and when the villagers came out to meet them they massacred virtually the entire vil¬lage and burnt every house to the ground.
May 21: Beit Darras Israeli terrorists attacked the village of Beit Darras, and when the women and chil¬dren fled the village they were intercepted by a group of Zionist terrorists and killed.
July 11: Dahmash Mosque Moshe Dayan (later prime minister of Israel) led a group of Israeli soldiers to a mosque where about a 100 Palestinians were seeking refuge. They attacked the mosque and everyone inside the mosque was killed. Later Dayan said it was in retal¬iation for the death of Israeli soldiers who died in a grenade attack. The bodies of the dead Palestinians were left to rot for 10 days. October 29: Dowayma. Between 80 and 100 Israeli militia killed Palestinian men, women and children in this village. The children were killed by being beaten on their heads with sticks. The adults were herded into houses and then dynamite was used to destroy the house with the occupants. 1948 was the turning point in the histo¬ry of Palestine. It ended with the displace¬ment of 750,000 Palestinians who fled the terror and their homes to neighboring Arab states, mainly Jordan (thousands also fled to Lebanon and Syria). The Israelis took control of virtually the whole of Palestine and refused to allow the refugees to return. Not only did the Palestinians lose their homes, but also their orchards, busi¬nesses and personal belongings. They
found themselves in foreign countries with no possessions or means of support. These are the circumstances under which the illegitimate state of Israel was born.
Cease-fire between Palestinians and Zionists
Although the following year, in 1949, there was a cease-fire between the Palestinians and the Zionists, Palestine was an unrecognisable entity - over a million Palestinians were forced to leave the coun¬try; Zionists controlled over 70% of Palestine; the West Bank was put under the control of Jordan; and the Gaza strip fell under the control of Egypt. The United Nations passed Resolution 194, which guaranteed the "right of return" for these refugees, but the Zionists refused to imple¬ment it. Zionist violence during the cease-fire Despite the cease-fire, in 1951 Israeli soldiers entered the village of Sharafat and killed the councilor of the area, Mukhtar and his neighbours (10 people in all were killed).
In 1956, Israeli troops attacked the village of Kibya at night. Over 700 Israeli troops took part in the attack in which mor¬tars and other explosives were used. It resulted in the destruction of 42 houses, a school and a mosque, whilst almost all the villagers were killed. 400 Palestinian farm¬ers were ambushed by Israeli troops in Kafr Qasem and murdered. It was against this background Birth of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO). In 1964 the PLO was founded by the adoption of the Palestine National Charter of 1964. The PLO or Munazzamat At-Tahrir Filastiniyah, was formed to centralize the leadership of the various Palestinian group¬ings that operated as resistance move¬ments, and is dedicated to the formation of a democratic Palestinian state. The major factions within the PLO include, Al-Fatah, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Popular Democratic front for the Liberation of Palestine.
After a number of years of relative peace and stability, Zionism reared its head as a supposed vanguard for the Jewish faith. The Zionist leadership chose Palestine above. Argentine for the establishment of a Jewish state. The state of Israel was born on the blood of Palestinians, of whom the overwhelming majority was Muslim. Zionist terrorists spared neither women nor children in their drive to wipe out any Palestinian opposition. Hundreds of Palestinian civilians were massacred in the many rural villages, and it was left to the PLO to come to the defense of the people of Palestine.. Palestinians had the choice of either being killed or fleeing their land to one of the neighboring Arab states. VA
The name Palestine elicits conflicting emotions - on the one hand Zionists lay claim to the country as being their homeland, whilst on the other hand Palestinians and Muslims the world over long for the day when Palestinians can live in their country like normal human beings, free from the strife and oppression they have so long endured. This series intends to enlighten and educate Muslims about the history and significance of Palestine from an Islamic perspective This part of the series deals mainly with the early history of Palestine.
This part of the series, which is also the last part, deals with Islam at one of its zenith periods. The Prophet (pbuh) takes part in the final pilgrimage and delivers his famous sermon on the mount. However, as with any other mortal, Muhammad (pbuh) fell ill and the consequences of this illness is dealt with in detail.
Introduction of Zakat
With the growth and development of the Islamic community in Makka, came the need for increased expenditure for the welfare of its inhabitants.
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Ibrahim, the Prophet's son
When Muhammad's son was just over a year old, he decided to live in Madinah on a more permanent basis. He spent many joyous hours playing with his son, who was a mirror-image of him. His daughter Fatimah was his only other surviving child, since his sons al Qasim and al Tahir had died earlier whilst still young, and his other daughters had also passed on. Hence his intensive relationship with these two last surviving children. The Prophet (pbuh) had with his own hands buried all his deceased children. However, Ibrahim became ill and his mother took him to a date orchard to recover. His health deteriorated rapidly and when the Prophet (pbuh) arrived to visit him on an occasion, Ibrahim died in his arms. This death devastated the Prophet (pbuh) and he cried bitterly as he uttered the following words: V Ibrahim, were the truth not certain that the last of us will join the first, we would have mourned you ever more than we do now." Shortly thereafter, Abu Bakr performed his first pilgrimage to Makka.
First large group on pilgrimage
A few years later, Abu Bakr led a large group of Muslims on pilgrimage, as the Prophet (pbuh) decided not to lead them on this occasion. Because the Muslims were still outnumbered by their enemies in Makka, the Prophet (pbuh) sent Ali ibn Abu Talib to join them in Makka and to address the Muslims whilst they were on Arafat. Whilst on Arafat, Ali ibn Abu Talib recited the opening verses of Surah al Taubah to the attending pilgrims. The essence of this message was that henceforth idol worshippers would not enter paradise and could not perform the pilgrimage.
Muhammad's last pilgrimage
After this event, a sense of peace and tranquility descended on the Arabian Peninsula, and the Prophet (pbuh) informed his followers that no one was to unsheathe their sword, except under circumstances in which they defended their community or religion from aggression. During this period Muhammad (pbuh) prepared to undertake a full pilgrimage, which was to be his final one. The Prophet (pbuh) did not as yet perform a full pilgrimage (haj), although he twice performed the lesser pilgrimage (umrah). When the Muslim population got to hear of this impending pilgrimage to be led by the Prophet (pbuh), they came in their thousands to join. From all over the Arabian Peninsula Muslims came to join this group, which eventually numbered over 100,000. Because of the large number of people that came to Madinah to join the pilgrimage, a temporary tent city was built. The Muslims gathered in love and brotherhood in the realisation that the manner of performing haj would be expounded and given substance during this event.In the 10th year of the Hiirah, the group commenced their journey to Makka after staying the night at Dhu al Hulayfah, following on the Prophet's example, everyone exchanged their garments for two pieces of white unsewn cloth for the upper and lower body. Once so dressed, and in order to express unity and equality amongst the Muslims, the Prophet (pbuh) looked up to the heavens and uttered the fol¬lowing words: "At your service, 0 God! At your service! You have no associates! At your service, 0 God! Praise be to God! Thanks be to God. At your service, 0 God! You have no associates, 0 God! At your service, 0 God!'. Whilst chanting this prayer, the multitude marched forward to Makka. Along the way they stopped to pray at every mosque in anticipation of the great day on Arafat.
Muhammad (pbuh) enters Makka
On reaching Sarif, a point about half-way to Makka, the Prophet (pbuh) ordered those persons not in possession of sacrificial animals to perform umrah, and those with such animals to perform haj. When they reached the Ka'bah, the Prophet (pbuh) walked to the Black Stone and kissed it, whereafter he circumambulated the Ka'bah seven times, performing the first three at a faster pace, almost trotting. After kissing the Black Stone again the Prophet (pbuh) went on to perform the say between Safa and Marwah. The Prophet (pbuh) then announced that those with sacrificial animals should slaughter them. Many of those accompanying the Prophet (pbuh), including his daughter Fatimah and some of his wives, did not bring along sacrificial animals and had to be satisfied with performing umrah only. When the eighth day of Dhu al Hijjah dawned, the Prophet (pbuh) and his followers spent the day and night in Mina. On the morning Muhammad (pbuh) mounted his camel and traveled to Arafat whilst the Muslims followed and recited the taibiyyah and takbir in unison. In order to protect them from the blazing heat, they erected tents on the plain of Arafat. The Prophet (pbuh) stood and prayed to Allah, and then turned to his followers and delivered the last sermon. After the sermon, the Prophet (pbuh) prayed Thu'r and Asr in conjunction and concluded with the following words: "Today I have completed for you your religion, and granted you the last of my blessings. Today I have accepted for you Islam as your religion." When Abu Bakr heard this prayer, he realised that the Prophet's life on earth was coming to an end.
Petting the symbol of Satan
The Prophet (pbuh) and his followers spent the night at Muzdalifah after leaving Arafat, and thereafter pelted the symbol of Satan with pebbles. Muhammad (pbuh) then sacrificed 63 camels, one for each year of his life, shaved his head and declared the haj over and completed. They returned to Madinah secure in the knowledge that Islam was spreading beyond the Arabian Peninsula to other parts of the world. There was relative peace as Islam's enemies finally realised that they were not going to destroy it. Islam was by now established in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Persia and Turkey. Muhammad (pbuh), and when his only surviving child, Fatimah entered the room to visit him, he would kiss her and cry whilst doing so because he knew that soon he would not be able to hold and kiss his beloved daughter. The Prophet (pbuh) instructed Aisha that all his remaining possessions, which were not many, should be given to the poor.
Fatimah, the loving daughter
Fatimah always remained close to the Prophet (pbuh) in order to comfort and care for him. Whilst Fatimah was attending to the Prophet (pbuh) one day, he whispered something in her ear, which made her cry, immediately he again whispered in her ear, after which she smiled happily. Later she related to Muhammad's companions that when the Prophet (pbuh) whispered to her that his current illness would be the cause of his death and that it would be soon, she cried bitterly. However, he then told her that she would be the first member of his family to join him after death, after which she smiled happily at the thought of joining her father after his death. At one stage it appeared as if the Prophet (pbuh) was recovering, and his companions all went back to their own homes, happily thinking that Muhammad (pbuh) was finally recovering from his illness.
Events on 8 June
On 8 June, after a visit to the mosque, the Prophet (pbuh) lay down to rest. Whilst Aisha was assisting him, Muhammad brushed his teeth. The Prophet (pbuh) who was in intense pain, lay down again, and whilst his head was on Aisha's lap, uttered the words "0, God, help me overcome the agonies of death." As Aisha took his head in her arms and placed it against her so that he could hear her heart beat, he breathed his last breath and died in her arms. Aisha put Muhammad's head on the pillow sat back to contemplate this most sad and significant death.
Umar's disbelief in the death
Umar refused to believe that the Prophet (pbuh) had died, but that like Moses, he had gone to his Lord. Many of the Muslims agreed with Umar that the Prophet (pbuh) did not die. This disbelief by so many Muslims caused confusion and anguish amongst the people. Generally the sentiment amongst the Muslims was that they did not want to believe that their beloved Prophet (pbuh) had died. When Abu Bakr heard of the confusion he went to Aisha's house to see the body of the Prophet (pbuh). He bent down to kiss his face and said, "How wholesome you are, whether alive or dead!" Although Muhammad (pbuh) had been dead for almost two days, his face looked serene and tranquil and his body emitted a wonderful odour. Now that he was sure the Prophet (pbuh) was dead, he walked to the mosque where Umar was telling still more people that Muhammad (pbuh) was not dead. Abu Bakr told Umar to remain silent and called the people to listen to him. Abu Bakr said to the crowd "0 men, if you have been worshipping Muhammad, then know that Muhammad is dead. But if you have been worshipping God, then know that God is living and never dies." Thereafter Abu Bakr recited the following verse: "Muhammad is but a prophet before whom many prophets have come and gone. Should he die or be killed, will you abjure your faith? Know that whoever abjures his faith will cause no harm to God, but God will surely reward those who are grateful to him." (Surah 3, verse 144). On hearing these words and remembering the verse that he read to them forecasting the Prophet's death, Umar and the crowd fell to the ground weeping, realising that they will not be able to enjoy the company and leadership of Muhammad (pbuh) again.
Burial of the Prophet (pbuh)
It was decided that the Prophet (pbuh) would be buried in Madinah, in the vicinity where he died. Madinah was chosen above Makka, there where the Prophet (pbuh) was born, because it was the city that gave him shelter and assistants at the time he needed it most. The inhabitants of Madinah showed love and affection for the Prophet (pbuh) when he fled there in an attempt to escape the dangers of the Quraish who wanted nothing less than to kill him. His close family, Ali ibn Abu Talib, Abbas ibn Abd Cal Muttalib, fad Quthan (last two were the sons of Abbas ibn Abd al Muttalib, uncle of the Prophet (pbuh)), and Usamah ibn Zayd, performed the ghusl on Muhammad's body. The Muslim community paid their last respects to the Prophet (pbuh) and salaah was performed for him. Muhammad (pbuh) was buried in the room where he lived his last few days, two days after he had died. When Abu Bakr and Umar died, they were buried close to the Prophet (pbuh).
Abu Bakr elected leader
Shortly after the Prophet's burial, the Al Ansar and Al Muhajirin elected Abu Bakr leader of the Muslims, after being nominated by Umar. They stated that they were convinced that Abu Bakr should be the leader since the Prophet (pbuh) also chose Abu Bakr to lead the prayers when he was not fit to do so. The Muslims accepted Abu Bakr's election generally.
Thus lived and died the greatest human being Allah has placed on earth. He left the world as he had entered it, without worldly possessions. However, the legacy he left behind was a way of life for all people to follow. He left in his legacy, the Quran and Sunnah, as guidance for all time. The world will never again be graced with the honour of a person of the calibre of Muhammad (pbuh). May Allah grant Muhammad (pbuh), his family and companions, the highest place in paradise.
This part commences with the Yathrib period, during which the building of the Prophet's (PBUH) mosque took place. Muhammad (PBUH) marries Aisha, the daughter of Abu Baler and further revelations are announced. The first battles for the preservation of Islam are briefly dealt with, whilst the personal life of the Prophet (PBUH) is followed in more detail. The controversy surrounding the allegations of infidelity against Aisha is also dealt with.
Muhammad (PBUH) marries Aisha
Once Muhammad's (PBUH) life returned to normal in Madina
This episode covers the role of the Prophet /PBUH] in the early years of Islam until the death of his uncle Abu Talib and his wife Khadija. During this period the Quraish intensified their opposition to and torment of Muhammad /PBUH], especially after the death of his protector, Abu Talib. It was during this period that members of the Quraish approached the Prophet (PBUH] to tolerate their practice of idol worshipping in exchange for monetary rewards and status.
Intensification of opposition from the QuraishMuhammad [PBUH] and Khadija contin¬ued to have a mutually
In the second part Muhammad's young life was discussed as well as his marriage to Khadija and early married life. It concluded with Muhammad receiving the message of prophethood. In this part, the early days of Islam will be examined, especially the early converts to Islam. The trials and tribulations Muhammad had to endure during this period had an important impact on the growth of conversion to Islam.
Implications of prophethoodKhadija strongly believed, even more strongly than Muhammad himself, that Muhammad was the prophet chosen to lead the people out of their disbelief. She helped him through his periods of doubt and uncertainty and comforted Muhammad so that he did not despair and lose his direction in life. During this difficult period for Muhammad she was his conscience and his guiding light, she com¬forted and advised him as to the meaning of his experiences in the cave of Hira. However, these experiences also confused Khadija and she had her own doubts about the recent events. In order to set her mind at ease she sought the advice of someone she held in high esteem — her cousin Waraqah ibn Nawfal, who had recently converted to Christianity. It was clear that she would prefer to receive advice from someone other than an idol-worshipper. After Khadija related
The first part of this series dealt with the birth and early life of the Prophet [PBUH] as well as the sad losses he suffered. The untimely death of his father robbed him of the love and protection of a mentor. Muhammad never had the opportunity of seeing his father as he died before Muhammad was born. Shortly thereafter he lost his mother and grandfather. Yet with such great losses he never lost faith in humanity - and was kind and truthful to all. He spent the first few years of his life in the desert, soaking in all the healthy elements such an environment had to offer. The second part deals with his adolescence, marriage to Khadijah and Prophet hood.
This is the first of a seven part series relating the life of the Prophet (pbuh). The first part deals with the period in Arabia immediately prior to the birth of the Prophet (pbuh) and the birth and young life of the Prophet (pbuh).Other parts in the series will deal with the different periods in his life, in historical order
PRE-ISLAMIC ERAThe prevalent religions during this period in Arabia were Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrianism. Last-mentioned religion had its origin in Persia and had a smaller following than the other two religions. The Arabian Peninsula is a very large irreg¬ularly
1652 – Arrival of first Muslims to this country. Few Malays of Batavia brought to the Cape by the Dutch.
1654 - First Muslim political prisoner arrive at the Cape.
1658 - First Mardyckers (free Muslims) arrive at the Cape from an Indonesian Island called Amboyna.
1667 - Arrival of Orang Cayen, Muslim men of wealth and influence. First to arrive were the rulers of Sumatra, Sheikh Abdurahman Matebe Sha and Sheikh Mahmood. Both now lay buried at Constantia.
1681 - The Cape became the official place of confinement for Eastern political prisoners of rank who opposed Dutch rule. From 1681 a number of princes from Macassar arrived at the Cape and housed in the stables at the Castle of Good Hope.