Prophet Muhammad’s Letter To The Monks Of St. Catherine Monastery

In 628 C.E. Prophet Muhammad (s) granted a Charter of Privileges to the monks of St. Catherine Monastery in Mt. Sinai. It consisted of several clauses covering all aspects of human rights including such topics as the protection of Christians, freedom of worship and movement, freedom to appoint their own judges and to own and maintain their property, exemption from military service, and the right to protection in war.

An English translation of that document is presented below.

This is a message from Muhammad ibn Abdullah, as a covenant to those who adopt Christianity, near and far, we are with them.

Verily I, the servants, the helpers, and my followers defend them, because Christians are my citizens; and by
Allah! I hold out against anything that displeases them.
No compulsion is to be on them.

Neither are their judges to be removed from their jobs nor their monks from their monasteries.

No one is to destroy a house of their religion, to damage it, or to carry anything from it to the Muslims’ houses.
Should anyone take any of these, he would spoil God’s covenant and disobey His Prophet. Verily, they are my allies and have my secure charter against all that they hate.

No one is to force them to travel or to oblige them to fight.The Muslims are to fight for them. If a female Christian is married to a Muslim, it is not to take place without her approval. She is not to be prevented from visiting her church to pray.

Their churches are to be respected. They are neither to be prevented from repairing them nor the sacredness of their covenants.No one of the nation (Muslims) is to disobey the covenant till the Last Day (end of the world).

 

Source: Internet

“Iqbal” Synonym for World Peace!

“IQBAL “   Synonym for world peace

 

Dr.Sir Muhammad Iqbal, also known as Allama Iqbal was a philosopher, poet and politician in British India who was born on 9 November 1877 and died on 21th April 1938. He is considered as one of the most important figures in Urdu literature, with literary work in both Urdu and Persian languages. He was also called as Muslim philosophical thinker of modern times. Iqbal is known as Shair-e-Mushriq meaning (Poet of the East.) He is also called Muffakir-e-Pakistan (“The Inceptor of Pakistan”) and Hakeem-ul-Ummat (“The Sage of the Ummah”). In Iran and Afghanistan he is famous as Iqbāl-e Lāhorī or Iqbal of Lahore, and he is most appreciated for his Persian work. Pakistan Government had recognised him as its “national poet.He has different literary and narrative works. His first poetry book, Asrar-e-Khudi, appeared in the Persian language in 1915, and other books of poetry include Rumuz-i-Bekhudi, Payam-i-Mashriq and Zabur-i-Ajam. Amongst these his best known Urdu works are Bang-i-Dara, Bal-i-Jibril, Zarb-i Kalim and a part of Armughan-e-Hijaz and also Pas che bayad kard.He had series of lectures in different educational institutions that were later on published by Oxford press as ‘’the Reconstruction of Islamic religious thoughts in Islam’’. Iqbal was influenced by the teachings of Sir Thomas Arnold, his philosophy teacher at Government college Lahore, Arnold’s teachings determined Iqbal to pursue higher education in West. In 1905, he travelled to England for his higher education. Iqbal qualified for a scholarship from Trinity College in Cambridge and obtained Bachelor of Arts in 1906, and in the same year he was called to the bar as a barrister from Lincoln’s Inn. In 1907, Iqbal moved to Germany to study doctorate and earned PhD degree from the Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich in 1908. Working under the guidance of Friedrich Hommel, Iqbal published his doctoral thesis in 1908 entitled: The Development of Metaphysics in Persia. During his study in Europe, Iqbal began to write poetry in Persian. He prioritized it because he believed he had found an easy way to express his thoughts. He would write continuously in Persian throughout his life. Iqbal, after completing his Master of Arts degree in 1899, initiated his career as a reader of Arabic at Oriental College and shortly was selected as a junior professor of philosophy at Government College Lahore, where he had also been a stundent; Iqbal worked there until he left for England in 1905. In 1908, Iqbal returned from England and joined again the same college as a professor of philosophy and English literature. At the same period Iqbal began practicing law at Chief Court Lahore, but soon Iqbal quit law practice, and devoted himself in literary works and became an active member of Anjuman-e-Himayat-e-Islam. In 1919, he became the general secretary of the same organisation. Iqbal’s thoughts in his work primarily focus on the spiritual direction and development of human society, centred around experiences from his travels and stays in Western Europe and the Middle East. He was profoundly influenced by Western philosophers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Henri Bergson and Goethe.

The poetry and philosophy of Maulana Rumi bore the deepest influence on Iqbal’s mind. Deeply grounded in religion since childhood, Iqbal began intensely concentrating on the study of Islam, the culture and history of Islamic civilization and its political future, while embracing Rumi as his guide.

Iqbal had a great role in Muslim political movement. Iqbal had remained active in the Muslim League. He did not support Indian involvement in World War I, as well as the Khilafat movement and remained in close touch with Muslim political leaders such as Maulana Mohammad Ali and Muhammad Ali Jinnah. He was a critic of the mainstream Indian National Congress, which he regarded as dominated by Hindus and was disappointed with the League when during the 1920s, it was absorbed in factional divides between the pro-British group led by Sir Muhammad Shafi and the centrist group led by Jinnah.

Ideologically separated from Congress Muslim leaders, Iqbal had also been disillusioned with the politicians of the Muslim League owing to the factional conflict that plagued the League in the 1920s. Discontent with factional leaders like Sir Muhammad Shafi and Sir Fazl-ur-Rahman, Iqbal came to believe that only Muhammad Ali Jinnah was a political leader capable of preserving this unity and fulfilling the League’s objectives on Muslim political empowerment. Building a strong, personal correspondence with Jinnah, Iqbal was an influential force in convincing Jinnah to end his self-imposed exile in London, return to India and take charge of the League. Iqbal firmly believed that Jinnah was the only leader capable of drawing Indian Muslims to the League and maintaining party unity before the British and the Congress:

In his presidential address on December 29, 1930, Iqbal outlined a vision of an independent state for Muslim-majority provinces in north-western India, “I would like to see the Punjab, North-West Frontier Province, Sind and Baluchistan amalgamated into a single state. Self-government within the British Empire, or without the British Empire, the formation of a consolidated Northwest Indian Muslim state appears to me to be, at least of Northwest India.

Iqbal was the first patron of the historical, political, religious, cultural journal of Muslims of British India. This journal played an important part in the Pakistan movement. The name of this journal is The Journal Tolu-e-Islam. Iqbal wrote two books on the topic of The Development of Metaphysics in Persia and The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam and many letters in English language, besides his Urdu and Persian literary works. In which, he revealed his thoughts regarding Persian ideology and Islamic Sufism – in particular, his beliefs that Islamic Sufism activates the searching soul to a superior perception of life. He also discussed philosophy, God and the meaning of prayer, human spirit and Muslim culture, as well as other political, social and religious problems.

Iqbal’s views on the Western world were applauded by men including United States Supreme Court Associate Justice William O. Douglas, who said that Iqbal’s beliefs had “universal appeal”.In his Soviet biography N. P. Anikoy wrote, “(Iqbal is) great for his passionate condemnation of weak will and passiveness, his angry protest against inequality, discrimination and oppression in all forms i.e., economic, social, political, national, racial, religious, etc., his preaching of optimism, an active attitude towards life and man’s high purpose in the world, in a word, he is great for his assertion of the noble ideals and principles of humanism, democracy, peace and friendship among peoples.

Iqbal on Peace and Youth:

Iqbal says in Khutb-e-Allahbad:  A community which is inspired by feelings of ill will towards other communities is low and ignoble. I entertain the highest respect, for the customs, laws religious and social institutions of other communities. Nay! It is my duty According to the teachings of the Holy Quran, Even to defend their places of worship if need be.

One should also not forget these lines from Javid Nama,

“Hafay badrah, berlaba Gurdan khata ast, Kafiro Moomin, Hamay khalqay khuda ast, Aadmiyat,Atheraamaye aadmi, baa khabar shu,az maqami aadmi.Banday’e Ishq az Kkhuda gerreat Tareeq,  Me shaved ber Kafir’o momin shafeeq.”

javid nama

 

urdu

The themes of his poetry were of great importance and still they are regarded as a great source of inspiration. His concept of “Self” (khudi) is based on the concept of self-realization which integrates all the known facts of the universe into single unity, and this single unity is the concept of God. His concept of self-realization is not merely based on Divine power, rather he highlighted that in order for us to seek the truth of our existence; proper training, experiences and education plays a vital role.

paray

 

His philosophies promoted the social norms and values and in order to progress social interaction is very much important.
“Individual exists by virtue of his social contacts. He is nonentity without that association. He is like a wave in the river and has no existence outside it.”

Iqbal was very much aware of the Importance of “education”, and according to him education is the sole of human being which creates selflessness and generosity. He focused on the youth’s education because he knew that youth would hold the future, and without the intellect and proper education future would all be murky and gloomy for Muslims. He asserted:

“Arts and sciences O lively and eager youth,
Requires a keen intellect not Western clothes
What is needed in this quest is Vision?
Not this or that particular head-dress.
If you have a subtle intellect and a discriminating mind they would suffice to guarantee success.”

Iqbal addressed Muslim youth in his poetry by calling them “Shaheen” because,

Shaheen has 5 characteristics that Allama Iqbal wanted to see in the youth

Lofty Flight (Buland Parwaaz)
Strong Vision and Sight (Taez Nigah)
Preference for Seclusion (Khilwat Pasand)
Does not settle itself in a permanent and single dwelling/nest (Ashiana nahin banata)
Does not feed on someone else’s pray (Kissi aur ka Shikaar nahin kahata)

So, the positive attitude and critical thinking of youth held the utmost importance to him.

Though we all admire the poetry of Iqbal, but are we still following his notions? Well, maybe or maybe not, but I guess “maybe not” is more accurate.  His concepts of “selflessness”, “unity” are disappearing or maybe they have already disappeared long ago. The turmoil and chaos which we are facing is the result of disarray prevailing in the society. As per the message of IQBAL, no nation can flourish without firm unity. Lack of education and co-existence is the main culprit that is creating fuss in the society and by educating our individuals we can surly make our kashmir a better place to live and I am quite hopeful that Insha’Allah we will make kashmir a place where we can eliminate the difference between people. We ought to have a critical thinking and we ought to think about the present of kashmir and prepare ourselves for the coming future.

Iqbal died on 21st  April 1938 due to severe throat infection that lasted for long till his death. He will be remembered for good.
(Aasmaan teri lahad per shabnam afshaani kare
Sabza e noorasta is ghar ki nigeh baani kare)

Some link and Couplets of Allama Sahib.

 

koi

coup

 

Arise and tune the harp of brotherhood,Give us back the cup of the wine of love!

Bring once more days of peace to the world,Give a message of peace to them that seek battle!

Mankind are the cornfield and thou the harvest,Thou art the goal of Life’s caravan.

The leaves are scattered by Autumn’s fury:Oh, do thou pass over our gardens as the Spring!

Receive from our downcast browsThe homage of little children and of young men and old!It is to thee that we owe our dignityAnd silently undergo the pains of life.

 

Youtube links about Allama sahib (MaulanaTariq Jameel defines him “The Great Urdu peot”)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNvJJV346wo

Dr.Israr ahmad about Allama Sahib

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfhuBijalcQ

dua 1

dua 2

dua3

( Thanks to Zaffar Khaleel, Iqra Najeeb)

Special Thanks to Sir, Dr.Javid Iqbal.

 

 

“Muzamil Maqbool is a Peace Educator and Life-Skills Specialist  at Various.”

 

 

Viva! Kashmir

                                                     Viva Kashmir

Brief History

Kashmir has been victimized always. From Buddhists rulers to Hindu kings to the current government, Kashmir has only seen bloodsheds. One can easily turn the pages of history back and see how Kashmiris have suffered by the hands of Buddhists and Hindu rulers. Changes only came when shah Hamadan R.A came to visit the Kashmir 2nd time and saw many people who had accepted Islam through him and Bul-Bul Shah R.A are going back to their religion in the evening. Those days Buddhists preachers used to sit under a tree (Mainly chinar) to preach Buddhism every evening. When shahi-Hamdan asked people for the reason, people replied that we have become Muslims but our stomach is still a Buddhist. This was happening because they (Kashmiri people) used to work all day in the Buddhist lands to earn their livelihood and for that their owner used to threat them if they turn to Islam their lands will be grabbed back and they will no longer have anything to eat. This was  also the time entire world was into arts and crafts revolution and its head quarter was in  middle east. People all over the world were quite interested into wood carving, pashmina, carpet, rugs, silk and other handmade items. SHAH hamdan  first purchased all the land from Buddhist ruler starting from Srinagar to tral, baramulla, ladakh and so on. He then introduced various skills in arts and crafts where in people would feel independent and do a free trade. He also made exhibitions and trade fair so that Kashmir would come into world map of arts and crafts. This was the thinking of a shah who never wanted to rule the people, who never wanted to grab their lands and resources but he had always boosted the economy of Kashmir.  This created peace, brotherhood and then livelihood became an easiest way for everyone. Time changed and Kashmir moved on. I really don’t want to go into non significant history of how sheikh Abdullah had accession with India, how article 370 was included into Indian constitution in the year 1950 and how sheikh Abdullah became Chief Minister from the portfolio of Kashmir’s prime minister and slowly accepted j&k as an integral part of india. So history tells us not everyone satisfies his greed but few of them sacrifice their needs as shah hamdan R.A did. He spent billions for Kashmiris  but never threatened or forced anyone to accept Islam. According to records, SHAH Hamadan R.a converted 5, 00000 Buddhists and Hindus to  Muslims and not a single drop of blood was spilled over it. Though he had many serious religious discussions with the then Shia Ruler Yusuf Shah Chek who oncefailed to compete and then requested Government  of Iran to send his best ullamas  for a debate with SHAH-Hamadan R.A and 700 Aalims(Islamic preachers) with came with the shah-hamdan R.A

Tehreek

From the last 25 years Kashmir has witnessed unrest which is commonly known as (Tehreek) This agitation rose up in the year 1990 or before but we have many cases before 1990’s where in groups of many people have crossed over border to Pakistan to get trained by them.

Let us throw some light on this kashmir conflict between india and pakistan

The Kashmir conflict is a territorial conflict between india and pakistan which started just after partition in india. India and Pakistan have fought three wars over Kashmir, including the indo pakistan wars of 1947, 1965 and 1999. Furthermore, since 1984 the two countries have also been involved in several skirmishes  over control of siachen Glacier. India claims the entire state of j&k and as of 2010, administers approximately 43% of the region, including most of jammu, the kashmir valley, ladakh and the saichen galicier . India’s claims are contested by Pakistan, which administers approximately 37% of Kashmir, namely azad kashmir and the northern areas of Gilgit Baltistan.

The root of conflict between the Kashmiri insurgents and the Indian Government is tied to a dispute over local autonomy. Democratic development was limited in Kashmir until the late 1970s and by 1988 many of the democratic reforms provided by the Indian Government had been reversed. Non-violent channels for expressing discontent were thereafter limited and caused a dramatic increase in support for insurgents advocating violent secession from India. In 1987, a disputed state election created a catalyst for the insurgency when it resulted in some of the state’s legislative assembly members forming armed insurgent groups. In July 1988 a series of demonstrations, strikes and attacks on the Indian Government began the Kashmir Insurgency.

This Tehreek had many phases where in various militant outfits had internal conflict over freedom or accession with Pakistan. Kashmir witnessed losing more than one lac people mainly youth since 90’s and many thousands were involuntarily  disappeared. One must also not forget that we had draconian laws like POTA, TADA and AFSPA(which still exists with the combo offer of PSA).  By the  year 2000 people of Kashmir had seen many killings, fake encounters and outrage of security forces which mainly included the atrocities of special task force which was common know as NAABID RAAJ. However things happened to change slowly and in many parts of Srinagar crackdowns and night raids were downsized. People were sick and tired and they felt betrayed as the main goal to achieve the  aazidi(Freedom) was not  being achieved.

By the time passes people of Kashmir changed a lot in terms of development , education and awareness. Youth chose to study in different parts of India and outside the country as well. In the year 2008 and 2010 Kashmir witnessed unrest where in we lost more than 112 youth unarmed killed by security forces. The protests occurred in a movement launched by Hurriyat confrence led by Syed Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq in the Indian state of j&k in June 2010, who called for the complete demilitarization of Jammu and Kashmir. The APHC made this call to a strike, citing human rights abuses by security forces. Rioters shouting pro-independence slogans, defied curfew, attacked roit police with stones and burnt vehicles and buildings. The protests started out as anti India protests but later were also targeted against the US  following the 2010 quran burning controversy. The riot police consisting of Jammu and Kashmir Police and Indian Para-military forces fired teargas shells rubber bullets and also live ammunition on the protesters, resulting in 112 deaths, including many teenagers and an 11-year-old boy. On June 11, there were protests against these killings in the downtown area of Srinagar. Police used massive force to disperse the protesting youth during which a teargas bullet killed a seventeen-year-old Tufail Ahmad Mattoo who was playing cricket in Gani memorial Stadium. Several protest marches were organized across the Valley in response to the killings which turned violent. Thereafter a vicious circle was set, killing of a boy was followed by protest demonstrations and clashes with police and CRPF in which another boy was killed which led to another protest by the boys till several youth lost their lives. Official figures reveal around 110 people have lost their lives and 537 civilians were injured during stone-pelting incidents from May to September 21, 2010. Around 1,274 CRPF men and 2,747 police personnel were injured during the same period across the valley.

Indian intelligence agencies claimed that these protests and demonstrations were part of covert operations of Pakistani intelligence agencies and were sponsored and supported from them. Media reports earlier in march had suggested that with the support of its intelligence agencies Pakistan has been once again ‘boosting’ Kashmir militants and recruitment of ‘martyrs’ in Pakistani state of punjab. It was reported that in a meeting held in muzaffarabad in mid January 2010 which was chaired by former ISI chief hamid gul ,UJC called for reinvigorated JIHAD until Kashmir was free of “Indian occupation”. In May 2010 increased activities of militants was reported from across the border in neelam valley in Pakistani-administered Gilgit-Baltistan. The locals reported that large numbers of militants had set up camps in the area with plans of crossing into the Kashmir valley, and they did not appear to be Kashmiri.

The mob pelted stones and bricks at the riot police and in response the security forces used tear gas, rubber bullets and in some cases live ammunition resulting in death of some of the unarmed protestors. The protesters were accused by the government of using stone pelting as a violent mean of creating chaos. The violent stone pelting by the mob resulted in several security personnel being injured.

To prevent the riots Indian authorities imposed curfew in Srinagar and other towns in the valley. In August, the government responded by imposing curfews in the disturbed areas and by deploying Rapid Action Force (RAF) in the Srinagar valley to control demonstrations. Protesters, however, defied curfew and also pelted stones on the police and paramilitary personnel. The year 2010 opened the Pandora’s box for the Indian government which responded to the chaos by using live ammunition which resulted in death of more than hundred protestors.

Current Affairs

Ever since Modi was sworn in as Prime Minister of India on 26 May 2014 at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Muslims of India are not feeling secure. I mean i still remember talking to a Muslim friend of mine who said we have not forgotten Gujarat riots where in goons were given free pass to kill any Muslim they see by their then CM of Gujarat. How can i vote for this man? But party was backed by RSS and they got through in lok sabha elections with 282 and 336 seats with NDA. Mr. Prime Minister however delivered many speeches spreading brotherhood among every religion in india.

Before elections people of Kashmir were fed up of trusting National conference and they casted their vote for PDP but Jammu was sweeped  by bjp with 25 seats win.

 

Pdp took a last minute decision to alliance with BJP with a common minimum programme. If we look on the common grounds no one was happy for this alliance but these floods hit people who had lost everything in the floods last year had nothing but to hope for the best.  Bjp promised a grand development package of 70,000 crore for jk but nothing came from central government till now.

People slowly are losing faith in PDP/Bjp government and they are for sure cursing Mufti for showing people unachievable dreams. To combat the unemployment in the state where thousands are holding masters degrees and PhD’s has become a biggest challenge for the government. The government however opened vacancies in many departments but few 100 posts cannot feed thousands of unemployed youth. The biggest employer of our state jk bank who has opened few post had 12 lac forms to sort out. For the class 4th posts in General Administration Department, they received over 4, 75000 applications and the story continues. One can understand the unemployment rate in the state. An empty mind is devil’s workshop. When these thousands of youth sits idle and do nothing that is the time when they get involved into unlawful activities.

 

 

Kashmir in 2015

 

The year 2015 has witnessed many up’s and down’s in the valley. We have seen upsurge of a student turning militant commander of Hibz Burhan wani and many other hundred’s joining him. This young boy from tral area of Kashmir remained in the news all over. We have seen mobile tower attacks which was claimed by a never heard militant organization lashkar-e-islami. The outfit hurled grenades on towers and some of the tower owners were killed and mobile outlets in north, south and central Kashmir were ambushed, creating a panic all over the valley. To be quite honest with you there were rumours among people of Kashmir that these attacks have been carried out by Indian agencies. Meanwhile Hibz an active militant outfit also backed these palpable rumours saying that these attacks have been carried out by Indian agencies.

Later on we saw India and Pakistan trading fires across international border which killed many innocent people from Pakistan and Indian side as well. After a PIL was filed by assistant advocate general of jk to implement beef ban, people of Kashmir became outrageous and went on streets to protest and scarified  many bovine animals on the roads to show their anger towards bjp/Pdp government which runs on RSS agenda in the state.

Now days mysterious killings are taking place. We recently saw bullet ridden bodies in an orchid at Pattan where in three young boys from Sopore and Pattan were killed. Yesterday an ex militant and his 3 year old son Burhan Basher  was killed and today a Hibz  militant was also killed and goverment termed it as mysterious killings but for people of Kashmir on ground, nothing is mysterious. On other hand we have witnessed strikes which takes us back and weakens our economy but do we have any other choice? Fact is the government in central is backed by radicals who say that those who want to eat meat/beef should go Pakistan. Those who want to pray and practice Islam should go to Pakistan. Those who want to keep more than 2 children among Muslims and Hindus on the other hand can keep as much as they want should also go to Pakistan, and many other things where unnecessarily Pakistan has been hyped by Indian ministers of BJP and members of parliament. These small small things create a big gap in between people and government and it later gets very hard to bridge these gaps. If Kashmir is an integral part of india then india must stop calling us terrorists. If they see Kashmir’s as part of this country then they should give us constitutional rights. I mean proper implementation of constitutional rights. Peace must come from both sides. If Government of India wants to see the prevailing peace then they must stop revoking the article 370 which hurts the sentiments of people. Bjp must involve leaders from Kashmir and Pakistan to resolve Kashmir. Let us bring end to violence, Let us sit down and discuss this fragile issue of Kashmir. If BJP and India wants to see Kashmir as their integral part then they must stop this negative attitude towards people of this valley. They should stop dividing people of Jammu and Kashmir on the basis of IIT’S and Aiims, and they must stop this loathing and talk peace. Killings and Peace cannot go hand in hand.

I request both the nations to resolve Kashmir peacefully. No one till now has got victory in any war.

 

 

Viva Peace

Viva Humanity

(I tried to find God, I found myself. When i found myself, I find God) Rumi~

Special thanks to Sir Arshid Sahib.