Syed Abul Hasan Ali Nadvi (RA)

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Saviours of Islamic Spirit

Hafiz Ibn Taimiyah


Muslim World in the Seventh Century
Maulana Jalal-ud-din Rumi had sought to refute the excessive rationalism of the dialecticians which was permeated with the spirit of Greek Philosophy and excessive formalism. Rumi was, in fact, founder of a new school of scholasticism which was based on a greater sense of realism and profundity of thought than its earlier counterpart, dialectics, the dominant feature of which was employment of cold logical argumentation. Rumi's thought was grounded in the personal experiences of a sublimated soul, a purified heart and an illuminated self. He was not simply an erudite scholar of religion and a teacher of dialectics, but was also blessed with a keen intellect and an enlightened heart. He was disgusted by syllogism and vain disputation of the dialectics, when he was led by a God-moved soul, through prayer and penance and the grace of God, to the lofty heights of the certitude of knowledge.

Western civilisation and American way of life

Slave of machines
It is this distressing evolutionary process that has, today, made America a slave of the machines. The supremacy of the United States is accepted all over the world and its hand is seen in everything that happens anywhere. No country, Muslim or non-Muslim, is altogether free from its control and domination. In one form or another, its presence is felt at every place. Plans are made here and enforced in our countries and our own leaders implement them. Today, America has enslaved the world, but it has, itself, become the slave of the machines. It is a prisoner of its way of life, of material progress, of factories and laboratories, and of fancy goods and gadgets. The thing that I did not see here was man, the real man whose heart was alive and awake, and not the working part of a machine. Man, here, has got cast so completely in the technological mould of life that his ideas and emotions, too, have become mechanical.

Western Civilisation and American Way of Life Study, Appraisal, Analysis

(The speech was delivered at the Muslim Community Centre, Chicago on June 19, 1977, before a large gathering of educated Muslims.)
Allama Iqbal opens his long Persian poem, Asrar-i-Khudi (Secrets of the Self), with these verses from Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi.
Last night the Sheikh wandered about the town with a lamp
Saying, "I am tired of demon and beast; man is my desire.
My heart is sick of the feeble-spirited fellow-travellers;
The Loin of God (Meaning Hazrat Ali) and Rustam-i-Dastaan (Rustam son of Zal (nicknamed Dastaan) was a famous hero of pre- Islamic Persia) are my desire."
I said, "We, too, searched for him, but he couldn't be found."
He replied, "What cannot be found that thing is my desire."
On a dark night, Maulana Rumi tells, a sage was wandering in the streets of the town, with a lamp in hand, as if he was searching for something that had been lost.

The Fast of Ashura

Beruni and western scholars criticized the tradition about Ashura. They were wrong

The fast of 'Ashura was prescribed before the fasts of Ramadan. The Jews observed it and so did the people of Arabia before the dawn of Islam.
It is related by Imam Bukhari on the authority of Ibn-i-Abbas that when the Prophet (S) came to Madinah he found that the Jews observed the fast of 'Ashura. He enquired about it from them and was told that it was the day on which God had delivered the Children of Israel from the enemy and Moses used to keep a fast on it as an expression of gratitude to the Almighty. The Prophet (S) thereupon, remarked that 'Moses has a greater claim upon me than upon you,' and he fasted on that day and instructed his followers to do the same.
It is also mentioned in Muslim that it is a most important day. On this day God had delivered Moses and his followers and drowned Pharaoh and his men. Moses fasted on it in thanksgiving.

Talking of Madina - What type of world would it have been without Makkah and Madinah?

Friends have invited me to give a talk on Madinah, describing what I saw there, and I have readily agreed. As a Persian poet has said: "To talk of the beloved is no less pleasant than to meet him."
I do not know when I first heard of Makkah and Madinah. Like all Muslim children, I was brought up in an environment in which Hijaz (Arabia) and Makkah and Madinah were household words. I, distinctly, remember people saying Makkah, Madinah together as if these were the same. When they took the name of one of them, they, generally, mentioned that of the other as well. I, thus, came to imagine that Makkah and Madinah were not two different places, but one, and learnt to appreciate the difference only as I grew up.

Saviours of Islamic Spirit - Maulana Jalal-ud-din Rumi

Divergent views were held by different factions of the then Muslims about the cause and effect. The view held by the philoso­phers was that the phenomenal world is governed by a sequence of cause and effect and, therefore, there is a permanent and essential correlation between the two ; the effect proceeds from its cause in the same way as the cause is immanent in the effect. The Mutazilites too generally subscribed to the same view and held that since the effect was an inevitable outcome of the cause, there was hardly any possibility of any change in it. As a natural conse­quence, they denied miracles and viewed the effect proceeding without a cause as a 'breach of custom' which was an impossibility. The Asharites, on the other hand, subscribed to a view diametri­cally opposed to the Mutazilites and did not recognise any cause whatsoever for an effect to follow it.

Saviours of Islamic Spirit - Maulana Jalal-ud-din Rumi

Rumi did not believe, like some other mystics, in self-negation, indifference, lethargy and renunciation of physical activity. On the contrary, he affirmed the importance of social progress, active life, self-assertion and self-preservation. He considered that the theories of monasticism and renunciation of the world were opposed to the teachings of Islam and the example set by the Prophet.

The Place Of Muslim And His Message

Being the Friday sermon delivered on June 3, 1977 in the assembly room of the United Nations where the employees of the Muslim and Arab countries meet for the Friday service, a large number of Arabs participated in the congregation among whom responsible members of the staffs of Rabita-i-Aalam-i-Islami and the United Nations were prominent.
You are the hunter of the Phoenix; it is only the beginning,
The world of fish and fowl has not been created in vain.
The Quran says:
So lose not heart, nor fall into despair, for ye must gain mastery if ye are true in Faith. (III: 139)
This verse was revealed at a time when Islam was in its infancy, and the Islamic State had not been founded. The light of Faith had, till then, not spread beyond the Peninsula of Arabia, and Arabs were leading a life of intense poverty and indigence. They, generally, ate dates, the flesh of a camel and barley-bread, wore rough and coarse clothes and lived in mud- huts or ordinary tents.

Saviours of Islamic Spirit - Mawlana Jalal-ud-din Rumi (RA)

The science of dialectics and the scholastic argumentation employed by it are incapable of producing conviction and an ardent faith. The reason for it is, according to Rumi, that the dialectician is himself sceptical about the veracity of what he pleads; he merely rehearses the premises and propositions he has learnt from his teachers and the propounders of his school of thought.
"The imitator brings on to his tongue a hundred proofs and explanations, but he has no soul.
When the speaker has no soul and (spiritual glory), how should his speech have leaves and fruit ?"; Rumi prefers intuition or spiritual cognition to the carnal intellect which is particular, individual, discursive, and dependent on sense-perception. He holds the view that experiential aware­ness can gain knowledge pertaining to the terrestrial world only.

What Muslim Personal Law Means to Muslims

I would first of all seek your apology for not being able to present a written address as it is customary on such occasions. My heavy pre-occupations apart, I had to go on tours after short intervals. But this unintended lapse on my part might have been for the better. Without underrating the solemnity or utility of presidential address prepared before-hand for such august gathering which have become a part of our intellectual, literary and political history I must say that sometimes such premeditated addresses or a part of them become out-dated by the time they are believed, or changed circumstances make them lose some of their relevance. May be that the providence had willed me to speak to you spontaneously on this occasion in the light of recent developments in our country.
Friends, differences of opinion, denial of anything or even opposition in any matter is not necessarily the result of enmity or clash of interests.