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Reader comment on item: Confirmed: Barack Obama Practiced Islam
in response to reader comment: Imdad Ali and the aggression of Muhammad

Submitted by Imdad Ali (Pakistan), Jan 25, 2008 at 05:22

Dear Jan Janssen,

Thanks for compelling me to read history more. Conspiracies of Mecca idol worshippers The Quraysh of Makkah continued oppressing Muslims even after their migration to Medina. They tortured the Muslims willing to migrate to Medina. Sometimes they stopped them from migrating and many time they snatched every thing from them. Abdur Rahman ibn Ka'b ibn Malik reported on the authority of a man from among the companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him):

The infidels of the Quraysh wrote (a letter) to Ibn Ubayy and to those who worshipped idols from al-Aws and al-Khazraj, while the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) was at that time at Medina before the battle of Badr. (They wrote): You gave protection to our companion. We swear by Allah, you should fight him or expel him, or we shall come to you in full force, until we kill your fighters and appropriate your women" (Sunan of Abu Dawood). These were not mere threat and warnings. The Prophet (peace be upon him) knew the extent of the threat from the Quraysh of Makkah and he used to spend his nights without sleeping or sometimes sleeping with some of the companions guarding him. "The Prophet was vigilant one night and when he reached Medina, he said, "Would that a pious man from my companions guard me tonight!" Suddenly we heard the clatter of arms.

He said, "Who is that? " He (The new comer) replied, " I am Sad bin Abi Waqqas and have come to guard you." So, the Prophet slept (that night)". (Sahih Al-Bukhari; Narrated by Aishah) When situation aggravated then Allah revealed Quranic verse, to permit to Muslims to fight against those who fight against you. Here word infidel or idol worshipper is not mentioned. To those against whom war is made permission is given (to fight) because they are wronged and verily Allah is Most powerful for their aid". (Surah Al-Hajj; Ayah 39) The Economic Measures Undertaken by the Prophet (PBUH) when he Arrived in Medina The Hijra was not just a means of mobilization through which the Prophet (PBUH) expected to obtain more protection for Muslims. Rather, it was a divine decree issued in order to establish the Islamic state, after the individuals who were to constitute this state had been prepared, educated and indoctrinated in the principles of the True Religion over a period of more than ten years. The Hijra caused a radical change in the life of the Muslim (whether one of the Muhajirin or the Ansar) in his traditions and daily behavior, in the way he looked at things, and in the way he dealt with people, even with his own family, both socially and economically. This practical example set by the Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon him) demonstrating the importance of work was preceded by numerous verses, revealed in Mecca, which urge people to work, and to populate and civilize the earth.

For example : "And remember how He Made you inheritors After the 'Ad people And gave you habitations In the land : ye build For yourselves palaces and castles In (open) plains, and carve out Homes in the mountains; So bring to remembrance The benefits (ye have received) From God, and refrain From evil and mischief on the earth." Islam did not only focus on work as a means of earning one's daily bread, but also as a means of safeguarding the dignity of the individual.

In his Sahih, Al-Bukhari relates the following hadith : "It is better for you to take responsibility for your own life than to beg from other people" (2, Vol. 2, p. 36). Working at the most menial job, collecting wood, is better than begging. These menial jobs safeguard a man's dignity and keep him from demeaning himself and stretching out his hand to beg. The journey of the Muhajirin to Mecca was no small undertaking. Obstacles faced them ever since they had begun the Hijra. They faced economic, social and health problems when they arrived in Yathrib (later called Medina). The Muhajirin economic problems centered on the fact that they had left their wealth in Mecca and arrived penniless. Qureish had confiscated even the wealth, which they had left in Mecca. Among those who had left their wealth and emigrated from Mecca was Suheib Al-Rumi (May God be pleased with him) whom Quresh made to choose between emigrating and keeping his wealth; he preferred to emigrate Nor did the Muhajirin know anything about agricultural work (the dominant employment in Medina), because the dominant source of employment in Mecca was commerce, which they could not practice in Medina for lack of the necessary capital. . In order to provide the Muhajirin with the opportunity to work, the Prophet (PBUH) sought to find a place where they could practice commerce, which was their chief employment. We must not forget that Islam encouraged commerce, and that the Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon him), as well as some of the more senior Sahaba, practiced it. Such a market, where Muslims could practice their trade, was absolutely essential, and since its establishment in Medina, Islam has always tried to provide a place of this sort. Thus we notice that the Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon him) no sooner finished building his mosque than he began to look for a place for a market. Fourteen centuries ago, the Prophet laid the foundations of a market which contemporary economics is struggling breathlessly to realize some aspects of. This is not exaggerating, for the first Muslim souq forbade the monopolization of stalls, guaranteed freedom for all, and did not impose any tax (kharaj) which might restrict the freedom of traders. Similarly, the Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon him) said : "If you have truly given allegiance to me, say no to cheating" The Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon him) also said : "The parties to the sale have the right of refusal until they go their separate ways. When they do go their separate ways, if they have been truthful and open, they will be blessed in their bargain, but if they have concealed the truth and lied, they forfeit God's blessing upon their bargain" (2, Vol. 2, p. 7). In other words, the seller must reveal the true nature of his goods; there must be full knowledge of the state of the goods .Economic history informs us about the total economic freedom of the market. In the hadith dealing with pricing, which is related by Ans (May God be pleased with him), it says : "Prices rose in the time of the Prophet of God (Peace and Blessings be upon him), so they said, "O Prophet of God, why don't you set the price ?" He said, "God is the Restrainer and the Releaser, the Provider, and the Setter of prices. I hope to meet God (To Whom be ascribed all Perfection and Majesty), so let no-one ask me to act the tyrant in any matter involving blood or money." After studying the circumstances prevailing in Medina in the time of the Prophet (PBUH), Sheikh Ibn Timiya interprets this situation, and concludes by saying that forbidding price fixing on the basis of a superficial reading of this hadith is not appropriate. The goods in the souq at Medina were imported, and forcing sellers to sell their goods at a particular price was unjustified. In this connection, Dr Muhammad Mubarak says that Ibn Timiya's analysis of the situation in the souq at Medina at the time of the Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon him) indicates his discernment and sound understanding of economic factors. He distinguished between the closed market and the open market which existed in Medina . One of the important tasks in regulating the processes of buying and selling in the market is the standardization of weights and measures. The Prophet (PBUH) undertook this in Medina, choosing the weights used in Medina since it was the agricultural centre (20, p. 97). He also chose the measures used in Mecca, which he previously confirmed by saying : "The (authorized) measures are those of the people of Mecca" (24, p. 49). This is due to the fact that Mecca was the commercial centre and largest market of the Arabs at that time. In this, he showed a wide comprehension of commercial affairs, facilitating the process of exchange inside Medina and also standardizing measures for external trade. Islam also dealt with an important issue that was prevalent in Medina and other Arab towns, and which played an important role in economic life : the practice of usury. Islam was exposed to it gradually, and in the Meccan period the following verse was revealed : "That which ye lay out For increase through the property Of (other) people, will have No increase with God : But that which ye lay out For charity, seeking The Countenance of God, (Will increase) : it is These who will get A recompense multiplied." (The Roman Empire 39) Most commentators say that the term usury as used here refers to the situation that occurs when one man gives a gift to his brother and then asks for something in return. This is not liable to interest in the eyes of God, and the giver will not be rewarded by God if he asks man for something in return. However, there is no sin in it if he gives a man something in order to have it replaced with more later on (11, p. 536). However, in the Medinan period, in the second year after the Hijra, a discussion took place between Abu Bakr (May God be pleased with him) and Phinehas the Jew. The latter said, "Abu Bakr, we have no poverty so that we should be thrown upon God, for he is always poverty-stricken in his dealings with us. We do not beseech aid from him as much as he beseeches aid from us. We are rich due to our own efforts, for if he were rich, he would not have asked to have a loan of our riches, as your friend [the Prophet] claims he has when he forbids you to practise usury but to give instead." (25, Vol. 2, p. 187). This shows that usury was forbidden at this early stage in the Medinan period. Although Islam only forbade usury gradually, we can see the logic of forbidding it only at that point. It can only be forbidden if there is an authority which can forbid it and call to account those who practise it, and this only existed in the Medinan period, when the Islamic state was set up. From the above, it becomes clear to us that the Prophet (PBUH) implemented important economic measures when he went to Medina which show a high awareness of economic affairs. He focused on the importance of work and man's effort in earning his daily bread. He established the principles of dealing in the Islamic market and laid down its specifications, which approximate to what is called in modern economics the perfect market. He forbade usury and laid down the principles of financial dealing within the sphere of economic activity. The Economic Dimensions of the First Constitution in Islam Before dealing with the components of the covenant which the Prophet (PBUH) drafted, we must point out a few things about it. The first is that the document is genuine and not forged (16, pp. 4-5). The second is that the document was originally two documents which historians later combined into one. The first contains the Prophet's (Peace and Blessings be upon him) offer of peace to the Jews, and the second is the pact setting out the rights and duties of the Muhajirin and the Ansar. The first was written before the Battle of Badr and the second was written after Badr (19, pp. 112-117). The authorized text of this document is contained in a collection of political documents edited by Muhammad Hamid Allah, who compared the different accounts and noted the differences in the margins. Because the peace offer to the Jews is earlier than the document dealing with the Muhajirin and the Ansar, we will deal with the former first. The peace offer to the Jews comprises Articles 24-47 (6, pp. 41-47). It is noteworthy that Articles 24 and 38 state that (the Jews will pay the costs of defence along with the Muslim believers as long as they are at war). The Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon him) guaranteed them freedom of religion (Article 25) and the right to live in Medina. What more appropriate, then, than that they should bear the burden of the costs of defending the lands where they lived. This article contains the most exalted signs of social justice, for they were not to bear the costs of the army when it was attacking, but they had to pay a part of the costs of protecting their lands and families. This is confirmed by Article 44 which states that they must play their part in giving assistance to those protecting Yathrib from surprise attack; in other words, the Jews should bear part of the expenses of defending Medina. Article 43 makes it clear that the Jews were forbidden to make usufruct arrangements with Qureish or to give them aid. The aim of the Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon him) in this was to obtain a commitment from the Jews that they would not make usufruct arrangements with Qureish, whose trade to Syria passed to the west of Medina. Through obtaining this commitment, he wanted to prevent the Jews from hatching plots to help Qureish. Thus he made the Jews understand that the trade of Qureish was a legitimate target of raids by the Muslims, since Qureish had allowed themselves to declare the wealth of Muhajirin in Mecca a public property. Since the trade of Qureish was threatened and exposed to raids, it was an implicit declaration that an economic blockade had been imposed on the enemy, and that he would not be allowed to slip his products into Medina via the Jews. In addition to this, the enemy would not be allowed to obtain profits from international trade. Article 36 also forbade the Jews to leave Medina unless they first asked permission from the Prophet (PBUH). This restriction on their movements was probably intended primarily to prevent them from undertaking any military action like participating in tribal wars outside Medina which might threaten the security or economy of Medina (19, p. 128). In other words the Prophet (PBUH) wanted to be kept informed not just of the military activities of the Jews, but also of their economic and commercial activities so as to prevent them having any commercial dealings with Qureish or with the enemies of the Muslims. It can be deduced from this that the peace offer to the Jews guaranteed them freedom of employment and the right to make a profit, provided that they remained within the bounds of God. It also guaranteed them protection as they bought and sold amongst themselves or with the Muslim believers. The Jews were obliged to pay the costs of defending Medina and not to make any usufruct arrangements with enemies of the Muslims or to cooperate with them against the Muslims. The Muslims guaranteed to maintain internal security and to prevent wars inside Medina, as is stated in Article 39 : "The People of the Book must not sow sedition within Yathrib." Guaranteeing internal security was a necessary condition for boosting the economic life and thus enabling the individual to go about earning his daily bread. Therefore, it was up to all parties in Medina to work towards guaranteeing security. It is noteworthy in this document that economic activity was open to all, although its administration and organization became subject to the dictates of God and his Prophet (PBUH). Article 1 of the treaty between the Muhajirin and the Ansar states that Muslim believers are one umma irrespective of their origin, thus defining the identity of this umma. This document melted all previous treaties and ties in the crucible of the Islamic state. This document goes on to list the factions of the Ansar : "The Bani ... according to their living quarters shall be the first to pay blood money, and each faction shall redeem its supporters according to tradition and the fairness due in dealings among believers." This is included in Articles 3-11 (6, pp. 41-47). In other words, the document spells out the responsibility of each faction, that each tribe is to determine blood money for itself according to its traditions (9, p. 294). The clan would work to redeem its prisoners; "They are to redeem their helpers according to custom." In mentioning the factions of the Ansar, it meant to emphasize that the individuals of the clan were responsible for claiming their rights and to fulfilling their duties, i.e. solidarity in paying blood money, in redeeming prisoners and helping the needy among them. The aim was not to reinforce the spirit of tribalism among them but to benefit from the system of the clan in order to bear the burdens of its members. Islam developed this clan obligation from a tribal passion into a religious obligation for which the Muslim would be accountable before the Lord of the Worlds. It was incumbent on the Muslim to give alms and to fulfill the obligation of zakat which is one of the pillars of Islam. Helping the needy among them is one of the duties of Muslim believers. They should not leave among them anyone weighed down with debts and children (25, Vol. 2, p. 120). We must deal here with the concept of poverty in Islam. In Islam, what is meant by a poor person is someone who is living on a level where he is separated by a vast gulf from the standard of living prevalent in the local society. In other words, he is someone who cannot maintain a standard of living appropriate to that time and place. In terms of Islamic economic thought, he is someone who does not have enough (23, p. 338). According to Islam, poverty has two main causes. One is the problem of the under-exploitation of natural resources. This can be blamed either on man's negligence : "And He giveth you Of all that ye ask for. But if ye count the favours Of God, never will ye Be able to number them. Verily, man is given up To injustice and ingratitude." (Abraham 34) Or it can be blamed on man's ingratitude towards the favours of God, so that he deprives himself of the opportunity of profiting from and using what God created (27, p. 29). The second cause is the injustice of the rich and their failure to undertake their duties as they should. The Holy Quran says: "And when they are told, Spend ye of (the bounties) With which God Has provided you," the Unbelievers Say to those who believe : "Shall we then feed those Whom, if God had so willed, He would have fed, (Himself) ? - Ye are in nothing But manifest error." (Ya-Sin 47) Man is the cause of poverty, sometimes by his neglect, sometimes by his injustice to his fellow man, and sometimes by his ingratitude towards the favours of God.

For this reason, Islam obligates the Muslim to help his brother, beginning with relatives and then to those who are further afield : "And render to the kindred Their due rights, as (also) To those in want, And to the wayfarer : But squander not (your wealth) In the manner of a spendthrift." (Children of Israel 26) To deal with poverty, there must be individual effort. The poor person must work in order to support himself. Others must help by giving alms and paying zakat, or through a group effort undertaken by the state.

This is what has recently been called "social mutual assistance" (through the individual effort) and social security (through the state effort). Answer of remaining issues will be sent to you good self set soons. With warm regards ,


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