Archive for September, 2016

26th Dhul Hijja Urs Khalifa Hazrat Umar, Medina, 23AH/644CE

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016
26-dhul-hijja-khalifa-umar

Khalifa Hazrat Umar in Prophet’s (saw) Masjid

Umar bin al-Khattab, the Second Khalifa of the Muslims

Umar, also spelled Omar (Arabic: عمر بن الخطاب, translit.: `Umar ibn Al-Khattāb, Umar Son of Al-Khattab, born 579 CE, was one of the most powerful and influential Muslim caliphs (guardians) in history. He was a Sahabah or companion of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He succeeded Abu Bakr (632–634) as the second Rashid of the Rashidun Caliphate on 23 August 634. He was an expert Islamic jurist and is best known for his pious and just nature, which earned him the title Al-Faruq (“the one who distinguishes between right and wrong”). He is sometimes referred to as Umar I by historians of Islam, since a later Umayyad caliph, Umar II, also bore that name.

Under Umar, the Rashidun Caliphate expanded at an unprecedented rate, ruling the whole Sasanian Empire and more than two thirds of the Byzantine Empire. His attacks against the Sassanid Persian Empire resulted in the conquest of Persia in fewer than two years. It was Umar, according to Jewish tradition, who set aside the Christian ban on Jews and allowed them into Jerusalem and to worship.

In 610 Muhammad started preaching the message of Islam. Umar, alongside others in Mecca, opposed Islam and threatened to kill Muhammad. He resolved to defend the traditional, polytheistic religion of Arabia. He was adamant and cruel in opposing Muhammad and very prominent in persecuting the Muslims. Umar was among the first to conclude that Muhammad had to be murdered in order to finish Islam. He firmly believed in the unity of the Quraish and saw the new faith of Islam as a cause of division and discord among the Quraish.

Due to the persecution at the hands of the Quraish, Muhammad ordered his followers to migrate to Abyssinia. As a small group of Muslims migrated Umar became worried about the future unity of the Quraish and decided to have Muhammad assassinated.

Umar converted to Islam in 616, one year after the Migration to Abyssinia. The story was recounted in Ibn Ishaq’s Sīrah. On his way to murder Muhammad, Umar met his best friend Na’eem bin Abdullah who had secretly converted to Islam but had not told Umar. When Umar informed him that he had set out to kill Muhammad, Na’eem feared the worst.

“While ‘Umar was at home in a state of fear, there came Al-‘As bin Wail As-Sahmi Abu ‘Amr who was an open enemy to Muhammad, wearing an embroidered cloak and a shirt having silk hems. He was from the tribe of Bani Sahm who were our allies during the pre-Islamic period of ignorance. Al-‘As said to ‘Umar “What is wrong with you?” He said, “Your people claim that they would kill me if I become a Muslim.” Al-‘As said, “Nobody will harm you after I have given protection to you.” So Al-‘As went out and met the people streaming in the whole valley. He said, “Where are you going?” They said, “We want Ibn Al-Khattab who has embraced Islam.” Al-‘As said, “There is no way for anybody to touch him.” So the people retreated.” Umar was a man of his word and would attempt to do what he said. So in order to divert his attention, Nuaim told him to inquire about his own house where his sister and her husband had converted to Islam. Upon arriving at her house, Umar found his sister and brother-in-law Saeed bin Zaid (Umar’s cousin) reciting the verses of the Quran from sura Ta-ha. He started quarreling with his brother-in-law. When his sister came to rescue her husband, he also started quarreling with her. Yet still they kept on saying “you may kill us but we will not give up Islam”. Upon hearing these words, Umar slapped his sister so hard that she fell to the ground bleeding from her mouth. When he saw what he did to his sister, he calmed down out of guilt and asked his sister to give him what she was reciting. His sister replied in the negative and said “You are unclean, and no unclean person can touch the Scripture.” He insisted, but his sister was not prepared to allow him to touch the pages unless he washed his body. Umar at last gave in. He washed his body and then began to read the verses that were: Verily, I am Allah: there is no God but Me; so serve Me (only), and establish regular prayer for My remembrance (Quran 20:14). He wept and declared, “Surely this is the word of Allah. I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.” On hearing this, Hadhrat Khabbab came out from inside and said: ” O, Umar! Glad tidings for you. Yesterday Muhammad prayed to Allah, ” O, Allah strengthen Islam with either Umar or Abu Jahl, whomsoever Thou Likest.” It seems that his prayer has been answered in your favour. He then went to Muhammad with the same sword he intended to kill him with and accepted Islam in front of him and his companions. Umar was 27 when he accepted Islam.

Following his conversion, Umar went to inform the chief of Quraish, Amr ibn Hishām, about his acceptance of Islam. According to one account, Umar thereafter openly prayed at the Kaaba as the Quraish chiefs, Amr ibn Hishām and Abu Sufyan ibn Harb, reportedly watched in anger. This further helped the Muslims to gain confidence in practicing Islam openly. At this stage Umar even challenged anyone who dared to stop the Muslims from praying, although no one dared to interfere with Umar when he was openly praying.

Umar’s conversion to Islam granted power to the Muslims and to the Islamic faith in Mecca. It was after this event that Muslims offered prayers openly in Masjid al-Haram for the first time. Abdullah bin Masoud said,

Umar’s embracing Islam was our victory, his migration to Medina was our success, and his reign a blessing from Allah. We didn’t offer prayers in Al-Haram Mosque until Umar had accepted Islam. When he accepted Islam, the Quraysh were compelled to let us pray in the Mosque.

Umar’s caliphate is notable for its many conquests. His generals conquered Iraq, Iran, Azerbaijan, Kirman, Seistan, Khurasan, Syria, Jordan, Palestine and Egypt, and incorporated them into the empire of the Muslims. All of these were permanent conquests. The Romans lost Syria, Palestine and Egypt for ever; and in Persia, the Sassani empire ceased to exist.

Umar was assassinated on the last Saturday of Dhul-Hijja (the last month of the Islamic calendar) of 23 A.H. (A.D. 644), and he was buried next to the Prophet and Abu Bakr.



 

Urs Dates 1438AH 2016-17CE Calendar PDF

Sunday, September 25th, 2016

bismillahboatas salaam alaykum!

You can use the attached calendar to plan ahead for Urs events. The dates are subject to change according to the moonsighting so always check the online calendar as well.

2016-2017-urs-dates-calendar


 

23rd Zul Hijja Urs Sadar Uddin Arif, Multan, Pakistan, 684AH

Sunday, September 25th, 2016

Sadar-udin-arif, Multan

The sheikh appears in the Chishti and Sohrawardi silsilat but I have found no other written information about him. The picture is of the tomb in Multan.



 

22 Dhul Hijjah Urs Khwaja Abudullah Ansari, Herat, Afghanistan, 481AH/1088CE

Saturday, September 24th, 2016
Khwaja Abudulla Ansari Shrine

Khwaja Abdulla Ansari Shrine in Herat

Abu Ismaïl Abdullah ibn Abi-Mansour Mohammad or Khwajah Abdullah Ansari (1006-1088) was a famous Persian poet and Sufi. He was born and died in Herat (then Khorasan, now one of the cities of Afghanistan), and that is why he is known as Pir of Herat. He is also known as “Shaikul Mashayekh” [Master of (Sufi) Masters] and his title was “Shaikhul Islam”.

He was the disciple of Shaikh Abul Hassan Kharaqani. He had deep respect and faith for him, as he has said: “Abdullah was a hidden treasure, and its key was in the hands of Abul Hassan Kharaqani.”

He wrote several books on Islamic mysticism and philosophy in Persian and Arabic. His most famous work is “Munajat Namah” (literally; litanies), which is considered a masterpiece in Persian literature. After his death, his students and disciples compiled what he taught about the Tafsir of holy Quran, and named it “Kashful Asrar”. Kashful Asrar is the best and lengthiest Sufi Tafsir of Quran, being published several times in 10 volumes.

He practiced Hanbali sect, a school of Sunni Islam. His shrine is a place of pilgrimage for Afghans, and was built during the Timurid Dynasty.

The Khwaja ‘Abd Allah Ansari shrine is a funerary compound (hazira) that houses the tomb of the Sufi mystic and saint Khwajah Abdullah Ansari, also known as the guardian pir (wise man) of Herat. After his death in 1088, his tomb became a major Sunni pilgrimage center. The shrine enclosing the tomb was commissioned by Timurid ruler Shah Rukh bin Timur (1405-1447).



 

17th Dhul Hijja Urs Khalif Hazrat Usman (Uthman) – Medina, 656CE

Monday, September 19th, 2016

Grave of Hazrat Uthman in Janat-al-Baqi, Medina

Uthman ibn Affan (Arabic: عثمان بن عفان‎, strict transliteration: ʻUthmān ibn ʻAffān) (c. 579 – 656CE) was one of the companions of the prophet, Muhammad. He played a major role in early Islamic history as the third Sunni Rashidun or Rightly Guided Caliph.

Uthman was born into the Umayyad clan of Mecca, a powerful family of the Quraish tribe. He was a companion of Muhammad who assumed the role of leader (caliph) of the Muslim faith at the age of 65 following Umar ibn al-Khattab. Under his leadership, the faith expanded into Fars in 650 (present-day Iran), some areas of Khorasan (present-day Afghanistan) in 651 and the conquest of Armenia was begun in the 640s. Some of Uthman’s notable achievements were the economic reforms he introduced, and the compilation of the Qur’an into the unified, authoritative text that is known today.

Uthman was an early convert to Islam and is said to have spent a great amount of his wealth on charity,therefore he was nicknamed as ‘Uthman Ghani’ i.e. Uthman the giver. On returning from a business trip to Syria in 611, `Uthman found out that Muhammad(saw) had declared his mission. After a discussion with his friend Abu Bakr `Uthman decided to convert to Islam, and Abu Bakr took him to Muhammad (saw) to whom he declared his faith. `Uthman thus became the fourth male to convert to Islam, after Ali, Zayd and Abu Bakr. His conversion to Islam angered his clan, the Banu Ummayyah, who strongly opposed Muhammad’s (saw) teachings.  The only two people who supported `Uthman’s decision were Saadi, one of his maternal aunts, and Umm Kulthum, who was his stepsister and who had also converted to Islam. Because of his conversion to Islam, `Uthman’s wives deserted him, and he subsequently divorced them. Muhammad (saw) then asked `Uthman to marry his daughter Ruqayyah bint Muhammad.

In 622, `Uthman and his wife, Ruqayya, migrated to Medina. They were amongst the third batch of Muslims who migrated to Medina. On arrival in Medina, `Uthman stayed with Abu Talha ibn Thabit of the Banu Najjar. After a short while, `Uthman purchased a house of his own and moved there. Being one of the richest merchants of Mecca, and having amassed a considerable fortune, `Uthman did not need any financial help from his Ansari brothers, as he brought all his wealth with him to Medina. In Medina, the Muslims were generally farmers and were not very interested in trade, and thus most of the trading that took place in the town was handled by the Jews. Thus, there was considerable space for the Muslims in promoting trade and `Uthman took advantage of this position, soon establishing himself as a trader in Medina. He worked hard and honestly, and his business flourished, soon becoming one of the richest men in Medina.

In 624 some Muslims from Medina departed to assist in the capture of a Quraysh caravan. At this time Uthman’s wife, Ruqayya, suffered from malaria and then caught smallpox. Uthman stayed at Medina to look after the ailing Ruqayya and did not join those who left with Muhammad (saw). Ruqayya died during the time the Battle of Badr was being fought, and the news of the victory of Badr reached Medina as she was being buried. Because of the battle Muhammad (saw) could not attend the funeral of his daughter.

After the Battle of Uhud Uthman married Muhammad’s (saw) second daughter, Umm Kulthum bint Muhammad. The next year Ruqayyah’s son, Abd-Allah ibn Uthman, died. When the Battle of the Trench was fought in 627, Uthman was in charge of a sector of Medina. After the battle a campaign was undertaken against the Jews of Banu Qaynuqa, and when they were taken captive the question of the disposal of the slaves became a problem. Uthman solved the issue by purchasing all the slaves and depositing their price in the Bayt al-mal (Treasury). Any of these slaves who accepted Islam were set free by Uthman in the name of Allah.

In 632, along with Muhammad (saw), Uthman participated in The Farewell Pilgrimage.[3] In 632 Muhammad(saw) died, and, like other Muslims, Uthman was griefstricken.

Umar, on his death bed formed a committee of six people to choose the next Caliph from amongst themselves.

After Abdul Rahman consulted the other leaders of public opinion in Medina, who were in favour of Uthman, he arrived at the conclusion that the majority of the people favoured the election of Uthman. On the fourth day after the death of Umar, 11 November 644, 5 Muharram 24 Hijri, Uthman was elected as the third Caliph, with the title “Amir al-Mu’minin”.

Uthman had the distinction of working for the expansion of Islam, and he sent the first official Muslim envoy to China in 650. The envoy, headed by Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas, arrived in the Tang capital, Chang’an, in 651 via the overseas route. The Hui people generally consider this date to be the official founding of Islam in China. The Ancient Record of the Tang Dynasty recorded the historic meeting, in which the envoy greeted Emperor Gaozong of Tang and tried to convert him to Islam. Although the envoy failed to convince the Emperor to embrace Islam, the Emperor allowed him to proselytize in China and ordered the establishment of the first Chinese mosque in the capital to show his respect for the religion. Uthman also sent official Muslim envoys to Sri Lanka.

Under Uthman the people became economically more prosperous, and they invested their money in the construction of buildings. Many new and larger buildings were constructed throughout the empire. During the caliphate of Uthman as many as five thousand new mosques were constructed. Uthman enlarged, extended, and embellished the Al-Masjid al-Nabawi at Medina and the Kaaba as well. With the expansion of the army, the cantonments were extended and enlarged, more barracks were constructed for the soldiers and stables for the cavalry were extended. Uthman provided separate pastures for state camels.

Uthman is perhaps best known for forming the committee which produced multiple copies of the text of the Qur’an as it exists today. The reason was that various Muslim centres, like Kufa and Damascus, had begun to develop their own traditions for reciting the Qur’an and writing it down with stylistic differences.

In 656CE after much political turmoil, Hazrat Uthman was assassinated. He was buried in a graveyard in Medina which later became part of Janat-al-Baqi.