My Lord! Increase me in knowledge

Archive for November 2010

The veils of ignorance covering the world during the Dark Ages, were pierced by the appearance of a man who is rightfully called the most famous individual physician in the history of humanity. Hakim Abu Ali al-Husayn Abd Allah Ibn Sina, known in the West as Avicenna, was born in 980 A.D. near Bokhara, in what then was part of Afghanistan. Though that was the center of learning of the age, Avicenna had exhausted all of the most learned teachers while he was still in his teens. His father was a religious man who entertained many learned guests, and the young savant gathered up their discourses with zeal. By the age of ten he had become a hafiz–one who has committed the entire Qur’an to memory.

When Avicenna was twenty-one his father died, and this event, coupled with the political turmoil of the era, forced Avicenna into a period of wandering. Ultimately, he found refuge and support from the Bujid prince Shams-ad-Dawlah at Hamadan in Persia. Even such royal patronage was insufficient to shield Avicenna from the epidemic of political intrigues, and he was even imprisoned on one occasion.

But his intellect and physical stamina were so great that Avicenna managed to conduct his work as a physician and scholar despite such dislocations and hardships. Writing with his memory as his primary resource, he composed an astonishing 276 books, most of them in several volumes, covering virtually every subject of human thought and endeavor–medicine, natural history, physics, chemistry, mathematics, music, economics, and moral and religious questions. Two of his medical books have earned undisputed and unparalleled fame. The first, Kitab al-shifa’ (The Book of Healing), was a monumental work that is generally conceded to be the largest ever produced by one person. In it Avicenna developed his theories of medicine and its relevant allied sciences by expounding the doctrines of logic, natural sciences, psychology, geometry, astronomy, arithmetic, music, and metaphysics. For Avicenna, the evaluation of a “disease” was incomplete until and unless all components of a person’s life had been included in the diagnosis.

No one disputes his eminence and status as a physician. His fame rests chiefly on his second book, Al-Qanun fi al-Tibb (The Canon of Medicine), which the Encyclopaedia Britannica calls “the single most famous book in the history of medicine, in East or West.” Composed in five long volumes totaling one million words, the Canon drew together all of the medical knowledge that existed in the world up to his time, which he refined and codified into the science of medicine. Both The Book of Healing and The Canon of Medicine were translated widely, first into Latin, then into virtually every other language of the civilized world.

The Canon and other of Avicenna’s works became the basis of thought in most of the medieval schools of thought, especially that of the Franciscans. The Canon of Avicenna is the medical authority for all therapeutics, and its influence upon the development of all medicine cannot be overestimated. It has maintained its authority through ten centuries of medical teaching and practice, and even today remains the handbook for all practitioners of Unani medicine. Edward Spicer, an anthropologist at the University of Arizona, has even identified “folk remedies” used by rural Afro-Americans as originating with the Canon. Hakim Ibn Sina enjoys a place of honor unequalled by any other individual physician and is often referred to as the Prince of Physicians.

Using the work of Avicenna as their basis and inspiration, Muslim civilizations made several very important contributions to medicine: the founding of medical chemistry in the form of botany, the organization of pharmacy, and the founding of hospitals. Avicenna himself provided much of the basis for later development of fundamental chemical processes such as filtration, distillation, sublimation, and calcination. He invented the procedure of distillation of floral oils and was the first to distill essence of rose.

From the tremendous impetus of advancement of medicine supplied by Avicenna, the Arabs took the huddled masses of sick and established them in sleek and elegant hospitals. Their hospitals were immense structures with courtyards and had features such as lecture halls, libraries, mosques and chapels (they treated people of all religious beliefs), charity wards, kitchens, and dispensaries. All patients were attended by qualified male and female nurses.

Despite such glorious tributes to his work, Ibn Sina is rarely remembered in the West today and his fundamental contributions to Medicine and the European reawakening goes largely unrecognised. However, in the museum at Bukhara, there are displays showing many of his writings, surgical instruments from the period and paintings of patients undergoing treatment. An impressive monument to the life and works of the man who became known as the ‘doctor of doctors’ still stands outside Bukhara museum and his portrait hangs in the Hall of the Faculty of Medicine in the University of Paris.

After slight modifications from http://www.unani.com/avicenna.htm & http://www.ummah.net/history/scholars/ibn_sina/

An excerpt from the book  “Futuh Al Ghaib” ( Revelations of the unseen) by Abdul Qadir Gilani.

The Shaikh (may God be well pleased with him, and grant him contentment) said:

How great is your resentment against your Lord, your suspicion of Him (Almighty and Glorious is He) and your resistance to Him. How often you attribute injustice to Him (Almighty and Glorious is He), and charge Him with delay in providing sustenance and sufficiency and in removing troubles and tribulation. Do you not know that every term has a prescribed duration, and that for every increase in trouble and woe there is an end, a termination and a conclusion, which can neither be brought forward nor deferred? [Until they have run their prescribed course, therefore] times of trials do not change and turn into conditions of well-being, the time of misfortune does not change into prosperity, and the state of poverty is not converted into affluence.

Be well-behaved, practice patience, contentment and harmony with your Lord (Almighty and Glorious is He), and repent for your resentment against Him and your suspicion of Him where His action is concerned. In the Lord’s presence there is no room for demanding payment in full and exacting retaliation where there is no offence, nor for recourse to natural instinct, as is usual in mutual relations between His servants. He (Almighty and Glorious is He) is absolutely alone from all eternity, existing before all things. He created them, and He created their benefits and disadvantages. He knows their beginning, their end and their fulfillment. He (Almighty and Glorious is He) is wise in His working and sure in His craftsmanship. There is no inconsistency in what He does. He does nothing uselessly and creates nothing as a futile game. There can be no question of criticizing or reproaching Him for His deeds.

You should therefore wait for relief, if you are too weak to comply with Him and to submit to His action gladly, until the prescript of destiny expires. Then the situation will yield to its opposite with the passage of time and the consummation of the course of events, as winter runs its course and yields to summer, and as night comes to an end and yields to day. If you ask for the light of day between the first two watches of the night, it will not be given to you. Indeed, the night will get even darker, until the darkness reaches its climax, then dawn breaks and the day comes with its light, whether you ask for this and want it, or say nothing about it and even dislike it. Should you now ask for the night to be brought back, your request will go unanswered and you will not get what you want, because you have asked for something at the wrong moment and time. You will therefore be left sorry, deprived, resentful and disappointed.

So give all this up and practice compliance, thinking well of your Lord (Almighty and Glorious is He), and graceful patience. For what is yours will not be snatched from you, and what is not yours will not be given to you. By my life, you pray and make supplication to your Lord (Almighty and Glorious is He), offering humble entreaties as an act of worship and obedience in keeping with His commandment (Exalted is He): “Call upon Me and I will answer you” (40:60), and His words (Exalted is He): “Ask God of His bounty” (4:32), as well as other verses and traditions. You pray, and He will answer you at the appropriate moment and appointed time, when He wills, when it is to your advantage in this world and the hereafter, and when it coincides with His decree and the end of the term set by Him.

Do not become suspicious of Him when He delays the response, and do not weary of making supplication to Him, for while you may not be gaining, neither are you losing. If He does not respond to you immediately, He will reward you later on. According to an authentic tradition, the Prophet (God bless him and give him peace) said: “On the Day of Resurrection the servant will see in his records some good deeds which he does not recognize. He will then be told that these are compensation for requests he made in this world, but which were not destined to be fulfilled therein,” or something to that effect. Well then, the least of your spiritual states is that you should be remembering your Lord (Almighty and Glorious is He), affirming His Oneness, inasmuch as you address your requests to Him and not to any other than Him, and do not submit your need to anyone but Him (Exalted is He).

 

Narrated Aisha:
Abu Bakr came to my house while two small Ansari girls were singing beside me the stories of the Ansar concerning the Day of Buath. And they were not singers. Abu Bakr said protestingly, “Musical instruments of Satan in the house of Allah’s Apostle !” It happened on the ‘Id day and Allah’s Apostle said, “O Abu Bakr! There is an ‘Id for every nation and this is our ‘Id.” (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 15, Number 72)


Narrated Aisha:
Allah’s Apostle (p.b.u.h) came to my house while two girls were singing beside me the songs of Buath (a story about the war between the two tribes of the Ansar, the Khazraj and the Aus, before Islam). The Prophet (p.b.u.h) lay down and turned his face to the other side. Then Abu Bakr came and spoke to me harshly saying, “Musical instruments of Satan near the Prophet (p.b.u.h) ?” Allah’s Apostle (p.b.u.h) turned his face towards him and said, “Leave them.” When Abu Bakr became inattentive, I signalled to those girls to go out and they left. It was the day of ‘Id, and the Black people were playing with shields and spears; so either I requested the Prophet (p.b.u.h) or he asked me whether I would like to see the display. I replied in the affirmative. Then the Prophet (p.b.u.h) made me stand behind him and my cheek was touching his cheek and he was saying, “Carry on! O Bani Arfida,” till I got tired. The Prophet (p.b.u.h) asked me, “Are you satisfied (Is that sufficient for you)?” I replied in the affirmative and he told me to leave. (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 15, Number 70)


Narrated Um ‘Atiya:
We used to be ordered to come out on the Day of ‘Id and even bring out the virgin girls from their houses and menstruating women so that they might stand behind the men and say Takbir along with them and invoke Allah along with them and hope for the blessings of that day and for purification from sins. (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 15, Number 88)


Narrated Muhammad:

Um ‘Atiyya said: “Our Prophet ordered us to come out (on ‘Id day) with the mature girls and the virgins staying in seclusion.” Hafsa narrated the above mentioned Hadith and added, “The mature girls or virgins staying in seclusion but the menstruating women had to keep away from the Musalla.” (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 15, Number 91)


Narrated Al-Bara’:
I heard the Prophet (p.b.u.h) delivering a Khutba saying, “The first thing to be done on this day (first day of ‘Id ul Adha) is to pray; and after returning from the prayer we slaughter our sacrifices (in the name of Allah) and whoever does so, he acted according to our Sunna (traditions).” (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 15, Number 71)

Narrated Al-Bara’ bin ‘Azib:

The Prophet (p.b.u.h) said, “The first thing that we should do on this day of ours is to pray and then return to slaughter the sacrifice. So anyone who does so, he acted according to our Sunna (tradition), and whoever slaughtered the sacrifice before the prayer, it was just meat which he presented to his family and would not be considered as Nusuk.” A person from the Ansar named Abu Burda bin Niyyar said, “O Allah’s Apostle! I slaughtered the Nusuk (before the prayer) but I have a young she-goat which is better than an older sheep.” The Prophet I said, “Sacrifice it in lieu of the first, but it will be not sufficient (as a sacrifice) for anybody else after you.” (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 15, Number 82)


Narrated ‘Abdullah bin Umar:

Allah’s Apostle used to offer the prayer of ‘Id-ul-Adha and ‘Id-ul-Fitr and then deliver the Khutba after the prayer. (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 15, Number 77)

havis-e-duniya main giraftar
aur waqt ki ye tez raftar..
duniya to shayad mil gayee,
magar najanay kahan guzaar di zindagi

bechain mareez, marz say bekhabar,
najaanay kis marham ki talash main hai zindagi..

waqt ki keemat tunay na pehchani
khwaishon ke peechay neelam howee zindagi

khuda say bekhabar, ilm say wa bastaah
is gumraahi ko na pukar zindagi

duniya k shor say nikalkar,
badalon mai chupay chehron mai dhond zindagi

suraj ko dhaltay dekh kabhi..
pholun ki khoshboo mai suong zindagi

duniya ki esharon par to naachtay hain sab,
apni marzi say bhi kabhi guzaar zindagi.

tijarat siasat ki baton say nikal,
masoomon ki ankhon mai dekh zindagi

paison gi gintee main ghumshuda,
asmaan par taaron ko gin kar dekh zindagi

muththi may na sama sakay
samandar kinaray hai jaisay raith zindagi
maut ki leher anay se pehlay mitti kay ghar bana lay
itna mukhtasir sa hai khel zindagi


– Aamer Saadi


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