Saturday, October 5, 2013

MAIL - 19 - Part - 26


I Wrote - 

Dear Friend

There had been a bunch of good lessons for this world in all the marriages of prophet Mohammad. Among many other things, he exemplified before this world, how to rehabilitate a widowed woman and her children. His wives played a vital role in taking forward the prophetic mission to the next generation who in turn carried the message to the rest of the world. The wives of prophet Mohammad became role models for the women community of all times and most of them became scholars of their times.
Here comes yet another marriage in dealing with the centuries old culture on Adopted Children. Prophet Mohammad had an adopted son named Zayd who was a slave freed by the prophet himself. Hence he was known as Zayd son of Mohammad. It was prophet Mohammad who arranged his marriage with a lady from within his own family. Her name was Zaynab daughter of Jahsh.

One key aspect of this marriage was that the male candidate Zayd was a freed slave and the ​female candidate Zaynab was from a rich and noble tribe. In the time of prophet Mohammed, freed slaves were treated as inferior second-class people, as it had been for centuries. The marriage didn't last for long.

"The marriage, however, was not a success. Although both Zaynab and Zayd were the best of people, who loved Allah and His Messenger, they were very different and in the end they could not overcome their incompatibility. Zayd asked the Prophet's permission to divorce Zaynab more than once, and although he was counselled to hold onto his wife and to fear Almighty God" - Ibn Kathir.

The social status of these two people created cracks in their marriage relation and it lasted only for one year.

The Seventh Marriage

The adopted son Zayd divorced his wife who was a cousin of the prophet. Here comes the crucial decision of marrying this divorced lady by prophet Mohammed himself. This marriage of prophet Mohammad was nothing but a demonstration of Islamic morals on the treatment of adopted children.

The society during the time of prophet Mohammad treated their adopted son just like how they treated their natural son, in every aspect of their life. In general it is a very good practice and that is exactly what prophet Mohammad was doing. 

But when it comes on the moral side, there is a big difference in treating an adopted son, just like a natural son. In a single sentence, the Islamic morality says that -

• What kind of moral distance is kept before the adoption of a male/female, should be kept even after the adoption.

It was for the materialization of this moral principle that prophet Mohammad married the divorced wife of his adopted son. A messenger who came to deliver the message of Almighty God by words and actions had to took the pain of marrying the divorced wife of his adopted son.

The Morale Behind The Morality

The morale is very high for this particular marriage of prophet Mohammad with the divorced wife of his adopted son. The 6th century adoption culture that didn't keep the moral distance, was in sharp contrast with the Morality Principles that Islam portrayed before this world. 

Islam has unambiguously defined the moral spectrum that should be maintained between men & women and for that, it brought forth the principal concept of 'Mahram'

• The word 'Mahram' denotes the person with whom a man/woman cannot marry.

The word 'Mahram" denotes an unmarriageable person (male/female). For a male it is forbidden to marry his mother, his sisters, his daughters, his brother's daughters, his sister's daughters etc. 

In order to maintain the Moral Integrity of the society, it has defined set of rules with respect to the concept of 'Mahram'. It clearly defines the Moral Distance that should be kept by a woman when dealing with a person whom she can marry. The moral distance should be kept in all the corners of life. For instance - 

"She should address marriageable men in a manner in which there is no softness, i.e. a woman should not address a marriageable man in the same way that she addresses her husband." - Ibn Kathir.

The Moral Spectrum

It is a spectrum of people with whom a woman can interact as if she is at home. The following verse gives a glimpse on the extend of spiral of this moral spectrum. 

"And tell the believing women to lower their gaze, and protect their private parts and not to show off their adornment except that which is apparent, and to draw their veils all over their Juyub (chests and ribs) and not to reveal their adornment except to

• their husbands, or 
• their fathers, or 
• their husband's fathers, or 

• their sons, or 

• their husband's sons, or
• their brothers or 
• their brother's sons, or 
• their sister's sons, or 
• their women, or 
• their right hand possessions, or 
• the servants and the like among men who do not have desire, or 

• children who are not aware of the nakedness of women." - Quran 24:31

The above verse explains the classes of people before whom a woman can interact in her homely appearance. Notably, an adopted son doesn't fall into this moral spectrum. Islam sees any person who is outside this spectrum as a stranger in the exact sense that the moral distance should be kept when dealing with such people.

​Inducting an adopted person (male/female) into this spectrum is a morality leak. In order to resolve this moral defect, Islam declared that the adopted son should be treated equally as that of a natural son except that he/she is out of this moral spectrum and hence the moral distance should be kept. 

This marriage of prophet Mohammad undoubtedly established the completeness of the moral spectrum.

will be continued ...

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Greece Of Aristotle - Debate On Slavery - Intro - 8

May the peace and blessing of Almighty God be upon you

"These Greek City-States had no kings, but were governed by the rich citizens. The average man there had little or no say in the government. There were many slaves who had no right in the government, and women also had no rights." - Nehru, Glimpses of World History, page - 19.

The World Before Mohammad The Messenger of God

A bare minimum understanding of the conditions of this world before the arrival of Mohammad the Messenger of God should be learned prior to the understanding how he integrated the slave population with the mainstream  elite community.

Aristotle's View On Slavery

Man had ever been influenced by his circumstance. His thoughts and actions were mostly derived from the circumstance in which he lived. The Greek philosopher Aristotle was not an excuse to this.

Aristotle was a well known Greek philosopher who lived around 300 BC. He lived around 2300 years before the arrival of Mohammad The Messenger of God. He is being studied even today in universities, throughout the world. He said -

"Slavery is natural; in every department of the natural universe we find the relation of ruler and subject. There are human beings who, without possessing reason, understand it. These are natural slaves." - ARISTOTLE'S POLITICS, translated by Benjamin Jowett.

• Just like there was and there is black and white people by nature, Aristotle opined that some people became Slaves by nature!

• Just like there was and there is tall and short people by nature, Aristotle opined that some people became Slaves by nature!

If a well known philosopher like Aristotle thinks that some people became slaves by nature (!) then what would be the conditions of this world?

Tip Of the Iceberg

Aristotle's view on slavery was just a tip of the iceberg on the practice of this world with regards to Slaves. It is true that the historical Greece had a democratic constitution when compared with the then rest of the world. But even then the practice of slavery did NOT become an excuse to the Greek civilisation.

"It is true that this superlative democracy rested on slavery, that when Attic imperialism was at its height a hundred thousand citizens were surrounded by three hundred and sixty-five thousand slaves." - Page 123, Making of Humanity by Robert Briffault.

• There was a point in the Greek historical timeline at which majority of the population were Slaves!

The major reason for this plight was that Slavery and all its practices was a universally recognised one!

"But at a time when slavery was a universally recognized institution the condition of Attic slaves was so mild, except in the silver mines (the lot of miners is bad '. under all circumstances), that they never once revolted." Page 123, Making of Humanity by Robert Briffault.

• No philosopher came to liberate this mankind from Slavery.

The conditions of the marginalised slave sailed from worse to worst.

"The social and intellectual questions developed in Greece between citizens and citizens, not between masters and slaves." - Ibid, Page 124.

• No philosopher came to educate the slave people.

Presence of Brothels

Another inevitable outcome of widespread slavery was the presence of Brothels. Slave women were kept at the brothels for nothing but flesh-trade. Continuous wars served as a major slave generating machines.

"At best all were sold into slavery, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters separated and scattered in the markets of Delos and the brothels of the Levant. That was the way in  which those god-like Greeks of the Periklean age were in the habit of; dealing with a captured Greek town." Page 32, Making of Humanity by Robert Briffault.

The then Greek government setup brothels so as to be used by the country's youth!

Finally, slavery lead Greece to its downfall.

"Slavery did exercise a profoundly pernicious effect upon Greek culture, and ultimately contributed to its downfall." - Ibid, Page 124.

History continues... its really deep.

Mohammad, The Slave & The Messenger of The Merciful

Here comes the importance of the arrival of Mohammad the Messenger of God. What he presented before this world was a major paradigm shift for this world.

• In specific terms, his mission was to unite this mankind under One God Who created them and what all that exists.

• In specific terms, his mission was to unite this mankind as The Slaves of The Merciful.

And for that, he taught this world, the essential qualities of a slave of The Merciful Almighty God.

Mohammad the messenger of God was incremental in the removal of slavery. It was an Integration rather than a removal. We are yet to see how he could heal the cancer named slavery through his marvellous 23 years of life as a Slave and a Messenger of The Merciful.

The Essential Qualities of a Slave of The Merciful

Mohammad the messenger of God gave this world a new breathe that it is the best for a human being to be the slave of The Merciful rather than a puny slave of a puny human. 

If a human is to become a slave then he has to be the slave of The Merciful Almighty God.

He called upon the masses to be the true slaves of Almighty God by submitting their life to the will of God. He recited the verses from the Glorious Quran.

• "And the slaves of the Most Gracious are those who walk on the earth with dignity and humility" - Quran 25:63.

He taught this mankind that don't be an arrogant master/slave. But be a slave of Almighty God with humility.

• "When the foolish address them they say; 'peace'". - Quran 25:63.

He taught this mankind that whenever a foolish person comes to for quarrel, then say 'peace'.

• "And those who spend the night in worship of their Lord, prostrate and standing."- Quran 25:64.

He taught this mankind that instead of plotting wars and destruction at night, spend the night for worshipping the Lord of the universe.

• "And those who, when they spend, are neither extravagant nor stingy, but are in a just balance between them."- Quran 25:67.

He taught this mankind to spend their money in charity.

• "And those who invoke not any other god along with Allah, nor kill such person as Allah  (Almighty God) has forbidden, except for just cause, nor commit illegal sexual intercourse"- Quran 25:68.

He taught this mankind to be the slaves of Almighty God, worship the One Who created you, don't kill and don't go for prostitution.