Like many other authors, Briffault recognizes the immense contribution of Muslims to civilization and its influence on the European Renaissance. Unlike most other authors, however, Briffault realizes that this contribution was stimulated, motivated and guided by a “new spirit.” Insufficient attention; however, has been given to the source and roots of this “new spirit” that emerged suddenly and powerfully in the seventh century. Initially the Arabs were not known for having made any significant contribution to science and technology, nor was the sandy, mostly arid Arabia known as a center of learning and research.

What then could explain the extraordinary transformation of a people from that state into pioneers of progress and apostles of learning in diverse fields of knowledge? What happened in the seventh century that suddenly put this transformation into motion? There is no viable explanation except for the emergence of Islam and its monotheistic concept of Allah, the source of all bounties. This is what we will be examining in what follows.

Qur’anic Inducements to Study and Explore

The following are a few examples from the Qur’an which clearly urge research, discovery, development and improvement of the quality of life.

{And in the earth are tracts (diverse though) neighboring and gardens of vines and fields sown with corn and palm trees growing out of single roots or otherwise: watered with the same water yet some of them We make more excellent than others to eat. Behold, verily in these things are signs for those who understand }(Ar-Ra`d 13:4)

{See you not that Allah sends down rain from the sky and leads it through springs in the earth? Then He causes to grow therewith produce of various colors: then it withers; you will see it grow yellow; then He makes it dry up and crumble away. Truly in this is a message of remembrance to persons of understanding. } (Az-Zumar 39:21)

{It is Allah Who has subjected the sea to you that ships may sail through it by His command that you may seek of His bounty and that you may be grateful. }( Al-Jathiyah 45:12]

{It is He who made the sea subject that you may eat thereof flesh that is fresh and tender and that you may extract there from ornaments to wear; and you see the ships therein that plough the waves that you may seek (thus) of the bounty of Allah and that you may be grateful.}(An-Nahl 16:14)

{And cattle He has created for you; from them you derive warmth and numerous benefits and of their (meat) you eat. And you have a sense of pride and beauty in them as you drive them home in the evening and as you lead them forth to pasture in the morning. And they carry their heavy loads to lands that you could not (otherwise) reach except with souls distressed: for your Lord is indeed Most Kind, Most Merciful. And (He has created) horses, mules and donkeys for you to ride and use for show; and He has created (other) things about which you have no knowledge.}(An-Nahl 16:5-8)

It should be noted that the above quotes deal with the fundamental resources: agriculture, water, fisheries and animal resources. In a sweeping statement, the Qur’an indicates that everything on earth, and even all that is in the heavens was created for the benefit of mankind.

{It is He who has created for you all things that are on earth; moreover His design comprehended the heavens for He gave order and perfection to the seven firmaments; and of all things he has perfected knowledge.}(Al-Baqarah 2:29]

{And He has subjected to you as from Him all that is in the heavens and on earth: behold in that are signs indeed for those who reflect.} (Al-Jathiyah 45:13)

The Qur’anic exhortations do not limit themselves to physical resources. They encourage the study and understanding of natural laws such as the alternation of day and night, forecasting rainfall, and astronomical phenomena.

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A Garden of Delight: by Halima Columbo

“The sweet, beautiful, and gentle message of Islam touched my heart and we should allow it to touch all our hearts and make us sweet to others.” This was the message of British former Roman Catholic priest Idris Tawfiq to a packed lecture hall at Manchester University on Tuesday, February 20, 2007.

His talk was part of a program of events for Islam Awareness Week, an annual event organized by the University of Manchester Islamic Society. Continue Reading »

By Peter Ford | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor, 27 Dec. 2005. PARIS – Mary Fallot looks as unlike a terrorist suspect as one could possibly imagine: a petite and demure white Frenchwoman chatting with friends on a cell-phone, indistinguishable from any other young woman in the café where she sits sipping coffee.

And that is exactly why European antiterrorist authorities have their eyes on thousands like her across the continent. Ms. Fallot is a recent convert to Islam. In the eyes of the police, that makes her potentially dangerous.

The death of Muriel Degauque, a Belgian convert who blew herself up in a suicide attack on US troops in Iraq last month, has drawn fresh attention to the rising number of Islamic converts in Europe, most of them women. Continue Reading »

God’s words

As we marvel at the greatness of God’s creation of the universe, and His other creations it should come to our mind that God’s word should be in perfection as the rest of His creations are.  Therefore it is natural to expect of God’s words to have the characteristics of being:

1. Divine, no errors

The words of God should be in harmony with His divinity, i.e it should be free from errors. Allah says in the Holy Quran:

“Will they not then ponder on the Holy Quran? If it had been from other than God they would have found therein much contradiction and incongruity.” (al-Nisa’, 4.82)

“Say: if all of humanity and the jinn were to gather together to produce the like of this Holy Quran, they could not produce the like of it, even if they backed each other with help and support” (Al-Israa’ 17:88).

Perfect, guidance

If the words of God proposes guidance then that guidance should naturally be perfect.  In this respect Allah says:

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The Definition of Fitrah

By Yasien Mohamed

Extracted with slight modifications from “Fitrah: The Islamic Concept of Human Nature” © 1996 TA-HA Publishers Ltd.

In attempting a definition of ‘fitrah’, I give an exposition of its linguistic and religious meaning. The religious understanding of fitrah is based on the positive interpretation of fitrah…

Suffice it to say that linguistic and positive religious explanations have one thing in common: both define fitrah as an inborn natural predisposition which cannot change, and which exists at birth in all human beings. What makes our religious understanding positive is that it not only acknowledges fitrah as a natural predisposition, but also one which is inclined towards right action and submission to Allah, the One God.

After discussing the implications for human responsibility, I compare, for the benefit of Western readers, the Islamic concept of original goodness with the Christian concept of original sin. I argue that the doctrine of original sin, from an Islamic point of view, cannot be reconciled with the notion of Divine mercy nor the human responsibility. Since the doctrine of original sin features significantly in the Christian concept of human nature, and as Islam and Christianity are the world’s largest revealed religions, this aspect of their creeds presents an interesting contrast, well worth investigating.

1. The Linguistic Meaning of Fitrah

‘Every new-born child is born in a state of fitrah. Then his parents make him a Jew, a Christian or a Magian, just as an animal is born intact. Do you observe any among them that are maimed (at birth)?’[1]

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Who Is Allah?

In Arabic, Allah means literally the one God.  Different languages give the same thing, different names.  In the last decade, a growing phenomenon was seen on the internet and in published literature where Allah is said to be the “moon god” that Arabs worshiped, and the Kaaba (The Muslims holy place at Mecca) is His temple.

It is alleged that although Islam is a monotheistic religion, the Muslims’ only God is simply another idol that Muhammad peace be upon him chose (or in some versions of the story, he made it up).

This story is nullified by many facts.

Prophet Abraham built the Kaaba for people to worship God. While pagan Arabs admitted this fact and even kept the stone where he used to stand to build the Kaaba (Abraham’s station), they brought idols to the Kaaba and worshiped them to get closer to Abraham’s Lord, Allah, God of gods.

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Welcome to Hidayah Centre’s blog! We will try our best to share with the whole world about the beauty and the truth of Islam.. May Allah give us the the strength. May this effort stengthen the unity of people all around the world, insyaAllah..