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Egypt bans & removes the very books that created the Wahhabi Salafi Movement

The Egyptian Ministry of Religious Endowments have launched a campaign to remove the books of scholars that belong to the Salafi movement from all mosques in Egypt.

Names of scholars whose books are to be removed or confiscated:-

– Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab
– Imam Ibn Taymiyyah
– Sheikh Ibn Baz
– Sheikh Ibn Uthaymeen
– Sheikh Abu Ishaq al-Huweini
– Sheikh Mohamed Hussein Yacoub
– Sheikh Mohammed Hassan

They have already confiscated 7000 books and CDs from mosque libraries in Cairo, Alexandria and Giza. The authors of these materials include:

– Sheikh Wagdi al-Ghoneim
– Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi
– Sheikh Muhammad al-Maqsood
– Yasser al-Burhami
– Sheikh Abu Ishaq al-Huweini
– Sheikh Mohamed Hussein Yacoub
– Sheikh Mohammed Hassan

The ministry’s department is currently launching an inspection campaign on mosques and libraries in all provinces, to make sure they are free of any books and media calling for “militancy and extremism


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Lady Khadija, the Esteemed Wife of the Prophet (s) | Islamic Insights

Home ReligionHistoryLady Khadija, the Esteemed Wife of the Prophet (s)

June 27, 2015 Comments 0Jerrmein Abu Shahba
Lady Khadija, the Esteemed Wife of the Prophet (s)

Lady Khadija al-Kubra (as) is the daughter of Khuwaylid, belonging to the clan of Banu Hashim of the tribe of Banu Asad. She was a distant cousin of her husband, the seal of prophets, Prophet Muhammad (s). Lady  Khadija (as) was a great and exceptional lady in the history of Islam, but unfortunately little spotlight is shed on her and her virtues and role in supporting Islam.  We take this opportunity as an attempt to give her some of the attention she deserves and the praise she earned.

Lady Khadija (as) was born in 565 A.D. and died eleven years after the Hijra on the 10th of the holy month of Ramadan in the year 623 A.D. Although the society in which Khadija was born was terribly male chauvinistic, Khadija earned two titles: Ameerat Quraish, Princess of Quraish, and at-Tahira, the Pure One, due to her impeccable personality and virtuous character, not to mention her honorable lineage. She used to feed and clothe the poor, assist her relatives financially, and even provide for the marriage of those of her kin who did not have the means.  The orphans used to seek refuge in her house because she sympathized with them and she would care for them in a motherly way, such that she became known as Ummul Yatama or the mother of orphans.

She was a wealthy businesswoman who employed Prophet Muhammad (s). When she learned of his exceptional manners and excellent morals, her heart was captivated and she took the step of proposing to the Prophet (s) for marriage, although this was not the custom at that time.  Lady Khadija (as) was not concerned about the economic or financial status of the person she was going to marry or his status as an orphan.  She was solely interested in the immaculate character and pure conduct of the Prophet which she considered to be worth more than gold and silver for her.  She recognized the value of this divine verse praising him even before the verse was revealed, “Surely, you are on an exalted standard of character.” [Holy Quran, 68:4]

Unlike other people, Lady  Khadija (as) never believed in nor worshipped idols and she immediately believed in the prophet, supported his mission and was the first woman to embrace Islam.  The fact that Lady Khadija (as) believed in him as she was the closest to him indicates that the purity of his character was genuine and true whether he is with the people or with his family.

The incredible financial help which Lady Khadija (as) offered to the Prophet (s) and in support of Islam raised her high in status in the eyes of the prophet (s) and pleasure of Allah (swt).  Her sacrifice and service to Islam was to the point that the day she departed this life, she was left without any wealth as she had given everything up for Islam. As the saying goes “Islam did not rise except through Ali’s sword and Khadija’s wealth.” The Prophet (s) invested Khadija’s wealth in Islam. There has never been a better investment in the entire history of mankind. This investment was a guarantee that Islam’s march would not be stymied because of any lack of material means and support. It was an investment that, to this day, is paying enormous dividends and will pay dividends for all generations till the end of time. But material wealth was not the only investment that Khadija made in Islam. She also invested her time, talent, energy, spirit and heart in Islam – an investment otherwise known as commitment.

Undeniably, history records that Prophet Muhammad (s) frequently expressed his deep love and admiration to Lady  Khadija (as) and he preferred her over all his other wives.  It is mentioned that the Prophet (s) would say in her honor, “Khadija was an embodiment of qualities. She certified my prophethood at the time when no one was my supporter.” (Khadijatul Kubra, A Short Story of Her Life by Sayyid Ali Asghar Razwy)  When Ayesha sought to downplay the contributions of  Lady  Khadija (as), the Prophet (s) would say, “No Ayesha! Allah (swt) never gave me a better wife than Khadija! She believed in me when others denied me; she put all her wealth in my service when others withheld theirs from me; and what’s more, Allah gave me children only through Khadija.” (ibid)

In the entire history of the world, there are only four women who could measure up to the high standards of true greatness and perfection set by Islam. The Prophet (s) identified them to be. Asiya, the wife of Pharaoh, Maryam, the mother of Prophet Isa (as), Khadija, the daughter of Khuwayled, and Fatima al-Zahra (as), the daughter of the Prophet (s). (Great Women of Islam by Darul Salam Publications)

It has been narrated that when Lady Khadija (as) was nearing death, she said to the Prophet (s): “A part of my life was spent serving you, I wish you to take care of me on the day of Judgement and do intercession for me. Forgive me, If I lacked in fulfilling any of your rights.” It is also narrated that after Lady Khadija’s demise, Sayyida Fatima (as) told her father, “My mother desires that the cloak that you used to wear at the time of divine inspiration may be given for her coffin so that she could become the center of Allah’s blessings.” The Holy Prophet (s) wept and the angel Gabriel appeared with a message from Allah (swt) saying: “Oh Prophet, Khadija (as) is a benefactor of Islam because she has spent all her wealth in the way of God.” (Miftahul Jannah, by Muhammad Fakhr ul Muarrekheen al Zanjani) Angel Gabriel presented a coffin from paradise as a gift for Sayyida Khadija and promised to build for her a palace of pearls in paradise.

Such a woman who has earned the respect and love of Allah (swt) and His Prophet (s) deserves to become eternally remembered in history. Historians should make more of an effort to study her life and characteristics so that we would  be inspired by her true beliefs, steadfast faith, and magnificent example. Peace be upon Lady Khadija (as), the first benefactor of Islam, the first wife and first lady of the Holy Prophet (s), the mother of the Master Ladies of the Universe, Sayyida Fatima al-Zahraa (as), and the mother of the infallible Imams (as)!


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Muslims who saved Jews during World War II

Muslims who saved Jews during World War II
The forgotten Schindlers
During the Second World War, Muslims like Si Kaddour Benghabrit and Abdul Hussain Sardari risked their lives to save many Jews from deportation. Sadly, however, their selfless actions have long been forgotten. By Emran Feroz
The Middle East conflict is often and quite unilaterally portrayed as a “religious war”. Yet the long and frequent historical epochs in which Jews and Muslims have lived peacefully together – both in the Orient as well as in the West – demonstrate how far this viewpoint is from the truth. Examples of this peaceful co-existence and even mutual aid are, however, much less well known than those that supposedly affirm the eternal clash of cultures.
At a time when racist fanaticism raged under Nazi rule, some Muslims risked their lives in order to save Jews. Yet their courageous acts have long been forgotten. One such case took place at the Grand Mosque in Paris. The “Grande Mosquée de Paris” was opened in 1926 and is still considered to be one of the most beautiful Islamic places of worship in all of Europe. The Paris Mosque was constructed as a gesture of gratitude to those Muslims who fought against the Germans in World War I as members of the “tirailleurs”, the colonial auxiliary troops. In the Great War, some 70,000 Muslims died serving under the French flag.
After the German invasion of France in 1940, the country’s Jews found themselves in mortal danger. At the time, Si Kaddour Benghabrit, a French Algerian, was the rector and head imam at the Paris Mosque. Many Oriental Jews, or Mizrahim, turned to him for help. One of these was the young Salim Halali, who later became a popular singer and actor and who died in 2005. Benghabrit welcomed many of these Jews into the mosque and masked their backgrounds by providing them with a Muslim identity.
It was not all that difficult for Benghabrit to fool the occupying authorities, as Oriental Jews do not look all that different to their Muslim brothers and sisters, they speak the same language, and they have similar names. He arranged forged documents for all the Jewish refugees that verified their supposed Muslim roots, thereby saving them from deportation to a concentration camp. It remains uncertain how many Jews Benghabrit managed to save, but it could have been up to 2,000 individuals. These not only included many resistance fighters, but also a large number of women and children.

In the “Hall of Names” in Yad Vashem in Jerusalem (pictured above), the walls are lined with photos of Jewish victims of the Third Reich. There is also a collection of over two million memorial and biographical notes known as “Pages of Testimony” about Jews who died in the Holocaust
Iranian Jews as Aryans
Another man who took similarly great risks in Paris during the Second World War, was Abdul Hussain Sardari. At the time, he was head of the Iranian Consulate in Paris. He was able to save around 2,000 Iranian Jews then living in France by confusing the Nazis with their own propaganda. As the Nazis regarded the Iranians as Aryans, Sardari claimed that Iranian Jews were, therefore, in principle, also Aryans. Regrettably, Sardari’s brave deeds have since been forgotten not only in Europe, but also in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The cases of Benghabrit and Sardari are reminiscent of that of Oskar Schindler, who saved more than a thousand Jews through his heroic acts. Not only was Schindler made the subject of a brilliant film that received numerous awards, he was also honoured for his deeds after the war and was a recipient of German Federal Cross of Merit.
In addition, his name is commemorated at the Holocaust memorial of Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. By contrast, the names of Si Kaddour Benghabrit and Abdul Hussain Sardari are hardly known by anyone. Neither of these men, both of whom placed their lives at risk and saved at least as many people as Schindler, if not more, are honoured in Yad Vashem.
The search for contemporary witnesses
In the “Garden of the Righteous among the Nations”, which commemorates heroic deeds during the time of the Holocaust, some 24,000 names are recorded. A tiny proportion of them are Muslim. Last year, Yad Vashem added the name of the first Arab to its list, that of Mohammad Helmy, an Egyptian doctor who lived in Berlin in the 1940s. During this time, he hid Jewish friends in his home. Due to his “non-Aryan” background, Helmy himself faced numerous difficulties. Nevertheless, thanks to his efforts, all of the Jews hidden by Helmy managed to survive the Holocaust.
Historical consciousness, however, always reflects current political considerations. With the exacerbation of the Middle East conflict and after the Islamic Revolution in Iran, such Muslim rescuers of Jews have been almost completely forgotten. Yad Vashem, nonetheless, denies that this is intentional and points to the fact that there are approximately 60 Muslims on the list.

Irena Steinfeldt, director of Yad Vashem, is pictured here holding a medal and a certificate of honour that was posthumously awarded to Dr Mohamed Helmy, an Egyptian doctor who lived in the Third Reich during World War II and helped hide Jews to prevent them from being deported to a concentration camp
All the same, the name of Si Kaddour Benghabrit is still not included. When the war was over, some individuals who had found refuge in the Paris Mosque reported his acts of rescue. They wanted subsequent generations to know that Arabs also saved many Jews from death. In the past, Yad Vashem has attempted to find survivors or locate their descendants; staff also made efforts to unearth relevant documents from this period.
Unfortunately, the search for contemporary witnesses and documents has remained unsuccessful. According to Yad Vashem, should such evidence come to light, consideration would certainly be given to including Si Kaddour Benghabrit in the “Garden of the Righteous among the Nations”. The same would apply to the Iranian diplomat Abdul Hussain Sardari.
Nevertheless, the actions of these two men demonstrate that Muslims and Jews can share something far beyond mutual understanding. Today in particular, in the light of the continuously escalating conflict in the Middle East, it is important to revive and preserve such memories.

Author: Emran Feroz