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     The Second Lecture Signs of Relaxation and Generosity of History (1

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    ذكر عدد المساهمات : 8518
    تاريخ التسجيل : 20/12/2010
    العمر : 48

    مُساهمةموضوع: The Second Lecture Signs of Relaxation and Generosity of History (1   الخميس يونيو 21, 2012 8:32 pm

    date and topic of the new lecture
    was announced. Dr. Adam will lecture on Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, in the
    University Cultural Season.After welcoming and thanking the audience,
    she said that she had chosen for her topic Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, .
    She went on to say, “You might ask why I have chosen Prophet Muhammad,
    pbuh? What are the justifications for distinguishing him from those we
    have mentioned in the previous lecture?”She heard whispers and saw
    looks on the faces of the audience, which indicated, as a whole her
    true intuition, proper expression and correctapt assumption.She began
    saying, in complete confidence, “As a result of my research, I have
    discovered four facts, which, I believe, provide, as a whole,
    satisfactory answers to the questions raised in the previous lecture. I
    leave it to you to judge, after hearing them.”“The first is the
    abundance of detailed and factual information on the life of Prophet
    Muhammad, pbuh, in all phases of his life.. There is no missing link in
    his life, which lasted sixty three years. Neither are there any of the
    questions that were raised in the previous lecture when talking about
    his predecessors among the great figures.All those who read his life
    story, and I am one of them, are agreed that it is an open book, before
    both his followers and his enemies.
    The most conspicuous of this description is that a researcher hardly
    encounters a question mark throughout his life story as a whole, in its
    most delicate and private aspects. In this respect, I find that I must
    open the index of the smallest book my hands could lay on, concerning
    an aspect of the character and manners of the Prophet, pbuh, in order
    to acquaint ourselves with the details it contains. I must confess that
    I was almost bored with these details, although you accuse me of being
    keen on them and seek them. This book is “The Character and Ethics of
    the Prophet, pbuh,”, which was written by Jaafar bin Hayyan
    Al-Asfahani, who died in the year 369 H. corresponding to 952 G.This
    book contained an accurate description of all the clothes of Prophet
    Muhammad, pbuh, a description of all the tools he used, a minute
    description of his table manners, his drinks, sleep, entering, leaving,
    sitting, speech, laughter, tears, dialogue and the way he treated
    people.There was also an accurate description of all the members of his
    body that were visible to his companions, and included an account of
    the mounts he used to ride and their names and other things, which we
    need not mention in this context.Such information was not confined to
    one or two books. It occurs in hundreds of reliable books, whose
    authors are well known for their scientific rigor, truthfulness and
    honesty. I invite any one who wishes to consult these books. This
    justly confirms that we are here concerned with a personality that is
    considered an open book in all its pages.”
    She went on to say, “It is quite in order, in this context, that I
    quote some testimonies of my predecessors, who wrote on Prophet
    Muhammad, pbuh. Thus R. F. Bodley, the contemporary English author
    said, ‘We find that the story of Muhammad is abundantly clear.’[1]
    History has pronounced its verdict on the life story of the Prophet,
    pbuh, which story is far beyond legends and forgery. Claude Cahen,
    Professor of Islamic History at the University of Paris, said, ‘the
    personality of Muhammad has a historical character that is not found in
    the case of any other founder of other religions.’[2] Prophet Muhammad
    lived in Mecca for more than fifty years, the major part of his life,
    and his enemies there were by far more numerous than his followers, and
    none of his enemies denied anything in his eventful life, or claimed
    that there were obscure pages therein.History has recorded a dialogue
    between Abu Sufyan, Mecca’s leader and the notorious enemy of Muhammad,
    pbuh, before the former had embraced Islam, and the Roman Emperor, in
    which dialogue Abu Sufyan could not change any facts or change any
    data, for fear that history would record that he told lies before the
    Roman Emperor[3], because Muhammad’s life was too well known to be
    distorted or concealed.” “ The Second: The great many books that were
    written on his life story throughout 1400 years. There are hundreds of
    them; anyone can make use of the data-base at the University and
    benefit from the links connecting the University with other
    universities to ascertain the truthfulness of this fact. The number he
    finds may reach four digits, provided one is patient and willing to
    search. Moreover, if I did not dare to give a firm figure because I
    have no documented data, let me quote from the great historian, Durant,
    who said in his book on the Story of Civilization that ‘the stories
    reported of Muhammad may fill ten thousand volumes’[4].
    An examination of these works will reveal that they have written at
    different times, places, and by various authors, with different
    approaches, but all of them contain almost the same facts.Any
    difference between them is a matter of drafting, focus, expansion and
    analysis, as well as the attitude of each author towards these facts,
    all of which relate to differences in opinion, and are not problematic
    in the majority of cases.”“The third: The great number of followers
    round him. Reliable books which deal with the classification of men in
    terms of their character and reliability, and have had wide
    circulation, have mentioned that about ten thousand men have kept the
    company of Muhammad, pbuh, though this companionship varied in terms of
    duration and nature.It is fortunate that Anas bin Malek, who kept the
    company of the Prophet, pbuh, for ten consecutive years, was the last
    companion to die. It is established that he died in 93 H., which means
    he lived almost 80 years after the death of the Prophet, pbuh. Moreover,
    his wife Aisha, his closest spouse, lived after him for almost 45
    year, having died in 58 H. There is also his cousin Abdullah bin Abbas,
    who was close to him, lived 55 years after his death and died in 68 H.
    There are many others who had ample opportunity to report on the life
    of the Prophet, pbuh - all that they remembered of him and saw of him,
    in addition to others whose number was in the thousands.
    There is no doubt that there was a great number of people round him,
    watching every minor or major thing in his life, even the most intimate
    aspects of a man’s life with his wife.These details were reported in
    authentic traditions through uninterrupted, reliable and trustworthy
    sources. Thanks to such reports all question marks regarding his life
    were removed.This fact did not escape the professor of Islamic
    civilization, Professor Hamilton Jep, who said, ‘If it had not been for
    the traditions, Muhammad’s picture would have been , at least general
    if not remote , at least, in its historical and religious origins.
    These traditions have portrayed his human aspect, in an abundant
    collection of living and tangible details.’[5]This has also prompted
    the scholar Lora Vencia Vaglery to say, in his reference to the social
    and economic condition of prophets, ‘It would seem that we have no
    details of the daily life of Moses and Jesus, while we know everything
    on Muhammad’s family life.’[6]A similar testimony is given by Monte,
    Professor of Oriental languages at the University of Geneva: ‘Rare are
    the reformers, the details of whose lives are known as those pertaining
    to Muhammad.’[7]Such information is corroborated by the fact that they
    are reported by more than one source, and under various circumstances.
    In light of the science of Isnad (attribution) and the science which
    scrutinizes men (ílm naqd al-rijaal), the like of which
    humanity has not known, nor do I pretend to have a wide knowledge of,
    those acquainted with the principles of these two sciences will be
    amazed to witness such scrupulous accuracy and impartiality that
    characterize them.It is worth pointing out that the Arabs, the nation
    to whom Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, belongs, are well known for their
    strong memory among nations. Thus, the great historian George Zaidan,
    testifies to the strong memory of the Arabs and says that they have
    conserved, in addition to their annals, those of previous nations, such
    as those of the people of Áad and Thamud;[8] no wonder they
    have preserved the details of the life of their Prophet Muhammad, pbuh,
    who loved them and whom they loved, a love that has no parallel
    throughout history.”“The Fourth: is that Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, has
    laid down for his followers a meticulous scientific methodology in the
    reporting of information. Thus he warned against lying, particularly in
    reporting facts concerning him, telling them: ‘He who reports lies
    about me shall occupy a place in hell.’[9] This is a severe warning by
    the Prophet, pbuh, to his followers, urging them to stick to accuracy
    and to admit only such information as is firmly established as being
    correct and true, and to shun conjectures, against which he also warns,
    saying, ‘Conjecture is the phoniest type of lying.’ [10]
    There remains, dear audience, a fifth fact to complete the series of
    justifications. This relates to the nature of the life story of Prophet
    Muhammad, pbuh. A consideration of this life story will amply reveal
    its realism; it is easy for anyone to understand, accept and emulate,
    if they so desire, without feeling embarrassed or going against
    instinctive disposition, as is happening and witnessed in the hundreds
    of millions of Muslims, who follow on the footsteps of Prophet Muhammad,
    pbuh.While this, for example, is not possible for the followers of
    Buddha, of whom there are hundreds of millions, the scanty information
    that has reached us on Buddha is confined to the facts that he was a
    prince living in a palace, that he had a wife and a son, that he
    abandoned his palace, leaving his wife and son alone, and wandered in
    the deserts and forests, until he died, a lonely ascetic.[11] One may
    ask whether this culture of asceticism still prevails among the nations
    that believe in him among the Chinese, the Japanese and the Koreans.
    These nations have set up gigantic industrial states, which means that
    almost none of them thinks of reviving this culture of asceticism,
    because following it would paralyze life and take humanity back to
    centuries of primitive life.I have come across a statement reported of
    Buddha, which I do not like his followers to hear from me in these major
    industrial states: ‘My Code is a universal blessing. It is like the
    sky; there is room in it for all people. However, it is difficult for
    the rich to follow its path.’[12]
    Christ, pbuh, is well known for inviting people to practice tolerance,
    forgiveness and forbearance. He is reported to have said, while
    preaching to his followers: “You have heard the statement: ‘Any eye for
    an eye; a tooth for a tooth,’ but I tell you not to resist evil, but
    rather, he who slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other
    cheek, as well; he who wishes to take your garment, let him have it as
    well; he who exploited you one mile, go with him two miles; he who asks
    you, give him; and he who wants to borrow from you, do not turn him
    down.”“You have heard others say, ‘Love thy relative and hate thy
    enemy’, but I tell you: love thy enemy, bless those who curse you; be
    charitable towards those who hate you, and pray to those who wrong you
    and expel you.”Dr. Adam gave a significant smile and asked the
    audience, “Which of the Western or Eastern states, have invariably
    adopted these teachings, or thought one day to partially apply them,
    even once in their long history, particularly towards their
    adversaries? We leave it to ancient and modern history to answer this
    question. But as far as we are concerned, we proceed with our
    lecture.Let me point out, in this context, that these teachings of
    Christ, pbuh, are not detrimental to his reputation and no one must
    criticize him on their account. No, and a thousand times no. This is
    because they emanated from Christ under special circumstances in order
    to deal with special circumstances. They are teachings springing from
    their environment, and were successful, at that time, in curbing
    injustice and revenge, and in restricting the evil among the Israelis in
    the midst of whom Christ was preaching.
    Christ has also attempted to establish a balance in Roman society, in
    which he lived, for the culture of that society was confined to
    nurturing the body only at the expense of the spirit. It was a warlike
    and bloody culture, and it was this that prompted Christ to adopt such
    principles, which circumstances strongly called for. Hence, the
    followers of Christ did not assimilate these teachings and were unable
    to put them into practice.I have read something interesting in this
    respect, which I propose to report to you. It was written by the great
    scholar Jameel Baiham, who wrote, “When, before the advent of Christ,
    moral chaos was exacerbated, and reached alarming proportions as a
    result of the corruption that prevailed among both the Jews and the
    Romans, Christ came as a social reformer and not as a legislator,
    because neither the Jews nor the Romans lacked legislation. Hence, his
    message was a call for virtues and a warning against vices, and a
    promotion of love and peace.[13]I am also impressed by statements that
    are appropriate in this context, which were made by the great scholar
    Sulaiman Al-Nadawi, who divided virtues into two categories: a negative
    category and a positive one.[14]
    He said that secluding oneself from people is a negative virtue,
    because the person concerned does not harm any of them, but, at the
    same time, he does not offer any positive good. Moreover, forgiving the
    mistakes of people is also a negative virtue, but does not offer any
    positive good, such as giving advice and coming to the rescue of the
    wronged people. It must be pointed out that such virtues were
    propagated by reformers who antedated Prophet Muhammad pbuh.In fact they
    lack universality and balance, which are clearly manifested in the
    character of Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, as I shall soon demonstrate after a
    short break.Dr. Adam was more than terrific. She delivered her lecture
    in full confidence, steadfastness and optimism. She looked happy in
    her exposition.What contributed more to her happiness, is her feeling
    that the audience shared her feelings, and what made her even more
    pleased and amused was the statement by one who never missed any of her
    lectures, who said, “One of the five justifications you have touched
    on would have been enough to show the importance of the study of the
    life story of Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, but it seems you are keen on
    making us tired in listening, and yet, we greatly appreciate what you
    say. In any case, I hope you will stick to this method, which is both
    tiring and enjoyable.”
    After the break, Dr. Adam began by saying:
    “I have noticed a phenomenon, an aspect of which I have touched on a
    short while ago, namely, that the great figures we have considered had
    one distinctive quality that was associated with them and on account of
    which they won the respect of people and became famous. Thus Christ
    was tolerant, Buddha was ascetic, Alexander the Macedonian was strong,
    Aristotle was a philosopher, and none of them is known to have another
    distinctive attribute.But what is really striking is the fact all these
    virtues, and others, converged in the person of Prophet Muhammad
    pbuh.A consideration of the life story of this Prophet, and going
    through the pages of his life will certainly discover conclusive
    evidence that corroborate this fact. This fact I have reached after
    reading many and variegated books, which I approached, as much as
    possible without prejudices, though biased towards the true
    facts.Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, was the most courageous of men, the
    most forbearing, the most generous, the most ascetic. He was merciful,
    just, forgiving, sincere, continent, trustworthy, dignified, smiling,
    modest, unyielding in matters of principle, and at the same he was even
    more shy than an innocent young girl.
    A reflective, analytic consideration of all these combined virtues that
    characterize the Prophet, pbuh, clearly indicates that the attribute
    of greatness is justified only when all of them are combined in a
    person, because fractional values cannot make greatness, nor can they
    contribute to the happiness of humanity.This view has been reinforced
    when I recollected the views of certain specialists in ethics, to the
    effect that “Each virtue is reinforced by other virtues.”[15] When a
    person combines all these virtues – which is the case in Prophet
    Muhammad, pbuh, one of these virtues stands out and comes to be
    associated with a person more than others. This fact is also
    established by the discipline of ethics. In this respect, the great
    scholar Draz says, “The human soul must practice all these virtues,
    before specializing in one of them[16] ,without such attribute
    predominating on other ones that weaken its effect and reduce its
    standing, so that all of them remain at their highest degrees, and the
    most perfect of their qualities.

    Dr. Adam paused for a while and went on to say, “I
    have always been keen on making my lectures smoothly going and easily
    understood, unlike the academic lectures in the classes. However, it
    seems that, at times, we have no choice, in view of the nature of the
    subject. But I promise you to make abundant use of realistic stories
    and interesting and well established facts.This being so, and it seems
    that it is so, at least on certain occasions, I shall do my best to
    make this lecture as brief as possible, lest the lectures should
    contribute to mutual oblivion. I shall end my lecture by dealing with
    an important matter that is closely linked to our subject, though I
    shall not elaborate too much in respect thereto. I refer to the motives
    underlying the cultivation of virtuous attributes.Ethics scholars have
    considered this matter; and their overwhelming view was that these
    motives are material benefit, personal happiness, the environment,
    conscience or power.[17]
    الرجوع الى أعلى الصفحة اذهب الى الأسفل
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    The Second Lecture Signs of Relaxation and Generosity of History (1
    الرجوع الى أعلى الصفحة 
    صفحة 1 من اصل 1
     مواضيع مماثلة
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    » تدريس تاريخ الفن (Instruction Art History)

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