A Tyrant King and a Pious Woman
Tipu Sultan and Caliphate
Mufti Md. Shahabuddin Sabeeli
Prophet Abraham (Pbuh) did not tell a lie except on three occasions. Twice for the sake of Allah. When he had said “I am sick”. (Hazrat Abraham (Pbuh) pretended to be sick and gave it as an excuse to his father, because he did not want to accompany him to the annual festival. The second was when the people returned from the fare and found the idols broken. They asked Hazrat Abraham (Pbuh) who had done it. Hazrat Abraham (Pbuh) replied- I have not done this, the big idol there has done it. The third was when Prophet Abraham (Pbuh) and Sarah (his wife) were going on a journey, and they passed by the territory of a tyrant.
Some one said to the tyrant, “This man [i.e. Prophet Abraham (Pbuh)] is accompanied by a very charming lady”. “ So he sent for Prophet Abraham (Pbuh) and asked him about Hazrat Sarah saying, ”Who is this lady”? Prophet Abraham (Pbuh) replied, “She is my sister”. Prophet Abraham (Pbuh) went to Sarah and said, “ O Sarah ! There is no believer, on the surface of the earth except you and I. This man asked me about you and I have told him that you are my sister. So don’t contradict my statement”. The tyrant then called Hazrat Sarah and when she went to him he tried to take hold of her with his hand, but his hand got stiff and he was confounded. He asked Hazrat Sarah, “Pray to Allah for me and I shall not harm you.” Hazrat Sarah begged Allah to cure him and he got cured. He tried to take hold of her for the second time but his hand got as stiff, or stiffer than before and he was more confounded. He again requested Hazrat Sarah “Pray to Allah for me and I will not harm you.” Hazrat Sarah begged Allah again and he became alright.
He then called one of his guards who had brought her and said “You have not brought me a human being but you have brought me a devil.” The tyrant then gave Hazrat Hajera as a maid-servant to Hazrat Sarah. Hazrat Sarah came back to Hazrat Abraham, (Pbuh) and as Hazrat Abraham (Pbuh) was praying and gesturing with his hand, he asked, “What has happened”? She replied, “Allah has spoiled the evil plot of the immoral person and gave Hazrat Hajera to serve me. (Muslim : 2/266)
Moral of the Story
It is our belief that all prophets are innocent and they kept themselves away from all sorts of sins. Telling lie is a sin, since they also never lied. However, in the above Hadith the word “Three lies” is used in a general way, not literally.
As a matter of fact, the Prophet Abraham (Pbuh) said that he was sick , as he was sick of the idol-worship of his people. (Al-Milal wa Al-Nihal : 4/6). Moreover, after breaking the idols into pieces, Hazrat Abraham (Pbuh) said to his people, as a reprimand and a query that the big idol might have wrought such an extensive destruction. He also wanted to make them realise that though the people had faith in idols, the idols neither heard, nor profited them. Hence, idolatry is absurd.
As far as what Hazrat Abraham (Pbuh) had said about Hazrat Sarah that she was his sister, it was not a lie, because all Muslims are brothers and sisters amongst themselves. Moreover, Hazrat Abraham (Pbuh) was anxious that if the tyrant knew about their marital relation, he would abduct Hazrat Sarah and put Hazrat Abraham (Pbuh) in trouble. (Fathul Bari : 13/134)
Therefore, Hazrat Abraham (Pbuh) had suggested to Hazrat Sarah that when the tyrant king enquired about their relationship, Hazrat Sarah should say that Hazrat Abraham (Pbuh) was her brother. It is stated that at that time, there was no Muslim except them.
Through this story, we come to know that Hazrat Sarah was a pious woman as when the king wanted to fulfill his vicious plan, Hazrat Sarah refused to obey him. We also could see a miracle which took place on account of Hazrat Sarah’s earnest prayer. It also happened that when Hazrat Sarah entered the King’s court she performed the ablution and started praying to Allah and asked his help to save her from the cruel king. She begged Allah’s mercy and favour in these words : “O Allah ! If I believe in you and in your prophet guard my modesty and don’t empower the disbeliever over me. (Bukhari : 2/1028)
The story points out that when we are confronted with difficulties we should turn to Allah and seek His mercy.
It is to be noted that the Prophets (Pbuh) themselves could not remove their own misfortunes without Allah’s will and wish. Further more, the story tells that Hazrat Sarah was mild and tolerant as she forgave the king three times. There is a Hadith which indicates that Hazrat Sarah had said: “O Allah ! If this king died, the people would blame me that I had killed him. Therefore, spare his life.” (Bukhari : 1/295)
Besides, basically, telling a lie is unlawful, but it is permissible as well as necessary in some particular situations. However, there is an explanation in the Hadith which emphasises that it is allowed on three occasions. Inam Shehab Bin Zuhri says that he didn’t hear any Hadith which points out the Prophet (Pbuh) gave permission to lie except in the following three conditions. They are: during war to keep military secrets, for making peace between two parties. Telling a lie to save the relations of a husband and a wife on an expedient ground. (Muslim : 2/325)
We can also deduce an issue through this that calling a wife, sister does not nullify the marriage alliance, as Hazrat Abraham (Pbuh) did about his wife Hazrat Sarah. Keeping in view, the above event we may also accept the gift from a non-Muslim as Hazrat Sarah and prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) himself did.
Tipu Sultan, the tiger of Mysore, had obtained the approval of the Ottoman caliphs
The caliphs are deemed as the spiritual leaders of the Muslims and commanders of the faithful. They are solely responsible for the expansion of divine justice on earth. The symbolic importance of Caliph is so great that he is considered as the successor of Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh). The lofty relationship between the Indian Muslims and the Caliphs existed since ages.
Many Indian Muslim rulers had nexus with the Caliphs of their times. They would secure confirmation of their title to the throne from them. The Mughal emperors were one of the few who never felt the necessity to do so. The Kings of Slave dynasty like Iltumush and Mahmud of Ghaznavi had obtained their investiture from Caliphs of Baghdad. The rulers of Thulaq dynasty like Mohammed bin Tughlaq, Firoz Shah Tughlaq and Mahmud of Malwa had secured investiture from the Abbasid Caliphs of Egypt. Tipu Sultan, the tiger of Mysore, obtained the initiation from the caliphs of Ottoman dynasty.
On March 9, 1786, four ships of Tipu sailed from a small port called Tadri on the Mangalore coast to Constantinople to get the investiture from the Ottoman Sultan and also to visit France, England, Oman and other places to build commercial ties. The ships left with four elephants, out of which one was to be presented to the caliph. Unfortunately the elephants died before they reached Basra. The delegation consisted of large group of more than 900, comprising of secretaries, interpreters, attendants, cooks and soldiers. Due to numerous natural calamities like plague in Constantinople and fire in one of the ships many of them lost their lives. Only a handful reached Calicut on December 29, 1789. In spite of the enormous expenses, great suffering and loss of life the embassy were able to secure from the Caliph a letter of a patent, which gave Tipu the right to assume title as an independent king, the right to mint coins and have khutba read in his name. Tipu was presented a sword and a shield studded with precious stones by the Caliph.
Ottoman Empire’s defeat in World War I unleashed the revolutionary forces within Turkey. GNA (Grand National Assembly) which was at the helm of power abolished the Caliphate system. The Indian Muslims who form the largest single component of world’s Muslim population expressed deep concern about the future of the caliphate system. There was nation wide agitation’s led by Maulana Mohammed Ali and Shaukat Ali. Unfortunately the Khilafat movement did not have any impact on the Caliphate.
The GNA appointed Abd al-Majid as the new Caliph. However within a few months the caliph and his family were banished to Switzerland. From Switzerland the
Ottoman family moved to Paris and later to Nice. In exile at this critical time the financial help came from Mir Osman Ali Khan, the Nizam of Hyderabad. The ex-caliph was worried about the marriage of his beautiful daughter Princess Durushahwar. Maulana Shaukat Ali solved his problem by arranging the marriage of Caliph’s daughter with the son of Nizam, Prince Azam Jah. This gave a new turn to the relationship of Indian Muslims and the Caliphs.
This marriage led to a hypothesis that there might be some hidden motives behind it. Some of them had even assumed that Nizam was aspiring for the Caliphate. On 12 November 1931 Prince Azam Jha married the only daughter of ex-Caliph and Prince Muazzam Jha, (second prince) married Princess Nilufar the niece of ex-caliph. It was a simple marriage. Quite later another great grand daughter of Sultan Murad V was married to the Muslim ruler of Badalpur. (Princely state on the frontiers of Nepal.) This gave a new turn to the relationship of Indian Muslims and the Caliphs.
Find out with the help of clues Arabic terms frequently used by Muslims. The letters lie in line vertically, horizontally, and diagonally and can be read both backward, upward, downward.
Contributed by Niloufer Yasmeen
Answers to the wordhunt will be given in the next issue.
|1} Intention (Arabic)
||2) Unit of Prayer |
|3) Friday Prayer
||4) Muslim Festival |
|5) Prophet who was swallowed by a Whale
||6) Festival of Fasting|
||8) The scared Book |
|9) This Prophet built the Kaba
||10) House of Allah|
|11) Due to Poor
||12) Cave where Muhammed (Pbuh) was called to Prophethood |
|13) This angel brought the Revalation to the Prophet
||14) Islamic Law |
|15) First Sura
||16) Holy War |
|17) Quranic Chapter
||18) Faith (Arabic) |
|19) First Caliph of Islam
||20) Call of Prayer |