Islamic Voice
Rajab 1422
October 2001
Volume 15-10 No:178

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Prophet's Companions: Abuzarr Ghiffari
Prophet Yaqub
The Karate Kid
Giving All, Taking Nothing
Musa's Story
Balloon Capital
Serving the Servant
Lead: Soft but Heavy
India's Traditional Industries
WORD JUMBLE - October 2001
Supplication (Dua) in Hard Times

Prophet's Companions

Abuzarr Ghiffari

A companion of the Prophet who was afraid of getting anywhere close to the worldly pleasures.

Abuzarr Ghiffari’s real name was Jundab bin Janada. But he was fondly called as Abuzarr. He belonged to the tribe of Ghiffar which lived in the village of Waddan on the route linking Makkah with Syria in the north. Members of Ghiffar tribe usually eked a living out of trading they did with merchant caravans traversing the important trade routes. They would feel no qualms in looting the caravans if the traders did not buy things from them or avoided availing their services or spending their money while camping at their village. But Abuzarr Ghiffari was an exception. He was known for his bravery, farsightedness and wisdom. He knew the ills that were affecting the morals of his kinsfolk. He had heard about the advent of a new prophet who would take the people out of darkness and would show them the straight path and reform their morals. He was keenly awaiting him.

Abuzarr sent his brother Anees to Makkah to enquire about the teachings of Prophet Muhammad as soon as he learnt about his prophethood. Anees visited Makkah and came back with the message of Islam, his impressions about the glorious personality and character of the Prophet, peace be upon him. When Abuzarr wanted to know how the people of Makkah thought about the holy Prophet, he told him most of the people he met considered the Prophet was either a soothsayer, charlatan or a poet. Anees’ account however did not satisfy Abuzarr and he decided himself to visit the Prophet and gather a first hand impression.

He took some drinking water in a small leather pouch and set out for Makkah. Since he knew about the enmity of Quraish against the Prophet, he did not make his intentions public. He stayed in the Harem around the Kabah for the night. Hazrath Ali thought he was a wayfarer and took him home for the dinner. However, he avoided asking the purpose of his visit to Makkah. This went on for three nights in a row. Third night he politely asked him as to why he was staying over in Makkah and if he (Ali) could be helpful in any way. At this Abuzarr revealed his intention of seeing the person who claims to be a Prophet and to hear his message from his own ears.

Ali’s joy knew no bounds. He asked him to follow him the next morning and quietly enter the house where he stepped inside. Since Islam was being propagated secretly, Ali told Abuzarr to keep on walking even if he stopped on the way due to some lurking danger.

Next morning Ali ushered him in the house of Prophet Muhammad where he greeted the Prophet with Assalamu Alaikum ya Rasulullah (Peace be upon you, O Prophet of Allah1!). The holy Prophet replied: Walaikum assalam wa rahmathullahi wabarkatahu (Peace and Allah’s mercy and blessings be upon you). The holy Prophet liked the manner Abuzarr greeted him and it was from thence that this became a standard way of greetings among Muslims.

Prophet Muhammad recited some portion of the Quran and told him about the teachings of Islam. Abuzarr was convinced and recited the Kalimah. He stayed on in the Prophet’s company for a few days and learnt a lot of manners, etiquette and major teaching of Islam. The Prophet told him about the hostile atmosphere in Makkah and advised him against mentioning his new faith, lest people harm him in any way.

Yet Abuzarr was charged with a new spirit and insisted upon proclaiming his new faith among the pagans of Quraish. He went to the Masjid e Harem and announced his new faith. The Quraish went wild with anger and beat him black and blue. He was almost half dead. Prophet’s uncle, Hazrath Abbas intervened and warned them against killing Abuzarr whose powerful tribe controlled the routes of merchant caravan between Makkah and Syria.

Later the Prophet asked him to go to his Ghiffari tribe and preach the message of Islam and the Quran. He went back to Waddan and began conveying the message of Islam. His brother Anees was first to join him. Next it was the turn of his mother to join them. Later a lot of Ghiffari kinsfolk joined the fold of Islam. They even organized congregational prayers. Several others vowed to join Islam when the Holy Prophet migrated to Madinah. The Prophet made a special prayer for their security and forgiveness.

Abuzarr stayed on in his village even as battles of Badar, Uhud and Khandaq(Trench) were fought between the Makkan pagans and the Muslims of Madinah. Later he joined the company of the Prophet and had the good fortune of serving him for a long period.

The death of the Prophet saddened him immensely. Heartbroken, he migrated to Syria soon after and stayed there during the caliphate of Abubakar and Umar, may Allah be pleased with them. Later he took residence in Damascus but was very resentful of the way Muslims were indulging in worldly pleasures. Third caliph Usman recalled him to Madina but even here he was very restless to see Muslims taking to worldly luxuries. He was severely critical of the ways of the people which led to great resentment among the people of Madinah. At this Usman advised him to shift to village of Zabdah, situated close to Madinah. He renounced all the pleasures and greatly reduced the necessities of the worldly life.

One day a person visiting him asked him as to why his house was totally without any of his belongings. He replied: We have another house at another place. We send forth all our belonging to that house. He understood the underlying meanings yet persisted with his query and told him he needed at least some basic necessities to lead the life. Abuzarr said the real owner of the house would not allow him to live for long.

Once the Governor of Syria sent him 300 dinars for personal expenses. He returned the dinars and observed: Didn’t he see a poorer man in his own territory.

This embodiment of piety and sacrifice died in 32 Hijri. The Prophet once remarked about him: This earth and sky must not have seen anyone purer and truer of heart than Abuzarr Ghiffari.

(Translated and abridged by Maqbool Ahmed Siraj from Suwarum min Hayatus Sahabah by Egyptian writer Dr. Abdur Rahman Rafat Pasha.)


Prophet Yaqub

Father of Bani Israel, Prophet Yaqub is known for his patience and forbearance.

Prophet Yaqub (Pbuh) was the son of Prophet Ishaq and Rebecca. He was one of a pair of twins born to Rebecca in Palestine. The other was Esau. Prophet Ishaq at that time was sixty years old. As a young boy Esau would hunt for food and provide his aged parents with meat. The more philosophically minded Yaqub was chosen by Almighty Allah to be a prophet of the Bani Israel.

Prophet Yaqub (Pbuh) grew up and followed in the footsteps of his father Prophet Ishaq and his grandfather Prophet Ibrahim. Prophet Yaqub spent his time preaching to the people to do good and shun evil. He advised them to keep up prayers and give alms.

Prophet Yaqub had an uncle called Laban. It is said that this uncle had kept Prophet Yaqub in his service for seven years with the promise of giving Rachel’s hand in marriage to him. At the end of the term Prophet Yaqub was married to Rachel. He later had three more wives. In all he had four wives and 12 sons who became the heads of the 12 Jewish tribes. Prophet Yusuf (Pbuh) and his brother Benjamin (Bin Yamin) were born to Rachel and Prophet Yaqub was especially fond of these two sons.

Prophet Yaqub was later to suffer a great deal on account of the treachery of his other sons towards Prophet Yusuf (Joseph). Later when he came to know that his son Prophet Yusuf was alive and the custodian of a granary in Egypt, he was overjoyed. Prophet Yaqub (Pbuh) along with the whole family proceeded towards Egypt on the invitation of his son. They were warmly received and settled down in Egypt. Prophet Yaqub died at the age of 140 years and was buried at Hebron according to his will.

Prophet Yaqub (Jacob) (peace be upon him), known for his wisdom was a guiding light to his family and his people. When death approached him he called his sons and warned them to worship none save Allah and to surrender themselves to Him.


The Karate Kid

10Karate Kid

A. I. Makki

Gist of the story so far.

Once there lived a great fighter. He had mastered all kinds of martial arts. None could match his skills or strength. As he grew older, he began to train a young boy. The training went on for 12 years. The boy grew into an excellent fighter. He travelled far and wide and displayed his skills. The best of the fighters in the land were humbled by him in the arena. He rejected all offers to join courts of the kings and emirs. He wanted to be his own master

Now read on...

All those who watched him would tell him that he had learnt his lessons well under the great master. They told him that he walked perfectly in his footsteps and was in fact a better version than his master. He was much faster, nimble on his feet, quick on the draw and he moved with lightning speed so much so that he could weave webs around his opponents, before they could catch up on him. He was showered with praises wherever he went and people thronged from far and wide to catch a glimpse of him.

All this praise went straight into the head of pupil, but nothing irritated him more than being compared to his old master. He reasoned that people should know him in his own right and he was getting tired with all those comparisons.

When he confided this to some of his close friends, they told him that the only way out of this problem was to issue an open challenge to his master, to fight him out in an open arena. They assured him that he would win over him hands down. The master was getting old and he would be no match to his youth and energy. It should be a fight to the death. It would only be then; he would emerge out of the shadow of his former master. That is the only logical solution, they reasoned out for him.

The young fighter lost no time in issuing an open challenge to his old master for a fight to death. The message was worded in such a way that the master was left with no alternative but to accept this challenge. He sent words through the messenger that he was well past his prime and he would need time to prepare himself for the grand fight. He had over the years neglected to practise on his skills. The young fighter heard his masters’ request and gracefully conceded him the time.

As the day of the fight drew near, the pupil started getting nervous. His calm assurance started deserting him. He had done the unthinkable; he had challenged his old master for a fight, he was in no man’s land now. There could be no retreat, without great loss of face. If he lost face in front of everybody then he had to leave the country for good. But, what if he lost, he did not know the answer, for he would not live to see the day for it was a fight to the death. Growing apprehensive by the day, he sent a few of his close friends to spy on the old master to see how he was preparing himself for the duel.

His friends came back with an unusual story. They had spied on the old master undetected for a very long time. The old master was spending all his days in sharpening a 10-foot long sword made of finest steel. One of them had gathered courage to go up to the old master to question him as to how he was preparing himself for the fight. The old man had greeted him with a sad look on his face and informed his guest about his preparations. He even allowed him to examine his ten-foot long sword. He had even told him without any prompting that he had to kill his former pupil when he was ten feet away from him. If he let him come near him his student would kill him for he was younger and much quicker than him. His guest had listened to all this with great attention and hurried back to tell the pupil about the intelligence gathered by him.

The pupil heard all this and his old confidence returned back to him; he would beat the old master at his own game. He hurriedly gave orders for a 15-foot sword to be made out of finest steel fashioned by land’s best craftsmen. He told his puzzled friends that he would beat the old man with five feet to spare. The friends complimented him on his wise decision.

The day of the fight dawned, and people all over the country had gathered in the arena since morning to witness this fight. This was going to be the mother of all fights, they declared to one another. It was a fight between the world’s best masters who had perfected every art of fighting invented by man. It would be a magnificent spectacle. Nobody wanted to miss this event.

The signal to start the fight was given by the referee and the spectators were greeted to a strange spectacle of the two masters approaching one another very carefully, sizing each other up as fighters would normally do. One had a ten-foot sword hanging by his side and sheathed in a magnificent scabbard and the other had a 15-foot sword by his side also well sheathed in a scabbard. The law did not permit the fighters in the arena to approach each other with unsheathed weapons and both the fighters had respected the protocol that was demanded from them by the law of their land.

As per rules, they stayed 30 feet away from each other. The referee gave the second signal for the actual fight to start. Both the warriors rushed towards one another. As the pupil was busy unsheathing his 15-foot sword from his scabbard, he was startled and surprised to find his old master at his throat with a two-foot sword against him, holding him in a tight iron-grip. The last words he heard from his master before he was killed were “Never try to act or pretend to be wiser than your teacher, I had taught you everything I knew except the art of using your intelligence, when you fight an enemy superior to you in strength”.

The pupil had learnt his lesson, but it was too late, for he never lived to implement it.
Moral: Never try to act smart with the one who has taught you. A teacher will always remain a teacher. They deserve all our respect for without them the world would have been poorer, totally bereft of all knowledge.


Giving All, Taking Nothing

10 Apple StoryA long time ago, there was a huge apple tree. A little boy loved to come and play around it everyday. He would climb to the treetop, ate the apples, took a nap under the shadow. He loved the tree and the tree loved to play with him. Time went by. The little boy had grown up and he no longer played around the tree every day.

One day, the boy came back to the tree and he looked sad. “Come and play with me the tree asked the boy.
Boy: I am no longer a kid, I do not play around trees any more. I want toys. I need money to buy them.
Tree: Sorry, I do not have money but you can pick all my apples and sell them. So, you will have money.

The boy was very excited. He plucked all the apples on the tree and left happily. The boy never came back after he picked the apples. The tree was sad. One day, the boy, who by now had turned into a man, returned and the tree was excited.
Tree: Come and play with me.
Boy: I do not have time to play. I have to work for my family. We need a house for shelter. Can you help me?
Tree: Sorry, I do not have any house. But you can chop off my branches to build your house.

So the man cut all the branches of the tree and left happily. The tree was glad to see him happy but the man never came back since then. The tree was again lonely and sad.

On a hot summer day, the man returned and the tree was delighted. It asked the man to come and play with him.
Boy: I am getting old. I want to go sailing to relax myself. Can you give me a boat?
Tree: Use my trunk to build your boat. You can sail far away and be happy.

So the man cut the tree trunk to make a boat. He went sailing and never showed up for a long time. Finally, the man returned after many years.
Tree: Sorry, my boy, but I do not have anything for you anymore. No more apples for you.
Boy: No problem, I do not have any teeth to bite the man replied.
Tree: No more trunk for you to climb on.
Boy: I am too old for that now.
Tree: I really cannot give you anything. The only thing left are my dying roots.
Boy: I do not need much now, just a place to rest. I am tired after all these years, the man replied.
Tree: Good! Old tree roots are the best place to lean on and rest. Come, come sit down with me and rest.

The man sat down and the tree was glad and smiled with tears.

Moral: This is a story of everyone. The tree is like our parents. When we were young, we loved to play with Mom and Dad. When we grow up, we leave them, only come to them when we need something or when we are in trouble. No matter what, parents will always be there and give everything they could to make you happy. You may think the boy is cruel to the tree, but that is how all of us treat parents. Please enlighten all your friends and your families by telling them this story, and love your parents.


Book Review

Musa's Story

Tell Me About Musa

Reviewed by Nigar Ataulla

Prophet Musa, peace be upon him, is one of the most known persons of history. His life history is described in great detail by the Quran. It is full of adventures, happenings and excitemnent. Here is a book by Saniyasnain Khan to tell you the story through words and pictures. And Khan has produced enough number of pictures, all very exotic and colourful.

Firawn's Body as seen in a Cairo Museum
Firawn's body as seen in a Cairo Museum

The Holy Quran takes us to Musa’s lifetime in order to draw lessons. The story of how the baby Musa was carried on the soft ripples of Nile waters to the palace of Firawn (Pharaoh) has always increased our heartbeats. Then he is united with his mother, that too in the Firawn’s palace. This at a time when the emperor was killing infants of Bani Israel. He grows up there and flees Egypt. In a fateful accident, Allah shows a glimpse of Himself with a tree on fire. Musa faints. But then Allah grants him prophethood and asks him to go to Firawn and warn him. Firawn was stubborn. He considered himself god. Bani Israel followed Musa to come out of Egypt, crossing the sea that had parted to make way. But when Firawn tried to use this pathway the two sides joined and Firawn and his huge army was drowned.

Tell Me About The Prophet Musa should be part of the Children’s library. They can learn lesson as to how their steady and strong faith in Allah will help them and make life easy for them. The book can also be a great gift.

The book is available with Goodword Books, 1- Nizamuddin West Market, New Delhi: 110013


Balloon Capital

Balloon Fiesta

Albuquerque in New Mexico state of the USA is also known as the world capital of balloonists. Come October and the skies over New Mexico are painted as hundreds of balloons lift off from Albuquerque’s Balloon Fiesta Park. On crisp early mornings these graceful giants leave the ground to take their place in the desert sky. For ballooning fans worldwide the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is a pilgrimage. There’s something for everyone to enjoy. Special shapes filled with equal parts of hot air and wonder, and Balloon Glows that create a magical night landscape for spectators to wander.

Balloon FiestaEach year balloons come from around the world to participate. Albuquerque is the premier ballooning city due to the crystal skies and perfect October climate. Balloon Fiesta Park covers over 350 acres filled with balloons. It is exciting to watch the blue sky as it becomes a riot of brilliant colours pushing aside any clouds that dare intrude. Check out the delightful “Nite Magic Balloon Glow” or Glowdeo which transforms the night into a dreamy, glowing spectacular.

The fiesta started 30 years ago. It then had just 13 balloons and 10,000 spectators in a shopping mall parking lot. Now nearly 900 colorful balloons and lakhs of spectators visit Balloon Fiesta Park.


Serving the Servant

Umar bin Abdul Aziz was the caliph of Islamic state. The summer was at its peak and Umar was engaged in official work. A maid servant was stirring the fan for Umar. Some time later, he found that heat had become unbearable. He turned the gaze and found that the maid had fallen asleep and the fan had tumbled out of her hand. He again engaged himself in the official work. But the heat would not allow him to work. He lifted the fan and began stirring it. But soon he realized that even the poor maid needed the relief in the same measure he required it. He began to stir the fan over her too. Much later when the maid woke up, she was too embarrassed to see that the Caliph was stirring the fan over her. She began to seek apology with folded hands. But Umar said you too needed the relief just as I required it.
(Translated from Ibrat Angez Waqiyat compiled by Mahmood Hassan Ghazi, Darul Kitab, Deoband)



Soft but Heavy

Mohammad Farooq, Bangalore

This chunk of grey coloured metal is Lead, one of the most important metal known to man in the nature. It is usually found combined with other elements. Lead has been known to man from ancient times. Egyptians and Babylonians made ornaments out of lead. The Spartans of Greece made their money out of lead because the weight of the coins discouraged people from hoarding them. The ancient Romans were the most practical. They made water pipes out of lead because lead did not rust as easily as iron.

In modern times, lead used in bullets has brought death to countless people. But it has its good side too. It is extensively used in the manufacture of storage batteries. It is also used to make printing type and certain lead compounds are used in manufacture of paints. Lead screens are essential in the atomic power industry as lead gives protection against atomic radiation.


India’s Traditional Industries

Several places in India are known for their traditional products.
Here are listed a few:

Surat(Gujarat) for Textile

Coimbatore for Pumpsets

Banaras for Silk sarees, Zari works

Tirupur (T.N.) for Hosiery

Bidar (Karnataka) for Bidriware

Kolhapur for Chappals

Channapatna (Karnataka) for Lacquered Wooden toys

Solapur for Chadors

Meerut for Scissors

Srinagar for Carpets and papier mache*

Aligarh for Locks

Rampur for Knives

Jaipur for Gem carving and Polishing

Malerkotla  (Punjab) for Insignia, Emblems and Coat of Arms

Makrana for Marble mining

Kolkata for Readymade Garments

Saharanpur for Wood carving

Mehsi (Bihar) for Buttons

Gorakhpur for Weaving

Aurangabad for Himroo Chadors

Chennai for Leather tanning

Cuttack for Filigree

Moradabad for Brassware

Hyderabad for Pearls

Sambhal for Artifacts from horns

Beypore (Kerala) for Sea-faring Boats or Dhows

Kannauj & Jaunpur (U.P) for Perfumes

Ferozabad (U.P.) for Glassworks and Bangles

Aland (Gujarat) for Ship breaking

Khurja (U.P.) for Pottery

+ Toys are applied with harmless paints made of lac
* Art objects made out of paper after mashing the waste paper


WORD JUMBLE - October 2001

Unscramble the letters in order to give a word in each rectangular frame.

Now pick up the circled letters to form the name of the monument in the photograph.

Write the correct words and the name of the monument on a separate sheet of paper and send it along with the coupon given in this page. Write your name, full address, age and school where you study. Entries without address will not be considered. The first winner will be given Rs. 200. Six others will receive a children’s novel. Last date for entries November 10, 2001.


August 2001 Contest Results

The August 2001 contest received 29 all-correct entries. After drawing of the lots, the following were adjudged the winners.
First prize : Mariyam S. Beary, Bangalore Rs. 300
Second prize: Farhana Tabassum, Davangere Rs. 200
Third prize : T. Mohammed Farhal, Ambur Rs. 100


Supplication (Dua) in Hard Times

O Our Lord! do not make us targets of Tyranny by wicked people. (Yunus: 10:85)

My Lord, help me against people who practise corruption and spread disorder.

O Allah! we make you (our defence) against their aggression and seek your protection from their evil (designs).


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