Search Syed's Aphorism


Saturday, December 31, 2011


May Rostom

An apple falls from a tree. It didn’t want to fall. It wasn’t sure someone would be down there to catch it. It wasn’t sure the fall would be worth it all. It wasn’t optimistic about the change that would eventually take place, and the bruises it would have from the freefall. The apple fell anyway; the tree didn’t push it though.

Gravity sucks you right where you should be, right where destiny wants you. Right in the middle of the classroom that is life. Gravity and nothing but gravity.

You can’t stop gravity from pulling you down, even if you tie a rope around your waist, all you can do is cross your fingers and hope to God that this fall won’t break you. That this lesson is one you haven’t learned before; that even though gravity is working against you, deep down inside you want to be drained into this whirlpool of love. The downside of it though, is once the apple falls from the tree, it can’t go back where it used to be. It can’t be tied back to the branches like before but can be glued together to resemble itself in an earlier state prior to falling.

That apple is you and me.

You and me in a temporary madness called love. A series of ups and downs that create a bittersweet symphony referred to as infatuation. A life threatening disease that alters the most delicate organ in your human body; your heart. An unexpected blow to the head that will leave you light-headed whether you like it or not. The one thing that I'm sure of though, the apple falls from the tree only when it’s ripe and hard enough to hit that ground without shattering into pieces. And if the apple is lucky enough, it’ll find someone to pick it up and appreciate its existence.

This my friend, is what gravity is all about.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011




Islam is a complete code of life which offers its own social, political and economic systems to guide human behavior in all spheres of life. History has recorded that the economic system of Islam, for the first time in the world had established social and economic justice during the period of al-Khalifah al-Rashidah. In any ideal Muslim society, socio-economic justice is considered as one of the most significant characteristics for the social, political, and economic as well as all realms of human interaction. Exploitation and any source of unjustified enrichment in Islam are prohibited. The Holy Qur’an has emphatically instructed Muslims not to acquire each other’s property wrongfully. Islam is not an ascetic religion. It takes a positive view of life as the natural outcome of the belief that human beings are the vicegerents of Allah (swt).

The goals of socio-economic justice and equitable distribution of income and wealth are integral parts of the moral philosophy of Islam. However, one of the socio-economic reforms made by Islam was the prohibition of riba (interest). About the efficacy and usefulness of the prohibition of interest in Islam, Muslim economists have tried to provide the juridical clarity and support based on reason, as opposed to mere belief. The purpose of this paper is to spell out the meaning of riba or interest, its different kinds, and the social, moral, as well as economic rationale of its prohibition.


In modern secular economic systems interest plays a very important role. In fact, in the Western world people cannot think of any economic system without interest. From a theoretical standpoint, interest has been a debatable subject among economic and political theorists. Abu Saud defines interest as “the excess of money paid by the borrower to the lender over and above the principal for the use of the lender’s liquid money over a certain period of time”. Economists have presented different interpretations of interest. Samuelson states that “Interest is the price of rental for the use of money”. Don Patinkin gives the following definition: “Interest is one of the forms of income from property, the other forms being dividends, rent and profit”. However, J.M. Keynes did not define interest but mentioned the rate of interest as “The percentage of excess of a sum of units of money contracted for forward units of time over the spot or cash price of the sum thus contracted for forward delivery”.

However, Muslim, socialist and a number of capitalist economists have questioned these explanations on both theoretical and technical grounds. They often stress the point that money capital cannot be treated as capital goods on the same basis as productive factors. It is pertinent to remark here that lending of money for interest was abhorred and, in most cases, prohibited by all the monotheistic religions. An eminent Western economist, Roy Harrod, regards the abolition of interest is the only way to avert a collapse of capitalism. Not only this, but he speaks with great admiration for an interest-less society in his work on Economic Dynamics. Harrod clearly recognizes that, “It is not the profit itself, earned by services, by assiduity, by imagination, or by courage, but the continued interest accruing from the accumulation that makes that profit taker eventually appear parasitical…” and he further states that an interest-less society which will be a totally new kind of society” would be the correct and final answer to all that is justly advanced by the critics of capitalism.


Riba is prohibited in Islam as it appears explicitly in the Holy Qur’an. There is complete unanimity among all Islamic schools of thought regarding the prohibition of riba. Since the Qur’an is the undisputed source of guidance in Islam for all Muslims, there is unanimous agreement on the fact that Islam has forbidden the practice of riba. The debate on whether interest is riba or not has been settled. The ulama have made crystal clear that interest is riba. The modern banking system is organized on the basis of a fixed payment called interest. That is why the practices of the modern banking system are in conflict with the principles of Islam which strictly prohibit riba. Islam is opposed to exploitation in every form and stands for fair and equitable dealings among all men. To charge interest from someone who is constrained to borrow to meet his essential consumption requirement is considered an exploitative practice in Islam. Charging of interest on loans taken for productive purposes is also prohibited because it is not an equitable form of transaction. Now let’s have a look on the prohibition of interest in the light of the Qur’an and the Sunnah (tradition of Prophet Muhammad (saw)).


In several verses of the Holy Qur’an, Allah (swt) has mentioned the consequences of riba. The Qur’an did not declare the prohibition of riba in the early stage of revelation; rather we find that the complete prohibition of interest came sequentially.

In the Qur’an Allah (swt) says:

That which ye lay out for increase through the property of (other) people, will have no increase with Allah: But that which ye lay out for charity, seeking the countenance of Allah (will increase): it is these who will get a recompense multiplied”. (30:39)

That they took riba (usury), through they were forbidden and that they devoured men’s substance wrongfully – We have prepared for those among men who reject faith a grievous punishment. (4:161)

O ye who believe! Devour not usury doubled and multiplied; but fear Allah, that ye may (really) prosper.(3:140)

Those who devour usury will not stand except as stands one whom the evil one by his touch hath driven to madness. That is because they say: ‘Trade is like usury.’ But Allah hath permitted trade and forbidden usury. Those who after receiving direction from their Lord, desist, shall be pardoned for the past; their case is for Allah (to judge). But those who repeat (the offence) are companions of the fire, they will abide therein (forever)(2:275)

O you who have attained faith! Remain conscious of God, and give up all outstanding gains from Usury, if you are (truly) believers (2: 278)

Abdullah Yusuf Ali in his commentary on the Holy Qur’an mentioned that usury is condemned and prohibited in the strongest possible terms. There can be no question about the prohibition. Owing to the fact that interest occupies a central position in modern economic life, and especially since interest is the very life blood of the existing financial institutions, a number of Muslim countries have been inclined to interpret it in a manner which is radically different form the understanding of Muslim scholars throughout the last fourteen centuries and is also sharply in conflict with the categorical statements of the Prophet Muhammad (saw).


Jabir reported: The Prophet (saw) cursed the receiver and the payer of interest, the one who records it (the contract) and the two witnesses to the transaction and said, “They are all alike (in guilt).”

Jabir ibn Abdullah, giving a report on the Prophet’s farewell pilgrimage, said: The Prophet (saw), addressed the people and said, “All the riba al-jahiliyyah is annulled, the first riba that I annulled is our riba, accruing to al-Abbas ibn Abdul Mutalib (the Prophet’s uncle).”

Abu Hurayrah (ra) narrated that the Prophet (saw), said: “riba has seventy segments, the least serious is equivalent to a man committing incest with his own mother.”

Abu Hurayrah (ra) narrated that the Prophet (saw) said: “God would not allow four persons to enter paradise or to taste its blessings: he who drinks wine, he who takes riba, he who usurps an orphan’s property without right and he who is undutiful to his parents.”


The word riba has been used in the Holy Qur’an on several occasions. So it is necessary to know what it means or what it really stands for. Riba has been extracted from Raba. It means addition, increase. So, riba literally means to increase, to grow to rise, to add, to swell. It is, however, not every increase or growth which has been prohibited by Islam. In the Shari’ah, “riba” technically refers to the premium that must be paid by the borrower to the lender along with the principal amount as a condition for the loan or for an extension in its maturity. In this sense riba has the same meaning as interest in accordance with the consensus of all jurists without any exception. So the Holy Qur’an and the Hadith do not make any such difference between usury and interest. Interest and usury both are taken as synonymous for the Arabic word riba.


Although the Qur’an did not specify any particular kind of riba, it is generally held that the word al-riba in the Qur’an is that kind of dealing which had been in vogue during the pre-Islamic days. Muslim jurists have classified riba in two types: 1. riba al-nasi’ah, and 2. riba al-fadl.

The term nasi’ah means to postpone or to wait and it refers to the time period that is allowed for the borrower to repay the loan in return for the addition of the premium. Hence it refers to the interest on loans. The prohibition of riba al nasi’ah essentially implies that the fixing in advance of a positive return on a loan as a reward for waiting is not permitted by the Shari’ah.


Islam, however, wishes to eliminate not merely the exploitation that is intrinsic in the institution of interest, but also that which is inherent in all forms of unjust exchange in business transactions.

Riba al-fadl is the excess over and above the loan paid in kind. It lies in the payment of an addition by the debtor to the creditor in exchange of commodities of the same kind. The following tradition of the Prophet Muhammad (saw) is cited as evidence. It is related that Abu Said al-Khurdi said: “the Prophet Muhammad (saw) has said that gold in return for gold, silver for silver, wheat for wheat, barley for barley, dates for dates and salt for salt, can be traded if and only if they are in the same quantity and that is should be hand to hand. If someone gives more or takes, then he is engaged in riba and accordingly has committed a sin.”

To sum up, riba al-nasi’ah and riba al-fadl are both covered by the verse, “Allah has allowed trade and prohibited riba” (2:275), while riba-al nasi’ah relates to loans and riba al-fadl relates to trade. Although trade is allowed in principle it does not mean that everything in trade is allowed.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Khorasan's Black Flags

Islamic Flags:

There are two types of flags in Islam.

The first is called Al-Liwaa and serves as the sign for the leader of the Muslim army. It is also the flag of the Islamic State. The Liwaa of the Messenger (Peace Be Upon Him) was a piece of white cloth with the words لآ اِلهَ اِلَّا اللّهُ مُحَمَّدُ رَّسُوْلُ اللّهِ written across it.

The other is termed as Ar-Raya and is used by the Muslim army. The Raya of the Messenger (Peace Be upon Him) was a piece of black wool with the words لآ اِلهَ اِلَّا اللّهُ مُحَمَّدُ رَّسُوْلُ اللّهِ written on it.

Therefore, the Liwaa is a white flag with black inscription and the Raya is a black flag with white inscription


Khorasan in the time of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) included the whole of Afghanistan, Northern parts of Pakistan including Malakand Division, Central Asian States, part of Iran. Still a province in the North East of the Iran is named as Khorasan.

The basic purpose of this page is to create awareness among our Muslim youth about the army that will rise from the area of Khurasan holding Black Flags of Islam . This army will conquer many occupied lands of Muslims till it reaches to Jerusalem . Then it will pledge its allegiance to Imam al Mahdi (A.S).


Narrated by Anas (RA):
The Prophet had informed the people of the martyrdom of Zaid, Ja'far and Ibn Rawaha before the news of their death reached. The Prophet said, "Zaid took the flag (as the commander of the army) and was martyred, then Ja'far took it and was martyred, and then Ibn Rawaha took it (Ar Raya) and was martyred." At that time the Prophet's eyes were shedding tears. He added, "Then the flag was taken by a Sword amongst the Swords of Allah (i.e. Khalid) and Allah made them (i.e. the Muslims) victorious." Military Expeditions led by the Prophet (Peace Be upon Him) - (Al-Maghaazi) - Bukhari: Book 5: Volume 59: Hadith 561

Al-Barra’a Ibnu Azeb (ra) was asked about the Messenger’s (Peace Be Upon Him) Raya. He said: “It was black, had four corners and was made of wool.”

These and other ahadith clearly prove that Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) had designated a flag for his Ummah.

The Messenger (Peace Be Upon Him) of Allah conquered and entered Makkah with a Liwaa (white flag)
Black Flags / Black Banners From East i.e. Khurasan (Afghanistan)

Abu Abdullah Nuaim Ibn Hammad on a chain of transmission on the authority of Al Zuhari who said " The black flags will come from the East, led by mighty men, with long hair and beards, their surnames are taken from the names of their home towns (i.e. Khosti or from Khost etc.) and their first names are from a "Kunya" (Asmal Masalik Lieyyam Mahdiyy Maliki Li Kull-id Dunya Biemrillah-il Malik, Qalda bin Zayd).
Hadhrat Buraidah (R.A.) says that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: "There will be many armies after me. You must join that army which will come from Khurasaan." (Ibn Adi)

On the authority of Thawbaan (May Allah be pleased with him), the Messenger of Allah said:
"If you see the Black Banners coming from Khurasan go to them immediately, even if you must crawl over ice, because indeed amongst them is the Caliph, Al Mahdi." [Narrated on authority of Ibn Majah, Al-Hakim, Ahmad]

Narrated by Abdur Rehman Al-Jarshi that I heard companion of Dear Prophet(salallaho alayhay wa sallam), Hazrat Amr Bin Marra Al-jamli(R.A) that Dear Prophet(salallaho alayhay wa sallam) said: Surely Black Flag will appear from the Khorasan until the people(under the leadership of this flag) will tie their horses with the Olive Trees between Bait-e-Lahya and Harasta. We asked are there any Olive trees between these places. He said,”If there isn’t then soon it will grow so that those people(of Khorasan) will come and tie their horses there.” [Kitab-al-Fitan Page 215. Also at Page 108 in the book “Islam main Imam Mahdi ka Tasawer” by Maulana Professor Muhammad Yousaf Khan,Jamia Ashrafia Lahore,Pakistan.]

Harasta (Arabic: حرستا, transliteration: Ḥarastā) , also known as Harasta al-Basal, is a Syrian city administratively belonging to Rif Dimashq. Harasta has an altitude of 702 meters. It has a population of 38,184 as of 2007, making it the 43rd largest city per geographical entity in Syria.

Beit Lahia (Arabic: بيت لاهيا or بيت لاهية) is a town under Palestinian Authority of about 40,000 people in the northern Gaza Strip. It is located north of Jabalia, near Beit Hanoun and the border with Israel. Hamas, an Islamic party, took control of it during the 2005 municipal elections.

The word “Lahia” is Syriac and means “desolate” or “tiresome”. It is surrounded by sand dunes, some rise to 55m above sea level. The area is renowned for its many large Sycamore trees. The Israeli settlements of Nisanit, Elei Sinai, and Dugit that were in close proximity to Beit Lahia were evacuated during August 2005.Beit Lahia بيت لاهي Beit Lahiya Bayt Lahiya.

Thawban said, "The Prophet said: 'Three men will be killed at the place where your treasure is. Each of them will be the son of a Khalifah, and none of them will get hold of the treasure. Then black banners will come out of the east...' If you see him, go and give him your allegiance, even if you have to crawl over ice, because he is the Khalifah of Allah, the Mahdi.'”.

Above  hadith is reported in Sunan Ibn Majah vol 3 number 4084 in 'Kitab al-Fitan, Baab Kharuj al-Mahdi' and 'Mustadrak' al-Hakim. Hakim classified it as saheeh on the conditions set by al-Bukhari and Muslim and al-Dhahabi agreed. Ibn Kathir wrote about it in his 'al-Nihaya (al-Fitan wa al-Malahim)' that its isnaad is 'qawii' (strong). al-Albani considers some of the chains as unacceptable, but writes the hadith is correct in meaning without the addition, 'he is the Khalifah of Allah, the Mahdi.' He rates the isnaad of Ibn Majah from 'Alqama from Ibn Mas'ud as hasan which does not have the words, 'khalifa-tullah.' He then goes on to discuss why this addition is not acceptable. ('Silsilah al-Ahadeeth al-Da'eefah wa al-Maudu'a', vol 1, p. 195-198, Hadith #85)

You’ll join hands with a Christian group and war with another. You’ll gain victoryAt that time, you will be present in a plain of great mountains with plenty of trees. In the meantime, the Christians will raise the crucifix and refer the victory to it. At this, a Muslim will become angry, and will pull the crucifix down, at which, the Christians will unite breaking all treaties with the Muslims.The Christians will demand their wanted people, to which the Muslims will answer:"By Allah! They are our brothers. We will never hand them over. This will start the war. One-third Muslims will run away. Their ‘Tawbah’ (Repentance) will never be accepted.. One-third will be killed.They will be the best 'Shaheed' (martyrs) near Allah The remaining one-third will gain victory (6708,6709 Ibn Hibban).

At the time, when the Muslim Ummah will have abundance of wealth, gold and silver, the Muslims will be extremely belittled, weak and helpless. The enemy nations will invite each other to pounce upon them as hungry people invite one another for food. The Sahabah (R.A) asked with utter worry, "O Prophet of Allah! Would we be very few in number?" Prophet Muhammad (S) replied: "No! You’d be as great in quantity as the foam of the sea is, seen wherever the eye can reach. But you’ll be overtaken by ‘wahn’." The Sahabah (R.A) asked, "O Prophet of Allah! What is ‘wahn’?" He (S) replied: "Love of this world and fear of death!" You’ll join hands with a Christian group and war with another. You’ll gain victory. At that time, you will be present in a plain of great mountains with plenty of trees. In the meantime, the Christians will raise the crucifix and refer the victory to it. At this, a Muslim will become angry, and will pull the crucifix down, at which, the Christians will unite breaking all treaties with the Muslims.The Christians will demand their wanted people, to which the Muslims will answer:"By Allah! They are our brothers. We will never hand them over." This will start the war. One-third Muslims will run away. Their ‘Tawbah’ (Repentance) will never be accepted. One-third will be killed. They will be the best 'Shaheed' (martyrs) near Allah. The remaining one-third will gain victory, until, under the leadership of Imam Mehdi, they will fight against Kufr (non-believers)..(Ibn Majah)
Reported on a chain of transmission on the authority of Kaab "The sign of the Mahdi's appearance will be war banners coming from the west, lead by a man with a disability from "Kinda". (Nuaym son of Hammad, Al-Fitan page 205)

*Note: Genreral Richard Meyers, commander of the US Joint chiefs of staff decalared the war on Afghanistan in October 2001 on crutches.

There is a Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) about the symbols of the Judgment day that people with the Black Flag will rise up from the land of Khurasaan to fight against Kuffar Alliances in the Final War of Armageddon. Geographically, Syria is a land of great diversity that includes coastline, mountainous areas, steppe, and desert. Geographically, Syria can be divided into four regions. A narrow fertile coastal plain runs along the Mediterranean border and extends inland to a narrow range of mountains and hills. The coastal climate is moderate with hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters; the average annual rainfall is this area is between 30 and 40 inches. The mountainous region runs from north to south, parallel to the Mediterranean Sea. The interior semiarid plains region is found to the east of the mountains. Much of the southeastern part of Syria is desert region that extends to the borders of Jordan and Iraq; most of the desert is a rock and gravel plateau that receives less than four inches of rain annually and is extremely hot.

You will make a firm truce with the Christians (al-Rum) until you and they wage a campaign against an enemy that is attacking them. You will be granted victory and great spoils. Then you will alight in a plain surrounded by hills. There, someone among the Christians shall say: 'The Cross has overcome!' whereupon someone among the Muslims shall say: 'Nay, Allah has overcome!' and shall go and break the cross. The Christians shall kill him, then the Muslims shall take up their arms and the two sides shall fall upon each other. Allah shall grant martyrdom to that group of Muslims. After that the Christians shall say to their leader: 'We shall relieve you of the Arabs,' and they shall gather up for the great battle (al-malhama). They shall come to you under eighty flags, each flag gathering 12,000 troops." [Approx. 1 million]

Narrated with sound chains from Dhu Mikhbar al-Najashi by Abu Dawud, Ahmad, Ibn Majah, Ibn Hibban, and al-Hakim who declared it sahih and al-Dhahabi concurred. See Shaykh Shu`ayb Arna'ut's documentation of this hadith in his edition of Sahih Ibn Hibban (15:101-103 #6708-6709).

Narrated Abu Hurayrah: Allah's Apostle (peace_be_upon_him) said: The Last Hour will not come until the Romans land at al-A'maq or in Dabiq [north of Aleppo (a city in Northern Syria).] An army consisting of the best (soldiers) of the people on Earth at that time will come from Medina (to oppose them). When they arrange themselves in ranks, the Romans will say: Do not stand between us and those (Muslims) who took prisoners from among us. Let us fight them. The Muslims will say: Nay, by Allah, we shall never turn aside from you and from our brethren so that you may fight them. They will then fight and a third (part) of the army, whom Allah will never forgive, will run away. A third (part of the army), which will be constituted of excellent martyrs in Allah's eyes, would be killed. The third who will never be put on trial will win and they will be the conquerors of Constantinople (and/or Rome). As they are busy in distributing the spoils of war (amongst themselves) after hanging their swords by the olive trees, Satan will cry: The Dajjal has taken your place among your families. They will then come out, but it will be of no avail. When they reach Syria, he will come out while they are still preparing themselves for battle, drawing up the ranks. Certainly, the time of prayer will come and then ‘Eessa (peace_be_upon_him), son of Maryam, descends and will lead them in prayer. When the enemy of Allah sees him, it will (disappear) just as salt dissolves in water and if he (‘Eessa) were not to confront them at all, even then it would dissolve completely. Allah would kill them by his hand and he would show them their blood on his lance. (Muslim Book No: 40 No: 6924)

*Note: This is the part of the victorious army from Afghanistan-Taliban war facing similar fate in three categories, here connecting the old victorious army's fate with the current victorious army. Hence the victorious army never lost continuity in its entirety.

Details of Khorasan

Critical territories and lands in mapping Greater Old Khorasan:
• North West Afghanistan (Spread through Herat, Balkh, Kabul, Ghazni, Kandahar) (Heart of Khorasan)
• North South East Uzbekistan (Spread through Samarkand, Bukhara, Shehrisabz, area between Ammu Darya & Syr Darya)
• North East Iran (Spread through Nishapur, Tus, Mash'had, Gurgan, Damaghan)
• South Turkmenistan [Mery Province (Merv, Sanjan) ]
• South Kazakstan
• North & West Pakistan [Malakand Division (Malakand, Swat, Dir, Chitral) ]
• North West Tajikstan [Spread through Sughd province (Khojand, Panjakent)]

Expand of Khorasan
• Extended to entire Transoxiana (portion of Central Asia corresponding approximately with modern-day Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and southwest Kazakhstan. Geographically, it means the region between the Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers) prior to 8th century AD.
• Extended to Soghdiana (included territories around Samarkand, Bukhara and Kesh (Shahrisabz) in modern Uzbekistan & Khujand (Tajikstan). Sogdiana lay north of Bactria, east of Khwarezm, and southeast of Kangju between the Oxus (Amu Darya) and the Jaxartes (Syr Darya), embracing the fertile valley of the Zarafshan (ancient Polytimetus). Sogdian territory corresponds to the modern provinces of Samarkand and Bokhara in modern Uzbekistan as well as the Sughd province of modern Tajikistan. ) in the north
• Extended westward to the Caspian Sea.
• Extended southward including Sistan deserts and eastward to the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan
• Extended to Kabul, Ghazni and Kandahar; also Pakistan Indus valley.

By Dr. Israr Ahmed & Sheikh Imran Hosein:

Khorasan (i.e. area which now includes Afghanistan, NW Pakistan (Malakand Division) , NE Iran, Central Asia in north of Afghanistan etc).

By Mir Ghulam Mohammad (Afghan historian):

Balkh(in the East), Merv(in the North), Sistan(in the South), Nishapur(in the West) and Herat known as ‘The Pearl of Khorasan’, in the center.

While Improper Khorasan's boundaries extended to Kabul and Ghazni in the East, Sistan and Zabulistan in the South, Transoxiana and Khwarezm in the North and Damaghan and Gurgan in the West.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011