Patriotism in Islam
No man is an island. He is born in some nook and corner in some part
of the earth. Hence, he is part and parcel of this earth, which is
divided into countries and continents. It is the birthright of man to be
faithful, honest and love his country of birth.
In Islam patriotism is a part of faith. One must love his land of
birth. Dedicate himself to its glory. Toil and moil for its development
and if necessary and if the situation demands sacrifice one’s life to
The Holy Prophet of Islam said “Hubbul Wathani Minal Iman” patriotism
is a part of faith. Hence it is obligatory
on the believers as Muslims to be patriotic and conscious of their duty
towards their country.
In the Holy Quran Almighty Allah says “O, you, who believe, obey
Allah, obey the prophet and obey those who are at the helm of affairs”.
In a family the father, in a school the principal, in a mosque the
imam, in a village the headman, in a country the head of State, in
Islamic law the grand Mufthi and similar position of power of those who
are at the helm of affairs. It is our bounden duty to obey and act
Patriotism signifies the emotional discipline of an individual to his
country. History records many incidents of patriotic deeds of Muslims.
J. H. Dennison in his book entitled “Emotions the basis of civilization”
encounts many incidents of Patriotism. In Muslim India, Tippu Sulthan
the ruler displayed courage to fight against the British ruler and
sacrificed his life for his country.
In a significant incident in Islam prophet Muhammed (sal) when He was
forced to leave his birthplace, he said “O Mecca, city of my birth, I do
not want to leave you. But I am forced to, I love you so much and I will
return to you victorious”.
He did so later. Sir. William Muirin his books Muhammed at Mecca and
Muhammed at Medina says “The magnanimity in which Muhammed treated his
people after their defeat has no parallel in history”.
Muhammed bin Cassim who brought Islam to India was a true patriot who
worked for the greater glory of India. Islamic brotherhood is universal
and this attachment does not prevent Muslims from Patriotic feelings.
Even though Allama Mohamed Iqbal the celebrated poet said, “China and
Arab are ours, India is ours, being Muslims the entire world is ours”
this feeling did not prevent Muslims from loving their country of birth.
The feeling of patriotism is well displayed in sports, competition
and similar situations, when our own country plays or participates in
such events we find patriotism at the best and Sri Lankans in particular
exhibit enthusiastic patriotism - be they Muslim or not.
Earlier Muslims were ambassadors of faith and went beyond the seas on
trade and commerce yet they choose their country of living as their
birth and were faithful. It is interesting to observe that one lakh and
forty thousand Sahabas of the prophet (sal) only thirty thousand were
buried in Medina and the rest went around the world as true patriots and
are buried elsewhere their patriotic emotions are unwept, unhonoured and
Deepavali the festival of lights
Deepavali (The festival of lights). Throughout the world all Hindus
celebrate Deepavali with great pomp and enthusiasm. This is the great
festival honouring Mother Lakshmi (goddess of wealth).
The historic origins of some of the various Hindu festivals revolve
around their special significance for each of the four castes. Sravan is
primarily a festive month for the Brahmins (priests). Dassera (Vijay
Dashmi) is a festival primarily for the Kshatriyas (warriors).
is a festival primarily for the Sudras and Deepavali is a festival
primarily for the Vaisyas. These distinctions are not rigid and
generally all Hindus participate and celebrate all these festivals.
Lead us from falsehood to truth; from darkness to light; from death
to immortality and from lethargy to activity. The essential principle of
Vedic culture is eternal, universal and is applicable to the past,
present and the future.
The alternate for the Vedic culture is Human culture or Universal
culture. Where the aspects of human personality are fourfold: there are
four goals of life (dharma, artha, kama and moksha); four Yogas (karma
yoga, bhakti yoga, raja yoga and gnana yoga); four Vedas (Rig Veda, Sam
Veda, Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda); four ashramas (Brahmacharyashrama,
Grahasthashrama, Vanprasthashrama and Sanyasashrama; four Varnas
(Brahman, Kshatriya, Vaisya and Sudra); four yugas (Krata yuga, Treta
yuga, Dwapar yuga and Kali yuga).
There are also four universally observed parvas (festivals) namely
Shravani Upakarma, Vijaydashami, Deepavali and Holi. Parva means a link
that joins two things. It is that link on which the skeleton stands. The
joints of a man’s skeleton are, therefore, called parvas.
It is with the help of these that an individual can stand, can sit,
can bend and can lunge. Without these joints man would be stiff and not
be able to make any movements. Likewise is the state of nations and
societies, the framework of which is based on parvas (festivals).
Without these parvas society would have collapsed a long time ago.
These four festivals commence with Upakarma (Raksha-bandhan) and end
with Holi. The four festivals are associated with four different
goddesses. Raksha-bandhan is associated with Goddess Saraswati (the
goddess of education); Vijaydashami with Shakti (goddess of power); Holi
with Prasannata (goddess of joy) and Deepavali is associated with
Lakshmi (goddess of wealth).
Raksha-bandhan or Shravani is directed at spiritual education,
Vijaydashami at military education, Deepavali at economic education and
Holi at cultural education of the masses. As long as humanity is not
moved with inner satisfaction and joy so long there would exist defects
in the imparting of spiritual, economic and cultural education.
According to Vedic culture the message of Asato ma sad gamaya (lead
us from falsehood to truth) through the parva of Shravani; of Mrityorma
amritam gamaya (from death to immortality) through the parva of
Vijaydashami; of Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya (from darkness to light)
through the parva of Deepavali; and of Alasyatma shrama gamaya (from
lethargy to activity) through the parva of Holi, is conveyed to the
According to the Vedic culture, the message from darkness unto light
is given through the festival of Deepavali to all peoples of the world.
During the night of Deepavali the myriads of little clay lamps (dias)
seem to silently send forth Deepavali messages: Come let us remove
darkness from the face of the earth.
This is not the work to be done by one dia or by one individual. It
requires collective effort. In the diffusion of light the question of
high and low is forgotten. This is the lesson taught by both small and
The second message of the burning dias is to destroy the difference
between rich and poor- the destruction of discrimination based on
poverty and wealth.
The burning dia, whether in a palatial bungalow or in a grass hut, is
a symbol of this unity. The wall of separation based on economic status
cannot prevent the penetration and spread of the light of the dia.
The third message of the burning dias of Deepavali is to kindle the
extinguished lights of our neighbours. Let us find out what is needed-
whether there is a shortage of wick or oil- and just by a little help
the neighbour’s lamps can be lit. One dia can light several others. A
little charity can bring joy to countless others.
The row of lamps teach yet another lesson and that is of unity as
exemplified in Satyam, Shivam Sundaram- Truth, Joy and Beauty.
The lights of Deepavali are displayed at the entrance doors, by the
walls of houses, in the streets and lanes. This means that the inner
spiritual light of the individual must be reflected outside. Passersby
may thereby be prevented from stumbling on their way to reach their
The lights of the dias on earth beckon the lights in the firmaments
to descend upon earth and establish the heavenly kingdom of God for the
welfare of the human race.
Feeding empty stomachs, lighting blown-out dias and providing cheer
and joy amongst the downtrodden is to enter the true spirit of Deepavali.
This is the true prayer to Lakshmi Devi.
The significance of all these five religious days, in short, is as
follows: Dhan Teras- This is a day on which Lakshmi-poojan (worship of
the goddess of wealth) is performed. Sages gave to wealth the status of
a holy mother. Wealth is popularly regarded as fickle. A person may well
be wealthy today and could be dispossesed tomorrow.
However, Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth is not fickle. The fickleness
lies in the human mind. The mental attitude of a wealthy person
undergoes tremendous change. Wealth gives a feeling of power.
When used properly, it can benefit humanity. If misused, it could
become a means of exploitation and a cause of misery. If one regards
wealth only as a means of personal enjoyment, human morality will
deteriorate due to unbridled indulgence.
Rishis teach us to regard wealth as a pious gift from God and as such
must be utilised with the utmost respect and discrimination.
Navu Varsha (Vikram New Year)
This being the first day of a new calendar year (Vikram New Year). On
this day new-year resolutions are made.
Traditionally, people greet friends and relatives either personally
or at the temples where a havan is ceremoniously performed. In these
modern times, greetings and well-wishing about health, prosperity and
happiness, are exchanged by e-mails, telephone and by means of
attractive and colourful Diwali-cards.
Bhai-Beej is a day on which all married sisters will invite their
brothers for meals. The sisters will wish their brothers longevity,
health, prosperity and happiness, thereby also renewing their affection.
Thus Deepavali must be understood in its wider context. The festival
of lights does not simply mean lighting lamps. Hearts must be
enlightened with goodwill for peaceful co-existence with fellow human
beings and the rest of creation. Enlightenment (light of knowledge)
leads to the dispelling of spiritual ignorance.
The illuminations and fireworks, joy and festivities, are to signify
the victory of divine forces over those of wickedness. On Deepavali day,
triumphant Sri Ram returned to Ayodhya after defeating Ravana, the demon
of Lanka. On Deepavali day, we celebrate the marriage of Goddess Lakshmi
with Lord Vishnu.
On this day also Lord Krishna killed the demon Narkasur.
On Deepavali day, everyone forgets and forgives the wrongs done by
others. There is an air of freedom, festivity and friendliness
everywhere. This festival brings about unity. It instills charity in the
hearts of the people.
In a happy mood of great rejoicing, village folks move about freely,
mixing with one another, all enmity being forgotten. They embrace one
another with love. Deepavali is a great unifying force. The holy
vibrations produced by the greetings of love fill the atmosphere, and
are powerful enough to bring about a change of heart in every man and
woman in the world.
On Deepavali day, merchants open their new account books and pray for
success and prosperity during the coming year. The homes are cleaned and
decorated by day and illuminated at night.
During Deepavali festival is celebrated the Govardhan Puja signifying
the Govardhan episode in Sri Krishna`s life, and also anna koot (heap of
grains and foods) conveying affluence and prosperity; and feeding the
poor on a large scale.
The light reflected in the individual mind is the soul. The light
reflected in the cosmic mind is the universal spirit. The microcosm and
the macrocosm. Beyond both the individual and the cosmic is the one
light of infinite spirit beyond name and form. The infinite
consciousness is beyond all form and beyond all personality. This is the
For the ultimate Reality of infinite inner Consciousness, the best
symbol is light.
The light of lights, the self-luminous inner light of the self is
ever shining steadily in the chamber of your heart. Sit still, close the
eyes, withdraw the senses. Fix the mind on this Supreme light and enjoy
the real Deepavali, by attaining inner illumination. Wake up from the
slumber of ignorance through meditation and self inquiry. Realise the
constant and eternal light of the soul.
“The self is self luminous being pure Consciousness. The cognition of
all objects arises from the light of pure Consciousness.” -Brhadaranyaka
May we attain perfect inner illumination. May the Supreme light of
lights enlighten our understanding. May we attain the inexhaustible
spiritual wealth of the eternal, all pervading Self.
May we all prosper gloriously on the material as well as on the
Embryological development of the eyes as mentioned in the Holy Quran
The Holy Quaran contains clear and scientific references to
embryology. The following Quarnic verses refer to the development of the
“It is he who created for you the faculties of hearing seeing,
feeling and understanding (yet) how seldom are you grateful.” (Quran 23:
“And God has brought you forth from your mothers’ wombs knowing
nothing - but He has endowed you with
hearing, sight and minds so that you may be grateful: (Sura 16: 78)
Many Quarnic Ayas (verses) mention the faculties of hearing and sight
as gifts from the benevolent God. It also stresses that we acquire our
knowledge via these channels to the minds.
It contradicts Plato’s philosophy which claims that we are born with
already innate knowledge.
The above Quarnic Ayas emphatically stress that man is brought forth
from his mother’s womb knowing nothing. He acquires knowledge through
his senses mainly visual and auditory. The mind grasps, arranges and
comprehends these sensations. The creation of eye is a remarkable
example of the interaction between the developing brain and the thin
skin of the embryo.
(Lennart Nilsson: ‘A child is born’ P-92)
First, the anterior part of the brain sends out a hollow stem on each
side, on the 22nd day. This stem is called the optic stalk. The end of
the stem bulges forming a vesicle, which when approaching the surface
become invaginated forming the optic cup.
The cup is made up of two layers, separated by a lumen called the
intra retinal space. With further development the lumen disappears and
the two layers are then opposed to each other.”
(Longman medical embryology -
Along the invagination which extends from the cup to the stalk runs
the hyaloid artery. The groove is known as the choroid fissure. During
the seventh week lips of the choroid fissure fuse and the mouth of the
optic cup then becomes a round opening.
(Langman “Medical Embryology” p370)
Instructions (by the angel who enters the womb at 40th-42nd day
according Hadith of the prophet (sal)) are forwarded to the surface
ectoderm (the skin), “Make a lens!”. The skin then pinches off a bubble
which is placed in the opening of the cup, forming lens”
(Lennart Nilsson A child is born-p92)
By the end of the seventh week, the nucleus of the lens is formed. (Lengman
p372). This confirms with the Hadith of the prophet (sal) narrated by
Muslim that angel enters the womb at 40th-42nd day and starts forming
the different organs including the eye.
The surface ectoderm (the future skin) forms the cornea, a thin
transparent curved part of the skin which covers the pupil in front of
On the front of the lens the iris grows from the edges inwards. The
muscles of the iris which control the eye aperture, and the pupil are
the only muscles of the body derived from ectoderm. All the muscles of
the body are derived from mesoderm.
At the end of the fifth week, the eye primordium is completely
surrounded by loose mesen chyme. After the sixth week (i.e - after the
angel has entered the womb) this mesen chyme differentiates into i) a
loose inner tissue which becomes highly vascularised and pigmented the
choroid ii). a thick outer layer which forms selera.
The choroid is continuous with the piamater of the brain and the
selera is continuous with the duramater (the thick covering of the
The outer layer of the optic cup develops into the pigment layer of
the retina, while the inner of the optic cup transforms into the rods
and cones (the sensitive parts to light), the inner and outer nuclear
layers and the ganglion cell layer. The ganglions are nerve cells, their
fibres from the optic nerve which is connected to the brain.
These changes start at the seventh week of intra-uterine life, which
agrees with the above mentioned Hadith of the Prophet Muhammed (sal)
whereby an angel sets to work amazingly at the end of the sixth week and
the beginning of the seventh week.
15 week embryo the eye is almost completely developed. The
conjunctival sac is formed n front of the cornea. The lens is still
laminar and the hyaloidatery is degenerating inside the vitreous body.
The choroid celera and retina are well established. Even the anterior
chamber is recognisable at this stage. At four weeks, 4 mm, embryo. the
eye cup, optic cup is derived from the ectoderm. At five weeks, (7-8 mm)
dark pigment has already formed in the wall of the cup, forming the
At eight weeks (3 cm) the early eye lids are forming. The pigment of
retina is shimmering through the developing lens and cornea. At 20 weeks
(21 cm), the eye lids are formed and the eyes are closed. The eye lids
appear at the 3rd month and open again during the 7th month.
The prophet (Peace be upon him) says: “ Glory be to God WHO split
open my hearing and sight”, This Hadees confirms the above embryological
development of the eyes.
A new born baby starts looking around. His eye registers the pictures
like a camera and sends them to the brain to process them like a film
that is processed in the photographer’s laboratory.
A newly born baby can see but cannot comprehend the pictures he sees
because to discuss and comprehend the pictures is an elaborate
complicated process of the brain, which takes time to grasp and learn.
Our eyes are not only the windows of our hearts but are the windows
through which our brains acquire knowledge.
The Quranic Sura (Chapter) 78 says, “God has brought you forth from
your mother’s womb knowing nothing, but he has endowed you with hearing
sight and minds so that you may be grateful.”
Sometimes Allah may create a baby in a new shape He wishes, for
instance there was a newly born baby with a congenital abnormality
whereby both Orbits were joined, and there was only one median eye.
Here, two eye balls were connected in one orbit. The nose was not
developed. Both cerebral hemispheres of the brain are united and
underdeveloped. In this cyclops, one cerebral hemisphere, one optic
nerve and no olfactory nerves were found at autopsy. But, the abnormal
child died three days after delivery.
This is a rare type of congenital abnormality so that me may consider
how God can shape man in any form He wishes. The following Quranic verse
substantiates this type of creation: “In whatever form, He wills, does
he put thee together” (Sura 82:8)
There are other congenital abnormalities, fortunately, these are very
rare. The Quran refers to Allah’s creation of man in the beautiful form:
“Verily, we create Man in the best conformation” (95:4)