why desert?

Discussion in 'Tasawwuf / Adab / Akhlaq' started by Ibn Rida Safdar, May 9, 2019.

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  1. Ibn Rida Safdar

    Ibn Rida Safdar New Member

    True. Don't wish to speculate without any valid basis.

    One can try looking up the Tafsir of Surah al Quraysh. I was reading Khazain ul Irfan. It mentions the favours of Allah bestowed on the Quraysh who had fears due to the infertile nature of their lands.

    Khazain Tafsir.PNG
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  2. sherkhan

    sherkhan Veteran

    I can venture an "aqli" reason/argument.

    No other religion places as much emphasis on cleanliness*, be it regular wudu, ghusl, istinja, washing of parts/clothes/place etc. For a religion that was 'born in desert', it would amaze any thinking person how despite the supposed scarcity of water, Islamic rulings/practices command these acts of cleanliness for every believer. There's no excuse (besides the practicalities of tayyamum rulings) whatsoever to be unclean. If Islam was born in a water surplus region, then the Muslims of desert region would have felt burdened with rulings on cleanliness.

    This is analogous to the fact that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) embraced poverty and exemplified how to practice Islam even in the absence of riches. Likewise the early years of Prophethood exemplified how to preach/practise even in face of extreme persecution. These situations/instances practically demonstrated how every section or geography or era of the community can practise Islam even in adversity.

    Apparently Norton's orientalist paper " The Influence of the Desert on Early Islam" touches upon environment influenced practices of Islam; but as usual misses or misrepresents key issues.


    * As an aside, if one were to compare Islam with other religions (whether of people of book or of man-made heathen religions) just on the rulings and practices of cleanliness, then undoubtedly all other religions will be proven to be manifestly inferior. The Islamic practices/rulings on hygiene have been scientifically corroborated (not that Islam needs endorsement from science in Bucaillean sense). This facet/dimension of Islam's superiority has been seldom emphasised and oft-overlooked for the purpose of dawah. I have come across few short books and odd articles on this theme but none of these do a good job. Dawat-e-Islami's epistle "Wudu & Science" mentions vague/uncited researches and anecdotes which will hardly impress an objective reader.
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  3. Unbeknown

    Unbeknown Senior Moderator

    Has anyone here read Arabian Sands by Wilfred Thesiger?

    Those who have, what are your impressions, reviews, and can it's contents be put in a broader context?

    A desert has a lot to teach and I was looking for some good books about desert regions when I landed on this one.
  4. Wadood

    Wadood Veteran

    All pictures below are from Baha, south of Taif

    Attached Files:

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  5. Wadood

    Wadood Veteran

    This is in the Baha region south of Taif.

    Attached Files:

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  6. Wadood

    Wadood Veteran

    Three points, not meant to contradict brother Unbeknown's good question. My opinion is that Allah has given His Beloved the Best of Everything.

    1) In the times of Sayyiduna MuHammad saLAllaho alaihi wa Aalihi wa sallam, hijaz shareef was much greener. Yes, it was still a desert region, but much greener. I would describe it akin to the Sahel Climate of Africa, or as they say Sub-Saharan. There were animals like Cheetas, Lions, Giraffes, Buffalo, Antelopes etc; all have disappeared now. Rainfall was much higher. The colonial bedouin has killed off earth, whether Sunni or Wahhabi. In olden times Sunni Muslims preserved. This is a sign of Akhira.

    2) Hijaz Shareef is comparatively mountainous and had massive lush oases with millions of palm trees as far as the eye can see, and valleys that did blossom in their respective seasons.

    So, Hijaz Shareef was a mix of everything.

    3) RasoolAllah saLAallaho alaihi wa Aalihi wa sallam, travelled to Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. In Syria he encountered snow capped mountains, and in Iraq he encountered pristine rivers with lush vegetation and fauna. South of Makkah al Mukarramah, we have Taif, and then Baha. As you keep going south, its gets greener. In Yemen, lots of mountains are almost as green as Mirpur or Ganga Valley during the rainy seasons.
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  7. Unbeknown

    Unbeknown Senior Moderator

  8. Yasser Rashid

    Yasser Rashid Active Member

    Good question. I guess a one word answer would be 'simplicity'. In other words the din is something which is supposed to remind one of the akhira and by being far from things which fall under the definition of dunya one is reminded of the akhira.
    It's a fact that in desolate places one remembers Allah far more than an urbane region for example. Likewise when lonely at times some people remember death more.
    Obviously there must be wiser reasons which answer your question. I just wanted to add my take on it.
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  9. Unbeknown

    Unbeknown Senior Moderator


    What is the Hikmah behind Allah's (The Wise) sending of His beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) to an arid region with very austere climate and geography?

    Why was the region around the 'awwala baytin' kept desolate and difficult to inhabit?

    Why was it not made lush and fertile, surrounded by picturesque snow-capped mountains, valleys carpeted with beautiful flowers, clusters of naturally growing fruit-trees and watered by perennial rivers teeming with edible fauna?

    one can think of many reasons but what do the noble sufiya / ulema ar-rabbani have to say about this?



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