Category 13 => Guest book 🍨 Muslim Villa Q&A => Topic started by: pk on October 09, 2023, 11:08:13 am

Title: The Romans
Post by: pk on October 09, 2023, 11:08:13 am
Salam team MV, hope everyone here is in the best of health.
Referring to verses 1 to 5 from Surah Ar-Rum,

In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful
1. “’Alif ‘A’, Lam ‘L’, Mim ‘M’.”
2. “The Romans have been defeated.”
3. “In a near land, but they, after being defeated, will soon be victorious,”
4. “Within a few years. To Allah belongs the Command before and after, and on that day the believers shall rejoice.”
5. “With the help of Allah, He helps whom He pleases, and He is the Mighty, the Merciful.”

My question is about the Romans as per mentioned in Surah understanding is that Allah mentions that they were defeated but will victorious soon after, with their victory being a source of joy for believers .

Who are the Romans that are referred to here, and why was their victory relevant to Muslims ? From my scarce knowledge of history , Romans were a fiercely religious but pagan society and even when they adopted Christianity during the reign of Emperor Constantine they believed in the accursed doctrine of trinity. Hope you can shed some light on this topic, for surely the knowledge and wisdom granted by Allah to the MV team is ever appreciated by me as a visitor to this forum.

Jazakallahu khayran and kind regards

Title: Re: The Romans
Post by: Heba E. Husseyn on October 09, 2023, 11:39:08 pm

Walaikum as-Salam, pk.  JazekAllah khair.  Many thanks for your trust in us.  We keep trying to seek truthful knowledge with the help of Allah's guidance, and whatever we know is still very scant compared to everything in this world and the universe that we do not know.  Only Allah is the All Knower.

I pray you are well and safe, InshAllah.

Concerning your query on the Romans as stated in Verses 1 to 5 of Surah Ar-Rum:

According to the calculation of researchers, Surah Ar-Rum belongs to the middle group of Makkah Surahs.  This indicates it was revealed approximately 7 or 8 years before the Hijrah.  The exact period is known to Allah Almighty only. 

Romans converted to Christianity en-masse approximately around 380 CE and that's when Christianity spread in the rest of Europe.  You are absolutely right that even after their conversion their pagan concepts persisted and definitely deepened with time in the name of Christianity.  E.g. Christmas, New Year, Easter, Halloween etc. are only changes of titles of ceremonies which are very pagan in practice and existed in the pre-Christianity era throughout Europe.  The Christian scenario of deviation from Monotheism (Tawheed) to pagan values came about piecemeal after the ascension of Prophet Essa son of Virgin Maryam (peace on them both) who were strict believers in Monotheism.  The Romans embraced Christianity a little less than 400 years after Prophet Essa (pbuh).  The extent of deviations that had taken place at that time within the Christian society was still in its early stages and thus less than what history shows in later years. And presently the deviation is so much that Christianity is not a Monotheistic Faith any longer and therefore not a Divine Faith.  It has diffused into a huge stretch of endless man-written interpolations.   All "Christian" states in Europe and North America are presently secular.   This step-wise deviation is reflected in the 5th Verse of Surah Maidah, quote as follows:

"This day [all] good foods have been made lawful, and the food of those who were given the Scripture is lawful for you and your food is lawful for them. And [lawful in marriage are] chaste women from among the believers and chaste women from among those who were given the Scripture before you, when you have given them their due compensation, desiring chastity, not unlawful sexual intercourse or taking [secret] lovers. "  5:5 Al-Maidah.

Without a doubt the above Verse pertains to a specific era, that is, approximately 630 CE or perhaps a bit later (shortly before the passing of the beloved Final Messenger on whom be peace).  Verse 5:5 clearly reflects that until 600 CE and a little beyond the deviation within the Christian society (at least in Arabia) was slight to the extent that they still adhered to the Halal concept of food in conformity with Quranic instructions.  Also, changes introduced within other facets of Christianity were far less compared to later times.  For that reason The Almighty gives His permission to Muslims to eat their food and marry in their community.  And Allah Almighty Knows every bit of the future.  He knew how much the Jews and Christians would change their original Faith over the passage of time.  Thus, at present when it comes to eating the food of the Jews and Christians or marrying in their community, one needs to think very carefully.  Unless those Jews and Christians are of an isolated denomination who still adhere to the Halal rules as stated for Muslims in the Noble Quran and unless they believe in One Allah, completely rejecting the falsification of trinity, a Muslim cannot marry them nor eat their meals.  This is a vital aspect that Allah Almighty expects us to discern as perceptive and reflective believers.  For reasons like these, the principles of discernment and reflection always being one of the top priorities in the Noble Quran.

The armies of the eastern Roman empire (or the Byzantine as they were also called) had been defeated in all territories near Arabia around 613 CE by the Persians, including Jerusalem and Damascus, and Egypt also fell in the following year.  By 616 CE the Persians came close to Anatolia (now Turkiye) and were threatening Constantinople (now Istanbul).  These Persians were pagans or Zoroastrians (fire worshipers).  It was the time of the Achaemenid Empire in Persia.  From what I know, Cyrus II  was the king of Persia at this time who was staunchly pagan.  Compared to the very pagan Achaemenids, the Byzantines, despite their initial deviation as Christians, were still much closer to the Divine Faith.  Since the residents of Makkah were idolaters, they supported the Persians against the Byzantines.  They even reportedly mocked the Prophet (pbuh) claiming that the power of One God cannot be supreme since a pagan army defeated a believing army.  But the answer is provided by Allah Almighty in these Verses of Surah Ar-Rum.  It opens with two prophecies that in future the Romans would be victorious over the Persians, and the small persecuted society of Muslims would have reason to rejoice "within ten years" alluding to the Battle of Badr.  In approximately 624 CE the Romans did enter Persian territories, and the same year the small Muslim army in Medinah led by the Prophet (pbuh) defeated Qureysh in the field of Badr.

Through these Verses Allah Almighty expounds His Laws in the moral and political spheres of human life .. laws of life & death, righteous & unrighteous, action & inaction as ordained by Him as the consequences of our deeds. 

"Indeed, Allah changes not the condition of a folk until they (first) change that which is in their hearts;"  13:11 Surah Ar-Ra'd.

Those who make effort earn the reward, and the laggards lose regardless of their social status, creed or race.

InshAllah, I hope the matter is clearer.  If not, please feel free to post further questions.

Title: Re: The Romans
Post by: pk on October 10, 2023, 02:25:34 pm
Thank you Sr. Heba for your detailed and clear explanation of the topic. The fact that the Christians slowly lost their way in gradual stages is definitely something I never considered. Now I can definitely see how the Romans would have been much closer to the truth of Allah's religion as Christians then, relative to their overtly pagan past selves or the still pagan Persians.

And yes, however the situation was for the Christians during the days of the prophet pbuh, it is definitely different from the state of Christianity in the present time where it seems like a disconcerting act of religious drama performance, rather than an earnest attempt of living a lifestyle as sanctioned by Allah. So much dysfunction and denial of reality that fuels the various societal ills, like eating disorders, alcoholism, drug abuse and interpersonal strife. All of which can only be remedied with the mercy of Allah through His religion, Islam.

As I was reading into Roman history, I came across a Semitic civilization called Carthage that existed near modern day Tunisian capial , Tunis. This nation was a trading power and was a major competitor to Rome as a political force. They were involved with a series of wars with pagan Rome and eventually suffered catastrophic defeat by the Romans. I am curious if anyone here has any particular information about their religious system and if they were monotheists. This is because they originally came from the Levant where monotheism of Bani Israel would have been familiar to the population. If indeed they were monotheists, their defeat and destruction under the hands of pagans should be a cause of sadness and an event to heed lessons from, in my view.

May Allah continue to bless all members of MV for the hard work and perseverance in maintaining this wonderful forum, truly a safe and pleasant refuge from the utter chaos of the wider internet. Ameen, and jazakallahu khayran.

Title: Re: The Romans
Post by: Zainab_M on October 10, 2023, 09:39:25 pm

Yes, Carthage was the ancient pre-Islamic name of Tunisia. The people of Carthage were called Phoenicians in approximately 1,000 BCE.  Tunis was the capital of the Carthagian Empire which, as you correctly mentioned, was defeated by the Romans in approximately 200 BCE.  Since the Romans converted to Christianity around 380 CE, therefore when the Roman empire confronted and defeated the Carthage empire, the former were also pagans like the latter.  Viewing ancient history chronologically as best as humans can, I would presume that during the Carthage era the people of the tribe of Bani Israel were living as slaves within the apartheid system of the Pharaohs in ancient Egypt.  There isn't much documentation available with historians and researchers on pre-historic times other than speculation.  Only Allah Almighty has the precise details.

The Phoenicians were also spread across Lebanon, Syria (aka Levant) and Palestine.  Their wealth mainly came through sea trade routes having their harbors on the Mediterranean. 

Phoenicians of ancient Carthage were pagans as in pre-Islamic times the entire Middle Eastern region consisted of pagans similar to ancient Europe.  Different parts of the Middle East and North Africa followed slightly differing types of paganism, but they were all polytheists.  From what I read, the Phoenicians followed the same category of polytheism as the ancient  Canaanites .. Canaan was the old, pre-Islamic name of today’s Gaza and other parts of Palestine in the West Bank.

The language spoken by the Phoenicians of Carthage was Punic which was reportedly spoken in most parts of pre-Islamic North Africa. Punic is supposed to be a variation of the old Amizigh (aka Berber) language . It continued to be used in North Africa until the 6th century when Islam began to spread and gradually Arabic became the first language.

Tunisia at present is a nice and progressive Muslim country particularly after their Jasmin revolution in 2011.

In regard to Persia, as we all know this region is no longer called "Persia."  It is currently (since 1979) the Islamic Republic of Iran.  In ancient times Azerbaijan (north of Iran) and Khorasan were also parts of Persia and remained within  Persian territory until well after the Muslim conquest of Persia shortly after 632 CE during the era of the Rashidun.  Islam spread in Persia at the time of the second righteous Caliph, Umer bin al-Khattab, who defeated the the Sassanid Empire which was also pagan-Zoroastrian like its predecessor, the Achaemenids.   Azerbaijan got separated from Persia (Iran) in mid 1900s by the Russian invasion and occupation of the territory.  At present Azerbaijan is an independent Muslim state, but perhaps because of the remnants of Russian influence, it officially does not call itself an Islamic Republic like Iran.  It is simply known as the Republic of Azerbaijan;  however it’s basically the government that is secular, not the people.  Majority of Azerbaijanis remain Faith-based and close to their Islamic traditions. 

Regarding another valid point you stated ..

..  Their defeat and destruction under the hands of pagans should be a cause of sadness and an event to heed lessons from, in my view.

I fully understand you and I concur.  Actually this aspect is explicated in the last few lines of sister Heba's response which I quote below.

Through these Verses Allah Almighty expounds His Laws in the moral and political spheres of human life .. laws of life & death, righteous & unrighteous, action & inaction as ordained by Him as the consequences of our deeds.

"Indeed, Allah changes not the condition of a folk until they (first) change that which is in their hearts;"  13:11 Surah Ar-Ra'd.

Those who make effort earn the reward, and the laggards lose regardless of their social status, creed or race.

In this temporary dunya, even if disbelievers work hard to achieve their goal, it might be granted to them by Allah Almighty because the concept of justice takes top priority in the Sight of The Almighty. 

Let me quote a few more Verses from the Noble Quran to appreciate this aspect better.

“Whoso desires the harvest of the Hereafter, We give him increase in its harvest. And whoso desires the harvest of the world, We give him thereof, and he has no portion in the Hereafter.”   42:20 Ash-Shura.

Desiring the harvest of the Hereafter refers to believers who take every step in in this world with the thought and awareness of Allah in their hearts.  Desiring the harvest of the world alludes to those who never have the thought of The Almighty in their hearts, and thus whatever efforts they make to acquire their goal remains confined within this temporary world.  And because this is a fleeting world, as soon as the time arrives for the Final Journey, all earthly privileges are abruptly stamped as ‘date expired.’  Whatever they possessed in this world is left behind and in the permanent Hereafter they can expect nothing.   What a tragic loss that will be for the heedless.

Exactly the same message has been conveyed by The Almighty in Verses 18, 19 and 20 of Surah Al-Isra with little more details, quote:

“Whoso desires that (life) which hastens away, We hasten for him therein what We will for whom We please. And afterward We have appointed for him hell; he will endure the heat thereof, condemned, rejected.  And whoso desires the Hereafter and strives for it with the effort necessary, being a believer; for such, their effort finds favor (with their Rab).  Each do We supply, both these and those, from the bounty of your Rab.  And the bounty of your Rab can never be walled up.”  17:18-20  Al-Isra.

Subhan’Allah, the articulation of words that comes from Allah The Greatest cannot be matched by any other source.  The Beauty of the Noble Quran is unprecedented. 

The same aspect is further elucidated by The Almighty in Surah Al-Baqrah Verse 126 as follows:

“As for him who disbelieves, I shall leave him in contentment for a while, then I shall compel him to the doom of Fire - a hapless journey's end!”  2:126  Al-Baqrah.

Hence, we might see many disbelievers leading a happy and easy life in this world, probably they worked hard for some material benefit, so Allah Almighty granted it to them.  But that material gain only stays within the boundaries of this earthly dunya while the human soul has to travel all the way to the next permanent world to face the Final Judgement.   

In a similar context The Almighty also reminds us of the importance of being impartial because partisanship interferes with the concept of justice.  Quoting Verse 42  of Surah Al-Maidah:

“If then they have recourse unto you (Muhammad) judge between them or disclaim jurisdiction. If you disclaim jurisdiction, then they cannot harm you at all. But if you judge, judge between them with equity.  Indeed, Allah loves the equitable.”  5:42 Al-Maidah.

During the Prophet’s (pbuh) time many idolaters, Jews and Christians came to the him (pbuh) to discuss their worldly problems asking him to judge between them and their enemies or rivals, wanting the Prophet’s (pbuh) verdict.  Thus, The Almighty advises the Prophet (pbuh) with two options in  this matter .. that he should either refuse to preside over their case altogether, or,  if he decides to preside then his decision must be impartial and fair regardless of his personal feelings.  Equitable means fair and impartial.  The original Arabic word for equitable in the Noble Quran is bil-qis'ṭi  (بِالْقِسْطِ ).

May Allah Azz’wajal keep us protected with His guidance in order to succeed in the Hereafter.  Nothing can be more important than that. Ameen.

We at MV also request all our guest members to please make lots of dua for our suffering sisters and brothers in occupied Palestine and occupied Kashmir who are going through very, very hard times because of endless tyranny by the respective occupying governments.

Title: Re: The Romans
Post by: pk on October 11, 2023, 10:13:02 am
Thank you for your clarification on the topic of Carthaginians, who are long gone and through the blessing of Allah , have been replaced by the Islamic nation of Tunisia at present.

Yes absolutely Sr Zainab with regards to your closing statement . Jazakallahu khayran for the reminder during this especially trying times for the Muslim community in Palestine and Kashmir. Only Allah is our protector and He is certainly the greatest of protectors. May the ummah find peace and comfort amidst the inhumane rages of oppressors, under the grace of Allah Taala. May every unrepentant oppressor find themselves in the humiliating surrender of defeat in this world , and everlasting torment in the hereafter. Ameen.


Title: Re: The Romans
Post by: N. Truth Seeker on October 11, 2023, 11:57:58 am

Ameen ya Allah, ameen.

Title: Re: The Romans
Post by: Zainab_M on October 11, 2023, 12:21:40 pm

Ameen ya Rab.

Title: Re: The Romans
Post by: Kerim Saad on October 12, 2023, 11:48:42 pm
Is the interpretation of desiring the harvest of the Hereafter in verse 42:20 abstaining from worldly desires and ambitions like seeking promotions at workplace, buying a house you like or buying a car or good clothes or good food?

Title: Re: The Romans
Post by: N. Truth Seeker on October 12, 2023, 11:55:28 pm

No, it doesn't mean that.  There is nothing wrong with wanting to buy a house or car etc.  You just have to remember two essential points here.  First, even the best of luxuries acquired by multi billionaires in this world are temporary.  Those luxuries won't be with us forever neither will they help us to acquire maghfirah in the permanent world.  Therefore in our effort to achieve material benefits we must keep things in perspective.  Secondly,  we need to keep in mind the Halal principles as we go about our efforts to improve the quality of our lives.  We should not be overly ambitious nor overstretch ourselves financially which can deteriorate the quality of our souls and subsequently interfere with the strength of our Faith.

Title: Re: The Romans
Post by: Kerim Saad on October 12, 2023, 11:57:54 pm
True, thank u

Title: Re: The Romans
Post by: Haleed on October 14, 2023, 08:30:46 pm
When was the name “Iran” decided to replace the term “Persia” ?

What do the words Iran and Persia mean?

Title: Re: The Romans
Post by: Zainab_M on October 14, 2023, 08:59:45 pm

The term Persia was replaced with the word Iran in 1935 by the former monarchic-dictator, late Reza Shah Pahlavi. He announced to everyone within and outside the country to use the term ‘Iran’ instead of Persia, referring to the ethnic ancestry of the region.  The word Iran derives from ‘Arya’ which means ‘land of the Aryans.’

The word ‘persia’ was derived from a Latin word “persis” or “parsa” which was the Greek terminology for old Persia.  Thus, in ancient Persia, its south-west region was called Pars or Persis.  This place was the seat of Zoroastrianism in ancient Persia.  Presently in Islamic Iran, this region comprises of the south-west province of Fars or the Fars province (its modern name) along the Persian Gulf. 

Title: Re: The Romans
Post by: Haleed on October 14, 2023, 09:07:21 pm
Thankx for this info.  Does that go to say that Iranians are same as Aryan people?

Title: Re: The Romans
Post by: Zainab_M on October 14, 2023, 09:38:53 pm

Not really.  Present-day Iranians don’t call themselves “aryans.”  The notion of being aryan is basically un-Islamic, in that, its concept alludes to superiority based on race.  Such an idea is wholly wrong and in modern times no one bothers about it.  Most people don’t even know what it means. 

According to a myth there was some nation or tribe in very ancient, prehistoric times, residing across the belt of the Caspian sea stretching westward up to Europe and eastward up to northern India.  These people supposedly spoke some archaic (presently unknown) language which was said to be a mix of Indo-European languages.  These people were called Aryans, and as this stupid myth proliferated, these so-called Aryans were fantasized as tough warlike people with sharp features and very fair skin.  In Germany during WW2 the aryan myth fanned the Nazi ideology with greater hype claiming Germans were "Aryans" and all "aryans must have blue eyes."  Though India is a dark skin nation, yet they utilized the “Aryan” myth to deepen their repugnant tradition of the caste system, and according to the “Aryan” rhetoric the darker skinned Indians suffered still more as people of the lower caste.

This is how falsifications only contribute in ruining the world. 

Briefly put, Aryan story is a fiction that triggered racism, the ancient style. The Aryan people never really existed, in that, no one has yet been able to pinpoint who they were or where precisely they resided as a prehistoric community.

Title: Re: The Romans
Post by: Haleed on October 14, 2023, 09:45:08 pm
Very interesting annotation.  thank u again.

Title: Re: The Romans
Post by: mettle guy on October 14, 2023, 09:56:19 pm
It is also confusing why supporters of Shah insist on calling themselves “Persians” and not Iranians when it was the Shah himself who chose the name Iran as replacement for Persia.

Title: Re: The Romans
Post by: Heba E. Husseyn on October 14, 2023, 10:00:34 pm

Yes that is correct and it’s an interesting point to raise.  That approach of theirs is a gesture of hate toward post revolution Iran.  Just because the country is presently known as the Islamic Republic of Iran, so the supporters of the former Shah prefer to call it Persia.

It needs to be known that supporters of pre-revolution Iran or supporters of the former Shah did not and do not identify themselves as Muslims.  They identify themselves as the descendants of ancient Persians.  They are much closer to the Zoroastrian culture than the Islamic culture.  The son of the Shah, Reza Shah jr, who lives in the USA has named himself Cyrus Reza Pahlavi.   Cyrus was the pagan-Zoroastrian founder of the Achaemenid dynasty in old Persia.

Title: Re: The Romans
Post by: mettle guy on October 14, 2023, 10:04:18 pm
I get it.  I didn’t think of this before but now when I think, it adds up and makes sense.