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Dr. Quick, who reverted to Islam forty years ago in 1970, is the first American to study and graduate from the Islamic University of Medina,…

Dr. Quick, who reverted to Islam forty years ago in 1970, is the first American to study and graduate from the Islamic University of Medina, Saudi Arabia. His mastery of the Arabic language coupled with his native English has made him adept at interpreting the primary sources of Islamic history. His love for Islamic History led to an MA and later PhD on Shaikh Uthman ibn Fodio, whom Quick has described as “the most influential Islamic scholar in the history of Islam in West Africa.”

Dr. Quick has written on many a neglected topic on Islamic History such as the relevance of Africa in the rise of Islam (Africa being the destination of the First Hijrah to Abyssinia); essays on Timbuktu, not as the exotic city presented by the West but as a city of Islamic scholarship; Islam in Caribbean before Columbus; among others.

Presently, Dr Quick is the Director of the Discover Islam Centre of Cape Town, South Africa and a special advisor to the Ministry of Islamic Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain.

In January 1997, Dr. Quick wrote an article on “Ramadan in History” in the “The Message” of Canada. In continuation of our series on Ramadan, we here present excerpts from Dr. Quick’s article:

“The Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu alaihi wa sallam (upon whom be peace) passed through approximately nine Ramadans after the Hijrah.  They were filled with decisive events and left us a shining example of sacrifice and submission to Allah.

“In the first year after the Hijrah [the Prophet’s Migration from Mecca to Medina] the Prophet sent [his uncle] Hamza ibn Abdul Muttalib with thirty Muslim riders to Saif al Bahr to investigate three hundred riders from [the enemy] Quraish who had camped suspiciously in that area. The Muslims were about to engage the disbelievers but they were separated by Majdy ibn Umar al-Juhany. The Hypocrites of Madinah, hoping to oppose the unity of the Muslims, built their own mosque (called Masjid ad-Dirar). The Prophet ordered this mosque to be destroyed in Ramadan.

“On the seventeenth of Ramadan, 3 AH [Annus Hijrae, in the Year of the Hijra, commonly rendered as After Hijra], Almighty Allah separated truth from falsehood at the Great Battle of Badr. The Prophet and 313 of his companions set out to intercept a caravan of their own goods that had been left in Makkah. It was led by [Meccan leader] Abu Sufyan, and estimated at 50,000 dinars. They were met, instead, by a well-equipped army of the nobility of Quraish, intent on putting out the light of Islam. Despite being outnumbered three to one and appearing weak and unseasoned, the Muslims defended their faith with a burning desire to protect the Prophet and meet their Lord through martyrdom.  Allah gave them a decisive victory on this day of Ramadan that would never be forgotten.

“In 6 AH, Zaid ibn Haritha was sent to Wadi al-Qura at the head of a detachment to confront Fatimah bint Rabiah, the queen of that area.  Fatimah had previously attacked a caravan led by Zaid and had succeeded in plundering its wealth. She was known to be the most protected woman in Arabia, as she hung fifty swords of her close relatives in her home. Fatimah was equally renowned for showing open hostility to Islam. She was killed in a battle against these Muslims in the month of Ramadan.

“By Ramadan of 8 AH, the treaty of Hudaibiyya had been broken and the Muslim armies had engaged the Byzantines [Eastern Roman Empire] in the North. The Prophet felt the need to strike a fatal blow to disbelief in the Arabian Peninsula and conquer the city of Mecca. Allah has declared His Sanctuary a place of peace, security and religious sanctity.  Now the time had come to purify the Ka’abah of nakedness and abomination.

“The Prophet set out with an army having more armed men than al-Madinah had ever seen before. People were swelling the army’s ranks as it moved toward Makkah. The determination of the believers, guided by the Will of Allah, became so awesome that the city of Makkah was conquered without a battle, on 20 Ramadan. This was one of the most important dates in Islamic history for, after it, Islam was firmly entrenched in the Arabian Peninsula. During the same month and year, after smashing the idols of Makkah, detachments were sent to the other major centres of polytheism and al-Lat, Manat and Suwa, some of the greatest idols of Arabia, were destroyed.

“Ninety-two years after the Hijrah, Islam had spread across North Africa, Iran, Afghanistan, Yemen and Syria. Spain was under the tyrannical rule of King Roderick of the Visigoths. Roderick had forced his six million serfs and persecuted Jews to seek the aid of the Muslims of North Africa in order to be delivered. Musa ibn Husair, the Umayyad governor of North Africa, responded by sending his courageous general Tariq ibn Ziyad at the head of 12,000 Berber and Arab troops.

“In Ramadan of that year, they were confronted with a combined Visigoth army of 90,000 led by Roderick himself, who was seated on a throne of ivory, silver and precious gems and drawn by white mules.  After burning his boats, Tariq preached to the Muslims warning them that victory and Paradise lay ahead of them and defeat and the sea lay to the rear. They burst forth with great enthusiasm and Allah manifested a clear victory over the forces of disbelief. Not only was Roderick killed and his forces completely annihilated, but also Tariq and Musa succeeded in liberating the whole of Spain, Sicily and parts of France.  This was the beginning of the Golden Age of Al-Andalus where Muslims ruled for over 700 years.

“In the year 582 AH, Salahuddin Al-Ayyubi [Saladin], after battling with the Crusaders for years, finally drove them out of Syria and the whole of their occupied lands in the month of Ramadan. The Muslim world was then destined to meet one of its most frightening challenges.

“In the seventh century AH the Mongols were sweeping across Asia destroying everything that lay in their path. Genghis Khan called himself ‘the scourge of God sent to punish humanity for their sins’. In 617 AH, [the famous Islamic cities of] Samarkand, Ray and Hamdan were put to the sword, causing more than 700,000 people to be killed or made captive. In 656 AH, Hulagu Khan, the grandson of Genghis Khan, continued this destruction. Even Baghdad, the leading city of the Muslim world, was sacked. Some estimates say that as many as 1,800,000 Muslims were killed in this awesome carnage. Wine was sprinkled in the masjids and no Azan (call to prayer) was allowed.

“In the wake of such a horrible disaster and with the threat of the whole Muslim world and then Europe being subjected to the same fate, Allah raised up from the Mamluks of Egypt, Saifuddin Qutz, who united the Muslim army and met the Mongols at Ain Jalut on 25th of Ramadan, 458 AH. Although they were under great pressure, the Muslims, with the help of Allah, cunning strategy and unflinching bravery crushed the Mongol army and reversed this tidal wave of horror. The whole of the civilised world sighed in relief and stood in awe at the remarkable achievement of these noble sons of Islam.

“This was the spirit of Ramadan that enabled our righteous forefathers to face seemingly impossible challenges.  It was a time of intense activity, spending the day in the saddle and the night in prayer while calling upon Allah for His mercy and forgiveness.”

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