By: Dr. Mustafa Sibai
'For a thousand years the Islamic civilization was the central light whose rays illumined the world. It was the mother of European culture, for men reared in this civilization were the masters in the Middle Ages at whose feet the Spaniards, the French, the English, the Italians and the Germans sat to learn philosophy, science of mathematics, astronomy, chemistry, physics, medicine and industrial techniques.'
This book covers the glorious Islamic past when Islam reached its peak in terms of Justice, Peace and Prosperity. It covers the following areas:
Morality in War
Compassion and Kindness to Animals
Schools and Educational Instituions
Hospitals and Medical Institutions
Private and Public Libraries
Capitals and Large Cities.
Extract: Private and Public Libraries
One of the Caliphs sent for a certain scholar to talk to him. When the servant found the scholar, he found him sitting and engrossed in reading whilst around him were many books. He said to him: "You have been called by the Amir al-Mu'mineen." He replied: "Tell him that I am presently in the company of great learned men and philosophers and engaged in conversation with them. When I have finished with them, I will come and see him." The servant returned and informed the Caliph. He asked the servant: "Who are those learned men and philo-sophers engaged in conversation with him." The servant replied: "By Allah, O Amir al-Mu'mineen! I did not see anyone there." The Caliph said: "Bring him here at once." When he came, the Caliph asked him: "Who were those learned men who were keeping you company." He replied: 'O Amir al-Mu'mineen'
They are companions whose talk does not bore you;
Present or absent they are constant and trustworthy.
When we in seclusion their talk is very beneficial
And helpful in taking away anxieties and worries.
They benefit us with their knowledge; knowledge of what has passes
With wisdom, affability, prudence and sound opinion.
You will neither have any apprehension nor fear of discourtesy
Nor dread of any injury from their hand or their tongue.
If I said that they are dead, I would not be a liar
And if I say they are living, I would not be lying.
The Caliph on learning that what he meant by 'learned people gathered with him' was the books of the scholars and learned people, did not reprimand him for not responding to his call immediately.
Dr. Mustafa Siba'i
Dr. Mustafa As-Siba'i was born in 1915 in the city of Hams, Damascus. He memorized the Qur'an at a very young age. His primary and secondary studies were completed in the Masudiyyah School.
He always excelled in studies and was known for his intelligence and academic brilliance. He studied the Islamic Sciences with his father Shaykh Hasani Sibai and in circles with great scholars and jurists of Hams. His teachers included Shaykh Tahir Al-Atasi (Mufti of Hams at the time), Shaykh Zahid Al-Atasi, Shaykh Muhammad Al-Yasin, Shaykh Anis Kalalib and others.
From the young age of eighteen he used to deliver the Friday khutbahs in the absence of his father. In 1933, he went to Egypt and enrolled at the Univesity of Al-Azhar to study fiqh.
Upon completing his studies of fiqh, he enrolled at the Usul al-Deen Faculty of Al-Azhar and excelled in his studies. In 1949, he completed his Ph.D. on the theme of 'The Position of Sunnah in Legislation'.
In 1950 he was appointed Professor of Law at the University of Damascus and in 1955, he established the Faculty of Shariah at the same university. He established the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria in 1945. Dr Sibai was elected to the Syrian Parliament from 1949-1954. He passed away in 1964.