An Introduction to Islam: Fundamental beliefs and practices

An Introduction to Islam:
Fundamental beliefs and practices

by Dr. M. Qadeer Shah Baig, r.a. 

For a believer the declaration of faith in Allah, is not enough_

  • unless a conscious effort is made

  • to take care of the relatives,

  • orphans,

  • the needy,

  • travellers

  • as well as for the welfare of those who ask for help.

It also emphasises the need to liberate the people

  • who have been denied freedom

  • and liberty

  • in their own homelands

  • (or abroad).

The Qur’an places its emphasis on the_

  • “liberation of the oppressed

  • and meeting the needs of the economically less-developed people”

  • as part of devotion, worship and iman (faith).

The Qur’anic emphasis on social welfare as a basic value, in a sane and peaceful human society, also refers to the revolutionary approach the Qur’an takes toward human problems.

  1. This concern of the Qur’an for human issues makes it universal, relevant and applicable in all situations.

  2. It also educates a Muslim to relate his taqwa (piety) with social realities.

  3. It gives a new meaning to piety and virtue as social values.

  4. These values persuade a person to share the blessings and bounties of Allah with others as a matter of obligation.

  5. It also becomes a condition for success in life in this world and in life-hereafter.

  6. Taqwa consequently becomes not an attitude of love of Allah but love of fellow human beings who should be treated as part of an extended human family.

  7. While the ayah begins with reference to spending substantially for one’s kin,

  8. it immediately refers to orphans, the needy, travellers and others who may fall in the category of strangers.

It is rather unfortunate that many Muslims do not look on the implications of many Qur’anic teachings in the context of human society. An objective analysis of the Qur’anic teachings informs us about the social and human dimensions of the Qur’anic message.

A book, which does not want any human being to be enslaved politically, economically, culturally and educationally, carries universal relevance for human beings. The ethic-centric approach of the Qur’an makes its teachings valuable and relevant for all who are concerned with the future of humanity. It offers the most reliable way of building a sustainable and peaceful world order. Courtesy the Pakistan Observer 7.5.97 Part 2351.

The Qur’an (9:60) has prescribed the principles regulating the budget of State expenditure in Islam, in the following terms:

“Verily the sadaqat (i.e., taxes on Muslims) are only for the needy, and the poor, and those who work for these (taxes), and those whose hearts are to be reconciled, and to free the necks (i.e., slaves and prisoners of war), and the heavily charged, and in the path of God, and for the wayfarer-a duty imposed by God; God is Knower,Wise.”357.

The category of those who are heavily charged, has, according to the practice of classical times, a whole series of applications: one helped those who had suffered from calamities such as floods, earth quakes, etc.

It does not refer to the poor, who have already been mentioned in the beginning of the verse, but to the well-to-do who have suffered from abnormal conditions, beyond their power. Caliph ‘Umar started a special section in the Public Treasury, in order to lend money free of interest, to those who had temporary needs and provided the necessary guarantees for repayment.

The caliph himself had recourse to it for his private needs. It goes without saying that the “nationalization” of lending without interest was the necessary concomitant of the prohibitation of interest in Islam.

The same caliph used to lend public money even to merchants for fixed periods, and the Treasury participated with them in a percentage of their business returns, participated not only in gains, but also in the event of losses.

Another application of this State expenditure was for a kind of social insurance.358. The expression “in the path of God”, in the Islamic terminology, signifies in the first instance military defence and the expenditure for the personnel, equipment, etc. But the term applies in fact to all sorts of charitable works, such as helping students, grants and aids in religious causes such as the construction of mosques, etc. edited by Syed Mumtaz Ali

This article has two parts.

Part 1 is an article by Prof. Dr. Anis Ahmad.
Part 2 consists of excerpts from

“Introduction to Islam”

by Dr. M. Hamidullah

by Mohammad Asghar Qureshi Reprinted from Hamdard Islamicus, Vol. XX, No. 3, July-September 1997

Islam avoids extremes so as to maintain balance and orderliness in society. Monopoly and cut-throat competition are therefore disapproved. Justice to all is Islam’s essence as it enables man to lead a good and happy life and at the same time strengthens bonds of human brotherhood and fortifies the social fabric.Justice in Islam is termed ‘adl which means to divide two things equally or to keep the balance. This term is used in the Holy Qur’an for justice in all matters. Islam teaches the believers to be fair in their dealings. Justice and righteousness are the cornerstone of the Islamic way of life. The Holy Prophet p.b.u.h. was known for this justice even before he declared his prophethood. Throughout his life he exhorted his followers to be truthful and just and he himself set a perfect example of justice even to the followers of other religions and his enemies.


In Islam, the Muslims are obliged to look after one another and to be responsible for the welfare of all. The concept of social justice lays down certain conditions to treat man as an individual with liberty and equality as his birthright.

Balance in Society

Justice to all is Islam’s essence and this enables man to lead a good and happy life while at the same time strengthening the bonds of human brotherhood as well as the social fabric. There are many places where conditions are monstrous and oppressive for the poor. There is rampant corruption, poverty and want around us. There are few who have acquired substantial wealth and thus enjoy the numerous amenities and luxuries of life whereas the majority do not even receive two square meals a day. Social order in an Islamic state lays stress on simple and austere efforts that are free from ostentation. The Holy Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h. just bridged the gap between the rich and poor, the high and the low. He advocated a society in which there would not be any exploitation of one sector over another. What Islam aims at is a balanced life which represents the equilibrium of social forces.  

(From gist of Islam. Canadian Muslim Society) 
Translation of Sahih Bukhari
Translator: M. Muhsin Khan. 

The qualities of the Prophet (pbuh)

The qualities of the Prophet

(peace be upon him)


The outstanding qualities of the Prophet (pbuh) were his_

  1. truthfulness,

  2. sincerity,

  3. simplicity,

  4. warmth

  5. and generosity.

  6. He always maintained that he was no more than a slave of God,

  7. whose duty it was to deliver Allah’s message

  8. and who devotedly served his Master and Lord.

He worked as_

  1. a labourer,

  2. shepherd,

  3. business man,

  4. preacher,

  5. teacher,

  6. lawgiver,

  7. judge,

  8. head of the community and state,

  9. and leader of the prayers.

He married and raised a family.

  1. He gave women the right of inheritance,

  2. independent of men.

  3. Although polygamy was not altogether abolished,

  4. it was restricted,

  5. with a strong recommendation for monogamy.

Even at the height of his mission’s success,

the Prophet (pbuh) lived in_

  1. stark poverty,

  2. cobbling his own shoes

  3. and patching his own clothes.

He was always accessible to everybody.

  1. People belonging to all stations of life would come to him

  2. seeking advice concerning every aspect of their personal life.

  3. This relationship between the Prophet (pbuh) and his followers pleased God,

  4. and this pleasure was confirmed in a revelation:

“Now, there has come to you a messenger from among yourselves. Grievous to him is your suffering; anxious is he over you; gentle to the believers, compassionate.” [173]

He never asked any man to do anything he himself was unable to do.

  1. He prayed longer than anybody,

  2. worked harder than anybody,

  3. and endured suffering more than anybody.

  4. For Muslims, he is the ideal example to be followed.

As the Qur’an declares:

“Ye have indeed in the Apostle of God a beautiful pattern (of conduct) for anyone whose hope is in God and the Final Day and who engages much in the remembrance of God.” [174]

Non-Muslims communities under

the Islamic State of Prophet Muhammad

(Peace be upon him)

Prof. Chandra Muzafa,
Just World

Muhammad (pbuh) formed a city-state in Medina based on the pattern of a commonwealth, with the minority Jewish population and the Muslims, who constituted the majority, forming two units with Muhammad (pbuh) as the head. [156]

  1. The Jews were to be governed by their own laws, which were to be administered by their own rabbis. [157]

  2. The Prophet offers an inspiring example of a leader who sought to accommodate the non-Muslim communities of his time in Medina,

  3. through a constitution which ensured equality and justice for all the city’s Inhabitants.  

  4. The constitution of  Medina encouraged cooperation and solidarity among Muslims, Christians and Jews.

  5. The Prophet also forged a treaty with the Christian monks of Najran.

  6. The treaty of Najran pledged to protect their religious rights

  7. and to preserve the sanctiity of their monastery.

  8. Here again the Prophet translated into concrete action the Koranic injunctions on religious tolerance and understanding. 

  9. The generosity   and magnanimity of Caliphs such as Omar ibn-Khattab and Ali ibni-Talib towards Christians and Jews testifies to the tolerance of Islam.

  10. The accommodative attitude of the Muslim leaders and people towards non-Muslims living in their midst was so remarkable and revealed to both Muslims and non-Muslims the real meaning of Islamic tolerance.

We shall now provide some concrete examples of Muslim tolerance and accommodation in different parts of the world from the middle of the seventh century to about the early eighteenth century to show how widespread these attitudes were within the Muslims. To start with, it was the second Caliph, Omar, who in 638 AD  

  1. allowed the Jews to return to Jerusalem

  2. after the Romans, who had expelled the Jews centuries before,

  3. and the Christians, who replaced them as the imperial power, imposed  a total ban upon the Jews.

Later, in 1099, when the Jerusalem was liberated by the famous Muslim ruler, Salahuddin al Ayoubi in 1187 Christians were given free access to their places of worship, their holy sites and those of  the Jews were protected by the Muslim government.

In Spain where the Muslims ruled from 711 until the fall of Grenada in 1492, the three Abrahamic communities Christians, Jews and Muslims – lived in great harmony for long periods of time. Andalusia, Al-Andalus, as Islamic Spain was known as an exemplar of religious tolerance. 

  1. It also produced a flowering of science, arts and letters. 

  2. All communities participated in this intellectual and aesthetic blossoming of Andalusia. 

  3. In fact, Andalusia gave birth to some of the most magnificent works of philosophy and culture within the Jewish tradition.

Muslim rule in India was also, on the whole, tolerant and compassionate.

It was not just Mughal rulers such as Akbar and Shah Jahan who attempted to bring together Muslims, Hindus and Jains in various cultural and artistic enterprises.

Even Aurangzeb, often described in western history books as a ‘bigot’ was very accommodative towards the non-Muslims in his Empire.

He employed the largest number of Hindus in the highest echelon of administrative and military service.

Tipu Sultan, Indian Muslim king, appointed Hindus as his Prime Minister and the commander-in-chief of his armed force.The tolerant, accommodative attitude of the Malay-Muslim community mirrors a larger Islamic worldview.

Acceptance and accommodation of the ‘others’ is part and parcel of Islamic culture.

This does not mean that there are no instances of Muslim discrimination of, or, oppression against   non-Muslims. It would be very naive to hold such a view. There are Muslims who at various points in history have done terrible things to non-Muslims sometimes in the name of Islam.  But these are aberrations.  They do not reflect mainstream Muslim attitudes or values, which everything considered, have been just and fair to non-Muslim communities. 

Rights and moral conducts of the Muslims

Dear original authors,


I had copied and taken down notes from various internet sites, books, articles from newspapers about Islam for about 20 years.  My greatest weakness is that I failed to record the references properly. 

So there may be numerous mistakes, omissions or failure to mention at all, in acknowledging or citing the original source and authors in this series of Islamic articles.  

Kindly forgive me that as I am not an expert in Islamic studies, all my articles are not my original research, translations nor presentations.

I am just trying to compile, edit into gist and is trying to present AGAIN some of my brothers-in-Islam’s good works. 

Dr Zafar Shah@ San Oo Aung 

Honesty in Monetary Dealings

Uprightness and honesty in monetary dealings forms a vital part of the fundamental teachings of Islam.

The Qur’an as well as the Traditions of the Prophet (pbuh) are emphatic that;

” a true Muslim is one who is honest and upright in business and other monetary transactions; keeps his word and fulfils his promises, shuns fraud and avoids deceit, encroaches not upon the rights of others and abstains from wrongful litigation, does not give false evidence and abstains from making dishonest money as from usury or graft.

In short, all manner of deceit and dishonesty in business is prohibited in Islam.  

 Social Conduct and Mutual Relations


Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

Social conduct, good manners and respect for the rights of each other, form an important part of Islamic teachings.

One can become a good and true Muslim when one observes the social code of Islam. The rules and regulations governing the modes and manners of behaviour between man and man and society, as laid down by Islam is very important for a Muslim.

1.Rights of neighbours:

The Qur’an calls upon us to be_

  1.  good and courteous to our neighbours.

  2. It has commanded us to maintain the best of conduct towards

  3. our parents,

  4. brothers

  5. and sisters

  6. and towards other near relatives.

A Tradition of the Prophet (pbuh) reads:

“He shall not go to Heaven for whose mischief his neighbours do not feel secure.”

Islam conferred special rights for_

  1. the weaker

  2. and the poorer sections of society

  3. and needy persons.

  4. It is the duty of all well-to-do people to look after those people, including non-Muslims.

Justice is an integral part of Islamic ethics.

2. Rights of parents:

       In Islam, the rights of parents have been described as next only to the rights of God, as clearly stated in the Qur’an.

3.  Rights of children:

      Islam has laid an equal stress on the rights of children on parents also.

Apart from the responsibility of parents_

  1. to feed

  2. and clothe their children,

  3. their moral

  4. and religious education

  5. and upbringing

are also very important in Islam.

4. Rights of husband and wife.     

The Prophet used to attach profound importance to the harmony of married life among Muslims.

He urged Muslim husbands and wives

  1. to keep each other happy
  2. and to attend to each other’s needs
  3. and interest with loving care.

5. Rights of relatives:

      In the Qur’an, we are told_

  1. to be kind to our kinsmen

  2. and whoever disregards

  3. and pays no heed to the bonds of kinship

has been condemned as a transgressor and sinner of the worst order.

The holy Prophet (pbuh) has said:

  1. “If a near relative treats you indifferently and ignores the bond of relationship,

  2. do not turn your back on him

  3. but keep on discharging, on your part, the obligations of relationship towards him.”

6.  Rights of the old on the young and of the young on the old:

      It is a general principle of Islamic social behaviour_

  1. that everyone should respect his elders.

  2. Those who are older are required to treat those who are younger to them

  • with kindness
  • and affection,
  • even if there be no relationship between them.

7.   Rights of Muslims on each other:

      Further, there is_

  1. a special claim of Muslims on each other,

  2. the common bond of Islam.

Says the Prophet (pbuh):

  1. “Every Muslim is a Muslim’s brother.

  2.  He should neither harm him himself

  3. nor leave him alone

  4. (help him and to protect him).

Whoever among you will fulfil the need of his brother, God will take it upon Himself to fulfil his needs, and a Muslim who will remove the distress of a Muslim brother will, in return, find a distress of his removed by God on the Day of Requital, and anyone who will hide the shame of a Muslim, his sins will be hidden by God on the Last Day.”

“Do not bear a grudge or enmity against each other, do not be jealous of each other, and do not indulge in backbiting.” “Live like brothers and the servants of One God. It is not allowed for a Muslim to cease to be on talking terms with another Muslim for more than three days.” “The life, honour and property of a Muslim are sacred for another.”  

 8. Good Manners and Noble Qualities

Good manners and noble qualities of mind and character enjoy a place of crucial importance in the structure of Islamic teachings. Moral evolution and uplift was one of the main objects for which the sacred Prophet (pbuh) was raised up. The Prophet himself has said:

“I have been sent down by God to teach moral virtues and to evolve them to highest perfection.”  (1) “The best of your are those who possess the best of manners.” (2) “No sin is more detestable to God than bad manners.”

Some More Important Virtues to cultivate all good and noble moral and social qualities and to avoid everything that is mean or wicked.

1) Truthfulness

Truthfulness is a matter of such supreme consequence in Islam that, in addition to speaking the truth always, a Muslim is exhorted also to keep company only with those that are truthful.

Says the Prophet (pbuh):

“He who wishes to love God and His Apostle, or wishes God and His Apostle to love him, must take care to speak nothing but the truth whenever he speaks.”

2) Fulfilling Promises

It is also a part of truthfulness that when a promise is made, it should be fulfilled. The Qur’an and the Traditions are very clear on this point. Our faith demands of us never to go back on our pledged word.

3) Trustworthiness

Closely allied to truthfulness is the quality of trustworthiness.

Here is a Tradition of the holy Prophet (pbuh) on this point:

“Look not alone at anyone’s prayers and fasts to decide about his spiritual excellence .

You should also see that he is truthful when he speaks, restores honestly what he has received in trust to whom it is due, and remains righteous in times of adversity and suffering.”

4) Justice

Justice is an integral part of Islamic ethics. In Islam, we are commanded to be just and fair not only towards our own people or co-religionists, but also towards others even if they be the enemies of our life, property or faith.

5) Compassion and Forgiveness

To feel pity on a fellow human being in distress, to be compassionately drawn towards him, to bring him succour, and to pardon the guilty and the defaulter are virtues that are valued very highly in Islam. Take this Tradition, for instance:

“God will have mercy upon them that are merciful. Treat kindly the dwellers of the earth, He who dwells in the heavens will treat you kindly.” We ought to be kind and compassionate towards friend and foe alike and to all the creatures that exist on the earth.

It is reported from the Prophet (pbuh) that once a person who was travelling by road saw a dog licking wet earth in the agony of thirst. The traveller was moved by the spectacle and gave water to the dog to drink. This simple service of the man to the thirsting dog pleased God so much that He blessed him with salvation.

6) Tenderness

Tenderness in monetary dealings, and in all other fields of one’s activity, and the readiness to oblige and put others at ease are all virtues of the highest order in the Islamic pattern of morality.

7) Self Restraint

Tolerance, affability, self-restraint, and the ability to control one’s temper and overlook what is unpleasant and disagreeable, are qualities that Islam wants everyone to cultivate.

8 ) Gentleness of Speech

Gentleness of speech is a religious virtue in Islam and rudeness a sin. The Qur’an declares : “Speak fair to the people.”

We have it from the Prophet:

“To speak politely is piety and a kind of charity.” “To indulge in intemperate language and in harsh behaviour is to perpetuate an injustice and the house of injustice is Hell.”

In Islam, we are commanded to be just and fair not only towards our own people or co-religionists, but also towards our enemies.

Tolerance, affability, self-restraint, and the ability to control one’s temper and overlook what is unpleasant and disagreeable, are qualities of good Muslims.

Humility is a virtue, a distinguishing feature of the moral and spiritual proof of courage and firmness.


 Courage and Fortitude

The Muslim must be meek and humble but firm like a rock and allows neither fear nor weakness to come near him where faith or truth or justice is at stake.

There occur periods of hardship and adversity, sometimes there is want, disease, enemies harass us, and so forth. In spite of those thousand trials and calamities we should bear them with courage and fortitude, remain firm and should not waver from our principles.

There is the assurance of the Qur’an for them:

“For God loves those who are patient and persevering” (11:153). The holy Prophet (pbuh) has said:

“Patience is one half of Faith.”

Contrarily, impatience and cowardice are the most lamentable of evils against which the Prophet (pbuh) used to beg God for refuge in his prayers. “God is not regardful of your fine visages or your wealth. He is regardful only of your hearts and intentions.” The idea of the above tradition is that God will judge and requite solely on the basis of our motives and intentions.”

11) Sincerity

Sincerity is the life and soul of the entire moral edifice of Islam.

All our deeds and actions should solely be for the sake of God. Apart form it, there must be no other desire, motive or intention behind whatever we do.

States the Prophet (pbuh):

“He who loves or hates, offers favours or withholds them, and whatever he does, does so for the sake of God, he perfects his faith.” The Gist of Islam: The Heart of the Matter

Ch 4: Rights of enemy soldiers and non-combatants at war

Ch 4: Rights of enemy soldiers

and non-combatants at war


The actual codification of the ‘international law’ in war began in the middle of the nineteenth century.

  1. All forms of barbarity
  2. and savagery were perpetrated in war,
  3. and the rights of those at war were-
  • not even recognized,
  • let alone respected, before that period.

Law of War and Peace in Islam:

The rules which have been framed by Islam to make war civilized and humane, are in the nature of law, because_

  1. they are the injunctions of God
  2. and His Prophet
  3. which are followed by Muslims in all circumstances,
  4. irrespective of the behaviour of the enemy. 

 The Rights of the Non-Combatants:

Islam has first drawn a clear line of distinction between

  1. the combatants
  2. and the non-combatants of the enemy country.
  3. As far as the non-combatant population is concerned such as
  • women,

  • children,

  • the old

  • and the infirm, etc.,

the instructions of the Prophet are as follows:

“Do not kill any old person, any child or any woman” (Abu Dawud).

“Do not kill the monks in monasteries” or “Do not kill the people who are sitting in places of worship” (Musnad of Ibn Hanbal).

The Rights of the Combatants:

1. Torture with Fire

In the hadith there is a saying of the Prophet that: “Punishment by fire does not behove anyone except the Master of the Fire” (Abu Dawud). No one should be burnt alive.

2. Protection of the Wounded

“Do not attack a wounded person”-thus said the Prophet. This means that_

  • the wounded soldiers who are not fit to fight,

  • nor actually fighting,

  • ]should not be attacked.

3. The Prisoner of War Should not be Slain

No prisoner should be put to the sword”, a very clear and unequivocal instruction given by the Prophet (S).

4. No one Should be Tied to be Killed

“The Prophet has prohibited the killing of anyone_

  •  who is tied

  • or is in captivity.”

5. No Looting and Destruction in the Enemy’s Country

Muslims have also been instructed by the Prophet that_

  1. if they should enter the enemy’s territory,

  2. they should not indulge in_

  • pillage

  • or plunder

  • nor destroy the residential areas,

  • nor touch the property of anyone

  • except those who are fighting with them.

It has been narrated in the hadith: “The Prophet has prohibited the believers from loot and plunder” (al-Bukhari; Abu Dawud). His injunction is:

“The loot is no more lawful than the carrion” (Abu Dawud).

Abu Bakr al-Siddiq used to instruct the soldiers while sending them to war,

“Do not destroy_

  1. the villages
  2. and towns,
  3. do not spoil the cultivated fields
  4. and gardens,
  5. and do not slaughter the cattle.”

6. Sanctity of Property

The Muslims have also been prohibited from_

  • taking anything,

  • without paying for it,

from the general public of a conquered country.

If in a war the Muslim army_

  • occupies an area of the enemy country,

  • and is encamped there,

it does not have the right to use the things belonging to the people without their consent.

7. Sanctity of a Dead Body

Islam has categorically prohibited its followers from_

  • disgracing
  • or mutilating the corpses

of their enemies as was practised in Arabia before the advent of Islam.

It has been said in the hadith:

“The Prophet has prohibited us from mutilating the corpses of the enemies”

(al- Bukhari; AbC Dawud).

8. Return of Corpses of the Enemy

In the Battle of Ahzab_

  • a very renowned
  • and redoubtable warrior of the enemy was killed
  • and his body fell down in the trench which the Muslims had dug for the defence of Medina.
  1. The unbelievers presented ten thousand dinars to the Prophet
  2. and requested that the dead body of their fallen warrior may be handed over to them.

The Prophet replied_
“I do not sell dead bodies. You can take away the corpse of your fallen comrade.”

9. Prohibition of Breach of Treaties

Islam has strictly prohibited treachery.

One of the instructions that the Prophet used to give to the Muslim warriors while sending them to the battlefront was:

“Do not be guilty of breach of faith.”

This order has been repeated_

  • in the Holy Quran
  • and the hadith again and again,
  1. that if the enemy acts treacherously let him do so,
  2. you should never go back on your promise.
  3. The Prophet declared that:
  4. “We cannot break the agreement”.

10. Rules About Declaration of War

It has been laid down in the Holy Quran: Muslims have been prohibited from_

  1. opening hostilities against their enemies
  2. without properly declaring war against them,
  3. unless of course, the adversary has already started aggression against them.

Otherwise the Quran has clearly given the injunction to Muslims that_

  1. they should intimate to their enemies that no treaty exists between them,
  2. and they are at war with them.
This is a brief sketch of those rights which fourteen hundred years ago Islam gave to man, to those who were at war with each other and to the citizens of its state.
Acknowledgment: This article was down-loaded from_, make a gist and reformatted.

Human Rights in Islam Ch 3:14 Avoid Sin, 15 Right to Affairs of State

Human Rights in Islam

Ch 3:14 Avoid Sin,

15 Right to Affairs of State 


Ch 3:14. The Right to Avoid Sin 

Islam also confers this right on every citizen that_

  1. he will not be ordered to commit a sin,

  2. a crime

  3. or an offence;

  • and if any government,

  • or the administrator,

  • or the head of department orders an individual to do a wrong,

then he has the right to refuse to comply with the order.

The Prophet’s  hadith:

“It is not permissible to disobey God in obedience to the orders of any human being” (Musnad of Ibn Hanbal).

Ch 3:15. The Right to Participate in the Affairs of State

According to Islam, governments are actually representatives (khulafa’) of the Creator of the universe,

and this responsibility is not entrusted to_

  1.  any individual

  2. or family

  3. or a particular class

  4. or group of people

  5. but to the entire Muslim nation.

The Holy Quran says:

 “God has promised to appoint those of you who believe and do good deeds as (His) representatives on earth” (24:55).

The correct method recommended by the Holy Quran for running the affairs of the state is as follows:

“And their business is (conducted) through consultation among themselves” (42:38).  

According to this principle it is the right of every Muslim that either he should have a direct say in the affairs of the state or a representative chosen by him and other Muslims should participate in the consultation of the state.

The legislative assembly’s duties: (1) The executive head of the government and the members of the assembly should be elected by free and independent choice of the people.

(2) The people and their representatives should have the right to criticize and freely express their opinions.
(3) The real conditions of the country should be brought before the people without suppressing any fact so that they may be able to form their opinion about whether the government is working properly or not.
(4) There should be adequate guarantee that only those people who have the support of the masses should rule over the country and those who fail to win this support should be removed from their position of authority.

U Shwe Yoe

U Shwe Yoe


U Shwe Yoe, also known as U Ba Ga Lay was a prominent Burmese Actor, Comedian, Dancer and Cartoonist. He was a Burmese Muslim.

U Shwe Yoe and U Shwe Yoe dance

U Shwe Yoe dance was U Ba Ga Lay’s jolly joker dance sequence in, 1923 “Ah Ba Yae” (Oh Ah Ba. Ah Ba means old man or father in Burmese) which was one of the pioneer films of Myanmar movie history about rural life. The dance is full of fun and joy and it appealed so much to the Myanmar audience and is adopted as a dance for all festive occasions.

“Ah Ba Yae” movie was his second movie with Myanmar Asway (friend of Myanmar) company. The first was “Taw Myaing Soon Ka Lwan Aung Phan” (nostalgia effects of the jungle)in 1923. He later shoot another seven films with the same company.

With thick eye brows, long curved mustache, traditional Myanmar headdress (Gong Baung), long muffler around the neck, traditional Myanmar jacket (Tyke Pone), checked long sarong (Taung Shae Pasoe) and the small Pathein Umbrella. This became the trademark of U Shwe Yoe. Later the dancers easily copied his image by using special comical sunglass with artificial plastic nose and eyebrows.

The U Shwe Yoe dance has been an essential part of charitable and other ceremonies traditionally observed by the Myanmar. U Shwe Yoe dances to the music of the Ozi and Doebut troupes. He dances to the rhythmic sounds of the accompanying dobat or double-faced short drum, cymbals and bamboo clappers. U Shwe Yoe does a good job twirling his umbrella to make his performance more interesting. This dance is always performed to make amusement by village lads in procession at festival. This popular traditional Myanmar dance is presented with delightful and humorous movements to please spectators. It is also an entertainment component at Pagoda festival, at Shinpyu ordination ceremony, and other festive occasions. Myanmar folk dances developed together with folk music and songs. So they are inseparably linked with folk music and songs. These three performing arts are complementary and rural-based. The music is provided by ozi and dobat troupes.

Duet Dance of U Shwe Yoe and Daw Moe

Originally U Shwe Yoe was an individual dance performance, but over time the Daw Moe Dance was created and appended to the original version. Now the art form is popularly known as the U Shwe Yoe and Daw Moe Dance. U Shwe Yoe dances with his comic moustache and comic movements trying to woo the spinster Daw Moe. The U Shwe Yoe Dance has been an essential part of charitable and traditional ceremonies. U Shwe Yoe and Daw Moe are the comic characters. They sing, they dance and they flirt, and make the spectators (audience) laugh. The dance is presented with humour in order to make the spectators merry and gay. No religious procession is considered complete without the dance of U Shwe Yoe and Daw Moe.[1][2]

 Acting career

He acted in 18 movies during 12 years of his carrier. Fifteen were without voice and only three were with voice. His first movie “Taw Myaing Soon Ka Lwan Aung Phan” (nostalgia effects of the jungle) was from Burma Film’s first movie. Lead actor was Maung Nyi Pu (first Burmese actor) and actress was Ma Mya Nyunt. U Ba Ga Lay was a support actor, comedian. There was a scene in the movie, Daw Moe wanted to be splashed with water in the water festival but pretended not to be. He acted as a naive old man Shwe Yoe, trying to splash water with a short pump. In his second movie he rose to fame with his Shwe Yoe dance.

The full list of his movies_

  1. “Taw Myaing Soon Ka Lwan Aung Phan” (nostalgia effects of the jungle)1923

  2. “Ah Ba Yae”(Oh Ah Ba. Ah Ba means father or an old man.) 1923

  3. Pauk Kyine (Myanmar Folk tale) 1924

  4. Ta Khine Lone Shwe (The whole bunch of gold) 1924

  5. Ta Khine Lone Sein (The whole bunch of diamonds) 1924

  6. Mhine Wai Wai. Hazy or foggy 1925

  7. Pa Loke Toke Toke Sakya Shin 1925

  8. Village boy Shwe Yoe 1926

  9. Shwe Min Won 1926

  10. Where is Shwe Yoe 1926

  11. Shwe Yoe and San Phae 1927

  12. Shwe Talay 1927

  13. Khin Maung Gyi 1927

  14. Honeymoon period 1929

  15. Wai Lwin Lwin 1929

  16. Mr Batchelor 1930

  17. Love Triangle 1930

  18. Shwe Pay Lhwar (Golden Message)

 Personal life

U Ba Ga Lay was born in Bassein (now Pathein) in 1893 (9th waning of Tabodwe month 1254 Burmese calender). His parents were Bassein High School teachers U Pho Thi and Daw Thae Mhone.

He had head and back injury when the kitchen of his house collapsed in June 1938. Treated for three months in Rangoon and later shifted to Bassein. His mental condition deteriorated and when Cartoon U Hein Soon visited him with the donations from the friends in Rangoon, he asked about the famous journalist Zawana.

Later because of the bombings, he shifted to Hinthada and again to Gambi town. He passed away at the age of 52, on 5th June 1945.


  1. ^ U Shwe Yoe’s alias U Ba Ga Lay by Tin Soe. Al-Balag Journal, Published by Ko Min Lwin. In Burmese. Nov-Dec 2001. page 80,81 & 82

  2. ^ Ludu Daw Ah Mar, Shwe Yoe, Ba Galay – Artists of the same names in 2 volumes 1969

See also

External links

  1. U Shwe Yoe dance,Mintha Theater[1]

  2. U Shwe Yoe dance,Goldenland [2]

  3. U Shwe Yoe dance,Mandalay marionettes[3]

  4. U Shwe Yoe dance,[4]

  5. U Shwe Yoe dance,[5]

  6. U Shwe Yoe dance,[6]

  7. U Shwe Yoe dance,[7]

  8. U Shwe Yoe dance,[8]

  9. U Shwe Yoe dance,mrtv3[9]

  10. U Shwe Yoe dance,Mizzima.[10]

  11. U Shwe Yoe dance,[11]

  12. U Shwe Yoe dance,Fascinating Myanmar[12]

  13. U Shwe Yoe dance,Sein Moottar[13]

Colonel Ba Shin

Colonel Ba Shin


Colonel Ba Shin, a noted historian, was a member of The Myanmar History Commission and Islamic Religious Affairs Council.

U Ba Shin was born in Ywarkauk, Pyinmanar in 1914. His parents were Principal U Hein and Daw Saw Yin. His wife was Daw Khin May Kyi (retired Lecturer from Zoology Department, Yangon University). Before the Second World War he studied in the Bachelor of Arts (Honours) class specializing in Inscription and Oriental History in Yangon University.

He worked under Professor G.H.Luce from 1935-40, at the Rangoon University Eastern and Burmese History Division. [1]He carried out research in Chinese – Myanmar relations of the Middle period and the history of Chinese – Myanmar inscriptions. He was promoted to an Assistant Lecturer in that department in 1940.[2]

In the military

During the Japanese occupation he was the Academic officer in the Asian Youth Organization. He also worked as the Education Officer of the Burma Defense Army.[3]

Later he became a Lt. Col. in the Military Division (4) of the Burma Army. He published Tine 4 (Forth Military Division) newspaper and wrote a book for the soldiers, European Economic History, explaining to the soldiers about the emergence of Capitalism.[4]

He wrote a Burmese history book for the Army and was published on January 4, 1948, Burma’s Independence day. The Education Ministry prescribed that book as high school textbook.[5]

After the war, he worked in the war office as the registration officer. After that he was appointed as the Burmese Military Attaché to London and could meet with international researchers and historians.[6]

While serving in military, he wrote military, cultural and history articles in Sit Nha Lone (Military Heart) journal and Myawaddy journals. He also wrote articles for children in Kha Lae (Children) journal and Light of Myanmar newspapers. He wrote military articles in Military Education journal.[7]He worked in the Myanmar Army until 1956.

Research works

In 1957 he joined the Burma Historical Commission as a Compiler. He wrote many English and Myanmar research papers in Bulletin of the Burma Historical Commission and many articles about racial and ethnic groups of Myanmar were written for the Myanmar Encyclopaedia. He wrote Lawkatheikpan in English and Myanmar before Anawrahta. One of his duties was to do detailed studies and research about Burmese history from AD 1300-1752.[8]

He was a Burmese Indian Muslim.[9]He could speak all the languages of Myanmar ethnic minorities.[10] He could also speak Mon Khmar, Tibet Bama, Thai, Chinese and many dialects of Indian language. [11] He could even understand the ancient Burmese and ancient Mon languages. Although he was a Muslim he was fluent in Pali language and especially Buddhist literatures written in Pali. [12]

He worked together with Professor Luce for quite a long time in Bagan at Myin Kabar Gu-pyauk Pagoda built by Raja Kumar (Yazakumar, son of Kyansittha) in AD 1113. That research paper was published in Burmese History Commission Journal volume 2 in 1961 from page 227-416. Not only the background history of the pagoda but the architecture, Buddhist scriptures and all the stone inscriptions with the translations were included in the article. Complete comparison of the various Buddhist scriptures found in ancient Bagan was also included. Studies of ancient Mon and Austro Asian languages and Mon grammar and spellings were mentioned. [13]

He was an important person in the team, which had done comparative studies of Sanskrit, Pali and ancient Mon. Even Professor Luce praised that his comrade Major Ba Shin had contributed an invaluable edits for his thirty years of research and got his help in the first or fresh readings. Luce even commented that Ba Shin had even corrected his overlooked mistakes.[14]

In an article written to honour Ba Shin in relation to the Wetkyi Inn and Gu-pyauk Pagodas in Bagan, Professor Luce wrote, “He is one of the best researchers, expert in History and Stone Inscription.”[15]

One of Ba Shin’s best efforts was seen in the article about Bagan Pagoda Lawka Hteit Pan (Rangoon, 1962) which indicated the ancient Burmese civilization. Nai Min Nai had written an article together with A.B. Grisworld about the comments and review in Artibus Asiae volume 33, page 228-233.[16]

He was the editor of the article “Essays offered to G.H.Luce by his colleagues and friends in Honour of his Seventy-Fifth Birthday.“ in two volumes Artibus Asiae supplementum XXIII, Ascona, Switzerland, 1956. He wrote the “Buddha Images of Tai Yuan Types Found in Burma” in that publication. [17]

While working as a research officer, he wrote research papers in English and Burmese in Thamine Tagun journal. One of Ba Shin’s best efforts was seen in the article which was written in English about Bagan Pagoda Lawka Hteit Pan (Rangoon, 1962) which indicated the ancient Burmese civilization and Burmese language of earliest Bagan period. Nai Min Nai had written an article together with A.B. Grisworld about the comments and review in Artibus Asiae volume 33, page 228-233. [18]

He wrote about the Ink duplicate copies of ancient Bagan stone inscriptions in the Bagan Ink duplicate copy research journey report book. Both were published by the Burmese History Commission.[19]

He was an active member of the Myanmar Orthography (Spelling) Commission.[20] He used to help the final year history students and History Master students’ research papers. [21]

As a journalist

Since he was in the university, he was active in journalism. He was the Yudathan College reporter of Myanmar Alin (Light of Myanmar) and Thuraya (The Sun) newspapers and had written a lot of reports and articles.[22]

He wrote a book, Khit Thit Marga (Modern Tha Gyar Min or Sakya) in 1937 about the rebuilding of rural villages. [23]

He wrote in the Yudathan College magazine and was the Burmese section editor. He was the editor of the Mosquito hand written magazine.[24]

In 1939 he wrote an article about the modernization of Burmese rural villages together with Dr Thar Saing and Dr Andrab. [25]

This pen-name were (1) San Aung (2) Thutethi (3) Bohmu Nyanna (4) Taing Lay Yebawhaung (5) Lt. Colonel Ba Shin (6) U Ba Shin (7) Wari San (8) Maung Pinti (9) Scott Boy and (10) Bo Mhu.

He wrote articles in Pyannya Padethar journal published by Directorate of University Education. He also wrote research papers and articles in the magazines published by Rangoon Arts and Science University, University Burmese literature magazine, Zoology magazine, Burmese Muslim University Students’ magazines, Ngwe Taryi magazine, Pyinyar Tazaung magazine, Working peoples’ daily (English and Burmese.[26]

Earliest Myanmar History was the last article he was still writing for the Myanmar History Commission. The last article he could finished was Myanmar before Anawrattha, published in sections, in Pyannar Tazaung magazine from June to November 1968. But he could not finished the second part of that book, Bagan era Myanmar book. [27]

As a Muslim he worked as the Secretary General in the Myanmar Islam Religious Council until he died. He died on January 7, 1971, at 5.50 p.m. of heart disease. [28][29]

See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ “Wanna Kyawhtin Bhomhu Ba Shin” by Naing Min Naing. Al-Balag Journal, Published by Ko Min Lwin. In Burmese. November-December 2001. page 37. paragraph 4. line 2&3

  2. ^ ibid page 37. paragraph 4. line 4.

  3. ^ “Bhomhu Ba Shin”. Al-Balag Journal, published by Ko Min Lwin. In Burmese. November-December 2001. page 41. paragraph 3,

  4. ^ ibid page 41. paragraph 3.

  5. ^ “Wanna Kyawhtin Bhomhu Ba Shin” by Naing Min Naing. Al-Balag Journal, published by Ko Min Lwin. In Burmese. November-December 2001 page 38. paragraph 1.

  6. ^ ibid page 38. paragraph 1. line 3&4.

  7. ^ “Bhomhu Ba Shin”. Al-Balag Journal, page 41. paragraph 6.

  8. ^ “Wanna Kyawhtin Bhomhu Ba Shin” by Naing Min Naing. Al-Balag Journal page 38. paragraph 2. line 3.

  9. ^ ibid page 37. paragraph 3. line 1

  10. ^ ibid page 37. paragraph 3. line 2&3.

  11. ^ ibid page 37. paragraph 3. line 3&4.

  12. ^ ibid page 37. paragraph 3. line 5,6&7.

  13. ^ ibid page 39. paragraph 2. line 1-7.

  14. ^ ibid page 39. paragraph 2. line 7-12.

  15. ^ ibid page 39. paragraph 3.

  16. ^ ibid page 39. paragraph 4.

  17. ^ ibid page 39. paragraph 1. line 2-7.

  18. ^ ibid page 39. paragraph 4.

  19. ^ “Bhomhu Ba Shin”. Al-Balag Journal page 42. paragraph 2.

  20. ^ ibid page 40. paragraph 1.

  21. ^ ibid page 40. paragraph 2.

  22. ^ “Bhomhu Ba Shin”. Al-Balag Journal, published by Ko Min Lwin. In Burmese. November-December 2001. page 41. paragraph 1, line 1-3.

  23. ^ ibid page 41. paragraph 1. line 4

  24. ^ ibid page 41. paragraph 1. line 5&6.

  25. ^ ibid page 41. paragraph 2.

  26. ^ “Bhomhu Ba Shin” by Naing Min Naing. Al-Balag Journal page 42, paragraph 3

  27. ^ ibid, page 42. paragraph 5.

  28. ^ “Wanna Kyawhtin Bhomhu Ba Shin” by Naing Min Naing. Al-Balag Journal, published by Ko Min Lwin. In Burmese. November-December 2001

  29. ^

External Link