: Hamilton Alexander Rosskeen Gibb

16-09-2012, 06:24 AM
Hamilton Alexander Rosskeen Gibb (02-01-1895 - 22-10-1971)
He was born in Alexandria, Egypt and became the leader of the English Orientalists and one of the editors of the Islamic Encyclopedia. He was a professor of Arabic at both London and Oxford Universities. He was a founding member in both the Scientific Arabic Academy of Damascus and the Arabic Academy of Cairo. Harvard University, one of the most prominent universities in America and the world, granted him an honorary position after his retirement with which he was able to deliver lectures, meet students and supervise post-graduate theses as he liked[1] (http://islamstory.com/en/node/36655#_ftn1). His writings include: Studies on the civilization of Islam; Modern Trends in Islam; Mohammedanism: A Historical Survey; Islamic Society and the West; and others.
Persistence in doing good
If anyone claims that the Quran is not importunate in asking for doing good, let us prove his mistake by bringing to him the comprehensive definition of righteousness in the following verse (what means): {Righteousness is not that you turn your faces toward the east or the west, but [true] righteousness is [in] one who believes in Allh , the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the prophets and gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveler, those who ask [for help], and for freeing slaves; [and who] establishes prayer and gives zakh; [those who] fulfill their promise when they promise; and [those who] are patient in poverty and hardship and during battle. Those are the ones who have been true, and it is those who are the righteous.} [Al-Baqarah 177] Righteousness is indeed the crown of the true faith.[2] (http://islamstory.com/en/node/36655#_ftn2)
A record of a living experiment
This is then the message conveyed by the Quran to the first generation of Muslims and to all coming generations afterwards. The Quran is a record of a living experiment in lordship and an invitation to man to organize his life in order to be able to take his share from this experiment. When a Muslim follows the commands of the Quran and does his best to fathom the core of its teachings, from the depth of his heart and soul and not only from his mind, he indeed tries to get something of the anticipatory visions and experiment with which the Messenger of Allh was endowed. The significance of every verse in it then becomes important in his sight simply because he believes that it is the speech of Allh. This faith is a part of his creed, being a living source of religious inspiration and enlightenment.[3] (http://islamstory.com/en/node/36655#_ftn3)
A living refreshed faith
We commit a fatal mistake, states Gibb, when we see this Islamic creed just as we see an elaborate theological doctrine inherited from generation to generation for 1300 years. It is, rather, a certainty and living faith being refreshed and continuously confirmed in the hearts, souls and ideas of the Muslims in general and the Arabs among them in particular when they study the sacred text of the Quran.[4] (http://islamstory.com/en/node/36655#_ftn4)
It is sweet, graceful and well-organized
In reality, the Quran principally could not be translated just like supremely elaborate poetry. Ordinary language could hardly express the Qurans well-preserved meanings, similitudes and images because each allegory, metaphor and linguistic wonder should first be well studied before the meaning emanates to the reader. Furthermore, the Quran is sweet, graceful and well-organized in an indefinable manner because, by its magic, it prepares the listeners mind to receive its teachings. Undoubtedly, the interpretation of its words into any other language could but distort their meanings and transform pure gold into pottery.[5] (http://islamstory.com/en/node/36655#_ftn5)
A new distinguished structure
The religious situations expressed and conveyed by the Quran to the people form a new distinguished religious structure.[6] (http://islamstory.com/en/node/36655#_ftn6)
It is taken for granted
It is internationally taken for granted that his (Mohammeds) reforms raised the womans status, position and social and religious conditions.[7] (http://islamstory.com/en/node/36655#_ftn7)

[1] (http://islamstory.com/en/node/36655#_ftnref1) Mazin Mutbiqani, an article about Gibb on the internet: www.madinacenter.com (http://www.madinacenter.com/)

[2] (http://islamstory.com/en/node/36655#_ftnref2) Gibb, Studies on the civilization of Islam (adapted from the Arabic translation), 254.

[3] (http://islamstory.com/en/node/36655#_ftnref3) Ibid. 254.

[4] (http://islamstory.com/en/node/36655#_ftnref4) Gibb, Modern Trends in Islam (Arabic translation), 30.

[5] (http://islamstory.com/en/node/36655#_ftnref5) Ibid. 30-31.

[6] (http://islamstory.com/en/node/36655#_ftnref6) Gibb, Studies on the civilization of Islam (Arabic translation), 255.

[7] (http://islamstory.com/en/node/36655#_ftnref7) Gibb, Mohammedanism (Arabic translation), 33.