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Of all the great thinkers who have enriched the diverse branches of knowledge during the era of early Islam, Muhammad bin Musa Khwarizmi occupies an outstanding place. Being one of the greatest scientists of all times and the greatest of his age, Khwarizmi was a versatile genius, who made lasting contributions to the field of Mathematics, Astronomy, Music, Geography, and History . “Khwarizmi was the principal figure in the early history of Arabic Mathematics” , writes Phillip K. Hitti in his well-known work, The History of the Arabs. “One of the greatest minds of Islam, he influenced mathematical thought to a greater extent than any other medieval writer.” Muhammad bin Musa al-Khwarizmi (780–847 A.C.) was born in Khwarizm (Modern Khiva ) situated on the lower course of Amu Darya . His forefathers had migrated from their native place and settled in Qutrubulli , a district west of Baghdad. Little is known about his early life. According to H. Suter , he died between 835 to 844 A.C


Sultan Alauddin Khilji, one of the greatest Muslim rulers of India , was a great admirer of Sufi Saint, Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia. On several occasions, he sought the Saint’s blessings for his difficult military campaigns in Southern India, and every time his armies came out with flying colors. On the conquest of Warrangal, the Sultan sent a purse of 500 gold sovereigns to Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia, which the later forthwith gave to a Khorasani ‘dervish’ , who happened to be with him at the moment. The Sultan detailed his two sons , Khizr Khan and Shadi Khan to serve the Saint and be always at his beck and call. The Sultan was very anxious to see the Saint personally and once sought his permission to present himself to him. But Hazrat Nizamuddin, who shunned the society of monarchs, declined to oblige him and sent him a message: “I have two doors in my house. If the Sultan enters the house through the front door, I shall leave it by the back door”. Syed Muhammad ibn Syed Ahmad, later k


The royal bed of Ibrahim bin Adham, Ruler of Balkh, was carpeted with roses each night. One night, the maidservant, entrusted with the work, was tempted to lie down on it for a while. Unfortunately, she soon fell asleep and was shaken out of her slumber, on experiencing the whips inflicted by the Ruler. The maidservant stood up staggering. “What made you sleep on the.royal bed?” cried, King Ibrahim. She was speechless for a moment and then burst into sardonic laughter. The King became furious and enquired the cause of her unusual laughter. “Sir” , replied the maidservant, “I had hardly slept for a while on the royal bed when I received three or four whips on my tender body. I wonder what punishment you will get from God for sleeping on this bed every night”. Ibrahim bin Adham was much struck by the blunt and satirical reply of his maidservant. He was mentally upset and disquieted; and brooded over the provocative, spontaneous remark of his maid who lashed him at his weakest spot. Unde


The Indo-Pakistan sub-continent ruled for about a thousand years by the Muslims has witnessed many vicissitudes. Great empires have risen and fallen, pompous emperors and mighty conquerors have appeared on the Indian soil and have gone. Their mortal remains enshrined in magnificent tombs scattered all over the sub-continent have become relics of the past. But the tomb of Khwaja Mueenuddin Chishti, the saint of Ajmer and the uncrowned spiritual monarch of the sub-continent who still reigns over the hearts of millions of people, is the popular place of pilgrimage of the Muslims drawn from all parts of the world. Khwaja Sahib, popularly known as “Gharib Nawaz” (Benefactor of the Poor), had earned this title due to his service to humanity and love for the poor and downtrodden. A man of indomitable will and dauntless courage, he dedicated his life to the love of God and His creatures. He achieved his mission despite insuperable obstacles and insurmountable difficulties. Khwaja Mueenuddin


Ghazni, the Queen of the East, presented a gala appearance, when Sultan Mahmood, after his memorable victory against the combined Hindu forces at Somnath in 1026 A.C. returned to his Capital. He was accompanied by a large retinue loaded with treasures of Hindustan, including the sandalwood gate of the famous temple at Somnath. The populace of the Ghaznavide Metropolis had come out to accord an unprecedented welcome to the great conqueror. The Sultan held a grand Durbar in which some of the rare exhibits brought from Hindustan were exhibited to the excited populace of the Capital city. These included a Hindu Savant (philosopher) who was known for his deep knowledge and erudition. There seemed hardly anyone in the Ghaznavide Court who could challenge him. At last, a young man of 20 years , stepped forward to challenge the Hindu philosopher and in the presence of the Sultan, he “utterly discomfited him by an exhibition of miraculous powers” . The young man was Syed Ali Hujweri , better kn


The rays of Islam which had illuminated Arabia had begun to penetrate into the distant parts of Iraq, Syria, Persia, and even Turkistan. A new sect of Sufis (mystics) who believed in renunciation of worldly pleasures by cultivating Islamic spiritualism through self-mortification, had sprung up and had produced some eminent Sufis in Iraq and Persia like Rabia Basri, Hasan Basri, Abdul Wahid, and Bayazid Bustami. These Sufis carried the message of Islam to the distant parts of the world and were, to a great extent, responsible for attracting the heathens to the new faith (Islam). Hazrat Imam Jafar Sadiq, the great-grandson of Caliph Hazrat Ali , was a versatile genius, who combined in him the worldly as well as spiritual learning. He is universally recognized as the fountainhead of Sufism, from whom spring different sects of Sufism. He had entrusted the robe of Naqshbandi sect of Sufism to Bayazid Bustami. Abu Yazid Taifur bin Isa bin Adam bin Surushan was born in 128 A.H. 746 A.C. in


A caravan bound for Baghdad from Gilan (Iran) encountered a band of robbers. There was exchange of fire for a while but the members of the caravan were soon overpowered by the superior might of the brigands. Then search and looting followed. One by one each member of the caravan was relieved of his valuables. A few robbers at last came upon a simple looking poor boy sitting quietly at one side. They enquired from him: “Have you got anything with you?” “Yes” , replied the boy, “I have forty dinars.” The robbers searched him thoroughly, his bedding and clothes, but found nothing. They thought that the boy was bluffing and went forward to search other persons. After the search was over the robbers reported the strange boy to their Chief. Immediately, he was summoned before the Chief who asked him: “You say, you have forty dinars with you.” “Yes,” replied the boy. “Where are they?” , demanded the Chief. Instantly, the boy tore open a portion of his jacket and took out forty dinars to t


The thirteenth-century A.C. is a period of great calamity in the annals of Islam. The Muslim world had hardly recovered from the ravages of the long-drawn-out Crusades when it experienced a worst catastrophe. The Muslim countries were overrun by the Mongol hordes, destroying the intellectual and cultural treasures amassed during centuries of Muslim rule, and massacring millions of Muslims. Baghdad, the dream city of the famous Arabian Nights, which was the intellectual and cultural Metropolis of Islam, nay of the whole world-was sacked by Hulaku Khan , the Mongol, in 1258 A.C. and its entire cultural and intellectual heritage was burnt to cinders or thrown into the Tigris. In such period of turmoil and holocaust was born Ibn Taimiya, a great religious thinker, who substantially and significantly influenced the subsequent Muslim thought. An independent thinker and an ardent believer in the freedom of conscience, one who was disputed by some but venerated by all, his life and works hav


Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali known as ‘Algazel’ in the West is one of the most eminent thinkers of Islam. He had the rare distinction of being appointed as the Principal of Nizamiah University of Baghdad, the greatest university in that period at an early age of 34 and later on turned into a skeptic and roamed about for 12 years in search of truth and mental peace, ultimately finding solace in “Sufism.” Al-Ghazali was born in 1058 A.C. in a small town of Khorasan called “Toos.” His father was a yarn seller, hence he was nicknamed as “Ghazali,” which is an Arabic word meaning yarn maker. Allama Samyani’s contention that ‘Ghazal’ is a village of Toos where Ghazali resided does not stand the test of historical research. In those days education was too liberal amongst common people. The highest type of education was within the reach of the humblest members of the society and all sorts of facilities for free education were provided for the common man. Out of the lowest societies have risen s


The third century of the Hejira has been the most congenial period for the collection and development of Prophet’s Traditions in the Muslim world. During this period as many as six well-known collections of Traditions, popularly called as ‘Sahih’ (authentic collections) saw the light of day. These included the “Sahih’ Bukhari and Sahih Muslim . During this period, conditions were extremely favorable for the collection of Traditions. A certain unanimity had been attained on all disputed points, particularly on questions of law and doctrine and a definite opinion regarding the value of most Traditions had been formed by the well-known Muslim scholars. It was, thus, possible to proceed and collect all such Traditions which were generally accepted as reliable. The most outstanding reporters of the Traditions had been Hazrat Aisha, Hazrat Abu Huraira, Hazrat Abdullah ibn Abbas, Hazrat Fatima az-Zahra, Hazrat Abdulla ibn Umar, Hazrat Abdulla ibn Masood, Hazrat Zaid ibn Sabit, Hazrat Uns ibn


Few persons in the world have ever been endowed with a proverbial memory. One of these was Imam Bukhari, the greatest Traditionist that Islam has produced. He is said to have retained in his memory one million Traditions with full details of all the different sources and reporters of each Tradition which came down to him. His “Sahih Bukhari” (Collection of Traditions) is universally recognized as the most authentic collection of Traditions of the Holy Prophet of Islam. Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Ismail, later known as Imam Bukhari, was born in Bukhara on Shawwal 13, 194 A.H. (July 21, 810 A.C.) He was the grandson of a Persian, named Bradizbat. The newly-born child had scarcely opened his eyes in the world when he lost his eyesight. His father was immensely grieved by it. His pious mother wept and prayed to God to restore the eyesight of her newly-born child. During her sleep, she dreamt Prophet Abraham, who said: “Be pleased, your prayer has been accepted by God.” When she got up, th