ISLAMIC - ISLAMIC
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FAITH.

 

1)           FAITH IN ISLAM

 

2)           INCREASE ONE'S FAITH

 

3)           SIGNS OF WEAK IMAN AND HOW TO INCREASE IT

 

4)           STEPS TO INCREASE WEAK IMAN

 

5)           TESTIFYING A BELIEVER

 

6)           THE MEANING OF TAWHEED AND ITS CATEGORIES

 

7)           WHAT IS THE SUNNAH?

 

8)           FAITH IN DESTINY

 

9)           ALL LIVING PROSTRATE TO ALLAH

 

10)        CHILDREN OF ALLAH

 

11)       ALLAH IMAGINATION IN MIND

 

12)        GOD OF BIBLE  - GOD OF QURAN

 

13)        CAN GOD CREATE ANOTHER LIKE HIM

 

14)        QUALITIES OF AN HYPOCRATE

 

15)        WHAT ARE THE NULLIFIERS OF ISLAM?

 

16)        WHO DOES NOT PRAY, IS HE A KAFFIR?

 

17)        CONVERTING TO ISLAM TO GET MARRIED

 

18)        INTRODUCING ISLAM IN MODERN ENVIRONMENT

 

19)       MUSLIMS DECLINING IN THEIR FAITH

 

20)       PRISON OR PARADISE (LIFE OF THIS WORLD?)

 

21)       SOME OF THE RULINGS ON APOSTASY AND APOSTATES

 

22)       IF MUSLIM LEAVES ISLAM?

 

23)       WEARING TA'AWEEZ

 

24)       SIX KALIMAHS

 

25)   KHILAFAT OF ALI (RTU)

 

26)   NAFS

 

27)   GROWING BEARD

 

28)   NADHR

 

29)   SOUL IN ISLAMIC PHILOSPHY

 

30)   MIND VS SOUL

 

31)   DEFINITION OF EEMAAN

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1. Faith IN ISLAM

Question :

What is “Faith” in Islam, and how one can enter in Islam? What are its details and obligations?

Answer :  

“Faith” in Islam simply means “a belief and commitment by heart, on the basic principles of Islam as described by Quran and prophet Mohammed. 

The most important Belief and Knowledge that should dictate our actions is that Allah Almighty exists, that He is the Creator and Provider, and that none can benefit nor harm us except with His permission. If a person’s FAITH (Eiman) in Allah is firm and unyielding, he will be able to direct all his worship and obedience to Allah and will feel no fear of false deities or worldly powers.

A Brief introduction of Islam for New Muslims:

Islam is to submit completely to Allah by believing in His Oneness; by worshipping Him, and forsaking all types of Shirk (polytheism).

Islam is the only Deen accepted by Allah. It is the Final Deen, which has abrogated all previous religions. After Allah’s final revelation and declaring prophet Mohammed as His last prophet, Allah won’t accept from His slaves any other religion than this one. Allah says: ‘Indeed the only accepted Deen is Islam….’  (Aale-Imran 3:19) 

He also says, “If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah), never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (All spiritual good)”  (Aale-Imran 3:85)

“As for those (people) who disbelieve, lo! if all that is in the earth were theirs, and as much again therewith, to ransom them from the doom on the Day of Resurrection, it would not be accepted from them. Theirs will be a painful doom”  (Al-Maeda 5:36)

How to enter the folds of Islam:

One has to accept by heart and say by tongue, The Two Testimonies of Faith

(La ilahah Illa Allah wa anna Muhammad Rasool Allah)

To enter Islam, you must know the meaning of these two testimonies; pronounce them out of pure conviction, without the slightest doubt.

Translation of the Shahadah :

There is no god worthy of being worshipped except Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah (We obey his commands; refrain from whatever he has forbidden. We believe all that he has informed us with, and that Allah is not to be worshipped except in the manner which he has taught us.)

The Divine Scripture of Islam: It is the Quran, which is the words of Allah; it was revealed to Muhammad, may Allah exalt his mention, through Angel Jibreel, may Allah exalt his mention.

Indeed, all previous scriptures were distorted by their people; but the Quran remains in its pure form as it was revealed to Muhammad, may Allah exalt his mention. Allah has promised to preserve it till the Day of Resurrection. Allah says: ‘Indeed We have revealed the Dhikr, and We will preserve it. (Al-Hijr 15:9) For this reason, no one can distort it.

After knowing the meaning of the Two Testimonies of Faith, pronouncing them and accepting them wholeheartedly (without being pressurized into accepting it or promised worldly things upon pronouncing it) he would become a Muslim, upon whom certain obligations would become due, and others would be waived. If he dies after pronouncing it, he would enter Jannah, even if he did not do a good deed.

Five Pillars of Islam

These pillars are to be physically executed, whether the action is attestation in the heart, profession by the tongue or a physical action.

The First Pillar: The Two Testimonies of Faith.

There is no god worthy of being worshipped except Allah, and Muhammad, son of Abdullah, was a Prophet and Messenger, who was sent by Allah to both men and jinn, to guide them to worship Allah alone, without associating any partners to Him.

The Second Pillar: The Salah (Prayer).

They are five prayers in total during the day and night. The reward the Muslim would attain from performing them would be equal to the reward of fifty prayers. Some of its conditions are that the person who wants to pray be a sane Muslim, who has reached the age of distinction, having made Taharah (ablution) and intention (to pray a certain prayer), and to face the Qiblah while praying.

The Third Pillar: Zakat (Poor-Due).

It is due on every Muslim whose wealth has reached the Nisaab (amount of wealth which renders it incumbent upon its owner to pay Zakat) and has been held in possession for 12 lunar months, to give 2.5% from it to the poor and needy from among his relatives whom he legally does not have to support, and to other poor and needy Muslims, as well.

The Fourth Pillar: Fasting.

The person should intend to fast from the night. He should abstain from food and drink and sexual intercourse from Fajr till the sunset. The Month of Fasting is called Ramadhan. It is compulsory on every sane, adult Muslim.

The Fifth Pillar: Hajj (Pilgrimage)

It is the visitation to Makkah and other sacred sites with the intention to perform Umrah and Hajj. It is a duty on every adult, sane Muslim who can afford performing it, once in a lifetime. Women who have no Mahram (guardian) do not have to perform Hajj.

Whoever rejects one of these pillars out of disbelief or due to laziness would become a Kaafir (disbeliever) and would exit the folds of Islam.

The Six Articles of Faith:

1. Belief in Allah: That is to believe that He is the Creator, the Provider, the One Who causes death and life, and the One in Whose Hands are all affairs. He is the First before Whom there is none, and He is the Last after Whom there is none, He is the Supreme above Whom there is none, and He is the Most-Knowledgeable from Whom nothing is hidden. We believe in all His beautiful names and attributes without distorting or suspending them, striking parallels between them or comparing them. Allah says, ‘….There is nothing that resembles Him, and He is the All-Seeing All-Hearing’ (Ash-Shura 42:11)

2. Belief in the Angels: They are honorable slaves, who obey Allah. Among them are Jibreel, Mee’ka’il, Israfeel, Ridhwaan, Maalik, and the angels who record the good and bad deeds of men.

3. Belief in the Divine Scriptures: Belief on all scriptures which Allah revealed to his Prophets and Messengers before Mohamed (pbuh) and The Last Scripture, that is the “Quran”. It has abrogated all previous scriptures, thus it is not permissible to put into practice any scripture besides the Quran.

4. Belief in the Messengers: Allah sent thousand of messengers to mankind from beginning of mankind to guide them to worship Him alone, and not associate partners with Him. We have to believe all of them that Allah sent. Among them are the ‘Ulul Azm’ (Prophets who exerted great efforts) who are, Nooh, Ibraheem, Musa, Eesa, and finally Muhammad peace and blessing be on all of them. Mohammed (pbuh) is the last and best of them.

5. Belief in the Last Day: It is the Day of Resurrection, the Day of Requital; the Day believers would enter Jannah and disbelievers sent to Hell-Fire; as for the sinners (who died without repenting), they would be subject to the will of Allah. He would either punish them or forgive them.

6. Belief in the Qadr’: Fate (Preordainment) both in its evil and good consequences. Know that whatever is ordained would come to pass; whatever you will be afflicted with, will take place. Everything which takes place in this universe is already recorded in the Preserved Tablet (al-Lauh al-Mahfoodth).

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2. INCREASING ONE’S FAITH

Question:

Is Faith (Eiman) increases or decreases? How to increase on’s Faith.

Answer:

Faith is indeed a blessing from Allah and should not be taken for granted. Just as it may increase and become fuller and stronger, it may also weaken and become less and less until it is minimal or non-existent. Hence it becomes very important for a Muslim to take steps not only to preserve his faith but also to increase it.

The uppermost branch of faith is the true, sincere, committed belief in Laa ilaaha illalaah Muhammad Rasoolulaah. Iman has over seventy branches. The lowest or most basic branch is to remove something harmful from the path. Abu Hurairah related that the Prophet, sallAllah u alayhi wa sallam, said:

“Faith has over seventy branches or over sixty branches, the most excellent of which is the declaration that there is no God but Allah and the humblest of which is the removal of what is injurious from the path; and modesty is a branch of faith.”   (Muslim)

Basically, to do everything that Allah (swt) has ordered us to do is a part of faith and to avoid all that He has asked us to avoid is a part of faith. A Muslim’s level and strength of faith are based upon his attitude and approach when he fulfils this.

“Then we have given The Book for inheritance to such of our servants as We have chosen. But there are among them some who wrong their own souls, some who follow a middle course, and some who are, by Allah’s leave, foremost in good deeds, that is the highest grace.”  (Fatir 35:32)

Thus, man falls into one of the three following categories:

1. Dhaalim li Nafsihi: This person is self oppressed. He is constantly falling into sin and may be committing various acts of shirk.

2.  Al- Muqtasid: This person does only the basic obligations and is satisfied with this. He may also indulge in those things that are Makrooh (that which has been discouraged by Allah and His Prophet (saws) but not prohibited.

3.  Saabiq bil Khaaraat: This person lives as if he were in a race with others in doing that which is liked by Allah. He does all of the obligatory deeds and not being satisfied with this, he will strive to do more of the nawafil (the optional acts in the sunnah). He will make every attempt to avoid the Makrooh acts in fear of what they may lead them to.

One may ask, is it within the capacity of man to avoid all haram and makrooh and live his life doing only halal, fard and naafil deeds?

Yes, it is very possible. Allah, (swt), tells us in the Qu’ran:

“On no soul does Allah place a burden greater than it can bear….”  (Al-Baqarah 2:286)

“O you who believe! Bow down, prostrate yourselves and adore your Lord and do good so that you may prosper (77) And strive in His cause as you ought to strive; He has chosen you and has placed no difficulties on you in religion….”   (Al-Hajj  22:77-78)

All actions fall into two categories:

1. The obligatory acts which we are asked to avoid or do for the benefit of the individual and society.

2.  Those other than the obligatory deeds, which guide us to good in this life and which raise our level in the hereafter, placing us among the Saabiq bil Khayraat. Therefore of the first steps to increase is to work harder to do this second category of optional good deeds.

We must look for the doors that lead to good. These doors are many and we often have the opportunity to enter them but don’t realise it.

Kindness to parents and the poor, for example, are entrances to good deeds that are available to most everyone.

And the benefits are two fold:

1.  The personal benefit you gain through your deeds; and

2.  The benefit that is gained by society when you perform them.

Any door to good that you enter will place you closer to the Saabiq bil Khayraat level of faith. It will help you to attain righteousness and guidance and increase your Iman. Even paradise has doors for the faithful, those who were of the Saabiq bil Khayraat in their life on earth.

Abu Hurairah related that the Messenger (saws) of Allah said:

“Those who engage in prayer will be invited to enter by the Gate of Prayer; those who take part in jihad will be invited to enter by the gate of Sadaqah; and those who fast will be invited to enter by the Gate of Ar Rayaan.” Abu Bakr said; “No distress will rest on him who is invited to enter by those gates, but will any one be invited to enter by those gates,” He replied: “Yes, and I hope that you may be one.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Abu Bakr, (ra) was of the Saabiq bil Khayraat. He was never satisfied in doing a little or just one thing. He constantly opened and entered the doors to good and eagerly sought out others.

On one occasion, the Prophet (saws) asked his companions: Who among them had fasted the day before, Abu Bakr replied that he had. He then asked who had visited the sick the previous day, Abu Bakr replied that he did. Then he asked them who had given Sadaqah, and Abu Bakr said that he had. Umar, who always tried to compete with Abu Bakr in doing good deeds, admitted in respect, admiration and humble acknowledgement that he was much less than Abu Bakr.  (Not the exact wording of the hadith)

How does one enter these Iman strengthening doors and thereby step up in levels of faith?

It occurs by possessing those qualities and performing those deeds that constitute the different parts of faith called Shu’ab Al Eman (shuab meaning parts of faith). In stepping forth, certain approaches must be followed so that one’s effort is sincere and upon the path.

Du’a

The first of all deeds is du’a - supplication. Due to our absorption in today’s worldly life it is very important that before we perform any deed for Allah we clear our minds of such preoccupation’s and direct our attention to Him. There are two kinds of du’a- Du’a of request for help in this life and the hereafter and du’a of worship in which you are actually praising Allah. We should, before setting forth to do any deed, ask Allah to allow us to perform the deed and allow us to perform it well.

A man asked the Prophet, (saws) to teach him a supplication that would embody all supplications. He told him to make the following du’a:

Allahuma a’ anee ‘alaa dhikrika wa shukrikah wa husn ‘ibaadatik. (Abu Dawood and An Nasai)

O Allah, help me to remember You often, and to thank You often, and to perfect my worship of You.

Shahadah

The highest branch of faith - Laa ilaaha illallah - must be fully developed within one’s life. The understanding of it’s deep implications will have a tremendous effect in one’s level of faith. As well, the one who says it sincerely in his heart will be admitted into paradise.

Mu’adth bin Jabal asked the Prophet (saws): O Messenger of Allah, tell me of an act which will take me into paradise and will keep me away from Hellfire. He said: You have asked me about a major matter, yet it is easy for him whom Allah Almighty makes it easy for. You should worship Allah, associating nothing with Him; you should perform the prayers; you should pay the Zakah; you should fast Ramadan; and you should make the pilgrimage to the House. Then he said: Shall I not show you the gates of goodness? Fasting (which) is a shield; charity extinguishes sin as water extinguishes fire; and the praying of a man in the depths of the night. Then he recited:

“Who forsake their beds to cry unto their Lord in fear and hope and spend out of what We have bestowed on them (16) No soul Knoweth what is kept hid for them of joy, as a reward for what they used to do.”  (As-Sajda 32:16-17)

Then he said: “Shall I not tell you of the peak of the matter, its pillar and its topmost part? I said: “Yes, O Messenger of Allah.” “The peak is Islam; the pillar is prayer; and its top most part is jihad.  (Al Tirmithi in An Nawawi’s 40 Hadeeth)

Salah

The quality of the faithful is that they perform Salah with regularity, humility, and submissiveness (khushoo). Allah tells us in the first verses of surat Al Mu’minoon:

“Successful indeed are the believers (1) those who humble themselves in their prayers.”  (Al-Maumenoon 23:1-2)

The Prophet, (saws) said:

“There are five prayers which Allah has prescribed for His servants. For those who perform them properly without disrespectful omissions, there is a guarantee that Allah will admit them into paradise, To those who do not observe them (properly), Allah offers no such guarantee. He may punish them or he may admit them to paradise as He wills.” (Abu Dawud, An Nasai and Ibn Majaah)

“Two members of my community may perform the prayer in such a way that their bowing and their prostration are as one, yet their prayers may be as far apart as heaven and earth.”   (Al Haarith)

“Though a man performs the entire prayer, he may get no credit but for a half of it, or a third of it, or a quarter, a fifth, a sixth, or a tenth. A man gets credit only for that part of his prayer of which he is conscious.”  (Ahmad)

If you were to prepare to visit a dignitary, a king or even your supervisor, you prepare yourself for such a meeting with great concern for every detail, being completely absorbed in this encounter. So what about your encounter with Allah during prayer? Shaytan will try as hard as he can to distract you. He will take away from you as much as he is able to and as much as you allow him to.

A Muslim should always approach Salah with the realization that he is preparing to face His Lord.

The Prophet, (saws) said: “Verily Allah faces his servant in prayer as long as he does not turn away.”   (Tirmidhi)

The sharah (explanation) of this hadith tells us that to turn away has two meanings:

1. The turning away of the heart so that your heart is not really present in your prayer.

2. The turning away of the eyes, looking about is distraction while praying.

The renown scholar Ibn Al-Qaym, has described the different performances of Salah in relation to Khushoo and classified people into four categories:

1. The one who offers prayer but is late in doing so, does not observe the requirements such as a proper ablution, and does not cover the awrah. As for the performance of the prayer itself, the pillars of the prayer are deficient, standing and prostration are not performed properly.

2. This person fulfils the physical conditions for prayer and performs the prayer as required yet is overcome by Al -Wasaawis the whisperings of Shaytan. His mind is completely removed from his prayer until the time of tasleem.

3. The person also offers the prayer properly and is also afflicted by Al-Wasaawis but he fights it and is in constant battle.

4. This very special person is he who finds prayer an oasis. He approaches it having fulfilled the prerequisites perfectly and with humility and performs the prayer with khushoo’, humbling himself before his Lord. He may even be unaware of happenings around him due to his absorption in his private meeting with Allah.

In the first case, this person has made the attempt to fulfill his obligation to pray but is not sincere. He will be punished for the deficiencies in his prayer.

In the second case, we have a person who makes sincere efforts to fulfill the prayer but is weak against shaytan and does not fight him. He will be rewarded for only the part of his prayer he did well as described in the previous hadeeth, one half, one third, etc.

As for the third category, this person is considered a mujahid against the whisperings of shaytan He will be rewarded for his sincere efforts and Allah will direct him to righteousness.

The final category is of those very rare individuals, the one we all wish to be in. They perform the prayer as the Prophets of Allah did, removing their hearts completely from the world. They love prayer most of all. Their eyes are filled with joy and ecstasy when they perform it. There is no question of their reward and their superiority of faith.

Prayer is a very important part of one’s Iman and plays a significant role in life. To achieve its benefits, it must be performed properly. It helps prevent one from committing evil and makes one successful in this life as well as in the Hereafter - but only when it is performed properly, humbly and sincerely. At the time of prayer angels spread about calling man to “put out the fire of sin” that he is burning.

Allah has promised us that prayer removes sin committed between them

The Prophet (saws) said: “Verily, When a Muslim performs Wudu properly, and then observes salat five times a day his sins fall off, just as leaves fall off a tree.” (Ahmad). He then recited the following Ayat:

“And establish regular prayers at the two ends of the day and at the approaches of night for those things which are good, removes those things which are evil. That is a reminder for the mindful.”  (Hud 11:114)

It is not possible that a Muslim who observes prayer correctly could stand before his Lord without asking forgiveness for the sins he has committed.

If you develop khushoo in your prayer, you cannot consist in committing sins, because the effort of your prayer makes you aware and ashamed of your misdeeds.

For Example: If you are backbiting, your prayer will make you conscious of your deed. Your level of consciousness will be elevated and your faith will increase. This will make you less likely to fall into major sin.

Fasting

When Muslim fasts he does so not only, through abstaining from food and drink, but also shuns bad deeds, false words, etc.

The Prophet (saws) said: “Whoever does not give up false words and evil actions, Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink.”  (Bukhari)

Fasting also presents many benefits other than simply fulfilling the commandments of Allah, and being rewarded for it. If you are prone to, incline, or fall into sin fasting will lessen your evil inclination.

For Example: A man who is unable to marry is recommended to fast, this will lessen his desires. We also know from the hadith “ The devils are chained during Ramadan” that during fasting, man is not as easily influenced by them. This you can see in your own personal change of religious consciousness when you fast during Ramadan.

For the one who fasts properly, gaining the full benefit, it is an exercise and training for the whole year. You gain a kind of power and change which you carry through the whole year. But you should not stop once Ramadan ends. Make fasting a habit, at least occasionally.

The Prophet (saws) consistently fasted at least three days a month. By fasting periodically, you retrieve some of the spiritual uplifting that Ramadan brings throughout the year. This is a very strong faith strengthening tool that all can apply.

Sadaqah

Here we are referring to the charity you give voluntarily, not the obligatory Zakat. It is the voluntary sadaqah that strengthens faith, the more you do, the more you erase your bad deeds. Sadaqah is not only monetary. There are many deeds that are considered sadaqah. If someone wishes to give sadaqah, and you assist in its delivery, for example, you are rewarded for giving sadaqah yourself.

Ayesha (ra) related that the Prophet (saws) informed them as to who would follow him in death saying: “The one who has the longest hands amongst you would meet me most immediately.”  (Muslim).

  She further said: “The Prophets wives used to measure their hands as to who was the biggest. It was the hand of Zainab that was the longest amongst them, as she used to work with her hands  and spend that income in charity.”  (Muslim)

It was Zainab bin Jahsh whose long hand reached out to the poor so often, not with money but food and other things that she had to give, she was the first of his wives to die after him.

The Prophet (saws) said: “Every Muslim has to give sadaqah.” He was asked “If someone has nothing to give, what should he do?” He said “He should work with his hands and benefit himself, and also give in charity (from what he earns)”. The people then asked:

“If he cannot find even that?” He replied. “Then he should perform good deeds and keep away from evil deeds and this will be regarded as charitable deeds.”   (Bukhari and Muslim)

He also said: “None of you women should consider even a sheeps trotter to insignificant a gift to give to her neighbor.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Mu’aadh bin Jabal related from the Prophet (saws): “Sadaqah extinguishes sin as water extinguishes fire.” (Ahmad, Al-Tirmidi and Ibn Maajah)

The Prophet (saws) said: “The believers shade on the day of resurrection will be his sadaqah.” (Ahmad)

Excerpted, with some modifications, from: http://www.missionislam.com/

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3. SIGNS OF WEAK IMAN AND HOW TO INCREASE IT

Question :

What are signs of weak Iman and how to Increase it?

Answer :

Signs of weak Faith: 

·    Committing sins and not feeling any guilt.

·    Having a hard heart and no desire to read the Quran.

·    Feeling too lazy to do good deeds, e.g. being late for salat.

·    Neglecting the Sunnah. 

·    Having mood swings, for instance being upset about petty things and bothered and irritated most of the time.

·    Not feeling anything when hearing verses from the Quran, for example when Allah warns us of punishments and His promise of glad tidings.

·    Finding difficulty in remembering Allah and making dhikr. 

·    Not feeling bad when things are done against the Shariah.

·    Desiring status and wealth.

·    Being mean and miserly, i.e. not wanting to part with wealth.

·    Ordering others to do good deeds when not practicing them ourselves.

·    Feeling pleased when things are not progressing for others.

·    Being concerned with whether something is haram or halal only; and not avoiding makroo (not recommended) things.

·    Making fun of people who do simple good deeds, like cleaning the mosque.

·    Not feeling concerned about the situation of Muslims.

·    Not feeling the responsibility to do something to promote Islam.

·    Liking to argue just for the sake of arguing without any proof.

·    Becoming engrossed and very involved with dunya, worldly things, i.e. feeling bad only when losing something in terms of material wealth.

·    Becoming engrossed and obsessive about ourselves. 

Okay, how to increase our faith then ? 

  • Recite and ponder on the meanings of the Quran. Tranquility then descends and our hearts become soft. To get optimum benefit, remind yourself that Allah is speaking to you. People are described in different categories in the Quran; think of which one you find yourself in.   
  • Realize the greatness of Allah. Everything is under His control. There are signs in everything we see that points us to His greatness. Everything happens according to His permission. Allah keeps track and looks after everything, even a black ant on a black rock on a black moonless night.   
  • Make an effort to gain knowledge, for at least the basic things in daily life e.g. how to make wudu properly. Know the meanings behind Allah's names and attributes. People who have taqwa are those who have knowledge.   
  • Attend gatherings where Allah is remembered. In such gatherings we are surrounded by angels.  
  • We have to increase our good deeds. One good deed leads to another good deed. Allah will make the way easy for someone who gives charity and also make it easy for him or her to do good deeds. Good deeds must be done continuously, not in spurts.   
  • We must fear the miserable end to our lives; the remembrance of death is the destroyer of pleasures.   
  • Remember the different levels of akhirah, for instance when we are put in our graves, when we are judged, whether we will be in paradise or hell.   
  • Make dua, realize that we need Allah. Be humble. Don't covet material things in this life.   
  • Our love for Subhana Wa Ta'Ala must be shown in actions. We must hope Allah will accept our prayers, and be in constant fear that we do wrong. At night before going to sleep, we must think about what good we did during that day.   
  • Realize the effects of sins and disobedience. One's faith is increased with good deeds and our faith is decreased by bad deeds. Everything that happens is because Allah wanted it. When calamity befalls us, it is also from Allah. It is a direct result of our disobedience to Allah. 
  • Allah does not want us to do bad deeds but has given options of doing good or bad so that He can judge us accordingly.

by: Abu Banan

Excerpted, with some modifications, from: http://www.missionislam.com/

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4. STEPS TO INCREASE WEAK IMAN

Question:

We know that if we don’t practice Islamic principles seriously, it decreases our Iman, so what are the steps to increase our Iman?

Answer:

Of course, non practicing actively on Islamic principles decreases our Iman.  Our Iman is not always as sound and strong as we want it to be as it often fluctuates according to life circumstances. There are several causes for weakening Iman such as deficiencies in our prayers or the insinuating whispers from the Shaytan.

Regardless of the cause, it is crucial for all of us to keep a check on our Iman and if we feel it is faltering in any way then we should take measures to restore it. It is our responsibility to know which things decrease our Iman and how to avoid them and those that increase our Iman and how to embrace them.

The Prophet Muhammad (S) said: "Faith wears out in the heart of any one of you just as clothes wear out, so ask Allah to renew the faith in your hearts” (Mustadrak al-Haakim).

What are signs of a weak imaan?

1.     Committing sins and not feeling any guilt.

2.     Having a hard heart and no desire to read the Quran.

3.     Feeling too lazy to do good deeds, e.g. being late for salat

4.     Neglecting the Sunnah.

5.   Unmoved when hearing verses from the Quran, for example when Allah warns us of punishments and His promise of glad tidings.

6.     Finding difficulty in remembering Allah and making dhikr.

7.     Not feeling bad when things are done against the Shariah.

8.     Desiring status and wealth with illegal and unethical means.

9.     Being mean and miserly, i.e. not wanting to part with wealth.

10.   Ordering others for good deeds, but not practicing themselves.

11.   Feeling pleased when things are not progressing for others.

12.   Not concerned much with haram or halal; and not avoiding makroo.

13.   Not feeling concerned about the situation of Muslims.

14.   Not feeling the responsibility to do something to promote Islam.

15.   Being unmoved with calamities in life and not yelling in funerals.

16.   Becoming engrossed and very involved with worldly affairs, and being miser and not spending in charity and Zakat.

The Prophet Muhammad (S) said: "Faith wears out in the heart of any one of you just as clothes wear out, so ask Allah to renew the faith in your hearts” (Mustadrak al-Haakim).

Ten ways that can brighten up our Iman

1. Recognize and Repent

As humans we all commit sins no matter how hard we try to avoid them because were created to be imperfect. Engaging in evil deeds decreases our Iman. Actions like lying, cheating and stealing, to name only a few, take a toll on the human heart and soul which makes us more susceptible to being lead astray from the Path of Allah. It is important for us to reflect upon our deeds and weed out the ones that are contrary to the teachings of the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (S). Allah has gifted us with an innate sense of justice and the ability to reason and make sound judgments. Our fitrah (natural disposition) necessitates that we all know when we are committing a sin. And if we don't know, we certainly have a bevy of resources to find out from!

 Conditions for the acceptance of repentance

 The word tauba which is rendered as repentance in English, is not a simple termas most people believe. It is very rich in meaning and implication, and is notsimply a word of mouth after which the sinner continues in his sins. Allah,Glorified be He, Says: "Seek forgiveness of your Lord and then turn to Him in repentance …." (Hud 11:3).

 Conditions attached to repentance for its acceptance s:

      First: Giving up of the sin itself.

      Second: Remorse over what has been committed.

      Third: A resolve not to repeat it, and,

      Fourth: Compensating those who have been wronged or obtaining their forgiveness.

2. Perform Salah Regularly

Completing the five daily prayers, on time and according to the Sunnah, is an excellent way to increase our Iman. The effect of the salah on the human soul is cooling as Muhammad (S) once said that it cooled his eyes. The salah connects us with our Creator and, along with obedience to Allah, helps us to enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil.

Allah Almighty says in the Holy Qur’an:

"The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts and when His Verses -this Qur’an- are recited unto them, they (i.e. the Verses) increase their Faith; and they put their trust in their Lord (Alone) (2) Who perform salah and spend out of that We have provided them (3) It is they who are the believers in truth. For them are grades of dignity with their Lord, and Forgiveness and a generous provision (Paradise)” (Al-Anfal 8:2-4).

Narrated Jabir ibn Abdullah (RAA) Rasulullah (SAW) said:”The similitude of five prayers is like an overflowing river passing by the gate of one of you in which he washes five times daily. Hasan said: No filthiness can remain on him” (Sahih Muslim)

Narrated Abu Hurairah (RAA) Rasualullah (SAW) said,"Martyrs are those who die because of drowning, plague, an abdominal disease, or of being buried alive by a falling building." And then he added, "If the people knew the Reward for the Zuhr prayer in its early time, they would race for it. If they knew the reward for the 'Isha' and the Fajr prayers in congregation, they would join them even if they had to crawl. If they knew the reward for the first row, they would draw lots for it." (Sahih Al-Bukhari)

Allah tells us about the inhabitants of Hell :

"(The people in Hell will be asked)What has caused you to enter Hell?" (42) They will say: "We were not of those who used to offer their Salât (prayers)” (Al-Mudathir 74:42-43)

 “Nor did we feed the poor (44) And we used to talk falsehood (all that which Allah hated) with vain-talkers (Al-Mudathir 74:44 - 45)

"And we used to belie the Day of Recompense (46)"Until there came to us (the death) that is certain" (47)"Then will no intercession of [any] intercessors profit them" (Al-Mudathir 74:46 - 48)

Rasulullah (SAW) said "The covenant between us and them is prayer, so if anyone abandons it, he has become a disbeliever." (Ahmad, Tirmidhee and Nasaa'ee)

In an other Hadith of Rasulullah (SAW) said "What lies between a man and disbelief is the abandonment of prayer." (Muslim, Abu Dawood and Nasaa'ee)

3. Quranic Recitations

Medical studies have shown that simply listening to a recitation of the Holy Qur’an has a physiological effect on our bodies. Research has also proven that the Qur’an has healing qualities on the body, mind and spirit. What better way to increase our Iman than to listen to the recitation of the Holy Qur’an on an audio device!

Listen to the melodious rhythm of the Qur’an and while doing so try to reflect upon the meanings of what you are listening to. We should always strive to read as much of the Qur’an as possible, as reading the word of Allah especially with the meanings will significantly increase our imaan and elevate us in this world and the next!

Hazrat Abdullah bin Masud (RAA) narrates that The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said:"Whoever reads one letter of the Quran receives the reward of one good deed. And one good deed is multiplied ten times.

Hazrat Abu Huraira (RAA) reports, Messenger of Allah (SAW) said:"Whoever listens to one verse of the Book of Allah, a good deed that multiplies continuously is recorded. And one who reads a verse of the Quran, that verse will be a Noor for him on the Day of Judgement."

Hazrat Anas (RAA) reports that Messenger of Allah (SAW) said:"Whoever reads the Quran, Allah grants that person ten good deeds for every letter. And for one who hears the Quran being recited, Allah grants a good deed for every letter, and such a person will be resurrected among those who will recite and ascend the stages of Jannat."

Hazrat Ibni Abbas (RAA) narrates Messenger of Allah (SAW) said:"He who listens to one letter of the Quran, ten good deeds are recorded for him, ten sins are forgiven, and his status is elevated by ten stages."

4. Engage in Dhikr

"…Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest." (Ar-Ra’d13:28)

 “… Remembrance of Allah indeed is the greatest virtue …” (Al-‘Ankaboot 29:45)

“O ye who believe let not your wealth and your children divert you from the remembrance of Allah …..”. (Al-Munafaqoon 63:9)

"Is one who is obedient to Allah prostrating himself or standing (in prayer) during the hours of the night, fearing the Hereafter and hoping for the mercy of his Rabb (like one who disbelievers)? Say: "Are those who know equal to those who know not?" ….” (Az-Zumr 39:9)

According to these verses the attitude of those who truly remember Allah is the following:

 1.   Their hearts are filled with the fear of Allah because they are reminded of the status and the Glory of their God.

2.   Their skins creep, i.e., the hair on their bodies rise due to their state of fear.

3.   Their bodies are softened, their hearts become tender.

4.   They prostrate, i.e., they start worshiping Allah.

5.   They cry or weep.

 Remembering Allah much through acts of dhikr brings much peace and tranquility to the heart. It also gives us a sense of taqwa (fear of Allah), a consciousness that makes us realize that Allah Almighty is ever near and that we should always strive to please Him.

 Some beneficial dhikr include:

       Subhan'Allah- 'Praise be to Allah'

      Al-Hamdullilah- 'Thanks be to Allah'

      Allahu Akbar – 'Allah is the Greatest.'

      La ila ha illallah- There is no worthy of worship except Allah

Abu haraira (RAA) Narrates: Prophet (saw) said:“whoever says: SubhanallahiWa Bihamdihi (I deem Allah free of any resemblances to anything whatever in any repeat, and I glorify his praises) one hundred times a day will have his sins forgiven even though they may be as much as the foam of the sea (Bukhari)

Read much of this zikr:

Subhaan-Allahi walhamdu-lillaahi, wa laa ilaa-ha illa-la ill-lal-lahu wallahu Akbar,walaa haula wala quoow-wata illa billa hil-Aliyyil-azeem.(Glory is for Allah and all Praise is due to Allah. There is none worthy of worship except Allah. Allah is the greatest. There is no power and no strength except with Allah the Most High, the Great)

5. Voluntary Fasting

Fasting can be thought of as a prescription for us, which cures the maladies of the human soul. There are innumerable benefits to fasting nawafil fasts. Fasting helps us be thankful to Allah for His Bounty, control unlawful desires, have compassion for the less fortunate and it weakens the effects of waswasa, the insinuating whispers from the Shaytan.

6.Carrying out Good Deeds

Doing good deeds for others can be like switching on a light bulb in a darkened room. Because our good deeds are our eternal investment which will benefit us for the rest of eternity rather than investment into this temporary life!

 Allah Almighty says in the Holy Qur’an: "For those who believe and work righteous deeds is a reward that will never fail” (Fussilat 41:8).

Of all religions, only Islam guides mankind not only to the importance of time but also how to value it.

Bin ‘Abbas(RAA) narrated that Allâh’s Messenger (SAW) said:“There are two blessings which many people lose: (They are) health and free time for doing good.”(Bukhari)

Abdullah Bin Mas’ud(RAA) narrated: “I asked the Prophet, ‘Which deed is the dearest to Allah?’ He replied, “To offer salaat (the prayers) at their early fixed times.” I asked, “What is the next (in goodness)?” He replied, “To be good and dutiful to your parents.” I' again asked, “What is the next (in goodness)? “He replied, “To participate in jihad (religious fighting) in Allah’s Cause.” (Bukhari)

Abu Qatada, Bin Rab’i(RAA) narrated that Allâh’s Messenger (SAW) said:"Allâh the Exalted said: ‘I made five times (daily) prayers obligatory on your people. And I took a guarantee that if anyone observes them regularly at their times, I shall admit him to Paradise. If anyone does not offer them regularly, there is no such guarantee of mine for him." (Abu Dawood)

If we fear Allah for His wrath and hope for His rewards in the eternal world to come, time has come for us to give due value to the importance of time. We should try not to waste most of our time seeking worldly pleasures. It is for our guidance that we must take admonition from the following authentic hadîth:

Abu Hurairah (RAA) narrated that Allâh’s Messenger (SAW) said:Be prompt in doing good deeds (before you are overtaken) by turbulence which would be like a part of the dark night. During (that stormy period) a man would be a Muslim in the morning and an unbeliever in the evening or he would be a believer in the evening and an unbeliever in the morning, and would sell his faith for worldly goods.” (Muslim)

Abu Hurairah (RAA) narrated that Allâh’s Messenger (SAW) said: “Hasten to do good deeds before six things happen: the rising of the sun from the west, the smoke, the Dajjal, the beast and (the death) of one you or the general turmoil.” (Muslim)

“Call then upon Allâh with sincere devotion to Him even though the Unbelievers may detest it.” (Al-Ghafir 40:14)

Verily, time is very important for our success both in this temporary world and the eternal world to come. If we waste time, if we abuse it, then we waste and abuse our lives. Therefore, if we really give value to our lives then, we must give due value to the importance of time.

7. Remembering Death

Every soul shall taste death Allah has said in the Qur’aan: “Every soul will taste of death ….” (Al-‘Ankaboot 29:57)

From this verse we know that death is such a thing that you can’t escape from even if you are in a house, which is built with metal walls, and has a massive padlock. Death will not only come when hair and the beard turn white, but it can come at any time, even when you are a baby, or an old person or a teenager or of middle age.

Merits of the Remembrance of Death

Know that the person, who is engrossed in the world and cheated by its charming coquetries, is unmindful of the remembrance of death. They do not remember death and when they are reminded of it, they do not like it.

Allah has said regarding such a man:“The deaths from which you flee away will meet you. Thereafter you will be led to the Knower of the world seen and unseen. You will then be informed of what you did.” (Al-Jumma 62:8)

Hazrat Bilal bin Masood and Umar bin Abdul Aziz (RAA) said, “O People! You are not created for being destroyed”. You will travel from one home to another home. For a believer, death is a gift.

Messenger of Allah (SAW) said:“The gift for a believer is death".

Due to the hardship which the believer goes through in this world, death becomes easy for him and all of his anxieties disappear. Therefore, it is described as a gift in the Hadith.

Hazrat Mahmood bin Labeed says that the Prophet (SAW) said,“Mankind likes two things very much. One of these things is life, though death is much better for him, and the second is wealth though poverty makes accounting easy.

Hazrat ibn Umar (RAA) says, “This world is paradise for the nonbelievers (they are engaged in their worldly desires and aspirations). This world is a jail or prison for the faithful (momins). They are bound by the laws of Shari at in every matter. Therefore, when the soul of a momin leaves his body (at the time of death), it is as if a captive has been freed from the cell. He cleans himself by turning in the dust.

8. Gaining Knowledge

To seek knowledge is a sacred duty, it is obligatory on every Muslim, male and female. The first word revealed of the Qur’an was "Iqra" READ! Seek knowledge! Educate yourselves! Be educated.

"… Are those equal, those who know and those who do not know? ….." (Al-Zumr 39:9)

"Allah grants wisdom to whom He pleases and to whom wisdom is granted indeed he receives an overflowing benefit ….." (Al-Baqarah 2:269)

Ibn Mas’ud (RAA) reported that the Messenger ofAllah (S) said:The position of only two persons is enviable; the person whom Allah bestowed wealth empowering him to spend it in the way of righteousness, and the person whom Allah gave wisdom with which he adjudges and which he teaches to others

According to Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah, Ibn Abbas (RAA) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (S) said:A single scholar of religion is more formidable against shaytaan than a thousand devout persons.

Islam is our greatest gift. We have to be thankful for this gift. A person without knowledge is like someone walking along a track in complete darkness. Most likely his steps will wander aside and he easily can be deceived by shaytaan. This shows that our greatest danger lies in our ignorance of Islamic teachings and in our unawareness of what the Qur’an teaches and what guidance has been given by the Prophet (S). But if we are blessed with the light of knowledge we will be able to see plainly the clear path of Islam at every step of our lives. We shall also be able to identify and avoid the dangerous paths of Kufr,  Shirk and immorality, which may cross it.

Every one of us, young or old, man or woman, should at least acquire sufficient knowledge to enable ourselves to understand the essence of the teachings of the Qur’an and the purpose for which it has been sent down. We should also be able to understand clearly the mission, which our beloved Prophet (S) came into this world to fulfill.

No great amount of time is required to acquire this simple knowledge. If we truly value Iman, it cannot be too difficult to find one hour every day to devote for our Iman.

Hadith states:"He who acquires knowledge acquires a vast portion." and "If anyone going on his way in search of knowledge, God will, thereby make easy for him the way to Paradise."

May Allah (SWT) give us strength to behave and act just as He likes us to do and be pleased with us, and that should be the purpose of our lives. Rabbi zidnee ilma (O Lord, increase us in knowledge). Aameen.

9. Making much dua (supplication)

Dua is defined as any invocation or prayer addressed to Allah (SWT). As Muslims there is something very wrong when we believe, our Duas won't be answered. We do not turn to Allah in our times of need and instead put our trust, dependence and hopes on worldly things. Although these temporal things are the means through which our Duas automatically turn to what Allah suits for us.

Through Dua, we strengthen our Imaan and our relationship with Allah. We find many reassurances throughout the Quran for those who make Dua.

Allah the Exalted, has said: "…. And your Lord says: Pray unto me: and I will hear your prayer ….." (Ghafir 40:60)

"Call upon your Lord Humbly and in secret" (Al-Araf 7:55)

"When My servants question thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me" (Al-Baqarah 2:186)

"Is not He (best) who listens to the (soul) distressed when it calls on Him, and who relieves its suffering." (An-Naml 27:62)

Aisha (RTA) said, "No believer makes Dua and it is wasted. Either it is granted here in this world or deposited for him in the Hereafter as long as he does not get frustrated."

In fact, it is even wrong to never make Dua,"Whosoever does not supplicate to Allah, He will be angry with Him."(Saheeh Jaami`as-Sagheer)

We can and should make Dua in every condition, i.e. in hardship and in prosperity. There are also some special times to make Dua where it is more likely to be accepted:

1.     When one is oppressed

 

2.     Between the time of Adhan and Iqama

3.     At the time of the call for prayer

 

4.     At the time of fighting when warriors are engaged with each other

 

5.     When it is raining

 

6.    When one is sick

7.    The last third of the night

8.     Ramadan (especially Lailatul Qadr)

9.     After the Fard part of prayer

10.   When traveling

11.   When breaking fast

12.   In Sujood

13.   Fridays, some say on Friday after Asr prayer

14.   While drinking the water from the well of Zamzam

15.   At the end of Wudu

16.   On waking up from sleep

17.   At times of adversity

18.   Prayer after the death of a person

19.   Dua of the parent against or for his children

20.   The Dua of a Muslim for his brother without the latter's knowledge

 Dua can be beautified and perfected by certain actions:

 1.       Have Wudu, face Qibla, be neat and clean

2.       Raise both hands up to the shoulder with palms open facing up

3.       Ask by Asma al Husna- Allah's Beautiful Names

4.       Ask Allah by your good deeds

5.       Glorify Allah & recite Durud on Prophet (SAW) at both ends of dua.

6.       Show humility, entreaty, desire and fear while making Dua

7.       Repent and try to make amends where one has wronged

8.       Confess mistakes, shortcomings, and sins

9.       Crying when making Dua

10.   Show the need for Allah's help

11.   Try to make dua, in which prayers are answered

12.   End with "Alhamdulillah rabbil alameen"

 Allah Almighty says in the Qur'an:"When my servants ask you concerning me, (tell them) I am indeed close (to them). I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calls on me." (Al-Baqarah 2:186)

The place of duaa is so high to Allah, that the Prophet (SAW) had said: "Nothing is more honourable to Allah the Most High than du`a." (Sahih al-Jami`).

He also said:"The most excellent worship is du`a." (Sahih Al-Jami`)

In order to warn those who are arrogant, or careless in making dua, the Prophet (SAW) said:"The most incapable person is the one who does not make du`a,and the most miserly person is the one who does not give salaam." (Sahih Al-Jami`)

And let not there be anyone who says: "... my Lord won't answer my prayer, because of this and that.. or because of so and so..".

No! Indeed Allah is the Most Generous King. Is there anyone who met a king, and praised and glorified him, and then asked, yet the request was not granted? So what about Allah, the King of the Heavens and the Earth - who has total control over your life, your wealth and your future. Why would He not grant you your request?

Indeed, our beloved Prophet (SAW) had said: "Verily your Lord is the One modest and Generous, and when His servant raises his hands to Him in supplication, He is diffident (in some wordings, shy or hesitant) from returning them empty." (Ahmad, Abu Dawud and at-Tirmidhi – Hasan)

10.Having Trust in Allah

The best way for us to increase our Iman is to completely submit our will to Allah and have full trust in him and we can do this by doing out utmost to follow every command in the Qur’an and Sunnah. We should have patience in Allah's Decree and accept it that it is for the best and is meant to happen because He is the knower of all things and the Almighty and always remember.

One day we will be called to account for our deeds which were hopefully sent forth with much goodness and patience. I pray that insha Allah on Day of Judgement, we will be given our deeds book in our right hands (with Allah mercy).

Allah (SWT) Say: 'Nothing will happen to us except what Allah has decreed for us: He is our protector': And on Allah let the Believers put their trust." (At-Tawbah 9:51)

Allah (SWT) says "And put thy trust on the exalted in Might, The Merciful." (Ash-Shu’araa 26:217)

Allah (SWT) says "...Then, when thou hast taken a decision, put thy trust in Allah. For Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him)."(159) If Allah helps you, none can overcome you: If He forsakes you, who is there, after that, that can help you? In Allah, then, Let believers put their trust” (Aale-Imran 3:159-160)

It does not matter what you do, obey or disobey, the result will be that you will receive what Allah has ordained for you. You can not add to it or subtract from it. What you do is either benefit yourself with the blessings of obedience or harm yourself with the fruits of your disobedience. We have been told that what is for us can't miss us and what is not for us can't hit us.

We have to learn to trust that Allah will take care of us when we obey Him and that He wills withdrawal His Great Mercy when we disobey. Trusting in Allah means that when we hear a command from Quran and hadith, we obey it. We recognize that we are limited and that Allah has no limits. He knows what we do not know.

We need to stop totally relying on our efforts and our version of logic and realize that Allah is the one who knows while we know not.

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5. TESTIFYING A BELIEVER

Question :  

Can we testify that a man is a believer if he regularly attends prayers in the mosque, as it says in the hadeeth?

Answer :  Praise be to Allah.

Yes, there is no doubt that with the one who attends prayers in the mosque, his attendance is a sign of his faith, because the only thing that is making him leave his house and take the trouble to walk to the mosque is his faith in Allah. 

With regard to the questioner’s words, “as it says in the hadeeth,” this is referring to the report narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him): “When you see a man regularly coming to the mosque, bear witness that he is a believer.” But this hadeeth is da’eef and is not a saheeh report from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). 

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From Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 1/55

Excerpted, with some modifications, from: http://islamqa.com/en/

6. THE MEANING OF TAWHEED AND ITS CATEGORIES

Question :

What is the meaning of Tawheed and what are its categories?.

Answer :  Praise be to Allah .  

Tawheed in Arabic means attributing Oneness to Allah and describing Him as being One and Unique, with no partner or peer in His Essence and Attributes.  

The Arabs say waahid, ahad and waheed, all meaning one. Allah is Waahid, meaning that He has no rivals or peers in any way. So Tawheed means knowing Allah is One, with none like unto Him. Whoever does not acknowledge Allah in these terms and does not describe Him as being One with no partner or associate does not believe in Tawheed. 

With regard to the shar’i definition of Tawheed, it means believing in Allah alone as God and Lord and attributing to Him alone all the attributes of Lordship and divinity.  

It may be defined as follows: Believing that Allah is One with no partner or associate in His Lordship (ruboobiyyah), divinity (uloohiyyah) or names and attributes (al-asma’ wa’l-sifaat). 

This word (Tawheed) and its derivatives are used with this meaning in the Quran and Sunnah. For example: 

Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

 “Say: He is Allah, the One and Only (1) Allah, the Eternal, Absolute (2) He begetteth not, nor is He begotten (3) And there is none like unto Him. (Al-Akhlas 112:1-4)

“And your Allah is One Allah: There is no god but He, Most Gracious, Most Merciful”  (Al-Baqarah 2:163)

“They do blaspheme who say: Allah is one of three in a Trinity: for there is no god except One Allah. If they desist not from their word (of blasphemy), verily a grievous penalty will befall the blasphemers among them”.   (Al-Maidah 5:73)

And there are many similar verses. 

In Saheeh al-Bukhaari (7372) and Saheeh Muslim (19) it is narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) sent Mu’aadh ibn Jabal to Yemen, he said to him: “You are going to people from among the People of the Book, so let the first thing to which you call them be belief in Allah alone (Tawheed). If they accept that, then tell them that Allah has enjoined on them five prayers every day and night. If they pray then tell them that Allah has enjoined on them zakaah from their wealth to be taken from their rich and given to their poor. If they agree to that then take it from them but avoid the best of people’s wealth.”  

In Saheeh Muslim it is narrated from Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Islam is built on five (pillars): belief that Allah is One, establishing regular prayer, paying zakaah, fasting Ramadaan and Hajj.” 

What is meant by Tawheed in all these texts is affirming the meaning of the testimony that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, which is the essence of the religion of Islam with which Allah sent His Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), based on the evidence of the words of the Quran and Sunnah. In some versions of the hadeeth of Mu’aadh quoted above it says: “You will come to some people from among the People of the Book so when you come to them, call them to bear witness that there is no god except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1492. 

According to another version of the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Umar: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Islam is based on five (pillars): the testimony that there is no god except Allah and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger...” Narrated by Muslim, 16. 

This indicates that Tawheed is the essence of the testimony that there is no god except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and that this is Islam with which Allah sent His Prophet to the two races of mankind and the jinn, other than which Allah will not accept any religion from anyone. 

Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Truly, the religion with Allah is Islam….”   (Aal ‘Imraan 3:19) 

“And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers”  (Aal ‘Imraan 3:85) 

Once this is understood, it should be noted that the scholars have divided Tawheed into three categories, as follows: 

1)  Tawheed al-Ruboobiyyah (Oneness of Divine Lordship),

2)  Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah (Oneness of Divinity) and

3) Tawheed al-Asma’ wa’l-Sifaat (Oneness of the Divine Names and Attributes). 

Tawheed al-Ruboobiyyah (Oneness of Divine Lordship):

It means believing in Allah as One and Unique with regard to His actions such as creation, sovereignty, control, giving life and death, and so on. 

There is a great deal of evidence to support this in the Quran and Sunnah.

Whoever believes that there is any creator other than Allah or any sovereign controlling this universe and disposing of its affairs other than Allah has denied this aspect of Tawheed and disbelieved in Allah. 

The kuffaar of old accepted this aspect of Tawheed in general terms, although they differed with regard to some of its details. The evidence that they used to accept this is to be found in several verses of the Quran such as the following (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And if you were to ask them: ‘Who has created the heavens and the earth and subjected the sun and the moon?’ they will surely reply: ‘Allah.’ How then are they deviating (as polytheists and disbelievers)?”   (Al-‘Ankaboot 29:61) 

“And if you were to ask them: ‘Who sends down water (rain) from the sky, and gives life therewith to the earth after its death?’ they will surely reply: ‘Allah.’ Say: ‘All the praises and thanks be to Allah !’ Nay, most of them have no sense”  (Al-‘Ankaboot 29:63) 

 “And if you ask them who created them, they will surely say: ‘Allah .’ How then are they turned away (from the worship of Allah Who created them)?”   (Az-Zukhruf 43:87) 

In these verses Allah states that the kuffaar affirm that He is the Creator, Sovereign and Controller, but despite that they do not worship Him alone (Tawheed of worship), which points to the graveness of their wrongdoing and lies, and the weakness of their reasoning. For if there is One Who is described in such terms, none should be worshipped except Him alone and none should be described as being one and unique except Him; may He be glorified above those that they associate with him. 

So whoever affirms this Tawheed in the true sense must inevitably also affirm the Oneness of Allah’s Divinity (Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah). 

Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah :

It means devoting all acts of worship, both inward and outward, in word and deed, to Allah Alone, and not worshipping anything or anyone other than Allah, no matter who he is. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him ….”   (Al-Isra’ 17:23) 

“Worship Allah and join none with Him (in worship)….”  (An-Nisa’ 4:36) 

It may be described as devoting all one’s actions to Allah alone.  

It is called Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah because it is based on ta’alluh lillaah which is worship and devotion of Allah accompanied by love and veneration. 

It is also called Tawheed al-‘Ibaadah (oneness of worship) because it means that a person worships Allah by doing that which He has commanded and avoiding that which He has forbidden. 

It is also called Tawheed al-Talab wa’l-Qasd wa’l-Iraadah (Oneness of goal, purpose and will) because it means that a person does not seek anything except the Face of Allah, so he worships Him sincerely. 

This is the kind of Tawheed concerning which people went astray, which is why the Prophets were sent and the Books were revealed. This is the purpose for which the universe was created and laws were prescribed. Concerning this disputes arose between the Prophets and their peoples, so the stubborn were doomed and the believers were saved. 

Whoever goes astray with regard to this Tawheed, such as devoting some of his worship to someone other than Allah, has gone beyond the pale of Islam and drifted away from true belief. May Allah protect us from that. 

Tawheed al-Asma’ wa’l-Sifaat (Oneness of the Divine Names and Attributes),

It means affirming the names and attributes of Allah and believing that there is none like unto Allah in His names and attributes. This Tawheed is based on two principles: 

1 – Affirmation: i.e., affirming that which Allah has affirmed for Himself in His Book or that His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) has affirmed of His beautiful names and sublime attributes in a manner that suits the Majesty and Greatness of Allah, without distorting them, twisting their meanings, denying their reality or discussing how they are. 

2 – Denial: i.e., denying that Allah has any faults and denying any shortcomings that He has denied Himself. The evidence for that is the words of Allah (interpretation of the meaning): 

“….There is nothing like Him, and He is the All‑Hearer, the All‑Seer”   (Ash-Shoora 42:11) 

So He has denied that He bears any resemblance to His creation, and affirmed that He has attributes of perfection in a manner that befits Him, may He be glorified. 

See al-Hujjah fi Bayaan al-Mahajjah, 1/305; Lawaami’ al-Anwaar al-Bahiyyah, 1/57.

Excerpted, with some modifications, from: http://islamqa.com/

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7. WHAT IS THE SUNNAH?

Question :

For the new and prospective Muslim, how should one interpret the Sunnah? Should it be considered the emulation, or imitation rather of His (saw) actions or the striving of the state of His (saw) character?

Answer :

Sunna, plural sunan: "Road" or "practice (s)." Standard practice,  primarily of the Prophet sallAllahu `alayhi wa-Alihi wa-Sallam, including his sayings, deeds, tacit approvals or disapprovals. Hadith Scholars add his personal traits - including physical features - to this definition.

The "sciences of the Sunna" (ulum al-Sunna) refer to the biography of the Prophet MHMD(sira), the chronicle of his battles (maghazi), his everyday sayings and acts or "ways" (sunan) including his personal and moral qualities (shama'il), and the host of the ancillary hadith sciences such as the circumstances of occurrence (asbab al-wurud), knowledge of the abrogating and abrogated hadith, difficult words (gharib al-hadith), narrator criticism (al-jarh wal-ta`dil), narrator-biographies (al-rijal), etc. This meaning is used in contradistinction to the Qur'an in expressions such as "Qur'an and Sunna" and applies in the usage of hadith Scholars.

"The Sunna in our definition consists in the reports transmitted from the Messenger of Allah MHMD, and the Sunna is the commentary (tafsir) of the Qur'an and contains its directives (dala'il)" (Imam Ahmad).

The early Sunni hadith Masters such as Abu Dawud and Abu Nasr al-Marwazi also used the term "the Sunna" in the narrow sense to refer to Sunni Doctrine as opposed to the creeds of non-Sunni sects.

In the terminology of usul al-fiqh or principles of jurisprudence, sunna denotes a saying (qawl), action (fi'l) or approval (taqrir) related from (nuqila `an) the Prophet MHMDor issuing (sadara) from him other than the Qur'an.

In the terminology of fiqh or jurisprudence, sunna denotes whatever is firmly established (thabata) as called for (matlub) in the Religion on the basis of a legal proof (dalil shar`i) but without being obligatory, the continued abandonment of which constitutes disregard (istikhfaf) of the Religion and sin, and incurs blame (lawm, `itab, tadlil) - also punishment (`uquba) according to some jurists.

Some made a distinction between what they called "Emphasized Sunna" (sunna mu'akkada) or "Sunna of Guidance" (sunnat al-huda), such as what the Prophet MHMDordered or emphasized in word or in deed, and other types of Sunna considered less binding in their legal status, such as what they called "Non-Emphasized Sunna" (sunna ghayr mu'akkada) and "Sunna of Habit" (sunnat al-`ada).

The above jurisprudential meanings of Sunna are used in contradistinction to the other four of the five legal categories for human actions - fard ("obligatory"), mubah ("indifferent"), makruh ("offensive"), haram ("prohibited") - and apply in the usage of jurists from the second Hijri century.

Excerpted, with some modifications, from: http://islamqa.com/en/

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8. Faith IN Destiny

Question:

My question is regarding to imani mufasil, where it is written that good or bad what ever happens is in taqdeer, and all happens by Allah will. If a man is doing any bad thing then why is he been given punishment? If God only is wroter of his taqdeer, if a God loves his creation and don’t want them to be in hell, then why don’t He writes good and stops the bad? I am not able to understand this topic of Islam and many more, please recommend some books about taqdeer ,I do not also understand many more topics as well, but first I want to make my iman correct, I will be waiting for your reply.

Answer:

Allah (Mighty and Exalted be He) knows before creating anything, that He is going to create it and that it shall be of such and such magnitude, quality or nature, etc. He also specifies the time of its coming into being and its passing away, and the place of its occurrence. If so, then one who believes in the true God should believe that there are no accidents in nature. If something disagreeable happens to him, he should say "Allah qaddara (ordained), and He did what He willed" and not grieve himself by wishing that it had not occurred, or worrying why it should occur. If, in contrast, something agreeable happens to him he should not boast of it, but thank Allah for it.

In this context, Allah says, "Naught of disaster befalleth in the earth or in yourselves but it is in a Book before We bring it into being. Lo! That is easy for Allah. (22) That ye grieve not for the sake of that which hath escaped you, nor yet exult because of that which hath been given. Allah loveth not all prideful boasters." (Al-Hadid 57: 22-23)

If Allah Almighty predetermines everything, that includes our so-called free actions, in what way can they be said to be free, and how are we responsible for them? This question occasioned the appearance, at a very early history of Islam, of two extreme theological sects.

One of them, called the Qadariyyah, asserted man's free will and responsibility to the extent of denying Allah's foreknowledge, and claiming that Allah knows our free made actions only after we have performed them. The other, called the Jabriyyah, held the opposite view and claimed that there was no difference between the motions of inanimate things and our movements in performing so-called free actions, and that when we use intentional language we speak only metaphorically.

But there is no need to go to such extremes, since it is not difficult to reconcile Divine qadar (predestination) and human responsibility. Allah decided to create man as a free agent, but He knows (and how can He not know!) before creating every man how he is going to use his free will; what, for instance, his reaction would be when a Prophet clarifies Allah's message to him. This foreknowledge and its registering in a 'Book' is called qadar.
 
"But if we are free to use our will" a Qadari might say, "we may use it "Had Allah willed, He would have brought them all together to the guidance; if thy Lord had willed whoever is in the earth would have believed, all of them, all together." in ways that contradict Allah's will, and in that case we would not be right in claiming that everything is willed or decreed by Allah."  

The Qur'an answers this question by reminding us that it was Allah who willed that we shall be of free will, and it is He who allows us to use our will. Allah, Most High, says,
"Lo! This is an Admonishment, that whosoever will may choose a way unto his Lord. (29) Yet ye will not, unless Allah willeth. Lo! Allah is Knower, Wise." (Al-Insan 76: 29-30)

"If so," a Qadari might say, "He could have prevented us from doing evil."  
 
Yes indeed He could. Allah says,
 

"Had Allah willed, they were not idolaters; and We have not appointed thee a watcher over them neither art thou their guardian." (Al-An`am 6 : 107)  
 
But Allah has willed that men shall be free especially in regard to matters of belief and disbelief. Allah Almighty says,
"Say: The truth is from your Lord; so let whosoever will believe, and let whosoever will disbelieve...." (Al-Kahf 18: 29)  
"If our actions are willed by Allah," someone might say, "then they are in fact His actions."  This objection is based on a confusion that Allah wills what we will in the sense of granting us the will to choose and enabling us to execute that will, i.e., He creates all that makes it possible for us to do it. He does not will it in the sense of doing it, otherwise it would be quite in order to say, when we drink or eat or sleep for instance that Allah performed these actions. Allah creates them, He does not do or perform them.  
 
Another objection, based on another confusion is that if Allah allows us to do evil, then He approves of it and likes it.  
 
However, to will something in the sense of allowing a person to do it is one thing; and to approve of his action and commend it, is quite another, NOT everything that Allah wills, He likes. He has, as we have just read in the Qur'an, granted man the choice between belief and disbelief, but He does not, of course, like men to disbelieve (to be thankless). Allah Almighty says :

"If you art ungrateful, Allah is independent of you. Yet He approves not ungratefulness in His servants; but if you are grateful, He will approve it in you…" (Az-Zumar 39: 7)

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9. ALL LIVING PROSTRATE TO ALLAH

Question:

It says in Soorat Al-Hajj 22:18 that the dawaab (moving living creatures, beasts, etc.) prostrate to Allah. What is the nature of this prostration?

Answer: Praise be to Allah.  

Note that this universe and all the created beings in it is in thrall to Allah, whether by choice or by force. The believer worships Allah by choice and is rewarded for his worship. Even though the kaafir may be alienated from his Lord and failing to worship Him, the atoms of his body and everything in him is worshipping Him and glorifying Him, but because our understanding and perception are limited, we are unaware of that tasbeeh (glorification of Allah) and unable to understand its nature. Allah says :

“The seven heavens and the earth and all that is therein, glorify Him and there is not a thing but glorifies His Praise. But you understand not their glorification. Truly, He is Ever Forbearing, Oft‑Forgiving” [Al-Isra’ 17:44] 

What this means is that every created being is in a state of submission to Allah and worships Him in a manner appropriate to its situation. The sun, moon, stars, trees and animals are all in a state of subjugation to Allah and prostrate to Him, and all of them worship Him in an appropriate manner. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“See you not that whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth, and the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and the mountains, and the trees, and Ad‑Dawaabb [moving (living) creatures, beasts], and many of mankind prostrate themselves to Allah. But there are many (men) on whom the punishment is justified. And whomsoever Allah disgraces, none can honour him. Verily, Allah does what He wills” [Al-Hajj 22:18] 

“Have they not observed things that Allah has created: (how) their shadows incline to the right and to the left, making prostration unto Allah, and they are lowly? (48) And to Allah prostrate all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth, of the moving (living) creatures and the angels, and they are not proud [i.e. they worship their Lord (Allah) with humility]” [An-Nahl16:48-49]

Imaam Ibn Katheer said: Allah is telling us of His Might, Majesty and Pride, for everything submits to Him and all things and creatures humble themselves before Him, inanimate objects and animals, and those which are accountable among mankind and the jinn, and the angels. Allah tells us that everything that has a shadow that inclines towards the right and towards the left – i.e., morning and evening – prostrates to Allah. Mujaahid said: When the sun passes its zenith everything prostrates to Allah. 

Allah has confirmed that all beings prostrate to Him, and He has explained how some of them prostrate, which is by the inclining of its shadow towards the right and the left. It does not mean that everything prostrates on seven parts of the body; that applies only to the Muslims. The prostration of all other beings is in accordance with their nature. The fact that this prostration is prostration in the real sense is indicated by the apparent meaning of the text, because there is no valid reason for not interpreting the text as it appears to be, so we must accept it. That is also supported by the fact that the prostration of the sun, moon, stars, trees and animals is mentioned in conjunction with the prostration of the angels and humans, which indicates that this is prostration in a real sense for all the entities mentioned. Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:  

Prostration is a form of humility, so the prostration which includes all creatures implies the utmost submission and humility. For every created thing submits to His greatness and humbles itself before His might and power. This does not mean that everything prostrates like human beings do, on seven parts of the body, putting the forehead on the ground. This kind of prostration is only for human beings. Some other nations bow but do not prostrate, and that is their prostration. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): ‘....and enter the gate in prostration (or bowing with humility) and say: “Forgive us....”’ (Al-Baqarah 2:58)

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10. CHILDREN OF ALLAH

Question:

What is the ruling on, when a Muslim say "We believe we are all children of Allah". Basing it on the weak Hadeeth (All creations are sustained by Allah). Please provide details of the ruling.

Answer:

Praise be to Allah.  

The hadeeth mentioned was narrated by al-Bazzaar and Abu Ya’la from Anas, and says, “All of mankind are the dependents of Allah, and the most beloved of them to Allah are those who are most helpful to their dependents.” This is a very weak (da’eef jiddan) hadeeth as al-Albaani said in Da’eef al-Jaami’, hadeeth no. 2946. 

Any Muslim who says, “We believe that we are all the children of Allah” should be asked to explain what he means before any judgement is made concerning him. 

1 – If what he means by being children is the metaphorical meaning, which is that people are dependent upon Allah, and he is using this word for a purpose allowed in sharee’ah, such as refuting the Christians who say that the Messiah is the son of God, then there is nothing wrong with that if he uses it only with Christians in order to show that their belief is false, but he should not use it with others lest that generate confusion and misunderstanding.

That is because one of the means of showing the Christians’ beliefs concerning ‘Eesa (peace be upon him) to be false is to use the same expressions as are mentioned in their holy Book (the Bible) to prove that others were described as “sons of God” as well as ‘Eesa, which clearly indicates that what is meant by being a son of God in the texts of the Gospels is not “sonship” in the literal sense, which St. Paul claimed for Jesus in order to lead them astray from belief in Divine Oneness (Tawheed). St. Paul based his argument on the confusion that may arise from the use of the words “father” and “son”. Some of the Bible texts that may used to refute their argument are as follows: 

In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus said of those who believed in him:

“They are like the angels. They are God’s children since they are children of the resurrection.” [Luke 20:36] 

And in the Book of Isaiah:

“Bring back My sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth” [Isaiah 43:6] 

And this is what was said describing God as the Father, as it is narrated in the Gospel of Matthew that the Messiah said to his students:

“If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.” [Matthew 6:1] 

In the Gospel of Luke:

“When you pray say, ‘Our Father, Who art in heaven…”  [Luke 11:2] 

In the Gospel of John:

“I am returning to my Father and your Father, my God and your God.” [John 20:17] 

The Christians do not say that the angels, the Children of Israel and the Disciples were sons of God in a literal sense, or that God was their father in a literal sense, rather they interpret that in a metaphorical sense, i.e., that He is a father to them in the sense of blessing them, being kind to them, protecting them and taking care of them, and they are His children in the sense that they worship Him, need Him and are dependent upon Him. 

This demonstrates the falseness of their understanding of ‘Eesa being the son of God, basing their argument on some texts that say that he is the son of God. 

2 – If he means that all people are children of Allah just as ‘Eesa is the son of Allah, in the sense of the Christian belief, then this is kufr (disbelief) that is worse than the kufr of the Christians. 

3 – If he means that we are all children of Allah or dependent upon Him, with no difference between Muslims and kaafirs, and he means that the Jews, Christians and idol-worshippers are not kaafirs, then this is riddah or apostasy from Islam, because whoever doubts that the Jews and Christians are kaafirs or approves of their religions is a kaafir, according to scholarly consensus. 

4 – If he means thereby to justify using the word “brother” for Jews and Christians, because we are all the children of Allah, this is false, because there is no brotherhood between the believers and the disbelievers. The hadeeth (which some may interpret as meaning that all men are brothers) has been proven to be not saheeh. Even if it was saheeh, it could not be interpreted in this fashion. 

We must beware of using confusing words which may cause a person to fall into something haraam or make people think badly of him, especially words which have to do with the Oneness of Allah (Tawheed) and His Uniqueness in His names and attributes. For the rights of Allah take precedence and must be taken care of, and we must avoid anything that may violate them, especially when those words are used by the Jews and Allah quotes them in the Qur’aan in the context of condemnation. 

“And (both) the Jews and the Christians say: ‘We are the children of Allah and His loved ones.’ Say: ‘Why then does He punish you for your sins?’ Nay, you are but human beings of those He has created…” [Al-Maa’idah 5:18]

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11. ALLAH IMAGINATION IN MIND

Question:

I do hope I am not asking a stupid question. I would like to know how a believer in Islam should imagine Allah to be. I know He is invisible but should I visualize him in a human form or a light. Please help me.

Answer: Praise be to Allah.

Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“....There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the All-Hearer, All-Seer.” [Ash-Shoora 42:11].

There is nothing like unto Him, nothing that is equal or comparable to Him or that can rival Him. He is far above any resemblance to any created being. Whatever crosses the mind of the son of Adam with regard to his Lord, He is greater than that. No creature can encompass Him, may He be glorified and exalted, or imagine what He looks like. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“…and they will never encompass anything of His Knowledge.” [Ta-Ha 20:110]

The Muslim is not supposed to try to imagine or picture Allah; rather, he has to believe in the sublime attributes which befit His Might and Majesty in which there is none like unto Him. Part of the ‘aqeedah (basic beliefs, creed) of the Muslims is that Allah cannot be seen in this world, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):

No vision can grasp Him....” [Al-An’aam 6:103]

But the believers will see Him in the Hereafter, in the gathering-place where judgment will be passed, and in Paradise. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was asked – as it was reported in Saheeh Muslim – “Did you see your Lord?” He said, “I saw Light.” According to another report: “ Light, how could I see Him?” This is in accordance with what Allah said to Moosa in Soorat al-A’raaf  7:143 (interpretation of the meaning):

“…You cannot see Me… i.e., in this world.

Neither the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) nor anybody else has seen Allah with his own two eyes. In the Hereafter, when the people see Him in the place of gathering, they will fall down in prostration before His Might and Majesty. Seeing Him in Paradise will be the greatest of all the joys that the people of Paradise will experience.

You have to recognize Allah by the Names and Attributes which He has told us about in His Book, and which His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) told us about. Do not occupy yourself with something that is beyond you; devote yourself instead to doing what your Lord has commanded you to do. Put aside these whispers from the Shaytaan, and may Allah help you to do that which pleases Him.

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12. God of bible  - god of quran

Question:

The God of the Koran wants the nation of Israel destroyed. The God of the Bible wants Israel preserved (and He has done it upto this day from the time of Father Abraham). Since the god of the Koran contradicts the God of the Bible, which God is telling the truth? Very logically one is a liar since both cannot be true at the same time!

Answer:

First of all, this is not a logical way of thinking because the "god" of the Qur'an and the "god" of the Bible are the same, and it is God (with the capital G), or Allah (in Arabic - as Arab Jews, Christians, and Muslims call Him) or Dieu (in French) that all of us worship. God is always correct, He doesn't contradict Himself, and He has ordered people to follow Him.

But some people are blind, they go astray, they interpret Him wrongly, and temper with His revealed Books. Had the Jews obeyed Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) and understood the Bible correctly, they would have followed Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) and some of them actually did such as the majority of his disciples. Similarly, had the Christians obeyed Christ and understood the Bible correctly, they would have accepted Islam and followed Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and many of them actually did in the past and still do in the present when they read the Bible and the Qur'an objectively.

Now, even if I were to follow the incorrect line of thinking that the "god" of the Qur'an is different from the "god" of the Bible, and that one of them is a liar, you still have to resolve the problem of the Jews and the Christians believing in the same "god" of the Bible, because the Jews believe in the unity of God and refute the concept of Trinity, which means that God in the Old Testament for the Jews is different from God in the Old and New Testament for the Christians.

Therefore, either the Christians or the Jews are correct (or both of them are wrong). Both cannot accept each other's belief and live peacefully until the "god" of one group prevails and rules over Jerusalem. At the end, it will either be synagogue or a church (or, for the sake of logical processing, a mosque in case both are wrong). Therefore, before worrying about God preserving Jerusalem, you have to define whose "god" will preserve the city, because Jews already refuted the teachings of Jesus Christ and conspired against him, and therefore, both of them (Jews and Christians) will not be on the same side when the final destiny of Jerusalem will be decided.

You also have to resolve the issue of the Palestinian Christians (local inhabitants) who are supported by the Christians in the world community, to fight the Jewish forces on their land. By the way, these Christians are currently on the Muslim side and want to get rid of the Jews. This is a fact, not a personal opinion. Then you have to resolve a third dilemma: The Bible states that the armies who will free Jerusalem from the Anti-Christ will come from Northern Palestine. Today, the general consensus among Christian scholars is that these armies will definitively be Muslims due to the populations of Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Eastern Europe and Southern Russian Republics, who are predominantly Muslims.

These same Christian scholars also believe that the Anti-Christ will be Jewish. Well, but how could that be when Muslims accept Jesus (peace be upon him) and respect him but believe he is a prophet and not the son of God. It is getting a little complicated here:

Therefore, here is the Islamic view: Justice will prevail at the end. Oppression will be over when Jesus comes again (Second Coming) to fight the Anti-Christ and liberate Jerusalem from the oppressors who have done injustice in the entire world. These oppressors not only killed people, promoted wars, and supported unjust governments, but they also exploited people economically through the unfair banking practices that deal with interest, through promoting unethical behavior with the movie industry, through misleading media coverage, through drug trading, through corruption, etc.).

Muslims also believe that Jesus (peace be upon him) will also explain to the world community about the truth of his nature, i.e., that he was a prophet and not the son of God. Once Christians and anyone who seeks to learn the truth corrects his/her basic understanding of God, (who is by the way the same "god" of the Jews, Christians, and Muslims), then, the seekers of justice will join their efforts to fight the Anti-Christ and his supported to free Jerusalem from its occupiers and oppressors. Now, you can make up your mind about whose "god" is a liar, or more correctly, whose ideology to follow.

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13. CAN GOD CREATE ANOTHER LIKE HIM

Question :

Some atheists ask questions such as, “If Allah is able to do all things, can He create another god like Himself?” or “Can He create something so heavy that He cannot lift it?”

Answer: Praise be to Allah.

Firstly:

The atheist needs someone who will call him to Allah and remind him of the blessing and signs of Allah which point to His existence, Oneness and might. The entire universe points to Allah, may He be exalted, how can anyone deny it? How could anyone disobey God or how could anyone deny Him, when God has a sign in everything that exists to point to His Oneness? 

No attention should be paid to the specious arguments of the atheists and those who have gone astray, except by the one who is qualified to refute them. So we must be very cautious, because a specious argument may become settled in the heart, after which it is difficult to get rid of it. 

Secondly:

This argument is one of the oldest specious arguments offered by the atheists, and the scholars have a well known answer to it, which may be summed up in two points: 

1 – This matter is impossible, because if the other one was a god, it would not be possible to create him. To assume that he can be a god and be created is impossible. 

It says in al-Durar al-Saniyyah min al-Ajwabah al-Najdiyyah (3/265): A story discussing a different issue was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas, which is that the devils said to Iblees, O our master, why do we see you rejoicing over the death of a scholar in a way that you do not rejoice over the death of a worshipper? For we cannot influence the scholar but we can influence the worshipper. He said: Go a worshipper, go to him when he is worshipping. They said: We want to ask you. He turned to them and Iblees said: Can your Lord create another like Himself? He said: I do not know. He said: Don’t you see that his worship cannot benefit him when he is so ignorant? 

They asked a scholar about that and he said: That is impossible, because if he were like Him, he could not have been created, and the idea that he is created and is like Him is impossible. If he is created he is not like Him, rather he is just one of His slaves. He said: Don’t you see that this man can destroy in an hour what it took years to build? And Allah knows best. End quote. 

2 – The idea of another god existing alongside Allah is inherently impossible. There is a great deal of evidence to suggest that it is impossible, the least of which is the existence of this organized universe. If there were another god, the system of the universe would be spoiled because they would compete with one another and each of them would want to prevail over the other, as Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Had there been therein (in the heavens and the earth) aalihah (gods) besides Allah, then verily, both would have been ruined. Glorified be Allah, the Lord of the Throne, (High is He) above all that (evil) they associate with Him!....” [Al-Anbiya’ 21:22] 

“No son (or offspring) did Allah beget, nor is there any ilaah (god) along with Him. (If there had been many gods), then each god would have taken away what he had created, and some would have tried to overcome others! Glorified be Allah above all that they attribute to Him!” [Al-Mu’minoon 23:91] 

Ibn Katheer (may Allah have mercy on him) said in his Tafseer: i.e., if there was a number of gods, each one of them would have taken away that which he created and the universe would be in disarray. What we see is that the universe is organized and orderly, and each realm, upper and lower, is connected to the other in the most perfect manner. “you can see no fault in the creation of the Most Gracious....” [Al-Mulk 67:3]. And each of them would seek to dominate the others and some of them would prevail over others. 

Creating something so heavy that He cannot lift it

This is very illogical question. Suppose being sensible human you are asked to kill yourself and your family (without any problems with you and them and living a very peaceful life). Will you not doubt the one who asks it? The same applies to the creation of an object so heavy that Allah could not lift it. It is impossible, because Allah is the One who creates it, and He is able to destroy it at any moment, so how can He be unable to lift it? 

The atheist only wants to cast aspersions on the general meaning of the words of Allah, “....Allah has power over all things....” [At-Talaaq 65:12].  So he says, if He has power over all things, why does He not have the power to do this? 

The answer is: Because it is impossible, it is nothing. 

That which is impossible does not exist, because it cannot exist, so it is nothing, even if the mind can imagine it. It is known that the mind can assume and imagine the impossible, the mind can imagine two opposites, such as something existing and not existing, at the same time. 

The verse states that Allah has power over “things” but that does not include things that are inherently impossible, because they are not things, rather they do not exist and they cannot be brought into existence. 

Hence more than one of the scholars have stated that the power of Allah has to do with that which is possible, for the reason that we have mentioned, which is that that which is non-existent and impossible is not a “thing”. 

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said: As for Ahl al-Sunnah, in their view Allah, may He be exalted, has power over all things, and everything that is possible is included in that. As for that which is inherently impossible, such as a thing both existing and being non-existent, there is no reality in it and its existence cannot be imagined, so it cannot be called a “thing” according to the consensus of the wise. This includes the idea of creating another like Himself, and so on. End quote from Manhaaj al-Sunnah (2/294). 

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said in Shifa’ al-‘Aleel (p. 374): Because that which is impossible is not a “thing”, so His Power has nothing to do with it. Allah has power over all things and no possible thing is beyond His power. End quote. And Allah knows best.

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14. QUALITIES OF AN HYPOCRATE

 Question :  

What are different qualities of Hypocrisy?

Answer :  Praise be to Allah.

Hypocrisy is of two types:

1.   Hypocrisy in Belief.

2.   Hypocrisy in Deeds and Actions.

Hypocrisy in Belief

There are six aspects of hypocrisy in belief.

1.   To belie the prophet Mohammed (PBUH).

2.   To belie some or all that was brought by the prophet Mohammed (PBUH). For Example : Quran, authentic Ahadiths and laws of sunnah having Muslim Scholars consensus, etc.

3.   To hate prophet Mohammed (PBUH).

4.   To hate some of that which prophet Mohammed (PBUH) brought.

5.   To feel happy at the disgrace of or set back for the religion of Islam.

6.   To dislike that religion of Islam becoming victorious.

A person having these six types of hypocrisy, will be in the lowest depth of fire (Hell)

“Verily, the hypocrites will be in the lowest depth (grade) of the Fire; no helper will you find for them” (An-Nisa’ 4:145)

Hypocrisy in Deeds and Actions

There are five aspects of hypocrisy in Deeds and Actions.

As per hadith of prophet Mohammed (PBUH), they are:

1.   Whenever he speaks, he tells lie.

2.   Whenever he promises, he always breaks it.

3.   If you trust him, he proves to be dishonest (if you keep something with him, he will not return it).

In another prophet Mohammed (PBUH) narration:

4.   Whenever he quarrels, he behaves in a very imprudent, evil, insulting manner.

5.   Whenever he makes a covenant, he proves himself treacherous.

May Allah save us from all type of hypocrisy.

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15. WHAT ARE THE NULLIFIERS OF ISLAM?

Question:

What are the actions which, if a Muslim does them, he will be an apostate from Islam?

Answer: Praise be to Allah.  

Allah has commanded all people to enter Islam and to adhere to it and to beware of whatever is contrary to it. He sent His Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) to call mankind to that. He tells us that those who follow him will be guided and that those who turn away from him have gone astray. In many verses He warns against the means that lead to apostasy and all forms of shirk and kufr. The scholars (may Allah have mercy on them) have said, when discussing apostasy, that a Muslim may apostatize from his religion by doing many acts that nullify Islam, which makes it permissible to shed his blood and seize his wealth, and which will put him beyond the pale of Islam.

1 – Shirk or associating others in worship with Allah. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Verily! Allâh forgives not (the sin of) setting up partners in worship with Him, but He forgives whom he pleases sins other than that, and whoever sets up partners in worship with Allâh, has indeed strayed far away”  (An-Nisa’ 4:116)

“…. Verily, whosoever sets up partners (in worship) with Allah, then Allah has forbidden Paradise to him, and the Fire will be his abode …”   (Al-Maa’idah 5:72)

That includes praying to the dead, seeking their help, making vows and offering sacrifices to them or to the jinn or to the grave. 

2 – Whoever sets up intermediaries between himself and Allah, asks them to intercede, and puts his trust in them, is a kaafir according to scholarly consensus. 

3 – Whoever does not regard the mushrikeen as kaafirs, or doubts that they are kaafirs, or regards their way as correct, is a kaafir.

4 – Whoever believes that anything other than the teaching of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is more complete than his teachings, or that the rulings of anyone else are better than his rulings – such as those who prefer the rule of false laws to his rulings – is a kaafir. 

5 – Whoever hates any part of that which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) brought, even if he acts in accordance with it, is a kaafir, because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“That is because they hate that which Allah has sent down (this Qur’aan and Islamic laws); so He has made their deeds fruitless”  (Muhammad 47:9) 

6 – Whoever makes fun of anything in the religion of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), or makes fun of any texts that refer to rewards or punishments, is a kaafir. The evidence for that is the verse (interpretation of the meaning):

"If you (O Muhammad) ask them (about this Quran), they declare: ‘We were only talking idly and joking.’ Say: ‘Was it at Allah, and His Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and His Messenger that you were mocking?’  (65) “Make no excuse; you disbelieved after you had believed ………”  (Al-Tawbah 9:65 - 66)

7 – Sihr (witchcraft) – including spells to turn one person against another or to make someone love another. Whoever does this or approves of it is a kaafir. The evidence for that is the verse (interpretation of the meaning):

“They followed what the satan  gave out (falsely of the magic) in the lifetime of Sulaimân (Solomon). Sulaimân did not disbelieve, but the satan  disbelieved, teaching men magic and such things that came down at Babylon to the two angels, Hârût and Mârût, but neither of these two (angels) taught anyone (such things) till they had said, "We are only for trial, so disbelieve not (by learning this magic from us) ...." (Al-Baqrah 2:102)

 8 – Supporting the mushrikeen and helping them against the Muslims. The evidence for that is the verse in which Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as Auliyâ’ (friends, protectors, helpers), they are but Auliyâ’ of each other. And if any amongst you takes them (as Auliyâ’), then surely, he is one of them” (Al-Maa’idah 5:51)

9 – Whoever believes that some people are allowed to operate outside the law of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) just as al-Khidr operated outside the law of Moosa (peace be upon him) is a kaafir, because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah), never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (All spiritual good)” (Aale-Imran 3:85)

10 – Turning away from the religion of Allah, not learning it and not acting in accordance with it. The evidence for that is the verse (interpretation of the meaning):

“And who does more wrong than he who is reminded of the Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of his Lord, then turns aside therefrom? Verily, We shall exact retribution from the Mujrimoon (criminals, disbelievers, polytheists, sinners)” (As-Sajdah 32:22) 

And Allah knows best.

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16. WHO DOES NOT PRAY, IS HE A KAFFIR?

Question :

I was told in the time of the Salaaf they would differ on issues such as the one who did not perform prayer and the on the one who ruled by laws other than what Allah has revealed, is it true this is called Khilaf Al Mu`tabar (A difference which is taken into consideration)? If the Salaaf did differ may I please ask whom of the Salaaf differed on both of these issues?

Answer :  Praise be to Allah.

There are differences between the Islamic madhhabs whose views may be taken into consideration concerning the ruling on one who does not pray. The dispute is only with regard to the one who does not deny that the prayer is obligatory. The person who denies that prayer is obligatory is definitely a kaafir. The majority of the Salaf, of the Sahaabah and Taabi’een, were of the view that the person who does not pray is a kaafir, because of the saheeh texts which clearly state that. The dispute arose after their time, but the scholars who examined this issue said that the opinion stated is the more sound view, that the person who does not pray is guilty of major kufr which puts him beyond the pale of Islam. This is the opinion according to which fatwas are issued nowadays.

With regard to ruling according to laws other than those revealed by Allah, whilst acknowledging that the ruling of Allah is more complete and more perfect, and more beneficial to mankind than any other (law), a group of scholars said that this is a lesser form of kufr. But giving preference to man-made laws and giving them precedence over the laws (sharee’ah) of Allah, and believing that the laws of Allah are not suitable for our times, for example, this is a form of major kufr which puts a person beyond the pale of Islam. The dispute among the scholars in this case has to do with the person who judges according to laws other than those revealed by Allah, whilst still believing that the laws of Allah are more perfect and more fitting – is he guilty of major kufr or a lesser form of kufr? Because Allah has described those who rule according to laws other than His in different ways, sometimes as kaafirs, sometimes as faasiqoon (evildoers), sometimes as zaalimoon (wrongdoers). This is to be interpreted either as referring to different cases in which people rule according to laws other than those revealed by Allah, or as meaning one and the same thing, because the kaafir is also a faasiq and a zaalim.

Excerpted, with some modifications, from: http://islamqa.com/en/

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17. CONVERTING TO ISLAM TO GET MARRIED

Question :

If a person converts to Islam to get married, with no intention to practice the religion, is the conversion accepted in Islam?

Answer :

Islam, as a divine religion, pays great attention to the importance of conviction for those who embrace it. Therefore, it lays down the principle that there is no compulsion in religion. In the same vein, it doesn’t accept conversion for other objectives such as marriage.

In this context, we recall the Prophet’s Hadith in which he, peace and blessings be upon him, rebuked a man who migrated from Makkah to Madinah to marry a certain woman, for he gave priority to worldly interest over the great merits of Hijra, and thus he lost a great reward. The Hadith says,
"Actions are but by intention and every man shall have but that which he intended. Thus he whose migration was for Allah and His messenger, his migration was for Allah and His messenger, and he whose migration was to achieve some worldly benefit or to take some woman in marriage, his migration was for that for which he migrated" (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).

Focusing more on the question you posed, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

A person must never embrace Islam solely for the purpose of getting married to a Muslim woman; Islam does not sanction such conversions.

Conversion to Islam, in order to be considered as genuine, must proceed from one’s inner conviction and should be based on one’s own free choice. Allah says,
“There shall be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out starkly clear from falsehood….” (Al-Baqarah 2: 256)

If, therefore, at the time of conversion, a person did not have the intention of seriously considering the religion for practice, then such a conversion is simply invalid and unacceptable. Whoever is making this gesture is simply deceiving himself and wronging his own soul as he can never deceive Allah who knows not only what we do, but also what we cherish in the innermost recesses of our hearts.

When a person says upfront that he is simply taking the Shahadah (saying that there is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah), and yet he has no intention of practicing Islam, then in reality he is not embracing Islam at all but is merely making a show of conversion for wooing the girl he wants to marry.

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamonline.net

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18. INTRODUCING ISLAM IN MODERN ENVIRONMENT

Question ;

I was asked to talk to non-Muslims about the Holy Qur`an by introducing it to them, without engaging myself in debates or arguments (i.e. preaching), as a form of Da`wah given by educated Muslims in a non-Islamic environment.

Answer :

With regard to your question, Sheikh Yusuf Estes, Director of Islamtoday.com, and National Chaplain WAMY, answers:

“Dear brother in Islam, may Allah reward you and keep you strong in this endeavor, ameen. Consider the following tips from one who endeavors to give Da`wah for Allah's sake:

First of all, be confident that it is Allah, Most High, who provides the right words and only He is the one who guides people to the straight path. You will do fine, Insha'Allah, but you need to put your trust in Allah the Almighty.

I highly recommend presenting the essential basics to those people and let them know about some of the good web sites (such as this one (http://www.islam-online.net and http://www.islamtoday.com) for more details, insha'Allah.

Use the first 12 to 15 minutes presenting the most prized and wonderful part of Islam: Focus on the fact that the whole universe is full of evidence indicating that there is Allah (God) and that He is the Creator and Sustainer of all that exists. We can prove this by acknowledging that all this did not occur by accident in space. So if there is a creation, it logically follows that there is a Creator. As such it is up to Him to determine what the purpose of this creation is all about. God, in His Infinite Wisdom, has chosen to reveal this purpose and plan to us through the system of messengers and books.

Establish the fact that we are not in opposition with the belief in God, but rather we are only bringing about a clarification and return to the more original concepts with Islam. You might even let them know that we are all brothers in humanity as well as acknowledging that we come from Adam. The idea of being a Muslim brother or sister is that we are “brothers in faith.” So make them feel comfortable that we are not trying to deny God, His Books, His Angels and His Messengers, not at all. Islam is only making clear what the concept and relationship of Allah is to us.

Then try to shed light on the concept of Allah by stating that:

1.  Muslim does not have a different God, but He is the same as their GOD, but we call him Allah as He called Himself in Last Testament;

2.  He is the Creator, but not created;

3.  He Sustains, but is not sustained;

4.  He exists, but never within what He created;

5.  He has Divine Attributes, but they are the epitome or ultimate of that characteristic;

6.  He has features, but they are not to be compared to what is in His creation. While He is Perfect in every aspect, His creatures (us) are not.

You must also emphasize that Allah is far Exalted above His creation and as such we should never try to make Him manifest somehow inside of anything or anyone. Regarding the status of angels, they are perfect. They obey every single command of Allah and never falter in their duties. The idea of the devil being a “fallen angel” is totally alien to Islam. The devil was elevated to worship Allah along with the angels, but he was not one of them. This is usually a good starting point for making things clear for them.

Another point is to let them know about Adam and Eve. Adam is created from clay. Eve is created from his rib (same as the Bible). The subject of the “sin of the forbidden fruit” is that both sinned. They repented and Allah accepted their repentance and forgave them. Sending them down out of Paradise to the earth was not a punishment from Allah for what they did. Rather, it was something that Allah had destined for them before He ever created them. All of this is a part of the Divine Plan of Allah to make the world a “testing ground” as it were, for them and all the humans that came after them.

This would lead you into the subject of Islam's stance on the purpose of this life. We are only in this existence for a short period of time to see if we will do one of two things: worship Allah as He has ordered, or worship something that He created. If we fulfill our obligation to Allah in worship and exert our efforts in offering Him sincere devotion, then He will forgive the other minor sins upon repenting to Him, and we would then be admitted to His Paradise insha'Allah. On the other hand, if we do not fulfill our duty to Allah, then we would be thrown into total ruin by our own choice.

How can we know what Allah wants for us and how can we best achieve our goal, which is Paradise?

We cannot begin to guess the answer to this anymore than we can create ourselves in the first place.

We need guidance for this. Where do we obtain it? The only way possible is if Allah the Almighty reveals something to us. This will bring you to the subject of the Glorious Qur'an about half way through your talk. Then explain that the Qur'an is the final revelation in a long series of revelations from Almighty Allah to mankind. It supercedes the previous revelations and as such replaces whatever might remain of them. So, in simple terms you might say that, as the Bible is understood to be the “Old Testament” and “New Testament” then the Qur'an would be the “Final Testament” according to this type of labeling.

Part of the essential belief for the Muslim is to have firm faith in the fact that Allah, the Exalted, sent down the original revelations in the past. They include:

•Scrolls of Abraham

•Torah of Moses

•Psalms of David

•Gospel of Jesus

•The Glorious Qur'an to Muhammad

Each Prophet, peace be upon all of them, came only to bring the simple message of “There is no deity to worship throughout the entire creation, except Allah Who is the Creator but never in His Creation.”

I know that this is very wordy and seems too long to say… but trust me, many people came to a better understanding of Islam through this explanation – and by the way, many also made Shahadah (declaration of faith) as well.

You can now move to the subject of prophethood in Islam. Muslims are taught to elevate all the Prophets to a level of high honor and respect. We do not associate them with major sins and crimes. While we take all the Prophets to such a high degree in Islam, we do not make them as gods or semi-gods. So, Islam clears Prophet Lot of the crime of incest and Prophet David from committing adultery, and so on. Additionally, while taking these Prophets to such lofty status, Islam simply never approves of the status Jesus, peace be upon him, is held in Christianity, rather it returns him to the level that he mentioned about himself as being subject to the authority of Almighty Allah (God).

By now, you should be close to 30 minutes in your speech. Wrap it up by saying that we must make a clear distinction between Islam and what some Muslims do. Islam is a verbal noun. It is an action, something that you do. It means to surrender, submit, and obey Allah in sincerity and peace in all that we do while here on the earth. If someone does this, then he or she is a Muslim whether or not they know it. “Muslim” simply means the one who is performing the verb or action of “Islam.” Some people have the name “Muslim” while not actually fulfilling the title. So, we would separate the two words and understand that while “Islam” is perfect, those who try to do it (Muslims) are not perfect.

After many these final conclusions you are ready for your questions and answers. But be ready for the hard part…

They may ask you questions that you are not prepared for. For instance they might ask about current events in various countries, treatment of women, behavior of some Muslims, etc.

A simple default answer prepared by you ahead of time is a wise investment in time. You might like to say something like:

“This is a good question, but it refers to a deeper level of understanding of Allah, Islam and the Muslims. So perhaps I might have another opportunity to speak on these topics in detail.”

Or you might answer the ones that are difficult or confusing in their nature by saying: “As such, according to the wisdom of Islam, I should not try to answer questions that I do not have enough information on.”

We congratulate you on your opportunity to serve Islam and to represent all of us as good Muslims. Remember to pray to Allah for success in this event. Make the Du`a' of Moses when he asked Allah to open his chest, make it easy for him, and to untie his tongue and to make people understand his message (or words to this affect).

Be sure to be early for the event, set up any recording equipment (if you plan to record it) well in advance. Start on time. And just be yourself as a good Muslim. Afterwards, remember to make Du`a' for them later that night, so that Allah will guide them to the truth.

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamonline.net

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19. MUSLIMS DECLINING IN THEIR FAITH

Question:                                                                                                                   

I wish to write an article on the current status of Muslims from their decreasing application of Islam, to their surrender and imitation of the western culture, to the practice of the few of terrorism. I have heard of hadiths that the Prophet spoke of regarding the future demise of Muslims in their faith and the time where Muslims and their rulers will turn away from true Islam. Please give me the appropriate Qur'anic verses on the future of Muslims declining faith and the appropriate hadiths on this subject.

Answer:                                                                                                                      

Almighty Allah says: “But when they forgot the warning they had received, We opened to them the gates of all (good) things, until, in the midst of their enjoyment of Our gifts, on a sudden, We called them to account, when lo! they were plunged in despair!” (Al-An’am 6:44)

He also says: “O ye who believe! What is the matter with you, that, when ye are asked to go forth in the Cause of Allah, ye cling heavily to the earth? Do ye prefer the life of this world to the Hereafter? (38) But little is the comfort of this life, as compared with the Hereafter. Unless ye go forth, He will punish you with a grievous penalty, and put others in your place; but Him ye would not harm in the least. For Allah hath power over all things. (39) If ye help not (your Leader), (it is no matter): for Allah did indeed help him, when the Unbelievers drove him out: he had no more than one companion: they two were in the Cave, and he said to his companion, "Have no fear for Allah is with us": then Allah sent down His peace upon him, and strengthened him with forces which ye saw not, and humbled to the depths the word of the Unbelievers. But the word of Allah is exalted to the heights: for Allah is Exalted in might, Wise.” (At-Tawbah 9: 38-40)

Allah also says: “O ye who believe! if any from among you turn back from his Faith, soon will Allah produce a people whom He will love as they will love Him, lowly with the Believers, mighty against the Rejecters, fighting in the Way of Allah, and never afraid of the reproaches of such as find fault. That is the Grace of Allah, which He will bestow on whom He pleaseth. And Allah encompasseth all, and He knoweth all things. (54) Your (real) friends are (no less than) Allah, His Messenger, and the (Fellowship of) Believers, those who establish regular prayers and regular charity, and they bow down humbly (in worship). (55) As to those who turn (for friendship) to Allah, His Messenger, and the (Fellowship of) Believers, it is the Fellowship of Allah that must certainly triumph.” (Al-Ma'idah 5: 54-56)

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Islam started as a stranger and it will return in time to its initial position (i.e. strangeness).”

He also said: “You will be devoured by the nations around you….” He was asked by the Companions: “Are we going to be less in numbers during these days.” To which he said: “No, you will be large in number but you will lose your respect and your might because you will be suffering from al-wahan.” Then the companions asked about what al-wahan was, and the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) defined it as “your love for material world and your hate for encounter with Allah through death”.

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamonline.net

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20. PRISON OR PARADISE (LIFE OF THIS WORLD?)

(By Yusuf Estes Last Updated, 27 October 2006)

Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said: "Ad-Dunyaa sijnul mu-min wa jannatul kaafir." (This world is a prison to a true believer - and a paradise to the disbeliever.)  How do we relate to this in today's world?

Notice, he did not compare the life of this world for the believers to a "Hell" as some might do. The comparison is between a paradise and a prison.

How would we understand that in today's world?

This life is not really "Hell" - may Allah save us from that, ameen. Rather, everything in this life is limited and restricted for the believers. They are in a similar condition to those who are locked away. Think about it.

When a person truly understands the message of "Islam" (meaning: to submit to God's authority and obey His Commandments in sincerity and peace), the person could only be happy when they would be closer to Almighty God. The faithful believer is most happy whenever contemplating and remembering Allah, the most High, the Most Loving. And to be with Allah in the Next Life is the absolute goal of each and every believer.

Consider what happens when a person is put into a prison. The first thing is they loose their freedom to move about anywhere they would like to go. They would be cut off from those they most love and desire to be with. True? Food and drink would be another item that would be restricted. Things we take for granted every day would not be available to the one in jail. One choice only: Eat it - or leave it!

Clothing is definitely something we just assume is our right and we make choices about this everyday without even considering how limited these things are while in prison.

Communication with the outside exists, but it is quite limited and often difficult to manage. There is a feeling of being cut off.

Most of all, there is the loss of being close to the one whom you love the most and desire to be with, your loved one.

All of these things point toward the condition of the one who is believing in Allah and understanding what is awaiting in the real Paradise in the Next Life. Imagine having anything in the way of food, drink, dress and the freedom to be able to have whatever you desire is what Paradise is all about, isn't it?

Let us contrast that to the unbeliever's condition here in this world. For them, there is no "Next Life." They consider this to be the only life and for them it is important to get whatever they want here.

Money, power, wealth, fame and glory are all very important to them. After all, their idea of "Heaven" is right here in front of them.

Often the believer sees these people being so "successful" in this world, to the extent the believer might ask, "Why is this person getting so much?" or "How come this person is doing bad things, but getting away with it?"

The seeming unfairness we observe first hand on a daily basis should be one of the indicators, that there really is a God and that He is going to have a Day of Judgment and for sure everyone will see their true deeds and be held accountable for them on that Day. After all, how could it be fair for the rich, wealthy and famous to do some of the things they do and not be punished, while certain innocent people are put to very horrible circumstances and even death without having done anything near as bad as these people?

Good questions.

But when you consider the statement of our blessed prophet, peace be upon him: "This world is a prison to believers and a paradise to disbelievers" it all begins to come into balance and reassures the believers: "There really is a God. He is One, without any Partners - and for sure, Muhammad, peace be upon him, is His messenger."

Excerpted, with slight modifications from: www.islamnewsroom.com/

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 21. Some of the rulings on apostasy and apostates

Question :  

I have read in some of your answers on the issue of apostasy that the punishment for the apostate is to be put to death. But I have read on another website that the apostate who is to be put to death is the one who wages war on Islam (muhaarib).  I am more inclined towards the second opinion.  The reason for that is that I have friends who were born in Muslim families and who have Muslim names, but some of them do not know how to do wudoo’ or how to pray, but they acknowledge the Shahaadatayn. 

Can we regard these people as apostates and thus put them to death?

Answer :  Praise be to Allah.

Firstly: 

The Muslim should not incline more towards one scholarly opinion rather than another just because it is in accordance with his whims and desires or his reasoning. Rather he has to accept the ruling based on evidence from the Quran and Sunnah. It is essential to put the texts and rulings of sharee’ah before all else. 

Secondly: 

Apostasy (riddah) and going out of Islam are things that may be done in the heart, on the tongue or in one's actions. 

Apostasy may take place in the heart, such as disbelieving in Allah, or believing that there is another creator alongside Allah, or hating Allah or His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). 

Apostasy may take the form of words spoken on the tongue, such as defaming Allah or the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). 

Or apostasy may take the form of outward physical actions, such as prostrating to an idol, mistreating the Mus-haf, or not praying.   

The apostate (murtadd) is worse than one who is a kaafir in the first place. 

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said, refuting the pantheistic belief of the Baatinis: 

It is well known that the kaafir Tatars are better than these (Baatinis), because the latter are apostates from Islam, of the worst type of apostates. The apostate is worse than one who is a kaafir in the first place in many aspects. 

Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 1/193 

Thirdly

Not every Muslim who falls into kufr is a kaafir and apostate. There are reasons why a Muslim may be excused and not judged to be a kaafir, for example:

·        ignorance,

·        misunderstanding,

·        being forced,

·        and making mistakes. 

With regard to the first, a man may be ignorant of the ruling of Allah, because he lives far from the Muslim lands, such as one who grows up in the desert or in a kaafir land, or has only recently come to Islam. This may include many of those Muslims who live in societies where ignorance prevails and knowledge is scarce. These are the ones concerning whom the questioner is confused as to whether they are to be judged as kaafirs and executed. 

The second reason is if a person interprets the ruling of Allah in a manner not intended by the Lawgiver, such as those who blindly follow the people of bid’ah (innovation) in their misinterpretations, such as the Murji’ah, Mu’tazilah, Khawaarij and the like. 

The third reason is if an oppressor overwhelms a Muslim and will not let him go until he makes a blatant statement of kufr out loud in order to ward off the torture, when his heart is at ease with faith. 

The fourth is when words of kufr come to one's lips without meaning it. 

Not everyone who is ignorant about wudoo’ and prayer can be excused, when he see the Muslims establishing prayer and praying regularly, and he can read and hear the verses on prayer. What is preventing him from praying or from asking about how it is done and what its essential conditions are? 

Fourthly

The apostate is not to be put to death immediately after he falls into apostasy, especially if his apostasy happens because of some doubt that arose. Rather he should be asked to repent and he should be offered the opportunity to return to Islam and resolve his doubts, if he has any doubts. Then if he persists in his apostasy after that, he is to be put to death. 

Ibn Qudaamah said in al-Mughni, 9/18: 

The apostate should not be put to death until he has been asked to repent three times. This is the view of the majority of scholars, including ‘Umar, ‘Ali, ‘Ata’, al-Nakhaii, Maalik, al-Thawri, al-Awzaa’i, Ishaaq and others. Because apostasy comes about because of doubt, and cannot be dispelled in an instant. Time should be allowed for the person to rethink the matter, and the best length of time is three days. 

End quote. 

The saheeh Sunnah indicates that it is essential to put the apostate to death. 

Al-Bukhaari (6922) narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever changes his religion, put him to death.” 

Al-Bukhaari (6484) and Muslim (1676) narrated that ‘Abd-Allah ibn Mas’ood said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “It is not permissible to shed the blood of a Muslim who bears witness that there is no god except Allah and that I am the Messenger of Allah, except in one of three cases: a soul for a soul (i.e., in the case of murder); a previously-married person who commits zina; and one who leaves his religion and separates from the main body of the Muslims.” 

The general meaning of these ahaadeeth indicates that it is essential to put the apostate to death whether he is waging war on Islam (muhaarib) or not. 

The view that the apostate who is to be put to death is the one who is waging war on Islam (muhaarib) only is contrary to these ahaadeeth. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said that the reason why he should be put to death is his apostasy, not his waging war against Islam. 

Undoubtedly some kinds of apostasy are more abhorrent than others, and the apostasy of one who wages war against Islam is more abhorrent than that of anyone else. Hence some of the scholars differentiated between them, and said that it is not essential to ask the muhaarib to repent or to accept his repentance; rather he should be put to death even if he repents, whereas the repentance of one who is not a muhaarib should be accepted and he should not be put to death. This is the view favoured by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him). 

He said: 

Apostasy is of two types: ordinary apostasy and extreme apostasy, for which execution is prescribed. In both cases there is evidence that it is essential to execute the apostate, but the evidence indicating that the sentence of death may be waived if the person repents does not apply to both types of apostasy. Rather the evidence indicates that that is allowed only in the first case – i.e., ordinary apostasy – as will be clear to anyone who studies the evidence that speaks about accepting the repentance of the apostate. In the second type – i.e., extreme apostasy – the obligation to put the apostate to death still stands, and there is no text or scholarly consensus to indicate that the death sentence may be waived. The two cases are quite different and there is no comparison between them. It does not say in the Quran or Sunnah, or according to scholarly consensus, that everyone who apostatizes in word or deed may be spared the death sentence if he repents after he is a captured and tried. Rather the Quran and Sunnah, and scholarly consensus, differentiate between the different kinds of apostates. 

Al-Saarim al-Maslool, 3/696 

Al-Hallaaj was one of the most well known heretics who were put to death without being asked to repent. Al-Qaadi ‘Iyaad said:  

The Maaliki fuqaha’ of Baghdad at the time of al-Muqtadir were unanimously agreed that al-Hallaaj should be killed and crucified because of his claim to divinity and his belief in incarnation, and his saying “I am al-Haqq [God],” even though he outwardly appeared to adhere to sharee’ah, and they did not accept his repentance. 

Al-Shifa bi Ta’reef Huqooq al-Mustafa, 2/1091. 

Based on this, it is clear that what the questioner says about the apostate not being killed unless he is waging war on Islam is mistaken, and the differentiation that we have quoted from Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah may dispel any confusion and make the matter clearer. 

Waging war against Islam is not limited only to fighting with weapons, rather it may be done verbally such as defaming Islam or the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), or attacking the Quran, and so on. Waging verbal war against Islam may be worse than waging war against it with weapons in some cases. 

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said: 

Muhaarabah (waging war against Islam) is of two types: physical and verbal. Waging war verbally against Islam may be worse than waging war physically – as stated above – hence the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to kill those who waged war against Islam verbally, whilst letting off some of those who waged war against Islam physically. This ruling is to be applied more strictly after the death of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Mischief may be caused by physical action or by words, but the damage caused by words is many times greater than that caused by physical action; and the goodness achieved by words in reforming may be many times greater than that achieved by physical action. It is proven that waging war against Allah and His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) verbally is worse and the efforts on earth to undermine religion by verbal means is more effective. 

Al-Saarim al-Maslool, 3/735 

And Allah knows best.

Excerpted, with some modifications, from: http://islamqa.com/en/

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22. IF MUSLIM LEAVES ISLAM?

Question :       

If a Muslim changed his religion to other religion what will Shari`ah say? And is it right that he will be executed (death)? And if the answer is no? can you please tell me what the Islamic court will decide in this status for a person that was Muslim and he changed his religion?

Answer :  

Allah says: “…. And if any of you Turn back from their faith and die in unbelief, their works will bear no fruit in this life and in the Hereafter; they will be companions of the Fire and will abide therein.) (Al-Baqarah 2: 217)

Regarding this issue, two points have to be kept in mind. The first point is that Islam is a choice and it is not to be forced on anyone. So, anyone who chooses Islam with conviction and total satisfaction means that he adopts this way of life without any force, and Islam asks this person to choose this way of life without return. So it is an issue of agreement, to choose Islam without revoking it.

The second point is that if someone breached this agreement and he is living in a country where Islamic Shari`ah is applied. So the Shari`ah will handle the situation as a breach of covenant. If someone is living outside the jurisdiction of Islam, so this is not the responsibility of the Muslim community to apply the rules of Shari`ah on that person, but this person will face the consequences in the hereafter if he or she does not repent in this life.

The process would be as follows: first, the state has to confirm the issue of apostasy and that the person is breaching the covenant and CALLS FOR HIS DISBELIEVING IDEAS. Then the court will give him or her the chance to repent and revoke his or her ideas and stop spreading them in the Muslim community. If the court confirmed that the person admitted explicitly that he intends to change Islam and he does not care about it, and does not want to repent, then the court will take an action until the clause of treason, because that would be considered a law of the land and an issue of loyalty to the state.

All these issues do not apply in the absence of Shari`ah-based courts. Nobody is allowed to take the law by the hand, otherwise it will be great chaos and mischief.

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamonline.net

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23. WEARING TA’AWEEZ

Question :      

I would be very grateful if you could advise me whether a ta`weez can be worn for purposes of an illness or nazar.

Answer :        

It is unanimously agreed upon among the majority of Muslim scholars that wearing amulets or ta`aweez that contain other than verses from the Qur’an is forbidden as far as Islamic Shari`ah is concerned.

But, they differed pertaining to those containing some of the Qur’anic texts. Some of them follow the same initial judgment that all amulets are forbidden whether containing something from the Qur’an or any other thing. While others deem it permissible if the amulet contains a verse or part of the Qur’anic text.

Let me cite for you one of the Prophet’s hadiths that indicates the prohibition of wearing such things: Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) states: “Whoever wears anything (meaning an amulet) will be entrusted to its care …” (Reported by Abu-Dawud)

To conclude, here we prefer the viewpoint which states that it is not permissible to wear any amulet of any kind whether it contains a Qur’anic verse or any other stuff.

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamonline.net

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24. SIX KALIMAHS

Question :

What are six Kalimahs of Islam?

Answer :

Following are six Kalimahs of Islam?

 

First Kalimah:

Word of Purity

There is no god except Allah. Muhammad is His messenger.

Hadrat Zaid bin ‘Arqam (Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “Whoever says La ilaaha illal-laahu… sincerely will enter the Paradise.” It was said: And what is the [sign of] sincerity? He said: “That this kalimah stops him from those things which Allah has forbidden.”

(Tabaraani in Awsat-ul-Kabeer)

“Do you not see how Allah puts forth the likeness of a good word (kalimah tayyibah)? It is like a good tree, whose root is firmly fixed and whose branches reach to the sky (24) It brings forth its fruit in all seasons by the command of its Lord. And Allah sets forth parables for men, so that they may take heed (25) And the likeness of an evil word (kalimah khabeetha- a word of shirk) is like an evil tree, which is uprooted from the face of the earth, and has no stability.” (Ibraheem 14: 24-26)

Second Kalimah:

Word of Testification

I bear witness that there is no god except Allah, Who is Alone and has no partners; And I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger.

Third Kalimah:

Word of Glorification

Glory be to Allah. And praise be to Allah.  And there is no god except Allah.
And Allah is the Greatest. And there is no power and no strength except with Allah, the Most High, Most Great.

Ibn Mas’ood (Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “When I met Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) in the night of Mi’raaj he asked me to convey his Salaam to my Ummah and to tell them that the Paradise has a fertile soil and sweet water, and is like a vast field. And its plants are [the words above].” Another version says: “Whoever recites the words above, a tree in Paradise is planted for him for each word he says.” (Virtues of Dhikr; Tirmidhi)

Fourth Kalimah:

Word of Oneness of Allah

There is no god except Allah, Who is Alone and has no partners. For Him is the Dominion and for Him is all praise. He gives life and causes death. And He is Living and will never ever die. Owner of Majesty and Honor: In His Hands is all goodness. And He has power over all things.

Abu Hurairah (Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “A person who recites: Laa ilaaha illal-laahu wahdahu laa shareeka lahu, lahul-mulku wa lahul-hamdu wa huwa ‘alaa kulli shay-in qadeer, a hundred times daily will have reward equal to that of freeing ten slaves and one hundred good deeds will be written for him, and one hundred of his sins will be lifted from him, and for the whole day, he will remain immune from the Shaytaan until the evening, and on the Day of Judgment, no one will exceed him in merit except one who has done [these phrases] more.” (Agreed upon)

Fifth Kalimah:

Word of Repentance

I seek forgiveness of my Lord for every sin that I have sinned- intentionally or accidentally, in secret or in open- and I repent to Him for the sins that I am aware of, and for the sins that I am not aware of. Truly You (Oh Allah!) are the Knower of the Unseen, and the Coverer of Faults, and the Forgiver of Sins. And there is no power and no strength except with Allah, the Most High, Most Great.

Agharr ibn Yasaar (Allah be pleased with him) said that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “O you people! Repent to Allah and seek His forgiveness. Truly I myself offer repentance one hundred times each day.” (Muslim)

Sixth Kalimah:

Word of Rejection of Disbelief

Oh Allah! Truly I seek refuge in You from holding any partners with You knowingly. And I see forgiveness of You for that which I am not aware of. I repent of such deeds and I clear myself from any actions of disbelief and idolatry and lying and backbiting and innovation and slander and lewdness and abomination and every type of sin. And I submit to You and I say:”There is no god except Allah; Muhammad is His Messenger”

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25. KHILAFAT OF ALI (RTU)

Question :

What evidence do you have that tells you Imama Ali (A.S.) is not supposed to be the leader after the Prophet Muhammed (A.S).

Answer: Praise be to Allah.

One of the basic principles of Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah is that they have nothing against the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and they do not say anything against them. Their hearts are free of any hatred, resentment and rancor (towards them) and they do not say anything (about them) that is not appropriate or befitting, because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And those who came after them say: ‘Our Lord! Forgive us and our brethren who have preceded us in Faith, and put not in our hearts any hatred against those who have believed. Our Lord! You are indeed full of kindness, Most Merciful” [Al-Hashr 59 :10] 

And they obey the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) who said: Do not revile my companions, for by the One in Whose hand is my soul, if one of you were to spend in charity gold equal to the size of Mount Uhud, he would not achieve the status of one of them, or even come halfway.” (narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3637; Muslim, 2541).

Firstly :  One of the basic principles of Ahl al-Sunnah is that they accept that which has been narrated in the Qur’aan and Sunnah, and the consensus of the scholars, concerning the virtues and status (of the Sahaabah). They give precedence to those who spent and fought before the victory – the treaty of al-Hudaybiyah – over those who spent and fought afterwards, because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“....Not equal among you are those who spent and fought before the Victory. Such are higher in degree than those who spent and fought afterwards. But to all Allah has promised the best (reward). And Allah is All‑Aware of what you do” [Al-Hadeed 57:10]

They give precedence to the Muhaajireen over the Ansaar, because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And the foremost to embrace Islam of the Muhaajiroon and the Ansaar and also those who followed them exactly (in Faith). Allah is well-pleased with them as they are well-pleased with Him. He has prepared for them Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise), to dwell therein forever. That is the supreme success” [At -Tawbah 9:100]. So the aayah gives precedence to the Muhaajireen over the Ansaar.

They believe that Allah said concerning the people of Badr – who numbered three hundred and thirteen – “Do whatever you like, for I have forgiven you,” because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Maybe Allah looked at the people of Badr and said, ‘Do whatever you like, for I have forgiven you.’” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3007; Muslim, 2494 - from the hadeeth of ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib) 

They believe that no-one who gave the oath of allegiance (bay’ah) under the tree will enter Hell, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said. Rather Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him, and they numbered more than one thousand and four hundred. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Indeed, Allah was pleased with the believers when they gave the Bay‘ah (pledge) to you (O Muhammad) under the tree, He knew what was in their hearts, and He sent down As‑Sakeenah (calmness and tranquillity) upon them, and He rewarded them with a near victory” [Al-Fath 48:18] 

And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “In sha Allah, no one among the companions of the tree, those who gave their oath of allegiance beneath the tree, will enter Hell.” (Narrated by Muslim, 2496). Among those who pledged allegiance beneath the tree were Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthmaan and ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with them all. 

And they (Ahl al-Sunnah) bear witness that those will enter Paradise who the Messenger of Allah bore witness that they would enter, such as the ten (who were given the glad tidings of Paradise), and Thaabit ibn Qays ibn Shammaas, and others among the Sahaabah (may Allah be pleased with them). The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Abu Bakr will be in Paradise, ‘Umar will be in Paradise, ‘Uthmaan will be in Paradise, ‘Ali will be in Paradise, Talhah will be in Paradise, al-Zubayr will be in Paradise, ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn ‘Awf will be in Paradise, Sa’d will be in Paradise, Sa’eed will be in Paradise and Abu ‘Ubaydah ibn al-Jarraah will be in Paradise.” (Narrated by Abu Dawood, 4649; al-Tirmidhi, 3747; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani). 

They affirm that which has been narrated in mutawaatir reports from ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib (may Allah be pleased with him) and others, that the best among this ummah after its Prophet is Abu Bakr, then ‘Umar.

It was narrated that Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah said: “I said to my father (‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib), ‘Which of the people is the best after the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)?’ He said, ‘Abu Bakr.’ I asked, ‘Then who?’ He said, ‘ ‘Umar.’ I was worried that he would say ‘Uthmaan, so I said, ‘Then is it you?’ He said, ‘I am just a man among the Muslims.’” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3671). So they (Ahl al-Sunnah) list ‘Uthmaan as the third and ‘Ali as the fourth, may Allah be pleased with them. 

See al-Waasitiyyah by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah, with commentary. 

Secondly: it is part of the belief of Ahl al-Sunnah that the most deserving of the people to succeed the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq (may Allah be pleased with him). The evidence for the leadership of Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) is as follows:

1 – It was narrated from Muhammad ibn Jubayr ibn Mut’im that his father said: “A woman came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and he told her to come back later. She said, ‘What if I come back and do not find you?’ as if she was referring to death. He (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, ‘If you do not find me, then go to Abu Bakr.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3659). 

2 – It was narrated that Ibn Mas’ood said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: ‘Take as your leaders those who come after me, Abu Bakr and ‘Umar.’” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 3805; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani).

3 – It was narrated that Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with them both) said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: ‘Whilst I was standing by a well, drawing water from it, Abu Bakr and ‘Umar came. Abu Bakr took the bucket and drew one or two buckets, but there was some weakness in his drawing. May Allah forgive him. Then ‘Umar bin Al-Khattaab came and the bucket turned into a very large one in his hands. I had never seen such a mighty person as he in doing such hard work till all the people drank to their satisfaction and watered their camels that knelt down there.’” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3676).

Ibn Hajar said in his commentary on this hadeeth: 

“Whilst I was standing by a well” means, in a dream. “Drawing water from it” means, filling a bucket with water. “He drew one or two buckets (dhanooban aw dhanoobayn)”: dhanoob refers to a large bucket when it is full of water. It seems to me that this refers to the major conquests which took place during his reign (as khaleefah), which numbered three. Hence the hadeeth does not refer to the number of buckets in the case of ‘Umar, rather it describes his drawing of water as ‘mighty’, referring to the many conquests that would occur during his reign as khaleefah. And Allah knows best. 

Al-Shaafa’i mentioned the interpretation of this hadeeth in al-Umm, where after quoting it he said: The meaning of the phrase “but there was some weakness in his drawing” is that his time of leadership was short, because of his untimely death and the fact that the war against the apostates (ahl al-riddah) kept him from reaching the level of conquests attained by ‘Umar during his lengthy reign as khaleefah. 

With regard to the phrase “May Allah forgive him,” al-Nawawi said: This is a du’aa’ on the part of the one who is speaking, i.e., there can be no other interpretation. Others said that it was an indication that the death of Abu Bakr was close. A similar case is to be seen in the aayah in which Allah says to His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him): 

“So glorify the Praises of your Lord, and ask His forgiveness. Verily, He is the One Who accepts the repentance and Who forgives” [An-Nasr 110:3 – interpretation of the meaning]

This aayah was an indication that the death of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was close. I say: it may be that it was an indication that the small number of conquests during his time was not his fault, because the reason for that was the brevity of his rule, and the meaning of forgiveness is to remove any blame from him. 

“And the bucket turned into a very large one in his hands” means, it became a huge bucket. “I had never seen such a mighty person as he” means that he achieved the ultimate. 

4 – It was narrated thatAa’ishah said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to me when he was sick, ‘Call Abu Bakr for me, your father and your brother, so that I may dictate a letter. For I am worried lest someone who is ambitious says that he is more entitled to the position of leadership, but Allah and the believers will not accept anyone other than Abu Bakr.’” (Narrated by Muslim, 2387). 

5 – During his final illness, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) appointed Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq to lead the Muslims in prayer and he did not accept anyone else to take his place. The fact that he was appointed to take his place in the case of minor leadership (leading the prayers) indicates that he would succeed him in the case of major leadership (as imaam or khaleefah).

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26. NAFS

Question :

What is “Nafs” and its references in Quran. Detail each kind of Nafs mentioned in Quran.

Answer : Praise be to Allah.

Meaning of Nafs

Allah infuses “some spirit of Allah, or Rooh” inside the fetus of every woman, when her pregnancy is about 4 months, and Nafs is part of it. By Nafs we can derive meaning.

1.      “Self of a human or creature” (life)

2.      “Soul” (rooh) in human body

3.       “Spirit” (some spirit of Allah)

4.       “Individual”

5.      “Person”

6.       “Human”

7.       “Intention”

8.      “Desire”

9.       “Instinct”

Nafs part, which relates to human responsible activities will end after death therefore its meaning stands for this world only. After death, it does not exist anymore. After resurrection, human will be having different qualities (e.g. no more accountability after one has entered Hell or Hell, no more death, no more evil thoughts, no more greediness, hate, etc. etc)

Nafs in human is life also, similar to all nonhuman beings. However it has an additional “soul”, explained below.

1.  Nafs in all human beings is not “life” alone. It has “some Spirit of Allah” or “Rooh”.

2.  “Some Spirit of Allah” or “Rooh” is for this world as well as for the world after.

3.  “Some Spirit of Allah” or “Rooh” does not terminate with “death”. It is imperishable.

4.  “Life” for human “Rooh” ends in this world. Another “Eternal Life” begins after death.

5.   “Eternal Life” after “death” shall be spent after accountability by Allah, may be in Hell or Heaven.

Nafs: Nafs in human is the totality of sentiments, tendencies, desires, wishes, experiences, responses to different situations, and our heredity characteristics; in short, it is human’s personality responding, directing, forbidding or restraining to different situations.

Characteristics of “Nafs”

In its primitive state the nafs has seven heads that must be defeated:

1.   False pride (Takabbur)

2.   Greed (Hirs)

3.   Envy (Hasad)

4.   Lust (Shahwah)

5.   Backbiting (Gheebah)

6.   Stinginess (Bokhl)

7.   Malice (Keena)

Three principal stages of “Nafs”

There are three principal stages of Nafswhich are specifically mentioned in the Quran. They are stages in the process of development, refinement and mastery of the Nafs.

Nafs-e-Ammara (Commanding or Inciting Soul):

In its primitive stage the Nafs incites us to commit evil:

The prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said after returning from a war, "We now return from the small struggle (Jihad Asghar) to the big struggle (Jihad Akbar)". His companions asked, "Oh prophet of God, what is the big struggle?" He replied, "The struggle against Nafs."

There are various verses in the Holy Qur'an relative to the existence of this kind of Nafs. This Nafs commands us to commit sin. It is lower than animals because they behave according to the demands of nature. When a lion or tiger devours another animal it is because it needs food. And once an animal is full it does not pursue another animal, while a man is capable of swallowing the whole world and still be hungry. Man can kill thousands and still long for more blood.

Commanding on this Nafs, a human tramples upon his nature and behaves relative to the demands of its desires and whims for which there is no limit. For his satisfaction he can do anything logical or illogical, human or inhuman and can become to the lowest degree of mankind. In short, Ammara is lowest of all the Nafs and Dr. Shariati has compared it to mud.

“I do not exculpate myself. Lo! The Nafs e ammara (carnal, human) soul enjoins (teaches) unto evil. Save that whereon my Lord hath mercy. Lo! My Lord is Forgiving, Merciful” (Sura Yusuf 12:53)

Lawwama (Nafs-e-Lawwama / self-accusing soul):

This word is derived from 'Lom' which means to 'reproach.' At this stage Nafs reaches a point that if it commits a sin its conscience wakes up and criticizes the doer. This is the first indication that man's Nafs is wakening up and perhaps most men in the world are at this stage.

It is this self critics that forces and reminds human that action you are doing, are against higher living and moral ethics rooted in human and directed by God. "the conscience is awakened to let the human adopt a right path. It commands to leave bad habits and actions. If listened, one leaves bad thoughts, habits, actions and  repents and asks for forgiveness. Here Nafs reminds you the results of your actions, and inspires to perfection by listening to it.

Quran mentions "the self-accusing Nafs"

“Nay! I swear by the self-accusing soul” (Qiyammah 75:2)

Nafs e Mutmaenna : (The surrendered blissful soul)

 Nafs e Mutmaenna’ is the truly surrendered soul to the commands of Allah and His Prophet (SAS), ‘Nafs e Mutmaenna’ has reached the stage of sublimity and tranquility. The storms of the mind have died down; the passions of the heart have been totally subdued and the heat of the body has cooled down. The mind and the heart are totally turned to the ways of Lord and is at complete peace with Him. There is no wavering and fickle-mindedness in the mind. The supreme light of the Lord has dawned on the mind and heart. There is glow of light on the face and a halo around the head. The Nafse Ammara, the carnal soul is subdued and humbled.

The ‘Nafse Lawamma’ gives guidance to the heart and mind with moral precepts and ‘Nafs e mutmaenna’ is in total peace with the Lord by following the commands of the Lord and His Prophet (SAS). When the nafs or soul is surrendered to the Lord, then the Lord bestows his secrets in the heart and such persons become humble devotees of the Lord. The Lord answers the prayers of the persons whose nafs has reached the stage of the surrender and humbled itself to the Lord’s service.

Such persons are awe inspiring persons and Allah refers to such persons as his friends i.e. Walies. They are always in Allah’s service seeking His help and guidance and pursuing His qualities all the time. Such persons are fit to receive Allah’s grace and bounties.

They are godly and heavenly. They live in total awe and fear of the Lord and are referred to as ‘Mutaqeens’ Those with righteous living are ‘Zahedeens’. They exercise patience during adverse periods and are always thankful to the Lord for the bounties showered on them. Hence they are also called ‘Sabereens’ and ‘Shakeareens’. They are in Lord’s service and serve His creatures and they are also called ‘Saliheens’. As they humble themselves in prayers and carry themselves in prayers and carry out the ‘ibadaat’, they are also referred as ‘Abideens’ and ‘Sajjideens’. Allah refers to ever humbled persons by various names. As they are always reciting the Prayers of Allah, they are also referred as ‘Zakireens’. When their ends come, Allah commands such soul to return to their heavenly abode, the final abode of peace.

“(To the righteous soul will be said:) "O (thou) soul, in (complete) rest and satisfaction (27)Come back thou to thy Lord,- well pleased (thyself), and well-pleasing unto Him(28)Enter thou, then, among My devotees (29)"And enter you My Paradise!" (Al-Fajr 89:27 - 30)

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27. GROWING BEARD

Question:

Are Muslim men required to grow beards or is it optional? I have heard from some that it is obligatory, but others say that it is the Sunnah. What is your view and why is there a difference of opinion on this subject?

Answer:

It is obligatory (wajib) in Islam to grow a beard, and it is allowed to shave it off only when it is necessary (e.g., facial surgery, persecution, etc.). Not growing a beard is considered a sin but it is not considered kufr (disbelief in Allah). Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) ordered the Muslim men to shave their mustache and leave the rest of the beard grow.

Al-Bukhari, on the authority of Ibn 'Umar, reported the Prophet (peace be on him) as saying, "Be different from the polytheists (mushrikeen): let the beard grow and trim the moustache."

It is also a Sunnah for a Muslim man to trim his beard, i.e., remove the excess hair that may be sticking out or looking odd. This is the position of the majority of the Muslim scholars.

There are three opinions with regard to the shaving of the beard:

·    It is haram, which is the opinion of Ibn Taymiyyah and others.

·    It is makruh, the opinion of 'Ayyad as mentioned in Al-Fatah al-Bari but of no one else.

·    It is permitted, which is the opinion of some modern scholars.

Perhaps the second opinion, that it is makruh, is nearer to the truth and more moderate. As the stated reason for growing the beard is to be different from the non-believers, it is similar to the matter of dyeing gray hair in order to be distinct from the Jews and Christians; it is known that some of the sahabah did not dye their gray hair, signifying that it was commendable rather than obligatory. Similarly, growing the beard may be regarded as commendable but not obligatory, and, accordingly, shaving it would be classified as makruh rather than haram. It is true that none of the sahabah was known to have shaved his beard. Perhaps there was no need to shave, and perhaps growing the beard was a custom among them.

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: http://islamicity.com

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28. Nadhr

Question:

I would like to know what is the ruling on Nadhr, ie. promising Allah you will do some ibadah in return for a favour, eg. passing your exams. Is it permissible/recommended or just allowed?

Answer:

Nadhr in Islam is Makrooh (or not recommended). It is always better for a Muslim not to do it, but if a person does it, he/she must fulfill the promise as Allah Almighty said in the Qur'an.

“And they fulfill their Nadhr (or vows) ……………”(Al-Insan 76:7)

Still, it is important to know that Allah has praised those who fulfill their vows and promises, because a Nadhr is a type of a contract between the servant and his Lord, and the contract has to be executed as Allah said in al-Maidah.

“O ye who believe! fulfil (all) obligations…….” (Al-Maeda 5:1)

Excerpted, with some modifications, from: http://islamqa.com/en/

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29. soul IN Islamic philosphy

 Question :

What is “SOUL” in Islamic philosophy?

 Answer :  

Muslims fully believe on following: 

 says in Quran, "They ask thee concerning the Spirit (of inspiration). Say: "The Spirit (cometh) by command of my Lord: of knowledge it is only a little that is communicated to you, (O men!)" (Al-Isra 17:85) 

The below mentioned words are just a human try to describe soul a little.

SOUL IN ISLAMIC PHILOSOPHY

The discussion of the human soul, its existence, nature, ultimate objective and eternity, occupies a highly important position in Islamic philosophy and forms its main focus. For the most part Muslim philosophers agreed, as did their Greek predecessors, that the soul consists of non-rational and rational parts. The non-rational part they divided into the plant and animal souls, the rational part into the practical and the theoretical intellects. All believed that the non-rational part is linked essentially to the body, but some considered the rational part as separate from the body by nature and others that all the parts of the soul are by nature material. 

The philosophers agreed that, while the soul is in the body, its non-rational part is to manage the body, its practical intellect is to manage worldly affairs, including those of the body, and its theoretical intellect is to know the eternal aspects of the universe. They thought that the ultimate end or happiness of the soul depends on its ability to separate itself from the demands of the body and to focus on grasping the eternal aspects of the universe. All believed that the non-rational soul comes into being and unavoidably perishes. Some, like al-Farabi, believed that the rational soul may or may not survive eternally; others, like Ibn Sina, believed that it has no beginning and no end; still others, such as Ibn Rushd, believed that the soul with all its individual parts comes into existence and is eventually destroyed. 

1       The existence of the soul

2       The nature of the soul

3       The rational soul

4       The ultimate objective of the soul

5       Eternity of the soul

1. The existence of the soul

All Muslim philosophers concerned themselves with the subject of the soul. The most detailed and most important works on this subject are those of al-Kindi, al-Farabi, Ibn Sina and Ibn Rushd. Muslim philoso­phers recognized that the first issue, that confronts the human mind with regard to the soul is its existence. That is why, at the very beginning of his inquiry about the soul in al-Shifa’ (Healing), Ibn Sina (§6) asserts that we infer the existence of the soul from the fact that we observe bodies that perform certain acts with some degree of will. These acts are exemplified in taking nourishment, growing, reproducing, moving and perceiving. Since these acts do not belong to the nature of bodies, for this nature is devoid of will, they must belong to a principle they have other than bodies. This principle is what is called ‘soul’.

This argument is intended to prove the existence of the animal soul, which includes the plant soul. The soul is the source of acts performed by the will, not inasmuch as it is ‘a substance’ (an independent entity), but inasmuch as it is ‘the principle of such acts’. The rational soul, on the other hand, need not look outside itself to infer its existence. It is aware of its existence with immediacy, that is, without any instruments. Ibn Sina’s example of the suspended man is intended to prove that the rational soul is aware of itself apart from any body. His argument boils down to the view that, even if the adult rational soul is not aware of anything material, not even its body, it remains aware of its own existence.

2. The nature of the soul

While Islam made it incumbent on Muslim philoso­phers to occupy themselves extensively with the study of the soul and to make certain statements that in some cases appear consistent with Islamic beliefs, Greek philosophy had the upper hand in forming the real convictions of Muslim philosophers with regard to the nature of the soul. Unless otherwise specified, reference to the soul here is limited to the terrestrial soul to the exclusion of the celestial one, since Muslim philosophers concerned themselves primarily with the former. It must be pointed out at the outset that ‘soul’. (nafs) was used in more than one sense in Islamic philosophy; the term was used to refer to the plant or vegetative part of a living being, the animal or sensitive part, the rational part and finally the totality of all three parts. The first two are the non-rational soul and the totality is the human soul. To add to the confusion, ‘human soul’ is used only in the sense of this fourth type of soul. The plant, animal and; rational souls are also called powers or parts of the; soul. Only from the context can one understand, whether a Muslim philosopher was using ‘soul’ in the broad sense to mean the human soul (the totality of the parts of the soul), or in the narrow sense to mean a specific part of the human soul. 

Inasmuch as it has a certain relation to a body, the soul is a form for that body, that is, the perfection of that body. It is a form because a natural body is composed of matter and form, which in the case of animals are body and soul. Since it has been shown that the soul is the source of will and therefore is not matter, it remains a form. Perfection is of two types, primary and secondary. A primary perfection is what makes a thing actually a species, as shape does for the sword, or a genus as sensation and-movement do for animals. A secondary perfection is an act necessitated by the nature of the species or genus, such as cutting for the sword and touching for animal. The soul is a primary perfection of a natural body capable of performing the secondary perfections necessitated by this primary perfection. Together with its body, the soul constitutes a material substance. This substance can be the subject of plant, animal or human life.

The soul is a perfection inasmuch as it makes a natural body into a plant, an animal or a rational being. However, to define the soul as a perfection does not give us a clue as to what the soul is in itself, but only inasmuch as it has a relation to the body. The body is, therefore, an essential element in the definition of the soul. Without relating to a body, the thing we call ‘soul’ is not a soul and does not require the body as an essential part of its definition. Note, however, that in spite of this assertion, perhaps for the lack of any better term, Muslim philosophers use ‘soul’ also to refer to the rational soul after it separates from the body and reaches a complete state of purity from matter.

In its first or lowest stages of relating to the body, the soul is the plant soul, which is a primary perfection for an organic natural body inasmuch as this body can take nourishment, grow and reproduce. The plant soul is the power human beings and other animals share with plants. If the body with a soul is an animal, the soul develops into the animal soul, which is a primary perfection for an organic natural body inasmuch as this body has sensation and movement through will. While this soul includes the plant soul, it has also a sensitive power and a locomotive one. The sensitive power has both external and internal senses. The external senses are, in priority of existence, touch, taste, smell, hearing and sight. The first three are said to be necessary for survival and the last two for well being. In Talkhis kitab an-nafs (Middle Commentary on Aristotle’s On the Soul), IBN RUSHD (§3) asserts that the five external senses may be in potentiality, as in infancy and sleep, or in actuality, as in daily seeing or hearing. He also argues that there cannot be any external sense other than these five because there would be no function for it, since there is no external sensation other than the objects of the five senses mentioned above. Most Muslim philosophers men­tion three types of internal senses: common sense, imagination and memory. IBN SINA (§3) enumerates five internal senses: common sense, representational power, imagination, estimative power and memory. On the whole, the philosophers agree on the function of the common sense, imagination and memory; the function that Ibn Sina limits to the representational and estimative powers, other Muslim philosophers allocate to the imagination.

The common sense is an internal power in which all the objects of the external senses are collected. Contrary to the external senses, which can grasp only one type of sensation, as sight grasps light and hearing grasps sound, the common sense can grasp all external sensations, such as that honey is of such and such a colour, texture and smell. The representational power preserves the sensations of the common sense even after sensible things disappear. The imagination selects at will to combine some of the objects of the representational power with each other and to separate the rest. It makes its judgment about external things, but in the absence of these things. That is why it functions best when the external senses, which represent external things, are not at work, as in sleep. Ibn Rushd points out that animals such as worms and flies that do not act except in the presence of sensible things are devoid of imagination. The imagination is called such inasmuch as it is an animal instrument; it is called cognitive inasmuch as it is a rational instrument. The estimative power grasps non-sensible notions of sensible things, such as the sheep’s notion that the wolf is to be avoided. This notion is about a sensible thing but is not grasped through the external senses, as is the colour or shape of a wolf. Memory preserves the notions of the estimative power. The imagination acts on the objects of memory in the same way it acts on those of the representational powers. Like the objects of the external senses, those of the internal senses are particular and material. The difference is that they can be experienced in the absence of external things and are to some degree abstracted from matter.

The locomotive power branches into that which causes movement and that which actually moves. The former, the desiderative power, subdivides into the appetitive and the irascible. The appetitive causes movement toward what is imagined to be necessary or beneficial in the pursuit of pleasure. The irascible causes avoidance of what is imagined to be harmful or an impediment in the pursuit of dominance. The power that actually moves uses the nerves to relax the muscles at the demands of the appetitive power or tighten them at the demands of the irascible one.

3. The rational soul 

The rational soul, which is defined as a primary perfection for an organic natural body inasmuch as this body can act by rational choice and grasp the universals, is divided into the practical and the theoretical intellects. The practical intellect seeks knowledge in order to act in accordance with the good in its individual body, its family and its state. It must, therefore, know the principles for properly managing the body, the family and the state, that is, ethics, home management and politics. The practical intellect is the rational soul turning its face down­ward. The function of the theoretical intellect is to know just for the sake of having the universals (the realities or natures of things). Some of these natures, such as God and the intellect, cannot attach to movement; knowledge of them is metaphysics. Other natures, such as unity, can attach to movement but do not; knowledge of them is mathematics. Still other natures, such as humanity and squareness, can attach to movement either in reality and thought, such as humanity, or in reality but not in thought, such as squareness. Knowledge of these is physics.

The theoretical intellect is the rational soul with its face upward. The practical intellect looks up to the theoretical one and moves its body accordingly. In this, the practical intellect is similar to :the celestial soul that looks up to the intellect of its sphere and moves its sphere accordingly. Thus, like .the celestial soul, the practical intellect is the link between intellect as such and matter.

On the whole, Muslim philosophers followed al-Kindi’s division of the theoretical intellect into the material intellect (al-‘aql al-hayulant), the habitual intellect (al-‘agl bil-malaka), the actual intellect (al-‘aql bi’!-fi’b and the acquired intellect’ (al-‘aql al-mustafad). The material intellect is a blank slate with the potentiality for grasping the intelligible forms or universals. Ibn Sina points out that it is referred to as material, not because it is actually material but because it resembles matter in accepting the form. The habitual intellect grasps the universals, as one acquires the skill to write; in other words, this intellect has the ability to use the universals but does not always do so. The actual intellect grasps the universals in actuality and is always ready to use them. While Muslim philosophers differed slightly with regard to their accounts of the acquired intellect, their general view is that it is the highest human state, the point of contact with the divine, the agent intellect (the intelligence of the moon, the lowest celestial intellect), which makes it possible for the theoretical intellect to acquire the universals in the purest form (see EPISTEMOLOGY IN ISLAMIC PHILOSOPHY §4).

4. The ultimate objective of the soul

AL-FARABI asserts that even though the soul is of different parts, it is a unity with all its parts working for one final end, happiness. While the plant soul, for example, serves a specific function, it also serves the powers that are higher than it in rank, the animal powers. Without nourishment, growth and reproduc­tion, the animal powers cannot perform their necessary functions. Similarly, while the function of the animal powers is to have sensation and movement, by performing this function they also promote the functions of the powers above them, the rational ones. The operations of the animal powers, especially those of the senses, are particularly important for the attainment of the final end. The external senses strip the forms from material objects and convey them to the internal senses. The more they are transferred internally, the less mixed with matter do they become. Since the innermost sense they reach is the imagina­tion, they are there in their purest material existence (see IMAGINATION).

The role of the objects of the imagination is not always clearly defined in Islamic philosophy. Occa­sionally it is said by somebody like Ibn Sina to be one of preparation for the theoretical intellect to receive the universals from the agent intellect. At other times Ibn Sina, like other Aristotelians such as Ibn Rushd, takes these objects to be the ingredients out of which the universals are made after the last process of purification (see EPISTEMOLOGY IN ISLAMIC PHILOSOPHY). It seems, however, that in either case the light of the agent intellect is needed to complete the process. In the former case, this light gives the intelligible forms to the theoretical intellect when this intellect is prepared. In the latter case, it sheds itself on the objects of the imagination, which are then reflected on the theoretical intellect without their matter. Since the theoretical intellect is in its first stages in potentiality, it cannot act on the objects of the imagination directly; hence the need for the agent intellect, which is pure actuality. The role of the practical intellect in all this is to put order into the body. This sets free the theoretical intellect from preoccupation with the body and helps the powers whose function is necessary for theoretical knowledge to function unhampered.

Muslim philosophers adhered to the view that the acquired intellect is one with its objects, for they thought the knower and the known are one, as did their Greek predecessors. This means that the highest human state is one in which unity with the universals or the eternal aspects of the universe is reached. This state is described as happiness because in it eternity, an aspect of the objects of the acquired intellect, is attained.

5. Eternity of the soul

When Muslim philosophers assert that the soul comes into existence simultaneously with the coming into existence of the body, some, such as Ibn Sina (§6), who believe that the rational soul is in essence non­material, are thinking only of the non-rational soul. Others, such as Ibn Rushd (§3), who believe that the rational soul is originally not separate from matter, contend that the whole human soul comes into existence. The latter believe that since the rational soul grasps the universals from particular sensibles, and since such sensibles are material and have a temporal beginning, this soul must also be material and must have a temporal beginning. Those who attribute non-materiality to the essence of the rational soul, such as AL-KINDI and Ibn Sina, assert that this soul pre-exists the body. While all of them agree that the non-rational soul is destroyed after the destruc­tion of the body, they differ with regard to the end of the rational soul.

Al-Kindi and Ibn Sina, for example, strongly adhere to the view that all rational souls are indestructible because by nature they are simple. AL-FARABI reminds us that the reason for eternal existence is the rational soul’s knowledge of the eternal aspects of the universe. From this he draws the conclusion, as did ALEXANDER OF APHRODISIAS before him, that only those rational souls that have this knowledge at their separation from the body are indestructible. Other rational souls are eventually destroyed. Ibn Sina finds in the grasping of the universals the grounds for happiness, not the eternity of the soul. Ibn Rushd seems to hold that only the acquired intellect can be indestructible; but the acquired intellect, he argues (as does his teacher IBN BAJJA), is divine and numerically one in all. Ibn Rushd was attacked for this view because it denies eternal existence of individual souls.

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30: Mind vs Soul

Question :

What is difference between Mind and Soul?

Answer: Praise be to Allah.

Mind and Soul are two philosophical terms that are different from each other in sense. Mind is the place where we calculate pleasure whereas soul is the place where we feel pleasure. There is a subtle difference between the two according to materialists. According monists, soul is certainly different from the mind.

As a matter according to the monist soul is not the mind, body or any other visible thing for that matter. Mind though not visible is yet different from the soul according to many philosophers.

Soul is distinct from the body whereas mind is within the body. Soul is not affected by the state of the mind. Soul is unaffected by merit and sin. On the other hand mind is affected by both merit and sin. In other words it can be said that the soul is untouched by sin just like a leaf of a lotus in untouched by water.

On the other hand mind is certainly touched by sin. Mind has the ability to think. Or else it can be said that the mind performs the action of thinking. On the other hand soul does not perform the action of thinking.

Mind is difficult to be controlled. If it is not controlled properly it would get the strength of a thousand elephants. On the other hand soul is a part of the universal eternal being called the Absolute. The Absolute Supreme controls everything in this universe including the mind. There are no thoughts in the soul whereas mind is invaded by thoughts. Mind becomes pure when thoughts are cut.

Human mind think, analyze, guide, respond, orders and get its activities suspended in sleep. However soul does not have such actions and resides with us silently. The soul came on birth and go after death. In short body alone is perishable but soul is imperishable.

And Allah knows the best.

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31. DEFINITION OF EEMAAN

Question:

What is the definition of Eemaan (faith) according to Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah? Does it increase and decrease? What are the things that make faith decrease?

Answer: Praise be to Allah. 

According to Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah, Eemaan (faith) is “belief in the heart, words on the tongue and actions of the body.” This includes three things:

1.     Belief in the heart

2.     Words on the tongue

3.     Actions of the body 

As this is the case, then it will increase and decrease in life according to one’s belief and practice. That is because the degree of belief in the heart differs from one person to another. Believing in what someone tells you is not the same as believing something that you see with your own eyes. Believing in what one person tells you is not the same as believing what two people tell you, and so on. Hence Ibraaheem (peace be upon him) said:

“When Abraham said: "Show me, Lord, how You will raise the dead, " He (Allah) said: "Do you not believe?" He (Ibraheem) said "Yes (I believe), but to be stronger in faith" ………………”  (Al-Baqarah 2:260)

Eemaan may increase with regard to belief, contentment and tranquility in the heart. A person may experience that in himself when he attends gatherings of Dhikr where he hears a lesson. Remembering Paradise and Hell increases eemaan to the point where it as if you can see them with your own eyes. But when a person is negligent and leaves those gatherings, this certain faith is reduced in his heart.

 Eemaan in the sense of words may increase similarly. Whoever remembers Allah a few times is not like one who remembers Him one hundred times. The latter is far better in eemaan.

And the one who does an act of worship in a perfect manner will have more faith than one who does it in an imperfect manner.

The same applies to righteous deeds. If a person does good deeds physically more than another, the one who does more will have more eemaan than the one who does less. This is stated in the Quran  and Sunnah – I mean the fact that eemaan may increase and decrease. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And whenever there comes down a Soorah, some of them (hypocrites) say: “Which of you has had his Faith increased by it?” As for those who believe, it has increased their Faith, and they rejoice” (124) But as for those in whose hearts is a disease (of doubt, disbelief and hypocrisy), it will add suspicion and doubt to their suspicion, disbelief and doubt; and they die while they are disbelievers (At-Tawbah 9:124-125) 

Thus eemaan increases and decreases. 

Things that make faith decrease?

The things that make faith decrease are as follows: 

1.    Ignorance of the names and attributes of Allah makes a decrease in faith inevitable, because if a man is lacking in knowledge of the names and attributes of Allah, he will be lacking in faith.

2.    Neglecting to think about the signs of Allah in the universe and the signs of sharee’ah (i.e., verses of the Quran  and miracles of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), etc.). This causes a decrease in faith or at the very least it causes it to stagnate and not grow.

3.    Committing sins, because sin has a profound effect on the heart and on faith. Hence the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The adulterer at the time when he is committing adultery is not a believer.”

4.    Neglecting to do acts of worship, because neglecting to do acts of worship causes a decrease in faith. But if the act of worship is obligatory and a person neglects it with no excuse, then he is to be blamed and deserves punishment. If the act of worship is not obligatory, or it is obligatory but a person does not do it for a valid reason, then he is lacking but is not to be blamed. Hence the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) described women as lacking in reason and in religion, and he explained their lacking in religion as being because of the fact that when they menstruate, they do not pray or fast. But they are not to be blamed for not praying or fasting during their menstruation; rather they are commanded not to do these things at that time. But because they miss out on doing some of the things that men do, they are regarded as lacking in this regard. 

5.    Not reading Quran, hadith books, not practicing prayers and fasts of Ramadan, makes one totally at the lowest of Eiman. Some even don’t remember the first Kalimah of Eiman, then they are, and may be Muslims by name but stranger to Islam.

Thus we should try to keep our Eiman at least to a level that we should not feel ashamed of being Muslim when faced by questions by our own religious brother or other religion questioner.

First Kalimah remembrance and believing by heart, at least keep one in the pale of Islam, but remember, Heaven will be attained by belief, then good deeds and then on the mercy of Allah.

Excerpted, with some modifications, from: http://islamqa

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