What is the difference between "Kafir” and "Mushrik"?
Also what is the difference between "Mu’min" and "Muslim"?
Kufr and Shirk sometimes have the same meaning and sometimes are different. If they are mentioned in the same context, then each one of them has a separate meaning, i.e. Kufr would mean to deny or disbelieve in something that entails leaving Islam such as Salah (Prayer), Zakah (obligatory charity) and everything whose obligation has been established by scholarly consensus (Ijma`), or denying things that entail apostasy from Islam such as worshipping another god other than Allah. Mainly Kufr means denial or rejection of Allah’s Divinity.
Shirk – if mentioned with Kufr in the same context –means associating other partners with Allah, the Almighty.
However, if each one of them is mentioned in different context, they would have the same meanings and implications. Thus a Kafir can be called a Mushrik since he or she has taken another god other than Allah. Allah the Almighty says in the Qur’an: “Hast thou seen him who maketh his desire his god….” (Al-Jathiyah 45:23). By the same token a Mushrik may be called Kafir since he or she has denied with his saying, action, or thought the Oneness of Allah.
The same applies to Islam and Iman; both bear the same meaning even if they are mentioned in different contexts. An example of this is the hadith of the Prophet: “A Muslim is he from whose hand and tongue the Muslims are safe.” (Reported by Muslim)
The “Muslim” here means Mu’min (a believer).
And the hadith: “Iman (Faith) has over seventy branches, the most excellent of which is to bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and the lowest of which is the removal of hazardous substances from road.” (Reported by Muslim)
Iman here means Islam.
But if they are mentioned in the same context, then each of them would have a different meaning. An example of this is the hadith reported by Ibn `Umar that Jabril (peace and blessings be upon him) came to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and said: “Muhammad, tell me about Islam.' The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said: `Islam is to testify there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and to perform Prayer, give Zakah, fast in Ramadan, and perform the pilgrimage to the House (in Makkah) if you can afford the journey.' He (Jabril) said: `You have spoken the truth,' and we were surprised that he was doing both the questioning and approving the answer. Then he said: `Tell me about true faith (Iman), ' and the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) answered: `It is to believe in Allah, His angels, His inspired Books, His messengers, the Last Day, and in destiny, its good and evil.''
In this hadith, the word Iman means the belief that is reposed in the heart, while the word Islam implies the complete surrender to Allah, reflected through the religious observances and one’s actions. That is why the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) defined Islam as “to testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and to perform Prayer, give Zakah, fast in Ramadan, and perform the pilgrimage to the House (in Makkah) if you can afford the journey.' And he (peace and blessings be upon him) defined Iman as “to believe in Allah, His angels, His inspired Books, His messengers, the Last Day, and in destiny, its good and evil.''
However, Iman is not valid unless it’s reflected through action, but it is not a condition that one has to be fully obedient and surrendering to Allah in everything so that he or she can be called a believer. That is why we consider the people who commit major sins as sinful Muslims. Likewise, Islam is not valid unless one believes in the religion and has conviction in his/her heart, and the same applies to Iman.
Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamonline.net
All religions basically teach its followers to do good deeds. Why should a person only follow Islam? Can he not follow any of the religions?
Of course al religions teaches for good deeds, but Islam does not only shows the ways how you can live a peaceful life in this world but also guides you to the way, you can succeed in wining the blessing of God in this life and the life after. We can not escape death, then imagine, if we find a God afterwards and then He judges us according to the words He sent in the last testament (Quran) & with the practical examples of His last prophet Mohammad, then what will happen to us.
Every deed which is done as per His command, has been promised reward in the life after, but if that deed is not to please Him, but just a good deed and is not as per His command, then even if it is a good deed, may not benefit the person on the Day of judgment. God says in Quran :
"And fear the Day when ye shall be brought back to God. Then shall every soul be paid what it earned, and none shall be dealt with unjustly" (Al-Baqarah 2:281)
Islam includes the ways of all the good deeds, and provides the list of all bad deeds, which He was ordering in all the revelations. God says in Quran :
“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)
Now a logically answer :
Major difference between Islam and most other religions
All religions basically exhort mankind to be righteous and eschew evil. But Islam goes beyond that. It guides us towards practical ways of achieving righteousness and eliminating evil from our individual and collective lives. Islam takes into account human nature and the complexities of human society. Islam is guidance from the Creator Himself. Therefore, Islam is also called the Deen-ul-Fitrah (the natural religion of Man).
Example - Islam commands us to shun robbery and also prescribes method of eliminating robbery
1. Islam prescribes method of eliminating robbery.
` All major religions teach that theft is an evil act. Islam teaches the same. So what is the difference between Islam and the other religions? The difference lies in the fact that Islam, besides teaching that robbing is evil, shows a practical way of creating a social structure in which people will not rob.
2. Islam prescribes Zakaat.
Islam prescribes a system of Zakaat (obligatory annual charity). Islamic law prescribes that every person who has a saving that exceeds the nisaab level i.e. more than 85 grams of gold, should give 2.5% of that saving every lunar year in charity. If every rich person in the world gave Zakaat sincerely, poverty will be eradicated from this world. Not a single human being would die of hunger.
3. Chopping off the hands as punishment for robbery.
Islam prescribes chopping off the hands of the convicted robber. The Glorious Qur’an says in Surah Maidah: "As to the thief, male or female, cut off his or her hands:a punishment by way of example, from Allah, for their crime: and Allah is Exalted in power, full of wisdom." (Al-Maidah 5:38)
The non-Muslim may say, "Chopping off the hands in this 20th century. Islam is a barbaric and ruthless religion!"
Results achieved when Islamic Shariah Implemented
America is supposed to be one of the most advanced countries in the world. Unfortunately it also has one of the highest rates of crime, theft, and robbery. Suppose the Islamic shariah is implemented in America i.e. every rich person gives Zakaat (2.5% of his savings in charity above 85 grams of gold every lunar year), and every convicted robber has his or her hands chopped off as a punishment. Will the rate of theft and robbery in America increase, remain same or decrease? Naturally it will decrease. Moreover the existence of such a stringent law would discourage many a potential robber.
I agree that the amount of theft that takes place in the world today is so tremendous that if you chop off the hands of all the thieves, there will be tens of thousands of people whose hands will be chopped off. The point here is that the moment you implement this law the rate of theft will decline immediately. The potential robber would give it a serious thought before jeopardizing his limbs. The mere thought of the punishment itself will discourage majority of the robbers. There will barely be a few who would rob. Hence only a few person’s hands would be chopped off but millions would live peacefully without fear of being robbed.
Islamic Shariah is therefore practical, and achieves results.
Example: Islam prohibits the molestation and rape of women. It enjoins hijaab and prescribes capital punishment for a convicted rapist.
Islam prescribes method of eliminating molestation and rape.
All the major religions declare the molestation and rape of women as grave sins. Islam teaches the same. What then is the difference between Islam and the other religions? The difference lies in the fact that Islam does not merely preach respect for women, or abhor molestation and rape as serious crimes, but also gives clear guidance as to how society can eliminate such crimes.
Hijaab for men.
Islam has a system of hijaab. The Glorious Qur’an first mentions hijaab for the men and then for the women. Hijaab for the men is mentioned in the following verse: "Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do." (An-Noor 24:30).
The moment a man looks at a woman and if any brazen or unashamed thought comes to his mind, he should lower his gaze.
Hijaab for women.
Hijaab for women is mentioned in the following verse: "And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons...." (An-Noor 24:31) .
The extent of hijaab for a woman is that her complete body should be covered. The only part that can be seen, are the face and the hands up to the wrists. If they wish to cover, they can even cover these parts of the body. However some Islamic scholars insist that even the face should be covered.
Hijaab prevents molestation.
The reason why Allah has prescribed Hijaab for the women is given in the Qur’an in the folowing verse of Surah Al-Ahzab: "O Prophet! Tell thy wives and daughters, and the believing women,that they should cast their outer garments over their persons (when abroad): that is most convenient, that they should be known (as such) and not molested. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, most Merciful." [Al-Qur’an 33:59] The Qur’an says that Hijaab has been prescribed for the women so that they are recognized as modest women this would prevent them from being molested.
Example of twin sisters.
Suppose two sisters who are twins and who are equally beautiful, walk down a street. One of them is wearing the Islamic Hijaab i.e. the complete body is covered except for the face and the hands up to the wrists, and the other twin is wearing a mini skirt or shorts. Around the corner there is a hooligan who is waiting for an opportunity to tease a girl. Who will he tease? The girl wearing the Islamic Hijaab or the girl wearing the mini skirt or shorts? Dresses that expose more than they conceal, are an indirect temptation to the opposite sex for teasing, molestation and rape. The Qur’an rightly says that the hijaab prevents women from being molested.
Capital punishment for rapist.
The Islamic shariah prescribes capital punishment for a convicted rapist. The non-Muslim may be horrified at such a stringent punishment in this age. Many accuse Islam of being ruthless and barbaric. I have asked a common question to hundreds of non-Muslim men. Suppose God-forbid, some one rapes your wife, your mother or your sister and you are made the judge. The rapist is brought in front of you. What punishment would you give him? All of them said, "we would put him to death." Some went to the extent of saying, "we would torture him to death", If your wife or your mother is raped you want the rapist to be put to death. But if someone else’s wife or mother is raped, capital punishment is a barbaric law. Why the double standards?
U.S.A. has one of the highest rate of Rape.
The United States of America is supposed to be one of the most advanced countries of the world. An F.B.I report in the year 1990 says that 1,02,555 cases of rape were reported. It further says that only 16% of the cases of rapes are reported. Thus, in order to know the actual number of rapes that took place in 1990, the reported figure should be multiplied by 6.25. We get a total of 6,40,968 rape cases that took place in the year 1990. If the total is divided by 365 the number of days in a year, we get an average of 1,756 rape incidents everyday. Later another report said that an average of 1900 cases of rape are committed in U.S.A every day. According to National Crime Victimization Survey Bureau of Justice Statistics (U. S. Dept. of Justice) in 1996 alone 3,07,000 cases of rape were reported. Only 31% of the actual cases of rape were reported. Thus, 3,07,000 X 3.226 = 9,90,322 rapes took place in 1996. That is, an average of 2,713 cases of rape took place everyday in America in 1996. Every 32 seconds one rape is taking place in America. Maybe American rapists got bolder. The FBI report of 1990 continues and says that out of the rape cases that were reported only 10% of the rapist were arrested, that is only 1.6% of the actual rapes committed. Out of those arrested, 50% were let free before the trial. This would mean that only 0.8% of the rapists faced a trial. In other words if a person commits 125 rapes the chances that he will get a punishment for rape is only once. Many would consider this a good gamble. And the report says that of those people who faced trial 50% received sentences of less than a year’s imprisonment though the American law says rape carries a seven year sentence of imprisonment. For a rapist, the judge is lenient to first time offenders. Imagine a person commits 125 rapes and the chances of being convicted is only once, and 50% of the time the judge will grant leniency and give a sentence of less than a year!
Results achieved when Islamic Shariah Implemented
Suppose the Islamic shariah is implemented in America. Whenever a man looks at a woman and if any brazen or unashamed thought comes to his mind, he lowers his gaze. Every woman wears the Islamic Hijaab, that is the complete body is covered except the face and the hands upto the wrists. After this if any man commits rape, he gets capital punishment. The question is, will the rate of rape in America increase, will it remain the same or will it decrease? Naturally it will decrease. Islamic Shariah gets results.
Islam has Practical Solutions for the Problems of Mankind
Islam is the best way of life because its teachings are not doctrinaire rhetoric but practical solutions for the problems of mankind. Islam achieves results both at the individual and collective levels. Islam is the best way of life because it is a practical, universal religion not confined to any ethnic group or nationality.
Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamonline.net
Can non-Muslims enter paradise? And if so, under what conditions?
The basic criteria for Christians, Jews & other Non Muslims who have learnt about Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and did not believe on Quran and on him, are mentioned by God in Quran in following verse.
“Verily, those who disbelieve [religion of Islâm, the Qur'ân and Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him)] from among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) and Al-Mushrikűn will abide in the Fire of Hell. They are the worst of creatures” (Al-Bayyanah 98:6)
The only people who will enter Paradise are those who believe in the Oneness of God. Any group of people that disbelieve or associate anything with God will not qualify for Heaven. This is the rule for both Muslims and non-Muslims. How God will judge human kinds at the end is up to Him, although Muslims believe that God's judgment is the Most Fair and Most Right. Those who did get the opportunity to learn about Islam and did not believe in God and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) will not enter paradise.
Surah al-Baqarah 2: 62 states
“Those who believe (in the Qur'an), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians and the Sabians,- any who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve”.
This is related to the Christians and the Jews who lived before Islam and followed their prophets correctly. Among them were priests and rabbis like Wahab Ibn Munabbih, Ka'b al-Ahbar (chief rabbi), and Abdullah Bin Salam, who did believe in the coming of prophet Muhammad (pbuh), and these people will, by the Will of God, enter Paradise.
As to the people who have never heard of Islam, they will enter paradise because they are not accountable for their belief system, although they may not be at the highest ranks of paradise such as at the ranks of prophets. This is based on Surah al-Isra' 17:15 which states: ”…….... and We never punish until We have sent a Messenger.”'
As to the unbelievers who do good on this earth, Muslim scholars have had different opinions about their punishment. Some of them state that the punishment will be reduced, while other say it is not necessarily so. In either case, all scholars state that the unbelievers in God, will enter the hellfire.
Finally Prophet of Islam is reported to have said, "Any one who says: "Laa Elaaha lllallaah" (There is no god but Allah) and dies holding that (belief) will enter paradise"(Reported by Abu Dharr and collected by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim).
But above statement means you have to believe following oneness qualities of God.
Tauhid-ar-Rububiyah : (Oneness of Lord)
It is declaring Allah to be One and Unique in His work, Iike any creation, its sustenance, bringing to life and causing death etc.
Tauhid-al-Uluhiyah : (Oneness of being worshipped)
It is declaring Allah as the Only God to whom all acts worship must be dedicated such salat (prayers), Zakat, Sawm(fasting), supplications vowing etc.
Tauhid-al-Asma was-Sifat : (Oneness of His attributed names)
It is an affirmation of all the Divine Names and Attributes of Allah in a manner that suits His Majesty, as mentioned in the Qur'an and the Sunnah.
Then you are Muslim, but remember you deeds will be accounted on the Day of Judgment. Thank you for asking and God knows best.
Suppose we don't know anything about Islam, Mohammad and Quran. Would that purposely not knowing or exploring Islam, will be considered against us on The Judgment Day?
In present time when Islam is projected so much in media, it is every Non Muslim duty to study what Islam is, and what it says about salvation, humanity, peace and all aspects of world social, financial and interfaith problems.
Now if you don’t explore Islam then it will be a gross ignorance against yourself which, as a result may lead you to Hell on the Judgment Day. Before the coming of Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him), all people of previous time, God will judge them according to the acceptance of prophets at their time and their deeds as commanded by those prophets. Before prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him), prophets were used to be sent by God in different areas and nations at the same and different time. There were many prophets who were existing at the same time in different areas. So people had to obey the prophets of their areas or to their nations.
After coming of last prophet and “Last Testament” that is “Quran”, no excuse will be accepted by God, of not accepting prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) and Quran. Unlike Moses & Jesus (peace be upon him), Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) was very distinct since he was sent to all mankind with God's final message before Judgment Day. Presently with extensive print and electronic media, everybody, at the least, has heard of Mohammad's name. We live in the information age, and within our fingertips, using computers or TVs, we can learn just about anything including religions.
So now it is mandatory that everybody should know Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) and Islam.
“Muhammad is the apostle of Allah. and those who are with him are strong against Unbelievers, (but) compassionate amongst each other. Thou wilt see them bow and prostrate themselves (in prayer), seeking Grace from Allah and (His) Good Pleasure ...”. (Al-Fateh 48:29)
“He it is Who sent among the unlettered ones a Messenger (Muhammad) from among themselves, reciting to them His Verses, purifying them (from the filth of disbelief and polytheism), and teaching them the Book (this Qur’aan, Islamic laws and Islamic jurisprudence) and Al‑Hikmah (As‑Sunnah: legal ways, orders, acts of worship of Prophet Muhammad). And verily, they had been before in manifest error” (Al-Jumu’ah 62:2)
Muhammad explained, interpreted and lived by the teachings of Islam.
The Prophet Muhammad is the greatest of all prophets for many reasons, but mainly because the results of his mission have brought more people into the pure belief in One God than any other prophet.
Even though other religious communities claimed to believe in One God, over time they had corrupted their beliefs by taking their prophets and saints as intercessors with Almighty God. Some religions believe their prophets to be manifestations of God, "God Incarnate" or the "Son of God". All of these false ideas lead to the creation being worshipped instead of the Creator, which contributed to the idolatrous practice of believing that Almighty God can be approached through intermediaries. In order to guard against these falsehoods, the Prophet Muhammad always emphasized that he was only a human being tasked with the preaching of God’s message. He taught Muslims to refer to him as "the Messenger of God and His Slave".
To Muslims, Muhammad is the supreme example for all people — he was the exemplary prophet, statesman, military leader, ruler, teacher, neighbor, husband, father and friend. Unlike other prophets and messengers, the Prophet Muhammad lived in the full light of history. Muslims don't need to have "faith" that he existed and that his teachings are preserved — they know it to be a fact. Even when his followers only numbered a few dozen, Almighty God informed Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) that he had been sent as a mercy to all of mankind. Because people had distorted or forgotten God’s messages from previous prophets, God took it upon Himself to protect the message (Quran) revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). This was because Almighty God promised not to send another messenger after him. Since all of God’s messengers have preached the message of Islam — i.e. submission to the will of God and the worship of God alone — Muhammad is actually the last prophet of Islam, not the first.
What is the Qur'an?
It is the final revelation of the will of Almighty God's to all of mankind, which was conveyed through the Angel Gabriel, in Arabic, to the Prophet Muhammad in its sounds, words and meanings.
“And this is a blessed Book (the Qur’aan) which We have sent down, so follow it and fear Allah (i.e. do not disobey His Orders), that you may receive mercy (i.e. saved from the torment of Hell). (155) Lest you (pagan Arabs) should say: ‘The Book was sent down only to two sects before us (the Jews and the Christians), and for our part, we were in fact unaware of what they studied.’ (156) Or lest you (pagan Arabs) should say: ‘If only the Book had been sent down to us, we would surely, have been better guided than they (Jews and Christians).’” [Al-An’aam 6:155-157]
The Qur’an (sometimes spelled Koran), was relayed to the Prophet's companions by prophet himself, which they memorized verbatim, and which has been publicly and continually recited by them and their successors until the present day. In short, the Qur'an is the book of revelations and guidance from God par excellence.
The Qur'an is still memorized and taught by millions of people. The language of the Qur'an, Arabic, is still a living language to millions of people, so unlike the scriptures of other religions, the Qur'an is still read in its original language by countless millions of people. The Qur’an is a living miracle in the Arabic language; and is know to be inimitable in its style, form and spiritual impact. God's final revelation to mankind, the Qur'an, was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad over a period of 23 years.
The Qur'an, in contrast to many other religious books, was always thought to be the Word of God by those who believed in it, i.e. it wasn't something decreed by a religious council many years after being written. Also, the Qur’an was recited publicly in front of both the Muslim and non-Muslim communities during the life of the Prophet Muhammad. The entire Qur'an was also completely written down in lifetime of the Prophet, and numerous companions of the Prophet memorized the entire Qur'an word-for-word as it was revealed. So unlike other scriptures, the Qur'an was always in the hands of the common believers, it was always thought to be God's word and, due to wide spread memorization, it was perfectly preserved.
In regards to the teachings of the Qur'an - it is a universal scripture, and it is addressed to all of mankind, and not to a particular tribe or "chosen people". The message that it brings is nothing new, but the same message of all of the prophets - submit to Almighty God and worship Him alone. As such, God's revelation in the Qur'an focuses on teaching human beings the importance of believing in the Unity of God and framing their lives around the guidance which He has sent. Additionally, the Qur'an contains the stories of the previous prophets, such as Abraham, Noah, Moses and Jesus; as well as many commands and prohibitions from God.
In modern times in which so many people are caught up in doubt, spiritual despair, unbelieving of God accountability, corruption, adultery, interest, gambling, drinking, oppression, injustice, political unrest, forcing own laws on world and invading countries on false assumptions, trying to take possession other countries resources etc etc, the Qur'anic teachings offer solutions to the emptiness of our lives and the turmoil that is gripping the world today.
When a non-Muslim, leads the life in this world not committing any major sins, doing all good deeds as he can, and lives as a very good human-being and dies as a non-Muslim, will he be going to heaven because of good deeds or will be in hell since he was not a Muslim and (knowingly or unknowingly)?
Answer: Praise be to Allah.
If a person dies following a religion other than Islam, then Paradise will be forbidden for him, because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“...Verily, whosoever sets up partners (in worship) with Allâh, then Allâh has forbidden Paradise to him, and the Fire will be his abode...” [Al-Maa’idah 5:72]
Quran clearly states that, "Anyone who has an atom's worth of goodness will also see it." [Az-Zalzla 99:7] By that it is meant that those who do not believe but have done good, they will be rewarded in this world for their good deeds. On the other hand, those who do good and have correct beliefs like Muslims, will be rewarded not only in this world but also in the world Hereafter. Good deeds done by a person whilst he is a kaafir will not benefit him in the Hereafter at all, because Allah says (interpretation of the meanings):
“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” [Aale ‘Imraan 3:85]
“And We shall turn to whatever deeds they (disbelievers, polytheists, sinners) did, and We shall make such deeds as scattered floating particles of dust” [Al-Furqaan 25:23]
“Those who deny Our Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and the Meeting in the Hereafter (Day of Resurrection,), vain are their deeds. Are they requited with anything except what they used to do?” [Al-A’raaf 7:147]
‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) asked the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) a question similar to that asked here. She (may Allah be pleased with her) said: “O Messenger of Allah, during the Jaahiliyyah Ibn Jud’aan used to uphold the ties of kinship and feed the poor. Will that be of any avail to him?” He said, “No, that will not be of any avail to him, because he never said ‘O Lord, forgive me my sins on the Day of Judgement.’” (Narrated by Imaam Muslim – in his Saheeh, 214).
Why do Muslims abuse non-Muslims by calling them Kafirs? If a Muslim does not practice or believe prayers as obligatory, is he becomes “Kafir”?
Kafir means one who rejects.
‘Kafir’ is derived from the word ‘kufr’, which means to conceal or to reject. In Islamic terminology, ‘Kafir’ means one who rejects the truth of Islam, and a person who rejects Islam, in English it is called a ‘Non-Muslim’. If a ‘non-Muslim’ considers being called a ‘non-Muslim’ or ‘Kafir’, which are one and the same, an abuse, it is due to his misunderstanding about Islam. He or she needs to reach out to proper sources of understanding Islam and Islamic terminology, and not only will he not feel abused but appreciate Islam in the proper perspective.
A person who denies the obligation of prayer is certainly a non-believer, or 'kafir'. We have no hesitation in describing him as such because he denies an essential point of our religion which is commonly known to all. A person who omits to offer one prayer every now and then cannot be described as a non-believer or a 'kafir', because he acknowledges the duty of prayer and he practices it. Allah says in the Qur'an:
"....Indeed the prayers are enjoined on Believers at stated times” (An-Nisa' 4:103)
In a hadith the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, "Allah has made five prayers obligatory upon His servants. So whosoever will perform them and will not miss any of them out of negligence, he has the pledge of Allah that He will enter him in Paradise. And whosoever will not perform them, Allah has no pledge with him. If He wills He may punish him, and if He wills He may forgive him." (Reported by An-Nasa'i, Abu Dawud and Ahmad).
Prayer is the greatest pillar of Islam after the Shahaadatayn. The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: “Between a person and kufr and shirk stands the abandonment of prayer.”
Its omission is certainly a sin of which he should repent properly. Such a repentance cannot be described as proper unless it is accompanied by stopping the omission completely.
I am a young Christian woman and I have been reading about Islam for some months now. What worries me the most is that I don't know how well I could live by Islam if I converted. I have already changed some things in my life, I have stopped drinking, I avoid pork and I try to wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants (or skirts) when I go out. But I also know that there are some things I would not be able to do immediately if I converted, for various reasons, (at least that is the way it looks to me at this moment), such as wearing hijab.
Also, I am currently studying abroad (in the US, but I am from Europe) but I am going home to my family over Christmas. I don't think I would be able to tell my family right away if I converted and thus I do not know if I could do things such as pray all the five daily prayers, fast or avoid pork while at home over Christmas.
Would it be wrong of me converting knowing that I will not be able to fulfill all the obligations that follow (at least not immediately), and knowing that there are still many issues that I do not understand or have a hard time accepting wholeheartedly (due to lack of understanding and knowledge . Please guide me.
Answer: Praise be to Allah.
From your question we can sum up the obstacles that you face in two points:
1. Some social embarrassment
2. Some matters that you do not yet fully understand
With regard to the second point, it is not a condition for becoming Muslim that a person should know the entire religion, because it is a vast ocean. You can become Muslim and then learn the religion and develop full conviction about all the rulings of Islam. At the beginning, it is sufficient to believe in the six pillars of faith in general terms (belief in Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Last Day and predestination,(both good and bad) and to understand and accept in general terms the five pillars of Islam (testifying that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, prayer, paying zakaah, fasting in Ramadan, and performing Hajj to the sacred House of Allah, (for the one who is able and has the means).
Realize that knowledge and conviction develop gradually, and that faith increases by doing acts of worship and obedience to Allah, which in turn leads to a deeper understanding and acceptance of the rulings of Islam.
With regard to the first point, we are sure that if you enter Islam and are sincere towards Allah and do righteous deeds, then Allah will give you the strength, steadfastness, courage and certainty to face all difficulties and overcome them. The experience of other women who have become Muslim before you gives you a good example of what you could be able to do in the future as regards following the rules of Islam, such as hijaab and other issues, despite being surrounded by an overwhelming atmosphere of kufr. We also say that if any woman were to ask us whether she should become Muslim despite not wearing full hijab or stay a kaafir, we would definitely tell her to become Muslim, because the seriousness and danger of remaining a kaafir is far worse than being a Muslim but committing a sin.
We understand totally the difficulties and social embarrassment that you speak of, and we know that going against one’s family and the society in which one lives are very difficult matters, but Allah makes every difficult thing easy. Allah says (interpretation of the meanings):
“… And Allah is the Wali (Protector and Helper) of the believers.” [Aale ‘Imraan 3:68]
“…And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty).” [At-Talaaq 65:2]
“… Allah will grant after hardship, ease.” [At-Talaaq 65:7]
“As for those who strive hard in Us (Our Cause), We will surely guide them to Our Paths (i.e., Allah’s Religion – Islamic Monotheism)…” [Al-‘Ankaboot 29:69]
We also want to tell you that it is possible for a person, if he becomes Muslim and fears unbearable persecution or hardship, to conceal his Islam and keep it a secret, hiding his acts of worship from the people around him although it is difficult to do so. But for the sake of following the truth and saving oneself from the punishment of Hellfire, everything becomes easy and the believer can overcome all difficulties.
I was born in a French catholic family. My parents are strong and sincere believers, and I respect that a lot. Now I'm very interested in Islam, but there are a couple of reasons that "prevent" me from converting. For instance, as a woman, I cannot accept polygamy, the fact of stoning people who had an affair, of always depend on a "mahram"...
not "easy" to be and live as a Muslim in a western country. In my job, I
won't be able to wear a veil, not to shake men's hands anymore, pray 5
times a day... And my parents (especially my mother who is sick) would
be very sad seeing me leaving Christianity. So my question is to know
how I can convert in such conditions? Is there a kind of "minimum"
required? I mean, considering that there are still things which I don't
accept, wouldn't it be better for me to wait? Thanks for your help.
We put the following question to Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen:
A non-Muslim woman is saying, “I want to become Muslim but on the condition that I do not have to do the five prayers until the end of the day, because I cannot do them at work. And also I cannot accept the idea of polygamy.”
He answered as follows:
Praise be to Allah. I think that she should adhere to the rulings of Islam if she wants to become Muslim and be saved from the Fire. But as for her choosing what she wants and saying I cannot accept the idea of polygamy – as if she is saying that she cannot accept it as a ruling from Allah – or saying I cannot pray until I finish my work, this is not acceptable.
In the book “Muntaqa al-Akhbaar”, the author says, “Chapter on the soundness of a person’s Islam when he lays down invalid conditions”, and he mentions the hadeeth of Waheeb, who said:
“I asked Jaabir about the tribe of Thaqeef, when they gave their Bay’ah (oath of allegiance) to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allâh be upon him), with the condition that they would not have to pay Sadaqah (charity) or engage in Jihaad. After that he heard the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allâh be upon him) say, ‘They will give sadaqah and they will engage in jihaad.’”
Can we understand from this that if a non-Muslim comes and says ‘I want to become Muslim on the condition that I can do all the prayers together at the end of the day, is this OK, or is this an entirely different case?
This is an entirely different case, because when that was said to the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), he said, “If they become Muslim, they will pray.” This has to do with matters of the Unseen, which we cannot know. (in other words, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) accepted that from them because he knew, from what Allah taught him of the Unseen, that these people would become good Muslims and would give charity and engage in jihaad, whereas we cannot know the Unseen and how this non-Muslim will be in the future). If we accepted the conditions laid down by the kuffaar, Islam would disintegrate.
One may stipulate the condition that we let him engage in zinaa (unlawful sexual activity), another may demand that we let him drink wine, and so on and so forth…. The Messenger (PBUH) told ‘Ali, when he sent him to the people of Khaybar: “Tell them what their duties are towards Allah in Islam.” The condition of Islam is that it must be accepted in totality, as it is. The Prophet (PBUH) told Mu’aadh, “Teach them that Allah has enjoined five prayers upon them, and if they accept that, then tell them about Zakaah.” So the obligations of Islam have to be accepted.
Can we not say that this person’s entering Islam serves a great interest, and that their stipulating that they should be excused a few acts of worship is less harmful?
Not at all! Whose interests are being served here? The interests of the person himself? But this is damaging to Islam, because then lazy Muslims will say, “We will only pray when we have finished work, like this person does.” So the harm this would do to Islam is serious. If he really wants to save himself, let him accept Islam in totality. “And whomsoever Allah leads astray, no-one can guide.”
So what we say to you is this: become Muslim and accept Islam in totality. Submit to Allah in all that He has prescribed, and Allah will help you and give you the strength to follow His laws, if you are sincere in your intention towards Him. Then if you are faced with something that you cannot do for a genuine reason, or are forced to do something, then if you are sincere, Allah will not punish you for that. May Allah help us and you to accept the truth and adhere to it. May Allah bless our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
I have questions about Islam; can you explain them to me? Is it permissible for a Muslim to be a sincere friend to a person who is not Muslim?
Answer: Praise be to Allah.
It is not permissible for a Muslim to make friends with a mushrik or to take him as a close friend, because Islam calls on us to forsake the kaafirs and to disavow them, because they worship someone other than Allah. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“O you who believe! Take not as friends the people who incurred the Wrath of Allah (i.e. the Jews). Surely, they have despaired of (receiving any good in) the Hereafter, just as the disbelievers have despaired of those (buried) in graves (that they will not be resurrected on the Day of Resurrection)” [Al-Mumtahanah 60:13]
This was also the teaching of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).
1 – It was narrated from Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) that he heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say, “Do not keep company with anyone but a believer and do not let anyone eat your food but one who is pious.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2395; Abu Dawood, 4832. Abu ‘Eesa al-Tirmidhi said: this hadeeth is hasan. It was also classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 2519).
Abu ‘Eesa al-Khattaabi said: Rather he warned against keeping company with anyone who is not pious and against mixing with them or eating with them, because eating with a person instills friendship and love in the heart.
He said: do not make friends with anyone who is not pious; do not take him as a companion with whom you eat and chat.
(Ma’aalim al-Sunan, Haamish Mukhtasar Sunan Abi Dawood, 7/185, 186).
2 – It was narrated from Samurah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Do not live among the mushrikeen and do not mix with them, for whoever lives among them or mixes with them is not one of us.” (Narrated by al-Bayhaqi, 9/142; al-Haakim, 2/154. He said, it is saheeh according to the conditions of al-Bukhaari. The hadeeth was also classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilat al-Saheehah, 2/229 with its corroborating reports).
But it is permissible to deal with them in a kind manner in the hope that they might become Muslim.
It was narrated that Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: There was a Jewish boy who used to serve the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and he fell sick. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) came to visit him. He sat by his head and said, “Become Muslim.” (The boy) looked at his father who was with him, and he (the father) said, “Obey Abu’l-Qaasim (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).” So he became Muslim, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) went out, saying, “Praise be to Allah Who has saved him from the Fire” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1290)
I want to ask whether Quran said " non-muslims are your enemies and they cannot be your friend " Is this is written in Holy Quran and which surah?
Allah swt says:
(O Muhammad Sal-Allahu 'alayhe Wa Sallam) will not find any people who
believe in Allâh and the Last Day, making friendship with those who
oppose Allâh and His Messenger (Muhammad Sal-Allahu 'alayhe Wa Sallam ),
even though they were their fathers, or their sons, or their brothers,
or their kindred (people). For such He has written Faith in their
hearts, and strengthened them with Rűh (proofs, light and true guidance)
from Himself. And We will admit them to Gardens (Paradise) under which
rivers flow, to dwell therein (forever). Allâh is pleased with them, and
they with Him. They are the Party of Allâh. Verily, it is the Party of
Allâh that will be the successful.
" (Al-Mujadla 58:22)
does not forbid you to deal justly and kindly with those who fought not
against you on account of religion and did not drive you out of your
homes. Verily, Allâh loves those who deal with equity.
(8) Allah only forbids you, with regard to those who
fight you for (your) Faith, and drive you out of your homes, and support
(others) in driving you out, from turning to them (for friendship and
And whosoever will befriend them, then such are the Zâliműn (wrong-doers
those who disobey Allâh)." (Al-Mumtahina
Is Islam a cult? I don't understand how this religion can be embraced by so many. It's inconceivable that such hatred has ever been collected in a single population such as that which calls itself Muslim. Mohammad, and indeed, his followers, are way off the path. Stop your attacks on non-Muslims.
The two meanings of the word ‘cult’ according to the Oxford dictionary are as follows:
1) “A way of life, an attitude, an idea etc. that has become very popular”.
2) “A small group of people who have extreme religious beliefs and who are not part of any established religion”.
By referring to Islam as a cult, if you intend to imply the first meaning, then yes Islam is a way of life – in fact it is ‘THE way of life’ prescribed for humankind by the Creator. I am aware that most widely, the second meaning of the word cult is implied. In that context, Islam is not a cult.
Many people have a misconception that Islam is a new religion and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was the founder of Islam. However, let me clarify that Islam is not the name of some unique religion presented for the first time by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), who should, on that account be called the founder of Islam.
The Qur’an states that Islam – the complete submission of man before his one and only Unique Creator – is the one and only faith and way of life consistently revealed by God to humankind from the very beginning. Noah, Solomon, David, Abraham, Moses, Isaac and Jesus (pbuh) – prophets who appeared at different times and places – all propagated the same faith and conveyed the same message of Tawheed (Oneness of God), Risaalat (Prophethood) and Aakhirah (the Hereafter). These prophets of God were not founders of different religions to be named after them. They were each reiterating the message and faith of their predecessors.
However, Muhammad (pbuh) was the last Prophet of God. God revived through him the same genuine faith which had been conveyed by all His Prophets. This original message was earlier corrupted and split into various religions by people of different ages, who indulged in interpolations and admixture. These alien elements were eliminated by God, and Islam – in its pure and original form – was transmitted to humankind through Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
Since there was to be no messenger after Muhammad (pbuh), the Book revealed to him (i.e. the Glorious Qur’an) was preserved word for word so that it should be a source of guidance for all times.
Thus the religion of all the prophets was ‘total submission to God’s will’ and one word for that in the Arabic language is ‘Islam’. Abraham and Jesus (peace be upon them) too were Muslims, as Allah testifies in Al-Qur'an 3:67 and 3:52 respectively.
Islam is embraced by so many humans in all centuries because it is the Truth and it provides practical and comprehensive solutions to problems of humankind. Islam not only teaches good things but also shows practical ways of achieving that state of goodness.
Your surprise regarding many people embracing Islam is justified. Today, though Islam happens to be the fastest growing religion in the world, it also happens to be the religion about which people have maximum number of misconceptions. This is largely because of the negative propaganda by the media about Islam.
A Christian surveyor, Professor Edward reported in the Time Magazine of April 16, 1979 that in a span of 150 years, from 1800 CE to 1950 CE “over 60,000 books have been written against Islam by the Christian West.” Now, it is questionable, who has initiated, nurtured and collected the hatred which you have referred to, the Muslims or the Christian West?
Many are surprised that despite such propaganda being made against Islam, it still happens to be the fastest growing religion in today’s times. It is so, on the merits of its superior and noble teachings. Says Allah (swt) in the Glorious Qur'an:
“...They (the non-Muslim enemies and critics of Islam) plot and plan, and Allah too plans; but the best of planners is Allah”. (Al-Anfal 8:30)
You have advised the Muslims not to attack non-Muslims; I request you to direct your advice to those authorities, who only claim to be ‘peaceful, peace-loving people’ and ‘peace-keepers of the world’, but ironically have attacked thousands of innocent Muslims under the theme ‘War on terror’. The noted writer Arundhati Roy states: "So now we know. Pigs are horses. Girls are boys. War is Peace."
The terrorist acts attributed to Muslim suspects, should not be attributed to Islam or the Muslims in general but to individual human weaknesses. Such human failings occur among all religious and ethnic groups. Recorded history has not witnessed an incident similar to the ‘Holocaust’. However, one is not expected to and should not attribute the holocaust to Christianity or to Christians in general.
A number of skeptics have made comments about Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Skeptics allege that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was “a violent man, a man of war”. Some further state that "Jesus set the example for love, as did Moses … Muhammad set an opposite example” (remember Jerry Falwell?). These skeptics somehow fail to realize that far from being a man of war, “…he (Muhammad) must be called the saviour of humanity”, as described thus by George Bernard Shaw.
Though the portrayal of Moses and Jesus (pbut) of being peace-loving people is fully in accordance with the teachings of the Qur’an, the Biblical testimony is contrary to it. Many quotations from these Biblical testimonies can be given to substantiate this claim, but considering the length of the answer, I will simply furnish ONE incident that will prove my point, because in this ONE incident, no less than three thousand people were killed by the sword at the command of Biblical Moses. We read:
“(Moses said): ‘Each man strap a sword to his side. Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbour’. The Levites did as Moses commanded, and that day about three thousand of the people died.” (Exodus 32:27-28, NIV)
It is also a well-known fact that the total number of deaths that took place in ALL the wars fought during the time of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was 1018. The biblical quotation given above and many such quotations appear to escape the grasp of those who allege against Muhammad (pbuh), further ignoring the words of Jesus:
“Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” (Matthew 7:1-2 KJV)
Why do Muslims follow the lunar calendar instead of the solar calendar?
1. As per the Solar calendar, every year the months fall in the same respective seasons of that location. For example, the months of March, April and May in India will always have summer, while July, August, September will always have monsoons i.e. rains in western India. November, December and January will always have winter.
2. In the lunar calendar in different years the months fall in a different season.
The lunar calendar has about 11 days less than the solar calendar. Thus, every year, the month of the lunar calendar occurs 11 days prior to what it had occurred in the previous solar year. Thus, in a span of about 33 lunar years a human being will experience all the different seasons for one particular month of the lunar calendar. This is very important because the yearly activities of a Muslim are based on the lunar calendar. Certain months like Ramadhan and Hajj are very important to the Muslims. During Ramadhan a Muslim has to fast which includes abstaining from food and drink from sunrise to sunset. If the Islamic months were based on the solar calendar where the seasons were fixed, then people living in certain parts of the world would have Ramadhan in summer while in other parts of the world it would be winter. Some Muslims would have to fast for a longer period of time where the days are long while other Muslims would have to fast for shorter period of time where the days are short. If the seasons did not change, then Muslims living in some parts of the world may feel that they are at a disadvantage throughout their lives.
By following the lunar calendar, every Muslim has a taste of fasting in different seasons and for a different time period, in a span of about 33 years of his life.
building of temples and churches and the propagation of any religion
other than Islam not allowed in Islamic countries like Saudi Arabia?
Example of selecting a Maths teacher:
Why there are no women Prophets in Islam?
Islam is the religion of all prophets from Adam but it was not named as Islam until it was given by Allah Himself, when Quran was revealed to prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him). So all prophets were men and there is no logic of question that why no prophet in Islam. If by ‘Prophets’ you mean, that a person who receives the message and who acts like a leader to the people, then it can be said that Allah did not nominated any ‘Women Prophets’. The Quran clearly states, that man is the leader of the family. So if the man is the leader in the family, he can also easily lead the masses. Whereas if women is not obliged to lead the family, how can a she lead over the people?
Secondly, a Prophet has even to lead the congregational prayers, and there are certain postures like Qayam (standing), Ruku (bowing) and doing the Sujud (prostration), and which, if a Woman Prophet does, the congregation behind, will get disturbed. There are situations where the Prophet has to meet with the common man, very regularly, if it is a Woman Prophet, Islam does not allow intermingling of sexes. If the Prophet is a lady, and if she gets pregnant - but natural, she will not be able to do her duties for a few months. If she has children, it will be difficult for her, to do the duty of the mother as well as the Prophet. And a man is more capable of doing the duty of the Prophet, and the father, as compared to a woman, who does the duty of a mother, as well as the Prophet.
But if you mean that a Prophet is a person who is chosen, and who is pure and holy, then there are several examples, and the best example I can quote is, of Bibi Mariyam (may Allah be pleased with her) who was the mother of Jesus( May peace be upon her). It is mentioned in Surah Maryam, Ch. No. 3, Verse No. 42
‘And behold the angels said to Mary, Allah has chosen thee, and purified thee, and purified above the women of all nations’.
We have other examples - If you read in Surah Tahrim, Ch. No. 66, Verse No. 11, it says that... ”And Allah sets forth, as an example to those who believe the wife of Pharaoh (Bibi Asiya): Behold she said: "O my Lord! Build for me, in nearness to Thee, a mansion in the Garden, and save me from Pharaoh and his doings, and save me from those that do wrong” (At-Tahreem 66:11)
Imagine, she was the wife, of the most powerful person of that time, Pharaoh, and she rejects all the luxuries, and asks for Allah (SWT), in exchange, a Mansion in the Garden. According to Islam, there are other chosen women, besides Bibi Mariyam and Bibi Asiya (may Allah be pleased with them) - The other the examples are mother of prophet Moses, Bibi Fatema and Bibi Khatija, (May Allah be pleased with them all).
Islam recognizes the rights of the minority. They are not required to do army service. To ensure their welfare and safety, Muslim rulers initiated a tax (JAZIA) on them. Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings of God be upon him) forbade Muslim armies to destroy churches and synagogues. Caliph' Umar did not even allow them to pray inside a church. Jews were welcomed and flourished in Muslim Spain when they were persecuted in the rest of Europe. They consider that part of their history as the golden era. In Muslim countries, Christians live in prosperity, hold government positions and attend their church. Christian missionaries are allowed to establish and operate their schools and hospitals.
However, the same religious tolerance is not always available to Muslim minorities as seen in the past during the Spanish inquisition and the Crusades, or as seen now by the events in the former Yugoslavia, Israel and India.
In addition to that Christian world is strictly against the Muslim world nowadays. In Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan Muslims are subjected to killing for the name of terrorism. However it is no more hidden that Iraq was invaded for occupying Oil resources and Afghanistan for having a base to control all Muslim countries around. Iran is under threat of destruction on the pretext of developing Atom Bomb. Israel has developed Atom bomb, but no Christian nation talk about it, but Iran’s peaceful program is forbidden. Killing innocent Muslims does not counted as even an animal killing. About a millions people have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan but as it is Muslim blood, so no problem.
I don’t understand Muslims are “Non Tolerant” or “Civilized Western World”
I would be very glad if you kindly respond to this sensitive issue: It relates to the ongoing accusations levied by the west against Islam and the Shari`ah. In western modern culture Islam is presented as a particularly violent and cruel religion, its law is termed as barbaric. That’s why we hear many uproars being stirred nowadays by the western media against Islam. I would like you scholars to enlighten us on the significance of Islamic criminal justice, especially the aspect of punishment.
your question, we want to make it clear that human history is plunged
into persistent theme of tragedy and ruin due to man’s pursuit of
justice without recourse to divine help, refusing to grasp the light of
guidance lit for him by the Merciful Lord, Who clearly understands the
nature of man, and, thus, has revealed to him the just laws and
teachings that will regulate his life and perfect his affairs.
said about the way Shari`ah or Islam is perceived by the West is not
something eerie or strange, for it reflects the belief held by most
Westerners that they are the bulwark of civilization and democracy, and
anything beside their ideologies and dogmas are matters of old ages that
can no longer be applied in our recent world, even if that matters
happen to be laid down by Allah.
The Qur’an most certainly does prescribe corporal punishment for certain serious social crimes and it does lay down the principle of retribution, or qisas it is very emphatic, too, about the crucial role of the family in human society and therefore insists on assigning different well-defined roles to men and women; and it does lay down many other regulations and laws and expects Muslims to obey the eternally valid injunctions of Allah and His Prophet.
But will these and similar provisions of the Shari’ah really plunge society back into darkness? Are they inhuman and barbaric? Are they an indicator of Islam’s inability to keep pace with the demands of human progress? The issues need to be examined seriously to determine the place and values of the Shari’ah and its provisions in the ultimate order of human civilization and happiness. The need for this examination is especially acute in the view of the dogmatic position adopted by the West on these questions. A host of Western writers have said it, and the media continue to harp on the same theme: unless Islam is prepared to relent on these and other legal provisions of the Shari’ah ‘there can and will be no accommodation; only a continuation of Western rejection of Islam’
No apologies or excuses are needed to explain or make acceptable to the West what has been so clearly laid down by the Qur’an and the Prophet in this regard and what has been so consistently accepted and adhered to by Muslims. There should be no place in dialogue with the West for such tortuous, self-deprecating arguments as: ‘Corporal punishment is prescribed but hedged in with such unworkable requirements of evidence that it is virtually impossible to carry it out. Or, at least, it cannot be carried out unless an "ideal" just society is established, when it will in any case become unnecessary’.
Why those who advance this specious logic should think that Allah would lay down things which were impossible to practice is not made clear. As if He does not know how to say what He means, and say it clearly! Such excuses are unfair to the Qur’an and the Prophet, and an affront to their wisdom, and at the same time illogical and implausible to the unconvinced.
Repentance and Punishment:
in Islam has nothing to do with the notions of atonement, expiation or
wiping away of sin. A crime is essentially an act of injustice to one’s
own self, a sin against Allah. It can be wiped away only by Allah, and
that He does when a person turns to Him, truly repentant and seeking
forgiveness. Between man and Allah, therefore, the total emphasis is on
repentance, and punishment can be no substitute for it. But a crime is
also an act against the social order and in this sphere mere repentance
cannot be a substitute for punishment which is a means of protecting and
strengthening the society.
Most importantly, punishments are only a part of a vastly larger integrated whole. They can neither be properly understood, nor successfully or justifiably implemented in isolation. First, law is not the main, or even major, vehicle in the total framework for the reinforcement of morality; it is the individual’s belief, his Allah-consciousness and taqwa - that inherent and innate quality which makes him want to refrain from what displeases Allah and do what pleases Him. Second, justice is a positive ideal which permeates and dominates the entire community life; it is not merely an institutionalized means of inflicting punishment. Third, and consequently, a whole environment is established where to do right is encouraged, facilitated and found easy and to do wrong is discouraged, inhibited and found difficult. All men and women are enjoined, as their foremost duty, to aid, exhort and commend each other to do good and to avoid evil.
Penalties in Islam are more of a functional nature, to regulate and deter. Allah has laid down a body of mutual rights and obligations which are the true embodiment of justice. He has also laid down certain bounds and limits to be observed and maintained for this very purpose. If men and nations desire to move in peace and safety on the highways of life, they must stick to the ‘traffic lanes’ demarcated for them and observe all the ‘signposts’ erected along their routes. If they do not, they not only put themselves in danger, but endanger others. They therefore naturally make themselves liable to penalties –not in vengeful retribution – but to regulate the orderly exchanges in man’s life in accordance with justice.
It is a significant contribution of Islam that these penalties are called hudud (literally referred to as ‘boundaries’) and not punishments: they are liabilities incurred as a result of crossing the boundary set by Allah. An important consequence of these hudud having been laid down by Allah, and not by man, is that it is beyond human authority to reduce or supercede them out of a sense of mercy greater than that of Allah; nor can a tyrant or autocrat add to them out of a greater sense of strict justice, for no one can be more merciful or wiser or more just than Allah himself.
Another important function which these punishments serve is educative, and thus preventive and deterrent. The Qu’ran alludes to this aspect when it describes them, “…. as exemplary punishment from Allah ….” (Al-Ma’idah 5:38). Punishments are thus designed to keep the sense of justice alive in the community by a public repudiation of the acts violating the limits set by Allah. They are expected to build up in the society a deep feeling of abhorrence for transgression against fellow human beings, and therefore against Allah - a transgression which, according to the Qur’an, is the root cause of all disorders and corruption in human life.
Apart from punishments for transgressions like extra-marital sex, theft, libel and drinking, the Qur’an also provides for the principle of qisas – retribution. When a person causes physical injury or harm to a fellow human being, Islam gives the injured party the right of equal requital – the well-known principle of ‘an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth’. This procedure is persistently labeled by critics as primitive and uncivilized. In the Islamic view of history, it is worth pointing out, what is primitive has never been necessarily uncivilized. The first man was given all necessary knowledge and guidance, and though he may have been technologically backward compared to the twentieth century, he definitely was not humanly backward. Uncivilized is what man thinks and does in deviating from the divine order.
In the eyes of the Qur’an ‘in retribution (qisas) lies the source of life for you’. The reasons are obvious. First, the right of retribution belongs to individuals, not society or the state; this simple shift in responsibility results in a profound and far reaching change in the whole system of implementing justice. The state does not have to intervene every time two human beings are involved in a dispute. Thus, instead of starting an irreversible process of trial and punishment, it leaves the ground open for settlement between individuals, without interference by impersonal bureaucratic machinery, though under no circumstances can the individual take the law into his own hands.
The injured person in his turn may forgo his right to retribution by forgiving, or may agree to accept a monetary or token recompense instead. The Qu’ran, in fact, highly recommends the act of forgiving. Thus, under qisas punishment is avoidable without burdening the executive or judiciary with the dilemma of whether to exercise mercy. As against a court which must act according to law once a case is brought before it, an individual is free to act as he wishes. Justice has to be blind, but an individual may take circumstances into account, and suspend judgment in the hope of being forgiven by Allah in the hereafter. Very few realize hat the principle of qisas even allows capital punishment to be avoided.
MERCY AND LENIENCY:
Having prescribed punishments and imposed strict and meticulous, though not impossible, conditions of evidence, Islam has built in a whole range of principles and precepts which reflect not a frenzied desire to flog and stone but a compassionate urge to avoid and eschew. Islam does not allow either the state or individuals to spy upon people unless well-founded suspicion exists that a crime is being committed or a fellow human being’s rights or interests are in jeopardy. Nor is it obligatory to report every crime. Where possible, settlements outside court are preferred. The punishment is swiftly over; the guilty man and his family do not have to live with the kind of lengthy public stigma that they would have had to endure in the case of a prison sentence at the end of a trial. The imposition of divinely prescribed hudud enhance, and not diminish, the individual’s dignity and stature in society and before Allah.
As to the alleged cruelty of physical penalties, one wonders if to deprive a man of his freedom -- his most precious and valuable possession – and his right to act and continue to make moral choices, to live with his family, to work and support them is not more cruel. Indeed, a prison term can inflict untold misery on innocent people whose lives are intertwined with the life of the prisoner. Prison becomes a school for hardening criminal behavior and a breeding ground for recidivism. Why should it be considered more cruel for a man found drug trafficking to be given ten lashes than to be sent to languish in prison for, say, ten years.
Islam want to punish and not reform? The question is fallacious, for in
Islam every institution of society is value oriented and owes a
responsibility towards the moral development of every person from the
cradle to the grave. Reform is therefore a pre-crime responsibility and
not a post-crime syndrome and nightmare. Islam makes every effort to
ensure that inducement to commit crime is minimal. Once the crime is
committed, the best place for reform is in the family and in society,
where a criminal is to live after punishment, and not in a prison where
every inmate is a criminal; unless of course a society considers itself
to be more corrupt and less competent to effect reform than a jail!
Against this, the ‘modern, enlightened’ approach is to provide every
inducement to crime by building a society based on conspicuous
consumption; to make society, education and every other institution
‘value – free’ and then to try to reform a criminal by segregating him
and keeping him in a prison.
How the west, specially its leader USA treat humans, just take the example of Iraq and Afghanistan war. Iraq is ruined, millions killed, more than three millions injured and homeless only on the self created wrong assumption of Iraq having nuclear weapons. Again Afghanistan is destroyed, because of USA self declared claim that so called Al-Qaida attacked Twin Towers in New York killing about 3,000 innocent people. This claim is now refuted by their own investigators, but they have, in revenge killed and injured thousand and thousand of innocent Afghans. What you will call all this, who are liar, cheater, intolerant and violent Christian or Muslims?
Again going to lower level, there are stories and pictures how they treated Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guatanamo Bay.
They made prisoners living naked, forced to make sex man to man in presence of American ladies and taken such photographs, beaten cruelly and used all kinds of tools to make them frightened (even dogs were opened on them). All these events are accepted by American themselves and only some pictures came in press and others forbidden due to extreme cruelty and fear of Muslims anger. Is this all humanity of Christianity?
There are stories published about all this behaviour and USA also never denied it. Even they treated respectable political people in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is evident with the biography book of Ex Afghanistan Ambassador of Taliban in Pakistan Abdussalam Zaeef, Prisoner # 306 in Guantanamo Bay.
He says that after handing over to Americans by Pakistanis at Peshawar Airport (to take him in helicopter to Afghanistan), they started unabated beating him with blows and feet . Torn his clothes with knife. Then his eyes tied, made naked, Laid on belly and beaten heavily.
From Peshawar he was taken to Belgram Airport (Afghanistan), made naked and thrown him on ice and Americans ladies standing singing songs and seeing this Muslim naked. He was beaten many days over there and then taken to Qandhar, Here again his naked pictures were taken along with other prisoners. Over there once when he was leading a prayer, an Americans soldier sat on his head when he was in prostration, and he had to repeat the prayer.
Americans soon got that they can bear all kind of torture but not insult of Quran, so they urinated on Quran and throw it in garbage in front of them. Prisoners have only to weep on that and at last they given their Qurans to Green Crescent so that Quran is not insulted.
Then he was shifted to Guantanamo Bay. Here he stayed for 3 ˝ years and during this time, there happened at least 10 cases of Quran insult in front of him. According to him, they wanted to send message to all Muslims, that they are just their slaves and their religion has no respect or value in their (Christians) eyes.
Have you seen the face of so called most respectful and cultured nation of the world (which by chance is Christian) to the respected humans. But still we say that this is not the teaching of Christianity but instead acts of enraged individuals. However the pity is that all this was known to as high as president of USA and all western world leaders and their citizens.
So don’t blame on Muslims Religion for any act of individual intolerant cruelty, uncultured, just see what our Quran and Sunna says about humanity for this world and the world hereafter.
Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamonline.net
Is it permissible for a Muslim to attend the funeral of his non-Muslim parents or relatives?
Islam calls for respecting any person, whether a believer or a disbeliever, in his/her lifetime and posthumously. It is reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim in an authentic hadith that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) stood up when a Jewish funeral proceeded in front of him. Somebody informed him that the dead person was a Jew. The Prophet replied: “Is it not a soul?”
Now, the soul of a father, a mother or a close relative is entitled to more respect. Therefore, a Muslim may attend the funeral of his non-Muslim parents or one of his non-Muslim relatives. He may attend the religious ceremonies held for the deceased in churches and synagogues, provided that he does not participate in the prayers, rites and other religious activities. He may also attend the burial. In all that, his intention should be to do the duty of kindness (to parents) and good relationship with kith and kin, and sharing the misfortune with the family and strengthening the relationship with relatives, and avoiding what may lead to estrangement if he fails to attend such occasions."
Birr (doing good) is a right a Muslim owes a fellow Muslim and non-Muslim as well. If it's a duty for a man to sustain his non-Muslim parents, then it is his responsibility to attend their funeral prayer and accept people's condolences as a righteous deed towards parents."
Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamonline.net
The concept of human rights in Islam is based on two important principles: dignity of human beings and justice. Islam emphasizes that all human beings are honored by Allah .....
Since God (Allah) is the absolute and the sole master of men and the universe, and since He has given each man human dignity and honor, and breathed into him of His own spirit, it follows that men are essentially the same. In fact, the only differences between them are such artificial ones as nationality, color, or race. Thus, all human beings are equal and form one universal community that is united in its submission and obedience to God (Allah). The center of this universal brotherhood is the Islamic confession of the oneness of God (Allah) that, by extension, includes the oneness and brotherhood of humanity.
A state may be established anywhere. While the state is geographically limited, the human rights and privileges granted to humanity by God (Allah) are not. God (Allah) in the Quran states that these are universal and fundamental, and that all individuals are to enjoy and observe them under all circumstances and regardless of whether an individual is living in the geographical confines of an Islamic state or not :
“O ye who believe! Stand out firmly for God (Allah), as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety : and fear God (Allah). For God (Allah) is well-acquainted with all that ye do”. (Al-Maeda 5:8)
Human blood is sacred in any case and cannot be spilled without justification. Violating this rule is equivalent to killing all of humanity:
“....if anyone slew a person - unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land - it would be as if he slew the whole people. (Al-Maeda 5:32)
It is not permissible to oppress women, children, old people, the sick or the wounded. Women's honor and chastity are to be respected under all circumstances. The hungry must be fed, the naked clothed, and the wounded or diseased given medical treatment regardless of their pro- or anti-Muslim sentiments and activities.
In Islam, human rights are granted by God (Allah), not by kings or legislative assemblies, and therefore they can never be taken away or changed, even temporarily, for any reason. They are meant to be put into practice and lived, not to stay on paper or in the realm of unenforceable philosophical concepts or United Nation declarations. Every Muslim is required to accept them and recognize the people's right to have them enforced and obeyed. God (Allah) states in the Quran that:
“... If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what God (Allah) hath revealed, they are (no better than) unbelievers” (Al-Maeda 5:44)
As-Salamu `alaykum. Is it permissible to allow non-Muslims to attend a funeral of a Muslim during burial and other procession? If yes, to what extent and under what conditions? For example, can the non-Muslims participate in the actual burying of the dead Muslim? Please cite evidences, incidents etc. Also, can a Muslim attend a funeral of a non-Muslim who is not related to him?
response to the question, Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, former
President of the Islamic Society of North America states:
Is It Allowed to greet non-Muslims with the words "As-Salamu `Alaykum”?
As far as greeting the People of the Book, Jews and Christians, is concerned, Sheikh M. S. Al-Munajjid, a prominent Saudi Islamic lecturer and author, states the following:
"Basically, it is not permissible to initiate the greeting of Salam to a non-Muslim. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “Do not initiate the greeting of Salam to a Jew or a Christian…” (Narrated by Muslim).
If one of them says “As-Samu `Alaykum” – meaning, may death be upon you – or it is not clear whether they have said “As-Salam” or "As-Sam", then we should respond by saying “Wa `Alaykum” (and upon you).
On this issue, Ibn `Umar, may Allah be pleased with them both, quotes Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, as saying: “When the Jews greet you, they say ‘As-Samu `Alaykum (may death be upon you),’ so respond by saying ‘`Wa Alaykum (and also upon you).” (Narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
However, if a non-Muslim greets a Muslim with with the correct Islamic form of greeting (i.e., by saying ‘As-Salamu `Alaykum’ clearly), the scholars differed as to whether the Muslim has to return the greeting. The majority of scholars maintain that Muslims do have to return such greeting, and this is the correct view.
This is what is clear in the statements of Ibn Al-Qayyim, may Allah rest his soul in peace: They (Muslim scholars) differed as to whether it is obligatory to return the greeting or not. The majority said that it is obligatory and this is the correct view. A group of scholars said that it is not obligatory to return such greeting, just as it is not obligatory to return the greeting of those who follow Bid`ah. But the correct view is the first one. The difference is that we are commanded to forsake the followers of Bid`ah by way of rebuke and to warn others about them, which is not the case with Ahl Adh-Dhimmah (Jews and Christians). (Zad Al-Ma`ad, 2/425, 426)
returning the greeting, the Muslim should respond in the manner
prescribed by Shari`ah, by giving a similar or better response, because
of the general meaning of the following Qur'anic verse:
Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamonline.net
Is it permissible for Muslims to say Du`a’ for a non-Muslim when he/she is sick provided that he/she has a high post in the government (secular)?
for your question. A Muslim is recommended to say du`aa’ for
others. As for du`aa’ for non-Muslims, a Muslim can say du`aa’
to guide them to the path of Islam. If a non-Muslim is sick, a Muslim
may say du`aa’ that he will get well soon so that he can know
more about Islam. This should be kept in mind while making du`aa’
for a non-Muslim.
Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamonline.net
I would like to know why are non-muslim not allowed in two holy cities, Macca and medina and when did this restriction start. Thank you.
First of all, I wonder why do you include Madinah in your inquiry? The prohibition is restricted to Makkah and its Holy Sites only. Rather, the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah is not liable to this prohibition. In this context, Imam Ash-Shafi`i said, “There is no harm in permitting an unbeliever to spend the night in any mosque with the exception of the Holly Mosque in Makkah.” It is well-known that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to welcome non-Muslim delegations in his mosque in Madinah.
It is forbidden for Muslims to allow any non-Muslim to enter Al-Masjid Al-Haram in Makkah and its sacred precinct, because Allah says: “O ye who believe! The idolaters only are unclean. So let them not come near Al-Masjid Al-Haram (at Makkah) after this their year. If ye fear poverty (from the loss of their merchandise) Allah shall preserve you of His bounty if He will. Lo! Allah is Knower, Wise.” (At-Tawbah 9:28)
Yet, when Islam prohibits non-Muslims from entering the sanctuary of Makkah, it is not an invented tradition since Joshua, according to the Gospel, burnt the city of Jericho (Arihah) in Palestine and prohibited entering it.
The Old Testament, likewise, spoke about the cities of the refugees where the murderers could resort to in order to escape from people. Then, what is odd about declaring a sanctuary for Islam!
Based on the above Qur'anic verse, Imam Ash-Shafi`i is of the viewpoint that non-Muslims are not allowed to enter the Sacred Mosque only and not the whole land of Makkah.
According to our history, the Archangel Gabriel [Jibril] (peace and blessings be upon him) has taught Prophet Ibrahim (peace and blessings be upon him) the boundaries of the Haram (the Sanctuary of Islam in Makkah). Therefore, Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) commanded his Companions on the Day of `Arafah during the Farewell Pilgrimage, saying, “Stick to your rites for you are on a heritage of Ibrahim.”
Islam, accordingly, inherited the Haram (the Sacred Mosque) from Ibrahim (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Here, it is noteworthy that Muslims themselves have no absolute freedom in the Sacred Mosque. They, for example, are forbidden to hunt animals or to cut trees in the Haram. The Muslims’ ruler, rather, is not allowed to carry out penalties or retaliation in the land of the Haram. This is in accordance to the Qur’anic verse that announces, "… whoever enters it attains security…." (Al `Imran 3:97)
no wonder then in making a sanctuary for the Ka`bah for it has been a
well-known tradition throughout the history of all nations. The Ka`bah
is the House of Allah, Most High, and He has the undeniable right to
protect it against the disbelievers who associate other deities with
Him. Nevertheless, when a disbeliever converts to Islam, he will be
welcomed in the House of Allah and its sanctuary.
Let me further draw your attention to the peak of freedom in the opinion of Abu Hanifah, the eminent Muslim jurist and the founder of the Hanfi school of thought, who holds the opinion that non-Muslims may enter the Sacred Mosque in case of necessity and when there is no necessity as well.
Although Muslim jurists differ with Abu Hanifah regarding this issue, I want to show you to what extent Islam advocates freedom of opinion. However, I think that Abu Hanifah held the above opinion for he might interpret the above Qur’anic verse as referring to preventing non-Muslims from performing Hajj (pilgrimage).
Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamonline.net
I am an American Christian and willing to accept Islam but I have one question in my mind. Please answer that on the website only I am not willing to tell you my identity due to security reason. 1) Why do you follow Mohammed and not Jesus if the Qur’an says he was the Messiah? I asked another Muslim guy about this and he said that Jesus is not the Messiah? Can you please help me with that?
2) If Jesus is alive then why Muslims do not follow HIM.
3) Why Muslims hate Non-Muslims? Please answer my questions ASAP.
Dear brother, thanks for your question and we really appreciate the great confidence you repose in us. We implore Allah, the Almighty to make our efforts come up to your expectations.
As regards your question on Muslims' stand on Jesus, peace be upon him, it's clear that Muslims are commanded not to discriminate between one Prophet and another. We believe in all Prophets and Messengers sent by Allah to guide people and lead them to the Right Path. The Qur'an says:
Muslims): We believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto Us and
that which was revealed unto Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob,
and the tribes, and that which Moses and Jesus received, and that which
the Prophets received from their Lord. We make no distinction between
any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered."
As for the second point, it's to be stressed that Muslims never hate non-Muslims just for the sake that they happen to be non-Muslims. On the contrary, we are allowed to have non-Muslims as friends as long as they don't show enmity towards Islam and Muslims. Islam teaches us that we should be friendly to all people and we should deal even with enemies with justice and fairness.
Dealing with these points in details, Sheikh Muhammad Iqbal Nadvi, Imam of Calgary Mosque, Alberta, Canada, and Former Professor at King Saud University, Riyad, Saudi Arabia, states:
“Let me answer your questions in point form:
1. With regard to your first question about the Muslims’ belief in Jesus, I can simple say that this question does not constitute any problem to any Muslim. As we know and believe, Jesus, peace be upon him, was the Prophet sent to the Children of Israel. As any Prophet sent to a specific nation, his mission was limited in scope and nature to the people he was sent to. Jesus, peace be upon him, himself prophesied and gave glad tidings about the coming of Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. Moreover, we as Muslims believe that Jesus, peace be upon him, did not die and that he will come back for a second time. In his next coming he will be following Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him.
So in this sense Muslims are really following Jesus, peace be upon him, and are showing great respect to him as one of the chief and great Prophets of Allah (God). However, we believe that Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, is the final Messenger of Allah the Almighty and there will no be prophet after him. Allah, the Almighty, has sent Prophet Muhammad as a mercy for all mankind and his message is for all people until the Day of Judgment.
2. As for your second question, I think that what you said about Muslims’ hatred of non-Muslims is nothing but a great misunderstanding of the spirit of Islam and who Muslims are. As a basic principle of Islam, we, Muslims, do not hate anyone on account of their cultural, religious, or ethnic backgrounds. Islam teaches us to interact with all people and wish good for the whole mankind.
However, Muslims hate Kufr, or disbelief in Allah, the Almighty. Since we love all people, we hate their disobedience of Allah, the Most High. So, even when people deny the existence of Allah we do not hate them personally; however, we hate their disbelief and disobedience of Allah, Exalted be He. This case is very similar to that of a doctor and a patient. The doctor does not hate the patient or the sick person himself or herself, rather he or she hates the disease and tries every possible means to cure the disease and help the patient to recover. We Muslims hate disbelief and disobedience of Allah and we are striving and sparing no effort to do away with this disease and cure people’s sickness and help them become obedient servants of Allah (God).
Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamonline.net
Did Jesus Die for Our Sins?
Such a belief would lead some to say that even doing good deeds is not necessary, since Jesus' death on the cross had decided once and for all who had been saved in baptism. The idea of sinning on purpose, though, goes even beyond that belief and I know of no Christian Church that would subscribe to such an idea.
Understanding Christian Belief
It is a central tenet of Christian belief that Jesus died on the Cross to atone for the sins of mankind. Let us try and understand what this means.
According to this belief, God created Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, and He placed them in the Garden of Eden, giving them everything they needed to enjoy perfect bliss. They could do anything they wanted, but were forbidden just one thing: they could not eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil.
Satan tempts Eve into eating of the fruit, and she in turn persuades Adam to do the same (and they eaten it). As a result, the two are punished by being expelled from the Garden of Eden.
And so the Christian version of the story ends. Adam and Eve are condemned for their sin and their descendants will share forever their sin, since there is nothing they can do to make up for it.
In the Muslim account of this episode, to be found in the Qur'an, on the other hand, the couple was indeed found guilty, but they turned to Allah, and He forgiven them but as they were destined to live on earth, so they were sent on earth as per Quran saying :
“And (remember) when your Lord said to the angels, I am going to place in the earth a khalif, …..." (Al-Baqarah 2:30)
Then did Satan make them slip from the (garden), and get them out of the state (of felicity) in which they had been. We said: "Get ye down, all (ye people), with enmity between yourselves. On earth will be your dwelling-place and your means of livelihood - for a time (36) Then Adam received from his Lord Words . And his Lord pardoned him (accepted his repentance). Verily, He is the One Who forgives (accepts repentance), the Most Merciful (37) We said: "Get down all of you from this place (the Paradise), then whenever there comes to you Guidance from Me, and whoever follows My Guidance, there shall be no fear on them, nor shall they grieve” (Al-Baqarah 2:36 - 38)
Again at another place, same message is given.
“Then his Lord chose him, and turned to him with forgiveness, and gave him guidance (122) (Allâh) said: "Get ye down, both of you,- all together, from the Garden, with enmity one to another: but if, as is sure, there comes to you Guidance from Me, whosoever follows My Guidance, will not lose his way, nor fall into misery (123) "But whosoever turns away from My Message, verily for him is a life narrowed down, and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Judgment" (Ta’ha 20:122 - 124)
So there is no question of inherited guilt for mankind till eternity. All generations came into the world are sinless. Allah forgiven the couple but sent to inhabit on earth as planned. In the Christian version, however, all human beings are born with Original Sin.
The Concept of Original Sin
This Original Sin is inherited because there is nothing anyone can do to make up for what Adam and Eve did. It can not be forgiven, because this sin was committed against God, and only God Himself could forgive such a sin. Only someone equal to God could atone (or make up) for the sin. This assumption gives us an understanding that God is helpless and has no authority to forgive the couple. As he was having only got one son (and could not beget another one), and the couple could not be orgiven unless He get His only son sacrificed, so he ordered him to get nailed (what a cruel way God given His only son sacrifice).
Throughout the centuries, men and women tried to make up for the debt they owed to God, but were helpless. Before Jesus (PBUH) they believe in only one God, but still wanted to offer sacrifice to Him to make up for the debt they owed. The problem was that they could not find anything to offer which was equal to the debt they were trying to make up for. Offering a sheep was no good, since it was God who made the sheep. According to this doctrine of Atonement, it really needed someone superhuman, equal to God, to offer sacrifice for that first sin. Until at last they got a God son (Many saw in Jesus just that superhuman, equal to God Himself) and they thought that to atone for their original sin, it is best that they make him to die for their inherited sin.
The way Saint John's Gospel describes the crucifixion of Jesus is as though Jesus mounts the cross willingly. He is not so much caught by the Jewish authorities as he is seen to be sacrificing himself. Whereas Jesus (PBUH) is reported to be calling God, “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?"
It shows that this sacrifice was not by Jesus himself, but was by force nailed to cross, just as any criminal was treated in those days. On the other hand if this sacrifice was ordered by God, then again it is illogical that God had only one son and he got him died in so cruel way.
Christians believe that Jesus' death on the cross meant that the Original Sin could be forgiven if people became Christian and were baptized. The act of baptism would wash away the Original Sin.
No Automatic Forgiveness
According to mainstream Christian belief, though, Jesus' death on the cross did not automatically forgive every one of the sins people would commit in the future, but it still make it possible for them to be forgiven if the sinner was truly sorry.
It is a misunderstanding in thinking that mainstream Christian belief includes the idea that all of the sins he is ever going to commit will automatically be forgiven. It is certainly outside the scope of Roman Catholic belief that he is obliged to sin in order to be grateful.
Christian belief, though, teaches that Jesus died for Original Sin, which had already been committed. He was making up for something wrong that had been done, not anticipating future wrongs that might be done by individuals. These future wrongs would be forgiven in so much as the sinner was sorry.
Even though all of this doctrine is very complicated, there is still another aspect which we could mention.
There are certain Evangelical and Protestant groups which make it seem as though Jesus (PBUH) death revolves around individuals: What Jesus did for me is what counts. That he is my personal savior is what is important.
However if it is supposed that Jesus (PBUH) died for the original sin, then how Christians will get forgiveness for those sins for which Jesus (PBUH) did not die. If Christians claim that original sin was not able to be forgiven except by him, then if you will not be asked for that inherited sin, then still they will be faced with question (on the day of judgment) for the sins which have nothing to do with original sin.
Muslims Submit to Allah Alone
Islam, on the other hand, puts it the other way around. It is God (Allah) Who is important. Humans are His creatures and all they do should revolve around His will.
Muslims submit to the will of Allah, and therein find peace and fulfillment. It is not the individual who is important, but Allah alone.
On Judgment Day, each one will have to give an account for his actions, taking personal responsibility for what he has done.
Almighty Allah, who is both Merciful And Compassionate, will in sha' Allah forgive the wrong we have done. Allah says in Quran :
“And whoever does evil or wrongs himself but afterwards seeks Allâh's Forgiveness, he will find Allâh Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful” (An-Nisa’ 4:110)
“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)
Christians do accept that there will be Day of Judgment. Now suppose, as they believe that they are already got “Certificate of Forgiveness”, and on that day, what they believe comes true, then no problem for them. But suppose that on which “Certificate” they depended, found untrue, then where they will go? They will be in total loss with no excuse.
The logic of Muslims is that every one will have to face with the accountability of one’s deed on the Day of Judgment. Believing on this he/she tries their best to be as obedient to the commands of Allah, His last prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and His Last Testament Quran, then he/she is more liable to succeed in his/her account, (with hope for the mercy of Allah) than our Christians friends. The one who lived his/her life assuming that he/she has to answer or the one who did not pass the life on believing of accountability.
So which of the two options are beneficial to mankind. It is just the same as of Atheist who don’t believe that there is a God and Day of Judgment, but if suppose they found Day of Judgment and a God also, than where they will stand.
Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: http://www.readingislam.com/
Some non Muslims criticize Islam, because they believe it doesn't understand what the trinity in Christianity means. They say this shows that Muhammad is not prophet of God because he did not understand what the real trinity was.
They use this argument in relation to 4:171 and 5:116. Is it true that Islam views that trinity as being Mary, God and Jesus and doesn't recognize the spirit as being part of the trinity.
"We gave Jesus, son of Mary, Clear Signs and strengthened him with the Holy Spirit." (Al-Baqarah 2:87)
"....In the hearts of the Believers God has imprinted Faith and strengthened them with a Spirit from Himself...." (Al-Mujadila 58:22)
Allah says about Jesus, Holy Spirit and Trinity:
“O People of the Book (Christians)! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) a messenger of Allah, and His Word (“Be!), which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit created from Him: so believe in Allah and His messengers. Say not "Trinity": desist: it will be better for you: for Allah is one Allah: Glory be to Him: (far exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is Allah as a Disposer of affairs.” (An-Nisaa’ 4:171)
“The Messiah will never be proud to reject to be a slave to Allâh, nor the angels who are near (to Allâh). And whosoever rejects His worship and is proud, then He will gather them all together unto Himself” (An-Nisaa’ 4:172)
“Indeed they do blaspheme those who say that Allah is Jesus, the son of Mary, but Jesus said "O children of Israel! Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord". Whoever joins other gods with Allah, Allah will forbid him heaven and the fire will be his abode. For evil-doers there will be no helpers. (Al-Maidah 5:72)
“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)
“Will they not then turn to Allah and ask His forgiveness? And Allah is Forgiving, Merciful” (Al-Maidah 5:74)
“Christ (Jesus) the son of Mary was no more than a messenger; many were the messengers that passed away before him. His mother was a woman of truth. They had both to eat their (daily) food. See how Allah doth make His signs clear to them; yet see in what ways they are deluded away from the truth” (Al-Maidah 5:75)
“Say: "O people of the Book! exceed not in your religion the bounds (of what is proper), trespassing beyond the truth, nor follow the vain desires of people who went wrong in times gone by,- who misled many, and strayed (themselves) from the even way” (Al-Maidah 5:77)
Almighty Allah argued in holy Quran that infact Jesus was born without father, is just a miracle of God who made Adam without even father or mother.
We all Muslims believe on one God (Allah, without any associates or partners), His all prophets and His revelation Quran, which was through Jibreel (Gabriel). It negates the Christians understanding of Jesus and Holy Spirit.
So there is basic difference of God understanding. Christians does not ponder that even the word “Trinity” is not there in bible whereas, in Quran hundreds of times it is narrated as only “One God” without anyone associate or equal to him, so as Christian does not believe on Quran so no question of its understanding, whatever argument we give or Allah has given. “The Words of God” is actually Quran whereas their Bible has been proved to be corrupted, and are so called inspiration to different authors, which they themselves have no position of being given any revelation by anyone as was given by Jibreel to Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) and all other prophets.
Muslims believe that if anyone believes in trinity and that Prophet Jesus (pbuh) was son of God then he/she is a Kafir (unbeliever) as well as Mushrik. We have to follow Allah’s words:
"The Messenger (Muhammad) believes in what has been sent down to him from his Lord, and (so do) the believers. Each one believes in Allâh, His Angels, His Books, and His Messengers. They say, "We make no distinction between one another of His Messengers" - and they say, "We hear, and we obey. (We seek) Your Forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the return (of all)." (Al-Baqarah 2:285)
The above are all in reply to verse An-Nisaa’ 4:171.
Regarding the verse 5:116:
“And behold! Allah will say (On Judgment Day) "O Jesus the son of Mary! did you say unto men worship me and my mother as gods in derogation of Allah"? He will say: "Glory to You! never could I say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing you would indeed have known it. You know what is in my heart though I know not what is in yours. For You know in full all that is hidden” (Al-Maeda 5:116)
It seems that at the time of Jesus himself, people may have started worshipping Mary, as being the mother of a so called god (which means that she should be wife of god, and therefore god) so the same will be questioned to Jesus on the Day of Judgment. So Allah knows better than the present are past people, and knows even what is hidden thoughts of breast.
And Allah knows the best.
Why was mankind created?
Answer: Answer: Praise be to Allah.
Let us start from ourselves. As human, we have got capability and wisdom to create something from the resources and facilities available to us. In us, there are scientist, engineers, doctors, technologist, and of many other fields, who have invented, created developed, explored many many new things. Why, because its our inherent instinct to do something new to get us recognized and also to have facilities for our life.
Even, as human we have inherent wish to get multiplied, although we can live without child. But due to instinct of getting recognized we get born our children, give them names as we like but they are recognized by our added name in their life as father name. No record of human is without father’s name.
When we human being, having of no comparison to God’s creation power, want to get recognized as creator of something new (inventor, discoverer, or any other field e.g. poet, writer, builder etc etc.) then why we think God, Who has unlimited power of creation from, should be challenged for why he created human or any any other creation. He has not take permission for what He wants to create or do. He has no beginning nor any end.
Allah says about Himself:
“He is the First and the Last, the Evident and the Immanent: and He has full knowledge of all things” (Al-Hadid 57:3)
Narrated Imran bin Husain: When Prophet Muhammad (saw), was asked how this universe started to exist, He said, "First of all, there was nothing but Allah, and (then He created His Throne) His throne was over the water, and He wrote everything in the Book (in the Heaven) and created the Heavens and the Earth."
Being The Only Creator, First He created His throne. Quran says:
“And He it is Who has created the heavens and the earth in six Days and His Throne was on the water, that He might try you, which of you is the best in deeds….” (Hood 11:7)
To understand the power of His creation, we cannot imagine his power, only just see how big is His Kursi (chair). When kursi is so big how big will be throne.
“….. His kursi extends over the heavens and the earth……” (Al-Baqarah 2:255)
(Kursi means chair, which is on throne, kursi is so big that it is bigger than all universe)
Then He created all universe in six days (periods).
“Indeed your Lord is Allâh, Who created the heavens and the earth in Six Days, and then He Istawâ (rose over) the Throne (really in a manner that suits His Majesty)…….” (Al-A’raaf 7:54)
This creation was not with just without wisdom, instead of immediate He given time, as He gives time to everything to get developed (e.g. kid), do its function etc. but we see there is no flaw in his creation. He says in Quran:
“[And] who created seven heavens in layers. You do not see in the creation of the Most Merciful any inconsistency. So return [your] vision [to the sky]; do you see any breaks? (3) Then return [your] vision twice again. [Your] vision will return to you humbled while it is fatigued” (Al-Mulk 67:3-4)
So He first created His throne on water, then created universe. When He created angels, is not described in books, but of course they were created possibly before Jinns and definitely before humans.
About the vastness of universe, with modern technologies, still we don’t know how vast and complicated it is, and how it is being sustained. Earth in this universe is just like a dot, difficult to see in universal galaxies. And all His creation is not for just play.
“We created not the heavens and the earth and all that is between them for a (mere) play (16) If We had wished to find pastime, We could have found it in Our Presence - if ever We did” (Al-Anbiya’ 21:16 -17)
After creation all above, He decided to create a super creation and proudly said to angels in heaven:
“Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: "I will create a vicegerent on earth." (Al-Baqarah 2:30)
Creation of Human was so superior, that to get angels know human superiority on them. He said:
“And He taught Adam the names of all things; then He placed them before the angels, and said: "Tell me the names of these if ye are right." (Al-Baqarah 2:31)
Angels were not able to tell the names and accepted their inability to be superior to human.
“They (angels) said: Glory is to You, we have no knowledge except what you have taught us. Verily, it is You, the All-Knower, the All-Wise” (Al Baqarah 2:32)
Not only this, He further ordered them to prostrate to Adam (first human), This superiority was not only on angels but Jinns also, and order was to Iblis also, who was in heaven at that time:
“And behold, We said to the angels: "Bow down to Adam" and they bowed down. Not so Iblis: he refused and was haughty: He was of those who reject Faith” (Al Baqarah 2:34)
Angels are always obeying and worshipping. Jinns are created from smokeless fire and given the ability to obey or disobey. But they were not having qualities as given to human, and whatever is on earth was created for the benefit of human and none else. Because these things were required for human sustenance.
"It is He, who has created for you all things on the earth …..." (Al-Baqara 2:28)
For humans He provided before human creation everything human will need.
“And He gives you of all that you ask Him; and if you count Allah's favors, you will not be able to number them; most surely man is very unjust, very ungrateful” (Ibraheem 14:34)
I want to stress the Power of His creation, and importance of Human. He created everything to show His power of creation. Then to show His creation capability, created human, superior to Angels and Jinn.
He created Human by His own hands, which He did not say about other two and created in best farm as He said.
“Verily, We created man of the best stature (mould)” (At-Teen 95:4)
“He it is Who hath placed you as viceroys of the earth and hath exalted some of you in rank above others, that He may try you by (the test of) that which He hath given you ….” (Al-Anaam 6:165)
What capabilities have given to human is not given to any of His other creation. All universe is empty of any inhabitants, like human who benefitted all what He created on earth.
Human body structure is totally different of all creations. There are other creations like angels and jinns, but human was given superiority and thats why, we see how human has developed things on earth, which was not possible by any other creation.
So Allah created human as best of His creation, with intention that this creation will be thankful to Him, accept him as Hiss Lord and will worship him. So Allah ordered human to obey and worship always.
But Allah has given human options to accept Him as Lord, and worship Him or not. Allah wanted it not by force (which He could have done, just as angels) but He wanted from human voluntarily, by heart. Our life on earth is now a test for us, as Allah said:
“Do men think that they will be left alone on saying, "We believe", and that they will not be tested? (2) We did test those before them, and Allah will certainly know those who are true from those who are false (3) Do those who practice evil think that they will get the better of Us? Evil is their judgment” (Al-‘Ankaboot 29:2 - 4)
Jinns were also given the same option of accepting Him or not, but for both it was His wish, that they will worship him alone.
Allah says in Quran.
“I have not created jinn nor men except to worship Me” (Ad-Dhariyat 51:56)
Worshipping means living on earth (jinns also live on earth) and should always obey His messenger and His books teachings. And the reward of this will be that they will enter Heaven, for which Allah says:
“No person knows what is kept hidden for them of joy as a reward for what they used to do” (As-Sajda 32:17)
Allah (swt) says: "The description of Paradise which the Muttaqoon have been promised is that in it are rivers of water the taste and smell of which are not changed; rivers of milk of which the taste never changes; rivers of wine delicious to those who drink; and rivers of clarified honey [clear and pure].." (Muhammad 47:15)
So Human is created to obey Allah and whatever He sent through His messengers, His books, but for present days, it is required that human should act on the teachings of last messenger Muhammad (pbuh), which details human how to lead his life in all spheres of life. If human do that than it is promise from Him, that He will enter him His heaven.
“Lo! those who believe and do good works, for them are the gardens of delight (8) Wherein they will abide. It is a promise of Allah in truth. He is the Mighty, the Wise” (Luqman 31:8 - 9)
Allah is also very merciful, and He knows that we will sin also, but He will forgive if human repent and also He forgives many sins when somebody is steady mostly good deeds.
"Those who believe and work righteous deeds,- from them shall We blot out all evil (that may be) in them, and We shall reward them according to the best of their deeds” (Al-‘Ankaboot 29:7)
However Allah has promised to Himself that He will not forgive the one who has associated anyone partner with Him (shirk). It means, even if one may be the most chaste person in the world, but if he is having faith that there is anyone additional god or partner with Him in His affairs, then he will never be forgiven and admitted in heaven.
“Verily! Allah 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)
So the purpose of human on earth is to believe on one God, obey and worship Him as He desires, so that when he goes back, he goes to heaven from where he was sent on earth.
And Allah knows the best.