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The Meaning of Tawheed (The Oneness of Allah)

 

Transcribed by Editorial Staff

As-salam ‘alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

This is Sister Ameena Blake coming to you with the New Muslim Bites. And this is the second session.

And today we are going to be talking about “belief in the one God, Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala)”.

Now, when I first became Muslim one of the things that really surprised me was when I realised that Allah is the same as God and God is Allah and that actually Christian people call God Allah not God.

Allah is the correct name to use when we’re referring to God and the reason being is because in the Arabic language it’s totally unique. You can’t say goddess like you can say goddess in English but you can’t make the word Allah into a feminine tense. You can’t make it into a plural tense so it’s a totally unique word.

Tawheed

Now, when the belief in the one God that when belief in Allah is manifested in a word called “Tawheed”. Tawheed basically is an Arabic word which means unification or asserting oneness. So, Tawheed basically means believing in the Oneness of Allah.

Now, one of the questions that comes up a lot especially for new Muslims is: “where is Allah?”

Now, there’s a very simple answer to this and it’s very clear in the Quran and in the Hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him) that Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) is in fact above his creation. He is above his throne. And this is related in Surah (70:3-4), surah (35:10). And also there is a hadith or many hadith but one particular one that says that Rasul Allah (Allah’s Messenger) (salla Allahu ‘alaihee wa sallam) says as part of this hadith:

He who is above the Heavens (fi al-samaa) which means the heavens will be Merciful to you.

So, these are sort of things because sometimes people misunderstand and people say that Allah is everywhere. Allah is not everywhere. Allah is All-Knowing. Allah is aware of everything, everything we do, everything we say, everything we think. He is so close to us but physically he is above His Throne in heaven.

Surah 112, Al-Ikhlas (Pure Sincerity)

Now one surah in the Quran which is usually one of the first ones that we learn is Surat Al-Ikhlas.

112:1 Qul huwa Allahu ahad (Say, “He (is) Allah, the One)

112: 2 Allah-u ṣ-ṣamad (Allah, the Eternal, the Absolute)

112: 3 Lam yalid walam yūlad (He begets not nor is He begotten)

So, in other words he doesn’t have a mother and father and he doesn’t have offspring, that sons and daughters.

112:4 Walam yakun lahu kufuwan aḥad (And there is nothing like Allah)

So, we can’t imagine what Allah looks like. We shouldn’t imagine what Allah looks like. However, Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) gives us a description of his attributes and there are 99 names that describe these. One of them for example is Al-Rahman, the Merciful.

Now, Tawheed like we were talking about before is split into three different areas:

The first area is Tawheed Al-Rububiyah (the Unity of Allah’s Lordship)

The second area is Tawheed Al-Asmaa wal Sifat which means the unity of Allah’s names and attributes. That basically means that we are not allowed to give a false attribute to Allah or add names to Allah’s names.

So, for example and we couldn’t describe Allah like in the Bible. Allah is described as creating the heavens in the earth in six days and resting on the seventh day. Resting is a human attribute. Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) doesn’t feel any fatigue or need a rest. Allah is not a human. Allah created humans. He doesn’t have these needs like we have.

And the third area is Tawheed Al-‘Ibadah. Al-‘Ibadah means the unity of worship. So, Tawheed (the Unity) Al-“Ibadah (of Worship)

Now, this is where we put our belief in the one God into action and that means that we avoid all Shirk.  Shirk is a word that means when we associate something with Allah. So, for example (shirk is) when somebody worships another god other than Allah even if they believe in Allah but then they worship another god.  So, for example that the Christians will say that in ’Isa or Jesus (peace be upon him) is the son of God. This is a shirk in Islam. This is something that is that is not allowed. And so we avoid all this.

The Purpose of Creation

In the Quran in surah (51:56) Allah says that he created us all with the purpose of worshipping Him. And we’re going to talk a little bit more about that in future sessions.

So, that’s the end of this little short mini session. I hope that it’s been helpful. The next session moving on is I’m going to talk a little bit about Shirk, the different types of shirk and how we can avoid committing Shirk. so (In sha’a Allah) I’ll speak to you next time.

Was-salam ‘alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

Peace be to you all!


Session 1: The Meaning of Shahada in Four Minutes

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Intercessors on the Day of Resurrection. Who? – Part 5

By Editorial Staff

On the Day of Resurrection, Allah will give the right of intercession to Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace) in the first place. Other intercessors include the angels, the prophets, and the believers and, what’s more, there will be the Intercession of Allah.

There are still others who will be enjoying this high status on the Day of Judgment. We wrote about the first four intercessors in a previous article. The other intercessors include the following:

In the Hereafter, children will be united with their good and righteous parents even if they fall short of their parents’ status in the Paradise.

5. The martyrs

Once they die, martyrs get a lot of rewards and favors in their next life. One of these favors is that they will intercede with Allah on behalf of their relatives. Narrated Al-Miqdam bin Ma’diykarib:

That the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “There are six things with Allah for the martyr. He is forgiven with the first flow of blood (he suffers), he is shown his place in Paradise, he is protected from punishment in the grave, secured from the greatest terror, the crown of dignity is placed upon his head – and its gems are better than the world and what is in it – he is married to seventy two wives from the wide-eyed houris of Paradise, and he may intercede for seventy of his close relatives.” (Al-Tirmidhi)

6. Parents

Parents’ righteousness and belief benefit their children in this life and Afterlife. In this life, children may follow and learn from their parents the teachings of Islam. In the Hereafter and as a result of following in their parents’ footsteps, children will be united with their parents even if they fall short of their parents’ status in the Paradise. Allah says,

“Moreover, (as for) those who (in the world) believed -and whose children followed them in faith- We shall unite their children with them. And We shall not deprive them of anything (from the rewards) of their (good) work.” (Quran 52:21)

7. Children

It may happen that a child dies at an early age. If the child’s parents are patient, Allah will provide them with huge rewards that outweigh their anguish. Of these rewards, such a child will intercede with Allah on behalf of his or her parents. Abu Hassan reported:

I said to Abu Huraira that my two children had died. Would you narrate to me anything from Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) a hadith which would soothe our hearts in our bereavements? He said: Yes. Small children are the fowls of Paradise. If one of them meets his father (or he said his parents) he would take hold of his cloth, or he said with his hand as I take hold of the hem of your cloth (with my hand). And he (the child) would not take off (his hand) from it until Allah causes his father to enter Paradise. (Muslim)

8. The Gracious Quran

The Gracious Quran, especially Surat Al-Baqarah (the Cow) and Al-‘Imran (the Family of ‘Imran), will be interceding with Allah on the Day of Resurrection on behalf of those who believe in, always recite and follow the teachings of the Quran. Abu Umama said he heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) say:

Recite the Qur’an, for on the Day of Resurrection it will come as an intercessor for those who recite It. Recite the two bright ones, Surat Al-Baqara and Surat Al ‘Imran, for on the Day of Resurrection they will come as two clouds or two shades, or two flocks of birds in ranks, pleading for those who recite them. Recite Surat Al-Baqara, for to take recourse to it is a blessing and to give it up is a cause of grief, and the magicians cannot confront it. (Mu’awiya said: It has been conveyed to me that here Batala means magicians.) (Muslim)

Living persons interceding on behalf of the departed

This happens when a Muslim person dies and Muslims make supplications to Allah to shower such a person with His mercy and to forgive him. Supplications are made just after a person’s death, during funeral prayer, and after burial. In addition, people who love the departed continue to make supplications for him or her. Here supplication acts as an intercession with Allah. ‘Abdullah b. ‘Abbas reported that his son died in Qudaid or ‘Usfan. He said to Kuraib to see as to how many people had gathered there for his (funeral). He (Kuraib) said:

So I went out and I informed him about the people who had gathered there. He (Ibn ‘Abbas) said: Do you think they are forty? He (Kuraib) said: Yes. Ibn ‘Abbas then said to them: Bring him (the dead body) out for I have heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: If any Muslim dies and forty men who associate nothing with Allah stand over his prayer (they offer prayer over him), Allah will accept them as intercessors for him. (Muslim)

 

In fact, it is part of our Islamic teachings and traditions to make supplications to Allah for all our Muslim brothers and sisters who came before us even if we may not have seen them. This often happens especially when good sons or daughters ask Allah to forgive their parents. On the authority of Abu Hurairah (Allah be pleased with him) who said: the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said:

Allah (The One to whom belongs absolute power and majesty) does raise the status of a good servant in the Paradise. Thereupon, he or she will say, “O my Lord! How have I reached this degree?” He will say, “This is through asking for forgiveness for you by your son (or daughter)”. (Imam Ahmed)

Things that bring about intercession

We have already mentioned some of the things that bring about intercession whether you are the intercessor or the person interceded on his or her behalf. The Gracious Quran acts an intercessor on the Day of Judgment as mentioned above. Also, performing prayer more often may also bring about intercession. However, you may become an intercessor when you offer funeral prayers. Other things that may bring about intercession include:

1. Living in Medina

Ibn ‘Umar (Allah be pleased with them) reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying:

He who patiently endures the hardships of it (of this city of Medina), I would be an intercessor or a witness on his behalf on the Day of Resurrection. (Muslim)

2. Saying prayers of supplications related to Adhan (the call to prayer)

‘Abdullah b. Amr b. al-As reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying:

When you hear the Mu’adhdhin (the caller to prayer), repeat what he says, then invoke a blessing on me, for everyone who invokes a blessing on me will receive ten blessings from Allah; then beg from Allah al-Wasila for me, which is a rank in Paradise fitting for only one of Allah’s servants, and I hope that I may be that one. If anyone who asks that I be given the Wasila, he will be assured of my intercession. (muslim)

3. Avoiding cursing people

Abud-Darda’ (May Allah be pleased with him) said:

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Those who frequently resort to cursing (people) would neither be accepted as witnesses nor as intercessors on the Day of Resurrection.” (Muslim)

 

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Miracle of Ayat Al-Kursi- The Greatest Verse of The Quran

It is known that (2:255) which is called Ayat Al-Kursi (The Verse of the Seat of Divinity) is the greatest verse of the Gracious Quran. Muslims are even recommended to recite it after every obligatory prayer. We should pay attention, memorize and learn it for the many virtues it has. In the following video, there is a stunning commentary on this verse taken from a lecture called: “The Final Miracle” by Nouman Ali Khan

Translation of Ayat Al-Kursi

God! There is no God but Him, the All-Living, the Self-Subsisting (All-Sustaining One). Slumber does not overtake Him, nor does sleep. To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. Who is it that shall intercede with Him, except by His permission? He knows what lies before them and what lies behind them. And they do not comprehend anything of His knowledge except that which He wills. His Seat (of Divinity) encompasses the heavens and the earth, and preserving them does not fatigue Him. For He is the Ever-Exalted, the Magnificent. (Quran 2:255)

Transliteration Ayat Al-Kursi

Allahu la ilaha illa huwa alhayyu alqayyoomu la ta’khuthuhu sinatun wala nawmun lahu ma fee alssamawati wama fee al-ardi man tha allathee yashfaAAu AAindahu illa bi-ithnihi yaAAlamu ma bayna aydeehim wama khalfahum wala yuheetoona bishay-in min AAilmihi illa bima shaa wasiAAa kursiyyuhu alssamawati waal-arda wala yaooduhu hifthuhuma wahuwa alAAaliyyu alAAatheemu

 

 

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Shirk (Polytheism): its Meaning and Different Forms!

Transcribed by Editorial Staff

A’udhu bi-llahi min ash-shaitan ar-rajim

Bism-illah Ar-Rahman Ar-Rahim

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-Salam ‘alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh

This is Sister Ameena Blake coming to you with part three of New Muslim Bites. And as I mentioned last time, this time we’re going to be talking about the area of Shirk.

Shirk

Now, Shirk is the exact opposite of what we were talking about last time which was Tawheed which is believing in the Oneness of Allah. Now, Shirk is the opposite of this. This is when we put a partnership or associating others with Allah. And this can come in many, many different forms.

In Surah 4 verse 48, Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) says,

Surely Allah will not forgive association of partners with Him. (Quran 4:48)

But of course in order to avoid something we must understand what it is in the first place. Now, there are two distinct areas of Shirk that have been defined by the scholars: one of them is Ash-Shirk Al-Akbar which is the major Shirk and the other one is Ash-Shirk Al-Asghar which means the minor Shirk.

Ash-Shirk Al-Akbar

And today, we’re going to be talking a little bit about the major Shirk. Now if you remember, we talked about Tawheed in Rububiyah which means the believing in the Oneness of Allah through his Lordship.

Today, we’re going to talk about the opposite of this which is Shirk in Rububiyah which is when people associate others with Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala). And now, there are lots of examples with this both from within Islam unfortunately and from outside Islam. Of the obvious one that we know about in the UK is with the Trinity where you have Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala), and Christians believe in Allah and but then they believe in ‘Isa (Jesus) (‘Alaihi As-Salam) as the son of Allah.

And for example in Hinduism, they believe in the one god, the creator. Their god, called Brahman, has partners called Vishnu and Shiva and in some branches other gods who share this partnership with him. So, they almost share the power. They are delegated jobs.

Atheism

Now, another type of Shirk in Rububiyah which will surprise some people is the belief that there is no god because this is also a belief. It’s the belief that there is no god. So for example, people who believe in Darwinism who say that there is no god at all. And these are people who commit Shirk in Rububiyah but in the opposite way.

Another good example of this is the ancient Pharaohs. The Pharaoh of Musa (Moses) (‘Alaihi As-Salam) who believed and said to his people, “Say that I am your lord the most high”.

(Subhan Allah), where as we know that Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) is the Lord, Most High and nobody else can create or has the power over our life and death or anything except Him.

The Third Form of Shirk

The third area is believing that a person, a thing such as a statue or an amulet or anything of that matter has power of its own. And that all that, it is a manifestation of Allah.

There are some sects of Muslims who believe, for example, that certain people are manifestations of Allah so they have almost this power. But of course as we know, Allah (Sub’anahu wa Ta’ala) is the only one who has the power.

So, Ash-Shirk Al-Akbar, to worship anything other than Allah and there’re some obvious ones and some less obvious ones. And so, what we’re going to do next time, in the next session, in shaa Allah, is explore that in a little bit more detail. And we are going to have a look at Ash-Shirk Al-Asghar, and talk a little bit in more detail about what the Rasul-ullah (Salla Allah-u ‘Alaihi wa sallam), the Prophet (peace be upon him) said about this type of Shirk and how we can avoid that as well. So, for this time, in shaa Allah, I will bid my farewell.

And As-Salamu ‘Alaikum wa rahmatu Allah-i wa barakatuh

 

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