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ABC's of Islam New Muslims

A Glimpse of Islam

Sheikh Yusuf Estes sheds light on the religion of Islam and its pillars. He also explains the meaning of the testimony of faith. Among other things, this lecture also touches upon the story of Adam and Eve and how Satan caused them to be drived out of Paradise. Watch this video to learn more…

 

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Articles of Faith New Muslims

Prophethood in Islam

Guidance can be obtained neither from science nor from mystic experience.

Guidance can be obtained neither from science nor from mystic experience.

Prophethood is not unknown to heavenly revealed religions, such as Judaism and Christianity. In Islam, however, it has a special status and significance.

According to Islam, Allah created man for a noble purpose: to worship Him and lead a virtuous life based on His teachings and guidance. How would man know his role and the purpose of his existence unless he received clear and practical instructions of what Allah wants him to do? Here comes the need for prophethood. Thus Allah has chosen from every nation at least one Prophet to convey His Message to people.

One might ask, how were the prophets chosen and who were entitled to this great honor?

Prophethood is Allah’s blessing and favor that He may bestow on whom He wills. However, from surveying the various messengers throughout history, three features of a prophet may be recognized:

1. He is the best in his community morally and intellectually. This is necessary because a prophet’s life serves as a role model for his followers. His personality should attract people to accept his message rather than drive them away by his imperfect character. After receiving the message, he is infallible. That is, he would not commit any sin. He might make some minor mistakes, which are usually corrected by revelation.

2. He is supported by miracles to prove that he is not an imposter. Those miracles are granted by the power and permission of God and are usually in the field in which his people excel and are recognized as superior. We might illustrate this by quoting the major miracles of the three prophets of the major world religions; Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Moses’ (peace be upon him) contemporaries were excellent in magic, so his major miracle was to defeat the best magicians of Egypt of his day. Jesus’ (peace be upon him) contemporaries were recognized as skilled physicians; therefore, his miracles were to raise the dead and cure incurable diseases. The Arabs, the contemporaries of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), were known for their eloquence and magnificent poetry. So Prophet Muhammad’s major miracle was the Qur’an, the equivalent of which the whole legion of Arab poets and orators could not produce, despite the repeated challenge from the Qur’an itself.

Again, Muhammad’s miracle has something special about it. All previous miracles were limited by time and place; that is, they were shown to specific people at a specific time. Not so with the miracle of Prophet Muhammad; the Qur’an. It is a universal and everlasting miracle. Previous generations witnessed it and future generations will witness its miraculous nature in terms of its style, content and spiritual uplifting. These can still be tested and will thereby prove the divine origin of the Qur’an.

3. Every prophet states clearly that what he receives is not of his own, but from God for the well-being of mankind. He also confirms what was revealed before him and what may be revealed after him. A prophet does this to show that he is simply conveying the message that is entrusted to him by the One True God of all people in all ages. So the message is one in essence and for the same purpose. Therefore, it should not deviate from what was revealed before him or what might come after him.

Prophets are necessary for conveying God’s instructions and guidance to mankind. We have no way of knowing why we were created. What will happen to us after death? Is there any life after death? Are we accountable for our actions? These and so many other questions about God, angels, paradise, hell, and more, cannot be answered without direct revelation from the Creator and Knower of the unseen. Those answers must be authentic and must be brought by individuals whom we trust and respect. That is why messengers are the elite of their societies in terms of moral conduct and intellectual ability.

Hence, the slanderous Biblical stories about some of the great prophets are not accepted by Muslims. For example, Lot is reported to have committed incestuous fornication while drunk. David is alleged to have sent one of his leaders to his death in order to marry his wife. Prophets, to Muslims, are greater than what these stories indicate. These stories cannot be true from the Islamic point of view.

The prophets are also miraculously supported by God and instructed by Him to affirm the continuity of the message. The content of the prophets’ message to mankind can be summarized as follows:

a) Clear concept of God: His attributes, His creation, what should and should not be ascribed to Him.

b) Clear idea about the unseen world, the angels, jinn (spirits), Paradise and Hell.

c) Why God has created us, what He wants from us and what rewards and punishments are for obedience and disobedience.

d) How to run our societies according to His will. That is, clear instructions and laws that, when applied correctly and honestly, will result in a smoothly functioning, harmonious society.

It is clear from the above discussion that there is no substitute for prophets. Even today with the advancement of science, the only authentic source of information about the supernatural world is revelation. Guidance can be obtained neither from science nor from mystic experience. The first is too materialistic and limited; the second is too subjective and frequently misleading.

Now one might ask:

How many prophets has God sent to humanity?

We do not know for sure. Some Muslim scholars have suggested 240,000 prophets. We are only sure of what is clearly mentioned in the Qur’an, that God has sent a messenger to every nation. That is because it is one of God’s principles that He will never call a people to account unless He has made clear to them what to do and what not to do. The Qur’an mentions the names of 25 prophets and indicates that there have been others who were not mentioned to Prophet Muhammad. These 25 include Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad (peace be upon them all). These five are the greatest among God’s messengers. They are called ‘the resolute’ prophets.

An outstanding aspect of the Islamic belief in prophethood is that Muslims believe in and respect all the messengers of God with no exceptions. All the prophets came from the same One God, for the same purpose: to lead mankind to God. Hence, belief in them all is essential and logical; accepting some and rejecting others has to be based on misconceptions of the prophet’s role or on a racial bias.

The Muslims are the only people in the world who consider the belief in all the prophets an article of faith. Thus the Jews reject Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them), and the Christians reject Muhammad (peace be upon him). The Muslims accept them all as Messengers of God who brought guidance to mankind. However, the revelations which those prophets before Muhammad brought from God has been tampered with in one way or another.

The belief in all the prophets of God is enjoined upon the Muslims in the Qur’an:

Say (O Muslims): We believe in Allah and that which is revealed to us and that which was revealed to Abraham and Ishmael, and Isaac and Jacob, and their children, and that which Moses and Jesus received and that the prophets received from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them and unto Him we have surrendered. (Al-Baqarah 2:136)

The Qur’an continues in the following verses to instruct the Muslims that this is the true and impartial belief. If other nations believe in the same, they are following in the right track. If they do not, they must be following their own whims and biases and God will take care of them. Thus we read:

And if they believe in what you believe, then they are rightly guided. But if they turn away, then they are in disunity, and Allah will suffice you against them. He is the Hearer, the Knower. This is God’s religion and who is better than God in religion? (Al-Baqarah 2:137-138)

There are, at least, two important points related to prophethood that need to be clarified. These points concern the roles of Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them) as prophets, who are usually misunderstood.

The Qur’anic account of Jesus emphatically rejects the concept of his ‘divinity’ and ‘divine sonship’ and presents him as one of the great prophets of God. The Qur’an makes it clear that the birth of Jesus without a father does not make him the son of God and mentions, in this respect, Adam, who was created by God without a father or mother.

Truly, the likeness of Jesus, in God’s sight, is as Adam’s likeness; He created him of dust, them said He unto him “Be”, and he was. (Aal `Imran 3:59)

Like other prophets, Jesus also performed miracles. For example, he raised the dead and cured the blind and lepers, but while showing these miracles, he always made it clear that it was all from God. Actually, the misconceptions about the personality and mission of Jesus found a way among his followers because the divine message he preached was not recorded during his presence in the world. Rather, it was recorded after a lapse of about one hundred years. According to the Qur’an, he was sent to the children of Israel; he confirmed the validity of the Torah, which was revealed to Moses, and he also brought the glad tidings of a final Messenger after him.

And when Jesus son of Mary said, “Children of Israel. I am indeed the messenger to you, confirming the Torah that is before me, and giving good tidings of a Messenger who shall come after me, whose name shall be the praised one. (As-Saff 61:6)

(The “praised one” is the translation of “Ahmad”, which is Prophet Muhammad’s name.)

However, the majority of the Jews rejected his ministry. They plotted against his life and in their opinion, crucified him. But the Qur’an refutes this opinion and says that they neither killed him nor crucified him; rather, he was raised up to God. There is a verse in the Qur’an which implies that Jesus will come back and all the Christians and Jews will believe in him before he dies. This is also supported by authentic sayings of the Prophet Muhammad.

The last Prophet of God, Muhammad, was born in Arabia in the sixth century C.E. Up to the age of forty, people of Makkah knew him only as a man of excellent character and cultured manners and called him Al-Ameen (the trustworthy).

He also did not know that he was soon to be made a prophet and receiver of revelation from God. He called the idolaters of Makkah to worship the one and only God and accept him (Muhammad) as His prophet. The revelation that he received was preserved in his lifetime in the memory of his companions and was also recorded on pieces of palm leaf, leather, etc. Thus the Qur’an that is found today is the same that was revealed to him, not a syllable of it has been altered, as God Himself has guaranteed its preservation. This Qur’an claims to be the book of guidance for all of humanity for all times, and mentions Muhammad as the last Prophet of God.

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Source: iiie.net

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From Adam to Noah: The Need for Guidance

nature landscape

They were one united community. Adam was the one father of all of them, and Allah was their One Lord.

After Adam (peace and blessings be upon him) Allah blessed the descendants of Adam, his children and grandchildren, and they spread and multiplied. If Adam had come back and seen them all, and someone had said to him, ‘These are your descendants, Adam’, he  would have been astonished. He would have said, ‘Glory be to Allah! These are all my children! These are all my descendants!‘

Adam’s descendants founded many villages. They built many houses. They ploughed the land, grew crops  and lived in comfort and contentment. They followed the way of their ancestor, Adam. They worshipped only Allah and did not worship anything else besides Him.

They were one united community. Adam was the one father of all of them, and Allah was their One Lord.

Satan’s Envy

Satan had not bowed down to Adam when Allah had commanded him to do so. So he was driven out and damned forever. But how could Satan and his descendants be content with this? Were not people still worshipping Allah? Were not people still a single community with no differences?

That could not be! Would Adam’s descendants go to the Garden (Paradise) while Iblis and his descendants went to the Fire? That could not be! Should not he take revenge on the sons of Adam so that they would go to the Fire with him?

Satan’s Idea

But how could Satan do that when people were worshipping Allah? He decided to call them to worship idols so that they would go to the Fire and never get to the Garden.

He knew that Allah forgives people all sins, if He so wills, except one. Allah never forgives people worshipping other things besides Him or as well as Him.

So Satan decided to call the people to associate  other things with Allah so that they would never go to the Garden. But how could he persuade them?

If he went to the people and said to them, ‘Worship idols’. ‘Do not worship Allah’, they would curse him and chase him off. They would say: ‘Allah forbid! How can we associate other things with our Lord? How can we worship idols? You are a cursed Satan! You are a foul Satan!‘

So Satan had to look for another way, a cleverer way, to get the people to do as he wanted.

Satan’s Trick

There had been men who feared Allah and worshipped Him night and day and who remembered Him often.

They had loved Allah, so Allah had loved them and answered their prayers. People loved them and spoke of them with respect long after they had died and gone to Allah’s mercy.

Satan was well aware of this. So he went to the people and mentioned those men. He said, ‘What do you think of so-and-so and so-and-so and so-and-so?’

They said, ‘Glory be to Allah! They were men of Allah and His friends. When those men prayed, He answered them. When they asked, He gave to them.’

Pictures of the Righteous Men

Satan asked, ‘How great is your sorrow for them?’ They replied, ‘Very great indeed. He asked, ‘How great is your longing for them?‘ They replied, ‘Very great indeed!‘

He asked, ‘Why don’t you look at them every day then?‘ They said, ‘How can we do that when they are dead?‘ He said, ‘Make pictures of them and look at them every morning.

People liked Satan’s idea and made such pictures and looked at them every day. Whenever they saw the pictures, they remembered how those holy men had lived.

From Pictures to Statues

In time, the people moved on from making pictures to making statues. They made many statues of the holy men and put them in their houses and their mosques.

They still worshipped Allah and did not associate anything with Him. They knew that these were only statues of holy men and that they could neither help nor hurt them nor provide for them. They showed them respect because they were reminders of the holy men.

As time passed, the number of statues increased.

The people respected them more and more. They got used to having them around and looked for blessings in them.

Now whenever one of their holy men died, they would make a statue of him and name it alter him.

From Statues to Idols

Sons saw their fathers looking for blessings through the statues and saw how much respect they had for them.

They saw them kiss the statues, dress them and pray to Allah in their presence. They saw them lower their heads and bow down in their presence.

When the fathers passed away, the sons added to what their fathers had done. They began to prostrate themselves before them, to ask the statues for things and to sacrifice animals to them. In this way the statues were turned into idols.

People began to worship them as they had worshipped Allah before. They had a lot of these idols. One was Wadd. Another was Suwa’. This was Yaghuth. That was Ya`uq. Another was Nasr.

Allah’s Anger

Allah became very angry with the people. He cursed them. How could Allah not be angry with the people because of what they were doing? Was this what they were created for? Was this what they were given provision for?

They walked on Allah’s earth, but rejected Allah! They ate Allah’s provision, but associated others with Allah! How terrible a sin!

Allah was so angry with the people that He held back the rain and made things hard for them. Their harvests were small and few children were born to them.

But the people did not learn their lesson from that, they did not understand. They did not turn to Allah in repentance. They needed good counsel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        To be continued…

_________________________

The article is an excerpt from the author’s Stories of the Prophets, UK Islamic Academy publications.

 

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Between Russell Crowe, Biblical Noah and Qur’anic Noah

Noah movie

The movie “Noah” is an American epic biblically-inspired fantasy film based on the story of Noah’s Ark.

Nowadays, we all hear about the American movie “Noah” which is an American epic biblically-inspired fantasy film based on the story of Noah’s Ark, starring Russell Crowe as Prophet Noah.

As a matter of fact, many people do not know that the story of Noah is also quoted in the Qur’an as Muslims believe in Noah as a prophet of God. While the story of Prophet Noah is cited only once in the Genesis, it is recounted more than once in the Qur’an.

While we can find the story of Prophet Noah once in the Bible (Genesis 5:32-10:1), we can read it in several positions in the Qur’an, taking into consideration that there is a standalone chapter in the Qur’an dealing with the story of Noah, which is named after him: “Chapter of Noah”.

As the Arabic word “نوح” (“Noah” in English) is repeated about 43 times in the Qur’an as a reference to Prophet Noah, there are several positions where the story of Noah is narrated in detail (the Chapter of Noah as a whole [Noah 71:1-28]. , Al-Qamar 54:9-17, As-Saffat 37:75-82, Al-`Ankabut 29:14-15, Ash-Shu`araa’ 26:105-122, Al-Furqan 25:37, Al-Mu’minun 23:23-30, Al-Anbiyaa’ 21:76-77, Hud11:36-49, Yunus 10:71-73, Al-A`raf 7:59-64)

In fact, there is considerable similarity between the Qur’anic narration and the biblical narration on which the film is based but with reservations.

Indeed, the biblical account involves some statements which contradict the Qur’anic narration and sometimes the very commonsense. According to the Islamic perspective, such differences are attributable to the systematic distortion to which the Bible was exposed at several points of time.

For example, the Bible says that God repented the creation of man on the Earth and this grieved Him at His heart. That is why He said that He would destroy man from the face of the ground even along with beasts, the creeping things and the birds of the heavens. (Genesis 6:5-7)

In comparison, the Qur’an does not make mention of any repentance on the part of God. According to Islam, it does not beseem God to show human feelings especially repentance, regret and the like.

Under Islam, God foreknows everything and so He is unlikely to show regret. When God created man, He foreknew that he is likely to do evil. In the Qur’an, we read the following verse:

And (mention, O Muhammad), when your Lord said to the angels, ‘Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority.’ They said, ‘Will You place upon it one who causes corruption therein and sheds blood, while we declare Your praise and sanctify You?’ God said, ‘Indeed, I know that which you do not know.’ (Al-Baqarah 2:30)

The Qur’an tells us that the Trust was offered to the heavens, the earth and the mountains, but they declined to bear it and feared it, but man undertook to bear it. (Al-Ahzab 33:72)

The Qur’an goes on, making clear the consequences of bearing such Trust:

(It was) so that God may punish the hypocrite men and hypocrite women and the men and women who associate others with Him and that God may accept repentance from the believing men and believing women. And ever is God Forgiving and Merciful. (Al-Ahzab 33:73)

Thus, God knows beforehand what people are going to do even before He creates them. He will reward those who will do good, no matter how a few they may be. Likewise, He will punish those who will do evil, no matter how many they may be.

Furthermore, the Bible states that Noah “drank of the wine, and was drunken. And he was uncovered within his tent.” (Genesis 9:21)

Quran

The story of Noah is also quoted in the Qur’an as Muslims believe in Noah as a prophet of God

Since Muslims believe that Noah was a prophet of God, they cannot believe that a prophet of God might have drunk wine, been drunken or uncovered within his tent. According to them, an ordinary good man is unlikely to do that.

By contrast, a prophet is more unlikely to do that for this goes against the integrity of the prophets of God. Nowhere in the Qur’an can we find any such reference to a prophet of God.

Anyhow, laying aside the above differences between the biblical narration and the Qur’anic narration, we can conclude that there are many things in common and there are lessons that may be learnt from this story according to either the Bible or the Qur’an.

The crux of the matter here is the cause of faith, obedience to God and good deeds on the earth. Both the Bible and the Qur’an indicate that the Great Flood was caused by disbelief, sin, disobedience, wickedness, wrongdoing and aberration.

The Qur’an elucidates that Noah was a prophet whom God sent to call on people to worship God alone and believe in the Hereafter. Though he spared no effort to reform them, they insisted on disbelief and disobedience. As a result, God decided to destroy them and save Noah and the few believers who followed him.

In conclusion, we should not be distracted by the details from the significance of the stated story. It should be borne in mind that the story of Prophet Noah has a long-term, far-reaching purpose which everybody of us has to take into account.

The Qur’an refers to the Great Flood more than once as a sign and lesson to people so that they will take heed. (Yunus 10:73), (Al-Mu’minun 23: 30), (Al-Furqan 25:37), (Ash-Shu`araa’ 26:121), Al-Qamar 54:15)

Finally, this deluge was a unique, momentous event which was meant as an everlasting warning to all humanity against disbelief and disobedience. Suffice it to say that the followers of all Abrahamic religions, including Jews, Christians and Muslims, believe in this historic occurrence.

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Source: IslamforChristians.com

Read Also:

From Adam to Noah: The Need for Guidance

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Prophet Noah’s Call and Message

The Messenger

idols worship

The rich were too proud of being rich to believe. Their pride, property and children distracted them from thinking about the next world.

Allah does not speak to each person individually or tell each one to do this or do that. The angels are a race just like mankind. It is possible to see them and hear what they say, if Allah wills. But the angels do not speak  to each person individually either, or tell each one to do this or do that.

Only Allah can choose the person who will receive His message to give to the people. Allah wanted to send a messenger to the people who could speak to them and counsel them. Allah chose to send the children of Adam a man from among themselves to speak to them  and give them good counsel.

Man or Angel?

Allah wanted this messenger to be a man and to be one of the people. That way they would recognize him and understand what he said.

If the messenger had been an angel, the people might say, ‘What has he got to do with us? He is an angel and we are mortals! We eat and drink and we have wives and children. How can we worship Allah?‘

But if the messenger were a man, he could answer, ‘I eat and drink; I have a wife and children. But I worship Allah. Why don’t you worship Allah?‘

If the messenger had been an angel, the people  might say to him, ‘You do not get hungry or thirsty. You do not get ill or die. So you can worship Allah and  remember Him always!‘ But if the messenger were a man, he could answer, ‘I am just like you. I get hungry and  thirsty. I get ill and will die. But I worship Allah and  remember Him. So why don’t you worship Allah? Why don’t you remember Him?‘ In this way the people would not be able to make up excuses.

Noah, the Messenger

Allah chose to send Noah to his people. There were wealthy people and leaders among the  children of Adam, but Allah alone knew who should carry His message and who could bear His trust.

Noah was a pious and generous man; he was intelligent and forbearing, compassionate and sincere. He was truthful and trustworthy and known for giving good counsel, Allah revealed to Noah, “Warn your people before a painful punishment comes to them.” (Nuh 71:1) So Noah stood up among his people and told them, “I am a faithful messenger to you”. (Ash-Shu`araa’ 26:107)

What Answer Did His People Give to Him?

When Noah began to say to his people, “I am a faithful messenger to you“ (Ash-Shu`araa’ 26:107) some of them answered back, ‘When did this man become a Prophet?’

Yesterday he was one of us and today he says, ”I am Allah’s messenger to you”!‘ Noah’s friends said, ‘This man used to play with us when we were young and he sat with us every day. When did he become a Prophet? Was it during the day or the night?‘

The rich and proud said, ‘Couldn’t Allah find anyone except him? Has everyone else died? Couldn’t He find anyone except a poor man from among the common people?‘

The ignorant ones said to each other: “This is only a man like yourselves, if Allah had willed, He would have sent down angels. We have never heard of this among our fathers, the ancients.” (Al-Mu’minun 23:24)

Some of the people said that Noah only wanted to become a leader, a man of power and position among them, by saying he was the messenger of Allah.

Noah's ark discovered

When Noah called them to Allah, they put their fingers in their ears.

Noah and His People

People had got used to thinking that worshipping idols was the truth and a sensible thing to do. They thought that anyone who did not worship idols was foolish. They would say, ‘Our fathers worshipped idols, so why doesn’t this man worship them?‘

Noah thought that their fathers were in the wrong and unwise and that Adam, who was the father of the fathers, did not worship idols. He worshipped Allah alone.

Noah thought that the people were in the wrong and foolish when they worshipped stones and did not worship Allah Who had created them.

Noah stood up among his people, saying in his loudest voice, “O my people! Worship Allah! You have no god but Him. Truly I fear for you the punishment of a dreadful day.

The Council of his people said, ‘We see that you are in clear error.’

He said, ‘My people, there is no error in me. But I am a messenger from the Lord of all the worlds. I convey to you the messages of my Lord and I give you good advice, for I know from Allah what you do not know.” (Al-A`raf 7:59-62)

‘The Lowliest Follow You’

Noah tried hard to make his people abandon idols and worship Allah alone. But only a few of those people who worked with their hands and ate lawful food, lawfully earned, believed in him.

The rich were too proud of being rich to believe. Their pride kept them from listening to Noah. Their property and children distracted them from thinking about the next world. They would say, ‘We are nobles and those people are lowly. When Noah called them to Allah, they answered, ”How should we believe you when the lowliest follow you?” ( Ash-Shu`araa’ 26:111)

They asked Noah to drive the poor away. Noah refused and said, “I cannot drive away the believers. My door is not a king’s door. I am only a clear warner.” (Ash-Shu`araa’ 26:114, 115)

Noah knew that those poor people were sincere believers and that Allah would be angry if he drove them away. Against the anger of Allah, no-one would be able to help him. Noah said, “My people, who could deliver me from Allah If I drive them away.”( Hud 11:30)

The Argument of the Rich

The rich said to the people: ‘Listen to us. What Noah is calling you to is not true. It is not good. Why? Because we are the first to sample every good thing. We have every sort of good food, every sort of beautiful clothes. We set the fashion and people follow us. We have seen that we do not want for any good thing, and nobody out-does us in anything in the city.‘

They said about the poor people who had believed in Noah: ‘If there had been any good in this religion, it would have come to us before these paupers.’

If it had been any good, they would not be before us in attaining it. (Al-Ahqaf 46:11)

Noah’s Call

Noah went on calling his people and trying hard to counsel them.

He said, ’Q my people! I am a clear warner to you, saying ‘Worship Allah and fear Him and obey me that He may forgive you your sins and defer you to a specified term. When Allah’s term comes, it cannot be deferred, if you only knew.”’ (Nuh 71 2-4)

Allah kept the rain from them and was angry with them. Their harvests were small and they had few children.

Noah told them: ‘My people! If you believe, Allah will be pleased with you and remove this punishment.’

Then, when Allah sent the rain to them and blessed their crops and children, Noah called his people and said to them: ‘Don’t you recognize Allah? These are the signs of Allah all around you. Can’t you see them? Can’t you see the heavens and the earth? Can’t you see the sun and the moon? Who created the heavens? Who placed the moon in them as a light and made the sun a lamp? He created you and laid the earth as a carpet for you.’

But the people of Noah would not understand and would not believe. When Noah called them to Allah, they put their fingers in their ears. Now, how can anyone who does not hear a message understand it? How can anyone who does not want to hear, hear?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  To be continued…

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 The article is an excerpt from the author’s Stories of the Prophets, UK Islamic Academy publications.

Read Also:

From Adam to Noah: The Need for Guidance

Between Russell Crowe, Biblical Noah and Qur’anic Noah

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The Continuous Battle between You and the Satan: How to Win It

By Dr. Ahmad Al-Khalidi

The Satan was and is still the most dangerous enemy of Mankind. Allah the Lord, the King and the Ilah (God) of Mankind warns every human being, male or female, young or old, against the danger and wickedness of the Satan.

Allah is so merciful to Mankind that He allotted a whole chapter of the Qur’an, and lots of verses as well as a number of dialogues with Iblis (Satan) to disclose its danger to believers so that they may beware its deception and misleading steps:

The Continuous Battle between You and the Satan

Man is Allah’s Vicegerent on earth. He is given the free will to do whatever he wills whether it is good or evil.

Say: I seek refuge in the Lord of Mankind, The Sovereign of Mankind,

The God of Mankind, From the evil of the retreating whisperer,

Who whispers (evil) into the breasts of  Mankind, From among the jinn and Mankind. (An-Nas 114:1-5)

Dialogue between Allah and Iblis

This dialogue shows the extent of Man’s value and honour to Allah (Exalted be He) who is the Most Merciful to Man. It also reflects the nature of conflict between Iblis (the cursed) and Adam’s posterity and that the battle with the Satan is hard and continuous. Furthermore, this dialogue sheds light on the consequence of arrogance in the Hereafter.

Baz (2007) mentions that three models of Allah’s creatures are well portrayed in this dialogue: “the angel as a model of complete submission and extreme obedience to Allah, the Satan as a model of absolute disobedience as well as the doubled nature of Man.”

Allah created Adam, human beings’ father, from clay, then He imaged him as a human being; then He commanded the angels to prostrate for Adam because of his knowledge.

So, the angels, as elucidated by (Al-Qarny: 2007: 188), “prostrated to Adam in obedience to Allah and honour to Adam but not a prostration of worship . However, Iblis refused to prostrate to Adam as he bears arrogance in itself; consequently, it was dismissed out of the Mercy of Allah. Hence, the Satan threatened to take revenge from Adam and his posterity. That is why Allah warns believers against the Satan and commands them to take it an enemy:

Verily Satan is an enemy to you: so treat him as an enemy. He only invites his adherents, that they may become Companions of the Blazing Fire. (Fatir 53:6)

Righteous Young Muslims should be aware, careful and alert lest the Satan seduce them as it hates chaste and good mannered YMs; therefore it does its best to wrong and mislead them so as to commit shameful acts.

O ye Children of Adam! Let not Satan seduce you, in the same manner as He got your parents out of the Garden. (Al-A’raf 7:27)

However, Al-Saboni (2002:364) classifies human beings in regard to Satan into three categories:” The first category  is protected and secured by Allah; so the Satan cannot mislead nor seduce them, they are the Messengers and Prophets (peace be upon them).

The second category is that “the satans roam round ; they are the common believers; when they fall in a sin or disobedience , they repent and return to Allah; so Allah wipes away their sins.” And the third category is “in the hands of satans like a ball in the hands of boys. They are the disbelievers and boastful people”.

Allah Judges Iblis

Allah said to Iblis (the cursed) why it did not prostrate to Adam; though it is Allah who ordered it and Allah’s order is obligatory. Then Iblis (the dismissed and the cursed) said that it was better than Adam; as Allah created it from fire while He created Adam from clay. Actually this is a false analogy; because mud is the source of plants and fruits that provide Man with food and other benefits; while fire is a means of destruction and torture.

(Allah) said: “What prevented thee from prostrating when I commanded thee?” He said: “I am better than he: Thou didst create me from fire, and him from clay”. (Al-A`raf 7:12)

So, Allah ordered Iblis (the cursed) to go down out of paradise humiliated; as he has no right to be arrogant in His honor’s surrounding and at the same time for he refused His obedience.

(Allah) said: “Get (Iblis) down from this (paradise): it is not for thee to be arrogant here: get out, for thou art of the meanest (of creatures).” (Al-A`raf 7:13)

Then Iblis asked Allah to give it respite till the Resurrection Day.

He said: “Give me respite till the day they are raised up.” (Al-A`raf 7:14)

Allah suspended the Satan so as to make the tradition of trial take place and the conflict between good and right on one hand and between evil and falsehood on the other hand to occur.

(Allah) said: “Be you among those who have respite.” (Al-A`raf 7:15)

Iblis Threatens to Mislead Adam & His Posterity

Al-Jaza’iri (1997 Vol. II : 166) says “Since Allah misguided Iblis; it would sit for Adam and his posterity in Allah’s straight path, which is Islam, as it is the path that leads the person who follows it to the pleasure of Allah“.

He said: “Because thou hast thrown me out of the way, lo! I will lie in wait for them on thy straight way”. (Al-A`raf 7:16)

Then Iblis swore that it  would sit for Adam’s posterity in their four directions , into their wishes, passions, anger, and to prevent the majority from being grateful to their Lord and to make them disbelievers and ungrateful to Allah.

Then will I assault them from before them and behind them, from their right and their left: Nor wilt thou find, in most of them, gratitude (for thy mercies). (Al-A`raf 7:17)

So, Allah commanded Iblis to go out of the  Garden dismissed, humiliated and scorned and swore that who obeys Iblis (the cursed) and disobeys Allah would be deprived of His pleasure, burnt, and humiliated in His fire.

Allah drives Iblis and his followers away from the Garden.

Al-Sa’di (2001 Vol. I :411) says, “there is warning for all those who follow the Satan from Human Beings and Jinns that Allah will fill Hellfire from all the misled followers of the Satan” and this is considered a clear warning for all those who follow the Satan and leave the Most Merciful.

(Allah) said: “Get out from this, disgraced and expelled. If any of them follow thee,- Hell will I fill with you all.” (Al-A`raf 7:18)

GAllah’s Guidance

Unlike the angels whose job is only to obey their Lord, worship Him, and glorify Him, man is authorized to be Allah’s caliph (Vicegerent) on the earth. He is given the free will; so that he can do whatever he  wills whether it is good or evil. That is why the Satan threatens to mislead Adam and his Posterity so as to persuade them to disobey Allah and to be its followers.

That is why, Allah, the Beneficent and the Merciful, sent His Messengers to Mankind and revealed His Books to guide them to the right path that leads to Paradise and to warn them against the steps of the Satan that lead to Hell.

Educational Lessons

– Iblis was and is still the envious enemy of Man; as Allah honored Adam and commanded the Angels and Iblis to prostrate to him.

– The Satan announced its enmity to Adam and his posterity and promised to mislead them with all means and ways.

– Muslims should take the Satan a clear enemy so that they may not be exposed to its deception and seduction which eventually lead to Hell Fire.

– The Satan’s weapon by which it misleads man is mere whispering and ornamentation.

– Disobedience of Allah leads to Allah’s wrath, hence to dismissing the disobedient creatures (Man or Jinn) from his Mercy and Gardens.

Educational Significance

The enmity of  Iblis (the cursed)  to Adam and his posterity, the danger of envy and arrogance on one’s psychological health,  the danger of Iblis and its posterity on Man, immunity from Satan can be through Allah’s remembrance and being grateful to Him, the falsehood of the Satan’s wrong analogy between fire and mud, Allah’s disobedience pleases the Satan, Allah’s disobedience causes punishment in this world and in the other world, and warning young Muslims against Satan’s whispering is a psychological therapy.

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Dr. Ahmad Muhammad Al khalidi is Researcher and translator, E L teacher and lecturer, an old member in the presentation to Islam committee.

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New Muslims Worldview

Islam and the Common Origin of Humanity

Someone else willed that human beings inhabit earth; willed their existence and prepared the earth and sun in perfect balance to make life possible.

O mankind! Be conscious of your Lord, who has created you from one soul (Adam), and out of it created its mate (Eve), and out of the two spread many men and women. And remain conscious of God, in Whose name you demand (your rights) from one another, and of these ties of kinship. Verily, God is ever watchful over you! (An-Nisaa’ 4:1)

God addresses entire humanity and asks them to be conscious of Him, to be aware of His presence.  God reminds people of a forgotten reality: their earthly origins.  All human beings have One God, their Creator, one father, Adam, and one mother, Eve.  The plight of modernitycould begin to heal if human beings remember their origins.

Human beings did not appear on this earth by their own will. Rather, someone else willed that human beings inhabit earth.  Someone else willed their existence and prepared the earth and sun in perfect balance to make life possible.

If people were to recall this simple fact, they would proceed in the right direction. The One who willed human existence has perfect knowledge of humanity and their strengths and their weaknesses. If humans recognized this, they would obey the One they owe their existence to.

Just like human beings have come into existence by the will of the One, human beings also trace back to the same parents.  If people were to realize this, racism, ethnic superiority, and exploitation would end.  Siblings would stop fighting and taking each other’s life. Siblings would realize their common Creator and be conscious of Him, and give their “kin” their due rights.  Human beings would not divide themselves into casts and classes.  Human beings would not let race, skin color, or national origin determine superiority.

If human beings were to realize that another soul was created from the original single soul to be its mate and to spread both men and women throughout the world, they would respect women more.  Women would not have to go through centuries of oppression, and their humanity would not have been denied for centuries.

Unfortunately, when human beings tried to correct one wrong, they fell into another one.  They forgot that a soul was created for a soul, that a woman makes a man complete.  Men and women are not engaged in an eternal battle of genders; rather, they have been created to complement and complete each other.

Men and women have been created to complement and complete each other.

God lays out the social fabric of human society, which lies in the family.  God could have created multiple families instead of Adam and Eve in the beginning, but He chose to create Adam and Eve, and spread humanity from their seed.

Islamic ethics considers the family to be the natural basis and cornerstone of a moral society.  A family consists of a human couple and their (legal) children where both the man and woman have each essential roles to play in keeping the family happy and intact.

In the latter portion of the verse is a reminder to be conscious of God, to do what is right and to stay away from wrongdoing in whose Name people take oaths, swear allegiances, and ask favors.

Lastly, the verse ends with a reminder that God is ever watchful over everything, big or small; nothing escapes His knowledge and sight.  The knowledge that God is watching helps one be conscious of Him.

 

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Divine Unity New Muslims

Six Facts about Jesus in the Qur’an

What does the Qur’an say about Jesus, his birth, and his mother Maryam? Who was Jesus? How was he created? Did he call himself God or “son of God?” What about his miracles; does the Qur’an mention them? Was he crucified?

One of the facts about Jesus, according to the Qur’an, he was born miraculously without a father:

Relate in the Book (the story of) Mary, when she withdrew from her family to a place in the East. She placed a screen (to screen herself) from them; then We sent her our angel, and he appeared before her as a man in all respects. She said: “I seek refuge from you to (Allah) Most Gracious: (come not near) if you does fear Allah.” He said: “Nay, I am only a messenger from thy Lord, (to announce) to you the gift of a pure boy”…. (Maryam 19:16-19)

Watch the video below to learn about other facts about Jesus that were mentioned in the Qur’an…

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Source: OnePath Network

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ABC's of Islam New Muslims

Noah and His People: The Flood and the Ark

Noah’s Prayer

Noah's ark

When what Allah willed had happened and the unbelievers were drowned, the rain stopped and the water sank away.

Noah stayed with his people for nine hundred and fifty years, calling them to Allah, but his people would not believe. They would not stop worshipping idols. They refused to return to Allah.

How long could Noah wait? How long could he watch the earth and its people being ruined? How long could he put up with his people worshipping stones? How long could he watch them eat from Allan’s provisions while they worshipped something else?

Why did Noah not get angry? He was more patient than anyone else could have been! Nine hundred and fifty years: Glory be to Allah!

Then Allah revealed to Noah: “None of your people will believe except those who have already believed.” (Hud 11:36)

When Noah called his people again, “they said, ’Noah! You have disputed with us and you have disputed often with us, so bring us what you promised us if you are speaking the truth’.” (Hud 11:32)

Noah became angry for Allah and despaired of those people. He called upon Allah not to leave even one of the unbelievers on the earth!

And Noah said: My Lord! Leave not one of the disbelievers in the land. (Nuh 71:26)

The Ark

Allah answered Noah’s prayer and He decided what the fate of the unbelievers would be. All of them would be drowned in a great flood.

Allah wanted to save Noah and the believers. He commanded Noah to build a great ship, and Noah began straightaway.

The unbelievers from his people saw him working busily and they mocked: ‘What is this, Noah? Since when have you become a carpenter? Didn’t we tell you not to sit with the carpenters and ironsmiths and now you have really become a carpenter!

‘Where is this ship going, Noah? Everything about you is unbelievable! Is it going to sail in the sand or climb up the mountains? The sea is a long way from here. Will the jinn carry it or will oxen pull it?‘

Noah heard all that and was patient. He had heard worse things and had been patient. But sometimes he would say to them, “If you mock us, we will mock you as you mock.” (Hud 11:38)

The Flood

The promise of Allah came. We seek refuge with Allah!

It rained and rained until the sky was like a sieve which could not hold the water. Water poured down and gushed up and flowed in until it surrounded the people on every side.

Then Allah revealed to Noah, Take with you those of your people and family who believe.’

Allah revealed to Noah to take with him a pair of every animal and bird, a male and a female, because the flood would cover the earth. Neither man nor beast would be saved from it. Noah did so. With him in the Ark were those of his people who believed in him and a pair of every bird and animal.

The Ark rode with them on waves like mountains. The people outside the Ark climbed onto every high place and every hill, fleeing from Allah’s punishment.

But there is no refuge from Allah except in Him.

Noah’s Son

Noan had a son who was with the unbelievers. Noah saw his son in the flood and said, “‘My son, embark with us and do not be with the unbelievers.’ He said, ‘I will seek refuge on a mountain that will protect me from the water.’

Noah said, ‘Today there is no protector from Allah’s command except for the one to whom He shows mercy.’

The waves came between them and Noah’s son was among the drowned.” (Hud 11: 42, 43)

Noah was sad about his son; How could he not be sad about his own son? He wanted to save him from the Fire on the Day of Judgment since he was not able to save him from the water. The Fire is worse than the water.

The punishment of the Next World is harsher. Did not Allah promise that He would save his family? Yes! And Allah’s promise is true. He wanted to speak to Allah on behalf of his son.

“He Is Not One of Your Family”

Noah called on his Lord and said, ‘My son is part of my family and Your promise is true. You are the most just of those that judge.’ (Hud 11:45)

But Allah does not look at people’s family trees. He looks at their actions. Allah does not accept pleas on behalf of idol-worshippers. The idol-worshipper is not part of a Prophet’s family, even if he is his son.

Allah made Noan aware of that. He said,”Noah, he is not part of your family; he is of evil conduct Do not ask of Me that about which you do not know, I warn you lest you be one of the ignorant.” (Hud 11:46)

Nun became aware and turned to Allah, repentant. He said; “My Lord, I take refuge with You lest I should ask of You something about which i have no knowledge. If you do not forgive me and show mercy to me, I will he among the losers.” (Hud 11:47)

After the Flood

When what Allah willed had happened and the unbelievers were drowned, the rain stopped and the water sank away.

The unbelievers of the people of Noah were destroyed. Neither the heavens nor the earth wept for them. It was said, “Away with the wrong-doing people!“ (Hud 11:44)

The Ark stopped on Mount Judi. It was said, ”Noah, get down in peace.” (Hud 11:48)

Noah and the people of the Ark got down and walked on the earth in peace. Allah blessed the descendants of Noah and they spread in the land and filled the earth.

There were communities among them and there were Prophets and kings among them.

Peace be upon Noah among all beings!

Peace be upon Noah among all the worlds! (As-Saffat 37:79)

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 The article is an excerpt from the author’s Stories of the Prophets, UK Islamic Academy publications.

Read Also:

Prophet Noah’s Call and Message

From Adam to Noah: The Need for Guidance

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His Legacy New Muslims

Al-Israa’ and Al-Mi`raj: The Prophet in the Divine Presence

About t Al-Israa’ and Al-Mi`raj Allah says:

Glory to (Allah) Who did take His servant for a Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the farthest Mosque, whose precincts We did bless,- in order that We might show him some of Our Signs: for He is the One Who hears and sees (all things). (Al-Israa’ 17:1)

What do you now about Al-Israa’ and Al-Mi`raj journey? What happened to the Prophet during it and where did he go? How can we comprehend it?
How does the Qur’an describe it? And what do we understand from that description?

In the video below Sheikh Hamza Yusuf explains this impressively…

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