Categories
Articles of Faith New Muslims

Death and Afterlife

Death is a fact that none can ever deny. It will surely come to everyone and everything at the specific time. We should not lead a life of forgetfulness. Watch this video to draw some lessons.

Soucre Link
Categories
Articles of Faith New Muslims

Death: Are You Prepared for it?

This is a serious topic that no one should miss out on. This important topic applies to everyone because we all have an appointment with death and ignoring it wont make it go away.It this episode you’ll learn God willing how to better prepare for Death and for what comes next. Share this show with all your friends.

Soucre Link
Categories
Articles of Faith New Muslims

Belief in Life After Death

Everyone is scared of dying and rightly so.  The uncertainty of what lies beyond is frightening. It may be that of all religions, Islam, provides the most graphic details of what comes after death and lies beyond.  Islam views death to be a natural threshold to the next stage of existence.

Islamic doctrine holds that human existence continues after the death of the human body in the form of spiritual and physical resurrection.  There is a direct relation between conduct on earth and the life beyond.  The afterlife will be one of rewards and punishments which is commensurate with earthily conduct.  A Day will come when God will resurrect and gather the first and the last of His creation and judge everyone justly.  People will enter their final abode, Hell or Paradise.  Faith in life after death urges us to do right and to stay away from sin.  In this life we sometimes see the pious suffer and the impious enjoy.  All shall be judged one day and justice will be served.

Faith in life after death is one of the six fundamental beliefs required of a Muslim to complete his faith.  Rejecting it renders all other beliefs meaningless.  Think of a child who does not put his hand in fire.  He does not do so because he is sure it will burn. When it comes to doing school work, the same child may feel lazy because he does not quite understand what a sound education will do for his future.  Now, think of a man who does not believe in the Day of Judgment.  Would he consider belief in God and a life driven by his belief in God to be of any consequence?  To him, neither obedience to God is of use, nor is disobedience of any harm.  How, then, can he live a God-conscious life?  What incentive would he have to suffer the trials of life with patience and avoid overindulgence in worldly pleasures?  And if a man does not follow the way of God, then what use is his belief in God, if he has any?  The acceptance or rejection of life after death is perhaps the greatest factor in determining the course of an individual’s life.

The dead have a continued and conscious existence of a kind in the grave.  Muslims believe that, upon dieing, a person enters an intermediate phase of life between death and resurrection.  Many events take place in this new “world”, such as the “trial” of the grave, where everyone will be questioned by angels about their religion, prophet, and Lord.  The grave is a garden of paradise or a pit of hell; angels of mercy visit the souls of believers and angels of punishment come for the unbelievers.

Resurrection will be preceded by the end of the world.  God will command a magnificent angel to blow the Horn.  At its first blowing, all the inhabitants of the heavens and the earth will fall unconscious, except those spared by God.  The earth will be flattened, the mountains turned into dust, the sky will crack, planets will be dispersed, and the graves overturned.

People will be resurrected into their original physical bodies from their graves, thereby entering the third and final phase of life.  The Horn will blow again upon which people will rise up from their graves, resurrected!

God will gather all humans, believers and the impious, jinns, demons, even wild animals.  It will be a universal gathering.  The angels will drive all human beings naked, uncircumcised, and bare-footed to the Great Plain of Gathering.  People will stand in wait for judgment and humanity will sweat in agony.  The righteous will be sheltered under the shade of God’s Magnificent Throne.

When the condition becomes unbearable, people will request the prophets and the messengers to intercede with God on their behalf to save them from distress.

The balances will be set and the deeds of men will be weighed.  Disclosure of the Records of the deeds performed in this life will follow.  The one who will receive his record in his right hand will have an easy reckoning.  He will happily return to his family.  However, the person who will receive his record in his left hand would wish he were dead as he will be thrown into the Fire.  He will be full of regrets and will wish that he were not handed his Record or he had not known it.

Then God will judge His creation.  They will be reminded and informed of their good deeds and sins.  The faithful will acknowledge their failings and be forgiven.  The disbelievers will have no good deeds to declare because an unbeliever is rewarded for them in this life.  Some scholars are of the opinion that the punishment of an unbeliever may be reduced in lieu of his good deeds, except the punishment of the great sin of disbelief.

The Siraat is a bridge that will be established over Hell extending to Paradise.  Anyone who is steadfast on God’s religion in this life will find it easy to pass it.

Paradise and Hell will be the final dwelling places for the faithful and the damned after the Last Judgment.  They are real and eternal.  The bliss of the people of Paradise shall never end and the punishment of unbelievers condemned to Hell shall never cease.  Unlike a pass-fail system in some other belief-systems, the Islamic view is more sophisticated and conveys a higher level of divine justice.  This can be seen in two ways.  First, some believers may suffer in Hell for unrepented, cardinal sins.  Second, both Paradise and Hell have levels.

Paradise is the eternal garden of physical pleasures and spiritual delights.  Suffering will be absent and bodily desires will be satisfied.  All wishes will be met.  Palaces, servants, riches, streams of wine, milk and honey, pleasant fragrances, soothing voices, pure partners for intimacy; a person will never get bored or have enough!

The greatest bliss, though, will be the vision of their Lord of which the unbelievers will be deprived.

Hell is an infernal place of punishment for unbelievers and purification for sinful believers.  Torture and punishment: for the body and the soul: burning by fire, boiling water to drink, scalding food to eat, chains, and choking columns of fire.  Unbelievers will be eternally damned to it, whereas sinful believers will eventually be taken out of Hell and enter Paradise.

Paradise is for those who worshipped God alone, believed and followed their prophet, and lived moral lives according to the teachings of scripture.

Hell will be the final dwelling place of those who denied God, worshipped other beings besides God, rejected the call of the prophets, and lead sinful, unrepentant lives.

 

Soucre Link
Categories
Conversion Stories New Muslims

Why I Decided to Submit

By Angela Collins

Islam is the only religion that communicates total submission to our Creator

Islam is the only religion that communicates total submission to our Creator

I accept that I cannot control the events that occur in my life or in the lives of others.

Islam is the only religion that communicates total submission to our Creator; the Creator of all people and of all things.

As a Muslim I know that everything I do first begins with an intention and then I must transform that intention into an effort in order to carry out what has already been decreed. This wisdom defines my path to be a better person to myself, my family, my community and to all of my brothers and sisters here on earth.

In essence Allah (the One God) opened my heart, Islam gave me the direction, and now I live to serve out the guidance lent by my Creator for happiness here on earth and, if Allah wills, in the hereafter.

While religion is a resource to help guide ourselves to good behavior through our spirituality, there is no prerequisite that it should be farfetched in mental comprehension. I am a recent convert. Catholicism is the religion followed by my forefathers. At the age of 14, I refused the trinity concept and narrowed what I saw as a complicated tale of ‘three in one’ down to ‘two in one’ and started attending a Baptist church.

Throughout my life, I have searched for understanding, but when it came to my faith I truly was confused about why God would come as a human being and would allow himself to die for the sins of only those privileged enough to believe in his, or his son’s, crucifixion. I found this explanation extravagant and shared my doubts with pastors and scholars who gave every effort to communicate the Christian belief to my understanding. I asked myself: ’Why would my religion need to be so complex?’

When I reached adulthood, I decided to make it very simple. There was just one, our Creator and that was it. No other explanation could rationally make sense.

The True Religion of God

I see Islam as a religion that came to clarify the errors of human beings who changed the original word of God to fit their interests. Islam is simple: God is God. God created us and we worship God and God alone. God sent Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed to deliver his message to guide all people.

In Islam, Jesus is the only prophet who never died which is why he is the only messenger who will come back before the Day of Judgment to lead the people of the books: (the Torah, the Injeel (Bible), the book of Psalms and the Qur’an). The Qur’an is the final book that has never been altered to fit the changing interest of people throughout history.

Islam confirms that you are not awarded passage into heaven just because you say you are Muslim. And you may not go straight to heaven just because you believe that God is monotheistic. You go to heaven based on your intentions and actions following the message taught to us by the messengers themselves and confirmed by the original books of God. Heaven is not an exclusive club for those who merely follow what their fathers taught them. Instead it is your responsibility, especially as a Muslim, to constantly search for truth, understanding and to read and think.

After reading every chapter in the Qur’an twice and taking detailed notes, I believe that this masterpiece could only have come from my Creator. Without a doubt the author of this book knows more about me than I know about myself.

It is no secret that Islam is seriously misunderstood and disliked by many here in my homeland, the United States. My conversion to this ‘controversial’ religion has my family and friends puzzled. It is my sincere belief that Allah led me to Islam by enhancing my passion in exploring unfamiliar perspectives through foreign travel. I have a genuine interest in building bridges with all people everywhere rather than promoting my own ideology as the only system that can work for all people.

While culture shock is a mild term to express the drastically different life styles of Muslims in the Middle East, I saw great beauty in the generosity of people, the cohesiveness of families and the immediate acceptance of a girl so foreign in her ways. Even so, in the present I face a culture shock within my own predominantly Middle Eastern Muslim community. I do understand the challenges a Muslim born into their religion faces to dissect their own culture within it.

After finding myself in Islam, I am able to adhere to the teachings supported by the Qur’an and Hadith while also managing to bypass the cultural manifestations taught by Muslims born into their religion. Islam is multi-cultural and is a system that can be adopted in any environment at any point in time.

I can confidently say that if Allah had not breathed Islam into my soul, I would have never found Angela. Well, today, here I am: Angela, a Muslim American: the soul who persistently searched for her Creator and has found the Creator of all that is in the universe and beyond, in Islam.

_________________________

Source: islamicity.com

Soucre Link
Categories
Articles of Faith New Muslims

Islam and the Day of Resurrection

By Abdurrahmann Murad

Does life cease after death, or is it just an initial step leading to another?

Does life cease after death, or is it just an initial step leading to another?

‘Armageddon’, ‘Deep Impact’, ‘End of Days’, the list goes on and on, all though these movies differ in a number of ways, they all have a common plot that depicts an ‘end of the world’ scenario. In the most part, skepticism and mockery play a large role in these blockbuster movies, but the fact that each movie of this nature sells so well and becomes a hit is proof that people are intrigued by the afterlife.

So, what does the future hold? To the majority, ‘once you’re dead, you’re dead’ is the common belief, but is this really the case?  Does life cease after death, or is it just an initial step leading to another?

True Justice

Justice, equality, individuality at best can be described as hollow slogans preached by democracy, rarely implemented in Western society. These terms only attain full meaning with belief in the afterlife, for in this life, we see that crimes go unchecked, unfair judgments are handed down and criminals walk free!

Even in cases were a killer is convicted of a heinous crime, he may escape the death penalty, for it is only reserved for the most ‘culpable’ offenders (such as killers and their accomplices) as was the case of Ted Bundy, the infamous serial killer who terrorized America in the late 70s and early 80s. He presumably killed 30 to 100 people.  His death via electric chair was quite painless in comparison to the agony he put each of his victims through. According to Christianity, regardless of this man’s ill doings, since he was a ‘believer’ in God, he will be forgiven as per the Doctrine of Atonement. But is this true justice?

In Islam, no one will go scot-free; all will be held accountable for their transgression in a higher court of law, wherein no one is wronged and all are given proper sentences. God, Almighty, tells us:

And the Book (one’s Record) will be placed (in the right hand for a believer in the Oneness of God, and in the left hand for a disbeliever in the Oneness of God), and you will see the criminal sinners, fearful of that which is (recorded) therein. They will say: ‘Woe to us! What sort of Book is this that leaves neither a small thing nor a big thing, but has recorded it with numbers!’ And they will find all that they did placed before them, and your Lord treats no one with injustice. (Al-Kahf 18:49)

If a person was wronged and did not see true justice or saw only partial justice, God will restore to him his rights on that Day. The Prophet (may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him) said:

“The rights shall be returned to the proper individuals on the Day of Resurrection, even to the detail of the just retribution of the broken horned sheep from the two horned sheep who had hit it.” (Muslim)

Muslims firmly believe in life after death, we are reminded time and time again of this reality by God, the Exalted. He says:

O you who believe! Fear God and keep your duty to Him. And let every person look to what he has sent forth for tomorrow, and fear God. Verily, God is All-Aware of what you do. (Al-Hashr 59:18)

Journey into the Afterlife

Death is but a phase in a series of phases, it is the beginning of one’s journey to the afterlife. Death, or the cessation of life functions, occurs when one’s soul leaves the body. This is a very painful experience:

And the pangs of death will come in truth: ’This is what you have been avoiding!’ (Qaf 50:19)

As the soul departs the body, the person will stare at it, and his eyes will follow it. The Prophet said:

“One will follow the path of the soul visually as it leaves his body.” (Muslim)

The soul will then begin its journey up to the heavens; for a believer permission would be sought for the gates of heaven to be opened and the gates would be opened till it reaches the seventh heaven, whereby God says:

Thereof (the earth) We created you, and into it We shall return you, and from it We shall bring you out once again. (Ta-Ha 20:55)

It would then be returned to the body. As for the non-believer, permission would be sought for the gates of the lowest heaven to be opened, but the angels refuse and it will be cast back to earth. God tells us:

Verily, those who belie Our Signs and treat them with arrogance, for them the gates of heaven will not be opened, and they will not enter Paradise until the camel goes through the eye of the needle. Thus do We recompense the criminal sinners. (Al-A`raf 7:40)

Thereafter, one will remain in either continuous bliss or punishment in the grave until the Final hour is established.

The Day of Resurrection

Nearing the end of time, the trumpet will be blown and creation will cease to exist.  God says:

And the Trumpet will be blown, and all who are in the heavens and all who are on the earth will swoon away, except him whom God wills. (Az-Zumar 39:68)

It will be blown a second blowing, and all creation from the beginning of time till the end of time will be resurrected. God tells us:

And the Trumpet will be blown (i.e. the second blowing) and behold! From the graves they will come out quickly to their Lord. (Ya-Sin 36:51)

People will be standing naked, barefooted and uncircumcised. The Prophet described to us what will happen, he said: “You will be gathered, barefooted, naked, and uncircumcised (as God says):

As We began the first creation, We shall repeat it. (Al-Anbiyaa’ 21:104)

The first human being to be dressed on the Day of Resurrection will be Prophet Abraham (may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him).” (Al-Bukhari)

Just lately, the news was filled with stories of the war criminal Slobodan Milošević and how he ‘prematurely’ died without being served justice. Even if he were convicted of his crimes by The Hague, what just punishment could possibly be served? On the same notion, how many have been able to bribe a judge or an entire justice system?  It’s just too often that we hear of a judge or attorney being arrested on corruption charges.

The Justice system of the Hereafter is flawless and absolutely just. No judgment can be overturned by a jury nor can it be influenced by any individual!

                                                                                                 To be continued…

_________________________

Source: alkauthar.org.

Soucre Link
Categories
Articles of Faith New Muslims

Islam and the Day of Resurrection (Part 2)

By Abdurrahmann Murad

The Intercession

As humankind waits, some would exclaim, ‘Let us ask somebody to intercede for us with our Lord!’

Part 1

The Resurrection

The great Companion, Ibn Abbas (may God be pleased with him) said that the Prophet (may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him) said:

“You will be summoned on the Day of Resurrection bare-footed, naked and uncircumcised.”

He then read the words of God:

As We began the first creation, We will repeat it. (That is) a promise binding upon Us. Indeed, We will do it. (Al-Anbiyaa’ 21:104)

“The first person to be dressed on that day will be Prophet Abraham.” (Al-Bukhari)

`A’ishah, the Mother of the Believers, exclaimed: “Men and women both! Won’t they all look at each other?” The Prophet said:

“The situation they are in is so grim that they would have no time for this!” (Muslim)

As humankind awaits the decree of Almighty God, they would be standing under the sun, which would be brought close to them. Al-Miqdad ibn Al-Aswad, one of the Companions, said: ‘I heard the Messenger of God saying:

“The sun will be a distance of a mile from the creation on the Day of Resurrection.  People will sink in their perspiration according to their deeds. Some would sink in their perspiration till their ankles, while others would sink in it to their thighs and waists; yet others, would sink in it till their mouths!” (Muslim)

If anyone of us, today, was to sweat on a sunny day, they wouldn’t be able to wait to hit the showers… the Day of Resurrection will be 50 000 years long. The Prophet said:

“That day will be 50 000 years long, after which a person will be admitted into Paradise or cast into Hell.” (Abu Dawud)

Peoples’ hearts will be pounding, not knowing what would become of them.  God describes to us the horrors of that day.  He says:

On the Day you see it every nursing mother will be distracted from that (child) she was nursing, and every pregnant woman will abort her pregnancy, and you will see the people (appearing) intoxicated while they are not intoxicated; but the punishment of Allah is severe. (Al-Hajj 22:2)

Even the believers who believed in truth will be severely worried. God says:

And they who give what they give while their hearts are fearful because they will be returning to their Lord. (Al-Mu’minun 23:60)

`A’ishah (may God be pleased with her) said: “Are they those who drink liquor, and steal?”  The Prophet answered:

“No, `A’ishah, they are the ones who fast, pray and give out in charity, but are fearful that their deeds would not be accepted from them.” (Muslim)

The Intercession

As humankind waits, some would exclaim, ‘Let us ask somebody to intercede for us with our Lord!’ The people would then go to Adam and say:

‘You are the father of all the people, and Allah created you with His Own Hands, and ordered the Angels to prostrate to you, and taught you the names of all things; so please intercede for us with your Lord, so that He may relieve us from this place of ours.’

He would say: ‘I am not fit for this (i.e. intercession for you)’.

Adam would remember his sin and feel ashamed thereof.  He would then say, ‘Go to Noah, for he was the first Messenger, God sent to the inhabitants of the Earth.’

He would say: ‘I am not fit for this undertaking!’

He will remember his appeal to his Lord to do what he had no knowledge of, then he will feel ashamed thereof and would say:

‘Go to the Khalil Ar-Rahman (i.e. Abraham, the one whom God chose for His love).’

They will go to him and he will say, ‘I am not fit for this undertaking. Go to Moses, the slave to whom God spoke (directly) and gave him the Torah.’

So they will go to him and he will say: ‘I am not fit for this undertaking’, and he will mention (his) killing a person who was not a killer, and so he will feel ashamed thereof before his Lord, and he will say: ‘Go to Jesus, God’s slave, His Messenger and God’s Word and a spirit coming from Him.’

Jesus will say: ‘I am not fit for this undertaking, go to Muhammad, the slave of God whose past and future sins were forgiven by God’.

Prophet Muhammad then said: ‘They will come to me and I will proceed till I will ask my Lord’s permission and I will be given permission. When I see my Lord, I will fall down in Prostration and He will let me remain in that state as long as He wishes and then I will be addressed.’ (Muhammad!) Raise your head. Ask, and your request will be granted; say, and your saying will be listened to; intercede, and your intercession will be accepted.’

I will raise my head and praise God with a saying (i.e. invocation) He will teach me, and then I will intercede. He will fix a limit for me (to intercede for) whom I will admit into the Paradise. Then I will come back again to God, and when I see my Lord, the same thing will happen to me. And then I will intercede and God will fix a limit for me to intercede whom I will let into the Heavenly Abode, then I will come back for the third time; and then I will come back for the fourth time, and will say, ‘None remains in Hell but those whom the Qur’an has imprisoned (in Hell) and who have been destined to an eternal stay in Hell.’” (Al-Bukhari)

The Distribution of Records

After the agonizing wait and the Prophet’s intercession, people’s records of deeds will be handed out. God says:

Then as for he who is given his record in his right hand, he will be judged with an easy account and return to his people in happiness. But as for he who is given his record behind his back, he will cry out for destruction and [enter to] burn in a Blaze. (Al-Inshiqaq 84:7-12)

This is further clarified by God in the following verses:

So as for he who is given his record in his right hand, he will say, ‘Here, read my record! Indeed, I was certain that I would be meeting my account.’ So he will be in a pleasant life – in an elevated Garden, its (fruit) to be picked hanging near. (They will be told), ‘Eat and drink in satisfaction for what you put forth in the days past.’ But as for he who is given his record in his left hand, he will say, ‘Oh, I wish I had not been given my record And had not known what is my account. I wish it (i.e., my death) had been the decisive one. My wealth has not availed me. Gone from me is my authority.’ (God will say), ‘Seize him and shackle him. Then into Hellfire drive him. Then into a chain whose length is seventy cubits insert him.’ Indeed, he did not used to believe in God, the Most Great, nor did he encourage the feeding of the poor. So there is not for him here this Day any devoted friend. Nor any food except from the discharge of wounds; none will eat it except the sinners. (Al-Haqqah 69:19-37)

The Scales of Justice

Everyone’s deeds will be weighed in actual scale and if the good outweighs the evil, they will be successful but if the opposite happens they will be among the losers.

God says: “And We place the scales of justice for the Day of Resurrection, so no soul will be treated unjustly at all. And if there is (even) the weight of a mustard seed, We will bring it forth. And sufficient are We as accountant.”  (Al-Anbiyaa’ 21:47)

_________________________

Source: alkauthar.org.

Soucre Link
Categories
Articles of Faith New Muslims

Life & Beyond in the Qur’an

By Muhammad Abdel Haleem

Life & Beyond in the Qur’an

Belief in the afterlife is an article of faith which has a bearing on every aspect of the present life and manifests itself in the discussion of the creed, rituals, ethics and laws of Islam.

In the Qur’an life in this world is an inseparable part of a continuum, a unified whole (life, death, life) which gives our life a context and relevance. In this context, the life of the individual is made meaningful and enriched inasmuch as it is full of ‘good works’.

Life in this world leads to the afterlife, a belief which is fundamental in the Qur’an. The afterlife is not treated in the Qur’an in a separate chapter, or as something on its own, for its own sake, but always in relation to life in this world.

Linguistically it is not possible in the Qur’an to talk about this life without semantic reference to the next since every term used for each is comparative with the other. Thus: al-ula and al-akhira (the first and the last life), al-dunya and al-akhira (the nearer and the further/latter life). Neither has a name specific to itself, or independent of the other. Consequently, the frequency of the terms in the Qur’an is the same, in the case of dunya and akhira, each appears 115 times.

There is a reference, direct or indirect, to one aspect or another of the afterlife on almost every single page of the Qur’an. This follows from the fact that belief in the afterlife is an article of faith which has a bearing on every aspect of the present life and manifests itself in the discussion of the creed, the rituals, the ethics and the laws of Islam.

In discussing the afterlife, moreover, the Qur’an addresses both believers and non-believers. The plan of two worlds and the relationship between them has been, from the beginning, part of the divine scheme of things:

It is God who created you, then He provided sustenance for you, then He will cause you to die, then He will give life back to you. (Ar-Rum 30:40)

It is We who give life and make to die and to Us is the homecoming. (Qaf 50:43)

He created death and life that He might try you according to which of you is best in works. (Al-Mulk 67:2)

According to the Qur’an, belief in the afterlife, which is an issue fundamental to the mission of Muhammad (peace be upon him), was also central to the mission of all prophets before him.

Belief in the afterlife is often referred to in conjunction with belief in God, as in the expression: “If you believe in God and the Last Day” (An-Nisaa’ 59).

Believers are frequently reminded in the Qur’an, “Be mindful of God and know that you shall meet Him” (Al-Baqarah 2:233) (used in this instance to urge fitting treatment of one’s wife in intimate situations), “To Him is the homecoming/ the return” (Ya-Sin 36:83, Ghafir 40:3, and passim).

As a belief in the afterlife is so fundamental to Islam, it is only right that Muslims should regularly be reminded of it not only throughout the pages of the Qur’an but also in their daily life. Practicing Muslims in their five daily prayers repeat their praise of God at least seventeen times a day, “The Master of the Day of Judgment”. (Al-Fatihah 1:4)

Being inattentive to the afterlife: “They only know the superficial realities of the worldly life and they are unaware of the life to come” (Ar-Rum 30:7) or to the prospect of coming to judgment “They will be told, “Suffer on this Day of Judgment. For your having ignored it, We have ignored you. Suffer everlasting torment for your evil deeds.” (32:14) are signs of the unbeliever.

All this heightens the believer’s sense of responsibility for actions in this life. In fact the principles and details of religion are meant to be seen within the framework of the interdependence of this life and the afterlife and to color the Muslims’ conception of life and the universe and have a bearing on their actions in this life.

_________________________

Source: islamicity.com.

 

The article is an excerpt from “Understanding The Quran” by Muhammad Abdel Haleem.

Soucre Link
Categories
Articles of Faith New Muslims

Believers Make Mistakes, But…

 

clouds_sky_nature

Muslims overthrow their discomfort and anxieties as a result of their mistakes by turning to Allah and acting according to the moral values of the Qur’an.

No one wants  to make a mistake and do himself or others  mischief. However, making mistakes is an important part of our trial in the life of this world. Allah created our trial in the life of this world in this way. Anyone can make a mistake but what is important is that he repents after his mistake and strive not to repeat this mistake.

Allah reveals in the verses of the Qur’an that human beings are weak creatures who can forget and be mistaken. A person can make a mistake when he does not think something through, ignores something, does not take the necessary precautions, is overwhelmed by his weak points, forgets or is mistaken. This is very natural.

However the important thing is how the person reacts after this, rather than the mistake itself. However big the mistake is, as soon as the person decides to resign himself and begins to show the attitude hoped to please Allah, that mistake disappears, by Allah’s leave. Almighty Allah reveals as such in Surat Aal `Imran:

Those who, when they act indecently or wrong themselves, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their bad actions (and who can forgive bad actions except Allah?) and do not knowingly persist in what they were doing. (Aal ‘Imran 3:135)

Allah Creates Everything We Do

Everything a person lives throughout his or her life, everything they do, every situation they face, all of them are created by Allah with all of the pros and cons. In the verses it is revealed that not even a single leaf falls without the knowledge of Allah:

And with Him are the keys of the Invisible. None but He knows them. And He knows what is in the land and the sea. Not a leaf falls but He knows it, not a grain amid the darkness of the earth, naught of wet or dry but (it is noted) in a clear record. (Al-An`am 6:59)

It is also revealed “Everything they did is in the Books. Everything is recorded, big or small.” (Al-Qamar 54:52-53)

This means that the person makes that mistake because Allah wills him to do so; it is in his destiny to make that mistake. When he acts according to the Qur’an, something good will happen after that mistake.

For example, a person may break a vase when walking by it because he is not careful enough or does not look ahead. Or he can bump into a dinner plate prepared with great effort and knock it off a table. He may cause the people waiting for him to delay their jobs because he fell asleep.

Now in all these there is a variety of reasons created by Allah. Allah is the One Who breaks that object. Maybe that object would have caused a conflict between its owners or broken in a dangerous way that would harm someone. Maybe Allah will make a much more beautiful one to be purchased instead.

In the same way, Allah is the One Who makes the food spill on the floor. Maybe there is an bad ingredient inside that food and it would have made someone ill. Maybe that food would have prevented that person from eating something healthier.

Also Allah is the One Who does not wake a person who is late for a job because he fell asleep because maybe his friends waiting for him need to be late as well. Maybe this will protect them from some danger or maybe bring the means to carry out a more important job.

If one does not realize these facts, when he makes a mistake he would panic and feel anxiety and sorrow. He would feet unease and dismay. His sadness would increase even because of the effect of this situation on other people and his troubles increase day by day.

However, it is not in line with the moral values of the Qur’an to feel sad, dismay and troubled because of a mistake, which took place in his destiny by Allah’s will.

Muslims overthrow their discomfort and anxieties as a result of their mistakes again by turning to Allah and acting according to the moral values of the Qur’an. They do not fall into depression like people who do not live by the morality of religion. They do not feel sadness, sorrow or hopelessness by evaluating their mistakes with an emotional state of mind. They only experience a very deep and strong sense of regret.

However this is not an evil kind of regret; it is a Muslim kind of regret because this feeling of regret helps them hold onto the Qur’an even more strongly. They pray to Allah even more deeply. Their religious enthusiasm, determination to live by the moral values of the Qur’an, submission to Allah, faith in the hereafter and fear of Allah increase tremendously.

They take very sincere decisions to become better in every way and become more enthusiastic and energetic by striving more in this way. They know that even if they could take the time back, they would still make the same mistakes. When they criticize themselves and feel regret for their actions, they do not forget that all things have occurred according to destiny. Therefore they do not “live in a sense of guilt” as irreligious people do:

Everything they did is in the Books. Everything is recorded, big or small. (Al-Qamar 54:52-53)

It is impossible to claim that a person will never make any mistakes throughout his life and is complete and flawless because human beings are created as weak creatures who can make mistakes. Our Almighty Lord is the One Who is forgiving and accepts repentance.

Therefore, a believer needs to take lessons from the mistakes he made knowingly or  unknowingly or because he followed his inner self. What he needs to do is to regret it and follow the truth and submit to our Lord and strive not to repeat that mistake. Of course he needs to be very careful about not making any mistakes and commit any further sins and protecting the boundaries of our Lord.

But even if he makes a mistake it is a very good quality of faith to ask for forgiveness from Allah. The names of Allah as “The Acceptor of Repentance” (At-Tawwab), “The All-Forgiving” (Al-Ghaffar), “The All-Merciful” (Ar-Rahman) are manifested on the believers who regret their mistakes, ask for forgiveness and turn to Allah.

Believers Take Lessons from Their Mistakes

As a result of their faith and fear of Allah, mistakes help believers become more clean morally. Maybe they make a mistake on one thing, but they remember that mistake all their lives and avoid making a similar mistake by taking lessons from it.

However, Allah created human beings especially in a character so that they can use their conscience, feel regret and repent, turn to Him and ask for His forgiveness and take decisions not to repeat that mistake.

A person must do all he can not to make a mistake; and strive to act in a very moral way by using his mind, will and conscience to the end. But when there is a mistake, he needs to act in the way as described in the Qur’an.

If that mistake has helped the person to better understand his weakness in the face of Allah’s infinite power and his need for Allah, then this shows that person’s sincere faith and fear of Allah. If he regrets  his mistake and fears to be held responsible in the Day of Judgment, and if he submits to Allah’s mercy and forgiveness, then he is abiding by the moral values of the Qur’an by Allah’s leave.

Such a person prays sincerely so Allah accepts his repentance and forgives him. He promises to Allah with a true heart not to repeat that mistake. In one verse, our Lord heralds that He will accept the repentance of his sincere servants:

But if anyone makes repentance after his wrongdoing and puts things right, Allah will turn towards him. Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Al-Ma’idah 5:39)

The Qur’an is the only measure for believers, so their approach to a person who makes a mistake is always in line with the moral values of the Qur’an.

A believer knows that every person is a human being who is weak and who can make a mistake easily. He does not forget that Allah is the One Who creates everything – by Allah’s leave – and he can distinguish a sincere mistake from a deliberate one. When a person is sincere, his love or respect would not change because of a single mistake – by Allah’s leave.

_________________________

Source: harunyahya.

Soucre Link
Categories
New Muslims Reflections

Experience Lessons from Converting to Islam

prayer beads, Islam

Some people may continue to cut you off, but even those hurts will heal as so many more people continue to love and accept you.

1- It Gets Easier

The beginning is always the hardest. You’ve found the truth, fulfillment, and a sense of peace you never imagined possible. A handful of people can’t wait to share Islam with their families, but for most of us, breaking the news to parents, grandparents, relatives, and sometimes kids, brings a sense of dread.

This sense of dread has been even more heightened since the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. Many people perceive being a Muslim as the antithesis of being an American for example, even though Islam teaches us to uphold religious freedom. To most people, Islamic practice embodies the opposite of American or Western values and lifestyles.

Family members may be shocked or even mildly okay at first, but after it has sunk in, they may be angry, devastated, or cut themselves off from you. You may never again experience the kind of emotional hurts that you will when you first tell your family that you’ve accepted Islam. The reality is they are hurting too, and their hurts are justified in their minds, even if they aren’t in yours.

In the beginning many family members will act their worst, making threats and saying hurtful things, but the more you stay calm and continue to be yourself despite your new faith, the more they will cool down and eventually realize they overreacted.  Some people may continue to cut you off, but even those hurts will heal as so many more people continue to love and accept you.  Hang in there, it does get better.

2- No Matter How Much You Explain, They Still May Not Get It

Sometimes we think that if we just explained to our family members what Islam is and why it is right or why it doesn’t oppress women and why it isn’t about terrorism, our family members will suddenly have a light bulb moment and say “You know what, that does make perfect sense! I’m not upset anymore!”

Don’t be surprised if it seems to go through one ear and out the other. The truth is they are hearing what you’re saying and cataloging it, but they are too emotional to focus on it right now.

Over time you will begin to have thoughtful, rational conversations with family and friends, but it’s not something that’s going to happen right away in many cases. Even if your family doesn’t have a problem with Islam, or Muslims, they have a problem with you becoming one. You were as American as apple pie; they watched you unwrap Christmas presents under the tree every year, and dreamed of your white wedding. There is a sense of loss that they are trying to cope with.

Don’t expect to rationalize with them much at first (unless they ask questions—and even then, don’t expect too much) and don’t be disheartened.

3- Goodness Is Not Just about Religion

You will find that some of the best people you know are still people of other faiths, and by ‘best people’ I mean people who are ethical, caring, and altruistic; people who are civil and well-mannered. You will find that some Muslims act as third-world and corrupt as the dictators that preside over their homelands.

Do not assume that all Muslims will be exemplary human beings (and the organizations that many of them run are even worse). Expect to be gravely disappointed in the way many mosques are run and how unkempt they are, in how rude and ill-mannered some of your brothers and sisters in faith are, and at how dysfunctional Islamic schools and their students seem to be.

Be ready to feel a pang of disappointment when you find Thanksgiving with your family was more pleasant than iftar (meal to break the fast) at the masjid with your brothers and sisters in faith. Don’t, however, let this disenchant you from the deen or become harsh with them. You may have been privileged to grow up in a first world country and raised on its high standards. No one chooses the family and country into which they were born. Hone in on your strengths as a citizen and what positive things you can bring to the community, rather than letting it make you arrogant.

4- Be Merciful

Converts are surrounded on all sides by frustrating experiences. They have to deal with ignorance and intolerance from other faith based family and friends, and often have to deal with the same thing from the Muslim community. Add a few bad relationships or failed love stories in and you have a recipe for some serious bitterness.

Many times we get blind-sided by our negative emotions: fear, disappointment, anger, resentment, etc. We become intolerant of the shortcomings we see in others that we don’t find in ourselves.

As converts we are in a unique position of having a blended identity that gives us different perspectives, but whatever shortcomings we see in others we should remember that we have our own as well.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) truly had no shortcomings, and his trademark in dealing with ignorance was mercy. Instead of looking at others with distaste and judging them, we should feel sorry for them if they really have a problem and resolve to be good friends.

At no point should any person look at us, Muslim or not, and get the impression that we have our noses in the air. We should focus on keeping a soft heart towards everyone, because the real enemies of Islam are few and far between (though they may get the most traction) and we should always maintain a soft heart towards our Muslim brothers and sisters.

5- Being a Muslim Is Awesome, Becoming a Minority Is Difficult

Welcome to a world you may have never experienced before, the world of ‘the other’. This is the place of those who don’t hold an ‘entitlement’ card by virtue of their birth, a world of strange looks and racial slurs. This can be hard to grapple with initially since some of us were never raised to deal with it.

When you wear hijab you may notice that people aren’t as friendly to you as they once were; you see the change in demeanor that is provoked by your religious identity. It is not fair, and being raised on certain values that preach fairness and equality but never having really experienced racism yourself, you are in for a frustrating experience.

You will see the latent hypocrisy that exists in many aspects of our society, you will have a perfect image of our great nation shattered, you will experience double standards and security checks and anti-Muslim bigotry, but take heart in the fact that you will also experience the greatness of the human spirit and the people of your country. You will see that for every negative experience you have, you will have many more positive ones.

On the other hand, you will meet people who go out of their way to compliment you on your hijab, people will politely ask you questions and make it a point to tell you how much they respect what you’re doing. You will find that most people strive toward fairness, justice, and morality. The bumps in the road are just going to make the smoother patches seem all the more smooth. Don’t focus on the negative or take it personally, just enjoy the positive.

6- Don’t Be a Groupie

Never subscribe to any single imam, scholar, or organization as the ultimate authority and source of knowledge, and stay away from people who tell you to do so. There are kooks and cults within the Muslim community, and your innocent, convert face makes you a perfect follower.

Even within conservative Islam, there are varying opinions on many subjects, and the best scholars and imams are those who acknowledge those differences respectfully. Be wary of imams and scholars who are quick to put down others, who insult, and who promote their teachings and opinions as ‘correct’ with a disdain for those who are ‘incorrect’. What most people don’t realize is that these types of people are everywhere, not just in the Salafi community. They are Ṣufis, Ḥanafis, and progressives too. Every sect within Islam has its extremists. Stay away from all of them.

Also, keep in mind that if you have a question you want answered, talk to a sheikh or imam who understands your particular scenario, preferably one who has a great deal of experience with domestic issues and converts. In such cases avoid Google if you can. A good rule of thumb is to seek religious advice or rulings only from someone who is very familiar with your society and circumstances.

7- You Are the Trophy Muslim

“How long have you been Muslim? How did you convert?” These are two questions you are going to hear for the rest of your life, so have the edited monologue ready. Every time people ask you these questions, their eyes light up. (I know, it’s annoying.) They want you to move them and give them their daily iman-boost with your magical story, and suddenly you feel some pressure to perform. You don’t have to.

While I encourage you to be polite, understand that you aren’t putting on a show to make others else feel good about themselves or Islam. Keep it short and simple. Other people will patronize you in the beginning when they hear you’ve been Muslim for a few years, and may ask you basic questions, assuming you know nothing. They are well intentioned, but have a response ready, that is polite but also ends the conversation. You don’t have to stand there and smile and endure this time and again.

Be nice but brief, and know that you don’t have to share any details of your life or conversion that you don’t want to.

8- Be Careful of Whom You Marry

There are plenty of examples of successful interracial and intercultural marriages, and most converts will marry someone who is not of the same ethnic background. However, I will say this: you are more devoted citizen than you probably realize, and even if a man or woman has been living in this country for decades, if they grew up in a Muslim country, you are going to have some major differences in terms of expectations, mannerisms, and how you think and process things.

While racism is completely prohibited in Islam, a person who marries a Muslim from another country will face challenges directly related to race and/or culture. If you’re a woman, you may be especially vulnerable to being put in a position where you are expected to sacrifice aspects of your identity, especially because you are the one coming from a non-Muslim background. This is not to say that this is always the case, but it is a common problem that converts face when marrying, so it’s something to keep in mind.

9- Stick to Your Nationality

Some Western policies are at a low when it comes to how this country treats Muslims both at home and abroad, and unfortunately anti-Muslim bigotry is shockingly rampant. Many You are not a drone program or a war or a policy. You are not anti-Muslim or anti-Western bigotry. You are a person who was born in a country that has so much more positivity going for it than it does negativity, a country that has provided you with an experience that has made you into the person you are today: the person who chose Islam as their faith.

You may be outspoken, educated, independent, proactive, charismatic, caring, brave, and filled with dreams that you are determined to make come true for the better of the Muslim community and the world. You didn’t become all that the day you became a Muslim, you became all that the years you were raised as a can-do American or British for example.

Don’t let anyone else tell you what it means to be a true or a real patriot. Don’t let anyone make you feel that as a Muslim you are less entitled to being the person you have been your entire life. You have the unique opportunity to redefine your citizenship, so get out there and do it.

_________________________

Source: muslimmatters

Soucre Link
Categories
New Muslims Reflections

Don’t Let Her Leave Islam!

 

“She is a Muslim now.” “Don’t let her leave Islam.” “Would you??”

Missing something in their lives – a great one indeed – so many people revert to Islam? But, what happens after that? The truth is many of them leave it?

So, why do so many of them leave Islam? Why do these many formerly lost hearts let go of the solace they have found?

Based on a true story, the video below tells the bitter facts …

httpv://youtu.be/vlvHjbbKX-4

Soucre Link