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Articles of Faith New Muslims

How Do We Know the True Religion?

By Hammudah Abd Al-Ati

Throughout history religion has been abused and misunderstood. Some people use it as a means of exploitation and suppression, as a pretext for prejudice and persecution. Some other people use it as a source of power and domination over the elite and the masses alike. But is that the true religion?

In the name of religion unjustifiable wars have been launched, freedom of thought and conscience has been oppressed, science has been persecuted, the right of the individual to maturity has been denied, and man’ s dignity and honor have been flagrantly debased. And in the name of religion an injustice has been inflicted upon humanity with the result that religion itself has suffered many losses.

These are historical facts which no one can deny. But is this the proper function of religion or the right approach to religion? Could this be the purpose of religion?

The indisputable answer is an emphatic no. There are many religions in the world, and each one claims to be the one and only true religion. Each religion is supposed to have come from God for the right guidance of man.

But these claims contradict each other and have caused dissensions among people and vehement reactions to religion – instead of welding mankind into one universal brotherhood under the One Universal Benevolent God.

This situation makes any neutral observer confused and perhaps averse to all kinds of religion.

The Islamic …”Religion”

The Islamic concept of religion is unique in the broadest sense of the word. It is true that genuine religion must come from God for the right guidance of man. And it is equally true that human nature and major human needs are basically the same at all times.

This conception leads to one conclusion, and that is: There is only one true religion coming from the One and the Same God, to deal with the outstanding human problems of all times.

This religion is “Islam”. But it should be borne in mind that Islam was taught by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) alone. On the contrary, Islam had been taught by all the prophets before Muhammad, and the true followers of Abraham and Moses as well as those of Jesus and the rest were all called “Muslims”.

So Islam has been, and will continue to be, the true universal religion of God, because God is one and changeless, and because human nature and major human needs are fundamentally the same, irrespective of time and place, of race and age, and of any other considerations.

The True Religion

Bearing this in mind, the Islamic concept maintains that religion is not only a spiritual and intellectual necessity but also a social and universal need. It is not to bewilder man but to guide him. It is not to debase him but to elevate his moral nature.

It is not to deprive him of anything useful, or to burden him, or to oppress his qualities but to open for him inexhaustible treasures of sound thinking and right action. It is not confine him to narrow limits but to launch him into wide horizons of truth and goodness.

In short, true religion is to acquaint man with God as well as with himself and the rest of the universe. This is by no means an oversimplification of the function of religion. Here is what it means.

When the purpose of true religion is carefully examined, it will be found that religion satisfies the spiritual and moderate material needs of man. It unties his psychological knots and complexes, sublimates his instincts and aspirations, and disciplines his desires and the whole course of life. It improves his knowledge of God – the Highest Truth in the universe, and of his own self.

It teaches him about the secrets of life and the nature of man and how to treat them, about good and evil, about right and wrong.

It purifies the soul from evil, clears the mind from doubts, strengthens the character and corrects the thinking and convictions of man. All this can be achieved only when man faithfully observes the spiritual duties and physical regulations introduced by religion.

The True Purpose

On the other hand, true religion educates man and trains him in hope and patience, in truthfulness and honesty, in love for the right and good, in courage and endurance, all of which are required for the mastery of the great art of living.

Moreover, true religion insures man against fears and spiritual losses, and assures him of God’s aid and unbreakable alliance. It provides man with peace and security and makes his life meaningful.

That is what true religion can do for humanity, and that is the concept of religion in Islam.

Any religion which fails to bear these fruits is not Islam or rather, is not religion at all, and any man who fails to draw these benefits from religion is not religious or God-minded. God is absolutely true when He says in the Qur’an:

Verily the religion with God is Islam. Nor did the People of the Book dissent therefrom except through envy of each other, after knowledge had come to them. But if any deny the Signs of God, God is swift in calling to account. (Aal `Imran 3:19).

And if anyone desires a religion other than Islam, never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (all spiritual good). (Aal `Imran 3:85)

_________________________

The article is excerpted from Dr. Hammudah’s well-known book “Islam in Focus”.

 

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New Muslims Prayer

What Qur’an and Sunnah Say about Those Who Ignore Their Prayers

By: Sayyid Saabiq

Prayer is one of the most important acts in Islam, and thus it requires a special guidance. Ibrahim asked his Lord to give him descendants who abided by their prayers:

What Qur’an and Sunnah Say about Those Who Ignore Their Prayers

Not praying and denying its obligation is seen as disbelief.

My Lord! Cause me and (some) of my offspring to remain constant in prayer. And O our Lord! Accept my supplication. (Ibrahim 14:40)

Those Who Tamper with Their Prayers

Allah also strongly warns those who tamper with their prayers or are heedless. Allah says in the Qur’an:

Now there has succeeded them a later generation who have ruined their prayers and have followed lusts. But they will meet deception. (Maryam 19:59)

Ah, woe unto worshipers who are heedless of their prayers. (Al-Ma`un 107:4-5)

One Who Ignores His Prayers

Not praying and denying its obligation is seen as disbelief and places the person outside the religion of Islam. All scholars agree on this point. They base their opinion on several hadiths, some of which are:

Jabir reports that the Prophet (peace be on him) said, “Between a person and disbelief is discarding prayer.” (Ahmad, Muslim, Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah)

Buraidah reported that the Prophet (peace be on him) said, “The pact between us and them is prayer. Whoever abandons it is a disbeliever.” (Ahmad, Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nas’i and Ibn Majah)

`Abdullah ibn `Amr ibn Al-`Aas reported that the Prophet one day mentioned the prayer and said, “Whoever guards and observes his prayer, they will be a light and a proof and a savior for him on the Day of Resurrection. Whoever does not guard and obvserve them, they will not be a light or a proof or a savior for him. On the Day of Resurrection, he will be with Qarun (Korah), Fir`awn, Haman and Ubay ibn Khalaf.” (Ahmad, At-Tabarani and Ibn Hibban)

That one who does not pray will be with the leaders of the unbelievers in the Hereafter makes it evident that such a person is an unbeliever. Says Ibn Al-Qayyim,

“The one who does not pray may be preoccupied with his wealth, kingdom, position or business. If one is kept away from his prayers by his wealth, he will be with Qarun. One whose kingdom keeps him away from the prayers will be with Haman, and one whose business keeps him away from the prayers will be with Ubay ibn Khalaf.”

Says `Abdullah ibn Shaqiq Al-`Aqeely, “The Companions of Muhammad (peace be upon him) did not consider the abandonment of any act, with the exception of prayer, as being disbelief.” (At-Tirmidhi and Al-Hakim, who said it met Al-Bukahri’s and Muslim’s conditions)

Says Muhammad ibn Nasr Al-Mirwazi, “I heard Ishaq say, ‘It is authentic (that) the Prophet (said or ruled): One who does not pray is an unbeliever.” It is from the Prophet himself that one who intentionally does not pray until the time for the prayer is over is an unbeliever.

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The article is an excerpt from the author’s translated book “Fiqh Us Sunnah”.

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Divine Unity New Muslims

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

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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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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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Major Sins New Muslims

Shirk: Its Meaning and Punishment in Islam?

By: Muhammad Bin Ibrahim Bin `Abdullah Al-Tuwayjiri

Shirk is to set up a partner with Allah (Exalted be He) in His rububiyyah (Oneness of Allah’s Lordship), or His uluhiyyah (Oneness of worship) or His attributes.

So if a person believes that there is a creator or helper with Allah then he is a mushrik; whoever believes that someone besides Allah is worthy of worship then he is a mushrik; and whoever believes that Allah has an equal in His names and attributes then he is a mushrik.

Danger of Shirk

1- Committing shirk is great injustice because it is a violation of the exclusive right of Allah, which is tawheed (Oneness of Allah). Hence, tawheed is the most fair of justices, and shirk is the most unfair of injustices and the most abominable of offences; because it is defaming the Lord of the worlds, directing what is exclusively His right to other than Him and equating Him with others.

Moreover, due to the great danger of shirk whoever meets Allah as a mushrik Allah will not forgive him, as Allah says:

Indeed, Allah does not forgive setting up partners with Him, but He forgives what is less than that for whom He wills. And whoever sets up partners with Allah has certainly fabricated a tremendous sin. (An-Nisaa’ 4:48)

2- Committing shirk is the greatest of sins, for whoever worships other than Allah has placed worship in other than its rightful place and directed it to other than who is worthy of it; and that is great injustice and a heinous offence, as Allah says:

Indeed, shirk is great injustice. (Luqman 31:13)

3- Major shirk renders all deeds worthless, necessitates destruction and loss, and is the greatest of major sins:

1– Allah says:

And it was already revealed to you and to those before you: ‘If you set up partners with Allah, your deeds would surely become worthless, and you would surely be among the losers.’ Rather, worship Allah alone and be among the grateful. (Az-Zumar 39:65-66)

2– And Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated:

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said thrice, “Shall I not inform you of the greatest of major sins?” They said, “Yes, O Messenger of Allah!” He said, “Committing shirk and disobedience to parents.” He sat up after he had been reclining and added, “And giving false witness.” He continued to repeat it until we said, “We wish he would be quiet.” (AL-Bukhari and Muslim)

Abominable Characteristics of Shirk

Allah has mentioned four abominable characteristics of shirk in four verses. They are:

1 –Allah says:

Indeed, Allah does not forgive setting up partners with Him, but He forgives what is less than that for whom He wills. And whoever sets up partners with Allah has certainly fabricated a tremendous sin. (An-Nisaa’ 4:48)

2– Allah says:

And whoever sets up partners with Allah has certainly gone far astray. (An-Nisaa’ 4:116)

3– Allah says:

Indeed, whoever sets up partners with Allah – Allah has forbidden him Paradise, and his abode is the Fire. And there are no helpers for the wrongdoers. (Al-Ma’idah 5:72)

4– Allah says:

And whoever sets up partners with Allah – it is as though he had fallen from the sky and was snatched by the birds, or the wind had thrown him to a far off place. (Al-Hajj 22:31)

Punishment for Those Who Commit Shirk

1– Allah says:

Indeed, those who disbelieve among the People of the Scripture and the polytheists will be in the Fire of Hell, abiding eternally therein. They are the worst of creatures. (Al-Bayyinah 98:6)

2– `Abdullah Ibn Mas`ud (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated:

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever dies while calling on something besides Allah, as a rival to Him, will enter the Fire.”

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The article is excerpted from the author’s book “Summarized Islam Fiqh (In Light of the Qur’an and Sunnah)”, translated by Kamil Ahmad & Jawad Beg.

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ABC's of Islam New Muslims

Islam and the Meaning of Deen

By Abul A`la Al-Mawdudi 

The word ‘deen’ is used in several meanings. The first is sovereignty, power, lordship, kingship, or rulership. The second is the opposite of this, i.e. submission, obedience, service or slavery. The third is to bring to account, to judge, or to dispense reward and punishment for actions. All those three uses are found in the Qur’an.

Allah says:

The only (true) Deen in the sight of God is (man’s) self-surrender (to Him). (Aal `Imran 3:19)

Here, deen is that way of life in which we recognize Allah alone as the possessor of all power and majesty and surrender ourselves to Him. We must not abase or humble ourselves before anybody save Him. We must regard only Allah as Master, Lord, and Sovereign, and must not be slaves or servants to anybody but Him. We must accept only Allah as the Lord of reward and punishment. We should covet no reward, fear no punishment, except His. Islam is the name of this deen.

Deen is that way of life in which we recognize Allah alone as the possessor of all power and majesty and surrender ourselves to Him.

False Deen

False deen arises when you ascribe real powers to anyone besides Allah, when you take anyone as a real ruler and master, as a dispenser of real reward and punishment, when you bow your heads before him in humility, when you serve him and obey his orders, when you covet his reward and fear his punishment more than Allah’s. This kind of deen Allah never accepts because it is totally contrary to reality.

No other being in the whole universe except God possesses any power and might, nor does anybody else’s sovereignty and kingship exist. We have not been created to be servants and slaves of anyone or anything but God, nor is there anyone else except that real Master who can judge us and award reward and punishment.

In many places in the Qur’an these facts have been explained.

And whoso seeks a Deen other than Islam, it will not be accepted from him. (Aal `Imran 3:85)

Thus, anyone who disregards the sovereignty and kingship of God, acknowledges someone else as his master and ruler, becomes his servant and slave, and considers anyone as a dispenser of reward and punishment in his own right, will never have his Deen or conduct accepted by God because:

They were not enjoined anything but that they should serve God, making submission exclusively His, turning away (from all false gods). (Al-Bayyinah 98:5)

God has not created human beings to serve anyone except Himself. It is, therefore, incumbent on them to turn away from all false gods and reserve their submission, or their true deen, for Allah alone. They should single-mindedly devote themselves to His service and consider themselves as being accountable only to Him:

What! Do they seek a deen other than God’s, whereas unto Him surrenders whatever is in the heavens and on earth, willingly or unwillingly, and unto Him all must return? (Aal `Imran 3:83)

How can we human beings incline to be servants and to submit to someone other than God, when all other things on earth and in the heavens are slaves and obedient servants of God alone, accounting for their deeds to no other authority than God? Does man want to adopt a deviant way for himself, some kind of independent and autonomous existence, in defiance of the entire universe?

He it is Who has sent forth His Messenger with the Guidance and the way of Truth, so that he makes it prevail over all ways (religions), however much mushriks (who take gods besides God) may dislike it. (At-Tawbah 9:33)

God’s Deen

Allah has sent His Messenger with the true deen for the purpose of ending the sovereignty of all false gods and granting us immense freedom so that we live as servants of none but the Lord of the universe, no matter how much the idolaters and polytheists may dislike or oppose such a course.

And fight them, until there is no rebellion (against God) and all submission is to God alone. (Al-Anfal 8:39)

The lesson is clear: we must fight until the sovereignty of all beings other than Allah is brought to an end, until only the law of God rules in the world, until the sovereignty of God alone is acknowledged, until we serve only Him.

Thus these three meanings of deen stand out:

– To acknowledge God as Lord, Master and Ruler.

– To obey and serve only Him.

– To be accountable to Him, to fear only His punishment and to covet only His reward.

Deen also includes obedience to God’s Messengers. For the commandments of God have been given to human beings through His Books and His Messengers.

Children of Adam! If there should come to you Messengers from among you, who convey My revelations unto you, then whosoever refrains from evil and lives rightly no fear shall be on them, and neither shall they sorrow. (Al-A`raf 7:35)

No individual receives Allah’s commandments directly.

Hence, whoever acknowledges Allah as Ruler can be accepted as obedient to Him only when he becomes obedient to His Messengers and lives by the guidance received through them.

Deen consists of these fundamental principles.

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The article is an excerpt from Abul A`la Al-Mawdudi’s Let Us Be Muslims.

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