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Ethics & Values New Muslims

Six Tips to Boost New Muslims’ Faith After Shahadah


Number six

The moments leading up to the taking of the Shahadah exuberating.

As a convert to Islam, you can easily remember the moment that you discovered that Islam was the one and only true religion. The moment of realization is an intense whirlwind of emotions such as relief, joy, gratitude and peace.

The moments leading up to the taking of the Shahadah, or Islamic declaration of faith, are equally exuberating. You wear your best clothes, travel to the mosque and pronounce the testimony of faith: “Ash hadu an la ilaha illa Allah, wa ash hadu anna Muhammadan rasoolu Allah” (I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is His Messenger) in public for the very first time.

Afterwards, the Muslims at the mosque will offer their congratulations and so too will the Muslims in your community. Your new faith has lit up your heart and the sense of the Islamic nation surrounds you.

However, it is important to realize that the level of excitement you felt in taking the shahadah will likely fade away as you get back to living. It’s inevitable and it does not necessarily mean that you are a “bad” Muslim or have done anything wrong. The faith, ebbs and flows just like a babbling brook in the middle of a grassy meadow. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:

“Faith wears out in the heart of any one of you just as clothes wear out, so ask Allah to renew the faith in your hearts.” (Al-Hakim)

There are several reasons why our faith decreases. Everything from engaging in unlawful activities to committing major and minor sins takes a toll on our faith.

The good news is that there are several ways that you can maintain an optimum level of faith and enjoin the good while forbidding the evil.

Turn to God First

When you feel that your faith is weakening or that your heart is sick, turn to God in sincere du`aa’, or supplication. When a Muslim’s heart is filled with obedience, love and gratitude towards God, Satan increases his efforts to lead the faithful Muslim away from his Creator. He does so by means of waswas (insinuating whispers) that makes a Muslim question his faith, feel nervous about his choices or even causes him to forget to perform certain acts of worship such as the obligatory Prayers. You can fight off the whispers from the Shaytan by asking for Almighty’s refuge from it.

Another way is to increase your good deeds and increase other acts of worship. Perform dhikr (the remembrance of God), as often as you can and read the Qur’an on a daily basis. Spend in charity of what you are able, even if it is only a smile or a helping hand to someone who needs it. Most importantly, remember that you are not alone in suffering from weak faith. It can happen to any Muslim.

Follow the Five Pillars of Islam

God has given us the perfect prescription for joy and success in this world and the next. The first part of that prescription is the gift of the Qur’an and Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad. The second part is the five pillars of Islam:

1- Shahadah – Testimony of Faith

2- Prayer

3- Zakah – annual alms for the poor.

4- Fasting in Ramadan

5- Hajj – Pilgrimage to Makkah

In architecture, pillars are used to stabilize a building and give it strength. So too do the five pillars of Islam give a Muslim strength. By following the five pillars of Islam, you create a sound foundation for your life as a Muslim. Just like a building with weak pillars threatens to topple over, not following the five pillars of Islam will have a similar effect on your faith.

As a new Muslim, in particular, it may take you some time to learn the pillars of Islam perfectly. However, you must hasten to arm yourself with proper Islamic reading materials that teach you how to perform each pillar in the correct way.

For example, there are dozens of Islamic books that painstakingly detail how to fast properly in Ramadan. There is no excuse for not increasing your Islamic knowledge especially in our digital age. Countless Islamic websites that adhere to the Qur’an and Sunnah are only a couple of mouse clicks away.

Ponder on God’s Creation

The beauty of the rose as its petals intertwine seamlessly, the brightness of the sun as it rises each dawn, the carefree laugh of an infant for the very first time – these are just a few of the signs of God that are evident in His creation. All you really have to do is open your eyes, look and reflect. God Almighty reveals in the Qur’an:

And on the earth are signs for those who have Faith with certainty. And also in your own selves. Will you not then see? (Adh-Dhariyat 51:20-1)

Let’s use the example of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). Years before he received his mission as the Last Messenger, he would often contemplate the creation and reflect upon it.

Learn the Attributes of God

There are ninety-nine beautiful names of God and learning them perfectly is one of the keys to Paradise according to a hadith from the Prophet Muhammad:

“Indeed, Allah has 99 names (one hundred minus one); whoever memorizes them will enter Paradise.”
Some of the names are: Ar-Razzaq (The Ever Providing), Al-Sami` (The All Hearing) and Al-Ghafur (The All Forgiving). By learning the names and attributes of our Creator, we can better get to know our Lord. Try to learn at least three names a day along with the meaning. By the end of thirty-three days, you will have learned all ninety-nine.

Obedience and Free Will

There’s nothing to stop a Muslim from listening to the latest hit song on the radio or turning on the TV to tune into the latest drama or sitcom to come out of Hollywood. That is why humans possess free will.

However, as Muslims, we know that most music and most aspects of television are unlawful. The words woven into a song or the images of haram (unlawful) activities played out on TV have a direct effect on the human heart. It is a huge misconception if you believe that engaging in these wasteful activities won’t harm you. Not only will they cause harm, but also they will blacken the heart and cause your faith to wane. By obeying what God has decreed in the Qur’an and Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad, in every aspect of life, all Muslims can reap the benefits of a faith that is unwavering and never flinches.

Enhance Your Faith

Remember that as a new Muslim you should also surround yourself with people who are going to enhance your faith and not harm it. Befriend a good Muslim, of the same gender, in your community or reach out to the Imam at your local mosque for more guidance and advice.

May God strengthen your faith and always guide you to His Straight Path. Ameen.

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Taken with slight modifications from Onislam.net


 

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New Muslims Reflections

This Is What I Love the Most about Islam…

What thing do you know by heart and mind, believe in, and fascinated by in Islam?

What is your favorite thing about Islam? What thing do you love most about this religion? And why do you love it?

This Is What I Love the Most in Islam… What is yours?

Below is an episodes of IBN’s “100 Muslims, 1 Question” where some fellow American Muslims were asked about their favorite thing in Islam, and here are their responses…

Share your opinions and thoughts here…

 

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Source: ibn.net

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New Muslims Reflections

This One Surah Is Mine…What Is Yours?

Given that every single human has a unique nature, each and every one of us connect with God in their own way, from their own perspective.

We all get in touch with God through the Qur’an, the message for all and for each one of us. Still, the Qur’an addresses each one of us individually.

Is it the first surah you learned or memorized?

What is your favorite surah of the Qur’an, and why? Is it the first surah you learned, recited or memorized?

What is the first thing you think about when you hear or read that surah? In what way does it impact or affect you on a personal level?

Some fellow American Muslims were asked about their favorite surah of the Qur’an, and why they are attached to it, and here are their responses…

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Source: ibn.net

 

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Ethics & Values New Muslims

Between Religion and Daily Life in Islam

Between Religion and Daily Life in Islam..

Islam does not recognize any kind of separation between soul and body, spirit and matter, religion and life.

Faith without action and practice is a dead end, as far as Islam is concerned. Faith by nature is very sensitive and can be most effective.

When it is out of practice or out of use, it quickly loses its liveliness and motivating power. The only way to enliven faith and make it serve its purpose is practice.

Meaningfulness

Practice provides faith with nourishment, survival and effectiveness. In return, faith inspires man to be constant in his devotion, and persistent in his practice. This is because the interrelationship between faith and practice is very strong, and their interdependence is readily understandable.

A person without faith has no real source of inspiration and, consequently, has no worthy objectives to attain or even aspire to. The life of such a person is meaningless, and he lives from day to day, which is no life at all.

On the other hand, the person who confesses faith but does not practice it is self-deceiving person, and in fact has no faith, in which case he is no more than a helpless straying wanderer

The interrelationship between faith and practice in Islam has vivid reflections on the entire setup of the religion and manifests the deep philosophy of its teachings.

Islam does not recognize any kind of separation between soul and body, spirit and matter, religion and life. It accepts man the way God has created him and recognizes his nature as composed of soul and body. It does not neglect his spiritual nature; else he would be like any animal. Nor does it underestimate his physical needs; else he would be an angel, which he is not and cannot be.

According to Islam, man stands in center of the stream of creation. He is not purely spiritual because the purely spiritual beings are the angels, nor is he beyond that, because the Only Being beyond that is God alone. He is not entirely material or physical, because the only beings of this class are the animals and other irrational creatures.

So being of such a complementary nature, man has parallel demands and parallel needs: spiritual and material, moral and physical.

The religion which can help man and bring him close to God is the religion which takes into consideration all these demands and needs, the religion which elevates the spiritual status and disciplines the physical desires. And this is the religion of Islam. To oppress either side of human nature, or upset the balance, or lean to one direction only, would be an abusive contradiction to human nature as well as an irresponsible defiance of the very nature in which God has created man.

Because Islam grants complete recognition of human nature as it is, and takes deep interest in the spiritual as well as the material well-being of man, it does not consider religion a personal affair or a separate entity from the current general course of life.

In other words, religion has no value unless its teachings have effective imprints on the personal and public course of life. On the other hand, life is meaningless, if it is not organized and conducted according to the divine law.

Between Religion and Daily Life in Islam..

Islam penetrates into all walks of life to conduct all human activities in a sound and wholesome manner.

This explains why Islam extends its sense of organization to all walks of life: individual and social behavior, labor and industry, economics and politics, national and international relations, and so on. It also demonstrates why Islam does not recognize “secularism” or separation of religion from man’ s daily transactions.

Wholeness

The interaction between true religion and meaningful life is vital. And this is why Islam penetrates into all walks of life to conduct all human activities in a sound and wholesome manner, acceptable to God and benevolent to man

As a result of this necessary correspondence between true religion and daily life, Islam does not attend to the doctrine of “six days for me or the world and one day for the Lord” . This doctrine amounts to nothing in the long run, and makes the liveliness of religion turn pale and faint.

Besides, it shows serious injustice to God on man’s part and afflicts detrimental injuries on the latter’ s soul. It is a serious negligence of the spiritual and moral needs which are as important as, if not greater than, the material desires. It is a dangerous disruption of the nature of man, and any such imbalance is a symptom of degeneration.

Similarly, if man earmarks six days for monkery (monastic practices) or exclusive meditation and one day for himself, he would be better in no way. The balance would still be upset. The natural and logical course, then, is the course which Islam has offered.

Being of a complementary nature and standing in the center of the stream of creation, man will plunge into serious troubles, if he neglects either his soul or his body, or if he lets either one outweigh the other.

To nourish both, to foster both in a well-balanced and sound manner is the hardest test of man’ s sense of justice and integrity as well as of his willpower and truthfulness. And to help man to pass this test, Islam has come to his rescue with the regular exercises of faith.

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Source: The article is excerpted from the author’s Islam in Focus.

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Divine Unity New Muslims

The Oneness of God and Man’s Recognition of It

The Transcendent, His Names

The Oneness of God and Man’s Recognition of It

The knowledge of God leads us to our self, as the knowledge of our self leads to God.

There is no “Islamic theology.” It is meaningless, and in actual fact wrong, to compare the often peripheral discussions that took place among Muslim scholars (particularly from the tenth century) with the radical reflections that gave birth to “Christian theology.”

Admittedly, some debates were lively, and in the course of history in the Islamic schools the meaning and significance of the names of God and of His attributes, and the status of revelation have been discussed, but the boundaries of these controversies, in contrast to the history of Catholic dogma, for example, have remained circumscribed and have never gone as far as to open to question three fundamental principles: the absolute Oneness of the Creator, the impossibility of there being a representation of Him, and the truth of His word revealed in the Qur’an.

An authentic “theology” would first and foremost have discussed these three principles. But a careful study of the history of the debates among the schools shows that the disputes took place mainly in separation from these three principles, which, at the heart of the Muslim understanding, are the basis of what is called tawheed (Oneness of Allah).

Islam begins just here: to understand Islam is to grasp the meaning and significance of the multiple dimensions of tawheed.

The concept of tawheed expresses first and essentially the fact of the absolute Oneness of God: the first principle, Creator of all, eternally present in history and at each moment, He is the Most High (Al-`Ali), beyond all that is (Al-Kabir, Al-Wasi`, Al-Jami`), infinitely Near (Al-Qarib), closer to each of us than his jugular vein:

We verily created man and We know what his soul whispers to him, and We are nearer to him than his jugular vein. ( Qaf 50:16)

He is the One (Al-Wahid), the Only One (la ilaha illa Hu, there’s no God but Him), the Absolute (As-Samad), Justice (Al-`Adl), Truth (Al-Haqq), and Light (Al-Nur).

Natural Faith

The whole of creation, in its most natural state, is the most immediate expression of the order intended by the Transcendent. Here, in the universe of the “laws of nature” and “rule of instinct,” everything is in itself already and eternally “Islamic”; submissive to and at peace with the Living One (Al-Hayy), the Eternal (Al-Qayyum), who grants life (Al-Muhyi) and brings death (Al-Mumit).

Nature is a book abounding in signs (ayat) of this essential link with the divine, this “natural faith,” this “faith within nature” that is chanted by the mountain and the desert, the tree and the bird:

Are you not aware that it is God whose limitless glory all (creatures) that are in the heavens and on earth extol, even the birds as they spread out their wings? Each (of them) knows indeed how to pray unto Him and to glorify Him; and God has full knowledge of all that they do. (An-Nur 24:41)

The seven heavens extol His limitless glory, and the earth, and all they contain; and there is not a single thing but extols His limitless glory and praise: but you (O men) fail to grasp the manner of their glorifying Him! (Al-Israa’ 17:44)

“You” refers here to human beings, beings endowed with consciousness and freedom, yet who “do not see” and “do not understand” the celebration that the creation, simply by being what it is, addresses to God, as too are the “jinn” of the Islamic tradition—beings created from fire who, like human beings, can choose to accept or refuse to hold to faith in the Creator.

Thus, with consciousness and freedom, another dimension is opened up, a dimension of faith, nature, submission, and peace, where one must listen, hear, understand, search, begin, resist, reform. Here we must learn to celebrate, learn to pray.

Inherent Recognition of Him

Humans are beings that have knowledge as well as ignorance, memory as well as forgetfulness. In contrast with the rest of creation, they have to live with dignity, risk, and freedom, all at once. What the Transcendent demands of their consciousness is to know Him or, more precisely, to recognize Him, and He has given them the means by which they can meet His demands.

The idea that an intelligent being may find itself alone, abandoned, a prey to doubt with no landmarks in the midst of the “tragedy of life” is alien to Islam: God always makes available to humankind tools and signs on the road that leads to recognizing Him.

The first space that welcomes human beings in their quest is creation itself. It is a book, as we have said, and all the elements that form part of it are signs that should remind the human consciousness that there exists that which is “beyond” them.

This revelation in and through space is wedded to revelations in time, which, at irregular intervals, came as reminders of the origin and end of the universe and of humanity. The Qur’an, the last of these revelations in the Muslim view, has as its main purpose to remind and to direct; to recall to memory the presence of the Only One, to direct the intelligence toward the knowledge of Him.

In the natural order, distinct from all the other creatures by virtue of consciousness, intelligence, and free will, human beings express needs according to the measure of their qualities and nature.

With regard to the latter, the most natural of human quests is, when all is said and done, to know the source of the power and energy that give life to the world – in fact, it is the search for the divine. The first teaching we may draw from revelation is to understand the absolute necessity for the revelation itself.

Knowledge of Him

Basically, we learn from this that we can say of God only what He says of Himself. In other words, we must be listening for what He has said and communicated to humankind throughout history about recognizing and approaching Him. By this means, the Being has offered His names to human intelligence in order to direct it toward the knowledge of Him, but never toward the definition of Him.

Nothing is like Him, and He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing. (Ash-Shura 42:11)

Thus, all the divine names- there’s ninety-nine names, and more, on the basis of the Qur’an and various traditions- of which we have mentioned some, make it possible to meditate and gain access to His transcendence, His closeness, His kindness, and His mercy, but all reveal, in the human heart, human insufficiency, dependence, and “need of Him.”

The second teaching of the Revelation is to invite individuals to a deep study of their own inner lives. The search for God and the sense of “the need of Him” may also arise from the indefinable work of looking inward that is required of each of us.

The knowledge of God leads us to our self, as the knowledge of our self leads to God. What is uncovered through the two revelations, al-Kitab al-mastur (the written Book) and al-Kitab al-manshur (the Book that is spread out; the universe), is a profoundly harmonious conception of the human being.

With the turning of the pages and the passage of time, it takes shape and allows us better to find an order in divine commandments, human characteristics, and the meaning of the effort toward bringing about harmony and justice, which is required of humankind.

The encounter with the Only One, the “full and natural faith” of the created universe, the “need of Him” as the essence of being human, are, I suggest, the three fundamentals of the universal at the heart of Islamic civilization. Flowing from our observations about the Transcendent and His names, we find a special concept of humankind.

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The article is an excerpt from Dr. Tariq Ramadan’s book “Western Muslims and

the Future of Islam” Oxford University Press (2004).

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Articles of Faith New Muslims

God Has Chosen You to Be Muslim

As a new Muslim, what has led you to Islam? How did you respond to the call of God?

First, I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to you on your wonderful choice of Islam as your religion and I ask God to give you steadfastness on the truth, elevate your status, increase your faith, and strengthen your conviction.

God

Be joyful and pleased and thank Allah, the Exalted, as He has chosen you to be His servant.

A Gift From God

Dear truthful Muslim, Allah, your Lord, has sealed all previous divine laws with those of Islam and has sealed the coming of prophets with the Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) and called humankind to accept these two things.

Those that accepted the call of Allah have become true believers, they are required to fulfill all religious obligations for which they are entitled to all rights afforded to Muslims.

Be joyful and pleased and thank God, the Exalted, as He has chosen you to be a servant of His amongst many who have been misguided. Your response to the call of Allah and His Messenger is the sole guarantor for a good life as He said in the Qur’an:

O you who have believed, respond to Allah and to the Messenger when he calls you to that which gives you life. (Al-Anfal 9:25)

And He also said:

Whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a believer – We will surely cause him to live a good life. (An-Nahl 16:97)

Why Islam?

Glad tidings to you and do not despair by what you see in regards to the condition of the Muslims as you have caught on to the mount of those who are making their way to Allah the Exalted and you have become one of them. Do you not know that this religion has spread throughout the four corners of the world and there is no city worldwide except that there are Muslims who worship Allah alone?

This religion has astonished thousands of educated and uneducated people alike who every year come into the fold of Islam convinced by its dominance over all other religions.

Don’t look back, that which has passed in your life has passed and Islam has guaranteed for you a new life free from impurities and sins as if you have been born in to this world again.

You are now unsoiled and pure as our Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) said to one of his companions who wanted to enter Islam, but was afraid for the sins he had committed:

“Do you not know that Islam wipes out the actions that came before it?” (Muslim)

There is no religion that exists that is similar to the religion of Islam -which you have decided to enter- for your Lord is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy, your Prophet is a ‘Mercy to the Worlds’ and the divine laws were revealed through mercy and kindness.

In Islam there are no extreme hardships or impossible regulations, but all commands have come in harmony with your natural disposition and take into consideration your normal and urgent situations.

Be convinced that you will not find an Islamic rule that contradicts your natural disposition or contravenes your life from all angles; rather you will find that Islamic laws have combined between the complete obedience of God (Exalted be He) and your need to have a gracious, sophisticated and pure life.

Be Guided by the Qur’an

Read in the Book of your Lord –the Qur’an– and peruse in it and you will find what you had lost, for indeed it is a complete book that covers all spheres of your life including Tawheed (The Oneness of Allah), worship, anecdotes, history, morals and knowledge through which you will know your Lord as He wants you to know Him with His perfect attributes, His glorified description and His excellent, wise and fair injunctions.

Whatever your education and irrespective of your background, the Book of Allah, will amaze you by its style and words as it has come directly from Allah the Exalted. From Him it has come, to Him it will return, and no falsehood can be found within it.

In fact, there is not a single book in existence that challenges its readers to find a single, even minute mistake or contradiction as Allah the Exalted had challenged the people of eloquence and rhetoric (The tribe of Quraish- the most noble Arab tribe at the time of the Prophet Mohammed).

Then do they not reflect upon the Qur’an? If it had been from (any) other than Allah, they would have found within it much contradiction. (An-Nisaa’ 4:82)

True Belief/Full Submission

Reason, think, perceive, contemplate, traverse through the world and increase yourself in knowledge and understanding are the things that are wanted of you by your Lord in Islam as we find in the Qur’an in numerous places:

Perhaps they will give thought. (Al-Hashr 59:21)

Then will you not reason?  (Al-Baqarah 2:44)

So have they not traveled through the earth and observed… (Yusuf 12:109)

For everything in existence guides you to God and He has given you these senses then sought from you to use them to come to know and believe in Him.

Moreover, with this, our religion is one of acknowledgement and submission and it is Islam that you have chosen to follow to the end of your days until you meet your Lord.

Those things that your intellect and the combined intellect of humankind are unable to comprehend should be entrusted to Allah the Exalted.

You should have full faith in Him and completely submit to him in order to be a true believer.

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The article is excerpted from the book “A Beneficial Summary of Rulings for New Muslim”, published by The Ministry of Endowments & Islamic Affairs, Kuwait- 2nd Edition 1436/2015.

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Articles of Faith New Muslims

All Humans Are Inclined to Be Muslims

Allah (the Exalted) sent His Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him) with a religion to complete all religions and He made it a judge over them and a nullifier of their commandments. Allah has guaranteed that He would preserve this religion from all corruption and alteration and he described it as the ‘Straight Path’ all humans naturally incline to it.

humans

As long as the heart remains capable of accepting truth, it will perceive and be guided to it.

Whoever walks on it will be safeguarded in this world and the Hereafter and whoever turns away from it and walks on another path will be misguided and in ruin because opposing it means that a human being contradicts the natural disposition which Allah has created him upon.

Allah the Exalted said:

So direct your face towards the religion, inclining to truth and turning away from all that is false, in accordance with the natural disposition which God has instilled into man. No change should there be in the creation of Allah. That is the correct religion, but most people do not know. (Ar-Rum 30:30)

All Humans Are Naturally Muslims

Allah created the human self in a way that it is naturally inclined to everything that is good, practical and beneficial and to dislike everything that contains evil, corruption and harm.

Therefore, you see humankind incline naturally to good food and drink which is tasty and wholesome and stay away from food that is filthy and harmful.

In the same way, humans incline towards keeping the company of those who have high morals and upright character and keep away from those who are immoral and ill mannered. They love and respect those who have faultless qualities treating such people with decency and respect and at the same time, they do not treat those who have many faults with the same decency and respect.

This is the natural disposition that Allah has created in the human heart and self and He has made the heart capable of accepting the truth as he has created the eyes capable of seeing and the ears capable of hearing.

As long as the heart remains capable of accepting truth it will perceive and be guided to it; but if the heart changes because of following whims and desires, then it becomes misguided and follows falsehood. As we find in the words of the Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) who said:

“Allah said: ‘I created my servants as monotheists, but the devils came to them and deviated them from their religion, prohibiting what I allowed and commanding them to ascribe partners to me for which I gave no authority’.” (Sahih Muslim)

“Verily, the Religion with Allah is Islam”

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has informed us that there is no human born into this world except that he is upon the nature that Allah has created him upon. Then external influences come along that affect and change this nature.

As we find on the authority of Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him):

“No child is born except on Al-Fitrah (Islam) but his parents make him Jewish, Christian or Magian, as an animal delivers a perfect young animal: do you see any part of its body mutilated?”

Then Abu Hurairah said: “Read if you will the following verse: “..the natural disposition which God has instilled into man. No change should there be in the creation of Allah. (Ar-Rum 30:30) (Al-Bukhari & Muslim)

Subsequently, the Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) informed us that it is human nature to follow Islam and to not follow any other erroneous religion or misguided sect that was not revealed by Allah.

Notice how, in the previous narration the Prophet Mohammed did not say “or make them Muslim” as this shows that Islam is the religion of human nature and this is supported by another narration which clearly states this:

“There is no newborn baby, except that he is born on this religion until his tongue allows him to express himself otherwise.” (Muslim)

Why Islam?

Those that get to know the teachings of Islam recognize clearly that it is the truth that must be followed because its teachings nurture the healthy nature of humankind and promote it, and they do not revolt against it as it is made up of the following:

1- It commands us to worship Allah alone ascribing no partners to Him; He is the Creator of the whole universe and for him alone is sovereignty and He alone has power over all things. The healthy human nature requires that he who is described with perfection deserves respect and esteem, so how about He whose perfection is absolute and has no end or limits?

2- Islamic teachings have permitted all things of goodness and have forbidden all things that contain impurity because the healthy nature inclines towards all goodness and keeps away from impurity.

3- The teachings of Islam emphasize the adornment of oneself with good morals and an upright character and has forbidden obscenity and indecency because virtuous individuals prefer everything that is from goodness and reject everything that is indecent.

On the authority of Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him), the Prophet said: “Then I was brought two cups in one of them was milk and in the other one there was wine and it was said to me: Select any one you like. So I selected the cup containing milk and drank it. Then I was told: You have attained what is natural (i.e. Islam) had you selected the wine your nation would have gone astray.” (Al-Bukhari & Muslim)

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The article is excerpted from the book “A Beneficial Summary of Rulings for New Muslim”, published by The Ministry of Endowments & Islamic Affairs, Kuwait- 2nd Edition 1436/2015.

 

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Articles of Faith New Muslims

Between Heart & Limbs: How to Achieve Reality of Faith

If you contemplate the pillars of faith and Islam, you will see that they have combined between the actions of the heart and limbs.

faith

Based on your nearness to Allah, your knowledge of Him & His religion you will achieve the reality of faith.

“Whosoever testifies that None has the right to be worshiped but Allah Alone who has no partners, and that Mohammed is His slave and apostle, and that Jesus is Allah’s slave and apostle and His word which He bestowed on Mary and a spirit from Him, and that Paradise is true, and Hell is true, Allah will admit him into Paradise through any of its eight gates that he likes.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Faith.. Heart.. Body

Faith addresses the heart with Tawheed (Oneness of God) and conviction; and the pillars of Islam address the body with subservience and subjugation each of them complements the other.

Therefore, based on your nearness to Allah and your knowledge of Him and His religion you will achieve the reality of faith and the soul of Islam.

Look at the divine laws and rulings of Islam and you will see that it contains both ritual worship and daily transactions. The ritual worship is how we deal with our Lord and our daily transactions are how we deal with His creation.

Islam has not neglected any of these aspects at the cost of the other, rather as we are commanded to strive for excellence in our ritual worship we are also commanded to strive for excellence in the way we deal with people. Allah has said:

And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. (Al-Israa’ 17:23)

“Make things easy for people and do not make things difficult. Spread good news and bring them joy do not be harsh and turn them away.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

With these words our Prophet (peace be upon him) enjoined his companions to deal with people as our religion does not have any place for extremism or harshness. Seek closeness to Allah by performing voluntary actions when you have energy and a content heart and you will enjoy your worship and achieve your goals.

Ask Allah the Exalted to bless you with beneficial knowledge and virtuous deeds and sit in the gatherings of knowledge in your mosque and ask any questions that you have. Do not neglect yourself as questioning in Islam for those who want to practice and worship is obligatory as you find in the Qur’an that Allah (the Exalted) has said:

 So ask the people of the message if you do not know. (An-Nahl 16:43)

Path to Success

Your dedication to learning Islam is your path to success and the main cause for your stability so if you want to increase yourself in the strength of your faith then be steadfast in your obedience to Allah as a person’s faith increases and decreases.

It increases with obedience and decreases with sin, so be steadfast as you have been commanded to be by Allah and be punctual in your prayers with your brothers at the mosque.

Attend the religious celebrations and do not be lax in any of the pillars of Islam such as the five daily prayers, obligatory almsgiving, and Hajj as Allah has guaranteed that if you do this, your faith will become stronger, rather you will taste the sweetness of this faith.

The best friend that you have is the one that shows you goodness and helps you to remain upon it and who you can trust in your religious affairs. Find out where the Islamic presentation committees are and follow the way of the good people that work there and attend their educational gatherings and Islamic lectures as these contain many benefits.

Despair Not

Beware of feeling estranged on your path to Allah (Exalted be He). If Allah is with you does it harm you that no one else is with you? It is stated in the Qur’an:

And when the two companies saw one another, the companions of Moses said, “Indeed, we are to be overtaken!” (Moses) said, “No! Indeed, with me is my Lord; He will guide me”. (Ash-Shu`araa’ 26:61-62)

You are always close to Allah wherever you may be; do not despair in the mercy of Allah even if you have shortcomings. Turn to him and ask him for forgiveness for your sins as Allah the Exalted loves those who seek repentance and the door to repentance is open and your Lord is Oft-forgiving.

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The article is excerpted from the book “A Beneficial Summary of Rulings for New Muslim”, published by The Ministry of Endowments & Islamic Affairs, Kuwait- 2nd Edition 1436/2015.

 

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How to Find Allah in Your Life

Allah tells us to search for Him. Where should we search for Him? What tools and equipment do we need to find Allah?

Allah says in the Qur’an:

Those who remember Allah standing and sitting and lying on their sides and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth: Our Lord! You has not created this in vain! Glory be to You; save us then from the chastisement of the fire.

Our Lord! surely whomsoever You make enter the fire, him You has indeed brought to disgrace, and there shall be no helpers for the unjust

Our Lord! surely we have heard a preacher calling to the faith, saying: Believe in your Lord, so we did believe; Our Lord! forgive us therefore our faults, and cover our evil deeds and make us die with the righteous. (Aal `Imran 3:191-193)

So, there’s search, and that search begins with knowledge. And whatever knowledge one has, they never know enough. In your search for God one always feel thirst.

The enlightening video below explores the issue of finding Allah in our life and how not to lose our way to Him…

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Source:  TheProphetsPath  Youtube Channel

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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)

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

 

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