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Articles of Faith New Muslims

Don’t Forget About the Hereafter

This lecture by `Abdur-Rahim Green reminds us of the hereafter and the necessity to do good deeds to win the pleasure of Almighty Allah and warns us of being distracted by the life of this world and its allurements.

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Don’t be Fooled by this Life

This life is very short. We are leading it for a divine purpose and a test, which we should endeavor to pass. But the worldly life is alluring us into forgetting what is more important and permanent: the hereafter. Watch this video by Dr. Bilal Philip who advises you on this topic.

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New Muslims Prayer

Why Must the Slave of Allah Perform Prayer?

Success requires fulfillment, which requires nourishment by the purest means.

Success requires fulfillment, which requires nourishment by the purest means.

Hayya `ala-s-Salah… Hayya `ala-l-Falah…’ (Hurry to prayer… Hurry to real success…)

Yes, success. What perfect placement of these phrases: come to pray and take your success. Like macaroni and cheese, it’s plain and simple. Placed so cleverly and poetically within the Adhan, (the Islamic call to prayer), we hear this 5 times a day, but how often do we listen and follow?

Amidst chow downs, midterms, and movies, finding time to pray for youth has become somewhat of a difficult task. Many of us spend countless hours engrossed in the latest songs and tabloids, immersed in worldly matters or even grueling over a school assignment; those have become our priorities in dunya (this world). But, what about our priorities for the akhira (Hereafter)?

Nowadays, some of us find it a chore to spend scarcely 5 minutes out of the 1440 minutes in a day prostrating to our Lord in repentance for our sins and seeking refuge from our worries. We have stopped giving salah (prayer) the importance it holds.

Prayer is an obligation, not a choice—as many Muslims these days make it out to be. Salah is one of the things that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala (Glorified is He) has Himself prescribed; I say prescribed, because it is the one true remedy to our worldly worries.

Guard strictly the Salah, especially the middle Salah. And stand before Allah with obedience. (Al-Baqarah 2:238)

Salah reminds you of Allah (Exalted is He), when you get up in the morning, it reminds you three more times when you are busy during the day, and once again before you go to bed.

There is No Fulfillment for Anyone but Us via this Act

Success requires fulfillment, which requires nourishment by the purest means. What better nourishment for yourself than the mercy, guidance, and rewards from the Almighty? Allah lures us to worship with lavish descriptions of Jannah (Paradise), whilst simultaneously warning us of repercussions of disobedience—the wretchedness of hellfire.

And their recompense shall be Paradise, and silken garments, because they were patient. Reclining on raised thrones, they will see there neither the excessive heat of the sun, nor the excessive bitter cold, (as in Paradise there is no sun and no moon). The shade will be close upon them, and bunches of fruit will hang low within their reach. Vessels of silver and cups of crystal will be passed around amongst them, crystal-clear, made of silver. They will determine the measure of them according to their wishes. They will be given a cup (of wine) mixed with Zanjabil, and a fountain called Salsabil (a spring in Paradise). Around them will (serve) boys of perpetual youth. If you see them, you would think they are scattered pearls. When you look there (in Paradise) you will see a delight (that cannot be imagined), and a Great Dominion. Their garments will be of fine green silk and gold embroidery. They will be adorned with bracelets of silver, and their Lord will give them a pure drink. (Al-Insan 76:12-21)

The earliest known story of the universe begins with the concept of prayer—the story of the residents of Paradise. When Allah created Adam (peace be upon him), all beings were asked to prostrate to him, not as a form of worship, but to recognize the beauty fashioned by the Creator. Iblis (Satan) refused and the outcome was eternity in hellfire.

As life on earth progressed God brought forth Prophets to deliver a message; a message of worship. Performing prayer can be traced to the earliest of generations beginning with the blessed Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him).

My Lord, make me an establisher of prayer, and [many] from my descendants. Our Lord, and accept my supplication. (Ibrahim 14:40)

As we dig deeper into the Qur’an we encounter many instances where prayer is mandatory upon the Prophets and their people.

Indeed, I am Allah. There is no deity except Me, so worship Me and establish prayer for My remembrance. (Ta-Ha 20:14)

And establish prayer and give zakat and bow with those who bow (in worship and obedience). (Al-Baqarah 2:43)

As I sit among peers and the clock winds down for prayer, I slyly wander off to an empty room to fulfill my duty to my Creator, careful not to offend those who choose to ignore this obligation. The reasoning is ridiculous. The act of worship is a form of da`wah (invitation).

This should not be something I am afraid to do and have to hide or feel uncomfortable sharing; rather, it should be something enjoined together and encouraged, a journey to purification in tandem. But why is it that as I leave the room to go pray, I find myself feeling guilty, or awkward, for telling my Muslim friends that I am performing salah while they choose to sit idly? This taboo of praying is something that needs to be rectified.

As a convert, this seems bewildering. To have a Muslim choose not to pray seems oxymoronic and unconventional. Islam conveys the consequences of not, and the benefits of praying very clearly. Every salah prayed counts towards good deeds on the Day of Judgment. We have been told there will be instances when those who have prayed, but their good deeds do not outweigh the bad, will wind up in hellfire. Once their term is served, they will be granted Jannah.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) describes the Hereafter, and in which he says:

“…When Allah has finished judging mankind, and wants to bring whomever He wills out of Hell by His Mercy, He will order angels to bring forth those upon whom He wishes to bestow His mercy of the people who never associated anything in worship with Allah, and who said, ‘Laa ilaaha illaah Allah’. The angels will recognize them in Hell, and will know them by the mark of sujud (prostration) on their foreheads. The Fire will consume all of a man except the mark of sujud which Allah has forbidden the Fire to consume. They will be brought forth, having been burned in the Fire, the water of life will be poured on them, and they will grow like seeds left by still after a flood.” (Sahih Muslim)

Let’s try to fathom this concept. Salah will distinguish the devout from the non-believer in hellfire.

What is between Belief and Disbelief is Leaving Prayer

Rarely do we glimpse a follower of another religion devote his entire being to the worship of his Lord prior to, or in addition to, supplication. Prayer in Islam envelopes both mind and body to the sole worship of God; glorifying Him, praising Him, exalting the Benevolent. This form of worship differs from other religions in the sense that other religions use supplication as the sole act of worship, whereas for Muslims, they serve two completely different purposes.

In modern day society, the pressures facing the Ummah (Muslim community) are great; however, the remedy can be just as simple—by keeping steadfast in the daily prayers and having tawakkul (reliance on God), we make ourselves vulnerable to Allah’s help and mercy. We all have an inherent thirst, a thirst for feeling whole, complete, accepted. A thirst quenched by prayer. The Creator can give and He can take. The more we rely on Him, the easier our lives become. The further we go from Him, the further He goes from us, too.

Abu Hurairah (may God have mercy on him) reported that the Messenger of Allah said: ”The nearest a servant comes to his Lord is when he is prostrating himself, so make supplication (in this state).” (Al-Bukhari)

For our iman (faith) to grow, we need the proper infrastructure. Buildings use pillars to support their structure. Growth is weak without a solid foundation. Salah is the second pillar in Islam, the foundation of the religion. There are five pillars in Islam which a Muslim considers the basis of faith: Shahadah (testimony of faith), salah, zakat (charity tax), sawm (fasting), and hajj (pilgrimage). If a person is ill, he/she is excused from fasting; if a person is poor, he/she is excused from paying zakat or performing hajj; however, there is no excuse for salah (aside from the monthly impurities women face). If a person is sick, he may pray sitting down. If he cannot do so, then he may pray lying down, if that is impossible, then he may pray with his eyes. Case in point, no excuses.

Allah has commanded us to indulge in the purification of our souls. The modern day focus lies on perfecting the physical appearance; whereas, the Islamic perspective is rooted in perfecting the inward appearance. Insha’Allah (God willing), we take a few minutes out of our day to hurry to success and thank the Almighty, to ask from the Almighty, and to worship the Almighty.

May we uphold His decree to the best of our abilities and be rewarded with Jannah.

Ameen.

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Source: suhaibwebb.com

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Islam & Life’s Struggles: What Is Missing in Your life?

nature seat

What is standing between you and God?

What do you struggle with in life? Do you ever wonder what is really missing in your life?

What is standing between you and true peace; between you and God?

In what do you believe? Do you really believe the things you believe in? Are you a true believer? And how do you know you are one? What should we do to enhance our faith?

Do you feel God’s love? Are you struggling with perfecting your faith and getting really close to Allah?

Have you asked yourself these questions before?

Some fellow American Muslims were asked these and other similar questions and here are their responses…

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Source: ibn.net

 

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For More Meaningful Effective Worship

By Jenna Evans

Oh mankind! Worship your Lord, who created you and those who were before you so that you may become pious. (Al-Baqarah 2:21)

du`aa' after prayer

Islam is a complete way of life where a constant state of worship is not an unreachable ideal, but a rational possibility.

When we hear the command to worship Allah (Exalted be He) in the Qur’an, what comes to mind?

Most likely we think of completing the five daily prayers, fasting during the month of Ramadan, or sharing a portion of our wealth with the poor. Although these acts are considered the foundations for faith – the pillars (arkan) of Islam – they comprise only one aspect of worship.

Worship, or `ibadah in Arabic, is an inclusive term for all that Allah loves. In other words, worship consists of everything one says or does for the pleasure of Allah, whether it is abiding by the required rituals, living by the example of the Prophet (peace be upon him), or perfecting our behavior.

Allah created us to worship Him and developed the religion of Islam as a “complete way of life” with rules and recommendations to govern our spiritual, physical, emotional, and social lives; these facts, clearly outlined in the Qur’an, suggest that a constant state of worship is not an unreachable ideal, but a rational possibility.

But when faced with the demands of school, work, and family, and desires to socialize and pursue hobbies, how can we engage in the ongoing worship Allah asks of us?

Part of the answer lies in the following seven words: Intention elevates deeds from habit to worship.

The Prophet emphasized the importance of our intentions when he said:

“All actions are judged by intention, and each person will be rewarded according to their intention.” (Al-Bukhari)

By explicitly changing our attitude from a bitter “I have to do this” to a positive “I want to do this for Allah” many of our habitual tasks can in fact become acts of worship.

The Qur’an and Sunnah of the Prophet set out specifics on morals and manners that can aid us in achieving a constant state of worship. Each of the following personal and social acts has the potential to draw us closer to our Creator:

Personal Acts

– Modesty in dress and behaviour

– Grooming and cleanliness

– Eating and drinking

– Using the bathroom

Seeking knowledge

– Travelling

– Going to work

Social Acts

– Keeping in touch with loved ones

Greeting others

Being punctual

– Exchanging gifts

– Respecting elders

– Kindness to animals

Expressing gratitude

– Volunteering

Many of us attend to these everyday tasks with little forethought, ignoring the numerous opportunities to earn reward.

Instead, take note of that which Allah loves, and use the power of intention to remain in a state of worship. As Khurram Murad states in the book “In the Early Hours”:

“Let there be no territories carved up and no frontiers set up in serving Him….Let nothing motivate us but an intense longing to please our Lord in the next world, and let that expectation give a decisive shape to our life here.”

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Source: Sisters Magazine

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New Muslims Pillars of Islam

The Rights towards God

By Abdul-Rahman Al Sheha

nature

The eternal truth of all existence is that “la ilaha illa Allah” (there is no god worthy of being worshipped except Allah)

The essential rights towards God (Exalted be He) are to worship Him Alone and not to set up rivals or partners with Him, nor to attribute any sons or daughters to Him.

The eternal truth of all existence is that “la ilaha illa Allah (there is no god worthy of being worshipped except Allah), meaning that there is no so-called “god” or deity worthy of worship and absolute obedience. This is the Testimony of Faith of a Muslim that involves the following requirements:

Allah alone deserves to be worshiped and obeyed in an absolute sense. None has the right to be worshiped along with or besides Him. All statements, acts and hidden intentions must agree with what the Almighty has designated. All actions of man must be performed for the pleasure of the Almighty.

Allah states in the Qur’an:

And your Lord said: “Invoke Me, (i.e. believe in My Oneness) (and ask Me for anything) I will respond to your (invocation). Verily! Those who scorn My worship (i.e. do not invoke Me, and do not believe in My Oneness) they will surely enter Hell in humiliation!” (Ghafir 40:60)

A Muslim is required to believe in the “Names and Attributes” that Allah has given Himself, or those attributed to Him through revelation by His Prophet and Messenger (peace be upon him).

No one may attribute any name or quality by speculation to Allah that neither Allah nor His Prophet and Messenger have attributed to Him. He must not offer any undue explanation or similitude or to express an opinion concerning these Names and Attributes of Allah. Allah says in the Qur’an:

There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer. (Ash-Shura 42:11)

Man must submit himself to Allah in faith with total and sincere belief, declaring with his tongue, accepting with his heart and showing with his actions the truth of the statement that Allah states in the Qur’an:

So know that La ilaha illa-Allah (none has the right to be worshiped but Allah), and ask forgiveness for your sin, and also for (the sins of) believing men and believing women. And Allah knows well your moving about, and your place of rest (in your homes). (Muhammad 47:19)

Human beings are obligated to give full and total submission to the will of Allah. This is based on the instruction of the verse:

It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed in a plain error. (Al-Ahzab 33:36)

A Muslim must have pure love of Allah as well as His Prophet and Messenger (peace be upon him). This love should dominate the love of other beings and his own self in times of conflict and contradiction. Allah says:

Say: If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your kindred, the wealth that you have gained, the commerce in which you fear a decline, and the dwellings in which you delight…are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger, and striving hard and fighting in His cause, then wait until Allah brings about His decision (torment). And Allah guides not the people who are the rebellious, disobedient to Allah. (At-Tawbah 9:24)

Man must worship Allah only in the manner and form legislated by Allah through his Messenger and Prophet. It is not allowed to invent an act of worship through speculation and then ascribe it to the true religion. All the worship should be in line with the revealed religion of Islam. For example to offer the salah (prayer).

One of the fruits of offering and maintaining such prayer is that it helps to enjoin good and stop all evil acts:

Recite what has been revealed to you of the Book (the Qur’an), and perform the prayer. Verily, the prayer prevents from al-fahsha’ (i.e. great sins of every kind, unlawful sexual intercourse, etc.) and al-munkar (i.e. disbelief, polytheism, and every kind of evil wicked deed, etc.) and the remembering of Allah is the greatest indeed. And Allah knows what you do. (Al-`Ankabut 29:45)

The payment of zakah (obligatory charity) to the destitute and needy generates self-purification and elimination of miserliness and niggardliness, as well as alleviating the pains and trials of the less fortunate. Allah says:

He who spends his wealth for increase in self-purification. And who has (in mind) no favor from anyone to be paid back. Except to seek the countenance of his Lord, the Most High. He surely will be pleased (when he will enter Paradise). (Al-Layl 92:18-21)

Observing sawm (fasting) enables man to have better control and self-discipline over temptations and passions. Man becomes more conscious of the sense of piety and God-fearing, and the needs of the poor and less fortunate:

O you who believe! Observing as-sawm (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become the pious. (Al-Baqarah 2:183)

Hajj (pilgrimage) has many benefits, as Allah states:

That they may witness things that are of benefit to them (i.e. reward of Hajj in the Hereafter, and also some worldly gain from trade, etc.), and mention the Name of Allah on appointed days, over the beast of cattle that He has provided for them. Then eat thereof and feed therewith the poor who have a very hard time. (Al-Hajj 22:28)

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The article is an excerpt from the author’s book “How to Become a Muslim”.

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New Muslims Pillars of Islam

What Does It Mean to Believe in Allah? (Part One)

By Muhammad bin Ibrahim bin `Abdullah Al-Tuwayjiri 

What does it mean to believe in Allah?

Belief (iman) in Allah consists of four matters:

The First: Belief in the Existence of Allah

– Allah created all of mankind to have belief in their Creator, as He  says:

So direct your face toward the religion, inclining to truth. (Adhere to) the disposition of Allah upon which He has created all people. No change should there be in the creation of Allah. That is the correct religion, but most of the people do not know. (Ar-Rum 30:30)

Human intellect has proven that this universe has a Creator, for indeed all of creation, from its beginning and afterwards, must have a Creator that brought it into existence. A part of creation cannot bring itself into existence by itself, nor can it be created by chance. This leads one to realize that there is a Creator, and He is Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, as He says:

Or were they created by nothing, or were they the creators (of themselves)? Or did they create the heavens and the earth? Rather, they are not certain. (At-Tur 52:35-36)

– One’s senses also prove the existence of Allah, for we witness the alternating of the day and night, provision for every human and animal, and the management of the affairs of all creation; all of which prove His existence by clear-cut evidences:

Allah alternates the night and the day. Indeed, in that is a lesson for those who have vision. (An-Nur 24:44)

And Allah has supported His messengers and prophets by sending them with signs and miracles that their people either saw or heard.

These are affairs that are beyond human capacity and Allah used them to bestow victory on His messengers and aid them by them. This is clear-cut evidence for the existence of a Sender, who is none other than Allah. For example, Allah made the fire cold and safe for Ibrahim split the sea for Musa, brought the dead back to life for ʿIsa and split the moon for Muhammad ((peace be upon them all). So there is no doubt of His existence:

Their messengers said, ‘Can there be doubt about Allah, Creator of the heavens and earth? He invites you that He may forgive you of your sins.’ (Ibrahim 14:10)

How many has Allah answered from those who call upon Him? How many has He given to those who asked of Him? How many has He relieved from anguish? This, without a doubt, proves His existence, knowledge and ability.

1– Allah says:

(Remember) when you asked help of your Lord, and He answered you, ‘Indeed, I will reinforce you with a thousand from the angels, following one another.’ (Al-Anfal 8:9)

2– And Allah says:

And (mention) Ayyub, when he called on his Lord, ‘Indeed, adversity has touched me, and you are the Most Merciful of the merciful.’ So We responded to him and removed what afflicted him of adversity. And We gave him back his family and the like thereof with them, as mercy from Us and a reminder for the worshippers (of Allah). (Al-Anbiya’ 21:83-84)

– Legislation also proves the existence of Allah, for the great and just rulings that comprise of what benefits the creation, and which He has revealed to His prophets and messengers in His books; is evidence that these rulings are from a Wise, Omnipotent Lord, that knows what is beneficial for His slaves.

The Second: Belief that Allah Alone Is the Lord, without Any Partners

The Lord who deserved to be worshipped is the King within Whose Hand is the sovereignty. All affairs and creation belong to Him.

So there is no Creator or Sovereign except Allah, and indeed all affairs belong to Him alone, the creation is His creation, the sovereignty is His sovereignty and the command is His command. He is the All Mighty and the Most Merciful, the Self-Sufficient and the Praiseworthy, the All Knowing and the All Powerful. He showers His mercy upon those who seek His mercy, forgives those who seek His forgiveness, gives when asked, answers when called upon and does whatever He wills. He is the Ever Living and the Sustainer who is never overtaken by drowsiness or sleep. To Him alone belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth, to Him belongs everything in the heavens and the earth, to Him belong the treasures of the heavens and the earth, to Him belong the unseen matters of the heavens and the earth and to Him belong the troops of the heavens and the earth.

1– Allah says:

Indeed, your Lord is Allah, who created the heavens and earth in six days and then established Himself above the Throne. He covers the night with the day, [another night] chasing it rapidly; and [He created] the sun, the moon, and the stars, subjected by His command. Unquestionably, His is the creation and the command; blessed is Allah, Lord of the worlds. (Al-A`raf 7:54)

2– And Allah says:

To Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and whatever is within them. And He is over all things competent. (Al-Ma’idah 5:120)

Thus, we know and have full conviction that Allah is the Lord who created all the creatures, brought about all forms of creation, fashioned all that exists and created the heavens and the earth:

That is Allah, your Lord, so worship Him. Then will you not remember? (Yunus 10:3)

He created the sun and the moon, the day and the night, water and plants, man and animal, soil, the mountains, and the seas:

He to whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and who has not taken a son and has not had a partner in dominion, and has created each thing and determined it with (precise) determination. (Al-Furqan 25:2)

– Allah has created everything with his Own ability. He does not have any adviser, consultant or assistant. Glory be to Him, the Lord, the One, the Dominant. He rose above the throne by His mercy, holds the heavens and the earth by His ability, flattened the earth by His will, created all things by His will and subdued His slaves by His strength.

He is the Lord of the east and the west. There is no deity worthy of worship except Him, the Ever Living, the Sustainer:

Allah is the Creator of all things, and He is the Disposer of affairs over all things. To Him belong the keys of the heavens and the earth. And they who disbelieve in the verses of Allah- it is they who are the losers. (Az-Zumar 39:62)

We also know and have full conviction that Allah  is the Lord and is Able to do all things, encompassing all matters, Owner of everything, Knowledgeable of all things and Dominant over everything. Heads are humbled due to His greatness, voices are stilled in fear of Him, the mighty are humbled due to His might. Vision perceives Him not, but He perceives all vision. He is the Subtle One and the Most Aware. He does what He pleases and decrees whatever He wills:

His command is only when He intends a thing that He says to it, ‘Be,’ and it is. (Ya-Sin 36:82)

– He knows of all matters in the heavens and upon earth, and knows of the world of the unseen and the witnessed. He is the Most Great, the Most Exalted. He knows the weight of mountains, the measure of the seas, the number of drops from rainfall, the number of leaves on trees, the number of grains of sand, what the darkness conceals, and what the night time covers in darkness and what the daytime shines forth upon:

And with Him are the keys of the unseen; none knows them except Him. And He knows what is on the land and in the sea. Not a leaf falls but that He knows it. And no grain is there within the darknesses of the earth and no moist or dry thing but that it is (written) in a clear record. (Al-An`am 6:59)

– We further know and have full conviction that every day Allah is bringing about a matter. Nothing is hidden from Him in the heavens and earth. He controls all affairs, sends the winds, brings forth the rain and gives life to the earth after its lifelessness. He honors whom He wills and He degrades whom He wills. He gives life and causes death. He gives and restrains from giving, and raises the ranks of some and brings down others:

Say, ‘O Allah, Owner of Sovereignty, You give sovereignty to whom You will and You take sovereignty away from whom You will. You honor whom You will and You humble whom You will. In Your hand is all good. Indeed, You are over all things competent. You cause the night to enter the day, and You cause the day to enter the night; and You bring the living out of the dead, and You bring the dead out of the living. And You give provision to whom You will without account.’ (Aal `Imran 3:26-27)

– We also know and have full conviction that the treasures of all things are with Allah alone, and that the treasures within the heavens and the earth all belong to Allah alone. In fact, the treasures of everything in existence belong to Allah: The treasures of water, plants, air, minerals, health, safety, blessings, punishment, mercy, guidance, strength and honor; all of these and others are with Allah and in His Hand alone:

And there is not a thing but that with Us are its treasures, and We do not send it down except according to a known measure. (Al-Hijr 15:21)

Thus, if we know that and have full conviction of Allah’s ability, greatness, strength, grandeur, sovereignty, treasures, mercy and Oneness; the hearts would draw nearer to Him, the chests would open to His worship, the limbs would submit to His obedience, and the tongues would be in constant remembrance of Him through reverence, glorification, exaltation and praise.

So do not ask of anyone except Him, do not beseech anyone except Him, do not truly rely upon anyone other than Him, do not fear anyone but Him and do not worship anything other than Him:

That is Allah, your Lord; there is no deity except Him, the Creator of all things, so worship Him. And He is Disposer of all things. (Al-An`am 6:102)

 

To be continued….

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

 

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What Does It Mean to Believe in Allah? (Part Two)

By Muhammad bin Ibrahim bin `Abdullah Al-Tuwayjiri 

Part One

What does it mean to believe in Allah?

Belief in His Servitude

We know and have full conviction that Allah alone is the true deity Who has no partners and that He alone is the One who deserves to be worshiped. So He is the Lord of the worlds, and we worship Him with what He has legislated with complete humbleness, love and reverence for Him.

What Does It Mean to Believe in Allah

We have full conviction that to Allah alone belong the most beautiful Names and lofty Attributes.

Just as we have humbled to His Lordship in creation and maintenance, we must humble to His servitude in commandment and legislation.

We also know and have full conviction that just as He is One in His Lordship without any partner, He is also One in His servitude without any partner. So we worship Him alone without any partner, and stay away from worship of everything besides Him:

And your god is one God. There is no deity worthy of worship except Him, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful. (Al-Baqarah 2:163)

So Allah (Exalted be He) is the true deity, and the servitude of anything worshiped other than Him is false, as well as their worship:

That is because Allah is the Truth, and that which they call upon other than Him is falsehood, and because Allah is the Most High, the Grand. (Al-Hajj 22:62)

Belief in His Names and Attributes

This means understanding, memorizing and acknowledging them, using them as a means of worshipping ah and acting in accordance to them.

Thus, knowledge All of Allah’s Attributes pertaining to His grandeur, glory and majesty, fill the hearts of the slaves with reverence and awe for Him. Knowledge of the Attributes pertaining to honor, strength, ability and omnipotence, fill the hearts with humbleness and submissiveness to Him.

Knowledge of the Attributes pertaining to mercy, beneficence, kindness and generosity, fill the hearts with love of Allah, as well as desire and craving for Allah’s bounties, kindness and generosity. Knowledge of the Attributes pertaining to knowledge and encompassment necessitate for the slave to be aware of Allah’s constant observance of him in all his movements and situations.

Finally, knowledge of all these attributes necessitate for the slave to have reverence, love, desire, delight, reliance and nearness to Him by worship of Him alone without any partner.

* We also affirm for Allah what He has affirmed for Himself or what His Messenger (peace be upon him) has affirmed for Him in regards to His most beautiful Names and lofty Attributes. Likewise, we negate from Him what He has negated from Himself or what His Messenger negated from Him. We also believe in Allah’s Names and Attributes, and that which they indicate of meanings and effects. So, for example, we believe that Allah is the Most Merciful. This means that He is the possessor of mercy. From the effects of this name is that He has mercy upon whom He wills. And the same can be said with the rest of His Names and Attributes.

We affirm all of that for Him in a manner that is befitting to His Majesty, without changing their meaning, without negating them, without specifying the exact nature of them and without resembling them to the creation, based on what He says:

There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the Hearing, the Seeing. (Ash-Shura 42:11)

* We further know and have full conviction that to Allah alone belong the most beautiful Names and lofty Attributes, and we invoke Him with them:

1– Allah says:

And to Allah belong the best names, so invoke Him by them. And leave (the company of) those who practice deviation concerning His names. They will be recompensed for what they have been doing. (Al-A`raf 7:180)

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

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “Allah has ninety-nine names, i.e. one-hundred minus one; whoever enumerates them will go to Paradise.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Fundamental Principles of Belief in Allah’s Names and Attributes

Belief in Allah’s Names and Attributes are built upon three fundamental principles:

The first: Exalting the Creator from any similarity to the creation in His Essence, Names, Attributes and Actions.

The second: Having iman (belief) in what Allah has described for Himself or what His Messenger (peace be upon him) described for Him of Names and Attributes.

The third: Cutting off any desire to try to specify the exact nature of Allah’s Names, Attributes and Actions. Just as we do not know the exact nature of His Essence, we also do not know of the exact nature of His Names, Attributes and Actions, as He says:

There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the Hearing, the Seeing. (Ash-Shura 42:11)

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

 

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Articles of Faith New Muslims

Islam: The Greatest Blessing Bestowed upon Mankind

By Muhammad bin Ibrahim bin `Abdullah Al-Tuwayjiri 

Islam is submitting oneself to Allah through tawheed, submitting to Him through obedience and freeing oneself from shirk and its people.

Islam The Greatest Blessing Bestowed upon Mankind

The Qur’an is the greatest book that Allah has given to whom He has chosen from amongst His creation.

Greatest Blessing

Islam is the greatest blessing that Allah has bestowed upon mankind and the Qur’an is the greatest book that Allah has given to whom He has chosen from amongst His creation, as Allah (Exalted be He) says:

Then we gave the Book as inheritance to those We have chosen of Our slaves; and among them is he who wrongs himself, and among them is he who is moderate, and among them is he who is foremost in good deeds by Allah’s permission. That (inheritance) is indeed a great bounty. (Fatir 35:32)

And so Allah has divided this Ummah that He caused to inherit this Noble Book into three categories: one who wrongs himself, one who is moderate and one who is foremost in good deeds.

Those who “wrong themselves” are: Those who obey their Lord at times and disobey Him at other times, and mix good deeds with bad deeds. Allah started the verse by mentioning them first so that such people do not despair, to show Allah’s tremendous favor upon them and because they will make up most of the dwellers of Paradise. Those who are “moderate” are: Those who fulfill the obligatory acts and refrain from the unlawful acts.

Those who are “foremost in good deeds” are: Those who fulfill the obligatory acts, refrain from the unlawful acts, and draw near to Allah by doing everything he has been ordered to do of obligatory and supererogatory acts.

Allah left mentioning them in the verse till the end so that such people do not fall into self-admiration of their deeds thereby rendering them worthless, and because they will be the most deserving of entering Paradise that is mentioned right after them in the next verse.

Moreover, those who wrong themselves will make up most of the dwellers of Paradise, while those who are foremost in good deeds will make up the least of them.

(For them are) gardens of perpetual residence which they will enter. They will be adorned therein with bracelets of gold and pearls, and their garments therein will be silk. (Fatir 35:33)

Mankind’s Need for Islam

There is no happiness for mankind in this world and the hereafter except with Islam. Their need for it is greater than their need for food, drink and oxygen. It is the greatest blessing of Allah upon His creation.

Every person is compelled to abide by an order. Thus, he is between two movements: One that brings for him that which benefits him and the other that wards off from him that which harms him. Islam is the light that makes clear what will bring him benefit and what will cause him harm, and gives its followers rewards that are multiplied.

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The article is an excerpt from the author’s book “Summarized Islamic 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

The Five Pillars of Islam: Their Meaning and Priority

By Jamal Badawi

What are the Five Pillars of Islam and what is the origin of this expression?

The term and the specification of the number appear in more than one saying of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). One of the most famous sayings is narrated in the collection by Muslim and says that “the infrastructure of Islam is based upon the Oneness of Allah, the performance of regular prayers, the payment of Zakah or the poor’s due, the fasting, and the pilgrimage”. (Muslim) The term was based on the mention of this hadith.

More specifically the first pillar on the Oneness of Allah means that in order for a person to be Muslim they would have to confess with conviction of the heart and mind that there is no deity but one God and that is Allah who is the One and Only universal God of all. One is required to mention this a minimum of one time in their lifetime in order to be Muslim.

The second pillar is the performance of regular prayers and these are also specified as five specific prayers which follow a specific format during the day and night. This is not prayer in terms of supplication, I use the term prayer in English because it is the closest translation. It is not prayer in the sense of sitting and making supplication but requires lots of preparation.

The third pillar is the payment of poor’s due and is called Zakah in Arabic.

The fourth is fasting and this refers to observing the fast from dawn to sunset during the month of Ramadan which is the ninth lunar month in the Islamic calendar.

Finally is the pilgrimage to the Holy places in Makkah (Mecca) at least once in a life time if a person is able to.

When non-Muslims write about Islam and mention these Five Pillars quite often one is under the impression that these Five Pillars is all that Islam is about. Is this correct?

Unfortunately, it is not. The problem with many non-Muslim authors, writers, film producers, and narrators is that they try to interpret Islam from the point of view of their own background which is like placing Islam in an alien framework and this is where the mistake occurs. Most writers in films and so on and many who pose as experts on Islam come from a background which views religion as a large set of dogmas or rituals or something that focuses on the spiritual aspect of life with some kind of separation from the secular or mundane activities.

True Islam is an all embracive comprehensive way of life, it is a way of looking at life and taking it as a totality not making an artificial separation between religion and secularism.  The lack of understanding of this particular point makes many people view the pillars of Islam in the sense that doing those five things is all that Islam is about.

Any particular structure pillars are not everything but essential for a building’s support. In addition to the pillars one needs a roof, walls, partitions, insulation heating system and furnishing. The same thing applies to Islam. Many people think that once we talk about the Five Pillars of Islam that they’ve got everything. No they have not.

If we look at Islam the same way we look at the structure of a building as a functioning religion as a faith that is not limited to the spiritual aspect but is a complete way of life. One doesn’t have a functional building just with the pillars one has got to have all the other things that go along side with the pillars.

The pillars are essential and are the create the base but they are not everything. There is a difference between saying the pillars are everything and between saying the Five Pillars are the basis of everything. This is the way a Muslim looks at the Pillars of Islam.

In fact Islam addresses spiritual, moral, social, economic and even political aspects of life. When those writers refer to the Pillars of Islam they do not even depict it in sufficient depth. It is depicted as a formal ritual, whereas if one looks very closely in depth at the nature of those pillars one finds that they give lots of lessons which regulates social, moral, economic and even political life. In a way Islam goes far beyond the simple notions of rituals or formalisms.

Is there any significance as to the order in which these pillars appear and if so which come first and why?

Yes, there is a hierarchy. For example the first pillar which we mentioned which is the corner stone of Islam is the belief in the one universal God of all. Belief in God and faith in Him and acceptance of his prophets represents the very foundation upon which any good deeds can be accepted by God. This is the source of all virtue.

One notices that the second Pillar is the keeping of regular five daily prayers which is the most noble act of communicating directly with God without an intermediary. This is a reflection of how a Muslim after accepting God tries to nourish this direct relationship with his creator.

The second pillar is followed by the poor’s due which is an instrumental pillar in building social equity and justice in society. This is followed by the fourth pillar which is fasting. This is a method to discipline one’s self and control our desires and as such lead a virtuous life. Finally is the pilgrimage for those who are able to. As I understand it there is a hierarchy of relative importance.

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Source: jamalbadawi.org

 

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