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Conversion Stories New Muslims

Lord Headley Al-Farooq

About the Author:

Lord Headley al-Farooq (Rt. Hon. Sir Rowland George Allanson) was born in 1855 A.D. and was a leading British peer, statesman and author. Educated in Cambridge, he became a peer in 1877, served in the army as a captain and later on as Lieut. Colonel in 4th Battalion of North Minister Fusiliers. Although an engineer by profession he had wide literary tastes. One time he was the editor of the “Salisbury Journal”. He was also the author of several books, most well known amongst them being: A Western Awakening to Islam. Lord Headley embraced Islam on 16th November 1913(8) and adopted the Muslim name of Shaikh Rahmatullah al-Farooq. The Lord was a widely traveled man and he visited India in 1928.

It is possible some of my friends may imagine that I have been influenced by Muslims; but this is not the cause, for my present convictions are solely the outcome of many years of thought. My actual conversations with educated Muslims on the subject of religion only commenced a few weeks ago, and need I say that I am overjoyed to find that all my theories and conclusions are entirely in accord with Islam.

Conversion, according to the Koran, should come out of free choice and spontaneous judgment, and never be attained by means of compulsion. Jesus meant the same thing when he said to his disciples: “And whosoever shall not receive you nor hear you, when ye depart there … (St. Mark, vi, 2).

I have known very many instances of zealous Protestants who have thought it their duty to visit Roman Catholic homes in order to make ‘converts’ of the inmates. Such irritating and unneighbourly conduct is, of course, very obnoxious, and has invariably led to much ill-feeling — stirring up strife and tending to bring religion into contempt. I am sorry to think that Christian missionaries have also tried these methods with their Muslim brethren; though, I am at a loss to conceive, why should they try to convert those who are already better Christians than they are themselves? I say ‘better Christians’ advisedly, because charity, tolerance and broad-mindedness in the Muslim faith come nearer to what Christ himself taught than do the somewhat narrow tenets of the various Christian Churches.

To take one example: the Athnasian Creed, which treats the Trinity in a very confusing manner. In this Creed, which is very important and deals conclusively with one of the fundamental tenets of the ‘Churches’, it is laid down most clearly that it represents the Catholic faith and that if we do not believe it we shall perish everlastingly. Then we are told that we must think of the Trinity if we want to be saved – in other words that the idea is of a God whom we in one breath hail as merciful and almighty and in the very next breath whom we accuse of injustice and cruelty, qualities which we would attribute to the most blood-thirsty human tyrant. As if God, Who is before all and above all, would be in any way influenced by what a poor mortal ‘thinks of the Trinity’.
Here is another instance of want of charity. I received a letter — it was of my leaning towards Islam — in which the writer told me that if I did not believe in the Divinity of Christ I could not be saved. The question of the Divinity of Christ never seemed to me nearly so important as that other question: ‘Did he give God’s message to mankind?’ Now if I had any doubt this latter point it would worry me a great deal, but thank God, I have no doubts, and I hope that my faith in Christ and his inspired teachings is as firm as that of any other Muslim or Christian. As I have often said before, Islam and Christianity, as taught by Christ himself, are sister religions, only held apart by dogmas and technicalities which might very well be dispensed with.

In the present day men are prone to become atheists when asked to subscribe to dogmatic and intolerant beliefs, and there is doubtless a craving for a religion appealing to the intelligence as well as to the sentiments of men. Whoever heard of a Muslim turning atheist? There may have been some cases, but I very much doubt it.

There are thousands of men — and women, too, I believe — who are at heart Muslims, but convention, fear of adverse comments, and desire to avoid any worry or change, conspire to keep them from openly admitting the fact. I have taken the step, though I am quite aware that many friends and relatives now look upon me as a lost soul and past praying for. And yet I am just the same in my beliefs as I was twenty years ago; it is the outspoken utterance which has lost me their good opinion.

Having briefly given some of the reasons for adopting the teachings of Islam, and having explained that I consider myself by that very act a far better Christian than I was before, I can only hope that others will follow the example — which I honestly believe is a good one — which will bring happiness to any one looking upon the step as one in advance rather than one in any way hostile to true Christianity.

From Islam, Our Choice

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Articles of Faith New Muslims

The Straight Path & Life’s Inevitable Change

the greatest constant in my life has been my faith in Allah

If I stop moving in such a dynamic world, I will wake up suddenly one day to find that I have been left behind all alone.

 

In my prayers, I am constantly beseeching Allah with the words: “Guide us to the straight path.” Why, then, would I not see any changes in my personality?

Change, after all, is how we learn to respond correctly to new developments. It is how we move away from blind following and dependence on others towards independent thinking. It is the natural response to a world which is, by its very nature, in a perpetual state of change.

Religion, in its essence, is constant. However, our human interpretations and opinions are subject to reassessment. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to beseech Allah with the words: “You Who turn our hearts, make my heart constant in Your faith.” However, he would also make the following supplication: “Guide me to the truth in those matters wherein people have differed.”

The circumstances the first Muslims faced when they were in Makkah were different from those they found when the emigrated to Madinah. The Prophet’s era was different from the era of the rightly guided Caliphs that followed. If we consider the Islamic legal opinions of the great jurist Ash-Shafi`i, we find that the rulings he formulated in Iraq were quite different than those he later codified in Egypt. Ibn Taymiyah, likewise, changed his views many times throughout his life.

In Islamic Law, commands take precedence over prohibitions, mercy takes precedence over strictness, and winning hearts takes precedence over deterrence. In my personal life, I prefer to judge and criticize myself before judging others. I like to discover my own faults instead of seeking out the faults of those around me.

The sky changes by the movement of its clouds. The rivers change through the flowing of their waters. The earth changes in its topography. Every day, the sun sets at a different point on the horizon. If I stop moving in such a dynamic world, I will wake up suddenly one day to find that I have been left behind all alone.

I spent five years secluded from the influence of society. This gave me freedom; the freedom to escape from the narrowness of circumstances to a broader outlook. It gave me renewed life and allowed me to better appreciate the good in others. When I came back into society, I found that a sector of society had moved towards an aggressive attitude. I had to make my stance against their behavior clear, even though it meant losing their favorable opinion of me.

In the Qur’an, we read where Moses (peace be upon him) asked Khidr: “Might I follow you so that you can teach me the wisdom which has been taught to you?” However, who has ever heard someone ask: “Might I follow you so that you can obey me?” This is inconceivable. My freedom is my most precious possession. Freedom does not like being curtailed, whether by a leader or by a follower. I must keep on moving, even if it means I will stumble over and over again. I just have to try and pick myself up every time as quickly as I can.

I am proud that the greatest constant in my life has been my faith in Allah, my deep love for Him and my positive expectations of His providence. I am able to forget my worries, pain and suffering when I bow myself before Him in prayer.

Let me take an example from my life. In my youth, I had unquestioningly followed some of the leading scholars in what was then a commonly-held opinion that Islam prohibited photography except in cases of necessity. I understood that the Prophet (peace be upon him) had cursed the maker of images, and consequently I could not fathom how pictures might be used as a means to call people to Allah.

Now, due to changing circumstances, you hardly find anyone who says Islam prohibits photography. This change did not take place on account of new research, but rather due to changing circumstances in the world. A courageous scholar is one who opens doors that can be opened, rather than waiting for others to break those doors down.

Indeed, I have changed a lot over the years, as well I should. If I was still saying in my forties what I used to say when I was twenty, that would mean I had spent twenty years of my life in vain.

_________________________

Source: islamtoday.com.

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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.

_________________________

Source: suhaibwebb.com

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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.

_________________________

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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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)

_________________________

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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Islam: The Way to Find True Freedom

Islam is liberation; freedom.

Every person has the ability to be free through Islam if they choose, even if they are poor, even if they are oppressed, even if they are physically in chains – in the bowels of a torturous prison.

How Islam Works?

freedom

Knowledge from the One Who gave life to us liberates you from the shackles of ignorance and the burdens of incorrect advice.

Because Islam straddles every rift. It’s able to encompass every one and every thing.

It’s kind of like this:

Think of a type of success; say, via business.

You want to be successful. Rather, you need a successful form of sustenance. So you decide to start a business.

But you don’t know what kind of business will be successful; how to start one, how to run it.

You know nothing about being an entrepreneur.

If you have to go through the process all alone and figure out every detail from knowing absolutely nothing, it will surely be a struggle.

If your success and wellbeing depend entirely on running that business flawlessly, the process will no doubt be stressful.

Your lack of knowledge is a burden.

Let’s say you are receiving conflicting information about the correct way to run a business. It will be hard to decide which advice will be more beneficial. You may fail many times over.

You struggle every day.

And then suddenly an experienced and highly successful business person comes along. They provide everything you need to make your business more than you even imagined it could be.

They give you the money, the knowhow, the contacts. They educate you on what to do every step of the way. They are entirely at your disposal.

Can you imagine the burden lifted? The relief?

That’s how Islam works.

The tools to surmount every obstacle are provided for you. Handed to you.

For Free

So naturally: implementing it is freeing. The burden of not knowing is lifted.

Guidance is provided at every step. You see and feel the results. And it all has to do with the self, or the soul.

So, that self can adapt to be in the best state relative to its particular situation.

Contrary to what you might think, even wealth and comfort are tests in this life. So someone seemingly living an easy life is also in need of guidance on how to reach true success. That is freedom!

Pitfalls exist in every situation. We need knowledge to avoid them. Opportunities for benefit exist in every situation. We need knowledge to recognize them.

To be successful in the life we all have been given, we need knowledge from the One Who gave life to us.

Naturally

When you have that knowledge, it liberates you from the shackles of ignorance and the burdens of incorrect advice.

It’s like driving on a smoothly paved, straight road as opposed to an uneven ground covered in stones and obstacles.

Wouldn’t you feel free once you get off the rocky terrain onto that smooth road?

Wow! That’s the free life. That’s true freedom.

And I think whatever way someone might follow, the satisfaction can never compare to the complete satisfaction of living the way you are intended to live: Driving on that straight, clean road., and according to the guidance given by the Manufacturer- your Manufacturer.

Freedom & Success

So one might ask how do we know which is the right set of instructions?

If you really want to know, it just takes a little dedication. Truth stands out amongst falsehood.

If you want it, really want it, it will be shown to you. Given to you; handed to you with utmost mercy.

That is the smooth road you were hoping for: comfort, peace. Then if you choose it and put effort into following it, this is the outcome: success, freedom.

Those who follow the Messenger, the unlettered prophet, whom they find written in what they have of the Torah and the Gospel, who enjoins upon them what is right and forbids them what is wrong and makes lawful for them the good things and prohibits for them the evil and relieves them of their burden and the shackles which were upon them. So they who have believed in him, honored him, supported him and followed the light which was sent down with him – it is those who will be the successful. (Al-A`raf 7:157)

Falsehood shall not come to it from before it nor from behind it; it is a revelation from the Most Wise, the Worthy of Praise. (Fussilat 41:42)

_________________________

Source: youramericanmuslimneighbor.com

 

Danielle LoDuca is a third generation American, raised in a homogeneous, white, suburban community. Although raised as a Catholic, she considered herself agnostic and was disdainful of religion in general until she chose Islam in 2002. She is an artist with a BFA from Pratt Institute, as well as a wife and mother of five. She now blogs about Islam and how it relates to American culture and values, using her own experience as well as authentic sources.

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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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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)

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

 

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New Muslims Pillars of Islam

You Are a Muslim and Your Prophet Is Muhammad

Your Prophet is Muhammad (peace be upon him). You should read his biography and get to know him and you will read about the greatest human being that has ever been known.

muhammad

The Prophet whom you have got to know is colossal, you will accompany the most virtuous in the Hereafter.

Allah, Exalted be He, did not create anyone better than him nor did he create anyone similar to him in his sublime character. As Allah raised the ranks of all Prophets over the rest of creation, he too raised the rank of Muhammad (peace be upon him) over all the worlds.

Are you not aware that all the sublime characteristics are combined in his person?

Perfect Character

He was the kindest of people to live with and possessed the softest of hearts. He was the most easygoing person in his dealings, always smiling and never frowning at his companions. None had ever witnessed any evil from him, neither in Islam nor before the advent of it. He was the best of people in speech and he stated:

“The Muslim is the one whom other Muslims are safe from his tongue and hand.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

He was persecuted in the way of Allah, but was patient and was put through many ordeals in relation to his companions and family, but he bore them and forgave all. He was hurt by those who were closest to him, who expelled him from his home and the most beloved and sacred of cities and all for the sake of Allah the Exalted.

However, he was the most truthful of people in delivering the message of his Lord and the most forgiving of them.

He was the best of people towards his people and the most ascetic in what the people possessed; yet the most generous in what he possessed. He never refused a soul and never said the word ‘no’ to anyone. He would always be good to the people and only seek his reward with Allah the Exalted.

Best Example

He was the most courageous and outspoken of people when spreading the truth; never fearing for a moment. He would command his people to do good and forbid them from evil and was the first to fulfill these commands and was the best of role models for his companions.

No one ever saw him except that they would love him and any human who met him irrespective of their background and stature in society would become awestruck by him. He had the softest of hearts, the kindest of temperaments, and a strong stature. He was handsome and blessed with graciousness.

Sympathetic and loving, a sincere friend, the best of people in how he dealt with his family, the best in keeping ties of kinship. He would not get angry except for the sake of Allah and he never took revenge or made enemies with anyone for himself or through his own desire.

Know dear friend, that which you have believed in is great, and the Prophet Muhammad whom you have got to know is colossal and you will accompany the most virtuous in the Hereafter.

Muhammad & Other Prophets

Your faith in Prophet Muhammad is not correct if you reject Prophet Jesus (peace be upon them both) for you are required to believe in all of them and not to differentiate between them, however it was from the limitless wisdom of Allah that he decided to conclude all messages with the message of Islam. Whoever believes in the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) must believe in the complete message that he brought.

On the authority of `Ubadah ibn Samit (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

“Whosoever testifies that None has the right to be worshipped 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)

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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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The Faith of a Muslim: Attaching the Heart to Allah

Indeed the heart of a believer experiences joy in this world and the hereafter, however this heart-felt happiness and complete delight is not realized except through love and knowledge of Allah the Exalted; coming closer to Him through the actions that He loves and are pleasing to Him and refraining from everything that angers Him and invokes His wrath.

The Heart of a Believer between Fear, Hope and Love

Indeed the heart is in need of becoming attached to its Creator, in order or to guarantee its progression on the path that is designed for it. What is more important in propelling a slave and advancing his course towards Allah, and urging him towards obedience and commitment is the actions of the heart.

The greatest of these actions is to love Allah, to have hope in Him and to fear Him.

Thus, the believing slave does not have in his heart but love of Allah and His Messenger, love for what Allah and His Messenger love- and it is love for acts of obedience and worship- and love for the monotheistic slaves of Allah, as we find in a Prophetic tradition that states:

“Three things whoever has them will find the sweetness of belief: that Allah and His Messenger are more beloved to him than anything else, that he loves a person solely for the sake of Allah, and that he hates to revert to disbelief, as he hates being thrown in to hellfire.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

The believer should possess fear of Allah the Exalted in his heart; that fear which makes the heart tremble from falling into the anger of Allah, His vengeance, and His severe punishment when it commits what Allah has prohibited or neglects what He has obligated. Thus, the heart can be a preventative force for the believer from following his desires, drifting behind his whims, and instead urges him to be someone who is committed to obeying Him and His commands.

The heart of the believing slave also has hope of obtaining the mercy, satisfaction, love, reward and bounties of Allah in this world and the Hereafter.

Hope encourages the believer to persevere in obedience to Allah and to race towards good deeds because his heart is attached to the bounties that Allah has promised the fearful, obedient ones of His slaves. Allah the Exalted has said:

Verily, those who have believed, and those who have emigrated (for Allah’s religion) and have striven hard In the Way of Allah, All These hope for Allah’s Mercy. and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most-Merciful. (Al-Baqarah 2:218)

Maintain a Balance

The heart of a Muslim in their journey to Allah should always maintain a balance between these three things. If one of them should overpower another then the believer will be diverted in his worship and lose course from the Straight Path.

Ibn Al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy upon him) stated: “The heart in its journey to Allah is similar to a bird. Love is its head and hope and fear are its wings”.

Therefore, imagine dear reader if this bird was to lose one of its wings or its head there is no doubt that it would become easy bait for every predator or scavenger.

The Muslim who performs what Allah has commanded of acts of obedience ought to accept their performance with love and a desire to draw closer to his Lord, hoping that He accepts them, and desiring His reward, bounty, and paradise. They must aspire to perform what Allah has commanded just as He commanded, fearful that He may reject them and not accept them, and fearful of His punishment and anger upon neglecting it.

Know, may Allah have mercy on you, that balancing between these three stations is the way of the Prophets (peace be upon them) as Allah has informed us in the Qur’an:

Verily, they used to hasten on to do good deeds, and they used to call on us with hope and fear, and used to humble themselves before us. (Al-Anbiyaa’ 21:90)

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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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