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Muslim Lifestyle New Muslims

Islam’s Economic Code of Conduct: Balance and Moderation

By Abdur Raheem Kidwai

As part of its economic code of conduct, Islam condemns the squandering and abuse of resources put at man’s disposal and calls for moderation. In Islam, man is assigned the role of trustee, enjoying control over what Allah has granted him.

Your Lord has decreed:

– Do not squander your wealth wastefully. Those who squander are Satan’s brothers, and Satan is ever ungrateful to his Lord.

– And if you turn away from them, awaiting mercy from your Lord which you expect to receive, then speak to them kindly.

– Do not let your hand be chained to your neck, nor outspread it to its extreme, for you will then be left sitting reproached, destitute. Certainly your Lord enlarges the provision for whom He will and measures it out. He is All-Aware and All-Observant of His servant.

– Do not kill your children for fear of want. We provide for them and for you. Surely their killing is a great crime. (Al-Israa’ 17:26-31)

It is important then that one uses one’s resources prudently. Spending one’s money on anything which is sinful amounts to using it wastefully and hence is forbidden.

Morality-based

Once again, this economic teaching is permeated with morality. Those guilty of squandering resources are likened to Satan’s brothers on the following two counts:

1- In squandering their resources, they behave like Satan who abuses the faculties granted to him only for disobeying Allah.

2- Squandering betrays ungratefulness to Allah, which is Satan’s main personality trait.

It is the height of ignominy for man to be branded as one of Satan’s party. The Qur’an employs this strong epithet in order to dissuade man from squandering his wealth. For this strikes a severe blow to the moral fabric of society.

Generally speaking, wealth spent wastefully is directed at gambling or at making a show of one’s wealth which vitiates social life. That squandering is something evil is effectively brought out by its association with Satan.

Another directive embracing man’s financial conduct is that he should treat the needy politely when he is unable to help them. One is not to be blamed, if one cannot help them owing to one’s own adverse circumstances. However, what is forbidden is to act harshly and uncharitably towards those in need.

Balance and Moderation

The golden rule governing man’s financial conduct is spelled out in the next verse, as is elaborated by Mawdudi:

“Human beings are required to act with moderation in financial matters. They should neither prevent the flow of wealth out of miserliness, nor should they waste financial resources by irresponsible extravagance. Instead, they should have such an instinctive sense of balance and moderation that they should not shrink from spending when that is genuinely needed, and should abstain from spending when it is not truly needed or is not justified – expenses incurred for show or out of vanity, or on sheer luxury, and for sinful purposes. In fact, every misdirected expense which is made at the expense of genuine needs and beneficial purposes amounts to ingratitude to God for His bounty.” ( Mawdudi, Towards Understanding the Qur’an)

The directive for balance and moderation in financial matters is followed by reiterating the truth that it is Allah Who grants resources to everyone as He wills. Man should not, therefore, have any grudge against someone with large provisions.

Allah has given provisions to man in a measure ordained by Him. He has done so in order to test man, both in prosperity and adversity. He is fully aware of everyone’s conduct and will call man to account on the Day of Judgment with reference to his deeds. It is important to clarify that one’s wealth or poverty, which is part of Allah’s grand plan, is not to be interpreted as a sign of one’s proximity or otherwise to Allah.

A person blessed with wealth is not necessarily the one with whom Allah is well-pleased. Nor does one’s poverty indicate His displeasure. Accordingly, it is stressed that Allah being All-Aware grants sustenance in varying measures to men in accordance with His plan.

Don’t Fear Poverty

Since Allah has promised sustenance for everyone, man should not resort to such ignominious practices as family planning or infanticide out of fear of poverty. For this amounts to interfering with His plan, which is a very serious sin.

The Qur’an forbids this in unambiguous terms, reminding us that Allah, the Provider, will feed everyone. According to Sayyid Mawdudi:

“This verse totally demolishes the economic basis on which birth control movements have arisen in different periods of human history … However, according to the provision of the Islamic manifesto, man is required not to waste his energies on the destructive task of reducing the number of mouths that have to be fed … Human history also bears witness to the fact that economic resources in different parts of the world have increased in proportion to the growth of human population … Hence, man’s amateurish interference in the providential arrangements of God amounts to nothing short of folly.” (Mawdudi, Towards Understanding the Qur’an)

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The article is an excerpt from Abdur Raheem Kidwai’s book “The Qur’an: Essential Teachings”, published by the Islamic Foundation.

 

Abdur Raheem Kidwai is a professor of English at the Aligarh Muslim University, India and a well-known author of many works on the Qur’an, Islam and Muslims. Of his books are “The Qur’an: Essential Teachings”, “Daily Wisdom: Selections from the Holy Qur’an”, “Daily Wisdom: Islamic Prayers and Supplications”, “Empowerment of Indian Muslims: Perspectives, Planning and Road Ahead”.

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Ethics & Values New Muslims

The Muslim Character: Cleanliness

Cleanness and purity, both spiritually and physically, are of the key issues that Islam cared about and stressed:

For Allah loves those who turn to Him constantly and He loves those who keep themselves pure and clean. (Al-Baqarah 2:222)

Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the embodiment of cleanness and purity.

Abu Bakr said, “I heard the Prophet saying: “ask Allah Almighty for perfect faith and sound health, no one ever gets anything, after perfect faith, better than sound health”. (Ahmad)

Wudu’ (ablution) is a condition for Muslims’ five daily prayers. This is how Allah describes wudu’ in the Qur’an:

O you who believe, when you rise up for prayer, wash your faces and your hands up to the elbows, and (lightly) rub your heads and (wash) your feet up to the ankles. (Al-Ma’idah 5:6)

Prayer will not be valid unless the parts of the body more susceptible to dirt are washed; ablution.

The Sunnah greatly emphasizes cleanliness as the Prophet said:

“Islam is clean and pure, so clean and purify yourselves for a person will not enter Paradise unless they are clean and pure.”

Learn how Prophet Muhammad was concerned with personal cleanliness as brother AbdelRahman Murphy reflects on the above hadith

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Conversion Stories New Muslims

Why Did These Women Fall in Love with Islam?

But what would make someone want to change their lifestyle so dramatically?

But what would make someone want to change their lifestyle so dramatically?

‘I wasn’t looking for a religion … I just fell in love with Islam’, this is how one single British woman from the 5,000 Brits who become Muslims each year described her life choice of Islam.

More than half of those who make the switch are white – and 75 per cent are women, revealed a late report.

But what would make someone want to change their lifestyle so dramatically?

Police Community Support Officer Jayne Kemp left her Catholic roots behind after ‘falling in love’ with Islam while helping victims of so-called honour violence.

PCSO Jayne, 28

Jayne Kemp patrols her beat wearing a traditional hijab (headscarf) and even works extra time after shifts so she can attend Friday prayers at her mosque.

Devout Jayne converted to Islam last April and even plans to change her name to Aminah.

The single mum, who patrols Eccles, Gtr Manchester, as a Police Community Support Officer, says: ‘I thought Islam was all about women being forced to slave away in the kitchen — but I found out it was about being generous with your time, and patient and respectful of others.

‘As I looked into it, I saw similarities with Catholicism and noticed values such as looking after your neighbours and cherishing the elderly, which is something older people say younger people don’t do any more.

‘I wasn’t looking for any religion at the time but for every question I had answered about Islam, I had five more. I think I fell in love with it.’

Devoted Jayne even missed out on celebrating Christmas with her son, nine, and daughter, seven. She sent them off to their dad’s and cooked her own meal so it would be halal (the meat slaughtered in the manner prescribed by Islamic Shari`ah law).

And despite the drastic change, Jayne says colleagues at Greater Manchester Police and her family have been supportive. She is now helping to design a regulation police hijab and tunic — as one has never been needed before.

Jayne says: ‘I was worried about what my colleagues would think but they have been so understanding.

‘People in Eccles have been great too — most don’t even mention it. If my children had struggled with me covering my hair I wouldn’t have done it.

‘They have both asked a lot about it but I would never push Islam on them and they will be brought up Catholic.

‘I just hope by speaking out I can show it is OK for a Muslim woman to work in the police force and change negative Islam stereotypes.

‘My family members, in general, are supportive. If I’m happy, they’re happy. My sister said I’m the happiest she’s ever seen me.’

Jayne was inspired to convert to Islam after chatting to other Muslims on Twitter.

Muhammad Manzoor, who runs Muslim Twitter account Local Masjid from his home in Whalley Range, Manchester, helped her make the transition.

He said: ‘I was humbled Jayne was asking me these questions.

‘She has found this religion for herself and hopefully it shows Muslims can mix in society without compromising their faith.’

Student Alana, 21

Alana Blockley, a media student who lives in Glasgow, converted to Islam after meeting her husband Abdul on holiday in June 2010. She says:

‘My family are all travellers and we live on a caravan site. I was baptized as a Christian but church and religion were never a big part of my life.

‘I was 18 when I decided I wanted to go out to the Canaries. I wanted to work as a club rep and have the experiences people say you should when you’re young.

‘I arrived in Fuerteventura and after a couple of days, a hotel maintenance man offered to take me out for a coffee. He was Abdul, a Muslim from Morocco.

‘When I got home he asked me to come back and visit him – and after three visits we knew we wanted to be together.

‘I started to research Islam because I wanted to know more about his life.

‘I decided I wanted to convert. I was worried about telling my parents and burst into tears. Mum thought I was pregnant and my dad thought I’d crashed my car.

‘I started to wear the hijab last summer. We got married in a Muslim ceremony earlier this month in Fuerteventura.

‘I don’t eat ham or drink alcohol now.

‘I celebrate `Eid (the Islamic public celebration) now, but I compromised with my parents and we all had a halal (permitted by Allah) Christmas dinner.

‘I hope I’m going to heaven now and I like the rules of Islam.’

Jobseeker Claire, 24

Claire Evans, from Bridgend, South Wales, converted to Islam last July after researching it following a break-up.

‘After my heart was broken by a Muslim man, I wanted nothing more to do with the religion – I thought it was cruel and unkind.

‘But my mum started looking up more about Islam and pointed out the way this man had behaved was contrary to the faith’s teachings.

‘I read up on it and discovered that Islam actually promotes tranquility and peace.

‘I wasn’t religious before I converted. I didn’t really believe in God. I now cover my hair and wear a hijab, which was a big decision. My dad doesn’t like it, though, and I don’t wear the hijab when I’m with him.

‘At first I got some stares and nasty comments but in the past six months I’ve grown in confidence. Now I go to the mosque once a week and I pray every day.

‘I also took a Muslim name, Safir, but I still use my old name of Claire too. I have a new partner too, who is a Muslim, but we’re not settling down just yet.

‘Islam has made me calmer and, for the first time in my life, I feel accepted.

‘There’s not much I miss about my old life- I can’t eat pork now.’

Model Ayesha, 24

Ayesha Olumide, from Edinburgh, is a model who works under her original name of Eunice. She converted to Islam in 2009 while at university. She says:

‘Before converting to Islam I was a Christian – but where my family is from in West Africa, Islam and Christianity are both practiced. But it wasn’t until I started studying philosophy at university that I began to learn more about Islam.

‘At first I was worried it would be too extreme but when I studied the Qur’an it blew my mind. The theories about nature and science appealed and I felt enlightened. You can’t always explain everything in a scientific way and Islam helps me with that.

‘I was first scouted as a model while a 15-year-old tomboy. I was into football and athletics – but a career in fashion is all about looks. Converting to Islam made me realize how much we value people if society thinks they’re beautiful.

‘At the mosque, women cover their head and dress modestly, so no one is judging you on what you look like. At first I found it hard to square being a Muslim with being a model. But I spoke to a Muslim sister and she said Islam is not an extreme religion, so if it felt too extreme to me it probably wasn’t right.

‘Now I cover my hair for 99 per cent of the time. And I don’t do any bikini or underwear shoots.

‘I don’t have set days at the mosque but I do go often and I pray every day. I would like to start a family in the future but don’t think I’d marry a non-Muslim.’

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Source: thesun.uk

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Faith: Does It Increase and Decrease?

road_nature

Those who declare Islam without observing the good deeds and refraining from misdeeds are with weak iman.

Iman (faith) has been linguistically defined as believing and confidence. Termly, it is defined as the expression of the tongue, the conviction of the heart and the work of the organs, and it increases and decreases. The expression of the tongue refers to the Shahadah (Declaration of Faith; no one is worthy of worship except Allah, and Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger).

The conviction of the heart is to believe in Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Prophets, the Last Day and the Divine Decree. The work of the organs means the observance of good deeds and the abstention from misdeeds. This is the position of Ahl As-Sunnah Wal-Jama`ah (the followers of Sunnah and Muslim community) regarding the concept of iman.

Ibn Taymiyyah mentioned in his book Al-Fatwa that Imam Ash-Shafi`i said, “There has been an ijma` (unanimous agreement) among the companions of the Prophet, their followers and our scholars that iman is a declaration, work and conviction and that none of the three suffices for the others.”(Ibn Taymiyyah, Majmu` Al-Fatawa)

Ahl As-Sunnah view that iman can be increased or decreased. It increases by doing good deeds, acts of worship and contemplating on the Qur’an, rulings of Islam, hadiths and the creation of Allah, and decreases by misdeeds, following evil desires and Satan and negligence of reciting the Qur’an.

Narrated Abu Hurairah: “The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Iman consists of more than sixty branches, and modesty is a branch of faith.” (Al-Bukhari)

This meaningful and highly expressive hadith is one of the greatest hadiths of Islam. It deals with the concept of iman and highlights one of its parts, namely modesty.

The Prophet shows us that the term of iman is not restricted to beliefs but it includes actions as well. He informs us that iman consists of more than sixty parts and it includes sayings and deeds, as mentioned in other narrations of the hadith.

Yet, someone may say, “The Prophet was asked ‘what is iman?’ in the well-known hadith of Jibreel (Angel Gabriel) and he restricted the meaning of iman to belief.” Sheikh Ibn `Uthaimin clarifies this by saying, “Iman in the sense of belief is based on six principles, which are mentioned in the hadith of Jibril (peace be upon him), when he questioned the Prophet, who said: “iman means to believe in Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Last Day, and the Divine Decree, both good and bad.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Yet, the broad meaning of iman includes good deeds of various kinds and it has seventy-odd branches. In this context, Allah called prayer iman in His saying:

And never would Allah have caused you to lose your iman. Indeed Allah is, to the people, Kind and Merciful. (Al-Baqarah 2:143)

The scholars of Tafsir (Qur’an Exegesis) said: “iman” here means prayer, because the companions used to pray towards Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa before they were commanded to face the Ka`bah in their prayers.” (3)

The hadith at hand proves the stance of Ahl Al-Sunnah, that is iman is not only restricted to beliefs but it includes deeds. In the hadith, the Prophet mentions that modesty, which is the work of organs, is a branch or part of faith.

Also, there is another narration of the hadith that the Prophet said, “Iman has sixty odd or seventy odd branches. The uppermost of all these is the Testimony of Faith “La ilaha illallah” (there is no true god except Allah) while the least of them is the removal of the harmful objects from the road. And modesty is a branch of Iman.” (Muslim)

Thus, it considered the Declaration of Faith and the work of organs, represented in the removal of harmful objects from the road and modesty, as branches and parts of iman.

Actually, this is an extremely important principle that should be understood and taken into consideration. There are those who claim that pronouncing the Testimony of Faith is enough to be a believer deserving the Mercy of Allah and His Paradise. This hadith refutes these false claims, because a Muslim has to work hard to get closer to Allah by means of acts of worship.

A Muslim with perfect faith is the one who declares Islam by the tongue, believes in Allah, His Messenger and what they told and commanded, and performs the good deeds and refrains from misdeeds. Those who declare Islam without observing the good deeds and refraining from misdeeds are with weak iman and are treading the ways of Satan and hell-fire.

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What Makes Me a Muslim?

prayer beads

Accepting Islam means that Muslims should consciously and deliberately accept what has been taught by the Prophet Muhammad and act accordingly.

 

Brothers in Islam! We all as Muslims sincerely believe that Islam is the greatest blessing that Allah has given us in this world. We find our hearts filled with gratitude to Him for including us in the Ummah of the Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be on him) and bestowing upon us this unique blessing. Allah Himself describes Islam as His most invaluable gift to His servants:

Today I have perfected your Deen (way of life) for you, and I have completed My blessing upon you, and I have willed that Islam be the way for you. (Al-Ma’idah 5:3)

To be truly grateful for this greatest favour, you must therefore render to Allah His due. If you do not do so, you are undoubtedly an ungrateful person. And what ingratitude can be worse than to forget what you owe to your God.

How can we, you may ask, render these dues?

Since Allah has been gracious enough to include you in the Ummah of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) the best way of showing gratitude – and there is no other way – is to become totally committed followers of the Prophet. And, since He has made you a part of the Muslim Ummah, to become true Muslims. If you do not, the punishment for your ingratitude will be as great as the original gift was. May Allah save us all from this great punishment! Ameen.

You will now ask: How can we become Muslims in the true sense of the word?

To answer this question I want to look at a point of fundamental importance, without which we cannot hope to discover true faith. This, you must understand, is the first essential step on your road to becoming a true Muslim.

Is Islam a Birthright?

But, first, think for a while: What does the word ‘Muslim’, which we all use so often, really mean? Can a person be a Muslim by virtue of his birth? Is a person a Muslim simply because he is the son or grandson of a Muslim? Is a Muslim born a Muslim just as a Hindu Brahman’s son is born a Brahman, or an Englishman’s son is born an Englishman, or a white man’s son is born a white man, or a negro’s son is born a negro? Are ‘Muslims’ a race, a nationality or a caste?

Do Muslims belong to the Muslim Ummah like Aryans belong to the Aryan race? And, just as a Japanese is a Japanese because he is born in Japan, is a Muslim similarly a Muslim by being born in a Muslim country?

Your answer to these questions will surely be: No. A Muslim does not become truly a Muslim simply because he is born a Muslim. A Muslim is not a Muslim because he belongs to any particular race; he is a Muslim because he follows Islam. If he renounces Islam, he ceases to be a Muslim.

Any person, whether a Brahman or a Rajput, an Englishman or a Japanese, a white or a black, will, on accepting Islam, become a full member of the Muslim community; while a person born in a Muslim home may be expelled from the Muslim community if he gives up following Islam, even though he may be a descendant of the Prophet, an Arab or a Pathan.

Such will surely be your answer to my question. This establishes that the greatest gift of Allah which you enjoy – that of being a Muslim – is not something automatically inherited from your parents, which remains yours for life by right irrespective of your attitudes and behaviour. It is a gift which you must continually strive to deserve if you want to retain it; if you are indifferent to it, it may be taken away from you, God forbid.

No Mere Verbal Profession

You agree that we become Muslims only by accepting Islam. But what does acceptance of Islam mean? Does it mean that whoever makes a verbal profession ‘I am a Muslim’ or ‘I have accepted Islam’ becomes a true Muslim?

Or does it mean that, just as a Brahman worshipper may recite a few words of Sanskrit without understanding them, a man who utters some Arabic phrases without knowing their meaning becomes a Muslim? What reply will you give to this question?

You cannot but answer that accepting Islam means that Muslims should consciously and deliberately accept what has been taught by the Prophet Muhammad and act accordingly. People who do not so behave are not Muslims in the true sense.

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

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Who Is the Muslim and How to Be One?

muslim prayer

Only someone who is a slave of none but God and a follower of none but His Messengers can be truly called a Muslim.

BY Abul A`la Mawdudi

According to the Qur’an, men go astray in three ways. The first is to ignore the guidance of God and become slaves of desire. The second is to give precedence to family, culture, society, customs and the ways of forefathers over the law of God. The third is to ignore the way enunciated by God and His Messenger (peace be upon him) and follow the ways either of so-called important people or of other civilizations and cultures.

A True Muslim

A true Muslim should be free from these three ailments. Only someone who is a slave of

none but God and a follower of none but His Messengers can be truly called a Muslim.

A Muslim sincerely believes that the teaching of God and His Messenger is absolute truth, that whatever runs counter to it is false, and that it contains all that is good for man in this world and in the Hereafter. A Muslim who has complete faith in these truths will, at every step in his life, look only to God and the Messenger to guide him and submit to whatever they require.

Such a person will never feel troubled in his heart about obeying God’s commandments, or be concerned if members of his family or his society upbraid him, or if the entire world opposes him. In each case his response will be unequivocal: I am God’s slave, not yours; I have faith in His Messenger, not in you.

What is Hypocrisy?

Serving the Self

On the other hand, a person may say, ‘This may be the directive of God and the Messenger, but it is difficult for me to accept it because it seems to be harmful. So I shall act according to my own opinion as against the guidance of God and the Messenger.’

Obviously, no faith can be alive in the heart of such a person. He is not a true believer (mu’min) but a hypocrite (munafiq). While he verbally claims to be a servant of God and a follower of the Messenger, in reality he is a slave of his own self and a follower of his own opinions.

Adherence to Society and Culture

Similarly, a person may say that whatever the injunctions of God and the Messenger may be, a certain practice cannot be given up because it has been followed since the times of his forefathers. He, too, must then be reckoned among the hypocrites, however prominent the mark on his forehead traced by prostration in endless prayers and however pious his face.

The spirit of Islam has not entered his heart. Islam does not consist merely in bowing (ruku`, prostration (sujud) , Fasting (sawm) and Pilgrimage (Hajj); nor is it found in the face and dress of a man.

Islam means submission to God and the Messenger. Anyone who refuses to obey them in the conduct of his life-affairs has a heart devoid of the real Islam – ‘faith has not yet entered their hearts’. His Prayers, his Fasting and his pious appearance are nothing but deception.

Imitating Other People

Again, someone may, in defiance of the Book of God and the Messenger’s directions, urge thus: Such and such ideas and practices should be adopted because they are prevalent in the West; this particular behavior must be accepted because other nations are making progress because of it; this point should be conceded because an important person is advocating it. Such a person is in grave danger of losing his faith. This attitude is irreconcilable to iman (faith).

If you are Muslims and want to remain Muslims, then cast overboard every suggestion which is contrary to the injunctions of God and His Messenger. If you cannot, it ill behoves you to claim to be following Islam. To assert that you believe in God and the Messenger but to ignore their injunctions in the conduct of your lives in favor of other people’s thoughts and practices is neither iman nor Islam. It is sheer hypocrisy.

Allah leaves no doubt about the ridiculous nature of such conduct:

Indeed We have sent down revelations clearly showing the truth, but God guides whomsoever He will to a straight path. They say, ‘We believe in God and the Messenger, and we obey’. Then, after that, a party of them turn away; they are not (true) believers. And when they are called unto God and His Messenger that he may decide between them, behold, a party of them turn away; but if they are in the right, they will come unto him submitting willingly. What! Is there in their hearts sickness? Or are they in doubt? Or, do they fear that God and His Messenger may be unjust towards them?

Nay, it is they who are doing wrong. All that the believers say, whenever they are called unto God and His Messenger that he may judge between them, is that they say, ‘We hear, and we obey.’ It is they who are the successful.

Whoso obeys God and His Messenger, and fears God, and has awe of Him, it is they who shall triumph. (An-Nur 24:46-52)

Reflect on the definition of iman set out here. What is iman? It consists in submitting yourselves, willingly and totally, to the Book of God and the guidance given by His Messenger.

Whatever guidance and commandments are received from these sources you must implicitly obey and no arguments against them should be listened to, whether they come from your own minds, or from members of your families, or from outsiders. You can only be a Muslim if you develop this attitude. If you do not, you are no more than a hypocrite.

Compare, now, yourselves with those who had real and true iman in their hearts and see how they obeyed Allah and the Messenger.

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

 

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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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How to Live & Develop as Muslim

By: Abul A`La Al-Mawdudi

Our Behavior

Brothers! Imagine the extraordinary kindness shown you by your Master! He asks you for things which really belong to Him and yet promises that it is a purchase He will pay you for. What unbounded generosity this is!

God has bought from the believers their lives and their possessions in return for Paradise. (At-Tawbah 9:111)

Such is the kindness of your Master. Now look at your conduct. You re-sell things to others which were given to you by your Master and which He had bought back from you.

And what a paltry price you accept for your precious things!

The ‘buyers’ make you work against the wishes of the Master. You serve them as if they are your sustainers. You sell them your brains and your bodies – indeed, everything that these rebels of God want to buy.

Can anything be more immoral than this? To sell a thing already sold is a legal and moral crime, even in this world. Those guilty of such crimes are tried in courts for cheating and fraud. Do you think you will escape trial in the court of God?

Who Is the True Muslim?

Brothers in Islam! Let us consider further the meaning and essential implications of the Kalimah (word); for it is the very foundation of Islam. Believe it and you enter Islam on its strength; understand it fully and mould your lives in accordance with it and you become true Muslims. Without it you can neither enter nor remain in Islam.

Read More: Who Is the Muslim and How to Be One?

The Parable

Allah calls it Kalimah Tayyibah, a good, pure and wholesome “word”, and thus defines it:

Are you not aware how God sets forth the parable of kalimah tayyibah? It is like a good tree – firmly rooted, its branches reaching into heaven. It gives its fruits every moment by the permission of its Lord. So God sets forth parables unto men that they may bethink themselves.

And the parable of kalimah khabithah (evil word) is like a corrupt tree – uprooted from the earth, having no permanence. God grants firmness unto those who have believed in the firm word, in the present life and in the world to come, and the wrongdoers He lets go astray, for God does whatever He wills. (Ibrahim 14: 24-27)

Kalimah Tayyibah is here likened to a noble tree, whose roots are firmly fixed in the earth and whose branches reach to the sky; and all the while it continues to yield abundant fruit, as commanded by its Lord.

Set against it is the kalimah khabithah, that is, an evil or corrupt word, a false belief and a baseless saying, which may be likened to a self-seeded plant ,growing in poor, shallow earth and easily plucked out with a single pull because its foots have no firm base.

So striking and beautiful is the parable that the more you reflect on it the more you will come to absorb the lessons that can be learnt from it.

Two Kinds of Trees

Consider examples of the two kinds of trees. Look at an oak tree. How firmly it is rooted, to what great height it reaches, how extensively its branches spread, what fine foliage it bears! How did this tree acquire such strength and magnificence? From the nature of its fruit, the acorn. Its seed has an inherent right to become a great tree.

And this right was so self-evident that when it made its claim, the earth, the water, the air, the warm day and the cool night, in fact, all the elements concerned, acknowledged it, and whatever it demanded from them was given to it.

Thus by merit it developed into a great tree; by yielding beneficial fruit and by the nobility of its dimensions it continued to demonstrate that it deserved to become a tree of mighty stature and that the help given it by the combined forces of earth and heaven was totally justified.

More! It was the duty of the elements to give such help because the power that is possessed by the earth, water and air and other elements to nourish, develop and mature trees is precisely meant for the purpose of helping trees of noble species.

But what about wild, self-seeded plants? Where are their strengths and virtues? Their roots are so shallow they can be pulled up by a child. They are so weak they wither away in the wind. If you touch them you may well be pricked by thorns.

If you taste them they may well be bitter and harmful. God, only, knows how many of these sprout every day, and wither away. Why are they as they are? The reason is that they do not possess the intrinsic right to grow that the acorn does and which allows the growth of the mighty oak.

When there are no trees of noble species to grow, the earth, which by its nature cannot remain fallow, tolerates the growth of shrubs and weeds. Water does give nourishment, and some energy is supplied by the air, but none of the elements accepts the right of existence of these plants as they do of the oak.

That is why neither the earth allows their roots to spread themselves within itself, nor is water willing wholeheartedly to give nourishment, nor is the air inclined to help them flourish.

So when, with this poor subsistence, these plants grow unhealthy, tasting bad, often bearing thorns and poisonous fruits, it is conclusively demonstrated that earth and heaven are not created to help the growth of such plants.

Keep these two examples before you and then think over the difference between the Kalimah Tayyibah and the kalimah khabithah.

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

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Ethics & Values New Muslims

The Muslim and Truthfulness

Hypocrisy, in the form of untruthfulness, pretense, telling lies, dishonesty, etc. is no way a trait of a Muslim or Islam.

In a popular hadith the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) describes the attributes of a hypocrite saying:

“The signs of a hypocrite are three: Whenever he speaks, he lies; whenever he promises, he breaks it; and if he is entrusted with something, he betrays the trust (Al-Bukhari)

And this is how God defines them, the hypocrite, and their hated characteristics in the Qur’an:

The hypocrites, men and women, (have an understanding) with each other: They enjoin evil, and forbid what is just, and are close with their hands. They have forgotten Allah; so He has forgotten them. Verily the hypocrites are rebellious and perverse. (At-Tawbah 9:67)

Learn how Prophet Muhammad described, condemned and warned against such hated characteristic as brother AbdelRahman Murphy reflects on the aforementioned hadith

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Ethics & Values New Muslims

The Believers: The Qur’anic Model

The Qur'an

According to the Qur’an, a believer is by definition someone who stands out for his good deeds.

Successful are the believers. Those who humble themselves in prayers; who avoid vain talk; who are keen on acts of charity; who guard their private parts except with their wives and those who their right hands own. In their case they are free from blame. But those who seek beyond that, they are transgressors. (The believers are) those who faithfully observe their trusts and covenants, those who guard their prayers. They are the inheritors of Paradise. They shall dwell in it (forever). (Al-Mu’minun 23:1-11)

It goes without saying that the Qur’an is the Book of guidance par excellence, instructing man how to live his life. As part of its grand plan of instruction, the Qur’an spells out concisely the definition and outstanding features of believers, which are embodied most clearly in verses 1-11 of Surat Al-Mu’minun.

Significantly enough, the surah itself is entitled Al-Mu’minun (Believers) and it opens with the passage under discussion here. As to the importance and excellence of these particular verses the following hadiths further clarify the point.

It is reported on `Umar’s authority in the “Musnad of Imam Ahmad” that once after receiving a fresh part of divine revelation, the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) made the following supplication in the presence of those Companions sitting around him:

“O Lord, grant us increase and do not afflict us with decrease. Exalt us and do not abase us. Bestow upon us and do not deprive us. Grant us superiority over others and do not deprive us. Grant us superiority over others and do not make others superior to us. Be pleased with us and bless us with Your pleasure.”

He then added:

“I have just now received such verses that whoever acts upon these will go straight to Paradise.”

He then recited this passage from Surat Al-Mu’minun which had then been revealed to him. More importantly, the following hadith throws ample light on the significance of the passage.

On being requested to describe the Prophet’s conduct, which would serve as a model for subsequent generations to emulate, ‘A’ishah, the Prophet’s wife, replied that his conduct exemplified what is stated theoretically in the Qur’an: “His character was that of the Qur’an.” (Ahmad, Muslim and Abu Dawud) . To illustrate her point further, she recited these verses of Surat Al-Mu’minun. (Kitab At-Tafsir, An-Nasa’i’s Sunan)

On studying these verses one can form a clear idea of the Qur’anic model of believers. This passage describes both their sound beliefs and right conduct. The first and foremost point is that the Qur’an accords equal importance to both creed and deed. Both of these should be sound and wedded to the goal of pleasing Allah.

Belief which is not supported by right conduct and by the same token, good deeds which are lacking firm belief in the articles of faith prescribed by the Qur’an, are not acceptable.

According to the Qur’an, a believer is by definition someone who stands out for his good deeds. This amalgam of sound beliefs and right conduct alone ensures success in this world, and more particularly, in the everlasting Afterlife. The Qur’an assures abiding success to those who display the seven characteristics as outlined in this passage.

Another amazing feature of this passage is that it covers the entire gamut of both individual and collective life. Furthermore, it takes into account major social, sexual, moral, economic and spiritual activities. This concise passage thus instructs man in all the important spheres of life, enabling him to profess and practice life as a believer. Implicit in it is also the truth that the profession of Qur’anic beliefs invests man with excellent conduct and perfect morals and manners.

The connection between belief and conduct is logical, rather inevitable. Any flaw in one’s conduct betrays some weakness in one’s faith. Otherwise, in the scheme of things ordained by Allah, sound beliefs must result in excellent conduct.

This explains why the passage opens with the assertion that believers are destined to achieve success. This Qur’anic proclamation does not hinge on any partisanship or jingoism. It rather states the law of nature that true believers, in view of their perfect conduct, which is expected of them, are bound to attain success.

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The article is an excerpt from Abdur Raheem Kidwai’s book “The Qur’an: Essential Teachings”, published by the Islamic Foundation.

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