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Fasting New Muslims

Qur’anic Gems: Juz’ 1

Welcome to this new fascinating series titled Qur’anic Gems with Nouman Ali Khan.

Here is the first episode in which Nouman Khan chooses the sixty-seven verse of Surat Al-Baqarah (the second chapter of the Qur’an), which tells us about the incident of the cow.

Nouman begins his talk by shedding the light on the reaction of the people of prophet Moses (peace be upon him) to Allah’s instruction when prophet Moses commanded them to slaughter a cow.

Then, he advises us to obey the commands of Allah without argument, control our emotions, and give advice with a sincere intention to Allah.

Follow us on this interesting episode with Nouman Khan who talks about the story of the cow in the Qur’an.

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Articles of Faith New Muslims

Belief in the Prophets

Belief in certain prophets who God chose to relay His message to humans is a required article of Islamic faith.

“The Prophet (Muhammad) believes in what has been sent down to him from his Lord, and (so do) the believers.  Each one believes in God, His Angels, His Books, and His prophets.  (They say,) ‘We make no distinction between one another of His prophets…’” (Quran 2:285)

God conveys His message and relates His will through human prophets.  They form a link between the earthly beings and the heavens, in the sense that God has picked them to deliver His message to human beings.  There are no other channels to receive divine communications.  It is the system of communication between the Creator and the created.  God does not send angels to every single individual, nor does He open the skies so people can climb up to receive the message.  His way of communication is through human prophets who receive the message through angels.

To have faith in the prophets (or messengers) is to firmly believe that God chose morally upright men to bear His message and pass it to humanity.  Blessed were those who followed them, and wretched were those who refused to obey.  They faithfully delivered the message, without hiding, altering, or corrupting it.  Rejecting a prophet is rejecting the One who sent him, and disobeying a prophet is disobeying the One who commanded to obey him.

God sent to every nation a prophet, mostly from amongst them, to call them to worship God alone and to shun false gods.

“And ask (O Muhammad) those of Our prophets whom We sent before you: ‘Did We ever appoint gods to be worshipped besides the Most Merciful (God)?’” (Quran 43:45)

Muslims believe in those prophets mentioned by name in Islamic sources, such as Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, David, Solomon, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, to name a few.  A general belief is held in those not mentioned by name, as God says:

“And, indeed We have sent prophets before you (O Muhammad), of some of them We have related to you their story, and of some We have not related to you their story…” (Quran 40:78)

Muslims firmly believe the final prophet was the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, and there will be no prophet or messenger after him.

To appreciate this fact, one must understand that the teachings of the last prophet are preserved in original language in their primary sources.  There is no need for another prophet.  In the case of earlier prophets, their scriptures were lost or their message was corrupted to the point that truth was hardly distinguishable from falsehood.  The message of the Prophet Muhammad is clear and preserved and will remain so till the end of time.

The Purpose for Sending Prophets

We can identify the following main reasons for sending prophets:

(1)  Guiding humanity from the worship of created beings to the worship of their Creator, from being in a state of servitude to the creation to the freedom of worshipping their Lord.

(2)  Clarifying to humanity the purpose of creation: worshipping God and obeying His commands, as well as clarifying that this life is a test for each individual, a test of which its results will decide the type of life one will lead after death; a life of eternal misery or eternal bliss.  There is no other definite way to find the true purpose of creation.

(3)  Showing humanity the right path that will lead them to Paradise and to salvation from Hellfire.

(4)  Establishing proof against humanity by sending prophets, so people will not have an excuse when they will be questioned on the Day of Judgment.  They will not be able to claim ignorance to the purpose of their creation and life after death.

(5)  Uncovering the unseen ‘world’ which exists beyond the normal senses and the physical universe, such as the knowledge of God, existence of angels, and the reality of the Day of Judgment.

(6)  Providing human beings practical examples to lead moral, righteous, purpose-driven lives free of doubts and confusion.  Innately, human beings admire fellow human beings, so the best examples of righteousness for humans to imitate are those of God’s prophets.

(7)  Purifying the soul from materialism, sin, and heedlessness.

(8)  Conveying to humanity the teachings of God, which is for their own benefit in this life and in the Hereafter.

Their Message

The single most important message of all prophets to their people was to worship God alone and none else and to follow His teachings.  All of them, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Moses, Aaron, David, Solomon, Jesus, Muhammad and others, in addition to those we do not know – invited people to worship God and shun false gods.

Moses declared: “Hear, O Israel The Lord our God is one Lord.” (Deuteronomy 6:4).

This was repeated 1500 years later by Jesus, when he said: “The first of all the commandments is, ‘Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord.’” (Mark 12:29).

Finally, the call of Muhammad some 600 years later reverberated across the hills of Mecca:

“And your God is One God: there is no god but He…” (Quran 2:163)

The Holy Quran states this fact clearly:

“And We did not send any Messenger before you (O Muhammad) but We revealed to him (saying): ‘none has the right to be worshipped but I, so worship Me.’” (Quran 21:25)

The Message Bearers

God chose the best among humanity to deliver His message.  Prophethood is not earned or acquired like higher education.  God chooses whom He pleases for this purpose.

They were the best in morals and they were mentally and physically fit, protected by God from falling into cardinal, major sins.  They did not err or commit mistakes in delivering the message.  They were over one hundred thousand prophets sent to all mankind, to all nations and races, in all corners of the world.  Some prophets were superior to others.  The best among them were Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him.

People went to extremes with the prophets.  They were rejected and accused of being sorcerers, madmen, and liars.  Others turned them into gods by giving them divine powers, or declared them to be His children, like what happened to Jesus.

In truth, they were fully human with no divine attributes or power.  They were God’s worshipping slaves.  They ate, drank, slept, and lived normal human lives.  They did not have the power to make anyone accept their message or to forgive sins.  Their knowledge of future was limited to what God revealed to them.  They had no part in running the affairs of the universe.

Out of the Infinite Mercy and Love of God, He sent to humanity prophets, guiding them to that which is the best. He sent them as an example for humanity to follow, and if one does follow their example, they would live a life in accordance to the Will of God, earning His Love and Pleasure

 

 

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Articles of Faith New Muslims

Belief in Scriptures

Belief in the scriptures revealed by God is the third article of Islamic faith.We can identify four main reasons for the revelation of scriptures:(1) The scripture revealed to a prophet is a point of reference to learn the religion and obligations towards God and fellow human beings. God reveals Himself and explains the purpose of human creation through revealed scriptures.

(2) By referring to it, ‘disputes and differences between its followers in matter of religious belief and practice or in matters of social practice could be settled.

(3) The scriptures are meant to keep the religion safe from corruption and deterioration, at least for some time after the death of the prophet. At the present time, the Quran revealed to our Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, is the only scripture to remain safe from corruption.

(4) It is God’s proof against human beings. They are not allowed to oppose or overstep it.

A Muslim firmly believes that divinely revealed books were actually revealed by the Compassionate God to His prophets to guide mankind. The Quran is not the only spoken Word of God, but God also spoke to prophets before Prophet Muhammad.

“…and to Moses God spoke directly.” (Quran 4:164)

God describes true believers are those who:

“…believe in what has been sent down to you (Muhammad) and what has been sent down before you…” (Quran 2:4)

The most important and central message of all scriptures was to worship God and God alone.

“And we sent never a prophet before you except that we revealed to him, saying, ‘there is no God but I, so worship Me.’” (Quran 21:25)

Islam is more inclusive in the holy revelations it affirms than any other heavenly religion in its present form.

Muslims uphold and respect the following scriptures:

(i) The Quran itself, revealed to the Prophet Muhammad.

(ii) The Torah (Tawrah in Arabic) revealed to the Prophet Moses (different from the Old Testament read today).

(iii) The Gospel (Injeel in Arabic) revealed to Prophet Jesus (different from the New Testament read in churches today).

(iv) The Psalms (Zaboor in Arabic) of David.

(v) The Scrolls (Suhuf in Arabic) of Moses and Abraham.

Third, Muslims believe whatever is true in them and has neither been altered or deliberately misconstrued.

Fourth, Islam affirms that God revealed the Quran as a witness over the previous scriptures and confirmation of them, because He says therein:

“And We have sent down to you (O Muhammad) the Book (the Quran) in truth, confirming the scripture that came before it and trustworthy in highness and a witness over it (the collection of old scriptures)…” (Quran 5:48)

Meaning the Quran confirms whatever is true in previous scriptures and rejects whatever alterations and changes human hands have made to them.
Original Scriptures and the Bible

We must distinguish between two matters: the original Torah, Gospel, and Psalms and the present day Bible. The originals were God’s revelation, but thepresent day Bible does not have the exact original scripture.

No divine scripture exists today in the original language it was revealed in, except the Quran. The Bible was not revealed in English. Different books of today’s Bible are at best tertiary translations and different versions exist. These multiple translations were done by people whose knowledge, skill, or honesty is not known. As a result, some bibles are larger than others and have contradictions and internal inconsistencies! No originals exist. The Quran, on the other hand, is the only scripture in existence today in its original language and words. Not one letter of the Quran has been changed since its revelation. It is internally consistent with no contradictions. It is today as it was revealed 1400 years ago, transmitted by a rock-solid tradition of memorization and writing. Unlike other sacred texts, the entire Quran has been memorized by almost every Islamic scholar and hundreds of thousands of ordinary Muslims, generation after generation!

The previous scriptures essentially consist of:

(i) Stories of man’s creation and earlier nations, prophesies of what was to come like signs before the Judgment Day, appearance of new prophets, and other news.

The stories, prophecies, and news in the Bible read in churches and synagogues today are partly true and partly false. These books consist of some translated fragments of the original scripture revealed by God, words of some prophets, mixed with explanations of scholars, errors of scribes, and outright malicious insertions and deletions. Quran, the final and trustworthy scripture, helps us sort out fact from fiction. For a Muslim, it is the criterion to judge the truth from the falsehood in these stories. For example, the Bible still contains some clear passages pointing to God’s unity.[1] Also, some prophecies regarding the Prophet Muhammad are found in the Bible as well.[2] Yet, there are passages, even whole books, almost entirely recognized to be forgeries and the handiwork of men.[3]

(ii) Law and rulings, the allowed and prohibited, like the Law of Moses.

If we were to assume the law, that is the lawful and the prohibited, contained in the previous books did not suffer corruption, the Quran still abrogates those rulings, it cancels the old law which was suitable for its time and is no longer applicable today. For example, the old laws pertaining to diet, ritual prayer, fasting, inheritance, marriage and divorce have been cancelled (or, in many cases, reaffirmed) by the Islamic Law.
The Holy Quran

The Quran is different from other scriptures in the following respects:

(1) The Quran is miraculous and inimitable. Nothing similar to it can be produced by human beings.

(2) After the Quran, no more scriptures will be revealed by God. Just as the Prophet Muhammad is the last prophet, the Quran is the last scripture.

(3) God has taken it upon Himself to protect the Quran from alteration, to safeguard it from corruption, and to preserve it from distortion. On the other hand, previous scriptures suffered alteration and distortion and do not remain in their originally revealed form.

(4) The Quran, for one, confirms early scriptures and, for another, is a trustworthy witness over them.

(5) The Quran abrogates them, meaning it cancels the rulings of the previous scriptures and renders them inapplicable. The Law of the old scriptures is no longer applicable; the previous rulings have been abrogated with the new Law of Islam.

Footnotes:

[1] For example the declaration of Moses: “Hear, O Israel The Lord our God is one Lord” (Deuteronomy 6:4) and the announcement of Jesus: “…The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord.” (Mark 12:29).

[2] Refer to (Deuteronomy 18:18), (Deuteronomy 33:1-2), (Isaiah 28:11), (Isaiah 42:1-13), (Habakkuk 3:3), (John 16:13), (John 1:19-21), (Matthew 21:42-43), and more.

[3] For example, refer to books of the Apocrypha.

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Articles of Faith New Muslims

Prophethood in Islam

Guidance can be obtained neither from science nor from mystic experience.

Guidance can be obtained neither from science nor from mystic experience.

Prophethood is not unknown to heavenly revealed religions, such as Judaism and Christianity. In Islam, however, it has a special status and significance.

According to Islam, Allah created man for a noble purpose: to worship Him and lead a virtuous life based on His teachings and guidance. How would man know his role and the purpose of his existence unless he received clear and practical instructions of what Allah wants him to do? Here comes the need for prophethood. Thus Allah has chosen from every nation at least one Prophet to convey His Message to people.

One might ask, how were the prophets chosen and who were entitled to this great honor?

Prophethood is Allah’s blessing and favor that He may bestow on whom He wills. However, from surveying the various messengers throughout history, three features of a prophet may be recognized:

1. He is the best in his community morally and intellectually. This is necessary because a prophet’s life serves as a role model for his followers. His personality should attract people to accept his message rather than drive them away by his imperfect character. After receiving the message, he is infallible. That is, he would not commit any sin. He might make some minor mistakes, which are usually corrected by revelation.

2. He is supported by miracles to prove that he is not an imposter. Those miracles are granted by the power and permission of God and are usually in the field in which his people excel and are recognized as superior. We might illustrate this by quoting the major miracles of the three prophets of the major world religions; Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Moses’ (peace be upon him) contemporaries were excellent in magic, so his major miracle was to defeat the best magicians of Egypt of his day. Jesus’ (peace be upon him) contemporaries were recognized as skilled physicians; therefore, his miracles were to raise the dead and cure incurable diseases. The Arabs, the contemporaries of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), were known for their eloquence and magnificent poetry. So Prophet Muhammad’s major miracle was the Qur’an, the equivalent of which the whole legion of Arab poets and orators could not produce, despite the repeated challenge from the Qur’an itself.

Again, Muhammad’s miracle has something special about it. All previous miracles were limited by time and place; that is, they were shown to specific people at a specific time. Not so with the miracle of Prophet Muhammad; the Qur’an. It is a universal and everlasting miracle. Previous generations witnessed it and future generations will witness its miraculous nature in terms of its style, content and spiritual uplifting. These can still be tested and will thereby prove the divine origin of the Qur’an.

3. Every prophet states clearly that what he receives is not of his own, but from God for the well-being of mankind. He also confirms what was revealed before him and what may be revealed after him. A prophet does this to show that he is simply conveying the message that is entrusted to him by the One True God of all people in all ages. So the message is one in essence and for the same purpose. Therefore, it should not deviate from what was revealed before him or what might come after him.

Prophets are necessary for conveying God’s instructions and guidance to mankind. We have no way of knowing why we were created. What will happen to us after death? Is there any life after death? Are we accountable for our actions? These and so many other questions about God, angels, paradise, hell, and more, cannot be answered without direct revelation from the Creator and Knower of the unseen. Those answers must be authentic and must be brought by individuals whom we trust and respect. That is why messengers are the elite of their societies in terms of moral conduct and intellectual ability.

Hence, the slanderous Biblical stories about some of the great prophets are not accepted by Muslims. For example, Lot is reported to have committed incestuous fornication while drunk. David is alleged to have sent one of his leaders to his death in order to marry his wife. Prophets, to Muslims, are greater than what these stories indicate. These stories cannot be true from the Islamic point of view.

The prophets are also miraculously supported by God and instructed by Him to affirm the continuity of the message. The content of the prophets’ message to mankind can be summarized as follows:

a) Clear concept of God: His attributes, His creation, what should and should not be ascribed to Him.

b) Clear idea about the unseen world, the angels, jinn (spirits), Paradise and Hell.

c) Why God has created us, what He wants from us and what rewards and punishments are for obedience and disobedience.

d) How to run our societies according to His will. That is, clear instructions and laws that, when applied correctly and honestly, will result in a smoothly functioning, harmonious society.

It is clear from the above discussion that there is no substitute for prophets. Even today with the advancement of science, the only authentic source of information about the supernatural world is revelation. Guidance can be obtained neither from science nor from mystic experience. The first is too materialistic and limited; the second is too subjective and frequently misleading.

Now one might ask:

How many prophets has God sent to humanity?

We do not know for sure. Some Muslim scholars have suggested 240,000 prophets. We are only sure of what is clearly mentioned in the Qur’an, that God has sent a messenger to every nation. That is because it is one of God’s principles that He will never call a people to account unless He has made clear to them what to do and what not to do. The Qur’an mentions the names of 25 prophets and indicates that there have been others who were not mentioned to Prophet Muhammad. These 25 include Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad (peace be upon them all). These five are the greatest among God’s messengers. They are called ‘the resolute’ prophets.

An outstanding aspect of the Islamic belief in prophethood is that Muslims believe in and respect all the messengers of God with no exceptions. All the prophets came from the same One God, for the same purpose: to lead mankind to God. Hence, belief in them all is essential and logical; accepting some and rejecting others has to be based on misconceptions of the prophet’s role or on a racial bias.

The Muslims are the only people in the world who consider the belief in all the prophets an article of faith. Thus the Jews reject Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them), and the Christians reject Muhammad (peace be upon him). The Muslims accept them all as Messengers of God who brought guidance to mankind. However, the revelations which those prophets before Muhammad brought from God has been tampered with in one way or another.

The belief in all the prophets of God is enjoined upon the Muslims in the Qur’an:

Say (O Muslims): We believe in Allah and that which is revealed to us and that which was revealed to Abraham and Ishmael, and Isaac and Jacob, and their children, and that which Moses and Jesus received and that the prophets received from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them and unto Him we have surrendered. (Al-Baqarah 2:136)

The Qur’an continues in the following verses to instruct the Muslims that this is the true and impartial belief. If other nations believe in the same, they are following in the right track. If they do not, they must be following their own whims and biases and God will take care of them. Thus we read:

And if they believe in what you believe, then they are rightly guided. But if they turn away, then they are in disunity, and Allah will suffice you against them. He is the Hearer, the Knower. This is God’s religion and who is better than God in religion? (Al-Baqarah 2:137-138)

There are, at least, two important points related to prophethood that need to be clarified. These points concern the roles of Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them) as prophets, who are usually misunderstood.

The Qur’anic account of Jesus emphatically rejects the concept of his ‘divinity’ and ‘divine sonship’ and presents him as one of the great prophets of God. The Qur’an makes it clear that the birth of Jesus without a father does not make him the son of God and mentions, in this respect, Adam, who was created by God without a father or mother.

Truly, the likeness of Jesus, in God’s sight, is as Adam’s likeness; He created him of dust, them said He unto him “Be”, and he was. (Aal `Imran 3:59)

Like other prophets, Jesus also performed miracles. For example, he raised the dead and cured the blind and lepers, but while showing these miracles, he always made it clear that it was all from God. Actually, the misconceptions about the personality and mission of Jesus found a way among his followers because the divine message he preached was not recorded during his presence in the world. Rather, it was recorded after a lapse of about one hundred years. According to the Qur’an, he was sent to the children of Israel; he confirmed the validity of the Torah, which was revealed to Moses, and he also brought the glad tidings of a final Messenger after him.

And when Jesus son of Mary said, “Children of Israel. I am indeed the messenger to you, confirming the Torah that is before me, and giving good tidings of a Messenger who shall come after me, whose name shall be the praised one. (As-Saff 61:6)

(The “praised one” is the translation of “Ahmad”, which is Prophet Muhammad’s name.)

However, the majority of the Jews rejected his ministry. They plotted against his life and in their opinion, crucified him. But the Qur’an refutes this opinion and says that they neither killed him nor crucified him; rather, he was raised up to God. There is a verse in the Qur’an which implies that Jesus will come back and all the Christians and Jews will believe in him before he dies. This is also supported by authentic sayings of the Prophet Muhammad.

The last Prophet of God, Muhammad, was born in Arabia in the sixth century C.E. Up to the age of forty, people of Makkah knew him only as a man of excellent character and cultured manners and called him Al-Ameen (the trustworthy).

He also did not know that he was soon to be made a prophet and receiver of revelation from God. He called the idolaters of Makkah to worship the one and only God and accept him (Muhammad) as His prophet. The revelation that he received was preserved in his lifetime in the memory of his companions and was also recorded on pieces of palm leaf, leather, etc. Thus the Qur’an that is found today is the same that was revealed to him, not a syllable of it has been altered, as God Himself has guaranteed its preservation. This Qur’an claims to be the book of guidance for all of humanity for all times, and mentions Muhammad as the last Prophet of God.

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Source: iiie.net

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Articles of Faith New Muslims

Abraham & His Children: All Parts of the Same Structure

By Sheikh Ahmad Kuftaro, The late Grand Mufti of Syria

At each stage of human history no group of people were left without divine instruction.

At each stage of human history no group of people were left without divine instruction.

“O People of Faith!” This address is a continuation of a long history of dialogue among the people of revealed religions. Allah has favored them with His solicitude and granted them guidance through the light of His remembrance, thus uniting them as members of one family and spreading through them all good and mercy.

Though there were prophets before Abraham, it was the will of Allah that the later generation of prophets be his offspring. For that reason, Abraham became the friend of Allah and a spiritual symbol around whom the people of faith flocked.

The great succession of these prophets after Abraham called for the message of Allah, each paving the way for the next one, in accordance with Allah’s divine decree. Thus, at each stage of human history no group of people were left without divine instruction.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) explained his mission in the following words:

“The comparison between me and the preceding prophets is similar to a group of people who took part in building a house and completed it but for an empty space for one block or brick. Onlookers admired it and said in astonishment, ‘What a beautiful mansion, if it were not for the place of the missing brick.’ I have been this brick and I am the last or the seal of the prophets.” (Al-Bukhari)

Muhammad then emphasized, “I am only one brick of it.”

In this analogy the Prophet does not refer to himself as the whole house but as a part of this structure of prophethood.

Thus, he draws the attention of his nation and the followers of previous prophets to the essential fact that the true glory of the people of faith can come only through cooperation and integration. As if to confirm this, Allah says in the Qur’an:

Verily, your community of religion is one community, and I am your Only Lord and Cherisher. Therefore serve Me (and no other). (Al-Anbiya’ 21:92)

Exemplars for Humanity

Islam does not identify itself with a single person or race, but rather with recognition of and submission to Allah. Thus, mere faith in Muhammad does not suffice. Islam demands belief in the great caravan of prophets, of which Abraham is the vanguard.

His offspring include Isaac, Ishmael, Jacob, Joseph, David, Solomon, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad (peace be upon them all). They are the teachers and examples to humanity, and their spiritual stations were assigned solely by Allah.

Thus, to attribute sinful behavior to any of them, which even ordinary people would be ashamed of committing, would be to question the wisdom of Allah in choosing such people. Hence, Islam emphatically maintains the high moral and ethical status of such men.

Furthermore, to deny or reject any of the prophets would be to abandon faith. Hence, preserving the integrity of prophethood and its lineage paves the way for cooperation of the people of faith. The Qur’an says:

Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds. (Al-Fatiha 1:2)

Allah does not identify Himself solely with the Muslims, the Arabs, or the Semitic tribes. He is the Lord of the Worlds. Therefore, whoever turns to Allah in love and worship understands that there are other people of faith with whom he has to cooperate in order to fulfill the objectives of Allah and abide by His commands. In this connection, Allah not only counsels humans about their good behavior toward others, but cautions them as well:

Say to My servants that they should say (only) those things that are best, for Satan sows dissensions among them, and Satan is to man an avowed enemy. (Al-Israa’  17:53)

Their Father

Muslim scholars of the Qur’an say that linguistically the name Abraham means “a compassionate father”. This corresponds with the meaning found in most of the Semitic languages at that time. There is undoubtedly a direct relationship between his name and the great message for which Abraham was chosen, namely his responsibility for the universal call to Allah.

For his part, Prophet Muhammad is ordered in the Qur’an:

Say, My Lord has guided me to a straight path, to an upright religion, to the Path of Abraham, the true in faith, who was no idolater. (Al-An`am 6:161)

It is very wise that the Children of Abraham should call each other to a mutual encounter. In so doing, it brings them together and creates mutual love and affection within their hearts. Together they form the majority of the earth’s inhabitants, and so the harmony caused by such a union creates the nucleus for global harmony.

The One Message/Belief

The Children of Abraham are joined by the belief in the Oneness of God. Although the direction faced in prayer may differ among Abrahamic religions, this remains but a physical demarcation. The essential direction of the heart remains one, the direction toward Allah.

The Qur’an says that Abraham, after destroying the stone idols of his people in Babylon, said:

For me, I have set my face firmly and truly toward Him Who created the heavens and the earth, and never shall I give partners to Allah.  (Al-An`am 6:79)

This very same supplication is repeated by the Muslims each time they pray. They also acknowledge the two great commandments given in Matthew:

“Jesus said to him, you shall love your Lord, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: you shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22, verses 37-40)

The Children of Abraham also believe in the same prophets, whose lives are examples to follow. The Qur’an stresses this when it says:

We sent you Inspiration to know Our will as We sent it to Noah and the Messengers after him. We sent Inspiration to Abraham, and Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob (Yakub) and the Tribes, to Jesus, Job (Ayub), Jonah (Yunus), Aaron (Haroun), and Solomon, and to David We gave the Psalms. Of some Messengers We have already told you (and Moses was addressed directly), but there are others of whom We have not yet spoken. (An-Nisaa’ 4:163-164)

All Prophets

Also in the possession of the Children of Abraham are books given to them by Allah for the guidance of their people. These revealed books enjoin the same virtues and ban the same vices. The Qur’an says:

There is guidance and light in the Torah, which We have revealed. Following its standards, the Jews have been judged by the prophets, who bowed (as in Islam) to God’s Will, by the rabbis, and by the doctors of law. (Al-Ma’idah 5:44)

The Qur’an also says:

Let the people of the Gospel judge by what Allah has revealed in it. (Al-Ma’idah 5:47)

The children of Abraham hold various tenets in common: they believe in Allah and His angels, and in His books and messengers. They also believe in the Day of Judgment. The Qur’an says:

Those who believe (in the Qur’an), and those who follow the Jewish (Scriptures), and the Christians and the Sabeans, any who believe in Allah, and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord. They have nothing to fear or regret. (Al Baqarah 2:62)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                           To be continued

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Source: islamic-study.org

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Ethics & Values New Muslims

Fulfillment of Promise: The Muslim’s Conduct

An essential Part of a Muslim’s Conduct

Fulfillment of Promise: The Muslim’s Conduct

No promise and covenant is proper and correct except in rightful matters.

When a Muslim undertakes a thing, he should respect the undertaking. When he enters into any contract he should honor it till the last.

This is the demand of the faith that when a man talks of any enterprise, he should have the intention of taking it to completion, like the water which does not rest till it flows down to the lower level. He should be known among the people as a man of reliable promises, and there should be no fear of any breach of promises or of any dubious dealings from him.

Fulfillment of the promise is necessary. Similarly when an oath is taken, it should be redeemed. But this fulfillment of promise or the redeeming of the oath and pledges is necessary when the dealing is legitimate and concerns truth, otherwise honoring the promise in connection with something sinful and disobedience to Allah has no value, and there is no importance of oath in sin.

Allah’s Messenger has said:

“If someone has taken an oath, but saw an aspect of goodness in another thing, he may break his oath and pay compensation (atonement), and should perform the act which is better and has goodness.” (Muslim)

It is not proper for a man to insist on redeeming the oath. On such occasions it is better to break the oath. In a hadith it is stated:

“It is sinful for a man among you to go to his wife with his oath (unredeemed) compared to his paying the compensation (atoning) which He has fixed for breaking the oath.” (Al-Bukhari)

Covenant with Allah

For this reasons no promise and covenant is proper and correct except in rightful matters. When a man has promised to do a certain good thing, then he should try his best to fulfill it, as long as it appears good to him. He should very well know that he should stick to manly talk, faith and belief. There is no room in this for breach of promises or doubts and hesitation.

Anas ibn Malik says that his uncle Anas ibn Nadar could not take part in the Battle of Badr, and he said to the Prophet: “O Messenger of Allah! In the first battle that you fought with the polytheists I could not take part. If Allah kept me with the Prophet then they will definitely see my achievements in the second battle against the polytheists.”

When in the Battle of Uhud, there was fierce fighting and the Muslims were retreating. He prayed to Allah: “O Allah! I ask your pardon for the mistake that they have committed, and I declare myself innocent of the transgression of the polytheists”.

Saying this he rushed into the battle. In the way he met Sa`d ibn Mu`adh whom he said: “O Sa`d ibn Mu`adh! By the God of Nadar, Proceed towards Paradise. I smell its fragrance , in the valley of Uhad.”

Sa`d said: “O Messenger of Allah! The love for martyrdom, which he showed, cannot be expressed. Then he advanced.”

Anas says that we found more than eighty wounds on his body, which were caused by swords, the points of lances and the shower of arrows. The polytheists had disfigured his body and it was difficult to identify him. With great difficulty his sister identified him with the help of a mole on his fingers.

Anas says that he thinks that the following verses were revealed about him or about persons like him:

Among the believers are men who have been true to their covenant with Allah; of them some have completed their vow to (the extreme), and some (still) wait; but they have never changed (their determination) in the least. (Al-Ahzab 33:23)

The Requirements

Fulfillment of promises depends on two essential factors: memory and determination. With these two things, fulfilling one’s promises would be easy. Allah had taken a promise from Adam that he would not go near the forbidden tree, but Adam forgot the promise within a few days. He became a prey to weakness and broke his promise:

We had already beforehand taken the covenant of Adam, but he forgot,. and We found on his part no firm resolve. (Ta-Ha 22:115)

It shows that deficiency in memory and weakness of determination are two obstructions, which come in the way of performance of duty. And this is a strange thing that man, being overwhelmed by the hardships of the times, various difficulties and different pressing problems forgets the open and clear realities. To him the clear figures appear blurred, and the realities which are as striking as the light of the sun disappear from his sight.

There the necessity of a reminder becomes very pressing, to overcome the negligence and 3

forgetfulness, and to keep this important thing before men’s eyes. There are a number of verses of the Qur’an which were revealed for safeguarding the memory:

Follow the revelation given to you from your Lord, and follow not, as friends or protectors, other than Him. Little it is you remember of admonition. (Al-A`araf 7:3)

This is the way of your Lord, leading straight; We have detailed the signs for those who receive admonition. (Al-An`am 6:126)

And the raiment of righteousness-that is the best. Such are among the signs of Allah, that they may receive admonition. (Al-A`raf 7:26)

Thus shall We raise up the dead; so that you may remember… ( Al-A`raf 7:57)

Alive and wakeful memory and remembrance is essential for fulfilling promises. A man who forgets his promises and covenants, how can he fulfill them? That is why the following verse has been ended on a note of admonition after giving command of fulfilling them:

And fulfill the Covenant of Allah; thus does He command you, that you may remember. (Al-An`am 6:152)

Determination

If a man has a strong memory in respect of fulfilling his promise, it is also necessary that he should have a determination to do so, a determination which should not have any laxity or slackness in this matter a determination which should be able to overcome all the rebellious desires, and which should lighten the coming burden of difficulties.

It should be a determination which should be able to cross all the difficult valleys and blocks and should be able to set an example of selfless sacrifice for others.

The measures for weighing and appraising people are different with different people. The price one has to pay for remaining faithful sometimes is very high.

At times one requires to sacrifice all the wealth, property and the most desired thing in this respect.

The Reward

But these difficulties, sacrifices and trials of determination prove in the end to be the steps for achieving greatness and honor, as the poet says: “Why he, who considers his life and heart dear, should go to (seek) the beloved in her street.”

The Qur’an has severely criticized those who seek to achieve heights of success and glory in the shadow of comfortable living:

Do you think that you will enter paradise without such trials as came to those who passed away before you? They experienced suffering and adversity and were so shaken in spirit that even the prophet and the faithful who were with him cried: ‘When will Allah’s help come ?’ Ah ! Verily, Allah’s help is near. (Al-Baqarah 2:214)

When a man develops in himself the combined forces of a conscious and wakeful mind and a heart full of determination, then he can be considered to have been qualified to enter the group of the faithful people.

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The article is an excerpt from the book “Muslim Character”, a translation of Muhammad Al-Ghazali’s “Khuluq Al-Muslim”.

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Categories
Ethics & Values New Muslims

Trustworthiness: The Characteristic of a True Believer

The Broader Sense of Trust

straight way-nature

Trust is the sense of responsibility, the sense of having to appear before Allah and to account for one’s actions

Islam expects of its followers that they will be masters of live hearts and wakeful conscience, which would ensure the protection of the rights of God and humanity and which would also protect their action: from the commitment of excesses. Therefore it is necessary that every Muslim should be “ameen” (trustworthy).

In the eyes of the Shari`ah, trust has a very broad sense. This word contains an ocean of meaning, but underneath it all is the sense of responsibility, the sense of having to appear before Allah and to account for one’s actions, the details of which are given in the hadith:

“Every one of you is a guardian and everyone will be asked about his subjects. Imam is a guardian. He will be asked about his subjects. A man is the guardian of the persons in his household. He is answerable about them. A woman is the guardian of her husband’s house. She will be asked about her responsibility. The servant is the guardian of the articles of his master. He is answerable about this responsibility of his.“ (Al-Bukhari)

The narrator of the hadith, Ibn `Umar, says that he heard these things from the Prophet (peace be upon him) and he thinks that the Prophet also said: “A man is a guardian of the stock of his father and is answerable about that.”

Faith-based

The people take trust in a very limited, sense and consider it to mean the protection of others’ deposits, although in Allah’s religion this has a very broad and unlimited sense.

This is a duty for safeguarding which a Muslim advises another Muslim and in this connection seeks the help of Allah.

When a Muslim prepares to go on a journeys his brother prays for him in this way: “I pray to Allah for your religion, your trust and for the happy ending of your work.” (At-Tirmidhi)

Anas narrates that whenever Allah’s Messenger addressed a sermon to us, he invariably repeated this sentence:

“The man has no faith who cannot keep trust and the man who does not respect his promises has no religion.” (Ahmad)

Since the zenith of achievement and the highest limit of success is to be protected against the hardships of this world and the bad consequences in the Hereafter, the Prophet prays for safety from both the conditions. He has said:

“O Allah! I seek your shelter from the pangs of hunger, because it is a very bad companion, and I seek your shelter from dishonesty because it is the worst friend.” (Abu Dawud)

God’s Guardians

Hunger is the name of deprivation in the world and dishonesty is the name of destruction of religion, therefore the Prophet had prayed for being spared from both. Before attaining prophethood he was known among the people as AL-Ameen (The Trustworthy).

Similarly the trustworthiness of Musa (Moses) was observed when he fetched water for the flock of the two daughters of the good old man, had helped them, had respected their womanhood, and had treated them in a decent and gentlemanly way:

So he watered (their flocks) for them; then he turned back to the shade, and said: “O my Lord I truly am I in (desperate) need of any good that you do send me !

Afterwards one of the (damsels) came (back) to him, walking bashfully. She said: “My father invites you that he may reward you for having watered (our flocks) for us.” So when he came to him and narrated the story, he said: “Do not fear; (well) have you escaped from unjust people.

Said one of the (damsels) :“O my (dear) father I engage him on wages; truly the best of men for you to employ is the (man) who is strong and trusty. (Al-Qasas 28:24-26}

This event took place when Moses had not been made Prophet, and was not sent to Pharaohs.

And this is not at all surprising because Allah chose only those individuals for being appointed as His Messengers who were the most decent, most honest and righteous, among the people.

The self which continues to be attached to the high moral character even after undergoing the extremes of the hardship of poverty and helplessness must be belonging to a very powerful and trustworthy man; and the protection of the rights of God and His slaves demands such character only as does not change in good or bad conditions, and this is the spirit of trustworthiness.

Appointment to High Offices and Posts

There is also another sense of trust, and that is: everything should be placed at its proper and deserving place. An office or a post should be offered only to the deserving person; and responsibility should be given only to that person who is able to shoulder it and who has the capability to do justice to the trust placed in him.

Governorship, responsibilities of the party, nation or country, which are granted placing confidence in the persons concerned, are trusts, about which they are answerable. A number of proofs can be advanced in support of this statement.

Abu Dhar (May Allah be pleased with him) reports that he asked the Prophet whether he would not make him a governor somewhere. Hearing this the Prophet tapped his shoulder and said:

“O Abu Dhar ! you are weak, and this responsibility is a trust. On the Day of Judgment it will be a cause of loss of honor and ignominy. However, those people will be spared who will have accepted it with all its responsibilities and would have fulfilled whatever responsibilities they had in this connection.” (Muslim)

It is a fact that mere excellence of education or experience does not make a person most suitable for some office. It is also possible that a man may have good moral character and a righteous person, but he may not have the capabilities to fulfill the responsibilities of a certain office.

Yusuf (Joseph) was a Prophet. He was the living example of righteousness and virtuousness, but he had not offered his services to shoulder the responsibilities of the country on the basis of his righteousness and prophet-hood.

He had taken the reins of office in his hand on account of his learning and memory.

(Yusuf) Said.. ‘Entrust to me the treasures of the country. Verily, I am protector and learned’. (Yusuf :55)

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The article is an excerpt from the book “Muslim Character”, a translation of Muhammad Al-Ghazali’s “Khuluq Al-Muslim”.

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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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Categories
New Muslims Pillars of Islam

The Books of Allah: The Message of the Messengers

Quran

One must believe that the Qur’an is the last of the heavenly books, giving truth to the previous books in their message of Tawheed.

To have iman in Allah’s books is to believe that Allah (Exalted be He) revealed heavenly books to His messengers in order to convey them to humankind.

These books contain nothing but the truth; they do not contain any falsehood. In them is the message of the Oneness of Allah (tawheed): that there is no creator, administrator, or owner except Him, that all worship should be directed to Him and none else, and that to Him belong all excellent Names and Attributes. He is nothing like His creation, and none can be compared to Him. Allah says:

Indeed We have sent Our Messengers with clear proofs, and revealed with them the Scripture and the Balance (justice) that mankind may keep up justice. (Al-Hadid 57:25)

Some of those books are the following:

1- The Scriptures of Ibrahim (Abraham, peace be upon him) and Musa (Moses, peace be upon him): The Qur’an has given a brief insight about the religious basic principles found in these scriptures. Allah says:

Or is he not informed with what is in the Scriptures of Musa? And of Ibrahim who fulfilled (or conveyed) all that (what Allah ordered him to do or convey)? That no burdened person (with sins) shall bear the burden (sins) of another. And that man can have nothing but what he [himself] strove for. And that his deeds will be seen (in the Hereafter). Then he will be recompensed with a full and the best recompense. (An-Najm 53:36-41)

2- The Tawrah: The Tawrah is the Sacred Book which was revealed to Musa. Allah says:

Verily, We did send down the Tawrah (to Musa), therein was guidance and light, by which the Prophets, who submitted themselves to Allah’s Will, judged the Jews. And the rabbis and the priests (too judged the Jews by the Tawrah after those Prophets) for to them was entrusted the protection of Allah’s Book, and they were witnesses thereto. Therefore fear not men but fear Me (O Jews) and sell not My Verses for a miserable price. And whosoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed, such are the disbelievers. (Al-Ma’idah 5:44)

3- The Zaboor: The Zaboor is the Book which was revealed to Dawud (David, peace be upon him). Allah says:

…and to Dawood We gave the Zaboor. (An-Nisaa’ 4:163)

4- The Injeel: The Injeel is the Sacred Book which was revealed to `Isa (Jesus, peace be upon him). Allah says:

And in their footsteps, We sent `Isa, son of Maryam (Mary), confirming the Tawrah that had come before him. And We gave him the Injeel, in which was guidance and light and confirmation of the Tawrah that had come before it, a guidance and an admonition for the Allah-fearing. (Al-Ma’idah 5:46)

A Muslim must believe in all the Heavenly Books. He must believe that they are from Allah, but he is required not act upon or follow them, for they were revealed for a specific time and people.

The Qur’an has explained some of the teachings which were found in the Tawrah and the Injeel. Allah says that from the things they mentioned was the prophecy of Muhammad (peace be upon him):

…and My Mercy embraces all things. That (Mercy) I shall ordain for those who are Allah-fearing, and give zakah; and those who believe in Our ayat; Those who follow the Messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write (Muhammad) whom they find written with them in the Tawrah and the Injeel, – he commands them all good things; and forbids them from of all kinds of evil; he allows them as lawful all good and lawful things, and prohibits them as unlawful all evil and unlawful things; and he releases them from their heavy burdens (of Allah’s Covenant), and from the fetters (bindings) that were upon them. (Al-A`raf 7:156)

5- The Qur’an: One must hold the following beliefs concerning it:

a- One must believe that the Qur’an is the exact and literal Speech of Allah which Jibreel (peace be upon him) brought to Muhammad in a clear Arabic language:

Which the trustworthy Rooh (Jibreel/Gabriel) has brought down; Upon your heart (O Muhammad that you may be (one) of the warners, In a plain Arabic language. (Ash-Shu`araa’ 26:193-195)

b- One must believe that the Qur’an is the last of the heavenly books, giving truth to the previous books in their message of the Tawheed of Allah and the obligation to worship and obey Him Alone. Allah abrogated all the previous books by the Qur’an. Allah says:

(It is) He Who has sent down the Book (the Qur’an) to you (Muhammad) with truth, confirming what came before it. And He sent down the Tawrah and the Injeel. Aforetime, as a guidance to mankind, And He sent down the Furqan (The Criterion) (of judgment between right and wrong; this Qur`an). (Aal `Imran 3:3-4)

c- One must believe that the Qur’an embodies all divine teachings. Allah says:

This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as a religion. (Al-Ma’idah 5:3)

d- One must believe that it was revealed to all of humanity, and not to a specific nation or specific time period unlike the previous heavenly books. Allah says:

And We have not sent you (O Muhammad) except to all of humanity, as a giver of glad tidings and a warner, but most people know not. (Saba’ 34:28)

e) One must believe that Allah has protected the Qur`an from all types of distortion, whether addition, deletion, substitution or interpolation:

Remembrance (the Qur’an) and surely, it is We Who shall guard it (from distortion). (Al-Hijr 15:9)

The Fruits of Iman in Allah’s Books

Through the belief in Allah’s books, one benefits in the following ways:

1- One realizes the Mercy and Love Allah has for His slaves, in that He revealed to them books directing them to the path which leads to His Pleasure. He did not leave them to linger in confusion, leaving them for the Satan or their desires to snatch them away.

2- One realizes the Wisdom of Allah, in that He legislated for each specific nation what was suitable to their specific needs and conditions.

3- To distinguish the believers truthful in their faith from others, for it is incumbent upon one who believes in his own Book to believe in the other Heavenly Books which it prophesized.

4- As a multiplication of good deeds, for those who believe in their own Book and in addition to that believe in the Books of Allah which came after it will receive double reward. Allah says:

Those to whom We gave the Scripture (i.e. the Tawrah and the Injeel, etc.) before it, – they believe in it (the Qur’an). And when it is recited to them, they say: ‘We believe in it. Verily, it is the truth from our Lord. Indeed even before it we have been from those who submit themselves to Allah in Islam as Muslims.’ These will be given their reward twice over, because they are patient, and repel evil with good, and spend (in charity) out of what We have provided them. (Al-Qasas 28:52-54)

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

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Categories
Divine Unity New Muslims

God Is Al-Mu’min: What Does It Mean?

nature-ocean

Allah to Whom be ascribed all perfection and majesty knows his self, his name and everything he has got

No king would allow anyone from his pasture to be named after him although he is human, he eats, drinks, and sleeps as we do. He has a body, he gets thirsty, hungry, mad, sick and he dies.

There is no difference between him and any of his followers; nevertheless, his pride and dignity refuse to let anyone to be named after him. But, Allah, the Great and Almighty called us, after we had known Him and obeyed his order, “believers”, (mu’mineen). It is the plural form of the word “believer”, (mu’min), that is by Allah’s saying:

He is Allah, than Whom there is no other god, the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One, Peace, the Keeper of Faith, the Guardian, the Majestic, the Compeller, the Superb. Glorified be Allah from all that they ascribe as partner (unto Him). (Al-Hashr 59:23)

But this name needs a moment of thinking, Allah (the Great and Almighty) is a believer, believer in what? We believe in Allah, his messenger, the Day of Judgment, but what does Allah (the Great and Almighty) believe in?

Provider of Safety

It was said “believer” (al-mu’min) is an agentive derived from the verb “to become safe”. The verb “to become safe” has two meanings; the first one is ‘believing’.

When the imam reads Surat Al-Fatihah (the 1st chapter of the Qur’an) and when he finishes, all the people in the mosque say “Amen” (Ameen), which means God, we believe what this imam said and we are with him, so the verb “to become safe” (amina) means believe on the one hand, and there is a verse which emphasizes this, Allah (the Great and Almighty) said:

They said: “O our father! We went racing with one another, and left Yusuf (Joseph) by our belongings and a wolf devoured him, but you will never believe us even when we speak the truth”. (Yusuf 12:17)

On the other hand it means ‘being safe’, Allah the Great and Almighty said:

(He) Who has fed them against hunger, and has made them safe from fear. (Quraish 106:4)

Allah’s name “the believer” (Al-Mu’min) is taken from believing or being safe! How do you understand this name with the first meaning?

The truth is that man may or may not understand his self. If he didn’t know his self and got involved in something beyond his level, he would have a great loss. We would say: ”If you had known what you have had, you wouldn’t have got involved”. He who does something beyond his level doesn’t know the essence of what he has or what his capabilities are. That person doesn’t know his self.

On the other side there is another who knows his self quite well, all his deeds are compatible with what he has. That example clarified some facts to you, the first meaning of “the believer” that Allah to Whom be ascribed all perfection and majesty knows his self, his name and everything he has got, that is the first meaning.

Believing

The second meaning: Allah the Great and Almighty believes His messengers. He sent Muhammad (peace be upon him) as a messenger, He believed him; that is He made people believe him through a miracle.

He sent Moses as a prophet and believed him; that is He made people believe him through a miracle. He sent Jesus as a messenger and gave him a miracle to make people believe him, so the second meaning is “believing”.

This means that Allah keeps His promises by His deeds, keeping Allah’s promises is a confirmation of His promises. He promised you the good life. If you have the good life, it means that He kept His promise. Keeping the promise is evidence to the truthfulness of His prophets.

That is He gives them the proofs that make people believe them. He gives the believers proofs. Dear brother, you read the Qur’an, what makes you cling to it and be attached to it? Because all the events you are living are confirmation of this Qur’an. If you buy and sell honestly, you will have great comfort and Allah will provide you with good income and draw people to you. If you are honest, Allah will lift your name among people.

So if you apply what you are asked to do, all the events come to confirm this promise or show you that this promise is true. It is one of the meanings of “the believer” that is; making His prophets as believers supported by miracles makes His Qur’an believable, that is if you believe in it and make good deeds, you will be granted a good life. What made you believe His words; this good life or the wretched life?

If you are rightly guided by Allah the Great and Almighty in all your aspects of life, you will see that all the events confirm what came in the Glorious Qur’an.

Therefore, Allah the Great and Almighty is a “believer”, that is He made his servants as believers, since all Allah’s deeds are confirmation of His promises and threats, Allah To Whom all be ascribed all perfection and majesty said:

Truly, Allah defends those who believe. Verily, Allah likes not any treacherous ingrate to Allah (those who disobey Allah but obey Satan). (Al-Hajj 22:38)

You must have felt in many incidents where Allah inspires someone you don’t know to defend you, when Allah (the Great and Almighty) says:

He (Allah) said: “Get you down (from Paradise to the earth, both of you, together, some of you are enemies to some others. Then if there comes to you guidance from Me then whoever follows My guidance he shall neither go astray, nor shall be distressed. (Ta-Ha 20:123)

You feel you are rightly guided, and have right vision, clear insight and your interpretation of events is right because you followed Allah’s order. Eventually, the events came as confirmation to what Allah said.

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Source: nabulsi.com

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