How to Treat a New Muslim
Updated October 01, Allahuma rabbi-nas adhhabal ba'sa, ashfi wa entashafi, la shifa' illa shifa'uka shifa' la yughadiru saqama. Oh Allah! The Sustainer of Mankind! Remove the illness, cure the disease. You are the One Who cures. There is no cure except Your cure. Grant us a cure that leaves no illness. Rabbana 'atinaa fid dunyaa hasanat wafil aakhirati hasana taw wa qinaa azaaban naar. Our Lord and Sustainer! Grant us good in this world and good in the Hereafter, and save us from the Fire of Jahannam Hell. A'oozu bi'izzatillaahi wa qudratihi min sharri maa ajidu wa uhaaziru.
I seek protection in the might of Allah and His power from the evil of what I am experiencing and of what I fear. None of you should wish for death because of a calamity befalling him; but if he has to wish for death, he should say: "O Allah! And who is more unjust than he who conceals the testimony he has from Allah? And Allah is not unaware of what you do. They shall receive the reward of what they earned, and you of what you earn.
In fact, as this passage demonstrates, Islam was the religion of all of their followers as well. In other words, every true believer from the time of Adam to the last believer on earth practices Islam and is a Muslim. Furthermore, it is the only religion that Allah ever commanded humankind to follow. Islam, therefore, is the only religion that has ever been acceptable to Allah. Thus, the brotherhood of Islam and the bond of true faith stretches all the way from Adam until the end of time, spanning all localities and peoples. The true believers love one another and support one another.
It is truly a blessed and unique brotherhood. In particular, the true Muslims throughout all the ages believe in all of the prophets. They support all of them and defend their honor as well. One would never hear a pious Muslim ever speak badly about Abraham, Isaac, Moses, Jesus or any of the prophets. Instead, the Muslim respects, honors and loves them all in the manner they deserve. At the same time, if a new prophet in the same line of prophets came to them, they had no choice but to follow that new prophet. There are two very important points that demonstrate the relationship between the way of the Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and the way of the true prophets before him.
Second, by the wisdom of Allah, Allah did not allow the teachings of the previous prophets to remain preserved in a completely undistorted manner. This verse demonstrates that the Quran has been revealed in truth and confirms what has been revealed beforehand of the revelations and it is a judge and witness over the previous books. In other words, it preserves, protects and witnesses to the truth found in the earlier revelations. At the same time, though, it shows the falseness of the distortions that have been done to the previous revelations.
Anything that is in conformity with the Quran is true and anything that contradicts the Quran must be false. Thus, the Quran has been revealed to affirm what has been preserved of the earlier revelations while correcting any distortions. This supposed act is the entire basis for raising the Prophet Jesus peace and blessings of Allah be upon him to the level of God. The have no certain knowledge, they follow nothing but conjecture. Distortion of the earlier books has been alluded to in numerous places in the Quran.
Our God and your God is one and we submit to Him as Muslims. The other well-known religions are all named after individuals, peoples or places. According to Microsoft Encarta, the term Judaism did not even exist in pre-modern Hebrew. It is in reference to Judah. Christianity is, of course, named after Christ as Buddhism is named after Buddha.
Hinduism has to do with the place, Hindustan. As a final note, although the message of the Prophet Muhammad is nothing but a continuation of the message of the earlier prophets, Christians and Jews are in no way to be coerced to embrace Islam or to follow its teachings. Verily, the Right Path has become distinct from the wrong path. Whoever disbelieves in false gods and believes in Allah, then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that will never break.
They should, though, be called to the truth of Islam and invited to follow the Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. Allah had sent numerous prophets throughout the centuries. However, He had determined that He should send a final messenger with a final message. This final messenger would be the messenger for all of humankind from his time until the Day of Reckoning.
There was to be no later revelation and no later prophet to bring any changes to this revelation. Hence, this one had to differ from the previous in some ways. First, since no one could come later to correct any mistakes or distortions, the revelation received by the last prophet had to be preserved in its pristine purity.
This is because this sign would have to affect not only the people who were alive during the time of the prophet but also all those who would come later. Third, this final prophet could not simply be sent for one community among humankind—each then having their own final prophet and then differing with one another.
This final prophet had to be sent for all of humankind, putting an end to the succession of prophets and being suitable for the world as a whole. Fourth, the laws and teachings of this message had to be fixed in matters that need to be fixed for all of humankind until the Day of Judgment and guiding yet flexible or accommodating in those matters that need to be open to change due to the changing circumstances of humankind. On all of these points, one sees that it is the message of the Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings of Allah be upon him that fits all of these criteria.
The Quran and the Sunnah were preserved in great detail. As for the third issue, the Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings of Allah be upon him was the only prophet to make it known that he was not sent only for a certain people but he was sent for all the various peoples of the world. The Jews, for example, consider themselves to be a chosen race and that their message is meant exclusively for themselves. Thus, many orthodox Jews do not believe in proselytizing their faith.
There are yet other verses giving the same purport. The Prophet Muhammad also stated that he was distinguished from the earlier prophets by five matters. Allah decreed that this Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings of Allah be upon him should be His final messenger. Hence, no one has the right to accept the other prophets while rejecting the Prophet Muhammad. Allah has sent His final messenger to be believed in and followed, superseding and canceling what is left of the teachings of earlier prophets.
Allah has further declared people of this nature to be disbelievers. They are in truth disbelievers. And We have prepared for the disbelievers a humiliating torment. The Prophet Muhammad is the final messenger and it is inconceivable knowing the mercy of the merciful that He would leave humans without any form of clear guidance. In other words, what He gave this final message must be suitable to guide mankind after him.
The message has come and shall suffice until the Day of Judgment. The Prophet peace and blessings of Allah be upon him sent for all peoples has already come. That is, his example and teaching was not simply for the people of Arabia at his time. Instead, it is just as valid and just as important for each and every Muslim today, whether he be in New York or Malaysia. Someone may logically ask: How is it that this Law is able to fulfill the needs for all of humankind until the Day of Judgment?
The answer has to do with the beauty of the Law. When one studies the law promulgated by the Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings of Allah be upon him one finds that it has the needed elements of flexibility that allow it to be just as practicable today as it was during the time of the Prophet.
Therefore, worship, which is the foundation of a human's character, does not need to change. These laws are fixed until the Day of Judgment. Secondly, there are some harmful matters that humans must avoid. These have also been explicitly and permanently forbidden. Beyond that, humans need only some detailed laws and many general principles that allow them to guide their lives in all times and places. This is exactly what Islamic Law provides for them.
In essence, those issues that need be fixed and permanent are made such by the Islamic Law. Those that need to be flexible so that different peoples at different times may apply them differently are left flexible in the Islamic Law. Hence, it is a Divinely guided way of life that is suitable and practical for all humans until the Day of Judgment. For example, in business dealings, interest is prohibited forever. In addition to that, general guidelines are given.
However, the guidance is such that when new forms of business dealings are developed, as in modern times, one can determine which are acceptable according to Islamic guidelines and which are not.
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Thus, Islamic Law has been proven to be feasible for over years and, according to Islamic beliefs, will continue to be feasible until the Day of Judgment. This means that the guidance is complete. It is all that the Muslims need for happiness in this world and in the Hereafter. It cannot be improved upon. It is, therefore, in no need of additions, alterations or deletions. For this obvious reason, the Prophet peace and blessings of Allah be upon him gave very strong warnings about innovations and heresies. Such things are not needed at all and they will simply take away from the beauty and perfection of Islam.
And every innovation is a going astray. The goal of Islam is for the human to become a true servant of Allah. Therefore, his source of guidance and the foundations for his actions must be rooted in the revelation from God. It is from this vantage point that the scholars speak about the sources of law in Islam. The Quran is the speech of Allah and a revelation that came directly to the Prophet peace and blessings of Allah be upon him from Allah via the angel Gabriel. It guided the early Muslim community along every step it took. It thus completely transformed that community into a pious generation.
In the meantime, it set examples for all later Muslim communities who will face some of the same circumstances they faced. It transformed an Arab people who were on the margins of the civilized world at that time into the leaders of a great civilization, whose influence still continues today.http://www.adssafaris.com/cli/lab/history-of-korea.php
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When read, understood and applied properly today, it will also transform individuals or society and exalt them to new heights of piety and closeness to God. Upon receiving the words of the Quran, the Prophet peace and blessings of Allah be upon him would pass those words onto his followers. In addition, he would have his scribes record the newly revealed verses.
So I hope that my followers will be more than those of any other Prophet on the Day of Resurrection. Indeed, the Quran is miraculous in many ways. For example, the Arabs at the time of the Prophet excelled in language. However, even though they greatly opposed the Prophet for many years, they realized that they could not meet the literary eloquence of the Quran. In addition to the Quran, there are the sayings and example of the Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings of Allah be upon him , known as the Sunnah.
It is also a form of inspiration that was given by Allah to the Prophet. The authority of the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah is not because he is some kind of demigod. He was definitely only a human being, just like all of the other prophets. Hence, following the way of the Prophet is nothing but acting in obedience and submission to Allah. In the Quran, Allah makes it clear that if someone loves Allah and wishes that Allah should love him in return, the key is to follow the way of the Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.
The Sunnah demonstrates how the Quran is to be implemented. It is a practical explanation of what the Quran is teaching. It defines the morals, behaviors and laws of the Quran in such a way that its meaning becomes clear. This complete, human embodiment of the teachings of the Quran is a great blessing and mercy for Muslims. It makes the guidance from God more complete and accessible to all. Thus, the Quran and the Sunnah form one united unit that offers all the principles of guidance that humankind will need until the Day of Judgment.
The Sunnah, on the other hand, is quite different, covering all of the statements and actions of the Prophet peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. The Sunnah is captured in what is known as the hadith literature. A hadith is a report about what the Prophet peace and blessings of Allah be upon him said or did. They also recognized that not everything attributed to the Prophet peace and blessings of Allah be upon him may be correct as even honest people can make mistakes. Hence, they meticulously and methodically studied the various hadith and statements ascribed to the Prophet peace and blessings of Allah be upon him , sifting those that can be authenticated from those that cannot be authenticated.
Thus, in Islamic law, not every hadith is considered an authority. Only those that can meet rigid standards of authenticity are considered authoritative. The scholars call these types of hadith sahih authentic or hasan good. Unacceptable hadith are classified as daeef weak , very weak or fabricated. With respect to the Quran, two translations in particular can be recommended. Unfortunately, there are not a large number of excellent commentaries available in English—although there is a plethora of them in many other languages. It was written by Abul Ala Maudoodi, who died in Maudoodi wrote numerous books and a large number of them have been translated into English.
Although this work has been the target of various criticisms, some warranted [ 35 ] and some not so warranted, it remains as the most comprehensive and informative works on the entire Quran available in English. This work is written by a contemporary author and is quite comprehensive. As for collections of hadith or the statements and actions of the Prophet peace and blessings of Allah be upon him , two important collections are available in complete form in English.
They are known as Sahih al-Bukhari [ 36 ] and Sahih Muslim. As stated earlier, Islamic Law has to be flexible enough to meet the needs of all peoples until the Day of Judgment. Hence, not every detail of the law has been spelled out in the Quran and Sunnah. Allah has left some issues for the Muslims to discover on their own, thus forcing them to learn and study the Quran and Sunnah in great detail.
The conclusions that are derived from the Quran and Sunnah, and not explicitly stated in the Quran or Sunnah, are known as "personal reasoning" or ijtihaad which implies utmost striving to derive a conclusion. This source of jurisprudence is obviously not infallible. In fact, it is possible for scholars to come to differing conclusions—although the truth with Allah will always be only one. If he exerts himself and comes to an errant conclusion, he shall receive one reward. However, this does not mean that their conclusions become an ultimate authority.
Personal judgments must be evaluated in the light of the Quran and Sunnah and whatever seems to be most proper according to the Quran and Sunnah should be adhered to. It is important for the Muslim to always remember that his ultimate goal is to follow the truth, which means that which is consistent with the Quran or Sunnah. A historical development occurred in which specific scholars worked diligently to codify the laws of the Quran and Sunnah as well as extend those laws through personal reasoning to situations not explicitly covered in those texts.
Although these different schools of law are definitely not sources of Islamic law nor are they considered infallible in any way, it is important that the new Muslim become familiar with them because he will most likely here reference often to them. Today, his school is the most popular in North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa.
For centuries it was the predominant school of Andalusia or Muslim Spain. He studied and lived in numerous places, finally settling in Egypt. Today, his school is most influential in Malaysia, Indonesia and some parts of the Middle East. Today, his school is the predominant school in Saudi Arabia and other parts of the Arabian Peninsula. It is important to understand that there are many causes for differences of opinion among the jurists.
There are also some important points to be kept in mind with respect to such differences of opinion among the scholars that one is bound to run into in Islam. The manner in which the revelation has come offers the individual the ability to worship Allah by seeking the truth, via pondering over the revelation as found in the Quran and hadith. It also tries him by seeing if he does follow the truth and the strongest views when he finally comes upon them.
A person may sincerely be seeking to please Allah and yet come to a conclusion that another finds weak or unacceptable. In fact, the mistaken individual will be rewarded by Allah for his efforts if he were sincere, as noted in a hadith quoted earlier. Thus, even though one may disagree with his view and one may even feel the need to refute his view, such acceptable differences may never be allowed to strike at the root of the brotherhood of Islam and enter into the hearts of the Muslims, thereby tearing them apart.
Instead, many other aspects, such as morality, ethics and behavior, must also be subjected to these same sources. In other words, in reality, these sources are not simply the sources of law but the sources of guidance for a Muslim's actions encompassing every aspect of his life. The teachings of Islam are not merely rituals or mysteries that have no rhyme or reason to them. Instead, the revelation has pointed to some very clear, sought after goals. These include the following:. Undoubtedly, the greatest goal of Islam and its greatest contribution to the welfare of humanity is the true and pure worship of Allah alone, without associating any partners with Him.
There can be no goal more honorable or noble than this goal for a human being. Where am I headed? For what purpose do I exist? This momentous occasion will occur after his death in this worldly life. There will be no escape from this encounter. At that time, the human will be fairly and equitably judged. All of the deeds that he performed in this life will be weighed.
So whosoever does good equal to the weight of an atom, shall see it. This reckoning will start with his most important deed: his attitude toward his Gracious and Merciful Creator who created him, provided for him, sent him guidance, warned him of a punishment for those who turn away from the truth and promised a great reward for those who accepted the truth, were grateful to Him and submitted to Him. One can imagine all sorts of goals that people may have in this world. They may seek to end diseases in this world or bring about world peace.
In general, though, those admirable goals are usually tainted. One may seek them just for egotistic reasons, such as to be remembered or praised as the person who did such and such. They may be sought while the individual turns his back on his Creator, thus showing arrogance and ungratefulness as well as demonstrating an ignorance of how truly noble goals can be achieved. Actually, any truly good goal of this life can only be part of the true worship of Allah. This is the monotheism found in Islam. Unfortunately, this clear contradiction of pure monotheism has been carried over into the modern age by no less a popular religion than Christianity.
It is not unusual to hear Christians praise Jesus, thank Jesus and even pray to Jesus, sometimes virtually forgetting "the Father. In fact, most, if not all, of the contemporary trinitarians will argue that Jesus is co-equal yet unique from the Father. In other words, they have lost pure monotheism. The Christian convert to Islam may readily recognize that the above referred to belief in Trinity is certainly not monotheism.
At the same time, though, he may not yet realize how accepting priests, for example, as ultimate lawgivers is also a way of associating partners with God. This is also a contradiction of pure monotheism. None has the right to be worshipped but He. Undoubtedly, Islam is the only religion that can make such a claim. As the convert learns more and more about his faith, the light of pure monotheism, Allah willing, will shine brighter and brighter in his heart.
Obviously, this is a corollary of the first principle of worshipping Allah alone. However, it deserves separate mention as humans dominating and subjugating other humans is one of the gravest tragedies in the history of humankind, second perhaps to the tragedy of the humans accepting such a situation and willingly submitting to other humans. There are few things worse than humans submitting themselves, and thus worshipping, other humans. This is completely degrading because all humans share the same essential human nature and weaknesses. No one has the right to put himself as a God—which would include tyrant, dictator or clergy—over anyone else, with the others subjected to his decrees regardless of whether they are consistent with what Allah has revealed or not.
This goal of Islam was eloquently stated by two of the earliest Muslims. In reality, both are evil and can only be remedied by accepting Allah alone as the Lawgiver and ultimate authority. As shall be discussed shortly, it is Allah alone who can lay down just laws and ordinances as He alone is completely free from desires and prejudice. So who will guide him after Allah? Ibn Taimiyyah wrote,. If he attains it [that is, what he desires] , he is pleased and if he is unable to attain it, he becomes discontented. Thus, for whatever enslaves the heart and puts it under its servitude, the heart is then a slave of that object.
Islam frees humans from all of such false forms of worship. It does this by freeing their hearts from such overriding wants and desires. It frees the heart from such worship by attaching the heart to Allah alone and building a strong relationship between the individual and Allah as discussed later.
The individual then simply wants to please Allah. Whatever is pleasing to Allah, he is happy with and whatever is displeasing to Allah, he is unhappy with. This aspect of Islam may be very clear to a new Muslim. His whole life may have revolved around those objects of worship. He would do virtually anything in pursuit of that goal regardless of whether such means were ethically sound. Those goals were what made him a person.
He evaluated his entire life in terms of those goals. If he achieved those goals, that would be his source of happiness. He was truly enslaved by those goals. Now he can understand how those goals were actually taking him away from the worship of Allah alone. Islam is a beautiful religion that fulfills the needs of both body and soul. A human is made up of both a spiritual as well as a material side.
Furthermore, the individual needs guidance for both of these aspects of his personality. If not, one aspect will dominate the other or be in conflict with the other and the individual will never achieve true happiness. For example, there are those who stress the spiritual needs and look down upon the material aspects of this world. Such individuals are conflicted when they cannot free themselves completely from the material needs that they so look down upon.
In reality, though, they can leave a great void in the psyche of an individual as his material needs are met and yet he feels empty inside. Thus, the view of Islam is that humans have been put here on this earth intentionally by God and they are to use the material means to build a positive life in this temporary world, which will eventually lead them to a positive eternal life in the Hereafter. In reality, humans are caretakers of this great creation and they are supposed to behave in the proper manner with respect to it.
They are not the ultimate owners of it who are free to use it in any way they wish. In fact, they are not supposed to exploit it for their own personal greed or vengeance. They are not supposed to waste the resources of this earth in extravagance and non-beneficial purposes. This teaching of Islam is further highlighted by the numerous verses in which Allah forbids the spreading of evil and corruption fasaad on Earth as in quoted above.
On the other hand, Allah promises a great reward who live their lives by the principle of not promoting or seeking evil and corruption. Paradise , We shall assign to those who rebel not against the truth with pride and oppression in the land nor do corruption by committing crimes. Allah makes it clear that when the people stand in front of Him on the Day of Resurrection, those who spread evil on the earth will not be treated as equal to those who spread goodness on this earth.
Or shall We treat the pious as criminals? Turning away from God and His guidance truly corrupts the individual soul and also corrupts the family, society and entire creation. Unfortunately, today very few do wake-up as they put the blame for all evils on everything except the fact that they have turned away from God.
Life on Earth cannot be truly flourishing and sound without justice. Thus, the call to and the implementation of justice is one of the most prominent features of Islam. In numerous places in the Quran, Allah orders the Muslims to fulfill the demands of justice, even if these should go against their own interests or needs. Allah commands that you should render back the trusts to those, to whom they are due; and that when you judge between men, you judge with justice.
Verily, how excellent is the teaching which He Allah gives you! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even though it be against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, be he rich or poor, Allah is a Better Protector to both than you. Stand out firmly for Allah and be just witnesses and let not the enmity and hatred of others make you avoid justice. Be just: that is nearer to piety, and fear Allah. The Prophet peace and blessings of Allah be upon him demonstrated that nobody is above the law and justice in Islam. By Allah, if Fatimah the daughter of [the Prophet] Muhammad were to steal, I would have her hand amputated.
Thus, justice is to be applied to everyone, rich and poor, young and old, ally and enemy, Muslim and non-Muslim and so forth. In reality, if this were not the case and some sort of double standard were to be used, it would not be true justice. A Muslim is required to be just to everyone, friend or foe, and even to his own soul. Actually, a true Muslim has been ordered to be even more than just; he must also be benevolent and forbearing. The establishment of justice and working for justice is one of the heavy responsibilities upon the Muslim community as a whole. It is by this way that the Muslims are witnesses to the rest of mankind that this is the true religion of Allah.
One of the meanings of the word wasat is just and balanced, avoiding the extremes that always accompany exploitation and injustice. Finally, there is a very important relationship between justice and following the revelation from Allah. Allah alone is the only one with the impartiality and just nature to lay down laws that will not favor one class of people over the other in particular, the powerful over the weak. He is also the only one with the complete knowledge that allows Him to lay down laws that are truly just. Someone may have sincere intentions but due to lacking perfect knowledge of the human psyche and human social interactions may invoke laws that are actually unfair and unjust.
Thus, once again, if a person is truly interested in pure and adulterated justice, he has no option but to turn to the revelation from Allah and the law from Him. It is the same justice and balance upon which the earth and the heavens are balanced. Wherever the signs of true justice are apparent and clear, therein also lies the law of Allah and His religion. The justice that is so essential to Islam extends beyond this life to the Hereafter.
In other words, Allah will judge all individuals in the most just way and will not wrong anyone in the least. Part of this justice includes the fact that no individual will bear the burden of another's sin and no one will be held responsible for what is beyond his means. No person earns any sin except against himself only , and no bearer of burdens shall bear the burden of another.
And whoever goes astray, then he goes astray to his own loss. No one laden with burdens can bear another's burden. Islam places great emphasis on the avoidance of wronging of others in the first place. Therefore, do not wrong one another. Everything that Allah has forbidden is, in one way or another, a type of dhulm, while everything that He has ordered is a form of adl or justice.
Thus, the messengers were sent, books revealed and the balance made so that humankind may establish and live by justice. Furthermore, iron has been created so that it may be used for the sake of truth and justice. The book guides to justice and the sword and iron assists it. There is yet another very important relationship between justice and Islam.
In order for humans to be truly just, they need some internal mechanism that drives them to do what is right. Many can recognize the injustice in others but fail to or refuse to recognize any injustice on their own part. In such cases, their desires will not allow them to recognize the truth. The person understands that Allah wants justice from him. He also knows that Allah is aware of even the most minute of his actions or intention.
Allah demands justice and has forbidden all forms of injustice. The true believer, then, will not give preference to his desires, his wealth, his family, his nation—or whatever—over what Allah demands from him in the form of justice. He knows that he will meet Allah and he will desire to do so with a clear conscience. Thus, he will work for justice and will accept nothing less than it. This has no place in Islam.
How to treat a New Muslim
The Light and Guidance from Allah is the path to true peace. True and complete peace can only be had when the individuals themselves achieve internal peace. This results from Islam or the true submission to Allah alone. This is the only way of life consistent with the nature of human beings. Knowing Allah is what can bring about true contentment in the soul. If the individual does not know his Creator, his soul will always be yearning for something that is missing in his life.
Unless there is contentment in the soul and the heart, the individual can never achieve true contentment. All of the wealth and the goods of this world will not be able to bring the human such true contentment. True poverty is the poverty of the heart. Once an individual is at peace with himself and free of any internal agitations, he can then enter into truly peaceful relations with others.
This starts with those closest to him in his family and extends to his neighbors and others in the community, eventually extending to all of humankind as a whole. Thus, Islam establishes an entire social structure in which people interact with others, based on relationships, rights and obligations, in ways that bring about a peaceful coexistence. Husbands and wives come together not as competitors but as partners cooperating to produce a home filled with peace and love.
Thus, Allah has laid down stringent laws that protect the sanctity of the home, such as the laws concerning adultery, fornication and slander. The reason is that the home is truly the foundation for the society as a whole. If there is no peace in the home, one can hardly expect that people will exit their home in a troubled state and be peaceful, fulfilling members of society.
There is a great emphasis on mutual respect, with each member of society realizing that he is part of a larger unity entailing rights and obligations. This mutual feeling produces a society that is filled with peace, wherein each individual looks after the welfare and needs of the other members of society. Thus, when Islam is enacted, the individual finds peace all around him, from within himself and throughout the entire society.
In fact, even world peace can only truly come about when there is justice. But there can be no true justice or peace until people raise themselves above national or ethnic economic or political interests. True justice can only occur when people dedicate themselves to Allah, applying His guidance while removing their egos and desires from their decisions.
In the Hereafter, of course, it will only be through believing in God and following His guidance that one will achieve eternal peace. One will readily note that all of the goals of Islam are highly interconnected. This is quite logical. Actually, they all flow from the foundation of true monotheism. When a person embodies the teachings of Islamic monotheism, he then frees himself from worshipping anybody else or anything else. Furthermore, he will then lead his life in this world in a way that is best for society and civilization. He will work for justice and ensure that neither he nor others wrong others.
In the end, he will find true peace and will be able to pass that along to others. But all of this must start with the true internalization of pure monotheism, where one worships and submits to Allah, sincerely and devoutly practicing the religion of Allah in this life.
Thus, clearly, once a person understands, accepts and applies the true concept of Islamic monotheism concept in his life, the other aspects are achieved as corollaries to this main goal. One the other hand, without true monotheism, the other goals cannot be achieved, even at a superficial level. Hence, it is understandable that, in essence, all of the Quran is concerning tauheed or pure monotheism.
The commentator on one of the famous expositions of Islamic belief, al-Aqeedah al-Tahaawiyya, also noted that all of the Quran is actually a discussion of pure monotheism tauheed :. Most of the chapters in the Quran are concerned with the two types of tauheed [ 54 ] ; in fact, every chapter in the Quran [is concerned with tauheed].
This is the tauheed that one must have knowledge about and that is reported. Or the Quran calls to His worship, associating no partner with Him [in that worship] and abandoning any other idol other than Him. This is the tauheed of intention and will. Or the Quran orders, prohibits or commands [His] obedience. These are essential aspects of tauheed and part of its completeness. Or the Quran reports about how [Allah] honors the people [who adhere to] tauheed and what He does for them in this world and what He graciously bestows on them in the Hereafter.
That is the reward for [adhering to] tauheed. Or [the Quran] reports about the polytheists and how He treats them in this world and what kind of punishment they will receive in the end. That is the punishment for those who abandon the aspects of tauheed. As noted earlier, this is the main goal of Islam. It is also one of its excellent features. Islam frees the human from trying to serve varied objects of worship.
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His life becomes clear and easy to follow. He has one Lord and one path to follow. He does not associate anyone or anything with God. In a number of places in the Quran, Allah juxtaposes the ramifications and effects of the correct belief in Allah with the effects of different incorrect beliefs. In the following passage, Allah has beautifully described the fruits of the correct belief as well as the results of all false beliefs. A goodly word is like a goodly tree, whose root is firmly fixed, and its branches reach to the heavens, it brings forth its fruit at all times, by the leave of its Lord.
So Allah sets forth parables for men, in order that they may receive admonition. And the parable of an evil word is that of any evil tree. It is torn up by the root from the surface of the earth. It has no stability. Allah will establish in strength those who believe, with the word that stands firm, in this world and in the Hereafter; but Allah will leave to stray those who do wrong. It is a foundation that continues to give and give, with its proceeds reaching the highest limits.
Such is the way with the true faith; it continually and perpetually benefits the person in this life and eternally in the Hereafter. It also follows that the stronger and better supported the foundation or roots, the greater will be the fruits. On the other hand, the false beliefs, such as associating partners with God, have no solid ground to them. Indeed, they are not much more than an illusion in the sense that they can never bear the produce that its followers claim or believe in. Are those two equal in comparison? All the praises are to Allah.
Actually, when a person realizes that he has only one, clear goal, the effects upon his soul are profound. He need not chase after an endless array of goals, never being able to satisfy or achieve any of them completely. His energies need not be exhausted trying to serve a myriad of goals. When he has one goal and one goal alone, he can easily gauge whether he is moving towards achieving that goal or not.
He can put all of his energy and thought into working towards that one ultimate goal. He can be certain about his goal and his path will be clear. Hence, he has no reason to be filled with doubt or confusion. Then, as he moves closer and closer to that one ultimate goal, he can experience true joy and contentment. All of this is part of the beauty and the bounty when humans recognize, receive and accept true monotheism, the only faith system consistent with their own creation and nature.
Islam is not a man-made philosophy or religion. Its teachings come directly from the Creator. It is the guidance that the Creator, via His Mercy, has bestowed upon humankind. In reality, God can be the only one who knows how He is to be worshipped. He is the only one who knows what way of living is pleasing to Him. Philosophers and others may ponder over this question of what way of life is pleasing to God but, in reality, the details of that way of life are beyond the scope of human reasoning and experimentation. What humans, independent of revelation from God, declare to be the best mode of worshipping God is not what is necessarily most pleasing to God but only most pleasing to the individual who devised it.
Thus, only God knows, for example, the manner by which one should pray to Him. Being the only way of life that God has actually approved of, it will also be the only way of life that will be acceptable to Him in the end. This point cannot be overemphasized. The ultimate question must be: What is acceptable and pleasing to God? No one can seriously claim with any real proof that any path other than that based on Allah's guidance is pleasing to Him.
Such a claim would be baseless and absurd. Islam is comprehensive in many ways. It is comprehensive in the sense that it applies to all human beings and is applicable by all regardless of where or what time they may be living. Islam or submission to God is the true way of life from the time of the first human until the time of last human on this Earth. Islam is just as much relevant to the most knowledgeable scientist as well as the illiterate Bedouin. Among the Prophet's followers were the rich and poor, nobles and weak, literate and illiterate.
All of them were able to apply Islam and thereby, Allah willing, earn the pleasure of God. Islam also covers both this life and the Hereafter. Islam is not a religion that is only concerned with the Hereafter. Islam offers complete and practical guidance for the affairs of this world as well. As noted earlier, one of the goals of Islam is to establish a sound and proper society in this life.
As for the Hereafter, goodness therein is dependent completely upon Islam and working towards the Hereafter in the proper way. Allah may give anyone some of the goods of this world but He reserves the good of the Hereafter only for those who are pious believers. Then We have made for him Hell, [in] which he will burn, censured and banished. Islam also attends to all of the various components of a human.
It is concerned with the human's spirit, intellect, body, beliefs, actions and morality. It protects the human from the diseases of the heart as well as from the diseases of the body and diseases of society as a whole. Thus, one can find guidance concerning the disease of arrogance that appears in the heart, guidance directing humans to balanced eating and drinking without extravagance and guidance steering humans away from corruption and social diseases such as adultery and the like.
In essence, Islam guides humans to a balanced life in which no component is ignored or neglected. Instead, each component receives the attention that it deserves and requires. Islam is also comprehensive in the sense that it covers all aspects of a person's life, from ritual worship to ethics and moral behavior to acts of business and government. Nothing, by the grace and mercy of Allah, has been neglected. There is no reason for anyone to feel lost concerning any area of his life.
No matter what the issue, he will be able to find some guidance to help him. For the new Muslim, he must accept Islam in all of its comprehensiveness. He is not free to pick and choose what aspect of Islam he likes. And what is the reward of those who do so save ignominy in the life of the world, and on the Day of Resurrection they will be consigned to the most grievous doom.
For Allah is not unaware of what you do. For example, he cannot restrict his Islam simply to the beliefs and the ritual acts of worship while rejecting what Islam has to say about marriage, business dealings, alcohol and drugs and so forth. Yes, it is true that one cannot expect another individual to become a perfect Muslim over night.
The beautiful and consistent comprehensiveness of Islam is another sign that this religion must be revealed by God. It is impossible for humans, even in groups, to comprehend all of the components of this creation in such a way as to give comprehensive guidance for every aspect of life. Thus, Sayyid Qutb wrote,. When a human being tries to construct a metaphysical concept or a system of life through his own efforts, this concept or system cannot be comprehensive.
It can only be partially valid, good for one time and place but not for other times and other places, and appropriate for one set of circumstances but not for another. Furthermore, even in tackling a single problem, he is incapable of looking at it from all possible sides and of taking into consideration all the consequences of the proposed solution, since every problem extends in space and time and is connected with precedents and antecedents beyond the scope of observation and comprehension of human beings.
Because of its limited scope, it is always deficient in many respects, and because of its temporariness it is bound to cause problems that require modifications and changes in the original philosophy or system of life. Many scholars have studied the Islamic Law in its entirety and have noted that the Law is geared toward achieving specific goals in this world as well as the obvious goals of the Hereafter. In other words, without them, one may be so miserable that he may wish he was no longer living. Then comes the amenities, which make life comfortable and more enjoyable.
Islamic Law, coming from the Creator, has identified and emphasized what are the true necessities of life. When one studies the laws found in Islam and what seems to be the wisdom behind them, one finds that they have been laid down to establish, protect, reinforce and perpetuate these necessities. After these are truly protected and established, the Law then seeks to meet the needs of life.
After due consideration is given to the necessities and needs, the Law then seeks to provide amenities for the ease of humankind. Space does not allow a detailed discussion of these three categories. Therefore, only the five necessities of life identified via Islamic Law will be briefly touched upon here.
The necessities of life as envisioned by Islamic Law are: 1 religion, 2 life, 3 familial ties and relationships, 4 mental capacity and 5 wealth and property. In one eloquent passage of the Quran, which is representative of the style of the Quran, Allah touches upon all of these goals of Islamic Law:. This He has commanded you that you may understand. And come not near to the orphan's property, except to improve it, until he or she attains the age of full strength; and give full measure and full weight with justice.
We burden not any person, but that which he can bear. And whenever you give your word, say the truth even if a near relative is concerned, and fulfill the Covenant of Allah, This He commands you, that you may remember. The most important of these goals is that of religion. From an Islamic perspective, if people do not have religion and a sound relationship with their Lord they cannot have a healthy life. Hence, one is expected to be willing to risk or sacrifice one's own life for the sake of religion.
Many of the laws of Islam are obviously geared toward the preservation of this ultimate goal, such as the institution of congregational prayer and so on. Next in importance comes life itself. Thus, for example, the law of retribution and the death penalty are part of Islamic law. These laws are not meant simply for the sake of punishment.
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Concerning familial ties mention has already been made of the stringent laws governing adultery, fornication and slander. With respect to the protection of wealth, one finds that under specific conditions, the hand of the thief is to be amputated. The prohibition of wasting wealth, extravagance and interest are all for the sake of preserving wealth in the proper manner. With respect to the protection of mental capacity, all intoxicants have been prohibited and strict punishments are enacted for violating such laws. One of the clearest aspects of Islamic Law is the goal of bringing about ease upon the humans and avoiding hardship for them while maintaining positive results for all.
Hence, this is not a goal independent of all other goals. In other words, there are a myriad of goals, such as mercy, justice, equity, balance and so forth. Within the context of meeting those goals, though, Allah, in His Mercy and Wisdom, has laid down a law for humans that provides ease for them and is free of any unwarranted hardships. Numerous verses of the Quran point to this very important feature of Islam. Allah sent the Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings of Allah be upon him as a mercy for all of mankind, as noted earlier.
Part of his role was to relax some of the laws put on the previous peoples due to their recalcitrance or put on them by their own religious leaders and scholars. This principle of ease and removing hardship is exhibited throughout many branches of Islamic law. Even becoming a Muslim requires no special indoctrination or ceremony. With respect to the acts of worship, one finds numerous rules demonstrating this principle.
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The traveler is allowed to shorten and combine his prayers in order to lessen his burden—but he still must perform the prayer as that effort is definitely beneficial for him. With respect to the fast of Ramadan, those who are traveling or ill can delay their fasts and make up those days after the month is finished. Those facing starvation are allowed to eat foods, such as pork, that are normally forbidden. Of great importance is the issue of repentance. It is simply a matter of faithfully returning to Allah and attempting to redress any wrong one has done. For the new Muslim, it is important to realize that the relaxation in the laws under certain circumstances does not open the door to them to relax any law for themselves in the name of the fact that the religion desires ease.
Such laws must be based on the Quran and Sunnah and will be known to those who are knowledgeable. Furthermore, as mentioned in a footnote earlier, it is referring to unwarranted hardship or effort. The goals and the teachings of Islam go well beyond any legal issues in this world. Islam seeks to create a certain type of individual, an individual who has a strong and proper relationship with Allah.
There are a number of important points related to this feature. First, in Islam, the Muslim has a direct relationship with Allah. I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me without any mediator or intercessor. Thus, there is no priestly class in Islam.
The individual prays directly to God without going through an intermediary. When a Muslim seeks forgiveness, he seeks it directly from God with no human having the authority to tell him if his repentance is sufficient or accepted by God. When a Muslim is in need, he turns directly to God, without having to put his trust and reliance in anyone other than God. When a Muslim wants to read the revelation and guidance from God, he goes directly to the Quran and Sunnah, being able to read them directly by himself.