That which is obligatory upon the Muslims

That which is obligatory upon the Muslims
by Shaykh ‘Alee Muhammad Naasir al-Faaqihee
on Saturday, May 7th, 2005

The Shaykh حفظه الله تعالى began in the name of Allaah, sending praise upon Him and asking that Allaah سبحانه و تعالى send His Praise and blessing upon the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه و سلم. Then the Shaykh went on to say that it pleases us, dear brothers, to speak to you tonight about some very important issues which are imperative upon the Muslims to have an understanding about. And that which is obligatory upon the Muslims, as Allaah سبحانه و تعالى has explained in His Book, is to have knowledge. Allaah says:
فَاعْلَمْ أَنَّهُ لا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لِذَنبِكَ
{So know (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم) that Laa ilaaha illallaah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allaah),
and ask forgiveness for your sin…}[Muhammad 47:19]

And for this reason, Imaam Al-Bukhaaree named a chapter in his book, in the book of Al-Eemaan: “Knowledge comes before statements and actions”. And then Allaah says in Soorah at-Tawbah:
فَلَوْلاَ نَفَرَ مِن كُلِّ فِرْقَةٍ مِّنْهُمْ طَآئِفَةٌ لِّيَتَفَقَّهُواْ فِي الدِّينِ وَلِيُنذِرُواْ قَوْمَهُمْ إِذَا رَجَعُواْ إِلَيْهِمْ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَحْذَرُونَ
{…Of every troop of them, a party only should go forth, that they (who are left behind) may get instructions in (Islaamic) religion,
and that they may warn their people when they return to them, so that they may beware (of evil).} [A-Tawbah 9:122]
Knowledge of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى

So Allaah سبحانه و تعالى has shown here that knowledge comes before the actions. And the most noble of the knowledge, as the ‘ulamaa have explained, is the Knowledge of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى. And this knowledge of Allaah is inclusive of the Tawheed of Allaah, or declaring His Unity. It is inclusive of all three types of Tawheed, they are:
Tawheed al-Uloohiyah, or Allaah’s سبحانه و تعالى right to be worshipped alone.
Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyyah, Allaah’s سبحانه و تعالى Oneness in His Lordship and
Tawheed al-Asmaa was-Sifaat, Allaah’s سبحانه و تعالى Oneness as it relates to His Beautiful Names and Attributes.
The Shahaadah (Testimony)

And after that, it is upon the Muslims to learn that which is important for him in his Religion. And for that reason, when the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم began his da’wah, he began with the testimony that “none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah alone and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه و سلم” and this is the first pillar of Islaam.
The Salaah (Prayer)

After that pillar, comes the very important pillar of Salaah. And that which shows and indicates its importance is that the salaah was not made obligatory on the Earth. That is, its legislation of becoming obligatory was not done on the Earth as the rest of the obligations of Islaam were made by way of Jibreel to the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم. Rather, the salaah was made obligatory in the seventh Heaven. That is, on the night of al-Israa wal-Mi’raaj, Allaah made obligatory upon this Ummah (nation) the salaah, and that was done by Allaah سبحانه و تعالى in the seventh Heaven.

Also, from the importance of the salaah, is that the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم encouraged us to make it in jamaa’ah, i.e. to make it as one group. Likewise, the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said ‘pray as you have seen me pray’[1]. The Sahaabah (the Companions of the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه و سلم) and likewise the ‘ulamaa (Scholars) that came after them clearly explained to us and related to us the way that the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم prayed.
Praying in Congregation

After that, the issue of praying in jamaa’ah (congregation) is extremely important and it is something that is obligatory upon the Muslims (men) and it is from the Sunnah of Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم. Abdullah ibn Mas’ood رضى الله عنه said that it was from the sunan of hudaa i.e. from the ways of guidance and if you leave the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه و سلم, then indeed you will go astray. [2]

From the things that the Muslim benefits from praying in jamaa’ah, or praying in congregation, is that it is an encouragement for the people to be together. Likewise, when the Muslims do it they will exchange information with each other, they will check on one another and make sure everyone is okay. So praying in jamaa’ah, or praying in congregation, it is that pillar which many things are built upon in the life of the Muslim.
Salaah builds the relationship between the Muslim and Allaah سبحانه و تعالى

Then after that, likewise, it is upon the Muslim to know that this salaah, it is the relationship between him and His Lord سبحانه و تعالى and it is that which will build the relationship between him and His Lord. Any time an affair would concern the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم he would rush to make the salaah. Likewise, from that which shows its importance is the fact that the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم commanded with it and advised this Ummah with it. Even in the last moments of his صلى الله عليه و سلم life; when they would take the scarf off his face he would say “as-salaah”, to remind them of the salaah, reminding them of the prayer. Likewise, from that which shows its importance is the statement of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم where he said that “the contrast that is between us and them it is the salaah so whoever leaves it, then indeed, he has disbelieved”[3]. So there is no portion of Islaam for the one who leaves the salaah and it is upon the Muslim to protect his salaah and to pray it at the prescribed time, as Allaah سبحانه و تعالى said:
إِنَّ الصَّلاَةَ كَانَتْ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ كِتَاباً مَّوْقُوتاً
{…Verily, As-Salât (the prayer) is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours.} [An-Nisaa’ 4:103]
Perform righteous actions

Then after salaah, the Muslim should do his best to come with all of the righteous actions – whether from giving charity, from commanding with the good and forbidding the evil, from being righteous to his neighbours or building relationships with his neighbours and all of the other righteous actions, because all of the actions of Islaam are good deeds and all of them are righteous.
Da’wah – Be a good example to the Non-Muslims

The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم was sent as a mercy to mankind, to all of mankind. When you look at the people in these countries, the countries of the disbelievers, if the non-Muslims see that the Muslims are those who keep their relations with their family members, and that they are people who are merciful, they are people who are dutiful to their parents, they are those who protect their muwaa’eed (appointments), they are those who fulfil their trusts, then this type of Muslim is going to be an example for all of the other people around him. So when the non-Muslims see the Muslims doing these types of actions, then indeed he (the Muslim) will be an example for them. And they will be inshaa’Allaah ta’aalaa the type of people who look towards Islaam, and look towards the religion of Islaam, not as a religion of terrorism as some of them would like to say, but rather a religion of mercy, a religion that takes care of the poor and the needy. So it is upon the Muslim in his dealings to do what he does, firstly for Allaah سبحانه و تعالى meaning that he does it seeking the Face of Allaah, seeking the reward of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى and then after that intending to spread the Da’wah of Islaam. So the da’wah is performed with the tongue, with the statements and it is also performed with actions.
Kindness to neighbours

From righteous actions, is the importance of the Muslim being righteous to his neighbour and being kind to his neighbour. Allaah سبحانه و تعالى has commanded us with kindness to our neighbours, as He mentions in the Qur’aan in the ayaah:
وَالْجَارِ ذِي الْقُرْبَى وَالْجَارِ الْجُنُبِ وَالصَّاحِبِ بِالجَنبِ
{…(and do good to) the neighbour who is near of kin, the neighbour who is a stranger…} [an-Nisaa’ 4:36]

From the examples of this, is that which comes in Adab al-Mufrad by Imaam al-Bukhaaree on the authority of ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas رضى الله عنه. He used to have a man that would slaughter his sacrificial animals for him, or that would slaughter the meat that he would use for his family in general. He told this man one time, and he had another person that was with him at the time, “If you begin to pan out the meat, then start with our Jewish neighbour”. So there was a man who was with ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Amr ibn ‘Aas at the time and he said to him, “you start with the Jew”? ‘Abdullaah said, “That’s correct. The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم commanded us to be kind to our neighbours and he used to start with the one whose door was closest to him”.[4] So in this case, the door of the Jewish man was closest and so he started with him in his passing out of the meat.

The Shaykh hafithahullaah ta’aalaa he said that, if we look at this example then we see that this is something, that the Companions used to do and it is from the Sunnah of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم. So if you are someone who is kind to your neighbours, you will find inshaa Allaahu ta’aalaa that this has a very deep effect on their hearts. And you will also be illustrating the point that the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم was not sent to the Arab alone. Rather he was sent to the red people, and to the black people and it didn’t make a difference, as his message was for all of mankind as Allaah سبحانه و تعالى said:
وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةً لِّلْعَالَمِينَ
{And We have sent you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم) not but as a mercy for the ‘Aalamîn (mankind, jinn and all that exists).} [al-Anbiyaah 21:107]

The Shaykh حفظه الله تعالى went on to mention the ayah in Soorah an-Nisaa’ where Allaah سبحانه و تعالى said:
وَاعْبُدُواْ اللّهَ وَلاَ تُشْرِكُواْ بِهِ شَيْئاً وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَاناً وَبِذِي الْقُرْبَى وَالْيَتَامَى وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَالْجَارِ ذِي الْقُرْبَى وَالْجَارِ الْجُنُبِ وَالصَّاحِبِ بِالجَنبِ
وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ وَمَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يُحِبُّ مَن كَانَ مُخْتَالاً فَخُوراً
{ Worship Allâh and join none with Him (in worship); and do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, Al-Masâkîn (the needy),
the neighbour who is near of kin, the neighbour who is a stranger, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (you meet),
and those (slaves) whom your right hands possess. Verily, Allâh does not like such as are proud and boastful.} [An-Nisaa’ 4:36]

This ayah in Sooratun Nisaa’, the Shaykh went on to explain it by saying that Allaah سبحانه و تعالى started out by commanding that you only worship Allaah and that you do not associate any partners with Him. He started out with the worship of Allaah because this is the origin and this is the base rule, and everything that comes after it is based on the fact that you’re worshipping Allaah سبحانه و تعالى alone. Then He commanded that you be kind to your parents, as it comes in many other aayaat in the Book. Then the Shaykh went on to mention, that the yateem (orphan) is the child who does not have any one to care for him or his father has passed away. Likewise, the one who is needy. As it relates to the close neighbour, then this close neighbour can either mean that they are a relative or that they are close in distance, meaning that their house is close to your home.

So the Shaykh said if this neighbour of yours is a Muslim and he is a relative, then he has three different rights over you. He has the right of Islaam, the right of being the neighbour and also the right of being a relative. So when you present to them something, when you give them a gift, then this will be considered something that builds the relationship. That which is intended by the foreign neighbour, is the neighbour that is not a Muslim as the Shaykh said. Allaah سبحانه و تعالى, in these aayaat is showing us those things that if we do them, then they will be those things by His Permission which will enter the people into Islaam and that it will show the people that Islaam does not have the type of dryness or the type of harshness that you may find in some of the religions that came before. Rather it is a Religion of Mercy.
Taqwa of Allaah

The Shaykh he said after that I advise you all with that which Allaah سبحانه و تعالى commanded us with, that which He commanded His first servants and His last servants with, or the previous servants as well as His latter servants and that is with the fear of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى – to have taqwa of Allaah. And taqwa is that you perform the actions that you have been commanded with, and that you stay away from that which you have been prohibited from. Likewise, it is to place between yourself and between Allaah سبحانه و تعالى a wiqaayah of protection. And that protection is by doing the righteous deeds and staying away from the evil deeds. All of the righteous deeds are from taqwa or from the fear of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى.

For example, one who gives sadaqah (charity), one who is truthful, one who is trustworthy, one who is righteous, one who is kind to his neighbour. The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم, as it comes in the hadeeth said: “Jibreel continued to commanded me with kindness to the neighbour so that I thought that he would make him (the neighbour) from my inheritors”.[5] So all of the righteous actions that one does is from taqwa. Likewise, staying away from the evil actions, from the sins and disobedience to Allaah سبحانه و تعالى this is also considered to be from taqwa. So for example, to stay away from backbiting, to stay away from tale carrying, to stay away from talking about the honour of Muslims, to stay way from cursing the Muslims or speaking evil about them, all of these are from the things, which are considered to be taqwa or fear of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى.

And from the bounties of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى, is that He does not make takleef of His servants, that He does not impose upon His servants anything that they do not have the ability to do. He does not make us responsible for more than we can bear. The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said in the authentic hadeeth: “If I command you with something, then do from it that which you can. And if I prohibit you from something, then stay away from it”.[6] All of the Islaamic rulings, all of the rulings of Islaam are based upon this hadeeth – that you do that which you can of that which you have been commanded with, and that you stay far away from that which you have been prohibited from. So for example, as-salaah (prayer), if you are not able to pray standing then you can pray sitting down. This is from doing that which you can. If you do not have money, it is not upon you to pay zakaat. If you do not have enough money, then it is not upon you to make the Hajj. This is as it relates to the things that you have been commanded with.

As it relates to the things, that you have been prohibited from, then you stay away from it period and you don’t go close to it. So for example, you protect your tongue – this is something that you can do. Allaah سبحانه و تعالى prohibits us from drinking intoxicants, so this is something that we can do. All of the things that are evil are things that we do not have to do, meaning that it is easy for us to stay away from these things. As for the things that you have been commanded with, then maybe you can do it and maybe you can’t do it. However, the things that you cannot do, or the things you have been commanded to stay away from, you have to stay away from them. Don’t let anybody say that ‘I can’t stop drinking intoxicants’ for example. Rather this individual can stop, because the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم told us: “And if I have prohibited for you something, then stay away from it”.[6]
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
1. Question: I am a female engineer working in a factory, but my father who is a rich man does not allow me to do anything, even so that I’m not allowed to pay zakaat. He only allows me to buy food and clothes. Is this correct? What should I do in this situation?

Answer: The Shaykh حفظه الله تعالى said in answer to this question, that firstly we must know that to obey the father is obligatory. However, to obey in disobedience to Allaah سبحانه و تعالى is not permissible. So this woman should not obey her father in him preventing her from paying the zakaat. Rather she has to pay the zakaat and the zakaat is a pillar of Islaam so she must do it. However, she should do it in a way that does not anger her father. Rather, she should do it in a way that is better, in a good manner. She should speak to him in a manner that is good and try to convince him from one angle, or to please him from one angle and at the same time do what she has to do, and do that which is obligatory upon her in Islaam.
2. Question: Is it permissible to eat everything from the ocean, that lives in the ocean, for instance shrimp, lobster etc?

Answer: The Shaykh حفظه الله تعالى he said that, for those animals or sea creatures that only live in the sea then this is permissible without exception. Except for those things, that may resemble that which is haraam. For example, there are some sea animals that resemble pigs and dogs and the like. Some of the ‘Ulaama (Scholars) have mentioned that it is better to leave off these types of things in order for the Muslim to protect his Deen. However, the Shaykh said that which you can find in the sea is plentiful and inshaa’Allaahu ta’aalaa you stay way from the other things, which resemble that which is haraam.
3. Question: Can you provide us some advice on how to learn akhlaaq (morals) and adab (manners) in the West and also, guidance on correct purification etc.? Perhaps, you can recommend some books on these topics, which can be studied and benefited from.

Answer: The Shaykh حفظه الله تعالى, he said that the first thing that I recommend to this individual is to read the Book of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى. In this book, the Qur’aan one will find everything that a Muslim needs, in his dunya, as it relates to his worldly affairs and as well, as it relates to his Aakhirah (Hereafter). Allaah سبحانه و تعالى has told us in His Book, that which translated means:
مَّا فَرَّطْنَا فِي الكِتَابِ مِن شَيْءٍ
{…We have neglected nothing in the Book…} [al-An’aam 6:38]

That We have not left anything out of this Book, meaning that Guide. Likewise, when ‘Aishah رضى الله تعالى عنها was asked about the character of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم about his manners, about his morals, she said that: “his character was the Qur’aan”.[7] His character was the Qur’aan. This means that he used to act in accordance to the Qur’aan. He used to do that which the Qur’aan commanded him with and stay way from that which the Qur’aan prevented him from and prohibited. Likewise, the Shaykh mentioned the ayah in Soorah al-Qalam where Allaah سبحانه و تعالى says:
وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلى خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ
{And verily, you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم) are on an exalted (standard of) character.} [al-Qalam 68:04]

He سبحانه و تعالى praises the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم for his character. So this Book, the Book of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى is the first Book that one returns to, in order to refine his character.

Likewise, there are many ahaadeeth and books of ahaadeeth, like for example Riyaadus Saaliheen by an-Nawaawee. This book has many ahaadeeth that deal with the character or the morals of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم as it relates to all of his interactions. Likewise, we can return to the books of the Sunnah. We return back to the books of the Sunnah, we return back to the books that deal with the Seerah or the biography of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم and we look at how the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم behaved in his home, and with his wives and with his family, how he behaved with his neighbours and other than that.

Again the first thing we return to is the Book of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى and all of these things inshaa’Allaah will be that which teaches the Muslim how to perfect his character. How he should act in his workplace, how he should be in leading his home, what he should do at night, what he should do in the daytime and all of his life. Also we have the book al-Adkhaar (The Book of Supplications) which also deals with this, it doesn’t leave anything that the Muslim should do from the time he gets up until the time he goes to bed. And that is because the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم did not leave anything that would benefit his Ummah (Nation), except that he guided us to it and there is nothing that would harm this ummah except that he warned us from it.
4. Question: Is it permissible to seek a loan from a Muslim who earns the money by selling drugs?

Answer: The Shaykh said: listen brother, prohibited affairs, the affair of intoxicants is something that is prohibited within the text of the Qur’aan. Allaah prohibited al-khamr or intoxicants, and that which follows it from drugs etc. Likewise, that which follows these types of things like interest (ribaa). All of these things are known by ijmaa’ (consensus) that they are prohibited. The fact that some Muslims may interact, or in their transactions may use these types of things, or they may do these things which are illegal, does not make it something that is permissible. So it is appropriate for the Muslim to take loans from those people who have their money come to them in ways that are permissible. As for the one, who he doesn’t know how he got his money, then his lack of knowledge here is not something that will harm him. However, if he knows that this individual has taken money or his means of achieving the money is something that is impermissible, then he shouldn’t take a loan from this individual. And whoever has fear of Allaah, who has taqwa of Allaah, then Allaah سبحانه و تعالى will make for him a way out and He will provide for him from places he never expected.

وَمَن يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَل لَّهُ مَخْرَجاً{2} وَيَرْزُقْهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَا يَحْتَسِبُ
{… And whosoever fears Allâh and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty).
And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine…} [at-Talaaq 65:2-3]
5. Question: We have some brothers who studied for some time, but they didn’t work on self-purification. So they used their knowledge to show off and to look down on others. And they are quick in refuting others and they are one of main reasons for making others run away from the Salafi Manhaj. What is your advice to them?

Answer: The Shaykh said: “first of all, my advise to those people is that Salafiyyah is not a claim that is claimed upon the tongue. Rather it is something that has to be followed up by actions. When the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم informed that this Ummah would split into 73 sects and that all of them would be in the Hellfire except one, he was asked, “and which is that one, O Messenger of Allaah?” He said, “That which I am upon and my Companions”.[8] So the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم informed that this Saved Sect, the one that will be saved from the Fire, they are the Salafus Saalih, the righteous predecessors. They are the ones who were upon that which the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه و سلم and his Companions were on. So we have to go back and look at that which the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم was upon as it relates to his ‘aqeedah (belief system), as it relates to his worship, as it relates to his transactions and interactions. What was he upon? Then likewise, we look at what the Companions of the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه و سلم were upon in those previously mentioned affairs.”

Then the Shaykh went on to say: “and also we need to look at what Allaah سبحانه و تعالى said to His Messenger. He said this to His Messenger, as His Messenger is the best of examples. He says as it comes in Soorah Aali ‘Imraan,
فَبِمَا رَحْمَةٍ مِّنَ اللّهِ لِنتَ لَهُمْ وَلَوْ كُنتَ فَظّاً غَلِيظَ الْقَلْبِ لاَنفَضُّواْ مِنْ حَوْلِكَ فَاعْفُ عَنْهُمْ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ وَشَاوِرْهُمْ فِي الأَمْرِ فَإِذَا عَزَمْتَ فَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللّهِ إِنَّ اللّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُتَوَكِّلِينَ
{And by the Mercy of Allaah, you (Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم) dealt with them gently. And had you been severe and harsh-hearted,
they would have broken away from about you; so pass over (their faults), and ask (Allaah’s) forgiveness for them;
and consult them in the affairs. Then when you have taken a decision, put your trust in Allaah,
certainly, Allaah loves those who put their trust (in Him).} [Aali ‘Imraan 3:159]

So here we see that Allaah سبحانه و تعالى has prohibited His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم from evil character and He let His Messenger know that if he was evil, harsh and hardhearted they would have left from around him. So if the person is truly upon Salafiyyah, then he is upon that which the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه و سلم was upon from good characteristics, from gentleness, from leniency. And as you had mentioned in the question, some people have been made to leave the manhaj as-saheeh (the correct methodology), or they have been repelled from this manhaj, from that which they find from people from harshness and so on and so forth, then this is indeed in opposition to the Book of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه و سلم. Meaning that, that characteristic that they find from some of the Salafis, these characteristics are in opposition to what we find in the Book and the Sunnah and likewise, what the Salaf of this ummah were upon رحمهم الله.

Also, we need to look at the example of the one who was harsh and hard and stern when he came to the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم, and he grabbed him. He said, “Yaa Muhammad, give me from that which Allaah has given you”. So the Companions of the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه و سلم they wanted to deal with this individual and the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم prevented them from doing so.[9] Even though he was the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه و سلم and this man had done what he had done to him, the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه و سلم prevented them from doing anything to this man. So whoever claims to be Salafi, then it is upon him to be patient and it is upon him to persevere and it is upon him to have forbearance. And it is upon him to guide the people to that which is good, so these callers themselves can be an example to those they are calling.”
6. Question: I’m a married woman and I’m not happy being married and see no benefit in it since my husband lives in another country, which prevents him from bringing me there as his wife. I have issues with obeying him and fear for my soul in the Hereafter. So my question is, is it permissible for me to seek divorce out of fear that I cannot obey my husband and give him his rights?

Answer: The Shaykh said: I would say something, as it relates to this. In these types of situations the mufti of Saudi Arabia needs to be consulted so that these types of questions may be presented to him. However, my advice for this woman is that she be patient and that she tries her best to be patient in this situation, especially if there are children involved in this situation and Allaah will make the affair easy and will guide them. However, if the affair comes to the point where it is absolutely not possible for her to be patient, then I suggest that the question be posed to the mufti in detail, so that he can deal with this.

Brother Abu Sufyaan Zahid said:

Shaykh al-‘Alaamah ‘Alee Naasir al-Faaqihee hafithahullaah ta’aalaa mentioned that he didn’t want to answer questions on divorce and khula’, due to its serious consequences. He advised the brothers to take these questions to the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia. This clearly shows that such issues are not to be answered by just anyone. Unfortunately, as we all know this has become a serious problem in the West. We have witnessed that some brothers do not hesitate, as our ‘Ulamaa hesitate to pass judgments on talaaq and khula’. So the Shaykh gave some advice concerning this:

The Shaykh حفظه الله تعالى said that the like of these types of issues, first and foremost is that it is not appropriate that one be hasty in divorce, because divorce is from those affairs that if the one pronouncing it is serious, it counts. And even if he’s playing, it counts. So this is something that, a Muslim should be very careful of being hasty in these affairs. Also if these types of affairs become plentiful, become in abundance, as has been mentioned, then it is upon those who are responsible to contact the Kibaarul ‘Ulamaa in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, like for example the mufti and the Committee for Giving Fataawaa – the Permanent Committee, so that they can give them the solutions to these problems inshaa’Allaahu ta’aalaa because these affairs are very important. They deal with a man living with his wife and a man should live with his woman in a way that is halaal and in a way that is permissible. However, with these types of affairs and being hasty in divorce and the like, what may happen is that this woman may become impermissible for him and he doesn’t even know. And so he lives with her in a way that is not safe, not permissible in Islaam so you have to be careful. And again, the Shaykh suggested that these types of affairs be taken to the Kibaarul ‘Ulamaa.
7. Question: Is it from the Sunnah to hold the stick during the Jumu’ah khutbah?

Answer: Holding the stick or the cane or the like, then this is from the Sunnah. If an individual does it, then alhamdullilaah, and if he does not do this, then there is nothing upon him. Meaning this is not a condition, whether one is holding a cane or a stick. So if he does so, then this is good and if not, then there is nothing upon him.
8. Question: Is it permissible for us to have ring tones of the Qur’aan, the adhaan or the ahaadeeth on our cell-phones or mobile phones?

Answer: The Shaykh said the only thing that would be impermissible here would be to take that type of phone into the bathroom itself. This is something, that is not permissible, or something that one should stay away from. If for example, when the phone rings, the ayah plays then one should stay away from the bathroom area. As for other than that, then there is no difference between that and for example, a cassette tape. The Shaykh said that which is impermissible here is the qiraa or the reading of the Qur’aan in the bathroom. For example, if you turn off the phone when you go in the bathroom then this is not a problem. Likewise, there are some types of phones now where when you call and you’re waiting for the person to answer the Qur’aan will be playing. Likewise, this should be turned off before going into the bathroom area and then when you come out you turn it back on.
*** END ***

Transcribed By Noble Sister Sirad Bint Aden

References and Notes
[1] Reported by Al-Bukhaaree in Kitaab al-Adhaan (#605)

صلوا كما رأيتموني أصلي

[2] Reported by An-Nisaa’ee 2/108, Shaikh al-Albaanee rahimahullaah said Saheeh in Sunan An-Nisaa’ee (#849)

أنه كان يقول من سره أن يلقى الله عز وجل غدا مسلما فليحافظ على هؤلاء الصلوات الخمس حيث ينادي بهن فإن الله عز وجل شرع لنبيه صلى الله عليه وسلم سنن الهدى وإنهن من سنن الهدى وإني لا أحسب منكم أحدا إلا له مسجد يصلي فيه في بيته فلو صليتم في بيوتكم وتركتم مساجدكم لتركتم سنة نبيكم ولو تركتم سنة نبيكم لضللتم

[3] Reported Ibn Maajah 1/342, Shaikh al-Albaanee (rahimahullaah) said Saheeh in Al-Jaami’ as-Sagheer (#4143) and in Sunan Ibn Maajah (#1079)

العهد الذي بيننا وبينهم الصلاة فمن تركها فقد كفر

[4] Shaykh al-Albaanee rahimahullaah says Saheeh. See Adab al-Mufrad 1/58

كنت عند عبد الله بن عمرو وغلامه يسلخ شاة فقال يا غلام إذا فرغت فابدأ بجارنا اليهودي فقال رجل من القوم اليهودي أصلحك الله قال إني سمعت النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يوصى بالجار حتى خشينا أو رؤينا أنه سيورثه

[5] Reported by Al-Bukhaari in Kitaab al-Adab (#5668)

حديث ما زال جبريل يوصيني بالجار حتى ظننت أنه سيورثه متفق عليه

[6] Reported by Ibn Maajah, Shaikh Al-Albaanee rahimahullaah said Saheeh in Sunan Ibn Maajah (#2)

فإذا أمرتكم بشيء فخذوا منه ما استطعتم وإذا نهيتكم عن شيء فانتهوا

[7] Reported in Musnad Ahmed, Shaikh Al-Albaanee rahimahullaah said Saheeh in Saheeh al-Jaami’ (#4811)

كان خلقه القرآن

[8] Reported by At-Tirmidhee 5/26 (#2641), Shaikh Al-Albaanee (rahimahullaah) says Hasan in Jaami’ as-Sagheer (#5343)

وتفترق أمتي على ثلاث وسبعين ملة كلهم في النار إلا ملة واحدة قالوا ومن هي يا رسول الله قال ما أنا عليه وأصحابي

[9] Reported by Al-Bukhaaree in Kitaab al-Libaas (#5472) and Muslim in Kitaab az-Zakaat (#1057)

مالك ‏ ‏قال ‏كنت ‏ ‏أمشي مع رسول الله ‏ ‏صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ ‏وعليه رداء نجراني غليظ ‏ ‏الحاشية ‏ ‏فأدركه أعرابي ‏ ‏فجبذه ‏ ‏بردائه ‏ ‏جبذة ‏ ‏شديدة نظرت إلى صفحة عنق رسول الله ‏ ‏صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ ‏وقد أثرت بها ‏ ‏حاشية ‏ ‏الرداء من شدة جبذته ثم قال يا ‏‏ محمد ‏‏ مر لي من مال الله الذي عندك فالتفت إليه رسول الله ‏ ‏صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ ‏فضحك ثم أمر له بعطاء
 
http://www.albaseerah.org/forum/showthread.php?t=1085

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Unique Features of Islam

 In other religions, even the ones which claim belief in “One God”, people often approach God through an intermediary, such as a saint, an angel, the Virgin Mary or Jesus. However, it is only in Islam that a person is required only to pray to God.

 Uniqueness of the Name

The name for the religion of Islam is much more than just a name because it expresses a deep spiritual meaning as well as an overall outlook on life and concept of worship. The word “Islam” is an Arabic word which means “complete submission to the will of Almighty God”. Other religions are named after their founders, such as Christianity and Buddhism; after a tribe or ethnic group, such as Judaism; or after a specific geographical region, such as Hinduism. Islam, however, is unique because its name represents its outlook on life and reflects its universal nature. Additionally, the name “Islam” was not thought up by its followers or applied by other people, as is the case with the names of other religions, but was revealed by Almighty God. This name expressed nothing new, because submission to the will of God, i.e. “Islam”, has always been the true religion of God. Due to this fact, and since the teachings of Islam are straightforward, profound and logical, Islam is the “Natural Religion” of all human beings. The name of no other religion carries any significant message, or conveys the true sense of its outlook on life, as does the name “Islam”.

 
Universality & Continuity of the Message

The command to worship none other than Almighty God and to submit to His will has been revealed by God to all of His prophets throughout mankind’s long history. The pure essence of the beliefs and teachings that were revealed by God to the Prophet Muhammad are the same as God taught to Abraham, who was one of the earliest and greatest prophets. So actually, Muhammad is the final prophet of Islam — not the first. Additionally, Islam is the true “religion of Abraham”, because Abraham completely submitted himself to the revealed will of Almighty God. Islam is truly unique among the religions of the world because it is addressed to all of mankind. The scripture of Islam, called the Qur’an, repeatedly addresses all human beings by saying: “O mankind!” Additionally, in the Qur’an, Almighty God is never addressed as the God of a particular people or nation. From the very beginning of the mission of Prophet Muhammad, his followers came from a wide spectrum of individuals — there was Bilal, the African slave; Suhaib, the Byzantine Roman; Ibn Sailam, the Jewish Rabbi; and Salman, the Persian. Since religious truth is eternal and unchanging, and mankind is one universal brotherhood, God’s revelations to man have always been consistent and universal. Submission to the will of God, and worshipping Him alone without intermediaries, has always been the only religion acceptable to Almighty God.

 
A Straightforward Concept of God

Unique among the religions of the world, the concept of God in Islam is completely based upon Divine Revelation. Not only is the concept of God in Islam characterized by purity and clarity, but it is also not marred by myths, superstitions or man-made philosophical ideas. In the pure and straightforward teachings of Islam, Almighty God has clearly revealed His unique nature and qualities to man in the way which He wants them to be understood. While other religions have either mixed man-made doctrines with divine revelation, or ignored the divine revelation almost completely, Islam’s concept of God is based totally on what God has said about Himself. Islam’s concept of God can be called pure and straightforward because there is a clear distinction made between the Creator and the created. As such, there is no ambiguity in divinity — it is made clear that there is nothing divine or worthy of being worshipped except for Almighty God. In Islam, calling someone other than Almighty God “Lord” or “Savior” is completely prohibited because such terms compromise God’s uniqueness and because all of our trust should be put in Almighty God — who is the Most Merciful and the Controller of all affairs. The only Creator — Almighty God — is Unique, Eternal and Transcendent above His Creation. Everything else besides Almighty God — meaning anything that you can see or even imagine — is part of God’s creation, and thus not worthy of worship. Almighty God, as He has described Himself in the Qur’an, is Absolutely One and “the Most Merciful of those who show mercy”. Even though God is transcendent above His creation, due to His infinite Mercy He is constantly involved with the affairs of His creatures. Even though God is infinite, unique and incomprehensible, in the Holy Qur’an He has revealed Himself in a way suitable to the finite and limited human mind. By reaching out to man and sending revelations through all of His prophets, God has allowed Himself to be known through His unique and most-beautiful attributes. Because the concept of God in Islam was sent by God specifically for mankind, it appeals to the innate nature of the human being. Due to this fact, Islam does not ask man to accept irrational, ludicrous or man-made doctrines about God. The Islamic concept of God strikes a unique balance between various religions an because is avoids reducing God to just being some remote and impersonal “First Cause” or “Higher Power”, while on the other hand it also teaches that a direct and personal relationship with God can be maintained without believing God to be like His creation or incarnate in it.

 
Direct Relationship with God

In other religions, even the ones which claim belief in “One God”, people often approach God through an intermediary, such as a saint, an angel, the Virgin Mary or Jesus. However, it is only in Islam that a person is required only to pray to God. Some people also nullify a truly proper and direct relationship with Almighty God by mistakenly believing that they have a special relationship with Him simply because they are members of a certain ethnic group, tribe or “chosen people”. Additionally, in Islam there are no priests or clergy — each worshipper, man or woman, has a direct relationship with their Merciful Creator — Almighty God. Since God is the Owner and Sustainer of everything, as well as the only one who can provide true and complete forgiveness, it is completely futile to try to approach Him through anyone else. According to the teachings of Islam, praying to or worshipping anything or anyone besides Almighty God is the greatest sin a person can commit. Even though other religions believe in God, they nullify this belief by making the grave mistake of not always approaching Him directly. Some religions even go so far as to say that human beings, due to their sinfulness, cannot approach God without an intermediary — which mistakenly implies that God is unable or unwilling to forgive human-beings directly. Islam teaches that Almighty God has the power to do all things and that no one should ever despair of His mercy. According to the teachings of Islam, God is always ready to bestow His abundant Grace and Mercy on anyone who turns to Him in repentance. Even people who used to commit the worst sin of worshipping others besides God will be forgiven if they realize what they are doing is wrong and repent. Having a direct relationship with God, and understanding that He alone deserves worship and praise, goes hand-in-hand with the Islamic concept of God. This is because once a proper concept of God is established in the heart and mind, submission to God and complete reliance on Him alone comes naturally.

 

Unique Concept of Worship

According to the teachings of Islam, everything that a human being does with the pure intention of pleasing God is an act of worship. Due to this, Islam has an all encompassing concept of worship unlike any other religion. Almighty God has revealed in the Noble Qur’an that His purpose for creating human beings was to worship Him and Him alone. Like other religions, Islam has required acts of worship, however worship in Islam is not limited to rituals. Since Islam is an all-encompassing religion with guidance for all aspects of life, almost every action in a Muslim’s life becomes an act of worship if it is done to build a better relationship with God. Since man’s purpose in life is to worship and submit to God, worship in Islam has been defined by God Himself in an all-encompassing way. This special uniqueness can also be seen in the fact that most other religions only require formal worship once per week, while Islam requires it five times a day. Even more importantly, all rites of formal worship in Islam are based on Divine revelation, while the modes of worship in other religions are a mixture of Divine revelation, man-made traditions, opinions of clergymen and religious councils. Additionally, in Islam acts of worship such as prayer and fasting have been described by God and His Prophet in such detail that it gives human beings a feeling of assurance that the way they are worshipping God is pleasing to Him.

 
Based on Authentic Sources

The preservation of the scripture of Islam — the Noble Qur’an — is unique among world religions. No other religion has a scripture which is both as old and as well-preserved as the one possessed by Muslims today. Even scholars who are hostile to Islam admit that the Qur’an that exists today is exactly the same as the one that existed in the time of the Prophet Muhammad. Even though many people mistakenly assume that the Qur’an (also spelled Koran) was written by Muhammad, it is actually the literal Word of God. Not only was Muhammad known by his people to be unable to read and write, but the Noble Qur’an clearly and repeatedly exclaims that it is from Almighty God – the Lord of the Universe. Unlike other religions, the followers of Islam have always considered their scripture to be the Word of God in toto. The scriptures of other religions are made up of writings that were not considered to be scripture until many years after they were written – the letters of (St.) Paul are a good example of this. Additionally, the Noble Qur’an has always been in the possession of the common believer, and as such was circulated very widely. In this way, Muslims know that their scripture is authentic, unlike other so-called “scriptures” which are still claimed to be scripture even though their authors are unknown. The Qur’an also remained pure and authentic because unlike other scriptures, it was written down and memorized in the lifetime of the prophet that it was revealed to. Also, its wide circulation prevented scholars, clergy and religious councils from deciding what should and should not be part of the scripture — since it was already in the hands of the people in its complete form. It has always amazed people to find out that the entire Qur’an was not only memorized word-for-word by hundreds of the companions of Prophet Muhammad, but that it has been memorized verbatim by thousands upon thousands of people until this very day in its original language of Arabic. It was only natural for Almighty God to preserve the scripture revealed to Prophet Muhammad, because he was the last Prophet and Final Messenger of God. In short, the Qu’ran is a unique scripture that has come down to us in its original form and unique language. Due to its pristine teachings and unquestionable authenticity, the Qur’an removes the need for man to wonder for himself how to worship and please God, since God Himself has clearly described these things.

 
An Eternal Message

Islam has just as much meaning and is just as applicable to people living in today’s “modern world” as it did for people living 1400 years ago. Since the message of Islam is eternally true it is also very robust, and as such still has a strong spiritual impact on millions of people living in the world today. The Pure Monotheism of Islam, as well as its universal brotherhood/sisterhood, strong morals and positive outlook on life, is still very relevant and meaningful to modern societies. The continued relevance and applicability to both the spiritual and worldly life of human beings from all around the word is just one of the many proofs of the Divine origin of the message of Islam. Unlike the teachings of other religions, the teachings of Islam don’t need to be updated or watered-down in order to appeal to a human being living in today’s troubled world. Since the teachings of Islam are both spiritually true and eternally practical, they can be lived and implemented in the daily life of a person in order to make their life more fulfilling. In short, unique among world religions, Islam has not had to sacrifice its integrity in order to be both applicable to “modern life” and to have enough spiritual impact to change people’s lives.

 
A Complete Way of Life

Islam not just a “religion” in the traditional sense, because it is not just confined to acts of worship, morality and other aspects of personal piety. The teachings of Islam, even though they do cover religious rituals and morality, also encompass all other aspects of life. The Prophet Muhammad’s mission encompassed not only spiritual and religious teachings, but also included guidance for such things as social reform, economics, politics, warfare and family life. Thus due to the diversity and success of Muhammad’s mission, Muslims have clear guidance from God and His Final Prophet on all aspects of life. This goes hand-in-hand with the Islamic belief that Almighty God does not leave human beings without guidance in their daily lives — thus His guidance is all-encompassing. Due to God’s wisdom, and because Islam is the final revealed religion, the guidance that God has sent is applicable for all times and for all places. This can be seen in the fact that the guidance for some aspects of life is much more broad and flexible than others. Additionally, in the Qur’an, Almighty God has revealed to mankind that the purpose of our creation is to worship and remember God in all aspects of our life, and to follow His guidance in everything that we do. Thus Islam does not accept a secular view of government and society, but only one based on the Law of God. Nor does Islam leave it to human beings to decide what is right and wrong, good and bad, moral and immoral based on their whims, desires or man-made idea. In short, Islam does not teach people to “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s” because, according to Islam, everything belongs to God. Like all of its other teachings, Islam’s view of other religions is balanced, realistic and moderate. Islam doesn’t view other religions as being either completely true nor completely false, but believes that all true religions were at one time divinely revealed. However, over time the teachings of the various religions, due to a variety of reasons, have become distorted and mixed with made-man ideas. But nonetheless, Muslims are required to be tolerant of other revealed religions since the Qur’an clearly says: “Let there be no compulsion in religion”.

 
Moderation

The teachings of Islam, since they are divinely revealed, are balanced in all of their aspects. Even though Islam is an all-encompassing way of life, it preaches moderation and rejects extremism. On the one hand, Islam does not preach complete rejection of all worldly pleasures in view of the life hereafter; and on the other hand it does not teach that earthly life is just for pleasure and enjoyment. In Islam, wealth and worldly pleasures can be partaken of in this life as long as they are enjoyed in a way that is in obedience to God. However, Muslims are taught to keep in mind that the life hereafter is their ultimate goal, and therefore one should be charitable and not become too attached to worldly things. By maintaining a balance between man’s spiritual and physical needs, the teachings of Islam are best suited for the needs of human beings in particular and society in general. Since Islam is based on clear guidance from God, it rejects all man-made religious excesses, such as certain forms of monasticism where people try to completely “reject the world” and other forms of extreme self-denial. Islam teaches that human beings have responsibilities at all levels — to other individuals, to their families and to society as a whole. By maintaining a unique balance between the physical and spiritual, and between the individual and society, Islam maintains a balance in all directions.

 
A Positive Outlook

Most people will agree that having a strong self-esteem and a positive outlook on life is conducive to achieving happiness and success. Unique among the religions of the world, Islam’s view of both the nature of the human being and the purpose of life are extremely positive. Islam’s view of the nature of the human being is balanced. On the one hand they are not viewed as being inherently evil, but on the other they are not considered to be perfect – nor are they expected to be so. According to the teachings of Islam, every human being, man or woman, is born with a clean slate and is equally capable of both good and evil. Since God has bestowed limited free-will on human beings, they will ultimately be held responsible for their actions. Believing that “salvation” is based on “faith alone” reduces human life to a near meaningless and fatalistic existence. The teachings of Islam make it clear that human beings, since their nature is basically good, are capable of positive action in this life, and that the best way to achieve a balanced, happy and fulfilled life is complete submission to Almighty God. Certainly, no person can completely submit to God by simply wanting to do so, but by first realizing that none has a right to be worshipped and obeyed except for Almighty God, and then making a reasonable effort to follow God’s commands, all human beings can fulfill their reason for existence – which is to worship God alone. . The Noble Qur’an tells us that “man was created weak” and thus falls into sin often. On the other hand, man is not to think of himself as so evil and corrupt so as to despair of God’s mercy. As a recourse to this, and since Islam condemns self-righteousness, a pious life can only be lived by trusting in God — since there is no power or strength except through God. As such, spiritual felicity is achieved by a combination of both faith and action. As such, the most righteous person is not one who thinks that repentance is unnecessary, but the one who admits and realizes his mistakes – and then repents. According to the word of Almighty God as revealed in the Holy Qur’an, mankind is God’s trustee on earth; and as such the life of this world is a test, not a punishment. Even before God created the first man, He knew that he would sin, however God created man in spite of this. According to the Qur’an, God has bestowed on human beings a great trust and given them dignity. It is only by worshipping Almighty God, directly and without intermediaries, that a human being can fulfull their true innate nature and purpose of existence. In short, Islam is realistic. It portrays human beings just as they are and the life of the world just as it is. Since the outlook of Islam is divinely revealed is not based on wishful or negative thinking, but simply on reality. Islam also has a positive view of mankind in general, since it teaches that the best person in the sight of God is the one who is most God-conscious. In this way the truth of Islam and the universality of God’s message transcends all of the barriers of race, nationality, ethnic group and economic status.

The Muslim’s Creed in Q&A format…..

The Muslim’s Creed

Question No.1
Why has Allaah created us?

Answer
To worship Him alone and to worship no other besides Him.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{And I have not created Jinn and human beings except they should worship Me}, {Soorah adh-Dhaariyaat, Aayah 56]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((The right of Allaah upon slaves is to worship Him and not to associate partners with Him)), Transmitted by al-Bukhaaree and Muslim]


Question No.2
How should we worship Allaah?

Answer
As Allaah and His Messenger commanded us.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{And they were commanded not, but that they should worship Allaah, and worship none but Him alone}, {Soorah al-Bayyinah, Aayah 5]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((Whoever does any deed (in religion) which our matter in not in accordance with, it will not be accepted)), [Transmitted by Muslim]


Question No.3
Should we worship Allaah with fear and hope?

Answer
Yes, we worship Him with fear and hope.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{And invoke Him with fear and hope}, {Soorah al-A’raaf, Aayah 56]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((I beseech Allaah to grant me Paradise and I seek refuge in Him from Hellfire)), [Transmitted by Abu Daawood]


Question No.4
What is Ihsaan (perfection in worship)?

Answer
Ihsaan is to be conscious that Allaah sees us during worship.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{Who sees you (O Muhammad) when you stand up (alone at night for Tahajjud prayer)}, {Soorah ash-Shu’araa, Aayah‘s 218]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((Ihsaan is to worship Allaah as if you are seeing Him, yet truly He is seeing you)), [Transmitted by Muslim]


Question No.5
Why did Allaah send the Messengers?

Answer
To call mankind to His worship and to reject the worship of anything besides Allaah.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{And verily We have sent among every nation a Messenger (proclaiming) worship Allaah alone and avoid Taaghoot (false deities)}, {Soorah an-Nahl, Aayah 36]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((The prophets are brothers and their faith is one)), [Transmitted by al-Bukhaaree and Muslim]


Question No.6
What is meant by (Tawheed) oneness of Allaah?

Answer
It means devoting worship to him alone like supplication, vow, judgment.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{So know (O Muhammad) that there is no God except Allaah}, {Soorah Muhammad, Aayah 19]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((Let the first thing you invite them to do is to testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allaah)), [Transmitted by al-Bukhaaree and Muslim]


Question No.7
What is the meaning of there is no God but Allaah?

Answer
It means there is no deity that truly deserves to be worshipped except Allaah.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{That is because Allaah, He is the truth and that is which they invoke besides Him is al-Baatil (falsehood, Satan, and all other deities)}, {Soorah al-Hajj, Aayah 62]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((Whoever says there is no God except Allaah and rejects whatever is worshipped besides Allaah, his property and blood become sacrosanct and his reckoning with Allaah , the Mighty and Exalted)), [Transmitted by Muslim]


Question No.8
What is meant by oneness of names and attributes of Allaah?

Answer
To confirm the names and attributes as Allaah described them in His Book and as His Messenger described them in authentic Sunnah.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{There is nothing like unto Him and His the All-Hearer, the All-Seer}, {Soorah ash-Shooraa, Aayah 11]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((Allaah descends each night to the first heaven)), [Transmitted by Ahmad]


Question No.9
What is the benefit of monotheism (oneness of Allaah) to the Muslim?

Answer
Right guidance in this world and salvation from eternal punishment in the Hereafter.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{It is those who believe (in oneness of Allaah) and confuse not their belief with Thulm (wrong) by worshipping others besides Allaah) for them (only) there is security and they are guided}, {Soorah al-An’aam, Aayah 82]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((The right of worshippers upon Allaah is that He will not punish those who worship none beside Him)), [Transmitted by al-Bukhaaree and Muslim]


Question No.10
Where is Allaah?

Answer
Allaah is over the Throne which is above the seven heavens.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{ar-Rahmaan (The Merciful) Istawaa (rose over) the Throne}, {Soorah Taa Haa, Aayah 5]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((Allaah wrote out in a book with Him over the throne that His Mercy preceded His Wrath)), [Transmitted by al-Bukhaaree]


Question No.11
Is Allaah with us by His entity or knowledge?

Answer
Allaah with us by His knowledge, He hears and sees us.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{He (Allaah) said: Fear not, verily I am with you both, Hearing and Seeing}, {Soorah Taa Haa, Aayah 46]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((You call upon the one Who hears, Who is near and is with you)), [Transmitted by Muslim]


Question No.12
What is the greatest sin with Allaah?

Answer
It is the major Shirk (polytheism).

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{Verily whoever sets partners with Allaah, then Allaah has forbidden paradise for him and the Fire will be his abode}, {Soorah al-Maa.idah, Aayah 72]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((The Prophet was asked : what is the greater sin , he said: To ascribe partners to Allaah even though he created you)), [Transmitted by al-Bukhaaree]


Question No.13
What is the major shirk (polytheism)?

Answer
It is to devote any forms of worship to one other than Allaah.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{Verily Allaah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him in worship, but He forgives except that to whom He pleases}, {Soorah an-Nisaa., Aayah 48]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((The greatest sins are polytheism etc.)), [Transmitted by Muslim]


Question No.14
What is the harm of major shirk?

Answer
The reason for eternity in Hellfire.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{Verily whoever assigns partners (commits Shirk) to Allaah, Allaah makes it impermissible for him to enter al-Jannah}, {Soorah al-Maa.idah, Aayah 72]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((Whoever died while joining partners with Allaah (commits Shirk) enters Hellfire)), [Transmitted by Muslim]


Question No.15
Are good deeds of any benefit to one who worships others besides Allaah?

Answer
No, good deeds are of no benefit to those who worship others besides Allaah.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{But if they had joined in worship others with Allaah, all that they used to do would have been of no benefit to them}, {Soorah al-An’aam, Aayah 88]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((Who ever does any deed in which he associates partners with Me, I reject him and his Shirk)), [Transmitted by Muslim]


Question No.16
Does Shirk exist among Muslims today?

Answer
Yes, it does exist.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{And most of them believe not in Allaah except that they attribute partners (unto Him)}, {Soorah Yoosuf, Aayah 106]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((The doom Day will not occur until some tribes of my Ummah (Islaamic nation) have joined the idolaters and they will even worship idols)), [Transmitted by at-Tirmidhee]


Question No.17
What is ruling concerning praying (supplicating) to other than Allaah like the dead?

Answer
Praying to them is a major Shirk.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{Invoke not with Allaah another ilaah (God) Lest you be among those who receive punishment}, {Soorah ash-Shu’araa, Aayah 213]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((Whoever dies having called upon partners besides Allaah shall enter Hellfire)), [Transmitted by al-Bukhaaree]


Question No.18
Is supplication a form of worship?

Answer
Yes, supplication is worship.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{And your Lord said: Invoke Me, I will respond to your invocation}, {Soorah Ghaafir, Aayah 60]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((Supplication is worship)), [Transmitted by at-Tirmidhee]


Question No.19
Do dead hear our supplication?

Answer
No, they do not hear.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{But you can not make hear those who are in graves}, {Soorah Faatir, Aayah 22]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((Allaah Has assigned angels to inform me of my nation salutation)), [Transmitted by Ahmad]


Question No.20
Do we seek help from those who are dead, or from those who are not present?

Answer
No we do not seek help from, we rather seek help from Allaah.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{Remember when you sought help of your Lord, and He answered you}, {Soorah al-Anfaal, Aayah 9]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((O Ever-Living, Self-Subsistent, upon Him all subsist, I seek help through Your Mercy)), [Transmitted by at-Tirmidhee]


Question No.21
Is it permitted to seek help from any other besides Allaah?

Answer
No, it is not permitted.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{You (alone) we worship and you (alone) we ask for help}, {Soorah al-Faatihah, Aayah 5]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((If you ask, ask of Allaah, if you seek help seek help of Allaah)), [Transmitted by at-Tirmidhee]


Question No.22
May seek help from the living?

Answer
Yes, in the matters in which they are able to help.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{Help one another in al-Birr and at-Taqwa (virtue, righteousness)}, {Soorah al-Maa.idah, Aayah 2]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((Allaah helps the worshipper as long as the worshipper helps his brother)), [Transmitted by Muslim]


Question No.23
Is it allowed to make vows to other than Allaah?

Answer
No, it is not allowed to swear oaths except in Allaah’s Name.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{O my Lord I have vowed to You what is in my womb to be dedicated for Your services}, {Soorah Aal-‘Imraan, Aayah 35]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((Whoever vows to obey Allaah should obey Him, and whoever vows to disobey Him should not disobey Him)), [Transmitted by al-Bukhaaree]


Question No.24
Is it allowed to sacrifice in any name besides Allaah?

Answer
No, it is not allowed.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{Therefore turn in prayer to your Lord and sacrifice (to Him only)}, {Soorah al-Kowthar, Aayah 2]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((Allaah curses whoever sacrifices and slaughters in any name other than Allaah)), [Transmitted by Muslim]


Question No.25
Is it permitted to circumambulate the graves of pious men?

Answer
No, it is not allowed.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{And circumambulate the Ancient House (the Ka’bah in Makkah)}, {Soorah al-Hajj, Aayah 29]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((Whoever circumambulate the House (Ka’bah) seven times and prays two rak’ah)), [Transmitted by Ibn Maajah]


Question No.26
Is it allowed to pray while the grave is in front of you?

Answer
No, it is not allowed.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{So turn your face in the direction of al-Masjid al-Haraam}, {Soorah al-Baqarah, Aayah 144]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((Don‘t sit on the graves and do not pray towards them)), [Transmitted by Muslim]


Question No.27
What is the ruling in Islaam concerning the practice of sihr (black magic/sorcery)?

Answer
The practice of sihr is considered an act of disbelief.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{But the Devils disbelieved, teaching men sihr (magic and such things)}, {Soorah al-Baqarah, Aayah 102]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((Avoid seven destroyers: Shirk, sihr…)), [Transmitted by Muslim]


Question No.28
Should we believe the claims of fortunetellers and soothsayers?

Answer
No, we should not believe them.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{Say: None in the heavens and the earth knows the Ghayb (unseen)}, {Soorah an-Naml, Aayah 65]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((Whoever goes to a fortuneteller or soothsayer, and believe what they say, has disbelieved in what has been revealed to Muhammad)), [Transmitted by Ahmad]


Question No.29
Does any one have the knowledge of the (unseen)?

Answer
No one but Allaah alone has the knowledge of the unseen.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{And with Him are the keys of Ghayb (unseen), none knows them but He}, {Soorah al-An’aam, Aayah 59]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((No one has the knowledge of the unseen except Allaah)), [Transmitted by at-Tabaraanee]


Question No.30
By what sources do the Muslims govern?

Answer
Muslims govern by laws laid down in the Qur.aan and authentic Ahadeeth.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{And so judge (you O Muhammad) between them by what Allaah has revealed}, {Soorah al-Maa.idah, Aayah 49]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((Allaah is the judge and to whom is the return)), [Transmitted by al-Bukhaaree and Muslim]


Question No.31
What is the ruling in Islaam concerning applying non – Islaamic laws?

Answer
It is an act of disbelief.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{And whosoever does not judge by what Allaah has revealed, such are the disbelievers}, {Soorah al-Maa.idah, Aayah 44]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((When the leaders do not rule by Allaah’s Book (Qur.aan) and choose the good from that which Allaah has revealed, Allaah will cause conflict among them)), [Transmitted by Ibn Maajah]


Question No.32
Is it permitted to swear by other than Allaah’s Name?

Answer
No, it is not permitted.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{Say: Yes! By my Lord you will certainly be resurrected}, {Soorah at-Taghaabun, Aayah 7]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((Whoever swears by anyone other than Allaah, has associated partners with Allaah)), [Transmitted by Ahmad]


Question No.33
Should we wear good luck charms (like amulets or talismans)?

Answer
No, we should not wear them.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{And if Allaah touches you with harm none can remove it but He}, {Soorah al-An’aam, Aayah 17]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((Whoever wears an amulet has committed Shirk)), [Transmitted by Ahmad]


Question No.34
Through what may we seek intercession with Allaah?

Answer
By His Names and Attributes.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{And (all ) the most beautiful Names belong to Allaah, so call on Him by them}, {Soorah al-A’raaf, Aayah 180]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((I ask you by all your names, with which you wave named your self)), [Transmitted by Ahmad]


Question No.35
Does any supplication to Allaah require a human intermediary?

Answer
No, prayer does not require a human intermediary.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{And when my slaves ask you (O Muhammad) concerning Me, then I am indeed near (to them by My knowledge)}, {Soorah al-Baqarah, Aayah 186]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((You pray to the one who hears all and He is near and He is with you)), [Transmitted by Muslim]


Question No.36
What is the mediation (waasitah) of the Messenger?

Answer
The mediation of the Messenger is the transmission of Allaah’s Message.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{O Messenger (Muhammad) proclaim what has been sent down to you from your Lord}, {Soorah al-Maa.idah, Aayah 67]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((Oh Allaah, have I proclaimed your message? Oh Allaah bear witness. (In response to the statement of the Sahaabah, “Indeed, we bear witness that you have proclaimed the message.”))), [Transmitted by Muslim]


Question No.37
From whom may we seek the Messenger’s intercession?

Answer
From Allaah alone.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{Say: To Allaah belongs all intercession}, {Soorah az-Zumar, Aayah 44]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((Oh Allaah grant to him (the Prophet) intercession for me)), [Transmitted by at-Tirmidhee]


Question No.38
How do we demonstrate our love for Allaah and his Messenger?

Answer
By obeying and following their commands.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{Say (O Muhammad to mankind) if you really love Allaah then follow me, Allaah will love you}, {Soorah Aal-‘Imraan, Aayah 31]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((None of you have perfect faith until you love me more than your parents, children, and all mankind)), [Transmitted by al-Bukhaaree and Muslim]


Question No.39
Should we be excessive in our praise for the Messenger?

Answer
No, we should not be excessive in our praise to him.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{Say I am only a man like you. It has been inspired to me that your god is one ilaah (Allaah)}, {Soorah al-Kahf, Aayah 110]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((Do not exaggerate in praising me, I am only a slave. So say Allaah’s slave and Messenger)), [Transmitted by al-Bukhaaree]


Question No.40
Who were the first creation?

Answer
From human being was Adam and from things was the pen.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{Remember when your Lord said to the angels truly I am going to create man from clay}, {Soorah Sa’d, Aayah 71]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((The first thing created by Allaah was the pen)), [Transmitted by at-Tirmidhee and Abu Daawood]


Question No.41
From what was Prophet Muhammad created?

Answer
He was created from Nutfah (drops of semen – male and female discharges).

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{It is He Who created you (Adam) from dust, then from a Nutfah}, {Soorah Ghaafir, Aayah 67]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((In every one of you, all components are created together in your mother’s womb by 40 days)), [Transmitted by al-Bukhaaree and Muslim]


Question No.42
What is the status of jihad for the sake of Allaah in Islaam?

Answer
It is obligatory with lives, wealth and speech.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{March forth , whether you are light (being healthy, young and wealthy) or heavy (being ill, old and poor) strive hard with your wealth and your lives in the cause of Allaah}, {Soorah at-Towbah, Aayah 41]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((Fight against the polytheisms with your wealth, lives and speech)), [Transmitted by Abu Daawood]


Question No.43
What is Walaa (friendship and loyalty)?

Answer
Walaa (friendship and loyalty) is love and help of the faithful believers.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{The believers men and women are Awliyaa (helpers, supporters friends and protectors) of one another}, {Soorah at-Towbah, Aayah 71]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((The faithful believers are as a brick structure, each supporting the other)), [Transmitted by Muslim]


Question No.44
Is seeking the friendship and help of disbelievers permitted?

Answer
No, it s not permitted.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{And if any amongst you take them as Auliyaa then surely he is one of them}, {Soorah al-Maa.idah, Aayah 51]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((The people of such and such clan are not my supporters (Awliyaa))), [Transmitted by al-Bukhaaree and Muslim]


Question No.45
Who is Walee (friend)?

Answer
A Walee is a true believer, who fears Allaah very much.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{Verily, Awliyaa of Allaah no fear shall come upon them nor shall they grieve}, {Soorah Yoonus, Aayah‘s 62-63]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((My only Walee is Allaah then the most pious among the true believers)), [Transmitted by al-Bukhaaree and Muslim]


Question No.46
Why did Allaah reveal the Qur.aan?

Answer
So as to apply it to our daily life.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{Follow what has been sent down to you from your Lord}, {Soorah al-A’raaf, Aayah 3]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((Read Qur.aan and apply it, do not make your living from it)), [Transmitted by Ahmad]


Question No.47
Is the Qur.aan alone sufficient for us without the Hadeeth (statements, actions, tacit approvals of the Prophet)?

Answer
No, it is not sufficient.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{And We have sent down unto you (O Muhammad ) the reminder and the advice (the Qur.aan) that you may explain clearly to men what is sent down to them, and that they may give thought}, {Soorah an-Nahl, Aayah 44]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((Indeed I have been given Qur.aan and along with it that which is like it)), [Transmitted by Abu Daawood]


Question No.48
Should we give priority to other opinions over the Word of Allaah and His Messengers?

Answer
No, we should not.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{Oh you who believe, do not be forward (hasten not to decide) in the presence of Allaah and His Messenger}, {Soorah al-Hujuraat, Aayah 1]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((There is no obedience to the creatures if it means disobeying the Creator)), [Transmitted by Ahmad]


Question No.49
What should we do if we differ in the religious matters?

Answer
We should refer to holy Qur.aan and authentic Sunnah.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{And if you differ in any thing amongst yourselves, refer back to Allaah and His Messenger}, {Soorah an-Nisaa., Aayah 59]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((I am leaving two things with you, you will never go astray if you hold fast to them, and they are Allaah’s Book and the Sunnah)), [Transmitted by al-Bukhaaree and Muslim]


Question No.50
What is (al-bid’ah) innovation in religion?

Answer
It is any thing not based on evidence from Islaamic law.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{Or have they partners with Allaah who have instituted for them a religion which Allaah has not allowed?}, {Soorah ash-Shooraa, Aayah 21]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((Whoever adds something new in our matter (Islaam), it will not be accepted)), [Transmitted by al-Bukhaaree and Muslim]


Question No.51
Is there good innovation (bid’atun hasanatun) in religion?

Answer
No, there is no good innovation in religion.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed my favour on you, and have chosen for you Islaam as your religion}, {Soorah al-Maa.idah, Aayah 3]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((Beware of new things (in the matters of religion) for every new thing is innovation, every innovation is heresy and every heresy leads to Hellfire)), [Transmitted by an-Nasaa.ee]


Question No.52
Is there such a thing as Sunnah Hasanah in Islaam?

Answer
Yes, there is Sunnah Hasanah are good deeds (such as giving charity).

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{And made us leaders of the Muttaqoon (the pious)}, {Soorah al-Furqaan, Aayah 74]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((Whoever introduces a good practice into Islaam, will have the reward for it and the reward of those who follow his practice thereafter, yet they will lose nothing of their reward)), [Transmitted by Muslim]


Question No.53
Is it enough for a person to reform himself?

Answer
No, it is a duty on him to reform his relatives also.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{Oh you who believe! Ward off yourselves and your families against a Fire}, {Soorah at-Tahreem, Aayah 6]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((Verily Allaah will ask every shepherd about his flock. Did he protect it or lose it?)), [Transmitted by an-Nasaa.ee who declared it hasan]


Question No.54
When will Muslims be victorious?

Answer
When they apply Qur.aan and Sunnah (fully) in their lives.

Evidence from the Noble Qur.aan
{O you who believe! If you help in the cause of Allaah, He will help you, and make your foothold firm}, {Soorah Muhammed, Aayah 7]

Evidence from the authentic Sunnah
((There will always be a victorious group from my nation)), [Transmitted by Ibn Maajah]


Shaykh Muhammad ibn Jameel Zeenoo

A Brief Introduction to Islam

 The most important truth that God revealed to mankind is that there is nothing divine or worthy of being worshipped except for Almighty God, thus all human beings should submit to Him.
– The Reign of Islamic Da’wah Centre, Toronto, Canada

Islam and Muslims

The word “Islam” is an Arabic word which means “submission to the will of God”. This word comes from the same root as the Arabic word “salam”, which means “peace”. As such, the religion of Islam teaches that in order to achieve true peace of mind and surety of heart, one must submit to God and live according to His Divinely revealed Law. The most important truth that God revealed to mankind is that there is nothing divine or worthy of being worshipped except for Almighty God, thus all human beings should submit to Him. The word “Muslim” means one who submits to the will of God, regardless of their race, nationality or ethnic background. Being a Muslim entails willful submission and active obedience to God, and living in accordance with His message. Some people mistakenly believe that Islam is just a religion for Arabs, but nothing could be further from the truth. Not only are there converts to Islam in every corner of the world, especially in England and America, but by taking a look at the Muslim World from Bosnia to Nigeria, and from Indonesia to Morocco, one can clearly see that Muslims come from many various races, ethnic groups and nationalities. It is also interesting to note that in actuality, more than 80% of all Muslims are not Arabs – there are more Muslims in Indonesia than in the whole Arab World! So though even though it is true that most Arabs are Muslims, the large majority of Muslims are not Arabs. However, anyone who submits completely to God and worships Him alone is a Muslim.

Continuity of the Message

Islam is not a new religion because “submission to the will of God”, i.e. Islam, has always been the only acceptable religion in the sight of God. For this reason, Islam is the true “natural religion”, and it is the same eternal message revealed through the ages to all of God’s prophets and messengers. Muslims believe that all of God’s prophets, which include Abraham, Noah, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad, brought the same message of Pure Monotheism. For this reason, the Prophet Muhammad was not the founder of a new religion, as many people mistakenly think, but he was the Final Prophet of Islam. By revealing His final message to Muhammad, which is an eternal and universal message for all of mankind, God finally fulfilled the covenant that He made with Abraham, who was one of the earliest and greatest prophets. Suffice it to say that the way of Islam is the same as the way of the prophet Abraham, because both the Bible and the Qur’an portray Abraham as a towering example of someone who submitted himself completely to God and worshipped Him without intermediaries. Once this is realized, it should be clear that Islam has the most continuous and universal message of any religion, because all prophets and messengers were “Muslims”, i.e. those who submitted to God’s will, and they preached “Islam”, i.e. submission to the will of Almighty God.

The Oneness of God

The foundation of the Islamic faith is belief in the Oneness of Almighty God – the God of Abraham, Noah, Moses and Jesus. Islam teaches that a pure belief in One God is intuitive in human beings and thus fulfills the natural inclination of the soul. As such, Islam’s concept of God is straightforward, unambiguous and easy to understand. Islam teaches that the hearts, minds and souls of human beings are fitting receptacles for clear divine revelation, and that God’s revelations to man are not clouded by self-contradictory mysteries or irrational ideas. As such, Islam teaches that even though God cannot be fully comprehended and grasped by our finite human minds, He also does not expect us to accept absurd or demonstrably false beliefs about Him. According to the teachings of Islam, Almighty God is absolutely One and His Oneness should never be compromised by associating partners with Him – neither in worship nor in belief. Due to this, Muslims are required to maintain a direct relationship with God, and therefore all intermediaries are absolutely forbidden. From the Islamic standpoint, believing in the Oneness of God means to realize that all prayer and worship should be exclusively for God, and that He alone deserves such titles as “Lord” and “Saviour”. Some religions, even though they believe on “One God”, do not make all of their worship and prayers for Him alone. Also, they also give the title of “Lord” to beings that are not All-Knowing, All-Powerful and Un-Changing – even according to their own scriptures. Suffice it to say that according to Islam, it is not enough that people believe that “God is One”, but they must actualize this belief by proper conduct. In short, in the Islamic concept of God, which is completely based on Divine Revelation, there is no ambiguity in divinity – God is God and man is man. Since God is the only Creator and continual Sustainer of the Universe, He is transcendent above His creation – the Creator and the creature never mix. Islam teaches that God has a unique nature and that He is free from gender, human weaknesses and beyond anything which human beings can imagine. The Qur’an teaches that the signs and proofs of God’s wisdom, power and existence are evident in the world around us. As such, God calls on man to ponder over the creation in order to build a better understanding of his Creator. Muslims believe that God is Loving, Compassionate and Merciful, and that He is concerned with the daily affairs of human beings. In this, Islam strikes a unique balance between false religious and philosophical extremes. Some religions and philosophies portray God as just an impersonal “Higher Power” who is uninterested, or unaware, of the life of each individual human. Other religions tend to give God human qualities and teach that He is present in His creation, by being incarnate in someone, something – or even everything. In Islam, however, Almighty God has clarified the truth by letting mankind know that He is “Compassionate”, “Merciful”, “Loving” and the “Answerer of Prayers”. But He as also emphasized strongly that “there is nothing like unto Him”, and that He is high above time, space and His creation. Finally, it should be mentioned that the God that Muslims worship is the same God that Jews and Christians worship – because there is only one God. It is unfortunate that some people mistakenly believe that Muslims worship a different God than Jews and Christians, and that “Allah” is just the “god of the Arabs”. This myth, which has been propagated by the enemies of Islam, is completely false since the word “Allah” is simply the Arabic name for Almighty God. It is the same word for God which is used by Arabic-speaking Jews and Christians. However, it should be clarified that even though Muslims worship the same God as Jews and Christian, their concept of Him differs somewhat from the beliefs of other religions – mainly because it is based completely on Divine Revelation from God. For example, Muslims reject the Christian belief that God is a Trinity, not only because the Qur’an rejects it, but also because if this was God’s true nature, He would have clearly revealed it to Abraham, Noah, Jesus and all of the other prophets.

The Qur’an

The Arabic world “Al-Qur’an” literally means “the recitation”. When used in regards to Islam, the word Qur’an means God’s final message to mankind that was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. The Qu’ran, sometimes spelled Koran, is the literal the word of God – as it clearly says time and time again. Unlike other sacred scriptures, the Qur’an has been perfectly preserved in both its words and meaning in a living language. The Qu’ran is a living miracle in the Arabic language; and is know to be inimitable in its style, form and spiritual impact. God’s final revelation to mankind, the Qur’an, was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad over a period of 23 years. The Qur’an, in contrast to many other religious books, was always thought to be the Word of God by those who believed in it, i.e. it wasn’t something decreed by a religious council many years after being written. Also, the Qu’ran was recited publicly in front of both the Muslim and non-Muslim communities during the life of the Prophet Muhammad. The entire Qur’an was also completely written down in lifetime of the Prophet, and numerous companions of the Prophet memorized the entire Qur’an word-for-word as it was revealed. So unlike other scriptures, the Qur’an was always in the hands of the common believers, it was always thought to be God’s word and, due to wide-spread memorization, it was perfectly preserved. In regards to the teachings of the Qur’an – it is a universal scripture, and it is addressed to all of mankind, and not to a particular tribe or “chosen people”. The message that it brings is nothing new, but the same message of all of the prophets – submit to Almighty God and worship Him alone. As such, God’s revelation in the Qur’an focuses on teaching human beings the importance of believing in the Unity of God and framing their lives around the guidance which He has sent. Additionally, the Qur’an contains the stories of the previous prophets, such as Abraham, Noah, Moses and Jesus; as well as many commands and prohibitions from God. In modern times in which so many people are caught up in doubt, spiritual despair and “political correctness”, the Qur’anic teachings offer solutions to the emptiness of our lives and the turmoil that is gripping the world today. In short, the Qur’an is the book of guidance par excellence.

The Prophet Muhammad

Unlike the founders of many religions, the final prophet of Islam is a real documented and historical figure. He lived in the full light of history, and the most minute details of his life are known. Not only do Muslims have the complete text of God’s words that were revealed to Muhammad, but they have also preserved his saying and teachings in what is called “hadeeth” literature. This having been said, it should be understood that Muslims believe that the Prophet Muhammad was only a man chosen by God, and that he is not divine in any way. In order to avoid the misguided wish to deify him, the Prophet Muhammad taught Muslims to refer to him as “God’s Messenger and His Slave”. The mission of the last and final prophet of God was to simply teach that “there is nothing divine or worthy of being worshipped except for Almighty God”, as well as being a living example of God’s revelation. In simple terms, God sent the revelation to Muhammad, who in turn taught it , preached it, lived it and put it into practice. In this way, Muhammad was more that just a “prophet” in the sense of many of the Biblical prophets, since he was also a statesman and ruler. He was a man who lived a humble life in the service of God, and established an all-encompassing religion and way of life by showing what it means to be an ideal friend, husband, teacher, ruler, warrior and judge. For this reason, Muslims follow him not for his own sake, but in obedience to God, because Muhammad not only showed us how to deal with our fellow human beings, but more importantly, he showed us how to relate to and worship God, worship Him in the only way pleasing to Him. Like other prophets, Muhammad faced a great deal of opposition and persecution during his mission. However, he was always patient and just, and he treated his enemies well. The results of his mission were very successful, and even though his mission started in one of the most backward and remotes places on earth, within a hundred years of the death of Muhammad, Islam had spread from Spain to China. The Prophet Muhammad was the greatest of all of God’s prophets, not because he had new doctrines or greater miracles, but because the results of his mission have brought more human beings into the pure and proper belief in the One True God than any other prophet.

The Islamic Way of Life

In the Noble Qur’an, God teaches human beings that they were created in order to worship Him, and that the basis of all true worship is God-consciousness. Since the teachings of Islamic encompass all aspects of life and ethics, God-consciousness is encouraged in all human affairs. Islam makes it clear that all human acts are acts of worship if they are done for God alone and in accordance to His Divine Law. As such, worship in Islam is not limited to religious rituals. The teachings of Islam act as a mercy and a healing for the human soul, and such qualities as humility, sincerity, patience and charity are strongly encouraged. Additionally, Islam condemns pride and self-righteousness, since Almighty God is the only judge of human righteousness. The Islamic view of the nature of man is also realistic and well-balanced. Human beings are not believed to be inherently sinful, but are seen as equally capable of both good and evil. Islam also teaches that faith and action go hand-in-hand. God has given people free-will, and the measure of one’s faith is one’s deeds and actions. However, human beings have also been created weak and regularly fall into sin. This is the nature of the human being as created by God in His Wisdom, and it is not inherently “corrupt” or in need of repair. This is because the avenue of repentance of always open to all human beings, and Almighty God loves the repentant sinner more than one who does not sin at all. The true balance of an Islamic life is established by having a healthy fear of God as well as a sincere belief in His infinite Mercy. A life without fear of God leads to sin and disobedience, while believing that we have sinned so much that God will not possibly forgive us only leads to despair. In light of this, Islam teaches that: only the misguided despair of the Mercy of their Lord. Additionally, the Noble Qur’an, which was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, contains a great deal of teachings about the life hereafter and the Day of Judgment. Due to this, Muslims believe that all human beings will ultimately be judged by God for their beliefs and actions in their earthly lives. In judging human beings, Almighty God will be both Merciful and Just, and people will only be judged for what they were capable of. Suffice it to say that Islam teaches that life is a test, and that all human beings will be accountable before God. A sincere belief in the life hereafter is key to leading a well-balanced life and moral. Otherwise, life is viewed as an end in itself, which causes human beings to become more selfish, materialistic and immoral.

Islam for a Better Life

Islam teaches that true happiness can only being obtained by living a life full of God-consciousness and being satisfied with what God has given us. Additionally, true “freedom” is freedom from being controlled by our base human desires and being ruled by man-made ideologies. This stands in stark contrast to the view of many people in the modern world, who consider “freedom” to be the ability to satisfy all of their desires without inhibition. The clear and comprehensive guidance of Islam gives human-beings a well-defined purpose and direction in life. In addition to being members of the human-brotherhood of Islam, its well-balanced and practical teachings are a source of spiritual comfort, guidance and morality. A direct and clear relationship with Almighty God, as well as the sense of purpose and belonging that ones feels as a Muslim, frees a person from the many worries of everyday life. In short, the Islamic way of life is pure and wholesome. It builds self-discipline and self-control thought regular prayer and fasting, and frees human-beings from superstition and all sorts of racial, ethnic and national prejudices. By accepting to live a God-conscious life, and realizing that the only thing that distinguishes people in the sight of God is their consciousness of Him, a person’s true human dignity is realized.