Friday, May 30, 2008

Why Creed Is Important.

By: Maged Taman

Faith (creed) is the gate to religion. It is very important for all humans to have a confirmed belief (faith) of religion before they practice their religion. More important to find out what is the faith that is true at this juncture of history. It is normal to have lower faith when you have stresses or injustices in your life. This does not mean your are faithless. It means you reconcile your faith and know that tough times happen and are test from God. Without faith it is just stupid to practice religion. For these reasons I consider faith is extremely important:

1- If there is a God and the bible and Quran are right we are gambling our eternity if we take faith lightly or we do not consider it.

2- It will be stupid for someone to pray all these times, fast, fear God for every thing and give to charity if there is no God.

3- There is huge difference if our life in earth is our final destination or there is afterlife. I rather know now.

4- We do not have a good case in the day of judgment. I did not see anyone can show me the proof there is no God. There is no strong reasons not to believe in the prophets. No one can convince us with complete confidence that there is no afterlife. In order to do that he has to die first and come back to tell us that. I did not meet this man yet.

5- People at the time of Noah were making fun of him. Pharaoh and the Egyptians until they drowned were arrogantly arguing against God.

6- If there are intelligent people who deny God there are in the other side those intelligent people who are strongly and scientifically believe in God.

7- The case for God is strong and compelling. His straight path is good for all of us. Sometimes he interferes in history with all his power. That is why we have to understand God. It appears from the end of time prophecies he will succeed to attain his righteousness we like it or not.

8- If I am sure there is no God I would not even bother to make this blog.

9- If I am sure there is God I warn myself and others of him. That is what I am doing in my blog.

10- Thus creed is important unless you are very sure there is no God and you looked every where and you can not find him despite his great creation. Even the strong feeling of the heart of God is for you an illusion. I can not save your soul if you do not even care, but I am not loosing mine.

6:103 vision comprehendeth Him not, but He comprehendeth (all) vision. He is the Subtile, the Aware. -
لاَّ تُدْرِكُهُ الأَبْصَارُ وَهُوَ يُدْرِكُ الأَبْصَارَ وَهُوَ اللَّطِيفُ الْخَبِيرُ (6:103)

13:28 Who have believed and whose hearts have rest in the remembrance of Allah. Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest! -

الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَتَطْمَئِنُّ قُلُوبُهُم بِذِكْرِ اللّهِ أَلاَ بِذِكْرِ اللّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ (13:28)

2:7 Allah hath sealed their hearing and their hearts, and on their eyes there is a covering. Theirs will be an awful doom. -

خَتَمَ اللّهُ عَلَى قُلُوبِهمْ وَعَلَى سَمْعِهِمْ وَعَلَى أَبْصَارِهِمْ غِشَاوَةٌ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ عظِيمٌ (2:7)

Inimitability of the Qur'an and Some Evidences of it being from God.

Excerpted from an article written by scholars from al-Azhar.
Originally published by MSA-NEWS. From

FIRST - Because it is the pinnacle of linguistic perfection. The Arabs [of Jahiliyyah] were not accustomed to its form. Their linguistic abilities were hindered by the fact that its expression was worded in the shortest of forms without loss of clear meaning [bayan].

SECOND - Its wonderful structure was unique when it comes to the beginning of verses, their termination, and the places where one stops [when rehearsing it]. This is added to a refined way of presenting truth and the true knowledge of God [`irfan]. Its beautiful word and kind insinuation, easiness of construct and correctness of ordering made the minds of the purest of desert dwellers [al-Arba'] amazed and the understanding of the masters of the tongue struck. The wisdom behind this intended differentiation in which the Qur'an was revealed was to leave no doubt for those with wit [fiTna] or give them reason to steal [by producing something like it].

THIRD - Because the Qur'an has a record of things to come. They came to pass in accordance with the way God has intended. Allah said, "you shall most certainly enter the Sacred Mosque [Mecca], if Allah pleases, in security, (some) having their heads shaved and (others) having their hair cut, you shall not fear." (Surah "The Victory", 48.27)

FOURTH - What it told about previous generations and the people of yore and it was known [to the people of Quraish] that [Mohammed] was but an illiterate who neither read nor wrote. He did not sit with teachers in schools, nor mixed with the learned. He was raised within a people who knew no book. They were naked [`arin] when it came to scientific inquiry [al-ulum al-`aqliyyah]. Allah said, "Surely this Qur'an declares to the children of Israel most of what they differ in." (Surah "The Ant", 27.76).

FIFTH - What it revealed of the secrets of those who opposed it and what they used to plot. Their deceit was revealed to the messenger of God.

SIXTH - That it included knowledge from the smallest of particles to cosmic facts the Arabs did not know in general and neither did Mohammed (peace be upon him); most important, what it included about the science of Shari`ah and how to deduce laws, the ways to logical argumentation [al-hujaj al-`aqliyyah], the wisdom one derives from the stories of yore, the matters of the hereafter and the best of manners and behavior.

SEVENTH - It is free of contradiction despite the fact that it is a large book which includes many facts and various arts. "If it were from any other than Allah, they would have found in it many a discrepancy." (Surah "The Women", 4.82)

EIGHTH - It is a living miracle for it is read everywhere in uniformity, and God has promised to protect it. It is an established argument that, in contrast to other prophets whose miracles disappeared with them, the Qur'an is Mohammed's eternal miracle.

NINTH - Those who read it are not tired of it. Those who hear it are not bothered by it. And those who rehearse it fall in love with it.

TENTH - It includes both proof and proven. Those who understand the meaning know how to derive proof and how to find religious dictum at the same time when they consider both the way it is read and the way it is understood. It is conciseness of words [balaghah] which proves its miraculous character. It is with meaning that one finds God's order and His warning. Learning it by heart [hifdh] has been made easy. The fear that comes to the heart when hearing it and the humbleness that surrounds those reading it are beyond description.

The Fundamental Traits of Hypocrites

By: Harun Yahya

In their outward appearance, hypocrites are almost no different from Muslims. Their intentions, however, is entirely different. To one considering their outward appearance, hypocrites could give the impression of being a pious person; with their speech, behavior and other traits, they impersonate believers and in their manner of worship, pretend conformity to religious norms.
However, their understanding of the religion is a product of their errant rationale, rather than of the Qur'an. The basis of their perspective on religion is their ambition to reap personal benefits, and satisfy their own desires and intentions.
In concealing these intentions, hypocrites strive to take advantage of those benefits that emerge from the positive environment fostered among believers who live by the morality of the Qur'an. They seek to profit personally from this bounty, abundance, beauty, peace, security, joy, unity, compassion, love and respect Allah has granted the believers as blessings. However, they believe none recognizes their opportunism but that they can readily deceive the believers. Moreover, they believe they are successful, a good fortune they attribute to their intelligence.
However, though they think otherwise, hypocrites are truly deluded. For, to the true believer, even the slightest insincerity is apparent. Still, beyond that, Allah, Who is aware of the innermost thoughts, knows the real intentions of these people. Consequently, those attributes of a believer they pretend outwardly have no validity whatsoever in Allah's sight.
Allah relates this truth in the following verse, "... What they are doing [their worship] is purposeless." (Surat al-Araf, 139)
oreover, Allah knows of the hypocrites' disingenuousness, and whatever else they think are able to conceal. Consequently, in the words of the Qur'an, through such insincerity, "... [hypocrites] deceive no one but themselves but they are not aware of it." (Surat al-Baqara, 9)
A number of attributes of hypocrites are as follows:

They Issue From The Community Of Believers
Hypocrites must be from among the believers. Where there are no believers, one can talk about the people called idolaters or disbelievers. However, if there is a community of believers within a society, some may insinuate themselves into it, and pretend to be among them so as to gain advantage of the blessings that abound among the believers. The pursuit for personal gain is the only reason for their feigned piety.
From the verses of the Qur'an, we learn that the existence of a group of hypocrites within a community of believers is consistent reality. By living among the believers, hypocrites aim primarily at destroying their community from within, to harm them and disrupt their unity, and to support the disbelievers against them and Allah's messenger. Towards all such purposes, the hypocrites choose to remain within the community of believers, for as long as possible. According to the Qur'an:
There is a group of you who propagated the lie… (Surat an-Nur, 11)

They Appear Pious Though They Have No Faith
As we stated previously, the primary attribute of a hypocrite is his appearance of piety, though being devoid of faith. They do not harbour faith in their hearts; rather, their false piety is for ostentation. In verse of the Qur'an, Allah describes the condition of these people as follows:
Who is better: someone who founds his building on fear of Allah and His good pleasure, or someone who founds his building on the brink of a crumbling precipice so that it collapses with him into the Fire of Hell? Allah does not love wrongdoers. (Surat at-Tawba, 109)
Hypocrites expend great effort to imitate believers, for they assume that they will gain some profit by it. Out of their hypocrisy in religion, they believe they can deceive the believers by trying to talk to them in what they believe is a
They swear to you by Allah in order to please you, but it would be more fitting for them to please Allah and His Messenger if they are believers. (Surat at-Tawba, 62)
Hypocrites attempt to convince others that they have faith, but act only to earn other people's consent. But, when they are alone, or with other hypocrites, they are never conscious that Allah sees them at every instant, and that He knows whatever they may be doing or thinking. Due to the impurity of their faith, they fulfill their acts of worship when they are with the believers. They act and speak as they do when they are among them. Yet, once they are alone, they cease performing their acts of worship, speak as disbelievers do, and are heedless as disbelievers are towards Allah. And, however good their skills at imitation may be, Allah has stated in the Qur'an that the hypocrites will be certainly exposed. Allah relates this truth as follows:
Among the people there are some who say, "We believe in Allah and the Last Day," when they are not believers. They think they deceive Allah and those who believe. They deceive no one but themselves but they are not aware of it. There is a sickness in their hearts and Allah has increased their sickness. They will have a painful punishment on account of their denial. (Surat al-Baqara, 8-10)
In another verse, Allah describes the condition of the hypocrites as follows:
The hypocrites think they deceive Allah, but He is deceiving them... (Surat an-Nisa', 142)

Their Outward Behavior Is To Deceive
Hypocrites are not recognizable by their outer appearances; rather, in that respect, they may be no different from sincere people. In the Qur'an, Allah refers to their ostentatious appearance, and their elaborate way of speaking:
When you see them, their outward form appeals to you, and if they speak you listen to what they say. But they are like propped-up planks of wood. They imagine every cry to be against them. They are the enemy, so beware of them. May Allah destroy them! How they are perverted! (Surat al-Munafiqun, 4)
Indeed, among the attributes of believers that hypocrites try to imitate are their physical purity and manner of dress. It is therefore hard to distinguish hypocrites from sincere believers. However, hypocrites suffer from a form of spiritual impurity that penetrates into every aspect of their lives. By the verse, "... Leave them alone, then! They are filth...." (Surat at-Tawba, 95), Allah informs us about this characteristic of the believers. Furthermore, Allah "... adds defilement to their defilement..." (Surat at-Tawba, 125) The light of faith never appears on their faces, for their minds are always devising evil, hatching plots, and occupied in treachery, hatred, deceit and jealousy. In the Qur'an, Allah describes their faces with the following example:
... It is as if their faces were covered by dark patches of the night. (Surah Yunus, 27)
In another verse, hypocrites are described as follows:
They will be plunged into abasement wherever they are found, unless they have a treaty with Allah and with the people. (Surah Al 'Imran, 112)
The faces of believers, on the other hand, are bright with the light of faith, for they are continually seeking of Allah's good pleasure. As Allah relates in the following verse, "... Their mark is on their faces..." (Surat al-Fath, 29) Consequently, contrary to believers, the spiritual impurity becomes apparent in their demeanor.

They Do Not Understand The Qur'an
Despite their efforts to the contrary, hypocrites, who live among believers, behave in several ways that betray their insincerity. Their manner of interpreting the verses of the Qur'an is one such case by which they reveal the sickness in their hearts. They are wholly devoid of the faculty of discernment and wisdom which Allah grants to believers in return for their sincerity, for they have no real faith, and seek in the religion only that of their corrupt thinking. For this reason, when the Qur'an is recited, they fail to acknowledge its meanings, or the admonitions and reminders it draws attention to. They seize every opportunity to formulate distorted interpretations of the verses, so as to create divisiveness among the believers, or derive from them a meaning suitable to their whims and fancies. Allah refers to this tendency of the hypocrites in the Qur'an as follows:
It is He Who sent down the Book to you from Him: verses containing clear judgements-they are the core of the Book-and others which are open to interpretation. Those with deviation in their hearts follow what is open to interpretation in it, desiring conflict, seeking its inner meaning. No one knows its inner meaning but Allah. Those firmly rooted in knowledge say, "We believe in it. All of it is from our Lord." But only people of intelligence pay heed. (Surah Al 'Imran, 7)
Sometimes, their responses make it clear that Allah's Words have not had any influence upon them. Some of the verses informing us about this condition of the hypocrites are as follows:
Each time a sura is sent down there are some among them who say, "Which of you has this increased in faith?" As for those who believe, it increases them in faith and they rejoice at it. (Surat at-Tawba, 124)
Each time a sura is sent down, they look at one another, implying, "Can anyone see you?" Then they turn away. Allah has turned their hearts away because they are people who do not understand. (Surat at-Tawba, 127)
These responses of the hypocrites, as conveyed in the verses of the Qur'an, clearly reveal that they cannot grasp their divine purposes, or draw lessons from them. Being doubtful about Allah and the religion, they assess everything with disbelief rather than submission. As Allah informs us, "...The believers are those whose faith is increased when His Signs are recited to them." (Surat al-Anfal, 2) However, the same verses reveal the sickness in the hypocrites' hearts. Through the influence of Satan, hypocrites wish to infect the believers with this same weakness. In conveying their corrupt interpretations, they seek to inspire vain desires in those around them, to plant doubts in their hearts, or to cause disagreements among believers. For this reason, Allah warns believers of such people:
What! Are they in doubt about the meeting with their Lord? What! Does He not encompass all things? (Surah Fussilat, 54)

They Remember Allah Little
Believers are people who constantly remember Allah, turn inwardly to Him, and seek repentance from Him. They remember Allah by themselves often, as well as remind others of Him in word and deed. Remembering Allah is a natural consequence of being conscious of Allah's blessings. In one verse of the Qur'an, the importance of the remembrance of Allah is stressed:
… Remembrance of Allah is greater still. (Surat al-'Ankabut, 45)
One of the most incriminating characteristics of hypocrites is that they are not truly devoted to Allah; they do not turn to Him, or keep their minds occupied with His remembrance, nor seek forgiveness from Him. They will remember Allah at times, but rarely, for they recognize it as essential for being perceived as a Muslim. In one verse, Allah relates this fact as follows:
The hypocrites think they deceive Allah, but He is deceiving them. When they get up to pray, they get up lazily, showing off to people, and only remembering Allah a very little. (Surat an-Nisa', 142)
In other verses, Allah relates that hypocrites are those who do not keep their minds occupied with the remembrance of Him:
Satan has gained mastery over them and made them forget the remembrance of Allah. Such people are the party of Satan. No indeed! It is the party of Satan who are the losers. (Surat al-Mujadala, 19)
The men and women of the hypocrites are as bad as one another. They command what is wrong and forbid what is right and keep their fists tightly closed. They have forgotten Allah, so He has forgotten them. The hypocrites are deviators. (Surat at-Tawba, 67)
When hypocrites remember Allah, they do not do so in the way He ought to be remembered, for they do not assign to Allah the attributes due to Him, or appreciate His grandeur, artistry and supreme knowledge. Their manner of remembering Allah is not candid, sincere and frank, for their purpose in remembering Him is solely to imitate believers. Indeed, theirs is artificial and half-hearted, and based on rote learning, and aimed at hiding their true intentions and sentiments. When talking of everyday issues, they speak fluently and easily, making use of rich vocabulary. When it comes to the remembrance of Allah, however, they falter, and speak in a manner that is contrived. That they feel the need to perform this obligation, though they do not truly desire to, causes them to develop inner misgivings towards the believers. This condition is related in the Qur'an as follows:
When Allah is mentioned on His own, the hearts of those who do not believe in the Hereafter shrink back shuddering, but when others apart from Him are mentioned, they jump for joy. (Surat az-Zumar, 45)
In addition, they intentionally keep away from gatherings where the name of Allah is mentioned, and contrive various excuses to do so. Similarly, they also avoid places where the Qur'an is being read, for it reminds them of the truths of death, the Day of Judgment, and Hell, which they try to forget. Remembering these facts disturbs their consciences. In one verse, Allah relates this trait as follows:
[Disbelievers are] those whose eyes were blind to My remembrance and whose ears were unable to hear. (Surat al-Kahf, 101)
In another verse, Allah talks about the expression on hypocrites' faces as follows:
When Our Signs are recited to them-Clear Signs-you can detect denial in the faces of those who disbelieve. They all but assault those who recite Our Signs to them! Say: "Shall I inform you of something worse than that? The Fire which Allah has promised those who disbelieve. What an evil destination!"(Surat al-Hajj, 72)

They Are Arrogant
Another prominent characteristic of the believers is their modesty; they accept the fact that they are fallible, and thus immediately obey admonitions and warnings. Hypocrites, however, in their conceited arrogance, always think they know best, and fail to listen to advice or admit to their mistakes. They believe themselves to be clever. Further still, they regard themselves devoted servants of Allah. That the hypocrites of our Prophet's (saas) time did not accept his (saas) asking for forgiveness on their behalf is a clear sign of their conceit:
When they are told, "Come, and the Messenger of Allah will ask forgiveness for you," they turn their heads and you see them turn away in haughty arrogance. (Surat al-Munafiqun, 5)
When believers invite these people with sickness in their hearts to be sincere believers and remind them of Allah's verses, hypocrites' attitudes make it evident that they act in compliance with their conceit. They believe in their impeccability, and even do not recognize their humane mistakes. In the Qur'an, Allah relates us the end of their indulgence in their conceit:
When he is told to have fear of Allah, he is seized by pride which drives him to wrongdoing. Hell will be enough for him! What an evil resting-place! (Surat al-Baqara, 206)
When they were told, "There is no god but Allah," they were arrogant. (Surat as-Saffat, 35)
Considering themselves irreproachable, they are not disposed to recognize the end that awaits them in the Hereafter, as recompense for their moral failings and wickedness. Conceit, a characteristic typical of hypocrites, locks them in a vicious circle. Believers constantly improve themselves by making up for their mistakes and shortcomings, while hypocrites proceed into further depths of deceit. They do not benefit from admonitions. Allah informs believers about the end that awaits them, despite their supposed self-sufficiency:
No indeed! Truly man is unbridled, seeing himself as self-sufficient. (Surat al-Alaq, 6-7)
Similarly, as the verses of the Qur'an are being read, they interpret the meanings conveyed in them as if they concern not themselves, but other people. Consequently, they fail to grasp those matters from which they should be taking lessons. Although they read the Qur'an repeatedly, they consider death, the Hereafter and Hell remote. They think they are pure in intention, and, therefore, immune from punishment.
Due to their conceit, hypocrites consider other believers as inferior to themselves. Whatever they are blessed with, such as wealth, fame, status or beauty, makes them feel more arrogant, and causes them humiliate less well-off believers. The fact is, however, it is only fear of Allah that distinguishes who is superior. Believers do not esteem such false criteria; they love and respect others according to the profoundness of their faith, and not for their money, physical appearance or status. For this reason, those within the community of believers who grow in arrogance because of their possession of such blessings can be easily recognized.

They Speak What Is Not In Their Hearts
Another attribute of the hypocrites is their mendacity. Having no fear of Allah, they resort to lies whenever they are in trouble, thinking they can deceive believers. They also resort to false excuses to avoid their responsibilities. In the Qur'an, Allah draws our attention to the fact that the hypocrites of the time of our Prophet (saas), who were called to defend the Muslims against the enemy, tried to escape through lies:
What assailed you on the day the two armies met was by Allah's permission, so that He would know the believers, and so that He would know the hypocrites. They were told, "Come and fight in the Way of Allah or at least help defend us." They said, "If we knew how to fight, we would certainly follow you." They were closer to disbelief that day than to faith, saying with their mouths what was not in their hearts. And Allah knows best what they are hiding. (Surah Al 'Imran, 166-167)
As we can clearly see, hypocrites abandon the believers in times of difficulty, seeking to protect themselves and their own interests. However, the way they attempt to do so is in a hypocritical manner. That is, they try to justify their excuses. Of course, they do not admit outright that they are afraid of being harmed. Instead, they foolishly provide excuses, and try to convince believers in their genuineness. In the Qur'an, Allah relates such ploys as are typical of hypocrites:
Those Arabs who remained behind will say to you, "Our wealth and families kept us occupied, so ask forgiveness for us." They say with their tongues what is not in their hearts. Say: "Who can control Allah for you in any way whether He wants harm for you or wants benefit for you?" Allah is aware of what you do. (Surat al-Fath, 11)
And a group of them said, "People of Yathrib, Your position is untenable so return!" Some of them asked the Prophet (saas) to excuse them, saying, "Our houses are exposed," when they were not exposed; it was merely that they wanted to run away. (Surat al-Ahzab, 13)
The excuses put forward by hypocrites, such as, "If we knew how to fight, we would certainly follow you," or "our houses are unprotected," may seem legitimate. But, Allah revealed, "[They] say with their mouths what was not in their hearts". (Surah Al 'Imran, 167) Moreover, in telling such lies, they swear on Allah's name. In the Qur'an, Allah refers to the insincerity of hypocrites as follows:
They will swear by Allah: "Had we been able to, we would have gone out with you." (Surat at-Tawba, 42)
Another verse that refers to such lies is the following:
… and he calls Allah to witness what is in his heart, while he is in fact the most hostile of adversaries. (Surat al-Baqara, 204)

They Hinder Goodness And Compete In Wickedness
Another prominent attribute of believers is their enjoining the good and forbidding the wrong. That is to say, a believer does his utmost to call people to the morality of the Qur'an and hinder them from evil.
The tendency among hypocrites, on the other hand, is just the contrary; they try to prevent the deeds in conformity with Allah's religion and feel anguished by that which brings them good. Conversely, they become enthusiastic with regards to that which concerns their selfish whims and desires. They support whatever circumstances they think will harm believers and complicate their affairs. In the following verse, Allah states:
The men and women of the hypocrites are as bad as one another. They command what is wrong and forbid what is right and keep their fists tightly closed. They have forgotten Allah, so He has forgotten them. The hypocrites are deviators. (Surat at-Tawba, 67)

They Hate What Is Pleasing To Allah
Hypocrites go astray, for they do not conform to Allah's Will, but hate what is pleasing to Him. For believers, on the other hand, complying with Allah's good pleasure is what is of primacy, and for them the sole source of joy and happiness. On the contrary, hypocrites despise every act of worship, and do not sense pleasure in being servants to Allah. In one verse, Allah commands:
That is because they followed what angers Allah and hated what is pleasing to Him. So He made their actions come to nothing. (Surah Muhammad, 28)

They Are Ungrateful
Hypocrites, as are all other disbelievers, are ungrateful towards Allah. They are never appreciative to Allah, the Creator, Who created them, and Who provides them all manner of blessings, but turn their backs to His commands.
A second type of ingratitude found among hypocrites is that towards believers. Believers are those who help and support each other when they join their community. Believers summon each other to faith, and try to render themselves worthy of Paradise. The admonitions and reminders believers make are intended for their good.
For this trait of the believers, hypocrites harbor enmity towards them. Surely, this is true ingratitude, as mentioned in the Qur'an:
They swear by Allah that they said nothing, but they definitely spoke the word of disbelief and returned to disbelief after their Islam. They planned something which they did not achieve and they were vindictive for no other cause than that Allah and His Messenger had enriched them from His bounty. If they were to repent, it would be better for them. But if they turn away, Allah will punish them with a painful punishment in the world and the Hereafter, and they will not find any protector or helper on the earth. (Surat at-Tawba, 74)
You can ask forgiveness for them, or not ask forgiveness for them. Even if you asked forgiveness for them seventy times, Allah still would not forgive them. That is because they have rejected Allah and His Messenger. Allah does not guide deviant people. (Surat at-Tawba, 80)

They Are Unclean Both Physically And Spiritually
In the Qur'an, Allah informs us that hypocrites are "unclean". As well as in the verse 28 of the Surat at-Tawba, which stresses that hypocrites are "unclean" in general, there is mention of their spiritual and physical impurity in those verses related to hypocrites. While outlining the difference between the mosque founded by hypocrites to cause harm to believers and divide them, and the mosque of believers, Allah draws our attention to the fact that in the mosque of believers, there are those who love to purify themselves. (Surat at-Tawba, 107-108) The Prophet (saas) also stresses the cleanliness of the faithful in one of the hadiths:
"Surely, Islam is pure, therefore be pure, because he can never enter Paradise who is not pure." (Ahmad Diya'al-Din al-Kamushkhanawi, Ramuz al-Ahadith, vol.1, 96/2)
Another verse that talks about hypocrites maintain the following:
But as for those with sickness in their hearts, it adds defilement to their defilement, and they die as disbelievers. (Surat at-Tawba, 125)

They Are Not At Ease, But Plagued With Doubt
A hypocrite's mind is filled with anxiety, worries and despondence. His misery afflicts him already while he is still in this world. Effectively, they live with great insecurity and fear. They can never attain the submission, ease and peace which believers experience.
Hypocrites feel insecure as long as they are with believers. Believers are those who have submitted themselves to Allah, and, thereby, attained the peace of mind of acknowledging that it is Allah Who removes all distress. They put their trust in Him alone.
Hypocrites, on the other hand, suffer constantly from insecurity; they never submit themselves to Allah. They are constantly fraught with the effort of justifying themselves or passing themselves off as someone else. Such efforts involve them in false pretences. They can therefore not be expected to be at peace, or feel secure and at ease.
In that disquietude, they think every adversity is a design against them. They are overly concerned that at any time they may be exposed for their hypocrisy. In the Qur'an, the state of mind of the hypocrites is related in the following verse, "... They imagine every cry to be against them." (Surat al-Munafiqun, 4)
In another verse, Allah informs us that hypocrites are continually distressed, as well as being deluded by false hopes:
They will call out to them, "Were we not with you?" They will reply, "Indeed you were. But you made trouble for yourselves and hung back and doubted and false hopes deluded you until Allah's command arrived. The Deluder deluded you about Allah." (Surat al-Hadid, 14)

They Despair Easily
Another telling characteristic of a hypocrite is that, although he pretends to have fortitude, he despairs when faced with even a minor misfortune. However, that is not how he presents himself to others; he maintains that he has a profound faith, and promises that he will not swerve from the straight path, and that he will seek Allah's good pleasure, whatever the circumstances may be, and that he will remain trusting in Allah in everything he does. However, all such promises are mere words while his psychological reaction differs greatly. Unaware that Allah's support and help is always available, and that there is good in everything that Allah ordains, they become despondent with slightest adversity. In a verse of the Qur'an, Allah describes the condition of hypocrites as follows:
... More fitting for them would be obedience and honorable words. Once the matter is resolved upon, being true to Allah would be better for them. (Surah Muhammad, 20-21)
Indeed, although hypocrites look very much like believers on the outside, they share many common traits with disbelievers. At times of distress, they have a disposition contrary to the believers. When they are afflicted with sickness, for instance, they rebel against Allah, despair of His mercy, and fail to put their trust in Him. However, Allah informs us that none despairs of Allah's mercy except disbelievers.
... No one despairs of solace from Allah except for people who are disbelievers. (Surah Yusuf, 87)
In addition, by His grace, Allah eases the trial he imparts upon believers, but only for those who sincerely believe. A Muslim, who submits himself to Allah sincerely, faces the unceasing succession of tests imposed on him by Allah with security, thankfulness and trust in Him. For hypocrites, on the other hand, there is fear, apprehension and anxiety. Being under the influence of Satan, hypocrites falsely assume that the difficulties they encounter have developed beyond the control of Allah's mercy, knowledge and planning. Through such responses from them as, "if I hadn't done such and such, this would not have happened", it becomes evident that they are unaware of the ultimate perfection of every instant of the divine plan decreed by Allah. Indeed, all is created by Allah, in compliance with a plan, and for a divine purpose. And, what befits a believer is to try to recognize that such a purpose has always been ordained, and to submit himself to the wisdom of fate.

They Are Apprehensive With Believers
Another attribute typical of hypocrites is the persistent fear they feel. Unlike believers, who are told to "feel no fear and will know no sorrow" (Surat al-Baqara, 38), hypocrites live in constant agitation. They fear the exposure of their true intentions and their dishonesty. They are in terror of their true characters being recognized, and their hypocrisy being rightly identified. In the Qur'an, this fear of the hypocrites is described as follows:
They swear by Allah that they are of your number, but they are not of your number. Rather, they are people who are scared. If they could find a bolt-hole, cave or burrow, they would turn and scurry away into it. (Surat at-Tawba, 56-57)
The extent of the terror felt by hypocrites is mentioned in another verse as follows:
You are a greater cause of terror in their breasts than Allah! That is because they are people who do not understand. (Surat al-Hashr, 13)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Our World


By: Najma Mohamed * -

Najma Mohamed explains how and why we should be educating ourselves about environmental responsibility.

The impact of human greed and abuse of natural resources is visible throughout the world as trees are being ripped from the earth, rivers and oceans are poisoned and our climate is changing. The earth and all that is in it, is a trust or Amana from Allah, which we should enjoy within limits. Now more than ever, we need to re-discover the beautiful environmental teachings of Islam and share this wisdom with the children that have been entrusted to us.
Yes, the Qur'an and the Sunnah teach us about caring for the environment! Islam is a comprehensive lifestyle and caring about the environment is the duty of every Muslim. The Qur'an teaches us that human beings are the representatives of Allah on Earth and that we will be accountable for all our actions, big and small. The Prophet (SAW) also said: "The world is sweet and green (alluring) and verily God is going to install you as vicegerent (khalifah) in it in order to see how you act" (Sahih Muslim). If we destroy the environment, are we fulfilling our duty as Allah's representative on Earth?
In the Holy Qur'an, we find many verses that speak about the natural resources of the Earth, including land, water, plants, soil, mountains, rain, animals, sunlight and the oceans. For example, the following verse indicates the astounding diversity of plants, which incorporates trees, flowering plants, ferns, mosses, seaweed and algae - all watered by the same water, but different in color, form, taste, smell and size!

And in the earth are neighboring tracts, and gardens of vines, and green crops (fields), and date palms, growing into two or three from a single stem root, or otherwise (one stem root for every palm), watered with the same water; yet some of them We make more excellent than others to eat. Verily! In these things there are signs for the people who understand.
(Surah Ra'd: 3)
While we are to enjoy the riches on Earth, like rain, fruits and forests, we must not waste these resources and should respect all of creation as Allah does not love those who waste:

Eat and drink, but waste not by excess, for Allah does not love the wasters.
(Surah A'raaf: 31)
Not only human beings, but also animals and plants depend on natural resources for their survival. Many times the needs of the rest of creation are not seen as important, but in the Qur'an it is stated that animals are also communities, like human beings. We can use natural resources for our needs such as food, medicine and shelter, but when we wipe out these communities, we are harming ourselves and the creation of Allah.

There is not an animal on the earth, nor a bird that flies on its wings, but (forms part of) communities like you.
(Surah An'aam: 38)
Allah and His Messenger (SAW) teach us about living simply, kindness and gratitude. In the life of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), we find the perfect example of kindness to all of creation. The Prophet (SAW) told his companions that they should not pollute water, nor should they waste water when taking wudu (ablution), even if they were at a river. Also, he advised Muslims that we should, at the time of slaughtering animals for food, treat the animal with kindness and that we should never over-burden an animal with a heavy weight that it will struggle to carry.
Let us take a final lesson from Prophet Muhammad (SAW) who is reported to have said that when we plant a tree or sow a seed, and a bird, animal or person eats from it, it is regarded as a charitable gift from us.
Children start to develop their worldview at a young age and we need to build their knowledge and awareness of the environmental teachings of Islam at this tender age. As with all acts in the life of a Muslim, belief must be accompanied by action and good deeds, we therefore need to move beyond instilling environmental values to encouraging action. Since children learn in different ways, a number of strategies are outlined below to start making positive changes.
Read the Qur'an and the life of the Prophet (SAW) and share these beautiful environmental values with our young ones, and insha Allah we will walk on the path that will lead us to love and kindness towards one another and to all of creation. Let us try to change the way we use natural resources. Plants, animals, water and air, are all a trust, an Amana, which we must use wisely. In our homes, at our schools and in our neighborhoods, there are many ways in which we can care for the Earth. Live simply and do not be wasteful. Remember that as adults, young children look to us as examples and the worst thing we could do is to tell them to do something and then not practice it ourselves, as Allah warns us in the Qur'an: "Oh you who believe! Why do you say that which you do not?" (Surah as-Saaf:2).
Najma Mohamed is an environmental researcher and writer based in Cape Town, South Africa.
This article was published in the Winter issue of SISTERS Magazine.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Amazed by the Beauty


By Colonel Donald S. Rockwell

The simplicity of Islam, the powerful appeal and the compelling atmosphere of its mosques, the earnestness of its faithful adherents, the confidence inspiring realization of the millions throughout the world who answer the five daily calls to prayer—these factors attracted me from the first. But after I had determined to become a follower of Islam, I found many deeper reasons for confirming my decision.

The mellow concept of life -- fruit of the Prophet's combined course of action and contemplation—the wise counsel, the admonitions to charity and mercy, the broad humanitarianism, the pioneer declaration of woman's property rights— these and other factors of the teachings of the man of Mecca were to me among the most obvious evidence of a practical religion so tersely and so aptly epitomized in the cryptic words of Muhammad, "Trust in God and tie your camel". He gave us a religious system of normal action, not blind faith in the protection of an unseen force in spite of our own neglect, but confidence that if we do all things rightly and to the best of our ability, we may trust in what comes as the Will of God.

The broadminded tolerance of Islam for other religions recommends it to all lovers of liberty. Muhammad admonished his followers to treat well the believers in the Old and New Testaments; and Abraham, Moses and Jesus are acknowledged as co-prophets of the One God. Surely this is generous and far in advance of the attitude of other religions.

The total freedom from idolatry is a sign of the salubrious strength and purity of the Muslim faith. The original teachings of the Prophet of God have not been engulfed in the maze of changes and additions of doctrinarians. The Qur'an remains as it came to the corrupt polytheistic people of Muhammad's time, changeless as the holy heart of Islam itself.

Moderation and temperance in all things, the keynotes of Islam, won my unqualified approbation. The health of his people was cherished by the Prophet, who enjoined them to observe strict cleanliness and specified fasts and to subordinate carnal appetites. When I stood in the inspiring mosques of Istanbul, Damascus, Jerusalem, Cairo, Algiers, Tangier, Fez and other cities, I was conscious of a powerful reaction [to] the potent uplift of Islam's simple appeal to the sense of higher things, unaided by elaborate trappings, ornamentations, figures, pictures, music and ceremonial ritual. The mosque is a place of quiet contemplation and self-effacement in the greater reality of the One God.

The democracy of Islam has always appealed to me. Potentate and pauper have the same rights on the floor of the mosque, on their knees in humble worship. There are no rented pews nor special reserved seats.

The Muslim accepts no man as a mediator between himself and his God. He goes direct to the invisible source of creation and life, God, without reliance on saving formula of repentance of sins and belief in the power of a teacher to afford him salvation.

The universal brotherhood of Islam, regardless of race, politics, color or country, has been brought home to me most keenly many times in my life and this is another feature which drew me towards the Faith.

Four Principles of Dawah


By: Juan Galvan

Four Principles of DawahTexas Muslim Juan Galvan offers his insights on Invitation to Islam.

Earlier this year, I asked a local Imam advice about dawah. He replied, "Sincerity. Intention. Tension. Manners. First, you must be sincere. Your intentions and actions must be only for the sake of God. Expect tension. Have manners."

1. Sincerity
"Say, Verily my prayer, my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for God, the Lord of the Worlds." (Qur'an 6:162).
All our actions should be acts of worship. Sincerity ensures that your intentions and actions are only for the sake of God. Our actions must not be tainted by our own desires.
The work you're doing doesn't have worldly returns. Don't expect any worldly returns. If you always expect things and are waiting for things, you'll never get work done. You will never the get recognition you deserve. All actions are only to gain pleasure from God.
By ensuring our intentions are purely for God, we free ourselves from expectations of worldly rewards. We don't expect acknowledgement, wealth, anything. We are sacrificing our time purely for the religion without expectations.
"[Do not follow] the lust (of thy heart), for it will mislead thee from the Path of God." (Qur'an 38:26).
Race to do good deeds. Friendly competition benefits everyone. Ultimately, we are on the same side. This attitude helps lessen stress and dangerous levels of competition. Sometimes, you will work with people you neither trust nor admire.
A sincere Muslim does not deny anything that is known by necessity to be part of Islam. We cannot make something Halal that is Haram, or something Haram that is Halal. Sincerely repent after committing sins and avoid telling others to avoid setting a bad example. Sincere Muslims practice their religion and educate themselves.
Sincerity requires consistent actions around others and when alone. Respect and good-manners toward others should be sincere. We must be sincere toward everyone. Sincere Muslims should care about current problems and issues within the entire community. Islam is the true, universal religion of our Creator. God is All-Hearing, All-Knowing, All-Aware.

2. Intention.
Prophet Mohammed said: "Actions are only by intention, and every man shall only have what he intended." (Al-Bukhari and Muslim). Actions begin with an intention.
Intention gives you direction. Intention also allows you to quantify your actions. Many new Muslims want to help but have no idea where to start. State your intentions in clear terms. Set deadlines when possible.
Intentions guide actions. What actions do you need to take? What are your strengths and weaknesses? What sacrifices will you need to make? Time. Economic. Emotional.
Always, check your intentions. You may need to modify them. Be flexible. Check your intentions for sincerity. First things first. Prioritize. Learn to think in terms of one year, five years, and fifteen years from now.
Educate yourself. You can only teach up to what you know. No more and no less.
Consider whom you befriend. People want you to follow them. Do not blindly follow people. You may never fully trust the people you follow and/or lead. Know when to lead and when to follow.
"To each is a goal to which God turns him; then strive together (as in a race) towards all that is good. Wheresoever ye are, God will bring you together. For God Hath power over all things." (Qur'an 2:148).
Race to do good deeds. Set your intentions. People with similar interests will miraculously enter your life. When you take a step toward God, He will come running toward you.
"Invite (all) to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious..." (Qur'an 16:124).
Analyze people and situations. Consider current knowledge, background, customs, and culture. Avoid using expressions and vocabulary unfamiliar to non-Muslims. Use little Arabic at first.
Begin by teaching the basics. Begin with Tawheed. Tawheed is the "Unification of Lordship, of Worship, and of His Names and Attributes." Don't confuse people. Explain what Tawheed means. We can't isolate ourselves from non-Latino Muslims and non-Muslims.
The three fundamental concepts of Islam are Tawheed, Prophethood, and Day of Judgment. Explain the Pillars of Faith. Explain the Pillars of Islam. Explain common misconceptions about Islam. People think you're a terrorist. Maybe.

3. Tension.
"How many of the prophets fought (in God's way), and with them (fought) large bands of godly men? But they never lost heart if they met with disaster in God's way, nor did they weaken (in will) nor give in. And God loves those who are firm and steadfast." (Qur'an 3:146).
Anyone who gives dawah will experience tension. You will be criticized. The more you do, the more criticism you will get. You will need to give advice, suggestions, and ask questions.
Expect tests and trials. Your patience will be tested. You will make mistakes. Learn from your mistakes. Don't give up. Read your tension. Tension often speaks to you.
Perform an action then leave the results in the hands of God. You can't control everything. God knows best. Patience. Everyone is busy; all the time. Only God knows what's in your heart.
Be committed. Make things happen. Next time, you'll get more volunteers. Remind people. We forget. Time is the most valuable asset you can give. People are your most valuable asset.
Prophet Mohammed would assign Muslims jobs according to their ability. We will not all be scholars, administrators, or heroes. Do your best with what is available.
"And in no wise covet those things in which God Hath bestowed His gifts more freely on some of you than on others." (Qur'an 4:32).
Don't be a hypocrite. You will be called a hypocrite. Don't burn bridges. You will burn bridges. Consequences come from our behavior. Don't be afraid to make decisions. Get advice and ask questions when appropriate. Listen.
We're on the same side. Seek to empower people rather than making them your slaves. The more you help others, the more they can do for themselves and others. That's freedom for everyone. Seek long-term friendships.
Everyone is a human with feelings and needs. Everyone thinks they are right. Watch your ego. Know when to let go of your pride.

4. Manners.
Abd Allah ibn 'Amr said, "Prophet Mohammed of God, upon him be peace, was never obscene or coarse. Rather, he used to tell us that the best among us were those with the best manners." (Bukhari).
I have emphasized manners throughout the other points.
Bad morals destroy society. People will avoid and humiliate you. No one will like your personality. Avoid people who have bad manners.
"Do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbors who are of kin, neighbors who are strangers, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (ye meet), and what your right hands possess." (Qur'an 4:36).
People who follow the example of prophet Mohammed attract people. Be a role model. Be wise. Be patient. Be truthful. Be fair. Be courageous. Be considerate. Be just. Be generous. Be compassionate. Be forgiving. Be respectful.
May God guide us all. Surely, God is the best guide.

Finding My Way….Lynette Wehner's conversion to Islam


How a spiritually dissatisfied American Catholic teacher found fulfillment and direction through her new job at a Muslim school.

My new position at the Islamic school was received with reserved enthusiasm from my Christian family. “Just make sure you do not convert,” my father-in-law at the time told me when he found out about it. My mother-in-law was intrigued by the idea of being around something “exotic”. I grappled with whether I wanted to work at this school. While I would have my own classroom (which I desperately wanted), I would only be part-time and I would be required to dress Islamically (even cover my hair). This whole concept was very foreign to me. I debated with myself for a day or two until deciding to take my first teaching assignment at this school. I was open and determined that this would be a learning experience for me. Boy, was it ever….
On the first day, the new “non-Muslim” teachers were given a “scarf” lesson by a sister in the teacher’s workroom. We were laughing as we tried different styles. I still remember that morning being pretty relaxed, and it was during this event that I realized I always thought Muslims were stern and serious. It is strange how one can hold certain stereotypes of people without even knowing them. Cross off one misconception…
During my 1st year of teaching, I learned many things. I was extremely impressed with the way that my students knew my religion (Christianity) better than I did. How did they know the stories? My students were always asking me questions about my beliefs, and they made me think. What DID I believe?
I was brought up Catholic, and as an adult, I started to stray from it. I didn’t know what it was that I felt uncomfortable with, but I just knew something wasn’t right. I ventured a little into the new-age type of Christianity, but some of that didn’t sit right with me either. I just knew that I wanted to connect with God. I didn’t want my religion to become something that I felt I had to do in order to be considered a “good person” in the eyes of my relatives (as was the case with my husband). I wanted to feel it in my heart. Looking back now, I was lost, but didn’t know it at the time.
Kids will be kids, and my Muslim students were no different. They left their books in my classroom instead of taking the home. This was a blessing in disguise as I started to read these books after class. So much of it made sense. To help matters along, one sister and brother were more than happy to answer all of my questions, and I had many! We would discuss Islam and religion for hours. It was very intellectually stimulating and I was excited about it. I felt that I had found what I was looking for. There was a peace slowly spreading over my heart…
Around this time, I started to read the Qu’ran at home. My husband at the time (I have since divorced him) did not like my interest in Islam. When I would read the Qu’ran, I would do so in private without his knowledge. At first, I felt that I was doing something blasphemous. I remember being very scared that God would be upset with me. How can any book other than the Bible be from God?? I tried to listen to my heart, and it was telling me to read. Some of the passages of the Qu’ran felt as if they were written just for me. I found myself sitting there and crying many times. All at once, I felt at peace, yet confused. There was something holding me back from accepting it full-heartedly.
After months of reading, talking with people, and a lot of soul searching, there was one event that I consider to be the determining factor in my becoming Muslim. I was standing in my son’s room trying to pray. I had a book on Islam opened to the “how to pray” section. I was standing there in conflict with myself. I was not used to praying directly to God. All of my life I was taught to pray to Jesus, who would then tell God my prayer (or something like that). I was so scared that I was doing something wrong. I didn’t want Jesus mad at me. At that moment, it hit me like a tidal wave. Did I really think that God would be upset at me for wanting to get closer to Him? Did I really believe that Jesus would be upset with me for trying to get closer to God? Isn’t that what he wants me to do? God knows my intent. To this day, I believe it was God talking to me-that is how powerful the feeling and voice inside my head was. What did I have to fear?? How could I NOT convert to Islam? At that moment, I started crying and crying. It was what I needed to hear. I knew at that time that I had to convert to Islam. It felt right and nothing else mattered.
After taking my shahada in front of the entire school, I was a new person. I did not have that “where-do-I-belong-and-what-do-I-believe-in” feeling anymore. It was gone. I knew that I made the right decision.
I have never been so close to God as I have been since becoming Muslim. Alhamdullilah. I am so lucky. Thank you for allowing me to share my experience with you.

Brotherhood in Faith


As we know we are all brothers and sisters, because we have the same father and mother (Adam and Hawwa). Then with the evolution of our world came the brotherhood of blood (same parents), that relationship makes people closer than the brotherhood of humanity. But there is one more brotherhood, which is brotherhood in Faith as we are muslims.

The brotherhood of Islam is not something simply theoretical or beyond the practical reach of humans. Muslims have been commanded by Allah s.w.t. to treat as brothers . Allah s.w.t. Allah s.w.t. has guided muslims with specific acts that engenders love and brotherhood. He has also prohibited muslims with specific acts that would injure that brotherhood in any fashion. All is based on love. Isn’t our relationship with Allah s.w.t. based on love?

Allah s.w.t. says in the Quran,
“And remember Allah’s favor upon you. You were enemies one to another but He joined your hearts together, so that, by this grace, you became brothers. And you were on a brink of a pit of fire and He saved you from it”. [ Sura Al Imran –103 ]
Allah s.w.t. also says,
“And He had united their (the believers) hearts. If you (O Muhammad s.a.w.) had spent all that is in the earth, you could not have united their hearts. But it is Allah who has united them. Certainly He is almighty, all wise”. [ Sura Al Anfal – 63 ]

So, it is clear form the Quran that one of the greatest blessings that Allah s.w.t. Allah gives to the believers in the togetherness and love of brotherhood of Islam. This is a very special bond, which is superior and stronger than any other bond in this world.

This kind of bond is above the bond of race, wealth, place (country) and even blood. One should never undervalue the importance of loving one another.
The prophet s.a.w. said,
“You will not enter paradise until you believe. And you will not believe until you love one another. Certainly, I shall guide you to something that, if you do it, you do it, you will love one another, spread the greetings (of peace) among selves”. [Recorded by Muslim]
This hadith clearly states that, muslims are not allowed to hate each other, they must show respect to each other fairly. Following all of the teachings of this hadith is great step that will remove hatred and anger from among the muslims.
The prophet s.a.w. said,
“Do not be envious of one another, do not artificially raise prices against one another, do not turn one’s back on each other and do not undercut one another in business transaction. And O servants of Allah, be brothers. A muslim is a brother of a muslim. He does not wrong him. He does not fail him ( when he needs him). He does not lie to him. And he does not show contempt for him. Piety is here”. And he pointed to his chest three times. “ It is enough of evil for a person to hold his brother in contempt. All of a muslim is inviolable to another muslim, his blood, his wealth and his honor”. [Recorded by Muslim]

In this hadith, our prophet s.a.w. is giving us a lesson about the brotherhood in Islam. If the muslims apply the teaching of this hadith, there will be a great change and improvement in their inter relationship and love for one another and a better life. First, the prophet s.a.w. is showing us what we shouldn’t do toward each other, we should avoid:
Envy (Hasad):
Hasad means to hate that the other person has even received the blessing in the first place.
This disease of the heart and the sin, which is known, as hasad was one of the first sins ever committed. It was one of the main thing that drove Satan away from Allah s.w.t. And hasad was the cause of the first murder in humanity history (Cain and Abel)
The prophet s.a.w said,
“Imaan (faith) and Hasad do not gather together in the heart of a slave of Allah”.
Another hadith says that,
“And wish not for the things in which Allah has made some of you to excel others. For men there is reward for what they have earned, and for women is reward for what they have earned. And ask Allah of His bounty. Surely Allah is ever all knower of everything”.
“ There is to be no hasad except with respect to two, a person to whom Allah has given wealth and he uses it up for the purpose of truth. And another man whom Allah has given wisdom and judges by it and teaches it”. [Recorded by Muslim]
In the above hadith, the meaning of hasad is exultation.

Muslims are prohibited from hating each other for any sake than for the sake of Allah s.w.t. Muslims are not allowed to hate each other due to their own personal desires. A muslim also cannot hate another muslims simply because he is from a particular country or because of his skin color.
Those who interact with each other a lot especially have to be careful about this matter. The more one deals with another, he may discover more characteristics about the other person that are not that pleasing. He should do his best to be patient and overlook a person’s small mistakes or poor qualities and concentrate on his good deeds or good qualities. He should concentrate on his own deeds, and if finds him self away from those poor qualities, he has to thank Allah s.w.t. for this and do Pray (dua) for others.
Allah s.w.t. has prohibited backbiting and tale spreading. And Allah s.w.t. praises those who try to make peace and reconciliation among brothers and believers.

The hadith of the prophet s.a.w. regarding hatred does not mean that hatred is never permitted. One must do one’s best to avoid hatred based on personal interest and motives. However. One must still love and hate for the sake of Allah.

A hadith states that,
“The one who loves for the sake of Allah, hate for the sake of Allah, gives for the sake of Allah, and with holds for the sake of Allah, has completed the Faith”. [ Recorded by Abu Dawood ]
Some people ask, How it is possible to hate and love something or somebody a the same time?
The scholar Ibn Uthaimeen responded to this question by giving the example of a medicine that smell bad and taste bad. The person hate the medicine because of its taste and smell, but he takes it because he believe that, in the long run, it is going to be very good and helpful for him. It does not keep him from combining both hatred and love for that medicine. If one think about himself, he may understand it better, as He has few character which he hates and some which he loves.
A muslim shouldn’t hate another muslim as a non believer, or as much he hates a non believer. Even if a muslim drink alcohol or does other forbidden acts, his is still in a better position than the one who has completely refused to believe in and submit to Allah s.w.t. Presently we notice that some muslims behave correctly and kindly with non believers but badly with their own muslim brothers and sisters. All this doesn’t mean that you should not advise the sinner and correct him.
Muslims must deal with each other on the basis of their outward or noticeable acts. Ibn al Khattab once said, “Whoever of you shows us good deeds, we will assume that he is good and will love him for that. And who ever of you shows us evil deed, we will suspect that he is evil and we will hate him for that. Your secret aspects are between you and your Lord”.
Ibn Rajab adds some very important points. He says, when people begin to have different opinions regarding religious matters, they often divide, hate and curse each other. All of them claim that they are hating for the sake of Allah. Sometimes they may be excused for what they are doing, but not at other times. This is because sometimes their hatred is based on their own personal likes and wants. In that case, this hatred for others is actually not for the sake of Allah and it is not correct.

Turns one’s back on each other:
Muslims should always be open to each others. Muslims
Should greet each other and try to do it with smiling faces. Greeting is a duty. A muslim is suppose avoid a boycott of his muslim brother for more than 3 days.

Prophet Mohammad s.a.w. said,
“Its not allowed for a man to boycott his brother for more than 3 nights, when they meet, the best of them is one who is the first to offer the greeting.”
In another hadith Prophet Mohammad s.a.w. said,
“The one who boycotts his brother for a year is like one who has spilled his (his brother’s) blood”.

In other way, the boycotting is considered a type of punishment. Sometimes it is needed to keep a person from doing some wrong or to make him realize the wrong that he has committed. But, it is very important to realize that this type of boycotting is only to be practiced when it is judged that its benefits will be greater than any harm that may come about due to it. In the case of muslims who are living in the western countries, boycott is not recommended, because the results will be disastrous. (Muslims who are boycotted may be driven to be with the disbelievers).

Wrong Him :
The prophet s.a.w. stated that,
“A muslim would not commit and dhulm (wrong or oppression) towards his brother”.
How can one consider himself a brother to another when he is wronging him, oppressing him or cheating him?
A muslim society should be free of such massive dhulm, and muslims should also be free of such dhulm at an individual level.

Fail him:
“Help your brother, whether he is the doing the wrong or the one being wronged”. They said, “O messenger of Allah s.w.t., we know how to help him if he is the one doing, the wrong? He answered, “Take him by his hand”. [Recorded by Al Bukhari]
This hadith stated that muslims should help each other as it is said in Quran.
“Help one another in acts of the righteousness and piety”. [Sura Al- Maida]

There are three degrees of piety:
Low Degree : fulfill the need of your brothers after they ask for it.
Medium Degree: fulfill the need of your brothers with out they ask for it.
High Degree :fulfill the need of your brothers before fulfilling their own needs.

Today it is very sad that sometimes muslims witness their brothers in different parts of the muslim world and non muslim world being killed and tortured yet their hearts are dead. At least, if a muslim doesn’t have the wealth or means to aid his brothers who are in need then he should pray and make dua for his brothers in need, pleading to Allah s.w.t. to help them in their situation.

These are the few hadhits:
“ No muslims servant of Allah prays for his brothers behind his back except that an angel says, and for the same”. [Recorded by Muslim]
This help and support of one’s brother in Islam it is not related to the respect to some physical or material aspect. This is what is great about Islam.
“No man forsakes a muslim when his rights are to being violated or his honor is being belittled except that Allah will forsake him at a place in which he would love to have His help. And no man helps a muslim at a time when his honor is being belittled or his rights are violated except that Allah will help him at a place in which he loves to have His help”.
“Whoever defends the flesh of his brother in his absence has a right upon Allah to rescue him from the hell fire”
“One who has an atom’s weight of pride in his heart will not enter Paradise”. A man said, “But a man loves that his clothes are nice and his shoes are nice”. He (prophet s.a.w.) then replied, “Verily, Allah is beautiful and He loves beauty. Pride is rejecting the truth and showing disdain for the people” [Recorded by Muslim]

No one is better than the other one in Islam. All muslims are equal. They will be judged by Allah in hereafter for their deeds not for their wealth, beauty, skin color and etc. The characteristics that is most deserving of respect in the sight of Allah is piety, that is why prophet s.a.w. pointed to his chest three times by saying “Piety is Here”.

Lie to Him:
The prophet s.a.w. did not like lie in a persons characteristics. (Hypocrisy)

Conclusion :
The Prophet s.a.w. stated the whole point of the above instructions, “you should be brothers to one another, treating each other with respect, without hatred and without working against each other in any way”.
The only goal of this brotherhood should be to server and worship Allah s.w.t.

We ask Allah, the Almighty to teach us what is beneficial to us, to make us benefit from what He taught us and to increase our knowledge. May He unite us in the pursuit of truth, guide us to the right path and crown all our actions with success. May He guard us against the evil of our thoughts and actions. All praise and thanks are due to Allah, the Lord and the sustainer of all the worlds. Ameen.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Prophet John, son of Zachary


By Aisha Stacey

Jesus, Mary, Zachary and his son John are all members of the same family, the family of Imran, who are descendents from the family of David. We learn from God’s own words, in the Quran, that they were righteous, and worshipped God with true submission.
“And Zachary and John and Jesus ..., each one of them was of the righteous.” (Quran 6:85)
“... and remember Our slave David, endued with power. Verily, he was oft-returning toward God in all matters and in repentance.” (Quran 38:17)
“And Mary was a truthful one; she believed in the words of God and His books ...” (Quran 5:75)
John is the Prophet known by Christians as “John the Baptist.” However, neither the Quran nor the authentic traditions of Prophet Muhammad speak of John as either baptising or being baptised. John’s mission was to remind the Children of Israel that they had entered into a covenant with God. He spoke the same words as all of the Prophets of God – worship One God with full submission.
A miracle child
In their old age, when all hope of having a child was gone, God provided Prophet Zachary and his wife with a miracle child. A son, the first child in the world named John. God, Himself, chose John’s name.
“God gives you glad tidings of John, confirming the Word from God, noble, celibate, a Prophet from among the righteous.” (Quran 3:39)
We know from the Quran that Prophet John was given wisdom as a child, and Islamic sources speak of him as being a quiet, gentle child, who loved learning and being outside amongst the animals.[1] John grew into a devout and noble man. It is said that he lived a simple life in the wilderness or desert, spending his time praying and remembering God. He was filled with compassion and mercy for those around him and all of mankind. The scholars of Islam have said that John wept out of fear and love for God, and that his tears left marks on his cheeks.
John and Jesus
John was given strength and fortitude by God and was strong enough to control his worldly desires. He worked tirelessly, calling the people back to the laws of the Torah and endorsing the mission of his cousin, Jesus, Messenger of God. Part of John’s mission was to believe in and support the message of Jesus; “...confirming the Word from God ...” (Quran 3:39). John refers to his cousin Jesus as the “Spirit of God“ and does so to place emphasis on the miraculous creation of Prophet Jesus.
In the authentic traditions of Prophet Muhammad (such as in Saheeh Ahmad, Tirmidi and others) there are stories relating to Prophets John and Jesus meeting and discussing their mission to guide the Children of Israel back to the straight path. Prophet Muhammad tells us that John gathered the Children of Israel together, and beseeched them to follow the commandments of God. To worship none but God; to pray; to fast; to give charity and to spend time remembering God.
God bestowed a special blessing upon his Prophet John. “And peace be on him, the day he was born, the day he dies, and the day he will be raised up to life again!” This is the greatest blessing that can be bestowed upon a human being. Peace – safety, security, contentment. This is the inevitable result of following the guidance sent to us from God.
The Quran and the authentic traditions of Prophet Muhammad do not reveal the details of John’s death. We do know, however, that he was reviled and persecuted because of his strong insistence on following the law of God as revealed in the Torah, and that this eventually led to his death. John’s life was one of struggle and striving, but he held tightly to the religion of God (to worship One God Alone) and died for his beliefs.
The family of Imran is a guiding light for mankind. Their devotion to God was unparalleled and their way of dealing with each other serves as a reminder to us. Each parent is concerned with their child’s hereafter rather then the delights of this world. Each child respects and deals with their elders and parents with the affection and dedication commanded by God. The members of this blessed family served God with true devotion, and put His laws above all others. And God said:
“So, as for those who believed (in the Oneness of God) and did deeds of righteousness, He will give their due rewards, and more, out of His Bounty. But as for those who refuse His worship and were proud, He will punish them with a painful torment. And they will not find for themselves, besides, God any protector or helper.” (Quran 4:173)
Mary was one of the Truthful, Jesus was the word of God, John was neither arrogant nor disobedient and Zachary glorified his Lord. Together these descents of Prophet David are the blessed family of Imran, and they are an example to mankind. If we struggle as they struggled, if we believe with certainty, as they believed, and if we serve God with full submission, just as they served God, on the Day of Judgement, by the Grace of God, we may be counted amongst the righteous.

[1] Ibn Katheer.

Prophet Zachary: Stories of a Blessed Family


By Aisha Stacey

This is the story of a feeble old man who loved and feared God; an elderly man, named Zachary (also called Zachariah), who had spent his life gaining knowledge and teaching others, purely for God’s pleasure. The Quran tells his story in Chapters 3 and 19, and it is similar to the story told in the Christian Gospel of Luke[1]. However, we will concentrate on what the Quran has to say about this blessed man because Muslim’s believe the Quran has remained unchanged since its revelation, whereas the previous messages have been lost, changed or distorted.
“This is a mention of the mercy of your Lord to His slave Zachary; Remember when he called out to his Lord (God) a call in secret, saying: ‘My Lord! Indeed my bones have grown feeble, and grey hair has spread on my head, And I have never been unblest in my invocation to You, O my Lord!’” (Quran 19:4)
Through the wisdom and grace of God, Prophet Zachary was appointed guardian for young Mary, the remarkably pious and chaste daughter of Imran who would one day be the mother of Jesus. Even before her birth Mary’s life had been devoted to the service of God, and from a relatively young age she had lived in the House of Prayer in Jerusalem.
Each day Zachary would visit Mary to be certain that all her needs were met. Mary’s devotion to God impressed Zachary and he was often amazed at the provisions he would find in her room. It is said that she would have the fruits of winter in the summer and the fruits of summer in the winter.[2] When Zachary inquired about how Mary obtained the fruits she replied that God, the Sustainer, was indeed the One who had provided her sustenance. Mary said:
“It is from God. Verily, God provides sustenance to whom He wills without limit.” (Quran 3:37)
When Zachary observed Mary’s total submission to God and her unwavering faith in Him as the Provider, it opened his eyes to a new concept.[3] No matter how overwhelming, or alternatively, insignificant our needs may feel to us, God is always there to listen and to respond. This is a very important idea to contemplate. God will give to His righteous slaves without limit. Mary had received fruits out of season; Zachary made supplication for something that according to human standards was not possible, for he and his wife were very old and the time for them to conceive a child had passed. The bounties of God are not constrained by worldly limitations, however, and anything is possible. Zachary learned this important lesson from his ward Mary.
So Zachary called out to his Lord in secret, saying that he was old, his hair was grey and his wife was also old and barren; yet he desired an heir who was pleasing to God. Zachary asked for a son to inherit from him; he was not thinking in terms of wealth, for he was a poor man. He desired a son to continue the Prophethood and to spread the knowledge that Zachary had acquired over his life time. God responded immediately, and said:
“Then the angels called him, while he was standing in prayer in a praying place, saying: "God gives you glad tidings of John (Yahya), confirming the Word from God, noble, celibate,[4] a Prophet from among the righteous.” (Quran 3:39)
In this verse from Quran the “Word of God” has a specific meaning: Jesus, because he was created by a word from God - “Be” (and he was). Zachary’s son, John, was to be amongst those who believed in and followed the Message of Jesus.
When Zachary received this astounding news he was standing in prayer. He responded by asking how this could possibly happen, considering his old age and the barreness of hiswife. God then confirmed the lesson Mary had understood. “Thus God does what He wills.” (Quran 3:40).
Zachary asked for a sign, wondering how he would know that this miracle was really happening to him, and to his wife. God replied that Zachary would lose the power of speech and not be able to communicate with those around him except with signals. God also instructed Zachary to spend time remembering and glorifying God. Thus, Zachary emerged from his praying place unable to speak.
The Quran tells us that Prophet Zachary and his wife performed good deeds, called on God with fear and with hope, and were humble, so God rewarded them, in their old age, with a son.
“So We answered his call, and We bestowed upon him John, and cured his wife’s barreness for him. Verily, they used to hasten on to do good deeds, and they used to call on Us with hope and fear, and used to humble themselves before Us.” (Quran 21:90)
This was no ordinary child. John was granted wisdom while still a child and was instructed by God to hold fast to the Torah. He was sympathetic and able to display compassion and mercy towards mankind. God created John, righteous, and free from sin.
“‘O John! Hold fast the Scripture.’ And We gave him wisdom while yet a child, and made him sympathetic to men, as a mercy from Us, and pure from sins; and he was righteous.” (Quran 19:12)
The sincere supplication of an old man and his barren wife was accepted by God, and a valuable lesson was taught to all of mankind. The bounties of God are limitless. He is the Provider, The Sustainer, The One!

[1] Luke 1:5-80
[2] Based on the work of Al Imam ibn Katheer. The Stories of the Prophets.
[3] Ibn Katheer.
[4] Ibn Katheer mentions in his commentary that the word used may not mean complete celibacy, for that would preclude children, but immunity from illegal relations outside marriage. Its literal meaning is “exclusive” and “restrained” (Al Mawrid al Waseet Arabic English Dictionary), and God knows best.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

How to tell my mom I want to convert to islam?

By: Maged Taman

Question from a Christian Brother From:

This is the latest the more I have done research in ISLAM the more it pulls me in...Something in my heart tells me to convert but what is holding me back is telling my mother, because I know my dad will understand..I need help telling my mother my decision!! I dont know how to tell her, when I tried explaining to her the religion she immediately started telling me that its wrong me looking up different religions when I have one already. Which in my opinion I dont feel christian!! what should I do? I need some guidance! someone help me!!

My Answer:

1- Go back again and ask yourself: why you were exploring religion?. If to find who created you and what are your obligations to him and if there is an afterlife you are searching a very great thing and you should not quit.

2- Your obligation to God comes first before your mother but always keep loving and respecting her:
31:15 “‘[Revere thy parents;] yet should they endeavour to make thee ascribe divinity, side by side with Me, to something which thy mind cannot accept [as divine], obey them not; but [even then] bear them company in this world’s life with kindness, and follow the path of those who turn towards Me. In the end, unto Me you all must return; and thereupon I shall make you [truly] understand all that you were doing [in life].’

وَإِن جَاهَدَاكَ عَلى أَن تُشْرِكَ بِي مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ فَلَا تُطِعْهُمَا وَصَاحِبْهُمَا فِي الدُّنْيَا مَعْرُوفًا وَاتَّبِعْ سَبِيلَ مَنْ أَنَابَ إِلَيَّ ثُمَّ إِلَيَّ مَرْجِعُكُمْ فَأُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ (31:15)

3- You should be very sure about your faith before you convert to Islam.

4- Killing apostate from Islam is wrong interpretation to Islamic faith and was more of political argument. There is no obligation in faith.

5- However, converting to Islam and then converting out of Islam would not help anyone. You will put your family in pain with the first conversion and you will put yourself in pain in the second conversion. So it is better for us all to make your decision after deep thinking.

6- Before conversion it is better to explore all the critic against Islam. You have to accept the answers of these critics after being convinced. You should be deadly sure about your faith before conversion.

7- You should not convert for any reason but for God: some of the reasons for conversion are: to look cool, to attract attention, to feel different, to feel a purpose, to revolt against family or community for sake of self-pride, to please someone, to marry a Muslim girl, to have praise and glory with new community, to convert out after converting in to make Islam a shaky faith and so forth. However, most people convert to Islam because of their sincere faith in Islam.

8- After conversion you will close your door at home and you will meet the most important person in your life that is you. You are obligated to yourself, your mind, heart and spirit to be very satisfied with your choice. You should wake up every morning thinking you did the right choice and thanking God for Islam.

9- You have to remember that you are not unique millions of people came to Islam through conversion. There were few Muslims on the life of Muhammad (PBUH) that grow up through conversion to Islam and every day there are a lot of people who accept Islam like you. Now there is 1.4 billion Muslims.

10- Even Muslims are in state of conversion to Islam. The Quran always talk to you and pull you in so you do not leave Islam or get astray.

11- You have to remember we are still very lucky compared by early Muslims who were tortured or killed for their conversion to Islam.

12- You will find anger in your family and people will use different ways to persuade or intimidate you to leave it. They will tell you that you will go to hell that you do not accept Jesus as son of God. In most part the Christian world is more tolerant than in the past. When people see you that you changed to a better person they will feel that you are like born again Christian they will accept you and find that the message of Jesus and Muhammad peace upon them are almost very close.

13- Some will give you different opinions about Islam and why you should not accept it or leave it. The problem is all there problems with Islam are already answered by God in his book and by Muslim scholars. You can navigate through my blog. The thing strike me most their opinions are in most part flat wrong or contradictory. You will not find someone give you a compelling story against Islam that can fit his opinions and can make you strongly and rightly denounce Islam. Please read in my blog: Invitation to Refute Islam.

14- Go back to Mom express your love again to her and that is your relationship with her will be even stronger after your conversion. Show her many of the verses in Quran and sayings of hadiths that put parents in second rank after God and particularly mothers.

To make it simple: you should know all the sacrifice that you will need to make and when you wake up every morning you will feel that you did the right thing by your conversion to Islam.

Yahya Schroder, Ex-Secularist, Germany

From: and

By Yahya Schroder

My name is Yahya Schroder. I am a “European” Muslim. I became Muslim 11 months ago when I was 17. I am living now in Potsdam, Germany and I want to share my experience with you as a Muslim in a non-Muslim state.
As a convert to Islam, I think it’s much easier to follow the deen (religion) than a born Muslim who is been raised up here. Almost all young born-Muslims I know want to become German. For them Islam is only a tradition and they think that they have to give up their tradition (Islam) to be accepted by the Germans, despite the fact that the Germans won’t accept them even if they gave up their religion.
I grew up in a little village. I lived with my mother and my stepfather in a huge house with a big garden and a big pool. And as a teenager I “lived a cool life;” I had some friends whom I used to hang around with, do stupid things and drink alcohol like every young German teen.
The life of a Muslim in Germany is quite difficult than one would think especially for me as a German Muslim because when someone asks a German what they know about Islam; they would tell you something about Arabs. For them it’s like mathematical operation, Islam = Arabs.
They still don’t know about our big nation. When I converted to Islam I had to leave my family and I moved to the community in Potsdam near Berlin. I left this huge house and all my material valuable stuff.
When I lived with my mother and my stepfather I had everything; a big house, my own money, TV, Play-station. I was never concerned about money, but I wasn’t happy. I was searching for something else.
When I turned 16 I met the Muslim community in Potsdam through my biological father who became Muslim in 2001. I used to visit my father once a month and we used to attend the meetings of the community which were held on Sundays.
At that time, I was interested in Islam, and my father noticed this and told me one day that he wouldn’t speak about Islam when we are together because he wanted me to learn from people of greater knowledge so that other people won’t say: “Oh he became Muslim just because he’s 17 and does everything his father does.”
I agreed and I started visiting the community every month and learned a lot about Islam but at that time something happened and changed my way of thinking. One Sunday, I went with the Muslim community swimming and I broke my back twice by jumping in the pool and I hit the ground with my head.
My father brought me to the hospital and the doctor told me:
“You have broken your back quite bad and if you did one wrong movement you’ll become handicapped.”
This didn’t help me much, but then just a few moments before they bought me to the operation room. One of my friends of the Muslims community, told me something. “Yahya, you are now in the hands of Allah (God), it’s like a rollercoaster. Now you are on the top enjoy the ride and just trust in God.” This really helped me.
The operation took five hours and I woke up after 3 days. I couldn’t move my right arm but I was feeling like the happiest person on this earth. I told the doctor that I don’t care about my right arm I’m so happy that God has let me survive.
The doctors had told me that I have to stay in the hospital for a few months. I stayed for only two weeks there, because I was training very hard. One day a doctor came and said: “today we will try to take one step on the staircase,” the exercise that I did on my own two days before the doctor told me.
Now, I can move my right arm again and I was just two weeks there Al-hamdu lillah (thanks God). This accident changed a lot in my personality.
I noticed when God wants something; the individual’s life can be turned over in one second. So, I took life more serious and started thinking more about my life and Islam, but I was still living in this little village.
My wish to become Muslim became so strong that I had to leave my family. I left my stepfather, my mother and the nice luxury lifestyle to go to Potsdam. I moved to my father’s apartment which is rather small and I had to stay in the kitchen but it was okay because I had nothing just a very few clothes, school books, and some CDs.
It must sound for you like I lost everything but I am very happy, I’m as happy as when I woke up in the hospital after the dreadful accident. The next day was the first day of Ramadan. The day after this was my first school day in my new school.
The day after my first day in school I said Shahadah (the testimony of becoming a Muslim), praise be to God. So, everything was new for me, new apartment, new school, and first time without my family. Like in my school when they first noticed that I am a Muslim they started to make jokes at me.
I think this is usual because of what they learned from the media. “A terrorist,” “Osama bin Laden is coming,” “Muslims are dirty,” some people thought I am just a crazy guy. And they even didn’t believe me that I am German.
But now after 10 months the situation changed. I made a lot of dawah (inviting to Islam) to my classmates and now I even have a praying room although I’m the only Muslim in my school.
My classmates changed from making jokes to asking serious question about Islam and they noticed that Islam is not a religion like the other religions. They noticed Islam is cool!
They see that we Muslims have Adab (good manners) in dealing with each other. They noticed that we are independent from all this peer pressure; we just keep it real we don’t need to be in a special group like in my school.
At my school there are three main groups: the hip hop guys; the punks; and the party people. Everybody tries to be a member of one group, so as to be accepted by others.
Except me! I can be friends with everybody. I don’t have to wear special clothes to be “cool.” So what happened is that they are always inviting me and my Muslim friends to their barbecue parties.
The special thing on this is that they respect me as a Muslim and even more, they get Halal (allowed) food especially for me and they have organized two barbecue grills one for them and one for us Muslims! The people here are very open for Islam.