Saturday, October 30, 2010
In the name of Allah most gracious most merciful
Assalaamu alaykum wa rahmatuallahi wa barakatuhu
1. Start off each day with 'adhkaar al-istiyqaadh' (waking up Supplications), thanking Allah for waking up in good shape.
2. Put Allah first in your life.
3. Broaden your horizons - learn 5 new verses from the Quran every day, travel to pray far in the mosque to brighten your day,take up a booklet having supplications and read them.
4. Pray Salaat Al-dhuhaa (after sunrise). 5. If someone says something mean ;to you, just shrug it off and dismiss it in a friendly, laidback manner, and pray that Allah shall forgive them.
6. When you get angry, remember Allah, and how short and worthless life is to waste in being Angry.
7. Remember that you can never have too many friends, but you can have few quality friends that help you fulfill the purpose of your creation (i.e. live for Allah).
8. When you're happy, try to share your happiness with others. Thank Allah for that, and pray its continuation.
9. When something bad or embarrassing happens to you, just think that it could always be worse, remember the reward of patience,and thank Allah that it's not worse than it is.
10. Do something extra of goodness once in a while, like feeding a poor person, or caressing an orphan's head.
11. Never stop believing that you can win Allah's love and thus work For it. Then you can win the love of Allah's slaves.
12. Spend some time thinking of Allah's amazing creation.
13. Always love those who love Allah unconditionally. This way you will ensure that you live for Him, love for Him, and hate for Him(those who are enemies of Him).
14. Find the righteous ways to express yourself, and if you think that what you are about to say shall cause no benefit, maintain silence (this is tough!!).
15. Every now and then, give yourself a break. Play sports, give time to your family, friends, but always remember Allah and watch that He is watching you.
16. Pray for blessing to come to those being lost, and pray to Allah to guide them to the right path.
17. Hug your parents, kiss their hands and heads and always obey but stop at Allah's orders.
18. Smile to everyone, for your smile makes a big difference to him or her and you are rewarded.
19. Forgive, forget and smile.
20. Tears are not for women only... tears are for all human beings with feelings remaining in them. Don't restrain your tears when remembering Allah.
21. When people criticize your actions and effort, revise your actions and see if they please Allah or no. If they do; then ignore and remember how the Prophet (SAAW) and the Sahaba were criticized, made fun of and even physically harmed, so have patience.
22. Read the Quran daily and try to have a schedule for completing it as much as you could. As you open the Quran daily, read with observing not just passing your eyes through the words.
23. Don't let popularity go to your head, for it never lasts and you may lose from it more than gain.
24. Never look down on anybody, for, to Allah, they may be better than you.
25. Send this to every person with the intention of having a healthy society living for Allah and pray..
Thursday, October 28, 2010
7:11 (Picktall) And We created you, then fashioned you, then told the angels: Fall ye prostrate before Adam! And they fell prostrate, all save Iblis, who was not of those who make prostration. -
قَالَ مَا مَنَعَكَ أَلاَّ تَسْجُدَ إِذْ أَمَرْتُكَ قَالَ أَنَاْ خَيْرٌ مِّنْهُ خَلَقْتَنِي مِن نَّارٍ وَخَلَقْتَهُ مِن طِينٍ (7:12)
7:12 (Picktall) He said: What hindered thee that thou didst not fall prostrate when I bade thee? (Iblis) said: I am better than him. Thou createdst me of fire while him Thou didst create of mud. -
قَالَ فَاهْبِطْ مِنْهَا فَمَا يَكُونُ لَكَ أَن تَتَكَبَّرَ فِيهَا فَاخْرُجْ إِنَّكَ مِنَ الصَّاغِرِينَ (7:13)
7:13 (Picktall) He said: Then go down hence! It is not for thee to show pride here, so go forth! Lo! thou art of those degraded. -
قَالَ فَأَنظِرْنِي إِلَى يَوْمِ يُبْعَثُونَ (7:14)
7:14 (Picktall) He said: Reprieve me till the day when they are raised (from the dead). -
قَالَ إِنَّكَ مِنَ المُنظَرِينَ (7:15)
7:15 (Picktall) He said: Lo! thou art of those reprieved. -
قَالَ فَبِمَا أَغْوَيْتَنِي لأَقْعُدَنَّ لَهُمْ صِرَاطَكَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ (7:16)
7:16 (Picktall) He said : Now, because Thou hast sent me astray, verily I shall lurk in ambush for them on Thy Right Path. -
ثُمَّ لآتِيَنَّهُم مِّن بَيْنِ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِمْ وَعَنْ أَيْمَانِهِمْ وَعَن شَمَآئِلِهِمْ وَلاَ تَجِدُ أَكْثَرَهُمْ شَاكِرِينَ (7:17)
7:17 (Picktall) Then I shall come upon them from before them and from behind them and from their right bands and from their left hands, and Thou wilt not find most of them beholden (unto Thee). -
قَالَ اخْرُجْ مِنْهَا مَذْؤُومًا مَّدْحُورًا لَّمَن تَبِعَكَ مِنْهُمْ لأَمْلأنَّ جَهَنَّمَ مِنكُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ (7:18)
7:18 (Picktall) He said: Go forth from hence, degraded, banished. As for such of them as follow thee, surely I will fill hell with all of you. -
وَيَا آدَمُ اسْكُنْ أَنتَ وَزَوْجُكَ الْجَنَّةَ فَكُلاَ مِنْ حَيْثُ شِئْتُمَا وَلاَ تَقْرَبَا هَـذِهِ الشَّجَرَةَ فَتَكُونَا مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ (7:19)
7:19 (Picktall) And (unto man): O Adam! Dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden and eat from whence ye will, but come not nigh this tree lest ye become wrong-doers. -
فَوَسْوَسَ لَهُمَا الشَّيْطَانُ لِيُبْدِيَ لَهُمَا مَا وُورِيَ عَنْهُمَا مِن سَوْءَاتِهِمَا وَقَالَ مَا نَهَاكُمَا رَبُّكُمَا عَنْ هَـذِهِ الشَّجَرَةِ إِلاَّ أَن تَكُونَا مَلَكَيْنِ أَوْ تَكُونَا مِنَ الْخَالِدِينَ (7:20)
7:20 (Picktall) Then Satan whispered to them that he might manifest unto them that which was hidden from them of their shame, and he said: Your Lord forbade you from this tree only lest ye should become angels or become of the immortals. -
وَقَاسَمَهُمَا إِنِّي لَكُمَا لَمِنَ النَّاصِحِينَ (7:21)
7:21 (Picktall) And he swore unto them (saying): Lo! I am a sincere adviser unto you. -
فَدَلاَّهُمَا بِغُرُورٍ فَلَمَّا ذَاقَا الشَّجَرَةَ بَدَتْ لَهُمَا سَوْءَاتُهُمَا وَطَفِقَا يَخْصِفَانِ عَلَيْهِمَا مِن وَرَقِ الْجَنَّةِ وَنَادَاهُمَا رَبُّهُمَا أَلَمْ أَنْهَكُمَا عَن تِلْكُمَا الشَّجَرَةِ وَأَقُل لَّكُمَا إِنَّ الشَّيْطَآنَ لَكُمَا عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ (7:22)
7:22 (Picktall) Thus did he lead them on with guile. And when they tasted of the tree their shame was manifest to them and they began to hide (by heaping) on themselves some of the leaves of the Garden. And their Lord called them, (saying): Did I not forbid you from that tree and tell you: Lo! Satan is an open enemy to you? -
قَالاَ رَبَّنَا ظَلَمْنَا أَنفُسَنَا وَإِن لَّمْ تَغْفِرْ لَنَا وَتَرْحَمْنَا لَنَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ (7:23)
7:23 (Picktall) They said : Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If Thou forgive us not and have not mercy on us, surely we are of the lost! -
قَالَ اهْبِطُواْ بَعْضُكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ عَدُوٌّ وَلَكُمْ فِي الأَرْضِ مُسْتَقَرٌّ وَمَتَاعٌ إِلَى حِينٍ (7:24)
7:24 (Picktall) He said: Go down (from hence), one of you a foe unto the other. There will be for you on earth a habitation and provision for a while. -
قَالَ فِيهَا تَحْيَوْنَ وَفِيهَا تَمُوتُونَ وَمِنْهَا تُخْرَجُونَ (7:25)
7:25 (Picktall) He said: There shall ye live, and there shall ye die, and thence shall ye be brought forth. -
Points we learn:
1- Man created
2- Creation of man followed by fashioning.
3-Man is the most held up of creation and angles ordered to prostrate to him.
4- Satan thought he is of higher place than man.
5- The most common and the first of sins is disobedience to God and envy as Satan exhibited in the above scene.
6- Satan would follow man to have him disobey God and get separated from him.
7- As done with Adam and Eve Satan will tempt their offspring to do the same.
8- The earth will be the second scene that Satan and his offspring will tempt humans.
9- Satan will be our enemy and we will be enemies to one another.
10- We will live and die in the earth and we will brought up to God after our resurrection from the earth.
By: Nurul Aine IslamiCity* -
In this ever evolving globalized world, the word identity has taken on a whole new meaning In the pre-modern world, often a person belonged to very concrete social strata be it religious, economic, tribal, or political. This structure is changing with the globalization of the world. More and more people are grappling with the concept of personal identity! Muslims, as part of this world, are not immune to this saga. Many second generation muslim immigrants often struggle with identifying themselves as part of one or the other culture and reconciling it with their religious identity as well. As a result, we have a confused.... if not disconnected! Population of young muslims emerging on the world stage.
When Allah SWT revealed the following words in the Qur'an, He knew what paradigms we would be dealing with. "This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed my favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion." (Qur'an surah Maidah 5:3) Allah SWT sent His messenger Muhammad SAW with a message that is complete in its entirety; any issues we are dealing with can be solved by extracting messages from the Qur'an, teachings of the prophet, and/or the teachings of the righteous predecessors. if we can't find the answers, then we either haven't been seeking sincerely or are just looking at the wrong places. The claim that Islam has the cure for all of the social ills is not baseless. Plagues such as social oppression, addiction, family disintegration, religious and ethnic discrimination, and racism can all be solved by true teachings of Islam. The issue at hand of identity crisis among muslims can be solved if we know the true meaning of identity. Islam does not entertain or encourage tribal, national and ethnic affiliations. Once a person embraces Islam, his or her true identity is a muslim; besides Islamic brotherhood all the rest of the affiliations are superficial and unimportant. Our prophet Muhammad SAW stressed about this issue in his farewell pilgrimage in the following words...:
"All mankind is from Adam and Hawwa. An arab has no superiority over a non-arab, nor a non-arab has any superiority over an arab. Also a white has no superiority over black, nor a black has any superiority over white. Except by piety and good action! Learn that every muslim is a brother to every muslim, and that the muslims constitute one brotherhood! "Islam only cares about the spiritual status of the human being as prophet SAW said: "Allah doesn't look at your bodies or your wealth; rather He looks at your hearts and deeds!"Islam is the willful submission to Allah SWT and his rules and regulations. A person is not a muslim just because he was born into a muslim family or possesses a muslim name; that is why there is no concept of baptism in Islam. A person has to proclaim his submission to God and then act according to this proclamation knowing that he is accountable to God for his behavior, which makes Islam a status of the heart and body. Once this fact is established then the person's sole concern is to achieve the standard that is set by Allah and his prophet to be called a muslim. Once a person has received the status of Islam, he can perfect his relationship with Allah further until he reaches the station of belief and earn the title of a believer or mo'min. After this, the highest status earned by the great souls is that of perfection or ihsaan wherein one is called a mohsin. Reaching the status of Islam, iman, and ihsaan is a life long struggle. It requires sincerity, patience, and consistency; but above all it requires one to know the qualities of these people. In this article we will insha-Allah list the qualities of a muslim and a mo'min; once these qualities become a part of your personality, know that you are on your way to reach the level of ihsaan.
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Qualities of a muslim:
One who has fully submitted to the will of Allah SWT and follows the way of Ibraheem AS and muhammad SAW.
One who safeguards others from his tongue and hands.
One from whom his neighbors are safe, and he fulfills their rights.
One whose heart and mind is according to the teachings of Islam. If it is otherwise, then it is considered hypocrisy.
His heart is the reflection of his mind and his limbs (actions) are the reflection of his heart. If his mind is not stable, then his actions will not be according to the teachings of Islam.
His/her tongue is moist by the remembrance of Allah.
He/she keeps the covenants and promises.
The one who hates to be disgraced by Allah and loves to be elevated by Him SWT.
He runs away from everything displeasing to Allah to everything that is beloved to Him SWT.
A muslim has wisdom. Luqman AS was asked about how to gain wisdom and he gave the following advice: do not talk about what will not benefit you; do not involve yourself with what doesn't concern you. This practice increases the obedience to Allah SWT and opens the channel of communication between the master SWT and his slave. This advice is based on the saying of prophet SAW to "leave that which doesn't concern you."
One who denies dunya (this world) as dunya hardens the heart. Unnecessary mingling and talking causes the heart to get sick and hardened and a hard heart cannot give dawah. The practice of real slaves of Allah is to get away from those who elevate them unnecessarily with praises and from those who drag them to dunya. They replace gossiping and vain talking with remembrance of Allah and help each other gain knowledge of Allah SWT-and these are the qualities of fiqra-an-Naajiyah (the saves ones).
A muslim knows the rights of other muslims on him and does his utmost to fulfill these rights.
A muslim dedicates most of his time towards strengthening his relationship with his Lord SWT.
Qualities of a mo'min
A mo'min possesses all the qualities of a muslim and more. One righteous predecessor said: all of a mo'min is bounty, he benefits you if you seek him, share with him, consult him, or just walk with him. And when you need him, you will find him ready by your side. Another scholar called mo'min a cure saying if he talks to you, he gives you wisdom; and his goodness outweighs his shortcomings.
A mo'min talks less and does more; whereas a hypocrite talks more than he does.
Mo'min's face is pleasant to look at and reminds you of Allah.
He has a wide bosom where he stores all his sorrow and no one knows about his grieves.
His nafs (carnal instincts) are low and under control.
He detests status and glory and doesn't talk about others.
He is usually quiet and contemplating.
His time is rich and wisely used.
He walks with humility avoiding arrogance and ego.
When he smiles, it is calm and displays contentment.
If you ask him a question, he responds wisely and to your satisfaction.
If challenged or argued with, he maintains respect and dignity.
He is not stingy.
He is never in a hurry.
He doesn't display arrogance or anger.
A mo'min doesn't argue and is always reflective of his actions.
If someone makes him angry, he displays self-control and acts with justice, without hurting anyone.
He is compassionate towards his companions.
When he makes a commitment or a promise, he always keeps it.
His walk and talk show mercy towards all creation.
He forgives other's mistakes.
A mo'min is content with his Lord and is in perpetual state of thankfulness.
He doesn't follow his desire, instead resorts to the teachings of Allah and his prophet.
He doesn't oppress those who oppress him.
A mo'min minds his own business and doesn't involve with anything that doesn't concern him.
When people insult him, he doesn't retaliate; and when attacked, he doesn't get angry.
He doesn't make mistakes with his tongue such as backbiting, gossiping, spreading news etc.
A mo'min has a straight personality and is in state of constant worry (over spiritual matters and dealings of afterlife).
Now will be an ideal time to discuss the difference between muslims and mo'mins. It might be disturbing for a lot of us as we possess many of these characteristics. Unless we honestly analyze ourselves, we can never hope to change either ourselves or the condition of muslim ummah (nation).Main differences between a mo'min and hypocrite:
A mo'min has one personality regardless of his surrounding and his company, whereas a hypocrite's personality changes according to the people he is with.
A mo'min is the same whether alone or around people, whereas a hypocrite is different around people than when he is alone.
Mo'min's outside is calm and his inside is busy with Allah SWT, while a hypocrite surrounds himself with noise and company to fill his inner void.
A mo'min prefers isolation and carrying out good deeds in secrecy, while a hypocrite prefers to show off.
A mo'min minds his own business, whereas a hypocrite keeps himself occupied with the affairs of others.
One sage summarized the signs of hypocrite into these words:They are lazy when alone. And energetic and active when in company. If you tell him he is good, he is happy. Whereas, if he is criticized or told of having bad quality, he gets upset. We can simplify these into this. They are two faced and show off. What is happening to us?
We, as muslims, have lost the very foundation of our faith and if the foundation is destroyed, then how can the building of knowledge stand on it? The foundation of our faith is unshakable belief, trust of Allah SWT and afterlife. This guides all the rest of the spiritual affairs. Gaining knowledge without building faith first is like swimming in every direction in the ocean trying to reach the shore without a compass. Eventually the person's strength will diminish and his body will collapse.
When the iman (faith) is low, our control over our heart and faculties becomes loose. Which causes shaytaan, our surroundings, and our carnal instincts take over. And we lose the fight against evil, regardless of how much knowledge we have. What is the cure?
Allah SWT said in Quran surah Zukhruf 43:36-37: "But as for anyone who chooses to remain blind. To the remembrance of the most gracious. To him we assign an [Enduring] evil impulse. To become his other self. Whereupon, behold, these [Evil impulses]. Bar all such from the path [of truth]. Making them think that they are guided aright!"Once shaytaan becomes a person's close companion, he decorates all his negative actions for him and make them appear good until the person is out of the mercy of Allah. Anytime a person swings from the remembrance of Allah, he becomes a ball in the hands of shaytaan. Allah SWT warns us about shaytaan in Quran surah Baqarah 2:168-169: "O mankind! partake of what is Lawful and good on earth, and follow not satan's footsteps. For, verily, he is your open foe and bids you only to do evil, and to commit deeds of abomination, and to attribute Unto God something of which you have no knowledge."
The true knowledge of shaytaan and his doings will protect a person from falling into his trap. Prophet SAW said that one 'alim (learned person) is better than a hundred 'abid (worshippers), since it is understanding of religion that brings true contentment of the heart and victory of Allah SWT.
Say: shall we tell you who are the greatest losers in whatever they may do? [It is] they whose labor has gone astray in [the pursuit of no more than] this world's life, and who none the less think that they are doing good works.These verses were revealed for non-Muslims but are applicable to us today as we possess the same qualities that Allah SWT is criticizing. This brings us to the important topic of acquiring Islamic knowledge. Ali RA called knowledge better than money, because knowledge guards a person whereas a person guards money. Knowledge lasts while money eventually leaves. And money decreases with spending, while knowledge increases when spent. What kind of knowledge is a person supposed to acquire? Knowledge that brings one closer to Allah SWT. That makes one aware of himself and his actions. And brings one humbleness, humility, and good qualities. Today we are not seeking the right knowledge, because if we were, this wouldn't be our condition. Conclusion
We will close our article with the following words of a sage. "If you want to go on the journey of iman, you have to have the following four qualities..."
To busy your tongue and heart with the remembrance of Allah.
To hold tight your heart to Allah (check your actions all the time)
Do the opposite of what your nafs (carnal instinct) wants.
Purify the niyyah (intention) all the time.
It is imperative that we choose our identity and strive for the qualities of the title that we aspire to attain. May Allah SWT grant us sincerity and ability to travel on the straight path, the path that he SWT has chosen for his guided slaves. And allow us to reach the best abode, the abode of peace and happiness, the paradise. Ameen!
By Dr. Jaafar Sheikh Idris
An atheist is said to be someone who denies the existence of the Creator. This is a good definition, provided that we mean by it that the creator whose existence they deny is the only God of religion, the one true Creator. Otherwise, atheists do believe in creators, albeit they do not recognize them under that appellation. This is so because atheists, in their endeavor to find alternatives to God for explaining the existence of the temporal things we see around us, invent some imaginary entities and give them some of the essential attributes of God.
Thus materialistic atheists used to believe in matter as such a god. But this matter-god of theirs is not the matter with which we are familiar in our daily life; it is something that is eternal and everlasting, hence the statement, which used to masquerade as a scientific fact, “matter is neither created nor destroyed.” But when you ask them to point this eternal and everlasting matter you discover that they are only chasing a will-o’-the-wisp. The matter that we can recognize and to which we can point is matter in the form of the large heavenly bodies, in the form of earthly physical things, and in the form of the constituents of these things: molecules, atoms, subatomic particles, photons, etc., none of which is eternal. Atheistic materialists used to believe in an eternal matter behind all such material things which come and go, but the advent of the “big bang” theory shattered all hopes in the existence of such matter. Scientists now believe that everything—matter, energy, even space and time—had a beginning. In fact they speak about a moment of creation of all these things.
Another such imaginary god is Nature (with a capital N). The nature with which we are familiar is the totality of natural things. But when we are told that Nature does this or that, as atheists are prone to say, we find ourselves at a loss. What is this Nature? If it be the one we know, how can it cause or create itself? But if it is something else, then we want to have proof of its existence.
The same applies to Evolution. Now evolution, scientifically speaking, is “[t]he gradual process by which the present diversity of plant and animal life arose from the earliest and most primary organisms…” (Concise Science Dictionary) But the Evolution of the atheists is not this process; rather it is the agent which brings about the process. Only in this unscientific and imaginary sense can evolution take the place of God; otherwise, a believer who accepts the theory of evolution can easily reconcile it with his belief in God, by saying that that process is itself the work of the Creator.
There are, on the other hand, atheists who say in a misleading way that they believe in God; but on inspection, their god turns out to be the god of the atheists. I am referring here to people like Einstein, who is said by some to have been a believer, but whose god was in fact not God the Creator in whom we all believe. Einstein declared that he believed in “Spinoza’s god,” i.e. in a god that is identical with the universe, and who does not thus interfere from outside in its working. “The man who is thoroughly convinced of the universal operation of the law of causation, “says Einstein, “cannot for a moment entertain the idea of a being who interferes in the course of events.” [Quoted by Hans Kung, Does God Exist? Vantage Books, 1981, p. 629]
Thus all atheists are in fact polytheists, or mushriks. A mushrik, according to Islam, is one who believes in a god or gods besides, or to the exclusion of, the one true God, or who worships such gods, even if he also worships the true God. That perhaps is the reason why the Qur’an never talks about atheists, but only about mushriks (or polytheists).
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 10:32 AM on 27th October 2010
Tony Blair’s sister-in-law announced her conversion to Islam last weekend. Journalist Lauren Booth embraced the faith after what she describes as a ‘holy experience’ in Iran.
She is just one of a growing number of modern British career women to do so. Here, writer EVE AHMED, who was raised as a Muslim before rejecting the faith, explores the reasons why.
Rejecting her faith: Writer Eve Ahmed was raised a Muslim
Much of my childhood was spent trying to escape Islam.
Born in London to an English mother and a Pakistani Muslim father, I was brought up to follow my father’s faith without question.
But, privately, I hated it. The minute I left home for university at the age of 18, I abandoned it altogether.
As far as I was concerned, being a Muslim meant hearing the word ‘No’ over and over again.
Girls from my background were barred from so many of the things my English friends took for granted. Indeed, it seemed to me that almost anything fun was haram, or forbidden, to girls like me.
There were so many random, petty rules. No whistling. No chewing of gum. No riding bikes. No watching Top Of The Pops. No wearing make-up or clothes which revealed the shape of the body.
No eating in the street or putting my hands in my pockets. No cutting my hair or painting my nails. No asking questions or answering back. No keeping dogs as pets, (they were unclean).
And, of course, no sitting next to men, shaking their hands or even making eye contact with them.
These ground rules were imposed by my father and I, therefore, assumed they must be an integral part of being a good Muslim.
Small wonder, then, that as soon as I was old enough to exert my independence, I rejected the whole package and turned my back on Islam. After all, what modern, liberated British woman would choose to live such a life?
Well, quite a lot, it turns out, including Islam’s latest surprise convert, Tony Blair’s sister-in-law Lauren Booth. And after my own break with my past, I’ve followed with fascination the growing trend of Western women choosing to convert to Islam.
Broadcaster and journalist Booth, 43, says she now wears a hijab head covering whenever she leaves home, prays five times a day and visits her local mosque ‘when I can’.
She decided to become a Muslim six weeks ago after visiting the shrine of Fatima al-Masumeh in the city of Qom, and says: ‘It was a Tuesday evening, and I sat down and felt this shot of spiritual morphine, just absolute bliss and joy.’
Before her awakening in Iran, she had been ‘sympathetic’ to Islam and has spent considerable time working in Palestine. ‘I was always impressed with the strength and comfort it gave,’ she says.
How, I wondered, could women be drawn to a religion which I felt had kept me in such a lowly, submissive place? How could their experiences of Islam be so very different to mine?
Convert: Lauren Booth, who is Cherie Blair's half sister, decided to convert to Islam after what she described as a holy experience in Iran
According to Kevin Brice from Swansea University, who has specialised in studying white conversion to Islam, these women are part of an intriguing trend.
He explains: ‘They seek spirituality, a higher meaning, and tend to be deep thinkers. The other type of women who turn to Islam are what I call “converts of convenience”. They’ll assume the trappings of the religion to please their Muslim husband and his family, but won’t necessarily attend mosque, pray or fast.’
I spoke to a diverse selection of white Western converts in a bid to re-examine the faith I had rejected.
Women like Kristiane Backer, 43, a London-based former MTV presenter who had led the kind of liberal Western-style life that I yearned for as a teenager, yet who turned her back on it and embraced Islam instead. Her reason? The ‘anything goes’ permissive society that I coveted had proved to be a superficial void.
Changing values: Camilla Leyland, 32, pictured in Western and Muslim dress, converted to Islam in her mid-20s for 'intellectual and feminist reasons'
The turning point for Kristiane came when she met and briefly dated the former Pakistani cricketer and Muslim Imran Khan in 1992 during the height of her career. He took her to Pakistan where she says she was immediately touched by spirituality and the warmth of the people.
Kristiane says: ‘Though our relationship didn’t last, I began to study the Muslim faith and eventually converted. Because of the nature of my job, I’d been out interviewing rock stars, travelling all over the world and following every trend, yet I’d felt empty inside. Now, at last, I had contentment because Islam had given me a purpose in life.’
‘In the West, we are stressed for superficial reasons, like what clothes to wear. In Islam, everyone looks to a higher goal. Everything is done to please God. It was a completely different value system.
'In the West, we are stressed for superficial reasons, like what clothes to wear. In Islam, everyone looks to a higher goal. Everything is done to please God'
'Despite my lifestyle, I felt empty inside and realised how liberating it was to be a Muslim. To follow only one god makes life purer. You are not chasing every fad.
‘I grew up in Germany in a not very religious Protestant family. I drank and I partied, but I realised that we need to behave well now so we have a good after-life. We are responsible for our own actions.’
For a significant amount of women, their first contact with Islam comes from dating a Muslim boyfriend. Lynne Ali, 31, from Dagenham in Essex, freely admits to having been ‘a typical white hard-partying teenager’.
She says: ‘I would go out and get drunk with friends, wear tight and revealing clothing and date boys.
‘I also worked part-time as a DJ, so I was really into the club scene. I used to pray a bit as a Christian, but I used God as a sort of doctor, to fix things in my life. If anyone asked, I would’ve said that, generally, I was happy living life in the fast lane.’
But when she met her boyfriend, Zahid, at university, something dramatic happened.
She says: ‘His sister started talking to me about Islam, and it was as if everything in my life fitted into place. I think, underneath it all, I must have been searching for something, and I wasn’t feeling fulfilled by my hard-drinking party lifestyle.’
Liberating: Kristiane Backer says being a Muslim makes her life purer
Lynne converted aged 19. ‘From that day, I started wearing the hijab,’ she explains, ‘and I now never show my hair in public. At home, I’ll dress in normal Western clothes in front of my husband, but never out of the house.’
With a recent YouGov survey concluding that more than half the British public believe Islam to be a negative influence that encourages extremism, the repression of women and inequality, one might ask why any of them would choose such a direction for themselves.
Yet statistics suggest Islamic conversion is not a mere flash in the pan but a significant development. Islam is, after all, the world’s fastest growing religion, and white adopters are an important part of that story.
‘Evidence suggests that the ratio of Western women converts to male could be as high as 2:1,’ says Kevin Brice.
Moreover, he says, often these female converts are eager to display the visible signs of their faith — in particular the hijab — whereas many Muslim girls brought up in the faith choose not to.
‘Perhaps as a result of these actions, which tend to draw attention, white Muslims often report greater amounts of discrimination against them than do born Muslims,’ adds Brice, which is what happened to Kristiane Backer.
She says: ‘In Germany, there is Islamophobia. I lost my job when I converted. There was a Press campaign against me with insinuations about all Muslims supporting terrorists — I was vilified. Now, I am a presenter on NBC Europe.
‘I call myself a European Muslim, which is different to the ‘born’ Muslim. I was married to one, a Moroccan, but it didn’t work because he placed restrictions on me because of how he’d been brought up. As a European Muslim, I question everything — I don’t accept blindly.
‘But what I love is the hospitality and the warmth of the Muslim community. London is the best place in Europe for Muslims, there is wonderful Islamic culture here and I am very happy.’
For some converts, Islam represents a celebration of old-fashioned family values.
Ex-MTV Presenter Kristiane Backer with Mick Jagger in the late Eighties
‘Some are drawn to the sense of belonging and of community — values which have eroded in the West,’ says Haifaa Jawad, a senior lecturer at the University of Birmingham, who has studied the white conversion phenomenon.
‘Many people, from all walks of life, mourn the loss in today’s society of traditional respect for the elderly and for women, for example. These are values which are enshrined in the Koran, which Muslims have to live by,’ adds Brice.
It is values like these which drew Camilla Leyland, 32, a yoga teacher who lives in Cornwall, to Islam. A single mother to daughter, Inaya, two, she converted in her mid-20s for ‘intellectual and feminist reasons’.
She explains: ‘I know people will be surprised to hear the words “feminism” and “Islam” in the same breath, but in fact, the teachings of the Koran give equality to women, and at the time the religion was born, the teachings went against the grain of a misogynistic society.
Escape route: Former DJ Lynne Ali is happy to pray five times a day
‘The big mistake people make is by confusing culture with religion. Yes, there are Muslim cultures which do not allow women individual freedom, yet when I was growing up, I felt more oppressed by Western society.’
She talks of the pressure on women to act like men by drinking and having casual sex. ‘There was no real meaning to it all. In Islam, if you begin a relationship, that is a commitment of intent.’
Growing up in Southampton — her father was the director of Southampton Institute of Education and her mother a home economics teacher — Camilla’s interest in Islam began at school.
She went to university and later took a Masters degree in Middle East Studies. But it was while living and working in Syria that she had a spiritual epiphany. Reflecting on what she’d read in the Koran, she realised she wanted to convert.
Her decision was met with bemusement by friends and family.
‘People found it so hard to believe that an educated, middle-class white woman would choose to become Muslim,’ she says.
While Camilla’s faith remains strong, she no longer wears the hijab in public. But several of the women I spoke to said strict Islamic dress was something they found empowering and liberating.
Lynne Ali remembers the night this hit home for her. ‘I went to an old friend’s 21st birthday party in a bar,’ she reveals. ‘I walked in, wearing my hijab and modest clothing, and saw how everyone else had so much flesh on display. They were drunk, slurring their words and dancing provocatively.
‘For the first time, I could see my former life with an outsider’s eyes, and I knew I could never go back to that.
‘I am so grateful I found my escape route. This is the real me — I am happy to pray five times a day and take classes at the mosque. I am no longer a slave to a broken society and its expectations.’
Kristiane Backer, who has written a book on her own spiritual journey, called From MTV To Mecca, believes the new breed of modern, independent Muslims can band together to show the world that Islam is not the faith I grew up in — one that stamps on the rights of women.
She says: ‘I know women born Muslims who became disillusioned an d rebelled against it. When you dig deeper, it’s not the faith they turned against, but the culture.
'Rules like marrying within the same sect or caste and education being less important for girls, as they should get married anyway —– where does it say that in the Koran? It doesn’t.
‘Many young Muslims have abandoned the “fire and brimstone” version they were born into have re-discovered a more spiritual and intellectual approach, that’s free from the cultural dogmas of the older generation. That’s how I intend to spend my life, showing the world the beauty of the true Islam.’
While I don’t agree with their sentiments, I admire and respect the women I interviewed for this piece.
They were all bright and educated, and have thought long and hard before choosing to convert to Islam — and now feel passionately about their adopted religion. Good luck to them. And good luck to Lauren Booth. But it’s that word that sums up the difference between their experience and mine — choice.
Perhaps if I’d felt in control rather than controlled, if I’d felt empowered rather than stifled, I would still be practising the religion I was born into, and would not carry the burden of guilt that I do about rejecting my father’s faith.
Monday, October 25, 2010
By: A K M Mohiuddin IslamiCity* -
Islam invites man to truth and success. It offers to guide man out of darkness to light and to show him how best to live. It tells man that a life lived in conformity with truth can alone ensure him true success. It provides man the enduring foundation on which he can build a life of rest and peace, and shows him how to do it.
With his limited knowledge and experience and his subjective bias, man on his own could never know the truth about his existence or determine the proper course for his life. He could never know the origin and meaning of his life and the huge universe in which he finds himself. He could never find out his true identity, his position and function in the universe and his destiny. He could ask questions about these things, but he could never come up with any satisfying answers.
He could not even understand himself well and thus would remain a stranger to himself.Without clear, comprehensive and consistent answers to these questions, manÕs life remains dark, empty and meaningless, an insoluble puzzle and an unbearable burden. He gropes from blunder to blunder, accumulating despair on despair, and never finding any rest, hope and peace in his heart - a state of indescribable despair.To get out of this bewilderment and agony man needs help from someone who is free of all limitations, who is perfect in knowledge and understanding, and also perfect in ability, and who is attentive and kind to man.
Is there any such help available for man? Is there any hope for man ever finding a life of sense and purpose? Islam offers that help and hope.
First, Islam provides a clear, consistent and comprehensive explanation of the universe and everything in it, including manÕs own life. It tells man that there is a Creator and Master of the universe, who is above all limitations. He is perfect in power and knowledge and wisdom. He is eternal and self- sustaining. He has no partner, nor any equal. He is unique, unlike anything or anyone we know. The name this Creator and Master calls Himself is Allah. (Exalted is He in glory and power.) Islam not only states that He exists, it also provides ample justification for man to accept this truth. Allah subhanahu wa taÕla can create whatever He wills, out of nothing, and determine its function. The universe and its order is the result of His will and will exist only as long as He wishes it to. There are only two sides in His scheme of things, the One and Only Creator and His creation. The two are distinct. The creation is dependent on Him, but He is not dependent on anybody or anything, and whereas He is Eternal, creation is only temporary. One day He will bring this order of creation to an end. There is no power that can avert this, or hasten or delay its coming. There is no power capable of frustrating His Will. Allah (swt) alone is the only true and everlasting reality, and creation has only a fleeting existence.Allah (swt) has created everything with a purpose. There is nothing that is random or accidental. Everything in creation has been appointed a function and destiny. Allah is ever awake and ever cognizant of everything. Nothing can escape His sight or hearing. Nothing is a secret to Him.This is the most fundamental truth to which Islam invites man. This is the heart of Islam, or the bedrock on which Islam stands. This is the truth expressed by IslamÕs concept of tawheed (the oneness and uniqueness of Allah).
Everything else in Islam follows from this single truth.Truth alone can save man. In the absence of truth, there is only impenetrable darkness and falsehood that trap and destroy man. But man cannot create truth. He can only speculate and conjecture and create mere illusions that burst like bubbles. The most he can do is yearn for truth, and recognize and accept it when it appears and then strive to adhere to it. Nor can man create meaning and value. For anything to have any meaning at all, the universe must have a meaning. There can be no meaning for man if the universe in which he lives has no meaning; there would only be blind confusion and disorder. Nor can there be any value in a universe without meaning. Meaning and value cannot be born or created by man out of a void. Both proceed from the Creator and Master of the universe and the Designer of its destiny. He alone can give meaning and value to whatever He pleases. Only that is meaningful which He makes meaningful, only that is of value which He makes of value. They have no existence independent of Him, just as nothing else in the universe has.Once man has grasped the truth of tawheed, he has found the anchor of his life that can save him from drifting aimlessly in the ever changing tides of this world, floundering on the rocks of confusion and illusion. With this knowledge of the Lord of the universe man now understands that he lives in a meaningful universe and that his life has sense and purpose. On this enduring foundation alone man can build his life without any fear of its crumbling, a life free of painful fragmentation and irreconcilable contradiction.
Second, Islam tells man who he is, what his position and function in the universe is and where he is going. Man is a created being living in a created universe. He belongs to his Creator and Master. He is an abd or slave of Allah (swt) like everything else in the universe. But his Creator and Master has given this puny creature in the huge universe a special position, the position of the khalifah or steward on earth. And just as every faithful slave obeys his master and discharges the duties assigned to him, man as the slave of Allah (swt) must obey Him and discharge his assigned duties. Like every honest and sincere representative man must faithfully fulfill his trust. This is what worship is. The range and compass of worship is as vast as life itself. No region of manÕs life is outside its domain.However, man has been given the freedom to obey his Lord and fulfill his trust or not. In this, man is unlike the rest of creation. Every other creature obeys Allah and never deviates from the course set for it. Man has been given a choice, the choice to be obedient to his Lord or to be rebellious. But man has also been told that his freedom has stupendous implications for him. His life in this world is a test. His Lord wants to see whether man chooses to live a life of obedience or of rebellion and one day He will judge man for his choice. To set the stage for this unique event the Lord of the universe has fixed a day to bring this familiar order of the universe to an end. He will then gather together in a vast assembly every human being that ever lived in this world. No man can avoid or delay the coming of that Momentous Day.Death does not bring an end to manÕs life. It only ushers him into another life in another world of a different order where he will stand face to face with his Lord. In that new world the little freedom man enjoyed in this life will be taken away. He will be entirely in the hands of his Lord. Then man will have to give him an account of the use he made of his life and the gifts and bounties of the world placed at his disposal by his Lord. The accounting will be absolutely thorough. Nothing that man has felt, thought or done will be left out. There will be no shortage of witnesses to testify for or against him. None will have the capacity to deny, distort or falsify evidence. It will be an unprecedented judgment on an unprecedented scale. It will be a grim day for man. Each person will then be either rewarded or punished by his Lord on the basis of the use he made of his freedom in this life - whether he chose to be obedient to his Lord or rebellious. Both the reward and the punishment will be great beyond anything he can imagine. Man will then find his final home, Jannah or Jahannam, whichever he deserves, to live for ever.That will be the greatest day of truth and reality for man. The scales will fall from his eyes. That will be the day of his fullest awakening. He will know without the least doubt or confusion what he really was, what real success and true joy is, and what real failure and true misery is. He will know what truly is real and what is false and illusory. He will see what he built for himself throughout his whole life as his final abode, an abode of bliss or of misery. He will realize how all his life he was engaged in creating his own destiny he now finds.Certainly it is true that Allah (swt) is also merciful and can forgive anyone. But that is His sole prerogative. He will forgive whom He pleases. No one knows who those fortunate ones will be. There is nothing incredible about any of this. The Being who staged the creation of man and this universe can stage anything. He can create and recreate anything anytime in any form or manner. He only has to will it.This is akhirah in Islam. It gives true sense and meaning to manÕs life. It brings man full circle and puts together all the puzzles of his life. The picture is then complete. All his life man desperately yearns for permanence, yearns for something he loves and cherishes to stay with him. But he finds instead that everything passes away; time devours everything. That yearning of man for permanence is fulfilled now, fulfilled in a way man could never conceive. He finds now that the hardships, the deprivations, the insults and humiliations he suffered, the sacrifices he made to remain on the path of virtue have all been miraculously stored and nourished and finally wonderfully transformed by his Lord to give him joy and satisfaction. Nothing has been lost. Third, Islam clearly shows man how he can obey Allah and discharge his obligations as AllahÕs khalifah. His Lord has been most merciful and has not left man in darkness to puzzle over these tremendously crucial matters. He can proceed through the journey of his life with confidence and hope. He only needs to turn to the QurÕan, the Book of Guidance from Allah (swt) for man, and to Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, the final Messenger of Allah (swt).Together, the QurÕan and Muhammad (saws) offer man a detailed program for his life. What the QurÕan says in principle or briefly outlines, Muhammad (saws) explained in detail and put into practice in his own life, inviting others to emulate him. As Muhammad (saws) was appointed by Allah (swt) he was fully qualified for this task. No one has read the QurÕan better than he, nor ever will. No one has lived by the guidance of the QurÕan better than he, nor ever will. There are chambers in the QurÕan that he alone had the key to open. No one comprehended the will of Allah (swt) better than he. Thus to follow MuhammadÕs (saws) examples is to obey the will of Allah (swt) in the best possible way. The Lord of man has been immeasurably kind in providing His Messenger as a perfect model for us to follow in love and gratitude, and preserving every detail of that modelÕs words and deeds. Man can follow him throughout the course of his daily life to its end, secure in the knowledge that he is on the path of obedience to his Lord, the path of His pleasure, and of his own success in this life and in the next. The program of life that Islam offers man is a comprehensive one of balance and harmony. It has mapped out the entire journey of man from birth to death, leading to the gate of eternity. It takes into account manÕs relationship with his Creator and Master, his relationship with his teacher, the Messenger of Allah (swt), with himself, and with other human beings, and with all the rest of AllahÕs (swt) creation, animate and inanimate, and shows him the practical and most effective way to maintain those relationships. It has ample space for the nourishment of his inner spirit as well as his outer life of action. By following this program, man can cleanse himself of all impurities and elevate his life to its ideal essence. This is the means by which he can build his life of peace and hope.
Fourth, Islam also reveals man to himself. To be able to make the best use of himself and guard against the dangers inherent within himself, man needs to see himself thoroughly in a clear, unwavering light. Islam tells him what his strengths and weaknesses are. It opens up for his view all the hidden recesses of his nature. Knowing himself in this way he can be aware of the possibilities ingrained in his nature - the possibility of his ennoblement or of his downfall. It exposes to him the terrible monsters residing within him and constantly working to his ruin. It unflatteringly warns man of his enormous capacity to deceive himself - to act as his own enemy. With his limited knowledge and understanding and partiality toward himself man could never know himself as he needs to. Only Allah (swt) who created and fashioned man to His design can provide this knowledge for man.Islam not only tells man what is within him, it tells him in minute detail how to fortify his strengths and guard against the inner monsters. The program of life that Islam offers man has built-in ways and means to ensure these twin aims.Fifth, Islam exposes the Devil to man as his sworn enemy who wants to possess his soul and thus destroy him. It tells man how ubiquitous Shaytan is and how wily and various his ways are. He works day and night and knows no rest. One meets him unexpectedly in dark corners. He lays his trap everywhere, making pleasant and attractive all that is damning for man. The Devil lies, charms, bribes and threatens. He can make his lies the sweetest music in manÕs ears. He knows all the arts of persuasion as well as of torture. He has agents among men. Against this most potent enemy man has no defense unless he turns for protection to the Lord of the universe who is also his Creator and Master. Islam says that his Lord has already armed man against this danger. He has shown man the sure way to recognize the Devil and his ways, to fight him and defeat his designs. Sixth, Islam offers man an unchanging criterion to discriminate between truth and falsehood, sacred and profane, right and wrong. With this criterion in his possession he has an unfailing light and a sharp weapon to cut through the jungle of this world and move forward to reach his final and cherished home where his Lord will welcome him. He can face all the contingencies of life and can save himself from being torn asunder by the whims and frenzies of this world.Seventh, Islam banishes despair and offers man hope that is ever ready and ever near. Weak, ignorant, erring, vain, wayward and foolhardy though man is, he need not despair. He is never abandoned and forever lost. However great his disobedience to his Lord and his transgressions may be, he can always salvage himself. He can have AllahÕs mercy and forgiveness and redeem himself. It is as if he is born again without any taint or blemish. His Lord has proclaimed: "Oh my servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the mercy of Allah: for Allah forgives all sins: for He is oft-forgiving, most merciful. Turn you to your Lord in repentance and submit to Him, before the chastisement comes on you: after that you shall not be helped.Ó (Al Zumar, 39:53-54).Governments and communities cannot forgive every transgression of their members for the simple reason that all human systems and arrangements are flawed and vulnerable. Allah (swt) alone can forgive everything: nothing threatens or undermines Him.Eighth, Islam offers man the consolation that he craves. Man lives this life with a wounded heart. Sorrow, disappointment, loss and injustice visit him daily. Sometimes they look accidental and undeserved, and so man feels baffled and aggrieved. But Islam assures him that his Lord is aware of all that has been happening and promises to one day recompense man for all the anguish he underwent in this world. All suffering will turn into unimaginable joy. All the wounds in manÕs heart will be permanently healed, leaving not the least scar; he will have no more grievances. His heart will be filled with overflowing joy and contentment never to be lost again. Man only has to wait patiently in faith and hope for the coming of that Day of great fortune and joy. That is why Muhammad (saws) told his companions that for the MuÕmin there is no loss: "Strange is the affair of the believer. Verily, all his affairs are good for him. If something pleasing befalls him, he thanks Allah and it becomes better for him. And if something harmful befalls him, he is patient and it becomes better for him. And this is only for the believer.Ó (Sahih Muslim)All this is easy for Allah (swt), the Creator of the universe and the giver of life and its sustenance. He can bring back and create and recreate anything and change the state of manÕs heart. When He gives, His store does not decrease one bit, and He is Himself free of all needs. These are the offers that Islam makes to mankind. Is there anyone who can honestly say that he does not need them? Could he find any of these offers elsewhere? Man dare not take them lightly; he must consider them very seriously indeed.What life is there if man does not know who he is, where he came from, where he is going, why he is here, what this world he lives in is, how best to live, what hope there is when he strays or suffers in virtue and what consolation he has in pain? There is none. Man would then be in unspeakable distress. For man cannot construct any truth or meaning for his life, nor can he create any hope or consolation for himself. ManÕs constructions do not endure, they crumble before they are completed or put to use. The truth that Islam reveals to man is both enduring and life-giving, and the program of life that it charts out for him is within his capacity to follow. Thus the call of Islam is a call to life, true life, and the offers it makes are offers to one in dire distress. It is for this Allah invites man with these words: "Respond to Allah and His Messenger, when He calls you to that which will give you life....Ó (Al Anfal, 8: 24)One final point remains to be made. Islam claims that the QurÕan is the final revelation from Allah (swt) for manÕs guidance and that Muhammad (saws) is His Messenger, and that the two basic documents on which Islam rests, the QurÕan and the body of Hadith, are historically authentic. The claims can be easily verified. The documents are still intact, in their original form and available for everyone. They have not undergone any change or loss. Any one who wishes can examine them and learn the truth.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
By: M. Shahid Alam IslamiCity* -
In the Qur'an man appears in a variety of capacities: as prophet, messenger, sage; as Muslim, Momin, Jew, Christian, Magian, Sabian; as disbeliever, skeptic, hypocrite, idolater; as tyrant and his victims crying out for justice; as one whose self-regard has made him deaf, dumb and blind to the signs of God; as men whose hearts tremble with awe when God is mentioned. God speaks to all of them.Directly and indirectly, and at different levels, the contest for man's soul undergirds nearly all the exchanges in the Qur'an, whether these exchanges occur between God and the angels, God and Iblis, or God and man. Of necessity, these exchanges turn their attention to nearly everything in God's creation, seen and Unseen - from the design of the heavens to the manner in which cows are put together to produce pure milk, sweet to the drinker. In order to bring man to the straight path, the Qur'an harnesses the resources of human language, reasoning, rhetoric, and prosody; it infers the Unknown from the known; it draws lessons from the history of human arrogance; it borrows images from this life to illustrate the felicity and pain of the Hereafter; it speaks to each interlocutor in a manner suited to his or her capacity and needs. Since the Qur'an had to speak to audiences that were often hostile to its message - Arab pagans or followers of previous revelations jealous of a new revelation given to a people without a Scripture - it was forced to respond to their objections, using reason and rhetoric to bring them into the new faith. Repeatedly and without flinching, the Qur'an records the objections and taunts of its adversaries: mushrikin who associate other divinities with God; munafiqin who entered Islam in order to undermine it from within; and the kafirin, disbelievers, among Jews and Christians. It also answers their objections.In large parts, the Qur'anic mode of revelation is dialectical. God listens and speaks to men, answering their objections, addressing their concerns, guiding, giving comfort. Muhammad did not go up to the mountains to receive the Qur'an inscribed on tablets, nor was the Qur'an delivered as a manuscript written out on papyrus scrolls. Instead, at least as things appear to us, the Qur'an emerges out of the social matrix in which Muhammad finds himself - in Mecca and Medina - daily wrestling with the task of saving souls, unraveling the plans of his adversaries, and bringing guidance and comfort to those who had chosen to stand by his side.God sent down portions of the Qur'an to Muhammad - communicated to him by the angel Gabriel - over a period of twenty-three years: the first revelation came in 610 when he was alone, on one of his customary retreats in the mountain cave of Hira outside Mecca; he received the last verses shortly before his death in 632. Step by step He has sent the Scripture down to you with the truth, confirming what went before. This was contrary to the notions the Meccan pagan had about a revealed book: and they ask, Why was the Qur'an not sent down to him all at once? God answers, We sent it in this way to strengthen your heart [Prophet]; We give it to you in gradual revelation. Often but not always, the Qur'an comments upon events as they unfold, giving instructions on how Muhammad (s) should respond to them, or, after the fact, draws lessons from these events. In order to make sense of these exchanges, the early Muslims developed a genre of writing describing the 'occasions of revelation' (asbab al-nuzul) for each verse. In later times, these would become indispensable aids to the understanding of the Qur'an.God and man are constantly in conversation in the pages of the Qur'an. Nearly always, moreover, these conversations are reported directly, so that we can listen in to the conversations that take place between the prophets and disbelievers. In these conversations, we can see ourselves mirrored - for man was created weak - in the disbelievers, as they demanded proofs, signs, and miracles. We too face the need, more than our ancestors, to overcome doubt and disbelief: to resist the downward pull of our appetites.Equally, we can hear the prophets in conversation with God, His angels and the disbelievers. We listen in to God, as He answers the disbeliever's questions, confronts them with questions, demands that they provide proofs for their rejection of the revelations, urging them to observe, think, ponder, and reason. In short, God insists on engaging the disbelievers: in order that He may dispel their doubts. As a result, the Qur'an contains a great variety of arguments: including questions, parables, analogies, syllogisms, contrasts, comparisons, and conditional, probabilistic and disjunctive arguments. As if to compensate for God's refusal to deliver miracles to the polytheists and disbelievers of Arabia, the Quran offers a nearly endless array of dazzling insights into the physical world, society, and human nature; it also brings - depending on our ability to receive them - endless intimations of the Unseen.In some ways, Qur'anic dialectics transports the reader to the time and locale of the revelations. We can witness the events of the Qur'an as if in real time; we can hear the voices of blessed Prophet's companions; we become witnesses to the sacred history taking shape in the environs of Mecca and Medina. Above all, the reader can hear God speaking to man in a hundred different voices, in a hundred different circumstances. In other words, the Qur'an seeks to incorporate its readers into its revelation: and by so doing it recreates some of the impact which had it on those who first heard its inimitable symphony of sense and sound.
In its dialectical method of discourse, the Qur'an finds the amplitude to record and respond to the objections of the disbelievers, pagans and the hypocrites who opposed and challenged the prophets and their mission. Its dialectical method allows the Qur'an to speak to the skeptical and disbelieving man across all ages, to appeal to his sensate experiences, his feeling of shame, his innate sense of the just, true, and beautiful, his sense of wonder and awe, his quest for meaning, but above all, his powers of thinking, reasoning and imagination: constantly urging him to use all his cognitive faculties to see the Unseen in the visible world, to discern God in His signs, and, eventually, to awaken his latent cognitive powers, to see all things with the eye of the heart. The Qur'an addresses the integral man: for only the integral man is capable of discovering God. God seeks to restore wholeness to men and women whose worldly ambitions and cares have denuded them, reduced them to truncated creatures who view the world only as appetite and quantity: so that they measure life primarily in terms of growth that satisfies their appetites. The Qur'an strives to re-center man in his spirit, from where he can see things as they really are, that is, as God sees them. This was the blessed Prophet's constant prayer: it should be ours too.
~ o ~
Qur'anic references: deaf, dumb and blind: 2:172; whose hearts tremble: 8:2; pure milk, 16:62; Step by step: 3:3; Why was the Qur'an not sent down to him all at once? 25:32; for man was created weak: 4:28.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Allah has Himself explained ‘Islam’ in the Qur’an, which can be learned through Tasreef. Tasreef is the Qur'anic process where words and verses in one part of the Qur’an explain or provide deeper understanding of the words and verses in other parts of the Book. Please see the following verse:
3:83 Do they seek other than the DEEN of Allah (GOD in Arabic), when all things in the heavens and the earth, willingly and unwillingly submit (aslama) to Him, and to Him they will be returned.
According to the above verse (3:83), everything in the heavens and the earth submit to Allah (aslama). In other words, everything is Muslim. Note the word ‘aslama’ and ‘Deen’.
13:15 And all things in the heavens and the earth, willingly and unwillingly bow to Him (in obedience) (yasjudu) ……
In 13:15, the word ‘yasjudu’ has been used instead of ‘aslama’. In other words, ‘aslama’ in 3:83 has been used quite synonymously to ‘yasjudu’ in 13:15. Islam means submission. Sajda means bowing or prostrating in submissiveness or submission. Obviously, everything in the heavens and the earth do not prostrate as humans do physically by putting their foreheads on the ground but this means the submissiveness and obedience of these things to Allah’s Amr or Command or Law. It is a fact that every object and every phenomenon in the universe is governed by certain laws. It may be the case that science has not discovered so far all the laws that govern everything but there is nothing that does not follow a law. What they call ‘natural laws’, Allah clarifies to them that these are His Laws.
Allah has further explained in the Quran the nature of Islam or submission of everything to Allah. In the Quran, Allah say:
22:18 Don't you see that all things and beings in the heavens and in the earth, the sun and the moon, and the stars and the mountains, and the trees, and the animals, and a great many human beings bow themselves to Allah (in submissiveness and obedience) (yasjudu)? …………
16:49-50 Behold, before Allah, bows in submission all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth, whether living beings or the angels, for none are arrogant. They all fear their Lord, High above them, and they do all that they are commanded (Yumaroon).
From the above, it can be seen that the submission or bowing or prostrating of things to Allah in submissiveness means ‘to do what He commands’. This is what the Islam is, i.e. doing what Allah commands.
Allah created everything and then gave it guidance of the way that it should follow.
20:50 …, "Our Lord is He who creates and shapes everything, grants it its constitution and guides it aright."
For example, Allah sent wahi or command to Heavens to assign them their function.
41:12 And He it is Who ordained that they become seven Heavens in two stages and assigned to each heaven its function….
Similarly, wahi and command to the Earth:
99:5 For your Lord would send His Command to her (the earth)
Everything in the heaven and the earth is striving to carry out the tasks assigned by Allah. Everything knows its SALAAT and TASBEEH.
24:41 Do you not realize that Allah, It is He Whose assigned tasks all beings in the heavens and the earth carry out, and the birds, with their wings outspread, as they fly in columns. All of them know their SALAT and TASBEEH (mission and strife). Allah is Aware of what they do.
According to 24:41, everything is doing TASBEEH. The verse 24:41 ends with the words, ‘Allah is aware of what they do’, clarifying that TASBEEH is not something to be said or recited but something to be done.
2:116 ….. Nay, unto Him belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth. Everything is wholeheartedly subservient/obedient to Him.
As can be seen from the above given verses, Allah created everything and gave it guidance to the way it should follow. Everything knows its SALAAT and TASBEEH, its function and role. Everything is obedient/subservient to Allah and does exactly what Allah commanded to them. This is their Islam or submission to Allah.
The difference between their submission and man’s submission is that these things are bound to follow Allah’s laws willingly or unwillingly [3:83, 13:15]. They do not have any choice. The Sun does not have any choice to change its course. The stars do not have any choice to move to any position other that the ordained, and so on. All are whole-heartedly obedient to Allah’s commands [2:116]. But man has not been created to be obedient by default but he is commanded to do so by choice [2:238]. Whatever is in the heavens and the earth submits to Allah’s commands willingly or unwilling [3:83]. But human beings have choice. Whoever among them submits his whole self entirely to Allah, will have his reward with his Lord [2:112].
It follows from the above that
Everything in the Heavens and the earth submits to Allah. Their Islam or submission is that they all are wholeheartedly obedient/subservient to Allah and do what they are commanded.
Man is also required to do the same but by choice. He is required to be Al-Muslim i.e. to submit himself to Allah which means being wholeheartedly obedient to Allah and doing what He has commanded.
Submission in Islam means submission to God and not submission to Muslims or their Khalifa or leader. Submission is willingly to God, Muhammad (PBUH) was not able to guide all his families to Islam. In fact one of the worst enemies of Muhammad and Islam was one of his own uncles (Abi-Lahab), while most of his uncles and family became Muslims. Another uncle who would protect him most was Abi-Talab and Muhammad love him much however was not able to guide him to Islam (God said to Muhammad in the Quran " you do not guide whom you love but God guide who he will to guide". Thus guidance is totally is in God hands (depending mostly in man sincerity) we as Muslims to explain well the Islam to all humans. In the time of tribulation we are in now guidance to Islam is difficult given the craziness around us and corruption of humans in everything even God's messages. As well it is easy to guide people since there is no other way to salvation but to follow God and submit to him and follow the teachings of the great prophets Jesus and Muhammad peace be upon them both.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Read the Quran and be the judge to yourself is the Author God who created this huge universe a or a man like me and you his name is Muhammad. Here are some verses of Quran as a start:
1- God authority over the Quran: God in the Quran affirms he is the author of the Quran:
"This is indeed a Quran most honourable, a Book well-guarded...a Revelation from the Lord of the Worlds." (Quran 56:77-80)
"This Quran is not such as can be produced by anyone other than God." (10:37)
"Do they not consider (ponder over) the Quran (with care)? Had it been from other than God, they would surely have found therein discrepancies". (4:82)
Is these the words of Muhammad (PBUH) or God, read it several times. If these are Muhammad words why he would do that. Read more of the Quran and try to make a convincing scenario why he would do that. Consider that as well Muhammad was honest, his message was about honesty and his life was that of praying, fasting defending the religion of God.
2- God authority over the genesis of the universe:
"Your Guardian-Lord is Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth in six days, and is firmly established on the throne (of authority): He draweth the night as a veil o'er the day, each seeking the other in rapid succession: He created the sun, the moon, and the stars, (all) governed by laws under His command. Is it not His to create and to govern? Blessed be Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds!" (Qur'an, 7:54).
"He (God) is the Originator of the heavens and the earth…” (Quran 6:101)
“Is not He who created the heavens and the earth Able to create the likes of them? Yes; and He is the Knowing Creator. His command is only when He intends a thing that He says to it, ‘Be,’ and it is.” (Quran 36:81-82)
"Have those who disbelieved not considered that the heavens and the earth were a joined entity, then We separated them, and made from water every living thing? Then will they not believe?” (Quran 21:30)
"And it is We Who have constructed the heaven (universe) with hands (might), and verily, it is We Who are steadily expanding it". (Qur'an, 51:47).
3- God authority over his creation: That is why he swear by his creation. In hadith saying of Muhammad we to swear by God name not his creation since he has the authority over us:
"[I swear] by Heaven with its cyclical systems," (Qur'an, 86:11).
"And I swear by the stars' positions-and that is a mighty oath if you only knew." (Qur'an, 56:75-76).
"He it is Who shows you the lightning causing fear and hope and (Who) brings up the heavy cloud. And the thunder declares His glory with His praise, and the angels too for awe of Him; and He sends the thunderbolts and smites with them whom He pleases, yet they dispute concerning Allah, and He is mighty in prowess." (Qu'ran, 13:11-13).
"He has created the Heavens and the Earth for Truth. He wraps the night up in the day, and wraps the day up in the night." (Qur'an, 39:5)
"We made the sky a preserved and protected roof yet still they turn away from Our Signs. (Qur'an, 21:32).
It is Allah Who created the heavens with no support-you can see them-and cast firmly embedded mountains on the earth so that it would not move under you, and scattered about in it creatures of every kind. And We send down water from the sky and make every generous plant grow in it, in pairs." (Qur'an, 31:10)
4- God authority over the speech of the Quran: God talks about himself as he or God:
God talks about himself as he is telling solid facts compare that with if I speak to you about myself saying "Maged uses his web blog to express his ideas" anyone will tell me do not be silly just say I and not Maged. His glory is obvious on his speech when he talks about himself. He also talk in the Quran about himself as We, not I:
"We made the sky a preserved and protected roof yet still they turn away from Our Signs. (Qur'an, 21:32).
"It is Allah Who created the heavens with no support-you can see them-and cast firmly embedded mountains on the earth so that it would not move under you, and scattered about in it creatures of every kind. And We send down water from the sky and make every generous plant grow in it, in pairs." (Qur'an, 31:10)
The enjoyment of the Quran is you feel a story and facts are told to you in the same time the speaker talk to you directly. That is what make the Quran a living text.
5- God authority in the Quran over Muhammad (PBUH): In a lot of verses he talks to him with authority and respect:
14:1 Alif. Lam. Ra. (This is) a Scripture which We have revealed unto thee (Muhammad) that thereby thou mayst bring forth mankind from darkness unto light, by the permission of their Lord, unto the path of the Mighty, the Owner of praise.
18:1 praise be to Allah Who hath revealed the Scripture unto His slave (Muhammad), and hath not placed therein any crookedness,
20:130 Therefor (O Muhammad), bear with what they say, and celebrate the praises of thy Lord ere the rising of the sun and ere the going down thereof. And glorify Him some hours of the night and at the two ends of the day, that thou mayst find acceptance.
74:1 O thou (Muhammad) enveloped in thy cloak 74:2 Arise and warn! 74:3 Thy Lord magnify,
13:32 Mocked were (many) apostles before thee(Muhammad): but I granted respite to the unbelievers, and finally I punished them: Then how (terrible) was my requital!
6- The authority of God over praise and glory in the Quran: Quran speaks about the authority and the glory of a God and his creation and not Muhammad, his family or idols. So God praised his prophet and other prophets in Quran the praise rightly goes to him.
Angels praise God:
7:206 Those who are near to thy Lord, disdain not to do Him worship: They celebrate His praises, and bow down before Him. إِنَّ الَّذِينَ عِندَ رَبِّكَ لاَ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ عَنْ عِبَادَتِهِ وَيُسَبِّحُونَهُ وَلَهُ يَسْجُدُونَ
All creation praise God:
17:44 The seven heavens and the earth, and all beings therein, declare His glory: there is not a thing but celebrates His praise; And yet ye understand not how they declare His glory! Verily He is Oft-Forbear, Most Forgiving! تُسَبِّحُ لَهُ السَّمَاوَاتُ السَّبْعُ وَالأَرْضُ وَمَن فِيهِنَّ وَإِن مِّن شَيْءٍ إِلاَّ يُسَبِّحُ بِحَمْدَهِ وَلَـكِن لاَّ تَفْقَهُونَ تَسْبِيحَهُمْ إِنَّهُ كَانَ حَلِيمًا غَفُورًا
Men of God praise him in every situation:
3:191 Men who celebrate the praises of Allah, standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and contemplate the (wonders of) creation in the heavens and the earth, (With the thought): "Our Lord! not for naught Hast Thou created (all) this! Glory to Thee! Give us salvation from the penalty of the Fire.الَّذِينَ يَذْكُرُونَ اللّهَ قِيَامًا وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَىَ جُنُوبِهِمْ وَيَتَفَكَّرُونَ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ رَبَّنَا مَا خَلَقْتَ هَذا بَاطِلاً سُبْحَانَكَ فَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ
Those who praise him feel humble towards the creator:
32:15 ONLY THEY [truly] believe in Our messages who, whenever they are conveyed to them, fall down, prostrating themselves in adoration, and extol their Sustainer’s limitless glory and praise; and who are never filled with false pride;إِنَّمَا يُؤْمِنُ بِآيَاتِنَا الَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِّرُوا بِهَا خَرُّوا سُجَّدًا وَسَبَّحُوا بِحَمْدِ رَبِّهِمْ وَهُمْ لَا يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ (32:15)
Praise of God is created in beings like in angels and in the universe who follow his laws. Man was given the choice to praise God by worshiping him and following his commandments as yearning for his heaven, avoiding hell and for the more close to God for what they think is right and loving him.
7- God describe himself as the Omnipotent:
6:18 He is the Omnipotent over His slaves, and He is the Wise, the Knower. -وَهُوَ الْقَاهِرُ فَوْقَ عِبَادِهِ وَهُوَ الْحَكِيمُ الْخَبِيرُ (6:18)6:61
6:61 He is the Omnipotent over His slaves. He sendeth guardians over you until, when death cometh unto one of you, Our messengers receive him, and they neglect not.وَهُوَ الْقَاهِرُ فَوْقَ عِبَادِهِ وَيُرْسِلُ عَلَيْكُم حَفَظَةً حَتَّىَ إِذَا جَاء أَحَدَكُمُ الْمَوْتُ تَوَفَّتْهُ رُسُلُنَا وَهُمْ لاَ يُفَرِّطُونَ (6:61-
8- God authority over punishment and forgiveness: It extends to all of his slaves or servants to forgive all their sins, if to come back to him:
39:53 Say: My slaves who have been prodigal to their own hurt! Despair not of the mercy of Allah, Who forgiveth all sins. Lo! He is the Forgiving, the Merciful.قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَى أَنفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِن رَّحْمَةِ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ (39:53)--
9-God authority over his Spirit Angel Gabriel: God send his spirit or guidance to them:
40:15 The Exalter of Ranks, the Lord of the Throne. He casteth the Spirit of His command upon whom He will of His slaves, that He may warn of the Day of Meeting--رَفِيعُ الدَّرَجَاتِ ذُو الْعَرْشِ يُلْقِي الرُّوحَ مِنْ أَمْرِهِ عَلَى مَن يَشَاء مِنْ عِبَادِهِ لِيُنذِرَ يَوْمَ التَّلَاقِ (40:15
10-God authority over history: The future for us is the past for him since he sees the future: Moses told beno Israel that God had made prophets (most of them) and kings, and he kept his promise.
5:20 Remember Moses said to his people: "O my people! Call in remembrance the favour of Allah unto you, when He produced prophets among you, made you kings, and gave you what He had not given to any other among the peoples.وَإِذْ قَالَ مُوسَى لِقَوْمِهِ يَا قَوْمِ اذْكُرُواْ نِعْمَةَ اللّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ جَعَلَ فِيكُمْ أَنبِيَاء وَجَعَلَكُم مُّلُوكًا وَآتَاكُم مَّا لَمْ يُؤْتِ أَحَدًا مِّن الْعَالَمِينَ-
3:26 Say: O Allah! Owner of Sovereignty! Thou givest sovereignty unto whom Thou wilt, and Thou withdrawest sovereignty from whom Thou wilt. Thou exaltest whom Thou wilt and Thou abasest whom Thou wilt. In Thy hand is the good. Lo! Thou art Able to do all things.قُلِ اللَّهُمَّ مَالِكَ الْمُلْكِ تُؤْتِي الْمُلْكَ مَن تَشَاء وَتَنزِعُ الْمُلْكَ مِمَّن تَشَاء وَتُعِزُّ مَن تَشَاء وَتُذِلُّ مَن تَشَاء بِيَدِكَ الْخَيْرُ إِنَّكَ عَلَىَ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
11-God authority over idols: A lot of idols that people worshiped were either God creation as sun, stars, cows..... or from materials that created by God like statues:
25:3 Yet have they taken, besides him, gods that can create nothing but are themselves created; that have no control of hurt or good to themselves; nor can they control death nor life nor resurrection.وَاتَّخَذُوا مِن دُونِهِ آلِهَةً لَّا يَخْلُقُونَ شَيْئًا وَهُمْ يُخْلَقُونَ وَلَا يَمْلِكُونَ لِأَنفُسِهِمْ ضَرًّا وَلَا نَفْعًا وَلَا يَمْلِكُونَ مَوْتًا وَلَا حَيَاةً وَلَا نُشُورًا (25:3)
12- God authority over human spirit:
39:42 It is God [alone that has this power - He] who causes all human beings to die at the time of their [bodily] death, and [causes to be as dead], during their sleep, those that have not yet died: thus, He withholds [from life] those upon whom He has decreed death, and lets the others go free for a term set [by Him]. In [all] this, behold, there are messages indeed for people who think!
13- God authority over his prophets:
وَإِذْ أَخَذَ اللّهُ مِيثَاقَ النَّبِيِّيْنَ لَمَا آتَيْتُكُم مِّن كِتَابٍ وَحِكْمَةٍ ثُمَّ جَاءكُمْ رَسُولٌ مُّصَدِّقٌ لِّمَا مَعَكُمْ لَتُؤْمِنُنَّ بِهِ وَلَتَنصُرُنَّهُ قَالَ أَأَقْرَرْتُمْ وَأَخَذْتُمْ عَلَى ذَلِكُمْ إِصْرِي قَالُواْ أَقْرَرْنَا قَالَ فَاشْهَدُواْ وَأَنَاْ مَعَكُم مِّنَ الشَّاهِدِينَ (3:81)
3:81 (Picktall) When Allah made (His) covenant with the prophets, (He said): Behold that which I have given you of the Scripture and knowledge. And afterward there will come unto you a messenger, confirming that which ye possess. Ye shall believe in him and ye shall help him. He said: Do ye agree, and will ye take up My burden (which I lay upon you) in this (matter)? They answered: We agree. He said: Then bear ye witness. I will be a witness with you. -
3:84 Say: "We believe in God, and in that which has been bestowed from on high upon us, and that which has been bestowed upon Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and their descendants, and that which has been vouchsafed by their Sustainer unto Moses and jesus and all the [other] prophets: we make no distinction between any of them. And unto Him do we surrender ourselves."قُلْ آمَنَّا بِاللّهِ وَمَا أُنزِلَ عَلَيْنَا وَمَا أُنزِلَ عَلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحَقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ وَالأَسْبَاطِ وَمَا أُوتِيَ مُوسَى وَعِيسَى وَالنَّبِيُّونَ مِن رَّبِّهِمْ لاَ نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّنْهُمْ وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُسْلِمُونَ (
14- God authority over the day of judgment:
1:4 Lord of the day of Judgment!مَـالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ
99:1 WHEN THE EARTH quakes with her [last] mighty quaking,99:2 and [when] the earth yields up her burdens,99:3 and man cries out, "What has happened to her?" -99:4 on that Day will she recount all her tidings,99:5 as thy Sustainer will have inspired her to do!99:6 On that Day will all men come forward, cut off from one another,99:7 And so, he who shall have done an atom's weight of good, shall behold it;99:8 and he who shall have done an atom's weight of evil, shall behold it.
15- God authority over all people:
23:52 And, verily, this community of yours is one single community, since I am the Sustainer of you all: remain, then, conscious of Me!وَإِنَّ هَذِهِ أُمَّتُكُمْ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً وَأَنَا رَبُّكُمْ فَاتَّقُونِ (23:52)
6:42 And, indeed, We sent Our messages unto people before thy time, [O Prophet,] and visited them with misfortune and hardship so that they might humble themselves:
وَلَقَدْ أَرْسَلنَآ إِلَى أُمَمٍ مِّن قَبْلِكَ فَأَخَذْنَاهُمْ بِالْبَأْسَاء وَالضَّرَّاء لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَضَرَّعُونَ (6:42)
16- God Authority over the disbelievers:
سَأَصْرِفُ عَنْ آيَاتِيَ الَّذِينَ يَتَكَبَّرُونَ فِي الأَرْضِ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ وَإِن يَرَوْاْ كُلَّ آيَةٍ لاَّ يُؤْمِنُواْ بِهَا وَإِن يَرَوْاْ سَبِيلَ الرُّشْدِ لاَ يَتَّخِذُوهُ سَبِيلاً وَإِن يَرَوْاْ سَبِيلَ الْغَيِّ يَتَّخِذُوهُ سَبِيلاً ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ كَذَّبُواْ بِآيَاتِنَا وَكَانُواْ عَنْهَا غَافِلِينَ (7:146)7:146 (Y. Ali) Those who behave arrogantly on the earth in defiance of right - them will I turn away from My signs: Even if they see all the signs, they will not believe in them; and if they see the way of right conduct, they will not adopt it as the way; but if they see the way of error, that is the way they will adopt. For they have rejected our signs, and failed to take warning from them.
Monday, October 11, 2010
God asks in the Quran questions to people that he is not waiting for an answer from them. The question itself has the right answer. It is a way of providing information in the form of question. It is a great way of teaching people. It invokes your intellect and the deep understanding of the message in the question. It also testyify to the power of the speaker and he is God. He does not want our answers but our understanding. I give here few examples.
1- Is not God who has the creation and commandment?: God is the creator of the earth and heavens, day, night, the sun, the moon and the stars. The one who created is the one who to have the commandment.
7:54 Lo! your Lord is Allah Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days, then mounted He the Throne. He covereth the night with the day, which is in haste to follow it, and hath made the sun and the moon and the stars subservient by His command. His verily is all creation and commandment Blessed be Allah, the Lord of the Worlds! إِنَّ رَبَّكُمُ اللّهُ الَّذِي خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضَ فِي سِتَّةِ أَيَّامٍ ثُمَّ اسْتَوَى عَلَى الْعَرْشِ يُغْشِي اللَّيْلَ النَّهَارَ يَطْلُبُهُ حَثِيثًا وَالشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ وَالنُّجُومَ مُسَخَّرَاتٍ بِأَمْرِهِ أَلاَ لَهُ الْخَلْقُ وَالأَمْرُ تَبَارَكَ اللّهُ رَبُّ الْعَالَمِينَ (7:54)
2- God asks the disbelievers about their creation: are they created from non-existence or they are the creators? (since we are the only intelligent creation we know of).
52:35 Have they themselves been created without anything [that might have caused their creation]? Or are they the creators?أَمْ خُلِقُوا مِنْ غَيْرِ شَيْءٍ أَمْ هُمُ الْخَالِقُونَ (52:35)
3- God asks people about his signs of creation and if any of them they can deny:
-40:81 And He showeth you His tokens. Which, then, of the tokens of Allah do ye denyوَيُرِيكُمْ آيَاتِهِ فَأَيَّ آيَاتِ اللَّهِ تُنكِرُونَ (40:81)
4- God asks us: Is not by the remembrance of God hearts find rest?: the proof is in the verse the believers feel that.
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)
5- God asks the disbelievers if they can prove any of the false Gods able to create?:
10:34 Say : Is there of your partners (whom ye ascribe unto Allah) one that produceth Creation and then reproduceth it? Say: Allah produceth creation, then reproduceth it. how then, are ye misled! قُلْ هَلْ مِن شُرَكَآئِكُم مَّن يَبْدَأُ الْخَلْقَ ثُمَّ يُعِيدُهُ قُلِ اللّهُ يَبْدَأُ الْخَلْقَ ثُمَّ يُعِيدُهُ فَأَنَّى تُؤْفَكُونَ (10:34)
6- God asks the disbeliever: Where are they turnning to?: God is the truth and beyond him is error so where are you turning to.
10:32 Such then is Allah, your rightful Lord. After the Truth what is there saving error? how then are ye turned away! فَذَلِكُمُ اللّهُ رَبُّكُمُ الْحَقُّ فَمَاذَا بَعْدَ الْحَقِّ إِلاَّ الضَّلاَلُ فَأَنَّى تُصْرَفُونَ (10:32)
7- God asks us the disbelievers why do they disbelieve?: and they were not and now they are and they will die and return to him:
2:28 How disbelieve ye in Allah when ye were dead and He gave life to you! Then he will give you death, then life again, and then unto Him ye will return. كَيْفَ تَكْفُرُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَكُنتُمْ أَمْوَاتاً فَأَحْيَاكُمْ ثُمَّ يُمِيتُكُمْ ثُمَّ يُحْيِيكُمْ ثُمَّ إِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ (2:28)
وَكَيْفَ تَكْفُرُونَ وَأَنتُمْ تُتْلَى عَلَيْكُمْ آيَاتُ اللّهِ وَفِيكُمْ رَسُولُهُ وَمَن يَعْتَصِم بِاللّهِ فَقَدْ هُدِيَ إِلَى صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ (3:101) 3:101 (Picktall) how can ye disbelieve, when Allah's revelations are recited unto you, and His messenger is in your midst? He who holdeth fast to Allah, he indeed is guided unto a right path. -
8- God asks the people of the book why they disbelieve in Islam: while they bear witness it is the turth since its prophet was described to them and the Quran describes to them the truth of their religions.
3:70 O People of the Scripture! why disbelieve ye in the revelations of Allah, when ye (yourselves) bear witness (to the truth) ? يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ لِمَ تَكْفُرُونَ بِآيَاتِ اللّهِ وَأَنتُمْ تَشْهَدُونَ (3:70)
3:71 O People of the Scripture! why confound ye truth with falsehood and knowingly conceal the truth? يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ لِمَ تَلْبِسُونَ الْحَقَّ بِالْبَاطِلِ وَتَكْتُمُونَ الْحَقَّ وَأَنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ (3:71)
3:98 Say: O People of the Scripture! why disbelieve ye in the revelations of Allah, when Allah (Himself) is Witness of what ye do. قُلْ يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ لِمَ تَكْفُرُونَ بِآيَاتِ اللّهِ وَاللّهُ شَهِيدٌ عَلَى مَا تَعْمَلُونَ (3:98)
3:99 Say: O People of the Scripture! why drive ye back believers from the way of Allah, seeking to make it crooked, when ye are witnesses (to Allah's guidance)? Allah is not unaware of what ye do. قُلْ يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ لِمَ تَصُدُّونَ عَن سَبِيلِ اللّهِ مَنْ آمَنَ تَبْغُونَهَا عِوَجًا وَأَنتُمْ شُهَدَاء وَمَا اللّهُ بِغَافِلٍ عَمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ (3:99)
9- God asks the disbelievers why they strive to reach the fire: why they sell guidance for error.2:175 Those are they who purchase error at the price of guidance, and torment at the price of pardon. how constant are they in their strife to reach the Fire! أُولَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ اشْتَرَوُاْ الضَّلاَلَةَ بِالْهُدَى وَالْعَذَابَ بِالْمَغْفِرَةِ فَمَآ أَصْبَرَهُمْ عَلَى النَّارِ (2:175)
10- God asks Muhammad about those disbelievers of the past if he sees or hear one of them: Which gives you the power of God in their destruction and in being eternal and the disblievers just comes and goes.
19:98 And how many a generation before them have We destroyed! Canst thou (Muhammad) see a single man of them, or hear from them the slightest sound? وَكَمْ أَهْلَكْنَا قَبْلَهُم مِّن قَرْنٍ هَلْ تُحِسُّ مِنْهُم مِّنْ أَحَدٍ أَوْ تَسْمَعُ لَهُمْ رِكْزًا (19:98)
11- How then it will be when it will be (the day of judgament):
فَكَيْفَ إِذَا جَمَعْنَاهُمْ لِيَوْمٍ لاَّ رَيْبَ فِيهِ وَوُفِّيَتْ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ مَّا كَسَبَتْ وَهُمْ لاَ يُظْلَمُونَ (3:25)
3:25 (Picktall) How (will it be with them) when We have brought them all together to a Day of which there is no doubt, when every soul will be paid in full what it hath earned, and they will not be wronged.
12-God asks man how remembrance will help him in the day of judgment: the answer is easy it will be too late when he sees hell, face to hell.
89:23 And hell is brought near that day; on that day man will remember, but how will the remembrance (then avail him)? وَجِيءَ يَوْمَئِذٍ بِجَهَنَّمَ يَوْمَئِذٍ يَتَذَكَّرُ الْإِنسَانُ وَأَنَّى لَهُ الذِّكْرَى (89:23)