Saturday, July 21, 2012

Answering Humanity’s critical questions


Answering Humanity’s critical questions
Islam answers humanity’s most critical and signigicant questions like :
vWhat is the truth?
vWho created us ?
vWho is our true God?
vWho is God’s final prophet?
vWhom should we worship?
vWho are we?
vWhy are we here?
vWhat comes after death?
vWhat is the next life like?
vWhat is our last destination ( paradise or Hell fire)?
vHow can we attain true peace of mind , success, and real happiness?
vHow can we gain eternal life?
With a mind and heart set on discovering the truth, please honestly read and judge for yourself .

What is the truth?

In islam, the one true God (Allah) has created the entire creation. It is only this great God(Allah) who made all humans and animals, the earth and its mountains , oceans and rivers, plants and forests, the sun and the moon , galaxies and orbits, days and nights. All other objects, which we may or may not know , or have not yet been discovered, are all aspects of his infinite creation.
All in all , Allah is the creator of life , death, and life after death.
However, some might refer their existence to ‘nature’ or ‘natural selection’! Scientifically speaking , lets define what they talk about: NATURE! What is nature?
Don’t you agree with me that nature includes: plants and planets, orbits and galaxies, valleys and mountains. Oceans and rivers, earth, sun, moon , starts, and other objects. Have these things created themselves or created human beings?!
The Glorious Qura’n beautifully tells us:
“O mankind! Worship your lord, who created you and those who came before you that you may become righteous.” (2:21)
“He (God) created the Heavens and the Earth for Truth.” (39:5)
“it is He who created the night and the day, and the sun and the moon. They swim along each in an orbit.” (21:33)
Moreover , those who believe in nature argue that they do not believe in God because they simply can’t see, touch, or conduct and experiment on Him!.
A couple of years ago , my neighbor in Oregon, USA visited me at my home. We talked about several things among which we discussed the concept of God. My neighbor , a very old man, denying the existence of God, emotionally knocked the tea table, saying : “ I believe in this table since I can touch it… I can feel it!”
Reasoning with him, I pointed to the lamp in the room and asked him:
“Do you believe in the power of electricity?” he replied: “Sure.”
I asked: “Can you see the power or energy generating the light?” “No.” was his answer.
I further asked him these questions:
v Have you ever seen – with your bare eyes – the air we breathe?
v Do you have feelings? What are their colors, shapes, and sizes?
v What is sleep? What is its color or weight?
v So , how many things do we believe in without seeing them?
On another occasion, I met a young man called Chris and his wife at a hotel in Oslo, Norway. During a friendly discussion with them, I asked Chris: “So what is the purpose of life?” Getting surprised, he answered: “This is the first time I heard such a question!” He added: “I think there is no purpose of my life.” He concluded: “I do not believe in any God.” I asked Chris:”Why? He answered : “I have not seen it yet.”
Commenting on his reply, I asked him ( with a smile):
v Do you love your wife?
v Can you physically see this love?
v What is the color of you love?
v How much does this love weigh?
What was the reaction of Chris and his wife? Try to imagine it! Thus , not being able to tangibly see or measure this abstract love does not lead to denying the truth and existence of this love.
By the same analogy, if we can’t see God in this life because of our limited faculties and senses which can’t comprehend His greatness; this must not make us deny His existence.
God existence is clearly evident and easily traceable in unlimited signs and proofs manifested in the creation of numberless atoms, cells, tissues, muscles, and everyone/everything created.
Furthermore, thousands of God’s prophets and billions of their followers throughout the history of humanity confirmed the existence of God. Is it rational and logical to disregard the testimony of all these billions and billions of signs and people just because of some refutable theories? ( lie Darwin’s theory of evolution which has been disproved and rejected by a great amount of recent scientific and experimental research).
This is the truth in Islam . there is only one God. The creator and sustainer of the universe (blessed and exalted is He.) we must not consider anyone or anything above or equal to Him. The one true God (Allah) has created us to know and worship Him alone. Those who correctly worship Him and completely follow His commandments will be admitted to Paradise. Eternal life.
On the other hand, those who disobey God and follow their sinful lusts and desires will be taken to … where do you expect?

Who is the true God

Islam clearly and beautifully answers this critical and significant question. It reveals to us more details about the one true God and His unique nature and qualities. The Glorious Qur’an states:
“Say” He is God (Allah) , the One; God (Allah) , the Eternal , Absolute; He begets not , nor is He begotten; and there is none like unto Him. “ (112:14)
This is a complete chapter of the Glorious Qur’an.Tthis wonderful chapter briefly and concisely tells us the ultimate truth about the one God (Allah) and His true nature . It clearly answers critical and significant questions that puzzle millions of people.
Some of the qualities that distinguish this true God (Allah) from others who claim to be God are:
v This true God is creator, not created.
v This true God is only ONE , not more! He has no partners nor equals.
v This one true God is invisible; no one can see Him in this life. He is not physically manifested or incarnated in other forms.
v This one true God is eternal; He does not die or change.
v This one true God is not in need of anyone like a mother, a wife or a son ; or anything like food, drink, or help. But others are in need of Him.
vThis true God is unique in His attributes; no one is like Him. No human descriptions can be attributed to Him.

Have you discovered these secrets?

Indeed, Islam realizes and speaks to our innate natures. It speaks to our souls, our spiritual and intellectual needs, and tendencies.
Allah, who knows souls, minds, and hearts, reveals to us the keys of tranquility and contentment for them.

How to attain peace of mind, tranquility and contentment?

Secret (key) 1 : Know your one true God.
Secret (key) 2 :Believe in Him alone.
Secret (key) 3 :Follow His will.
Secret (key) 4 :Believe in God’s prophets.
Secret (key) 5 : Remember God.
Secret (key) 6 : Seek God’s forgiveness.
Secret (key) 7 : Worship Him alone.
Secret (key) 8 : Love for others what you love for yourself.
Secret (key) 9 : Be generous to others and try to make them happy.
Secret (key) 10: Have sincerity and piety.
Briefly, these top 10 secrets and keys through which we can achieve tranquility and contentment as well as spiritual, social, and gloval peace are among the magnificent treasures of the Glorious Qur’an and the prophetic sayings.
To sum up , Islam teaches us through its two main authentic sources: the Glorious Qur’an and the prophetic sayings that we can attain peace of mind , happiness, and salvation, by knowing and believing in the one true God (Allah ) willingly and wholeheartedly. We must also believe in all God’s true prophets (including prophet Muhammad) and follow their true guidance and teachings.
Thus, the gateway to a happy, content , and eternal life is through believing in and uttering this testimony:
“I testify that there is no god but Allah, and I testify that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.”
However, Islam tells us that belief alone in God and his prophets is not enough to have peace of mind, happiness, and salvation!
We have to do the will of Allah through worshipping Him ALONE and keeping His commandments.
Submission to the will of God is the essence of the message of Allah. Confirming the true meaning of submission to Him and the reward prepared for those who believe and do good deeds, Allah points out in the Qur’an .
“Indeed, those who have believed and done righteous deeds – they will have the Gardens of Paradise as a lodging” (18:107)
Similarly, the Holy Bible reports the words of Jesus’s brother, James saying:
“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead also. “ (James 2:26)
Interestingly, James(4:7) also referred to the meaning of Islam that was previously discussed.
“Submit yourselves therefore to God.”
Therefore, Muslims are true followers of Jesus and the prophets. A Muslim means a person who submits his or her will to the one true God.
Muslims have faith in Allah ( the one true God) and do good deeds. They obey and follow the commandments that Jesus and the prophets taught and did, like believing in one true God, praying, prostrating, kneeling down in worship, fasting, giving alms and charity , saying “If God wills” (Insha Alla) , and using the greeting of Jesus and the prophets : “Peace be upon you “ ( Asalmu Alaikum).
These are just some examples and pieces of evidence which clearly indicate the truth , utility, and universality of this great and beautiful religion of all prophets: Islam.
Practically speaking , a person who is a Muslim or would like to be a Muslim , must believe in six articles of faith .

The six Articles

1. Belief in Allah ( the one true God) – in his existence, His Oneness(Tawheed), His Lordship, and His unique names and attributes; and that He is the only one deserving to be worshipped.
2. Belief in Allah’s angels, who were created by Allah to praise Him, obey His commandments, and carry out His orders.
3. Belief in Allah’s revelations including the original word of Allah revealed to Moses and Jesus (not the human writings and stories narrated according to …) . the Glorious Qur’an is the last and final , pure, and authentic Word of God sent tot Prophet Muhammad.
4. Belief in Allah’s messengers and prophets, including Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, John the Baptist, Jesus, and Muhammad. So, a Muslim is not a true believer if he or she does not believe in Moses and Jesus as prophets sent from the one true God (Allah), the creator.
5. Belief in the last Day , the day of Judgment and accountability. All mankind will be judged by Allah according to their faith and their deeds and actions. At the end of judgment, who will be admitted to a happy , eternal life (paradise) and who will be thrown into Hell Fire?
6. Belief in the destiny decreed by Allah and His ultimate knowledge of all things. This makes believers trust in Allah. They are satisfied , content , and confident in whatever Allah decrees for them whether good or bad. They do not despair, do not get depressed , hopeless, or despondent when crises or difficulties strike. They turn to Allah for help, support, and reward.
This beautiful faith in Allah and his decree makes Muslims feel peace of mind and contentment in spite of all the aggression, invasion, occupation, and exploitation of their land, oil, and wealth. And in site of the injustice, bias, discrimination, and defamation they suffer from.
These are briefly the articles of faith in Islam that a true believer must believe in .


In addition to the articles of faith ( the theoretical aspect) , Islam teaches us to put this faith into practice. A Muslim must practice five basic pillars of Islam as well as any good deeds in general. Simply and briefly these are the five pillars of practice in Islam.

1. Shahahah (the testimony);

“I testify that there is no God but Allah, and I testify that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.”
In Arabic , it sounds like this: “Ash-hadu Alla ilaha illa Allah Wa Ash-hadu Anna Muhammadan Rasullullah”
This is the testimony that one must pronounce when embracing Islam . It reflects the beauty and simplicity of Islam.

2. Salat (Prayer):

Performing the five daily , mandatory prayers (prayer includes standing, kneeling down, prostrating, reading parts of the Qur’an, praising and remembering Allah, and asking His mercy, forgiveness, and Paradise).
Talking about the beauty and power of prayers, they charge us with spiritual growth, psychological comfort, support, relief, tranquility, and contentment for our souls, minds, and hearts.
What adds to the beauty of prayer is the truth that God’s prophets , like Adam , Noah, Abraham, Moses , Jesus, and Muhammad were praying and prostrating to the one true God, Allah. So, Muslims are following in the footsteps of those great prophets and messengers of God.
Furthermore , many other beautiful concepts, such as love of God, submission and surrender to Him, supplication, unity, equality, sincerity, patience, humility, and meekness are evidently manifested in and learned from prayer.
Indeed, sincere and humble “thikr” (remembrance of Allah). “du’a” (supplication). “Istigfar” (seeking forgiveness), and “salat” (prayer) – to Allah alone – are great and wonderful keys to peace of mind, tranquility, and blessings.
“Those who have believed and whose hearts have rest (tranquility) in the remembrance of Allah. Verify in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest ( tranquility) !”(13:28)
“And your Lord ( Allah) says, call upon Me; I will respnd to you “ (40:60)

3. Zakat:

The mandatory giving of a certain amount of one’s earnings to the poor and needy. Zakat or alms giving and charity to those who are in need purify us from greed and miserliness. It purifies our properties and money and teaches caring and sharing which build strong bridges of mutual love and respect between the rich and the poor. Indeed , it fosters support, help, cooperation, and solidarity in the whole society.

4. Sawm:

Fasting or refraining from eating, drinking (i.e. all intake of food and liquid) , and having sex with one’s spouse during a certain period of time ( from dawn until sunset ). Some of the beautiful benefits and lessons of fasting include:
· Spiritual benefits
It develops “taqua” (piety) and sincerity. The fasting month of Ramadan is a great season for attaining God’s mercy, forgiveness, release from Hell fire, and getting eternal life , Paradise.
· Moral and emotional benefits
In the school of Ramadan (Sawm) , we learn and experience the hunger that millions of people in different part of the world suffer from. It inspires us to share, to feel , to be humble, generous, and kind.
· Educational benefits
Fasting teaches us many lessons. For example we can learn that changing or quitting bad habits, like excessive eating and drinking, is possible. Also, it disciplines our behavior and trains us to be patient and self-restrained.
Furthermore, it educates us that God’s prophets, like Muhammad, Moses, and Jesus used to fast, too.
· Health benefits.
Through the process of fasting the body gets rid of toxins and extra fats. Doctors and nutritionists recommend fasting and describe it as a “rubbish-burner” and as a “curative therapy” . fasting is a good remedy for several diseases.
These are just some of the beauties and benefits of Ramadan(Sawm).

5. Hajj:

The pilgrimage to makkah that every Muslim must perform once in his or her lifetime, provided he or she is physically , mentally, and financially able to do so.
Like the other pillars and tenets of Islam , the beauties, lessons, and benefits of Hajj are many. Millions of believers ( of different colors, races, and parts of the world) answer the call of Abraham. Wonderful principles and concepts can be seen in action during Hajj, including submission and obedience to Allah, brotherhood and sisterhood in Islam , unity, patience , sacrifice, prayer, charity, and fasting. Islamic pilgrimage ( hajj) witnesses and features the largest , unique religious conference or gathering of its kind in human history.
At such a great convergence of all races and colors serving just one God and following just one message, Malcolm X and others learned the lesson and the beauty of true faith, Islamic brotherhood, and equality – when they went to Makkah to perform Hajj.

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