Has Science Become a New Religion?

Has Science Become a New Religion?

By Truth Seeker Staff

In this amazing video by the London Dawah Movement, Brother Abdurraheem Green answers this very problematic question of, has science become a new religion? And what does this mean with respect to Islam as well as other divinely revealed religions.

Join us to see what Brother Green has to say on this…

 

 

 

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Is Atheism Unnatural?

Is Atheism Unnatural?

By Hamza Tzortzis

Is Atheism Unnatural?

Why do human beings believe in God? This question has engrossed thinkers for centuries. Why are beliefs about supernatural agents and ritual practices derived from those beliefs found in all human societies, across disparate times and far-ranging cultures?

Join us to see this wonderful video…

 

 

 

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7 Reasons Islam beats Atheism!

7 Reasons Islam beats Atheism!

7 Reasons Islam beats Atheism!

By Truth Seeker Staff

In this amazing video, one knowledgeable Muslim draws a comparison by the Qur’an and a book that advocates atheism and he proves that it is the Qur’an that is perfectly capable of answering a major as well as crucial question:

What best explains REALITY?

Join us to see the answer to this question…

 

 

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Al-Wadoud: The All-Loving God

Al-Wadoud: The All-Loving God

By Dr. Muhammad Ratib An-Nabulsi

godAl-Wadoud: The All-Loving God

Allah’s divine name “Al-Wadoud” (The All-Loving), is an emphatic name derived from the Arabic word “Woudd”, which means “Houbb” (Love) as Allah says:

“And He (Allah) is the All-Forgiving, the All-Loving.” (Al-Buruj 85:14)

The Arabic word “Houbb” is, in turn, derived from “Habab Al-Asnan”, which means “whiteness, cleanliness and purity of teeth”. This means that those who love Allah, Most Gracious, are pure, chaste, sincere, and faithful. The word “Houbb” also indicates submission and obedience to the beloved. Hence, those who love Allah, Most Gracious, are dutiful and obedient to Him. They are modest, humble and submissive to the Lord, Exalted and All-High.

The word “Houbb” also means “instability”, which, in turn, means that those who love Allah are in constant instability as regards their relationship with their lord. True believers, who really love their Lord, undergo constantly changing feelings as regards their relationship with Him; while hypocrites, whose hearts are dead and, hence, emotionless, remain stable and unchangeable. Also, the word “Houbb” or “Habb” refers to a seed from which we get good fruits.

This means that those who love the Lord their love is like a seed that produces a shady tree that, in turn, yields good fruits. In fact, the word “Houbb” (love) embraces all of the foregoing meanings: purity, chastity, submission, humbleness, instability, growth and good …etc.

Love into Action

Undoubtedly, there is a delicate difference between both words. “Al-Houbb” means love as a noble feeling dwelling in the heart; while “Al-Woudd” means love substantiated by action. In other words, if you love someone, your inner feelings towards him are called “Houbb” (i.e. love that exists in your heart), but when you translate such love into action by smiling to him, for example, or doing him a favor, this is “Woudd” (i.e. love that you put into action).

If you offer him a present, it is “Woudd”. If you help him out of a problem, it is “Woudd”. If you visit him when he is ill, it is “Woudd”. If you offer him a present when he gets married, it is “Woudd”. In short, inner feelings of love are “Houbb”; while ostensible substantial acts of love are “Woudd”.

All those who have “Woudd” must necessarily have “Houbb”, but not vice versa. This means that someone might love another but does not show that in his behavior, but if someone shows love to another, this means that he loves him.

This means that the whole universe, that is, with its heavens, stars, planets, galaxies, the sun, the moon, rain, fishes, birds, animals, plants, flowers, is but a substantiation of Allah’s “Woudd” (Love) for mankind. Children, who fill the home with life and movement, are of Allah’s “Woudd”. The great many kinds of fruits are of Allah’s “Woudd”. Wives, whom Allah created especially for men’s psychological and physical comfort, are of Allah’s “Woudd”. Husbands, whom Allah created especially for women’s comfort, are out of Allah’s “Woudd”. Wool, which Allah created to protect us from cold is out of Allah’s “Woudd”. All things that Allah has subjected for mankind are out of Allah’s “Woudd”. The whole universe is subjugated for man as a kind of “Woudd” from God.

And when God loves someone He honors and mercies him/her. However, Allah’s love for true believers is confirmed in the Qur’an.

Allah’s divine love for man is manifested by His divine protection, help, victory, success, sending down mercy upon his heart, sending down peace and tranquility upon him, providing him with all the things he needs. This is Allah’s divine love for man. But man’s love for Allah is substantiated by inclination and attachment, because if Allah forsakes him, or deprives him of His divine light, he feels unbearable pain and sorrow.

Once man loves God he gets inclined to Him, seeks refuge in His divine shade, light, holy manifestations, peace and tranquility, and he feels that Allah is always protecting and helping him. But Allah’s divine love for man means protection, help, support…etc. And “Al-Woudd” is the practical substantiation of both kinds of love.

Allah Is All-Loving

1- The first point concerns Allah’s name “Al-Wadoud” (The All-Loving) is that He endears Himself to His slaves by bestowing His innumerable divine favors upon them. Therefore, logic and good reason show that the entire universe is nothing but a manifestation and substantiation of Allah’s Divine “Woudd” (i.e. Love) for mankind.

Thus Allah favors you with His never-ending favors and graces: good health, fresh water, delicious food and drink, fruits, fishes, birds…etc. When your heart and all other parts of your body work properly, this is one of Allah’s uncountable Divine Favors and Graces. Therefore, true believers should say what Allah’s Prophets taught us to say:

“Say: ‘Truly, my prayer, my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, Lord of all worlds.” (Al-An`am 6:162)

Before Allah created you and brought you into existence, you were nothing at all. But from the moment He brought you into existence, He bestowed on you a couple of Priceless Divine Favors:

“Have We not made for him (Man) a pair of eyes, a tongue and a pair of lips, and shown him the two Ways (of good and evil)?” (Al-Balad 90:2-4)

The first divine gift man that receives from his Lord upon his birth is a very complicated operation, namely the so-called “Suck reflex”, which enables him, from the moment of birth, to take his mother’s breast tightly with his small mouth and start sucking. Without such reflex, human life would be impossible! Your mother is one of Allah’s great divine signs and favors, for she is naturally pre-disposed to consecrate, and even sacrifice, all her existence for her baby. She devotes all herself, her nerves, her feelings and emotions, her powers, and her efforts, for the sake of her baby.

Air that we breathe and water that we drink are great Divine Favors. What would you say about the different kinds of fruits?! Even more, God has endowed you with an intelligent mind with which you think and take up a certain vocation or profession and do it properly.

2- When in the Qur’an Allah says: “And He (Allah) is the All-Forgiving, Al-Wadoud (the All-Loving)”, the word “Al-Wadoud” here means that Allah loves and honors His righteous slaves. It also means that His favors and blessings are but substantiations and manifestations of His Divine Love for them:

“On those who believe and work deeds of righteousness, will (Allah) Most Gracious bestow love.” (Maryam 19:96)

3- Allah is “Wadoud” (All-Loving) for His slaves in the sense that He creates love and casts it among His slaves.

Who casts love for children in the hearts of mothers? If you go to an infant-hospital, you see something really amazing: different mothers from all walks of life cry for their babies. In fact, all mothers, Muslim and non-Muslim, without any exception, cry for their babies if anything goes wrong with them. Undoubtedly Allah, most gracious, has cast such love for children in the hearts of mothers!

Therefore, Allah “Al-Wadoud” (the All-Loving), creates love and casts it among His slaves: fathers, mothers, husbands, mothers, siblings, and friends. They all enjoy love among them. To the same effect, Allah, Most Gracious, says:

“And among His Signs is that He has created for you wives from among yourselves that you may find repose in them; and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed Signs for a people who reflect.” (Ar-Rum 30:21)

Who creates such affection and mercy? It is Allah, Most Gracious!

4- Allah is All-Loving in the sense that He seeks love of His slaves, just as they seek His divine love. And He casts love into their heart for one another and for Him. In this sense, this name has three meanings: love from the Lord for His slaves, love from slaves to their Lord, and love among slaves for one another. That is why Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, says “The zenith of wisdom, after belief in Allah, is to seek people’s love.”

Therefore, the wisest, cleverest and best thing a believer can do, after having believed in Allah, is to seek people’s love and friendship, in order to help them know the truth. To this, Allah says:

“And by a Mercy from Allah you dealt with them gently. And had you been severe and harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from around you; so pass over (their faults), and ask (Allah’s) Forgiveness for them, and consult them in the affairs. Then, when you have taken a decision, put your trust in Allah. Certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him).” (Aal `Imran 3:159)

Here emerges a difference between “Al-Woudd” (Practical love) and “Ar-Rahmah” (mercy) as the latest is offered to a weak, helpless, miserable, ill, suffering person who is inferior to you, and, hence deserves your mercy; while “Al-Woudd” (love) is offered to others not because they are inferior to you or are in need of your help.

In other words, “Al-Woudd” is offered without request or imploration, but “Ar-Rahmah” is offered upon request, imploration or inferiority. When God created us, He was “Wadoud”, i.e. loving. We were nothing, but He created us, honored us, and bestowed His Innumerable divine favors and graces upon us: “O man! What has made you careless about your Lord, the Generous, Who created you and made you in due measures? In whatever shape He desires He constructs you.

“Be cursed (the disbelieving) man! How ungrateful he is! From what thing did He (Allah) create him? From a semen He created him and then set him in due proportion. Then He made the Path easy for him. Then He caused him to die and caused him to be put in a grave. Then, when He wills, He will resurrect him. Nay! But he (man) has not done what He (Allah) commanded him.” (`Abasa 80:17-23)

———–

This article is a summarized version of the article (Al-Wadoud) by the author, published at his web site www.nabulsi.com.

Dr. Muhammad Ratib An-Nabulsi is a Muslim Syrian preacher and writer. He has written a number of Islamic books, most remarkable of which are: “Encyclopedia of the Beautiful Names of Allah”, “Encyclopedia of Scientific Miracles of the Holy Qur’an and Prophetic Sunnah” , “Outlooks on Islam” and “Contemplations on Islam”. He delivers a number of lessons, orations, symposiums and chat programs broadcasted on the Syrian, Arab, and Islamic radios and Televisions.

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Existence of God: Between Faith & Atheism

Existence of God: Between Faith & Atheism

By Truth Seeker Staff

We should bear in mind that abundant as the proofs may be, they are only of avail to those who honestly and sincerely search for the truth.

We should bear in mind that abundant as the proofs may be, they are only of avail to those who honestly and sincerely search for the truth.

Existence of God: Between Faith & Atheism

Mankind, in general, has maintained a belief in the existence of the Creator of the universe since time immemorial.

The duty of the prophets of Allah was not so much to inform their people of Allah’s existence as to warn them against associating others with Him, and to teach them how to serve Him:

“Their messengers said, ‘Is there any doubt concerning Allah, the originator of the Heavens and the Earth?’” (Ibrahim 14:10)

The early Muslim scholars did not even have to address the issue of the Existence of God, for it was a blatantly obvious fact, which nobody questioned. It was only around the fourth century after the Prophet’s migration to Madinah, when people’s doctrine started being infiltrated with atheism and permeated by unbelief that the scholars had to address the issue.

The existence of Allah is established by various categories of proofs, which may be conveniently classified under four categories.

Scriptural

The major religions of the world have scriptures, which teach the existence of the Creator. In particular, the Qur’an, the only revealed book which has remained totally intact and preserved, establishes the existence of Allah by compelling rational arguments, while at the same time serving as an enduring miracle testifying to His reality. It decisively establishes His uniqueness and non-resemblance to creation, and emphasizes that worship is only for Him.

“Fitrah”

As already mentioned, the human being has an inherent and inborn recognition of his Creator. This is a consequence of a pledge which Allah took from the soul of every one of us before we came into this world:

“And [remember], when your Lord took from the children of Adam, their children behind them, and made them testify over their own selves, [saying to them], ‘Am I not your Lord?’ They said, ‘Yea.’” (Al-A`raf 7:172)

Every human being is born with this natural disposition, which is called in Arabic “Fitrah“. Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, has reported that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said:

“Every child is born upon Fitrah, then it is his parents who make him Jewish, or Christian, or Magian (Zoroastrian), just as an animal delivers a perfect baby animal; do you find it mutilated?” (Al-Bukhari)

But, this “Fitrah” sometimes becomes latent, especially when the human being is in a corrupt and spiritually degenerate environment, which is devoid of reminder and exhortation towards the Lord. The “Fitrah” surfaces, however, in times of calamity and distress. How many avowed atheists find themselves raising their hands to the skies in supplication when in affliction? And how do the staunch unbelievers cry out for deliverance when they are faced with death?

“[Allah] it is who causes you to travel over land and sea; until, when you are in the ships, and they sail with [their passengers] with a fair breeze, and they are glad therein, a tempestuous wind reaches them, waves are coming at them from everywhere, and they think that they are overwhelmed therein; [then] they call to Allah, making their faith pure for Him [alone], ‘If You save us from this, we will surely be among the thankful!’” (Yunus 10:22)

Yet, this sincerity is often short-lived:

“Then, when He saves them, behold, they rebel upon the earth wrongfully.” (Yunus 10:23)

Mankind is all too apt, during the course of his daily life of comfort and enjoyment, to forget his Lord:

“And when some trauma touches man, he calls to his Lord, turning repentant to Him. Then, when He grants him a favor from Himself, he forgets that for which he called to Him before, and sets up partners to Allah.” (Az-Zumar 39:8)

It is to awaken and alert this “Fitrah” that God, in His mercy and wisdom, sent messengers to remind people of their true religion, and to direct them towards fulfilling their commission of serving their Lord. Allah has ordered His prophet to proclaim:

“Say: O mankind! If you are in [any] doubt regarding my religion, then [know that] I do not worship those whom you worship besides Allah, but I worship Allah Who will take your souls (at death): I am commanded to be (in the ranks) of the Believers.” (Yunus 10:104)

The specific mention of death here drives home the stark reality, which even the pagans must concede to when faced with the glaring, intuitive evidence, that Allah alone causes death. The rational individual, then, should prepare for this inevitability by responding to his Lord.

Islam is merely a hearkening by man to his nature, an acceptance of that which is naturally good and intuitively right:

“So, set your face toward the religion in uprightness. That is the “Fitrah” of Allah, upon which He has created mankind. Let there be no changing of Allah’s creation.” (Ar-Rum 30:30)

There are others who stubbornly resist this truth and reject God’s message when it is presented before them, although they are well aware of its veracity. This was the attitude of Pharaoh and his supporters, and its consequences are severe, in this world and the Hereafter:

“They rejected [Our signs], although their own souls were convinced of their truth, out of iniquity and arrogance. See, then, what was the sequel for those who cause corruption!” (An-Naml 27:14)

Yet, even hardened deniers who stand in the way of truth and resist it may grab hold of it at the last moment, before it is too late, for on account of the surfacing of the “Fitrah“, a disbeliever who is faced with death on the battlefield may suddenly embrace Islam. The Muslim who fights in Jihad will similarly be exposed to death frequently, thus enhancing and sharpening his awareness of Allah.

Rational

Health and Islamic PhilosophyIt is intuitively obvious, and confirmed by science, that the universe had a beginning. Every action requires a doer, and thus the existence of creation necessarily indicates the existence of the Creator. Allah appeals to the human mind and rationality:

“Were they created from nothing, or are they [themselves] the creators?” (At-Tur 52:35)

Quite obviously, we have been created, and brought into existence after being non-existent, and it is also plain that we do not create ourselves.

A few years ago, the sands in the “Rub’ al-Khali” desert (the Empty Quarter), of the Arabian Peninsula, were blown away by a windstorm to reveal the ruins of a city that had been covered by the sands. Scientists began to examine the contents of the city to try to determine the period in which it had been built. Nobody among the archaeologists or others even suggested that this city could have appeared as a result of the natural actions of the wind, rain, heat and cold, and not by the actions of man. If anyone had suggested such a thing, people would have regarded him as crazy and would have taken pity on him. So how about if someone had said that this city was formed by the air from nothing in the far distant past, then it settled on the earth?

Having recognized the necessity of the existence of a Creator, one then realizes that there can only be one Creator:

“If there were in [the heavens and the earth] gods other than Allah, [the heavens and earth] would surely have been disordered.” (Al-Anbiya 21:22)

“Allah has not taken a son, nor is there any god with Him, for in that case, each god would assuredly have championed that which he created, and some of them would surely have overcome others. Glorified be Allah above that which they allege!” (Al-Mu’minun 23:91)

Further, this one and only Creator cannot possibly resemble creation:

“Is, then, He Who creates, like he who does not create? Do you not reflect?” (An-Nahl 16:17)

Perceptual

We witness and experience the answering of prayers, and this in itself indicates the existence of Allah:

“When you sought help of your Lord, and He answered you.” (Al-Anfal 8:9)

Al-Bukhari and Muslim, may Allah have mercy upon them, have both narrated the Prophet’s saying in which a Bedouin asked the Prophet, peace be upon him, to pray for rain, since crops were perishing and people were starving. The prophet prayed to Allah for rain, and almost immediately clouds began to gather and it began raining heavily. Also in this category of evidence are the miracles which people witness at the hands of the prophets, including the splitting of the moon by Muhammad, peace be upon him, and the enduring miracle of the Qur’an.

Finally, we should bear in mind that abundant as the proofs may be, they are only of avail to those who honestly and sincerely search for the truth. As for those obdurate ones who simply refuse to believe, they will not cease their idle disputation:

“And they say: ‘Our hearts are in a covering from that to which you call us, and in our ears is a deafness, and between us and you is a veil, so act, we [also] are acting.” (Fussilat 41:5)

“Those against whom the decree of your Lord has been verified, will not believe, although every sign should come to them, until they see the painful punishment.” (Yunus 10:96-97)

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Courtesy Islamweb.net web site – http://www.islamweb.net with slight editorial modifications.

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Jesus Christ and “His People”!

Jesus Christ and “His People”!

By Dr. Ali Al-Halawani

It is well known that Prophet Musa was sent to the Children of Israel; but, what about Prophet `Isa (Jesus Christ) who was also sent to the Children of Israel?

It is well known that Prophet Musa was sent to the Children of Israel; but, what about Prophet `Isa (Jesus Christ) who was also sent to the Children of Israel?

Allah the Almighty says in His Ever-Glorious Qur’an what may mean,

“This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allah.” (Al-Baqarah 2: 1)

Yes, indeed, there is no doubt or suspicion whatsoever about this Divine Book of Allah which was revealed to Prophet Muhammad, the Last of all messengers and prophets sent by Allah the Almighty to guide humanity to the Straight Path; the chain of prophets and messengers started with Prophet Adam, father of all mankind and ended with Prophet Muhammad as is well-known by many. The Qur’an, the accuracy of which was attested to by many throughout the ages, is a book of guidance that aims to guide all humanity to what benefits them in this present life as well as the hereafter. It relates many stories of prophets and messengers from which Muslims as well as non-Muslims can derive so many lessons and beneficial things. Examples of godly as well as evil men are also mentioned in the Qur’an in a number of instances; this also is very useful for the heedful and attentive people.

The ways the Qur’an addresses man, people or a given folk are different and vary from one addressee to another in accordance with the status of the addresser and the addressee. This is quite apparent in the Qur’an but only needs some sort of attention and heedfulness. Let us look into this in the following lines.

Interestingly, every time the Qur’an addresses any of the prophets or the messengers of Allah, it uses the term “O People” in various forms. This can be seen in the saying related to Prophet Nuh (Noah) in the following ayah (i.e. verse of the Qur’an) that reads what may mean,

“We had certainly sent Noah to his people, and he said, “O my people, worship Allah ; you have no deity other than Him. Indeed, I fear for you the punishment of a tremendous Day.” (Al-A’raf 7: 59)

And, Prophet Hud in the following ayah,

“And to ‘Aad [We sent] their brother Hud. He said, “O my people, worship Allah ; you have no deity other than Him. You are not but inventors [of falsehood].” (Hud 11: 50)

In a similar vein, we find Prophet Salih in Allah’s saying,

“And to Thamud [We sent] their brother Salih. He said, “O my people, worship Allah ; you have no deity other than Him. He has produced you from the earth and settled you in it, so ask forgiveness of Him and then repent to Him. Indeed, my Lord is near and responsive.”” (Hud 11: 61)

And Prophet Lot as well in Allah’s saying that may mean,

“And [We had sent] Lot when he said to his people, “Do you commit such immorality as no one has preceded you with from among the worlds?” (Al-A’raf 7: 80)

Also, Prophet Musa (Moses) used to call his own people in many ayahs of the Qur’an as follows,

“And [recall] when Moses said to his people, “O my people, indeed you have wronged yourselves by your taking of the calf [for worship]. So repent to your Creator and kill yourselves. That is best for [all of] you in the sight of your Creator.” Then He accepted your repentance; indeed, He is the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful.” (Al-Baqarah 2: 54)

In the above ayah, Prophet Musa (Peace and blessings be upon him) means the Children of Israel, his own people.

It is well known that Prophet Musa was sent to the Children of Israel; but, what about Prophet `Isa (Jesus Christ) who was also sent to the Children of Israel?

The case is different with Prophet `Isa (Peace and blessings be upon him) as there is not a single ayah in the Qur’an which combines `Isa and/or Jesus Christ and the term ‘people’ as he used to address them as “O Children of Israel” without using the term ‘people’ or ‘my people’ in any form or in any of its derivatives in Arabic.

He says in the Qur’an what may mean,

“… while the Messiah (i.e. Jesus Christ) has said, “O Children of Israel, worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.” Indeed, he who associates others with Allah – Allah has forbidden him Paradise, and his refuge is the Fire. And there are not for the wrongdoers any helpers.” (Al-Ma’idah 5: 72)

He says also what may mean,

“And [mention] when Jesus, the son of Mary, said, “O children of Israel, indeed I am the messenger of Allah to you confirming what came before me of the Torah and bringing good tidings of a messenger to come after me, whose name is Ahmad.” But when he came to them with clear evidences, they said, “This is obvious magic.”” (Al-Saff 61: 6)

This is recurrent throughout the Qur’an so that we cannot find any mention of the “people” of Jesus Christ. Interestingly, the one and only ayah in which Jesus Christ was mentioned near the term ‘people’ is the following one which read what may mean,

“And when the son of Mary was presented as an example, immediately your people laughed aloud.” (Al-Zukhruf 43: 57)

In this ayah, the term ‘your people’ does not refer to the ‘people of Jesus Christ’ but to the ‘people of Prophet Muhammad’ (Peace and blessings be upon him) as the latter is the one addressed in the ayah and not Prophet `Isa (Peace and blessings be upon him).

This indicates that Prophet `Isa has no ‘people’ in the common sense! But, what is the secret behind this?!

Allah the Almighty says in the Qur’an,

“Then she brought him to her people, carrying him. They said, “O Mary, you have certainly done a thing unprecedented.” (Maryam 19: 27)

However, Jesus Christ has never been declared as belonging to any people throughout the Qur’an. But why does not Prophet `Isa have “a people” just like the rest of all messengers of Allah and even just like the rest of human beings?!

In fact, one is usually attributed or declared as belonging to his own father; a father belongs to a tribe, a people or a country. Similarly, a son is declared as belonging to the same tribe, people or country of his own father.

Prophet Nuh belongs to a father from his own people and that is why he belongs to them; Prophet Ibrahim belongs to his father Aazar from a given people and that is why he belongs to them, etc. However, one should ask: To whom does Prophet `Isa belong?

Surely he does not belong to any ‘people’ as he was miraculously born and came to life without a father.

This is the reason that Jesus Christ did not say even once to the Children of Israel: O my people!

And he had to address them as saying: O Children of Israel!

This is what the Qur’an exactly did as there is not a single ayah therein that constitutes an exception to this rule.

By analogy, we can raise the following question: What about Prophet Adam (Peace and blessings be upon him) who came to existence without a father or a mother as he was created by Allah the Creator out of dust? Does the Qur’an mention ‘the people of Adam’?!

Surely there is not a single ayah in the Qur’an in which the people of Adam were mentioned. If we search the whole Qur’an we won’t find any such ayah that speaks about the people of Adam. Instead, all ayahs speak about the Children or Sons of Adam; this stems from the absolute accuracy and meticulousness of the Qur’an and its text.

Thereupon, all men have ‘a people’ except for two honourable Prophets, Adam and Jesus Christ (Peace and blessings be upon them).

Another question: Did the Qur’an ignore this fact? The fact about Adam and Jesus Christ?

Surely no. Indeed, the Qur’an mentioned this fact in a single ayah in which Allah the Almighty says what may mean,

“Indeed, the example of Jesus to Allah is like that of Adam. He created Him from dust; then He said to him, “Be,” and he was.” (Aal `Imran 3: 59)

This is the sole ayah in the Qur’an in which the names of Adam and Jesus Christ are combined together.

Look at the accuracy and meticulousness of this divine book that was revealed by Allah, the Creator of everything, to guide men and take them out of the darkness of disbelief into the light of faith and monotheism.

————

*** This article was first published on: Oct 6, 2016.

Based on a widely circulated post on Facebook by an anonymous author.

Dr. Ali Al-Halawani is Assistant Professor of Linguistics and Translation, Kulliyyah of Languages and Management (KLM), International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He was Assistant Professor and worked for a number of international universities in Malaysia and Egypt such as Al-Madinah International University, Shah Alam, Malaysia (Mediu) and Misr University for Science & Technology (MUST), Egypt; Former Editor-in-Chief of the Electronic Da`wah Committee (EDC), Kuwait; Former Deputy Chief Editor and Managing Editor of the Living Shari`ah Department, www.islamOnline.net; Member of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS); and member of the World Association of Arab Translators & Linguists (Wata). He is a published writer, translator and researcher. You can reach him at alihalawani72@hotmail.com.

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Determination: A Believer’s Attribute

Determination: A Believer’s Attribute

By A. O.

Believers with total commitment display patience under all circumstances.

Believers with total commitment display patience under all circumstances.

Determination: A Believer’s Attribute

Determination is the most significant attribute of a believer. Believers never lose their enthusiasm and devotion. Believers engage in their struggles only to earn the pleasure of Allah, which is why no difficulty proves to be a hindrance to their endeavours. The only goal of believers is to deserve the favour of their Lord, and they shape their lives accordingly.

Allah certainly puts the determination of believers to the test in various ways; either by periodically giving them trouble or making them undergo suffering. Details of the test are given in the verse below:

“We shall test you with fear and hunger, with loss of life and property and crops but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere.” (Al-Baqarah 2:155)

However, believers with total commitment display patience under all circumstances. Allah praises this attitude of believers in the following verse:

“And with how many a prophet have there been a number of devoted men who fought (beside him). They never lost heart if they met with disaster in God’s way, nor did they weaken (in will) nor give in. And God loves those who are firm and steadfast. Their only words were: “Our Lord! Forgive us our sins and anything We may have done that transgressed our duty; make us firm of foot and help us against those that resist faith.” (Aal `Imran 3:146-147)

Lack of commitment, on the other hand, is not a trait attributable to believers. The following verse confirms this fact:

“Only those ask you for exemption who do not believe in God and the last day, and whose hearts feel doubt, so in their doubt they waver.” (At-Tawbah 9:45)

Desiring the hereafter and striving for it with all their might, as well as avoidance of extravagance in daily affairs are indications of determination demonstrated by believers. Those who “strive with all due strive” are thus described in the Qur’an:

“Those who wish for the hereafter, and strive for it with all due striving and have faith—they are the ones whose endeavours are acceptable (to God).” (Al-Israa’ 17:19)

Determination, consequently, is a significant attribute of believers. Those who seek an “immediate gain and an easy journey” (At-Tawbah 9:42) fail to show an unyielding determination. Believers, on the other hand, accomplish what is expected of them and display an unchanging determination until they meet their death.

The people of Al-Kahf, into whose hearts Allah put courage, (Al-Kahf 18:14) sets the best example for believers in the sense of determination. Continuity in worshiping is also important in the sense of consistency. Only death puts an end to the determination of a believer. A believer is responsible for showing patience and fulfilling his pledge to Allah until death comes.

“Truly, those who plight their fealty to you do no less than plight their fealty to God: the hand of God is over their hands: then any one who violates his oath, does so to the harm of his own soul, and anyone who fulfills his pledge to God, will soon be granted a great reward by God.” (Al-Fath 48:10)

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Taken with slight editorial modifications from www.harunyahya.com.

A. O. is a Turkish writer and author.

 

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People Educated into Superficiality: How?

People Educated into Superficiality: How?

By A. O.

People Educated into Superficiality: How?

Superficiality

No matter how ignorant the culture around him, his high moral character easily raises him above it.

The superficial cues people take from their family environments, close friendships and social surroundings exert an important influence on the culture they live in. The process of education begins in the family and continues in school. The manner of thinking and behaving they acquire from people they associate with has a lifelong influence. If an individual raised in an ignorant society has not adopted the moral teachings of the Qur’an, the ill character acquired from his environment will remain unchanged.

Childhood observations play an important role in the acquisition of character. The culture a child learns from parents, relatives and friends deeply affect him. He remembers the good and bad things he observed in those around him during those years. Later, at a certain point, he imitates their behaviour, reacting in the same way to similar occurrences and adopting the same expressions and manners. Up to a certain age, his likings, habits and behaviour copy what he observes in others. Even if he is to be taught some new, useful, improved behaviour, he may hesitate to follow such advice, claiming that it is not what he has learned from his mother, father or anyone else whose culture he has adopted.

Allah tells us in the Qur’an that some ignorant people insist on following the old practices of their ancestors:

“They said, “No, but this is what we found our fathers doing.” (ash-Shu‘ara’: 74)

“When they are told, “Follow what Allah has sent down to you,” they say, “We are following what we found our fathers doing . . . ” (al-Baqarah: 170)

However, when a person reaches the age where he is able to distinguish right from wrong and consciously adopts the Qur’an as his guide, he will realize he is surrounded by a wicked, debased culture. With his fear of Allah and his moral understanding, he cannot fit into such a culture. He could never reflect this culture in his actions and understanding and for this reason, rejects being a part of it.

No matter under what conditions he has been brought up, his level of education or his physical appearance, a sincere Muslim responds with trust and gratitude to everything that Allah sends him. No matter how ignorant the culture around him, his high moral character easily raises him above it. The difference in such an individual’s appearance and behaviour and his noble faith and spiritual quality are noticeable immediately. The finest examples are the prophets who have lived throughout the ages. For example, though his father was a shallow and aggressive idolater, Ibrahim (as) was an honoured prophet whom Allah loved, chose as His messenger and made His friend:

“…Allah took Ibrahim as an intimate friend.” (an-Nisa’: 125)

Ibrahim (as) never adopted the superficial culture of his society, but completely removed himself from it. He never accepted anything they told him or taught him; his personality was faithful, honourable and powerful, and he lived his life in a way so as to win Allah’s favour:

“I will separate myself from you and all you call upon besides Allah and I will call upon my Lord. It may well be that, in calling on my Lord, I will not be disappointed.” (Maryam: 48)

Fallacious criteria that contradict the moral values contained in the Qur’an carry weight in ignorant morality. For example, a person will regard himself as having no value if he was brought up in a bad environment according to the norms of ignorance. If he lacks the wealth or fame that is seen as so vital in societies removed from religious morality, he will develop a false sense of being oppressed and inferiority complex. Because he sees himself in this light, he will not try to seek out what is good and beautiful. Because he has no faith, he seeks out what others regard as important and disregards what is valuable in Allah’s sight. As a result, he becomes weak and powerless, with little strength of will or personality. He has no response to negative ideas and suggestions that come to him. It is very easy for such a person to be influenced by negativity in his environment.

Without having the ability that faith gives to distinguish between right and wrong, a personality may be weakened by wrong information, wrong suggestions and wrong directions. This results in one who is insecure in his environment, whose behaviour is shallow, with no sense of self-worth. Because of his situation, he never thinks that he should trust in Allah and be steadfast in acquiring a noble moral character. On the contrary, he becomes unable to understand or practice any other morality than the one formed by this debased culture.

But anyone living according to the moral precepts of the Qur’an thanks Allah for creating him as a Muslim. He knows that it is being a Muslim, having faith, intelligence and a godly conscience that gives a person value. None of his shortcomings leads him to act in an unseemly superficial way. On the contrary, they lead him to trust in Allah, correct his faults and shortcomings as much as he can, and behave in a way conforming to the Qur’an. Even if this person was brought up in a mean, selfish and aggressive environment, he will never react to occurrences as others do. But, as Allah says in the Qur’an, he is generous, gentle and good-natured.

“. . . Those who give in times of both ease and hardship, those who control their rage and pardon other people” (Al ‘Imran: 134)

As we are told in the Qur’an, such people care for the needy in every situation. Instead of being overcome by anger, they forgive; and are humble in their demeanour. They never set themselves superficial goals; never forget the next world or develop ambitions that attach them to this one. They never exhibit the kind of moral behaviour of those who pursue worldly gains with no care for winning Allah’s favour. The change they attain in their character by making the Qur’an their guide enables them to abandon everything they learned in their life of ignorance.

———

A. O. is a Turkish writer and author.

 

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People with Superficial Ideals: The Followers of Samaritan

People with Superficial Ideals: The Followers of Samaritan

By A. O.

Samaritan

Those who had departed from the truth by heeding Samaritan’s twisted incitements described what had happened after the departure of the Prophet Musa.

People with Superficial Ideals: The Followers of Samaritan

Allah tells in the Qur’an about the general behavior of the peoples addressed by the prophets with regard to the Divine judgments.

Many of their superior moral qualities are underscored, such as their patience, determination in faith and their trust and discernment in the face of the difficulties brought against them while they were conveying the message.

In one story about the Prophet Musa (as) teaching the Israelites about the religion of Allah, the Qur’an mentions a person called Samaritan who, when Musa (as) was not among the people, seized the opportunity to incite spiritual corruption among them and urge them to worship idols. He then tried to distance them from their faith.

We are told in the Qur’an that Musa (as) left his people and went up to Mount Sinai to receive a revelation from Allah:

“Why have you hurried on ahead of your people, Musa?” He [Musa] said, “They are following in my tracks. I have hurried on ahead to You, my Lord, to gain Your good pleasure.” (Ta-Ha: 83-84)

The people did not have the Prophet Musa (as) to direct them. Samaritan seized the opportunity; the people were weak in their faith and open to suggestion, and he led them astray. They fell into strife and contention.

“He [Allah] said, “We tried your people after you left and the Samaritan has misguided them.” (Ta-Ha: 85)

While Musa (as) was receiving the revelation, he realized that his people had ceased following him. Returning to them, he reminded them of the world to come and Allah’s promises to those with faith. Then he told them about the great trouble that would befall those who lost their faith in Allah’s promises and the strife that would overtake them:

“Musa returned to his people in anger and great sorrow. He said, “My people, did not your Lord make you a handsome promise? Did the fulfillment of the contract seem too long to you or did you want to unleash your Lord’s anger upon yourselves, so you broke your promise to me?” (Ta-Ha: 86)

At this, those who had departed from the truth by heeding Samaritan’s twisted incitements described what had happened after the departure of the Prophet Musa (as):

“They said, “We did not break our promise to you of our own volition. But we were weighed down with the heavy loads of the people’s jewelry and we threw them in, for that is what the Samaritan did.” (Ta-Ha: 87)

As plainly said in this verse, Samaritan urged the people to throw their jewelry into the fire, throwing his own into the flames to prove that he was sincere. He persuaded the people with this insidious ploy. Those who were weak in faith or willpower were open to his rebellious suggestions; their moral character made them susceptible to abandoning the way of Allah, and they did not hesitate to do what Samaritan told them to.

Despite the truths they had learned from Musa (as) and the miracles he had performed, they had no compunction in following the perverse suggestions of one of their own who had no power or authority. Then, using those molten ornaments, Samaritan made a statue of a calf. After that, he depicted this calf as (Allah forbid) their true deity. At the same time, in order to destroy the influence of Musa (as) over the people, he began to make some negative insinuations about him:

“Then he produced a calf for them, a physical form which made a lowing sound. So they said, “This is your deity—and Musa’s deity as well, but he forgot.” (Ta-Ha: 88)

Allah reveals in the Qur’an that the idol made by Samaritan had no power; it had no strength or will to speak to them, to answer their questions or to do anything good or evil. But the people pretended not to recognize these plain facts and heeded Samaritan’s call:

“Could they not see that it did not reply to them and that it possessed no power to either harm or benefit them?” (Ta-Ha: 89)

Besides Musa (as), the people also had his brother Harun (as) as a prophet among them. When Musa (as) went up Mount Sinai, he put Harun (as) in charge of them. But the people put their faith in Samaritan’s calf statue and started to worship it; they did not listen to the warnings of Harun (as), even though he told them that the statue was a trial for them and that their true god was Allah, the Israelites did not listen. Although Harun (as) was a prophet, they rebelled and refused to obey him.

“Harun had earlier said to them, “My people! It is just a trial for you. Your Lord is the All-Merciful, so follow me and obey my command!” (Ta-Ha: 90)

Later, to gain time they offered a lame excuse, such as should never be spoken to a prophet, for the evil they had done.

“They said, “We will not stop devoting ourselves to it until Musa returns to us.” (Ta-Ha: 91)

In their ignorance and lack of intelligence, they imputed power to this statue that had been crafted before their own eyes and began to bow down to it. When Musa (as) came down from Mount Sinai and rejoined his people, he asked, “. . . What do you think you were doing, Samaritan?” (Ta-Ha: 95). Samaritan replied, “ . . . I saw what they did not see. So I gathered up a handful from the messenger’s footprints and threw it in. That is what my inner self urged me to do” (Ta-Ha: 96).

Samaritan knew that some among the Israelites did not have the high level of consciousness that true religion gives and were basically out for their own gain. He also knew that they were not about to give up their worldly desires and he could take advantage of these weaknesses. Finding his opportunity in the absence of the prophet, he established a way to lead them back to their idolatrous lives.

As we can deduce from his words “I saw what they did not see,” he presented himself as having special abilities; he wanted to satisfy his own passion for rank and position. But those who did what Samaritan said, instead of seeking Allah’s favor and obeying the prophet, accommodated themselves to the direction of an opportunist with worldly aspirations. Such people have small goals and basic ideals. Their morality is such that they take no pleasure in living as they should to win Allah’s favor. And at the least suggestion of worldly gain, they lose their faith.

Instead of following their prophet and waiting faithfully for the revelation of Allah, the Israelites followed the fabrications of some ill-intentioned individual and chose to pursue transient worldly gain. As we are told in the Qur’an, they did not obey Harun (as) but acted as unbelievers do toward the prophets:

“Say, “Obey Allah and the messenger.” Then if they turn away, Allah does not love the unbelievers.” (Al ‘Imran: 32)

As you can see, those who pursue simple gains with no view to the Hereafter can be deceived with very superficial logic. It is no effort for them to abandon their faith. Their weak wills can be broken by the slightest suggestion. They can immediately fall into despair and be persuaded by nonsense. Their faith, not founded on the fear of Allah or a belief in the world to come, can be quickly shattered.

Material things that they can see with their eyes seem more real to them than the endless blessings promised to them in the life to come. However, the blessings of Paradise that Allah has promised in the Hereafter will (Allah willing) keep their value and their beauty for eternity. About the perfect blessings of Paradise, the following is revealed in the Qur’an:

“The people who guard against evil will have Gardens of Delight with their Lord.” (Al-Qalam: 34)

Some people think that death is remote for them; they make the mistake of laying more importance on pursuing the simple material gains and worldly targets they set for themselves. But contrary to what they think, the reality of life in this world and its material goods are deceptive: “. . . The life of this world is just the enjoyment of delusion” (Al ‘Imran: 185).

In another verse, Allah describes the real nature of these material goods that are regarded as being so valuable. “. . . Say, ‘The enjoyment of this world is very brief. The Hereafter is better for those who guard against evil…” (An-Nisa’: 77).

Instead of being subject to Musa (as), the people obeyed someone like Samaritan who deceived them with material things and false words. They listened to him, hoping to make some small gain in their Earthly lives. Because of this, they fell into a state of humiliation while still in this world. Allah intends every story in the Qur’an to teach and advise those of pure minds. This story has served as a reminder of such advice for every individual from the time of Musa (as) to the present.

“In this way We give you news of what has gone before and We have given you a reminder direct from Us.” (Ta-Ha: 99)

“There is instruction in their stories for people of intelligence…” (Yusuf: 111)

Anyone who takes this advice will never exchange his faith in Allah for some valueless worldly gain. He would never want to damage his faith by pursuing shallow goals or do anything that would cause him to lose the Paradise of the world to come. He determines his ideals with a view to please Allah and recoils from anything that He would not approve of.

He does not adopt a way of life or a culture that would distance him from the life of Paradise. He would strenuously avoid it and wouldn’t want his friends and acquaintances to live in this way either. He would be afraid of demonstrating any behavior that showed an ignorant moral character or taking the responsibility for the negative effect such behavior might have on others.

As we see in the moral character of Musa (as), he makes every effort for the faith and godliness of others as well. He does not want to abandon them mired in the debased and idolatrous culture of superficiality.

———-

A. O. is a Turkish writer and author.

 

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11 Reasons to Explore Islam

11 Reasons to Explore Islam

By Ismail Al-Faruqi

Islam11 Reasons to Explore Islam

Within Islam, it is both legitimate and right to ask the question: “Why Islam?” Every tenet in Islam is subject to analysis and contention. No other religion is willing to subject its basic fundamentals of faith to such questioning. For example, Saint Thomas Aquinas, the most rational of Christian theologians, stopped the use of reason when it came to the basic fundamentals of Christian faith. He then tried to justify faith. So to ask “why Christianity?” is an illegitimate question. However, Allah invites the question as to “why Islam?”.

1. Rational System

Islam is also a rational system which not only allows questions but raises knowledge to a new level of dignity and respect. No other religion has exalted knowledge and its pursuit, as has Islam. In fact, for the first time in human history, a religious book invited people to question the creation of the universe and stated that in it (the universe) were signs for people of knowledge. Everything in Islam is subject to rational pursuit.

Islam has only forbidden the questioning of one thing and this is something which reason cannot handle. However, this does not imply an anti-intellectual attitude. The only thing which Islam has said is not within the capacity of the human mind to question is the essence (dhat) of God. This will always escape a person, as He, Allah, is transcendent. However, His will, His purpose, His works, His intentions and His effects can be known.

Even the rites of Islam can be examined rationally. For example, logical and rational explanations can be made for the time of Prayer, the number of rakats or units in Prayer and even why we must bend our toes when we do. Of course, the Muslim will always be aware that the answer he has obtained by rational inquiry is not exhaustive. It cannot be definitely accepted as explaining all the facts. It could be erroneous or incomplete. However, Islam encourages its followers to ask “why Islam?”. Islam is an intellectual and historical religion. There are no secrets and no mysteries which cannot be understood by an ordinary person.

2. Easily Understandable

Islam does not present stumbling blocks to the mind. It does not make claims which overwhelm the mind. Islam does not present to a person that which the human intellect cannot grasp. Anyone can understand Islam as it is a universal religion. However, for example, Hinduism legitimizes idolatry for the less educated, as it says, not all people can understand the higher religion of the Brahmans.

3. Universal Message

Islam does not force a person to choose between various religions as it has included the essential teachings of all religions in its universal message. The Islamic concept is that, to every people, Allah sends a Messenger and that in their present religion or ideology they must have retained some kernel of truth from the original teachings of that religion which was, of course, the teachings of the primordial religion (deen al-fitra) or, in other words, Islam.

Islam views inter-religious dialogue as an internal discussion, not as a discussion with outsiders because, from its perspective, all mankind are members of a universal religious brotherhood. So the differences Islam has with other religions are regarded as internal differences. Of course, Islam criticizes some Jews and Christians who have wrongly interpreted their faith, however, this criticism is based on the fact that they have strayed from the original teachings of their religion.

Islam, therefore, was the first religion in the world to call for the critical examination of religious texts. The Muslim says, in effect, to other religions: “Let us together examine the Holy Books of our religions and compare the contents with the original teachings of our respective religions and examine how far we have adhered to, or gone astray from these original teachings.” Muslims, therefore, never attack other religions.

However, for the Hindu, if he has not been born in India, he is unclean; for the Jews, the sacred law only applied to them and for the Christian, there is no salvation outside the Church. Islam, however, accepts the personal morality and values of Jesus, the concept of liberating a human being from materialism found in Hinduism, as well as the practical ethics for harmony in human society as found in Confucianism.

4. Religious Tolerance

Islam is tolerant of other religions and regards them as religiously legitimate or de jure. In accepting other religions as legitimate, Islam, therefore, accepts their adherents. No other religion has given equal treatment to other religions as has Islam for over 1400 years. As we well know, Judaism and Roman Catholicism were illegal in the time of Queen Elizabeth I. In Spain under Ferdinand and Isabella, it was illegal to have any religion other than Catholicism, and Muslims and Jews had to choose baptism, exile or death. In the Middle East, some Christian sects, which were brutally eliminated by their fellow Christians in Europe, have survived after fourteen centuries of Muslim rule. Secular regimes do not respect religion. They look down upon religion; either they believe any religion will do or they believe no religion is acceptable. The tolerance of other religions in Islam comes from respect because Islam says in every person there is an embryonic fitra or purity planted in all human beings at birth and in every religion there is a basic kind of the original deen al-fitra.

5. The Human Being’s Innocence

Islam declares a person to be born with a clean slate. The human being was not born evil but rather he was created good and equipped by nature to fulfill his duties. From the Islamic point of view, the drama of a person’s life is something that takes place after birth and not before. Islam does not record a human being as a degradation of the divine as it regards a human being as having instincts which are pure and good.

6. The Human Being: An Integral Whole

Islam does not divide the soul and life of a person into two compartments, i.e. religious or ethical and verbal or material. Islam regards the human being as an integral whole. All of his actions and instincts are part and parcel of his being together with his hopes, fears, certitude, faith, and conviction. Islam wants all these to cohere and, therefore, we could say that Islam is mental health par excellence. Islam considers a person’s work or even sex in this world as an act of worship.

7. Life Filled With Purpose and Meaning

Islam takes the world of life and existence seriously, declaring it to be full of meaning and purpose. Life is not a sport, nor is it purposeless. From the Islamic perspective, everything has meaning because the concept of God’s purpose in creation gives meaning to human life. The Muslim is never bored with life; there is no existential anxiety in Islam. The Muslim can see the working of the good purposes of the divine Creator in everything. The Muslim lives in a world where life is full of meaning and purpose and this means the Muslim never loses his mental balance. In fact, mental illness is very rare in the Muslim community.

8. World-Affirmative

Islam is world-affirmative. For the Muslim, the world is good. It is a blessing, it has been created good, to be enjoyed. Islam does not view the world as a demon, it is not valued as being satanic or evil. It is not a degraded kingdom. The world is the only kingdom; the hereafter is not a kingdom but merely a place of Judgment for a human person’s actions during his life. For Muslims, the world is a beautiful place; pearls, clothes, and horses are to be enjoyed. What is wrong, is its misuse under moral law. The world is good and Muslims are obliged to cultivate it and make it into a garden. The process of organizing people as a community is a religious duty.

No ‘ism’, ideology or religion matches Islam in its world-affirmative stance. All Muslims should be wealthy and affluent. It is Satan who promises poverty, not God. In fact, the Qur’an criticizes those who were lazy and who failed to migrate, who could not pull themselves up by their bootstraps; they deserved what they got. To be a Muslim is to live in and to be loyal to this world but not above and beyond our loyalty to Allah.

9. A Social Faith

In building this world and conforming it to God’s desire, Muslims are told that they must work with each other and not alone. Islam establishes a social order, not a mystical order. Islam’s social order has teeth, regulated by law, the Shariah. Islam wants to establish a social order to command the good and prevent the evil. However, every Muslim must correct evil. It is his duty, just as much as it is his duty to pray five times a day.

In Islam, it is of the highest degree of faith to plunge into space and time and bring about the transformation of the world in accordance with God’s desire. Islam is affirmative action in a social setting; it is neither abstract nor isolationist. Islam establishes justice and an ordered society, regulated by law. Islam guarantees justice for all; Madinah was that class of model society. In those days justice had no price. For several centuries under Islamic rule, any citizen who voiced a complaint could be sure that justice would be done. No theory of society can give as much as the Islamic theory of society has given. Society, based on race, language or history are prototypes of the animal world where dog eats dog. The social order of Islam ends this and brings justice to all. A Muslim’s mission is to bring order and this international society established by Islam must be carried to the world and, therefore, the Islamic social order seeks universality.

10. Universal System

Islam provides a social order which cannot only tend to be universal but must become universal. The Islamic system is a system for world order and it must spread around the world. Unless it is spread around the world, it will degenerate into a form of nationalism which is haram or unlawful in Islam. Islam is built on the basis of values which are not only for the group which adheres to them but for the whole of mankind. Allah is the deity of all people and the Islamic concept of society must spread all over the world.

Does Islam deny the value of national, ethnic or linguistic identity and culture? No! Islam recognizes the worth of these national and ethnic groups. Islam does not only tolerate but encourages the development of different ethnic groups. The group has a special perspective on the values affecting people’s lives. Insofar as it exists, national culture is encouraged by Islam, but it is subject to the universal law of Allah. The interests of the nation or group must be subject to the moral law, the Shariah, which encompasses the whole of mankind. Islam created a world society and it was Islam, over 1400 years ago, that first established a working system of international law.

It was only in the 20th century that the West started to develop international law. Grotius contributed only wishful thinking. In the West, international law existed only in the imagination until after World War I when the League of Nations was established. The present system of international law is far inferior to the Islamic system of international law because, under the Islamic system, the law of nations is backed by a court and not just a single court in the Hague. Any Shariah court in any part of the world can hear any international dispute to which the parties are not only nations but also individuals. If we want to solve international problems we must make justice under international law possible for everyone.

11. Promoting Harmony With The Environment

Islam is a religion that enables us to live our lives in harmony with nature, ourselves and God. Islam does not compartmentalize but rather unites the life of a person. This is the summum bonum, supreme good of Islam because Islam assures us of happiness in this world and the Next. Presently, people are so madly in pursuit of this world that it has resulted in upsetting the ecology of nature; this because of the decay in the inner nature of human beings. In this age of unprecedented advancements in science and technology, the pursuit of worldly gain has turned sour and self-destructive because it is devoid of all ethical values. Therefore the pursuit of dunya (worldly affairs) without Deen can only lead to and has led to, disaster. On the other hand, the pursuit of Deen (religion) without dunya (temporal world) is merely daydreaming. Islam asks people to cultivate the world without robbing, usury, stealing and raping the environment and insists that people must carry out their tasks subject to moral law. For the Muslim, involvement, and success in the world will ensure success in the hereafter. If practiced with sincerity, Islam guarantees happiness in this world and the next. Having granted this great gift of God to humanity what else could we do but say ‘we hear and we obey and all praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds.’

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Isma’il Raji al-Faruqi (January 1, 1921 – May 27, 1986) was a Palestinian-American philosopher and an authority on Islam and comparative religion. He was Professor in the Department of Religion at Temple University until his death in 1986. Al-Faruqi and his wife, Lois Lamya al-Faruqi, were brutally stabbed to death in their home in Wyncote, Pennsylvania on May 27, 1986.

The above article is from an audio recording at International Islamic University, Islamabad, Pakistan, date unknown. Source: Ismail Faruqi Online.

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