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Shirk (Polytheism): its Meaning and Different Forms!

Shirk (Polytheism): its Meaning and Different Forms!

Transcribed by Editorial Staff

A’udhu bi-llahi min ash-shaitan ar-rajim

Bism-illah Ar-Rahman Ar-Rahim

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-Salam ‘alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh

This is Sister Ameena Blake coming to you with part three of New Muslim Bites. And as I mentioned last time, this time we’re going to be talking about the area of Shirk.


Now, Shirk is the exact opposite of what we were talking about last time which was Tawheed which is believing in the Oneness of Allah. Now, Shirk is the opposite of this. This is when we put a partnership or associating others with Allah. And this can come in many, many different forms.

In Surah 4 verse 48, Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) says,

Surely Allah will not forgive association of partners with Him. (Quran 4:48)

But of course in order to avoid something we must understand what it is in the first place. Now, there are two distinct areas of Shirk that have been defined by the scholars: one of them is Ash-Shirk Al-Akbar which is the major Shirk and the other one is Ash-Shirk Al-Asghar which means the minor Shirk.

Ash-Shirk Al-Akbar

And today, we’re going to be talking a little bit about the major Shirk. Now if you remember, we talked about Tawheed in Rububiyah which means the believing in the Oneness of Allah through his Lordship.

Today, we’re going to talk about the opposite of this which is Shirk in Rububiyah which is when people associate others with Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala). And now, there are lots of examples with this both from within Islam unfortunately and from outside Islam. Of the obvious one that we know about in the UK is with the Trinity where you have Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala), and Christians believe in Allah and but then they believe in ‘Isa (Jesus) (‘Alaihi As-Salam) as the son of Allah.

And for example in Hinduism, they believe in the one god, the creator. Their god, called Brahman, has partners called Vishnu and Shiva and in some branches other gods who share this partnership with him. So, they almost share the power. They are delegated jobs.


Now, another type of Shirk in Rububiyah which will surprise some people is the belief that there is no god because this is also a belief. It’s the belief that there is no god. So for example, people who believe in Darwinism who say that there is no god at all. And these are people who commit Shirk in Rububiyah but in the opposite way.

Another good example of this is the ancient Pharaohs. The Pharaoh of Musa (Moses) (‘Alaihi As-Salam) who believed and said to his people, “Say that I am your lord the most high”.

(Subhan Allah), where as we know that Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) is the Lord, Most High and nobody else can create or has the power over our life and death or anything except Him.

The Third Form of Shirk

The third area is believing that a person, a thing such as a statue or an amulet or anything of that matter has power of its own. And that all that, it is a manifestation of Allah.

There are some sects of Muslims who believe, for example, that certain people are manifestations of Allah so they have almost this power. But of course as we know, Allah (Sub’anahu wa Ta’ala) is the only one who has the power.

So, Ash-Shirk Al-Akbar, to worship anything other than Allah and there’re some obvious ones and some less obvious ones. And so, what we’re going to do next time, in the next session, in shaa Allah, is explore that in a little bit more detail. And we are going to have a look at Ash-Shirk Al-Asghar, and talk a little bit in more detail about what the Rasul-ullah (Salla Allah-u ‘Alaihi wa sallam), the Prophet (peace be upon him) said about this type of Shirk and how we can avoid that as well. So, for this time, in shaa Allah, I will bid my farewell.

And As-Salamu ‘Alaikum wa rahmatu Allah-i wa barakatuh


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How to Avoid Minor Shirk?

How to Avoid Minor Shirk?

Transcribed by Editorial Staff

Bism-illah Ar-Rahman Ar-Rahim.

Al-Hamd li-llah Rabb Al-‘Alamin.

As-Salam ‘alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh!

This is Sister Ameena Blake coming to you with New Muslim Bites. This is session number four and this is part two of our talk on Shirk. If you remember last time, we were talking about Ash-Shirk Al-Akbar which is the Major Shirk.

And today we’re going to talk a little bit about the different types of Minor Shirk. Remember this is just a bite. This is only very briefly going over the surface of this subject. It certainly isn’t meant to be in-depth or anything like that. so please remember this!

Shirk Al-Akbar

Shirk Al-Akbar, the Big Shirk, the Major Shirk, is relatively easy to deal with because it’s very, very obvious. We know that we don’t bow down to statues. We know that we don’t worship other people or other gods other than Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala).


Ash-Shirk Al-Asghar

The Shirk Al-Asghar, the Minor Shirk, is the one that is much more dangerous because it’s minor; it’s hidden. And the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

“O people! Fear Shirk because it’s more hidden than the creeping of an ant.”

And the people asked, “How do we avoid it?” And the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

“You say; you make du’a’, ‘O Allah! We seek refuge in you from knowingly committing Shirk and ask forgiveness from you for what we do not know about.’” (Musnad Ahmad)

Examples of Ash-Shirk Al-Asghar

So, the first step, of course, here, is learning what Shirk Al-Asghar or Minor Shirk actually is. Now, if you come from an English background, I think probably pretty much any background, we’ve grown up with so much Shirk. But we can’t though even know them.

All the charms and the omens like charm bracelets, all cultures have this type of stuff: black cats crossing front of the road and seeing one magpie is meant to be, the same aye aye captain and this rhyme. And my mum was an absolute stickler. If you ever dare to put new shoes on the table, she would go crazy. “Don’t ever put new shoes on the table. It’s bad luck.”

Now, some cultures use amulets which are meant to provide safety and security. And you know, keepers protected against things. So, for example, in Egypt, I remember , they had this like a hand, things called the hand of Fatima and this is an amulet and you’re meant to wear it. It gives you protection.

And I know a lot of Asians, Pakistanis, Indians use what’s called taweez which is like an amulet that they put on like a string in a leather pouch. And it’s meant to provide protection.

Evidence that These Examples are Shirk

Now, all these things in Islam are Shirk Al-Asghar. They are a form of Shirk. And they’re things that we should avoid completely. It’s very, very logical and also many hadith. Something of the Quran, of course, confirms this.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) once was approached by some men who wanted to pledge allegiance to him. And he actually refused the allegiance of one of the guys until he removed an amulet that he was wearing underneath his clothes. Saying,

“Whoever wears a talisman has committed Shirk.” (Musnad Ahmad)

And, of course, in order to become Muslim you have to not be committing Shirk because believing in the one God and worshiping the one God is part of our Islam; is part of being Muslim.

Now like I said before, many Muslims wear these, what is called Ta’aweez or an amulet to protect themselves thinking that this is going to protect them. And thinking because it contains an Arabic or some part of the Quran that it’s okay.

Now, the first logical thing here against doing this is that the question we always ask is, “Was this something that was practiced by the Prophet (peace be upon him) or by his Companions?”

And the answer to that is, “Not only no it wasn’t. It was something that the amulet we were told by the Prophet (peace be upon him) that we don’t do this.”

Protection Comes from Allah

Now, the whole essence of Tawheed, believing in the oneness of Allah, is that we believe truly with our hearts that protection comes from Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala). And yes, the Quran is a protection and we have verses from the Quran that we can recite, but the protection through that comes from Allah.

And so, for example, it’s a Sunnah to recite. When Surat Al-Baqarah is recited in a house, then, the Shaitan can’t enter that house. But, of course, that protection comes from Allah. It doesn’t come from the Quran itself; it comes from Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala).

Now, I guess wearing the Quran in a way is like if you have a headache. What are you going to do with the painkiller, with the paracetamol that you go get from Tesco’s or Morrison’s or whatever? What are you going to do with the paracetamol when you have a headache? Are you going to wear it around your neck or are you going to eat it and let it work in your whole body? You’re going to eat it and let it work in your whole body, of course.

So, thinking that wearing Ayat Al-Kursi or a part of the Quran is going to protect you? No, the protection from Allah comes from living the Quran, learning the essence of the Quran and how to live it and how to get close to Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala). Then, when we’re close to Allah we get His love. And when we get that love we will get protection from Him. And this is in a hadith qudsi, which means a hadith that is related by Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) to the Prophet (peace be upon him).

Islam is a Very Logical Way of Life

So, we have to put faith in our Creator not in an object because an object has no power. Islam is very, very logical. That’s one of the main reasons why I became Muslim because it was truthful and it was logical.


As Muslims, we have a direct line between ourselves and Allah. We pray directly. We don’t need Saints, we don’t need asking dead people and visiting graves, we don’t need fortune tellers, we don’t need anything like this. Why? Because we trust Allah. I mean let’s think about this logically. I know some Muslims visit graves and ask dead people to pray for them. Logically, if that was something in Islam, surely, wouldn’t the Companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and us be going to the grave of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and asking him to intercede?

But we don’t because it was something that was forbidden and something that’s not allowed. So, why we go to these graves and do this? I have no idea but it’s something that’s definitely not something Islamic.


So, we trust Allah only. And I’m just going to end up with very, very quick and verse from the Quran. From Surah 27, verse 65 and Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) says,

“None in the heavens or the earth knows the Unseen except Allah.” (Quran 27:65)

So, only Allah knows our future, only Allah knows what’s going to happen to us, and only Allah is the Protector. And on that beautiful note from the Quran, I will say,

As-Salam ‘alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

Next time, we are going to be looking into the Books of Allah.

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The Belief in the Books of Allah!

The Belief in the Books of Allah!

Transcribed by Editorial Staff

This is Sister Ameena Blake coming to you with New Muslim Bites. And this is session number five in which (in Sha’ Allah) we’re going to be talking about the Article of Faith which is the belief in the Books of Allah, all the Books of the One God.

Now, there are several of the books of Allah mentioned in the Quran. Of course, we have the Quran itself which is mentioned in the Quran obviously, but we also have others. So, for example, the Torah which is the Book of Moses or Musa (‘Alaihi as-salam), the Zabur which is the Book of Dawud (‘Alaihi as-salam)and the Injil which is the Book of ‘Isa or Jesus (peace be upon him).

Now, I’m going to go through each one in turn, give you a little bit of information. It’s very important in order for us to understand our Deen that we understand that the Quran is the end product and a perfected product, a perfected way of life. But this message that has gone through to mankind throughout the other books is the same mental message essentially. And the message, of course, is that we would believe in the One God, Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) and worship Him only.

The Torah

So, the Torah! It’s mentioned 18 times in the Quran. And in Surah 5, verse 44, Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) says,

 We revealed the Torah which is a guidance and a light. (Quran 5:44)

And this was actually revealed for the Jews, for the Jewish community through Musa (‘Alaihi as-salam). And actually, it’s very interesting that even at the time of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), there was a point where the Jewish community actually approached him for some advice on a matter. A man and woman had been committing fornication, or zina in Arabic. And the Jews came to him to ask him for advice on the matter as regards what they should do with religious, the religious area. So, they asked him to go and judge in this matter.

So, he said, “Yes, I’ll go and judge”. And they gave him a cushion to sit on and the Prophet (peace be upon him) sat on the cushion and then asked them to bring the Torah to him.

So, subhan Allah, he asked them to bring their own Book to him and he removed the cushion from under himself and put it down and actually put the Torah on top of the cushion and said to the Torah, “I believed in you and in Him who revealed you”.

So, he was then affirming… and it was amazing Da’wah that he was affirming to the Jews that it’s part of the Islamic faith as well to believe in the Torah. And he actually then called them to bring one of their people of knowledge to help with judging, and somebody had the knowledge of the Torah. And (he) decided it between these two people using that, using something that they knew and they could relate to.

The Zabur, the Psalms

Now, the Zabur! It’s sometimes known… those of us who have been to church in the past and Sunday schools and stuff. It’s known as the Psalms, the Psalms of David, or Dawud (‘Alaihi as-salam)

Some say that that’s what the Zabur actually is. And now the word Zabur comes from the Hebrew zimrah which actually means ‘song’ which links in with the Psalms because the Psalms are actually the songs. It’s mentioned three times in the Quran. In surah 17, verse 55, Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) says,


We gave to David (the gift of) the Zabur. (Quran 17:55)


And there’s a hadith in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) mentions that the reciting of the Zabur was made easy for Dawud (‘Alaihi as-salam) to the extent that from the time it took him to ask his servants to saddle up the riding animals, the horses, camels, etc. to the time that the riding animals were actually saddled. If he started reciting at the beginning then he would continue and he would have finished reciting the Zabur when the saddles were on the animals, when they were ready to travel. So quite a short! It was made easy on him, may Allah be pleased with him!

The Injil

Now the Injil, sometimes known as the New Testament! Again for those of us who’ve been brought up as Christians. Of course, that was revealed to the prophet ‘Isa (‘Alaihi as-salam). And that is actually mentioned 12 times in the Quran.

Now, in Surah 5, verse 46, Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) says,

And in their footsteps, We sent ‘Isa (or Jesus), son of Mary, confirming the law that came before him. We sent him the Injil in which was guidance and light and confirmation of the law that had come before him. (Quran 5:46)

So, this is a confirmation in the Quran that, again, the same as the Torah. It is mentioned as a guidance and as a light. And also that, adding on that, it came to confirm what was before it. So, it came to confirm for Jews that the Torah was the Word of Allah. And this is what they should be following because the Jews at this point, the community, needed another prophet and a reminder of the laws that Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) had sent to them.

The Scrolls of Abraham and the Books of Yahya

Now, there’s a very brief mention of the Scrolls of Ibrahim (‘Alaihi as-salam), or Abraham, and also a brief mention of the Books of Yahya.  And the people who followed him were called the Sabians.

Now, we don’t have any real knowledge of where those books are now. They’re considered to be lost unfortunately.

The Belief in the Books of Allah

Now, as Muslims, we have to believe in all these Books. But we, of course, believe them in their original form. Now the people who believe in these books and follow these books are the Christians and the Jews and Sabians if there are any. And they are considered and mentioned in the Quran as Ahl al-Kitab, Ahl al-Kitab meaning the People of the Book. And they are very revered and put in a very high position in Islam and very, very respected and also protected under Islam.

The Quran

Now, the Quran of course! How can we not speak about this book of Allah? This is the final and protected and perfected Book of Allah and is actually protected by Allah from change and corruption. And Allah challenges people in the Quran saying bring even a verse like it! Bring in even a small verse like the Quran. And from men till now, nobody has been able to do this, and this stands right up until the Day of Judgment, this challenge.

Now, the things different about the Quran, of course, is that it’s perfected but also that it contains many miracles. We have the miracle of the science; we have the miracle of linguistics, of mathematics.

You can go online and you can look up all these things. There are books that you can read about. This is absolutely amazing! That proves that the Quran is the Word of Allah. That is also the fact that it is unchanged.

The Quran is Preserved

The Quran was revealed 1500 hundred years ago to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who was essentially a guy living in a desert, who was illiterate. He didn’t have knowledge of these areas. He couldn’t even know how to read or write. Yet, the Quran which was this amazing linguistic miracle and scientific miracle was revealed to him.

It’s also preserved in its original language. Muslims across the world whether they’re English like myself or from China or Pakistan or an Arab country, we all read the Quran in Arabic.

Of course we read the translation, but the translation is a translation of the Quran. It’s not actually the original Quran. We always go back to the Arabic for this original meaning and this preserves it.

Now, the Quran and these other books of Allah share a lot of similarities one of which is that we all believe in the same God. I remember when I was being brought up and was introduced to Muslims, I used to think, “What’s this Allah, what’s this God?” And it was a big revelation to me when I realized that it’s the same God. Allah is God. God is Allah. It’s the same thing, like I said in one of my earlier sessions.

So this is the same message. The message essentially is of Tawheed, believing in the Oneness of Allah.

How should we approach the Quran?

Now, how should we approach the Quran is a totally different matter. We should approach it with an attitude that’s called Ikhlas. Ikhlas means that we have purity, a pure attitude towards it; we have a pure intention that we’re doing this for guidance and to read the Book of Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala), knowing and believing that this is the word of Allah. In surah 6, verse 115, Allah says,

Perfect are the words of your Lord in truth and justice. (Quran 6:115)

Now, the attitude is that we are approaching the Quran for guidance but also to change ourselves. Allah says in the Quran,

 He will not change the condition of a people until they change what is within themselves. (Quran 13:11)

which, of course, is the heart, the actions, the deeds, the intentions. So, we don’t just approach the Quran as a storybook or tales of all. You should accept the Quran like Allah is speaking directly to you.

Sources of Knowledge in Islam

Now, in Islam, we have different sources of knowledge. The Quran, of course, is the foundation of knowledge and is the basis of all our knowledge. However, we also have two other areas which bring more context and more details of the verses of the Quran and chapters of the Quran. We have the hadith which is the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) which you do need to be very careful with. And make sure if you’re going to read a hadith, read it in the context of the Sunnah which is the practice and all the things that the Prophet (peace be upon him) actually did.

The Importance of Sunnah and Hadith

So, we have the Quran, the Sunnah and the hadith which are a triangle of knowledge. Usually, when people make mistakes or get things wrong or get extreme and things like that, they’re doing it because they have taken something out of context. So, maybe they’ve taken a verse from the Quran and they’ve put an incorrect interpretation. But if then they look at the context, what the Prophet (peace be upon him) did in these particular situation, it changes the meaning completely.

So, you must be very, very careful on how you approach the Quran and make sure that you don’t take it as a black and white source. You have to take in the context of what it’s about or you might misunderstand what it’s saying to you.

Now, the Prophet (peace be upon him), of course… the reason why we have the Quran and the Sunnah and the hadith is because he was essentially the walking Quran. He was the embodiment of the Quran.

And this is something that we’re going to talk about next time, in sha’ Allah, when we talk about the belief in the prophets of Allah. And so, until next time, in the next session,

As-Salam ‘alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

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Jesus in the Quran

Jesus in the Quran

By Idris Tawfiq

How Christians depict Jesus (peace be upon him)

Christian artists down through the centuries have shown Jesus surrounded by fluffy clouds or angels. Around his head a golden halo of light shines, while little children and lambs are always at his feet.

On the cross, this artistic Jesus is shown suffering terrible agonies on behalf of others, asking always that his enemies be forgiven. The “gentle Jesus, meek and mild” of the Christian hymn books, the blue-eyed Jesus with curly flowing hair, is the Jesus that sits in the popular imagination.

Maybe it is because Islam has always discouraged depictions of human beings in art that Christianity has managed to win the publicity prize for its portrayal of Jesus (peace be upon him).

In addition to art, the Christian Church chose four of the many Gospels that were written to describe the life of Jesus. Saint Luke`s is perhaps the most beautiful, being a Gospel of prayer, of the poor, and of women. The way in which Luke crafts his words makes Jesus so appealing.

According to Islam, Jesus was a prophet of God. He belonged to a long line of prophets, calling people throughout history to the worship of One God.

The Description of Muhammad and Jesus (Allah bless them and grant them peace) in the Quran

Muhammad (God bless him and grant him peace)

Islam, on the other hand, has no artists to elevate Muhammad (peace be upon him) to the rank of a deity. It has no Gospel writers and no Paul to use their words to make Muhammad anything more than human. The Quran was revealed to a man who could neither read nor write. He simply recounted what was said as it was told to him.

Jesus (peace be upon him)

The Jesus which God tells about in the Quran is quite different from the Gospel Jesus, although there are some similarities. Especially at Christmas time, when the depictions of Prophet Jesus are at their most florid, we need to remind people who Jesus really was. In the Quran we read what means:

{He [Jesus] said: “I am indeed a servant of God. He has given me revelation and made me a prophet; He has made me blessed wheresoever I be; and He has enjoined on me prayer and charity as long as I live. He has made me kind to my mother, and not overbearing or miserable. So peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised up to life (again)!” Such was Jesus the son of Mary. It is a statement of truth, about which they (vainly) dispute. It is not befitting to (the majesty of) God that He should beget a son. Glory be to Him! When He determines a matter, He only says to it, “Be,” and it is.} (19:30-35)

In other words, according to Islam, Jesus was a prophet of God. He belonged to a long line of prophets, calling people throughout history to the worship of One God. These include such names as Abraham, Moses, David, and Solomon (peace be upon them all) and, like them, he is revered and honored by all Muslims. Whenever they mention the name of Jesus, Muslims will always say, “Peace be upon him.”

The Miraculous birth of Jesus (peace be upon him) and his other miracles

Like the accounts in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, the Quran shows that Jesus` birth was miraculous:

{Behold! the angels said, “Oh Mary! God gives you glad tidings of a Word from Him. His name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honor in this world and the Hereafter, and in (the company of) those nearest to God. He shall speak to the people in childhood and in maturity. He shall be (in the company) of the righteous… And God will teach him the Book and Wisdom, the Law and the Gospel.”} (3:45-48)

Not only did Jesus have a miraculous birth, but the Quran also tells us that he was born of a virgin mother and that he spoke in the cradle, that he performed miracles, and that he did not die on the cross, nor was he raised back to life after three days.

God sent messengers down through the ages to bring men and women back to Him. It is part of our human nature, isn`t it, that we constantly forget, and need to be called back to the straight path?

Different messengers were sent with different gifts, as they needed to speak to their own people in a way that would attract them and help them to understand. It was the special gift of Prophet Jesus that he could perform miracles:

{I have come to you with a sign from your Lord: I make for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it and it becomes a bird by God`s leave. And I heal the blind, and the lepers, and I raise the dead by God`s leave.} (3:49)

Jesus (peace be upon him) is only a Messenger, not God

Being able to perform miracles didn`t make Jesus equal to God. Everything he did was by God`s leave, to teach the people of Israel about God Himself. Even these miracles, though, were not enough to convince them.

It is the belief of Islam regarding Jesus that we should never confuse the message with the messenger. His message was to speak about God and to show the power of God in this world and the next, but the message didn`t make him equal to God. His miracles were his way of conveying the message.

In fact, the Quran is quite clear about this:

{Christ, the son of Mary, was no more than a messenger; many were the messengers that passed away before him. His mother was a woman of truth. They had both to eat their (daily) food. See how God makes His signs clear to them; yet see in what ways they are deluded away from the truth!} (5:75)

Jesus and his mother both had to eat food. They were human beings, like you and I. Jesus was given the loftiest of tasks in being called to speak God`s message to the world, but he remained just that: a man who ate food.

Christians’ confusion

Out of an exaggerated love for Jesus, many of his earliest followers, encouraged by the writings of Saint Paul, began to see Prophet Jesus as something more than human, a god.

They confused the beautiful message he brought with the One who sent it. They saw his gift of being able to calm the winds and the seas, or his gift of curing the sick, as indicating that he was more than just a man.

The Quran is quite clear about that, Jesus was a great prophet, but he was no more than that. He did not die on the cross, nor was he raised to life after three days, but he was a man.

One of the greatest men, yes. A man with very special gifts, yes. A man whom they revere as a great prophet, yes, but not a god. There is no God but Allah.

Dialogue between God and Jesus on the Day of Judgment

In summary of all this, the Quran tells us what God will say to Jesus on the Last Day, when He Almighty calls all people to Himself:

{And behold! God will say [on the Day of Judgment]: “Oh Jesus, the son of Mary! Did you say unto men, worship me and my mother as gods in derogation of God?” He will say: “Glory to Thee! Never could I say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing, You would indeed have known it. You know what is in my heart, though I know not what is in Yours. For You know in full all that is hidden. Never did I say to them anything except what You commanded me to say: `Worship God, my Lord and your Lord.` And I was a witness over them while I lived among them. When You took me up, You were the Watcher over them, and You are a witness to all things.”} (5:116-17)


About the author

Idris Tawfiq was a British writer, public speaker and consultant. For many years, he was head of religious education in different schools in the United Kingdom. Before embracing Islam, he was a Roman Catholic priest. He passed away in peace in the UK in February 2016 after a period of illness. May Allah (SWT) have mercy on him, and accept his good deeds. Ameen.

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The Christmas Message of Jesus

The Christmas Message of Jesus

By Idris Tawfiq

As Christmas is celebrated all over the world, it will come as a real surprise to many people that Muslims have any regard for Jesus at all.

Most people have no idea that Jesus has any part in Islam. And yet, for Muslims not only is Jesus revered as a Prophet of Islam, but whenever his name is mentioned, they will add the words “peace be upon him.”

Far from being a “foreign” religion, Islam teaches that all prophets in the Old Testament actually brought a message from Almighty God, Allah, to His people, and Muslims respect the same prophets revered by Christians and Jews.

Whilst Christians and Muslims believe very different things about Jesus, it is nonetheless a very useful starting point to know that both religious traditions honor Jesus as a very special person. In fact, it would be quite acceptable for Muslims to include the name of Jesus in their Shahadah, or declaration of faith.

Muslims say: “I bear witness that there is no God but Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah,” but they could just as equally declare “I bear witness that there is no God but Allah and I bear witness that Jesus is the Messenger of Allah.”

As people throughout the world celebrate Christmas, it might be a very good way of building bridges between people of faith if Muslims were to let others know just what Islam teaches about Prophet Jesus.

Jesus (peace be upon him) in Islam and in Christianity

That being said, the Jesus revealed in Islam is in many ways quite different from the Jesus many Christians have come to know. The foremost difference is that Jesus is not considered by Muslims to be the son of God.

The next major difference is that Muslims do not believe that he died on the cross to save people from their sins.

They take their belief from what Allah tells them in the Quran. For example, regarding who Jesus was, we read:

O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) a messenger of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary… (Quran 4:171)

And we also read:

{Christ the son of Mary was no more than a messenger; many were the messengers that passed away before him. His mother was a woman of truth. They had both to eat their (daily) food. See how Allah doth make His signs clear to them; yet see in what ways they are deluded away from the truth! (Quran 5:75)

Regarding Jesus’ death, we read in the Quran:

And they said we have killed the Messiah Jesus son of Mary, the Messenger of God. They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, though it was made to appear like that to them… (Quran 4:157-158)

An Authentic Narrative about Jesus

It is important for us to understand why Muslims believe a different narrative about Jesus, rather than the one accepted by many Christians. Muslims in fact believe that the words about Jesus in the existing gospels are not the actual words revealed about him by Allah.

They believe, instead, that Almighty God, Allah, has spoken to His creation down through the centuries through prophets. Some of these prophets had books revealed to them. Prophet Moses, for example, had the Torah revealed to him, just as Prophet Jesus had a message revealed to him known as the Injeel.

Muslims believe that neither of these books now exist in the form in which they were originally revealed because they have been altered, either deliberately or accidentally, over time. Allah never intended these messages to last, since they were for a particular people at a particular time in their history.

The Quran revealed to Muhammad, however, was intended for all people and for all time. It is the fullness of revelation, affirming all that is correct of what had gone before and correcting all that had become unclear about previous revelation.

The Message of Jesus in Quran

The Quran, then, has a different nativity narrative for the birth of Jesus and a completely different approach to who Jesus was. Jesus according to the Quran, was “no more than a messenger,” delivering God’s words to mankind. Unlike prophets before him, he was given the gift of miracles, but these miracles were a manifestation of the power of God, not of Jesus’ own power.

The message of Jesus was the message given to all prophets before him: that God is One and that He deserves to be worshipped in a particular way. By following the “straight path” people can come to get to know God better. This is the message confirmed in the Quran and is what has come to be known as Islam today. For Muslims, Jesus is a Messenger of Islam.

So what about the “Christian message” preached by Jesus? What about all the teaching about love of neighbor? What about all the stories and the parables related by Christians today as the words of Jesus himself?

For Muslims, the Quran is the fullness of revelation. Everything that agrees with the Quran in the previous scriptures is considered to be true. Anything that disagrees with the Quran is considered to be false. And as for anything in the previous scriptures which is not found in the Quran, Muslims don’t know if it is true or false, whether it is divinely revealed or the invention of men.

Stories like the Good Samaritan and the Sermon on the Mount, for example, do not appear in the Quran so Muslims have no way of knowing who wrote them. Since they don’t actually disagree with Islamic teaching we cannot say they are wrong, but we remain unclear about where they came from.

In other words, much of Jesus’ so-called teaching, as narrated by the New Testament, sits very comfortably with the principles of the Quran, but is not to be found as divine revelation in the Quran itself.

Teaching that people should love their neighbor, although related in different language, is very much a part of what Muslims believe. Prophet Muhammad is the closest commentary we have on the Quran. In his life we see how the Quran should be lived and in his life we see that caring for neighbors, the widowed and the orphans is very much a part of being a Muslim.

Christmas Message

As people throughout the world celebrate Christmas, it might be a very good way of building bridges between people of faith if Muslims were to let others know just what Islam teaches about Prophet Jesus. This shouldn’t be done in a way that offends the belief of others. After all, disagreeing is not the end of the world!

If people could understand one another more and agree to differ on certain matters of belief, our world would be a much better place.

Christians would have us believe that “Peace” is the central message of Christmas. As Muslims we say “Amen” to that, since “Islam” itself comes from a root word that means “Peace” and Prophet Jesus came to teach the message of Islam.

Happy holidays!

Source: aboutislam website

About the author

Idris Tawfiq was a British writer, public speaker and consultant. For many years, he was head of religious education in different schools in the United Kingdom. Before embracing Islam, he was a Roman Catholic priest. He passed away in peace in the UK in February 2016 after a period of illness. May Allah (SWT) have mercy on him, and accept his good deeds. Ameen.

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Eclipse Prayer

Eclipse Prayer

By Dr. Salih Al-Fawzan

Allah, Exalted be He, says:

“It is He who made the sun a shining light and the moon a derived light and determined for it phases – that you may know the number of years and account [of time]. Allah has not created this except in truth. He details the signs for a people who know.” (Quran: Yunus: 5)

Eclipses are considered a kind of warning from Allah directed to people in order to make them turn to Allah in repentance and follow His right path.

The Legal Ruling and Evidence of the Eclipse Prayer

The Eclipse Prayer is a stressed act of the Sunnah according to the unanimous agreement of scholars. Its proof is derived from the confirmed act of the Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace).

Eclipse is a sign amongst the signs of Allah, which He reveals to warn and alarm His servants. Allah says:

“…And We send not the signs except as a warning.” (Quran: Al-Isra’: 59)

There was an eclipse in the lifetime of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) and so he hurried to the mosque filled with fear. He led Muslims in prayer. Next, he told them that the eclipse is a sign amongst the signs of Allah by which He warns His servants. He also added that it might be the reason for a severe torment that might befall people.

Therefore, the Prophet (PBUH) ordered people to do acts that may eliminate it. That is, to perform prayer, supplicate, ask for Allah’s forgiveness, give charity, and other good deeds, so that people may be relieved.

Eclipses are considered a kind of warning from Allah directed to people in order to make them turn to Allah in repentance and follow His right path.


In the Pre-Islamic Period of Ignorance (the Jahiliyyah), people used to believe that the reason behind eclipses was due to the birth or death of a great person.

Therefore, the Messenger (PBUH) invalidated such beliefs and showed the Divine wisdom behind eclipses. On the authority of Abu Mas’ud Al-Ansari who said:

“There was an eclipse on the day when Ibrahim, the son of the Prophet (PBUH), died. So, people said that the sun had eclipsed due to the death of Ibrahim.

Therefore, the Prophet (PBUH) said, ‘The sun and the moon are two signs amongst the signs of Allah. They do not eclipse because of the death or life of somebody. So, when you see that, seek refuge with the remembrance of Allah and perform prayer.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

In another narration, the Prophet (PBUH) says:

“Invoke Allah and perform prayer until the eclipse clears.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

There is also a similar hadith related in Sahih Al-Bukhari on the authority of Abu Musa, saying:

“…when you see anything thereof resort to remembering Allah, invoking Him and asking for His forgiveness”

Hence, Allah causes eclipses of these two great signs, namely, the sun and moon. This is to let people take warning and know that the sun and moon are creatures, just like the other creatures, that may be afflicted with imperfection and change.

Thus, Allah does this to show His servants His sublime, perfect Might and to confirm that He is the Only One deserving worship. Allah says:

“And of His signs are the night and day and the sun and moon. Do not prostrate to the sun or to the moon, but prostrate to Allah, Who created them, if it should be Him that you worship.” (Quran: Fussilat: 37)

When to Perform the Eclipse Prayer?

As for the time of the Eclipse Prayer, it is to start from the beginning of the eclipse until it is clear. The Prophet (PBUH) says:

“When you see the eclipse, perform prayer.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

It came in another hadith as:

“When you see any of this (i.e. eclipse), perform prayer until it dears.” (Muslim)

The Eclipse Prayer is not to be performed after the eclipse is over for its due time has been missed. Also, if the eclipse is over before people know of it, they are not to perform the Eclipse Prayer.

How to Perform the Eclipse Prayer?

Two ruku’s (bowings) and two sujuds (prostrations) for each rak’ah

According to the soundest opinion of scholars, Eclipse Prayer is to be performed with two rak’ahs (units of Prayer), in which one is to recite the Quran aloud.

As for the first rak’ah, one is to recite Al-Fatihah (the Opening Chapter of the Quran) and another long sura, such as the Sura of Al-Baqarah (the Cow) or any other long sura. Then, one is to perform a prolonged bowing, and raise one’s head and say tasmi’[i] and tahmid[ii] in the same way one does in other prayers.

The second recitation before the second ruku’ of the first rak’ah

Next, one is to recite Al-Fatihah and another long sura, but shorter than the first, such as the Sura of Al ‘Imran (the Family of ‘Imran).

After that, one is to perform a long bowing, but shorter than the first one, and raise one’s head and say tasmi’ and tahmid.

After saying so, one is to perform two prolonged prostrations and not to prolong sitting between them.

Then, one is to perform the second rak’ah similar to the first, namely with two prolonged bowings and two prolonged prostrations. Finally, one is to recite Tashahhud and say taslim[iii]. ‘A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated:

“In the lifetime of Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace), the sun eclipsed and he went to the mosque and the people aligned behind him. He pronounced takbir and prolonged the recitation (of the Quran) and then said takbir and performed a prolonged bowing; then he (lifted his head and) said, Allah listens to the one who praises Him.’ He then did not prostrate hut stood up and recited a prolonged recitation, but shorter than the first one. He again pronounced takbir, then performed a prolonged bowing, but shorter than the first one and then said (after rising from bowing), Allah listens to the one who praises Him, O our Lord! (All) praise is due to You! Then, he prostrated and then he did the same in the second rak ‘ah; thus he completed four bowings and four prostrations. The sun (eclipse) had cleared before he finished the prayer” (Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

It is an act of the Sunnah (Prophetic Tradition) to perform Eclipse Prayer in congregation, as done by the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace), yet it is permissible to perform it alone, like the case with the other supererogatory prayers. However, it is preferable to perform it in congregation.

Delivering a Sermon after Prayer

Moreover, it is an act of the Sunnah, for the imam, to preach people after performing the Eclipse Prayer, and warn them against heedlessness with regard to Allah’s commands, and against unawareness. The imam should also command them to invoke Allah frequently and ask for His forgiveness. ‘A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated:

“The Prophet (PBUH) came to the people, after the sun became visible again after the eclipse, and delivered a sermon…” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

If the prayer is finished before the eclipse is over, one is to resort to remembering and invoking Allah until it is over, and not to repeat prayer.

However, if the eclipse is clear during prayer, one is to complete it quickly and not to stop it straight away. as Allah, Exalted be He, says:

“…And do not invalidate your deeds.’ (Quran: Muhammad: 33)

Hence, prayer is to be during the time of eclipse, as the Prophet (PBUH) says, “…until the eclipse is clear” (Al-Bukhari) and, “…until the eclipse is over” (Al-Nasa’i).

[i] Tasmi’: Saying “Sami’ Allah-u li-man hamidah” i.e. “Allah listens to the one who praises Him,” when standing following bowing in prayer.

[ii] Tahmid (in Prayer): Saying as a reply to tasmi’, “Rabbana wa laka al-Hamd” i.e. “Our Lord, to You be all praise.”

[iii] Taslim: Saying the final salams in prayer (saying, “As-salam-u ‘alaikum wa rahmat-ullah” i.e. Peace and mercy of Allah be upon you) when concluding prayer.

The article is an excerpt from the author’s book “A Summary of Islamic Jurisprudence” with some modifications.

Dr. Salih Al-Fawzan is a Professor of Islamic Jurisprudence, Member of the Board of Senior Ulema & Member of the Permanent Committee for Fatwa and Research.

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