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The One & Only God – Allah

The One & Only God – Allah

Almighty Allah is the Creator of all that exists. He brought the entire universe into being and created us for a purpose and test. Theories suggesting that nature works on its own run against logic. There are countless signs and miracles in the universe that prove the existence of the One and Only Creator…

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True Monotheism

True Monotheism

From the definition of Islam we can learn what Islam is all about; to submit yourself to the will of God. It’s Just that simple, and that deep. On that meaning Islam, which is no different from all religions of God, is based. It’s monotheism in its true and origin meaning; to commit yourself to God, live in accordance with His teachings and commands as revealed to the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

From here comes the trueness and purity of Islamic monotheism.

Tawheed (Islamic monotheism) is the basis of Islam. In this show, Yasir Qadhi explains true monotheism in Islam and how it is expressed in the declaration of faith.

 

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Taken with kind permission from: TheDeenShow.com

 

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The Concept of God in Islam

The Concept of God in Islam

To a Muslim, Allah is the Almighty Creator and Sustainer of the universe.

To a Muslim, Allah is the Almighty Creator and Sustainer of the universe.

It is a known fact that every language has one or more terms that are used in reference to God and sometimes to lesser deities. This is not the case with Allah.

Allah is the personal name of the one true God. Nothing else can be called Allah. The term has no plural or gender. This shows its uniqueness when compared with the word ‘god’, which can be made plural, as in ‘gods’, or made feminine, as in ‘goddess’. It is interesting to notice that Allah is the personal name of God in Aramaic, the language of Jesus and a sister language of Arabic.

The one true God is a reflection of the unique concept that Islam associates with God. To a Muslim, Allah is the Almighty Creator and Sustainer of the universe, Who is similar to nothing and nothing is comparable to Him. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was asked by his contemporaries about Allah; the answer came directly from God Himself in the form of a short chapter of the Qur’an, which is considered to be the essence of the unity or the motto of monotheism.

This is chapter 112, which reads:

Say (O Muhammad), He is God, the One God, the Everlasting Refuge, who has not begotten, nor has been begotten, and equal to Him is not anyone. (Al-Ikhlas 112:1-4)

Some non-Muslims allege that God in Islam is a stern and cruel God who demands to be obeyed fully, and is not loving and kind. Nothing could be farther from the truth than this allegation. It is enough to know that, with the exception of one, each of the 114 chapters of the Qur’an begins with the verse: “In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate”.

In one of the sayings of Prophet Muhammad, we are told that “God is more loving and kinder than a mother to her dear child”. (Al-Bukhari)

On the other hand, God is also Just. Hence, evildoers and sinners must have their share of punishment, and the virtuous must have God’s bounties and favors. Actually, God’s attribute of mercy has full manifestation in His attribute of justice. People suffering throughout their lives for His sake should not receive similar treatment from their Lord as people who oppress and exploit others their whole lives. Expecting similar treatment for them would amount to negating the very belief in the accountability of man in the Hereafter and thereby negate all the incentives for a moral and virtuous life in this world. The following Qur’anic verses are very clear and straightforward in this respect.

Verily, for the Righteous are gardens of Delight, in the Presence of their Lord. Shall We then treat the people of Faith like the people of Sin? What is the matter with you? How judge you? (Al-Qalam 68:34-36)

Islam rejects characterizing God in any human form or depicting Him as favoring certain individuals or nations on the basis of wealth, power or race. He created the human-beings as equals. They may distinguish themselves and get His favor through virtue and piety only.

The concepts that God rested on the seventh day of creation, that God wrestled with one of His soldiers, that God is an envious plotter against mankind, and that God is incarnate in any human being are considered blasphemy from the Islamic point of view.

The unique usage of Allah as a personal name of God is a reflection of Islam’s emphasis on the purity of the belief in God that is the essence of the message of all God’s messengers. Because of this, Islam considers associating any deity or personality with God as a deadly sin that God will never forgive, despite the fact that He may forgive all other sins.

The Creator must be of a different nature from the things created because if He is of the same nature as they are, He will be temporal and will therefore need a maker. It follows that nothing is like Him. If the maker is not temporal, then he must be eternal. But if he is eternal, he cannot be caused, and if nothing caused Him to come into existence, nothing outside Him causes Him to continue to exist, which means that he must be self-sufficient. And if He does not depend on anything for the continuance of His own existence, then this existence can have no end. The Creator is therefore eternal and everlasting:

He is the First and the Last. (Al-Hadid 57:3)

He is Self-sufficient or Self-subsistent, or, to use a Qur’anic term, Al-Qayyum. The Creator does not create only in the sense of bringing things into being, He also preserves them and takes them out of existence and is the ultimate cause of whatever happens to them.

God is the Creator of everything. He is the guardian over everything. Unto Him belong the keys of the heavens and the earth. (Az-Zumar 39:62-63)

No creature is there crawling on the earth, but its provision rests on God. He knows its lodging place and its repository (Hud 11:16)

God’s Attributes

If the Creator is Eternal and Everlasting, then His attributes must also be eternal and everlasting. He should not lose any of His attributes nor acquire new ones. If this is so, then his attributes are absolute. Can there be more than one Creator with such absolute attributes? Can there be, for example, two absolutely powerful Creators? A moment’s thought shows that this is not feasible.

The Qur’an summarizes this argument in the following verses:

God has not taken to Himself any son, nor is there any god with Him: for then each god would have taken of that which he created and some of them would have risen up over others. (Al-Mu’minun 23:91)

And why, were there gods in earth and heaven other than God, they (heaven and earth) would surely go to ruin. (Al-Anbiyaa’ 21:22)

The Oneness of God

The Qur’an reminds us of the falsity of all alleged gods. To the worshippers of man-made objects it asks:

Do you worship what you have carved yourself? (As-Saffat 37:95)

Or have you taken unto yourself others beside Him to be your protectors, even such as have no power either for good or for harm to themselves? (Ar-Ra`d 13:16)

To the worshippers of heavenly bodies it cites the story of Abraham:

When night outspread over him, he saw a star and said: ‘This is my Lord’. But when it set, he said: ‘I love not the setters’. When he saw the moon rising, he said: ‘This is my Lord’. But when it set, he said: ‘If my Lord does not guide me, I shall surely be of the people gone astray’. When he saw the sun rising, he said: ‘This is my Lord; this is greater’. But when it set, he said: ‘O my people, surely I quit that which you associate, I have turned my face to Him who originated the heavens and the earth; a man of pure faith, I am not one of the idolaters’ (Al-An`am 6:76-79)

The Believer’s Attitude

In order to be a Muslim, that is, to surrender oneself to God, it is necessary to believe in the Oneness of God, in the sense of His being the only Creator, Preserver, Nourisher, etc. But this belief, later called Tawheed Ar-Rububiyyah, is not enough. Many of the idolaters knew and believed that only the Supreme God could do all this. But this was not enough to make them Muslims. To tawheed ar-rububiyyah, one must add tawheed al-uluhiyyah, that is, one acknowledges the fact that it is God alone who deserves to be worshipped, and thus abstains from worshipping any other thing or being.

Having achieved this knowledge of the one true God, man should constantly have faith in Him, and should allow nothing to induce him to deny truth.

When faith enters a person’s heart, it causes certain mental states that result in certain actions. Taken together, these mental states and actions are the proof for the true faith. The Prophet said, ‘Faith is that which resides firmly in the heart and which is proved by deeds’.

Foremost among those mental stated is the feeling of gratitude towards God, which could be said to be the essence of `ibadah (worship).

The feeling of gratitude is so important that a non-believer is called kafir, which means ‘one who denies a truth’ and also ‘one who is ungrateful’.

A believer loves, and is grateful to God for the bounties He bestowed upon him, but being aware of the fact that his good deeds, whether mental or physical, are far from being commensurate with divine favors, he is always anxious lest God should punish him, here or in the Hereafter. He, therefore, fears Him, surrenders himself to Him and serves Him with great humility. One cannot be in such a mental state without being almost all the time mindful of God. Remembering God is thus the life force of faith, without which it fades and withers away.

The Qur’an tries to promote this feeling of gratitude by repeating the attributes of God very frequently. We find most of these attributes mentioned together in the following verses of the Qur’an:

He is God; there is no god but He. He is the Knower of the unseen and the visible; He is the All-Merciful, the All-Compassionate. He is God; there is no god but He. He is the King, the All-Holy, the All-Peace, the Guardian of the Faith, the All-Preserver, the All-Mighty, the All-Compeller, the All-Sublime. Glory be to God, above that they associate! He is God, the Creator, the Maker, the Shaper. To Him belong the Names Most Beautiful. All that is in the heavens and the earth magnifies Him; He is the Almighty, the All-Wise. (Al-Hashr 59:22-24)

There is no god but He, the Living, the Everlasting. Slumber seizes Him not, nor sleep. To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth. Who is there that shall intercede with Him save by His leave? He knows what lies before them, and what is after them, and they comprehend not anything of His knowledge save such as He wills. His throne comprises the heavens and earth. The preserving of them oppresses Him not; He is the All-High, the All-Glorious. (Al-Baqarah 2:255)

People of the Book, go not beyond the bounds in your religion, and say not as to God but the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, was only the Messenger of God, and His Word that He committed to Mary, and a Spirit from Him. So believe in God and His Messengers, and say not ‘Three’. Refrain; better it is for you. God is only one God, Glory be to Him.

 

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Source: gainpeace.com

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Islam…It’s So Beautiful

Islam…It’s So Beautiful

Islam..It's so Beautiful

Islam gives me peace of mind…Compels me to love…

How beautiful is Islam? How do you feel that beauty? How could you translate it? What does make Islam so beautiful?

Each one of us has a unique way feeling, seeing and interacting with Islam, the true religion of God; the message, the set of beliefs, the teachings, the principles and the entire way of life.

Here’s one of these ways; a newly-released nasheed by Khalil Ismail, whose informative, inspirational, words truly portray the beauties of Islam…

Lyrics

It’s so beautiful
So beautiful
It’s my faith and my voice and my choice
It’s so beautiful
So beautiful
It’s my faith and my voice and my choice

Can I share a little something about my belief system
An open invitation take a second sit and listen
See I believe I would be wrong if at least
I didn’t give the information truly hope it can be
An enlightening experience
And you’re feeling it
Message of love and peace balanced with justice
I have to rep this
Because I believe I wouldn’t be the man I am today if I never accepted this

It’s so beautiful
So beautiful
It’s my faith and my voice and my choice
It’s so beautiful
So beautiful
It’s my faith and my voice and my choice

First principle
There is only One Maker
One All Mighty there is only One Savior
One King
To be worshipped alone
One entity sitting on the ultimate throne
As Creator of all
He sits
High above the earth
Author of the written code of the universe
Time and space and
Matter and flesh
All products of creation and He is independent
Of the these systems
He’s no race no color no creed
No nationality
In his own category
So nobody can say he is one of them and claim superiority
Only authority
With objectivity
To be the final judge of human civility
As his creation
He knows what we need
And so he sent messenger to guide and to teach

It’s so beautiful
So beautiful
It’s my faith and my voice and my choice
It’s so beautiful
So beautiful
It’s my faith and my voice and my choice

And you ask what’s it all for?
Well
Islam gives me peace of mind
Compels me to love and
Give of my wealth and time
To pray daily
And be kind to my wife and
Be good to my children and
Gives purpose to life and
Take care of the orphan child
Fast for a while
And don’t forget people have bigger trials
And be good to my neighbor, this is how we attain Gods favor
And if they fight, we fight back
And be strong in our stance. Real women real man
But if they desist, we desist
For Allah does not love the aggressor so act with justice
If we accept this
Show with good deeds and speak words of truthfulness,
Than our reward will be that we will achieve bliss
Beyond what dreams conceive
True love and eternal happiness

It’s more than a religion
It’s the way that I live

And it’s just so real to me
And when I have a problem
There’s a guide for me to solve them
Finally achieve true peace

It’s so beautiful
Oh it’s so beautiful
It’s my faith and my voice and my choice
It’s so beautiful
So beautiful
It’s my faith and my voice and my choice

Listen to Khalil Ismail sings about the beauty of Islam…

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The Oneness of God and Man’s Recognition of It

The Oneness of God and Man’s Recognition of It

The Transcendent, His Names

The Oneness of God and Man’s Recognition of It

The knowledge of God leads us to our self, as the knowledge of our self leads to God.

There is no “Islamic theology.” It is meaningless, and in actual fact wrong, to compare the often peripheral discussions that took place among Muslim scholars (particularly from the tenth century) with the radical reflections that gave birth to “Christian theology.”

Admittedly, some debates were lively, and in the course of history in the Islamic schools the meaning and significance of the names of God and of His attributes, and the status of revelation have been discussed, but the boundaries of these controversies, in contrast to the history of Catholic dogma, for example, have remained circumscribed and have never gone as far as to open to question three fundamental principles: the absolute Oneness of the Creator, the impossibility of there being a representation of Him, and the truth of His word revealed in the Qur’an.

An authentic “theology” would first and foremost have discussed these three principles. But a careful study of the history of the debates among the schools shows that the disputes took place mainly in separation from these three principles, which, at the heart of the Muslim understanding, are the basis of what is called tawheed (Oneness of Allah).

Islam begins just here: to understand Islam is to grasp the meaning and significance of the multiple dimensions of tawheed.

The concept of tawheed expresses first and essentially the fact of the absolute Oneness of God: the first principle, Creator of all, eternally present in history and at each moment, He is the Most High (Al-`Ali), beyond all that is (Al-Kabir, Al-Wasi`, Al-Jami`), infinitely Near (Al-Qarib), closer to each of us than his jugular vein:

We verily created man and We know what his soul whispers to him, and We are nearer to him than his jugular vein. ( Qaf 50:16)

He is the One (Al-Wahid), the Only One (la ilaha illa Hu, there’s no God but Him), the Absolute (As-Samad), Justice (Al-`Adl), Truth (Al-Haqq), and Light (Al-Nur).

Natural Faith

The whole of creation, in its most natural state, is the most immediate expression of the order intended by the Transcendent. Here, in the universe of the “laws of nature” and “rule of instinct,” everything is in itself already and eternally “Islamic”; submissive to and at peace with the Living One (Al-Hayy), the Eternal (Al-Qayyum), who grants life (Al-Muhyi) and brings death (Al-Mumit).

Nature is a book abounding in signs (ayat) of this essential link with the divine, this “natural faith,” this “faith within nature” that is chanted by the mountain and the desert, the tree and the bird:

Are you not aware that it is God whose limitless glory all (creatures) that are in the heavens and on earth extol, even the birds as they spread out their wings? Each (of them) knows indeed how to pray unto Him and to glorify Him; and God has full knowledge of all that they do. (An-Nur 24:41)

The seven heavens extol His limitless glory, and the earth, and all they contain; and there is not a single thing but extols His limitless glory and praise: but you (O men) fail to grasp the manner of their glorifying Him! (Al-Israa’ 17:44)

“You” refers here to human beings, beings endowed with consciousness and freedom, yet who “do not see” and “do not understand” the celebration that the creation, simply by being what it is, addresses to God, as too are the “jinn” of the Islamic tradition—beings created from fire who, like human beings, can choose to accept or refuse to hold to faith in the Creator.

Thus, with consciousness and freedom, another dimension is opened up, a dimension of faith, nature, submission, and peace, where one must listen, hear, understand, search, begin, resist, reform. Here we must learn to celebrate, learn to pray.

Inherent Recognition of Him

Humans are beings that have knowledge as well as ignorance, memory as well as forgetfulness. In contrast with the rest of creation, they have to live with dignity, risk, and freedom, all at once. What the Transcendent demands of their consciousness is to know Him or, more precisely, to recognize Him, and He has given them the means by which they can meet His demands.

The idea that an intelligent being may find itself alone, abandoned, a prey to doubt with no landmarks in the midst of the “tragedy of life” is alien to Islam: God always makes available to humankind tools and signs on the road that leads to recognizing Him.

The first space that welcomes human beings in their quest is creation itself. It is a book, as we have said, and all the elements that form part of it are signs that should remind the human consciousness that there exists that which is “beyond” them.

This revelation in and through space is wedded to revelations in time, which, at irregular intervals, came as reminders of the origin and end of the universe and of humanity. The Qur’an, the last of these revelations in the Muslim view, has as its main purpose to remind and to direct; to recall to memory the presence of the Only One, to direct the intelligence toward the knowledge of Him.

In the natural order, distinct from all the other creatures by virtue of consciousness, intelligence, and free will, human beings express needs according to the measure of their qualities and nature.

With regard to the latter, the most natural of human quests is, when all is said and done, to know the source of the power and energy that give life to the world – in fact, it is the search for the divine. The first teaching we may draw from revelation is to understand the absolute necessity for the revelation itself.

Knowledge of Him

Basically, we learn from this that we can say of God only what He says of Himself. In other words, we must be listening for what He has said and communicated to humankind throughout history about recognizing and approaching Him. By this means, the Being has offered His names to human intelligence in order to direct it toward the knowledge of Him, but never toward the definition of Him.

Nothing is like Him, and He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing. (Ash-Shura 42:11)

Thus, all the divine names- there’s ninety-nine names, and more, on the basis of the Qur’an and various traditions- of which we have mentioned some, make it possible to meditate and gain access to His transcendence, His closeness, His kindness, and His mercy, but all reveal, in the human heart, human insufficiency, dependence, and “need of Him.”

The second teaching of the Revelation is to invite individuals to a deep study of their own inner lives. The search for God and the sense of “the need of Him” may also arise from the indefinable work of looking inward that is required of each of us.

The knowledge of God leads us to our self, as the knowledge of our self leads to God. What is uncovered through the two revelations, al-Kitab al-mastur (the written Book) and al-Kitab al-manshur (the Book that is spread out; the universe), is a profoundly harmonious conception of the human being.

With the turning of the pages and the passage of time, it takes shape and allows us better to find an order in divine commandments, human characteristics, and the meaning of the effort toward bringing about harmony and justice, which is required of humankind.

The encounter with the Only One, the “full and natural faith” of the created universe, the “need of Him” as the essence of being human, are, I suggest, the three fundamentals of the universal at the heart of Islamic civilization. Flowing from our observations about the Transcendent and His names, we find a special concept of humankind.

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The article is an excerpt from Dr. Tariq Ramadan’s book “Western Muslims and

the Future of Islam” Oxford University Press (2004).

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The Meaning of Tawheed (The Oneness of Allah)

The Meaning of Tawheed (The Oneness of Allah)

 

Transcribed by Editorial Staff

As-salam ‘alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

This is Sister Ameena Blake coming to you with the New Muslim Bites. And this is the second session.

And today we are going to be talking about “belief in the one God, Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala)”.

Now, when I first became Muslim one of the things that really surprised me was when I realised that Allah is the same as God and God is Allah and that actually Christian people call God Allah not God.

Allah is the correct name to use when we’re referring to God and the reason being is because in the Arabic language it’s totally unique. You can’t say goddess like you can say goddess in English but you can’t make the word Allah into a feminine tense. You can’t make it into a plural tense so it’s a totally unique word.

Tawheed

Now, when the belief in the one God that when belief in Allah is manifested in a word called “Tawheed”. Tawheed basically is an Arabic word which means unification or asserting oneness. So, Tawheed basically means believing in the Oneness of Allah.

Now, one of the questions that comes up a lot especially for new Muslims is: “where is Allah?”

Now, there’s a very simple answer to this and it’s very clear in the Quran and in the Hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him) that Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) is in fact above his creation. He is above his throne. And this is related in Surah (70:3-4), surah (35:10). And also there is a hadith or many hadith but one particular one that says that Rasul Allah (Allah’s Messenger) (salla Allahu ‘alaihee wa sallam) says as part of this hadith:

He who is above the Heavens (fi al-samaa) which means the heavens will be Merciful to you.

So, these are sort of things because sometimes people misunderstand and people say that Allah is everywhere. Allah is not everywhere. Allah is All-Knowing. Allah is aware of everything, everything we do, everything we say, everything we think. He is so close to us but physically he is above His Throne in heaven.

Surah 112, Al-Ikhlas (Pure Sincerity)

Now one surah in the Quran which is usually one of the first ones that we learn is Surat Al-Ikhlas.

112:1 Qul huwa Allahu ahad (Say, “He (is) Allah, the One)

112: 2 Allah-u ṣ-ṣamad (Allah, the Eternal, the Absolute)

112: 3 Lam yalid walam yūlad (He begets not nor is He begotten)

So, in other words he doesn’t have a mother and father and he doesn’t have offspring, that sons and daughters.

112:4 Walam yakun lahu kufuwan aḥad (And there is nothing like Allah)

So, we can’t imagine what Allah looks like. We shouldn’t imagine what Allah looks like. However, Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) gives us a description of his attributes and there are 99 names that describe these. One of them for example is Al-Rahman, the Merciful.

Now, Tawheed like we were talking about before is split into three different areas:

The first area is Tawheed Al-Rububiyah (the Unity of Allah’s Lordship)

The second area is Tawheed Al-Asmaa wal Sifat which means the unity of Allah’s names and attributes. That basically means that we are not allowed to give a false attribute to Allah or add names to Allah’s names.

So, for example and we couldn’t describe Allah like in the Bible. Allah is described as creating the heavens in the earth in six days and resting on the seventh day. Resting is a human attribute. Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) doesn’t feel any fatigue or need a rest. Allah is not a human. Allah created humans. He doesn’t have these needs like we have.

And the third area is Tawheed Al-‘Ibadah. Al-‘Ibadah means the unity of worship. So, Tawheed (the Unity) Al-“Ibadah (of Worship)

Now, this is where we put our belief in the one God into action and that means that we avoid all Shirk.  Shirk is a word that means when we associate something with Allah. So, for example (shirk is) when somebody worships another god other than Allah even if they believe in Allah but then they worship another god.  So, for example that the Christians will say that in ’Isa or Jesus (peace be upon him) is the son of God. This is a shirk in Islam. This is something that is that is not allowed. And so we avoid all this.

The Purpose of Creation

In the Quran in surah (51:56) Allah says that he created us all with the purpose of worshipping Him. And we’re going to talk a little bit more about that in future sessions.

So, that’s the end of this little short mini session. I hope that it’s been helpful. The next session moving on is I’m going to talk a little bit about Shirk, the different types of shirk and how we can avoid committing Shirk. so (In sha’a Allah) I’ll speak to you next time.

Was-salam ‘alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

Peace be to you all!


Session 1: The Meaning of Shahada in Four Minutes

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