By Abul A`la Mawdudi
As the saying goes: “No man is an Island”; none of us exists independently; each one of us is a part of the grand system, like parts of a machine.
For every one of us, therefore, these realities are as relevant and fundamentally important as they are for the world as a whole. Each of us is perplexed as to why human life is so lacking in peace and security.
Why are we so frequently faced with such troubles and hardships?
Why have our systems and laws gone awry?
We are forever seeing nations falling foul of one another, country struggling against country, men tearing one another apart like wolves. Millions of people are being killed, wounded, or displaced by war. Homes are being destroyed, and property and businesses worth billions of pounds are being devastated.
The strong is crushing the weak; the rich is exploiting the poor, governments are tyrannical and oppressive, and the so-called guardians of law and order are corrupt and unjust. The rich man is intoxicated by his wealth and the man in authority is consumed with arrogance. There is no loyalty in friendship, and promises are easily broken. Morals are unknown and godlessness prevails, even under the guise of religion.
Why is Man Suffering?
Man has lost faith in man; humanity is divided into countless groups, parties, tribes, each of which is trying to harm others by force, by fraud, by whatever means it has at its disposal – as if this were the correct way, indeed the only way to conduct one’s affairs.
What is the root cause of all these troubles? Beyond the human realm, we find perfect tranquility. The stars, air, water, trees and animals are at peace, obediently following the laws laid down for them. The rest of creation is running smoothly, showing no sign of indiscipline or disorder; why is human life deprived of this blessing? This is a very important, but difficult, question.
Most people find it deeply disturbing and baffling, but the answer is not so hard to find. My analysis of the situation, which may give you food for thought, is this: Man is suffering because he has adopted a way of life at variance with truth and reality. Unless he brings his life into line with truth and reality, he will never know peace.
This is not so difficult to understand. Imagine if you were travelling by train, and took the door of the carriage to be just like your own front door. If you stepped out of it, just as you would out of your front door, your delusion would not help you in the least. The carriage door would not turn into your front door, and the ground you fell onto would not turn into your garden path.
When you fell from the speeding train, your fate would be inevitable, even if you were to continue to nurse your delusion along with your broken limbs.
Similarly, if you persuade yourself that this world is without a divine master, or choose to believe in a deity other than the one God, or even declared yourself to be divine, this would not change reality. God would still be the Lord and Master of the universe, and His vast realms, of which you occupy the smallest part where you live as His subject, would still remain under His control. Only you would have to pay the consequences for the unsound way of life which you adopt because of your delusion, even if you continue to regard it as correct and proper.
It should be clear that God has not been made the Lord and Master of the universe by any external force. He is the Sovereign of the universe in His own right, and His Sovereignty does not depend upon your recognition. His Sovereignty depends upon His own strength. He has created you as well as the universe. The earth, the sun, the moon and the rest of creation, and all the forces in it, are subject to His command. All the things that help to keep you alive are under His control. Your very existence depends entirely on His will.
The Choice is Yours
These are hard facts, which you cannot change by any means. You may refuse to recognize them, you may close your eyes to them, you may explain them away in any manner you like, but they will still remain as they are. Your refusal to accept these realities will make no difference to them whatsoever, but it will have an effect on you.
If you accept these realities, and recognize your own position in the scheme of things, you will be able to order your life accordingly, and live in peace and contentment. If, however, you reject these realities and try to assume a position which you are not really entitled to, you will meet a fate not very different from that of the person who mistakes the door of a railway carriage for his own front door. You will inevitably hurt yourself, you may even lose your life, but the reality will remain unchanged.
What, then, is our proper position in the light of these realities? What is the position of the servant vis-a-vis the master? Is he not duty bound to obey the master’s commands, to carry out his wishes, and not to overstep the bounds of his position as a servant? The servant’s job is to serve. The subordinate officer’s job is to carry out the order of his superiors and not try to assume the position of a general himself.
If you own a piece of land or property, you will want to see that it is managed precisely according to your wishes – this is your right. If you lived in a country where all power is concentrated in the hands of a monarch or ruler, what would your position be in relation to his? Surely you would be expected to live peacefully as a law-abiding citizen. If you decided to assume power yourself, would you not be regarded as a rebel and a traitor?
These examples make it clear to us what our position is in the realms of the universe, where the Sovereign is Almighty God. It is He who has created us, and our only duty is to live and act in accordance with the will of our Creator. It is He who sustains and feeds us from His treasury.
Our position is that of a servant, and we have no rights beyond that. God is the supreme sovereign of the whole world, including our own selves, and we can have no other status except that of the subjects of the sovereign. The heavens and the earth are all His property, and should be administered and managed according to His will. We have no business to try and run the world according to our own wishes and desires, independent of Him; if we try to do so, we are bound to suffer grievously.
God’s sovereignty over the universe exists by virtue of His own power and authority. The heavens and the earth are all within His power. No human being can claim any other status except that of His subject. His law is the law of the universe and His command alone is worthy of obedience. None of His subjects has the right to assume for himself the position of a sovereign ruler. No individual or legislative body has the right to make laws according to their whims or desires, and call upon the subjects of God to follow that law rather than the Divine law.
No government has the right to enforce its own authority and require people to obey its own commands rather than the Divine injunctions. No individual or group has the right to recognize the rule of any of the pretenders to power in preference to the rule of the true sovereign, to reject the laws of God and accept those made by human law-makers, to reject the commands of a legitimate ruler, or to obey an illegitimate, self-appointed ruler. False claims of sovereignty and recognition of these claims all amount to acts of manifest rebellion, and guilty parties are bound to be punished sooner or later.
Each and every one of us is under God’s control, and He can call any of us back to Him whenever He wills. None has the power to escape the reach of His Law. After death, our bodies may be buried, or burnt, or otherwise reduced to “dust” and “ashes”, yet we will never escape the long arm of the Divine Law. The entire universe is under His control, and even if the particles of our bodies are scattered throughout the world, as soon as He wills it, we will be brought before Him and asked.
Courtesy www.islamicstudies.info with slight modifications though keeping the original title: The Real Cause of Man’s Distress.
Abul A`la Mawdudi (1903-1979) was one of the most eminent Islamic thinkers, reformers, and scholars of the last century. His thought has spread all over the world and greatly influenced the work of Islamic da`wah. His books and articles covered most topics that needed guidance for the revival of Islam. He also wrote many articles on the critique of the Western thought and strategy of Islamic da`wah which were published in the journal he started in 1932 called Tarjuman al-Qur’an.
By Salman Al-Oadah
“Allah” is a special word. It indicates the only entity in existence Who truly possesses the qualities of divinity and lordship.
This name belongs to Him alone. No one else shares it. It can never be used as a name for anyone else. No one else can claim it for himself.
“Allah” is the proper name of the only one who is worthy of worship, the one whom all creation praises and glorifies. Everything on land or sea – indeed everything in the seven heavens and the seven earths – glorifies Him. The day and night praise Him.
The seven heavens and the Earth, and all beings therein, extol His glory: there is not a thing but celebrates His praise; but you do not understand how they praise Him! Verily He is Oft-Forbearing, Most Forgiving! (Al-Israa’ 17: 44)
“Allah” is comprised of letters and sounds that are easy for everyone to pronounce. They are an “l” an “h” and the vowel sound “aa”. A baby would have no problem with these sounds, regardless of what his native language might be. Even a person with speech impairment could manage to say it.
What Does Allah Mean?
This wonderful name belongs to God, as do all of His other lofty names and attributes. But what, specifically, does the name “Allah” mean?
Allah is the one and only Lord, whom the hearts and souls revere and long for. All creation depends on Him at every moment. He is the Creator, the Sustainer upon which everything and everyone depends.
All creatures, without exception, sense that Allah is the one who provides for them and for their needs, and from whom all blessings emanate. They all have a sense of His greatness, generosity, and beneficence. This is why it suits the human heart to glorify Him and extol His greatness.
Among the meanings of “Allah” is The God who is reverenced and longed for by the hearts. Allah says:
O you who believe! Whoever from among you turns back from his religion, then Allah will bring a people, He shall love them and they shall love Him. (Al-Ma’idah 5: 54)
Allah loves His worshipers who love and obey Him; who adhere to His commandments and His Law. They love Him.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) taught us that the love of Allah is the highest level of faith a believer can attain. He said:
“If anyone possesses three qualities, he will experience the sweetness of faith: The first is that Allah and His Messenger are dearer to him than anything else. The second is to love another person only for Allah’s sake. The third is to hate falling into unbelief as much as one would hate being thrown into the fire.” (Al-Bukhari, Muslim)
All about Love
We see that the Prophet made the sweetness of faith depend upon three things all of which relate to love: to love Allah and to love for His sake and to hate unbelief which is none other than the rejection of Allah and His blessings.
Love is an emotion. As such, it is something that must genuinely be experienced in the heart. A believer loves the Lord and desires that the Lord returns that love. Whosoever Allah loves has no reason to fear, and the world will be an abode of contentment and virtue. Death and what comes after it will be better by far. When Allah loves a believer, He raises that person’s status in Paradise and brings that person near to Him.
Another meaning of the name “Allah” is the one who is of the utmost greatness in His names and attributes and in His grandeur. Our minds cannot grasp the extent of His greatness, nor can our imaginations. Therefore, our minds bring us to the conclusion that we must venerate this truth and admit our inability to contain the essence nature of Allah within the limits of our reason.
Allah is the First who was never preceded by non-existence.
He is the Last who will never come to an end.
He is the Manifest, and nothing is above Him.
He is the Hidden, and nothing is below Him.
There are aspects to His limitless majesty and perfection that we cannot even begin to conceive of. Our minds can apprehend something of His grandeur because Allah has blessed us with that gift. We can, therefore, draw near to Him and worship Him as best we can.
Taken with slight editorial modifications from www.en.islamtoday.net with the same title: A Few Words about Allah.
Sheikh Salman Al-Oadah is a prominent Saudi scholar, member of the International Union of Muslim Scholars and many international Fiqhi Academies.
By Truth Seeker Staff
Belief in Prophethood is decisive because the promise of Allah’s help, salvation and victory is with the Prophets
Everyone who desires the dominance of Islam and who strives for that cause should realize the importance of the Prophethood of Muhammad (may Allah exalt his mention) and the decisive role it has to play in today’s conflict of civilizations. They should address the issue by re-determining priorities and strategies. The following factors should be kept in mind while evaluating the situation:
1- The perception of eternal finality
We must understand the present social milieu in which we are striving for the practice and dominance of Islam. It is definitely different and 1400 years away from the time of the Prophet (may Allah exalt his mention) despite the fact that the efforts being made are a continuation of the same prophetic mission.
Muslims must understand that Muhammad (may Allah exalt his mention) was not appointed a prophet for any particular nation or era. Rather, he was sent to humanity as a whole, irrespective of time and place. From the 6th century to the 21st century CE and even beyond, until the Day of Judgment, Muhammad (may Allah exalt his mention) will remain the only prophet. This statement, although simple, has far-reaching connotations. It is obligatory that the message of Muhammad (may Allah exalt his mention) be continuously delivered in the manner done in his time.
2- The perception of an immortal message
We should concede that the example of Muhammad (may Allah exalt his mention) is still present amongst us. This is because the Divine Book that he (may Allah exalt his mention) brought is still intact, and the minutest details of his life are preserved in the Sunnah (Prophetic traditions), and his Deen (Divine way of life) has spread all over the world through his followers.
Consequently, it is incumbent on Muslims to continue with the mission launched by him, considering it a responsibility bestowed by Allah.
3- The true perception of Prophethood
Muslims must recognize that to combat the Jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic period of ignorance) during the era of the Prophet (may Allah exalt his mention) it was important to demand commitment towards his Prophethood. Although faith in Allah comes first and is the essence of the Islamic way of life, yet faith in the Prophet (may Allah exalt his mention) is equally important and decisive. Belief in God is the basic premise of all Prophets, may Allah exalt their mention, and cradles the purpose of Prophethood; yet, it is only by believing in a prophet that one can yield to the concept of Allah. Thus, only that belief and concept of Allah is acceptable which is based on the declaration and description provided by the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah exalt his mention).
Just as the Qur’an is believed to be the revealed Word of Allah without any reservations, similarly, the Prophethood of Muhammad (may Allah exalt his mention) is also beyond any doubt. These two facts have to be taken as granted, otherwise, there cannot be a rational and sound interpretation of the concepts of Halal and Haram (lawful and unlawful), Wajibat and Manhiyyat (obligations and prohibitions), Athab and Thawab (penalty and reward). Practically then, faith and obedience to the Prophet (may Allah exalt his mention) is equivalent to the obedience of Allah and is the only way to seek the pleasure and proximity of Allah.
4- Importance of the belief in Prophethood
Belief in the Prophethood should be given due importance and priority in all our efforts of Da`wah and Jihad (striving for the supremacy of Allah’s injunctions). Otherwise, mere belief in Allah would become meaningless, because the Jews and Christians too claimed to be believers of one God, and the Qur’an itself has praised the excellence of Ibadah (worship) and Akhlaq (moral dignity) of some of them, yet they incurred Allah’s wrath simply because they denied belief in the Prophethood.
5- Belief in Prophethood is a source of Allah’s help
Belief in Prophethood is decisive because the promise of Allah’s help, salvation and victory is with the Prophets, may Allah exalt their mention, and with those who truly believe in the Prophethood, sincerely follow prophetic teachings, become helpers in their mission and struggle to establish Allah’s Deen (code of life). The Qur’an says (what means): “And verily, Our Word has gone forth of old for our slaves, — the Messengers, that they verily would be made triumphant. And that Our hosts would be victors.” [Fatir 35: 171-173]
6- The message of love and peace
The eternal struggle of the prophetic mission against the mischief of unbelievers, which has now taken the shape of a conflict between Islam and the West, is, in fact, a struggle for winning over the hearts and minds of people. Winning over the hearts of people would result in the supremacy and dominance of Islam — the true religion of Allah. Force can conquer land, acquire money and goods, seize political power but it cannot win people’s minds and hearts. Similarly, argument can earn support but it can never secure commitment, devotion and readiness to face sacrifices in life. There is only one way to win over hearts: a firm belief in the Prophethood of Muhammad (may Allah exalt his mention) full devotion to his mission, love and reverence for him and complete obedience and commitment to follow him in all aspects of life. This is how people’s hearts have been won in the past and will be won in the future.
We should strive to prove that Islam is the true religion which presents a complete code of life; warn people about the curse of interest or usury and the dangers of un-Islamic economic systems, and highlight the beauty of the Islamic social, political, economic and family system. However, we should never forget that the purpose of all these pursuits is to create favourable conditions and a conducive environment for upholding the cause of Truth.
If people admit all Islamic values but refuse to believe in the Prophethood of Muhammad (may Allah exalt his mention) the way to achieve success in the war of civilizations will remain obstructed. There are many people who praise Islam, eulogize Islamic arts and architecture, applaud Islamic spiritualism and mysticism but, still, are not ready to follow the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah exalt his mention) as they do not believe in his Prophethood! Such people, therefore, can never be regarded as aides and supporters of the prophetic mission.
Similarly, even if we supply ample proof that Islam ensures human rights more than any other ideology; that it not only upholds women’s rights but has given them a status which was inconceivable earlier, even in the West; and that the penal code of Islam is not cruel, but sympathetic and compassionate to the people and society, it would still not enhance the prospects of winning over people’s hearts. Arguments of logic and intellect cannot serve the purpose either. What is needed is a firm and unshakable belief in the Prophethood of Muhammad (may Allah exalt his mention) and a pure flow of love for him more than anything else.
Thus, the biggest objective before us should be to give top priority to the Da`wah towards the Prophethood of Muhammad (may Allah exalt his mention). It does not mean that we start telling people that they are infidels or transgressors if they do not believe that Muhammad (may Allah exalt his mention) is the true prophet of Allah.
By this we mean:
Employing all the possible means — especially modern means of communication — to tell the world about the unparalleled beauty of the Prophet’s character, pleasing features of his personality, his mercy, compassion, love and deep affection towards Allah’s creation, which make him the best example for humankind. We should do this repeatedly, especially before those who are his staunch enemies and in their own language. It is an undeniable fact that the companions of the Prophet (may Allah exalt his mention) loved him because of his tender and loving heart and his former enemies became loyal and humble followers due to his excellent morals and behaviour.
All Muslims — especially those who are striving for the supremacy of the Prophetic mission all over the world — should adopt and follow his model of character. Books, speeches and videos are not enough to present the Prophet’s life, our very lives should reflect his exemplary values. Our homes, public places and mosques must become the sources of disseminating the luminous life and message of the Prophet (may Allah exalt his mention). Our mosques should welcome opponents in the manner that the Prophet (may Allah exalt his mention) welcomed the delegations of Najran and Thaqeef. This is possible only when our lives begin to resonate with the life of the Prophet, as the poet Iqbal has said: “Every heart is in harmony with his call and in every chest, there is a piece of his heart.”
We should adopt such a manner of presenting the life and message of the Prophet (may Allah exalt his mention) that without getting involved in lengthy debates we should be able to successfully rebut and diffuse the allegations raised against him.
The real task before us is to struggle for the supremacy of Islam and translate into action the teachings and the message brought by the Prophet (may Allah exalt his mention). Imam Muslim (may Allah have mercy upon him) has recorded a Hadeeth on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (may Allah exalt his mention) said: “I swear by Allah in whose hands lies the life of Muhammad, whoever from amongst this Ummah, be he a Jew or a Christian, hears about me but dies without having belief in what I have brought, will go to hellfire.”
According to Imam Nawawi (may Allah have mercy upon him), Ummah here means the “Ummah of Da`wah” (the people who are addressed by the Da`wah) i.e. all the people on this earth from the onset of the Prophethood of Muhammad (may Allah exalt his mention) until the Day of Resurrection. Imam Ghazali (may Allah have mercy upon him) has made a significant point: What does ‘hearing’ mean? Does it mean merely to hear about the Prophet (may Allah exalt his mention) through one’s ears? According to Imam Ghazali (may Allah have mercy upon him): “Hearing means, to hear about the Prophet (may Allah exalt his mention) his life and mission in such a way that is essential to convince one’s heart and mind.
Today a vast majority of infidels have not even heard the name of Muhammad (may Allah exalt his mention) and those who have, have heard it only cursorily. In fact, the people who have been properly conveyed the message of the Prophet (may Allah exalt his mention) are very few. Are not we responsible for the billions of people who have no knowledge and, consequently, no belief in the Prophethood of Muhammad (may Allah exalt his mention) and his being the seal of all Prophets?
The Prophet Muhammad (may Allah exalt his mention) had sent emissaries to different countries during his lifetime to proclaim the message of Islam. Today, there are emissaries in every nook and corner of the globe — over one billion Muslims — who have his message with them. Muslims who realize their responsibility should stand up with sincerity and devotion, to work towards bringing people close to the Prophet (may Allah exalt his mention) and his mission. An equal amount of time and resources must be spent in disseminating the teachings of Islam, and highlighting the personality, life, character and moral excellence of the Prophet (may Allah exalt his mention).
Those who get closer to the source of illumination will automatically find their minds and hearts opening in the warmth and light. The more the people believe in the Prophethood of Muhammad (may Allah exalt his mention) the stronger will be their devotion to his life and mission, and the greater will be the chances of the Prophetic message emerging victorious in the conflict of civilizations.
As Muslims, this is a debt that we owe to the world, and each one of us should come forward to repay his share of the debt.
Taken with slight editorial modifications from islamweb.net.
By C. Mofty
The message of the prophets is simple: People were created to be God’s servants, but to be that they need to know God.
He, the God of Islam, is a loving beloved God (Al-Wadud), a compassionate God (Ar-Rahman), a personal God Who befriends (Al-Wali), intimate relationship with whom is based on surrender, remembrance, yearning, and polishing of the heart.
God does not need our praises and worship. He is the Creator of the heavens and the earth, the Sovereign, and the Sustainer of everything in the whole universe.
Certainly, some people remembering Him on a lonely planet in an endless vast of billions of galaxies is not going to benefit Him in any way, nor will it increase His Kingdom even by an atom’s weight. Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, narrates the following on behalf of God:
“O My slaves, I have forbidden oppression for Myself and have made it forbidden amongst you, so do not oppress one another….
O My slaves, you will not harm Me so nor will you benefit Me.
O My slaves, were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you and the jinn of you to be as pious as the most pious heart of any one man of you, that would not increase My kingdom in anything.
O My slaves, were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you and the jinn of you to be as wicked as the most wicked heart of any one man of you, that would not decrease My kingdom in anything….” (Sahih Muslim, Ibn Majah & At Tirmidhi)
Don’t Be Ungrateful
God has prescribed His remembrance, known as Dhikr, and other acts of worship for our own benefit. All forms of remembrance and worship serve to remind us of God and keep us always mindful of Him. And this consciousness of God, holds us from sinning, committing injustices and oppression, and motivates us to fulfil His rights and the rights of creation. And hence by following the ways laid out for us by God, we are actually doing ourselves a favour, as it is the best possible course of action that we can take in any matter and know that you are doing the right thing leads to contentment, peace, and happiness. We remain in harmony with ourselves and all that is around us.
As mankind is prone to laziness and injustice, not having any set ways to remember or worship God, would make us heedless and sink us deeper and deeper into transgression and darkness until we would forget about God completely, and our roles and responsibilities in life.
Woe to those whose hearts are hardened against the remembrance of God! (Az-Zumar 39:22)
O you who have faith! Let not your possessions, neither your children, divert you from God’s remembrance. Whoso does that – they are the losers. (Al-Munafiqun 63:9)
Dhikr is divided into two branches: Dhikr with the tongue and Dhikr in the heart when the heart contemplates God’s beauty and majesty.
Just as forgetting God leads to the pain of being forgotten by Him, so also remembering God leads to the joy of being remembered by Him:
Remember Me, and I will remember you. (Al-Baqarah 2:152).
The result of remembering God is not only to be remembered by God in the next world, but also to achieve peace of heart in this world.
Listen, the hearts find peace only in the remembrance of God. (Ar-Ra`d 13:28)
To call upon God in times of despair, can give you comfort and solace as you have called upon the one Who is All-Powerful and is the only One who can take you out of difficulty.
Dhikr or remembrance of God is a way of linking the heart with the Divine. It provides with the spiritual practices of remembering and re-connecting with what is most meaningful in our lives, God. Muslims find consolation, comfort and strength in the frequent repetition of sacred phrases containing the Names of God and His attributes. Sought in the proper way, Dhikr is food for spiritual hunger; the pious lives with God in the present moment through remembrance (Dhikr).
Dhikr is a step in the way of love; when somebody loves someone, he likes to repeat his name and constantly remember him. Therefore, the heart in which the love of God has been implanted will become a dwelling place of constant Dhikr.
Dhikr is also recommended to the faithful as a means of obtaining a heavenly reward. It is considered worship and adds to a person’s good deeds.
The particularly attractive aspect of Dhikr is that it is permitted in any place and at any time; its practice is restricted neither to the exact hours of Prayers (the ritual prayer) nor to a specific place. God can be remembered anywhere in His world. This practice is as available to women as it is to men.
Special words of Dhikr are used for healing purposes as well. Even today the recitation of some prayers taught by Prophet Muhammad or verses from the Qur’an together with “breathing upon” the sick, is common in the Muslim world.
The Qur’an mentions the significance of Dhikr both directly and indirectly in verses scattered throughout the scripture, “the Dhikr (remembrance, mindfulness) of God is greater” or “the greatest thing.”
The most superior form of God’s remembrance is the Qur’an which calls itself Al-Dhikr, “the Reminder” (Qur’an 20:99); therefore, another name of the Qur’an is Dhikru-Allah, “the Remembrance of God.” One, it is a recognition that to recite the Qur’an is to remember God. Two, the first chapter of the Qur’an, Al-Fatihah, is the central part of Muslim daily prayers. Not only that, it is also an essence of Qur’an’s message. Three, the Qur’an comes from God (it is His Word) and provides the means and the methods of living a life that is pleasing to Him.
Dhikr is all-embracing because to remember God is to put God at the centre and everything else at the periphery. All Islamic acts of devotion and worship are performed for the sake of remembrance, to keep God at the centre of spiritual life in a way. The Qur’an calls the ritual prayer (Salah) itself “remembrance.” After the Qur’an, there is a type of Remembrance of God (Dhikr) which is sort of a voluntary extension of the ritual prayer (Salah).
Next to the Qur’an, the best Dhikr, the words God loves the most, is the profession of faith la ilaha illa Allah (there is no true deity but God), as well as words the words Subhan-Allah (How Perfect is God), Allahu-Akbar (God is the Greatest), and al-Hamdu-lillah (All praise and thanks are due to Allah)
Courtesy www.islamreligion.com with slight editorial modifications.
By Truth Seeker Staff
Islam claims to “break the code” so to speak, over 1,400 years ago. The answer, according to Muslim scholars has been in the Qur’an for over fourteen hundred years.
DA VINCI CODE BROKEN?
The Da Vinci Code controversy – It’s everywhere! Dan Brown’s book claims Jesus is not divine or God, and the gospels as we know them, have been changed, and after Jesus’ stay here on earth, men raised his status to the level of God. Could any of this be true?
Ancient secrets of the Church, hidden for centuries have actually been revealed and published in books prior to the fictional writings of Brown in the “Da Vinci Code”. Baigent and Leigh have produced other books from researcher’s point of view over the last two decades, including “Dead Sea Scrolls Deception”, “Holy Blood, Holy Grail”, and “Messianic Legacy.” These books were the talk of the religious communities when they came out in the early 90’s, and certainly, they have fueled an ongoing interest into just exactly who was this man Jesus, what was his message and what happened to him?
Islam claims to “break the code” so to speak, over 1,400 years ago. The answer, according to Muslim scholars has been in the Qur’an for over fourteen hundred years.
Some may be surprised to learn, Muslims believe in the miracle birth and other miracles associated with Jesus. They actually consider him as the “Messiah” and they even say, “peace be upon him” when mentioning his name. However, they are quick to negate any connection between God and Jesus as a partnership or God-head, and they rule out the notion of God having any son (or daughter for that matter).
Here is how Muslim scholars present their understanding and “break the code”:
How Muslim scholars “broke the code”
Creation itself tells us there is a creator and from the beginning of time – Allah, (the One God in Arabic) alone is to be worshiped. This is clear teaching throughout the Old Testament (Torah), the scriptures that Jesus himself affirmed as a revelation of God. God is one not one of three; for example: ‘He is God; there is no other besides Him’. (Deuteronomy 4:35). The same is mentioned in the book of Mark in the New Testament, chapter 12, verse 29, when Jesus, peace be upon him, had been asked about the Greatest Commandment he replied,
“To know, O Israel, the Lord your God is One Lord; and you have to love Him with all your heart and all your mind and all your strength.”
According to the oldest and most authentic copies of manuscripts and scrolls available throughout the centuries, Jesus, peace be upon him, never claimed to be God or the creator, or the One to pray to, nor did he tell his followers to revere him as God. These notions appear on the lips of others who came along decades and even centuries later.
While Jesus was on earth he did not claim to be the creator or ask us to revere him as God. His miraculous birth is a sign of his prophethood:
“Verily, the likeness of Jesus before God, is the likeness of Adam. He (God) created him from dust and said “Be!” and he was.” (Aal `Imran 3:59)
Like all the great and noble prophets of God such as Adam, Abraham, Moses, Isaac, and David, Jesus came with one message: Worship, love, obey and submit to the one true God, the creator of everything and do not worship anything besides Him.
Throughout history, people have taken to worship things or people alongside God, or just worshiping something else like power, status or money. Even the names of religions seem to have more to do with the creation and less or nothing to do with the Creator. For example, Buddhism – Buddha (the name of a man), Confucianism – Confucius (the name of a man), Hinduism – Hind (the name of an area), Judaism – Judah (the name of a tribe) and Christianity – Christ (the name of a great prophet).
Islam is different. Islam is a word derived from the verb aslama, and it carries the meaning of “surrender”, “submission”, “obedience”, “sincerity” and “peace” between one and Almighty God and not to any human or anything within creation. Anyone who practices Islam submits to and worships Allah, alone without any partners of any kind.
The Qur’an states:
“There is only One God then have reverence for Me and fear Me (and Me alone). To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and on earth, and to Him is duty due always: then will ye fear other than God?” (Al-Nahl 16:51-52)
Isn’t it time you join Jesus, the son of Mary, along with all of the other Prophets of God and practice the “Submission to the Will of God” (Islam)?
Or simply put: “Worship the Creator – and not His Creations!”
Taken with slight editorial modifications from islamcode.com.
By Sheikh Tariq b. Abd al-Rahman al-Hawwas
Jabir ibn `Abdullah Al-Ansari relates that he heard Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) say three days before his death: “None of you should ever die except while assuming the best about Allah.” (Muslim)
It is wrong for any Muslim to think ill of God. A Muslim should always assume the best about his Lord. As long as the Muslim is striving to engage in good deeds, he should expect the best outcome: that God will accept his good deeds; that God from His grace will forgive him; and that He will bless him to live out his life, until its end, upon faith. This is why the Prophet (peace be upon him) said the above-mentioned hadith.
Ibn al-Qayyim says: “There can be no doubt that assuming the best about God only comes as a result of the righteous conduct. It is the righteous person who assumes the best about his Lord since he knows that God will reward him for his good deeds and will never break His promise”.
On the other hand, the sinner who persists in wrongdoing, injustice, and disobedience is prevented by his evil deeds from assuming the best about his Lord. We can see a similar situation in how people relate to each other.
A runaway slave, for instance, is not going to assume the best of his master. Good assumptions never go hand in hand with the disturbed state of disobedience. A sinner is estranged from his Lord to the extent of his sinfulness. The person who has the best outlook on his Lord is invariably the one who is the most obedient to his Lord. Al-Hasan al-Basri said: “The believer assumes the best about his Lord so he does the best deeds. The sinner assumes the worst about his Lord, so he does evil deeds.”
The Prophet (peace be upon him) related to us that God says: “I am as My servant thinks of Me. I am with him when he remembers Me. If he mentions Me within himself, I mention him within Myself. If he mentions Me in an assembly, I mention him in a better assembly. If he comes near to Me a handspan, I come near to him the distance of a cubit. If he comes near to Me the distance of a cubit, I come near to him the distance of two outspread arms. If he comes to Me walking, I come to him running.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Think about these words. The first thing God calls us towards is to have a positive outlook about Him under all circumstances since He will be as His servant thinks of Him.
God will relate to the person the way he expects Him to. When the servant assumes the best about his Lord and pins his hopes on his Lord’s providence, his Lord will not disappoint him. God will never let his good deeds go unrewarded. When the servant beseeches God, he believes that his prayer will be answered. When he sincerely repents for a sin, he trusts that God will forgive him. When he performs a virtuous deed, he assumes that God will accept it from him and reward him for it. All of this is part of assuming the best about God. This is why the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “When you beseech Allah in supplication, be convinced that He will answer you.” (At-Tirmidhi)
Assuming the best about God is one aspect of our belief in Him, since it is based upon our belief in His mercy, power, generosity, and might. It is also a fundamental aspect of our reliance upon God, which is essential to our monotheistic belief.
God rebuked a group of people who thought ill of Him. He shows their bad expectations about Him to be one of the clearest signs of their hypocrisy. He says about the hypocrites who abandoned the Prophet Muhammad and his companions during the Battle of Uhud:
“Another party was stirred to anxiety by their own feelings, moved by wrong suspicions of Allah – suspicions due to ignorance.” (Al `Imran 3:154)
Elsewhere, God says about the hypocrites:
“…the hypocritical men and the hypocritical women, and the idolatrous men and the idolatrous women, who think an evil thought concerning Allah.” (Al-Fat-h 48:6)
Our assuming the best about God really means pinning our hopes and expectations on Him. We know that God can be severe in punishment as well as most merciful, but we must hope for His mercy and be confident that if we sincerely repent for our sins and strive to do good, we will attain God’s mercy.
We must never despair. We must never see our sins to be too great for God’s forgiveness. That despair itself is a great sin. God says, conveying to us the words of Prophet Jacob (peace be upon him):
“Never despair of Allah’s mercy. No one despairs of Allah’s mercy except the unbelieving people.” (Yusuf 12:87)
Source: Islam Today – http://en.islamtoday.net