If You Desire Kingship, We Will Offer You That! (A True Story)

If You Desire Kingship, We Will Offer You That! (A True Story)

By Truth Seeker Staff

KingshipShortly after the conversion of the two powerful heroes, Hamzah ibn `Abdel-Muttalib and `Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with them), the clouds of tyranny and oppression against Muslims in Makkah started to clear away and the Makkah polytheists realized that it was no use meting out torture to the Muslims. They consequently began to direct their campaign to a different course.

The authentic records of the biography of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) show that it had occurred to the Makkan leaders to appeal to Muhammad’s (peace and blessings be upon him) ambition. They, therefore, time and again plied him with temptation.

One day some of the important men of Makkah gathered in the enclosure of Al-Ka`bah, and `Utbah ibn Rabi`ah, a chief among them, offered to approach the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and contract a bargain with him whereby they give him whatever worldly wealth he asks for, on condition that he keep silent and no longer proclaim his new faith. The people of Quraish endorsed his proposal and requested him to undertake that task.

So, `Utbah approached Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) with the following offer:

If you are doing all this with a view to getting wealth, we will join together to give you greater riches than any Quraishites has possessed.

If ambition moves you, we will make you our chief; we will never decide anything without referring to you.

If you desire kingship, we will readily offer you that.

If you are under the power of an evil spirit which seems to haunt and dominate you so that you cannot shake off its yoke, then we shall call in skillful physicians to cure you.

“Have you said all?” asked the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him); and then hearing that all had been said, he spoke forth, reciting verses from Surat Fussilat:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

{Ha Meem. [This is] a revelation from Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

A Book whereof the verses are explained in detail; — a Qur’an in Arabic for people who know.

Giving glad tidings and warning; but most of them turn away, so they listen not.

And they say: “Our hearts are under coverings (screened) from that to which you invite us …”} (Fussilat 41: 1-5)

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) went on reciting the Chapter while `Utbah sitting and listening attentively with his hand behind his back to support him. When the Messenger reached the verse that required prostration, he immediately prostrated himself. After that, he turned to `Utbah saying:

“Abu Al-Waleed! You have heard my reply, you are now free to do whatever you please.“

`Utbah then retired to his company to give them his feedback. When his compatriots saw him, they swore that he had returned to them with a countenance unlike the one he had before meeting the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).

He immediately communicated to them the details of the talk he gave and the reply he received, and commented saying:

I have never heard words similar to those ones he recited. They definitely relate neither to poetry nor to witchcraft nor do they derive from soothsaying. O people of Quraish! I request you to heed my advice: Let the man alone and grant him full freedom to pursue his goals. I swear that his words will have formidable consequences. Should the other Arabs rid you of him, they will then spare you the trouble. On the other hand, if he accedes to power over the Arabs, then you will share him his kingship and might.”

These words, of course, fell on deaf ears and did not appeal to the polytheists, who jeered at `Utbah and claimed that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) had bewitched him. (Ibn Hisham 1/293,294)

In another version of the same event, it is related that `Utbah went on attentively listening to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) until the latter began to recite Allah’s words:

{But if they turn away, then say (O Muhammad): “I have warned you of a thunderbolt like the thunderbolt that (overtook the peoples of) `Aad and Thamud} (Fussilat 41:13)

Panicked and stunned, ‘Utbah stood up putting his hand on the Prophet’s mouth and begged him in the Name of Allah and the kinship ties to stop lest the calamity should befall the people of Quraish. He then hurriedly returned to his compatriots and informed them of what he had heard. (Tafseer Ibn Kathir 6/159- 161)

———-

Taken with slight editorial modifications from Ar-Rahiq Al-Makhtum (The Sealed Nectar) by Sheikh Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarkpuri who was born and received his education in India. He taught jurisprudence and Hadith in the Salafi University and worked as the editor in chief of its magazine Muhaddith. He worked in the Sunnah Center affiliated with the Islamic University in Madinah, Saudi Arabia. He authored a number of books, including Ar-Rahiq Al-Makhtum (The Sealed Nectar) which was honored by the World Muslim League with the first prize in a contest about the Prophet’s biography.

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Should We Live and Die with Dignity; Why?

Should We Live and Die with Dignity; Why?

By Spahic Omer

DignitySo difficult and complex is the predicament of Muslims nowadays that it, perhaps, has no equal in history. The problems and challenges are ubiquitous and global in character, encompassing all aspects of life.

However, the most critical and so, most systematically targeted are such aspects as are related to spirituality, morality, and education.  The much-talked-about notions of Muslim unity, culture, economy, and politics are but corollaries of the former.

There are many entities in the world which seem to be happy only when Muslims are kept ignorant, divided, disoriented, subdued and when they shed each other’s blood.

To them, it is almost an international crime if a Muslim nation becomes genuinely independent, visionary and start doing well (the recent dramatic and hardly fathomable economic troubles in Turkey are the case in point).

To them, furthermore, it is a convention that Muslims should be perennially impoverished and needy, depending on their support and wherewithal.

Muslims and their countries are to be turned into the dumping grounds for such people’s cultural, intellectual, military and industrial leftovers, and in the worst-case scenario, outright waste.

Muslims are to dominate the news for all the wrong reasons. The dark side of history is to be inscribed predominantly by Muslims and their societies.

Hence, the only way forward for Muslims would be in following especially the West and its cultural and civilizational model. It is there that the end-point of humanity’s sociocultural evolution and the final form of human government will come to pass. As a political and philosophical concept, the “end of history” has thus been increasingly articulated.

Unfortunately, the creators and advocates of this agenda come as much from within Muslim societies, in the form of a myriad of hypocritical and corrupt governments, institutions and NGOs, as from without, in the form of certain hostile and internationally influential governments, institutions, and media together with business establishments.

Being what they are, they all thrive in the environments of fear, uncertainty, mistrust, and manipulation. They and their existential identities are the antitheses of the true meaning of justice, freedom and the wellbeing of humankind, even though they exist ostensibly for the sake of upholding those beliefs.

The truth is the least wanted thing.

The condition is so dire that one can easily sink into despair, knowing that very little can be done. The unholy schemes are so sophisticated and multi-tiered that they cannot be matched, even partially, by any sincere efforts and strategies of any sincere individuals, groups and governments.

No sooner is a genuine threat detected, than it is emphatically and in unison pounced upon till it is neutralized (again the case of Turkey comes to mind and its carefully crafted and orchestrated “impending destiny”).

Of course, the “pacified”, “docile”, “reformed”, “modernized” and “moderate” Muslims are left alone. Moreover, they are encouraged to carry on and try to win over as many other Muslims as possible.

Numerous local and international institutions and bodies are created, and endless funds and awards provided in abundance for the purpose.

In consequence, being constantly praised and presented with accolades and awards by certain Western entities is anything but a good thing. It may yet signify a certificate of betrayal and “treason”.

Whereas being constantly criticized, condemned and ostracized by the same entities may not necessarily be a bad thing. It may yet denote a certificate of a true form of struggle and sacrifice.

The whole of Islam’s and Muslims’ being is targeted in the process. However, one gets a feeling that the Islamic comprehensive concept of education (epistemology), and everything it entails at all levels of its conceptual and functional presence, is aimed at most.

All that is one of the chief reasons why — for example — since the rapid decline of Islamic culture and civilization, and the rise of Western imperialism and colonization, the subjects of pseudo or theosophical Sufism, metaphysical philosophy steeped in some questionable sources and traditions, and excessive scholastic theology (`ilm al-kalam), became most important and so, most popular among many Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

However, the same was not the case with those authentic sciences and themes of the Qur’an, Sunnah, and Shari’ah, which embrace plentiful implications for living and applying Islam as a total code of human existence.

While the former, when dealt with in accordance with a prescribed set of methods and objectives, renders Muslim thought and action impractical, desolate and insipid, the latter does exactly the opposite, due to which it is often regarded as inappropriate, yet risky.

The former contributes to subjugating and controlling Muslims and their thought, while the latter contributes to withstanding and defying the same.

Thus, for instance, dwelling on such legitimate and, at the same time, pivotal subjects as the creation of Islamic state, application of Shari’ah including its Penal Law, jihad, da`wah, Islamisation, Muslim Ummah, and universal brotherhood, is habitually deemed anomalous and aberrant.

As a result, the curricula in the Muslim world have been designed and re-designed accordingly for centuries. Their goal was the serial production of generations of “compliant”, “submissive”, “one-dimensional” and “myopic” Muslims as the obedient servants of the imposed visions and regimes.

However, the situation is not all doom and gloom. There is still much that can be done by everyone.

Optimism, yet excitement and contentment, coupled with creative thinking and constructive action, should be the raison d’etre. Being overly pessimistic and despondent is certainly not the way. It only plays into the hands of the perpetrators and sustainers of the status quo.

The following issues need to be considered.

First

All that is happening is only because Almighty Allah so wills. It is all part of His divine plan for His creation in general, and Muslims in particular.

No earthly, or otherworldly, power, or scheme, can thwart in the slightest His plans. He is the Creator, Lord, and Owner of creation. He does what He wants.

He is also just and does things only for just purposes and ends.

Nobody does anything, nor does any event take place on earth, without His infinite knowledge and permission. It is all part of divine providence.

Second

In the end, the truth and the true servants of Allah will be victorious. That is an ontological law and principle as powerful and constant as everyday physical laws.

When it comes to dealing with others, there should be no room whatsoever within Muslims for the inferiority complex.

Third

The proponents and followers of the truth need to be patient and do only that which is in their capacity, for Allah does not burden anyone beyond what he can bear.

They do not have to change anything. It is Allah who changes things, events and people’s overall conditions. Their job is only to convey the truth and live it honorably as much and as effectively as possible.

Why the things are the way they are, and why they are prolonged as such, Allah knows best. There must be in whatever befalls Muslims a profound wisdom and hidden blessings. Things are not to be judged superficially and in haste.

Allah loves His servants and does only that which is eventually best for them in both worlds.

Muslims ought to hold their heads high, and practice, as well as promote, their belief and value systems peacefully, confidently and wisely.

Everyone also needs to enjoy an appropriate level of activism and involvement. Neither of passiveness, escapism, indifference and deadening formalism is the answer. In their own ways, they are all suicidal.

The intentions, processes, and strategies, rather than results, should be the worry. The results are within the purview of Allah’s sovereignty alone.

Fourth

The best way to convey the truth and invite people to it is to be its living example. That is so because the best antidote for falsehood and sin is the personification of the truth and goodness.

The two cannot coexist. The former is always bound to be extirpated by the latter.

The mere existence of the latter spells adversity for the former. And the stronger and more conspicuous the truth and goodness, the weaker and more indistinguishable falsehood and sin become.

Nonetheless, keeping the truth in the realms of words and abstract ideas is insufficient.

Fifth

A person in the Hereafter will be held accountable only for what he did and tried to do, rather than for the general conditions of the world and people.

Even the holy prophets will not be held answerable for that. Everyone is responsible for his own choices and spiritual destiny.

It is a heavenly injunction that a person should worry most and take care of his very self and his family members first. As for the rest, the matter is proportional to a person’s abilities and the scope of his relationships and interactions.

But one thing is certain.

Everyone must be conscious and knowledgeable enough so that evil and falsehood and their agents are identifiable, loathed and worked against as much as feasible.

The world consists of individuals. It is affected and reformed to the same extent as individuals, the basic and most fundamental constituents of the world, are influenced and reformed.

Almighty Allah reveals: “Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves” (Al-Ra`d, 11).

And, “That is because Allah would not change a favor which He had bestowed upon a people until they change what is within themselves. And indeed, Allah is Hearing and Knowing” (Al-Anfal, 53).

Sixth

This world is all about trials, challenges, and obstacles. It was never meant to be an end in itself and to be enjoyed for its own sake.

Perceiving the world in such a manner is a serious mistake and runs against the core of the Islamic monotheistic worldview.

This world is a place where Jannah (Paradise) in the Hereafter is to be procured. Expecting the world to become a jannah is a grave misguidance. The world is only the first part of the journey.

The more difficult the trials and challenges, the more blessings and rewards await the faithful. All types of problems are blessings in disguise.

Victory is a test, and so is defeat. A person should pass both of them. What matters most is what they do to a person and how he reacts to them. Neither is intrinsically good or bad nor preferred or abhorred.

Both possess unique sets of potentials that should be optimized and challenges that should be overcome.

Islam propagates pragmatism, realism, and commitment, and shuns utopianism, naivety, and fatalism. It propagates quality and substance, rather than quantity and pharisaism.

Seventh

As Allah’s vicegerent on earth, man has been created as an honorable being. His existence is an embodiment of purpose, meaning, and beauty.

Thus, the gist of his vicegerency mission is to live and die with dignity, regardless of the terrestrial consequences and conditions. With dignity, he will then be resurrected on the Day of Judgment and will face his Creator.

Losing, or compromising, dignity at any point in his life journey is the biggest existential crime a person can commit.

Dying with dignity is better than living without it. A life without dignity is a truly meaningless, wretched and inhuman experience.

To Muslims, therefore, life is not to be perceived exclusively in terms of winning or losing, but in terms of espousing the spiritual purpose and identity, and maintaining the human honor and dignity notwithstanding the circumstances. In each situation, however, different systems and modi operandi are to be evolved and applied.

And lastly, we must distinguish between Islam and Muslims. It is Muslims who will always be tested and will go through the ups and downs of life, influencing them and being influenced by them. Islam is and will perennially be fine. Its purity, holiness, and flawlessness are beyond the reach of human deficiencies and collisions.

Almighty Allah declares: “They want to extinguish the light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah will perfect His light, although the disbelievers dislike it. It is He who sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth to manifest it over all religion, although those who associate others with Allah dislike it” (Al-Saff, 8-9).

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Taken with slight editorial modifications from islamicity.org.

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Infection Control in Islam

Infection Control in Islam

By Aisha Stacey

infection control

Islam is a holistic belief system and it takes into account the physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of individuals and societies.

In recent years, health professionals around the world have become increasingly concerned with the spread of infectious diseases. Outbreaks of swine flu, avian (bird) flu and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) have meant that infectious diseases have taken on a global context and are now on the agenda of world leaders and health policymakers alike. In developed and developing countries, health officials are focusing on infectious disease research and linking it to policymaking and infrastructure.

The scope of infectious diseases is progressively more challenged by globalization. Easy and frequent air travel allows diseases to spread rapidly between communities and countries. Infectious disease control will continue to be confronted by 21st-century issues including global warming, conflict, famine, overpopulation, deforestation, and bioterrorism.

Due to ongoing media attention, most of us are aware of the dangers associated with swine flu and bird flu and in 2003 -2004 the world held its collective breath when 8098 people became sick with SARS before the global outbreak was contained.[1] These three diseases have led to renewed interest in infectious diseases by the public; however, Gideon Informatics[2], the world’s leading global infectious disease database, has tracked and documented more than 20 major infectious diseases since 1972.

Some basic measures are appropriate when trying to control the spread of any or all infectious diseases. These include meticulous hand washing, covering the mouth when sneezing or coughing, proper disposal of tissues, staying at home and away from public places, and in extreme cases such as SARS, quarantine. In the series of articles entitled Health in Islam, we explained in some detail that Islam is a religion concerned with creating a community of healthy believers.

Islam is a holistic belief system and it takes into account the physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of individuals and societies. Although care of the individual is important, safeguarding communities, including its weakest members, is of paramount importance. More than 1400 years ago, Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, was teaching his followers hygiene practices that are still applicable in the 21st century.

From the traditions of Prophet Muhammad, we find evidence that clearly indicates Islam’s stance on coughing and sneezing openly. Prophet Muhammad instructed the believers to cover their faces when sneezing. [3] The most obvious effect of sneezing and coughing without covering the mouth is the spread of airborne bacteria and viruses, in addition, droplets invisible to the naked eye may fall onto surfaces or other people.

 

According to the Centre for Disease Control in the USA, the virus that causes SARS is thought to be transmitted most readily by respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. What is known as droplet spread can happen when droplets from the cough or sneeze of an infected person are propelled a short distance (up to 3 feet) through the air and deposited on the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose, or eyes of persons who are nearby. The virus also can spread when a person touches a surface or object contaminated with infectious droplets and then touches his or her mouth, nose, or eye. The SARS virus might spread more broadly through the air (airborne spread).

Islam is referred to as the religion of cleanliness. “Truly, God loves those who turn unto Him in repentance and loves those who purify themselves.” (Al-Baqarah 2:222) In the traditions of Prophet Muhammad cleanliness is mentioned as half of faith, therefore, it is important to keep the body fresh and clean and Islam insists on several practices to facilitate this. The private parts are washed after using the toilet and Muslims must pay particular attention to being clean before praying. They wash their hands, faces, (including rinsing the mouth and nose) arms and feet, a minimum of five times per day. Prophet Muhammad insisted that the believers wash their hands, before praying, before and after eating [4] and upon waking up in the morning.[5]

When trying to stop the spread of any type of influenza, including swine flu and bird flu, the first line of defense is frequent hand washing. Both the World Health Organization and CDC recommend the following precautions. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and dispose of the tissue in the trash after use. Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth, germs spread that way. Stay home if you get sick. CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

Infection control in Islam includes isolation and quarantine. Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, instituted strategies that are today implemented by public health authorities. He commanded his followers not to travel to places known to be afflicted with illness and he advised those in the contaminated areas or communities not to leave and spread the disease further afield. He said, “If you hear that there is a plague in a land, do not enter it; and if it (plague) visits a land while you are therein, do not go out of it”. [6] He also counseled ill people not to visit healthy people. [7]

During the worldwide outbreak of SARS, quarantine officials arranged for appropriate medical assistance, which sometimes included medical isolation and restricted travel movements. The CDC says isolation is necessary not only for the patient’s comfort but also to protect members of the public. Many levels of government around the world are legally able to compel sick, infectious people to remain in quarantine or in isolation in order to stop the spread of disease.

The teaching and principles of Islam are designed to benefit all of humankind. Rules and recommendations for personal hygiene and cleanliness promote the well-being of individuals and communities. Infection control is inherent in Islamic hygiene behavior. Washing the hands, covering the mouth when sneezing or coughing, voluntary isolation, when one is feeling unwell, and restricted travel is an effective and comprehensive public health strategy. Measures taken in the 21st century to prevent the spread of infections and viruses conform almost exactly to the hygiene and infection control practices taught by Prophet Muhammad.

 

 

Footnotes:

[1] (http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/sars/basics.htm)

[2] (http://www.gideononline.com/index.htm)

[3] Mustadrak Haakim

[4] Abu Dawood

[5] Saheeh Al-Bukhari

[6] Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim

[7] Saheeh Muslim

 

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Taken with slight editorial modifications from IslamReligion.com.

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Significance of Knowing the Narrators of Prophetic Hadith

By Truth Seeker Staff

Prophetic Hadith

The methodology of the expert scholars of Hadith in assessing narrations and sorting out the genuine from the mistaken, fabricated etc., forms the subject-matter of a wealth of material left to us by the scholars of Hadith

The narrators of Hadith are the most honourable and respectable Muslims, as they are keepers and preservers of the Prophetic Sunnah. Most of them are the Companions of the Prophet (may Allah exalt his mention) who witnessed the acts and learnt the sayings of the Prophet (may Allah exalt his mention). Others are the Successors of the Companions. Who were blessed by Allah and they are highly respected by all Muslims. They are the shinning stars of Islam.

Their hearts were free from worldly desires. Reading their biographies will increase love and devotion towards them and develop more interest to be faithful and obedient in the heart of the Muslim who reads their biography.

Allah Almighty Says (what means): “Verily, We have sent down the Reminder, and surely, We will guard it (from corruption).” [Al-Hijr 15:9] The above promise made by Allah is obviously fulfilled in the undisputed purity of the Qur’anic text throughout the fourteen centuries since its revelation.

However, what is often forgotten by many Muslims is that the above divine promise also includes, by necessity, the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah exalt his mention) for it is the practical example of the implementation of the Qur’anic guidance, the Wisdom taught to the Prophet (may Allah exalt his mention) along with the Scripture, and neither the Qur’an nor the Sunnah can be understood correctly without recourse to the other.

Allah preserved the Sunnah by enabling the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, and their followers, may Allah have mercy on them, to memorize, write down and pass on the statements of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah exalt his mention) and the descriptions of his way, as well as to continue the blessings of practicing the Sunnah. Later, as the purity of the knowledge of the Sunnah became threatened, Allah caused the Muslim nation to produce outstanding individuals of incredible memory-skills and analytical expertise, who journeyed tirelessly to collect hundreds of thousands of narrations and distinguish the true words of precious wisdom of their Messenger (may Allah exalt his mention) from those corrupted by weak memories, from forgeries by unscrupulous liars, and from the statements of the enormous number of scholars, the Companions and those who followed their way, who had taught in various centers of learning and helped to transmit the legacy of Muhammad (may Allah exalt his mention) – all of this achieved through precise attention to the words narrated and detailed familiarity with the biographies of the thousands of reporters of Hadith. Action being the best way to preserve teachings, the scholars of Islam also revived the practice of the blessed authentic Sunnah.

Unfortunately, however, statements will continue to be attributed to the Prophet (may Allah exalt his mention) although the person quoting them may have no idea what the people of knowledge in the field of Hadith science have ruled regarding those Hadiths, thus ironically being in danger of contravening the Prophet’s (may Allah exalt his mention) widely-narrated stern warnings about attributing incorrect/unsound statements to him.

The methodology of the expert scholars of Hadith in assessing narrations and sorting out the genuine from the mistaken, fabricated etc., forms the subject-matter of a wealth of material left to us by the scholars of Hadith (Traditionists).

A Prophetic Hadith is composed of two parts: the Matn (text) and the Isnaad (chain of reporters). A text may seem to be logical and reasonable but it needs an authentic Isnaad with reliable reporters to be acceptable. `Abdullah Ibn Al-Mubarak, may Allah have mercy upon him (d. 181 AH), one of the illustrious teachers of Imam Al-Bukhari, may Allah have mercy upon him, said: “The Isnaad is part of the religion, had it not been for the Isnaad, then people would have claimed whatever they wished.”

Among the sciences of Hadith is the study of the Chain of Reporters (the Isnaad). Many Muslim scholars have specialized in this field. It includes identifying the name of each and every narrator (reporter), his character (his truthfulness, piety, public behavior), his ability and reputation as a memorizer and the types of narrations he is known to report, whether authentic, weak, fabricated, etc. In addition, each narrator should be identified by a rating given by other narrators who knew him. So all of these and many other details must be considered to know the degree to which a Hadith may be used as a basis for Islamic belief or practice (Shari`ah), or merely as a point of interest (not to be attributed to the sayings, etc. of the Prophet (may Allah exalt his mention)).

After the Book of Allah (The Qur’an), the books of Hadith collection that were collected by Imams Al-Bukhari and Muslim, may Allah have mercy upon them, are considered by the Muslim scholars to be the most authentic books of Hadith. However, there are other famous scholars in the field who compiled books of Hadith such as; Abu Dawoud (d.275), At-Tirmidhi (d. 279), An-Nasa’i (d. 303) and others, may Allah have mercy upon them.

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Taken with slight editorial modifications from islamweb.net

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Give Advice with Sincerity and Kindness

Give Advice with Sincerity and Kindness

By Truth Seeker Staff

advice

The Muslim propagator or missionary does not call to gain a personal benefit for himself, his people, his tribe or group. Otherwise he will have no reward.

The one who invites others to Allah is from the closest people to Allah our Lord. In addition, Muslims collectively agree on the importance of propagating Islam and inviting people to Allah, and many talk about it being mandatory upon Muslims, and we agree with them, that it is an obligation, to enjoy that which is good and forbid that which is evil and to spread chastity and fight immorality and educate people and remind them and advise them.

Therefore, there is no doubt that one who invites to Allah is a chosen one, and form the best of his creatures. He loved Allah, responded to Him and invited to Him so in return Allah loved him. That is why Allah Says in a short statement and made it very clear (what means): “And who is better in speech then he who invites to Allah, meaning, Islamic monotheism and does righteous deeds and says; `I am one of the Muslims`” [Fussilat 41:33].

Al-Hasan Al-Basri, may Allah have mercy upon him, said after he has recited the abovementioned verse: “This is the beloved one to Allah, this is the Waly of Allah, meaning supported and loved by Allah. This is the chosen one by Allah, this is the best of preachers to Allah this is the dearest from the dwellers of earth to Allah. He responded to Allah and called people to Allah and acted righteously while responding and calling and said “I am from the Muslims.””

To attain the level of this rank, it is necessary for the Muslim missionary or propagator who is seeking the reward from Allah to be mindful of the following issues in order for the mission to be fruitful:

1) Being sincere in the objective and intention: Sincerity is the foremost of all deeds and certainly the most important of them all; it is the foundation for all other deeds; it is the essence of Islam and the one of the principal matters that the prophets called their people to. Allah Says (what means): “And they [i.e. the People of the Scripture] were not commanded except to worship Allah, [being] sincere to Him in religion, inclining to truth, and to establish prayer and to give Zakah. And that is the correct religion.” [Al-Baiyynah 98:5]

Sincerity is the essence of worship; Imam Ibn Hazm may Allah have mercy upon him said: “The relationship between sincerity and deeds is like that between the soul and the body.”

Sincerity is the basis upon which deeds are either accepted or rejected, and thus it is the cause of one’s ultimate success or failure. Sincerity is the way leading to Hell for those who do not fulfil it and the path to Paradise for those who can attain it.

Those who fulfil Islamic monotheism are also referred to as the sincere, and its Islamic definition is as Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim, may Allah have mercy upon him, said: “…To have only (the pleasure of) Allah in one’s intention whilst performing acts of obedience.”

The Prophet (may Allah exalt his mention) said: “Deeds are but with intentions.” This is one of the most important prophetic narrations from amongst all that the Prophet (may Allah exalt his mention) taught us.

On the other hand, those who perform deeds in order to be seen by others are dispraised by Allah and are promised punishment, as Allah Says (what means): “Whoever desires the life of this world and its adornments – We fully repay them for their deeds therein, and they therein will not be deprived. Those are the ones for whom there is not in the Hereafter but the Fire.” [Hud 11:15-16]

Therefore, the Muslim propagator or missionary does not call to gain a personal benefit for himself, his people, his tribe or group. Otherwise he will have no reward.

2) Being kind whilst calling people: Using the proper means leading to the achievement of the objective is achieved by one following the way of the Prophet (may Allah exalt his mention). Allah addresses the Prophet (may Allah exalt his mention) Saying (what means): “Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and fair preaching and argue with them in a way that is better”. [Al-Nahl 16:125]. Some of the people who are invited to the way of Allah are good in nature, if they recognize the truth they stick to it. They are thirsty and eager, and as soon as one shows them the truth, they hasten to it. Such a person is to be invited with wisdom.

Regarding the method of calling people, Allah Says in the above verse (which means): “Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best…” [Al-Nahl 16:125] Thus, one should not be aggressive and harsh in the way he calls people to Islam; rather he should use words that would soften their hearts, so that they would yield to his instructions and pay heed to his words. Allah commands us to be this way, even with the disbelievers, when He says (what means): “And do not argue with the People of the Scripture except in a way that is best, except for those who commit injustice among them…” [Al-`Ankabut 29: 46]

In our era, such wisdom, soft words and kindness when calling to the path of Allah are especially important. This is of course required in all situations, but in a period in which ignorance and submitting to desires has overwhelmed the masses, it becomes all the more essential. Once, a scholar entered into the presence of an ‘Abbasi caliph and said: “I am going to admonish you in a harsh manner, so listen.” Upon hearing this, the caliph said: “O brother! Be gentle, for I am not worse than Pharaoh, and you are not better than Musa whom Allah addressed along with his brother, Harun, Saying (what means): “And speak to him [i.e., Pharaoh] with gentle speech that perhaps he may be reminded or fear [Allah].” [Ta-Ha 20: 44]

Furthermore, the Prophet (may Allah exalt his mention) said: “He who is deprived of gentleness and forbearance is deprived from a great deal of goodness.” `A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, reported that the Prophet (may Allah exalt his mention) said: “Whenever forbearance is added to something, it adorns it; and whenever it is withdrawn from something, it leaves it defective” [Muslim].

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Taken with slight editorial modifications from islamweb.net

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Islam: A Total Way of Life

Islam: A Total Way of Life

By Truth Seeker Staff

islam

Just as He is the Lord of the physical universe, to the true Muslim believers, God is the Lawgiver for every area of human life.

In understanding the concept of government in Islam, one needs to first understand the nature of the religion. This article explains how the fundamental beliefs of Islam play a pivotal role in the system of governance.

The separation of ‘church and state.’

The West makes a natural mistake in their understanding of Islamic tradition, assuming that religion means the same for Muslims as it has meant for most other religious adherents ever since the industrial revolution, and for some societies, even before that; that is: a section of life reserved for certain matters, and separate from other sections of life. This is not the Islamic worldview. It has never been in the past, and modern attempts of making it so are seen as an aberration.

Islam: A Total Way of Life

Islam is a “total way of life.” It has provided guidance in every sphere of life, from individual cleanliness, rules of trade, to the structure and politics of the society. Islam can never be separated from social, political, or economic life since religion provides moral guidance for every action that a person takes. The primary act of faith is to strive to implement God’s will in both private and public life. Muslims see that they, themselves, as well as the world around them, must be in total submission to God and his Will. Moreover, they know that this concept of His rule must be established on earth in order to create a just society. Like Jews and Christians before them, Muslims have been called into a covenant relationship with God, making them a community of believers who must serve as an example to other nations by creating a moral social order. God tells the Muslim global nation:

“You are the best community raised for mankind, enjoining the right and forbidding the wrong…” (Aal `Imran 3:110)

Throughout history, being a Muslim has meant not only belonging to a religious community of fellow believers but also living under the Islamic Law. Islamic Law is believed to be an extension of God’s absolute sovereignty.

God is the Only Sovereign

God is the absolute sovereign in Islam and is, therefore, the only Lord of heaven and earth. Just as He is the Lord of the physical universe, to the true Muslim believers, God is the Lawgiver for every area of human life. Just as He is the Master of the physical world, God is the Ruler of the affairs of men in Islamic doctrine. Thus God is the supreme Lawgiver[1], the Absolute Judge, and the Legislator Who distinguishes right from wrong. Just like the physical world inevitably submits to its Lord by following the ‘natural’ laws of the universe, human beings must submit to the moral and religious teaching of their Lord, the One Who sets right apart from wrong for them. In other words, God alone has the authority to make laws, determine acts of worship, decide morals, and set standards of human interaction and behavior. This is because “His is the Creation and Command.” (Al-A`raf 7:54)

The Separation of Institutional Religion & the State

As we have mentioned, in Islam God is acknowledged as the sole sovereign of human affairs, so there has never been a distinction between religious and state authority. In Christendom, the distinction between the two authorities is said to be based upon records in the New Testament of Jesus, asking his followers to render unto Caesar what was his and unto God what was His. Therefore throughout Christian history until the present times, there have always been two authorities: ‘God and Caesar’, or ‘the church and state.’ Each had its own laws and jurisdictions, each its own structure and hierarchy. In the pre-westernized Islamic world, there were never two powers, and the question of separation never arose. The distinction so deeply rooted in Christendom between church and state has never existed in Islam.

The Vision of an Islamic State

The vision of an Islamic state and the purpose of its political authority is to implement the divine law. Thus, the ideal Islamic state is a community governed by the Law revealed by God. This does not entail that such a state is necessarily a theocracy under the direct rule of the learned men of religion, nor is it an autocracy that vests absolute power in the ruler. The function of the Islamic state is to provide security and order so that Muslims can carry out both their religious and worldly duties. The Caliph[2] is the guardian of faith and the community. His role is not so much checked by the ulama (religious scholars), but enhanced by them because they provide him religious and legal counsel. He also appoints judges who resolve disputes in accordance with Islamic Law. There is a certain level of flexibility in regards to the system of governance and its establishment in Islam, however, religion must be implemented fully into state and society.

 

FOOTNOTES:

[1] God’s existence proven by the existence of a supreme Lawgiver is called the ‘ethical’ argument by Western theologians.

[2] The word Caliph is the English term for Khaleefah or successor, for the Caliph succeeds Prophet Muhammad as political leader of the Muslims and implementation of Divine Law in society.

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Taken with slight editorial modifications from islamreligion.com.

 

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