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 Islaam: Its Foundations And Concepts -3-

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PostSubject: Islaam: Its Foundations And Concepts -3-   Sat Jul 02, 2011 12:09 pm

GENERAL CRITERIA OF THE TRUE RELIGION
Every adherent of a creed believes that his creed is the true one, and all followers of a religion believe that their religion is the ideal one and the most upright path. When you ask the followers of adulterated religions or followers of man-made creeds about the proof for their belief, they argue that they found their fathers on a faith and are just following their paths. They then relate narrations and stories whose chains of transmitters are not sound and whose texts are not free from faults and defects. They only depend on inherited books whose authors, recorders and even their original languages and their sources are unknown. They are only mixed-up stories concocted together, magnified and inherited generation after generation without any scholastic verification of their chains of transmitters and precise checking of their texts.
These unknown books, narrations and blind imitations cannot be taken as evidences in matters of religions and beliefs. Or is it possible that all these adulterated religions and man-made creeds are true or false?
It is impossible that all these religions are true, for truth is only one and cannot be numerous. It is also impossible that all these adulterated religions and man-made beliefs are all from Allaah and therefore true. Then, since there are numerous religions and the true is only one, which of them is then the true religion? There should, therefore, be criteria for distinguishing the true religion from the false. If we find that these criteria fit a religion, we know that it is the true religion; and when all or one of these criteria is lacking in any religion, we know that it is a false religion.
The criteria by which we distinguish the true religion from the false ones are:
One: That the religion must be from Allaah, revealed through an angel to one of His Messengers in order to convey it to mankind. For the true religion is Allaah’s, and it is He Who will recompense His slaves and take them to reckoning on the Day of Resurrection concerning the religion that He revealed to them. He says,
“Verily, We have sent the revelation to you (O Muhammad) as We sent the revelation to Nooh (Noah) and the Prophets after him; We also sent the revelation to Ibraheem (Abraham), Ismaa’eel (Ishmael), Is’haaq (Issac), Ya‘qoob (Jacob) and Al-Asbaat (the offspring of the twelve sons of Ya‘qoob), ‘Eesaa (Jesus), Ayoob (Job), Yoonus (Jonah), Haroon (Aaron) and Sulaiman (Solomon); and to Dawood (David) We gave the Psalms.”
He, may He be glorified- also says,
“And We did not send any Messenger before you (O Muhammad) but We revealed to him (saying): none has the right to be worshipped but Me. So worship Me.”
Based on the above verses and criteria, any religion that is brought by any man and attributed to himself and not to Allaah is definitely a false religion.
Two: That the religion should call to the worship of Allaah alone; should prohibit Shirk (polytheism of any form) and all that can lead to it. This is because, the call to the oneness of Allaah is the primary mission of all Prophets and Messengers. Every Prophet told his people:
“Worship Allaah! You have no other god but Him.”
Three: It should be in agreement with the principles unto which all the Messengers call their people which are to worship Allaah alone and to avoid polytheism, unruliness to parents, killing of a person unjustly and all other immoral things, be they hidden or apparent. Allaah says,
“And We did not send any Messenger before you (O Muhammad) but We revealed to Him (saying): None has the right to be worshipped but I, so worship Me.”
He also says,
“Say (O Muhammad): Come I will recite what your Lord has prohibited you from: Join not anything in worship with Him; Be good and dutiful to your parents; kill not your children because of poverty – We provide sustenance for you and for them; come not near to Al-Fawaahish (Shameful sins, illegal sexual intercourse) whether committed openly or secretly; and kill not anyone whom Allaah has forbidden, except for a just cause (according to Islaamic Law). This He has commanded you that you may understand.”
He also says,
“And ask (O Muhammad) those of Our Messengers whom We sent before you: ‘Did We ever appoint gods to be worshipped besides the Most-Gracious (Allaah).’ ”
Four: It should not be self-contradicting by commanding a matter and contradicting it by another. It should also not forbid something and then allow what is similar to it without any reason or prohibit something for some group and permit it for others. Allaah says,
“Do they not then consider the Qur’aan carefully? Had it been from other than Allaah, they would surely have found therein many contradictions.”
Five: The religion should include what can preserve for people, their religion, honour, properties, lives and offspring through its commandments, prohibitions, deterrents and morals that it ordains to protect these five general factors.
Six: It should serve as a mercy for mankind and save them from their own injustices and the injustices they commit against one another through usurping others' rights and the general amenities or through misleading the weak at the hands of the strong. Allaah says while explaining the mercy that the Torah which was given to Prophet Moosaa entails,
“And when the anger of Moosaa was calmed down, he took up the Tablets; and in their inscription was guidance and mercy for those who fear their Lord.”
He also says informing us about the message of Prophet Eesaa,
“And (We wish) to appoint him as a sign to mankind and a mercy from Us.”
He says about Prophet Saalih,
“He said, ‘O my people: Tell me, if I am (acting) on a clear proof from my Lord, and there has come to me a mercy (Prophethood) from Him, who will save me from Allaah if I disobey Him?’”
He says about the Qur’aan,
“And We send down of the Qur’aan that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe.”
Seven: It should entail guidance to the Law of Allaah, and teach man the intention of Allaah by that Law. It should also be able to tell man his origin and his final destination. Allaah says about the Torah,
“Verily, We did send down the Torah, therein was guidance and light.”
He says about the Injeel (the Book given to Eesaa),
“And We gave him the Injeel, in which was guidance and light.”
He says about the Qur’aan,
“It is He Who has sent His Messenger (Muhammad) with guidance and the religion of truth.”
The true religion is the one that includes guidance to the Law of Allaah, gives peace and tranquillity to the mind, protect it from all insinuations, answers all its questions and resolves every problem.
Eight: It should call to noble characters and deeds like truthfulness, honesty, modesty, chastity and generosity. It should also prohibit bad conducts like disobedience to parents, killing innocent souls, all kinds of immoralities, lies, injustice, aggression, stinginess and sins.
Nine: It should be able to provide happiness for those who believe in it. Allaah says,
“Taa Haa. We have not sent down the Qur’aan unto you (O Muhammad) to cause you distress.”
It should also be in harmony with upright nature. “(This is) Allaah’s nature upon which He has created mankind.” It must also be in harmony with sound reason, because the true religion is legislated by Allaah and the sound reason is created by Allaah and it is therefore impossible that the Law of Allaah and the creatures of Allaah should contradict each other.
Ten: It should lead to the truth, warn against falsehood, keep people away from error and lead them to the Straight Path where there is no crookedness. Allaah speaks about the jinn that when they heard the Qur’aan being recited, some of them told others, “O our people! Verily! We have heard a Book (the Qur’aan) sent down after Moosaa, confirming what came before it: It guides to the truth and the Straight Path.”
It should not call to what will cause people misery, as Allaah says about the Qur’aan,
“Taa Haa. We have not sent down the Qur’aan unto you to cause you distress.”
The true religion should also not enjoin on people what can cause them destruction. Allaah says,
“And do not kill yourselves. Surely, Allaah is the Most-Merciful to you.”
It should also not distinguish between its adherents on the basis of race, colour or clan. Allaah says,
“O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you with Allaah is that (believer) who is most pious. Verily, Allaah is All-Knowing, All-Aware.”
Therefore, the recognised criterion for giving people precedence in the true religion is piety.
After mentioning the criteria for distinguishing between the true religion and the false ones and citing evidences from the Qur’aan that these Criteria are general in the case of all truthful Messengers sent by Allaah, it is then very appropriate to mention types of religion.

TYPES OF RELIGIONS

Mankind are divided as far as their faiths are concerned into two categories:
A category that have a Book that was revealed to them like the Jews, Christians and Muslims. As for the Jews and Christians, the Books that were revealed to their Prophets have been lost as a result of their ignorance of what was in their Books; their taking of men as gods beside Allaah and the long time that had passed between them and their acquaintance with these Books. So their priests wrote some books which they claimed to be from Allaah while they were not from Allaah but only wrong assumptions of liars and distortion of fanatics.
As for the Book of the Muslims (the Noble Qur’aan), it is the last Divine Book to be revealed and the strongest and most firm. Allaah Himself guaranteed its preservation and did not delegate that to mankind. He says,
“Verily, We it is, Who has sent down the Dhikr (i.e., Qur’aan) and surely, We will guard it.”
The Qur’aan is therefore preserved in the hearts of people and in the Book, for it is the last Book which Allaah has guaranteed for the guidance of mankind. He has made it a proof against them till the Last Hour and has decreed its perpetuity. He provides for it in every age those who will observe its limits and words, act by its law and believe in it. Further explanations about this Book will be given in a later section.
There is another section of religious adherents who have no revealed Book from Allaah, even though they possess an inherited book which is attributed to the founder of the religion like Hindus, Magians, Buddhists, Confucians and Arabs before the advent of Muhammad.
There is not a nation that does not have some knowledge and carry out some activities by which their worldly interests are achieved. This is the general knowledge which Allaah endowed every human being, even animals; for the animal is also guided as to how to attain what benefits it like food and drink and to avert what harms it; and Allaah has created in it the love for the former and aversion for the latter. He says,
“Glorify the Name of your Lord, the Most High, Who has created (everything) and then proportioned it. And Who has measured (preordainment for everything), and guided (i.e., showed mankind the right as well as the wrong paths and guided the animals to pasture).”
He also says, informing us of what Prophet Moosaa told Pharaoh,
“Our Lord is He Who gave to each things its form and nature, then guided it aright.”
He also informs us about Prophet Ibraaheem that he said of His Lord, “Who has created me and it is He Who guides me.”
It is known to every sane person – who has the least reflection and sense of thinking – that adherents of religions are better in useful sciences and righteous deeds than those with no religion. There is therefore, no good thing found with non-Muslims among adherents of other religions except that the Muslims possess what is better and more perfect, so the adherents of religions possess what others do not possess. For sciences and deeds are two types:
First: That which is achieved through intelligence and reason like astronomy, medical sciences and vocations. Though adherents of religions and atheists are equal in possession of these things; the adherents of religions are better in them. As for those things that cannot be known through mere reason like theology and religious sciences, these are prerogatives of the followers of religions. There are among this kind of knowledge that which can be proved by logical evidences, so the Messengers guided men unto how logical evidences proof that; which is both logical and legal.
Second: What cannot be known except through the information given by the Messengers. This kind of knowledge and deeds cannot be achieved through human reason, like knowledge about Allaah, His Names and Attributes, the bliss that is in the Hereafter for whoever obeys Allaah and the punishment for those who disobey Him, the explanations on His injunctions and the information about the past Prophets and their peoples and so on.


CONDITIONS OF THE EXISTING RELIGIONS

Great religions, their old books and ancient laws have become easy preys to frivolous and fraudulent people, an object of mockery for distorters and hypocrites and targets of bloody incidences and great calamities so much so that they have lost their spirit and shape. If their first adherents and prophets were to be resurrected now, they would surely have denied them and proclaimed to be ignorant of them.
Judaism* – today – has become a set of rituals and traditions with no spirit or life. Apart from this, it is an racial religion peculiar to a particular race and carries no message for the world, nor any mission for the people or any mercy for mankind.
This religion has been afflicted in its fundamental creed which is its motto among other religions and nations. And it has been a noble religion while it was the religion of monotheism which Prophets Ibraheem and Ya‘qoob commanded their children to follow. The Jews had adopted many concepts from the beliefs of corrupt nations with whom they shared neighbourhood or under whose authority they had been subjected. They had also adopted a lot of pagan customs and traditions of these people. This has been confirmed by unbiased Jewish historians. In Jewish Encyclopaedia, we can read in it what approximately means,
"The prophets' wrath over the worship of images does indicate that worshipping idols and false deities had crept into the hearts of the Israelites and that they had embraced the polytheistic and superstitious beliefs. The Talmud also testifies to the fact that paganism has a particular attraction for the Jews."
The Babel Talmud – which the Jews extremely hallow and prefer to the Torah, was widely circulated among the Jews of the Sixth Century, and which contains a lot of strange manifestations of their simple-mindedness, absurd sayings, insolent behaviour towards Allaah, scorning the reality and gambling with religion and human intellect – shows the extent to which the Jewish community of this age has degenerated intellectually and religiously.
As for Christianity*, it is also afflicted since its earliest days with distortions of extremists, alterations of the ignorant and paganism of the Romans who claimed to be Christians.
All these distortions, alterations and paganism have become the heap under which all great teachings of Christ were buried and the light of Monotheism and sincere worship of Allah were hidden behind these clouds.
A Christian writer speaks on the extent to which the trinity had gone in the Christian society since the end of the Fourth Century after Christ:
"The belief that one God consists of three different godheads had penetrated into the inner life of the Christian world and its thoughts since the last quarter of the fourth century and had become the official recognised creed in all parts of the Christendom ever since. Also, the development of Trinity and its secret were not revealed until in the last half of the nineteenth century A.D."
A contemporary Christian historian discusses in a book, “History of Christianity in the Light of Modern Science”, about the appearance of paganism in the Christian society in different forms and shapes and the Christians' diversity in adopting religious rites, customs and pagan heroes of nations and religions that are ancient in idolatry under the pretext of imitation, admiration or ignorance. He said,
"Paganism has ended but has not been completely eliminated. Rather, it has penetrated the hearts and everything in it has been tolerantly allowed to continue in the name of Christianity and under its cover. Those who abandoned their gods and heroes took one of their martyrs and gave him the title of their former gods then erected a statue in his name. This is how polytheism and idol worship are transferred unto these local martyrs. By the end of that century, worshipping of the martyrs and saints spread all over the Christendom and formed a new creed that teaches that saints have divine attributes. These saints and hallowed men were thus made intermediaries between God and man and pagan festivals were given new names until the ancient pagan Sun festival was turned to Christmas in the year 400 A.C.”
As regards the Magians, they have been known since time of old to be worshippers of natural elements, the greatest of which is fire. They have lately adhered to its worship and built for it alters and temples so much so that fire houses have become widespread in all places in their country and all other religions and faiths disappear except fire worship and hallowing of the sun. The religion, according to these people has become mere rites and traditions that are practised in special places.
The Danish author who wrote the book, “Iran during the reign of Sasanids”, describes their religious leaders and their functions, "These functionaries must worship fire four times in a day. In addition to this, they also worshipped moon, fire and water. They had an order that they should not let the fire die out or let the fire and water meet each other or let the metal rust, because they also hallow the metal."
These Magians have practised dualism all the time and that has become their motto. They believed in two gods; god of light or god of good which they called “ahur mazda” or “Yazdan” and the other god is god of darkness or evil, and this they called: “ahur man”. The war and conflict are continuously going between both of them.
As regards Buddhism, the religion that is widespread in India and Middle Asia, it is a paganism whereof its adherents carry with them idols wherever they go. They build temples for these idols and erect the statue of “Buddha” wherever they go and settle.
As for Brahmanism the religion of India, it has been popular with a lot of deities. Their paganism had reached its peak in the sixth century A.C. when the number of their deities reached 330 million gods. Everything according to Brahmanism has become wonderful and everything has become useful and a deity to be worshipped. During that age, the art of idol making became highly profitable and many idol stylists carved so many idols in different shapes.
The Hindi writer, C. V. Vidya, wrote in his book, “The History of Medieval Hindu” while discussing the era of King Harash (606-648 A.D.), which is the era that follows the advent of Islaam in Arabia,
“Hinduism and Buddhism are equally pagan religion though Buddhism might have surpassed Hinduism in paganism. The origin of Buddhism was denial of existence of any Lord but it gradually adopted Buddha (its founder) as the greatest deity. It later on added other deities like Bodhistavas. Paganism has reached its peak in India so much so that the name Buddha became synonymous with idol or statue in some eastern languages.” It is without doubt that Paganism has become widespread in the conemporary world. The whole world from the Atlantic sea to the Pacific ocean is greatly immersed in Paganism. The matter becomes as if the Christianity, the Semitic religions and Buddhism are competing in glofication and hallowing of idols like racing horses.
Another Hindu said in his book, “The Prevailing Hinduism", that the art of making idols had not ended yet, but small idols continued to join the existing 'deities complex' in great numbers throughout different historical periods that they have become an innumerable and an uncountable thong of deities.
This is the condition of the world religions. As for civilized countries where great governments were established, where many sciences flourished and which were the bedrock of civilization, industry and arts, they have become countries with no religions; countries that had lost their origin and power, in which there are no righteous reformers and teachers, where atheism is publicly proclaimed, corruption of all kind proliferated, all standards have been changed and the man has become valueless to his own self. That is why there are many cases of suicide, that all family links have been cut, social relations were put in disarray, the clinics of psychologists are jammed with patients and the market of magic tricksters were established. In these so-called civilized nations, man tries out of every enjoyable thing and follows every invented and innovated creed, seeking to satiate the demand of his soul, make himself happy and give himself peace of mind. But all these enjoyments, and all these creeds and theories failed to achieve these goals for him, and he shall continue in this psychological misery and spiritual torment until he establishes relationship with his Creator and worships Him according to the way He is pleased with and with which He sent His Messengers. Allaah says, while describing the condition of the one who turns away from his Lord and seeks for guidance from others besides Him,
“But whosoever turns away from My Reminder (i.e., neither believes in this Qur’aan nor acts on its teachings). Verily, for him is a life of hardship and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Resurrection.”
He, may He be glorified, also informs us about the life of the true believers and their happiness in this worldly life when He says,
“It is they who believe (in the Oneness of Allaah and worship none but Him alone) and confuse not their belief with wrong (by worshipping others besides Allaah), for them (only) there will security and they are the guided.”
He Whose praise is great also says,
“As for those who are blessed, they will be in Paradise, abiding therein for all the time that the heavens and the earth endure, except as your Lord wills; a gift without an end.”
If we apply the criteria of the true religion to all these religions – except Islaam, we will see that they are short of all these criteria as it is clear from the above exposition.
The greatest element which all these religions are short of is monotheism. For their adherents have associated other gods with Allaah in worship in addition to the fact that these religions do not provide people with a law that can be applicable in all places and at all times and that can protect them, their lives, faith, honour, offspring and properties. These religions also do not guide people to the Law of Allaah which He orders to be followed neither do they give their adherents peace of mind and happiness, as a result of their inherent contradictions.
As regards Islaam, you will come to know in the following chapters that it is the true religion of Allaah which He is pleased with and which He has chosen for mankind as their religion.
At the end of this section, it is appropriate that we define the essence of prophethood and the need of mankind for it; and explain the foundations of the mission of the Messengers and the reality of the last and everlasting message of Islaam.

THE ESSENCE OF PROPHETHOOD
The greatest thing that man must know in this life is the knowledge about his Lord, Who created him from nothing and showered him with blessings. And the greatest purpose for which Allaah created the creation is to worship Him alone.
But how can man know his Lord as it is due? What are the duties and obligations binding on him? How can he worship his Lord? Man can find who will assist him during vicissitudes of life, provide for his needs like treatment for an ailment, giving some medicine, assisting to build a house and so on and so forth; but he cannot find among ordinary people who can make him know his Lord and explain to him how to worship Him. This is because human intelligence cannot independently know what Allaah intends, he cannot even perceive the intention of his fellow human being before he tells him what he intends. How can he then know what Allaah means? Further, it is also because, this matter is only restricted to the Messengers and Prophets whom Allaah has chosen to convey the Message and to those who come after them among the rightly guided leaders and the heirs of the Prophet, who follow their way, take to their Path and help to convey their message. For men cannot receive revelation from Allaah directly as they are unable to bear it. Allaah says,
“It is not given to any human being that Allaah should speak to him unless (it be) by Revelation, of from behind a veil, or that He sends a Messenger to reveal what He wills by His leave. Verily, He is Most-High, Most Wise.”
There should therefore be an intermediary and an envoy who can convey the law of Allaah to His slaves, Those intermediaries and envoys are the Messengers and Prophets. The angel will carry the message to the Prophet and the Prophet will convey it to the people. The Angels do not carry the message to men directly, for the world of angels is naturally different from that of human beings. Allaah says,
“Allaah chooses Messengers from angels and from men.”
The Wisdom of Allaah necessitates that the Messenger should come from the race of those whom he is sent to, so that they could understand him because of their ability to speak with him. If Messengers had been sent to mankind from among the angels, they could not have been able to face him or learn anything from him. Allaah the exalted says,
“And they say: Why has not an angel been sent down to him? Had we sent down an angel, the matter would have been judged at once, and no respite would be granted to them. And had We appointed him an angel, We indeed would have made him a man, and We would have certainly confused them in which they are already confused.”
He also says,
“And We never sent before you (O Muhammad) any of the Messengers but verily, they ate food and walked in the markets. And We have made some of you as a trial for others: will you have patience? And your Lord is Ever All-Seer (of everything). And those who expect not a meeting with Us (i.e., those who deny the Day of Resurrection and the life of the Hereafter) said: ‘Why are not the angels send down to us, or why do we not see our Lord?’ Indeed, they think too highly of themselves and are scornful with great pride.”
He also says,
“And We sent not (as Our Messengers) before you (O Muhammad) any but men.”
He also says,
“And We sent not a Messenger except with the language of his people, in order that he might make the Message clear to them.”
These Messengers and Prophets possessed complete and perfect reason, sound nature, truthfulness in words and deeds, sincerity in conveying what was put in their trust, Divine immunity from all that could tarnish human conduct and physical appearances that are free from all things that are repugnant to sights and repulsive to sound human taste. Allaah purified them in their persons and manners. They are the most-perfect in manners, purest in souls and most generous. Allaah combined in them good manners and excellent conduct as He combined in them deliberateness, knowledge, magnanimity, generosity, bravery and justice. By these qualities, they were distinguished among their peoples. The people of Prophet Saalih told him as Allaah informs us in His Book,
“They said: ‘O Saalih! You have been among us as a figure of good hope till this (new thing which you have brought that we leave our gods and worship your God (Allaah) alone). Do you now forbid us the worship of what our fathers have worshipped?’ ”
He also informs us of what the people of Prophet Shuaaib told him,
“They said: ‘O Shuaaib! Does your prayers command that we give up what our fathers used to worship, or that we give up doing what we like with our property. Verily, you are the forbearer, right-minded.’ ”
The Messenger of Allaah, Muhammad, was also popular among his people with the title “Al-Ameen” (the trustworthy) even before he received the revelation, His Lord describes him saying,
“And verily, you (O Muhammad) are on an exalted (standard) of character.”
The Messengers and Prophets are therefore, the best ones among Allaah's creatures. He selected them and chose them to carry His Message and convey it to mankind, and,
“Allaah knows best with whom to place His Message.”
Allaah says,
“Allaah chose Adam, Noah, the family of Ibraaheem and the family of ‘Imraan above the mankind (of their time).”
These Messengers and Prophets – in spite of lofty qualities with which Allaah described them and the excellent conducts for which they were known – are nevertheless humans who suffered what other humans suffer; they suffered hunger and sickness; they slept, ate, married and died. Allaah says, addressing Prophet Muhammad,
“Verily, you will die, and verily, they (too) will die.”
Allaah also says,
“And indeed, We sent Messengers before you (O Muhammad) and made for them wives and offspring.”
They were even subjected to persecution; many of them were killed or expelled from their homes. Allaah says addressing Prophet Muhammad,
“And remember when the disbelievers plotted against you to imprison you, or to kill you or to expel you (from your home), they were plotting and Allaah too was plotting; and Allaah is the Best of those who plot.”
But to them were the end, victory and authority in this worldly life and the Hereafter. Allaah says,
“Allaah will help those who help His (cause).”
He also says,
“Allaah has decreed: Verily, it is I and My Messengers who shall be the victorious. Verily, Allaah is All-Powerful, All-Mighty.”

SIGNS OF PROPHETHOOD

Since Prophethood is a means by which the noblest of all knowledge can be acquired and the greatest and most honourable deeds can be carried out; it is of Allaah’s mercy to give these Prophets the signs by which they could be known and through which they could be identified, though, every one of those who claimed to have a mission has some signs and conditions that could indicate his truthfulness if he is truthful or otherwise if he is a liar. Theses signs are many, the most important of which are:
1. The Messenger should call to the worship of Allaah alone and to the abandonment of worshipping others besides Him. For this is the purpose for which Allaah created the creation.
2. The Messenger should call people to believe in him, and put his message into practice. Allaah commands His messenger, Muhammad to say,
“O mankind! Verily, I am sent to you all as the Messenger of Allaah.”
3. Allaah strengthens him with various kinds of signs of prophethood. Among these signs are the verses that the Prophet Muhammad brought from Allaah and which his people could not repudiate or produce its like. Another example is the sign of Prophet Moosaa when his rod turned to a snake; the sign of Prophet Eesaa who healed the blind and the leper by the permission of Allaah, and the sign of Muhammad which is the Great Qur’aan, in spite of the fact that he was an illiterate who could neither read nor write among many other signs of the Prophets.
Among these signs is the clear and vivid truth which the Prophets and Messengers brought and which their opponents could not disprove or deny. Rather, their opponents knew that what the Prophets had brought was the truth that could not be resisted.
Among the signs also are perfect conditions, beautiful traits and magnanimous conduct with which Allaah distinguished the Prophets.
4. His message should agree in fundamentals with the fundamentals to which all Messengers and Prophets called.
5. He should not call others to the worship of himself or to direct any act of worship to him. He should also not call to the glorification of his tribe or clan. Allaah commands His Prophet Muhammad to tell people,
“Say: I do not tell you that with me is the treasure of Allaah, nor (that) I know the Unseen; nor I tell you that I am an angel. I but follow what is revealed to me.”
6. He should not ask from people any of the things of this world as a wage for his mission. Allaah says, informing us about His Prophets Noah, Hood, Saalih, Loot and Shuaib, that they told their people,
“No reward do I ask of you for it (my message of Islaamic Monotheism); my reward is only from the Lord of all that exists.”
Prophet Muhammad also told his people,
“No wage do I ask of you for this (the Qur’aan), nor am I of those who pretend and fabricate things.”
These Prophets and Messengers whom I have told you something of their qualities and signs of their prophethood, are many. Allaah says,
“And verily, We have sent among every nation a Messenger (proclaiming): Worship Allaah (alone) and avoid all false deities.”
These Messengers have made mankind happy; the history recorded their stories and the injunctions of their religion were repeatedly transmitted, that they are the truth and just. Likewise, repeatedly narrated is the victory with which Allaah honoured them and destruction of their enemies, like the destruction of the people of Noah with flood, drowning of Pharaoh, punishment for the people of Loot; and the victory of Muhammad over his enemies and the spread of his religion. Whoever knows this will know certainly that they brought for mankind good and guidance; that they directed them to all that could benefit them and warn them against all that could be harmful. The first of them is Adam and the last is Muhammad.

MANKIND'S NEED FOR THE MESSENGERS

The Prophets are Allaah’s Messengers to His slaves; they convey His commandments to them, they give them glad tidings of the bliss which Allaah has prepared for them if they obey His Commandments, warn them of the everlasting punishment if they disobey Him and tell them the stories of the past nations and what befell them of the punishment and torment in this world because they disobeyed the commandments of their Lord.
These Divine Commandments and prohibitions cannot be known independently by human reasoning, that is why Allaah ordained and prescribed commandments and prohibitions as a honour for mankind and to protect his interests. For people tend to obey their desires, thereby violating forbidden things, attacking other people and usurping their rights. It is therefore out of the utmost wisdom too that Allaah should send Messengers among mankind, every now and then, who would remind them of the commandments of Allaah, warn them against disobedience, recite to them admonitions and tell them the stories of past generations. Because, when wonderful stories are heard and marvellous concepts awaken the psyche, the sense of reason embraces that, increases in knowledge and has right perception. The more man listens the more he thinks; the more he thinks the more he reflects; the more he reflects the more he understands and the more he understands the more he acts. So, sending Messengers is inevitable and there is no alternative for them if the truth is to be established.
Shaykhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah said, “Divine Message is necessary for reformation of man in his worldly life and his final abode. As there will not be well-being for him in his Hereafter if he does not follow the message, there will also not be well-being for him in his worldly life if he does not follow the Message. He is therefore, bound to follow the Law of Allaah for he lives between two movement: a movement by which he seeks what benefits him and another by which he wards off what harms him. The Law of Allaah is then the light that shows him what can benefit or harm him. That is the Light of Allaah on the earth, His justice between His slaves ad His fortress which provides safety for whoever enters it. What is meant by the Law of Allaah is not physical distinction between the harmful and useful; for even the animals can do that. The donkey or camel can differentiate between barley and sand. What is meant by that is to be able to distinguish between deeds that can harm their doer in his worldly life and his Hereafter and deeds that can benefit him in his worldly life and his Hereafter. Like the benefit of faith, belief in the Oneness of Allaah, justice, righteousness, kindness, honesty, chastity, courage, knowledge, perseverance, enjoining all that is good, forbidding all that is evil, being kind to the kith and kin, being dutiful to parents, being kind to neighbours, fulfilling obligations, purifying deeds for Allaah, putting trust in Him, seeking help from Him, being pleased with His pre-decrees, submission to His rule, believing in Him and His Messengers in all that they inform him and all other deeds that are beneficial to man in his worldly life and his Hereafter. In the opposite of the above lies his misery and harm in his worldly life and his Hereafter.
Had it not been because of the Divine Message, the human intellect would have not been guided to the details of what could benefit or harm him in his worldly life. Among the greatest favours of Allaah upon His slaves is that He sent His Messengers to them, revealed to them His Books and showed them the Straight Path. Had it not been for this, humans would have been like cattle or even worse. So, whoever accepts the message of Allaah and stands firm on that is among the best of all creation. But whoever rejects it and deviates from it, such is among the worst of the creation and worse in condition than the dog and pig and the most contemptible creature. There is no way the inhabitants of the earth can survive except by the effects of the message that is existent among them, for when the impacts of the message become exterminated from the earth and the signs of their guidance become wiped off, Allaah will dismantle the heaven and the earth and bring forth the Resurrection.
Further, the dweller of the earth’s need for the Message is not like their need for sun, moon, air and rain, and it is also not like their need for their own souls or like the need of the eye for the light; or like that of the body for food and drink. Rather the need for the Messenger is greater than all that and all other things one could think of or assume. The Messengers are the intermediary between Allaah and His creatures as far as His commandment and prohibitions are concerned; they are the envoys between Him and His slaves. The last of them, their leader and the dearest of them to Allaah is Muhammad. Allaah sent him as mercy for mankind and all that exists. He makes him a proof for the followers of the right path and a proof against all creatures. He commanded His slaves to follow, love, respect and honour him, and to give him all obligations due to him. Allaah took covenants and pledges from all other Prophets and Messengers that they would believe in and follow him (if they were to meet him or hear of him) and He also ordered them to take the same covenant from their believing followers. Allaah sent him at the threshold of the Hour. With him, He guided many from error, rescued many from ignorance, and opened through his Message blind eyes, deaf ears and sealed hearts. He lightened the earth through his message, after it had been in darkness and united with it the separated hearts. He straightened with the Messenger the crooked faith and explained through him the bright path. Allaah opened for him his heart, removed from him his burden, raised high his fame and subjected those who were against him to humiliation and disgrace. He sent him after a break in the succession of the sent Messengers and extermination of the impacts of the previously revealed Books; when words had been twisted and the law altered, when every nation relied on injustice in their opinions, made decisions regarding Allaah and between His slaves with their own corrupt sayings and desires. It was then that Allaah guided mankind through him and showed them the right way, He brought people from darkness to light through him and made distinction with him, between those who deserve success and those who were sinners. Whoever follows his guidance will be rightly guided and whoever deviates from His Path will go astray and such has only oppressed himself. May Allaah bestow peace and blessings on him and all other Messengers and Prophets.
We can now summarise man’s need for the message in the following points:
1. That man is a nurtured creature and it is inevitable for him to know his Lord and Creator; to know what He wants from him and why He created him. Man cannot however know all that independently except by knowing the Prophets and the Messengers and knowing the guidance and light which they brought.
2. Man is a component of body and soul. The nutrition for body is whatever is available of food and drink, but the nutrition of the soul has been prescribed by the One Who created it; that nutrition is true religion and righteous deed. So it is the Prophets and Messengers who brought true religion and guided to righteous deed.
3. Man is religious by nature and he must have a religion which he must practice and this religion must be the true one. So, there is no way to know the true religion except through belief in the Prophets and Messengers and to believe in all that they brought.
4. Man is in need of knowing the way that can lead him to the pleasure of Allaah in this world and to His Paradise and bliss in the Hereafter. And no one can guide to this way except the Prophets and Messengers alone.
5. Man is in himself weak and many enemies lay in wait for him: Satan wants to mislead him, evil companions make bad things fair-seeming to him and his base self incites him to do evil. Hence, he needs what can protect him against the evil plans of his enemies and it is the Prophets and Messengers who guided man to that and clearly explained it to him.
6. Man is civil by nature, his meeting with people and his relations with them therefore need a law by which justice and equality can be established among people – the absence of which can make human life be like that of the jungle. Also, this law must be able to protect the right of every one without excessiveness and negligence and none could bring such perfect law except the Messengers and Prophets.
7. Man needs to know what can give him tranquillity and psychological security and guide him to means of real happiness. This is what the Prophets and Messengers guided to. After explaining why the creation is in need of Prophets and Messengers, it is now appropriate to discuss the final return and explain the proofs and evidences that support that.

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