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 Islaam: Its Foundations And Concepts 7

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PostSubject: Islaam: Its Foundations And Concepts 7   Sat Jul 02, 2011 12:22 pm

THE SECOND DEGREE

Faith and its six pillars: Belief in Allaah, His angels, His Books, His Messengers, belief in the Last Day and belief in pre-decree.
First: Belief in Allaah.
You must believe in His Lordship; that He is the Lord, the Creator, the Possessor and the Controller of all matters. You must also believe in His right to be worshipped, that He is the only True Deity, that all deities besides Him are false. You must believe in His Names and Attributes, that He has Beautiful Names and perfect Sublime Attributes.
You must also believe in His Oneness in all that, that He has no partner in His Lordship, nor in His right to be worshipped or in His Names and Attributes. He says,
“Lord of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them, so worship Him and be constant and patient in His worship. Do you know of any who is similar to Him?”
You must also believe that neither slumber nor sleep overtakes Him; that He knows all that is hidden and evident; and that to him belongs the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth. He says,
“And with Him are the keys of all that is hidden, none knows them but He. And He knows whatever is in the land and in the sea; not a leaf falls but He knows it. There is not a grain in the darkness of the earth nor anything fresh or dry, but is written in a Clear Record.”
You must also believe that He – may He be exalted – rose high over His Throne above His creation, and that He is with them by His knowledge and He knows their conditions, hears their utterances, sees their places and controls their affairs. He provides for the poor, gives relief to the dejected, gives authority to whom He wills, withdraws it from whom He wills and that He is Able to do all things.
Among the benefits of belief in Allaah are the following:
1. It lets man love Allaah and glorify Him and as such carry out His commandments and abstain from all that He forbids. If man does that, he attains perfect happiness in this world and the Hereafter.
2. Belief in Allaah creates in the mind self-esteem and dignity, for through it, man will know that it is only Allaah who is the True Possessor of all that is in this universe, that there is no bringer of harm or benefit except Him. This knowledge makes him dispenses of all that is besides Allaah and removes from his heart the fear of others besides Allaah and he will not hope except for Allaah and will not fear except Him alone.
3. Belief in Allaah creates humbleness in the heart; for man will know that whatever favour he has is from Allaah. Satan will not be able to deceive him, nor will he become overbearing and arrogant or boast with his power or wealth.
4. The believer in Allaah will have certain knowledge that there is no way to success and salvation except through good deeds that please Allah. Some people, however have false belief that Allaah commanded that His son be crucified as an atonement for the sins of mankind; some have a belief in false deities believing that these will do for them what they want while actually they can neither benefit nor harm; while some are atheists, who do not believe in the existence of Creator at all. All these beliefs are mere wishful thoughts; for when those who hold these beliefs meet Allaah on the Day of Resurrection and they see the reality, they will realise that they have been in clear error.
5. Belief in Allaah creates in man great power of determination, courage, perseverance, steadfastness and trust in Allaah when he struggles in lofty matters in this world to achieve the pleasure of Allaah. He will be on perfect certainty that he is putting his trust in the Possessor of the heavens and the earth and that He will help him and guide him. He will then be firm like mountains in his patience, steadfastness and in his trust in Allaah.

Two: Belief in the angels.
A Muslim must believe in the angels, that, it is Allaah Who created them and describes them as, “honoured slaves", they speak not until He has spoken and they act on His Command. He knows what is before them and what is behind them, and they cannot intercede except for him with Whom He is pleased and they stand in awe for fear of Him.”
He also described them that, they, “are not too proud to worship Him, nor are weary (of His worship). They glorify His praises night and day (and) they never slacken (to do so).”
Allaah conceals them from our eyes, so that we do not see them. But Allaah sometimes shows some of them to some of His Prophets and Messengers.
Angels have functions assigned to them. Jibreel is assigned to Revelations which he brings from Allaah to whosoever He wishes of His Messengers. Among them is also an angel assigned to taking the souls, among them are those assigned to the foetuses in the wombs, among them are those assigned to the protection of mankind and among them are those assigned to recording of their deeds. Every person has two angels “one sitting on the right and one on the left (to note his or her actions) not a word does he (or she) utter but there is a watcher by him (or her) ready (to record it)”
Benefits of belief in angels
1. It purifies the belief of the Muslim from stains of polytheism; for when a Muslim believes in the existence of angels whom Allaah assigns with these great functions, he will be free from belief in the existence of imaginary creatures that some people claim have a share in the running of the affairs of the universe.
2. It lets the Muslims know that, the angels neither benefit nor harm, but that they are honoured slaves, who disobey not Allaah when He commands them but rather do what they are commanded. He will not worship them, nor direct his affairs to them or depend on them.
Three: Belief in the Books
To believe that Allaah revealed Books to his Prophets and Messengers, in order to explain the truth and call to it. Allaah says,

“Indeed, We have sent Our Messengers with clear proofs, and revealed with them the Scripture and the Balance (justice), that mankind may keep up justice.”
These Books are many. Among them are the Scripture of Prophet Ibraaheem, the Torah of Prophet Moosaa, the Psalms given to Prophet David and the Gospel which was brought by Prophet Jesus Christ, may peace be upon all of them.
Belief in the Previous Books lies in believing that it is Allaah Who revealed them to His Messengers and that they contained the Law that Allaah wanted to be conveyed to people at that time.
All these Books that Allaah informs us about have all become extinct. The scripture of Abraham is no longer existing in the world. As for the Torah, the Gospel and the Psalms, even though they do exist by name in the hands of Jews and Christians, they have become altered, interpolated and adulterated and many of their original contents are missing. That which are not part of them have been included in them, and they are attributed to those who are not their authors. The old testament for instance, has more than forty books, and only five of them were attributed to Moses. As for the existing gospels of today, nothing of them is attributed to Jesus. The last Book revealed by Allaah is the Qur’aan which was revealed to Prophe Muhammad. It has always been and still is protected and preserved by Allaah. No change or alteration has crept into any of its letters, words, vowels or meanings.
The Qur’aan is different from all previous Books in many ways:
1. The past Books have been lost; changes and interpolations have crept into them; they have been attributed to those who are not their rightful owners; many commentaries and exegesis have been added to them and they contain many things that contradict Divine Revelation, the reason and nature. As for the Qur’aan, it is still being protected by Allaah, with its letters and words in which Allaah revealed them to Muhammad. No alteration nor addition has crept into it; for Muslims have been eager to let the Qur’aan remain free from all defects. They do not mix it with anything from the Prophet’s life history, or the history of his companions or commentaries of the Qur’aan or rules pertaining to acts of worship and human relations.
2. Today, there is no known historical authority for the ancient books. Even, nothing was known about those on whom some of them were revealed or in which language they were revealed. Some of them are even attributed to others beside those who actually brought them.
As for the Qur’aan, Muslims have transmitted it from Muhammad in a successive manner, verbally and in written form. And at every age and country, there are thousands of Muslims who know this Book by heart as there are thousands of its copies as well. If the oral copies do not agree with written copies, the divergent copies will not be recognised; for what is in the memories of people should always be in agreement with what is in the written copies.
Above all, the Qur’aan was transmitted orally in a way that nothing of the books of this world had enjoyed. Even this particular method of transmission cannot be found except among Muslims alone. The methodology of preserving the Qur'aan goes this way: The student learns the Qur’aan by heart at the hand of his teacher; who had in turn learnt it by heart at the hand of his own teacher. The teacher also gives the student a certificate called “Ijaazah” in which the teacher testifies that he taught the student what he himself learnt from his own teachers one after another, each and everyone of these teachers will name his teacher from whom he learnt the Qur’aan in succession till the chain reaches the Messenger of Allaah himself. This is how the chain of teachers go in oral succession till it reaches the Messenger of Allaah.
There exists many strong evidences and historical proofs – with connected chains of transmitters – on the knowledge of every soorah and every verse of the Qur’aan as regards where it was revealed and when it was revealed to Muhammad.
3. The languages in which past Books were revealed had become extinct since a long time. No one in this age speaks the languages and very few people can now understand them. As for the language in which the Qur’aan was revealed, it is a living language spoken today by tens of millions of people. It is taught and studied in every country of the world. Even the one who does not study it will find everywhere those who can teach him the meaning of the Qur’aan.
4. Each of the previous Books was meant for a particular time and sent to a particular nation; that was why it contained rules that were peculiar to that nation and that time. Whatever book that has these characteristics is not suitable for all mankind.
As for the Great Qur’aan, it is a Book meant for all times and all places. It comprises of ordainments, rules on how humans should relate with one another and manners that are suitable for every age; for it is addressed to mankind in general.
In view of the above, it becomes clear that it is not possible that Allaah’s proof against humanity should be in books whose original copies no longer exist and whose languages no one in the world of today speaks, after they have been altered. Allaah’s proof against His creation should be in a Book, protected and safe from addition, defect or alteration. Its copies should be spread in every place and written with a living language that is read by millions of people, who can convey the Messege of Allaah to all mankind. This Book is the Magnificent Qur’aan which Allaah revealed to Muhammad and that is the witness over all the previous Books and it confirms them – before they were interpolated. It is the Book that all mankind must follow, so that, it can be for them, light, healing, guidance and mercy. Allaah says,
“And this is a Blessed Book which We have sent down, so follow it and fear Allaah that you may receive mercy.”
He also says,
“Say (O Muhammad): O mankind! Verily, I am sent to you all as the Messenger of Allaah.”
Four: Belief in the Messengers
To believe that Allaah sent Messengers to His creation in order to give them glad tidings of Paradise if they believe in Allaah and believe in the Messengers, and to warn them of punishment if they disobey. Allaah says,
“And verily, We have sent among every nation a Messenger (proclaiming): Worship Allaah (alone) and avoid all false deities.”
He also says,
“Messengers as bearers of good news as well as of warning in order that mankind should have no plea against Allaah after the (coming of) Messengers.”
These Messengers are many. The first of them was Noah and the last of them is Muhammad. There are many among them, those whom Allaah told us stories about like Abraham, Moses, Jesus, David, John Zakariah and Saalih. There are also some about whom Allaah tells us nothing. Allaah says,
“And Messengers We have mentioned to you before and Messengers We have not mentioned to you.”
All these Messengers were humans created by Allaah. They possessed nothing of the qualities of Lordship or Godship. Therefore, no act of worship should be directed to them; for they could avail themselves of any harm or benefit. Allaah says about Prophet Noah,
“And I do not say to you that with me are the Treasures of Allaah, nor that I know the Unseen, nor do I say I am an angel.”
Allaah also Commanded Muhammad to say,
“I do not tell you that with me are the Treasures of Allaah, nor that I know the Unseen, nor do I tell you that I am an angel.”
And to say,
“I possess no power over benefit or hurt to myself except as Allaah Wills.”
The Prophets are therefore honoured slaves, whom Allaah chose and honoured with the Message and described as His slaves. Their religion is Islaam and Allaah will not accept any other religion besides it. Allaah says,
“Verily, the religion with Allaah is Islaam.”
The basic messages of the Prophets were one but their Laws differ. Allaah says,
“To each among you We have prescribed a Law and a Clear Way.”
The final of all these Laws is that of Muhammad. It abrogates all other previous laws. His Message is the last of all Divine Messages and he is the last of all Messengers. Whoever believes in a Prophet among them should believe in all of them and whoever denies anyone of them has denied all of them; for all Prophets and Messengers call to the belief in Allaah, His angels, His Books, His Messengers and the Last Day and because their religion is one. So, he who disbelieves in others has disbelieved in all of them; for every one of them called to belief in all Prophets and Messengers. Allaah says,
“The Messenger believes in what has been sent down to him from his Lord and so do the believers. Each one believes in Allaah, His angels, His Books and His Messengers”
He also says,
“Verily, those who disbelieve in Allaah and His Messengers and wish to make distinction between Allaah and His Messenger saying: We believe in some (Messengers) but reject others, and wish to adopt a way in between. They are in truth, disbelievers. And We have prepared for the disbelievers a humiliating torment.”
Five: Belief in the Last Day.
That is because, the end of every being in this world is death! What then is the fate of man after death? What is the end of the unjust people who escaped the punishment in this world?, Will they escape the consequence of their injustices? What about the righteous people who missed their share of the reward of this world, are their rewards going to be wasted?
Indeed, mankind shall continue to die, generation after generation, until when Allaah gives His permission that this world should come to an end and all creatures on the face of the earth die. Allaah will thereafter resurrect all creatures in a day that will be witnessed by all; a day in which Allaah will gather all former and later generations. He will then call men to account for all their deeds either good or bad which they had earned in the world. The believers will be led to Paradise and the disbelievers will be marched to Fire.
Paradise is the abode of peace which He has prepared for His believing friends. There are in it all kinds of bliss which no one can describe. It has degrees and every degree will have dwellers according to the degree of their belief in Allaah and their obedience to Him. The lowest in degree of the dwellers of Paradise in bliss will be equal to tenfold of the Kingdom of one of the kings of this world.
Hell is the abode of punishment which Allaah has prepared for him who disbelieves in Him. It has all kinds of torment whose mere mention is terrifying. If Allaah will allow anyone to die in the Hereafter the dwellers of the Fire will certainly die at mere sight of it.
Allaah knows – by His Pre-Knowledge – what every man will do or say of good or evil, secretly or publicly. He assigned to every man two angels: one records his good deeds and the other his evil ones and nothing escapes them. Allaah says,
"Not a word does he utter but there is a watcher by him ready (to record it)."
All his deeds will be recorded in a book that will be given to man on the Day of Resurrection. Allaah says,
"And the book (one's record) will be placed, and you will see the sinners fearful of that which is (recorded) therein. They will say: 'Woe to us! What sort of book is this that leaves neither a small thing nor a big thing, but has recorded it with numbers.' And they will find all that they did, placed before them, and your Lord treats no one with injustice."
The man will then read his record and will not deny anything therein and whosoever denies anything of his deeds, Allaah will give power of speech to his ears, eyes, hands, legs and skin, so that they could contradict him. Allaah says,
"And they will say to their skins: 'Why do you testify against us?' They will say: 'Allaah has caused us to speak – and He causes all things to speak' and He created you the first time and to Him you are made to return. And you have not been hiding yourselves (in the world) lest your ears, your eyes and your skins should testify against you; but you thought that Allaah knew not much of what you were doing."
Belief in the Last Day – Day of Resurrection – was preached by all Messengers and Prophets. Allaah says,
"And among His signs is that you see the earth barren; but when We send down water (rain) to it, it is stirred to life and growth (of vegetations). Verily, He Who gives it life, surely, is Able to give life to the dead (on the Day of Resurrection). Indeed, He is Able to do all things."
He also says,
"Do they not see that Allaah, Who created the heavens and the earth, and was not wearied by their creation, is Able to give life to the dead?"
This is what the Divine Wisdom necessitates; for Allaah did not create His creation in vain or leave them for fun. The weakest person in intelligence cannot carry out any important action without having a purpose for it. How can this not be imagined in case of man and then think that Allaah only created His creation for fun and that He shall leave them in vain. Far and Highly Exalted is Allaah above all that they say. Allaah says,
"Do you think that We had created you in play (without any purpose) and that you would not be brought back to Us?"
He also says,
"And We created not the heaven and the earth and all that is between them without purpose! That is the assumption of those who disbelieve! Then woe to those who disbelieve (in Islaamic Monotheism) from the Fire."
All wise men testify to the necessity of belief in the Last Day; for that's what the intelligence and reason necessitate and what the sound human nature agrees to. When man believes in the Day of Resurrection, he knows why he should abstain from what he is ordered to leave and do what he is ordered to do, hoping for what is with Allaah. He will also know that, he who does injustice to people will inevitably have his recompense and that those he wrongs will take revenge on him on the Day of Resurrection. He will also know that man must have a reward: good reward for good deeds and commensurate punishment for evil deeds, so that each soul shall be rewarded for what it strived for and Divine Justice can be established. Allaah says,
"So whoever does an atom weight of good shall see it; and whoever does an atom weight of evil shall see it."
No one among mankind knows when the Day of Resurrection will come. This is a Day that is known to neither a sent Prophet nor a favoured Angel. Allaah keeps the knowledge of that to Himself alone. He says,
"They ask you about the Hour (Day of Resurrection): 'When will be its appointed time?' Say: 'The Knowledge thereof is with my Lord. None can reveal its time but He.' "
He also says,
"Verily, with Allaah is the knowledge of the Hour."
Six: Belief in Predecree
You must believe that Allaah knows what happens and what shall happen; that He knows the conditions, deeds, life spans and provisions of His slaves. He says,
"Verily, Allaah is All-Knower of everything."
He also says,
"And with Him are the keys of all that is hidden, none knows them but He. And He knows whatever there is in the land and in the sea; not a leaf falls but He knows it. There is not a grain in the darkness of the earth nor anything fresh or dry, but is written in a Clear Record."
He registers all that in a Record with Him. He also says,
"And all things We have recorded with numbers (as a record) in a Clear Book."
He says,
"Know you not that Allaah knows all that is in the heavens and on the earth? Verily, it is (all) in the Book. Verily, that is easy for Allaah."
He also says,
"Verily, His Command, when He intends a thing, is only that He says to it, 'Be' and it is!"
As it is Allaah Who preordained all things, it is also He Who Created all things. He says,
"Verily, We have created everything with Divine Preordainment."
He also says,
“Allaah is the Creator of all things.”
He created men in order to worship Him and made that clear to them. He commanded them to obey Him, forbidden them from disobeying Him and made that clear to them. He gave them power and will by which they could carry out the Commandments of Allaah and get reward; and by which they could perpetrate acts of disobedience, and get punished.
If man believes in the Divine Preordainment, he will achieve the following:
1. He will depend on Allaah while making use of the means; for he knows that the means and its causes are all by Divine Pre-decree of Allaah.
2. Peace of mind and tranquillity; for when he knows that it is Allaah Who gives that and that the preordained detestable thing shall happen no matter what, he will have rest of mind and he will be pleased with the decision of Allaah. There will not be anyone who will be more pleased and have more peace of mind than him Who believes in Divine Preordainment.
3. He will not be arrogant when he attains what he aims; for he will know that the attainment of that blessing is from Allaah through the means of good and success He has pre-decreed. He will therefore thank Allaah for that.
4. He will not be sad or distressed when the desired goal is missed or when the unwanted happens; because of his knowledge that it happens through irresistible Decree of Allaah. For no one can resist His Command or appeal His judgement. What he has pre-decreed will inevitably happen. He will therefore be patient and get the reward thereof from Allaah. Allaah says,
“No calamity befalls on earth or in yourselves, but it is inscribed in the Book of Decrees before We bring it into existence. Verily, that is easy for Allaah. In order that you may not grieve at the things that you fail to get, nor rejoice over that which has been given to you. And Allaah likes not prideful boasters.”
5. Complete dependence on Allaah. For the Muslim knows that, it is only Allaah Who has the power to cause benefit or harm. He will then not fear any powerful person because of his power and will not hesitate to do good deeds out of fear of any man. The Prophet told Ibn Abbaas: “Know that if all mankind are unanimous on benefiting you, they cannot benefit you with anything except with that which Allaah has predecreed for you. If they are also unanimous on harming you, they cannot harm you except with that which Allaah has predecreed for you.”

THE THIRD DEGREE
The third degree is “Ihsaan” (utmost sincerity and perfection in acts of worship). It implies which means that you worship Allaah as if you are seeing Him, and if you do not see Him, He sees you. One must worship his Lord with this quality. That is, to bear it in mind that Allaah is close to him; that he is standing before his Lord. This condition makes man have awe, fear and great honour for Allaah. It makes man sincere in acts of worship and gives him courage to strive more towards its perfection.
The slave is conscious of his Lord while observing act of worship and reminds himself of His nearness to him as if he is seeing Him. If he cannot do that, let him be conscious of the fact that Allaah sees him and knows his secret and public affairs, and that nothing is hidden from Him.
The slave that has reached this stage worships his Lord sincerely, not looking to others besides Him. He neither expects people’s praise nor fears their blame; for it is enough for him that his Lord is pleased with him and praises him. This is a man whose public and private deeds are the same. He worships his Lord in private and public with certain faith that Allaah knows all that is in his heart and goes on in his mind. The faith has overpowered his heart and the consciousness of his Lord is manifest on him; his limbs then surrender to Allaah; for he will not use them except in what pleases Allaah and in that which He loves and in submission to Him.
Since his heart has been attached to his Lord, he will not seek help from any creature, for Allaah suffices him; he will not complain to any man, for he has approached Allaah with his needs and enough is He as a Helper. He does not feel lonely in any place nor does he fear anyone, for he knows that Allaah is with him in all his conditions. He is enough for him and He is the Best Helper. He will not abandon any order that Allaah commands him to carry out and will not perpetrate any sin, for he is ashamed before Him and hates that He finds him wanting in what He Commands him to do or finds him where he forbids him. He will neither oppress nor wrong anyone or take anyone's right for he knows that Allaah is seeing him, and that He shall call him to account for all his deeds.
He will not cause mischief in the land; for he knows that all good things that are in the earth are properties of Allaah which He subjects for His Creation. He will take of these good things according to his needs and thank his Lord for facilitating them for him.
All that I have told you and presented to you in this booklet are only important matters and great pillars in Islaam. Whoever believes in these fundamentals and acts by them has become a Muslim. If not, Islaam – as I have told you – is both religion and worldly; a worship and a way of life. It is the comprehensive and perfect Divine Order that encompasses in its ordainments all that the individual and the society need in all aspects of their religious, political, economical, social and security life. Man will find therein principles, fundamentals and rules that regulate peace and war and binding duties; and preserves the dignity of man, bird, animals and the environment that surrounds him. They also explain to him the reality of man, the life and the death; and the Resurrection after death. He also finds in Islaam the best methodology of relating with people around him; such as the saying of Allaah,
“And speak good to people”
And His saying,
“And those who pardon men.”

And His saying,
“And let not the enmity and hatred of others make you avoid justice. Be just; that is nearer to piety.”
After we have discussed the degrees of this religion and the fundamentals of each degree, it is appropriate that we discuss briefly the beauties of Islaam.


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