DISCOVER ISLAM

Discover Islam


What are the pillars of Islam?

What do Muslims believe about Jesus?

Is there a Creator ?!

The Quran from the perspective of a non-Muslim

12 Proofs that Muhammad (Peace be upon him ) was a True Prophet

Basics of faith

On Religious Tolerance

Muhammad, The Prophet of Allah

Islam: Misunderstood throughout the World

Human Rights in Islam

Why Muslims Believe that Islam is the truth

The Objective Reasoning and The Convincing Islam

Do You Know This Book ?

A complete code of life

Islamic Concept of God

The Most Extraordinary Incident Ever!

Insight of a Muslim Judge

Dar Al-Islam And Dar Al-Harb: Its Definition and Significance

The Merits of Islam

Islam is your Birthright

7 Reasons to Read the Glorious Quran

Believe It or Not: You were Born Muslim!

Concerning mockery of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)

Virtues of Friday 

Greatness of Allah subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa

The Right of Allah, the Almighty

The Deen of Islam

Advice for New Muslims or those considering Islam

Why Do Priests & Preachers Enter ISLAM?

What are the pillars of Islam?





The pillars of Islam are...

1- The belief (Imaan): That there is no God to be worshipped except Allaah (the one God) and that Muhammad (peace and blessings of God be upon him) is His Messenger.

2- Performing the prescribed prayers (Salaat): five times a day. 

3- Fasting (Siyaam): Once a year, from sunrise to sunset throughout the entire month of Ramadhan. 

4- Charity (Zakaat): Which is paid to the poor and needy once every year. 

5- Hajj: Which is the pilgrimage to Makkah once in a lifetime if one is physically able and can afford it financially.

Pillars are part of a building. The building in this case is the perfect human being who cares and protects the rights of all creations and fellow humans, thus establishing a society in which truth and justice and peace is supreme.

What do Muslims believe about Jesus?





Muslims respect and revere Jesus (peace be upon him) , and await his second coming. They consider him one of the greatest of God’s messengers to mankind....

A Muslim never refers to him simply as `Jesus', but always adds the phrase "peace be upon him." The Qur’aan confirms his virgin birth (a chapter of the Qur’aan is entitled `Mary') in her time, and Mary is considered the purest woman in all creation. The Qur’aan describes the creation of Jesus as follows (interpretation of the meaning):

"Behold! the Angel said, `God has chosen you, and purified you, and chosen you above the women of all nations. O Mary, God gives you glad tidings of a word from Him, whose name shall be the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, honored in this world and the Hereafter, and one that shall speak to the people from his cradle and in maturity, and shall be of the righteous.' She said: `O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man has touched me?' He said: `Even so; God creates what He wills. When He decrees a thing, He but says to it, "Be!" and it is." [Quran 3:42-7]

Jesus (peace be upon him) was born miraculously through the same power which had brought Adam (peace be upon him) into being without a father:
"Truly, the likeness of Jesus unto Allaah is as the likeness of Adam. He created him of dust, and then said to him, `Be!' and he was." [ Quran 3:59 ]

During his prophetic mission, Jesus (peace be upon him) was granted and performed many miracles. The Qur’aan tells us that he said (interpretation of meaning):
"I have come to you with a sign from your Lord: I make for you out of the clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it and it becomes a bird by Allaah’s leave. And I heal the blind and the lepers, and I raise the dead by Allaah’s leave." [Quran 3:49]

Other miracles include speaking soon after birth in defense of his mother's piety. God's other gifts to him included healing the blind and the sick, reviving the dead, and, most importantly, the message he was carrying. These miracles were granted to him by God to establish him as a prophet. According to the Qur’aan, he was not crucified, but only appeared so; instead, Allaah raised him unto Heaven. (Quraan, Chapter Maryam) 
Neither Muhammad (peace be upon him), nor Jesus (peace be upon him), came to change the basic doctrine of the belief in one God, brought by earlier prophets, but to confirm and renew it. In the Quran Jesus (peace be upon him), is reported as saying that he came: 

" To attest the law which was before me. And to make lawful to you part of what was forbidden you; I have come to you with a sign form your Lord, so fear God and obey me." [Quran 3:50]

Is there a Creator ?!





We will answer by quoting a number of aayaat (verses) from the Book of Allaah (the Qur’aan – the scripture of Islam), then you can think to yourself about the matter and if the truth becomes clear to you, you will have no choice but to follow it. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“We created you, then why do you believe not?
Then tell Me (about) the human semen that you emit.
Is it you who create it (i.e., make this semen into a perfect human being), or are We the Creator?
We have decreed death unto you all, and We are not unable,
To transfigure you and create you in (forms) that you know not.
And indeed, you have already known the first form of creation (i.e., the creation of Adam). Why then do you not remember or take heed?
Tell Me! The seed that you sow in the ground.
Is it you that make it grow, or are We the Grower?
Were it Our Will, We could crumble it to dry pieces, and you would be regretful (or left in wonderment),
(Saying), ‘We are indeed Mughramoon (i.e., ruined, or lost the money without any profit, or punished by the loss of all that we spent for cultivation, etc.)!
‘Nay, but we are deprived!’
Tell Me! The water that you drink,
Is it you who cause it from the rainclouds to come down, or are We the Causer of it to come down?
If We willed, We verily could make it salt (and undrinkable). Why then do you not give thanks (to Allaah)?
Tell Me! The fire which you kindle,
Is it you who made the tree thereof to grow, or are We the Grower?
We have made it a Reminder (for the Hell-fire, in the Hereafter); and an article of use for the travellers (and all others, in this world).
The glorify with praises the Name of your Lord, the Most Great.
So I swear by mawaaqi’ (setting to the mansions, etc.) of the stars (they traverse),
And verily, that is indeed a great oath, if you but knew,
That (this) is indeed an honourable recital (the Noble Qur’aan).” [Quran 56:57-77]


Were they created by nothing, or were they themselves the creators?
Or did they create the heavens and the earth? Nay, but they have no firm Belief. Or are with them the treasures of your Lord? Or are they the tyrants with the authority to do as they like?” [Quran 52:35-37]


“Verily, the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, and the ships which sail through the sea with that which is of use to mankind, and the water (rain) which Allaah sends down from the sky and makes the earth alive therewith after its death, and the moving (living) creatures of all kinds that He has scattered therein, and in the veering of winds and clouds which are held between the sky and the earth, are indeed aayaat (proofs, evidences, signs) for people of understanding.” [Quran 2:164]


“It is He Who sends down water (rain) from the sky, and with it We bring forth vegetation of all kinds, and out of it We bring forth green stalks, from which We bring forth thick clustered grain. And out of the date-palm and its spathe come forth clusters of dates hanging low and near, and gardens of grapes, olives and pomegranates, each similar (in kind) yet different (in variety and taste). Look at their fruits when they begin to bear, and the ripeness thereof. Verily! In these things there are signs for people who believe.” [Quran 6:99]


“And it is He Who sends the winds as heralds of glad tidings, going before His Mercy (rain), till when they have carried a heavy-laden cloud, We drive it to a land that is dead, then We cause water (rain) to descend thereon. Then We produce every kind of fruit therewith. Similarly, We shall raise up the dead, so that you may remember or take heed.” [Quran 7:57]


“Is not He (better than your gods) Who created the heavens and the earth, and sends down for you water (rain) from the sky, whereby We cause to grow wonderful gardens full of beauty and delight? It is not in your ability to cause the growth of their trees. Is there any god with Allaah? Nay, but they are a people who ascribe equals (to Him)!” [Quran 27:60]


“He has created the heavens and the earth without any pillars that you see, and has set on the earth firm mountains, lest it should shake with you. And He has scattered therein moving (living) creatures of all kinds. And We send down water (rain) from the sky, and We cause (plants) of every goodly kind to grow therein.” [Quran 31:10]


And the two seas (kinds of water) are not alike, this fresh, sweet and pleasant to drink, and that saltish and bitter. And from them both you eat fresh tender meat (fish), and derive the ornaments that you wear. And you see the ships cleaving (the sea-water as they sail through it), that you may seek of His Bounty, and that you may give thanks.” [Quran 35:12]


And it is He Who has let free the two seas (kinds of water), one palatable and sweet, and the other salt and bitter, and He has set a barrier and a complete partition between them.” [Quran 25:53]


This is a selection of clear aayaat that include the answer to your question. We invite you to join the community of the believers and to enter the religion of Islam which Allaah has chosen as the religion for all mankind. Peace be upon those who follow true Guidance.

The Quran from the perspective of a non-Muslim





Robin Peters is a 44 years old lady who read the Quran and then she liked to comment on what she've read .. so let's see what did she say ..

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The Koran is the Bible of Islam. Revealed to the world by Muhammad approximately 1,400 years ago, it is regarded by Muslims, universally, as the word of God to Muhammad and from him to all Islam. No devout Muslim disputes this; in this respect, there is more agreement among Muslims about the divine origin of the Koran (seen as having been literally dictated to Muhammad by the mouth of Allah Himself) than there is about the origins of the Bible among Christians.

Even those of us forced to rely on translations of the Koran (considered interpretations of same because only the Arabic Koran is the literal Word of God) can see the literary value of this work. There is tremendous spiritual and psychological value in reading this book, as well, for Muslim and non-Muslim alike.

For me, the psychological value of this book comes in its emphasis on right and wrong belief and standing up for what you believe in, even if it costs you dearly in terms of human relationships. Certainly, no one has accused Muslims of being wishy-washy about their faith! In fact, the differences in the various branches of Islam come from the ways in which they practice their faith. A Sunni Muslim will differ from a Shi'ite or Twelver Muslim in the way in which they practice their faith, but they will not disagree about the divine origin of the Koran or the fact that there are correct and incorrect beliefs. I think that Catholics and Protestants can learn an important lesson from Muslims in this regard; we have become so concerned with whether or not the Bible is inspired or dictated directly from the mouth of the Lord, or whether certain beliefs are correct or incorrect, or whether certain actions or practices are moral or immoral, that we are no longer truly Christian or loving of one another. 

The Koran basically mandates certain behavior from the rank-and-file believer. In this respect, Islam is less a religion than a way of life and pattern of behavior with Allah (God) at its very center. By way of contrast, Christians leave Christianity at the door of church on Sunday, still practicing that civil religion so popular during the 1950s and so offensive to those of us who take the Bible and Christ seriously. Muslims are expected to pray five times daily; Christians who pray once daily are seen as "out of the loop" and are thus discouraged from contacting God regularly unless it's to be polite during a worship service. Muslims fast at least one month a year; Christians generally ignore the need to undergo cycles of feasting and fasting, unless they belong to a denomination which takes Lent seriously. Muslims consider charitable donations a tax of sorts, due and payable once a year during the feast of Eid, one of the five pillars of the faith without which one is not a Muslim; Christians generally donate to charity with such highhandedness and snobbery that they might as well not donate one penny.

I would strongly recommend that people of all religious persuasions read the Koran, if only to learn more about what Islam really is all about.

12 Proofs that Muhammad (Peace be upon him ) was a True Prophet





An Article written by Shaikh Abdur Rahman Abdul Khaliq 

My brothers and sisters everywhere! With this essay, I am not singling out the adherents of Islam - to which I ascribe - but rather I am writing this essay to every man and woman throughout the whole world. 
I ask Allah that He facilitates that this essay reaches every ear, falls under the sight of every eye, and is understood by every heart... Muhammad the son of `Abdullah is Allah's Prophet and the Final Messenger Sent by Allah to the Inhabitants of Earth. My brothers and sisters everywhere! You should know that the Messenger, Muhammad the son of`Abdullah (may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him) is Allah's Messenger in reality and truth. The evidences that show his veracity are abundant. None but an infidel, who out of arrogance alone, could deny these signs. 

Among these proofs: 


1. Muhammad (may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him) was raised illiterate, unable to read or write, and remained like that till his death. Among all his people, he was known as being truthful and trustworthy. Before receiving revelation, he had no prior knowledge of Religion or any previously sent Message. He remained like that for his first forty years. Revelation then came to Muhammad with theKoran that we now have between our hands. This Koran mentioned most of the accounts found in the previous scriptures, telling us about these events in the greatest detail as if he witnessed them. These accounts came precisely as they were found in the Torah sent down to Moses and in the Gospel sent down to Jesus. Neither the Jews or Christians were able to believe him regarding anything that he said. 


2. Muhammad (may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him) also foretold of everything that wouldoccur to him and his community after him, pertaining to victory, the removal of the tyrannical kingdoms of Chosroes [the royal title for the Zoroastrian kings of Persia] and Caesar, and the establishment of the religion of Islam throughout the earth. These events occurred exactly as Muhammad foretold, as ifhe was reading the future from an open book. 


3. Muhammad (may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him) also brought an Arabic Koran that isthe peak of eloquence and clarity. The Koran challenged those eloquent and fluent Arabs of his time, who initially belied him, to bring forth a single chapter like the Koran. The eloquent Arabs of his day were unable to contest this Koran.Indeed, till our day, none has ever dared to claim that he has been able to compose words that equal-or even approach-the order, grace, beauty, and splendor of this Glorious Koran. 


4. The life history of this Noble Prophet was a perfect example of being upright, merciful,compassionate, truthful, brave, generous, distant from all evil character, and ascetic in all worldly matters, while striving solely for the reward of the Hereafter. Moreover, in all his actions and dealings, he was ever mindful and fearful of Allah. 


5. Allah instilled great love for Muhammad (may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him) in the hearts of all who believed in and met him. This love reached such a degree that any of his companions would willingly sacrifice his (or her) self, mother or father for him. Till today, those who believe in Muhammad honor and love him. Anyone of those who believe in him would ransom his own family and wealth to see him, even if but once. 


6. All of history has not preserved the biography of any person in the manner it has preserved the life of Muhammad, who is the most influential human in history. Nor has the entire earth known of anyone whom every morning and evening, and many times thereafter throughout the day, is thought of by those who believe in him. Upon rememberingMuhammad, the believers in him will greet him and ask Allah to bless him. They do such with full hearts and true love for him. 


7. Nor has there every been a man on earth whom is still followed in all his doings by those whobelieve in him. Those who believe in Muhammad, sleep in the manner he slept; purify themselves (through ablutionand ritual washing) in the manner he purified himself; and adhere to his practice in the way they eat, drink, and clothe themselves. 

Indeed in all aspects of their lives, the believers in Muhammad adhere to the teachings he spread among them and the path that he traveled upon during his life. 

During every generation, from his day till our time, the believers in this Noble prophet have fullyadhered to his teachings. With some, this has reached the degree that they desire to follow and adhere to the Prophet's way in his personal matters regarding which Allah has not sought of them to adhere to in worship. For example, some will only eat those specific foods or only wear those specific garmentsthat the Messenger liked. 

Let alone all that, all those who believe in Muhammad repeat those praises of Allah, special prayers,and invocations that he would say during each of his actions during day and night, like: what he would say when he greeted people, upon entering and leaving the house, entering and leaving the mosque, entering and leaving the bathroom, going to sleep and awaking from sleep, observing the new crescent, observing the new fruit on trees, eating, drinking, dressing, riding, traveling and returning from travel, etc. Let alone all that, all those who believe in Muhammad fully perform-even to the minute detail-every act of worship-like prayer, fasting, charity, and pilgrimage-as this Noble Messenger (may Allah's blessingsand peace be upon him) taught and as he himself performed.All of this allows those who believe in him, to live their lives in all aspects with this Noble Messenger as their example, as if he was standing before them, for them to follow in all their doings. 


8. There has never been nor will there ever be a man anywhere upon this earth who has received suchlove, respect, honor, and obedience in all matters-small and large alike-as has this Noble Prophet. 


9. Since his day, in every region of the earth and during every period, this Noble Prophet has beenfollowed by individuals from all races, colors and peoples. Many of those who followed him were previously Christians, Jews, pagans, idolaters, or without any religion. Among those who chose to follow him, were those who were known for their sound judgment, wisdom, reflection, and foresight. They chose to follow this Noble Prophet after they witnessed the signs of his truthfulness and the evidences of his miracles. They did not choose to follow Muhammad out of compulsion or coercion orbecause they had adopted the ways of their fathers and mothers.Indeed many of the followers of this Prophet (may Allah's blessings peace be upon him), chose to follow him during the time when Islam was weak, when there were few Muslims, and when there was severe persecution of his followers on earth. Most people who have followed this Prophet (may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him) have done so not to acquire some material benefits. Indeed many of his followers have suffered the greatest forms of harm and persecution as a result of followingthis Prophet. Despite all this harm and persecution, this did not turn them back from his religion. My brethren! All of this clearly indicates to anyone possessing any sense, that this Prophet was truly and really Allah's messenger and that he was not just a man who claimed prophethood or spoke aboutAllah without knowledge. 


10. With all this, Muhammad came with a great religion in its credal and legal make-up. Muhammad described Allah with qualities of complete perfection, and at the same time in a manner that is free of ascribing to Him any imperfection. Neither the philosophers or the wise could ever describe Allah like such. Indeed it is impossible to imagine that any human mind could conceive of an existing being that possesses such complete ability, knowledge, and greatness; Who has subdued thecreation; Who has encompassed everything in the universe, small or large; and Who possesses such perfect mercy.Nor is it in the ability of any human being to place a perfect law based upon justice, equality, mercy and objectivity for all human activity on earth like the laws that Muhammad brought for all spheres of human activity - like buying and selling, marriage and divorce, renting, testimony, custody, and all othercontracts that are necessary to uphold life and civilization on earth. 


11. It is impossible that any person conceive wisdom, morals, good manners, nobleness of charactersas what this honorable Prophet (may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him) brought. In a full and complete manner, Muhammad spread a teaching regarding character and manners towardone' parents, relatives, fiends, family, humanity, animals, plants and inanimate objects. It is impossible for the human mind alone to grasp all of that teaching or come with a similar teaching. All of that unequivocally indicates that this Messenger did not bring an) of this religion from his own accord, but that it was rather a teaching and inspiration that he received from the One Who created the earth and the high heavens above and created this universe in its miraculous architecture andperfection. 


12. The legal and credal make-up of the religion that the Messenger, Muhammad, (may Allah'sblessings and peace be upon him) brought resembles the engineering of the heavens and the earth. All of that indicates that He who created the heavens and the earth is the One Who sent down this great law and upright religion. The degree of inimitability of the Divine law that was sent down upon Muhammad is to the same degree of inimitability of the Divine creation of the heavens and earth. For just as humanity cannot create this universe, in the same manner humanity cannot bring forth a law like Allah's law that He sent down upon His servant and messenger Muhammad (may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him).

Basics of faith




   
Islam began with the first man, who was also the first prophet, namely Adam (peace be upon him). The meaning of Islam is submission and obedience to Allah, the Creator of all. From Adam (peace be upon him) through to Muhammad (peace be upon him) was delivered the message of Allah to mankind; calling them to the worship of the One true God and establishing piety on earth.

Each prophet was sent to a particular group of people, like Abraham, Noah, Joseph, Ishmael, Isaac, Elias, Zakariah, Jonah, Moses, and Jesus (peace be upon them all) (as well as many others). The difference with the final prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was that he was sent to the whole of mankind and his message would continue until the Day of Resurrection.

The essence of Islam is the acknowledgement of the Lordship of Allah; that He alone is to be worshipped and obeyed. The whole of creation is His handiwork and thus should be respected and cared for. That is why even when killing animals for food, the Muslim mentions the name of Allah, and so acknowledges the fact that this animal is owned by Him and has been provided for mankind out of His bounty. The Muslim recognizes that nothing happens within creation except by the knowledge and permission of Allah and that there exists wisdom and knowledge far beyond the reach of human beings. Indeed of knowledge, we have only been given a little. Hence there is no pride or arrogance as Allah alone is the Sovereign Lord and one of the things, which He dislikes is oppression. The Muslims have been called upon to spread good relations, honor the ties of the womb, help the poor and oppressed and alleviate suffering. To help the Muslims do this, Allah prescribed a way of life for the human beings so that all their duties and responsibilities in life could be fulfilled, as well as their spiritual potential and the development of their character.

Everything done in the life of a Muslim can be regarded as an act of worship if it is done with the intention of gaining the pleasure of Allah. So learning, working, taking care of the family and even the so-called mundane duties of life can be turned into means of closeness to Allah, as they are performed according to Islam and with the intention of gaining closeness to Allah.

In His Infinite Mercy, Allah turned to mankind and provided them with the necessary guidelines to live by, in order to attain success in this life and the next. Prohibitions from evil and all that leads to it, and encouragement to do good and establish piety have been prescribed and clearly set out.

The Muslim must worship Allah alone, pray five times a day, fast from dawn to sunset in the month of Ramadan, pay Zakat (a percentage of ones' wealth given to the poor), and perform Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah, if one is able to do so, once in their life time). Along with these basic pillars of Islam, the Muslim must follow the laws of Allah which outline the duties and responsibilities of family members, behavior in society, business, etc including all aspects of life. Every person has a trust, a role to perform which binds society into a harmonious unit. There are strict punishments for murder, theft, adultery, oppression and vices, which destroy the body and soul of man. How many families have been destroyed because of adultery? How many children suffer because of that? How many people today live in constant fear of being killed or robbed? These laws were instituted to protect human beings from evil.

The human being is regarded as a wondrous creation of Allah and within each person resides an innate nature that urges him/her to search for Allah (God) , truth, peace, justice and all that is good. Each child is born pure and no one bears the sins o r burdens of another. However, as the child grows, often this innate nature becomes distorted according to environment and education, but it remains deep within the psyche of man, emerging from time to time throughout life; responding to the individual's desire to attain their spiritual potential and closeness to Allah.

The relation between the body, mind and soul of man is paid a lot of attention in Islam. Man was created, prone to weakness and desires and so a lot of spiritual strength is required to overcome the evil in and around us. The struggle between good and evil is ongoing. It began in the beginning of time when satan refused to bow down to Adam and acknowledge his superiority and then again when satan tempted both Adam and Eve until they were cast out of the Gardens of Paradise. Allah forgave Adam and Eve but the consequences of their actions was that they were to live on the earth. Hence, the beginning of mankind. Satan remains as the enemy of mankind, having vowed to entrap as many as possible in his evil designs but Allah promised His help and protection to those who follow His ways and trust in Him.

Islam prescribes many forms of worship which help to develop spiritual strength in man. For example, prayer five times a day becomes a life line for the Muslim; a time to stop the activities of life and remember the bounties of Allah, His Mercy, Kindness and the reality of the Day of Judgment. It requires commitment and discipline and a high level of personal cleanliness of both body and soul. Also, fasting in Ramadan from dawn until sunset is a rigorous feat that can only be performed by those who are patient. It is not just keeping away from food and drink, but controlling the tongue, the desires and the urge to become angry, gossip and all other kinds of evil. There is also the pilgrimage to Makkah, which was the first mosque erected in the history of mankind, for the worship of Allah. It was built by prophet Abraham and his son Ishmael and continues to be visited by Muslims from all over the world. People until today, travel to Makkah in many ways. Some by plane, ship, motor vehicle and still some walk and ride animals. The atmosphere there is one of peace, love and fear of Allah, seeking forgiveness of sins and renewal. It is an event of great spiritual and practical significance, as people return from Hajj, refreshed and ready to face life and its hardships, while striving to obey Allah and establish piety of earth..

On Religious Tolerance





  While on his deathbed, Umar ibn al-Khattab, may Allah bless him, dictated a long Will consisting of instructions for the next Khalifah (Muslim President). Here is the last sentence of that historic document: “I instruct you on behalf of the people who have been given protection in the name of Allah and His Prophet peace be upon him. [That is the non-Muslim minorities within the Islamic state]. Our covenant to them must be fulfilled, we must fight to protect them, and they must not be burdened beyond their capabilities”

At that time Umar was lying in pain because of the wounds inflicted on him by a non-Muslim who had stabbed him with a dagger soaked in poison while he was leading the fajr prayer. It should also be remembered that he was the head of a vast empire ranging from Egypt to Persia. From normal rulers of his time or ours, we could have expected vengeance and swift reaction. (The enlightened rulers of today have sent bombers even on suspicion of murder conspiracy). From a very forgiving head of state we could have expected an attempt to forget and forgive and that would be considered noble. But a command to protect the minorities and take care of them?

What is even more remarkable is that for Muslim historians the entire affair was just natural. After all it was the Khalifah himself who had established the standards by writing the guarantees for the protection of life, property and religion in decree after decree as Muslims opened land after land during his rule. The pattern established here was followed for centuries throughout the Muslim world.

Of course, Umar, may Allah bless him, was simply following what he learnt from the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him himself. That the protection of life, property and religious freedom of minorities is the religious duty of the Islamic state. That he personally would be demanding justice in the hereafter on behalf of a dhimmi who had been wronged by a Muslim. That there is no compulsion in religion and that Muslims must be just to friends and foe alike

The result of these teachings was a Muslim rule that set the gold standard for religious tolerance in a world that was not used to the idea. Not only that the Muslim history is so remarkably free of the inquisitions, persecutions, witch hunts, and holocausts that tarnish history of other civilizations, it protected its minorities from persecution by others as well. It protected Jews from Christians and Eastern Christians from Roman Catholics. In Spain under the Umayyads and in Baghdad under the Abbasid Khalifahs, Christians and Jews enjoyed a freedom of religion that they did not allow each other or anyone else.

This exemplary tolerance is built into Islamic teachings. The entire message of Islam is that this life is a test and we have the option of choosing the path to hell or to heaven. Messengers were sent to inform about the choices and to warn about the consequences. They were not sent to forcibly put the people on the right path. The job of the Muslims is the same. They must deliver the message of Islam to the humanity as they have received it. They are neither to change it to make it attractive, nor to coerce others to accept it. In addition, the results in the hereafter will depend upon faith. For all good acts are meaningless in the absence of the proper faith. And faith is an affair of the heart. It simply cannot be imposed.

It is not an idea that followers of other religions have shared with Islam. The result is, Muslim experience in the area of tolerance has been exactly opposite of the rest of the world. As Marmaduke Pickthall noted: “It was not until the Western nations broke away from their religious law that they became more tolerant, and it was only when the Muslims fell away from their religious law that they declined in tolerance.”

The path that the Western world took to provide harmony in society was to banish religion from the public square. For this achievement, it thinks that it has earned lecturing rights over the issue. So it may be good to remember that while it has indeed made huge progress in the area of tolerance during the last century (which should be appreciated), it has a long way to go before it can reach the standards established by Islam. First, while Muslim Personal Law is not recognized in the West, the Personal Law of non-Muslim minorities has always been recognized in the Muslim world. Second, while throughout Europe and America, Muslims are not permitted to make the call to prayer (Adhan) on loud speakers, church bells ring freely in the Muslim world. Third, the wide spread anti-Islamic prejudice in the Western media is both a cause and a consequence of the underlying intolerance. Fourth, hate crimes are a fact of life in the West. As just one small indication, nearly two-dozen incidents of vandalism have taken place against Mosques in the peaceful USA during the last seven years, not to mention hundreds of attacks against individuals. Fifth, the will to admit this state of affairs is also not sufficiently strong. Again here is just one indication: In 1999 two resolutions were floated in the US Senate and House, titled “A resolution supporting religious tolerance toward Muslims.” While the Senate resolution passed, the House resolution was gutted under pressure from several Jewish and Christian groups.

The situation of the rest of the “international community” is not much different. With this background, extortions to display tolerance become a vehicle for imposing one's own intolerance.

Recently some people declared that the demolition of Buddhist statues in a country with no Buddhist minority violated Islam's teachings on religious tolerance. They forgot that religious tolerance means accommodation to religious minorities; it does not mean undermining the majority. Here the issue of religious freedom had been turned on its head. For the real question to ask was, why the Muslims in Afghanistan must endure the statues they abhor?

For Muslims religious tolerance is not about political posturing. It is a serious religious obligation. They must be a force against all intolerance, even that which is promoted in the guise of tolerance
Contributed By : Khalid Baig

Muhammad, The Prophet of Allah





What do Muslims believe about Muhammad peace be upon him ?

All praise is due to Allah and may peace and blessing be upon his servant and Messenger Muhammad and on his household and all of his Companions. 

Muhammad Was Sent To All Of Mankind

The first implication of the testimony that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah is the belief that Allah sent the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam) to all mankind and the jinn until the Day of Judgement. Allah states in the Qur'aan in Soorah 7 Al-'Araaf Aayah 151 Say (to them O Muhammad): O Mankind! I am the Messenger of Allah to you all, (the Messenger) of Him to Whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and of the earth. There is no god but He. He gives life, and makes to die.Believe then in Allah, and in His Messenger (Muhammad), the Prophet who could neither read nor write, who believes in Allah and in His Words (the Qur'aan), and follows him so that perhaps you will be guided.

The Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam) has said: And the prophets were formerly sent to their people only, whereas I have been sent to all mankind. [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

The Finality Of Prophethood

The second implication of the testimony is to believe that the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam) is the final prohet to be sent to mankind. Allah states in the Qur'aan in Soorah 33 Al-Ahzaab Aayah 40 Muhammad is not the father of any one of your men, but he is the Messenger of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets.

The Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam) has said: And the line of the prophets is closed with me [Muslim] And: Before the Last Hour there will be great liars, so beware of them [Muslim]

The above proofs are sufficient to refute any of the heretical groups who claim any prophet or messenger after the Prophet Muhammad such as some contemporary groups do namely: the Nation of Islam who believe that Elijah Muhammad (deceased) was the Messenger of Allah the Qadianis and Ahmadiyyahs who state that Ghulam Ahmed (deceased) was the prophet the so called Submitters or followers of Rashad Khalifah (murdered) who claim that he was a prophet

Two Revelations

The third implication of the testimony "Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah" is to believe that Allah senth two revelations with the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam): the Qur'aan and the Sunnah.
Allah said: Allah was verily gracious to the believers by sending them a messenger from themsleves, to recite them His signs, and to purify them, and to teach them the scripture (the Qur'aan) and the wisdom (the Sunnah) though before that they were in manifest error. [Soorah 3 Al-An'aam, Aayah 164]

The Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam) has said: I have been indeed been given the Qur'aan and something like it along with it. [Abu Dawood]

The Messenger Has Rights

The fourth implication of the testimony is that there are rights due to the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam) that must be observed. Among these are:
  To believe in all that the Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam) has said. To obey the Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam) in what he has commanded and forsake what he has forbidden or discouraged. To worship according to the shari'ah (law) of the Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam) and not by whims and innovations. To judge by the shari'ah of the Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam) and not by any other law. To love the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam) more than our parents, children, mankind, indeed our very selves.
Allah Most High states: Say (to them O Muhammad): If you love Allah, follow me, and Allah will love you, and forgive your sins. Allah is All-Forgiving, Alla-Merciful. Say : Obey Allah and the Messenger. But if they turn away Allah loves not the disbelievers (kaafireen). [Soorah Aali 'Imraan Aayatain 31 - 32]

And let those who oppose his (Muhammad's) command beware, lest a trial befall them (that would lead them to disbelief) or a painful punishment be inflicted on them. [Soorah An-Noor Ayyah 63]

You have indeed a good example in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad) for whosoever hopes for Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much. [Soorah Al-Ahzaab, Aayah 21]

It is not fitting for any believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter, to have a choice in their affair. And whosoever disobeys Allah and his Messenger, he has gone astray into manifest error. [Soorah Al-Ahzaab, Aayah 36]

But no, by your Lord (Rabb), they can have no faith until they make you the judge in all disputes between them, and find in their souls no resistance against your decisions, but accept (them) fully with submission. [Soorah An-Nisaa Aayah 65]

The Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam) has said: All my people will enter Al-Jannah (The Garden) except those who refused. (On being asked about those who refused, he replied:) He who obeys me will enter Al-Jannah, he who disobeys me has refused. [Al-Bukhaari]

If anyone introduces into this affair of ours anything which does not belong to it, it is rejected. [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

None of you believes until I am dearer to him than his father, his child, and all of mankind [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

There are three qualities for which anyone who is characterized by them will experience the sweetness of faith: He whom Allah and His Messenger are dearer than all else; He who loves a human being for Allah's sake alone; and who has as great an abhorence of returning to unbelief after Allah has rescued him from it as he has of being cast in Hell. [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

Muhammad (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam) Was A Man, Not Divine

The fifth implication of the testimony "Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah" is to believe that Muhammad (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam) was only a man sent to us by Allah to be obeyed and that we do not worship him. Allah has said: Say to them (O Muhammad) 'I am only a man like you; it is revealed to me that your God (ilaah) is only One God; so let him who hopes for the meeting with his Rabb do righteousness and not associate anything in the worship of his Rabb'. [Soorah Al-Kahf Aayah 111]

The Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam) has said: Do not over praise me as the Christians over-praised the son of Mary. I am His slave so say: 'Allah's slave and messenger' [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

Let each an every claimant to the religion of Islam be aware of the proofs of his faith and the essential aspects of his testimony. This is especially important in these times when anyone can make any claim and get support for it no matter how outlandish or unfounded by making unauthentic historical or textual claims. We thank Allah for preserving His religion for those who would seek to know the truth and we ask Him to put us and keep us upon the Straight Path, Ameen.

Article by : Al-haramain.org Newsletter

Islam: Misunderstood throughout the World





James A. Bill (professor of government and director of the Reves Center for International Studies at the College of William and Mary in Virginia) writes - 'By the turn of the century, for the first time in history, the number of Muslims (those who practice Islam) will have surpassed the number of Christians in the world.

Islam is a monotheistic religion, civilization and way of life now practiced by 1.1 billion people. Easily the world's fastest growing religion, Islam is not confined to the Middle East. It is a truly universal force. More Muslims live in America today than all the Presbyterians and Episcopalians put together. 

There are more than 1,200 mosques in the United States and 1000 mosques in England, where the Muslim community has established its own national parliament. There are more Muslims in Indonesia than in Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Saudi Arabia put together. More live in Malaysia than in Jordan, Lebanon and Kuwait combined. Nearly 20 million Muslims live in China. 

Wherever one looks, Islam is on the move. As the people of many societies find themselves rootless, disconnected and alienated, they increasingly seek help in a comforting Islamic ideological refuge. In a world of incoherent violence, widening inequities, political corruption and shattered families, many are massing behind the green flag of Islam. This is essentially a populist movement, a bubbling up from below, a march of the distressed, the dispossessed and the oppressed. .... 

… Although the great bulk of Muslims seek to improve their status through quiet, moderate and pacific means, violent methods have been adopted by fringe groups—elements also present in Christianity and Judaism. Oblivious to their own profound ignorance and often harboring crude political motivations, many Western opinion leaders consistently label all Muslims with words such as 'aggressive', 'militant' and 'uncivilized'. Islam is the 'religion of the sword'; Muslim activists are 'terrorists,' and Muslims countries that challenge Western policies are 'outlaw states'. 

Muslims themselves maintain quite a different worldview. It is in the deepest interest of the United States to attempt to understand this perspective. In brief, Muslims see themselves as the afflicted, not the afflictors; they feel themselves desperately on the defensive, not on the offensive; they consider themselves the objects of violence, not the initiators of violence. In sum, Muslims across the world consider themselves victims. In support of their position, Muslims will take their Christian and Jewish neighbors on a quick tour of the world. They inevitably begin with Bosnia, where nearly 200,000 Muslims have been slaughtered by Serbian Christians. Muslims are horrified and sickened by the fact that 22,000 Muslim women, aged 9 to 82, have been raped by Christian troopers. Muslims wonder privately about the weak and very late Western response. 

In Kashmir, Indian occupying forces violently oppress Muslims, killing thousands of Kashmiris. Elsewhere in India in December 1992 and January 1993, violent Hindu mobs went on a rampage in Bombay, killing over 800 Muslims, destroying 5000 Muslim homes and forcing 200,000 Muslims to flee the city. Mosques were firebombed and mothers watched as their sons were pulled from their homes and slain or burned alive. In Tajikstan and other places in Central Asia, the Communists have made a comeback and, with the help of Russian troops, have attacked and killed more than 20,000 Muslims. Another 350,000 have been forced to flee. 

Even in China, Muslims find themselves under heavy military pressure. Chinese troops oppress Muslims in the western province of Xinjiang. 

Even in many of the predominantly Muslim countries of the Middle East, Muslims find themselves under attack where the leadership is essentially secular. In Iraq, Saddam Hussein continues his war of genocide against the Shi'ites in the south. 

In Algeria, when the Islamists scored a surprise victory in the December 1991 elections, the regime declared the election null and void. Since then, Algeria has been the scene of a bloody civil war. The government blames Islamic fundamentalists of striking terror in the very same areas where they had received majority of votes from. The governments explanation of fundamentalists unleashing waves of terror in their own strongholds, sounds very plausible indeed and casts shadows of dound over the credentials of the secular government instead. 

In Egypt, Hosni Mubarak's regime, facing widespread disaffection of its people, pursues a policy of torture and execution of members of the Muslim opposition. In March 1993, his troops fired upon 500 unarmed Muslims at prayer in the Rahman Mosque in Aswan, killing nine and injuring 50. In the West Bank, another more widely publicized mosque massacre occurred a year later in Hebron when a Jewish settler killed 30 in a group of praying Muslims before the survivors could beat him to death. This litany of anti-Islamic violence is recognized and recited by Muslims everywhere. The situation is exacerbated when Muslims incredulously find themselves labeled as terrorists and when Western governments encourage their secular Middle Eastern allies to confront Muslim populist movements with brute force. One result of these Western perceptions and policies, of course, is that they begin to radicalize the huge mass of moderate Muslim believers. Meanwhile, the extremists on the fringes become more active and militant. 

A vicious cycle of misunderstanding, misguided policy and increasing violence has been set in motion. Before this vicious cycle begins to spin wildly out of control, it is essential that non-Muslims make a major effort to slow it down. Such an effort will, as the very first step, require that stereotypes be discarded. 

Second, recent history shows that the application of force is not always an effective way of countering a system of deeply held ideas and beliefs. The steady flame of resurgent Islam will not be extinguished by the breeze of bullets or the blast of missiles. A recently published report in Washington Post, confirms Islam to be the fastest growing religion in the United States despite hostile government policies and negative media stereotyping, only goes on to prove the truth of this statement. It is time for everyone to take a crash course on Islam. More recently, CNN too published a report, first of US kind ever done in this part of the World, titled as: Islam in US - Growing and maturing.'

Human Rights in Islam





Since God is the absolute and the sole master of men and the universe, He is the sovereign Lord, the sustainer and Nourisher, the Merciful, Whose mercy enshrines all beings; and since He has given each man human dignity and honour, and breathed into him of His own spirit, it follows that, united in Him and through Him, and apart from their other human attributes, men are substantially the same and no tangible and actual distinction can be made among them, on account of their accidental differences such as nationality, colour or race. 

Every human-being is thereby related to all others and all become one community of brotherhood in their honourable and pleasant servitude to the most compassionate Lord of the Universe. In such a heavenly atmosphere the Islamic confession of the oneness of God stands dominant and central, and necessarily entails the concept of the oneness of humanity and the brotherhood of mankind. 

Although an Islamic state may be set up in any part of the earth, Islam does not seek to restrict human rights or privileges to the geographical limits of its own state. Islam has laid down some universal fundamental rights for humanity as a whole, which are to be observed and respected under all circumstances whether such a person is resident within the territory of the Islamic state or outside it, whether he is at peace with the state or at war.  

The Qur'an very clearly states: { O ye who believe! Stand out firmly for Allah, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not there be hatred of others to make you swerve to wrong and depart from Justice. Be just: that is next to Piety: and Fear Allah. For Allah is well -aquainted with all that you do } (Quran 5:80) 

Human blood is sacred in any case and cannot be spilled without justification. And if anyone violates this sanctity of human blood by killing a soul without justification, the Qur'an equates it to the killing of entire mankind: { ..... Whoso slays a soul not to retaliate for a soul slain, nor for corruption done in the land, should be as if he had slain mankind altogether } 

It is not permissible to oppress women, children, old people, the sick or the wounded. Women's honour and chastity are to be respected under all circumstances. The hungry person must be fed, the naked clothed and the wounded or diseased treated medically irrespective of whether they belong to the Islamic community or are from amongst its enemies. 

When we speak of human rights in Islam we really mean that these rights have been granted by God; they have not been granted by any king or by any legislative assembly. The rights granted by the kings or the legislative assemblies, can also be withdrawn in the same manner in which they are conferred. The same is the case with the rights accepted and recognised by the dictators. They can confer them when they please and withdraw them when they wish; and they can openly violate them when they like. But since in Islam human rights have been conferred by God, no legislative assembly in the world or any government on earth has the right or authority to make any amendment or change in the rights conferred by God. No one has the right to abrogate them or withdraw them. Nor are they basic human rights which are conferred on paper for the sake of show and exhibition and denied in actual life when the show is over. Nor are they like philosophical concepts which have no sanctions behind them. 

The charter and the proclamations and the resolutions of the United Nations cannot be compared with the rights sanctioned by God; because the former is not applicable on anybody while the latter is applicable on every believer. They are a part and parcel of the Islamic Faith. Every Muslim or administrator who claim themselves to be Muslims, will have to accept, recognise and enforce them. If they fail to enforce them, and start denying the rights that have been guaranteed by God or make amendments and changes in them, or practically violate them while paying lip service to them, the verdict of the Holy Qur'an for such government is clear and unequivocal: { Those who do not judge by what God has sent down are the disbelievers } (5:44). 
  

Human Rights in an Islamic State :
1. The Security of Life and Property: In the address which the Prophet delivered on the occasion of the Farewell Hajj, he said: "Your lives and properties are forbidden to one another till you meet your Lord on the Day of Resurrection". The Prophet has also said about the dhimmis (the non-Muslim citizens of the Muslim state): "One who kills a man under covenant (i.e., Dhimmi) will not even smell the fragrance of Paradise". 

2. The Protection of Honour: The Holy Qur'an lays down- 
  1) {You who believe, do not let one (set of) people make fun of another set}
  2) {Do not defame one another}
  3) {Do not insult by using nickname}
  4) {Do not backbite or speak ill of one another}

3. Sanctity and Security of Private Life: The Qur'an has laid down the injunction- 
  1) {Do not spy on one another}
  2) {Do not enter any houses unless you are sure of their occupant's consent}

4. The Security of Personal Freedom: Islam has laid down the principle that no citizen can be imprisoned unless his guilt has been proved in an open court. To arrest a man only on the basis of suspicion and to throw him into a prison without proper court proceedings and without providing him a reasonable opportunity to produce his defence is not permissible in Islam. 

5. The Right to Protest Against Tyranny: Amongst the rights that Islam has conferred on human beings is the right to protest against government's tyranny. Referring to it the Qur'an says. "God does not love evil talk in public unless it is by some one who has been injured thereby". In Islam, as has been argued earlier, all power and authority belongs to God, and with man there is only delegated power which becomes a trust; everyone who becomes a recipient or a donee of such a power has to stand in awful reverence before his people towards whom and for whose sake he will be called upon to use these powers. This was acknowledged by Abu Bakr who said in his very first address: "Cooperate with me when I am right but correct me when I commit error; obey me so long as I follow the commandments of Allah and His prophet; but turn away from me when I deviate". 

6. Freedom of Expression: Islam gives the right of freedom of thought and expression to all citizens of the Islamic state on the condition that it should be used for the propagation of virtue and truth and not for spreading evil and wickedness. 
The Islamic concept of freedom of expression is much superior to the concept prevalent in the West. Under no circumstances would Islam allow evil and wickedness to be propagated. It also does not give anybody the right to use abusive or offensive language in the name of criticism. It was the practice of the Muslims to enquire from the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H.) whether on a certain matter a divine injunction had been revealed to him. If he said that he had received no divine injunction, the Muslims freely expressed their opinion on the matter. 

7. Freedom of Association: Islam has also given people the right to freedom of association and formation of parties or organisations. This right is also subject to certain general rules. 

8. Freedom of Conscience and Conviction: Islam has laid down the injunction: There should be no coercion in the matter of faith. 
On the contrary totalitarian societies totally deprive the individuals of their freedom. Indeed this undue exaltation of the state authority curiously enough postulates a sort of servitude, of slavishness on the part of man. At one time slavery meant total control of man over man - now that type of slavery has been legally abolished but in its place totalitarian societies impose a similar sort of control over individuals. 

9. Protection of Religious Sentiments: Along with freedom of conviction and freedom of conscience Islam has given the right to the individual that his religious sentiments will be given due respect and nothing will be said or done which may encroach upon his right. 

10. Protection from Arbitrary Imprisonment: Islam also recognises the right of the individual that he will not be arrested or imprisoned for the offences of others. The Holy Qur'an has laid down this principle clearly: {No bearer of burdens shall be made to bear the burden of another}

11. The Right to Basic Necessities of Life: Islam has recognised the right of the needy people that help and assistance will be provided to them: And in their wealth there is acknowledged right for the needy and the destitute. 

12. Equality Before Law: Islam gives its citizens the right to absolute and complete equality in the eyes of the law. 
13. Rulers Not Above the Law: A woman belonging to a high and noble family was arrested in connection with theft. The case was brought to the Prophet, and it was recommended that she might be spared the punishment of theft. The Prophet replied, "The nations that lived before you were destroyed by God because they punished the common-man for their offences and let their dignitaries go unpunished 
for their crimes; I swear by Him Who holds my life in His hand that even if Fatima, the daughter of Muhammad, had committed this crime, I would have amputated her hand". 

14. The Right to Participate in the Affairs of State: {And their business is (conducted) through consultation among themselves} (42:38). 
The shura or the legislative assembly has no other meaning except that: The executive head of the government and the members of the assembly should be elected by free and independent choice of the people. 

Lastly, it is to be made clear that Islam tries to achieve the above-mentioned human rights and many others not only by providing certain legal safeguards but mainly by inviting mankind to transcend the lower level of animal life to be able to go beyond the mere ties fostered by the kinship of blood, racial superiority, linguistic arrogance, and economic privileges. It invites mankind to move on to a plane of existence where, by reason of his inner excellence, man can realise the ideal of the Brotherhood of man.

Why Muslims Believe that Islam is the truth





Many Christians & Jews don't know that Muslims believe in their prophets and holy books. Muslims believe that the Bible and the Torah were changed by people for their personal benefits. This is why God sent Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, not with a new religion, but to correct the people who had gone astray, those who were worshipping idols and being misguided by their forefathers. 

Islam is the last message to the world and God wants the miracle of Islam to be witnessed by the people from Prophet Muhammad's, peace be upon him, time till the day of Judgment. The miracle is the Qu'ran, Muslims holy book. 

Many Christians & Jews don't know that Muslims believe in their prophets and holy books. Muslims believe that the Bible and the Torah were changed by people for their personal benefits. This is why God sent Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, not with a new religion, but to correct the people who had gone astray, those who were worshipping idols and being misguided by their forefathers. 

Islam is the last message to the world and God wants the miracle of Islam to be witnessed by the people from Prophet Muhammad's, peace be upon him, time till the day of Judgment. The miracle is the Qu'ran, Muslims holy book. 

Why is the Qur'an a miracle ?


1- The Qu'ran is an untouchable book : After 1400 years, from the begining of Prophet Muhammad's, peace be upon him, message, the Qu'ran has not changed in any way, even as a matter of one charachter. Prooving this is very easy, since you can compare all the versions of the Qu'ran everywhere in the world and you will find them all the same. God ensured that this book would be saved from any changes attempted by human beings. God said in the Qur'an : " We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption)" 

2- The Qu'ran contains many scientific facts that have been discovered recently using computer systems and microscopes. Many scientists have attended conferences dealing with this subject and have themselves accepted Islam. These same scientists have said that it is not possible that Muhammad, peace be upon him, an illiterate man, who lived 1400 years ago, could have discovered such things on his own. God said in the Qur'an : "Soon will We show them Our Signs in the (furthest) regions (of the earth), and in their own souls, until it becomes manifest to them that this is the Truth. Is it not enough that thy Lord doth witness all things" ( Quran 41:53 )
For more information about this topic please visit : http://www.it-is-truth.org 

3- The Qu'ran, which is in Arabic, was revealed to the people of the Arabian Gulf who invented the Arabic language. Through Muhammad, peace be upon him, Allah challenged the people who claimed that a human wrote it to emulate such a book. No one from the time of the Prophet till now could write a book that contained the many scientific facts, miracles and similar effects on people that the Qu'ran did and still does today. 

4- The Qu'ran had not one Arabic grammar mistake, which was recognized by the disbelievers at the time of the Prophet, who were the founders of the Arabic language. 

These are a few examples of why Muslims believe in the Qur'an. 

Here are some verses from God to Muslims encouraging them to invite the People of the Book ( Jews and Christians to Islam ): 

God said : {Say: "O People of the Book! Why reject ye the Signs of Allah, when Allah is Himself witness to all ye do?} (Quran 3:98) 

God tell Muslims to say : {..'We believe in that which had been revealed to us and revealed to you, and our God and your God is One, and unto Him we surrender} (Quran 29:46)

The Objective Reasoning and The Convincing Islam





  Muhammad, the prophet of Islam followed the footsteps of earlier prophets like Abraham, Moses, Jacob and Jesus. He was a descendant of Abraham, and the core principles of Islam are those taught by all prophets from Noah to Jesus. All prophets before Muhammad focused on a particular nation or residence, however, because Muhammad’s message was the final call from God, he was sent to the all mankind. Human beings are all created and meant for one and only one reason, to worship God. The collective mental and spiritual ability of all humans cannot construct a single conclusive approach to understand and praise God, as each one of our senses has its limitations and boundaries, their combined efforts will also have impassable circumference. There we need above human guidance and its here that we get prophets who themselves receive revelations from God.

defenders of Islam even against the Arabs who brought it in the first place! Indeed the great scholars of Islam were mainly from non-Arab Muslims who used to travel from India, central Asia and Spain to Mecca and Medina to teach the Arabs about Islam! 

A message brought by an illiterate prophet, Muhammad, got the biggest share of audience in the market of theologies and beliefs and now convinces 1.3 billion people around the world. 

The prevailing atheist believe of our time which avoids to mention the word “God” in any stage of our life is the result of bewilderment in an array of manly philosophies that tried to find an answer to the reason of our existence through presumption and analogy. The conflict between the religious men and the scientists in Europe few centuries ago made the scientists seek guidance in the theological ideas of philosophers, when the contradicting philosophical ideas seemed inconceivable, they turned back to their laboratories, looked in the scientific experiments, through microscopes, telescopes and hypothesis and when they could not see, smell, hear or touch any god, heaven or hell, their answer was clear… there was no god. This atheist attitude justified some scientists to formulate answers for any question arising from the nature or space and it is always taken as new “Scientific theory” as long as it doesn’t mention God. But where are the limitations of our senses? Do we have to have an answer for every question? Do we have to understand every event or object in the space? 

There was a time when witchcrafts had the answers for everything in the life and space through astrology and palm reading, now scientists have every answer through their theories and microscopes. 

When our comprehension comes to its boundary, we can only get further by following the prophets. Contrary to the scientists and astrologists who mainly convince particular groups of society, the richness and simplicity of prophetic knowledge appeals to people from all walks of life, That is why prophets have diverse followers in terms of intellect, age, colour, skill, literacy, etc. 

Contributed by :Abdulqadir Diriye, UK

Do You Know This Book ?





  Of all the acclaimed masterpieces that the world has seen, nothing can be compared to the book known as the Qur'an. Millions have become Muslims upon simply hearing a verse from this amazing book, yet still the majority knows nothing of it. The Qur'an is the Final Revelation from the Creator to humanity. It was revealed in the year 610 CE to the Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him), and completed over a period of 23 years. These 23 years of revelation resulted in a book which comprised of 114 chapters and over 6000 verses. All of this was to become the primary source of law for the whole of mankind to live and die by. 

The impact of this book is such that Allah says : "Had We revealed this Qur'an upon a mountain, surely you would have seen it humble itself and crumble out of the fear of Allah. Such are the parables We put forward to mankind so that they may reflect" (Surah Al-Hashr 59:21)


However, it seems as if the hearts of the people have become harder then the mountains which tower above us. When the Qur'an is recited or even mentioned, people turn away with disgust. In the West, this is primarily due to the negative exposure from the media. It has resulted in many non-Muslims not even wanting to hear the name of this amazing book. Muslims too, have become hardhearted because of the cultural influences of the West. Many young Muslims perceive the Qur'an to be nothing more then an old wrapped up book, which comes off the highest shelf once a year during Ramadan! 

If people were to truly reflect upon this book, they would realise that nothing in this world is quite the same. So why should this claim be accepted over others? Why should the Qur'an be given precedence over the likes of the Bible, the Gita or the Granth Sahib ? The following reasons will inshallah give an indication as to why this book deserves the attention of all humanity.
Preservation

"There is probably in the world no other book which has remained twelve centuries with so pure a text". Writing 200 years ago, these are the words of the famous English critic of Islam, Sir William Muir. But as Muslims we do not need Williarn Muir to tell us this. 1400 years ago, the Muslims accepted this reality when Allah revealed to them:

"Indeed it is We who have sent down the reminder (the Qur'an), and indeed it is Us who shall preserve it" (Surah Al-Hijr 15:9) 

These words have proved true to this very day. From the moment the first words were revealed to Muhammed (saws), to this very day, every single letter and word of the Qur'an has remained unchanged. 

Before Islam, all the revelations sent were not given this divine assurance. This is why we find that books like the Bible are riddled with corruption and inaccuracies. It is well known that man has tampered with the Bible to the extent that annually different versions are produced to suit trends and desires. In fact this has been going on for so long that it is almost impossible to see what of the words of the Creator are left, if any! 

With the Qur'an it is the exact opposite. The contents of this amazing book are stored in the hearts of millions of Muslims worldwide. Children as young as 12 have memorised the entire book in its original language, Arabic. There is no other religious scripture on earth which is orally preserved in its original language by so many and over such a period of time, without having been tampered somewhere along the line. The Bible is a prime example of this. Many Christians believe that English is the divine language of the Bible. However Jesus (as) spoke Aramaic. From Aramaic, his life-story was translated into Hebrew. From Hebrew it was translated into Greek. From Greek to Latin, and then finally from Latin to English! There has not been a single vicar, priest or layman in recorded history who has even memorised the Bible in English, let alone the Aramaic! As Muslims we believe the Qur'an can only be in the language it was revealed in, i.e. Arabic. Anything else is a translation and not the divine words of the Creator. A true test of this divine preservation would be to burn all the books and manuscripts in existence, to see which can return as it was. The Qur'an would be the only book which would return in its original form, letter for letter, word for word. 

Many Christians say that the Qur'anic claim of preservation needs to be backed-up by manuscript evidence. For us this is not a necessary criteria, but in order to quell the doubts, the Muslims have ample proof. Two copies of the Qur'an are in existence which date back to the Third Caliph Uthmaan, 20 years after the death of the Prophet (peace be upon him). These two copies are to be found in the Topkapi museum, Istanbul, Turkey and in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The Tashkent copy is thought to have been the personal copy of the Caliph as it still contains stains of his blood, which was shed when he was murdered whilst reading it. Any copy of the Qur'an which is compared to these copies, will show that there is not a single difference between what we have today and what was in existence 1400 years ago. Thus Allah's promise holds true.
No Mistakes

Man as a creature is fallible. For this reason anything which is produced by him will naturally have faults. With the Qur'an, such a notion cannot even be considered as it is from the one who is Infallible. In fact Allah clarifies this matter beautifully when he says:

"Do they not consider the Qur'an? Had it been from other then Allah surely they would have found much discrepancies within it" (Surah An-Nisa 4:82)

Throughout history many have tried to scrutinise and search the Qur'an for mistakes and errors. To this day no one has been able to bring a shred of proof showing that this book is not from Allah. Some Christians have even called it the work of the Devil because the book affected them so much when they read it! With other scriptures, contradictions, mistakes and absurdities are constantly present. When people contrast these ambiguities with the Qur'an, it often results in the acceptance of this faultless book.
The Arabic Language

Upon hearing Qur'anic recitation, you may be rather startled. Besides hearing the reciter of the prayer, you often hear people in the background sobbing and wailing heavily. So what is it that makes these people cry so much? It is nothing more then the beauty and eloquence of this book which moves millions to tears. This beauty is expressed in the language of Arabic. Allah says :

"Indeed We have revealed this as an Arabic Qur'an so that you may understand" (Surah Yusuf 12:2) 

At the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) three modes of expression were used. There was normal speech, the speech of the soothsayer and poetry. The Arabs were the masters of their language, and poetry was their cultural highlight. Arabic poetry is split into 16 categories, each separate from the other. When the Qur'an was proclaimed to the Arabs it amazed them beyond all limits. It was like nothing they had ever heard before. It did not fit into the 16 categories of poetry, nor was it the speech of a soothsayer, and it certainly was not normal speech. If it was not all these, then it could only be the word of Allah. 

The eloquence and majesty of the early chapters of the Qur'an moved many to tears, and the beautiful Qur'anic Arabic converted millions of Arabs in the Middle-East. Not only did the Qur'an effect the lives of these Arabs, but it also transformed their culture. Even today, no serious study of the Arabic language is possible without reference to this book. 

The reaction of some pagans was that they accused Muhammed (peace be upon him) of being a soothsayer and a madman. In order to silence them, Allah issued a challenge. At first he asked them to produce a book like the Qur'an. When it could not be done, Allah asked them to produce ten chapters like it. When this too could not be done Allah finally stated:

"And if you are in doubt as to what We have revealed to Our slave, then produce a chapter like it" (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:23) 

The smallest chapter in the Qur'an is only 3 verses long (Chapter 108). The pagans at the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) could not even produce something as small as this, and since then no one else has completed this impossible task. All of this is in light of the fact that the Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) could not read or write, thus refuting those who say that the Qur'an was his own handiwork. 

The Qur'an is the Final book of revelation. After it there will be no more. However, many have tried to deny this by producing their own new versions of the Qur'an. Among them have been the two false prophets, Musailama and Ghulam Ahmed. Many Chapters in the Qur'an are named after animals, such as the Ant, Spider etc. Musailama tried to copy this, and went about creating a chapter in his book called the Weasel! In Arabic it is called Al-Wabl and it hardly causes people to be struck in awe! On the other hand Ghulam Ahmed, the 'British stooge', claimed to receive revelation in cockney English!! Such foolishness could never compare to the beauty of the Qur'an with its clear and beautiful Arabic language.
Science

Over the past few decades much interest has been shown in the scientific content of the Qur'an. Scientific data which has been discovered in recent times, has been existent in this book for 1400 years. In fact the very common origin of this universe is stated clearly by Allah, the Most High:

"Do not the disbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together, then We parted them. And We made from water every living thing. Will they then not believe?" (Surah Al-Anbiya 21:30) 

This parting of the heavens and the earth is more commonly known to scientists as the 'big bang'. It is also a fact that life originated from water and that every living cell is composed of 85% water. Without water life is impossible. 

The mountains of the earth, like icebergs, have roots going deep into the ground. This ensures that they will not topple with their extreme heights - this is known as 'isostasy'. In this way the mountains are like the stakes which are used to anchor a tent. But this fact is already known to us when Allah says:

"Have We not made the earth an expanse and the mountains stakes?" (Surah An-Naba 78:6-7) 

and "Allah has cast into the ground mountains standing firm so that it does not shake with you" (Surah Luqman 31:10) 

The embryological data which is found in the Qur'an is astounding. Allah describes the formation of a baby inside the womb from the very moment the sperm reaches the ovum, to its formation into a human. This data, which was only discovered about 30 years ago, has amazed many westem scientists. Amongst them is Dr Keith Moore from the University of Toronto, Canada. Dr Moore is a recognised authority in embryological circles, with his university text book being set as a standard text in many universities throughout the world. When Dr Moore was asked as to how this information in the Qur'an could be explained, he replied: "It could only have been divinely revealed". 
History

The Qur'an is a book of historical accuracy. One accuracy which has corrected the mistakes of many Christians and historians, is the fate of the pharaoh who drowned in the Red Sea whilst pursuing Moses. The Biblical story would have us believe that the matter ended when the pharaoh drowned. But the Qur'an explains further. When he was drowning the pharaoh confessed his faith in Allah. But it was too late, and Allah promised him: "This day We shall preserve you in your body, so that you may be a sign for those who come after you. But indeed many of mankind are heedless of Our signs" (Surah Yunus 10:92) 

In 1898 the tombs of various pharaohs were discovered in the Valley of the Kings, in Egypt. In 1975 Dr Maurice Bucaille, an eminent French surgeon was allowed to examine the mummified bodies of Rameses II and the pharaoh who had pursued Moses - Merneptah. Dr Bucaille discovered that Merneptah had received very violent blows to several parts of his body and had suffered a massive heart attack. Amazingly, these are the results which occur when someone dies from drowning! Thus Allah had saved the body of the transgressing pharaoh as a sign for all humanity. 

For those who say that Muhammed (saws) knew his history and wrote it in the Qur'an, the following shall prove otherwise. In the year 615 CE the Roman army was defeated by the Persians. About this event Allah revealed: "The Romans have been defeated in the lowest land, but in a few years they shall be victorious again, within three to nine years. The decision of the matter, before and after, is only with Allah" (Surah Ar-Rum 30:2-4) 

The words of Allah proved true as the Persians were defeated at the battle of Issus, 7 years later in 622 CE. There is no possible way that Muhammed (peace be upon him) could have known (if he wrote the Qur'an) that the Romans would be victorious. In fact he also did not know that the 'lowest land' at which the battle was fought was literally that. The battle in 615 CE was fought on the shores of the Dead Sea, the lowest point below sea level on earth, at 1300 ft. 

A book with these credentials could only be from the Creator of the heavens and the earth. A book which we need to acquaint ourselves with. A book . . . "...which has been revealed to you (O' Muhammed) so that you may lead mankind out of the darkness and into the light" (Surah lbrahim 14:1)

A complete code of life





  Islam is a religion, but not in the western meaning of religion. The western connotation of the term "religion" is something between the believer and God. Islam is a religion organizes all aspects of life on both the individual and national levels.


Islam organizes your relations with God, with yourself, with your children, with your relatives, with your neighbor, with your guest, and with other brethren. Islam clearly establishes your duties and rights in all those relationships. 

Islam establishes a clear system of worship, civil rights, laws of marriage and divorce, laws of inheritance, code of behavior, what not to drink, what to wear, and what not to wear, how to worship God, how to govern, the laws of war and peace, when to go to war, when to make peace, the law of economics, and the laws of buying and selling. Islam is a complete code of life. 

Islam is not for the mosque only, it is for daily life, a guide to life in all its aspects: socially, economically, and politically. 

Islam is complete constitution. Thus Islam keeps the Muslim away from confusion, because Islam is logical and rational. Allah is one. Allah is one Allah has no sons. Allah is not trinity. Allah does not kill to save. No mediation is required between Allah and man. Islam organizes human nature, but does not go against it. There is not a class of clergy in Islam; nor is there celibacy. Islam is complete code of human life.
Reference: The Need for Islam by Dr.Muhammad Al Alkhuli

Islamic Concept of God




(Abu Ameenah Bilal Philiphs)

What makes Islam's concept of God unique? What sets it apart from other religions? 

Chapter 112 of the Quran entitled Surat al-Ikhlas (SINCERITY), serves as a good starting point to discuss the unique way in which God is viewed in Islam. 

The first verse of this chapter declares the oneness of "Allah", the Arabic word for God. The word "Allah" itself is worthy of reflection with regards to this discussion.


"Allah" in Arabic is derived from "Ilah" which means god. Whereas "Ilah" can be changed to a plural form "Aliha" (gods), or a feminine form "Ilaha" (goddess), the word "Allah" has neither a sex nor does it have a plural form. In fact there are no other forms of the word "Allah". The word itself is unique. 

Furthermore, "Allah" is the amalgamation of two words: "al-Ilah" or The God, indicating an unambiguous and clear reference to the one and only God. 

Other than the implications of the word "Allah", the first verse goes on to re-emphasize the uniqueness of God by declaring Him to be one. 

In Islam this oneness of God or monotheism is absolutely unequivocal as it is fundamental. 

The verses that follow go on to outline the exclusive and absolutely unique nature of God by declaring that only He is independent of all things (verse 2), He does not beget nor is He begotten (verse 3) and that there is none like Him (verse 4). 

Although Islam may share the concept of monotheism with other religions, it is its unmoving and uncompromising attitude towards this fundamental belief that sets it apart from the other faiths. 

For instance, although Christians testify to the oneness of God, the concept is muddled by the trinity and the belief that Jesus is the Son of God whereas Islam rejects the worship of God in the form of any of his creations, be they men or women, animals, images or inanimate objects even if they are perceived to be intermediaries. 

Human characteristics such as the need to rest or regretting decisions when attributed to God are also dismissed in Islam since they liken Him to His creation, thus contradicting the 4th verse translated above. 

Conversely, attributing characteristics that are inherently exclusive to God such as all-Knowing and all-Seeing or infallibility to humans is also veering off away from the true understanding of God in Islam. 

In conclusion, Islam's unique view of God lies in its pure and absolute monotheism or the oneness of God. 
  

Question from the audience: What is the view of Islam about Jesus? 
Speaker: Jesus as seen as another prophet who brought the same message as those prophets and messengers before him and those after him: to submit to the will of God. 
  

Question from the audience: What is the difference between meditation and prayer in Islam? 
Speaker: Prayer in Islam is a form of meditation but with limits. Prayer or meditation should not be so consuming as to isolate a person from the world in which they live. 
  

Question from the audience: Can those who do not speak Arabic, do their daily prayers in their own language? 
Speaker: It is required by all Muslims to know their prayers in Arabic since the original revelation was in Arabic and a Muslim is expected to know at least the portions that pertain to their prayer. Furthermore by having all Muslims, irrespective of where they are from and what language they can speak, call to prayer in Arabic and perform their prayer in Arabic, it makes it convenient for traveling Muslims to pray together and understand the calls to prayer in foreign lands. 
  

Question from the audience: Is it permissible to celebrate the birth of 
Prophet Mohammad? 
Speaker: In a hadith reported from the Prophet, it is said that any addition to religion after him are innovations and unacceptable. Hence, it is not permissible to celebrate the birth of Prophet Mohammad as a part of the Islamic religion.

The Most Extraordinary Incident Ever!




I was reading a book in the dining room when the printer started to print. Strangely, my computer was in ANOTHER room and I was the only person in the house. I picked up the message which read: 

"The oceans, the insects, the planets and their orbits, the light and the darkness, the air and the water, the perfect flow of the universe, the life, how did it all begin? By accident?"


I quickly went to check who was using my computer. To my surprise, I found my cat playing on the keyboard and just by hitting different keys of the keyboard it produced this message! Unbelievable! I came back to read the message again. It was in plain human language and there was no chance that a cat could have produced it. I have tried to solve this riddle but to no avail, but I remembered later that I was taught at school that this whole universe itself is the result of an accident, the Big Bang! The Big Bang was an explosion that formed the earth, the sun and the planets, and consequently the water, air and the life. Yes it was an accident as said by the scientists. Scientists also agree that every single element in the nature has a purpose and essential role in the smooth flow of the universe. For example if one star leaves its orbit or if the composition of the atmosphere changes slightly it will not support the life as we know it. 

But, if an accident produced this perfect universe, why can't I reward my cat as it became the first ever cat that could WRITE (accidently though)? If my cat can’t write one paragraph in an accident, how can this faultless universe come out of an accident when there was not even a cat on the keyboard? How can I believe the scientists while I cannot believe my own eyes? 

By: Abdulqadir Diriye

Insight of a Muslim Judge






A man came to Iyas Ibn Mu'awiyah, a Muslim judge famous for his wisdom and the following conversation took place between them: 

Man: What is the Islamic ruling regarding wine? 

Judge: It is Haram (Forbidden). 

Man: How about water? 

Judge: It is Halal (Permissible). 

Man: How about dates and grapes? 

Judge: They are Halal. 

Man: Why is it that all these ingredients are halal, and yet when you combine them, they become haram? 


The judge looked at the man and said: If I hit you with this handful of dirt, do you think it would hurt you? 

Man: It would not. 

Judge: How about if I hit you with this handful of straw? 

Man: It would not hurt me. 

Judge: How about a handful of water? 

Man: It surely would not hurt me. 

Judge: How about if I MIX them, and let them DRY to become a BRICK, and then hit you with it, would it hurt you? 

Man: It would hurt me and might even kill me! 

Judge: The same reasoning applies to what you asked me!!

Dar Al-Islam And Dar Al-Harb: Its Definition and Significance





by :Ahmed Khalil

Introduction 

In his book, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, Samuel Huntington says:
People are always tempted to divide people into us and them, the in-group and the other, our civilization and those barbarians. Scholars have analyzed the world in terms of the Orient and the Occident, North and South, center and periphery. Muslims have traditionally divided the world into Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Harb, the abode of peace and the abode of war.[1]



Huntington identified this concept as Muslim tradition. Others, particularly Christian missionaries and polemics, however, have identified this concept as theological. An uninformed Westerner views this classification as a form of discrimination against those that have different beliefs. Even among common Muslims, several controversial opinions arise due to different understandings of what the terms Dar Al-Islam and Dar Al-Harb mean.

Surprisingly, Islamic terminology is full of many other classifications: Dar Al-‘Ahd (Abode of Covenant), Dar Al-Sulh (Abode of Truce), Dar Al-Maslubah (Abode of Pillaged Land), Dar Al-Bid’ah (Abode of Heresy), Dar Al-Baghy (Abode of Usurpation), Dar Al-‘Adl (Abode of Justice), Dar al-Kufr (Abode of Unbelief), et. al. Yet, Western attention prefer to rather focus on the term Dar Al-Harb (Abode of War).

Definition

According to Prof. Muhammad Ishaq Zahid, founder of the Sabr Foundation, and the creator of Islam101.Com, in The Glossary of Islamic Terms, we have:

Dar al-Harb

Dar al-Harb (Domain of War) refers to the territory under the hegemony of unbelievers, which is on terms of active or potential belligerency with the Domain of Islam, and presumably hostile to the Muslims living in its domain.[2]

To understand the classification, it is necessary to understand the sources of the concept. To do this, we need to touch upon the sources of Islam.

Understanding The Sources 

In his book, Fundamentals of Islam, Sayyid Abul A'la Al-Mawdudi classifies Islam as Din (faith) and Shari’ah (Islamic law). The sources of Shari’ah are: the Holy Quran and the Hadith.[3] Al-Mawdudi then describes these sources, saying:

The Qur'an is a divine revelation - each and every word of it is from Allah. The Hadith is a collection of the instructions issued or the memoirs of the last Prophet's conduct and behaviour, as preserved by those who were present in his company or those to whom these were handed down by the first witnesses. These were later sifted and collected by divines and compiled in the form of books among which the collections made by Malik, Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, Nasa'i and Ibn Majah are considered to be the most authentic.[3]

Derived from the Shari’ah is Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), defined by Al-Mawdudi as

Detailed law derived from the Qur'an and the Hadith covering the myriad of problems that arise in the course of man's life...[3]

Throughout time, several religious scholars and legislators have devoted their lives to the science of Fiqh, but four Madhaheb (schools of thought) persist till today:
“Fiqh Hanafi: This is the Fiqh compiled by Abu Hanifa Nu'man bin Thabit with the assistance and cooperation of Abu Yusuf Mahammad, Zufar and others, all of whom had high religious attainments to their credit. This is known as the Hanafi School of Fiqh.
Fiqh Maliki: This Fiqh was derived by Malik bin Anas Asbahi.
Fiqh Shafi'i: Founded by Muhammad bin Idris al-Shafi'i.
Fiqh Hanbali: Founded by Ahmad bin Hanbal.”[3]

According to Shaikh (scholar) Abdul-Aziz Bin Baz, former Grand Mufti and Chief Cleric of Saudi Arabia, the Maliki and Hanafi Madhaheb were introduced and widely spread in the 2nd Century Hijri (Islamic lunar calendar, started 622 AD). The Shafi’i and Hanbali Madhaheb were introduced and spread in the 3rd Century Hijri.[4]

In a program on Al-Jazeera Channel, Al-Shari’ah Wal-Hayah (Islamic Law and Life), dated Sunday May 9th 1999, Shaikh (scholar) Yusuf Al-Qaradawi noted that the concept of Dar Al-Harb (Abode of War) was introduced in the Fiqh Hanafi. Al-Imam (the legislator and scholar) Abu Hanifa divided the Muslim role into two categories: Dar Al-Islam (Abode of Islam) and Dar Al-Harb (Abode of War). He would refer to any non-Muslim domain as Dar Al-Kufr (Abode of Unbelief) or Dar Al-Harb even if there is no current war between them and the Muslims.[5] According to him a country or a territory becomes a Dar Al-Islam if: 

(a) The Muslims must be able to enjoy peace and security; and

(b) It has common frontiers with some Muslim countries (other Dar Al-Islam) [6]

However, the concept of Dar Al-Harb and Dar Al-Islam are not explained in the Qur'an or Sunnah (tradition of the Holy Prophet (P)), says the majority of scholars. It is, in fact, a result of Ijtihad (religious endeavour), which is a terminology used to describe religious endeavour to exercise personal judgement based on the Qur'an and the Sunnah.[2]

Historical Conditions

It is indispensable to view the historical environment of the time, and of the centuries that followed the spread of this classification concept. In an article, titled, “Muslims as Co-Citizens of the West… Rights, Duties & Prospects”, Murad Wildfried Hofmann says:

Due to its structural tolerance vis-à-vis ‘peoples of the book’, the Muslim world has always been multireligious. Islam expanded into formerly Christian territories-the Near East, North Africa, Spain, Byzantium, the Balkans-without eliminating the Christian communities. Nowhere is this more evident than in Cairo, Damascus, and Istanbul, and in countries like Greece and Serbia. This situation was facilitated by the fact that the Qur'an contains what may be called an ‘Islamic Christology’. Coexistence with the large Jewish populations within the Muslim empire-aside from the Near East in Muslim Spain, and subsequently in North Africa and the Ottoman Empire-was facilitated, in turn, by the extraordinary focus of the Qur'an on Jewish prophets in general and Moses in particular. On this basis, Islamic jurisprudence developed the world's first liberal law called al-siyar for the status of religious minorities (al-dhimmi). In the Western world, developments were entirely different. Here, religious intolerance became endemic, even between Christian churches; many sects were outlawed (as during the first Ecumenical Council in Nicaea, in 325), massacred (e.g., the Donatists in North Africa in the 5th century and the Albigenses and Cathari in the thirteenth century), subdued as victims of a ‘crusade’ (Constantinople in 1205), or deserted (like Orthodox East Rome during the siege by Sultan Fatih in 1453). In Germany, a war lasting thirty years between Protestant and Catholic princes decimated the population (1618-1648).

Under these circumstances and fuelled by the Church dictum extra ecclesia nullum salus (no salvation outside the church), even minimal tolerance of Muslims could not be expected. The expulsion of both Muslims and Jews from Spain in the sixteenth century-the first case of ‘ethnic cleansing’ in modern history-made Europe virtually ‘Muslim-free.’ There was interaction between the two camps-trade, scientific penetration, diplomatic missions-but no living Muslim presence in the Occident until the twentieth century.[6]

With this historical perspective in light, it was deemed vital that concepts of distinction between safe and unsafe, Islamic and non-Islamic be pertained. Based on the universality of the Islamic belief, that Muhammad(P) was sent to the whole World:

“We sent thee not, but as a Mercy for all creatures.”

-- 21. Al–Anbiya’: 107 (Abdullah Yusuf Ali).

Based on the firm belief of enjoying the right to exercise one’s own religion anywhere, without compulsion:

"Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in God hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And God heareth and knoweth all things."

-- 2. Al-Baqarah: 256 (Abdullah Yusuf Ali).

Hence, the vitality and necessity of having clearly defined labels that would ensure the protection and uplifting of the Muslim Ummah (nation). However, pertaining to Ijtihad (religious endeavour), there is no holiness or Divinity to the classification. The social, economic, and environmental circumstances of the time and location create certain needs that arise and need be fulfilled. That is why the door to Ijtihad (religious endeavour) is always open in Islam. Speaking of the four Madhaheb, Al-Mawdudi says:

All of these were given their final form within two hundred years of the time of the Prophet. The differences that appear in the four schools are but the natural outcome of the fact that truth is many-sided. When different persons employ themselves in interpreting a given event, they come out with different explanations according to their own lights. What gives these various schools of thought the authenticity that is associated with them is the unimpeachable integrity of their respective founders and the authenticity of the method they adopted.[3]

Times Have Changed 

As a result of elapsed time, social, economic and environmental circumstances have changed, especially in the last century. With that in mind, Murad Wildfried Hofmann says:

Under these conditions, contemporary Muslims may well pose themselves the question already posed in Spain 500 years ago, i.e., Is it permissible for a Muslim to take up residence in what has been labelled Dar al-Harb or Dar al-Kufr? This question was discussed in considerable depth when Spanish Muslims, overrun by the Reconquista, chose to stay, and even before this event, because the Prophet sent a group of Makkan Muslims to Christian Ethiopia (615-622). Some of the 'ulama [scholars], including Imam Abu Hanifa, disapproved of permanent Muslim residence in non-Muslim territory. Imam Shafi'i, on the other hand, believed that Muslims could stay behind in former Muslim lands, provided that they could practice Islam and were not subject to Christian missionary efforts. In contrast to that, already in the eighth century, Imam Jafar al-Sadiq underlined that Muslims might serve Islam better when living among non-Muslims than when living only with Muslims. Al-Mawardi concurred with this opinion in the eleventh century. Later on the Hanifa madhhab became even more liberal. It accepted the idea that there might be pockets of dar al-Islam inside non-Muslim territories; in addition, they were ready to exempt emigrant Muslims from observing certain parts of the shari'ah if this seemed necessary because of ikrah (compulsion), durura (hardship), or maslaha (benefit).[6]

Today’s Classification

Today, majority of Islamic scholars agree upon a classification into three. Shaikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi says, on Al-Shari’ah Wal-Hayah (Islamic Law and Life), Al-Jazeera Channel, dated Tuesday February 6th 2001, these three categories are:
Dar Al-Islam: The abode of Islam, the Muslim nation.
Dar Al-Harb: The abode of war, those that have declared war against the Muslim nation.
Dar Al-‘Ahd: The abode of covenant, the countries that have diplomatic agreements and covenants with the Muslim nation.[5] 

The concept of Dar Al-‘Ahd (Abode of Covenant) is obtained from the judicial rulings of manslaughter, as outlined in the Quran:

“Never should a believer kill a believer; but (If it so happens) by mistake, (Compensation is due): If one (so) kills a believer, it is ordained that he should free a believing slave, and pay compensation to the deceased's family, unless they remit it freely. If the deceased belonged to a people at war with you, and he was a believer, the freeing of a believing slave (Is enough). If he belonged to a people with whom ye have treaty of Mutual alliance, compensation should be paid to his family, and a believing slave be freed. For those who find this beyond their means, (is prescribed) a fast for two months running: by way of repentance to God: for God hath all knowledge and all wisdom.”

-- 3. Al-Nisa’: 92 (Abdullah Yusuf Ali).

The indication is in the words “…a people with whom ye have treaty of Mutual alliance…” In fact, Allah commands us to ordain to the covenant that was agreed upon with the disbelievers:

“(But the treaties are) not dissolved with those Pagans with whom ye have entered into alliance and who have not subsequently failed you in aught, nor aided any one against you. So fulfil your engagements with them to the end of their term: for God loveth the righteous.”

-- 9. Al-Tawba: 4 (Abdullah Yusuf Ali).

“… As long as these stand true to you, stand ye true to them: for God doth love the righteous.”

-- 9. Al-Tawba: 7 (Abdullah Yusuf Ali).

The concept of the Dar Al-Harb (Abode of War) gets its indications from the clear line that was drawn for just and kind treatment:

“[60:1] O ye who believe! Take not my enemies and yours as friends (or protectors),- offering them (your) love, even though they have rejected the Truth that has come to you, and have (on the contrary) driven out the Prophet and yourselves (from your homes), (simply) because ye believe in God your Lord! …”

“[60:8] God forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for God loveth those who are just.

[60:9] God only forbids you, with regard to those who fight you for (your) Faith, and drive you out of your homes, and support (others) in driving you out, from turning to them (for friendship and protection). It is such as turn to them (in these circumstances), that do wrong.”

-- 60. Al–Mumtahina: 8, 9 (Abdullah Yusuf Ali).

Conclusion 

In conclusion, it is fair to say that the door of Ijtihad (religious endeavour) is always open. The Islamic decrees that are introduced through Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) into the Shari’ah (Islamic law) are reflective of the social, economic, and environmental circumstances of the time. These circumstances change as time continuously elapses. Corresponding to the change, the Shari’ah (Islamic law) is updated as new decrees are introduced with the appearance of newer issues. The key condition is compliance with the Qur'an and Sunnah (tradition of the Holy Prophet(P)). In this light, the former concept of classification is updated to include Dar Al-‘Ahd (Abode of covenant) to include the other nations that hold covenants and diplomatic agreements with Dar Al-Islam (Abode of Islam). 

And God knows best.

The Merits of Islam




By Sh. Muhammad Saleh al-Munajjid 

There are many religions so why do Muslims think that Islam is true? Is there any factual basis? 

This is a reasonable enough question for one who has not entered Islam, but one who believes in and practices this religion already knows the blessings which are his because of this religion. There are many reasons for this, which include the following: 

(1) The Muslims worship Allah, Who has no partner, and Who has the most beautiful names and the highest attributes. Thus the Muslim’s focus and aim is concentrated, focused on His Lord and Creator; he puts his trust in Him and asks Him for help, patience and support; he believes that Allah is able to do all things, and has no need of a wife or son. Allah created the heavens and earth; He is the One Who gives life and death; He is the Creator and Sustainer from Whom the slave seeks provision. He is the All-Hearing Who responds to the supplication of His slave, and from Whom the slave hopes for a response. He is the All-Merciful and All-Forgiving, to Whom the slave turns in repentance when he has committed a sin or fallen short in his worship of Allah. He is the Omniscient and All-Seeing, who knows all intentions and what is hidden in people’s hearts. The slave feels ashamed to commit a sin by doing wrong to himself or to others, because his Lord is watching over him and sees all that he does. He knows that Allah is All-Wise, the Seer of the Unseen, so he trusts that what Allah decrees for him is good; he knows that Allah will never be unjust to him, and that everything that Allah decrees for him is good, even if he does not understand the wisdom behind it. 

(2) The effects of Islamic worship on the soul of the Muslim include the following: 

Prayer keeps the slave in contact with his Lord; if he enters it in a spirit of humiliation and concentration, he will feel tranquil and secure, because he is seeking a "powerful support," which is Allah, may He be glorified and exalted. For this reason, the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad peace be upon him used to say: "Let us find relaxation and joy in prayer." If something distressed him, he would hasten to pray. Everyone who finds himself faced with disaster and trials prayer finds strength, patience and consolation for him because he is reciting the words of his Lord, which cannot be compared to the effect of the words of a created being. If the words of some psychologists can offer a little comfort, what do you think of the words of the One Who created the psychologist? 

Now let us look at Zakaat, which is one of the pillars of Islam. Zakaat purifies the soul from stinginess and miserliness, and accustoms people to being generous and helping the poor and needy. It will bring a great reward on the Day of Resurrection, just like other forms of worship. It is not burdensome, like man-made taxes; it is only 25 in every thousand, which the sincere Muslim pays willingly and does not try to evade or wait until someone chases him for it. 

Fasting involves refraining from food and sex. It is a form of worship, and a way in which one can feel the hunger of those who are deprived. It is also a reminder of the blessings of the Creator, and it brings rewards beyond measure. 

Hajj is the Pilgrimage to the sacred House of Allah, which was built by Ibrahim peace be upon him. By performing Hajj one is obeying the command of Allah and the call to come and meet Muslims from all over the world. 

(3) Islam commands all kinds of good and forbids all kinds of evil. It encourages good manners and proper treatment of others. It enjoins good characteristics such as truthfulness, patience, deliberation, kindness, humility, modesty, keeping promises, dignity, mercy, justice, courage, patience, friendliness, contentment, chastity, good treatment, tolerance, trustworthiness, gratitude for favours, and self-control in times of anger. Islam commands the Muslim to fulfil his duty towards his parents and to uphold family ties, to help the needy, to treat neighbours well, to protect and safeguard the wealth of the orphan, to be gentle with the young and show respect to the old, to be kind to servants and animals, to remove harmful things from the road, to speak kind words, to forgive at the time when one has the opportunity to take revenge, to be sincere towards one’s fellow-Muslims, to meet the needs of the Muslims, to give the debtor time to repay his debt, to prefer others over oneself, to console others, to greet people with a smiling face, to visit the sick, to support the one who is oppressed, to give gifts to friends, to honour his guest, to treat his wife kindly and spend on her and her children, to spread the greeting of peace (salaam) and to seek permission before entering another person’s house, lest one see something private that the other person does not want one to see. 

Some non-Muslims may do these things out of politeness or good manners, but they are not seeking reward from Allah or salvation of the Day of Judgement. 

If we look at what Islam has prohibited, we will find that it is in the interests of both the individual and society as a whole. All these prohibitions serve to safeguard the relationship between the slave and his Lord, and the relationship of the individual with himself and with his fellow-man. The following examples demonstrate this: 

Islam forbids the association of anything in worship with Allah and the worship of anything other than Allah, because this spells doom and misery. Islam also forbids visiting or believing soothsayers and fortune-tellers; magic or witchcraft that may cause a rift between two people or bring them together; belief in the influence of the stars on events and people’s lives; cursing time, because Allah is directing its affairs; and superstition, because this is pessimism. 

Islam forbids canceling out good deeds by showing off, boasting or reminding others of one’s favours; bowing or prostrating to anything other than Allah; sitting with hypocrites or immoral people for the purposes of enjoying their company or keeping them company; and invoking the curse or wrath of Allah on one another or damning one another to Hell. 

Islam forbids urinating into stagnant water; defecating on the side of the road or in places where people seek shade or where they draw water; from facing the Qiblah (direction of prayer) or turning one’s back towards it when passing water or stools; holding one’s penis in one’s right hand when passing water; giving the greeting of salaam (peace) to one who is answering the call of nature; and putting one’s hand into any vessel before washing it, when one has just woken up. 

Islam forbids the offering of any nafl (supererogatory) prayers when the sun is rising, when it is at its zenith, and when it is setting, because it rises and sets between the horns of Shaytaan (Satan); praying when there is food prepared that a person desires; praying when one urgently needs to pass water, stools or wind, because that will distract a person from concentrating properly on his prayer. 

Islam forbids the Muslim to raise his voice in prayer, lest it disturb other believers; to continue offering supererogatory prayers at night when one feels drowsy -such a person should sleep then get up; to stay up all night in prayer, especially one night after another; and to stop praying when there is doubt as to the validity of one’s wudoo’ - unless one hears a sound or smells an odour. 

Islam forbids buying, selling and making "lost and found" announcements in the mosque - because it is the place of worship and remembrance of Allah, where worldly affairs have no place. 

Islam forbids haste in walking when the iqaamah (call immediately preceding congregational prayer) is given, and prescribes walking in a calm and dignified manner. It is also forbidden to boast about the cost of building a mosque; to decorate a mosque with red or yellow paint or adornments which will distract the worshippers; to fast day after day without a break; and for a woman to observe a supererogatory fast when her husband is present without his permission.

Islam forbids building over graves, making them high, sitting on them, walking between them wearing shoes, putting lights over them or writing on them. It is forbidden to disinter the dead or to take graves as places of worship. Islam forbids wailing, tearing one’s clothes or leaving one’s hair unkempt when a person dies. Eulogizing the dead in the manner of the times of Ignorance (Jaahiliyyah) is also forbidden, although there is nothing wrong with informing others that a person has died. 

Islam forbids the consumption of riba (interest); all kinds of selling which involve ignorance (of the product), misleading and cheating; selling blood, wine, pork, idols and everything that Allah has forbidden - their price, whether bought or sold - is haraam; which is offering a price for something one has no intention of buying, as happens in many auctions; concealing a product’s faults at the time of selling; selling something which one does not own or before it comes into one’s possession; undercutting, outbidding or out bargaining another; selling produce before it is clear that it is in good condition and free of blemish; cheating in weights and measures; and hoarding. A partner who has shares in a plot of land or a date palm tree is forbidden to sell his share without consulting his partners. It is forbidden to consume the wealth of orphans unjustly; to bet or gamble; to take anything by force; to accept or offer bribes; to steal people’s wealth or to consume it unjustly; to take something for the purpose of destroying it; to undermine the value of people’s possessions; to keep lost property which one has found, or to keep quiet about it and not announce it, for it belongs to the one who recognises it; to cheat in any way; to ask for a loan with no intention of repaying it; to take anything of the wealth of a fellow-Muslim, unless it is given freely, because what is taken because of another person’s shyness is haram; and to accept a gift because of intercession. 

Celibacy and castration are forbidden, as is marrying two sisters, or a woman and her aunt (paternal or maternal), whether he marries the aunt after marrying her niece or vice versa, for fear of breaking the ties of kinship. It is forbidden to make deals in marriage, such as saying "Let me marry your daughter and I will give you my daughter or sister in marriage." Such reciprocal deals are a form of oppression and injustice, and haram. Islam forbids mut’ah (temporary marriage), which is a marriage contract for a period of time agreed by the two parties, at the end of which the marriage expires. Islam forbids intercourse with a menstruating woman, until she has purified herself (by taking a bath after her period ends), and also forbids anal intercourse. A man is forbidden to propose marriage to a woman when another man has already proposed to her, unless the other man withdraws his proposal or gives him permission. It is forbidden to marry a previously-married woman without consulting her, or a virgin without seeking her permission. It is forbidden to wish (a newly married couple) "Bi’l-rafaa’ wa’l-baneen (a joyful life and many sons)," because this is the greeting of the people of Jaahiliyyah, who hated daughters. The divorced woman is forbidden to conceal what Allah has created in her womb (if she is pregnant). A husband and wife are forbidden to speak (to others) about the intimacies of married life. It is forbidden to turn a woman against her husband or to take divorce lightly. It is forbidden for a woman to ask for another’s divorce, such as asking a man to divorce a woman so that she can marry him. A wife is forbidden to spend her husband’s money without his permission, or to keep away from his bed without good reason, because the angels will curse her if she does that. A man is forbidden to marry his father’s wife, or to have intercourse with a woman who is pregnant from another man. It is forbidden for a man to practise ‘azl (coitus interrupts) with his free wife without her permission. It is forbidden for a man to return home from a journey late at night and startle his family, unless he has previously notified them when he will arrive home. A man is forbidden to take anything of his wife’s mahr (dowry) without her consent, or to keep annoying his wife so that she will give up her wealth. 

Islam forbids women to make a wanton display of themselves (tabarruj). Women are forbidden to admit anyone into their husband’s home without his permission; his general permission is acceptable so long as they stay within the limits of sharee’ah. It is forbidden to separate a mother and child (in case of divorce); to let one’s womenfolk behave foolishly (in an immoral fashion) and not say anything; to let one’s gaze wander everywhere; and to follow an accidental glance with an intentional glance. 

Islam forbids the eating of dead meat, regardless of whether it died by drowning, strangulation, shock or falling from a high place; eating blood, pork and anything slaughtered in a name other than that of Allah or for idols; eating the flesh or drinking the milk of beasts that feed on filth and waste matter; eating the flesh of every carnivorous beast that has fangs and every bird that has talons; eating the meat of domesticated donkeys; killing animals by keeping them and throwing stones at them until they die, or detaining them without food until they die; slaughtering with teeth or nails; slaughtering one animal (for food) in front of another; or sharpening the knife in front of the animal to be slaughtered. 

In the area of clothing and adornment, men are forbidden the extravagance of wearing gold. Muslim are forbidden to be naked or to expose their thighs; to leave their clothes long (below the ankles) and trail them on the ground for the purpose of showing off; and to wear clothes that will attract attention. 

It is forbidden to bear false witness; to make false accusations against a chaste believing woman; to accuse someone who is innocent; to utter lies; to slander and backbite; to call people by offensive nicknames; to spread gossip and malicious slander; to make fun of the Muslims; to boast about one’s status; to shed doubts on a person’s lineage; to utter slander, insults and obscenities; to speak in an indecent or rude manner; or to utter evil in public, except by one who has been wronged. 

Islam forbids telling lies; one of the worst kinds of lie is to lie about dreams, like fabricating dreams and visions in order to prove one’s virtue, or make some material gains, or to frighten an enemy. 

Muslims are forbidden to praise themselves, or to talk in a secret way: two may not converse secretly to the exclusion of a third, because this is offensive. It is forbidden to curse a believer or someone who does not deserve to be cursed. 

Islam forbids speaking ill of the dead; praying for death; wishing for death because of some suffering that one is passing through; praying against one’s self, one’s children, one’s servants or one’s wealth. 

Muslims are told not to eat the food that is directly in front of others or to eat from the centre of the dish or platter; rather they should eat from what is directly in front of them or thereabouts, because the barakah (blessing) comes in the middle of the food. It is forbidden to drink from a broken edge of a vessel, because this could cause harm; or to drink from the mouth of a vessel; or to breathe into it. It is forbidden to eat while lying on one’s stomach; to sit at a table where wine is being drunk; to leave a fire burning in one’s house when one sleeps; to sleep with Ghamr in one’s hand, like an offensive smell or the remainder of food (grease); to sleep on one’s stomach; or to talk about or try to interpret bad dreams, because these are tricks of the Shaytaan. 

It is forbidden to kill another person except in cases where it is right to do so; to kill one’s children for fear of poverty; to commit suicide; to commit fornication, adultery or sodomy (homosexuality); to drink wine, or even to prepare it, carry it from one place to another, or sell it. Muslims are forbidden to please people by angering Allah; to offend their parents or even to say "Uff" (the slightest word of contempt) to them; to claim that a child belongs to anyone but his real father; to torture by means of fire; to burn anyone, alive or dead, with fire; to mutilate the bodies of the slain; to help anyone commit falsehood; or to co-operate in wrongdoing and sin. 

It is forbidden to obey any person by disobeying Allah; to swear falsely; to swear a disastrous oath; to eavesdrop on people without their permission; to invade people’s privacy or look at their private parts; to claim something that does not belong to one or that one did not do, for the purpose of showing off; to look into someone’s else’s house without permission; to be extravagant; to swear an oath to do something wrong; to spy on others or be suspicious about righteous men and women; to envy, hate or shun one another; to persist in falsehood; to be arrogant or feel superior; to be filled with self-admiration; to be pleased with one’s arrogance. Islam forbids taking back one’s charity, even if one pays to get it back; employing someone to do a job without paying him his wages; being unfair in giving gifts to one’s children; bequeathing everything in one’s will and leaving one’s heirs poor - in such a case the will should not be executed; writing a will that concerns more than one third of one’s legacy; being a bad neighbour; or changing a will to the detriment of one or some of one’s heirs. A Muslim is forbidden to forsake or shun his brother for more than three days, except for a reason sanctioned by sharee’ah; to hold small stones between two fingers and throw them because this could cause injury to eyes or teeth; to include his heirs in a will, because Allah has already given heirs their rights of inheritance; to disturb his neighbour; to point a weapon at his Muslim brother; to hand someone an unsheathed sword, lest it harm him; to come (walk) between two people except with their permission; to return a gift, unless there is some shar’i objection to it; to be extravagant; to give money to foolish people; to wish to be like someone to whom Allaah has given more of something; to cancel out his charity by giving offensive reminders of his giving; to wilfully conceal testimony; or to oppress orphans or scold one who asks for help or money. It is forbidden to treat with evil medicines, because Allah would not create a cure for this Ummah which includes something that He has forbidden. It is forbidden to kill women and children in warfare; to boast to one another; or to break promises. 

Islam forbids betraying a trust; asking for charity that one does not need; alarming a Muslim brother or taking away his possessions, whether jokingly or seriously; changing one’s mind after giving a gift, except in the case of a gift from a father to his child; practising medicine without experience; or killing ants, bees and hoopoe birds. A man is forbidden to look at the ‘awrah (private parts) of another man, and a woman is forbidden to look at the ‘awrah of another woman. It is forbidden to sit between two people without their permission; or to greet only those whom one knows, because the greeting is to be given to those whom you know and those whom you do not know. A Muslim is forbidden to let an oath come between him and good deeds; he should do what is good and make expiation for the oath. It is forbidden to judge between two disputing parties when one is angry, or to judge in favour of one party without hearing what the other has to say. It is forbidden for a man to walk through the market-place carrying something - like a sharp weapon - that could harm the Muslims, unless it is properly covered. A Muslim is forbidden to make another person get up, so that he can take his place. 

There are more commands and prohibitions which came for the benefit and happiness of individuals and mankind as a whole. Have you ever seen any other religion that can compare to this religion? 

Read this response again, then ask yourself: is it not a great pity that I am not one of them? Allah says in the Qur’an (interpretation of the meaning): 

"And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers." [Aal ‘Imraan 3:85] 

Finally, I hope that everyone who reads this will be guided to the correct way and to follow the truth. May Allah protect you and us from all evil.

Islam is your Birthright




WAMY Series on Islam No. 14

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Mankind and the universe were not created by accident or chance, but according to the plan of the Creator, who is known as Allah (lit.: the one God) in Islam. The Qur'an states that it is the duty of all individuals to learn about Allah and to live according to His will. As we cannot accomplish this be ourselves, Allah has sent messengers and prophets to guide humanity All of these chosen individuals have brought the same message and have served as examples to their people of how Allah desires all human beings to live. Through these selected people, we have been told why mankind was created, what will happen to us after death, and what Allah expects of us. But most importantly, we have been told that Allah is unique-He has no partners, no sons or daughters, and no competitors, as so many other man-made religious systems have postulated. This message always remains the same, whereas the laws laid down for a particular might show some slight differences. 

Muhammad, the last of Allah's prophets, was sent to present Allah's revelation in its final form and for the last time. This was necessary because the message delivered by the previous prophets and messengers had been corrupted or distorted by their followers. They had been mixed with philosophical speculations, superstitions, myths, and neglect. Therefore, Islam is not a new religion-it is a restatement of the original religion of Allah in its purest form and is designed to provide humanity with the uncorrupted message of Allah. 

Islam is an Arabic word that denotes submission and obedience to Allah. It also means "peace," for it brings peace of mind as well as peace on the individual and the social levels. 

THE FIVE PILLARS OF ISLAM

In Islam, the term "worship" covers any action that one does in accordance with the will of Allah. It can be mental, physical, spoken, or otherwise. All such actions will be rewarded. 

There are five acts of worship that are so fundamental that the Prophet grouped them together as the five pillars of Islam. Every Muslim is expected to fulfill these obligations. They are: 

THE DECLARATION OF MONOTHEISM:

Recognizing and acknowledging the monotheistic nature of Allah stands at the core of Islam. This consists of a public affirmation that "there is no god but Allah (God), and Muhammad is His Messenger." One cannot be a Muslim until he states this fact in the presence of Muslim witnesses. 

PRAYERS: 

A Muslim must perform the five daily prayers. These must be performed at specific times, corresponding roughly with dawn, noon, afternoon, sunset, and nightfall. The prayers can be made in any clean place, but it is preferable to pray them with others in a mosque, for this communal undertaking acts as a reminder that all Muslims are equal. When many people are praying together, it becomes clear that color, economic status, social position, and all other artificial distinctions have no importance to Allah, for all Muslims are commanded to stand together, shoulder to shoulder, and prostrate themselves before Him. There are no exceptions. Prayers also elevated the individual to a higher level of morality, purifies his heart, and helps him to resist his desire to engage in forbidden activities. 

FASTING THE MONTH OF RAMADAN: 

Every year during the Muslim month of Ramadan, Muslims abstain from food, drink, and sexual activity from dawn to sunset. While this gives the body a much needed rest and improves ones health by getting rid of excess weight, it also increases ones commitment to Allah, develops his social conscience, and reminds him of how the less fortunate live every day In addition, it strengthens one's patience, self-restraint, will power, and sincerity. 

CHARITY (Zakat): 

Every Muslim whose net annual savings are above a certain specified minimum must pay an annual amount of 2.5% to the poor and needy This action purifies one's accrued wealth, fosters the quality of sacrifice, and rids him of selfishness and greed. It also helps to reduce resentment and envy between a society's poor and rich classes. 

HAJJ (Pilgrimage to Makkah): 

Hajj is an act of worship that is to be performed at least once in a lifetime, provided that one is physically and financially able to do so. During this time, Muslims meet from all corners of the world in an international congregation for the sole purpose of responding to the call of Allah. It also reminds the participants that all Muslims are equal, irrespective of their geographical, cultural, or racial origins. 

THE ARTICLES OF FAITH

All Muslims believe in: 

. The oneness of Allah. Allah has no partner, son, daughter, helper, or competitor. There is nothing that even remotely resembles Him, for He is unique. 

. All of the messengers and prophets of Allah. The Qur'an states that each people has received revelation from Allah in its own tongue so that all individuals know what is required of them. The Qur'an mentions twenty-five of them by name, among them Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Issac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, Solomon, John, Jesus, and Muhammad. There are, however, many others who are not named. Muhammad, the last prophet, was sent with a universal message meant for all of humanity The message revealed through him is the Qur'an, which is Allah's final presentation of the original revelation received by mankind in its purest form. A Muslim must accept all of Allah's prophets and messengers as legitimate, for denial of one means denial of all. For western readers who are not convinced that Muhammad is a prophet of Allah, proof of this claim can be found in the Bible (Deut. 18:15-18, 33:2-3; Isaiah 29:12; Songs of Solomon 5:16;John 14:1516, 16:12-14) as well as in the biographical accounts of Muhammad's life, which was lived in full view of his contemporaries. 

. The original messages revealed through Allah's various prophets and messengers. The purest of these is the Qur'an, for it was recorded during the lifetime of the Prophet and under his direct supervision. The revelations mentioned in the Qur'an as having been received by other prophets, such as the Suhuf of Abraham, the Torah of Moses, the Zubur (Psalms) of David, and the Injeel (Bible) of Jesus, have all been either lost or corrupted. 

. The existence of angels as part of the unseen world. They are spiritual beings who have no need for food, drink, or sleep. 

. The Day of Judgment. The Qur'an teaches that life is a test for each individual, for everyone must choose whether he will or will not follow the commands of Allah. On this day, a person will be resurrected and asked to account for what he did while he was alive. Those with good records will be rewarded and enter paradise, while those with bad records will be punished by being sent to hell. This belief develops within the individual an awareness of Allah's presence and a desire to obey His laws sincerely and voluntarily 

. A Muslim believes that nothing happens without the knowledge and permission of Allah. While we may not understand why certain things happens, it is part of the divine plan for our lives. 

MUSLIMS: THE MODERATE NATION

Islam does not divide life into "spiritual" and "secular" realms. As all of life is thus unified and interconnected, Islam avoids the dangers of the extreme ritualism, secularism, or materialism that is found in other civilizations. Activities are not classified as belonging to the state or the individual, religion or daily life, but as belonging to Allah alone, Who has provided guidelines for individuals. These are to be followed in every aspect of their lives: individual, social, governmental, political, economical, spiritual, and otherwise Reflecting this moderation, the Qur'an has entitled the Muslims the "moderate nation. " 

SOURCES OF ISLAMIC TEACHINGS

The Islamic way of life is based on the teachings and laws found in the Qur'an and the example (Sunnah) of the Prophet Muhammad. 

The Qur'an is the word of Allah and was revealed in potions to Muhammad, via the Angel Gabriel, over a twenty-three year period. Each portion was recorded in writing by his official scribes and memorized by thousands of his followers. After his death, the written collection was given to Abu Bakr, the first caliph, who oversaw its collection into one volume. The third caliph, Uthman, prepared several copies and sent them to different Muslim territories. Ever since that time, the same version has been used by Muslims. The wording, order, and language have never been altered in the slightest manner. No other book claiming to be a divine revelation can make this claim, and no one has ever been able to refute the claim of the Qur'an to complete authenticity 

The Sunnah consists of the teachings, sayings, and actions of Prophet Muhammad. This information was meticulously reported and collected by his Companions. It is essentially an elaboration of the Qur'anic verses that shows how they are to be implemented in one's daily life. 

ISLAM: THE RELIGION OF EQUALITY

Islam recognizes no man-made artificial distinctions based on color, tribe, race, nationality, or otherwise. As all people come from the original couple-Adam and Eve-they are all one family and therefore equal before God. What distinguishes people from each other is their commitment to Islam: "The most honored in the sight of Allah is (he who is) most righteous." (Qur'an 3:86). 

ISLAM IS YOUR BIRTHRIGHT

Islam states clearly that everyone is born a Muslim and is therefore monotheistic by nature. We read in the Qur'an that humanity has been created with the natural disposition towards the unity of God. This is to be expected, for Allah, who has breathed His spirit into each of us, is Himself the example of perfect unity. In the words of the Prophet Muhammad: "Every person is born with the innate religious faith (to submit to God Almighty)." Thus when an individual accepts Islam, he is not turning his back on any prior revelation but rather is returning to the original and true revelation of Allah and to his own nature as a creation of Allah. This being the case, Islam is your birthright-other religious or ideological systems are either corruptions our outright denials of Islam. 

CRITERIA FOR TRUTH

How do you know if your belief system is true? Take a moment to look at the following list. 

. Are the teachings of your belief system rational? Do they conform to the norms of human reason and intellect? 

. Is the creator of your belief system perfect? Allah, the creator of Islam, is. . Does your belief system contain superstitions or myths? Islam presents humanity with only true knowledge. 

. Can your belief system withstand the discoveries and claims of modern science? Islam can and does. 

. How accurate are your belief system's prophecies and predications? Islam's are always completely accurate. 

. Could a person have devised your belief system? No one has ever been able to imitate the Qur'an, although many have tried over the centuries. 

Islam is not a new religion founded by Muhammad, but a final restatement of the original revelation that has been conveyed to humanity by messengers and prophets sent by Allah for that very purpose: "This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion" (5:3). As the Qur'an is the final revelation and Muhammad is the final prophet, humanity is obligated to accept it: "If anyone desires a religion other than Islam, never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost all spiritual good" (3:86). 

THE CHOICE IS YOURS TO MAKE!!!

7 Reasons to Read the Glorious Quran




By: Shabir Ali 

(1) Intimate: 

It dares you to disprove it. How? It says that humans can not write a book like this even if they pooled all their resources together and got help also from the spirits. The Quran said this fourteen hundreds years ago and yet no one has been able to disprove it. Billions of books have been written - but not another one like the Quran. 

(2) Incorruptible: 

It is the only religious sacred writing which has been in circulation for such a long time and yet remains as pure as it was in the beginning. The Quran was kept intact. Nothing was added to it; nothing was changed in it; and nothing was taken away from it ever since it was completely revealed 1400 years ago. 

(3) Unsurpassable: 

The Quran is God's final revelation to humankind. God revealed the Torah to Moses, the Psalms to David, the Gospel to Jesus, and finally the Quran to Muhammad. Peace be upon all of them. No other book will come from God to surpass his final revelation. 

(4) Indisputable: 

The Quran withstands the test of time and scrutiny. No one can dispute the truth of this book. It speaks about past history and turns out right. It speaks about the future in prophecies and it turns out right. It mentions details of physical phenomena which were not known to people at the time; yet later scientific discoveries confirm that the Quran was right all along. Every other book needs to be revised to accord with modern knowledge. The Quran alone is never contradicted by a modern discovery. 

(5) Your Roadmap for Life and Afterlife: 

The Quran is the best guidebook on how to structure your life. No other book presents such a comprehensive system involving all aspects of human life and endeavor. The Quran also points out the way to secure everlasting happiness in the afterlife. It is your roadmap showing how to get to paradise. 

(6) God's Gift of Guidance: 

God has not left you alone. You were made for a reason. God tells you why he made you, what he demands from you, and what he has in store for you. If you operate a machine contrary to it's manufacture specification you will ruin that machine. What about you? Do you have an owner's manual for you? The Quran is from your function for success lest you fail to function. It is a healing mercy from God. It satisfies the soul, and cleans the heart. It removes doubts and brings peace. 

(7) Your Calling Card to Communicate with God: 

Humans are social creatures. We love to communicate with other intelligent life. The Quran tells us how to communicate with the source of all intelligence and the source of all life- the One God. The Quran tells us who God is, by what name we should address God, and the way in which to communicate with God. Are these not seven sufficient reasons for reading the Quran?

Believe It or Not: You were Born Muslim!





By: Umm Rashid

What would you call a religion whose beliefs, practices and followers are being bashed and bad-mouthed in practically every sphere of activity, in almost every corner of the globe, yet it attracts ever-increasing numbers of people? 

A Paradox? A Miracle ? Or simply, The Truth: Islaam.

The fact that Islaam is the fastest growing religion in the world today, is proof that our Creator has taken it upon Himself to perfect the Truth that He sent all His prophets and messengers with -- from Aadam [AS] to Muhammad [SAW]. 

Studies conducted in the West show that the sheer number of new Muslims is changing the demographic profile of countries all over the world, and not all of them are born into Muslim families. With some 6 million adherents in the United States, Islam is said to be the nation’s fastest-growing religion. One expert estimates that 25,000 people a year become Muslims in this country; some clerics say they have seen conversion rates quadruple since Sept 11. 

Ironically for a religion that is routinely bashed for “subjugating” and “oppressing” its female followers, the number of female reverts to Islaam outnumber the males 4:1!

The fact that more and more people are finding their way to Islaam, notwithstanding the relentless propaganda, deliberate misinformation and outright prejudice against it, never ceases to amaze me. 

How do these people navigate in the darkness to find the light of Islaam in spite of all the obstacles in the way? 

The answer is that our Creator has granted each one of us a guiding light -- a pure, undefiled innate nature called the fitrah. Unlike Christians who believe in the doctrine of Original Sin and assert that each baby is born tainted with the sin of Adam’s disobedience to God, Muslims believe that every child is born into a state of purity where it recognizes its Creator and is naturally subservient to His laws. 

In his book The Fundamentals of Islaamic Monotheism, Abu Ameenah Bilaal Philips writes: Just as a child’s body submits to the physical laws which Allaah has put in nature, its soul also submits naturally to the fact that Allaah is its Lord and Creator. But its parents try to make it follow their own way and the child is not strong enough in the early stages of its life to resist or oppose its parents. The religion which the child follows at this stage is one of custom and upbringing and Allaah does not hold it to account for this religion.

When the child matures in youth and clear proofs of the falsehood of its religion are brought to it, the adult must now follow the religion of knowledge and reason. At this point the devils try their best to encourage him to stay as he is or to go further astray. Evils are made pleasing to him and he must now live in the midst of a struggle between his innate pure nature and his desires in order to find the right road. 

If he chooses to follow his innate nature, his fitrah, Allaah will help him overcome his desires even though it may take most of his life to escape, for many people enter Islaam in their old age.

The Qur’aan also points to this phenomenon, where every soul that has been created is asked Who their Lord is, and they testify that it is none other than Allaah before they are born into the world. 

When your Lord drew forth from the loins of the children of Aadam their descendants and made them testify concerning themselves. Saying: Am I not your Lord? They said: “Yes, we testify to it.” (This) in case you say on the Day of Judgement, “We were unaware of this.” Or in case you say: It was our ancestors who made partners (with Allaah) and we are only their descendants…[Surah Al-A’raaf 7:172-173]

Explaining this verse, the Prophet [SAW] said: When Allaah created Aadam [AS] , He took a covenant from him …then He extracted from him all of his descendants who would be born until the end of the world, generation after generation and spread them out in front of Him in order to take a covenant from them. 

He spoke to them face to face saying: Am I not your Lord? And they all replied: Yes, we testify to it. 

Allaah then explained why He had all of mankind bear witness that He was their Creator and the only true God worthy of worship. He said: That was in case you (mankind) should say on the Day of Resurrection, “Surely we were unaware of all this. We had no idea that You were our God.” [Silsilah al ahadeeth as Saheehah, Narrated by ibn Abbaas, collected by Imaam Ahmad] 

This is the reason why people who adopt Islaam are said to revert instead of convert, because they are going back to their original nature -- the one they were naturally created with -- which is automatically aligned with the Universe, its Creator and His Laws; as opposed to simply exchanging one set of beliefs for another.

Reverts to Islaam testify that this inner inclination to search for the Truth, to know and follow it is a major factor in their adopting the faith. It is interesting to see some of the reasons cited by reverts for adopting Islaam:

Islaamic Monotheism
“The Christian sect of Athanasians insistently inculcates the tenet that Christianity is based on a belief in three gods (Trinity), that a slightest doubt as to this belief will lead one to immediate perdition; and that a person who wishes to attain salvation in this world and the next should definitely hold a belief in the three gods: God, the Son of God, and the Holy Ghost.

When I became a Muslim, I received a letter, which said: “By becoming a Muslim you have damned yourself to perdition. No one can save you. For you deny the divinity of God.” The poor man [who wrote that letter] thought that I no longer believed in God, not knowing that when Jesus had begun to preach, he stated the unity of God and he never claimed to be His son. 

[Lord Headley al-Farooq; British diplomat, engineer]

An answer for every question:
“I would always search for causes and purposes for everything. I would anticipate logical explanations for them. On the other hand, the explanations provided by priests and other Christian men of religion did not satisfy me. Most of the time, instead of giving satisfactory answers to my questions, they would dismiss the matter with evasive prevarications such as, “We cannot understand these things. They are divine secrets” and “They are beyond the grasp of the human mind.” 

Upon this I decided to study, on the one hand, Oriental religions, and on the other hand, books written by famous philosophers. The books written by these philosophers always dealt with such subjects as protoplasms, atoms, molecules, and particles, and did not even touch on reflections such as “What becomes of the human soul?” “Where does the soul go after death?” “How should we discipline our souls in this world?” 

The Islamic religion, on the other hand, treated the human subject not only within the corporeal areas, but also along the spiritual extensions. Therefore, I chose Islam not because I had lost my way, or only because Christianity had incurred my displeasure, or as a result of sudden decision, but, on the contrary, after very minutely studying it and becoming thoroughly convinced about its greatness, singularity, solemnity and perfection 

[Muhammad Alexander Russell Webb; American diplomat, author]

Direct relationship with one’s Creator:
Now I realize I can get in direct contact with God, unlike Christianity or any other religion. As one Hindu lady told me, “You don't understand the Hindus. We believe in one God; we use these objects (idols) to merely concentrate.” What she was saying was that in order to reach God, one has to create associates, that are idols for the purpose. But Islam removes all these barriers. 

[Yusuf Islaam, formerly Cat Stevens]

Universality: 
Islam is a religion that belongs not only to the Arabs but to the entire humanity. This universal quality presents a sharp contrast with the Judaic religion, whose holy book always refers to the God of Israel. 

One more thing that I love in Islam is that this religion recognizes all the prophets, makes no distinction between them and treats the believers of other religions with compassion. 

[Mahmud Gunnar Ahmad, Swedish Muslim]

Absolute equality before God, extended brotherhood:
There were tens of thousands of pilgrims, from all over the world. They were of all colors, from blue-eyed blondes to black-skinned Africans. But we were all participating in the same ritual, displaying a spirit of unity and brotherhood that my experiences in America had led me to believe never could exist between the white and non-white. 

America needs to understand Islam, because this is the one religion that erases from its society the race problem. Throughout my travels in the Muslim world, I have met, talked to, and even eaten with people who in America would have been considered white - but the white attitude was removed from their minds by the religion of Islam. I have never before seen sincere and true brotherhood practiced by all colors together, irrespective of their color. 

You may be shocked by these words coming from me. But on this pilgrimage, what I have seen, and experienced, has forced me to rearrange much of my thought-patterns previously held, and to toss aside some of my previous conclusions. This was not too difficult for me. Despite my firm convictions, I have always been a man who tries to face facts, and to accept the reality of life as new experience and new knowledge unfolds it. I have always kept an open mind, which is necessary to the flexibility that must go hand in hand with every form of intelligent search for truth. 

During the past eleven days here in the Muslim world, I have eaten from the same plate, drunk from the same glass, and slept on the same rug - while praying to the same God - with fellow Muslims, whose eyes were the bluest of blue, whose hair was the blondest of blond, and whose skin was the whitest of white. And in the words and in the deeds of the white Muslims, I felt the same sincerity that I felt among the black African Muslims of Nigeria, Sudan and Ghana. We were truly all the same (brothers) - because their belief in one God had removed the white from their minds, the white from their behavior, and the white from their attitude. 

[Letter written from Makkah, by Malcolm X]

Purity of prayer:
If I were asked what impressed me most in the religion of Islam, I would probably say the prayers, because prayers in Christianity are used wholly in begging God (through Jesus Christ) to grant worldly favours, whereas in Islam they ar used to give praise and thanks to Almighty God for all His blessings since He knows what is necessary for our welfare and grants us what we need without our asking it.

[Cecilia Mahmuda Cannolly, Australian Muslim]

Women’s rights and status:
No doubt, influenced by the usual condemnation of Islam from Christian pulpits on the subject, I picked on polygamy. At last I thought I had something; obviously Western monogamy was an improvement on this old system. I talked of it to my Muslim friend. He illustrated with the aid of newspaper articles how much true monogamy there was in England, and convinced me that a limited polygamy was the answer to the secret unions that are becoming so distressingly common in the West. My own common sense could see that, particularly after a war, when women of a certain age group far outnumber men, a percentage of them are destined to remain spinsters. Did God give them life for that? I recollect that on the radio programme known as `Dear Sir' an unmarried English girl had called for lawful polygamy, saying she would prefer a shared married life rather than the loneliness to which she seemed to be destined. In Islam no one is forced into a polygamous marriage, but in a perfect religion, the opportunity must be there to meet those cases where it is necessary. 

[Mavis B Jolly, UK]

Belief in the Qur’aan as Divine Revelation:
I read as much of the Qur’aan as I could. I was immersed in it. As I read the verses in English, I repeated to myself over and over again, this is what I have always thought and believed. What kind of book was this? Before long I was reading the book and crying, and reading and crying... it was as if something had overtaken me... I forgot what I was looking for in particular, however when I came upon the verses in Surah Baqarah 122-141 regarding Prophet Ibrahim (AS) I had found my answer. 

I had been searching for Isma'il (as), son of Prophet Ibrahim and his wife Hajarah, who had been missing from the Hebrew brothers story. In those verses I found the truth of religion... They say: Become Jews or Christians if ye would be guided (to salvation). Say thou: Nay! (I would rather) the religion of Abraham the True, and he joined not gods with Allah. Say ye: We believe in Allah, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Isma'il, Isaac, Jacob and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) the Prophets from their Lord; We make no difference between one another of them: and we submit to Allah." (2:135-136) As I continued to read and cry, I became intent upon finding someone who could connect me with others who believed in this book! 

[K H Abdul Lateef, USA]

The personal example of the Prophet Muhammad [SAW]:
I accepted Islam because I admired the Prophet Muhammad.[SAW]. I had quite a number of Muslim friends in Zanzibar, who gave me Islamic books, which I read in secrecy from my family. I became a Muslim despite the remonstrances of my family and the oppressions of the priests of Parsee religion, which had been my religion until that time. I held fast to my religion and resisted against all sorts of threats. Now I love Allaah and His last Prophet Muhammad [SAW] more than my life

[Faruq B Karai, Zanzibar]

Islaam withstands scrutiny and encourages reasoning:
Instead of asking a follower to believe in its precepts just ”because” or someone asks them to, Islaam encourages people to think for themselves, reflect on the signs of God in Creation and within their own selves. Little wonder then that a sizable number of reverts are thinking people: scientists, astronomers, philosophers, doctors.

As created beings who can neither grant life nor ward off death, we owe it to ourselves and The One Who Created Us to discover the Truth, to follow it and to facilitate others to do the same.

Concerning mockery of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)






(Truly, We will suffice you against the scoffers)

Concerning mockery of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)

Alhamdulillah All praise belongs to God May the peace and blessing of Allah Subhana wa Ta 'aalaa be upon our Prophet Muhammad (Sal Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) and upon his family and Companions and whoever follows them in piety until the Day of Judgment

Allah (SWT) has always protected his Prophet peace be upon him, and sufficed His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) against the criminals who mock him. There are many historical cases where those who mocked the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) were destroyed and finished off. It’s always a sign of their doom, and tells us that the end of their supremacy is at hand.

He says (interpretation of the meaning): Therefore declare openly what you are bidden and turn aside from the polytheists. Truly, We will suffice you against the scoffers” [al-Hijr 15:94-95] 

The above verse meant that Allah would defeat all conspiracies and intrigues and destroy the scoffers one by one and they are :Aalwaleed Ibn Moogerah, Alass bin wael , Ibn Mutalib, Ibn Yaquth and Al Harith Bin Qais 

We see that the Holy Prophet came out of all these conspiracies and mockeries successfully and how his teachings and guidance changed the destinies of mankind and people swarmed round him. 

The Prophet peace be upon him wrote to Chosroes and Caesar - both of whom did not become Muslim but Caesar affirmed that he was indeed a Prophet, and he honored his message and the messenger whom the Prophet peace be upon him sent.  

Ibn Taymiah in 'Al Sarem' wrote: ( The kingdom is still in his generation till today)

As for Chosroes he tore the message of the Prophet peace be upon him and mocked him, no later after while Allah s.w.t destroyed him and his kingdom. He was killed - he was scorned and humiliated and cut off from all that is good, and this in accordance with what Allah said that He will suffice His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) against the criminals who mock him. He says (interpretation of the meaning):  

“For he who hates you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم), he will be cut off (from posterity and every good thing in this world and in the Hereafter)”

[al-Kawthar 108:3] 

In a hadith qudsi Allah declares, 'one who bears enmity to one of My awliya' will have fought against Me’

What about who show enmity against the prophets of Allah s.w.t.

It is well known among Ahl al-Sunnah wal Jama`ah that who ever mock the companion of the Prophet peace be upon him needs to be deterred and disciplined. What about those who harm a prophet? especially if some one hurts and mocks the prophet Muhammad peace be upon him? Allah says in Quran 

“Surely (as for) those who speak evil things of Allah and His Messenger, Allah has cursed them in this world and the here after, and He has prepared for them a chastisement bringing disgrace “ Al-Ahzab –(33-57)

Through the earlier nations were destroyed and finished off , abasement and humiliation made on them because they mocked and harmed and killed their prophets as the Jews did with their prophets that why Allah s.w.t said in the Quran 

(Abasement is made to cleave to them wherever they are found, except under a covenant with Allah and a covenant with men, and they have become deserving of wrath from Allah, and humiliation is made to cleave to them; this is because they disbelieved in the communications of Allah and slew the prophets unjustly; this is because they disobeyed and exceeded the limits ) Al Imran- (3-112)

and it would only be a short time before Allah granted his prophet victory, to avenge His just because they tried to scare and unsettle the prophet of Allah.

Allah says in Quran (And surely they purposed to unsettle you from the land that they might expel you from it, and in that case they will not tarry behind you but a little.) Al-Isra (17-76)

This was for trying to unstill the prophet how about those who mock the prophets? You will never find some one who harmed or mocked a prophet either was punished or doomed if he or she didn’t repent to Allah s.w.t for their actions. That why shiekh Islam said after he mentioned the following hadith.

Volume 4, Book 56, Number 814:  
Narrated Anas:  
There was a Christian who embraced Islam and read Surat-al-Baqara and Al-Imran, and he used to write (the revelations) for the Prophet. Later on he returned to Christianity again and he used to say: "Muhammad knows nothing but what I have written for him." Then Allah caused him to die, and the people buried him, but in the morning they saw that the earth had thrown his body out. They said, "This is the act of Muhammad and his companions. They dug the grave of our companion and took his body out of it because he had run away from them." They again dug the grave deeply for him, but in the morning they again saw that the earth had thrown his body out. They said, "This is an act of Muhammad and his companions. They dug the grave of our companion and threw his body outside it, for he had run away from them." They dug the grave for him as deep as they could, but in the morning they again saw that the earth had thrown his body out. So they believed that what had befallen him was not done by human beings and had to leave him thrown (on the ground).

Then Imam Ibn Taymiah said: This is beyond the usual shows everyone that this the punishment of what he said and that what he said was false, as generally the dead one do not suffer like this, and that this offence is greater than the person who leaves Islam because they don’t suffer like this and that Allah avenge for His Prophet peace be upon him. It is known throughout the history of the Muslims, when they besieged a stronghold and its people resisted, then they heard them mocking and reviling the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), they would sense that victory was at hand, and it would only be a short time before Allah granted them victory, to avenge His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)

That why Allah s.w.t said about these people 

(Say ye: "We believe in Allah, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Isma'il, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) prophets from their Lord: We make no difference between one and another of them: And we bow to Allah (in Islam). So if they believe as ye believe, they are indeed on the right path; but if they turn back, it is they who are in schism; but Allah will suffice thee as against them, and He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing ) Al Baqrah (2-136:137)

Undoubtedly, the States politicians who turn a blind eye to those who mock the prophets are not censure in isolation because Allah s.w.t authorizes the destruction of the cities and villages where they mock the prophet peace be upon him. We can see the darkest injustice is abusing and mocking the Prophet peace be upon him, it violates the divine and it runs counter of rules and systems. 

Perhaps this sinful crime what was concealed in the hearts of some westerners against the Prophet peace be upon him is a sign of their doom, and tells us that the end of their supremacy is at hand, because when they didn’t find a way to answer the truth, Islam has other than by mocking its prophet and by verbal abuse of Islam. 

This is also an exposure of the West’s double standards. Here they cite freedom of opinion, but every wise man knows that this so-called freedom of opinion should stop before violating the sanctity of others and transgressing against them. They are lying in their claims of freedom of opinion.

It shows the falseness of their claim with which they have filled the world, namely the dialogue of civilizations that is based on respect for others and not transgressing against them. What kind of dialogue do they want?! What respect do they claim to show? They want us to respect them and honor them, but all they do is make fun of us and mock us and wrong us even more.  

What happened should revive faith in Muslim hearts and extent of their love for the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him); and they should defend our noble Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). 

We should demand a clear and sincere apology from them, not deception or justification of the crime which they call an apology. We do not want an apology for showing disrespect towards the Muslims; rather we want an admission of error and an apology for that error. We should strive to call these people, for although we look at them through a lens of hatred and resentment, we also look at them with compassion if they die in this state; so we should call them to Islam and salvation, out of mercy and compassion towards them. 

We ask Allah to cause His religion to prevail and to support His close friends, and to humiliate His enemies.

“And Allah has full power and control over His Affairs, but most of men know not”

[Yoosuf 12:21]  

Wa salaam Alikom

Virtues of Friday 





Question:

What is the merit of Friday over other days ? and why ?. 



Answer:

Praise be to Allaah.  
Friday has many distinguishing features and virtues that Allaah has bestowed upon this day and not others. 
It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah and Hudhayfah (may Allaah be pleased with them) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah led those who came before us away from Friday. The Jews had Saturday, and the Christians had Sunday. Then Allaah brought us and Allaah guided us to Friday. So there is Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and thus they will follow us on the Day of Resurrection. We are the last of the people of this world but we will be the first on the Day of Resurrection, and we will be dealt with before all others.” 
Narrated by Muslim, 856. 
Al-Nawawi said: 
Al-Qaadi said: The apparent meaning is that it was obligatory for them to venerate Friday but this was not stated clearly; the matter was left to their own reasoning… But they did not manage to work it out and Allaah did not guide them to it. It was enjoined clearly upon this ummah, and was not left to their own reasoning, thus they were blessed with it … It was narrated that Moosa enjoined Friday upon them and told them of its virtues, but they disputed with him and argued that Saturday was better, and it was said to him, ‘Let them be.’ Al-Qaadi said: if there had been a clear command, their arguing with him would not have been valid, rather it would have been said to him that they were going against the command. I say: it may be that that was clearly enjoined upon them but they disputed as to whether it was something they had to adhere to or they could change it to another day; they decided to change it to another day and they erred greatly thereby. 
It comes as no surprise that Friday was specifically enjoined upon them and they went against that. 
Al-Haafiz said: How can it be otherwise when they are the ones who said “We hear and we disobey”? 
It was narrated from Aws ibn Aws that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The best of your days is Friday. On that day Adam (peace be upon him) was created; on that day he died; on that day the Trumpet will be blown and on that day all of creation will swoon. So send a great deal of blessings upon me, for your blessings will be shown to me.” They said, “O Messenger of Allaah, how will our blessings upon you be shown to you when you have turned to dust?” He said, “Allaah has forbidden the earth to consume the bodies of the Prophets, peace be upon them.” 
Narrated by Abu Dawood, 1047; classed as saheeh by Ibn al-Qayyim in his comments on Sunan Abi Dawood, 4/273; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood, 925. 
It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The best day on which the sun rises is Friday. On it Adam was created, on it he was admitted to Paradise and on it he was expelled therefrom.” 
Narrated by Muslim, 1410. 
This hadeeth includes some of the reasons why Friday is regarded as special.  
Al-Nawawi said: 
Al-Qaadi ‘Iyaad said: The apparent meaning is that these virtues do not mean that Friday is regarded as special because Adam was expelled on a Friday and the Hour will begin on a Friday. Rather it is meant to explain what momentous events took place and will take place on this day, so that people will make the most of this day to do righteous deeds, so as to attain the mercy of Allaah and ward off His punishment. This is the view of al-Qaadi. Abu Bakr ibn al-‘Arabi said in his book al-Ahwadhi fi Sharh al-Tirmidhi: All of these events are good and add to the virtue of Friday. The expulsion of Adam from Paradise is the reason why his offspring and the Messengers, the Prophets, the righteous and the awliya’ exist. He was not expelled from it as such, but rather it was for a purpose, then he will return to it. With regard to the Hour beginning on a Friday, the reason is so that the reward may be hastened for the Prophets, believers in truth, awliya’ and others, and their honour and high status may be made manifest. This hadeeth points to the virtues of Friday and its high status in relation to the other days.  
It was narrated that Abu Lubaabah ibn ‘Abd al-Mundhir said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Friday is the master of days, and the greatest of them before Allaah. It is greater before Allaah than the day of al-Adha and the day of al-Fitr. It has five characteristics: on this day Allaah created Adam, on it He sent Adam down to the earth, on it Allaah caused Adam to die, on it there is a time when a person does not ask Allaah for anything but He gives it to him, so long as he does not ask for anything haraam, and on it the Hour will begin. There is no angel who is close to Allaah, no heaven, no earth, no wind, no mountain and no sea that does not fear Friday.”  
Narrated by Ibn Maajah, 1084; classed as hasan by Shaykh al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 2279 
Al-Sanadi said:  
“They fear Friday” means they fear the onset of the Hour. This indicates that all created beings are aware of the days and they know that the Day of Resurrection will come on a Friday. 
The virtues of this day include the following: 
1 – On it is Salaat al-Jumu’ah (Friday prayer), which is the best of prayer. 
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 
“O you who believe (Muslims)! When the call is proclaimed for the Salaah (prayer) on Friday (Jumu‘ah prayer), come to the remembrance of Allaah [Jumu‘ah religious talk (Khutbah) and Salaah (prayer)] and leave off business (and every other thing). That is better for you if you did but know!”
[al-Jumu’ah 62:9]  
Muslim (233) narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The five daily prayers and from one Jumu’ah to the next is an expiation for whatever sins come in between them, so long as one does not commit a major sin.” 
2 – Praying Fajr in congregation on Fridays is the best prayer that the Muslim can pray during the week. 
It was narrated that Ibn ‘Umar said: The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The best prayer before Allaah is Fajr prayer on Friday in congregation.” 
Narrated by al-Bayhaqi in Shu’ab al-Eemaan; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 1119 
One of the special features of Fajr prayer on Friday is that it is Sunnah to recite Soorat al-Sajdah in the first rak’ah and Soorat al-Insaan in the second. 
It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to recite in Fajr prayer in Fridays Alif-Laam-Meem Tanzeel (Soorat al-Sajdah) in the first rak’ah and Hal ata ‘ala’l-insaan heenun min al-dahr lam yakun shay’an madhkooran (Soorat al-Insaan) in the second. 
Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 851; Muslim, 880. 
Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar said: 
It was said that the reason why these two soorahs are recited is because they mention the creation of Adam and what will happen on the Day of Resurrection, because that will come to pass on a Friday. 
3 – Whoever dies during the day or night of Friday, Allaah will protect him from the trial of the grave. 
It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no Muslim who dies during the day of Friday or the night of Friday but Allaah will protect him from the trial of the grave.” 
Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 1074; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Ahkaam al-Janaa’iz, p. 49, 50 

Greatness of Allah subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa






Greatness of Allah subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa

Imam Ibn ul Qayyim al Jawziyyah


Quoted in "The Weakening of Faith - Its Symptoms – Causes & Cure" 
by Shaykh Muhammad Saleh al-Munajjid 
© 1997 Daar of Islamic Heritage 


Ibn Al-Qayyim described Allah's Greatness, saying: 
He governs the affairs of the various kingdoms and He commands and forbids, creates, sustains, gives death, gives life, gives power, strips power (to and from whom He wills) and alternates the night and day.

He gives varying fortunes to people and alternates governments (and states), destroying some and bringing some into existence.

His Command and Power are dominant in the heavens and their zones, the earth and all that which is on and in it, in the seas and in the air.

His Knowledge has encompassed everything and He counted everything. He hears all types of voices and they do not confuse Him. Rather, He hears each voice in its distinct language and need, and no voice will make Him busy from fulfilling the need of another, and no need will ever escape His Perfect Knowledge (and His Power to deliver).

He does not become bored because of the many needs of those who need. His Sight encompasses all that which there is. He sees the movement of a black ant on a barren rock during a dark night. To Him, the Unseen is uncovered end the secret is secret no more, {Whosoever is in the heavens and on Earth begs of Him (its needs from Him). Every day He has a matter to bring Forth (such as giving honor to some, disgrace to some, life to (some, death to some, etc.)} [55:29].

He forgives an evil deed, makes depression vanish and brings reprieve from disasters, relief for whoever needs it, wealth for the poor, guidance for the misguided, light for the lost, help for he who is desperate, fullness for the hungry, cover for the barely clothed, cure for the ill and ease for he who suffers.

He accepts he who repents, gives reward for he who does good, gives aid for he who was dealt with injustice, destroys an arrogant person, covers mistakes, gives safety after fear end elevates some people and humiliates others.

If those who inhabit His heavens and His earth and all those whom He created, whether mankind or the Jinns, had hearts similar to the most pious heart, His Kingdom will not increase. If all His creation, whether mankind or the Jinns, had hearts similar to the heart of the most wicked heart, this will not decrease from His Kingdom.

Also, if all those who inhabit His heavens and His earth, all mankind and all the Jinns, the dead and the living, stand up on one strip of land and each asks Him for his need, and He then fulfils their needs, this will not decrease from what He has a bit.

He is the First, nothing is before Him, the Last, nothing is after Him, the Most High, nothing is above Him, and the Most Near, nothing is nearer than Him. He, Exalted and Ever High as He is, is the Best Whom one can and should remember, the only One Who deserves to be worshiped and thanked, the Kindest of all those who own and the Most generous of all those who are asked to give. He is the King Who has no partner, the One Who has no competitor, the Samad (Self-Sufficient) Who has no offspring, and the Ever High, none like unto Him.

Everything perishes save His Face and every kingship is bound to perish except His. He will only be obeyed by His Leave, and His Knowledge uncovers all disobedience to Him. When He is obeyed, He thanks for it, and when He is disobeyed, He grants forgiveness (for those who truly repent to Him).

Every punishment from Him is just and every bounty is a grace. He is the Closest Witness and the Nearest One with His Perfect Care. He controls the forelocks of everything and has the full records of all deeds end the books of all ages. The hearts are unmasked to Him and the secret is unveiled. His giving and punishing is merely a Command, {Verily, His Command, when He intends a thing, is only that He says to it, ‘Be, and it is!’} [36:82].

The Right of Allah, the Almighty






The Right of Allah, the Almighty

The most essential right that man must fulfill, first: is the right of his creator, cherisher and care taker, Allah, the Almighty, who has the most important rights of all.

Allah, the Almighty, is the king of all kings, the Omnipotent, the just, the Only one, Who has neither wife nor a son, the One Who creates from nothing, and returns His creations again to the earth to become like soil dirt once again.

He is the One who grants all the graces since man was a fetus in his mother’s womb where no one was capable of providing sufficient food and nourishment, except Him. In the womb, Allah, the Almighty, provided three layers of darkness for comfort, protection and proper isolation. Later, He was the one to provide your mother with warm milk from her breast to give you suitable type of food at all times, and in accordance with your age. Yet Allah, the Almighty, was the One Who directed you to use the sucking function provided for you, enabling you to suckle the milk from your mother.

Moreover, He is the one who placed love, tender care, compassion, love and the sense of attachment in your parents’ hearts to employ all what they have for your comfort, well –being and early stage of your life when you needed the care, the shelter, the comfort and other things.

Furthermore, He is the One Who provided you with natural intelligence, mental faculties, sense, energy, strength and so forth to care for yourself and for others, professing the Creator’s abilities and graces unto you. Allah , the Almighty , stated in the glorious Quran: {It is He Who brought you forth from the wombs of your mothers when ye knew nothing; and He gave you hearing and sight and intelligence and affections: That ye may give thanks ( to God)} [Quran 16:78].

If Allah, the Almighty, stopped His virtuous care for a glimpse of an eye of us, men, women and children, or for only few moments, our entire life or world would collapse, vanish, come to an end, or be. It is because of the mercy, blessings, care, gifts, grants of Allah, the Almighty, unto us, that leads us to think that Allah, the Almighty, is entitled for most important right of all.

He, the Almightily, definitely, has the right of creating us from nothing, preparing us for whatever we shall become while realizing we are completely incapable of doing anything, and last, but not the least, providing us with all that we have in terms such as health, strength, senses, food, shelter, abilities. And yet, Allah , the Almighty, does not ask anything in return for all His gifts, grants and bounties offered by generously without limitation, as He grants to all who believe in Him, follow His teachings and commands, and to those who do not, as well. He requires no favors from us He demands no provision of food or drink, as He, the Almighty, is neither in need of nourishment, nor in need for us for ant reason. Allah , the Almighty, stated in the glorious Quran: {Enjoin prayer on thy people, and be constant therein. We ask thee not to provide sustenance: We provide it for thee. But the (fruit of) the Hereafter is for Righteousness} [Quran 20:132].

The only thing that Allah, the Almighty, demands from His creation, which is again for man’s interest, if applied, fulfilled and practiced, is to worship Him, and Him alone with any association of others with Him in worship. Allah, the Almighty, stated in the glorious Quran: {have only created Jinn and men, that they may serve Me. No sustenance do I require of them, nor do I require that they should feed Me. For God is He Who gives (all) sustenance, Lord of Power, steadfast (for ever)} [Quran 51:56-58].

Allah, the Almighty, demands complete, through and unrestricted submission in slavery for Him, in respect of His position as Full and Complete Lord, Cherisher and Care taker. Man must present himself before His Creator and Cherisher in full humiliation, obedience and submission to His Commands and Will without questioning the validity of the rule, or even the wisdom behind it, as He, the Almighty, knows well what it is good for His creations as a sole Creator. Man is required to fully believe, wholeheartedly, in that is reported soundly and truly of His Creator through His Prophets, Messengers and Books or scriptures. Man could easily see, touch and feel all the graces of Allah, the Almighty, surrounding him in his life, therefore, it is not extremely impolite, rude and inconsiderate to deny all these gifts and graces.

If any provided you with a fraction of what Allah, the Almighty, has provided, you would give him a proper respect, consideration to whatever he demands of you as long as such request are within reason, of course. It is not awful to confront one’s Lord, Creator, Cherisher and Caretaker with denial of His Commands, rules, teachings and instructions which is for the benefit, welfare and well-being of man himself, not for the benefit of the Lord himself?, In fact, all good that comes to man is definitely from His Lord, Allah, the Almighty and all evil or bad things dismissed from man is also due to the mercy of Allah, the Almighty. As Allah, the Almighty stated in the glorious Quran: {And ye have no good things but is from God: And moreover, when ye are touched by distress, unto Him ye cry with groans} [Quran 6:53].

In reality, this right that Allah, the Almighty, requires for Himself from man is very easy to observe, simple to respect, clear to understand and practical to apply for those whom Allah, the Almighty, made it so for them. The Crux of the matter is that Allah, the Almighty, did not make this right a difficult task to achieve, impossible to live by, hard to apply, or even tough understand. Allah, the Almighty stated in the glorious Quran: {And strive in His cause as ye ought to strive, (with sincerity and under discipline). He has chosen you, and has imposed no difficulties on you in religion; it is the cult of your father Abraham. It is He Who has named you Muslims, both before and in this (Revelation); that the Apostle may be witness for you, and ye be witness for mankind! So establish regular prayer, give regular Charity, and hold fast to God ! He is your Protector, the best to protect and the best to help} [Quran 22:78].

This right of Allah, the Almighty, is an ideal belief, truthful faith and belief in justice and fairness. This right results in fruitful and excellent quality, good deed and actions. The essence of this belief is love reverence and respect. Meanwhile, the result and fruit of this belief is dedication, sincerity and full devotion to truth, justice, and good ethnic and moral practice. In fact, the give of daily prayer of Muslims is but a simple result of the application of this right of Allah, the Almighty.

However, sych daily prayers are for the benefits of man himself. They will abolish the minor sins committed during that day, increase the rewards of man for his good actions, improve morals, practices and devotions of the heart of man while improving various situations of man, such as patience and perseverance, concentration, dedication, steadfastness, devotion, commitment to time, production and excellence and so forth. Although this required from all, it is in accordance with every individual’s abilities as Allah, the Almighty, stated in the glorious Quran: {So fear as much as ye can} [Quran 64:16].

The prophet , P.B.U.H , told a man called ‘Imran bin Al-Hussain, who was ill at that time: «Offer Your Obligatory “ prayer while standing, but if you can not do that, then offer it while sitting, and if you can not do that, then, offer it while laying down on your side» [Reported By Abu Dawood & Classified as Sheeh by Al-Albani].

Consequently, man as a result of his belief in Allah, the Almighty, and his religion of Islam, is to pay Zakaht (Charity). This is a small percentage of the entire Wealth is given to man, but yet, it benefits the poor and the needy individuals in the society. It does not benefits Allah, the Almighty. Zakaht benefits the poor, but by the same token, it does not harm or burden the rich person who gives of his wealth.

As a believing, obedient Muslim, one must observe Swam (fasting) during the month of Ramadan, the ninth month in the Hijra – lunar calendar, every year, in fulfillment of the right of Allah, the Almighty. However, if one is unable to fulfill this duty for legitimate reason or excuse, then one may make it up some other time of the year, or pay necessary fines (in charity) for missing it, as Allah, the Almighty, stated in the glorious Quran: {But if any one is ill, or an a journey, the prescribed period (should be made up) by days later} [Quran 2:185].

Also, as a result of the application, observation and adherence to this immense right of Allah, the Almighty, a believing Muslim must perform Hajj (pilgrimage) to the holy shrine of K’aba, at Makkah, one tome in one’s life as a requirement for those who can physically and financially can afford it.

This natural right of Allah, the Almighty, is the one to be fulfilled wholeheartedly. Consequently, all the matters related to it in terms of full belief, Salah “prayer”, Zakah “charity or poor dues” , swam “fasting” and Hajj “pilgrimage” must be practiced, observed and maintained on regular basis. All other facts, duties and requirements that Islam require from the believers are only required when there is a need for them, such as Jihad (fight and struggle, holy war) for the cause of Allah, the Almighty supporting the cause of injustice to men when it occurs and needs support.

Dear fellow man! Examine this right of Allah, the Almighty. It is easy to fulfill, maintain and observe. It is also insignificant in terms of required applications; yet, it is so great un value and reward for those who observe it and perform whatever it entails. Observers of such right will live happily in this life, the hereafter, salvaged from the Hell-fire and will be rewarded with permanent abode in Jannah (paradise) as Allah, the Almighty stated in the glorious Quran: {Only he who is saved far from the fire and admitted to the Garden will have attained the object (of life): for the life of this world is but goods and chattels of deception} [Quran 3:185]. 

Shaikh Mohammed Saleh Alothaimeen 
Charity Organization

The Deen of Islam





Islam is the Deen which Alaah has sent Mohammed (Salla Allaah Aleihi Wasallam) 
with; Allaah made it the last of religions and perfected it for His creation; He made it a completion of His Favors upon them, and chose it to be their Deen; No other religion is accepted from any one except the Deen of Islam. Allaah says:
{مَّا كَانَ مُحَمَّدٌ أَبَا أَحَدٍ مِّن رِّجَالِكُمْ وَلَكِن رَّسُولَ اللَّهِ وَخَاتَمَ النَّبِيِّينَ} [سورة الأحزاب: 40]


Islam is the Deen which Alaah has sent Mohammed (Salla Allaah Aleihi Wasallam) 
with; Allaah made it the last of religions and perfected it for His creation; He made it a completion of His Favors upon them, and chose it to be their Deen; No other religion is accepted from any one except the Deen of Islam. Allaah says:
{مَّا كَانَ مُحَمَّدٌ أَبَا أَحَدٍ مِّن رِّجَالِكُمْ وَلَكِن رَّسُولَ اللَّهِ وَخَاتَمَ النَّبِيِّينَ} [سورة الأحزاب: 40]

{Mohammed (Salla Allaah Aleihi Wasallam) is not the father of any man among you , but he is the messenger of Allaah, and the last (end) of the prophets}. [Qur'an 33 :40].

He also says:
{الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الإِسْلاَمَ دِيناً} [سورة المائدة: 3].

{This day, I have perfected your religion for you , and completed my favour upon you, and have chosen for you Al-Islam as your Deen}. [Qur’an 5:30].

{إِنَّ الدِّينَ عِندَ اللّهِ الإِسْلاَمُ} [سورة آل عمران: 19].
{Truly, The Deen before Allaah is Al-Islam} [Qur'an 3:19

{وَمَن يَبْتَغِ غَيْرَ الإِسْلاَمِ دِيناً فَلَن يُقْبَلَ مِنْهُ وَهُوَ فِي الآخِرَةِ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ} [سورة آل عمران: 85].
{And Whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never accepted of him , and the Hereafter he will be one of the loser}. [Qur’an 3:85].

Allaah ordained that mankind must submit to Him in Islam .He said addressing His Messenger (Mohammed 
{قُلْ يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنِّي رَسُولُ اللّهِ إِلَيْكُمْ جَمِيعاً الَّذِي لَهُ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ لا إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ يُحْيِـي وَيُمِيتُ فَآمِنُواْ بِاللّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ النَّبِيِّ الأُمِّيِّ الَّذِي يُؤْمِنُ بِاللّهِ وَكَلِمَاتِهِ وَاتَّبِعُوهُ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ} [سورة الأعراف: 158].

{Say (O Mohammed) ‘O mankind! Verily, I am sent to you all as the Messenger of Allaah – to whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. La illah illa Huwa(non has the Wright to be worshipped but He); It is He who gives life and causes death. So believe in Alaahh and His messenger (Mohammed), the prophet who can neither read nor write , who believes in Allaah and His words, and follow him so that you may be guided}(Qur’an 7:158]
«»

It is reported in Saheeh Muslim on the authority of Abu Hurairah, that Alaahh’s Messenger Said: «والذي نفسي محمد بيده، لا يسمع بي أحد من هذه الأمة يهودي ولا نصراني، ثم يموت ولم يؤمن بالذي أرسلت به، إلا كان من أصحاب النار»
By Him (Allaah) in Whose Hand Mohammed soul’s is, there is none from amongst the Jews and Christians (of« these present nations) who hears about me and dies without believing in the message with which I have been sent (i.e Tawheed), but he will be from the dwellers of the (Hell) Fire« 

The belief in the prophet Mohammed is the attestation with full acceptance and submission, not just mere attestation, that what he brought forth is the truth. That is why Abu Taalib (the uncle of the prophet) did not become a believer in the messenger, despite his attestation to what the prophet forth and his witness that it is the best of religions.

The Deen of Islaam embraces all of the human welfare that is comprised in the previous religions; it is distinguished above all the religions in it’s suitability for all times, places, and nations, Allah addresses His Messenger Mohammed saying:
{وَأَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ مُصَدِّقاً لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَمُهَيْمِناً عَلَيْهِ} [سورة المائدة: 48].

{And We have sent down to you (O Mohammed) the Book (this Qur’an) in truth, confirming the scripture that came before it and Muhayminan (trustworthy in highness and witness) over it (Old Scripture)}. [Qur’an 5:48].

The suitability of the Deen means that adhering to Islaam does not contradict the welfare of the Ummah in any place or in any time. Indeed it is its betterment. This does not mean, however, that the Deen is subjugate to every time, place and Ummah as some people like it to be.

The Deen of Islaam is the Deen of Truth, whoever truly adheres to it , Allaah guarantee him victory and makes him prevail on everyone else who doesn’t. Allaah says: 
{هُوَ الَّذِي أَرْسَلَ رَسُولَهُ بِالْهُدَى وَدِينِ الْحَقِّ لِيُظْهِرَهُ عَلَى الدِّينِ كُلِّهِ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْمُشْرِكُونَ} [سورة الصف: 9].
{He it is Who sent His Messenger (Mohammed) with the guidance and Deen of the Truth to make it prevail over all (other) religions even though the Mushrikeen hate (it)}. 
Qur’an 61:9]

{وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنكُمْ وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَيَسْتَخْلِفَنَّهُم فِي الْأَرْضِ كَمَا اسْتَخْلَفَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ وَلَيُمَكِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ دِينَهُمُ الَّذِي ارْتَضَى لَهُمْ وَلَيُبَدِّلَنَّهُم مِّن بَعْدِ خَوْفِهِمْ أَمْناً يَعْبُدُونَنِي لَا يُشْرِكُونَ بِي شَيْئاً وَمَن كَفَرَ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ فَأُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ} [سورة النور: 55].
{Allaah has promised, to those among you who believe, and do righteous deeds, that he will certainly grant them succession to ( the present rulers) in the land , as He granted it to those before them ; and he will grant them the authority to practice their religion , that which He has chosen for them (i.e Islaam) . And He will surely give them in exchange a safe security after their fear (provided) they (believers) worship Me and do not associate anything ( in worship) with Me. But whoever disbelieved after this, they are Fasiqoun( rebellious , disobedience to Allaah) . Qura’an 21:55)

The Deen of Islam is Aqeedah (Creed) and Sharee’ah (Legislation) and it is perfect in both.
Islaam commands:The Tawheed and forbids Shirk (setting associate with Allaah 
Truthfulness, and forbids lying. 
Justice, and forbids oppression. 
Trustworthiness, and forbids treachery. 
Faithfulness, and forbids betrayal 
To be good and dutiful to one’s parents, and forbids being disrespectful to them. 
Keep ties with relatives of kinship, and forbids severing ties with them. 
To have good relation to one’s neighborhood, and forbids all forms of ill-treatment to the neighbors. 

Generally speaking, Islaam commands all noble morals, and forbids all ill and despicable manners; it also commands righteousness and forbids wrong. Allaaah says:

{إِنَّ اللّهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاء ذِي الْقُرْبَى وَيَنْهَى عَنِ الْفَحْشَاء وَالْمُنكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ} [سورة النحل: 90].
{Verily, Allaah enjoins Al-‘Adel (i.e justice and worshipping none but Allaah) and Al-Ihsan, and giving help to kith and kin, and forbids Al-Fahsha, Al-Mankar, and Al-Baghy}. [Qur’an 16:90]. 

Shaikh Mohammed Saleh Alothaimeen 
Charity Organization 

 

Advice for New Muslims or those considering Islam





Advice for New Muslims or those considering Islam

Practical tips from fellow convert,
Saraji Umm Zaid.

So, you are a new Muslim. Mabrouk, congratulations. Or perhaps you are thinking about taking your shahada (profession of Islamic faith). I would like to offer some advice, if I may. Having been through what you may be about to experience, I pass this on only in the hopes that you may avoid some of my mistakes, insha'Allah.

1. Don't jump feet first.
This is so important, not just when coming to Islam, but in any aspect of your life. A lot of times, new shahadas are overwhelmed with what is happening. A new religion, new life rules, new politics. Many are eager to join every Islamic group on the face of the earth. Others start playing scholar within a few months. Many people feel like they have to speak Arabic within a month. This is not so. Language doesn't make the Muslim. Take it slowly and pay attention.

2. LEARN YOUR PRAYERS!!!
Make it the first thing you do. Forget about learning Arabic, memorizing hadith, becoming involved in politics, or anything else! LEARN YOUR PRAYERS. I would recommend that you start learning them before your shahada, when you become seriously interested in Islam. I can't stress to you how important this is! I learned the hard way. I am still struggling with part of the prayer now, almost one year later! In the Qur'an we read: {Successful indeed are the believers. Those who offer their prayers with humility and attentiveness} [Quran 23: 1-2], Also: {Verily, Prayer prevents one from shameful and evil deeds} [Quran 29:45].

There is also a saying from Hadith:
The Prophet (saws) said: «Between a man, and between shirk and kufr there is the abandonment of Prayer" (shirk is the worship of objects other than Allah, and kufr is disbelief in Allah and the Message He sent» [Reported by Muslim].

3. Don't let set backs keep you down.
Many new shahadas report that they encounter racism from Muslims. Others say that there is a visible lack of support when they seek it, leaving them feeling alienated. This is a dangerous place to be. Your feelings of resentment and lonliness, your hurt pride could turn you away from Islam, even though your heart longs to submit. I emphasize here that this doesn't happen to every Muslim, and many Muslims open their hearts and homes to new shahadas! But I have seen it enough to know that there are people who slip through the cracks. If you can't find a Muslim community or people willing or able to help you, there are other resources. There are websites, mailing lists, and Islamic support groups that can help you learn your prayers.

All it takes is a little effort. And in the end, Islam isn't about other people, or how many friends you make. It is about you and your Creator. On the last day, you, and no one else, will be responsible for your actions (or lack thereof).

Finally, I have this to say: Allahu Alim, Allah knows best.
He knows better than you do what is good for you and what is bad for you. He has a plan for you, and His Love and Mercy is so great that your only choice is to trust in Him and submit to His Will. Sometimes you won't like it. Life gets "ugly" sometimes. It is hard, it is scary, and it is messy. Nothing comes gift wrapped with a bow on top. Islam reminds us that this short, messy, hard and beautiful life is short. The life after this one is what counts! The goal is Heaven, Paradise, Jennah.

Why Do Priests & Preachers Enter ISLAM?






Why Do Priests & Preachers Enter ISLAM?

Yusuf Estes Islam Story

Many people ask me how a preacher or priest in Christianity can ever go to Islam, especially considering all the negative things that we hear about Islam and Muslims everyday. Some people are simply curious, while others take a profound exception to my "conversion" to Islam. Some have asked how I could have turned my back on Jesus, or if I truly understood the Holy Ghost and some even questioned whether or not I considered myself as "born again" or had ever really been saved at all. These are good questions to which I will offer answers to at the end of this writing. I would like to thank everyone for their interest and offer my humble story, God Willing. 

One very nice Christian gentleman asked me in email why and how I left Christianity for Islam. This is more or less a copy of the letter I sent to him.

Introduction
My name is Yusuf Estes now, but in years past my friends used to call me Skip. I have preached Christianity and worked in the entertainment and music industry since I was a boy in the 1950's. My father and I have established music stores, TV and radio programs and outdoor entertainment for fun (and profit). I was a music minister and even used a pony ride and entertained the children as "Skippy the Clown".

Once, I have served as Delegate to the United Nations Peace Conference for Religious Leaders. Now I am a retired former Muslim Chaplain for United States Bureau of Prisons, Washington, DC. and I join alongside many American Muslims, working with Muslim student and youth organizations as well as schools for Muslim children. As such, I travel around the entire world lecturing and sharing the message of the Christ of the Quran in Islam. We hold dialogs and discussion groups with all faiths and enjoy the opportunity to work alongside rabbis, ministers, preachers and priests everywhere. Some of our work is in the institutional area, military, universities and prisons. Primarily our goal is to educate and communicate the correct message of Islam and who the Muslims really are. Although Islam has grown now to nearly tie Christianity as the largest of religions on earth, we see many of those who claim Islam as Muslims, that do not correctly understand nor properly represent the message of "Peace, Surrender and Obedience to God" [Arabic = 'Islam'].

Dear me, I am afraid that I got a bit ahead of myself. I was trying to give a bit of background of our work perhaps to see if it would in anyway benefit those who may being going through what I experienced while trying to resolve some of the issues of Christianity.


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How It Happened
This may seem quite strange, while we perhaps may share a few different perspectives and concepts of God, Jesus, prophethood, sin and salvation. But you see, at one time I was in the same boat as many folks are today. Really, I was. Let me explain.

Born A Strong Christian 
I was born into a very strong Christian family in the Midwest. Our family and their ancestors not only built the churches and schools across this land, but actually were the same ones who came here in the first place. While I was still in elementary we relocated in Houston, Texas in 1949 "I'm old". We attended church regularly and I was baptized at the age of 12 in Pasadena, Texas. As a teenager, I wanted to visit other churches to learn more of their teachings and beliefs. The Baptists, Methodists, Episcopalians, Charismatic movements, Nazarene, Church of Christ, Church of God, Church of God in Christ, Full Gospel, Agape, Catholic, Presbyterian and many more. I developed quite a thirst for the "Gospel" or as we say; "Good News." My research into religion did not stop with Christianity. Not at all. Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Metaphysics, native American beliefs were all a part of my studies. Just about the only one that I did not look into seriously was "Islam". Why? Good question. 


Music Minister 
Anyway, I became very interested in different types of music, especially Gospel and Classical. Because my whole family was religious and musical it followed that I too would begin my studies in both areas. All this set me for the logical position of Music Minister in many of the churches that I became affiliated with over the years. I started teaching keyboard instruments in 1960 and by 1963 owned my own studios in Laurel, Maryland, called "Estes Music Studios." 


Business Projects In Texas, Oklahoma and Florida
Over the next 30 years my father and I worked together in many business projects. We had entertainment programs, shows and attractions. We opened piano and organ stores all the way from Texas and Oklahoma to Florida. We had earned millions of dollars during those years, but could not find the peace of mind that can only come through knowing the truth and finding the real plan of salvation. I'm sure you have asked yourself the question; "Why did God create me?" or "What is it that God wants me to do?" or "Exactly who is God, anyway?" "Why do we believe in 'original sin?" and "Why would the sons of Adam be forced to accept his 'sins' and then as a result be punished forever." But if you asked anyone these questions, they would probably tell you that you have to believe without asking, or that it is a 'mystery' and you shouldn't ask - "Just have faith, brother."

Trinity Concept
Strangely enough, the word "Trinity" is not in the Bible. And it has been a concern for religious scholars as early as 200 years after Jesus was raised up by Almighty God. I would ask preachers or ministers to give me some sort of an idea how 'one' could figure out to become 'three' or how God Himself, Who can do anything He Wills to do, cannot just forgive people's sins, but rather and had to become a man, come down on earth, be a human, and then take on the sins of all people; keeping in mind that all along He is still God of the whole universe and does as He Wills to do, both in and outside of the universe as we know it. They never seemed to be able to come up with anything other than opinions or strange analogies.

Father - Ordained Non-Denominational Minister
My father was very active in supporting church work, especially church school programs. He became and ordained minister in the 1970s. He and his wife (my stepmother) knew many of the TV evangelists and preachers and even visited Oral Roberts and helped in the building of the "Prayer Tower" in Tulsa, OK. They also were strong supporters of Jimmy Swaggart, Jim and Tammy Fae Bakker, Jerry Fallwell, John Haggi and the biggest enemy to Islam in America, Pat Robertson.

Distributing "Praise" Tapes for Jesus
During the early 1980's my Dad and his wife worked together and were most active in recording "Praise" tapes and distributing them for free to people in retirement homes, hospitals and homes for the elderly. We were really "winning souls to the Lord - for Jesus" day after day.

Met A Man From Egypt
It was early in 1991 when my father began doing business with a man from Egypt and told me that he wanted me to meet him. This idea appealed to me when I thought about the idea of having an international flavor. You know, the pyramids, sphinx, Nile River and all that.

He Was A "Mozlem" 
Hijackers; Kidnappers; Bombers, Terrorists - and who knows what else?
Then my father mentioned that this man was a 'Moslem.' First, I hated the idea of meeting an "infidel, hijacker, kidnapper, bomber, terrorist, non-believer." Any normal person would be repulsed at the idea. I couldn't believe my ears. A 'Moslem?' No way! I reminded my dad of the various different things that we had heard about these people.

Lies Against Muslims & Islam - They Told Us, Muslims:
They don't even believe in God 
They worship a black box in the desert. 
And They kiss the ground five times a day. 
No Way! I Did Not Want to Meet Him!
I did not want to meet this 'Moslem' man. No way! My father insisted that I meet him and reassured me that he was a very nice person. This was too much for me. Especially since the evangelists that we used to travel around with all hated Muslims and Islam very much. They even said things that were not true to make people afraid of Islam. So, why would I want anything to do with these people?

Idea - "Change Him To Christian"

Then an idea came to me, "We can change this man to Christian." So, I gave in and agreed to the meeting. But on my terms.

Met Him With A Bible, Cross and Cap with "Jesus Is Lord!" on it. 

I agreed to meet him on a Sunday after church so we would be all prayed up and in good standing with the Lord. I would be carrying my Bible under my arm as usual. I would have my big shiny cross dangling and I would have on my cap which says: "Jesus is Lord" right across the front. My wife and two young daughters came along and we were ready for our first encounter with the 'Moslems.'

Where Is He?
When I came into the shop and asked my father where the 'Moslem' was, he pointed and said: "He's right over there." 
I was confused. That couldn't be the Moslem. No way.

Turban & Beard?
I'm looking for a huge man with flowing robes, a big turban on his head, a beard half way down his shirt and eyebrows that go all the way across his forehead with a sword or a bomb under his coat.

No Turban - No Beard - [No Hair at All!]
This man had no beard. In fact, he didn't even have any hair on his head at all. He was nearly bald. Best of all, he was very pleasant with a warm welcome and handshake. This didn't make sense. I thought they are terrorists and bombers. What is this all about?

He Needs Jesus
Never mind. I'll get right to work on this guy. He needs to be 'saved' in the 'Name of Jesus' and me and the Lord are going to do it.

Introduction & Interrogation
After a quick introduction, I asked him: 

"Do you believe in God?" 
He said: 
"Yes." - (Good!)

Then I said: 
"Do you believe in Adam and Eve?" 
He said: 
"Yes." - (Very Good!)

I said: "What about Abraham? You believe in him and how he tried to sacrifice his son for God?" 
He said: 
"Yes." - (Even better!)

Then I asked: 
"What about Moses?" 
"Ten Commandments?"
"Parting the Red Sea?"
Again he said: 
"Yes." - (Better still!)

Then: 
"What about the other prophets, David, Solomon and John the Baptist?"
He said:
"Yes." - (Great!) 

I asked: 
"Do you believe in the Bible?" 
Again, he said:
"Yes." - (OK!) 

So, now it was time for the big question: 
"Do you believe in Jesus? That he was the Messiah (Christ) of God?" 
Again the said:
"Yes." - (Fantastic!) 

Well now - "This was going to be easier than I had thought."
He was just about ready to be baptized only he didn't know it. 
And I was just the one to do it, too.

Shocking Knowledge - Muslims Believe in the Bible?
One day in the Spring of 1991, I came to know that the Muslims believed in the Bible. I was shocked. How could this be? But that's not all, they believe in Jesus as:

* A true messenger of God;
* Prophet of God;
* Miracle birth without human intervention;
* He was the 'Christ' or Messiah as predicted in the Bible;
* He is with God now and most important;
* He will be coming back in the Last Days to lead the believers against the 'Antichrist.'

After "winning souls to the Lord for Jesus" day after day, this would be a big achievement for me, to catch one of these 'Moslems' and 'convert' him to Christianity.

Cup of Tea - Discuss Beliefs
I asked him if he liked tea and he said he did. So off we went to a little shop in the mall to sit and talk about my favorite subject: Beliefs. While we sat in that little coffee shop for hours talking (I did most of the talking) I came to know that he was very nice, quiet and even a bit shy. He listened attentively to every word that I had to say and did not interrupt even one time. I liked this man's way and thought that he had definite potential to become a good Christian. - Little did I know the course of events about to unravel in front of my eyes.

Agreed to Do Business
First of all, I agreed with my father that we should do business with this man and even encouraged the idea of him traveling along with me on my business trips across the northern part of Texas. Day after day we would ride together and discuss various issues pertaining to different beliefs that people have. And along the way, I could of course interject some of my favorite radio programs of worship and praise to help bring the message to this poor individual. We talked about the concept of God; the meaning of life; the purpose of creation; the prophets and their mission and how God reveals His Will to mankind. We also shared a lot of personal experiences and ideas as well.

Moved to Our Home
One day I came to know that my friend Mohamed was going to move out of the home he have been sharing with a friend of his and was going to be living in the mosque for a time. I went to my dad and asked him if we could invite Mohamed to come out to our big home in the country and stay there with us. After all, he could share some of the work and some expenses and he would be right there when we were ready to go to out traveling around. My father agreed and Mohamed moved in.

Continued Ministry & Preaching
Of course I still would find time to visit my fellow preachers and evangelists around the state of Texas. One of them lived on the Texas -- Mexico border and another lived near lived Oklahoma border. One preacher liked to a huge wooden cross that was bigger than a car. He would carry it over his shoulder and drag the bottom on the ground and go down the road or freeway hauling these two beams formed in the shape of a cross. People would stop their cars and come over to him and ask him what was going on and he would give them pamphlets and booklets on Christianity.

Preacher Has Heart Attack
One day my friend with the cross had a heart attack and had to go to the Veterans Hospital where he stayed for quite a long while. I used to visit him in the hospital several times a week and I would take Mohamed with me with the hopes that we could all share together in the subject of beliefs and religions. My friend was not very impressed and it was obvious that he did not want to know anything about Islam. Then one day a man who was sharing the room with my friend came rolling into the room in his wheelchair. I went to him and asked him his name and he said that it didn't matter and when I asked him where he was from he said he was from the planet Jupiter. I thought about what he said and then began to wonder if I was in the cardiac ward or the mental ward.

Man in Wheelchair - Needed the Lord
I knew the man was lonely and depressed and needed someone in his life. So, I began to 'witness' to him about the Lord. I read to him out of the book of Jonah in the Old Testament. I shared the story of the prophet Jonah who had been sent by the Lord to call his people to the correct way. Jonah had left his people and escaped by boat to leave his city and head out to sea. A storm came up and the ship almost capsized and the people on board threw Jonah over the side of the ship. A whale came up to the surface and grabbed Jonah, swallowed him and then went down to the bottom of the sea, where he stayed for 3 days and 3 nights. Yet because of God's Mercy, He caused the whale to rise to the surface and then spit Jonah out to return back home safely to his city of Nineveh. And the idea was that we can't really run away from our problems because we always know what we have done. And what is more, God also always knows what we have done.

Catholic Priest
After sharing this story with the man in the wheel chair, he looked up and me and apologized. He told me he was sorry for his rude behavior and that he had experienced some real serious problems recently. Then he said that he wanted to confess something to me. And I said that I was not a Catholic priest and I don't handle confessions. He replied back to me that he knew that. In fact, he said: "I am a Catholic priest." 
I was shocked. Here I had been trying to preach Christianity to a priest. What in the world was happening here?

Priest in Latin America
The priest began to share his story of being a missionary for the church for over 12 years to south and Central America and Mexico and even in New York's 'Hell's Kitchen.' When he was released from the hospital he needed a place to go to recover and rather than let him go to stay with a Catholic family, I told my dad that we should invite him to come out and live with us in the country along with our families and Mohamed. It was agreed by all that he would so, he moved out right away.

Priests Must Study ISLAM? - YES!
During the trip out to our home, I talked with the priest about some of the concepts of beliefs in Islam and to my surprise he agreed and then shared even more about this with me. I was shocked when he told me that Catholic priests actually study Islam and some even carry doctors degrees in this subject. This was all very enlightening to me. But there was still a lot more to come.

Different Versions of the Bible
After settling in, we all began to gather around the kitchen table after dinner every night to discuss religion. My father would bring his King James Version of the Bible, I would bring out my Revised Standard Version of the Bible, my wife had another version of the Bible (maybe something like Jimmy Swaggart's 'Good News For Modern Man." The priest of course, had the Catholic Bible which has 7 more books in it that the Protestant Bible. So we spent more time talking about which Bible was the right one or the most correct one, than we did trying to convince Mohamed about becoming a Christian.

Quran Has Only ONE Version - In Arabic - And Still Exists
At one point I recall asking him about the Quran and how many versions of it there were in the last 1,400 years. He told me that there was only ONE QURAN. And that it had never been changed. Yet he let me know that the Quran had been memorized by hundreds of thousands of people, in it's entirety and were scattered about the earth in many different countries. Over the centuries since the Quran was revealed millions have memorized it completely and have taught it to others who have memorized it completely, from cover to cover, letter perfect without mistakes. Today, over 9 million Muslims have memorized the entire Quran from cover to cover.

How Could This Be?
This did not seem possible to me. After all, the original languages of the Bible have all been dead languages for centuries and the documents themselves have been lost in their originals for hundreds and thousands of years. So, how could it be that something like this could be so easy to preserve and to recite from cover to cover.

Priest Goes to the Mosque
Anyway, one day the priest asked the Mohamed if he might accompany him to the mosque to see what it was like there. They came back talking about their experience there and we could not wait to ask the priest what it was like and what all types of ceremonies they performed. He said they didn't really 'do' anything. They just came and prayed and left. I said: "They left? Without any speeches or singing?" He said that was right.

Priest Enters Islam!
A few more days went by and the Catholic priest asked Mohamed if he might join him again for a trip to the mosque which they did. But this time it was different. They did not come back for a very long time. It became dark and we worried that something might have happened to them. Finally they arrived and when they came in the door I immediately recognized Mohamed, but who was this alongside of him? Someone wearing a white robe and a white cap. Hold on a minute! It was the priest. I said to him: "Pete? -- Did you become a 'Moslem?' 
He said that he had entered into Islam that very day. THE PRIEST BECAME A MUSLIM!! What next? (You'll see).

My Wife Announces Her Islam!
So, I went upstairs to think things over a bit and began to talk to my wife about the whole subject. She then told me that she too was going to enter into Islam, because she knew it was the truth.

Shocked! 
I was really shocked now. I went downstairs and woke up Mohamed and asked him to come outside with me for a discussion. We walked and talked that whole night through.

Truth Had Come!
By the time he was ready to pray Fajr (the morning prayer of the Muslims) I knew that the truth had come at last and now it was up to me to do my part. I went out back behind my father's house and found an old piece of plywood lying under an overhang and right there I put my head down on the ground facing the direction that the Muslims pray five times a day.

Guide Me! O God! Guide Me!
Now then in that position, with my body stretched out on the plywood and my head on the ground, I asked: "O God. If you are there, guide me, guide me." 

Sign Inside of Me
And then after a while I raised up my head and I noticed something. No, I didn't see birds or angels coming out of the sky nor did I hear voices or music, nor did I see bright lights and flashes. What I did notice was a change inside of me. I was aware now more than ever before that it was time for me to stop any lying and doing anything sneaky. It was time that I really work at being an honest and upright man. I knew now what I had to do. 

Wash Away the "OLD"
So I went upstairs and took a shower with the distinct idea that I was 'washing' away the sinful old person that I had become over the years. And I was now coming into a new, fresh life. A life based on truth and proof.

- And Become New!
Around 11:00 A.M. that morning, I stood before two witnesses, one the ex-priest, formerly known as Father Peter Jacob's, and the other Mohamed Abel Rehman and announced my 'shahadah' (open testimony to the Oneness of God and the prophethood of Muhammad, peace be upon him).

"I bear witness, there is no deity to worship, except Almighty Allah, alone and He has no partners and I bear witness that Mohammad is His messenger and servant."

My Wife Was Next
A few minutes later, my wife follow along and gave the same testimony. But hers was in front of 3 witnesses (me being the third).

Then My Father
My father was a bit more reserved on the subject and waited a few more months before he made his shahadah (public testimony). But he did finally commit to Islam and began offering prayers right along with me and the other Muslims in the local masjid (mosque).

Children Too!
The children were taken out of the Christian school and placed in Muslim schools. And now ten years later, they are memorizing much of the Quran and the teachings of Islam.

Father's Wife (Stepmother) Next
My father's wife finally acknowledged, before she died, that Jesus could not be a son of God and that he must have been a mighty prophet of God, but not God. She passed away within a few months of this statement at age 86. May Allah accept her statement of faith, ameen.

Houseful of New Muslims - What's Next?
Now stop and think. A whole entire household of people from varying backgrounds and ethnic groups coming together in truth to learn how to know and worship the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe. Think. A Catholic priest; a minister of music and preacher of the Gospel; an ordained minister and builder of Christian schools; and the children, even a great-grandmother - they all come into Islam!

His Mercy and Guidance
Only by His Mercy were we all guided to see the real truth of Islam, by removing the coverings over our ears and the blinders on our eyes, no longer having seals over our hearts - He was Guiding us now.

Amazing Story - Family and Friends Entering Islam - From One Man
If I were to stop right here, I'm sure that you would have to admit that at least, this is an amazing story, right? After all, three religious leaders of three separate denominations all going into one very opposite belief at the same time and then soon after the rest of the household.

More? - Yes! Baptist Seminary Student Reads Quran - Accepts Islam
But that is not all. There is more! The same year, while I was in Grand Prairie, Texas (near Dallas) I met a Baptist seminary student from Tennessee named Joe, who also came to Islam after reading the Holy Quran while in BAPTIST SEMINARY COLLEGE! 


More? Yes. Catholic Priest Loves Islam - But Needs His Job!
There are others as well. I recall the case of the Catholic priest in a college town who talked about the good things in Islam so much that I was forced to ask him why he didn't enter Islam. He replied: "What? And loose my job?" - His name is Father John and we still pray for Allah to Guide Him.

Another Catholic Priest Makes Shahadah
The very next year I met a former Catholic priest who had been a missionary for 8 years in Africa. He learned about Islam while he was there and entered into Islam. He then changed his name to Omar and moved to Dallas Texas.

Any more? Again - Yes! Orthodox Arch Bishop leaves church for Islam
Two years later, while in San Antonio, Texas I was introduced to a former Arch Bishop of the Orthodox Church of Russia who learned about Islam and gave up his position to enter Islam.

Daughter of Hindu Pundit (Religious Leader) - Accepts Islam - Helping thousands to Islam
I met a woman in New York who wanted to make our CDs about "What Is Islam?" After giving her permission several years ago, I have learned she has produced and distributed over 600 thousand of these to the non-Muslims in America. May Allah reward her and keep her strong in her efforts, ameen.

Hundreds - Thousands - Still Coming
And since my own entrance into Islam and becoming a chaplain to the Muslims throughout the country and around the world, I have encountered many more individuals who were leaders, teachers and scholars in other religions who learned about Islam and entered into it. They came from Hindus, Jews, Catholics, Protestants, Jehovah's Witnesses, Greek and Russian Orthodox, Coptic Christians from Egypt, non-denominational churches and even scientists who had been atheists.

Why? Good question.
The combination always seems to be the same; people are sincerely seeking the truth and are willing to put their different prejudices and biases out of their minds and begin to ask God for His Guidance in their lives.

So, now you have the introduction to the story of my coming into Islam and becoming Muslim. There is more on the Internet about this story and there are more pictures there as well. Please take the time to visit it and then please take the time to email me and let us come together to share in all truths based on proofs for understanding our origins and our purpose and goals in this life and the Next Life.

9 Steps to Purify the Heart
May I suggest to the seeker of truth do the following NINE STEPS to purification of the heart?

Clean - your mind, your heart & soul - remove all prejudices & biases. 
Thank God - for what you have - every moment of every day. 
Read - a good translation of the meaning of the Holy Quran in a language that they can understand best. (http://islamtomorrow.com/downloads/) 
Reflect on the meanings & consider the bounties of your Lord. 
Seek - Forgiveness From God & Learn to Forgive others. 
Ask - in your heart for Guidance from Above. 
Open - your heart and mind. 
Continue - to do this up for a few months. And be regular in it. 
Avoid - the poison of evil while your heart is opening for the "rebirth of your soul." 
Remember: Clean; Thank; Read; Reflect - then:
"Seek, and ye shall find. Ask, and it shall be given thee. Knock, and it shall be opened."
Then: Continue & Avoid

The rest is between you and the Almighty Lord of the Universe. If you truly love Him, then He already Knows it and He will deal with each of us according to our hearts.


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ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS
Now as I promised here are the answers to the questions many have asked me connected with my choice of Islam:

1. "How could you have turned your back on the perfect plan of salvation of Jesus Christ on the cross for you sins?"

Answer: Your question implies you have not considered the similarities and teachings of the Bible and the Quran.

"ISLAM" means - "Surrender, submit and obey your Lord in sincerity and peace." Whoever is trying to do this, is a "MUSLIM." If someone believes in Almighty God as One God and One Lord and wants to commit their life to serving Him and obeying His Commandments, then that person will be in the right way and they will be "saved" according to God's Mercy. No one can take the sins of another and the guilty must stand accused for what they have done. It will be up to Almighty God to Forgive or Punish according to His Judgment on that Day.

According to the remains of the translations of the Bible [see: "Bible, A Closer Look"] Jesus, peace be upon him, did not preach a message of salvation by worshipping him. This was something added later by Saul (who later became Paul). We find clear statements indicating salvation would come only through acknowledging Almighty God as One God and worshipping Him with all the heart, mind and strength. Jesus, peace be upon him, taught his followers to worship "My God and your God, My Lord and your Lord."

Again, according to the remains of the English translation of the Bible, we see the one on the cross crying out a very blasphemous statement, "Eli! Eli! Lama sabachthani?" (Which being translated means, "My God! My God! Why have you forsaken me?") This statement on the cross clearly indicates the one on the cross is not pleased with the situation nor does he consider it right or just. Therefore, one would have to conclude this was not something Jesus approved of nor did he accept, or else someone else was on the cross in his place. Either way you look at it, the one on the cross did not accept this as a plan of salvation.

The Quran is absolutely in agreement with these teachings and Muslims do worship the same God and Lord of Jesus, Moses, Abraham and Adam, peace be upon them all. The Quran states in many places, no one will be taken to task for the sins of another, nor can anyone carry the burden of another. We will all be on our own on that Day. And I ask Allah to have Mercy and Forgiveness for all those who believe in Him, ameen. 

I consider that I have not left the teachings of Jesus Christ, peace be upon him. On the contrary, I feel much closer to Jesus, peace be upon him, and I look forward to His return on earth more than ever before. Now I am worshipping the same God he worships and I serve the same Lord he serves, in the very same way he does. Jesus prayed to Almighty God and taught his followers to do the same. I am simply doing what he commanded to the best of my ability and ask Almighty God to accept it.

2. "Do you consider you were really "saved" and that you had in fact, been "born again?"
Answer: The Baptists have a statement, "Once saved, always saved." I asked one of them about this and he agreed it was true. Then I mentioned at one time I had become a Baptist (in my teen years) but now I was a Muslim. I had also been "saved" and baptized at the age of 12. I had accepted the very statement of Jesus being the way, the light and the truth and no man coming on to the Father except by him. I understood these statements to mean I must follow Jesus and his teachings. Therefore, I read the Bible for myself and did not let others tell me what to think about what I was reading.

The Bible states that Jesus prayed for salvation for himself in the garden of Gethsemane in this way, "Let this cup pass from me, even so, Thy Will be done." This prayer was repeated by Jesus, peace be upon him, a number of times and it is mentioned in more than one Gospel. Yet, according to Biblical accounts, the cup did not pass from him and his prayers were NOT ANSWERED. Islam teaches us his prayers were answered and he did not have to endure the cruel treatment and death on the cross, but rather he was taken up while still alive and is with Almighty God even now and ready to return in the Last Days to bring victory to the believers.

Additionally, we find Jesus, peace be upon him, teaching his disciples to pray like this, "Our Father in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name, Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from all evil. For Thine is the Kingdom and the Power and Glory, forever and ever, ameen." Every Muslim I have met accepts every single word of this pray with the exception of calling "Allah" our "Father." Muslims consider it better to call on Almighty God by His Names, which we do consider to be "Hallowed."

3. "How did your family respond to your conversion?"
Answer: This is always difficult for families to adjust to and it usually takes time. My family was no exception. Although my wife, children entered into Islam and eventually my father came to declare Islam to be the way of salvation for himself, still my own mother and many others in my family resented our going to Islam at first. Eventually, things became more normalized and we do stay in touch, although they are all still very much involved in Christianity.

Allah promises to test those who declare their faith in Him with many types of difficulties and family is one of those mentioned as a test in the Quran. I do pray for them and ask Allah to guide them to the very best in this life and the very best in the Next Life. But it is up to Allah if He wants them to be in Submission to Him (Islam means, submission to Allah) or not.

4. "How about your congregation? What did they say?"
Answer: I never had my own church. I was a music minister in the Church of God (Anderson, Indiana branch) in Texas and did my preaching to businessmen and informal gatherings. Those who knew me for the most part did not object and some even came to Islam, but there were a few who felt very upset and accused me of "Turing my back on Jesus, peace be upon him." No matter what I tried to say or do, these particular individuals would not listen nor did they want to learn anything about Islam. 

5. "Did you experience a lot of difficulties in changing religions?"
Answer: Certainly anyone who wants to consider Islam in these times, just as in times gone by, will have to recognize there will be certain difficulties and tests along the way. The followers of Jesus, peace be upon him, were highly criticized and persecuted even until death (read what Paul said he used to do to them in the Bible; Book of Acts of the Apostles). Those who followed Muhammad, peace be upon him, suffered at the hands of their very own tribes, yet they were determined to continue to worship Almighty God Alone, without partners and submit to His Will.

The biggest problem with non-Muslims, is their lack of understanding and lack of knowledge as to what Islam is really all about and who the Muslims are supposed to be. I pray for them all and ask Allah to forgive the Muslims for not showing a better picture to everyone.

6. "Who was responsible for converting you?"
Answer: As Muslims we believe that it is only Allah who guides the people and whoever He guides will not be misguided and whomever He lets go astray none will be able to guide them. As such, it means we don't believe anyone really can "convert" someone else. 

Also, we accept that all children are born in the natural state of submission to Almighty God and as such that means they are Muslims. Should a child die he or she would go to Heaven as they are not responsible for what they do not understand.

7. "Don't you ever think about coming back to being a Christian?"
Answer: "Christian" indicates a follower of Christ. When Jesus, peace be upon him, returns to earth in the Last Days, all the Muslims will be obliged to follow him. But we would not call ourselves "Christians" anymore than he would. He never called himself or his companions "Christians." The Bible tells us they were never even called "Christians" until Paul was preaching his message in Antioch.

8. "Doesn't it bother you to have left the way of peace, justice and love for a religion of hatred, violence and oppression toward women and others?"
Answer: All the prophets, peace be upon them all, called the people to worship Almighty God as One God and One Lord. As such, those who did not want to submit to Almighty God would combat them and treat them with hostilities, even unto death, as Paul had done while still being a Pharisee. The prophets, peace be upon them all, did encourage their followers to live in peace and deal with people in justice and certainly love is the highest form of emotion a human can have for another human being.

Yet at the same time, believers have to defend themselves, their families and the religion itself, lest those who are not believers should remove belief from the very face of the earth. Islam, like Christianity preaches a message of peace and tolerance - to a point. But when this is no longer possible without totally compromising and loosing one's way of life and belief system, then there is no alternative except to engage in open combat against those who are combating against the believers.

Jesus called upon his followers to sell their coats and buy swords. He explained that he did not come with peace, but rather a sword. He and his companions were engaged in mortal combat with their enemies, the Pharisees when one of the priests slaves had his ear cut by the sword. Jesus then told them to put down their swords. This is mentioned in the Bible. 

The word "sword" appears over 200 times in the Bible - but even though the Arabic language has more than a dozen words for sword, there is not a single occurrence of any of these words anywhere in the Quran.

Combat is ordered in the Quran, only under very specific and limited conditions and it is nothing more than what we would today call "The War on Terrorism." Fighting against all acts of organized aggression, oppression, persecution and terrorism is an obligation on all believers. But it certainly has limits and women, children, elderly and any innocents are not to killed or injured during such occasions. Treatment of prisoners is not to be humiliating or torture of any kind. Even the dead of the enemy are to be buried with dignity and respect.


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Now since writing my story and publishing here on the internet many other websites have picked up this story and it had become a famous example of how "Priest and Preachers Are Coming to Islam."

Again, I thank you for visiting. And I thank our Christian friend for his email. If he hadn't sent it, I probably would still not have completed this task of putting down the story once and for all of how my family, friends and myself all came to Islam.

Please feel free to share this story with others. You should print it out and make copies for everyone. Give them our links, add our story to your website or blog page, and send out emails to everyone you know. Maybe it could make a difference for others like us, God Willing.

May Allah guide you on your journey to all truth. Ameen. And May He open your heart and your mind to the reality of this world and the purpose of this life, ameen.

Peace to you and Guidance from Allah the One Almighty God, Creator and Sustainer of all that exists.
Your friend,

Yusuf Estes
Chaplain Yusuf Estes