Arsip | 17.20

The Five Pillars of Islam

15 Sep

Whom Should We Worship?
Authorship: Majed S. Al-Rassi
Short Link: http://IslamHouse.com/431561

Worship in Islam is an all-inclusive term for all actions and statements that Allah loves and approves of. Every virtuous action which is performed with the intention of carrying out the commandments of Allah and seeking His pleasure is considered to be an act of worship. Islam is built on five acts of worship which are the foundations from which all deeds emanate. They stand as the framework of spiritual life on which the structure of Islam rests. They are the following:

1 The declaration of the two testimonies of faith

“I testify that there is no deity (“Deity” is defined as ‘an object of worship’) worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad is His slave and messenger.” (In Arabic: Ash-hadu al-lâ ilâha illâ Allah, wa ash-hadu annâ Muhammadan ‘Abduhu wa Rasooluhu.)

The sincere declaration of this double testimony (also referred to as the testimony of monotheism) and adherence to this teachings automatically brings one within the fold of Islam and dying while believing it guarantees one a place in paradise. This is why this testimony is considered to be the cornerstone of Islam. The acceptance of this belief distinguishes the Muslim from the non-Muslim. Hence, all actions depend upon this pillar; deeds (no matter how great) are of no avail to a person if he or she does not utter this testimony. However, there are many acts which may contradict this declaration and expel its doer from Islam as quickly as he or she came in. The most serious of those acts is worshipping other than Allah whether in the form of supplication, prayer or other acts that signify worship or belief in other than Allah.

2 Prayers

Formal prayers are prescribed five times daily as a duty to Allah at the following times: dawn, noon, afternoon, sunset and nightfall. A Muslim may offer formal prayers almost anywhere as long as the location is clean. Muslim males are enjoined to pray in congregation in a mosque, while females are encouraged to pray in their homes. Prayer provides humans with regular contact with Allah, which helps them avoid evil. Furthermore, it is symbolic of equality of poor and rich, ruler and subject, darkskinned and fair-skinned. Human beings from every conceivable background stand together, united in rows, shoulder to shoulder, and prostrate themselves before Allah.

Prayer strengthens the belief in Allah and elevates the human being to a higher morality. It helps to purify the heart and prevent temptation towards wrongdoing and evil. This act of worship compels the believers to remember their Lord no matter where they are, night or day. In this way, prayer is continuously taking place throughout the entire world at any given moment.

3 Zakâh (Obligatory charity)

Every Muslim whose net annual savings are above a certain specified minimum must pay an annual amount of 2.5% of those savings to the poor and the needy people in the community. Zakâh fosters generosity and helps purify the soul of selfishness and greed. Zakâh also helps reduce resentment and envy between the poor and the rich members of the society. Islam is a practical religion. Not only does it safeguard the average individual and his or her rights, it protects the rights of the weaker members of the community as well.

4 Fasting the month of Ramadan

Fasting in Islam means abstinence from food, drink and sexual acts from dawn to sunset. It is an annual obligation during the month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. Fasting was imposed on former communities of believers in earlier divine religions. The Qur’an states that the main purpose of fasting is to help us be more conscious of Allah and more obedient to Him. It teaches sincerity and engenders devotion. It helps us develop a sense of social conscience, patience, self-restraint, will power and compassion for needy members of the society.

Someone might ask: Why has Allah, in His wisdom, prescribed fasting for many nations? The answer is that the purpose of fasting is clearly defined as being for the development of Allah-consciousness (piety) in the believer’s heart, since only Allah knows who is actually fasting and who is not. Consequently, the one who is fasting refrains from eating and drinking based on an awareness of Allah. Regular fasting enhances that awareness, which subsequently leads to the implanting of righteousness in the heart of the individual.

As a secondary benefit, fasting is very beneficial to one’s health. It purifies the body of toxins; it is a rest from the useless waste cluttering the body. It allows the body to recuperate and heal. It trains the body, as well as the mind, to function with an amount of food that is sufficient. Also, the needs of basic instincts of survival are kept in check, and when the individual is able to control these, other needs will be easier to control. In return for this sacrifice, Allah grants the believers great rewards and forgiveness of their sins.

5 Hajj (Pilgrimage to Makkah)

The Hajj is obligatory for every Muslim once in a lifetime, if one can afford it financially and bear it physically. During the Hajj, Muslims from all corners of the world meet in an international congregation dedicated to the worship of Allah. It is a great lesson in patience. The huge gatherings for the Hajj are a reminder of the Day of Judgement when all of humankind will gather for their reckoning. It emphasizes the belief that all Muslims are brothers and sisters, irrespective of their geographical, cultural, racial or social origins. (It should be noted that the five pillars have high importance in Islam; learning and practicing them are priorities for every Muslim, whereas everything else can be learned gradually, with patience and dedication).

&

Obedience to the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) (followship)

15 Sep

Whom Should We Worship?
Authorship: Majed S. Al-Rassi
Short Link: http://IslamHouse.com/431561

Obedience to the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) has been mentioned in thirty different verses of the Qur’an. It implies following his commands and avoiding what he prohibited. Obedience to the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) indicates the true fulfilment of the second part of the declaration that brings a person into Islam, “I bear witness that Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger.”

When we examine anything the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) encouraged, urged or ordered, we find that it is all from Allah and that it leads to something good either for us personally or for others who are close to us in our families or for our wider community, whether it is the Muslim community in general or humanity at large. He has only prohibited what is harmful or of no benefit, like adultery, gambling, alcohol, lying, disrespect to parents and so on. The Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) prohibited satanic ways in many statements because these tend to pull a person away from the right path.

A good believer reaches a state of mind when his or her desires and pleasures in this life are in line with what Allah wants from him or her. Every individual should be obedient to Allah and His Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him), and observe strictly the instructions from Allah. The spirit develops by following Islamic teachings, while it decays and suffers from a spiritual loss if these teachings are abandoned.

&

Loving the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him)

15 Sep

Whom Should We Worship?
Authorship: Majed S. Al-Rassi
Short Link: http://IslamHouse.com/431561

Islam teaches that loving the Prophet is part of the Islamic faith. The Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) has been quoted as saying: “None of you is a true believer unless I am dearer to him than his parents, his children, and all other people.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

The Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) also said: “There are three qualities which are certain to give anyone the sweetness of faith: to love Allah and His Messenger more than anyone else, to love a person for no purpose other than for Allah’s sake, and to hate to relapse into disbelief after Allah has saved him from it as much as one would hate to be thrown into the fire.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

We are required to love Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) more than all others (except Allah) because it was through him that we learned who Allah is along with His attributes, our position in relation to Him, what Allah wants from us, and how to worship Him. He has guided us, through practical example, along the way; following this is certain to earn us Allah’s acceptance and the ultimate bliss. He has spared us the worst calamity that can ever befall anyone, which is incurring Allah’s anger and punishment. He sacrificed everything to deliver Allah’s message to us. He sacrificed his health and wealth and his whole life. If we realize all this, how can we not love him more than we love ourselves and all others?

We love Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) because, as described in the Qur’an, he was a ‘mercy for all nations’. His compassion extended to all: friends and enemies. Consider this: his enemies often became his beloved Companions and followers. They embraced Islam, saying that his character proved he was a true Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him).

It should be noted that we must love Allah more than the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) ; the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) comes after Allah. Loving Allah, the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) and his followers is an act of worship for which one will be rewarded. The reverse is also true: hating Allah or His Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) will expel one from the bounds of Islam. Correspondingly, hating those who hate Allah or the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) is part of the Islamic belief, for which the individual will be accounted for and rewarded.

It needs to be clarified here that the emotion of ‘hate’ that is referred to in this context does not lend itself to the commonly known evil type of hate which is the imperfect human emotion; rather, it is the type of hate that perfects one’s faith as it is directed – in the right measure – against those who have taken a defiant stance against the Creator and His chosen messengers. It is a lot like the negative feeling one may hold against the actions of a human who defies and abuses his or her elderly parents in an evil manner, or an outlaw who fights the justice system and spreads fear and corruption in society. It is clear that hating the actions of such individuals is a natural feeling that good people are expected to have.

Although Islam teaches love in all its forms, it also instructs faithful believers not to love those who do not love Allah and His messengers, until they change their ways, in which case, they are commanded to love them! In a nutshell, a Muslim loves as well as hates for Allah’s sake. Here is a great fact about this emotion of hate: a Muslim is instructed not to hate anyone for personal reasons. For example, if a Muslim person has been insulted by anyone, he or she has been instructed to forgive; surely, the difference is great between hating for the sake of Allah (wellplaced emotion) versus hating for self-satisfaction (a destructive emotion).

The love we should have for the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) must be genuine love, not a mere verbal statement. It should be supported and proven by obedience: following his commands and avoiding what he has prohibited. Correspondingly, again, the expression of our feelings of hate or revulsion at the refusal of our fellow human beings to believe in Allah’s Oneness and follow the monotheistic teachings of His prophets should be in our positive and pro-active approach to those who disbelieve. We pray for them to be guided to the truth; at the same time, we need to work for that and work with them towards that.

&

Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) in the Bible

15 Sep

Whom Should We Worship?
Authorship: Majed S. Al-Rassi
Short Link: http://IslamHouse.com/431561

This chapter was compiled from Muhammad in the Bible by Dr. Jamal Badawi and What the Bible says about Muhammad by Dr. Ahmed Deedat.

“Twenty-seven Proofs from the Bible on Muhammad’s Prophethood

The Biblical prophecies about the advent of Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) prove the truth of Islam for people who believe in the Bible. Before addressing these prophecies, the following points should be considered by the readers:

Islamic teachings gave a criterion on the basis of which portions or passages from the Bible could be either accepted or rejected. This criterion has been described in the following verse of the Qur’an:
“And We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], the book in truth, confirming that which preceded it of the scripture and as a criterion over it…} (Qur’an 5: 48)

This verse emphasizes two main aspects of the Qur’an:
a) The Qur’an confirms only those teachings or passages of the previous scriptures which have remained intact.
b) The Qur’an is the final, complete, authoritative and authentic revelation from Allah. It is the final arbiter and the only criterion to correct any inaccuracy or misinterpretation which might have occurred in the transmission of scriptures throughout the ages. It helps to discover, expose, and disclose human additions or interpolations of previous revelations prior to its revelation (the Qur’an). Indeed, one of the names of the Qur’an is al-Furqân (the criterion which distinguishes between right and wrong, truth and falsehood).

It follows, therefore, that a Muslim has no reason to reject the essence of any passage in the Bible if such a passage is confirmed by the Qur’an. For example, we read in the New Testament, a reiteration of one of the Ten Commandments:
“And Jesus answered him. The first of all commandments is hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord.” (Mark 12:29)

A Muslim who reads this passage in the Qur’an can find no objection to its essence. After all, the Qur’an confirms:
“Say: He is Allah, [who is] One.” (Qur’an 112: 1)
If, however, a Muslim reads in the Bible (or other previous scriptures for that matter) accusations of major moral sins levied against great prophets or doctrines which are totally negated in the Qur’an, he or she can accept only the Qur’anic version as the original unadulterated truth, revealed by Allah.

Likewise, if the Bible (or other scriptures) contain apparent prophecies about the advent of Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him), and if the Qur’an confirms that fact, then there is nothing unusual or objectionable in referring to such prophecies.

Describing true believers, the Qur’an has stated: “Those who follow the Messenger, the unlettered prophet, whom they find written in what they have of the Torah and the Gospel, who enjoins upon them what is right and forbids them what is wrong and makes lawful for them the good things and prohibits for them the evil and relieves them of their burden and the shackles which were upon them. So they who have believed in him, honoured him, supported him and followed the light which was sent down with him – it is those who will be the successful.} (Qur’an 7: 157)

(Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) was illiterate; he could neither read nor write. No human had ever taught him a word. The wisdom behind his unlettered status is to repel false accusations that the Qur’an was written or authored by Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) . It shall be noted that there were no Arabic-language Bibles in existence in the 6th century of the Christian Era, when Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) lived and preached. Indeed, Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) was educated through the Qur’an, revealed to him by His Creator, containing things that no other human being could have known. Additionally, the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) was the best of humanity in every aspect of his character, including his intellectual skills.)

The original Bible given to Prophets Moses and Jesus (peace be upon them) contained a complete and clear profile of the advent of Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him). Even in its present form(s), the Bible still contains several such prophecies, as will be shown in the forthcoming chapters.

Quoting Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him), the Qur’an has stated: “And [mention] when Jesus, the son of Mary, said: O children of Israel, indeed I am the messenger of Allah to you confirming
what came before me of the Torah and bringing good tidings of a messenger to come after me, whose name is Ahmad. But when he came to them with clear evidences, they said: This is
obvious magic.} (Qur’an 61: 6)

&

Islam and Other Religions

15 Sep

Whom Should We Worship?
Authorship: Majed S. Al-Rassi
Short Link: http://IslamHouse.com/431561

One may ask, “If all true religions came with the same message, namely the worship of Allah alone, then why do we find such differences between them?” The answer is that the original forms of these earlier messages were either lost or distorted by later generations. Consequently, the pure messages of monotheism became polluted with myths, superstitions, idolatry and irrational philosophical beliefs; hence, those religions no longer represent the embodiment of Allah’s revelations. However, Allah, the Compassionate, did not leave human beings without guidance. He ultimately sent Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) to revive the original message and to call human beings back to the correct path: belief in the unique Oneness of Allah and worship of Him according to His teachings mentioned in the Qur’an.

Consequently, Islam is the seal and completion of all religions, the Qur’an is the seal and completion of all revealed books, and Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) is the seal of all prophets – the final prophet.

&

Eleven Facts about Jesus (peace be upon him) in the Islamic Teachings

15 Sep

Whom Should We Worship?
Authorship: Majed S. Al-Rassi
Short Link: http://IslamHouse.com/431561

The Qur’an does not present a detailed biography of Jesus (peace be upon him). However, it does highlight the important aspects of his birth along with his miracles, his mission and his ascension. The Qur’anic account of Jesus’ ministry confirms most of his miracles mentioned in the Bible; it even identifies some which are not mentioned in the Bible. What we know about Prophet Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) can be divided into two topics: his personality and his message. Eleven facts have been detailed below.

What you should know about Jesus (peace be upon him)

1 The status of Jesus (peace be upon him) in Islam
Islam teaches that Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) is one of the most respected prophets because of his efforts in spreading the word of Allah. It displays a true spirit of love towards him and his mother, Mary. There is not a single disparaging remark against Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) or any other prophet in the entire Qur’an or other Islamic literature or Islamic history books.

An evidence of praise for Jesus (peace be upon him) is the fact that his story along with that of his mother’s has been mentioned in three places in the Qur’an: chapters 3, 4 and 19. In fact, an entire chapter of the Qur’an, (chapter 19), is named after ‘Maryam’ (Mary) in her honour. (Readers should consider that in all of the 66 books of the Protestants and 73 of the Roman Catholics, this honour has not been given to Mary in the Christian Bible. Also, none of those books is named after Mary or her son. Deedat, Christ in Islam, 11. It is also noteworthy that no chapter in the Qur’an is named after any of Prophet Muhammad’s wives or daughters)

Another evidence of praise is that the name of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) has been mentioned 25 times in the Qur’an; this is in contrast to the mention of Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him), whose name is mentioned only five times. This proves that Islam honours all prophets for the message they have in common; it did not discard one prophet with the advent of another.

Jesus (peace be upon him) has been referred to in the Qur’an with many titles, Ibn Maryam (son of Mary), the Messiah (the anointed one), ‘Abdullâh (slave of Allah), (The meaning of slavery is linked to the meaning of worship, which is total submission and complete obedience to Allah’s commandments in terms of one’s belief, intentions, statements, and actions. This can be achieved by striving to do what Allah has encouraged, avoiding what He has forbidden, and worshipping Him alone according to His teachings. This is the true meaning of the worship of Allah or ‘slavery to Allah’ in Islam. May Allah enable his followers to achieve this level of worship. Amen).
And Rasool Allâh (the messenger of Allah). This praise and glorification agrees with what Jesus (peace be upon him) is reported to have said in John 16:14. (New International Version (NIV) and the King James Version (KJV) describing the prophet who would succeed him: “He will glorify me.”

2 The beginning of his lineage
The Qur’anic account of Jesus (peace be upon him) starts with the story of his mother, Mary. When she conceived her, Mary’s mother vowed to dedicate her unborn child to the worship of Allah and His service in Jerusalem. Mary grew up to be very righteous. She dedicated herself to the worship of Allah and was supplied with provision from Him. Therefore, it is no mystery as to why she was chosen to be the mother of Jesus (peace be upon him). The Qur’anic verses inform us:

“[Mention, O Muhammad], when the wife of ‘Imrân said: My Lord, indeed I have pledged to You what is in my womb, consecrated [for Your service], so accept this from me. Indeed, You are the Hearing, the Knowing. But when she delivered her, she said: My Lord, I have delivered a female – and Allah was most knowing of what she delivered – and the male is not like the female; I have named her Mary, and I seek refuge for her in You and [for] her descendants from Satan, the expelled [from the mercy of Allah]. So her Lord accepted her with good acceptance and caused her to grow in a good manner and put her in the care of Zechariah. Every time Zechariah entered upon her in the prayer chamber, he found with her provision. He said: O Mary, from where is this [coming] to you? She said: It is from Allah. Indeed, Allah provides for whom He wills without account.” (Qur’an 3: 35-37)

It is interesting to note that when the mother of Mary delivered her child, she was a bit disappointed to discover that she did not have a son. This was because she had always wished for her child to be dedicated to the worship of Allah. However, little did she know that this very child would be extremely righteous, and end up being the mother of Jesus himself. This was better for her than a son, hence, Allah’s words: “…and Allah was most knowing of what she delivered…”

3 The status of Mary
Mary, mother of Jesus, is very highly respected in Islam. Her story is an important one that is mentioned several times in the Qur’an. Mary is mentioned by name in the Qur’an, and in fact an entire chapter of the Qur’an is named after her. This is an honor that not even the women in Prophet Muhammad’s family were accorded. Although there are stories and anecdotes in the Qur’an about other women of strong faith, and others of importance in the history of the three Abrahamic religions, none other than Mary is actually mentioned by name.

Allah has said:
“And [mention] when the angels said: O Mary, indeed Allah has chosen you and purified you and chosen you above the women of the worlds. O Mary, be devoutly obedient to your Lord and prostrate and bow with those who bow [in prayer]. That is from the news of the unseen which We reveal to you, [O Muhammad]…” (Qur’an 3: 42-44)

4 The news about Jesus (peace be upon him)
When Mary approached adulthood, she was informed about the honour of bearing this noble son well before his birth. It was the angel Gabriel (peace be upon him), who appeared in front of her with this news. The following verses in the Qur’an describe the dialogue between Mary and the angel:

“[And mention] when the angels said: O Mary, indeed Allah gives you good tidings of a word from Him, whose name will be the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary – distinguished in this world and the hereafter and among those brought near [to Allah]. He will speak to the people in the cradle and in maturity and will be of the righteous. She said: My Lord, how will I have a child when no man has touched me? [The angel] said: Such is Allah; He creates what He wills. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it: Be, and it is.” (Qur’an 3: 45-47)

5 The birth of Jesus (peace be upon him)
Mary conceived this child miraculously (the first miracle) and retired to a distant place where she waited for the birth of her child. This amazing story has been related to us in chapter 19 of the Qur’an, titled Maryam (Mary):

“So she conceived him, and she withdrew with him to a remote place. And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm tree. She said: O, I wish I had died before this and was in oblivion, forgotten. But he called her from below her: Do not grieve; your Lord has provided beneath you a stream. And shake toward you the trunk of the palm tree; it will drop upon you ripe, fresh dates. So eat and drink and be contented. And if you see from among humanity anyone, say: Indeed, I have vowed to the Most Merciful abstention, so I will not speak today to [any] man.} (Qur’an 19: 22-26)

6 Subsequent miracles of Jesus (peace be upon him)
Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) was blessed with the ability to perform many miracles. This supported his claim that he was a prophet sent by Allah. Allah Almighty has said in the Qur’an:
“…And We gave Jesus, the son of Mary, clear proofs and supported him with the pure spirit…” (Qur’an 2: 87)

Muslims do not hesitate to accept the fact that Jesus (peace be upon him) performed miracles. At the same time, Muslims do not elevate Jesus (peace be upon him) to the position of Allah or describe him as the ‘son of God’. They do not consider him to be anything more than a divinely-inspired man: a messenger and prophet of Allah. The same applies to all the other prophets, since many of them were blessed with different miracles as well.

The first miracle associated with Jesus (peace be upon him) was that he was born from a mother without any human intervention (father). Allah gave the divine command ‘Be’ and he was created. The Qur’an has mentioned the miraculous creation of both Adam and Jesus in the following verse:
“Indeed, the example of Jesus to Allah is like that of Adam. He created Him from dust; then He said to him: Be, and he was.” (Qur’an 3: 59)

The Qur’an has mentioned that Jesus’ miraculous birth did not change his status as a human; that is, he did not evolve from a human being to become Allah or a son of Allah. This is because, rationally, if that had been the case, then Adam would have had a greater right to such an honour, since he was born without a human father or mother.

Another miracle was that Allah gave Jesus (peace be upon him) the ability to talk in his infancy, a blessing which helped save his mother from the harsh slander of her own community. He is one of only three people whom Allah chose for this. This remarkable story has been narrated in the Qur’an:

“Then she brought him to her people, carrying him. They said: O Mary, you have certainly done a thing unprecedented. O sister of Aaron, your father was not a man of evil, nor was your mother unchaste. So she pointed to him. They said: How can we speak to one who is in the cradle a child? [Jesus] said: Indeed, I am the servant of Allah. He has given me the scripture and
made me a prophet. And He has made me blessed wherever I am and has enjoined upon me prayer and zakâh as long as I remain alive, and [made me] dutiful to my mother, and He has not made me a wretched tyrant. And peace is on me the day I was born and the day I will die and the day I am raised alive.” (Qur’an 19: 27-33)

Other subsequent miracles performed by Jesus (peace be upon him) have also been mentioned in the Qur’an:

“[The day] when Allah will say: O Jesus, son of Mary, remember My favour upon you and upon your mother when I supported you with the pure spirit and you spoke to the peoplein the cradle and in maturity; (This means that Jesus called people to worship Allah both while he was a baby in the cradle and when he reached adulthood). and [remember] when I taught you writing and wisdom, (‘Wisdom’ here means the correct and profound understanding of Religion) the Torah and the Gospel, (It is the original form of revelation given to Jesus. According to Qur’anic exegesis, Jesus had memorized both these scriptures) and when you designed from clay [what was] like the form of a bird with My permission, then you breathed into it, and it became a bird with My permission; and you healed the blind and the leper with My permission; and when you brought forth the dead with My permission; and when I restrained the children of Israel from [killing] you when you came to them with clear proofs and
those who disbelieved among them said: This is not but obvious magic.” (Qur’an 5: 110)

Indeed, the Islamic account of the miracles bestowed on Jesus (peace be upon him) describe more miracles than those known to Christians. Also, facts 10 and 11 below are two more miracles associated with Jesus (peace be upon him) and his role as the Messiah.

An important note

As shown in the previous verse, it was emphasized after mentioning each miracle that whenever Jesus (peace be upon him) performed a miracle, he informed people that it was by Allah’s permission. He made it clear to his followers that he was not performing the miracle by himself. As Dr. Philips points out:
There are texts in the New Testament which confirm that Jesus did not act on his own. Jesus is
quoted in John 5:30 saying: I can of mine own self do nothing…In acts 2:22, Paul writes: Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs which God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know…(Philips, The True Message of Jesus Christ, 45)

7 Human qualities of Jesus (peace be upon him)
Islam forbids the deification of human beings (going to excess in the exaltation of humans-prophets or otherwise-to the point where they perceive them as divine). Addressing both the Jews and the Christians, Allah has said in the Qur’an:

“O People of the Scripture, (Allah begins this sacred verse with a word of respect, whereby the
Jews and the Christians have been addressed as learned people, who have received revelation in the form of scripture.) do not commit excess in your religion or say about Allah except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, was but a messenger of Allah and His word which He directed to Mary and a soul [created at a command] from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers. And do not say: Three; desist – it is better for you. Indeed, Allah is but one God. Exalted is He above having a son. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. And sufficient is Allah as Disposer of affairs. Never would the Messiah disdain to be a servant of Allah, nor would the angels near [to Him]. And whoever disdains His worship and is arrogant – He will gather them to Himself all together. And as for those who believed and did righteous deeds, He will give them in full their rewards and grant them extra from His bounty. But as for those who disdained and were arrogant, He will punish them with a painful punishment, and they will not find for themselves besides Allah any protector or helper. O humankind, there has come to you a conclusive proof from your Lord, and We have sent down to you a clear light. So those who believe in Allah and hold fast to Him – He will admit them to mercy from Himself and bounty and guide them to Himself on a straight path.” (Qur’an 4: 171-175)

Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) also warned against the deification of humans. He said: “O people, beware of going to excesses in religion, for verily people before you were destroyed for going to excesses in religion.” (Recorded by Ibn Mâjah and an-Nasâ’i with a sound chain of narration)

Being a human prophet, Jesus (peace be upon him) did not ask people to worship him. Allah has informed us in the Qur’an that on the Day of Judgement, He will gather all the nations in front of Himself and will ask the messengers how they were received by their peoples and what they said to them. Among those who are going to be questioned is Jesus (peace be upon him):

“And [beware the day] when Allah will say: O Jesus, son of Mary, did you say to the people: Take me and my mother as deities besides Allah? He will say: Exalted are You! It was not for me to say that to which I have no right. If I had said it, You would have known it. You know what is within myself, and I do not know what is within Yourself. Indeed, it is You who is Knower of the unseen. I said not to them except what You commanded me – to worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. And I was a witness over them as long as I was among them; but when You took me up, You were the Observer over them, and You are, over all things, Witness. If You should punish them – indeed they are Your servants; but if You forgive them – indeed it is You who is the Exalted in Might, the Wise. Allah will say: This is the day when the truthful will benefit from their truthfulness. For them are gardens [in paradise] beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever, Allah being pleased with them, and they with Him. That is the great attainment.” (Qur’an 5: 116-119)

8 Jesus’ prophethood
The Islamic view of Jesus (peace be upon him) is a moderate one, as it lies between the two extremes. The Jews rejected Jesus (peace be upon him) in his role as a prophet of Allah and called him an impostor. The Christians, on the other hand, considered him to be the son of God (Allah) and ‘Godincarnate’ in some cases; thus, they began worshipping him. Islam considers Jesus (peace be upon him) to be one of the greatest prophets of Allah. Allah has said:
“The Messiah, son of Mary, was not but a messenger; [other] messengers have passed on before him. And his mother was a supporter of truth. (She never claimed that she was a mother of God, or that her son was a God. She was a pious, virtuous woman.) They both used to eat food. Look how We make clear to them the signs; then look how they are deluded.” (Qur’an 5: 75)

9 The mission of Jesus (peace be upon him)
Now one might ask: what was the real mission of Jesus (peace be upon him) according to the Qur’an? The answer is: Jesus (peace be upon him) propagated the message of monotheism: worship of Allah alone as prescribed in the Gospels. He worked hard to propagate this message, and invited everyone to it. Allah has mentioned in the Qur’an that Jesus will say on the Day of Judgement when He asks him whether he asked the Christians’ to worship him and his mother:

“I said not to them except what You commanded me – to worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord…} (Qur’an 5: 117)

Refer for details to chapter 17: “Islam’s Revival of the Basic Teachings of Jesus (peace be upon him),” Subheading 17.3: “Revival of the doctrine of monotheism.”
The prophecy of Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) as a successor to Christ was a part of Jesus’ message.

Allah has mentioned in the Qur’an: “And [mention] when Jesus, the son of Mary, said: O children of Israel, indeed I am the messenger of Allah to you confirming what came before me of the Torah and bringing good tidings of a messenger to come after me, whose name is Ahmad. But when he came to them with clear evidences, they said: This is obvious magic.} (Qur’an 61: 6)

Though the Bible has been altered a great deal, it contains remnants of the original true message revealed to Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him). In this regard, the messenger of whom Jesus gave glad tidings and prophecies is still referred to in both the old and new testaments of the Bible.

Jesus was a link in a long line of prophets and messengers sent by Allah to various civilizations and nations, whenever they needed guidance or deviated from the teachings of Allah. Jesus was sent by Allah especially to preach to the Jews, who had deviated from the teachings of Moses and other messengers. Just as he was supported by Allah miraculously in his conception, birth and childhood, he was also supported by numerous miracles to prove that he was a messenger from Allah. However, a majority of Jews rejected his ministry. It must be noted that Jesus Christ (peace be upon him), son of Mary, was the last in the line of prophets sent to the Jewish people.

10 Jesus’ ascension
Jesus’ ascension is the last miracle which was given to him while he was on the earth. The Jews attempted to kill him. Allah replaced him with another person who resembled him. Jesus (peace be upon him) was neither killed nor crucified; rather, he was raised to Allah. It was the other person, bearing resemblance to him, who was killed. To this day, the Christians believe that Jesus himself was the one who was killed.

Allah has said in the Qur’an: “And [for] their saying: Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah. And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but [another] was made to resemble him to them. And indeed, those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except the following of assumption. And they did not kill him, for certain. Rather, Allah raised him to Himself. And ever is Allah Exalted in Might and Wise.} (Qur’an 4: 157-158)

11 The second coming of Jesus (peace be upon him)
In the Islamic teachings, there is clear evidence indicating the second coming of Jesus (peace be upon him) before the final hour; this is an additional and final miracle for Jesus. He will return not as God, as the Christians believe, but as Jesus, Allah’s messenger and slave, as he has always been. The purpose of his coming will be to correct the misconceptions surrounding his message and mission. According to a statement of Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him), he will stay for forty years, and these will be the happiest years of life on this earth. During that time, those who had misconceptions about him will correct their understanding and
believe in him as a messenger, not as the son of God (Allah).

It was narrated by Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) (Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) was one of the closest Companions of Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) . It should be noted that the words, actions, and tacit approvals of Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) have been narrated by the Companions and have subsequently been recorded. A Companion, according to the majority of scholars, is one who has met personally with Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) during his lifetime and was a Muslim at the time of meeting him. Thus, one will find much of the history of the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) through such narrations, called the Hadith.) that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) said:

“By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, it will not be long before the son of Mary descends amongst you, a just judge and ruler. He will break the cross, kill the swine and abolish the tribute paid by Jews and Christians. Money will be so plentiful that no one will accept it. At that time, a single prostration will be better than this world and everything in it. (This is because with the advent of Jesus, people will know with certainty that the final hour is very near.)

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) then said: Read if you wish (the following verse of the Qur’an):
“And there is none from the People of the Scripture (People of the Scripture: Jews and Christians) but that he will surely believe in Jesus before his death. And on the Day of Resurrection he will be against them a witness.” (Qur’an 4: 159) (Bukhari)

In another narration, Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said:
“Among the things which Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) was recorded to have said regarding Prophet Jesus’ return is the following: There will be no prophet between me and Jesus, and he will return. When he does, you will know him. He will be a well-built man of ruddy complexion and he will descend wearing a two-piece garment. His hair will look wet, though no water touched it. He will fight people to establish Islam and he will break the cross, kill the swine and cancel the jizyah. (Jizyah: It is a tax taken from the Christians and the Jews in lieu of living under Muslim protection.)
During his time, Allah will destroy all religions except Islam and the Antichrist (The Antichrist is also called the ‘false Christ’; he is a man who will claim that he is Allah, and he will be followed by ignorant people, but Prophet Jesus will find him and kill him.) will be killed. Jesus will remain on earth for forty years, and when he dies, Muslims will pray the funeral prayer for him.” (A sound hadith recorded by Abu Dâwood)

Jesus’ return will be one of the signs of the Day of Judgement. It will be the final miracle given to him before he dies.

&

Belief in the messengers of Allah

15 Sep

Whom Should We Worship?
Authorship: Majed S. Al-Rassi
Short Link: http://IslamHouse.com/431561

This article of faith addresses the belief that Allah has conveyed His message through selected human beings. These individuals, called prophets and messengers, were selected by 24 He meant specifically the four Caliphs who came after him. 25 That is, do not let go of it. 26 Hadith (hadeeth): the collected statements and actions of Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) that with the Qur’an form the basis of Islamic law Allah to be examples of how the scriptures were to be understood and implemented. Prophets have demonstrated practically, for their followers, how one should live by the law.

The way of the prophets is the only way to Allah, because it has been prescribed by Allah Himself. Hence, without prophets, people would not know Allah, His attributes or how to worship Him.

The role of the prophets can be summarized as follows:
1. Receive the message from Allah.
2. Deliver it to the people.
3. Advise people to fear Allah and abide by His commandments.
4. Advise people who have deviated, disobeyed Allah, or worshipped anything or anyone other than Him, to repent and obey and worship Him only.
5. Inform people about the fundamental aspects of faith.
6. Teach detailed religious and moral tenets to their followers.
7. Be a model for their people, and lead them to eternal paradise.

Allah has sent a prophet or prophets to every nation; their duty was to convey the message that He alone should be worshipped and anything worshipped along with Him or besides Him is false and unacceptable. The Qur’an has mentioned the names of twenty-five prophets (see diagram) while indicating that many others existed yet were not mentioned by name. The first of these prophets was Adam (peace be upon him) and the last was Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him). May Allah’s mercy and peace be upon the prophets.

Every prophet was sent to a specific people for a specific era. Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) was an exception, who was sent as the last and final messenger until the hour of judgement. The proofs that Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) was a messenger of Allah are innumerable; all have been mentioned in his detailed biography.

The greatest proof is the miracle of the Qur’an, which could not have been written by any human; also, it could not have been conveyed except through a Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him).
Indeed, the books of the Bible mention the advent of Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him), in spite of the changes which have been introduced in their content. The Qur’an and the sayings and practice of Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) relate, with reverence, the lives of many of these prophets. Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him), the last prophet, has remained as the absolute example for his followers.

His teachings were further elucidated in practice by his Rightly- Guided successors. The Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) encouraged his followers continuously to follow the prophets’ way, and warned against conflict over Islamic principles and values. This was to ensure that his followers would not deviate from the right path, as had happened to the followers of previous prophets.
Prophet Muhammad’s followers owe him two things: obedience and love.

&

Belief in the Last Day

15 Sep

Whom Should We Worship?
Authorship: Majed S. Al-Rassi
Short Link: http://IslamHouse.com/431561

Islam teaches that this life is only a test of conduct for each individual, to see whether or not he or she will follow the commands of Allah. In the hereafter, people will be resurrected; they will stand before Allah for a just reckoning of their deeds and actions while they were alive on earth. People with good deeds will be generously rewarded and warmly welcomed to Allah’s heaven. However, those with records of many bad deeds will be punished and cast into hell.

People have been given knowledge of right and wrong, instinctively and through revelation; they must choose their path in this short life. Their choices in this life will ultimately determine their places in the eternal life to come. Allah has said in the Qur’an: “So whoever does an atom’s weight of good will see it, And whoever does an atom’s weight of evil will see it.” (Qur’an 99: 7-8)

Belief in the Day of Judgement implants in the human heart, the consciousness of Allah. It impels people and society at large to obey Him sincerely without any external pressure. Effectively, the hereafter for the individual starts right after his or her soul departs from the body. Shortly after the burial, two angels come to the grave and ask the following three questions (like a final examination):

Who is your Lord?
What is your religion?
Who is your prophet?

Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) said that the believer would not have difficulties in answering these questions correctly, while the unbeliever would not be able to give the right answers.28 Depending upon the result, a person will begin to either suffer or enjoy his or her stay in the grave. The grave will either expand or contract, to give comfort or torture to its dweller, depending upon what they deserve. (As narrated in hadiths recorded by Bukhari and Ahmad)

&

Belief in predestination

15 Sep

Whom Should We Worship?
Authorship: Majed S. Al-Rassi
Short Link: http://IslamHouse.com/431561

This includes belief in the following:
a) Allah knows everything. His knowledge is not bound by time. Past, present and future are all known to Him.
b) Everything which takes place is already written in a book called the ‘Preserved Tablet’.
c) Allah has created everything, including the actions of people, the good and the bad. However, He has commanded people to do good deeds and forbade them from doing evil.
d) One must believe that everything that happens in this universe is happening with Allah’s permission, and nothing can take place against His Will. It should be noted that Allah’s prior knowledge of things does not mean that human beings have no choice. Human beings choose, but Allah knows their choices prior to their choosing and actions. He merely allows them to follow through with their decisions.

&