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Fundamentals of Faith
It is belief in the existence of Allah and in the truth that He, alone is the Creator, the Provider, the Giver of Life and Causer of Death, the Creator and Disposer of all things in the Universe; only what He wills can exist; He has no partner in His Lordship or Godship. The Qur'an says, which meaning of is translated as: ��His verily is all creation and commandment. Blessed be Allah, The Lord of the Worlds!� (TheQur'aan, Chapter Al-A'raf, 7:54). He is the Only God Worthy of Worship; in Him alone trust is to be put, and to Him only invocations, vows and devotions are to be directed. He, glory by to Him, has the most beautiful and perfect attributes stated in the Qur'aan or the Prophet's traditions. None of His creatures is like Him in connection with attributes. No Physical interpretation or invalidation of the divine attributes is to be entertained. Nothing is similar, comparable, or equivalent to Him. He is free from all imperfections. That is made clear in the Holy Qur'an, which meaning of is translated as: �� There is nothing whatsoever like unto Him, and He is the All-Hearer, All-Knower.� (The Qur'aan, Chapter Ash-Shura, 42:11).
It is the belief that Allah, glory to Him, has numerous angels, whose numbers are known only to Allah, who has created them to serve and worship Him. He says, which meaning of is translated as: �The Messiah will never scorn to be a slave unto Allah, nor will the favored angels�� (The Qur'aan, Chapter An-Nisaa, 4:172). He has also created them to perform the tasks assigned to them by Allah, He said which meaning of is translated as: ��A Fire� over which are set angels strong (stern), severe, who resist not Allah in that which He commands them, but do that which they are commanded.� (The Qur'aan Chapter At-Tahrim, 66:6). Those angels are not rivals to Allah, nor are they His children, Allah said which meaning of is translated as: �And they say: The Most Beneficent has taken unto Himself a son. Be H glorified! Nay, but (those whom they call sons) are honored slaves; They speak not until He has spoken, and they act by His command.� (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Anbiyaa, 26:27). Allah, Glory to Him, has told us about the names and tasks of some of the angels, but He has not told us about others. Nevertheless, we are required to believe in them all. Among the angels, there are:
There are other angels who do whatever they are instructed by Allah to do. They are obedient to Allah - They never disobey Allah's commands, but do that which they are commanded. According to the Holy Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, description of their creation He peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: �Angels were created from light, Jinns from burning fire, and Adam was created from that thing which you have already been told.� (Muslim). Although they were created from invisible light, they have been given the ability to take different shapes in which they can be seen. In the Holy Qur'an we read about Mary (i.e.: Maryam), which meaning of is translated as: �And she had chosen seclusion from them. Then We sent unto her Our spirit (i.e.: Gabriel), and he assumed for her the likeness of a perfect man. She said: Lo! I seek refuge in the All-Beneficent One from you, if you are God-fearing. He said: I am only a messenger of your Lord, that I may bestow on you a faultless son.� (The Qur'aan, Chapter Maryam, 19:17-19). Angels have wings: some have two wings, some have three, others have more. The Qur'aan describes them by the following verse, which meaning of is translated as: �Praise be to Allah, the Creator of the Heavens and the earth, Who made the angels messengers with wings - two, three and four. He increases in creation what He wills�� (The Qur'aan Chapter Fatir, 35:1). Other details about them are only known to Allah.
- Gabriel peace be upon him, who is assigned the task of conveying Allah's revelations to His prophets.
- Michael peace be upon him, who is in charged of the affairs of rain.
- The Angle of Death, peace be upon him, who is designated to take man's soul at death.
- Israfil peace be upon him, who is in charged of blowing the trumpet at the end of this world when everybody's soul is taken away and also at the time of resurrection.
- Ridwan peace be upon him, keeper of the Garden (Paradise).
- Malik peace be upon him, keeper of the Hell-fire.
- The Guards of Hell (Zabaniyah), responsible for punishment and tormenting of the dwellers of Hell.
- The two angels, one of which is in charged with writing down all good deeds, and the other writing down all evil deeds.
It is the belief that Allah revealed holy scriptures to His messengers to covey them to people. Of those books or scriptures are the following:
- The Scriptures of Ibrahim (Abraham) and Moses, peace be upon them, some of whose teachings are indicated in the Holy Qur'an, which meaning of is translated as: �Or has he not been informed of what is in the scriptures of Moses, and of Ibrahim (Abraham), who fulfilled (what he was commanded), That no laden one shall bear another's load, And that man has only that for which he makes effort, And that his effort will be seen. And afterward he will be repaid for it with fullest payment.� (The Qur'aan, Chapter An-Najm, 53:36-41).
- The Torah, which is the holy book revealed to Moses, Allah said which meaning of is translated as: �Lo! We did revealed the Torah, wherein is guidance and a light, by which the Prophets, who submitted themselves to Allah's Will, judged for the Jews, and the rabbis and the priests (judged) by such of Allah's Scripture as they were bidden to observe and thereunto were they witnesses. So fear not mankind, but fear Me. And barter not My revelations for a little gain. Whose judges not by that which Allah has revealed: such are disbelievers.� (The Qur'aan Chapter Al-Ma'ida, 5:44). The Holy Qur'aan has conveyed some of the content of the Torah, including some aspects of Prophet Muhammad's character. It states which meaning of is translated as: �Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah and those with him are hard against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves. You (O Muhammad) see them bowing and falling prostrate (in worship), seeking bounty from Allah and (His) acceptance. The mark of them is on their foreheads from the trace of prostration. Such is their likeness in the Torah�� (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Fath, 48:29). The Holy Qur'aan has also indicated some of the jurisprudencial rulings contained in the Torah, which meaning of is translated as: �And We prescribed for them therein: The life for the life, and the eye for the eye, and the nose for the nose, and the ear for the ear, and tooth for the tooth, and for wounds retaliations. But who-so forgoes it (in the way of charity) it shall be expiation for him. Who-so judges not by that which Allah has revealed: such are wrong-doers.� (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Ma'ida, 5:45).
- The Psalms, revealed to David. The Qur'aan says, which meaning of is translated as: �� and as We imparted unto David the Psalms.� (The Qur'aan, Chapter An-Nisaa, 4:163).
- The Gospel, revealed to Jesus ('Issa). The Qur'aan says, which meaning of is translated as: �And We caused Jesus, son of Mary, to follow in their footsteps, confirming that which was (revealed) before him, and We bestowed on him the Gospel, wherein is guidance and a light confirming that which was (revealed) before it in the Torah - a guidance and an admonition unto those who fear Allah.� (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Ma'ida, 5:46). The existing gospels, in the hands of people, are in fact, not the word of Allah or Jesus, but the words of his followers and disciples, in which they incorporated a lot of his biographical stories, exhortations and commandments, and introduced many distortions, changes and falsifications in order to serve certain purposes. According to the T. Tacker, Gospels were introduced to reflect a clear concept of the practical requirements of the community for whom they were written. A frequent material has been employed in them without the slightest hesitation about their transformation or twisting, and leaving out all that is in conflict with the author's ends. A Muslim is required to believe in the Gospel as the Word of Allah, but not this one in the hands of people nowadays; it is the authentic Gospel which was revealed to Jesus, peace be upon him. He is not required to follow it or put it to action because it was revealed for a certain group of people at a specific period of time. Jesus said:"I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel." (St. Matthew, 15:24). The Holy Qur'aan indicated some hints in the Gospel that had prefigured Muhammad prophet hood, which meaning of is translated as: �And My Mercy embraces all things, therefore I shall ordain it for those who ward off (evil) and pay the poor-due, and those who believe in Our revelations; Those who follow the Messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write, whom they will find described in the Torah and the Gospel (which are) with them. He will enjoin on them that which is right and forbid them that which is wrong. He will make lawful for them (all) good things and prohibit for them (only) the foul; and he will relieve them of their burden and the fetters that they used to wear�� (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-A'raf, 156:157). The Holy Qur'aan also pointed out that both the Gospel and the Torah, before it, had exhorted jihad (i.e.: fighting) in the way of Allah in order to exalt His Word, He said which meaning of is translated as: �Lo! Allah has bought from the believers their lives and their wealth because the Garden will be theirs: they shall fight in the way of Allah and shall slay and be slain. It is a promise which is binding on Him in the Torah and the Gospel and the Qur'aan. Who fulfils his covenant better than Allah? Rejoice then in your bargain that you have made, for that is the supreme triumph.� (The Qur'aan, Chapter At-Tauba, 9:111).
- The Glorious Qur'aan: It must be believed that it is the Word of Allah revealed through Gabriel peace be upon him, unto Muhammad blessing and peace be upon him, and that it is the last of the Revealed Scriptures. It differs from preceding scriptures in the following:
- It is the last Revealed Books. Therefore, Allah - Glory to Him, has promised to preserve it for humanity till the end of this world, and no addition or deletion has occurred to it, as He has declared, which meaning of is translated as: �Lo! We, even We, have revealed the Reminder (i.e.: the Qur'aan), and Lo! We verily are its Guardian.� (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Hijr, 15:9).
- Its recitation is one aspect of worship.
- It embraces all laws and regulations on which a virtuous society can be founded. According to J. S. Restler (a contemporary French Scholar and Professor at the Islamic Institute, Paris), in his book, "The Arab Civilization": "The Qur'aan finds answers to all issues and establishes the link between the religious and the moral law. It aims to create order and social consolidation and to alleviate distress, hard-heartedness and remove superstition. It seeks to help the oppressed and enjoins mercy and kindness. With respect to legislation, it has laid rules and directives for daily cooperation and organized contracting and inheritance. As for family, it has identified for everyone forms of conduct towards children, slaves (if any), animals, health, clothing, etc..".
- It is a historical document that shows the sequence of events and respective revelations for all messengers of Allah since Adam up to Muhammad peace be upon them all.
- It was revealed for all mankind, not only for the Arabs, as indicated in the following verse, which meaning of is translated as: �Alif, Lam, Ra, (This is) a scripture which We have revealed unto you (Muhammad) that thereby you may bring forth mankind from darkness unto light, by the permission of their Lord�� (The Qur'aan, Chapter Ibrahim, 14:1).
It is the belief that Allah, Glory to Him, has chosen from mankind prophets and messengers. He revealed scriptures to the messengers to convey them to people so that they should have no plea against Allah. As for prophets, they did not receive scriptures or convey a new Sharia (religios law); but they were sent by Allah only to confirm and preach the Sharia of prophets and messengers who preceded them. Prophets and messengers are too many; only Allah knows their numbers. The Qur'aan states, which meaning of is translated as: �Verily We sent messengers before thee, among them those of whom We have told you, and some of whom We have not told you�� (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Mumin, 40:78). Those prophets and messengers were all human beings, as stated in the Qur'an, which meaning of is translated as: �Say: I am only a mortal like you. My Lord inspires in me that your God is only One God. And Whoever hopes for the meeting with his Lord, let him do righteous work and make none sharer of the worship due unto his Lord.� (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Kahf, 18:110). The Glorious Qur'aan tells us about Jesus peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, which meaning of is translated as: �The Messiah, son of Mary, was no other than a messenger; Messengers (the like of whom) had passed away before him. And his mother was a saintly woman. And they both used to eat (earthly) food. See how We make the revelations clear for them, and yet see how they are turned away!� (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Ma'ida, 5:75). The Qur'aan has mentioned the names of twenty-five prophets and messengers only, which meaning of is translated as: �That is Our argument, We gave it unto Abraham against his folk. We raise unto degrees (of wisdom) whom We will. Lo! Your Lord is All-Wise, Well-Aware. And We bestowed upon him, Isaac and Jacob, each of them We guided; and Noah did We guide aforetime; and of his seed (We guided) David and Solomon and Job and Joseph and Moses and Aaron. Thus do We reward the good. And Zachariah and John and Jesus and Elias. Each one (of them) was of the righteous. And Ishmael and Elisha and Jonah and Lot. Each on of them did We prefer above (Our) creatures (of their times).� (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-An-am, 6:83-86). About Adam peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, it says: �Lo! Allah, preferred Adam and Noah and the Family of Abraham and the Family of 'Imran above the peoples (of their times).� (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-I-Imran, 3:33). About Hud peace and pleassings of allah be upon him,it says: �And unto (the tribe of) 'Aad (We sent) their brother, Hud. He said: O my people! Serve Allah! You have no other God save Him�� (The Qur'aan, Chapter Hud, 11:50). About Shu'eyb peace and pleassings of allah be upon him: �And unto Midian (We sent) their brother Shu'eyb. He said: O my people! Serve Allah. You have no other God save Him�� (The Qur'aan, Chapter Hud, 11:84). About Idris peace and pleassings of allah be upon him: �And (mention) Ishmail, and Idris, and Dhul-Kifl. All were of the steadfast.� (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Anbiyaa, 21:85). And about Muhammad peace and pleassings of allah be upon him: �Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. And those with him are hard against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves...� (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Fat-h, 48:29). Belief in all prophets is imperative: If one believes in some of them and rejects others he will be deemed a disbeliever, as it is pointed out in the Qur'an, which meaning of is translated as: �Lo! Those who disbelieve in Allah and His messengers, and seek to make distinction between Allah and His messengers, and say: "We believe in some and disbelieve in others", and seek to choose a way in between; Such are disbelievers in truth; and for disbelievers We have prepared a shameful doom.� (The Qur'aan, Chaprter An-Nisaa, 4:150-151). The first of those messengers was Adam and the last was Muhammad; therefore, there is no prophet or messenger after him.
It is firm belief in the fact that this world will come to an end and perish one day. The Qur'aan states, which meaning of is translated as: �Every one that is thereon will pass away; There remains but the Countenance of your Lord full of Might and Glory.� (The Qur'aan, Chapter Ar-Rahman, 55:26-27). And that a day will follow on which Allah resurrects all creatures from their tombs to be paid their due: Good-doers will be punished for their ill deeds. The Qur'aan gives several instances in which Allah explains the possibility of resurrection:
- Contemplating the revival of dead earth by the crops He produces therefrom, Allah said which meaning of is translated as: ��and you (Muhammad) see the earth barren, but when We send down water thereon, it does thrill and swell and put forth every lovely kind (of growth). That is because Allah, He is the Truth and because He is Able to do all things; And because the Hour will come, there is no doubt thereof; and because Allah will raise those who are in the grave�� (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Hajj, 22:5-7).
- Contemplating the creation of the heavens and the earth, which is greater than the creation of man, Allah said which meaning of is translated as: �Have they not seen that Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth and was not wearied by their creation, is able to give life to the dead? Aye, He verily is ever Able to do all thins.� (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Ahqaf, 46:33).
- Reflecting on man's sleep and waking: It is like life after death, for sleep is call the 'minor death', Allah said which meaning of is translated as: �Allah takes (men's) souls at the time of their death, and those (souls) which die not (He takes) during their sleep. He keeps those (souls) for which He has ordained death and dismisses the rest till an appointed term. Lo! Herein verily are portents for people who take thought.� (The Qur'aan, Chapter Az-Zumar, 39:42).
- Considering the first creation of man, Allah said which meaning of is translated as: �And he has coined for Us a similitude, and has forgotten the fact of his creation, saying: Who will revive these bones when they have rotted away? Say: He will revive them Who produced them at the first, for He is All-Knower of every creation.� (The Qur'aan, Chapter Y-Sin, 36:78-79).
- Believing in the Hereafter involves belief in the interval between the worldly life and the Hereafter, during which the well-doers enjoy bliss and comfort, while the ill-doers suffer punishment. It also involves belief in resurrection after death, as well as assembly, judgement, testimony of man's limbs, reckoning, the Sirat (the bridge across Hell), recompense by Paradise or Hell-Fire, and that life in the Hereafter is eternal, never-ending. The Qur'aan states, which meaning of is translated as: �Lo! Those who disbelieve, among the people of the Scripture and the idolaters, will abide in fire of hell. They are the worst of created beings. (And) Lo! Those who believe and do good works are the best of created beings. Their reward is with their Lord: Gardens of Eden underneath which rivers flow, wherein they dwell for ever. Allah has pleasure in them and they have pleasure in Him. This is (in store) for him who fears his Lord.� (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Baiyina, 98:6-8).
It is the firm belief that Allah, Glory to Him, had known, since eternity (that is, without beginning), of all things before they took (or take) place and how they would be, then He brought them into existence in accordance with His unlimited knowledge and apportioning, as it is stated in the Holy Qur'aan, which meaning of is translated as: ��He has created everything and has meted out for it a measure.� (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Furqan, 25:2). Whatever happened or happens throughout the universe is known to Allah before it happens, then it takes place in accordance with the Will and preordainment. The Gracious Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, says which meaning of is translated as: �No one shall be deemed a believer unless he believes in divine destiny, whether for the good or harm (of man), and that what happened to him should never have missed him, and what missed him should never have happened to him.� (Tirmidhi). This should not preclude using the right or required means to achieve his aims. For example, A man who wishes to have children should act and resort to the means or method that realizes this for him, i.e.: marriage. However this may and may not bring about the desired results, as Allah wills, because it is not the causes that bring about effects by themselves; it is the will of Allah that makes means or causes work. In fact causes are created and ordained by Allah, Glory to Him. In this context, the Holy Prophet peace be upon him, was asked about invocations and medications whether they can ward off anything preordained by Allah. He said: �They are part of Allah's preordainment.� Hunger, thirst and cold are aspects of Allah's preordainment, and people try to ward off hunger by eating food, thirst by drinking water and cold by warming themselves. So they defend themselves against what is preordained for them (hunger, thirst and cold) by what is preordained for them (food, drink and warmth): They ward off preordainment by preordainment. Belief in Divine Destiny, after use of means and causes, has many advantages, including:
Alleviate man's calamities. If a person undergoes loss of money or trade, such loss is a disaster for him. If he gives in to grief, the disaster will be doubled for him (the disaster of loss and that of grief). But if he believes truly in Divine Destiny (Qadaa and Qadar) he will be relieved and content with the first loss as she is aware that it is inescapable. The Noble peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, Prophet guides us in this respect by saying, which meaning of is translated as:"Stick to what is useful to you, work, do well, seek help from Allah and never give in. If anything befalls you, just say: "Allah has preordained and done what He has willed." Do not say: "If only.." because it opens the way for the devil (to play with you). Belief in Divine Destiny is not, as some would think, an invitation to helpless dependence and lack of activity. The Noble Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, urges us to the contrary of that by saying which meaning of is translated as: "If one of you takes his rope to gather a bundle of wood and then sells it, it would be better for him than to beg from people, whether they give, or refuse to give him." He peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said to the person who asked him about his riding animal which he had left without tying or hobbling it under the pretext of trust in Allah, which meaning of is translated as: "Hobble it and trust (Allah)."
- Acceptance of and content with preordained events or things results in peace of mind, which rids the heart or mind of concerns and sorrow for what happens or what is lost. It is well-known that lack of content and satisfaction may lead to many diseases and disorders, whereas belief in Divine Destiny relieves the human souls of the effects of unrest and anxiety. The Glorious Qur'an makes this clear in this verse which meaning of is translated as: �No calamity befalls on the earth of in yourselves but it is inscribed in the Book of Decrees before We bring it into existence. Verily, that is easy for Allah. In order that you may not grieve at the things that you fail to get, nor rejoice over that which has been given to you. Allah likes not prideful boasters.� (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Hadid, 57:22-23).
- An invitation to seek knowledge and explore the secrets and reserves or resources of the Universe. What is preordained for man, such as illness, moves him to look for medication or cure that helps him to save himself by preordained cure from predestined illness.
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