The Opening I n the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. P raise be to Allah, Lord of all the Worlds, The Beneficent, the Merciful. Owner of the Day of Judgment, Thee (alone) we worship and Thee alone we ask for help. Show us the straight path, The path of those whom Thou hast favoured; not (the path) of those who earn Thine anger nor of those who go astray. Qur’aan, Chapter 1
Table of Contents Chapter Slide Numbers A humble advice to the readers 4 About the booklet 6 A true story 7 The Truth Beckons Introduction 13 God is One 16 Messenger of God 19 The Book of God 25 Islam 39 Final Words 50 Glossary of Arabic words 59 Final Slide
A humble advice to the readers Allah has blessed man with the heart and the mind, two things which make him superior to the entire creation of Allah. Due to his ability to think, he has become the undisputed ruler among God’s creation. It is this ability which has helped him reach for the stars and the moon and solve the mysteries of universe. But alas! He has not been able to understand his position in the entire creation of God. Two reasons can be attributed to this failure. The first is that he has blindly followed the age old customs and traditions, which fail to pass every test of reason and logic. He follows them just because he saw his fathers and forefathers doing it. W hen it is said to them: “Follow what Allah hath revealed:” They say: “Nay! We shall follow the ways of our fathers.” What! Even though their fathers were void of wisdom and guidance? The parable of those who reject Faith is as if one were to shout like a goat-herd, to things that listen to nothing but calls and cries: Deaf, dumb, and blind, they are void of wisdom. Qur’aan , 2:170&171 The second is his arrogance and stubbornness. If we look at our very existence, we find that we were nothing- it is Allah who created us from a dirty fluid (i.e., a mingled sperm) and fashioned us into what we are. V erily We created Man from a drop of mingled sperm, in order to try him: So We gave him (the gifts), of Hearing and Sight. Qur’aan, 76:2 A nd made his (Adam) progeny from a quintessence of the nature of a fluid despised. Qur’aan 32:8
It should be remembered very well that Allah does not guide the haughty and the rebellious. Unless and until we humble ourselves before our Lord and stop thinking that we are more knowledgeable than God (May God forbid), we can never see the light of true knowledge. Who are we, by the way? What ground do we hold regarding knowledge or regarding anything else, for that matter? We know only that much which Allah has made known to us. H e creates man out of a [mere] drop of sperm: and lo! This same being shows himself endowed with the power to think and to argue! Qur’aan, 16:4 So our very existence is only due to Allah, our Creator and the Owner of everything. If we really want to have a truly successful, peaceful and blessed life, then we must humble ourselves before our Creator because Allah does not guide the haughty and the arrogant. I, therefore, expect from the readers that they will not let their arrogance and stubbornness (if any) come in the way of accepting the message this booklet contains. In fact, humility is the hallmark of a slave when it comes to his relationship with his Master. We are slaves and God is our Master. In other words, this booklet is just a reminder of our relationship with our Master.
About the booklet “ The Truth Beckons ” is nothing but a call to the heart and human nature. The heart is something which never lies. That’s why whenever we do anything it always testifies whether our action is good or bad. If the heart is without any malice and evil, everything will function well; if it goes wrong everything with us is wrong. B eware! There is a piece of flesh in the body if it becomes good (reformed) the whole body becomes good but if it gets spoilt the whole body gets spoilt and that is the heart. Hadith 1 O nly they who listen [with their hearts] can respond to a call; and as for the dead [of hearts], God [alone] can raise them from the dead, whereupon unto Him they shall return. Qur’aan 6:36 Therefore, I request the readers to read this booklet without any prejudice and pre-conceived notions and listen to their heart. Insha’Allah, Allah will guide you to the Truth and eternal success. With this, I leave you in total Guidance of your Lord, to whom belongs everything and to whom is our return. 1. Record of what Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, did or approved.
A true story I would like to narrate a beautiful story of prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him). This is how it goes: Ibrahim was born in a house of idolaters, in the kingdom of Babylon. His father Aazar was a well-known sculptor of idols that his people worshipped. As a young child, Ibrahim used to watch his father sculpting these idols from stones or wood. When his father was done with them, Ibrahim would use these as toys, riding on their backs, and kicking them at times. Then after a while, he would see the same statues in the temple, and people would be prostrating in front of them! Ibrahim asked his father: "Why do you take these toys to the temple?" His father said: "They are statues that represent our gods. We worship them, we ask favours from them, and we offer them presents." Ibrahim's mind rejected this idea, and he felt repulsion towards the idols. As Ibrahim grew older and entered his youth, he still could not believe that his people were worshipping the statues. He laughed at them whenever he saw them entering the temple, lowering their heads, silently offering the statues the best of their food, crying and asking forgiveness from them. He wondered how his people could not realise that these are only stones that could neither benefit nor harm them. God is Greater than what his people were worshipping. He is the Most Powerful, Most Magnificent. One could not find Him sitting on a table in a temple!
One night, Ibrahim went up to the mountain, leaned against a rock, and looked up to the sky. He saw a shining star, and told his people: "Could this be my Lord?" But when it set, he said: "I don't like those that set." The star has disappeared, it could not be God. God is always present. Then he saw the moon rising in splendour and told them: "Could this be my Lord?" But it also set. At daybreak, he saw the sun rising and said: "Could this be my Lord, this is bigger?" But when the sun set he said: "O my people I am free from all that you join as partners with Allah! I have turned my face towards Him Who created the heavens and the earth, and never shall I give partners to Allah." Our Lord is the Creator of the heavens and the earth and everything. He has the power to make the stars rise and set. Ibrahim then heard Allah calling him: "O Ibrahim!" Ibrahim said trembling: "Here I am O my Lord!" "Submit to Me! Be a Muslim!" Ibrahim fell on the ground, prostrating and crying, he said: "I submit to the Lord of the universe!" Ibrahim kept prostrating until night came again. He got up and went back to his home, in peace, full of conviction that Allah has guided him to the Truth. A new life started for Ibrahim. His mission now was to call his people to the Truth. He would start with his father who was the closest person to him, and whom he loved very much. He said to him in the softest and kindest voice: "O father! Why do you worship that which doesn't hear, doesn't see, and cannot avail you in anything? O father, I have got knowledge which you have not, so follow me. I will guide you to a straight path." His father replied angrily: "Do you reject my gods, O Ibrahim? If you don't stop, I will stone you. Get away from me before I punish you." Ibrahim said: "Peace be on you! I will ask forgiveness of my Lord for you."
Ibrahim left his father after several earnest attempts to guide him to the right path. He then went to his people and invited them to worship the one true God, but they rejected his call and threatened him. Then Ibrahim came up with an idea to guide his people to the true path. A big celebration was coming soon, where everybody would be leaving town for a big feast on the river bank. So, once everybody had left the town, Ibrahim went to the temple armed with an axe. Statues of all shapes and sizes were sitting there adorned with decorations. Plates of food were offered to them, but the food was untouched and unconsumed. "Well, why don't you eat? The food is getting cold." He said to the statues, jokingly; then with his axe he destroyed all the statues except one, the biggest of them. He hung the axe around its neck and left. When the people came back to their temple they saw the idols destroyed. They were shocked seeing their gods broken to pieces. They wondered who might have done this. Then they all remembered that the young Ibrahim was talking evil of their idols. They brought him to the temple and asked him: "Are you the one who has done this to our gods?" Ibrahim said: "No, this statue, the biggest of them has done it. Ask them if they can speak." "You know well that these idols don't speak!” they said impatiently. "Then how come you worship things that can neither speak nor see, nor even fend for themselves? Have you lost your minds?" They were speechless. In their heart of hearts they knew that the Truth is with Ibrahim, but their arrogance and pride prevented them to accept it, and reject the idols they were worshipping for generations. This they thought would be total defeat. They started yelling at him and shouting: "Burn him! Burn him! Take revenge for your gods!"
The decision to burn Ibrahim to death was affirmed by the priests and the king of Babylon, Nimrod. The news spread like a fire in the kingdom, and people were coming from all places to watch the execution. A huge pit was dug up and a large quantity of wood was piled up. Then the biggest fire people ever witnessed was lit. The flames flared so high up in the sky that the birds could not fly over it for fear of being burned! Ibrahim's hands and feet were chained, and he was put in a catapult to throw him into the fire. At that time, Angel Jibreel came to him and said: "O Ibrahim! Is there anything you wish for?" Ibrahim could have asked to be saved from the fire, to be taken away, but no, he said: "I only wish that Allah be pleased with me." The catapult was released, and Ibrahim was thrown in the heart of the fire. But Allah would not allow His beloved Prophet to be killed, He ordered the fire: "O fire! Be coolness and safety for Ibrahim!" And the miracle happened. The fire obeyed and burned only his chains. Ibrahim came out from it as if he was coming out from a garden, peaceful, his face illuminated, and not a trace of smoke on his clothes. People watched in shock and said: "Amazing! Ibrahim’s God has saved him from the fire!" Ibrahim’s popularity grew bigger after this event and the king of Babylon felt that his throne was in danger, and that he was losing power, because he used to pretend being a god. He sent for Ibrahim. He wanted to debate with him and show his people that he, the king is indeed the god, and Ibrahim was a liar. He asked Ibrahim: What can your God do, that I cannot? “ My Lord is He Who gives life and death." Ibrahim said. “ I give life and death. I can bring a person from the street and have him executed, and I can grant my pardon to a person who is sentenced to death and save his life”, the king said proudly. “ Well my Lord Allah makes the sun rise from the East. Can you make it rise from the West?”
The king was confounded. He was beaten at his own game, on his own territory, in front of his own people! Ibrahim left him there speechless and went back to his important mission, calling people to worship none but one God.
Introduction Every soul on this earth knows about death. Even when a dog sees a vehicle running towards it, he runs for his life. It is because he too knows what death is. But have you ever given a thought as to why we are born? Why do we die? What's the purpose of this life? Did God create us and everything else that is in between the heavens and the earth without purpose? Definitely not! There is a purpose, and that is to see who is the most righteous amongst us. If we obey the commands of God that came to us through His messengers, a great reward awaits us. And if we disobey them, we will dwell in hell forever. K now ye (all), that the life of this world is but play and amusement, pomp and mutual boasting and multiplying, (in rivalry) among yourselves, riches and children. Here is a similitude: How rain and the growth, which it brings forth, delight (the hearts of) the tillers; soon it withers; thou wilt see it grow yellow; then it becomes dry and crumbles away. But in the Hereafter is a Penalty severe (for the devotees of wrong). And Forgiveness from Allah and (His) Good Pleasure (for the devotees of Allah); and what is the life of this world, but goods and chattels of deception? Qur'aan, 57:20 S hall We treat those that are faithful as We treat those that are guilty? (It shall never be so) Qur'aan, 68:35&36
I make Allah witness that the only thing that has motivated me to write this is nothing else but love for you all. Many of you I have never seen, never heard of, with some I am just acquainted with, others I love, and there are some I love very dearly. But the underlying message for all of you is to bring you all closer to that Supreme Being who is your Lord and my Lord, who is the Master of all that exists. It is to make you realise how much He loves you, how many favours He has done to you, and to save you all from the Eternal Hellfire. He provides provisions to even those who refuse to accept Him as their sole Lord, those who associate partners unto Him, worship objects like the sun, stones, trees and humans (and things like an object that puts me to shame just to mention it here). He feeds them, He clothes them, He sends help when they are in need. So, shouldn't we worship Him, and Him alone, and seek only His help? Shouldn't we love Him as He is to be loved, and fear Him as He is to be feared? He gave us life, will cause us to die and will raise us again to make us answerable for our deeds. What have we thought? Will we go unaccounted for? Surely not. Qur'aan has warned those who raise doubts of being raised up again. H e it is who produces creation, then reproduces it, and it is easier for Him (to do that, viz., to create what He has once created). He is the sublime similitude in the heavens and the earth. He is the Mighty, the Wise. Qur'aan, 30:27
D oes not man see that We have created him from Nutfah (mixed male and female discharge semen drops)? Yet behold! He (stands forth) as an open opponent. And he puts forth for Us a parable, and forgets his own creation. He says: "Who will give life to these bones when they have rotted away and became dust?" Say: "He will give life to them Who created them for the first time! And He is the All-Knower of every creation! Qur'aan, 36:77-79
God is One S ay (O Muhammad): He is Allah, the One and Only; Allah, the Eternal, the Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him. Qur'aan, Chapter 112 This chapter from the Qur'aan defines God in the most clear and unambiguous terms - He is One. There is none like unto Him. The Qur'aan says that if there had been more than one God, they would have fought amongst themselves. I am quite sure that you would agree with what has been said above. In fact, all of us say that our Lord is one; our Master is one, irrespective of our religion. But many of us, in spite of saying this, worship everything but God. If I love someone very dearly, love him more than I love myself, and keep saying that but never do a thing that would back up what I say, then would you call that love? Certainly not! In the same way, if I keep saying that God is one, our Master is one, our Creator is one, but when it comes to worship, I worship everything but Him, what would you call it? For sure, a lie! It is for these kind of people that Allah says: A nd most of them believe in Allah and (at the same time), associate partners unto Him. Qur'aan, 12:106
People worship stones, trees, humans and what not- they justify their act by saying that these are different forms of God. Is this not ambiguous and confusing? God has made His religion plain and simple for everyone to understand. If He is one, then He has to be worshipped as One, without any plurality and ambiguity. Some of us say that we put idols before us for concentration. If you realise, you will see that when we worship idols, we are in fact getting further away from our True Master. We are bowing and prostrating before a lifeless idol. In fact, we (who make idols), are better than the idol itself. If the idols we worship had any sense they would have worshipped us because we had made them. They are only lifeless idols, nothing else. An idol can only be an idol. It's that simple! O men! Here is a parable set forth! Listen to it! Those on whom, besides Allah, ye call, cannot create (even) a fly, even if they all met together for the purpose! And if the fly should snatch away anything from them, they would have no power to release it from the fly. Feeble are those who petition and those whom they petition! Qur'aan, 22:73 There are those who believe that God comes in human forms to get rid of evil. If that is so, are we not reducing Him to be a mere mortal? Are God and human beings one and the same? On one hand, those who believe that the so-called god lives like us, say that he has a family, has desires; and on the other hand, they commit excesses on him. Don't you feel that they become more deserving of punishment by doing those excesses? Think again when next time you call a mortal a god, because God is immortal and there is none like unto Him.
But, rather, He chooses men from amongst His creation to deliver His message to mankind. They live, eat and drink and have families. They too feel pain and joy. He chooses men amongst His slaves so that other human beings can associate with them and be like them – i.e., righteous. If instead of sending His messengers, God had come in human form, it would have been easy for people to make excuses and say that they could not be righteous because He is God, All-Powerful and we are mere mortals.
Messenger of God God sent messengers in every age and to every community and nation to guide mankind on the Straight Path. There has not been a human habitat where an apostle has not lived amongst them. A nd indeed, within every community have We raised up an apostle [entrusted with this message]: "Worship God, and shun the powers of evil!" Qur'aan, 16:36 The basic message of all the messengers was one and the same, i.e., worship your True Lord. Do not associate partners unto Him. Only He is worthy of worship. Allah's messengers spoke in the language of their people so that they can understand. The Qur'aan says: W e sent not an apostle except (to teach) in the language of his (own) people, in order to make (things) clear to them. Qur'aan, 14:4 Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the last Messenger of God. There is not going to be another Messenger after him. The messengers who came before Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) were sent for their own people or community. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was sent not just for the Arabs, but he was sent as a mercy to mankind. He was sent for all the worlds.
W e have not sent thee (O Muhammad) but to the whole of mankind, as a giver of glad tidings and as a warner, but most of mankind still do not know. Qur'aan, 34:28 His predecessors (the messengers before him) had spoken about his coming. The books revealed on the previous prophets also spoke about him. Besides the Bible 1 , the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has also been prophesied in the Hindu scriptures as the Kalki Avatar and Narashansa. The instances that deal with the biographical details of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) are vividly given in these books. Believing in Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is believing in God because he did not speak on his own. He spoke only what was revealed unto him by God. N or does he say (aught) of (his own) Desire. It is no less than inspiration sent down to him: Qur'aan, 53:3&4 S ay (O Muhammad): I am no new thing among the messengers of Allah (I am the messenger of Allah in the same way in which so many other messengers have come from Him in the past). (As for myself), I do not know what is going to be done with me or with you (in the future). I do not but follow what is inspired to me, and I am but a plain warner. Qur'aan, 46:9 1. For reference, please read The Choice - Islam and Christianity by Sheikh Ahmed Deedat
Due to his honest and impeccable character, the people of Arab called him Al-Ameen As-Sadiq (The Trustworthy, The Truthful). Even his most avowed enemies had to admit that no fault could be found in his behaviour or integrity. He was no mythological figure. He was born in the light of history. No other person's life history has been so carefully preserved as that of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) by his pious companions (May Allah be pleased with them). He was a human being like us, but he was chosen by Allah as His final Messenger. This space is too short to speak about Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), his character and his mission. But nevertheless, I mention here a couple of quotes out of many from well-known figures who have made honest and remarkable observations about Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). “ I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world, he would succeed in solving the problems in a way that would bring the much-needed peace and happiness. Europe is beginning to be enamoured of the creed of Muhammad. In the next century it may go further in recognizing the utility of that creed in solving its problems” George Bernard Shaw, A Collection of Writing of Some of the Eminent Scholars, 1935
" N ever has a man set for himself, voluntarily or involuntarily, a more sublime aim, since this aim was superhuman; to subvert superstitions which had been imposed between man and his Creator, to render God unto man and man unto God; to restore the rational and sacred idea of divinity amidst the chaos of the material and disfigured gods of idolatry, then existing. Never has a man undertaken a work so far beyond human power with so feeble means, for he (Muhammad) had in the conception as well as in the execution of such a great design, no other instrument than himself and no other aid except a handful of men living in a corner of the desert. Finally, never has a man accomplished such a huge and lasting revolution in the world, because in less than two centuries after its appearance, Islam, in faith and in arms, reigned over the whole of Arabia, and conquered, in God's name, Persia Khorasan, Transoxania, Western India, Syria, Egypt, Abyssinia, all the known continent of Northern Africa, numerous islands of the Mediterranean Sea, Spain, and part of Gaul. If greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and astonishing results are the three criteria of a human genius, who could dare compare any great man in history with Muhammad? The most famous men created arms, laws, and empires only. They founded, if anything at all, no more than material powers which often crumbled away before their eyes. This man moved not only armies, legislations, empires, peoples, dynasties, but millions of men in one-third of the then inhabited world; and more than that, he moved the altars, the gods, the religions, the ideas, the beliefs and the souls.
On the basis of a Book, every letter of which has become law, he created a spiritual nationality, which blends together peoples of every tongue and race. He has left as the indelible characteristic of this Muslim nationality, the hatred of false gods and the passion for the One and Immaterial God. This avenging patriotism against the profanation of Heaven formed the virtue of the followers of Muhammad; the conquest of one-third the earth to the dogma was his miracle; or rather it was not the miracle of man but that of reason. The idea of the unity of God, proclaimed amidst the exhaustion of the fabulous theologies, was in itself such a miracle that upon its utterance from his lips it destroyed all the ancient temples of idols and set on fire one-third of the world. His life, his meditations, his heroic revellings against the superstitions of his country, and his boldness in defying the furies of idolatry, his firmness in enduring them for fifteen years in Mecca, his acceptance of the role of public scorn and almost of being a victim of his fellow countrymen: all these and finally, his flight, his incessant preaching, his wars against odds, his faith in his success and his superhuman security in misfortune, his forbearance in victory, his ambition, which was entirely devoted to one idea and in no manner striving for an empire; his endless prayers, his mystic conversations with God, his death and his triumph after death; all these attest not to an imposture but to a firm conviction which gave him the power to restore a dogma. This dogma was twofold: the unity of God and the immateriality of God: the former telling what God is, the latter telling what God is not; the one overthrowing false gods with the sword, the other starting an idea with words.
Philosopher, Orator, Apostle, Legislator, Conqueror of Ideas, Restorer of Rational beliefs.... The founder of twenty terrestrial empires and of one spiritual empire: that is Muhammad. As regards all standards by which human greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there any man greater than he?" Alphonse de LaMartaine in 'Historie de la Turquie,' Paris, 1854.
The Book of God Besides sending messengers to every nook and corner of the world to guide mankind from darkness to light, Allah out of His infinite mercy also revealed Books on His beloved prophets (peace be upon them). We know only four such revealed Books by name, which are mentioned in the Qur’aan. They are: 1. Psalms revealed on David (peace be upon him) 2. Torah on Moses (peace be upon him) 3. Gospel on Jesus (peace be upon him) 4. Qur’aan on Muhammad (peace be upon him) Besides the Qur’aan, Allah also revealed other Books on His messengers, but by name we know only four. As for other scriptures about which Qur’aan has not spoken by name, we cannot say whether they are from God or not. They might be and might not be. We say this despite the fact that these books contain detailed information about the coming of the last prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). The divine Books revealed prior to the Qur’aan have gone corrupt because the word of man has been mixed with the word of God. The information they contain is so profane that it is not even worthy to be mentioned here. Such blasphemous things can in no way be attributed to God. Allah is pure from what they attribute unto Him. People with vested interests, and for petty gains, corrupted these divine scriptures. Qur’aan too would have met with the same fate had Allah not taken responsibility upon Himself to safeguard it from any kind of corruption whatsoever. It will remain uncorrupted and safe from any kind of interpolation till the end of time because there is not going to come any messenger after Muhammad (peace be upon him) nor is there going to be revealed any Book after the Qur’aan.
The Law which Muhammad (peace be upon him) brought is for all times to come and it is the miracle of the Qur’aan to adapt itself with the changing phases of time. Today we have the same Qur’aan which was revealed 1430 years back. B ehold, it is We Ourselves who have bestowed from on high, step by step, this reminder. And, behold, it is We who shall truly guard it [from all corruption]. Qur’aan, 15:9 Some might ask that what’s the proof of the Qur’aan being the word of God? There are numerous proofs that the Qur’aan could not possibly be from anyone other than Allah. The greatest argument that could be put forth is the fact that Muhammad (peace be upon him) was an unlettered man. He knew not how to read and write. This is an established and undeniable fact of history. Allah, the All-Knowing, knew that there would be people who would doubt His Book (Qur’aan), therefore He raised up an unlettered prophet and revealed on him a Book so unique in every aspect that it becomes out of question to doubt its source to be anyone other than Allah. This is how Allah testifies in the Qur’aan about His Book; A nd thou wast not (able) to recite a Book before this (Book came), nor art thou (able) to transcribe it with thy right hand: In that case, indeed, would the talkers of vanities have doubted. Qur’aan, 29:48
The eloquence of the Qur’aan is unparalleled. It is unique in every sense of the term. The time when the Qur’aan was revealed, in addition to eloquence, poetry and oratory enjoyed a very prominent place and were considered a matter of prestige in Arabia. The Arabs used to hold poetry competitions and the winners’ poems written in gold used to be hung on the walls of the Ka’ba. Everybody knows that the Prophet (peace be upon him) never uttered even a couple of lines in poetry. But when the Qur’aan came, it challenged the experts in these fields and forced them to surrender. Even those who persisted in unbelief were captivated by it, but in order to prevent the Prophet (peace be upon him) from spreading the word of God, they labelled it as sorcery and magic and advised the people to stay away from it. But when those like Khansa 1 and Labid 2 believed in the Qur’aan, they gave up inventing poetry in respect and awe of its style and eloquence. The unbelievers had to confess: “If we call it a piece of poetry, it is not. If we designate it a piece of rhymed prose, it is not. If we describe it as the word of a soothsayer, it is not”. At times, they could not help listening to the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) recitation secretly at night but they could not overcome their arrogance and so believe in its Divine origin. The best and the simplest argument in favour of the Qur’aan being the Book of Allah could be put forth when it invites those who doubt about it being a Divine Book that had it been from anyone other than Allah they would have found many discrepancies in it. It also challenges man that if he is in doubt about it being a Divine Book then produce a chapter like one in the Qur’aan. The smallest chapter in the Qur’aan consists of just 3 verses. So all a man has to do is to produce just three small verses like the one in the Qur’aan. Nobody has been able to do so and the challenge is still open for those who doubt about its Divine origin. 1. A great poetess of Prophet’s time 2. A well known poet of Prophet’s time
D o they not consider the Qur'an (with care)? Had it been from other than Allah, they would surely have found therein much discrepancy. Qur’aan, 4:82 A nd if ye are in doubt as to what We have revealed from time to time to Our servant (Muhammad), then produce a Surah (chapter) like thereunto; and call your witnesses or helpers (If there are any) besides Allah, if your (doubts) are true. But if ye cannot - and of a surety ye cannot - then fear the Fire whose fuel is men and stones, which is prepared for those who reject Faith. But give glad tidings to those who believe and work righteousness, that their portion is Gardens, beneath which rivers flow. Qur'aan, 2:23-25 Despite the high level of poetry at that time, the vocabulary of Arabic was not so advanced to the same degree. It was difficult, even impossible, to express metaphysical 1 ideas or scientific, religious and philosophical concepts. Restricted to the words and expressions to explain the thoughts and feelings of desert men and the simple life they led, this language became so rich through the Qur’aan and attained such a high level of literary excellence that it developed as the language of the most magnificent civilisation of world history with all its scientific, religious, metaphysical, literary, economic, juridical 2 , social and political aspects. It is impossible for an unlettered one to prepare the ground for and give way to such a philological 3 revolution unparalleled in human history. 1. Branch of philosophy dealing with facts lying beyond physical thing 2. Legal 3. Study of the nature and growth of a language (or languages)
Despite its apparent simplicity, the Qur’aan has such depth of meaning that everyone from the commonest of men to the most high-ranking scholars, scientists and literary men find their share in it. It illuminates the path of all those who want to benefit from it, be it administrators, jurists, academicians, socialists, psychologists, economists et al. The Qur’aan has shown everybody the ways to solve their problems. Last but not the least; it satisfies everyone in his spiritual quests. Is there any other book of the same character, quality and level next to the Qur’aan? However great a genius one may be, it is impossible for one to establish rules to solve all kinds of problems that mankind may ever encounter till the end of time. Forget about making such rules, we see that such rules are changed and amended every now and then. In fact, even the best of systems that do not originate in the Qur’aan cannot last without undergoing revisions after sometime. By contrasts, look at the miraculous Qur’aan. None of the principles which it laid down centuries ago has become outmoded or worn-out with the passage of time, nor do they have any defects or shortcomings. In fact, there are many principles and laws which people are adopting, most of the times not having the slightest clue that it’s the same law which the Qur’aan has laid down for humanity 1430 years back. For example, take the beautiful system of Zakah 1 . It’s a beautiful and an excellent way to circulate money in the society and helps get rid of poverty. But in our times, we see that the rich keeps getting richer and the poor, poorer. Thanks to our ‘innovative’ ways that make this world more chaotic and troublesome! 1. Annual obligatory charity of 2.5% of excess wealth on every Muslim with certain conditions. Please see glossary for details.
The Qur’aan revealed at the beginning of the 7 th century mentions about some scientific facts which scientists discovered centuries later, are still discovering and will continue to discover because the Qur’aan is much-much ahead of its times. It is the Book from the Most Wise and the Knower of the unseen. Many scientists on knowing the scientific verses mentioned in the Qur’aan have to concede that the source of the Qur’aan could not have been but some super natural power and it must have been revealed on Muhammad (peace be upon him) from God. Though there are many verses concerning science in the Qur’aan dealing with varied topics, but here I mention very briefly few verses concerning the creation of the Universe and the man, or to be precise-human embryonic development. After reading these verses it is up to the readers to decide for themselves whether it was humanly possible to speak about such scientific facts with such an accuracy for an unlettered man like Muhammad (peace be upon him), living in the desert of Arabia 1430 years back when mankind had neither equipments nor knowledge to make such scientific breakthroughs. D o not the Unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together (as one unit of creation), before we clove them asunder? We made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe? Qur’aan, 21:30
The creation of the universe is explained by astrophysicists 1 in a widely accepted phenomenon popularly known as the ‘Big Bang’. According to the Big Bang, the whole universe was initially one big mass (primary nebula). Then there was a Big Bang (secondary separation) which resulted in the formation of galaxies. This then led to the formation of stars, planets, the sun, the moon, etc. The above mentioned verse is perfectly in tune with the Big Bang phenomenon. The scientists say that before the galaxies in the universe were formed, celestial matter was initially in the form of gaseous matter. In short, huge gaseous matter or clouds were present before the formation of the galaxies. To describe the initial celestial matter, the word ‘smoke’ is more appropriate than gas. The following verse of the Qur’aan refers to this state of the universe by the Arabic word ‘Dukhan’ , which means smoke. M oreover He comprehended in His design the sky, and it had been (as) smoke: He said to it and to the earth: "Come ye together, willingly or unwillingly." They said: "We do come (together), in willing obedience." Qur’aan, 41:11 1. Study of Physics and Chemistry of heavenly bodies
Now let’s move to the creation of man and see what the Qur’aan has to say in this regard. The miracle of human embryonic development is mentioned in the Qur’aan in such minute detail, much of which was unknown to scientists until only recently. In the Holy Qur’aan, Allah speaks about the stages of man’s embryonic development: W e created man from an extract of clay. Then We made him as a drop in a place of settlement, firmly fixed. Then We made the drop into an alaqah (leech, suspended thing, and blood clot), then We made the alaqah into a mudghah (chewed substance).. Qur’aan 23:12-14 Literally, the Arabic word alaqah has three meanings: (1) leech, (2) suspended thing, and (3) blood clot. In comparing a leech to an embryo in the alaqah stage, we find similarity between the two as we can see in figure 1. Also, the embryo at this stage obtains nourishment from the blood of the mother, similar to the leech, which feeds on the blood of others. Figure 1 Figure 1: Drawings illustrating the similarities in appearance between a leech and a human embryo at the alaqah stage. (Leech drawing from Human Development as Described in the Qur’aan and Sunnah, Moore and others, p. 37, modified from Integrated Principles of Zoology, Hickman and others. Embryo drawing from The Developing Human, Moore and Persaud, 5th ed., p. 73.)
The second meaning of the word alaqah is “suspended thing.” This is what we can see in figures 2 and 3, the suspension of the embryo, during the alaqah stage, in the womb of the mother. Figure 2: We can see in this diagram the suspension of an embryo during the alaqah stage in the womb (uterus) of the mother. (The Developing Human, Moore and Persaud, 5th ed., p. 66.) Figure 3: In this photomicrograph, we can see the suspension of an embryo (marked B) during the alaqah stage (about 15 days old) in the womb of the mother. The actual size of the embryo is about 0.6 mm. (The Developing Human, Moore, 3rd ed., p. 66, from Histology, Leeson and Leeson.) The third meaning of the word alaqah is “blood clot.” We find that the external appearance of the embryo and its sacs during the alaqah stage is similar to that of a blood clot. This is due to the presence of relatively large amounts of blood present in the embryo during this stage (see figure 4). Also during this stage, the blood in the embryo does not circulate until the end of the third week. Thus, the embryo at this stage is like a clot of blood. Figure 2 Figure 3
Figure 4: Diagram of the primitive cardiovascular system in an embryo during the alaqah stage. The external appearance of the embryo and its sacs is similar to that of a blood clot, due to the presence of relatively large amounts of blood present in the embryo. (The Developing Human, Moore, 5th ed., p. 65.) So the three meanings of the word alaqah correspond accurately to the descriptions of the embryo at the alaqah stage. The next stage mentioned in the verse is the mudghah stage. The Arabic word mudghah means “chewed substance.” If one were to take a piece of gum and chew it in his or her mouth and then compare it with an embryo at the mudghah stage, we would conclude that the embryo at the mudghah stage acquires the appearance of a chewed substance. This is because of the somites at the back of the embryo that “somewhat resemble teeth marks in a chewed substance.” (see figures 5 and 6). Figure 5: Photograph of an embryo at the mudghah stage (28 days old). The embryo at this stage acquires the appearance of a chewed substance, because the somites at the back of the embryo somewhat resemble teeth marks in a chewed substance. The actual size of the embryo is 4 mm. (The Developing Human, Moore and Persaud, 5th ed., p. 82, from Professor Hideo Nishimura, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan.) Figure 4 Figure 5
Figure 6: When comparing the appearance of an embryo at the mudghah stage with a piece of gum that has been chewed, we find similarity between the two. A) Drawing of an embryo at the mudghah stage. We can see here the somites at the back of the embryo that look like teeth marks. (The Developing Human, Moore and Persaud, 5th ed., p. 79.) B) Photograph of a piece of gum that has been chewed. H e created you (all) from a single person: then created, of like nature, his mate; and he sent down for you eight head of cattle in pairs: He makes you, in the wombs of your mothers, in stages, one after another, in three veils of darkness. Such is Allah, your Lord and Cherisher: to Him belongs (all) dominion. There is no god but He: then how are ye turned away (from your true Centre)? Qur’aan, 39:6 According to Dr. Keith Moore, these three veils of darkness in the Qur’aan refer to: 1. Anterior abdominal wall of the mother 2. The ulterior wall 3. The amnio-chorionic membrane Figure 6
Dr. Keith L. Moore is one of the world’s most prominent scientists in the fields of anatomy and embryology and is the author of the book entitled ‘The Developing Human’, which has been translated into eight languages. This book is a scientific reference work and was chosen by a special committee in the United States as the best book authored by one person. He is Professor Emeritus of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada. There, he was Associate Dean of Basic Sciences at the Faculty of Medicine and for 8 years was the Chairman of the Department of Anatomy. In 1984, he received the most distinguished award presented in the field of anatomy in Canada, the J.C.B. Grant Award from the Canadian Association of Anatomists. He has directed many international associations, such as the Canadian and American Association of Anatomists and the Council of the Union of Biological Sciences. In 1981, during the Seventh Medical Conference in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, Professor Moore said : “ I t has been a great pleasure for me to help clarify statements in the Qur’aan about human development. It is clear to me that these statements must have come to Muhammad from God, because almost all of this knowledge was not discovered until many centuries later. This proves to me that Muhammad must have been a messenger of God.” Consequently, Professor Moore was asked the following question: “Does this mean that you believe that the Qur’aan is the word of God?” He replied: “I find no difficulty in accepting this.”
During one conference, Professor Moore stated: “.... B ecause the staging of human embryos is complex, owing to the continuous process of change during development, it is proposed that a new system of classification could be developed using the terms mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah. The proposed system is simple, comprehensive, and conforms with present embryological knowledge. The intensive studies of the Quran and Hadith in the last four years have revealed a system for classifying human embryos that is amazing since it was recorded in the seventh century A.D. Although Aristotle, the founder of the science of embryology, realized that chick embryos developed in stages from his studies of hen’s eggs in the fourth century B.C., he did not give any details about these stages. As far as it is known from the history of embryology, little was known about the staging and classification of human embryos until the twentieth century. For this reason, the descriptions of the human embryo in the Quran cannot be based on scientific knowledge in the seventh century. The only reasonable conclusion is: these descriptions were revealed to Muhammad from God. He could not have known such details because he was an illiterate man with absolutely no scientific training”. There are so many other scientific facts which have been touched upon in the Qur’aan and there are numerous scientists who have had to concede about the Qur’aan being the Book of Allah. The verses in the Qur’aan relating to science could be categorised under Astronomy, Physics, Geography, Geology, Oceanology, Biology, Botany, Zoology, Physiology and Embryology. Though the Qur’aan is not a Book of science, yet it speaks about these subjects to draw man closer to Allah by making him ponder how such verses could have been pronounced from the lips of an unlettered man at the beginning of the 7 th century. There are 6666 Aayaat 1 in the Qur’aan for man to reflect upon and know Allah and his own purpose in the scheme of creation. This is again a miracle of the Qur’aan to adapt itself with the changing phases of time and appeal to the people of every age. So is there anyone to take heed and benefit from it and be successful? 1. Pl. of Ayat, meaning verse. It also means ‘sign’.
The other name of the Qur’aan is Fur’qaan, which means a Book that differentiates between good and evil; between right and wrong; between what is permissible and what is not. It is a Book for those who seek guidance. T his is the Book; in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear Allah. Qur'aan, 2:2 As commonly understood, the Qur'aan is not a Book meant only for the Muslims. It is meant for the entire humanity. It is for you, for me and for all human beings. It is for all people till the end of time. It is a Book from our True Lord and an existing Miracle of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Just as Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the final messenger confirming the teachings of all the prophets of yore, in the same way the Qur’aan is also the logical culmination of all the previous revealed scriptures. T his Qur'aan is not such as can be produced by any other than Allah. On the contrary, it is a confirmation of (revelations) that went before it, and a fuller explanation of the Book - wherein there is no doubt - from the Lord of the worlds. Qur'aan, 10:37
Islam The biggest misconception of all - Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the founder of Islam. Religion means way of life and the way of life has always been one, i.e., worship none but Allah. In fact the purpose of man's creation is to worship none but Allah and if we fail in the very purpose of our creation, then it’s shameful for us. Islam means peaceful submission to the Will of Allah and the Will of Allah is to worship none but Him and to believe in all His Messengers including Muhammad (peace be upon him). Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) only introduced a revised Law sent by Allah for mankind. With the coming of this new Law, all the previous Laws stood null and void. Just as when a new government comes to power in a country, say India, it brings in new laws. Every citizen of India is supposed to follow those laws and not those of the previous government. If he doesn't follow those laws, he would be considered a rebel and would be liable for punishment. In the same way, if the followers of other prophets (peace be upon them) say that no, we will follow only so and so prophet, then its not only rebellious but is also tantamount to rejecting the message of the prophet they claim to be followers of because their message was no different from Muhammad (peace be upon him). In fact, they foretold about the coming of the last prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) so that the coming generation could recognise him and follow him.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) didn't bring any new religion and what he taught was not anything new. He only confirmed the message brought by previous messengers, i.e., shun false gods, don't associate partners unto Him because only He is worthy of worship. All the Laws brought by the previous prophets were time-bound and specific to their respective communities, but the one revealed to our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is for all times to come and for all the people till the end of the world. And Islam is the logical culmination of the teachings of all the previous prophets. With regard to this, Allah says in the Qur'aan; T his day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion. Qur'aan, 5:3 I f anyone desires religion other than Islam, never will it be accepted of him. Qur'aan, 3:85 Anyone who enters the fold of Islam or, in other words, submits his will to the Will of Allah and is obedient to Him is called a Muslim . (Remember the slave and Master relationship mentioned in my ‘humble advice’ to you at the beginning of this booklet?) A person doesn't become a Muslim just by being brought up in a Muslim family. If he hasn't submitted his will to the Will of the Allah, then he is not a Muslim in the real sense of the term.
Whereas a person, who is not born in a Muslim family can be a Muslim if he follows the last prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Thus we see that a person’s birth has nothing to do with him being a Muslim or not. It depends on our deeds. In fact the labels we carry have no meaning – what we really are, is determined by our deeds. If we follow the Commands of Allah that came to us through His messengers and which culminated with the last prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) then we are Muslims, otherwise not. A Muslim is the one who believes there is only One God (and only He is worthy of worship), and believes in His angels, His (revealed) Books, His messengers, in the Judgment Day, that good and bad fate is from Allah, and in the life after death. After the coming of the final messenger Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), every person has to accept and practice the Way of Life as practiced or approved by him. Many people think that Islam is a very rigid, complex and difficult to follow religion, but such an opinion is based on hearsay and not an honest study of the subject. Below I take these words (rigid, complex and difficult) one by one and explain them. There is no doubt that Islam is very rigid but it’s also true that it’s very flexible. I will try to illustrate this by taking Unity of God as a common example for explaining both (rigidity and flexibility). Qur’aan informs mankind that the purpose of man’s creation is to worship none but Allah.
I created the jinn and humankind only that they might worship Me. Qur’aan, 51:56 It also informs us that the only sin which is unforgivable in the sight of Allah is associating partners unto Allah. In other words, it means that to worship anything other than Allah is the sin unforgivable. V erily, God does not forgive the ascribing of divinity to aught beside Him, although He forgives any lesser sin unto whomever He wills: for those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God have indeed gone far astray. Qur’aan, 4:116 Now when the purpose of man’s creation is to worship none but Allah and the sin which is unforgivable in the sight of Allah is associating partners unto Him, then shouldn’t we be as rigid as possible? But for those who do not know the purpose of life and do not know what Islam is, for them rigidity is a taboo. If they truly know that where Islam demands rigidity, I am pretty sure they will appreciate it. In fact, those who are unaware of God and His ways, philosophically say that we should not be so rigid. It is this zeal for ‘flexibility’ which has led man to worship stones, trees and everything under the sun, but his Creator. Islam is also flexible in the sense that it gives man freedom of conscience. It gives man absolute freedom to live the way he wants to live. He has the option to choose his way of living based on the infinite Wisdom of Allah or the finite wisdom of man.
Those who humble themselves before Allah and think Allah to be the Most Wise, they choose Allah’s way (i.e., Islam) and those who due to arrogance and stubbornness think themselves to be wiser than the most Wise (may Allah forbid), they choose their own way. They have got every right to do so because Allah says in the Qur’aan that there is no compulsion in choosing one’s way of life (i.e., religion), but also goes on to say that truth clearly stands out from error. L et there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things. Qur’aan, 2:256 With regard to complexity, I would say to those who label Islam as a complex way of life that they should look at their own ways of life. They will for sure realise, if they are true to themselves, what is complex and what is simple. In fact, Islam is the only religion that passes the test of reason and logic. Whereas, if we see other religions, which have gone corrupt with the passage of time, we see that they utterly fail at every step of reason and logic. The best way to judge between right and wrong is to put them to test and find the truth. Lets again take the example of Unity of God to illustrate whether Islam is simple or complex.
Islam in the most unequivocal terms says that the God of all is one. He is absolute and there is none like unto Him. Can this proclamation of unity of God be any simpler? It is as simple as it comes. It not only proclaims but also manifests itself in practice and therein lies the difference between Islam and other religions. Unity of God is the very foundation of Islam. When someone wants to embrace Islam all he has to do is to testify from the tongue and truly believe from the heart that there is no one worthy of worship besides Allah and Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the slave and messenger of Allah. There are two testimonies involved; the first is that there is only one God and only He is worthy of worship and the second is that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the slave and messenger of God. The second testimony is as important as the first one because it is through Muhammad (peace be upon him) that we know who is God and who is not. It is through him that we know how He is to be worshipped and other dos and donts of life. He was an inspired soul - Allah inspired him to deliver the Divine message to the entire humanity. If anybody else proclaims himself ‘God’ or makes claim to be an inspired one then let him bring his proofs if he is true. Islam is the only religion that is free from any kind of superstitious beliefs, customs and traditions. Though there are many things which many people have come to believe as part of Islam, these things in reality have nothing to do with Islam. Islam is still preserved in its pristine form in the form of the Qur’aan and the Sunnah.
<ul><li>That’s why I always say that look at the life of the prophet (peace be upon him) and not the Muslims because you might get mistaken due to some practices of a few Muslims which have nothing to do with Islam. Verily the best source of guidance is the Book of Allah (Qur’aan) and the Sunnah of our beloved prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). </li></ul><ul><li>There are many who say that Islam is very difficult to follow. If they had understood what life and Islam is all about they would never have said such a thing. Allah wants to make things easy for man, but man is hell-bent to make his life miserable. Many say that praying five times a day is very difficult, but they do not realise that praying five times a day is much easier than people working like machines day and night to earn a few extra bucks. More so, when the purpose of man’s creation is to worship none but Allah, then shouldn’t we be more conscious of this than anything else? There are innumerable benefits for praying five times a day. I mention here a few: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>It is a perfect manifestation of a person’s belief that He believes in one God and he worships none but Him. </li></ul><ul><li>It keeps him safe from sins and purifies him. </li></ul><ul><li>It constantly reminds him about his Creator to Whom is our return. </li></ul><ul><li>It makes him humble and kind to others. </li></ul><ul><li>It is the best way to seek Allah’s help. </li></ul><ul><li>It is the best way to get peace. The closest a person can get to his Master is when he is in prostration. It’s a magnificent sign of absolute submission to God. It’s a perfect example of the relationship between a slave and his Master. </li></ul><ul><li>It makes a person punctual besides so many other benefits. </li></ul>
Everybody says and knows very well that we all came empty handed and will depart from this world empty handed. How true this statement is! It reinforces the claim of Islam that everything belongs to God and nullifies the claims of some who say that everything is God, therefore they worship objects other than the One True God. Allah is the owner of everything. The wealth we have, the children we have and everything that we possess is God’s. Even our eyes that we see with, the ears that we hear with, the nose that we smell with, the legs that we walk with, the hands that we use for different purposes are all God’s gifts to us. He has blessed us all with so many wonderful things in life not in play but to test us. We will have to give account of whatever we are blessed with in this life. T he mutual rivalry for piling up (the good things of this world) diverts you (from the more serious things), Until ye visit the graves. But nay, ye soon shall know (the reality). Again, ye soon shall know! Nay, were ye to know with certainty of mind, (ye would beware!) Ye shall certainly see Hell-Fire! Again, ye shall see it with certainty of sight! Then, shall ye be questioned that Day about the joy (ye indulged in!). Qur’aan, Chapter 102 The preceding lines go on to prove that we own nothing and everything belongs to Allah. Allah doesn’t want difficulty for us, but instead gives us the best way to utlilise the things that He has blessed us with. For instance, if Allah has made someone rich then the wealth he possesses is Allah’s trust unto him, therefore, he should spend in the manner Allah wants him to, for example in the form of Zakah. Allah has made all the bad things, for example, alcohol and gambling prohibited because it’s not only misuse of wealth but also the source of so many ills in the society.
The same wealth could be utilised for other beneficial causes, which would make this world a better place. Thus we see that everything that we have is a trust of Allah to us; therefore, we should do as commanded by Allah and that too, for our benefit. When we have this realisation that everything is God’s, rather than ours, it will be easy for us follow God’s commands rather than perceiving them to be difficult. For example, Allah makes alcoholic drinks, gambling and other such evil practices prohibited not only for our personal benefit and but also for the overall benefit of the society. Some of us are slaves to so called ‘gods’, which neither can benefit nor harm us; some are slaves to the drinking habit; some to gambling; some to wealth and power, and the list goes on. A wise man is the one who submits his will to the will of Allah, instead of other things because Allah is the Most Wise and has given us a complete way of life in the form of Islam. Islam not only ensures success in this world, but also in the eternal world to come. It is only our deeds that will accompany us in the hereafter and on the basis of those we will be given life which is eternal. This is the Law of God. Before concluding this chapter, I quote few well know figures in human history on their observation about Islam. This is what they have to say with regard to the most modern divine Law sent by God for mankind.
“ T he league of nations founded by the prophet of Islam put the principle of international unity and human brotherhood on such universal foundations as to show candle to other nations…. The fact is that no nation of the world can show a parallel to what Islam has done towards the realisation of the idea of the League of Nations. Today after a lapse of fourteen centuries, the life and teachings of Muhammad (peace be upon him) have survived without the slightest loss, alteration or interpolation. They offer the same undying hope for treating mankind’s many ills, which they did when he was alive. This is not the claim of Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) followers but also the inescapable conclusion forced upon by a critical and unbiased history.” Prof. Hurgronje “ I f any religion has a chance of ruling over England, nay Europe within the next hundred years, it could be Islam. I have always held the religion of Muhammad in high estimation because of its wonderful vitality. It is the only religion, which appears to me to possess that assimilating capacity to the changing phase of existence, which can make itself appeal to every age.” Sir George Bernard Shaw in 'The Genuine Islam,' Vol. 1, No. 8, 1936.
" I slam is a religion that is essentially rationalistic in the widest sense of this term considered etymologically and historically....the teachings of the Prophet, the Qur'an has invariably kept its place as the fundamental starting point, and the dogma of unity of God has always been proclaimed therein with a grandeur, a majesty, an invariable purity and with a note of sure conviction, which it is hard to find surpassed outside the pale of Islam....A creed so precise, so stripped of all theological complexities and consequently so accessible to the ordinary understanding might be expected to possess and does indeed possess a marvelous power of winning its way into the consciences of men." Edward Montet, 'La Propagande Chretienne et ses Adversaries Musulmans,' Paris 1890. (Also in T.W. Arnold in 'The Preaching of Islam,' London 1913.) I will end this chapter by highlighting one of the quotes mentioned above. It seems like as if Allah has put the following words in Sir George Bernard Shaw’s mouth, when he says, “It is the only religion, which appears to me to possess that assimilating capacity to the changing phase of existence, which can make itself appeal to every age.” How true! Since Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) message is for all times, hence it should conform to the changing times, which it does and goes on to prove its miraculous nature.
Final Words Please remember that Allah guides only those who seek His guidance. Shaitan (Satan) is our biggest enemy. He makes every effort to misguide us from the True and Straight Path. O ye people! Eat of what is on earth, Lawful and good; and do not follow the footsteps of the Satan, for he is to you an avowed enemy. For he commands you what is evil and shameful, and that ye should say of Allah that of which ye have no knowledge. Qur'aan, 2:168&169 One of the biggest obstacles in the way of accepting the Truth is that we tend to follow blindly the footsteps of our ancestors and keep on practicing age-old customs and traditions. For such people, I would like to repeat what I quoted at the start of this booklet from the Qur'aan: W hen it is said to them: "Follow what Allah hath revealed:" They say: "Nay! We shall follow the ways of our fathers." What! Even though their fathers were void of wisdom and guidance? The parable of those who reject Faith is as if one were to shout like a goat-herd, to things that listen to nothing but calls and cries: Deaf, dumb, and blind, they are void of wisdom. Qur'aan, 2:170&171
You might be put to test after embracing Islam, but isn't this life in itself a test? You should remember that difficulties come only in the path of those who are God-fearing and struggle in His way and don't compromise with falsehood and stay firm and upright in the face of difficulties and put their trust in Allah. It is these people who are successful, both in this world and in the Hereafter. The life on this earth is nothing but a passing phase. The life after death is of permanence and is therefore never ending. At this juncture, I would like to deviate a bit and draw the attention of the readers towards two things just mentioned in the preceding lines; the life of this world and the world hereafter and what does success mean. Today science informs us that the sun has a limited time span. Once the sun is gone, there would be an end to every living thing. In other words, the world will come to an end. If we deny hereafter, it means that the whole creation of God has no meaning. It means that God created the entire creation without a purpose. The ever expanding universe 1 and all the amazing creations of God and man himself, the master creation of God, all have no meaning. We humans do not create anything, even a needle, without a purpose; but we doubt God’s magnificent creation which is so vast that we cannot even imagine. Nay! That shall not be the case. Truly that shall not be the case. 1. Scientists still do not have an idea how vast the universe is.
Allah through ages sent His messengers to call people to worship none but Him and to enlighten them about the purpose of their creation and to guide man in all matters of truth. There is nothing unique in Islam when it speaks about heaven and hell. This theme runs through all the major religions of the world. The differences in Islam and other religions are only due to the corruptions which have taken place in the teachings of the prophets (peace be upon them) that came before Muhammad (peace be upon him). Since all the messengers came from one source (i.e., one God) then how it is possible that their messages be different. Rather their message was one and the same, but people with vested interests corrupted their teachings and made changes in the Books revealed on them for petty gains. The Law that Muhammad (peace be upon him) bought too would have got corrupt had not Allah taken the responsibility upon Himself to safeguard it from corruption. Even if we think with reason and logic there has to be another world where the scales of justice would be established; where the poor and the weak will get their due; where the so called ‘gods’ and ‘goddesses’, which man had worshipped would disown him; where the rich would be made accountable for all the riches they were bestowed out of nothing but as a favour from their Lord in their sojourn on this earth; where the tyrants and the mighty who had played havoc with the lives and properties of the innocent souls would be humbled and punished; where the rejecters of the Truth despite clear signs from their Lord would be questioned; and where the rejecters of life after death would be shown what all they had been rejecting throughout their lives. That Day all the slaves of Allah will be marshalled before their Lord and their Lord will treat none with injustice.
The tragedy with us humans is that we do not accept anything that comes from God, even if it comes with all the signs and proofs, other than that, we readily accept everything and anything. We are ready to enslave ourselves to anything, even stones but not to God, who has power over all things. Though the relationship of the Master and slave, for us is with God and not with stones and other objects. Coming to the word ‘success’, every human has a different interpretation to it. To some being a rich person is success; to some having power is success; to some excelling in sports is a success. Thus we see that success means different things to different persons. But in the sight of Allah a successful person is the one who saves himself from Hellfire and qualifies himself to be a dweller of Heaven. This life is an examination and the result is the eternal life in Hell or Heaven. To make this examination easy for His slaves, Allah out of His infinite mercy sent messengers to guide mankind to the truth. When a person surrenders himself before Allah, Allah not only makes him successful in the life to come but also in this transitory life. I cannot help but recall the often repeated verse. V erily, in the Apostle of God you have a good example for everyone who looks forward [with hope and awe] to God and the Last Day. Qur’aan, 33:21
“ M y choice of Muhammad to lead the list of the world’s most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the secular and religious level. ...It is probable that the relative influence of Muhammad on Islam has been larger than the combined influence of Jesus Christ and St. Paul on Christianity. ...It is this unparalleled combination of secular and religious influence which I feel entitles Muhammad to be considered the most influential single figure in human history.” Michael Hart in 'The 100, A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons In History,' New York, 1978. We aspire to be rich, famous and powerful and make these our goals in life. But if we look at the life of our beloved prophet (peace be upon him), we see that all these things for which we spend our entire lives to achieve, were laid at his feet, yet he cared not for them. His real goal was to please his Master and his Master well-pleased with him, made him the most successful person, both in this world and the world hereafter. One may say that if success lies in following the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) then why are Muslims at the lowest ebb? Why is their condition so miserable? The answer to this is as simple and as straight as it comes. The reason for the downfall of the Muslims is due to the fact that they are not following the Prophet (peace be upon him). As said earlier that a person becomes a Muslim only on submitting his will to God, not just by merely being born and brought up in a Muslim family.
All humans are equal before Allah; the difference is only between people who fear God the most and do good deeds, and those who go astray. To Him, we have to return. Once you are dead, everything will be brought in front of your eyes. Everything would be crystal clear. But if you die as the one who rejected Allah's Commands brought to us by His last messenger Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) it will be too late to make amends. Please don't depart from this world as an unbeliever. Allah may forgive any sin He pleases, but He does not forgive those who ascribe partners unto Him. A llah forgiveth not that partners should be set up with Him; but He forgiveth anything else, to whom He pleaseth; to set up partners with Allah is to devise a sin most heinous indeed. Qur'aan, 4:48 Please be kind to yourselves. Don't you want to save yourself and the ones around you, whom you love, from the Eternal Hellfire that has been prepared for those who reject Allah as one and Muhammad (peace be upon him) as His final messenger? T hose who deny (their Lord),- for them will be cut out a garment of Fire: over their heads will be poured out boiling water, causing all that is within their bodies, as well as the skins, to melt away. And they shall be held [in this state as if] by iron grips; and every time they try in their anguish to come out of it, they shall be returned thereto and [be told]: “Taste suffering through fire [to the full]!' Qur'aan, 22:19&22
As for the Judgment Day, it is said in the Qur'aan: A nd (be mindful of) the Day (when the entire scheme of Universe will be blown to pieces, and) We shall remove the mountains and thou will see the earth as a level stretch, and We shall gather our slaves altogether, (after bringing them back to life) and shall not leave out any of them. And they will be marshalled before the Lord in ranks, with the announcement, “Now have ye come back to Us, as We created ye first! Aye, ye thought We shall not fulfill the appointment made to you to meet Us?” and the Book (of Deeds) will be placed before you; and thou will see the sinful in great terror because of what is recorded therein; they will say, 'Ah! Woe to us! What a Book is this! It leaves nothing small or great, but takes account of all of our deeds!' They will find all that they did (in life) placed before them; and no one will thy Lord treat with injustice. Qur'aan, 18:47&49 Trust me! I don't have any reasons to lie with you. In fact, lying is prohibited for a Muslim/believer, as is eating flesh of swine, consuming alcohol, etc. If I lie, it means that I am displeasing Allah by disobeying His Command and trying to please you, which I, being a Muslim, can never do. My dear ones, my loved ones, when we are all one, we are all born of a single pair of male and female (i.e., Adam and Eve, peace be upon them), we have got the same blood running in our veins, our Lord is One, our Destination is one (to return to our Lord), our Purpose of life is one (to be successful in the life Hereafter), our Book (Qur'aan) is one, our Prophet is one, so how can our paths be different? When all the messengers came from the One True God, then how can their messages be different? How can we adopt different ways of life when everything else is one and the same for us? Rather, our Path of Bliss is also one and Straight and that is the path of Islam.
M ankind was one single nation, and Allah sent Messengers with glad tidings and warnings; and with them He sent the Book in truth, to judge between people in matters wherein they differed. Qur'aan, 2:213 I am only fulfilling the duty of a human being. Who could be a better human than the one who cares for his fellow beings and saves them from the Eternal Hellfire? W ho is better in speech than the one who calls men to God, works righteousness, and says, I am among those who bow down in Islam! Qur'aan, 41:33 Please reconsider the message of the Qur’aan and enter into the fold of Islam: A nd We shall present Hell that day for Unbelievers to see, all spread out, - (Unbelievers) whose eyes had been under a veil from remembrance of Me, and who had been unable even to hear. Do the Unbelievers think that they can take My servants as protectors besides Me? Verily We have prepared Hell for the Unbelievers for (their) entertainment. Say: Shall we tell you of those who lose most in respect of their deeds? Those whose efforts have been wasted in this life, while they thought that they were acquiring good by their works? They are those who deny the Signs of their Lord and the fact of their having to meet Him (in the Hereafter): vain will be their works, nor shall We, on the Day of Judgment, give them any weight. That is their reward, Hell, because they rejected Faith, and took My Signs and My Messengers by way of jest. As to those who believe and work righteous deeds, they have, for their entertainment, the Gardens of Paradise, Wherein they shall dwell (for aye): no change will they wish for from them.
Say: If the ocean were ink (wherewith to write out) the words of my Lord, sooner would the ocean be exhausted than would the words of my Lord, even if we added another ocean like it, for its aid. Say: I am but a man like yourselves, (but) the inspiration has come to me, that your Allah is one Allah: whoever expects to meet his Lord, let him work righteousness, and, in the worship of his Lord, admit no one as partner. Qur'aan, 18:100-110 S o, please submit yourself to the Will of Allah and enter the religion of God (Islam) by proclaiming from the bottom of your heart: Ash-hadu-an-laa-ilaha-illallah,Wa-ash-hadu-anna-Muhammadan-abduhu-wa-rasooluh (transliteration from Arabic) I testify that there is no one worthy of worship besides Allah and I testify that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the slave and Messenger of Allah. (English) If you don’t find this humble effort, enough to reconcile your heart towards Islam, it is due to my shortcomings. I wish I had a heart like the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). But my failure to convey the message of Islam convincingly should not stop you from accepting it. With lots of love, best wishes and prayer for guidance. May Allah accept this and make it a source of guidance for all. Our concluding supplication is that all praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.
Glossary of Arabic words Allah: The personal name of God, derived from Al-Ilaah, meaning the one that is worthy of worship. It can neither be (mis)used in gender (male and female) nor number (like gods and goddesses). He is the Lord, Creator and Originator of everything. He has power over all things. The true definition of Allah can be found in chapter 112 of the Qur’aan, which reads thus: S ay (O Muhammad): He is Allah, the One and Only; Allah, the Eternal, the Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him. Q ur'aan, Chapter 112 Allah has ninety nine other names which denote His Attributes. Allah could best be known through His Attributes, which are absolutely unique to Him. They could only be attributed to Him alone. For example, Eternal and Absolute are two of His Attributes. T he most beautiful names belong to Allah, so call on Him by Them; but shun such men as use profanity in His names: for what they do, they will soon be requited. Q ur’aan, 7:180
Ayat : (pl. Aayaat) An Arabic word meaning verse. It also means ‘sign’. Hence, the verses in the Qur’aan are not only verses per se, but they are also ‘signs’ from our Creator to reflect and turn towards Him. Hadith : (pl. ahadith). The second most important source of information in Islam after the Qur’aan. It is a record of what Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) did, said or approved. The Hadith were meticulously recorded by the pious companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him), and carefully preserved for the later generations. In fact, its a fuller explanation of the Qur’aan. For example, the Qur’aan mentions that it is mandatory for a Muslim to pray five times a day, but does not go into detail as to how to pray. How a prayer is offered could be found in the hadith. It may surprise the readers to know that recording of Hadith is the first science (as we know science today) developed with stringent rules for inference, classification and cross-examination. The learned scholars after the Prophet’s time, for example, Imams Bukhari and Muslim, had elaborate rules on whether a person attributing a report to the Prophet was reliable or not, how sound was the chain of narrators that have passed on the report, whether the text of the Hadith is compatible with the Qur’aan and established Islamic practices, etc. In this manner, they classified each Hadith according to its degree of accuracy and genuineness. Imam Bukhari used to travel miles to verify the antecedents of a particular Hadith, thus leaving no doubt for any falsehood creeping in. The pious predecessors in fact were so cautious, that they have retained not more than 10% of the original Hadith, for fear that maybe a punctuation mark or word was not accurately representing what the Prophet said. It may also be added here that Islamic law (Fiqh) is derived from the Qur’aan and Hadith.
Ibrahim : Abraham in Christianity. One of the prophets of Allah. Like all other prophets he too invited people to worship none but Allah as mentioned in the story narrated at the beginning of this booklet. Besides the Qur’aan, he has also been mentioned in the Christian and Jewish scriptures. Insha’Allah : If Allah Wills (lit.). This is the way Allah taught man through Muhammad (peace be upon him) that whenever you make any intention to do something, say ‘Insha’Allah’. It means that no matter how big or small a matter may be, we are totally dependent on Allah and without His leave, even a leaf doesn’t fall. Jibreel : Gabriel in Christianity. The angel responsible for bringing revelations to the Prophets of Allah. Ka’ba : A cube-shaped structure in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, towards which Muslims all over the world direct their faces when in prayer. Also the first place of worship on earth built by Adam (peace be upon him), the first man and also the first prophet of Allah. It was later rebuilt by Ibrahim and his son Ismail (peace be upon them), also the prophets of Allah. When Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) arrived, there were 360 idols placed inside the Ka’ba, each idol representing each tribe. When Allah made His messenger victorious, all the idols from the Ka’ba were removed and people again started worshipping their Creator.
There are quite a few misconceptions with regard to the Ka’ba among non-Muslims. Many think that Muslims worship the Ka’ba. Muslims face towards the Ka’ba because Allah has commanded them to turn towards it when in prayer to give uniformity of direction and purpose. We all know that in the congregational prayers of Muslims, there is an Imam, who leads the prayer. If there was no unity of direction, people would have turned their faces in different directions and it would have become very confusing and chaotic. It also signifies unity of purpose, i.e., we believe in One Allah and worship none but Him. The Ka’ba is geographically situated right at the centre of the earth, which could be interpreted as a light emanating place in all directions. If Muslims had been worshipping the Ka’ba, they would be carrying its replica with them. So that whenever the time of prayer arrives, they can put it in front of themselves and bow down before it, as idol worshippers do. This misconception could further be clarified with the help of the following verse of the Qur’aan. L et them, therefore, worship the Sustainer of this House; Q ur’aan, 106:3 It is true that during the pre-Islamic era of ignorance, the Ka’ba was much venerated as being the house of idols, but when the Prophet (peace be upon him) arrived, he asked his black companion, Bilal (may Allah be pleased with him), who was a freed slave, to stand atop the Ka’ba and give the Adhan (Muslim prayer-call). By placing a person of low social status (i.e., Bilal) on top of the Ka’ba, the Prophet killed two birds with one stone- from now forth, the sanctity of the Ka’ba was only due to its being a House of Allah, and it was made crystal-clear to everyone that Muslims do not worship the Ka’ba. Secondly, the concept of equality of man was also established for the first time in human history, as a black slave was standing on top of the most-respected symbol of the Arabs.
Muslim : Arabic word for the one who is obedient to Allah and while believing in all the messengers, follows His final messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him). Allah has categorised mankind into three categories: Muslim : One who is obedient to God by following His last messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him). Munafiq : Arabic word for hypocrite. In other words, one who pretends to be Muslim, but is not from the heart. Kafir/Mushrik : One who rejects Allah as One and rejects Muhammad (peace be upon him) being His Final Messenger. In other words, one who denies Allah as one and associates partners with Him falls in this category. Idol worshippers, nature worshippers, fire worshippers and saint worshippers are a few such examples. Qur’aan : Name of the last revelation of Allah. It literally means ‘a Book often read’. It is also called Furqaan, which means a Book that differentiates between right and wrong; between what is permissible and what is not. It is a Book of true guidance from our Lord. Shaitan : Satan in English. Allah has power over all things; therefore, He can create what He wills. He created the expanding universe and the celestial bodies therein and created the best of His creation –man from nothing. He created man out of clay, He created angels out of light and so He created Jinns out of smokeless fire. When Allah made the first man Adam, He asked all the angels to bow down before Adam. All but one bowed before Adam. His name was Iblis (one of the Jinns). His arrogance stood in the way of his obeying the command of God and he was thrown out of the Heavens and became eternally cursed. But he took respite from God and pledged to deviate Adam and his progeny from the true path and misguide them to hell. Allah granted him respite till the end of this world and said that all those who believe in the guidance send by Me will prosper and those who reject it will abide in Hell forever.
W e said to the angels, "Bow down to Adam": They bowed down except Iblis. He was one of the Jinns, and he broke the Command of his Lord. Will ye then take him and his progeny as protectors rather than Me? And they are enemies to you! Evil would be the exchange for the wrong-doers! Q ur’aan, 18:50 Therefore this life is just a transitory phase and a test for the progeny of Adam. The true and eternal life is the life of the Hereafter. Thus we see that Satan is our biggest enemy and he makes every effort to deviate man from the true and straight path by making him disobey God. He is most happy when he misguides someone in associating partners unto Allah because this sin is unforgivable due to which a person will dwell in Hell forever, which is the main aim of Satan (i.e., to take man along with himself into Hellfire). D id I not enjoin on you, O ye Children of Adam, that ye should not worship Satan; for that he was to you an enemy avowed? And that ye should worship Me, (for that) this was the Straight Way? But he did lead astray a great multitude of you. Did ye not, then, understand? This is the Hell of which ye were (repeatedly) warned! Embrace ye the (fire) this Day, for that ye (persistently) rejected (Truth). Q ur’aan, 36:60-64 The best way to keep one safe from the satanic traps is to hold tight to the Qur’aan and the Sunnah. This is what our beloved prophet (peace be upon him) exhorted mankind to do to be safe from Satan and his evil ways. “ I leave behind me two things, the Qur’aan and my Sunnah and if you follow these you will never go astray.” It should not go without mention that like man, Jinns too have been given the freedom of conscience and that was the reason why Iblees refused to bow down before Adam. The angles have not been given freedom of conscience and they do their duty as per the Commands of Allah.
There should not be any doubt about the existence of Satan because Allah the Creator of everything is informing us so in the Qur’aan. It is natural for man to firmly believe in something what he sees with his very own eyes and not in something which he cannot see. Though we have not seen God, but we believe in Him because it is inherent in our nature to believe in God. In fact Faith demands to believe in the unseen. If someone shows faith in something which he can see with his own eyes, then its merely a sensation or observation. For example, if I tell my friend that your father has bought a beautiful gift for you, he will believe me if I am honest. But if I am a liar, he may doubt and not believe me. In the same way, Allah, who is Absolute and Perfect is telling us to believe in Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the Book revealed on him (Qur’aan), so that we may prosper. To make things easy for man and to assist him in believing in Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the Qur’aan, He has given innumerable signs for man to witness. Allah informs man, for instance, in the Qur’aan that if this Book had been from anyone other Allah, you would have found many errors. Few years back I read an interesting quote by someone about Satan in The Times of India. It read something like this: It is stupid of the modern civilisation to have given up believing in the devil, when he is the only explanation of it.
Sunnah : It literally means ‘way’. In Islamic terminology it refers to the ‘way’ of the last Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). There are innumerable things that we do in our daily lives, irrespective of any religion, which are Sunnah. For example, being dutiful towards parents; taking care of the neighbours; being hospitable to guests; taking care of the poor and the downtrodden and so on and so further. Zakah : Annual obligatory charity on every Muslim with certain conditions. It is one of the five pillars of Islam. Zakah means purification of wealth and it also means growth. It purifies the assets of the giver, restrains his lust for material goods and creates in him the virtue of sharing his wealth with the poorer section of the society. It uplifts him from a life of material pursuits to a life endowed with moral purpose. By ‘growth’ is meant growth in wealth, or more reward. It is supported by a hadith which says that ‘No wealth decreases because of Sadaqat (Charity)’. Zakah is both a material and spiritual obligation on every Muslim. A person is liable to pay Zakah only when he/she reaches a minimum amount of specified wealth called Nisab in Islamic terminology after meeting his expenses with one year having passed over it. A person has to pay 2.5% of his wealth as Zakah if he/she falls in the Nisab category.
O ur Lord ! We have heard the call of one calling (us) to Faith, ‘Believe ye in the Lord’, and we have believed. Qur’aan, 3:193 C ompiled by H Asan M Uhammad A Li +91-9936139559 (Lucknow), +91-9958069541 (New Delhi) [email_address] , [email_address] loventruth.blogspot.com