m
            What is
                                                                        ?
                          ...
Whilt is Islam
What



            By
 Jamaal al-Din    Zaraboz,o
 Jamaal aI-Din M. Zarabozo




                         ...
© Ministry ofIslamic Affairs & Endowments, 2007
@ *tintstry of Islamic Affairs Endowments,
King Fahd National Library Cata...
Preface
                                   Preface
          In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful.
    ...
Introduction
                                Introduction
             The Goal and Motivation for Writing this Book
     ...
Prophetreceivedthe exactwording and passed on to his followers.
Prophet received the exact wording and passed it          ...
(peace and blessingsof Allah be upou him). Although the original
(peaceand blessings of               be UpOll him). Altho...
The Belief in God (Allah)
                         The Belief in God (Allah)
         In reality, belief in Allah is the c...
Sole                Sustainer of
    The Belief that God is the SoleCreator and Sustainerof all
                          ...
points to their being all under the authority of one Being, who must
points       their being       under the authority of...
In addition, though, Allah is the source of all of one's
               addition, though,                the source of    ...
From the above-and from numerous other arguments and
          From the above-and from numerous other argumentsand
proofs ...
In fact, there are two aspects in particular that must be
              fact, there are           aspects       particular...
beloved thing in one's heart-He is the beloved of soul. When this
beloved thing in one's heart-He is the beloved of soul. ...
heart and acts with respect to Allah. It is by these acts that one truly
heart and acts        respect               is   ...
Allah other than Whom there is none who has the right to be
Allah other than Whom there is none who has the right to be
wo...
in the Islamic beliefs about God. This is a point concerning which
    the Islamic beliefs about God. This is a point conc...
of their calls (invocations) them?           when mankind are gathered
of their calls (invocations) to them? And when mank...
Universe         Humans
                       The Universeand Humans
                     of     Universe        How it P...
heavensand the earth and all that is betweenthem for a (mere)play"
heavens and the earth and            that between them ...
In reality, the one who negatesthe resurrectionis expecting
that Allah will treat the wrongdoerslike the pious people. Thi...
These are          addition      the fact mentioned
            (5) These are all in addition to the fact mentioned in the...
cannot argue much against their way of thinking if one is foolish
cannot argue            against               of        ...
What is Islam
What is Islam
What is Islam
What is Islam
What is Islam
What is Islam
What is Islam
What is Islam
What is Islam
What is Islam
What is Islam
What is Islam
What is Islam
What is Islam
What is Islam
What is Islam
What is Islam
What is Islam
What is Islam
What is Islam
What is Islam
What is Islam
What is Islam
What is Islam
What is Islam
What is Islam
What is Islam
What is Islam
What is Islam
What is Islam
What is Islam
What is Islam
What is Islam
What is Islam
What is Islam
What is Islam
What is Islam
What is Islam
What is Islam
What is Islam
What is Islam
What is Islam
What is Islam
What is Islam
What is Islam
What is Islam
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  • A book, which presents an entirely different perspective of Quran & Islam, titled 'Natural World Order & The Islamic Thought' is available at http://www.slideshare.net/mohammadshafiqkhan1/natural-world-order-the-islamic-thought which may be propagated to all your friends for comments.

    There book may be read with following clarifications.
    After the book was got printed the actual meaning of two verses of the Quran was conceived which could help a great deal in understanding the contents of the book and the Quran. The verses are :-
    2-1 “Alif lam Meem; There is absolutely no doubt in this book which will show right way to the believers.”
    For last 1400 years it was presumed by almost all scholars that the reference of the book which would show right way to the believers is to the Quran but it has the reference to the very well defined book of innate moral law which is inscribed on the souls of every human being. It was the philosopher Thomas Aquinas who first conceived philosophically that humans have innate moral law. Later Kant, one of the great philosophers, has thrashed out the book of innate moral law in humans.
    2-41 “ ....And believe in this book (Quran) which I have revealed to substantiate the books with you….”
    Almost all scholars believe that in this verse it is stated that the book (Quran) substantiates the previous books of Bible, Torah & Zabour. But how can Quran substantiate these books which were in the corrupted form at the time when Quran was revealed. Paul had corrupted the Bible by stating that Jesus Christ (May God Be Pleased With Him) has already suffered for the sins of the mankind. If this is accepted then Christians are logically free to commit sins which is against the essence of Quran and Islam. Actually the meaning of the verse is that the book (Quran) substantiates the book of innate moral law which is inscribed on the human souls. Thus Quran is a certificate and authentication of the book of innate moral law inscribed on the human souls. Now when we analyze the book of innate moral law; we could derive the social law, social-political structure and even the purpose of human life.
    The word energy used in the book has dual has dual meaning as at some places it has the usual meaning as understood in adopted physical sciences whereas at some places it has the meaning of the basic substance of soul, the substance responsible for the livingness in the living organisms including humans, matter and the substance wherein the information of actions of life time of the humans are stored.
    On the bases of contents of this book followings scientific papers have been published in peer-reviewed journals.
    1. Experimental & Theoretical Evidences of Fallacy of Space-time Concept and Actual State of Existence of the Physical Universe
    2. Foundation of Theory of Everything: Non-living Things & Living Things (Revised version on World Science Database, General Science Journal, Vixra and Academia.edu in my profile)
    3.Michelson-Morley Experiment: A Misconceived & Misinterpreted Experiment
    4. Energy Theory of Matter & Cosmology (Revised version on World Science Database, General Science Journal, Vixra and Academia.edu in my profile)
    5. 'On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies' by Albert Einstein is Based on Trickeries (www.elixirjournal.org Feb.2012)
    6.Ultimate Proof of Energy Theory of Matter & Cosmology
    7. Theory of Origin & Phenomenon of Life
    (These publications are available at www.indjst.org (March 2012,oct 2010, oct 2011,Aug 2010) www.gsjournal.net, www.worldsci.org, viXra, Intellectual Archives & Academia.edu in my profile.)
    On the bases of above-mentioned papers an open challenge has been put forward to the adopted paradigm of physics because under Big Bang paradigm there is absolutely no possibility of existence of God for following reasons.
    1. Philosophically for existence; it has to be some substance (visible, invisible, perceivable or not perceivable) and this applies to God also. Substances occupy space but there is absolutely no space for God to exist at the time of Big Bang & before.
    2. Four things come out of Big Bang namely space, time, matter & light/radiation. We cannot look for eternal God in space & time as both had the beginning; secondly humans are in a position to produce all types of light/radiation and something which humans can produce could not be the God and since matter is made up of electrons, protons & neutrons these too could not be the God.
    Open challenge (which is standing till date despite the lapse of about two years) could be seen at http://www.worldsci.org/php/index.php?tab0=Abstracts&tab1=Display&id=6476&tab=2 and http://www.gsjournal.net/Science-Journals/Essays/View/4018
       Reply 
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
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  • A book, which presents an entirely different perspective of Quran & Islam, titled 'Natural World Order & The Islamic Thought' is available at http://www.slideshare.net/mohammadshafiqkhan1/natural-world-order-the-islamic-thought which may be propagated to all your friends for comments.

    There book may be read with following clarifications.
    After the book was got printed the actual meaning of two verses of the Quran was conceived which could help a great deal in understanding the contents of the book and the Quran. The verses are :-
    2-1 “Alif lam Meem; There is absolutely no doubt in this book which will show right way to the believers.”
    For last 1400 years it was presumed by almost all scholars that the reference of the book which would show right way to the believers is to the Quran but it has the reference to the very well defined book of innate moral law which is inscribed on the souls of every human being. It was the philosopher Thomas Aquinas who first conceived philosophically that humans have innate moral law. Later Kant, one of the great philosophers, has thrashed out the book of innate moral law in humans.
    2-41 “ ....And believe in this book (Quran) which I have revealed to substantiate the books with you….”
    Almost all scholars believe that in this verse it is stated that the book (Quran) substantiates the previous books of Bible, Torah & Zabour. But how can Quran substantiate these books which were in the corrupted form at the time when Quran was revealed. Paul had corrupted the Bible by stating that Jesus Christ (May God Be Pleased With Him) has already suffered for the sins of the mankind. If this is accepted then Christians are logically free to commit sins which is against the essence of Quran and Islam. Actually the meaning of the verse is that the book (Quran) substantiates the book of innate moral law which is inscribed on the human souls. Thus Quran is a certificate and authentication of the book of innate moral law inscribed on the human souls. Now when we analyze the book of innate moral law; we could derive the social law, social-political structure and even the purpose of human life.
    The word energy used in the book has dual has dual meaning as at some places it has the usual meaning as understood in adopted physical sciences whereas at some places it has the meaning of the basic substance of soul, the substance responsible for the livingness in the living organisms including humans, matter and the substance wherein the information of actions of life time of the humans are stored.
    On the bases of contents of this book followings scientific papers have been published in peer-reviewed journals.
    1. Experimental & Theoretical Evidences of Fallacy of Space-time Concept and Actual State of Existence of the Physical Universe
    2. Foundation of Theory of Everything: Non-living Things & Living Things (Revised version on World Science Database, General Science Journal, Vixra and Academia.edu in my profile)
    3.Michelson-Morley Experiment: A Misconceived & Misinterpreted Experiment
    4. Energy Theory of Matter & Cosmology (Revised version on World Science Database, General Science Journal, Vixra and Academia.edu in my profile)
    5. 'On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies' by Albert Einstein is Based on Trickeries (www.elixirjournal.org Feb.2012)
    6.Ultimate Proof of Energy Theory of Matter & Cosmology
    7. Theory of Origin & Phenomenon of Life
    (These publications are available at www.indjst.org (March 2012,oct 2010, oct 2011,Aug 2010) www.gsjournal.net, www.worldsci.org, viXra, Intellectual Archives & Academia.edu in my profile.)
    On the bases of above-mentioned papers an open challenge has been put forward to the adopted paradigm of physics because under Big Bang paradigm there is absolutely no possibility of existence of God for following reasons.
    1. Philosophically for existence; it has to be some substance (visible, invisible, perceivable or not perceivable) and this applies to God also. Substances occupy space but there is absolutely no space for God to exist at the time of Big Bang & before.
    2. Four things come out of Big Bang namely space, time, matter & light/radiation. We cannot look for eternal God in space & time as both had the beginning; secondly humans are in a position to produce all types of light/radiation and something which humans can produce could not be the God and since matter is made up of electrons, protons & neutrons these too could not be the God.
    Open challenge (which is standing till date despite the lapse of about two years) could be seen at http://www.worldsci.org/php/index.php?tab0=Abstracts&tab1=Display&id=6476&tab=2 and http://www.gsjournal.net/Science-Journals/Essays/View/4018
       Reply 
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
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What is Islam

  1. 1. m What is ? ? • o B J -'m1aal ~ I-D:n M. ,Zs:abo -0 ~ - ; - ~ .. - • I ''''- ......--' - _.'~ . ." .., - • l' • - -~---=£ ~ -
  2. 2. Whilt is Islam What By Jamaal al-Din Zaraboz,o Jamaal aI-Din M. Zarabozo Zarabozo ©2006, Jamaal aI-Din M. Zarabozo 02006, Jamaalal-Din
  3. 3. © Ministry ofIslamic Affairs & Endowments, 2007 @ *tintstry of Islamic Affairs Endowments, King Fahd National Library Cataloging-in-Publication Data F ahd N utional Lihr ary Cataloging-in-P ublicatio n D ata Zarabozo, Jamaal aI-Din Zarubozo, Jamaalal-Din What is Islam:: Abridged Version.! Jamaal aI-Din Zarabozo, What is Islam Abridged Version.l lamaal al-Din Zarabozo, - Riyadh, 2007 Riyadh, 2007 68 P ; 1 4 x 2 0 c m 6 8 P 14 20 em I S B N 9960 - 2 9 - 6 0 - ISBN:: 9 9 6 0- 29 - 6011- 6 1 - IIslam 1 slam Title 1 -Title 210 dc 210 de 1428/2295 1428i 2295 L.D. no. 1428I 2295 L.D. no. 1428/2295 ISBN 9960- 29 - 601- ISBN:: 9960 - 29 - 601 - 6 Ministry Islamic Affairs, Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, of Endowments, Da'wah, and Guidance Da'wah, Guidance and Kingdom Saudi of Arabia Kingdom of Saudi Arabia First Edition First Edition 1428 H - 2007 G 1428 - 2007
  4. 4. Preface Preface In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful. In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful. All praisesare due to Allah; we praise Him; we seek His help; we All praises are due to Allah; we praise Him; we seek His help; we seek His forgiveness;and we seek His guidance.II bear witnessthat seek His forgiveness; and we seek His guidance. bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, for whom there is no there is none worthy of worship except Allah, for whom there is no partner. And II bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and partner. And bear witness Muhammad His servant Messenger. Messenger. I would like to take this opportunity to expresspraise and to I take opportunity express praise and thank Allah for giving me the opportunity to write an important work Allah for giving write work of this nature. May Allah forgive me for my shortcomings in of nature. Allah shortcomings presentingHis religion. I would also like to express my heartfelt presenting I also express heartfelt thanks to the noble Shaikh Muhammad al-Turki of the Ministry of thanks the noble Shaikh Muhammad of Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Da'wah and Guidancefor his support.I Islamic Affairs, Endowments, and Guidance support. I would also like to expressmy thanks to Ahmad Ba-Rasheedfor his also express thanks Ba-Rasheed his continual efforts as well. Thesetwo devotedmen rvere instrumentalin continual efforts as These devoted men were instrumental producing this abridgement as as the original that this producingthis abridgement as well as the original work that this work thank is basedon. There are many people that I would like to thank for their based on. There are many people that help this particular First, must express thanks to help in this particular work. First, I must express my thanks to my beloved who is always a source assistance and help. Special beloved wife who is always a source of assistance and help. Special thanksmust also go to Dr. Abdulkarim al-Saeed, Nahar al-Rashid, thanks must also go to Dr. Abdulkarim aI-Saeed, Br. Nahar aI-Rashid, Br. Dr. Mohamrnad al-Osimi, Dr. Ahmad al-Teraiqi and Br. Jalaal Dr. Mohammad al-Osimi, Dr. Ahmad al-Teraiqi and Br. Jalaal Abdullah. can only pray that Allah rewardsthem and blesses Abdullah. I can only pray that Allah rewards them and blesses them them greatly. greatly. It should be noted that this work is an abridgement the It should be noted that this work is an abridgement of the author's Whatis Islam. Many details,furtherreferences additional and author's What is Islam. Many details, further references and additional quotes from authoritative sources have been deleted in this quotes from authoritative sources have been deleted in this reader interestedin additional referencesshould abridgement. Any reader interested in additional references should abridgement. versionof this work. I pray that Allah consult the original, unabridged version of this work. I pray that Allah consultthe original,unabridged acceptsthis work from me as being solely for His sake.As with all accepts this work from me as being solely for His sake. As with all such work, the responsibility for any mistakes lies with the author. II such work, the responsibility for any mistakes lies with the author' ask Allah to forgive me for my shortcomingsand to guide me to the ask Allah to forgive me for my shortcomings and to guide me to the Straight Path. StraightPath. Jamaal Zarubozo Jamaal Zarabozo Boulder, CO Boulder, CO Mayy15,20060 6 Ma 15,20 3 3
  5. 5. Introduction Introduction The Goal and Motivation for Writing this Book The Goal and Motivation Writing this This is a very important time for publishing clear and concise This is a very importanttime publishingclear and concise material about Islam. Today, for many reasons, Islam is often pictured material about Islam. Today, many reasons,Islam often pictured in a very unflattering manner in many parts of the world. Since many a very unflattering manner many parts of the Since many people are unfamiliar with Islam beyond what they see in the mass people are unfamiliar Islam beyond what they see the mass media, it is not surprising that such misrepresentations of Islam have media, is not surprisingthat such misrepresentations Islam have of influenced public opinion. The easiest and probably the most influenced public opinion. Th* easiest and probably the most productive cure for this situatIon is by reaching out to those people productive cure for this situation is reaching those people and allowing them to hear what Islam is truly all about. One must go and allowing them hear what Islam is about.One must beyond the hype and get to the true authentic teachings of the religion. beyond the hype and get the true authenticteachingsof the religion. The goal here is not The goal here is not to deal with the wrong information that deal the information that is spread about Islam. The goal here is simply to presentwhat Islam is spreadabout Islanr. The goal here is sirnply present Islam truly is, based on the original and universally recognized sources of is, based on the original and universally recognizedsourcesof Islam: The Quran-or, in other words, the book revealed from Allah Islam: The Quran-or, other words, the book revealedfrom (God) to the Prophet Muhammad (peaceand blessingsof (God) to the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be be as the words and guidanceof the Prophethimself. upon him)-as well as the words and guidance of the Prophet himself. upon him)-as The Foundation and Sources of Islam The Foundation and Sources Before discussing Islam, it is important to understand Before discussing Islam, is important understand something about the basic sources of Islam. There are only two something about the basic sources Islam. There are authoritative sources of Islam: the Quran and the Sunnah of the authoritative sources of Islam: the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad 1 These two are the ultimate authorities in Islam ProphetMuhammadrThese are the ultimate authorities Islam because they constitute the revelation received by the Prophet (peace because they constitutethe revelationreceived the Prophet(peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) from God. God inspired the and blessings be upon him) from God. God inspired the Prophet with both the Quran and the Sunnah. Hence, all beliefs and Prophet both the Quran and the Sunnah.Hence, beliefs and practices are subservient these foundations: if something is practices are subservient to these foundations: if something is them, may be accepted;if somethingcontradicts consistent with them, it may be accepted; if something contradicts consistent them, is unacceptable. them, it is unacceptable. The Quran is very different The Quran is very different from the Bible. The Quran does the Bible. The Quran does not consist of stories told by humans about different prophets,every not consist storiestold humansabout different prophets, every so often actually quoting a prophet. The Quran is actually the so often actually quoting a prophet. The Quran is actually the word of of God. was revealed the angel Gabriel, directly God. It was revealed by God, via the angel Gabriel, directly to the God, the ProphetMuhammad(peaceand blessings Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Tlre of be upon him). The tThe (peaceand blessings 1The statements and actions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) statements and actions the Proplret of be upon him) are known as his sunnah and hadith. Upon reading further about Islam, one will come are known as his sunnah and hadith. Upon reading further about Islam, one will conre acrossthese terms quite often. the sake of familiarity, and "statemeuts" across these teons quite often. For the sake of familiarity, "example" and "statements" the Prophet be most often usedthroughoutthis work. of the Prophet will be most often used throughout this work. 4
  6. 6. Prophetreceivedthe exactwording and passed on to his followers. Prophet received the exact wording and passed it followers. revelation, its exact wording, was memorized, recorded and This revelation,with its exact wording, was memorized,recordedand passed as is. Hence, again, God and God speaking the passedon as is. Hence,again,it is God and only God speakingin the Quran. There are no comments, passagesor quotes from humans Quran. There are comments, passages quotes humans whatsoever the Quran. whatsoeverin the Quran. The style of the Quran is therefore unique. It is Allah's style of the Quran therefore unique. It words to the heart, mind and soul of humans.In its original language words the heart, and soul of humans. language of Arabic, it is extremely moving and beautiful. (Today, the of extremely and beautiful. (Today, the of the Quran has been translated numerous languages. "meaning" of the Quran has been translatedinto numerouslanguages. However, none of these translations is ever considered the Quran. The is However, none of thesetranslations ever considered Quran.The the Quran is only the Arabic original. Hence, in the prayers and rituals, Quran the original. Hence, the prayers and rituals, only the true, original Arabic Quran is used.) the true, Quran used.) In addition to the Quran, there are the sayings and example addition the Quran, there are the sayings and example of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessingsof Allah be upon of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of be upon him). The authority of the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah is not The authority of the Sunnah of the Messengerof is because is some kind of demigod. He was a human being,just like because he is some he of demigod. was humanbeing, all of the other prophets. of the otherprophets. The prophet'sauthority is related to the issue The prophet's authorityis related the issue of submission to Allah: It is Allah in the Quran who establishes the of submission Allah: is the Quran establishes the of the Prophetis authority of the Prophet. Hence, following the way of the Prophet is authority of the Prophet.Hence, following the nothing but acting in obedience and submission to Allah. Allah has nothing acting obedienceand submissionto Allah. has virtually said such when He said, who obeys the Messenger virtually said such when He said, "He who obeys the Messenger has has have not sent indeed obeyed Allah, but he who turns away, then we have not sent indeed obeyedAllah, but he who turns away, then you (O Muhammad)as a watcherover them" (4:80). you (0 Muhammad) as a watcher over them" (4:80). There is a very important relationship between the Quran and There is a very inrportantrelationshipbetweenthe Quran and the Quran is to be the Sunnah. The Sunnah demonstrates how the Quran is to be the Sunnah. The Sunnah demonstrates implemented. It is a practical explanation of what the Quran is implemented. is a practical explanation what the Quran is teaching.This complete,human embodiment the teachings the teaching. This complete, human embodiment of the teachings of the Quran is a great blessing and mercy for Muslims. It makes the Quran is a great blessing and mercy for Muslims. makes the guidance from God more complete and accessible to all. guidancefrom God more completeand accessible all. to Thus, the Quran and the Sunnah form one united unit that Thus, the Quran and the Sunnah form one united that offer all the principles guidancethat humankind need until the offer all the principles of guidance that humankind will need until the Day of Judgment. Day of Judgment. Therefore, any reliable book on Islam must be based on the Therefore,atry reliable book on Islam must be basedon the Quran I and the statements and guidance of the Prophet Muhammad Quranr and the statements and guidance the Prophet Muhammad ' I The reader should note how the verses of the Quran are referred to: soorah or the verses the Quran are refened to: sooralr The reader should note "chapter" number followed by versenumber,e.g.,2;l 6 would mcan the sixteenthverse "chapter" number followed by verse number, e.g., 2: 16 would mean the sixteenth verse of the second chapter. ofthe secondchapter. 5
  7. 7. (peace and blessingsof Allah be upou him). Although the original (peaceand blessings of be UpOll him). Although the original Arabic texts of both the Quran and the Prophet's sayings are Arabic texts of both the Quran and the Prophet's sayings are available, one has to resort to modest translationsto convey their available, one has resort modest translations convey their meanings to non-Arabic speakers. With respectto the Quran, two meanings non-Arabic speakers. respect the Quran, translations into English can be recontnlendedand will be used translationsinto English can be recommended and will used throughout this work. They are The Noble Quran: English throughout this work. They are The Noble Quran: Ertglish Translation of the Meanings and Contmentary, translated by Translatiort af the Meanings Commentary, translated Muharnmad and Muhammad Khan, an'J The Quran: Muhammad al-Hilali and Muhammad Muhsin Khan, and The Quran: Arabic Text with Corresponding Englislz Meaning, translated by Text Covespottding English translated "Saheeh International." "S aheehInternational. " collections of the statements and actions of the As for collections of the statements and actions of the Prophet, two important collections are available in complete form in Prophet, important collections are available complete English. They are known as Sahih al-Bukhari (translated by English. are as Sahih (translated Muhammad Muhsin Khan) and Sahih Muslim (translatedby Abdul Muhammad Khan) and Sahih (translated Hamid Siddiqi). Hamid Siddiqi). The Intended Audience for This Work Intended Audience Work The work is addressed to anyone who is interestedin a basic The is addressed anyone interested basic introduction to the fundamental beliefs and practices of Islam. introduction to the fundamental beliefs and practices of Islam. Everything has been kept basic, but with the hope that the readerwill Everythinghas been kept basic,but the hope that the reader will be encouraged to study Islam in more depth. For the purposeof more be encouraged study Islam rnoredepth.For the purpose of more to in-depth study, many other importantbooks be recommended at in-depth study, many other important books will be recommended at the end of this book. the end this book. Before proceeding, one should also note the usage of the Before proceeding,one should also note the usage of the words and God. is the "personalname" of God, much words Allah and God. Allah is the "personal name" of God, much like Yahweh (later interpreted as Jehovah). Thus, Allah and God will be Yahweh (later interpretedas Jehovah).Thus, and God be used interchangeably. usedinterchangeably. 6
  8. 8. The Belief in God (Allah) The Belief in God (Allah) In reality, belief in Allah is the cornerstone the entire faith In reality, belief in Allah is the cornerstone of the entire faith of of Islam. All of the other Islamic beliefs and all Islamic practices of Islam. All of the other Islamic beliefs and all Islamic practices revolve around the proper belief in God. For this reason,perhaps revolve around the proper belief in God. For this reason, perhaps more than any other religious community in the world, the belief more than other religious community the world, belief about Islam has been explained great detail. aboutGod in Islam hasbeenexplainedin greatdetail. Know How Can One Know About God? God? The Islamic religion does not deny that humanshave been Islamic religion does deny that humans have been given by God great reasoning power and natural instincts- given great reasoning and natural instincts. Furthermore, Islam recognizesthat God has createdhumanswith an Furtherrnore, Islam recognizes that has created humans an innate ability to recognize and understand the truth that there is a innate recognize and understand the there Creator and a God. Most people, including the greatestthinkers, Creator and God. people, including the greatest thinkers, would never deny the various signs that point to the existenceof the never deny the various signs that the existence of the Creator. Hence, they wholeheartedly accept the notion of the Creator. Hence, they wholeheartedly accept the notion of the existence of God. What has led some people astray and has confused existenceof God. What has led somepeople astrayand has confused them is that they do not know about God properly and they do not them that they about properly and they have access to a true and preserved revelation from God. These have access true and preserved revelation God. These God, person also has sources of error show that beyondbelievingin God, a personalso has sourcesof error show that beyond believing to have the right information to know the truth about God. have the information the truth about God. However, God, the Creator, obviously, is a distinct and However, God, the Creator, obviously, is a distinct and being from His creation.Hence,God is not somethingwithin separate being from His creation. Hence, God is not something within separate the realm human experience,human thought human testing. the realm of human experience, human thought or human testing. Therefore, to the details about God and, particular, Therefore, to know the details about God and, in particular, to know God shouldbe, one can only turn to God what one's relationship with God should be, one can only tum to God what one's relationship There is no other possibleway. Himself and to His revelation. There is no other possible way. No one and to His revelation. one except God has that knowledge. exceptGod has that knowledge. The revelationfrom God as embodiedin the Quran and the The revelation from God as embodied in the Quran and the the Prophet Muhammad (peaceand blessings inspired words of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of inspired words upon him) have thus provided a clear presentation Allah be upon him) have thus provided a clear presentation Allah be concerningGod. It removesall doubtsaboutHis existence, power His concerning God. It removes all doubts about His existence, His power His knowledge. It also answersall the questionssurroundinghow and His knowledge. It also answers all the questions surrounding how and one shouldbehavetoward the Almighty. In additionto that, by God's one should behave toward the Almighty. In addition to that, by God's mercy, God has provided extensive information about Hirnself, mercy, God has provided extensive information about Himself, through His namesand attributes,such that He does truly beconrethe through His names and attributes, such that He does truly become the beloved,the sole object of worship and the nrain inspirationfor one's beloved, the sole object of worship and the main inspiration for one's life. life. 7
  9. 9. Sole Sustainer of The Belief that God is the SoleCreator and Sustainerof all Creation Creation There one thing that definitively stands out when one reads There is one thing that definitively stands when one reads the Quran:Allah instructshumankindto ponderover the creationwith the Quran: instructs humankind ponder over the creation its magnificence. At no time the teachings of the Quran shy all its magnificence.At no time do the teachingsof the Quran shy away reflection and rational thought. Indeed, these foundations away from reflection and rational thought. Indeed, these foundations of knowledgehave been invoked over and over in the Quran as a path of knowledge have been invoked over and over the Quran as path that will lead one conclusion: There that will lead to only one conclusion: There is no way that this that this creation as one can witness and appreciate today creation as one can witness and appreciate it today could have have possibly come into being except through the intent and creation of possibly come into being exceptthrough the intent and creationof a great, and masterful creator. I great,divine and masterfulcreator.l In fact, in one verse, Allah has given a powerful argument fact, one verse, has given argument hundredsof years:"Were they that was convincing to humankind for hundreds of years: "Were they that was convincing humankind [that is, humans] created by nothing, or were they themselves the [that is, humans] created nothingo were they themselvesthe they createthe heavensand the earth?" (52:35-36). creators? Or did they create the heavens and the earth?" (52:35-36). creators? The point of these verses has been clear to many, many people: The point of these verses has been clear to many, many people: Humans obviously did not come here by means of nothing nor did Humans obviously come here meansof nothing they create themselves. Hence, they are the result of the act of a they create themselves.Hence, they are the result of the act of Creator. Creator. In addition to the realization that this existence must have addition to the realizationthat this existencenust have had a creator, one can also notice the beauty and balance that exists had a creator,one can also notice the beauty and balancethat exists throughout the universe. The order is so precise that it is sometimes throughoutthe universe.The order is so precisethat is sometimes referred to as "the delicate balance of nature." It is truly amazing how referred as delicate balanceof nature." is amazing everything works together-even within one's own body. Without everything works together-even oue's own body. Without such cooperation between the different organs of the body, for such cooperation between the different organs the body, example, there would be no possibility example, there would be no possibility of sustaining life. This sustaining life. This observed phenomenon leads to a number of other important observed phenomenon leads to a number other important conclusions. conclusions. First, the order and cooperation between the various First, the order and cooperation between the various inanimate elements of the universe-which have not been trained or inanimate elenrents the universe-which have not been trained under the control and guidanceof taught-is a sign that they are still under the control and guidance of taught-is a sign that they are the creator. Their level of inter-working and cooperation is such that it the creator.Their level inter-workingand cooperation suchthatis t I Umar al-Ashqar provides another example: After finding the remnants of a city under finding the renrnants a city under Umar al-Ashqarprovidesanotherexample: desert sand, "Nobody among the archaeologists or others even suggested that this city desert sand, among the archaeologists others even suggestedthat this could have appeared as a result of the natural actions of the wind, rain, heat and cold, could have appearedas a result the natural actions the wind, rain, heat and cold, sucha thing, peoplewould have and not by the actions of man. If anyone had suggested such a thing, people would have and not by the actions man. anyonehad suggested regarded d h i m a scrazy."' Umar ral-Ashqar, rBeliefei f A l l a h i int h e LLight of the QlIrall and r e g a r d e him as $ a z y ; U n r a a l - A s h q a , B e l i in Allah n the i g h t o f t h e Q u r a n a n d n Sunnah (Riyadh: International Islamic Publishing House, 2000), p. 125. Sunnah(Riyadh: lntemationalIslamic PublishingHouse,2000),p. 125. 8
  10. 10. points to their being all under the authority of one Being, who must points their being under the authority of one Being, must have both knowledge and complete power sustain and guide have both full knowledge and conrpletepower to sustainand guide them. If this were the case, chaos could be rationally them. If this were not the case, only chaos could be rationally expected, especially given the large number of atoms and other expected, especially given the large number of atoms and other particles that make everything that the universe. particles that make up everythingthat is in the universe. Second, this is a clear sign that the Creatorand Master of the Second,this is clear sign that the Creator and Master of the Universe one and only one-there cannot possibly be more than Universe is one and only one-there cannot possibly be more than one Creator of this balanced and unified universe. This follows from one Creatorof this balancedand unified universe.This follows from the previous point. If there were more than one creator, each having the previous point. If there were more than one creator,each having a and power, then be expected that the creationwould will and power, then it would not be expected that the creation have the unity, balance and equilibrium that currently exhibits. havethe unity, balanceand equilibriumthat it currentlyexhibits. Thus, the starting point that there is only one Creator, Thus, the starting that there is one Creator, Sustainer and Ultimate Power over this universeis something that is Sustainerand Ultimate Power over this universe is somethingthat is both natural in humans and concluded easily and logically. both natural humansand concludedeasilyand logically. Once that it is concluded that Allah is the only Creator and Once that is concludedthat is the Creatorand Sustainer of the universe, other important issues come up. In Sustainer of the universe, other important issues come up. particular, perhaps the most important question a person can ask particular, perhaps the most important question person can ask himself is: What should be my relationship with that one creator? This is: What shouldbe relationship that one creator?This leads directly into the next topic of Allah being the only one worthy leads directly into the next topic of being the one worthy and deserving of worship. and deserving worship. of The Belief that Allah Must Be the Only Object of Vorship Belief Be the Object Worship It is of extreme importance to realize that believing in the is of extreme importanceto realize that believing the existence of only one Creator and Sustainer is not all there is when it existence of one Creatorand Sustainer notis there is when comes to the Islamic concept of "belief in God." Actually, recognizing comesto the Islamic conceptof God." Actually, recognizing that fact is something that should be beyond question and clear to all that fact is somethingthat should be beyond questionand clear to as, again, it is something natural in human souls. The far more as, again, is something natural human souls. The far more important and subtler issue is what one then does concerning one's important and subtler issue is what one then does concerningone's belief in only one Creator and Sustainer. one Creatorand Sustainer. Perhapsa couple examples make this point clearer. Perhaps a couple of examples will make this point clearer. First, Allah's creation points to His greatness as well as His great First, creation points to His greatness as as His great knowledge. In general, a person's attitude toward that which they find knowledge. general,a person'sattitudetoward that which they find to be perfect, great and marvelous is usually one of awe, respect and to be perfect,great and marvelousis usually one awe, respectand honor. Furthermore, the greatness of the Creator cannot be compared honor. Furthermore,the greatness the Creator cannot be compared to the inability one who cannotcreate. this point, God says, to the inability of one who cannot create. On this point, God says, "Do On they attribute as partners to Allah those who created nothing but they they attribute as partners those creatednothing but they are created?"(7:l9l). God also says,"Can the One who themselves are created?" (7: 191). God also says, "Can the One who themselves you learn the creates and the one who cannot create be equal? Don't you learn the createsand the one who cannotcreatebe equal? lesson?"?(16: 17). ) . l e s s o n ("1 6 : 1 7 9
  11. 11. In addition, though, Allah is the source of all of one's addition, though, the source of of one's bounties and blessings.Indeed, He is the source of one's life and bounties and blessings. Indeed, the source of one's and everything that has been preparedin this creation for him. Thus, Allah everything has been prepared creation Thus, Allah saysin the Quran,"If you count the Blessingsof Allah, neverwill you says the Quran, "If count the Blessings of never will be able to count thetn" (la:34). Can humans actually bring about able count them" (14:34). Can humans actually about these bounties themselves without the aid and help of Allah? Allah thesebountiesfor themselves without the and help of Allah? 'Tell gives anotherexamplewhen He says,"Say (to the disbelievers), gives another example when says, the disbelievers), 'Tell me, if Allah took away your hearing and your sight, and sealedup me, if Allah away hearing and sight, and sealed your hearts,who is there -a god other than Allah-who could restore hearts, there -a other than Allah-who restore them you?' See variously explain the lessons, yet they turn them to you?' Seehow variouslyWe explain the lessons, they turn aside" (6:46). aside"(6:46). logical one then be disrespectful, neglectful and Is it logical for one then to be disrespectful, neglectful and arrogant towards the One and Only God? Indeed, cart the attifude arrogant towards the One and God? Indeed, can the attitude toward that One great and marvelous being who bestowed such toward that One great and marvelous being bestowed such bounties be anything humility, humbleness, gratefulness, bounties be anythingbut humility, humbleness, gratefulness, love and love and devotion? devotion? These two examples, of Allah's creative power and These examples, of creative power and knowledge and of Allah's solitarily bestowingof bounties,should be knowledgeand of solitarily bestowing of bounties, should be sufficient to demonstrate the point that Allah alone has the right to be sufficient demonstrate the that alone has the loved, honored and worshipped. This is a point that Allah makes loved, honored and worshipped. is a that makes numerous times in the Quran in various ways while speaking to those numeroustimes the Quran various ways speaking those recognizethat there could be one creatorand at the same who recognize that there could be only one creator and yet at the same time they ignore Him and worship false gods and false objects of time they ignore and worship false gods and false objects worship. Thus, example, says, "Say [to the polytheists], worship. Thus, for example, Allah says, "Say [to the polytheists], 'Whose is the earth and whososveris therein?If you know!'They 'Whose is the earth and whosoever is therein? If you know!' They 'Will you not then receive say, 'It is will say, 'It is Allah's!' Say [then to them], 'Will you not then receive Say [thento them], admonition?'" (23:84-85). admonition? (23:84-85). "' alone who has the knowledge Just as important, it is Allah alone who has the knowledge Just as important, is neededto provide guidance.The false objects worship cannot do needed to provide guidance. The false objects of worship cannot do says,"Say: 'Is there your (so-called) this in the least. Thus, Allah says, "Say: 'Is there of your (so-called) this in the least.Thus, 'It Who guidesto partners one that guides to the truth?' Say: 'It is Allah Who guides to partnersone that guidesto the truth?' Say: is the truth. Is then He, Who gives guidance to the truth, more worthy to the truth. Is then He, Who gives guidanceto the truth, more to he who finds not guidance (himself) unless he is be followed, or he who finds not guidance (himself) unless he is be followed, judge you?' guided? Then, what is the matter with you? How judge you?' And guided? Then, what is the matter with you? Certainly,conjecturecan most of them follow nothing but conjecture. Certainly, conjecture can most them follow nothing but conjecture. be of no avail againstthe truth. Surely, Allah is All-Aware of what be of no avail against the truth. Surely, Allah is All-Aware of what theyydo" (10:35-36). ). th e do" ( 10: 35- 36 100 1
  12. 12. From the above-and from numerous other arguments and From the above-and from numerous other argumentsand proofs scatteredthroughout the Quran-one should conclude that proofs scattered throughout the Quran-one should conclude that there is nothing worthy of worship except Allah. Consequently, if there is nothing worthy of worship except Allah. Consequently, if there is nothing worthy of worship except Allah, it is rational for the there is nothing of worship except rational the individual to insist that he worships no one other than Allah. This is individual to insist that he worshipsno one other than Allah. This is actually the key message of all of Islam and the message that all of the acruallythe key message all of Islam and the message of that the prophetspreached. prophets preached. At this point, though, it is important to clarify the meaning of this point, though, is importantto clarify the meaning this term "worship" from an Islamic perspective. The word translated this term an Islamic perspective.The translated as "worship" here is the Quranic and Arabic term ibaadah. This term as here the Quranic and term ibaadah. term has very different connotations from the English word "worship." has different connotations the English The root of the word "worship" in English means "to honor" The root of the word "worship" English means honor" and, thus, can be further defined English as, performance and, thus, it can be further defined in English as, "the performance of devotional acts in honor of a deity.,,1 But, as Bilal Philips notes, devotionalacts honor of a deity."r But, as Philips notes, However, in the language of the final revelation, Arabic, However, the languageof the revelation,Arabic, worship is called 'ibqadah which is derivedfrom the worship is called 'ibaadah which is derived from the noun 'abd meaning noun 'abd meaning "a slave." A slave is one who is slave." slave is one is expected to do whatever his master wills. Consequently, expected do whateverhis masterwills. Consequently, worship accordingto the final revelationmeans"obedient worship according to the final revelation means "obedient submission to the will of God." This was the essence of submissionto the of God." This was the esseuce the message of all the prophets sent by God to the message the prophets sent God to humankind. For example,this understanding worship humankind. For example, this understanding of worship of was emphatically expressed by Prophet Jesus in the was emphatically expressed Prophet Jesus the Gospel accordingto Matthew, T:21, "None of thosewho Gospel according to Matthew, 7:21, "None of those who call me 'Lord' call me 'Lord' will enter the kingdom of God, but only enter the kingdom of God, only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.,,2 the one who doesthe Father heaven."2 Thus, this aspect of monotheism-the belief in Allah as the Thus, this aspectof monotheisnr-the as the only object of worship-goes well beyond the concept of worship as object of worship-goes beyond the concept of worship as understood many the West, particular. understood by many in the West, in particular. This aspect of Islamic monotheism comprises ritual acts of This aspect Islanric monotheismcomprisesritual acts of devotion as well as the feelings in the heart and the deeds of the devotion as as the feelings the heart and the deeds the physical body. The feelings the heart include putting physical body. The feelings in the heart include putting all of one's one's trust and reliance in Him alone, having utmost fear of Him alone, trust and reliance alone, having utmost fear of alone, having utmost hope in Him alone, having contentment with Him as having utmost hope alone, having contentment as God and Creator and so forth. and Creator and so forth. ' al Fatah, 1995),p. 40. eilal enitip s, ThePurpose of Creation (Sharjah, 1 Bilal Philips, The Purpose ofCreation (Sharjah, UAE: Dar al Fatah, 1995), p. 40. t Bilal Philips, The PUlpose, pp. 41-42. 2 Philips, ThePurpose,pp. 4l-42. 11l 1
  13. 13. In fact, there are two aspects in particular that must be fact, there are aspects particular that must be combined in the worship of Allah. AI-Saadi stated, combined the worship of Allah. Al-Saadi stated, The spirit and actuality of worship is by the realization of The and actuality of worship is the realization of love and submission to Allah. Complete love and full love and submission Complete love and submission to Allah is the reality of worship. If the act of submission the reality of worship. If the act of worship is missing both or one of those components, it is worship is missing both one of those components, is not truly an act of worship, for the reality of worship is an act of worship, the reality of worship is found submission and yielding to Allah. found in submission and yielding to Allah. And that will that only occur if there is complete and full love [for Allah] occur if there is complete and love [for which dominates all other expressions of love. 1 which dominates other expressions love.r all of From the above, it is clear that the belief in Allah as the only the above, is clear that the as the particular, there are a object of worship has many meanings to it. In particular, there are a object of worship has many meanings it. that must be solely "dedicated number of aspects of life that must be solely "dedicated to" Allah. number of aspectsof Without an understanding of this fact, one has failed to grasp the an understandingof this fact, one has failed grasp the reality of the statement, "There is none worthy of worship except of the statement, "There is none of worship except Allah." A brief explanation of these aspects should make this concept explanationof theseaspectsshould make this concept clearer. clearer. First, all ritual acts of worship must be directed solely to Allah First, acts of worship must be directed solely alone. Prayers, fasting, pilgrimage, alms and so forth must be done alone. Prayers, fasting, pilgrimage, alms and so forth must be done solely with the intent of pleasing Allah and as acts of worship towards solely the intent of pleasing and as acts of worship towards alone. Thus, example, if anyone prays anyone other than Him alone. Thus, for example, if anyone prays to anyone other than he is actually the principles of worshipping Allah, he is actually violating the principles of worshipping no one one other than Allah. other than Second, ultimate authority in life rests with Allah. In other Second, ultimate authority rests other words, one must submit oneself only to the commands and revelation words, one must submit oneself the commandsand revelation coming from Allah. He is the Creator and He has the right to lay down coming is the Creatorand has the legislation and laws for the guidance of humankind. Intentionally legislation and laws the guidance of humankind. Intentionally ignoring or arrogantly superseding the laws from God means that one ignoring arrogantly superseding laws the God meansthat one is not truly submitting to God and, thus, one is not taking Him as the is submitting God and, thus, one is taking as the only object of worship and submission. object of worship and submission. Third, one's loves, loyalties, likes and dislikes must be in Third, one's loves, loyalties, likes and dislikes must be accord with what Allah has revealed. This aspect flows from the heart accord has revealed. aspect the heart when it is truly filled with the belief in, love of and adoration for when is the love of and adoration Allah alone. This is a simple concept but it has far-reaching alone. is a simple concept has far-reaching implications. The completeness of faith requires that Allah is the most implications. The completeness faith requiresthat of the most I Quoted in Muhammad al-Hammad, Tauheed al-Uloohiyah (Dar ibn Khuzaima, 1414 I Muhammad al-Hamnrad,Tauheedal-Uloohiyafi Khuzaima,l4l4 Quoted A.H.), ,p.. 26. . A.H.) p 26 t2 12
  14. 14. beloved thing in one's heart-He is the beloved of soul. When this beloved thing in one's heart-He is the beloved of soul. When this fact permeatesthe human, he begins to love what his beloved loves fact permeates the human, he begins to love what his beloved loves and dislike what his beloveddislikes.Thus, if Allah is found to love and dislike what his beloved dislikes. Thus, if Allah is found to love something,the devoted worshipper and servant also loves that thing. something, devoted worshipper servant also Conversely, if Allah is found to detest something-although He has Conversely, if Allah detest something-although has created it and put it in this world as a test for humans and made it created it put it as test humans made it available to them-the devoted worshipper and servant will also available them-the devoted worshipper and servant will also detest detestthat thing. Although acceptingAllah as the only object of worship is the accepting Allah as the of the essentialaspect of true monotheism, is a conceptthat is not always essential aspectof true monotheism, it concept that always understood or practiced properly. This is a real loss for humans understood practiced properly. real loss humans becauseit is this aspectof monotheismthat is the key to a "real life", a because aspect of monotheism that the key sound and proper. life that is sound and proper. Ibn Taimiya wrote,wrote, You must know that a human's need for AllaF- that he must that human's need Allah- that he worship and associate any partner with Hirn--is worship Him and not associate any partner Him-is an incomparableneed unlike any other. In some ways, it an incomparable need any other. some ways, food and drink. resembles the need of the body for food and drink. resembles the need of the However, there are many differences between the two. However, there are many differences between the two. The reality of human being is his heart and soul. The reality of a human being is in his heart and soul. These cannot be prosperous except through [their These cannot be prosperous except through relation] Allah, conceming there is no other relation] with Allah, concerning whom there is no other anything other than god... If someone worships anything other than If someon€ worships if he loves and attains some love Allab--even if he loves it and attains some love in this Allalr-ven this world and some form of pleasure from that-[that false and some pleasure that{that false worship] destroythe person a greaterthan the worship] will destroy the person in a way greater than the harmful displeasure that comes to a person who took harmful displeasurethat comes to a person who took pOlson .... .r. . I poison enoughthat the belief in only Again, it cannot be emphasized enough that the belief in only Again, cannotbe emphasized the universeis not all there is to a proper one Creator and Sustainer of the universe is not all there is to a proper one Creator and Sustainer belief in God. Throughout history, it has been the case that some belief in God. Throughout history, it has been the case that some people stopped at this clear premise and thought that such was all people stopped at this clear premise and thought that such was all in God. Nothing could be further from the there was to the belief in God. Nothing could be further from the there was to the is definitely necessarybut it is not sufficient. That truth. That belief is definitely necessary but it is not sufficient. That truth. That belief belief must be followed up with the proper relations,emotionsof the belief must be followed up with the proper relations, emotions of the I Ahmad lbn Taimiya, Majmoo Fatawaa Shaikh al-Islaam ibn Taimiya (Collected by 1 Ahmad Ibn Taimiya, Majmoo Fatawaa Shaikh al-Islaam ibn Taimiya (Collected by Abdul Rahmaan Qaasim and his son Muhammad. No publication information given), Abdul Rahmaan Qaasim and his son Muhammad. No publication infonnation given), vol. I, pp. 24-29. vol. l, pp.24-29. 133 1
  15. 15. heart and acts with respect to Allah. It is by these acts that one truly heart and acts respect is these acts that one takes the Creator as his only "God," meaning his only object of takes the Creator as his "Cod," meaning object of extremelove, adorationand submission. so doing, he deniesthat extreme love, adoration and submission. In so doing, he denies that deserves be worshipped any way. Then, anyone other than Allah deserves to be worshipped in any way. Then, anyone other than and then, he will be fulfilling what and only then, he will be fulfilling what it truly means to believe in means believe God. God. sum, basedon the preceding:(1) the human should desire In sum, based on the preceding: (1) the human should desire greatness and perfection and the fact that to worship Allah due to His greatness and perfection and the fact that worship due He is the only Creator, Bestower and Sustainer; (2) Allah alone has is the Creator, Bestower and Sustainer; alone has these attributes just described and hence He alone deserves to be these attributes describedand hence He alone deservesto be worshipped; and (3) the human should refrain worshipped; and (3) the human should refrain from worshipping worshipping anything other than Allah in any shape or form. anything other than any shape form. There is one that needs be added There is one final but important point that needs to be added important at the end of these two sections: Since the signs for the true belief in at the end of these sections:Since the signs the true human nature, the physical surroundings, God are so strong (in human nature, in the physical surroundings, in are so strong the messagestaught the prophets throughout the ages) the messages taught by the prophets throughout the ages) it is is completely unacceptable rationally and religiously to worship anyone completely unacceptable rationally and religiously worship anyone other than God. Therefore, associating partners with God l or refusing other than God. Therefore,associatingpartners Godr refusing worship God is a sin whose enormity and arroganceis so great that to worship God is a sin whose enormity and arrogance is so great that if one dies such a state, not forgive that sin. if one dies in such a state, Allah will not forgive that sin. Allah has has clearly stated, forgives that partners should be set clearly stated, "Verily, Allah forgives not that partners should be set up worship, He forgives except that (anything else) up with him in worship, but He forgives except that (anything else) to pleases, and whoever sets up partners whom He pleases, and whoever sets up partners with Allah in (4:a8). worship, he has indeed invented a tremendous sin" (4:48). worship,he has indeedinventeda tremendous Belief in Allah's Names and Attributes Belief Namesand Attributes To truly be devoted to Allah and to love Allah above all else be devoted and love above else have knowledge about imaginable one needs to have knowledge about Allah that goes imaginable one needs that goes beyond the basic aspects of Him being the sole Creator and Sustainer. beyond the basic aspects of being the sole Creatorand Sustainer. grace and mercy, Through His revelation and by His grace and mercy, Allah has Through revelation and has revealed a great deal of information about Himself, such that any truth revealeda great deal of information about Himself, such that any truth seeker can know and worship his Lord based on accurate knowledge. seekercan and worship his based accurateknowledge. Muslims are blessed to find Allah's names and attributes Muslims are blessed to names and attributes mentioned throughout the Quran. For example, Allah says, "He is mentioned throughout the Quran. example, says, is rAssociating partners with Allah means coupling the worship of God with the worship Associating partners I Allah n^reanscouplingthe worship Cod theworslrip of idols, trees, animals, graves, heavenly bodies, natural powers, and so on. It also of idols, trees, animals, graves, heavenly bodies, natural powers, and so on. also means the acceptance individuals prophets as gods, the pretencethat means the acceptance of individuals or prophets as gods, or the pretence that Almighty of God has sons and daughters. See Tabbarah, p. 47. Cod has sons and daughters.SeeTabbarah,p. 47. 14 t4
  16. 16. Allah other than Whom there is none who has the right to be Allah other than Whom there is none who has the right to be worshipped, the King, the Holy, the One Free from all defects, the worshipped, the King, the Holy, the Free from all defects, the Giver of security, the Watcher over His creafures,the All-Mighty, the of security, the Watcher over His creatures, the All-Mighty, the Compeller,the Supreme.Glory be to Allah! (High is He) above all Compeller, the Supreme. above that they associate partnerswith Him. He is Allah, the Creator,the that they associate as partners as the Creator, the Inventor of all things,the Bestowerof forms. To Him belong the Best Inventor of things, the Bestower of forms. belong the Best Names. All that is in the heavens the earthglorify Him. And He is Names. All that the heavens and the earth and All-Mighty, All-Wise" (59:23-24). the All-Mighty, the All-Wise" (59:23-24). From the Quran and statementsof the Prophet (peace and the Quran and statements of the Prophet (peace and blessingsof Allah be upon him) one can learn the following about blessings of upon one can learn the about the Compassionate, Ever Mercifulr, Ever Allah: Allah is the Most Compassionate, Merciful!, Forgiving, Ever accepting of repentance, Ever Patient,Pardoningand Forgiving, Ever acceptingof repentance, Ever Patient, Pardoning and Loving. He is the Generous,the Magnanimous,the Bestower and the Generous, Magnanimous, the Bestower and the Clement. He respondsto those who call upon Him and He is the Clement. responds those call upon and is the Rescuer. is the Glorious,the Great,the deserver all Praise,Lord Rescuer. He the Glorious, the Great, the deserver of of Praise, of all creation,Master of the Day of Judgmentand the Judge of the of creation, Master of the of Judgment and the Judge of the Final reckoning. He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing, the Final reckoning. He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing, the All- is the Ever Strong, Ever Capable, Knowing and the All-Wise. He is the Ever Strong, Ever Capable, and the All-Wise. Almighty. He is the Self-Sufficient, free of any need and provider of Almighty. is the Self-Sufficient, free of any need and provider of is the Exalted and the Most High. He is the all sustenance. He is the Exalted and the Most High. He is the all sustenance. Watcher over affairs and the Protector. is administering the Watcher over all affairs and the Protector. He is administering the forbidding,being pleased, affairs of His creation, commanding, forbidding, being pleased, being affairs His creation,commanding, being angered, rewarding, punishing, giving, withholding, honoring, angered, rewarding, punishing, giving, withholding, honoring, debasing. He does whatever He wills. He is attributed with every debasing.He does whatever He wills. He is attributed every attribute of perfection and free of even the tiniest amount of attribute perfection and free even the tiniest amount irnperfection shortcoming.Greatly exalted and perfect is He above imperfection or shortcoming. Greatly exalted and perfect is He above all that they associate with Him. even an atom moves save His all that they associate with Him. Not even an atom moves save by His will and permission. and permission. Himself is a great This wonderful information about Allah Himself is a great This wonderful information about blessing for humankind. God Himself has revealed sufficient blessing for hurnankind. God Himself has revealed sufficient that humankind need not stray or be information about Himself that humankind need not stray or be information about confused. confused. On this point, though, there is somethingvery clear in the On this point, though, there is something very clear in the Quran: There is absolutely no hint of any trace of anthropomorphism Quran: There is absolutelyno hint of any traceof anthropomorphism I awareof Allah and of thesetwo of His namesin particular. I Muslims remain constantly aware of Allah and of these two of His names in particular. Muslims remainconstantly Before beginning virtually any act, a Muslim states,"ln the nanreof Allah, the Most Before beginning virtually any act, a Muslim states. "In the name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Ever Merciful." Compassionate, Ever Merci ful." the l5 15
  17. 17. in the Islamic beliefs about God. This is a point concerning which the Islamic beliefs about God. This is a point concerningwhich many earlier peoples have strayed. The Creator and the created are many earlier peoples have strayed. The Creator and the created are separate and distinct. The attributes of Allah are perfect attributes that separate and distinct. The attributesof are perfect attributesthat are becoming of holiness and greatness. are becoming of His holiness and greatness. Even when there is some Even when there some "common concept" between an attribute of Allah and an attribute of "common concept" between an attribute of and an attribute of humans, there is actually no similarity in the quality of the two. Thus, humans,there actually no similarity the quality of the two. Thus, says the Quran,"There is nothing like unto Allah Himself says in the Quran, "There is nothing like unto Him, and and is the All-Hearer, the All-Seeing" (42:ll). Here, there is a He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seeing" (42: 11). Here, there is a complete denial of anthropomorphism while at the same time complete denial of anthropomorphism at the same time affirming that Allah hears and sees. Muslims always realize Allah's affirming that hearsand sees.Muslims always realize perfection while never belittling Him by describing Him in perfection while never belittling describing unbecoming manners. God does not have human-like attributes nor do unbecoming manners. God doesnot have human-likeattributes nor do humans have Divine attributes. Any violation of this latter principle is humanshave Divine attributes. violation this latter principle is clear disbelief and associating of partners with Allah. cleardisbeliefand associating partners Allah. From the history of humankind, it can be argued that it is the history of humankind, can be argued that is natural for humans to worship. They want to have a god that they can natural humansto worship. They want have a god that they can worship and adore. They know that there must be something special worship and adore. They that there must be something special and great about that and great about that thing which they humble themselves to. they hurnble themselves to. However, so many of them put their hopes, trust, dreams and However, so many of them hopes, trust, dreams and aspirations in things that are simply not deserving of such respect or aspirations things that are sin-rply deserving of such respect worship-whether it be forces of nature, inanimate objects, other worship-whether be forces of nature, inanimeiteobjects, other humans, materialism, nations, race, whatever. They force themselves humans, materialism, nations, race, whatever. They force themselves to believe that these false objects of worship can bring about what believe that these false objects of worship can about they hope for and what they are dreaming of. In other words, they they hope and they are dreaming of. other words, they begin to give their false objects of worship the attributes of God. begin to give their false objects worship the attributes God. Instead of turning to God and knowing God by His attributes-and Instead of rurning God and God attributes-and then realizing that He is the One they are truly looking for-they turn then realizing that He is the One they are for-they to other objects of worship, love and adoration. Due to this, they stray to other objects of worship, love and adoration.Due this, they stray the straightpath and very far from the straight path and from their true God. true God. numerousplaces, speaksabout such gross errors. In numerous places, Allah speaks about such gross errors. The source of these errors is an incorrect belief about the attributes of The sourceof theseerrors is an incorrect aboutthe attributes of those that they turn to while ignoring the attributes that reside with those that they turn ignoring the attributes that reside Allah. example, says, "Say [O Muhammad mankind], Allah. For example, Allah says, "Say [0 Muhammad to mankind], 'How do you worship besides 'How do you worship besides Allah something which has no power somethingwhich has no power either to harm or to benefit you? But it is Allah Who is the All- either to harm to benefit you? is is the Hearer, All-Knower"' (5:76). Hearer, All-Knower'" (5:76). Allah also says, "And who is more also says, is more astray than one who calls (invokes) besidesAllah, such as astray than one who calls (invokes) besides Allah, such as will not not answer the Day of Resurrection, and are (even)unaware answer him till the Day of Resurrection, and who are (even) unaware 16 16
  18. 18. of their calls (invocations) them? when mankind are gathered of their calls (invocations) to them? And when mankind are gathered to (on the they (falsedeities) (on the Day of Resurrection), they (false deities) will become enemies Resurrection), becomeenemies deny their worshipping"(46:5-6). for them and will deny their worshipping" (46:5-6). them and In sum, if one truly knows the names and attributes of Allah, sum, if one knows the namesand attributesof one would never tum to worship anyone or anything but Him. None one would never turn to worship anyone anything but None of those false objects of worship are deserving of worship. By of those false objects of worship are deserving of worship. worshipping them and seeking them, humans are doing nothing but worshipping them and seeking them, humans are doing nothirrg debasing themselves. Worse of all, they are ignoring Allah, equating debasingthemselves. Worse all, they are ignoring equating partners wrath and preparing partners with Him, earning His wrath and preparing for themselves an earning themselvesan evil end. end. Summary Summary The proper belief in Allah is the essence and cornerstone of The proper the essence and cornerstone the Islamic faith. It is the key-the key to blessed life, the key to the Islamic faith. is the key-the blessed the proper proper living, the key to understanding reality, the key to happiness the understandingreality, the happiness and peace. When the person. truly knows Allah, he will recognize that and peace.When the person knows he will recognizethat it does not make any sense to worship anything other than Him. He does not make any senseto worship anything other than Him. will realize that this is what his soul has been created for and this is realize that this is what his soul has been created and this is what it has been seeking. Once he realizes the beauty of worshipping has been seeking.Once he realizesthe beauty of worshipping Allah alone, he will never desire or wish to worship anyone other than alone,he neverdesire wish to worship anyoneother than Him. His soul will be a rest and his heart will be tranquil. soul be a rest and his heart be tranquil. t7 17
  19. 19. Universe Humans The Universeand Humans of Universe How it Points Allah's The Creation of the Universe and How it Points to Allah's Existence Existence The universe is made up of various parts. There are the universe made of various parts. There are the galaxies and solar systems that are above earth. earth, there are galaxies and solar systemsthat are above earth. On earth, there are inanimate objects, such as the mountains, oceans and land. There inanimate objects, such as the mountains, oceansand land. There is also the animal kingdom with all its great varieties.There are aspects also the animal its great varieties. There are aspects of creation that humans are discovering and coming across today. of creation that humansare still discoveringand coming acrosstoday. All of these are actually part of the creative of God. All of these are actually part of the creative work of God. In the the Quran, it is clear that it was Allah Who createdthe heavensand the Quran, clear that was created the heavens and the earth. earth. In numerous verses of the Quran, Allah points to different numerous verses of the Quran, points different aspects of the creation and describes them as signs for those people aspectsof the creation and describesthem as signs those people who reflect. For example, Allah says, "Verily! In the creation of the reflect. example, says, the creationof the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, and the heavensand the earth, and the alternationof and day, and the ships which sail through the sea with that which is of use to mankind, shipswhich sail throughthe sea that which of use mankind, and the water (rain) and the water (rain) which Allah sends down from the sky and makes sends the and makes the earth alive therewith after its death, and the moving (living) the earth alive therewith after its death, and the creatures of all kinds that He has scattered therein, and in the veering creaturesof kinds that has scatteredtherein, and the veering of winds and clouds which are held between the sky and the earth, are of winds and clouds are held betweenthe and the earth, are indeedsigns people understanding" (Z:ftfl. indeed signs for people of understanding" (2:164). In the hustle and bustle of today's world, many find little the hustle and bustle of today's many time to reflect upon this creation, their presence in this creation and time to reflect upon this creation,their presence this creationand any purposebehind all. However, is important that people take the any purpose behind it all. However, it is important that people take the time to reflect and think. When they do so, they will find signs and reflect and think. When they do so, they signs and lessons that will bring them straight back to God-a most important lessonsthat will them straight back God-a most important step in their lives. The signs are actually all around them, if they step in their lives. The signs are actually all around them, if they would only reflect upon them. Thus, God says, "We will show them would only reflect upon them. Thus, God says, show them Our Signs in the universe, and in their own selves, until it becomes Signs in the universe,and their own selves,until becomes manifestto them that this is the trutlt" (41:53). manifest to them that this is the truth" (41 :53). Reflecting upon the intricacy and order of this creation Reflecting upon the intricacy and order this creation makes one realize that not only must there be a wise Creator but also makes one realize that must there be a wise Creator also that there must be some purpose behind this creation. It is that there nrust be some purpose behind this creation. is unimaginable that any being would make something with such unimaginable that any being would make something such precision and perfection and yet there would be no rhyme or reason to precision and perfection and yet there be no rhyme reasonto the whole creation. This is a point that Allah makes in numerous the whole creation. This is a point that Allah makes in numerous places in the Quran. For example,Allah says, "'We creatednot the places in the Quran. For example, Allah says, '''We created not the 18 l8
  20. 20. heavensand the earth and all that is betweenthem for a (mere)play" heavens and the earth and that between them (mere) ( 2 1: l 6 ) . (21: 16). The Quranic argumentis that it is not logically possibleto The Quranic argument that logically possible come any other conclusion. Indeed, if person believes come to any other conclusion.Indeed,if a personbelievesin God as God as the Creator, by definition it is unbecoming of such a noble and great the Creator, unbecoming of such noble and great Being to createall of this order and beauty and yet have no purpose Being create of this order and beauty and yet have purpose behind that creation. A person believes creator yet believes behind that creation.A personwho believesin a creatoryet believes that creator had purpose thought behind that this creator had no purpose or thought behind his creation is creation describinga creator that is childlike and unintelligent.It is hard to describing creator that childlike and unintelligent. hard believe that creator like that could possibly come believe that a creatorlike that could possiblycome up with a creation creation the one that everyone witnesses today. indeed, the creation like the one that everyone witnessestoday. No, indeed, the creation points to certain attributes of the Creator and it points to there being points certain attributesof the Creator and points there being an important and great purposebehind this entire creation. The whole an important and great purpose behind this entire creation.The whole nature of the existence points to the Creator being one of very special nature of the existencepoints the Creator being one of special character who would not create anything of this nature for fun or character create anything of this nature without reason. without reason. A second very important conclusion that one can derive by second important conclusion that one can derive simply pondering over this creation is that the one who created tlIis simply pondering over this creationis that the one who createdthis nothing can easily recreateit. If has the re-create from nothing can easily recreate it. If He has the ability to re-create things even after their demise, this also means that He has the ability things even after demise,this also meansthat has the to resurrect them and bring them all in front of Him. This thought, resuruect them and bring them all front This thought, obviously, has very ominous repercussions for humans and their obviously, has very ominous repercussions humans and their behavior in this world. Thus, Allah points out this fact and reminds behavior this world. Thus, points out this fact and reminds humans of its meaning throughout the Quran. humans its meaningthroughoutthe Quran. For For example, example, says, he fthe human] puts forth Us a parable,and Allah says, "And he [the human] puts forth for Us a parable, and creation.He says, 'Who give forgets his own creation. He says, 'Who will give life to these bones forgets his thesebones became dust?' Say (to them O when they have rotted away and became dust?' Say (to them 0 when they have rotted away and 'He Muhammad), 'He will give life to them Who created them for the first give to them Who created them for the hrst Muhammad), time! FIe is the of every creation! He, Who time! And He is the All-Knower of every creation! He, Who produces for you fire out of the green tree, when behold, You kindle produces you fire out the greentree, when behold, kindle therewith. Is not He, Who created the heavens and the earth Able to therewith. Is not He. createdthe heavensand the earth to create the like of them? Yes, indeed! He is the All-Knowing Supreme createthe like them?Yes, indeed!He is the Supreme Creator." (36:78-83). Creator." (36:78-83). Thus, this creation is a clear sign-when added to the fact Thus, this creation is a clear sign-when added the fact that there must be a purpose behind this creation-of the that there must be a purpose behind this creation-of the Resurrection. The concept of the Resurrection is not something that Resurrection. The concept the Resurrection not somethingthat is violates nature but it is completely consistent with nature. violatesnaturebut is completelyconsistent nature. r9 19
  21. 21. In reality, the one who negatesthe resurrectionis expecting that Allah will treat the wrongdoerslike the pious people. This is an unbecomingexpectation Allah. Allah makesit clear that such will of never be the case,highlighting that such thoughts can only come from those who disbelievein God. Allah says, "And We creatednot the heaven and the earth and all that is between them without purpose! That is the considerationof those who disbelieve! Then woe to those who disbelievefrom the Fire! Shall We treat those who believe and do righteousgood deedslike the evildoers on earth?Or shall We treat the pious like the wicked?" (38:27-28). After so many signs in the creation and so many reminders and lessonsin the revelationone must ask: What will be the human's excuseif he does not respondin the proper manner to the evidenceall aroundhim? Humans and the Creation There is somethingdistinct and special about this creation known as humans.However, the original, physical creation of the first human was not greatly different from the creation of the other creaturesof this world. According to the Quran, the physical make-up of the first human, Adam, was from clay and water, two of the already created substancesof this cosmos. It is in the next stage of the creation of the first human, Adam, in which the real distinction occurred. At this point, hununs are made a very separateand unique creature,combining a physical aspectand a special spiritual aspect that God bestowed on them. In fact, this is what makes them very different from the other living creafures this sameplanet. on Among the most prominent distinguishing featuresof human beingsare the following: (1) A sound,natural dispositionthat is ready and capableto be directedto the belief in Allah alone as tlre object of worship; (2) An ability to comprehendand understandmattersvia the intelligence and mind that Allah hasbestowed humans; on (3) A free will to decidebetweenthe path of goodness the or path of evil, as well as a limited free will to enact that choice that he has made; (4) A responsibilityfor the choiceshe has made,which is a necessary resultof being given free will and ability; 20 20
  22. 22. These are addition the fact mentioned (5) These are all in addition to the fact mentioned in the the of the resources of the creation have been subjugated to of Quran that all of the resources the creationhave beensubjugated Quran that his use. use. Given all of these specialcharacteristics, human should Given of these special characteristics, the human should the realize that he has a special and noble purpose and goal in this life. realize that he has special and noble purpose and goal this creation of humans and the special characteristics that humans The creation of humans and the special characteristicsthat humans possess should make each human realizethat the Creatoris too wise possess should make each human realize that the Creator is too wise create sport. "Did and lofty to createhim simply for sport. "Did you think that We had and that had created any purpose), and that createdyou in play (without any purpose),and that you would not be be brought back Us?" (23:115). broughtbackto Us?" (23:I l5). Indeed, even more than that, the great Creator Indeed, even more than that, the great Creator who createdcreated all the creatures and the humans would not leave humans without the creatures and the humans leave humans guidance and without showing them what to do and what not to do- guidanceand showing them do and do- He has even guided animals to the means of their survival. Thus, has even guided animals the means of their survival. Thus, rhetorically, says,"Does man think that he rhetorically, Allah says, "Does man think that he will be left neglected be neglected [without being commanded and also punished or rewarded for the [without being commandedand also punished rewarded the (Allah) on himl?" (75:36). obligatory duties enjoined by his Lord (Allah) on him]?" (75:36). obligatorydutiesenjoined his Hence, the human should realize that his actions in this life Hence, the human should realize that actions this have a real ramification to them. In this sense, nothing that he does is have real ramification them. this sense, nothing that he doesis meaningless or without consequences. His life has purpose here and meaningless without consequences. has purposehere and the Creator is ever aware of every action, thought, intention and the Creator is ever aware every action, thought, intention and movement that he makes. movementthat he makes. the human realize this point, It is extremely important for the human to realize this point, is extremely important that he has a purpose in this life. Indeed, this realization may be the that he has a pu{pose this life. Indeed,this realizationmay be the first step along a change of life in which one turns to his Great and first step along a changeof which one turns to his Great and Wonderful Creator, to submit to Him willfully. Without realizing this Wonderful Creator,to submit to Without realizingthis fact, there may be no need, meaning or purpose to behaving in a fact, there may be no need, meaning purpose to behaving in a specific manner. If nothing truly matters and if nothing is morally specific manner. If nothing matters and if nothing is nrorally wrong or right, since there is no God or real purpose to existence, it is wrong right, sincethere is no God real purposoto existence, is behave in any fashion they wish. There expected that people will behave in any fashion they wish. There expectedthat people should be a great and profound effect when a person's eyes are open should be a great and profound effect when a person's eyes are open to the reality of this creation, his purpose and role in it. to the reality this creation, purposeand role in it. his This author has had personal experience working in prisons This author has had personalexperience working prisons in the United States. Upon asking numerous inmates why they the United States. Upon asking numerous inmates they committed their crimes, the response was invariably, "Why not?" The committedtheir crimes,the response was invariably, not?" The only question to them was whether they could get away with an act question to them was whether they could get away an act and not get caught. There was no question of any responsibility and not get caught. There was no question any responsibility towards a Creator or any sense purpose this life. Indeed, one towards a Creator or any sense of purpose in this life. Indeed, one 21l 2
  23. 23. cannot argue much against their way of thinking if one is foolish cannot argue against of if one enough to believe that this existence is purposelessand by mere enough believe existence purposeless and mere chance. chance. As opposedto the Islamic beliefs,somepeopletoday believe opposed the Islamic beliefs, some people today believe humans are descended from animals in some evolutionary that humansare simply descended animals some evolutionary sense.In this way of thinking, humans are doubly a processof mere sense. of humans are process of mere materialist elements as well as descended from animals, materialist elementsas well as being directly descended animals, apes the closest relative. the fact that there are many apes being the closest relative. Ignoring the fact that there are many "missing links" and scientific doubts raised against the theory of and scientific doubts raised against the theory of evolution, could this possibly be what this great and grandeurcosmos evolution, possibly be this great and grandeur cosmos is all about? Could humans, who have been given so many about? humans, have been so many capabilities above and beyond the animals, nothing more than capabilities above and beyond the animals, be nothing more than animalswithout any noble purposeor Creatorto answerto? In reality, animals any noble purpose Creator answer to? reality, can concluded that seems completely it can be concludedthat this view seemsto be completely illogical and and potentially very harmful. potentially harmful. Some people also believe that the human soul inherently Some people also believe that the human soul is inherently the contrary,the ProphetMuhammad (peaceand blessings of evil. On the contrary, the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessingsof Allah be upon him) himself said, "Every child is born on the fitrah upon said, is the fitrah is his parents (the natural way, the religion of Islam). It is his parents who then (the natural way, the religion of Islam). then make him into a Jew, Christian or Magian."1 That is, far from the make Jew, Christian Magian."r That is, the being born inherently every is born upon the true child being born inherently evil, every child is born upon the true religion. is afterwards, the influence of society and religion. It is only afterwards, via the influence of family, society and environment, that an individual becomes influenced to environment, that an individual becomes influenced to follow paths paths that are not pure. that are pure. Many Christiansbelieve the concept the "original sin." Many Christians believe in the concept of the "original sin." This is the that the sin that Adam, the man, committed is This is the belief that the sin that Adam, the first man, committed is his progeny. Hence, is on the neck of every passed on through all of his progeny. Hence, it is on the neck of every passedon through all individual, even the newborn baby. The only way it could be individual, even the newborn baby. The could be removed-they claim-is God sending son as a sacrifice to removed-they claim-is by God sending His son as a sacrifice to remove this sin. This belief, especiallythe last part remove this sin. This belief, especially the last part of it, is obviously is obviously Islamic monotheism.God does not have completely inconsistent with Islamic monotheism. God does not have completely inconsistent a son. He has no equalsor anyonewho is in any fashion similar to a son. He has no equals or anyone who is in any fashion similar to or "related" to Him. "related" to is that Adam and Eve together did commit The Islamic belief is that Adam and Eve together did commit The Islamic a sin, by allowing themselves to be deceived by Satan. However, they a sin, allowing themselvesto be deceived Satan.However, they both repentedto God and God accepted their repentance. That was the both repented to God and God accepted their repentance. That was the t Recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim. 1 Recordedby al-Bukhari and Muslim. 22 22

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