Thursday, January 27, 2011

IMAN: To Affirm Your Faith To Allah

Assalamu'alaikum my brothers and sisters,

Today I'm going to talk about one of the six pillars of Iman or faith ehich is faith to Allah.
Perhaps some of you might think why do I bring this up.

"Come on! Its basic stuff why bother I already know 'bout it!"

So they say,
I'm talking about this because I want for people who wishes to know Islam get what they want, which is to know, and for Muslims who lack understanding of the matter which could be said a majority of us, to understand better.

Now, Allah.
Who is He?
Where is He?
How do we know He exist?

There are answers for all these questions in the al-Quran and as-Sunnah.

First off, Allah is the one true God for the whole universe, He creates the universe and the earth and even us humans and He controls all that He controls which is everything.

Say, "He is Allah , [who is] One, Allah , the Eternal Refuge. He neither begets nor is born, Nor is there to Him any equivalent." (Al-Ikhlas 112:1-4)

This is a surah from the al-Quran, short, but it tells clearly about Allah.
Allah is one there is no other besides him. Allah is the refuge for His creations, the one whom human ask help from. Allah is not born nor  give birth, he exist now, before, in the future and forever without beginning and without end. And there is nothing that equals as Allah, nothing could even compare or even come close to Allah as Allah is God and He has limitless possibilities and he has no weakness as us humans have.

now to affirm your faith to Allah, you must admit with your heart and mind that Allah is as stated above is perfect, His words is the al-Quran and it too is perfect and obligatory for Muslims to follow. His rules and His wisdom is told within al-Quran and it is obligatory for us to acknowledge and perform to His rules and admit Allah's wisdom that far surpass time and space. 

Allah also has 99 magnificent names which by its meaning told of Allah limitless capabilities. 
Since I'm too lazy to write all of the names, I'm going to put a link to a site that shows all of Allah's name:

As a Muslim one should never ever rely on other than Allah, for example;
  1. You are in trouble of money and you would resort to illegal means in order to get the money. This is wrong in Islam, as a Muslim you should pray to Allah for help and never give up and while you're at it you must work hard through legal means with hope that Allah will give richness to you.
  2. You are ill and you are taking medications and hope completely on the medication to cure you. In a way this is wrong, it is permissible and obligatory to search for medicines and cure when one is ill, but to rely and hope that the medicine would cure you is not permissible, as in with Allah's permission only that you will be able to cure from the illness.
  3. Love, that blinds one judgment, that makes two person to do illegal means to prove their love such as sex before marriage (adultery/zina). In Islam one must completely have faith in Allah as Allah is the only helper of mankind, Allah promise with His words in al-Quran that He would help those who get married as long as they act kindly toward each other and maintain the faith in them.
These are the example of things that contradict to having faith in Allah and it is called Syirik or in english associations, 
Allah pardons all sins except Syirik as mention in the al-Quran:

Indeed, Allah does not forgive association with Him, but He forgives what is less than that for whom He wills. And he who associates others with Allah has certainly fabricated a tremendous sin. (An-Nisa' 4:48)

Another matter that need to be discussed is the characteristic of Allah. There are some verses and Hadith that told the whereabouts of Allah, and it is clear as crystal and shouldn't be questioned further.

Indeed, your Lord is Allah , who created the heavens and earth in six days and then established Himself above the Throne. He covers the night with the day, [another night] chasing it rapidly; and [He created] the sun, the moon, and the stars, subjected by His command. Unquestionably, His is the creation and the command; blessed is Allah , Lord of the worlds. (Al-A'raf 7:54)

and in a Hadith it is said, 

Mu'awiya b. al-Hakam said: While I was praying with the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him), a man in the company sneezed. I said: Allah have mercy on you! The people stared at me with disapproving looks, so I said: Woe be upon me, why is it that you stare at me? They began to strike their hands on their thighs, and when I saw them urging me to observe silence (I became angry) but I said nothing. When the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) had said the prayer (and I declare that neither before him nor after him have I seen a leader who gave better instruction than he for whom I would give my father and mother as ransom). I swear that he did not scold, beat or revile me but said: Talking to persons is not fitting during the prayer, for it consists of glorifying Allah, declaring his Greatness. and recitation of the Qur'an or words to that effect. I said: Messenger of Allah. I was till recently a pagan, but Allah has brought Islam to us; among us there are men who have recourse to Kahins. He said, Do not have recourse to them. I said. There are men who take omens. That is something which they find in their breasts, but let it not turn their way (from freedom of action). I said: Among us there are men who draw lines. He said: There was a prophet who drew lines, so if they do it as they did, that is allowable. I had a maid-servant who tended goats by the side of Uhud and Jawwaniya. One day I happened to pass that way and found that a wolf had carried a goat from her flock. I am after all a man from the posterity of Adam. I felt sorry as they (human beings) feel sorry. So I slapped her. I came to the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) and felt (this act of mine) as something grievous I said: Messenger of Allah, should I not grant her freedom? He (the Holy Prophet) said: Bring her to me. So I brought her to him. He said to her: Where is Allah? She said: He is in the heaven. He said: Who am I? She said: Thou art the Messenger of Allah. He said: Grant her freedom, she is a believing woman. 

Mind you, these two proof said that Allah is at the sky on a throne.
now the problem is some group of people said that Allah is everywhere and Allah has no place clearly contradicts this proof and when asked of their proof, they show nothing. These proof is indeed a Mutasyabih (abstract) yet why do you think so much that you said something about Allah whereas neither Allah nor His prophets said about it?

This is dangerous, as long as you don't have proof don't go around saying something you are uncertain about it. If bad comes to bad, you have slander (fitnah) Allah and that is a mighty huge sin. 

The sahabat, the companions when they come across some revelations which are abstract, they utter:

"We are faithful to this verse and we remain silent about it."

Kinda like 'don't ask any questions' and for a good reason as mentioned above.
It is wise when you come across some abstract verse from the al-Quran don't interpret it using your mind, for the mind is limited to physical things and that could led you sin that you are not aware of.

Another thing could be said about the hands of Allah and any verse of the sort.

And do not trust except those who follow your religion." Say, "Indeed, the [true] guidance is the guidance of Allah . [Do you fear] lest someone be given [knowledge] like you were given or that they would [thereby] argue with you before your Lord?" Say, "Indeed, [all] bounty is in the hand of Allah - He grants it to whom He wills. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Wise." (Ali Imran 3:73)

In here it is said the hand of Allah, some scholar interpret it as the authority, or power of Allah. They could be right, they could be wrong, even they themselves don't have proof and can't be certain. It could be true that Allah has hands but not the same as what we know of a thing called 'hand'. Allahu'alam.

Misinterpret could cause you a lot more than you think. 
In fact some people even compare Allah and His creations (us) when Allah's hand is mentioned.

Allah is never the same as His creations, He lives and exist eternally with no beginning and no end, and therefore can never be the same as His creations.
Allah is not the same as His creations.

it is within my opinion it is best if we follow the example of the companions when they are presented with an abstract verse. They believed and remain silent about it for they have no knowledge about it not even the prophets have seen Allah till akhirat.

So it is best,
"I am faithful to this verse and I remain silent about it"

So as to avoid Allah's wrath for misleading misinterpretation.

With that said, the conclusion of this article is:

  1. To affirm your faith to Allah is the most important key to the acceptance of our prayers and deeds.
  2. We should follow all that Allah has command us and stay far from things forbid to us in the al-Quran.
  3. We should never conjecture about the Mutasyabih (abstract) verses in the al-Quran in fact we should believe in it and remain silent and never to discussed about it for it might lead to slander to Allah.
  4. To Allah we come from and to Allah we shall return.
Hopefully this will be a lesson to both me and you


Monday, January 24, 2011

ISLAM: To Testify That There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah

It is called as the Syahadah, derived from the Arabic word شهد (Sya-Ha-Da) meaning to testify. It is the first and foremost of the pillars of Islam. The Syahadah is read as لا إله إلا الله محمد رسول الله (la-Ila -Ha-Ilallah- Muhammad-Rasulullah) which means 'There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah' or أشهد أن لا إله إلا الله و أشهد أن محمد رسول الله (Ash-Ha-Du-An-Laa-Ila-Ha-Ilallah-Wa-Ash-Ha-Du-An-Na-Muhammad-Rasulullah) which means 'I bear witness there is no God but Allah and I bear witness Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. 

Bear in mind that these two are the only type of Syahadah exist, and no other addition nor subtraction nor changes are allowed. 

When you see a person who wishes to convert into Islam they must utter the Syahadah, but it is not enough. Words alone is never enough if they do not carry the same intention as the word uttered. The person who utter the Syahadah must admit with his heart and knowledge that there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. 

There must be no doubt that there exist no other God except Allah, no equal and no accomplices. Allah alone rule the whole universe. Allah alone is the almighty and all powerful and merciful with no other helping Him. Allah has 99 names and all of it is the symbol of his vast and limitless capacities. And Allah is by no means similar to any of His creations and Allah see us while we see him not, until the hereafter. He is the only one deserved to be worship and obeyed.

There must be no doubt that Muhammad is the servant and messenger of Allah to mankind, he was sent as a blessing to all the realm, to bring teaching of the One True God; Allah, and whatever he says is not from his own will but rather from the command and knowledge Allah has given to him. He is the best of example and he is exempted from committing any sins be it minor or major sins. Muhammad is the revealer of the true knowledge of Islam and we are supposed to follow his teachings as it is confirmed to save us in the hereafter.

That is the meaning of the Syahadah, to testify that there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, by speech, by heart, and by knowledge without a single trace of doubt. And that is the first pillar of Islam.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Beginning: What is Islam.

Assalamu'alaikum my fellow brothers and sisters,

This is the first post in this blog which intends to reveal the true way of Islam void of any outer influences except the al-Quran and as-Sunnah (Hadith)

But first let's begin by asking ourself, what is Islam?
It is a religion but what EXACTLY are its teachings?
Is it true as those people who despise Islam says?

We will together unravel the truth of Islam with an intellectual and presence of proof from the main source of Islamic teachings; al-Quran and as-Sunnah.

Islam is  derived from the Arabic word سام (sa-la-ma) which literally means peace, to be secured, to free, to be reconciled and to submit oneself, to resign and to surrender. Technically Islam is the religion that submits oneself or surrender oneself to God; Allah. and those who is a believer of Islam is called a Muslim (for man) and Muslimah (for woman), which carries the same meaning, which is the one who surrenders.

In one of the source of Islamic teachings, the as-Sunnah there is a told about what is Islam, what is Iman (faith), what is Ihsan and the minor signs of the Final Hour.

It is narrated on the authority of Yahya b. Ya'mur that the first man who discussed about Qadr (Divine Decree) in Basra was Ma'bad al-Juhani. I along with Humaid b. 'Abdur-Rahman Himyari set out for prilgrimage or for 'Umrah and said: Should it so happen that we come into contact with one of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) we shall ask him a bout what is talked about Taqdir (Division Decree). Accidentally we came across Abdullah ibn Umar ibn al-Khattab, while he was entering the mosque. My companion and I surrounded him. One of us (stood) on his right and the other stood on his left. I expected that my companion would authorize me to speak. I therefore said: Abu Abdur Rahman! there have appeared some people in our land who recite the Holy Qur'an and pursue knowledge. And then after talking about their affairs, added: They (such people) claim that there is no such thing as Divine Decree and events are not predestined. He (Abdullah ibn Umar) said: When you happen to meet such people tell them that I have nothing to do with them and they have nothing to do with me. And verily they are in no way responsible for my (belief). Abdullah ibn Umar swore by Him (the Lord) (and said): If any one of them (who does not believe in the Divine Decree) had with him gold equal to the bulk of (the mountain) Uhud and then, it (in the way of Allah), Allah would not accept it unless he affirmed his faith in Divine Decree. He further said: My father, Umar ibn al-Khattab, told me: One day we were sitting in the company of Allah's Apostle (peace be upon him) when there appeared before us a man dressed in pure white clothes, his hair extraordinarily black. There were no signs of travel on him. None amongst us recognized him. At last he sat with the Apostle (peace be upon him) He knelt before him placed his palms on his thighs and said: Muhammad, inform me about al-Islam. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: Al-Islam implies that you testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, and you establish prayer, pay Zakat, observe the fast of Ramadan, and perform pilgrimage to the (House) if you are solvent enough (to bear the expense of) the journey. He (the inquirer) said: You have told the truth. He (Umar ibn al-Khattab) said: It amazed us that he would put the question and then he would himself verify the truth. He (the inquirer) said: Inform me about Iman (faith). He (the Holy Prophet) replied: That you affirm your faith in Allah, in His angels, in His Books, in His Apostles, in the Day of Judgment, and you affirm your faith in the Divine Decree about good and evil. He (the inquirer) said: You have told the truth. He (the inquirer) again said: Inform me about al-Ihsan (performance of good deeds). He (the Holy Prophet) said: That you worship Allah as if you are seeing Him, for though you don't see Him, He, verily, sees you. He (the enquirer) again said: Inform me about the hour (of the Doom). He (the Holy Prophet) remarked: One who is asked knows no more than the one who is inquiring (about it). He (the inquirer) said: Tell me some of its indications. He (the Holy Prophet) said: That the slave-girl will give birth to her mistress and master, that you will find barefooted, destitute goat-herds vying with one another in the construction of magnificent buildings. He (the narrator, Umar ibn al-Khattab) said: Then he (the inquirer) went on his way but I stayed with him (the Holy Prophet) for a long while. He then, said to me: Umar, do you know who this inquirer was? I replied: Allah and His Apostle knows best. He (the Holy Prophet) remarked: He was Gabriel (the angel). He came to you in order to instruct you in matters of religion.

(Hadith recorded by Muslim Book 1. Hadith 1)

From the Hadith, these information could be extracted.
Islam is:
  1. To testify that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.
  2. To establish prayers
  3. To pay Zakat
  4. To fast during the month of Ramadhan
  5. Perform pilgrimage to the house of Allah (Hajj) if you are capable of it.
Iman is:
  1. To affirm your faith to Allah
  2. To affirm your faith to His Angels
  3. To affirm your faith to His Books 
  4. To affirm your faith to His Apostles
  5. To affirm your faith to the Day of Judgment
  6. To affirm your faith to the Divine Decree of Good and Evil
Ihsan is:
That you worship Allah as if you are seeing Him, for though you don't see Him, He, verily, sees you.

The minor signs of the Final Hour are:
  1. The slave-girl will give birth to his master or mistress
  2. The building of tall and grand buildings.
From this points derived from the Hadith we were able to see what is Islam, Iman, Ihsan, and the minor signs of the Final Hour.
Which we will delve deeper in another time.

Syukran, Thank you for reading