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Topic initiated on Sunday, February 6, 2005  -  10:30 PM Reply with quote
Quick Grasp Of Faith

FROM THE BOOK CALLED "Quick Grasp Of Faith"


How do we realize the existence of Allah?
The plants, animals, seas, mountains, and people we see when we look around, and everything else in the micro universe - living or non-living - which we cannot see, are all obvious evidence of a superior wisdom which has brought them into being. Similarly, the equilibrium, order, and perfect creation present in the entire universe also prove the existence of a supreme possessor of knowledge who has designed them perfectly. The possessor of this wisdom and knowledge is Allah.
We realize the existence of Allah from the perfect systemsHe created and the awesome qualities of living or non-living entities. This perfection is highlighted in the Qur'an:
He created the seven heavens one above the other. You will not find any flaw in the creation of the All-Merciful. Look again-do you see any gaps? Then look again and again. Your eyes will become dazzled and exhausted! (Surat al-Mulk: 3-4)

How do we know Allah?
It is again the perfect creation throughout the universe that introduces to us the supreme power of Allah. However, Allah has principally introduced Himself to us in the Qur'an, which He has sent down to people as a guide to right living. In the Qur'an, all the supreme qualities of Allah, His wisdom, knowledge, compassion, mercy, justice, omnipresence, His seeing and hearing everything, His being the sole owner and sole God of the Heavens, the Earth and all that lies between and His being the sole sovereign of the kingdom are conveyed to us.
He is Allah - there is no god but Him. He is the Knower of the Unseen and the Visible. He is the Compassionate and Most Merciful. He is Allah - there is no god but Him. He is the King, the Most Pure, the Perfect Giver of Peace, the Trustworthy, the Safeguarder, the Almighty, the Compeller, the Supremely Great. May Allah be exalted above all they associate with Him. He is Allah - the Creator, the Maker, the Giver of Form. To Him belong the Most Beautiful Names. Everything in the heavens and earth glorifies Him. He is the Almighty, the All-Wise. (Surat al-Hashr: 22-24)

What is the purpose of our creation?
Allah tells us the purpose for our creation as follows:
I only created jinn and man to worship Me. (Surat adh-Dhariyat: 56)
As stated in this verse, the purpose of man's existence on Earth is his being just a servant of Allah, worshipping Him and gaining His approval. Man is tested on this subject as long as he is on this Earth.

Why are we tested?
Allah tests people in the world to distinguish the ones who believe in Him from those who don't, and to determine which of the believers are best in their behaviour. Therefore, it is not enough for an individual to say "I believe". As long as one lives, his faith and devotion to Allah, his perseverance in religion, in short, his steadfastness in being a servant of Allah are tested in specially created conditions and environments. Allah states this truth in the following verse:
He created death and life to test which of you acquitted himself best. He is the Almighty, the Ever-Forgiving. (Surat al-Mulk: 2)

How are we to be servant of Allah?
To be a servant of Allah means leading one's whole life for the purpose of gaining Allah's pleasure and approval. It means trying to carry out all actions in the best possible manner so as to gain Allah's approval, fearing Allah alone and orienting all one's ideas, words, and deeds to this purpose. Allah has brought it to our attention in the Qur'an that being a servant to Him covers the whole life of the individual:
Say: 'My salat (prayers) and my devotions, my living and my dying, are for Allah alone, the Lord of all the worlds.' (Surat al-An'am: 162)

Why is religion necessary?
What a man who believes in the existence of Allah has to do first, is learn the orders of his Creator and the things that will please Him, Who gave him a soul when he was nothing, made him live, eat, and drink, and gave him health. Then he has to spend his whole life abiding by Allah’s orders and seeking Allah’s approval. It is religion that shows us the morals, behaviour, and way of life of which Allah will approve. Allah has made it clear in the Qur’an that people who abide by religion will be on the true path, whereas others will go astray.
He whose breast is opened to Islam is therefore illuminated by his Lord. Woe to those whose hearts are hardened against the remembrance of Allah! Such people are clearly misguided. (Surat az-Zumar: 22)

How does one live one’s religion (deen)?
People who believe in Allah, and who humbly obey Him, organize their lives in accordance with Allah’s recommendations in the Qur’an. He who lives the religion leads his life, complying with the right things his conscience inspires in him and abandoning everything bad that his self, the negative voice within him, orders. Allah states in the Qur’an that He created men with the predisposition to live their religion:
Therefore, stand firm in your devotion to the true Faith, the upright Faith which Allah created for man to embrace. There is no changing Allah’s creation. That is the true Faith, although most people may not know it. (Surat ar-Rum: 30)

How can there be morals without religion?
In societies where there is no religion, people become predisposed to commit all kinds of immoral acts. For instance, a religious person would never take a bribe, gamble, feel envy, or lie because he would know that he would have to account for these actions in the hereafter. Yet, an irreligious person is prone to doing all these things. It is not enough for a man to say, “I am an atheist but I don’t take bribes”, or “I am an atheist but I don’t gamble”, because a man who does not fear Allah and who does not believe that he is going to give an account of himself in the hereafter may do any one of these things when the situation or conditions change. A person who says, “I am an atheist but I do not commit fornication” may do so at some place where fornication is considered normal. Or a person who says that he does not take bribes may say, “My son is sick and about to die, therefore I have to take the bribe”, if he has no fear of Allah. In a state of irreligiousness, even theft may be considered legitimate under certain conditions. For instance, people of no religion may not consider taking towels or decorative accessories from hotels and recreation centres as stealing to their own way of understanding.
However, a religious person does not display such immorality, because he fears Allah and does not forget that Allah knows his intentions as well as his thoughts. He acts sincerely and avoids sin.
A person who is distant from religion may say “I am an atheist but I am forgiving. I feel neither vengeance nor hate,” but one day some untoward event may cause him to lose his self-control and display the most unexpected behaviour. He may attempt to kill or injure someone, because the morality he adopts is one that changes according to the environment and conditions of the place in which he lives.
Yet, one who believes in Allah and in the hereafter never deviates from his good morals, whatever the conditions or the environment may be. His morality is not “variable” but immutable. Allah refers to the superior morals of religious people in His verses:
Those who keep faith with Allah and do not break their agreement; those who join what Allah has commanded to be joined and are afraid of their Lord and fear an evil Reckoning; those who are steadfast in seeking the face of their Lord, and attend to their salat (regular prayer) and give alms from what We have given them, secretly and openly, and stave off evil with good, it is they who will attain the Ultimate Abode (Surat ar-Ra’d: 20-22)

What would happen to the social system without religion?
In an environment without religion, the first concept to be eliminated is that of the family. Values such as loyalty, fidelity, allegiance, love, and respect, which sustain the family, are totally abandoned. It must be remembered that the family is the foundation of society and if the family collapses, so does society. Even the state and the nation have no reason to exist, since all moral values that underpin the state and the nation have been obliterated.
Furthermore, in irreligious societies, there is no reason left for anyone to feel respect, love or compassion for anyone else. This leads to social anarchy. The rich hate the poor, the poor hate the rich. Anger develops against those who are handicapped or needy. Or aggression towards different nations rises. The workers become aggressive towards their employers and the employers towards their workers, fathers turn against their sons and the sons against their fathers.
The reason for continuous bloodshed and the “third page news” in the newspapers is irreligion. On these pages, every day, we see news coverage about people who heedlessly kill each other for very insignificant causes.
However, a man who knows that he is going to be accountable in the hereafter cannot point a gun at somebody else’s head and shoot him. He knows that Allah has forbidden men to commit crimes, and his fear of Allah ensures that he will avoid divine retribution.
Do not corrupt the earth after it has been purged of evil. Call on Him fearfully and eagerly. Allah’s mercy is within reach of the righteous. (Surat al-A’raf: 56)
The cause for suicides being so common is also irreligion. One who commits suicide in fact commits murder. For instance, someone who attempts to commit suicide because his girl friend has left him should ask himself these questions: Would he think of committing suicide for that girl, if she became disabled, or became old, or if her face had been badly burned? Of course, he would not; he overvalues her in his mind when he sees her as elegant and healthy and he ascribes her as a partner to Allah, thinking her to be more important than Allah, the hereafter, and religion. He risks dying for her.
But someone who is guided by the Qur’an would never do such a thing. He would not even give it a moment of thought. A believer lives only for Allah’s approval and exercises patience in the face of all the difficulties and problems Allah afflicts him within this world. And he does not forget that he is going to be rewarded for his patience both in this world and the hereafter many times over.
Stealing too is very common in irreligious societies. A man who steals does not think of how much trouble he causes to the person he steals from. He takes ten years of his victim’s earnings in a single night and doesn’t worry about how much he will suffer. As he inflicts pain on the other person, he may also feel pangs of conscience. But if he does not, this is an even worse state of affairs. It means that the thief has become hardened to committing all kinds of immoral acts.
In irreligious societies, values like hospitality, making sacrifices for each other, solidarity, and generosity totally disappear. First of all, people do not value each other as the human beings they are, because they see each other as beings that have evolved from monkeys. No one wants to welcome, serve, honour or offer nice things to anyone he thinks has evolved from an ape. People sharing this thought do not value each other. Nobody thinks about the health, welfare, or comfort of others. They do not worry about anybody getting hurt nor do they try to prevent such a thing. For instance, in hospitals people who are about to die are left lying on stretchers for indefinite periods; nobody cares about them. Or the owner of a restaurant operating under extremely dirty, unhealthy conditions does not worry about the harm he may inflict on the health of the people who eat there. He only cares about the money he is making. These are a few examples that show up in our daily lives. Here, the main logic is that people are good to each other only if they can expect some profit in return. By the moral standards of the Qur’an, however, people value each other as servants of Allah. They do not expect anything in return for a favour; on the contrary, they try to gain Allah’s approval by continuously doing good deeds, and compete with each other in doing good.

Which material and spiritual benefits does observance of the morals of the Qur’an bring to society?
We have to note that religion, as referred to here, is a moral way of life, pleasing to Allah and chosen by Him as being most appropriate to the nature of all mankind. It is a way of life which is free of all kinds of superstitions and myths, and is totally under the guidance of the Qur’an.
Religion creates a profoundly, spiritual, peaceful, and secure atmosphere of morality. The chaos of anarchy that causes great damage to the state and the nation definitely ends because for fear of Allah, people avoid unruliness and causing mischief. Also, people with moral values stand up for their state and nation and do not stop short of any kind of sacrifice. Such people always work for the welfare and security of their country.
In a society where the morals of the Qur’an are practiced, people are extremely respectful towards each other and everyone tries to ensure the comfort and security of one another because solidarity, unity, and cooperation are very important according to the tenets of Islam. Everyone has to put the comfort and interest of others before himself. The following is an example of the morality of believers:
Those who were already settled in Madinah, and had adopted the Faith, before they came, loved1 those who came to them for refuge and entertained no desire in their hearts for things given to the (latter), but gave them preference over themselves even if they themselves were needy. It is the people who are safeguarded from the avarice of their own selves who are successful. (Surat al-Hashr: 9)

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