Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Ego the cause of Mankind splitting apart


Mankind was one single nation, and Allah sent Messengers with glad tidings and warnings; and with them He sent the Book in truth, to judge between people in matters wherein they differed; but the People of the Book, after the clear Signs came to them, did not differ among themselves, except through selfish contumacy. Allah by His Grace guided the believers to the Truth, concerning that wherein they differed, for Allah guided whom He will to a path that is straight.
(Surah 2:213)

If men can control their ego and follow the guidance which they received from God, the world will be a better place to live as there will be more peace than what we have here today. But they choose to differ among themselves although the religion portray the truth is clear against that of falsehood.

The same religion has He established for you as that which He enjoined on Noah, the which We have sent by inspiration to thee - and that which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses, and Jesus: Namely, that ye should remain steadfast in religion, and make no divisions therein: to those who worship other things than Allah, hard is the way to which thou call them. Allah chooses to Himself those whom He pleases, and guides to Himself those who turn to Him.

And they became divided only after Knowledge reached them; through selfish envy as between themselves. Had it not been for a Word that went forth before from thy Lord, tending to a Term appointed, the matter would have been settled between them: But truly those who have inherited the Book after them are in suspicious disquieting doubt concerning it. (Surah 42:13-14)

God have sent to mankind many messengers as a Warner and giving of glad tidings while they bring with them the Book of knowledge as guidance to live a better life in this world and not forgetting the hereafter and God confirmed that whom He sent were of

Those messengers We endowed with gifts, some above others: To one of them Allah spoke; others He raised to degrees of honor; to Jesus the son of Mary We gave clear Signs, and strengthened him with the Holy Spirit. If Allah had so willed, succeeding generations would not have fought among each other, after clear Signs had come to them, but they chose to wrangle, some believing and others rejecting. If Allah had so willed, they would not have fought each other; but Allah fulfilled His plan. (Surah 2:253)

Thus let there be initiatives to preach common universal values for the good of mankind where the societies should not evolved towards a closed door units where people are becoming more personal involving only with their own small family but they should be more open as the Quran indicated and recommended:

Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong: They are the ones to attain felicity. Be not like those who are divided amongst themselves and fall into disputations after receiving Clear Signs: For them is a dreadful penalty, (Surah 3:104-105)

Why were there not, among the generations before you, persons possessed of balanced good sense, prohibiting (men) from mischief in the earth - except a few among them whom We saved from harm? But the wrong-doers pursued the enjoyment of the good things of life which were given them, and persisted in sin.
Nor would thy Lord be the One to destroy communities for a single wrong- doing, if its members were likely to mend. If thy Lord had so willed, He could have made mankind one people: but they will not cease to dispute.

Except those on whom thy Lord hath bestowed His Mercy: and for this did He create them: and the Word of thy Lord shall be fulfilled: "I will fill Hell with Jinns and men all together."

All that we relate to thee of the stories of the apostles; with it We make firm thy heart: in them there cometh to thee the Truth, as well as an exhortation and a message of remembrance to those who believe. (Surah 11:116-120)


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fight only those who fight you


War and fighting in the Quran are only for defensive purposes. The Quran does not approve aggression to other. There were several reasons that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) took the battle field but all of it was to defend himself from oppression from his disbelieving communities. The Quran says

Permission (to fight) is given to those upon whom war is made because they are oppressed, and most surely Allah is well able to assist them. (Surah 22:39)

Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah love not transgressors. And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter; but fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they first fight you there; but if they fight you, slay them. Such is the reward of those who suppress faith. But if they cease, Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. (Surah 2:190-192)

One can see that the above is the kind of situation a Muslim can take the matter to the battle front only when he is being attacked. It is clearly shown by the example that Muslim should not be the aggressor instead should be in defense by being attacked first.

And those who, when an oppressive wrong is inflicted on them, (are not cowed but) help and defend themselves. The recompense for an injury is an injury equal thereto (in degree): but if a person forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allah: for (Allah) loved not those who do wrong. But indeed if any do help and defend themselves after a wrong done to them, against such there is no cause of blame. The blame is only against those who oppress men and wrong-doing and insolently transgress beyond bounds through the land, defying right and justice: for such there will be a penalty grievous. But indeed if any show patience and forgive, that would truly be an exercise of courageous will and resolution in the conduct of affairs. (Surah 42:39-43)

And why should ye not fight in the cause of Allah and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated and oppressed? Men, women, and children, whose cry is: "Our Lord! Rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from thee one who will protect; and raise for us from thee one who will help!"(Surah 4:75)

And it is the responsibility of the Muslim community also to assist other Muslim communities which have been oppressed by other and their call for help in defending their rights to live freely to practice their belief, earn their living and educating their children without fear from oppression. Those capable should initiate by giving them help through financial and economic assistance and the needed protection as security from the oppressors.

Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loves those who are just. Allah only forbids you, with regard to those who fight you for (your) Faith, and drive you out of your homes, and support (others) in driving you out, from turning to them (for friendship and protection). It is such as turn to them in these circumstances that do wrong. (Surah 60:8-9)

And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah altogether and everywhere; but if they cease, verily Allah doth see all that they do. (Surah 8:39)


Friday, May 13, 2011

Call on God


Call on God by establishing the Salat (Regular prayers).

In the Quran there are many verses regarding establishing the Salat but more than not the Salat will normally be accompanied by the command to pay the zakat or alms. In Islam this goes hand in hand because if one pays only the alms and do not establish the Salat he will not enter the kingdom of heaven as he does not acknowledge the existence and the presence of God Al Mighty.

There is no denial that some of the atheists do good deeds in this world by giving charity to the poor, caring for the old aged, they feed them a good meal and clean their toilet but since they refused to acknowledge the presence of God, they are actually a people arrogance who thought that they can exist in this world without the help and grace of God Almighty and thus it is only fair that they will not be rewarded of paradise for their arrogance.

Similarly if one establish the Salat and do not pay the zakat he will also not be rewarded to the kingdom of heaven as he does not acknowledge the presence of the poor and the needy to be helped. God who provided them with good provision and good health expected them to return by serving Him in helping others who were less fortunate. None is relief of his duty to worship God as well as serve Him in taking care of the needy.

But as Muslims we know that God exist as He has His Book the Quran inspired to His Apostle by inspiration and He said in Surah/Chapter 20:14

“Verily I am God: there is no god but I; so worship Me and establish Salat for My remembrance.” (Surah 20:14)

“Those who believe and whose hearts find satisfaction in the remembrance of God: for without doubt in the remembrance of God do hearts find satisfaction. (Surah 13:28).

And God remind us of the good things He has provided for us and He want us to acknowledge by remembering Him and Him alone

O men! Call to mind the grace of God unto you! Is there a Creator, other than God, to give you sustenance from heaven or earth? There is no god but He: how then are you deluded from the truth? (Surah 35:3)

Therefore remember Me, so that I may remember you and be grateful to Me and reject not faith. (Surah 2:152)

Thus as servants of God He wants us to remember Him far greater than our remembrance of our fathers one who provides for us as we grow but God is the best Provider and to show our gratitude He teaches the prophets and those who believe in His Message to perform a special ritual only for His remembrance in the daily obligatory Salat

For believers are those who, when God is mentioned, feel a tremor in their hearts, and when they hear His Signs rehearsed, find their faith strengthened and put all their trust in their Lord. Those who established salat (regular prayers) and spend freely out of the gifts We have given them for sustenance: Such in truth are the believers: they have grades of dignity with their Lord and forgiveness and generous sustenance. (Surah 8:2-4)

It is arrogance not to call on God

As a servant it is a duty one has to do to call on the Master as we are not independence of Him and He reminds us to call on Him and show our humility to Him and He said to the Prophet Muhammad

And when My servants ask you concerning Me, I am indeed close to them: I listen to the call of prayer of every suppliant when he called on Me: let them also with a will, listen to My call and believe in Me: that they may walk in the right way. (Surah 2:186)

Call on your Lord with humility and in private: for God love not those who trespass beyond bounds. (Surah 7:55)

And your Lord says: “Call on Me and I shall answer you. Surely those who arrogantly disdain to worship Me shall enter hell utterly disgrace (Surah 40:60)

And God inspired us to follow the example of the Prophet Muhammad to call on others by giving this message and to say to the world

O you men! If you are in doubt as to my religion; behold I worship not what you worship, other than God! But I worship God Who will take your souls at death: I am commanded to be of the believers And turn yourself entirely in sincerity to the Religion, and do not be of the polytheists; And call not any other than God, such will neither profit you nor harm you, for if you do then you will surely be of the wrongdoers. (Surah 10:104-106)

And who is better in speech than the one who calls to God and does righteous deeds and says: “I am a Muslim.”? (Surah 41:33)

So call not on any other god with God lest you will be one of those chastised. (Surah 26:213)


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Fasting according to the Quran


There are many circumstances in which fasting is done in the Quran, some are compulsory and some are voluntary. The compulsory fasting is done on the month of Ramadhan. The other kind of compulsory fasting is due to certain offence one made by accidently killed a believer, divorce his wife by zihar (or by calling them mothers) and when one cannot afford to sacrifice an animal during the pilgrimage to Makkah and when making deliberate oath he can only redeem himself by fasting. However the voluntary fasting is done out of vowing when achieving something to fast three days or other numbers of days or he may just wish to fast voluntary to experience how the poor feel when without food and at the same time make repentance to God. In the Quran God said fasting is good for you if you only but knew. So if you wish to know start fasting.

O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may learn self-restraint. Fasting for a fixed number of days; but if any of you is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed number should be made up from days later. For those who can do it with hardship, is a ransom, the feeding of one that is indigent. But he that will give more, of his own free will it is better for him. And it is better for you that ye fast, if ye only knew.

Ramadhan is the month in which was sent down the Qur'an, as a guide to mankind, also clear Signs for guidance and judgment between right and wrong. So every one of you who is present during that month should spend it in fasting, but if any one is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period should be made up by days later. Allah intends every facility for you; He does not want to put to difficulties. He wants you to complete the prescribed period and to glorify Him in that He has guided you; and perchance ye shall be grateful.
(Surah 2:183-185)

The time span to do the fast is specific in the Quran and it is to be done during the day when there is light. As long as one can see tangible things he is to fast until it is night time or darkness then only he is free to eat and drink.

It is a common mistake that most Muslims break their fast at the time of sunset but the time of sunset is still bright and it is part of the day and according to the Quran it is still fasting time and not until it is night or total darkness can they break their fast. They should change their attitude not only by controlling their temptation to rush for the food but also restraint the influence of the devil who will not hesitate to entice them even a piece of date to see them fail to make it to the night which is the correct time to break according to the command of God.

Sunset is part of the day and the following evidence proved that it is still not the time to break the fast.

And established regular prayers at the two ends of the day (nahar) and at the approaches of the night (layli) (Surah 11:114).

Since two ends of the day is fajar and maghrib, therefore sunset or maghrib is part of the day in the Quran and not part of the night as nighttime prayer is Ishaa’ in the above verse.

And the Quran defined what the night (layli), it is when you can see the stars
which you cannot see during the day

…..When the night outspread over him, he saw a star….(Surah 6:76).

And the night is where there is darkness

…..And the sign for them is the night. We withdraw the day from it and behold they are plunged in darkness (Surah 36:37).

And that is the time of fasting and it is also defined in the Quran:

…..and eat and drink, until the white thread of dawn appear to you distinct from its black thread; then complete your fast till the night (layli) appears….(Surah 2:187).

So from the evidence shown in the Quran it is clear if we were to follow the example of the Prophet (Pbuh) he will do his Maghrib prayer first then read the Quran. He will never break his fast at maghrib even with a few dates as it is still bright with the light of daytime still prevail. It is only when the darkness of the night appears he will break his fast.

Thus there is clear distinction that the azan is not the call to break the fast but it is the call to establish the prayer! The Maghrib prayer is done during part of the day but to break the fast it is done only during early part of the night. It is therefore sinful for those who failed to make it to the night when he is able to it by waiting a little longer after the Maghrib prayer.

The other form of compulsory fasting is the result of not able to comply with the punishment of accidently kill another Muslim. This verse do not differentiate the woman and the man whoever accidently killed a believer and if it is beyond their means to pay compensation, they will have to fast consecutively for two month running. If the woman is made compulsory to fast for two month running then there is no excuse for them not to fast on the month of Ramadhan running for one month as it is also made compulsory for all to obey.

Never should a believer kill a believer; but if it so happens by mistake, compensation is due: If one so kills a believer, it is ordained that he should free a believing slave, and pay compensation to the deceased's family, unless they remit it freely. If the deceased belonged to a people at war with you, and he was a believer, the freeing of a believing slave Is enough. If he belonged to a people with whom ye have treaty of Mutual alliance, compensation should be paid to his family, and a believing slave be freed. For those who find this beyond their means, (is prescribed) a fast for two months running: by way of repentance to Allah: for Allah hath all knowledge and all wisdom. (Surah 4:92)

Another form of compulsory fasting is the expiation of not able to afford to sacrifice an animal or not able to feed the poor during the pilgrimage season to Makkah.

And complete the Hajj or 'umra in the service of Allah. But if ye are prevented from completing it, send an offering for sacrifice, such as ye may find, and do not shave your heads until the offering reaches the place of sacrifice. And if any of you is ill, or has an ailment in his scalp, necessitating shaving, (He should) in compensation either fast, or feed the poor, or offer sacrifice; and when ye are in peaceful conditions (again), if any one wishes to continue the 'umra on to the hajj, He must make an offering, such as he can afford, but if he cannot afford it, He should fast three days during the hajj and seven days on his return, Making ten days in all. This is for those whose household is not in the precincts of the Sacred Mosque. And fear Allah, and know that Allah Is strict in punishment
(Surah 2:196)

Fasting is also prescribed for those who divorce their wives by “zihar” or by calling their wives their mother and when they wish to remarry they have to free a slave and if they cannot afford or do not have any slave they have to fast for two months consecutively.

If any men among you divorce their wives by Zihar (calling them mothers), they cannot be their mothers: None can be their mothers except those who gave them birth. And in fact they use words both iniquitous and false: but truly Allah is one that blots out sins, and forgives (again and again). But those who divorce their wives by Zihar, then wish to go back on the words they uttered; It is ordained that such a one should free a slave before they touch each other: Thus are ye admonished to perform: and Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do. And if any has not the wherewithal, he should fast for two months consecutively before they touch each other. But if any is unable to do so, he should feed sixty indigent ones, this, that ye may show your faith in Allah and His Messenger. Those are limits set by Allah. For those who reject Him, there is a grievous Penalty. (Surah 58:2-4)

The expiation in fasting is also prescribed when one make an oath and he is unable to fulfill for deliberate oath he has sworn he is allowed to fast only if he is unable to do the following:

Allah will not call you to account for what is futile in your oaths, but He will call you to account for your deliberate oaths: for expiation, feed ten indigent persons, on a scale of the average for the food of your families; or clothe them; or give a slave his freedom. If that is beyond your means, fast for three days. That is the expiation for the oaths ye have sworn. But keep to your oaths. Thus doth Allah make clear to you His signs, that ye may be grateful? (Surah 2:89)

In the case of Mariam the mother of Jesus she was made to vow to fast and at the same time she refused to talk to any one and this is an indication when any one fast it is better for him to do less talking and make repentance to God and He will put them in the following category of believers:

"So eat and drink and cool your eye. And if thou dost see any man, say, 'I have vowed a fast to (Allah) Most Gracious, and this day will I enter into not talk with any human being'" (Surah 19:26)

For Muslim men and women, for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in Charity, for men and women who fast, for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allah's praise, for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward. (Surah 33:35)