QUR’AN : OUR WEAPON IN THE WAR OF IDEAS

QUR’AN : OUR WEAPON IN THE WAR OF IDEAS

 

 

By Dr. Israr Ahmad

 

The purpose of the advent of Prophet Muhammad(SAW) is described in Surah Al-Saff as follows:

 

He it is Who has sent forth His messenger with the Guidance (Al-Huda) and the True way of life (Deen al-Haq), to the end that he make it prevail over all aspects of living… (Al-Saff 61:9)

 In order to achieve this goal, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) required a large number of devoted and committed followers. How did he manage to find and train those followers? This has been described in the very next Surah, as follows:

 

He it is Who raised among the unlettered people a messenger from amongst themselves, who recites His revelations to them (Tilawat al-Aayat), and purifies them (Tazkiyah), and teaches them the law (Ta`leem al-Kitab) and the wisdom (Ta`leem al-Hikmah)… (Al-Jum`ah 62:2)

Thus, it was nothing but the highly inspiring and moving verses of the Holy Qur´an which were effectively used by Prophet Muhammad (SAW) to remove the false beliefs from the minds of his audience, to inculcate the knowledge of reality as revealed by Almighty Allah (SWT), to purify their hearts and to reform their characters, to teach them the injunctions of their Lord and the wisdom contained therein. The Qur´an repeatedly mentions the fact that the center and axis of the Prophet´s activities vis-à-vis the training and purification of his Companions was the Holy Book itself, for instance:

 

 

So keep on reminding through the Qur´an whoever fears My warning. (Qaaf 50:45)

 

(Say…) that this Qur´an has been revealed to me that I may warn you with it, and those whom it reaches. (Al-An`aam 6:19)

 

So we have made this (Qur´an) easy in your tongue, that you may give good tidings with it to those who take heed and warn with it the froward folk. (Maryam 19:97)

 

The process of the revolution brought about by Prophet Muhammad (SAW) can be understood as having two phases: The primary or elementary phase was the generation of man-power, the making of a disciplined group of dedicated volunteers who were willing to sacrifice everything for the sake of attaining the pleasure of Almighty Allah (SWT) and the salvation in the Hereafter. The approach of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) during this phase can be understood with reference to the verse of Surah Al-Jum`ah, as quoted above. The second phase was the actual revolutionary struggle, consisting of three stages: Passive Resistance, Active Resistance, and Actual Conflict.

 

The point we wish to emphasize here is the central and pivotal importance of the Holy Qur´an vis-à-vis the primary or elementary phase of an Islamic Revolution. There are a number of groups and parties active throughout the Muslim World who have adopted the target of establishing the system of Khilafah, or the bringing about of an Islamic Revolution, as their goal. Most of these groups and parties are oblivious of the fact that the establishment of the Islamic System of Social Justice is not possible without the revitalization of Iman in a significant portion of the Muslim Ummah. This revitalization of Iman, in turn, is possible only by the propagation of the knowledge and wisdom of the Holy Qur´an, both at the highest level of scholarship in order to attract and influence the educated classes, as well as on a mass scale for the benefit of the general public.

 

The war between Islam and kufr is being fought primarily on an ideological level, and it is mere wishful thinking that the Islamic politico-socioeconomic system can be established without first achieving a convincing victory over false ideas and philosophies. In this respect, the weapon that has been provided to us by Almighty Allah (SWT) is the Holy Qur´an. We must use this weapon at all of the different fronts in this war of ideas, because it is only the triumph of Islam as an intellectual and ideological reality that can pave the way for the domination of Islam as a political force.

 

Five Fronts in the War of Ideas

 

We believe that there are five major fronts in the ideological war, and that we must use the guidance and wisdom of the Holy Qur´an to defeat the various false doctrines at each of these different fronts, as described below:

 

1. Folk Religion: Unfortunately, a large proportion of the Muslim Ummah today has a severely distorted view of Islam. They have adopted a number of beliefs and custom directly from the non-Muslim, like the Hindus. Thus, we find that many shades and varieties of shirk (assigning partners to Allah) have invaded the Muslim mind and life-style. There are a large number of Muslims who regularly visit the shrines of saints and offer their prayers, asking for succor from these long deceased holy men. Similarly, a widespread belief is that these saints will have the prerogative, on the Day of Judgment, to intercede on behalf of their devotees. It is obvious that these and many related beliefs and practices that are prevalent today among the Muslims are in sharp conflict with the Islamic doctrine of Tauheed.

 

It was precisely the type of shirk prevalent in Arabia during the time of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) that has again found its way in the Muslim society. The Holy Qur´an is full of refutations and arguments against these beliefs and practices, especially the Surahs that were revealed in Makkah. In order to reform and rectify the religious beliefs and practices of the common Muslims, all we need to do is to start a movement of Turjuma-e-Qur´an (Translation of the Qur´an). For most Muslims, Arabic remains a foreign and alien language. What is needed, therefore, is to have brief sessions in the mosques after the Fajir and/or Asr prayers every day, in which a small portion of the Qur´an is recited and its translation explained to the audience. We believe that no deep scholarship is required here, as the mere translation of the Qur´an is enough to remove the false beliefs and to promote genuine Islamic faith and practice.

 

2. Materialism: The dominant ideology of our times is materialism, not in the sense of a specific academic viewpoint but as the general mindset of the modern man. Although there are a number of philosophical systems popular in the world today, the underlying idea that is common in most of these systems is either a categorical or an implicit denial of all spirituality, metaphysics, and transcendence.

 

The history of the present materialistic atheism goes back to the beginning of Christian religion. The innovations introduced by St. Paul in the original teachings of Prophet Jesus Christ had led to the genesis of a completely new and different religion. The highly irrational dogma of Trinity ultimately resulted in the divorce between two natural allies, religion and reason. The conversion of Caesar Constantine in 313 C.E., and of the entire Roman Empire during the next hundred years or so, was the starting point for the establishment of Christian theocracy in Europe. The huge vacuum created by the Pauline idea of abolition of the Mosaic law was then filled by the virtually unlimited authority of the Church, represented by the infallible Pope. During the Middle Ages, the Church and the clergy ruled the masses with an iron hand, oppressing and exploiting them in the name of religion, while discouraging any inclination towards science or rationalism.

 

The Aristotelian system of cosmos, as adopted by Ptolemy, was incorporated into the Christian theology. As a result, when Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo opposed the Geocentric doctrine and proposed Heliocentric views based on their scientific observations, the Church condemned and vehemently opposed them as heretics, starting the unfortunate rivalry between Science and Religion. The scientific and rationalistic movement in Europe, therefore, cam face to face with the powerful religious establishment of the Church. The latter used all its resources to halt this new wave of progress towards knowledge and learning, but succeeded only in producing among the masses a deep mistrust of all thing connected with religion. The ruthlessly unfavorable attitude of the clergy caused a reactionary feeling of hatred against the Church, and then against the very idea of religion itself.

 

The development of science and modern philosophy in Europe, therefore, was forced to take place in an environment which was hostile to religion, and this hostility has since then permeated deep down into the very roots of Western thought. The world-view and civilization that grew out of this materialistic frame of mind is characterized by a profound shift of emphasis — from God the Almighty to the material universe and laws of nature, from spiritual pursuits to sensual gratification, and from salvation in the life Hereafter to success and prosperity in this world. Scientism has largely been accepted as epistemology by the modern man, resulting in a profound weakening of the faith in God, in the soul of man, and in the life Hereafter. The influence of the prevalent atheistic philosophies is not restricted to the academicians, but it has permeated deep into the minds and life-styles of ordinary citizens.

 

The revival of Islamic faith in the present materialistic milieu is possible only by means of a powerful intellectual movement. The weapon to fight against the modern atheistic ideologies is nothing but the Holy Qur´an itself. However, the battle at this front cannot be won by merely explaining the translation of the Qur´anic verses. Instead, much more arduous efforts are needed in this regard. The envisioned intellectual movement should aim at effectively refuting the false claims of the scientific and empirical method as the only reliable source of knowledge. It should point out the logical flaws in the materialistic philosophies and disprove the un-Islamic features in the dominant Western paradigm. Such an intellectual movement can be started, and its momentum maintained, only by a team of dedicated and capable Muslim scholars, and will require a deep and in-depth study of the Qur´an along with a first-hand knowledge of modern philosophy and social sciences. It is only through the presentation of Qur´anic teachings in contemporary idiom and at the highest intellectual level of our times that the prevalent materialism can be defeated.

 

3. Uncertainty and Lack of Faith: Today, a big segment of the Muslim Ummah is suffering from a serious lack of faith in the guidance and teachings of Islam. What do we mean by lack of faith? Note that the world Iman has been used in the Qur´an in two different connotations, representing the dual aspects of the concept of “faith” itself. Thus, from a purely legal standpoint, Iman simply implies a public testimony which may or may not manifest in a person´s behavior and actions. However, true Iman is much more than mere verbal attestation. True and genuine Iman implies a strong inner conviction and deeply felt certitude, which is invariably manifested in a person´s whole being and his entire life, affecting all his actions and behavior, his values and ambitions. Thus, anyone who testifies to the unity of Allah (SWT) and the prophethood Muhammad (SAW), and who doesn´t deny or reject any of the basic and essential teachings of Islam, will be considered a Muslim for all legal purposes and will be accepted as a member of the Muslim society. This definition of a Muslim, however, is limited strictly to legal matters; in reality, it is quite possible for those who are legally Muslims to be devoid of true faith, in the sight of the Almighty Allah (SWT).

 

Generally speaking, although there are more than a billion Muslims in the world today, the level of real and genuine Iman among them is seriously low. Instead of a firm conviction in the teachings of the Qur´an and the guidance of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), there is a lot of doubt and uncertainty. It seems that the articles of faith are lying in some neglected corner of our minds as ineffective pieces of dogma, and these have little or nothing to do with our practical lives. The cure for this lack of faith is, again, the Holy Qur´an itself.

 

 

He it is who sends clear revelations to His slave, that He may bring you out of darkness into light; for Allah is surely gracious and kind to you. (Al-Hadeed 57:9)

 

If the Qur´an is studied and its ayaat are pondered upon in an authentic quest for truth, all the veils of darkness shall be lifted from one´s heart; it is this process of enlightenment which ultimately leads one to the attainment of faith and certitude.

 

 

4. Permissiveness and Westernization: The kind of cultural and social values that are gaining more and more acceptance among the Muslim in the name of modernization are, in general, diametrically opposed to the teachings of Islam. The mass communication media throughout the Muslim World are actively engaged in promoting a mindset and a life-style which is predominantly Western, liberal, and permissive. Especially in recent years, there seem to be a growing trend towards the easy availability of obscene novels and magazines, and the transmission of vulgar television shows, cultural programs, and feature films. The electronic media is becoming more and more preoccupied with music, dancing, and modeling, and all this is being enthusiastically patronized by those in power.

 

The effects of such liberal and permissive media policies are both far-reaching and destructive, as they are effectively uprooting the remaining traces of Islamic morality. At this front too, the battle has to be fought with the weapon of the Qur´an. Our scholars and Ulama need to pool their energies and start a movement of Qur´anic lectures and discourses, especially through the mosques. As the teachings of the Qur´an would start to permeate and penetrate the society, the level of general dissatisfaction with the liberal attitude of the media will also increase, forcing the media masters to either change their policies in accordance with the Islamic spirit or cede to the true followers of Islam.

 

5. Sectarianism: A very serious threat to the unity and cohesion of the Muslim Ummah is represented by the menace of sectarianism. Unfortunately for us, the Ummah — as established by Prophet Muhammad (SAW) — has been dissolved over the centuries into a large number of sub-division along sectarian lines. Many of the religious seminaries and Ulama of various sects are spending most of their time and energies in defending and propagating their particular brands of dogma and ritual, often insisting that any variation in such matters is nothing short of apostasy. Such narrow-mindedness has resulted in prejudice and intolerance among the masses, leading to a dangerous trend towards sectarian militancy.

 

The central axis and pivot of the Muslim Ummah is the Holy Qur´an. It is the Divine Revelation that provides the Muslims with a unifying source of guidance, consolidating them in the form of a singular force despite all their secondary differences and minor disagreements. The evil of sectarianism, therefore, can only be done away with the sword of the Qur´an. This is because human beings who have a common goal tend to unite and associate with each other. People with similar interests, ambitions, and priorities are automatically attracted towards each other. No artificial effort or external coercion is needed to unite them. Since the Holy Qur´an is common to all of the various sects, it has a tremendous potential for uniting them together. If we succeed in making the Holy Qur´an the center and nucleus of our lives, then all strife, disharmony, and sectarianism will disappear from the ranks of the Ummah. Insha Allah

TAQWA: VALUABLE FRUIT OF RAMADHAAN

TAQWA: VALUABLE FRUIT OF RAMADAN

 

 

 

The Islamic fast is unique and different from other types of fasting observed in other religions. It is obligatory, for a specific period of time from dawn to dusk, and in a specific lunar month called Ramadan.

 

It involves a voluntary renunciation of all appetites and desires of the flesh during that month for defined hours, with a cheerful and willing acceptance of this beneficial divine mandate.

 

Sunset signifies the achievement of one s victory over his self during the day.

 

This blessed month of Ramadan inculcates a spirit of fortitude and gratitude. The atmosphere of the month is such that positive thoughts are automatically invoked on a 24-hour basis. Such thoughts, which wish the welfare of one and all, Muslims as well as non-Muslims, including those who have wronged us!

 

A stable monotonous environment of eating three times daily tends to produce stereotyped reactionary patterns. Fasting gives a variable environment with rigid strategies and sufficient degrees of freedom to cope with the changing conditions.

 

Some of us may be habituated to a particular type of vice or wrong-doing – e.g. gambling, smoking, drinking, backbiting, fraud, hot temper, domestic violence, etc.

 

Whatever foul we are habituated to, becomes our routine and it becomes difficult to resist. Fasting helps to overcome such habits either gradually for some of us or immediately for those with a stronger will power, especially if supported by constant supplications seeking Allah s assistance. The usual antidote is to put an entirely opposite thought in the mind to displace the negative trend.

 

This act of self-restraint in Ramadan strengthens the will and hence, the will power. This extra will power helps to overcome obsessions and addictions. In fact, fasting also reduces a criminal s urge to commit dangerous crimes.

 

During the Islamic fast, every organ in the body that has been given to us as trust by Allah is put to a critical test.

 

A hunger strike is not an Islamic fast. We must not see evil, hear evil, utter evil nor act evil. This is a training session for us to develop Taqwa (God-consciousness) and piety, as well as to show gratitude for the great favor of the revelation of the Holy Qur an during the month of Ramadan in the night called Lailatul-Qadr.

 

Taqwa is the most valuable fruit of fasting. Just as plants have their own season of flowering, so is Ramadan the season of the year for blossoming of goodness, virtue and piety in the Muslim ummah (nation). Not one, but millions of people jointly water the garden of virtue in the same lunar month, all over the world.

 

The purpose of the Islamic fast is to obey Allah s command. Through this exercise, Muslims can develop a balanced personality and a strong sense of a community of believers. It trains all those who volunteer for service to Allah, before allowing them to take on the job of His vicegerency and establish Allah s message of mercy on Earth.

 

The fasting Muslim is continuously tied with rules and regulations for one full month and then released for 11 months to see whether the training has been adequate and effective, and if not, any deficiency found in the personality and will power could be corrected and made up in the following year s refresher course, in the Ramadan program. This is because Allah wants us to make the choice and behave well, when left alone and unattended. The personality develops when a person is free to do any wrong as he would like, but does not do it under unrestricted conditions; e.g. during the 11 months following the Ramadan fast.

 

If we have passed this first part of the examination, then as Muslims who adhered to the five pillars of Islam and fasted, we are entitled to celebrate Eid Al-Fitr (Feast of breaking the fast), also called Eid Al-Saghir (the Minor Feast).

 

Then Allah gives us two months and 10 days to prepare for Eid Al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice), also called Eid Al-Kabir (the Major Feast).

 

The Minor Feast will entitle us to climb up the ladder one step toward becoming mu mineen (believers), because we must now learn to sacrifice our time, money, leisure, pleasure, skill, along with other talents, God-given gifts and bounties, then be prepared to share them with our fellow human beings.

 

As believers adhering to the seven branches of iman (faith and belief) we must not only think of, but actually perform good deeds.

 

This in turn, will now prepare us for the second examination of higher spiritual achievement. And, if successful, we will be entitled to celebrate the Major Feast as believing men and believing women then go up one more rung on the ladder up Sirat Al-Mustaqim (the Straight Path).

 

During Ramadan, we get up for suhoor before dawn, then stop eating and drinking at the break of dawn, abstain from such and such actions during the day and take Futoor (break the fast) in the evening, at the exact time of sunset. This is precise timing. The month of fasting teaches us to respect time and be precise in our dealings and timings and to be punctual at all times.

 

The exact timing of initiating of the fast at the break of dawn and breaking it at sunset with the right countdown to the last minute, teaches us the limits between right and wrong, between halal (permitted) and haram (prohibited), which is so essential for the elevation of the soul to a higher level on the spiritual scale.

 

A person who can rule his/her desires and make them function as he likes, has attained true moral excellence! A 425-hour of intensive study in any particular subject of one s choice in any university would qualify one in that particular subject.

 

Similarly, 425 hours of intense devotion in Ramadan should certainly uplift a practicing Muslim to a state of higher spiritual achievement and earn him a reward from Allah.

 

During Ramadan, we also learn to inculcate in ourselves the art of patience. This, together with lessons and reminders to forgive all those who wronged us, add their own quota of enhancing our personality and outlook on life, with multiple benefits, not only in this life but also in the Hereafter.

THE QURAN IS THE WORD OF GOD AND AN UNDENIABLE PROOF FOR MUHAMMAD’S PROPHETHOOD

THE QURAN IS THE WORD OF GOD AND AN UNDENIABLE PROOF FOR MUHAMMAD’S PROPHETHOOD

 

 

The Quran is completely different from all the other books in the world

 

When we study the Quran even superficially from the viewpoint of its wording, styles, and meaning, we will certainly conclude that it is completely different from all the other books in the world. So, in rank and worth it is either below all of them-even Satan cannot claim this, nor does he conceive of it-or above them. Since it is above all of them, it must be the Word of God.

 

The Quran, which he brought, has challenged all mankind with all their literary geniuses and scientists, from the first day of its revelation to the Last Day, to produce a like of it or even a single chapter of it

 

The Quran openly declares:

 

You (O Muhammad) was not a reader of any Scripture before it, nor did you write (such a Scripture) with your right hand, for then those who follow falsehood might (have a right) to doubt it. (al-Ankabut, 29.48)

 

It is an established, undeniable fact that the Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, was unlettered. Whereas the Quran, which he brought, has challenged all mankind with all their literary geniuses and scientists, from the first day of its revelation to the Last Day, to produce a like of it or even a single chapter of it:

 

If you are in doubt concerning that which We have sent down onto Our servant (Muhammad), then produce a chapter of the like thereof, and call your witnesses, supporters, who are apart from God, if you are truthful. (al-Baqara, 2.23)

 

Mankind have since been unable to produce a like of only one of its chapters, including, of course, its shortest ones like sura al-Ikhlas or sura al-Kawthar; those who have ventured to do that have all laid themselves open to ridicule. This is a clear proof for the Divine authorship of the Quran.

 

The Quran was revealed in 23 years, yet there are not any contradictory points in it

 

The revelation of the Quran lasted 23 years. It is inconceivable that any book written by a mortal being in 23 years, one which is a book of Divine truths, metaphysics, religious beliefs and worship, prayer, law and morality, a book fully describing the other life, a book of psychology, sociology, epistemology, and history, and a book containing scientific facts and the principles of a happy life, does not have any contradictory points. Whereas, the Quran openly declares that it has no contradictions at all and therefore is a Divine Book:

 

Will they not then ponder on the Quran? If it had been from other than God they would have found therein much contradiction and incongruity. (al-Nisa’, 4.82)

 

The Qur’an is beyond compare from the viewpoint of its styles and eloquence

 

The Quran is beyond compare from the viewpoint of its styles and eloquence. All the sentences, words and even letters used in the Quran form such a miraculous harmony that, with respect to rhythm, music, and even geometric proportions and mathematical measures, and with respect to how many times each is used in the whole of the Quran, each is in the exact place it must be and interwoven and interrelated with others. The literary masterpiece of no one, including the sayings of the Prophet himself, upon him be peace and blessings, cannot compete with the Quran.

 

Arabic became so rich through the Quran and attained such a high level that it developed as the language of the most magnificent civilization of world history with all its scientific, religious, metaphysical, literary, economic, juridical, social and political aspects

 

Despite the high level poetry reached at that time, the vocabulary of Arabic was not as advanced as the same degree. It was difficult, even impossible, to express in it metaphysical ideas or scientific, religious and philosophical concepts. Restricted to the words and expressions to explain the thoughts and feelings of desert men and the simple life they led, this language became so rich through the Qur’an and attained such a high level that it developed as the language of the most magnificent civilization of world history with all its scientific, religious, metaphysical, literary, economic, juridical, social and political aspects. It is impossible for an unlettered one to prepare the ground for and give way to such a philological revolution unparalleled in human history.

 

Despite its apparent simplicity, the Quran has such depths of meaning that everyone from the commonest of people to the most high-ranking scholar, scientist and literary man, finds his share in it

 

Despite its apparent simplicity, the Quran has such depths of meaning that everyone from the commonest of people to the most high-ranking scholar, scientist and literary man, finds his share in it. The Quran is such a book that it illuminates the ways of both poets, musicians and orators, sociologists, psychologists, scientists, economists and jurists. Also, the founders of all the true spiritual orders and the schools of law and conduct found in it the principles of their orders and schools. The Quran has shown everybody the ways to solve their problems. It also satisfies everyone in his spiritual quests. Is there another book of the same character, quality and level next to the Quran?

 

No one has ever been heard to be bored with the recitation of the Quran

 

However beautiful and interesting, we can read a book at most two or three times and then are bored with it. However, no one has ever been heard to be bored with the recitation of the Quran. Hundreds of millions of Muslims recite portions from it in their five daily prayers and most of them recite it from beginning to end at least once a year. There have been hundreds of thousands of people reciting it from the beginning to the end once or twice or even three times a month. The more frequently one recites it, the more one benefits from it and the more desire one feels to recite it. One never gets tired of it, its wording, meaning and content, nor does the Quran lose anything of its originality and freshness. As time passes, it breathes into minds and souls new truths and meanings, thus increasing them in activity and liveliness.

 

The Quran unveils the mystery of man, creation and the universe

 

The Qur’an is the embodiment of Muhammad in words or Muhammad is the embodiment of the Qur’an in belief and conduct

 

You cannot find one who does exactly what he tells others to do or one whose work exactly reflects himself. However, the Qur’an is exactly identical with the Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, who received it from God and designed his life according to it.

 

The Qur’an contains at least the principles of all the branches of knowledge either in summary or detail and not even a single piece of the knowledge it contains has ever been contradicted.

 

The Qur’an addresses and legislates for all in all times

 

There are answers to many such questions in the Quran that one who does not have an all-encompassing knowledge could not have answered them.

 

Although other Prophets like Moses and Jesus are mentioned many times in the Quran despite the Jews’ and Christians’ denial of Muhammad, we come across the name Muhammad only four times

 

It is another argument for the Divine authorship of the Quran that it refers to certain facts of creation recently established by modern scientific methods.

 

Indeed, in order to judge the value, sublimity, and eloquence of a word it is asked: ‘Who has spoken it? To whom has it been spoken? Why has it been spoken?’ When considered from the perspective of these questions, again the Quran has no equal. For the Quran is the Word of the Lord of all beings and the Speech of the Creator of the whole of the universe which bears no signs to suggest that it is a book of imitation, one fabricated by someone and then falsely attributed to God. God revealed the Quran to the one whom He chose as the representative of all the creatures, one who is His most famous and renowned addressee, and the extent and strength of whose faith embraced the comprehensive religion of Islam and caused its owner to rise to the rank of the distance of two bows’ length, and being honored with direct conversation with the Eternally Besought-of-All, after which he turned back to the world to convey to people the principles of happiness in both worlds.

 

The Quran explains the principles of happiness in both worlds and the results of, and the Divine purpose in, the creation of the universe, and expounds the Prophet’s most comprehensive faith, which sustains all the truths of Islam: it shows and describes the huge universe like a map or a clock or a house and teaches about the Artist Who made it. Certainly it is impossible to produce a like of it or to match the degree of its eloquence.

 

It is because of such virtues of the Quran that its magnificent spiritual dominion and its majestic sacred rule has been continuing for centuries to illuminate the earth and the ages, time and space, and more and more people have been embracing it with perfect respect

 

There is no god but God-the Necessarily Existent One, the One, the Single-the necessity of Whose existence in His Oneness the Quran of miraculous exposition decisively proves, which is accepted and sought for by the species of angels, human beings and jinn; all of whose verses are recited in every minute with perfect respect by the tongues of millions of human beings; whose sacred rule in the regions of the earth and the realms of space and on the faces of ages and time; whose enlightened spiritual dominion has prevailed with perfect splendor over half of the globe and a fifth of humankind for fourteen centuries… Likewise, with the consensus of its heavenly and sacred suras, and the agreement of its luminous Divine verses, and the correspondence of its mysteries and lights, and the concord of its truths, and results, it manifestly attests, and is a clear proof of, this same truth.

PREPARING FOR THE MONTH OF MERCY

PREPARING FOR THE MONTH OF MERCY

Maryam AmirEbrahimi

A lot of us yearn to prepare for Ramadan, but we have no idea how to start. Below are a few tips to insha’Allah (Allah willing) help prepare our minds and hearts for this upcoming Month of Mercy. Make the Intention Simple to do, with a powerful impact. Maybe you want to prepare for Ramadan, but between school, work, family, and your other activities, you just have no idea how to fit in ‘prepare for Ramadan’ time. Instead of separating ‘prepare for Ramadan’ from your daily activities, make your daily activities a MEANS of preparation for Ramadan. For example, perhaps your mom asked you to pick up your brother from school on the day you finally had time to read a few extra pages of Qur’an. Instead of feeling upset as if you have lost a great opportunity to prepare for Ramadan, make the intention that you are picking up your brother to please Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala (exalted is He) and prepare for Ramadan by obeying your mother, helping your family members, building ties of kinship…and the list continues. The point is that preparing for Ramadan does not have to be some magnificent, enormous, extra-special thing that needs to be done at a certain time of the day. Many of your daily actions can be turned into Ramadan preparation actions with a sincere intention insha’Allah. Do these Easy-to-Reap-Reward Actions 1. Ask Allah to forgive your brothers and sisters. “Whoever seeks forgiveness for believing men and believing women, Allah will write for him a good deed for each believing man and believing woman.” [at-Tabarani, classed as hasan by al-Albani] 2. It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah radi allahu `anhu (may Allah be pleased with him) said “The Messenger of Allah ﷺ [peace be upon him] said: ‘Whoever says subhan Allah wa bi hamdih (praise and glory be to Allah) 100 times, morning and evening, his sins will be erased even if they are like the foam on the sea.” [Bukhari, Muslim] 3. If a person says, “Subhan Allah (glory be to Allah),” 100 times, a thousand good deeds are recorded for him and a thousand bad deeds are wiped away. [Muslim 2073] 4. Remember Allah (swt) when you go shopping. “Whoever enters a market and says: “Laa ilaha illallah wahdahu la shareeka lah, lahul mulku wa lahul hamdu yuhyi wa yumeetu wa huwa hayyun laa yamoot, bi yadihil khair, wa huwa ‘ala kulli shayin qadeer.” [There is nothing worthy of worship except Allah, alone without partner, to Him belongs dominion and praise; He causes life and death and He is the Living and does not die; in His Hand is all the good, and He is over all things competent] Allah will write for them a million good deeds and erase a million bad deeds and raise him a million levels.” [at-Tirmidhi, classed as hasan by al-Albani] Up Your Worship To help condition your heart for this blessed month, intensify your worship before Ramadan begins. Just a small, consistent amount is enough. The Prophet ﷺ told us: “The deeds most loved by Allah are those done regularly, even if they are small.” (Bukhari, Muslim) For example, say I always pray 2 rak`at (units )of sunnah (compulsory prayer) after ishaa’ (the night prayer) from this day until Ramadan begins—and even through Ramadan, let me make the intention that I will now pray 2 extra rak`at of sunnah after ishaa’. And every time I pray these extra 2 rak`at, which are more than what I normally pray, let me remember that I am doing these with the intention of asking Allah (swt) to help me be prepared to strive and exert my utmost effort during Ramadan. Make a Du`a’ (prayer) List Today This is THE MONTH to ask for EVERYTHING, both related to this life and the Next. Let us not wait until the last 10 nights to make special du`a’, and then once `Eid passes realize that we completely forgot about fifty other things we needed to make du`a’ for. Let’s start making our lists now, and add to it as more things come our way. Insha’Allah this should help us remember to make constant du`a’ in this month where dua`a’ is accepted, and help our hearts pour out to the One Who can make those du`a’ happen, subhanahu wa ta’ala. Write out Your Objectives for Ramadan Praying all of your fard (obligatory) prayers? Praying all of your sunnahs? Reading the entire Qur’an? Giving $1 in charity a day? Making itikaaf (a time for reflection and prayer in seclusion) in the masjid? Leaving one serious sin that you’ve been trying to get away from for some time now? Sincerely turning back to Allah (swt)? Write out a list, put it somewhere you will see it, and make du`a’ for your success in fulfilling your objectives. Make a Plan! Look at your objectives and try to plan out how to realize them in this month. For example, perhaps you are really struggling to pray your sunnah prayers. In this month, realize the enormity of the ajr (reward) of praying the sunnah prayers. Think that perhaps these sunnah will be the deeds that will be heavy on your scale of good deeds when you are intensely in need of them—on Yawm al-Qiyamah, the Day of Judgment. Therefore, fight to keep doing them all throughout Ramadan. If you can’t pray your 2 rak`at after dhuhr (the afternoon prayer) right away, make sure to do them as soon as you get the chance. Your plan might look something like this: Objective: Pray all of my fardh prayers. Method: Envision myself on the Day of Judgment seeing the weight of praying my sunnah consistently during this month. Make sure to pray sunnah immediately after salah (prayer). If I cannot, do it as soon as the opportunity arises—don’t let myself put it off! Another example is that of finishing the Qur’an: Objective: Finish the entire Qur’an in this month. Method: Read 4 pages of the Qur’an after every salah. 5 prayers X 4 pages = 20 pages. 20 pages= about 1 juz. 1 juz X 30= the entire Qur’an. So many Muslims have passed away since last month. So many people have not made it to Ramadan this year. Last year was their very last Ramadan. Will you make it to this Ramadan? Will this be your last Ramadan? Aim to strive this Ramadan. With a very small amount of effort, such as just making a small intention or adding a few extra acts of worship, we pray that Allah (swt) will help our hearts soften and honor us with making it easy to turn to Him and open up to Him. May Allah (swt) make us of the successful in Ramadan, and make it easy for us to turn to Him completely and perpetually. Ameen.

RAMADHAAN IS A MONTH OF JIHAD

RAMADAN IS  A MONTH OF JIHAD

 

 

Salman Awdah

 

Jihad is the summit of Islam. Its virtue is countlessly high, as mentioned in many places of the Koran and Sunnah. The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

 

“Verily, there are one hundred degrees in Paradise which Allah has reserved for the fighters in His cause. The distance between every two degrees is like the distance between the sky and the Earth, so if you ask Allah for anything, ask Him for the Firdaus, for it is the last part of Paradise and the highest part of Paradise, and at its top there is the Throne of Beneficent, and from it gush forth the rivers of Paradise”.

 

(al-Bukhari).

 

The month of Ramadan in the life of the Prophet (pbuh) and the righteous ancestors was a month of forthcoming. The greatest battles during the lifetime of the Prophet (pbuh) occurred in this blessed month, the month of jihad, zeal and enthusiasm.

 

The first battle in the history of Islam was the battle of Badr. This event became a dividing line between the era of humiliation and weakness, and the beginning of the era of force and revival of the case of the Prophet (pbuh) and the believers. This day became a turning point in the spreading of the call of the Prophet (pbuh).

 

In Badr, the Prophet (pbuh) raised his hands to the sky and began to solicit Allah in a way that his cloak fell off his shoulders. The supplication of the Prophet to the Lord was:

 

“Oh Allah! Thy help which Thou hast promised me! Oh Allah! I adjure thee Thy promise. Oh Allah! If this company is destroyed, there will be none left in the land worship you”.

 

He repeated this until Abu Bakr came into his tent and stopped him, throwing his cloak over his shoulders and turning to him:

 

“O Messenger of Allah! Do not overdo in your beseeching your Lord, for He is sure to fulfill what He has promised you”.

 

Allah said:

 

“And already had Allah given you victory at [the battle of] Badr while you were few in number. Then fear Allah; perhaps you will be grateful”.

 

(The Holy Quran, Surah 3. “The Family Of ‘Imran”, verse 123)

 

The second battle of this month was the conquest of Mecca. It is also one of the most important battles in the life of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). Mecca was a political and cultural center of the Arabian Peninsula, which made it strategically important.

 

Idolatry, in the eight years after relocation of the Prophet (pbuh) in Medina, was constantly opposed to the cause of Islam. It came so far that pagans decided to ban the rites of Hajj to the Prophet (pbuh) on the day of Hudaybiyya. Mecca was captured in the eighth year of Hijra, which marked a turning point for the rest of the Arabian Peninsula. The result of this had not taken long to appear. Next year, messengers with a desire to accept Islam hauled from all parts of Arabia.

 

The capture of Mecca marks a time period when we can say that Islam ceased to be something new in the life of Arabs, and it began to play a predominant role in a life of the entire Arabian Peninsula, because the ideology of idolatry was completely defeated.

 

The history of Islam is full of other examples of great battles in the month of Ramadan. For example, the battle of Ain Jaluit, where Allah helped Muslims to gain the upper hand over wild hordes of Mongol-Tatars. Their defeat was tremendous.

 

We are to consider stories about the jihad in the month of Ramadan from two positions:

 

1. In the minds of many Muslims, Ramadan is not associated with great achievements, incredible activity and enthusiasm. It is rather perceived as a month of laziness and idle pastime and frequent sleeping. Undoubtedly, these are false ideas about Ramadan. It is necessary to change these concepts into right ideas and encourage Muslims to be active both during the entire month of Ramadan and at other times.

 

2. The concept of jihad is interpreted broadly. It includes many activities: fighting with weapons, with property, sermons, appeals for good and retention from evil, studying, spreading of the call etc.

 

Everyone knows that in many parts of the world, Muslims are fighting with weapons against oppression and colonialism – Afghanistan, Palestine, Yemen, the Philippines, the Caucasus, Kashmir and other Islamic countries. In all above-mentioned countries, Muslim groups oppose infidels, Christians, Zionists, Communists and other enemies of every color. These Muslims deserve help from their brothers who live in other places at least by praying Allah for them. After all, who knows, maybe, what affected the other yesterday, could affect you today.

 

And help from Allah.

Rahe Jaate heh Armaan

Rahe Jaate heh Armaan

Rahe jaate heh jaate heh yeh armaan haye mere seene meh

Rahe jaate heh jaate heh yeh armaan haye mere seene meh

Na Kaabah ki galie dekhi na poncha meh Madina meh

Na Kaabah ki galie dekhi na poncha meh Madina meh

Soona heh noor ki barsaat hoti heh Madina meh

Soona heh noor ki barsaat hoti heh Madina meh

 Ilahi ek cheeta aa pare hum sub ke seene meh

Ilahi ek cheeta aa pare hum sub ke seene meh

Rahe jaate heh jate heh yeh armaan haye mere seene meh

Mazaa kya khaak aaye door rehkar aise jeene meh

Mazaa kya khaak aaye door rehkar aise jeene meh

Ke parwana yahaan  tarpe rahe shama Madina meh

Ke parwana yahaan  tarpe rahe shama Madina meh

Rahe jaate heh jate heh yeh armaan haye mere seene meh

Muhammad ki judaai aag bharkati heh  seene meh

Muhammad ki judaai aag bharkati heh  seene meh

Rawa jub  dekhta hoon qaafile Haj ke mahine meh

Rawa jub  dekhta hoon qaafile haj ke mahine meh

Rahe jaate heh jate heh yeh armaan haye mere seene meh

Muhammad is taraah tashreef  farmaa heh  Madina meh

Muhammad is taraah tashreef  farmaa heh  Madina meh

Ke jaise surah Yaseen  heh Qur’aan ke seene meh

Ke jaise surah Yaseen  heh Qur’aan ke seene meh

Rahe jaate heh jate heh yeh armaan haye mere seene meh

Na Kaabe ki galie dekhi na poncha  meh Madina meh

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=up7zi3xjF_0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYSdmIK3hFQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o12r0tEgl-M

The incredible wisdom of Luqman

PeaceDeen

The story of Luqman is mentioned in Sura Luqman (31:12-19). More about Luqman is stated in Ibn Kathir’s book, “Stories of the Prophet”. A summary of that story is stated below.

Luqman Ibn ‘Anqa’ Ibn Sadun or, as stated by As-Suhaili from Ibn Jarir and Al-Qutaibi, Luqman Ibn Tharan, was from among the people of Aylah (Jerusalem). He was a pious man who exerted himself in worship and who was blessed with wisdom.

Sufyan Ath- Thawri narrated from Al-Ash’ath after ‘Ikrimah on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) that he was an Ethiopian slave who worked as a carpenter. Qatadah narrated from Abdullah Ibn Az-Zubair that Jabir Ibn ‘Abdullah when asked about Luqman, said: “He was short with a flat nose. He was from Nubia.”

Yahia Ibn Sa’ id Al-Ansari said after Sa’ id Ibn Al-Musayib that Luqman belonged to the black men of…

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