Understanding Islam , A Simplified introduction to the basic principles of Islam


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  • Understanding Islam , A Simplified introduction to the basic principles of Islam


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    Chapter Two

    The Principles of The Creed

    The principles of the Islamic Faith are what is contained in the conversation of the Angle Gabriel, with the prophet Mohammad (PBUH ) when he asked him about faith; he explained as follows: -

     Belief In The Existence Of The One GOD

    Creator of the universe and its Controller and Propenser of its phenomena (system), and upon whom its affairs depend.  He is imbued with the fullest attributes of the Majestic, the Absolute, and He is Allah, whom Ibrahim, (Peace be on him), describes by saying, as stated in the Holy Qur'an:

    “ The creator - Who brought me into existence and it is He Who guides me to the truth and to the path of rectitude - it is He Who provides me with the victuals to eat and drink - And when I fall sick, it is He Who restores me to health - And it is He Who determines the moment and the cause of my death and occasions my resurrection and restoration to life -the Creator Whom I hope will relent and quit me all His debt, and will forgive me my wrongful actions

    when I have audience of Him on the Day of Judgment.” (Sura 26:78-82)

    Belief in the existence of ONE GOD gives the feeling of right- thinking, and common sense calls for it, as is mentioned in the Hadith;

    Prophet Mohammad, (PBUH) said: “every new-born is delivered on the right path, but his parents make him, Jewish, Christian or Magus”  (Cited by Bukhari)

            Allah Most High said:

    “ And so set (O Mohammad) your face and your thoughts and rest your eyes sincere/y upon God and your heart on religion with sincere feeling and actions and with firmness in fidelity and allegiance and in the fulfillment of all duties owed to Him. This is the natural instinct and the innate propensity which God has implanted in mankind and no change ever shall there be, nor should there be.  This right and commendable religion is the only system of faith and worship that leads directly to God " (Sura 30:30)

    So if the intellect contemplates the universe, and soul, it will arrive at belief in the existence of One God.

            Allah Most High said:

    “ On earth are countless signs of miraculous nature serving to demonstrate Divine Power, omnipotence and authority; signs clearly recognized by those whose hearts have been touched with the Divine Hand, and signs with yourselves: bodily structure, organizations and development, the characteristic appearance of an individual or a race, the vital functions and countless other signs: can you not see? "  (Surd 51:20-21)

    For that reason, there are numerous verses which urge the observation or contemplation of the firmament and the earth for the aspirant to faith to be wonder-struck at the power of Allah, and to thank Him for His bounties.  And of the verses in confirmation of the ONENESS of Allah, Sanctified be He is. 

            Allah Most High said:

    “ Say: O Mohammad He is God and He is One; He is infinite, absolute, and all creatures, spiritual , animate and inanimate, are in need of Him while He is in need of no one. He did not beget nor was He begotten, and like unto Him there is none " (Sura 112)

            Allah, the Almighty also said:

    “ Indeed, if there be gods other then Allah the Almighty or sharing His Divine nature and attributes, the heavens and the earth would have become corrupt and been ruined. " (Sura 21:22)

          Allah Most High said:

    “Never did God take, adopt or beget a son nor did He share His sovereignty with any god; for, if He did, then each god would have had a kingdom of his own, independent of the others, and earth would have established his own laws, made sure to exalt himself above others. Glory be to Him, and extolled are His glorious attributes. He is infinitely far beyond all that they falsely attribute to Him. " (Sura 23:91)

    Faith in One Lord over the whole of the universe renders the human bondsman nearer to Him than the jugular vein.

            Allah Most High said:

    “And should My servants call upon you (O Mohammad) for information apprising My attributes, then bring vividly before their minds that I am in their immediate proximity; I respond favorably to the prayers of the humble petitioner when he addresses Me. But those who aim at My blessings are expected to lift to Me their inward sight, respond favorably to My system of faith and worship, and believe in Me with hearts reflecting the image of religious and spiritual virtues, that they may hopefully be guided to the path of rectitude" (Sura 2:186)

    Pious deeds are the subordinate’s tally to his Lord.  

            Allah Most High said:

    "And keep in mind that pious and virtuous deeds cancel evil deeds. " (Sura 11:114)

            Allah Almighty also said:

    "Quote to them (O Mohammad) what God says: (O My people (who worship Me and who do not) who have carried disobedience to excess, do not despair of God 's Mercy; God forgives all sins; He is the Forgiving, the Merciful).” (Sura39:53)

    BELIEF IN THE ANGELS

    They are created from light; they neither eat nor drink; and never bring forth off spring. 

            Allah Most High Said:

    "They never disobey a command given by God and they carry out every action they enjoined to do all along." (Sura 66:6)

     And their number is fecund. 

    Allah Most High said :

    “And no one knows the number of your Creator's Forces but He” (Sura 74:31)

    Among those mentioned in the Qur’an are; Gibriel, Israphil, Mikhail, bearers of the Throne and the agents commissioned to recapture the soul,  and to record the  deeds of mankind. 

     

    Belief In The Books Of Allah

    These are the books which Allah sent His prophets, the most important of which are; the scriptures of Ibrahim; the Torah, the Bible of Moses the Psalms with David, the Gospel with Jesus Christ, and the Qur'an with Mohammad (PBUH) the original Books which decided with the prophets before Mohammad have lost their originality; and discrepancy and alterations have crept into them; as stated in the Holy Qur' an. 

    Allah Most High said:

    “ In consequence, woe to those who reproduce God's Book and word it differently with their own hands in a demagogic way, tossing phrases about till they bear other meanings and relate it to God to exchange the truth for the vanity of the fleeting and evanescent world; woe betide them in consequence of their wrongful and unclean hands and denunciated of miseries shall they be in consequence of their sinful iniquities. " (Sura2:79)

    Those of them that now exist are written by human- hand, and should not therefore be followed or taken for granted.

    The Qur’an alone, is the Book which Allah has guarded against alterations and discrepancy. 

            Allah Most High said:

    “We have sent down the Qur'an featuring the virtuous Divine Message of truth which shall never suffer eclipse nor shall its spiritual power ever be on the wane, and its preservation against loss and corruption is indeed Our concern.” (Sura 15:9)

         Allah Almighty also said:

    “And when Our revelations are recited to them- (to the idolaters) emitting thoughts of piety and divine enlightenment as possessed by the mind, they react with revulsion of feeling and they -  who reject the thought and deny the belief of meeting with God- insolently say: “bring a Qur 'an that is different from this or substitute the words which we do not like for others to our taste.” Say to them (O Mohammad) it is not within my power to make any changes of my own accord; I only follow all that is inspired to me, nor do I dare disobey God, my Creator, for the penalty in this case shall be the torment that is suffered on a Momentous Day.” (Sura 10:15)

    Yet it did not descend in block as a whole at one time like the other Books, but instead, it descended piecemeal, within a duration of twenty-three years, and the prophet (PBUH) instructed some of the followers- and they were writers of the revelation to take down all that descended upon him.

    From this written version was the Mushaf (the Holy writ), from which Uthman Ibn Affan commissioned a number of copies, and distributed them to the capital of cities, and the Muslims were keen on resorting to, and memorizing it, from generation to generation, until it reached us -safe from any discrepancy or alterations. 

    Belief In The Prophets Of Allah

    And they were human. Allah has chosen the prophets to receive revelation and deliver it to mankind. Allah Most High said regarding the wisdom in sending them:

    “ Such Apostles were as spectacles and warnings so that people shall have no excuse, nor can they hold a plea against God in mitigation of censure after they had been warned by God's Apostles. And God has always been Omnipotent, Wise.” (Sura 4:165)

    And their number is great. 

    Allah Most High said :

     “ And never was there a nation but had a Spectacle and a Warner.” (Sura35:24)

            Allah Almighty also said:

    “ Before you (O Mohammad) We sent Apostles to their people, Some of whom We mentioned and narrated to you their stories and some We did not relate to you their account.” (Sura 40:78)

    And those prophets whom Allah bas spoken about in the Qur’an are twenty-five: Adam, Idris, Noah, Hud, Salih, Ibrahim, Lout, Ismail, Ishaq, Jacab (Ya'aqub), Joseph (Yusuf), Shuaib, Moses (Musa), Harun (Aaron), David (Dawud), Solomon (Soleaman), Job (Ayub), Elias (llija), Jona (yunus), Zul-Kefl, Alys‘aa (Elisha), Zakaria, Yehia (John the Baptist) Jesus And Mohammad, (PBUH). Belief in all of them is obligatory.  As stated in the Holy Qur'an.

             Allah Most High said:

    “Declare O Muslims and in explicit terms, thus we believe in God with hearts impressed with the image of religious and spiritual virtues, and we believe in all that has been imparted to us in the Qur'an and in all that was imparted to Abraham and Isma’il, Isaac and Jacob and to the tribes of his twelve sons and in what was imparted to Moses and to Jesus, and we believe in all that was imparted to all the prophets from God, their Creator; we do not discriminate one of them from another and we conform our will to His blessed will; He is the heart of purpose. " (Sura 2: 136)

    That is because they are brethren in the call to the religion of Allah, even though every one of them belonged to a particular people, and a particular epoch, with the exception of the prophet Mohammad (PBUH) who said:

     

    “ The prophets are brethren of the families, and their mothers are various, and their religion is one " (Cited by Muslim)

    All of them are human. They are not different from the rest of mankind, except that they have received revelation from Allah, and that they are infallible of all that may breach of the obligations of the message. As stated In the Holy Qur'an.

             Allah Most High said:

    “ And never did God send Apostles before you (O Mohammad) but were men (and not angels) to whom We inspired Our Message.” (Sura 16:43)

            Allah Almighty also said:

     

    “ Say to them (O Mohammed), I am only a mortal like you, but I am prompted by God to impart to you the knowledge that has been inspired to me, It emphasizes that your God is only One God, The Creator of the whole and of all in all.” (Sura 18:110) 

            Allah Most High also said:

    “ Praise be to God and extolled are His glorious attributes; am I in any respect but a human messenger.” (Sura 17:93)

    None of them rose above the position of Prophethood, and the calling of people to Allah; and Allah said regarding Jesus Christ in particular:

    "Indeed, the Messiah, the son of Mary, was no more than an Apostle; many Messengers like him have passed away before him. His mother was a woman vested with saintliness of life and character; she and her son had to consume food (and to sustain their lives, clear themselves from dregs) and therefore be destined to die.” (Sura 5:75)

    What is mentioned about some of the prophets in the previous Holy Books of stories, is breaching of their infallibility which contravenes their messages, so it is obligatory upon us to vindicate them of it.  The Noble Qur’an, took the responsibility of refuting most of these false claims, in recognition of their position and in corroboration with the truth, which is in- keeping with the Message of Islam;

            Allah Most High said:

    "And in the truth did We send down the Qur'an and in conformity with fact and in agreement with reality has it been revealed and We have only sent you (O Mohammad) as a spectacle and a warning” (Sura 17:105)

            After this He said:

    "It is He who has sent His Apostle to transmit the spirit of truth to guide people into all truth,  and to proclaim by public discourse the Qur'an, which features the appropriate system of faith and worship which conforms with truth and agrees with reality; a Qur'an which serves as the Criterion and the canon where in providence is the guide ; it aligns and makes unanimous the course of action, of thought and of life of all concerned, Muslims and non-Muslims , whose religious practices are contingent upon man-made related aspects of the one religion whose unclouded and authoritative front is Islam; and good enough for your people is this testimony on the part of God” (Sura 48:28)

            Allah Almighty also said:

    " And We have sent down to you (O Mohammad) the Book -the Qur'an -confirming the scriptures which were revealed before it (Torah and Bible) and serving as the Book of reference which does answer any query on matters disputed among people of the Book (Jews and Christians), for it is the umpire of all preceding scriptures (Torah and Bible), and the decision that is based on its precepts shall have to be accepted as final.”  (Sura 5:48)

     

    Belief In The Resurrection

    That is to say the Day of the Resurrection after death, and of Account and Reward, either to Paradise or to Hell and what there is in this day of affairs is unknown except by listening to the Qur'an or Sunnah, and they are of the unseen, in which Allah has commanded us to believe as it is in many verses of the Qur’an, and in the Sunnah.

              Allah Most High said:

    "This book -the Qur'an -in which providence is the guide, occasions no doubt and represents the spirit of truth that guides into all truth; it guides those who entertain the

    profound reverence dutiful to God, who are strongly disposed to realize the unseen or what is not apprehended by sight, especially God who is exposed only to the mental  view and perceived only by the mind, who recognize His  spiritual beings who are His attendants and His messengers; and they sense with prudence the Hereafter, who duly engage in worship and spend in benevolence and benefaction of the provisions of life with which We provisioned them. Who faithfully believe in all that has been revealed to you (O Mohammad) the Qur'an, way of life, religious and spiritual virtues and all that has been enjoined and they credit all that had been revealed to those who were sent before you, Torah, Gospel and the like and affirm with the eye of faith the certainty of the Hereafter.” (Sura 2:24)

              Allah the Almighty also said:

      

    “And it is He Who begins creation and reproduces it and creates and recreates, a process that is indeed quite easy for Him to do (all it takes is «be» and it is).” (Sura 30:27)

            And He also said:

    “The infidels venture to say that they shall not be resurrected, say to them (O Mohammad): (But indeed you shall be; I solemnly swear by God my Creator; you shall be resurrected and brought to judgment and you shall be informed of all that you had done, be it evil or good minor or major, and this is indeed easy for God” (Sura 64:7)

            And again He said:

    “He authoritatively states that: The Final Hour (Day of Judgment) is an undoubted Event And an absolute certainty and that God shall resurrect those deposited in the graves.” (Sura 22:7)

    It is never known when the world shall come to an end; and the creation is sent before Allah.

          Allah Most High said:

    "They- the infidels -insolently ask you (O Mohammad) for information relating to the point of time at which the predetermined Eventful Hour of Judgment takes place! Say to them: It is only God alone Who knows when, He alone has the rightful claim to the knowledge of the how’s and when’s of Hour and Hereafter; no one reveals it when it is due but He as His word prompts. It weights quite heavily on the heavens and all those within and on the earth and the hopes of all those therein, and the encounter with it is simply a sudden start of surprise. They ask you about it as if you are anxious to know how’s and when's and as a result you have been informed. Say to them: Rest assured that it is only God and God alone Who does know when, but most people do not realize this fact.” (Sura 7: 187 )

     

    Belief In Fate And Destiny

    That is to say that Allah knows all that happens in the Universe before it happens, and that whatever happens is out of His will, Sanctified be He.

            Allah Most High said:

    “Nothing do we create casually; but everything, spiritual, animate and inanimate We create according to plan, indicating the relations of objects to one another, times and places of intended deeds and actions, proportions and measures, disposition of parts, designs, arrangements, limitations and consequence, all is one single act.” (Sura54:49)

    And man cannot know what he is destined to do before it occurs; and Allah has commanded him to do certain things which he must carry out, on the basis of his own freedom and choice; and freedom is a step forward to obligation; and a deed is a step to reward and Allah Most High said: 

    “He who imprints his deeds with wisdom and piety, advantages himself of spiritual privileges, and he who weds himself to evil, invites his own detriment and loss, and never is God, your Creator, unjust to His servants” (Sura 41 : 46 )

    Belief in fate and destiny prevents impatience (and grief) and the occurrence of what Allah has decreed, in which man has no choice, such as calamities; and this does not mean surrender and despair; rather does it mean that man should be keen on deeds, based on the guidance of religion in bravery and confidence and hope.

               Allah Most High said: 

     “Say to the people (O Mohammad): < < Work > >, that is to say:

    a.     do something involving effort of body and mind .

    b. exert yourselves for a definite purpose, especially in order to produce and accomplish something, or effect some useful result and gain some definite end.

    c.     gain your livelihood.

    d.     do what is dutiful to God.

    e.     let your deeds be imprinted with wisdom and piety.

    And God is Omnipresent, He shall see your doings and so shall His Apostle and those whose hearts have been touched with the Divine hand Then at the end shall you all be brought back to Him the Omniscient of all that is

    invisible, hidden, and unseen, the Omniscient of what the bosoms store of thoughts and feelings and of what is suggested secretly to the mind, There and then shall He inform you of all that your minds and souls had actuated you to do” ( Sura 9: 105)

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