Chapter 1: The Religion of Islam
Chapter 2: The Pillars of Islam
Chapter 3: Pillars of Islamic Belief
Chapter 4: Belief in Allah
Chapter 5: Belief in the Angels
Chapter 6: Belief in the Books
Chapter 7: Belief in the Messengers
Chapter 8: Belief in the Last Day
Chapter 9: Belief in the Al-Qadar
Chapter 10: The Goals of Islamic Belief
All thanks are to Allah, Whom we thank, repent to and seek for His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evils of ourselves and our evil deeds. Whomsoever Allah guides, will never be misled, and whomsoever He leads to misguidance, will never find guidance. I attest that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, Who has no partners, and I attest that Mohammad is His slave and Messenger. All the peace and blessings of Allah be on His Messenger, his family, his companions and whoever followed their lead in the best way possible.
The knowledge of Taw'hid (oneness of Allah) is the most honorable and dignified of all knowledge. This knowledge is the one most required of the believers to seek. This is the knowledge in Allah, His Names and Attributes and His rights on His slaves. It is the key to attaining the Pleasure of Allah and knowing His Commandments. This is why all Messengers called to Taw'hid. Allah said, what translated means, (And We did not send any Messenger before you (O Mohammad) but We inspired him (saying): "There is none who has the right to be worshipped but I (Allah), so worship Me (Alone and none else).") [21:25].
Allah, the Mighty One, testified that He is One, along with testimony of His angles and people of knowledge to His Oneness, (Allah bears witness that none has the right to be worshipped but He, and the Angels, and those having knowledge (also give this witness); (He is always) maintaining His creation in Justice, none has the right to be worshipped but He, the All-Mighty, the All- Wise.) [3:18].
If this is how important Taw'hid is, then every Muslim must be concerned with attaining this knowledge through studying, understanding and then, believing. This is how Muslims build their religion on solid basis while feeling certainty and submission to the faith. This leads to happiness in the end, after reaching the goals of Islam.
The Religion of Islam
Islam is the religion that Allah sent to Mohammad and made it the final and most complete religion for His slaves. Allah perfected, in this religion, the bounties that He bestowed on His salves, and accepts only Islam from them. He said, what translated means, (Mohammad is not the father of any man among you, but he is the Messenger of Allah, and the Last (end) of the Prophets.) [33:40], (This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you, and have chosen Islam for you as your religion.) [5:3], (Truly, the religion in the Sight of Allah is Islam.) [3:19] and, (And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers.) [3:85].
Allah obligated all mankind to follow Islam, (Say (O Mohammad): "O mankind! Verily, I am sent to you all as the Messenger of Allah, to Whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. There is none who has the right to be worshipped but He; It is He Who gives life and causes death. So believe in Allah and His Messenger (Mohammad), the Prophet who can neither read nor write, who believes in Allah and His Words (this Quran, the Torah and the Gospel), and follow him so that you may be guided.") [7:158]. Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said, what translated means, "By Whom the soul of Mohammed is in His Hand! No member of this nation, no Jew or Christian, hears of me and does not believe in what I was sent with, but he will be of the people of the Fire." [Muslim].
Believing in the Messenger means believing in what was revealed to him, coupled with acceptance and submission; without them the belief is not sufficient. This is why Abu Talib, the Prophet's uncle, was not a believer in the Messenger, although he believed in what he was sent with and confirmed that Islam was the best religion, (but without acceptance or adherence to Islam).
Islam contains all of what brings benefit which was also contained in previous religions. Islam, however, is suitable for implementation anytime, anywhere and by any nation. Allah said to His Messenger, what translated means, (And We have sent down to you (O Mohammad) the Book (this Quran) in truth, confirming the Scripture that came before it and dominant over it.) [5:48]. The meaning of "suitable for implementation at anytime, anywhere and by any nation," is that Islam only brings benefit to mankind, whenever and wherever it is implemented. Islam is not under the control, and thus is not to be altered by, any nation living at any given time at any given place, as some people would want it to be.
Islam is the religion of truth. It is the religion that Allah guaranteed aid and dominance for whoever firmly adheres by it. He said, what translated means, (It is He who has sent His Messenger (Mohammad) with guidance and the Religion of Truth (Islam), to make it superior over all religions even though the disbelievers hate it.) [9:33] and, (Allah has promised those among you who believe, and do righteous, good deeds, that He will certainly grant them succession to (the present rulers) in the earth, as He granted it to those before them, and that He will grant them the authority to practice their religion, which He has chosen for them (Islam). And He will surely give them in exchange a safe security after their fear (provided) they (the believers) worship Me and do not associate anything (in worship) with Me. But whoever disbelieved after this, they are the rebellious (disobedient to Allah).) [24:55].
Islam contains belief and Law. It is a complete religion, both in its belief and in its Law. It demands from its followers the following:
1 - Believing in Taw'hid (Oneness) of Allah and disbelieving in Shirk (polytheism).
2 - Being truthful and not lying.
3 - Being just, that is to deal comparable things with equality, and abandoning injustice.
4 - Being honest and abandoning treachery.
5 - Preserving one's promises and contracts and not breaking them.
6 - Being dutifully good to one's parents and not cutting ties of kinship.
7 - Keeping relations with relatives and not cutting them.
8 - Being good with neighbors and not harming them.
In general, Islam orders Muslims to have the best possible conduct and
forbids all bad behavior. It requires Muslims to enjoin every righteous deed and
avoid every evil deed. Allah said, what translated means, (Verily, Allah enjoins
justice, AI-Ih'san (excellence in religion), giving (help) to kith and kin, and
forbids all evil (deeds), Al-Munkar (all that is prohibited) and injustice. He
admonishes you, that you may take heed.) [ 16:90].
The Pillars of Islam
The Pillars of Islam are the cornerstones on which Islam is built. There are five pillars of Islam. They are mentioned in the Hadith that was narrated by ibn Omar, that the Prophet said, what translated means, "Islam is built around five (pillars): The testimony that there is no god except Allah and that Mohammed is His slave and Messenger, to establish prayer, to give Zakat (obligatory charity), to fast in Ramadhan and to perform Hajj (pilgrimage)." [Al-Bukhari & Muslim].
1 - The Shahadah (the testimony) that there is no god worthy of worship except Allah and that Mohammad is His slave and Messenger, requires solid belief, in the heart, in it. This belief must also be confirmed by the tongue. It is called Shahadah (testimony) to show that when a believer believes in it, his belief is as solid as if he is an eyewitness. This Shahadah is one cornerstone, although it contains many aspects that must be taken as belief. This testimony (comprised of two testimonies as is apparent), is considered one cornerstone, either because it contains testifying that Mohammad is only a conveyer of the Message from Allah and His slave and Messenger, thus completing the testimony that Allah is One. Or because these two testimonies together are the reason behind the acceptance of deeds by Allah. Deeds are neither valid nor accepted unless they are done with sincerity for the sake of Allah alone, and this is called "lkhlas," and through following the way of the Messenger of Allah. Realizing the essence of this testimony, that there is no god except Allah, is a result of Ikhlas (sincerity) to Allah. Realizing the true essence of testifying that Mohammad is His slave and Messenger, comes as a result of following the Messenger of Allah.
This magnificent testimony leads to many sweet results. It frees the hearts and souls from being enslaved to the creation and from following other than the Messenger.
2 - Establishing the prayers means to worship Allah by praying to Him. One must preserve the prayers by establishing them on time and in the best manner, as taught by the Prophet.
Rewards for establishing the prayers include tranquility and happiness that are felt in the heart. Prayer also leads one to abandoning evil deeds and behavior.
3 - Paying Zakat is worshipping Allah by paying the amount of charity obligated on the ones who have enough money or possessions that require paying Zakat.
Paying the required Zakat leads to cleansing the heart from the evil of misery. It also fulfills the needs of Islam and Muslims.
4 - Fasting Ramadhan contains worshipping Allah by fasting during the days of this month, by not eating or drinking from dawn to sunset.
Fasting trains the souls to abandon what is preferred and desired, seeking the pleasure of Allah.
5 - Performing Haji (pilgrimage to Makkah) is worshipping Allah by visiting the Holy House to perform the rituals of Hajj.
Hajj trains the souls to spend time and physical effort, seeking to obey Allah. This is why Hajj is considered a type of Jihad (struggle).
These fruits of performing the pillars of Islam, along with many others we did not mention, make the Muslim nation pure and clean. They lead the nation to preserving the religion of Truth and dealing with the creation in the best manners of justice and truthfulness. All other acts of the religion depend on how well these pillars are preserved. The Ummah (Muslim nation) can reach success as long as its members preserve the religion. This Ummah will not reach the desired success as long as the religion is not fully respected and preserved.
Whoever wants to be certain of the above mentioned facts, let him read the
following Ayat (verses), (And if the people of the towns had believed and had
piety, certainly, We should have opened for them blessings from the heaven and
the earth, but they belied (the Messengers). So We took them (with punishment)
for what they used to earn (of evil deeds). Did the people of the towns then
feel secure against the coming of Our punishment by night while they were
asleep? Or, did the people of the towns then feel secure against the coming of
Our punishment in the forenoon while they play? Did they then feel secure
against the plot of Allah? None feels secure form the plot of Allah except the
people who are lost) [7:96-99]. Let him also read the history of previous
nations, which gives valuable lessons for whoever is in possession of a mind
that comprehends and is rightly guided. This history is a light for those whose
hearts are not blocked from the truth. All our dependence is on Allah.
The Pillars of Islamic Belief
Islam, as we explained before, is belief and Laws. We mentioned some pillars of the Laws. These pillars are the basis of Islamic Law.
As for the Islamic 'Aqeedah (creed), its pillars are: Believing in Allah, His angles, His Books, His Messengers, the Last Day and the good or bad that Qadar (predestination) brings. These pillars are mentioned in the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger.
Allah said, what translated means, (Righteousness is not that you (only) turn your faces towards the East and (or) the West (in prayers); but righteousness is (the quality) of the one who believes in Allah, the Last Day, the Angels, the Book and the Prophets.) [2:177], and with regards to Qadar, (Verily, We have created all things with Qadar. And Our Commandment is but one, as the twinkling of an eye.) [54:49].
In the Sunnah, the Messenger of Allah said, in answer to Gibreal when he asked him about Iman (belief), "Iman is to believe in Allah, His Angles, His Books, His Messengers, the Last Day, and to believe in the Qadar and what it brings of good or bad." [Muslim].
Belief in Allah
1 - Belief In Allah's Existence
Allah's existence is affirmed through Fitrah (the innate purity that Allah creates in every human being), the mind, the Shari'ah (Islamic Law) and the senses.
a - As for the Fitrah, we say the following: Allah created the belief in Him in every human being. Mankind need not to be taught this belief or think about how to posses it. However, the ones who have this Fitrah corrupted, will not benefit from it. The Prophet said, what translated means, "Every newly born will be born having Fitrah. However, his parents will either convert him to Judaism, Christianity, or Majocism (fire worshipping)." [Al-Bukhari].
b - The human mind must be used to prove the existence of Allah. All this creation, of old and new, must have a Creator who invented and started it. This creation could not have come to existence on its own or by chance. It could not have created itself, because it did not exist beforehand. Therefore, how can it create? Also, the creation could not have been started by accident or chance. Everything that exists must have a Creator who brought it into existence. Creation is magnificent in organization, coherent and correlated in its existence. There is a reason and originator behind every act. All this nullifies the saying that all this universe was started by chance. What was started by chance cannot be organized in its form because it did not have any organization before it was formed. What makes what was created by chance to be this organized?
If all this creation neither could have created itself nor was it created by chance, then it must have an Originator, Allah, the Lord of the worlds. Allah mentioned this reasoning in the Quran, (Were they created by nothing, or were they themselves the creators?) [52:35]. This Ayah means that men were neither created without a Creator nor did they create themselves. Therefore, Allah is the One who created them. This is why when Jubair ibn Mot'im heard the Messenger recite this Surah until he reached, (Were they created by nothing, or were they themselves the creators? Or did they create the heavens and the earth? Nay, but they have no firm belief. Or are with them the Treasures of your Lord? Or are they the tyrants with authority to do as they like?) [52:35-37], Jubair, a disbeliever then, said, "My heart almost flew (from the power of this reasoning mentioned in the Surah). This was the first time that Iman entered my heart." [Al-Bukhari].
Using parables in this regard is beneficial. Let us imagine that a man told you about a magnificent palace, surrounded by gardens with rivers running through them. This palace is full of furnishing and beds and is brilliantly beautified. If this man told you that this palace created itself and all what it contained, or that all this was created by chance, you will immediately consider this saying to be false and meaningless speech. Therefore, how can this vast universe, which contains the earth, the skies and all that is therein of stars and the magnificently organized existence that we see, have been created by itself or come to existence by chance?
c - As for the Shari'ah, all divine religions testify to the fact that Allah created the world. All Laws that were sent with these divine and revealed religions contain what benefits mankind. This is evidence to the existence of a Wise and All- Knowing Lord Who knows what brings benefit to His creation. All divinely-revealed religions describe a universe that is self- evident to the existence and ability of Allah, Who Creates what He Will.
d - Also, the senses must be used to prove the existence of Allah. We know that Allah accepts the supplication from whoever seek His aid and help, and that He brings them the benefits that they desire. This is clear evidence to the existence of Allah, who said, what translated means, (And (remember) Noah, when he cried (to Us) aforetime. We listened to his invocation.) [21:76] and, ((Remember) when you sought help from your Lord and He answered you?) [8:9]. Anas ibn Malik said, "An Arabian (Bedouin) man entered (the Masjid) on Friday while the Prophet was delivering the speech. He said: 'O Messenger of Allah! (Our) possessions are destroyed, (our) children are hungry. Ask Allah for us.' He (the Prophet) raised his hands in supplication (to Allah). All of a sudden, mountain-like clouds were formed. He did not descend from his Minbar (the podium) until I saw rain falling through his beard. On the second Friday, this Arabian man, or someone else, stood up and said: 'O Messenger of Allah. Buildings have collapsed and possessions are flooded. Ask Allah for us.' He (the Prophet) raised his hands and said: 'O my Lord! Around us and not around us.' Wherever he pointed to an area (of the sky), they (the clouds) dispersed." [Al-Bukhari].
Allah's acceptance of supplication has been and still is a known matter until today. It is given to those who are true in their seeking refuge in Allah and perform supplication in the correct manner to ensure its acceptance.
Also, there are the signs that Allah gave His Prophets, which are called miracles. People witnessed or heard these miracles. They are clear evidence that the One who sent the Messengers exists, and He is Allah the All-Mighty. These miracles are activities that are beyond the capability of mankind. Allah gave them to His Messengers as a way of aiding them and giving them victory.
An example of these miracles is the sign given of Moses. Allah ordered him to strike the sea with his stick, and the sea parted into twelve separate parts between mountains of water on each side of these parts (Then We inspired Moses (saying): "Strike the sea with your stick." And it parted, and each separated part (of the sea water) became like the huge, firm mass of a mountain.) [26:63].
Another example is the miracle of Jesus. He was given the power by Allah to raise the dead from their graves and back into life. Allah said about him, what translated means, ("And I bring the dead to life by Allah's leave.") [3:49] and, (And when you (O Jesus) brought forth the dead by My permission.) [5:110].
A third example is the miracle Mohammad performed. His tribe, Quraysh, asked him to perform a miracle. He pointed to the moon and it separated into two parts while his people were witnessing the incident. Allah said about this miracle, what translated means, (The Hour has drawn near, and the moon has been cleft asunder. And if they see a sign, they turn away, and say: "This is continuous magic.") [54:1-2].
All these miracles, that Allah gave to His Messengers as an aid and victory and that were witnessed by their nations, are proof that Allah exists.
Second: Belief in Allah's Lordship
This means to believe that Allah is the Lord, alone, and that He has no partners or helpers. The Rabb (Lord) is the One who Creates and Commands. There is no creator except Allah and there is no owner of the universe except Him. The Commandment and the Control is His. He said, what translated means, (Surely, His is the Creation and Commandment.) [7:54] and, (Such is Allah your Lord; His is the Kingdom. And those whom you invoke or call upon instead of Him, own not even a Qitmir (the membrane over the date-stone).) [35:13].
Only a few people rejected Allah's Lordship. These are the arrogant ones who deny what they believe deep in their hearts. This happened from Pharaoh, when he said to his people, as was mentioned in the Quran, ("I am your lord, most high.") [79:24] and, ("O chiefs! I know not that you have a god other than me!") [28:38]. However, what he said was not his true belief. Allah said, what translated means, (And they belied them (Our Signs) wrongfully and arrogantly, though their own selves were convinced thereof.) [27:14]. Also, Moses said to Pharaoh, as was mentioned in the Quran, ("Verily, you know that these Signs have been sent down by none but the Lord of the heavens and the earth as clear (evidences of His Oneness and Might). And I think you are, indeed, O Pharaoh, doomed to destruction.") [17:102].
The Arab disbelievers of old used to confirm Allah's Lordship, although they associated others with Him in worship. Allah said, what translated means, (Say: "Whose is the earth and whosoever is therein? If you know!" They will say: "It is Allah's!" Say: "Will you not then remember?" Say: "Who is the Lord of the seven heavens and the Lord of the Great Throne?" They will say: "Allah." Say: "Will you not then fear Allah?" Say: "In Whose Hands is the sovereignty of everything? And He protects (all), while against Whom there is no protector, if you know?" They will say: "(All this belongs) to Allah." Say: "How then are you deceived and turn away from the truth?") [23:84-89], (And indeed if you ask them: "Who has created the heavens and the earth?" They will surely say: "The All-Mighty, the All-Knower created them.") [43:9] and, (And if you ask them who created them, they will surely say: "Allah." How then are they turned away (from His worship)?) [43:87].
Allah's order comprises of both His running of the universe and the Commandment. He is the One who controls the creation and the One who does what He will, according to His Wisdom. He is also the One who gives the Commandment organizing aspects of worship and dealings, according to His Wisdom. Whoever takes anyone, besides Allah, to be the one who commands acts of worship or types of dealings, will have committed Shirk (disbelief, association in worship) with Allah. This act negates Iman.
Third: The Belief That He Is the Ilah
Allah is the Ilah, meaning He is the Worshipped One Who has no partners. This Ilah is worshipped with love and reverence. He said, what translated means, (And your Lord is One Lord, there is none who has the right to be worshipped but He, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.) [2:163] and, (Allah bears witness that none has the right to be worshipped but He, and the Angels, and those having knowledge (also give this witness); (He is always) maintaining His creation in Justice, none has the right to be worshipped but He, the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.) [3:18]. All things that are taken as gods, besides Allah, are false gods, (That is because Allah is the Truth (the Only True God), and what they (the disbelievers) invoke besides Him, it is falsehood. And verily, Allah is the Most High, the Most Great.) [22:62]. To call these things "gods," does not make them gods. Allah said about some idols, Al-Lat, Al-'Uzzaa and Manat, (They are but names which you have named, you and your fathers, for which Allah has sent down no authority.) [53:23]. Yousef (Joseph) said to his two companions in jail, as was mentioned in the Quran, ("Are many different lords (gods) better or Allah the One, the Irresistible? You do not worship beside Him but only names which you have forged, you and your fathers, for which Allah has sent down no authority.") [12:39-40]. All Messengers used to say to their nations, ("Worship Allah! You have no other God but Him.") [23:23]. However, the disbelievers refused to accept this call. They took others as gods besides Allah. They worshipped them besides Allah, calling them when aid and help were needed.
Allah refuted the disbelievers in their taking these idols as gods besides Him, using two logical arguments:
The first argument: These idols, that were taken by the disbelievers as gods, do not have any attributes that qualify them to be gods. These false gods were created and do not create. They can neither bring about benefit for whoever worships them, nor can they fend harm off. They cannot give life or take it away. They neither own nor are they partners in the kingdom of the heavens and earth.
Allah said, what translated means, (Yet, they have taken besides Him other gods that created nothing but are themselves created, and possess neither hurt nor benefit for themselves, and possess no power (of causing) death, nor (of giving) life, nor of raising the dead.) [25:3], (Say (O Mohammad): "Call upon those whom you asset (to be associate gods) besides Allah, they possess not even the weight of an atom, either in the heavens or on the earth, nor they have any share in either, nor is there for Him any supporter from among them.") [34:22-23] and, (Do they attribute as partners to Allah those who created nothing but they themselves are created? No help can they give them, nor can they help themselves.) [7:191-192]. If this is the case with false gods, then taking them as gods is a true misguidance and the lowest of all acts.
The second argument: The Mushrikeen (polytheists) are among those who confirmed that Allah, alone, is the Lord, the Creator, the One Who Has the ownership of everything and the One Who gives protection and no one can give protection to anyone from His Might. This confirmation requires from these disbelievers to worship Allah alone. He said, what translated means, (O Mankind! Worship your Lord (Allah), Who created you and those who were before you so that you may become among the pious. Who has made the earth a resting place for you, and the shy as a canopy, and sent down rain from the sky and brought forth therewith fruits as a provision for you. Then do not set up rivals unto Allah (in worship) while you know (that He Alone has the right to be worshipped).) [2:21-22], (And if you ask them who created them, they will surely say: "Allah." How then are they turned away (from His worship)?) [43:87] and, (Say (O Mohammad): "Who provides for you from the sky and from the earth? Or who owns hearing and sight? And who brings out the living from the dead and brings out the dead from the living? And who disposes the affairs?" They will say: "Allah." Say: "Will you not then be afraid of Allah's punishment?" Such is Allah, your Lord in truth. So after the Truth, what else can there be, save error? How then are you turned away?) [10:31-32].
Fourth: Belief In Allah's Names and Attributes
This belief requires accepting whatever Allah described of Himself, in His Book or in the Sunnah of His Messenger. The Names and Attributes must be accepted without alteration, rejection, precise description of their true nature or equating them with attributes of the creation. Allah said, what translated means, (And (all) the Most Beautiful Names belong to Allah, so call on Him by them, and leave the company of those who deny His Names. They will be requited for what they used to do.) [7:180], (His is the highest description in the heavens and in the earth. And He is the All-mighty, the AII-Wise.) [30:27] and, (There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.) [42:11].
Two groups have fallen into misguidance concerning this matter. One of them is Al-Mu'attilah (the refuters). This group rejected the Names and Attributes, or some of them, claiming that to accept them is to equate Allah with His creation. This claim is false for many reasons, following are two of them:
1 - This claim leads to false conclusions that Allah's Words are in opposition to each other. Allah is the One who confirmed these Names and Attributes and denied that there is anything that resembles Him. If confirming these Names and Attributes leads to equating Allah with the creation, then this will lead to the conclusion that Allah's Words are full of discrepancies and refute each other.
2 - For two things to have an attribute of some kind, does not mean that they are equal or look-likes. One can witness two persons who are both called "a human who hears, sees and speaks." However, this description of both does not mean that they are of equal capabilities in their hearing, sight or speech. One can also see that animals have hands, legs and eyes. However, this does not mean that animals are equal in every respect with regards to their hands, legs and eyes.
If disparity is this wide, between that which creation possess of attributes or names, then the disparity between the Creator and creation is even greater and more evident.
The second misguided group is called "Al-Mushabbihah." They confirmed the Names and the Attributes. Yet, they equated them with the names and attributes of the creation. They claimed that this is what the Texts mean. They claimed that Allah reveals to His slaves what they can comprehend. This claim is false for many reasons, some of them are:
1 - Allah's resemblance with His creation is false and is refuted with the mind and the Laws of Shari'ah. Texts of the Quran and Sunnah cannot lead to falsehood in their meanings.
2 - Allah revealed what His slaves can understand of the general meaning. However, the true nature of what these meanings are like is a knowledge that only Allah possesses, especially with regards to the true nature of His Names and Attributes.
Allah confirmed that He is the All-Hearer. Hearing means to comprehend sounds. However, the true nature of Allah's Hearing is unknown. Creation vary in their hearing capability. The difference between Allah's Hearing and the hearing of creation is even greater and more evident.
Also, Allah confirmed that He Istawa (Mounted or Settled) on His Throne. To mount and settle on a throne is known in the general meaning of the word "mounted," or "settled." The true nature of Allah's mounting on His Throne is unknown. Mounting on something varies with regards to different creation. To mount on a chair is unlike mounting on a wild camel. If Istiwaa' is this different between creation, then how can the Istiwaa' of Allah be compared to the Istiwaa' of creation? The difference between them is greater and more evident.
Benefits of Believing in Allah
Believing in Allah, in the way described above, leads to many benefits for the believers:
1 - To truly realize the Taw'hid of Allah, by depending only on Him and hoping in, fearing and worshipping Him alone.
2 - To prefect one's love and reverence of Allah, and according to His Might as described by His Most-Beautiful Names and Most-High Attributes.
3 - To truly give one's worship to Allah, by adhering to His Commandments and abandoning His Prohibitions.
The angles are a matter of the unseen. They are created by Allah and they worship Him. They have no attributes that qualify them to be gods or lords. Allah created them from light, and He bestowed on them the bounty of obeying Him at all times. He gave them the power to carry and implement His orders, (And those who are near Him (the angels) are not too proud to worship Him, nor are they weary (of His worship). They glorify His praises night and day, (and) they never slacken (to do so).) [21:19-20]. They are so numerous that only Allah can count their numbers. Al-Bukhari and Muslim related that Anas said, while narrating the story of the Prophet's ascension to heaven, that Al-Bait Al-Ma'amoor (the House in heaven that is always inhabited. It is, for the inhabitants of heaven, like the Kaa'bah for the people of earth) was raised for the Prophet in heaven so he can see it. Each day, seventy thousand angles pray in this House, and when they exit from it, they will never get back into it (this shows how numerous the angels are).
Belief In The Angels Has Four Parts
1 - Belief in their existence
2 - Belief in what we were told of their names, such as Gibreal, and also belief in other angels whom we were not informed of their names.
3 - Belief in what we were told of their attributes. The example to this is the description of Gibreal. The Prophet told us that he saw Gibreal in the shape that Allah created him, having six hundred wings and larger than the horizon.
The angels may change their shapes, by the order of Allah. They may take the shape of men. Allah sent Gibreal to Mariam (Mary) and he came to her in the shape of a man. He was also sent to Prophet Mohammad, while he was sitting down with his companions, in the shape of a man, wearing very white clothes with very dark hair, a stranger to the companions, yet no evidence of traveling was apparent on him. He sat next to the Prophet and laid his knees next to the Prophet's knees and put his hands on the Prophet's thighs. He asked the Prophet about Islam, Iman, lh'san (excellence in the .religion) and the Last Hour and its signs. The Prophet answered him. Then, Gibreal left. The Prophet said to his companions, "This was Gibreal. He came to you to teach you your religion." [Muslim]. Also, Allah sent the angels to Ibrahim (Abraham) and Lut in the shape of men.
4 - Belief in the tasks that they perform, by the order of Allah. They praise Allah and worship him at all times without the slightest boredom or fatigue. Some angels may have special tasks to fulfill:
Gibreal is the honorable angels whom Allah sends down with revelation to the Prophets and Messengers.
Mikaeel is the angel who is controlling rain and vegetation, by the order of Allah.
Israfil is the angel who must blow in the Horn when the Hour (Last Day) has started and when it is time to resurrect the dead.
Malik is the keeper and supervisor of Hell.
The angel of death captures the souls at death.
There are angels who supervise fetuses in the wombs. When a fetus is four months old, Allah sends down an angel and orders him to record the fetus's sustenance, maximum age, deeds and if miserable (destined to Hell) or happy (destined to Paradise).
There are angels who record deeds of mankind. They have a record of everyone's deeds. There are two angels for each person, one to the right and the other to the left.
There are other angels who question the dead when they are in their graves. Two angels come to all dead persons and ask each of them about the Lord he worshipped, the religion he followed and the Messenger he obeyed.
Benefits of Believing In The Angels
1 - Knowing Allah's Might, Strength and Power. All the strength of creation is a sign of the Strength of the Creator.
2 - Thanking Allah because He takes care of mankind. He appointed angels to protect them, record their deeds and other beneficial tasks.
3 - Loving the angels because they are true worshippers of Allah.
Some misguided people reject that the angels exist in a physical form. They claim that the angels are the potential for good that creation possesses. This is a direct rejection to the Book of Allah, the Sunnah of His Messenger and the ljmaa' (consensus) of Muslims. Allah said, what translated means, (All the praises and thanks be to Allah, the (Only) Originator of the heavens and the earth, Who made the Angels messengers with wings, two or three or four.) [35:1], (And if you could see when the angels take away the souls of those who disbelieve (at death), they smite their faces and their backs.) [8:50], (And if you could but see when the unjust (disbelievers) are in the agonies of death, while the angels are stretching forth their hands (saying): "Deliver your souls.") [6:93], (Until when fear is banished from their (the angels') hearts, they (the angels) say. "What is that your Lord has said?" They say: "The Truth." And He is the Most High, the Most Great.) [34:23] and, (And angels shall enter unto them from every gate (saying): "Peace be upon you for that you preserved in patience! Excellent indeed is the final Home (Paradise).") [13:23-24].
The Messenger of Allah said, what translated means, "When Allah likes a slave, He calls on Gibreal, saying: 'Allah loves so and so (person), therefore, love him.' Then, Gibreal loves him. Afterwards, Gibreal calls on the inhabitants of heaven, saying: 'Allah loves so and so (person), therefore, love him.' Then, the people of heaven love him. Afterwards acceptance (among the community of believers) will be granted for him in earth." [Al-Bukhari] and, "When the day of Friday comes, there stand angels at each of the Masjid's doors. They record the first then the next (one to come to the Masjid). When the Imam sits down (waiting for the call to prayer to end so he can start the speech), they close the books and they come to listen to the Thikr (the remembrance of Allah contained in the Friday speech)." [Al- Bukhari].
The above texts are clear in their meaning that the angels have physical forms and are not a state of the mind, as the misguided claim. The true meaning of these texts, which states that the angels exist in a physical form, is accepted by the entire Ummah.
Belief in the Books
Kutub (books) is plural for Kitab (a book). They are called Kutub because they are written (maktoob). Books, here, means the Books that Allah sent down to His Messengers as a mercy and guidance for mankind. These Books are designed to lead mankind to what brings them happiness in this life and in the Hereafter.
There are four aspects of believing in the Books
1 - To believe that they are truly sent down by Allah.
2 - To believe in the Books that mankind were informed of, like the Quran, sent down to Mohammad, the Torah, sent down to Moses, the Injil (the Gospel), sent down to Jesus and the Zaboor (the Psalms), sent down to David. We also believe in the other Books, sent down by Allah, even though we do not know their names.
3 - To believe in whatever the Books contained, like whatever is contained in the Quran and sections of previous Books that have not been corrupted.
4 - To implement the Commandments contained in these Books, unless Allah commanded to the contrary through Naskh (overruling). We must accept whatever these Books contained of Commandments, even if we do not know the wisdom behind them. All previous Books were overruled by the Quran. Allah said, what translated means, (And We have sent down to you (O Mohammad) the Book (this Quran) in truth, confirming the Scripture that came before it and dominant over it.) [5:48]. This means that the Quran is dominant over all other Books. Therefore, no Commandment contained in other than the Quran can be implemented unless it is in agreement with the Quran.
Benefits Of Believing In The Books
1 - Knowing that Allah takes care of His slaves by sending down Books for their guidance.
2 - Knowing Allah's Wisdom in whatever He commands. He commanded each nation with what is suitable for them, (To each among you, We have prescribed a Law and a Clear Way.) [5:48].
3 - Thanking Allah for His bounties, because He sent down these Books to lead mankind to guidance.
Belief in the Messengers
The Messengers are sent to deliver a Message. They are the ones to whom Allah has sent down revelation and who convey His Law to mankind. Allah ordered them to deliver these Messages.
The first Messenger to be sent was Noah and the last one was Mohammad. Allah said, what translated means, (Verily, We have inspired you (O Mohammad) as We inspired Noah and the Prophets after him.) [4:163].
Anas ibn Malik narrated that the Prophet said, during his Hadith about Shafa'ah (the right of intercession on mankind's behalf that Allah grants to His Messenger on the Last Day), "Mankind come to Adam to intercede on their behalf but he declines, saying: 'Go to Noah, the First Messenger that Allah sent...'" [Al-Bukhari]. Also, Allah said, what translated means, (Mohammad is not the father of any man among you, but he is the Messenger of Allah, and the Last (end) of Prophets.) [33:40].
Allah sent Messengers to every nation and provided them with Laws that their nations must follow. Some Messengers were sent to revive a Message of a previous Messenger. Allah said, what translated means, (And verily, We have sent among every nation a Messenger (proclaiming): "Worship Allah (alone), and avoid all Taghut (false deities).") [16:36], (And there never was a nation but a warner had passed among them.) [35:24] and, (Verily, We did send down the Torah (to Moses), therein was guidance and light, by which the Prophets, who submitted themselves to Allah's will, judged the Jews.) [5:44].
The Messengers are only humans and they do not possess any attributes that qualify them to be gods. Allah described His Messenger, Mohammad, the master of all Messengers and the best of mankind, saying, what translated means, (Say (O Mohammad): "I possess no power of benefit or hurt to myself except as Allah will. If I had the knowledge of the Unseen, I should have secured for myself an abundance of wealth, and no evil should have touched me. I am but a warner, and a bringer of glad tidings unto people who believe.") [7:188] and, (Say (O Mohammad): "It is not in my power to cause you harm, or to bring you to the Right Path." Say: (O Mohammad): "None can protect me from Allah's punishment (if I were to disobey Him), nor should I find refuge except in Him." ) [72:21].
The Messengers are only humans. They get sick and they die, they need to eat and drink and they have other human needs. Abraham described his Lord, saying, as was mentioned in the Quran, ("And it is He Who feeds me and gives me to drink. And when I am ill, it is He Who cures me; And Who will cause me to die, and then will bring me to life (again).") [26:79-81]. Also, the Prophet said, what translated means, "I am only human, just like you, I forget as you forget, therefore, when I forget, remind me." [Al-Bukhari & Muslim].
Allah described the Messengers, while praising them, that they reached the highest attainable degrees in worshipping Him. He said about Noah, what translated means, (Verily, he was a grateful slave.) [17:3], and about Mohammad, (Blessed be He Who sent down the Criterion (of right and wrong, this Quran) to His slave (Mohammad) that he may be a Warner to the 'Alamin (Mankind and the Jinn).) [25:1], and about Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, (And remember Our slaves, Abraham Isaac and Jacob, (all) owners of strength (in worshipping Us) and (also) of religious understanding. Verily, We did choose them by granting them the Remembrance of the home (in the Hereafter). And they are in Our Sight, verily, of the Chosen and the Best.) [38:45-47], and about Jesus, (He was not more than a slave. We granted Our favor to him, and We made him an example to the Children of Israel.) [43:59].
Belief In The Messengers Has Four Parts
1 - To believe that their Messages are truly from Allah. Whoever disbelieves in one Messenger, will have disbelieved in all Messengers. Allah said, what translated means, (The people of Noah belied the Messengers.) [26:105]. Allah considered the people of Noah disbelievers in all Messengers, although they only disbelieved in one Messenger. Therefore, the Christians, who disbelieve in Mohammad and do not follow him, are disbelievers in Jesus, the son of Mary. Jesus gave the glad tidings of the coming of Mohammad to the Christians. These glad tidings will be of no benefit to the Christians if they do not follow Mohammad to guidance and the Straight Path.
2 - To believe in the Messengers whom we were told about, like Mohammad, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Noah. These are the five strongest Messengers. Allah mentioned them in two versus of the Quran, (And (remember) when We took from the Prophets their Covenant, and from you (O Mohammad), and from Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus, son of Mary.) [33:7] and, (He (Allah) has ordained for you the same Religion (Islam) which He ordained for Noah, and that which We have inspired in you (O Mohammad), and that which We ordained for Abraham, Moses and Jesus, saying you should establish Religion (by implementing the Commandments) and make no divisions in it.) [42:13].
We must also believe in all other Messengers and Prophets whose names were not mentioned to us, (And, indeed We have sent Messengers before you (O Mohammad), of them some We have related to you their story and some We have not related to you their story.) [40:78].
3 - To believe in all what the Messengers have conveyed to us.
4 - To implement the Laws of the Messenger who was sent to us, Mohammad, the final Messenger. Allah sent Mohammad to all mankind, (But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you (O Mohammad) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission.) [4:65].
Benefits Of Believing In The Messengers
1 - Knowing how Allah takes care of His slaves by sending them Messengers to guide them to His Path. The Messengers teach their nations how to worship Allah, because the human mind cannot know how Allah should be worshipped without guidance from Him.
2 - Thanking Allah for this great bounty.
3 - Dutifully loving, respecting and praising the Messengers of Allah. They are Allah's Messengers, they worshipped Him, conveyed His Message and gave the best advice to His slaves.
Many rebellious people rejected their Messengers, claiming that Allah's Messengers cannot be human. All mentioned this claim and refuted it, (And nothing prevented men from believing when the Guidance came to them, except that they said: "Has Allah sent a man as (His) Messenger?" Say: "If there were on the earth, angels walking about, in peace and security, We should certainly have sent down for them from the heaven an angel as a Messenger.") [17:94-95]. Allah refuted this claim, saying that the Messengers must be sent from among humans, because they are sent to the people of earth, who are humans. If the inhabitants of earth were angels, then Allah would have sent Messengers from among the angels to them. Allah mentioned what the disbelievers in the Messengers said, ("You are no more than human beings like us! You wish to turn us away from what our fathers used to worship. Then bring us a clear authority (a clear sign that supports what you say)." Their Messengers said to them: "We are no more than human beings like you, but Allah bestows His grace to whom He will of His salves. It is not ours to bring you an authority (proof) except by the permission of Allah.") [14:10-11].
Belief in the Last Day
The Last Day is the Day when mankind will be resurrected to be asked about their deeds and receive reward or punishment for them. It is called "the Last Day," because it is the last day, no day after that. Afterwards, people of Paradise will permanently reside and take their places in it, and people of Hell will permanently reside and take their places in it.
Belief In The Last Day Has Three Parts
1 - To believe in the Resurrection. The Resurrection happens when the Horn will be blown for the second time. Afterwards, mankind will be resurrected to face the questioning by the Lord of the worlds. They will neither be wearing shoes nor circumcised, and they will be naked and visible to others on this state, (however, everyone will be absolutely preoccupied with what they are going to face and the hardship of the Day of Resurrection). Allah said, what translated means, (As We began the first creation, We shall repeat it, (it is) a promise binding upon Us. Truly, We shall do it.) [21:104].
The Resurrection is a true event that the Quran, the Sunnah and the consensus of Muslims have confirmed. Allah said, what translated means, (After that, surely you will die. Then (again), surely, you will be resurrected on the Day of Resurrection.) [23:15-16]. The Prophet said, what translated means, "On the Day of Resurrection, Mankind will be resurrected while they are bear-footed and naked." [Al- Bukhari & Muslim].
The Muslims are unanimous on confirming the Day of Resurrection. This is the wisdom of Allah, for He decreed that creation will have a day of reckoning for their deeds after He sent them Messengers to inform them of His Commandments. He said, what translated means, (Did you think that We had created you in play (without any purpose), and that you would not be brought back to Us?) [23:115] and, (Verily, He Who has given you (O Mohammad) the Quran will surely bring you back to the Ma'ad (place of retum).) [28:85].
2 - To believe in the Reckoning. In the Last Day, the slave will be rewarded or punished for his deeds. This fact was also confirmed by the Quran, the Sunnah and the consensus of Muslims. Allah said, what translated means, (Verily, to Us will be their return. Then verily, for Us will be their Reckoning.) [88:25-26], (Whoever brings a good deed shall have ten times the like thereof to his credit, and whoever brings an evil deed shall have only the recompense of the like thereof, and they will not be wronged.) [6:160] and, (And We shall set up balances of justice on the Day of Resurrection, then none will be dealt with unjustly in anything. And if there be the weight of a mustard seed, We will bring it. And Sufficient are We as Reckoners.) [21:47].
The Prophet said, what translated means, "Allah will bring the believer closer to Him, and will shield him form being exposed (for his evil deeds in front of everyone). He will say: 'Do you remember such and such (evil) deed? Do you remember such and such (evil) deed?' He will say: 'Yes, O my Lord!' When He gets his confessions for his evil deeds, and he (the salve) thinks that he is close to destruction, He will say: 'I have preserved you (from being exposed in front of others for these evil deeds) during your lifetime. Today, I forgive them for you.' Then, he will be given his record of deeds. As for the disbelievers and the hypocrites, they will be called in public: 'These are the ones who lied on their Lord (did not follow His Guidance sent down with their Prophets). Therefore, Allah's curse will befall the unjust ones.'" [Al-Bukhari & Muslim] and, "Whoever intends to perform a good deed, and performs it, Allah will record it for him as ten deeds, to seven hundredfold, to many more folds. Whoever intends to commit and evil deed, and commits it, Allah will record it as one evil deed." [Al-Bukhari & Muslim].
Muslims are unanimous that the Day of Reckoning will come. This is the Wisdom of Allah. He revealed the Books, sent down the Messengers and commanded that they be accepted, followed and obeyed. He commanded that whoever oppose them (the Books and the Messengers) are to be fought. He permitted shedding their blood, and the seizure of their children, women and possessions. If there will not be a Day of Reckoning, then this Commandment will be time wasted. Allah is immune form such joyful play, (Then surely, We shall question those (people) to who it (the Book) was sent and verity, We shall question the Messengers. Then surely, We shall narrate unto them (their whole story) with knowledge, and indeed We were not absent.) [7:6-7].
3 - To believe in Paradise and Hell. They are the final destination for whoever deserves either one of them, and for eternity.
Paradise is the destination of the ultimate happiness and joy that Allah prepared for the believers who feared Him, believed in what He required from them to believe and obeyed Him and His Messenger. They are the ones who were sincere to Allah and followers of His Messenger. Paradise contains, of Allah's bounties, "What no eye has ever violated, what no ear has ever heard of and what no mind has ever imagined (of joys that Allah hid for the believers)." [Al-Bukhari & Muslim]. Allah said, what translated means, (Verity, those who believe (in Allah) and do righteous, good deeds, they are the best of creatures. Their reward with their Lord is Gardens of Eternity, underneath which rivers flow, they will abide therein for ever, Allah Well-Pleased with them, and they with Him. That is for him who fears his Lord.) [98:7-8] and, (No person knows what is kept hidden for them of joy as a reward for what they used to do.) [32:17].
As for Hell, it is the destination of torment and punishment that Allah prepared for the unjust disbelievers. They are the ones who disbelieved in Him and disobeyed His Messengers. Hell contains kinds of punishment and torment that no one could ever imagine. Allah said, what translated means (And fear the Fire, which is prepared for the disbelievers.) [3:131], (We have prepared for the wrongdoers, a Fire whose walls will be surrounding them. And if they ask for help they will be granted water like boiling oil that will scald their faces. Terrible the drink, and an evil dwelling.) [18:29] and, (Verily, Allah has cursed the disbelievers, and has prepared for them a flaming Fire (Hell). Wherein, they will abide for ever, and they will find neither a protector nor a helper. On the Day when their faces will be turned and rolled from all sides in the fire, they will say: "Oh, would that we had obeyed Allah and obeyed the Messenger (Mohammed).") [33:64-66].
Belief in Life After Death
Believing in the Last Day requires Muslims to also believe in life after death and in the following:
a - The questioning in the grave. The dead will be asked, in their graves, about the lord, the religion and the Prophet they followed during their lifetime. Allah will lead the believer to say what is necessary, saying, "Allah is my Lord. My religion is Islam. My Prophet is Mohammad." As for the unjust, Allah will lead him to misguidance, saying, in answer to the above questions, "What! What! I do not know." Also, the hypocrites and the ones who always had doubts about Allah, the religion and the Prophet, will say, "I do not know. I heard people say something and I followed them."
b - The torment or joy in the grave. The unjust, the disbelievers and the hypocrites, will be tormented in their graves. Allah said, what translated means, (And if you could but see when the wrongdoers are in the agonies of death, while the angels are stretching forth their hands (saying): "Deliver your souls; this day you shall be recompensed with the torment of degradation because of what you used to utter against Allah other than the truth. And you used to reject His Ayat (proofs, signs, evidences, etc.) with disrespect.") [6:93] and about Pharaoh's household, (The Fire, they are exposed to it, morning and afternoon, and on the Day when the Hour will be established (it will be said to the angels): "Cause Pharaoh's people to enter the severest Torment.") [40:46].
Zaid ibn Thabit narrated that the Prophet said to his companions, what translated means, "I would have asked Allah to let you hear what I am hearing from the punishment in the grave, but for the fear that you would not bury each other after that." Then the Prophet turned his face towards them, saying, "Seek refuge in Allah from the torment of the Fire." They said, "We seek refuge in Allah from the torment of the Fire." He said, "Seek refuge in Allah from the torment of the grave." They said, "We seek refuge in Allah from the torment of the grave." He said, "Seek refuge in Allah from all calamities, apparent or hidden." They said, "We seek refuge in Allah from all calamities, apparent or hidden." He said, "Seek refuge in Allah from the calamity of Al-A'war Ad-Dajjal." [Muslim].
.Yal (the False Messiah)." They said, "We seek refuge As for joys of the grave, they are given to the believers. Allah said, what translated means, (Verily, those who say: "Our Lord is Allah (alone)," and then they stood fast on them (these words that they say), on them the angels will descend (at the time of their death) (saying): "Fear you not, nor grieve! But receive the glad tidings of Paradise which you have been promised.") [41:30] and, (Then why do you not (intervene) when (the soul of a dying person) reaches the throat? And you at the moment are looking on? But We (our angels who take the soul) are Nearer to him than you, but you see not. Then why do you not, if you are exempt from the reckoning and recompense (punishment). Bring back the soul (to its body), if you are truthful? Then if he (the dying person) be of those near ones (close to Allah), (there is for him) rest and provisions, and a Garden of Delights (Paradise).) [56:83- 89].
Al-Baraa' ibn 'Azib narrated that the Prophet said about the believer, that after he is asked by the angels (about the lord, the religion and the Messenger he followed) and after he replies (saying that his Lord is Allah, his religion is Islam and his Messenger is Mohammad), "A caller from heaven will say: 'My slave has said the truth. Therefore, furnish him (his grave) from Paradise, dress him from Paradise and open a door for him to Paradise.'" Then he said, "He will receive from its tranquility and perfume. His grave will be enlarged for him the distance that his sight reaches." [Ahmad & Abu Dawood].
Benefits of Believing in the Last Day
1 - The desire to do righteous, good deeds, seeking the good results in the Last Day.
2 - The fear from committing and approving of evil deeds, fearing the torment of the Day of Reckoning.
3 - The believer feels that this belief makes him forget the hardships he faces in this life. He is preoccupied with working righteousness trying to reach the joys and good rewards of the Last Day.
Some disbelievers reject the idea of life after death, saying that this is not possible. This claim is false. Religion, the senses and the mind are used to refute this claim.
As for religion, Allah said, what translated means, (The disbelievers pretend that they will never be resurrected (for the account). Say (O Mohammad): "Yes! By my Lord, you will certainly be resurrected, then you will be informed of (and recompensed for) what you did, and that is easy for Allah.") [64:7]. All Scriptures are unanimous on this matter.
As for the senses, Allah demonstrated to his slaves how He raised the dead in this life. In Surat Al-Baqarah (chapter 2 of the Quran) Allah mentioned five examples:
1 - The People of Moses said to him, "We will not believe in you unless we see Allah without a barrier." They were seized by death and then Allah resurrected them. To remind the Children of Israel with this story, Allah said, what translated means, (And (remember) when you said. "O Moses! We shall never believe in you till we see Allah plainly." But you were seized with a thunder-bolt (lightening) while you were looking. Then We raised you up after your death, so that you might be grateful.) [2:55-56].
2 - The story of the murdered man whom the Children of Israel differed on who killed him. Allah ordered them to sacrifice a cow and strike him with some of its parts, so he can tell them who killed him, (And (remember) when you killed a man and fell into dispute among yourselves as to the crime. But Allah brought forth that which you were hiding. So We said. "Strike him (the dead man) with a piece of it (the cow)." Thus Allah brings the dead to life and shows you His signs so that you may understand.) [2:72-73].
3 - The story of the nation that escaped form its land for fear of death by the hands of their enemies, although their number was in the thousands. Allah made death seize them and then raised them back to life, (Did you (O Mohammad) not think of those who went forth from their homes in thousands, fearing death? Allah said to them: "Die." And then He restored them to life. Truly, Allah is full of Bounty to mankind, but most men thank not.) [2:243].
4 - The story of the person who passed by a village that all its inhabitants had died. He could not imagine that Allah can resurrect them. Allah made death seize him for a hundred years and then raised him from the dead, (Or (think you of) such as he who passed by a town all in utter ruins. He said. "Oh! How will Allah ever bring it to life after its death?" So Allah caused him to die for a hundred years, then raised him up (again). He said: "How long did you remain (dead)?" He (the man) said: "(Perhaps) I remained (dead) a day or part of a day." He said: "Nay, you have remained (dead) for a hundred years, look at your food and at your drink, they show no change; and look at your donkey! And thus We have made of you a Sign for the people. Look at the bones, how We bring them together and clothe them with flesh." When this was clearly shown to him, he said: "I know (now) that Allah is able to do all things.") [2:259].
5 - The story of Abraham who asked Allah to show him how He raises the dead. Allah ordered him to kill four birds, cut them in parts and spread them over the surrounding mountains. He told him to call the dead birds, and that he did. These parts were collected (by Allah's Power) and the birds came back to life and they came to Abraham. Allah said, what translated means, (And (remember) when Abraham said: "My Lord! Show me how You give life to the dead." He (Allah) said: "Do you not believe?" He (Abraham) said: "Yes (I believe), but to be stronger in faith." He said: Take four birds, then cause them to incline towards you (slaughter them, cut them into pieces), and then put a portion of them on every hill, and call them, they will come to you in haste. And know that Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.")
These are five examples of incidents that happened. They prove that raising the dead can happen by the will of Allah. We mentioned before that Jesus raised the dead from their graves, by the will of Allah.
As for the mind, there are two ways to correctly use it to confirm raising the dead:
1 - Allah is the One who started the creation of heavens and earth. The One who is Capable of starting the creation is also Capable of restarting it. Allah said, what translated means, (And He is Who originates the creation, then will repeat it (after it has been perished), and this is easier for Him) [30:27] and, (As We began the first creation, We shall repeat it, (it is) a promise binding upon Us. Truly, We shall do it.) [21:104] and to the one who denied that Allah will give life to the bones when they have rotted away, (Say (O Mohammad): "He will give life to them Who created them for the first time! And He is the All-Knower of every creation.") [36:79].
2 - It is noticed that the soil can become dry and that trees and plants die. When Allah sends the rain, the soil comes back to life and plants of all kinds grow and become green. The One who brings life back to the dead soil is Capable of raising the dead. Allah said, what translated means, (And among His Signs (in this), that you see the earth barren, but when We send down water (rain) to it, it is stirred to life and growth (of vegetation). Verily, He Who gives it life, surely, (He) is Able to give life to the dead (on the Day of Resurrection). Indeed! He is Able to do all things.) [41:39] and, (And We send down blessed water (rain) from the sky, then We produce therewith gardens and grain (all harvests that are reaped). And tall date-palms, with ranged clusters; A provisions for (Allah's) slaves. And We give life therewith to a dead land. Thus will be the Resurrection (of the dead).) [50:9-11].
Some misguided people reject punishment or joy in the grave, claiming that this cannot happen. They claim that if one exhumes the dead, he will find the grave as it was left and that it did not change in size. This claim is rejected by the Shari'ah, the senses and the mind:
As for the Shari'ah, we mentioned some texts before. These texts confirm the punishment or joy in the grave. Ibn Abbas said, "The Prophet passed by some walls in Madinah. He heard the screams of two persons who were being punished in their graves." The Prophet mentioned the reasons behind this punishment, "One of them did not protect himself (his clothes) form urine. The other one was spreading (sawing) differences (between people)." [Al-Bukhari].
As for the senses, we know that, while dreaming, the one who is asleep sees that he is enjoying a huge space or that he is feeling pain because he is squeezed in a small area. Sometimes, one's sleep is interrupted because of such nightmares, although he is still in his bed. Sleeping is similar to dying. Allah said, what translated means, (It is Allah Who takes away the souls at the time of their death, and those that die not during their sleep. He keeps those (souls) for which He has ordained death and sends the rest for a term appointed. Verily, in this are signs for a people who think deeply.) [39:42].
As for the mind, sometimes one sees dreams that may later happen in real life. Some Muslims may see the Prophet in their dreams. Whoever sees the Prophet, on the shape that he was described in books of Hadith, is saying the truth in that he saw him. This happens while one is still in his bed. If this is the case in this material life, what about matters of the other life?
As for their claim that when one exhumes a dead body, that no signs of abnormal change, either in the body or the grave itself, are detected, we say the following:
1 - The Shari'ah cannot be rejected by depending on these doubts. These doubts can easily be refuted, providing one uses his mind. There is a popular saying, "There are many who refute a truth, while the problem lies with their limited comprehension."
2 - Life in the grave is a matter of the unseen. The senses cannot unveil the unseen. If matters of the unseen are unveiled by the senses, then belief in the unseen will not have any useful meaning, in which case believing or disbelieving is irrelevant, since there would be no matters in the unseen to believe in.
3 - Only the dead feel the punishment or joy in the grave. Also, the one who is dreaming is the only one who is experiencing the pain of being squeezed in a small space or the joy of being in an open area. Others do not feel the same as the one who is experiencing these dreams, although he is still in his bed. The Prophet used to receive revelation while he was among his companions and the companions did not hear the revelation. Sometimes, the angel came in the shape of an invisible man. The companions did not see the angel while he was delivering revelation to the Messenger.
4 - Humans have limited comprehension and understanding of the universe. They only understand what Allah gave them the capability to understand. They do not understand all of the existence. The seven heavens, the earth and all that which is therein praise Allah. Allah, sometimes, gives the power to some of His creation to hear such praise. Humans cannot hear such praise. Allah said, what translated means, (The seven heavens and the earth and all that is therein, glorify Him and there is not a thing but-glorifies His praise. But you understand not their glorification. Truly, He is Ever Forbearing, Oft-Forgiving.) [17:44]. Also, devils and the Jinn go about in the earth. The Jinn came to the Messenger and listened to his recitation of the Quran. When he finished, they went back to their nation to convey the Message to them. However, this creation is out of the reach of humans' comprehension, (O Children of Adam! Let not Satan deceive you, as he got your parents (Adam and Eve) out of Paradise, stripping them of their raiment, to show them their private parts. Verily, he and his soldiers see you from where you cannot see them. Verily, We made the devils protectors (and helpers) for those who believe not.) [7:27]. Creation can neither reach what is beyond their comprehension nor understand all the existence. Therefore, one cannot dispute matters of the unseen that he cannot comprehend.
Belief in Al-Qadar
Al-Qadar is Allah's predestination of measurements and sustenance of everything and everyone, according to His Knowledge and Wisdom.
Aspects Of Belief In Al-Qadar
1 - The belief that Allah's Knowledge encompasses everything, every matter, major or minor, and time-frames of everything that happens in this universe. Allah's Knowledge encompasses all of His Actions and actions taken by His slaves.
2 - The belief that Allah recorded everything in a Book that He kept with Him, called "Al-Lawh' Al-Mah'footh" (The Kept Book). He said, what translated means, (Know you not that Allah knows all that is in heaven and on earth? Verily, it is (all) in the Book (Al-Lawh' Al-Mah'footh). Verily, that is easy for Allah.) [22:70].
Abdullah ibn Amr ibn Al-'Aas said that he heard the Messenger of Allah say, what translated means, "Allah recorded the measurement of all matters pertaining to creation fifty thousand years before He created the heavens and earth." [Muslim].
3 - The belief that nothing, whether related to Allah's Actions or actions taken by His slaves, can happen without His permission. He said, what translated means, (And your Lord creates whatsoever He wills and chooses.) [28:68], (And Allah does what He will.) [14:27] and, (He it is Who shapes you in the wombs as He pleases.) [3:6]. As for actions taken by His creation, Allah said, (Had Allah willed, indeed He would have given them power over you, and they would have fought you.) [4:90] and, (And if Allah had willed, they would not have done so. So leave them alone with their fabrications.) [6:137].
4 - The belief that Allah created all creation, all what they possess of attributes and all their actions, (Allah is the Creator of all things, and He is the Guardian over all things.) [39:62] and, (He has created everything, and has measured it exactly according to its due measurements.) [25:2]. Also, Abraham said to his people, as was mentioned in the Quran, ("While Allah has created you and what you make.") [37:96].
Believing in Al-Qadar, as described above, does not mean that people have no power over the actions they choose to take. Islamic Shari'ah and reality confirm that the person has a will of his own:
As for the Shari'ah, Allah said about one's own will, what translated means, (So, whosoever wills, let him take a Return to his Lord (by obeying His Commandments).) [78:39] and, (So go to your tilth (have sexual relations with you wives) when and how you will (not in the anus).) [2:223]. As for one's own power over his actions, (So keep your duty to Allah as much as you can; listen and obey.) [64:16] and, (Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope. He gets reward for that (good) which he has earned, and he is punished for that (evil) which he has earned.) [2:286].
As for the reality of things, every human knows that he has a power and a will of his own. He uses his power and will to indulge in or avoid actions of his choice. Mankind distinguish between what they do by their own power and between what they have no power over, like shivering due to illness or extreme cool. However, the power and will of mankind is under the control of Allah's Will and Power, (To whomsoever among you who wills to walk straight. And you will not, unless (it be) that Allah wills, the Lord of the worlds.) [81:28-29]. The universe is Allah's property and nothing happens in His Kingdom without His Knowledge and Permission.
Belief in Al-Qadar, as explained above, does not provide an excuse for mankind to sin or abandon what they are obligated to do. This excuse can be rejected using the following arguments:
1 - Allah said, what translated means, (Those who took partners (in worship) with Allah will say: "If Allah had willed, we would not have taken partners (in worship) with Him, nor would our fathers, and we would not have forbidden anything (against His Will)." Likewise bellied those who were before them, till they tasted of Our Wrath. Say: "Have you any knowledge (proof) that you can produce before us? Verily, you follow nothing but guess and you do nothing but lie.") [6:148]. The disbelievers did not have a valid excuse when they said that what they did was according to Al-Qadar. If this excuse was valid, then why will Allah punish them for their sins?
2 - Allah said, what translated means, (Messengers as bearers of good news as well as of warning in order that mankind should have no plea against Allah after the Messengers. And Allah is Ever All-Powerful, All-Wise.) [4:165]. Sending down the Messengers took place according to Al-Qadar, also. This is why the disbelievers cannot use Al- Qadar as an excuse for not believing, because Al-Qadar provided them with the means to escape Allah's punishment by following His Messengers.
3 - Ali ibn Abi Talib said that the Prophet said, what translated means, "One's final destination, in Hell or Paradise, is already determined for each one of you." A man said, "Should we depend (on this fact), O Messenger of Allah (meaning to abandon working deeds)?" He said, "No. Perform deeds, because everyone will be helped (to go on the path that he chooses and reach his destiny)." Then he read the Ayah, (As for him who gives (in charity) and keeps his duty to Allah and fears Him...) [92:5]." [Al-Bukhari & Muslim (the wordings are by Al-Bukhari)]. Muslim's narration of this Hadith reads, "All will be helped to satisfy what they were created for." The Prophet ordered the companions to perform righteous, good deeds and not to depend on Al-Qadar.
4 - Allah conveyed His Commandments to His slaves and did not require them to do what is beyond their capacity,
(So keep your duty to Allah (and fear Him) as much as you can.) [64:16], and (Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope.) [2:286]. If the slave is forced to do whatever deeds he performs, then Allah would have required from him what is beyond his capacity, and this is a false belief. For this reason, Allah forgives sins that take place because of ignorance or forgetfulness.
5 - Al-Qadar is a matter of Allah's Knowledge. No one can uncover his own Qadar but after it happens. One's intention to perform a deed precedes the action itself. He does not know what Al-Qadar holds for him. Therefore, Al-Qadar is not a valid excuse for sinning and abandoning the Commandments.
6 - One always seeks what is convenient for him. No one of sane mind would abandon what brings material benefit to him, saying that Al-Qadar forced him to take this course of action. Therefore, why would one use Al-Qadar as an excuse for abandoning what brings benefit to him in matters of religion and not do the same for matters of life?
If a man has to choose between two countries to move to, one of them is chaotic, full of incidents of murder, looting, rape, insecurity and hunger. Would he choose to go to this country or would he go to another country which is safe for him and secure, with abundance in material joys, where one's honor, possessions and human rights are preserved? There is no doubt that this man would choose the second country, where he will be safe and secure. No one of sane mind would choose to go to the first country, claiming that this is his Qadar. Therefore, why would one choose what ends him up in Hell, rather than Paradise, in the Last Life, claiming that this is his Qadar?
When one is sick and is given a medicine to take, he will take the medicine even though he does not like its taste. When one is told to go on a diet, he would not eat the food that he likes, in order to satisfy this diet and to stay fit. No one of sane mind would refuse to take medicines or go on medical diets, claiming that this is his Qadar. Therefore, why would one abandon implementing Allah's and His Messenger's Commandments, thus bringing Allah's Wrath on him, claiming that this is his Qadar?
7 - If one of those, who abandon the Commandments and indulge in sinning, comes under attack on his honor or possessions, would he accept the excuse of the attacker, if he says that he attacked him because it was his Qadar to attack him, and therefore he is not to be blamed? No, indeed. Therefore, why does this person refuse Al-Qadar as an excuse for whoever attacked him, while he depends on Al-Qadar as an excuse for abandoning Allah's rights on him?
It was reported that Omar ibn Al-Khattab was brought a man who was caught stealing. Omar ordered that this man's hand be cut off. The man said, "Wait, O leader of the believers. I only stole because this was in the Qadar of Allah." Omar said, "And we are cutting your hand because it is in the Qadar of Allah."
Benefits Of Belief In Al-Qadar
1 - Depending on Allah alone when one indulges in any action. Taking the necessary precautions is not the cause of one's success in the intended actions. All matters are under the full control of the Qadar of Allah.
2 - When one succeeds in performing an action, he must not be proud of himself. All good deeds are successfully performed because of Allah's bounty, because He ordained that this matter be successful. To be proud will make one forget to thank Allah for permitting him to successfully perform this deed.
3 - Believing in Al-Qadar leads one to feel satisfied, safe and secure. All incidents that happen to a person are a result of Allah's Qadar. One should not feel miserable for losing or not gaining what he likes. All this happens according to the Qadar of Allah. Allah is the King and Lord of the heavens and earth and His Qadar will happen exactly as He Wills, (No calamity befalls on the earth or in yourselves but is inscribed in the Book of Decrees (Al-Lawh' Al-Mah'footh), before We bring it into existence. Verily, that is easy for Allah. In order that you may not be sad over matters that you fail to get, nor rejoice because of that which has been given to you. And Allah likes not prideful boasters.) [57:22-23]. The Prophet said, what translated means, "Pleasing is the attitude of the believer. All of his matters are righteous. This is only for the believer. If a joy is brought to him, he thanks (Allah for it). This is better for him. If a calamity befalls him, he is patient. This is also good for him." [Muslim].
Two groups fell into misguidance with regards to Al- Qadar:
1 - Al-Jabriyyah: This group claimed that the person is forced to do whatever he does and that he has no power or will of his own.
2 - Al-Qadariyyah: They claimed that the person has a will and power independent of Allah's Will and Power.
The Shari'ah and real life are used to refute the first group, Al-Jabriyyah:
As for the Shari'ah, Allah confirmed that humans have a will and power of their own, (Among you are some that desire this world and some that desire the Hereafter.) [3:152], (And say: "The Truth is from your Lord." Then whosoever wills, let him believe, and whosoever wills, let him disbelieve. Verily, We have prepared for the unjust, a Fire whose walls will be surrounding them.) [18:29] and, (Whosoever does righteous, good deeds, it is for (the benefit of) his ownself, and whosoever does evil, it is against his ownself, and your Lord is not at all unjust to (His) slaves.) [41:46].
As for real life, everyone knows the difference between his actions, like eating, drinking, selling and buying, and between what is beyond his power, like shivering and accidentally falling off a roof, for example. The first type of actions are his. He chooses them on his own will using his own power. The second type of actions are beyond his control.
The Shari'ah and the mind are also used to refute the second group, Al-Qadariyyah.
Allah created everything and nothing happens without His permission. He said that all actions taken by His slave happen by His Will, (If Allah had willed, succeeding generations would not have fought against each other, after clear Versus of Allah had come to them, but they differed, some of them believed and others disbelieved. If Allah had willed, they would not have fought against one another, but Allah does what He likes.) [2:253] and, (And if We had willed, surely! We would have given every person his guidance, but the Word from Me took effect (about evil-doers), that I will fill Hell with Jinn and mankind together.) [32:13].
As for the mind, the universe is Allah's Kingdom and mankind are a part of this Kingdom. Therefore, all mankind are owned by Allah. The slave cannot do anything in this Kingdom unless its Lord, Allah, gives him permission.
The Goals of Islamic Belief
A person's goals are the destination that he wishes to reach by taking certain actions. The Islamic 'Aqeedah (belief) has goals and values that are the destination of whoever preserves it:
1 - Seeking the Pleasure of Allah and worshipping Him alone. Allah is the Creator who has no partners. Therefore, He alone must be worshipped and His Pleasure must be intended by every action one takes.
2 - Freeing the mind from the confusion caused by not following this 'Aqeedah. Whoever does not believe in this 'Aqeedah is either an atheist who is worshipping material means or is a follower of misguidance and darkness caused by false beliefs.
3 - Gaining psychological and intellectual satisfaction. The ones who believe in this 'Aqeedah do not fall victim to psychological complexes or confusion. This 'Aqeedah builds a direct and strong relationship between the Lord and His salve. The believer accepts Allah as the Lord, Legislator and King. He is satisfied with this belief. His heart is pleased with the following of Islam and he would not exchange this pleasure for anything else.
4 - Purifying one's intentions and deeds. This 'Aqeedah protects one from falling into misguidance in acts of worship or in dealings with others. It requires its followers to follow the path set by the Messengers. This path leads to safety and purity in the hearts and actions.
5 - Being serious with regards to all matters. One does not pass the chance to do righteous, good deeds, but he takes any chance to gain Allah's rewards. One is always on his guard against any path that leads to sin, fearing Allah's punishment. This 'Aqeedah requires its followers to believe in the Resurrection and the Day of Reckoning, (For all there will be degrees (or ranks) according to what they did. And your Lord is not unaware of what they do.) [6:132].
The Prophet also encouraged this attitude, "The strong believer is better and more liked by Allah than the weak believer. However, each one of them has (a certain degree of) goodness. Seek what brings benefit to you and depend on Allah. Do not be weak. If any calamity befalls you, do not say: 'Had I done that, then this would not have happened.' I Only say. 'Allah has ordained (this matter) and whatever He will He does.' "Had I," opens the door wide for the Devil to do his work." [Muslim].
6 - Establishing a strong nation that strives to preserve its religion and solidify its gains. This nation disregards the losses it concurs while striving to preserve the religion. Allah said, what translated means, (Only those are the believers who have believed in Allah and His Messenger, and afterwards doubt not but strive with their wealth and their lives for the cause of Allah. Those! They are the truthful.) [49:15].
7 - Reaching happiness in this life and in the Last Life, by leading individuals and groups to guidance and gaining their Lord's bounties and good rewards, (Whoever works righteousness, whether male or female, while he (or she) is a true believer (in Allah) verily, to him We will give a good life (in this world), and We shall pay them certainly a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do (Paradise in the Hereafter)) [16:97].
These are some of the goals that Islam seeks for its followers to reach. We pray that Allah helps us and the rest of the Muslims to reach them.