Concept Of GOD In Islam

Concept Of GOD In IslamIt is a known fact that every
     language has one or more terms that are used in reference
     to God and sometimes to lesser deities. This is not the
     case with Allah. Allah is the personal name of the One
     true God. Nothing else can be called Allah. The term has
     no plural or gender. This shows its uniqueness when
     compared with the word god which can be made plural,
     gods, or feminine, goddess. It is interesting to notice that
     Allah is the personal name of God in Aramaic, the
     language of Jesus and a sister language of Arabic.

      The One true God is a reflection of the unique concept
     that Islam associates with God. To a Muslim, Allah is the
     Almighty, Creator and Sustainer of the universe, Who is
     similar to nothing and nothing is comparable to Him. The
     Prophet Muhammad was asked by his contemporaries
     about Allah; the answer came directly from God Himself
     in the form of a short chapter of the Quran, which is
     considered the essence of the unity or the motto of
     monotheism. This is chapter 112 which reads:
     "In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
     Say (O Muhammad) He is God the One God, the
     Everlasting Refuge, who has not begotten, nor has
     been begotten, and equal to Him is not anyone."

      Some non-Muslims allege that God in Islam is a stern
     and cruel God who demands to be obeyed fully. He is not
     loving and kind. Nothing can be farther from truth than
     this allegation. It is enough to know that, with the
     exception of one, each of the 114 chapters of the Quran
     begins with the verse: "In the name of God, the
     Merciful, the Compassionate." In one of the sayings of
     Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) we are told that "God is
     more loving and kinder than a mother to her dear
     child."

      But God is also Just. Hence evildoers and sinners must
     have their share of punishment and the virtuous, His
     bounties and favors. Actually God's attribute of Mercy
     has full manifestation in His attribute of Justice. People
     suffering throughout their lives for His sake and people
     oppressing and exploiting other people all their lives
     should not receive similar treatment from their Lord.
     Expecting similar treatment for them will amount to
     negating the very belief in the accountability of man in the
     Hereafter and thereby negating all the incentives for a
     moral and virtuous life in this world. The following
     Quranic verses are very clear and straightforward in this
     respect: "Verily, for the Righteous are gardens of
     Delight, in the Presence of their Lord. Shall We then
     treat the people of Faith like the people of Sin? What is
     the matter with you? How judge you?" (68:34-36)

      Islam rejects characterizing God in any human form or
     depicting Him as favoring certain individuals or nations on
     the basis of wealth, power or race. He created the
     human-beings as equals. They may distinguish themselves
     and get His favor through virtue and piety only.

      The concept that God rested in the seventh day of
     creation, that God wrestled with one of His soldiers, that
     God is an envious plotter against mankind, or that God is
     incarnate in any human being are considered blasphemy
     from the Islamic point of view.

      The unique usage of Allah as a personal name of God is
     a reflection of Islam's emphasis on the purity of the belief
     in God which is the essence of the message of all God's
     messengers. Because of this, Islam considers associating
     any deity or personality with God as a deadly sin which
     God will never forgive, despite the fact He may forgive all
     other sins.

      The Creator must be of a different nature from the things
     created because if he is of the same nature as they are, he
     will be temporal and will therefore need a maker. It
     follows that nothing is like Him. If the maker is not
     temporal, then he must be eternal. But if he is eternal, he
     cannot be caused, and if nothing outside him causes him
     to continue to exist, which means that he must be
     self-sufficient. And if the does not depend on anything for
     the continuance of his own existence, then this existence
     can have no end. The Creator is therefore eternal and
     everlasting: 'He is the First and the Last.'

      He is Self-Sufficient or Self-Subsistent or, to use a
     Quranic term, Al-Qayyum. The Creator does not create
     only in the sense of bringing things into being, He also
     preserves them and takes them out of existence and is the
     ultimate cause of whatever happens to them. "God is the
     Creator of everything. He is the guardian over
     everything. Unto Him belong the keys of the heavens
     and the earth." (39:62, 63) "No creature is there
     crawling on the earth, but its provision rests on God.
     He knows its lodging place and it repository." (11:6)

 

     God's Attributes

     If the Creator is Eternal and Everlasting, then His
     attributes must also be eternal and everlasting. He should
     not lose any of His attributes nor acquire new ones. If this
     is so, then His attributes are absolute. Can there be more
     than one Creator with such absolute attributes? Can there
     be for example, two absolutely powerful Creators? A
     moment's thought shows that this is not feasible.

      The Quran summarizes this argument in the following
     verses: "God has not taken to Himself any son, nor is
     there any god with Him: For then each god would
     have taken of that which he created and some of them
     would have risen up over others." (23:91) And Why,
     "Were there gods in earth and heaven other than God,
     they (heaven and earth) would surely go to ruin."
     (21:22)

 

     The Oneness of God

     The Quran reminds us of the falsity of all alleged gods.
     To the worshippers of man-made objects, it asks: "Do
     you worship what you have carved yourself?" (37:95)
     "Or have you taken unto you others beside Him to be
     your protectors, even such as have no power either for
     good or for harm to themselves?" (13:16)

      To the worshippers of heavenly bodies it cites the story
     of Abraham: "When night outspread over him he say a
     star and said, 'This is my Lord.' But when it set he
     said, 'I love not the setters.' When he saw the moon
     rising, he said, 'This is my Lord.' But when it set he
     said, 'If my Lord does not guide me I shall surely be of
     the people gone astray.' When he say the sun rising, he
     said, 'This is my Lord; this is greater.' But when it set
     he said, 'O my people, surely I quit that which you
     associate, I have turned my face to Him Who
     originated the heavens and the earth; a man of pure
     faith, I am not of the idolaters.'" (6:76-79)

 

     The Believer's Attitude

     In order to be a Muslim, i.e., to surrender oneself to God,
     it is necessary to believe in the oneness of God, in the
     sense of His being the only Creator, Preserver, Nourisher,
     etc. But this belief - later on called "Tawhid
     Ar-Rububiyyah is not enough." Many of the idolaters
     knew and believed that only the Supreme God could do
     all this. but that was not enough to make them Muslims.
     To tawhid ar-rububiyyah one must add tawhid
     al'uluhiyyah, i.e., one acknowledges the fact that is God
     alone Who deserves to be worshipped, and thus abstains
     from worshipping any other thing or being.

      Having achieved this knowledge of the one true God,
     man should constantly have faith in Him, and should
     allow nothing to induce him to deny truth. When faith
     enters a person's heart, it causes certain mental states
     which result in certain actions. Taken together these
     mental states and actions are the proof for the true faith.
     The Prophet said, "Faith is that which resides firmly in
     the heart and which is proved by deeds."

      Foremost among those mental states is the feeling of
     gratitude towards God, which could be said to be the
     essence of 'ibada' (worship). The feeling of gratitude is
     so important that a non-believer is called 'kafir,' which
     means 'one who denies a truth' and also 'one who is
     ungrateful.'

      A believer loves, and is grateful to God for the bounties
     He bestowed upon him, but being aware of the fact that
     his good deeds, whether mental or physical, are far from
     being commensurate with Divine favors, he is always
     anxious lest God should punish him, here or in the
     Hereafter. He, therefore, fears Him, surrenders himself to
     Him and serves Him with great humility. One cannot be
     in such a mental state without being almost all the time
     mindful of God. Remembering God is thus the life force
     of faith, without which it fades and withers away.

      The Quran tries to promote this feeling of gratitude by
     repeating the attributes of God very frequently. We find
     most of these attributes mentioned together in the
     following verses of the Quran: "He is God; there is no
     god but He, He is the Knower of the unseen and the
     visible; He is the All-Merciful, the All-Compassionate.
     He is God, there is no God but He. He is the King, the
     All-Holy, the All-Peace, the Guardian of Faith, the
     All-Preserver, the All-Mighty, the All-Compeller, the
     All-Sublime. Glory be to God, above that they
     associate! He is God the Creator, the Maker, the
     Shaper. To Him belong the Names Most Beautiful. All
     that is in the heavens and the earth magnifies Him; He
     is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise." (59:22-24)

      "There is no god but He, the Living, the Everlasting.
     Slumber seizes Him not, neither sleep; to Him belongs
     all that is in the heavens and the earth. Who is there
     that shall intercede with Him save by His leave? He
     knows what lies before them and what is after them,
     and they comprehend not anything of His knowledge
     save such as He wills. His throne comprises the
     heavens and earth; the preserving of them oppresses
     Him not; He is the All-High, the All-Glorious." (2:255)

      "People of the Book, go not beyond the bounds in your
     religion, and say not as to God but the truth. The
     Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only the Messenger of
     God, and His Word that He committed to Mary, and a
     Spirit from Him. So believe in God and His
     Messengers, and say not, 'Three.' Refrain; better is it
     for you. God is only one God. Glory be to Him - (He is)
     above having a son." (4:171)
 

Concept Of Worship In Islam

Concept Of Worship In IslamThe concept of worship in
     Islam is misunderstood by many people including some
     Muslims. Worship is commonly taken to mean
     performing ritualistic acts such as prayers, fasting, charity,
     etc. This limited understanding of worship is only one
     part of the meaning of worship in Islam. That is why the
     traditional definition of worship in Islam is a
     comprehensive definition that includes almost everything
     in any individual's activities. The definition goes
     something like this: "Worship is an all inclusive term for
     all that God loves of external and internal sayings and
     actions of a person." In other words, worship is
     everything one says or does for the pleasure of Allah.
     This, of course, includes rituals as well as beliefs, social
     activities, and personal contributions to the welfare of
     one's fellow human-beings.

      Islam looks at the individual as a whole. He is required to
     submit himself completely to Allah, as the Quran
     instructed the Prophet Muhammad to do: "Say (O
     Muhammad) my prayer, my sacrifice, my life and my
     death belong to Allah; He has no partner and I am
     ordered to be among those who submit, i.e.; Muslims."
     (6:162, 163) The natural result of this submission is that
     all one's activities should conform to the instructions of
     the one to whom the person is submitting. Islam, being a
     way of life, requires that its followers model their life
     according to its teachings in every aspect, religious or
     other wise. This might sound strange to some people who
     think of religion as a personal relation between the
     individual and God, having no impact on one's activities
     outside rituals.

      As a matter of fact Islam does not think much of mere
     rituals when they are performed mechanically and have
     no influence on one's inner life. The Quran addresses the
     believers and their neighbors from among the People of
     the Book who were arguing with them about the change
     of the direction of Qibla in the following verse: "It is not
     righteousness that you turn your faces toward the East
     or the West, but righteous is he who believes in Allah
     and the Last Day and the Angels and the Book and the
     Prophets, and gives his beloved money to this relatives
     and the orphans and the needy and for the ransoming
     of captives and who observes prayer and pays the
     poor-due; and those who fulfill their promises when
     they have made one, and the patient in poverty and
     affliction and the steadfast in time of war; it is those
     who have proved truthful and it is those who are the
     God-fearing." (2:177)

      The deeds in the above verse are the deeds of
     righteousness and they are only a part of worship. The
     Prophet told us about faith, which is the basis of worship,
     that it "is made up of sixty and some branches; the
     highest of which is the belief in the Oneness of Allah,
     i.e., there is no God but Allah and the lowest in the
     scale of worship is removing obstacles and dirt from
     people's way."

      Decent work is considered in Islam a type of worship.
     The Prophet said: "Whoever finds himself at the
     nightfall tired of his work, God will forgive his sins."
     Seeking knowledge is one of the highest types of worship.
     The Prophet told his companions that "seeking
     knowledge is a (religious) duty on every Muslim." In
     another saying he said: "Seeking knowledge for one
     hour is better than praying for seventy years." Social
     courtesy and cooperation are part of worship when done
     for the sake of Allah as the Prophet told us: "Receiving
     your friend with a smile is a type of charity, helping a
     person to load his animal is a charity and putting some
     water in your neighbor's bucket is a charity."

      It is worth noting that even performing one's duties is
     considered a sort of worship. The Prophet told us that
     whatever one spends for his family is a type of charity; he
     will be rewarded for it if he acquires it through legal
     means. Kindness to members of one's family is an act of
     worship as when one puts a piece of food in his spouse's
     mouth. Not only this but even the acts we enjoy doing
     very much, when they are performed according to the
     instructions of the Prophet, are considered as acts of
     worship. The Prophet told his companions that they will
     be rewarded even for having sexual intercourse with their
     wives. The companions were astonished and asked:
     "How are we going to be rewarded for doing
     something we enjoy very much?" The Prophet asked
     them: "Suppose you satisfy your desires illegally; don't
     you think that you will be punished for that?" They
     replied, "Yes." "So," he said, "by satisfying it legally
     with your wives you are rewarded for it." This means
     they are acts of worship.

      Thus Islam does not consider sex a dirty thing that one
     should avoid. It is dirty and sinful only when it is satisfied
     outside marital life. It is clear, from the previous
     discussion that the concept of worship in Islam is a
     comprehensive concept that includes all the positive
     activities of the individual. This of course is in agreement
     with the all inclusive nature of Islam as a way of life. It
     regulates human life on all levels: individual, social,
     economic, political and spiritual. That is why Islam
     provides guidance to the smallest details of one's life on
     all these levels. Thus following these details is following
     Islamic instructions in that specific area. It is a very
     encouraging element when one realizes that all his
     activities are considered by God as acts of worship. This
     should lead the individual to seek Allah's pleasure in his
     actions and always try to do them in the best possible
     manner whether he is watched by his superiors or he is
     alone. There is always the permanent supervisor, who
     knows everything, namely, Allah.

      Discussing the non-ritual worship in Islam first does not
     mean undervaluing the importance of the ritual ones.
     Actually ritual worship, if performed in true spirit,
     elevates man morally and spiritually and enables him to
     carry on his activities in all walks of life according to the
     Guidance of God. Among ritual worships, Salah (ritual
     prayer) occupies the key position for two reasons. Firstly,
     it is the distinctive mark of a believer. Secondly, it
     prevents an individual from all sorts of abominations and
     vices by providing him chances of direct communion with
     his Creator five times a day, wherein he renews his
     covenant with God and seeks His guidance again and
     again: "You alone we worship and to You alone we
     turn for help. Guide us to the straight path." (1:5,6)
     Actually Salah is the first practical manifestation of Faith
     and also the foremost of the basis conditions for the
     success of the believers: "Successful indeed are the
     believers who are humble in their prayers."(23:1-2)
     The same fact has been emphasized by the Prophet
     (PBUH) in a different way. He says: "Those who offer
     their Salah with great care and punctuality, will find it
     a light, a proof of their Faith and cause of their
     salvation on the Day of Judgment."

      After Salah, Zakah (poor-due) is an important pillar of
     Islam. In the Quran, Salah and Zakah mostly have been
     mentioned together many times. Like Salah, Zakah is a
     manifestation of faith that affirms that God is the sole
     owner of everything in the universe, and what men hold
     is a trust in their hand over which God made them
     trustees to discharge it as He has laid down: "Believe in
     Allah and His messenger and spend of that over which
     He made you trustees." (57:7) In this respect Zakah is
     an act of devotion which, like prayer, brings the believer
     nearer to his Lord. Apart from this, Zakah is a means of
     redistribution of wealth in a way that reduces differences
     between classes and groups. It makes a fair contribution
     to social stability. By purging the soul of the rich from
     selfishness and the soul of the poor from envy and
     resentment against society, it stops up the channels
     leading to class hatred and makes it possible for the
     springs of brotherhood and solidarity to gush forth. Such
     stability is not merely based on the personal feelings of
     the rich; it stands on a firmly established right which, if
     the rich denied it, would be exacted by force, if
     necessary.

      Siyam (fasting during the day time of the month of
     Ramadan) is another pillar of Islam. The main function of
     fasting is to make the Muslim pure from "within" as other
     aspects of Shariah make him pure from "without." By
     such purity he responds to what is true and good and
     shuns what is false and evil. This is what we can perceive
     in the Quranic verse: "O you who believe, fasting is
     prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before
     you, that you may gain piety." (2:183) In an authentic
     tradition, the Prophet reported Allah as saying: "He
     suspends eating, drinking, and gratification of his
     sexual passion for My sake." Thus his reward is going to
     be according to God's great bounty.

      Fasting, then, awakens the conscience of the individual
     and gives it scope for exercise in a joint experience for all
     society at the same time, thus adding further strength to
     each individual. Moreover, fasting offers a compulsory
     rest to the over-worked human machine for the duration
     of one full month. Similarly fasting reminds an individual
     of those who are deprived of life's necessities throughout
     the year or throughout life. It makes him realize the
     suffering of others, the less fortunate brothers in Islam,
     and thus promotes in him a sense of sympathy and
     kindness to them.

      Lastly, we come to Al-Hajj (pilgrimage to the House of
     God in Makkah). This very important pillar of Islam
     manifests a unique unity, dispelling all kinds of
     differences. Muslims from all corners of the world
     wearing the same dress, respond to the call of Hajj in one
     voice and language; LABBAIK ALLAHUMMA
     LABBAIK (Here I am at your service O Lord!). In Hajj
     there is an exercise of strict self-discipline and control
     where not only sacred things are revered, but even the life
     of plants and birds is made inviolable so that everything
     lives in safety: "And he that venerates the sacred things
     of God, it shall be better for him with his Lord."
     (22:30) "And he that venerates the waymarks of God, it
     surely is from devotion of the heart." (22:32)

      Pilgrimage gives an opportunity to all Muslims from all
     groups, classes, organizations, and governments from all
     over the Muslim world to meet annually in a great
     congress. The time and venue of this congress has been
     set by their One God. Invitation to attend is open to every
     Muslim. No one has the power to bar anyone. Every
     Muslim who attends is guaranteed full safety and freedom
     as long as he himself does not violate its safety.

      Thus, worship in Islam, whether ritual or non-ritual,
     trains the individual in such a way that he loves his
     Creator most and thereby gains an unyielding will and
     spirit to wipe out all evil and oppression from the human
     society and make the word of God dominant in the world.
 


Prophethood In Islam

Prophethood In IslamProphethood is not unknown to
     heavenly revealed religions, such as Judaism and
     Christianity. In Islam, however, it has a special status and
     significance.

      According to Islam, Allah created man for a noble
     purpose: to worship Him and lead a virtuous life based on
     His teachings and guidance. How would man know his
     role and purpose of his existence unless he received clear
     and practical instructions of what Allah wants him to do?
     Here comes the need for prophethood. Thus Allah had
     chosen from every nation a prophet or more to covey His
     Message to people. One might ask: How were the
     prophets chosen and who were entitled to this great
     honor?

     Prophethood is Allah's blessing and favor that He may
     bestow on whom He wills. However, from surveying the
     various messengers throughout history, three features of a
     prophet may be recognized:
        1.He is the best in his community morally and
          intellectually. This is necessary because a prophet's
          life serves as a model for his followers. His
          personality should attract people to accept his
          message rather than drive them away by his
          imperfect character. After receiving the message he
          is infallible. That is, he would not commit any sin.
          He might make some minor mistakes which are
          usually corrected by revelation.

 

        2.He is supported by miracles to prove that he is not
          an impostor. Those miracles are granted by the
          power and permission of God and are usually in the
          field in which his people excel and are recognized as
          superiors. We might illustrate this by quoting the
          major miracles of the three prophets of the major
          world religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
          Moses' contemporaries were excellent in magic. So
          his major miracle was to defeat the best magicians
          of Egypt of his days. Jesus' contemporaries were
          recognized as skillful physicians. Therefore, his
          miracles were to raise the dead and cure the
          incurable diseases. The Arabs, the contemporaries
          of the Prophet Mohammed, were known for their
          eloquence and magnificent poetry. So Prophet
          Muhammad's major miracle was the Quran, the
          equivalent of which the whole legion of the Arab
          poets and orators could not produce despite the
          repeated challenge from the Quran itself. Again
          Muhammad's miracle has something special about
          it. All previous miracles were limited by time and
          place, i.e., they were shown to specific people at a
          specific time. Not so the miracle of Muhammad, the
          Quran. It is a universal and everlasting miracle.
          Previous generations witnessed it and future
          generations will witness its miraculous nature in
          terms of its style, content and spiritual uplifting.
          These still can be tested and will thereby prove the
          divine origin of the Quran.

 

        3.Every prophet states clearly that what he receives is
          not of his own but from God for the well-being of
          mankind. He also confirms what was revealed
          before him and what may be revealed after him. A
          prophet does this to show that he is simply
          conveying the message which is entrusted to him by
          the One True God of all people in all ages. So the
          message is one in essence and for the same purpose.
          Therefore, it should not deviate from what was
          revealed before him or what might come after him.

 

     Prophets are necessary for conveying God's instructions
     and guidance to mankind. We have no way of knowing
     why we were created. What will happen to us after
     death? Is there any life after death? Are we accountable
     for our actions? In other words, is there any reward or
     punishment for our deeds in this life? These and so many
     other questions about God, angels, paradise, hell, etc. can
     not be answered without revelation from the Creator and
     Knower of the unseen. Those answers must be authentic
     and must be brought by individuals whom we trust and
     respect. That is why, messengers are the select of their
     societies in terms of moral conduct and intellectual ability.

     Hence, the slanderous Biblical stories about some of the
     great prophets are not accepted by Muslims. For example,
     Lot is reported to have committed fornication while
     drunk, with his daughters; or David sent one his leaders
     to death to marry his wife. Prophets to Muslims are
     greater than what these stories indicate. These stories can
     not be true from the Islamic point of view. The prophets
     are also miraculously supported by God and instructed by
     Him to affirm the continuity of the message.

     The content of the prophets' message to mankind can be
     summarized as follows:
          Clear concept about God: His attributes, His
          creation, what should and should not be ascribed to
          Him.
          Clear idea about the unseen world, the angels, jinn
          (spirits), Paradise and Hell.
          Why has God created us? What does He want from
          us and what is the reward or punishment for
          obeying or disobeying Him?
          How to run our societies according to His will? That
          is, clear instructions and laws that, when applied
          correctly and honestly, will result in a happy and
          ideal society.

     It is clear from the above discussion that there is no
     substitute for prophets. Even today with the advancement
     of science, the only authentic source of information about
     the supernatural world is revelation. Guidance can be
     obtained neither from science nor from mystic
     experience. The first is too materialistic and too limited;
     the second is too subjective and frequently too
     misleading.

      Now one might ask: How many prophets has God sent
     to humanity? We do not know for sure. Some Muslim
     scholars have suggested 240 thousand prophets. We are
     only sure of what is clearly mentioned in the Quran, that
     is, God has sent a messenger (or more) to every nation.
     That is because it is one of God's principles that He will
     never call a people to account unless He has made clear
     to them what to do and what not to do. The Quran
     mentions the names of 25 prophets and indicates that
     there have been others who were not mentioned to the
     Prophet Mohammed. These 25 include Noah, the man of
     the Ark, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad. These
     five are the greatest among God's messengers. They are
     called 'the resolute' prophets.

      An outstanding aspect of the Islamic belief in
     prophethood is that Muslims believe in and respect all the
     messengers of God with no exceptions. Since all the
     prophets came from the same One God, for the same
     purpose - to lead mankind to God - belief in them all is
     essential and logical; accepting some and rejecting others
     has to be based on misconceptions of the prophets' role
     or racial bias. The Muslims are the only people in the
     world who consider the belief in all the prophets of God
     an article of faith. Thus the Jews reject Jesus Christ and
     Muhammad; the Christians reject Muhammad and in
     reality reject Moses because they do not abide by his
     laws. The Muslims accept them all as messengers of God
     who brought guidance to mankind. However, the
     revelation which those prophets brought from God has
     been tampered with in one way or the other. The belief in
     all the messengers of God is enjoined on the Muslims by
     the Quran.

     "Say (O Muslims): we believe in Allah and that which
     is revealed to us and that which was revealed to
     Abraham and Ishmael, and Isaac and Jacob, and their
     children, and that which Moses and Jesus received and
     that the prophets received from their Lord. We make
     no distinction between any of them and unto Him we
     have surrendered." (2:136)

     The Quran continues in the following verses to instruct
     the Muslims that this is the true and impartial belief. If
     other nations believe in the same, they are following their
     own whims and biases and God will take care of them.
     Thus we read: "And if they believe in what you believe,
     then they are rightly guided. But if they turn away,
     then they are in disunity, and Allah will suffice you
     against them. He is the Hearer, the Knower. This is
     God's religion and Who is better than God in
     religion?" (2:137-38)

     There are, at least, two important points related to
     prophethood that need to be clarified. These points
     concern the roles of Jesus and Muhammad as prophets
     who are usually misunderstood.

      The Quranic account of Jesus emphatically rejects the
     concept of his 'Divinity' and 'Divine Sonship' and
     presents him as one of the great prophets of God. The
     Quran makes it clear that the birth of Jesus without a
     father does not make him son of God and mentions in
     this respect Adam who was created by God without a
     father and mother: "Truly the likeness of Jesus, in
     God's sight, is as Adam's likeness; He created him of
     dust, then said He unto him, 'Be', and he was." (3:59)

      Like other prophets Jesus also performed miracles. For
     example, he raised the dead and cured the blind and
     lepers, but while showing these miracles he always made
     it clear that it was all from God. Actually the
     misconceptions about the personality and mission of Jesus
     found a way among his followers because the Divine
     message that he preached was not recorded during his
     presence in the world, rather it was recorded after a lapse
     of about hundred years. According to the Quran he was
     sent to the children of Israel; he confirmed the validity of
     the Torah which was revealed to Moses and he also
     brought the glad tidings of a final messenger after him.
     "And when Jesus son of Mary said, 'Children of Israel,
     I am indeed the Messenger to you, confirming the
     Torah that is before me, and giving good tidings of a
     Messenger who shall come after me, whose name shall
     be the PRAISED ONE." (61:6) (The capitalized portion
     is the translation of Ahmad which is Prophet
     Muhammed's name.)

      However, the majority of the Jews rejected his ministry.
     They plotted against his life and in their opinion crucified
     him. But the Quran refutes this opinion and says that they
     neither killed him nor crucified him, rather he was raised
     up to God. There is a verse in the Quran, which implies
     that Jesus will come back and all the Christians and Jews
     believe in him before he dies. This is also supported by
     authentic sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

     The last prophet of God, Muhammad, was born in Arabia
     in the sixth century C.E. Up to the age of forty, people of
     Makkah knew him only as a man of excellent character
     and cultured manners and called him AL-AMEEN (the
     trustworthy). He also did not know that he was soon to
     made a prophet and receiver of revelation from God. He
     called the idolaters of Makkah to worship the only one
     God and accept him as His prophet. The revelation that
     he received was preserved in his life-time in the memory
     of his companions and was also recorded in pieces of
     palm leaves, leather etc... Thus the Quran that is found
     today is the same that was revealed to him; not a syllable
     of it has been altered as God Himself has guaranteed its
     preservation. This Quran claims to be the book of
     guidance for the whole humanity for all times, and
     mentions Muhammad as the last Prophet of God.
 



Jesus And Islam

Jesus And Islam

     Is Jesus Really God?

     Without a doubt, you have often heard the claim that
     Jesus is God, the second person in the "Holy Trinity."
     However, the very Bible which is used as a basis for
     knowledge about Jesus and as the basis for doctrine
     within Christianity clearly belies this claim. We urge you
     to consult your own Bible and verify that the following
     conclusions are not drawn out of context:
          God is All Knowing... Jesus was not

          When speaking of the Day of Judgment, Jesus
          clearly gave evidence of a limitation on his
          knowledge when he said, "But of that day and hour
          knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in
          Heaven, neither the son, but the father." (Mark
          13:32, and Matt. 24:36) But God knows all. His
          knowledge is without any limitations. That Jesus, of
          his own admission, did not know when the day of
          judgment would be, is clear proof that Jesus is not
          all-knowing, and that Jesus is therefore not God.

 

          God is All-Powerful... Jesus was not

          While Jesus performed many miracles, he himself
          admitted that the power he had was not his own but
          was derived from God when he said, "Verily, verily
          I say unto you, the Son can do nothing of himself,
          but what he seeth the father do..." (John 5:19)
          Again he said, "I can of mine own self do nothing:
          As I hear I judge, and my judgment is just because I
          seek not mine own will but the will of the Father
          which has sent me." (John 5:30) But God is not
          only All-Powerful, He is also the source of all power
          and authority. That Jesus, of his own admission,
          could do nothing on his own is clear proof that Jesus
          is not all-powerful, and that therefore Jesus is not
          God.

 

          God does not have a God ?

          GOD DOES NOT HAVE A GOD.....BUT JESUS
          DID HAVE A GOD
          God is the ultimate judge and refuge for all, and He
          does not call upon nor pray to any others. But Jesus
          acknowledged that there was One whom he
          worshipped and to Whom he prayed when he said,
          "I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and to
          my God and your God." (John 20:17) He is also
          reported to have cried out while on the cross, "My
          God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Matt.
          27:46) If Jesus were God, then couldn't this be read,
          "Myself, myself, why hast thou forsaken me?"
          Would that not be pure nonsense? When Jesus
          prayed the Lord's Prayer (Luke 11:2-4), was he
          praying to himself? When in the garden of
          Gethsemane he prayed, "O my father, if it be
          possible, let this cup pass from me: Nevertheless,
          not as I will but as thou wilt." (Matt. 26:36-39) Was
          Jesus praying to himself? That Jesus, of his own
          admission and by his own actions, acknowledged,
          worshipped, and prayed to another being as God is
          clear proof that Jesus himself is not God.

 

          God is Invisible

          ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE GOD IS AN
          INVISIBLE SPIRIT.... BUT JESUS WAS FLESH
          AND BLOOD
          While thousands saw Jesus and heard his voice,
          Jesus himself said that this could not be done with
          God when he said: "No man hath seen God at any
          time." (John 1:18) "Ye have neither heard His voice
          at any time nor seen His shape." (John 5:37) He
          also said in John 4:24: "God is a spirit and they that
          worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in
          truth." That Jesus would say that no one had seen
          or heard God at any time, while his followers both
          saw and heard him, is clear proof that Jesus was not
          God.

 

          No one is Greater than GOD

          NO ONE IS GREATER THAN GOD AND NO
          ONE CAN DIRECT HIM.... BUT JESUS
          ACKNOWLEDGED SOMEONE GREATER
          THAN HIMSELF WHOSE WILL WAS
          DISTINCT FROM HIS OWN
          Perhaps the clearest indication we have that Jesus
          and God are not equal, and therefore not one and
          the same, come again from the mouth of Jesus
          himself who said in John 14:28: "My Father is
          greater than I." When someone referred to him as
          good master in Luke 18:19, Jesus responded: "Why
          callest thou me good? There is none good but one,
          that is God..." furthermore, Jesus drew clear
          distinctions between himself and God when he said,
          "I proceeded forth and came from God, neither
          came I of myself but He sent me." (John 8:42)
          Jesus gave clear evidence of his subordination to
          God, rather than his equality with God, when he
          said in Luke 22:42, "not my will but Thine be done"
          and in John 5:30, "I seek not mine own will but the
          will of the Father which has sent me." That Jesus
          would admit that he did not come into the world on
          his own initiative but was directed to do so, that he
          would acknowledge another being as greater than
          himself, and that he would negate his own will in
          deference to affirming the will of another, give clear
          proof that Jesus is not the Supreme One and
          therefore Jesus is not God.

 

     Conclusion on Jesus

     The Church recognizes the Bible as the primary source of
     knowledge about God and Jesus. But since the Bible
     makes it clear that Jesus is not the Supreme Being and the
     Supreme Being is not Jesus, upon what basis have you
     come to believe otherwise?

     My brother or sister, the belief that the Supreme Being is
     a Trinity is false and completely inconsistent with the
     words of Jesus as presented in the Bible. God is one, not
     three. He is a perfect unity. If you are interested in the
     truth about God and your relationship to Him, we invite
     you to investigate the religion of Islam.

 

     Word of God about Jesus

     REGARDING THE SONSHIP OF JESUS:
     "That is Jesus, son of Mary, in word of truth,
     concerning which they are doubting. It is not for God
     to take a son unto Him. Glory be to Him! When He
     decrees a thing, He but says to it 'Be', and it is."
     (Qur'an 19:34, 35)

     "And they say, 'the All-Merciful has taken unto
     Himself a son.' You have indeed advanced something
     hideous. The heavens are well nigh rent of it and the
     earth split asunder, and the mountains well nigh fall
     down crashing for that they have attributed to the
     All-Merciful a son; and it behooves not the
     All-Merciful to take a son. None is there in the heavens
     and earth but he comes to the All-Merciful as a
     servant." (Qur'an 19:88-93)

      "Truly the likeness of Jesus, in God's sight, is as
     Adam's likeness; He created him of dust, then said He
     unto him, 'Be', and he was." (Qur'an 3:59)

     "People of the Book, go not beyond the bounds in your
     religion, and say not as to God but the Truth. The
     Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, was only the Messenger
     of God, and His Word that He committed to Mary, and
     a spirit from Him. So believe in God and His
     Messengers, and say not, 'Three.' Refrain; better is it
     for you. God is only One God. Glory be to Him - that
     He should have a son! To Him belongs all that is in the
     heavens and in the earth; God suffices for a guardian."
     (Qur'an 4:171)

      B. REGARDING JESUS BEING GOD:
     "And when God said, 'O Jesus, son of Mary, did you
     say unto men, "Take me and my mother as gods, apart
     from God?"' He said, 'To You be glory! It is not mine
     to say what I have no right to. If I indeed said it, You
     knew it, knowing what is within my soul, and I do not
     know what is within Your soul; You know the things
     unseen. I only said to them what You did command
     me: "Serve God, my Lord and your Lord." And I was
     a witness over them, while I remained among them;
     but when You did take me to Yourself the Watcher over
     them; You are the witness of everything.'" (Qur'an
     5:116, 117)

     C. REGARDING CRUCIFIXION OF JESUS
     "And for their unbelief, and their uttering against
     Mary a mighty calumny, and for their saying, 'We slew
     the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the Messenger of
     God'...yet they did not slay him, neither crucified him,
     only a likeness of that was shown to them. Those who
     are at variance concerning him surely are in doubt
     regarding him, they have no knowledge of him, except
     the following of surmise; and they did not slay him of
     certainty...no indeed; God raised him up to Him; God
     is Almighty, All-Wise. There is not one of the People of
     the Book but will assuredly believe in him before his
     death, and on the Resurrection Day, he will be a
     witness against them." (Qur'an 4:156-159)
 



Life After Death

The question whether there is a life after death does not
     fall under the jurisdiction of science, as science is
     concerned only with classification and analysis of data.
     Moreover, man has been busy with scientific inquiries
     and research, in the modern sense of the term, only for
     the last few centuries, while he has been familiar with the
     concept of life after death since times immemorial. All the
     prophets of God called their people to worship God and
     to believe in life after death. They laid so much emphasis
     on the belief in life after death that even a slight doubt in
     it meant denying God and made all other beliefs
     meaningless. The very fact that all the prophets of God
     have dealt with this metaphysical question of life after
     death so confidently and so uniformly - the gap between
     their ages being thousands of years - goes to prove that
     the source of their knowledge of life after death as
     proclaimed by them all, was the same, i.e., Divine
     revelation. We also know that these prophets of God
     were greatly opposed by their people, mainly on the issue
     of life after death, as their people thought it impossible.
     But in spite of opposition, the prophets won many sincere
     followers.

      The question arises: what made those followers forsake
     the established beliefs, traditions and customs of their
     forefathers, notwithstanding the risk of being totally
     alienated from their own community? The simple answer
     is: they made use of their faculties of mind and heart and
     realized the truth. Did they realize the truth through
     perceptual consciousness? Not so, as perceptual
     experience of life after death is impossible.

     Actually, God has given man, besides perceptual
     consciousness, rational, aesthetic and moral
     consciousness too. It is this consciousness that guides
     man regarding realities that cannot be verified through
     sensory data. That is why all the prophets of God while
     calling people to believe in God and life after death,
     appeal to the aesthetic, moral and rational consciousness
     of man. For example, when the idolaters of Makkah
     denied even the possibility of life after death, the Quran
     exposed the weakness of their stand by advancing very
     logical and rational arguments in support of it: "And he
     has coined for us a similitude, and has forgotten the
     fact of his creation, saying: who will revive these bones
     when they have rotted away? Say: He will revive them
     Who produced them at first, for He is the Knower of
     every creation, Who has appointed for you fire from
     the green tree, and behold! you kindle from it. Is not
     He Who created the heavens and the earth, able to
     create the like of them? Yes, and He is indeed the
     Supreme Creator, the All-Knowing." (36:78-81)

     At another occasion, the Quran very clearly says that the
     disbelievers have no sound basis for their denial of life
     after death. It is based on pure conjecture: "They say,
     'There is nothing but our present life; we die, and we
     live, and nothing but Time destroys us.' Of that they
     have no knowledge; they merely conjecture. And when
     our revelations are recited to them, their only argument
     is that they say, 'Bring us our fathers, if you speak
     truly.' (45:24-25)

     Surely God will raise all the dead. But God has His own
     plan of things. A day will come when the whole universe
     will be destroyed and then again the dead will be
     resurrected to stand before God. That day will be the
     beginning of the life that will never end, and that Day
     every person will be rewarded by God according to his or
     her good or evil deed.

      The explanation that the Quran gives about the necessity
     of life after death is what the moral consciousness of man
     demands. Actually, if there is no life after death, the very
     belief in God becomes irrelevant, or even if one believes
     in God, that would be an unjust and indifferent God:
     having once created man and not concerned with his fate.
     Surely, God is just. He will punish the tyrants whose
     crimes are beyond count: having killed hundreds of
     innocent persons, created great corruptions in the society,
     enslaved numerous persons to serve their whims, etc.
     Man's having a very short span of life in this world, and
     this physical world's too being not eternal, punishments or
     rewards equal to the evil or noble deeds of persons are
     not possible here. The Quran very emphatically states
     that the Day of Judgment must come and God will decide
     about the fate of each soul according to his or her record
     of deeds: "Those who disbelieve say: The Hour will
     never come unto us. Say: Nay, by my Lord, but it is
     coming unto you surely. (He is) the Knower of the
     Unseen. Not an atom's weight, or less than that or
     greater, escapes Him in the heavens or in the earth, but
     it is in a clear Record. That He may reward those who
     believe and do good words. For them is pardon and a
     rich provision. But those who strive against our
     revelations, challenging (Us), theirs will be a painful
     doom of wrath." (34:3-5)

      The Day of Resurrection will be the Day when God's
     attributes of Justice and Mercy will be in full
     manifestation. God will shower His Mercy on those who
     suffered for His sake in the worldly life, believing that an
     eternal bliss was awaiting them. But those who abused
     the bounties of God, caring nothing for the life to come,
     will be in the most miserable state. Drawing a comparison
     between them, the Quran says: "Is he, then, to whom
     We have promised a goodly promise the fulfillment of
     which he will meet, like the one whom We have
     provided with the good things of this life, and then on
     the Day of Resurrection he will be of those who will be
     brought arraigned before God?" (28:61)

     The Quran also states that this worldly life is a
     preparation for the eternal life after death. But those who
     deny it become slaves of their passions and desires, make
     fun of virtuous and God-conscious persons. Such persons
     realize their folly only at the time of their death and wish
     to be given a further chance in the world but in vain.
     Their miserable state at the time of death, and the horror
     of the Day of Judgment, and the eternal bliss guaranteed
     to the sincere believers are very beautifully mentioned in
     the following verses of the Holy Quran: "Until, when
     death comes unto one of them, he says, 'My Lord send
     me back, that I may do right in that which I have left
     behind! But nay! It is but a word that he speaks; and
     behind them is a barrier until the day when they are
     raised. And when the Trumpet is blown there will be
     no kinship among them that day, nor will they ask of
     one another. Then those whose scales are heavy, they
     are successful. And those whose scales are light are
     those who lose their souls, in hell abiding, the fire
     burns their faces and they are glum therein."
     (23:99-104)

      The belief in life after death not only guarantees success
     in the Hereafter but also makes this world full of peace
     and happiness by making individuals most responsible and
     dutiful in their activities.

     Think of the people of Arabia. Gambling, wine, tribal
     feuds, plundering and murdering were their main traits
     when they had no belief in life after death. But as soon as
     they accepted the belief in One God and life after death
     they became the most disciplined nation of the world.
     They gave up their vices, helped each other in hours of
     need, and settled all their disputes on the basis of justice
     and equality. Similarly the denial of life after death has its
     consequences not only in the Hereafter but also in this
     world. When a nation as a whole denies it, all kinds of
     evils and corruptions become rampant in that society and
     ultimately it is destroyed. The Quran mentions the terrible
     end of 'Aad, Thamud and the Pharaoh in some detail:
     "(The tribes of) Thamud and 'Aad disbelieved in the
     judgment to come. As for Thamud, they were destroyed
     by the lightning, and as for 'Aad, they were destroyed
     by a fierce roaring wind, which He imposed on them
     for seven long nights and eight long days so that you
     might see the people laid prostrate in it as if they were
     the stumps of fallen down palm trees. "Now do you see
     remnant of them? Pharaoh likewise and those before
     him and the subverted cities. They committed errors
     and those before him, and they rebelled against the
     Messenger of their Lord, and He seized them with a
     surpassing grip. Lo, when the waters rose, We bore you
     in the running ship that We might make it a reminder
     for you and for heeding ears to hold. So when the
     Trumpet is blown with a single blast and the earth and
     the mountains are lifted up and crushed with a single
     blow, then on that day, the Terror shall come to pass,
     and the heaven shall be split for upon that day it will be
     very frail. Then as for him who is given his book in his
     right hand, he shall say, 'Here take and read my book!
     Certainly I thought I should encounter my reckoning.'
     So he shall be in a pleasing life in a lofty garden, its
     clusters nigh to gather. "'Eat and drink with
     wholesome appetite for that you did long ago, in the
     days gone by.' "But as for him who is given his book in
     his left hand, he shall say: 'Would that I had not been
     given my book and not known my reckoning! Would
     that it had been the end! My wealth has not availed
     me, my authority is gone from me.'" (69:4-29)

     Thus, there are very convincing reasons to believe in life
     after death.
          First, all the prophets of God have called their
          people to believe in it.
          Secondly, whenever a human society is built on the
          basis of this belief, it has been the most ideal and
          peaceful society, free of social and moral evils.
          Thirdly, history bears witness that whenever this
          belief is rejected collectively by a group of people in
          spite of the repeated warning of the Prophet, the
          group as a whole has been punished by God even in
          this world.
          Fourthly, moral, aesthetic and rational faculties of
          man endorse the possibility of life after death.
          Fifthly, God's attributes of Justice and Mercy have
          no meaning if there is no life after death.
 
 

Moral System In Islam

Moral System In IslamIslam has laid down some
     universal fundamental rights for humanity as a whole,
     which are to be observed and respected under all
     circumstances. To achieve these rights Islam provides not
     only legal safeguards but also a very effective moral
     system. Thus whatever leads to the welfare of the
     individual or the society is morally good in Islam and
     whatever is injurious is morally bad. Islam attaches so
     much importance to the love of God and love of man that
     it warns against too much of formalism. We read in the
     Quran: "It is not righteousness that you turn your faces
     towards East or West; but it is righteousness to believe
     in God and the Last Day and the Angels, and the Book,
     and the Messengers; to spend of your substance, out of
     love for Him, for your kin, for orphans for the needy,
     for the wayfarer, for those who ask; and for the freeing
     of captives; to be steadfast in prayers, and practice
     regular charity; to fulfill the contracts which you
     made; and to be firm and patient in pain (or suffering)
     and adversity and throughout all periods of panic. Such
     are the people of truth, the God-conscious." (2:177)

     We are given a beautiful description of the righteous and
     God-conscious man in these verses. He should obey
     salutary regulations, but he should fix his gaze on the love
     of God and the love of his fellow men. We are given four
     heads:
          Our faith should be true and sincere,
          We must be prepared to show it in deeds of charity
          to our fellow-men,
          We must be good citizens, supporting social
          organizations, and
          Our own individual soul must be firm and unshaken
          in all circumstances.

     This is the standard by which a particular mode of
     conduct is judged and classified as good or bad. This
     standard of judgment provides the nucleus around which
     the whole moral conduct should revolve. Before laying
     down any moral injunctions Islam seeks to firmly implant
     in man's heart the conviction that his dealings are with
     God who sees him at all times and in all places; that he
     may hide himself from the whole world but not from
     Him; that he may deceive everyone but cannot deceive
     God; that he can flee from the clutches of anyone else but
     not from God.

      Thus, by setting God's pleasure as the objective of man's
     life, Islam has furnished the highest possible standard of
     morality. This is bound to provide limitless avenues for
     the moral evolution of humanity. By making Divine
     revelations as the primary source of knowledge it gives
     permanence and stability to the moral standards which
     afford reasonable scope for genuine adjustments,
     adaptations and innovations, though not for perversions,
     wild variation, atomistic relativism or moral fluidity. It
     provides a sanction to morality in the love and fear of
     God, which will impel man to obey the moral law even
     without any external pressure. Through belief in God and
     the Day of Judgment it furnishes a force which enables a
     person to adopt the moral conduct with earnestness and
     sincerity, with all the devotion of heart and soul.

      It does not, through a false sense of originality and
     innovation, provide any novel moral virtues nor does it
     seek to minimize the importance of the well-known moral
     norms, nor does it give exaggerated importance to some
     and neglect others without cause. It takes up all the
     commonly known moral virtues and with a sense of
     balance and proportion it assigns a suitable place and
     function to each one of them in the total scheme of life. It
     widens the scope of man's individual and collective life -
     his domestic associations, his civic conduct, and his
     activities in the political, economic, legal, educational, and
     social realms. It covers his life from home to society,
     from the dining-table to the battlefield and peace
     conferences, literally from the cradle to the grave. In
     short, no sphere of life is exempt from the universal and
     comprehensive application of the moral principles of
     Islam. It makes morality reign supreme and ensures that
     the affairs of life, instead of dominated by selfish desires
     and petty interests, should be regulated by norms of
     morality.

     It stipulates for man a system of life which is based on all
     good and is free from all evil. It invokes the people, not
     only to practice virtue, but also to establish virtue and
     eradicate vice, to bid good and to forbid wrong. It wants
     that the verdict of conscience should prevail and virtue
     must not be subdued to play second fiddle to evil. Those
     who respond to this call are gathered together into a
     community and given the name "Muslim". And the
     singular object underlying the formation of this
     community ("Ummah") is that it should make an
     organized effort to establish and enforce goodness and
     suppress and eradicate evil.
 

God Consciousness

God ConsciousnessThe Quran mentions it as the highest
     quality of a Muslim: "The most honorable among you
     in the sight of God is the one who is most
     God-conscious." (49:13) Humility, modesty, control of
     passions and desires, truthfulness, integrity, patience,
     steadfastness, and fulfilling one's promises are moral
     values which are emphasized again and again in the
     Quran. We read in the Quran:

     "And God loves those who are firm and steadfast."
     (3:146)
     "Establish regular prayer, enjoin what is just, and
     forbid what is wrong; and bear patiently whatever may
     befall you; for this is true constancy. And do not swell
     your cheek (with pride) at men, nor walk in insolence
     on the earth, for God does not love any man proud and
     boastful. And be moderate in your pace and lower your
     voice; for the harshest of sounds, indeed, is the braying
     of the ass." (31:18-19)

     In a way which summarizes the moral behavior of a
     Muslim, the Prophet (PBUH) said: "My Sustainer has
     given me nine commands: to remain conscious of God,
     whether in private or in public; to speak justly, whether
     angry or pleased; to show moderation both when poor
     and when rich, to reunite friendship with those who
     have broken off with me; to give to him who refuses
     me; that my silence should be occupied with thought;
     that my looking should be an admonition; and that I
     should command what is right."
 
 

Social Responsibilities

Social ResponsibilitiesThe teachings of Islam concerning
     social responsibilities are based on kindness and
     consideration of others. Since a broad injunction to be
     kind is likely to be ignored in specific situations, Islam
     lays emphasis on specific acts of kindness and defines the
     responsibilities and rights of various relationships. In a
     widening circle of relationship, then, our first obligation is
     to our immediate family - parents, husband or wife and
     children, then to other relatives, neighbors, friends and
     acquaintances, orphans and widows, the needy of the
     community, our fellow Muslims, all our fellow human
     beings and animals.
 
 

Parents & others

Parents & othersRespect and care for parents is very
     much stressed in the Islamic teaching and is a very
     important part of a Muslim's expression of faith. "Your
     Sustainer has decreed that you worship none but Him,
     and that you be kind to parents. Whether one or both of
     them attain old age in your lifetime, do not say to them
     a word of contempt nor repel them, but address them
     in terms of honor. And, out of kindness, lower to them
     the wing of humility and say: My Sustainer! Bestow on
     them Your mercy, even as they cherished me in
     childhood." (17:23-24)

     OTHER RELATIVES

     "And render to the relatives their due rights, as (also)
     to those in need, and to the traveler; and do not
     squander your wealth in the manner of a spendthrift."
     (17:26)

     NEIGHBORS

     The Prophet (PBUH) has said: "He is not a believer
     who eats his fill when his neighbor beside him is
     hungry"; and: "He does not believe whose neighbors
     are not safe from his injurious conduct."

     Actually, according to the Quran and Sunnah, a Muslim
     has to discharge his moral responsibility not only to his
     parents, relatives and neighbors but to the entire mankind,
     animals and trees and plants. For example, hunting of
     birds and animals for the sake of game is not permitted.
     Similarly, cutting trees and plants which yield fruit is
     forbidden unless there is a very pressing need for it.

     Thus, on the basic moral characteristics, Islam builds a
     higher system of morality by virtue of which mankind can
     realize its greatest potential. Islam purifies the soul from
     self-seeking egotism, tyranny, wantonness and
     indiscipline. It creates God-conscious men, devoted to
     their ideals, possessed of piety, abstinence and discipline
     and uncompromising with falsehood, It induces feelings
     of moral responsibility and fosters the capacity for self
     control. Islam generates kindness, generosity, mercy,
     sympathy, peace, disinterested goodwill, scrupulous
     fairness and truthfulness towards all creation in all
     situations. It nourishes noble qualities from which only
     good may be expected.
 
 

Human Rights In Islam

Human Rights In IslamSince God is the absolute and the
     sole master of men and the universe, He is the sovereign
     Lord, the Sustainer and Nourisher, the Merciful, Whose
     mercy enshrines all beings; and since He has given each
     man human dignity and honor, and breathed into him of
     His own spirit, it follows that, united in Him and through
     Him, and apart from their other human attributes, men
     are substantially the same and no tangible and actual
     distinction can be made among them, on account of their
     accidental differences such as nationality, color or race.
     Every human being is thereby related to all others and all
     become one community of brotherhood in their honorable
     and pleasant servitude to the most compassionate Lord of
     the Universe. In such a heavenly atmosphere the Islamic
     confession of the oneness of God stands dominant and
     central, and necessarily entails the concept of the oneness
     of humanity and the brotherhood of mankind.

     Although an Islamic state may be set up in any part of the
     earth, Islam does not seek to restrict human rights or
     privileges to the geographical limits of its own state. Islam
     has laid down some universal fundamental rights for
     humanity as a whole, which are to be observed and
     respected under all circumstances whether such a person
     is resident within the territory of the Islamic state or
     outside it, whether he is at peace or at war. The Quran
     very clearly states: "O believers, be you securers of
     justice, witness for God. Let not detestation for a people
     move you not to be equitable; be equitable - that is
     nearer to God-fearing." (5:8)

     Human blood is sacred in any case and cannot be spilled
     without justification. And if anyone violates this sanctity
     of human blood by killing a soul without justification, the
     Quran equates it to the killing of entire mankind.
     "...Whoso slays a soul not to retaliate for a soul slain, nor
     for corruption done in the land, should be as if he had
     slain mankind altogether." (5:32)

     It is not permissible to oppress women, children, old
     people, the sick or the wounded. Women's honor and
     chastity are to be respected under all circumstances. The
     hungry person must be fed, the naked clothed and the
     wounded or diseased treated medically irrespective of
     whether they belong to the Islamic community or are
     from among its enemies.

     When we speak of human rights in Islam we really mean
     that these rights have been granted by God; they have not
     been granted by any king or by any legislative assembly.
     The rights granted by the kings or the legislative
     assemblies, can also be withdrawn in the same manner in
     which they are conferred. The same is the case with the
     rights accepted and recognized by the dictators. They can
     confer them when they please and withdraw them when
     they wish; and they can openly violate them when they
     like. But since in Islam human rights have been conferred
     by God, no legislative assembly in the world or any
     government on earth has the right or authority to make
     any amendment or change in the rights conferred by God.
     No one has the right to abrogate them or withdraw them.
     Nor are they basic human rights which are conferred on
     paper for the sake of show and exhibition and denied in
     actual life when the show is over. Nor are they like
     philosophical concepts which have no sanctions behind
     them.

     The charter and the proclamations and the resolutions of
     the United Nations cannot be compared with the rights
     sanctioned by God; because the former are not applicable
     on anybody while the latter are applicable on every
     believer. They are a part and parcel of the Islamic Faith.
     Every Muslim or administrator who claims himself to be
     Muslim, will have to accept, recognize and enforce them.
     If they fail to enforce them, and start denying the rights
     that have been guaranteed by God or make amendments
     and changes in them, or practically violate them while
     paying lip service to them, the verdict of the Holy Quran
     for such government is clear and unequivocal: "Those
     who do not judge by what God has sent down are the
     disbelievers." (5:44)
 
 

Human Rights in an Islamic State

Human Rights in an Islamic State
        1.THE SECURITY OF LIFE AND PROPERTY:In
          the address which the Prophet delivered on the
          occasion of the Farewell Hajj, he said:"Your lives
          and properties are forbidden to one another till
          you meet your Lord on the Day of Resurrection."
          The Prophet has also said about the dhimmis (the
          non-Muslim citizens of the Muslim state): "One
          who kills a man under covenant (i.e., dhimmi)
          will not even smell the fragrance of Paradise."
        2.THE PROTECTION OF HONOR:The Holy Quran
          lays down: "You who believe, do not let one (set
          of) people make fun of another set."
        3.
          "Do not defame one another."
          "Do not insult by using nicknames."
          "Do not backbite or speak ill of one another."
          (49:11-12)

 

        4.SANCTITY AND SECURITY OF PRIVATE
          LIFE:The Quran has laid down the injunction: "Do
          not spy on one another." (49:12)
        5.
          "Do not enter any houses unless you are sure of
          their occupant's consent." (24:27)
        6.THE SECURITY OF PERSONAL FREEDOM:
          Islam has laid down the principle that no citizen can
          be imprisoned unless his guilt has been proven in an
          open court. To arrest a man only on the basis of
          suspicion and to throw him into a prison without
          proper court proceedings and without providing him
          a reasonable opportunity to produce his defense is
          not permissible in Islam.
        7.THE RIGHT TO PROTEST AGAINST
          TYRANNY: Among the rights that Islam has
          conferred on human beings is the right to protest
          against government's tyranny. Referring to it the
          Quran says: "God does not love evil talk in public
          unless it is by someone who has been injured
          thereby." (4:148)

          In Islam, as has been argued earlier, all power and
          authority belong to God, and with man there is only
          delegated power which becomes a trust; everyone
          who becomes a recipient of such a power has to
          stand in awful reverence before his people toward
          whom and for whose sake he will be called upon to
          use these powers. This was acknowledged by
          Hazrat Abu Bakr who said in his very first address:
          "Cooperate with me when I am right but correct me
          when I commit error; obey me so long as I follow
          the commandments of Allah and His Prophet; but
          turn away from me when I deviate."

 

        8.FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION: Islam gives the
          right of freedom of thought and expression to all
          citizens of the Islamic state on the condition that it
          should be used for the propagation of virtue and
          truth and not for spreading evil and wickedness.
          The Islamic concept of freedom of expression is
          much superior to the concept prevalent in the West.
          Under no circumstances would Islam allow evil and
          wickedness to be propagated. It also does not give
          anybody the right to use abusive or offensive
          language in the name of criticism. It was the practice
          of the Muslims to enquire from the Holy Prophet
          whether on a certain matter a divine injunction had
          been revealed to him. If he said that he had received
          no divine injunction, the Muslims freely expressed
          their opinion on the matter.
        9.FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION: Islam has also
          given people the right to freedom of association and
          formation of parties or organizations. This right is
          also subject to certain general rules.
       10.FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE AND
          CONVICTION:Islam has laid down the injunction:
          "There should be no coercion in the matter of
          faith." (2:256) On the contrary, totalitarian societies
          totally deprive the individuals of their freedom.
          Indeed, this undue exaltation of the state authority
          curiously enough postulates a sort of servitude, of
          slavishness on the part of man. At one time slavery
          meant total control of man over man - now that
          type of slavery has been legally abolished but in its
          place totalitarian societies impose a similar sort of
          control over individuals.
       11.PROTECTION OF RELIGIOUS SENTIMENTS:
          Along with the freedom of conviction and freedom
          of conscience, Islam has given the right to the
          individual that his religious sentiments will be given
          due respect and nothing will be said or done which
          may encroach upon his right.
       12.PROTECTION FROM ARBITRARY
          IMPRISONMENT: Islam also recognizes the right
          of the individual not to be arrested or imprisoned for
          the offenses of others. The Holy Quran has laid
          down this principle clearly: "No bearer of burdens
          shall be made to bear the burden of another."
          (35:18)
       13.THE RIGHT TO BASIC NECESSITIES OF LIFE:
          Islam has recognized the right of the needy people
          for help and assistance to be provided to them:
          "And in their wealth there is acknowledged right
          for the needy and the destitute." (51:19)
       14.EQUALITY BEFORE LAW:Islam gives its citizens
          the right to absolute and complete equality in the
          eyes of the law.
       15.RULERS NOT ABOVE THE LAW: A woman
          belonging to a high and noble family was arrested in
          connection with theft. The case was brought to the
          Prophet, and it was recommended that she might be
          spared the punishment of theft. The Prophet replied:
          "The nations that lived before you were destroyed
          by God because they punished the common man
          for their offenses and let their dignitaries go
          unpunished for their crimes; I swear by Him Who
          holds my life in His hand that even if Fatima, the
          daughter of Muhammad, had committed this
          crime, I would have amputated her hand."
       16.THE RIGHT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE
          AFFAIRS OF STATE: "And their business is
          (conducted) through consultation among
          themselves." (42:38) The "Shura" or the
          legislative assembly has no other meaning except
          that the executive head of the government and the
          members of the assembly should be elected by free
          and independent choice of the people.

          Lastly, it is to be made clear that Islam tries to
          achieve the above mentioned human rights and
          many others not only by providing certain legal
          safeguards but mainly by inviting mankind to
          transcend the lower level of animal life to be able to
          go beyond the mere ties fostered by the kinship of
          blood, racial superiority, linguistic arrogance, and
          economic privileges. It invites mankind to move on
          to a plane of existence where, by reason of his inner
          excellence, man can realize the ideal of the
          Brotherhood of man.
 

Introductory Material on Islam and a List of Islamic Book Seller


 


Introductory Material on IslamThis covers some books
     recommended by Islamic Centers for those seeking more
     insight or further reading of Islam. Books & videos from
     Islamic Centers are available at a subsidized cost. A
     number of places offer free Islamic books as
     documented.

        Should you like to talk to someone about the questions
          on Islam, the Institute of Islamic Information &
      Education has offered to help. They can be contacted at:
        Dr. M. Amir, III&E, P.O. Box 41129 Chicago, IL
      60641-0129, U.S.A. Fax: (312) 777-7199; Email queries
       to the author of the FAQ (mughal@alumni.caltech.edu)
            will be forwarded to III&E for a response.

     The following is a list of publishers, organizations and
     booksellers that deal in books on Islam or the Middle East
     or sell Arabic and Persian books.

 
          Adab Books 47 Newnham Road Cambridge
          CB39E4, England
          Aman Books 58 Elliot Street Brattleboro, VT 05301
          Americans for Middle East Understanding Room
          771, 475 Riverside Drive New York, NY 10115 tel.
          212-870-2149
          Anthony C. Hall Antiquarian Bookseller 30, Staines
          Road Twickenham, Middlesex, England
          Antiquariea Bookseller 152 Queens Road Buckhurst
          Hill Essex, England
          Al-Arab Bookshop 28, Faggalah Street Cairo, Egypt
          tel. 908025
          Al Saqi Books 26 Westbourne Grove London W2
          5RH, England
          Al-Hawadeth 529 14th Street Suite 1070
          Washington, DC 20045
          A.M.S. Press, Inc. 56 East 13th Street New York,
          NY 10003
          Arabic World and Islamic Resources and School
          Services 2095 Rose St., Suite 4 Berkeley, CA
          94709 Tel. 510-704-0517
          Arthur Probsthaim Oriental Bookseller 41 Ct Russel
          Street London, England WCL
          Bibliotheca Islamica, Inc. Box 1536 Chicago, Illinois
          60690
          Bisan Press and Publication PO Box 3396 San
          Mateo, CA 94403
          Blackwell's Broad Street Oxford, England tel. 49111
          Books International Imports, Inc. PO Box 6096
          Mclean, VA 22106 Tel. 703-821-8900
          Books on Islam, Ltd. 240 West 72nd Street New
          York, NY 10023
          The Center for Policy Analysis on Palestine 2435
          Virginia Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20037 Tel.
          202-338-1290
          Curyon Press Grays Inn Road London, England
          WC1
          Cyclamen Books PO Box 69 Leicester LE1 9EW
          England
          Dar Majhar PO Box 56 Cambridge, MA 02238
          Danesh Ltd. 21 Rostam Road Azadi Avenue
          Tehran, Iran
          Database Project on Palestinian Human Rights 220
          S. State Street #1308 1 Quincy Court Chicago, IL
          60604 312-987-1830
          David D. Bundy, Secretary Bulletin d'Arabe
          Chretien Schepererstraat, 2 3000 Louvain Belgium
          David Loman Ltd. 12 Suffolk Road London SW13
          9NB England
          D.K. Agencies (P) Ltd. International Booksellers,
          Publsihers and Subscription Agents H-12, Bali
          Nagar New Delhi - 110015 India
          E.J. Brill Oriental Booksellers 41 Museum Street
          London WC1A 1LX England
          Foundation for Iranian Studies 4801 Massachusetts
          Avenue, NW Washington, DC 200016
          Frank Cass and Company Ltd. International
          Scholarly Book Services Inc. PO Box 555 Forest
          Grove, Oregon 97116
          Ferozoono Ltd. 60 Shahrah-e-Quaid-e-Ayam
          Lahore, Pakistan
          Free Islamic Literatures, Inc. PO Box 35844
          Houston, TX 77235
          George's Bookshop PO Box 220 Cairo, Egypt
          Green Street Book Shop 5 Green Street Cambridge,
          CB2 3JU England
          The Gulf Printing Press House Kuwait
          Haydarabad Historical Society PO Box 1771
          Cambridge, MA 02238
          Hosains Books 25 Connaught Street London W2
          England (Mrs. Yasmin Hosain)
          I.A.P. Information office P.O. Box 741805 Dallas,
          TX 75374-1805, U.S.A. For books on Palestinian
          issues.
          International Book Centre PO Box 295 Troy, MI
          48099 tel. 313-879-8436
          International Book Exchange 35-16 Ditmars Blvd.
          Sutie 111 Astoria, NY 11105 1-800-7432 FAX
          718-278-8026
          International Institute of Islamic Thought PO Box
          669 Herndon, VA 22070
          Institute for Research and Islamic Studies PO Box
          35844 Houston, TX 77235 713-721-1980
          Ishk Book Service PO Box 176 Los Altos, CA
          94022
          Islamic Book Service 10900 W. Washington Street
          Indianapolis, IN 46231 317-839-8150
          Islamic Books A.R. Bullock 62 Kelburne Road
          Oxford, England OX4 3SH
          Institute for the Study of Languages and Cultures of
          Asia & Africa Tokyo University of Foreign Studies
          4-chome Ni shi gahara Kita-ku, Tokyo 114 Japan
          Institute for Women's Studies in Beirut University
          College 475 Riverside Dr. Room 1846 New York,
          10115
          Inter Documentation Company Poststrasse 14 6300
          Zug, Switzerland
          International Centre for Research in Islamic
          Economics PO Box 16711 Jeddah 21474 Kingdom
          of Saudi Arabia
          The Islamic Foundation Markfield Dawah Centre
          Ratby Lane Markfield Leicester LE6 0RN England
          The Islamic Progatation Organization International
          Relations Department PO Box 2782 Tehran, Iran
          Islamic Texts Society 5 Green Street Cambridge
          CB2 3TU England, UK
          Jahan Book Co. 116 Greenbank Avenue Piedmont,
          CA 94611
          Joppa Books Ltd. 29 Milner Drive Cobham, Surrey
          KT11 2EZ England
          Knightsbridge Books Ltd. 32 Store Street London
          WC1E 7BS England
          Al-Majid Co. Ltd. 18-24 Westbourne Grove
          London W2 5RH England
          Markaz al-Malik Faysal lil-Buhuth wa-al-Dirasat
          al-Islamiyah PO Box 51049 Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
          Mazda Publishers PO Box 2603 Costa Mesa, CA
          92626
          M.G. Noura 88o6 Parkview Ave. St. Paul, MN
          55117 800-438-5048
          Microform Review PO Box 1297 Weston, CT
          06880
          Middle East Bibliographic Services 12077 Wilshire
          Boulevard, Suite 605 Los Angeles, CA 90025
          MEBSI PO Box 7823 Austin, Texas 78713
          The Middle East Institute 1761 N Street, NW
          Washington, DC 20036
          Mizan Press PO Box 4065 Berkeley, CA 94705
          Navrang Publishers & Booksellers RB-7 Inderpluri,
          New Delhi, 11012 India
          New Pen Bond Publishers 3050 K Street NW, Suite
          #210 Washington, DC 20007 202-944-4444
          800-959-BOND FAX 202-944-4443
          New Rhine Publishers Nieuwe Rijn 83 2301 DA
          Leiden, PO Box 3023 The Nederalnds
          Nour E-Sham Book Centre PO Box 249 Damascus,
          Syria
          Orient Press 26 Central Square Topkapi Cambridge,
          MA 02139
          Otto Harrassowitz Internationale Buchhandlung
          Asien-Abteilung 6200 Wiesbaden, Germany
          Oxford University Press Ely House 37 Dover Street
          London W1X 4AH
          Palestine Human Rights Campaign 6902 North
          Clark Street Suite 2-A Chicago, IL 60626
          312-274-8686
          Persian Book Mart PO Box 241574 Memphis, TN
          38124
          PHRIC-International 4753 North Broadway, Suite
          930 Chicago, IL 60640 312-271-4492 FAX
          312-271-3377
          Press Office American University in Cairo 113 Kasr
          El Aini Street Cairo, Egypt
          Prints India Booksellers and Publishers 11, Darya
          Ganj New Delhi, 110002 India
          Rashid Sales Co. 191 Atlantic Avenue Brooklyn,
          NY 11201 212-852-3295 Records and Cassettes.
          Research Center for Islamic History, Art and
          Culture PO Box 16, Gayrettepe Istanbul, Turkey
          Secretary Islam & the Modern Age Society Jamia
          Nagar, New Delhi, 110025 India
          Sheba Press 4085 Chain Bridge Road Suite 100
          Fairfax, VA 22030 703-385-5454
          Smyrna Press PO Box 841 Suyvesant Station NY,
          New York 10009
          SOLIPSIST PRESS PO Box 544 Sebastopol, CA
          95473 707-874-1501 Specializes in books on
          Islamic art and archaeology, and the historical
          Islamic world.
          Sorayya Publishers, Inc. 317 14th Ave., SE
          Minneapolis, MN 55414
          South Asia Books PO Box 502 Columbia, MO
          65205 314-474-0116
          South Asia Press Box 1771 Cambridge, MA 02238
          617-924-0809
          Tehran Book Processing Centre PO Box 11-1126
          Tehran, Iran
          United Arab Bureau PO Box 471438 Forestville,
          MD 20747
          Variokum 21a Pembridge London W11 3EQ,
          England
          Vedams Books (P) Ltd. 12A/11 W.E. Area New
          Delhi, 110005 India
          W.B. O'Neill Old and Rare Books 11609 Hunters
          Green Court Reston, VA 22091
          William H. Allen, Bookseller 2031 Walnut Street
          Philadelphia, PA 19103 215-563-3398
          William Schneider Books 212 Seventeenth Street
          Pacific Grove, California 93950
 
 

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