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Free Will & Predestination (Al Qadaa Wal Qadr)

February 21, 2012 1 comment

Source: http://islamqa.com/en/ref/34732/free%20will

What is the meaning of belief in al-Qadar (the divine will and decree)?.

Praise be to Allaah.

Qadar means that Allaah has decreed everything that happens in the universe according to His prior knowledge and the dictates of His wisdom.

Belief in al-Qadar includes four things:

1 – The belief that Allaah knows all things, in general and in detail, from eternity to eternity, whether that has to do with His actions or the actions of His slaves.

2 – The belief that Allaah has written that in al-Lawh al-Mahfooz (the Book of Decrees).

Concerning these two matters Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Know you not that Allaah knows all that is in the heaven and on the earth? Verily, it is (all) in the Book (Al‑Lawh Al‑Mahfooz). Verily, that is easy for Allaah”
[al-Hajj 22:70]

In Saheeh Muslim (2653) it is narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “Allaah wrote down the decrees of creation fifty thousand years before He created the heavens and the earth.”

And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The first thing that Allaah created was the Pen, and He said to it, ‘Write!’ It said, ‘O Lord, what should I write?’ He said: ‘Write down the decrees of all things until the Hour begins.” Narrated by Abu Dawood, 4700; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.

3 – The belief that whatever happens only happens by the will of Allaah – whether that has to do with His actions or the actions of created beings.

Allaah says concerning His actions (interpretation of the meaning):

“And your Lord creates whatsoever He wills and chooses”

[al-Qasas 28:68]

“and Allaah does what He wills”

[Ibraaheem 14:27]

“He it is Who shapes you in the wombs as He wills”

[Aal ‘Imraan 3:6]

And He says concerning the actions of created beings (interpretation of the meaning):

“Had Allaah willed, indeed He would have given them power over you, and they would have fought you”

[al-Nisa’ 4:90]

“If your Lord had so willed, they would not have done it”

[al-An’aam 6:112]

All events, actions and happenings occur only by the will of Allaah. Whatever Allaah wills happens, and whatever He does not will does not happen.

4 – The belief that all things that happen are created by Allaah in their essence, their attributes and their movements.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Allaah is the Creator of all things, and He is the Wakeel (Trustee, Disposer of affairs, Guardian) over all things”

[al-Zumar 39:62]

“He has created everything, and has measured it exactly according to its due measurements”

[al-Furqaan 25:2]

And Allaah tells us that the Prophet of Allaah Ibraaheem (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to his people:

“While Allaah has created you and what you make”

[al-Saaffaat 38:96 – interpretation of the meaning]

If a person believes in all these things then he believes correctly in the divine will and decree (al-qadar).

Belief in al-qadar as we have described it above does not contradict the idea that a person has free will with regard to actions in which he has free choice. He can choose whether to or not to do things that he is able to do of acts of worship or sinful actions. Sharee’ah and real life both indicate that people have this will.

With regard to sharee’ah, Allaah says concerning man’s will (interpretation of the meaning):

“That is (without doubt) the True Day. So, whosoever wills, let him seek a place with (or a way to) His Lord (by obeying Him in this worldly life)!”

[al-Naba’ 78:39]

“so go to your tilth, when or how you will”

[al-Baqarah 2:223]

And He says concerning man’s ability (interpretation of the meaning):

“So keep your duty to Allaah and fear Him as much as you can”

[al-Taghaabun 64:16]

“Allaah 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”

[al-Baqarah 2:286]

These verses confirm that man has a will and the ability to do what he wants and not to do what he does not want.

With regard to real life, everyone knows that he has a will and the ability to do what he wants and not to do what he does not want. And he can distinguish between the things that happen when he wants them to, such as walking, and those that happen without him wanting them to, such as shivering. But the will and ability of man are subject to the will and decree of Allaah, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“To whomsoever among you who wills to walk straight.

And you cannot will unless (it be) that Allaah wills the Lord of the ‘Aalameen (mankind, jinn and all that exists)”

[al-Takweer 81:28-29]

But the entire universe is the dominion of Allaah, and nothing can happen in His dominion without His knowledge and will.

And Allaah knows best.

See Risaalat Sharh Usool al-Eemaan by Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen.

Islam Q&A

Allah’s Attributes – similar to humans?

August 18, 2011 1 comment

BISMILLAH HIR RAHMAN NIRRAHEEM

We only call Allah with the beautiful names and attributes that He has assigned to Himself in the authentic texts, Quran and Sunnah. There are some attributes that are exclusive to The Lord of the Universe such as Al Muhyee (The Creator of Life) and Al Mumeet (The Creator of Death), while there are others such as Hearing, Seeing, Hands, Living etc that are also attributable to human beings. There are two groups who have gone to extremes in explaining this similarity. The Anthropomorphist (Muattil) take the position that Allah Azzawajal and human possess the exact same attribute, Allah has used the same name to describe that attribute. The Rationalists (Muatazilla) disregard the text that describe these attributes and deny them, explaining them away as secondary attributes. Then what is the correct understanding?

Firstly, we have to note that the human mind is incapable of comprehending the vastness of Allah’s Majesty. Allah states that:

“Their knowledge cannot encompass Him.” [ Quran Soorah Taahaa (20): 110]

So even though Allah informs us that He sees, it is impossible for us to understand “how”. Hence it is not possible for the finite, imperfect human mind to conceive and comprehend the infinite and perfect attributes of Allah. While there might be resemblance in name, such as Allah’s ‘hands’, the similarity ends at that; and it is impossible to imagine what Allah’s hands might look like. The imaginary description is forbidden as it is not based on knowledge but the human mind’s imagination is an amalgamation of observations from creation.

Secondly, Allah Subhana Wa Ta’alaa states that

“Nothing is similar to Him…” [Quran Soorah Shooraa, (42): 11]

Imam Abu Hanifa in his book “Fiqh Al Akhbar” further expounds that “There is none in His creations in His likeness” and goes on to say “His Attributes are totally different from the attributes of His creation. He knows, but not in the manner we know.” Additionally, Nuaym bin Hammad has written that “Whoever declared Allah similar to an attribute of His creation in any manner, committed disbelief.” Allah’s attributes are similar to humans, just in name. For instance, Allah mentions:

“… He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing.” [Quran Soorah ash-Shooraa, (42): 11]
“Then we made him (i.e. man) hearing, seeing.” [Quran Al-Insan 76:2]

From the above example, we see that qualities of hearing and seeing are present in man, but these attributes are not the same perfect attributes that Allah possess. This can be understood in the realms of man that two people possess intelligence. But, no one person may be equal to another in intelligence. Hence, Allah possess the perfection of the attribute without any deficiency. When we think of humans seeing, we can imagine an eye apparatus and light passing through and falling on the retina inverted and so on. But with Allah, it is impossible to imagine something like a big eye or delving into “how Allah sees?”

When we study the attribute of “Hearing” as in this hadith: ‘Urwah narrated from ‘Aa’ishah that she said, “All praise is due to Allaah whose hearing encompasses all sounds. Khawlah [bint Tha‘labah] came to Allaah’s Messenger complaining about her husband [Aws ibn as-Saamit] and I [according to Ibn Maajah’s narration: was in another corner of the house and] couldn’t hear what she said. Then Allaah, Most Great and Glorious revealed: “Allaah heard the statement …and Allaah hears your conversation.””
In this instance, hearing is referred to Allah’s general awareness of sound. So any human limitations of the definitions of hearing such as range, ears etc. does not apply. As Sheik Uthaimeen (RH) eloquently stated “All of Allah’s attributes are transcendent, attributes of perfection and praise, without any deficiency in any respect,” as stated in the following Quranic verse:

“And to Allah belongs the supreme example.” [Quran Surah Nahl 16:60]

To understand this principle further, let us look at the following hadith:
A man came to Allaah’s Messenger (r) and said: “O Messenger of Allaah! I am suffering from fatigue and hunger.” The Prophet (r) sent someone to his wives but did not find anything with them, so he said: “Isn’t there anyone who can entertain this man tonight so that Allaah may be merciful to him?” A man from the Ansaar got up and said, “I will, O Messenger of Allaah.” So he went to his wife and told her, “This is the guest of Allaah’s Messenger (r), so don’t save anything.” She replied, “By Allaah, I have nothing but the children’s food.” He told her, “When the children ask for their dinner, put them to bed and put out the light and we will not eat tonight.” She did so. When the man from the Ansaar came the next morning, he (r) said to him, “Allaah, Most Great and Glorious, was amazed at such-and-such a man and woman. So Allaah, Most Great and Glorious revealed: “… They give preference to others over themselves even though they are in need.” (Quran Soorah al-Hashr, 59: 9)”

We see “amazement” attributed to Allah in the above hadith. So how do we apply the principle of affirming perfection and disassociating deficiency? Amazement can occur either by the subject being surprised at an event as he was not aware of it or one can be amazed as a particular event was out of the norm, even though he may be aware. The latter is an amazement due to appreciation which can be attributed to Allah and the former is due to lack of knowledge and cannot be attributed to Allah Almighty.

In conclusion, we say state that the correct attitude towards Allah’s attribute is neither the extreme view of denying and misinterpreting those attributes that are common in name nor the other end of the spectrum of assigning human attributes in complete similarity to Allah’s but it is in between the two that Allah’s attributes are transcendent, attributes of perfection and praise, without any deficiency in any respect. While they may be similar to some attributes that His creation possess, the similarity ends in the name and it is impossible for us to comprehend the “hows” of His attributes.

Pg 13-14, Aqeedah Tahawi, Syed Iqbal Zaheer
Pg 11, The Radiance of Faith, Dr. Bilal Philips
Pg 24. Aqeedah Tahawi, Syed Iqbal Zaheer
Pg 11, The Radiance of Faith, Dr. Bilal Philips
Sahih Al Bukhari, vol. 9, p. 359, Chapter [9], Sunan Ibn Maajah, vol. 1, p. 105, no. 188
Pg 11, The Radiance of Faith, Dr. Bilal Philips
Sahih Al-Bukhari, vol. 6, p. 382-3, no. 411
Pg 36, The Radiance of Faith, Dr. Bilal Philips

Who is the most intimate friend (kha’lil) of The Lord of the Universe?

March 31, 2011 Leave a comment

I came across this interesting piece on the types of love and who are the 2 that are khalil (intimate friends) of Allah. This is an excerpt from Muhammad Ansari, Commentary on the Creed of at-Tahawi, pp. 220 -223

(33) He is very dear to the Lord of the Worlds.

    It is confirmed that the Prophet (peace be on him) enjoyed the
    highest degree of Allah’s love, which is khilllah (intimacy). He said,
    “Allah took me as His most intimate friend (khatfI) as He had earlier
    taken Abraham as His most intimate friend.”‘5 On another occasion
    he said, “If I were to take an inhabitant of the Earth as my most
    intimate friend, I would chose Abu Bakr. But Allah, the Most
    Gracious, has taken your companion (I.e. the Prophet) as His most
    intimate friend.”‘6 Both of these a/:ziidfth are in the Sa/:zf/:z (of Imam
    Muslim). They clearly refute those who say that khilllah (intimacy)
    was only for Abraham while ma/:zabbah (love) was for MuJ:1ammad.
    Therefore, they say, Abraham is the khalfl Allah (‘the intimate of
    Allah’) while Mu1)ammad is Allah’s /:zabfb (‘beloved’). In the Sa/:zf/:z,
    there are also the words, “Let it be known that I (the Prophet) have
    no khalfl among mankind.””
    As for love, it has been confirmed for many others besides the
    Prophet (peace be on him). For example, Allah says, “Allah loves
    those who do good” [3:134]; “Truly, Allah loves the pious” [3:76],
    and, “Truly, Allah loves those who keep themselves pure and clear”
    [2:222].

    It is clear, therefore, that those who say that intimacy (khallah)
    was reserved for Abraham and that Mul;mmmad was only given love
    (maf;abbah) are wrong. The truth is that khallah was reserved for
    both of them while love was granted to many others. At-TinnidbI
    recorded on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas a f;adUh which states,
    “Abraham is the khaW ofAllah. As for me, I am the f;ablb of Allah.
    And this is not boasting.”88 But this f;adUh is not authentic.
    Love has different degrees:
    First is ‘iltiqah, where the heart has fondness for the beloved.
    Second is irtidah, where the heart is inclined towards the
    beloved and seeks the beloved.
    Third is liabtibah, where the heart overflows with love which
    cannot be checked, in the same way that the flow of water into a
    tunnel cannot be checked.
    Fourth is ghartim, where the love clings to the heart and is
    always present. From the same root is ghtirim, which means ‘one
    who keeps constant company’. Allah has used it as an adjective,
    “…the torment ofHell will always be with them (gharam)” [25:65].
    The fifth is mawaddah or wadd. This is the pure, sincere and
    real love. Allah says in the Qur’an, “The Merciful will set for them
    His pure love (wadel)” [19:96].
    Sixth is shaghaj, which is infatuation, or love that has gone into
    the innermost recesses ofthe heart.
    The seventh is ‘ishq. This is the extreme love that even threatens
    the life ofthe lover. One cannot attribute this kind of love to Allah,
    nor is this the kind of love that the servant has for his Lord, even
    though some people do use this term. There is a difference of
    opinion concerning why it is prohibited. Some say that it is because
    the word never occurs in the Qur’an or f;adUh. Other reasons are
    also given. Perhaps, it is prohibited to use this term because it
    implies lust (shahwah).
    Eighth is tatayyam, which means love that enslaves.
    Ninth is ta ‘abbud, or worship.
    And tenth is khallah. This is the love that permeates and fills the
    spirit and the heart ofthe lover.
    These types have also been mentioned in different sequences by
    different people. But the above order is the best. A little reflection
    will reveal its merits.

    8SPart of a i).adfth in Muslim, AI-Masiijid, 532; also in AkTabaranI, AI-Kabir, ] 686.
    “Muslim, Far,!ii’il a,y-$aQiibah, 2383; At-TirmidhI, AI-Maniiqib, 3656; Ibn Majah,
    93; A!)mad, 1:377, 389, 409, 433.
    “Muslim, 532; At-TabaranI, AI-Kabfr, 1986.

    92 Sharf; Al- ‘Aqldah At-Taf;tiwlyyah

Categories: Tawheed Tags: , ,

ISLAM – Solution to the Failure of Capitalism? (PowerPoint Presentation)

February 23, 2011 Leave a comment

“How can you believe in something unseen when you cannot prove its existence?”

February 15, 2011 Leave a comment

“Isn’t Islam mythical as Muslims believe in Angels and Demons?” “Why do you believe in a God whom you cannot see?” “People in the old times believed in God because they lack scientific knowledge or rational thinking.” These questions and similar thoughts might leave some Muslims perplexed or might be holding back a rational person who feels that he would have to become “irrational” to believe in God. Is this really the case? A simple study of these misconceptions will help us shine the light on these questions as the Quran is described by Allah (Arabic for The One God) as Nur or Light that banishes darkness. The basic litmus test is, “Is Quran the word of God Almighty?” If we provide sufficient evidence for this, then all the false arguments will be baseless. Let us test the Quran in the light of Modern Science, Logic and Probability, as well as look at the open challenge in the Quran to Humanity as Allah says:

 

“Do they not consider the Qur’an (with care)? Had it been from other than Allah, they would surely have found therein much discrepancy” [Quran Surat Al-Nisa’a 4:82]

 

Dr. Gary Miller says that “One of the well known scientific principles is the principle of finding mistakes or looking for mistakes in a theory until it’s proved to be right (Falsification Test). What’s amazing is that the Holy Qur’an asks Muslims and non-Muslims to try to find mistakes in this book and it tells them that they will never find any”.[1]

 

If we look in the realms of science, there are numerous scientific facts mentioned in the Quran: around 1000 of the 6000 verses.[2] One would assume that a Book from 14 Centuries ago is bound to have innumerable scientific inaccuracies. Let us see if this is the case.

 

“ Do not the Unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together (as one unit of Creation), before We clove them asunder? We made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe?” [“Al-Anbiya:30]

 

The Quran talks about the creation of the Universe, confirming the concept of modern day Big Bang Theory that the Universe was a primitive atom before it exploded and kept expanding. In another instance:

 

“He has let loose the two seas meeting each other. Between them is a barrier which none of them can transgress.” [Quran 55:19-20]

Here the fact that fresh water and salt water seas don’t mix is referenced which had perplexed the early Quran day commentators whereas modern day Oceanographers are able to explain this phenomenon.

 

When the Quran was revealed, the people thought that the Earth was flat. However in the Quran, the word, dahaahaa is used to in reference to the Earth, which means an ostrich egg, which aptly explains the shape of our planet; a fact inconceivable 1400 years ago.[3]

 

“And after that He spread the Earth.” [Quran 79:30]

 

Now these are few examples from the 100’s of such verses present in the Quran. From a logic point of view, Dr. Zakir Naik analyzes that if we take any 3 facts mentioned in the Quran and try to see if it possible for them to randomly be true? Let us take the instance that at the time people held the view that the Earth was flat. Quran revealed, as discussed earlier, that it is oval shaped. Let us assume there are about 30 possibilities (hexagonal, spherical, pentagonal etc.). Then the possibility of it being a right guess is 1/30. Now, another fact mentioned in the Quran is that all living things are created from water. There are whole myriad of things that we can assume we are created from, so let us assume 10,000 possibilities. So the probability of being the right guess is 1/10,000. Another scientific example in the Quran is the barrier between the seas, which have scientific evidence pointing to the barriers between the salt and fresh water bodies in the Mediterranean. There are two options here – barrier or no barrier, so the probability is ½. Now the combined probability of all three facts accurately mentioned being guesses is 1/30 x 1/10000 x ½ = 0.00017% which is practically impossible. Now that is only for three facts, and if we apply this formula to all the scientific facts mentioned in the Quran, confirmed by modern science, it would be beyond human minds to comprehend the impossibility of it. [4]

 

So, we have provided proof that the source of the Quran is of Divine origin and scientifically speaking, if all the facts mentioned in the Quran for which scientific evidence exists today are correct, then it takes common sense to note that other facts mentioned for which science has not discovered yet has to be true too. Just because we don’t know does not make it wrong. People 1400 years ago did not know that the Earth was oval shaped nor was Universe created from the Big Bang nor the Moon reflected light. That is why, we Muslims believe in a God we cannot see and His Angels, and Jinns, although we cannot see as the Quran has provided enough evidence for mankind that it is from a divine source.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Dawah, Tawheed Tags: , , ,

Get a online BA in Islamic Studies or just take free diploma courses!! IOU by Dr. Bilal Philips

February 5, 2011 1 comment

TAQWA: The Fear of ALLAH

January 15, 2011 Leave a comment

TAQWA: The Fear of ALLAH.

Categories: Akhira Oriented, Tawheed Tags:
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