Description of the Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه وسلم) Prayer in Brief
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Terrorists kill Muslims and Non-Muslims indiscriminately
‘Indeed, that which has occurred from suicide bombings and destruction in the city of Riyadh and whatever was discovered as a result of that from weapons and explosives in Makkah and Madeenah in the earlier part of this year, 2003, then it is all the end result of being misled by Satan and his beautification of excessiveness and extremism for those who were responsible for that. So these events that have occurred are from the most disgraceful of crimes and corruption in the earth. And what is more disgraceful is that Satan beautifies these events as Jihaad for the one who carries them out. So with which intellect and Religion can suicide, killing of Muslims, and those under protection by treaties from amongst the non-Muslims, terrorising those living in safety, turning women into widows, and children into orphans, and the destruction of buildings along with whatever is inside them be considered Jihaad!?’ (Shaikh Abdul-Muhsin Al-Abbaad, Saudi Arabia)
So likewise the terrorist attacks of London, Madrid and other than them cannot be considered as Jihaad, and the Religion of Islaam is free from these evil acts and its perpetrators, even if the ones responsible claim to be Muslim and claim to be in support of Islaam and its people. Indeed the Religion of Islaam calls to the sole worship of the Creator and Sustainer, the Lord of the Heavens and earth, Allaah, the One who sent all of the Messengers from Noah through to Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad, as a mercy from Himself. So these Prophets were not sent to cause corruption and wreak havoc, but to call mankind to the worship of their Lord alone, without associating any partners with Him.
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Ummah in Turmoil
In these times we are living in, many Muslims can see that the Muslim community (Ummah) is in turmoil and tribulation. Innocent Muslims are suffering and dying in conflicts in various parts of the word, their lands are being invaded and their blood spilt. However this state of affairs is not new for the Muslims. Some companions of the Prophet Muhammad, may the peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him, complained to him whilst they were being persecuted in Mecca by the polytheists. They said to him: “Will you not seek help for us? Will you not call upon Allaah for us?” Prophet Muhammad replied saying:
“Amongst those who came before you, a hole would be dug for a man and he would be placed in it. Then a saw would be placed upon his head, and he would be sawn in half, yet he would not abandon his (Islamic) religion. His body would be torn with iron combs, the flesh of his bones and nerves being removed, yet that would not make him abandon his religion. By Allah! This religion will prevail till a rider will travel from Sana to Hadramaut (two cities in Yemen) not fearing anyone except Allaah and the wolf upon his sheep, but you people are hasty.” [Al-Bukharee, no. 809]
So due to the righteousness and piety of the people of Islaam, a time came when Allaah blessed them with tranquility, safety, wealth and countless blessings, to which the books of Islamic history bear witness. Then there occurred, due to the sins of the Muslims and their becoming distant from the true Islamic belief, that which the Prophet Muhammad said would happen:
“When you partake in usury transactions, hold on to the tails of cattle, become satisfied with cultivation of the land and you abandon striving in Allaah’s cause, then Allaah will send upon you humiliation! And He will not remove it until you return back to your religion.” [Abu Dawood, no. 3455]
In this Prophetic statement we can clearly see that which brings about humiliation and also the cure which will bring to the Muslims, honour, self respect and glory i.e. a return to the Islaam that the Messenger Muhammad was sent with. Whilst this disease remains, the Muslim blood, their land and property will be violated by other nations. The Prophet Muhammad stated:
“The nations are about to invite one another and come upon you just as those eating from a dish invited others to come and share!” So someone asked the Prophet: “Is that because we will be few in number in that time?” He replied: “No, rather in that time you will be great in number! But you will be scum like the scum carried upon the flood water. Indeed Allaah will remove the fear your enemies once had in their hearts for you and He will throw weakness into your hearts.” Someone asked “What is that weakness?” He replied: “Love for this world and hatred of death.” [Abu Dawood, no. 4297]
Again we see that when a person desires the vastness of the Hereafter over the constriction of this world, then Allaah blesses him in this life and the next.
The question at hand is how does one bring about rectification, removal of oppression and a revival of the Ummah, it’s honour and glory? Is this something open to individual reasoning and opinion or is this something established in the textual revelation? This short article will prove without doubt that recitification and revival of the Ummah cannot take place except by returning to the Quraan and Sunnah with the understanding of the earliest generations of Muslims (known in Arabic as the Salaf). This is proven by the saying of Prophet Muhammad:
“I have indeed left you upon clear proof, its night is like its day! No one strays from it except that he is destroyed. Whoever from amongst you lives for long will see much differing and controversy. So you are obligated to adhere to whatever you know of my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the rightly guided Caliphs after me. Hold on to that with your molar teeth. And upon you is to show obedience to the ruler, even if he be an Abyssinian slave, for indeed the believer (as it relates to the revelation) is like a subservient camel, he goes wherever he is led.” [At-Tirmidhee, no. 2676]
The term Sunnah here refers to the way, path and methodology of the Prophet Muhammad and the noble Caliphs from his Companions. So when controversy and tribulation begins, then rectification lies in the Sunnah, just as Imaam Maalik ibn Anas (died 179AH) said:
“The latter part of the Ummah will not be rectified except by that which rectified it’s earliest part.”
This statement of Imaam Maalik is in complete agreement with the saying of Prophet Muhammad, i.e. when there are trials, controversy, differing and tribulation, then the cure lies in returning to the way of the Prophet and his Companions. Revival takes place only in accordance to the Sunnah, not by newly innovated methods of revival for which there is no proof in the Quraan, Sunnah or the understanding of the Companions.
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Muhammad (peace be upon him) was born around 570CE in Makkah; he was orphaned at a young age so he was brought up by his uncle. He worked as a tradesman, married at the age of 25 and lived a modest and relatively uneventful life. He was however, well-respected and noted for his honesty and integrity, and as such was given the title, “The Trustworthy One”. He used to spend long hours contemplating in a cave in Makkah. At the age of forty, he began to receive revelation from Almighty God. He started preaching to his people, to direct their lives and worship purely to Almighty God, and to forsake all forms of idolatry (i.e. the worship of other than Almighty God). He forbade the people from worshipping him and any other prophets before him – he always referred to himself as the Servant and Messenger of God and never ascribed divinity to himself. He and his early followers were persecuted for their monotheistic belief in the worship of God alone. However, that persecution did not prevent more and more people from embracing Islaam. As the oppression became severe, he and his followers were commanded to migrate to another city, Madinah, which is to the north of Makkah. In Madinah, the people accepted his message, turning to him for guidance. From this position he was able to spread Islaam far and wide. The enemies of Muhammad sent armies to wipe out the small Muslim community, however, although being significantly outnumbered they were able to overcome or repel the aggressors. Within a few years he was able to conquer Makkah without a battle. In victory, Muhammad was very merciful, and many of his former enemies, including the leaders of Makkah and many Christians and Jews became Muslim. By his death, at the age of 63 Muhammad had spread Islaam to most of the Arabian Peninsula and his followers spread the religion to most of the world.
Prior to Muhammad (peace be upon him), the Arabs had been irrelevant in history. Muhammad united them and changed them from paganism and idolatry to worship of the one Almighty God; from tribal quarrels and wars to national solidarity and cohesion; from drunkenness and debauchery to sobriety and piety; from lawlessness and anarchy to disciplined living. He changed them into a nation that would take their religion to most of the world within 100 years of his death. He led them upon knowledge from the darkness of idolatry, oppression and evil traditions to the light of worship of the one true Creator. History has not seen such a startling change or the speed by which a new religion would grow. Unlike other empires whose gains were transitory, and soon disappeared, Islaam’s ability to conquer hearts and minds had led to its permanency.
Muhammad lived in the full light of history; his followers took great care to preserve his teachings. They are preserved till this day and are known as the ‘Hadeeth’ and are the source of Islaamic Law along with the Qur’aan. Muhammad explained, implemented and lived the teachings of the Qur’aan as did the society he established around him. To Muslims, Muhammad is the supreme example for all people; he was the exemplary prophet, stateman, military leader, ruler, teacher, neighbour, husband, father and friend. Almighty God states in the Qur’aan:
“Verily, there has come unto you a Messenger from amongst yourselves. It grieves him that you should receive any injury or difficulty. He is anxious over you, full of pity, kind and merciful.” (9:128)
His statements, actions and tacit approvals, form the basis of how Muslims should live their lives. Unfortunately, many Muslims throughout the ages has been bad examples and opposed the true teachings of Muhammad, likewise there have been a great many good examples who follow the Messenger Muhammad to whom God said:
“And verily, you (O Muhammad) are on an exalted standard of character.” (68:4).
So Muslims are obliged to follow him and emulate his noble character.
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7. What is the purpose of life?
In the Holy Qur’aan, God teaches human beings that they were created in order to worship Him, and that the basis of all true worship is God-conciousness. Man was created to worship God, not because God needs man’s worship, but rather man needs to worship God. If man is left without guidance, he would worship something, be it money, wealth, status, power, idols, etc. All of these things are transient and do not lead to true happiness and peace. Only by worshipping your Creator can mankind reach true happiness, peace and security. Since the teachings of Islaam encompasses all aspects of life and ethics, this worship can occur in all human affairs. Islaam makes it clear that all human acts are acts of worship if they are done for God alone and in accordance to His Divine Law. As such, worship in Islaam is not limited to just religious rituals, but includes work and play.
The Islaamic view of the nature of man is realistic and well-balanced. Human beings are not believed to be inherently sinful, but are seen as equally capable of both good and evil. Islaam teaches that action is a part of faith. God has given people free-will, and the measure of one’s faith is one’s deeds and actions. However, human beings have also been created weak and regularly fall into sin. This is the nature of the human being as created by God in His Wisdom, and it is not inherently “corrupt” or in need of repair. This is because the avenue of repentance is always open to all human beings, by sincere prayer to Almighty God.
The true balance of an Islaamic life is established by having a healthy fear of God as well as a sincere belief in His infinite Mercy. A life without fear of God leads to sin and disobedience, whilst believing that we have sinned so much that God will not possibly forgive us only leads to despair. In light of this, Islaam teaches that only the misguided despair of the Mercy of their Lord.
The Holy Qur’an contains a great deal of teachings about the life hereafter and the Day of Judgement. Due to this, Muslims believe that all human beings will ultimately be judged by God for their beliefs and actions in their earthly lives. In judging human beings, Almighty God will be both Merciful and Just, and people will only be judged in accordance with what they were capable of. Salvation is not gained by just having faith that your sins are forgiven, or being part of a “chosen” people, but by sincere belief, righteous actions and finally the Mercy of God. Suffice it to say the Islaam teaches that life is a test, and that all human beings will be accountable before God.
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Moderation in Islaam
In recent times many people who call to Islaam have started discussing the matter of moderation and extremism in Islaam. Unfortunately, many of these discussions are driven by political agendas on both side of the dividing line, that is to say that you have on one side those Muslims who, in their desire to be seen as integrating with the host community, will label as extremist that which they see as alien to the society they are living within. An example of that is the huge debate that erupted in 2006 in the UK regarding the face veil (or niqaab) by Muslim women. If one studies the issue of the face veil Islamically outside of the prevalent political and cultural agenda, one would find that the face veil is at the very least recommended by the Islamic legislation, and it cannot be labelled as extreme. Yet others may even regard the growing of the beard as extreme, or praying five times a day as extreme. All of these judgements based upon modern day prevalent culture and not upon study of the Qur’aan or Prophetic tradition. On the other side of the dividing line, we have the extremists who will go beyond the limits in the Islamic legislation, again driven by either cultural or political agendas, so they may take the lives of individuals by murder and terrorism and attribute that to Islaam and even claim that Islaam legislates such despicable acts. Those who carried out the seventh of July tube and bus bombings in London claimed they were guided by Islaam. But in reality they were deceived by an extremist political methodology, far removed from Islaam. Other extremists may partake in what is commonly labelled in these times as ‘honour killings’ of female members of their families, or force their daughters into marriage with one whom they do not wish to marry, and then they attribute this to Islaam! Nothing could be further from the truth. This article will discuss the Islamic concept of taking the balanced and middle path in the religion.
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Saints and graveworshipping
The concept of tawheed includes recognition of Allaah’s lordship, and the uniqueness of His attributes, but it is not complete without the goal of this knowledge, which is the worship of Allaah alone. This is shown by the fact that most Makkans at the time of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم), believed in Allaah’s creational powers, and His attributes, yet Allah called them mushriks and the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) fought them.
Allaah said, “And if you ask them who created the heavens and the earth and who controls the sun and the moon they will say, “Allaah”. How then are they deluded?” (29:61)
Therefore the meaning of “Laa ilaha illallaah” is NOT “there is no creator besides Allaah”, but it means “there is nothing (no object of worship or god) that is worthy of worship except Allaah.”
This was the basic message sent by all the prophets. Allaah teaches us in Soorah al-Faatihah to say, “You alone do we worship and You alone do we ask for help.”, this is repeated 17 times a day in the regular prayers. Any attempts to pray to or ask the help of anyone other Allaah, including the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) clearly goes against the teachings of Islaam.
Allah told the Prophet to say, “I have no power to bring good or avert harm from myself, it is only as Allaah wills” (7:188)
Calling on or praying to anyone, including the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم), saints, holy men etc, whether alive or dead is Shirk, the worst sin in Islaam. It is also wrong to call on these people as intermediaries, to make people closer to Allaah. Allaah says “But those who take for themselves protectors besides Allaah say: ‘we only worship them in order that they may bring us closer to Allaah’. Truly Allaah will judge between them in things wherein they differ” (39:2-3)
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From the types of Magic is Astrology
Astrology is also from the types of magic. The Messenger of Allaah, may the salutations and peace of Allaah be upon him, stated,
“Whoever acquires a branch of knowledge of astrology has certainly acquired a branch of sorcery, increasing in it as he continues with it.” (Abu Dawud)
So this shows that astrology and horoscopes that have become popular in these times are branches of magic, since the writers of horoscopes seek to tell the future, which none knows except for Allaah, and is a right that belongs only to Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic. The more a person learns astrology, the more he enters into sorcery. The astrologers believe that the positions of the planets and stars, the celestial bodies, have an effect on earthly affairs and human occurrences such as marriages, divorces, births, deaths.
The respected reader should note hear that Allaah, did not divide magic into good magic and evil magic or black magic and white magic as some people think. Rather, magic, in all its forms is forbidden. Combating magic by using other forms of magic to remove harm is forbidden. The Prophet, may the salutations and peace of Allaah be upon him, asked about repelling magic using another type of magic, or with the aid of devils from the Jinn, so he responded, “It is from the deeds of the devil.” (Abu Dawood, Ahmad). Muslims should know that magic and its effects are repelled by the recital of certain Qur’anic verses and authentic supplications in a manner that bring about cure; this is known as ‘ruqyah’. Ruqyah may involve blowing or light spitting and wiping of the body. The manner in which ruqyah is carried out must not involve sin or disobedience such as smoking or drinking of intoxicants; or idolatry (shirk), such as slaughtering animals to the Jinn, the angels, the prophets or the dead. All of this is to turn away from Allaah and the true worship of Him.
So we ask Allaah, the Most High, to give us security from the evil of magic and magicians. It is important for the Muslim to keep himself safe from the dangers of magic before he is afflicted. One protects himself, and finds cure by way of the remembrance of Allaah (zikr), supplications, and the authentically reported recitals. And from the best of cures for the effects of magic is to exert much effort in seeking the location of the source of magic, as it may be buried in soil, in a house, on a mountain or other than that. And if the object used to bring about the magic is found, it should be removed and destroyed so as to make it ineffective.
Muslims must keep away from soothsayers, so-called ‘peers’, diviners, astrologers and fortune-tellers and others who claim knowledge of the unseen or the future, regardless of how they claim to have acquired such knowledge. Likewise one must avoid amulets (ta’weez) and charms in their pursuit of seeking cure, as all of this opposes clear texts of the Qur’aan and Sunnah. Allaah’s Messenger, may the salutations and peace of Allaah be upon him, stated,
“Whosoever approaches a soothsayer and asks him concerning anything, then his prayer will not be accepted for forty days.” (Saheeh Muslim)
He also said,
“Whoever approaches a soothsayer and believes in what he says, has indeed disbelieved in whatever was revealed to Muhammad.” (Reported in the Four Sunan and by Ahmad)
The Messenger of Allaah also said, “Whosoever attaches or fastens an amulet has committed idolatry.” (Reported by Ahmad b. Hanbal in his Musnad). As for attaching an amulet (or ta’weez) to oneself containing Qur’anic verses, then there is no authentic evidence that the Prophet, may the salutations and peace of Allaah be upon him, attached Qur’anic amulets or prescribed them for anyone.
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At the Point of Death
At the point of death, one should encourage the dying Muslim to have good thoughts and expectations of Allaah. The Prophet, may the salutations and peace of Allaah be upon him, said, “None of you should die except that he has good thoughts towards Allaah, the Most High.” (Saheeh Muslim).
The Muslim must be patient and seek the reward of Allaah. One should also prompt the dying person to utter that ‘there is nothing worthy of worship except Allaah’, as the Messenger, may the salutations and peace of Allaah be upon him, said, “Prompt your dying ones to say laa ilaaha illallaah.” (Saheeh Muslim). The Messenger also said, “Anyone who dies without associating anything in worship with Allaah enters Paradise.” (Saheeh Muslim).
So a Muslim should die upon the pure and sincere worship of Allaah, not calling upon saints, angels, prophets, jinn or dead ancestors for aid, salvation or forgiveness. One should also present Islaam to a dying non-Muslim, as this is a very noble act, and is in accordance with Prophetic tradition. The Messenger, may the salutations and peace of Allaah be upon him, used to invite non-Muslims to Islaam whilst they were in good health, in sickness and upon their deathbed as he did with his uncle Abu Taalib, as this is the last opportunity to invite one to the worship of their Lord and Creator. Once a Muslim has died, his eyes should be closed and the entire body should be covered. It is obligatory to make haste in washing, shrouding and burying him, as the Prophet stated, “Hurry with performing the funeral” (Saheeh al-Bukhaaree). False practices at the point of death which have no proof from the Qur’aan and Prophetic Sunnah must be avoided, such as reciting Soorah Yaseen over the dying or dead person; turning his bed or his face to the Qiblah; putting a copy of the Qur’aan over his head or chest; chanting remembrances of Allaah around him; delaying the burial whilst people gather to view the deceased.
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Does the Prophet have knowledge of the Unseen and can we seek aid from him?
Question: There are people who believe that the Prophet is light from the light of Allaah, and that he was not a human and that he has knowledge of the unseen and we should seek deliverence, rescue and aid from him, believing that the Prophet possesses the ability to bring about benefit and harm. What is the ruling regarding this?
Answer: Whoever believes that the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), is light from the light of Allaah and not a human being, and that he has knowledge of the Unseen, then he has disbelieved in Allaah and His Messenger. He cannot be considered a friend or ally (walee’) of Allaah, because this statement entails rejection of the sayings of Allaah and His Messenger. The proof for this is,
“Say (O Prophet), ‘I am a man like yourselves.'” (Al-Kahf: 110), and His statement, “Say (O Prophet), ‘None in the heavens and the earth knows the Unseen except Allaah.'” (An-Naml: 65), and His statement, “Say (O Prophet), ‘I do not tell you that with me are the treasures of Allaah, nor that I know the Unseen, nor do I say to you that I am an Angel. I but follow what is revealed to me.'” (Al-An’aam: 50). The Most High also said, “Say (O Muhammad), ‘I possess no power of benefit or hurt upon myself except as Allaah wills. If I had knowledge of the Unseen, I would have secured for myself an abundance of wealth, and no evil would have touched me, I am but a warner and bringer of glad tidings to people who believe.'” (Al-A’raaf: 188)
As for seeking divine aid and rescue, then we seek it only from Allaah, the Most High. To seek aid or rescue from the Messenger of Allaah is shirk or polytheism, i.e. to associate partners with Allaah in worship. Allaah stated in the Qur’aan, “And your Lord said, ‘Invoke Me and I will respond to you.’ Verily, those who scorn my worship they will surely enter Hell in disgrace.” (Ghaafir: 60) And His statement, “Say (O Muhammad), ‘It is not in my power to cause you harm or to bring you to the Right Path.’ Say (O Muhammad), ‘None can protect me from Allaah’s punishment, nor should I find refuge except in Him.'” (Al-Jinn: 21-22)
We also have the statement of the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to his family members, “I cannot avail you with Allaah anything.” (Reported by Bukhaaree and Muslim). If this is what the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to his own daughter, Faatimah, then how much more is that true for other than his own family?!
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Seperating Fact from Fiction?
Here are just a few facts about women’s rights in Islam established over fourteen centuries ago:
– Islam condemned pre-Islamic practices degrading and oppressing women
– Islam gave women the right of inheritance and the right of individual independent ownership unhampered by father, husband, brother, son or anyone else
– Islam gave women the right to accept or reject a marriage proposal free from pressure; forced marriages are not from Islam
– Islam does not required a woman to change her name at marriage nor give up her wealth
– Islam protects the family and condemns the betrayal of marital fidelity. It recognizes only one type of family: husband and wife united by an authentic marriage contract
– Islam enjoins sound morality in thinking, behavior and appearance. Dress fashions and social patterns that reduce the woman to a sex object and exploit her as such are not acceptable to Islam. A woman is judged on the basis of her piety and excellence of character
– The observance of chastity and moral standards is equally demanded by Islam from both men and women, “Women are the twins of men” is a saying of prophet Muhammad
– The mother has a great right to be shown kindness, goodness and obedience
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The Miracle of DNA
DNA is found in a small part of each cell, its diameter is a billion times smaller than a millimetre. It contains the construction plan of the human body, with information regarding all the characteristics of a person from physical appearance to details about the inner organs. The information is in a code of 3.5billion letters. The letters are grouped into 200,000 genes, which code for proteins in the body, which could be in eye, the brain, heart, etc. The correct order of letters determines the structure of the human down to the slighest detail, if the order was wrong the genes would be useless. You could be born with your ear on your back, or your hands on your chest!! How did these letters queue up to form a perfect sequence??
When people unfortunately, gamble, they may bet that the chance of a horse or football team winning is 10 to 1 or 5 to 1 etc. Compare this with the chance of just 1 average sized protein, being created from DNA: this has been calculated as 1 followed by 600 zeros to 1!!! And this is just one protein, remember DNA codes for around 200,000 proteins!!! One scientist famously said that this is as likely as a monkey typing out the history of mankind on a typewriter without making any mistakes in it!!!
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What is the Greatest of all Obligations
People often ask, “What is wrong with you people that you always talk about tawheed and make lenghty discussions regarding it? Why don’t you place focus upon the affair of the Muslims in these times? Can’t you see how the Muslims are being oppressed around the world?! Do you not see that the greatest obligation is entering into the political arena?!”
We respond, and success if from Allaah, that tawheed is to single out Allaah alone with all types of worship, and it is the very foundation of this upright Religion. So giving tawheed importance is to give the foundation of Islaam its importance.
If we were to ponder upon the Qur’aan and what it contains of guidance, we find that it clarifies tawheed completely, so much so, there is not a chapter from the chapters of the Qur’aan except that it mentions something from the aspects of tawheed, and a clarification of that which opposes tawheed. So in these chapters of the Qur’aan we find information related to the names and attributes of Allaah, or we find information related to the actions of Allaah and His Lordship, that He is the sole creator, sustainer, provider and controller of all of existence. In these chapters we also find the command of Allaah to worship Him alone, without associating partners with Him in worship. Likewise we find the great danger in associating partners with Allaah in worship and the absolute forbiddence of directing worship to other than Him, and that is the greatest of all sins. Additionally, we find that Allaah commands with obedience to Him and His Messenger, Muhammad (may the blessings and salutations of Allaah be upon him), and this is from the rights of tawheed. Allaah describes the rewards He has prepared for those who establish tawheed, in the eternal gardens of Paradise and the punishment and torment He has prepared for those who reject the worship of Allaah and associate partners with Him in worship, in the eternal Hellfire, may Allaah grant us His Paradise and protect us from His punishment.
So therefore the whole of the Qur’aan revolves around this fundamental issue of tawheed. Indeed if we look at the life of the Messenger Muhammad, we will find that he spent thirteen years of his prophethood in Makkah and ten or so years in Madeenah. So the period that he was in Makkah in thirteen years, he spent it calling the people to the worship of Allaah and warning them from associating others in worship with Him. During this time there was no revelation obligating the zakaat (obligatory charity), nor the Hajj, nor the rest of the affairs of obligations and forbiddences and the affairs related to social interactions – rather these matters were all revealed after migration to Madeenah. However, shortly before the Messenger’s migration from Makkah to Madeenah, the daily prayers were obligated upon the believers. Nevertheless, one can clearly see the great focus that Allaah and his noble servant and Messenger, Muhammad, gave to the call of tawheed and the abandonment of worship of anything besides Him. And the reason for this great emphasis upon tawheed is due to its great position in Islaam. So once this tawheed was deeply rooted in the hearts of the believers, Allaah sent down the rest of the obligations such as zakaat, fasting, hajj and the Islamic dress code. And this was because none of these outer acts of worship are accepted by Allaah, except if they are established upon tawheed.
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WHO ARE The Salaf & The Salafis?
In the Arabic language, the term Salaf literally refers to those who came before us. In Islamic terminology it refers primarily to the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his Companions and then those who followed them in goodness amongst the very early generations of Muslims. And a Salafi is one who follows the Prophet and his Companions. The proof for following the Companions is the statement of Allaah, the Most High, “The first and foremost to embrace Islaam from the migrants from Makkah and those who helped them from the residents of Madeenah, and those who follow them in goodness, Allaah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him.” [Soorah Tawbah 9:100] This verse refers to the disciples of Prophet Muhammad, those who migrated from Makkah from Madinah and those who were already resident in Madinah. So from this it is apparent that if one wishes to earn the pleasure of Allaah, he should adhere to the path of the Companions of the Messenger Muhammad. And the reason behind this is because they were most knowledgeable of what the Messenger came with and how the revelation should be acted upon after his passing away. Who is better placed to understand the revelation than these disciples of the Prophet who accompanied him throughout his life? In fact, any understanding of the Islamic religion that does not follow in their footsteps will be necessarily deficient and flawed.
Salafiyyah (meaning the Salafi methodology) has distinguising signs and principles that cause it to stand out from other groupings and sects. The most important distinguishing factor is the Salafi call to the rectification of one’s belief. This begins with the correct understanding of monotheism (Arabic: Tawheed), which is to single out Allaah alone with all our worship, and worship here includes: Supplication (Arabic: du’aa), reliance, prostration, sacrifice, vows and oaths, hope, fear, love, prayer, bowing, tawaaf, and so on. This is, by necessity, coupled with negation of anything that is worshipped besides Allaah. So we negate worship or seeking intercession of any Prophet or Angel or ‘Saint’ and so on. We likewise reject all superstitious acts such as 786, amulets and good-luck charms. Additionally visiting and seeking aid from Soothsayers, fortune-tellers and sorcerers, even if they claim to be Muslims, is rejected by our pure call to the worship of the One true Lord, Allaah. We regards all of these acts as violations of true monotheism, or Tawheed.
Also from the most distinguishing signs of Salafiyyah is its call to loving and following the Messenger Muhammad in every affair of religious life, whether small or great. Adding to that distinction is the Salafi requirement to act upon the legislation based upon authentic evidences taken from the books of Prophetic Tradition. We do not take our creed or religious acts from weak or fabricated narrations or based upon stories of old. Futher, we act upon these textual evidences, whether in the Qur’aan or the Prophetic Sunnah, in accordance to the understanding of the Companions of the Messenger, for they were more knowledgeable regarding the context of revelation than those who came after them. As for the newly occurring worldly matters that were not present in the time of the Prophet and his Companions, such as advancements in medicine, warfare and science that require Islamic verdicts, then these matters are put to the major scholars who issue verdicts based upon the understanding of the Companions. And we do not single out any individual scholar to be followed blindly, as is found with the people of madhhabs. Rather, we take from the people of knowledge who carry these distinguishing signs based upon their evidences.
So Salafiyyah is distinguished from all the various Islamic factions due to their ascription to what guarantees for them the correct and true Islaam, which is adherence to what the Messenger (may the peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his Companions were upon, as occurs in authentic traditions.
Islam’s Position on Jesus Christ (peace be upon him)
Excerpt from leaflet above:
The Status of Jesus In Islam & Christianity
Christians and Muslims have differed for centuries over the nature and status of Jesus Christ. Both religions revere him and both believe him to be of virgin birth. Both religions claim to know his true nature and purpose. Muslims believe that Christian leaders of old altered the scriptures in order to redefine the status of this noble and virtuous Prophet of Almighty God. In fact, eminent Christian theologians readily admit that the Bible has been altered throughout the ages, so in that respect there is no disagreement. The renowned Biblical scholar from the USA, Dr. Bart D. Ehrman, formerly the president of the Southeast Region of the Society of Biblical Literature stated: “One of the most amazing and perplexing features of mainstream Christianity is that seminarians who learn the historical-critical method in their Bible classes appear to forget all about it when it comes time for them to be pastors. They are taught critical approaches to Scripture, they learn about the discrepancies and contradictions, they discover all sorts of historical errors and mistakes…they find that there are other books that were at one time considered canonical but that ultimately did not become part of Scripture, they come to recognize that a good number of the books of the Bible are pseudonymous (written in the name of an apostle by someone else), that in fact we don’t have the original copies of any of the biblical books but only copies made centuries later, all of which have been altered.” (See: Bart D. Ehrman, “Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible and Why We Don’t Know About Them”). This altering of the original message of Jesus (peace be upon him) is something that is established also in the Islamic religious texts of the Quran and in the words of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
Muslims believe that God sent after the Prophet Jesus, another Prophet, whose coming was foretold in previous scriptures such as the Torah revealed to Moses and the Gospels that were revealed to Jesus. This final Prophet was Muhammad. The Lord of all creation stated in the Quran: “Say O Muslims: We believe in God, and that which has been revealed to us, and that which has been revealed to Abraham, Ismael, Isaac, Jacob and to the Tribes of Israel, and that which has been given to Moses and Jesus, and that which has been given to the Prophets from their Lord. We do not discriminate between any of them, and to Him (the One True Lord) we have submitted.” (Quran 2:136) God also informed mankind that the previous scriptures were altered, changing much of the original message, and thus could no longer be relied upon. So from His Divine Mercy, He sent the finality of the Prophets, whose name is Muhammad (peace be upon him) with the Final Revelation, the Quran that Almighty God, protected from corruption and alteration.