A unique feature of Islam is that it establishes a balance between individualism and collectivism. It believes in the individual personality of man and holds everyone personally accountable to God.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) says: “Everyone of you is a guardian, and responsible for what is in his custody. The ruler is a guardian of his subjects and responsible for them; a husband is a guardian of his family and is responsible for it; a lady is a guardian of her husband’s house and is responsible for it, and a servant is a guardian of his master’s property and is responsible for it.”
The Prophet also said, “A man is a guardian of his father’s property and is responsible for it, so all of you are guardians and responsible for your wards and things under your care.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Islam also guarantees the fundamental rights of the individual and does not permit anyone to tamper with them.
It makes the proper development of the personality of man one of the prime objectives of its educational policy. It does not subscribe to the view that man must lose his individuality in society or in the state.
In Islam, all men are equal, regardless of color, language, race or nationality. It addresses itself to the conscience of humanity and banishes all false barriers of race, status and wealth. There can be no denying the fact that such barriers have always existed and continue to exist even today in the so-called enlightened age. Islam removes all of these impediments and proclaims the ideal of the whole of humanity being one family of God.
Islam is international in its outlook and approach and does not admit barriers and distinctions based on color, clan, blood, or territory, as was the case before the advent of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Unfortunately, these prejudices remain rampant in different forms even in this modern age. Islam wants to unite the entire human race under one banner. To a world torn by national rivalries and feuds, it presents a message of life and hope and of a glorious future.
Complete record of teachings preserved
Last, but not least, is the fact that the teachings of Islam have been preserved in their original form. As a result, Allah’s guidance is available without adulteration of any kind. The Qur’an is the revealed book and word of Allah, which has been in existence for the last 1,400 years. It is still available in its original form. Detailed accounts of the life of the Prophet and of his teachings are available in their pristine purity. There has not been even one change made in this unique historic record.
The saying and the entire record of the life of the Prophet have been handed down to us with unprecedented precision and authenticity in works of the Hadith and the Seerah (the Prophet’s Biography). Even a number of non-Muslim critics admit this eloquent fact.
These are some of the unique features of Islam that establish its credentials as the religion of man, the religion of today and the religion of tomorrow. These aspects have appealed to millions of people in the past and the present and have made them affirm that Islam is the religion of truth and the right path for mankind.
How often do we remember death? Yes death, a harsh and fearful reality that escapes no living person. None can avoid it. The people around a dying person don’t have the ability to prevent it. Death happens every moment and it does not discriminate between the young and the old, the rich and the poor, the strong and the weak. Everyone is equal in front of death, because no one has any means to escape it or use intercession to avoid it or even delay it.
Allah says in the Qur’an:
“Say: Indeed, the death from which you flee will surely meet you, then you will be sent back to Allah, the All-Knower of the unseen and the seen. And He will then tell you what you used to do.” (Qur’an, 62:8)
“Every one is going to taste death. And We shall make a trial of you with evil and with good, and to Us will you be returned.” (Qur’an, 21:35)
Our hearts tremble with fear on the thought of this indispensable reality. A person’s actions are sealed with death and what comes after that is more fearful, because will there be a place where one can flee to in order to escape the afflictions suffered in the grave? What will our reply be when we are questioned in the grave? None of us know where we will end up. Will it be Paradise whose width is like the heavens and the earth or will it be the Fire whose fuel is of men and stones?
Ibrahim Bin Adham (d. 160H) was asked about the verse: “Call upon Me and I will respond to you.” (Qur’an, 40:60) that: “We call upon Allah, but He does nor respond to us.” So Ibrahim replied:
“You know Allah; yet you do not obey Him. You recite the Qur’an; yet you do not act according to it. You know Shaytan; yet you continue agreeing with him. You claim to love Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him); yet you abandon his Sunnah. You claim to love Paradise, yet you do not work for it. You claim to fear the Fire; yet you do not stop sinning.
You say ‘indeed death is true’; yet you have not prepared for it. You busy yourselves with the faults of others; yet you do not look at your own faults. You eat the sustenance that Allah provides for you; yet you are not grateful to Him. And you bury your dead; yet you have not heeded its lesson.” (Ibn Rajab’s Al-Khushu’-fis-Salah, pg. 62)
This reality must be firmly established in our heart – the reality that life in this world is limited and has an appointed end, and that this end will surely come. Sheikh Ali Hasan Al-Halabi mentions some good reflections in his book Al-Mawt:
“The righteous will die; and the wicked will die. The warriors who fight jihad will die; and those who sit at home will die. Those who busy themselves with correct beliefs will die; and those who treat people as their slaves will die. The brave who reject injustice will die; and the cowards who seek to cling to this vile life will die. The people of lofty goals and ambitions will die; and the wretched who live for cheap enjoyment will die.
“…So keep death in mind, and the passing on to the next life, and the number of sins that one has committed and the small amount of good that one has done. Think of the good that you would earnestly like to do at that time – then bring that forward and do it today. And think of all those things which you would desire to clear yourself of – then clear yourself from them now.”
As it is kufr that will condemn a person to eternal Hell, the way to be saved from Hell is through eemaan and righteous deeds. So the Muslims pray to their Rabb with faith to save them from the Fire:
“Those who say, “Our Rabb! We have indeed believed, forgive us then, our sins and save us from the agony of the Fire“. (3:16)
“…Our Rabb! Not for naught have You created [all] this, glory to You! Give us salvation from the torment of the Fire. Our Rabb! Any whom You admit to the Fire, truly You cover with shame, and never will wrongdoers find any helpers. Our Rabb! We have heard the call of one calling [us] to faith: “Believe in your Rabb,” and we have believed. Our Rabb! Forgive us our sins and blot out from us our inequities, and take to Yourself our souls in the company of the righteous [al-Abraar]. Our Rabb! Grant us what You did promise unto us through Your Messengers and save us from shame on the Day of Judgement, for You never break Your Promise“. (3:191-194)
Many ahadith speak in detail about this matter and describe the deeds that will protect one from the Fire, for example, love of Allah (swt). In al-Haakim’s al-Mustadrak, and Ahmad’s al-Musnad, a report from Anas ibn Maalik (ra) states, “The Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “By Allah (swt), Allah will never thrown one whom He loves into the Fire” (sahih, See Sahih al-Jaami’ 6/104)
Fasting is also a source of protection from the Fire, as Ahmad reports in al-Musnad and al-Bayhaqi in Shu’ab al-Imaan, with a hasan isnaad from Jaabir ibn ‘Abdullaah: “The Prophet (saw) said, “Allah (swt) says, “Fasting is a shield with which one may protect oneself from the Fire“. (Sahih al-Jaami, 4/114)
In Shu’ab al-Imaan, al-Bayhaqi reports from ‘Uthmaan ibn Abil-Aas that the Prophet (saw) said, “Fasting is a shield from the punishment of Allah (swt)” It was reported by Ahmad, an-Nasaa’ee, Ibn Maajah and Ibn Khuzaymah and its isnaad is saheeh (Sahih al-Jaami’ 3/264).
If fasting is accomplished at the time of jihaad against the enemy, then that is a great victory, as it was reported from Abu Sa’eed al-Khudree that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said: “Whoever fasts for one day when he is engaged in jihaad for the sake of Allah, Allah will remove him [lit. his face] seventy years distance from the Fire“. (Ahmad, al-Bukhaari, Muslim, at-Tirmidhi and an-Nasaa’ee – Sahih al-Jaami’ 5/310)
Other means of salvation from the Fire are fear of Allah and jihaad for His sake:
“But for him who fears the standing before his Rabb, there will be two gardens [ie in Paradise]” (55:46)
at-Tirmidhi and an-Nasaa’ee reported from Abu Hurayrah (ra) that the Messenger of Allah(saw) said: “No one who weeps out of fear of Allah will enter Hell until the milk goes back into the breast [i.e. never] and a man will never have both the dust from fighting in the way of Allah (swt) and the smoke of Hell“. (Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 2/356, no. 3828, isnaad is sahih)
al-Bukhaari reports from Abu ‘Abs that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “No two feet that get dusty for the sake of Allah (swt) will never meet in the Fire of Hell“. (Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 2/349, no. 3794)
Muslim reports from Abu Hurayrah (ra) that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “A Kaafir and the one who kills him will never meet in the Fire of Hell.“ (Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 2/349, no. 3795)
We may also be shielded from the Fire by seeking protection with Allah from it:
“Those who say, “our Rabb! Avert from us the wrath of Hell, for its wrath is indeed an affliction grievous.” Evil indeed is it as an abode and as a place to rest in“. (25:64-65)
Ahmad, Ibn Maajah, Ibn Hibbaan, and al-Haakim report with a sahih isnaad from Anas, that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “No one asks Allah (swt)) for Paradise three times, but Paradise will say, “O Allah (swt) admit him to Paradise”. And no Muslim asks Allah for protection from Hell three times, but Hell will say, “O Allah save him from me“” (Sahih al-Jaami, 5/145, no.5506)
al-Bukhaari and Muslim report from Abu Hurayrah (ra) that when the Prophet (saw) was discussing the angels who seek out gatherings of dhikr he said, “Allah (swt) asks them and He knows best, “What are they seeking protection from?” They tell Him, “From the Fire”. He asks, “And have they seen it.” They say, “No, by Allah, O Rabb, They have not seen it.” He says, “How would it be if they had seen it?” They say, “They would be even more afraid and anxious to escape it”. He (swt) says, “Bear witness that I have forgiven them“”. (Sahih al-Jaami’, 2/233, no. 2169)
Extremism, exceeding of proper bounds, corruption, immorality and subjugating people are the key to death, destruction of kingdoms and cause for perdition. Pharaoh was arrogant on earth, divided its people and subjugated some of them. There is only one power in existence and that is the power of Allah. There is one absolute value and that is the value of Iman (faith). Whoever is supported by Allah’s power need not fear even if he is devoid of all the manifestations of strength. Whoever has Allah’s power against him will have no security or peace of mind even if he is supported by all powers.
Read history to learn lessons from their predecessors. Qura’nic parables are among the most effective means of education.
Mousa and Bani Israel history teaches us the lessons for building of nations, their independence and prosperity of civilization. It also provides the reasons for the collapse of nations. Make the best use of their time by obeying Allah and doing good deeds and remember death.
Nights and days are passing swiftly and nights follow days without stopping. There are many people who have not completed the day and others who hoped to see the next day did not live till the next. When the moment of death (Ajal) comes, Allah will not postpone it.
This world is not a place where a human being will live forever. After that, the human being’s abode will be in paradise or hell. Year that has passed will bear witness either in our favor or against us. Get ready with a satisfactory answer — for the Day of Resurrection — and do good deeds, and seek Divine forgiveness for your sins . Make the best use of your remaining time before death takes you by surprise.
Islam is not a religion in the common and distorted sense, for it does not confine its scope to one’s private life. It is a complete way of life and is present in every field of human existence. Islam provides guidance for all aspects of life – individual and social, material and moral, economic and international. The Qur’an enjoins man to embrace Islam without any reservation and to follow Allah’s guidance in all areas of life.
In fact, it was an unfortunate day when the scope of religion was confined to the private life of man and its social and cultural role was reduced to naught, as has happened in this century. No other factor, perhaps, has been more important in causing the decline of religion in the modern age than its retreat into the realm of private life.
In the words of a modern philosopher: “Religion asks us to separate things of God from those of Caesar. Such a judicial separation between the two means the degrading of both the secular and the sacred … That religion is worth little if the conscience of its followers is not disturbed when war clouds are hanging over us all and industrial conflicts are threatening social peace. Religion has weakened man’s social conscience and moral sensitivity by separating the things of God from those of Caesar.”
Islam totally denounces this concept of religion and clearly states that its objectives are the purification of the soul and the reform and reconstruction of society.
Thus even a cursory study of the teachings of Islam shows that it is an all-embracing way of life and does not leave out any field of human existence to become a playground for the forces of evil.
Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever has an atom’s worth of kibr (pride and arrogance) in his heart will not enter Paradise.” So a man said: What about a person who loves (i.e. takes pride in) wearing beautiful clothes and beautiful shoes? So he replied: “Indeed Allah is beautiful and loves beauty. Kibr is to reject the truth, and to despise the people.” (Sahih Muslim, 1/65)
So Allah informs us that the Hellfire is the abode of those who have kibr (pride and arrogance). And we learn from the (above) hadith that: “Whoever has on atom’s worth of kibr in his heart will not enter Paradise.” So this is a proof that kibr necessitates entry into the Hellfire and prevents entry into Paradise. And this comprehensive explanation that the Prophet (peace be upon him) mentioned has clarified the meaning of kibr in the dearest possible manner. So he divided kibr into two types:
1. Kibr against the truth
This is to reject truth and not accept it. So anyone who rejects the truth is proud and arrogant – in accordance with what he rejects. So it is obligatory upon everyone to humble themselves to the truth that Allah sent His Messenger with, and (the truth) He sent down in His Book.
Those who, out of pride and arrogance, do not comply with the Messengers (i.e. do not believe in them and their message) are disbelievers and they will eternally dwell in the Hellfire. This is because they rejected the truth that the Messengers brought to them with clear signs and proofs. They are prevented from accepting it because of the kibr they harbor in their hearts. Allah said:
“Verily, those who dispute about the Signs of Allah, without any authority having come to them, there is nothing else in their breasts except pride.” (Qur’an, 40:56)
As for those who, out of kibr, do not comply with parts of truth, because it opposes their personal opinions or desires, are not disbelievers. But their action necessitates punishment in accordance to what they have of kibr. This is why scholars have agreed that whenever a sunnah of Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) has been explained to someone, it is not lawful for him to turn away from it giving preference to the saying of someone else – whoever the someone else may be.
Therefore, it is obligatory on students of knowledge to give complete and absolute precedence to the saying of Allah and the saying of His Messenger (peace be upon him) over and above the saying of anyone else. He should make that the basis to which he returns, and the foundation upon which he builds. He must try his best to follow the guidance of the Prophet (peace be upon him) inwardly and outwardly and strive hard to understand what is intended from it.
Fear Allah and not to do anything that earns His displeasure. Allah protects those who fear Him and makes Paradise their abode.
The sun will come nearer to the earth and nobody will escape its scorching heat. On that Day, there will be no tree to provide shade, no water to give some relief and no rock beside which to take rest. The land will be flat. The Day of Judgment will be equivalent to 50,000 worldly years.
The level of the people’s sweat will be measured their deeds. The sweat will cover some up to their anklebones, some to their knees, some to their hips, and others to their mouths.
Amidst this suffering, there are be some among the believers whom Allah will provide with shade on the Day when there will no shade except that provided by Him. There are seven categories of people whom Allah will provide with shade. These include a just leader (Imam), a youth who grows up in the worship of Allah, a person whose heart is attached to the mosques, two people who like each other for the sake of Allah, a man who, when called by a beautiful woman of high social standing (for immoral acts), says, “I fear Allah”, one who gives alms and does not disclose it to anyone, and the one who remembered Allah privately and tears flowed from his eyes.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said that deeds are driven by intention and what a person gets depends upon his intention (niyyah). Allah commands a Muslim to do good deeds and keep away from committing sins and all that He has forbidden at all times. However, there is emphasis on doing good deeds when a person becomes old especially when approaching last days of life. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The deeds are judged by the final deeds.” Therefore, whoever Allah grants success to do good deeds in the final days or hours of his life, then Allah has written a good end for him.
Whoever Allah does not grant success and he does an evil deed in his final hour Allah’s wrath will be brought against him. Allah has commanded Muslims to seek a good end.
Whoever succeeds in having a good end, he will be happy in the Hereafter, but whoever does an evil deed in the last hours of life, he is at a loss in this world and in the Hereafter.
Pious believers are always keen to do good deeds prior to the final hour and they also seek to have a good end. They have good faith in Allah but bad faith in themselves.
Whoever has sincere and good faith in Allah, follows the teachings and Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the guidance of the Prophet’s companions is successful in having a good end because good intentions and sincerity are conditions for deeds to be accepted by Allah.
Means for securing a good end are performing the five obligatory prayers in congregation with the Muslims. Other deeds include belief (Iman), being God-conscious in private and in public, obeying Allah and keeping away from all that He has forbidden, keeping away from major and minor sins, following the teachings of the Prophet (peace be upon him), following the path of the Muhajireen and Ansar, keeping away from being unjust to others, being kind toward others and refraining from innovations in religion (bida’).