Before assigning to man this vicegerency (Khilafat), Allah made it clear to him that He alone is the Lord, the Ruler and the Deity. As such, the entire universe and all the creatures in it (including man) should submit to Him alone.
Man must not think himself totally free and must realize that this earth is not his permanent abode.
He has been created to live on it only for a probationary period and, in due course, he will return to his Lord, to be judged according to the way he has spent that period.
The only right course for man is to acknowledge Allah as the only Lord, the Sustainer and the Deity, and to follow His guidance and His commands in all he does.
His sole objective should be to merit the approval of Allah.
If man follows a course of righteousness and godliness (which he is free to choose and follow) he will be rewarded in this world and the next: in this world he will live a life of peace and contentment, and in the Hereafter he will qualify for the heaven of eternal bliss, Al-Jannah. If he chooses to follow the course of godlessness and evil (which he is equally free to choose and follow), his life will be one of corruption and frustration in this world, and in the life to come he will face the prospect of that abode of pain and misery which is called Hell.
After making this position clear, Allah placed man on earth and provided the very first human beings (Adam and Eve) with guidance as to how they were to live.
Thus man’s life on this earth did not start in utter darkness. From the beginning a bright torch of light was provided so that humanity could fulfill its glorious destiny.
The very first man received revealed knowledge from Allah Himself, and was told the correct way to live.
This code of life was Islam, the attitude of complete submission to Allah, the Creator of man and the whole universe. It was this religion which Adam, the first man, passed down to posterity.
But later generations gradually drifted away from the right path.
Either they lost the original teachings through negligence or they deliberately adulterated and distorted them. They associated Allah with innumerable human beings, material objects and imaginary gods. Shirk (polytheism) became widespread. They mixed up the teachings of Allah with myths and strange philosophies and thus produced a jumble of religions and cults; and they discarded the God-given principles of personal and social morality, the Shariah.
Although man departed from the path of truth, disregarded or distorted the Shariah or even rejected the code of Divine guidance, Allah did not destroy them or force them to take the right course. Forced morality was not in keeping with the autonomy He had given to man. Instead, God appointed certain good people from among the human society itself to guide men to the right path.
These men believed in Allah, and lived a life of obedience to Him. He honored them by His revelations, giving them the knowledge of reality. Known as prophets, blessings and peace be on all of them, they were assigned the task of spreading Allah’s message among men.
A very bad and dirty habit to be commonly found is to reveal and make public the fault of other persons. People dont think for a second to comment upon any others fault or weakness. While avoiding harm to others and concealing the weakness of one’s fellow human beings is a prominent theme of the moral teachings of the Quran and the Sunnah. Please have a look at the Few Sayings of our Prophet are as follows:
1- “If a person conceals the weakness of another in this world, Allah will conceal their weakness in the hereafter”
[Al Nawawi, Riyad al Salihin p 135, Hadith no 245; al Ghazali, Kitab Adab p 344]
2- “Whoever protects the honor of his brother, will have Allah protect his countenance from the fire on the Day of Judgement ”
[Al Nawawi, Riyad al Salihin p 488, Hadith no 1530]
3- “Do not harm Muslims, and do not revile them, nor pursue their imperfections. For verily, whosoever pursues the imperfections of his brother shall have his own imperfections pursued by Allah ”
[Sunan of al Tirmidhi, as quoted in Principles of State and Government in Islam, p 85]
Whoever sees a Muslim’s imperfection and then conceals it is like one who gives new life to a female infant buried in the desert.
Verily, Allah does not like people who are obscene and who spread obscenities.
We give thanks to Allah, the One free of all defects, for having inspired us. And we ask Him to grant us the ability to act upon what He has given us knowledge of. Indeed, goodness cannot be attained, except by His granting and His assistance. Whomsoever Allah leads astray, there is no one from His creation that can guide him. May Allah send His blessings upon Muhammad, the chief of the first and the last (of people), and upon his brothers from among the prophets and messengers. And upon those who follow the light ( i.e. the Qur’an) that was revealed to him until the Day of Recompense.
To proceed, I advise you O seeker of knowledge to have a sincere and pure intention in your search for knowledge. And that you exert yourself in acting upon what it necessitates (from action). For indeed knowledge is a tree and action is its fruit. And one can never be considered knowledgeable so long as he doesn’t act upon what he has knowledge of.
It has also been stated: “Knowledge is a parent and action is its offspring.” And “Knowledge comes with action, while narrating comes with investigating.”
So do not feel satisfied with actions so long as you are lacking in knowledge. Nor feel satisfied with knowledge so long as you fall short of producing actions. Rather, combine them both, even if your share of the two is small.
And there is nothing worse than a scholar, whose knowledge the people abandon because of the corruption of his ways, nor an ignorant person whose ignorance the people accept because of what they see from his worship.
So a little of this (knowledge) along with a little of that (action) is what is most likely to save you in the end, when Allah bestows His mercy upon His servant and completes his favor upon him. But as for laziness and negligence, love for ease and comfort, preferring the easy life and showing indifference, inclining towards leisure and relaxation, then the results of these characteristics are blameworthy, detestable and disastrous.
Knowledge leads to action, just as action leads to salvation. So if the action falls short of the knowledge, then the knowledge becomes a burden upon the one who possesses that knowledge. And we seek Allah’s refuge from knowledge that turns into a burden, is the cause of humiliation and which becomes a shackle on the neck of the one who possesses it.
“Innamal aamalu bin niyyat” – Actions depend upon intentions.
The Hadith about intentions is so important, some scholars have expressed the opinion that it encompasses fully one third of Islamic teachings. Also, it is one of the most remembered and quoted Hadiths and one that is frequently quoted in its original Arabic even by non-Arabic speaking Muslims. There is hardly a Muslim who has never heard it. While all this attention to its words is superb, unfortunately we have not done as much to understand its implications and let that understanding inform our actions.
From Islamic perspective our actions can fall in one of three categories and our intentions have different implications for each of them. In the first category are the religiously mandatory acts or the voluntary acts of worship (like voluntary salat). In the second category are the permissible acts that include most of the mundane activities in life, like eating, drinking, sleeping, earning a living, and raising a family. The third category consists of prohibited acts.
The most direct application of this Hadith is to the first category. It tells us that such deeds must be performed for the sole purpose of pleasing Allah for even the slightest corruption of our motives could destroy them. The five pillars are the prime example of such deeds. For example if a person offers salat (ritual prayers) to be recognized as a pious person, he has destroyed his salat. For he was praying for the sake of others. The same is true of Haj, and Hijra, and Jihad, and charity, etc, etc..
A believer is fully aware that this sincerity and purity of intention are his most important assets, for without them his most generous donation may bring nothing but disaster.
The Qur’an explains it further through a beautiful simile. It compares the case of two persons engaged in what would appear to be identical acts of charity. Both spend money to help the needy. One does it purely for the sake of Allah; the other has the goal of getting a good name from it. (Al-Baqarah, 2:264-265).
Charity is an important example because here the chances of corruption of our motives are especially high due to the very nature of the act. We deal with other people who may thank and recognize us and we may begin to love and seek that appreciation. What is more, we may brush aside any qualms by assuring ourselves that the publicity is only meant to inspire others.
If we keep this background in mind, we can begin to see the now nearly routine practice of holding a fundraising dinner —- by the Muslims living in the West —— very differently. It is obvious that this is not a Muslim institution; they borrowed it from their host countries. And they did so without much thought. For here are its underlying ideas. First, a nice dinner in a nice restaurant is a way of putting people in the mood. Second, advertising each donation is a means of inspiring others as well as rewarding the donors. Third, high-pressure techniques, like putting people on the spot, are quite productive.
Each of these elements is poles apart from Islamic teachings. A Muslim gives out of concern for his hereafter, not by being lulled into giving by posh surroundings. He knows that the reward for his donation depends upon the sincerity with which it is given and not its monetary amount. He is fully aware that this sincerity and purity of intention are his most important assets, for without them his most generous donation may bring nothing but disaster. A person with such concerns would be very leery of going to a fundraising dinner with his donations. An entire community of such people would be very reluctant to hold such an event in its present form.
That despite remembering, and often repeating, the words “innamal aamalu bin niyyat” (Actions depend upon intentions), the Muslim communities in the West (with the notable exception of Islamic religious schools) have shown little qualms about this borrowed fund raising practice, shows that somehow we have lost sight of its message.
We can turn every moment of our life into an act of worship through a change in our intentions.
In fact often times this Hadith is invoked in a twisted manner; with reference to the third category of deeds (the prohibited acts), for example. When we commit a mistake, we try to assuage our guilt feelings by assuring ourselves that we meant no harm. For our failures or shortcomings, we have the satisfaction that our intentions were good. In the worst case we may interpret the Hadith to suggest that the ends justify the means. We need to remember that sheer good intentions do not repair a bad act. If we do not perform our salat or sacrifice or Haj correctly, mere good intentions will not make them right.
With regard to the second category (permissible mundane acts) our intentions have a potential for turning them into acts of worship. This is also an aspect we ignore to our own loss. For here is the possibility of turning every moment of our life into an act of worship through a change in our intentions. For example, when a believer goes to his place of work with the intention of fulfilling his religious responsibility to provide for his family and earn halal living, he may be engaged in the same physical activity as the next person but his outlook is very different. And so is his reward!
Through this small effort we could really be living for a higher purpose. And at a higher level.
Islam is a universal call for mercy towards all human beings. It urges Muslims to rush to the help of their fellow afflicted humans especially at times of distress.
It goes without saying that helping Muslims who are in need of our help is one of the most virtuous deeds. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever meets the need of his brother, Allah will meet his need.” And he (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever relieves a believer of some of the distress of this world, Allah will relieve him of some of the distress of the Day of Resurrection. Whoever eases an insolvent’s loan, Allah will make things easier for him in this world and in the Hereafter. Whoever conceals a Muslim’s faults, Allah will conceal his faults in this world and in the Hereafter. Allah will help a person so long as he helps his brother.”
Here, we’d like to start with the words of the prominent Muslim scholar, the late Saudi scholar in which he states the following:
When there is an earthquake or some other sign such as an eclipse, strong winds, or floods, we should hasten to repent to Allah and pray to Him for safety, and to remember Him much and to seek His forgiveness, as the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) reported to have said when there was an eclipse: “If you see anything like that, hasten to remember Him, call on Him, and seek His forgiveness.”
It is also mustahab (recommended) to show compassion to the poor and needy, and to give charity to them, because the Prophet (peace be upon him) said : “Show mercy, so that you will be shown mercy.” The Prophet also said: “Those who are merciful will be shown mercy by the Most Merciful. Have mercy on those who are on earth, and the One Who is in Heaven will show mercy to you.”
Almighty Allah also says: “. . . Verily Allah will help those who help His (cause). Truly, Allah is All-Strong, All-Almighty. Those (Muslim rulers)who, if We give them power in the land, (they) enjoin Iqamat-as-Salat [i.e. to perform five compulsory congregational Salat (prayers), to pay Zakat and they enjoin Al-Ma’ruf and forbid Al-Munkar. And with Allah rests the end of (all) matters (of creatures).” (15: 40-41)
Allah is the One Whom we ask to remedy the affairs of all the Muslims and to bless them with proper understanding of Islam and help them to adhere steadfastly to it and repent to Allah of all their sins.
Moreover, Sheikh Abdul-Khaliq Hasan Ash-Shareef, a prominent Muslim scholar and da’i sheds light on this issue and states:
Such earthquakes are surely among the natural disasters that affect large numbers of people. It is surely permissible for rich Muslims to pay a part of their zakah to help alleviate the pains and the sufferings of those afflicted by the earthquakes. If the relevant governments in the quake-stricken areas open an account to receive donations for helping the victims and their families, then it is permissible for Muslims to pay a sum of their zakah to such accounts. Likewise, if there is any other trustworthy Islamic charitable organization that takes the responsibility of delivering such funds to the victims and their families, then there is nothing wrong in paying part of the zakah to them for this purpose.
It is noteworthy that Muslims in such afflicted areas are permitted to receive assistance and financial aid through organizations that help distribute aid to the victims while abiding by the humanitarian relief accords and agreements governing such issues. If any place in the world is afflicted with natural disasters like earthquakes or floods, all countries should rush to help its people according to international agreements.
Laziness is the lack of desire to act or work in general. Procrastination refers to postponing work and delaying it for future. Basically, procrastination is a result of one’s laziness.
Our greatest enemy, Satan, whispers a love for laziness and procrastination into us.
Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“During your sleep, Satan ties three knots at the back of your decks. He breathes the following into them, ‘The night is long so keep on sleeping.’ If the person wakes up and praises Allah, then one of the knots is unfastened. And if he performs ablution, the second knot is unfastened.
When he prays, all of the knots are unfastened. After that he will be energetic and happy in the morning. Otherwise he would get up listless and grouchy.” (Al-Bukhari)
Ibn Al-Jauzi, writing on this topic, said, “How many Jews or Christians have considered in their hearts love for Islam. But Iblees always hinders them. He says to them, ‘Do not be hasty. Look closely into the matter.’ And they postpone their conversion to Islam until they die as disbelievers. In the same way, sinners postpone their repentance. They set their sight on their desires and hope to repent later. But, as a poet said, “Do not rush to perform sins you would like to. Think about repentance beforehand.”
How many of us are determined to do something, yet we keep postponing it. A scholar may be determined to return to his study but Satan whispers to “rest for a while.” Or a servant is reminded of the night prayer and Satan says to him, “You have plenty of time.” He will not stop seducing people to love laziness and postponing of actions. Satan makes people rely solely on hopes and dreams.
This is how people are in the world. Some are prepared and alert and are not sorrowful when the angel of death comes. Others are deceived into procrastination and they despair when the time of death comes.” (Ibn Al-Jauzi, Talbees Iblees, p. 458)
Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, said:
“The perfect remedy for procrastination is to nurture sound faith in the manner of the Salaf As-Salih (pious predecessors). Before Islam, they had no sense of human achievement, but after being exposed to the powerful message of the Qur’an, their lives transformed completely. They became peak performers and high achievers. Whatever they touched was changed anew through their dynamic faith.
The remedy for fighting procrastination, therefore, is to nurture such dynamic faith.
Some of the tips that we can readily apply is rising early in the morning and developing a positive mind by counting the blessings of Allah and praying to Allah to bless the day with success. We must start our work right after Fajr prayers as the Prophet (peace be upon him) prayed, “O Allah, bless my Ummah in their early morning endeavors.”
Last but not least, we should turn to Allah in supplication and seek His help in fighting this disease.
ISLAM guarantees the basic rights of every living creature. The sanctity of human life is extremely sacred.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “Truly your blood, your property, and your honor are inviolable.” (Al-Bukhari)
Allah said in the Qur’an:
“O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes that you may know one another. Verily, the most honorable of you with Allah is that (believer) who is pious. Verily, Allah is All-Knowing, Well-Acquainted (with all things).” (Qur’an, 49:13)
Human race is only for the purpose of identification in Islam, and it doesn’t give one superiority over another.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “O people! Your God is one and your forefather (Adam) is one. An Arab is not better than a non-Arab and a non-Arab is not better than an Arab, and a red (i.e. white tinged with red) person is not better than a black person and a black person is not better than a red person, except through piety.” (Musnad Ahmad)
Allah has commanded to uphold justice and discharge trust of people:
“Verily, Allah commands that you should render back the trusts to those, to whom they are due; and that when you judge between men, you judge with justice. Verily, how excellent is the teaching which He (Allah) gives you! Truly, Allah is Ever All-Hearer, All-Seer.” (Qur’an, 4:58)
“…And act justly. Truly, Allah loves those who are just.” (Qur’an 49:9)
“…and let not the enmity and hatred of others make you avoid justice. Be just: that is nearer to piety;…” (Qur’an 5:8)
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “O People, beware of injustice, for injustice shall be darkness on the Day of Judgement.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari).