Zindagi Aur Maut Ki Hikmat
Even though many aspects of Islam are misunderstood by non-Muslims, the ignorance, misinformation, and incorrect assumptions that are made in regard to Islam’s treatment of women are probably the most severe. Numerous verses of the Qur’an make it clear that men and women are equal in the sight of God. According to the teachings of Islam, the only thing that distinguishes people in the site of God is their level of God-consciousness. Due to this, many people are surprised to find out that Islamic Law guaranteed rights to women over 1400 years ago which women in Europe and America only obtained recently. For example, Islam clearly teaches that a woman is a full-person under the law, and is the spiritual equal of a male. Also, according to Islamic Law, women have the right to own property, operate a business, and receive equal pay for equal work. Women are allowed total control of their wealth, they cannot be married against their will and they are allowed to keep their own name when married.
Additionally, they have the right to inherit property and to have their marriage dissolved in the case of neglect or mistreatment. Also, Islam does not consider women an “evil temptress”, and thus does not blame women for the “original sin”. Women in Islam participate in all forms of worship that men participate in. Actually, the rights that Islam gave to women over 1400 years ago were almost unheard of in the West until the 1900s. Less than fifty years ago in England and America, a woman could not buy a house or car without the co-signature of her father or husband!
Additionally, Islam gives great respect to women and their role in society — it gives them the right to own property, marry who they want, and many other rights. Also, it should be mentioned that the Prophet Muhammad’s mission stopped many of the horrible practices in regard to women that were present in the society of his time. For example, the Qur’an put an end to the pagan Arab practice of killing their baby daughters when they were born.
Additionally, Islam put restrictions on the unrestricted polygamy of the Arabs of the time and put many laws in place to protect the well-being of women. Today, most of the so-called reforms in the status of women came about after the West abandoned religion for secularism. Even those in the West who claim to follow the so-called “Judeo-Christian tradition” really follow the values of Western liberalism — but just to a lesser degree than their more liberal countrymen. The Myth and The Reality. If women in the Muslim World today don’t have their rights, it is not because Islam did not give them to them. The problem is that in many places alien traditions have come to overshadow the teachings of Islam, either through ignorance or the impact of Colonialization.
Hadith Qudsi: Dehar
The fastest way to prove that this is entirely false is to state the fact that only about 15% to 20% of the Muslims in the world are Arabs. There are more Indian Muslims than Arab Muslims and more Indonesian Muslims than Indian Muslims! Believing that Islam is only a religion for Arabs is a myth that was spread by the enemies of Islam early in its history. This mistaken assumption is possibly based on the fact that most of the first generation of Muslims were Arabs, the Qur’an is in Arabic and the Prophet Muhammad was an Arab. However, both the teachings of Islam and the history of its spread show that the early Muslims made every effort to spread their message of Truth to all nations, races, and peoples. Furthermore, it should be clarified that not all Arabs are Muslims, and not all Muslims are Arabs. An Arab can be a Muslim, Christian, Jew, atheist – or of any other religion or ideology. Also, many countries that some people consider to be “Arab” are not “Arab” at all — such as Turkey and Iran (Persia). The people who live in these countries speak languages other than Arabic as their native tongue and are of a different ethnic heritage than the Arabs. It is important to realize that from the very beginning of the mission of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, his followers came from a wide spectrum of individuals — there was Bilal, the African slave; Suhaib, the Byzantine Roman; Ibn Salam, the Jewish Rabbi; and Salman, the Persian. Since religious truth is eternal and unchanging, and mankind is one universal brotherhood, Islam teaches that Almighty God’s revelations to mankind have always been consistent, clear, and universal. The Truth of Islam is meant for all people regardless of race, nationality, or linguistic background. Taking a look at the Muslim World, from Nigeria to Bosnia and from Malaysia to Afghanistan is enough to prove that Islam is a Universal message for all of mankind — not to mention the fact that significant numbers of Europeans and Americans of all races and ethnic backgrounds are coming into Islam.
Badshaguni: Zamana e Jahiliyat Ki Riwayat
According to Islamic belief, the Prophet Muhammad was the last Messenger of God. He, like all of God’s prophets and messengers – such as Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus — was only a human being. Christians came to the mistaken assumption that Muslims worship Muhammad by formulating an incorrect analogy – they worship Jesus so they assumed Muslims worship Muhammad. This is one of the reasons that they called Muslims by the incorrect name “Mohammedans” for so many years! Muhammad, like Jesus, never claimed divine status. He called people to worship only Almighty God, and he continually emphasized his humanity so that people would not fall into the same errors as Christians did in regard to Jesus. In order to prevent his deification, the Prophet Muhammad always said to refer to him as “the Messenger of God and His slave”. Muhammad was chosen to be God’s final messenger — to communicate the message not only in words but to be a living example of the message. Muslims love and respect him because he was of the highest moral character and he brought the Truth from God – which is the Pure Monotheism of Islam. Even when Islam was in its very early stages, God revealed that Muhammad “was sent as a mercy to all of mankind” – thus informing us that the message of Islam would become very widespread. Muslims strive to follow the great example of Muhammad, peace be upon him, but they do not worship him in any way. Additionally, Islam teaches Muslims to respect all of God’s prophets and messengers – but respecting and loving them does not mean worshipping them. All true Muslims realize that all worship and prayer must be directed to Almighty Allah alone. Suffice it to say that worshipping Muhammad — or anyone else — along with Almighty Allah is considered to be the worst sin in Islam. Even if a person claims to be Muslim, but they worship and pray to other than Almighty Allah, this cancels and nullifies their Islam. The Declaration of Faith of Islam makes it clear that Muslims are taught only to worship God. This declaration is as follows: “There is nothing divine or worthy of being worshipped except for Almighty Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger and Servant of God”.
Ghar Mein Iddat Guzarne Kay Sharai Masail
First of all, there is only One God who created the Universe and all of mankind. Throughout history, people have created false gods in their minds and come up with false ideas about Almighty God, but regardless of this there is still only One True God – and He alone is worthy of worship. Unfortunately, some non-Muslims have come to incorrectly believe that Muslims worship a different God than Jews and Christians. This might be due to the fact that Muslims sometimes refer to God as “Allah”, but also because over the centuries there have been many lies and distortions spread by the enemies of Islam. In actuality, Muslims worship the God of Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus — the same God as Christians and Jews. The word “Allah” is simply the Arabic word for Almighty God and it is the same word that Arabic-speaking Christians and Jews use to refer to God. If you pick up an Arabic translation of the Christian Bible, you will see the word “Allah” where “God” is used in English. For more information on the word “Allah”, please read: Who is Allah? But even though Muslims, Jews, and Christians believe in the same God, their concepts about Him differ quite a bit. For example, Muslims reject the idea of the Trinity or that God has become “incarnate” in the world. Also, the teachings of Islam do not rely on or appeal to “mystery” or “paradox” — they are straightforward and clear. Islam teaches that God is Merciful, Loving, and Compassionate and that He has no need to become man (nor do humans need for Him to). One of the unique aspects of Islam is that it teaches that man can have a personal and fulfilling relationship with Almighty God without compromising the transcendence of God. In Islam there is no ambiguity in Divinity — God is God and man is man. Muslims believe that God is the “Most Merciful”, and that he deals directly with human-beings without the need of any intermediary. Actually, the phrase “In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful” is one of the most repeated verses in the Holy Qur’an. Additionally, the pure and straightforward teachings of Islam demand that Almighty God be approached directly and without intermediaries. This is because Muslims believe that God is completely in control of everything and that He can bestow His Grace and Mercy on His creatures as He pleases – no Atonement, Incarnation or blood sacrifice is necessary. In summary, Islam calls people to submit to the One True God and to worship Him alone.
Hadith Qudsi: Sadqaat Aur Khairat (Infaq Fi Sabilillah)
It is a known fact that every language has one or more terms that are used in reference to God and sometimes to lesser deities. This is not the case with Allah. Allah is the personal name of the One true God. Nothing else can be called Allah. The term has no plural or gender. This shows its uniqueness when compared with the word god which can be made plural, gods, or feminine, goddess. It is interesting to notice that Allah is the personal name of God in Aramaic, the language of Jesus and a sister language of Arabic.
The One True God is a reflection of the unique concept that Islam associates with God. To a Muslim, Allah is the Almighty, Creator, and Sustainer of the universe, Who is similar to nothing and nothing is comparable to Him. The Prophet Muhammad was asked by his contemporaries about Allah; the answer came directly from God Himself in the form of a short chapter of the Quran, which is considered the essence of unity or the motto of monotheism. This is chapter 112 which reads:
“In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. Say (O Muhammad) He is God the One God, the Everlasting Refuge, who has not begotten, nor has been begotten, and equal to Him is not anyone.”
Some non-Muslims allege that God in Islam is a stern and cruel God who demands to be obeyed fully. He is not loving and kind. Nothing can be farther from the truth than this allegation. It is enough to know that, with the exception of one, each of the 114 chapters of the Quran begins with the verse: “In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.” In one of the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), we are told that “God is more loving and kinder than a mother to her dear child.”
But God is also Just. Hence evildoers and sinners must have their share of punishment and the virtuous, His bounties and favors. Actually, God’s attribute of Mercy has full manifestation in His attribute of Justice. People suffer throughout their lives for His sake and people oppressing and exploiting other people all their lives should not receive similar treatment from their Lord. Expecting similar treatment for them will amount to negating the very belief in the accountability of man in the Hereafter and thereby negating all the incentives for a moral and virtuous life in this world. The following Quranic verses are very clear and straightforward in this respect:
“Verily, for the Righteous, are gardens of Delight, in the Presence of their Lord. Shall We then treat the people of Faith like the people of Sin? What is the matter with you? How judge you?” (68:34-36)
Islam rejects characterizing God in any human form or depicting Him as favoring certain individuals or nations on the basis of wealth, power, or race. He created the human beings as equals. They may distinguish themselves and get His favor through virtue and piety only.
The concept that God rested on the seventh day of creation, that God wrestled with one of His soldiers, that God is an envious plotter against mankind, or that God is incarnate in any human being are considered blasphemy from the Islamic point of view.
The unique usage of Allah as a personal name of God is a reflection of Islam’s emphasis on the purity of the belief in God which is the essence of the message of all God’s messengers. Because of this, Islam considers associating any deity or personality with God as a deadly sin that God will never forgive, despite the fact He may forgive all other sins.
[Note that what is meant above applies ONLY to those people who die in a state wherein they are associating others with God. The repentance of those who yet live is acceptable to God if He wills. – MSA of USC]
The Creator must be of a different nature from the things created because if he is of the same nature as they are, he will be temporal and will therefore need a maker. It follows that nothing is like Him. If the maker is not temporal, then he must be eternal. But if he is eternal, he cannot be caused, and if nothing outside him causes him to continue to exist, which means that he must be self-sufficient. And if he does not depend on anything for the continuance of his own existence, then this existence can have no end. The Creator is therefore eternal and everlasting: “He is the First and the Last.”
He is Self-Sufficient or Self-Subsistent or, to use a Quranic term, Al-Qayyum. The Creator does not create only in the sense of bringing things into being, He also preserves them and takes them out of existence and is the ultimate cause of whatever happens to them.
“God is the Creator of everything. He is the guardian over everything. Unto Him belong the keys of the heavens and the earth.” (39:62, 63)
“No creature is there crawling on the earth, but its provision rests on God. He knows its lodging place and its repository.” (11:6)
If the Creator is Eternal and Everlasting, then His attributes must also be eternal and everlasting. He should not lose any of His attributes nor acquire new ones. If this is so, then His attributes are absolute. Can there be more than one Creator with such absolute attributes? Can there be, for example, two absolutely powerful Creators? A moment’s thought shows that this is not feasible. The Quran summarizes this argument in the following verses:
“God has not taken to Himself any son, nor is there any god with Him: For then each god would have taken of that which he created and some of them would have risen up over others.” (23:91)
And Why, were there gods in earth and heaven other than God, they (heaven and earth) would surely go to ruin.” (21:22)
The Oneness of God
The Quran reminds us of the falsity of all alleged gods. To the worshippers of man-made objects, it asks: “Do you worship what you have carved yourself?” (37:95)
“Or have you taken unto you others beside Him to be your protectors, even such as have no power either for good or for harm to themselves?” (13:16)
To the worshippers of heavenly bodies, it cites the story of Abraham: “When night outspread over him he saw a star and said, ‘This is my Lord.’ But when it set he said, ‘I love not the setters.’ When he saw the moon rising, he said, ‘This is my Lord.’ But when it set he said, ‘If my Lord does not guide me I shall surely be of the people gone astray.’ When he saw the sun rising, he said, ‘This is my Lord; this is greater.’ But when it set he said, ‘O my people, surely I quit that which you associate, I have turned my face to Him Who originated the heavens and the earth; a man of pure faith, I am not of the idolaters.'” (6:76-79)
The Believer’s Attitude
In order to be a Muslim, i.e., to surrender oneself to God, it is necessary to believe in the oneness of God, in the sense of His being the only Creator, Preserver, Nourisher, etc. But this belief – later on called “Tawhid Ar-Rububiyyah” – is not enough. Many of the idolaters knew and believed that only the Supreme God could do all this, but that was not enough to make them Muslims. To tawhid ar-rububiyyah one must add tawhid al’uluhiyyah, i.e., one acknowledges the fact that is God alone Who deserves to be worshipped, and thus abstains from worshipping any other thing or being. Having achieved this knowledge of the one true God, man should constantly have faith in Him, and should allow nothing to induce him to deny truth.
When faith enters a person’s heart, it causes certain mental states which result in certain actions. Taken together these mental states and actions are the proof of true faith. The Prophet said, “Faith is that which resides firmly in the heart and which is proved by deeds.” Foremost among those mental states is the feeling of gratitude towards God which could be said to be the essence of ‘ibada’ (worship).
The feeling of gratitude is so important that a non-believer is called ‘kafir’ which means ‘one who denies a truth’ and also ‘one who is ungrateful.’
A believer loves and is grateful to God for the bounties He bestowed upon him, but being aware of the fact that his good deeds, whether mental or physical, are far from being commensurate with Divine favors, he is always anxious lest God should punish him, here or in the Hereafter. He, therefore, fears Him surrenders himself to Him, and serves Him with great humility. One cannot be in such a mental state without being almost all the time mindful of God. Remembering God is thus the life force of faith, without which it fades and withers away.
The Quran tries to promote this feeling of gratitude by repeating the attributes of God very frequently. We find most of these attributes mentioned together in the following verses of the Quran:
“He is God; there is no god but He, He is the Knower of the unseen and the visible; He is the All-Merciful, the All-Compassionate. He is God, there is no God but He. He is the King, the All-Holy, the All-Peace, the Guardian of Faith, the All-Preserver, the All-Mighty, the All-Compeller, the All-Sublime. Glory be to God, above that they associate! He is God the Creator, the Maker, the Shaper. To Him belong the Names Most Beautiful. All that is in the heavens and the earth magnifies Him; He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.” (59:22-24)
“There is no god but He, the Living, the Everlasting. Slumber seizes Him not, neither sleep; to Him belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth. Who is there that shall intercede with Him save by His leave? He knows what lies before them and what is after them, and they comprehend not anything of His knowledge save such as He wills. His throne comprises the heavens and earth; the preserving of them oppresses Him not; He is the All-High, the All-Glorious.” (2:255)
“People of the Book, go not beyond the bounds in your religion, and say not as to God but the truth. The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only the Messenger of God, and His Word that He committed to Mary, and a Spirit from Him. So believe in God and His Messengers, and say not, ‘Three.’ Refrain; better is it for you. God is only one God. Glory be to Him – (He is) above having a son.” (4:171)