Friday, July 11, 2008

"Qadar" Pre - Destination And The Responsibility Of Man

It has been reported, that the Messenger of Allah (saws) once found the companions arguing about Qadar. He forbade them from indulging in such a debate and told them that communities before them had been destroyed for that reason.
However, by the grace of Allah (swt), our pious predecessors were able to understand the issue and form a moderate view based on equity and justice. In their understanding, the issue of Qadar and Qada stems from the Unity of Allah's attribute of Cherishing (Tawhid ar-Rububiyah).

This is one of the three kinds of Allah's unity:
1. Unity of Divinity (Tawhid Al-Ulahiyah), which is to direct all forms of worship to Allah alone.
2. Unity in the matter of the Lordship of Allah (Tawhid ar-Rububiyah), which means to believe that all creation, sovereignty and planning belong to Allah (swt).
3. Unity in the matter of Allah's names and attributes and that these names and attributes are exclusively for Allah (swt). (Tawhid al-Asma was-Sifat).

Imam Ahmed has said:
"Qadar (pre-estimation) is the power of Allah. It is one of the secrets which no one except. Allah knows, as it has been recorded in the well-guarded tablet. We do not know what Allah has destined, either for or against us of concerning all his creation, except after the event has occurred or has been told by the Prophet himself."

The actions done by all the creatures that have the power of will.

"These actions are a consequence of their efforts and their choice, a power that has been given to them by Allah. He thus says in the Qur'an: To whoever among you wills to go straight....."
Quran 81:28

".....Among you are some that hanker after this world And some that desire the Hereafter......."
Quran 3:152

Man knows very well the difference between what he does from his own free will and what he does because of external force. The person who reaches safely the bottom of a flight of stairs knows that this is because he walked down carefully. However, if he is pushed down from the top, he has no power over how he lands at the bottom. The first instance is an example of choice: the second is clearly one of compulsion. Similarly, a person who suffers from incontinence of urine knows that the urine is passed without his will and that if he did not have this illness, he would be able to control the discharge. The difference between the two requires no further explanation.

It is a mercy of Allah that there are certain actions, which are in the voluntary power of the individual but are recorded as if they are not, and so he is not held answerable for them, eg. actions done out of forgetfulness of during sleep. Allah says in the story of the People of the Cave:
".....And we turned them on their right and on their left sides......"
Quran 18:18

The men themselves are turning over, but Allah Almighty attributes their movements to Himself, since a sleeping person has no control over his actions.
The Prophet (saws) said:
"The one who forgets while fasting and eats or drinks, he should complete his fast because Allah is the one who feeds him and gives him the drink."

Thus, actions done in a state of forgetfulness are also treated as if the person is acting outside his own will and are attributed to Allah Himself.
If we were to agree with the first group mentioned earlier (those who give Man no free will whatsoever), we would be distorting the facts. We would not be able to praise someone for his good actions or castigate someone who voluntarily does wrong, because we would have attributed all their actions to the will of Allah. Another dangerous implication of this argument is that the Almighty behaves unjustly if He punishes the disobedient and rewards the good, as He alone is the source of all these actions. Not only is such reasoning nonsensical, but contradictory to the Quran itself:

"And His Companions (angels) will say: "Here is (his Record) ready with Me!" (And it will be said): "Both of you throw (Order from Allah to the two angels) into Hell, every stubborn Disbeliever (in the Oneness of Allah, in His Messengers etc.) "Hinders of Good, transgressors, doubters, who set up another ilah (god) with Allah, cast him in the severe torment. His Companion (Satan -devil) will say: "Our Lord! I didn't make him transgress. But he (himself) was far astray." He will say: "Dispute not with each other in My presence: I had already in advance sent you warning. The Word changes not before Me, and I do not the least injustice to My servants."
Quran 50:23-29

Almighty Allah, clearly states that the punishments He inflicts are not cruel but just, since He has already warned His creatures and sent them guidance. He has clearly defined the two paths of piety and disobedience, just as He has defined the consequences of following each path. Man thus has total freedom to choose either path, remembering that if he opts for the path of disobedience, he will not have the excuse to offer Allah on the Day of Judgment. and remember this are the words 0f imam Ahmed and not my words . may Allah bless us with knowledge and wisdom . Allah and his messenger knows best .

Monday, June 9, 2008

Unity and Brotherhood in Islam

As a yardstick and criterion in our lives, Islam has given us a clear definition of unity and brotherhood and how it can be realized and implemented. The uniting factor is the `Aqeedah (creed) of Islam which defines the belief of a Muslim. Unlike other bonds (nationalistic, patriotic, etc.) which are superficial, animalistic, reactive, emotional, and completely devoid of a real solution for life’s affairs, the intellectuality of the ideological bond of Islam unites man irrespective of their race, nationality, and other factors which are irrelevant when it comes to bonding on an ideological creed.
Allah in the Qur’an describes what is unity in Islam as the Mu’minoon (Believers; those that believe in Allah and His Messenger Muhammad) being united in a Brotherhood based on solely Islam:
“The Mu’minoon are but a single Brotherhood.” (The Holy Qur’an, 49:10) Allah further defines this Brotherhood by explaining that Muslims are awliyyaa’ (allies, friends, supporters) of one another, and this again is based solely on Islam:
“The Believers, men and women, are protectors one of another: they enjoin the ma`roof (all of Islam), and forbid the munkar (all that is evil; kufr): they observe regular prayers, pay Zakat, and obey Allah and His Messenger. On them will Allah pour His mercy: for Allah is Exalted in power, Wise.” (The Holy Qur’an, 9:71)
Muhammad (Salla Allahu `alaihi wa sallam) indicated in several Ahadith on unity and brotherhood as we can see in his (saaws) Farewell Sermon (khuTbat ul-wadaa`):
“All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood.”
Other Ahadith further elaborate on the concept of unity and brotherhood: "A Muslim is the brother of another Muslim. He does not oppress him, nor does he leave him at the mercy of others." (Sahih Muslim Book 032, Number 6219)
The Prophet said, "None of you will have faith till he wishes for his (Muslim) brother what he likes for himself." (Sahih Al-Bukhari Volume 1, Book 2, Number 12)
As the teachings of Islam clearly show us that Brotherhood and unity in Islam are based solely on the `Aqeedah of Islam (which is the foundation of Muslim belief). The Mu’minoon are believers to one another and this belief has nothing to do with race or any other type of invalid reason to unite but is rather a bond based on an ideological belief in Islam.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Misconceptions about Qadar

Many Muslims believe that what they are going to do is caused by what has already been written in Al-Lauhulmahfudz - they confuse 'causation' with 'association'. In truth what we have is association, not causation. What we do is not caused by what is written by Allah. Allah with His ultimate knowledge knew what we are going to do. He could easily have put the good-doers into Jannah and the evil-doers into the Hellfire. But Allah is Adil (Just) so He created us in this life as to test us which way to go. What we are going to do will match what has already been written but it's not a matter of causation - what we do is out of our own willingness and ability and we do have full responsibility on whatever choice we make.
Looking at guidance and misguidance, guidance (hidayah) is a gift (rahmah) from Allah. It is Allah who created us and gave us the mind so we can distinguish between right and wrong to a certain capacity. It is Allah who equipped us with fitrah to like the truth and good and to dislike the wrong and evil It is Allah who gave us the ability and power to do things and it is Allah who sent the Messenger with the Message to guide us in things, which are beyond the reach of our conception. So when it comes to guidance it is a bounty from Allah.
But when it comes to misguidance, it has to do with us. When we do bad deeds, it is from our own willingness and ability.
Those who turn away from guidance do so because they want to turn away, i.e. they choose not to be guided. They have been misguided because they are arrogant - they refuse to listen.
And so when they swerved from the right way, Allah let their hearts swerve from the truth.[Surah As-Saff (61): ayat 5]
Nevertheless there are people who have not received the Message of Islam/guidance at all or the Message has not reached them in the clearest form, i.e. it is incomplete or distorted. These people are called Ahlul Fatrah and will be excused and not be punished, even though there are misguided.

Controlling The Tongue

Among Allah's blessings upon man is that He made him a thoughtful and sane being and created a tongue for him... The Messenger of Allah [s] says: "Blessed is the man who speaks good and is triumphant; or keeps silent in the face of evil and is secure".[11] Among Allah's blessings upon man is that He made him a thoughtful and sane being and created a tongue for him. He made him able to utter sounds and clarify what he wants through the words which he speaks. He has only to speak to let people know what he wants.
Thus, we should thank Allah for the blessings which He bestowed upon us. We should use our speech in useful ways; not to speak but goodness. For example, if we are in a meeting or a gathering and want to speak with people, or any discussion comes up then we should first think what we want to say and choose which words to use. If we can offer useful counsel to people or offer advice, we should speak in such a way to make others want to listen.
Hence your words will be acceptable to Allah and the people because your speech is beneficial in guiding towards goodness or reconciling people, or teaching useful knowledge, and will increase the love of people to each other.
If we say a word of goodness we will get Allah's reward and the love and respect of the people and so we will be triumphant. As our glorious Prophet Muhammad [s] says: If man is not able to say something useful, he should keep silent from bad words and his silence will keep him far from Allah's wrath and from the harm which might befall him as a result of saying bad words. Whoever does evil deeds to people, people will surely confront him with evil too.
And certainly, if you speak bad words it may cause you problems and harm and make you regret and wish you had kept silent and had not spoken.
Consequently, our Holy Prophet Muhammad [s] educates us with good manners saying: Either you speak a useful and good word, or be silent which is better for you than speaking evil words.
In Summary Among the best characteristics of a Muslim is to speak only the words of goodness and reconciliation.It is better to remain silent if you cannot speak the word of goodness.Whoever does not keep a check on his tongue will regret it.For those who do good is good (reward) and even more than that.