Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Appreciating Beauty

One of the attributes of a true believer is his or her ability to appreciate beauty in all things Allah has created. Whenever he sees things in nature, he is immediately reminded of the great power and majesty of the Creator who made it. In this way, all moments of life are causes for reflection for the true believer.

Such a thinking believer is also free from the prejudices of today’s society, namely the conditioning of the mind by the media. He can see that all human beings have been created in a pleasant form that is appealing to the viewer. He notices in all people, the perfection in the symmetry of the body, the face and the pleasant appearance of the human smile as well as countless other details that makes the human body pleasant to see. This leads him to render thanks to Allah and feel Allah's ever presence in all human beings He has created. The real believer views people as precious creation manifesting Allah's great power and purpose in creation. He can easily see the marvellous complexity involved in the design of the human body and knows that simply appreciating the outer appearance in a superficial manner would be ungratefulness to Allah.

"(People), do you not see how Allah has made what is in the heavens and the earth useful to you, and has lavished His blessings on you both outwardly and inwardly?" (Qur'an 31:20)

That is why, the believers are those who are able see and appreciate beauty in a way disbelievers do not. However, what differentiates a person from another is their fear and love of Allah, which comes from an understanding of the existence of Allah and the purpose of creation. The human body comes to a bitter end only within a few decades. That is why believers only judge one another on the level of their moral perfection and adherence to Allah's commands.

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Monday, November 15, 2010


In the Qur’an, God has described Himself as:

"The one who created death and life to test you as to which of you is best in deed." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 67, Verse 2

He draws attention to the fact that the life of this world is a time for testing. Indeed, events which appear to be favorable or unfavorable in the course of this life are critical in terms of revealing a person's actual character. Calamities, in particular, serve to reveal the degree of a person's sincerity.

One of the most noticeable qualities of believers is their stable character. In times of prosperity and hardship alike, they display the same sincerity and enthusiasm.Their unique perception of the concept of "difficulty" accounts for this, for they consider times of difficulty as opportunities by which they can prove their devotion to God and the strength of their faith. They acknowledge that they are special situations created by God to discriminate between "those in whose hearts is a disease" and "those who are sincere in faith to Him." In the face of all they encounter, they show forbearance and put their trust in God in compliance with His words:

"So be patient with gracious patience." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 70, Verse 5

The Qur’an also states:

"God does not charge a soul except [within] its capacity. It will have whatever [good] it has gained, and it will bear [the consequence of] whatever [evil] it has earned." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 2, Verse 286

Believers feel the security and comfort of knowing that God does not impose on them more than they can bear. In the face of an ordeal they remember that this is an incident they will manage to overcome, and therefore they meet it with patience.

Thus, no matter how trying an ordeal may be, they earnestly strive while displaying a submissive attitude to God.

In addition, they know that ordeals befell believers in the past and that the trials people of the past encountered will come to them as well. A believer aware of this fact is prepared long before he actually encounters difficulties; he has determined that he will remain loyal to his Lord and is thus committed to display patience and submission and put his trust in God under all circumstances.

"And they had already promised God before not to turn their backs. And ever is the promise to God [that about which one will be] questioned." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 33, Verse 15

A believer fulfills his commitment to God. He faces hunger, poverty, fear, injury or death with steadiness, accepts them and shows a thankful attitude towards his Lord. Even if innumerable difficulties should come upon him one after another and his entire life is spent in hardship, he knows that when he accepts difficulties in this life (lasting but a few decades) with good patience for God, he will experience no difficulty throughout eternity – not for a single moment. His earnest behavior will, by God’s will, earn him the most beautiful blessings: the pleasure and mercy of God and His Paradise.

This good news is given in the Qur’an:

"And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to the patient." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 2, Verse 155

There is a final point to be kept in mind. The way believers face difficulties with patience is different from the ignorant person's understanding of patience, which is simply to endure. Believers' understanding, however, is not only "endurance" but facing the problems that one must solve and overcome. Therefore, believers do their best to provide solutions by exercising their reason and resorting to all material and physical means. While doing so, they pray to God to give them strength and relief:

"Our Lord, do not impose blame upon us if we have forgotten or erred. Our Lord, and lay not upon us a burden like that which You laid upon those before us. Our Lord, and burden us not with that which we have no ability to bear. And pardon us; and forgive us; and have mercy upon us. You are our protector, so give us victory over the disbelieving people." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 2, Verse 286

It is indeed this attitude in the face of hardship – sincere efforts coupled with acceptance – which reveals genuine zeal. The strength of their faith in God and the Hereafter enables believers to struggle hard against difficulties without ever feeling weak-hearted.

Excerpted from Zeal and Enthusiasm by Harun Yahya

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Signs of HYPOCRISY

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
Imam Bukhari and Muslim reported that the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said, "The signs of the hypocrite are there: That he utters falsehood when he speaks and that he breaks his promise and that he betrays when entrusted", Imam Muslim added in another narration, "Even though he fasts, prays, and claims he is a Muslim."

Hypocrisy is a contradiction between what appears and what is concealed and, thus, a hypocrite is one who shows different to what he conceals.

Hypocrisy is divided into two types:

• Hypocrisy in belief.

• Hypocrisy in action.

Hypocrisy in belief is when one shows Islam and conceal Kufr (disbelieve), and this was the status of the hypocrites during the time of the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) after his migration to Medina. This is the most dangerous and malignant form of disbelieves.

To that effect, Allah (S.W.T.) said in surat An-Nisa’, (Verse 140), what can be translated as, "Allah will gather the Hypocrites and the disbelievers all in the Hell-Fire." Allah (S.W.T.) also says in the same surat in (Verse 145), what can be translated as, "The Hypocrites will be in the lowest depth of Hell-Fire."

Allah (S.W.T.) mentioned many of their attributes, and exposed much of their reality and uncovered the extent of their hostility towards Muslims in many verses of the Qur’an, for the purpose of alerting the Muslims to their danger and conspiracies;

Later on, Gabriel, mentioned their names to the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.), and the prophet told that to his most trusted companion, Huzaifah-Bn-Alyaman. This was on the hypocrisy of belief.

For the second As type of hypocrisy, which is hypocrisy in action, It is to abandon all or some religious act in privacy, while complying with it publicly. This conduct fits under the terminology of Hypocrisy, but not under that of disbelief.
The hadith that was mentioned earlier has specified for us three of the signs of hypocrisy.

The first sign is lying. Which is one of the worst and gravest sins, since it is a means to immorality, and leads the person to the hell fire (we ask Allah (S.W.T.) for refuge from that). Imam Bukhari and Muslim reported that the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said, "Honesty guides to righteousness, and righteousness guides to paradise, and a person does preserve his honesty until Allah (S.W.T.) gives him recognition for being honest." The prophet added, "and dishonesty guides to immorality, and immorality leads to the Hell-Fire, and a person does preserve his dishonesty until Allah (S.W.T.) gives him recognition for being dishonest."

In another authentic hadith reported by Imam Ahmad, Ibn-Hibban and Al-Baihaqi, that the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said, "Maintain six virtues and I guarantee you paradise: Tell the Truth when you talk, fulfill your promises, and give what has been entrusted with you, preserve your chastity, lower your gaze, and do not harm anyone."

Imam Ahmad and others reported in an authentic hadith that the Aisha’, may Allah be pleased with her said, "There had not been worse conduct than lying in the eyes of the companions. And the prophet (S.A.W.) would know the man of his companions who has been lying, and that would not clean away from the heart of the prophet, until he (S.A.W.) knows that person made repentance to Allah."

The second sign of hypocrisy is breaking the promise. Thus whoever promised another of good thing and did not fulfill it, then he would have a quality of hypocrisy. Allah (S.W.T.) has ordered us Muslims to fulfill our promises, when he said in surat Al-Israh, (Verse 34), what can be translated as, "And fulfill (every) covenant. Verily! The covenant, will be questioned about."

Imam Bukhari reported that the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said, "A man form the children of Israel, asked someone to lend him a thousand dinars until a set date. Someone lent him the money, and when the time came that man wanted to pay it off. He went out to the sea to go to the lender, but could not find a ship; thus, he took a piece of wood and drilled a hole through it, then he put in it a thousand dinar and threw it in the sea. The lender came out in another sea shore to find the log before him, and he took it as a fire wood to his family and when he sawed it, he found his money in it". Because of his eagerness to payoff the debt on time, Allah (S.W.T.) has helped him in directing the money to its owner.

The third sign of hypocrisy is the betrayal when entrusted, and not returning this trust to which it belongs to or using it without permission given from the owner. Allah (S.W.T.) has commanded us in surat An-Nisa’, (Verse 58), what can be translated as, "Verily! Allah commands that you should render back the trusts to those, to whom they are due…"

Trusts are of many types. It may be in the form of money and in the form of rights. There are some Muslims who are conscious about money trusts, but are not conscious about the rights and duties that Allah trust every one of us with. Thus, yourself is a trust given to you by Allah. Your wealth, which you gather is a trust, entrusted to you by Allah, the time that you made use of is also a trust, again your health, your youth, your mind, your hearing, and your vision, are all trusts to you from Allah. Also your wife and children are a trust entrusted to you by Allah. Also your community is a trust entrusted to you by Allah. And the most important trust is the deen of Allah that entrusted you with. So let us be ware from the betraying all of these trusts or the loss of them, surely Allah will question us, on that, on the day of Judgment.

The preservation of all of these trusts that we have mentioned lies in observing Allah’s rights in them. And to follow the commands of Allah in all of them. Allah (S.W.T.) has praised the believers in surat Al-Mu’minoun, (Verse 8), what can be translated as, "Those who are faithfully true to their trusts and to their covenants."
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