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Chapter 12: Islamic faith : Some details

Most of the following is obtained from the book "The Muslim's Belief" by Shaik Muhammad ibn Saleh Al-'Uthaimin as translated by Maneh Hammad Al-Johani. Some modifications have been made. It contains some of the details of the Muslim's belief. As seen in the previous chapter, this is the second level of Islamic belief. It builds upon the basic foundation of "Islam" and is directly below the final level of "Ihsan" (excellence). It is of course by no means comprehensive:
 

1) Our Creed:

Our creed is to believe in Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Day of Judgment, and Fate whether good or bad.
 

Belief in Allah's Lordship, Oneness, and Attributes

  1. We believe in Allah's Divinity, that is He is the Lord, the Creator, the Sovereign, and the Manager of all affairs.
  2. We believe in Allah's Godship; that is, He is the True God and every other deity is false.
  3. We believe in His Names and Attributes, that is He has the most magnificent Names and the sublime perfect Attributes.
  4. We believe in His Oneness in all this, that is, He has no associate in His Divinity, His Godship, His Names, or His Attributes. Allah says in the Qur'an: "He is the Lord of the Heavens and the Earth and all that is in between them, so worship Him and be patient in His worship, do you know any equal to Him" (19:65)
  5. We believe that "Allah there is no God but He, the Living the Everlasting. Slumber does not seize Him, neither sleep; to Him belongs all that is in the Heavens and the Earth. Who is there that shall intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is before them and what is behind them, and they do not encompass anything of His knowledge except what He wills. His Throne extends over the Heavens and the Earth; the preservation of them does not burden Him; He is the High, the Great." (2:255)
  6. We believe that "He is Allah, there is no god but He--the Knower of the Unseen and the Visible, He is the Most Gracious, Most Merciful. He is Allah, there is no God but He, the King, the Holy One, the Source of Peace, the Keeper of Faith, the Guardian, the Almighty, the Subduer, the Sublime. Glory be to Allah above what they associate with Him. He is Allah, the Creator, the Maker, the Shaper, His are the most beautiful Names. All that is in the Heavens and the Earth glorifies Him. He is the Almighty, the Wise".(59:22-4)
  7. We believe that to Him belongs the kingdom of the Heavens and the Earth: "He creates what He pleases. He gives, to whom He wills, females, and He gives, to whom He wills, males, or He couples them, males and females; and He makes whom He wills barren. Surely, He is the Knowing, the Powerful." (42:49-50).
  8. We believe that "There is nothing whatever like unto Him, He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing. To Him belongs the keys of the Heavens and the Earth. He enlarges and restricts provisions to whom He wills. Surely He has knowledge of everything." (42:11-12).
  9. We believe that "There is no creature that moves in the Earth but its provision depends on Allah. He knows its dwelling and its resting place. All is recorded in a clear Book." (11:6)
  10. We believe that "With Him are the keys of the Unseen; none knows them but He. He knows what is in land and sea; not a leaf falls, but He knows it. Not a grain in the deep darkness of the Earth, not a thing green or dry but it is in a clear Book." (6:59).
  11. We believe that "Allah alone has the knowledge of the Hour, sends down rain, and knows what is in the wombs. No soul knows what it shall earn tomorrow, and no soul knows in what land it shall die. Surely, Allah is All-knowing, All-aware." (31:34)
  12. We believe that Allah speaks whatever He pleases whenever He pleases "And Allah spoke to Moses directly." (4:164) "And when Moses came at Our appointed place, and his Lord spoke to him." (7:143) "We called to him from the right side of the Mount (Sinai), and We brought him near in communion." (19-52)
  13. We believe that "If the ocean became ink for the words of my Lord, the ocean would be finished before the words of my Lord came to an end." (18:109) "And if all the trees that are in the earth were pens, and the ocean (were ink), with seven oceans swelling it therefore, the words of Allah would not be exhausted. Surely, Allah is Mighty, Wise." (31:27).
  14. We believe that Allah's words are the most truthful in conveying information, the most just in ruling, and the fairest in conversation. He said, "The word of your Lord has been fulfilled in truth and justice." (6:115) "And who is more truthful in his word than Allah?" (4:74).
  15. We believe that the Qur'an is Allah's words. He literally spoke it to Gabriel who conveyed it to the Prophet, peace be upon him: "Say (O Muhammad) the Holy Spirit has brought it down from your Lord in truth." (16:102) "Truly it is the revelation of the Lord of the worlds brought down upon your heart by the Faithful Spirit so that you may be one of the warners, in a clear Arabic tongue."(26: 192-5)
  16. We believe that Allah is well above his creatures in His person and His Attributes, because He says, "He is the High, the Great." (2:255) "He is Supreme over His servants, and He is the Wise, the All-aware." (6:18).
  17. We believe that He "created the Heavens and the Earth in six days, then He settled Himself on the Throne; He manages everything." (10:3) His "settling on the Throne" means that He is sitting in person on His Throne in a way that is becoming to His Majesty and greatness. Nobody except He knows exactly how He is sitting.
  18. We believe that He is with His creatures while He is still on His Throne. He knows their conditions, hears their sayings, sees their deeds and manages their affairs. He provides for the poor and the broken. He gives sovereignty to whom He pleases and takes away sovereignty from whom He pleases; He exalts whom He wills and He abases whom He wills. In His hand is all good and He is powerful over everything. Whoever possesses these qualities is literally with His creatures even if He is literally above them on His Throne. "There is nothing whatsoever like unto Him; He is the All-hearing, the All-seeing." (42:11)
  19. We do not say as the Incarnationists among the Jahomites and others say, that is, Allah is living with His creatures on Earth. We consider whoever says this a non-believer or straying away because he attributed to Allah that which does not become Him (of defects).
  20. We believe in what His Messenger told us that He descends to the near sky before the last third of every night and says: "Who shall pray to Me and I will answer his prayers? Who shall ask Me and I will give him? Who shall ask my forgiveness and I will forgive him?" (Bukhari & Muslim).
  21. We believe that He will come at the Day of Judgment to judge among His people because He said, "No indeed! when the Earth is crushed to powder, and your Lord comes down with the angels in rows after rows, and Hell is brought out that day. On that day man will remember, but what will remembrance avail him?" (89:21-23) We believe that He is the Doer of what He wills

Allah's Will: Universal and Legal:

We believe that His will is of two kinds:

  • Universal will: through which His intention is carried out. It is not necessary that what is carried out is liked by Him. This type of will means "permission", as Allah said, "Had Allah willed, they would not have fought one against the other, but Allah does whatever He desires," (2:253) and "If Allah desires to lead you astray, He is your Lord." (11:34).
  • Legal will: which does not necessarily entail that the execution of His desire. The will, in this case, cannot be but what He likes, as He said, "Allah wants to forgive you." (4:27)

The example of these two wills is a man who has a son. This man tells his son "do not play with electricity, it will hurt you." This man does not then tie his son to the bed-post in order to prevent him from electrocuting himself. If the son then disregards his father's warning then that is his choice. It can not then be said that the son only electrocuted himself because the father "wished" that he do so and had the father "wished" to prevent him from doing this then he could have tied him to the bed post his whole life.

From the above example, we see that it is possible for God to "will" that we do good but to not force us to do so even though that is within His power. Whatever we then choose to do, either good or evil, is then also only accomplished through God's "will" since He "allowed" us to do so and did not force us to do that which He commanded us to. In all cases, all things happen through the will of God, however, not all things that He wills are pleasing to Him.

  1. We believe that His universal and legal wills are part of His wisdom. Every thing He performs in the universe or requires legally from His creatures is for a good reason and according to His wisdom, whether we grasp it or it escapes our reasons: "Is not Allah the best of Judges?" (95-9), "And who is better than Allah in judgment for a people who have firm faith." (5:50)
  2. We believe that Allah loves His select servants and they love Him: "Say if you love Allah, follow me and Allah will love you," (3:31) "Allah will bring a people whom He will love and who will love Him," (5:45) "Allah loves the steadfast," (3:146) "And act justly, surely, Allah loves the just," (49:9) and "Do good; Allah loves those who do good." (5:93)
  3. We believe that Allah likes what He prescribed of good deeds and sayings and He dislikes what He prohibited of bad deeds and sayings: "If you disbelieve, surely Allah does not need you, yet He does not like disbelief for His servants; if you are thankful, this pleases Him,"(39:7), "But Allah disliked their marching forth. So He kept them back, and it was said to them: 'Stay with the weaklings'." (9:46).
  4. We believe that Allah is pleased with those who believe in Him and do good deeds: "Allah is well pleased with them and they are well pleased with Him. That is for him who fears his Lord." (98:8)
  5. We believe that Allah is angry with those who deserve His anger among the non-believers and others: "And those who think evil thoughts of Allah, against them shall be the evil turn of fortune. Allah is angry with them." (48:6) "But whoever opens his heart to disbelief, on them is Allah's wrath and they shall have a severe punishment ." (16: 106) .
     

More of Allah's Attributes:

We, as Muslims believe that God Almighty possesses attributes. These attributes are the epitome and ultimate in all that is good and desirous. Although we may use earthly terms to describe some of these attributes, still, a Muslim does not in any way compare any of these attributes to those of His creation. Some of these are:

  1. We believe that Allah has a glorious and dignified face: "There will remain the face of your Lord, majestic and splendid." (55:27)
  2. We believe that Allah has two generous hands: "No, both His hands are wide open; He spends how He pleases," (5:64) "They did not esteem Allah with the esteem that is due to Him. The whole Earth will be His handful on the Day of Resurrection, and the Heavens will be rolled up in His right. Glory be to Him! and exalted is He above that which they associate with Him!" (39-67)
  3. We believe that Allah possesses real eyes, because He said, "And build the ark under Our eyes as We reveal." (11:37) The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, "His veil is light. Had He removed it, the sublimity of His countenance would have burnt all that His sight reached." (Muslim & Ibn Majah)
  4. We believe that "Eyes cannot perceive Him, but He perceives the eyes, He is the Incomprehensible, the All-aware." (6:103)
  5. We believe that the believers will see their Lord on the Day of Resurrection: "Upon that day some faces shall be radiant, gazing upon their Lord." (75:22)
  6. We believe that Allah has no equal because His Attributes are perfect: "There is nothing whatsoever like unto Him. He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing." (42:11)
  7. We believe that "No slumber or sleep seizes Him," (2:255) because His life is perfect and eternal.
  8. We believe that He does not do injustice to anybody because His fairness is perfect.
  9. We believe that He is not unaware of His servants' deeds because of His perfect supervision and comprehensive knowledge.
  10. We believe that He is capable of doing anything in the Heavens or in the Earth because of His perfect knowledge and power: "Indeed His command, when He desires a thing, is only to say to it 'Be' and it is." (36:82)
  11. We believe that He is free from weariness and weakness because of His infinite-power: "Surely, We created the Heavens and the Earth and all that is between them in six days, and no weariness touched Us." (50:38).
     

Describing Allah by His Revelation:

We believe in all that He assigned to Himself or what His Messenger described Him with, of names and attributes; but we reject two concepts:

  • To say or believe that Allah's Attributes are similar to those of His creatures; (like saying His hand is like a human hand)
  • To say or believe that Allah's Attributes are like such and such. (like saying His will is like human will)
  1. We negate all that He negated about Himself or what His Messenger negated about Him. We believe that negation implies the affirmation of a perfect opposite. We do not discuss what He or His Messenger did not mention about Him.
  1. We believe that following this approach is a must because what Allah affirmed or negated concerning Himself is a statement He made about Himself. He knows Himself best, His words are most just and trustful and people cannot know everything about Him. What Allah's Messenger affirmed or negated about Him is a statement he made about Allah. Besides knowing Allah better than anyone, he is the most truthful, sincere and eloquent among people. Thus, in what Allah said and what His prophet said concerning His Names and Attributes is truth, knowledge, and clarification. Therefore, we have no excuse to reject or even hesitate in accepting it.

 

2) The Qur'an and Sunnah: Sources of His Attributes:

All that we mentioned about Allah's Attributes whether briefly or in detail, affirmatively or negatively, is based on the Book of our Lord and the traditions of our Prophet. It also agrees with the practice of the previous generations of Muslims and the rightly guided scholars who came after them.
 

  1. We believe it is obligatory to take the texts of the Qur'an and the Prophetic traditions concerning Allah's Attributes at their face value and interpret them in a way that is suitable to Almighty Allah. We reject the practice of those who twisted the meanings of these texts and understood them in a way that was not intended by Allah and His messenger.
  1. We also reject the practice of those who made them devoid of their meanings as conveyed by Allah and His Messenger. We finally reject the approach of the exaggerationists who gave them a physical interpretation that makes Allah similar to some of His creatures.
  1. We know for sure that what is revealed in Allah's Book and in the traditions of His Messenger is the truth. It does not contain any contradiction: "Do they not ponder over the Qur'an? If it had been from other than Allah, surely they would have found in it much discrepancy." (4:82)
     

3) Belief in Angels:

  1. We believe in the existence of the angels of Allah and that they are "honored servants. They do not speak before He does, and they do as they are commanded." (21:26) Allah created them and they worship and obey Him. "Those who are at His presence do not disdain to worship Him, nor do they weary." (21:19)
  2. Angels are concealed from us, we cannot see them. Allah may show them to some of His servants. The Prophet Muhammad saw Gabriel in his real shape with six hundred wings that covered the horizons (Bukhari & Muslim). Gabriel also took the form of a handsome human being when he met Mary and exchanged conversation with her. He came to the Prophet while he was among his companions in the appearance of an unknown man who did not show any trace of long travel, with very white clothes and very black hair. He sat facing the Prophet: his knees to the Prophet's knees, peace be upon him, and his palms on the Prophet's thighs and talked with the Prophet. The Prophet later told his companions that the man they saw was Gabriel (Bukhari & Muslim).

Angel's Functions:

  1. We believe that the angels are assigned certain functions. Among the angels is Gabriel who is entrusted with revelation. He brings it down from Allah to whomever Allah wishes among His Prophets and Messengers. Among them is Michael who is in charge of rain and plantation. Among them also is Israfil who shall be in charge of blowing the Horn at the time of the final Thunderbolting and Resurrection. Among them is the Angel of death, who takes away people's souls at the time of death. Among the angels is the one who is in charge of mountains; and Malik, the keeper of Hell.
  1. Some angels are in charge of embryos in wombs, others are responsible for protecting the human beings and other angels are busy in recording men's deeds: two angels for every person, "when the two angels receive (his deeds), one sitting on the right and one on the left, not a word he utters but by him is an observer ready." (50: 18) Some other angels are in charge of questioning the dead after he is put in his last abode. Two angels come to him and ask him about his Lord, his Religion, and his Prophet. There "Allah confirms those who believe with steadfast speech, in the present life and the Hereafter" (14:27)
  1. Some of the angels are in charge of the dwellers of Paradise: "The angels enter to them from every gate, saying 'peace be upon you for that you were patient. How excellent is your final home." (13:24)
  1. The Prophet, peace be upon him, told us that "seventy thousand angels enter or pray in the 'Populous House' in Heaven every day. They never come back to it as long as they live." (because their turn will never come again) (Bukhari & Muslim).

4) Belief in Allah's Books:

  1. We believe that Allah revealed Books to His Messengers as proof against mankind and a guidance for the workers of righteousness. They purified and taught them wisdom by these Books.
  2. We believe that Allah sent down a Book with every Messenger because He says "Indeed We sent down our Messengers with the clear signs, and We sent down with them the Book and the Balance so that people may uphold justice." (57:25)

Known Books of Allah:

Among these Books we know the following:

  1. The Torah which was revealed to Moses, peace be upon him. It is the greatest among the Israelites' books. "Surely, We sent down the Torah, wherein is guidance and light; by its laws the Jews have been judged by the Prophets who surrendered themselves to Allah, the rabbis and the doctors of law because they were entrusted the protection of Allah's book and were witnesses thereto." (5:44).
  1. The Gospel which Allah revealed to Jesus, peace be upon him. It is a confirmation of the Torah and a complement to it. "And we gave him the Gospel, wherein is guidance and light and confirming the Torah before it, as a guidance and an admonition to the God-fearing."(5:46) "And to make lawful to you certain things that, before, were forbidden to you." (3:50)
  1. The Psalms which Allah gave to David, peace be upon him.
  1. Tablets of Abraham and Moses, peace be upon them.
  1. The Glorious Qur'an which was revealed to His Prophet Muhammad, the Seal of the Prophets. It is "a guidance to the people, and clear signs of guidance and criterion between right and wrong." (2:185)

 

The Qur'an is Protected from Change:

The Qur'an is "confirming the scripture that was before it and stands as a guardian over it (rectifying mankind's tampering)." Thus, by the Qur'an Allah abrogated all the previous books. Allah has also guaranteed its protection from any play or mischievous distortion. "Indeed, We (God) sent down the 'Reminder' (one of the names of the Qur'an) and it is We who will guard it." (15:9). That is because the Qur'an is a proof against mankind till the Day of Judgment.
 

Previous Scriptures Changed:

The previous scriptures were meant for a limited period (and a specific people) that ended with the revelation of what abrogated them and exposed what had taken place in them of distortion and change. That is why they were not protected from corruption. They underwent distortion, addition and omission "Some of the Jews pervert words from their meanings." (4:46) "So woe to those who write the Book with their hands, and then say, 'This is from Allah,' that they may purchase by it a trivial price. So woe to them for what their hands have written, and woe to them for their earnings." (2:79) "Say, who sent down the Book that Moses brought as a light and a guidance to people? You make it into sheets of paper showing some of them and concealing much." (6:91) "And there is a group among them who twist their tongues with the Book, that you may think it is a part of the Book, but it is not part of the Book. And they say 'It is from Allah,' yet it is not from Allah, and they tell a lie against Allah and they know it." (3:78-70) "O People of the Book! Our Messenger has come to you, making clear to you many things you had been concealing of the Book and forgiving much. [Indeed!] A light has come to you from Allah and a glorious Book, with which He will guide whoever follows His pleasure in the way of peace, and brings them forth from darkness into the light by His will." (5:15-16).
 

5) Belief in Messengers;

We believe that Allah has sent to His people messengers who were "bringing glad tidings and warning, so that mankind might have no excuse against Allah after the messengers. And Allah is Almighty, All-wise." (4:165)
 

The First and Last Messengers:

We believe that the first among the Messengers is Noah and the last is Muhammad, peace be upon them all. "We revealed to you as We revealed to Noah and the Prophets after him." (4:163) "Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but the Messenger of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets." (33:40)
 

The Best Messengers:

  1. We believe that the best among the messengers are Muhammad, Abraham, Moses, Noah and Jesus son of Mary. It is they who are meant by the following Qur'anic verse: "And when We took a pact from the Prophets, and from you, and from Noah, and Abraham, Moses, and Jesus, son of Mary. We took from them a solemn pact." (33:7)
  1. We believe that Muhammad's message, peace be upon him. includes all the merits of the messages of those dignified messengers because Allah says, "He ordained for you that He enjoined on Noah and what He revealed to you and what He enjoined on Abraham Moses and Jesus, [namely,] established this faith and be united in it." (42:13)

Messengers Are Human Beings:

  1. We believe that all messengers are created human beings who have none of the divine qualities of Allah. Prophet Noah, the first among them, is quoted in the Qur'an as saying to his people: "neither do I say to you, 'I possess the treasures of Allah, ' nor do I know the unseen, and I do not say: 'I am an angel'." (11:31) Allah then directed Muhammad who is the last among them to say the same words to his own people: "Say (O Muhammad): I do not say to you I possess the treasures of Allah, nor do I know the unseen, and I do not say to you 'I am an angel." (6:50) And to say: "I have no power to bring benefit nor harm for myself, but only as Allah wills ." (7: 188) And also to say "Say (O Muhammad): I have no power to harm nor benefit you. Say (O Muhammad): none can protect me from Allah, nor can I find any refuge besides Him." (72:21-22)
  1. We believe that the messengers are among Allah's servants. He blessed them with the message and described them as servants, in the context of praising and honoring them. So, He says about Noah, the first among them: "You are the descendants of those whom We carried with Noah, he was a truly thankful servant." (17:3). Allah said about the last among them, Muhammad, peace be upon him: "Blessed be He who sent down the Qur'an to His servant, that he may warn mankind." (25: 1) He said about some other messengers: "And mention our servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob men of might and vision." (38:45) "And remember our servants David who was a mighty and penitent man." (38:17) "And to David, we gave Solomon. How excellent a servant [was he]! [Indeed] he was penitent." (38:30). Allah said about Jesus, son of Mary: "He is only a servant whom We blessed and We made him an example to the children of Israel." (63:59) We believe that Allah concluded all messages with the message of Muhammad, peace be upon him, to all people because Allah said: "Say, 'O mankind, I am Allah's messenger to you all. To Him belongs the Kingdom of the Heavens and the Earth; There is no god but He. He ordains life and death. So believe in Allah and His messenger, the unlettered Prophet who believes in Allah and His words. Follow him so that you may be rightly guided." (7: 158)

Islam: The Universal and Final Message:

  1. We believe that the Shari'ah (law) of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, is the religion of Islam which Allah has chosen for His servants. After the coming of Muhammad (pbuh), He does not accept from anyone any other religion, because Allah, the Exalted, said, "Surely, the true religion in Allah's sight is Islam," (3:19) and He also said, "Today I have perfected your religion for you and I have completed my favor upon you, and I have chosen Islam to be your religion." (5:3) And "whoever desires a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted from him, and in the Hereafter he will be among the losers." (3:85)
  1. It is also our belief that whoever rejects the universal message of Muhammad, peace be upon him, is rejecting the message of all messengers, even if he claims that he believes and follows his messenger. Allah the Exalted, said: "Noah's people rejected the messengers." (26:105) Thus, Allah considered them rejecting all the messengers despite the fact that there was no messenger before Noah. This is also clear from the following verses: "Those who disbelieve in Allah and His messengers, and wish to make division between Allah and His messengers, and say: 'We believe in some and disbelieve in others,' wishing to take a midway course. Those indeed are the disbelievers. And We have prepared for the disbelievers a humiliating punishment." (4:150-1)
  1. We believe that there is no prophet after Muhammad, Allah's Messenger, peace be upon him. Whoever claims prophethood after him, or believes in anyone claiming it, is a disbeliever because he is rejecting Allah, His messenger, and the Muslims' consensus.

 

The Prophet's Companions:

  1. We believe that the best among the Muslim Ummah (community) are the Prophet's Companions, then their followers, and those who followed them .
  1. We also believe that a group of this Ummah will always remain victorious on the right path, unharmed by those who let them down or those who oppose them, until the Day of Judgment.
     

6) Belief In The Day Of Judgment:

We believe in the Final Day, which is the Day of Judgment, when people will be resurrected alive to remain in the abode of eternal enjoyment or in the abode of eternal severe punishment.
 

Belief In Resurrection (for judgment):
 

We believe in Resurrection which is Allah's bringing to life all the dead when the angel Israfil blows the Horn for the second time, "And the Trumpet shall be blown and all who are in the Heavens and who are in the Earth shall be thunder-stuck except those that Allah shall spare. Then, it shall be blown again and they shall rise gazing around them." (39:68) People will stand up from their graves, answering the call of the Lord of the Universe. They are going to be bare-footed, and naked, "As We started the first creation, so We shall bring it back again. This is a promise from Us, We shall assuredly fulfill it." (21:104)
 

Belief in the Records & Scales:

We believe in the records of deeds that will be given to people in their right hands, or behind their backs in the left hands: "As for him who is given his book in his right hand, he shall surely receive an easy reckoning and he will return to his family rejoicing. But as for him who is given his book behind his back, he shall beg for destruction upon himself and will burn in a Blazing Fire." (84:7-12) "Every man's work We have fastened on his own neck, and on the Day of Judgment We shall bring out for him a book which he will see spread open, saying, 'Read your own book! Your own soul suffices this day as a witness against you.'" (17:13-14)
 

We believe that scales of deeds will be set up on the Day of Judgment and no soul shall be wronged. "Whoever has done an atom's weight of good shall see it." (99:708) "Those whose scales are heavy, they are the successful; but those whose scales are light, they are the ones who have lost their souls in Hell dwelling forever. The Fire will burn their faces, and their countenances are despondent therein." (23:102-4) "He that does a good deed shall be rewarded ten times the like of it, and he that does evil shall only be rewarded the like of it, and they shall not be wronged." (6:160)
 

The Prophet's Intercession:

  1. We believe in the special great Intercession of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. He will plead with Allah, after His permission and on behalf of mankind, to judge among His servants when they suffer from worries and troubles which they cannot bear. They will first go to Adam, then Noah, then Abraham, then to Moses, then to Jesus in search of intercession, but all of them will refuse to provide this intercession due to the tremendous horror of that day. Finally, they will go to Muhammad, peace be upon him, and they will find intercession with him.
  1. We believe in the intercession which concerns some believers who were to be taken out from the Fire. This mediation is granted to the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and to others among the Prophets, the believers, and the angels.
  1. We believe also that Allah will save from Hell some people among the believers without the intercession of any one, but by His grace and mercy.

The Prophet's Pool:

We believe in the Pool of the Prophet, peace be upon him, the water of which is whiter than milk and sweeter than honey and better in fragrance than musk. Each of its length and width is the distance of a months travel. Its cups are as stars in beauty and number. The believers among the Prophet's followers come to take from this great cistern a drink after which they will never again be thirsty for all of eternity.
 

The Straight Path:

  1. We believe in the Straight Path (Sirat) set up over Hell. People pass over it according to their deeds: the first of them as fast as lighting, then as fast as wind, then as fast as birds, and then as running men. The Prophet will be standing on the Path, saying, "My Lord, Save! Save!" Some people's deeds will fall short. Some of them will come crawling. At both sides of the Path there are hooks that are designed to take whom Allah wills: some are saved but bruised; others are thrown into Hell. (Bukhari & Muslim). We believe in all that is mentioned in the Qur'an or the Prophetic sayings concerning that day and its horrors, may Allah save us all from them.
  1. We believe in the intercession (shafa'ah) of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, for the people of Paradise to enter therein. This intercession is exclusively limited to the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.

 

Belief in Paradise & Hell:

  1. We believe in Paradise and Hell. Paradise is the abode of enjoyment which Allah, the Exalted, prepared for the righteous. The blessing they enjoy there, no eye has ever seen, no ear has ever heard of, and no human being has ever imagined: "No soul knows what comfort is kept hidden for them, as a reward for that which they used to do." (32:17) Hell is the abode of punishment which Allah has prepared for the unbelievers and the evildoers. The torture and horror in it cannot be imagined. "Surely, We have prepared for the unjust a fire, whose pavilion encompasses them. If they call for help, they will be helped with water like molten copper which will scald their faces. How dreadful a drink and how evil a resting-place!" (18:29)
  1. Both Paradise and Hell are existing now and they will never perish. "Whoever believes in Allah and does righteousness, He will admit him to Gardens beneath which rivers flow, to dwell therein for ever. Allah had indeed made for him an excellent provision." (65:11) "Certainly, Allah has cursed the unbelievers and prepared for them a blazing Fire to dwell therein forever, they shall find neither protector nor helper. On the day when their faces are rotated in the Fire, they shall say "Would that we had obeyed Allah and obeyed the Messenger!" (33:64-6)
  1. We confirm Paradise to whom it is confirmed in the Qur'an or the Prophetic traditions either by name or description. Among those who are granted Paradise and mentioned by names are Abu Bakr, 'Umar, 'Uthman, 'Ali and others who were specified by the Prophet, peace be upon him (Bukhari and Muslim).
  1. We likewise confirm Hell to whom it is confirmed in the Qur'an and the sayings of the Prophet, whether in name or description. Among those who are mentioned by names to be in Hell are Abu Lahab, 'Amr Ibn Luhai Al-Khuza'i and others (Bukhari & Muslim). Confirmation of Hell which is based on description includes every unbeliever, polytheist or hypocrite.
     

Belief in What Happens in the Grave

  1. We believe in the trial of the grave, which is the questioning of the dead person in his grave about his Lord, his religion and his Prophet. There "Allah strengthens those who believe with firm speech, in the present life and the Hereafter." (14:27) The believer will say: "Allah is my Lord, Islam is my religion, and Muhammad is my Prophet." The unbeliever or the hypocrite will say, "I don't know, I heard the people saying something and I said it."
  1. We believe in the comfort of the grave for the believers. "Those whose lives the angels take in state of purity, saying 'peace be on you; enter Paradise for what you used to do." (16:32)
  1. We believe in the punishment of the grave for the transgressing unbelievers: "If you could only see when the evildoers are in the agonies of death and the angels are stretching out their hands, saying, 'Give up your souls! Today you shall be rewarded with the punishment of humiliation for what you used to say untruly about Allah, and for scornfully rejecting His signs." (6:93) The sayings of the Prophet are numerous and well-known in this area. A Muslim must believe in all that is reported in the Qur'an and Prophetic traditions concerning the unseen matters. He should not contradict it by his worldly experience because the affairs of the Hereafter cannot be measured by the affairs of this life. The difference between them is very great. Allah is the source of help.
     

7) Belief in Fate and Divine Decree:

We believe in Fate, whether good or bad, which Allah has measured and ordained for all creatures according to His previous knowledge and as deemed suitable by His wisdom.

Levels Of Belief In Fate:

Belief in Fate has four levels:
 

  1. The first level is knowledge: We believe that Allah, may He be exalted, knows everything. He knew what had happened and what will happen and how it will happen. His knowledge is eternal. He does not acquire new knowledge nor does he forget what He Knows .
  1. The second level is Recording: We believe that Allah has recorded in the "Secured Tablet" (al-Lawh al-Mahfudh) whatever is going to happen until the Day of Judgment. "Did you not know that Allah knows all that is in Heaven and Earth? Surely that is in a Book. Surely that for Allah is an trivial matter."(22:70)
  1. The third level is Will: We believe that Allah has willed everything in the Heaven and Earth. Nothing happens except by His will; whatever He wills will take place; and whatever He does not wish will not take place.
  1. The fourth level is Creation: We believe that "Allah is the Creator of all things; He is the Guardian over all things, and to Him belong the keys of the Heavens and the Earth." (39:62-3)

The fourth level include whatever Allah Himself does and whatever His creatures do. So, all that people perform of sayings, deeds, or omissions are known to Allah and He has recorded them, willed them and created them, "For those among you who wish to be upright. But you shall not will except as Allah wills, the Lord of the Worlds." (81:28-29) "And had Allah willed they would not have fought one against the other; but Allah does whatever He desires." (2:253) "Had Allah willed, they would not have done so, but leave them alone and their false inventions." (6:137) "And Allah created you and what you do." (37:96)
 

Men's Freewill:

We believe, however, that Allah has granted humanity the power and freewill by which he performs his action. That man's deeds are by his power and freewill can be proven by the following points:
 

  1. Firstly, Allah's saying, "Had they desired to go forth, they would have made some preparation for it." (9:46) In this verse Allah affirmed for mankind "a going forth" by his will and "a preparation" by his desire.
  1. Secondly, directing man to do or not to do. If man has no freewill and power, these directions mean that Allah is asking man to do that which he cannot. This proposition is rejected by Allah's wisdom, His mercy and His truthful statement in the verse "Allah does not charge a soul beyond its capacity." (2:286)
  1. Thirdly, Praising the virtuous for his deeds and blaming the evildoer for his actions and rewarding each of them with what he deserves. If the action is not done by the individual's freewill, then praising the virtuous is a joke and punishing the evildoer is an injustice, and Allah is, of course, free from joking and being unjust.
  1. Fourthly, Allah has sent messengers who are "bearing good tidings, and warning, so that mankind might have no excuse against Allah after the messengers." (40:165) If the individual's action is not performed by his freewill, his argument is not invalidated by the sending of messengers.
  1. Fifthly, every doer of actions feels that he does or does not do a thing without any coercion. He stands up and sits; comes in and goes out; travels and stays by his own freewill without feeling anybody forcing him to do any of these actions. In fact, he clearly distinguishes between doing something of his own freewill and someone else forcing him to do that action. The Islamic law also wisely distinguishes between these states of affairs. It does not punish a wrong-doer for an action done under compulsion.

 

No Excuse in Fate for Sinners:

We believe that the sinner has no excuse in Allah's Divine Decree because he commits his sin by his freewill, without knowing that Allah has decreed it on him. That is, because no one knows Allah's decree before it takes place: "No soul knows what it will earn tomorrow." (31: 34) How can it be possible, then, to present an excuse that is not known to the person who is advancing it when he commits his offense? Allah invalidated this type of argument in His saying: "The idolaters will say 'Had Allah willed, we would not have been idolaters, neither our fathers, nor would we have forbidden anything.' So did the people before them disbelieve until they tasted our might. Say: 'Have you any [true] knowledge that you can produce for Us? You follow nothing but assumption, and you are but lying." (6:148) We say to the sinner who is using Divine Decree as an excuse: 'Why did not you perform deeds of obedience assuming that Allah has decreed them upon you since there is no difference between them and sins in being unknown before they happened from you? That is why when Prophet Muhammad told his companions that everyone's position in Paradise or Hell has been assigned, they said: "Should not we rely on this and stop working?" He said: "No, work and every one will be directed to what he is created for." (Bukhari & Muslim)

We may say to the sinner who is trying to find excuse in Divine Decree: "Suppose, you want to travel to Makkah. There are two roads that may take you there. You are told by a truthful person that one of these roads is dangerous and difficult, the other is easy and safe. You will take the second one. You will not take the first road and say it is decreed upon me. If you did, people would consider you crazy.

We may also say to him: "If you are offered two jobs, one of them is higher in salary. You will certainly take the one with the higher salary. Why then do you choose what is lower in the Hereafter and use Divine Decree as an excuse?"

We may further say to him: "We see you when you are inflicted with a disease, you knock every physician's door looking for treatment and bearing whatever pain that may result from surgical operations and the bitterness of medicine. Why do you not do the same when your heart is spiritually sick with sins?"
 

8) Fruits of Faith

This sublime belief which includes those great principles bears numerous and useful types of fruits for whoever believes in it.
 

Virtues of Belief in Allah:

Belief in Allah, His Names and His Attributes instills in the individual Allah's love and His glorification that result in performing Allah's instructions and avoiding His prohibition which are the means of achieving ultimate happiness in this life and the Hereafter for the individual as well as the society. "Whoever, male or female, does righteous deed, while believing, We shall assuredly grant him a goodly life, and We shall reward them according to the best of their deeds." (16:97)
 

Virtues of Belief in the Angels:

  1. Firstly, appreciating the Dignity of Allah, His might and His sovereignty.
  2. Secondly, gratitude toward Allah because He puts some of the angels in charge of His servants, recording their deeds and other things that benefit them.
  3. Thirdly, love and admiration for the angels because of what they are doing, namely, worshipping Allah in the best possible manner and praying for the believers.

 

Virtues of Belief in the Books:

  1. Firstly, appreciating Allah's mercy and care for His people in that He sent down a Book to every nation for their guidance.
  2. Secondly, appreciating Allah's Wisdom because He revealed in these Books to every nation what suit them. The glorious Qur'an is the final among these Books and it is suitable to all people at all times until the Day of Judgment.
  3. Thirdly, showing gratitude for Allah's mercy in revealing these Books.
     

Virtues of Belief in Messengers:

  1. Firstly, appreciating Allah's mercy and care for His people for sending them those great messengers to guide them to the straight Path.
  2. Secondly, thanking Allah for this great favor.
  3. Thirdly, loving and respecting the Prophets and praising them in what they deserve because they are Allah's messengers and His choice among His people. They worshipped Allah according to the best of their ability, conveyed His message to mankind, gave sincere advise to them and bore patiently whatever hurt they received.

 

Virtues of Belief in the Day of Judgment:

  1. Firstly, endeavoring to obey Allah to get the reward of that day and to avoid His disobedience for fear of His punishment.
  2. Secondly, a consolation for the believer for whatever he misses of worldly enjoyment by what he hopes to gain of blessings and reward of the Hereafter.
     

Virtues of Belief in Fate and Divine Decree:
 

  1. Firstly, dependence on Allah when doing any action because both the cause and effect are the result of Allah's decree.
  2. Secondly, ease of mind and comfort because when the individual knows that everything is by Allah's decree and that mishaps are going to take place anyway, his soul will be at ease and his heart will be satisfied with Allah's decree. No one has more comfortable life, worry-free soul, and stronger confidence than a believer in Fate.
  3. Thirdly, freedom from arrogance when a goal is achieved because this is a blessing from Allah through what He decreed of the causes of good and success. The individual should thank Allah for that and free himself from arrogance.
  4. Fourthly, freedom from worry and boredom in case of failure or mishap because that is by Allah's decree who possesses the Heavens and the Earth. Since that is going to happen anyway, the individual should be patient and hope for the reward from Allah.

Allah points to the last two virtues by the following verse: "No misfortune can happen on earth or in yourselves but is recorded in a decree before We bring it into existence, that is trivial for Allah; that you may not grieve for what escapes you, nor rejoice [excessively] in what has come to you. Allah does not love any vainglorious boaster." (57:22-3)

We pray to Allah, the Exalted, to reward us for this belief, to realize for us its fruits, to increase our blessings, to keep us on the Right Path to which He has guided us, and to bestow on us a blessing from Him, He is indeed the Giver. Praise and gratitude be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds and peace and blessings be on the Prophet Muhammad, his family, his Companions, and those who rightly follow them.

To learn more about the teachings of Islam, please read

  1. "Towards Understanding Islam," by Abul A`la Mawdudi
  2. "Concept of Islam," by Mahmoud Abu-Saud
  3. "Islam In Focus," by Hammudah Abdalati
  4. "The Key ot Ultimate Prosperity," by Muhammad Ameen C. Cave

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