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Let us be Muslims

Written by: by Sayyid Abul Ala Al-Mawdudi :: (View All Articles by: Sayyid Abul Ala Al-Mawdudi)

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: IMAN

Chapter 2. ISLAM

Chapter 3. SALAH (Prayer)

  • 'Ibadat

    • Meaning of 'Ibadat

    • Results of wrong meaning of 'Ibadat

    • 'Ibadat--Servitude throughout life

  • Salah

    • Comprehensive meaning of 'Ibadat

    • Benefits of Salah :

      • Consciousness of being slave

      • Sense of duty

      • Practice of obedience

      • Creating fear of God

      • Awareness of Divine Law

      • Practice of collectivism

    • What do you recite in Salah?

      • Adhan and its effects

      • Wudu'

      • Niyyat

      • Tasbih

      • Ta'awwudh

      • Bismillah

      • Hamd (Praise of Allah)

      • Different surahs of Qur'an :

        • Wal-'Asr

        • Humazah

        • Al-Ma'un

      • Ruku'

      • Sajdah

      • At-Tahiyyat

      • Salah

      • Dua

      • Salam

      • Dua-i-Qunut

      • Salah and character-building

  • Congregational prayers (Salah)

    • What qualities does Salah produce ?

    • Complete servitude not possible by one man alone

    • Not possible to fight alone with Satan

    • What is desired is compliance with order

    • Benefits of congregational prayers (Salah) :

      • Assembling on one call

      • Purposeful assembly

      • Mutual sympathy

      • Gathering for a sacred purpose

      • Brotherhood

      • Uniformity in movements

      • Prayers

      • Congregation under an Imam

    • Quality and significance of Imamat :

    • Conditions and rules of Imamat :

      • Pious and virtuous

      • Representative of majority

      • Sympathetic to followers

      • He should vacate if disabled

      • Complete obedience to Imam

      • Admonition of mistake

      • No obedience in sin

  • Why has Salah become ineffective ?

    • One example--clock

    • Aim of Muslim Ummah

    • Islamic orders are coherent like parts of clock

    • Joining disparates not useful

    • Those desirous of unexpected results

    • Real reason why religious practices are ineffective

    • Our deplorable condition

Chapter 4. FASTING

  • Fasting was made obligatory on every Ummah

    • Why fasting was made obligatory?

      • Aim of life-servitude

      • 'Ibadat--training of servitude

      • Fasting is a hidden 'Ibadat

      • Fasting --sign of strength of Iman

      • One month's continuous training

      • Long practice of obedience

      • Favorable collectives environment for training.

    • Where are the results of 'Ibadat now ?

  • The real purpose of fasting

    • A purpose for every work

    • Consequences of considering the outward as real Again freedom from restriction after Ramadan

    • Result of wrong conception of 'Ibadat

    • Fast, source of becoming pious

    • Real aims of fasting:

      • Abstention from lying

      • Faith and self-scrutiny

      • Shield for protection from sins

    • Temptation of goodness

    • Reward for providing Iftar

Chapter 5. ZAKAT

  • Zakat

    • Importance of Zakat

    • Meaning of Zakat

    • Zakat a test

    • Zakat obligatory on Ummahs of all prophets

    • Zakat imperative for Muslim ummah

    • Sign of believers : Salah and Zakat

    • Foundations of Islamic fraternity

    • Conditions of Allah's help

    • Warning to Muslims

    • Doom of defaulters of Zakat

  • The real position of Zakat

    • How nearness to Allah is achieved:

      • Test of Wisdom and prudence

      • Test of moral strength

      • Test obedience and dutifulness

      • Test of financial sacrifice

    • Qualities required for Hizbullah:

      • Must not be narrow--minded

      • Must be magnanimous

      • Must be large hearted

      • Must be of pure heart

      • Must spend even in poverty and adversity

      • Must be generous

      • Must remember Allah in all conditions

      • Must not assert obligation

      • Must not hoard wealth

      • Must not seek leave when required for cause of Allah

      • Must be wholeheartedly obedient in the way of Allah

      • Must not consider spending towards the cause of Allah as undue imposition

      • Must not be miserly

  • The place of Zakat in collective life

    • Allah?s attribute of beneficence

    • Why inculcation of Infaq? :

      • Man happens to be selfish

      • Results of selfish mentality

      • Individual welfare lies in collective welfare

    • Solution of problems

  • General injunctions about Infaq fi Sabilillah

    • Two kinds of directives--General and Special

    • General injunction for remembering Allah

    • Special injunction for remembrance of Allah

    • General injunction of Infaq fi Sabilillah

    • Special injunction for Infaq

    • Brief explanation of general injunction about Infaq :

      • (1) Three conditions for pursuing the right path

      • (2) Two ways of life

    • Modes of spending in the way of Allah

      • (1) Spending should be exclusively for the pleasure of God

      • (2) It should not be to assert favor

      • (3) Good things to be given

      • (4) Give secretly as far as possible

      • (5) Imbeciles not to be given beyond need

      • (6) Defaulters not to be harassed

      • (7) Moderation in almsgiving

    • Those deserving of help

  • Special injunctions for Zakat

    • Three injunctions about Zakat

    • Nisab of Zakat on some articles

    • Zakat on Jewellery

    • Those deserving of Zakat:

      • Fuqara

      • Masakin

      • Amilin alaiha

      • Muallafat-ul-Qulub

      • Fir-riqab

      • Al-Gharimin

      • Fi-Sabilillah

      • Ibn-us-Sabeel

    • To whom Zakat be given and to whom not?

    • Need for collective system of Zakat

Chapter 6. HAJJ

  • Hajj

    • Meaning of Hajj

    • Origin of Hajj

    • Conditions at the time of Abraham

    • Family of Abraham

    • Abraham's exonerative declaration

    • Mountain of calamities

    • Migration

    • Children and their training

    • The greatest of trials

    • Elevation to the Imamat of the world

    • Lot sent to Transjordan

    • Isaac settled in Palestine

    • Isma'il kept in Hejaz

    • Construction of Ka'ba

    • Supplication of Abraham and Ismail

  • History of Hajj

    • Custom of idol-worship among Abraham's descendants

    • How Hajj was mutilated

    • Competition of Poets

    • Demonstrations of fake generosity

    • Circumambulation in the nude

    • Concept of sacrifice

    • Sacrilege of sacred months

    • Some self-imposed restrictions

    • Abraham's prayer granted

    • Revival of Abraham's Sunnah

    • End of idol-worship

    • Prohibition of indecent acts

    • Poet's competitions brought to an end

    • End of ostentatious generosity

    • No spattering of blood and flesh of sacrificed animals

    • Prohibition of circumambulation in the state of nudity

    • Transposition of months of Hajj prohibited

    • Orders to take provision

    • Permission to earn livelihood during Hajj

    • End of customs of ignorance

    • Fixation of Meeqat

    • Instruction to maintain peaceful atmosphere

    • Only one slogan, Talbiyah

    • Importance of Hajj as an obligatory act of devotion

  • Benefits of Hajj

    • Nature of journey for Hajj

    • Inclination towards virtue and piety

    • Ihram and its conditions

    • Talbiyah

    • Tawaf-i-Ziarat

    • Sa'i between Safa and Marwah

    • Wuquf (stay) at Mina, 'Arafat and Muzdalifah

    • Rami Jimar

    • Blessing and effects of Hajj

    • Hajj--a collective 'Ibadat

  • Universal Assembly of Hajj

    • Fruits of Hajj

    • Animation in Muslim world

    • Growth of piety and virtuousness

    • Season of awakening of Islamic world

    • Inspiring spectacle of unity of Millat

    • One aim, assemblage at one centre

    • Greatest movement for establishment of peace

    • Only peace-centre in the world

    • Centre of real equality

    • Our lack of appreciation

    • Method of deriving full benefits from Hajj

Chapter 7. JIHAD

  • Jihad

    • Real objective of Islam

    • Root of evil--rotten political system

    • First step toward reform--improvement of government

    • Basis of ignoble government--man's rule over man

    • Basis of reform--God's lordship over man

    • Governance--a hard way

    • 'Ibadat--a training course

    • Blessings of Government run by God-conscious persons

  • Importance of Jihad

    • Meaning of Deen

    • There cannot be two Deens of a man

    • Every Deen wants power

    • A few examples

    • Deen of the Democracy

    • Deen of the Monarchy

    • Deen of the British

    • Deen of Islam

    • Importance of Jihad in Islam

    • Sign of recognizing a true Momin--Jihad

    • No change possible without struggle


THE ESSENTIALITY OF KNOWLEDGE FOR BEING A MUSLIM

The greatest favor of Allah

Brethren-in-Islam!

Every Muslim sincerely believes that the greatest boon of Allah in this world is Islam. He feels grateful to Him for having included him in the Ummah of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) and for having bestowed upon him the blessings of Islam. Allah Himself has reckoned this as His greatest boon to His servants as is mentioned in the Qur'an:

"This day have I perfected your deen (way of life) for you and completed My favour unto you, and have chosen for you Al-Islam as deen."

(Al-Qur'an 5:3)

 

Obligation for the favour

It is obligatory for you to render Allah His due because of the favour He has conferred on you. Whosoever does not render one his due for his favour, is an ungrateful person. And the worst possible ungratefulness on the part of man is to forget what he owes to God.

Now you may ask as to how can one render Allah His due for His favour to us? In reply I have to say that since Allah has included you in the Ummah of Muhammad (peace be on him) the best form of gratitude for this favour of His, is to become the sincere followers of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him). Since God has included you in the Muslim community the only way for you to reciprocate this kindness is to become full-fledged Muslims. In no other way can you render what is due to Allah for this immense favour by Him. And if you do not render this due, the punishment for this ungratefulness will be as great as is the favour of Allah. May Allah save all of us from this punishment! Amen.

 

First step to become Muslim

After this you will ask: how can a man become a Muslim in the true sense of the term? The answer to this question requires adequate details and I shall deal with each and every part of it with full elucidation in my lectures on coming Fridays. But in today's address, I shall explain to you that point which is of primary importance and which can be termed as the first and foremost step in this direction.

 

Is Muslim the name of a race?

Please strain your mind to think as to what actually does the word Muslim, you use, signify?

Does man bring Islam with him when he is born? Is a person Muslim because he is a son or grandson of a Muslim? Is a Muslim born as Muslim just as a Brahmin's son is born as Brahmin, or a Rajput's son as Rajput, or s Shudra's son as a Shudra? Is Muslim the name of a race or nation just as Englishmen? And just as a Jat is Jat because of being born in the Jat community, is a Muslim in the same way a Muslim for being born in a community which is called Muslim? What answers will you give to the questions, I have asked? You will surely reply: "No sir, such a man is not called Muslim. A Muslim is not a Muslim because of belonging to a particular racial group but because of accepting Islam, and if he renounces Islam, he ceases to be a Muslim. Any person who may be a Brahmin or a Rajput, an Englishman or a Jat, a Punjabi or a Negro, will be incorporated in the Muslim community on accepting Islam, while another person born in a Muslim home is expelled from the Muslim community if he gives up Islam, though he may be the son of a Sayyid or a Pathan".

Well, gentlemen! you will surely give the above answer to my questions. So now this fact has been established from your own answer that the greatest boon of God i.e., the boon of your being a Muslim, which you enjoy, is not a racial asset which you automatically inherit from your parents and which clings to you mechanically all your life whether you bother about it or not, but that it is a boon for acquiring which you must make efforts. If you make an endeavour for it then you can acquire it and if you don't care for it, it can also be snatched away from you. May God forbid.

 

Meaning of accepting Islam

Now let us go ahead. You say that a man becomes Muslim by accepting Islam. The question is : What does the acceptance of Islam signify? Does it mean that whoever makes a verbal profession: "I am Muslim or I have accepted Islam", becomes a Muslim? Or does it mean that just as a Brahmin worshipper recites a few mantras of Sanskrit without understanding them, if in the same way a man utters some phrases of Arabic without understanding them, he then and there becomes Muslim? Now you may tell what reply will you give to this question. Naturally you will answer that the meaning of accepting Islam is that a man should consciously, and deliberately accept what has been taught by Muhammad (peace be upon him) and act accordingly. Whosoever does this, is a Muslim and whosoever does not do this, is not a Muslim.

 

First requirement-knowledge

From this answer of yours the fact automatically comes to light that al-Islam is firstly the name of knowledge and then the name of putting that knowledge into practice. A man can be a Brahmin without having knowledge because he is born as a Brahmin and remains a Brahmin. So also a Jat can be Jat though he be bereft of knowledge because he is born as a Jat and remains a Jat all his life. But a man cannot become a Muslim without acquiring knowledge because he does not become a Muslim from birth but from knowledge. Unless he comes to know what is the teaching of Hazrat Muhammad (peace be upon him), how can he affirm faith in it and how can he act according to it? And if he has not affirmed faith knowingly and after full understanding of it, how can he become a Muslim? So it is clear that it is impossible to become a Muslim and remain a Muslim while in a state of ignorance. Whosoever is born in a Muslim home, bears a Muslim like name, dresses like a Muslim, and calls himself a Muslim, is in reality not a Muslim. But that person alone is a Muslim in the real sense who knows what Islam stands for and affirms faith in it with full consciousness. The real difference between a Kafir and a Muslim is not that of a name, that one is Ram Parshad and the other one is 'Abdullah, and so one is a Kafir and the other is a Muslim. Similarly, the real difference between a Kafir and a Muslim is not that of dress also, that one wears dhoti and the other pajamas, and so the former is a Kafir and the latter a Muslim. But the real difference between the two is that of knowledge. The one is a Kafir because he does not know what relation has God with him and what relation he was with God, and what is the right path for him to lead his life in the world in accordance with the wish of God. If a born Muslim too is ignorant in this respect, then tell me on what ground do you differentiate between him and a Kafir and why do you say that one is a Kafir and the other is a Muslim.

Gentlemen! Please listen carefully to the point I am stressing and reflect over it calmly. You must understand it thoroughly that to obtain or to be deprived of the greatest boon of Allah, on which you express thanks and gratefulness to Him, depends entirely on knowledge. If there is no knowledge, you cannot at all get this boon. Even if you have a little portion of it, then due to ignorance there is always the risk of losing the magnificent gift. The recipient, only due to simple-mindedness, will be under the impression that he is a Muslim while in fact he is not. The likeness of that person who is totally unaware of the difference between Islam and Kufr and the incongruity between Islam and Shirk, is as the likeness of one who is walking in darkness on a track. May be that while following a straight line his steps swerve to another path and he be unaware of this deviation from the right course. And it is also likely that he may meet a Dajjal on the way who may tell him: " O sonny! You have lost your way in darkness. Come, let me lead you to the destination". The poor wayfarer being enveloped in darkness cannot see with his own eyes as to which is the right path. Therefore unsophistically he will grasp the hand of Dajjal and the latter will lead him astray. These dangers are faced by the wayfarer for he very reason ha he himself does no possess any light and so is incapable of himself observing he road-marks. If he were endowed with light, he will obviously neither lose his way nor be led astray by another person. You may guess from this example that the greatest danger to a Muslim lies in his own ignorance of Islamic teaching and his unawareness of what the Qur'an teaches and what instructions were left by the Holy Prophet (peach be upon him). Due to lack of knowledge he will grope his way and will also be led astray by Dajjals. But if he is blessed with the light of knowledge he will be able to see the plain path of Islam at every step in his life, will discover and avoid the misleading paths of Kufr, Shirk, heresy and immorality, which will intercept him, and whenever an inveigler will meet him on the way he will realize after exchanging a few words with him that he is an evil force and so he should followed.

 

Importance of knowledge

Brethren! On this knowledge, the necessity of which I am explaining to you, depends yours and your children's being Muslims and remaining as Muslims. This is not an ordinary thing which may be neglected. You do not show any carelessness in cultivating your land, in irrigating and protecting your crops, in supplying fodder to your cattle and in other work of your profession, simply because if you do so you will be starved to death and will lose a precious thing like life. Then tell me why do you show negligence in acquiring that knowledge on which depends your becoming a Muslim and remaining a Muslim. Does not this entail the danger of losing a precious thing like Iman? Is not Iman dearer than life? Out of the time and labour you spend on things which sustain your life, can you not spend one-tenth part of them on things which protect your Imam?

I do not say that everyone of you should become a Maulvi, read voluminous books and spend ten to twelve years of your life in this pursuit. It is not necessary to read so much to become a Muslim. I only want this much that each one of you should spend only one hour out of the twenty-four hours of day and night in acquiring the knowledge of Deen. At least that much knowledge should be acquired by every Muslim youth, adult and old person as may enable him to understand the essence of the teaching of Qur'an and the purpose for which it was revealed. He should be able to clearly understand the mission of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) with which he came into this world. What was the wrong he wanted to be demolished and what was the right he wished to be established? He should also get acquainted with that particular mode of life which Allah has ordained for Muslims. Not much time is required to acquire this quantum of knowledge. And if Iman is dear to you, it is not so difficult to find one hour per day to acquire it.


THE REAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MUSLIM AND A 'KAFIR'

 

Why is there difference between a Muslim and a 'Kafir'?

Brethren-in-Islam!

Every Muslim personally believes and you too must be surely believing alike, ha a Muslim's rank is higher than of a Kafir. God likes a Muslim and dislikes a Kafir. A Muslim will get salvation from God while a Kafir will not. A Muslim will go to Paradise and a Kafir will go to Hell. Today I want you to ponder over this matter as to why should there be so much difference between a Muslim and a Kafir? A Kafir is as much an offspring of Adam as you are. He too possesses hands, feet, eyes and ears as you possess. He too, like you, breathes the same air, drinks the same water, inhabits the same land as you do. That very God Who created you, created him also. Then why is his rank low and yours high? Why will you get Paradise and why will he be thrown into Hell?

 

Is the difference only nominal?

This is a point to be thought over deeply. Such a big difference between man and man cannot be simply due to the fact that you are called by names like 'Abdullah' and 'Abdur-Rehman' and he is called by names like Deen Dayal, Kartar Singh and Robertson, or that you get circumcised and he does not, or that you eat meat and he shuns it. The Almighty Allah Who has created all human beings and is the Sustainer of all of them cannot be so cruel as to discriminate between his creatures on such petty grounds and send one slave of His to Heaven and another to Hell.

 

Real difference---Islam and 'Kufr'

When the position is not like this, then think out what is the actual difference between the two? The answer to it is only one and it is this that the real difference between the two is due to Islam and Kufr. The meaning of Islam is obedience to God while he meaning of Kufr is disobedience to God. Muslim and Kafir are both human beings; both are slaves of God. But one human being becomes superior for the reason that he recognizes his Master, obeys His orders and fears the consequences of disobeying Him, while the other human being falls from the high rank because he does not recognize his Master and does not carry out His orders. This is why God is pleased with Muslims and displeased with unbelievers. He promises award of Heaven to Muslims and warns unbelievers that they will be consigned to Hell.

 

Cause of difference---knowledge and deeds

From this it is clear that there are two things which separate Muslims and Kafirs. One is knowledge and the other, deeds. That is, in the first place, one should know who is his Master, what are His orders, what is the method to follow His wishes, which deeds please Him and which displease Him? Then when these things become known, the second step is that man should make himself a slave of his Master, carry out what He desires, and give up own wishes. If his heart desires to do a certain act and the Master's order is against it, he should pay no heed to his heart's desire and carry out his Master's order. If a work appears as noble to him and the Master says that it is ignoble, he must also consider it ignoble. And if another work appears ignoble to him but the Master says it is noble he too must consider it good. If he sees harm in a certain work but since the Master says that it must be done, he must in any case do it though it my entail him any amount of loss in life and property. As against this, if he expects profit in some other work but the Master forbids him from undertaking it, he must never, touch it though it may bring him even the wealth of the whole world.

This is the knowledge and conduct by which a Muslim becomes a true servant of God, on whom He sends His blessing and to whom He awards honour and dignity. Contrarily, since a Kafir does not possess this knowledge, he is listed as God's disobedient slave and is deprived by God of His blessings.

Now you should yourself consider with justice that if a man who calls himself Muslim is as ignorant and disobedient as a Kafir, how can he be superior to the latter merely on the basis of bearing a different name, wearing a different dress and eating a different food? Also on what basis is he entitled to the blessing of God in this world and in the Hereafter? Islam is not akin to a race or family or brotherhood which is automatically bequeathed from father to son and from son to grandson. It is not the case here that a Brahmin's son, however, ignorant and of bad conduct he may be, will command a lofty status just because he is born in a Brahmin's home and belongs to the high caste, while the son of a scheduled caste, however will remain in the low strata because he is born in a scheduled caste home and is a menial. On this point God has explicitly stated in His book:

" In reality the most honoured among you, in the sight of Allah, is he who is most pious.

(Al-Qur'an 49:13)

That is, the more one knows God and the more one obeys His commandments, the more honourable is he in the sight of God. Hazrat Ibrahim (Abraham) was born in the home of an idolater, but he came to know God and obeyed Him. That is why God made him Imam of the whole world.The son of Noah was born in a prophet's home but he did not understand God and disobeyed Him. That is why God did not care at all for his family and gave such a punishment to him that it became an object-lesson for the world. Therefore, please understand thoroughly that whatever difference is there in the sight of Allah between man and man, it is in relation to knowledge and deeds. Both in this world and the Hereafter God's blessing is served for those who understand Him, know the right path shown by Him and carry out His commandments. Those who do not have this quality, though their names may be 'Abdullah and 'Abdur Rahman' or Deen Dayal or Kartar Singh, there is no difference between these two sets in the sight of God and they are not entitled to His blessing.

 

Why are Muslims humiliated today?

Brethren! You call yourselves Muslims and it is your conviction that God showers His blessing on Muslims. But open your eyes and see if God's blessing is descending on you? Whatever will happen in the Hereafter will be seen by you afterwards, but have a look at your condition in this world. You are nine crore in this land of Hindustan. You are in such great number that if each of you were to throw a pebble it will become a mountain. But where there are so many Muslims, the government is in the hands of unbelievers. Your necks are in their grip to turn you whichever side they like; your head which did not bowed before anybody except Allah is now bowed before human beings. Your honour which no one dared to touch is now being besmeared with dust. Your hand which was always above is now lowered and is stretched before a Kafir. Ignorance, poverty and indebtedness have subjected you to disgrace everywhere.

Is this the blessing of God? If this is not blessing but obvious wrath, then how strange it is that these are Muslims and yet on them descends the wrath of God! These are Muslims and are yet wallowing in disgrace. These are Muslims and are yet in slavery! This situation appears to be an impossibility just as it is impossible for an object to be both white and black. Since a Muslim is the loved one of God, how can he be disgraced in this world? Is your God (may Allah forbid) an oppressor that while you, on your part, acknowledge His due to you and obey His orders, He makes the disobedient ones rule over you, and gives you punishment for your obedience to Him? If it is an article of faith with you that God is not an oppressor and if you believe that the reward of obedience to God can never be in the shape of disgrace, then you will have to concede that there is something wrong in your claim of being a Muslim. Though your name is surely entered as a Muslim in government papers but God does not pass judgment on the authenticity of the office of the British Government. God maintains His own office. You will have to search in His list to find whether your name is entered among His obedient or disobedient servants?

God sent you His Book so that by reading it you may know Him and learn the way of obeying Him. Did you ever try to find out what is written in it? God sent His Prophet to you to teach you the method of becoming Muslim. Did you ever try to find out what His prophet has taught? God showed you the way to attain honour and dignity in this world and the Hereafter. Do you follow that way? God very explicitly informed you as to what are those works which debase man in this world and the Hereafter. Do you avoid such works? Say what answer have you to these questions? If you admit that you neither obtained knowledge from God's Book and His Prophet's life nor followed the way shown by Him, then how did you become Muslim to merit His reward? The reward you are getting is proportionate to the degree of your being Muslim and you will get a like reward in the Hereafter too!

I have stated before that there is absolutely no difference between a Muslim and a Kafir except in the matter of knowledge and deeds. If thee knowledge and deeds of a man are similar to those of a Kafir, and yet he calls himself a Muslim, he speaks a blatant lie. A Kafir does not read the Qur'an and does not know what is written therein. If similar is the condition of a Muslim, why should he be called a Muslim? A Kafir does not know what is the teaching of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and what straight path he has shown to reach God. If a Muslim is equally ignorant of this, how is he a Muslim? A Kafir follows his own desire instead of following the command of God. If a Muslim too, like him, is headstrong and unbridled, and a follower of his own ideas and opinion, indifferent to God and is a slave of lust, then what right has he to call himself a Muslim (obedient slave of God)? A Kafir does not discriminate between Halal and Haram and takes to anything which to him is beneficial and full of relish, no matter whether it is Halal or Haram in the sight God. If a Muslim's behaviour is the same as that of a non-Muslim, what difference is there between him and a Kafir? In short, if a Muslim is as much devoid of knowledge about Islam as a Kafir is and if a Muslim does all those things which a Kafir does, then why should he be considered superior as compared to a Kafir? This is a matter on which we should all ponder cool-mindedly.

 

A matter for serious consideration

My dear brethren! Please do not think that I am out to brand Muslims as unbelievers. No, this is not my aim at all. I myself ponder and want that everyone of us should think for himself as to why at all are we deprived of the blessing of God? Why are we the target of calamities from all sides? Why those whom we call Kafir, i.e. disobedient slaves of God, are everywhere dominating over us? And why we, who claim to be His obedient slaves, are being subjugated everywhere? The more I pondered over the reason of this situation the more I got convinced that the only difference now left between us and unbelievers is that of mere name, otherwise we too are in no way behind them in neglect of God, in being unafraid of Him and in being disobedient to Him. There is of course, a light difference between us and them but this difference does not entitle us to any reward. Infect, it make us deserving of punishment because we know that the Qur'an is the Book of God and yet we treat it as a Kafir treats it. We know that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the Prophet of Allah and yet we are scared of following him as is a Kafir scared. We know that God has cursed a liar, He has positively declared Hell as an abode of bribe-takers and bribe-givers. He has pronounced interest-takers and interest-givers as the worst criminals, He has termed backbiting as like eating a brother's flesh, He has warned that obscenity, lewdness and debauchery will meet with dire punishment. But even knowing all this, we freely indulge in all these vices like the unbelievers as if we have absolutely no fear of God. This is why we are not rewarded as we are Muslims by appearance only as compared to the unbelievers. The fact of unbelievers ruling over us and our humiliations on every occasion at their hands, are expressive of the punishment of the crime that a boon like Islam was bestowed on us and we did not value it.

Dear brethren! Whatever I have said today in my lecture is not intended to blame you. I have not come as a censurer. My aim is to make you keen to recover what has been lost. The anxiety to regain a lost asset arises when a man realizes what actually he has lost and how valuable it was. That is why I try to awaken you. If you are aroused and understand that in reality a highly-precious object was in your possession, then you will think about regaining it.

 

Keenness to acquire knowledge

I had told you in my previous lecture that to become a real Muslim the foremost requisite is knowledge of Islam. Every Muslim ought to know what is the teaching of the Qur'an, what system was followed by the Holy Prophet, what is Islam, and what are those things which really differentiate Islam from Kufr. Nobody can be a Muslim without this knowledge. But it is a pity that you are not keen to acquire this very knowledge. This shows that still you do not realize what great boon you are deprived of. My brethren! A mother does not give milk to her child until he cries and demands it. When a man feels thirsty he himself searches for water and God produces also water for him.

When you yourself are not thirsty for water it will be useless even if a spring brimming with water were to come before you. You ought to first understand yourself what a great loss you are incurring by remaining ignorant of Deen. The Book of God is with you but you do not know what is written in it. What a greater loss can there be than this? You do not know even the meaning of Kalima by reciting which you enter Islam, nor do you know what responsibilities devolve on you soon after reciting this Kalima. Can there be a greater loss than this for a Muslim? You know the loss caused if crops are burnt; you know the suffering due to failure to obtain livelihood; you know the harm resulting from loss of property, but you do not know the loss of being unaware of Islam. When you will realize this loss then you will yourself come and ask to be saved from this loss. And when you will yourself make this request then Insha-Allah (may God will it so) arrangement will be made to protect you from this loss.


POINTS TO PONDER

Our treatment with the Qur'an

Brethren-in-Islam! 

Muslim are the only fortunate people in the world today who have with them the Word of God completely preserved, free from interpolation and precisely in the same wording in which it was revealed to the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him). And these very Muslims are those unfortunate people in the world who have the Word of God with them and are yet deprived of its blessings and its countless boons. The Qur'an was sent to them that they would read it, understand it and act upon it, and, with its help, would establish on God's earth a state which will function according to the law of God. The Qur'an came to grant them dignity and power. It came to make them real vicegerents of God on the earth. And History testifies that when they acted according to its directions, it demonstrated its power making them Imam and leader of the world. But now for them its utility is confined to keeping it in the house in order to drive away demons and ghosts, to inscribe its verses on paper and hang it round the neck or wash it in water and drink it, and read the contents unintelligibly to get some blessing. Now they do not seek guidance from it in the affairs of their life. They do not consult it to know what should be our beliefs, what should be our deeds, how should we conduct transactions, what law should we follow in contracting friendship and making enmity, what are the rights on us of our fellow-beings and of our own selves, what is truth for us and what is falsehood, whom should we obey and whom to disobey, with whom should we maintain relation and with whom not, who is our friend and who is our enemy, wherein are honour, well-being and benefit for us and wherein lies disgrace, failure and loss? Muslims have given up ascertaining all these verities from the Qur'an. Now they ask these things from unbelievers, polytheists, misguided and selfish people and from the evil force in their own souls, and follow what these elements advise. Therefore what invariably happens on ignoring God and following the precepts of others, happened to them too, and they are reaping it today in Hindustan, China, Java, Palestine, Syria, Algeria, Morocco and every where. As for the Qur'an, it is the fountainhead of supreme good. It will impart whatever and as much beneficence you seek from it. If you seek from it such, trivial, frivolous and spurious things as scaring away demons and ghosts, cure for cough and fever, success in litigation and securing of job, then you will get only these things. If you seek leadership of the world and rulership of the universe you will get that also. And if you wish to reach the pinnacle of spiritual glory, the Qur'an will take you there also. This is just a question of your own capability that you ask for two drops from the ocean, otherwise the ocean is ready to give you a gift as big as the ocean.

Gentlemen! The cruel jokes which our brother-Muslims play with the Holy Book of Allah are so ridiculous that if they themselves see anyone else doing such frolics in any other matter, they will laugh at him and even brand him as a lunatic. Tell me if somebody got a prescription written by a doctor and hung it by the neck after wrapping it in a piece of cloth or washed it in water and drank it, then what would you say about it? Will you not laugh at it, and will you not call him a fool? But this very treatment is being meted out before your eyes to the matchless prescription written by the greatest of all doctors for the merciful cure of all your ailments, and nobody laughs at it! No one tries to understand that a prescription is not an article to be hung round the neck or soaked in water and drunk, but that its purpose is to use the medicine as directed by it.

 

 

It is imperative to understand and follow Qur'an

Tell me if anyone being ill takes up the study of a book on Medicine thinking that by reading it he will get rid of his disease, what will you say about such a man? Will you not say that he is off his head and so should be sent to a lunatic asylum? But you mete out a similar treatment to the book which the Supreme Healer has sent for the cure of your diseases? You read it and think that just by scanning it all the diseases will disappear, and that it is not necessary to follow the directions given in it, nor is it essential to abstain from things which it pronounces as injurious. Then why do you not pass the same judgment about yourself which you pronounce about that man who considers mere reading of a book on Medicine as an enough cure for a disease?

If you receive a letter in a language you do not know, you run to a man who knows that language to learn its contents. You do not feel at ease until you come to know the contents. This is how you deal with letters of business which may bring you some paltry profit. But the letter sent to you by the Lord of the World describing all the benefits for you in this life and the life Hereafter is carelessly set aside without comprehending it. You do not show any keenness to understand its purport. Is this not a matter of astonishment and surprise?

 

Result of injustice to Allah's Book

I am not telling these things for amusement. If you ponder over these facts, your heart will testify that the greatest possible injustice in this world is being done to this book of Allah and the oppressors are the very people who assert that they have faith in it and are ready to sacrifice their life for it. No doubt they have faith in it and regard it dearer than life, but the pity is that it is they who do the greatest injustice to it. And the result of perpetrating injustice on Allah's Book is obvious! Please understand the fact thoroughly that Allah's Word is not sent to man to embroil him into ill fortune, misery and suffering.

"We have not revealed this Qur'an that you should fall into distress."

(Al-Qur'an 20:1-2)

The Qur'an is a fountainhead of auspiciousness and good fortune, not a source of viciousness and wretchedness. It is absolutely impossible that a nation be possessor of God's Word and yet wallow in misery in this world, suffer under the yoke of others, be trampled and kicked, have its neck caught in the knot of slavery of others who lead it by the nose like animals in whichever direction they like. A nation meets this doom only when it commits injustice to the Word of God. The doom of Beni Israel is before you. Taurat and Injeel were sent to them and it was said:

" If they had observed the Torah and the Gospel and that which was revealed unto them from their Lord, they would surely have been nourished from beneath their feet.

(Al-Qur'an 5:66)

But they did injustice to thee Book of Allah and aw it consequence:-

"And humiliation and wretchedness were stamped upon them and they were visited with wrath from Allah. That was because they disbelieved in Allah's revelations and slew the prophets wrongfully. That was for their disobedience and transgression."

(Al-Qur'an 2:61)

Therefore if a nation possesses God's book and is still humiliated and subjugated, then you take it that it is surely doing injustice to Allah's Word and all this punishment is the result of this injustice. There is no other way to be saved from this wrath of Allah than to give up doing injustice to it and trying to render it its due. If you do not recoil from this stupendous sin, your condition will never change though you may open colleges in each and every village, all your children may turn out as graduates, and you may become, like the Jews, millionaires through usury.

 

Who is called a Muslim?

Gentlemen! The foremost thing every Muslim ought to know is : Who is called a Muslim and what is the meaning of a "Muslim"? If a human being fails to know what humanity is and what difference is there between man and animal, he would naturally indulge in beastly acts and would not value his being a man. Similarly, if person does not know what is the true significance of his being a Muslim and how is a Muslim to be distinguished from a non-Muslim, he will behave as a non-Muslim and will not feel the prestige of being a Muslim. Therefore, every Muslim and the child of every Muslim ought to be taught the significance of calling himself a Muslim, what difference takes place in his position as soon as he becomes a Muslim, what responsibility devolves on him and what are the limits of Islam within which a man remains a Muslim and by transgressing which he ceases to be a Muslim, though he may be verbally styling himself as a Muslim.

 

Meaning of Islam

The meaning of Islam is : Obedience and dutifulness to God. To give over oneself to God is Islam. To relinquish one's freedom and independence in favour of God is Islam. To surrender oneself before the authority and sovereignty of God is Islam. One who entrusts all his affairs to God is a Muslim, and one who keeps his affairs in his own hands or entrusts them to someone else than God is not a Muslim. To hand over one's affairs to God means to accept the guidance sent by God through His books as well as His messenger and to refrain from raising the slightest objection to it. Further, it is essential to follow only Qur'an and Prophet's Sunnah in every problem of life. Again, only that person is a Muslim who puts back his own wisdom, worldly customs and everybody's advice except that of God, and consults in every matter God's book and the sayings of the Holy Prophet to know what he should do and what not to do, and accepts without demur whatever guidance he gets from there and rejects whatever guidance he gets from there and rejects whatever he finds opposed to it because he has wholly entrusted himself to God and this very act of total entrustment to God amounts to being a "Muslim". In contrast to this, a person is certainly not a Muslim who does not depend on the Qur'an and the Holy Prophet's Sunnah but carries out the dictates of his mind or follows the practice descending from his forefathers, or conforms to what is happening in the world without caring to ascertain from the Qur'an and Sunnah as to how to handle his affairs, or if he comes to know the specific instructions of the Qur'an and Sunnah and reacts to it by saying: "It does not appeal to my intellect, so I will not accept it; or my forefathers have been pursuing an opposite course, so I will not follow these instructions, or the practice of the world is opposed to it, so I will follow that practice only". Such a person is a liar if he calls himself a Muslim.

 

Duties of a Muslim

When you recite the Kalima : La ilaha illallah Muhammadur Rasulullah, it amounts to your simultaneous affirmation that the only law for you is the Law of God, your sovereign is only God, your ruler is only God, you have to obey only God, and only that thing is true and right for you which is vouchsafed through God's book and His messenger. This means that you relinquished your independence in favour of God as soon as you became a Muslim. Consequently you have forfeited your right to say now: "My opinion is this, the practice in the world is this, the family custom is this, that gentleman and that holy person advises like this". In the face of Allah's Word and His messenger's Sunnah, you cannot put forward such excuses. Now your duty is to judge everything in the light of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Accept what is in conformity with these and throw overboard what goes counter to these, irrespective of its being anybody's order or anybody's practice. It is an exercise in contradiction to call oneself a Muslim on the one hand, and, on the other, give preference to one's opinion, or worldly custom, or any person's word or action over and above the Qur'an and Sunnah. Just as a blind man cannot say he has eyes, nor can a noseless person claim to have nose, in the same way no such person can call himself a Muslim who refuses to subordinate all the affairs of his life to the dictates of the Qur'an and Sunnah and flaunts his wisdom, or worldly custom, or any human being's saying and practice, in preference to God's injunctions and His messenger's advice.

Whoever does not want to be a Muslim cannot be compelled by anybody to act against his will. He is free to adopt any religion he likes and call himself by any name he prefers. But, having called himself a Muslim, he must fully understand that he can remain a Muslim as long as he is within the bounds of Islam. The bounds of Islam are : to accept the Word of God and His messenger's Sunnah as the criterion of Truth and Justice, and to regard everything opposed to it as false. Whoever remains within these bounds is a Muslim and whoever transgresses them gets expelled from Islam. And if even after this expulsion he considers himself a Muslim and announces that he is a Muslim, he deceives his own self and the world too.

" Whoso judges not by the law which Allah has revealed : Such are disbelievers.

(Al-Qur'an 5:44 )


THE MEANING OF KALIMA TAYYIBA

Brethren-in-Islam!

You know that a man becomes a Muslim by reciting a formula which is very elaborate but consists of a few words only : La Illaha Illallah Muhammadur Rasullullah.

" There is no god but God: Muhammad is the Prophet of God".

On uttering these words called Kalima a man undergoes a remarkable transformation. From a Kafir he turns into a Muslim. He was impure before and now he is pure. From being liable to Divine wrath, he becomes a beloved of God. He was destined for Hell before but now the gates of heaven are open for him. The process does not end here. Due to this Kalima a great change takes place between man and man. Those who recite it are consolidated into one community, while those who reject it constitute another community. If a father recites it and his son refuses to do so, the father is no longer a father and the son no longer a son. The son will not inherit the property of the father. Even his mother and sister will observe pardah and keep away from him. If an outsider who recites the Kalima marries a daughter of a Muslim family, he and his children will get inheritance from that family but, in contrast to it, a son born in a Muslim family loses all relationship with that family because of refusal to believe in the Kalima. This indicates that the Kalima is a phenomenon which conjoins one stranger with another and cuts asunder one relative from another. The power of this Kalima is so strong that it supersedes blood and family relationships.

 

Why such a big difference?

Now consider this point as to why should such a big difference occur between man and man? What is there in the Kalima? It contains a few letters only like, K.A.L.I. and some letters more. If these letters are joined together and expressed from the mouth, does it work like magic so as to produce such a radical change in a man? Can such a small thing create a difference of heaven and earth between man and man. My brethren! With a little sense of understanding your mind will itself tell you that mere opening the mouth and uttering a few syllables can never produce such a big effect. Idol-worshipping atheists no doubt believe that by reciting a Mantra a mountain can be moved, earth can be split and fountain can gush out of it, though nobody knows the meaning of that Mantra. This is because they believe that all the charm lies in alphabets. No sooner these come out of the mouth, the gates of magic are thrown open. Not so in Islam. Here the principal thing is the meaning. The effect of words lies in the meaning. If they have no meaning and do not go deep into the heart, and if they do not produce a powerful impact so as to effect a change in your thoughts, in your morals and in your actions, then an utterance of mere words will be totally ineffectual.

I would like to explain this point by a simple example. Suppose you are shivering in the cold weather and if you start shouting: Cotton, quilt, cotton, quilt, the effect of cold will not be lessened though you may count the whole night these words a million times on the beads or a rosary. Of course, if you prepare a quilt stuffed with cotton and cover your body with it, the effect of cold will stop. Or suppose you feel thirsty and shout the whole day water, water, your thirst will never be quenched. Of course, if you get hold of water and take a draught, all the rigour of thirst will subside. Or, again suppose you are suffering from cold and fever and you go on just chanting for a remedy only the names of these herbs which are boiled and drunk to cure it. Obviously, you will never recover, but if you actually boil these herbs and drink their decoction, fever and cold will disappear. This is exactly the position of the Kalima. A mere verbal expression of six or seven words cannot bring about such a big change as to transform a Kafir into a Muslim, or an impure person into a pure one, or a damned person into a beloved one, or an infernal creature into a heavenly being. This metamorphosis is only possible when you first grasp the meaning of these words and then make it permeate your mind. Then when you them while understanding their meaning, you should fully realise what a big commitment you are making before your God before the whole world as also what a great responsibility is devolving on you as a result of this declaration. Then after an understanding of the implications involved in this affirmation, it must control your entire life with the result that no idea opposed to this Kalima should enter your mind. Then you must irrevocably decide for all times that whatever runs counter to the Kalima is false and the Kalima alone is true. Then this Kalima must reign supreme in all affairs of your life. After affirming this Kalima you will not be free, like the unbelievers, to do as you like. Now being bound by this Kalima, you will have to follow its dictate and shun what it forbids. If an affirmation of the Kalima is made in this manner, a man becomes a true Muslim. Through such a process alone that big difference occurs between man and man I have just told you about.

 

Purport of ' Kalima'

Now let me tell you the purport of the Kalima as also what actually does a man affirm by reciting it and what obligations devolve on him after this affirmation ?

The meaning of Kalima is that there is no god save Allah and Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the Messenger of Allah. The word " Allah " found in the Kalima means God. Now, that being is called God Who is Master, Creator, Nourisher, and Sustainer, Who listens to our prayers and grants them, and Who is worthy of our worship. Now that you have said : La ilaha illallah, it would mean that, firstly, you have acknowledged that this world has not come into being without the creative power of God, nor is it a fact that it has many gods. Actually, it does have a God and that God is just one, and there is no other being except Him Who wields Divine power. Secondly the other point which you affirmed on reciting the Kalima is that this very God Who is your God, is also God of the whole world. Each and every thing owned by you and by the world belongs to Him. It is He Who is the Creator and the Nourisher. Life and death are under His command. Trouble and comfort are also from Him. Whatever one gets, is really given by Him. Whatever is taken away from anybody, is in reality due to His command. He alone should be feared. He alone should be entreated to fulfil our needs. Before Him alone we should bow our heads. He alone deserves to be worshipped. We are not slaves or servants of anybody save Him, nor is anyone our Master or Sovereign. Our real duty is to exclusively comply with His orders and obey His laws.

 

Covenant with Allah

This is the covenant which you make with Allah as soon as you recite La ilaha illallah, and in so doing you make the whole world your witness. If you violate this covenant, your hand and feet, the minutest hair on your body and every particle of the earth and the heaven before which you made that fake declaration, will render evidence against you in the court of Allah where you will be in the dock in such a helpless condition that not a single defense witness will be available to you. No Advocate or Barrister will be there to plead your case. In fact, Advocates and Barristers, who in the court of this world used to play ducks and drakes with law, will themselves be standing there like you in the same helpless condition. That court is not such as would acquit you on the basis of wrong pleading, perjury and production of forged documents. You can hide your crimes from the Police of this world but you cannot do so from the Police of God. The Police of this world takes bribe but Allah's Police is not corrupt. A witness of this world can give false evidence but Allah's witnesses are inviolably truthful. The rulers of this world can commit injustice but Allah is not a ruler Who would do any injustice. And then there is no escape from the jail where Allah imprisons the culprits. It is a great folly, may the greatest of all follies to enter into false covenant with Allah. While making the covenant, think thoroughly over it and then scrupulously fulfil it, otherwise there is no compulsion on you that you should willy-nilly make a verbal affirmation, because an empty and hollow assertion is quite useless.

 

Acceptance of Prophet's guidance

After (La ilaha illallah) you recite (Muhammadur Rasulullah) which means that you accept Muhammad (peace be upon him) as the Prophet through whom Allah has sent you His legal code. After acknowledging Allah as our Master and Sovereign it was necessary to know what are is Commandments. What deeds should we perform so as to please Him and from which deeds should we refrain to avoid His displeasure. What should be the law of life for us by following which we can merit His forgiveness, and that by violating which law will He punish us? God appointed Muhammad (peace be upon him) as His messenger to explain all these points and sent His book through him. The Prophet led his life according to His commandments and thus showed the pattern for Muslims to lead their life. So, when you say, (Muhammadur Rasulullah) you undertake to follow the law and system shown by him and to spurn the system opposed to it. If after making this affirmation you abandoned the law brought by the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and followed the law prevalent in the world, there would be no bigger a liar and more dishonest a person than you because you had entered Islam on making this affirmation that the law brought by the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) is the only true law and that you will faithfully follow it. It was on the merit of this affirmation that you became brothers unto Muslims, you got inheritance from your Muslim father, you were married to a Muslim woman, your children became your legitimate progeny, you secured the right to have all Muslims stand by you for help, give you Zakat and become responsible for the protection of your life, property, honour and dignity. And if, in spite of all this, you break your word, can there be a greater dishonesty in the world than this? If you know the meaning of (La ilaha illallah Muhammadur Rasulullah) and express faith in it with a full understanding of its meaning, then you must, in any case, comply with the laws of God even though any Police or court forcing you to do so may not be visible in this world. If anybody thinks that it is easy to break the laws of God because God's Police, army, court and jail are not to be found anywhere, and that since there exist the Police, army, court and jail of the Government, it is difficult to break their laws, I would clearly say about such a person that he has made a false affirmation of (La ilaha illallah Muhammadur Rasulullah). He has actually duped his God, the whole world, all the Muslims and his own self.

 

Responsibilities accruing from affirmation

BRETHREN and friends! I have just now explained to you the meaning of Kalima. Now in this very context I wish to draw your attention to one more aspect of the proposition.

You admit that Allah is your Master as well as Master of everything. What does this mean? It means that your life is not yours but is the property of God. Your hands are not yours, nor do your eyes, your ears and every limb of your body belong to you. The earth you plough, the animals in your service, the wealth and goods from which you derive benefit--none of these is your own. Each and everything is owned by God, and has been given to you as a trust. After affirming this fact, what right have you to assert that "life is mine, the body is mine, wealth is mine, that thing is mine and this thing is mine"? To assert your ownership after having said that some other being is the owner, is a totally absurd thing. If you sincerely believe that God is the Owner of all these things, then two things becomes automatically obligatory on you. The one is that when the owner is God and He has made you a trustee of His goods then you must make use of these goods strictly in accordance with the instructions of the Master. If you utilize them against His wish, then it is sheer cheating. You have not the right even to move your hands and feet against His wish. You cannot put into your stomach anything against His command. You possess no right over these lands and properties against the wish of their Master. Your wives and children, whom you say are yours, are only yours because they were given to you by your Master. Therefore even with them your treatment will be not as you desire but as directed by Him. If you contravened His directions, your position will be that of a usurper. Just as you call that person dishonest who takes hold of other people's land, in the same way that epithet will apply to you if you consider the gifts of God as your own property and, as such, utilize them according to your own wish or according to the wish of someone other than God. If you incur a loss by acting according to the wish of the Master, let it be so. You should ever mind if life is lost, hands and feet are broken, children are lost and if money and property are destroyed. Why should you be grieved at all? If the owner himself desires loss of his things, it is perfectly within his right. Of course if you act against the wish of the Master and incur a loss, then you will undoubtedly be guilty because you have spoiled some other's property. You are not the master of your soul. If you give your life according to the Master's wish you will only be fulfilling your obligation towards Him. If you give your life while working against Him, it will be an act of dishonesty.

 

Acceptance of Islam is no favour to God

Further, if a thing given to you by your Master is used by you for the work entrusted to you by Him, you are doing favour to none, neither to the Master nor to anybody else. If for His asked, you have given away anything or done service or sacrificed your life---which t you is a very big thing even then you did not favour to anybody. The outmost you have done is this much that you have acquitted yourself of favour done to you by your Master. Is this an achievement to be proud of and worthy of praise on the basis of which a person's greatness has to be acknowledged? Please remember that a true Muslim never feels elated for spending something in the way of his Master or doing some service to him. On the other hand, he develops more humility. Pride destroys an act of goodness. Whoever seeks praise, and does any good work in order to earn encomium, loses his right to receive any reward from God because he sought recompense for his work in this world and has already received it here.

 

Allah's favour and our behaviour

Brethren ! Look at the favour of your Master. He takes from you things which belong to Him and yet says: " I have purchased this thing from you and I shall pay you for it". Allah-o-Akbar (be glory to Allah). What an unbounded munificence it is! The Qur'an says:

"Lo! Allah hath bought from the believers their lives and their wealth in return for the Paradise which will be theirs."( 9 : 3 )

This is the attitude of the Master towards you. And now look at your behaviour. You sell away a thing to others which was given to you by your Master and which He had also bought back from you against payment. And this selling is done for a paltry compensation. The buyers take work from you against the wishes of the Master and you serve them thinking that they are your sustainers. You sell them your brains, your hands ad feet, the energy of your body and all that which these rebels of God want to buy. Can there be a greater moral turpitude than this. To sell a thing already sold out is a legal and moral crime. Those guilty of such crimes are tried in this world's courts for cheating and fraud. Do you think that no suit will be filed against them in the court of God ?


KALIMA TAYYIBA AND KALIMA KHABITHA

 

Brethren-in-Islam!

I said something to you in my last address about Kalima Tayyiba. Today's I shall present before you some more elucidation of this Kalima because it is the very foundation of Islam. A man enters Islam on the strength of this Kalima and nobody can become a Muslim in reality unless he has fully understood this Kalima and moulded his life in accordance with it. Allah has given a definition of this Kalima in His Holy Book as follows:

" Seest thou not how Allah coineth a similitude : Kalima Tayyiba is like a goodly tree, its roots set firm, its branches reaching into heaven. Every moment it gives its fruits by permission of its Lord. Allah coineth the similitudes for mankind in order that they may reflect. And the similitude of Kalima Khabitha is as a bad tree, uprooted from upon the earth, possessing no stability. Allah confirmeth those who believe by a firm saying in the life of the world and in the Hereafter, and Allah sendth wrong-doers astray. And Allah doeth what He will."

(Al-Qur'an 14:24-27)

 It means that Kalima Tayyiba is likened to a tree of fine genus the roots of which are firmly fixed in the earth and its branches are spread up to the sky while it continuously yields copious fruits as commanded by its Lord. As against this, Kalima Khabitha, i.e. a bad belief and a false saying are like a self-grown plant of bad genus which exists just on the surface of the earth and is uprooted with a jerk because of not being firmly rooted.

 This is such a superb example that if you ponder over it you will draw a big lesson from it. Look ! here are examples of both kinds of trees before you. One is a mango tree. How firmly it is set, to what great height it reaches, how extensively are its branches spread, what fine fruits does it bear! Why did this tree acquire this position ? The reason is that the stone of its fruit was powerful. It had a right to become a tree. And this right was genuine that when it put up its claim, the earth, the water, the air, the heat of the day and the coolness of the night, in fact, every element concerned acknowledged this right, and whatever it demanded from them was given to it. Thus on the strength of its merit it developed into a huge tree and by yielding sweet fruits it also proved that in reality it deserved to become a tree of this stature and that the help rendered to it by the combined forces of the earth and heaven was quit justified. In fact, it was their duty to do so because the power that is possessed by the earth, water and air and other elements to nourish, develop and mature trees, is actually meant for the very purpose of helping trees of good genus.

 In contrast to this, there are shrubs, willows and wild plants. What capacity have they? Just a little root which can be plucked by a child. So soft and feeble that they with by a blast. If you touch them you will be pierced by their thorns. If you taste them they will spoil your palate. God knows how many of these sprout daily and are pulled out. Why is their condition like that ? The reasons is that they do not possess that power of merit and capability that a mango tree possesses. When trees of high genus become extinct, the earth becomes tired of lying idle and it allows these bushes to grow. Some help is rendered by water and some provision is supplied by air but no element in the earth and heaven is prepared to acknowledge any right of existence for those plants. That is why the earth does not allow their roots spread within itself, the water is not willing to give whole-hearted nourishment and the air is averse to making them flourish. So when with this poor subsistence these vicious plants grow carrying bad taste, thorns and poisonous substance, it is really proved that the forces of earth and heaven are not meant to help the growth of such plants. It would appear that the little existence they enjoyed was more than enough for them.

 Keep these two examples before you and then think over the difference between Kalima Tayyiba and Kalima Khabitha.

 

What is ' Kalima Tayyiba'?

 Kalima Tayyiba is a truthful maxim. So truthful that there cannot possibly be anything more genuine than this in the world. 'The Master of the whole universe is one Allah.' Each and everything on this earth and in the heaven bears witness to it. These human beings, these animals, these trees, these stones, these particles of sand, these flowing streams, this bright sun......is there a single thing out of these which has been created by anybody except Allah, which can survive by anyone's kindness except Allah's, which can be annihilated by anybody except Allah? So when this whole universe has been created by Allah and its life and sustenance depend on the mercy of Allah, and Allah alone is its Master and Ruler, then when you will declare: "In this world there is no one else to wield supreme power except the One Allah," everything on the earth and in the heaven will cry out: "You have expressed an absolute truth. We all testify the veracity of this maxim". When you will bow before Him, everything in this universe will bow with you because all these things too are obedient to Him. When you will obey His commandments, everything in this universe will obey the same God. When you will walk on His way, you will not be alone. In fact, this countless army of the whole universe will accompany you because from the sun in the sky to the most insignificant particle on the earth, everything is moving on His way only. When you rely on Him, you will not be relying on a small power but on that gigantic power which is the Master of all the treasures of the heaven and earth. In short, when you keep this reality in view you will realize that all the forces of the earth and heaven will support that person who will affirm faith in Kalima Tayyiba and will mould his life in accordance with it. He will continue to flourish right from this world up to the world of the Hereafter, and not for a single moment will failure or defeat ever touch him. This is just what the Almighty Allah has stated in this verse that this Kalima is like a tree whose roots are firmly entrenched in the earth and whose branches are spread over the heaven bearing fruit perpetually under the command of Allah.

 

What is ' Kalima Khabitha'?

 In contrast to this, look at Kalima Khabitha. What does Kalima Khabitha mean? Only this that there is no god, or there are many gods, or that there is some one else besides Allah exercising divine power. Just think! Can there be a more false and baseless proposition? Is there anything in this world which bears witness to it? The atheist says there is no god but everything in this earth and heaven denounces him as a liar pointing out that he, together with all these things, have been created by God and that this very God has given him this tongue with which he is uttering this falsehood. The polytheist says that other forces are partners in the divine authority of God, that they are also nourishers and masters, that they also possess the powers to make and change destinies, that they too have the powers to give benefit and cause harm, that they too can listen to people's prayers and grant their wishes, that they also deserve to be feared and relied upon, that their writ also runs in this God's earth and that their commands and laws deserve to be obeyed besides those of God. In reply to this, everything in this earth and heaven refutes this claim as an absolute lie and totally contrary to realities. Now consider how can a person who believes in such a false Kalima and leads a life in conformity with it, can ever prosper in this world and in the Hereafter? Allah has by His mercy given respite to such people and promised them sustenance. Therefore the forces of the earth and heaven will somehow nourish them just as they anyhow give nourishment to shrubs and wild plants, but no object in the universe will concede that it is their due and so it will help them, nor will it support them with its full might. They will be like the self-grown plants mentioned above.

 

Difference in results

The same difference is found between the fruits of these two varieties. Whenever Kalima Tayyiba will fructify it will produce sweet and beneficial fruits. It will establish peace in the world. There will be predominance of goodness, truth and justice and the people will surely benefit from it. On the other hand, the more Kalima Khabitha is nurtured, the more will the thorny branches shoot out, it will bear bitter and distasteful fruits. Poison will run in its arteries. You can see with your own eyes what is happening in this world where Kufr, polytheism and atheism are prevalent. Man is ready to tear into pieces his fellow-beings. Preparations are afoot to devastate one populated area after another. Poisonous gases are being manufactured. One nation is bent upon destroying another nation. The powerful subjugates the weak simply to snatch away his bread. The weak is cowed down by the forces of army and police and the threat of jail and scaffold. He is compelled to bear the oppression of the strong. And, then, what is the internal condition of these nations? Their morals are so depraved that even Satan will be ashamed of it. Human beings are committing acts which even animals will not like to do. Mothers slaughter their children with their own hands lest the latter should spoil their pleasure. Husbands themselves give over their wives to others so that the latter's wives may come to them. Nudist clubs are set up where men and women mix freely unclothed like animals. The rich suck the blood of the poor through usury and the wealthy extract work from the destitute as if the latter are their slaves and were born just to serve them. In short, whichever plant has grown anywhere from this Kalima Khabitha, it is full of thorns, and whatever fruit is produced by it is bitter and poisonous. After citing these two examples Almighty Allah says in the end :

"Allah confirmeth those who believe by a firm saying in the life of the world and in the Hereafter, and Allah sendeth wrong doers astray."

(Al-Qur'an 14:27)

 This meant that Allah will grant stability and fixity with a firm saying in this world and in the Hereafter to those who will affirm their faith in Kalima Tayyiba, and, in contrast to them, He will make go astray all the efforts of those oppressors who will put their faith in Kalima Khabitha. They will never do any right type of work which will bear good results in this world or in the Hereafter.

 

Why are votaries of 'Kalima' in disgrace?

Brethren! You have heard the difference between Kalima Tayyiba and Kalima Khabitha and their results. You will now surely ask: " We are the votaries of Kalima Tayyiba. Then how is it that we do not flourish and why are the unbelievers prospering?"

 The answer to this question is due on me and I shall reply to it provided none of you gets displeased with it and sincerely asks his own self whether my reply is correct or not?

 In the first place, this very claim of yours is incorrect that you are votaries of Kalima and yet you do not prosper. Believing in Kalima does not consist in uttering it by the tongue. The belief must arise from the heart and in such a manner that it displaces any belief opposed to it, and none of your deeds is in contravention to this belief.

My brethren! Tell me for God's sake if your condition is really like this? Are not hundreds of such irreligious and polytheistic ideas prevalent among you as are totally opposed to Kalima Tayyiba? Are not the heads of Muslims being lowered before objects other than God? Are not Muslims afraid of other forces? Do they not depend on the help of others? Do they not consider others as their nourishers? Do they not brush aside the laws of God and cheerfully follow the laws of others instead? Do not those who call themselves Muslim openly state in the courts that they do not believe in Shari'ah but in custom and usage? Are there not people among you who do not hesitate to violate any provision of the law of God for the sake of worldly benefits? Are there not such people among you who dread the anger of unbelievers but do not fear the wrath of God, and those who are ready to go to any length to earn the favour of unbelievers but are unable to do anything to secure the favour of God, and also those who think that the unbeliever's government is a genuine government and never recall that there also exists the government of God? For God's sake tell me if this is not a fact? And if this is a fact, with what face do you assert that you are believers in Kalima Tayyiba and that yet you are not prospering? First of all you should become believers in Kalima Tayyiba with a true heart, and model your life in conformity with the requirements of the Kalima. If even then that tree does not grow which gets firmly embedded in the earth with deep roots, and with branches spread up to the sky, then I crave Allah's pardon, you may consider your God as a liar for having given you a false assurance.

 

Are believers in 'Kalima Khabitha' prospering?

Again, your this statement is wrong that the believers in Kalima Khabitha are prospering in this world. These people have never before prospering in this world. These people have never before prospered nor are they prospering now. You consider them so by seeing their excessive wealth, articles of luxury and outward splendour. But you peer into their inner self and see how many of them have peace of mind? They are laden with trappings of luxury but in their hearts are blazing furnaces which do not give them rest any time. Disobedience of the law of God has turned their homes into Hell. See in the newspapers how rampant is suicide in Europe and America. Divorce is so wide-spread. Birth rate is falling and it is being sedulously reduced. How venereal diseases have destroyed the lives of millions of people! What a terrible struggle for bread is raging among different classes! How jealousy, malice and enmity are making men of the same specie fight with each other. How love of luxury has made life bitter for the people. and these big and magnificent cities which look like Paradise from a distance contain millions of people who are wallowing in misery. Do you call this prosperity? Is this the Paradise at which you look so enviously?

My brethren ! Remember that the Word of God can never be false. In reality, there is no Kalima except Kalima Tayyiba by following which man can achieve comfort in this world and glory in the Hereafter. You may cast a glance at whichever side you like, you will never be able to find anything against it.


THE PURPOSE OF AFFIRMING FAITH IN ' KALIMA TAYYIBA'

Brethren-in-Islam!

I have explained to you the meaning of Kalima Tayyiba in my two previous lectures. Today I shall discuss the question as to what benefit accrues from affirmation of faith in the Kalima and why this affirmation is necessary.

 

Every work has a purpose

You know this fact that whatever work a man does he has a purpose or some benefit in view. He never does anything which is purposeless or useless. You drink water because it quenches your thirst. If after drinking water your condition remains the same as before, you will never drink it because this will be quite futile. Why do you take food? Simply because you want to satisfy your hunger and you get strength to live. If the result of taking food and that of not eating anything were to be the same, then you will naturally feel that this is a useless pursuit. Why do you take medicine when you are ill? Just because you should get rid of the disease and regain health. But if after taking the medicine you remain as before, you will say that treatment is a useless thing. Why do you work so hard while cultivating land? So that crops, fruits and vegetables may be produced. But if nothing grows from the earth after sowing the seeds, you will never exert yourself so much to plough the field, to sow the seed and water the ground. In short, whatever work you undertake in this world, it always has an object in view. If the object is achieved, you say it was a good work and if no purpose is served you say it was bad.

 

Purpose of reciting 'Kalima'

Please keep this point in mind and answer my questions one by one. The first and foremost question is : Why is the Kalima recited? You can give no other answer to it than this that its purpose is to draw a line between a Kafir and a Muslim. Now I ask : What is the meaning of this difference? Does it mean that if a Kafir has two eyes, a Muslim will have four? or if a Kafir has one head, a Muslim will have two? You will say: no, it does not mean that; it means that there should be difference between the end-result of a Muslim's life and Kafir's life. The end-result of a Kafir is that he is deprived of God's mercy in the Hereafter and is a total wretch, while that, of a Muslim is that he gains the pleasure of God and is honoured in the Hereafter.

 

Failure and Success in the Hereafter

I shall say that this answer of yours is perfectly correct. But tell me what is the Hereafter? What is the meaning of being a failure in the Hereafter? What does it mean to be successful and honoured there? Until this point is made clear I cannot proceed further.

You need not give an answer to the question. Its answer has already been given: ( Ad-Dunya Mazra'atul Akhirah ) ( The world is the cultivating ground of the Hereafter ).

This means that the world and the Hereafter are not two separate things but a continuous process whose beginning is the world and the end, Hereafter. The relation between the two is the same as between cultivation and crop. You plough the land, then sow the seeds, then irrigate, then look after the field till such time as the crop is ready. Then after reaping it you feed yourself with it comfortably throughout the year. You will naturally reap whatever you have cultivated in the land. If you sow wheat, only wheat will grow. If thorns are sown, only thorns will grow. If nothing is sown, nothing will grow. Whatever mistakes and errors are committed by you in the course of ploughing, sowing, irrigating and looking after the field, their cumulative effect will be noticed by you at the time of reaping the crop. But if you have carried out all the necessary things properly without any mistake, you will see its benefit also at the time of reaping. This is exactly the position in respect of this world and the Hereafter. The world is like a ground for tillage. Man has been sent into this field for the purpose of raising a crop for himself with his own efforts and hard work. He has been allotted time to do this task from birth till death. Whatever type of crop he has grown during this period, he will reap the same crop in his next life beyond the grave, and the produce will be his mainstay for his life in the Hereafter. If anyone has grown good fruit in the field of this world throughout his life and has nourished it with abundant water and proper supervision, he will find at the very first step into the next life the fruit of his labour ready in the shape of a blooming garden. There he will not be required to do any hard work because he will live happily on the fruits of the garden he has cultivated after strenuous labour throughout his life in this world. This is called Paradise and the state of gratification in the Hereafter. In contrast to this, whoever in this worldly life sows thorns and grows bitter and poisonous plants, he will reap the crop of these kinds in the next life. He will not get there a chance to compensate for this folly and grow a good crop again after burning the previous bad one. He will then have per force to sustain himself in his next life on the bad crop which he had grown in his worldly life. He will have to lie on that bed of thorns which he had grown. This is what is meant by loss and failure in the Hereafter.

The elucidation of the meaning of the Hereafter I have made is supported by the Hadith and Qur'an. This shows that failure or a success of a man in the life after death and his ending being good or bad, are in fact the result of his knowledge and deeds being correct or incorrect in his worldly life.

 

Why is the difference between the sequel of 'Kafir' and Muslim?

Having understood the above theme, this point becomes automatically clear that the difference between the sequel of a Muslim and a Kafir does not arise without cogent reasons. In fact, the difference accruing at the end is the outcome of the difference which existed in the beginning. Unless there is a difference between the knowledge and practice of a Muslim and a Kafir in this world, there cannot be variance between the ultimate states of these two in the Hereafter. It is in no way possible that the knowledge and practice of a person be the same as that of a Kafir and yet he may escape the doom that is destines for a Kafir in the Hereafter.

 

The purpose of 'Kalima'-----Reform of knowledge and deeds

Now the same question arises again as to what is the purpose of reciting the Kalima? You had first given the answer that the purpose is to differentiate between the end-results of a Kafir and a Muslim. Now having heard the elucidation of the meaning of the ultimate result and of the Hereafter, you will have to reconsider your answer. Now you will have to say that the purpose of reciting the Kalima is to reform man's knowledge and deeds so that his ultimate position becomes good in the Hereafter. This Kalima teaches man to lay that garden, the fruits of which he has to pluck in the Hereafter. If a man does not believe in the Kalima how can he lay that garden and from where will he pluck the fruits in the Hereafter? And if a man utters the Kalima just from his mouth but his knowledge remains the same as of one who has not uttered it, and, his deeds too remain the same as those of a Kafir, then you would say that it is futile to recite the Kalima in this manner. There is no reason why the end-result of such a person should be different from that of Kafir. After all he has not obliged God by merely muttering the Kalima. How, then can he expect that he may neither learn the method of laying a garden nor actually he may have not laid it and have, instead, sown thorns all his life, and yet he will get in the next world a flourishing garden with flowers and fruits. As I have explained to you giving several examples, it is futile and meaningless to undertake a work whose execution and non-execution both produce identical results. That medicine is not a medicine at all if a patient's condition remains the same even after using it. Exactly like this, if a Kalima reciter's knowledge and deeds remain the same as those of a non-reciter of Kalima, such a recital is utterly meaningless. When no difference exists between the lives of a Kafir and a Muslim in this world, how can there be a difference between their lives in the Hereafter?

 

Which knowledge is taught by 'Kalima Tayyiba'?

Now the question arises as to what is that knowledge which Kalima Tayyiba imparts to a person? Also what difference takes place between the deeds of a Muslim and a Kafir after acquiring this knowledge?

1. Servitude to Allah

The first thing that you learn from this Kalima is that you are a slave of Allah and no one else's slave. Having come to know this fact you automatically understand that you must act in this world according to the will of that Being Whose slave you are because if you act contrary to His will, it will tantamount to revolt against your Master.

2. Obedience to Muhammad

After learning this, the second knowledge you get from the Kalima is that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the messenger of Allah. Having learnt this, the point becomes simultaneously clear by itself that you have to lay a garden, as he has taught you, to grow flowers and fruits in the field of this world instead of thorns and poisonous plants. If you follow his system, you will reap a good crop in the Hereafter. And if you act against his system, you will grow thorns in this world and reap thorns only in the Hereafter.

 

Deeds must accord with knowledge

On acquiring this knowledge it is essential that your deeds should be in conformity with it. If you believe that you have to die one day, that after death there is another life and in that life you will have to sustain yourself on that crop only which you had raised in this world before leaving it, then it is impossible for you to deviate from the path shown by the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and take to any other system. Why do you cultivate fields in this world? Simply because you are sure that no crop will grow without cultivating it and without crop there will be death from starvation. Had you not been sure of this and had you thought that crop could grow without cultivating it, or that you can satisfy hunger even without cereals, you would have never done all this labour to cultivate the fields. Thus you may judge your position on this basis. A person who verbally asserts that he acknowledges God as his Master and the Holy Prophet as God's messenger, and also believes in life-after-death, but his deeds are against Qur'anic teaching and Holy Prophet's Sunnah, he is verily of a weak faith. Just as he is certain of bad results if no cultivation is done in his field, in the same way if he were equally sure of bad results by not growing the crop for the Hereafter, he will never be negligent in this respect. Nobody knowingly sows thorns for himself. Only that person does it who does not believe that what he is sowing will produce thorns and that these thorns will cause him harm. You never lift embers with your hand knowingly because you are certain that they will burn it. But a child puts his hand in the fire because he is unaware of the result.


"ISLAM "

WHO IS CALLED A MUSLIM

Brethren-in-Islam!

Today I shall describe to you the qualities of a Muslim. I shall indicate the minimum conditions required to be fulfilled by a Muslim and what should a man, at least do, to enable himself to be called a Muslim ?

 

What is 'Kufr' and Islam

To understand the above point you should first of all know what is Kufr and what is Islam. Kufr means refusal of man to carry out the commandments of God, and Islam means obedience to God only and refusal to acknowledge all such systems, laws or orders as are in contravention of the directions received from God. This contrast between Islam and Kufr has been clearly described in the Qur'an. Allah says:

Whose judges not by that which Allah hath revealed: such are unbelievers.

(Al-Qur'an 5:44)

Judging does not mean that only those cases which are brought before the courts should be decided according to the Book of God. In fact, it means those decisions which everybody arrives at in his life from time to time. So often does the question arise before you whether to do a certain thing or not? In what manner should a particular thing be done? Should this method be adopted in a certain affair or the other method? For all such occasions, a method to come to a decision has been laid down in the Book of God and in the Sunnah of His messenger, while the other opposite method is indicated by selfish desires, ancestral customs or man-made systems and laws. Now if a person sets aside the system propounded by God and decides to work according to some other system, he, in reality, follows the path of Kufr. If he has been adopting the latter course throughout his life, he is a complete Kafir. And if he obeys the directions of God in some matters and, in some others, gives preference over these to selfish desires or customs or man-made laws, then he is involved in Kufr to the extent he has rebelled against the laws of God. Someone is half Kafir, someone fourth and someone one-tenth or one-twentieth. In short, Kufr is there in proportion to the extent of rebellion against the law of God. Islam is nothing except man's exclusive subservience to God. He is not at all servant of his self, or his ancestors, or his family and tribe, or of the Maulvi Sahib and Pir Sahib, or Zamidar Sahib, Tahsildar Sahib and Magistrate Sahib or of any other person but of God alone. Allah says in the Qur'an : " O Prophet: Tell the people of the scripture; Let us come to an agreement on a point which is identical between us and you. That point is firstly that we shall worship none but Allah, secondly, we shall ascribe no partner unto Him and, thirdly, none of us shall take a man as our Lord and Master in the place of Allah. If they do not accept these three things then tell them to bear witness that we are Muslims, i.e. we accept all these three things.:" (Al-Qur'an 3:64) " Do they want to be obedient to others than Allah when unto Him submitteth whosoever is in the heavens and the earth, willingly, or unwillingly, and unto Him they will be returned." (Al-Qur'an 3:83) In both these verses only one doctrine has been propounded, i.e. the real religion consists of obedience and submission to God. Worshipping of God does not mean simply to bow before Him five times a day. In fact, it means that His commandments should be carried out at all times during day and night. You should abstain from what He has forbidden and do as He has commanded. Check up in every matter as to what is the commandment of God about it. Never take into account what your own heart desires, what your intellect suggests, what your forefathers used to do, what your family and relations prefer, what have the Maulvi Sahib and the Pir Sahib to say in the matter, what does this person order and what would please the other person. If you followed any other person's behest leaving aside God's commandments, it would amount to making him partner in Godhood. It would mean you gave him that status which exclusively belongs to God. It is God alone Who gives orders. " The giving of orders is for Allah only." (Al-Qur'an 6:57). Worthy of worship is He alone Who has created you and on whose support you are keeping alive. Everything in the heavens and the earth obeys Him. No stone obeys another stone. No tree obeys another tree. No animal obeys another animal. Then, are you worse than animals, trees and stones that they obey only God and you obey human beings leaving aside God ? This is the point which has been explained in the above two verses.

 

THREE WAYS OF GOING ASTRAY

Now I want to tell you wherefrom do Kufr and heresy actually emanate. The Holy Qur'an tells us that this cursed evil raises its head through three sources :

1. Servitude of 'Nafs'

The first source are the desires of man's own Self: " And who goes farther astray than he who follows his lust in the place of guidance from Allah. Lo! Allah guides not such oppressors." (Al-Qur'an 28:50) It means that the greatest factor to misguide man are his own corporeal urges. It is quite impossible for one to become a slave of God while he submits himself to his corporal urges. He will constantly be looking out as to which work will fetch him money, which undertaking will bring fame and honour, which pursuits will give him pleasure and gratification, and what will provide him with comfort and ease. In short, he will adopt all those ways which will fulfil these objects, no matter if God forbids these activities. And he will never do anything which will not achieve these objects, though God may have ordered him to do that thing. So the God of such a person as his own Self and not the Almighty Allah. As such, how can he get the benefit of guidance. This point has been explained in the following verse at another place in the Qur'an: "( O Prophet) Hast thou seen him who chooses for his god his own lust? Would thou be guardian over him? Or deem thou that most of them hear or understand? They are but as the cattle---nay, but they are farther astray." (Al-Qur'an 25:43&44) To be a servant of lust is worse than to be a cattle is a fact which admits of no doubt. You will never find an animals who will overstep the limits set out by God. Every animal eats whatever has been fixed by God for it. It performs only those functions which are allotted to each and every animal. But man is such an animal that when he becomes subservient to his lust, he commits such acts as would make Satan shudder.

 

2.Blind following of forefathers

The above is the first way of being led astray. The second way is to become servile to the customs and usages, beliefs and notions, rites and ceremonies of forefathers and regard these as superior to God's commandments. And when these commandments are cited the transgressor would insist that he will only follow what his forefather did, and will carry on the usages of his family and tribe. How can one who is suffering from this disease be a servant of God? His gods are forefathers, family and tribe. What right has he to make the false claim that he is a Muslim ? A severe admonition has been given in this respect also in the Qur'an:- " And when it is said unto them: Follow that which Allah has revealed, they say : We follow that wherein we found our fathers. What! Even though their fathers were wholly unintelligent and had no guidance ?" (Al-Qur'an 2:170) At another place it is said : " And when it is said unto them : Come unto that which Allah has revealed and unto the messenger, they say : Enough for us is that wherein we found our fathers. What ! Even though their fathers had no knowledge whatsoever, and had no guidance? O ye who believe; ye have charge of your own souls. He who errs cannot injure you if ye are rightly guided. Unto Allah ye will all return; and then He will inform you of what ye used to do." (Al-Qur'an 5:104&105). This evil of going astray is such that ignorant people of every age have been afflicted by it. It has always prevented them from accepting the guidance of the messengers of God. When Moses had invited people towards God's Shari?ah then also they had said : " Hast thou come unto us to prevent us from that (faith) in which we found our fathers." (Al-Qur'an 10 : 79) When Abraham had dissuaded his tribesmen from polytheism, they too had said :" We found our fathers worshippers of these very gods." (Al-Qur'an 21 : 53) Thus people has put up this same plea against every prophet : "What you say is contrary to the practice of our forefathers and this is why we do not accept it". So it is said in the Qur'an: " And even so We sent not a Warner before thee (Muhammad) into any township but its luxurious ones said : We found our fathers following a religion, and we are following their footprints. ( And the Warner ) said : What ! Even though I bring you better guidance than that ye found your fathers following? They answered : Lo; in what ye bring we are disbelievers. So We required them. Then see the nature of the consequence for the rejecters." (Al-Qur'an 43:23-25 ). After stating all these facts the Almighty Allah says that either follow your forefathers or carry out Our injunctions. Both these things cannot co-exist. If you want to be Muslim you will have to give up all extraneous things and obey what We have commanded. " And if it be said unto them : Follow that which Allah hath revealed, they say: Nay, but we follow that wherein we found our fathers. What ! Even though the devil were inviting them unto the doom of flame? Whosever surrendereth his purpose to Allah while doing good, he verily hath grasped the firm hand-hold. Unto Allah belongeth sequel of all things. And whosoever disbelieveth, let not his belief afflict thee (O Muhammad). Unto Us is their return, and We shall tell them what they did." (Al-Qur'an 31:21-23)

 

3.Obedience to others than Allah

This was the second inroad of heresy. The third way, as stated in the Qur'an, is that a man, leaving aside God's commandments, starts obeying orders of others under various concepts, e.g. such and such a person is a big man, so his word will be out-and-out good, or since my livelihood depends on that person, so I should carry out his wishes, or because that person exercises great authority, so he should be obeyed, or because that person will ruin me by his curses or will take me to Paradise with him, so only what he says is correct, or because that particular nation is making great progress, so its methods should be adopted. In such a case the door of Divine guidance is closed to him. " If thou obeyedst most of those on earth they would mislead thee far from Allah's way." (Al-Qur'an 6:117) This means that man can be on the right path only when he has faith in one God. How can one find the correct path when he has contrived hundreds and thousands of gods and has naturally to obey sometimes this god and sometimes that god. Now you have come to know that there are three big reasons of going astray.

First: Servitude of Self.

Second: Servitude to the customs of forefathers, family and tribe.

Third: Servitude to the people in general in which are included wealthy persons, rulers of the time, bogus religious leaders, nations gone astray and all other such elements.

These are the three formidable idols who pose as deities. Whoso wants to become a Muslim, he must first break these three idols. Then alone he will become a genuine Muslim. Otherwise, whoever has stationed these three idols in his heart, it is difficult for him to become a slave of God. By offering Salah fifty times a day, by observing fasts for ostentation, and by putting on the face of a Muslim, he may deceive his fellow-beings as also his ownself assuming to be a real Muslim, but he cannot deceive God.

 

CONDITIONS OF PUNJABI MUSLIMS

Brethren ! To be a slave of the three idols I have spoken to you about today is real Shirk. You have broken the idols of stone, demolished the temples built of bricks and mortar, but paid little attention to the temples built within your breasts. To break these idols is most essential, nay it is the foremost condition to become a Muslim. Although I am addressing all the Muslims, and I am sure whatever loss the Muslims of the world as well as those of India are suffering is the result of worshipping these idols--but because Punjabi brethren are at present before me I have particularly to tell them that the root of all their ruination, humiliation and calamity are these very three things I have just mentioned. You are more than fifteen million in this land of the Punjab. You are more than half of the population of this province and the rest belong to other communities. But in spite of being such a big community you have no weight of your own. Some numerically far smaller communities than you are weighty. Think over its reason? Its only reason is that by being slave to Nafs, to family customs and to human beings, leaving aside God, your strength has been sapped from within.

 

1.Difference of castes

You have amongst you Rajputs, Gakhars, Mughuls, Jats and many other communities. Islam had asked all these communities to become one community, be a brother unto each other and get cemented like a solidly built wall of compact bricks. But you are still clinging to the old Hindu ideas. Just as there are separate castes among Hindus, in the same manner you are still split into separate tribes. You do not intermarry like Muslims. There is no relationship of brotherhood and fraternity between each other. Verbally you call each other Muslim brothers but in reality you observe all those distinctions which were prevalent before Islam. These distinctions have prevented you from becoming a strong wall. Each and every brick of yours is disjointed. You can neither rise together nor face a calamity together. If you are asked, in accordance with Islamic teachings, to break these distinctions and become one again, what do you reply? Just the same one point: " We cannot break the customs which have come down from our forefathers". What answer is given by God to this retort? Only this : " You may not break these customs and you may not give up following the rites of Hindus. We shall also break you into pieces and shall put you to disgrace and dishonour in spite of your numerical superiority."

 

2.Injustice in inheritance

Allah had commanded you that your sons and daughters are all entitled to inheritance. The answer you give to it is: " According to the law of our forefathers only sons and not daughters are entitled and we recognise the law of our forefathers in the place of the law of God." For God's sake tell me if this is Islam? When you are asked to break this ancestral law, every body from amongst you says that when all others will break it, you will also break it, as otherwise if others did not give a share to their daughters and you gave it then your wealth will go to others and the wealth of others will not come to your home. Just consider what does this reply mean? Will the law of God be obeyed on this condition that when others will obey it then you will also follow suit. Tomorrow you will say: "If others commit adultery, I shall also do it, if others commit theft, I shall also steal. In short, till such time as others do not give up sinning, I shall continue to commit all sins". The actual fact is that in this matter all the three above-mentioned idols are being worshipped. There is servitude of Self, servitude of forefathers, and servitude of polytheist nations. And along with all these three evils, there is also the claim that you yet belong to Islam ! These are only two examples. Otherwise if the situation is looked at with open eyes, countless diseases like this will be found rampant within you. And in all these you will find that somewhere there is worship of one idol, somewhere of two and somewhere of three. While these idols are being worshipped and along with it Islam is also being claimed, then how do you expect that Allah will shower His blessing on you which has been promised only to true Muslims?


TOUCHSTONE OF FAITH

 Brethren-in-Islam !

I had explained to you in my lecture last Friday that according to the Qur'an there are men who go astray in three ways. One is to leave aside the law of God and become slave of corporal desires. The second is to give preference to family customs and ways of life of forefathers over the law of God. The third is to ignore the system enunciated by God and His messenger and follow the ways of fellow-beings who either be big personalities of their own nation or dominant nations of the world.

 

Real definition of a Muslim

 The real definition of a Muslim is that he should be immune from these three ailments. That person alone is a Muslim who sincerely believes that the teaching of God and His messenger is Absolute Truth, and that whatever is against it is false, and that whatever is good for man in this world and in the Hereafter is all contained in the teaching of God and His messenger. One who has complete faith in these verities always seeks guidance at every step in his life from the relevant injunction of God and His messenger, and on knowing the injunction submits to it. Having done that, he will never bother if his mind felt uneasy about it, or his family members upbraided him, or the worldly type of people opposed him, because in each case he will clearly reply: " I am God's slave not yours; I have affirmed faith in His messenger, not in you."

 

1. Servitude of ' Self '

If, contrary to this, a person says: " May this be the injunction of God and His messenger, my mind does not accept it because I consider it harmful. So I shall put aside the directions of God and His messenger and act according to my own opinion". Obviously the heart of such a person is bereft of faith. He is not a Momin but a hypocrite because while he verbally asserts that he is a servant of God and a follower of His messenger, in reality he is a slave of his own self and a follower of his own opinion.

 

2. Adherence to custom

Similarly, if a person says that whatever may be the injunctions of God and His Prophet, how can a certain custom be given up when it is practised from his forefather's time or how can a usage be discontinued which has been in vogue for long in his family and kith and kin. Such a person too will be reckoned among the hypocrites, though he might have grown on his forehead any size of knob due to profuse prostration in endless prayers and might have made his face very religious looking because the actual reality of Deen has not permeated his heart. Deen does not consist of Ruku?, Sajdah, Fasting and Hajj nor is it found in the face and dress of a man. In fact Deen means obedience to God and His messenger. One who refuses to obey God and His messenger in conducting his affairs, his heart is in reality devoid of Deen. His Salat, his fasting and his religious appearance is nothing but a fraud.

 

3. Imitation of other nations

Similarly if a person, not caring for the Book of God and His messenger's directions, urges that certain custom be adopted because it is prevalent among Englishmen, and a particular thing be accepted because another nation is making progress because of it, and a certain point be conceded because a big person is advocating it, then such a person should guard himself against losing his faith. This type of talk is irreconcilable to Iman. If you are a Muslim and want to remain a Muslim, then throw overboard every suggestion which is contrary to the injunctions of God and His messenger. Should you be unable to do this, it does not believe you to claim adherence to Islam. To assert verbally that you believe in God and His messenger but to set aside their injunctions in the affairs of your life in favour of other people's dictum, is neither Iman nor Islam. In fact it is downright hypocrisy. Allah has clearly stated in the twenty-fourth chapter of the Qur'an:- " Verily We have sent down revelations and explained them. Allah guideth whom He will unto a straight path. And they say: We believe in Allah and the messenger and we obey, then after that a faction of them turn away. Such are not believers. And when they appeal unto Allah and His messenger to judge between them. Lo ! a faction of them are averse. But if right had been with them they would have come unto him willingly. Is there in their hearts a disease or have they doubts, or fear they lest Allah and His messenger should wrong them in judgment. Nay, but such are evil doers. The saying of (all true) believers, when they appeal unto Allah and His messenger to judge between them is only that they say: We hear and we obey. And such are the fortunate. He who obeyeth Allah and His messenger, and feareth Allah and keepeth duty (unto Him) : such indeed are the successful. " (24:46-52). Ponder over the definition of Iman set forth in the above verses. Real Iman consists in dedicating oneself to the Book of God and directions of His messenger. Whatever order is received from there, must be implicitly obeyed and nothing against it should be listened to, may it come from one's own mind or from the family members or from the worldly people. Only that person is Momin and Muslim who develops this state of mind. And whoever is devoid of it is not more than a hypocrite.

 

A FEW EXAMPLES OF OBEDIENCE TO ALLAH.

1. Abstinance from Wine

You must have heard how rampant was drinking of wine in Arabia. Women and men, young and old, were fond of it. In fact they were used to it. They chanted songs in his praise and were mad after it. You know this fact also that it is difficult to give up drinking after getting addicted to it. A drunkard would rather give his life than stop drinking. If he does not get wine his condition becomes worse than that of a sick person. But have you heard what happened when the prohibition order was given through the Qur'an? On hearing this commandment those very Arabs who shed their life on wine broke its containers with their own hands. Wine was flowing in the lanes of Medina like rain-water. In one gathering some people were engaged in drinking as they heard the voice of the announcer on behalf of the Prophet ( peace be upon him) that wine was prohibited, their hands suddenly stopped where they were. Those who had the cup close to their lips removed it at once and did not allow a drop to reach their throats. This is called obedience to Allah and His messenger.

 

2. Confession of crime

You know what a severe punishment Islam has prescribed for adultery--one hundred stripes on the naked back, the very thought of which makes a person shudder. And if a married man is involved, his punishment is stoning to death. A man trembles to hear the very name of such a horrible punishment. But have you heard what was the condition of those who had Iman in their hearts? A man had committed adultery. There was no witness. There was nobody to drag him to the court, nor was there anyone to make a report to the police. There was only Iman in his heart which admonished him: " Now that you have satisfied your lust contravening the Law of God, get ready to undergo the punishment prescribed by God for it". So this person presented himself of his own accord before the Holy Prophet ( peace be upon him ) and said : " O Prophet of Allah I have committed adultery. Please award me punishment". On hearing this the Prophet turned aside his face but that man shifted towards him and repeated his request. The Prophet again turned aside his head and this man again came before him and made the same request for the third time. This is Iman. It is easy for one who has Iman in his heart to be punished with a hundred stripes on his naked back, or even get stoned to death, but it is difficult for him to go before God as a disobedient servant.

 

3. Severance of relationship

You also know that in this world nobody is dearer to man than his relatives. Particularly, father, brother and son are so dear that a man endures to sacrifice everything for them. But you just think of the battles of Badr and Uhud and see who went to fight against who? The father was in the Muslim army and the son in the army of Kafirs, or the son was on this side and the father was on the opposite side. One brother was on this front and the second brother on the other front. The nearest relatives confronted each other and fought as if they were strangers. And this spirit was not worked up for the sake of money or land, nor was it aroused by personal enmity, but they fought against their own flesh and blood simply because they had the grit to sacrifice their father, son, brother and their whole family for the sake of God and His messenger.

 

4. Repentance from old customs

You also know that Islam demolished practically all the old customs which were prevalent in Arabia. The biggest evil of all was idol-worship which had been in vogue for hundreds of years. Islam ordained to give up this evil as well as wine, adultery, gambling, theft and dacoity which were generally rampant in Arabia. Women used to go about openly in Arabia. Islam ordered them to observe pardah. No share was given to women in inheritance. Islam decreed that they must get a share in it. Adopted children were given the position of real children. Islam rejected this equation and sanctified marriage with adopted son's divorced wife. In short, no old custom was left undiminished by Islam. But do you know what was the attitude of those who had affirmed faith in God and His messenger? These believers broke with their own hands all those idols which they and their forefathers had prostrated for centuries and offered sacrifices at their altars. They renounced all those family customs which were coming down for centuries, at once. On receiving the commandment of God they crushed under their feet those objects which they held sacred, while, contrariwise they sanctified those things which they had previously regarded as detestable. Those objects which were considered pure for centuries became suddenly impure and vice versa. All those practices which during the days of Kufr were sources of benefit or relish were given up in the wake of God's commandment. All injunctions of Islam entailing stress and strain were gladly accepted. This is what means Iman and this is what is called Islam. If the people of Arabia had at that time said:" We do not accept that thing because it is harmful to us and we cannot give up the other thing as it is beneficial to us, and that we shall certainly do that particular thing since it is coming from out forefathers, while we like certain things of the Romans and certain practices of the Iranians which are pleasing to us, in short, if they had in this way rejected each and every thing of Islam, you can imagine there would have been no Muslim today in the world.

 

Way to God's Pleasure

Brethren ! It is stated in the Qur'an : " You will not attain unto piety until you sacrifice for God all that is dear to you." ( 3:92 ). This verse is the essence of Islam and Iman. The real grandeur of Islam lies in this very principle that whatever is dear to you must be sacrificed for the sake of God. You notice that in all the affairs of your life God's commandment beckons you towards one direction while your own self goads you towards another direction. God commands you to do a certain deed but Nafs dissuades you by saying that it will cause trouble and loss. God forbids you from a certain act while Nafs instigates that it is highly delicious and of great benefit. One side is God's pleasure and pitted against it is a whole world of gratification. In short, man confronts at every step two paths in life. One is the path of Islam and the other of Kufr and hypocrisy. One who discards everything of this world and bows to the commandment of God is the person who has adopted the path of Islam. And one who sets aside God's commandment and fulfils the desires of his heart and temptations of the world is the person who has taken to the path of Kufr or hypocrisy.

 

Muslims of today

The condition of the people today is that they gladly accept whatever is convenient in Islam but when a real confrontation arises between Islam and Kufr, they quickly change their direction. This weakness is found even among some great claimants to Islam. They will shout Islam, Islam; their tongues will be dried up in extolling Islam; they will also do some ostentatious work for it, but if they are told: " Let us enforce on ourselves the law of Islam which you are praising so much," they will at once say: " There is this difficulty and that obstruction in it; better leave it for the time being". What they mean is that Islam is a beautiful toy, display it on the cupboard and sing its praises from a distance but avoid even its name about enforcing it as a law to govern ourselves, our family members and relatives and to regulate matters of business and other affairs of life. This is the condition of our religious people these days. The less we talk of the worldly people the better. It is the result of such an attitude that neither Salat is now effectual nor fasting nor Recital-recital nor the outward adherence to Shari'ah. The reason is that when the spirit is gone, what miracle can a soulless body perform ?


REAL CRITERION OF ISLAM

Brethren-in-Islam ! Allah has stated in His Holy Book : " Say ( O Muhammad ) my worship and my sacrifice and my living and my dying are for Allah, Lord of the Worlds. He has no partner. This am I commanded, and I am first to those who surrender ( unto Him )".(Al-Qur'an 7:163-164) The elucidation of the above verse is contained in the following saying of the Holy Prophet: One whose friendship and enmity is for the sake of Allah and whose giving and withholding is for the sake of Allah, he has completed his Iman, i.e., he becomes a perfect Momin. The verse I have quoted above indicates that what Islam demands is that a man should keep his servitude, his living and his dying exclusively reserved for Allah and make nobody a partner unto Him in this. That is to say, neither his servitude nor his living and dying should be for any one other than Allah. The elucidation by the Prophet of this verse which I have quoted to you indicates that the precise requirement of a man's friendship and enmity with others as well as his worldly dealing should be purely to seek the pleasure of God. Without it Iman cannot become perfect, not to speak of access to higher grades of spirituality. The deficiency in Iman will be in proportion to deficiency in this matter. And when in this capacity a man wholly identifies himself with God, then only his Iman becomes perfect. Some people think that these qualities are needed only to reach higher spiritual ranks, whereas these are not required to ensure Iman and Islam. That is to say, in other words, that even without this requisite a man can be a Momin and a Muslim. But this is a misconception which has arisen because of the fact that the people in general do not differentiate between the legal Islam cognizable in temporal life and the real Islam which is authentic in the sight of Allah.

 

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LEGAL AND TRUE ISLAM

1. LEGAL ISLAM

In the juristic and legal Islam, what is in the mind of a man is not cognizable nor can it be perceived but only his verbal affirmation is noted as also the fact whether or not he manifests within himself those essential signs which are necessary to confirmation. If anybody affirms by word of mouth belief in Allah, His messenger, the Qur'an, the Hereafter and other requirements of faith and then fulfils those necessary conditions which provide a proof of affirmation by him, he will be admitted into the Islamic fold and all dealings with him will be conducted as with a Muslim. But this position is limited to temporal life and provides from the worldly point of view a legal and cultural foundation on which is raised the Muslim society. Its outcome is no more than that all those who on this affirmation are admitted into the Muslim society should be accepted as Muslims. Nobody from among them should be called Kafir; everyone of them should have legal, moral and social rights on others; they should have marital relations among them; there should be distribution of inherited property, and other civil relations should operate.

 

2. TRUE ISLAM

However, the salvation of man and his judgment as a Muslim and a Momin in the Hereafter, as well as his inclusion among the favoured slaves of Allah, are matters which do not depend on this legal affirmation, but the real affirmation is the affirmation by heart, and of wholly entrusting oneself to Allah with full volition. Whatever is verbally affirmed in the world is meant for the Qadi of Shari?ah and for the general people and the Muslims, because they can see the exterior only. But Allah peers into a man's heart and his interior, and sizes up his Iman. Allah's criterion of judging a man's position is whether his living, his dying, his loyalties, his obedience and servitude, in short, his life's entire achievements, were meant for Allah only or for some one else? If these were solely for Allah then he will be adjudged as a Muslim and a Momin, and if these were for some one else, then such a person will neither be a Muslim nor a Momin. Whoever falls short of this criterion, will, to the same extant, be lacking in Iman and Islam, no matter he ma be reckoned among the lofty Muslims of this world and may be holding any high status whatsoever. With Allah the only estimable thing is whether or not you have spent in His way all that He has given you. If you have done this, you will be granted privilege which is given to those who are loyal and render what is due in the matter of servitude. And if you exempted anything from the sphere of servitude, then your affirmation of being a Muslim, which implies that you have wholly dedicated your self to Allah, will be a false claim which can hoodwink the world and beguile the Muslim society into assimilating you and thereby granting you all the rights of Muslims in the world, but God cannot be deceived to assign a place for you among His faithful. If you will ponder over the difference between the legal Islam and the real Islam, which I have explained to you, you will know that their results will be greatly different from each other not only in the Hereafter but also in this world. Muslims of yore and today can be divided into two categories.

 

TWO KINDS OF MUSLIMS

1. Partial Muslims:

One kind of Muslims are those who, having affirmed faith in God and His Messenger, accept Islam as their religion but treat this religion merely as a part of a section of their whole life. To the extent of this part or section, there is expression of attachment to Islam, profusion of ' Ibadat ', use of rosary and offering of Salat, remembrance of God, exercise of Puritanism in the matter of food and some social affairs, and all the rest that can be called a religious attitude. But beyond this section, all the other aspects of their life are exempted from Islam. If they show love, it would be for Nafs or for self-benefit or for that country and nation or for some body else. If they profess enmity or wage war that would also be for the sake of some worldly or selfish interest. Their business, their wives and children, family, society and co-professionals---all these will be to a great extent exempt from religion and totally based on worldly considerations. As a zamindar, as a trader, as a ruler, as a soldier, as a professional,---in all spheres they will have an independent position which will have no connection with their position as Muslims. Then such a type of people will combine and collectively set cultural, educational and political institutions, which, due to their being Muslim, may be partly influenced by them as such or may be related to them in some way but actually these will have no connection with Islam.

 

2. Full Muslims

The second kind of Muslims are those who completely merge into Islam their full personality and entire existence. All the positions they hold get submerged into the position of a Muslim. Their roles as fathers, sons, husbands or wives, businessmen, zamindars, labourers, employees, or professionals, should signify the characteristics of a Muslim. Their sentiments, their desires, their ideologies, their thoughts and opinions, their hatred and inclinations, their likes and dislikes, everything is subservient to Islam. There is a complete sway of Islam on their heart and mind, on their eyes and ears, on their stomach and private parts, on their hands and feet, on their body and soul. Neither their love nor their enmity is detached from Islam. When they make friendship or fight with anybody, it is purely for the sake of Islam. If they give anything to anybody, it is because Islam requires it to be given. If they withhold anything from anybody, it is also because Islam wants it to be withheld. And this attitude or theirs is not limited to individuals only but their collective life also is based entirely on this principle of Islam. Their entity is to evolve as a community on the basis of Islam only and their entire collective behaviour is based on the precepts of Islam only.

 

The kind of Muslim desired by God

The above two kinds of Muslims are in reality different from each other even if from the legal standpoint both may be included in the Ummah and the word "Muslim" may be applicable to both equally. There is no record of achievement in the Islamic history on the part of the first type of Muslims which may be worthy of mention or meriting to be proud of. They have actually done no work which has left an Islamic imprint on the pages of world history. The earth has never felt the weight of such Muslims. In fact, Islam has suffered decay due to these people. As a result of preponderance of such Muslims in the Muslim society, the control of life-system in the world has passed into the hands of Kufr, while Muslims getting subjected to it, contented themselves with the freedom to lead a limited religious life. God never desired to have such Muslims. He did not send His prophets into this world nor did He reveal His books to have such Muslims in the world. Due to the non-existence of such Muslims no deficiency of any valuable asset was caused to fulfil which the need had arisen to send a series of revelations and prophets. As a matter of fact, those Muslims who are desired by God, and who did, and can do today, appreciable work from the Islamic point of view, belong to the second category.

 

Muslims domination due to true obedience

This is not a matter peculiar to Islam alone. In fact, no followers of any creed in the world have ever been able to raise aloft its standard when they gave a subordinate position in their life to their faith and its tenets and adherence to its principles, and isolated from their creed the purpose for which they should live and die. You can see even today that the real and true followers of a creed are only those people who are loyal to it with their heart and soul, who have merged not even their own life and children. Every creed of the world wants such adherents and if any creed were to attain domination in the world it can be through such followers only.

 

Muslims is exclusively loyal to Allah

However, there is a difference between Islam and other creeds. If the other creeds demand from men this type of self-annihilation and dedication, these have actually no right to extract such sacrifice. It is but an improper claim on man. As against this, if Islam makes this demand it has a perfect right to do so, because none of the things for which these creeds ask men to sacrifice themselves and their whole life and personality is such as has a right to ask man to sacrifice themselves and their whole life and personality is such as has a right to ask man to sacrifice anything for it. But the God for Whom Islam demands this sacrifice is certainly entitled to ask for a complete surrender of everything to Him because whatever is there in the heaven and the earth belongs to Allah. In fact man himself belongs to Allah. Further, whatever man possesses and whatever is within him, all belong to Allah. Therefore, it is in perfect consonance with justice as well as reason that whatever belongs to Allah must be reserved for Him only. Whatever sacrifice man makes for others or for his own benefit or to satisfy his lust, is indeed a breach of trust unless it be with the permission of Allah. And whatever sacrifice is made for Allah, is in reality a requital of what was due. But apart from this aspect, there is a lesson to be learnt by Muslims from the practice of those people who are sacrificing everything of theirs for the sake of their spurious creeds and false deities of their Nafs and have demonstrated such fidelity as is unmatched in human history. How strange it is that such a spirit of dedication and self-annihilation is exhibited by men for a false object while not even a thousandth part of it is demonstrated for truth.

 

Self-Scrutiny:

I would like all of us to test ourselves on the touchstone of Iman and Islam as explained above in the Qur'anic verse and Hadith, and scrutinize our life in the light of this criterion. If you assert that you have accepted Islam and affirmed faith in it, you check up whether your living and dying are for the sake of God? Are your life and intellect as well as the entire strength of your body and soul, and your time and efforts, being devoted to the fulfilment of Allah's wish, and whether through you that work is being accomplished which He wants to be executed by the Muslim Ummah? And, then, have you reserved your obedience and service exclusively for God ? Have subservience to lust and servitude to family, brotherhood, friends, society and government been completely eliminated from your life? Have you made your likes and dislikes totally subservient to the wish of Allah. Then you should see that if you love somebody, is it really for the sake of Allah; if you hate somebody is that too for the sake of Allah, and that in this hatred and love, no element of selfishness is involved. Again, you should see if your acts of giving and withholding anything have also been done for the sake of God? Is it so that whatever you are spending on your own self and giving to any other person is just because that due has been fixed by God and that, by such giving, your objective is simply to gain His pleasure? And similarly whatever you are withholding from anybody is also because God has commanded you to do so and this restraint is actuated by your desire to secure God's pleasure? If you find such sensibility within yourself you should thank God that He has bestowed upon you the blessing of Iman in its fullness. And if in this respect you feel any deficiency, you must give up all worries and only think out as to how to remove this deficiency and how to concentrate all your efforts and energies on achieving this object because on the removal of this deficiency, depends your well-being in this world as well as salvation in the Hereafter. You may score any kind of success in this world but this gain will not compensate you for the loss you will suffer due to this deficiency. But if you make up for this deficiency, even if you gain nothing in this world, still you will not be at a loss eventually. This criterion has been set not because you should test others according to it and determine about their being Momin or hypocrite and Muslim or Kafir, but in order that you should test your own self, and after detecting the deficiency try to remove it before you reach the court of the Hereafter. You should not bother about the opinion of any Mufti and Qadi of this world about yourself but should care for the judgment of the Supreme Ruler and Knower of the seen and unseen. Do not be satisfied on seeing your name here entered in the register of Muslims but be anxious to see in what position your name is entered in the Register of God. It is no use if the whole world gives you the certificates of Islam and Iman. The real success consists in your being adjudged as Momin instead of hypocrite, obedient instead of disobedient and faithful instead of unfaithful, by that God in Whose hands lies final decision.


WHAT FOR OBEDIENCE TO GOD ?

 

Brethren-in-Islam !

I have repeatedly told you this very single fact in my previous several lectures that " Islam " means obedience to Allah and His messenger, and that man cannot at all become " Muslim " unless he eschews subservience to everything such as his desires, the prevalent customs and the wishes of worldly people, and, instead, resorts to submission to Allah and His Messenger only.

Today I want to explain to you as to why so much stress is laid on obedience to Allah and His Messenger. One may ask: " Is God hungry for our subservience that He demands from us obedience to Himself and His Messenger? Is God also ambitious, like the rulers of the world, to impose His authority, and demands, just as they do, that He alone should be obeyed. Today I want to give an answer to this question.

 

Man's well-being lies in obedience to God

The real fact is that Allah's demand for obedience from man is intended for the well-being and betterment of man himself. He is not like the rulers of the world. It is for their own benefit that the rulers of the world make the people submit themselves to their will. But Allah is above all benefits. He is not in need of taxes from you. He does not require to build mansions, buy cars and amass articles of luxury from your earnings. He is pure. He is not needy of anything. Whatever is in the world belongs to Him alone and he alone is the Master of all treasures. He demands obedience from you simply because he desires your welfare. He does not want that the creation whom He has made the noblest of creations should be servants of Satan or of any man or how his head before despicable beings. he does not want that those whom He has made His vicegerent on earth should grope in the darkness of ignorance and like animals become slave to their own lust and thus degrade themselves to the level of the lowest of the low. Therefore He urges: " You obey Us. You go ahead carrying on the light We have sent through Our messengers. Then you will find the straight path, and by walking on it you will get a place of honour in this world as well as in the Hereafter ".

"There is no compulsion in religion. The straight path of righteousness has been made clearly distinct from the crooked path of ignorance. Now he who from amongst you discards false deities and beguiling masters and believes in Allah, hath grasped a firm handhold which will never break. Allah is Hearer and Knower of all things. Allah is the Protecting Friend of those who believe. He brings them out of darkness into light. As for those who disbelieve, their patrons are evil ones. They bring them out of light into darkness. Such are rightful dwellers of Fire. They will abide therein.

(Al-Qur'an 2:256-257)

 

Obedience of objects other than Allah------Heresy

Now let us see as to why a man gropes in darkness by obeying others besides Allah and why is it that light can be obtained only from obedience to Allah.

You observe that your life is fettered with countless links. Your first link is with your own body. These hands, these feet, these eyes, these ears, this tongue, this heart and brain, this stomach---all these have been given to you by Allah for your service. You have to decide as to how to take work from them. With what to feed the stomach and with what not? What work to take from the hands and whatnot? On which path to make the feet walk and to restrain from which path? What type of work to take from the eyes and ears and what not to take? For which talk should the tongue be utilized ? Which type of thoughts are to be entertained in the problems for the brain to ponder over? You can take good as well as bad work from these servants of yours. They can make you sublime and also plunge you into a state worse than that of animals.

Then you have tries with the members of your household. There are father, mother, sister, brother, wife, children and other relatives with whom you have to deal continuously. Here you have to decide how to behave with these people? What rights have you over them and what rights have they over you? Your comfort, your happiness and your success in world as well as in the Hereafter depends on your correct behaviour with them. If you behave wrongly, you will make this world a hell for yourself. And not only in this world, in the Hereafter too you will be strictly answerable to God.

Then you have connections with innumerable people in the world. Some are your neighbours, some friends, some enemies. There are also many who render service to you. To some you have to give something and from others you have to take something. Somebody relying on you entrusts you with his work while you relying on others entrust your work to them. You are an officer over some people and someone is officer over you. In short, you have to deal continuously with so many people that you cannot count them. Your happiness, your honour and your good name in this world---all depend entirely on your ability to maintain these relations, which I have mentioned to you, on correct basis. Similarly, you can acquire a place of honour in the Hereafter near God, only when you present yourself before your Master in such a condition that you had never in your life usurped the right of any person and had never done injustice to anybody. Also no one should bring there any case against you and no charge is levelled against you for having ruined anybody's life or having caused harm illegally to anyone's honour, life or property. Therefore you have also to decide as to how to maintain these innumerable relations in a proper manner, and what are those actions which adversely affect these relations and should be avoided.

Now you should consider that in order to maintain correct relations with your own body, with the members of your household and with all other people, you need the light of knowledge at every step. You have to know at every pace what is correct and what is incorrect? What is equitable and what is false? What is justice and what is oppression? Who has a right on you and how much, and what rights you have on others and to what extent. In which thing there is real benefit and wherein lies real harm. If you endeavour to search out this knowledge in your own self, you will not find it there because Nafs is itself benighted. What else has it except corporal urges. It will instigate drinking of wine, indulgence in adultery and illicit earning because there is great relish in these. It will incite you to usurp the right of others and withhold that is due, because such a course is beneficial, i.e. you have taken everything and given nothing. It will also urge you to make others serve your ends and you never be of service to anybody because this policy will yield you both benefit and comfort. If you hand over yourself to such a benighted and perverted Nafs it will drag you downward to such an abyss that you will become a selfish depraved and corrupt person of the worst type, and your this life as well as the other in the Hereafter will both be ruined.

The second thing can be that instead of following Nafs you rely on other people like yourself, and submit yourself to their overall control to make them drag you in whichever direction they like. The danger involved in such a situation is that a selfish person may make you a slave of his own desires or a benighted man, who has himself gone astray, may mislead you also. Or an oppressor may make you his instrument and utilize you for perpetrating injustice on others. In short, here too you cannot get that light of knowledge which can guide you to distinguish between what is correct and what is incorrect so as to enable you to tread the right path in the life of this world.

 

Real guidance---only from God

Eventually there remains only that one Supreme Being from Whom you can get the necessary light. God is knower and Seer. He knows the reality of everything. He alone can tell you precisely wherein lies your benefit and wherein is your real loss; which work is really right for you and which is wrong. Then Allah is above all needs too. He has no axe to grind. He has no need at all ( He is above it ) to secure any benefit by deception. Therefore, whatever directions that Hallowed and Self-Subsisting Being Will give you, will be without any ulterior motive and will be intended exclusively for your benefit. Allah is also dispenser of justice. There is not the slightest touch of injustice in that Pure Being. As such, His commandments will be based totally on truth and justice. In following His commandments there is no danger of your doing any injustice to your own self or to other people.

 

How to derive benefit from Divine Guidance?

Two things are necessary in order to derive benefit from the light emanating from God. Firstly, to believe sincerely in Allah and His Messenger, through whom this light has been transmitted. That is to say, you should be completely certain that whatever guidance Allah's Messenger has given under inspiration from God is absolutely right and true irrespective of whether or not you understand the wisdom behind it. Secondly, after affirming your belief, you should follow that guidance because without it nothing can be achieved. Supposing a man tells you that a certain thing is poisonous which is deadly, so do not eat it. You say : " You are undoubtedly right. It is poison and a fatal one too ". But, after knowing and admitting this fact, you eat that thing. Obviously the result will be the same as it would have been if you had eaten it unknowingly. So what is the use of this knowing and admitting ? You can achieve real benefit only when you obey Allah's commandments following your affirmation of faith in Him. You should not merely utter : "We believe and testify as true" in respect of the commandments given, but you should actually carry them out. Similarly, you should not verbally promise to abstain from things which have forbidden but should in actual practice refrain from them. That is why Allah repeatedly urges :

" Obey Allah and obey the Messenger.

(Al-Qur'an 5:92)

" If you obey My Messenger, then alone you will get guidance.

(Al-Qur'an 24:54)

" And let those who conspire to evade ( Our Messenger's orders ) beware lest grief or painful punishment befall them."

(Al-Qur'an 21:63)

Meaning of obedience to Allah and His Messenger ( may peace and blessing of Allah be upon him ).

Brethren-in-Islam! My exhortation to you again and again that only Allah and His Messenger must be obeyed should not be construed as an advice that you should refrain from listening to any body else. No. In fact its purport is that you should not follow anybody blindfolded but always examine whether a person who asks you to do a certain thing is doing so in accordance with the injunctions of Allah and His Messenger or against them. In the former case you must accept his advice because actually you will be obeying not him but Allah and His Messenger, while in the latter case you must throw back his word on his face because obedience to nobody's order except that of Allah and His Messenger is incumbent on you.

You can understand this fact that Allah will not Himself come before you and deliver His commandments. Whatever commandments He had to give He has conveyed these to you through His Messenger. As regards Prophet Muhammad ( peace be upon him ), he left for his heavenly house thirteen and fifty years ago. The commandments given by Allah through him are preserved in the Qur'an and Hadith. But Qur'an and Hadith are not such things as can themselves move about and issue orders. They cannot come before you and gives orders for doing certain things and for not doing other things. In any case, it will be men only who will help you conduct yourself according to the injunctions of the Qur'an and Hadith. Therefore there is no other remedy but obey the instructions of men. However, what is needed is that you do not follow people with closed eyes but, as I have told you just now you first see whether they are advising you according to the Qur'an and Hadith, or not. If they are guiding you in conformity with the Qur'an and Hadith, then it is incumbent on you to obey them. And if they lead you to a course opposed to it, then to obey them is forbidden.


DEEN AND SHARI'AH

 

Brethren-in-Islam !

In religious parlance you often hear two words and use them also. One is Deen and the other is Shari'ah. But there are very few among you who would be knowing of the meaning of Deen and Shari'ah. The illiterate ones are, of course, incapable of understanding the nuance but fairly educated people, too, even many Maulvis, do not know the exact purport of these two words and the difference between their meanings. Due to this ignorance, Deen and Shari'ah are often mixed up with each other and this creates lot of confusion. Today I explain to you their meaning in very simple words.

 

Meaning of ' Deen'

There are several meanings of Deen. One meaning is honour, government, empire, monarchy and rulership. The second meaning is quite opposite to it, i.e. subordination, obedience, slavery, servitude and subjection. Third meaning is to account, to give judgment, and dispense reward and punishment of actions. The word Deen has been used in the Qur'an in all these three meanings.

Allah says:

Deen with Allah is al-Islam.

(Al-Qur'an 3:19)

This means that with Allah Deen is only that creed which make man recognize Allah alone as Possessor of Dignity and which does not allow him to bow himself before anybody save Allah. Man must regard only Allah as Master, Lord and Sovereign and must not be slave, servant and subservient to anybody except Him. He must consider Allah only as the Giver of reward and punishment, and must never be afraid of being accountable to anybody else except Him, must not be covetous of receiving reward from anybody else nor be afraid of punishment from anybody else. The name of this very Deen is Islam. If contrary to this, man considered some one else as possessor of real dignity, as a real ruler and master and as a real giver of reward and punishment, and bowed his head before him in humiliation, became servile to him, obeyed his orders, became eager for his reward and fearful of his punishment, then this will be false Deen, Allah never accepts this kind of Deen because it is totally contrary to reality. No other being except God is the Possessor of honour and dignity in this whole universe nor does there exist anybody else's sovereignty and kingdom. Man has not been created to be a servant and slave of anybody else nor is there anyone else except that real Master Who is capable of giving reward and punishment. This very fact has been pointed out thus in two verses:

"And whoso seeketh as Deen other than Islam, it will not be accepted from him."

(Al-Qur'an 3:85)

That is to say that whosoever, disregarding the sovereignty and kingship of God, acknowledges someone else as his master and ruler, and becomes his servant and slave, and considers that being as a giver of reward and punishment, God will never accept his Deen, because

"And they are ordered naught than to serve Allah, keeping Deen pure for Him, as men by nature upright.

(Al-Qur'an 97:5)

God has actually made human being His own slave and has not at all ordered them to be servile to anyone except Himself. It is, therefore, incumbent upon them to turn away from all directions and rivet their attention to their Deen, i.e. obedience and servitude, for Allah only. They should devote themselves to His service with single-mindedness, and be afraid of being accountable to Him alone.

"Seek they other than the Deen of Allah when unto Him submits whosoever is in the heavens and the earth, willingly, or unwillingly, and unto Him they will be returned.

(Al-Qur'an 3 : 83)

This means : Does man want to be servile and subservient to someone other than God although all those things that are in the earth and the heavens are slaves and obedient servants of God alone, and for the accountability of their deeds they have to submit themselves to no other authority than God? Does man seek to evolve a novel plan for himself in contravention the entire universe comprising earth and heavens?

"He it is Who has sent His Messenger with the guidance and the Deen of truth, that He may cause it to prevail over all Deens, however, much the idolaters may be averse."

(Al-Qur'an 10 : 33)

This means that Allah has sent His Messenger with the true Deen for the purpose that should end the sovereignty of all false authorities and make man so emancipated that he should become servant of none except that of the Lord of the universe no matter what hue and cry the unbelievers and polytheists may raise against it because of their ignorance.

"And fight them until persecution is no more and Deen is all for Allah."

(Al-Qur'an 8 : 39)

This means that you wage war so that the evil of the sovereignty of beings other than Allah is wiped out, and only the Law of God operates in the world, the sovereignty of God alone is acknowledged and man becomes slave exclusively that of God.

From this elucidation you must have understood the meaning of Deen.

To acknowledge God as Lord, Master and Ruler.

To obey and serve only God.

To obey afraid of accountability to God, to fear His punishment and to be greedy of His reward.

Since the commandments of God have been vouchsafed to human beings only through His Book and His Messenger, therefore, to recognise the Messenger as God's Messenger and the Book as God's Book and obey their injunctions is also the essential part of Deen as has been said in the Qur'an :

"O Children of Adam ! If messengers of your own come unto you who narrate unto you My revelations then whosoever refrains from evil and amends--there shall no fear come upon them neither they shall grieve.

(Al-Qur'an 7 : 35)

From this it is clear that Allah does not send His commandments direct to every person but through the medium of His Messengers. Therefore, one who acknowledges Allah as Ruler can be taken as obedient to Him only when he becomes obedient to His Messengers and carries out the orders received through the Messengers. This is exactly what Deen implies.

 

What is ' Shari'ah'

Now I shall tell you what Shari'ah is. The meaning of Shari'ah is mode and path. When you have acknowledged God as your sovereign and accepted His servitude and have also admitted that the Messenger is the tangible ruler holding authority on His behalf and that the Book has been sent by Him, it will mean you have entered Deen. After this, the mode in which you have to serve God and the path you have to traverse in order to obey Him, is called Shari'ah. This mode and path has been indicated by God through His Messenger who alone teaches the method of worshipping the Master and the way to become pure and clean. The Messenger shows us the path of righteousness and piety, the manner in which rights are discharged, the method of carrying on transactions and dealings with fellow-beings and the mode of leading one's life. But the difference is this that while Deen always was, has been, and is still one and the same, numerous Shari'ahs came, many were cancelled, several were changed but these alterations did not change the Deen. The Deen of Noah was the same as that of Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Shu'aib, Saleh, Hud and Muhammad ( peace be on them) but the Shari'ahs of these Prophets varied from each other to some extent. The modes of saying prayer and observing fast were of one kind with one prophet and of another kind with the other. Injunctions about Halal and Haram, rules of cleanliness and codes of marriage, divorce and inheritance somewhat differed from one Shari'ah to another. In spite of this, all were Muslims---the followers of Noah, the followers of Abraham, the followers of Jesus and those of Moses, and we too are all Muslims because Deen is one and the same for all. This shows that Deen is unaffected by differences is the rules of Shari'ah. Deen remains one though modes of following it differ.

 

Nature of difference among ' Shari'ahs'

To understand this difference, suppose there are many servants of a master. The one who does not acknowledge the master as such and does not consider his orders worthy of obedience, is a disobedient fellow excluded from the sphere of service, while those who acknowledge him as master, consider it incumbent upon themselves to obey his orders and are afraid of disobeying him, are included in the category of servants. If their modes of discharging duty and serving their master differ from each other, the fact of all of them being servants remains unaffected. If the master has shown one way of service to one servant and a different way to another, the former has no right to say that he alone is a servant and the latter is not. Similarly, if one servant on hearing his master's order understands its purport in one way and another servant in a different way, and both carry out that order as understood by them, then both are equal to each other in the matter of service. It is possible that one might have erred in understanding the meaning of the order and the other has understood the correct import, but as long as one has not refused to obey the order, no one has a right to tell him that he is disobedient and that he has been dismissed from the service of his master.

From this example you can very well understand the difference between Deen and Shari'ah. Prior to the Holy Prophet, Allah used to send various Shari'ahs through various prophets. One mode of service was sent forth for one prophet and another mode for another prophet. Those who served the Master according to all these modes were all Muslims though the systems of service were different from each other. Then when the Holy Prophet came, the Master commanded : " Now We cancel all the previous modes. From now on whosoever wants to serve Us must follow the system which We are now promulgating through Our last prophet". After this no servant has the right to do service according to previous methods, because if he does not accept the new method and is following the old methods, he is in fact not obeying the orders of the Master but following the prejudices of his mind. Therefore, he is dismissed from service or in the religious language, has become a Kafir.

 

Nature of difference between Juristic schools

This concerns the believers in the past prophets. As for the followers of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) the second part of this example applies to them appropriately. All those persons are Muslims who believe that the Shari'ah sent by Allah through the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) is Allah's Shari'ah and consider it compulsory to follow. Now if a certain person understands the injunctions of Shari'ah in one way and another person in a different way, while both follow these as per their understanding, none of them will be dismissed from service, irrespective of the difference found between their deeds, because each one of them who is following a particular mode is doing so with the consciousness that such is the master's order. In such a case, what right has one servant to say that he alone is the genuine servant while the other is not. The utmost he could say can be that he had understood the exact meaning of the master's order while the other had not, but how could he have the authority to discharge the latter from service? Whosoever displays such temerity assumes, as it were, the status of the master. He would seem to say :"Just as it is compulsory for you to obey the master's order, so also it is compulsory for you to accept my way of understanding. If you fail to do that, I shall with my own power dismiss you from the master's service". Just imagine what a serious thing it is ! For this very reason the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) said : " Whosoever unjustly brands a Muslim as Kafir, his verdict will bounce back on him". This is so because while God has made a Muslim subservient to His commandments, this fellow says: " No, you must also submit to my interpretation and my judgment. ( That is to say God alone is not your God but I am also a small god of yours). And if you do not obey my order I shall with my own power dismiss you from the servitude of God, irrespective of whether God Himself dismisses you or not". Whoever makes such a pretentious assertion involves himself in the danger of becoming a Kafir, irrespective of whether or not the other Muslim has turned a Kafir.

Gentlemen ! I hope you have fully understood the difference between Deen and Shari'ah. You must have also comprehended the fact that any difference in the modes of serving God does not entail deviation from Deen provided a man who follows a particular course is genuinely conscious of the fact that God and His messenger have

actually enjoined what he is doing, and that in support of his actions he possesses authentic proof from the Book of God or the Sunnah of His messenger.

 

Detriments of not realizing difference between ' Deen' and ' Shari'ah'

Now I want to tell you what harm is being caused to your community by not realizing the difference between Deen and Shari'ah.

There are several modes of offering Salah among Muslims. One Muslim rests his hands on the chest while another one puts them on the navel. One man recites Surah Fatiha while praying behind the Imam and the other does not. One man utters Amen loudly while the other utters it in a subdued tone. Each one of them is following the respective methods in full consciousness of the fact that this very method was followed by the Holy Prophet ( peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and in support of it he has unimpeachable authority. Therefore, both are followers of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in spite of their modes of offering Salat being different. But those unkind

people who regard these problems of Shari'ah as problems of Deen itself, have declared these differences in methods as variations in Deen. They segregated their groups, isolated their mosques, hurried abuses at one another, forcibly drove their opponents from mosques, fought legal battles and split Rasulullah's Ummah into factions.

When even this did not appease the minds of cantankerous elements, they started, on small pretext, labelling each other as Kafir or sinner and heretic. The position is that if a man evolves a principle according to his own understanding of the Qur'an and Sunnah, he does not confine it to himself but considers it necessary to impose it on others, and should they refuse to submit, he will ostracise them from God's Deen.

The different religious sects of Hanafi, Shafi'i, Ahl-i-Hadith etc. which you see among Muslims, all acknowledge the Qur'an and Hadith as final authority and draw injunctions therefrom according to their own understanding. May be that one sect's understanding is correct and that of the other one is incorrect. I am also a follower of one of these systems and consider it correct and also argue with those who are opposed to it in order to explain to them what is correct in my view and prove wrong what I consider to be wrong. But it is one thing if somebody's understanding is wrong and it is quite another thing to expel him from Deen. Every Muslim has the right to follow Shari'ah according to his understanding. If ten Muslims follow ten different methods, all of them are surely Muslims as long as they believe in Shari'ah. They constitute one Ummah and there is no reason at all for them to have the separate groups. But those who do not understand this point split the community into different factions on paltry matters, get severed from each other, set apart their Salat and Mosques, stop inter-marriages and inter-communications and organise groups of co-factionists in such a manner as if each group is an Ummah by itself.

 

Harmfulness of factionalism

You cannot assess what harm has been caused to Muslims by this factionalism. Merely to say the Muslims are one Ummah. There are eight crores of them in Hindustan. If such a big community were really united and worked hand in hand to raise aloft Allah's Kalima, who has the guts in the world to subdue them? But, in reality, due to this sectionalism this Ummah has been split into hundreds of factions. Their hearts are sore with each other. They cannot stand together even at the time of the gravest crisis. The Muslim belonging to one faction is as much, rather more, prejudiced against the Muslim belonging to another faction as is a Jew against a Christian. There have been cases when a member of one Muslim faction sided with unbelievers to humiliate a member of another Muslim faction. In such a situation, don't be surprised to see Muslims overpowered and dominated upon. This is what they have earned by their own hands. Upon them has descended that punishment which has been described thus by Allah in His Holy Book:

"..or to bewilder you with dissension and make you taste the tyranny one of another.

(Al-Qur'an 6:65)

That is to say, one form of punishment is that Allah divides you into different groups and you finish yourselves by cutting each other's throat.

Brethern! This punishment which is being suffered by Muslims in the whole of Hindustan seems most pronounced in the Punjab. Here the intersections strife of Muslims are the highest in number throughout the country, and it is due to this that in spite of your numerical majority in the Punjab, your strength is ineffectual. If you want your well-being, you must break these groups, live as brothers unto one another and become one united Ummah. There is nothing in the Shari'ah of God on the basis of which Ahl-i-Hadith, Hanafi, Deobandi, Brelvi, Shi'ah, Sunni etc. can constitute as separate Ummahs. These Ummahs are the product of ignorance. Allah made only one Ummah : " Ummah-e-Muslimah ".


"SALAH" (PRAYER)

IBADAT

Brethren-in-Islam !

In my previous lecture I had explained to you the meaning of Deen and Shari'ah. Today I elucidate before you the purport of another word which Muslims generally use but few people know its correct meaning. This word is ' Ibadat '. Allah has said in his Holy Book :-

"I have not created the jinn and humankind for any other purpose except that they should worship Me.

(Al-Qur'an 51:56)

It is clear from this verse that the purpose of your birth and of your life is no other than that of the worship of Allah. Now you can well imagine how much necessary it is for you to know the meaning of 'Ibadat. If you will not know the real meaning of this word you will not be able to fulfil the very purpose for which you have been created. And anything which does not fulfil its purpose results in fiasco. If a doctor cannot restore health to his patient, he is said to have failed in his profession. If a farmer cannot raise a good crop, he is said to have failed in cultivation. Similarly, if you have not been able to fulfil the real purpose of your life, i.e. 'Ibadat, it should be said that your whole life has been a failure. For this reason I want you all to hear and understand with full attention the meaning of 'Ibadat' and preserve it in mind because on it depends the success or failure of your life.

 

Meaning of ' Ibadat'

The word 'Ibadat' is derived from 'Abd. The meaning of 'Abd is servant and slave. Therefore the meaning of 'Ibadat is servitude and slavery. If a person who is a slave of somebody remains in his service as a slave and behaves with him as one should behave with a master, it is called servitude and 'Ibadat'. As against this, if a person who is a slave of somebody and also gets full salary from him but does not serve him just as a slave ought to serve his master, it will be called disobedience and insubordination. In fact, more appropriately, it amounts to being untrue to one's salt.

Now consider what should be the form of behaviour for a slave towards his master.

The first duty of a slave is to regard his master as his lord, and to consider it incumbent upon himself to be faithful to that being who is his master, nourisher, protector and warden, and firmly believe that no one except he is worthy of loyalty.

The second duty of a slave is to be always obedient to his master, to meticulously carry out his orders, never to draw back from his service, and to refrain from saying anything from his own mind or listening to anybody's word against his master's wishes. A slave is all the time and in all circumstances a slave. He has not the least right to say that he will obey a particular order of the master and disobey the other order or that he is his master's slave for a certain period and is free of his duty for the rest of the time.

The third duty of a servant is to respect and revere his master. He should follow the method laid down by his master for showing respect and reverence to him. He must definitely be present at the time fixed by his master for saluting him and should furnish proof of the fact that he is quite firm in his faithfulness and obedience to him.

These are the requisites which constitute together 'Ibadat'; firstly, fidelity to one's master; secondly, obedience to the master, and thirdly, respect and reverence for the master. What Allah has said in the verse : " I have not created the jinn and humankind for any other purpose except that they should worship Me " actually means that Allah created these two species so that they will be faithful only to Allah and to no other being, that they will follow the commandments of Allah only, that they will not listen to the order of any body else against Him, and will bow their heads in respect and reverence only to Him and to none else. These three things have been described by Allah in the comprehensive term: ' Ibadat '. This is what is meant from all those verses in which Allah has commanded that 'Ibadat' be performed to Him. The gist of the teachings of our Holy Prophet, and of all the prophets (peace be upon them) sent by God before him, is:

" You worship none save Him.

(Al-Qur'an 12:40)

Which means that there is only one Sovereign to whom you must be faithful, and that Sovereign is Allah, that there is one law which you should obey and that is the law of Allah and that there is only one being who should be worshipped and that Being is Allah.

 

Results of wrong meaning of ' Ibadat'

Keep this meaning of 'Ibadat' in mind and then give answers to my questions.

What will you say about that servant who instead of performing the duties prescribed by his master stands all the time before him with folded hands and goes on chanting his name? The master orders him to go and redeem what is due to such and such persons but he sticks to his post, and bowing to the master salutes him ten times and again stands up with folded hands. The master instructs him to go and remove such and such wrongs but he does not budge an inch and starts prostrating before him. The master commands: " Cut off the hand of the thief ". On hearing this order the servant still standing there, recites scores of time in an extremely melodious tone: " Cut off the hand of the thief," " cut off the hand of the thief, " but not once does he try to establish that system of Government under which the hand of a thief can be severed. Can you say that this man is really serving his master? If any servant of yours were to adopt such an attitude, I do not know what you will say about it. But I am surprised at you that a servant of God who behaves like this is regarded by you as a devout worshipper of God! This heartless person reads from dawn to dusk, God knows how many times, the Divine injunctions in the Qur'an but never stirs himself to carry out these injunctions. On the other hand, he starts offering Nawafil after Nawafil, chants the name of God on a thousand-bead rosary and recites the Qur'an in a melodious tone. When you see him in this position you exclaim: " What a devout and pious person he is!" This misunderstanding arises because you do not know the correct meaning of 'Ibadat'.

There is another servant who is busy day and night discharging duties entrusted to him by other people. He obeys their orders, and acts according to their laws, while he consistently flouts the commands of his real master but presents himself before him at the time of saluting and wags his tongue in chanting the master's name only. If a servant of any of you were to follow such a course, what will you do with him? Will you not throw back his salutation on his face ? When he will address you as master and lord, will you not at once turn back and retort : " You are an infernal liar and a cheat; you take salary from me and do the service of others. You verbally call me master and actually serve everybody else except me". This is a matter of simple common sense which everyone of you can easily understand. But how astonishing it is that you consider as 'Ibadat' of God the prayers, fasting, chanting on rosary-beads, recital of Qur'an, pilgrimage and Zakat of those people who day and night violate the law of God, act on the orders of unbelievers and polytheists, and never care for the commandments of God in the affairs of their life. This misunderstanding is also due to the fact that you are unaware of the real meaning of 'Ibadat'.

Take the example of yet another servant. The uniform fixed by the master for his servant is worn by this man with perfect trimming. He presents himself before the master showing the utmost respect and reverence. On hearing orders, every time he bows meekly and says: " With all my hearts I will obey", thus giving the impression that no other servant is more faithful than him. At the time of saluting, he stands ahead of everybody and excels all other servants in chanting the name of the master. But, on the other side, this very man renders service to the rebels and enemies of his master, participates in the conspiracies they hatch against him and co-operates with them in their efforts to efface his name from the world. In the darkness of night he commits burglary in his house and in the morning present himself with folded hands before him like an extremely faithful servant. What will you say about such a servant? Only this that he is a hypocrite, rebel and unfaithful. But what do you call those servants of God who behave like this? You call them Pir Sahib, Hadrat Maulana, religious people, pious persons and devotees of God. This is just because on seeing beards of full measure on their faces, their pyjamas two inches above their ankles, knobs due to Sajdah on their foreheads, their long sessions of Salah and their rosaries of big beads, you consider them highly religious and full of adoration to God. This misunderstanding arises also because you have not correctly grasped the meaning of 'Ibadat' and religiousness.

You think that standing towards Qibla with folded hands, bowing with your hands resting on the knees, prostrating with the hands, knees and forehead placed on the ground and uttering a few stereotyped words--only such few actions and movements are by themselves 'Ibadat. You think that to be hungry and thirsty from morning till evening every day from the first of Ramadan till the appearance of Shawwal moon is called Ibadat. You think that a verbal recital of some parts of Surahs of the Qur'an is called 'Ibadat'. You think that a visit to Mecca and circum-ambulation of Ka'ba is called 'Ibadat'. In short, you call Ibadat only the outward aspects of some actions, and whenever you notice any person doing these acts in their external forms, you think that he has performed 'Ibadat' of God and fulfilled the purpose of the verse:

" I created the jinn and humankind only that they might worship Me.

(Al-Qur'an 51:56)

After that he is quite free to do whatever he likes all his life.

 

'Ibadat '----Servitude throughout life

But the actual reality is that the 'Ibadat' for which God created you and which He has commanded you to perform, is something quite deferent. It is this: You obey the law of God in your life at every step and in every condition and free yourself of the shackles of every such law as is opposed to the law of God. Every move of yours should be within the limits prescribed for you by God. Every action of yours should be in conformity with the method laid down by God. As such, the life that you will spend in this manner will be an embodiment of Ibadat. In such a life, your being asleep, being awake, taking food and drinking water, even moving about and talking, are all 'Ibadat'. So much so that your going to your wife and kissing your child are also 'Ibadat'. The deeds which you call totally worldly, are all religious acts and 'Ibadat', provided during their performance you observe the limits imposed by God, and watch at every step what is allowed and what is not allowed by God, what is Halal and what is Haram, what has been made incumbent and what is forbidden, with which deed is God pleased and with which displeased? For instance, you go out to earn your livelihood. In this pursuit, many opportunities arise for you to acquire forbidden (Haram) money easily. If, for fear of God, you abstained from that money and earned only Halal livelihood, the time you spent in the latter, endeavour is all counted as 'Ibadat'. And the bread you brought home, ate yourself and fed with it your wife and children and also fed those who are deserving of it as prescribed by God--for all these acts you become worthy of reward and blessings of Allah. If, while walking on the road, you remove a stonepiece or a thorn lest it should hurt the slaves of God, this is also 'Ibadat'. If you nurse a patient or show the way to a blind man or help a person in distress, this is also 'Ibadat'. If while conversing with people, you abstained from lying, backbiting, slandering and passing of sarcastic remarks, and feeling afraid of God, told the truth only then all that time you thus spent in clean talk will be reckoned as spent in 'Ibadat'.

Therefore, the real Ibadat of God is to follow the law of God and lead a life according to His commandments from the period of adolescence to the time of death. There is no time fixed for 'Ibadat'. It must be performed all the time. There is no one particular shape of this 'Ibadat'. In every work and in every form God's Ibadat must be performed. Since you cannot say : " I am servant of God at such a time and I am not a servant of God at such a time", you cannot also say that such and such a time is earmarked for God's service and 'Ibadat' and the remaining time is not meant for that purpose.

Brethren ! You have now come to know the meaning of 'Ibadat' and also the fact that to serve God and to be obedient to Him throughout life in all circumstances is called 'Ibadat'. Now you, may ask : "What then are these things such as Salah, fasting and pilgrimage teach?" The answer is that the aim of these 'Ibadaat', which Allah has enjoined as obligatory upon you, is in reality to prepare you for that big Ibadat that you have to perform throughout your life in all conditions. Salah reminds you five times a day that you are a slave of Allah and to Him alone is due your servitude. Zakat repeatedly brings home to you the truth that the money you have earned is a gift of God. Do not spend it on corporeal urges only, but render what is due to your Master. Hajj makes such an impression of love and majesty of God on the heart that if once this impression gets rooted, its effect will never abate during the whole life. If after performing all these 'Ibadaat' your whole life becomes an embodiment of the 'Ibadat' of God, then undoubtedly your Salah is Salah, your fast is fast, your Zakat is Zakat and your Hajj is Hajj. But if this object is not achieved, no purpose is served by doing Ruku' and Sajdah, by spending days in hunger and thirst, by going through the formalities of Hajj and by setting aside Zakat money. These outward functions may be likened to a body which, if it has a soul and moves about and does work, is certainly a living human being, but, if it is soulless, it is no more than a corpse. A corpse has everything like hands and feet, eyes and nose but is devoid of soul. So you bury it under earth. Similarly, if the rules of Salah are being fulfilled, but if the fear of God, love for Him and loyalty to Him, for development of which Salah and fasting have been made compulsory, are missing, it will also be a soulless exercise.

In my future lectures I shall explain to you in detail how each one of those 'Ibadaat which have been made compulsory, prepares man for that big 'Ibadat'. I shall also explain that if you perform these 'Ibadaat' with full understanding and try to fulfil their main objective, what a great effect it can produce in your life !


WHAT DO YOU RECITE IN 'SALAH'

Brethren-in-Islam !

I have explained to you in my last lecture how Salah prepares a man for Allah's 'Ibadat, i.e. servitude and obedience. Whatever I said in this connection should have helped you to comprehend that if one offers Salah regularly considering it his duty according to the Divine injunction, it keeps alive in his mind the fear of God, the belief in His Omniscience and Omnipresence and the conviction that he is accountable before Him, even though he may not understand the meaning of what he is reciting. By this continuous practice the belief that he is slave of none but God and that God alone is his real Sovereign and Ruler, becomes a living consciousness in his mind. The habit of being dutiful and ready to carry out God's commandment is developed. All those qualities are automatically developed in him which are necessary to transform the entire life of a man into one of servitude and worship of God.

Now I want to stress the fact that if a man were to observe this very Salah with a full understanding of its contents and consciousness of what he is reciting, imagine what a tremendous effect will it produce on his thoughts, habits and natural qualities and to what great extent his power of faith will develop and how his life will be refashioned.

 

'Adhan' and its effects

Let us first take the case of Adhan. You are summoned by it five times a day with the following words:

Allahu Akbar, ( repeated four times )

Allah is the Greatest of all,

Ash-hadu al-la Ilaha ill-Allah( repeated twice )

I testify that there is no god but Allah.

Ash-hadu anna Muhammad-ar-Rasulullah ( repeated twice )

I testify that Muhammad (peace be on him) is the Messenger of Allah.

Hayya' ala-a-salah ( repeated twice )

Come for prayer.

Hayya'ala-a-falah ( repeated twice )

Come for well-being.

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar,

Allah is the Greatest of all, Allah is the Greatest of all.

La Ilaha ill-Allah,

There is no god but Allah.

See how forceful call it is ! How this voice reverberates five times a day and reminds you that. " All the big entities on the earth whom you see laying claim to divinity are liars. In the earth and the heavens there is only one Being Who possesses the attribute of greatness and He alone is worthy of worship. Come and worship Him. In His worship alone lies your well-being of this world and that of the Hereafter". Who is there who will not be moved on hearing this voice? How is it possible for anyone who has faith in his heart to hear such a great testimony and so powerful a call, and yet sit heedlessly and not run to bow his head before his Master ?

 

Wudu' (Ablution)

On hearing the above voice you rise from your seat and first of all see whether your body is clean or not, whether you have done Wudu' or not? This shows that you are conscious of the fact that the matter of attending the court of the Lord of all the worlds is different from all the other affairs of the world. Other works can be done in every condition but here it is highly disrespectful to attend without cleanliness of body and dress and, over and above it, without further purity, i.e. Wudu'. With this feeling you first satisfy yourself about your being clean and then begin doing Wudu'. If in the course of Wudu', while washing your limbs, you remember Allah and after finishing it recite the prayer taught by the Messenger of Allah (peace be on Him) no only your limbs but along with these your heart also will be washed clean. The words of this prayer are : -

Ash-hadu al la Ilaha ill-Allahu Wahdahula Sharika lahu Wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan 'abdu-hu wa rashuluhu Allah-umma j'alni min-attawwa bina waj'alni minalmuta-tahirin.

" I testify there is no god save one single God, Who has no associate and I testify that Muhammad is Allah's slave and messenger. O God ! include me among the penitents and make me keep pure."

 

Beginning

After this, you stand up for Salah with your face toward Qibla. Neat and clean you are attending the court of the Sovereign of the universe. First and foremost, you utter the words :

Allahu Akbar

"Allah is the Greatest of all ".

Admitting this superb reality, you raise your hands to your ears as if you have relieved yourself of the world and whatever there is in it. Then you clasp your hands around yourself so that you are now standing reverently before your Sovereign with folded hands. After this you make the following submission:

 

'Tasbih'

Subhanak-Allahumma wa bi-hamdika wa tabarakasmuka wa ta ala jadduka wa la-Ilaha ghairuk.

" O Allah, I affirm Thine purity and that too with your praise. Highly blessed is Thy name. Sublime is Thine greatness and there is no god save Thou".

 

'Ta'awwudh' (Seeking refuge with Allah)

A'uzu billahi min-ash-shaitan-ir-rajim "

I seek refuge in God from the intermeddling and mischief of coursed statan".

 

'Bismillah' (In the name of Allah)

Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Rahim

" I begin with the name of Allah Who is most Beneficent and Merciful."

 

'Hamd' (Praise of Allah)

Al-hamdu lillahi Rabbil-alamin

" Praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds".

Ar-Rahman-ir--Rahim

" The Beneficent, the most Merciful ".

Maliki Yaum-id-din "

Master of the Day of Judgement".

Iyyaka na'budu wa iyyaka nasta'in

" Thee alone do we worship and Thee alone we ask for help".

Ihdi-na-a-sirat-al-mustaqima

" Shows us the straight path ".

Sirat-allazina an'amta 'alaihim

" The path of those whom Thou hast favoured ".

Ghair-il-maghdubi 'alaihim wa la-ddallin "

Not ( the path) of those who earn Thine anger nor of those who go astray "

Amen ( Surah Al-Fatiha )

" Amen ! O God ! let it be so. O Lord ! grant this our prayer."

After this you recite some verses of the Qur'an each of which is wisdom and beauty. There are instructions, admonitions and lessons as also directions to guide you to the same straight path for which you have prayed in Surah Al-Fatiha.

For instance :

 

DIFFERENT SURAHS OF QUR'AN

1. 'Wal-Asr' (103)

Wal-'Asr-i Inn-al-Insana lafi Khusrin "

By the time," " Lo! man is in a state of loss."

IIlallazina amanu wa 'amilus-salihati

" Save those who believe and so do good works "

Wa tawasau bil-haqqi wa tawasau bi-s-sabr "

And exhort one another to truth and exhort one another to endurance. "

This Surah teaches us that the only way for man to be saved from destruction and failure is to believe and do good work. And this too is not enough. There ought to be a class of believers who should help each other in keeping Deen intact and in establishing it.

Or for instance :

 

2. 'Humazah' (104)

Wail-ullikulli humazatin lumazati

" Woe unto every slandering traducer,

Nil-lazi jama'amala wa 'addadah

" Who hath gathered wealth ( of the world ) and counted it.

Yahsabu anna malahu Akhladah

" He thinketh that his wealth will render him immortal.

Kalla layunbazanna fil hutamah

" Nay, but verily he will be flung to the Consuming One is !

Nar-ullah-il-muqadat-ullati tattalio'alal afidah

" ( it is ) the fire of Allah, kindled, " Which leapeth up over the hearts ( of men ).

Innaha 'alaihim musadatun fi amadam mumaddah

" Lo ! it is closed in one of them

" In outstretched columns."

Or for instance:

 

3. ' Al-Ma'un ' (107)

Ara-ait allazi yukazzibu biddin "

Hast thou observed him who belieth accountability ?

Fuzalik allazi Yadu 'ul-yatim "

That is who repelleth the orphan,

Wala Yahuddu 'ala Ta am-ul-miskin

" And urgeth not the feeding of the needy,

Fa-wail-ul-lilmusallin-allazina hum'an salati-him sahun. Allazina hum Yura'un Wa Yamna'un-al Ma'un

" Ah, woe unto worshippers

" Who are heedless of their prayer;

" Who wish to be seen ( at worship )

" And refuse small kindnesses".

" This surah teaches us that faith in the Hereafter is the essence of Islam. Without it a man can never walk on that which is the path of God. In short, whichever Surahs or verses of the Qur'an you recite in the Salah they impart you some kind of instruction or guidance and point out to you what are those commandments of God which you should follow in this world.

 

4. 'Ruku' (bowing)

After reciting these instructions you say Allahu Akbar and do Ruku'. Placing your hands on the knees you bow before your Master and utter repeatedly (either three times or five times or seven):

Subhana Rabbi-al-'Azim

" Blessed is my Lord the Magnificent ". Then you stand straight and say :

Sami'-Allahu li-man hamidah

" Allah listened to him who praised Him".

 

'Sajdah'

Then saying Allahu Akbar you prostrate twice in Sajdah and repeatedly utter :

Subhana Rabbi-al-Aa'la

" Blessed is my Lord Who is most High and Sublime".

 

5. 'At-Tahiyyat' (Salutation)

Then you raise your head saying Allahu Akbar and sit reverently and recite :-

Atta-hiyyatu lillahi was-salawatu wat-tayyibatu as-salamu'alaika ayyuh-an-Nabbiyu wa rahmat-ullahi wa barakatuhu

As-salamu 'alai-na wa 'ala'Ibadullahi-is-Salihin Ash-hadu an-la-Ilaha ill-Allah Wa ash hadu anna Muhammadan 'abduhu wa Rasuluh

" Our salutations, our prayers and all pure things are for Allah. Salutation to you O Prophet and Mercy and Blessing of Allah. Peace be on us and on all pious servants of Allah. I testify that there is no god save Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is the servant and messenger of Allah".

While giving this testimony you raise your first finger because this constitutes in the Salah a declaration of your faith and it is necessary while uttering it to give special attention and emphasis to it. After this you recite Durud blessing upon Muhammad (peace be upon him) :

 

'Salah'

Allahumma Salli ala Muhammadin wa 'ala Ali Muhammadin

Kama Sallaita 'ala Ibrahima wa 'ala ali Ibrahima Innaka Hamid-um-Majid

Allahumma barik'ala Muhammad-in-wa'ala ali Muhammadin Kama barakat 'ala Ibrahima wa 'ala ali Ibrahima innaka Hamid-um-Majid

" O God ! bestow benediction on Muhammad and on his progeny just as You showered blessings on Abraham and on his progeny. Most certainly You are adorned with the best qualities and are sublime. O God ! confer blessings on Muhammad and on his progeny just as You conferred blessings on Abraham and on his progeny. Most certainly You are adorned with the best qualities and are sublime. After recting this Durud you supplicate Allah :

 

6. 'Dua' (Supplication)

Allahumma inni a'uzu bika min 'azabi Jahannam wa a'uzu bika min'azabil Qabri wa a'uzu bika min fitnatil Masihiddajjal wa a'uzu bika min fitnatil mahya wal mamati wa a'uzu bika min-al ma-sini wal maghrim

" O God! I seek Your protection from the torture of hell, and I seek Your protection from the torture of the grave and I seek Your protection from the mischief of Dajjal pretending as Messiah and I seek refuge with You from the mischief of life and death. O God! I seek refuge with You from the responsibility of misdeeds and from indebtedness."

 

7. 'Salam' (Salutation at the time of concluding the prayers)

After recting the above Dua, Salah is complete. Now you return from the court of your Master, and what is the first thing you do on return? You turn your head to the right and to the left and pray for the safety and blessings of all those present and everything in the world:

As-Salam-o-Alaikum wa Rahmatullah

(Peace to you and mercy of Allah).

This is like good tidings that you have brought for the world on your return from the court of God.

The above is the Salah which you offer at dawn on rising from bed before you start the work of the world. Then after being busy for a few hours in some work you present your self in God's court in the afternoon to offer the same Salah again. Then after keeping busy for some hours you repeat it before dusk. Then again yourepeat it at dusk. Ultimately, on being relieved from the worldly work, and before going to bed, you present yourself for the last time before your Master. The concluding part of this final Salah consists of Witr, in the last rak'ah of which you submit a grand covenant before your Master. This is called Dua-i-Qunut. The meaning of Qunut is affirmation of humility, subservience and servitude before God. Listen carefully to words with which you make this affirmation:

 

8. 'Dua-i-Qunut'

Allahumma inna nasta-'inuka wa nastahdika wa nastaghfiruka wa nu minubika wa natawakkalu 'alaika-al-khaira wa nashkuruka wa la nakfuruka wa nakhla'u wanatruku manyyafjuruk

Allahumma iyyaka na'budu walaka nusalli wa nasjudu wailaika nas'a wa nahfidu wa narju rahmataka wa nakshha 'azabaka inna 'azabaka bil-kuffari mulhiq.

" O God! We seek help from You. We ask for Your guidance. We seek Your forgiveness. We affirm faith in You. We rely on You only and say all praise exclusively for You. We express gratitude to You and do not commit ungratefulness. We will abandon every such person and sever connection with him, who disobeys You O God! We are servile to You and we offer Salah and Sajdah to you only, and all our endeavour and striving are aimed at seeking Your pleasure only. We look for Your mercy and fear Your retribution. Certainly Your dire punishment will befall those who are unbelievers.

 

'Salah' and character-building

Brethren-in-Islam!

Imagine a person who hears the voice of Adhan five times in a day and feels that some big thing is being testified and we are being summoned to the presence of a highly powerfull sovereign; who every time on hearing this call, leaves all his work and runs to that Sublime Being Whom he considers Master of himself as also of the entire universe; who before every Salah purifies his body and soul with Wudu' and who performs with full understanding all these things again and again in the Salah which I have just now described to you--how is it possible that fear of God will not arise in his heart that he will not feel ashamed to violate God's commandments, that his soul will not shudder during his repeated attendance before God on account of his sins and evil doings? How is it possible that a man who affirms servitude and obedience to God, and believes in His being Master of the Day of Judgment, will, on resuming his worldly work, indulge in lies, dishonesty, usurping of others' rights, taking and giving of bribe, taking and giving of interest, causing injury to slaves of God and commit obscene and illicit acts, and yet go again in the presence of God loaded with all these misdeeds and have the guts to repeat these very affirmations? Aye! How is it possible that after making affirmation with full consciousness before God thirty-six times a day that " Thee (alone) we worship; Thee alone we ask for help" and worship others besides God and extend your hands before them for help? If once you have committed violation after making the affirmation, the second time when you go before God your conscience will censure you and you will be feel ashamed. The reproach will be greater at a second violation and the heart will upbraid you from within all the more. How can it happen throughout your life that you are continuously offering Salah five times a day and yet your deeds are not set right, your morals are not improved and your life is not fundamentally changed? For this very reason Allah has emphasised the characteristic of Salah as : " Verily Salah prevents man from committing indecency and lewdness". Yet if there be such a man who is unaffected even by such a tremendous reformatory process, then it is due to the wickedness of his own self not the fault of Salah. It is not the defect of soap and water. The reason is coal's own blackness.

Brethren ! There is very great deficiency in your Salah. And it is this that you do not understand what you recite in it. If you spend a little time you can learn by heart the meaning of all these Duas (supplications) in English or in your own tongue. Its benefit will be that you will understand what you recite.


WHAT DO YOU RECITE IN 'SALAH'

 

BRETHREN-in-Islam !

I have explained to you in my last lecture how Salah prepares a man for Allah's 'Ibadat, i.e. servitude and obedience. Whatever I said in this connection should have helped you to comprehend that if one offers Salah regularly considering it his duty according to the Divine injunction, it keeps alive in his mind the fear of God, the belief in His Omniscience and Omnipresence and the conviction that he is accountable before Him, even though he may not understand the meaning of what he is reciting. By this continuous practice the belief that he is slave of none but God and that God alone is his real Sovereign and Ruler, becomes a living consciousness in his mind. The habit of being dutiful and ready to carry out God's commandment is developed. All those qualities are automatically developed in him which are necessary to transform the entire life of a man into one of servitude and worship of God.

Now I want to stress the fact that if a man were to observe this very Salah with a full understanding of its contents and consciousness of what he is reciting, imagine what a tremendous effect will it produce on his thoughts, habits and natural qualities and to what great extent his power of faith will develop and how his life will be refashioned.

 

'Adhan' and its effects

Let us first take the case of Adhan. You are summoned by it five times a day with the following words:

Allahu Akbar, ( repeated four times )

Allah is the Greatest of all,

Ash-hadu al-la Ilaha ill-Allah( repeated twice )

I testify that there is no god but Allah.

Ash-hadu anna Muhammad-ar-Rasulullah ( repeated twice )

I testify that Muhammad (peace be on him) is the Messenger of Allah.

Hayya' ala-a-salah ( repeated twice )

Come for prayer.

Hayya'ala-a-falah ( repeated twice )

Come for well-being.

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar,

Allah is the Greatest of all, Allah is the Greatest of all.

La Ilaha ill-Allah,

There is no god but Allah.

See how forceful call it is ! How this voice reverberates five times a day and reminds you that. " All the big entities on the earth whom you see laying claim to divinity are liars. In the earth and the heavens there is only one Being Who possesses the attribute of greatness and He alone is worthy of worship. Come and worship Him. In His worship alone lies your well-being of this world and that of the Hereafter". Who is there who will not be moved on hearing this voice? How is it possible for anyone who has faith in his heart to hear such a great testimony and so powerful a call, and yet sit heedlessly and not run to bow his head before his Master ?

 

Wudu' (Ablution)

On hearing the above voice you rise from your seat and first of all see whether your body is clean or not, whether you have done Wudu' or not? This shows that you are conscious of the fact that the matter of attending the court of the Lord of all the worlds is different from all the other affairs of the world. Other works can be done in every condition but here it is highly disrespectful to attend without cleanliness of body and dress and, over and above it, without further purity, i.e. Wudu'. With this feeling you first satisfy yourself about your being clean and then begin doing Wudu'. If in the course of Wudu', while washing your limbs, you remember Allah and after finishing it recite the prayer taught by the Messenger of Allah (peace be on Him) no only your limbs but along with these your heart also will be washed clean. The words of this prayer are : -

Ash-hadu al la Ilaha ill-Allahu Wahdahula Sharika lahu Wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan 'abdu-hu wa rashuluhu Allah-umma j'alni min-attawwa bina waj'alni minalmuta-tahirin.

" I testify there is no god save one single God, Who has no associate and I testify that Muhammad is Allah's slave and messenger. O God ! include me among the penitents and make me keep pure."

 

Beginning

After this, you stand up for Salah with your face toward Qibla. Neat and clean you are attending the court of the Sovereign of the universe. First and foremost, you utter the words :

Allahu Akbar

"Allah is the Greatest of all ".

Admitting this superb reality, you raise your hands to your ears as if you have relieved yourself of the world and whatever there is in it. Then you clasp your hands around yourself so that you are now standing reverently before your Sovereign with folded hands. After this you make the following submission :

 

'Tasbih'

Subhanak-Allahumma wa bi-hamdika wa tabarakasmuka wa ta ala jadduka wa la-Ilaha ghairuk.

" O Allah, I affirm Thine purity and that too with your praise. Highly blessed is Thy name. Sublime is Thine greatness and there is no god save Thou".

 

'Ta'awwudh' (Seeking refuge with Allah)

A'uzu billahi min-ash-shaitan-ir-rajim "

I seek refuge in God from the intermeddling and mischief of coursed Satan".

 

'Bismillah' (In the name of Allah)

Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Rahim

" I begin with the name of Allah Who is most Beneficent and Merciful."

 

'Hamd' (Praise of Allah)

Al-hamdu lillahi Rabbil-alamin

" Praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds".

Ar-Rahman-ir--Rahim

" The Beneficent, the most Merciful ".

Maliki Yaum-id-din "

Master of the Day of Judgment".

Iyyaka na'budu wa iyyaka nasta'in

" Thee alone do we worship and Thee alone we ask for help".

Ihdi-na-a-sirat-al-mustaqima

" Shows us the straight path ".

Sirat-allazina an'amta 'alaihim

" The path of those whom Thou hast favoured ".

Ghair-il-maghdubi 'alaihim wa la-ddallin "

Not ( the path) of those who earn Thine anger nor of those who go astray "

Amen ( Surah Al-Fatiha )

" Amen ! O God ! let it be so. O Lord ! grant this our prayer."

After this you recite some verses of the Qur'an each of which is wisdom and beauty. There are instructions, admonitions and lessons as also directions to guide you to the same straight path for which you have prayed in Surah Al-Fatiha.

For instance:

 

DIFFERENT SURAHS OF QUR'AN

1. 'Wal-Asr'(103)

Wal-'Asr-i Inn-al-Insana lafi Khusrin "

By the time," " Lo! man is in a state of loss."

IIlallazina amanu wa 'amilus-salihati

" Save those who believe and so do good works "

Wa tawasau bil-haqqi wa tawasau bi-s-sabr "

And exhort one another to truth and exhort one another to endurance. "

This Surah teaches us that the only way for man to be saved from destruction and failure is to believe and do good work. And this too is not enough. There ought to be a class of believers who should help each other in keeping Deen intact and in establishing it.

Or for instance:

 

2. ' Humazah ' (104)

Wail-ullikulli humazatin lumazati

" Woe unto every slandering traducer,

Nil-lazi jama'amala wa 'addadah

" Who hath gathered wealth ( of the world ) and counted it.

Yahsabu anna malahu Akhladah

" He thinketh that his wealth will render him immortal.

Kalla layunbazanna fil hutamah

" Nay, but verily he will be flung to the Consuming One is !

Nar-ullah-il-muqadat-ullati tattalio'alal afidah

" ( it is ) the fire of Allah, kindled, " Which leapeth up over the hearts ( of men ).

Innaha 'alaihim musadatun fi amadam mumaddah

" Lo ! it is closed in one of them

" In outstretched columns."

Or for instance:

 

3. 'Al-Ma'un' (107)

Ara-ait allazi yukazzibu biddin "

Hast thou observed him who belieth accountability ?

Fuzalik allazi Yadu 'ul-yatim "

That is who repelleth the orphan,

Wala Yahuddu 'ala Ta am-ul-miskin

" And urgeth not the feeding of the needy,

Fa-wail-ul-lilmusallin-allazina hum'an salati-him sahun. Allazina hum Yura'un Wa Yamna'un-al Ma'un

" Ah, woe unto worshippers

" Who are heedless of their prayer;

" Who wish to be seen ( at worship )

" And refuse small kindnesses".

" This surah teaches us that faith in the Hereafter is the essence of Islam. Without it a man can never walk on that which is the path of God. In short, whichever Surahs or verses of the Qur'an you recite in the Salah they impart you some kind of instruction or guidance and point out to you what are those commandments of God which you should follow in this world.

 

'Ruku' (bowing)

After reciting these instructions you say Allahu Akbar and do Ruku'. Placing your hands on the knees you bow before your Master and utter repeatedly (either three times or five times or seven):

Subhana Rabbi-al-'Azim

" Blessed is my Lord the Magnificent ". Then you stand straight and say :

Sami'-Allahu li-man hamidah

" Allah listened to him who praised Him".

 

'Sajdah'

Then saying Allahu Akbar you prostrate twice in Sajdah and repeatedly utter :

Subhana Rabbi-al-Aa'la

" Blessed is my Lord Who is most High and Sublime".

 

'At-Tahiyyat' (Salutation)

Then you raise your head saying Allahu Akbar and sit reverently and recite :-

Atta-hiyyatu lillahi was-salawatu wat-tayyibatu as-salamu'alaika ayyuh-an-Nabbiyu wa rahmat-ullahi wa barakatuhu

As-salamu 'alai-na wa 'ala'Ibadullahi-is-Salihin Ash-hadu an-la-Ilaha ill-Allah Wa ash hadu anna Muhammadan 'abduhu wa Rasuluh

" Our salutations, our prayers and all pure things are for Allah. Salutation to you O Prophet and Mercy and Blessing of Allah. Peace be on us and on all pious servants of Allah. I testify that there is no god save Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is the servant and messenger of Allah".

While giving this testimony you raise your first finger because this constitutes in the Salah a declaration of your faith and it is necessary while uttering it to give special attention and emphasis to it. After this you recite Durud blessing upon Muhammad (peace be upon him) :

 

'Salah'

Allahumma Salli ala Muhammadin wa 'ala Ali Muhammadin

Kama Sallaita 'ala Ibrahima wa 'ala ali Ibrahima Innaka Hamid-um-Majid

Allahumma barik'ala Muhammad-in-wa'ala ali Muhammadin Kama barakat 'ala Ibrahima wa 'ala ali Ibrahima innaka Hamid-um-Majid

" O God ! bestow benediction on Muhammad and on his progeny just as You showered blessings on Abraham and on his progeny. Most certainly You are adorned with the best qualities and are sublime. O God ! confer blessings on Muhammad and on his progeny just as You conferred blessings on Abraham and on his progeny. Most certainly You are adorned with the best qualities and are sublime. After reciting this Durud you supplicate Allah :

 

'Dua' (Supplication)

Allahumma inni a'uzu bika min 'azabi Jahannam wa a'uzu bika min'azabil Qabri wa a'uzu bika min fitnatil Masihiddajjal wa a'uzu bika min fitnatil mahya wal mamati wa a'uzu bika min-al ma-sini wal maghrim

" O God! I seek Your protection from the torture of hell, and I seek Your protection from the torture of the grave and I seek Your protection from the mischief of Dajjal pretending as Messiah and I seek refuge with You from the mischief of life and death. O God! I seek refuge with You from the responsibility of misdeeds and from indebtedness."

 

'Salam' (Salutation at the time of concluding the prayers)

After recting the above Dua, Salah is complete. Now you return from the court of your Master, and what is the first thing you do on return? You turn your head to the right and to the left and pray for the safety and blessings of all those present and everything in the world:-

As-Salam-o-Alaikum wa Rahmatullah

(Peace to you and mercy of Allah).

This is like good tidings that you have brought for the world on your return from the court of God.

The above is the Salah which you offer at dawn on rising from bed before you start the work of the world. Then after being busy for a few hours in some work you present your self in God's court in the afternoon to offer the same Salah again. Then after keeping busy for some hours you repeat it before dusk. Then again you repeat it at dusk. Ultimately, on being relieved from the worldly work, and before going to bed, you present yourself for the last time before your Master. The concluding part of this final Salah consists of Witr, in the last rak'ah of which you submit a grand covenant before your Master. This is called Dua-i-Qunut. The meaning of Qunut is affirmation of humility, subservience and servitude before God. Listen carefully to words with which you make this affirmation:

 

8. 'Dua-i-Qunut'

Allahumma inna nasta-'inuka wa nastahdika wa nastaghfiruka wa nu minubika wa natawakkalu 'alaika-al-khaira wa nashkuruka wa la nakfuruka wa nakhla'u wanatruku manyyafjuruk

Allahumma iyyaka na'budu walaka nusalli wa nasjudu wailaika nas'a wa nahfidu wa narju rahmataka wa nakshha 'azabaka inna 'azabaka bil-kuffari mulhiq.

" O God! We seek help from You. We ask for Your guidance. We seek Your forgiveness. We affirm faith in You. We rely on You only and say all praise exclusively for You. We express gratitude to You and do not commit ungratefulness. We will abandon every such person and sever connection with him, who disobeys You O God! We are servile to You and we offer Salah and Sajdah to you only, and all our endeavour and striving are aimed at seeking Your pleasure only. We look for Your mercy and fear Your retribution. Certainly Your dire punishment will befall those who are unbelievers.

 

'Salah' and character-building

BRETHREN-in-Islam!

Imagine a person who hears the voice of Adhan five times in a day and feels that some big thing is being testified and we are being summoned to the presence of a highly powerful sovereign; who every time on hearing this call, leaves all his work and runs to that Sublime Being Whom he considers Master of himself as also of the entire universe; who before every Salah purifies his body and soul with Wudu' and who performs with full understanding all these things again and again in the Salah which I have just now described to you--how is it possible that fear of God will not arise in his heart that he will not feel ashamed to violate God's commandments, that his soul will not shudder during his repeated attendance before God on account of his sins and evil doings? How is it possible that a man who affirms servitude and obedience to God, and believes in His being Master of the Day of Judgment, will, on resuming his worldly work, indulge in lies, dishonesty, usurping of others' rights, taking and giving of bribe, taking and giving of interest, causing injury to slaves of God and commit obscene and illicit acts, and yet go again in the presence of God loaded with all these misdeeds and have the guts to repeat these very affirmations? Aye! How is it possible that after making affirmation with full consciousness before God thirty-six times a day that " Thee (alone) we worship; Thee alone we ask for help" and worship others besides God and extend your hands before them for help? If once you have committed violation after making the affirmation, the second time when you go before God your conscience will censure you and you will be feel ashamed. The reproach will be greater at a second violation and the heart will upbraid you from within all the more. How can it happen throughout your life that you are continuously offering Salah five times a day and yet your deeds are not set right, your morals are not improved and your life is not fundamentally changed? For this very reason Allah has emphasised the characteristic of Salah as : " Verily Salah prevents man from committing indecency and lewdness". Yet if there be such a man who is unaffected even by such a tremendous reformatory process, then it is due to the wickedness of his own self not the fault of Salah. It is not the defect of soap and water. The reason is coal's own blackness.

BRETHREN ! There is very great deficiency in your Salah. And it is this that you do not understand what you recite in it. If you spend a little time you can learn by heart the meaning of all these Duas (supplications) in English or in your own tongue. Its benefit will be that you will understand what you recite.


CONGREGATIONAL PRAYER

Brethren-in-Islam!

In my previous lectures I described to you the benefits of Salah from which you must have gathered what a tremendously powerful form of ?ibadat it is, how it develops in man the capacity to reach the acme of servitude and how he is enabled to render what is due on him in this respect. Now I want to explain to you the advantages of congregational Salah on learning which you will be able to judge how Allah by His graciousness has combined all blessings in one single item. Firstly, Salah by itself was already sufficiently effective, but by ordering to offer it in congregation it has been rendered doubly powerful and invested with a dynamism which is matchless in bringing a healthy change of man.

 

What qualities does 'Salah' produce?

I have already told you that real ?ibadat consists in considering oneself perpetually a slave of God, living in subjection to the will of the Master like an obedient servant, and being constantly ready to execute His orders. And Salah equips man to perform this very ?ibadat. I have also pointed out to you that whatever qualities are required to enable man to do this ?ibadat, are all developed by Salah. Consciousness of being a slave, faith in God, in His Messenger and in His Book, belief in the Hereafter, fear of God, acknowledgement of God as Knower of the unseen and considering Him always close to yourself, readiness in all conditions to obey God and awareness of His commandments, these and all other such qualities needed to make man God's slave in the real sense of the word, are developed in you by Salah.

 

Complete servitude not possible by one man alone

But if you examine a little carefully you will come to know that a man, however, perfect he may be in his own place, cannot fulfil all the requirements of being a servant of God unless other servants of God also assist him. He cannot carry out all the injunctions of God until all those people with whom he has to live day and night and with whom he has to carry on dealing all the time, cooperate with him in this task of obeying God. Man is not alone in this world nor can he do any work singly. His whole life is bound in a thousand and one relationships with his fraternal associates, friends, neighbours, men with business dealings and countless companions in life. Allah's commandments too are not confined to one single man but are meant to set right these very relationships. Now if all these people cooperate with each other in carrying out the injunctions of God and render mutual help, all of them can jointly become obedient servants of God. And if all are bent on disobedience or if their mutual relations are such that they cannot help each other in following the injunctions of God, then it is impossible for a single person to act wholly according to the law of God in his life.

 

Not possible to fight alone with Satan

When read the Qur'an carefully you will know that God does not command that you alone should become His submissive and obedient slave but that He has also ordered that along with yourself you should make the world too submissive and obedient to him and propagate and enforce his law in the world, and also exterminate the law of Satan wherever it is prevalent and then establish in its place the paramount of the law of Allah. This tremendous duty entrusted to you by Allah cannot be performed by one Muslim alone and even if millions of Muslims try to do it in individual capacity they cannot subdue the organised force of the servants of Satan. For this purpose it is necessary for Muslims to become one team helping and backing up each other, and all striving together to one single objective.

 

What is desired is compliance with order

Then when you look at it with a deep insight, the fact will become evident to you that for such a grand objective it is also necessary that this union should be formed on the right lines. That is to say the party of Muslims should be organised in such a manner that their relations with each other are as correct and proper as these ought to be. There should be nothing wrong in their mutual relationship. They should have a unified aim. They should obey one chief. They should develop the habit of moving at his command. And they should also understand how far and in what manner they have to obey their chief and what are the occasions to disobey him.

 

BENEFITS OF CONGREGATIONAL PRAYERS ( SALAH )

Keeping in view all the above facts you can now perceive how congregational Salah performs all this work.

 

Assembling on one call

It is ordained that hearing the call of Adhan you should leave your work and go to the mosque. The rising of Muslims from all sides on hearing this call and gathering at one centre creates in them the same condition as is found in the army. Soldiers on hearing the sound of the bugle understand that their commander is calling them. On hearing this summons only one kind of feeling is aroused in the minds of all, i.e. the thought of obeying, the order of the commander and in response to this call all of them do only one work, i.e. they run at this voice and flocking from every side assemble at one place. Why is such a system followed in the army? For this very reason that firstly the habit and trait be cultivated in every soldier to obey and carry out orders separately one by one and then simultaneously all such obedient soldiers become one group, and one team, and develop the habit of gathering on the commander's order at one place and at one time so that when a war takes place, the entire army should gather on one call and work together for one single objective. It should never happen that all the soldiers, who may be great warriors by themselves, when called to perform a task do not assemble to put up a fight and go about their own way according to their individual wish. If such be the condition of any army, a platoon of fifty soldiers of the enemy can finish one thousand brave soldiers of it by catching hold of them individually. Exactly on this principle has the rule been made for Muslims also that whichever Muslim hears the voice of Adhan he should at once leave all his work and go to the mosque so that all Muslims joining together become an army of Allah. They are made to do the practice of thus assembling five times a day because the duty of this army of God is harder than that of all the armies of the world. For other armies a war takes place after long periods and for its sake they have to do all these military exercises at intervals. But this army of God has to fight with satanic forces perpetually and has to carry out the orders of the commander without break. And yet it is a very great concession to it that only for five times a day it is ordered to hurry up on hearing the divine bugle and assemble in the cantonment of God, i.e. mosque.

 

Purposeful assembly

This is the benefit accruing from Adhan only. Next you gather in the mosque and this gathering itself provides innumerable advantages. Here you meet each other, recognize each other and come to know each other. It is in this capacity that you are all slaves of God, followers of one Prophet, believers in one Book, and there is only one aim of life for you all. You have all gathered here to fulfil this aim only and you have to carry on fulfilling it even after going back from here. This kind of attachment and this type of acquaintance automatically creates in you the feeling that you are all one community, you are soldiers of the same army, you are brothers unto each other, and your interests, your aims, your losses and profits are all common, and your lives are integrated with each other.

 

Mutual sympathy

Again when you will look, at each other, it will not be like an enemy but like a friend looking at a friend and a brother looking at a brother. As such, when you will notice that a brother of yours is in tattered clothes, another with sorrowful looks, some other has come with a starved face while yet another is disabled, crippled or blind, then inevitably sympathy from them will be aroused in your heart. Those of you who are well-off will take pity on the poor and the helpless among them. The afflicted ones will have the courage to approach the rich ones and acquaint them with their plight. When it will be known about someone that he did not come to the mosque due to illness or any calamity, it will occur to someone to visit him to enquire about his welfare. If the news will reach of anybody's death all will join to perform his funeral Salah and share the grief of the bereaved family. All these things are conducive to your mutual affection and the spirit of helping each other.

 

Gathering for a sacred purpose

Now see that you have gathered at a sacred place for a sacred purpose. This is not an assembly of thieves, drunkards and gamblers whose hearts are reeking with impure intentions. This a gathering of slaves of Allah for the purpose of worshipping Allah, in Allah's house. All have come here to affirm their servitude to Allah. in a setting like this, in the first place an honest person would feel ashamed of his sins within himself, but in case he has previously committed any sin in front of any of those present there, this confrontation will make him extremely repentant. And if there is desire among Muslims to admonish each other and if they know how to improve each other's condition with sympathy and love, be sure that this gathering will be a source of blessing and beneficence. In this way all the Muslims together will remove each other's deficiency and the whole community will gradually become a community of virtuous and pious person.

 

Brotherhood

The above blessing emanate from the mere act of Muslims gathering in the mosque. Now, next to it, there are many more latent blessings in offering Salah with the congregation. You stand in a row shoulder with each other. No one is high or low nor is there anyone holding a high rank or of a low status. In the divine court in the presence of God, all belong to one class. Nobody gets polluted if any fellow-worshipper's hand or body touches him. All are pure because all are human beings. All are slaves of God and believers in one Deen only. There is distinction among Muslims of families, tribes and countries. Someone is Sayyid, someone is Pathan, someone is Rajput, someone is Jat, someone belongs to one country and someone to another, some speaks one language and some another, but all are standing in one row engaged in worshipping God. This signifies that all comprise one nation. The division of family and lineage, tribes and nations, is all false. The greatest relation between you is that of servitude and worship of God. When you are one in this matter, why should you be separate in any other matter ?

 

Uniformity in movements

Then, when you stand shoulder to shoulder with each other, it appears that an army is in attention for service before their Master. By standing in a line and by making movements simultaneously, a spirit of singleness of purpose develops in your minds. You are made to do this practice, to become one in the servitude of God in such a manner that all of you raise your hands together and move your feet together as if you are not ten, twenty, hundred or thousand persons but have jointly become like a single man.

 

Prayers

What do you do after thus standing together in one line? With one voice you submit to your Master :

Iyyaka na'budu wa iyyaka nasta'in

" Thee alone do we worship; Thee alone do we ask for help".

Ihdi-na-s-sirat-al mustaqim

" Shows us the straight path".

Rabba-na lakal-hamd

" Our God! Praise is for You only".

As-Salam-o-'Alai-na wa ' la ibadillah-is Salihin

" Blessing be on all of us and on the pious servants of God".

Then after finishing Salah you pray thus for blessing and benediction to each other :

As-Salam-o-Alaikum wa rahmat-u-Allah.

This means that all of you are well-wishers of each other. All unitedly pray to only one Master for the well-being of all. None of you is alone and by himself. None of you ask for everything for himself only. Everybody's wish is that God's benevolence be bestowed on all, all be granted the ability to walk on the one straight path only, and all share together the blessing of God. In this way Salah unites your hearts, creates harmony in your ideas and develops among you a relationship of well-wishing for each other.

 

Congregation under an Iman (Leader)

But note that you never offer congregational Salah without an Iman. Even when two men pray together, one of them will be Imam and the other Muqtadi. When the Jama?at is formed, it is strictly prohibited to say Salah away from it. If you do that such a Salah will not be valid at all. Late-comers are ordained to join the Jama?at behind the same Imam. All this procedure is not restricted to Salah only. In fact a lesson has been given through it that if you want to live as Muslims, live as a united party like this. Your party cannot be a party at all unless you have an Imam. And when the party is formed, to be separate from it means that your life has ceased to be the life of a Muslim.

 

Quality and significance of Imamat

It is not confined to this much only. The relation between the Imamat and his followers has been established in a manner as to let you know that if the position of your Imam is such in this small mosque what position your Imam occupies in that grand mosque which is called "earth". What are his duties, what are his rights, how should you obey him, in which matters you should follow him, what should you do if he makes a mistake, to what extent you should follow him when he goes wrong, on what occasion you have the right to check him, when can you demand from him to correct his mistake and at what juncture you can remove him from Imamat. All this amounts to a practice on a small scale for running a big government---a practice which you are made to do five times a day in every small mosque.

 

CONDITIONS AND RULES OF IMAMAT

There is no time here to go into all the details but I state a few broad points :

1. Pious and virtuous

It is ordained that such a person should be made Imam who is virtuous, advanced in scholarship, has greater knowledge of Qur'an than others and is also advanced in years. The order of priority of these qualities has been explained in the Hadith. On this basis instruction has been given as to which attributes should be kept in view while choosing a national leader.

2. Representative of majority

It is ordained that the Imam should not be a person whom the majority of the Jama?at does not like. Usually, there is hardly anybody who has no opponent but if an over-whelming number of persons in the Jama?at dislike a person, he should not be made Imam. Here again a rule has been expounded for the election of a nation's leader.

3. Sympathetic to followers

It is ordained that the person who has been made Imam should conduct Salah in such a way that no strain is caused even to the oldest man in the congregation. He should not recite lengthy verses nor do long Ruku' and Sajdahs which may suit only the young, strong, healthy and people having leisure but he should take note of those also who are aged, sick and weak as well as those who are busy persons wanting to finish the Salah soon and go back to work. The Holy Prophet (peace be on him) has set an example of so much kindheartedness and affection that while leading the Salah if he heard the cries of children he used to shorten the Salah in order that their mother, if she is present in congregation, may not get worried. This serves as an advice to the national leader as to what he should do when elected to that office.

 

4.He should vacate if disabled

It is ordained that if the Imam while leading the Salah meets with an accident which incapacitates him for his task, he must immediately quit and put in his place one of the men behind. This means that it is obligatory for the national leader also that when he feels unable to carry on his functions he should himself withdraw and make room for a competent person to take over. In this there is no element of shame nor of selfishness.

5.Complete obedience to Imam

It is ordained that the actions of the Imam should be strictly followed. To move before he moves is strictly prohibited, so much so that in regard to a person who goes into Ruku' or Sajdah before the Imam does so, it has been said in a Hadith that he will be raised after death as an ass. Here the nation has been given a lesson as to how it should obey its chief.

6.Admonition at mistake

If the Imam commits a mistake in the Salah, e.g. he stands up when he has to sit, or sits down when he has to stand up, the order is that he should be called to attention by the word: " Subhan Allah ". Subhan Allah means that Allah is pure and holy. To say Subhan Allah at the mistake of the Imam means: " Allah alone is above mistake; you are a human being it is not surprising from you to make an error ". This is the method to point out the mistake of the Imam and when he is thus warned it is incumbent on him to correct his mistake without any feeling of discredity. Of course if in spite of this notice of correction the Imam is confident that what he did was right he can continue as he thinks fit and in such an eventuality it is the duty of the Jama?at to follow him in spite of knowing that he is wrong. After finishing the Salah the followers have a right to convince the Imam of his mistake and demand from him to conduct the Salah afresh.

7.No obedience in sin

This treatment of the Jama?at with the Imam is limited to situations which involve mistake in small matters. But if the Imam, contrary to the Prophet's Sunnah, changes the method of the Salah or knowingly recites the Qur'an incorrectly in the Salah, or, while conducting it, indulges in acts of Kufr or Shirk, or commits a clear sin, it is incumbent on the Jama?at to immediately discontinue the Salah and break away from the Imam.

All those directions are such in which a complete teaching has been given as to how you should treat your leader in your national life.

Brethren-in-Islam !

You would have judged from the benefits I have related, which accrue from congregational Salah, that how Allah, in this ?ibadat being offered five times in the whole day for a few minutes only, has combined for you the well-being of this world and the Hereafter, how this one single practice enriches you with all possible blessings and how it prepares for the servitude of Allah and for the sovereignty of the world. Now you will surely raise the question that when Salah is such a remarkable thing, then why the benefits I have described are not being realised? I shall Insha-Allah (God willing), give its answer in my next discourse.


WHY HAS 'SALAH' BECOME INEFFECTIVE

Brethren-in-Islam !

In today's lecture I have to explain to you as to why Salah, the numerous benefits of which I have been continuously describing to you in my several discourses, is not now yielding these benefits. Why is it that although you offer Salah, yet your life is not ameliorated, your morals do not become pure, you do not become a powerful army of God, the unbelievers are dominating over you, and you find yourselves in a wretched and destitute plight? A brief answer to this question could be that, firstly, you do not generally offer Salah and, secondly, when you offer it you do not perform it in the manner prescribed by Allah and His Messenger. Therefore you cannot expect those benefits from Salah which elevate a Momin to the highest degree of excellence. But I know this much answer will not satisfy you. Therefore I shall explain this point to you in some detail.

 

One example--------clock

You see in the clock fixed on the wall before you that lots of small parts in it are joined with each other. When you wind it, all the parts start working and as these parts move, the result of their movements starts showing on the white disc outside, i.e. both the hands crawl to denote each second and each minute. Now you observe carefully. The purpose of making the clock is that it should indicate the correct time. With this aim in view all those parts which are necessary to show the correct time have been fitted in. Then all these have been joined with each other so that together they move synchronously, while every part performs that much specific work which it must to give the correct time. Then the winding system was made so that these parts do not remain stationary but move recurrently. Thus when all the parts were adjusted correctly and winding was done, then only did this clock begin fulfiling the purpose for which it was made. If you do not wind it, it will not show time. If you wind it but not according to the method prescribed for it, it will stop, or, even it works, it will not give the correct time. If you remove some of the parts and then wind it, it will be a futile effort. If you replace some of the parts with those of the sewing machine and then wind it, it will neither indicate the time nor sew any cloth. If you keep all its parts inside it but disjoin these from each other then no part will move even after winding it. Although all the parts will be present inside it yet their presence will not serve the purpose for which a clock is made because you have disrupted their arrangement as well as their connection with each other as a result of which they cannot move together. In all these positions which I have described to you, although both the existence of the clock and the act of winding it become useless, an observer from a distance cannot say that it is not a clock or that you are not winding it. He will surely say that its shape is just like that of a clock and will expect that it will be as useful as a clock. Similarly, when from a distance he will see you winding it he will take it as a genuine effort on your part to do the job hoping to notice the result which comes off from winding a clock. But how can this expectation be fulfilled when it looks like a clock only from a distance while in reality it has lost its existence.

 

Aim of Muslim 'Ummah'

You can understand the whole situation from the example I have given you. You can judge Islam on the lines of this clock. Just as the purpose of the clock is to indicate the correct time, in the same way the aim of Islam is that you live in this world as the vicegerent of God, as a witness of God against mankind and a standard-bearer of the campaign of Truth in this world. You must yourselves follow the commandments of God, enforce these on all people and make them submissive to the law of God. This objective has been clearly stated in the Qur'an :

"You are the best community that has been raised up for mankind. Your task is to enjoin righteousness on all and prevent them from misdeeds, and believe in Allah.

(Al-Qur'an 3:110)

" And thus We have made you the best community so that you be witness against mankind.

(Al-Qur'an 2:143)

" Allah has promised such of you as believe and do good work that He will surely make them His caliph in the earth.

(Al-Qur'an 24:55)

"And fight them till the mischief of servitude to other than Allah is annihilated and the worship is Completely for Allah alone.

(Al-Qur'an 8:39)

 

Islamic orders are coherent like parts of clock

In order to fulfil this purpose, in Islam also all the parts, like those of the clock, have been assembled which are considered necessary and appropriate. Religious beliefs and principles of morality, rules for worldly dealings, rights of God, rights of His slaves, rights of one's own self, rights of everything in the world which you encounter, rules of earning livelihood and methods of expenditure, law of war and rules for making peace, laws of governance and the manner of obeying the Islamic government---all these are parts of a clock, are fastened to each other in such a sequence that as soon as winding is done, every part, in conjunction with the parts starts moving and with the movement of all these parts, the real result, i.e. domination of Islam and preponderance of God's laws in the world, starts continuously manifesting itself just as with the movement of the parts of the clock in front of you, the result goes on appearing on its white disc. In order to fasten together the different parts in the clock; some nails and small pieces of metal have been used. Similarly, in order to keep together all the parts Islam had to maintain their correct sequence, there is one instrument which is called Nizam-i-Jama?at. There should be a chief of the Muslims equipped with correct knowledge and adorned with the quality of piety and the brains in the Jama?at, should jointly help him and the limbs of the Jama?at should obey him. With the strength of them all, he should enforce the laws of Islam and prevent the people from violating them. In this way when all the parts are joined together, and they are properly arranged, then to set them in motion and to continue their movement, winding is necessary and that winding is provided by Salah which is offered five times in a day. Then it is also necessary to clean this clock and for this purpose fasting constitutes the cleaning process which is observed for thirty days in a year. And this clock requires to be lubricated. Zakat is that oil which is applied to its parts once in a year. This oil does not come from outside but some parts of this clock themselves produce oil, and, after lubricating the parts of the machine, enable it to function smoothly. Then it is also necessary to overhaul it off and on. Hajj is that overhauling which it is necessary to perform at least once in a lifetime. And the more it is done, the better it is.

 

Joining disparate not useful

Now you should note that this process of winding, cleaning, lubricating and overhauling can be useful only when all the parts of the clock are present in the frame, when each one of these is joined with the other in the same order as was followed by the clock-maker, and all are so fitted that immediately on winding they start moving and begin showing result. But here the situation has become quite different. First of all the very Nizam-i-Jama?at with which the parts of the clock were fastened together, has ceased to exist, with the result that all the fittings have got loosened and disjointed, and the parts left scattered. Now everybody does whatever comes into his mind. There is nobody to question anything. Everyone is independent. If he desired, he would follow the Islamic law, otherwise not. When even this did not satisfy you, you pulled out many parts of the clock and in their place everybody, as he chose, brought any part he wished from some other machine and fixed it therein. One person brought a part of sewing machine which he liked, another brought a part of flour mill for which he took a fancy, and yet another brought something from a motor lorry which he admired, and they all fixed these pieces in the clock. The simile is apt because, you, being a Muslim, carry on business in usury, you have insured your life with an insurance company, you get involved in bogus law suits, you render loyal service to Kufr, your daughters, sisters, and wives are being turned into Mem Sahibs, your children are being imparted materialistic education. Mr. Gandhi is also being followed along with singing of songs in praise of Mr. Lenin. In short, there is no un-Islamic gadget which our Muslim brothers have not thrust in the frame of the clock of Islam.

 

Those desirous of unexpected results

After doing all these antics you now desire this clock to operate on winding it, and show the same result for which it was made. Also by the supposed cleaning, lubricating and overhauling of it you expect the same benefits that naturally follow a genuine process. With a little wisdom you can easily understand that in the condition to which you have reduced the clock no result can be achieved even if you wind it, lubricate it and overhaul it for your whole life. Till such time as you do not remove the parts brought from outside and in their place put the original ones and fix and tighten them with the same arrangements as was followed in the beginning, you can never expect those results which were once shown by the clock.

 

Real reason why religious practices are ineffective

Please understand fully that the above is the real reason why your Salah, fasting, Zakat and Hajj are inconsequential. In the first place, there are so few among you who offer Salah, observe fast, give Zakat and perform Hajj. Due to the dissolution of Nizam-e-Jama?at everybody has become totally independent. Whether he fulfils these obligatory duties or not, nobody is there to question him. Neither those who perform these functions, do so in a befitting manner. There is no constancy among them in attending congregational Salah and if that practice is found anywhere, such persons are selected as Imams in the mosques who are fit for no other work in the world. Those who subsist on the charity-bread doled out to mosques and are uneducated, having no calibre and morally depressed, have been appointed any you as Imams of that Salah which was ordained to make you Allah's vicegerent upon the Earth. Likewise, the condition of fasts, Zakat, and Hajj is such that it defies description. In spite of all these facts you may assert that even now there are certainly numerous Muslims who discharge their religious duties in proper order. But as I have stated, when the position is this that the parts of the clock have been disjointed and scores of pieces from outside have been inserted in it, it makes no difference if you wind it or not, clean it or not, lubricate it or not. Of course from a distance it does look like a clock. An observer would say :"This is Islam and you are Muslims". When you wind this clock and clean it, a distant onlooker would conclude that you are doing it quite genuinely. Nobody can obviously deny its being "Salah" and Fasting", but what do the observer know that inside this outward frame all sort of "workmanship" has been spoilt?

 

Our deplorable condition

Brethren-in-Islam !

I have explained to you the real reason why religious deeds of yours are today unproductive of result and why, despite offering Salah and observing fasts you are in the clutches of unbelievers and an easy prey to every oppressor, instead of becoming a divine inspector. But if you won't take it ill, I may tell you a far more distressing fact. You no doubt regret this plight and feel its pang but there are nineteen hundred and ninety-nine in a thousand such people, even more, who are not willing for a change through the proper remedy. They cannot bear prefabrication of this clock of Islam which has been dismembered and infested with accretions by all and sundry according to their individual liking, because when the extraneous material will be jettisoned in this process each and every body's pet article will be inevitably removed. It cannot be that things liked by others are done away with but the extraneous part you have inserted is retained. Similarly, when your piece is riveted, all other pieces will also be riveted alongside. It is not possible at all that the pieces of all others are tightened and your pieces alone are left loose. The central point, therefore, is that when these will be tightened, others also will be tightened with these, and it is a labour difficult to be tolerated by the people cheerfully.

That is why they want this clock to remain as it is as a piece of decoration on the wall for people to be brought and shown from a distance as a bundle of miracles. Those who are greater well-wishers of this clock than others would like to repeatedly and zealously wind it in this very condition and also clean it most laboriously but will never have its parts properly reset and tightened, nor will they desire to get rid of the extraneous parts.

I wish I could fall in line with you but I am helpless because I cannot negate my knowledge. I assure you that, in view of deplorable condition if, besides the five-time prayer, you were to offer TaHajjud, Ishraq and Chasht prayers, and also read the Qur'an for five hours a day, and observe, over and above Ramadan, extra fasts for five and a half months in the remaining eleven months, even then no benefit will be achieved. The position you ought to understand is that only after the original parts are set properly in the clock and are riveted firmly, then even a slight winding will make it operate smoothly, and a little cleaning and lubrication of it will also produce the desired result. Otherwise, if you wind it for the whole of your life, the clock will never work.

Wama alaina illal balagh.

There is no responsibility on us except conveying the truth).


FASTING

 

FASTING WAS MADE OBLIGATORY FOR EVERY UMMAH

Brethren-in-Islam!

The second 'Ibadat made obligatory for you by Allah, is fasting. Fasting means abstinence during the day from eating, drinking and sexual intercourse. Like Salah this 'Ibadat has remained obligatory in the Shari?ahs of all the Prophets from the beginning. All the past Ummahs used to observe fasts in the same way as the Ummah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him). However, in regard to rules of fasting, the number of fasts and the periods required for fasting, there has been a difference among various Shari?ahs. Even today we see that fasting is ordained in most of the religions in some form or other although people have mutilated its shape by adding to it many things of their own. It has been stated in the Holy Qur'an:-

" O Muslims! Fasting has been made obligatory for you in the same way as it was made obligatory for Ummahs before you". 

(Al-Qur'an 2:83)

It appears from this verse that all those Shari?ahs which were sent by Allah have never been devoid of the 'Ibadat of fasting.

 

Why fasting was made obligatory?

Please ponder as to what importance is there in fasting for Allah made it obligatory in each and every period:

1.Aim of life-servitude of God

I have already explained to you several times that the real aim of Islam is to make the whole life of man transformed into 'Ibadat of Allah. Man is born as slave, and slavery, i.e. servitude is ingrained in his very nature. Therefore, he must not be fear for a single moment from 'Ibadat, i.e. servitude to Allah, in thought and deed. He must check up at every move in the affairs of his life as to which step he ought to take so as to earn the pleasure of God and which one will entail His displeasure and wrath. The principle, therefore, is that the path leading to Allah's pleasure must be followed and that leading His displeasure must be eschewed just as embers of fire are avoided. A man must adopt the course approved by Allah and keep away from that disapproved by Him. When his whole life is suffused with this colour then only can he be considered as having discharged his obligation of servitude to his Master and as having fulfilled the purport of " I created the Jinn and Humankind only that they might worship me". (Al-Qur'an 51:56)

 

2.'Ibadat'-----training of servitude

I have stated this point before that the real purpose of the religious duties like Salah, Shari?ahs, fasting and Zakat having been made obligatory for us, is to train us for a big 'Ibadat. The fact of these acts being obligatory does not mean that you have acquitted yourself of what you owe to Allah if you have done Ruku' and Sajdah five times in a day, have suffered hunger and thirst from dawn to dusk for thirty days in Ramadan and, in case you are wealthy, have given Zakat every year and have performed Shari?ahs once in a lifetime, and that having done all this, are now released from His servitude to be free to do what you like. In fact, the underlying purpose of making these religious duties obligatory is to train a person in such a manner as to enable him to transform his whole life into a regular 'Ibadat of God. Now let us see, with this aim in view as to how fasting prepares a man for this full-time 'Ibadat.

 

3.Fasting is a hidden 'Ibadat

All religious duties except fasting are performed by some outward movement or the other. For instance, in Salah a man stands, sits, and does Ruku' and Sajdah which is visible to everybody; in Shari?ahs he goes on a long journey and travels with hundreds of thousands of people. Zakat is also given by one person and received by another person. All these religious works cannot be concealed. If you perform them, other people come to know about it; if you do not perform apparently then also it becomes known to others. As against this, fasting is an 'Ibadat which is not manifest. All-Knowing Allah alone knows that His servant is observing fast. One might partake of Sehri before others and abstain from eating and drinking anything openly till the Iftar time but if he stealthily eats and drinks anything in between, then nobody except God can know about it. The whole world will be under the impression that he is observing fast while in reality he will not be fasting.

 

4.Fasting---Sign of Strength of 'Iman'

Keep this nature of fasting before you and ponder over the fact that how strong is the faith of the man, who keeps fast, in God being the Knower of the unseen. He actually observes fast; he does not stealthily eat or drink anything; even in the severest summer, when the throat dries due to extreme thirst, he does not drink a drop of water; even in the worst condition of hunger, when life seems drooping, he is not inclined to eat anything! See what firm conviction he has in the fact that no action of his can be concealed from Allah, though it may be concealed from the whole world! How his heart is full of fear of God that he undergoes a severe agony but simply out of fear of Him does not do anything which will result in breaking his fast! How profound is his belief in the reward and punishment of the Hereafter that for full one month he fasts for at least 360 hours and not for a moment does an iota of doubt enter his mind about life after death! Had he the slightest doubt about the future life, where reward and punishment will be meted out, he could have never completed his fast. When doubt arises, it is not possible for a man to stick to his resolve of not eating and drinking anything in obedience to God's commandment.

 

5.One month's continuous training

In this way, Allah puts to test a Muslim's faith for full one month in a year and to the extent a man emerges successful from this trial, his faith becomes firmer and firmer. This is as it were, both a trial as well as a training. When you deposit anything as a trust with somebody, you are as if testing his integrity. If he proves successful in his test and does not commit breach of trust, he develops greater strength to bear the burden of trusts and becomes more worthy of trust. Similarly, Allah puts your faith to severe test continuously for one month, twelve to fourteen hours a day, and when you emerge triumphant from this test, further ability develops in you to refrain from other sins due to fear of God. Therefore, realising that Allah is the Knower of the unseen, you should abstain from breaking His law even covertly, and, on every occasion, you should duly remember that day when everything will be exposed, and, without any consideration, you will be requitted good for good and evil for evil. This is the purport of the following verse:-

" O ye who believe ! Fasting is prescribed for you, just as it was prescribed for those before you, that ye may ward off evil."

(Al-Qur'an 2:183)

 

6. Long practice of obedience

There is another peculiarity of fasting. It makes one obey the injunctions of Shari'ah without break for a long period of time. The duration of Salah is not more than a few minutes at a time. The time for paying Zakat occurs only once in a year. In Shari?ahs, however, the time spent is long but its opportunity comes once during lifetime, and that too not for all. As against these, fasting is an exercise in following Shari'at-i-Muhammadi for full one month in a year, day and night. You have to get up for Sehri early before dawn, stop all eating and drinking precisely at the breaking of dawn, do such and such work and abstain from such and such work during the day, take Iftar in the evening exactly at the time of sunset, then have dinner and relax, then hurry up for Taravih. In this way, every year for full one month, from dawn to dusk and from dusk to dawn, a Muslim is kept continuously tied up with rules and regulations like a soldier in an army, and then he is released for eleven months so that the training he has received for one month may show its effects, and if any deficiency is found it may be made up in the training of the next year.

 

7. Favourable collective environment for training

It is not expedient in any manner to impart training of this type of each and every person separately. You see in the army also that every individual is not ordered to do parade separately. All have to rise simultaneously on the sound of the bugle and have to work together on hearing the bugle so that they may develop the habit of working unitedly as a team and along with it all may assist in the training of each other, i.e. whatever is wanting in one person's training may be made up by other and the deficiency in the second person may be removed by the third person. Similarly, the month of Ramadan was earmarked for fasting and all Muslims were ordered that all of them should fast together. This order has turned individual 'Ibadat into collective 'Ibadat. Just as number one when multiplied by a lakh becomes a formidable number of one lakh, in the same way the moral and spiritual benefits accruing from fasting by one person are increased a million fold if millions of people fast together. The month of Ramadan fills the whole atmosphere with the spirit of piety and virtuousness. In the whole nation, the farming of piety flourishes. Every person not only tries to avoid sins but, if he has any difficulty, his many others brothers who are fasting like him come out to help him. Every person feels ashamed to commit a sin while he is fasting, and the desire automatically arises in everybody's heart to do some good work, to feed a destitute, to clothe a naked man, help one in distress, to take part in some good work being done anywhere and prevent evil if it is being indulged in openly at some place. A general environment of goodness and piety is created and the season starts for the flourishing of beneficial activities just as you see that every crop grows luxuriantly at the peak of its season and is found covering the fields all over. For this reason Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) said that :

" Every deed of man gets some increment or other from God. One good deed flourishes ten times to seven hundred times. But Allah says : fasting is exempt from this. It is exclusively for Me and I give reward for it as much as I want".

From this Hadith we come to know that all deeds flourish both in proportion to the motive of the doer of the good deed as well as its results, but there is a limit to their development. In the case of fasting, however, progress is unbounded. Ramadan is a season for the flourishing of goodness and piety, and in this season not one but lakhs and crores of persons jointly water this garden of virtue, the compass can expand immeasurably. The more you perform well-motivated deeds in this month, the greater will you avail yourselves of its blessings, and radiate their benefits to your other brothers; and if you maintain the effects of this month at a high pitch during the subsequent eleven months, to that extent this garden will flourish, and thus developing process will go on infinitely. It will be your own fault if you circumscribe it by your own lack of action.

 

Where are the results of 'Ibadat now?

On hearing the above results of fasting the question will arise in the mind of everyone of you that where are these results to be found today? " We observe fasting and offer prayers but the results you describe are not visible". I have already told you the reason for this situation that after separating the component parts of Islam from each other and after mixing with it many new things, you cannot expect those results as can be obtained when the whole system is intact and unimpaired. Besides this, the second reason is that your point of view regarding 'Ibadat has changed. Now you believe that mere abstention from food and drink, from morning till evening, amounts to 'Ibadat and accordingly you perform this 'Ibadat this way. Similarly, you regard only the outward shade of the kinds of worshipping also as, 'Ibadat, and 99% or even more among you are unmindful of the real spirit of 'Ibadat which should permeate each one of your deeds. That is why these 'Ibadaat do not produce there a full benefit since everything in Islam depends on intent, power of understanding and perception.

God willing, in my next lecture I shall fully elucidate this subject.


THE REAL PURPOSE OF FASTING

A PURPOSE FOR EVERY WORK

Brethren-in-Islam !

There are essentially two component factors in any work which a man has to perform. The first thing is the purpose for which a work is done and the second thing is the particular shape of that work which is chosen to achieve that purpose. For instance, take the case of food your object in taking food is to remain alive and maintain your strength. The method of achieving this object is that you take a morsel, put it in your mouth, masticate it and push it below the throat. This method is adopted by you since it is the most effective and proper one to achieve this object. But everyone of you knows that the main thing is the purpose for which food is taken and not the form and procedure of this action. What will you say if anybody were to make a morsel of saw-dust or cinder or mud, put it in his mouth, chew and gulp it? You will say only this that his brain is out of order. Why? Because this idiot did not understand the real purpose of eating and is suffering from the misunderstanding that only the aforesaid four component acts constitutes eating. Likewise, you will call that person also mad who soon after taking the food vomits it by thrusting his fingers into his throat and then complains that the benefits said to accrue from taking food have not been availed of by him and that, contrarily, he is daily getting lean and is on the verge of death. This fool blames the food for his growing weakness little realizing that it is due to his own stupidity. He imagined, due to his intellectual deficiency, that life vitality could be got by fulfilling those requirements which constitute the act of eating. As such, he thought why should he sustain the load of food in his stomach? " Why not throw it out so that the stomach may become light? I have already fulfilled the requirements of eating", he surmises. Naturally he has himself to suffer the penalty of harbouring such a foolish idea and then implementing it also. He ought to have known that until the bread gets digested after entering the stomach and having transformed into blood, is diffused into the whole body the vitality of life cannot be obtained. Although outward actions are also necessary, because without them the bread cannot reach the stomach, yet the object cannot be achieved by merely fulfilling the outward actions. There is no magic in these actions that by merely fulfilling them, blood starts running in a wizardly manner in the veins of a man. Blood will be obviously produced according to the law prescribed by Allah. If you break it, you will kill yourself by your own hands.

 

Consequences of considering the outward as real

If you ponder over the example I have just placed before you in detail, you can understand why your 'Ibadaat have become inefficacious today. As I have already pointed out repeatedly, the greatest mistake of all is to regard the acts of Salah and fasting and their outward shape as real 'Ibadat and you suffer from the delusion that whoever fulfilled these requirements performed the 'Ibadat of Allah. You are just like that person who thinks that performance of four acts, i.e. making the morsel, putting it in the mouth, masticating it and pushing it below the throat makes up the process of eating, and that whoever did these four things has eaten the food and so should receive the benefits of eating irrespective of whether he pushed down in his stomach mud and stone, or vomited the bread soon after eating it. If you have a little sense then tell me how a man who is fasting and is thus engaged in the 'Ibadat of God from morning till evening, can in the midst of that 'Ibadat utter a lie and indulge in backbiting? Why does he quarrel at the slightest pretext and utter abuses from his mouth? How dare he encroach on other people's rights? How does he indulge in acquiring illicit money and giving money to others illicitly? And having done all these things, he still thinks that he has performed 'Ibadat of Allah? Does this not resemble the work of that person who eats cinder and mud and thinks that by merely completing the four requirements of eating he has actually done the job of eating.

 

Again freedom from restrictions after Ramadan

Then tell me how is it that when you are relieved after doing Allah's 'Ibadat for about 360 hours throughout Ramadan all the effect of this whole exercise in piety disappears on the 1st of Shawwal? You do during the 'Id days all that Hindus do in their festivals, so much so that in the cities even adultery, wine-drinking and gambling are resorted to on 'Id day. And I have seen some wretched people who keep fast during the day and drink wine and commit adultery in the night. The general Muslims, by the grace of God, are not degenerated to that extent but after the end of Ramadan how many of you are there who retain some effects of piety and virtuousness on the second day of 'Id also? Which law of God is left inviolate? What part of your time is devoted to good deeds, and how much is selfishness reduced?

 

Result of wrong conception of 'Ibadat'

Think and ponder as to what after all can be the reason for this? I assure you that its only reason is that the very meaning and purport of 'Ibadat has become twisted in your mind. You think that mere abstention from eating and drinking throughout the day is called fasting and that this alone is 'Ibadat. Therefore you observe it meticulously. You feel the fear of God to that extent that you avoid every transgression which even slightly endangers the break-up of the fast so much so that even if the life is at stake, you are not prepared to break the fast. But you do not know that being merely hungry and thirsty is not real 'Ibadat' but only a form of it. And the purpose of prescribing this form is to create in you the fear of God and love of God, and thereby develop in you so much strength that by repressing yourself, you are enabled to avoid the seemingly profitable things but which actually displease Allah, while, on the other hand, by controlling your self you make yourself agreeable to those things which possibly entail risks and losses but definitely please God. This strength can be developed only when you understand the purpose of fasting and make use of the practice you have gone through for curbing the corporeal urges, under fear of God and love for God, and then making these urges work according to the pleasure of God. But soon after Ramadan you throw to the winds this practice as well as the virtues acquired from it just as a man after taking food vomits it by thrusting his fingers into his throat. In fact, some of you spew the virtuousness of the whole day soon after breaking the fast. Now you yourself decide, is there in Ramadan and fasting a magic that by mere completing their outward shape you can acquire that strength which in reality should emanate from genuine fasting? Just as physical strength cannot be obtained from the bread until it is digested after entering the stomach and until it is transformed into blood and penetrates every vein, in the same way spiritual power cannot be obtained from fasting until the person who keeps fast does not fully comprehend the purpose of fasting and allows it to permeate his heart and mind and dominate his thought, motive, intention and deed.

 

Fast, source of becoming pious

This is why Allah said after ordaining fasting :

" La'allakum tattaqoon"

i.e. fasting is made obligatory on you, may be you become pious and virtuous. It is not said that you will certainly become pious and virtuous because this outcome of fasting depends on the perception and intention of the man concerned. Whoever will understand its purpose and will try through it to achieve its objective, will become pious to the desired extent, but one who will not comprehend its purpose and will not even try to get at it, cannot hope to gain any thing out of it.

 

REAL AIMS OF FASTING

1. Abstention from lying

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has drawn attention in various ways towards the real aim of fasting and has explained that to be hungry and thirsty without keeping in view the objective is in no way useful. He said :

" Whoever did not give up lying and practising falsehood, Allah is in no need of his giving up food and water."

In another Hadith he said :

" Many are the fasters whose fasting does not bring them anything except hunger and thirst and many are those who keep standing in the night but their standing does not bring anything except being awake in the night".

The purport of both these Ahadith is quite plain. It means that being merely hungry and thirsty is not by itself Ibadat but an instrument of performing real 'Ibadat. And real 'Ibadat consists in not violating the law of God for fear of God, and for the love of God an eager pursuit of every such work as would please Him, and lastly, avoidance of satisfying corporeal urges as far as possible. Whoever remained heedless of this real 'Ibadat, unnecessarily caused inconvenience to his stomach with hunger and thirst. Why should Allah need to make him merely give up food and water for twelve to fourteen hours?

2. Faith and self-scrutiny

The Prophet has drawn attention to the real aim of fasting thus :

" Whoever observed fast imbued with faith and with the expectation of reward from Allah, all his past sins are forgiven".

The reference to faith implies that the belief in God with a Muslim should remain fully fresh in the mind of a Muslim, Ihtisab denotes that man should be desirous of only Allah's pleasure constantly keeping an eye on his thoughts and actions to check if he is doing anything against the pleasure of Allah. If, in accordance with these two principles, a person were to observe all the fasts of Ramadan, he will have all his past sins forgiven because even if he was once an unruly and disobedient slave he has now turned fully repentant to his master---and " A penitent is like one who has, as it were, never committed a sin at all" this the Prophet said.

3. Shield for protection from sins

In another Hadith it is said :

" Fasts are like a shield (just as a shield is meant for protection from the enemy's assault, so is fasting for protection from Satan's attack). Therefore when a man observes fast he should (utilize this shield and) abstain from disorderly behaviour. If anybody abused him or quarreled with him, the person who keeps fast should tell him: " Brother, I am fasting (do not expect from me that I shall take part in such activities of yours").

 

Temptation of goodness

The Prophet (peace be on him) has directed in other Ahadith that man while fasting ought to do more and more good works and should be eager to perform benevolent acts. Particularly during fasting, he must develop with full intensity a sympathetic sentiment for his other brothers because being himself in the throes of hunger and thirst he can all the more realize what is befalling other slaves of God in their plight of destitution and misery. It is related by Hadrat Ibn 'Abbas ( Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet ( peace be on him ) used to become especially kind and benevolent during Ramadan. No beggar in that period went empty-handed from his door, and the slaves secured emancipation.

Reward for providing 'Iftar'

According to a Hadith the Prophet ( peace be on him ) said :

" Whoever in Ramadan provide a person who is keeping fast with Iftar, this act will become a source of forgiveness for his sins and safety from Hell Fire and he will get as much reward as will the keeper of fast get without any reduction in the recompense of the latter."


ZAKAT

IMPORTANCE OF ZAKAT

Brethren-in-Islam !

After Salah, Zakat is the greatest pillar of Islam. Generally, since in the usual series of ?Ibadat fasting immediately follows Salah, people have come to understand that fasting is as next to Salah. But from the Holy Qur'an we learn that in Islam Zakat stands second in importance to Salah. These are the two great pillars on which rests the structure of Islam. If these are removed Islam cannot survive.

 

Meaning of 'Zakat'

Zakat means purity and cleanliness. A portion set apart from your wealth for the needy and the poor is called Zakat. because in this manner a man's wealth and along with it his own Nafs ?(self) becomes purified. The wealth of that person is impure who does not take out from the God-given wealth what is due to the poor and the needy. And along with his wealth his Nafs too is impure because it is filled with ungratefulness. His heart is so narrow, he is selfish and so much a worshipper of wealth that it pains him to render what is due in return for the Divine favour of bestowing on him wealth in excess of his real requirements. Can it be expected from such a person that he will ever do any good deed to please God and will make any sacrifice for the sake of his religion and faith ? This is why the heart of such a person is impure as also his wealth which he amasses in this manner.

 

'Zakat' a test

By making Zakat obligatory Allah has put every person to test. That person alone who willingly takes out what is due to God from that wealth which exceeds his requirements, and helps with it the poor and needy, is useful for Allah and is worthy of being counted among the faithfuls. And that one whose heart is so narrow that he cannot make this much sacrifice for the Lord of the world, is of no use to Allah. He is absolutely unfit to be included in the community of the faithful. He is a rotten limb which may better be severed from the body, otherwise it will purify the whole frame. This is why when after the demise of the Holy Prophet (peace be on him) when some tribes refused to give Zakat, Hadrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (may Allah be pleased with him) waged a war against them, as is done against unbelievers even though they used to say Salah and professed faith in Allah and His messenger. From this it is clear that without Zakat, Salah, fasting and affirmation of faith are all useless. None of these is credible.

 

'Zakat' obligatory on Ummahs of all prophets

Look into the Holy Qur'an. You will see that from ancient times Salah and Zakat were ordained as compulsory for the Ummahs of all prophets and the Islamic religion was never bereft of these two items during the period of any prophet. After mentioning about Prophet Abraham and the Prophets of his race, Allah says in the Qur'an :

"And We made them leaders of men. They guided the people according to Our command, and We inspired in them the doing of good deeds and right establishment of Salah and giving of Zakat and they were worshippers of Us.

(Al-Qur'an 21:73)

About Prophet Ishmael it is said:

"He enjoined upon his people Salah and Zakat and was acceptable in the sight of his Lord.

(Al-Qur'an 19:55)

Prophet Moses prayed for his people :

"O God ! Bestow upon us the well-being of this world as also the well-being of the Hereafter".

Do you know in reply to it what Allah said ?

"I shall smite with my punishment whom I will. Although My mercy embraceth all things, but I shall ordain it for those who will fear Me and give Zakat and those who will believe in Our revelations."

(Al-Qur'an 7:156)

Since the people of Prophet Moses were narrow-minded hankered after money, just as you see the condition of Jews even today, Allah plainly said in answer to the prayer of such a distinguished prophet : "If your people will give Zakat steadfastly, then the promise of My mercy is for them, otherwise listen clearly here and now that they will be deprived of My mercy and My punishment will encompass them". Similarly, even after Prophet Moses Beni Israel were repeatedly admonished on this account. Time and again covenants were taken from them to worship none save Allah and to be steadfast in Salah and Zakat (Al-Qur'an 2:10) till ultimately a clear notice was given :

"And Allah said : O Children of Israel ! I am with you, if you offer Salah, and give Zakat and believe in My messengers and support those messengers who are to come, and lend unto Allah a nice loan surely I shall remit your sins"

(Al-Qur'an 5:12)

Before Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) the last Prophet was Prophet Jesus. The commandment about Salah and Zakat was given to him also by Allah, as is found in Surah Mary : "And hath made me blessed wheresoever I may be, and hath enjoined upon me Salah and Zakat so long as I remain alive.

(Al-Qur'an 19:31)

This shows that the religion of Islam has been established from the beginning, in the ministry of every prophet, on the two great pillars of Salah and Zakat, and it never happened that any Ummah believing in God was exempted from these two obligatory duties.

 

'Zakat' imperative for Muslim 'Ummah'

Now see how these two Faraid (obligatory acts) go hand in hand in the Shari?ah of prophet Muhammad (peace be on him). On opening the Holy Qur'an what are those verses which you first see ?

These are :

"This Qur'an is the book of Allah whereof there is no doubt. It shows the right path of life in the world to the pious people. (Pious people are) those who believe in the unseen and observe Salah and spend of that We have bestowed upon them (in the path of Allah)."

(Al-Qur'an 2:1-2)

It is then said :

"It is such people who have received guidance from their Lord and it is they who are (successful)."

That is to say those who have no faith and do not adhere to Salah and Zakat are neither receiving guidance nor can they achieve success.

After this, go on reading the same second Surah. After a few verses it is again commanded :

"Be steadfast in saying Salah and giving Zakat and bow your heads with those who bow (i.e. say Salah in congregation).

(Al-Qur'an 2: 43)

A little further in the same Surah it is said :

"Righteousness is not merely that you turn your faces to the East and the West, but righteous is he who believeth in Allah and the Last Day and the angels and the Scripture and the Prophets; and gives his wealth, for love of Him, to kinsfolk and to orphan and the needy and the wayfarer and to those who ask, and to set slaves free; and says Salah and gives Zakat; and those who keep their treaty when they make one, and the patient in tribulation and adversity and time of stress. Such are they who are sincere Such are the God-fearing."

(Al-Qur'an 2:177)

Then see further what is said in Surah Ma'idah :

"O Muslim ! Your real friends and supporters are only Allah, His messenger and believers, i.e. such people who say Salah and give Zakat and bow down before God. Therefore, whoso befriends Allah, His messenger and the believers is a man of Allah's party and Allah's party alone is going to be victorious."

(Al-Qur'an 5:55-56)

 

Sign of believers : 'Salah' and 'Zakat'

A great rule has been expounded in this verse. First of all you learnt from it that the believers are only those people who say Salah and give Zakat. Those who discard these two pillars of Islam are false in their claim of being believers. Then it becomes known from this verse that there is a party of Allah and His messenger and the believers, and it is the task of the believer to leave others and join this party. If a Muslim befriends a person who is outside this party, may he be his father, brother, son, neighbour, countryman or any one else, and maintains with him relationship of affection and support, he should not expect that Allah would like to keep up relation with him as his supporter. Finally, it is also learnt from this verse that believers can gain domination only when they single-mindedly make Allah and His messenger and believers their patrons, supporters, friends, and companions.

 

Foundations of Islamic fraternity

Now go ahead. In Surah Tauba :Allah has commanded Muslims to wage war against disbelievers and polytheists, and has continuously given directions in several Ruku?s about war only. In this connection Allah says :

" Then if they repent from disbelief and polytheism, and affirm faith, and say Salah and give Zakat they are your brethren in religion."

(Al-Qur'an 9:11)

This means that mere repentance for disbelief and polytheism is not enough. The proof of their having really repented from disbelief and polytheism and having affirmed faith can be furnished only in this way that they regularly say Salah and pay Zakat. Therefore, if by these deeds, they provide a proof of their faith, then they are your religious brothers, otherwise, do not consider them your brothers and do not end war with them.

Then a little further it is said in the same Surah :

"And the believers, men and women, are protecting friends of one another; they enjoin the right and forbid the wrong and they say Salah and pay Zakat and obey Allah and His messenger. As for these, Allah will have mercy on them."

(Al-Qur'an 60:71)

Now you have heard that no person can at all become a religious brother of Muslims until after affirming faith he actually says Salah and pays Zakat. Faith, Salah and Zakat these three things put together bring into being the community of believers. Those who adhere to these three principles are integrated with this pure community and among them alone exists the relationship of friendship, affection, companionship and mutual support, while those who disregard these three principles are outside this community, though they may be Muslim in name. To maintain relations of friendship, affection and companionship with the latter means that you have broken the law of Allah and disrupted the party of Allah. How then do you expect to remain dominant on the world?

Now go still further. It is said in Surah Hajj:

 

Conditions for Allah's help

"Verily Allah helps one who helps Him. Lo ! Allah is Strong, Almighty. Those who, if We give them power in the land, establish Salah and give Zakat and enjoin virtue and forbid evil. And with Allah is the sequel of events.

(Al-Qur'an 22 : 40-41)

In this verse, Muslims have been served with the same notice as was given to Bani Israel. I have just now told you what notice was given by Allah to Bani Israel. They were clearly told : " I am with you till such time as you say Salah and give Zakat, and co-operate with My prophets in the fulfilment of their mission, i.e. you will try to enforce My law in the world. The moment you gave up this work I shall withdraw My helping hand from you." Exactly this very thing Allah has told to Muslims also. He has clearly pointed out to them : " If after gaining power in the land you establish Salah, give Zakat, propagate virtues and eliminate evil, then only will I be your supporter, and who can subdue him when I support him. But if you turned your face against Zakat and after acquiring superiority over land propagated evils instead of virtues, and eliminated virtues instead of evils, and raised aloft your word instead of My Word, and if from taxes collected built paradises on the earth considering it as the objective of inheriting the land, then listen : My support will not be with you, in such a case Satan alone will be your supporter."

 

Warning to Muslims

Allah-o-Akbar ! What a situation to take lesson from ! The warning given to Bani Israel was taken by them as an empty verbal threat, and they saw the consequence of not paying heed to it. They are wandering today on the surface of the earth. They are being shuttled hither and thither and do not get any resting place. They have coffers brimming with crores of rupees. They are the wealthiest people in the world. But this money is of no use to them. By adopting the cursed system of usury instead of Zakat, and by taking to lewdness instead of Salah they have invoked Allah's curse : and loaded with this curse they are running about contaminating the whole world like plague-rats. Then this very threat was given to Muslims but disregarding it they neglected Salah and Zakat and stopped using the God-given strength for propagating virtues and destroying vices. See its result that they were dislodged from the seat of government and thrown away. They became victim of oppressors throughout the world. They are weak and subjugated in all parts of the earth. You have seen the disastrous result of abandoning Salah and Zakat. Now a party has risen among them which wants to drag them into indecency, obscenity and lewdness and is telling them that to end their poverty they should start insurance companies and begin taking usury. By God if they did this they will be overtaken by the same disgrace and ignominy which Jews suffered and they will be subjected to the same curse of God which has afflicted Bani Israel.

 

Doom of defaulters of 'Zakat'

Brethren-in-Islam !

I shall tell you in my future lectures what Zakat is and what tremendous power Allah has infused in it. I shall also show that this Divine mercy, which is considered an ordinary thing today by Muslims, indeed contains a great blessing for them. My intention in today's lecture was only to explain to you the position which Salah and Zakat occupy in Islam. Many Muslims think, and their Maulvis too assure them day and night, that they remain Muslim even though they may not observe Salah and pay Zakat. But the Qur'an clearly refutes their assumption. From the Qur'anic viewpoint the affirmation of Kalima Tayyiba is itself meaningless if to substantiate it a man does not bind himself to the observing of Salah and giving of Zakat. For this very reason, as I have just now described to you, Hadrat Abu Bakr waged a war against the rejectors of Zakat branding them as disbelievers. The Prophet's companions doubted in the beginning whether or not such a Muslim who professes belief in God and His messenger and observes Salah also can be included in that category against which war is ordered to be waged. But when Hadrat Abu Bakr, who was granted by Allah a very eminent position in al-Islam became adamant in his opinion and insistently said :

" By God, if these people withheld from the Zakat they used to give during the time of the Holy Prophet (peace be on him) even a piece of rope to which a camel is tied, I shall raise my sword against them".

Then eventually Allah opened the hearts of all companions for the perception of Truth and they all accepted the verdict that Jihad must be waged against the rejectors of Zakat is the work of idolaters who deny the Hereafter.

"And woe unto the idolaters who give not Zakat ! and who are disbelievers in the Hereafter."

(Al-Qur'an 41:6-7)


ZAKAT

THE REAL POSITION OF 'ZAKAT'

Brethren-in-Islam !

I have stated in my last lecture that next to Salah, Zakat is the greatest pillar of Islam. And it is a factor of such great importance that just as one who refuses to say Salah is judged as a disbeliever, in the same way those who deny Zakat are also not only considered disbelievers but, over and above it, they are such people against whom the companions of the Holy Prophet unanimously waged Jihad. Now in today's discourse I shall explain to you the real position of Zakat so that you may know what actually it implies and why so much importance is given to it in Islam ?

 

HOW NEARNESS TO ALLAH IS ACHIEVED

1. Test of wisdom and prudence

Some among you are so simple-minded that you befriend any Tom, Dick, and Harry, and, while doing so, you never test whether or not he is really fit to become your friend. Such simpletons, in most cases, are deceived in this friendship and later face much disappointment. But those who are wise sift the people they meet and examine them critically in all possible manner. Then whoever is found true, sincere and faithful, he alone is befriended and the useless ones are discarded. Almighty Allah is the Wisest and most Prudent of all. How can it be expected of Him that He will make anybody His friend, and will include him in His party and will accord him a place of honour in His court. When the wisdom and prudence of man demands that he should not befriend anybody without trying and testing him, it is impossible that Allah, Who is the fountainhead of all wisdom and prudence, will grant the status of friend to every person without testing and trying him. All these crores of human beings spread all over the earth and composed of all sort of people, good and bad, cannot be fit to be included in that party of Allah and in that Hizbullah' whom Allah wants to grant the status of vicegerent in this world and a position of honour in the Hereafter. Allah in His supreme wisdom has fixed a few examinations, a few trials, a few criteria to test and judge the real worth so that whoever emerges successful out of these tests may enter Allah's party and whosoever fails to come up to the mark may automatically be eliminated from this party and he may also himself realize that he was unfit to join this party. What are these criteria ? Since Allah is Wise and Prudent, He first of all tests man's wisdom and prudence. Allah will see whether this particular man has some power of understanding or not ? Is he a congenial idiot ? The reason is that an ignorant and stupid fellow can never befriend with the wise and the prudent. The qualifications of a man who passes the examinations of wisdom are : One who recognizes that only Allah is his Master and Creator, that no other being than His is the object of worship, nor his sustainer, nor listener to his prayers, nor helper; and by hearing Allah's Word comes to know that this is his Master's Word and of no other body, further, he properly understands the difference between the lives of a true prophet and a false claimant to prophethood as also the disparity between their morals, dealings, teachings and achievements; also he recognized that of those who claim to be prophets which particular individual has been really entrusted by God with the function of guidance and which one is a Dajjal and a cheat. Such a person passes the examination of wisdom and prudence. Then after sorting him out of the motley crowd of human beings, Allah includes him in the selected candidates of His party. Those who have failed in the very first round of the test are left to wander wherever they like.

 

2. Test of moral strength

Those who pass this first test successfully, have to appear in their second examination. Here the moral strength of a man is also tested along with his wisdom. It is verified whether or not he possesses enough strength, after knowing what is truth and righteousness, to accept it and follow it in his practical life; and to discard falsehood and evil after realizing them. It will also be checked if he is a slave of corporeal urges, and a follower of forefather's ways, family rituals and the usual concepts and modes. Further, it will be scrutinized if he has any such weakness in him that even after finding out that a particular thing is contrary to Divine guidance and knowing it to be wrong, still clings to it, while, on the other hand, being aware that the other thing is just and right and so pleasing to God, still refuses to accept it? Those who fail in this examination are also debarred from Allah's party and he picks up only those whose definition is : " And he who rejects false gods and believes in God has grasped a firm handhold which will never break." (Al-Qur'an 2:256) That is to say they should abandon with courage every such path and system as runs counter to God's guidance; they should not care for anything and should be prepared to follow only that path which is shown by Allah, no matter if anybody is pleased with it or displeased.

 

3.Test of obedience and dutifulness

Those who come out successful from this examination have to appear again in a third examination. In this round, the test is about obedience and dutifulness. Here it is ordained:" When a call of duty is sounded from Our side, sacrifice your sleep and present yourself before Us. Interrupt your work and come. Give up your pursuits which may be interesting, beneficial and entertaining to you, and report on duty. It may be hot, cold or any kind of climate. In any circumstances, come running when summoned for duty, unmindful of every travail." Then it is ordered : " Be hungry and thirsty from morning till evening and curb your corporeal urges". These injunctions must be fully and totally carried out, no matter whatever may be the suffering in hunger and thirst and no matter if heaps of delectable dishes and delicious syrups are in front of you. Those who get plucked in this examination are also dropped. Only those persons are selected who get through this examination because they alone can be expected to obey those laws which will be framed for them and the instructions issued on behalf of God and will adhere to them in all conditions, both overtly and covertly, whether there may be profit or loss, comfort or discomfort.

 

4. Test of financial sacrifice

After this, the fourth examination relates to financial sacrifice. The successful candidates of the third examination are not yet competent to be regularly recruited in the service of God. It has still to be checked whether they are small-minded, low-calibered, timid and petty natured? Do they belong to that class of people who make tall claims of friendship and affection but when an occasion arises to tap their pocket to help a friend, they declare as a poet says: " If you want money, that is a questionable matter". Does their condition not resemble that to a person who chants "Mataji", " Mataji " (i.e. mother cow) and quarrels for her sake with the whole world, but when the same " Mataji " attempts to gulp the contents of his grain bag or of his bundle of vegetables, he chases her with a lathi and beats her by continuous blows? A man of even ordinary intellect does not befriend such a selfish and mean money-worshipper, while a large-hearted person would not like even to sit alongside such a despicable creature. As such, how can that Almighty and Supreme God, Who is incessantly showering His treasures lavishly on His limitless creatures, regard that person befitting of His friendship who is stingy in spending in the path of God that very money which is His own gift? And how can that God Whose wisdom and prudence are supreme, include such a person in His party whose friendship and affection are confined to mere verbal jugglery and on whom no reliance can be placed ? Therefore those people also who fail in this fourth examination are told point-blank : " Go away. There is no room for you in Allah's party. You are also useless. You are not capable of undertaking that great responsibility which is entrusted to the vicegerent of God. Only those persons are included in this party who sacrifice their love of life, wealth, children, family, country, everything, for the love of God ". " You will not attain unto piety until you sacrifice those things in the path of Allah which you love." (Al-Qur'an 3 : 92)

 

QUALITIES REQUIRED FOR ' HIZBULLAH '

1.Must not be narrow-minded

There is no place for narrow-minded people in this party. Only those can enter this party who are large-hearted : " And whoso is saved from narrow-mindedness----such are they who are successful." (Al-Qur'an 59: 9)

2.Must be magnanimous

Here such magnanimous people are required that if somebody has been inimical to them and has caused them harm and grief or has even render their heart into pieces, still for the sake of God they should not refuse him food and clothing and should not hesitate to render him help when he is in trouble : " And let not those who possess dignity and ease among you swear not to give to the near of kin and to the needy, and to fugitives for the cause of Allah. Let them forgive and show indulgence. Yearn ye not that Allah may forgive you? Allah is Forgiving Merciful." (Al-Qur'an 24:22)

1.This verse was revealed when a relative of Hadrat Abu Bakr took part in the accusation against his daughter, Hadrat Aesha, and Hadrat Abu Bakr getting aggrieved at this improper act and stopped financial aid to him. When this verse was revealed Hadrat Abu Bakr trembled and said that he sought forgiveness of Allah and restarted helping that man who caused him much mental agony.

3.Must be large-hearted

Here are needed large-hearted men who : " Feed with food the needy wretch, the orphan and the prisoner, for love of Allah (saying) we feed you, for the sake of Allah only. We wish for no reward nor thanks from you." (Al-Qur'an 76:8-9)

4.Must be of pure heart

Here are needed those pure-hearted men who give away in the cause of Allah the choicest articles out of their God-given assets : " O believers ! Out of what you have earned and of that which We bring forth from the earth for you, spend the best in the path of Allah. Do not spend for Him the bad thereof." (Al-Qur'an 2:267)

5.Must spend even in poverty and adversity

Here are needed those magnanimous people who even when in poverty and adversity do not hesitate to curtail their expenditure and spend the saving in the service of Allah's religion and to help the slaves of Allah : " Hasten towards the forgiveness of your Lord and towards a Paradise as wide as are the heavens and the earth and is prepared for those pious persons who spend for Allah both in ease and in adversity." (Al-Qur'an 3:133)

6.Must be generous

Here are needed those faithfuls who truly believe that whatever is spent in the path of Allah will not go waste and that, on the other hand, God will grant the best recompense for it both in this world and in the Hereafter. For this reason, they spend simply to earn the pleasure of Allah. They never care whether or not people have come to know about their generosity and largess, and whether or not anybody has thanked them for their gift : " Whatever you spend in the way of Allah, it is for your own good, when you spend not for anybody's pleasure except that of Allah. Thus whatever you spend for any good work you will get full benefit of it and you will not be wronged to the slightest extent." (Al-Qur'an 2:272)

 

7.Must remember Allah in all conditions

Here are needed those brave people who do not forget God in affluence and prosperity, and those who remember God even when living in palaces and rolling in luxury : "O ye who believe ! Let not your wealth nor your children distract you from remembrance of Allah. Those who do so, they are the losers." (Al-Qur'an 62:9) 

The above are the essential qualities of entrant into Allah's party. Without these attributes nobody can be included amongst the friends of Allah. In fact, this is not only a test of man's morals but a more stiff and severe test of his faith. That person has in reality no faith in God and in the Hereafter who evades spending in the path of God, regards such spending as a fine imposed on him, contrives excuses to avoid spending and, when he does spend, tries to lessen its painful effect by boasting of his favour to the recipients or desires that his generosity be publicised. He thinks that whatever was spent in the path of God was wasted Luxury, comfort, zestful enjoyment, benefits and fame are all dearer to him than God and His pleasure. He thinks that all that exists is confined to the life of this world only. In his opinion if money is to be spent, it should be spent for the sake of name and fame in this world so that its price may be realized here only. Otherwise, if money too goes away and nobody comes to know that such and such person spent so much money in a certain good cause, then all that he spent would be reduced to dust. It has been clearly stated in the Qur'an that such a person is unacceptable to Allah. If he boasts of Imam, he is hypocrite. Note the following verses :

8.Must not assert obligation

" O ye who believe ! Render not vain your almsgiving by asserting obligation and by causing insult, like him who spends his wealth only to be seen and earn name, and believes not in Allah and the Last Day."

(Al-Qur'an 2 : 264 )

9.Must not hoard-wealth

" They who hoard up gold and silver and spend it not in the way of Allah, unto them give tiding of a painful doom."

(Al-Qur'an 20:34)

10.Must not seek leave when required for cause of Allah

" O Prophet ! Those who believe in Allah and the Last Day ask no leave of thee lest they should strive with their wealth and their lives. Allah is aware of those who keep their duty (unto Him). They alone ask leave of thee who believe not in Allah and the Last Day, and whose hearts feel doubt, so in their doubt they waver.

(Al-Qur'an 9:44-45)

 

11.Must be wholeheartedly obedient in the way of Allah

" Their contribution in the way of Allah is not accepted simply because they in fact do not believe in Allah and His messenger. They come to worship as idlers and pay contribution reluctantly.

(Al-Qur'an 20:54) 

"The hypocrites, both men and women, belong to the same stock. They enjoin the wrong and they forbid the right, and they withhold their hands from spending for the cause of Allah. They forget Allah so He has forgotten them. Lo ! the hypocrites, they are the transgressors.

(Al-Qur'an 9:67)

12.Must not consider spending towards the cause of Allah as undue imposition

" And of the wandering Arabs (i.e. hypocrites) are some who consider what they spend for the cause of Allah, as a loss."

(Al-Qur'an 9:98)

13.Must not be miserly

" Lo you are those who are called to spend in the way of Allah yet among you there are some who are miserly. And as for him who is a miser, he hoardeth only from his soul. And Allah is the Rich, and you are the poor. If you turn away from spending for the cause of Allah, He will exchange you for some other folk and they will not be the likes of you."

(Al-Qur'an 47:38)

Brethren-in-Islam ! This is the real position of that Zakat which is a pillar of your religion. Do not consider it a tax like the tax levied by the governments of the world. In fact, it is the essence of Islam and its very life. It is in reality a test of faith. Just as a man progresses after giving one examination after another until he becomes a graduate on finishing his final examination, in the same way there are several examinations in the way of Allah, the fourth of them is that of sacrifice of wealth. After passing this successfully he becomes a complete Muslim though this is not the final examination. After this comes the much harder examination of sacrifice of life which I shall describe later on. But this is the final component of the admission test fixed to enter the orbit of Islam or in other words, the party of Allah. These days some people say that lots of preaching has already been done to Muslims to spend money and to squander wealth, but now in this state of poverty and penury they ought to be lectured on how to earn and amass money. But they do not know that this very thing which arouses their care actually constitutes the spirit of Islam, and the factor which has plunged Muslims into the pit of degradation and ignominy is lack of this very spirit. Muslims did not fall because this spirit was the cause of their decline but they fell because this spirit had fizzled out. In my future address I shall explain that Zakat and Sadaqaat are really the soul of our collective life and in these have been assembled all the blessings of not only the Hereafter but of this world too.

After Salah, Zakat is the greatest pillar of Islam. Generally, since in the usual series of 'Ibadaat fasting immediately follows Salah, people have come to understand that fasting is as next to Salah. But from the Holy Qur'an we learn that in Islam Zakat stands second in importance to Salah. These are the two great pillars on which rests the structure of Islam. If these are removed Islam cannot survive.


THE PLACE OF ' ZAKAT ' IN COLLECTIVE LIFE

 

Brethren-in-Islam !

In my two previous discourses I have explained to you the real position of Zakat. Now I shall throw light on another aspect of it.

 

Allah's attribute of beneficence

At several places in the Holy Qur'an the phrase Infaq fi sabilillah has been used for Zakat and Sadaqaat. It means "spending in the cause of Allah". At some places it has been said that whatever you spend in the cause of Allah is a nice loan repayable by Him. This implies that you have advanced a loan to Allah and He has become your debtor. At numerous places in the Qur'an it has also been stated that whatever you spend for the cause of Allah, its reward is incumbent on Him and that He will not only repay in equal measure but to a much greater degree. Please think over this point. Is the Lord of the earth and heaven, Nauzubillah (may God forgive) your dependant? Is that Supreme Being in need of loan from you? (May God forgive) How can it be? It is on His largess alone that your life is being sustained. It is the food given by Him that you eat. Whatever the rich and the poor among you possess, all is a gift from Him only. From a destitute to a millionaire and a multimillionaire, everybody among you is His dependant but He is not a dependant of anybody. What need can He have to ask for loan from you and stretch out His hand before you? The fact of the matter is that this is all due to spend for your benefit, for your own good and for your own work, yet He says: " This expenditure is made in My cause, it is a debt to Me, I owe you its reward and I accept it as an obligation to Me. When you give it to the poor and the destitute of your community, from where can these wretches recompense you for it ? I will do it on their behalf. You render help to your poor relatives. Its obligation is not on them but on Me. I will recompense you for this favour. Whatever you give to the orphans, widows, disabled folk, wayfarers among you and to your brethren in distress, enter it in My account. Your claim for repayments is not against them but against Me, and I will fulfil it. You should give loan to your distressed brethren but should not demand interest from them. Do not worry them. If they are unable to pay back, do not have them sent to civil jail. Do not have their clothes and utensils sold out. Do not make their wives and children homeless by depriving them of their dwelling. Your debt is not owed by them but by Me. If they return the capital I will pay interest on it, if they cannot give back even the capital, I will pay you both capital and interest. Similarly, whatever you spend for the work of your collective welfare, for the good and betterment of your fellow-beings, though it will benefit you also, yet it will be a favour to Me. I will return every single pie of it to you along with the profit".

This is the attribute of the most Beneficent, the Monarch of monarchs. All that you possess is a gift from Him only. You do not get it from anywhere else. You receive it from His treasures only. And then whatever you give, you do not give it to Him but to your own relatives, your own folk, members of your own community, or you spend it on your collective well-being whose benefit reaches you ultimately. But look at that Supreme Beneficent Being that in regard to the wealth you take from Him and give it to your own people, He says :

" You have given it to Me. I will give its reward to you." Allah-o-Akbar ! To the Lord of the world alone befits this attribute of beneficence. It behooves that Independent Monarch only to manifest the highest possible excellence of generosity and beneficence. No human being can even conceive of such a lofty attitude.

 

WHY INCLINATION OF ' INFAQ ' ?

Now ponder over this point that why Allah has adopted this method to arouse in man the spirit of beneficence and generosity? The more you think over this problem the more you will get an insight into the pure quality of Islamic teaching, and your heart will increasingly testify that such a superb type of inculcation can emanate only from God and from no one else.

1.Man happens to be selfish

You know that man by his very nature is inclined to be unjust and foolish. His perception is narrow. He cannot look very far. He is short sighted. Too big and lofty ideas can hardly find place in his mind. He happens to be selfish, and his brain cannot entertain a wide conception even of selfish interest. He is also hasty.

" Man is made of haste.

(Al-Qur'an 21:37)

He wants to see quickly the result and benefit of everything he does, and only that result and benefit are substantial to him which he gains quickly and which he sees in visible form. His vision fails to envisage far-reaching results. He can hardly comprehend those benefits which take place on large scale and whose range extends over a long period. In fact, in most cases these potentialities are not grasped at all. This is a natural weakness of man compelling him to look for personal benefit in everything and that too which is on a small scale, is quickly available and concretely felt by him. He declaims "whatever I have earned or whatever I have inherited from my father and grandfather belongs to me and nobody is a sharer in it. It must be spent exclusively on my needs, on my desires, on my comfort and on my corporeal enjoyment. Or at least, it should serve to raise my name, fame and honour. I should get some title, some high office, people should bow before me and I should be talked about. If I do not achieve any of these objectives, then why should I part with my money ? If any orphan is dying of hunger nearby or if he is loafing about, why should I take care of him ? He has a claim over his father who should have left something for his children or an insurance policy. If any widow in my neighbourhood is passing her days in trouble, what is to me? Her husband ought to have done something for her. If any wayfarer has lost his way, what has it to do with me? Why did that fool come out of his house without making previous arrangement? If any body is in distress, let him be so. God has given him also the same hands and feet as mine. He should fulfil his own needs. Why should I help him? If I am to give him anything, it will be in the form of loan and that too with interest because my money is not so useless. I would have utilized it for building a house or for buying a car or for investment in a profitable project. The borrower also earn some profit out of it. Then why should I not take some portion from that profit.

 

2.Results of selfish mentality

A wealthy man of this selfish mentality will first behave like a serpent sitting on his treasure, and, secondly if at all he will spend anything, it will be for his personal aggrandisement only. He will not spend a pie from his pocket, and if at all he helped a poor man, unless there is some benefit in it, it will not be a sincere type of help. He will, in fact, fleece that poor man and will realize from him much more than what he had given him. If he gives anything to a destitute he will take half his life out of him by claiming to have showered thousands of favours on him and will insult and humiliate him so much that no vestige of self-respect will be left in him. If he takes part in some national work, he will first of all see to what extent he will be personally benefited from it. All such works which will not bring him any personal gain will not solicit his help.

What are the results of this mentality? Its results are fatal not only for collective life but ultimately for that person himself, who due to narrow-mindedness and ignorance, considers them beneficial. When such a mentality operates among a people, wealth starts accumulating in a few hands and renders countless persons resourceless. The rich people continue to wring out money on the strength of their money and the life of poor people becomes more and more hard every day. A poverty-stricken society breeds various kinds of evils. The physical strength of its members declines. Diseases become rampant. Their working capacity and productivity of wealth dwindles. Ignorance increases among them. Their morals deteriorate. They take to crimes to satisfy their needs. And ultimately, a position is reached when they resort to loot and plunder. Riots take place on a wide-spread scale. Wealthy persons are murdered. Their houses are burnt and ransacked and such a wholesale destruction takes place that no trace of the rich people is left in the world.

 

3.Individual welfare lies in collective welfare

If you ponder you will come to know that in reality every single person's welfare is bound up with the well-being of that community in whose sphere he lives. If you help your brethren with the wealth you possess, then that wealth will circulate and come back to you with many of its benefits, and if you by way of selfishness keep it to yourself or spend it for your own personal benefit, it will ultimately get reduced. For example, if you bring up an orphan child and after giving him education enable him to become an earning member of the community, it will mean you have contributed to the wealth of the community as a whole and you, being a member of it, will also somehow become a sharer of that wealth though you may not be knowing that this share has reached you through the ability of that particular orphan whom you had helped. But if due to selfishness and narrow-mindedness you say: " Why should I help him? His father should have left something for him", then he will loaf about and become a wash-out. He will never develop the ability to contribute anything to the wealth of the community by his labour. In fact, it will not be surprising if he becomes a professional criminal and commits burglary in your own house. This would mean that by making a member of your community a wash-out, a loafer and a criminal, you not only harmed him but harmed yourself also. Taking an analogy from this very example if you cast a wide glance you will see that one who spends money selflessly for the good of the community allows his wealth apparently to go out of his pocket but, outside, it continues to expand and flourish till ultimately it goes back with countless benefits to the pocket from which it once came out. And the man who keeps money to himself due to selfishness and narrow-mindedness, and does not spend it on the good of the community apparently preserves his wealth, increases it by taking usury, but in reality decreases his wealth by his foolishness and works up his destruction with his own hands. This is the secret which Allah has described thus: 

"Allah has blighted usury and made almsgiving fruitful."

(Al-Qur'an 2:276)

" That which you give in usury in order that it may increase on (other) people's property has not increase with Allah; but that which you give in charity, seeking Allah's countenance, has increased manifold."

(Al-Qur'an 30:39)

But man's narrow-mindedness and ignorance prevent him from comprehending this reality and from acting according to its spirit. He is a slave of things of which he is materially conscious. He sees the money which jingles in his pocket. The wealth that is increasingly registered in his cash book impresses him with its upward trend but that which goes out of his hands cannot be seen by him as to where it is increasing, how it is increasing, to what extent is it increasing and when will it come back to him with profits and benefits. He only understands this much that so much money has gone away from him and that too for good.

Till today man has not been able to unravel this knot of ignorance by his own intelligence or effort. This is the condition everywhere in the world. On one side is the domain of capitalist where all enterprises are run on usurious system, and where troubles and worries are daily increasing in spite of heaps of wealth. On the other hand, a group has emerged into being increasing adherents whose hearts are aflame with jealousy and who, along with plundering the coffers of capitalist, is bent upon knocking down the whole basis of human culture and civilization.

 

Solution of Problems

This complicated situation has been resolved by that Sagacious and Prudent Being the name of Whose Holy Book is Qur'an. Faith in Allah and faith in the Last Day constitute the key to this lock. If a man affirms faith in Allah and realizes that the real lord of the treasures of the earth and heaven is God, and the administration of human affairs is in reality in the hands of God only, and with God is the account of even the minutest atom, and the final reward and punishment of all good and bad deeds of man will be awarded by Him in the Hereafter precisely according to computation, then it will become quite easy for him to put trust in god instead of relying on his own view-point. He will spend his wealth as directed by God leaving the question of profit and loss from it entirely to Him. Whatever He will spend with this firm conviction, it will be in fact a present to God Himself. Its account also will be entered in the cash book of God. Though nobody may know in the world about his kind deeds, but God will certainly become aware of it. And no matter if this favour of his is admitted by anybody or not, God will surely know and acknowledge it. And when a promise of reward has been made by God, He will most surely reward it either in the Hereafter or both in this world and the Hereafter.


GENERAL INJUNCTIONS ABOUT " INFAQ FI SABILILLAH "
(SPENDING IN THE CAUSE OF ALLAH)

Two kinds of directives-------General and Special

Brethren-in-Islam !

Allah has formulated a rule of His Shari'ah that firstly a general directive is given in regard to good and bad deeds so that people may in general take up the path of piety. Then a special form of piety is laid down in order that it is specially adhered to.

 

General injunction for remembering Allah

As an example you may note that remembering Allah is an act of piety, in fact the greatest piety, and the fountainhead of all good deeds. For this there is a general injunction that remember Allah every moment and in every condition and never be heedless of Him. 

"Remember Allah, standing, sitting and reclining."

(Al-Qur'an 4:103)

"And remember Allah more, that you may be successful."

"Undoubtedly in the creation of heavens and the earth and in the alternate appearance of night and day are numerous tokens (of His sovereignty) for those who are men of understanding and considering Allah, standing, sitting and reclining, and considering the creation of the heavens and the earth, instinctively say : Our Lord Thou created not this in vain.

(Al-Qur'an 3:190-191)

" And obey not him whose heart We made heedless of Our remembrance, who follows his own lust and whose all works have gone beyond limit.

(Al-Qur'an 18:29)

There are many other verses besides these in which it has been enjoined to keep up remembering Allah always and in every condition because it is the very remembrance of Allah which keeps the affairs of man in proper shape and sustains him on the right path. Whenever he becomes heedless of His remembrance, corporeal urges and instigations of evil forces overpower him. Its inevitable consequence is that straying from the right path he will go beyond limits in the affairs of his life.

 

Special injunction for Remembrance of Allah

It should be noted that the above is a general injunction. Now a special form has been enunciated for remembrance of Allah. There is Salah, and here too in the five-time daily offering of it a few Rak'ats have been made obligatory which do not take more than five to ten minutes. Thus making Allah's remembrance obligatory for a few minutes at one time and for a few minutes at another time does not mean that you should remember Allah only at these fixed periods and forget Him for the rest of the time. On the other hand it means that at least for this much period you ought to be exclusively engaged in the remembrance of Allah. After that, while you keep yourself busy in your work, in the midst of it you should continue remembering Allah.

 

General injunction of ' Infaq-Fi-Sabilillah'

Similar is the case of Zakat. Here also there is a general injunction and then a special one. On one side it is enjoined : " Refrain from miserliness and narrow-mindedness as it is the root of evils and mother of vices. Develop in your manners the colour of Allah Who is all the time bountifully showering His beneficence on His innumerable and limitless creations although no one has any right and claim over Him. Spend whatever you can in the way of Allah. Save as much as you can from your requirements and from the savings fulfil the wants of other needy slaves of Allah. Never flinch from sacrificing life and money to sublimate the Word of Allah and to render service to religion. If you love Allah, then sacrifice your love of wealth for the love of Him."------And this pertains to the general injunction.

 

Special injunction for 'Infaq'

On the other side, there is the special injunction that if you possess so much amount of money then it is incumbent on you to spend at least this much part of it in the cause of Allah, and when so much is the produce of your land, then at least this much portion of it must be offered to God by you. Then just as the fact of a few Rak'ats or Salah having been made obligatory does not mean that God should be remembered only while offering these Rak'ats and be forgotten for the rest of the time, in the same way the fact of a small quantity of money having been fixed to be spent in the cause of Allah also does not mean that only those who possess so much of money should spend in the way of Allah while those who have less money than this should close tightly their hands. Nor does it mean that the rich people should spend in the way of Allah while those who have less money than this should close tightly their hands. Nor does it mean that the rich people should spend in the way of Allah that much Zakat only, which has been made obligatory and after that drive away a needy fellow if he approaches them, or if an occasion arises to render service to religion you should say : " We have already given Zakat. Now don't expect a pie from us." This is certainly not what is meant from making Zakat obligatory. On the other hand, it actually means that at least this much money has to be given in any case in the way of Allah by every well-to-do person and that beyond it whatever is possible for any man should be spent by him in His cause.

 

BRIEF EXPLANATION OF GENERAL INJUNCTION ABOUT 'INFAQ'

Presently I shall first briefly explain to you the general injunction, and shall then take up the special injunction in my next discourse.

It is a characteristic feature of the Holy Qur'an that when it gives an injunction it also states the wisdom and exigency behind it so that, along with the injunction, those concerned may also know why the real significance of it as well as its benefit. As you open the Qur'an the first verse you come across is this :

 

1.Three conditions for pursuing the right path

" This Qur'an is the Book of Allah whereof there is no doubt. It shows the right path of life to those pious people who believe in the unseen, establish Salah and spend of that we have bestowed upon them.

(Al-Qur'an 2:2-3)

In this verse the basic principle has been set out that in order to pursue the right path in the life of this world three essential conditions are necessary :

First, Faith in the unseen.

Second, Establishing Salah.

Third, Spending of that in the way of Allah which He has given you.

At another place of Allah says :

" You cannot at all attain unto piety until you spend in the way of Allah of that which you love."

(Al-Qur'an 3:92)

Again He says :

" The devil intimidates you that by spending you will become a pauper. He enjoins on you a shameless thing like miserliness."

(Al-Qur'an 2:268)

After this He says :

" Spend your wealth for the cause of Allah and be not cast by your own hands to ruin " ( because not spending in the way of Allah means ruin and destruction).

(Al-Qur'an 2 : 195)

In the end He says :

" And whoso is saved from his own avarice---such are successful.

(Al-Qur'an 59:9)

1.Faith in the unseen Realities which include belief in Allah, in the Hereafter, Wahy (revelation) and such other things.

 

2.Two ways of life

It is clear from the above verses that there are two ways for man to lead his life in the world. One is the way of God wherein there is piety, goodness, well-being and success. Here the norm is that man's heart should be liberal, he should fulfil his own needs from whatever, little or much, God has given him, and also help his brethren from it while spending a portion of it for sublimating the Word of Allah. The other is the way of the devil which is apparently full of benefits but is in reality leads to ruin and perdition. Here the principle is that man should try to amass wealth, should shed his life even for a pie and should keep the money tightly in his possession so that it is not spent at all, and even if it is spent, it must be used for his personal benefits satisfying his corporeal urges.

 

MODES OF SPENDING IN THE WAY OF ALLAH

Now see what modes have been prescribed for Muslims of spending in the way of Allah. I describe all these in serration :

1.Spending should be exclusively for the pleasure of God

The first and the foremost thing is that the sole aim of spending should be to earn the pleasure of God. It should never be the purpose to make anybody feel obliged to you, or to make you famous in the world.

" Whatever you spend, its objective is no other than earning Allah's countenance.

(Al-Qur'an 2:272)

" O ye who believe ! Render not vain your alms-giving by asserting your favour and causing injury like him who spends his wealth only to be seen of men and believes not in Allah and the Last Day. The example of his spending is that of a rock whereon is dust of earth; a rainstorm smites it, leaving it smooth and bare.

(Al-Qur'an 2:264)

 

2.It should not be to assert favour

The second thing is that no obligation should be asserted after giving any money to a needy person or after feeding or clothing him, and he should not be treated in a manner as to injure his feelings. " Those who spend their wealth for the cause of Allah and afterward make not reproach and injury to follow that which they have spent, their reward is with their Lord, and there shall no fear come upon them, neither shall they grieve. As for such alms-giving is followed by injury, it is much better than it to evade the beggar mildly and say " Brother for-give me." (Al-Qur'an 2:262-263)

3.Good things to be given

The third rule is that articles in good condition should be given in the way of Allah. Bad ones should not be sorted out for this purpose. Those who look for torn and old clothes to give to a poor man, or set apart the worst possible food to dole out to a beggar, should expect the same kind of reward from God. " O ye who believe ! Spend of the good things which you have earned, and of that which We bring forth from the earth for you, and seek not the bad to spend thereof." (Al-Qur'an 2 :267)

4.Give secretly as far as possible

The fourth rule is that spending should be done secretly as far as possible so that it does not get alloyed hypocrisy and with ostentation. Although there is no harm in spending openly, yet it is far better to give in a concealed manner. " If you do your alms-giving openly, it is also well, but if you hide it and give it to the poor, it will be better for you, and will atone for some of your ill deeds." (Al-Qur'an 2:271)

 

5.Imbeciles not to be given beyond need

The fifth rule is that dull-headed and naive persons should not be given money in excess of their actual need lest they should go astray and fall into bad habits. Whatever is given to them should be according to their position. Allah wants that food and clothing should be received even by the worst possible man as well as the greatest evil-doer, but no money should be given to loafers for drinking wine, using other intoxicants and for gambling. " Do not hand over to the foolish your wealth which Allah has made a means of maintaining yourself, but give them out of it for feeding and clothing them." (Al-Qur'an 4: 5)

6.Defaulters not to be harassed

The sixth rule is that if some interestless loan is given to a poor man to meet his need, he should not be harassed to return the money. On the other hand, he should be allowed time to pay it back conveniently. And if it is really known that he is unable to return the loan and if you have money enough to forego it, then it would be much better to write off the loan. " And if the debtor is in straitened circumstances, then (left there be) postponement to (the time of) ease; and that you remit the debt as alms-giving would be better for you if you did but know its benefit." (Al-Qur'an 2 : 180)

7.Moderation in alms-giving

The seventh rule is that man should not exceed the limit in alms-giving. Allah does not want that you should underfeed your wife and children and give away in charity all you have. In fact, He wants you to spend on yourself and your family as much as a man needs to lead a simple life, and give away the remaining part in the cause of Allah.

"They ask you what they ought to spend? Say O Prophet ! that which is surplus."

(Al-Qur'an 2:219)

" The faithful servants of Allah are those who, when they spend, are neither prodigal nor grudging, and theirs is ever a firm station in the middle of the two extremes."

(Al-Qur'an 25:67)

"Let not the hand be chained to thy neck nor open it with a complete opening, lest thou sit down rebuked, denuded.

(Al-Qur'an 17 : 29 )

 

THOSE DESERVING OF HELP

Finally, you must know that Allah has given a full list of those to whom help is due. You can find out from it which people deserve your help and to whom Allah has given a share in your earnings:

" Give the kinsman his due, and the needy, and wayfarer."

(Al-Qur'an 17:26)

" And righteous is he who gives his wealth, for love of Him, to poor kinsfolk and to orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and to those who ask, and to set slave free."

(Al-Qur'an 2:177)

 " Treat with kind help your parents, and near kindred and orphans, and the needy, and the neighbour who is of kin to you and the neighbour who is not of kin, and those who are around you and the wayfarer and your slaves."

(Al-Qur'an 4:36)

"And the righteous feed with food the needy wretch, the orphan and the prisoner, for love of Him (saying): We feed you for the sake of Allah only. We wish for no reward nor thanks from you Lo! We fear from our Lord that day due to the severity of which faces will contract and visages will be contorted (i.e., Doomsday).

(Al-Qur'an 76:8,10)

"And in their wealth have due share those who ask for help and those who are deprived.

(Al-Qur'an 51:19)

"Alms are for those needy people who having given all their time to the cause of Allah are so pressed that they cannot run about for their livelihood. The unthinking man accounts them wealthy because of their restraint but you can judge their plight from their faces. They do not beg of men with importunity. And whatever good thing you give in charity, Allah will know it and reward you for it.

(Al-Qur'an 2:273)


SPECIAL INJUNCTIONS FOR 'ZAKAT'

 

Brethren-in-Islam !

In my last address I have described before you the general injunctions regarding Infaq Fi Sabilillah (i.e. spending in the cause of Allah). Now I describe the details of the second part of this injunction which relates to Zakat, an ' Ibadat which has been made obligatory.

 

Three Injunctions about 'Zakat'

Allah has set forth in the Holy Qur'an three injunctions about Zakat separately at three places :

1.It is said in ' Al-Baqarah '

" Spend in the cause of Allah of the good things which you have earned and of that which We bring forth from the earth for you ". 

(Al-Qur'an 2 : 267)

2.In Surah ' Al-An'am ' it is said :

We have produced from the earth for you gardens and crops therefore :

" Eat ye of the fruit thereof when it fruiteth and pay the due of Allah thereupon the harvest day."

(Al-Qur'an 6:142)

Both these verses relate to the produce of the earth and the Hanafi jurists say that except for self-grown produce like wood, grass and bamboo, Allah's due must be set apart from all the rest of varieties such as crops, vegetables and fruits. It is said in Hadith that in the produce grown by rain Allah's due is one-tenth, and in the irrigated crops it is one-twentieth, and this due becomes incumbent as soon as harvest is done.

3.After this it is said in Surah ' Al-Taubah ' :

" They who hoard up gold and silver and spend it not in the cause of Allah, give tidings to them of a painful doom. On the day when all their gold and silver will be heated in fire and their foreheads and their flanks and their backs will be branded therewith and it will be said to them : Here is that which you hoarded for yourselves. Now taste of what you used to hoard."

(Al-Qur'an 9:34-35)

Then it is said:

" The alms (i.e. Zakat) are imposed as a duty by Allah for the poor and the needy and those who collect them, and those whose hearts are to be reconciled, and to free the captives and the debtors, and for the cause of Allah and for the wayfarers. Allah is Knower and Wise.

(Al-Qur'an 9 : 60)

After this it is said: " Take alms of their wealth and make them pure and clean."

(Al-Qur'an 9:103)

It is learnt from these three verses that if a portion of the wealth that is gathered and increased is not spent in the cause of Allah, that wealth becomes impure. The only method of purifying it is to take out of it Allah's due and give it over to His slaves.

It is stated in a Hadith that when the warning of retribution to the hoarders of gold and silver was received, Muslims became greatly perturbed because it had come to mean that not a dirham be retained, and everything must be spent. Finally, Hadrat 'Umar (may God be pleased with him) called to him the anxiety of the people. The Prophet (may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

" Allah has made Zakat obligatory on you for this very reason that the remaining wealth of yours may become pure for you."

A similar tradition is narrated from Hadrat Abu Sa'id al Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Holy Prophet (may peace be upon him) told him:

" When you have taken out Zakat from your wealth, then the due which was incumbent on you has been paid off."

In the verses quoted above there are injunctions about the Zakat of produce from earth and gold and silver, but it is learnt from Ahadith that Zakat is also due on merchandise, camels, cows and goats.

 

'Nisab' (Minimum Scale) of 'Zakat' on some articles

Silver : 200 dirhams or 52.1/2 tolas.

Gold : 7.1/2 tolas(3ozs).

Camel : 5 camels.

Goat : 40 goats .

Cow : 30 cows.

Merchandise : Equal to the price of 52.1/2 tolas of silver.(21ozs).

Whosever has the above in possession for a period of one year, it is incumbent on him to take out from it fortieth part of Zakat. About silver and gold, the Hanafis say that if these two do not come up to the required standard (nisab) separately but if their combined price is equal to the scale fixed for any one of the items, then the payment of Zakat will become obligatory.

 

Zakat on jewellery

If gold and silver are in the form of jewellery then according to Hadrat 'Umar and Hadrat Ibn Mas'ud, Zakat on it is compulsory and Imam Abu Hanifa has accepted this verdict. It is said in a Hadith that once the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) saw golden bracelets on the arms of two women and he asked them: " Do you give Zakat?"

One of them said: "No".

The Holy Prophet said: " Would you like that you are made to wear in their place bracelets of fire on Doomsday".

Similarly, it is narrated from Hadrat Umm-e-Salama that she had golden anklets and she asked the Holy Prophet if it fell under the category of Kanz (the hoarded wealth, condemned by Allah and his Prophet).

The Prophet replied: " If the quantity of gold in it is such as comes under Nisab, and Zakat has been given on it, then it is not Kanz.

It is learnt from these two Ahadith that if gold and silver are in the shape of ornaments, even then Zakat is compulsory on them in the same way as it is obligatory in the case of cash. On jewels and gems, however, Zakat is not due.

 

THOSE DESERVING OF 'ZAKAT'

There are eight categories of people who have been described in the Holy Qur'an as entitled to receive Zakat. Their details are :-

1."Fuqara" (the destitutes)

These are those people who do have some money but not sufficient to meet their needs. They live in straitened circumstances and do not beg from anybody. This definition has been given by Imam Zuhri, Imam Abu Hanifa, Ibne 'Abbas, Hasan Basri, other eminent scholars of the past.

2." Masakin" (The poor)

These are the very miserable people who have nothing with them to fulfil the needs of their body. Hadrat 'Umar had also included those among the needy who are fit to earn but do not get employment.

3.'Amilin alaiha' (Those who are deputed to collect Zakat)

These are the people who are appointed by an Islamic government to collect Zakat. They are to be paid from Zakat fund.

4."Muallafat-ul-qulub" (Those whose hearts are to be reconciled)

From this are meant those people whom it may be necessary to give money to seek support of Islam or to prevent them from opposing Islam. With them are also included those Muslim converts who need to be satisfied. If a person by leaving his community of unbelievers and then joining the ranks of Muslims becomes unemployed or recorded destitute, it is, of course, incumbent on Muslims to help him but if he is a wealthy person even then Zakat can be given to him so that his heart becomes firm in Islam. On the occasion of the war of Hunain, the Holy Prophet (peace be on him) gave from the booty a lot of material to Muslim converts so much so that for each person the share amounted to a hundred camels. The Ansars complained against it on which the Holy Prophet said: " These people have just now entered Islam after giving up Kufr. I want to please their hearts." On this very basis, Imam Zuhri has thus defined in Muallafat-ul-Qulub: " Any Christian or Jew or non-Muslim who has entered Islam, though he may be a wealthy man."

5." Fir-riqab "(For the emancipation of slaves)

This means that a person who wants to free himself from the shackless of slavery should be given Zakat so that he may release his neck from bondage by giving money to his master. In these days the system of slavery is non-existent. Therefore I think that those people, who are undergoing imprisonment for their inability to pay the fine imposed by courts, can be helped to secure release with the money of Zakat. This also falls under the definition of Fir-riqab.

6. "Al-Gharimin" (For relieving one from the burden of debt)

This means those people who are in debt. It does not mean that Zakat can be given to a person who has a thousand rupees with him and has to pay a debt of one hundred rupees, but it means that Zakat can be given to that person who is indebted so much that after paying off the loan what remains with him falls below the figure on which Zakat is legible. The learned jurists have also said that it is not advisable to give Zakat to a person who has fallen in debt due to extravagance and illicit habits, because in such a case he will indulge in prodigality and illicit pursuits with greater temerity, being confident of receiving Zakat to clear off his debt.

7."Fi-Sabilillah" (In the cause of Allah)

This is a common word used in relation to all good deeds but, in particular, it means rendering help to an endeavour on to raise aloft the banner of God's religion. The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said that it is not permissible for any wealthy person to take Zakat but if a wealthy person requires help for the sake of Jihad, he must be given Zakat because a man may be wealthy by himself he is unable to defray from his own pocket all the extraordinary expenses entailed in Jihad. It is necessary to help him in this work from Zakat.

8.Ibn-us-Sabil(Wayfarer)

A wayfarer may have any amount of money in his home but if he is in need of money while travelling, he must be given Zakat.

 

TO WHOM 'ZAKAT' BE GIVEN AND TO WHOM NOT

Now the question remains that among the eight groups mentioned above who should be given Zakat and in what circumstances, and who should not be given in a certain case. I state some details before you about this matter also.

  1. Nobody can give Zakat to his father or son. Also the husband cannot give Zakat to his wife nor the wife to her husband. The jurists agree on this point. Some of them say that those near relations should not be given Zakat whose sustenance is compulsory on you, or those who are your heir according to Shari?at but distant relatives are entitled to it, in fact more entitled than others. But Imam Auza'i says: " Do not go about searching your own relatives after taking out Zakat."
     

  2. Only a Muslim is entitled to receive Zakat. Non-Muslims have no such right. The definition of Zakat as given in a Hadith, is :" It will be taken from the wealthy among you and distributed to the poor among you." However, a non-Muslim can be given a share from general charity. In fact, it is not good to discriminate, while giving general charity, between a Muslim and a non-Muslim. The latter should never be deprived of help because he is not a Muslim.
     

  3. Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad say that the Zakat of every locality should be spent on the poor inhabitants of that very locality. It is not good to send Zakat from one locality to another unless there is none in the former place entitled to receive it, or if any calamity such as flood, famine etc. has befallen in another locality necessitating rushing of help from far and near places. Almost the same opinion is held by Imam Malik and Imam Sufyan Thauri. but this does not mean that it is illegal to send Zakat from one place to another.
     

  4. Some elder scholars think that Zakat should not be accepted by a person who has enough provision for two meals. Some others opine that a person who possesses ten rupees and according to others, a person who possesses twelve and half rupees, should not accept Zakat. But Imam Abu Hanifa and his followers are of the opinion that whosoever has less than fifty rupees with him can accept Zakat. This excludes possession of houses, household assets, horses and servants. That is to say, if, while possessing all these things, he has less than fifty rupees with him, he is entitled to receive Zakat. In this matter, law is one thing and a preferable principle is another thing. There is a difference between the two. The preferable principle is this that the Holy Prophet said that if a person who has enough material for the meals of morning and evening would extend his hand to ask for charity, he would collect fire for himself. In a second Hadith, the Prophet is reported as saying : " I would like a person to cut wood from a tree and feed himself from its proceed instead of going about begging." In a third Hadith, it is said that a person who has got something to eat or is strong enough to earn his livelihood must not accept Zakat. But this is a lesson in magnanimity. As for law, it is necessary here to explains to what final limit a man is entitled to receive Zakat. This information is found in other Ahadith. For instance, the Holy Prophet (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) said: " It is the right of the beggar though he may have come to you on horseback". A person asked the Holy Prophet: " I have ten coins with me. Am I poor?" Prophet replied: "Yes" . Once two persons called on the Holy Prophet and asked to Zakat. The Holy Prophet raised his eyes and observed them carefully. Then he said: " If you want to take it I shall give you. But in this wealth there is no share for the rich and for the able-bodied who can earn". It is clear from all these Ahadith that whoever possesses money below the scale fixed for Zakat, he falls in the category of beggars and as such can be given Zakat, it is a different matter that the right to take Zakat actually belongs to those who are really in need.

 

Need for collective system of 'Zakat'

I have stated the essential injunctions about Zakat, but with all this there is one important and necessary thing to which I want to draw your attention, and which Muslims have forgotten these days. It is this that in Islam all works are done on a party organisation basis. Islam does not like individualism. If you are staying far from the mosque and say your Salah alone, it will be formally correct but Shari?at demands that it should be offered with the congregation. Similarly, if there is no party organisation, it will be correct to take out Zakat and spend it on an individual basis. But efforts should in any case be made to centralize the collection of Zakat in order that its distribution be conducted in a systematic manner. A reference is made to this need in the Holy Qur'an. For instance : " Take alms of their wealth and make them pure and clean." (Al-Qur'an 9:103) i.e., Allah ordered the holy Prophet: to collect Zakat from Muslims. It was not commanded to Muslims to take out Zakat and distribute it individually. Similarly, the fixing of a share in it for the collectors of Zakat clearly indicates that the right method for it is that the Imam of Muslims should receive it regularly and distribute it systematically. Similarly, the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) said: " I have been commanded to collect Zakat from the rich among you and distribute it to the poor among you." The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and the Caliphs (may Allah be pleased with him) worked according to this very system. All Zakat used to be collected by the officials of the Islamic government and it was distributed from the centre. Since there is no arrangement to collect Zakat and distribute it in a systematic manner, you can individually take out your Zakat and spend it under the heads sanctioned by the Shar'at. But it is incumbent on all Muslims to think out methods of establishing a collective system for receiving and distributing Zakat because without it the benefits accruing from making Zakat obligatory remain incomplete.


'Hajj'

 

Brethren-in-Islam !

It has been elaborately explained to you in the previous lectures how Salah, fasting and Zakat cast a man's life into the Islamic mould and prepare him for Allah's servitude. Now the last item which remains on the list of the obligatory duties imposed by Islam is Hajj the benefits of which now I am going to describe before you.

Meaning of 'Hajj'

The meaning of Hajj (pilgrimage) in the Arabic language is to make a resolve to visit the holy place. Since people from all quarters resolve to pay a visit to Ka'ba, it has been designed as Hajj.

Origin of 'Hajj'

The story of its origin is highly instructive. Listen to it carefully so as to fully grasp the significance of Hajj. Then it will be easy for you to understand its benefits.

 

CONDITIONS AT THE TIME OF ABRAHAM

Which Muslim, Christian or Jew is there who is not aware of the name of Abraham (peace be on him)! Two-third of the population of the world has faith in him as a leader. The three prophets, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (peace be on them) are his descendants. The lamp lighted by him has illuminated the whole world with the light of guidance. He was born in Iraq over four thousand years ago. At that time the whole world had forgotten God. Not a single individual was left on the surface of the earth who was aware of his real Master. None bowed his head in servitude and obedience exclusively to Him. The nation in which Abraham was born was the most advanced nation of the world at that time but it was also ahead of others in heresy. In the spite of progress in Arts and Science, Industry and Agriculture, the people could not understand this simple point that a thing which has itself been created cannot be fit to be worshipped. They used to worship stars and idols. Astrology, idols-worship, divination, witchcraft and use of talisman and amulets etc. were popular among them. just as there are Pandits and Brahmins among the Hindus, in the same way there was in those days a class of Pujaris (priests) who guarded the temples, supervised the worshipping and the rituals performed by devotees, conducted marriage and funeral ceremonies etc., and played the farce of purveying to the people news from the unseen. The masses, in general, were so much enmeshed in these Pujaris' snare that they considered the latter as controller of their good or bad luck, and they obeyed their behests and slavishly fulfilled their desires, because they supposed that the Pujaris had access to their deities who, due to the Pujaris intercession would be kind to them as otherwise they will be ruined. The kings were in league with this coterie of Pujaris. For the purpose of holding the masses in their servitude, the kings helped the Pujaris and the Pujaris helped the kings. On one side, the government gave full backing to the Pujaris, and, on the other side, the Pujaris injected the conception in the minds of the people that the king of the day being the owner of his country as well as his subjects is also a god among other gods, that his word is law and he wields all kinds of power on the life and property of his people. Not only this. In fact, all the rites of servitude were performed before the king so that the idea of his godhood may dominate the minds of his subjects.

 

Family of Abraham

Prophet Abraham was born at a time like this in a community of the above-mentioned characteristics, and above all he took birth in the very family which was itself a family of Pujaris. his forefathers were Pandits and Brahmins of their community. In this home he got the same education and training as a Pandit's sons receive, and heard from childhood talks of this type. He saw the manners of Pirs and Pirzadahs among his family members and kinsmen. The gaddi of the temple was ready for him to occupy and thus become a leader of his community. The same gifts, presents and offerings were awaiting him as had enriched his family. There were lots of devotees waiting to bow their heads before him with folded hands. Further, he could likewise trap in his snare people ranging from a poor farmer to a king by claiming contact with deities and by playing the farce of divination. In this dismal darkness, where not a single soul existed who knew and believed in Truth, he could neither get the light of Truth nor was it possible ordinarily for a man to dare discard personal and family benefits of a stupendous nature and thus invite a host of troubles simply for the pursuit of Truth.

 

Abraham's exonerative declaration

But Prophet Abraham was not an ordinary man. He was of a different stuff. On attaining discretion he began to ponder: " How can this sun, moon and stars, which are themselves rotating like slaves, and these idols of stones, which are made by man himself, and these kings, who are human beings like ourselves, be considered as gods? What is there in these powerless objects, which cannot move of their own volition, which have no power to help themselves and have no control over their own life and death, that man should bow his head before them in 'Ibadat, seek fulfilment of his wants from them, be afraid of their strength and be servile and obedient to them? Among all the objects visible to us in the earth and heaven, or among those which we know somehow, there is not a single one which itself is not dependent, which itself is not subject to some power and which does not fade some time or other. When this is the condition of all these subjects, how can anyone of them become God. When none of them is my creator, nor are my life and death, or benefit and loss, in the hands of anyone of them, nor does any of them possess the key to my means of sustenance and fulfilment of my needs, then why should I accept them as Lord any bow my head before them in servitude and obedience? Only that being can be my Lord Who created all things, on Whom depends everything and in Whose hands are the life and death, benefit and loss of all." Arguing like this Prophet Abraham reached a definite decision that he will never worship the deities which his community worshipped, and he openly declared before his people: " I am free from all that you associate with Him." (Al-Qur'an 6:79) " I have turned my face toward Him Who created the heavens and the earth, as one by nature upright, and I am not one of the idolaters." (Al-Qur'an 6:80)

 

Mountain of calamities

After this declaration, a mountain of calamities fell on Prophet Abraham. His father threatened him with expulsion from the family and home. His community warned him that none of its members will afford him refuge. The government also became hostile to him and the case was brought up before the King. But that lonely and forsaken person braved all opposition and stood firm like a rock for the sake of truth. He told his father respectfully : " The knowledge I have, has not been vouchsafed to you. As such, instead of my following you, you should follow me". As a reprisal to the threats of his community he broke their idols with his own hands to prove how helpless were the objects they worship. He boldly declared in the full court of the King :" You are not my Lord. My Lord is He in Whose Hand are your life and death as well as mine and within the bounds of Whose law even the movements of this Sun are circumscribed." At last it was decided in the royal court that this man should be burnt alive. But that man who was as firm and resolute as a rock and who had unshakeable faith in one God, got prepared to suffer this horrible punishment. And then, when Allah with His supreme power saved him from being burnt in the fire, he abandoned his home, his relations, his community and country. He set out with his wife and a nephew as an immigrant to wander from one land to another. That person to whom the gaddi of Mahant was available after occupying which he could reign as the undisputed religious leader of his community, and that man who could easily acquire both wealth and honour and who could pass on to his children the privilege of enjoying the benefits of this gaddi of Mahant, preferred for himself and his children the life of a homeless and destitute person. The reason was that he did not like to lead a luxurious life by entangling the people in the snare of false gods. instead, he preferred to invite the people towards the true God and, as a punishment for this crime, lead an unsettled and restless life.

 

Migration

After leaving his home Prophet Abraham wandered in Syria, Palestine, Egypt and Arab countries. God alone knows, what sufferings he went through in this life of a wayfarer. While quitting his home he had not taken any money and goods with him nor was he wandering in search of livelihood. In fact, his only anxiety day and night was to take the people out of the servitude of others and make them servants of only one God. When a man of such ideas could not be tolerated by his own father and his community, how could anyone else put up with him? Where could he be welcomed? Everywhere was the sway of the same Mahants of temples and of kings claiming godhood, and everywhere existed those ignorant masses who were caught up in the snare of false gods. naturally, in the midst of such folks, how could that person live peacefully who was not only himself not ready to accept the godhood of anybody except that of God but was also in the habit of going about preaching to the people that none except Allah is their Master and Lord, and that, therefore, they should subvert the authority of all spurious masters and demi-gods and become a servant of only that One Being. This was the reason why Prophet Abraham did not stay peacefully at one place. For years he wandered as a nomad, sometimes in the inhabited parts of Kana'an, sometimes in Egypt and at other times in the sandy tracts of Arabia. His whole adulthood passed of in this manner and his black hair turned gray.

 

Children and their training

During the last period of his life when he was short of four years in completing ninety years and had despaired of an off-spring, Allah gave him children. But this servant of Allah now did not consider that having himself wrecked his home he should at least make his children fit to earn their living and should arrange for them some source of livelihood. No. The only anxiety with this aged Muslim was that the missionary work, for which he had spent his whole life, must be carried on by someone after his death. It was for this purpose that he had prayed to Allah to grant him children. And when Allah acceded to his request, he yearned to train his children to carry out his mission. The life of this perfect man was the life of a true and genuine Muslim. When in early adulthood, soon after attaining discretion, he recognized God and found Him out, Allah told him : " Aslam "(i.e. become a Muslim, entrust yourself to Me, be solely Mine), and he, in reply, gave a pledge : " Aslamto li-Rabbil Aalameen " " I have accepted Islam. I belong to the Lord of the worlds. I have wholly entrusted myself to Him." (Al-Qur'an 2:131) This truthful person fully a bided by this pledge throughout his life. He gave up, for the sake of the Lord of the worlds, his antique ancestral religion together with its beliefs and rituals and renounced all the benefits accruing therefrom. He braved the danger of fire, bore the brunt of migration, wandered from country to country, spent every moment of his life in obedience to the Lord of the worlds and in propagating His Deen and when blessed with a child in old age he liked him also to follow this very Deen and this very type of work.

 

The greatest of trials

But after all these tribulations, there was one trial left without which it could not be determined that the love of this gentlemen for the Lord of the worlds surpasses love of all the things around him. It was to be tested whether or not the only child begot in the old age after being completely despaired of it, could be sacrificed by him for the sake of the Lord of the worlds. So this trial also was gone through. And when on seeing a sign he got prepared to slaughter his son with his own hands, the divine decision was given : " Yes, now you have fully vindicated your claim of being a completely true Muslim. Now you are competent to be made Imam of the whole world." This incident has been described in the Qur'an thus :

Elevation to the Imamat of the world

" And when his Lord tried Abraham with (His) commands, and he fulfilled them. He said: Lo ! I have appointed thee a leader for mankind. (Abraham) said :And of my offspring (will they also be leaders)? He said : My covenant includes not wrongdoers." (Al-Qur'an 2:124) In this manner leadership entrusted to Abraham, and he became a pioneer of the universal Islamic movement. Now in order to give an impetus to this movement he felt the need of such men who would settle down in different areas and operate from there as his deputies or representatives. In this mission three persons proved pillars of strength to him. One was his nephew Lot, the second, his eldest son Isma'il (who, on learning that the Lord of the worlds wants the sacrifice of his life, himself cheerfully placed his neck under the knife), and the third, his younger son, Isaac.

 

Lot sent to Transjordan

Abraham settled his nephew in Sodom which is now called Transjordan. In this region used to live the most morally depraved community. Abraham's objective was to reform these profane people and also to influence the far-flung area around, because the commercial teams travelling between Iran, Iraq and Egypt used to pass through this region, and from this place religious preaching could be conducted in both directions.

Isaac settled in Palestine

The younger son, Isaac, was settled in Kana'an which is now called Palestine. This region is situated between Syria and Egypt and, being on the coast of the sea, other countries could also be influenced from there. From this very region the Islamic movement reached Egypt through Isaac's son, Jacob (whose name was also Israel) and through his grandson, Joseph.

 

Isma'il kept in Hejaz

The elder son, Isma'il was kept in the Hejaz at Mecca, and Abraham himself stayed with him for a long time to spread the teaching of Islam in all parts of Arabia.

 

CONSTRUCTION OF KA'BA

At this place both father and son constructed that centre of Islamic movement which is renowned today as Ka'ba in the whole world. Allah Himself selected this centre and suggested its site. This building was not meant merely for the purpose of worshipping, as mosques are, but from the very first day it was made the propagation and preaching centre of the universal movement of Islam, and its purpose was that believers in Allah, drawn from all places, should assemble here, perform the 'Ibadat of Allah collectively and go back to their respective countries with them the message of Islam. This was the assembly which was named Hajj. The full details of how this centre was constructed, with what sentiments and prayers both father and son raised its walls and how Hajj was initiated are given thus in the Qur'an: " Lo ! the first sanctuary erected for mankind was, that at Mecca, a blessed place, a guidance to the peoples; wherein are plain memorials (of Allah's guidance); the place where Abraham stood up to pray; and whosoever entereth it is safe." (Al-Qur'an 2:95-97) " Have they not seen that We have appointed a sanctuary immune (from violence), while mankind are ravaged all around them." (Al-Qur'an 29:67) That is, there was always peace in Ka'ba, when all around were rampant plunder, murder, and devastation and conflict and warfare, so much so that even the wild Beduin, on detecting the murderer of even their father in its precincts, did not dare to touch him.

 

Supplications of Abraham and Isma'il

" And when We made the House (at Mecca) a resort for mankind and a sanctuary, (saying) : Take as your place of worship the place where Abraham stood (to pray). And We imposed a duty upon Abraham and Ishmael, (saying) : Purify my house for those who meditate therein and those who how and prostrate themselves (in worship). And when Abraham prayed: My Lord ! make this a region of security and bestow upon its people fruits, such of them as believe in Allah and the Last Day...... And when Abraham and Ishmael were raising the foundation of the House, (they prayed) : Our Lord! Accept from us (this service). Lo! Thou, only Thou, are the Hearer, the Knower. Our Lord ! And make us submissive unto Thee and of our seed a nation submissive unto Thee, and show us our way of worship, and relent toward us. Lo! Thou, only Thou, are the Relenting, the Merciful. Our Lord! And raise up in their midst a messenger from among them who shall recite unto them Thy revelations, and shall instruct them in the Scripture and in wisdom and shall make them pure. Lo! Thou, only Thou, are the Mighty, Wise ! (Al-Qur'an 2:125-129) " And when Abraham said : My Lord ! Make safe this territory and preserve me and my sons from serving idols. My Lord ! Lo ! They have led many of mankind astray. But whoso follows me, he verily is of me. And whoso disobeys me------still Thou are Forgiving, Merciful. Our Lord ! Lo ! I have settled some of my posterity in an uncultivable valley near unto Thy holy House, our Lord ! that they may establish proper worship; so incline some hearts of men that they may yearn toward them, and provide Thou them with fruits in order that they may be thankful. (Al-Qur'an 14:35-37) " And (remember when We prepared for Abraham the place of the (holy) House, saying: Ascribe thou nothing as partner unto Me, and purify my House for those who make the round (thereof) and those who stand and those who bow and make prostration. And proclaim unto mankind the Pilgrimage. They will come unto thee on foot and on every lean camel; they will come from every deep ravine. That they may witness things that are of benefit to them, and mention the name of Allah on appointed days over the best of cattle that He has bestowed upon them (i.e., sacrifice animals). Then eat thereof and feed therewith the poor unfortunate." (Al-Qur'an 21 : 26-28) Brethren-in-Islam ! This is the story of the beginning of that Hajj which has been acclaimed as the fifth pillar of Islam. You would know from it that Mecca was the headquarter of the mission of that Prophet who was appointed for the first time in the world to propagate the message of Islam. Ka'ba was that focal point from where this preaching was conveyed to different parts of the world, and the system of Hajj was introduced for this reason that all those who affirm servitude to God and enter into submission to Him, no matter to which nation or country they belong, should get attached to one centre and assembling here circumambulate it once every year. It would be as if outwardly they set the design of their inward feeling that their life resembles the wheel which always revolves round its axle.


HISTORY OF 'HAJJ'

 

Brethren-in-Islam !

I have explained to you in my previous lecture how Hajj originated and what was its purpose. I have also stated that Abraham had made Mecca the centre of the Islamic movement and had settled there his eldest son, Isma'il to carry on this movement after him.

 

Custom of idol-worship among Abraham's descendants

God knows better how long after Isma'il his descendants continued to adhere to the Deen which he had left for them to follow. However, in a few centuries these people forgot all the teachings and the way of their elders and gradually adopted all those wrong practices which were rampant among the other ignorant communities. Hundreds of idols were installed in that very Ka'ba which was built as a centre of preaching and exhortation for the worship of one God, and, ironically enough, idols were made of Abraham and Isma'il themselves whose whole lives were spent in exterminating the practice of idol-worship. The descendants of Abraham, the upright, made idols called Lat, Manat, Hubal, Nasr, Yaghus, Uzza, Isaaf, Naela and God knows what others, and worshipped them. They also worshipped Moon, Neptune, Venus, Saturn and so many other stars. They further worshipped jinns, ghosts, angels as well as the spirits of their dead ancestors. Benightedness rose to such a high pitch that if the family idol was not available to them while emerging from their house, they worshipped on the way any glossy stone they came across and, should no stone be available, they made a round ball from clay with a sprinkle of goat-milk over it, and this lifeless mound became a god of them. That very Mahantism and Pandithood re-entered their houses against which Abraham had fought in Iraq. They turned Ka'ba into a sort of Hardware or Benaras, and settled down there as its Mahant. They transformed Hajj into a Teerath Yatra and started preaching idol-worship in a house which was constructed to propagate the belief of oneness of God. Adopting all the tricks of Pujarees they began accepting gifts and offerings from Yatrees flocking from the four corners of Arabia. In this way all the work done by Abraham and Isma'il was destroyed and the purpose for which they had introduced the system of Hajj was superseded by a different type of objective.

 

HOW HAJJ WAS MUTILATED?

Competitions of Poets

How Hajj was mutilated in that period of ignorance can be gauged from the fact that it was turned into a fair which used to be held from year to year. Many big tribes with their gangs used to come to Mecca and encamp there separately. Poets and clowns of every tribe waxed eloquent in fantastically praising the bravery, renown, dignity, strength and generosity of their fellow-tribesmen and tried to excel others in bragging about them ultimately resulting in the satire of others.

Demonstrations of fake generosity

Then a competition in generosity used to be staged. The chief of every tribe in order to assert his superiority, installed huge cauldrons, and, to run down others, slaughtered camels upon camels to cook the flesh therein. The only object of this prodigality was that their name should be exalted in the whole of Arabia and that it should be publicized that this person slaughtered so many camels and that person gave food to so many people. Singing, revelry, drinking, adultery and every kind of ribaldry were pompously indulged in and the thought of God scarcely occurred to anybody.

Circumambulation in the nude

There used to be circumambulation of Ka'ba but how ? Women and men all went round and round stark naked and said : " We shall go before God in the same condition in which our mothers gave birth to us." 'Ibadat was performed in the mosque of Abraham but how ? By clapping of hands, by whistling and by blowing horns. The name of God was proclaimed but with what gusto? They said: " Here I am present, My Lord. I am present. No one is your partner except the one who by being yours is by Thee. You are his master for and the master of what he possesses."

Concept of sacrifice

They made sacrifices in the name of God but with what indecency? The blood of the animals was spilt on the walls of Ka'ba and the flesh thrown at its door with the idea that, (may God forgive) Allah demands flesh.

Sacrilege of sacred months

Abraham had declared four months of Hajj as scared and had directed that no warfare should be waged in these months. These people paid regard to this sanctity to some extent but when they wanted to fight they arrogantly turned a sacred month in one year into a violable one and compensated for it in the next year.

Some self-imposed restrictions

Then even those who were good-intentioned in religion had contrived strange ways due to ignorance. Some people used to set out for Hajj without any provision for journey and travelled begging food from here and there. They considered this as an act of piety. They claimed that they were mutawakkil (those having full trust in God), and were proceeding towards the House of God and so needed no worldly material. Doing business or working for livelihood during journeying for Hajj were generally considered unlawful. Many other people used to give up food and water during Hajj, and regarded this abstention as a part of 'Ibadat. Some people, while setting out for Hajj, stopped talking. Its means has Hajj-e-Musmit, i.e. dumb Hajj. There were countless other customs of this type by describing which I do not want to waste your time.

 

Abraham's prayer granted

This condition lasted for more or less than two and a half thousand years. No Arab prophet was born during this long period nor did any prophet's genuine teaching reach the people of Arabia. Ultimately the time arrived for granting the 'Dua' of Abraham which he had invoked while raising the walls of Ka'ba, i.e. " O Lord ! raise up in their midst a messenger from among them who shall recite unto them Thy revelations, and shall instruct them in the Scripture and in wisdom and shall reform their morals". (Al-Qur'an 2:129) Consequently, a perfect man rose from the progeny of Abraham whose holy name was Muhammad bin Abdullah (peace be upon him). Just as Abraham was born in the family of Pandits and Mahants, likewise Muhammad (peace be upon him) was born in a family which had been for centuries Mahant of the teerath of Ka'ba. Just as Abraham struck a blow with his hands to the Mahantism of his family, likewise Muhammad (peace be upon him) struck a blow to it, and, more than that, actually exterminated it for good. Again, just as Abraham strove to extirpate the godhood of false deities and prevalence of spurious beliefs and tried to popularise servitude to one God, actually the same work was done by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who revived the same genuine and pure Deen which was introduced by Abraham. When in the course of 21 years he completed all this work, he again, with God's command, declared Ka'ba as the centre of God-worshippers of the world and sounded the same call to the people to come to this centre from all sides for Hajj. " And pilgrimage to the House is a duty unto Allah for mankind, for him who can find a way thither. As for him who disbelieveth (i.e., fails to come in spite of ability let him know that) lo ! Allah is independent of (all) creatures." (Al-Qur'an 3:97)

Revival of Abraham's 'Sunnah'

In this manner, along with the renewal of Hajj, all the customs of the time of ignorance which, had become rampant during the last two and a half thousand years, were completely exterminated.

End of idol worship

All the idols in Ka'ba were smashed. The worshipping of objects other than Allah being done there was completely stopped. All rituals were wiped out. All fairs and carnivals were closed down and it was ordered that Allah's Ibadat must be carried out in the prescribed manner. " Remember Him as He hath guided you, although before ye were of those astray." (Al-Qur'an 2:198)

Prohibition of indecent acts

All indecent acts were strictly banned. " There is to be no lewdness nor ribaldry nor wrangles during Hajj." (Al-Qur'an 2:197)

 

Poet's competitions brought to an end

Competitions among poets, exaltations of forefather's achievements, contests in satire and sycophancy were all stopped. " And when you have completed your devotions, then remember Allah as you remember your fathers or with a more lively remembrance." (Al-Qur'an 2:200)

End of ostentatious generosity

All competitions in generosity which were meant solely for ostentation and fame were terminated and in their place was revived the system of Abraham's days to slaughter animals exclusively in the name of Allah in order that by the sacrifice made by the well-to-do people, the poor Hajis may get a chance to eat the meat. " Eat and drink, but be not prodigal. Lo! He loveth not the prodigals." (Al-Qur'an 7:31) " So mention the name of Allah over these animals when they are drawn up in lines. Then when their flanks fall (dead), eat thereof and feed the beggar and the suppliant. " (Al-Qur'an 22:36)

No spattering of blood and flesh of sacrificed animals

The practice of spattering the blood of the sacrificed animals on the walls of Ka'ba and throwing of their flesh there was stopped, and it was said : " Their flesh and their blood reach not Allah, but the devotion from you reacheth Him." (Al-Qur'an 22:37)

Prohibition of circumambulation in the state of nudity

Circumambulation in the state of nudity was strictly prohibited, and it was said : " Say; who has forbidden the adornment of Allah (i.e. dress) which He has brought forth for His bondmen". (Al-Qur'an 7:32) " Say ; (O Prophet) Allah, verily enjoineth not lewdness." (Al-Qur'an 7:29) " O Children of Adam! Look to your adornment (i.e., dress) at every place of worship." (Al-Qur'an 7:31)

Transposition of months of 'Hajj' prohibited

It was strictly prohibited to interchange the months of Hajj so as to turn the Haram month into Halal ones for purposes of battle. " Postponement (of a sacred month) is only an excess of disbelief whereby those who disbelieve are misled. They allow it one year and forbid it (another) year, that they may make up the number of the months which Allah hath allowed, so that they allow that which Allah hath forbidden." (Al-Qur'an 9:37)

 

Order to take provision

It was prohibited to start for Hajj without taking provision, and it was said : " You must take provision for the journey because (not to take provision for a journey in the world does not mean taking provision for the Hereafter) the best provision for the Hereafter is piety." (Al-Qur'an 2:197)

Permission to earn livelihood during 'Hajj'

It was formerly considered an act of piety not to make any earning during Hajj because it was regarded unlawful in this condition to utilize sources of livelihood. This concept was refuted. " It is no sin for you that ye seek the bounty of your Lord (by trading)." (Al-Qur'an 2:189)

End of customs of ignorance

The system of dumb Hajj and hungry and thirsty Hajj was also ended. After abolishing all other customs of Jahiliya, Hajj was made a model of piety, fear of God, purity, simplicity and austerity. The Hajj were ordered that when they set out from their homes they must purify themselves of all worldly pollution, abandon sexual desire, suspend during that period carnal relations with their wives, and abstain from filthy language and indecent acts.

Fixation of 'Meeqat'

On all reads leading to Ka'ba, marks were fixed from scores of miles away to indicate that before proceeding beyond these limits all pilgrims must put on the mendicant-like dress of Ihram so that the rich and the poor may become equal, distinctions of different nationalities may be eliminated and all of them may appear in the Court of Allah in a state of oneness as suppliants full of humility.

Instruction to maintain peaceful atmosphere

It was made haram, with Ihram on, to kill any animal, not to speak of killing a human being. The object was to create an atmosphere of peace, and to make the minds of the pilgrims spiritualised. The four months of Hajj were made sacred so that no battle takes place during this period, peace reigns on all roads leading to Ka'ba, and no pilgrim is molested en route. When the Hajis reach Ka'ba in this manner, there will be no festival or carnival, fun and games, frolic and revelry. There is remembrance of God at every step. There are prayers, 'Ibadaat, sacrifices and circumambulation of Ka'ba. If there is any clamour, it is this :

 

Only one slogan, 'Talbiyah'

" Here I am present, My Allah! I am present, I am present. There is no partner unto You, I am present. Verily all praise is due to Thee. All boons are Yours. Thine is the entire sovereignty." The Holy Prophet (may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) has said about such a neat and clean, selfless and sincere Hajj : " Whosoever performs Hajj solely for Allah and, in the course of it, abstains from sensual and ribald acts, he returns from there as immaculate as a child just born."

Importance of 'Hajj' as an obligatory act of devotion

Before I describe to you the benefits of Hajj, I should point out what kind of Fard this Hajj is. Allah says in the Holy Qur'an : " And pilgrimage to the House is a duty unto Allah for mankind, for him who can find a way thither. As for one who disbelieves, (let him know that) Lo ! Allah is Independent of (all) creatures." (Al-Qur'an 3:97) In this verse, failure to perform Hajj, in spite of possessing means to undertake it, is interpreted as Kufr and its elucidation is found in two Ahadith of the Holy Prophet : 1. " Whosoever possesses provisions and conveyance for a journey to the House of God and in spite of this does not perform Hajj, then his death in this condition and the death of a Jew and a Christian are both similar." 2. " Whosoever, not prevented from proceeding for Hajj by any clear preoccupation of his, or by an order of an oppressive ruler, or due to any deterrent disease, fails to perform the Hajj and dies in this condition, it is his volition either to die as a Jew or as a Christian." Elucidating this very Hadith, Hadrat 'Umar said : " I wish to impose Jizyah (tax) on those who do not perform Hajj in spite of possessing the required means. They are not Muslims. They are not Muslims." From the commandments of Allah and from its elucidation by the Holy Prophet and his caliph (peace be on them), you must have judged that this Fard (obligatory act) is not such as may be fulfilled or neglected as you like, but it is one which is obligatory once in a lifetime on every such Muslim who can defray the expenses of making journey to and from Ka'ba and is not physically incapable, no matter in which part of the world he resides and whatever may be his responsibility in regard to maintaining his family and his business or service. Those who, despite the necessary means, avoid Hajj and put it off year after year on the pretext of thousand and one preoccupation should be mindful of their Iman. As for those who never care to think for once in their whole life that there is such an obligatory duty as Hajj, and go about travelling throughout the world, and pass by the coast of Hejaz, which is at a few hours' distance from Mecca, in the course of their frequent trips to Europe, their beloved country, they are certainly not Muslims. They lie if they call themselves Muslims, and that person who considers them Muslims is ignorant of the Qur'an. They may pose that their heart ache for the Muslims. In any case, their hearts are devoid of any feeling for obedience to God and they are bereft of faith in His Commandments.


BENEFITS OF 'HAJJ'

 

Brethren-in-Islam !

In the Holy Qur'an where Almighty Allah has commanded Abraham to make a general proclamation of Hajj, the first reason given for this commandment is : " That they may come here and witness things that are of benefit to them". (Al-Qur'an 22:28) That is to say that they may undertake the journey and assemble here and witness with their own eyes that it is intended for their benefit only and its advantages can be noticed only when a man personally experiences it by performing the task himself. It is narrated about Imam Abu Hanifa that until he had not performed the Hajj he was doubtful as to which 'Ibadat was superior among the 'Ibadaat of Islam. But when on performing the Hajj he witnessed the numerous benefits latent in it, he unhesitatingly declared the Hajj is superior to all. Now I shall relate to you briefly its benefits.

 

Nature of journey for 'Hajj'

The people of the world are usually aware of two kinds of journey. One journey is that which is made to earn livelihood. The second one is that which is undertaken for pleasure and sight-seeing. In both these journeys, a man is impelled to go abroad by his need and desire. He leaves home for a purpose of his own, he spends money or time for his own requirements. Therefore no question of sacrifice arises in such a journey. But the position of this particular journey which is called Hajj is quite different from that of other journeys. This journey is not meant to gain any personal end or any desire of Nafs. It is intended solely for Allah, and for fulfilment of the duty prescribed by Allah. No person can prepare himself to undertake this journey until and unless he has love of Allah in his heart as well as fear of Him, and feels strongly that the Fard ordained by Allah is incumbent on him. Therefore, whosoever sets out for Hajj parting from his family and relatives for a long period, allowing his business to suffer, spending money and bearing the rigours of the travels, he furnishes by his act of devotion a proof of the fact that there is in his heart fear of God and love for Him as also a sense of duty, and that he possesses the strength to leave his home, when called upon to do so, for the cause of God, and that he can face hardships and willingly sacrifice his wealth and comfort for the pleasure of God.

 

Inclination towards virtue and piety

When the pilgrims get ready for the journey with this holy intention, his disposition assumes a different colour. His heart, which is aflame with exuberance of the love of God and which is pulsating with a longing to visit His House, starts harbouring only virtuous thoughts. he does penance for past sins, seeks forgiveness from people whom he might have wronged, tries to render his due to others where necessary so as not to go to God's court trammeled with the unfulfilled rights of his fellow beings, shuns vice and develops fondness for virtue. Then, as he steps out to begin the journey, the more he proceeds toward the House of God, the more keen he becomes to do good deeds. He is careful to see that nobody is harmed by him, while he tries to render whatever service or help he can to others. His own nature desists from abuse, indecency, dishonesty, squabbles and bickering because he is proceeding on the path of God. A man may be making journey towards the Divine Haram and yet indulging in bad habits? How can such a shameless thing be possible by anybody? Thus the entire journey of his constitutes a complete 'Ibadat. Oppression and vice can find no place in contrast to all other types of journey, this is the one which continuously keeps on purifying man's Nafs. It is like a great reformatory course to be compulsorily gone through by every Muslim who sets out to perform Hajj.

 

'Ihram' and its conditions

After completing a part of the journey a special boundary is reached which cannot be crossed without donning Ihram by every Muslim bound for Mecca. What is this Ihram? It is a mendicant-like dress consisting of nothing more than a simple sheet of cloth for the upper and another for the lower part of the body. It means that, irrespective of whatever position you held till now, since you have now to go to God's court, you will have to assume an ascetic's appearance. Be a beggar outwardly and try to be so inwardly too. Take off your colourful garments and gaudy costumes. Put on a simple and dervish-like dress. Do not wear socks. Keep the head bare. Do not use scent. Do not dress your hair. Abstain from every kind of adornment. Cease the man-woman relation so much so that do not even indulge in talk, sign and movement which may smack of any eagerness for, and be a reminder of, this relation. Do not hunt, and refrain from even giving a hint to the hunter about the whereabouts of the prey. When you will adopt such a posture outwardly, it will influence your mind also. Inwardly your heart will develop an ascetic attitude. Pride and vanity will disappear. Humility and peace of mind will grow. The impurities that have smirched your soul due to indulgence in worldly pleasures will be removed and a feeling of Godliness will dominate both your internal and external selves.

 

'Talbiyah'

Soon after putting on Ihram the words that the Haji recites in a loud voice after every Salah, at the time of ascending every height and descending therefrom, and while meeting every caravan and every morning on rising from bed, are as follows : Labbaika Allahumma labbaika, labbaika la sharika laka labbaika, innalhamda wan-ni'mata laka, la sharika laka " Here, I am present, My Lord ! I am present, I am present. There is no partner unto Thee. I am present. Verily all praise is due to Thee. Every boon is Thine and Thine is the entire Sovereignty. No one is Thine partner." This, in fact, is an answer to that general proclamation which Abraham had made four thousand five hundred years ago as commanded by Allah. Forty-five centuries have passed since that proclaimer of Allah had announced : " O slaves of Allah ! Come to the House of Allah. Come from every corner of the earth, either on foot or by transport." In answer to it, every passenger to Haram-i-Pak loudly declares till today : " Here I am present, My Allah ! I am present. No one is partner unto Thee. I am present at Thine beck and call only. Praise is for Thee only. Boon is Thine, land is Thine. No one is Thine partner in anything." In this manner, with every voice of Labbaik the Hajis' relation becomes closer with that movement for the propagation of true and genuine God-worship which has been carried on since the time of Abraham and Isma'il. The gap of four and a half thousand years is obliterated from in-between. It appears as if from that side Abraham is calling on behalf of Allah and the pilgrim is replying from this side. He continues replying and goes ahead. As he proceeds, the feeling of eagerness gets intenser. At every ascent and descent the voice of Allah's proclaimer rings in his ears and he goes on and on welcoming it with Labbaik. Every caravan appears to him like a message-bearer of his Lord and like a lover, on hearing the message, he cries: " I am present, I am present." Every new morning brings for him, as it were, the Friend's errand, and getting up at dawn he starts exclaiming: " Labbaik, Allahumma Labbaik." In short, this recurrent cry in conjunction with the ascetic dress of Ihram, the condition of the journey and the feeling of getting nearer and nearer to Ka'ba, produce such a psychic effect that the Haji gets lost in Divine love and his mental condition gets absolved of every thing except the Frien's remembrance.

 

'Tawaf-i-Ziarat'

The Haji reaches Mecca in this style and at once proceeds towards that sacred spot where he was summoned. He kisses the Friend's threshold. Then he goes round and round the focus of his belief, Imam, Deen and religion, and starts and ends every round by kissing the Black Stone. After this, he offers two Rak'as of Salutations at Maqam-i-Ibrahim. Then moving from there he ascends the hillock of Safa and when he looks from above at Ka'ba he exclaims : La ilaha ill-Allah wa la na'budu illa iyyahu mukhlisina lahud dina wa lau kariha-alkafirun " There is no god save Allah. We do servitude to no other being. Our 'Ibadat is exclusively for Allah however abhorrent it may be to the unbelievers."

 

Sa'i (striding) between Safa and Marwah

Then he runs between as-Safa and al-Marwah. It seems like a demonstration of his belief that with the same arduousness he would always be endeavouring to serve his Master and seek His pleasure. In the course of this Sa'i, sometimes he says : Allah-Ummasta'milni bisunnati Nabiyyika wa tawaffani'ala Millatihi wa aizni min mudillat-ilfitani. Some unthinking people frequently raise objection in regard to the kissing of the Black Stone. They contend that this too is a kind of idol-worship, whereas it is nothing but kissing the threshold. The circumambulation of Ka'ba starts from where the " Black Stone " is fixed and during the seven rounds, it is either kissed, or a sign is made towards it at the end of every round. There is not the slightest vestige in this of worshipping it. The saying of Hadrat Omar is well-known that 'you are a mere stone. If the Holy Prophet (peace be on him) had not kissed you I would have never kissed you." " O God ! Take service from me in the same way as was the way of your Prophet, and cause me to die in the same path as was the path of your Prophet, and save me from those slips which deflect from the right path." And sometimes he says : Rabbighfir wa-arham wa-tajawaz 'amma ta'lamu innaka anta-la'azzulakramu. " O Lord ! pardon me and show mercy. Overlook those faults of mine which You know of. You have the greatest power and Your mercy too is the greatest."

'Wuquf' (Stay) at Mina, 'Arafat and Muzdalifah'

After this he becomes, as it were, a soldier of Allah and now he has to live a camp-like life for five or six days. he will encamp at Mina for one day and then on the second day at Arafat where the Commander's sermon containing directions is listened to. Encampment is done in the night at Muzdalifah.

 

'Rami Jimar'

At day-break, the pilgrims return to Mina and fling stones at the pillar where the army of Ashab-i-fil (the army of elephants) had reached to demolish Ka'ba fifty days before the birth of the Holy Prophet. While flinging each stone the soldier of Allah says : Allah-o-Akbaro Raghman-lishshaitani wa hizbihi and Allahumma tasdeeqan be-kitabika wa ittib'an lisunnt-i-Nabiyyika. The idea behind throwing these stones is : " O God ! whosoever rises to destroy Your Deen and humiliate Your Word, I will fight him like this to raise aloft Your Word." Then animal sacrifice is done after stoning the first pillar in order that the intention and resolve to shed blood in the way of God are demonstrated. From there the pilgrims turn towards Ka'ba just as a soldier having performed his duty returns triumphantly to the headquarters. After doing Tawaf and offering two Rak'ats, Ihram is removed. Whatever was made Haram is, now made Halal and the Haji's life resumes normality. After returning to the normal life, the Haji goes to Mina and encamps there again, and the next day he flings stones on all the three pillars one after another. These are called Jamrat which, in fact, reminds of the destruction of that elephant army, which, in the year of the birth of the Holy Prophet, invaded Mecca just in the month of Hajj, to demolish the House of Allah, and which, by the command of Allah was destroyed by stone-raining sky-birds. After once again flinging stones on these pillars on the third day, the Haji returns to Mecca and performs seven times circumambulation of the focal point of his Deen. This is called Tawaf-i-Wada' and completing it means completion of Hajj.

 

Blessings and effects of 'Hajj'

From all the details you have heard you can judge that during the period of two to three months, from the time of deciding and preparing for Hajj to the time of returning home; what great effects are produced in the heart and mind of man ! The process entails sacrifice of time, sacrifice of money, sacrifice of comfort, sacrifice of several worldly relations and sacrifice of many corporeal desires and pleasures------and all this simply for the sake of Allah, with no selfish end. Then, together with piety and virtuousness, the incessant remembrance of God and the longing and love of Him pervading the mind of the pilgrim, all leave a firm impression on his mind which lasts for years to come. Then, on reaching this sacred land he witnesses at every step the relics of those who sacrificed everything theirs in servitude and obedience to Allah. They fought against the pagan Arabs suffered tortures, became migrants, suffered unbearable hardships, but ultimately did raise aloft the Word of God and did not rest content till they subdued every such false power which wanted man to become subservient to other entities than Allah. A lesson in courage and determination, which a devotee of God can draw from these clear signs and sacred relics, can hardly be available from any other source. And if the attachment developed with his focal point of Deen through the circumambulation of Ka'ba as also the rehearsal of a Mujahid's life consisting of the rites (Manasik) of Hajj (such as running about, and repeated departures and halts), are combined with Salah, fasting and Zakat, and they are all seen conjointly, you will realize that these processes constitute a training or some big task which Islam wants Muslims to execute. For this reason, Hajj has been made compulsory for those who are solvent enough and are capable to undertake the to and for journey of Ka'ba so that, as far as possible, Muslims in the largest possible number remain equipped in every period after having fully gone through this training.

 

'Hajj' ----a collective 'Ibadat

But you will be unable to appreciate fully the benefits of Hajj unless you keep in view the fact that each and every Muslim does not perform Hajj individually but that only one single period has been fixed for Hajj for the Muslims of the whole world, and, therefore, lakhs and lakhs of Muslims jointly perform it. What I have stated before has only brought home to you the effect produced by this 'Ibadat on every Haji individually. Now I shall explain to you in my next address how these benefits have been enhanced a hundred-thousandfold by appointing one single period of Hajj for all the world. The excellence of Islam lies in this very fact that by one stroke it achieves not only two but a thousand purposes. The advantages of offering Salah singly are by no means small but by making it conditional with congregation and by enforcing the system of Imamat in Salah and by enlarging the congregations of the Friday and 'Idain prayers, its benefits have been increased to a limitless extent. The observance of fasting separately by each person is also a very big source of reformation and training but by appointing only one month of Ramadan for all Muslims, these benefits have been increased so much that they cannot be counted. Zakat too has many advantages even if dispensed individually, but with the establishment of Baitulmal (Public Exchequer of the Islamic State) its usefulness has been increased to such a great extent that you cannot estimate it till such time as an Islamic government is formed and you witness with your eyes how much goodness and plentifulness result from collecting the Zakat of all Muslims at one place and distributing it among the deserving persons in organized form. Similar is the case of Hajj. If everyone were to perform Hajj singly, even then it will bring about a big revolution in his life but by formulating the rules for all the Muslims of the world to perform it together at one time, its benefits have been increased to a limitless degree. This subject demands a detailed treatment, so I shall explain it in detail in my next discourse.


UNIVERSAL ASSEMBLY OF ' HAJJ '
Fruits of 'Hajj'

Animation in Muslim world

Brethren-in-Islam !

You know that such Muslims on whom Hajj is obligatory i.e., those who have the means and physical strength to undertake the journey to and from Ka'ba are not one or two in number. In every inhabited region there live quite a considerable number of such persons. They are found in thousands in every city and in lakhs in every country, and many of them set out every year to perform Hajj. Now consider how in every corner of the world where Muslims live. Islamic life become animated as soon as the season of Hajj arrives, how liveliness is aroused and how long it is maintained. From about the month of Ramadan till Zilqa'dah different people from different parts of the world start off after making preparations for Hajj, while, on the other side, from the last part of Dhul Hijjah till Safar, Rabi'ul Awwal, and even to Rabi'uththani, homeward journey continues. During this period of six to seven months a sort of incessant religious activity goes on among the Muslim populations of the entire world. Those who go to perform Hajj and return home are no doubt infatuated with religious fervour but those who do not go also share more or less this same ardour because of bidding farewell to intending Hajis, by passing from one inhabited area to another, and, on the return of Hajis, welcoming them back to their homes and hearing from them the accounts of their performance of Hajj.

 

Growth of piety and virtuousness

When every intending Haji makes up his mind to perform Hajj and when immediately with this intent the virtues of fear of God, piety, penance, Istighfar (seeking forgiveness from God) and good morals begin to cast their influence on him, and he starts taking farewell of his relatives, friends, professional and other associates, and settles all his affairs as if he is no longer the same man as before but that his mind is now pure and clean because of the newly-kindled spark of love of God, you can imagine the effect of the changed condition of the Haji on so many people around. And if every year in each of the different parts of the world one lakh Hajis at an average get prepared for Hajj in this manner, their influence will improve the moral state of a vast number of people. Then the hearts of large number of people get warmed up at places through which the Hajis' caravans pass, by seeing them, meeting them and by hearing from them the voice of Labbaik, Labbaik. There will be many whose attention will be diverted towards Allah and Allah's House, and the eagerness for Hajj will create a stir in their slumbering souls. And when these people, filled with the thrill of Hajj, return from the Centre of their Deen to their cities and towns spread over all parts of the world and met by numerous persons, then this intercourse and the accounts related by the former of their Hajj experience enliven religious sentiments among countless circles.

 

Season of awakening of Islamic world

As such it will not be wrong if I say that just as the month of Ramadan is a season of piety throughout the Islamic world, in the same way the season of Hajj is the period of liveliness and awakening of Islam in the entire world. By this method the Sagacious and Prudent Shari'ah-maker has evolved such a matchless system that Insha-Allah the universal movement of Islam will never be effaced till Doomsday. Whatever adverse turn world conditions may take and however had the times may become, these will not affect Ka'ba which has been placed in the body of the Islamic world just like a heart in a man's body. As long as the heart throbs, a man cannot die, though he may be unable to move due to illness. Exactly in the same manner this heart of the Muslim world draws blood from its far-off veins and circulates the blood back into each and every vein. As long as this throbbing of the heart continues and as long as this process of drawing the blood and circulating it lasts, it will be impossible to end the life of this body, however run down it may be due to diseases.

 

Inspiring spectacle of unity of Millat

You just close your eyes and visualize the scene that from the north and south and from east and west people belonging to countless communities and countries are flocking to one centre through a thousand and one routes. Their features are different, their colours are different, their languages are different but on reaching a demarcated borderline near the Centre all remove their national dresses and everybody without exception puts on a simple uniform of one single design. After wearing this uniform of Ihram it is clearly seen that this army of the Monarch of the World and Sovereign of Earth and Heaven, which is arriving after recruitment from thousands of communities of the world, is the army of one single King. It bears the insignia of obedience and servitude to one Being, all are strung in one cord of loyalty and are marching toward one capital to file past their King. When these uniformed soldiers move ahead of Meeqat, the same one slogan loudly issues forth from their mouth: Labbaik, Allahumma Labbaik, la sharika laka Labbaik ( Here I am before Thee My Lord, Here I am, Thou hast no partner, here I am ). Their spoken languages are different but the slogan of all is one. Then as the Center approaches near, the circle contracts and becomes narrow. Caravans from different countries continue joining each other and all offer Salah together in one and the same manner. All are clad in similar uniforms, all are led by one Imam, all are moving simultaneously, all are using the same language, all are rising, sitting, doing Ruku' and Sujud at one signal of Allah-o-Akbar and all are reciting and listening to one Arabic Qur'an. In this way the differences of nationalities, countries and races are obliterated and a universal party of God-worshippers is constituted. When these caravans pass on loudly raising with one voice the slogan of Labbaik, Labbaik, when at every ascent and descent the same slogan resounds, when at the time of convergence of caravans these very voices are raised from both sides, and when at the time of every Salah and at dawn these exclamations reverberate, a unique atmosphere is created the exhilarating effect of which makes a man forget his self and is absorbed in the religious lore of Labbaik. Then, after reaching Ka'ba, the act of circumambulating one centre in a uniform dress by people coming from all parts of the world, then the doing of Sa'i by all together between as-Safa and al-Marwah, then encampment by all at Mina, then the departure of all towards Arafat and listening to an Imam's sermons there, then a night's sojourn by all at Muzdalifah, then the return of all together towards Mina, then the flinging of stones in unison by all at Jamra-i-'Aqabah, then the animal sacrifice performed by all, then return of all together to Ka'ba and circumambulating it jointly, and then return again to their Camps in Mina all together --- all this carries within itself an effusive effect which has absolutely no parallel in the world.

 

One aim, assemblage at one centre

The assembling at one centre of people drawn from all the nationalities of the world, and that too with a remarkable unity of heart and purpose, identity of thought and harmony of feeling, pure sentiments, holy objective and chaste deeds, is in reality such a great boon as has not been granted to the children of Adam by any agency other than Islam. The nations of the world have always been meeting each other, but how ? In the battlefield to cut each other's throats or in peace conferences to divide countries and nations, or in the United Nations Organization in order that one nation may spread against another nation the snare of deception, fraud, conspiracy and dishonesty and try to extract their own benefit from the loss caused to others. The meeting of common men of all nations, with a clear heart, with good manners and pure ideas, with affection and sincerity, with mental and spiritual affinity, with unity in thoughts, deeds and aims, that too not only once but always at the same centre every year ....... is this boon available to mankind anywhere else except in Islam ? Has anyone else devised a better system than this for establishing peace in the world, for removing hostility among nations and for creating in the place of quarrels and bickerings an atmosphere of love, friendship and brotherhood ?

 

Greatest movement for establishment of peace

Islam does not do only this much. It accomplishes more than this. It has made it compulsory that during the four months fixed for Hajj and 'Umrah, every effort should be made to maintain peace on all roads leading to Ka'ba. This is the greatest movement of a permanent nature to establish peace in the world. And if the reins of world politics were in the hands of Islam then it will be the utmost endeavour of Muslims to see that no such disturbance takes place in the world as may cause the suspension of the system of Hajj and 'Umrah.

 

Only peace-centre in the world

Islam has given to the world such an inviolable territory that it constitutes a city of peace till Doomsday in which, not to speak of man, even the hunting and shooting of an animal is strictly prohibited, where even the cutting of grass is not allowed, where not even a thorn can be culled nor can a fallen article be touched. Islam has given to the world a city where arms are forbidden to be brought in, where it is tantamount to Ilhad (unbelief) to hoard and sell at higher price cereals and other articles of common use, and where those committing oppression are thus threatened by Allah: Nudhiqhu min 'azabin'alim (Al-Qur'an 22:26) ( We shall cause them to taste painful doom).

 

Centre of real equality

Islam has given a centre to the world which is defined as : Sawa anil'akifo fihe wal baad (Al-Qur'an 22 : 25) It means that the rights of all those human beings are equal here who, after acknowledging the Sovereignty of God and the leadership of Muhammad (peace be on him), enter the brotherhood of Islam, no matter if they are American, African, Chinese or Indian. If one has become a Muslim, his rights are identical with those of the Meccans themselves. The position of the whole area of Haram is almost similar to that of a mosque in that whosoever lodges himself in any part of a mosque that portion belongs to him. Nobody can remove him from that place nor can anybody ask for rent from him. But the occupier, who may live there for his whole life if he chooses, has no right to call it his property. Neither can he sell it nor can he give it on rent to anybody so much so that when this person quits the place, another person has the same right to occupy it as he had done. This is exactly the position of the whole of Haram at Mecca. The Holy Prophet (peace be on him) said : " Makkatu munakhun liman sabaqa " i.e. " whosoever first comes to this city and settles at a place, that place is his." It is not legal to charge rent for these houses. Hadrat 'Umar had issued an order to the people there not to fix doors on the compound around their houses so that whoever desires may come and stay in the compound. Some jurists have gone so far as to say that neither has any body any proprietary right over houses in Mecca nor can these be transferred through inheritance. Can a man get these boons anywhere else except in Islam ? Brethren ! This is that Hajj about which it was said : " Undertake it and see how many benefits it has in store for you". No words are adequate to recount all its advantages. Yet you can get an idea of them from the brief sketch of its blessings that I have described before you.

 

Our lack of appreciation

But after hearing all this, please listen to the voice of my afflicted heart. The condition of you present-day Muslims is like that of a child born in a mine of diamonds. When a child sees diamonds all around and plays with them as if with stones then these diamonds become as valueless for him as stones. Your condition too is similar to that child because the boons the world is deprived of, and, as a consequence thereof it is immersed in troubles and calamities and is, therefore, in hectic search of them, as available to you without any quest simply because you are luckily born in Muslim homes. That Kalima-i-Tauhid which solves all the intricate problems of a man's life and shows him a simple and straight path, was dinned into your ears from your childhood while the prescriptions of Salah and fasting, (far more precious than alchemy, which transform a man from an animal into a human being), the best possible remedies ever discovered to make human being God-fearing, fellow brothers unto each other and sympathetic and friendly among themselves, were inherited by you automatically from your forefathers when you were born. That peerless method of Zakat, a purifier of heart as also rectifier of the financial system of the world, in the absence of which the people of the world are fleecing each other, has come into your possession just as the child of a gifted physician gets hold of those prescriptions without effort which other people enthusiastically hunt for. Similar is the case of Hajj.....that magnificent system which has absolutely no parallel in the world. Till today no instrument more powerful than this has been discovered to propagate a movement in four corners of the world and also to keep it alive till eternity. But for it, there is no such universal power in the world as can attract and assemble in the name of God at one centre all the children of Adam from every far off corner of the world, and integrate numerous races and nations into one brotherhood of God-worshipping, pure-intentioned and well-wishing members. You got this already perfected matchless system without any quest on your part, a system that has worked successfully for hundreds of years. But you did not attach any importance to it because it was already with you in your home when you opened your eyes. Now you are playing with it in the same way as the ignorant child born in a mine of diamond plays with diamonds and regards them as stones. My heart burns on seeing the spectacle of your frittering away such a tremendous wealth and power due to sheer ignorance and foolishness. From where can one get so much capacity of forbearance as to exercise self-restraint on seeing diamonds being pulverized by stone-breakers ? My dear brethren ! You must have heard this couplet of the poet : If the ass of Jesus goes to Mecca, It still remains an ass after return. That is to say, an ass, though belonging even to a Prophet like Jesus, cannot benefit from a visit to Mecca. If it were to go there and come back, still it will remain an ass as before. It may be Salah, fasting or Hajj, all these things are meant for the training of human beings. These are not intended to tame animals. If those people who do not understand their meaning and purport nor are they concerned with their purpose, nor do they intend to avail themselves of their benefits with which these 'Ibadaat are replete, but on the other hand, their minds are empty even of the concept of the import of these 'Ibadaat, and if they only imitate the actions of their predecessors, what, result can be expected of them. Unfortunately, the Muslims of today in general are performing these acts in this manner only. They enact the stereotyped outward shape but that shape is completely devoid of spirit. You notice that every year thousands of visitors go to the Centre of Islam and come back after having the privilege of performing Hajj, but neither while going there they experience the feeling which a visitor to Haram must experience, nor is any effect of Hajj found in them when they return from there, nor do they leave a good impression of their manners on the Muslim and non-Muslim residents of the places they pass through during their journey. On the contrary, they are consisting of mostly such people who tarnish the name of Islam by exhibiting their uncleanliness, bad manners and moral weakness. On seeing their life, instead of Deen superiority becoming impressive in the eyes of others, Deen itself becomes insignificant in the eyes of its own adherents. And this is the reason why the youngmen of our own nation ask us to explain what benefits accrue from Hajj, while the position is that this Hajj was such a thing that, if it was performed with its real sublimity, even unbelievers on seeing its clear-cut benefits would have affirmed faith in it ! Here is a movement whose hundreds of thousands of members drawn from every part of the world foregather every year at one centre, and then go back to their countries, manifesting their pure life, pure thoughts and chaste manners while passing through various cities and towns, and they not only propagate by word of mouth the principles underlying this movement at places where they halt or which they pass through, but also demonstrate them fully in their practicle life, and this process is continued not for ten or twenty years but for centuries on end, just consider, is this a kind of thing whose benefits are required to be asked by anybody ? By God if this work were done in the correct manner then even the blind would have witnessed its benefits and even the deaf would have heard its advantages. Every year's Hajj would have made crores of Muslims pious and would have drawn thousands of non-Muslims into the orbit of Islam and would have impressed lakhs of non-Muslims with the superiority of Islam. But fie upon ignorance ! What a highly precious thing has been atrociously wasted due to handling by ignorant people!

 

Method of deriving full benefits from 'Hajj'

In order to derive full benefits from Hajj was necessary that there should have been some such hand in the Centre of Islam as would make use of this universal force, some such heart as would pump pure blood into the body of the world every year, some such brain as would try to spread the message of Islam throughout the world through the agency of the thousands and lakhs of God-given messengers, and, if nothing, at least this much was done that a perfect example of pure Islamic life was established so that the Muslims of the world could have returned from there infused with a fresh lesson in true righteousness. But what a pity ! There is nothing of this kind there. Since a very long time ignorance is being reared in Arabia. From the time of Abbasids till the time of Ottomans, the kings of every period, in order to serve their political ends, tried ceaselessly for centuries to weaken the Arabs instead of developing their condition. They brought the Arabs to the lowest level of decadence in the spheres of knowledge, morals, culture and in every other respect. The result is that land from where emanated the light of Islam spreading its rays to all corners of the world has almost reached that state of ignorance in which it was found before the advent of Islam. Now there is neither knowledge of Islam nor Islamic life there. People from far off places pay visits to the Holy Haram with the deepest devotion, but on reaching there when they see everywhere ignorance, filth, greed, indecency, love of this world, bad manners, disorganised condition and the decadent state of common man, and their hopes get shattered so much so that many people, after performing Hajj, instead of strengthening their faith, get it weakened. The same old Mechanism which was reimposed in Ka'ba after Abraham and Ishmael, and which was later abolished by Muhammad (peace be on them all) has again been revived. The custodians of Ka'ba have again established themselves as Mahants. The House of God has become their property and Hajj, a source of business. They consider the pilgrims as their customers. Agents have been appointed in different countries on big salaries to canvas and bring in customers. Every year, like the Khuddam of Ajmer, a whole army of brokers and travelling agents issues forth from Mecca for the purpose of fetching customers from all parts of the world. People are induced to perform Hajj by reciting to them Qur'anic verses and quoting Ahadith. The motive is not to remind them of the duty imposed by Allah but to prevail upon them to go to Hajj on hearing His commandments in order to open for them a source of income. It looks as if Allah and His messenger had introduced all this business for the sustenance of these Mahants and brokers. Then when a man sets out to perform this duty, he has to encounter, from the time of starting the journey till return, various labourers of religion and traders of Deen. Mu'allim, Mutawwif, Vakil-i-Mutawwif, Kilid bardar-i-Ka'ba, and the Government of Hejaz itself are all co-sharers in this trade. The performance of all the rites of Hajj is conducted on payment. Even the door of Khana-i-Ka'ba is not opened for a Muslim without charging some fee. May God save us from this. The methods of the Pandits of Benaras and Hardwar have been adopted by the Mujawirs of our central abode of 'Ibadat and by the so-called servitors of that Deen which had cut the roots of this business of priesthood. How can the spirit of 'Ibadat survive at a place where the work of conducting it has become a source of wage-earning and trade, where abodes of 'Ibadat are exploited for personal gain, where Divine commandments are employed to compel people to perform a Fard in order to empty their pockets, where a man is obliged to make payment for every act of 'Ibadat he performs, and where this blessing of Deen has become a sort of buyer's and seller's commodity ? How can you expect that those who perform Hajj and those who supervise it will be able to derive the real and spiritual benefits from this 'Ibadat when all the work is being carried on with the mentality of trading on one side and buying is done from the other side. By mentioning these facts I do not intend to blame anybody. My purpose is to point out to you what factors have rendered almost ineffective a tremendous source of power like Hajj. There should be no misunderstanding in anybody's mind that this is due to any deficiency in Islam and the system it has enforced. No. In fact the deficiency lies with those who do not follow Islam correctly. This is the earning of your own hands that those methods aimed at making you a perfect model of humanity and by following which correctly you could have become reformers and Imams of the whole world, are not yielding today any good result. The situation has aggravated so much that the people themselves have begun doubting the efficacy of these methods. Its example is like that of an expert physician who left the most efficacious prescriptions and after him those prescriptions fell into the hands of the quacks and the ignorant, thus becoming useless and causing bad name too. A prescription may be excellent to the highest degree but in any case technical knowledge and intelligence are necessary to make a proper use of it. If novices handled it, no wonder if it proved not only ineffective but even injurious, and the ignorant people, who are themselves incompetent to judge its efficacy, will misunderstand that the prescription itself is wrong.


'JIHAD'

 

Brethren-in-Islam !

I have repeatedly reffered to this point in my previous lectures that Salah, fasting, Hajj and Zakat, which Allah has made obligatory for you and made them pillars of Islam are not like the 'Ibadaat of other religions comprising such rituals as pooja pat, nazr-o-niaz and jatra etc., that you just perform them and have Allah pleased with you. The truth of the matter is that these functions were made obligatory to prepare you for a big purpose and to train you for a great task. Now that I have enlightened you in detail about this training and the mode of its preparation, the time has come to tell you the purpose for which all this training is required.

 

Real objective of Islam

Briefly speaking, it would be enough to state that the real objective of Islam is to remove the lordship of man over man and to establish the kingdom of God on Earth. To stake one's life and everything else to achieve this purpose is called Jihad' while Salah, fasting, Hajj and Zakat are all meant as a preparation for this task. But as you have since long forgotten this objective as well as the task entrusted to you, and because all 'Ibadaat have been turned into mere Tasawwuf, the meaning I have tried to convey in one small sentence will be regarded by you as an enigma. Therefore I shall present before you an elucidation of this objective.

 

Root of evils---rotten political system

The root of all the evils you find in the world lies in the bad character of the government. Power and wealth rest in the hand of the government. Laws are framed by the government. All the authority of administration is exercised by the government. The force of Police and Army is in the hands of the government. Therefore whatever evils there are in the life of the people, are either spread by the government itself or with its help, because the power required to make anything prevail rests with the government. As an example, you notice that adultery is openly indulged in and is carried on publicly in brothels. What is the reason ? The reason is nothing else except that adultery is not a crime in the eyes of those who hold governmental power. They are themselves used to it and allow others to do it. Otherwise if they wanted to stop it, this evil could not be carried on with such impunity. You notice that usury is rampant and the rich are sucking the blood of the poor. Why is it so? This is just because the government itself takes usury and helps those who take it. Its courts pass decrees in favour of usurers and it is with its support that big money-lending houses and banks are flourishing. You notice that indecency and immorality are increasing in the people. Why is it so ? This is merely because the government has made arrangements to impart this very king of education and training to the people and it appreciates these models of morality and humanity which you witness. If you want to produce other types of human beings through a different kind of education and training, wherefrom will you get the resources ? And even if you produce a few of a good type, where will they get the jobs ? All the sources of livelihood and employment are in the hands of the wrong type of government. You notice that blood shedding is going on extensively in the world. Human knowledge is being used for destruction. The fruits of man's labour are being put to fire, and precious lives are being destroyed with greater callousness than are pieces of clay done away with. Why is it so ? This is just because the most wicked and mischievous from among the children of Adam are holding the reins of authority and leadership of the nations of the world. Since power is in their hands, the world is going towards the direction they want to take it. Whatever purpose they have prescribed for the use of knowledge, wealth, labour and life, everyone of them is being utilized for those purposes. You notice that oppression is being perpetrated everywhere in the world. There is no justice anywhere for the weak. The life of the poor man is difficult. Courts have become shops of traders wherefrom justice is bought in return for money. People are subjected to exorbitant taxes which are being wasted on high salaries of officers, on big buildings, on purchase of armaments and other extravagant expenditures. Money-lenders, zamindars, Rajas and Nawabs, title-holders and title-seeker dignitaries, gaddi-occupying Pirs and Mahants, cinema-proprietors, wine-dealers, publishers of obscene books and magazines, owners of gambling dens and many such people are ruining the life, wealth, honour, morality and everything of God's creation and there is nobody to check them. Why is all this happening ? Simply because the government is out of gear. The hands that hold power are bad. They themselves commit oppression and also side with oppressors. And whatever oppression is being perpetrated is due to the face that they want it to be done or are at least tolerant of it. You must have understood from these examples that the ignoble character of a government is the root of all evils. The pollution of people's thoughts, the degeneration of morals, the diversion of human capacities and capabilities into wrong channels, the prevalence of wrong concepts of business and dealings, bad methods of living, the prevalence of oppression and misdeeds and destruction of God's creation, all these result from one thing : the keys of authority and power being in wrong hands. It is obvious that when power will rest in the hands of wrong people and when the resources of livelihood will be under their control, then they will not only themselves spread distortions but every type of malformation will also prevail with their help and support, and as long as power is in their hands, no reform of anything will take place.

 

First step towards reform---improvement of government

Having grasped this point, it will be easy for you to understand that in order to effect reforms among the people and to bring them on the path of well-being and righteousness after rescuing them from the path of destruction, there is no other remedy except to set right the mutilated shape of government. A man of ordinary sense can understand this point that where people are quite free to commit adultery, no amount of sermons can put a stop to it. But if after getting hold the power of government adultery is stopped by force, people will themselves give up this illicit course and take to the licit one. It will be impossible to succeed if you want to stop by means of sermons the evils of drinking, gambling, usury, bribery, obscene shows, indecent dress, unethical education, and such other things. Of course, with the force of government these evils can be exterminated. It will in no way be possible through advice and preaching to make those people give up their booties who plunder God's creation and ruin their morals. Of course if you take power in your hand and end their mischief by force, then all these evils can be stopped. If you want that the labour, wealth, intelligence and ability of God's creation are rescued from being wasted in wrong channels and are utilized in the right directions, if you wish to see oppression rooted out and the justice prevail, if you desire that there be no mischief on the earth, that man should neither suck nor shed the blood of man, that the lot of depressed and fallen human beings be ameliorated and all human beings be granted equal opportunities of having honour, peace, prosperity and progress, then this task cannot be achieved by mere preaching and exhortation. Of course, if you have the power of government in your hand, all this is quite possible. So this is an obvious matter requiring no great thinking, that no scheme of reform for the people can be implemented without acquiring control of the government machinery. Whoever really wants to root out mischief and chaos from God's earth and is genuinely anxious to ameliorate the condition of God's creation, it is useless for him to work as a mere preacher. He should stand up to finish the government run on wrong principles, snatch power from wrongdoers and establish a government based on correct principles and following a proper system.

 

Basis of ignoble government---man's rule over man

After grasping this point, go a step further. You have come to know that the cause of the evils which spread among God's servants is a bad government and that it is necessary for reforming it to set right the root-cause. But the question now arises as to what is the basic cause of the badness of the government itself; where is the root of this evil; and what basic reform should be effected in it in order to wipe out the evils mentioned above? The answer to this question is that the lordship of man is over man is the root-cause and there is no other method of reform except that there should be sovereignty of God over man. Do not be surprised at hearing such a brief answer to such a big question. You may do any amount of research work to probe into this question but you will get the same answer as I have given you. Just ponder whether the earth you live upon has been made by God or by some other being ? The human beings who inhabit this earth have been created by God or by somebody else ? All these countless necessities of life, on which depends the sustenance of man have been provided by God or by somebody else ? If the answer to these questions is only this that the earth, the human beings and all these materials have been created by God alone, then it means that the land belongs to God, the wealth belongs to God and the people also belong to God, the wealth belongs to God and the people also belong to God. When this is the situation, how can anybody become their claimant so as to run his writ in the land of God ? How can it be considered correct to govern God's subjects by any other law except that of God or by a law made by the subjects themselves ? How can your intellect accept the position that the subjects themselves ? How can your intellect accept the position that the land is owned by one being and the writ runs there of another being, that a property belongs to one person and some other person becomes its owner, that the subjects belong to one authority and some other authority rules over them ? Such a happening is clearly against justice. And because this is against justice, wherever and whenever such a situation is found, the result is always bad. Those persons who get power to make laws and run their writ bound to commit blunders due to ignorance, while some of them deliberately perpetrate oppression and injustice in order to satisfy their corporeal urges. The reason is that firstly they do not possess enough knowledge to frame correct laws and rules to conduct human affairs, and, far more dangerous than this, is the fact that, being unmindful of the fear of God and of accountability to Him, they become reckless and unbridled. It is quite easy to understand that after gaining authority and power, what else will a man become except an unbridled individual who has no fear of God, who has no thought of being accountable to anybody, and who considers in his own way that there is no one above him to question what he does. Do you think that such a person will stick to truth and justice when he holds in his heads the key to providing food to the people, when he controls the life and property of the masses, when lakhs of heads bow to his command ? Can you expect him to prove a trustee of public treasury ? Can you hope that he will abstain from violating people's rights, from taking illicit money and from subjugating God's creation in accordance with his own whims and desires ? Do you regard it possible that such a person will himself follow the right path and make others to walk on that path ? Never, Never ! Such a happening is irrational. The experience of thousands of years testifies to the contrary. You are today witnessing with your own eyes that to what extent those who feel no fear of God and are heedless of accountability in the Hereafter, have become oppressive, betrayers of trust and evil-doers after they have acquired power.

 

Basis of reform---God's lordship over man

Therefore the reform needed in the very basis of the government is that there should not be lordship of man over man but that of God over man. Those who run the government must not become supreme sovereigns but, recognising God as their Sovereign, they must work as his deputy and trustee and must fulfil their responsibilities with the consciousness that ultimately they have to submit an account of their trust to that Monarch Who is the Knower of the seen and unseen. The law should be based on the guidance of that God Who has knowledge of all realities and is the fountainhead of wisdom. Nobody should have the power to change this law or to amend it or to cancel it so that it may not be distorted due to the infusion of human ignorance, selfishness and improper desires. This is that basic reform that Islam wants to introduce. Islam demands from those who accept God as their sovereign (not imaginary but real sovereign) and affirm faith in the law sent by Him through His Prophet (peace be upon him), that they should gird up their points to enforce their Monarch's laws in His land and break the power of the rebels among His subjects who have become supreme sovereigns, and rescue Allah's subjects from becoming subjects of others. In the eyes of Islam it is certainly not enough for you to believe God as God and His law as true law. Simultaneous with your faith in these two verities, the duty devolves on you that wherever you are, in whichever country you live, you must get up there for the reform of God's creation, try to transform the wrong principles of government into correct principles, snatch away the power of legislation and lordship from those who do not fear God and are unbridled. And then taking over the leadership and superintendence of God's servants, conduct the affairs of the government in accordance with God's laws and with belief in their responsibility and accountability in the Hereafter as also in God being the Knower of the unseen. The name of this striving is Jihad.

 

Governance-----a hard way

But everyone knows what an awful thing is lordship. The very idea of acquiring it arouses in a man's heart a tempest of greed. The corporeal urges induce that if the treasures of the earth and the necks of God's creation come into our grasp, we shall rule like a god to our heart's content. It is not so difficult to take possession of the powers of Government as it is difficult to protect oneself from becoming a god after acquiring power, and work as a servant of God. Then what benefit is there if after removing one Pharaoh, you yourself become a Pharaoh ? Therefore, before calling upon you to undergo his severe trial, Islam considers it necessary to prepare you for it. You can never have the right to rise with claim to government and fight with the world till such time as you cleanse your heart of selfishness and sensualism, until you develop in yourself such purity of thought that your fight is not meant for personal and national interests but solely for the pleasure of God and for the reformation of God's creation, and that until this capability gets stabilized in you after gaining authority, you will not follow your own desires but will be firm in following the law of God. The mere fact that you have entered Islam by reciting the Kalima does not at all entitle you that Islam will give you the order to attack God's creation and then, in the name of God and His messenger, you do all those evil acts which the oppressors and rebels of God perpetrate. Before you are ordered to undertake such a tremendous responsibility, Islam considers it necessary to develop in you strength enough to be able to bear this burden.

 

'Ibadaat'------a training course

These Salah, fasting, Zakat and Hajj are in reality meant for this very preparation and training. Just as the countries of the world first impart special training to their men for the army, police and civil service and then take work from them, in the same way the Deen of Allah (Islam) also first gives training in this manner to all those men who get themselves recruited in it for service. Then it wants to take work from them for Jihad and Divine government. The difference, however, is that for the work the governments of the world take from their men no qualities of moral excellence, piety and fear of God are required. Therefore, they just try to use these men as routine workers though they may be adulterers, drunkards, dishonest and wicked to any extent. But since the work to be taken from its men by Allah's Deen is wholly and solely of a moral character, it considers it much more important than the routine work to make its men God-fearing and virtuous. In fact, it aims at developing so much strength in them that when they rise with the claim of establishing the caliphate of God on earth, they must prove true to their claim. If they fight, the aim should not be to acquire for themselves wealth, property and land but it must be proved by their deeds that their fight is purely for Allah's pleasure and for the benefit and well-being of His creation. If they are victorious they must not become proud and headstrong. On the other hand, their heads should be bowed before God. If they become rulers, they should not enslave the people. In fact, by becoming themselves God's slaves they should not allow others to be slaves of anyone except God. If they take possession of earth's treasures, they should not fill their own pockets or the pockets of their kinsmen or community people but should judiciously distribute the God-given bounties among all His slaves, and, like a truthful trustee, should work with the consciousness that an eye is watching them in all situations and that there is someone above to whom they have to render account of every single pie. There is no other method possible at all for this training except these 'Ibadaat. And when Islam prepares its men in this manner, then it tells them : " Now you are the most pious slaves of God on the surface of earth. So go ahead and fight, and remove the rebels of God from the government and take over the powers of caliphate." " Ye are the best community that has been raised up for the guidance and reformation of mankind. Ye enjoin righteousness and forbid evil; and ye believe in Allah." (Al-Qur'an 3:110)

 

Blessings of Government run by God-conscious persons

You can imagine in what excellent condition God's creation will be where the army, police, judiciary, tehsildars, tax-collectors and all other government functionaries comprise such officers and personnel who are all God-conscious and mindful of being answerable to him in the Hereafter, where all the rules and regulations of government are formulated on the basis of the guidance vouchsafed by Allah, in which there is not the slightest possibility of injustice and ignorance, and where a timely rectification is done of every evil and evil act and the government is constantly ready to promote virtue and piety with its power and material resources. Then if you reflect a little you will easily understand this point that when this type of government after functioning for some time will set right the detestable habits of the people; when it will bar all avenues of illicit earning, lewdness, oppression, indecency and immorality; when after giving a decent burial to the wrong type of education and training, it will reform the ideas of the people through the wholesome system of education and training; and when under its aegis people will get a chance of leading their lives in clean and chaste atmosphere of justice and fairness, peace and tranquility, good character and pleasing manners; then those eyes, which had turned blind by suffering for a long time under the supremacy of people who are vicious and heedless of God, will be gradually enabled to perceive and appreciate the Truth. Those hearts which are rusted because of the immoralities stretching over centuries would cast off this rust and become clear like a mirror quite fit to have the glimpse of Truth and then radiate it to others. At that time it will not at all be difficult for the people to understand this simple and plain fact that in reality Allah alone is their God and that no one else is entitled to lordship over them, and that in reality that Prophet (peace be on him) was truthful through whom the truthful laws were vouchsafed to humanity. The point which looks extremely difficult today to instill in the minds of the people will automatically penetrate therein. The point which cannot be explained today through speeches and books will be understood by them conveniently as if there was never any complication in it. For those who will see the difference with their own eyes as to what happens when the affairs of the world are run by man-made laws and as to what is the position when these very affairs are conducted according to the Divine system it will be easy to affirm faith, and difficult to reject it, in the oneness of God and truthfulness of the Prophet (peace be on him). This will be just like making it easy to pick flowers and difficult to pluck thorns after feeling the difference between flower and thorn. At the time it will require great obstinacy to reject the truth of Islam and stick to Kufr and atheism, and hardly five or ten persons in a thousand will be found who will exhibit unusual obstinacy. Brethren ! Now I hope you have thoroughly understood for what purpose are meant these Salah, fasting, Hajj and Zakat. You have been thinking till now, and for a long period you have been involved in the misunderstanding, that these 'Ibadaat are merely a kind of Puja pat. It was not at all explained to you that these are preparations for a big service. For this very reason you have been carrying on these rites without any purpose before you, and the idea never occurred to you to get ready for the work for which 'Ibadaat were really prescribed. But now I tell you that all the 'Ibadaat of that person are meaningless in whose heart there is no intent of Jihad and who does not keep in view this purpose of Jihad. If you imagine that by these meaningless 'Ibadaat you can win the favour of God, then on going before Him you will yourself see how much they have brought you nearer to Him.


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