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The message of islam

Written by: by Abdulrahman Al-Sheha :: (View All Articles by: Abdulrahman Al-Sheha)
Introduction
Preface
The Issue of Monotheism in Islam

Fundamentals of Islam

Aspects of Islamic Etiquette

Dining Ethics

Ethics of seeking permission

Ethics of Greeting (Salam)

Ethics of Sitting

Ethics of Gathering

Etiquette of Conversation

Etiquette of Joking

Etiquette of Condolence

Etiquette of Sleeping

Etiquette of Martial Sexual Relations

Etiquette of Traveling

Conduct in the Market

Etiquette of Buying and Selling

Features of Islam that Distinguish it from other undistorted religions

The Spiritual Side of Islam

Pillars of Islam

Fundamentals of Faith

Belief in Allah

Belief in Angels

Belief in Divine Books

Belief in the Messengers of Allah

Belief in the Hereafter

Belief in Divine Destiny (Qadaa and Qadar)

The Political Aspect of Islam

The Military Aspect of Islam

The Economic Aspect of Islam

The Social Aspect of Islam

People's Obligations Towards the Ruler

The Ruler's Obligations towards the Ruled

Parents' Rights

A Wife's Obligations towards her Husband

A Husband's Obligations towards his Wife

Rights of Relatives

Rights of Children

Rights of Neighbors

Rights of Friends and Companions

Rights of Guests

General Rights and Obligations

Labor's Rights

The Employers Rights

Moral Aspect of Islam

Examples of Some Prohibited Acts

Commandments

Conclusion


Introducing
by Dr. Ahmad Ibn Saifuddin
Al-Imam University, Riyadh

            All praise is due to Allah. May Allah's peace and blessings be upon His messenger Muhammad, his companions, his family and his followers until the day resurrection.

            I am very happy to introduce this book (the Message of Islam) to all readers (Muslims and non-Muslims) for two reasons: the first is that I know brother Abd al-Raman al-Sheha for about a year now. I have dealt with him and found him to be one of the finest people I have met. By the grace of Allah, he has a good character and he is dedicated to the cause of serving Allah to the best. The second is that I find this book to be interesting and beneficial. The reader, whether being a Muslim or not, will find a logical orderly and supported with evidence presentation. I also find this book to be easy to read while containing all the necessary information about Islam.

            The subject of this book is important not only because we need to refine our understanding of Islam, but also because many people don't have a comprehensive and yet detailed concept of Allah's way of life. Many followers of Islam limit the role of religion into mere acts of worship confined to the mosque or in times of hardships and difficulties. This is incomplete and distorted understanding of Islam. Allah is perfect and his religion (or way of life) is complete and comprehensive. It is the fault of some followers of Islam who project this great and beautiful religion in a bad image.

            As a reader, you need to read the entire book, so that you will know to what extent religion covers every aspect of our daily life. I am sure that at the end, by Allah's grace, you will pray for the author and you will be inwardly and outwardly rewarded.

            I pray that Allah would reward my brother Abd al- Raman al-Sheha for writing this book and for all his effort in the cause of serving Islam, Muslims and humanity. All praise is due to Allah the almighty.

Dr. Ahmad Ibn Saifuddin
Associate professor
Al-imam University
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

 


Preface

            In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, Most Merciful...

            Praise be to Allah, Peace and blessings of Allah be upon His Messenger, Muhammad, and all his family and companions.

            Allah, the Exalted, says which meaning of is translated as: “Say: O People of the Scripture! Come to a word that is just between us and you: that we shall worship none but Allah, and that we shall ascribe no partner unto Him, and that none of us shall take others for Lords besides Allah. Then, If they turn away, say: Bear witness that we are Muslims”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-i-Imran, 3:64).

            Islam is the religion of pure human nature and clarity. It urges and calls its followers to ask about all things that are incomprehensible to them or the questions that occur to them. They are recommended to consult competent, knowledgeable authorities. In Islam there are no obscure or mysterious things that we have only to believe without being allowed to ask about them. Allah, Glory to Him says which meaning of is translated as: “…So ask the followers of the scriptures if you know not.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter An-Nahl, 16:43).

            As human beings, we have many questions in our mind that require answers, which should be logical, convincing and unambiguous ones... It is the Holy Qur'aan which provides such answers in such fluent, convincing, and incomparable style. Let us observe these basic queries:

  • If man inquires about his origin, he will find the answer in Almighty Allah's saying which meaning of is translated as: “And indeed We created man (Adam) out of an extract of clay. Thereafter We placed him as (a drop of) sperm in a place of rest firmly fixed. Then We made the sperm into a clot of congealed blood; then of that clot We made a (fetus) lump; then We made out of that lump bones and clothed the bones with flesh; then We developed out of it another creature. So blessed be Allah, the Best of Creators.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Mu'minun, 23:12-14).

     
  • If he inquires about his status in this Universe and his rank among other creatures, he will find the answer in the following verse which meaning of is translated as: “And indeed We have honored the children of Adam and We have carried them on land and sea and have provided them with good and pure things and have preferred them above many of those whom We have created with a marked preferment.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Isra', 17:70).

     
  • If he also inquires about the cause of his creation, he will find the answer in the following verses which meaning of is translated as: “And I (Allah) have only created the jinn and mankind that they may worship Me (alone). No sustenance do I require of them nor do I require that they should feed Me. For Allah is He who gives (all) sustenance, Lord of Power, the Most Strong.”  (The Qur'aan Chapter Adh-Dhariyat, 51:56-58).

     
  • If man then asks about this Creator Who is the only One worthy of worship, he will find the answer in the following words which meaning of is translated as: “He is Allah beside Whom there is no other god, Who knows the unseen and the seen, He is the All-Beneficent, All-Merciful. He is Allah, beside Whom there is no other god; - the Sovereign, the Holy One, the Source of Peace (and Perfection), the Guardian of Faith, the Watcher over His creatures, the Exalted in Might, the Irresistible, the Supreme. Glory to Allah! (High is He) above all that they associate as partners with Him. He is Allah, the Creator, the Maker (of all things), the Bestower of forms. To Him belongs the Most Beautiful Names. Whatever is in the heavens and the earth, glorify Him: And He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Hashr, 59: 22-24).

     
  • If he asks about the attitude he should assume with the things Allah has created for him in this universe, he will find the answer in the following verse which meaning of is translated as: “O you who believe! Eat of the lawful things that We have provided for you, and be grateful to Allah, if it is Him you worship.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Baqarah, 2:172).  

     
  • If he inquires about the true religion that he should embrace and the path which leads to happiness in this life and in the hereafter, he will surely find the response in the Qur'aanic verse which meaning of is translated as: “And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers.”  (The Qur'aan Chapter Al-i-Imran, 3:85).

     
  • If he inquires, too, about the path that leads to peace of mind/heart and mental stability, he will find the answer in the following words which meaning of is translated as: “Those who have believed and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allah: verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Ar-Ra'd, 13:28).

     
  • If he asks about the state (position) of those who lack belief in Allah, Glory to Him, and in His revelations, he will get the answer in the following which meaning of is translated as: “But whosoever turns away from My Reminder (i.e.: My Message), verily for him is a life of hardship and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Resurrection.”  (The Qur'aan Chapter Taha, 20:124).

     
  • If he asks about his destiny in this life, he will find the answer in these words which meaning of is translated as: “Every soul shall taste of death. And only on the Day of Resurrection shall you be paid on your wages in full. Who so-ever is removed from the Fire and admitted to Paradise, he is indeed successful. The life of this world is but a comfort of illusion.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-i-Imran, 3:185).

     
  • If he inquires about the possibility of re-creating him, he will find a satisfactory answer in Allah's words which meaning of is translated as: “And if he has coined (compared) for Us a similitude, and has forgotten the fact of his creation, saying: Who will revive these bones when they have rotted away? Say: He will revive them Who produced them at the first, for He is All-Knower of every creation.”  (The Qur'aan Chapter Yasin, 36:78-79).

    And in the following words which meaning of is translated as: “O mankind! If you are in doubt concerning the Resurrection, then Lo! We have created you from dust, then from a drop of seed, then from a clot, then from a little lump of flesh shapely and shapeless, that We may make (it) clear for you. And We cause what We will to remain in the wombs for an appointed time and afterward We bring you forth as infants...”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Hajj, 22:5)

     
  • If he asks what will happen after death, the answer will delineate that the matter is one of eternal life after death and resurrection: That is, the destination will be either eternity in Paradise or in Hell, and there is no third destination which meaning of is translated as: “Lo! Those who disbelieve among the people of the scripture and the idolaters, will abide in the Fire of Hell. They are the worst of created beings. And Lo! Those who believe and do good works are the best of created beings. Their reward is with their Lord: Gardens of Eden underneath which rivers flow, wherein they dwell forever. Allah has pleasure in them and they have pleasure in Him. This is (in store) for him who fear his Lord.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Baiyina, 98:6-8).

     



           Dear reader:

           I shall reaffirm that Islam offers optimum solutions to all current problems of the world and that implementation of the Islamic way of life, will, by all means, resolve such problems. The World has tried all doctrines that proved with the passage of time, to be incapable of solving its problems. So why does the World not accept the Islamic way of life and implement it for the well-being of the humanity.

           F. Filweas, a British naval officer (who participated in both world wars and embraced Islam in 1924 after he had read the Holy Qur'aan and some books in Islam), commented on a statement published in newspapers and attributed to some western writers and philosophers, claiming that:"Contemporary religions have become very old and should be given up. He said that this would reveal the pessimism of Western writers due to the complexities and obscurity they find in Christianity; yet they committed a grave mistake because Islam is the best alternative and perfect response that is still intact."

           Dear reader:

           Truthfully speaking, I regret to say that some Muslims nowadays are quite far from actual implementation of Islam's principles and instructions. Unfortunately, they are Muslims only by name and not in the exact meaning of the word. A true Muslim takes the Glorious Qur'aan and the Holy Sunnah, the main sources of Islam, as his way of life and code of conduct to which he adheres in all his/her private and public dealings and transactions. A real Muslim should not take only those aspects of Islam that suit his interests, even at the expense of others' interests, and give up what is in conflict with his interests even though it is in the interest of others.

           It is absolutely unfair to associate Islam with certain countries or persons. It is wrong and improper to say that practices of the majority of Muslims nowadays in their real actual everyday life is in full agreement with Islam's sublime teachings and objectives. The greatest majority of Muslims are quite far from practicing Islam. Islam is not, as some may think, mere religious rites that are practiced at set times only; rather, it comprises belief, law, devotions, transactions and dealings: It is a religion and government, in the full meaning of the word. It has been said, "What a great religion, had there been men who put its principles and teachings to action, comply with its commandments and avoid its prohibitions."

           In his book, "Arab Civilization", Mr. J. S. Restler mentioned three different meanings for the term Islam: "the first as religion, the second as state and government, and the third as culture - in short: it is a unique civilization."

           ISLAM is Islam with its belief, devotions, dealings and law (i.e. Sharia), since it was revealed unto Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and is still the same as it was. No change or alteration has occurred to it. It is the people called Muslims who have undergone change and transformation. If one who calls himself a Muslim commits a mistake or something unlawful, this does not mean that Islam enjoins or accepts such behavior. If someone is given, for example, a dismantled vehicle and provided with a comprehensive accurate erection plan (Installation manual) from the manufacturer, but he assembles it incorrectly, can we say that the plan (manual) is incorrect? Rather it should be stated that this person has failed to follow the exact steps in an appropriate manner or to put the procedure fully into effect.

           I would kindly invite (request) every reader of this work to have a detached mind, not influenced by religious sentiments or mental biases, with the aim of attaining the truth, not searching for faults and blunders for the sake of slander. The reader is also invited to read seeking to understand through his mind, not through his emotions and liking least he be of those censured by Allah as stated in the Glorious Qur'aan which meaning of is translated as: “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?”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Baqarah, 2:170).

           That is because a reasonably logical-minded man will not accept a thing unless he has studied it thoroughly and grown familiar with it. When he acquires such familiarity and becomes fully satisfied about its validity, he should not keep it to himself. Rather, he should disseminate his knowledge among people, thereby teaching the ignorant and correcting those who are mistaken.

           I shall admit here that I have not covered or researched the subject thoroughly. That is because when you speak about Islam you speak, in fact, about a comprehensive, all-embracing law which regulates all affairs pertaining to both worldly life and the hereafter. This will in fact, require a book, not a booklet, for explanation. However, I have only made hints on certain principles and basic morals of Islam that pave the way for those who desire to know more about the truth of Islam, supported by verses from the Holy Qur'aan which is the code of conduct for Muslims, and the sayings of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.

           One may say: the laws and regulations of contemporary societies have some similarities to those of Islam. In answer we may ask: Which is earlier: Islam has preceded contemporary laws? The Islamic Sharia (Law) is over fourteen centuries older than these regulations and laws. Whatever is similar to Islamic laws and regulations may probably be derived from them, especially when we know that there were studies concerned with Islam by non-Muslims, especially orientalists, with different intentions and objectives, since the beginning of its appearance.

           Abdur-Rahman A. Al-Sheha


The Issue of Monotheism in Islam

            Islam, like other revealed religions, advocates several precepts and beliefs that Allah has required its followers to believe in and propagate without coercion, in keeping with Allah's commandment which meaning of is translated as: “There is no compulsion in religion...”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Baqarah, 2:256).

            One of the Islam's fundamentals is the belief in the Oneness of Allah, glory to Him, and directing worship to Him alone. This is the thing for which Allah has created mankind and sent messengers which meaning of is translated as: “Say: He is Allah, the One! Allah, the eternally Besought of all! He begets not, nor was begotten. And there is none comparable unto Him.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Ikhlas, 112:1-4).

            This involves refraining from ascribing partners to Allah, as obvious from Allah's words which meaning of is translated as: “Lo! Allah pardons not that partners should be ascribed unto Him. He pardons all save that to whom He wills...”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter An-Nisa'a, 4:116).

            Islam ascribes the attributes of perfection to Him and glorifies and exalts Him above His creation as in the following verse which meaning of is translated as: “…There is nothing like Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-seer.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Ash-Shura, 42:11).

            It has produced proofs of Allah's oneness in matters of creation, ruling out any possibility of having any partners Allah said which meaning of is translated as: “Had there been therein (in the heavens and the earth) gods besides Allah, then verily both would have been ruined…”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Anbiya'a, 21:22).   “…else would each god have assuredly taken away what he had created, and some of them would assuredly have overcome others…”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Muminun, 23:91).

            It has also called upon man to reflect on his own self, which is closest to him, so that he should see, through it, the greatness and majesty of the Creator, Allah said which meaning of is translated as: “And (also) in yourselves, can you then not see?”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Az-Zariyat, 51:21).

            It is a call to meditation and reasoning which leads common sense and pure nature to believe in the greatness of Allah. The human soul is given, since its creation, to recognize the existence of it's Creator who has also created this Universe, which demonstrates the greatness of its Creator. That is what scientists call 'religious inborn instinct or nature? Allah glory to Him says which meaning of is translated as: “So set your purpose for religion as a man by nature upright - the nature (framed) of Allah, in which He has created man...”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Ar-Rum, 30:30).

            This nature is inherent in all people without exception. However, some people deny it out of abstinence and pride, and other acknowledged and believe in it. It's being inherent in everyone is evidenced by the fact that it comes out when it is aroused. When a person falls ill, for instance, or he is struck by an evil or surprised by something unpleasant, you find that he unconsciously cries. O Allah! Or just raises his eyes to heaven recognizing the existence of great mighty power that is able to save him from his dilemma. This is only depicted in Allah's words which meaning of is translated as: “And if misfortune touches a man, he cries unto Us (while reclining) on his side or sitting or standing, but when We have relieved him of the misfortune he goes his way as though he had not cried unto Us because of a misfortune that afflicted him.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Yunus, 10:12).

            Islam replied to those who were tempted into denying the Almighty Creator by a negative question Allah said which meaning of is translated as: “Or were they created out of nothing? Or were they (themselves) the Creators? Or did they create the heavens and the earth? Nay, but they are sure of nothing!”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Fatir, 52:35-36).

            If it is impossible for man to come into being by accident, i.e.: without for man to create or bring himself into existence. Common sense and upright nature would admit that every being requires a creator and every effect involves a cause, thus remains the third possibility, i.e. the existence of a Creator. One nomad (bedouin), when asked how he knew about the existence of Allah, said which meaning of is translated as: "Droppings suggest the existence of 'Camel, and footprints are a sign of walking. How about a sky holding mansions of the stars and an earth with tracks and passes; Don't they indicate the existence of the Most Kind, All-Aware God?".


Fundamentals of Islam

            The most important fundamentals of Islam are: prohibition of aggression against life, honor, wealth, mind, offspring, or against the weak and the disabled. About the immunity and inviolability of life, the Qur'aan says which meaning of is translated as: “And slay not the life which Allah has forbidden save with right...”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Isra', 17:33).

            About the sanctity of honor Allah said which meaning of is translated as: “Oh you who believe! Let not a folk deride a folk who may be better than they (are), nor let women (deride) women who may be better than they are...”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Hujurat, 49:11). “Who so commits a delinquency or crime, the throws (the blame) thereof upon someone innocent, has burdened himself with falsehood and a fragrant crime.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter An-Nisaa, 4:112)

            On the prohibition of trespassing on offspring and cattle allah said which meaning of is translated as: “And when he turns away (from you), his effort in the land is to make mischief therein & to destroy the crops & the cattle; & Allah loves not the mischief.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Baqarah, 2:205).

            When speaking about the rights of the weak, the Qur'aan states the rights of parents which meaning of is translated as: “And your Lord has decreed that you worship none save (except) Him, and (that you show) kindness to parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age with you, say not "Pooh" to them nor repulse them, but speak to them a graceful word.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Isra', 17:23).  And also the rights of orphans which meaning of is translated as: “Therefore, the orphan oppress not.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Ad-Duha, 93:9).   “Come not near the wealth of the orphan save with that which is better (to improve it).”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Isra', 17:34).

            And the rights of the children which meaning of is translated as: “…And then you slay not your children because of penury (poverty) - We provide for you and for them.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-An'am, 6:151).

            On the rights of the sick people, the messenger of Allah peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, says which meaning of is translated as: “Give food (to the poor), visit the sick, and help to release prisoners from captivity.”  (Narrated by Imam Bukhari).

            On the rights of old people, the Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, says which meaning of is translated as: “Glorification of Allah involves honoring Muslims who grow old.”.

            He, peace and pleassings of allah be upon him also says which meaning of is translated as: “He is not one of us who does not respect our old people and have no mercy on our little children.”.

            This is all summed up in the following Hadith (Prophets' famous speech in the farewell speech) which meaning of is translated as: “Your blood, property and honor are regarded as sacred to you as sacred as this day of yours, in this city of yours, and in this month of yours.”  (Narrated by Imam Bhukhari).  All people are equal in such matters. This does not mean that other good morals are minor things in the Islamic Law. In fact, they are duties that Muslims must stick to.


Aspects of Islamic Etiquette

            The Islamic Law has introduced and propagated a cluster of public ethics. At the same time, it warned of failure to strictly abide by it, as this will entail punishment in the Hereafter. Imam Muslim narrated that the Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Do you know who is the bankrupt?”  They answered: A bankrupt among us is the person who has neither money nor property. The Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him,said which meaning of is translated as: “The bankrupt in my nation is the one who comes on the Day of Resurrection with prayer, zakat and fasting, yet he used to insult, slander, slay and beat others. Thus claimants are rewarded according to their good deeds. If one's good deeds are gone, he is punished for his ill-doings until he is thrown into Hell.”


Dining Ethics

            1. Start eating with the name of Allah (Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem) and conclude with praising and thanking Allah (Al-Hamdu Lillahi Rabbil-Aalameen). Eat from the nearest side of the dish to you and use your right hand, because the left hand is generally used for cleaning dirt. Bukhari and Muslim narrated on the authority of 'Umar Ibn Abi Salamah, may Allah be pleased with them, that the Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him said which meaning of is translated as: “Mention the name of Allah, eat with your right hand and eat from the nearest side of the dish.”

            2. Never complain or disapprove of food whatsoever. Bukhari and Muslim narrated on the authority of Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, that: “The Messenger of Allah, peace and pleassings of allah be upon him has never found fault with any food. If he likes it, he would eat it, if not he would just leave it.”

            3. Avoid eating or drinking in excess quantity in the light of the Qur'anic words which meaning of is translated as: “And eat and drink but do not spendthrift.”  And the Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, words which meaning of is translated as: “The son of Adam (man) has never filled a vessel worse than his stomach. If there is no way out, let there be a third for his meal, another for his drink and another for his breath.”  (Narrated by Ahmad).

            4. Never breath or blow into vessels. According to Ibn Abbas the Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Forbade breathing or blowing into the dish.”  (Al Tirmidhi).

            5. Eat with others, not alone, since Allah's Messenger peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Gather around your food so that it may be blessed.”  (Abu Dawood and Tirmidhi).

            6. If you are invited to a meal and you take somebody with you, you should seek permission for him. According to Abu Mas'ud Al-Badri, may Allah be pleased with him, a man invited Allah's Prophet peace be upon him, to a meal along with four other people. A man followed the Prophet. At the door, the Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said to the host which meaning of is translated as: “This man has come with us: If you'd permit, he will come in; if not he will go back." The host said: I give him my permission, O Allah's Messenger.”  (Bukhari & Muslim).


Ethics of Seeking Permission

            There are two kinds of ethics:

            1. Those relating to out-of-door formalities Allah said which meaning of is translated as: “O you who believe! Enter not houses other than your own without first announcing your presence and invoking peace upon the folk thereof...”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter An-Nur, 24:27).

            2. Those relating to indoor formalities, Allah said which meaning of is translated as: “And when the children among you come to puberty then let them ask permission even as those before them used to ask it...”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter An-Nur, 24:59). This is all intended to keep household secrets and protect the privacy of homes, as pointed out in the Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, saying which meaning of is translated as: “Asking permission is intended for sight protection.”  (Bukhari and Muslim). It is advisable not to persist in asking permission as pointed out in the Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, saying which meaning of is translated as: “You have to ask permission three times. If you are not allowed in, go back.”  (Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim).


Ethics of Greeting (Salam)

            Islam has encouraged the custom of greetings among the members of Society because it leads to love and friendship. This is supported by the Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, saying which meaning of is translated as: “You will never enter Paradise until you become believers, and you will not become believers until you love each other. Shall I guide you to something that makes you love each other? Spread greetings with peace among you.”  (Muslim).

            Answering a greeting is obligatory, Allah said which meaning of is translated as: “When you are greeted with greetings, reply with a better than it or return it...”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter An-Nisa'a, 4:86).

            Islam has also explained obligations in matters of greeting priorities. According to the Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, saying which meaning of is translated as: “A rider should greet a pedestrian, a pedestrian should greet him who is seated, and a small number of people should greet a bigger number.”  (Narrated by both Bukhari and Muslim) In one narration by Bukhari, it is added: A little or young person should greet an older one.


Ethics of Sitting

            Greet attendants of the meeting or gathering, as pointed out in the Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, saying which meaning of is translated as: “If one comes to a meeting he should say: Assalamu Alaykum! (i.e. Peace be upon you!) and on leaving he should do the same, for the first greeting is not more important than the latter.”  (Abu Dawood and Tirmidhi).

            It is not appropriate to ask someone to leave his sitting place for someone else as pointed out in the Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, saying which meaning of is translated as: “Never should anyone of you make someone rise from his place and sit in his place rather, make more room for others to sit.”  (Bukhari and Muslim). “If someone leave his sitting place then returns to it, he will have more right to it”  as stated by the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him, (Muslim).

            Never separate two persons sitting as pointed out in the Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, saying which meaning of is translated as: “It is not permissible for a man to separate two men (by inserting himself sitting between them) unless they give permission.”  (Abu Dawood and Tirmidhi).

            Never talk to a friend privately in the presence of a third person as pointed out in the Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, saying which meaning of is translated as: “If there are three of you, never should two of them talk without the third until you mix with other people, for this would grieve the third.”  (Bukhari).

            Never sit in the middle of a circle or group of people, as pointed out in the Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, saying which meaning of is translated as: “Damned is he who sits in the middle of a sitting group.”  (Abu Dawood).

            Leave space for others to sit, Allah said which meaning of is translated as: “O you who believe! When it is said, Make room! In assemblies, then make room; Allah will make way for you (hereafter). And when it is said, Come up higher! Go up higher; Allah will exalt those who have knowledge, to high ranks. Allah is Well-Aware of what you do.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Az-Zukhruf, 43:11).

            It is desirable to suppress yawning as far as possible as it is a sign of laziness, as pointed out in the Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, saying which meaning of is translated as: “Yawning is from Satan, so when one of you yawns let him try to repel it as far as possible, for if one utters 'Ha!' (when yawning) the devil will laugh at him.”  (Bukhari and Muslim).

            About sneezing, the Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “If one of you sneezes, let him say: Praise be to Allah! And his Muslim brother should say to him: May Allah have mercy on you! Upon which he answers: May Allah guide you and make you well.”  (Bukhari). It is also advisable for a person, as stated by Allah's Messenger peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “on sneezing; to cover his mouth with his hand or garment and suppress his voice.”  (Abu Dawood and Tirmidhi).

            Avoid belching while sitting in the presence of others. According to Ibn Umar, may Allah be pleased with him and his father, one man belched in the presence of Allah's Messenger peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said to him which meaning of is translated as: “stop belching, The biggest eaters in this worldly life will be the hungriest in the Hereafter.”  (Tirmidhi and Ibin Majah).

            The assembly should not be busy with nonsense or void of the remembrance of Allah and useful discussions of worldly and religious affairs. Allah's Messenger peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Any people who rise from an assembly in which the name of Allah is not mentioned are like those who rise from around a donkey's carcass, and the assembly will be a source of sorrow for them.”  (Abu Dawood).

            A person should not face those sitting with him with what they dislike.


Ethics of Gathering

            Islam respects the feeling of people who gather at a place to make gathering desirable and repel all that cause people to hate gathering. Therefore, Islam instructs its followers to be clean-bodied, with no bad smell, and clean-dressed, with no disgusting sights. It also instructs them to listen to the speaker without interrupting him and to sit where they find room without stepping over people's neck or causing them any inconvenience by pressing against them. This is supported by the Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, saying while addressing Muslims during Friday sermon which meaning of is translated as: “Whoever has a bath on Friday, puts on the best of his clothes, puts some scent on if any, then attends Friday prayer without crossing over people's necks and performs whatever rak'as he could. Then keep quiet when the Imam mounts the pulpit until he concludes prayer. His prayer will be an atonement for the whole week preceding that prayer.”  (Abu Dawood).


Etiquette of Conversation

            Listen to the speaker without interrupting him until he finishes talking. In his speech during the Farewell Pilgrimage, Allah's Messenger peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Ask people to keep quiet.”  (Bukhari & Muslim).

            Talk clearly so that the listener may understand you. Ayshah, the Prophet's wife, said: “The Prophet's words were so clear-cut that everyone could understand them.”  (Abu Dawood).

            Cheer up and speak pleasantly. This is in accordance with the Holy Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, saying which meaning of is translated as: “Do not underestimate any kind of acts, even to receive your brother cheerfully.”  (Muslim), and his other Hadith: “A good word is an act of kindness.”  (Bukhari & Muslim). Al-Hussain, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “I asked my Father about the Prophet's behavior among his companions”   to which he answered: “He was always cheerful, easy mannered and lenient. He was not rough, noisy, vulgar, insulting, or miserly. He used to overlook what he dislikes without depriving others of hope or answering them negatively. He refrained from disputation, prattling and curiosity. He spared others from three things: He never censured, found fault with or spied on them. He spoke only what he hoped would be rewarded. When he spoke, his listeners lowered their head quietly and when he was silent they spoke. They never spoke haphazardly in front of him. If one talked in his presence they listened to him until he has finished. He used to laugh and wonder at what they laughed or wondered at. He was patient with stranger who were rude in both their talk and requests.”


Etiquette of Joking

            Allah's Messenger, peace be upon him, said to his companion Hanzala, who thought that life should be free from fun and entertainment and that he committed hypocrisy when he played and jested with his wife and children: “But, Hanzala, refresh your heart from time to time.”  (Muslim). Here the Holy Prophet explained to the man that permissible fun and self-refreshment is desirable for the human soul to regain its activity and liveliness. He peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, also taught them the rules of conduct as regards to joking, when asked about his joking with them, by saying which meaning of is translated as: “Yes, but I speak truthfully.”  (Tirmidhi).

            Once an old woman came to him and said: O Messenger of Allah, pray to Allah for me to be admitted into Paradise. He peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “No old woman will be admitted into Paradise.”. On hearing this she went away crying. He said: “Tell her that she won't be an old woman when she goes into Paradise.”. Allah, the Exalted, says which meaning of is translated as: “Lo! We have created them a (new) creation and made them virgins, lovers, friends.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Qamar, 54:35-37).

            Allah's Messenger's jokes were not limited to words, they included acts as well. Anas Ibn Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, said, A bedouin called Zaher used to bring presents from the desert to the Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, and the Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, used also to supply him with provisions on leaving. He peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said about him which meaning of is translated as: “Zaher is our 'desert' and we are his 'city'”. The Holy Prophet loved him, though he was ugly-faced. One day, the Prophet, peace be upon him, came to him from the back unawares. Zaher said: Release me. Then he looked behind him and recognized the Prophet, so he pressed his back against the Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him chest. The Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, called out: “Who purchases this slave?”. Zaher said:"O Messenger of Allah, You will find me not sellable". The Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, answered which meaning of is translated as: “But to Allah, you are not sellable, or he said: To Allah, you are so dear.”  (Tirmidhi).

            A joke should not involve any hurt or insult to any Muslim. Allah's Messenger peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “No Muslim is allowed to scare another Muslim.”  (Abu Dawood). He also said: “Nobody should take (Muslim) brother's belongings.”  (Abu Dawood and Tirmidhi).

            Joking should not drive a Muslim to lie in order to make others laugh, as understood from the Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, words which meaning of is translated as: “Woe to him who lies when speaking to make people laugh. Woe to him! Woe to him!”.


Etiquette of Condolence

            Condolence has been prescribed to console the dead person's family, relieve their sorrows and alleviate their distress. Allah's Messenger peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “A believer who condoles with his brother on a bereavement will be dressed by Allah in the robes of honor and glory on the Day of Resurrection.”.

            There is no specific formula for condolence. However, Imam Shafi'i recommended the expression: “May Allah magnify your reward, give you solace and forgive your deceased one.”.

            It is desirable to prepare food for the family of the deceased as is clear by the following Hadith of the Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, which meaning of is translated as: “Make food for Ja'afar's family as they are distracted by the event.”.


Etiquette of Sleeping

            Mention the name of Allah "Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem" and lie on your right side in accordance with the Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, words to Al-Baraa bin Azeb which meaning of is translated as: “If you want to go to bed, perform ablution as that for prayer, then lie down on your right side, and say: O Allah! I submit myself to You, and turn my face towards You, and confide my cause unto You, and take refuge in You, out of love and fear of You. There is no refuge or escape from You except in You. I believe in Your Book, which You have revealed and Your Prophet, whom You have sent as Messenger.”  (Bukhari & Muslim).

            “Do not sit late at night and do your best to sleep early unless there is some need or necessity. It is narrated that the Prophet, peace be upon him, disliked sleeping before Isha' (evening) Prayer and (sitting and) talking after it.”  (Bukhari & Muslim).

            Do not sleep on your belly, as this was prohibited by the Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning is translated as: “Such manner of lying down is disliked by Allah.”  (Abu Dawood).

            Make sure there is nothing that hurts you at your bed, as recommended by the gracious Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, which meaning of is translated as: “When one of you goes to bed, he should clear his bed with part of his loincloth as he does not know what is lying inside after he has left it, and let him say. Allahumma bika wada'tu janbi, wabika arfauh. Allahumma in amsakta nafsi faghfir laha, wa in arsaltaha fahfazha bima tahfazu bihi ibadakas-Salihan. O Allah! With Your name I have laid on my side, and with Your name I raise it. O Allah! If You hold my soul (i.e. take my life), then have mercy on it, and if You return it, then protect it with what You protect Your pious servants).”  (Bukhari & Muslim).

            Take care and ward off the sources of danger. The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “This fire is an enemy to you, so when you want to sleep put it off.”  (Bukhari).


Etiquette of Marital Sexual Relations

            It is desirable, before cohabitation with one's wife or husband to mention the name of Allah. “When one of you cohabits with his wife, if he says, In the name of , O Allah! Keep us away from Satan, and keep Satan away from (the offspring) that you may grant us, and then if a child is born out of this union, Satan will have no access to hurt his child.”  (Bukhari and Muslim).

            Private relations between husband and wife must be kept secret, as stated in the following Hadith of the Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, which meaning of is translated as: “The worst in position of all people in the estimation of Allah on the Day of Resurrection will be the man who cohabits with his wife or the woman who cohabits with her husband, then either of them divulges the secret of his mate.”  (Muslim).

            Allah's Messenger peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, recommended love-play, flirtation and kissing prior to sexual intercourse as evidenced by his words to one of his companions which meaning of is translated as: “Don't make love with her unless she has had the same degree of sexual appetite as you so that you do not discharge before her. He asked: Should I do this? The Prophet said: Yes, you kiss, caress and touch her until you find that she has the same degree of erotic urge and excitement as he, then make love with her.”  (Imam Ahmad).

            Husband should not pull out his penis from her vagina until she has finished her sexual desire.


Etiquette of Travelling

            Return trusts to their owners, settle grievances and debts, and leave for your family sufficient provisions. Never travel alone except in cases of emergency when you find no company. The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which the meaning of is translated as: “One passenger is one devil, two passengers are two devils, but three passengers make a caravan.”  (Abu Dawood, Nasa'i and Tirmidhi).

            On travelling, choose good company and select one of you as your leader. The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which the meaning of is translated as: “When three people set out on a journey they should appoint one of them as a leader.”  (Abu Dawood).

            You should inform your family of the time of your arrival back to them. Do not return home at night as this is undesirable so that he should not see anything that he dislikes. The Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “If one of you is absent from home for a long time, he should not come back to his family by night.”  In another version of the Hadith, the Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, prohibited a man returning home by night (Bukhari and Muslim).

            He should say goodbye to his family, friends and companions, as the Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “If one of you intends to set out on a journey, let him say goodbye to his brothers, for Allah Almighty will make in their prayers a blessing for him.”

            He should return home quickly after he achieve the objective of his journey. The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Travel is a piece of anguish as it deprives each traveler (of you) of the facilities of eating, drinking and sleeping. Therefore, when one of you has completed the purpose of your journey he should return home quickly.”  (Bukhari and Muslim).


Conduct in the Market

            Among the rules of behavior in the market are those included in the Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, words when he said which meaning of is translated as: “Refrain from sitting in the streets.”  The Companions said:"O Messenger of Allah, we have no alternative, there is no other place where we can sit and discuss matters." Allah's Messenger peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “If it is so, then in that case, discharge your responsibilities due to the street.” The Companions asked as to what was due to the street. He said: “Keeping your eyes down, clearing the streets of obstacles, responding to Salam greetings, enjoining virtuous deeds and forbidding evil.”  (Bukhari & Muslim).

            In another narration he peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, added which meaning of is translated as: “Helping the aggrieved and guide the aberrant.”  (Abu Dawood). He peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, also said which meaning of is translated as: “Beware of two cursed practices.” His Companions asked:What are the two cursed practices? He peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, answered which meaning of is translated as: “A person answering the call of nature in a public thoroughfare or in shady place (where people rest).”  (Muslim).

            A passer-by should refrain from carrying harmful weapons or devices, as enjoined by the Gracious Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “When any one of you happens to move in our mosque or bazaar with an arrow (in his hand) he must grasp its pointed head in his palm, so that none amongst the Muslims should receive any injury from it.”  (Bukhari & Muslim).


Etiquette of Buying and Selling

            Selling is originally lawful in Islam because it is based on exchange of benefits between the salesman and the purchaser. However, in case any harm occurs to either party, the dealing becomes unlawful based on the following verse which meaning of is translated as: “O you who believe! Squander not your wealth among yourselves in vanity.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter An-Nisa'a, 4:29).

            And on the Holy Messenger's Hadith, when he happened to pass by a heap of eatables (corn). He thrust his hand in that heap and his fingers were moistened. He peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said to the owner of the heap which meaning of is translated as: “What is this?”  He replied:"Messenger of Allah, these have been drenched by rainfall." He(the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him) remarked: “Why did you not place this (the drenched part of the heap) on top so that people could see it?”  He who deceives is not of me (i.e. not my follower)." (Muslim).

            Truthfulness and clear description (of defects, if any) is required in accordance with the Holy Messenger's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, saying which meaning of is translated as: “Both parties in a business transaction have the right to annul it as long as they have not separated. Thus, if they speak the truth and make everything clear they will be blessed in their transaction; but if they tell a lie and conceal anything, the blessing on their transaction will be blotted out.”  (Bukhari and Muslim).

            Benevolence and fair dealing is also recommended in business, since this is a means of strengthening seller-buyer relations as pointed out by Allah's messenger peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, which meaning of is translated as: “May Allah have mercy on a person who is easy and courteous when he sells, buys or asks for the payment of his dues.”  (Bukhari). That is because Islam wants this ease of dealing and tolerance in matters of selling and buying to save people from panting for material interests that undermine brotherly and human relations.

            Avoid swearing oaths when selling, in compliance with the Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, instruction which meaning of is translated as: “Avoid too much swearing while selling (your goods) for, in the beginning it promotes business and then it brings all loss.”  (Muslim).


 

            The above are some of the Islamic Etiquette and ethics, and there are many others that would take a very long time to explain. Nevertheless, it would suffice here to remind that no human affair, private or public, goes without Qur'anic or Prophetic instruction or guidance that defines or regulates it.


Features of Islam that Distinguish it from other undistorted religions

            Its texts has explicitly stated that religion, to Allah, is one and the same, that the prophets sent by Allah to mankind complement each other, beginning with Adam, peace be upon him, up to Muhammad peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, and that the messages of those prophets and messengers are in agreement about calling to the following:

  • Belief in the Oneness of Allah, glory to Him, with no associates, equals or likes.
  • Belief in Allah, His angels, books, messengers, and the Hereafter.
  • Good manners and refinement of the human self by guiding it to the way of reform and happiness in this life and the Hereafter.
  • Direct worship of Almighty Allah without the intervention of any intermediaries in worship.
  • The establishment of peace and love in human societies. Allah, glory to Him, says which meaning of is translated as: “He has ordained for you the same religion which He commended unto Noah, and that which We have revealed to you (O Muhammad), and that which we commended unto Abraham and Moses and Jesus saying: Establish the religion, and be not divided therein. Dreadful for the idolaters is that unto which you call them.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Ash-Shura, 42:13).

            The Islamic Religion is the final and concluding Shari'ah or way of life; there is no religion to follow. Its primal constitution, which is the Glorious Qur'aan, is permanent and preserved and will remain up to the end of this world and living things as indicated in the Qur'an which meaning of is translated as: “Lo! We, even We, have revealed the Reminder (Qur'aan) and Lo! We verily are its Guardian.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter An-Nahl, 15:9).

            Allah's Messenger peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, is the last of messengers. There is no messenger or prophet after him. Prophet Muhammad peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “My similitude in comparison with the other prophets before me, is that of a man who has built a house nicely and beautifully, except for a place of one brick in a corner. The people go about it and wonder at its beauty, but say:Would that this brick be put in its place!' So I am that brick, and I am the last of the prophets.”  (Bukhari).

            Issa (Jesus), however will come down in the last days of this world to fill the world with justice as it was filled with oppression and injustice. He will not be sent with a new religion of Muhammad, peace be upon him, as indicated by the last Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, which meaning of is translated as: “The son of Mariam (i.e.: Jesus son of Mary) will soon descend amongst you as a Just Ruler: he will break the Cross, kill the pigs, put an end to jisya (i.e. taxation taken from rich non-muslims for defending them in case they do not participate in defense of the country), and money will be in abundance so that nobody will accept it.”  (Imam Ahmad & Bukhari). To accept this universality, Muslims have been ordered to convey the Message of Islam and present it to mankind as stated in the Qur'an which meaning of is translated as: “Thus We have appointed you a middle nation, that you may be witnesses over mankind, and that Messenger may be a witness over you...”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Baqarah, 2:143).

            Islam has completed and brought to perfection former religious ways of life which were spiritual in their roots. They addressed the human self and called to its purification, but did not take care or regulate worldly and living affairs, in contrast with Islam, which completed and regulated all aspects of life. It has covered all religious and worldly affairs, as will be made clear later. Allah has stated which meaning of is translated as: “…This day have I perfected your religion for you and completed My favor unto you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion...”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Maidah, 5:3).

            Allah, glory to Him, does not accept that devotion should be directed to other than Him or that anyone or anything should be worshipped as an intermediary between people and their Lord He said which meaning of is translated as: “And who so seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted from him, and he will be a loser in the Hereafter.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-i-Imran, 3:85).

            Islam is a universal message addressed to the whole humanity without exception everywhere and at all times, to people and jinn, Arabs and non-Arabs, blacks and whites, male and female, poor and rich. Allah, says which meaning of is translated as: “And We have not sent You (O Muhammad) save as a bringer of good tidings and a Warner unto all mankind...”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Saba, 34:28). It is a universal religion: not revealed or sent exclusively to one race, class or nation. It unites all mankind, not on basis of color, language, region, or lineage, but on basis of a specific creed that combines and unifies them all. Everyone who believes in Allah as his Lord, in Islam as his religion, and in Muhammad, peace be upon him, as his Messenger, has come under the flag of Islam. Allah, glory to Him, says which meaning of is translated as: “Say (O Muhammad): O mankind! Lo! I am the messenger of Allah to you all...”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-A'raf, 7:158). Allah's Messenger peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “I have been conferred upon five (things) which were not granted to anyone before me (and these are):
1- I have been supported with awe (i.e. with fear that haunted the minds and hearts of the enemies of Islam) from the distance of one month travel.
2- The earth has been made a place of worship and purification for me, so whenever the time of prayer come for any one of my Ummah (followers) he should pray wherever he is.
3- The spoils of war have been made lawful for me.
4- I have been granted intercession.
And 5- every apostle was sent particularly to his own people, whereas I have been sent to all humankind.”
  (Bukhari & Muslim). This does not suggest lack of belief in earlier messengers or scriptures: Jesus perfected the religion of Moses, and Muhammad perfected the religion of Jesus, and Muhammad closed the chain of prophets and messengers; peace be upon them all. It is part of the perfect faith of a Muslim to believe in all revealed books and prophets before Prophet Muhammad, and anyone who does believe in all, or any, of them will be a non-Muslim. This is clear from the Prophet's statement when he was asked about belief he peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “It is to believe in Allah, His angels, books, messengers, the Hereafter and divine destiny of Decree to good and evil.”  (Muslim).

            Islam is distinguished for its divine laws and instructions, which are not man-made and so they are free from defects and faults and from the impact of surrounding effects such as culture, heritage and environment. This is evident in reality: human laws and legislation are changeable - what fits one community may not fit another. For example laws and regulations of a capitalist society do not go well with the conditions of a socialist one, and vice versa. Each legislator would choose what is in agreement with his aspirations and inclinations. In addition, such laws are unstable, for a more informed and knowledgeable person may object, rescind or add to the work of an earlier legislator. Islamic law, however, is made by Allah. Its Legislator is the Creator of the whole universe and all beings. He is also Omniscient and All-Aware of all that is suitable for them and makes good all their affairs. Humans, however high their rank is, have no right to object to or change any divine law, whether by increase or decrease or choosing what agrees with their desires and whims. Allah, glory to him said which meaning of is translated as: “And it becomes not a believing man or a believing woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decided an affair (for them), that they should (after that) claim any say affair.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Ahzab, 33:36), "It is a judgement to a people of the time of (pagan) ignorance that they are seeking? Who is better than Allah for judgement to a people who have certainty (in their belief)?”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Maidah, 5:50).

            Islam has introduced absolute, comprehensive and perfect rules and fundamentals that are not subject to change and revision with the elapse of time. It, nevertheless, left particulars and details that are not explicitly stated in the Qur'aan and Sunnah for responsible, authoritative and erudite scholars everywhere at any time to exert their effort to derive and infer verdicts and provisions that are in the public interest and suit the prevailing conditions in human societies at various times and environments. This Ijtihad, or religious reasoning and investigation, is not to be controlled by prejudices and desires but aims to reach truths that are of use to humankind, so that Islam should keep up with, and adapt its detailed regulations with every age and society. The role of the Muslim government is to bring those divine laws and rules into force and enforce them on everyone, with no distinction between the rich and the poor, the noble and the lowly, the president or chief and his subjects, the whites and the blacks, in all are alike and equal before the law. Bukhari and Muslim narrated, on the authority of A'isha, may Allah be pleased with her, that Quraysh tribes were concerned about the case of a Makhzumi woman who was accused of theft. They said: Who will plead on her behalf with Allah's Messenger, peace be upon him?. Some of them suggested - Who other than Usamah ibn Zaid, whom the Prophet loves very much, can do so? As such, Usamah represented her case to the Holy Prophet, who told him: Do you intercede in the matter of a grave crime involving punishment prescribed by Allah?. So saying, he got up and delivered an address in which he said: “The people who preceded you were destroyed because they use to let off a rich (influential) person if he committed theft, and to punish a weak person who committed the same crime. By Allah, If Fatimah, daughter of Muhammad, had committed this offense I would have cut off her hand.”

            Islam is distinguished by the fact that its text and sources are original, genuine and intact (with no addition or omission). They are of permanent, eternal authenticity and validity up till the Day of Resurrection. Basic sources of Islamic Shariah are the Holy Qur'aan and the Noble Sunnah. Allah, Exalted be He, has undertaken to preserve the Qur'an He said which meaning of is translated as: “Lo! We, even We, have revealed the Reminder (i.e. the Qur'aan) and Lo! We verily are its Guardian.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter An-Nahl, 15:9). Since its revelation onto Muhammad, peace be upon him, up to the present, the Qur'aan had not undergone any change, distortion, increase or decrease. Many attempts have been made from the side of those who plotted against Islam to add or delete one word, but their efforts ended in failure. That is because it was preserved in books and minds as it was recited in prayer or as a form of worship. According to the Gracious Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, he said which meaning of is translated as: “Whoever recites one letter from the Holy Qur'aan will get one good deed in recompense will be equal to ten good deeds. I do not say that 'Alif Lam Meem' (i.e. A,L,M) a letter , but A is a letter, L is a letter and M is a letter (i.e. it is equal to 3 letters).”  (Tirmidhi). The Gracious peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, also said which meaning of is translated as: “The best among you are those who have learnt the Qur'aan and taught it (to others).”  (Bukhari). Therefore, Muslims hastened earnestly to teach the Holy Qur'an.

            Many a Western scholar admitted the excellence of the Qur'aan and its influence on human thought and sciences. Of such scholars there is Margoliouth[1], who was known for his prejudice against Islam, yet the greatness of the Qur'aan did not deter him from telling the truth when he pointed out that: "researchers are all agreed that the Qur'aan occupied an outstanding rank among the dignified religious scriptures that made history, though the latest of them in revelation. It has surpassed all in its marvelous impact on man. It has created a new human thought and established a unique moral school."

            According to Jean Melia[2]:"It is a must to discard the pretension of some French philosophizers. The Qur'aan should be recited slowly and deliberately. It has nothing of the charges of opponents that it preaches bigotry. Islam is a heavenly revealed religion, a religion of love, affection and honor, and the most tolerant of faiths."

            Hart Wighischfield [3]held that: "One need not feel surprised if it is said that the Qur'aan is the source of sciences: All that the Qur'aan has talked about, such as the earth, human life, trade and craft, was the subject-matter of study by scholars and commentators who shed light thereon in their books and commentaries on the Qur'aan. This opened up a broad latitude of research and reflection which paved the way for the advancement of science with Muslims. Its influence was not limited to Arabs. However, it caused Jewish philosophers to follow in the steps of Arabs in metaphysical questions of religion. It is needless to mention the benefits that the Christian theology has derived from Arab research in theology."

            Likewise, the Prophet's Sunnah (traditions, acts and confirmations) that belong, through an authentic chain of transmitters, to the Holy Prophet Muhammad peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, the second source of the Islamic Law and exponent of the Holy Qur'aan and its verdicts, has been preserved from abuse, invention and interpolation, through reliable chains of transmitters known for their integrity and soundness of memory. Such transmitters were upright scholars who devoted their lives to the study of Allah's Messenger's Hadiths. Their chains of narrators (Isnad), text (matn), degree of correctness (authenticity), and status of their narrators and transmitters as to declaration of their eligibility or invalidation. As such, they sifted all traditions (Hadiths) narrated from the Prophet and accepted only authentic ones, so they reached us pure and free from false narration. If one desires to know the way of Sunnah preservation, he can refer to books on Hadith Science that was established to serve the Holy Prophet's Hadiths, so that he may make sure about the certainty and authenticity of the Prophets' traditions we have received.

            Islam considers all people as equal with regards to their origin and birth, both male and female. Allah, glory to Him, first created Adam, the father of all mankind, and created from him, his wife Eve - the mother of mankind and made them the origin of human offspring. The Qur'an declares human equality as to their origin which meaning of is translated as: “O mankind! Be careful of your duty to your Lord, Who created you from a single soul and from it created its mate and from them twain has spread abroad a multitude of men and women. Be careful of your duty toward Allah in Whom you claim (your rights) of one another and toward the wombs (that bear you, i.e.: kinship)…”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter An-Nisa'a, 4:1).

            Prophet Muhammad peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “People are the children of Adam and Adam is (created) of dust.”  (Imam Ahmad). The people who are existing or will exist on earth, are of Adam's progeny. They began to have one religion and one language; but being big in number, they spread throughout the earth. This inevitably led to difference of color and nature (as an inevitable result of environmental impact). This entailed different ways of thinking and living and different beliefs. The Qur'an states, which meaning of is translated as: “Mankind were but one community, then they differed...”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Yunus, 10:19).

            Islamic instructions place man, regardless of his race, color, tongue, religion and homeland, on equal terms with his brethren, all equal before Allah. However, differences and conflict arise among them in as much as they are close to, or far from, compliance with Allah's Law and way of life. The Qur'aan states in this connection which meaning of is translated as: “O mankind! Lo! We have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that you may know one another. Lo! The noblest of you in the sight of Allah, is the best in conduct...”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Hujarat, 49:13). Based on this equality confirmed by Islam, all people are equal in freedom in the sight of Islamic Law. This slogan was launched by Caliph Omar Ibn Al-Khattab fourteen centuries ago when he said: "When did you enslaved people whose mothers had borne them free."

            All should have access to:

  • Freedom of thinking and opinion. The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, required his companions to tell the truth and express their views fearing no blame when he peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “he who holds back from telling the truth is dumb devil.”  The Prophet's Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, put this principle into effect. One man addressed Omar Ibn Al-Khattab saying: "Fear Allah, Prince of the Believers!" One man protested saying: "You say this to the Prince of the Believers!" Omar said: "Let him say it. You are useless if you do not say it, and we are useless if we do not accept it from you." On another occasion, when Omar was asked why he did not repute or reject Ali's judgement, as it was in conflict with Omar's, he answered: "had the matter been stated in the Qur'aan and Hadith I would have rejected it. But it is a matter of opinion and opinion is common and nobody is sure which of the two views is more right in the sight of Allah."
  • Everyone is free to own property and earn his living as stated in the Qur'an which meaning of is translated as: “…Unto men a fortune from that which they have earned, and unto women a fortune from that which they have earned…”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter An-Nisa'a, 4:32).
  • Everyone should be given the chance to be educated, as stated by the Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, which meaning of is translated as: “Seeking knowledge is every Muslim's duty.”  (Baihaqi). Islam requires scholars to disseminate knowledge and not to hide it so that everyone may benefit by it. This is stated by the Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, which meaning of is translated as: “Who-so-ever is asked about some (religious) information, yet he conceals it will be bridled on the Day of Judgement with a bridle of fire.”  (Abu Dawood and Thirmidhi).
  • Everyone has the right to utilize the resources deposited in this universe by its Creator. The Qur'an says which meaning of is translated as: “He it is Who has made the earth subservient unto you, so walk in the path thereof and eat of His providence. And unto Him will be the resurrection (of the dead).”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Mulk, 67:15).
  • Everyone may have access to leadership in society if he is worthy and capable of it. Prophet Muhammad peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “If a person is placed in authority over Muslims and he appoints a man over them out of prejudice (in favor of him), Allah's curse be upon him, and Allah will not accept any good deeds from him, until He throws him into hell-fire.”  (Al-Hakim).

All this should be within the framework of Islam, and no aspect of freedom should be in conflict with others' freedom. Philosopher and Historian, A. J. Toynbee, in his book, "Civilization on Trial", states that, "putting an end to racial discrimination and tribalism has been one of the greatest feats and prides of Islam. It is in fact the biggest need of this age. Undoubtedly, English speaking nations have achieved a certain degree of success in inter-linking of peoples and have given mankind good and mercy, but it should be admitted that they failed to get rid of racial and national sentiments."

            Islam has no independent spiritual powers like those given to the clergy in other religions. That is because, when it came, it eliminated all intermediaries that are placed or installed between God (Allah) and His servants. It criticized idolaters for their adoption of intermediaries in worship, as appears from the Qur'anic verse that relates their false argument which meaning of is translated as: “We worship them only that they may bring us near unto Allah.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Sad, 38:3). Then Allah, Glory to Him, makes clear to them the true nature of these intermediaries which meaning of is translated as: “Lo! Those whom you call besides Allah are slaves like you. So call on them now and let them answer you, if you are truthful.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-A'raf, 7:194). Thus Islam has established and stabilized the concept of direct God-man relationship on the basis of absolute belief in Allah and His revealed ordinances and way of life. Forgiveness must be sought directly from Him with no intermediator. Whoever commits a sin should raise his hands and prays humbly to Allah for forgiveness. This is clear from the following words which meaning of is translated as: “Who so does evil or wrongs his own soul, then seeks pardon of Allah, will find Allah Forgiving, Merciful.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter An-Nisa'a, 4:110). Islam, unlike other religions, has no clergymen who permit and prohibit as if they were - and they actually consider themselves as- responsible on behalf of Allah for His servants. Consequently, they legislate for them, control their beliefs and admit into paradise whom they will and prevent whom they will. Allah, Glory to Him says about them which meaning of is translated as: “They have taken as lords besides Allah their rabbis and their monks...”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter At-Tawbah, 9:31). Prophet Muhammad peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, explained which meaning of is translated as: “that they did not worship them; only they obeyed them when they made something lawful or unlawful for them (i.e.: legislated for them).”  (Tirmidhi).

            Islam gave the individual rights due to him/her with society and rights due in the interest of all: The individual works in the interest of society and vice versa. The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “The bonds of brotherhood between two Muslims are like parts of a building, one part strengthens and holds the other. And he crossed the fingers of one hand between those of the other (to illustrate the point).”  (Bukhari). However in case of conflict between individual and collective interests, the latter are to have priority over the former, as in the case of demolishing a house about to fall or taking out part of it to be added to the street in the public interest (of course after compensating the owner of the house). For example, a man from the Ansar (Muslims immigrants) had a fruit garden. In that garden there were a number of palm trees owned by a man called Samura Ibn Jundub, who used to go into the garden for his palm trees, but he caused harm to the garden and its owner. The owner complained about that to the Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said to Samura which meaning of is translated as: “Sell him the palm trees.” Samura refused. The Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Pull them out.” He refused. Therefore, the Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said to him which meaning of is translated as: “You are hurtful.”  Then he addressed the garden owner saying:"Go and pluck out his palm trees."

            Islam is the religion of mercy, pity and sympathy. It called to giving up severity and rudeness and following Islam's Prophet's example as described in the Qur'an which meaning of is translated as: “It was by the mercy of Allah that you were lenient with them (O Muhammad), for if you had been stern and fierce of heart they would have dispersed from about you…”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-i-Imran, 3:159). The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said in this connection which meaning of is translated as: “Merciful people are worthy of Allah's Mercy. Show mercy to those living on earth and you will receive mercy from the One Who is in Heaven (Allah).”  (Tirmidhi). Islam has established kind and merciful treatment for all people, even with enemies. This is clear in the Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, commandment which meaning of is translated as: “Treat prisoners of war kindly.” If this is the Holy Prophet's direction about prisoners of war who fight against Muslims, what would you expect his directions will be about peaceful people? Islam extended its mercy and sympathy even to animals, as seen from the following tradition which meaning of is translated as: “A woman was thrown into Hell-fire because she shut up a cat till it died. She neither gave it something to eat and drink nor let it pick up its food from the insects and other similar creatures of the earth.”  (Bukahri & Muslim). Prophet Muhammad peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, once saw a donkey which had been marked on its face (with fire), upon which he said which meaning of is translated as: “Allah's curse be on him who has tattooed it.”  (Muslim). Ibn Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, once passed by some Qurayshi boys who had made a bird a target and were shooting arrows at it. Ibn Umar asked: "Who has done this? May Allah's curse be upon the person who did this? Allah's Messenger peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, peace be upon him, has cursed the man who makes a living thing a target for shooting (Bukhari & Muslim). Once the Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, passed by a camel whose belly was sticking to his back (due to hunger). On this he remarked which meaning of is translated as: “Fear Allah and observe your duty to Him as regards these inarticulate animals. Ride on them while they are healthy and similarly eat their meat when they are in good health.”  (Abu Dawood). If such is Islam's mercy towards animals, how then would be its mercy towards man, whom Allah has favored more than all other creatures and honored. Allah, glory to Him, says which meaning of is translated as: “Verily We have honored the children of Adam. We carry them on the land and the sea, and have made provision of good things for them, and have preferred them above many of those whom We created with a marked preferment.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Isra'a, 17:70). Islam has not only required mercy for animals; it has also made it a way to forgiveness to sins and to Paradise. This is clear from the following tradition which meaning of is translated as: “A man walking along a path felt very much thirsty, reaching a well he descended into it, drank water to his fill and came out, when he saw a dog with its tongue bulging out and trying to lick up mud to quench his thirst. The man said to himself that the dog was feeling the same extreme thirst as he had felt a little while before. So he descended once more into the well, filled his leather Hoosier with water and came up holding it by his teeth and gave the dog a drink. Allah appreciated this act of this man and forgave his sins. The Holy Prophet peace be upon him, was asked: Messenger of Allah, are we rewarded for kindness towards animals as well? He said: There is recompense for kindness to every living things.”  (Bukhari).

            Islam is not a religion of monasticism, celibacy, devotion of life for the sake of the Hereafter, and abstention from enjoyment of good things created by Allah for man. The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “He also said: Allah, glory to him, is pleased to see the effect of his favors on his servant.”  (Tirmidhi). It is not a religion that allows uncontrolled indulgence in this worldly life; it is a religion of moderation that embraces both religious and secular affairs and considers them as complementary to each other; no one aspect should prevail at the expense of another. Allah, glory to him, points this out which meaning of is translated as: “But seek, (wealth) which Allah has bestowed on you, the abode of the hereafter, and neglect not your portion of the world, and be kind even as Allah has been kind to you.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Qasas, 28:77). The Glorious Qur'aan has enjoined, in several verses, balancing the spirit and the body, so it instructed man to remember his physical needs pertaining to earning his living while being busy with worship which meaning of is translated as: “And when the prayer is ended, then disperse in the land and seek of Allah's bounty…”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Jumu'a, 62:10). It also called man, while preoccupied with worldly matters and concerns, to remember his spiritual needs by performing the devotions prescribed by Allah, He said which meaning of is translated as: “Men whom neither merchandise nor sale beguiles from remembrance of Allah and constancy in prayer and paying to the poor their due; who fear a day when hearts and eyeballs will be overturned.”  (The Qur'aan, An-Nur, 24:37). Islam has introduced a way of life that preserves the rights of spirit, body and mind in accordance with a divine Law which keeps people away from going to extremes. As a Muslim is required to control his soul and bring it to account for its acts Allah said which meaning of is translated as: “And whose does good an atom's weight will see it then. And whose does ill an atom's weight will see it then.”  (The Qur'aan, Al-Zalazlah, 99:7-8) “A wise person is one who keeps a watch over himself and calls it to account and does good deeds in preparation for the Hereafter; whereas a helpless person is one who pursues his desires blindly and yet expects from Allah the fulfillment of his futile desires.”  (A Hadith narrated by Imam Ahmad). Man is also required not to fail to enjoy the good things made lawful for him by Allah, including food, drink, clothing and marriage, as stated in the Holy Qur'an which meaning of is translated as: “Say: Who has forbidden the adornment of Allah which He has brought forth for His bondmen and the good things of His provisions…”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-A'raf, 7:32). Islam has forbidden only what is harmful for man, in his body, wealth or society. The human soul has been created by Allah and made viceroy in the earth so as to abide by His Law Allah said which meaning of is translated as: “He it is who has placed you as viceroys of the earth and has exalted some of you in rank above others, that He may try you by (the test of) that which He has given you...”  (The Qur'aan, Al-An'am, 6:165). Allah has created for this soul or spirit a harmonious and integrated body. He says which meaning of is translated as: “Surely We created man of the best stature.”  (The Qur'aan, At-Tin, 95:4).

            That is in order that the soul should perform, by means of the body; devotions, rights, duties, construction and population of the earth as enjoined by Allah. Therefore, Allah has ordered that the body should be maintained and cared for:

  • By purification and cleanness, Allah said which meaning of is translated as: “…Truly Allah Loves those who turn unto Him in repentance, and loves those who purify themselves.”  (The Qur'aan, Al-Baqarah, 2:222). He has required ablution (wudu') as a prerequisite to the integrity of prayer performed by Muslims five times a day the Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “No prayer is valid without performing ablutions (wudu').”  (Abu Dawud). It has also urged performing a ritual bath (ghusul) for Friday Prayer. The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Friday ghusul is a duty recommended for every adult (Muslim), along with miswak (natural toothbrush) and whatever amount of perfume possible.”  (Bukhari & Muslim). Ritual bath is obligatory in case of major ritual impurity (janaba) Allah said which meaning of is translated as: “…And if you are unclean (after sexual discharge or intercourse), purify yourselves (i.e. bath your whole body)...”  (The Qur'aan, Al-Maidah, 5:6).
  • By cleanness; i.e. by cleaning both hands before and after meals, in compliance with the Hadith of the Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, which meaning of is translated as: “The blessing of food is (realized) by ablutions prior to it and ablutions following it.”  (Imam Ahmad). And also by cleaning the mouth, as recommended by the Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, which meaning of is translated as: “Whoever eats is recommended to pick his teeth: whatever he picks he should expels it from his mouth and whatever he chews he should swallow it.”  (Al-Darimi). And taking care of his teeth, the Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Had I not feared that it would cause inconvenience to my people, then I would have ordered them to brush their teeth with a miswak before every prayer.”  (Bukhari & Muslim). As well as removing what can be a breeding ground for germs and dirt, in accordance with the Holy Prophets' peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, saying which meaning of is translated as: “There are five practices of pure nature: removal of hair from private parts, circumcision, pulling out hair from the armpit, trimming of the moustache and clipping of nails.”  (Bukhari & Muslim).
  • By instructing man to eat and drink only lawful things, as evidenced by the Holy Qur'an which meaning of is translated as: “O you who believe! Eat of the good things wherewith We have provided you, and render thanks to Allah if it is (indeed) He whom you worship.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Baqarah, 2:172). Such eating and drinking of lawful things are conditional upon avoidance of extravagance where the bad effects of which are quite evident; Allah said which meaning of is translated as: “… And eat and drink, but be not prodigal. Lo! He love not the prodigals.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-A'raf, 7:31). Prophet Mohammed peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Man never has filled a worse pot than his stomach. However, if he insists on doing it (i.e.: eating), a third (of his stomach) should be apportioned to his food, a third to his drink and a third to his breath.”  (Imam Ahmad).
  • By forbidding him to eat or drink what is bad or unlawful (such as carrion (dead meat), blood, swine-flesh, wine, drugs and smoking) for securing the safety of the body. The Qur'aan says which meaning of is translated as: “He has forbidden you only carrion, and blood, and swine-flesh, and that which has been immolated to (the name of) any other than Allah. But he who is driven by necessity, neither craving nor transgressing, it is no sin for him. Lo! Allah is All-Forgiving, All- Merciful.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Baqarah, 2:173).
  • By encouraging the practice of sports, such as wrestling (without exposing privet parts or hurting the others), swimming, shooting, horse riding and racing (body racing). According to Ayesha, the Holy Prophet's wife, may Allah be pleased with her: “Allah's Messenger, peace be upon him, raced with me and I won. That was before I grew fat. Later he raced with me when I was a little fat and he won." He said: "tit for tat.”  (Imam Ahmad). “Allah's Messenger, peace be upon him, wrestled with Rukana and won.”  (Abu Dawud). The Holy Prophet, peace be upon him, also said: “Teach your children shooting, swimming and horse-riding.”  (Muslim).
  • By treatment of the body in case of sickness. According to the Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, saying which meaning of is translated as: “Take medicine, for Allah has never sent down a disease without sending down a cure for it, some people know it and others do not know it.”  (Imam Ahmad).
  • And by performing the prescribed devotions that provide the spirit with its nutrition and save it from anxiety which affects the body. Islam don't prescribes neglect, torture or deprivation of the body. According to Anas Ibn Malik, May Allah be pleased with him; three men called at the houses of the Prophet's wives to ask about his devotions. When they were told about them they found it less than they expected. They said: "What are we to compare with Allah's Messenger, peace be upon him, whose lapses, past and future are forgiven?" One of them said: "As for me, I shall spend my nights praying forever." The second said: "As for me, I shall fast daily forever and shall never break my fast." The third said: "As for me, I shall abstain from women and shall never marry." Then the Holy Messenger peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, came to them and asked them which meaning of is translated as: “Is it you who said such and such? Listen, I swear in Allah, I am more pious and Allah-fearing than you, yet I pray and sleep, fast and break (my fast), get married to women. Whoever deviates from my Sunnah (way or line of conduct) does not belong to me.”  (Bukhari & Muslim). According to Muslim German Scholar, Mohammed Asad; Islam does not regard the world, like Christianity, through black binoculars, yet nit teaches us not to overestimate the worldly life, like the contemporary western civilization. Christianity scorns and condemns this worldly life, while the contemporary west - unlike the Christian spirit - is highly involved and deeply interested in this life. Islam, on the other hand, neither scorns nor overestimates it; it gives it due respect and consideration and at the same time deems it as a stage of our journey to a higher life - just a means and not an end. Islam guides us to pray: "Our Lord! Give unto us in the world that which is good in the hereafter that whish is good."[4]

            Islam promotes knowledge and learning, and at the same time it disapproves of, and warns against ignorance. It classifies sciences into two categories:

  • Sciences whose learning is an individual duty prescribed upon every Muslim - both religious and worldly.
  • Sciences whose learning is a collective duty prescribed upon an adequate number of people. The Qur'aan points out which meaning of is translated as: “…Are those who know equal with those who know not?…”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Az-Zumar, 39:9). “… Allah will exalt those who believe among you, and those who have knowledge, to high rank…”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Mujadila, 58:11). “…And say, My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Ta-Ha, 20:114).

            The blessed Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Seek knowledge even it were in China.” He also says: “On the Day of Judgement, Scholars' ink will be weighed with martyr's blood.”  Monsieur Casanova, one of the senior professors of College de France in Paris, commented on these traditions (Hadiths) saying: "Many of us think that Muslims cannot assimilate our opinions or digest our concepts, forgetting that the Prophet of Islam is the one who stated that knowledge is superior to devotions. Who among the higher ranks of the clergy and priests has the courage to utter such decisive strong words, such words that are the essence of our contemporary intellectual life?" Islam also respects scholars and gives them their due rank and rights. This is evident in the Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, words which meaning of is translated as: “A person who does not respect our elders, has no compassion for our children, and does not recognize the rights of our scholars is not from my people.”  (Imam Ahmad). He peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “The excellence of a scholar over a worshipper is as equal to the excellence of I over an ordinary Muslim among you.”  (Tirmidhi). Islam regards the search for knowledge and teaching an aspect of Jihad (i.e.: Strife in the cause of Allah) that is rewarded by Allah, This is stated in the following Hadith of the Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, which meaning of is translated as: “A person who goes out (of his house) in search of knowledge is on Allah's way and he remains so till he returns.”  (Tirmidhi). He peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, also said which meaning of is translated as: “If a person who follows a path for acquiring knowledge, Allah will make it easy for him the passage to Paradise.”  (Muslim). Islam has not limited its exhortation of knowledge to religious sciences only. It has also encouraged secular sciences and considered learning them as aspects of worship that are rewarded by Allah (those considered as collective duty) as mankind is in need of such sciences or fields of knowledge. The Qur'aan says which meaning of is translated as: “So let man consider from what he is created. He is created from a gushing fluid. That issues from between the loins and ribs."   (The Qur'aan, Chapter At-Tariq, 86:5-7). The Qur'aan also says which meaning of is translated as: “Have you not seen that Allah causes water to fall from the sky and We produce therewith fruit of diverse hues, and among the hills are streaks white and red, of diverse hues, and (others) raven- black. And of men and beasts and cattle, in like manner, diverse hues? The erudite among His bondsmen fear Allah alone. Lo! Allah is All-Mighty, Oft Forgiving.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Fatir, 35:27-28). These verses contain an invitation to sound thinking and meditation which leads to recognition of the existence of a Creator of these things and to benefiting from the resources and treasures of this universe. Certainly, the "erudite" in this verse are not only religious scholars; they are also erudite scholars and scientists in all fields of human knowledge who own the ability to know the secrets and mysteries of this universe. For example the process of cloud formation or rainfall can only be understood through familiarity with chemistry and physics; the growth of trees, plants and fruits through familiarity with agriculture; the variation in the colors of the earth and mountains through familiarity with geology; the nature and character of people, their different races and the nature and instincts of animals, through ethnology and zoology. Seldillot stated in his book, 'The History of Arabs' : "that Muslims in the Middle Ages were unrivalled in science, philosophy and arts. They disseminated such knowledge whenever they moved, then it was carried over to Europe where it led to its renaissance and advancement." Dr. G. Lebon, in his book, 'Arab Civilization', states that: "We have never seen in history a nation so prominent in its impact as the Arabs, for all peoples that had relations with the Arabs embraced their culture even for a while."

            Islam is the religion of self-control. It trains its adherents to seek Allah's pleasure in both their religious and worldly endeavors, as indicated in the Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, Hadith which meaning of is translated as: “Fear Allah, whenever you may be, do a virtuous act after an evil act as the former will undo the latter, and behave well with the people.”  (Tirmidhi). The way adopted by Islam in rooting the principle of self-control and internal monitoring is as follows:

  • It has made Muslims believe in One God Who has no partner in Sovereignty or equal to Him, i.e.: Allah, Glory to Him. The Qur'an declares which meaning of is translated as: “Say, He is Allah, the One; Allah, the Eternally Besought of All. He begets not, nor He is begotten; and there is none like unto Him.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Ikhlas, 112:1-4). This God is the Originator and Creator of this world, along with all things in it: animate and inanimate, Allah said in the Qur'an which meaning of is translated as: “Glory be to Him Who created all the sexual pairs, of that which the earth grows, and of themselves, and of that which they know not!”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Ya-Sin, 36:36). This God is the Lord and Owner of all creatures; to Him belong sovereignty, commandment and forbiddance, and He is ever able to do everything, Allah said which meaning of is translated as: “Lo! Your Lord is Allah Who created the heavens and the earth in six days, then mounted He the Throne (in the manner that suits His Majesty). He covers the night with the day, which is in haste to follow it, and has made the sun and the stars subservient by His command. His verily is all creation and commandment. Blessed be Allah, the Lord of the Worlds!”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-A'raf, 7:54). This God possesses all attributes of perfection, Allah said which meaning of is translated as: “…There is nothing whatsoever like unto Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Ash-Shura, 42:11). He, glory to Him, knows well everything what is going on or taking place in this Universe at all times, He said which meaning of is translated as: “… He knows all that enters the earth and all that emerges therefrom and all that comes down from the sky and all that ascends therein; and He is with you where-so-ever you may be and Allah is All-seer of what you do.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Hadid, 57:4). Moreover, His knowledge goes beyond visible and tangible physical things to thoughts and emotions, He said which meaning of is translated as: “He knows the traitor of the eyes, and all that which the breast conceals.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Mu'min, 40:19).
  • Islam has implanted in Muslims the concept of resurrection after death and deemed it as one of its basic principles, Allah said which meaning of is translated as: “Those who disbelieve assert that they will not be raised again. Say (unto them, O Muhammad): Yes verily, by my Lord! You will be raised again and then you will be informed of what you did and that is easy for Allah.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter At-Tagabun, 64:7).
  • Islam has established and rooted the idea that man is to be brought to account before Allah, glory to Him, for all his deeds and words whatsoever - small and big, good and bad, then recompensed according to his acts - good for good and evil for evil. Such feeling drives him to seek Allah's pleasure by complying with Allah's commands and avoiding His prohibitions, doing everything good and shunning anything bad, He said which meaning of is translated as: “And who-so does good an atom's weight will see it then, And who-so does ill an atom's weight will see it then.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Zalzalah, 99:7-8).
  • Islam requires its followers to give precedence to obedience of Allah, seeking His pleasure and avoiding His prohibitions over everything and everybody else whosoever, even if this were in conflict with their desires, for the sake of winning Allah's reward in Paradise and escaping His punishment in Hell-fire. However, Islam has not ignored the physical aspects of punishment and resort to violence against those who rebel against its instructions and disobey its directives. Some people would require force to deter them from committing violations that are harmful to them and to their society. That is why Islam assigns for each crime a punishment that matches with the extent of its seriousness. It has prescribed retaliation for intentional murder; Allah said which meaning of is translated as: “O you who believe! Retaliation is prescribed for you in the matter of the murdered...”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Baqarah, 2:178). Unless the heir of the murdered forgoes, Allah said which meaning of is translated as: “…And for him who is forgiven somewhat by his (injured) brother…”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Baqarah, 2:178). And for robbery it has prescribed the cutting off the hand, He said which meaning of is translated as: “As for the thief, both male and female, cut off their hands. It is the reward of their own deeds: an exemplary punishment from Allah. Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Ma'ida, 5:38). When a thief is sure that his hand will be cut off if he steals, he will give up theft and thereby save his hand, and at the same time people's property and money from robbery. It has prescribed flogging in case of trespassing upon honor and modesty, i.e.: in case of illegal sexual intercourse, Allah said which meaning of is translated as: “The woman and the man guilty of fornication, scourge you each one of them (with) a hundred stripes…?”  (The Qur'aan Chapter An-Nur, 24:2). And for accusation of chaste women (of adultery), it has prescribed eighty stripes, Allah said which meaning of is translated as: “And those who accuse honorable women (of adultery) but bring not four witnesses, scourge them (with) eighty stripes…”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter An-Nur, 24:4). The Islamic Law sets a general rule for penalties, Allah said which meaning of is translated as: “The recompense of an ill-deed is an ill the like thereof…”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Ash-Shura, 42:40). “If you punish, then punish with the like of that wherewith you were afflicted…”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter An-Nahl, 16:126). Islam has not made such penalties inevitable: it has left the way open to forgiveness, Allah said which meaning of is translated as: “…Let them forgive and show indulgence…”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter An-Nur, 24:22). “But whosoever pardons and amends, his wage is the affair of Allah…”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Ash-Shura, 42:40). When it decides to implement these penalties, Islam does not aim at revenge and love of violence. It aims at preserving rights of people, establishing security and peace in society, and deterring those who intend to disturb its peace and stability. When a murderer realizes that he will be executed, a thief that his hand will be cut off, an adulterer that he will be flogged, they will be deterred from committing their crime and thereby maintain their own and other's safety and security. The Qur'aan sums up this truth which meaning of is translated as: “And there is life for you in retaliation, O men of understanding.”  (The Qur'aan Chapter Al-Baqarah, 2:179). One may say that the penalties ordained by Islam for certain crimes are cruel! The answer is that everyone agrees that these crimes are evidently harmful to society and must be fought and retaliated against; conflict and disagreement consist in the kind of punishment. Let everybody ask himself and decide: Are the penalties prescribed by Islam more viable and effective to root out or minimize crime, or the man-made punishment?
  • Islam points out that good acts are multiplied and that good intention is to be rewarded even if it is not followed by action, Allah said which meaning of is translated as: “Who-so brings a good deed will receive ten-fold the like thereof, while who-so brings an ill-deed will be awarded but the like thereof.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter An-An'am, 6:160). The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Intention determines the worth of a person's actions and he will attain what he intends.”  (Bukhari & Muslim). Moreover, if a Muslim intends to do a good deed for fear of Allah's wrath, he will be rewarded for that. The Gracious Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “One who makes up his mind to do a good deed but does not carry it out, is rewarded by Allah for one full measure of it, and if he then proceeds to carry it out, Allah rewards him from ten to seven hundred times and even many times more. He who is inclined towards an evil deed, but does not carry it out, is rewarded by Allah for one full measure of good deed. Should he carry it out, he is debited only by one evil deed.”  (Bukhari & Muslim). In addition, habits and permissible things turn into rewardable devotions when associated with good intention. Food and drink, for example, when associated with the intention to maintain the body and preserve its strength for earning a living and performing the prescribed devotions, as well as providing for one's family, will be regarded an aspect of worship that deserves Allah's reward. The Noble Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “…To cohabit with your wife is charity." He was asked: Is it possible that one of us should satisfy his desire and yet he would be rewarded? He said: Yes. If he satisfied his urge through illicit means, would it not be sinful? Likewise, when he satisfies it lawfully it is deserving reward.”  (Muslim).

            According to Islam, Hasanat (rewards) are multiplied and even the good intention, the Muslim will be rewarded for it even if he does not implemented, Allah said which meaning of is translated as: “Whoever brings a good deed (Islamic Monotheism and deeds of obedience to Allah and His Messenger) shall have ten times the like thereof to his credit.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter An-An'am, 6:160).

            According to Islam, sins are replaced with good deeds if sinners are sincere in their repentance and determined never to return to their sins. The Qur'aan states in this context, which meaning of is translated as: “And those who cry not unto any other god along with Allah, nor take the life which Allah has forbidden save in (course of) justice, nor commit adultery - and who-so does this shall pay the penalty. The doom will be doubled for him on the Day of Resurrection, and he will abide therein disdained forever. Save him who repents and believes and does righteous work: as for such, Allah will change their evil deeds to good deeds, Allah is ever Forgiving, Most merciful.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Furqan, 25:68-70). This is for what is due to Allah. As for the rights of people, they should have access to them and apology should be offered to them for any hurt or pain caused to them, such as beating, abusing, backbiting and slandering; but in case of trespassing on people's property and the like, he will have to return it to them and also to ask their forgiveness. The Islamic Sharia has addressed the sinner's mind directly and treated his/her troubled mentality by opening for him/her the way to repentance so that he/she should be deterred from sin, Allah said which meaning of is translated as: “Say: O my slaves who have been too sinful to their own hurt! Despair not of the mercy of Allah, for Allah verily forgives all sins.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Az-Zumar, 39:53). “Yet who-so does evil or wrongs his own soul, then seeks pardon of Allah, will find Allah ever forgiving, All-Merciful.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter An-Nisaa, 4:110). That is for Muslims. As for non-Muslims who embraced this religion, they will be given double reward on account of their belief in their own messenger, besides their belief in the message of Muhammad peace be upon him, the Qur'aan said which meaning of is translated as: “Those unto whom We gave the Scripture before it, they believe in it. And when it is recited unto them, they say: We believe in it. Lo! It is the truth from our Lord. Lo! Even before it we were of those who surrender (unto Him). These will be given their reward twice over, because they are steadfast and repel evil with good, and spend of that where with We have provided them.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Qasas, 28:52-54). In addition, Allah will erase all their sins which they had committed before their Islam, for the Gracious Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Islam undoes all (ill-deeds) that have been done before (embracing) it.”

            Islam ensures for Muslims the continuation of good deeds even after death through virtuous endeavors and ongoing charitable acts so long as they are beneficial to the whole society. The Gracious Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “After the death of a person his actions stop, except three things that he leaves behind: 1- Continuous charity.
2- Knowledge from which some benefit may be obtained.
And 3- a righteous child who prays for him.”
  (Muslim). He peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “A person who invites others to righteousness shall have a recompense equal to the recompense of those who follow his guidance without reducing their recompense, whereas he who invites others to error shall have a share of punishment equal to that due to those who follow him without reducing their punishment.”  (Muslim).

            Islam values the human mind highly and encourages sound reasoning. It liberates it from the fetters of heathenism and mental bondage. There is no need for anybody or anything to interfere or intercede with Allah on behalf of His creation - All are equal in the sight of Allah, Who addresses mankind, which meaning of is translated as: “Lo! In the heavens and the earth are portents (signs) for the believers. And in your creation, and all the beasts that He scatters in the earth, are portents for a folk whose faith is sure: And the alternations of night and day and the provision that Allah sends down from the sky and thereby revives the earth after her death, and the ordering of the winds, are portents for a people who have sense.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Jathiya, 45:3-5). It criticizes those who imitate and follow older generations without knowledge or guidance, Allah said which meaning of is translated as: “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?”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Baqarah, 2:170). It is common in the Glorious Qur'aan to address the human mind: "Have they then no sense?" "Will they not then ponder…?" "Will you not then take thought?" Islam, however, has determined the domain of mental activity: The human mind should be used to perceive the visible and tangible; it has no access to the unseen which cannot be perceived by the senses, and engaging the mind with such things is a mere dissipation of efforts and energies.

            Islam has liberated the human soul from being controlled blindly by others whomsoever, by imbuing it with conviction that no other than Allah can quicken the dead or cause death or harm. So no man, whatever his race, color, or position is, can benefit or harm, deprive or give, unless Allah, Glory be to Him, wills so. The Qur'aan states which meaning of is translated as: “…And (they) possess not hurt nor profit for themselves, and possess not death nor life, nor power to raise the dead.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Furqan, 25:3). If Allah's Messenger peace be upon him, despite his high rank with Allah, is subject to what applies to other people: How then would be the case for others. The Qur'aan says which meaning of is translated as: “Say: For myself I have no power to benefit, nor power to hurt, save that which Allah wills. Had I knowledge of the Unseen, I should have abundance of wealth, and adversity would not touch me. I am but a warner, and a bearer of good tidings unto folk who believe.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-A'raf, 7:188). It has also freed the human mind from anxiety, fear and confusion, by treating their causes:

  • If the cause is fear of death, it is stated in the Holy Qur'aan, which meaning of is translated as: “No soul can ever die except by Allah's Leave and at a term appointed…”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Imran, 3:145). However hard man tries to escape death, it is lying in wait for him. The Qur'aan says which meaning of is translated as: “Say (to them, O Muhammad): Lo! The death from which you flee will surely overtake, will surely meet you…”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Jumu'a, 62:8).
  • If it fear of poverty, it is made clear in the Qur'an, which meaning of is translated as: “…There is not a beast in the earth but the sustenance thereof depends on Allah. He knows its habitation and its repository. All is in a clear record.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Hud, 11:6).
  • If it is fear of disease and misfortunes, it is stated in this regard, Allah said which meaning of is translated as: “If Allah touches you with affliction, there is none that can relieve therefrom save Him, and if He desires good for you, there is none who can repel His bounty. He strikes with it whom He wills of His bondmen…”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Yunus, 10:107). The Qur'aan also states which meaning of is translated as: “No disaster befalls in the earth or in yourselves but it is in a Book before We bring it into being - Lo! That is easy for Allah - That you grieve not for the sake of that which has escaped you, nor yet exult because of that which has been given to you. Allah loves not all prideful boasters.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Hadid, 57:22-23).

            Islam does not charge with tasks that are beyond the scope of human ability. It is the religion of facility, simplicity, moderate, reasonableness, and freedom from hardship. This is stated in the Glorious Qur'aan said which meaning of is translated as: “Allah tasks not a soul beyond its scope. For it (is only) that which it has earned, and against it (only) that which it has deserved…”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Baqarah, 2:286). The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Allah has not sent me as a self-opinionated (messenger) nor to make others self-opinionated; but as a teacher and to facilitate things for people.”  (Muslim). He peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Make things easy and convenient and don't make them harsh and difficult. Give cheers and glad tidings and do not create hatred.”  (Bukhari). He peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “If I order you to do something, do what you can thereof.”  (Buhari). Once a man came to Allah's Messenger peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, and said: "O Allah's Messenger! I have been ruined." Allah's Messenger peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, asked which meaning of is translated as: “what was the matter with you.” He replied: "I had sexual intercourse with my wife while I was observing fast." Allah's Messenger peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, asked him which meaning of is translated as: “Can you afford to manumit a slave?” He replied in the negative. Allah's Messenger peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, asked him which meaning of is translated as: “Can you observe fast for two successive months?” He replied in the negative. The Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, asked him which meaning of is translated as: “Can you afford to feed sixty poor persons?” He replied in the negative. The Prophet kept silent and while we were in that state, a big basket full of dates was brought to the Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, He asked which meaning of is translated as: “Where is the questioner?” He replied: "I am here." The Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said to him which meaning of is translated as: “Take this (basket of dates) and give it in charity.” The man said: "Should I give it to a person poorer than I? By Allah; there is no family between it's (Al-Madinah's) two mountains who are poorer than I." The Prophet smiled till his premolar teeth became visible and then He peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Feed your family with it.”  (Al-Bukhari). All principles and devotions of Islam are in harmony with human abilities, they do not tend to overburden them, so that people may have no excuse for neglecting such principles and devotions, taking into consideration that they can be dropped in cases of necessity. For example:

  • One of the obligatory acts of prayer is standing in case of ability. In case of inability to stand, a worshipper may perform prayer in the sitting posture; if not: in the reclining posture; if not: by gesture. Likewise, Congregational (or Jama'a) Prayer at Mosque is obligatory for men, but such an obligation is dropped in case of sickness, fear, extreme cold or heavy rain. Another example is relieving a woman in her courses or childbirth period of prayer until ritual impurity is over; she is not required to make up for missed prayer.
  • Payment of Zakat (the poor-due) is not required of those who do not possess the minimum amount of money, property or assets set for the imposition of Zakat.
  • A person who is too sick or too old for fasting is exempt from fasting and a person who is travelling, and a woman in her period or confinement, are exempted from fasting until such excuses are over. They can make up for the days they have not fasted.
  • Those who are incapable of Hajj physically or financially during Hajj season are exempted from this religious duty, until they are capable financially. In which case the physically incapable person will have to delegate someone to perform Hajj on his behalf. The Qur'aan states which meaning of is translated as: “… And pilgrimage (Hajj) to the House is a duty unto Allah for mankind, for him who can find a way thither (i.e.: can afford it)…”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Imran, 3:97).
  • If a person is afraid he will die, he is allowed to keep himself alive with unlawful food or drink, such as carrion, blood, pork or wine, provided he finds nothing lawful to eat or drink. The Qur'aan says which meaning of is translated as: “…But he who is driven by necessity, neither craving nor transgressing, it is no sin for him…”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Baqarah, 2:173). In his commentary on this verse, Sayyed Qutb said: "It is the creed which acknowledges man as human, not as an animal, angel or devil. It recognizes him with all his weaknesses and strengths, takes him as one entity comprising a body with its desires, a mind with its power of reasoning and a spirit with its hopes and aspirations. It also prescribes for him obligations that he can afford and observes balancing and coordination between obligations and ability without causing any hardship or overburdening him."

            Islam urges people to abstain from slander and to respect others feelings by refraining from insulting their religious beliefs. In the Qur'aan, it is stated which meaning of is translated as: “Revile not those unto whom they pray besides Allah, lest they wrongfully revile Allah through ignorance…”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-An'am, 6:108).

            Islam encourages meaningful dialogue which guides to the Divine Path and good manners, Allah said which meaning of is translated as: “Say: O People of the Scripture! Come to a word agreed upon between us and you, that we worship none but Allah, and that we associate no partners with Him, and that none of us shall take others for Lords besides Allah. Then, if they turn away, say: Bear witness that we are Muslims.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Imran, 3:64).

            Islam is the religion of middle-of-the-road and moderation in matters of both religion and worldly life. The Qur'aan states said which meaning of is translated as: “Thus We have made you a medium nation (Ummah), that you may be witnesses over mankind, and that the Messenger may be a witness over you...”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Baqarah, 2:143). Thus Islam is:

  • Middle-of-the-road as regards prophets between those who held extreme views about them (like Christians) and those who were harsh to them (like Jews), since Muslims believe in all prophets and behave towards them with all due respect and love.
  • Moderate in all Sharia - related matters: Islam is free from the strictness and burdens of the Jews and from the extreme indulgence and negligence of the Christians.

            Islam considers every good deed performed by a Muslim an act of charity, as pointed out by the Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, which meaning of is translated as: “Charity is necessary for every Muslim. He was asked: If a person may have nothing? The Holy Prophet replied: “He should work with his own hands for his benefit and also give (something out of such earnings in) charity.” The companions said: "And if he may not be able to work?" The Holy Prophet peace be upon him, said: “He should help poor and needy people.” They said: "And if he cannot do even that?" The Holy Prophet said that: “he should urge others to do good.” The companions said: "And if he doesn't do that also?" The Holy Prophet said: “Let him check himself from doing evil: That is charity also (for him).”  (Bukhari). The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Do not consider even the smallest good deed as insignificant; even meeting your bother with a cheerful face (is a good deed).”  (Muslim).

            Islam orders Muslims to preserve the environment and refrain from causing any environmental pollution whatsoever:

  • By urging them to plant useful trees, the Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “If a Muslim plants a tree, then whatever is eaten from it be human or animals is a charity.”  (A Hadith narrated by Muslim).
  • By urging them to remove all that is harmful, the Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Removing anything which causes harm from the path of others is charity.”  (Bukhari & Muslim).
  • By urging them to apply free-will quarantine, as this is called for in the Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, words which meaning of is translated as: “If you hear of (an epidemic of plague) in a land, then do not go there, and if you happen to be in a land (where this epidemic has erupted), then do not run away from it.”  (Bukhari & Muslim). This is just to prevent epidemics and infectious diseases from being passed on to others and to save the lives of people.
  • By warning them against killing birds, animals or other creatures without reasonable cause or purpose. The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Whoever kills a bird in vain, that bird says to Allah Almighty on the Day of Judgement: O Lord! Mr.So-and-so killed me just for fun & not for any good purpose.”  (Imam Ahmad and Nasa'i).
  • By warning them against contaminating public utilities such as water sources, in view of the Prophet's Hadith in this regard related on the authority of Jabir, may Allah be pleased with him, that Allah's Messenger peace be with him: “interdicted urinating in stagnant water.”  (Muslim)
  • And, finally by warning them against any acts that cause environmental damage on earth. Allah, Glory to Him, says which meaning of is translated as: “Work not confusion in the earth after the fair ordering (thereof), and call on Him in fear and hope. Lo! The mercy of Allah is (ever) near unto the good-doers.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-A'raf, 7:56). He also says which meaning of is translated as: “And when he turns away (from you) his effort in the land is to make mischief therein and to destroy the crops and the cattle; and Allah loves not mischief. And when it is said unto him: Be careful of your duty to Allah, pride takes him to sin. So Hell will be enough for him (as punishment), an evil resting-place.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Baqarah, 2:205-206).

            Islam is the religion of all-embracing peace, in the full meaning of the word. Both on the internal level of the Muslim society: (as pointed out by the Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “The perfect Muslim is one from whose tongue and hand all Muslims are immune, and (perfect) emigrant is one who leaves those things which Allah has prohibited.”  (Bukhari & Muslim). Also: “A true believer is from whom people are safe.” And on the global level on basis of establishing friendly relations that are based on security, stability and non-aggression between the Muslim society and other societies, especially those societies that do not play with religion, as stated in the Qur'aan, which meaning of is translated as: “O you who believe! Come all of you, into submission (Islam) unto Him: and follow not the footsteps of the devil. Lo! He is an open enemy for you.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Baqarah, 2:208). In order to maintain such peace, Islam instructs Muslims to repel attacks and fight against oppression. This is stated in the Qur'aan, which meaning of is translated as: “… And one who attacks you, attack him in like manner as he attached you…”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Baqarah, 2:194). To demonstrate its interest in peace and antipathy against oppression, murder and terrorism, Islam orders its adherents, even in case of war, to accept peace and stop fighting when the enemy requests that, Allah which meaning of is translated as: “But if they incline to peace, you also incline to it, and (put your) trust in Allah. Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Anfal, 8:61). While Islam is keen on peace, it does not mean that they should accept humility for the sake of peace. Rather, it instructs them to maintain peace while keeping their pride and dignity intact. The Qur'aan states, which meaning of is translated as: “So be not weak and ask not for peace (from the enemies of Islam) while you are having the upper hand. Allah is with you and He will never decrease the reward of your good deeds.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Muhammad, 47:35).

            Islam makes it a rule that embracing it should emanate from full conviction, away from coercion. In the Holy Qur'aan it is stated, which meaning of is translated as: “There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the Right Path has become distinct from the wrong path.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Baqarah, 2:256). It also states, which meaning of is translated as: “And say: The Truth is from your Lord. Then whosoever wills, let him believe; and whosoever wills, let him disbelieve…”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Kahf, 18:29). It is part of Islam's tolerance and justice to give people the freedom to choose their belief. It holds that mankind is free to accept or reject its teachings and that Jews or Christians who refuse to embrace it are completely free to practice their believes and doctrines without undergoing any kind of oppression or harassment that affects such practice. It is never allowed to ruin their churches or break their crosses, for the Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Leave them to practice their own religion.”  Islam also gives them the freedom to have the foods or drinks deemed lawful by their religion, so their pigs should never be killed and their wine should not be spilt. As for civil affairs, such as marriage and divorce cases and financial transactions, they have the full freedom to behave according to their beliefs. Omar Ibn Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, put this into action: While he was once inside a church in Jerusalem[5], the call to prayer was announced, upon which he went out of the church for prayer and said to the Patriarch: “I'm afraid if I prayed within the church that Muslims after me would say this is the praying place of Omar and then demolish it and build a Mosque in its place..”  (Narrated by Tabari). According to the famous historian, Tabari, Omar granted them a guarantee of security for themselves, their property, churches and crosses: that no damage or destruction shall be allowed to be inflicted on them, nor shall any coercion or oppression be practiced against them in matters of religion.

            Islam is the first religion to call to the liberation of bondmen, while prohibiting all kinds of slavery: It closed all the doors to human bondage, except for one, i.e.: through captivity, subject to conditions. This is clear from the fact that Islam narrowed down the sources of slavery and expanded the outlets for emancipation, such as slave liberation in expiation of certain sins like:

  • Killing by mistake (as stated in the Qur'an), which meaning of is translated as: “He who has killed a believer by mistake must set free a believing slave, and pay the blood-money to the family of the slain, unless they remit it as a charity. If he (the victim) be of a people hostile unto you, and he is a believer, then (the penance is) to set free a believing slave. And if he comes of a folk between whom and you there is a covenant, then the blood-money must be paid unto his folk and (also) a believing slave must be set free…”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter An-Nisaa, 4:92).
  • The violation of one's oath, Allah which meaning of is translated as: “Allah will not take you to task for that which is unintentional in your oaths, but He will take you to task for the oaths which you swear in earnest. The expiation thereof is the feeding of ten of the needy with the average of that wherewith you feed your own folk, or the clothing of them, or the liberation of a slave…”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Ma'ida, 5:89).
  • Zihar, i.e.: declaring a wife to be like one's mother, Allah said which meaning of is translated as: “Those who put away their wives (by saying they are as their mothers) and afterwards would go back on that which they have said, (the penalty) in that case (is) the freeing of a slave before they touch one another…”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Mujadila, 58:3).
  • Performing sexual intercourse while fasting in Ramadan.
  • Setting slaves fee, which was highly encouraged by Islam, with promises of great reward for the emancipator, Allah said which meaning of is translated as: “Did We not assign unto him two eyes, and a tongue and two lips, and show him the two ways (of good and evil)? Why has he not attempted the Ascent (instead of spending his money in hostility to Muhammad peace be upon him)? Ah, what will convey unto you what the Ascent is! -It is to free a slave).”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Balad, 90:8-13). The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “A person who frees a Muslim salve, Allah will deliver everyone of his limbs from the fire of Hell in return for each of the limbs of the slave.”  (Bukhari & Muslim).
  • Writing of emancipation (i.e.: Mukatabah), which is an agreement between a master and his slave for emancipating the latter against an agreed amount of money. Certain jurists (especially Imam Ahmad) Allah's mercy be upon him, held that in case a slave requests a writing of emancipation it will be incumbent upon his master to respond positively to them, as stated in the Qur'aan, which meaning of is translated as: “…And such of your slaves seek a writing (of emancipation), write it for them if you are aware of any good in them, and bestow upon them from the wealth of Allah which has bestowed upon you…”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter An-Nur, 24:33). Furthermore, Islam has made slave and captive emancipation of the outlets for spending Zakat revenues or payment of one's Zakat (poor-due). The Qur'aan states, which meaning of is translated as: “The alms (i.e.: Zakat) are only 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; a duty imposed by Allah. Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter At-Tauba, 9:60).

            Islam encompasses all aspects of life - ideological, political, social, economic and moral. The Qur'aan says, which meaning of is translated as: “…And We have sent down to you the Book (The Qur'aan) as an exposition of everything, a guidance, a mercy, and glad tidings for those who have submitted themselves (to Allah as Muslims).”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Nahl, 16:89). Allah's Messenger peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “(The Muslim) Faith consists of seventy some aspects, the highest of which is the testimony that there is no god but Allah, and the lowest is removing dirt or nuisance from the road. Modesty is one of the branches of faith.”  (Bukhari). An evidence of such comprehensiveness is Islam's interest in human conduct and those particulars related to people's life. For example, Allah's Messenger peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, explains etiquette when entering or going out of the toilet, by saying which meaning of is translated as: “If one of you goes into the toilet, he should advance his left foot first and say: Bismillah! Allahumma Inni Au'zu bika minal Khubti wal-Khaba'ith, i.e. In the name of Allah (O Allah! I seek refuge in You from vicious devils (both males and females)). When he goes out, he should put his right foot first and say: Al-hamdu Lillahil-Lazi 'azhaba 'annil-'aza wa 'afaani. (Praise be to Allah, Who has relieved me of nuisance and made me well).”  (Bukhari).

[1] Rew. G. Margoliouth, Introduction to the Koran. Rev. J. M. Rodwell. London 1918.
[2] Jean Melia: Le Coran Pour La France.
[3] Hartwig Hirshfeld: New Researches into Composition and Exegesis of the Qur'aan. London 1902, p.9.
[4] Adapted from Mohammed Asad: Islam at the Cross-roads, Fifth Edition, P.29.
[5] Holy Sepulchre Church.


The Spiritual Side of Islam

            Devotions (Form of Worship):

            Islam contains a cluster of verbal, practical and ideological devotions. Verbal and practical devotions represent what is called the 'Pillars of Islam', and is deemed to be the basis on which we describe someone as Muslim or non-Muslim. Of these Pillars the two testimonies of faith are verbal, fasting is physical, Zakat is financial and Hajj (Pilgrimage) is both physical and financial. Islam does not intend these pillars to be mere appearances: it aims at purifying and refining their souls through the performance of these devotions. It wants the performance of these pillars to be a means of reforming the individual. About prayer, the Qur'aan says, which meaning of is translated as: “…The prayer prevents from great sins and evil deeds…”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Ankabut, 29:45). About Zakat: “Take alms from their wealth in order to purify them and sanctify them with it…”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter At-Tauba, 9:103). It purifies the soul of the filth of miserliness and avarice. About fasting: “O you who believe! Observing the fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become righteous.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Baqarah, 2:183). It trains a person to refrain from indulgence in whims. This is explained by the Prophet's Hadith peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, about fasting said which meaning of is translated as: “If a person does not give up telling falsehood and acting according to it, Allah does not need his abstinence from eating and drinking.”  (Bukhari). About Hajj: “The Hajj is (in) the well-known (lunar year) months. So whosoever intends to perform Hajj, then he should not have sexual relations (with his wife), nor commit sin, nor dispute unjustly during the Hajj…”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Baqarah, 2:197). Devotions then play an essential role in the establishment and enhancement of good morals.


Pillars of Islam

            I. The Two Testimonies of Faith:
            It is to testify that 'there is no god (worthy of worship) but Allah, and that Muhammad is the servant and Messenger of Allah.' This verbal fundamental is the key to embracing Islam, and all other pillars of Islam are based on it. 'There is no god but Allah' means to deny the existence of any god worthy to be worshipped other than Allah, Glory by to Him. To Him all kinds of devotions must be addressed, including supplication, whishes, hopes, sacrifice, bowing prostration, trust, vows, etc. He glory to Him. To him all kinds of supplications, wishes hopes, sacrifice, bowing, prostration, trust, vows, etc. He glory be to Him, is the Creator of everything in this universe. He is also the Provider and the Absolute Sovereign, Allah which meaning of is translated as: “And We sent no messenger before you but we inspired him, saying: There is no God save Me (Allah), So worship me.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Anbiyaa, 21:25). The testimony that 'Muhammad is Allah's Messenger' reflects the belief that he is the servant and messenger of Allah who received and conveyed divine revelation, that he was sent by Allah to all mankind as the final crowning of the line of the prophets - no prophet or messenger is to come after him, and that he must be believe and obeyed as he is the conveyor of Allah's message and guidance.

            II. Observing Regular Prayer:
            Prayer comprises words (including invocations and glorification of Allah) and acts (including prostration and bowing) said and done in glorification and reverence for Allah. It gives man an opportunity to commune with his Lord humbly. It is, in fact, a link between Allah and His servant. Whenever man gets immersed in worldly pleasures and the light of faith begins to fade in his heart, the call to prayer is announced and the light in his heart is revived, keeping him near to, and on good terms with his Creator all the time. Prayer is to be performed five times a day. Muslims perform these prayers in congregation at Mosques unless there is some excuse. Congregational prayer helps people to get acquainted with one another, it strengthens the bonds of friendship and affection between them and motivates them to look after each other: visiting the sick, helping the needy, consoling the grieved, and giving advice to the negligent. Moreover, it removes all social differences, for Muslims stand all side by side, old and young, rich and poor, high and low - equal in their submission to Allah, directed towards one Qiblah (direction), performing the same movements and recitation simultaneously.

            III. Payment of Zakat:
            Zakat is a specified rate given willfully by well-to-do Muslims, in compliance with Allah's instructions and commandments, to their poor brothers, so as to meet their needs and save them from the humiliation caused by begging. It is incumbent on every Muslim who owns the minimum amount of value liable to payment of zakat. The Qur'aan states, which meaning of is translated as: “And they were commanded not, but that they should worship Allah, keeping religion pure for Him, as men by nature upright, and to establish worship and to pay the poor-due (Zakat). That is true religion.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Baiyina, 98:5). Those who deny zakat will commit an act of disbelief because they deprive the rightful recipients of zakat, including the poor and the needy, of their rights. Therefore, the first Caliph, Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, fought those who refused to pay zakat after the Holy Prophet's death, and uttered his well-known statement:"By Allah! If they hold back from me even equal to a piece of rope of a camel which they paid during the days of the Holy Prophet peace be upon him, then I shall fight against them for holding this piece of rope back." Zakat is not, as claimed by some people who are unfamiliar with Islam, a tax levied by the Islamic State on its subject, for if it had been a tax it would have been collected by all population of the Islamic State, both Muslims and non-Muslims. In the case of zakat, however, it is required only of Muslims, it is not considered an obligation for non-Muslims. The conditions and prerequisites of zakat as prescribed by Islam are as follows:

  • To have the minimum amount of money or property liable to payment of zakat (i.e. nisab) provided it is in excess of one's basic needs, namely: food, clothing, drink and house.
  • Expiry of one year after beginning of ownership; otherwise no zakat shall be paid. Recipients of zakat are defined in the Holy Qur'aan, which meaning of is translated as: “The alms (i.e.: zakat) are only for the poor and the needy, and those who collect them, and those whose hearts are to be reconciled (newly converted Muslims), and to free the captives and the debtors, and for the cause of Allah, and (for) the wayfarers; a duty imposed by Allah. Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter At-Tauba, 9:60).

            It is fixed at a percentage of 2.5%. By imposing it, Islam aims at uprooting poverty from society and dealing with its resulting dangers, such as robbery, murder, indecent assaults (like rape), as well as reviving the spirit of cooperation and social solidarity among Muslims by satisfying the needs of the poor and the destitute and helping debtors. If we read the Prophet's Hadith peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, which meaning of is translated as: “A neighborhood in which one suffers from hunger will be deprived of Allah's protection.”  (Imam Ahmad), the concept of zakat becomes clear. The difference between zakat and tax consists in the fact that zakat is generally paid by a Muslim willingly without the need to compel him to do that. Moreover, its very name suggests purifying the souls of the rich of miserliness and avarice that induce them to forget their needy and poor brothers. The Qur'aan says, which meaning of is translated as: “And who-so is saved from his own greed, such are the successful.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter At-Tagabun, 64:16). Zakat also purifies the hearts of poor people of hate and grudge against the rich, especially when they see them pay the prescribed percentage and attend to them with kindness and generosity. Allah has warned those who refuse to pay zakat, by saying which meaning of is translated as: “And let not those who hoard up that which Allah has bestowed upon them of His bounty think that it is better for them. Nay, it is worse for them. That which they hoard will be their collar on the Day of Resurrection…”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-i-Imran, 3:180). The Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said in this regard which meaning of is translated as: “A wealthy person who has got gold and silver, but does not pay the zakat due on them, (should know that) his gold and silver will be melted on the Day of Judgement and converted into slabs which will then be heated in the fire of Hell, and then his forehead, his sides, and his back will be branded therewith. Whenever these slabs get cold, they will be heated up once more (in the furnace of the Hell), the branding will be continued throughout the day, the duration of which will be equal to fifty thousand years, and the cases of all the people will have been decided by this time and they will be shown their way either to the Hell or to Paradise.”  (Muslim).

            IV. Fasting During Ramadan:
            It is one month in the Hijri (Lunar) Calendar during which Muslims abstain from food, drinks, and sexual intercourse during daytime, i.e.: from dawn up to sunset, in accordance with the Qur'aanic verse which meaning of is translated as: “O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you, even as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may ward off (evil).”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Baqarah, 2:183). Fasting is not limited to abstinence from tangible things that break it. It has a wider scope that includes, as well, such moral evils as telling lies, backbiting, tale-bearing, cheating, deceit, nonsense etc. It is to be borne in mind that such bad habits must be avoided at all times. However, this requirement is most emphasized in the month of Ramadan, as pointed out in the Hadith of the Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, which meaning of is translated as: “If a person does not refrain from lying and indecent activities, Allah does not want that he should abstain from eating and drinking.”  (Bukhari, Abu Dawud & Tirmidhi). Fasting is a form of strife between the human soul and its desires and whims. It has social benefits explained in the following Hadith of the Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, which meaning of is translated as: “When anyone of you is fasting, he should abstain from loose talk and avoid verbosity and noisy exchange of words. If someone starts cursing him or picks up a quarrel with him, he should tell him that 'I am observing a fast'.”  (Bukhari & Muslim). Fasting also makes a Muslim feel the needs of his poor brothers who do not get sufficient food, clothing or housing and therefore he inquires about their conditions and see to their needs and requirements.

            V. Hajj (Pilgrimage):
            Hajj is preparing to the Holy House at Makkah for the performance of specific acts at a specified times. This fifth pillar of Islam is obligatory, once in a life time, on every Muslim who has reached the age of puberty, male or female, provided he is capable physically and financially and in sanity. A sick Muslim with hopeless disease that prevents him from performing Hajj and has the financial ability should hire someone to perform Hajj on his behalf. Also a poor man who does not have sufficient money for the Hajj trip, in excess of his basis needs and the needs of his family, is exempt from Hajj. The Qur'aan states, which meaning of is translated as: “…And Pilgrimage to the House (of Allah) is a duty unto Allah for mankind, for him who can find a way thither (i.e.: who can afford the journey). As for him who disbelieves (let him know that) Lo! Allah is Independent of (all) creatures.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-i-Imran, 3:97). Hajj is the largest Islamic congregation in which Muslims from everywhere gather at one place, at one time, to pray unto One Lord. They put on uniform dress, perform one rite, reiterate one Talbiya saying: "Labbaykal-Lahumma Labbayk. Labbayka La sharika Laka Labbayk. Innal-hamda wanni'mata Laka wul-mulk, La sharika Lak." That means: "Here I am at your Service, O Allah, here I am at your service. Here I am. There is no partner with you. Here I am. Verily, all praise and grace is due to you and the sovereignty too. There is no partner with you." It means also: 'O Allah! We have come to this place in compliance with your call, seeking your pleasure and acknowledging your Oneness and that you alone are worthy of sincere worship." In Hajj, there is no difference or discrimination between the rich and the poor, the high and the low, blacks and whites, Arabs and non-Arabs - All are equal in the sight of Allah: Only righteousness differentiates between them. This would confirm brotherly relations between Muslims and unify their feelings and hopes. Another aspect of devotions is that related to belief. It is required to believe in it, since it was contained in the scriptures revealed by Allah and Prophets were commanded to convey it and call upon people to believe in it without compulsion. Conviction is a must, for coercion makes a man proclaim with his tongue what is in conflict with what he hides in his mind or heart, and that is, in fact, hypocrisy condemned by Islam and deemed to be worse than misbelief or disbelief. In several verses, the Qur'aan made it clear that Prophet's mission is limited to guidance of people to good and conveyance of the divine message. It states, which meaning of is translated as: “… but if you turn away, then the duty of our Messenger is only to convey (the message) plainly.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter At-Tagabun, 64:12). Yet calling to the way of Allah, glory be to Him, should be in the best manner as stated in the Qur'an, which meaning of is translated as: “Call unto the way of your Lord with wisdom and fair exhortation, and reason with them in the better way…”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter An-Nahl, 16:125). Guidance is from Allah only, as stated in the Qur'an which meaning of is translated as: “Lo! You (O Muhammad) guide not whom you love, but Allah guides whom He wills.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Qasas, 28:56). Such devotions are defined as the 'Fundamentals of Faith' and the faith, or belief, of a Muslim can never be complete unless he believes in all of them: Whoever denies any of them is considered disbeliever.


Fundamentals of Faith


1. Belief in Allah

            It is belief in the existence of Allah and in the truth that He, alone is the Creator, the Provider, the Giver of Life and Causer of Death, the Creator and Disposer of all things in the Universe; only what He wills can exist; He has no partner in His Lordship or Godship. The Qur'an says, which meaning of is translated as: “…His verily is all creation and commandment. Blessed be Allah, The Lord of the Worlds!”  (TheQur'aan, Chapter Al-A'raf, 7:54). He is the Only God Worthy of Worship; in Him alone trust is to be put, and to Him only invocations, vows and devotions are to be directed. He, glory by to Him, has the most beautiful and perfect attributes stated in the Qur'aan or the Prophet's traditions. None of His creatures is like Him in connection with attributes. No Physical interpretation or invalidation of the divine attributes is to be entertained. Nothing is similar, comparable, or equivalent to Him. He is free from all imperfections. That is made clear in the Holy Qur'an, which meaning of is translated as: “… There is nothing whatsoever like unto Him, and He is the All-Hearer, All-Knower.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Ash-Shura, 42:11).


2. Belief in Angels

            It is the belief that Allah, glory to Him, has numerous angels, whose numbers are known only to Allah, who has created them to serve and worship Him. He says, which meaning of is translated as: “The Messiah will never scorn to be a slave unto Allah, nor will the favored angels…”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter An-Nisaa, 4:172). He has also created them to perform the tasks assigned to them by Allah, He said which meaning of is translated as: “…A Fire… over which are set angels strong (stern), severe, who resist not Allah in that which He commands them, but do that which they are commanded.”  (The Qur'aan Chapter At-Tahrim, 66:6). Those angels are not rivals to Allah, nor are they His children, Allah said which meaning of is translated as: “And they say: The Most Beneficent has taken unto Himself a son. Be H glorified! Nay, but (those whom they call sons) are honored slaves; They speak not until He has spoken, and they act by His command.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Anbiyaa, 26:27). Allah, Glory to Him, has told us about the names and tasks of some of the angels, but He has not told us about others. Nevertheless, we are required to believe in them all. Among the angels, there are:

  • Gabriel peace be upon him, who is assigned the task of conveying Allah's revelations to His prophets.
  • Michael peace be upon him, who is in charged of the affairs of rain.
  • The Angle of Death, peace be upon him, who is designated to take man's soul at death.
  • Israfil peace be upon him, who is in charged of blowing the trumpet at the end of this world when everybody's soul is taken away and also at the time of resurrection.
  • Ridwan peace be upon him, keeper of the Garden (Paradise).
  • Malik peace be upon him, keeper of the Hell-fire.
  • The Guards of Hell (Zabaniyah), responsible for punishment and tormenting of the dwellers of Hell.
  • The two angels, one of which is in charged with writing down all good deeds, and the other writing down all evil deeds.

            There are other angels who do whatever they are instructed by Allah to do. They are obedient to Allah - They never disobey Allah's commands, but do that which they are commanded. According to the Holy Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, description of their creation He peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Angels were created from light, Jinns from burning fire, and Adam was created from that thing which you have already been told.”  (Muslim). Although they were created from invisible light, they have been given the ability to take different shapes in which they can be seen. In the Holy Qur'an we read about Mary (i.e.: Maryam), which meaning of is translated as: “And she had chosen seclusion from them. Then We sent unto her Our spirit (i.e.: Gabriel), and he assumed for her the likeness of a perfect man. She said: Lo! I seek refuge in the All-Beneficent One from you, if you are God-fearing. He said: I am only a messenger of your Lord, that I may bestow on you a faultless son.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Maryam, 19:17-19). Angels have wings: some have two wings, some have three, others have more. The Qur'aan describes them by the following verse, which meaning of is translated as: “Praise be to Allah, the Creator of the Heavens and the earth, Who made the angels messengers with wings - two, three and four. He increases in creation what He wills…”  (The Qur'aan Chapter Fatir, 35:1). Other details about them are only known to Allah.

 


3. Belief in Divine Books

            It is the belief that Allah revealed holy scriptures to His messengers to covey them to people. Of those books or scriptures are the following:

  • The Scriptures of Ibrahim (Abraham) and Moses, peace be upon them, some of whose teachings are indicated in the Holy Qur'an, which meaning of is translated as: “Or has he not been informed of what is in the scriptures of Moses, and of Ibrahim (Abraham), who fulfilled (what he was commanded), That no laden one shall bear another's load, And that man has only that for which he makes effort, And that his effort will be seen. And afterward he will be repaid for it with fullest payment.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter An-Najm, 53:36-41).
  • The Torah, which is the holy book revealed to Moses, Allah said which meaning of is translated as: “Lo! We did revealed the Torah, wherein is guidance and a light, by which the Prophets, who submitted themselves to Allah's Will, judged for the Jews, and the rabbis and the priests (judged) by such of Allah's Scripture as they were bidden to observe and thereunto were they witnesses. So fear not mankind, but fear Me. And barter not My revelations for a little gain. Whose judges not by that which Allah has revealed: such are disbelievers.”  (The Qur'aan Chapter Al-Ma'ida, 5:44). The Holy Qur'aan has conveyed some of the content of the Torah, including some aspects of Prophet Muhammad's character. It states which meaning of is translated as: “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah and those with him are hard against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves. You (O Muhammad) see them bowing and falling prostrate (in worship), seeking bounty from Allah and (His) acceptance. The mark of them is on their foreheads from the trace of prostration. Such is their likeness in the Torah…”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Fath, 48:29). The Holy Qur'aan has also indicated some of the jurisprudencial rulings contained in the Torah, which meaning of is translated as: “And We prescribed for them therein: The life for the life, and the eye for the eye, and the nose for the nose, and the ear for the ear, and tooth for the tooth, and for wounds retaliations. But who-so forgoes it (in the way of charity) it shall be expiation for him. Who-so judges not by that which Allah has revealed: such are wrong-doers.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Ma'ida, 5:45).
  • The Psalms, revealed to David. The Qur'aan says, which meaning of is translated as: “… and as We imparted unto David the Psalms.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter An-Nisaa, 4:163).
  • The Gospel, revealed to Jesus ('Issa). The Qur'aan says, which meaning of is translated as: “And We caused Jesus, son of Mary, to follow in their footsteps, confirming that which was (revealed) before him, and We bestowed on him the Gospel, wherein is guidance and a light confirming that which was (revealed) before it in the Torah - a guidance and an admonition unto those who fear Allah.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Ma'ida, 5:46). The existing gospels, in the hands of people, are in fact, not the word of Allah or Jesus, but the words of his followers and disciples, in which they incorporated a lot of his biographical stories, exhortations and commandments, and introduced many distortions, changes and falsifications in order to serve certain purposes. According to the T. Tacker, Gospels were introduced to reflect a clear concept of the practical requirements of the community for whom they were written. A frequent material has been employed in them without the slightest hesitation about their transformation or twisting, and leaving out all that is in conflict with the author's ends. A Muslim is required to believe in the Gospel as the Word of Allah, but not this one in the hands of people nowadays; it is the authentic Gospel which was revealed to Jesus, peace be upon him. He is not required to follow it or put it to action because it was revealed for a certain group of people at a specific period of time. Jesus said:"I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel." (St. Matthew, 15:24). The Holy Qur'aan indicated some hints in the Gospel that had prefigured Muhammad prophet hood, which meaning of is translated as: “And My Mercy embraces all things, therefore I shall ordain it for those who ward off (evil) and pay the poor-due, and those who believe in Our revelations; Those who follow the Messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write, whom they will find described in the Torah and the Gospel (which are) with them. He will enjoin on them that which is right and forbid them that which is wrong. He will make lawful for them (all) good things and prohibit for them (only) the foul; and he will relieve them of their burden and the fetters that they used to wear…”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-A'raf, 156:157). The Holy Qur'aan also pointed out that both the Gospel and the Torah, before it, had exhorted jihad (i.e.: fighting) in the way of Allah in order to exalt His Word, He said which meaning of is translated as: “Lo! Allah has bought from the believers their lives and their wealth because the Garden will be theirs: they shall fight in the way of Allah and shall slay and be slain. It is a promise which is binding on Him in the Torah and the Gospel and the Qur'aan. Who fulfils his covenant better than Allah? Rejoice then in your bargain that you have made, for that is the supreme triumph.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter At-Tauba, 9:111).
  • The Glorious Qur'aan: It must be believed that it is the Word of Allah revealed through Gabriel peace be upon him, unto Muhammad blessing and peace be upon him, and that it is the last of the Revealed Scriptures. It differs from preceding scriptures in the following:
    • It is the last Revealed Books. Therefore, Allah - Glory to Him, has promised to preserve it for humanity till the end of this world, and no addition or deletion has occurred to it, as He has declared, which meaning of is translated as: “Lo! We, even We, have revealed the Reminder (i.e.: the Qur'aan), and Lo! We verily are its Guardian.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Hijr, 15:9).
    • Its recitation is one aspect of worship.
    • It embraces all laws and regulations on which a virtuous society can be founded. According to J. S. Restler (a contemporary French Scholar and Professor at the Islamic Institute, Paris), in his book, "The Arab Civilization": "The Qur'aan finds answers to all issues and establishes the link between the religious and the moral law. It aims to create order and social consolidation and to alleviate distress, hard-heartedness and remove superstition. It seeks to help the oppressed and enjoins mercy and kindness. With respect to legislation, it has laid rules and directives for daily cooperation and organized contracting and inheritance. As for family, it has identified for everyone forms of conduct towards children, slaves (if any), animals, health, clothing, etc..".
    • It is a historical document that shows the sequence of events and respective revelations for all messengers of Allah since Adam up to Muhammad peace be upon them all.
    • It was revealed for all mankind, not only for the Arabs, as indicated in the following verse, which meaning of is translated as: “Alif, Lam, Ra, (This is) a scripture which We have revealed unto you (Muhammad) that thereby you may bring forth mankind from darkness unto light, by the permission of their Lord…”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Ibrahim, 14:1).

 


4. Belief in the Messengers of Allah

            It is the belief that Allah, Glory to Him, has chosen from mankind prophets and messengers. He revealed scriptures to the messengers to convey them to people so that they should have no plea against Allah. As for prophets, they did not receive scriptures or convey a new Sharia (religios law); but they were sent by Allah only to confirm and preach the Sharia of prophets and messengers who preceded them. Prophets and messengers are too many; only Allah knows their numbers. The Qur'aan states, which meaning of is translated as: “Verily We sent messengers before thee, among them those of whom We have told you, and some of whom We have not told you…”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Mumin, 40:78). Those prophets and messengers were all human beings, as stated in the Qur'an, which meaning of is translated as: “Say: I am only a mortal like you. My Lord inspires in me that your God is only One God. And Whoever hopes for the meeting with his Lord, let him do righteous work and make none sharer of the worship due unto his Lord.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Kahf, 18:110). The Glorious Qur'aan tells us about Jesus peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, which meaning of is translated as: “The Messiah, son of Mary, was no other than a messenger; Messengers (the like of whom) had passed away before him. And his mother was a saintly woman. And they both used to eat (earthly) food. See how We make the revelations clear for them, and yet see how they are turned away!”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Ma'ida, 5:75). The Qur'aan has mentioned the names of twenty-five prophets and messengers only, which meaning of is translated as: “That is Our argument, We gave it unto Abraham against his folk. We raise unto degrees (of wisdom) whom We will. Lo! Your Lord is All-Wise, Well-Aware. And We bestowed upon him, Isaac and Jacob, each of them We guided; and Noah did We guide aforetime; and of his seed (We guided) David and Solomon and Job and Joseph and Moses and Aaron. Thus do We reward the good. And Zachariah and John and Jesus and Elias. Each one (of them) was of the righteous. And Ishmael and Elisha and Jonah and Lot. Each on of them did We prefer above (Our) creatures (of their times).”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-An-am, 6:83-86). About Adam peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, it says: “Lo! Allah, preferred Adam and Noah and the Family of Abraham and the Family of 'Imran above the peoples (of their times).”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-I-Imran, 3:33). About Hud peace and pleassings of allah be upon him,it says: “And unto (the tribe of) 'Aad (We sent) their brother, Hud. He said: O my people! Serve Allah! You have no other God save Him…”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Hud, 11:50). About Shu'eyb peace and pleassings of allah be upon him: “And unto Midian (We sent) their brother Shu'eyb. He said: O my people! Serve Allah. You have no other God save Him…”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Hud, 11:84). About Idris peace and pleassings of allah be upon him: “And (mention) Ishmail, and Idris, and Dhul-Kifl. All were of the steadfast.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Anbiyaa, 21:85). And about Muhammad peace and pleassings of allah be upon him: “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. And those with him are hard against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves...”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Fat-h, 48:29). Belief in all prophets is imperative: If one believes in some of them and rejects others he will be deemed a disbeliever, as it is pointed out in the Qur'an, which meaning of is translated as: “Lo! Those who disbelieve in Allah and His messengers, and seek to make distinction between Allah and His messengers, and say: "We believe in some and disbelieve in others", and seek to choose a way in between; Such are disbelievers in truth; and for disbelievers We have prepared a shameful doom.”  (The Qur'aan, Chaprter An-Nisaa, 4:150-151). The first of those messengers was Adam and the last was Muhammad; therefore, there is no prophet or messenger after him.


5. Belief in the Hereafter

            It is firm belief in the fact that this world will come to an end and perish one day. The Qur'aan states, which meaning of is translated as: “Every one that is thereon will pass away; There remains but the Countenance of your Lord full of Might and Glory.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Ar-Rahman, 55:26-27). And that a day will follow on which Allah resurrects all creatures from their tombs to be paid their due: Good-doers will be punished for their ill deeds. The Qur'aan gives several instances in which Allah explains the possibility of resurrection:

  • Contemplating the revival of dead earth by the crops He produces therefrom, Allah said which meaning of is translated as: “…and you (Muhammad) see the earth barren, but when We send down water thereon, it does thrill and swell and put forth every lovely kind (of growth). That is because Allah, He is the Truth and because He is Able to do all things; And because the Hour will come, there is no doubt thereof; and because Allah will raise those who are in the grave…”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Hajj, 22:5-7).
  • Contemplating the creation of the heavens and the earth, which is greater than the creation of man, Allah said which meaning of is translated as: “Have they not seen that Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth and was not wearied by their creation, is able to give life to the dead? Aye, He verily is ever Able to do all thins.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Ahqaf, 46:33).
  • Reflecting on man's sleep and waking: It is like life after death, for sleep is call the 'minor death', Allah said which meaning of is translated as: “Allah takes (men's) souls at the time of their death, and those (souls) which die not (He takes) during their sleep. He keeps those (souls) for which He has ordained death and dismisses the rest till an appointed term. Lo! Herein verily are portents for people who take thought.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Az-Zumar, 39:42).
  • Considering the first creation of man, Allah said which meaning of is translated as: “And he has coined for Us a similitude, and has forgotten the fact of his creation, saying: Who will revive these bones when they have rotted away? Say: He will revive them Who produced them at the first, for He is All-Knower of every creation.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Y-Sin, 36:78-79).
  • Believing in the Hereafter involves belief in the interval between the worldly life and the Hereafter, during which the well-doers enjoy bliss and comfort, while the ill-doers suffer punishment. It also involves belief in resurrection after death, as well as assembly, judgement, testimony of man's limbs, reckoning, the Sirat (the bridge across Hell), recompense by Paradise or Hell-Fire, and that life in the Hereafter is eternal, never-ending. The Qur'aan states, which meaning of is translated as: “Lo! Those who disbelieve, among the people of the Scripture and the idolaters, will abide in fire of hell. They are the worst of created beings. (And) Lo! Those who believe and do good works are the best of created beings. Their reward is with their Lord: Gardens of Eden underneath which rivers flow, wherein they dwell for ever. Allah has pleasure in them and they have pleasure in Him. This is (in store) for him who fears his Lord.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Baiyina, 98:6-8).

 


6. Belief in Divine Destiny (Qadaa and Qadar)

            It is the firm belief that Allah, Glory to Him, had known, since eternity (that is, without beginning), of all things before they took (or take) place and how they would be, then He brought them into existence in accordance with His unlimited knowledge and apportioning, as it is stated in the Holy Qur'aan, which meaning of is translated as: “…He has created everything and has meted out for it a measure.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Furqan, 25:2). Whatever happened or happens throughout the universe is known to Allah before it happens, then it takes place in accordance with the Will and preordainment. The Gracious Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, says which meaning of is translated as: “No one shall be deemed a believer unless he believes in divine destiny, whether for the good or harm (of man), and that what happened to him should never have missed him, and what missed him should never have happened to him.”  (Tirmidhi). This should not preclude using the right or required means to achieve his aims. For example, A man who wishes to have children should act and resort to the means or method that realizes this for him, i.e.: marriage. However this may and may not bring about the desired results, as Allah wills, because it is not the causes that bring about effects by themselves; it is the will of Allah that makes means or causes work. In fact causes are created and ordained by Allah, Glory to Him. In this context, the Holy Prophet peace be upon him, was asked about invocations and medications whether they can ward off anything preordained by Allah. He said: “They are part of Allah's preordainment.” Hunger, thirst and cold are aspects of Allah's preordainment, and people try to ward off hunger by eating food, thirst by drinking water and cold by warming themselves. So they defend themselves against what is preordained for them (hunger, thirst and cold) by what is preordained for them (food, drink and warmth): They ward off preordainment by preordainment. Belief in Divine Destiny, after use of means and causes, has many advantages, including:

  • Acceptance of and content with preordained events or things results in peace of mind, which rids the heart or mind of concerns and sorrow for what happens or what is lost. It is well-known that lack of content and satisfaction may lead to many diseases and disorders, whereas belief in Divine Destiny relieves the human souls of the effects of unrest and anxiety. The Glorious Qur'an makes this clear in this verse which meaning of is translated as: “No calamity befalls on the earth of in yourselves but it is inscribed in the Book of Decrees before We bring it into existence. Verily, that is easy for Allah. In order that you may not grieve at the things that you fail to get, nor rejoice over that which has been given to you. Allah likes not prideful boasters.”  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Hadid, 57:22-23).
  • An invitation to seek knowledge and explore the secrets and reserves or resources of the Universe. What is preordained for man, such as illness, moves him to look for medication or cure that helps him to save himself by preordained cure from predestined illness.

            Alleviate man's calamities. If a person undergoes loss of money or trade, such loss is a disaster for him. If he gives in to grief, the disaster will be doubled for him (the disaster of loss and that of grief). But if he believes truly in Divine Destiny (Qadaa and Qadar) he will be relieved and content with the first loss as she is aware that it is inescapable. The Noble peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, Prophet guides us in this respect by saying, which meaning of is translated as:"Stick to what is useful to you, work, do well, seek help from Allah and never give in. If anything befalls you, just say: "Allah has preordained and done what He has willed." Do not say: "If only.." because it opens the way for the devil (to play with you). Belief in Divine Destiny is not, as some would think, an invitation to helpless dependence and lack of activity. The Noble Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, urges us to the contrary of that by saying which meaning of is translated as: "If one of you takes his rope to gather a bundle of wood and then sells it, it would be better for him than to beg from people, whether they give, or refuse to give him." He peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said to the person who asked him about his riding animal which he had left without tying or hobbling it under the pretext of trust in Allah, which meaning of is translated as: "Hobble it and trust (Allah)."


The Political Aspect of Islam

            The Islamic legislation in the political domain, as in other domain, has introduced basic principles and general rules which constitute the nucleus of the Muslim State. The ruler of the Muslim State is considered an agent that implements the commands of Allah (swt) through the implementation of these rules and principles. The Holy Qur'an says, which meaning of is translated as: “Whoso judges not by that which Allah has revealed; such are disbelievers”  (The Qur'an, Chapter Al-Ma'ida, 5:44). The ruler of the Muslim State is representative of the whole nation delegated to perform the following:

    1. To do his best to provide honest and honorable ways of living for them, as stated by the Prophet Muhammad peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, which meaning of is translated as: “If a person is made to look after some affairs of the Muslims, but fails to work for their cause and their welfare as he does for himself, he will not get even the aroma of the Paradise.”  (Al-Tabarani). The ruler of the Muslim State must be as described by the Caliph Omar ibn Al-Khattab may Allah be pleased with him, when he said to his companions. Guide me to a man whom I can assign to take care of certain affairs of the Muslims which are of concern to me. They mentioned Abdur-Rahman ibn 'Auf. He said: "He is weak". They mentioned another one and he did not approve of him. Then they asked, Who do you want? He said: "I want a man who, when appointed a governor, he behaves as if he was one of them, and even when he is not their leader, he appears as if he were their leader." They said: "We think Ar-Rabi'a ibn Al-Harith is the one". Omar said: "you are right", and he appointed him.
    2. Not to appoint in authority over the Muslims anyone who is not up to bearing responsibility or trust, such as when he favors a friend or a relative more than worthier people to the position. Abu Bakr, the first Caliph, said to Yazeed ibn Sufyan when he sent him to Syria: "O Yazeed! You have relatives and you may favor them more than others with the rank of governor, which makes me most worried about you." Allah's Messenger peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “If one is placed in authority over the Muslims and he appoints some one over them, favoring him due to his relationship with him, Allah's curse be upon him and no acts (voluntary or obligatory shall be accepted from him until Allah throws him into Hell.”  (Bukhari & Muslim). The aforesaid rules and principles are characterized by the following:

    They are divine, ordained by Allah. According to them, all are equal; the ruler and the ruled, the rich and the poor, the noble and the lowly, the black and the white - No one, however high-ranking, is to violate them or pass laws that are in conflict with them. Omar ibn Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with them, said in this regard: "The Prince of the Faithful (i.e.: the Caliph) is one of you, but he is the most heavy-laden among you." All are required to respect these rules and principles and to demand their implementation by both the ruler and the ruled. In Islam there is no absolute power for any human, even the rulers powers are governed by the Law. In case he is in compliant with the Law, he has no right to being heard or obeyed. The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “It is obligatory upon a Muslim to listen and obey (the authority) whether he likes it or not; save when he is asked to do something sinful. If he is asked to do a sinful act, then there is no hearing or obedience.”  (Bukhari & Muslim). Consultation is the pivot of the political system of Islam. The Qur'an refers to this basic element by saying which meaning of is translated as: “It was by the mercy of Allah that you were lenient with them (O Muhammad), for if you had been stern and fierce of heart they would have dispersed from round about you. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult with them upon the conduct of affairs.”  (The Qur'an, Ali-Imran, 3:159). In the former verse, Consultation is mentioned side by side with prayer, the pillar of Islam, thereby gaining prominence. The counsel of wise knowledgeable people should be sought in everything that relates to the nation's interests. At the end of the verse, Allah, glory to Him, praises the believers in general in view of their commitment to consultation in all their affairs. In the latter verse, Allah, the Exalted, instructs His Messenger, who was the Sovereign of the Muslim State, to seek counsel in those matters related to the interests and affairs of the people but no judgment or verdict was revealed by Allah about them. However if there is a clear text containing a verdict, it will not be subject to consultation. Allah's Messenger used to consult his companions as stated by Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him: “I have never seen a person who is more keen on consulting his companions than Allah's Messenger, peace be upon him.”  (Al-Tirmidhi). Several events indicated that the Prophet, peace be upon him, changed his mind after he had consulted his companions. Jurisprudence considered it obligatory for the ruler to consult the people about matters relating their interests. Even if he neglects consultation, people are required to insist on their right to say their word and give their opinion. That is based on the above mentioned verses, because the Islamic Shari'a (Law) considers the ruler a representative (of the nation) who is responsible to perform what is delegated to him. The people, in return, are required to control the ruler's implementation of the Law. Islam gives everyone the freedom of opinion and criticism in the manner he deems appropriate. The Gracious Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Whoever amongst you notices something evil should correct it with his own hands, and if he is unable to do so, he should prohibit the same with his tongue, and if he is unable even to do this, he should at least consider it as bad in his heart; this is the lowest degree of faith.”  (Muslim). It even considers opinion-giving a duty, as indicated in the following Hadith, which meaning of is translated as: “The best Jihad (struggle in the cause of Allah) is to utter a word of justice before a tyrannical ruler.”  (Abu Dawood & Tirmidhi). This opinion-giving, however, should be within the limits of constructive criticism, away from slander, insult and trouble making. Abu Bakr addressed people, saying: "O people! I have been appointed as your ruler though I am not the best among you. So If you find me in the right, just help me. But if you find me in the wrong, just correct me. Obey me so long as I obey Allah in conducting your affairs. However, if I disobey Him I have no claim to your obedience." Omar ibn Al-Khattab, one day stood on the pulpit addressing people: "O people! If you find that I have some crookedness, correct me." One bedouin rose to his feet and said: "By Allah! If we find you crooked, we will correct you with our swords." Yet Omar did not get angry or harbor malice towards him, he only raised his hands towards the heaven and said: "Praise be to Allah, Who has created among our people a person who is able to correct the crookedness of Omar." The ruler was even called to account. Once, Omar addressed people while having a two-piece dress on. When he said: "O people! Listen and obey." A man stood up and said: No listening! No obedience! Omar asked: Why? The man answered: Because you have a two-piece dress while we have a single piece one (he had allocated one dress for each Muslim). Omar at once called out: Abdullah ibn Omar! Tell them. Abdullah said: "I gave him my dress." The man then said: "Now listen and obey." Thus Islam preserved rights and protected public and private freedoms. It kept the sources of legislation away from the narrow-scooped whims and desires of legislators, as their legislation is the outcome of personal or regional needs and circumstances. What was legislated yesterday is invalidated today, and what is legislated today is likely to be invalidated tomorrow. Islam has not legislated for other partial issues and affairs. This aims to leave the door open for Muslims to lay down proper rules and regulations that suit their conditions and meet their requirements and interest anywhere and at any time, provided such rules and regulations are not in conflict with the principles and fundamentals of Islam.


The Military Aspect of Islam

            In principle, Islam considers peace and reconciliation the basis of relations with other nations, considering that the word "Islam" means "peace". Islam, however, prescribes and considers war lawful, after exhausting all ways of peace promotion, only in three cases, namely:

    1. Self-defense, i.e.: defense of one's body, family and country. The Qur'an says, which meaning of is translated as: “And fight in the Way of Allah those who fight you, but transgress not the limits. Truly, Allah likes not the transgressors.”  (The Qur'an, Al-Baqarah, 2:190).
    2. To save people from injustice and oppression, Allah said which meaning of is translated as: “And what is wrong with you that you fight not in the Cause of Allah, and for those weak, ill-treated and oppressed among men, women and children, whose cry is: Our Lord! Rescue us from this town whose people are oppressors, and raise for us from You one who will protect, and raise for us from You one who will help.”  (The Qur'an, An-Nisaa, 4:75). “But if they seek your help in religion, it is your duty to help them except against a people with whom you have a treaty of mutual alliance.”  (The Qur'an, Al-Anfal, 8:72).
    3. Defense of religion against triflers, and fighting against those who try to stand in the way of conveying the divine message and law of Islam, because Islam is a world call which is not limited to certain people. Every human being must have the chance to hear and be acquainted with Islam and its principles of good, justice, fraternity, love and equality, after which he can decide whether or not to embrace this religion. The Qur'an says, which meaning of is translated as: “And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and polytheism) and the religion will all be for Allah alone.”  (The Qur'an, Al-Anfal, 8:39). If the enemy stop fighting and offer peace, war must be stopped, it is forbidden to carry on fighting against them, allah said which meaning of is translated as: “So if they withdraw from you and fight not against you and offer you peace, then Allah has opened no way for you against them.”  (The Qur'an, An-Nisaa, 4:90).

            Other types of wars, such as expansionist wars leading to destruction, or wars for pompous show of power, are prohibited by Islam because fighting is permitted only for raising high the word of Allah, not for personal desires. The Qur'an says, which meaning of is translated as: “Be not as those who came forth from their dwellings boastfully and to be seen of men.”  (The Qur'an, Al-Anfal, 8:47). The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, stated which meaning of is translated as: “One who fights to uphold the message of Allah, is the person who carries on jihad (fighting) in the cause of Allah.”  (Bukhari & Muslim). While Islam permits fighting in cases of necessity or emergency, it has prescribed rules and standards that control it. No enemy should be killed unless he has participated in or helped with the fight. As for old people, women, children, patients, those taking care of the sick and the wounded and devoted worshippers, they must not be killed. The wounded should not be killed, the dead should not be mutilated, their animals should not be slaughtered, their houses should not be demolished, their waters and wells should not be contaminated, and those who flee from battle should not be chased, because all this is part of corruption. The Qur'an says, which meaning of is translated as: “…and seek not corruption in the earth, Lo! Allah loves not corruptors.”  (The Qur'an, Al-Qasas, 28:77). And Allah's Messenger, peace be upon him, said: “Fight in the name of Allah, and in the cause of Allah, those who disbelieve in Allah. Fight, but never betray, mutilate, or kill a newborn.”  (Muslim). Abu Bakr, the first Caliph after the blessed Prophet used to advise commanders of the Muslim troops when he sent them for battle as follows: “Listen to this ten tips and learn them by heart: Don't betray, defraud (by stealing from the war booty), break your promise, mutilate, kill a little child, kill an old man or a woman, injure or burn palm trees, cut down a fruitful tree, slaughter a sheep or a cow or a camel except for eating. You will come across people who secluded themselves in hermitages, so leave them alone.”  (Tabari, Vol.3). In addition, war should be declared prior to starting the fight, so as to avoid deceit, betrayal and perfidy. As for prisoners of war, Islam does not allow them to be tortured, scared humiliated, mutilated or starved to death. The Qur'an says which meaning of is translated as: “And feed with food, despite their love and desire for it, the needy wretch, the orphan and the prisoner, (saying): we feed you for the sake of Allah only. We wish for no reward nor thanks from you.”  (The Qur'an, Ad-Dahr, 76:8-9). The Muslim State after that may either set them free without ransom, or with ransom (a sum of money) or freedom of Muslim prisoners of war. Allah said which meaning of is translated as: “Now when you meet in battle those who disbelieve, then it is smiting on the necks until, when you have routed them, then making fast of bonds: and afterwards either grace or ransom till the war lay down its burdens.”  (The Qur'an, Muhammad, 47:4). As for non-Muslims who are defeated in war and are living under Muslim protection, Muslims are required to keep their honor intact, their wealth and property secure, their houses and property from being demolished or vandalized. They must not be exposed to any acts of vengeance; it is required to improve their conditions, enjoin on them what is good and prohibit them from doing evil things, treat them equally and respect their beliefs. The Glorious Qur'an states in this regard, which meaning of is translated as: “Those (Muslim rulers) who, if We give them power in the land, establish prayer and pay the poor due and enjoin kindness and forbid inequity. And Allah's is the sequel of events.”  (The Qur'an, Al-Hajj, 22:41). A good example is the pledge given by Omar ibn Al-Khattab to the people of Jerusalem when he conquered it, it read as follows: "In the name of Allah, the All-Beneficent, the All-Merciful. This is the pledge of protection given by Allah's Servant, Omar ibn Al-Khattab, Prince of the Faithful, to the people of Jerusalem: To safeguard them, their property, churches, crosses, etc., not to be coerced in matters of their religion, and not to cause damage to any of them…" Has history witnessed better than such noble-mindedness, justice and tolerance extended from a conqueror to the conquered? Omar could have dictated whatever he willed on them, but - as always - he preferred justice and adhered to the dictates of divine Law enforcing it on all people equally. A small amount of money is required of them, namely "the tribute" or jizia, to be collected from those who choose to stick to their religion and not to embrace Islam. It is classified into three categories:

  • A sum of money taken from the rich, amounting to 48 dirhams[6] a year.
  • A sum taken from middle class people, such as traders and farmers, amounting to 24 dirhams a year.
  • A sum taken from workmen and craftsmen (who find jobs), amounting to 12 dirhams a year.

            This tribute is generally paid for protection, care, and safeguarding them, their honor and wealth, and enjoying all rights enjoyed by Muslim conquerors. Khalid ibn Al-Waleed, in one of his covenants stated: "I have covenanted with you for both tribute and protection: If we protect you we will receive the tribute; otherwise we will take nothing until we protect you."[7]

            This tax is not incumbent on all non-Muslim subjects. Poor and young people, women, worshippers, blind and disabled people are all exempted from the tax. Besides, the Muslim State is responsible for taking care of these people and providing them with their expenses from the Treasury. In a pledge given by the Muslim Leader Khalid ibn Al-Waleed to people of Al-Hirah[8], it was sated: "Whatever old man who is unable to work or stricken with illness, or he becomes poor after affluence so that the followers of his religion give charity to him, he shall be relieved of the tribute and supported along with his family from the Treasury." (Abu Yousuf: Al-Kharaj "i.e.: Land Tax"). Once Omar ibn Al-khattab passed by an old Jew begging, when he asked about him and knew he used to pay the poll-tax he said to him: "It's unfair to take the tax from you while young and then neglect you at old age." Then he took him to his own house and gave him food and clothes. Later he instructed the Treasurer to look for such poor people and give them sufficient provisions for them and their families from the Treasury, for Allah says: "The alms (of Zakat) are only for the poor and the needy. The poor are the Muslims and the needy are the people of the Scriptures." (ibid). The German woman researcher, Lise Lictenstadter, stated that, "In Persian and Roman territories, choice was given to people. Not between the sword and Islam, but between Islam and the poll-tax or tribute (taken only from well-to-do people for their protection), the plan that was worthy of praise; it was adopted later in England during the rule of Queen Elizabeth." (Islam in the Modern Age, p.67). Non-Muslims in Muslim territories must be protected from oppression and injustice. Their rights must be respected and they should receive fair treatment. The Qur'an says, which meaning of is translated as: “Allah does not forbid you to deal justly with those who fought not against you on account of religion nor drove you out of your homes. Verily, Allah loves those who deal with equity.”  (The Qur'an, Al-Mumtahana, 60:8). The Gracious Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “If a person wrongs, belittles, overburdens or rips off a free non-Muslim under Muslim rule by force, I shall be his opponent on the Day of Judgement.”  (Abu Dawood).

[6] A dirham is a silver coin that weighs 2.979 grams.
[7] Al-Balazari History.
[8] The capital city of the Arab Lakhmi Kings. It was located between Najaf and Kufa in Iraq.


The Economic Aspect of Islam

            Islam aims to erect a society free from excessively rich or poor people, because it seeks to establish social justice and honorable living for all its members. Allah, Glory to Him, tells us, which meaning of is translated as: “Wealth and children are an ornament of life of the world.”  (The Qur'an, Al-Kahf, 18:46). Since Islam considers money one of the indispensable necessities for individuals and groups, it has ordained a specific percentage, I.e.: 2.5 % called poor due or Zakat, to be taken from the funds of rich people after the elapse of one Hijri (Lunar) year and given to poor people as explained before. It is one of the rights due to the poor and cannot be withheld from them. This does not mean that Islam abolishes individual ownership and private business, in fact, it sanctions and respects them in terms of giving everyone his due. The Qur'an has forbidden any aggression against the property of others by saying which meaning of is translated as: “And eat not up your property among yourselves in vanity.”  (The Qur'an, Al-Baqarah, 2:188). Islam, therefore, has enacted Laws and regulations the implementation of which is guaranteed by keenness on the attainment of honorable life for every member of the Muslim society. Such regulations included:

    1. Usury has been forbidden because it is a form of man's exploitation of the efforts of his fellow men or taking his property unrightfully. Property is inviolable. The spread of usury will lead to the loss of kindness among people and the accumulation of wealth in the hands of a certain group of people. The Qur'an addresses Muslims saying which meaning of is translated as: “O you who believe! Be afraid of Allah and give up what remains (due to you) from usury, if you are (really) believer. And if you do not do it, then take a notice of war from Allah and His Messenger, but if you repent, you shall have your capital sums (without interest). Wrong not, and you shall not be wronged.”  (The Qur'an, Al-Baqarah, 2:278-279). The Islamic Law prescribes that a grace period should preferably be granted to a debtor in case of insolvency if he really intends to pay back his debt, Allah said which meaning of is translated as: “And if the debtor is in a hard time, then grant him time till it is easy for him to repay.”  (The Qur'an, Al-Baqarah, 2:280). The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: "Whoever gives a grace period to an insolvent will be deemed to have done an act of charity every day."
    2. Islam recommends reduction of debt in case of difficult repayment, Allah said which meaning of is translated as: “…but if you remit it by way of charity, that is better for you.”  (The Qur'an, Al-Baqarah, 2:280).
    3. It prohibits a person from entering into a transaction when his brother is already making a transaction unless the latter gives permission, because this would lead to enmity and hatred among people. The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “A person should not enter into a transaction when his brother is already making a transaction and he should not make a proposal of marriage when his brother has already made a proposal except when he gives permission.”  (Muslim).
    4. Greed and hoarding of foodstuff are forbidden as this would lead to food shortage in the market and to higher prices, which is harmful to both the rich and the poor. The Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “No one hoards but the sinner.”  (Muslim). According to Abu Yousuf, the fellow scholar of Imam Abu Hanifah: "If the hoarding of any stuff proves to be harmful to the public, it would be considered a monopoly, even if it is gold or silver. Whoever hoards it is deemed to have abused his right of ownership. The prevention of monopoly aims to protect people from harm, for people have different needs and monopoly causes hardship to people." A ruler may force one who hoards a commodity to sell it at a reasonable profit, which is prejudicial neither to the seller nor the purchaser. If the monopolist refuses to sell at that profit, the ruler may lay hands on the hoarded commodity and sell it at a reasonable price in order to stop monopolists from hoarding.
    5. It has prohibited taxes as pointed out in the Prophet's Hadith: “A taxman shall never be admitted into Paradise.”  (Abu Dawood). A tax is a sum of money collected from a trader to allow them to sell their goods or to import them into the country. This money is collected unlawfully and given also to those who are not entitled to it. All those who contribute to tax collection, including tax collectors, clerks, witnesses and receivers, come under the Prophet's saying: “No flesh that grows from unlawful things shall be admitted into Paradise; Hell-fire shall have the best claim to them.”  (Imam Ahmad). Unlawful things here include any unlawful amounts of money, food or drink.
    6. It has forbidden hoarding up gold and silver (i.e.: money) and refraining from spending them on the welfare of both the individual and the society. The Qur'an declares, which meaning of is translated as: “They who hoard up gold and silver and spend it not in the way of Allah, unto them give tidings (O Muhammad) of painful doom.”  (The Qur'an, At-Tauba, 9:34). That is because money should be in current or general use so that economy should become active and in the interest of all members of the society. As Islam respects individual ownership, it imposes rights and duties associated with it. Such duties include the owner's duty to spend on himself and on those relatives supported by him, his duty towards the members of his society (including the payment of Zakat, almsgiving and kindness) and his duty toward his society collectively (including the construction… of schools, hospitals, orphanages, mosques and everything of use to the society). This will help prevent the accumulation of wealth in the hands of a limited number of people.
    7. It has forbidden wine (alcoholic drinks) and gambling since they help squander human and financial resources and capabilities without benefiting either individuals or the society in general. Allah said which meaning of is translated as: “storing drink and games of chance and idols and divining arrows are only an infamy of Satan's handiwork. Leave it aside in order that you may succeed.”  (The Qur'an, Chapter Al-Ma'ida, 5:90).
    8. It has forbidden giving less in measure and weight. The Glorious Qur'an says in this regard, which meaning of is translated as: “Woe to those who give less in measure and weight, Those who, when they have to receive by measure from men, demand full measure, And when they have to give by measure or weight to (other) men, give less than due.”  (The Qur'an, Chapter Al-An-am, 83:1-3). That is because it is a kind of stealth and deceit.
    9. It has prohibited laying hold of public utilities, such as water and public pastures, and preventing people from benefiting by them. Allah's Messenger peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “There are three person whom Allah will not talk to, look at, or purify on the Day of Judgment, and they will have painful punishment… and a man who refused to give excess water (to those who need it badly). On that day, Allah will say to him: ' Today I withhold from you my grace as you withheld what is in excess of your needs, though you are not its creator (from those who are in need of it)' .”  (Bukhari & Muslim).
    10. Law of Inheritance: Islam has distributed inheritance among heirs according to nearness or distance of relationship and benefit to the deceased who left the inherited money or property. Nobody has the right to distribute inheritance as he wishes. One of the advantages of inheritance distribution is that it breaks up wealth or property, however large, into small amounts or estates, and precludes accumulation of wealth in the hands of a particular group of people.
    11. Private and Public Social Security: Islam has prescribed the systems of documents, which falls into two categories:

      A. Private or special endowment limited to the family or offspring of the initiator of the endowment with the aim of protecting them from want and begging. One of the conditions of validity of this type of endowment is to transfer its returns and benefit, when no more offspring exists, to welfare work and charitable purposes.
      B. Public or general charitable endowment, which aims to use the income of endowed property, or the property itself, for the sake of welfare and benevolence, including the construction of hospitals, schools, roads, public libraries, mosques, social welfare houses for orphans, foundlings and old people, and all that is in the interest of the whole society.

    12. Islam has forbidden all that comes under the Quranic verse, which meaning of is translated as: “O you who believe! Squander not your wealth among yourselves in vanity.”  (The Qur'an, An-Nisaa, 4:29). This includes:

    • Usurpation, which involves wronging others and perverting society. The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Whoever usurps a Muslim's property through false oath, Allah will make Hell his abode and debar him from Paradise.” One man asked: "Even if it were the twinge of a bush, O Messenger of Allah?" The Prophet answered: “Even if it were the twinge of a bush.”  (Muslim).
    • Robbery, The Glorious Qur'an states, which meaning of is translated as: “As for the thief, both male and female, cut off their hands. It is the reward of their own deeds: an exemplary punishment from Allah.”  (The Qur'an, Al-Ma'ida, 5:38).
    • Deceit and Cheating, Allah's Messenger peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “One who cheats is not one of us.”  (Muslim).
    • Bribery, The Qur'an says, which meaning of is translated as: “And eat not up your property among yourselves in vanity, nor seek by it to gain the hearing of the judges that you may knowingly devour a portion of the property of others wrongfully.”  (The Qur'an, Al-Baqarah, 2:188). Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, said in this connection which meaning of is translated as: “May Allah curse the briber, the bribee, and the one who goes between them.”  (Ibn Hibban). The briber, by giving a bribe, helps to spread this evil in society. The bribee, by accepting a bribe, takes what is not his, unrightfully and commits a breach of trust for he takes a price for a duty above the designated salary or wages. The one who goes between the giver and receiver of a bribe helps to promote this sin and accepts unlawful money.
    • A man should not buy in opposition to his brother unless the latter gives him permission. The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Do not forsake one another, nor do you buy in opposition to each other.”  (Muslim).

The Social Aspect of Islam

            Islamic Laws have regulated the mutual rights and duties of the members of society in order to ensure social stability. Such rights and duties are either special or general. Special rights and duties or obligations include:


People's Obligations Towards the Ruler

            It is stated in the Holy Qur'an, which meaning of is translated as: “O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger (Muhammad), and those of you who are in authority.”  (The Qur'an, An-Nisaa, 4:59). These obligations are as follows:

    - To obey the ruler unless his orders are in conflict with Islam. This is in keeping with the Holy Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, Hadith which meaning of is translated as: “Listen and obey, even if an Abyssinian Negro is appointed as your prince (or governor), as long as he implements Allah's Book (i.e.: The Qur'an) among you.”  (Narrated by the Major Hadith Imams, except Bukhari). Thus, obedience to the ruler, if he orders no sin, is part of obedience to Allah, hence disobedience to him, in this context, implies disobedience to Allah.
    - To extend sincere advice to the ruler, gently and leniently, on things that are helpful to him and are in the interest of his subjects. Allah, glory to Him, instructed Moses and his brother Aaron, on sending them to Pharaoh to preach the true religion to him with the following verse which meaning of is translated as: “And speak to him mildly, perhaps he may accept admonition or fear (Allah).”  (The Qur'an, Ta-Ha, 20:44).
    - To stand up for him in times of adversity or crises and not to rise against him or let him down, even though he does not pledge allegiance to him. According to the Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, saying which meaning of is translated as: “If someone comes, while you are united under one leader, and he wants to stir up discord among you or to disrupt your unity, just kill him.”  (Muslim).

 


The Ruler's Obligations towards the Ruled

            People's rights or the ruler's obligations toward them can be summed up in five items:

    1. Absolute justice which is realized by giving everyone higher due. So a ruler is required to be fair in protecting others' right. Performing his duties, distribution or allocation of responsibilities, and implementation or rules and decisions: All are equal before him, as person or group should be favored more than others. The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “The nearest to Allah and most favored by Him is the fair ruler and the worst in torture and most disliked by Him is the unfair one.”  (Tirmidhi).
    2. He should consult them regarding all affairs pertaining to their political, social and economic interests (Consultation is limited to those matters for which there is no explicit text from the Qur'an or Sunnah), allows them the chance to give their views and express themselves freely, and accept such views if they prove to be in the public interest. When the Holy Prophet in the battle of Badr, stopped at the nearest spring of Badr, one of his companions (i.e.: Al-Hubab ibn al-Munzir) asked him: " Has Allah inspired you to choose this very spot or is it strategy of war?" The Prophet replied: "It is the strategy of war." Al-Hubab said to the Prophet: " This place is no good, let us go and encamp on the nearest water well to the enemy and make a basin full of water, then destroy all the wells so that the enemy should be deprived of water." The Prophet approved of his plan and agreed to carry it out."
    3. Sharia, i.e., the Islamic Law, must be the source of the ruler's decisions and constitution. This leaves no way for personal whims or off-hand decisions that may hit or miss the mark. Omar ibn Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, after assuming the Caliphate, said to Abu Maryam Al-Saluli, who had killed his brother Zaid ibn Al-Khattab (before he embraced Islam). "By Allah, I won't like you until the earth likes blood." Al-Saluli asked: "Will this deprive me of any of my rights?" Omar replied: "No" The man said: "No harm, only women will be unhappy if they are not liked."
    4. He should not conceal himself from his or lock his doors in their faces, nor should he look down upon them and place between himself and his subjects, mediators who allow some people in and debar others. The Gracious Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Whoever is appointed, by Allah's favor, as ruler or governor, then absents himself from them, thereby ignoring their needs and poverty, Allah will ignore his needs and destitution on the Day of Judgment.”  (Abu Dawood and Tirmidhi).
    5. He should be merciful to his subjects. He should not assign to them unbearable or unaffordable tasks or constrict their way of living. Also he should treat the elderly as parents, the young as sons or daughters and those who are his age as brothers. Thus he respects his parents, shows mercy to his children and respects his brothers. The Glorious Qur'an says, which meaning of is translated as: “And by the Mercy of Allah, you dealt with them gently. And had you been severe and harsh hearted, they would have broken away from about you, so pass over (their faults), and ask (Allah's) forgiveness for them; and consult them in the affairs.”  (The Qur'an, Ali-Imran, 3:159). The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Allah shows His mercy to those who are merciful. Show mercy to those living on earth, and Allah will give you His mercy.”  (Abu Dawood and Tirmidhi). Omar ibn Al-Khattab indicated the importance of this aspect by saying: "By Allah, if a mule tripped over and fell in Iraq, I would be afraid that Allah will ask me about it why I did not level the road up for it."


            A Muslim ruler must be as described in a letter which Imam Al-Hassan Al-Basri sent to Omar ibn Abdul-Aziz, Allah's mercy be on him, in which he said: "O Prince of the Faithful, be informed that Allah has made the fair ruler a prop for supporting what is tilted (not upright), a restraint on oppressors, a reformation of perverted people, strength for the weak, justice to the oppressed, and a refuge for the afflicted. A fair ruler, O Prince of the Faithful, is like a shepherd who is kind to his camels, so he looks for the best pasture and drives them away from the areas of danger, wild animals and hot or cold weather. The just ruler, O Prince of the Faithful, is like a caring father who toils for the sake of his children, educate them as they grow up, supports them and keeps for them what he leaves to them after his death. O Prince of the Faithful, a just ruler is like an affectionate mother who has loving care for her son. She bore him with hardship. She cared for him when he was a little child; she sat up late with him when he stayed awake at night, and became calm when he was peaceful, at times feeding him, and at other times weaning him, felling happy about his good health and unhappy about his complaints. O Prince of the Faithful, a just ruler is the guardian of orphans and sponsor of the needy, he cares for the young and provides for the old. A just ruler, O Prince of the Faithful, is like a heart within the ribs, when the heart is healthy the ribs become healthy, but when it is sick they grow unhealthy. A just ruler, O Prince of the Faithful, stands between Allah and His servants, He hears the word of Allah and conveys it to them, looks forward to Allah (with his heart) and makes them look forward to Him, submit his will to his Lord and leads them to Him. O Prince of the Faithful, don't be, in what Allah has bestowed upon you, like a slave who was entrusted by his master with his wealth and family, but he wasted the master's wealth and made his children homeless and destitute. As you know, Prince of the Faithful, Allah has prescribed punishments[9] (stipulated in the Qur'an) to deter his servants from deadly sins and evils, what if the one in charge of such punishments commits such sins? Allah has also stipulated retaliation to protect people's lives, what then if the one who is in charge of retaliation commits murder? O Prince of the Faithful, recall death and after, and the futility of your supporters and followers in the face of death, so get ready for it and the horrors that follow. O Prince of the Faithful! You should know that, apart from your present residence, there is still another one where your sleep[10] will last long, and your friends will part company with you and leave you alone at the bottom of that place. Therefore, provide yourself with what keeps you company "on the days when a man flees from his brother, and his mother and his father, and his wife and his children?"[11] Remember also the time, when the contents of the graves are poured fourth: and the secrets of the breasts are made known.?[12] Thus secrets are out, and there is "a book.. that leaves not a small thing but has counted it." Now there is still time for you before death comes and hopes are shattered and lost. O Prince of the Faithful! Do not judge between them in the way of ignorant people. Do not lead them in the way of the wrong-doers. Do not give proud people power over feeble ones, as they observe towards a believer neither pact nor honor, so that you should not bear the burdens of other sins besides yours. Do not be deceived by those who enjoy those things that lead to your misery, and devour the good things while depriving you of the good things of the Hereafter. Do not think of your power today; think of it tomorrow when you become the captive of death. Then stand on the Day of Judgment before Almighty Allah in the presence of an assembly of angels, prophets and messengers, when "faces humble themselves before the Living and Eternal" Allah, glory be to Him. O Prince of the Faithful! I have not attained with my advice the level of wise preachers or men or reason and wisdom before me; but I have done my best to be sincere in my advice to you. So take my message to you as a medicine given by a loving person to his favorite friend, though it has bitter taste, in the hope of his cure. Peace, mercy and blessings of Allah be upon you.

 


Parent's Rights

            They have a claim on our obedience to them (unless a sin is involved) and responding to their orders. We should extend our kindness and generosity to them, and provide them with their necessities, including food, drink, clothes and accommodation. We are required to speak to them leniently and humbly, to serve them patiently, and to respect their feelings, no words should be addressed to them that hurt their feeling. The Qur'an recommends in this respect by saying which meaning of is translated as: “And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honor. And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: "My Lord! Bestow on them your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was young.”  (The Qur'an, Bani Israil, 17:23-24). And the great Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, says which meaning of is translated as: “Allah's pleasure originates from parent's pleasure, and His wrath originates from parent's anger.”  (Tirmidhi). The aforesaid rights are due to parents even if they were non-Muslims in the light of Ayesha's tradition in which she said: “My mother visited me when she was an idolater. I inquired with Allah's Messenger peace be upon him, saying: O Messenger of Allah! My mother has visited me willingly. Shall I receive her? He answered: Yes, receive and honor her."   (Bukhari & Muslim). The Mother is given priority over the father in matters of kind treatment and good companionship. This is understood from the tradition which states: "That a man came to Allah's Messenger peace be upon him, and asked: O Messenger of Allah, which person of all the people is best entitled to kind treatment and the good companionship for me? He answered: Your mother. The man asked: and then? He said: Your mother. And after her? He said: Your mother. And after her? The Holy Prophet peace be upon him said: Your father.” The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, accorded the mother three rights and the father one right, because the former bears hardships and suffering that the latter cannot afford to bear. As described in the Holy Qur'an, which meaning of is translated as: “His mother bears him with hardship, and brings him forth with hardship.”  (The Qur'an, Al-Ahqaf, 46:15). She suffers from hardship when she bears him in her womb, when she brings him forth, and when she feeds and cares for him after delivery.


A Wife's Obligations towards Fher Husband

            1. To acknowledge her husband's headship and management of the family's affairs in the best interest of the family. However, this headship does not involve absolute authority or superiority. The Quran says, which meaning of is translated as: “Men are in charge of women, because Allah has made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women).”  (The Qur'an, An-Nisaa, 4:34). That is because men generally use their minds in dealing with events, in contrast to women whose conduct are predominated by emotions.
2. To obey him unless his orders or requests are in conflict with Allah's commands. When the Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, was asked by Ayesha about the one who has the greatest claim on a woman's obedience, he peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, replied which meaning of is translated as: “Her husband. When asked who has the greatest claim on a man's obedience and kindness, he replied: His mother.”  (Al-Hakim).
3. She should not refuse to go with her husband when he calls her to bed. The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “If a man calls his wife to his bed and she refuses, and he spend the night in anger with her, the angels will keep cursing her till the morning.”  (Bukhari & Muslim).
4. She should not request things that are unaffordable by her husband. It is her duty to protect his money, children and reputation, not to go out of his house without his permission; and not to allow into his house anyone whom he dislikes. The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “The best of women is the one who pleases her husband when he looks at her, obeys him if he orders her, and preserves herself (her chastity) and his property in his absence.”  (Tabarani). Early Muslims used to put such instructions into effect. A woman[13] gave this piece of advice to her daughter on her wedding day: "My daughter, you have parted with your home where you have grown up, to a man you have not been familiar with. So be his maid and he will be your slave. Observe for him ten qualities, and he will be a treasure for you: contentment, obedience, taking care of your beauty and pleasant smell, taking heed of the time of his sleep and meals, taking care of his money and children, refraining from disobedience to him, and keeping his secrets. Don't show pleasure to him when he is worried or grief when he is pleased.


A Husband's Obligations towards his Wife

            1. The Dower (or Mahr): A woman has a right to a dower which should be stated when concluding the marriage contract. It is an essential part of the marriage contract and cannot be conceded or given away by the wife until the contract has been concluded. The Qur'an states, which meaning of is translated as: “And give unto the woman (whom you marry) free gift of their marriage portions; but if they of their own accord remit unto you a part thereof, then you are welcome to abort it (in your wealth).”  (The Qur'an, An-Nisaa, 4:4).
2. Justice and Equality: If a man has more than one wife, he is required to be fair in their treatment, including food, drink, dress, residence and stay, in the light of the Holy Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, tradition which meaning of is translated as: “If a man has two wives yet does not treat them equally, he will come on the day of Judgment with one side tilted.”  (Tirmidhi).
3. Spending on his Wife and Children: A husband is required to provide an appropriate residence, living requirements (Including food, drink and dress), as well as money within his means. The Qur'an says, which meaning of is translated as: “Let the rich man spend according to his means; and the man whose resources are restricted, let him spend according to what Allah has given him. Allah puts no burden on any person beyond what He has given him.”  (The Qur'an, At-Talaq, 65:7).
4. Overnight Stay and Sexual Intercourse: It is one of the husbands' important obligations. As a wife, she is in need of a loving heart and a husband who sports with her, caresses her and satisfies her desire to protect her from undesired consequences.
5. Keeping her Secrets: He should keep private (intimate) relationship secrets, and refrain from exposing her secrets, shortcomings and other things he notices or hears from her. According to the Gracious Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “The worst of people in the sight of Allah, on the Day of Judgment, is the man or woman who goes with his/her spouse, then divulges her/his secret.”  (Muslim).
6. Good Treatment: A husband should treat his wife with kindness. He should be patient with her and tolerate her slips and nuisance. Besides, he should consult her about mutual everyday matters, provide her with the means of happiness and comfort by joking and playing with her.
7. Protecting her Jealousy: He protects her from places of evil and corruption. In this regard, Allah, glory to Him, orders us by saying which meaning of is translated as: “O you who believe! Ward off yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones.”  (The Qur'an, At-Tahrim, 66:6).
8. Preserving her own Money or Property: He should not take anything that belongs to her unless she gives him permission, nor should be disposes without her approval.


Rights of Relatives

            Islam has urged well to do people to help their relatives by complying with their needs, inquiring about their conditions, treating them with kindness and sympathy and sharing their joys and sorrows. The Qur'an says which meaning of is translated as: “And fear Allah through Whom you demand (your mutual rights), and do not cut the relations of the wombs (kinship).”  (The Qur'an, An-Nisaa, 4:1). Islam has urged good treatment of one's close relatives even though they do not treat him kindly, forgiving them even though they wrong him, seeking their friendship even though they are unfriendly with him. The Noble Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “To be kind to your close relatives in the full meaning of the word, it is not sufficient to match them in kindness; but to be kind to hem when they cut relation with you.”  (Bukhari). Islam has also warned against cutting the relations of kinship and considered it one of the major sins. In the Qur'an it is stated in which meaning of is translated as: “Would you then, if you were given the authority, do mischief in the land, and sever your ties of kinship?”  (The Qur'an, Muhammad, 47:22).


Rights of Children

            Children have the right to safeguard their lives and have appropriate names. This is made clear in the Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, tradition which meaning of is translated as: “You will be called by your given names and father's names, so have beautiful names.”  (Imam Ahmed). We should also take care of them, provide their needs (such as food, drink, clothes and dwelling), give them proper education and good manners (such as modesty, respect for elders, truthfulness, honesty, obedience to parents, etc.), and keeping them away from bad words or acts (such as telling lies, fraud and deceit, dishonesty, robbery, disobedience to parents, etc.). The Noble Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “It suffices a man to be a sinner that he ruins him whom he supports.”  (Abu Dawood & Nas'e). He peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, also said which meaning of is translated as: “Everyone of you is a protector and guardian (of his immediate charge) and is responsible for (the action of) those persons who are committed to his charge.”  (Bukhari & Muslim). Children should be treated equally and no discrimination should be made between them as to gifts or kind treatment, because such discrimination would cause un-dutiful and hatred. Once a man came to Allah's Messenger peace be upon him, to make him a witness to a gift he intended to make to one of his children without the others. The Prophet however, asked him: "Have you made a similar gifts to each of your children? He said: No; whereupon the Prophet said: Then make someone else a witness to this, for I do not wan to be a witness to an injustice. Fear Allah and be fair to your children (by treating them equally).”  (Bukhari & Muslim).


Rights of Neighbors

            Islam has enjoyed kindness to neighbors and refraining from causing them any physical or psychological inconvenience, such as by raising one's voice, offending his sight with hateful things or his nose with harmful smell. Allah, glory to Him, says which meaning of is translated as: “And serve Allah. Ascribe nothing as partner unto Him. (Show) kindness unto parents, and unto near kindred, and orphans, and the needy, and unto the neighbor who is of kin (unto you) and the neighbor who is not of kin, and the fellow traveler and the wayfarer and (the Slaves) whom your right hand possess. Lo! Allah loves not such as are proud and boastful.”  (The Qur'an, An-Nisaa, 4:36). In another tradition, the Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, states a neighbor's rights which meaning of is translated as: “Do you know what a neighbor's rights are? If he asks you for help, you should provide help for him, if he falls ill you should visit him, if something good happens to him you should congratulate him, if something bad happens to him you should console him; if he dies you should participate in his funeral procession. You should not raise your building so high that you obstruct the passage of wind to him unless he gives his permission; you should not hurt him with the smell of your cooking pot unless you send him some of the food; and if you buy fruit send him some as a gift, otherwise you have to bring it into your house secretly and not allow your children to take it out to vex his children with it.”  (Al-Khara'iti). A Muslim should bear the trouble caused by his neighbor and extend kindness to him. One man came to Abdullah ibn 'Abbas and said to him: "A neighbor of mine causes me a lot of trouble, insults me and causes me inconvenience". Ibn Abbass replied: "If he disobeys Allah (by hurting you), Obey Allah (by being kind to him)." (Imam Ghazali, Ihyaa Ulum-ud-Din, Vol.2, p.212). He should respect his neighbor, even in case he places a rafter on his wall he should not prevent him, as understood from the Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, words which meaning of is translated as: “Let not a neighbor forbid his immediate neighbor placing his rafter on his own wall.”  (Bukhari & Muslim). He should not sell or lease a property that is adjacent to him before he offers it to him or seek his advice in this regard. This is based on the Holy Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, tradition reading which meaning of is translated as: “If one has a neighbor or partner in a farm or garden, let him not sell it until he offers him to purchase it first.”  (Hakem). There are three kinds of neighbors:

    - A neighbor who is a relative: He has three rights: as a relative, as a neighbor and as a Muslim.
    - A Muslim neighbor: He has two rights: as a neighbor and as a Muslim.
    - A non-Muslim neighbor: He has one right, i.e.: as a neighbor.

            Abdullah ibn Umar had a sheep slaughtered, then asked his family: Have you sent our Jewish neighbor some of it as present? I heard Allah's Messenger peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, say which meaning of is translated as: “Gabriel kept exhorting me about (obligations towards) the neighbor so much that I imagined that he would include him among the heirs.”  (Tirmidhi & Abu Dawood).

 


Rights of Friends and Companions

            Islam has taken great care of friends' rights and prescribed certain rights that should fulfilled for a friend, such as kind treatment and sincere advice. The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “The best friend in the sight of Allah is he who is the well-wisher of his companions, and the best neighbor is he who behaves best towards his neighbors.”  (Tirmidhi).


Rights of Guests

            Guests have a right to entertainment. This is based on the Noble Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, following tradition which meaning of is translated as: “One who believes in Allah and the Day of Judgment should honor his guest according to his right. He was asked: O Messenger of Allah! What is his right? He said: A day and night (of good feasting) and hospitality for three days. Thereafter it is an act of charity.”  (Bukhari & Muslim). A guest, however, should take the conditions of his host into consideration, not burdening him with what he cannot afford. The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “It is lawful for a Muslim to stay so long with his brother (as a guest) as to involve him in sin? He was asked as to how he could be involved in sin? He answered: By prolonging his stay with his host when he has nothing (left in his house) to entertain him with.”  (Muslim). Imam Ghazali, in his book, "Ihyaa Ulum-ud-Din" (i.e.: Revival of Religious Sciences), wrote about Prophet Muhammad peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, who is an example to all Muslims: "The Holy Prophet used to honor his guests, he even spread his garment for a non-relative guest to sit on it. He used to offer his guest his own cushion and insist on him to accept it until the latter accepts it from him. No one came to him as a guest but thought that he was the most generous of people. He gave each one of his companions sitting with him his due portion of his attention, so he directed his listening, talking, looks and attention to all his companions. His meeting were characterized by modesty, humbleness and honesty. He used to call his companions by their favorite nickname to honor them. He was the farthest from being angry and the easiest to be contented."


General Rights and Obligations

            Islam requires a Muslim to take care of his Muslim brothers by extending help to them and trying to improve their conditions wherever they are. This is stressed by the following Hadith which meaning of is translated as: “Muslims, in their mutual love, kindness and compassion, are like the human body: If one of its parts is in agony, the entire body feels the pain both in sleeplessness and fever.”  (Bukhari & Muslim). Another Hadith says which meaning of is translated as: “The bonds of brotherhood between two Muslims are like parts of a house, one part strengthens and holds the other. He crossed the fingers of one hand between those of the other (to elucidate and illustrate the point).”  (Bukhari & Muslim). Another Hadith also says which meaning of is translated as: “None of you is a perfect believer until he loves for his brother Muslim that which he loves for himself.”  (Bukhari). In the field of labor, for example, Islam has enacted rules and criteria that determine the employer and employee relationship.


Labor's Rights

            The employer - labor relationship must be based on brotherhood and equality in human dignity. Prophet Muhammad peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Your servants are your brothers whom Allah the most High has placed under your authority. Therefore, a person who has a brother under his authority, should feed him out of that which he eats himself and should dress him with the same kind of clothes which he wears himself; he should not assign work to him which is beyond his capacity, and if you do so, then help him in his work.”  (Bukhari). Islam has preserved for the workman his honor and dignity when the Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “The best gain is that of the workman who works to earn his living if he sticks to honesty.”  (Ahmad). It ordained that workman's wages should be made clear before he commences his work, for the Prophet peace be upon him, required the employer to make the workman's wage clear before he hires him, (Ahmad). It confirmed the workman's right to his wages. The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Allah, the Most High, says said which meaning of is translated as: There will be three persons against whom I will stand on the Day of Judgment:

    - The person who makes a promise with an oath in My name and then breaks it.
    - The person who sells a free man as a slave and appropriates his sale proceed.
    - And the person who engages a workman and having taken full work from him fails to pay him his dues.”  (Bukhari).

It required that he should be given his wages immediately after he completed his work. The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Give a worker his wages before his sweat dries.”  (Ibn Majah). It also required employers not to give them work that is beyond their ability. If they give them such heavy work they should help them materially by increasing their wages, or physically by helping them with their work. The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Do not give them work that is beyond their capacity and if you do so, then help them with their work.”  (Bukhari).

 


The Employers Rights

            As Islam required the employer to care for his employee's due rights, it required the employees, in return, to observe the employer's rights by carrying out their work in the best manner. The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Allah likes, if one of you performs a piece of work, that he should do it well.” This means to say that a Muslim who is entrusted with a job should do it well as this is a means for gaining favor with his Almighty Lord.

[9] I.e.: hudud.
[10] I.e.: sleep - like death.
[11] Quoted from the Qur'an 80:34-36.
[12] Qur'an 100:9-10.
[13] She is 'Auf daughter.


Moral Aspect of Islam

            Islamic manners are multifarious. In summing-up; they are either virtuous or evil. Virtuous manners are all good acts and saying, such as honesty, telling the truth, charity, cooperation and modesty. Whereas evil ones are all harmful acts and sayings, such as dishonesty, telling lies, injustices, cruelty and hatred. The Qur'an has summed up good manners in the following verse which meaning of is translated as: “Keep to forgiveness (O Muhammad), and enjoin kindness, and turn away from the ignorant.”  (The Qur'an, Al-A'raf, 7:199). And Prophet Muhammad peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, has stated the objective of his mission which meaning of is translated as: “I have been sent to raise good morals to perfection.”  (Bukhari).


Examples of Some Prohibited Acts

           

  • Islam has forbidden polytheism (i.e.: associating partners to Allah). The Qur'an says which meaning of is translated as: “Lo! Allah pardons not that partners should be ascribed unto Him. He pardons all save that to whom He will.”  (The Qur'an, An-Nisaa, 4:116). It has forbidden witchcraft (magic). The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Avoid the seven most dangerous things.” The companions asked: "O Messenger of Allah! What are these things?" He answered:
    - “Associating partners with Allah.
    - Practicing magic.
    - Killing without justification a living being whose life has been declared sacred by Allah.
    - Practicing usury.
    - Misappropriating the property of an orphan.
    - Running away from the infidels in battle.
    - And slandering chaste, innocent, believing women.”
      (Bukhari & Muslim).

     
  • It has forbidden injustice and oppression, which generally denote wronging others by words or deeds or failing to give others their due rights. The Holy Qur'an says which meaning of is translated as: “The way (of blame) is only against those who oppress mankind, and wrongly rebel in the earth. For such there is a painful doom.”  (The Qur'an, Ash-Shura, 42:42). It also says which meaning of is translated as: “Say: My Lord forbids only indecencies, such of them as are apparent and such as are within, and sin and wrongful oppression.”  (The Qur'an, Al-A'raf, 7:33). The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Allah the Most High has revealed to me that you should be humble, so that nobody oppresses, or holds himself above others.”  (Muslim). In another tradition, the Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Allah admonishes you: O my servants, I have made forbidden on myself to oppress others and have forbidden it between you. So wrong not anyone.”  (Muslim). This does not imply being content with humiliation, for Islam enjoined repressing injustice and preventing aggression. The Glorious Qur'an says which meaning of is translated as: “And one who attacks you, attack him in like manner as he attacked you.”  (The Qur'an, Al-Baqarah, 2:194). It also enjoined helping the victims of injustice even if they belonged to a different religion. The Holy Qur'an said which meaning of is translated as: “And if one of the idolaters seeks your protection (O Muhammad) then protect him so that he may hear the Word of Allah, and afterward convey him to his place of safety.”  (The Qur'an, At-Tauba, 9:6). That is because Islam does not permit people to be deprived of their rights or freedom or their feelings to be hurt even if they are not Muslims. It also enjoins that both the oppressor and the oppressed. The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Help your brother whether he is an oppressor or oppressed person.” A companion asked: "Messenger of Allah (It is true) I will help him if he is an oppressed person, but please tell me how I am to help him if he happens to be an oppressor." The Holy Prophet answered: “Prevent him from oppressing others. Because preventing him from committing aggression is a help to him.”  (Bukhari).

     
  • It has prohibited slaying the life which Allah has forbidden except with due right. The Holy Qur'an says which meaning of is translated as: “Whoso slays a believer of set purpose, his reward is Hell forever. Allah is wroth against him and He has cursed him and prepared for him an awful doom.”  (The Qur'an, An-Nisaa, 4:93). The Qur'an also says which meaning of is translated as: “For that cause We decreed for the children of Israel that whosoever kills a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind. And whosoever saves the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind.”  (The Qur'an, Al-Ma'ida, 5:32). The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “A Muslim remains enjoying the safety and protection of his faith, so long as he does not commit an unlawful murder.”  (Bukhari). Exempt from this threat are those who kill or are killed in defense of himself, his property, honor or an oppressed man who asks for help. Moreover, there is no difference whether the killed person is a Muslim or non-Muslim who are entitled to protection by the Muslim State. The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Whoever killed a person having a treaty with the Muslims, shall not smell the smell of Paradise though its smell is perceived from a distance of forty years.”  (Bukhari).

     
  • Islam has prohibited severance of family ties and deserting of relatives. Allah, the Most High, says which meaning of is translated as: “Would you then, if you were given the authority, do mischief in the land and sever your ties of kinship? Such are they whom Allah has cursed, so that He has made them deaf and blinded their sight.”  (The Qur'an, Muhammad, 47:22-23). The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “No one who severs the ties of kinship shall be admitted into Paradise.”  (Bukhari & Muslim). Severance of such ties denotes failing to visit your relatives; to know about their conditions, treating them with superiority, neglecting to help the poor and weak among them if he is affluent, because donation to the poor (if not a relative) is mere charity, but if he is a relative it will be considered both charity and keeping the ties of kinship. If a person is poor he can keep the ties of kinship by greeting them, inquiring about their conditions, and meeting them with gentle words and cheerful smile. The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, encouraged good family relations saying which meaning of is translated as: “Keep the ties of kinship with your relatives by greeting them with salaam.”

     
  • Islam has prohibited disobedience and unkindness to parents. The Qur'an has stated which meaning of is translated as: “And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to hem a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honor. And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was young.”  (The Qur'an, Bani Israil, 17:23-24). The Great Prophet Muhammad peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Allah's pleasure is bases on parents' pleasure and His wrath is based on theirs.”  (Tirmidhi). When asked about the definition of disobedience to parents, Ka'ab Al-Ahbar replied: "It means that if one's parents take an oath he does not make good their oath; if they order him he does not obey them; if they ask him for something he does not give them; and if they trust him he betrays their trust."

     
  • Islam has forbidden fornication and all things and practices that lead to it. The Qur'an says which meaning of is translated as: “And come not near to the unlawful sexual intercourse. Verily, it is an abomination and an evil way.”  (The Qur'an, Bani Israil, 17:32). The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “There is no sin after polytheism bigger than a man placing his sperm into an unlawful vulva.”  (Ahmad). The Glorious Qur'an has stated a fornicator's punishment which meaning of is translated as: “The woman and the man guilty of illegal sexual intercourse, flog each of them with a hundred stripes. Let not pity withhold you in their case, in a punishment prescribed by Allah, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a party of the believers witness their punishment.”  (The Qur'an, An-Nur, 24:2). This punishment is for unmarried persons guilty of the above crime, but if married persons commit it, the punishment is to stone them to death. To put such punishment into effect, either of two prerequisites is a must:

      1. Confession by both the man and woman who have committed this crime.
      2. There must be four witnesses who are able to describe the event in the most minute details that evidences the crime beyond all doubt.


                This is, in fact, possible only when the two adulterers commit their crime in public and are witnessed by all the four witnesses, which is rare or even impossible. The history of Islam has witnessed only two or three events in which the punishment was carried out based on confession and only after those who committed adultery or fornication insisted on execution of the ordained punishment. Such punishment demonstrates the gravity of the committed sin and aims to preserve honor from being degraded, protect the people and their morals from corruption, the society from disintegration and diseases, and lineage from impurity and confusion in matters of inheritance and marriageability. Allah's Messenger peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “If the sin of adultery spreads among people in public, plague and other new diseases will also spread among them.”  (Ibn Majah). The most abominable form of this sin is incest. One tradition related by Al-Hakim states which meaning of is translated as:"Whoever commits incest, kill him."

     

  • Islam has forbidden sodomy. The Qur'an tells us about the people of Lot which meaning of is translated as: “So when Our Commandment came, We turned (the towns of Sodom in Palestine) upside down, and rained on them stones of baked clay, in a well-arranged manner one after another; Marked from your Lord; and they are not ever far from the evil-doers.”  (The Qur'an, Hud, 11:82-83). The above suggest that whoever behaves like the people of Lot should beware lest he be hit with the same punishment. The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Four person expose themselves to the wrath of Allah every morning and evening. When he was asked about them he answered: Men who imitate women, women who imitate men, those who have sexual intercourse with animals and those who commit sodomy.”  (Tabarani). Islam has forbidden devouring the property of orphans, as this involves wasting the rights of weak people. Allah which meaning of is translated as: “Those who unjustly eat up the property of orphans, eat up a fires to their own bodies; they will soon be enduring a blazing fire!”  (The Qur'an, An-Nisaa, 4:10). An exception is the poor guardian of an orphan: He is permitted to take a reasonable percentage or portion for his supervision, care, and services including feeding, clothing, investment of property in the best interest of the orphan. The Glorious Qur'an states peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, which meaning of is translated as: “And whoever (amongst guardians) is rich, he should take no wages, but if he is poor, let him have for himself what is just and reasonable (according to his labor).”  (The Qur'an, An-Nisaa, 4:6). The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, recommended us to take care of orphans and treat them kindly, He peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “I and the guardian of an orphan are like these. He pointed his forefinger and middle finger.”  (Bukhari). “If a person takes a Muslim orphan and supports him (giving him of his own food and drink) until he grows up and is bale to support himself, he will become worthy of entering Paradise, unless he commits an unforgivable sin.”  (Tirmidhi).

     
  • It has forbidden the ruler to wrong or cheat his people. The Qur'an says which meaning of is translated as: “Consider not that Allah is unaware of that which the wrongdoers do, but He gives them respite up to a Day when the eyes will stare in horror. (They will be) hastening forward with necks outstretched, their heads raised up (towards the sky), their gaze returning not towards them and their hearts empty (from thinking because of extreme fear).”  (The Qur'an, Ibrahim, 14: 42-43). The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “If a ruler is entrusted by Allah with people but fails to be sincere to them, he will be forbidden access to Paradise. (In another narration: If he dies while he is deceiving his people, he will be forbidden entry into Paradise.).”  (Bukhari). He also peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “An unjust ruler will receive the severest punishment on the Day of Judgment.”  (Tabarani). He peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, also used to say this prayer which meaning of is translated as: “O Allah! Whoever holds authority over my nation and is kind to them, be kind to him; but if he treats them with cruelty, be hard on him.”  (Muslim).

     
  • Islam has forbidden false testimony and perjury and considered it a deadly sin the insistence on which may lead to disbelief. The Glorious Qur'an says about righteous servants of Allah which meaning of is translated as: “And those who do not hear witness to falsehood, and if they pass by some evil play or evil talk, they pass by it with dignity.”  (The Qur'an, Ash-Shu'araa, 26:72). Allah's Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, asked his companions if they wish him to inform them about the biggest of sins, and when they answered positively he peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Ascribing partners to Allah, and disobedience to parents. He sat up from the leaning position and said: Beware of false words, beware of false testimony.. He went on repeating it until we wished he had only kept quiet out of pity for him.”  (Bukhari). That is due to the hazards caused by such testimony to society, including waste of people's rights and prevalence of injustice. It causes harm to both the bearer of witness (as it helps him with his injustice) and the innocent victim (by depriving him of his due rights, whether physical or moral). Islam has forbidden gambling and drinking of wine, as well as taking drugs (whether chewed, drunk, inhaled or injected). The Qur'an states which meaning of is translated as: “Intoxicants (all kinds of alcoholic drinks) and gambling and idols and dividing arrows are only an infamy of satan's handiwork. Leave it aside in order that you may succeed. Satan seeks only to cast among you amity and hatred by means of strong drink and games of chance and to turn you from remembrance of Allah and from (His) worship. Will you then not abstain?”  (The Qur'an, Al-Ma'ida, 35:90-91). The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “One who is disobedient to his parents or addicted to alcohol shall not enter Paradise.”  (Nasae'i). In order to obstruct the way of marketing or promoting wine (i.e.: alcoholic drinks), even without drinking it, the Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Curse be on wine itself, it's drinker, server, seller, purchaser, squeezer, the one for whom it is squeezed, it's carrier, the one to whom it is carried, and the receiver of its price.”  (Abu Dawood). But such serious threat, Islam seeks to protect the human mind and feelings from being deranged or crippled. Islam wants man steps down from his human status to a lower one of other unconscious creatures. It is a well-known fact than a drug or alcohol addict will do his utmost to obtain money to purchase drugs or alcohol whatever the means maybe. This may lead him to commit other grave sins. Therefore, Islam called alcohol the origin or source of all deadly sins. As for gambling, if one wins he will eat up another's property or money unrightfully, and the exultation at winning may drive him to use trick and deceit to win again. If he loses he will wastes his money in vain, and he may resort to robbery if he loses all his money. In order to play games again and compensate for his loss. Islam has forbidden robbery because it means appropriation of other people's property illegally. The Qur'an states which meaning of is translated as: “And (as for) the male thief and the female thief, cut off (from the wrist joint) their (right) hands as a recompense for that which they committed, a punishment by way of example from Allah. And Allah is All-Powerful, All Wise.”  (The Qur'an, Al-Ma'ida, 5:38). The application of this punishment is subject to the following:

      1. The stolen property must be safeguarded and the robber comes and breaks into a safe, for example, to steal it.
      2. The cause or drive for stealing should not be want of food, drink or dress; otherwise, there will be no cutting off. This is supported by Omar's conduct in the year of famine (18AH).
      3. The stolen property should be equal to the minimum amount liable to cut the hand.


                Some scholar pointed out that no repentance is accepted from the robber until he has returned the stolen property to its owner, but if he is penniless he may ask the owner of the stolen money be relinquishes his right before the case becomes in the hands of the court. That is the verdict about robbery if it is not avert. However, if the case is one of armed robbery, if the same as highway robbery (i.e. Harabah) which has a different punishment.

     

  • Islam has forbidden banditry or highway robbery, which involves robbery, terrorizing peaceful people or murder, as this causes instability and terror. The Qur'an states which meaning of is translated as: “Lo! Those who purchase a small gain at the cost of Allah's covenant and their oaths, they have no portion in the Hereafter. Allah will either speak to them nor look upon them on the Day of Resurrection, nor will He purify them, and they shall have a painful doom.”  (The Qur'an, Ali-Imran, 3:77). The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “A person who usurps the right of a Muslim, by swearing (falsely) will be condemned by Allah to Hell and deprived of Paradise. A man asked: O Messenger of Allah! Even if it maybe a small thing? He said: Even if it be twig of a bush tree (of Zingiber officinale).”  (Muslim). That is because this involves eating up people's rights unrighfully. Islam has forbidden suicide, as stated in the Holy Qur'an which meaning of is translated as: “And kill not one another, Lo! Allah is ever Merciful unto you. Whosoever does that through aggression and injustice, We shall cast him into Fire, and that is ever easy for Allah.”  (The Qur'an, An-Nisaa, 4:29-30). The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “If a person kills himself with an iron (knife), he will be in Hell with his knife in his hand stabbing himself (and abiding) there forever. If a person kills himself with poison, his poison will be in his hand taking it in Hell (abiding there) forever. If a person throws himself down a mountain to death, he will go down into Hell continuously forever.”  (Bukhari & Muslim).

     
  • Islam has forbidden falsehood, dishonesty and deceit; enjoined truthfulness, keeping promises and restoring deposits to their owners; and warned against breaking promises and denying deposits. The Qur'an says which meaning of is translated as: “O you who believe! Betray not Allah and His Messenger, nor Knowingly betray your trusts.”  (The Qur'an, Al-Anfal, 8:27). It has also enjoined secrecy as stated in the Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, tradition which meaning of is translated as: “If a man tells you something then turns his head away, what he tells you is a trust.”  (Abu Dawood & Tirmidhi). It has encouraged sincerity when giving advice. The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “An adviser is entrusted.”  (Abu Dawood & Tirmidhi). I has also associated trust with faith. The Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “There is no faith in one who lacks trustworthiness, and there is no religiousness in one who lacks commitment to his promise.”  (Ahmad and Baihaqi). He also peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “There are four (habits) which, if found in a person, then he has a perfect Hypocrisy. However if one of these traits is found in a person, then he has one sign of hypocrisy, until he leaves it. The four habits are: when he is entrusted (with something) he embezzles; when he talks he lies; when he promises or give a pledge he betrays, and when he quarrels he starts abusing.”  (Bukhari & Muslim). Islam has forbidden backbiting, because it spreads hatred among the members of the society. This is indicated in the following tradition: The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, asked the companions which meaning of is translated as: “Do you know what is meant by backbiting? They answered: Allah and His Messenger knows better. He said: To narrate such things about your (Muslim) brother which he dislikes. One of the audience asked: Even if my brother maybe like that? He peace be upon him, said: If such defects as you say, be present in him, then you have backbited him, but if he does not have what you say, then you are committing slander.”  (Bukhari & Muslim). It has forbidden grudge and envy because it reveals base motives that drive a person to take revenge to quench the thirst of his jealousy and malice. The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, was asked: Which is the best of people? He peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “He is the pure-hearted, truthful one. They said: We understand truthfulness, but what is -meant by pure-heartedness? He said: it means the righteous, sinless person whose heart is free from sin, injustice, malice and jealousy.” The Holy Prophet has indicated the consequences of envy, for it commonly leads to enmity and hatred, He peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Jealousy destroys good deeds as fire destroys wood.”  (Abu Daowd).

     
  • Islam has forbidden deserting each other, as indicated in the following tradition which meaning of is translated as: “Do not cut off relations with each other, do not harbor ill-will or envy, and - O servants of Allah - be brethren to each other. It is not permissible for a Muslim to keep away from his brother for more than three days.”  (Bukhari and Muslim).

     
  • It has forbidden cursing, as stated in the Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, following tradition which meaning of is translated as: “Those person who are addicted to cursing too much will neither be interceded nor witnessed on the Day of Resurrection.”  (Muslim). Even with enemies, a Muslim should pray to Allah for their guidance to the right path and refrain from cursing them or invoking evil upon them. According to Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, it was said to the Holy Prophet: O Messenger of Allah, invoke Allah against the atheists. He peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, answered which meaning of is translated as: “I have not been sent as a curser, I have been sent as a Mercy.”  (Muslim).

     
  • Islam has warned against miserliness, because it considers that wealth belongs to Allah and that Allah has entrusted it to man to spend it on himself and on his dependants, taking into consideration that his needy brothers has right to a portion of it. Allah's Messenger peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, has indicated the miser's guilt in the following tradition which meaning of is translated as: “No cheat, miser or reminder of his favor to others shall enter Paradise.”  (Tirmidhi). The Great Prophet explained the consequences if the epidemic of miserliness spreads in a society by saying which meaning of is translated as: “Avoid cruelty and injustice for, on the Day of Judgment, the same will turn into several darkness and guard yourselves against miserliness; for this has ruined nations who lived before you. Miserliness led them to bloodshed and to treat unlawful as lawful.”  (Muslim).

     
  • Islam has forbidden extravagance and waste of money unrightfully. The Qur'an says which meaning of is translated as: “And give to the kinsman his due, and to the needy and to the wayfarer. But spend not wastefully (your wealth) in the manner of a spendthrift. Verily, the spendthrifts are brothers of the devils and the devil is ever ungrateful to his Lord.”  (The Qur'an, Bani Israil, 17:26-27). And the Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Allah the Exalted has forbidden you disobedience or unkindness to mothers, depriving others of begging and burying little daughters alive. He dislikes for you talkativeness, inquisitiveness and waste of property.”  (Bukhari & Muslim).

     
  • Islam has forbidden too much strictness and immoderation or extremism in matters of religion. The Qur'an says which meaning of is translated as: “Allah desires for you ease; He desires not hardship for you.”  (The Qur'an, Al-Baqarah, 2:185). And the Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Give good tidings, not bad ones; make things easier, not harder.”  (Bukhari & Muslim).

     
  • Islam has warned against and forbidden self-conceit and pride. Allah the Exalted has advised us in this verse which meaning of is translated as: “And turn not your face away from me with pride, nor walk in insolence through the earth. Verily, Allah likes not any arrogant boaster. And be moderate in your walking, and lower your voice. Verily, the harshest of all voices is the braying of the ass.”  (The Qur'an, Luqman, 31:18-19). The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, warned against vanity (self-conceit) by saying which meaning of is translated as: “Avoid vanity.”  (Bukhari). He also peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, dispraised pride (arrogance) by saying which meaning of is translated as: “A person who has in his heart an atom's weight of pride will not enter Paradise. One man said: O Messenger of Allah, a man likes his garment and shoes to be elegant. The Holy Prophet said: Allah is beautiful and likes beauty. Pride is the denial of truth and feeling of contempt for people.”  (Muslim). He peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, also said which meaning of is translated as: “Whoever drags his garment behind him with pride will be disregarded by Allah on the Day of Resurrection.”  (Bukhari & Muslim).

     
  • Islam has warned against all causes of dispute and separation. The Qur'an says which meaning of is translated as: “And hold fast, all of you together, to the cable of Allah, and do not separate.”  (The Qur'an, Ali-Imran, 3:103).

     
  • It has forbidden and warned against mistrust and suspicions, Allah said which meaning of is translated as: “O you who believe! Avoid much suspicion, indeed some suspicions are sins.”  (The Qur'an, Al-Hujurat, 49:12). The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Beware of suspicion, for it is the most misleading of talks.”  (Bukhari). Islam ordered us to make sure when conveying news The Glorious Qur'an says which meaning of is translated as: “O you who believe! If an evil-liver brings you tidings, verify it, lest you smite some folk in ignorance and afterwards you become regretful for what you have done.”  (The Qur'an, Al-Hujurat, 49:6).

     
  • It has forbidden and warned against bad temper and obscenity. The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “A perfect Muslim is neither a taunter, curser, nor an abuser nor one having a long tongue.”  (Tirmidhi).

     
  • It has warned against rejoicing over the troubles of others. The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Do not rejoice over the troubles of your (Muslim) brother lest Allah might save him (by His Mercy) and involve you in the same trouble.”  (Tirmidhi).

     
  • It has warned against interfering into the business of others which is of no concern to him. The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “It is part of the excellence of a person's Islam that he should discard that is of no concern or benefit to him either in this world or the Hereafter.”  (Tirmidhi).

     
  • It has warned against anger. The Holy Qur'an describes the believers in the following verse which meaning of is translated as: “And those who avoid the greater sins, and illegal sexual intercourse, and when they angry, forgive.”  (The Qur'an. Ash-Shura, 42:37). And “Repel (the evil) with one which is better, then verily he, between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend.”  (The Qur'an, Fussilat, 41:34). Ibn Abbas explained: What is meant of patience at the time of anger, forgiveness after receiving insult. If they behave accordingly, Allah will safeguard them and their enemy will submit to them like a close friend. (Reported by Imam Bukhari) Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, reported the Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, as saying to the person who requested his advice which meaning of is translated as: “Do not get angry. When the man repeated his question he answered several times: Do not get angry.”  (Bukhari).

     
  • Islam has forbidden despising other people. The Qur'an says which meaning of is translated as: “O you who believe! Let not a group scoff at another group, it may be that the latter are better than the former. Nor let (some) women scoff at other women, it may be that the latter are better than the former. Nor defame one another, nor insult one another by nicknames.”  (The Qur'an, Al-Hujurat, 49:11).

     
  • It has forbidden usurpation of any kind because it involves injustice and corruption for the society. The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Allah has decreed the Fire of Hell for a person who usurps the property of a Muslim through false oath and debarred him from Paradise. A companion asked: O Messenger of Allah! Even if it may be small? He answered: Even if it may be the twing of a bush.”  (Muslim).

     
  • It has forbidden the judge to commit injustice, whether he is learned or unlearned, because a judge, in Islam, is considered responsible for implementation of Allah's Shari'a (Law). Thus he is an executive, not legislative, party. Therefore, if he committed injustice he would betray the trust put in him. The Qur'an states this clearly which meaning of is translated as: “Whoso judges not by that which Allah has revealed: such are disbelievers.”  (The Qur'an, Al-Ma'ida, 5:44). The Gracious Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Judges are three: One in Paradise and two in Hell. A judge who has known the truth and judged accordingly: he will be in Paradise, a judge who has known the truth and deviated from justice on purpose: he will be in Hell; and a judge who has judged ignorantly: he will be in Hell. They asked: What's the guilt of an ignorant judge? He said: He is guilty because he should not be a judge unless he is a learned man.”  (Hakim).

     
  • Islam has forbidden cuckoldry, which denotes lack of sense of honor and consent to illicit sexual relationships within his family or close relatives. The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Three people shall be forbidden access to Paradise, namely: the alcohol addict, a person who disobeys his parents, and the cuckold who consents to the adultery committed by his wife.”  (Nasa'e).

     
  • It has forbidden men and woman imitating each other in their dress and other peculiar habits. According to the Holy Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, tradition which meaning of is translated as: “Allah's Messenger peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, cursed those men who imitate women, and those women who imitate men.”  (Bukhari).

     
  • Islam has forbidden reminders of a favor of generosity, that is, when you remind someone for whom you have done a favor in a way injuring him. The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Beware of reminding others of a favor you have done to them because this makes thankfulness futile and wipe out reward. Then he recited the Qur'anic verse which meaning of is translated as: O you who believe! Do not render in vain your charity by reminders of your generosity or by injury.”  (The Qur'an, Al-Baqarah, 2:264). He peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, also said which meaning of is translated as: “The person who retracts a gift is like the dog which devours its vomited stuff.”  (Bukhari & Muslim).

     
  • It has forbidden slandering and backbiting whether through words, acts or signs. The Glorious Qur'an says which meaning of is translated as: “Woe to every slanderer and backbiter.”  (The Qur'an, Al-Humaza, 104:1).

     
  • It has forbidden insulting each other by nicknames. The Qur'an address the believers in the following verse which meaning of is translated as: “O you who believe! Let not a group scoff at another group, it may be that the latter are better than the former. Nor let (some) women scoff at other women, it may be that the latter are better than the former. Nor defame one another, nor insult one another by nicknames. How bad is to insult one's brother after having faith. And whosoever does not repent, then such are indeed wrongdoers.”  (The Qur'an, Al-Hujurat, 49:11).

     
  • It has forbidden spying on people, looking for their shortcomings and listening to their talks unawares. The Glorious Qur'an said which meaning of is translated as: “O you who believe! Shun much suspicion; for Lo! Some suspicion is a crime. And spy not, neither backbite one another. Would one of you love to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Yet abhor that (so abhor the other)! And keep your duty (to Allah). Lo! Allah is oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”  (The Qur'an, Al-Hujurat, 49:12). Prophet Muhammad peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “If a person spies on other's talk without heir consent, Allah will pour molten lead into his ears on the Day of Judgment.”  (Bukhari).

     
  • Islam has forbidden carrying tales for mischief. It has threatened the carrier of such tales with the worst punishment. The Qur'an says which meaning of is translated as: “Neither obey you each feeble oath-mongers, Detracter, spreader of slanders.”  (The Qur'an, Al-Qalam, 68:10-11). The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “A person who is addicted to carrying tales will not enter Paradise.”  (Bukhari & Muslim). Such spreading of slanders for mischief may lead to murder or at least, to enmity and trouble which were condemned by the Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, by saying which meaning of is translated as: “It is not proper for a Muslim to keep away from his brother for more than three days so much that when they meet they move away from each other. The best among them is the one who is the first to greet the other.”  (Bukhari & Muslim). It may also lead to suspicion and spying to decide the truth of the carried tales, which involves several sins. The Holy Qur'an says which meaning of is translated as: “Indeed some suspicions are sins and spy not.”  (The Qur'an, Al-Hujurat, 49:12).

     
  • Islam has forbidden belittlement of weak people and trespassing on their rights, whether the weakness is physical (for example, the sick, the disabled and the aged) or financial (the poor and the needy) or in case they are under your patronage. The aims to create a consolidated society predominated by mercy, love and brotherhood. The Holy Qur'an says which meaning of is translated as: “Worship Allah and join none with Him (in worship), and do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, the needy the neighbor who is near of kin, the neighbor who is a stranger, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (you meet), and those (slaves) whom your right hands possess. Verily, Allah does not like such as are proud and boastful.”  (The Qur'an, An-Nisaa, 4:36). Once, Allah's Messenger peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, called his servant but the latter was later in coming to him. The Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Was it not for retribution I would beat you with this siwak (a tooth brush made of a specific tree - twig). He had it in his hand then.  (Narrated by Imam Ahmad).

     
  • Islam has prohibited causing a neighbor any harm or "inconvenience" by words or deeds. The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “By Allah, he is not a (perfect) believer! By Allah, he is not a (perfect) believer! He was asked: who is it, O Messenger of Allah? He said: The one whose neighbor is not immune against his mischief.”  (Bukhari & Muslim). He peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, also said which meaning of is translated as: “If one believes in Allah and the Last Day, he should not hurt his neighbor.”  (Bukhari). Islam has raised high the rank of neighbors, and assigned them considerable privilege as understood from the following Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, words which meaning of is translated as: “Gabriel went on recommending me to take care of the neighbor until I thought that he would give him a right to inheritance (of his neighbor).”  (Abu Dawood & Tirmidhi).

     
  • It has prohibited causing any harm or loss to inheritors by payment of legacy, such as when the deceased leaves a will that he owes someone a debt, which is not true, just to cause harm or loss to his heirs. This is made clear in the Holy Qur'an which meaning of is translated as: “… after payment of legacies he (or she) may have bequeathed or debts, so that no loss is caused (to anyone).”  (the Qur'an, An-Nisaa, 4:12). And in the Hadith which meaning of is translated as: “Allah has decreed for each one his (or her) due, so there is no will or legacy to be bequeathed to an inheritor.”  (Tirmidhi).

           

 


Commandments

            The following are some of the injunctions and commandments of Islam:

  • Islam has enjoined absolute justice in speech and action. The Glorious Qur'an states which meaning of is translated as: “Lo! Allah enjoins justice and kindness, and giving to kinsfolk, and forbids lewdness and abomination and wickedness. He exhorts you in order that you may take heed.”  (The Qur'an, An-Nisaa, 4:90). Abu Bakr, the first Muslim Caliph after the Holy Prophet, on assuming his responsibilities of Caliphate, said: "To me, the strong man among you is weak until I exact what is due on him, and the weak man is strong until I avail him of what is due to him. Obey me as long as I obey Allah in conducting your affairs." Justice is a must in case of pleasure and displeasure, towards Muslims and non-Muslims. The Qur'an says which meaning of is translated as: “… And let not hatred of any people seduce you that you deal not justly. Deal justly, that is nearer to piety.”  (The Qur'an, Al-Ma'ida, 5:8). Justice is also required when dealing with relatives and non-relatives, Allah said which meaning of is translated as: “And whenever you give your word (i.e. judge between men or give evidence), say the truth even if a near relative is concerned, and fulfill the Covenant of Allah. This He commands you, that you may remember.”  (The Qur'an, Al-An'am, 6:152). Allah has commanded us even to use force, if needed, to impose justice He said which meaning of is translated as: “Indeed We have sent Our Messenger with clear proofs, and revealed with them the Scripture and the Balance (justice) that mankind may keep up justice. And We brought forth iron wherein is mighty power (in matters of war) as well as many benefits.”  (The Qur'an, Al-Hadid, 57:25). In his commentary on this verse, Imam Ibn Taimia, Allah's Mercy be on him, said: "Sending messengers and revelation of books are intended for people to perform their obligations as ordained by Allah in accordance with justice. If one deviates from the book he will be corrected with iron (i.e. by force)."

     
  • Islam has enjoined altruism and encouraged it because it reflects true love and sense of brotherhood which has its positive implications on the society, by enhancing the ties between its members and motivating them to serve each other sincerely. The Holy Qur'an has praised who prefer others over themselves in matters of benevolence and benefit, Allah said which meaning of is translated as: “… and give them (emigrants) preference over themselves even though they were in need of that. And whosoever is saved from his own covetousness, such are they who will be the successful.”  (The Qur'an, Al-Hashr, 59:9).

     
  • It urged keeping good company and warned against bad company. The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, has given us a similitude that shows us clearly the consequences of good company and bad company. He peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “The case of a good companion and that of a bad companion is like that of one who has musk (perfume) and of one who blows a furnace (or an iron smith). The owner of musk might only buy some from him, or at least you might smell its fragrance. As regards the other, he might set your clothes a fire, or at least you will breathe fumes from the furnace.”  (Bukhari & Muslim).

     
  • Islam has enjoined reconciliation between people in case of dispute. The Glorious Qur'an states which meaning of is translated as: “There is no good in much of their secret conferences save (in) him who enjoins alms giving and kindness and peace-making among the people. Whoso does that, seeking the good pleasure of Allah, We shall bestow on him a vast reward.”  (The Qur'an, An-Nisaa, 4:114). Reconciliation between people occupies a high rank which is not inferior to that of prayer, fasting and other forms of worship. In this context, the Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Shall I tell you of something better than the rank of fasting, prayer and charity (Zakat)? It is reconciliation between people, because discord is an exterminator (of society).” Islam allows lying in cases of reconciliation in order to infuse hearts with love and accord, unite them and protect them from conflicts and separation. The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “I do not count a liar, the man who utters words for the sake of making peace, in war, a husband's talk with his wife, and a wife's talk with her husband.”  (Abu Dawood). He peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, also aid which meaning of is translated as: “He is not a liar who brings about peace between people by saying or ascribing good words (to other).”  (Bukhari & Muslim). Islam has commanded enjoining virtue and forbidding evil by all means, each according to his capacity, because this would safeguard people against injustice, corruption, loss of rights, and dominance of lawlessness. Enjoining virtue and forbidding evil teaches the ignorant, arouses the dormant from inertia and negligence of duty, corrects wrongdoers and help the righteous. The Qur'an says which meaning of is translated as: “… help you one another unto righteousness and pious duty. Help not one another unto sin and transgression.”  (The Qur'an, Al-Ma'ida, 5:2). And the Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Anybody amongst you who notices something evil, should correct it with his own hands. If he is unable to do so, he should prohibit the same with his tongue. If he is unable even to do this, he should at least consider it as bad in his heart; this is the lowest degree of faith.”  (Muslim). The Holy Qur'an has stated the punishment of those who neglect such a duty by stating the following verse which meaning of is translated as: “Those of the children of Israel who disbelieved were cursed by the tongue of David, and of Jesus, son of Mary. That was because they rebelled and used to transgress.”  (The Qur'an, Al-Ma'ida, 5:78). The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, described the consequences of failure to enjoin virtue and forbid evil in the following Hadith which meaning of is translated as: “The example of a person who obeys injunctions of Allah and the one who disregards these limits is like passengers on a boat who decide by drawing lots as to who should occupy the upper deck and who should go to the lower deck. Those in the lower deck had to pass through the upper deck to fetch water, which caused some inconvenience to the occupants of the upper deck. So they suggested to the occupants of the upper deck to allow them to bore a hole in the lower deck and to draw water without causing any inconvenience to them. If the occupants of the upper deck were to leave the others to carry out their design, they would all perish together; but if they were to stop them from carrying it out they would save themselves and all others.”  (Bukhari). Islam, however, has prescribed some controls and criteria for enjoining virtue and prohibiting evil. The following are some of them:

      1. The one who takes up this task must be knowledgeable about what he enjoins or prohibits.
      2. His prohibition of evil should not lead to a bigger evil.
      3. He should not do what he prohibits nor should he neglect what he enjoins, as made clear in the Holy Qur'an which meaning of is translated as: “O you who believer! Why say you that which you do not? It is most hateful in the sight of Allah that you say that which you do not.”  (The Qur'an, As-Saff, 61:2-3).
      4. He should clement and gentle when he enjoins or prohibits. He should also bear any inconvenience resulting from this task, Allah said which meaning of is translated as: “… and enjoin kindness and forbid inequity, and persevere whatever may befall you. Lo! That is the steadfast heart of things.”  (The Qur'an, Luqman, 31:17).
      5. He should not resort to spying on others in order to discover evil acts. The Qur'an says which meaning of is translated as: “… And spy not.”  (The Qur'an, Al-Hujurat, 49:12).


     

  • Islam has enjoined good manners. The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Among the Muslims, the most perfect, with regard to his faith, is one whose character is excellent, and who treats his wife with gentleness.”  (Tirmidhi). The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, has also pointed out the reward of good manners, He peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “On the Day of Judgment, the dearest and closest to me, as regards my company, will be those persons, who will bear the best moral character. And those among you, who talk with affectation and are given to boasting, will be the most repugnant to me, and the farthest from me on the Day of Judgment. The companions submitted: O Messenger of Allah! What is meant by the word, 'Mutafaihigoon', the Holy Prophet peace be upon him, said: Those given to boasting.”  (Tirmidhi).

     
  • Islam has enjoined doing kindness, as stated in the Holy Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, tradition which meaning of is translated as: “Do kindness to those worthy or unworthy of it; if you do it to those worthy of it then they are worth it; but if you do not do it to those worthy of it then you are worth doing it.”

     
  • It has enjoined giving sincere advice. In this context, the Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “(The basis of) faith is sincerity. We (i.e. the Prophet's companions) submitted: O Prophet of Allah! For whom? He said: Towards Allah, the Holy Qur'an, His Prophet and the Muslims - both leaders and masses.”  (Muslim).

      - Sincerity towards Allah can be realized by believing in Him, worshipping Him alone, ascribing no partners to Him, declaring Him free from imperfection in His Names and Attributes, and that He is the Disposer of this Universe. What He wills shall be, and what He does not will shall not be, as well as complying with His commands and avoiding His prohibitions.
      - Sincerity towards His Book, (The Holy Qur'an) is realized by believing that it is the word of Allah, revealed by Him, and that it is the Final of revealed scriptures, as well as holding as lawful all that is stated as lawful in the Qur'an and holding as forbidden all that is forbidden in it, and considering it as the right path and way of life for Muslims.
      - Sincerity towards His Messenger is realized by obeying his orders, believing what is told, refraining from what he prohibited, loving and respecting him, complying with his Sunnah (way and teachings) and propagating it among people.
      - Sincerity to Leaders of the Muslims is realized by obeying them unless they enjoin sin, guiding them to good and helping them with it, refraining from rebelling against them, advising them gently, and reminding them of the rights of other people.
      - Sincerity towards the Muslim masses is realized by guiding them to what is good for them in matters of their religion and worldly life. Helping them to satisfying their needs, protecting them from harm, loving for them what he likes for himself, disliking for them what he dislikes for himself, and treating them in the manner he wants them to treat him.


     

  • Islam has enjoined generosity, as it leads to people's friendliness and affection. The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Two traits are liked by Allah, namely: good manners and generosity; and two other traits are disliked by Allah, namely: bad manners and miserliness. If Allah wants to favor a servant of His, He uses him to satisfy people's needs.” The criterion regarding generosity is given in the following verse which meaning of is translated as: “And let not your hand be chained to your neck (like a niggard's) nor open it with a complete opening (like a spendthrift's), lest you sit down rebuked, denied (and impoverished).”  (The Qur'an, Bani Israil, 17:29). Allah the Exalted has warned against squandering wealth and going beyond the moderate limits of generosity, He peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Give the kinsman his due, and the needy, and the wayfarer, and squander (your wealth) in wantonness… Lo! The squanderers were ever brothers of the devils, and the devil was ever an ingrate to his Lord.”  (The Qur'an, Bani Israil, 17:26-27).

     
  • Islam has enjoined mercy, as stated in the Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, words which meaning of is translated as: “Those who have mercy deserve the mercy of Allah. Have mercy for those on earth, and Allah will have mercy for you.”  (Abu Dawood and Tirmidhi).

     
  • It has enjoined kindness and gentleness. The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Where there is softness, it beautifies that thing, and from which it is taken away it snatches its glamour.”  (Muslim).

     
  • It has enjoined covering up for others and helping to relieve their distress. The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “One who helps a fellow Muslim in removing his difficulty in this world, Allah will remove the formers' distress on the Day of Judgment. He who helps to remove the hardship of another, will have his difficulties removed by Allah in this world and in the Hereafter. One who covers the shortcomings of another Muslim will have his faults covered up in this world and the next by Allah. Allah continues to help his servant so long as he goes on helping his brother.”  (Muslim).

     
  • Islam has enjoined and urged patience with devotions and for refraining from prohibitions. The Qur'an says which meaning of is translated as: “So wait patiently (O Muhammad) for your Lord's decree, for surely you are in our sight.”  (The Qur'an, At-Tur, 52:48). It may be patience with one's lots and events of life, such as poverty, hunger, illness and fear. The Glorious Qur'an says which meaning of is translated as: “And surely We shall try you with something of fear and hunger, and loss of wealth and lives and crops; but give glad tidings to the steadfast. Who say, when a misfortune strikes them: Lo! We are Allah's and Lo! Unto Him we are returning. Such are they on whom are blessings from their Lord, and mercy. Such are the rightly guided.”  (The Qur'an, Al-Baqarah, 2:155-157). Allah, Glory to Him, has stated the reward of the steadfast, He peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “Verily the steadfast will be paid their wages without stint.”  (The Qur'an, Az-Zumar, 39:10).

     
  • It has enjoined suppression of anger, and forgiving especially when one is able to avenge himself. This will make ties among the members of society stronger, help to remove all causes of hatred and enmity, and lead to great reward. Therefore, Allah has praised those who posses such excellent traits, He peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: “And vie one with another for forgiveness from your Lord, and for a Paradise as wide as are the heavens and the earth, prepared for the righteous. Those who spend (of that which Allah has given them) in ease and in adversity, those who control their wrath and are forgiving towards mankind. Allah loves the good.”  (The Qur'an, Ali-Imran, 3:133-134). Islam has also called Muslims to meet evil with good in order to attune hearts and purify them of grudge. The Holy Qur'an says which meaning of is translated as: “Repel (the evil deed) with one which is better, then Lo! he between whom and you there was enmity (will become) as though he was a bosom friend.”  (The Qur'an, Fussilat, 41:34).

Conclusion

            We conclude our book with the viewpoint of two person who embraced Islam. F. Filweas asserts that the West is suffering from a vast spiritual void which no principle or faith could fill it up and bring about happiness there. Despite the affluence there, and the so-called economic prosperity, besides the satisfaction of physical needs of people, the Western man still has a sense of worthlessness of his life. He wonders: Why is he living? Where is he going? Why? But no one so far has given him a satisfactory response. Unfortunately, he has no idea that his remedy consists in the right religion about which he knows nothing more than doubts. However, the beginnings of light have started to breakthrough after a few groups of Westerners embraced Islam and the Western man began to see with his own eyes, men and women put Islam into practice and live up to its teachings. Everyday some people there embrace the true religion. It is just the beginning." An American lady, D. Potter, who was born in Traverse, Mich., and graduated from Mich. University with a degree in journalism, asserts that Islam is the Law of God. It is evident in nature around us. Mountains, oceans, planets and star move in orbit by Allah's command. They are submissive to the Will of Allah, their Creator as character s in a novel are controlled by its author, as they speak and act in the way planned and determined by him. Allah's is Sublime Similitude. Thus, every atom or particle in this universe, even inanimate objects, is submissive to the Will of Allah. However, man is an exception since he has been given the freedom of choice, so he has the will to submit to Allah's commands or to lay down his own laws or religion. Unfortunately, he has mostly chosen the second option. People in Europe and America are embracing Islam in large numbers because they are thirsty for peace of mind and spiritual security. Moreover, a number of Christian orientalists and preachers who commenced their campaign to destroy Islam and bring out its alleged shortcomings have themselves become Muslims. That is because the evidence of the truth is irrefutable.

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Title:The message of islam  
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