qur’an verses inform the true attributes of allah as below:
“allah! there is no allah but he,-the living, the self-subsisting, eternal. no slumber can seize him nor sleep. his are all things in the heavens and on earth. who is there can intercede in his presence except as he permitteth? he knoweth what (appeareth to his creatures as) before or after or behind them. nor shall they compass aught of his knowledge except as he willeth. his throne doth extend over the heavens and the earth, and he feeleth no fatigue in guarding and preserving them for he is the most high, the supreme (in glory).”
“allah is he who created seven firmaments and of the earth a similar number. through the midst of them (all) descends his command: that ye may know that allah has power over all things, and that allah comprehends, all things in (his) knowledge.”
however, most people do not perceive allah as he is described in the above verses. they believe in some superstitions that they make up themselves. as a matter of fact, they cannot comprehend his eternal power and greatness, they think that allah is somewhere far in the universe, and does not, or rarely interferes in “earthly matters”. those people are defined in the qur’an, in the verse hajj 74 : “no just estimate have they made of allah: for allah is he who is strong and able to carry out his will.”
conceiving allah’s power thoroughly may be the first ring of the belief chain. believers leave the distorted values of their community and deny them saying: “there were some foolish ones among us, who used to utter extravagant lies against allah;”
the believers believe in allah the way qur’an describes. they examine the signs of allah in both external and internal worlds, and they start to understand the great art and power of allah. but if the believers happen to overlook allah and ponder deeply on him and on his creation, they may start to shift to the immoral beliefs of the others. allah mentions this as a potential risk in the verses about the believers who give up during the war in al-e-imran 154: “…while another band was stirred to anxiety by their own feelings, moved by wrong suspicions of allah-suspicions due to ignorance…”
a believer would never like to make such a mistake, therefore he should free his heart from everything that belongs to the belief of the ignorant and accept this real faith with all his heart as the way qur’an describes.
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fear allah as much as you can
to fear allah, is the beginning of all. the more one fears allah, the more superior he becomes in the presence of allah. and since this has no limits, one can increase this fear if he desperately requires it from allah. qur’an gives the examples of the prophets. the believers can compare themselves with the prophets and understand that they really can increase their fear to allah.
allah wants people to fear himself as strong as can be. in order to gain that, many various ways can be found, for example; spending in allah’s way, doing good deeds, taking the prophet as our example, obeying him, being attentive on the rules of allah etc.
“so fear allah as much as ye can; listen and obey and spend in charity for the benefit of your own soul and those saved from the covetousness of their own souls,- they are the ones that achieve prosperity.”
“o ye who believe! fear allah as he should be feared, and die not except in a state of islam.”
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nothing in the universe is accidental. as qur’an tells us: “… he doth regulate all affairs, explaining the signs in detail,…” (al-rad 2). in another verse: “… not a leaf doth fall but with his knowledge:…” (al-anaam, 59). it is allah, who creates and directs all the events; how they will begin and how they will end. it is again allah who determines every movement of every star in the universe, every state of every living thing on earth, the way one will live, what one will say, what one will encounter with, as expressed in the verses:
“verily, all things have we created in proportion and measure.”
“no misfortune can happen on earth or in your souls but is recorded in a decree before we bring it into existence: that is truly easy for allah:”
the believers should be aware of this big reality, therefore they should never act as those who deny. having understood that life is just “watching the destiny”, they should never get disappointed or afraid of anything. they should be confident and sober as mohammed (saw), who tells abu bakr “… “have no fear, for allah is with us”…” (al-tawba 40) when found in the cave by the idolaters who want to kill them.
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putting trust in allah
since allah is the decision-maker, every happening is in favor of the believers: because everything has been planned for the benefit of religion and for the hereafter of the believers. for that reason, believers trust and rely only on allah. he is the only protector. what a believer should do is to behave as allah wants him to: fulfilling his responsibilities but waiting to see the result, believing that it has already been planned by allah. below verses express this mystery which is unknown to unbelievers.
“… and for those who fear allah, he (ever) prepares a way out, and he provides for him from (sources) he never could imagine. and if any one puts his trust in allah, sufficient is (allah) for him. for allah will surely accomplish his purpose: verily, for all things has allah appointed a due proportion.”
“say: “nothing will happen to us except what allah has decreed for us: he is our protector”: and on allah let the believers put their trust.”
what the believers should say to the unbelievers is also stated in the qur’an: “no reason have we why we should not put our trust on allah. indeed he has guided us to the ways we (follow). we shall certainly bear with patience all the hurt you may cause us. for those who put their trust should put their trust on allah.”
“if allah helps you, none can overcome you: if he forsakes you, who is there, after that, that can help you? in allah, then, let believers put their trust.”
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in the qur’an, it is mentioned that the unbelievers are the people who does not recognize and appreciate the signs of allah. the significance of a believer is his ability to see those signs and proofs. they know that these are not created in vain, they can realize the power and great art of allah everywhere and find ways to appraise him.
“men who celebrate the praises of allah, standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and contemplate the (wonders of) creation in the heavens and the earth, (with the thought): “our lord! not for naught hast thou created (all) this! glory to thee! give us salvation from the penalty of the fire.”
many times in the qur’an, there are expressions like “will you not take heed?”, “…there is a sign for thinking men” which emphasize the importance of pondering on the signs of allah. allah has created an endless list of things to be the subjects of pondering. everything we see and sense is indeed a manifestation and sign of allah; so all those in heavens and in earth and in between may be a means of pondering for us. one of the verses tells:
“with it he produces for you corn, olives, date-palms, grapes and every kind of fruit: verily in this is a sign for those who give thought.”
let’s think for a while of one of the items mentioned in the above verse; for instance of the “dates”. tree, as well known, grows up from a seed out of the earth. from this tiny seed (a seed is not even 1 cm3. in size), an enormous wooden mass of 4-5 meters long and hundreds of kilograms of weight, forms. the only thing that seed can use while constituting this great mass is the earth in which it is buried.
how can a seed know how to constitute a tree? how does it know to how to decompose the necessary substances in the soil to form wood? how can it predict the required shape and structure? this last question is especially important, because it is not an ordinary wooden piece that emerges out from the seed. the seed develops a complex living organism with roots for assimilating substances from the earth, with veins in itself and with branches that are perfectly organized. a human being has difficulty while drawing even a picture of a tree, but on the other hand a simple seed can produce that extremely complex object using the substances in the soil.
this observation concludes that a seed is extremely intelligent and wise, even more than us. or better to say, there is an amazing intelligence in what a seed does. but what is the source of that intelligence? how can it be possible for a seed to have such an intelligence and memory like a computer “chip”?
the chips are produced by people who have intelligence and knowledge. just like a seed, which is created by allah with the ability to develop a tree. every seed on earth is encompassed by allah and grow within his knowledge. in one of the verses it is said:
“it is allah who causeth the seed-grain and the date-stone to split and sprout. he causeth the living to issue from the dead, and he is the one to cause the dead to issue from the living. that is allah: then how are ye deluded away from the truth?”
seed is merely one of the numerous signs that allah has created in the universe. if men begin to think with not only their minds but also with their hearts, and asking the question of ‘why’ and ‘how’ to themselves, they can understand that all the universe is the proof of the existence and power of allah.
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as we have stated at the beginning, allah has created the universe to show the signs of his creation. nothing is created in vain.
however, the unbelievers cannot understand; since they don’t have the ability to “see” this purpose. as the qur’an expresses: “they have eyes wherewith they see not, …” (al-araf 179). they do not have the wisdom and comprehension to realize the important reality with their materialistic vision.
on the other hand, believers are different than this ‘blind’ group because they realize and accept that the whole universe is created by allah with a certain aim and wisdom. this belief is the first step of faith. as faith and wisdom, both of which are in parallel, increase, they will start to identify every detail of allah’s creation.
one of the things to be done to identify the details of allah’s creation is to be careful and observant. because the ability to see the signs of allah and not to be “blind” like the unbelievers, require a high concentration.
“be quite sure that to allah doth belong whatever is in the heavens and on earth. well doth he know what ye are intent upon: and one day they will be brought back to him, and he will tell them the truth of what they did: for allah doth know all things.”
“ah indeed! are they in doubt concerning the meeting with their lord? ah indeed! it is he that doth encompass all things!”
one should train himself to recognize the signs if allah and should always keep this in mind. otherwise, mind will start to wander, jumping from one topic to another, wasting time thinking about useless things.
mind is like water; unless it is directed which way to flow, it spreads away, to the places that you would not want it to flow. this is a kind of unconsciousness; you can not control your mind. you can not focus and concentrate on a subject. actually, you can not conceive the truth behind the events happening and also can not ever have the competence to interfere in them. on the contrary, your mind gets directed by those events. you are “bewildered” all the time which is not an attribute of a believer, but the unbelievers.
“… if anyone assigns partners to allah, is as if he had fallen from heaven and been snatched up by birds, or the wind had swooped (like a bird on its prey) and thrown him into a far-distant place.”
believers, on the other hand, are the ones who direct their minds, try to better perceive allah and who try to better serve his religion. as expressed in the verse; the believers are the ones “who avoid vain talk;” (al-mumenoon 3). they free their mind from any useless thoughts and whenever they realize the appeal of satan, they rescue themselves just like the qur’an describes:
“those who fear allah, when a thought of evil from satan assaults them, bring allah to remembrance, when lo! they see (aright)!.”
therefore, the believers should be careful to keep their minds free of useless thoughts. thus they should always keep the ropes of what is happening around them and they should always be on guard.
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goodness in all
all things are created with wisdom and with an inside view. there is a benefit for the believers in all the things and events that occur. because allah is on the believers’ side and doesn’t let them down.
the things that we come across may seem to be unfavorable for the believers at first. however one should understand that even those events, for example a plot of the unbelievers, will turn out to be something good for the believers. allah will let them realize these benefits sooner or later.
there are many examples of this kind of situation in the qur’an; the life of yusuf (joseph) is one of the most remarkable ones. in his childhood, yusuf (joseph) has been thrown down to the bottom of a well by his brothers, then he has been rescued. however, later, he has been accused of seduction and has been imprisoned, even though he was innocent. for a person that do not have the faith, these incidents may be thought as unfortunate disasters. nevertheless, yusuf (joseph) always keeps in mind that these can only happen within allah’s command and that all will certainly turn out to be a goodness. this is what happens, allah turns the whole “disasters” to good; yusuf (joseph) gets released from the prison and gradually becomes one of the governors of that land.
the situation with yunus (jonah) is no different. he fled to a laden ship, then he drew lots and was rejected then he was thrown into the sea and a big fish swallowed him. qur’an informs that he was rescued and was sent to a group of people only because he glorified allah;
“had it not been that he (repented and) glorified allah, he would certainly have remained inside the fish till the day of resurrection. but we cast him forth on the naked shore in a state of sickness, and we caused to grow, over him, a spreading plant of the gourd kind. and they believed; so we permitted them to enjoy (their life) for a while.”
all these examples given in the qur’an teach us that; an event which seems to be a “misfortune” does not really happen to be so for a believer. if one puts his trust in allah, and seeks refuge in him and asking help only from him; then nothing will be “regretful” for him. allah creates some difficulties but they are only for test and to strengthen believers’ loyalty and faith.
on the contrary, the opposite is valid for the unbelievers. nothing at all can be good for those. things that seem to be delightful or nice to them are indeed “misfortunes” and these will increase their torment in the hereafter. anything that they achieve unjustly are put into their record, for which they will be responsible. allah commands in the qur’an as:
“and let not those who covetously withhold of the gifts which allah hath given them of his grace, think that it is good for them: nay, it will be the worse for them: soon shall the things which they covetously withheld be tied to their necks like a twisted collar, on the day of judgment. to allah belongs the heritage of the heavens and the earth; and allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do.”
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death close to us
the profane society is a completely ignorant, oblivious and shallow society. the members of this society have no common sense or logic. on the contrary, they live with vain and false beliefs, follow conjectures that end with deceptions. one of these deceptions is their belief about death. they believe that death is not something even to be thought about.
what they really expect is to escape from it by ignoring it. when they do not think about it, they believe that they can escape from it. but this is not different than the example of an ostrich who puts her head in the sand in order to escape from the hunter. however, ignoring a risk does not make it disappear. contrarily, this means that he will come across with the danger without having made any preparations for it and thus encounter a much bigger shock.
but the believers are different. they ponder on this important reality, the truth of which has been proved and experienced by all the people that has ever lived. allah informs the unbelievers as the below verse commands:
“say: “the death from which ye flee will truly overtake you: then will ye be sent back to the knower of things secret and open: and he will tell you (the truth of) the things that ye did!”
death is not a “disaster” which should be forgotten, but is an important lesson that teaches people the real meaning of life and thus should be deeply thought about. the believers deeply ponder on that big reality with great sincerity and wisdom. why do all the people live for a period of time and then die? all the creatures are mortal because this shows them that are the weak and flimsy servants of allah. allah is the only owner of life; all the creatures come to life with allah’s decree and they will die with again allah’s decree. in one of the verses the qur’an notes: “all that is on earth will perish: but will abide (for ever) the face of thy lord,- full of majesty, bounty and honour.”
(ar-rahman 26, 27)
everyone will die, but none can predict where and when that will be. nobody has the guarantee that he will be alive the next minute. therefore the believers should hold on to allah’s rope tightly. thinking about death will help the believers increase their sincerity and fear of allah and always be conscious.
in the qur’an, the significance of keeping death in mind is expressed in the below verses as:
“we granted not to any man before thee permanent life (here): if then thou shouldst die, would they live permanently? every soul shall have a taste of death: and we test you by evil and by good by way of trial. to us must ye return.”
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never ending attempts of the satan
when allah created adam and commanded the angels to prostrate themselves before him, they all prostrated themselves except the satan, who has been cursed henceforth. so, he requested reprieve till the day of resurrection to make people transgress. being reprieved by allah, he promised as below:
“he said: “because thou hast thrown me out of the way, lo! i will lie in wait for them on thy straight way: “then will i assault them from before them and behind them, from their right and their left: nor wilt thou find, in most of them, gratitude (for thy mercies).” “
“i will mislead them, and i will create in them false desires; i will order them to slit the ears of cattle, and to deface the (fair) nature created by allah.” whoever, forsaking allah, takes satan for a friend, hath of a surety suffered a loss that is manifest..”
if someone is unaware of these words of satan, he can not protect himself against him and can easily be deceived by him. therefore the believers should be well aware of satan just as commanded in the qur’an:
“verily satan is an enemy to you: so treat him as an enemy. he only invites his adherents, that they may become companions of the blazing fire.” (fatir 6)
those who should be the most cautious against the satan are the believers, because it is them that the satan is actually trying to give trouble. there is no need for him in trying to make the unbelievers transgress; because they have already turned out to be the army of him. so he spends all his energy to weaken the believers and to prevent them from serving for allah. that’s why believers are particularly warned about satan:
“o ye who believe! follow not satan’s footsteps: if any will follow the footsteps of satan, he will (but) command what is shameful and wrong: and were it not for the grace and mercy of allah on you, not one of you would ever have been pure: but allah doth purify whom he pleases: and allah is one who hears and knows (all things).”
as allah notifies in the qur’an, true believers will not be effected by the activities of the satan. but those that are weak and heedless may easily be influenced by the delusions of him. never should we forget that the satan is always striving hard without any rest. the believers should always be on guard and keep allah in mind all the time.
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soul prone to evil
another enemy that we should be careful against is within ourselves. allah has inspired people both the good and the evil. the evil inspiration in us always works for the satan. qur’an explains the two sides of our souls:
“by the soul, and the proportion and order given to it; and its enlightenment as to its wrong and its right;- truly he succeeds that purifies it, and he fails that corrupts it!”
people should be aware of this evil in themselves and always be on guard against the danger. denying this evil side of our souls will not help escaping, we should try to purify it as the verse says.
so the believers should never claim that they are entirely pure, but be attentive against the vain provocation of their souls. the expression of yusuf (joseph): “”nor do i absolve my own self (of blame): the (human) soul is certainly prone to evil, unless my lord do bestow his mercy: but surely my lord is oft-forgiving, most merciful.”” (yusuf 53) should always be a good example of the attention to be paid.
people should carefully watch out the tricks of his soul and do good and practice self-restraint, as in another verse it is said: “men’s souls are swayed by greed.” (an-nisa 128) what that greed may lead men to, is also told in the qur’an. it is the soul of one of adam’s sons that prompted to murder his brother: “the (selfish) soul of the other led him to the murder of his brother: he murdered him, and became (himself) one of the lost ones.” (al-maeda 30). it is the same cause that made samiri lead moses’ people astray in the absence of him. samiri says “…thus did my soul prompt me.” (ta-ha 96)
the way to attain salvation is only through self-restraint from the evil of the soul.
“truly he succeeds that purifies it” (al-hashr, 9)
“and for such as had entertained the fear of standing before their lord’s (tribunal) and had restrained (their) soul from lower desires, their abode will be the garden.”
our souls shall invite us to vain desires and passions. it whispers us to have more money, and higher status. however, these pleasures never satisfy us in real sense. the more money we will have, the more we will want to. some way, our souls will lead us to act just like an insatiate and greedy wild animal.
our souls are only satisfied if we devote ourselves to allah, not to our shallow desires. we are created to be a servant of allah: “…for without doubt in the remembrance of allah do hearts find satisfaction.” (al-rad 28). nothing else can give peace and satisfaction.
that’s why only the true believer have a complete satisfied-soul, because they keep themselves away from the evil, watch carefully for the tricks of their soul and dedicate themselves to allah.
“(to the righteous soul will be said:) “o (thou) soul, in (complete) rest and satisfaction! “come back thou to thy lord,- well pleased (thyself), and well-pleasing unto him! “enter thou, then, among my devotees! “yea, enter thou my heaven!”
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being chosen by allah
just as how we can not determine our physical appearance, neither can we determine our destiny. it is only allah who determines the birth of a man, his community, his family and the things that he will come across through all his life. it is again allah who inspires us the wisdom and the sense.
in fact, our faith in allah does not depend on our characteristics. because, again allah is the one and only who grants us faith. he is the one who guides, teaches and trains. as moses replied pharaoh “our lord is he that gave all creatures their distinctive form and then rightly guided them.” “he said: “our lord is he who gave to each (created) thing its form and nature, and further, gave (it) guidance.” “
therefore, believers are the ones who have been favored and chosen by allah: “thy lord does create and choose as he pleases: no choice have they (in the matter): glory to allah! and far is he above the partners they ascribe (to him)!”
but the ones that go to hell are the ones who totally deserve it. because they rebel against allah who created them and the wrath of allah serves them right. for the ones who are let into the gardens; allah grants them his blessings and forgives their sins.
the believers must understand that they have been chosen by allah, and must be grateful and praise allah with all their hearts for what he had given them as courtesy. all the manners of the believers should reflect the honor of this privilege. the believers should see that they have been chosen among millions of people and that they are the few blessed servants of allah, selected and drawn out of a community whose members are totally in loss.
“by (the token of) time (through the ages), verily man is in loss, except such as have faith, and do righteous deeds, and (join together) in the mutual teaching of truth, and of patience and constancy.”
is there a higher honor than being rescued and exalted above all the people by the lord of the universe?
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“say (to the rejecters): “my lord is not uneasy because of you if ye call not on him: “
prayer is the way to call on to our lord, indeed it is one of the important characteristics that distinguish a believer and an unbeliever.
the unbelievers may think that there is no divine control on the universe and everything is interacting independently. however, what they do not know is that every soul in the heavens and the earth are already submitted to him, there is no creature whose destiny is determined by allah and is obedient to him. when he decrees a thing, he only says “be”, and it is.:
“to him is due the primal origin of the heavens and the earth: when he decreeth a matter, he saith to it: “be,” and it is.”
the unbelievers do not understand this substantial fact.. however the believers learn this great mystery of the universe from the qur’an. allah is the creator and director of all things:
“when my servants ask thee concerning me, i am indeed close (to them): i listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on me: let them also, with a will, listen to my call, and believe in me: that they may walk in the right way.”
however it should also be understood that allah does not fulfill all our prayers the way we want. because people are ignorant and as the verse says: “the prayer that man should make for good, he maketh for evil; for man is given to hasty (deeds).” (al-isra 11) so allah listens all our prayers, but returns them as he pleases, since people may desire evil as well as good.
the way we should pray is also defined in the qur’an verses: with humility and in private, with all our sincerity, having hope but also fear of allah in our hearts, and a strong concentration:
“call on your lord with humility and in private: …., but call on him with fear and longing (in your hearts): for the mercy of allah is (always) near to those who do good.”
in another verse it is said : “the most beautiful names belong to allah: so call on him by them; but shun such men as use profanity in his names: for what they do, they will soon be requited.”
our prayers are actually when we confess our weakness while showing our gratitude towards allah. but abstaining from praying shows the arrogance and rebel against allah.
“and your lord says: “call on me; i will answer your (prayer): but those who are too arrogant to serve me will surely find themselves in hell – in humiliation!” “
calling on allah is both a prayer and also a great blessing. such an easy act of only “asking for” is the key to attain every physical and spiritual request. ignoring praying and trying to reach the targets merely with simple technical acts will be a big foolishness.
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seeking forgiveness and repentance
two of the most repeated names of allah in qur’an are, “compassionate” and “merciful”. allah is very merciful to his servants and does not punish them at once for their sins:
“if allah were to punish men for their wrong-doing, he would not leave, on the (earth), a single living creature: but he gives them respite for a stated term: when their term expires, they would not be able to delay (the punishment) for a single hour, just as they would not be able to anticipate it (for a single hour).”
by reprieving them, he gives people time to ask for forgiveness and to repent. no matter how important the sin one commits, he always has the opportunity to be forgiven if he repents and does right:
“when those come to thee who believe in our signs, say: “peace be on you: your lord hath inscribed for himself (the rule of) mercy: verily, if any of you did evil in ignorance, and thereafter repented, and amend (his conduct), lo! he is oft-forgiving, most merciful.”
the meaning of repentance also covers the appeal for support and strength from allah to help him not to execute that wrongdoing again. since the repentance accepted by allah is the one that is followed with good deeds.: ” and whoever repents and does good has truly turned to allah with an (acceptable) conversion;-“
sometimes people may commit the same sin as a result of their soul’s provocation even after repentance. but this is not an excuse for him not to repent again. but it should be noted that, it will not be accepted if one repents when death comes to him and when he understands what is going to happen.
“allah accept the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and repent soon afterwards; to them will allah turn in mercy: for allah is full of knowledge and wisdom. of no effect is the repentance of those who continue to do evil, until death faces one of them, and he says, “now have i repented indeed;” nor of those who die rejecting faith: for them have we prepared a punishment most grievous.”
another verse calls all the believers to salvation: “….and o ye believers! turn ye all together towards allah, that ye may attain bliss.”
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patience till death
people are created impatient, and due to this, we do various mistakes. instead of awaiting for long term results, people are more inclined to short termed but simple benefits. however religion necessitates people to be patient for the sake of allah. believers should be patient for the great salvation that allah promised. this is how the believers are commanded: “but, for thy lord’s (cause), be patient and constant!” (al-muddaththir 7). patience is indeed one of the most important qualities of struggle for allah and it is the way one should follow in order to be closer to him.
“o ye who believe! persevere in patience and constancy; vie in such perseverance; strengthen each other; and fear allah; that ye may prosper..”
believers are patient for allah’s sake, and that’s why they never get distressed for this patience, contrarily they feel delight. qur’an expresses this as: “nay, seek (allah’s) help with patient perseverance and prayer: it is indeed hard, except to those who bring a lowly spirit,-“
in another verse, it is emphasized to give glad tidings to those who are patient against obstacles or difficulties.
“be sure we shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives or the fruits (of your toil), but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere, who say, when afflicted with calamity: “to allah we belong, and to him is our return”:-“
patience is such a superior characteristic that, it may increase the strength and power of the believers. allah reveals in below verse how strength may increase with respect to patience:
“for the present, allah hath lightened your (task), for he knoweth that there is a weak spot in you: but (even so), if there are a hundred of you, patient and persevering, they will vanquish two hundred, and if a thousand, they will vanquish two thousand, with the leave of allah: for allah is with those who patiently persevere.”
patience is also a quality that contains all the other characteristics described in qur’an. a man may be modest, humble, generous, obedient or devoted; but only when he keeps them with patience, it will be valuable. it is the patience shown on the prayers and the attributes of believers, that makes it acceptable.
patience covers the whole life of the believers. the believers obey the decree: “be patient for your lord’s sake”. finally allah takes the souls and awards them with his paradise and his will. angels at the gates welcome to the righteous, saying: “peace unto you for that ye persevered in patience! now how excellent is the final home!”
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support by allah
in the profane society, people develop their characters according to the power or statutes they have. for someone to be self-confident, he must be either very rich or famous, or beautiful or handsome. being the son or daughter of a “respected” man is also an important reason of self-confidence in such a community.
however undoubtedly it is completely different for the believers. because the believers rely on no one or no support at all, but only allah. they do not attach importance to any worldly criteria that the unbelievers follow.
because, allah is always the supporter of the believers. he does not let them be down against the unbelievers. allah has decreed: “it is i and my messengers who must prevail”: for allah is one full of strength, able to enforce his will.” (al-mujadila, 21). so the messengers and the ones who follow them will triumph with this great support. allah guarantees: “should they intend to deceive thee,- verily allah sufficeth thee: he it is that hath strengthened thee with his aid and with (the company of) the believers;”.
it should never be forgotten that it is only allah who strengthens, improves and lets the believers succeed. it is not enough just to hold on to some physical causes. the physical causes can do nothing; they are merely physical and verbal prayers. allah creates the desired results as a response to those prayers. that’s why the believers rely only on the support of allah.
and they are therefore so courageous and confident and they challenge the world. they become so strong to be affected by any negation. musa (moses), who does not lose heart while all his people transgress, says: “and moses said: “if ye show ingratitude, ye and all on earth together, yet is allah free of all wants, worthy of all praise.”
(ibrahim 8) .
musa (moses) is so confident and fearless, as he is certain that allah and his support is always with the believers. allah has revealed: “we said: “fear not! for thou hast indeed the upper hand:”
musa’s (moses) attitude should definitely be an example to all the believers. because allah’s promise of triumph is to all the believers. allah has promised to protect and support the believers against the unbelievers, and make them triumph. as qur’an expresses;
“…and never will allah grant to the unbelievers a way (to triumphs) over the believers.”
the believers are responsible for merely maintaining their devotion to allah and being good servants of him. when this is the case, they will have nothing to fear.
“o ye who believe! guard your own souls: if ye follow (right) guidance, no hurt can come to you from those who stray. the goal of you all is to allah: it is he that will show you the truth of all that ye do.”
unbelievers can never do harm to righteous. all plans and plots made against the believers will be useless. in the below verse, this mystery is explained as:
“mighty indeed were the plots which they made, but their plots were (well) within the sight of allah, even though they were such as to shake the hills!”
while unbelievers are plotting against believers, in fact allah slowly drags them towards ruin. they suppose that they are more superior than believers and can easily beat them. however, allah is on believers’ side and his power, glory and greatness is manifest on the believers. qur’an expresses this truth which can not be comprehended by the hypocrites as follows:
“they are the ones who say, “spend nothing on those who are with allah’s messenger, to the end that they may disperse (and quit medina).” but to allah belong the treasures of the heavens and the earth; but the hypocrites understand not. they say, “if we return to medina, surely the more honorable (element) will expel therefrom the meaner.” but honor belongs to allah and his messenger, and to the believers; but the hypocrites know not.”
(al-munafiqoon 7, 8)
this is a definitely unchangeable rule. believers, in accordance with the verse “o ye who believe! take your precautions…” (an-nisa 71), shall always be careful and cautions against unbelievers, however they will be in the ease of this divine rule.
allah explains the same rule in another verse:
“those who reject allah, hinder (men) from the path of allah, and resist the messenger, after guidance has been clearly shown to them, will not injure allah in the least, but he will make their deeds of no effect.”
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no desperation for the believers
there are two kinds of hopelessness. the first kind arises when encountered with difficulties or obstacles. such a manner should not be the act of a believer. he should always keep in mind that allah has promised to give support to the believers. the qur’an verse says that allah is sufficient for the believers and that he has strengthened the believers with his aid.
the second kind of despair is more dangerous and that is , giving up hope of allah’s mercy after making a mistake or committing a sin. because this may yield to a thought that allah will not forgive his sins and that he will go to hell. but this thought entirely opposes to qur’an teachings. it is just an apprehension. contrarily, allah forgives the sins of all those who repent sincerely. it is never “too late” for seeking refuge in his mercy. allah calls his servants as:
“say: “o my servants who have transgressed against their souls! despair not of the mercy of allah: for allah forgives all sins: for he is oft-forgiving, most merciful.”
despair is a temptation of the satan. satan tries to influence believers by demoralizing and thus dragging them to more serious mistakes. his aim is to lead the believers to suspect about their own faith and sincerity, to make them think that they are “faker”. if a man falls into this trap, he will start to lose his self-respect and consequently his faith, committing bigger sins after that one mistake.
believers should immediately seek refuge in allah, think with qur’an teachings and immediately leave this mood. qur’an describes the manner of a believer in such cases:
“if a suggestion from satan assail thy (mind), seek refuge with allah; for he heareth and knoweth (all things).”
if one is sincere in his faith in allah, allah forgives him even if he has made mistakes or committed sins. furthermore, he might have been insincere for a long time, but he still has the chance to repent. it is just a trick of satan that gives way to despair, while allah is the one with eternal mercy and justice and the one who promises victory and his paradise to the believers. the advice of yakub (jacob) should be a guide for all the believers:
“o my sons! go ye and inquire about joseph and his brother, and never give up hope of allah’s soothing mercy: truly no one despairs of allah’s soothing mercy, except those who have no faith.”
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evaluating everything with the point of view of the qur’an
the aim of life for a believer is nothing but being a servant of allah. people are not created to fulfill their vain desires and greed or to run after their passions; the one and only reason of our creation is to serve our lord.
the way to it is through taking the qur’an as our unique guide. we should pay all our attention to apply every decree of the qur’an. our target should be a “walking qur’an”.
we can see from the qur’an that the responsibility of the believers is not only on decisive verses, such as the ones on regular prayers, fasting or hajj but also on prayers that require interpretation. for instance, in one verse it is commanded to: “invite (all) to the way of thy lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for thy lord knoweth best, who have strayed from his path, and who receive guidance.” (an-nahl 125). the believers can understand this “wisdom and beautiful preaching” by both applying qur’an’s general logic and manner, and also their own wisdom and understanding.
there are many other responsibilities that require wisdom and understanding. for example, qur’an describes various models of communities, and informs us the way we should treat to those different kinds of people. and what should be said to those people are also mentioned in the qur’an in the verses especially beginning with “say…”.
the verses that advice believers how to behave are clearly described in decisive verses of the qur’an. but in order to apply these to daily life, requires their instant recognition. at this point it is the wisdom and understanding of the believers that help.
qur’an describes various kinds of people, such as believers, christians, jews, hypocrites, pagans. we can learn the concerned verses, and investigate their examples in the history of islam. however, what actually should be done is to identify those kinds of people among our society and act as how the qur’an commands. this is inevitable for being a “walking qur’an”.
moreover believers should realize that, all the people around us are undoubtedly one of the kinds of people described in the qur’an. all the people exist to form the society the qur’an describes and none is created in vain:
“not for (idle) sport did we create the heavens and the earth and all that is between!”
however, it is not only the people around us that are described in the qur’an. in fact, everything that we see and anything that happens are indeed the reflections of what is written in the qur’an.
“soon will we show them our signs in the (furthest) regions (of the earth), and in their own souls, until it becomes manifest to them that this is the truth. is it not enough that thy lord doth witness all things?”
the whole universe consists of signs of allah. as the believers realize this fact more, they will recognize allah more, and will obey all his decrees painstakingly. as one comprehends that life with all its details, is actually a “sign” defined in the qur’an, he will consider everything in every stage of his “daily life” according to the values of the qur’an.
no happening occurs other than the destiny that allah has determined. therefore nothing is without a purpose. what the believers should do is to interpret each event with the understanding of the qur’an and react the way the qur’an describes. for example when encountered with something “vain” and idle, one should pay no heed to it. but the fact is; this vain thing is also created with wisdom and has a purpose, and it is to test the believers if they pay heed to it or if they behave according to the way allah has commanded.
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being grateful to allah
as nothing is created in vain, so are the blessings of allah. any of these blessings; our life, faith, sustenance, health, eyes, ears and all are reasons for mankind to be grateful to allah.
when one leaves the heedless and ignorant vision and starts to think and see with reasoning, he will surely ascertain that everything around us is indeed a favor of allah. all the food that we eat, the air that we breath, all the beauties around us, also our eyes that let us see all these, everything but everything is a blessing of allah. these are so numerous that the qur’an informs: ” if ye would count up the favours of allah, never would ye be able to number them: for allah is oft-forgiving, most merciful.”
and undoubtedly all these favors are given for some reason. nothing is created for us to use as we wish and consume. on the contrary, the reason of all those favors -no matter what – is to instruct mankind towards allah; because everything given, necessitates a gratitude in return. allah is the one who continuously gives all the blessings, we should show our sincere gratitude only to him. gratefulness is both a great prayer and also a way to protect us from “transgressing”. because people have a tendency towards depravity and evil as they get richer and have more power. they start to forget their weaknesses and become haughty. showing our gratitude to allah prevents us from this “depravity”. people who show their gratefulness to allah know that everything they obtain is given to him by allah, to whom they always belong to. that’s why we are responsible for using these blessings in the way of allah and for only his will. this is the key for modesty and maturity of the prophets such as davud (david) or suleyman (solomon) to whom great possession, states and sovereignty are given. the actual problem of karun (qarun), who was depraved because of the possession he had, was indeed being ungrateful to allah.
if a believer demonstrates that he will not become haughty and impertinent with the blessings or riches he is given, allah shall give him more. “…if ye are grateful, i will add more (favours) unto you; but if ye show ingratitude, truly my punishment is terrible indeed.”
gratitude should not be shown merely with words, it should instead be mostly shown by utilizing each favor for allah’s way. believers are responsible of using everything that they have been given, for the way of allah. first of all, all the believers should start using their being to strive for his way. qur’an also informs that to show our gratitude to allah can be done by proclaiming people about all of allah’s blessings, which is telling them about the belief of allah:
“and soon will thy guardian-lord give thee (that wherewith) thou shalt be well-pleased. did he not find thee an orphan and give thee shelter (and care)? and he found thee wandering, and he gave thee guidance. and he found thee in need, and made thee independent. therefore, treat not the orphan with harshness, nor repulse the petitioner (unheard); but the bounty of the lord – rehearse and proclaim!”
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our on-going test
as we have stated in the beginning, nothing on earth is created in vain, but are created with wisdom. understanding this fact depends on the wisdom of people themselves. somebody, whose faith and consequently the wisdom and prudence increases, will start to grasp this reasoning much better.
one of the most important reasoning is that we are being tested throughout our whole lives. allah tests our sincerity and our faith with different occasions. he may give favors to test whether we are grateful to him or not. he may give difficulties, to reveal whether we behave in resignation or not. in one of the verses: “every soul shall have a taste of death: and we test you by evil and by good by way of trial. to us must ye return.”
we will be tested in various ways. this is explained in the qur’an with the below verse:
“be sure we shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives or the fruits (of your toil), but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere,”
our lives have indeed been planned with the mystery of test. first of all, we are being tested with our physical beings. in the qur’an, it is decreed that; “verily we created man from a drop of mingled sperm, in order to try him: so we gave him (the gifts), of hearing and sight.” (al-insan 2). consequently, everything we hear and see is actually a part of the test. in anything that we come across, we will be tested; if we behave in accordance with the qur’an or with our own vain desires.
allah tests the steadfastness of the believers with various difficulties. one of the most important of these is the oppression of the unbelievers towards the believers. all the things that they do, like verbal attacks, mocking, physical oppressions and even tortures and murder attempts, are only the tests for the believers. in one of the verses:
“ye shall certainly be tried and tested in your possessions and in your personal selves; and ye shall certainly hear much that will grieve you, from those who received the book before you and from those who worship many gods. but if ye persevere patiently, and guard against evil,-then that will be a determining factor in all affairs.”
the most important point in those tests is to comprehend that all of them are created by allah for a special kind of test. if one does not understand this, he will become very superficial. qur’an informs us about a very similar case of jews.
“ask them concerning the town standing close by the sea. behold! they transgressed in the matter of the sabbath. for on the day of their sabbath their fish did come to them, openly holding up their heads, but on the day they had no sabbath, they came not: thus did we make a trial of them, for they were given to transgression.”
one can realize that he is being tested and can succeed in these tests with using his wisdom. that’s why a believer should not forget that he’s being tested throughout his life. these tests cannot be completed by only saying: “we believe”:
“do men think that they will be left alone on saying, “we believe”, and that they will not be tested? we did test those before them, and allah will certainly know those who are true from those who are false.”
and in another verse allah says:
“did ye think that ye would enter heaven without allah testing those of you who fought hard (in his cause) and remained steadfast?”
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allah does not place a burden greater than one can bear
a significant portion of the community claims that it is hard for them to practice the religion, and that is the only reason that they do not follow the principles of the religion. in this way they expect to lessen their guilt. but they deceive nobody but themselves.
because allah does not give any burden more than one can bear: as the qur’an says: “on no soul doth allah place a burden greater than it can bear. it gets every good that it earns, and it suffers every ill that it earns… “
in another verse it is expressed that the religion that allah has chosen for us is as easy as the religion of ibrahim (abraham):
“and strive in his cause as ye ought to strive, (with sincerity and under discipline). he has chosen you, and has imposed no difficulties on you in religion; it is the cult of your father abraham. it is he who has named you believers, both before and in this (revelation); that the messenger may be a witness for you, and ye be witnesses for mankind! so establish regular prayer, give regular charity, and hold fast to allah! he is your protector – the best to protect and the best to help!”
when this is the case, it is undoubtedly a clear deception for someone to claim that it is hard to practice religion and put this forward as a reason of not practicing. he can not deceive anyone with such an explanation, but only himself.
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no love towards the unbelievers
in order to live with the morals of the qur’an, one should completely leave the culture and all the moral values of the profane society. one of the first things to be left is the love towards it.
in a profane society, all the relations are based on selfish interests. a person gets along with the other one only if there is a benefit from him or if he is been taken care of the other or at least he treats him good. another measure is the family tie. people love others just because that they are from the same family; or from the same dynasty, or from the same society or sometimes even from the same nation.
however these are not the criteria for the believers. because, believers love allah more than anything or anyone.
“yet there are men who take (for worship) others besides allah, as equal (with allah): they love them as they should love allah. but those of faith are overflowing in their love for allah. if only the unrighteous could see, behold, they would see the penalty: that to allah belongs all power, and allah will strongly enforce the penalty.”
believers respect allah above anything, therefore the believers love people according to their sincerity with allah, and they dislike them according to their disobey to allah. no matter if these people are close to him or not. this characteristic of the believers is described in the qur’an as:
“thou wilt not find any people who believe in allah and the last day, loving those who resist allah and his messenger, even though they were their fathers or their sons, or their brothers, or their kindred. for such he has written faith in their hearts, and strengthened them with a spirit from himself. and he will admit them to gardens beneath which rivers flow, to dwell therein (for ever). allah will be well pleased with them, and they with him. they are the party of allah. truly it is the party of allah that will achieve felicity.”
having even a little bit of love towards the unbelievers would never be a proper attitude for a believer. believers are seriously warned in the qur’an as below verse expresses:
“o ye who believe! take not my enemies and yours as friends (or protectors),- offering them (your) love, even though they have rejected the truth that has come to you, and have (on the contrary) driven out the prophet and yourselves (from your homes), (simply) because ye believe in allah your lord! if ye have come out to strive in my way and to seek my good pleasure, (take them not as friends), holding secret converse of love (and friendship) with them: for i know full well all that ye conceal and all that ye reveal. and any of you that does this has strayed from the straight path.”
behavior of the prophet abraham and his tribe is an excellent example for all the believes:
“there is for you an excellent example (to follow) in abraham and those with him, when they said to their people: “we are clear of you and of whatever ye worship besides allah: we have rejected you, and there has arisen, between us and you, enmity and hatred for ever,- unless ye believe in allah and him alone”: but not when abraham said to his father: “i will pray for forgiveness for thee, though i have no power (to get) aught on thy behalf from allah.” (they prayed): “our lord! in thee do we trust, and to thee do we turn in repentance: to thee is (our) final goal.”
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regarding nothing dearer than allah, his messenger and striving in his cause
the only obligation of a believer is to serve allah. the one and only reason of our existence is to be servants of him. life based on any other reasoning than this, means denial and worshipping idols beside allah and shall consequently lead to hell.
in other words, the life is only a tool for a believer. he should regard every moment of his life as a means of getting closer to allah and serving for his cause. if this tool ever turns out to be the aim, which is exactly the case of the unbelievers, then that means there is a big danger for him.
believers live for only one cause; and that is to serve allah and and they have abandoned the world. allah explains this as:
“allah hath purchased of the believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the garden (of paradise): they fight in his cause, and slay and are slain: a promise binding on him in truth, through the law, the gospel, and the qur’an: and who is more faithful to his covenant than allah? then rejoice in the bargain which ye have concluded: that is the achievement supreme.”
the believers have sold their lives and goods to allah and naturally do not have any custody of them. all they do is to behave the way that allah commands. if allah offers them a blessing, they are grateful to allah and when he commands them to strive in his cause, they do not feel a moment’s hesitancy even if they know that they are even going to death.
such a believer does not abstain from any self-sacrifice and nothing on earth can keep him away from struggling for allah’s cause. he can leave behind all the beautiful blessings and go to death without any hesitation. on the contrary, the opposite behavior would be the sign that he has not sold his goods and life to allah yet. such will end with disappointment.
“say: if it be that your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your mates, or your kindred; the wealth that ye have gained; the commerce in which ye fear a decline: or the dwellings in which ye delight – are dearer to you than allah, or his messenger, or the striving in his cause;- then wait until allah brings about his decision: and allah guides not the rebellious.”
this faith is so strong in the companions of the prophet mohammed that, not only they ever abstain from struggle, but on the contrary, there are some who cry when they do not find the opportunity to go to the battle together with mohammed. allah tells us this difference in the below verse:
“there is no blame on those who are infirm, or ill, or who find no resources to spend (on the cause), if they are sincere (in duty) to allah and his messenger: no ground (of complaint) can there be against such as do right: and allah is oft-forgiving, most merciful. nor (is there blame) on those who came to thee to be provided with mounts, and when thou saidst, “i can find no mounts for you,” they turned back, their eyes streaming with tears of grief that they had no resources wherewith to provide the expenses. the ground (of complaint) is against such as claim exemption while they are rich. they prefer to stay with the (women) who remain behind: allah hath sealed their hearts; so they know not (what they miss).”
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lose no heart, no despair, no sorrow
the believers have a long and hard struggle in the way of allah. there are enemies who may usually be technically stronger and many in number. however the believers always overcome those enemies as long as they follow allah’s way. one of the reasons of their victory is that, believers carry out this struggle with great enthusiasm and excitement. however this is what the unbelievers cannot do; because they are unfaithful and are devoted to this life. they have fears and weaknesses, they immediately give up when met with difficulties. on the other hand, believers never get weakened, since they know that allah is always with them and they will be the ones to succeed. this is described in the below qur’an verse:
“how many of the prophets fought (in allah’s way), and with them (fought) large bands of godly men? but they never lost heart if they met with disaster in allah’s way, nor did they weaken (in will) nor give in. and allah loves those who are firm and steadfast.”
however, believers need to pray for this enthusiasm and excitement. because our souls always try to drag us to weaknesses, and the satan strives hard for this. when the hypocrites among prophet mohammed’s people, find a suitable time, they say: “ye men of yathrib! ye cannot stand (the attack)! therefore go back!” (al-ahzab, 13) and they try to create a despair and a consequent defeat. but the believers are warned about all these dubious factors in the qur’an: “so patiently persevere: for verily the promise of allah is true: nor let those shake thy firmness, who have (themselves) no certainty of faith.”
believers are only responsible for themselves and should not be affected by others that have weaknesses. the strength of the enemies should also not affect and frighten them. the believers start for the cause of allah and they will carry on till the end again for the cause of allah:
“so lose not heart, nor fall into despair: for ye must gain mastery if ye are true in faith.”
“and slacken not in following up the enemy: if ye are suffering hardships, they are suffering similar hardships; but ye have hope from allah, while they have none. and allah is full of knowledge and wisdom.”
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prayers, which are defined by the prophet mohammed as the “post of religion”, are very important since it is the apparent expression of being a servant to allah. however, qur’an describes some cases in which the prayers are not offered as defined above:
“so woe to the worshippers, who are neglectful of their prayers, those who (want but) to be seen (of men),”
that means what makes our regular prayers proper is not the actual movements themselves; but the aim and mind in it. some people pray just to show others that they are “muslims” but instead of a gain before allah, contrarily they are in big transgression.
what makes our prayers proper is to know that we are prostrating ourselves before allah as only to express our devotion to him. that’s why allah commands to “…and stand before allah in a devout (frame of mind).” (al-baqara 238)
in another verse, believers are described as “those who humble themselves in their prayers;” (al-mumenoon 2). being humble in this verse means, “fear with a deep respect and heart filled with awe”.
in another verse regular prayers are described:
“recite what is sent of the book by inspiration to thee, and establish regular prayer: for prayer restrains from shameful and unjust deeds; and remembrance of allah is the greatest (thing in life) without doubt. and allah knows the (deeds) that ye do.”
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remembering and turning to allah
all topics of faith that we have mentioned till now, require a complete devotion to allah, to live and to struggle for him. this dedication cannot be attained unless there is a close contact with allah and the way to it, is through “remembering and turning to allah”. the believers should always remember their lord, celebrate the praises of him and always turn in repentance as commanded in the qur’an: “o ye who believe! celebrate the praises of allah, and do this often;”
this is what will make someone ” a companion of allah”.
“and do thou (o reader!) bring thy lord to remembrance in thy (very) soul, with humility and in reverence, without loudness in words, in the mornings and evenings; and be not thou of those who are unheedful.” (al-araf 205)
as expressed in another verse; “…and remembrance of allah is the greatest (thing in life) without doubt….” (al-ankaboot 45). because it is the basis of all the prayers, without it, others lose their value. when the qur’an informs us about the attributes of the prophets, it emphasizes how they turn to allah. in the 30th verse of chapter sad, it is said that: “to david we gave solomon (for a son),- how excellent in our service! ever did he turn (to us)!” for the prophet ayub (job), allah says; “…truly we found him full of patience and constancy. how excellent in our service! ever did he turn (to us)!”
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remembering allah when met a force
the reason of life for a believer is to worship allah. one of the most significant ways of worshipping is done through communicating allah’s message to people and struggling against the companions of the satan. this struggle is usually very severe and harsh because most of the time “the companions of the satan” has technically better equipment.
nevertheless the believers do not mind this at all, since they are aware of the real cause and effect relationship that runs the world. and this reality tells them that victory has nothing to do with superiority in number of force, but with the command and will of allah. as a matter of fact, the true religion has so many victories of faith just as allah informs: “..how oft, by allah’s will, hath a small force vanquished a big one? allah is with those who steadfastly persevere.” (al-baqara 249) it is just the faith that leads to victory. this mysterious truth, which can not be understood by unbelievers, is explained in below verse:
“o ye who believe! when ye meet a force, be firm, and call allah in remembrance much (and often); that ye may prosper:”
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reciting the revelations of allah
as expressed in the 7th verse of the chapter al-muzzammil there are long occupations during day times for the believers. surely, these occupations are for the benefit of the religion however they require the believers to get into irreligious environments. they get involved in profane societies. the believers keep their faith of allah even in these worldly affairs and never lose the spiritual point of view.
“by men whom neither traffic nor merchandise can divert from the remembrance of allah, nor from regular prayer, nor from the practice of regular charity: their (only) fear is for the day when hearts and eyes will be transformed (in a world wholly new),-“
an important part of this characteristic is to keep the revelations of allah in mind. in the verses, this important attribute is commanded with the verse: “and recite what is rehearsed to you in your homes, of the signs of allah and his wisdom: for allah understands the finest mysteries and is well-acquainted (with them).” (al-ahzab 34). as long as the believers keep the qur’an verses in his mind, they will observe their manifestations in life and will feel closer to allah.
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avoiding profane talk
the believers are not interested in profane and useless talk and affairs and do not get satisfied with such things. they get involved in the worldly affairs if and only if there is a benefit for the cause of allah. these things have no value for a believer. that’s why believers are described in qur’an as; “who avoid vain talk”
above verse emphasizes that when a believer comes across with a profane talk or event, he should turn his back and do something useful for his cause. this is the right behavior to please allah. in order to do this, the believers should always be cautious knowing what he is doing. it will not be appropriate for a believer to argue with ignorant and shallow people for things except any gain for the cause. the qur’an explains us the ideal manner as below:
“and when they hear vain talk, they turn away therefrom and say: “to us our deeds, and to you yours; peace be to you: we seek not the ignorant.” “
“those who witness no falsehood, and, if they pass by futility, they pass by it with honorable (avoidance); “
when a believer becomes free from his current work, he should continue with another useful task. as the verse explains: :”therefore, when thou art free (from thine immediate task), still labour hard, and to thy lord turn (all) thy attention.”
(al-inshirah 7, 8)
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to be moderate necessitates behaving within the boundaries of the qur’an; doing the lawful things and avoiding the forbidden ones. though it seems to be too technical, it actually requires a consistent moderate and temperate mood. the believers get involved with some profane societies, however they should never act like one of them. the believers should always obey what has been decreed with the qur’an and always keep their same moderate and consistent attitude and mood.
however, this is definitely not something to be done when the believers are in a different society, they should also be in the same temper among the believers and there are some situations when special attention should be paid:
“o ye who believe! raise not your voices above the voice of the prophet, nor speak aloud to him in talk, as ye may speak aloud to one another, lest your deeds become vain and ye perceive not.”
moreover, the risk of behaving immoderately may even occur in doing something which is lawful. this is because that not every manner fits every situation. a statement or a behavior may be sometimes “unsuitable” or “improper” although it is not forbidden. that’s why the believers should avoid extreme and sharp behaviors. they should try to attain a personality so that he will not get nervous or very excited, never lose his temper and never misbehave. qur’an describes this consistent and temperate mood in the below verse:
“no misfortune can happen on earth or in your souls but is recorded in a decree before we bring it into existence: that is truly easy for allah: in order that ye may not despair over matters that pass you by, nor exult over favours bestowed upon you. for allah loveth not any vainglorious boaster,- “
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witnesses of angels
people think that they are “all alone” if they are not seen by others. however, this is not right. first of all, allah is always very close to us, and sees and hears everything we do. moreover, there are also witnesses of angels beside us that never leave us, but we can not see them. these are the angels assigned as our guardians who record everything we do. qur’an informs us about this mystery:
“it was we who created man, and we know what dark suggestions his soul makes to him: for we are nearer to him than (his) jugular vein. behold, two (guardian angels) appointed to learn (his doings) learn (and noted them), one sitting on the right and one on the left. not a word does he utter but there is a sentinel by him, ready (to note it).”
what is noted down by these angels shall be revealed on the day of judgment, where people will be interrogated of what they had done on earth. the qur’an, explains what will happen on that day:
“then he who is given his record in his right hand, soon will his account be taken by an easy reckoning, and he will turn to his people, rejoicing! but he who is given his record behind his back,-soon will he cry for perdition, and he will enter a blazing fire. truly, did he go about among his people, rejoicing! truly, did he think that he would not have to return (to us)! nay, nay! for his lord was (ever) watchful of him!”
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writing down transactions
people, as their nature of their creation, are forgetful. that’s why allah commands us to write down the transactions among the believers in the presence of witnesses:
“o ye who believe! when ye deal with each other, in transactions involving future obligations in a fixed period of time, reduce them to writing let a scribe write down faithfully as between the parties: let not the scribe refuse to write: as allah has taught him, so let him write. let him who incurs the liability dictate, but let him fear his lord allah, and not diminish aught of what he owes. if they party liable is mentally deficient, or weak, or unable himself to dictate, let his guardian dictate faithfully, and get two witnesses, out of your own men, and if there are not two men, then a man and two women, such as ye choose, for witnesses, so that if one of them errs, the other can remind her. the witnesses should not refuse when they are called on (for evidence). disdain not to reduce to writing (your contract) for a future period, whether it be small or big: it is juster in the sight of allah, more suitable as evidence, and more convenient to prevent doubts among yourselves but if it be a transaction which ye carry out on the spot among yourselves, there is no blame on you if ye reduce it not to writing. but take witness whenever ye make a commercial contract; and let neither scribe nor witness suffer harm. if ye do (such harm), it would be wickedness in you. so fear allah; for it is good that teaches you. and allah is well acquainted with all things. if ye are on a journey, and cannot find a scribe, a pledge with possession (may serve the purpose). and if one of you deposits a thing on trust with another, let the trustee (faithfully) discharge his trust, and let him fear his lord conceal not evidence; for whoever conceals it, – his heart is tainted with sin. and allah knoweth all that ye do.”
in another verse, it is informed that it will be better to remit the debts:
“if the debtor is in a difficulty, grant him time till it is easy for him to repay. but if ye remit it by way of charity, that is best for you if ye only knew.” (al-baqara 280)
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saying something which you will not do
believers are obligated to keep their promises, just as decreed in the qur’an as “…and fulfill (every) engagement, for (every) engagement will be inquired into (on the day of reckoning).”
being trustworthy is one of the foremost characteristics of the believers. all the apostles have proved their righteousness to their people and been know as trustworthy and decent people. keeping promises is a significant part of this trustworthiness.
the believers should keep their promises, and never engage in anything which they think that they will not be able to realize. it is said in the qur’an as follows:
“o ye who believe! why say ye that which ye do not? grievously odious is it in the sight of allah that ye say that which ye do not.”
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no dispute among the believers
one of the mystery behind believers’ success is the warm brotherhood and solidarity among them. qur’an emphasizes the importance of unity in the verse; “truly allah loves those who fight in his cause in battle array, as if they were a solid cemented structure.”
therefore any statement or behavior that may damage this close brotherhood, has the capacity to harm directly the whole group of believers. the qur’an warns the believers against this threat:
“and obey allah and his messenger; and fall into no disputes, lest ye lose heart and your power depart; and be patient and persevering: for allah is with those who patiently persevere:”
hence, what a sincere believer will do is to be extremely cautious against such disputes, avoiding words or manners that may hurt his brothers. and contrarily he should behave so as to increase the affection and confidence among them. in the qur’an, we have the clear decree about what to do:
“say to my servants that they should (only) say those things that are best: for satan doth sow dissensions among them: for satan is to man an avowed enemy.”
if a believer does not have the same opinion with his brother on some issue, then he should behave and talk in the most modest and humble way. sharing these ideas should remain on the basis of “consultation”, not a “debate”. if a similar situation is observed among two other believers, then what one should do is indicated in the below verse:
“the believers are but a single brotherhood: so make peace and reconciliation between your two (contending) brothers; and fear allah, that ye may receive mercy.”
it should be noted that any kind of even a small argument may have very negative effects on the cause.
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seeking allah’s protection from satan while reading the qur’an
the qur’an is the divine book revealed by allah to guide mankind. however, while it helps increase the faith of the believers, it discloses the denial of the unbelievers.
“he it is who has sent down to thee the book: in it are verses basic or fundamental (of established meaning); they are the foundation of the book: others are allegorical. but those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is allegorical, seeking discord, and searching for its hidden meanings, but no one knows its hidden meanings except allah. and those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: “we believe in the book; the whole of it is from our lord:” and none will grasp the message except men of understanding.”
that means that some verses of the qur’an has the feature to reveal the transgress of “those in whose hearts is perversity “, whilst the faith and submission of the believers increase with the same verses.
it also should be noted that no one can guarantee that it will continue to increase their faith. believers may also lose the qur’anic point of view with the effect of satan’s temptations. and naturally he would not perceive the wisdom in the qur’an when he reads the qur’an with that point of view. that’s why, allah commands to seek refuge in him from the effects of satan before reading the qur’an “when thou dost read the qur’an, seek allah’s protection from satan the rejected one.”
this is important by means of reminding the presence of satan and his activities. satan is indeed always on work, trying to assault people from before and behind , from their right and their left. he lies in wait for people on allah’s straight way. the activities and strategy of the satan has been explained in many verses of the qur’an. thus, the salvation from the deceits of satan can only be possible through the qur’an, which teaches us the tricks and the ways to avoid them. as expressed in the 22nd verse of ibrahim, “the satan had no authority over the believers”. the key is to accept the qur’an as the only guide and to read it after seeking refuge in allah from the rejected satan.
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a majority of the profane society is rude, careless and thoughtless. the reason is the egoism of the unbelievers. everybody thinks for their own benefits. the others have no importance for them. however, the believers are completely different from these people, because one of the significant characteristics of the believers is to keep themselves away from their own greed. believers who overcome their vain desires, will naturally be kind and sensitive to other believers. the qur’an narrates that kind of self- sacrificing manner between the refugees who fled with mohammed to medina and the faithful people of medina who helped them:
“but those who before them, had homes (in medina) and had adopted the faith,- show their affection to such as came to them for refuge, and entertain no desire in their hearts for things given to the (latter), but give them preference over themselves, even though poverty was their (own lot). and those saved from the covetousness of their own souls,- they are the ones that achieve prosperity.”
as also mentioned in this verse, the believers should give the other believers preference over themselves. this is the real faith, real submission and real brotherhood.
the qur’an emphasizes this subject with many examples of both thoughtless and thoughtful manners. and the most important is surely to be graceful and respectful to allah’s messenger:
“o ye who believe! put not yourselves forward before allah and his messenger; but fear allah: for allah is he who hears and knows all things.” (al-hujraat 1)
“o ye who believe! enter not the prophet’s houses,- until leave is given you,- for a meal, (and then) not (so early as) to wait for its preparation: but when ye are invited, enter; and when ye have taken your meal, disperse, without seeking familiar talk. such (behavior) annoys the prophet: he is ashamed to dismiss you, but allah is not ashamed (to tell you) the truth. and when ye ask (his ladies) for anything ye want, ask them from before a screen: that makes for greater purity for your hearts and for theirs. nor is it right for you that ye should annoy allah’s messenger, or that ye should marry his widows after him at any time. truly such a thing is in allah’s sight an enormity.”
people who are raised up with the teachings of the qur’an are noble, polite, upright and thoughtful. this is the attitude of the believer who gives preference to his brothers than himself. being kind is a characteristics of the people of the gardens.
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turning away from the ignorant
the qur’an describes believers in below verses as:
“and the servants of (allah) most gracious are those who walk on the earth in humility, and when the ignorant address them, they say, “peace!”; “
“and when they hear vain talk, they turn away therefrom and say: “to us our deeds, and to you yours; peace be to you: we seek not the ignorant.” ”
believers are peaceful, but those who disbelieve are extremely uneasy, restless and aggressive. it is as if their torment of hell has already started on earth. that’s why they cause trouble and they come across with troubles all the time. however, believers do not even talk to those people unless they try to plot against the believers and islam. because taking those people as peers, would only mean being at the same levels as them. the believers behave honorable as the above verses describe. when it is needed to interfere, the believers do not behave rude, they interfere with the most civilized and legal way.
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not arguing about things that you don’t know
the qur’an informs one the significant characteristics of men: “but man is, in most things, contentious.” (al-kahf 54) in other verses, this characteristics among the unbelievers is described:
“when (jesus) the son of mary is held up as an example, behold, thy people raise a clamour thereat (in ridicule)! and they say, “are our gods best, or he?” this they set forth to thee, only by way of disputation: yea, they are a contentious people.”
the reason of this tendency to discuss about everything is not to reveal and evaluate different opinions; but is the rage to quarrel. in such arguments none of the sides try to evaluate the others’ ideas and find the right way. beating the other is the only aim. this is the reason of the loud voices and tense attitude during such arguments, and they turn into a quarrel.
the most abnormal is surely to argue about things about which they do not have any knowledge. the most striking example can be observed when they discuss on religion, on which they have no information and are exceedingly ignorant. below verse points out this subjects:
“ah! ye are those who fell to disputing (even) in matters of which ye had some knowledge! but why dispute ye in matters of which ye have no knowledge? it is allah who knows, and ye who know not!”
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below verse clearly tells that there should not be any mocking among the believers:
“o ye who believe! let not some men among you laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): nor let some women laugh at others: it may be that the (latter are better than the (former): nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other, nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames: ill-seeming is a name connoting wickedness, (to be used of one) after he has believed: and those who do not desist are (indeed) doing wrong.”
allah tells people to avoid from mocking. people may think that mocking is only laughing at someone after tripping him. however, mocking may even be in the form of a grin or tease with words pretending to make a joke, or look into the eyes of another person to mean something which you cannot tell openly. such behaviors do not suit to believers. qur’an tells us that such people will have the fire of allah mounted on their hearts.
“woe to every (kind of) scandal-monger and-backbiter, who pileth up wealth and layeth it by,
thinking that his wealth would make him last for ever! by no means! he will be sure to be thrown into that which breaks to pieces, and what will explain to thee that which breaks to pieces? (it is) the fire of (the wrath of) allah kindled (to a blaze), the which doth mount (right) to the hearts: it shall be made into a vault over them, in columns outstretched.”
it is not possible for a believer to behave in such a coarse manner after he knows this clear decree of allah. believers should seriously avoid from such manners. a believer may not be aware that he is in such a mood but, whenever he realizes that what he’s doing is wrong, he should immediately stop and repent..
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not calling believers by nicknames
it is the habit of the unbelievers to call each other by offensive nicknames. the idea behind it, is again to humiliate and to “prove” that he is superior than the others. the nick name may be because of physical defect or just a wrong behavior done in the past. the unbelievers do not forget wrongdoing and remember the person always with these mistakes although he may not have repeated it again.
however, believers are different from them, they are forgiving, and there is a close brotherhood among them; they do not bother to behave like that.. moreover, allah has ordered: “…nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other, nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames:…”
“they said: “glory to thee, of knowledge we have none, save what thou hast taught us: in truth it is thou who art perfect in knowledge and wisdom.” (al-baqara 32)
by: harun yahya